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Stepping into an aesthetic that's out of your comfort zone? Here's how (and why) to do it

You define your aesthetic, your aesthetic doesn't define you.

Your aesthetic, in simple terms, is how you want to look. In this case, we're talking about clothing style. Do you want to present yourself to the world in riding boots and button-downs? Maybe tackle your cottagecore dreams with ruffly tops and ballet flats. Whatever you decide, you don't have to stick to one aesthetic forever.

With that said, it may be *really* hard to try out a new aesthetic when you're used to the clothes and styles that bring you comfort. You can still hold on to that super comfy Thrasher hoodie and your favorite UGG slippers, but trying out a new aesthetic may come with some benefits. If you're looking to shake up your look, don't hesitate. Here are some ways to do it with confidence.

Start small with specific items

Switch out your hoodie for a long line cardigan. Ditch your heeled booties for a day and try some Air Jordans. Changing up everything at once can be overwhelming, but if you focus on specific items you can understand what works for you—and what doesn't. Did those flare jeans really make you feel uncomfortable, or was it the fact that you paired them with those platform sneakers that you're not used to? Isolate items when coming into your new aesthetic and identify what brings you joy.

Learn how to style the new additions you make to your wardrobe

Watch YouTube videos of people styling those print palazzo plants you just can't seem to match with anything. Hit up Pinterest for inspiration photos of people wearing the items that you want to add to your new aesthetic.

Doing some research will never fail you, and here's where you can get super specific. Are you a budding sneaker enthusiast? You can search up those new Nikes you just snagged. For instance, type "Nike AirMax Thea style" in the search engine of your choice and go to images. You'll be flooded with tons of inspo pics of people wearing your desired item. 

Remember your aesthetic is not your entire identity

If you stick to one aesthetic, you may feel like you're being defined by who you were in the past, and this very reason may make it hard to decide to take on a new one. How you choose to dress is totally not a reflection of your character, what you've accomplished in life and where you're going. Think of your style as a blank canvas that can be filled with your favorite colors and patterns, drawing inspiration from many places. Remember, you can always ditch the old canvas and move on to your next painting.

Don't forget that you can wear whatever you want

Body image issues can make it hard to feel confident in certain clothes. You may feel like your shoulders are too broad for a sleeveless dress, or your chest is too small for a certain cut of shirt. We've all been there. When these kinds of insecurities arise, remember that they are just social constructs.

Look to your favorite influencers and celebrities, or someone you admire in real life who has a similar body type, for inspiration. Chances are they confidently rock the items that you shove to the back of your wardrobe.

Not only will you see that it's okay to wear these items, but you may come to realize that you didn't see these major "body issues" as flaws in the people you admire, but only in your own self. We tend to hyper fixate on the things we don't like about ourselves when in reality these things don't cross peoples' minds. 

The next time you're thinking of switching up your aesthetic, don't hesitate, and remember, an aesthetic is not definite and it *doesn't* define you. So play around with colors, cuts and textures—experiment with reckless abandon. But above all else, have fun while doing it! 

Tag us in your adorably aesthetic Insta shots and TikToks—@girlslifemag!

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by Franca Akenami | 10/13/2020
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