for insiders only

Welcome! You’re here because you’ve subscribed to my Insider’s List, and I’m so happy to have you! The first bit of inspiration I’d like to share with you is below. Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

7 Style Experiments to Try Right Now

It’s hard to stay energized and optimistic when you feel like you’re caught up in the daily grind. Whenever that happens to me, either in my work as a designer, or with life in general, I know it’s time to try something new.

Here are seven experiments you can try right now, to kick-start your creativity and get inspired again!

 

Ajak Deng for Anthropologie GabiFresh for ASOS

experiment #1: un-mix your matches

Let’s start easy…you probably already wear some of your matched sets separately, right? Say, take the jacket from a suit of yours and wear it with a different skirt? Well this is one step further. I’ll bet there are at least a handful of outfits in your closet that you always wear the same way.

Perhaps you put them together yourself, or perhaps you saw them styled that way in the catalog or in the store window (above, outfits from Anthropologie and ASOS Curve look books). I challenge you to break up that outfit and wear the pieces without their usual companions. You may surprise yourself with the new looks you come up with!

the Holland Cox crossbody bag

Mohop wedge sandals

experiment #2: start backwards

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut if you do the same things the same way, over and over again. Sometimes the best way to come up with a spectacular look is to think about its components in a different way. For a moment, ignore the main ingredients of your outfit, i.e. what to cover your top and what to cover your bum.

Instead, try building an outfit around an accessory that intrigues you. Choose an interesting handbag, a bold pair of shoes, a brightly colored belt, or a gorgeous scarf. You might find yourself bypassing your old standbys for something you haven’t worn in a while!

 

Michelle Obama by Jason KarshFirst Lady Michelle Obama by Jason Karsh under Creative Commons license.

 

experiment #3: get inspired

You look to role-models for inspiration in other walks of life, why not your style as well? I’m sure you’ve been impressed by the fashion sense of screen stars, recording artists, designers, or models at one time or another (or at least you’ve been impressed by their stylist’s fashion sense). But that’s the easy way out!

What about those people who impress you for other reasons? If you’re inspired by Michelle Obama’s confidence and grace under pressure, maybe try taking style cues from her as well. Maybe showing off your guns in something sleeveless will give you the same type of confidence!

 
denim skirt, striped top, and mult-colored accessories

 

experiment #4: mix it up

This might be a hard one for some of you…but trust me, give it a try: just say no to matchy-matchy. Try putting together an outfit where nothing matches. Every item is a different color or pattern. I’m not even going to tell you to leave out your trusty neutrals!

The outfit above is built on a denim skirt and an all-purpose striped top. Then I added a bunch of color. You could do it backwards – start with a brightly colored top, for example, and add more subtle items to compliment (not match!) it.

Let me see pictures of what you come up with!

 
metallics are neutrals and should be treated as such

 

experiment #5: embrace the new neutrals

Friends, the truth is that metallics are neutrals and should be treated as such. The only difference between bronze and brown for example, is that bronze is a lot more interesting, and will never let you fade into the background like plain old brown would.

Remember there’s so many more options than just silver and gold! Experiment with copper, brass, and the currently-trendy rose gold, but don’t forget about platinum, pewter, and gunmetal.

 
when in doubt, wear black and white stripes

 

experiment #6: try a print

For those of you who never venture away from solids, the easiest way to break into wearing prints is a black and white stripe. It’s easy, painless, works on literally any garment, and will go with absolutely everything you already own.

If you already fearlessly rock prints, how about trying to mix them up? Check out my Pinterest board on how to wear prints for some inspiration!

 

your old favorite sweater your old favorite shoes

 

experiment #7: lose the crutch

Finally, for the most difficult challenge. Imagine I came to your house, and took away your 10 most favorite/most worn/most trusty “go to” items. No, you cannot go to the mall and replace them. Now what?

 

I believe that being thoughtful about what you wear is neither frivolous nor insignificant. Putting aside for a moment how others perceive you based on what you wear, how you do perceive yourself? Does your mental picture of yourself match what you see in the mirror?

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Do you think it’s possible to change the way you see yourself with just a few colorful accessories? Do you think I’m crazy for putting orange shoes with a purple bag? What are your plans for shaking up your personal style?

 

 

Save

Save

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Peg Sullivan August 12, 2016 at 9:54 am

You are opening up more avenues for young people to start experimenting with color and style. Most of us older folks have spent years growing into our style. Your adventurous spirit is going to accelerate the process Good for you. I will enjoy following the progress.
Peg

Reply

Celia Jean January 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm

Great ideas! I think we so often get stuck in the same old/comfortable ways we forget to try something new or different. When we let go of “what are people going to think”, it opens up a whole new world. I appreciate your sharing. Thank you.

Reply

Valerie January 17, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Exactly, Celia! It should be all about what makes you feel happy & confident, not what others expect! I’m so glad you found this helpful 🙂

Reply

Cancel reply

Leave a Comment