When I saw this gorgeous floral blouse I knew I had to make an outfit with it. Aren’t the colours and pattern fantastic?
I’m often asked where my outfit inspiration comes from.
No, I’m never asked that.
But I am asked where I get all of my creative ideas from and I’m often complimented on my outfits. Mush those two together and you get…
My Top Outfit Inspiration Resources
1. A Piece Of Clothing
Often when I create an outfit I’m inspired by one item. This time it was the blouse. I find that when I’m building an outfit this is often the case. I start with one item and build around it.
2. The Occasion
Sometimes you gotta be practical. This is especially true if I need to walk all day or be on my feet for a long period of time. I’ll start with a comfortable pair of shoes and build the outfit around them based on the occasion. Momma gets real cranky when her feet hurt.
3. Shopping Used
Another way I’m inspired is by shopping at thrift, vintage and consignment stores. They always carry such unique, bizarre, wild and crazy items. Items I would never normally choose myself or look at twice in a regular store. Looking at pieces that are all one-of-a-kind is like having a full artist’s set of paints, chalks, pencils and crayons instead of shopping in a regular store where they only offer limited styles essentially only providing you with a pencil to be creative. Personally I like having more to play with. Some people find it overwhelming, but I find it exhilarating and challenging. I make sure my creative hat is fastened tightly when I’m thrifting. You need to have an open mind and be willing to try out new things. That is the basis of being creative. Remember when you were a kid and played Barbies and would stick any old skirt on top of a dress that the Barbie was already wearing? Yeah. That is because you were playing. It didn’t matter. To create an interesting outfit you need to go back and play like a kid. Only this time you’re the Barbie. Don’t get stuck on preconceived ideas. Try. I call this adult play and it is the best way to stimulate and exercise your creative styling muscles.
4. Store Displays
My favourite shop for this would be Anthropologie. Merchandisers and visual display artists are very skilled at putting together awesome outfits. I’ll sometimes take photos of the displays for future reference.
5. Fashion Blogs
Sometimes fashion bloggers get their ideas by visiting sites like Lookbook.nu and Chictopia, although I do find that they both skew quite young. Of course you can just search fashion blogs and come up with oh…a few million places to look for style inspiration. Street style blogs like The Satorialist or Advanced Style are also interesting to visit.
Some people turn to Pinterest which is essentially a digital curated style board. I have a large “Fall Into Fashion” board where I collect pieces and outfits I love or ensembles I create. You can follow along and if you are stuck one day it might give you some ideas.
7. Fashion Magazines & Shows
Of course there are the fashion magazines and runway shows where large teams of creative forces come together to create memorable editorial quality outfits. Although stunning to look at, I often find they don’t translate well for the average size person. That said, you can often still take some details from their creations and work them into your personal style. That is what “inspiration” is all about after all.
8. Movies & TV Series
Films & TV are a great resource for outfit inspiration. Often times after watching a series I become slightly obsessed with the clothing in the show. Ah… hello Mad Men!
They pay big bucks for stylists to be on top of the trends and dress them to turn heads every time they leave their house. No reason you can’t vicariously profit from their hard spent cash. Besides…they have too much of it anyhow! No need to spend the big bucks on the top brands, you can often find similar items in a lower price point or at secondhand shops.
10. Art & Nature
Art and nature can also inspire. Pay attention to textures and colours and how they are combined in nature. Unique colourful contrasts and combinations are standard for Mother Nature, the Queen of all creativity. Designers use this trick all the time.
Visiting museums, galleries and art exhibits are wonderful hot spots for fashion and style ideas. It isn’t about replicating what you see, rather about interpreting the lines, the colours or the feeling the artwork incites within you.
11. Super Secret Hot Tip!
Home Decor & Fabric Stores
The next time you’re flipping through a home decor magazine or at your local Home Depot check out the wallpaper and paint aisles. Paint chips and professionally decorated rooms are an easy way of seeing which colours and patterns work well together. You know those cards where the paint company has combined about 4 different coloured paint chips into one room? Yeah….those are perfect for creating outfits too! Take a bunch of those the next time you’re in there. Punch holes in the corner of the cards and attach them together with a binder ring so they become a little colour booklet. They are free and will be your secret power source for styling like a pro.
Don’t leave without checking out the wallpaper aisle! The fabric on this blouse could have easily been a wallpaper pattern. In fact, did you know that illustrators or artists who created the patterns will often license and sell them to be made into wallpaper and fabric? True story.
If you keep your eyes wide open to all the details in the every day I’m sure you will also discover some details that inspire and ignite your creative juices.
Where do you get your inspiration for creating outfits?