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10 “Wardrobe Rut” tips to make ANY outfit more interesting

Jan 16, 2020

Wardrobe Rut tips

(Psst see my closet reveal here!) 

It’s officially that time of the year when you open your closet doors and say, “UGHHHH I have to get by with three more months of the same sweaters, jeans, and boots?!?! Noooo!”

Winter wardrobe fatigue is real. I feel it, and I know you guys do too. (Because you told me. ????) So, in order to help, I put together some easy thought-starters to copy that can easily take a winter outfit that you are sick and tired of, and turn it into something you love! Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference!

Let’s go!

10 Wardrobe Rut Tips

Hair + Accessories:

The easiest way to elevate any outfit is with a simple accessory, so let’s start there, and work our way into the outfit tips, yes?

1. Statement Headbands

Wardrobe Rut tips

Treasure & Bond Tunic Sweater (I got a medium because I wanted it oversized!)Spanx Faux Leather Leggings (I wear a small, order your normal size, but if you’re usually in between, go with the larger one!) Similar headband, Blondo boots (50% off right now!!! Run TTS) 

First up is my latest obsession: statement headbands! I especially love these pearl headbands that come in 10 beautiful colors! PSA: snag a six-pack for a steal of deal here! They let you extend your hair in between washes and add an interesting, fun element to your outfit! Not to mention, they couldn’t be any easier to incorporate- slip it over your hair, or place it on top of hair that’s pulled back- it looks chic either way! See how I styled a dark green headband for a cozy, festive look here!

Alice and Wonder is one of my favorite little boutiques and has a great selection of cute headbands!! I love their velvet headbands, glitter knot headbands and this fun pleated metallic knot style!

I also love Urban Outfitter’s selection of headbands! If the velvet styles are too much texture for you, they have some pretty metal pearl ones that are more subtle and add a sophisticated touch! How pretty would this pearl piece be styled with a low bun?!

Anthropologie has a lot of amazing options as well! They have pearl headbands in 7 pretty colors- both with pearls and rhinestones. They also have this Blair Waldorf-esque oversized headband, a braided velvet option and this fun embellished look! Lastly, I think I need this pearl beauty in my life ASAP- how pretty is this for formal events or weddings?!

2. Play with hair clips!

Wardrobe Rut tips

Next, let’s talk about hair clips! I love that hair clips have become a trend this year––a lot of them have a subtle vintage feel, are incredibly simple, yet they still elevate your look just enough! I snagged most of my festive hair clips from Amazon and Urban Outfitters. This 12-pack of pearl hair clips is under $8! I also love this shimmery set and this versatile set that features some tortoise shell barrettes!

I’m LOVING these pearl combs! You can’t go wrong with this luxe set and I love the way these vintage pins look stacked on top of each other!

Again, Alice and Wonder just kills it with hair accessories! I’m loving these simple glittery clips, these gold clips and these amazing rhinestone bobby pins! 

3. Add a beret:

Wardrobe Rut tips

Beret, Sweatshirt (color is old, but still comes in several colors! I also have it in oatmeal and navy!) 

I wear a beret at least two times a week from fall through spring. It’s the chicest way to disguise unwashed hair!! ???? And also, it makes any outfit look chic! It even makes a sweatshirt look elevated and intentional! I have this Halogen beret in several colors!

4. Add a neck scarf:

Wardrobe Rut tips

Trench, similar scarf. 

I mean, I probably didn’t even NEED to put this in here–you already KNOW what a scarf fiend I am, but you know, in case you’re new around here, I figured I would include it in this round-up. ????A silk scarf is about as classic as they come, and it makes anything you wear it with look incredibly chic and polished! (I also love stocking up on them at vintage stores, where they’re often only a couple dollars!) Need a tutorial on how to tie one? See my post How to Tie a French-Style Scarf.” 

5. Add a red lip:

Wardrobe Rut tips

Tee (runs TTS), Jeans, (see full look in this post!) 

I think of a red lip as an accessory! Another trademark of mine–when in doubt, always go with red lipstick! As you can see above, it even makes a white tee and jeans look chic and intentional! It’s the easiest trick in the book! My favorite red shades are Beautycounter’s Girls Night (which is what I’m wearing above) and Givenchy’s Carmen Escarpin. If a bright red feels too bold for you, try Glossier’s toned down lipstick in “Zip–it’s super subtle and unlike any other formula I’ve seen! It’s like a “natural” red lip, which sounds weird–but trust me–you’ll love it if you’re more of a makeup minimalist!

Outfit styling tips + tricks:

6. Double up your layers:

Wardrobe Rut tips

My favorite trench (mine is several years old but runs big, wearing XS–not totally sure on sizing this year though!), J.Crew jean jacket, beret, sneakers, old jeans from Abercrombie (similar here), similar striped tee 

A great outfit trick: Consider what you can layer *UNDER* as well as over. (Nobody ever thinks about new ways to layer under!)

When it isn’t *puffer cold* in Chicago (or I’m visiting somewhere warmer–like San Francisco, where this photo was taken!) I love doubling up on my layers––for example, a jean jacket, or even a hoodie layered under a trench or camel overcoat looks so cute! Not only does it add warmth, but it adds so much more interest to your outfit!

7. Add some animal print:

Add some animal print

Bodysuit (runs TTS, wearing small), Jeans (run TTS–wearing 25), booties (run TTS)––all c/o Everlane. Full review on all of them in this post

I held out getting a pair of snakeskin boots for the longest time because I thought they were “too edgy” for me–but I was so wrong! Since the rest of my wardrobe is classic, they add the perfect twist and don’t feel too trendy or fashiony. A pop of pattern is ALWAYS a welcome addition to any outfit, and I’ve found that a pair of patterned shoes are all you need to make your entire wardrobe feel interesting and new again! I adore these snakeskin boots from Everlane! Full review on all of them in this post!

8. Go monochromatic:

monochromatic outfit

Dudley Stephens fleece turtleneck (TTS, wearing XS! Full review here!) I Everlane wide leg crops, J.Crew booties

monochromatic outfit

Everlane washable silk blouse, Similar moto jacket, Everlane modern loafer (on sale!) Everlane straight leg crop, Headband 

Big, BIG fan of monochromatic outfits over here. Often times when I don’t know what to wear, a monochromatic variation is what I gravitate toward. It always feels very simple and chic to me! I recommend adding a pop of pattern (or a contrasting color) somewhere if you’re doing black on black–a pair of leopard booties works perfectly!

I also don’t think you should feel like you have to stay away from neutrals in the winter. We often associate lighter colors with warmer seasons, but that’s definitely an old-school rule that I think is silly! If you live in a colder climate, you could definitely swap the loafers for neutral booties (you can wear socks with them! I would go with grey socks!) and layer a camel coat (this one is my favorite for layering because the cut is so roomy!) over the top of the moto jacket!

9. Don’t be afraid of white pants in the winter

Don't be afraid of white pants in the winter

Old sweater, Everlane wide leg crops (TTS, wearing 0), Tretorn sneakers (TTS) COMFIEST SNEAKERS EVER.

3 Ways to Wear White Jeans in the Winter

Trench, (runs big, I wear XS), Madewell white jeans (TTS), similar camel turtleneck, Madewell mules 

On that same note, don’t be afraid of wearing white pants in the winter! It’s TOTALLY doable and is one of my favorite ways to breathe life into the winter wardrobe you’ve become soooo sick of already. (UGHHH is it April yet?)

(I know my Chicago girls will be like “BUT BARE ANKLES!!!” so again, like the above, you can TOTALLY sub neutral booties here!)

10. Mix your prints + textures!

Mix your prints + textures

J.Crew booties (tts), Everlane Alpaca sweater (runs big!), J.Crew jeans (tts) ld scarf 

Two no-brainer ways to make an outfit more interesting: mix your prints, textures, or both! This outfit is an example of all of the above. The sweater and calf hair booties add interesting texture, while the leopard shoes and plaid scarf provide for a perfect juxtaposition of patterns. If you aren’t sure how to mix prints–remember to play with scale (one small, busy pattern, one bolder, less busy pattern). I find that plaid and leopard print ALWAYS tend to mix well for this reason! Leopard and thin stripes are also easy go-to’s!

I hope this gives you more inspiration to look at your winter wardrobe in a whole new light!

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