3 Ways to Step Out of Your Fashion Comfort Zone

You want to try out a new style, but you have no idea where to start. Thanks to HC, it’s much easier than you think! Here’s your complete guide to branching out and making your (fashion) mark.

1. Find inspiration


Are you bored with your wardrobe? There are so many places to look for style inspo! You could start by flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine or browsing HC’s Style section (duh!). Bloggers also have amazing fashion tips, so we asked two fashionistas where they get their inspiration.

The people around you, as well as online influencers, are a great place to start, according to Suzy at The Kawaii Planet. “My biggest inspiration[s] are actually mainly other fashion bloggers that I follow,” Suzy says. “I let real people influence my style and I love seeing other fashion bloggers wear something that I would never opt for. It sort of helps me to open my mind to the new styles.”

Want to travel without spending all of your savings (or lack thereof)? Do so by taking fashion tips from and dressing like fashionistas everywhere from Milan to Tokyo instead! “My style has been created through the years and everywhere I traveled, I learned something new about fashion,” Suzy says. “Leggings always add a little bit of a British wind to my style, pastel pieces remind me of Japan, sexy dresses evoke Italy and elegant collar style takes me to France.”

Marie Goldstein at ThePreppyMAG is inspired by legendary prepsters: “I have role models like Coco Chanel and Jackie Kennedy from the olden days and role models like Sarah Vickers, Kate Middleton, and even imaginary ones like Blair Waldorf,” Marie says. “When I’m not surfing the latest blogs for inspiration I love to be inspired by the city I live in. I can seriously sit in TriBeCa or SoHo and watch the different trends go by.” An excuse to people watch? We can get on board with that!

2. Take it slow

If you’re used to wearing jeans and a t-shirt every day, showing up to class in metallic leggings and a fedora is probably the last thing you want to (or should) do. But when it comes to branching out, small changes can make a big difference!

If your style is...

Girly


 


 


 


 


 


 

You love pretty dresses and dainty jewelry, but you’re ready to give your style a bit of an edge. Why not go for some buckled booties to contrast your collection of pastels? Chunky jewelry is also an easy way to go bold without pulling a full fashion 180. We love this statement necklace from Charlotte Russe!

Sporty


 


 


 


Topshop red flat
topshop.com

 

 

So you love your gym-chic pieces, but you want to take your style to the next level. Don’t worry, collegiettes—your beloved yoga leggings can stay! Try pairing them with a flowy blouse or button-down and some elegant flats for an instant outfit upgrade.

Preppy


 


 


 


Keds sneaker
modcloth.com

 

 


Sarah Chloe letter bracelet
neimanmarcus.com

 

 


 

Prep is your life, but some occasions call for a more understated outfit. “Although my head is always in a preppy state of mind, I have found myself tone it down since I moved to NYC,” Marie says. “Sometimes you can find me in a good pair of skinny jeans, a chambray shirt, and sneakers—this is what I like to call ad agency chic.” For all you Lilly Pulitzer lovers who want a change, you don’t need to get rid of those bright prints and monograms; instead, use them to make your simple ensemble a little more fun!

Understated


 


 


Lilly pulitzer shorts
zappos.com

 

 


Steve Madden flat sandals
lordandtaylor.com

 

 

On the other hand, if you’re used to wearing lots of basics, prep might be just the way to spice things up. “Being preppy is about being bold and confident,” Marie says. “Trust me, I know it’s not easy to walk onto a city block in a bright neon dress when everyone else is wearing black but you need to OWN IT. I would start out with some Vineyard Vines, J.Crew and make your way to some bright and vibrant prints at Lilly Pulitzer.” We love these bold Lilly shorts, which will brighten up any look without being over-the-top.

Boho


 

If festival wear is your thing but you want to look a little sleeker, it’s easy! Just throw on an elegant jacket over your favorite hippie chic dress—and voilà!

3. Have fun with it & be yourself


Suzy loves experimenting with different trends to create her own unique style—and so should you! “I don't necessarily follow all the fashion trends and rules,” Suzy says. “When I shop for myself, it really comes out of my head only and I simply decide based on what I think would look good on me.”

Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be scary! “Fashion is fun for me and I enjoy coming up with various combinations and looks,” Suzy says. “Have you seen something cool in the magazine that you would like to try? Go for it! Put it on for the weekend and see how you feel. Nothing should stop you from wearing pieces you like.”

Experimenting can be really fun, but this doesn’t mean you should completely change everything you own; you still want your unique personality to shine through. “I may not be looking preppy but you better believe that I have my monogram plastered all over my desk and my Lilly Pulitzer pens scattered all over the place.” Marie says. “You can’t let people forget what makes you unique.”


Are you ready to experiment with your look, collegiettes? Whether you’re looking to tone it down or spice it up, we have you covered!