We’d be surprised to find many women who haven’t, from time to time, felt less than enthusiastic about the contents of their closets. Our outfits feel repetitive, our daily uniforms are uninspired. Often the first solution that comes to mind is to shop. However, while we’re all for making smart, exciting purchases, we believe real style magic happens when things are a bit thriftier.
With this in mind, we came up with a slew of different ways—43 to be exact—to combat boring fashion and shake up our routines. These methods can be as simple as reorganizing your closet, watching a classic movie, or texting a friend for support. The only thing they have in common? They’re completely free of charge.
Read on and try one (or 10) that will hopefully get your engines revved…your styling skills totally refreshed.
Try the hanger trick. This Reddit trick is an oldie but a goodie: Fix all the hangers of your closet so they face the same direction. As you wear an item turn the hangers around. This will visually help you see what parts of your closet you’re not using and see potential to get creative.
Incorporate the warm and fuzzies. Utilize your favorite textures (especially with upcoming fall weather) to add tons of dimension to your looks.
Scour Etsy. This, along with sites like eBay, The RealReal, and Vestiaire Collective, can open your eyes to vintage styles that feel so relevant right now. And if you must shop a one-of-a-kind piece, that’s okay, too.
Get rid of whatever is weighing you down. If you’re feeling uninspired maybe your wardrobe needs a good edit. Strip away and consign or donate whatever’s in there that leaves you feeling meh.
Time travel. Literally is not option. But figuratively, such as threw Instagram pages like ’90s Anxiety is completely feasible.
Up next, this is what a stylist says makes your outfits look cheap.
Switch up your accessories. So many of us rely on the same pieces every day. Break that habit and pile on the earrings, necklaces, and rings you often forget that you own.
Wear things the way they’re not supposed to be worn. A bra over a T-shirt? A dress over pants? A button-down shirt fastened down the back? All of these are fair game.
Get dressed with your eyes closed. At least in part. Pick an item at random from your closet and get creative with how to wear it. The challenge alone might spark some inspiration.
Dress for the job you want. This advice may be a cliché, but as enclothed cognition theory tells us, changing the way we dress can change the way we think about ourselves, our capabilities, and our confidence.
Wear leopard. Trust us on this one.
Visit a museum. There are plenty of donation-based institutes to get your fill of inspiration, straight from history’s most celebrated artists.
Hold a clothing swap. Call your friends up, bring a few items you don’t mind parting with, and shop each other’s closets for a no-cost way to refresh your options.
Get deep into your IG explore page. We can’t tell you how often we fall down wormholes of captivating content from all corners of the world.
Stop dressing for your age. Snap in those hair clips you once wore to elementary school, or slip into a sensible heel and oversized cardigan.
Put your shoes in plain sight. How often do you forget what shoes you own because they’re hiding in boxes? Keep a few of your favorites on display for easy styling options.
Be as extra as you dare. Sparkles. Sequins. Feather. Just go for it.
Prioritize comfort. The fastest way to get tired of your style is but wearing something you can’t walk, move, run for a subway, or bend down to pick a flower in.
Wear one piece three ways. Challenge yourself to explore all your clothing’s possibilities but style one piece into (at least) three different looks.
Style something fancy in a casual way. Do you really need a special invitation to wear a pair of party heels?
Do whatever Celine Dion is doing. Have you ever seen someone enjoy fashion as much as she does? Also see: Tracee Ellis Ross.
Window shop. You don’t have to pull out your credit card to have a successful shopping trip. Sometimes browsing your favorite store and speaking with the coolest shop girls you know can get the figurative wheels turning.
Watch a movie. Preferably an older one that featuring icons like Katharine Hepburn, Cher, Pam Grier, or Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen.
Follow a stylist. You’re already likely following your favorite style stars every move on Instagram, but you’d be remiss not to get a peek into their stylist’s life as well.
Read. It’s free, it clears the head, and it sparks ideas. We’re sure this can benefit your personal style, as well.
Get organized. Use an app like Finery to keep your closet organized, help virtually put together outfits, and find inspiration on how everyone else is styling pieces you already own.
Identify your power suit. It doesn’t have to have a blazer or anything literally similar to a suit. Simply identify a piece of clothing that makes you feel invincible and build a look from there.
Start a collection page. Keep track of everything you see on Instagram that inspires you. Keeping it in one collection page will be helpful whenever you need a quick reference.
Journal. If your outfit ideas feel stagnant it’s possible other parts of your life might, as well. Get it all out on paper first—it’s a bit easier to tackle from there.
Plan your outfits. Take time to play around with your upcoming week’s wardrobe and plan out exactly what to wear. This will avoid any early morning panic where you reach for the same pieces over and over.
Seek out a new opinion. Ask your dad, your barista, or your barre instructor what kind of style they like. It never hurts to hear a different perspective.
Clash. Clash. Clash. That about covers it.
Dig deep into a cool, new brand. Get to know the labels you wear on a personal level and your getting-dressed routine will feel a bit more meaningful.
Utilize your personal cheer squad. Whenever we feel like less than 100% we like to surround ourselves with friends who love us as we and are ready to tell us that. They’ll show up to support you (even if it’s just telling you your outfit is fire) just as you would for them.
Wear the good lingerie. We’re not about to wait for someone else to appreciate the pretty pieces in our underwear drawers. Wear them ASAP and you might notice a little more bounce in your step.
Don’t dress for your body type. Or do. But don’t feel beholden only to silhouettes that are intended to make you look smaller or like you have an hourglass figure.
Start with your happy piece. As Marie Kondo might advise, wear only the pieces that make you feel good. Even if you simply identify one or two items that you love, let those be the base for many ensembles to come.
Walk around a different neighborhood. It’s IRL street style and way more impactful than looking at it on a computer screen.
Redefine neutral. Black, white, and tan will never be a bad idea. However, things get really interesting when you start wearing polka dots, stripes, or metallics as neutrals instead.
Just change one thing. If you have a go-to outfit that’s lost a bit of its appeal, make a concerted effort to swap one piece. For instance, trade a pump for a chunky pair of sneakers or a blazer with a great leather jacket.
Stick to the classics. Instead of opting for bold additions to zhuzh up your look, curate your most classic pieces into a wardrobe that feels polished, clean, and confident at all times.
Find a color that speaks to you. As Color Theory tells us
Don’t take it too seriously. It’s just fashion. Have fun.