Nothing instills confidence like a great outfit. When we know we look great and love what we are wearing, it feels like anything is possible. Does that sound like an exaggeration? It’s not. A recent study linking clothing choices and emotional states found that we should put on clothes that we associate with happiness even when feeling low.” Even science says clothes are important. Sweet validation. But how do we wear outfits we love every day when we may be working with limited time or resources? We get creative. Here are three unique ways to spice up your everyday wardrobe without breaking the bank or dedicating your life to closet curation.

1- Mix, Match & Layer

Clothing ruts happen when we’re busy living our lives. We wear the same top with the same pants each week and the same dress with the same shoes. It’s true that we’re creatures of habit, but at least we can be fabulously-dressed creatures! You don’t need all new clothes to escape the rut, you just need to change the way you think about your clothes. Try this–pull your five favorite tops out of the closet and lay them on the bed. Next, select your five favorite skirts and pants and lay them in a line under your tops. Now, your mission is to create new, unexpected combinations. Mix prints, fabrics, and even seasons! Fashion is an art and there’s no wrong way to do it. If you think it works, rock it. Your confidence will carry the outfit and your new combination will make it feel fresh off the rack.

2- Accessorize

Accessories breathe new life into old, favorite outfits. To accessorize is like adding sprinkles to an already delicious cupcake. And, chances are, you have lots of unused sprinkles in your home. To get started on your accessorizing adventure, take an inventory of what you own. Chances are you have a great brooch stashed in a jewelry box, five scarves in the back of your closet, and multiple hats throughout the house. Belts and purses? I bet they are aplenty. Lay these items out on your bed and look at them anew. Can you believe you own all of these unutilized treasures?! Neither can I. Now, think about how you can wear them. What favorite outfit can you add the brooch to? What dress do you own that would complement a beret? The possibilities are endless.

3- Change Your Shoes

Shoes can MAKE an outfit. Imagine this scenario–you wear your favorite black dress to work every week with your black flats. Then one week, you wear RED shoes. It’s like a whole new outfit! People are suddenly complimenting you (in this imaginary scenario) on how cute you look. Why? Because your dress is the accessory; your shoes are the star.

Your mission is to use shoes you already own in unexpected ways to mix up your outfits AND to go out and buy a great pair of shoes. That’s right, you are ordered to shop (if you can). If new shoes aren’t in the budget, consider borrowing from or trading with a friend!

There you have it! A three ingredient recipe to a million new outfits (give or take). Every day is a new chance to shine and when you look good, you feel good–even science says so. Let’s get busy mixing & matching, accessorizing, and shoe-shopping. Here’s to your mental health.

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