Here are my top sources for fashion inspiration and how I keep it all organized.
If you’re starting the year with a mission to buy less stuff and potentially start a capsule wardrobe, one of the best things you can do is get in touch with your personal style and search for inspiration. This is the perfect time to do it for a few reasons:
- It helps you determine what is and isn’t your style so you can more easily remove the items you don’t wear from your wardrobe.
- It gives you ideas on how to style the items you do love in your wardrobe.
- It helps you create signature looks and shows you what your wardrobe still needs to create those looks.
And even if you’re not creating a capsule wardrobe, this is a great way to better understand what styles you gravitate toward so you can make smarter buying decisions.
One of my favorite places to gather inspiration is in the catalogs and websites of some of my favorite brands. J.Crew is a big one for me! Even if I’m not buying something, I sometimes look at their site for ideas. They always take special care to make sure all of their product photos on their site and in their catalogs are well styled. For example, I love the combination of neutrals here. To me, this look is super sophisticated yet simple. Their accessory game is also really on point. I also love Ralph Lauren, Boden, Madewell, Tuckernuck, and J.Crew Factory.
Photo: Summer Wind
I follow a lot of blogs! Like, a lot! Probably hundreds. I use a site called Bloglovin’ to see all of the latest blog posts from bloggers I follow all in one place. I try to follow bloggers that have a similar style as mine so I can get new ideas for how to style my wardrobe. I tend to gravitate toward bloggers with a classic, preppy, and sophisticated spin. Here are a few of my favorites:
Whenever I travel, I try to get a sense of the style of that place. Whether it’s the preppy style of Charleston, South Carolina, or the sophisticated style of Paris, everywhere you go has its own vibe. When I traveled to Paris, I couldn’t help but notice how everyone was wearing big chic scarves. French women certainly know how to dress. They invest in timeless pieces and put together simple yet impactful looks. I definitely tried emulating their sophistication when creating my capsule wardrobe.
I think it’s sometimes fun to flip through the photos from runway shows on Vogue and try to predict the trends for an upcoming season. Luckily, most fashion magazines put together their own predictions slide show so you don’t have to go to the trouble of parsing through thousands of photos. The only drawback of looking at runway shows is that you aren’t seeing what this trend will look like once it makes its way to retailers. You have to imagine how retailers might interpret a trend. This isn’t really a drawback if you’re looking for general ideas to inspire you when going thrifting or secondhand shopping. That can actually help you get ahead of the trends.
Photo: Netflix via Bustle
I love watching a movie or TV show and spotting something I’d want to wear. It’s the easiest way to keep track of a style I’d like to mimic. I can simply take a photo of the TV or do a quick Google search to see if the image exists anywhere. When we watched Master of None, I became obsessed with the style of love interest Francesca, played by Alessandra Mastonardi. Her simple, classic New York City style is partially what inspired my capsule wardrobe with all of the blacks and tans. I could go on, but you should really check her out on Instagram @lamastronardi. Breath of Fresh Wear actually did a great post on her style from Master of None.
Photo: Harper’s Bazaar
People watching is one of my favorite ways to get style ideas. I especially love observing everyone’s outfits at the airport. It’s definitely a flurry of sweatpants and neck pillows, but occasionally you get a well-dressed traveler who’s worth copying. Pick a coffee shop in your favorite neighborhood and just watch as the world goes by or simply visit a site like The Sartorialist to get inspired.
Celeb style can be hit or miss, but I’ve found that there are a few celebs whose style I consistently love. Reese Witherspoon is definitely one of them. Her preppy, classic style is right up my alley (as is her clothing brand Draper James). You can follow her on Instagram @reesewitherspoon. And I of course bow down to Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. Also, we’re currently in peak awards show season. Even if you don’t need a fancy gown in your life, I feel like you can get so much color, material, and accessory inspo from watching the red carpet.
Organizing Your Inspiration
Before you start looking for inspiration, I think it helps to have a system for collecting everything. I have a few different ways I keep track of my ideas. I created individual Pinterest boards for my Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall capsule wardrobes. Anytime I see a look that I love, I try to pin it to a particular season so I can try to start incorporating it into that season’s capsule wardrobe. I also try to use the Save functionality on Instagram and transfer any of the posts I’ve saved for fashion inspiration to one of my capsule wardrobe Pinterest boards. And lastly, if an idea hits me or I see someone really fashionable, I keep a note titled Capsule Wardrobe in Evernote (a note-keeping app) where I can save that idea for later. If it’s a mannequin in a store, I won’t hesitate to take a photo.
I hope this has been helpful! I would love to know where you find your fashion inspiration, so please leave a comment.