How To Have Main Character Energy At Any Age

If you’ve watched TikTok or Instagram reels for even a few minutes lately, you’ve probably heard the phrase “main character energy” being thrown around. And even if not, you probably know what it means! 

What Is Main Character Energy?

Main character energy means dressing like you are the main character in your own story and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Dressing with main character energy means wearing that statement piece, pairing sparkle with sparkle and bold with bold, and putting on one accessory before leaving the house.

Think about the main characters in shows like “Emily in Paris” or “Sex and the City” (it’s hardly surprising that stylish extraordinaire Patricia Field, who was doing main character energy before it was a common term, is involved with both). They always wear looks that are just a little bit out there or over-the-top, but it’s simply fantastic. 


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Now, this look isn’t always practical or realistic for most of us (at least every day), but don’t you want to embody a little bit of that spirit and energy all the time? 

Here are some of our favorite ways to add a little main character energy to any given day or outfit…

How To Get Main Character Energy With Your Wardrobe

main character energy fashion fountainof30

Always Add Extra Sparkle

Why wear a standard tee or top when you can wear one with sparkle? Something like this black Vince Camuto sweater would be super easy to pair with nearly anything, and the embellishments on the sleeves make it a little bit special. Or go seriously glittery with something like this sequined long-sleeve tee from Free People – it would look amazing with everything from denim to a full-length ball-gown style skirt. 

Layer Your Prints

Wouldn’t an embellished top like the one mentioned above look great with a pair of pants like these slouchy plaid ones from Miss Selfridge? Or perhaps you want to go bolder with a graphic print, like these vaguely animal print-inspired wide-leg pants from Maeve? 

There’s Never Too Much Texture

Tweed, suede, leather, sequins, satin, and more all add richness and interest to any outfit. And if there is anything that the aforementioned main character types have in common, it is adding tons of interest to any given look. 

Mix it up with texture and color with a jacket like this metallic color block tweed style from Aqua at Bloomingdale’s, or add some bold structure with this Aqua option that reminds us of Balmain (but at a much more affordable price point). 

Stack The Accessories

If one necklace, ring, or bracelet is good, more is better. While we are definitely in favor of stacking up the jewels that have meaning for you, sometimes you might to add something cheap and cheerful to the pile. This is where something like these semi-precious beaded bracelets from Justinstones on Amazon come in. Get your favorite colors and layer them on. 

Handbags Are A Punctuation Mark

Your bag should be the final accent on an already creative outfit, whether it is a designer piece or something you picked up at a thrift store. And it if is designer, it should be over-the-top in a way that’s obvious you’re in on the joke, like the Fendi baguette redux or something like this outrageously logoed Longchamp

Don’t Match, Coordinate!

If there is any single mantra that embodies this particular type of main character energy styling, it is that while nothing you’re wearing needs to match in the traditional sense, it does need to coordinate. There should be an underlying color palette or theme, and the proportions need to work for you. 

The best way to figure this out is simply to try things on and mix it up. You might be surprised what works. Also, you might find that the pieces you love have something in common. Whether it is a similar feeling or aesthetic, style of embellishment, or some other characteristic, an element makes them simply work together as part of an ensemble. 

Shop Main Character Energy Fashion

Pictured above from left to right:

Vince Camuto Embellished Dolman Sleeve Sweater, now $66.33

Free People Gold Rush Long Sleeve, $78

Miss Selfridge Dad pants in Check, $57

Maeve Escape Printed Pant, $14

Aqua Metallic Tweed Color Block Blazer – Bloomingdale’s Exclusive, now $70.80

Aqua Cutaway Tweed Jacket – Bloomingdale’s Exclusive, now $82.60

Justinstones Gem Semi Precious Gemstone 10mm Round Beads Stretch Bracelet 7 Inch Unisex, $9.69

Longchamp Le Pliage Paris Large Shoulder Tote, $79.97

How do you feel about making statement outfits part of your signature style or otherwise dressing as though you are starring in your own movie or TV show? What are your favorite over-the-top outfits that you own, or that you’ve seen on the silver screen? Let us know in the comments or share in our Growing Younger Facebook group! 

–Jacqueline Zenn

You may like to read more of Jacqueline’s fashion styling posts like How To Rock The Après-Ski Look (Even If You Are Not Skiing) and Cabin-Core, Cottage-Core, Study-Core, Oh My! Deciphering The New Trends.

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2 thoughts on “How To Have Main Character Energy At Any Age”

  1. It’s funny I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with clothes. I love them, they hate me. I read what you said about dressing as the main character and it immediately made me stand a little taller! I’ve never looked at it like that before but I can work with that! Need to go shopping haha!


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