In A Style Funk? Here’s How To Find Inspiration…

Did I just say ‘FUNK’?!

I can’t be the only person who is utterly perplexed with summer dressing but at the same time WANTS. IT ALL. I sit in this odd place where I want to look summery – I really do! Promise! – but I’m not quite sure where to start, let alone what to buy. At the beginning of the summer season that is exactly where I was at. I was just feeling a little lost. Fast forward a month or so and I’m actually I’m feeling really chuffed with what’s currently hanging in my wardrobe. What changed?

Well firstly I gave my rails a real proper clear out to get rid of the noise, so I could really focus on what clothing I’d actually be wearing for the upcoming three month period (see last Wednesday’s post for that), and then I dug deep and snuck out inspiration. Like bucketloads of it. I peeked under every single unturned stone in order to soak up whatever drop I could. And it worked! Afterwards not only had I armed myself with a small shopping list of a few items that I wished to add to my summer capsule wardrobe, I also was given a never-ending list of ideas of how to pair those bits with and style my existing clothing. It’s something that I like to do whenever a new seasonal wardrobe rolls into town and something I always find helpful. Here’s the process incase you too are finding yourself in a bit of a style funk…

Whenever I’m well and truly stuck in a rut, Instagram is the first place that I head. I find that inspiration comes to my fingertips quickest over there and because I’m already following a tonne of lovey ladies on who have absolutely cracking style, I don’t even need to search that hard. Of course there is just the classic scroll method, but there are two techniques that help me go a step further here. The first is to make use of the save function (you know the little bookmark-like tab in the bottom right corner of a photo?). From there you can save photos to your own bookmarked page where you can view them as one continuous feed, or organise them into individual folders. No one else aside from you can see these and seasonally I find this a handy tool to use as I’m flicking through because it’s the fastest way of curating my own mini mood boards. Secondly I like to use the explore page, which after months of showing me videos of baby pets hugging each other and beauty gals dripping bronze body shimmer onto their shoulders from little pipettes, it has finally worked out what I want to watch. Thankfully these days it’s a pretty spot-on feed crammed with pictures of androgynous, monochrome ensembles. HOORAY. More pictures to pour over, people to follow and inspiration overload.

Once I’ve got some ideas in my head I have peruse of my saved section on Instagram and see if there are any common themes. Say for example you have three saved pictures that feature a leopard print skirt, then maybe you’re on to something. From this point it’s time to turn to good ol’ Pinterest. I don’t find myself heading there as the first stop for outfit inspiration these days, but I do find it handy once you’ve pinned down the specifics. For example if I search ‘Leopard Print Skirt‘ on there I’m not only shown some options to buy, but also how hundreds of people have styled it. Sometimes I can make the judgement that maybe it’s not going to work for me given my body shape or preferences, other times I’m gagging for the item even more and often I end up fancying the leather jacket that it seems that 99.5% of women have styled it with. It’s a journey, you know? Another way of searching out the answer of whether it’s something you want to invest in is to track down the blog of the Instagram account you spotted it on. Perhaps there will be even more pictures on there of it styled up in various different ways. Do you have that black jumper she’s paired it with? Think it could work well with your brown boots instead of the black ones the blogger has featured? Girl, it’s time.

The decision might end there, but the journey isn’t over just yet. So you’ve decided on a garment, you’ve checked all your favourite shops and spots and you’ve found a contender. During this process how have they been styled on shop mannequins, visually merchandised in stores or styled online? Are there any more clues there on how it might fit best into your wardrobe. I feel like so often we’re bedazzled by social media, but how items are served to us in-store often provides me with some of the juiciest inspiration. After all it’s been put there by geniuses who are pros at making us want to buy stuff.

Phew – that was a ride wasn’t it? It sounds like a lengthy process, but sometimes a night with our laptops out with one eye on an episode of Friend’s that you’re watching for the 75th time and the other doing some inspiration digging, might mean the difference between making purchases you’re excited about and excited to wear, and buying things you’re not quite sure how to style and ultimately fall out of love with. Inspiration is everywhere in the buying process, so use them as windows into style and red flag warnings on if they might not be the one for you. Three steps to get the juices flowing. Let me know how you get on.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

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