We've all been there. That moment – usually sometime around March, as the cataracts of winter begins to lift – when we suddenly realise we've effectively been wearing the same clothes day in and day out for the past five months.
I realised I was in a style rut this year on around 6 February, when I looked in the mirror and saw that I'd been wearing some form of woolen over-shirt, a white T-shirt and a pair of baggy woolen trousers since November. Part of the reason was that the looseness of the fabric helped hide the remnants of my Christmas gut (soon to be replaced by Easter paunch) but the other was I'd lost my style inspiration somewhere in the gloom of the British winter.
Fortunately, summer's here! Which means that with renewed vigour we can dust off the cobwebs and get back into the habit of dressing well. If you're still in need of some inspiration I've pulled together a few key points to help pull you out of your rut and get you back on the style train. Toot toot!
1 | Try a new colour
If like most men - myself included - you spend your life wearing one colour - say, for argument's sake, navy blue - then the likelihood is that your clothes probably all look and feel quite similar. Embracing a new colour – green, for instance – will force you to rethink your wardrobe a bit, and invest in new pieces that match your chosen colour. Like a stylish landslide, this tiny change will potentially initiate a seismic shift in the structure of your wardrobe, which – if you're stuck in a style rut – is definitely no bad thing.
2 | Embrace a new trend
Playing it safe is all well and good, but embracing a new trend – baggy trousers say, or Hawaiian shirts – will (like choosing a new colour) force you to think differently about the rest of your wardrobe. What's more, it'll feel exciting to step out in something no one has ever seen you in before – the shock of the new can sometimes be the perfect stimulant for positive change.
3 | Find a stylist
If you're really struggling, speaking to a personal stylist or someone who can read your colours (pick the shades which best suit your skin) can make all the difference and help kick start your personal style revolution.
4 | Add in a layer
One of the best ways to refresh a tired look can be to throw in an unexpected layer. Try, for instance, teaming your shirt, tie and suit combo with a knitted polo shirt worn over the top of your regular shirt. The extra layer will add depth and an Italianate extra dimension – the compliments you'll receive will also spur you on to make more changes.
5 | Buy a new suit
Nothing will make you feel better about the way you look and dress than stepping out in a perfectly cut suit. If you're feeling in a rut head to a tailor, get a suit made (made-to-measure tailoring is surprisingly affordable these days – Tommy Hilfiger has a great service, as does Club Monaco) and notice what a difference it makes – the confidence boost will get your retail juices flowing again in an instant.
6 | Go to the gym
Activity, they say, precedes motivation. Which means that sometimes you just need to get up and make a change for the desire to change to follow. With that in mind, hit the gym, get some endorphins going, loose that winter weight and be motivated to have your clothes looking good on you again. It'll work, promise.
7 | Read Esquire
Duh. For the best style advice at any time of year, look no further than the best men's magazine in the world (we've got a pretty great website, too).