Even the most self-assured, fashionable people find themselves in style slumps from time to time. Sometimes you just aren’t happy with your look, and the outfits you wear feel off. I recently found myself in a style slump. I was struggling to create outfits I loved and felt the outfits I was wearing were not reflective of who I am. The tips outlined in this article are what helped me kick this style slump and get back to loving fashion.
STEP 1: DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE
To get out of a style slump, you first need to identify your unique sense of style. NYC stylist Allison Bornstein created a helpful method for pinpointing your specific style. Bornstein’s “three-word method” entails choosing three fashion keywords to describe your personal style. Here’s an example: Hailey Bieber loves her oversized blazers, sneakers, and crop tops, so her style can be described as oversized, sporty, and sexy.
These three words do not have to describe how you are currently dressing; they can describe how you want to be dressing. Here are my three words as an example:
These words are not set in stone. Since I do not buy into the idea of having a single aesthetic, sometimes my style is “layered, comfortable, and accessorized” instead of “colorful, comfortable, and accessorized.”
If you are feeling lost, look through your camera roll and find images of past outfits you’ve worn that you like. Compare these images and determine what the outfits have in common. Another way to find your three words is to pull out your favorite clothing items from your closet and figure out what these pieces have in common.
STEP 2: KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU DO & DON'T LIKE ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS
For a week or so, keep a running list in your Notes app describing every outfit you wear and what you do and do not like about each outfit. For example, I used to love love love the preppy aesthetic, but the other day I wore a plaid pleated skirt, tights, and Ralph Lauren sweater, and the look just felt off. I was uncomfortable and did not feel like my outfit represented who I am or my sense of style. While out, I noticed a girl on the street wearing cargo pants, a cheetah long sleeve, and an oversized tee. I remember thinking it was the coolest look. I often dress in that same style (but swap out the cargo pants for jeans), and this encounter made me realize what silhouettes and styles I’m more drawn to.
Another example: I feel cozy whenever I wear sweatpants outside of my apartment, but also self-conscious. I like casual outfits, but I’ve never really been a sweat set kind of girl. If I want to dress comfortably, I’ve learned that I prefer an oversized hoodie and loose jeans.
STEP 3: CREATE 5 OUTFITS YOU LOVE FROM ITEMS ALREADY IN YOUR CLOSET
Once you have established your three words and learned a bit more about what you do and do not like, create five go-to outfits that you can wear when you are in a rush or having trouble picking an outfit. Make sure these looks stay true to the three words that describe your personal style. When creating these go-to looks, use clothing items already in your closet. So many times, “finding your style” or “getting out of a fashion slump” is associated with going out and buying new clothes. The root of the issue is not the clothes; it is the styling of the clothes. This exercise will also allow you to get creative with the pieces in your closet and perhaps discover some cool items you have forgotten about.
When creating my outfits, I generated three “colorful, comfortable, and accessorized” outfits and two “layered, comfortable, and accessorized” looks to match my unique style. Some days I want colorful, fun looks, while other days I prefer layered, toned-down outfits.
STEP 4: CREATE A PINTEREST INSPO BOARD
I was hesitant to recommend creating a Pinterest board, as this sometimes is more overwhelming than helpful if you are questioning your sense of style. Once you have figured out your three style words, however, creating a fashion board can be inspirational rather than overwhelming.
My Fall 2022 Fashion Vision Board, for example, includes images from Pinterest that match my style words- colorful, comfortable, accessorized, and layered. Your Pinterest board will serve as a folder of your favorite looks, styles, silhouettes, colors, shapes, textures, and brands.
STEP 5: FILL IN THE GAPS IN YOUR WARDROBE
Style slumps cannot be solved with shopping. However, you may be missing key items that will round out your wardrobe and help you regain your sense of style. Perhaps you just need one new, fun statement piece to get you excited about fashion again, or may you need a few plain shirts for layering purposes. Maybe you describe your style as “edgy” and feel a leather jacket will make a great addition to your closet. Yet another example is maybe you’ve been wearing the same beat-up Air Force 1s for three years and a shoe upgrade will automatically improve all of your outfits.
The point of Step 5 is not to go out and buy a new wardrobe, but rather to fill in the gaps within your current wardrobe.
STEP 6: WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, EXPERIMENT
If you have tried all the tips above and are still not convinced you are out of a style slump, maybe you are playing it too safe with your outfits and style words. Test out different aesthetics, fabrics, textures, colors, and silhouettes to find what you like. Again, follow Step 3 and write down what you do and do not like about each new style you try out. For example, you may love the comfiness of the athleisure aesthetic, but not the oversized silhouette.
Lastly, remember that style slumps happen to everyone. Take it as an opportunity to experiment with your looks, rediscover your style, and fall back in love with fashion.
SEE YOU NEXT SATURDAY WITH ANOTHER FASHION POST.
In my Fall 2022 Fashion Vision Board post, I wrote that one trend I want to incorporate into my outfits this season is beaded jewelry. There are plenty of beautiful, beaded bracelets and necklaces on the market, but I thought it would be cool to create my own. Not only is this jewelry one-of-a-kind, but creating jewelry is a fun and creative project.
Even though creating bracelets is pretty self-explanatory, I have decided to create a step-by-step guide anyways. Below you will find a 7-step guide for creating beaded bracelets and necklaces.
STEP 1: GATHER MATERIALS
The first step of any good DIY project is to gather supplies. I bought my beads, elastic cord, and necklace clasps off Amazon, but you can also find these materials at your local craft store. Below are the links for the products I used in this blog post.
STEP 2: MEASURE & CUT ELASTIC
Measure the elastic around your wrist, leaving a few inches of extra cord. Once you have the desired length, cut the cord.
STEP 3: STRETCH ELASTIC
Before beading, give the elastic a gentle pull to stretch it out.
STEP 4: TAPE OFF ONE END
You want to make sure the beads do not fall off the elastic while you are making your bracelet. The best way to ensure the beads stay securely on the cord is to tape off one end with masking tape.
STEP 5: SELECT BEADS
Now comes the fun part where you get to be creative! If you are Type A like I am, you will separate all your beads and plan out cool patterns. Another approach is to randomly select beads and let the design form itself.
I also purchased letter beads so I could make bracelets with my favorite bands' and artists' names on them. You can also spell out your own name, a quote or word that inspires you, or simply put your initials on a bracelet.
STEP 6: STRING BEADS ON ELASTIC
Next, I taped one end of the elastic to the table and strung the beads on through the other side. Stringing beads onto a bracelet is actually quite relaxing.
STEP 7 (BRACELET): TIE OFF THE BRACELET
Once your design is complete, it is time to tie off the ends of the elastic. I simply did a few double knots and called it good. So far, my bracelets have stayed intact with no issues. Some people prefer to add a dot of glue on top of the knot to ensure it never unties, but the choice is yours.
STEP 7 (NECKLACE): ADD CLASP TO BOTH ENDS OF NECKLACE
I made a few necklaces and decided to add a clasp so I wouldn't have to pull the necklaces over my head every time I want to wear them. Again, I am not an expert at tying off bracelets and necklaces, so I just double knotted these clasps to the end of the elastic and called it good.
STEP 8: WEAR YOUR NEW BEADED JEWELRY THIS FALL
The final step is to style and show off your DIY jewelry. These colorful bracelets really add some personality to your outfit. It is also fun to wear a unique piece of jewelry no one else has.
I hope you found this DIY blog post helpful and inspirational. If you are craving more DIY posts, check out my piece on how to make your own custom jeans using iron-on patches!
SEE YOU NEXT SATURDAY WITH ANOTHER FASHION POST.
WHAT IS AESTHETIC IN FASHION?
The word aesthetic, according to the famous Merriam-Webster, means “pleasing in appearance : ATTRACTIVE.” In the fashion world, aesthetic refers to a specific style of dressing. If someone wears small gold hoops, claw clips, neutral colors, and Aritzia jeans, they are choosing to dress in the “clean girl aesthetic." This aesthetic is characterized by looking put together, more minimalist, fresh-faced, and wearing neutral tones. Other examples of aesthetics include the Y2K, E-girl, VSCO girl, preppy, grunge, and cottagecore aesthetics.
WHY WE FEEL THE NEED TO CONFINE OURSELVES TO A SINGLE AESTHETIC
I’d like to begin this section of the blog post by highlighting a personal experience. Growing up, I LOVED examining and analyzing the outfits characters wore in tv shows and movies. Since most shows are exaggerated depictions of reality, the “goth” character would be hyper-goth, always donning black clothes and heavy makeup; the “sporty” character was only seen wearing sneakers and t-shirts, etc. In these fictional friend groups, each character would have their own unique, exaggerated sense of style that they would never stray from. I always admired the idea of each friend having a signature look. I love experimenting with my style, but even now I find myself getting caught in the trap of wanting to be defined by a single aesthetic like the characters I looked up to growing up.
Social media has also conditioned us to believe that in order to be fashionable, we need to pick a lane and stay in it. If we try out too many different looks and aesthetics, social media deems us “lost” and having no original sense of style. TikTok especially preaches style as maintaining a consistent aesthetic day in, day out.
PROBLEMS THAT ARISE FROM STICKING TO ONE AESTHETIC
HOW TO BREAK THE HABIT OF STICKING TO A SINGLE AESTHETIC
One way to get out of this one aesthetic mindset is to try out all the aesthetics that appeal to you. Keep track of which elements from each aesthetic you like and don’t like, compiling a list. For example, you may love fairycore’s flowy maxi skirts but hate the green and brown color palette. Take this information and apply it to your own personal style and way of dressing.
Another tip for breaking out of the one aesthetic mindset is to dress for your mood. Some days you may feel grumpy and tired, donning all black and comfy sweats, while other days you feel sexy and want to wear a two-piece going out set with cutouts. Matching your outfits to your mood rather than an aesthetic gives you more room for creativity and exploration.
It is also important to remember that fashion is supposed to be fun! Limiting yourself to dressing in one style is not fun.
Next time you are on social media and see a post about “finding your aesthetic,” remember that confining yourself to a single aesthetic is a curse. Dress in whatever makes you feel happy and the most you, don’t be afraid to experiment, and always remember that fashion is fun!
SEE YOU NEXT SATURDAY WITH ANOTHER FASHION POST.
It's that time of year again! Time for my seasonal fashion vision board. While I can appreciate the autumn vibes the preppy, dark academia aesthetic gives off, I'm declaring fall 2022 a "colorful fit fall." I feel the most like myself when I am sporting a bright shade or colorful patterned clothing, so I will be incorporating a lot of color into my autumn looks.
Below is a breakdown of my fashion vision board and the styles I cannot wait to wear this season.
COLORFUL KNIT SWEATERS
I have been gravitating towards knitwear recently and I am absolutely head over heels for colorful sweaters. These past few years I have always reached for a hoodie when the weather gets chilly, but this year I want to spice up my style and try out knit sweaters instead.
A fashion goal of mine this fall is to step up my accessory game. I love the look of beaded jewelry- it is so fun and playful! My plan is to buy beads and elastic cord to create my own one-of-a-kind bracelets (keep an eye out for a blog post on this!).
THE COLOR ORANGE
Orange is such an autumn color, yet I never find myself wearing this shade in the fall. I actually own a fair amount of orange pieces, so I plan to incorporate this autumn-approved color in as many looks as I can this year.
I am a layering gal through and through. There's just something so stylish about throwing a baggy tee over a tight long sleeve shirt.
The niche topic I LOVE to talk about is the 2014 Tumblr era, so it's no surprise that this fall I plan on dressing as a Tumblr girl. For those of you that don't know what I mean when I say 2014 Tumblr fashion, I'm referring to oversized jean jackets, tennis skirts, thigh high socks, tote bags, and anything American Apparel.
Be sure to follow my Instagram to see the outfits I end up wearing this fall :)
SEE YOU NEXT SATURDAY WITH ANOTHER FASHION POST.
Back in January of this year I wrote a blog post featuring my five favorite fashion brands at the time. I thought it would be fun to revisit this article topic and write about my current favorite brands.
This brand will forever be in my top five. I have been an Indy Blue fan since her YouTube travel video days, and I think her clothing label is iconic. Currently, my favorite Lonely Ghost item in my closet is my brown hoodie donning the words "It's 2021, it's cool to care." I actually bought this sweatshirt at the beginning of 2022 because I think this will be an awesome vintage piece in the future! It might be a problem, but I often think this way when buying clothes. I ask myself, "Will my future kids think this item is cool?"
Here are a few of Lonely Ghost's recent items I've had my eye on:
HEAVEN BY Marc Jacobs
I am utterly obsessed with Marc Jacobs' Heaven collection. While I do not personally own any Marc Jacobs Heaven items, I admire the craftsmanship of the garments. My favorite piece is a brown knit sweater donning a pink rat and the words "rat girl," a piece from a collaboration between Marc Jacobs and Stray Rats founder Julian Consuegra. Living in Chicago and seeing rats frequently, I love the idea of wearing a sweater around town that says "rat girl."
model Lola Leon wearing Ratgirl in Heaven, 2021
My favorite small business at the moment is the amazing @buggirl200, run by Madison Sinclair. She sells humorous celebrity merchandise that very much highlights her quirky sense of humor and style. Her designs never fail to make me chuckle. Her pieces are also so unique and serve as good conversation starters!
I recently purchased a Robert Pattinson crewneck from her site and cannot get over how cool it is!
Some other cool @buggirl200 pieces:
I'm working on being more sustainable and not shopping at fast fashion stores like Princess Polly and Zara. I love going on Depop because I can buy Princess Polly and Zara items secondhand. This way I'm not only saving money, but also giving clothing a new life and buying clothes from brands whose designs I like.
I also love finding vintage, one-of-a-kind items on Depop. I have an individuality complex where I love owning something that not many other people have- I know that sounds terrible, but that's just the truth. There are endless amounts of unique pieces on Depop, and I enjoy looking through them and saving the items that match my style.
Here are a few items I have saved on Depop right now:
With fall approaching, I am excited to pull out my Ralph Lauren sweaters. In my eyes, Ralph Lauren is synonymous with autumn.
Earlier this year I was able to purchase this RL flag sweater on eBay for the low price of 40-something dollars!
The Ralph Lauren brand is commonly associated with the preppy aesthetic, academia, and autumn, making it the perfect brand to sport this upcoming season. I am personally looking forward to visiting Ralph's Coffee while wearing an RL sweater (and yes, I will be taking 1,000 Instagram pictures while I'm there).
I took a minute to browse Ralph Lauren's online site and pick out a few of my favorite pieces to share in this post. There were so many beautiful sweaters to choose from, I couldn't pick just two to feature.
It is interesting to look back at January's blog post and see how my tastes have changed. I'm still very much into Lonely Ghost sweatshirts and second-hand brands like Depop and thredUP, but I have swapped modern preppy stores for the more traditional Ralph Lauren. I am looking forward to my next installment in this series, which I will likely write six months from now.
see you next saturday with another fashion post.
If you know me personally, then you probably know my favorite part of the entire year is the week in summer when my family goes up to Boyne City, Michigan. It is the most relaxing place, in my opinion. The beach, the water, the ice cream, the shops; what's not to love?
This year, with the help of my photography team aka my family, I documented most of the outfits I wore on this trip. While they may not be show-stopping runway looks, I felt comfortable and cute in every single one, and isn't that what's most important?
Maybe it's staying in a house on the lake or maybe it's all the hydrangeas everywhere, but every time I'm in Northern Michigan I cosplay being a preppy person vacationing in Nantucket. Am I the only one who does this? Anyways, this outfit is the epitome of prep with the navy knit Ralph Lauren flag sweater. I actually thrifted this sweater! To balance out the bulkiness of the knitwear I opted for a black mini skirt and sheer black tights. I added my signature white chunky sneakers and some silver jewelry to complete this bookstore, shopping day look.
Name 5 Phoebe Bridgers Songs
These are my favorite sweatpants ever. Not only are they a funky design, but they glow in the dark! I decided to wear a comfy outfit when walking to get ice cream one night, and a few fellow Phoebe fans commented on how much they liked my pants :) Letting the sweats be the star of this outfit, I threw on a black cropped tank and my white chunky sneakers to round out the outfit.
an amazing trip, overall
If you know me, you know I love a good statement pattern. I bought these amazing overalls from Lisa Says Gah when they were having an online sale. The nice thing about patterned overalls is they are super easy to style. I just added my favorite $5 Target white tee (I seriously own 6 of these tops), my go-to sneakers, and a jade necklace.
THE DIY PANTS!
You may remember these jeans from the DIY article I posted last fall. I'll link it here if you want to check it out :)
As you can tell from my other outfits, I'm a sucker for a statement piece. For this outfit, that statement piece is my DIY jeans. Once again, I rounded out this look with a white top and white sneakers.
Here's another preppy outfit. I couldn't resist bringing this stellar LoveShackFancy dress on the Boyne trip. While I love a comfy sweatpants moment, nothing beats getting dressed up in a feminine dress.
WHY CAN'T MY BOYFRIEND SKATE ?!
Okay I know I just said that feminine outfits are my favorite, but how badass is this look??!! I felt like such a cool girl walking into dinner wearing this ensemble. My best friend bought me this vintage Thrasher tee for my birthday, and needless to say I'm obsessed. I'm such a layering girl (which is part of the reason why I'm so excited for fall and cooler weather), so of course I had to add a turtleneck under the graphic tee. I finally swapped out the chunky sneakers and put on some platform Converse to complete this outfit.
preppy moment pt. 3
I believe my outfit choices really reflect the fact that I am a Gemini- one day I'm edgy and casual and the next I'm preppy and girly. For our day trip to Harbor Springs, I went with preppy. This has to be one of my favorite outfits from the trip. I wore my LoveShackFancy knit pullover sweater, Aerie skirt, Converse, pink Marc Jacobs sunglasses, and a bunch of fun bracelets.
This is the outfit I wore to watch the final sunset of the trip. 10/10 for comfort and 10/10 for cool girl vibes. I felt so cool wearing this outfit. Typically, my outfits are more colorful than the looks I sported on this trip, but I'm trying to remind myself that fashion is all about experimentation. I'm allowed to change up my look based on my mood and don't have to confine myself to a single aesthetic.
I am excited to write another "What I Wore in Boyne City" next time I visit and see how my style has evolved and changed. Stay tuned.
see you next saturday with another fashion post.
hey it's Steffi, and this is my website where I post fashion, travel, and lifestyle blog posts. Enjoy!