Sunday, March 22, 2009

Inspiring Yourself to Get Dressed

Photo by perszi

"How do you motivate yourself to look awesome every single day?"

First off, as a sort of disclaimer, I don't really look "awesome" every day. There are days when I don't even get out of my pajamas, days when I don't think my outfit is photograph-worthy, and days when I do take pictures but none of them satisfy me enough to post them on the internet. So yes, there are several things that have to go right for you to see an outfit on this blog.

But never fear! There are steps that I take to ensure that I have more "awesome" days, and they're pretty easy to implement in your routine.

  • Tidy your wardrobe.
Once or twice a year, pull out all the clothes in your closet. Try them on, and toss (meaning donate or sell!) all the ones you don't like/don't wear. (This article may be of assistance.) Organize the remaining clothing however you like (by color/article/date last worn, whatever's most helpful to you). The point of all this is that you will actually know what clothing you have to work with! An overcrowded closet is a good way to lose a fabulous piece or overlook a funky new combination. In a rush, you might even throw on something that doesn't flatter you or that you don't like, since it's the first thing handy! Don't let this happen to you.

Another advantage of cleaning your closet is being able to see your entire wardrobe as a whole. When you look through everything, you can see what items you tend to overstock on (e.g. do I really need more graphic tees?) and which basics you are missing (I really don't have a pair of black pants?)! Keep a well-organized list of these items and take it when you go shopping.

  • Collect images that inspire you.
I used to do this with fashion magazines, but now in the interest of the environment (and my budget) it is all on my computer. The basic idea is: whenever you see an image that inspires you aesthetically or looks like something you'd like to wear, save it. There are over a hundred (!) fashion blogs that I follow via Google Reader, but you can start small. (I've listed a handful at the bottom of this article.)

Although the process of finding and saving images on its own will give you lots more ideas of what to wear, I go a step further. I put each image into a Word document and underneath type what I find so alluring about the ensemble, plus whether there are any items in it I want to buy or DIY. This allows me to use Word's Find option if I'm having trouble thinking up what to wear around a certain piece, style, color, whatever (t-shirt, military, yellow, etc). Instant inspiration!

(Oh...and make sure to weed out images you don't care for as your style concept evolves!)

  • Plan your outfit the night before.
This is a must, especially if you often find yourself waking up five minutes before you have to leave for work/school/whatnot. (I know everyone does it sometimes!) Plus, your brain might not be at its most functional or creative in the morning.

Don't forget to use your inspiration images to help you put together an outfit! As I said previously, you can look through them for ideas of how to wear a certain item, or let the collection inspire you when you're completely clueless.

  • Document outfits.
For me, this (obviously) takes place in the form of daily outfit photos. I strongly suggest that everyone trying to develop their personal style follow suit. (You don't have to post them on the internet!) If you don't have a camera, the alternative is to write down (and/or sketch) what you are wearing. Take notes throughout the day about how you look, how you feel, what kinds of reactions you get, or whatever else influences the way you dress.

Through this process you create a library of outfits that you've worn which you can refer to on days you're stuck or don't feel like trying. The advantage of photos is that you can really see how an outfit looks on--sometimes peering into a mirror or trusting others' opinions just doesn't cut it.

A few notes:
  • Document inspiration whenever it strikes! Carry a notebook and jot down a note if you see someone wearing something spectacular or if you have a sudden flash of sartorial insight.
  • I wrote an article about one of the (weird) ways I put together outfits: randomization.
  • Gala Darling's articles on the advantages of daily outfit photos: Part One - Part Two
I hope this is helpful!


P.S. Some inspirational sites:

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