Where do you find inspiration for your next outfit? Magazines and television, blogs, Pinterest or Instagram? The list could go on and on and on.
No matter how much we curate wonderful ideas though, they become meaningless without taking the next step to execute them in some manner in our own lives. A giant pile of magazine pages with beautiful outfit photos crumbled up on the closet floor isn’t all that inspirational…
As someone who puts together new outfits regularly for this blog, I thought I’d share some tips on turning that crumpled up pile of magazine pages into fun and exciting outfits from your own closet.
If you’re interested, you can also check out how 31 other bloggers find their favorite inspiration and transform it into great style every day! If you haven’t checked this out yet, it’s seriously impressive and includes some really neat ideas!
Scanning through a magazine recently, I loved the combination of marsala and light blue. It directly inspired today’s outfit, which probably isn’t that hard to see.
I’ve styled the outfit in two different ways; one with silver flats and one with a green blazer and cognac boots. The construction of both outfits followed similar steps. Stop on over here for more details on the outfit with a green blazer including my thoughts on “belt or no belt”.
5 Steps to Transform Style Inspiration Into Style Execution
Without further ado, here’s a bit about how I translate high-fashion inspiration into everyday personal style.
1. Pay Attention & Take Notes
I generally keep my eyes open for style ideas that suit my fancy. I scan through magazines, notice mannequins in windows, peruse through Instagram and Pinterest, and even make note of what others are wearing at work and during my commute to and from the office. This probably ends up looking more like a slightly-too-long uncomfortable stare or an awkward stranger trying to slyly snap a photo on their phone of someone they don’t know (which I’ve never done… ok, I’ve done it once).
In any case, at the very least, I make a mental note of the outfit I like, jot something down in Evernote to remember the high notes, and consider it housed in my precious inspiration station. In the case of this marsala and light blue combination, I snapped a photo of the magazine page with my phone.
2. Notice What Exactly I Love
With the inspiration safely stored away, I add a few notes about what exactly caught my eye. Why did I love this outfit so much? In this case, I wanted to recreate the color combination. Other times, I may love the vibe of the outfit, the silhouette, the juxtaposition of two pieces, or whatever else seems to blow my skirt up.
While surely not something I would have paired myself, the photo inspired me to try my hand at pairing marsala and light blue. I dropped the photo and some notes into Evernote as my reminder to come back to this color combination next time I was hanging out in my closet, and went on my merry way.
3. Scan My Closet For Similar Pieces
The time finally arrived me to bring this color combination to life. Inspiration in hand, I started scanning my closet for all the pieces I owned in these two colors. I pulled off the racks all the pieces I owned in marsala (or sangria or bugundy or oxblood) and light blue, and I laid them out on my bed. Outfit options materialized in my head, some with immediate ease and others with hesitation. Alas, though, I’ll never really know if it works until I give it a shot.
4. Try It On (Does it Really Work?)
Clothes piled on my bed, standing next to my closet and my jewelry box, in front of my full length mirror, I begin to try on some of the potential outfit options I’ve worked up in my mind. Without fail, some knock it out of the park and others bomb big time. No surprise, I generally don’t share the utterly unsuccessful efforts on the blog. But it’s all a step forward in my continued personal style journey, the highlights of which I often share with you.
My game of dress up resulted in today’s pairing, marsala and chambray. Although it fit in the “light blue” category when I scanned my closet for anything in this color, it’s really more of a neutral shade. I might be cheating just a bit by calling this color combination my wild and adventurous execution. Either way, I followed my typical path from inspiration to execution and landed on a combination that worked for me.
5. Find the Cherry on Top (the Perfect Accessories)
Accessories are the figurative cherry on top of the sundae. They add color and pop to perfectly finish an outfit and make it truly “appetizing” to the “style judges” of the world, whoever that may be. Dressed in my “test outfit,” I peruse through my shoe collection trying on various options depending on the look I aim to achieve (flats for simple and more casual, heels for a fancier or more professional event, boots for casual and maybe cooler day, who knows). I try on a few options and ultimately land on the right choice. Today, that resulted in my metallic shoes, a contrasting option to the dress and shirt, pairing up with my metallic belt to balance the high contrast of the accessories.
Bonus: Inspire Your Own Style
Sometimes, one outfit I wear sparks ideas about a few tweaks I could make to put together another outfit from my own pieces. This happened with today’s outfit, and I will show you the second outfit on Friday that was born out of today’s pairing.
So that’s the deal. How do you take an outfit that inspired you and turn it into something executable from your own closet? (Shopping for the exact same pieces to perfectly recreate the same outfit doesn’t count. That’s copying, not being inspired, and it’s gonna blow your style budget. No judging here, just saying…)
Dress – Target // Tights – Target // Belt – ALDO //
Shoes – Cole Haan // Shirt – Banana Republic (thrifted via Savers)