I sort of view my wardrobe as one of my biggest art projects, it’s constantly evolving, changing, and molding to my tastes and inspirations. Whether my budget allows big shifts or altering things I presently own to suit. I think a lot of creatively dressed people experience a similar connection to their image-crafting (or maybe I am just nuts). It’s a daily ritual for me, creating the image to present myself as visually, controlling and playing with that. But every now and again I’ll slump a bit. Maybe my work/shoot schedule isn’t leaving me with any extra creative energy, maybe my health is less than great, there are so many reasons why my style might feel a little stagnant.
Here are some ways I challenge myself to push my outfit-coordinating, to break out of feeling slumpy and uninspired about what I’m wearing regardless of my budget for new things at the time. Maybe these tips will help you shake up your style a little! It’s always good to experiment, especially if your look leans more towards an alternative style as those scenes are where all the magic in fashion is coming from these days! 😉
1. Take Stock! Set aside a couple of hours and go through your whole wardrobe. Really look at pieces and make sure you are aware of what you own. Sometimes I find a dress or piece tucked between things I haven’t worn in a while and get excited about new ideas of how to wear it. Knowing what you’ve got helps you build ideas for looks in your head or on paper. Pile up items that don’t fit, don’t feel good on, and don’t ignite your imagination- and donate or chuck those. You can also ask a friend to come do this with you, maybe some of your discarded pieces will inspire them, and maybe they’ll suggest fun ways to use pieces you love already! Sometimes an extra brain and fresh eyes help with perspective! If you have lots of friends into style invite them for a clothing swap and to bring their discards.
2. Play Bed/Floor Dress Up! It can be exhausting to put on and take off clothes for experimental purposes. Sometimes it’s good to lay outfits out on your bed or floor to test how the pieces look together. This method gives you a vague idea of the whole and lets you play with many more outfits than you might if you had to put them all on. If you’ve got the energy try on some of your favorites.
3. Mix Wildly! When playing bed-dress-up try coordinating pieces without concern of what anyone might think, look at them purely as color/texture and get mixing. I love mixing a variety of patterns into one outfit, it’s a tricky thing to pull off but when done right it really pops. Plaids work beautifully for this, I love plaids. Mix textures like lace, wool, and other rich feeling fabrics as well! Lace looks beautiful worn under a cotton lolita jsk or dress for a rich touch, or pair wool with something frilly and sweet for a country touch.
4. Do Research! It sometimes helps to see what people are doing all around the world with clothing (beyond manicured magazine spreads) and it’s so easy to do this now online! Be sure to look at styles outside of your favorites- if you always wear lolita see what’s happening in other subcultures and vica versa. You might find elements in other fashions that you can blend with your own look. I’ve listed some sites below and tips on how to find alternative/interesting (cough not mainstream or whatever the “music festival” scene is wearing cough).
-LookBook.nu -Yes, there’s a veritable sea of same-y mall outfits on there shot by semi professionals but you can find alternative stuff if you look. The search function at the top allows you to find looks related to “gothic” etc super fast, then you can filter by when they were posted or gender. I also like seeing what’s most popular on any given day outside of my subculture interests, it’s interesting to see what people wear across the planet (I recommend searching by “most recent” or country rather than by most popular or else you’ll just see the top users over and over and I don’t feel a lot of that is very representative of anything people are wearing on the streets).
-Tumblr- A seaaaaa of outfits on there waiting for you to be inspired by! Again searching by subcultures helps or find street fashion styles by googling tumblr blogs catering to that. If I begin listing individual tumblr blogs I like this will be the longest post ever.
-Magazines!!!! Go to your library (the reference one in Toronto has soooo many old fashion books that you can paw through, bring a towel to sop up drool) and look at magazines. Actual printed paper ones. There are some beautiful magazines out there that you might not see online.
5. Get Esoteric! One of my favorite personal trends was something my friends refer to as “That Year Tae Dressed Like a Ghost”, it’s an example of dressing towards a concept rather than a style or to “flatter”. Sometimes I have this *feeling* I want to evoke or create with my wardrobe, sometimes that lingers for a week sometimes a year. Maybe try picking a concept or feeling and then build on that visually. Get out of your comfort zone by playing with clothing as a way to make yourself feel something, or to express that feeling visually.
Hopefully this will give you a little jump-start if you’re feeling uninspired with your style! And yes, those photos are of parts of my closet/dressing-room. 🙂