Where I Find Style Inspiration

Where I Find Style Inspiration

Jumper- ASOSSkirt- Old Zara Dress (similar here and here),Shoes- VansBag- Old Zara (similar here), Necklace- ASOS

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.

Where I Find Style Inspiration
1. Found on Instagram via @glameramo
2. Found on Pinterest 
Where I Find Style Inspiration

1. Pinterest

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.

2. Instagram

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.

Where I Find Style Inspiration
Where I Find Style Inspiration

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!

Where I Find Style Inspiration
Where I Find Style Inspiration

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

Where I Find Style Inspiration
Where I Find Style Inspiration
Where I Find Style Inspiration
Where I Find Style Inspiration
Where I Find Style Inspiration

The Importance of Shopping Sustainably and Independently

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while now and have been really excited about it, hence me posting it in the middle of the week as a bit of a bonus post. The reason for this is the incredible top I am wearing in these photos. I picked it up at a store in the Gracia region of Barcelona, called the 8pm Store, conveniently situated just next to the apartment we were staying in, off my cousins recommendation. The 8pm Store is an independent concept, fashion store, stocking clothes all of which have been designed sustainably in Barcelona as well as an art exhibition. The clothing in the store was so cool and being in the store itself was an amazing experience. Plus, the owner was so friendly, explaining to me more about the idea and logistics behind the store, also gifting me a free postcard from their last exhibition, which was such a nice touch and really made me feel happy for the rest of the day.

This experience got me thinking about why it is so important to support independent fashion. I would never have had an experience like that in a high-street store and because fashion is a really creative thing for me, it’s so inspiring to have a shopping experience like I did in The 8pm Store. Another really great shopping experience I had was also on my travels this year back in March when I went to Edinburgh at Armstrongs Vintage. I was also recommended to this shop by a friend, this is definitely the best way to find places to go when travelling from my experience, and it was probably (definitely) the best vintage shop I’ve ever been to. It was huge and the choice was incredible, from costume dress to the most incredible vintage denim. This is where I picked up the jeans I’m wearing in this photo, they’re by YSL and cost me a mere £20. I have pretty much always been looking for the perfect pair of white jeans and these are them. I had to get them taken up, which wasn’t expensive, but altering is definitely always worth it as a piece that fits you properly will mean you want to wear it more often and longer.

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

I realise I’ve spent the first half of this post gushing over these two shops, they’re seriously worth the fangirling though, so I’m going to move on to what this post is actually about, why shopping sustainably and independently is important. We all know the horrors of fast-fashion, from horrendous factory conditions to the colossal environmental effect, so I’m not going to guilt-trip you with any statistics. Especially because I still very much buy clothes from fast fashion retailers, it’s the most convenient and affordable way to shop and as much I’ve tried to avoid it, I just can’t at the moment, partly because financial reasons and partly because of selfish ones. So, instead, I’m making a conscious effort to support sustainable and independent shops and brands more often as well.

The most expensive sustainable fashion tends to be the brands who have built themselves on this ethos because it’s expensive being ethical in every single way and that’s just the way it is. I’m talking about the likes of Reformation and Everlane. The 8pm Store falls into this category of store though and although it’s more expensive than your average high-street store, it’s still really affordable. The top I’m wearing in this photo, which is handmade and of incredible quality, cost me between €35-40 (I can’t remember the exact amount), which is definitely more than I would spend on a piece like this at a high-street store. But I was willing to pay not only for this top that I love, but for the experience of being in the shop and the sustainablity behind the piece. This is something that can be hard to take into account when you put a similar piece from an independent, sustainable designer next to a Topshop piece for a fraction of the piece but I personally think, if you’re able to, it’s 100% worth supporting the former for the reasons I’ve just mentioned.

However, most of the time I’m just not able to buy expensive pieces, which often means I resort to the high-street. But another option is something that I love and have found some of my favourite pieces I own from, charity shops. They’re so unbelievably cheap AND you’re supporting a good cause by buying from them. My favourite pair of jeans cost £2 from a charity shop and the cost per wear is definitely in the minus’ now. Although charity shopping can be time consuming, I’ll often set out an entire afternoon or morning to go and look around the charity shops, it’s so rewarding and can help you save so much money that it’s 100% worth it. I know people are sceptical of charity shops but you won’t believe the gems you’ll find in there and most of the things haven’t been worn or have barely been worn so there is no need to worry about that aspect of it. Obviously, as well, it’s by far the most sustainable way to shop.

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

Moving on to the second part of the title of this post, shopping independently. This is something that I am very good at whilst travelling but pretty poor at when at home. At home I’m all too temped to revert to the trusty high street but on holiday, shopping independently is an amazing way to get to know the place you’re in. The predominant way that I shop independently at home is through charity shops and vintage shops. Both of the places I am based, Liverpool and Manchester, have a great array of independent clothing stores that don’t fall into the categories just mentioned and are a little more expensive but I think it’s just getting into the habit and mindset of shopping there.

Nevertheless though, I still try and make an effort to shop independently because, as I mentioned, there’s nothing better than having an amazing shopping experience and independent shops definitely offer that more than chains do. Plus, they give a place character. Whenever I go away, whether it’s in the UK or abroad, I always try and steer away from what I’m going to call the ‘chain area’ of the city and venture out to the areas that actually feel like you’re in a different place. I’d hate anywhere I live to not have this feel at all and if we don’t support these independent businesses then they’ll no longer exist.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite independent stores, from fashion to all sorts of other things with links to their websites/social media:

  • The 8pm Store, Barcelona (Fashion/Art)
  • Armstrongs Vintage, Edinburgh (Fashion)
  • COW Vintage, Liverpool, Manchester and Various Other Places (Fashion)
  • Utility, Liverpool (Home/Gifts)
  • Chapter One, Manchester (Bookstore/Cafe)
  • Fred Aldous, Manchester (Art/Gifts)
  • Park St in Bristol has the best independent vintage shops, I can’t choose just one from the one time I’ve visited (Fashion)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it’s given you some encouragement to head down to your local independent clothing store, or try and shop a little bit more sustainably! You won’t regret carving some time out to visit your local charity shops or vintage shops to grab a bargain. Even if you go high-street shopping afterwards, you’ve probably saved yourself some money by buying something second-hand and you’re helping to save the world a little bit at the same time, so it’s a win-win. I’d love to hear your favourite independent shops or the best ways, in your opinion, to shop sustainably in the comments or on social media! As mentioned, I’m by no means perfect with this and am not claiming to be so any tips and recommendations are very welcome!

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

 

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

The Importance of Sustainable and Independent Fashion/Shopping

Top- Dreamers Not Allowed

Jeans- Vintage YSL, Armstrongs Vintage

Shoes- Vans

Sunglasses- Mango

Hair Clips- Accesorize

Necklace- Alex Monroe