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We’re back with part two of our style rut series. If you’re bored by your wardrobe and buying more clothes doesn’t seem to help, this episode is for you. If you feel like actually loving your wardrobe is a concept just for other people. This episode is for you. If you’re always struggling to get dressed and everything looks the same, and you don’t know why, this episode is for you. Let’s get to it
Hello, gorgeous. Welcome back to the everyday style school, the podcast that gives real life style advice to real life women. If you’re new here, welcome. I’m your host, Jennifer Mackay Mary. I’m a wardrobe stylist who has been dressing everyday women for over 20 years. I’m also the founder of everyday style, where we’re on a mission to inspire women to love the way they look and give you the tools to make getting dressed easy. If you’re a longtime listener, welcome back. Thank you for spending this time with me.
Today, we’re talking more about style rats, those periods we all go through where you you’ve just got a case of the wardrobe, blahs or sartorial on way, or you’re stuck in the style doldrums, whatever you call them. They’re marked by feeling dissatisfied with your style and your wardrobe. And maybe even dissatisfied about how you look in general. You struggle to get dressed shopping doesn’t help. And you start telling yourself that what you wear doesn’t matter anyway. Have you been there? Yep, I know. I sure have. Speaking of being stuck in style doldrums? Did you know that the doldrums are an actual thing or an actual place? You probably did. It’s probably only me who fairly recently learned that the word doldrums wasn’t just a word describing a feeling of listlessness and boredom. Nope. The doldrums is actually a nautical term that describes the belt around the equator where, for scientific reasons I’m not going to go into on a style podcast, the air gets very still and the wind doesn’t blow. And old timey sailing ships could get stuck for weeks, hoping something would change before the scurvy set in. You got to admit you never know what you’re going to get on the show. Anyway, sailing ships would quite literally get stuck in the doldrums. Have you ever felt like that, like you just need a big gust of wind something to come and shake things up and, and get you unstuck and moving again, I definitely can relate to those periods. Well, lucky for you, you are not an old timey sailor. And you don’t have to wait for an atmospheric change to move you out of your style doldrums. In fact, you can take some action, create your own gust of wind and sail off into the style sunset. And that is enough of that metaphor.
The best way to get out of this style doldrums is to understand what got you there in the first place. And it probably goes without saying, but the best way out of your style rut is to stop doing the thing that got you in there, right. In the last episode, I talked about a very specific type of style rut, where you’re really trying to create unique, authentic personal style. But you end up wearing the same five things all the time. And it’s going very, very differently than you had intended. But today, I want to talk about more general style ruts where you’re feeling stuck and bored for seemingly no reason. These style ruts just they tend to creep up on us. And unlike last week, which is kind of an active frustration, because you’re really trying these feel like getting dressed gets harder and harder slowly. And you might not notice you’re dissatisfied. And you’re over it until you’re solidly in a rut and maybe you’ve even been there for a while. So today I’m going to share five super common reasons you might be in one of those general style rats. Before that, though, just a reminder that our signature style challenge is coming up in the style circle member community in just a couple of weeks. It starts November 14, it’s free for our members. And when you join, you not only get the challenge, you also get the signature style class, the dress your body shape class, the ultimate closet makeover. And of course, the capsule guides and lots, lots lots more. If you are stuck in a style rut, this is going to get you out if you’re bored with your wardrobe, this will help shake things up. And if you’re one of those people who doesn’t believe you can have style, give us a chance to prove you wrong. What do you have to lose? Head over to the shownotes to sign up? The challenge starts November 14th. And I hope to see you there. All right. Let’s talk about five things. I see women doing that over time lead to a style rut. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. But over the last 20 years, I have seen some stuff and these are five of the biggies. First these are five habits right. Habit number one is that you keep buying the same stuff. In the last episode I talked about how specificity or lack of specificity is a way to keep your signature style from become
Getting a style rut. But today I’m talking to my style sisters who find a top they like, by the way, it’s just topped. This does not apply to pants, but you find a top you like, and you buy it in all the colors, you know who you are, here’s what happens, you find a tea or a sweater that works for you. And you buy multiples of the exact same thing. But you get tired of looking the same every day. So you’re like, I need some new clothes, you go to the store and you find a new top or a sweater you like, and you buy it in all the colors, and so on and so on and so on. It’s a never ending cycle. But the thing is, women who do this tend to get tired of their clothes faster than someone who has the same number of tops that aren’t exact multiples and duplicates, you actually end up buying more and replacing items faster than the women who aren’t buying multiples. I know it feels like you’re easily solving the I have nothing to wear issue by buying three more shirts. But really, you’re just creating an I have more nothing to wear issue. And when you’re in a general style rut, buying more clothes usually doesn’t solve the problem, you’ve got to understand what you’re doing wrong or what’s leading to the style on WWE, so that you can buy differently don’t shop first to get out of a style run. Habit number two is that your closet does not reflect your current situation. I know you’ve heard me say this a million times. But it’s worth saying one more. And if you haven’t heard it before, you got to take this one to heart. Your Closet should be the boutique you shot from each morning. It is not a museum for the person you were in the past, or a warehouse for the person you might be in the future. I really want you to think about that for a minute. Imagine going into a boutique. And they had one tiny rack of like eight things that fit you work for your lifestyle and you actually liked the rest of the Boutique is just full of clothes that are too small or too big or too dressy or too casual, or they’re outdated. And the story is just hanging on to all these things, giving them valuable real estate, hoping they’re going to come back in style someday, or hoping they’ll fit you someday. First of all, that wouldn’t make any sense. Why would you have a store full of things that people couldn’t wear? Second, you wouldn’t want to shop there, it would be depressing. And you would feel limited because there were only two pants, a handful of tops and a dress that worked. That’s a style read friends. And that’s how lots of your closets are operating right now. If you’ve got a full closet, and you’re only wearing a handful of things, you’ve got to ask yourself why that is? who’s living in your closet? Is it the Linda of today, or the Linda of 510 years ago, or maybe Linda 510 years in the future who’s gonna get back into those skinny jeans, darn it. I hate the concept of Sunday, it just it doesn’t exist, you cannot find Sunday on the calendar. Make space for yourself in your closet, the you that you are today. This is the best way to get out of a style rut is to start to build a wardrobe that you love for the person you are right now.
Habit number three is that you’re too concerned with getting it right. You’ve learned your colors and your style and how to dress your body shape. And instead of using those principles to make getting dressed easier, you’ve taken it to an extreme and you’ve put yourself into this tiny limiting style prison.
Early in my business I was asked at the very last minute to speak to a woman’s group and I had nothing to wear. Remember before I started my business, I had been a stay at home mom for a few years. So my wardrobe wasn’t exactly speaking on stage ready, if you know what I mean. I drove over to Nordstrom, I had my kids with me. And there was a lovely woman who was helping me but everything she brought I had an objection to No, that’s not my color. Nope, that neckline is wrong. Nope. I don’t like pattern on the top. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
I had this kind of out of body experience where I heard myself being so negative and close minded. And I remember thinking, Jennifer, if you want something that looks different than what you wear every day, you have to try things you’re not wearing every day. I ended up in a blouse that I honestly I would never have picked up for myself. And it was not body shape. Perfect. It did not check the 10 1215 point checklist that I had for my body. But it gave me a ton of style and it was the look that I wanted to have on stage. And that counted for a lot.
Sometimes you have to let go of the rigidity of only wearing things that are traditionally perfectly flattering that are best. I often say that when you’re putting together an outfit, there are flattery points and there are style points, and they’re of equal value. And I know this is really hard for some women to do. We’ve been raised on this idea that certain bodies should only wear a certain
things. But why? If I wear a black crewneck sweater with my cognac leather shorts, which I did last week, I am fully aware that black is not my color. I am fully aware that crewnecks are not my best neckline. But I’m also fully aware that that was a great outfit. And no one was like, Oh, she looks a little bit tired or did her shoulders grow. Learning how to dress yourself is so vitally important as a starting point. But when it becomes a prison, and you can’t find anything to wear, because nothing is perfect, and you only have like five styles you can where you have gone too far. And that is a huge reason a lot of women, especially those who are all in on the body shape are all in on the color, get into a style rut.
Habit number four is the exact opposite of that. And that is, you don’t know how to dress yourself at all. You’ve never learned the principles of proportion lines, volume, color fabric, you have no idea there are necklines that don’t make your boobs look bigger, or your shoulders look wider. And pants that don’t give you a muffin top are weird folds across the hip. And so you’ve convinced yourself that it’s just you, you can’t look nice or wear stylish things and everything’s the same. So why bother?
Usually, when this happened, the shopping is just a terrible experience. Because you’re either like sweating in a fitting room trying on mountains of clothes, trying to find something decent, because that’s the goal, right? Not great. Just passable, or you’re buying loads of stuff online, nothing works, returns are a pain, and you just can’t do it anymore. So you just end up with this handful of clothes you wear and you don’t even know if they look good or not. And if they don’t, you know, you don’t know how to fix them. So it just is what it is. Friend, if I have hit a nerve with this one, it is time to learn how to dress yourself. I promise you, it’s not you. It’s the clothes. It is not your bust. It’s your neckline. It’s not your muffin top, it’s your rise. Knowing how to dress yourself is a skill, not an innate genetic trait. Please believe me on this one. You may not have been born with it. Most women weren’t. But you can absolutely learn it. It’s time to stop struggling for no reason. There’s no reason to stay stuck in a rut because nothing looks good on you. That simply isn’t true. And you have to stop telling yourself that lie and put in the work to find the styles you love that love you back.
Finally, habit five is shopping through the wrong lenses. Say what? Hear me out. Last week I talked about women choosing aspirational style guideposts. Remember, style guide posts are those three words, I teach women to choose to define and refine their style. I share that women often choose words they feel like they should choose rather than what truly reflects who they are. And when that happens. They don’t buy things for their aspirational style, but they also don’t lean into their actual style, and so they end up with nothing struggling to get dressed. The other side of this is women defining their style with words that aren’t style words at all. Even if you haven’t gone through the whole style guide posting, most women kind of know what they want their style to be right how they want to look. And when I ask women to describe their style, most women use one of these two phrases or words, and it’s casual or comfortable. I did a whole episode on why comfortable isn’t a style and we talk about casual in there as well. I’m not going to go into it here the link is in the show notes to go back and check it out. But what I want you to take away today is that we shop through the lens of what we tell ourselves we want our wardrobes to be. So let’s take an imaginary trip to the clothing section of target to illustrate this just if you’re not driving, close your eyes and just go to your happy place target. When you’re describing your ideal style, you’re describing how you want your wardrobe to look that is a very important thing. So let’s say one of my style words is fun. I want my wardrobe to be fun. When I hit target my eyes are looking through the lenses of my goal of having a fun wardrobe. So they go to the fun pants and the bright sweaters and the graphic tees and the cute jackets you get you get the idea right. So now let’s say I’ve described my ideal style as comfortable or I want my wardrobe to be comfortable in my head right now I am pushing that cart past the actual close to the all in motion section where the leggings and sweatshirts live. And that’s all you buy. Because that’s how you want to you think I want to be comfortable. So the only places you can go are places that you can wear sweatshirts and leggings and it starts to become very, very limiting. And it leads to a style rut.
Now you might be thinking but I want to be comfortable. Yeah, me too. I never ever wear uncomfortable clothes. Why would I do that to myself. So from all the clothes that look fun, I choose the ones that have the functionality I want ie comfort, but my comfortable wardrobe ends up looking very different than someone who shot
With a comfortable lens does that make sense? For example, today, I am in dress pants and a sweater hoodie. Now, when I woke up today it’s cold, I really wanted to put on sweatpants. My dress pants feel exactly like sweatpants. They don’t look comfortable at all. No one would say, oh my gosh, it looks so comfortable, but they’re super, super comfortable. My comfortable wardrobe includes things like sequined pants and leather shorts and wide leg trousers. Because I look for clothes through my style lens first, and then I filter through that comfort lens, your wardrobe is going to end up looking like whatever lens you shop through. So if you’re shopping through a functional lens, don’t expect to have a wardrobe that has the style that you want. Flip your lens around and look for the style you want first, and then filter through the functionality that you need. This is a super easy way to up your style and get out of the style doldrums.
Alright, that’s all I have for you this week. If you’ve been feeling bored with your wardrobe and stuck in a style rut, I encourage you to think about how you got there, and what you can do to get yourself out. If you want a quick way to boost your style and have more fun getting dressed. Come join us for the signature style challenge that starts November 14 in the style circle free for members come join us. Also a few weeks ago, I had a couple of our style network stylists on the show. We talked about doing a Halloween style horror stories episode. Well, we made it happen. We shared some interesting moments with clients things that threw us for a loop. And then we shared some of our own major wardrobe malfunctions. Yeah, there were some good ones. i Yes, there were some really good ones. And we dressed up. It was such a good time and it is outright now in our extra credit podcast which is also available only to our members. So we have an audio version, you can hear it and we have a video version so you can go check out our our Halloween costumes. Alright, links to join the style circle to find the podcast episodes I talked about and to connect with me on socials are all in the show notes. So head over there. I will see you next time and until then, remember that your everyday matters. So get dressed for it.
And that’s a wrap. Thank you for listening today. If you’re loving the everyday style school podcast, I’d like to invite you to become a member of the style circle. It’s our monthly all access membership that gives you everything we create to make style easy, so you can save time and money have easier mornings and more confidence all day long. You get our seasonal capsule wardrobe guides, all of the master classes we offer and our exclusive members only podcast, the everyday style school extra credit. Plus, you’re invited to the Facebook community where you can get even more style support and inspiration. I would love to get to know you and support your style journey. It’s just $19 a month less than the cost of a clearance shirt you’re never going to wear. Come join me and make your everyday style easier.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai