Tips To Get Out Of A Style Rut

Emma Read

Fashion Stylist

Establishing a personal uniform is one thing – holding a white knuckled grip onto what suits you is another. We’re all guilty of dipping our toe into a sartorial rut every now and again, so in order to curb that startling realization via Facebook memories here we are to offer a gentle nudge in a new direction come Spring.

For the uninitiated, it’s not about an entire rebrand of your style, merely a refresh – all it takes is a few smart purchases to set you back in honeymooner mode with your wardrobe. Read on for our quick-fix guide to the most common of ruts (guilty as charged).

Rut #1: Denim is your separates go-to for… well, everything.


As is the case with any repetitive styling, the first step is to identify which pieces you’re relying on too much and upgrade them to something that offers the same versatility under a different persona. What is it about your jeans you love that much – is it the practicality? The cut? The shade? Think about what’s drawing you back to that piece to begin with (it’s all psychology, people) to really zone in on the elements to apply under a different moniker.

For example:

If it’s the practical side, a tapered neutral or black loose trouser or jogging pant is just as hard wearing and easy to style. Same goes for the cut, or the shade – if you’re a fan of deep indigo, why not try a loose cotton drill navy trouser, or a high-waisted silk pant? All the better to pair your separates with, my dear.


Country Road Puddle pants, $49.95,


Zimmermann Winsome track pants, $330,

Rut #2: You stick to the same silhouette season in, season out.


Whilst we’re definitely not suggesting this is a major sartorial sin per se (kudos to knowing what suits you), running around in variations of the same thing can feel a little ‘hamster on the wheel’ moving between summer, winter and back again. If you’re well versed in an A-line skirt, great – but as is the case with the above, identifying what those key elements are that work on your body and keeping a hawk-like eye out for them outside your usuals is a great way to stop a rut in its tracks.

For example:

Are you working around your body type? Pears and hourglasses love a little waist cinch/hip skim situation (enter: the A-line), however a wrap or fluted skirt would work just as effectively. Same goes for a narrow athletic type looking to create shape – volume is your friend, which can extend from boxy shapes to pencil skirts and peplums. Read up on what silhouettes suit your body shape best in Rescu Me! here, then hit the shop floor with those elements in mind (our tip: pull aside a shop assistant to streamline your edit).


Country Road trumpet skirt, $139,


Witchery suede wrap skirt, $129.95,

Rut #3: Black on black on black in your neutral du jour.


As designer Yohji Yamamoto famously said: “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time… Above all, black says this: ‘I don’t bother you, you don’t bother me’.” Flying under the radar in this power player neutral certainly isn’t a faux pas, but is a noir-toned quicksand into a rut faster than most.


We’re not suggesting you flit into a Ken Done colour palette straight off the bat, however. Dip your toe in with accessories at first – a bold sandal or heel, a printed envelope clutch or a bright drop earring allow you to ease into a new colour spectrum without going to OTT. Once you’re comfortable there, move into block colour separates back with your blacks – pigmented tones like blues, reds and deep greens work back beautifully with your key neutral pieces.


A.L.C. Ann peplum crepe top, $162,


Ellery x Specsavers sunglasses, $249,

Rut #4: You rotate between ballet flats at the office and sneakers for the commute.


Yes, we’re right there with you – schlepping to and from the office in a heel is the fastest route to a blister or 4, amongst other pedicure-unfriendly inflictions.


If a pump or stiletto is your idea of torture, there’s plenty of other options littered through the high street and above to tickle your fancy. A mid-rise block heel or mule is the ideal in-betweener to get you around with a little more polish, or try a loafer (man-style or smoking slipper) with a skinny trouser for a 70’s take on suiting. A low-heeled ankle or mid-calf boot is eloquent enough to carry you through the 9 to 5 and beyond – the perfect structure-building footwear to a floaty office number.


Gucci Horsebit loafers, $725,

sensoSenso Georgie I heels, $265,

Rut #5: A blazer is your outerwear non-negotiable.


There is a reason why tailoring is our all-time savior – a quick, easy solution over everything, no? If the lines have blurred a little too far into desk to dinner outside of office hours, pad out your casuals and evening jackets with a few more just as hardworking silhouettes that don’t feel so corporate 24/7.


A textured bomber or satin jacket may seem strictly at first with denim and basics off-duty, but tricked up with a structured skirt or dress after hours takes on a whole new luxe persona.


Alice+Olivia Demia quilted bomber jacket, $699.24,


ASOS Luxe trench, $113,

 Follow Emma: Website | Instagram

 Feature image via pinterest

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