Sometimes we need some help to get out of our style ruts and the New Year can be the perfect excuse to delve into some new style ideas or experiments. Shaking things up a little can help us learn more about who we are as people, what image we want to portray to the world (because first impressions count even if we like to imagine people aren’t that judgemental), and what relationship we have with the items in our closets. If you are looking for some ideas to stylishly work your way into 2017 while stepping a little out of your comfort zone why not try some of these techniques.
Back the front.
Depending on your closet set up this technique is based around the idea of having hanging space. You turn all your hangers to face the one direction and then every time you wear an item you turn the hanger to the opposite direction. This give a clear visual of what you have and haven’t worn which means that you can challenge yourself over the next few weeks (or months if you want to take it that far) to wear all the items you own. If you aren’t a hanging-wardrobe-kind-of-person find another way to sort. It could be that you put all the items on one shelf and move to another when worn. Or perhaps you might like to put things in a box when you have worn them. From this little style-self-enquiry you can determine what it is that you enjoy wearing, identify items you don’t wear often but wish you did, and perhaps start to rethink your relationship with the goodies you don’t wear.
Dressed by loved ones.
In life we only ever really get to view ourselves through the lens of our own ego. When we dress ourselves we adorn our bodies with what we think fits our personality, however this isn’t always how others view us. Ever had your photo taken by a loved one and thought ‘hey… that’s not how I look is it?’. This is the result of a ‘love lens’ where people who love us dearly see the best in us. When you allow someone who knows you well and loves you choose your outfit the outcomes can be pretty fun! Be brave and ask your significant other, parents, friends, or kids to pick your clothes for a day. See what reactions you get as you head out dressed in love. If you feel uncomfortable in the look start to question what it is about the outfit that makes you feel discomfort. I’ve personally found (through photos like the one above that my hubby has taken for the blog) that I come across quite feminine and gentle. Which is markably different from who I am on the inside (independent, stubborn, opinionated, country-born-tough and very motivated) so this feminine exterior freaked me out a little. I’ve realised now that this is part of who I am on the outside and experiment in dressing the ‘girly’ part from time to time and found that there is serious power in embracing the feminine forces. Go right now and ask your nearest and dearest to dress you. If it results only in a huge laugh (which it might do if they aren’t all that sartorially inclined) then at least you get a happy endorphin boost!
Shake it up.
Too often we reach into the closet and pick out the items we know are comfy and easy. Dressing this way is great if you know who you are, are confident in your style and love the way your clothing makes you feel. But often this ‘ease-of-dress’ is something we turn to rather than asking ourselves the serious questions in life such as ‘who am I‘ and ‘how does the world see me‘. While many think that fashion is frivolous and that clothing is just a silly necessity the idea of personal identity and self enquiry is a key part of understanding who we are and coming to a conclusion as to how we would like to serve our world. Sounds lofty? Agreed. But when you think about it all key points in history have had a tribal ‘dress’. The Suffragettes donned specific colours and jewellery in their notable movement to the rights of women to vote, the hippie era embraced an ‘undone’ anti-establishment aesthetic, and today we can see the ‘tribe’ vibe more than ever in marketing and advertising (and it’s used for good and evil purposes). If you want to shake up your routine pull something from your closet you hardly ever wear but aspire to wear one day. Wear that thing today! While wearing it (and if its a ballgown or a wedding dress you might not be going too far in it) make some notes about what it is about this item that makes you want to be with it:
- does it represent an ideal version of you?
- does it have an emotional attachment for you?
- does it have an ego based association (power, money, fame, love, fortune)?
If the item makes you feel good then try to work out how you can incorporate more of this vibe into your 2017 outfits. Research in fashion magazines and online to see how you could add a little bit of this flair into your regular ease of dress. If it’s an ideal or an aspiration (like attended a fancy ball or getting married) think about how you can move yourself towards that goal. Be it by spending time on making yourself feel loved so you attract love (believe it or not taking yourself on dates to do things you love makes you more likely to find someone who is a compatible romantic match than sitting at home on Tinder), or saving some money each week to go to an end of year charity ball. Self enquiry is a simple practice in theory (asking yourself ‘who am I‘ takes just a second) but the more you peel back the layers the more complexity you will find. So don’t be hard on yourself if you find this seemingly simple exercise challenging.
Do you have a way that you like to change up your dress for the new year? Share your tips, tricks and refections with us below!