5 tactics to develop your personal style if you’re in a funk

Love your style again.

So you’re in a funk. Nothing fits right, the clothes feel mismatched, and every sartorial decision is signed with a heavy sigh and an “it’ll do.” We’ve all been there. But personal style is a funny old thing, and it changes all the time – so instead of taking these feelings of frustration as a sign of failure, see them as the first step into a whole new world of a other ever-improving style. Are you reading this article? That is the second step.

We’ve rounded up all our best universal advice for changing your personal style when you’re in a funk, so you can start feeling like yourself again. Ready to get your groove back? Let’s get into it.

Clear it out

Nothing will make it harder to change your personal style than staring into a wardrobe full of clothes you hate. So make sure the next free Sunday in your calendar is dedicated to clearing it out. The only rule? Be relentless. There is no room for ifs, buts and maybes at this stage – basically, if you don’t use it now and wouldn’t buy it again, cut it.

What you might find is a rediscovery of pieces you forgot you had and have now fallen in love with all over again, and what you will definitely find is a cleaner space, a fresher mind and a more organized starting point to develop yourself on.

→ Find local charities to donate clothes that are still in good condition. For pieces that can’t be donated, you can find other uses for them like cutting them into garage rags.

Go and be inspired

Perhaps the most important step to being intentional with your style development is to start tracking your tastes so you can decipher what you’d like to incorporate more of into your own aesthetic. The easiest way to do it is to use Primer’s Getup series archive (and ours Style section more generally), where we have hundreds of outfits for you to browse to start teasing the parts that feel fresh to you. Save these to a location like Pinterest can help build a mood board you can turn to when you’re ready to buy new things or looking for something specific to wear.

different men's style aesthetics across 9 outfits
Different styles of outfit inspiration found in The Getup

A little scroll further Pinterest, Instagramor dare we say TikTok, never hurt anyone, and this is where all those fleeting thoughts about what you hope your personal style could look like become more concrete. Sometimes in an unexpected way: Being lost can help solidify who you are do not like. And it’s not just online sources that will do the trick, often a long awaited venture into your nearest town or even just a walk can see you pass some seriously stylish locals that ignite some inspiration. Failing that, at least you’ll get some creative juices flowing.

Introduce some new brands

While it’s easy to shop from the brands you know and love when you start looking for some new jewelry, try looking for new (or at least new to you) brands that resonate with your personal style instead to trust your old faithfuls.

Remember not to get caught up in any trends designed for 20-somethings, but instead look to the classic and timeless brands that will help put together the building blocks for a rotation of outfits that will stay stylish for years to come – J.Crew, Everlane , Buck Mason, and Spier & Mackay come to mind.

→ Read Primer’s guide to our 32 favourites menswear brands

Sometimes the more refined designs of more expensive brands can help you tease details that inspire you, even if you’re only looking to find them in brands you can afford. In that case, both brands and retailers Drake’s, Todd Snyder, The armoryand Aimee Leon Dore could be your next step.

4 images of men wearing clothing from Drakes, Todd Snyder, The Armory and Aimee Leon Dore
From top left: Drake’s, Todd Snyder, The Armory and Aimee Leon Dore

Adopt a one-size-fits-all 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 to wear every day because this will become your ‘uniform’.

Before panic sets in, rest assured that you don’t have to go all-in Mark Zuckerberg and wear the exact same look every single day. The idea is to have a few different versions of a clothing combination that makes you feel comfortable by making dressing every day a game and not a panic.

Creating a new outfit from pieces from 4 other outfits
Remix 4 other outfits to create a new one

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, don’t try to go all in at once. Yes, the prospect of a whole new personal style is exciting, but looking good and feeling good too should be a process. In other words, resist the urge to show up to work on Monday looking like a completely different person, because you’ll just feel way too out of your comfort zone.

Make small and almost noticeable changes that feel authentic to you. This way, the changes you make are more likely to last, allowing your personal style to really evolve.

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