We all have one outfit that we unconsciously choose to wear again and again ... and again. It's an easy trap to fall into. You could be as fashionable as Olivia Palermo and still get stuck in a rut. Fortunately, there is a way out. Get up off the couch, turn off Real Housewives of Atlanta (it's hard, I know), and prepare to feel inspired. You're about to rethink your wardrobe — in terms of pieces both new and old. Here are nine easy ways to amp up your style:
1. Clean out your closet
This is a no-brainer, but it's an important first step. We all have that section in our closet with all the still-tagged, "I feel so bad that I've never worn this" clothes. Cleaning out your closet helps you see what you don't wear, what you should wear, and helps you make room for and realize what you actually need.
2. Wear something that scares you
For me, it was that crazy, sequin jacket that I had just never worn. I loved it (as I do most glittery things), but, well, it was a sequin jacket. Not exactly subtle. However, one day I made the leap of faith and finally wore it. Not only did I feel absolutely fabulous (how else should one feel in a jacket made of sequins?), but I instantly dreamed up about five more outfits that I had never worn before.
Kay Unger New York Sequined Crop Jacket, $126, Neiman Marcus
3. Get rid of that old, comfortable ____
We all have that dress, T-shirt, pair of pants, etc. that we wear time and time again even though, well, it's not really anything special. It may not even be in-tune with our current sense of style, yet we still find ourselves gravitating toward it for whatever reason. I, for example, had an American Eagle denim mini skirt that I wore consistently from ages 13 to 19. Ok, 19 and a half. Why? It was comfortable, it was there and it sort of always looked half-decent (or so I thought at the time ...). I could have saved myself from a lot of boring outfits had I just gotten rid of it.
4. Get a new, bold accessory that isn't a bag or pair of shoes
Of course, we all love bags and shoes. And more bags. And more shoes. However, there is something to be said for a wonderful accessory that is a little different. For music lovers, try finding a chic pair of headphones. Not only will you get tons of compliments, but you'll also avoid those ugly, tangled little things we call ear buds (they even sound ugly).
5. Buy a crazy pair of shoes
Shoes are one of the most glorious parts of shopping. They always fit, there is no horrifying dressing room lighting associated with trying them on, and, well, they're just really pretty. Obviously. Go ahead and buy that ridiculous, feathered, beautiful, crazy pair of way-too-high heels you've been wanting. You'll feel inspired and re-charged by the new addition to your closet.
Sophia Webster Malibu Leather Platform Sandal, $550, Neiman Marcus
6. Find your signature shade of lipstick
Ah, the power of lipstick. Whether you're like me and opt for the classic, bright red lip or you want to try something a little different like orange or plum, lipstick is a surefire way to push yourself to be stylish and creative with your outfits. Are you going to want to throw on that T-shirt and pair of leggings while wearing a bold lip color? Nope. Never.
Bite Beauty Lipstick, $26, Sephora
7. People watch
I don't mean the creepy, stalking type of people watching. No. That would be weird. I'm thinking more along the lines of casually drinking a latte and observing the people that come to that super-hip coffee shop you go to on weekends. That kind of thing. So, go ahead, listen to some Bon Iver, drink that latte, and be inspired by the unique style of those around you. Sounds simple, but it always works.
8. Find some cool sunglasses
Everyone looks cooler with sunglasses on. It's just a fact. An outfit without sunglasses is like Ryan Gosling with a shirt. Yes, OK, everything looks very nice the way it is, but ... imagine the possibilities if you were to just add (in Ryan's case, subtract) one little thing. It's just a whole other level of awesome.
Miu Miu Sunnies, $390, Saks Fifth Avenue
9. Switch things up
Literally. When you're about to leave the house in your favorite graphic T-Shirt and statement necklace combination, stop for a second and switch one thing about what you're wearing. Yeah, it's a great look. But try a different necklace? A scarf instead? Forcing yourself to move out of your comfort zone only leads to good things, people.