Whilst I am sharing many exciting stories of fashion labels, concepts and individuals based in North East London through my ‘Local Fashion Stories’ campaign, I am also reflecting on my own attitude towards fashion and I, therefore, decided to take on the challenge of learning how to love my clothes again. ‘A closet full of clothes but nothing to wear’- too often rings a bell to me. Is it the same for you?
A few days ago, I unveiled the first step of my exciting #ReLoveReWear challenge. It could be summed up with 3 Rs: “Repair, Restore and Rewear”. We all have in our wardrobe some pieces that we don’t want to wear because there is a hole or a missing button. Extending the average life of clothes by just 3 months could have a strong impact on the environment and would lead to a 5-10% reduction in the carbon, water and waste footprint*. It is therefore worth making a small sewing effort! On my side, I finally got my two pairs of shoes back from the cobbler and I am so happy to have them back in my closet! They are like having two new items back in my closet, I am delighted!
This week, I’m highlighting a new easy and fun step that I’d love you to read and join.
Step 2: Seek inspiration
We all have our own personal style, that matures and evolves over the years. Thinking about new ways to fall in love again with my clothes made me realise how stuck in my ways I can be when working out which pieces go together. I often can’t think of any other associations. I need inspiration!
Where to find the best fashion inspiration? In reality, the answers are quite obvious! I have prepared a list of my favourite sources, most of which can be consulted from home! To get creative, you can collect a tonne of inspiration from everyday life observations, social networks, blogs, magazines or online retailers, and save every image that speaks to you in some way.
Scour all the following sources for style ideas and find what best works for you.
1. Everyday life observation
Put your fashion goggles on! A great source of inspiration is simply to observe how other people are doing it: What types of pieces they are wearing, what colours they mix together or what accessories they pair with their outfits. There are many opportunities in the everyday environment to practice our observation skills.
2. Social Networks
Firstly, look through your favourite Instagrammers and then see who they get their inspiration from by checking out who they follow. It might bring up some new Instagrammers and bloggers for you to follow.
Also, head to Pinterest and start pinning looks you want to copy. Set up two different boards: on one board, pin and tape looks that style items you already own whilst on a second board, pin and tape the looks with items you wish you had and keep it for after the challenge.
3. Fashion bloggers
Fortunately, there are now plenty of bloggers out there who can help you find inspiration.
Pandora Sykes is a journalist and brand consultant; she was previously Fashion Features Editor and Wardrobe Mistress columnist at The Sunday Times Style. She knows how to playfully mix colour, pattern and shape. She is so good at finding eye-catching outfits and super nice accessories such as a statement pair of earrings or vintage-inspired shoes.
One of my favourite ethical fashion blogs is written by the freelance writer and stylist, Sophie Benson. I love her unique way to mix pieces and colours unexpectedly. You will be inspired by her personal style as well as her styling work.
Another great one is Tolly Dolly Posh who is only 17 years old but has such a fashion maturity! Her blog is full of styling treasures to pull together a great look.
4. Fashion magazines
Any women’s magazine can be a good source of inspiration. Instead of going online, you could also go out, buy yourself a few magazines, submerge yourself in the newest styles and trends, rip out the pages with your favourite fashion shoots. Keep them in an engaging way like a notebook or a board so you will be happy to refer to them over and over again.
5. Online retailers
Stores like Matches, MyTheresa and Net-a-Porter have a category dedicated to fashion inspiration and are filled with the latest season imagery.
Have you heard about Positive Luxury and Reve en Vert? Both online retailers curate exclusive collections and unique experiences from top ethical brands. Sign up to their newsletters and you will receive every week a nice inspiration shot of ethical fashion.
What you need to keep in mind
During this inspiration process, you need to figure out what you like about the outfits that you have selected. Is it the overall vibe of the look or a specific piece? Is it the colour combination? Is it the simple or exuberant lines? Is it the contrast in the piece volume? Make sure to take note of styling details that could give a new spark to an old look. When you can figure out what types of things resonate with you, you will naturally use that information to make wearable versions of your selection with the styles that you own. Save the results of your search to check them again when you need a new wave of inspiration.
You can also keep on coming back to this post as I will regularly update it with new links, for those times when you will be searching again for new fashion inspiration!
Please share your best tips to find inspiration and stay tuned for the next step of the #ReLoveReWear Challenge!
*#Loved Clothes Last’, Fanzine Magazine Issue #2 by Fashion Revolution