Options are overwhelming.
If you are one of those girls who finds yourself staring in your closet thinking "I have nothing to wear" chances are you probably have too many choices that leave you with the paradox of choice.
Chances are you already have everything you need to create a great look.
A couple years ago, when I was on vacation, I found myself creating outfit combinations from the limited items in my suitcase that I hadn't even thought of when packing. Why? Because according to Barry Schwartz, more is less and less is more. Basically, when you have fewer things to choose from you are able to mix and match them in ways you don't see when they are amongst the numerous things hanging in your closet at home.
Here are 3 rules for when you hit a fashion roadblock:
1) Narrow down your choices
It may not sound logical but slimming down your choices will actually increase your creativity and give you more options. What I like to do...clear out a drawer in your closet. Each week, put limited items in to it from your closet as if you were packing for a vacation. Obviously, think of work staples here but also pieces for after-hours...a pair of black leggings, jeans, a flattering top or two and a few other things you would pack as if you were going on vacation in the city where you live...Don't be tempted to "over-pack". Use a real suitcase if you have to! The goal is to get more creative with what you own so that you aren't tempted to go on another shopping binge that only further confuses your closet...and your creativity. Not to mention puts a dent in your wallet.
2) Hone in on accessories
If you don't already own some basic accessories like a playful scarf, earrings and a statement bag, this is where to devote your dollars for maximum payoff. Some of the best outfits are made because of one simple detail that makes the look. You don't have to spend big bucks either, trendy accessories are super affordable to find at H&M, Forever21, etc and let's not forget we live in the number one city for sample sales! Scarfs are my favorite outfit accessory (besides sunglasses: see bonus tip) to create variety, remember there are so many ways to tie a scarf. To be super economical, try to find a material that is transitional, meaning you can wear it in warm and cool weather. Even a pair of jeans and a t-shirt is easy to upgrade this way.
3) Go Back to Black
This one's my favorite because it never fails me. Whenever I can't think of what to wear, I always wear black. No matter what color is the color of the season, black is always on trend.
Since the days of Audrey Hepburn to the days of Cameron Diaz and Victoria Beckham, black has always been the IT color to look chic, polished and pulled-together. Also, chances are, you probably already have some black staples in your closet so layer them all together, throw on a great scarf and you're ready to go!
Bonus Tip: Make up and sunglasses.
All the make-up gurus will tell you that a bold lip is the one must-do on the days you don't know what to do. But not everyone feels comfortable in a colorful lip color and that's okay. Choose one: eyes or lips and play them up. My affordable trick when doing my lips is to apply chapstick or lip balm underneath my lip liner/stick/pencil. It goes on much smoother that way and you probably already own it or can grab one for under a buck at the drug store. With the cold weather rolling in, you'll need one anyway!
Sunglasses are my other go-to. They always make me feel more glamorous and dressed. Take this quiz to find the one that suits your face best and look for great designer deals at places like TJMaxx and Century21.
You can use these tips to stay fashionable no matter how stale your closet feels. The point isn't to refrain from spending any money on fashion but rather to spend it more wisely and where it has the greatest impact. And remember that it's easy to fall into the trap of having nothing to wear if you have too much, so actively set aside a day TWICE A YEAR to do spring and fall cleaning. Consider donating things you haven't worn during that prior season to a charity (you can write-off this amount come tax time) or selling them at a place like Buffalo Exchange that gives you money on the spot for your consignment items.
Thinking about these things doesn't mean your cheap, it means your financially savvy. Own it!