A few weeks ago, I was late for work. Why? Because I couldn’t find anything to wear. Honestly. Not. A. Thing. Without any warning, I’d woken up and discovered that I hated pretty much everything in my wardrobe. What I felt fine in only days before now filled me with utter disinterest. After spending at least 20 minutes stropping around, I put on the jeans, jumper and boots outfit I’d worn the day before and spent the rest of the morning feeling crap.
I have a severe case of what deputy editor Lucy calls End Of Season Fashion Slump – basically, that thing when you reach the end of winter and are bored stiff of the stuff you’ve been wearing for months, but don’t know what else to put on. It’s an absolute bugger. It’s also very common. A quick poll of The Pool HQ tells me that most of us are feeling very "meh" about getting dressed.
“I've been wearing the same jumper-and-shirt combo with the same jeans for three days,” came one reply.
“I'm bored and mildly depressed that the only change I can foresee is swapping my boots for Converse, and my jumpers for lighter tops. YAWN,” came another.
“I’m sick of my jumpers and bored of my coats. Help.”
Help indeed. Clearly, we’re amidst an EOSFS epidemic. So, what do we do?
Firstly, and somewhat predictably, a wardrobe spring-clean isn’t a bad idea. Whatever your method, be it Marie Kondo’s joy sparkers or my three-pile approach (keep, sell, recycle), get everything out of your wardrobe and have a sort. This will a) make it far easier to see what you actually have and b) uncover a few things you’d forgotten about. (Like that COS coat hiding under my bed – whoops.)
Without any warning, I’d woken up and discovered that I hated pretty much everything in my wardrobe
When putting stuff back in your wardrobe, don’t double-hang – you will forget about the thing underneath. Instead, buy a couple of packs of space-saving hangers. If you store anything in a folded pile (jeans, jumpers etc), every now and again flip the pile over, so you can see what’s on the bottom.
OK, once that boring bit is done, now comes the interesting part: buying stuff. This isn’t about having buy a whole load of new clothes – it’s about finding the things that will make the clothes you already have exciting again. As professional well-dressed person Kat Farmer, advises: “Buy one new thing that means you can wear the old outfits you're ridiculously sick of, but weather dictates you've no option.”
I struck success with my game-changing belt and am now on a roll. So, without further delay, here’s my what-to-buy-when-you-hate-everything-in-your-wardrobe list:
Hate your winter coat?
If you’ve had it up to here with puffers and parkas, then may I suggest a trench? Yes, yes, I know you’ve heard that one before, but they have had a remake this spring. Instead of classic beige, try one in khaki or go for a new shape like Topshop’s funnel-neck style.
An alternative option? I saw someone wearing this fabulous coat from Marks & Sparks this morning and was convinced it was Céline. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but trust me when I say this is a winner. Made from wool, it’ll keep you warm, but as it’s unlined, it isn’t bulky.
Bored of your jeans?
Cut the bottoms off. A trend that’s trickled down from the Vetements catwalk, raw hems are very “new season” and seriously easy to do. Trim your hems with a pair of fabric scissors, then stick them in the wash so that they fray. Perfect for updating your skinnies and absolutely marvellous if your jeans are too long. If you can’t be bummed to DIY, then these French Connection jeans are the ones everyone is talking about. High-waisted and slim-legged enough to still work with your shoes. Talking of which…
Sick of winter boots?
Had the same black boots on your feet for the past five months? Uh-huh. My heart sank a little when I put mine on this morning. Time for a change. While it’s still sock weather, I’d recommend sticking with the boot theme, but treat yourself to an update. Anything metallic will go with practically everything, while these khaki Office numbers are a welcome change to black/brown. Use a suede protector before you go outside – Jason Markk has a brilliant one.
Can’t stand wearing another jumper?
Swap it for a cardigan. A continuation of the loungewear phenomenon, long-line, slouchy cardis feel more spring-like, but still have the warm factor. Plus, they are great for throwing over those cold-shoulder tops when you inevitably get, er, cold. I saw someone the other day with a leather belt tied on top of hers – a look I will be copying.
Or, try a bright sweater. Hades, Whistles and Être Cécile are your go-to brands for these and they cheer up jeans no end. I love the La Vie Parisienne one from Être Cécile in pink – the undisputed colour of the season.
Need a top update?
Get yourself a shirt. Not a classic shirt, one with a twist – quite literally. Known in fashion-land as “deconstructed shirting”, these are just the thing to modernise your smart trousers. Uniqlo’s U collection brilliant collarless shirt has a boxy shape that looks great with one side tucked into your waistband. Check out New Look’s gingham tie-waist shirt, which looks far more expensive than its £27 price tag. Or, wear Madewell’s tie-sleeve shirt under your cardi with the ties poking out.
Want to wear a dress, but hate tights and it’s too chilly for bare legs?
OK, bear with me on this one. Dress-over-trousers is a thing. No, this isn’t 1998 calling – I’m being serious. Try wearing a long shirt dress over your jeans or a shorter tunic dress over smart trousers.