It’s no secret that I believe in the idea of expanding your style comfort zone, and yet, when we go shopping, we tend to purchase the same things over and over.
It only makes sense. We buy what we like and we like what we have.
Quote of the day: “Mediocrity knows nothing highter than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Part of the issue with our style is we have read article after article about how to figure out our style. The problem with that concept from my point of view is you are pigeonholing what to wear into one kind of look.
And every woman I’ve ever met has many aspects of her personality. Which is exactly why I think our outfits should be varied.
So I had this idea to expand your style comfort zone and it took me a long time to put together a plan to pull it off. I figured it would help to do it thrifting in case some of the items that came home, weren’t well loved.
I have written some other fun articles around this same idea to expand our style comfort zone with things we already have in our closets. It’s a fun time, and I highly recommend doing something like this.
- Styling Charlotte from her closet
- Raiding Lesley’s closet
- Finding new outfits in Jodie’s closet
- When your husband puts together your look
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The Challenge To Expand Your Style Comfort Zone
The only way to really expand your style comfort zone is to have someone else shop for you, I decided. With that in mind, the 4 of us set off for a local Goodwill, and this is how it went.
- On the way there, we each gave a short synopsis of how we would describe our own style. After each person shared, I gave some options of items that could be used to expand their style comfort zone.
- We each drew names from a hat to see who we would be styling. This meant, we would be shopping exclusively for this person for an outfit they would actually wear.
- The definition of an outfit was either a dress or top with bottom. No shoes.
- I asked that we keep the price low: under $20.
- The person being styled was asked to keep an open mind, but they had to like the items enough that they would really wear them.
- And the kicker is that we had to try things on right then and there. Our area Goodwills do not have fitting rooms which is why we dressed the way we did.
- BTW, the blog bought these outfits thanks to your support with my ads on my site and commissions I get when you purchase things through my links.
So join the 4 of us as we become stylists for each other and work to expand another person’s style comfort zone.
Lesley Shopping for Charlotte
Charlotte said her style is relatively conservative and she is at the age where she prefers to cover up. She is also from the generation where you match clothing items so everything is in 1 or 2 color schemes.
My thoughts for Lesley who was her stylist was to see if she could find Charlotte a pair of jeans. My mom only has 1 pair of jeans and they are a dark denim, seen here. While she considers jeans casual and not something to wear for everyday, I would love for her to expand her style comfort zone by adding them to more of her daily outfits.
When worn correctly, they can take years off your look instead of wearing elastic waistband pants.
Related post: Best jeans for women over 50
Jodie Shopping for Lesley
Lesley described her style as classic, although we discussed how she has already expanded her style comfort zone a lot since reading and being a part of my blog.
In the past Lesley wouldn’t wear animal prints, combine prints together in an outfit among many other items I have asked her to wear.
When I was trying to think about what Lesley’s stylist should shop for (which ended up being me), I suggested a skirt or pants that were faux leather. That’s not something Lesley has embraced yet, and I thought this would be a perfect time.
The other aspect for Lesley was looking for a color that she doesn’t wear as often instead of bright blue and red (those are her favorite colors). BTW, she will not wear green near her face.
Lesley was game enough to try on everything I found for her, and I can’t wait to show you the result below.
Suzann Shopping for Jodie
I had a hard time describing my style until Lesley threw out the word varied! That and colorful are exactly how I think of my clothing options.
So in order to expand my style comfort zone, we talked about how maybe I should wear some of the darker colors since I have almost anything and everything in my closet.
Suzann was an incredible stylist and brought a ton of different options to the table. She really thought out what I usually wear and how to bring something different to the mix.
Charlotte Shopping for Suzann
Suzann admitted that she rarely buys and wears pants. She is more of a dresses and skirts gal, and has a bit of a boho vibe in many of her outfits.
My thought was it would be nice for Suzann’s stylist to look for pants for her, and she did end up finding a pair that she bought for herself this day. I was very proud of her for pushing herself that way. She usually goes for items with extras, so we talked about maybe looking for something simpler.
Charlotte started styling Suzann, and found this blue silky skirt but I ended up stepping in to finish off the look due to time constraints.
The Results to Expand Your Style Comfort Zone
I think the goal of any stylist is to work to expand your style comfort zone. If a stylist only shops for similar things that you already have in your closet, then what is the use?
A stylist can also be helpful to suggest pairing items you may not have considered as well as unique color combinations.
Let’s see how the experiment ended with the thrifted outfits on each person.
Lesley found these fabulous wide leg, light denim jeans for my mom. She will need to shorten them, but that’s an easy alteration.
The ruffle top fits the bill for the coverage that my mom prefers, but it expands her style comfort zone in two ways.
1-It’s very feminine compared to the jeans which creates a yin/yang for the look.
2-The top is cropped. When you hold it up, most women would say it’s too short. Yet this length is fabulous with these jeans and because of the elastic, doesn’t need to be tucked in.
Result: An outfit that makes this 85 year old woman look very contemporary and chic.
I am over the moon that these faux leather joggers fit Lesley so well. They don’t even have to be shortened and they look amazing on her.
I found this melon colored faux wrap top that is actually too long for her. However, Lesley was brilliant by tucking it under so it’s the perfect length.
Result: This hot mama is ready for the cooler weather looking like a woman of the 2020’s.
In the end, Suzann found a monochromatic outfit which is something I don’t wear much. In fact, she is the one who suggested wearing it with bright pink which you saw in this Daily Outfit post on Saturday.
She loved the dichotomy of the pleather shorts with the feminine ruffles of the shirt. Yet wearing the shirt over my swimsuit bra gives it an edgy vibe.
Result: I adore this look and can see wearing it even in the winter with tights, boots and a turtleneck.
Suzann said that the skirt is something she would have purchased but she would never have picked out the t-shirt. Yet it’s a great look together and she plans to wear it with white sneakers she bought due to my post about them.
The t-shirt was a tad long, so we tied it up at the corner. It creates a fabulous proportion and even looks great with the earrings and shoes she was wearing that day.
Result: Definitely a winning combination that can be mixed and matched with so many other things in her closet.
So would you do something like this? I think it can be so fun, but I will admit it was harder than I thought. It’s easy to shop for ourselves but to think outside of our norm can be a challenge.
I liked how Suzann commented about her outfit styled by mom (and me): “It was the best of both worlds in that it was close to what I see as my style that I could step into it.”
That is exactly how to expand your style comfort zone. Find something that is just a baby step different than what you are used to wearing.
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Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.
It’s not just about me on this blog, but also my mother and friend. We get to showcase not only different decades of life but also different body shapes and unique personal styles.