Home > How To Get Out Of Your Style Rut

How To Get Out Of Your Style Rut

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…

This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination

How I Got Into This Style Rut

This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination

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.

This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination
The softest, most comfy little dress from Tobi (Knit Wit Dress)

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

This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination

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

This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination
This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination


Knit Wit DressTobi | Remi Coat – All Saints | Boots – L’Intervalle (similar here) | Arrowhead Necklace – ALEX AND ANI

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

This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination

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

This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination

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

This little Tobi dress is a wardrobe essential - Style Domination

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.




Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. Cheryl
    October 23, 2017 / 10:05 am

    Hi Dominique!

    Awesome! I recently went through every closet, drawer and storage bin of clothing to consign with my local boutique shop and Poshmark or donate old/new pieces I didn’t reach for anymore. I made a list of items I needed and created a capsule wardrobe. I am not a huge fan of very trendy pieces but I find a few that have a classic appeal to them that I would wear more than a year. End result, I have 40 or so empty hangers LOL! I’ve purchased about 12 new pieces. I’m so excited to look in my closet and see that every piece I will reach for… THANKS for the advice and know that we are all in this together! 🙂

    TJ Maxx

    • Dominique
      October 23, 2017 / 10:20 am

      You’re welcome!! That’s so great, Cheryl! Feels good, doesn’t it??? I’m much happier with my clothing now and I’m less likely to scream: “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!” I feel better in my clothing too, now that it all fits and I’m happy with it!

  2. October 23, 2017 / 11:44 am

    This is great advice! It’s such a pain when you have dozens of pieces that collect dust in our closets. Your advice is a great way to make sure to never get stuck in a style rut!



    • Dominique
      October 23, 2017 / 11:55 pm

      Thanks for your kind words, Cristina. I tell ya – donating those clothes felt GREAT!

  3. October 23, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    Looks like you did a total fashion overall. Kudos! I was in a fashion rut at the end of summer. I felt like I owned all the same tops. But once the season changed, that really helped me to change my styling and to get out of my rut as well. Hello soft sweaters for fall!

    • Dominique
      October 23, 2017 / 11:49 pm

      So excited for fall fashion! I was sooo sick of my clothes. I have looked the same for years. It was totally time for a change – loving my new looks!

  4. October 23, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    Loving this look! These colors together are perfect!

    • Dominique
      October 23, 2017 / 11:48 pm

      Thank you! These colours are very “me” – haha! Thanks for reading, babe!

  5. October 23, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    I need that pink jacket in my life! So pretty!

    • Dominique
      October 23, 2017 / 11:48 pm

      Thanks, Shira! That jacket is so warm a cozy. Got it at All Saints!

  6. October 23, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    That sweater dress is a must-buy! The color is perfect for this time of year and suits the jacket you paired with it perfectly! Don’t even get me started on those boots (NEED!)

    Birdie Shoots

    • Dominique
      October 23, 2017 / 11:47 pm

      Thank you! I’m loving the colour too. When I bought the boots, I thought I’d only wear them here and there, but I’m wearing them all the time! Love them!

  7. vickyj3015
    October 24, 2017 / 12:44 am

    Oh gosh you are pure style. This outfit is amazing that dress is just absolutely gorgeous with that faded dip in the back ..So sexy… I love dusty pink it is such a beautiful color not to mention the jacket and boots. Dominique you delivered, you are a show stopper and you look killer HOT.?

    • Dominique
      October 24, 2017 / 11:53 am

      HEY VICKY!!! Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, honey! This dress serves! LOL! I love that faded detail in the back too. Getting a lot of wear out of it! Thanks for your kind comments. You’ll see this dress on Youtube too – lol! xoxoxoxoxo

  8. October 24, 2017 / 1:32 am

    This is seriously great advice. I feel at times (especially during transitioning from summer to fall) I’m in a style rut myself.

    I love how you paired this look babe

    • Dominique
      October 24, 2017 / 11:52 am

      Thanks, Megan. That’s a really good point! Maybe that’s why I fell into such a huge rut!

  9. October 24, 2017 / 2:47 am

    This is such a cute sweater dress!! Looks great on you and I love how you paired it with white boots!

    cute & little

    • Dominique
      October 24, 2017 / 11:52 am

      Thanks, Kileen!

  10. Margret
    October 24, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Such great advice girly and love this look!

  11. Stephanie
    October 24, 2017 / 9:31 am

    This was a great article to read. I’ve been in the process of doing a revamp to my wardrobe – purchasing only items I know I can wear a million times in a million ways, and that work with pieces I already have! I want a few of those crazy-fun statement pieces, but most everything else should be neutral and practical and pairable. Thanks for sharing your advice, and your adorable outfit. I can so see myself wearing this look and loving it!

    • Dominique
      October 24, 2017 / 11:51 am

      Aww Stephanie! Thanks for this thoughtful comment! Means a lot. I’m totally with you. I’m really going to focus on only buying things I’ll get a lot of use out of. As for the trendy pieces, those will be treats only here and there!

  12. October 25, 2017 / 2:44 am

    I am loving this look! First, spotted this on your Instagram account! The color of purple looks so gorgeous on you and you inspired me to get my own pair of white boots!! Just hot!

  13. Alice
    October 30, 2017 / 9:09 am

    The white booties are so fun! They definitely add an extra bit of oomph to your look!


  14. October 30, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    Making a list of clothes I need before I shop is a must for me now! When I used to impulse purchase (it still happens occasionally 😉 I’d come home with a few cute items I soon realized didn’t go with anything else in my closet. I do the same when shopping for makeup now. If I don’t, I’ll buy a bronze eye shadow only to realize I already had 3 just like it in my kit. oops.
    Glad to know we are all in the same boat. 🙂

  15. October 30, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    I love how retro this look is! Also, the style vision board is such a great idea. I’ve been slowly & unintionally building one on Pinterest, and it was pretty surprising when I realized I definitely have key styles that I gravitate to over and over again. On a day to day basis, I love a simple outfit with a sexy twist and a nice coat. But on a night out, it turns out I’m obsessed with floral prints and sequins–everything my day to day self can’t stand lol! Loving seeing your blog grow. Thanks for bringing such great content–I really like the way you weave a story into everything.

    • Dominique
      October 30, 2017 / 5:03 pm

      This is the nicest comment ever. I can’t thank you enough for this. My blog is my baby – it makes me really happy. For once, I feel really good at something! This post was a fun one to write too. So glad you enjoyed it!! xoxoxoxo

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