How To Get Out Of A January Style Rut:

Jacket, Marks & Spencer; Camisole, New Look; Jeans, Pull & Bear

I find dressing myself in January really difficult. I mostly blame both the weather and my tight budget but tbh it's mainly due to overindulging over Christmas and not loving my body all that much. It's so, so cold at the moment and I'm finding it all too easy to have a quiet, cosy night in than a tough night at the gym. I also really haven't got over my Christmas cheese habit. 

But, after going on the #LookxPrimark retreat last week and working out with some seriously inspiring fitness gals I feel like I've finally getting back into the swing of things. I've been to the gym twice since and now my legs have (thankfully) recovered from all the squats we did on the retreat, I've booked myself onto a trampoline class tomorrow morning - eeek! 

I feel so, so much better in myself when I've been for a run, done a spin class or had a dreamy yoga sesh. I can't quite put it into words but it just makes everything feel clearer in my head and I feel like I stand taller and stronger in my clothes. Despite this, I'm still hating my clothes and a lot of my friends who keep whatsapping me about their wardrobes seem to be too so I thought I'd revisit a post I wrote last year on getting out of your style rut.

As I mentioned then, I have a clear image in my head of what I'd like to wear but struggle a lot with actually achieving that look on my pretty minimal budget. I don't think that I particularly have a ‘set style’ which is also 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. And since I now sharing a little room with my boyfriend this has led to so much mess and shaming (#coatgate is a serious issue in our little house). I can never decide what to wear and clothes are constantly all over the place from my daily sartorial woes - it took me 25 minutes to decide on a jumper and jean option this morning. Oh so basic.

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

Tidy wardrobe, tidy mind. Chanel Marie Kondo and think (rationally) 'if it doesn't bring you joy' let it go to a better home. 

It was one of the most therapeutic things I’ve done in a long while. There’s something so lovely about re-discovering those silly nostalgic pieces and gifting or donating others to friends, family or charity. 

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, 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.

3, Get on Pinterest

I bloody love Pinterest. 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, like me, you're are also a little 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.’  

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