The huarache post last week sparked off a few thought-provoking comments:

Starry: “I find I am drawn to so many different styles, partly from being exposed to persuasive styling in magazines/stores, or admiring how something looks on another person… and I don’t always have the clearest picture of what is ‘me’ and what isn’t. I suspect having that kind of clarity makes a person much better at shopping and building a good, functional wardrobe.”

Budget Babe: “Starry makes a good point. I often struggle with passing up those trends that truly aren’t “me”, i.e. I might go ga-ga for something on the rack, but then it’ll end up sitting in my closet because it doesn’t work with my personal style. I was loving the huarache trend until I actually tried them on and it just felt way too “boho”… maybe the heels you showed above would work, but the flats, nope.”

I know that I am very open to wearing new trends and am constantly trying them out, but I also have a strong sense of my own aesthetic preferences. For example, because my individual style is modern, retro, trendy, professional, fun, modest and practical, I’m automatically attracted to items that are in line with those descriptors. On the flip side, I’m less attracted to items that are overly casual and sporty, eclectic, earthy, bohemian or too revealing. But then again, it doesn’t mean that I don’t adore those types of styles on others. Instinctively I just know that they are not for me.

I occasionally force myself to step outside of my comfort zone, but it is hard to trust your own judgment in these situations. How can you tell whether it’s a question of getting used to a new trend, or whether it just doesn’t work with your personal style? What does it mean for something to be “you”? Sometimes you will love a style on other people, be confident that you can pull it off, but still feel that it isn’t “you”. How can you tell whether your individual style will adapt and incorporate the new look over time?

This is an area where I can really help my clients. They need an objective opinion that they can trust in order to get past their comfort zone and extend it into new territory. This objective opinion could also come from your friends and family (including your friends and family on the YLF forum), or even from complete strangers – sometimes the best thing is to wear a new look and see the response that you get from other people. Often my opinion is enough to get my clients to wear something new, but it is only when they get lots of spontaneous positive feedback that they really open up to the new style.

Do you have a clear picture of what style is “you” and what isn’t? If so, how did you arrive at these conclusions? How do you test the boundaries of your comfort zone?