Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Cures for a Style Slump

Hi Friends!

It's time for New Year's Resolutions!

Did you know that a change on the outside can serve as a catalyst for changing what we want to change on the inside? It can be tough to alter certain aspects of our lives when the proof that we are changing (what is on the outside) remains the same.

It doesn't have to be a dramatic before and after makeover, but a visible change can put you in a positive frame of mind to reach your goals in 2010.

It is never good to become complacent. Far too many of us get stuck with a style that we are comfortable with and it becomes an all too-familiar rut. Whether we’ve had the same hairstyle for 5 years, wear a daily “uniform”, or put our makeup on exactly the same way every single day.

Don’t get me wrong – there isn’t anything wrong with comfort. Many of us like our comfort zones and they work well for us. But sometimes we can become too attached to a routine, style or method and before we realize it, we have become quite resistant to change. One rut can lead to another, which can snowball into our whole lives becoming one big forgettable routine. Even those who bask in their blandness (I know several of you – and I know you are eagerly reading this!) can benefit from mixing it up once in awhile.

Many of my clients tell me they are stuck in a style and don’t know why. Their goal is to look “more interesting” but they don’t know exactly what that means to them – or how to get there.

Here are four ways I recommend to my clients to help pull them out of their fashion ruts. The best part is that you can apply them TODAY!

Get ready to make your New Year more stylish – one step at a time.

1. Expand your reading material
If you’re stuck in a Redbook, Good Housekeeping or Real Simple frame of mind, pick up a few magazines you normally wouldn't read. The aforementioned magazines generally recycle the same style advice month after month and it will do nothing to make your clothing selection more exciting.

Think more along the lines of my personal fave, InStyle – but also look at Elle, Vogue, Lucky, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, or even – gasp – Cosmo! Yes, some of the fashion can be "out there", but don’t lose heart - it's more important to see what’s happening in the fashion world and get ideas.
New Year's Challenge:  Start a “look book” of pictures of what you feel fits your style and what you would be comfortable wearing, plus some accessorizing ideas you can use in your own wardrobe.

2. Try a few new stores
Go to the mall and look around at Express, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Arden B., H&M, or other retailers you normally wouldn't frequent if you're stuck in a “department store” mentality. Or try a smaller step - venture out of your favorite section of the department store and explore the more trendy parts of the store.

Try clothes on! Even if you always gravitate toward the same styles, you are missing out on a lot if you just look and don't try anything on.

Find a couple of hours this month to go out by yourself or with a friend (not a hubby or boyfriend) and explore the mall in a way you've never done before or haven't done in years. Report back to me. What did you discover about what's out there? What were you attracted to? What did you try on? How did it make you feel?

New Year's Challenge: Buy something totally unexpected that you love but would never buy “in a million years” – AND WEAR IT!  

3. Explore Color
What colors are you attracted to? For most people, their color preferences change based on their mood and the time of year.

Most of us have the basics we need – navy, black, gray and brown. But they need to be punched up with accent colors to be more exciting.

By wearing colors you love, you will not only look updated but you will feel a definite lift in your spirits! Wearing color has been proven time and again to be extremely powerful mood enhancer.

New Year's Challenge:  Find an accent color or two that you like and buy a few pieces in the same shade (i.e., berry red, fuchsia, forest green, etc). Try a turtle neck, a winter scarf, gloves, hat, long-sleeve tee, purse, or even a camisole in your shade.

(Please only wear a couple pieces at the same time or the matchy-matchy police will arrest you.)

4. Update your Accessories, Shoes, and Hair
The easiest and most budget-friendly way to update your wardrobe is with accessories. Try a funky necklace or bracelet. Or look for a hot new handbag (ask the sales associate what's in and they will point you in the right direction).

I tend to buy a lot of my fun accessories at Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe.

Or buy a colorful pair of boots!

Another place many people get stuck is with their eyeglasses – only changing when their prescription changes. Don’t do this! Invest in new eyeglasses (stores always have deals!) even if your prescription still works for you. Or change your hair a little - get highlights or lowlights if you've never tried them before. Or change your hairstyle – if only slightly.

New Year's Challenge: Buy one new accessory or make one makeup or hair tweak every week. Write these down in a small notebook. Over the year, you will see how you’ve evolved. It’s really rewarding and will set the stage for further change and style (and life) victories!


Remember that just as you change and evolve as a person, your style should grow and change right along with you. Don't use this as a one-time fix. Make time for yourself at least once every season and give yourself time to explore what the stores are offering and decide what the next version of YOU should look like.

Gentle steps out of your comfort zone will not only help you break free from your style rut, but will set the stage for success in other facets of your life as well!

Wishing you a happy and stylish 2010!!!


Susan M Steele said...

Great recommendations. Last year, I added scarves to my wardrobe (the inside kind, not the outside kind). They can not only keep me warm in a cold office or conference room, but they look good! Now I can't stop buying them. Also an easy way to incorporate more color in your wardrobe.

amyjr said...

I love the suggestions. I am trying a hairstyle change from a curly bob that is shoulder length to something more fun. I get bored easily and just spent 4 years growing out super short hair.
Also instead of going to the mall to find something different and out of comfort zone try a boutique. If you always go to Knuths in Pepper Pike go to Eton Collection and check out the stores INSIDE.There is Joss and Statements. Great stores:-D