Everyone has a personal style, whether they realize it or not. Over time, your style will come to define you, representing your personality and serving as a short summary of your identity for the world to see. But after a few years, you may feel like your style is getting stale—or that it no longer matches how you feel inside.
When you get to this point, it’s a great idea to upgrade your style in one or more of several key areas.
Upgrading Your Style
If you’re not sure where to begin, consider these important stylistic areas:
- Clothes. Depending on what you wear and how you wear it, your clothes can instantly make you feel more confident or make you feel completely out of place. Obviously, “clothes” is a broad category. You’ll need to decide not only what types of clothes you wear, but what brands, shapes, materials, and colors you wear within those broad types. For example, are you the type of person who wears boots? If so, what color and material of boots best suit your style, and should they come all the way up to the knee or stay closer to the ankle? For better are worse, there are practically limitless options here. Accordingly, it’s probably where you’re going to spend most of your time. In this category, it’s often helpful to find a handful of foundational pieces around which you can assemble the rest of your wardrobe.
- Accessories. You’ll also need to think about the types of accessories you wear. Usually, you’ll choose accessories to complement or improve the aesthetics of your clothes, but it’s also possible to choose a strong, defining accessory and build the rest of your style around it. For example, if you wanted to make a bold statement, you could invest in a set of custom gold teeth, and make it a kind of centerpiece for the rest of your style. Think about glasses, pieces of jewelry, scarves, hair accessories, and watches. For most people, one or two high-quality, prominent pieces work best.
- Hair. You can also make a statement about your new style by drastically changing your hair. Do you typically keep yours short and neat? Consider growing it out. Have you always had long hair? Consider trying an undercut. If you’re feeling adventurous and experimental, you could dye your hair a bright color. If you’re feeling a little more reserved, you could simply try styling your hair in a slightly different way. Again, there’s a lot to work with here.
- Makeup. Though makeup is usually a small part of your overall style, and you won’t be wearing it all the time, it’s a good opportunity to embellish your look. Depending on your intentions, you could use makeup with more prominent, bolder colors, or simply stop wearing makeup so often if it was a part of your former style.
Preparing for an Upgrade
These broad categories can help you define a comprehensive new look for yourself, but they won’t do you much good unless you know why you’re making a stylistic change in the first place.
First, conduct an audit of your current style. What are the key defining characteristics of your current look; for example, would you say you look professional or casual? Would you say you look youthful or mature? Colorful or muted? Flashy or minimalistic? Think of as many adjectives to describe your style as possible, then think about why they no longer fit you (or why they still do).
Next, think about what’s changed in your life. If you’re interested in a change of style, enough time has passed that there’s something new in your life. For example, have you recently become a mother? Have you found a new, more fulfilling career? Did you reach a milestone age? Or did you lose interest in a hobby that once consumed your life? What about yourself is new, exactly, and how might that new quality manifest itself visually?
Finally, work on adopting an open mind. Unless you have a crystal-clear idea of what your new style is going to look like, it’s important to be open to any option—that way, you can try many different angles, and eventually find one that feels right.
The Importance of Experimenting
Style isn’t something that can be precisely defined, or split into discrete, objective categories. Instead, it’s something subtler, more subjective, and more nuanced. Accordingly, you may not have a good idea about what “feels” right until you actually try it. If you want to increase your satisfaction with your personal style, the only way to feel more confident in your selection is to expand your horizons and experiment. Try new clothes and accessories you wouldn’t ordinarily consider, and see what sticks.