Friday, 20 September 2013

5 ways to break the Jeans + T-shirt/Hoodie barrier

When I was a teenager I had a distinctly 'grunge' phase. Personally I think a lot of people tend to go one of two ways, the first is more Nirvana inspired, and the second is more Adidas inspired... At my school you were either a bit chavvy or a bit 'individual'. So in a certain period of my teens I favoured big baggy jeans, studded collars, fishnet (anything), stripy knee high socks and hoodies. After that period I still favoured the good old jeans and hoodie combination because I hadn't really figured out who I was, where I belonged and my self confidence was shot to pieces by a particularly mean boyfriend. My mum would pick up tops with frills or lace and I would be screwing my face up in disgust. Going out outfits consisted of jeans and a nicer top, never anything different.

You may have realised that this is not the person I am now, or even was by my early twenties. I'm now a dressaholic and I have seen the light, there's more to clothing than just jeans, hooray! However I do admit that once you've got stuck in the jeans and top/hoodie/t-shirt rut it can be very difficult to get out of. I remember putting on a skirt for an evening out and feeling like I was horrendously overdressed and thinking everyone would laugh at me. I'm not sure what compelled me to wear a skirt, maybe I'd seen something in a magazine or on someone else, maybe I was trying to impress a boy, I don't know, but I did it. And slowly over time I've turned into the clothing opposite of what I was. I wear dresses, I wear skirts, I wear nice shoes, and sometimes I still wear jeans. So I wanted to write a post for anyone who wants to embrace their
feminine side but is struggling a little bit, because I know that there are people out there that are like I was!

1. If you're not feeling brave enough to ditch the jeans yet, change your shoes
If you change your shoes then you can stay in the 'denim zone' where you feel comfortable but change the way your outfit looks. I find that if I put on a nice pair of ballet flats then I'm less likely to put on a hoodie because I think the combo looks a bit silly. For me, putting on a nice pair of shoes encourages me to put on a nicer top, and I already have a more girly, trendy looking outfit. If it's winter then you can wear a nice pair of boots, or in summer some cute sandals. If you shop somewhere like Clarks then you can get nice looking shoes that are as comfortable as a pair of trainers.

2. A denim skirt is a good place to start
I think that the denim skirt is ideal for women making their first tentative step outside of the jean rut. Mainly because any top you would wear with your jeans can be worn with a denim skirt and it helps you get used to wearing a skirt. Denim skirts can be bought in a variety of styles, from A-Line, to pleated, to pencil. I recommend an A-Line style to get you started. You might not be so keen on getting your legs out fully, so a pair of leggings can be worn under a denim skirt. I personally find leggings more comfortable than tights, and they can be purchased pretty cheaply in places like Primark. Here are some choices to get you started:
Denim Skirts

3. Purchase a skater style dress in a colour or print you like
I love skater dresses, they probably make up the bulk of my wardrobe. They are cut in a way that means that they are fitted around the bust and waist but then the skirt flares out meaning that if you have a bit of a tummy, or you're not comfortable in figure hugging clothing, then they're ideal, and I think they suit everyone. Even if you're 'big up top' and need to buy a bigger size then you can use a waist belt to pull the dress in around your waist. Skater dresses are comfortable and easy to wear. A dress requires less thought than even jeans and a t-shirt because you can just put the dress on and you're done. If it's winter then you can wear a cardigan/jacket/coat and leggings/tights. If it's summer then nothing else is needed.
As you get more confident then you can experiment with add-ons such as collars, belts, scarves. I advise you to pick a colour or print that you like so that you'll want to wear it. Here are my favourite low budget, easy to wear skater dresses:
Skater Style
All dresses under £25, click the one you like for more details!

4. Push yourself out of your comfort zone
Going outside of your comfort zone is scary. But if we didn't do it, where would we be in life? We'd never go for that new job or a promotion. We'd never put our heart out there and go on a date with a new person. In fact if we didn't ever go outside of our comfort zone then we'd never leave the house! The same applies to your clothing. When you're out shopping try on something that you wouldn't normally try. Even if it's just a different colour or print. Sometimes you have to try something different and even if it doesn't work then at least you know that and can move on. Sometimes leaving your comfort zone gives new opportunities and opens up new avenues for you. Don't be afraid to bet on yourself and if you don't feel confident my best tip is to fake it until you get to a point where it will start to come naturally.

5. No jeans doesn't have to mean more effort/time
A lot of people go for that jeans and t-shirt combo because they say that they don't want to spend lots of time and effort on how they look. Some people say that they're not that superficial. I'm here to point out that breaking out of the jeans and t-shirts doesn't have to take any more time and effort. Pulling out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt is no different to pulling out a skirt and a top. And a dress is even quicker. Just because you're wearing a skirt or a dress, it doesn't mean that you have to have a whole face full of make-up or perfectly blow dried hair. You can still go with no make-up and your hair in a ponytail. Wearing a dress doesn't have to mean 'dressed up' because you can wear a dress casually. Here are some examples:
Miranda Kerr, courtsey of DM
Taylor Swift, courtsey of The Model Stage
So there you have it, wear what you like and what you feel best in, but if you're wanting to break out of a rut but don't know how, I hope I've helped!

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