Weird as it may sound, when you're stuck in a fashion rut, the last thing you want to do is go shopping. That's how people end up with six of the exact same top and nothing they actually want to wear.
The problem isn't that your clothes are ugly or you have no style; you're just bored. You need to mix things up and make getting dressed fun again! Here are seven stylish games that will help you shake off that sartorial funk.
1. Remove all the black from your wardrobe for one whole week.
- Don't just avoid the black pieces. Get them out of your sight. Drop them at a friend's apartment, take them to your parents' place, or shove them in the trunk of your car—just get them out of there. Don't worry. It's only temporary.
- Next, hang up all your remaining clothes and organize them by silhouette and color. That way you can really see what you have to work with.
- Now, start making outfits. Take pics as you go so you remember what works.
- Throughout the week, keep a running list of items you don't already own, adding to it every time you put together an outfit and think, This outfit would be even better if I only had ______.
The Payoff: By the end of the week, you should feel less dependent on black clothing and have a nice little collection of no-black outfits photographed that you can refer to if you find yourself slipping back into old habits. Reward yourself for all your hard work by taking your closet wish list and going shopping. Just try to stay away from anything black.
2. Make outfits at random and just see what happens.
- Set up different bags for different types of clothes and accessories—one for pants, one for shoes, one for jackets, etc.—and then divide up all your stuff into their corresponding bags.
- Without looking, pull out one item from each bag until you have a completed look.
- Lay it out on the floor and take a picture of it, then put all the pieces back in their proper bags and do it again.
The Payoff: You may find that combinations you never would have put together on purpose actually look really good. And even if that doesn't end up happening, at least you'll be having a little fun with your wardrobe for a change.
3. Wear the same basic outfit for a whole week. Two weeks if you can stand it.
- Choose an easy, versatile outfit you can wear at work or on the weekend. The simpler and more straightforward it is, the better.
- Pull out enough underwear to last you the week and then put everything else away—jewelry, shoes, bags, clothes. All of it. Leave nothing out but the clothes and accessories you have already pre-selected.
- Wear your outfit every day for one whole week. Stretch it out to two weeks if you can. Just make sure the pieces in your outfit are machine washable so you can clean them as needed.
- Every time you find yourself longing for a specific piece from your wardrobe, write it down.
The Payoff: At the end of the week, reopen your closet and look at your wardrobe with fresh eyes. After wearing the same outfit for so long, your other clothes should look much more appealing to you.
Take the list you've been working on all week and gather up every item on it. Lay them out on your bed or on the floor and start making outfits with other items from your wardrobe. Every time you put together something you like, take a picture of it. You'll be amazed at how versatile and fun your wardrobe really is.
4. Ask a stylish friend to dress you for one week.
- Invite your friend over and let them loose in your closet. Make sure to set up ground rules for work outfits in advance, but keep in mind that the fewer restrictions you give them, the better.
- Leave the room to let them work in private.
- Once they have put together a week's worth of outfits for you, bag up all your other stuff and either put it in a spare room or even have them take it back to their place for the week so you won't be tempted to cheat.
- Send them a photo of your outfit every day for a week to prove you are really wearing what they chose for you and update them on how you're feeling about the process.
The Payoff: It's amazing how giving control to someone else can help change your perspective. It may be uncomfortable at first, but stick with it. The more open to the experience you are, the more you will get out of it.
5. Trade wardrobes with one of your friends for a month.
- Find a friend in a similar situation and offer to trade closets.
- Invite her over to your apartment and let her pick out whatever she wants from your wardrobe. Nothing is off limits except fine jewelry and underwear (for obvious reasons).
- Once she has picked you over, head over to her house and do the same.
- As the month goes by, make a list of the items from your wardrobe that you miss and the items from her wardrobe that you are most enjoying. Have your friend do the same.
The Payoff: At the end of the month, share your lists with each other and see if you can make some of your trades permanent. If you can't work anything out, NBD. Just take your list and go shopping.
6. Wear one piece a different way every day for a week.
- Have a friend choose one item from your wardrobe—a top, a dress, a skirt, whatever.
- Once the key item has been selected, it's your job to style it in a different way every day for a week—for work, class, dates, everything. If you're stumped, have your friend help you with some ideas before they go.
- Every day, send them a photo of your outfit to prove you are sticking with it.
The Payoff: Even if you don't end up liking all the outfits you wear that week, it will show you how versatile your wardrobe really is.
7. Have a social media style-off with one of your friends.
- Every day for a week, you and your friend will take pictures of your outfits and send them to each other.
- Pic Stitch them together, and post the final image on social media, asking people to vote on whose look they like the best.
- At the end of the week, the person with the most successful outfits on social media wins a free drink at the bar.
The Payoff: Sometimes a little friendly competition is just what you need to get your creative juices flowing. That and the promise of free booze!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.