Before fashion was ever about rules, trends, and designers, it was intended as a tool for individual expression. It may seem like there’s a list of dos and don’ts to be aware of every time the season changes, but the truth is: the only thing you need to start styling your own outfits is you! Take a moment to embrace your authentic self and dive into the journey of self-expression. Here’s a few tips to get you started:
Start with a Classic Favorite
Start small. It may feel intimidating to style a new outfit, so begin by choosing something that you already love to wear. Maybe you have a go-to winter flannel. Now, think about what you usually wear with that flannel, then, instead of going with your normal look, choose to pair the flannel with something completely different. Maybe you usually put on a pair of black jeans and white boots. This time, try a skirt with tights and a cardigan. That flannel looks brand new again, doesn’t it? But don't stop there, keep experimenting! What looks like you?
Many of us have everything we need to style a new outfit in our closets already; we just get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget to be conscious about what’s available to us. Restyling old favorites gives you the chance to create something new while staying in something familiar—and don’t worry about getting too far out of your comfort zone for now; that will come later.
At times, we may not immediately know what styles match our personalities. It’s a process that for some of us, takes consistent experimentation and reconsideration. If this sounds like you, surprise yourself by trying something on you never envisioned yourself wearing. It’s possible that someone who swore off overalls three years ago may never find themself without them now. Embrace your personal evolution! Even if your response is: “No, that definitely does not look like me,” you are still one step closer to discovering what does look like you!
Imitating Role Models
You would be surprised by how much fun you can have by imitating the fashion choices of a role model. We’re not just talking about celebrities or models right now; pick a grandmother, an aunt, a friend, a teacher, or anyone else you admire. Now, think about what they wear and how they express themselves with their wardrobe. What can you learn? What stands out to you the most?
After you answer these questions, you hopefully will have a pretty good idea of what you want to imitate and personalize for yourself. Maybe wearing a scarf reminds you of your grandmother baking bread in the kitchen, or a certain style of jeans resembles your mother’s look when she was younger. Whoever your role model is, they want you to be you too, which is why it’s always good to add a personal touch when you borrow style ideas.
Express a Characteristic
A fun way to get started with styling your own outfits is to pick a characteristic that describes you to act as a theme for your look. If you are having a hard time coming up with a characteristic you would use to describe yourself now, choose a characteristic you aspire to be described as in the future. As an example, let’s select “easygoing.”
Now, envision how this characteristic makes you feel and how it may manifest itself physically. For the easygoing example, one might envision a soft look that features flowy pants or gentle lines. You may attribute more comfort to this look, while another may be thinking primarily of confidence. That’s what makes this tip so much fun; two people can come up with the same characteristic while achieving entirely different results! The trick is to match your style with the parts of yourself you love most—now that’s fashion.