This is me right now.
I’m currently wearing a jumpsuit, UGG boots and maxi cardigan at my desk and I look as far removed from Instagram-chic as I’d ever like to believe.
Style ruts are cute, aren’t they?
I think we’re all guilty of doing that thing where you throw half your bank balance at Lakeside and get home and have this warm rush of glee filling your belly and veins because LOOK HOW COOL AND SASSY ALL MY NEW THINGS ARE and then like two days later looking at your wardrobe and doing a mental vom down yourself and being like more, I need MORE new clothes.
It’s a hideously repetitive cycle.
Anyway lads, if you’re struggling with your fashion identity a bit at the moment because back the fuck up why don’t I look as effortless as 72% of the sophisticated sisters I follow on social media, or you just want to mix things up a bit for 2016, here’s my tips on tackling a style rut.
We are going to welcome in this new year looking seriously hair-flicking good together.
We can also have the same sweet mince pie and turkey and brie gunt together too, because that’s just how things roll around here…
1. WARDROBE CLEAR OUT
Start off with the classic charity shop bin bag game – pack up everything that you haven’t worn for 6 months, even those things that you’re like yeah BUT I probably will wear this the next time I have a wedding to go to. If you really loved or needed it you’ll have found an excuse to wear it. Case in point: my gold sequin jacket. I wear it to every single festival and wedding and Christmas party because <3<3<3
My only advice would be don’t fall into the trap of being like oh I haven’t worn this cute pink maxi dress in ages better give it away because hello, it’s December, you probs won’t have touched any beach-y stuff for a little while in case you had a sweet autumn break to the Maldives, in which case you’re not allowed to read my blog anymore.
If you want incentive to actually go and get some bin liners from the cupboard under the sink and herd up your clothes – do a car boot. Rock up at 6am, snag a cuppa and a bacon roll and sell shoes for £3, bags for £2 and clothes for £1 and then put the money towards a wardrobe update shopping trip.
(Just FYI, this clear-out should happen every 3-6 months).
2. START A PINTEREST BOARD
My favourite part of an image re-vamp, Pinterest.
Start up a general style board and get pinning all your fave outfits and looks – I usually just tend to search ‘street style outfits’ or ‘uk style’ (because I MUCH prefer it to U.S. style and their obsession with waterfall cardigans and knee-high chestnut-coloured boots).
You have to be careful with Pinterest because I find I often pin stuff because I like the model/blogger/normal person’s figure rather than their actual style. Often I’ll try and search for ‘size 12 outfits’ or ‘size 14 outfits’ and make a conscious effort to try to pin people with similar body shapes to me, so I can get a realistic vision of what will suit me and what things will actually look like IRL.
Another thing to watch out for is falling in love with the classic outfit combo of cute striped tee, ripped jeans and – wait for it – stilettos. Babes, you’re never going to have a reason to wear this outfit out of the house. Look for realistic combinations, things you could see yourself comfortably strutting around Tesco in.
3. FIND PINTEREST TRENDS
I try and pin for maybe as little as 10 minutes a week, just to keep my fashion goal at the front of my mind.
Once you’ve got maybe 20 or so images saved you can start looking for trends and patterns – finding the pieces or the styling tricks that your eyes keep drawing you back too.
Maybe it’s a leather biker jacket or baby pink cross body bag or tartan shirts or a black fedora – but keep a mental note of the key pieces you become obsessed with. It’s more likely that if you splurge on something repeatedly used in these kinds of photos that a) it’s easy to style and b) you actually want it and it’s not just something you’ve panic bought because you spent FOUR hours in town and are about to come home with nothing.
4. START SAVING ITEMS
I do this on ASOS all the damn time. I save as I browse and it saves everything I’ve saved for 60 days which gives me enough time to look at it until I get bored of it.
By going back to my saved items page every few days it helps me find out what’s suddenly gone down in the sale HELLO YOU SASSY LITTLE UNEXPECTED SAVING, YOU, and it means I have enough time to work out if I really actually want something and love it.
Often I’ll add dresses that I think PHWOAR, my wardrobe needs this immediately and then two days later I see it again and I’m like hmmm, it’s OK and then a week later I’m like delete, delete, delete what even is this.
So yeah, all of the above.
5. LOOK BACK AT OLD PHOTOS
I guess this is probably easier for me because hello endless outfit post archive, but spend some time scrolling back through Facebook or your camera roll looking at photos of yourself. I mean, ideaaaaaally full length ones rather than selfies, but y’know.
Appreciate what suits you, what you looked IN-FRICKIN-CREDIBLE in and what, with a little bit of hindsight, probably should never have left the shop with you because ahem, you look a *bit* like a tent. Albeit one with the most on-point eye brows to ever exist.
Even if some styles have become a bit outdated since you last posed for a snap in your living room, work out which shapes and cuts flatter you. For example, anything that nips in at my waist and skims my curves is an instant winner for me and almost always looks nice because it doesn’t swamp me and make me look bigger than I am because it highlights my natural shape.
Are you a midi or mini girl? Boyfriend or skinny jeans? Roll neck and pinafore or skater dress? Low cut dress or high neck? Empire line or drop waist?
6. GO SHOPPING WITH A FRIEND
I love online shopping (as my sad-looking bank account will confirm), but I find I’m more likely to keep something that doesn’t look AMAZING on me because cba wrapping it back up and going to a post office and wah might make a cup of tea instead.
The best way to do a successful shop is to hit up a big shopping centre or large city on a weekday – obvs easier said than done if you work Monday to Friday, but y’know, work it out with annual leave.
Set yourself an entire day with one pal – two at a push, anymore and it’s basically a ladies who lunch set-up rather than a serious shop. And GO, GO, GO.
Take your Pinterest list with you and a list of things that suit you and help each other out. I sometimes take photos whilst in changing rooms and ask Twitter for their opinion, THIS IS A MISTAKE. I am (and you probably are too) programmed to pose in a way which makes whatever you’re wearing look flattering. You need someone with you to see it from every damn angle and your boyfriend doesn’t count because hello, he just wants you to hurry the eff up because you promised him Nando’s for lunch.
Some seasons there’ll be less on offer for your personal shape and style. (These button up A-line skirts can do one now – they do not a cute Hannah Gale make), but you just gotta stay strong and keep referring back to your lists rather than get hoodwinked by trends.
Anything even the tiniest bit uncomfortable or right or too big or less-than-perfect will probably be worn once and then resigned to that pile of stuff at the back of the wardrobe that’s fallen off hangers.
All the things in my wardrobe that are at least two years old and still regularly worn are the comfy things – the things that whenever I wear and see photos of I think damn mumma, you slaying.
DO NOT SETTLE BECAUSE YOU JUST WANT NEW PRETTY THINGS. Take it slow. You got this.