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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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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?