What Your Fashion Slump May be Trying to Tell You About Your Style

Fashion Slump I outed myself on my Facebook Page this morning; I’ve officially fallen into a black leggings fashion slump.  Granted, they are my favorite leggings by Coolibar that I now own three pairs of because, having such a lovely relationship with this SPF 50+ clothing company, they basically supply me, like a drug dealer,with unlimited pairs for free.

Yet, after I outed myself, not surprisingly, it seemed I wasn’t alone. I received some comments from others being in their fashion slumps.  While I knew I couldn’t be the only woman in the world who has started to cling to one wardrobe item like a security blanket, when you are me, people often hold me to a higher fashion standard.  Let me be clear, I’m just like any other woman out there, I just know a bit (well a lot) more about fashion than the regular woman on the street.  However, this doesn’t mean that I am not human and, honestly, I think being this real woman with a real body, a real budget and a real life is part of what has made me relatable as a fashion expert over the years….or not.  I don’t know.

Fashion slump

Giving thought to my own rut, it got me thinking; is a fashion slump simply caused by unrealistic expectations about how we think we should look and what we should be wearing?   Is it possible that our fashion slump is trying to tell us something about our style that we should be paying attention to?

At the moment, my life is really simple.  When I’m not working with clients, socializing or networking with business friends, I’m working from home, writing, emailing and/or figuring out new ways to grow my career and business.  When I take a break from working, I usually run errands in my small Brooklyn neighborhood where makeup is optional and hipster slob and dirty hair reigns supreme.  My life is normal, just like yours.  Actually, your life may be more fabulous than mine, quite frankly.

Obviously, nobody feels good when they are in a fashion slump.  Yet, when most women finally grow tired of feeling so blah, they usually do something drastic to wake themselves and their wardrobes up from their comas– like the woman who is sick of UGGS going out and buying heels even though her life doesn’t call for them or the super casual lady lost in a sea of sweatshirts purchasing spangly tops for a nightlife she doesn’t have.

After these desperate-to-change measures occur, what happens next is and all too common; the items hang there creating nothing but guilt and remorse, money has been wasted and the woman who finally tried to change is still wearing her fashion slump clothes, simply because she didn’t change realistically or purchase things for the truth of her life.

I truly believe that a fashion slump has the ability to tell us something about ourselves, our values, our priorities and give us an opportunity to take a realistic look at our lives.  I’m certainly not implying that if you’re in a fashion slump you should miserably remain there, however, what I do think you need to look for more items that you not only love but also work for the life you are living, no matter how normal, “unfabulous”, routine or basic your life is.  Nobody is saying these items have to suck or be horrible, they just need to work.

Look at Your Fashion Slump for Style Clues

Look at the items you keep going back to over and over again and see what other similar pieces could be added to these standbys that are becoming routine and boring or simple and easy ways you can dress up what has become boring. For example, if you’ve begun to get tired of your black pants for work that you’ve been  wearing with a basic sweater, maybe it is time to look for different shoes, some new jewelry or pops of color.

Fashion slump

My favorite Coolibar Leggings.

Right now, black leggings are totally working in my life.  They’re comfortable, easy to dress up or down and, being someone who sits a good majority of the day, are not binding or constricting.  To get out of my slump of relying on them too much, I have two options: either deny that they are serving me (right now, not forever) and find something else to wear (because some little voice in my head is telling me that I should) , or, I accept these pants as a wardrobe staple for the time being and find new ways of wearing them that make me feel more stylish and less slumpy.  Being a practical person, I’m going with the latter.

Yes, makeovers are fun.  The past ten years of my career has been centered around making people over.  Yet, there is not a makeover on the planet that will be effective if the reality of one’s life is not considered.

I truly admire people who can get it together more than me, who always look coiffed even if they have nowhere to go.  However, I have learned that I’m just not that person.  Sure, I could pine for that, devote more time to looking a certain way on days when it isn’t important that I do so, and spend 45 minutes in the bathroom doing my hair, but, I won’t.   I have accepted this about myself.

Part of freeing yourself from a fashion slump just comes from embracing  accepting what’s working and then creating a style around that.

  • Darien

    just bought nice shorts in hopes of getting out of the California blues! Good idea!

    • http://Bridgetteraes.com/ Bridgette Raes

      Glad you felt this was helpful! Enjoy those shorts!

  • JeanmarieP

    So true, my dear Bridgette…buying items that do not fit into my life is a constant struggle (emotionally and financially). I have to adjust my mindset not my wardrobe! – thank you!

    • http://Bridgetteraes.com/ Bridgette Raes

      Hi Jeanmarie! I’m so glad that my point was successfully communicated! Embrace your life and your style!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sassinak Angela Sassinak Barsotti

    my best friend and i share a wardrobe somehow. not all of it, never jeans for example, but most. this is funny cause i’m 5’11/180lb and she’s 5′/116 and yet it works. we can wear the same dress an hour apart and no one notices.

    anyway in the last two weeks we went through our ENTIRE closets (one more day still for scarves/jewellery) including lingerie and tried on everything that wasn’t already in heavy rotation and a few things that were.

    result? FOUR giant bags to a friend whose whole social circle got great stuff from them and the rest to goodwill. ONE giant bag to another friend who is in between us and shaped differently, two big bags to my closet and one and a half giant bags leaving it, FIVE giant bags leaving the shopaholics place plus a bag of shoes and two wardrobes that work, that pop, that are filled with pieces we love and two girls who are SO excited to wear the clothes they forgot they owned!

    we think even the shopaholic will shop less because she will actually LIKE her outfits now.

    anyway, we are blessed to have each other and not need a lady like you but i can tell from your writing that you are an excellent friend to have in the room when the time comes to part with cherished things… your clients are lucky.

    also have you considered branching out to green or navy or superdark purple tights?

    • http://Bridgetteraes.com/ Bridgette Raes

      Hi Angela!
      What a great story! If there were more women with friendships like that out there I guess I’d be out of a job, happily! I think you guys did the right thing and it is amazing when you just take the time to really be honest with yourself how quickly your wardrobe can become more fulfilling and workable! Often, when I get in the closets with clients it’s just to give them permission to let go of or embrace what they’ve been feeling is right. So much of my job is validation!

      And, yes, considering I NEVER wear black, except for these leggings, I will definitely consider those colors, for sure! Hmm, maybe you’ll need to come work for me. ;)