Although I seem to invest nearly the entirety of my disposable income in my wardrobe, I still find myself constantly faced with the age-old problem: a closet full of clothes, and nothing to wear. Or at least nothing I want to wear. Some mornings, every item I own feels flat-out boring. I stand in front of my racks, coffee in hand, wondering how I could have possibly spent so much money on clothes without managing to buy one single outfit that is remotely chic or current. Even the exciting new additions I've only had for a few weeks lose their sparkle. Of course none of this is true, it's just that fast fashion has got me feeling a little lazy.
The problem is, the fashion industry makes throwing together an effortlessly stylish outfit seem incredibly easy because it tries to convince us style can be bought. Pushing yourself to make the best of what you have seems a much weightier task than purchasing something shiny, new, and on-trend. On top of that, the sheer amount of clothing available via inexpensive shopping options, the rapid turnover of collections, and endless Instagram bloggers are why the 'full-closet-no-clothes' dilemma seems amplified tenfold in the era of fast fashion: there are so many options. A slew of trends are introduced every year, and it's hard to resist the desire to try each and every one of them when met with an avalanche of potentially imitable posts from impeccably-styled influencers.
But oftentimes our wallets won't allow us to explore the reaches of our wildest wardrobe fantasies. I know this better than anyone, I've been a student for years. Other times, our consciences rebel when it becomes clear that the cheaply-made items we're tempted to buy are destined to find their end at Value Village after a measly two wears. They languish on the racks, buried relics of not-so-ancient trends fallen out of style, before they are ultimately disposed of, contributing to inordinate amounts of landfill waste and increasingly dire environmental issues.
Nowadays, when I find myself gazing at my already expansive wardrobe feeling completely uninspired, I try to push myself to see the clothes I have in a different way. Who says that's a jacket? Wear that kimono duster as a shirt! Because while fashion can be bought, style is created by you. This is why my blog is chock-full of outfit repeats and item rewears. It's also part of the reason I was motivated to start a blog in the first place... nearly all the daily outfit ideas I have are inspired by blogs I've followed religiously over the years, like Man Repeller, Always Judging, Double3xposure and WeWoreWhat, who are masters at turning a few items of clothing into looks that could be considered works of art.
So on the off chance you too are currently lacking inspiration, here are 5 ways to get a little inventive, and do the unexpected with your clothes.
5 Ways to Mix Up Your Wardrobe
1. Wear an item incorrectly. Well, not incorrectly, but other than how it was originally intended. Wear a jacket as shirt. Or a skirt as a shirt. Or a shirt as a dress! I won't go on because the possibilities are endless. Pick your most boring item of clothing and challenge yourself to wear it in a different way, and suddenly your wardrobe will seem more stylish, inventive, and on-trend than before.
2. Use accessories and makeup looks to add loud, colourful, or intricate accents. Earrings, a statement necklace, a vintage bag, or a scarf tied in myriad ways can make the simplest outfit appear special. Sounds obvious enough, but go a step further and mix complementary colours, opposite styles, different fashion eras, or incongruent shapes. A sweep of vibrant eyeshadow, a bold eyeliner look, or a bright lipstick shade that clashes pleasantly with your outfit's colour palette can also elevate even the most boring of casual-wear.
3. Layer, layer, layer. Layer sweaters on shirts, shirts on dresses, dresses on shirts, dresses on pants, skirts on dresses, shirts on shirts, and dresses on other dresses. Okay, I'll concede that was a little confusing, so let's use some visual aids. Check out the queen of layering Leandra Medine's look for example. A sweater on top of a dress, layered with jeans and booties gives your look a distinctive and eye-catching shape. What about this JCrew shot? Layer a few shirts with different types of necklines and see what happens. Turtlenecks, spaghetti straps, and collars are all welcome here.
4. Tuck, tie, twist, and roll the clothes you have into something new. Twist the front of your white T-shirt into a knot. Roll up your sleeves or cuff your pants to see if it changes the shape. Tie a knot at the front of your shirtdress to turn it into a billowy, dramatic shirt. Every style blogger seems to inherently know that all it takes is half-tucking your sweater in the front to magically turn a basic outfit into street style gold.
5. Or as a last resort, cut them up! Take any well-worn items of clothing nearing the end of their lives and bring out your inner Alexander McQueen. Cut off sleeves and pant legs, make shirts into crops, maxis into minis, create some interesting holes, maybe some strategically-placed gashes. I mean, it's almost the end anyways, might as well see what you come up with after a glass of wine or two.
Today's post, in which I wear a kimono duster jacket as a shirt, is a perfect example of #1, wearing a basic item of clothing in a new way. My next 4 blog posts will provide examples for #2-5, so stay tuned!
Lipstick: Lady Danger by MAC Available here
Kimono: Asos Available here
Tote: Oak + Fort Available here