Are You in a Fashion Rut?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2005
Are You in a Fashion Rut?
Sun, 01-15-2006 - 12:58am
Climb yourself out!
by Melissa Kagan

Does it feel like your only wardrobe options these days are black pants and a turtleneck or black pants and a turtleneck? Are your coworkers wondering if you bother to go home and change at night? Do you find that people look at you with glassy eyes and confuse Tuesday with Wednesday when they're near you? If so, you may be stuck in a fashion rut.

What your wardrobe needs is some retail therapy, a few updated pieces to add life to what you already have. Let's go shopping.

Skirting the Issue

If you want to look like a woman who's back in style, then it's time to show the world that you actually have legs. No need to throw out your constricting pencil skirts ‑- just push them to the back of the closet temporarily to make room for some more feminine silhouettes. Circle and A-line skirts have a bit more volume to them without being overwhelming, and, if it won't shock your system, try on a skirt that has a hemline detail or pattern. These skirts look great and can be worn with anything ‑- all the sweaters, button-down shirts and fitted jackets that are currently in your closet. Check out

Aisle of Capri

Before you purchase another pair of basic black pants, stop yourself. Put them back on the rack and redirect yourself to the cropped-pants section. Cropped pants don't necessarily need to be reserved for knocking around on the weekends. Pair them with high boots and a tailored jacket for the office, or for a dressier look, slip them on with some strappy sandals and a chiffon top. If your feet need a break from heels, don't worry, cropped pants look great with flats too. A great place to shop for crop is

Another Coat

Sometimes an all-black look is all we can manage in the morning before we've had our coffee. If this is the case for you, then an easy way to energize your ensemble is to throw on a fashionable trench or pea coat before you head out the door. The modern trench is offered in an array of colors these days ‑- orange and pink can be a great alternative to black and khaki, and the extra pop of color can flatter your skin, eyes and hair. Bright coats can be worn over dresses and skirts as well as trousers. If color makes you cringe, then try white for a crisp and fashionable look. Check out for a variety of colors and patterns.

Top Tips

The plain white button-down has seen its day. Hand them over to your waitress/aspiring-actress friends who will get more use out of them than you will. These days the ladylike blouse is a sophisticated look that can be worn with everything from jeans to wide-cuffed trousers. Look for new beautiful details such as puffed shoulders, tone-on-tone polka dots and embellished buttons, cuffs and collars. These softer silhouettes work into the new feminine trend and are just the thing to help revamp your wardrobe. Try

Accessories with Attitude

New accessories can revitalize even the dullest wardrobes. Brightly colored bangles, clutch bags and flat shoes are all easy ways to breathe life into your wardrobe. If flats make you feel like you're standing in a hole, then platform shoes are a fashionable way to add the height you're looking for. Gold and silver belts add shine and pizzazz to any outfit. Check out for a variety of fun accessories.

Out with the Old, In with the New

We know, we know ‑- clothes can have so much meaning. That T-shirt from seventh grade that still fits, the blazer you wore to your first job, your ex's motorcycle jacket. Our advice? Get rid of it. The first step to infusing your wardrobe with life is to create space. You have our permission. If it's been soooo long since you've purged, start right away with:

  • Shoes beyond the point of repair
  • Acid washed/faded light blue jeans
  • Ill-fitting anything ‑- if it didn't fit then and it doesn't fit now, toss it
  • Anything with an elastic waistband that has lost its stretch
  • Faded, holey, stretched-out swimsuits
  • Illegally short miniskirts ‑- we know you want to, but you know you won't

  • Beyond that, any clothing that's still in decent shape should be donated to a local shelter or charity, and, obviously, if you haven't worn it in over a year, toss it.


    iVillage Member
    Registered: 08-10-2005
    Mon, 01-16-2006 - 12:49am

    I love all the fashion, espcially since spring isn't too far away!!! At least it feels like spring time here where I live.