How to Banish Fashion Paralysis
Feeling frustrated with your wardrobe? Like you’ve lost your fashion mojo? Dig yourself out of a styling rut with these simple outfit ideas
Do you ever just stand aimlessly in front of your wardrobe, hoping that something, anything will spark some simple outfit ideas so you can get out of the door on time? This all-too-familiar frustration is otherwise known as fashion paralysis and when it strikes, it saps all the joy out of getting dressed. But hope is not lost. Liberty has a cure in the form of these seven simple steps…
1. Go Back to Basics
You might think that the more you pack into your wardrobe, the easier it’ll be to style an outfit, but while this equation might add up on paper, having chockablock rails and towering mounds will only leave you more overwhelmed and forgetful of what you actually own. Instead, pluck up the courage to sell or donate what you don’t actually wear, especially those that haven't been off the hanger since the day you bought them. Then rearrange the clothes that are truly you into logical, easy-to-access categories (shirts, tops, etc) and lastly, ensure you can see everything clearly – what’s out of sight will most certainly remain out of mind. If you still have to wade through your wardrobe to unearth buried pieces at the back, repeat the process.
2. Put It in Neutral
Even pro stylists have days when outfits just don’t come together, especially when trying to mix prints and colour into a harmonious blend. The remedy? Adopting a minimalist mindset. To do so, you’ll need to curate a condensed, carefully curated capsule wardrobe, a collection of 10 to 20 neutral pieces that can (cleverly) be mixed and matched for an almost limitless line-up of looks.
To begin, invest in a range of trousers, tops, dresses and coats that all sit within a purposefully pared-back colour palette of warm neutrals, earthy tones and crisp monochromes, the kind of shades that never feel dated. Interesting textures and unusual silhouettes will ensure your capsule is never flat and uninteresting. Once in place – and preferably stored in its own section of your wardrobe – never again will you be lost for looks.
Read more: How to Mix Prints the Liberty Way
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3. Wear a Uniform
If you’ve yet to create yourself a uniform, now’s the time to do so. A distinct look that varies day-to-day but stays true to a general formula is essential when you’re short on ideas. The trick is to first decide on (and stick to) a few outfit building blocks that require minimal effort but still feel you. So if you’re a smart-casual dresser with a penchant for print, might we suggest a few jeans, blazer and statement shirt combos? And if you want proof that wearing a uniform needn't mean sacrificing your honed sense of style, just look to Victoria Beckham and Tom Ford, legendary tastemakers that follow a fashion formula and always look put together.
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4. Forward Plan
If there’s one adage to live by if you’re suffering from another bout of fashion paralysis, it’s this: failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Just like packing for a holiday ahead of schedule or getting your party essentials together way in advance, planning outfits will save you both time and the headache. A tried and tested method is to invest in a clothes rail, somewhere you can easily compose and hang an outfit the night before, or even better, schedule a week’s worth. For further peace of mind, more order and to get a better sense of how each outfit will look when worn, consider layering each look onto its own hanger, too. And lastly, always keep an eye on the weather forecast; an unexpected shower can easily send you back to square one.
Read more: the Best Summer Outfits
5. Invest in Dresses
Another wardrobe hack is to invest in a sizeable capsule of dresses as minis, midis and maxis are virtually an entire outfit in one. As dresses are up there with the most versatile of pieces, slipping into one will have you ready for wherever your day takes you, be that work, a dinner date or a weekend getaway. All that’s left for you to do is to decide on a bag , shoes, jewellery and maybe an extra layer if needed, but as a dress means less elements to balance and style together, you’ll have much more time to do so. Cutting corners has never felt so good.
Read more: Trending Dresses at Liberty
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6. Develop a Moodboard
Fashion paralysis can leave you with a creative block, feeling out of touch with your dress sense and sometimes even disinterest with fashion altogether, but this is where a digital moodboard comes in handy. A visual aid that’ll provide you with a constant stream of inspiration, it’ll help you come up with look, after look, after look. It doesn't have to be fancy; a dedicated photo album on your phone of screenshots and selfies (always helpful for cataloguing the outfits you're most proud of) will suffice but as an intelligent platform that recommends similar imagery based on what you like, Pinterest comes highly recommended. Either way, always have a scan of your moodboard before opening your wardrobe; even a single item of clothing or a feeling from a vintage magazine clipping can spark your imagination.
Read more: How to Change your Style
7. Elevate Your Accessories
Lastly, never underestimate the transformational impact of a great bag or necklace. In fact, if you’ve got plenty of incredible jewellery and a load of coveted accessories to pick from, even the simplest of outfits can be made extraordinary. Stick to items designed by the brands you know and love, those that speak to your aesthetic. It’ll also pay off if you stop yourself being swayed by trends here as you’ll get more wear out of those finishing touches that err on the side of classic. And finally, don’t forget to invest in pick-up-and-go pieces, the kind of pared-back outfit add ons that can team up with practically anything (think: a bag in a neutral tone, timeless hoop earrings and a pair of black sunglasses).
Read more: Sunglasses for Your Face Shape