What To Do When You're Bored Of Your Style
Hint: you don't have to buy all new clothes!
Ah, Holden Caulfield: American literature’s (least-)favorite restless, edgy, angsty teen. I often say of myself that I’m having a “Holden Caulfield moment” when I’m very suddenly aggressively bored with my current style and anxious for something new—the days where you open up your closet in the morning and find that you have absolutely nothing acceptable to wear that day.
This fall, I’ve been having a particularly intense and prolonged Holden Caulfield moment. At this point, it’s almost a bona-fide phase. However, I have neither the guts, the money nor the energy to discard and replace an entire wardrobe, so I’ve been searching for low-cost, low-effort, high-impact ways to scratch my itch for novelty. Here’s my advice to anyone doing the same.
Cut Your Hair
When I first start craving something different, my go-to move is to get a haircut. If you know me, you know it doesn’t ever change that much—I’ve sported a pretty consistent brunette bob since I was 17, with the plot-twist addition of side-bangs at 19—but it’s all relative. Cutting my hair 3-4 inches is a drastic change for me. If you change your hairstyle frequently, maybe you’ll need to buzz the sides to get the same kind of fix. The good thing about a dramatic haircut: it really changes how you look every day. A new outfit or two cannot provide the same 24/7 boredom-relief as a haircut for this reason. The other good thing: if you hate it, it grows back eventually! We all make mistakes (@my 12-year-old attempt at fringe bangs, yikes).
Sometimes, though, life prevents us from pursuing a crazy haircut. I, for one, need my hair to fit comfortably into a ponytail until fall running season dies down. So at the end of the summer, a big chop wasn’t really on the table for me. What’s a girl to do?
Color Your Hair
Bingo! I’d never colored my hair before; I didn’t even really understand the process. I decided to let a professional do it the first time around (…and probably every time henceforth, they’re so good at it and going to a salon is just such a treat), and the stylist who normally cuts my hair convinced me not to dye my hair black or burgundy or red as I had originally planned and instead just get some highlights to see how I liked the color-treated life. I got a slight, much-needed trim and a few honey-colored streaks, and at first I was worried it wasn't different enough, but I have grown to absolutely love it.
So, whether it’s a dramatic cut or a crazy color, switching up your hair is a good way to do-a-little, change-a-lot.
Embrace a Weird Makeup Trend
If your hair is off-limits, makeup is another good place to start. In August, my sister and I impulse-bought October Ke$ha tickets while we were driving home from the beach. A few days before the concert, I realized I had nothing remotely appropriate to wear (my wardrobe has been severely lacking in the glitter department since 2010 or so). I decided that I could sport some glitter somewhere other than my clothing, and rushed to Sephora to pick up Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Liquid Eyeliner. I wore it to the concert, but I also wore it to class that week and it was actually a super fun addition to my daily uniform of black attire.
While at Sephora, I also picked up a token 2017 makeup item: blue lipstick. I have yet to wear this to class, but perhaps someday if I’m feeling extra rebellious...
Find something you-but-not-you
If you are going to venture into acquiring some new apparel, a good strategy I’ve used is to buy something that’s similar to your current style in some ways, different in others. This diversify-your-portfolio approach ensures that you get a little something new, but don’t wind up with a bunch of stuff you never wear again when your little of moment of angst passes.
I have to credit my mom with finding these amazing Paul Green shoes. They’re the perfect me-but-not-me: black? Pointed-toe? 100% Meredith. Asymmetrical ankle strap? Leather that isn’t patent? Woah there, who even am I? They’re a little edgier than my usual, but don’t stick out like a sore thumb among the rest of my repertoire.
Choose Something Flexible
If you really feel the time to buy some new clothes is nigh, the temptation to buy some crazy statement pieces is strong. However, resisting that siren call and opting for a few things you can wear more often in your day-to-day is the right move. Something out-there but versatile, like this pair of electric blue tights, has the potential to transform every skirt, dress, and pair of shorts in your wardrobe, while a wild asymmetrical blouse is more one-and-done.
Get in On Someone Else’s Craziness
I hope, dear reader, some of these suggestions have been of use to you in your quest to ameliorate your Holden Caulfield moment. But, if you're still thirsting for adventure, it's always fun to live vicariously through someone else’s style-related impulsivity. Last week, my boyfriend decided at dinner on a random Tuesday that he wanted to dye his hair silver that night. After consulting at-home dye guru Kathryn Hicks (you can find many pieces of hers right here on MODA), I ran to the nearest Sally Beauty Supply before it closed, almost passed out because I forgot to open the bathroom window while I was bleaching his dark brown hair an amenable white-yellow, and successfully achieved a mostly-silver hue. This wasn't my look, of course, but I still got a bit of a rush from the zaniness of it all. Bonus points: I wore my blue lipstick while I did it. Carpe diem!
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