After years of falling back on tried-and-tested style formulas (skinny jeans, pumps + a breton top anyone?) this year I began to feel like I was ready for a new ‘wardrobe chapter’.
Call it a rut, an evolution or whatever springs to mind, but I think we can all recall a time when we’ve opened up our wardrobes, felt lack-lustre, and promptly shut them again.
I’ve generally wanted to feel more ‘grown up’ in my wardrobe choices, and have fewer good quality pieces to reach for.
Much though I spend most of my days in jeans/workout leggings and a version of ‘my comfiest jumper’, there are also times when I’m attending meetings, seeing friends or want to feel more put together.
If you’re feeling in a bit of a style rut too, I’m sharing a few of my tried and tested techniques for re-evaluating your style, and feeling confident in your wardrobe once more.
I’m still working things out myself, but I feel like I’m slowly eking out the sartorial version of ‘me’ I’d like to see more often . . .
How To Fall Back In Love With Your Wardrobe
#1 Have A Clear Out
The first step in developing a wardrobe you love, is getting rid of everything you already own which you don’t have affection for.
The relief felt when you finally wave goodbye to those jeans which never really fit is addictive!
Just this weekend I cleared out SO many clothes I no longer wear, and it was so nice to see clear space in my wardrobe once more.
Google ‘wardrobe clearout’ and you’ll no doubt be rewarded by a million articles about the ‘right’ way to have a spring clean (not to mention Marie Kondo’s strict procedure), but I say: “find a clear-out style which suits you”.
For me, I simply go through my wardrobe and decide if I REALLY love an item any more. If I’m on the fence, I probably don’t. And if I’m really indecisive I’ll put it in a ‘maybe’ pile to try on and revisit later.
Whatever your method, start with a clear-out and see how good you feel almost instantly.
Not only do you get rid of clothes taking up precious space in your wardrobe, but you’re left with clothes which make you feel great.
Sometimes this is enough! Donate/gift things you don’t love, and save the ones you do! “Ta-da!” you’re half way to a new wardrobe!
#2 Create A Dedicated Inspiration Board
My BFF Kathryn and I used to spend HOURS scrap-booking after school. We would cut carefully around catwalk looks, street style shots and shopping pages, and stick them on to a big page we would have curated for days.
I still have an old-school mood board, but I now choose to curate most of my style ideas on Pinterest.
Whenever I’m stuck for outfit inspiration I head to any number of my style boards, or search for a certain look.
You can start a Pinterest board about anything you want to – and it doesn’t have to be public. You may want to piece together your favourite outfit ideas and details without the pressure of other people seeing – just start a secret board and it’ll be for your eyes only!
Similarly, you can use the ‘save’ function on Instagram to save your favourite images. I do this for outfits I really love, and you then have your own little folder of you favourite looks. I’ve even got Oli doing it! Here’s a guide if you’re new to the ‘save’ function.
Whatever method you use, starting your own ‘research file’ on style can really help you to see what version of ‘you’ you’re aiming for.
#3 Have Your Go-To Gals
Similarly to your inspiration board, there are certain girls you know you can go to for great fashion eye candy.
I find myself regularly typing the same names into Instagram to see their latest posts. Funnily I don’t always head to my ‘go-to gals’ for pure fashion, sometimes it’s simply to be inspired by their aesthetic.
Of late I’ve been checking in with Danielle Moss a lot (her upcoming wedding in Paris may have something to do with it!), and I also adore the following ladies . . .
Pssst – I would LOVE to know yours!
#4 Find Your Go-To Brands
Much as it’s important to curate your inspiration, and your girl crushes, it’s equally important to then find the brands who can serve you up that wardrobe goodness.
And – hint – they may have changed!
The brands which were my go-tos back in my early twenties, aren’t necessarily the same. And if they are, I’m now looking for different things.
So whilst I’ve always shopped in H&M, I’m dodging the sale rail (a previous favourite hang!) and am headed to the new-in higher-end bits. They cost more, but they’re (mostly) better quality and more timeless, and now that you’ve made some prime wardrobe real estate available you want to get some good stuff in there!
Brands which I currently love exploring include:
and so many more! I’ll shop anywhere and everywhere, and once I have an idea of the overall ‘look’ I’m going for, give me half a day to kill and I’ll gladly shop with aplomb!
Again – any brands you’re loving?!
#5 Experiment & Get The Knack Of Styling
Some girls have an instinct which I swear turns just about any piece of clothing into a must have it now kind of situation.
Often the difference between something looking ‘good’ and something looking darn amazing is a little styling trick.
My friend Ella is the queen of a turn-up, a shoulder-robe, a sleeve pushed-up just so . . .
Take the time to really study what makes an outfit so desirable, and see if you can adapt a similar outlook.
And perhaps most importantly, if you’re in a style rut, push yourself to try new things!
I remember when I tried my first off-the-shoulder shirt, I didn’t know at all if it would be for me but I ended up loving it!
Experiment, have fun and see if you can find a few new style formulas which work for you.
With a change of age, careers or lifestyle is completely normal to want to change up your look.
How we dress and how we feel about our appearance can have a huge influence on our confidence, and so I’m all for taking a little time to think about it, spending some money on investing in it, and getting a spring back in your step again!
What’s Your Take?
Do you ever find yourself in a wardrobe rut? If so, what’s your method for getting out of it?
And, who are your girl crushes or go-to brands? I’d love to know!
Love, Monica x
Photography by Frances McMahon
Bobble Hat: The White Company
Leather Jacket: The White Company
Fine Rings: Similar
Leather Skirt: The White Company