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How to Expand Your Style

Throughout my life, I’ve always been intrigued by how people put together certain clothing pieces—some of which I’d probably never wear—to create an amazing outfit. To me, fashion is an outlet for expression and creativity. Picking the clothes you choose to wear every day can bring you great confidence, so long as you feel confident in yourself.

Here are a few tips to help you expand your fashion horizons and take more risks when choosing what to wear. 

Explore, explore, explore! 

One of the best ways to expose yourself to new fashion trends is through social media! Personally, I love using Pinterest; you can organize your ideas into different “boards,” which is a great way to keep fashionable outfits and clothing pieces saved in one place. The site is full of photos and videos of people with different styles for outfit inspiration.

Instagram also has many different fashion accounts to browse and see how different pieces can be incorporated into various outfits.

Don’t underestimate the power of other people’s closets! 

Sometimes, my mom or grandmother will offer me clothes they no longer wear, and I’ll actually end up finding a great piece for my own wardrobe! So many styles of clothing go in and out of style each season, so my advice to you is to just wear whatever you like. 

If you’re hesitant to try a new trend, borrowing other people’s clothes is a great way to try a new piece without spending money on it. 

Shop smart; shop sustainably

Buying clothes on sale or thrifting is one of the best ways to save your wallet (and yourself) from some major pain! We’ve all bought clothes we didn’t like—maybe it didn’t fit right, it didn’t look as good as it did on the model, etc. By buying clothes on sale, you’re saved the trouble of spending the maximum price, and it’s alright if they don’t exactly live up to your expectations.

Thrifting is a great way to get clothes at lower prices—and often, you may stumble upon a gem that’s vintage and actually quite valuable. Additionally, buying second–hand items helps recycle old clothes, which is better for the environment.

Forget about societal expectations

There are so many unwritten “expectations” society has when determining what’s most flattering on a person depending on their body size, skin tone, etc. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been told is to simply forget about all of these stringent implicit rules. Wear whatever you feel best in. 

There are no clothes you “can’t wear.” As long as you feel comfortable and confident in yourself, there are no rules when it comes to fashion. 

You wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you

Oftentimes, if you’re taking a fashion risk, it can be hard to stay confident and feel like you’re rocking your outfit. It’s so important to remember the fact that you’re the model, and the clothes you wear are your form of self–expression! 

Fashion risks are different for everyone. For some, it might be wearing jeans; for others, it might be styling an old men’s polo shirt from a thrift store. Either way, you wear the clothes, and you get to decide how they make you feel and what they say about you.

I used to wear the same types of clothes everyday, but I’ve since realized how much fun it is to create outfits that accurately reflect who you are! Never be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone when it comes to style. Even if someone else doesn’t agree with you on what looks good and what doesn’t, it’s vital to remember that your clothes are for you. Fashion is an outlet for self–expression; it should make you happy! 

Emily is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She is passionate about medicine, writing, and women's empowerment. In her free time, she can be found playing tennis or exploring Philadelphia with friends!
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