How to Break Out of Your Fashion Rut
If you reach for what’s essentially the same outfit every day, or if you stand in your closet with glazed eyes, you might be stuck in a style rut! The good news is, it’s easier than you think to break free of the “blah”! These five simple and inexpensive fixes can end your fashion rut by adding fun and versatility to your closet staples.
• • • Add a POP OF COLOR • • •
Men and women get in a rut of wearing black, navy, and gray most of the time. Now I am not suggesting you dress head to toe in purple, but simply add one pop of color to your ensemble each day. For men, this could be a bright stripe that is in your shirt or simply a colorful pocket square. For women, this could be a piece of clothing or a colorful necklace or earring.
• • • Change Up Your SHOES • • •
You’d be surprised how different your clothes start to look! If you normally wear heels, test-drive this season’s amazingly chic flats, including fun tennis shoes and pointy loafers (J. Crew has a great selection of these). Basic pieces like black ankle trousers or a short swingy skirt could look predictable with heels, but think about how they’ll look with a pair of patterned Converse—totally different and current. Likewise, if flats are your go-to, reach for a pair of cool heels a few times a week, even if your outfit is just jeans and a tee. For men, switching from a leather loafer to a suede lace-up oxford will change your entire look.
• • • COMBINE Your Dressy & Casual Pieces • • •
A modern trick to looking like the most effortlessly stylish girl in the room: Pair a classic suit with a white T-shirt, or a pair of jeans with a metallic top. Pair dressy bottoms (maxi or leather skirt) with a casual top (plain gray sweatshirt, white T-shirt, or chambray shirt). Men can combine a casual bottom (jeans or cotton pant) with a dressier top (blazer with an open-collar shirt). Not only will this create many outfits to try, but it will allow you get more wear out of pieces that might sit in your closet until you have somewhere fancy to go.
• • • Try a Different Shade of LIPSTICK • • •
The cheapest and easiest way to break out of a style rut? Play with bold lipstick shades, like matte orange or bright red. Conversely, if you wear a bold or dark shade every day, switch to a nude lip. You’ll be amazed how something so easy can transform your look!
• • • Update Your ACCESSORIES • • •
Accessories show you pay attention to details. If your accessories are nonexistent, or worse, outdated, this will not speak well to your professional presence or personal brand. For men, tie bars are being seen again and add a very practical asset of securing your tie. Fancy socks also make a great statement. Ladies, layering several necklaces is a great look—so you can take the one you might be wearing every day and add two extra layers for a current look. Earrings now have a backside that is meant to be seen, so wear this style and you will get out of your rut fast! Cuff bracelets are another way to change up your look.
Presenting your intended personal brand is important each day! Creating a uniform look that never changes (your rut) is not only boring, but it makes your personal brand “the invisible one”—something nobody intends! Presenting a current personal brand is key to projecting a solid professional presence, so try a few of these tips to get out of your rut, and let me know how they work in the comments below!