This is it, friends — we’re in the homestretch! There are promises of spring in the air and popsicle-colored dresses are about to find their way back home into our closets. You can just feel the warm sun on your bare shoulders and the margarita in your hand. Soon, but not quite yet.
As we’re inching our way towards the end of winter, most of us are at the point where we just grunt hello to our boring black coats and ruined boots. There's a heavy sigh every time you reach for the blanket scarf and try not to get melting snow all over your hallway. Remember those days back in October when we were so excited to swap our summer dresses for booties? When we just couldn't wait to put on beanies and sip on praline lattes?
Fools. Such fools.
While we’re more than ready to exchange our long-johns for pretty pastel frocks, the majority of us are still a long way from there. Boston may or may not get hit by another snowpocolypse and Chicagoans are eyeing 40 degree forecasts with a wary eye. So to keep the despair to a minimum, here are seven tips to dig up much-needed inspiration for a winter wardrobe you’re sort of beginning to hate:
1. Play In Your Closet
You know how you hit panic mode when you only have three minutes to choose an outfit in the morning before your bus leaves? That doesn’t usually bare the most creative of outfits. To avoid the usual sweater + jeans scenario, take an evening to play dress up in your closet. Take dresses off of hangers, try on swingy skirts, slip in and out of jeans. Watch the clothes pile up on your bed and take the time to test what all those pieces can go with. Get creative — aim for some trial and error! Sometimes accidents make the best outfits.
2. Assign New Jobs To Old Pieces
Try wearing a dress as a shirt by layering a skirt on top, or turn a sleeveless blouse into a vest by popping a long sleeve shirt on underneath. Maybe try buttoning only the top button of a jacket, or turn a summer scarf into a turban. By assigning new jobs to old pieces, it will help you pair your clothes in ways you haven’t thought of before, and almost make it feel like you have something new.
3. Make Some Alterations
Have a dress that you’ve been “meh” about for a while? Instead of leaving it at the back of the closet till you’re ready to donate it, try giving it new life with a few quick changes. If you’re semi-savvy with a needle and thread, why don’t you try cropping it into a blouse? Or do you have a sweater or shirt that’s lost its luster? Take the hem in and transform it into a crop top. Maybe you’re just bored of wearing the same dress over and over again? Try snipping off the sleeves and make it sleeveless. Little alterations can go a long way into reviving a few dead pieces in your wardrobe!
4. Participate In A Challenge
You know those 30x30 challenges that took the blogging world by storm last year? They were whipped up because moments like this exist: Ones where you find yourself wanting to do something crazy like tossing your whole closet out of your window. Whereas that’s still a real option for most of us during March, refrain a little bit longer from doing that by making yourself enter a styling challenge where you only mix and match 10-30 pieces in your wardrobe, forcing yourself to come up with new combinations. When you only have three dresses to play around with for a month, you’ll come up with some pretty clever styling moves to make it feel fresh and new each time.
Or if organized challenges aren’t your thing, go a simpler route and choose one piece at a time from your closet and make yourself style it in three different ways, for three different days. That’ll get you thinking!
5. Seek Inspiration
Sometimes your brain is just tapped out and you can’t think of anything new. In moments like these, seek out inspiration rather than making it. Hit the magazines and tear out fun layering ideas. Scour catalogues and take note of styling details that could give some interest to an old look. Head to Pinterest and start pinning looks you want to copy. While this can give you a wealth of new ideas, here’s a pro tip for you: Only pin and tape looks that style items you already own, not items you wish you had. If you don’t have sheer skirts or blazers and that’s all you’re bookmarking, than you’re not going to get yourself anywhere.
6. Play With Details
Sometimes all it takes is a new lip color, a pair of unexpected shoes or an added belt to turn an outfit around. Tweak the small details in your usual looks to come up with something completely new. Try pairing an old shirt with a statement necklace, or swapping your trusty purse for a leather backpack. Sometimes a look can completely change with a minor alteration like that.
7. Swap Clothes
Have a few close friends? Chances are they’re just as bored of their sweaters as you are. So why don’t you propose that you take all the pieces you’re tired of and create a little swapping party — grab a bottle of wine and trade your sweaters for their dresses, their skirts for your jackets! It’s like shopping, but free. That, and you might be finally able to snag that dress you were coveting from afar from your pal’s closet.
Images: Giphy; Author's Own/Messages on a Napkin