5 Tips to see you out of your style rut


For the last two weeks I’ve worn one of my trusty coats with the simplest outfit underneath, every single day: Seemingly over Christmas I lost the ability to dress myself properly. Being a gross sneezy mess for the whole holiday definitely allowed myself to get far too cosy and now I have no creativity when dressing in the morning. It’s not fun, but then style ruts rarely are.

In my head I have a very clear style and look that, if I had a more disposable income would allow for whole new, sleeker look. Everyone I follow on social media always looks so effortlessly put together, that I have a constant yearning for new clothes as if they’ll help.

I don’t think I particularly have a ‘set style’ and that is where I think the problem stems from, I like to try out trends, challenge myself with fun pieces and get inspired by the people around me. Sometimes I really like things that aren’t necessarily me and it’s led to me having a lot of quite random pieces in my wardrobe: which I feel guilty about neglecting but awkward when I wear them. As I’m now sharing a little room with my boyfriend this has led to so much mess. I can never decide what to wear and clothes are constantly all over the place from my daily sartorial woes.

So, in an attempt to get out of the horrid repetitive cycle of buying,  never wearing , hating everything I own and then buying more clothes, I thought I’d share my new approach to ensuring your new-season purchases don’t end up in the charity bag before the seasons started.

1, Clear out your wardrobe


This is the most therapeutic thing I’ve done in a long while. There’s something so lovely about re-discovering those silly nostalgic pieces: that loveworn lumberjack shirt from Reading ’09, the Marc by Marc Jacobs shorts and countless birthday dresses (I have no actual reasoning being keeping my each of my birthday outfits from the last five years...)

My clear outs never usually get to the charity that’s printed on the bin bag they very quickly fill up, rather going onto my sister, mum and aunt instead. However the bags are a great place to start: with a great intention.

I hate the whole ‘if you haven’t worn it in six months bin immediately’ nonsense, it’s such a flawed logic. I instead go by the mantra that if I can’t remember the last time I wore it, felt gross in it, or my sister would look better in it then it goes to her. It’s simple and really effective.

If you’re looking for an incentive to your clear out, organise a swap shop or sale with your friends, as they say ‘one gals old Toppers dress is another’s treasure.’ I personally wouldn’t bother with eBay or car boot sales, I’d rather see an unloved Zara shirt go to a friend than have to haggle for a measly £3.

2, Look back at old photos

Obviously this one’s a little easier if you have a blog, or YouTube channel but simply looking through last year’s Facebook pictures is such a great way to see what worked best on you.
                                             
Knowing what works on you is the key to feeling comfortable and confident in your look, make a note of pieces that highlight your natural shape and what you wore on those nights out when you had the best time.

Regardless of whether outfits look a little outdated it’s such an easy way to see what works for your body shape, be that a pencil or pleated skirt, ankle grazers or flared jeans, bodycon or belted dresses. The list is endless but knowing what to avoid and eliminate from your wardrobe and shopping list is a great starting point.

3, Go shopping with a friend

99% of my clothes shopping is done either on-line or alone in-store. I’m the person who always asks store assistants for advice as I never manage to coordinate the time I have free to shop well enough to go with friend. This is something I’m actively trying to rectify, as the people who really know you give you the best advice and always know if you will actually regret not purchasing that one item of clothing that's momentarily caught your eye.

Whilst boyfriends are really good at knowing what you won’t wear, mine doesn’t share my love of culottes or jumpsuits: which means a lot of the time I’m left realllly undecided on things.

The best way to have a successful shop is to hit up a city center or shopping centre mid-week, that way you get to shop in all of your fave stores without the crowds and queues that are inevitable at the weekend. Oxford Street and Westfield’s Stratford are my two favourite places to shop. Invite a friend along and make a full day of it.

To make the most out of your day shopping take some snaps of outfits you like, or specific styles that you could create a capsule wardrobe around with you. Stay focussed and avoid asking people for their advice either on social media or in a WhatsApp groups as your picture will inevitably showcase the piece in the most flattering angle: trust your pal who can see the garment up close and from a realistic angle.

Try not to worry or panic if you don’t find anything. I’m SO guilty of purchasing pieces for the sake of it, and it never ends well. If you want to be super on it check online to see when new-stock is dropping instore and time your shop around then, but often the styles or cuts in-store simply aren’t you. It may be a little disheartening but that’s okay. Save your pounds and come back next week/month.

4, Create a Pinterest board

Pinterest is pretty new to me, I only really got into it recently when researching for test shoots, but it’s so bloody useful.

I’m trying to use it weekly to curate an online edit of ‘things I’d like to wear’ and ‘new ways to wear things I currently own’ and it’s going pretty well. It never ceases to amaze me how you can own a whole look and have never considered layering it how another person has, teaming it with a bold bag or shoe.

It’s a constant way to challenge and inspire your creativity and if you too are also pretty late to the Pinterest party I’d really recommend it, especially if you’re after an image overhaul. Simply start up a general style board and pin all your favourite looks, accessories and outfits and go from there. You’ll quickly see which way your style’s heading and one of the great things about Pinterest is that you’re able to see what things in your size look like, giving you a very realistic vision and expectation of outfit’s simply by searching ‘(your size) outfits.’  


5, Get a friend to dress you

This may be easier said than done but one of my favourite things about nights out when I was younger (read as under-age) was going to my best friend’s house and her and her elder sister dressing me up in their clothes before we headed into town.

Each weekend I’d wear something I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen for myself and have the best time. It’s really interesting to see what others would style you in and what other’s think suits you best as it’s often something so different to what you’d usually wear. There's no better opportunity to completely try out a whole new look, with the most minimal amount of commitment. 


Tweet me @sarahrharrison to let me know how you get out of your style ruts!
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