How To Wear Something Bold Without Feeling Ridiculous With 11 Helpful Tips
While you might not consider yourself shy when it comes to the wardrobe department, there's nothing worse than stepping out in a bold, look-at-me trend and feeling like you're not pulling it off. But 10 out of 10 times that's all in your head — you can pull off a bold trend flawlessly, no problem. And the only person that needs to be on board with that fact is you.
For example, say you see a woman crossing the street wearing mom jeans and her hair up in a bouffant and you think "Woah, she looks amaze." Now, what's stopping you from looking just the same way in that look? It's not like she's the only one that can pull it off — all you need to do is come to the realization you have just as much of a right to play with it as others do.
So roll up your sleeves and start allowing yourself to experiment in bolder fashion choices if that's what you want. But if you still feel like your cheeks will prick red in slight embarrassment if you step outside in anything other than skinny jeans and cardigans, below are 11 tips on how to wear bold trends without feeling ridiculous. You've got this!
1. Wear It During Short Trips Out
Wearing that new glitter dress during the AM might seem intimidating if you plan to do it for the whole day, but it becomes easier to swallow if it's just for a quick 30 minutes. "After getting used to my reflection wearing something out of my comfort zone (like blue lipstick), the next step is actually venturing outside. To get more comfortable I like to wear things on brief trips out of the house where I probably won’t run into anyone I know. Like the library. Or the dog park. Or just up to Target. When I find out most people don’t give a crap what I’m wearing, it makes me much more comfortable!" fashion blogger Jamie Donaldson from style blog Petite Panoply shares in an email interview with Bustle.
Test run that look until you feel comfier staying out longer in it.
2. Wrap It Up In Neutrals
It's a fact that the more risque you get with your style, the more desensitized you get to seemingly wild trends. But how do you get up to that point? It's all about the baby steps, and they come in the form of neutrals. For example, when sharing tips on how to pull off layering dresses with jeans, fashion writer Taylor Davies at Teen Vogue suggested, "What would feel busy actually looks quite simple if you stick with white, black, and camel." So if it's bold layers, silhouettes, or prints you're playing with, try them out first in neutrals to get used to them.
3. Test Drive It In Changing Rooms
Often times we might feel intrigued by an off-beat trend but don't let ourselves take the first step towards experimenting because, come on, how will we ever pull it off? Shake off that feeling of ridiculousness by giving yourself permission to play with the look inside the safety of a changing room. "For inspiration, go to high-street shops like Zara and play dress up," Davies recommended. Behind that curtain you can try on a number of weird combinations, styles you've never thought your body would be into, or prints that wouldn't have cropped into your closet.
And once you see how cool you look if only you let yourself try, you'll be that much more comfortable with giving it a go.
4. Try Dressing In Your Trend On Designated Days
It's kind of like when you go "Okay, three, two, ONE!" before cannon balling into cold water. If you're nervous about wearing something bold, get your brain used to the idea of spending a full day in it by choosing designate days to wear it. "Can you dress down Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and dress up Tuesday and Thursday? Gradually get your environment used to what appears to be an experiment until the time is ripe for full transition," fashion blogger Sarah von Bargen from lifestyle site Yes and Yes suggested. By knowing you can wear sweatpants Tuesday and go all out with your trend Wednesday, you'll feel mentally prepared for the bold statement.
5. Reassure Yourself With A Photo
Have you ever found yourself in a fitting room, twisting this way and that, wondering if what you're wearing really is fabulous or just a stone's throw away from ridiculous? In order to put your worries to rest, prove to yourself that you most definitely can pull off the look with some concrete evidence: A photo. "Just checking out a photo of your ensemble should do the trick. The camera doesn’t lie, at least not in this case," fashion writer Michelle Scanga at style site Who What Wear suggested. Take a day to look at the results and see, objectively, what you feel about the look the next day.
6. Wear It Around The House Until You're Comfortable
Often times we feel weird in a new look because we haven't quite ironed out the kinks from it. You step outside and find the hem is too short for your liking, the jewelry makes too much noise, the lipstick smears off too quickly, whatever. Fix that obstacle by first getting used to the new look at home. "Can you start by just wearing items from your coveted style around the house? Make sure you feel comfortable, love the look, have it honed so it feels like your own," von Bargen advised. There's nothing wrong with a couple of test runs.
7. Walk Yourself Through How It's Not Crazy
When you take something out-of-the-box, it might seem too attention-grabbing and avant garde to allow yourself to feel comfortable. But if you take a moment and walk yourself through how it's actually not that insane of a fashion move, you'll feel better able to handle the style. "At first glance, this look is kind of intimidatingly fashion-y, right? However, if you take a moment and consider each piece (or how you could interpret them within your own closet) it’s not so out of reach," Davies explained.
For example, if it's a '50s vintage dress you're trying to wear out, you can notice how A-line skirts are about as common in fashion as skinny jeans, floral prints become all the rage come every spring, and how many lines actually pull vintage inspiration for their modern collections, anyway. So boom, steppig out in that June Cleaver dress isn't actually that big of a statement.
8. Try It Out In Dribbles
To get yourself used to wearing something attention grabbing, try it out first in dribbles. "Wear a bubblegum pink coat or a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, just keep the rest of the look basic," fashion writer Nicky Deam from Who What Wear offered. Once you get used to your acid green fur coat or patterned suit, you can then up the ante and get wilder with your mix and matching. But in the beginning, feel free to keep it easy.
9. Ask Bloggers For Advice
You don't have to blunder your way through a scary style on your own — ask those mentors that are already well-versed in the look. "Ask absolutely any blogger who writes about style and fashion. We love you for reading our blogs, and the vast majority of us love to answer reader questions," von Bergen confirmed. So go through your Instagram feed and reach out to your favorites.
10. Come To This Realization: It's Yours
Here's the thing: The crazy piece is now yours, so you might as well go and rock it. "You bought this damn thing. You’re going to wear it. It is yours, and nobody can take that away from you (because it would be stealing). And this means that you can do with it what you like," declared fashion writer Anne T. Donahue from Huffington Post. You now own it, it's in your closet ready to jive with your wardrobe, and you have the right to go on and have fun with it.
11. Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Haters
There aren't that many people out there waiting ready with tomatoes to throw — a big amount of nose-wrinklers are just shocked with a new style and go on the defensive. So to give yourself the confidence to wear your crazy fun look outside, prepare to laugh with them when a comment floats your way. "Can you learn to deflect biting comments by laughing with the commenter? 'Hahaha, I know! Isn’t this WILD?'" von Berger suggested.
Having a good humor over your penchant for experimentation makes the whole ordeal fun — and who knows, you might inspire them to adopt the same attitude!
If you have something intimidating in your closet, make today the day you rock it. You now know how!
Images: @itsnotheritsme/ Instagram