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.
hey it's Steffi, and this is my website where I post fashion, travel, and lifestyle blog posts. Enjoy!