How to climb out of a style rut

Wardrobe boot camp: how to climb out of a style rut

Melissa Walker HornFashion, How to 19 Comments

Editor’s note: I’m heading to Sydney today to speak at the Digital Parents Conference. Helping me out over the next couple of the days are the first of some semi-regular freelance blogger contributions you’ll see here on Styling You. Because I’m commissioning these posts and these bloggers are helping me to keep my blog running while I’m away from regular duties, I’ll also be paying them for their contributions. Today, say hello to the beautiful Melissa from Suger Coat It.


Well hello there loyal readers of Styling You. This is Melissa from Suger Coat It reporting for duty, I’ll be taking this morning’s Boot Camp. Don’t worry, you are in good hands. The gym and I are like this *holds up two crossed fingers*. Okay, so there are no push ups and not a interval run in sight, instead today I am answering the call of Rachel.

Rachel is trapped in a style rut and with two kids under the age of three, she would like some advice on a style that will work for her. That includes flat shoes because life’s too hectic for anything else. Challenge accepted Rachel! This is the perfect challenge for me, I’m all about ladies finding a style that works for them, their body and their life.


The Plea

Get me out of my style rut.

Flat shoes!

Suits an active lifestyle.

Make this Mum of two feel fab!

The Tips

  1. Look for inspiration around you. Visit blogs, read magazine’s and check out other woman on the street. Start to get a feel for what sort of clothes you like, the colours, the shapes and the lengths. A Pinterest board if that’s more your style. Bit by bit not only will you notice what’s happening trend-wise for the season, but you’ll know what you like. Make sure you do the Styling You wardrobe audit so you know what you have now.
  2. Know a bit about what you like and don’t like. Head to a local department store (they have the most range of trends usually) and start trying things on the by armload. Don’t take your wallet so you’re not tempted to buy everything there. This is just a fact-finding mission. You can always ask them to hold something you can’t live without while you grab your money from your car. Start to learn what works on your body without the pressure to purchase.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Now the wardrobe challenge above won’t do you any good at all if you don’t pick up some of the new styles, colours and trends that you spotted in point 1. If you like an item then go to put it back, I demand you hang that one over your arm for later. Seriously. Try something you’ve never worn before, you might be surprised. If you’re a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, grab a skirt or dress. Or even some cropped pants. Try something different. Now’s your chance.
  4. Ditch the excuses. Maybe your issue isn’t that you don’t have any clothes, but that you really just stopped trying. Ouch, right? If this is the case then it’s time to ditch those excuses and make some time for yourself. As the commercials say, you’re worth it. Grab some points from the five-minute make up, learn to style your hair quickly and easily (I plait mine, a lot) and find something that excites you about getting out the door looking great!
  5. Preparation is key to a speedy morning routine. If mornings are horrible for you, take five minutes before you go to bed, when it is quiet and you can think to chose an outfit for the next day. Even try it on. Then hang the whole thing up ready for morning. Same goes for shoes, hair style and make up. Don’t forget accessories, add a scarf, necklace or some bangles. Decide everything the night before and you can run on auto-pilot the next morning and still look amazing.

The Shopping

These are my picks for some great, new season items that will shove you out of that style rut and into your busy life, no problem at all. For Rachel I chose items that would flatter her shape, suit her lifestyle and be comfortable to wear.

Styling You - How to Climb Out of a Style Rut

1. Lace elbow cardigan – ASOS Curve 2. Embroidered shirt – Just Jeans 3. MODA slim fit Jeans – Target 4. Maxi Dress – Virtu 5. Scarf – Virtu 6. Khloe Hi-Top – Betts 7. Flats – Target

Like Rachel have you found yourself in a style rut?
Or maybe you have just climbed out of one and have a tip to share with Rachel? Tell me all about it, pleeeeeease.

If you think you’d like to be considered as part of a Wardrobe Boot Camp post, then please email me ([email protected]) with a couple of photos and a brief run down of what specific help you would like. 


melissa walker horn suger coat it profile imageMelissa Walker Horn is the chief blogger at Suger Coat It, a blog about living the sweet life. Known as Suger, Melissa loves her family, too much butter on fresh bread and anything with stripes on it. She created the Confident You series and shares her love of fashion, the gym and cooking most days of the week on her blog or via her weekly newsletter. A social media addict and consultant, you will find Melissa anywhere you search for Suger with an e.

Comments 19

  1. Hi Melissa, gorgeous suggestions. I love the dress too! I often find myself in style ruts, sadly. But I’m working on it!

    1. I know what you mean. Nothing worse than not buying remorse. Esepcailly a few years later. I’m nervous to tell you this, but I have one with 3/4 sleeves from Virtu last year. Keep an eye out there, they stock sizes 12-24 {if that suits, from memory it does, right?}. I’ll keep my eyes peeled too.

  2. I feel much better now, seeing that tip 5 is about the only thing I managed to be able to nod at and think ‘I already do that!’. My husband thinks I am a bit OCD about it, but if I don’t lay out my entire outfit the night before (undies included), inevitably the morning runs away from me and I am left in a panic trying to find something to wear. Like Lisa, I do this on weekends too, when I don’t have to look a certain way or be out the door at a certain time – it just gives me a sense of calm, and some control over making sure I look good every day.

    I really like that scarf too – I splurged and bought myself a fuschia pink light scarf last week though, so I think I might need to hold off on new scarves for a little while. Do you have any advice about dipping my legs into coloured denim? I only have regular denim and a pair of white jeans that I have recently rediscovered as a versatile option in my weekend wardrobe.

    1. I’m glad Marianne. Let me know how you go. Haha. I’m sure my Hubby does too. But it works, so stuff it, I’m doing it anyway.

      Coloured denim, oh do I ever! If you’re dipping your toes consider navy or the new season maroon/oxblood colour and stick with neutrals on the top and with the accessories. Layers work well too. I prefer a slim fit cut myself but wear a style that suits you. Nikki has some great coloured jeans posts, I even have my mug in some of the galleries attached to them. 😉

  3. I love what you have picked for Rachel, Melissa,great outfit choices,that cardi is very cute.I have to agree about outfit planning that is my number one tip,choose your clothes the night before or even check out the weather forecast and do a weekly one on the weekend maybe.I always know what I am going to wear the next day because if I don’t I end up trying on umpteen garments and wasting time,that’s how I keep out of a style rut.even if I am not going anywhere I do the same ,it works for me and I should think it would work for most women as well.

    1. Thank you. I hope she does too. I have the cardie in my ‘saved items’ list now. I just can’t decide between the coral or the mint…

      I’m SO glad I’m not the only one who does this! I just find it so much easier to get out the door to the gym, home again and out the door to work if I don’t have to spend 20 minutes staring into my wardrobe. Great minds!

  4. Super cute scarf!
    Its so easy to get in a style rut, it happens to us all at some point {if we are honest}. My go-to confidence building staples are jeans, jackets and heels finished off with a scarf {if its not too hot here in SE QLD} and a bit jewellery. A pair of well fitting coloured skinnies can lift my spirits instantly 🙂
    Have a great party at the weekend Mel – Happy 30th!

    1. What a great go-to style. It’s amazing how much more ‘dressed’ you feel in a pair of coloured jeans over a straight denim. And I hear you loud and clear about the ‘if it’s not too hot’. Haha.

      Thank you Bev! Can’t WAIT. 🙂

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