After spending what feels like a year in quarantine, this is the perfect time for a change. Every time you look in the mirror, your enthusiasm dips just a little. You’ve just been wearing sweatpants and leggings non-stop for the last couple of months and you’re starting to feel like you might have outgrown your personal sense of style too. You yearn for the time when you’d feel wowed by your reflection in the mirror after trying on a new outfit or getting your hair and nails done. Do any of you have these feelings too? Quarantine has been making me feel exactly like this! *slow cry*
A lot of states are opening back up again (although some are considering closing back down if Coronavirus cases keep spiking), but I think this means that it’s time to start considering investing in transforming your look. That way you’ll be ready for whenever we can start safely going out to most public places again and you can feel confident in the way you look.
Changing your appearance can be very empowering, and for some it can even be life changing! When you’ve just landed a new job, gotten out of a bad relationship, or made any other positive change in your life, changing your look can allow you to embody and celebrate that change. It can also allow you to let go of old insecurities, embracing who you are now. Want to feel better about getting to a certain age? Want to feel more comfortable in your skin? Want to be at peace with your shape and size? Sometimes sticking to your old ways of dressing, styling your hair, and doing your makeup can make it much harder on the journey of confidence and self-love.
Of course, if it were easy to revitalize your look, everyone would be doing it. Here are some do’s and don’ts that will help you to transform your look without any regret!
DO: Take your time putting your new look together
You may feel tempted to emerge from quarantine immediately transformed. But a successful transformation can’t be rushed. Making hasty decisions now can lead to regrets later. So it’s important that you take the time to look up different styles to give you inspiration for your new look. Take a look at what your favorite influencers or stylish friends are doing with their style. Talk to your hairstylist and approach them with looks that you like but are unsure whether they’ll work for your hair. Research clothing brands online that are outside of your comfort zone, but have clothes that flatter your body type. If possible, try and shop with ethical brands who care more about creating a quality product rather than fast fashion brands that are just looking to inflate their bottom lines.
DON’T: Overspend on clothes
There’s no denying it. One of the most fun parts of changing your look is shopping! The feeling of being let loose in the mall or online can be exhilarating. When trying to put together a new look, you should always make at least one purchase that scares you just a little. It can help you to define your new look and may well turn into your favorite piece! This happens to me all the time, where someone suggests an item that I never (and I mean NEVER) would have chosen for myself, but then I try it on and it ends up being the best looking thing I put on.
However, while you should pick out one or two statement pieces, this shouldn’t be an excuse to max out your credit card on a whole new wardrobe. You don’t want your reinvention to be tinged with feelings of guilt and shame that come with reckless spending. Instead, think of ways you can repurpose your existing wardrobe to better accommodate your new statement pieces. If Zero Waste Home author Bea Johnson can create 50 outfits from just 15 items of clothing, imagine what you can do by adding some new additions to your wardrobe!
You don’t even have to buy brand new. Take the time to research online and find preloved items that fit your chosen aesthetic. For example, learn to become a boss at thrift shopping (one of my favorite past times!). You’ll feel much better about your new look when you know that it’s completely guilt-free.
DO: Let your friends help
Changing your look on your own may be daunting. You’ll be well served by allowing some of your friends to join you on this journey. Just be careful about which friends you bring with you – know that real friends will genuinely support your efforts and others may not always have your best interests at heart.
While you will undoubtedly have some friends who burst into applause when they see you try on every outfit and rave about how stunning you look, these might not be the best people to take shopping with you. Instead, you want to take the friends whom you know will be nice… but honest. These are the friends who will prevent you from feeling buyer’s remorse or having to fish your receipts out of the garbage to get your panic-refund.
Of course, you don’t want to take anyone who’ll say mean things or make you feel bad about yourself either. Just bring the people who will help you to build on a strong foundation.
DON’T: Assume that a new look means giving up your glasses (if you wear them)
Of course, changing your look is about more than buying new clothes and shoes. It’s also about changing your hair, your makeup (if you wear it), and your accessories. Although you can’t change your face (at least not without surgery), you can change the way your face is perceived. For generations now, people have been using glasses to change their appearance and make a fashion statement as well as helping them to see better with prescription lenses.
But, glasses-wearers do themselves a disservice if they assume that contact lenses are the only way to go. Contact lenses can help you to make a powerful change, but they can also be potentially harmful to your eyes, resulting in an increased risk of corneal infection, scratching and irritation. Not to mention the risk of loss or damage. This is why it’s important to do your research to find out what works best for you.
If contact lenses aren’t your thing, consider changing to a different frame. Easy click here to check out some stylish Carrera lenses. The right frames can subtly enhance the shape of your face, and in many cases are even more transformative than switching to contacts.
DO: Change on the inside rather than just the outside
Changing up your look can be transformative and liberating… but it can’t just be the exterior that changes. The most important change is the change that comes from within. You might want to consider an honest self-evaluation to identify where you might have some weaknesses or shortcomings.
For example, with the current #BlackLivesMatter movement in full effect, it’s important to address your inner biases and strive for ANTI-racism (and backing up your anti-racist beliefs with actionable changes), rather than simply not being racist (which is a passive or performative form of support and doesn’t help positive change occur). Some people say they believe in human rights, yet don’t do anything to actually support the empowerment of oppressed groups.
Or as another example, if you want to live a healthier lifestyle, it would be beneficial to start getting into a workout routine that you know you can realistically stick to in addition to developing healthier eating habits. This will help you not only look healthier, but you’ll feel healthier and happier too.
On your self-love journey, it can help to even say some affirmations to yourself in the mirror, challenge unhelpful thoughts with therapy, as well as surrounding yourself with positive, loving people. This will help to ensure that your mental health is supported and your internal change is successful.
DON’T: Pile on the makeup without taking care of your skin
Makeup can be a wonderful way to express yourself while also enhancing your natural beauty. It’s truly an art form that can help you feel beautiful and transformed… just be wary of leaning on it too heavily without taking care of your skin too. Heavy makeup can clog your pores and irritate your skin resulting in flare ups and acne. Check out my recent article on the 7 Skin Problems That Can Be Solved With CBD as well as my January 2020 Skincare Favorites: The 5 Best Products for Oily Skin post for some of my recommendations.
DO: Invest in quick fixes that can easily be walked back
Be wary of any huge changes that are permanent or long-lasting like tattoos or extreme hairstyles that you haven’t thoroughly thought out first. Instead, invest in quick fixes that can easily be walked back if you end up deciding they’re not for you. This may include clip-in hair extensions, wigs, etc. These will help you to better adjust to changes safe in the knowledge that you can change them back near instantly.
DON’T: Make extreme hair changes unless you’re absolutely sure
Finally, changing your hair is one of the most transformative things you can do to your look. Your hair can completely re-frame your face, change your profile and change where the eye is drawn when people look at you. But, think twice before opting for an extreme color or cut, and always consult with a hair stylist you trust who will be able to guide you through the long-term implications for your hair. I have personally had a handful of bad hair experiences that took YEARS to grow out. I even had a hairstylist put a perm in my hair without telling me! I was devastated. You wouldn’t want to make an extreme hair change or go to a hair stylist that doesn’t have your hair’s best interests at heart and then regret it a few months later.
I hope these do’s and dont’s helped you get a better picture for how you can transform your look post-quarantine! I’ll personally be thinking of new hairstyles for myself and going shopping to help refresh my wardrobe after not having bought new clothes since 2019! It’s definitely time. What are some of the ways you’ll be transforming your look post-quarantine? Let me know!