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Rewrite the Rules: Five Common Style Mistakes That Are Making Your Outfits Boring

Are your outfits feeling a bit…blah? Get out of your style rut by fixing these five common mistakes.

By Madeleine Kim

In our Rewrite the Rules series, we lay out the basics of building—and maintaining—your ideal Power Casual wardrobe. This installment tackles a common getting-ready dilemma: Your outfit feels boring—but you can’t figure out why.

When we’re talking about outfits feeling “boring,” it’s important to make one thing clear: Boring is in the eye of the beholder. Whether or not you think an outfit is interesting depends on many factors, from your personal style to your past experiences. What I might see as an enviably chic all-black look could appear bland to someone else.

Plus, even the most interesting outfits eventually lose their novelty. When I flip through photos of celebrities on the red carpet, I’m thrilled by the inventive silhouettes and unexpected colors I see. But a week later, those outfits have shown up on my social media feeds a dozen times over, and they lose a bit of their luster. 

When it comes to your own wardrobe, what matters most is that your outfit is interesting to you. Getting dressed is an inherently creative exercise that you do every single day, and it’s worth doing that exercise in a way that brings you inspiration and joy. Here are five mistakes that may be making your outfits feel boring—and how to avoid them.


Fearing unconventional color combinations.

If you want to make your outfit more interesting, color is perhaps the most obvious place to start. Try experimenting with unusual color combinations: You’ll have fun (at least I did…), and your resulting outfits will be anything but boring. To get you started, I’ve put together a few of my favorites:

The bright pinks, clear blues, and caramel-y browns of the Nene dress in peacock print paired with the Moreland jacket and Rowan flats in olive green.

• The cool, crisp blue of the Evie top in breeze coupled with the warmth of the oregano Daria jeans and cognac Carter slides.

• The tonal pairing of the Tatum shirt in galaxy blue and the chambray Mejia pants, accented by the berry-jam pink Rowan flats.


Making underpinnings an afterthought.

You’re having a great hair day. Your power suit is tailored to perfection. Your shoes are chic but comfortable. So why does your outfit feel so…blah? Chances are, your underpinning could use an upgrade. When you’re wearing classic cuts like the Yiyan petite blazer and Mejia pants, your top is your opportunity to let your personality shine. Try infusing some color into your wardrobe with the clover-colored Emmy top, which is machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and odor-resistant. If you’re more into patterns, reach for the washable-silk Tatum shirt in whimsical Sahara print. We also love introducing texture with knit tops, like the Giada, which make your outfit feel slightly less buttoned-up.


Sleeping on accessories.

Many people don’t think about their accessories until they’ve planned the rest of their outfits—I’m guilty of this myself. But sleeping on accessories is a mistake. Often, when you have that “nothing to wear” feeling, it’s not actually because you have nothing to wear—it’s because you’re sick of wearing the same old outfit combinations. Learn from the wisdom of style pro Tashira Halyard, and take an accessories-first approach to dressing. Instead of wearing your dress as-is, add a thick, textured belt. Rather than relying on your usual black shoes, try something in snakeskin print. And definitely don’t wait for a special occasion to use your special purse.


Avoiding unique silhouettes.

We’re all for a luxe T-shirt or a great pair of cigarette pants, but your wardrobe should also include some pieces with a bit more personality. Next time you’re deciding which top to wear with your jeans, choose the one with the sculptural sleeves and a chic plaid pattern. Instead of reaching for a pencil skirt or an A-line skirt, try the Astor skirt, which is a pencil skirt on the top and an A-line on the bottom. Want something more fashion-forward? Go for an all-oversized look with the Wren top, Zhou culottes, and Ella sandals.


Only wearing blazers with suits.

Blazers are some of the most versatile pieces out there—they can serve as so much more than the top halves of suits. Give almost any outfit more structure and polish by adding a blazer. Looking for a sleek, powerful night-out ensemble? Try the O’Hara blazer with the silk jersey Aubry top and vegan leather Harrington leggings. Need a spring-ready Power Casual outfit? Tuck the striped Leslie T-shirt into the stretchy Harlem skirt, then finish it off with the Hyo jacket in everyday twill.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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