Have you ever wanted to try something new but feared what others might think of you? I remember the pressure I had when I started my styling business at 21-years-old and felt like I had to be this specific persona to be taken seriously.
I remember meeting with one of my first clients. She had a beautiful home and a huge walk-in closet. After looking through her wardrobe to see what she had, I walked out with some pieces I wanted her to try on. Her daughter walked in eating popcorn in her pajamas, and she looked my age!
I thought to myself, “What am I doing here? Am I doing something way outside what I should be doing?”
At that moment, I thought I had to change who I was. I wore classic business attire with minimal color so I’d be taken seriously by my clients over twice my age. They trusted me with their money, feelings, and wardrobe, so I thought it was more important to wear clothes that ‘felt safe’ than dress outside the box and possibly lose business for looking too young or unprofessional.
Even in my business ideas at the time, I tried to go by the book as much as possible. In interviews with local magazines and television stations, I kept poised and was careful with what I said. Oh my goodness, the pressure I put on myself back then!
I was trying too hard to be liked and accepted as helping others find themselves, and I was lost in my own identity. It’s so funny how we end up helping people through the one thing we need help with most.
After a few years of receiving positive feedback from my clients, I started to feel more confident in my business and more comfortable being myself. In my style, in who I was, I began putting myself in a box of who I should be instead of finding who I was and becoming a business owner.
With all the lessons I learned the hard way along life’s journey, I wish I could go back and tell her to wear the print top, buy those colorful pants, and be ok with trying something new.
One of the biggest mistakes you might make is wearing clothes that ‘feel safe.’ You find a piece that feels comfortable, buy multiple pieces in the same style, and it becomes your uniform. Adding new clothes or accessories to your wardrobe helps you rediscover who you are. You don’t have to get it right the first time. Learning along the way is an essential part of the process.
Here are some tips for adding something new to your closet and being ok with not having that pressure to get it right the first time.
1. You can’t possibly know exactly what works for you without trying something new
Let’s say you totally know you love wearing earth tones, so you’ve stuck to that for a long time. Even though earth tones are your vibe, you might be able to expand into other colors like a muted pink or marigold or even a rusty orange.
I’ve recently spoken to a few new clients who traditionally loved neutrals but felt like they wanted to now try new colors to complement what they have. In the process, we’ve discovered pieces that bring them joy and have even replaced some of their old neutrals. Be ok with experimenting by picking up a new style or color to try on BEFORE deciding whether or not it works for you.
In my online shop, I have a printable worksheet for you to use to keep track of all your findings and help you along your style journey.
2. Be ok with making returns
Think of your home as your personal fitting room; it’s the place for you to try on new styles and brands in the comfort of your space. You can make better decisions when you try on your clothing at home. Make sure to keep track of the date you bought things; you don’t want to have to hold onto something because you forgot to return it. I see a lot of pieces in clients’ closets with items with tags on them because they forgot to return the piece. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and there’s no use in trying to like it. Again, write this down in a journal to track what didn’t work about that piece, whether it was the print, neckline, or brand. That way, you won’t be drawn to rebuying something similar in the future.
3. Give yourself permission to let pieces go
Maybe you made a purchase that ended up sitting in your closet with the tags on it, or you wore something once because you thought you liked it until you saw yourself in pictures. I want to tell you that it’s ok. It’s ok to have tried pieces and ultimately find out they didn’t work for you. Take note and ask yourself why you didn’t wear it. This will be the key to helping you identify the reasoning, so you have a better understanding next time you shop. You can find the direct link from the show notes below to purchase a copy and use it again and again. I’m all about making life easier and taking notes, learning from what does and doesn’t work so you can continue towards a path of shopping with intention.
What doesn’t work for you in life is just as important as what does work for you. Don’t be afraid to go for something bold, sexy, or powerful. You can’t go wrong if you learn from the experience. If your heart is in a place that is moving towards dressing in a certain way, go for it!
Find pieces online representing what you want to step into or feel. As always, I’m here to support you on your style journey. I have resources online to help you get started on your journey through the products in my online shop, such as the Style Tracker. If you need more one-on-one support because you’ve felt like you’ve tried enough of this on your own, go to the link in my bio or head over to my website, myclosetedit.com, and schedule a free discovery call. Yes, it’s totally free because I want you to have the confidence to know that I care. On our call, you get to share what you’re struggling with regarding your personal style, and we can discuss ways to bring it together.
Do you feel pressure to get your style right the first time? Share with me in the comments below and follow me for more insights on Instagram @thecloset.edit!