Ask Avery: Stuck in a rut
blog by Avery Hartmans • September 27, 2013 @ 8:10am
I feel like I’ve been stuck in a fashion rut lately. Half the time I’m late to wherever I’m going because I can’t figure out what to wear. What do you do when you’re can’t come up with an outfit?
Since we can’t all have a couture-filled closet, fashion ruts are a fact of life. Sometimes nothing looks appealing, the weather isn’t cooperating for your planned outfit or disasters — like a spilled cup of coffee — happen at the last minute.
For times like those, all you need to do is step back, take a deep breath and realize two things. One, that you care about your outfit a whole lot more than anyone else does, and two, that no matter what, you need to be comfortable and satisfied with what you’re wearing.
If you’re not happy with what you have on, your confidence is going to take a dip and you won’t be your usual sparkly self that day.
But if that deep breath thing doesn’t work out, I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that I’ve accumulated over the years. Because no matter what anti-fashionistas may think, clothes are important and your outfit does make a difference. As my mom always used to say, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you do good.”
Whether the problem is that I really can’t think of a single thing to wear, or I have one piece that I just can’t work with, my first step is to consult Pinterest and Tumblr. Though in most cases opening up Tumblr exposes you to a lot naked chicks, scroll through and you’ll find extremely hip pictures of regular girls like you and me in awesome outfits.
It may take some patience, but I guarantee you’ll feel inspired.
If Tumblr isn’t your cup of tea, hit up Pinterest for inspiration. The best part about it is the option to search for something specific, and I mean really specific. My recent search was “fall-inspired maxi dress outfit” and wouldn’t you know it, I came up with the perfect outfit afterward. Even the best of us need a little help sometimes.
If the random girls who post selfies in their cutest outfits aren’t inspiring you, take a second to think about who does. Whether it’s Rihanna or Blake Lively or the off-duty models captured seemingly unknowingly by street style photographers, we all have fashion icons. So head to Google or flip through your fashion bible of choice to see what you’re favorite lady is wearing these days.
But even though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, that doesn’t mean it’s cool to copy exactly what your style icon has on. Inspiration is one thing, but be sure to put your own spin on things. It’s time to start developing your own sense of style instead of mooching off someone else’s.
Let’s say you’re fully dressed, but your reflection is telling you you look totally average. Don’t worry, that’s an easy fix. Try adopting a new Rule of Threes: every time you get dressed, you should have on three separate and distinct pieces. And bottoms don’t factor into this equation, so don’t try to tell me you’re dressed when you have on a shirt, jeans and shoes.
But say you are wearing that outfit. To jazz things up, throw on a chunky necklace and a jacket. Or belt a boyfriend cardigan over your top and pair with booties.
Add some layers, add some texture and for heaven’s sake, embrace accessories. Very few pieces of clothing are show-stopping enough to stand alone, so unless you have the closet and connections of Rooney Mara, don’t even think about it.
You’re bound to have those few pieces in your closet that you bought on impulse and rarely wear. You may think there’s no hope for them, but you’d be very wrong. Try pairing them with something so opposite, so crazy it could never work, and you just might be surprised.
Try blue watercolor floral leggings and a striped oxford, or that bright pink pencil skirt paired with a crew neck sweatshirt. Or how about a girly circle skirt with a buttoned-up masculine shirt and a statement necklace.
Opposites really do attract, and they make for much more exciting outfits.
On the days that I’m really struggling, I go back to my old standbys: my favorite pair of super-soft, naturally distressed, zipper-ankle skinnies and a men’s white v-neck tee. It’s fresh, it’s comfortable and it acts as a blank canvas for whatever mood I’m in that day. If I’m feeling preppy, I throw on my leopard loafers and layers of sparkly necklaces and pearls.
If I’m feeling a little more bohemian, it’s brown suede ankle booties and an old Army green jacket. Not every day calls for the outfit equivalent of a trump card, so don’t be afraid to go back to the basics.
Photo courtesy of Julia Kennedy