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Are you in a style rut?

The term "style rut" refers to having nothing to wear for a considerable period of time. Symptoms can include taking an unreasonable amount of time to pick out an outfit, being completely unimpressed with the clothes you own and being unhappy with every outfit you assemble. A "style rut" generally happens over time and can be caused by many issues such as feeling that you don’t have the time or the desire to spend time on yourself, feeling overwhelmed by or too busy with your children, feeling unhappy with your career or relationship, frustrated by your weight, having ongoing body issues and so on. You may feel that worrying about how you look is unimportant and not a priority, but the truth is that when you stop looking after yourself, you inevitably look worse and therefore FEEL worse. It can become a downward spiral and before you know it, you're feeling "fat", or "old" or "frumpy".

First of all it's worth understanding that sometimes your outfits just needs a break from their endless rotation and adding some zing to what you already have. With a few minor switches, it's possible to re-imagine your staple pieces to make them feel new and on trend without an expensive add-to-cart marathon. Perhaps, you have created a “signature style” that maybe needs a little refreshing. Think about your core pieces, those go-to items you always fall back on, the ones that are comfiest and know your body best and start thinking about ways to edit them.

Secondly, it's all about your attitude. You need to throw out any excuses you may have as to why you can’t or don't look good. I'm referring to those lies you tell yourself like “I’m too old to look good”, “I’m too fat”, “I just have no style”, “I have no time for shopping” or “I have no money to buy anything”.

Let’s tackle these excuses one by one.

1. "I’m too old to look good"

Not only this statement one of my pet hates, but it's also absolute rubbish! Some of the most stylish women I have ever known (my own Mother included) have been over 60. No matter what age you are, if you've developed your own sense of style, it really doesn't matter if you have a few more wrinkles or greying hair. Everyone can look gorgeous. Often it’s not even about how you dress specifically, but how you portray yourself i.e. shoulders back, confidence and a smile.

2. "I’m too fat"

So many women use their weight and size as an excuse for not looking good. Having to adjust to a bulging tummy or unsightly "bingo wings" can be tough but guess what? it's no excuse to look frumpy. When your body changes, you may need to learn a new set of guidelines on how to dress those new curves, but if you put in the effort to learn what works for your body type and your personality, you'll soon discover that you CAN look good no matter what size you are.

3. "I have no style"

If you've neglected yourself for a while and paid no attention to what you like, then I dare say, perhaps you don't have a sense of style, but that's not to say you can't change that. Everyone has a unique personality and preferences, it's just a case of finding or rediscovering what they are.

4. "I have no time for shopping"

Everybody has the same amount of time each day. It’s up to you how you spend that time. I know what it's like to be crazy busy and juggle family life and work life, but I also know that only when you're happy with yourself, both mentally and physically, will other aspects of your life follow suit. Take the time to look at your schedule and plan some “YOU” time - a month in advance if you must. It’s the best thing you can do both for yourself and for others.

5. "I have no money"

Obviously we don't all have the cash to splash on designer outfits. But style isn't about how much you've got to spend. If you know what you like and what suits you, you can buy fabulous clothes in thrift stores and fast fashion retailers. When you're on a budget, it's simple a case of being even smarter about your fashion choices. You will need to know even moreso what suits you and what doesn't.

I can't tell you how often I see the change in a woman's self confidence, just by giving them the tools to look their best versions of themselves. Regardless of our height, weight or physical limitations, feeling comfortable in our body is important - at any age. When our clothes fit well and make us feel good about ourselves, they become an expression of who we are.

If you neglect to put in the time to look great, you inevitably look less confident and less approachable. But when you make an effort, when you aren't threatened by how others look, or the latest styles, once you know what suits you and how to experiment with colour, you will find that fashion, styling and dressing up is totally enjoyable. and others will notice.

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