Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Top 5 Sources of Fashion Inspiration That Won't Ruin Your Self-Worth

I love fashion magazines as much as the next girl. And by that I mean I don't really love them that much, because they make me feel fat and poor.

Here's the conundrum: these publications provide a good source of style tips, tricks, and ideas, so I hate to give them up altogether, but is a bit of inspiration worth the hits to my body confidence (Thighs are so out this season!) and savings account ($1200 is actually a reasonable price for a diamond-encrusted flannel romper!)?

I think not.

Top 5 Sources of Fashion Inspiration That Won't Ruin Your Self-Worth

Wardrobe Remix
This vast (nearly 15,000 members strong!), constantly updated collection of real outfits photos from real people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and budgets is a treasure trove of style inspiration. Scroll through the pictures for new styling ideas or better yet, join the group and challenge yourself to post pictures of your own outfits.


Fabric Stores
As you may recall from this post, I'm kinda sorta learning to sew, which means I've recently discovered the unadulterated joy of a trip to the fabric store. Meandering through the aisles of bright colors, sumptuous textures, and pretty patterns reminds me of fashion's exciting possibilities.

A fabric store has none of the negatives of a clothing store--no weird sizes, unflattering fits, or judgmental store clerks--which allows you to detach from your usual insecurities and revel in your sensory experience: What color makes your heart race? What patterns make you smile? Which fabric makes you want to buy a few yards, construct a crude robe, and never take it off? Try to bring the answers to those questions into your wardrobe, and I think you'll be pleased with the result.

Already Pretty
Fashion blogs in general are a great power-to-the-people alternative to traditional fashion magazines, but Sally's masterful mix of practical wardrobe advice and self-love manifestos strikes the perfect chord with me. On more than one occasion her posts have made me cry--in a good way. On more than one occasion Vogue has made me cry--in a bad way. Sally wins.

Travel
Leaving your comfort zone and being exposed to new cultures is inspiring in every way, but it can be especially stimulating to your sense of style. Whether you're people-watching in Tokyo or just enjoying a quick day trip to a neighboring city, pay attention to the different ways people adorn themselves and which looks you really respond to.

If you're too poor to actually travel, flip through National Geographics at the library or watch travel shows on PBS or read this post or live vicariously through a friend (ever since I saw my friend Lydia's gorgeous Morocco vacation pictures, I've been scouring ebay for embroidered tunics and beaded belts). There are a million ways, subtle or grand, to bring the beauty of other cultures into your daily dress. So do it!

Old Movies
A little cliche, sure, but has anyone on earth ever watched Sabrina and not been moved to step up their fashion game?


Where do you find your style inspiration?

23 comments:

-h said...

i find vogue paris (esp. their en vogue features) very inspirational, because their clothes are surprisingly classic but worn in a modern way. many times ive gotten dressed for work w/ a particular vogue paris editorial in my mind.
to expand on vogue paris i find emmanuelle alt inspirational. i tend to look for style cues from people who have a similar aesthetic and body type to mine.
also dior homme fall 2005 and spring 2005, especially, but dior homme by hedi slimane in general.

lisa said...

Ooh great Top 5 list and interesting topic. I'm so glad you included Sal in there.

Hmm I tend to look to blogs and fictional personas for style inspiration, whether it's a character in a TV show or a film or a character in a book.

WendyB said...

Where DO I find my style inspiration. Hmm, good question. I have no idea. On eBay?

Bekah said...

aaaaaaaaamen! great ideas

I do find inspiration in magazines, but also through tons of blogs
sartorialist, altamira, or any other street style and "what I wore today"-type blogs

I also really like gok wan's shows -how to look good naked and gok's fashion fix

propriatress said...

nice picks...for inspiring...wardrobe choices. The classics inspire me....Loincloth, fringe, and dead royalty...

Amy said...

I've bought exactly one magazine since becoming a women's studies major in january, and it was only because a friend of mine was in it. My style inspiration comes almost exclusively from blogs.

Antoinette said...

Great post. I love WR because the models self-photograph, self-edit, and self-publish. You get to see lots of people and styles you might never see on a slick street style blog like The Sartorialist or Garance Dore (though I think they provide their own value in a different way). Of all the street style blogs, Hel-Looks is the most "real", original, unedited, respectful, etc.

After Fashion Week(s) I look at the Style.com iPhone app to see all the runway shows and obsess a little. I get some ideas/ inspiration from draping random pieces of fabric on my dress form, just looking at diff. shapes and silhouettes. Sometimes I will notice someone's clothes, randomly crumpled or creased in a certain way from wearing them, and it seems like a neat design feature to carry out on purpose.

Sarah Von said...

Yes! Fantastic post, friend!

Audi said...

I love this topic! I often find inspiration in home and garden mags, where I get great ideas for color and pattern combos.

la petite fashionista said...

very interesting topic-- i love fashion magazines too, but obviously don't intend to buy 99% of what's inside i'm totally inspired by them. I also love fashion bloggers and street style as well :)

Miss Peregrin said...

Awesome! I'd never stumbled across Wardrobe Remix before, and now I'm very glad I did. New inspiration for the win.

Harriet said...

Great post! Wardrobe Remix is one of my favourite places for inspiration, and I will definitely check out already pretty.

Sal said...

HEY. No fair making ME cry. Thank you for including my little blog in this list of fantastic resources. That was unbearably sweet of you, lady, and I'm super flattered!

Kitty said...

I love taking my fashion inspiration from old movies! I wish people dresses up more these days... sigh.

jennine said...

this is an amazing list, i really love it! esp warderobe remix and already pretty

i would add 'real life friends' to the list, they are probably the most influential, and if you are good at picking friends they will support your feeling good about yourself.
:)

Hammy said...

God do I love fabric shops and market stalls, there's always something lovely (and far, far cheaper than Topshop or whatever).
I still need to see Sabrina, this has reminded me - cheers Winona!

Sher said...

actually it's sales catalogs. I like the spread advertising of a group of mix and match pieces. OF course they want you to buy the whole set. I just use it for inspiration for what I already have in my wardrobe.

Anonymous said...

the book cheap date guide to style has lots of nice ideas and causes no misery!

dearilou said...

The only magazine I find style inspiration from is Bust. The only time I have bought Vogue was when Michelle Williams was on the cover and I wanted her haircut (I got it!)
Other inspiration comes from vintage fashions and fictional characters in movies and books. I've been craving a Great Gatsby inspired dress recently. I want to be Daisy, without all the emotional/mental/product of her time and class issues.

chic said...

Yet another great post! I share your view on fashion mags, the one I did start enjoying before leaving the States was Lucky.

My favorite part of this post was:
"On more than one occasion her posts have made me cry--in a good way. On more than one occasion Vogue has made me cry--in a bad way. Sally wins."

That had me crying in a good way, while I cracked up. Sal's blog is indeed awesome! S.

Rosie Unknown said...

I live for my fathered sponsored trips to fabric stores. He can't stand clothing shopping, but is perfectly content to wander around a fabric store for over an hour.


Great post, like usual!

Kristin said...

I love Etsy and my local thrift shops.

Tavi said...

Oh but only Glamour and such are like that! I love Lula, Dazed & Confused, i-D, Pop...

Old movies are the best though.

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