8 Style Ruts To Break Out Of

It's easy to fall in a routine of the same old, same old — but when the answer to "Didn't you just wear that yesterday?" becomes "I don't remember," it may be time to switch things up. If it's something as simple as letting go a bag that's become your security blanket or as involved as changing up your entire weekend dressing MO, digging yourself out of a rut doesn't have to involve a round of hypnosis.
With some intel on why you're stuck in an outfit grind in the first place, we can help you pivot to a fresh new vibe that won't feel like you've just had a style lobotomy. Whatever rut you're currently knee-deep in, we're here with a sartorial shovel to dig you out. Click through for a hand.
Advertisement
1 of 16
The Rut: I can't figure out how to do color.
You probably love black and neutral tones because it's super-easy to mix and match (not to mention, always flattering). But straying outside of your comfort zone makes you feel like a beacon.

Dorothy Perkins Rolled Shirt, $44, available at Dorothy Perkins; Tory Burch Emily Pant, $250, available at Tory Burch.
2 of 16
The Solution: Jewel tones are your friend!
We've found that jewel tones offer that same versatility while visually looking different. Just mix one piece of color in — oxblood, forest greens, navys, and paprikas can be worn with black or in combination. Mix in one (or a few!) non-all-black accessories, and you'll feel like you stand out, but not in a neon-sign way.

Dorothy Perkins Rolled Shirt, $44, available at Dorothy Perkins; All Black Ponyman Laceless Oxford, $100, available at Farfetch; Reed Krakoff Casual Pants, $690, available at The Corner; Zara Metallic Fabric Necklace, $35.90, available at Zara; Pixie Market Doctor Bag, $59, available at Pixie Market.
3 of 16
The Rut: I wear my gym clothes all weekend long.
Your weekend plans typically center around a good sweat session at the gym, but that doesn't mean you should be wearing your workout clothes to brunch, the grocery store, and whatever miscellaneous errands you may be running that day before and after you clock in.



LNA Striped Tank, $60, available at The Outnet ; Aerie Yoga Pant, $24.99, available at Aerie; ASOS Denim Duffle Bag, $40.50, available at ASOS; Nike Flyknit Shoe, $160, available at Nike.
4 of 16
The Solution: A change of clothes doesn't have to be complicated.
You shouldn't be wearing out your gym shoes on pavement anyways, so choose a pair of flat, light shoes that'll disappear in your bag. As for the rest of clothes, bring a dress that won't wrinkle and provides plenty of ventilation in case you're still shvitzing after you leave the gym.

Mango Flowy Dot Dress, $69.99, available at Mango; Fairends Flannel Hat, $48, available at Madewell; Revolve Clothing Steve Madden Flat, $100, available at Revolve; ASOS Denim Duffle Bag, $40.50, available at ASOS.
5 of 16
The Rut: I wear my sneakers every day.
Comfort is key for you. You need to be able to run around without worrying whether your ankles will give out before you've gotten through half your day, and sneakers have been the obvious shoe to wear.

Converse Chuck Taylors, $65, available at Converse.
Advertisement
6 of 16
The Solution: Chelsea boots are comfortable, too.
A comfortable pair of flats that let you go all day, but also won't make you self-conscious in dressier occasions. You need something that covers a large surface area of your foot (sorry — ballet flats don't quite cut it) like lace-up oxfords, D'Orsay flats, or, our favorite, ankle-high Chelsea boots. Need more support? Gel inserts will help you milk a few more hours out of your feet in the day.

Rebecca Taylor Color Blocked Sweater, $78, available at Rebecca Taylor; Neff Daily Beanie, $16, available at PacSun; Raquel Allegra Shibori Print Dress, $195, available at Net-A-Porter; Forever 21 Backpack, $24.80, available at Forever 21; Topshop Chelsea Boot, $120, available at Topshop.
7 of 16
The Rut: I live in jeans.
We get it. Jeans are comfortable, durable, and they're chameleon-like — they go with literally everything you already own. But if you're always reaching for them day-in, day-out, it might be time for a change.

American Eagle Jegging Ankle, $29.99, available at AE.
8 of 16
The Solution: Take it up a notch with cropped black trousers.
The only other pant that offers the same sort of versatility? Cropped trousers in a dark colorway. They can be dressed up or dressed down and add a touch of thoughtfulness to your clothes that is hard to project with a pair of denim.

Mango Faux Leather Biker Jacket, $80, available at Mango; T By Alexander Wang Cropped Trouser, $396.26, available at Farfetch; J. Crew Bar-Stripe Tee, $39.50, available at J.Crew; Jessica Simpson Aged Bronze Shoe, $109.99, available at Heels.
9 of 16
The Rut: I carry the same hobo bag all year.
Your roomy hobo bag has been your trusty sidekick for years now, but after lugging it to work, drinks, and even the beach every single day, it might be time for a change of pace.

Mulberry Effie Hobo, $1,200, available at Mulberry.
10 of 16
The Solution: Invest in a chic doctor's bag.
The thing you liked about the hobo was that it was (nearly) all-events appropriate, and you'd like something that combines space, style, and durability. If you want a more structured shape that only looks better with a beating, consider switching to a medium-sized doctor's bag, like this one from Coach. It's professional enough for work, but won't look weird when you're out to drinks, either. Bonus: Look for a bag with a removable strap for weekends when you'd rather go hands-free.

Tibi Sheer Organza Skirt, $595, available at Tibi; Topshop Knitted Cop Top. $68, available at Topshop; JustFab Madge Shoe, $55, available at Heels.com; Coach Madison Caroline Satchel, $1,000, available at Coach.
Advertisement
11 of 16
The Rut: I rely on oversized tops.
Oversized tops are one of the most forgiving pieces of clothing we've got in our arsenal. Forgiving, flattering, and comfortable, it's our go-to piece when we're feeling a bit blah. But if you've been wearing these dolman-sleeved, billowing shirts every single day, it might be a good idea to look for another piece that changes up the silhouette, while still fulfilling you comfort and off-the-body criteria.

rag & bone Vessel Top, $290, available at La Garçonne.
12 of 16
The Solution: Switch up the silhouette with a smock dress.
Smock dresses. Whether it's a mini or a knee-length, a roomy smock dress does basically the same thing as an oversized top. Just be careful to pick one that gives you a faux waist in the form of strategic darting, a drawstring, or side panels. Wear with bare legs and pretty accessories, and you'll be good to go!

Loeffler Randall Shooter Bag, $425, available at Loeffler Randall; Topshop Enzyme Check Smock Dress, $72, available at Topshop; Nasty Gal Bacall Shades, $20, available at Nasty Gal; Marni Sandals, $790, available at Shoescribe.
13 of 16
The Rut: I have a million white tank tops.
They're the no-brainer first layer shirt — we get it. Under cardigans, sweaters, high-waist dresses, and with jeans, white tanks are the perfect non-shirt shirt, meaning that it goes with absolutely everything. The problem? It doesn't add to your outfit in any way.

James Perse The Daily Stretch Tank, $45, available at Net-a-Porter.
14 of 16
The Solution: Replace it with a striped shirt.
Stripes are so easy to wear, they're a neutral in our opinion. With other prints, other colors, and other styles, it's got an uncanny ability to make everything look a tad quirkier, without getting weird.

Modcloth Hibiscus High Tea Clutch, $24.99, available at Modcloth; Sandro Vibre Jacket, $192, available at Sandro; Dorothy Perkins Stripe Tee, $29, available at Dorothy Perkins; ASOS HOXTON Heeled Sandals, $70.88, available at ASOS; Dolce & Gabbana Lace Pencil Skirt, $554, available at Matches Fashion.
15 of 16
The Rut: I'm scared of costume jewelry.
You're not big on jewelry (as in, you don't wear any), but you always find yourself admiring big honkin' pieces on other ladies. What's a scaredy-cat to do?

Uniqlo Silk Blouse, $39.90, available at Uniqlo; Simone Rocha Mesh Skirt, $641, available at La Garconne.
16 of 16
The Solution: Ease in with a statement necklace.
Costume jewelry is kind of a scary trend to first get used to, but when it's done right, it makes such a fun, quirky statement. The key is to start simple — like button-up shirt simple — and layer on one piece that you can put on and then ignore. For us, that usually comes in the form of a necklace. Start small. Look for neutral colors and less bib-like styles; they still do a big job in elevating a simple look, but won't look out of place.

J.Crew Spiky Rope Necklace, $128, available at J.Crew; Zara Open Ankle Boot, $129, available at Zara; Uniqlo Silk Blouse, $39.90, available at Uniqlo; Banana Republic Satchel, $250, available at Banana Republic; Simone Rocha Mesh Skirt, $641, available at La Garçonne.
Advertisement