As published in the Wagin Argus, The Grape Vine (Yongerup) and The Williams.
We recently moved house, into one that we built. Part of the experience, was choosing colours and products for roof, walls, floors, cabinetry, blinds, etc…
I spent hours looking through magazines and catalogues, finding inspirational ideas and looks. I got samples and created mood boards. I talked to friends and analysed what we wanted in a home.
Defining your look is a similar process.
Spend time looking through magazines and catalogues. Cut out pictures that you connect to. It maybe a celebrity or an advert. It could even be a photo of a garden or an interior.
What is it you really like in the picture?
Is it the creative energy of a Vivienne Westwood, the colour combinations of a Matt Preston or a tumbling cottage garden, the dramatic costumes of a Lady Gaga, the romantic colour of an Olivia Newton John rose, the simple elegance of an Audrey Hepburn, or maybe the classic looks of a George Clooney?
You may find common themes running through the images: a particular look, colour range, detail, designer, photographer, etc…
Do you have a style icon? What are their key looks or signature pieces?
Look at the magazines that you like to read. Vogue has a different readership to Country Style. What clues can you take from their pages?
Also, take note of what you don’t like. This will help clarify what you do like.
I started doing this when I was in my mid-teens. There are outfits in that folder that I would wear today. My interest in classic styles within a relaxed look is still very true today.
Do you have friends who have a look that you like? Or maybe they have a unique style that you admire but wouldn’t wear. Talk to them. Ask them how they develop their style, what they look for in clothing and accessories, where they shop.
What do they see as your style? What would they love to see you wear?
Having a sense of style isn’t a science. It is more an expression of personal art that you develop over time.
Until next time, in the name of research, happy people watching.
I have been reading this great book, The Right Color written by Eve Ashcraft, that I found in my local library. It helped me think about paint colours for the walls of our new house in a new way. Eve is a colour specialist, working with architects, designers and home owners to choose just the right colour for their particular project.
There is a lot of cross over between the way we decorate our homes to reflect the occupants (us) and the way we decorate our bodies to reflect who we are inside.
I found this little bit fitted in well with this idea of inspiration:
"The other major source of inspiration I keep on hand are my Pretty Books, binders full of photographs of houses, both inside and outside, that I have clipped from design magazines for the last ten years. ... I show this collection to my clients all the time. We sit in my studio and go through the books with Post-its. ... to dream is to be inspired. Looking at art and design books and magazines keeps my vision limber. Consider starting your own Pretty Book and filing it with images that catch your eye. [p17]
Go on a fearless hunt for inspiring images and objects: Search high and low through books and magazines and download images you discover on-line. Collect anything that has a great color or combination of colors on it, like matchbooks, postcards, takeout menus, ticket stubs, buttons, ribbon, wrapping paper, packaging - you name it. Look at fabrics, rugs, and other materials for color cues. Nothing is off limits. [p18]"
I love this idea of looking for inspiration, for our personal wardrobe style, anywhere and everywhere. It builds a picture of what we connect with. Later, it can be sifted through until we have some clarity.
After reading some of the reviews on Amazon, you may want to order it from the library (ISBN 978-1-57965-408-5) rather than buy it. I used it as an ideas book rather than a definitive guide to choosing the right colour.