Every once in a while you see a fashion trend that flips your whole wardrobe up on its head. It goes against everything you like, shows a completely different side of you, and might be way outside of your comfort zone. Because of it, it becomes a trend you're intimidated to try. But that doesn't make you covet it any less. It becomes something you slowly become obsessed with and pine over — you bookmark the look on Pinterest, sigh over it inside stores, secretly go try it on inside the safety of dressing room curtains. But yet, you just don't feel like you could take such a fashion risk and pull it off.
I'm hear to tell you that it's time to change that way of thinking. Anyone can pull off any kind of style, no matter if they think it doesn't jive well with their wardrobe or won't be able to look appealing on their body type. If there's a will there is always a way, and what you need to do is get over those first set of insecurities and worries. And the way to do that is with some planning and strategic baby steps. Below are 10 ways to pull off a style you're intimidated by!
1. You Don't Have To Go Full Monty
Say you like the boys club trend but you just don't think you can pull off suspenders, or a blazer looks too corporate on you. That's OK! Try just incorporating some key pieces within your current style. Fashion blogger Sarah Von Bargen from style site Yes and Yes suggested, " If you can’t go all-out-all-the-time, are there accessories, dresses, shoes, even styles of makeup that you can utilize so that you feel connected to this look?" For example, pair some bluchers with your jeans or pop an oxford shirt on your feminine skirts.
2. Surround It With Basic Pieces
In order to tone down the intimidation factor, try taking a trend you're nervous about and hiding it between basic pieces. Fashion writer Nicky Deam from Who What Wear offered, "Wear a bubblegum pink coat or a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, just keep the rest of the look basic." You can wear a wide brimmed hat with a simple tee and jeans, or try putting on that boho-tastic vest with a simple grey dress. It lets you dip a toe in and become used to the idea.
3. Find Your Style Inspiration
Say you're into the vintage trend, but you don't know if you can pull off all those Doris Day dresses without blushing scarlet. The great thing about fashion is that there isn't just one way to wear a piece. People blend trends with their own personal styles to create something new and a little tweaked, which means you can find someone that wears the style in a way you can be comfortable with.
Find them, and then try to copy their ideas and tips. Fashion writer Barron Cuadro from style site Effortless Gent said, "As it relates to personal style, clothing, and fashion: find a “model” whose style of dress you relate to and like, and essentially, follow it." For example, you can find a blogger that mixes their vintage pieces with urban wear, or one who skews their vintage in a more minimalist fashion. They'll help you learn how to do the same to yours.
4. Shop The Trend At A Store You Love
If you love a certain brand, chances are the trend you're nervous about will be translated into their own aesthetic, making it less intimidating for you. For example, Free People's boho trend is much different than Zara's boho look. Style writer Kristyn Schiavone from Chicago Tribune explained, "For example, metallics are back this season, which you may not think you can wear to work. My first pair of metallic flats came from J.Crew. Metallic is slightly uncharacteristic for J.Crew's classic look, so I was confident that if they could pull it off with jeans and collared shirts, so could I." It makes sense!
5. It Doesn't Always Have To Be Flattering
Who actually looks bomb-tastic in Mom Jeans or in an acid wash jacket? The point of that trend isn't too show off your most flattering figure, but to play with something creative and unexpected. So change your idea of what trying new styles is supposed to do and you might get over your fear of them: It's not always about getting the most amazing fit or choosing between which pieces are most flattering. Schiavone explained, "Never avoid a trend you like because it's less flattering than another. Just choose a day to wear something new when it doesn't matter." If you have a day full of running errands and hanging out with friends, try wearing that new trend then. There are no high stakes, and you can allow yourself to enjoy it without worrying about being judged or getting your picture taken.
6. Channel It To Your Purse
If you're still not convinced and are biting your nails over trying a new look, try translating it to your handbag. For example, experiment with punk, boho, or vintage by choosing a bag in that trend. It's low risk and will let you decide if the look will go with your wardrobe. Style writer Adam Glassman from Oprah suggested, "You don't actually have to wear it, just carry it. That's why a purse or tote that's a little funkier, or more conservative, than your usual look is a perfect gateway piece." Even the most timid can handle that.
7. Take Teeny Baby Steps
If you feel like you'd bring too much attention to yourself stepping out in head to toe rockabilly wear, let yourself get used to the look by playing around with it at home. Wear the outfits around the couch and then graduate to stepping out just once a week in your secretly loved trend to test the waters. Von Bargen advised, "Make your bedroom the testing ground. Get up 20 minutes earlier each morning and just PLAY in front of the mirror. Make yourself branch out just once a week." Your experimentation can totally be gradual.
8. Study A Little
There have been thousands if not millions of people that have played with that same trend you're unsure of, so to take the mystery and scariness out of it, bone up a little before you take the plunge yourself! And how do you do that? Head to the interwebs. Cuadro explained, "If you’re still figuring out your perfect blend of classic and trendy, you should spend some time looking for visual inspiration." Say you're curvy and don't know how to pull off shorts. Find bloggers, Instagram users, and Pinterest visuals of women that do just that, and then collect all those images in one spot. Take some time looking at how they styled their shorts, and take note what you like about it. After studying it for awhile, you'll feel more prepared to do the same yourself.
9. Catalog Your Looks
Sometimes we need hard evidence to prove that we look fab in an intimidating style. To do that, take photos of yourself wearing the pieces and look at them to show yourself you can totally pull it off. Von Bargen advised, "Can you take photos of yourself and look at them the next day? Get some distance and then evaluate. Learn how awesome you are one photo at a time until you feel ready to try out your new signature style in public." Sometimes we're our own worst enemies in terms of criticism, so seeing actual proof you look super stylish in something new can be enough to get you to branch out.
10. See It As A "Gateway Change"
Chances are you're nervous to try a new trend because you're afraid of what others will think. Well, just like how you lecture yourself to take a leap towards things like careers and love, give yourself that same pep talk with your style. Why? Because if you have enough courage to try on this new trend, then you can build that same courage towards more important things and be more open to try. Style blogger Sally McGraw from Style Me Pretty pointed out, "I’m saying that there is such a thing as gateway change. That tweaking your external appearance can, amazingly, inspire the courage you need to make more substantive changes." If you can step out in pattern clashing clothes that used to intimidate you, then who knows what else you'll feel emboldened to go after.
In the end, everything that makes you feel a spark is worth a shot.