Summer Reinvention Inspiration, Part 3: A Fresh Start for Your Style

Welcome back to the Flourishing Fiercely blog! Summer is in full swing now, and I hope everyone, especially those experiencing recent heat waves in some parts of the U.S., is finding ways to stay safe, cool, and comfortable.  Last week, I wrote about some of the most common areas to make a fresh start in life–work, health, and finances–but in this post, I’m excited to turn our attention to some lighter topics. A fresh start doesn’t always have to be about something “big” or serious like your career.  Whether it’s with your wardrobe or your home, you can have plenty of lower-stakes fun with a “style” fresh start too!

Does Your Personal Style Truly Reflect Who You Are?

Do you have a personal style?  If I looked in your closet or around your home, would I get a clear idea of your style? (No judgment if the answers to either of those questions are “no,” “I don’t know” or “hmm…maybe???”  I’m still figuring this one out for myself!) Style is a way of saying who you are without speaking. Style is your outward expression of your inner self. From wearing leopard prints to having a signature haircut, style indicates who you are, what you love, and your self-confidence.  A few common factors that shape our sense of style (or not, if we’re not sure we have one yet!) are insecurity, income, and influences. 

Insecurity kills style before it has a chance to come out. Insecurity looks to others for validation which usually leads to following someone else like sheep.  It can hold you back or make you doubt your style if someone makes a critical comment about your outfit, for example.  Income can also influence your style–though it doesn’t have to! You may think that you can’t express your style until you can afford the bells and whistles that go with it but think again!  If your income is limited, there are lots of style gems to be found in thrift/second-hand stores, both physical stores like your local Goodwill or a mom-and-pop vintage store as well as online second-hand marketplaces like Poshmark, eBay, or ThredUP.  (Even if you have a bigger budget, thrifting is a great option for environmental sustainability or just to find a unique accessory or piece of clothing that you wouldn’t see everyday in a store or online).  Family, friends, peers, or others around us may also influence style.  Sometimes, this can combine in a harmful way with insecurity and self-doubt–but if you love a style, embrace it and let others have their opinions with zero influence on you.

If you aren’t sure what your style is, you might get a few ideas browsing platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok. Start noting images that you love and dive deeper into some internet research on what that style might be called and some of its trademark features. Or pick an icon whom you want to emulate and study their style. You can imitate their look or components of it until you become comfortable adding some personalization to make it your own. 

Style can also be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be.  Some people coordinate entire outfits to match a certain style of dress.  Others may stick to simple staples and classics, like black pants paired with a white blouse or black t-shirt, and then add a single “pop” that stands out, like brightly-colored shoes or a bold piece of jewelry. Having a personal style helps say who you are without speaking a word. It’s a great way to proceed yourself and express who you are and what you love

I’ll admit, this is a new area for me. I’ve typically considered myself a pretty “low-maintenance” person, and reflecting on my own personal style takes me a little bit out of my comfort zone.  Funny enough, thanks to my professional experience and my coaching practice, talking and thinking about making big career and personal finance changes is actually much more in my wheelhouse than tackling fashion, decor, and style!  But earlier this year, a session on “Worthiness Within Your Wardrobe” at the Black Woman Leading LIVE summit that I attended really had me thinking about personal style in a different way–and got me excited about making a few fresh starts in my own style and wardrobe.  (And of course, that summit session was about so much more than just clothes; we engaged in some deep reflection about confidence, purpose, and self-love.)

Changing Up Your Home Decor for a Fresh Start

Style isn’t just about what we wear, but how we decorate our environment as well.  Does your home reflect your style and your personality or do you look around your space and feel “blah?”

When we’re young and starting out, we may not have the ability to decorate the way we might like. As we move into adulthood, we may have more resources but other things can get in the way of creating a personalized space that we love: maybe it’s sticky fingers and scattered toys if we’re parents of small children, or pet hair and “accidents” if we’re puppy-owners; perhaps we need to prioritize spending our money in other areas rather than on our home.  But even if you have some constraints and even if decorating isn’t your passion, it can give us a real mental “boost” to have a space that reflects our taste, personality, and makes us feel at home.

Color.  Painting your home in colors that bring you joy can alter your mental health for the better. Are you a warm or cool tone person? Painting your walls in either tone can greatly improve your happiness. (Just remember to look at paint samples on your walls in different lighting at different times of the day, and when choosing a paint color, it’s often also helpful to paint a test swatch on the wall too–colors can look surprisingly different once they’re on your wall compared to how they looked on the little cardboard sample card you picked up at the paint store!)

Textures and fabrics.  Fabrics that are soft and cozy can restore your health and your sense of security. If these textures feel restorative for you, you can try upgrading your bedroom with luxurious sheets, down comforters, plush pillows, and fluffy rugs. The delight to your senses of touch will restore you every time you are unplugged and regenerating for the next day.

Lighting. Lighting affects mood. Having adequate lighting that is soft and pleasant is an important way to refresh yourself. Finding bulbs that cast a soft glow and create a happy mood will help you feel good every time you are home.

Art and furnishings.  Your art should reflect who you are. There is a saying that no one should buy art or fragrance for someone else. These are personal decisions that only you can truly choose, and it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive or created by a famous artist to reflect your style and add personality to your space.  “Art” can be a vintage poster from a favorite childhood movie, for example, a favorite photo you took that you get printed and framed, or even a child’s art project that has sentimental and personal meaning to you.  From the furniture you sit on to the decorations that adorn your walls and shelves, having pieces that are functional, comfortable, and delight your eye are vital. 

Changing up your home decor to best reflect your personality and taste is an excellent way to refresh and recharge. Being comfortable in your home is the best way to energize yourself to be and do all that is expected of you outside of those walls.

I hope you enjoyed this recap of some fun ways to give yourself a style-related fresh start this summer!  Feel free to share your personal style tips or tricks in the comments!