So, you’re in a funk. Nothing quite fitting right, clothes feeling mismatched, and every sartorial decision being signed off with a heavy sigh and a “this will do.” We’ve all been there. But, personal style’s a funny old thing, and it’s continually changing – so instead of taking those feelings of frustration as a sign of defeat, see them as the first step into an all-new realm of some ever-improving style. Reading this article? That’s the second step.
We’ve collated all our best universal advice for changing your personal style when you’re in a funk, so you can start feeling like you again. Ready to get your groove back? Let’s get into it.
Clear It Out
Nothing will make changing your personal style harder than staring into a wardrobe full of clothes you hate. So, ensure the next free Sunday in your calendar is dedicated to clearing it out. The only rule? Be ruthless. There’s no room for if, buts, and maybes during this stage – essentially, if you don't wear it now, and wouldn’t buy it again, cut it.
What you might find is some rediscovery of pieces you forgot you had and have now fallen in love with all over again, and what you’ll definitely find is a cleaner space, fresher mind, and more organized starting point to confidently develop on.
→ Find local charities to donate clothing still in good condition. For pieces that aren't donatable, find second uses for them like cutting them into garage rags.
Go Get Inspired
Perhaps the most important step to being intentional with your style evolution is beginning to track your tastes so you can decipher what you'd like to incorporate more of into your own aesthetic. The easiest way to do that is to peruse Primer's Getup series archive (and our Style section more generally), where we have several hundred outfits you can browse to start teasing out the parts that feel fresh for you. Saving these to a place like Pinterest can help build a mood board you can turn to when you're ready to buy new items or looking for something specific to wear.
A little scroll on Pinterest, Instagram, or dare we say TikTok, never hurt anybody and this is where all those fleeting thoughts of what you hope your personal style could look like will become more concrete. Sometimes in an unexpected way: If you're lost, it may help solidify what you don't like. And it’s not only online sources that’ll do the trick, often a long overdue venture into your nearest city or even just a walk can get you passing by some seriously stylish locals that ignite some inspiration. Failing that, you’ll at least get some creative juices flowing.
Introduce Some New Brands
Though it’s easy to shop from the brands you know and love, when you do start looking for some new pieces, try looking for new (or at least new to you) brands that resonate with your personal style instead of relying on your old faithfuls.
Remember to not get caught up in any trends designed for 20 somethings, instead look to those classic and timeless brands that will help put together the building blocks for a rotation of outfits that remain stylish for years to come – J.Crew, Everlane, Buck Mason, and Spier & Mackay spring to mind.
→ Read Primer's guide to our 32 favorite men's clothing brands
Sometimes the more refined designs of higher-priced brands can help you tease out details that inspire you even if you'll only seek to find them in brands you can afford. In that case, brands and retailers like Drake's, Todd Snyder, The Armoury, and Aimee Leon Dore may be your next step.
Adopt a Uniform Approach
Once you’ve got a pretty good idea of the new look you’re going for, take the time to put together one solid outfit that encapsulates it – yep, just one. Sounds easy enough, right? Just try and make sure it’s one you’d be happy wearing every day because this is going to become your ‘uniform.’
Before the panic sets in, rest assured you don’t have to go all-in Mark Zuckerberg and wear the exact same look every single day. The idea lies in having a few different versions of a clothing combination that puts you at ease to make getting dressed each day a breeze and not a panic.
Focus on One New Thing a Week
While all of these steps are great (if we do say so ourselves) and may seem easy to implement, try not to go all in, all at once. Yes, the prospect of an all-new personal style is exciting, but looking good and feeling good too should be a process. In other words, resist the urge to turn up at work on Monday looking like a completely different person, because you’ll just feel way too out of your comfort zone.
Introduce small and just-about-noticeable changes that feel authentic to you. This way, whichever changes you make are more likely to last for the long haul allowing your personal style to truly evolve.