How To Turn An Item You Hate Into An Outfit You’ll Love

Fashion regrets. We all have them. I took a lot of time out in lockdown this year to really find out who I was when it came to my style, what I loved wearing and what flattered me. Made a moodboard of colours that worked for me and with each other and have worked hard at being pickier at selecting pieces to buy, so I only have what makes me feel amazing every day and so I am making more sustainable fashion choices.

However, now and then, the odd piece does tend to slip through the cracks. You know the ones. The pieces you get so excited about in the moment that you don’t really think it through and before you know what, you’ve clicked ‘Add To Cart’. And even though it is rare, I sometimes rip the labels off in excitement, only to realise that I don’t actually love the item as much as I thought I would when I was buying it, and now can’t return it. Please say it isn’t just me who does this?

As a result, it stays in my wardrobe, never gets worn will eventually end up being donated to charity where it will hopefully find the loving home it deserves. With 98% of my items, however, I try my best to be responsible and make them work in a minimum of two to three different outfits / scenarios, so I don’t feel like a completely wasteful human being who surrendered her virtue to the hands of fast fashion. A girl needs to be able to sleep at night, right?

Scroll through for a few tricks I’ve learned along the way to turn an item you feel ‘meh’ about into an outfit you’ll love. Whether its an old jumper your aunt knitted for you last Christmas or a trendy piece you were infatuated with, only to discover it went downhill faster than Instagram’s algorithm. Here’s how to spin it round and make it work for you, girl. And who knows? You might just end up reigniting that spark you felt in the first place (I swear we’re still talking about clothes).

Pair it with a new item you L.O.V.E
And I don’t mean just plain love. I mean the kind of item you have sleepless nights about. The one you feel lucky to wake up to every day (still talking about clothes, trust me). The one that makes you feel special, sophisticated and downright sass-ay. It’ll instantly elevate your mood and how you feel about the lesser loved piece. And knowing how good the outfit made you feel will have you reaching tor the item again.

Wear it with something super flattering

You know that one top you have that fits perfectly in all the right places? Or that skirt that makes your legs look miles long or that trusty pair of jeans that makes your derriere look like a work of art? Team the item in question with one that makes you love your body and feel more confident about yourself. The overall outfit’s feel-good factor will have you reaching for the piece again.

Throw a jacket over it

I’m a firm believer in adding a third piece to a look. In fact, sometimes, an outfit just doesn’t feel complete for me without it. A jacket or a coat will instantly transform your outfit, making it look more formal and well put together. Its also an added bonus when it hides most of the item you didn’t like to begin with!

Team it with something expensive

Like most women, nothing makes me feel more glamorous or luxurious than a designer item. Granted, I only own, like, three designer things which have all been given to me as gifts from James and family on birthdays or Christmases. But stepping out with my Mulberry bag on my arm just puts a spring in my step. Pairing your less loved item with one you’re really proud of will make you feel like a million £££, and make you feel infinitely better about the other piece. Don’t own anything designer? No sweat. Just pair it with the item you’re most proud to own in your wardrobe to achieve the same result.

Try it with a bright colour

I’m pretty sure its scientifically proven that wearing a bright colour instantly lifts your mood. No? Well, those scientists have their priorities a bit messed up then, haven’t they? Anyway, I always feel infinitely perkier when I wear a bright colour, especially on a dull day. And, truth be told, I inwardly applaud myself for making a bold choice when most people would chose black or neutrals. Pair your lesser loved item with a hot bright or even a sultry jewel tone to really help lift your spirits and have you feeling better about the piece.

Hair and makeup to the rescue

I follow a simple formula when it comes to getting dressed. If my outfit is on point with statement pieces or trends, I’ll massively tone down my hair and makeup and opt for just a touch of concealer, groomed brows and tinted lip balm so it doesn’t compete with or overshadow my outfit. However, if I wake up and throw on something a bit blah, I’ll make an extra effort with my makeup and hair to overcompensate for my clothes. This trick works if you’re wearing an item you’re not 100% sure of or in love with, too. Trust me, paint on a pretty pout, curl your hair and draw on some wings – you’ll feel like a whole new person, even with your dodgy item on.

Put a heel on it and call it a day

I don’t need to sing the praises of a high heel, do I? Okay, fine. It makes your legs look longer, your butt look higher, makes you walk with more confidence and makes any outfit look like you made a serious effort even if you only had ten minutes to dress that morning. Slip on your favourite pair to elevate your mood and your outfit and have you feeling more warmly towards the item in question, as well.

What’s that one item you bought that you instantly regretted? Mine has got to be a hot pink faux fur coat! Although I’d love to know yours, so share it with me in the comments below.

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ABOUT

Anushka Moore is a Manchester-based Digital Content Creator and Stylist at Smart Works Greater Manchester, where she empowers women to dress for success at interviews and jobs.

She is also founder of the widely celebrated Instagram Body Positivity movement, 'Midsize Collective'. Her work with Smart Works and Midsize Collective have been highlighted in publications and media institutions of repute such as The Telegraph, BBC Radio Manchester, WhoWhatWear and ELLE.

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