It’s winter. Still.
And it’s cold. Still.
Every year as the early winter months roll in, I think to myself, “Hey! This isn’t so bad! Winter clothes are so much fun anyway!” And then February hits, and I’m cold and bored with my clothes.
In the winter in northern climates, it’s particularly easy to get into a clothes rut. You’re cold, and you reach over and over for whatever you know is comfortable and cozy. I spend most of the winter in the same three turtleneck sweaters and the same pair of jeans. I have a favorite scarf and hat (the warmest ones, obviously). I try to vary my boots, but again, I tend to go for the warmest ones. I’m sure I’m not alone in all this—because it’s winter, after all! Our wardrobes, like ourselves, can end up in survival mode.
But wearing the same thing over and over again can get boring and a bit depressing. So regularly every February I find myself buying more winter clothes, by which I primarily mean sweaters. (I have more sweaters than I can possibly wear, but I get so bored that I buy more.)
So this year, I’m going to try something different: I’m going to try Hilary Rushford’s “Ribbon and Record” method. The method is simple: you put a ribbon on one end of your closet. When you wear that item, you pull it from behind the ribbon. When you undress that night, you place the item on the other side of the ribbon. (For folded clothing, place a piece of paper or cardboard on top of the pile or in the front of the drawer, and move items to the other side as you wear them.) Rushford recommends this method as a way to challenge yourself to diversify your daily dressing.
How so? Basically, once you’re worn something and placed it on the “worn” side of the ribbon, you can’t wear it again. You have to keep choosing items from the “unworn” side. If you make yourself follow her method for a few weeks, you’ll find yourself putting together outfits you wouldn’t otherwise think of and wearing pieces that you’ve forgotten about! I find my personal style has been following the minimal trend, so I’m excited to try pairing bright colors and prints in a way that’s outside my current comfort zone!
Try to challenge yourself here—don’t cheat, even when it comes to basics, like denim. You’ll find yourself reaching for your summer white denim (try pairing with a cozy white sweater for some major winter fashion), cropped pants (hello, tights + booties), light blouses and knits (pair them under sweaters, vests, and house coats for the warmth you need), chiffon skirts (pair with a chunky, long knit and cool bootie), thin blazers (pair them over a turtleneck and under a coat for a cool layered look), and traditionally “summer” colors (turquoise and coral in the winter?! Hello, happiness!).
Of course, unless your closet is unlimited, you’ll eventually run out of truly “unworn” pieces. Since this is just about making dressing more fun, go ahead and start the process over again when you find yourself getting stymied. You could even give yourself “two wears” for basics like jeans (you could try a double-ribbon here: move past ribbon one on the first wear and then past ribbon two on the final wear.)
The process is about rediscovering the possibilities in your closet and challenging your personal style, so have fun! Happy outfitting!