We’ve all played the classic game: waking up in the morning, sleepily drudging to our closets, and looking at a closet full of clothes and coming to the hopeless conclusion that I have absolutely nothing to wear.
All of a sudden, the sweaters you used to love feel baggy and unflattering, and your favorite skinny jeans just aren’t hitting where you want them to — so what’s a girl to do?
Nobody can go and purchase a completely new wardrobe every time the seasons change, but there are ways to get out of a style slump without spending your entire paycheck on new clothes.
Here’s all the inspiration you need to up your style game — without your wallet feeling the wrath of your newfound fabulousness.
1. Clean it out
While doing a complete Marie-Kondo-style closet purge is on our list of things we’ll get around to (eventually), just spending a Sunday morning packing up some clothes you don’t want anymore can open your eyes to the things in your closet that you do love.
When your piles of clothes are topped with stained T-shirts and jeans that no longer fit you, it can muddy the waters and make you forget about the things you have that you love and that flatter you. When you open your closet doors to shelves filled with things that you actually have a chance of wearing, it makes you feel like you have more clothes than you did before those boxes were taken to Goodwill.
Put the things you know you want to wear front-and-center, so when you’re on your next outfit search, you’ll see them immediately.
2. Develop a go-to outfit formula
When you just can’t figure out what to wear, having a go-to outfit that you know you feel great in can cut out a ton of debating (and piles of nixed clothes sprawled across your bedroom floor after a half-hour of frantically trying things on).
Do you have a jacket that you absolutely love or a pair of shoes that make you feel great, every time? Combine them for a fail-proof, go-to outfit when you’re in a pinch.
Over time, having a few go-tos in your mind can turn into rotating outfits that re-define your entire style.
Have a meeting that you need to kill it at? You know your blazer and ankle jeans are your go-to for a work day — just add whatever shirt you’re feeling, and the shoes that are the most weather-appropriate. Got a last-minute invite to meet friends for drinks? Your go-to for a casual night are your leather jacket and your favorite boyfriend jeans, so just add a shirt and accessorize.
3. Find a muse
There’s nothing like getting daily doses of inspiration to help you find new ways to wear what you already have. Find influencers whose style you love and give them a follow on Instagram, so when you’re on that morning commute or scrolling through your feed on your lunch break, you can see pictures that give you inspiration on styling your closet. You don’t need to copy anyone’s outfits exactly, but seeing how someone else styles something can lead you to wearing a combination of pieces you wouldn’t ordinarily have thought of.
The same goes for following platforms you love — finding a fashion blogger or writer whose style you resonate with and following their posts can give you the consistent creativity you need. When you see an outfit you love, utilize Instagram’s saving feature and create a folder of pictures to look back on before you get dressed in the morning.
4. Change up your look
Sometimes, a style rut has nothing to do with your clothes at all, and more to do with needing a change elsewhere.
If you’ve been craving a new haircut or trying out a new hair coloring technique, now’s the time to do it. Having a fresh new ‘do can make everything you wear feel different and pull everything together seamlessly.
If a new haircut isn’t in the cards for you, try styling your hair in ways you normally wouldn’t. Incorporate headbands, bows, and scarves to give yourself a fresh look; or if you’re a flat-iron addict, try styling your hair in beachy, textured waves for a few days.
The same goes for makeup — if you’re usually into a nude lip, try a dark, vampy one for a day; or if you usually nix eyeliner, incorporate a subtle flick into your morning routine. It can make all the difference.
5. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
If your wallet can’t handle a clothing haul, try picking up a few new, inexpensive accessories to work into your wardrobe instead. Some new sunnies, a chic scarf, or that pair of booties you’ve been eyeing can take an outfit you’re used over to the next level — and you can wear them day in and day out.
Shoes are a great way to give your wardrobe an instant boost — a versatile pair of shoes that you can dress up or down can make all of your outfits feel different and new.
6. Invest in a wear-with-everything jacket
We all preach about the importance of having flattering coats that you absolutely love, but they also can help immensely in spicing up your style.
Instead of buying fast-fashion items that you’re going to be sick of within the next few months, buy one jacket that you can wear with everything for years to come — your dream leather jacket or a classic trench can make even the most basic of outfits look like they took time and effort. You’ll never regret having a staple jacket that you know you can rely on to elevate your look.
7. Allow yourself to experiment
You know that shirt that you loved in the store, but never mustered up the courage to wear in real life? Time to break it out.
Allow yourself to take some time to put together outfit combinations that you wouldn’t ordinarily try — the bold ones that are out of your comfort zone — to let yourself reinvent your style. You’ll never know what styles might make you feel great until you try them.
The most-loved items in your closet that you already have combined with others that you rarely wear can give you a whole new look without any shopping at all.