Late February is the time of year when you open your wardrobe and want to vomit on all of your clothes. You feel you have worn everything a million times, everything makes you look fat, pale, gross, boring — you name it. You would go shopping for new clothes, but you are either too tired, too busy or too broke.
I’m sad to say there is no easy solution to the style winter blues. I myself have been experiencing the same dull mornings standing in front of my closet with a blank face and negative amounts of inspiration.
It would be easy to refer to some of Rochester’s vintage thrift stores — Godiva’s on South Avenue, Far Out Vintage at Village Gate — but those options still involve time, energy and money you could be spending on Starbucks the night before an exam.
So the answer, my fellow students, does not lie in the expanse of the fashion world but in ourselves. No matter how often I look at J. Crew’s spring lookbook, the clothes are not going to magically appear on my body. I think the problem, and the solution, all reside in our mindset. We loved our clothes at one point — at least, I hope so, or else we would not have bought them.
Perhaps they grow tired with the repetition of the recyclable winter look that we all fall into: Leggings, tunic, boots. Skinny jeans, blouse, cardigan, slightly different boots. Tee, blazer, straight-legged jeans, booties. And maybe, if the wind chill is above twenty degrees, you can throw on a pair of tights.
You can mix and match and harp on as many variations as you can think of, but the winter is a long, sometimes seemingly eternal season. Here are some cures for the sickly stylist trapped in winter’s funk:
1. Integrate spring pieces into your winter wardrobe. It’s a little too early to bring out your short shorts and halters, but there are some ways you can work in spring pieces to freshen up the tried and true winter staples. Wearing shorts with tights is a popular option, some others that are a bit edgier include: wearing turtle necks under thinner spring dresses, tunics over maxi skirts, cut-off sweaters with airy blouses or even layering skirts over skirts — a bubble skirt over a body-con, for example.
2. Swap clothes with your friends. You would be shocked at the clothes your friends do not wear that sit in their closets, and they will probably be equally appalled at the fact that you can never bring yourself to drag certain pieces out of yours.
Work out a system where you can exchange them, if only temporarily, and you may be surprised how one new piece can liven up clothes you’ve long grown tired of.
3. Experiment with accessories. For the days you seriously cannot unearth what you feel to be a decent outfit, why not exercise some creativity outside of your wardrobe? Throw in a belt (or two) unexpectedly, pile on extra necklaces or bracelets. Wear two watches just for the hell of it. Wear those crazy socks you usually avoid (with cuffed jeans so they actually show). Exercise some stylish abandon. Who do you have to impress, anyhow?
4. Pretend every day is laundry day. There is a certain phenomenon, as my good friend Sarah Young related to me, in which the closer you approach laundry day, the more creative you are forced to be with your outfits.
You have to pull from the leftovers, and sometimes these combinations are even better than when you are at liberty with all of your clothes. What if those reliable jeans are dirty, along with your favorite basic tees and oversized sweatshirt? What would you wear? Challenge yourself every now and then, and I think it will pay off.
5. Read Style Bubble, the blog by style icon Susie Bubble. The outfits she pulls off are unbelievable and would give a hefty surge of fashion courage to any of us timid in our choices. She also blogs about experiments in hair, make-up, nails and accessories: If you ever think you have exhausted all of the fashion the world has to offer, head on over to stylebubble.typepad.com and be ready to be proved inexorably wrong.
Burritt is a member of the class of 2013.