How The #75HardStyleChallenge Helped Define My Personal Style

Shop your wardrobe

By Lauren Payne | 1st March 2024

As someone who has loved and appreciated fashion for most of her life, there’s nothing more exhilarating than buying new clothes.

I used to collect fashion magazines and flip through their glossy pages every month to make sure I was up to date on the latest trends so I could incorporate them into my wardrobe. However, the older I get (and the more bills I have to deal with), the less I’m able to spend on new clothes.

Add a cost-of-living crisis and the fastest trend cycle we’ve ever seen into the mix, and the thought of buying new clothes simply to be on trend feels incredibly overwhelming. So, for 2024, I’ve decided to focus on wearing more of what I already own and try the viral #75HardStyleChallenge. The brainchild of fashion analyst and writer Mandy Lee (@oldloserinbrooklyn), the 75 Hard Style Challenge encourages participants to befriend the clothes and accessories they already own. The rules of the challenge are very simple: get dressed every day for 75 days, document every outfit, get creative with how you style your pieces, set an intention for the challenge, and don’t buy anything new for 75 days.

@oldloserinbrooklyn Kicking off 2024 with a style challenge! If you want to start the new year off by glowing up, saving money, getting more use out of your closet and firming up your personal style this one’s for you. 75 days of intentionally getting dressed, collecting data, and discovering what you naturally gravitate towards. I’ve used this method many times and it’s one of my favorite easy ways to get back in touch with myself and see my clothes in a new exciting light. Challenge Rules: Get dressed everyday for 75 days Document your daily outfits Do not buy anything new Set your challenge goals/intentions Get creative and rely on your own brain for inspiration Organize + clean out your closet I will be taking part in the challenge and my personal goals are to start wearing pants more, firming up my casual style, and experiment with new shapes and silhouettes. I hope you’ll join me! #personalstyle #fashion #75hardstylechallenge ♬ original sound – Mandy Lee

Now I must admit, my wardrobe isn’t huge. I tend to clear out pieces I don’t wear quite regularly so I have quite a lot of excess space. I knew if tried this challenge, I’d end up wearing the same outfits more than once and the haunting words of Kate Sanders, the villain of the iconic Lizzie McGuire Movie, would echo in my head each morning: “Lauren Payne, you are an outfit repeater!” However, in a TikTok video explaining what the 75 Hard Style Challenge entails, Mandy says “repetition is what creates personal style,” so with this refreshing new mindset, I decided to embark on this new personal style journey.

As I write these words, I’ve been doing the 75 Hard Style Challenge for 33 days, and I’ve already learned quite a lot about both myself and my personal style.

I’ve noticed that my go-to colour is black, mostly because I go through bouts of decision fatigue and wearing black-on-black always seems to make me both look and feel put together with minimal effort. I’ve also noticed I opt for comfortable pieces, loving a slightly oversized tee, and tend to layer a lot of button-up shirts over tank tops to give some of my all-black fits a pop of colour. Also, despite being afraid of outfit repeating, I’ve not actually worn the exact same outfit more than once over the course of 33 days!

When it comes to my personal style, I can see patterns emerging. My outfits all tend to be quite casual and rely quite heavily on accessories to dress them up. If I was to follow stylist and author Allison Bornstein’s viral Three Word Method to describe my style currently, I would use: comfortable, effortless, and versatile. Comfortable because I refuse to wear something that digs into my body, effortless because I don’t want to have to think too hard about how I’m dressing myself (decision fatigue, remember!), and versatile because as I can now see from all my not-so-great selfies, I’m able to mix and match a lot of my pieces to create outfits for a variety of occasions.

I do still have quite a way to go in my 75 Hard Style Challenge but can certainly recommend it if you’ve been struggling to define your own personal style.

In a world of micro-trends, faster trend cycles, and TikTok aesthetics, developing your own personal style is the antidote to over-consumption and fast fashion. Trying the 75 Hard Style Challenge may just be the first step into reducing the number of impulse purchases you make, curating a wardrobe full of clothes you actually want to wear, and discovering what your own unique fashion aesthetic actually looks like.

Personal style is a journey, and the 75 Hard Style Challenge is just the beginning.

Header: @despi_naka, @unfash

By Lauren Payne When she’s not chewing your ear off about the full moon, Lauren can be found making playlists and sipping her third coffee of the day.
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