We often evaluate our lives as we approach year end. We think about what we have accomplished and what we would like to do in the next year. I am not big on resolutions, but I am definitely into goal setting, learning, and moving forward. As I was thinking about my goals for 2022, I had to think about my wardrobe. After all, the COVID pandemic has not had a positive impact on most people’s wardrobes. Many of us wear the same basic “uniform” every day and would love to shake things up but don’t know how. To put everyone at ease, it’s typical to get into a wardrobe slump after months of feeling uninspired by or bored with our wardrobes. My husband is in this slump big time—of course, add in retirement and it is a double whammy. Admittedly, I am not far behind as I can fall into the “it’s comfortable” slump. So how can we rise above the fashion rut and learn to love our wardrobes this year?
For starters: the ground rules. 1) Allow yourself to choose comfort at home with an assortment of athleisure, yoga pants, and sweats—you’ve earned it. 2) For all other occasions, determine your intentional style with the goal of expressing your own personal brand of joy and attraction.
How to Feel More Joy When You Get Dressed
To get out of a fashion slump, dress in a way that excites you! Try selecting something you already love and them amping it up.
Use color to add radiance
If your typical “uniform” is black or neutral, some color can make a huge difference. Do any on-trend colors pop out at you this season? Try choosing a few new colors to play with in coats, shoes, hats, purses, or scarves, which are all great ways to experiment with color without having to commit to an entire outfit. Fresh colors can make you feel bright, inspired, and refreshed. Pro tip: Ensure the color works with your personal color palette!
Add an accessory that makes you smile
Nowhere will you find more versatile choices to pump up your wardrobe than through accessories. When you make accessory choices that suit your personality and body shape and that enhance your outfit, you’ll be on the right track! Some people prefer to wear a large array of accessories at one time while others are comfortable with one or two accessories.
Experiment with styles that suit your personality and your outfits by wearing:
- One more ring than you typically do
- A cluster of three or more bracelets on one wrist
- Two or three delicate, layered necklaces
If you’re not sure about your accessories style, try wearing one standalone, signature piece. (It doesn’t have to be gaudy or gigantic, it just has to be something you love and think is beautiful.) Think of it like how you’d set a table for a dinner party. You set out your typical dishes and utensils, and then you add an amazing centerpiece, such as a vase of flowers or a bowl of seasonal fruit. The centerpiece draws in the eye and then leads to the other accents you’ve used. It works the same way with a signature accessory!
Accessory suggestions include:
- A patterned blazer
- An oversize or colored purse
- A blue or red coat (that suits your coloring) instead of a black or brown coat
- Fun shoes, especially when they are patterned, textured, or interestingly colored
- A bulkier or differently tied scarf that draws attention to your face
Wear your extra-special pieces
Too often we don’t wear our most prized pieces—Mom’s necklace or Grandpa’s pocketwatch—because we fear damaging them, wearing them out, or making them feel less special if we wear them all the time. That usually results in our most special pieces languishing in a dark closet or jewelry box, and certainly not bringing us any enjoyment—a sad fate for a piece with monetary or sentimental value. Could the piece potentially get damaged? Sure, but do you really want to live your life afraid of all the things that could happen on any given day? You can minimize the risk, like, maybe leave Mom’s special necklace at home on your spelunking trip, and live knowing you enjoyed that piece to its fullest, even if it does eventually get damaged or wear out. You enjoyed it! And when it comes to formal pieces, try dressing it down with a jacket or a pair of flats. You could even dress up for a date night at home!
Try new combinations
We like what we like! But things can get stale when this results in the same basic look over and over again. So mix things up with an outfit combination you’ve never worn before. Check out Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration, and think about creating an inspiration board with looks you love. You can also quickly change your look with different styling: belts, cuffs, ties, tucks, layers, and accessories.
Reorganize your closet
When you reach for the same pieces over and over—clothes that are easy to see or that are your steadfast go-tos—you’re going to create the same look time and again. To combat this, try going through your closet to remind yourself of your clothing inventory and any awesome items you might have forgotten. Next, arrange your clothes so items are easier to see, giving more prominent placement to items you’re ready to play with more often. You could also organize your closet by color or by items that would all pair together, like mini capsule wardrobes.
Stay away from duplicates
That may be a great blouse, but do you need it in all 26 colors? Hint: The same item in a different color does not count as a different look, and will only leave you feeling more bored with your wardrobe.
Pack away your clothes for a season
One of my favorite things at the beginning of a new season is rediscovering my seasonal clothes coming in from storage. It’s exciting to see them again, plus it sparks creativity in outfit combinations. If you’re bored with certain pieces or unsure if they’re still for you, try packing them away for a season or two. Are you happy to see them when you pull them out again? If you’re not excited or inspired by clothes you haven’t seen for a while, it might be time to part ways.
Do something different (but still in line with your personality and personal-brand goals) to get out of that wardrobe slump and making dressing fun again! And don’t forget to experiment. If you don’t like your new creation, you can take it off and no one has to see it. But when you find an amazing new combination, you’ll be excited to wear it and get more enjoyment out of your wardrobe!