There are so many different ways to embrace and play with your style, but stepping outside one's comfort zone is always a little bit scary. That's why learning how to take fashion risks is so important. Trying things that aren't comfortable and don't feel safe can typically help you grow. You never know if you'll dislike or adore something unless you try it, but not doing so could mean robbing yourself of a whole world of styles and trends just because you're too cautious about giving them a go. Think about what a shame that would be: You could have spent evenings out wearing stylish dresses, eaten brunches in crop tops, gone to dates in culottes, or girls nights in crazily patterned jumpsuits.
The saddest part of missing out is that you could have potentially had a world of fun trying all that stuff on and seeing how it could fit into your style. And that's precisely my point. You can't know if something is part of your style or not if you don't allow yourself to experiment. Fashion should be about expressing your personality with the help of sleeves and hems, so don't quiet yourself down just for the sake of blending in. Embrace yourself and take those risks! Below are 11 ways to feel more comfortable taking fashion risks — because you've got this.
1. Accept That Awkwardness Is Part Of The Deal
Every time you try something new, you're likely to feel slightly awkward about it. Try to accept that and make it part of the process. It's OK if you're nervous when stepping out in bell bottoms for the first time, or if you feel shifty going out without a bra. You're taking a leap, and nerves are just another step in the experience. Acknowledge that they're there, and then take the plunge anyway.
2. Think Back To The Last Time You Went Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Loved It
When you're uncertain as to whether you should play with your style or stick to what's safe, think back to the last time you ventured outside of your comfort zone and loved it.
Maybe you were apprehensive about wearing high-waist pants, but then had the best evening out in them, dancing with your friends and feeling fabulous. Maybe you felt too loud in a patterned jumpsuit, but then forgot all about your self-consciousness once you left the apartment and got on with your day. Think back to those times when you took a risk and it paid off — it'll inspire you.
3. Have A List Of Role Models To Flick Through
It can be encouraging to see other people color outside the lines, and it'll hopefully make you feel less like a madwoman for wanting to try something a little wild. By having go-to style mavens a click away, you'll be able to find validation: Proof that taking fashion risks is fun and playful, rather than stressful and unnecessary.
Have an Instagram feed or blog roll of inspiring humans who like to play with fashion and experiment with their style. Their bold moves can remind you that dabbling in something new is part of the fun in fashion, not something to lose sleep over.
4. Wear The Look Around The House
Did you just buy a pair of overalls and are terrified of wearing them out? Or maybe you purchased a pair of shorty shorts that you're not sure you're 100 percent OK with?
Well, if tonight is just a Netflix-in-my-sweats kind of evening, change into that fashion risk you're uncertain about and test drive it at home. By wearing it all day you can see how comfy you are in it, how your body moves in it, and can stare at your reflection in every shiny surface with zero percent judgement. This can help you get comfortable with the idea, or help you decide you're just not ready for it yet.
5. Try To Be Your Own Inspiration
I was once in a store looking at cropped sweaters, when in walks this woman wearing '70s-esque menswear to perfection. She sported a crushed velvet blazer, a wide brim hat flattening her natural hair, bluchers that would make Frank Sinatra weep, and cuffed mustard colored pants. Oh, my heart.
Was it a bold look? Yes, and not everyone could necessarily wear it without looking like they are headed to a theme party. But after practically drooling over her from behind the clothes racks, I made the decision then and there to inspire myself every day, just the way she inspired me in that moment.
I want to leave the house every morning smiling widely at the fun, creative outfit I put together, not shrugging non-committedly with a "that'll do." I want to feel about myself the way I did staring at that knock-out of a woman. So I became my own inspiration. This helped inch me out of my own comfort zone and become comfortable with taking fashion risks.
6. Wear It When You're Going Out Alone
There's nothing worse than not being sure about whether you can pull off the mom jeans or the colored tights, and then having your friends swoop down on you with their all-in-fun teases. The cringe can go so much deeper when your pal nonchalantly asks what you were thinking with that grandpa sweater when you yourself weren't sure yet.
It's so much easier to test drive it alone when going to a coffee shop or running errands, and giving yourself the time to figure out whether you like it or not. There are no witnesses and you won't have outsiders coloring your opinion. Once you decide you do and it's a keeper, the playful ribbing can come down all it wants!
7. Change Your Media
Do you only read articles that list strict "Do's And Dont's" or flick through pictures of specific body types pulling off specific styles? If you want to become more adventurous with your style, switch your media to a source that's more inclusive, playful, and, well, adventurous! Once you see a parade of different people playing with styles you never thought to dabble in, and embracing their shapes and tastes with confidence and no judgement, you'll hopefully begin to believe you can, too.
8. Try To Be An Inspiration For Others
If you don't only dress for yourself but also for others, you can become a little more adventurous with your style because you've just upped the ante. Say you want to put on a bold look in order to inspire other humans on the street to become playful with their own fashion choices. Putting on sequins during the daytime or popping on a crop top when you've never tried one should become a little less scary. If it'll encourage someone else out there to get out of their head and embrace their fun, creative side, then it's worth it. It's for a higher cause, people!
9. Join The Fashionista Community
Whether you start a blog or just post your outfit of the day to Instagram, joining a community of fun fashion lovers will motivate you to push your boundaries and play with trends. You'll see others try out looks you've secretly loved but were apprehensive about (whether it be maxi dresses or clashing prints) and once you see them pulling things off fabulously, you'll probably want to give it a go, too. You might just feel like you don't want to keep playing it safe with your sartorial formulas, and instead stick out a little more in people's feeds.
10. Make The Decision To Be Self Indulgent
So you wore an evening skirt during the day with a sweatshirt. So what? Or so you decided to put on a pair of strappy heels with your sweatpants. Who's to care? Once you make the decision to become self indulgent and make these fashion risks for your own pleasure rather than for the approval of others, you'll not only feel more comfy with your decisions, but you'll feel smug about your style moves. You're dressing up for yourself and yourself only — to hell with other people's opinions.
11. Just Do It!
You'll never become comfortable with fashion risks if you never actually take any fashion risks, so start now! Remember, if it doesn't work out and you look silly for a day, nothing will happen. Rather, you learned something new about your style tastes and became a little braver. Just take a deep breath, zip up the trend in question, and walk out the door.
The important thing to remember is that you'll probably have fun doing it, whether it works out or not — and that's what fashion is all about.
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