…when opening it just makes you yawn
So you open your wardrobe, do a dramatic sigh and close it again feeling like you hate it all, have nothing to wear and proceed to get out your laptop to start browsing ASOS. Yep, we’ve all been there, and we’ve all made the subsequent three figure order where you end up seeing sense and returning most it any way (although something always gets through the net doesn’t it?). So if you’re feeling down in the dumps with your current wardrobe then I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve. Three in fact, that should get your styling juices flowing and should help you find a couple of new and exciting options amongst your rails. The best bit is that it’s completely free! No hauls. No impulse purchases. Just working with what you’ve got to find some new outfits, discover old pieces and learn some styling tricks to spice things up again…
EXPERIMENT ONE: FIVE NEW OUTFITS
I’m 100% guilty of wearing the same outfits on repeat. In fact I kind of encourage it in a way, because having these ‘formulas’ takes the guesswork out of putting outfits together. Plus, it’s always handy to know that we can rely on them whenever we’re in a rush and that we know that we feel good in our most-worn pieces. However, they are exactly what cause us all to get into these ruts in the first place. So a couple of week’s ago I did a video (have a watch here) where I tried to find five outfits in my wardrobe that I had never worn before and I have to say that it was surprisingly easier than I thought.
The best way to start each outfit is to have an item that you might not wear that often, that perhaps you’re not sure how to style or maybe it’s a piece that you feel is best suited to another time of year but you want to get more wear out of it. From there you can build; either by the process of trial and error and turning your bedroom into the world’s most chaotic changing room, or by taking a look online or on Instagram to see how other ladies you love have styled it out. I did a bit of both and ended up finding the perfect casual way to wear a blazer that was gathering dust, and have taken out my dungarees from summer storage to wear over the coming months after learning that big chunky knits look pretty awesome under them. The best bit? I didn’t even need to spend a penny.
EXPERIMENT TWO: THE 10X10 CHALLENGE
I’ve never personally given this one a go, but I have to say that I’m tempted… I originally saw this challenge discussed by Caroline Joy on her blog, Un-Fancy. In fact check out this post, for a detailed look at how she goes about it. The premise is that you pick 10 items from your wardrobe and create 10 different outfits over the next 10 days with them. I mean, my inner Virgo is literally bouncing off the walls at the idea of this. Not only should it help you flex your styling muscle, it also gives you a chance to get ready real quick in the mornings and to see if you’re happy with what you’ve currently got in your wardrobe. I’d say that it’s a good one to crack out at the beginning of each season to get you in the mood and see where the holes are that you need to fill with your new clothing additions.
Accessories aren’t included, so that’s how you’re going to spice things up here – with a colourful bag or a red lip to make our outfits look different if there are repeats. Caroline also suggests checking the upcoming weather before you start (GENIUS!), taking a look at your diary to see what you’ve got going on and to think about your colour palette and proportions when picking out your final 10 items. If 10 feels too little for you then dial it up to 12, 15, whatever – adjust where you feel appropriate and it’s time to get mixing and matching.
EXPERIMENT THREE: STYLE IT OUT
Whereas the other two challenges can be a little time consuming, here’s one to whip out when you’re in need of a speedy dose of inspiration. The idea here is that you find a basic outfit – let’s say a white crew-neck t-shirt and a pair of high-waist pale denim jeans – and then attempt to style it out as easy, breezy weekend attire and then as a more formal outfit option. It’s definitely not as taxing and more straightforward than the previous experiments, but it’s still a good way of seeing if you have the right kit in your wardrobe and a reminder of how easy it is to dial down/up an outfit. A good one to remember next time you’re packing for a trip. Aside from clothing, you can think a bit out the box here; adding layered necklaces to the evening look or a slicked-back ponytail and a red lip, or perhaps opting for a low-bun and a glossy lid with some mascara for the more laid back option. Be your own personal stylist here and don’t skip the finishing touches. What would Gok Wan do, eh?
FOUR OF MY FAVOURITE STYLE PAGES
Shot From The Street. Ah come on – you knew that Lizzy would be on this list, right? A quick browse of her blog provides some serious creative inspiration; from the way that she shoots photos, to her love for feminine looks with an androgynous twist.
Sabina Socol. It’s Sabina’s Instagram page that gets me clicking save on practically every post, but being a Parisian gal her style is right up my street. She nails that ‘undone’ look perfectly and always looks comfy and practical, but so damn chic.
Fashion Me Now. I really got into Lucy’s blog over the summer where she made me want to buy about 25 swimming costumes. She really nails basics with a subtle nod to colour and is one of the only people on this planet that could make me want a pair of pink corduroy trousers.
Tamira Jarrel. I have got into TJ’s videos in a big way recently and love her beauty recommendations, but her style ones are always on point too. She’s a fellow lover of monochrome, with a knack for masculine tailoring and is my low-slung bun inspiration.
Photos by Lauren Shipley
*Sign up to my monthly newsletter ‘An Edited Life’ here*