How to Get Out of a Style Rut Without Shopping
I have a confession: I don’t always love what’s in my closet.
I talk about loving and using what we have all the time on my slow fashion youtube channel, but let’s be real: nobody is perfect and we are all human. There have been many times where I’ve opened up my closet only to feel tired of what I saw. Not because I didn’t like my clothes, but because I was wearing them so darn much. And then what happens next? Maybe some online browsing, a trip to the local thrift store, a sense that I need to add something new to my wardrobe.
But wait! This is not good!
Even if we can return items after these emotional shopping excursions, impulse purchases typically don’t end up being as well loved or used as intentional ones, and this is how we slowly make our way to a closet that feels boring, tired, and so not who we are. It sneaks up on you, this crazy closet – and more and more often you find yourself waking up feeling a little bit more lost and wanting to shop again.
If you’re building a curated closet full of sustainable, or capsule items that you invested in because you really loved them, you must have fallen in love with them at some point, no? But how do we reignite that spark and fall back in love with our wardrobe? We can’t take our clothes on dates or woo them with jars of Nutella, so what’s a girl to do?
There are a few little tricks that I’ve used in the past that help to get out of a style rut. While I love me a solid uniform, sometimes its nice to find other outfit formulas or combinations that I can add into the rotation and that feel fresh. The best part about these little styling tricks is that they’re completely free – no shopping, no lamenting the fact that a certain trend doesn’t suit your body type, just good old creativity and imagination. You’ll be creating some fresh new outfits with old clothes in no time.
1 – Challenge Yourself
Stop wearing your go-to items or colours for one week. I would only pick one go-to to here, so as not to get too overwhelmed, and I actually did this! For one week I went without wearing jeans and another I went without wearing black. It’s all documented on the channel for posterity, of course. Maybe for you, your go-to is a different colour or a different style crutch, but having to go without it can really get your creative juices flowing with what’s left in your closet. (My next challenge will be a week without pants – skirts and dresses only!)
2 – Head to Pinterest or Instagram
This one can be a bit tricky because it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of seeing all the beautiful clothes we don’t have and start shopping, BUT – stay strong! And use these platforms for inspiration instead of envy. Here’s how: take a piece that you have in your closet which you have trouble styling, don’t know how to wear, or would like to get more wear out of, and plug it into the search bar to see how the stylish ladies of the internet have styled it. Focus on the basic elements like silhouette and colour pairings, and styling tricks like cuffing, rolling, and tucking to create a new signature look for yourself. (I’ve got a whole series about how to do this if you want a nudge with this one 😉
3 – Participate in a 10×10 Challenge
Originally created by Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee, the 10×10 challenge is now a worldwide movement to ease into a leaner, more curated closet. I’ve never done one, but I think it’s a great exercise to encourage new style pairings with a highly curated selection of your favourite pieces. Here’s how it works: Choose 10 items of clothing from your closet including tops, bottoms and shoes for your next 10 days. Accessories, outerwear, underwear, bags, PJ’s and gym clothes are not included, so you’re off the hook for those items. For the next 10 days, you can create any combination of outfits using only the 10 items you picked. Before heading into the challenge, always check the weather and your agenda to make sure you’re choosing appropriate clothes.
As always, I think paying attention to details in each of these scenarios can also help step up your style game without shopping. Changing how you do your hair or adding a swipe of fun lipstick can also help to encourage a solid refresh. I also mention some other styling hacks I use when I feel like I have nothing to wear in this video!
Thanks as always for reading,