You see an item that’s different from your usual stylistic preferences, yet for some reason you are drawn to it. You try it on and it looks great, but as expected, it doesn’t “feel like you”. So the question is, do you take the item home hoping to incorporate it into your style, or do you leave the potential wardrobe orphan at the store? 

I vote take the item home, keep the tags on, and experiment with the new look if you have the luxury of doing so. Spend a little time integrating it with items from your wardrobe that are more typical of your style preferences and reassess your feelings. By adding your personal style touches, the item will probably feel more like your look. If after this process, it still feels like too much of a style stretch, return it. 

Sticking to your signature look, AND trying something new are both important components to having a great sense of style. On the one hand, it’s nice to have a distinctive look because style is a celebration of individuality. On the other hand, changing up that distinctive look, even just in subtle ways, keeps things fresh and interesting. Heaven forbid our style becomes staid and boring. That’s why I suggest taking the item home and giving it a chance in the short window of time that you have before returning it. Moving out of your style comfort zone in this manner is sometimes the best way to evolve your style. 

If you can’t return the item because of the store policy or the fact that it is a sale item, you’ll just have to follow your instincts. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up with an orphan, but even then you always have the options of selling the item or passing it on.

My most recent example of this scenario was when I instantly fell in love with a very floral pink midi dress. The silhouette, length and fabrication were right up my alley, but the large floral mid-toned pattern was not something that would usually tickle my fancy. But I was very drawn to this dress and it followed me home. When I matched it with red heels or cream boots, and my off white leather jacket or faded denim jacket, it began feeling more like me. And now I actually like the dress best on it’s own with red heels so that I can see the hectic floral pattern in all it’s glory. 

Have you had a similar experience? When faced with an item that is compelling but not typically your style, do you take the plunge, or do you leave it on the store rack?