I have been feeling so inspired by and excited about fashion/styling lately. I think it’s partly because we’re having a very mild autumn, which means I can actually wear autumn/winter clothing that I like without freezing! But it’s definitely also because I’ve found so many new ways of finding style inspiration. The outfit that I’m wearing here was very much inspired and something I had wanted to put together for a while. It’s so ‘inspired’ that it basically is copied, but that’s a whole other post (one that I’ve already written, about the difference between copying and taking inspiration).
Anyway this outfit was basically inspired by two outfits I saw on social media (see below) and it got me thinking about where I get my style inspiration from. So I thought I’d share it on my blog! I don’t think it’s anything revolutionary but it can be interesting to see how other people decide what to buy and what to wear and it’s also part of my effort to think more consciously about why I’m buying my clothes and if I truly want/need them.
I am so late to the party with Pinterest but, now I’ve finally hopped on the bandwagon, I love it! I find Pinterest such an inspiring place to be. It’s really just about finding images that you like and there’s no obligation to engage with anything you don’t want to. Plus, because it’s basically a search engine, it’s so easy to find exactly what you’re looking for whether that’s ‘autumn style’ or ‘check blazer and midi skirt’ so it always helps me find new ways to style things I already own. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired I always just scroll through my Pinterest feed and come out the other side wanting to put outfits together. It’s actually one of the only forms of social media that I use for style/fashion that makes me want to shop my own wardrobe more than I actually want to buy new things because you can really curate it so images come up with people wearing similar things to those that you already own. My ‘Autumn Style Inspiration’ board has been my go-to place for inspiration whenever I can’t decide what to wear.
Again, there’s nothing revolutionary here. I use Instagram for style inspiration like most other people. The save button was one I used to make use of quite often but now I have Pinterest, I tend to curate boards over on there rather on Instagram now. So, Instagram is mainly just a place that is constantly providing me with inspiration because I’m constantly on it (whether this is a good thing or a bad thing). The thing that can be tricky with Instagram is, unlike Pinterest, I’m always liking things and I think, because I’m not curating my own board and a like is something I never have to look back on again, I’m a lot more frivolous with the photos I’m liking and therefore it’s hard to tell if I really did actually like the thing that I just virtually liked. A very complicated sentence, but hopefully you understand what I mean, Instagram can be much more mindless than Pinterest. But, nevertheless, because I spend so much time on Instagram and can at least curate who I follow, I am always feeling inspired by the photos on there and it’s definitely the most consistent form of inspiration for me- it’s like a constant flow that keeps the wheels of inspiration turning.
3. IRL Shopping/Browsing
I know I mentioned earlier that I’m trying to be more conscious with what I own and what I’m buying, but I can’t deny that shopping is a big source of inspiration for me, particularly in store but also online (especially when brands release editorials; my favourites for this are Mango, & Other Stories and Zara). But the buzz I get when I’m walking around a store and seeing clothes laid out in an intentional way really does make me feel inspired. And whether it is how the shopping experience has affected me (which I think it’s at least partly this) or just the novelty of new clothes, I always feel excited to style outfits when I get home from a day of shopping, in a way that shopping online just doesn’t allow me as much.
4. People Watching
Another in real life method of inspiration! Although social media is essentially the virtual way of people watching I guess? But people watching in person, in the least creepy way possible, is a really great way of finding style inspiration. I don’t think it’s an intentional thing and I’m not really the type of person to park myself in the window seat of a cafe and take in the clothes people are wearing. But being out and about, especially in ‘cooler’ areas of city centres such as the Northern Quarter in Manchester or the Bold St and Baltic Triangle areas of Liverpool, always sub-consciously makes me feel inspired. I have been known to hunt down pieces after seeing them on other people or made it my life’s mission to find something similar (something I did with this polka dot skirt, which is actually a dress, after seeing the original on Georgia) and most of these hunts stem from real life experiences, despite the example I’ve just given. The online world makes it so easy. We are handed shoppable links quicker than we can ask for them, which can obviously be really useful and time-saving. But I think hunting for a particular/similar piece that you’ve seen someone look amazing in IRL is more of a creative, exciting and rewarding process that will really get you feeling inspired!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and maybe even found it useful in some way. It’s certainly got me excited to get styling some outfits. As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently trying to dress and, even more so, shop more consciously than I have in the past and thinking through the reasons why and ways in which you dress the way I do is a really important part of this. Because I’m never going to be a minimalist or a person who doesn’t want to shop, but hopefully I can stop being the person who buys something that I will wear once purely because it’s cheap or impulsively makes an ASOS order because I’m bored! Baby steps are still steps and hopefully they will all add up. If you haven’t seen Stacey Dooley’s brilliant documentary ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’, which I’m sure you’ve heard about, do go and watch it because it will make you think differently about the fashion industry, something we all need to do