Build a Sustainable Closet#4: Explore New Styles

“Build a Sustainable Closet” is a blog series about slow fashion, minimalism and steps to building a long-lasting closet that you actually wear and cherish. Each blog post offers tips and tricks on how to discover your style, buy less and buy better. If you care about the environment and reducing our clothing waste, check out this blog series on Styles For Thought.

So far in the series, we have only talked about discovering your style based on your past outfits. But what if you are not sure about your current wardrobe and style? Or what if you lack fashion intuition and want a third party opinion? Well, today, I am going to touch on a few ways to explore new styles.

Build a Sustainable Closet Explore New Styles

1. Explore New Styles on Your Own

My favorite way to explore new styles is to go straight to the clothing store and try on random clothes. I put on my most comfortable undergarments in nude color, and then I try on clothes that I normally don’t pick out. When exploring new styles, I like to go in with zero expectations and let myself be surprised. With that said, I don’t do any prior research on the internet. One benefit of doing this is that you get to see how clothes fit on your body without any biases. Obviously, there are some merits in getting inspirations on Pinterest and Instagram. But oftentimes, your body shape is different from the model, so the clothes are not going to look the same on you. When you have an expectation in mind, it gets harder to feel satisfied even when the clothes actually fit you, because you are subconsciously comparing yourself to the model. On the downside, this method will take longer, and you might lack ideas to create new outfits.

Some of my favorite places to explore new styles are Anthropologie and a L.A. based boutique called Shopaholic Sample Sales. I like these two clothing stores because they carry different brands and styles. I recommend doing your style exploration in bigger department stores rather than small boutiques because there is typically less pressure to buy things.

Build a Sustainable Closet Explore New Styles

2. Get Help from a Stylist to Explore New Styles

If you prefer to get help from a stylist, I recommend going to Nordstrom to receive free professional styling services. As stated on their website, you can get help from a stylist at Nordstrom without feeling the pressure to buy. The service is completely free. Also, Nordstrom has a wide selection, making it pretty easy to explore new styles within the same place.

Build a Sustainable Closet Explore New Styles


3. Try-before-You-Buy Clothing Subscriptions

Sometimes, trying on clothes in a fitting room is just not enough. You need more time to decide whether you actually like a new style. If this is the case, I recommend clothing rental subscriptions as mentioned in the last episode. The Unlimited from Rent the Runway is a good way to explore new styles from high-end designer brands, and Le Tote is another similar but cheaper option. Besides renting clothes, you can also try out these try-before-you-buy clothing subscription services. Now, you can pay a small fee to have stylists pick out new clothes for you! Here are 2 popular options:

Stitch Fix

Stitch fix is a popular try-before-you-buy clothing subscription service! At USD20 a month, you can now hire a professional stylist to shop on your behalf! When you first start Stitch Fix, they give you a fashion quiz to access your style preferences. Then a professional stylist will pick out clothes for you and send them to you. When the box arrives, you have 3 days to try on clothes at home. If you see a great item that you’d like to keep, you can pay the item’s retail price less the monthly fee of USD20. If you don’t see anything that you want to keep, you can send them all back to Stitch Fix. But make sure to keep all the tags intact before you return the clothes! How clothes fit on the body is many people’s biggest concern when it comes to online shopping. But according to my friend’s experience, Stitch Fix has always managed to find her clothes that fits her body well.

Truck Club

Truck Club is another try-before-you-buy clothing subscription service. What makes Truck Club different from Stitch Fix is that you get to select your own pieces after a professional stylist picks out a range of clothes for you. Additionally, Truck Club is a subset of Nordstrom, and so it carries a lot of common brands that you may already like from Nordstrom.

So here are my favorite ways to explore new styles. Of course, you can discover new styles through other means. You can even go to a friend’s place and raid her closet. Ha! But in this post, I wanted to focus more on professional styling services. Anyone can style you but what makes professional styling services stand out is that stylists are more familiar with different trends, brands, styles, and fits. Since they know more, they can better suggest other things that you haven’t thought of before. Once you get a couple new ideas and lock down on certain styles you like, you can go back to the beginning of this series and create a shopping guideline for yourself.



I hope you enjoy this post! What other problems are you experiencing with fashion? Do you always know your style? If not, how did you discover it? Please leave me a comment!

Smile and style on!


Outfit Information

Shirt :: Massimo Dutti 

Skirt :: Reformation (Sold out)

Shoes :: Stuart Weitzman

Bag :: Chloe




  1. Super insightful! I’m going to ask for a stylist next time at Nordstrom:)

    1. Let’s go together! 🙂

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