We humans love to put things into categories, including each other. Sometimes, this is just a way to make things a bit easier using a kind of mental shorthand. Saying “she’s got a little punk thing going on” is much faster than describing someone’s colored highlights, bright lipstick paired with overdone eyeliner, Ramones T-shirt, boots, and all the rest that’s implied by “little punk thing”.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: are we guilty of putting ourselves into categories, too, instead of just other people? It may well be that some well-defined look or fashion angle just happens to suit you perfectly; this is how trends get started, after all. For many people, though, following the herd is more of a cop-out or a form of laziness, and many of us can do better by looking in the mirror – figuratively and literally – and searching for ways in which we can better express our inner selves in our appearance.
In fact, this can be a lifelong journey, so we’ve put together a few practical tips to help you get from where you are to somewhere closer to your personal ideal.
Adding a simple leather jacket or neutrally colored trenchcoat to your wardrobe can give you great versatility when it comes to choosing what to wear. The key thing to remember is that such garments should be practical, stylish and complement anything you might want to wear with them.
Also, with a little care they can easily last you half a decade or more. Paying extra for something that’s stylish (as opposed to trendy), fits you well both in terms of your body type and overall look, and possesses just a little something that says “me” is well worth it.
Ask yourself: do you really need any more hardware on your dresser than a dryer, brush, and hair iron? Chances are that anything beyond this is simply gimmicky crap that doesn’t actually do anything or does it so poorly you’re better off without it.
Since your main tools are going to be used every day, it makes sense to spend $200+ on salon-quality equipment. Most good manufacturers (and numerous vloggers) will have a few Youtube videos on that specific product to help you get the most out of your purchase. Although we rate Miracurl very highly, the best curling iron for you depends more heavily on your specific hair type.
You might have heard of “muscle memory”, the idea that actions performed repeatedly eventually become semi-instinctive. This certainly applies to things like applying lipstick and eyeliner, so try to develop a system to quickly enhance your best features without appearing too dressy – you can always do more once you’ve finished the basic routine. This will not only save you an enormous amount of time, but also help you develop a consistent appearance that’s tailored to your looks.
Some pairs of footwear are bought for $20 at a flea market because they seem cute or quirky, or you just happen to be in the mood. These might end up being worn only a few times or get dragooned into gardening duty as soon as you get home. If these give up the ghost after a few weeks, it’s no great loss. There will be others, equally cheap, to replace them soon enough.
On the other hand, there are some shoes that are just so comfortable, classic and integrated into your style that you don’t want to part with them. Although shoe stores (for obvious reasons) don’t want you to know this, most shoes can be resolved or repaired in other ways, giving them a new lease on life at a fraction of what a new pair would cost.