With magazines, style blogs, stores, and celebrities telling us what we should be wearing and when and how we should wear it, sometimes it seems like there’s no right way to look. But the thing is, it’s the people who ignore all of that outside noise, bend the rules, and ask themselves what they want to wear who often make the most sartorial impact. In partnership with HP for their new x360, here’s 10 things to keep in mind when you’re taking some risks, and need a mode for every mood.
1. Being willing to experiment teaches you what works for your body (and your mood).
The fashion industry is going to try to tell you that if you have a certain “body type,” some things are going to look better than others. This doesn’t always hold true, because your body’s type is simply that: a body. Mix and match different trends until you find what you feel your best in. That’s what will make you look your best. One rule does not work for every body of that arbitrary shape every time.
2. At its core, style is about individuality.
Fashion is the thing people send down the runway in patented “looks” — the same looks that are then lobbed in full onto models in glossy magazines, on celebrities in tabloid magazines, and on mannequins that will never actually have the life you actually, y’know, live. Style, on the other hand, is an expression of who you are and how you live and what you believe. Don’t let other people make those decisions for you.
3. Creating your own style will lead you from season to season.
Because who really has the time, money, or effort to buy whole new wardrobes for every single season? If you can repurpose something people swear is a ‘summer’ piece for the winter (and the months in between), you just got that much more bang for your buck. The best articles of clothing transcend seasons and hey, if you want to wear that tropical flower-print dress with a few warmer layers in the dead of January, who’s to stop you? (No one, that’s who.)
4. Trends start because someone thought something looked cool. You could be that someone.
In this day and age, technology makes everything so very accessible that it’s not farfetched to think that you could be the next style star if you really wanted to be. And rather than those who are cookie cutter iterations of the next person, the people who get noticed are the ones that stand out from the crowd. You’re an individual from the get-go; what you wear should reflect that.
5. You’ll be more comfortable in your body if you dress it how you want to.
And even then, “how you want it to” will change from day to day and mood to mood. You don’t wake up feeling the exact same every day, so it’d be silly to think that you could ascribe to one formula every day. The trendy sweatpants motif had to start somewhere, and I’m betting you anything it was because somebody was having a crappy day and decided to pair their sweats with heels just for the hell of it.
6. You learn by trial and error.
There’s always that odd fashion rule you think is bunk, but winds up being for your own good. (I’m talking flesh-colored underwear with sheer clothing, and dark jeans during that part of the month, for example.) And it’s tough to hear, but sometimes you really do learn these things the hard way. Taking risks and bending rules can backfire every now and again, but this is how you learn what your personal style boundaries are. (And also why you should be very grateful for lenient return policies.)
7. You’re naturally going to look better in things that are suited for you, even if those somethings aren’t exactly what’s “in” at the moment.
You’re the only person with the unique combination of your personality, your mood, and your unique body. (You won’t even have that same combination every single day). It doesn’t matter how much people might say that wide-leg pants are in while skinny jeans are out. If you think stovepipe pants are more flattering amd they make you happy, wear them.
8. More importantly, you’re going to feel better about yourself if you make choices based on your own convictions, not someone else’s idea of what “should be.”
Why? Because you’re not constantly second-guessing yourself over what you just did. Sure, sometimes you can go out on a limb and take a risk by pairing two completely different prints, but somewhere in your gut, you thought, Hey, why not? This could work, and you know what? It really could. And that is what suits your true self. Seasons are arbitrary, anyway. The best clothes are the ones that transcend style eras.
9. You’re only wasting your own time and money by adhering to every “rule” someone outlines for you.
The thing about all the “staples” people want you to invest in, is that they aren’t universal. The way to be genuinely stylish is to have your essentials that are as “you” as they are convenient and easy to accessorize. I’m not talking about a white button down shirt and black slack kind of deal, I’m talking a go-to outfit for the major things that you’d want to look together and “you” for: an interview, a date, etc. But you’re never going to know what works — what expresses you best while also being versatile, comfortable and exciting — unless you dive into the unknown now and again. Style is a game of trial and error, but you have to be playing to get anywhere.
10. Because after all, somebody made the rules. Somebody’s bound to bend them.
Why can’t that somebody be you? Join HP and bend the rules.