When A Style Groove Becomes A Style Rut
Above: I’ve been relying heavily on accessories like these leopard mules to add interest to my summer outfits.
As I admitted in Monday’s post, I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant with regard to my style. This frustration has been building for the last few months, and in the past couple of weeks I’ve really hit the wall.
Part of my style malaise is seasonal. I’ve never had a particular affinity for summer clothing. Layering, scarves and footwear are where the fun happens for me. And part of it, I think, is where so much of Fashion is at this point in time: a big, splashy, Instagram-able Look-At-Me aesthetic. So many of the styles I see now feel a little contrived. Ruffles, flounces, shower curtain prints, one-shoulder, cold-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, sleeves that render use of one’s hands almost impossible. Or else just plain, big and boxy. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground between maximalist and minimalist fashion currently.
It isn’t that most of my wardrobe doesn’t work for me; it does. But there’s a certain energy, a bit of “zing” that’s often missing. In the past when hit with wardrobe ennui, I’ve experimented with adding bright colors, bold patterns, and styles well outside of my comfort zone. Even when I received compliments and positive feedback, I often couldn’t escape the feeling of trying too hard. Or that I was wearing Someone Else’s Clothes.
Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued
When I wrote earlier this year about my Wardrobe Wake-Up Call, I knew I didn’t want change my style completely. I’ve worked hard over the years to figure out the silhouettes and types of clothes that work for me and that I feel good in. I still believe in a foundation of simple, basic pieces. But I’m craving a little more variety, a little more color, a little more…glamour, for lack of a better word. I’m looking for those pieces that make my heart beat a little faster, and that make me happy when I wear them.
My shopping mistakes, the ones that sit unworn in my closet month after month, are almost always a result of trying too hard to add something “different” or “interesting” to the mix. So this season I’m trying a more strategic and focused approach. The plan:
Add more variety to my neutrals. As I replenish or update my wardrobe basics, I’m going to be replacing some of the black with navy, camel and grey.
Stick with what’s working. A long-over-lean silhouette, softly structured pieces, fabrics with movement, lightweight layers. Simple shapes with subtle but interesting details.
Don’t force it. I’m still mostly print-averse, and feel silly in anything too flouncy or complicated. If I have to talk myself into an item, I’m not going to wear it.
Trust the “Click.” The Click is what I call it when you put something on and it just feels right. I’m going to worry less about “where would I wear it?”. What I’ve found is that those “love at first try” pieces are the ones I wear the most, and hold onto the longest.
How about you? Do you get into style ruts occasionally? How do you get out of them?