Somewhere along the lines of developing our style mixed with the ever-growing presence of social media, we got caught up in the “aesthetics” of it all. We began to curate our lives to be cohesive and look good. This has spread across our profiles and caused our wardrobes to do the same. The trouble with this is that there’s no such thing as one aesthetic, especially when you’re developing your style. Focusing too much on that aspect draws us away from wearing what we really love and feel good in. These categories that we scroll through on TikTok like cottage core, e-girl, model-off-duty and many more aren’t an all-inclusive style. You don’t have to pick just one aesthetic! The beauty of style is that every day you get to decide how to dress for how you’re feeling and who you want to be, even if who you want to be is in bed and you opt-in for sweats. If you’ve found yourself frustrated with your wardrobe and ready for a refresh, this is the place for you.
Now is the perfect time to try out new outfits and trends, because we’re not attending major events or packing up limited space in our suitcases to travel. We have the chance to play dress-up, try it out and see how we feel. The outfit you picked wasn’t your cup of tea? Don’t worry, no one even recognized you in your mask anyway. No harm no foul — every risk helps you learn more about what you want from your personal style. Here’s how to intentionally develop it in a way that works best for you.
- Get inspiration
Look to those whose wardrobes you love. It can be a supermodel, someone you found on Instagram or a friend. Take note of what draws you to their style and how you want your wardrobe to work that way for you. Do they have the best loungewear, or do they always look suited up perfectly for a corner coffee shop? Run to Goodwill or scour your favorite shopping apps and see what similar pieces you can score.
- Build a strong foundational wardrobe
Look at what you already have in your closet. How does it make you feel when you’re wearing it? If it’s anything other than your best, coziest and most confident self, it’s not serving your style goals. Shifting your wardrobe to be more intentional and practical for your style goals is key when experimenting. Having a solid foundation of basics allows you to take a risk with an out-there piece (like those snakeskin boots you’ve been eyeing), while still knowing your mom jeans underneath would never let you fail.
- Have fun with it
Spend a day playing dress-up. When you find that a piece in your closet has been out of rotation for a while but you’re still not sold on letting it go, do your research! Cher Horowitz never fails by turning to her computer for outfit ideas, and neither will you. Search for a description of the piece, like “simple white button-down” along with keywords like style, inspo, or outfit, and take ideas from other people utilizing the same piece. I had no idea how to style a green sweater vest I bought recently until I saw a TikTok of a girl layering it on top of a trapeze dress. Sometimes all you need is a new take!
- Take notes
Every time you try out a new piece or look, think about how you feel in it. What works about it and what doesn’t? Clothes are supposed to empower you and help you represent the person you want to be. Trying things out and learning about what the cover star in you thrives in is how you work towards creating a wardrobe you love and can rely on. Maybe you’ll realize that wearing a half-inch heel makes you feel like an absolute powerhouse, or that you work best when your look is focused on comfort. Keep in mind what you’ve learned when you’re debating a new purchase.
The best part about a lot of the style trends that we see right now is that they’re more focused on having fun and being playful with your wardrobe. After years of going after the perfect image, we have people buying corsets to have Bridgerton-inspired tea parties or donning full out vintage looks that make them look fresh out of another era. Now is the time to invest in making yourself feel your best, and your wardrobe is a great place to start.