I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a style rut lately. Constantly defaulting to my boring tried-and-true favourites (black shirt, black skinny jeans, black boots – exciting!), something inside of me snapped. My wardrobe was on life support.
I wasn’t feeling inspired by my clothes anymore and certainly didn’t feel great in them. Frankly, I felt a little dowdy all the time! I know, I know – way to “dominate style, Dom”. One day, a package arrived on my door step full of dresses I loved. It sparked that fashion fire in me again. Thanks for getting it lit, Tobi! But…back to that rut…
How I Got Into This Style Rut
Judging from all the comments I receive across my platforms from all of you – my awesome readers – I’m not alone. We aren’t discriminate shoppers. I try to be – really, I do! But I get sooo distracted by all the pretty things out there that I constantly buy pieces that don’t fit well with my existing clothing. I try not to beat myself up too much about this. After all, if you don’t experiment, you risk not finding out about things you actually love, no matter how pink, furry, strappy, sequinned, etc. they are.
Case in point: I bought white ankle boots covered in studs and straps (I LOVE THEM) instead of buying a good pair of perfect jeans. These shoes would be hard to style, but I wanted something different. Turns out they pair well with more than you think and people LOVE. THOSE. BOOTS. That was impulse-buying at its finest.
Most of the time though, I end up buying things I already have, don’t need, don’t really want and won’t end up being worn. Sigh.
Taking My Own Advice
I finally decided to take my own advice and shop like a winner. I made a list of things I needed and out went the clothing that no longer fit, was broken/torn/worn out and out of style. I also got rid of items I loved, but hadn’t worn in years, like a short-sleeved, blush-coloured Angora sweater from Club Monaco that was really expensive. It felt beautiful, looked great but something about it made me never reach for it. Out it went.
What Caused The Change
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a reader who was seeking help with her personal style. She actually had seen me out and about it the city and loved my outfit. My heart swelled at this nice compliment! She wanted me to help her choose outfits for her as she was starting a new job and wanted a fresh fashion start.
As I pulled together a list of classic pieces for her to consider adding to her closet, I realized that I didn’t really own too many of them myself. Here I am doling out advice that I wasn’t even adhering to! This hit me like a ton of bricks. I needed to make a change. I was accruing an avalanche of clothing that I didn’t like all that much, and shopping left me feeling bored. Enough was enough.
What I Did
I started shopping with purpose. I finally made a list of items I needed and went shopping – both online and in-stores. I sold a lot of pieces via consignment (thanks Preloved Ottawa!) and used the money to fund new purchases.
I bought things that I could wear both to work and out with my friends or to events. I stuck with a chosen colour palette too (neutrals). This made mixing and matching really easy.
I invested in some great items that I know I will have forever like a couple pairs of great shoes and a stylish coat. The weather has been fabulous lately, but it will eventually change, so I was thankful for this beautiful knit dress from Tobi.
What I love about this dress is that it’s versatile. In addition to wearing it as a dress, I’ve also worn it as a long sweater over jeans and paired with some vegan leather leggings. It’s camel colour is so flattering too. I loved it with this lovely pink jacket and white booties.
Put Your Fast Fashion To Work
I also want to look current, but didn’t want to spend too much on fast fashion items that wouldn’t stand the test of time. I hit up places like Zara and got a beautiful velvet coat with whimsical embroidery. I also told myself that I would put my impulse purchases like that rose satin dress to work. Nothing would go to waste. I researched online how to make that slip dress work for everyday and was stunned at all of the great options! Pair it with a black turtle neck. Cinch it with a belt and throw a blazer over it. Wear it with a long cozy sweater. Trust me, that dress will earn it’s keep.
Something Else That Can Really Help You Up Your Style
I made a fashion vision board that has become a sort of style bible. I added a Pinterest board to my account called “Fashion Inspiration“. I started pinning looks like crazy to it and refer to the board often when I feel like I need a bit of style boost. So simple – so easy!
I noticed after a few weeks that I was pinning similar looks – they were all classic with a little edge…and definitely leaned towards high-end accessories. This “fashion vision board” really helped me pinpoint how I wanted to look and I think it would really work for anyone looking to up their fashion game.
So, I challenge you to refine/overhaul your look if you aren’t happy with it. There is nothing like feeling confident in the skin your in and the clothes covering it!! After my big closet clear-out, I feel lighter and frankly happier.
Have you recently gone through a fashion rut? What did you do to get out of it? Let’s all help each other and share your tips in the comments!
*A big thank you to Tobi for this dress in exchange for my honest opinion.