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Shaking Up Your Style

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Creative style is so much easier when you step out of the box -- and I really mean step out of it!

1. Take a Class to Compliment

Are you a style maven already, but you don’t have the skills to pull off any looks on your own? Well, this is your chance. Learn how to sew, take a jewelry-making course, or start researching upcycling techniques. Master one of these, and you’ll be able to style your own hair accessories, work clothes, and much more. I know it takes time and patience, but in the end, you’ll see that it is totally worth it.

Tip: Concentrate on a single fashion “skill” -- smock-making, hat-making, jewelry-making... something to that effect.

2. Research and Participate in Fashionable Events

The Gatsby lunch. A Titanic brunch. Fashionable bridge. A reenactment. All of these events are ones that will spur you on to research particular decades and looks. You might never have known how much you loved wearing 1940s-style dressing gowns until you went to a vintage PJ party, or long dresses until you went to a masquerade. Maybe the event will just inspire you to chuck out those jeans.

Tip: Check out local Facebook pages to find cool events that you might not have known about otherwise. Meet like-minded individuals at these kind of dress-up-friendly events, and you’ll be halfway there already to a new wardrobe. One example in Miami is a bike excursion that happens once per month, and attracts the hardcore cyclists along with the college students. People dress up, and it’s wild.

3. Getting Novel Ideas

I love dressing like a character in a book -- any book, but preferably something that I’m really digging at the moment. I get ‘70s inspiration from books like Moosewood Cookbook; I get 1930s dreams from Rules of Civility; I get urban daydreamy inspiration from Mother Nature’s Beauty Cupboard. It doesn’t always turn out the way I want it, but it certainly gets me thinking.

Tip: Ask a friend about their favorite book, and google it. Choose the first character you read about and start researching what they like to wear. Go from there, and enjoy every second of it.

4. Collaborate

Don’t want to learn how to design your own? Daunted by the prospect? Try collaborating with a skilled craftsperson instead. I have been buying loose gemstones and working with a highly talented artist to create my own jewelry. She’s inspired, and she’s affordable. You’ll come up with ideas you’d never come up with if you took your own jewelry class, because expertise doesn’t play a part in the designing/dreaming process.

Tip: Get a book on crystals or sacred stones to help you move forward with choosing a stone. This can be the hardest part -- I match mine with my birthstone and my personality.

5. Play Pin-the-Tail on the...Jeans?

Jeans go with everything, or so we’ve been told. Why not really shake things up and test this by walking blindly into your closet and pairing those jeans with the first something-or-other that you discover? If it’s truly hideous, of course you don’t need to wear it, but choosing something like this could really give you a kick. Think random color combinations and unusual patterns, paired with unusual touches.

Tip: Too scared to simply grab something in your closet and run with it? Try picking out a random scarf and slamming it on an outfit of your choice as well. Think contrasting colors and patterns and FUN.

6. Copycat

See someone on the street with a great outfit? Take a picture of it when they are not looking and be a big copycat. Use their style as your jumping-off point for closet greatness.

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