If Kim Kardashian needs to resort to naked Insta-selfies because she has ‘nothing to wear’ then heaven help the rest of us mortals and our walk-in-wardrobe-devoid realities. Here are eight tips from GRAZIA fashion director, Aileen Marr, for those nightmare days when your full closet is still an option-free barren wasteland. (Truth, even professional stylists have them). You’ll be pleased to know none involve social media in your birthday suit – unless, of course, that’s your bag.
1. Firstly, get a second opinion Stare at the same thing long enough and it will always turn into sartorial Valium, but that dress you think is blah at best because you’ve worn it a hundred times may look entirely different to someone else. “We always fall back to what we feel safe in or used to – which explains all the black and white or minimalist pieces in most of our wardrobes,” says Aileen. Ask your best friend or housemate to rifle through what you have. We guarantee they’ll pull out something you’d written off or come up with a fresh combo you’d not considered.
2. Work backward from accessories “If you’re certain you have nothing to wear, then accessories or jewellery are the easiest start to the solution,” says Aileen. Better still, the more fabulous the adornment, the simpler the rest of your outfit needs to be. “It helps that big costume jewellery, particularly earrings, are back in fashion. Take a pair of big-jewelled earrings you’d normally wear at night, and pair them with a simple daytime outfit, like denim or a plain tee. It will step the whole look up.”
3. Speaking of denim… If you’re really crafty (or on a budget), you could take an old pair of jeans and rework them yourself. Change the length, add embellishment, alter the leg shape – whatever gives them new life. “I’ve actually done this,” admits Aileen. “When the 70s-style, three-quarter culottes came back, I took an old pair of Levi 505s I didn’t wear anymore, cut them off and turned them into fringed culottes. They were already wide and high-waisted enough, so it saved me having to buy that style.”
4. Make it work a new way If you’re short of time, craft skills or the inclination, you can skip the remodelling and just wear the denim you have – be it jacket or jeans – with a little stylist flair. “Hitch your jeans up with a belt to make them a more 90s style on the waist, which is a really now way to style them,” Aileen suggests. “Even rough rolling up the cuff can make them look completely different.” If that look was good enough for Jada Pinkett-Smith to get Karl Lagerfeld’s front row approval pre-Chanel Autumn/Winter 2016 runway show, it’s good enough for the toughest fashion critic.
5. Dig out those hidden impulse buys Remember that crazy statement neon bag, star-printed dress or jewelled shoes that made your heart sing in the store, but you’ve never been brave enough to wear in situ? Time to reacquaint yourself. “Those out-there pieces your inner self was drawn to once made you feel happy for a reason. They’re beautiful. Unfortunately, there’s a security mechanism we all have that means we go back to familiar or safe pieces over and over. It’s why some women have 10 pairs of the same comfy black pants.” Give a look that’s radically different for you a chance on days you’re hitting a wardrobe brick wall anyway.
6. Turn a scarf into a kerchief Take a leaf out of Dolce and Gabbana’s AW16 runway styling book and add a Wild West-style neckerchief to the equation. “It’s what a lot of street style stars are doing now,” says Aileen. “You know those two-toned western ones? Twist it up, then tie it around your neck. It’s cheap and really quick, but can completely change an otherwise out-of-date outfit.”
7. Still struggling? Go back to black There’s a reason noir has long been the signature colour of the style set. “It always looks chic, is easy to accessorise and tends not to date if it’s good quality fabric.” Pull out a failsafe black dress, pants or jeans, add one crisp white button-up shirt or fitted tee, then refer to point two, above.
8. Finally, if all else fails Just take a deep breath, step away from the mirror and relax. Unless you’re on your way to the Oscars red carpet, trust us, nobody will be judging your clothes as much as you are right now. Aileen’s parting message? “You know a sneaker works with every outfit now, right?” Amen to that.