Are you afraid of color? Is it because the color is actually scary, or are you afraid to be noticed? I used to shy away from bright colors because I lacked confidence and I thought they would make me an easy target for criticism.
The Guy - When I first started exploring my personal style, I wanted to dress well, but didn’t want negative attention. I gravitated toward darker colors so I could stay out of the spotlight. I worried too much about what others would think if I wore something loud. It’s not that bright colors and patterns actually scared me; instead, I was frightened by the potential judgement from my peers. All of which was fabricated in my head. In fact, I did really love bright colors and they eventually became too hard to resist.
As I kept developing my style and curating my wardrobe, I kept picking up pieces here and there that were outside my normal realm. They just lived in my closet waiting for the right event or the right crowd. I couldn’t tell you what I was waiting for. Eventually, I got fed up. I remember first dipping my toe into sharing my style as a junior in high school. I finally made the decision to wear a pair of white jeans. Groundbreaking, right? But, I guess in reality it kind of was. I remember taking a deep breath before setting foot inside the building that day, preparing for the worst. To my surprise, nothing happened. I didn’t receive a single weird look and there were no mile-long banners with insults written in giant letters. I exhaled (I mean, I wasn’t holding my breath the entire time, but you get it). I even received a few compliments. The best part of that day was allowing myself to share more of me.
I continued to embrace new styles and pieces and felt more comfortable wearing them out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s taken me well into my twenties to be able to ignore my fears of superficial criticism. Even now, I occasionally catch myself thinking about who is going to see me and what is he/she going to say. I consciously have to wipe away that negativity. It took a lot of trying, testing, and sometimes failing to develop my style confidence.
If you don’t like a lot of color, no problem! If you do, also no problem! It’s not really about color. It’s about feeling good in what you’re wearing. It’s about sharing yourself and letting your personality shine. However you do that with your style is your choice, but my advice is to own it!
Now, let’s get to the good stuff.
The Cardigan - Without a doubt, this cardigan from Jachs NY is loud. Your loudest piece is more than likely the best place to start your look. You need supporting players to build it up without overshadowing it. Picking colors out of your focal piece to echo in your complimentary items adds cohesiveness to your outfit. Doing it this way makes that bold piece way more approachable and versatile. I could have paired this cardigan with dark denim, light denim, greens, reds, whites, you name it. I was feeling bright since spring was inbound and I was, and still am, too excited for it. So, I doubled down.
The Chinos - I snagged these gold chinos from Mango. They always have modern pieces and constantly run sales throughout the current season. It’s a great European brand to explore if you’re looking for something new. They caught my eye for this look because they matched the gold and yellow hues running throughout the sweater. And since I was feeling colorful, I opted for these rather than taming the cardigan down with something darker. It’s the first time I’ve done this combo, but I couldn’t be happier with the outfit color story.
The Sneakers - Ok, so maybe I tripled down here. My initial instinct was to go with white sneakers and let the rest of the outfit do the talking. That would have been perfectly acceptable! In this case, I wanted more and I had that little voice in the back of my head telling me to push the envelope. Do you have that voice? Do you ignore it? I decided to listen. I pulled these Adidas from my shoe rack and set them next to the white sneakers. You can always do this before you make a final decision. Take a second to look at the entire outfit and determine if you’re digging the overall composition. That’s what I did, and I went back and forth for a while. I decided to give it a shot. The shoes speak to the cardigan by picking up a bit of the same tones as well. Ultimately, the overall color craziness ropes them into this look. My first thought was that it wouldn’t work, but when I saw it all together, something once again clicked. It’s probably the color craziness (I may have just wanted to say color craziness again).
I leaned into the color on this outfit. I let it guide my selections. Sometimes that can be overwhelming in one outfit, but it struck a balance here.
What are you apprehensive about when it comes to your style? It’s normal to feel nervous about what other people might say when they see you rocking that shirt you got up the nerve to wear or even just see you cuff your jeans for the first time. Every time I do something that adds a little flare, I still think about it. If you are dying to try something that isn’t your norm or scares you, the simplest solution is to go for it. Easier said than done, I know. If you figure out that something isn’t for you, just move on! Although, you might expand your comfort zone and get to know yourself a little better.
As always, thank you for reading. I’ll catch you here next time!
Engineer your style and hone your process,