Every so often, I’ll see a new wrap style worn by one of my headwrapping friends. If I like it, I’ll ask how she did it. More often than not, there’s a video tutorial so I’ll take a look and try it out. Several months ago, I tried the “lazy woman’s two-scarf veil.” I got the technique right, but while the style looked gorgeous on Olivia- who did the tutorial- and on many other women, it didn’t look right on me. It was just too big and too overwhelming next to my face. But the scarves that I used are old favorites, so I just took down the veil wrap and switched to a tried and true knot turban.
You can see the difference- the veil wrap is so huge on me while the knot turban is dramatic without overwhelming me.
Just recently, I saw another wrap style that I liked called the “fountain of joy.” Leorah, who did the tutorial, is known for very dramatic styles. I admit that I was worried that if I wore this one, it might come off too over-the-top for me, but I decided to try it and I’m glad I did because it worked.
Again, this is dramatic without overwhelming me.
While my examples have to do with headwrapping styles, my main point applies to just about every type of clothing. There isn’t a clothing item or accessory that isn’t worth a try. If you see something that appeals to you in some way, try it. If it’s available in a store, go to that store and try it on. If it’s only available online, you’ll need to buy it in order to try it and that means taking a chance. But if you have the money and the item can be returned, it’s likely worth that try.
Too many people talk themselves out of trying new things. They’re afraid that the new item won’t work, as in “well SHE can wear it because she’s beautiful and can wear anything but I can’t.” Or they’re afraid that it will be too strange and make them stick out like a sore thumb. I admit that I almost succumbed to that latter excuse- it’s what made me wary of the “fountain of joy” wrap. But I’m glad I didn’t succumb.
What’s the worst that can happen if you try on something new and different? You may find that it doesn’t flatter you in some way. Or maybe it’s too small and simple and disappears and does nothing for you. Or maybe it’s too dramatic and over-the-top and it’s wearing you. You know what? All you have to do is take it off. You tried it and it didn’t work. That’s all. But what if the item does work well for you? Then you have a new item in your arsenal. Of course, that means just a smidge more work because you’ll have to see how the item works with other items and create new outfits with it.
However, to minimize the work, I recommend one important thing. When you’re trying on something new, always start by trying it with a simple and neutral backdrop. If you’re trying on a new top, try it with a neutral skirt. If you’re trying a new skirt, do it with a neutral top. If you’re trying a new accessory, try it with a neutral base outfit. When I tried each of the wrap styles listed above, I was wearing simple neutral base outfits. Why do I recommend this? Because simple and neutral goes with everything. Since you know that the new item will go with the neutral item, you’ll be able to assess the new item on its own merits. You need to make sure the item works for you on its own and then see how it works with different outfits.
Let’s say you’re trying a scarf as an accessory and you try it next to a simple and neutral base outfit. If the scarf doesn’t flatter you, you’ll see that and you’ll know that it won’t be any more flattering with a more dramatic outfit. If the scarf just doesn’t do anything for you, again, you’ll know. And if it’s too over-the-top next to the neutral outfit and it takes over the whole thing, you’ll know that it will only clutter up a more dramatic outfit. By trying it on with a simple and neutral backdrop, you’ll see if the scarf or any new item works well for you.
If the new item does work for you, then you’ll have to try it with other items to see how it works and create new outfits. Maybe that new scarf looks great with your navy jacket but not so great with the brown top. Maybe it looks better with your dark green dress than with the burgundy jacket. Once you have a complete outfit, either take a picture of it or write down the elements on an index card. This way, you’ll know that this is something that works. When getting dressed, you can look through your photos or cards and pick an outfit.
Just to summarize…
- Never be afraid to try something new if it appeals to you. If it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do is take it off and not wear it again. If it does work, you’ll have something good.
- Always try each new item against a simple and neutral backdrop. This way, you can assess the item on its own merits and make sure it works for you. If it does work for you, then you can try it on with other items and other outfits and see how far you can go with it.
Play around, experiment, and have fun.