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Kelly McAuliffe writes...

After basically bagging on Katie Holmes the other day for wearing her peg-leg jeans day in and day out, I had one of those lightbulb moments later on in the evening that she's actually not the only one that's hitting a wall when it comes to style inspiration.

Yes, I have more in common with little ol' Katie than I realised, finding myself in a similar kind of style rut - and the results aren't pretty...

Skinny jeans, boots and a Sass & Bide oversized tank has become my uniform, and frankly, I'm disappointed in myself. I used to love experimenting with fashion and was always the first one to jump headfirst into new things. Time (lack of), the weather (lack of the nice sort) and general laziness have all contributed to my fashion zombie state. But hey, at least there's a silver lining. And that is: now I've finally figured that out, it's time to navigate myself out of it!

Here are ten things I'm planning to try to shake things up...

1. Write down a list of words that describe your personality and 'style', as well as any favourite colours, music, style icons, people or places you've travelled to. These will help shape some sort of idea about how you see yourself and what you're all about. Then write a list of words how you think other people perceive you - and how you want to be perceived. They could be words like 'fun', 'glamourous', 'serious', 'chic' or 'sexy'. Armed with these words, move on to Step 2...

2. Flick through your favourite fashion, design or travel magazines and tear out any pages or pictures that "speak" to you. It could be specific outfits, the way a model is wearing her hair, a pretty scenery shot, an amazing artwork or a wicked piece of furniture - but whatever you are drawn to is going to come together to form your "inspiration board". Websites (like this one!) and other street style blogs like The Sartorialist are great too, just print out any of your favourite piccies. If you want, add in some of those words you came up with earlier to create a collage that is all about YOU.

3. Spend an afternoon familiarising yourself with your wardrobe. I know that may sound silly, because you already stare inside that darned thing at least once a day! But you'll find setting aside a bit of time to look through it at a leisurely pace will make such a difference from that daily morning panicked feeling. Try mixing and matching up previously unthought-of combinations, laying them out on your bed and adding accessories. You may come across things you'd forgotten you owned (which you could try building an outfit around) or at the very least, discover things you no longer want which can be thrown away... or used in the next Step...

4. ...Which is to organise one of those Swap Parties we're always bleating on about! But truly, what better way to rejuvenate your wardrobe than by pilfering some of those things you've always eyed up in your friends' closets? And the happiest news of all - it's free!

5. One of the best things you can do to get yourself out of any kind of rut (not just a style one) is to break out of your comfort zone and do something you've never done before. Pick your favourite part of your bod which you hardly ever show off and really highlight it - if you have great pins, then show them off in an uber short skirt; if your waist is a constant source of jealousy from your colleagues then nip that baby in! You don't have to do out-of-comfort-zone crazy-fashion every day, but leaping out there every so often will garner you a barrage of compliments, give your self-esteem a boost and might even help you start thinking outside the box on an everyday basis...

6. Head to your local charity store and set yourself a challenge of seeing how many awesome items you can procure for a tenner. Make it your mission to wear one of these items in a different way once a week for a month (so people don't notice it's the same thing obvs!)

7. This one comes from Gemma and is a goody: Pack away the five things you wear the most and force yourself not to wear them for a month. (Ooh, what will I do without my favourite skinnies!?) This might mean having to go on a shopping expedition to add some new things to your repertoire...

8. But if you do go shopping and are about to go through the checkout, ask yourself: "Do I really need this item?" Because, chances are, you already have four grey vest tops and quite possibly, they are four of the five things locked up in your No Access box! Take a friend whose style you admire (and whose opinion you value) and ask them to help you pick out some items they think would suit you. They might choose things you wouldn't normally go for yourself or have a different eye to you for putting an outfit together. Warning: this might work, it might not. (Probably best your friend isn't offended easily either, if or when you reject all their offerings!) Another option (and probably a better one) is to go see an expert. Topshop have a Style Advisor service which is a totally free personal shopping experience where you leave it up to the professionals to help you get the look you're after.

9. There's nothing wrong with having a signature "look", but keeping it fresh is the key. Accessorising is the best way to change things up on a daily basis, so invest in some quality belts, some interesting and eye-catching jewellery and some versatile scarves and get experimenting. If you wear flat shoes all the time (or boots, like me!) then try wearing glam heels or wedges more often. This is one of the easiest things you can do to change your whole look, even if you keep on sticking to the same tried-and-true formula with the rest of the way you dress.

10. The biggest thing is to HAVE FUN. When you're having fun with fashion, you'll dress more creatively and be more inspired. Try not to take it too seriously and you're halfway there already! This is possibly easier said than done, but it could be as simple as planning your outfits the night before or getting up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to take the stress out of daily dressing. Or just coming up with other small ways to make fashion enjoyable again - like starting up a change jar, where you can reward yourself with a copy of Paris Vogue or a new nail polish from time to time. Treats are always good :)

Got any other ideas or tips for breaking out of a style rut? Share them in the comments below!