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7 Awesome Places to Find Fashion Inspiration

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We’re all young, fun girls about town. We’ve got style, a closet full of clothes to be thankful for, and we’re living life to the fullest while we can. The only minor inconvinience  raining on our sartorial parade? Running out of outfit inspiration.

Don’t worry, this is a fairly common problem — at least, for me it is! To kick this new year off right, I’ve compiled a list of quick go-to’s for fresh fashion inspiration. Also, I’ve included a few tips on how to keep track of your great ideas so you never feel like you have nothing to wear again. Read on, chicas!

But First — How to Store Fashion Inspiration

Fashion inspiration board
Finished product from our fashion inspiration board tutorial

Before we get into where to go to find inspiration, let’s chat about what to do with an idea once you’ve found it.

Thanks to Pinterest, compiling photos of great outfits is easier than ever. Not only can you save them to a Pinterest board, but the service allows you to look at many photos at once and check out your friends’ inspirations. (You can also check out our ongoing “Fashion Inspiration” board on the CF Pinterest page!)

Before Pinterest, I used to save outfit photos and pictures of things I wanted to a folder on my computer’s desktop. I still do this sometimes — you know, just in case I have a fashion emergency during a internet outage! Some of us here at CF also use the program Evernote for this purpose.

You can also use your smartphone to track your inspirations. Jot down outfit ideas to a note on your phone, or take a quick snapshot of yourself wearing any outfit you particularly love. You can even create a folder in your photo app on your iPhone and so you can store selfies, Polyvore sets, and blogger photos in the same place!

If you’re more of an analog sort of girl, another awesome way to keep all of your fashion ideas is to make a fashion binder and/or inspiration board. That way, you can see your inspiration in a tangible form and change things out whenever you get the urge.

Whichever way you find works best for you, remember to save or write down every outfit idea you have! I know it sounds a little obsessive, but there’s nothing more frustration than thinking of a great idea then forgetting it, or having to re-invent the wheel every time you have to get ready.

Great Sources for Fashion Inspiration

1. Movies

Netflix dvd
Photo Credit

Films — especially period pieces — are among my favorite places to go for fashion inspiration. Every single outfit you see in any film was deliberately styled to convey a certain era, season, social group, and personality for each character. It’s really cool when you think about it.

Some of my favorite movies for style inspiration are Pretty In Pink, Almost Famous, Clueless, Rent, Party Monster, Cruel Intentions, and the Breakfast Club. For more, check out our posts on our top 10 movies for style inspiration, and 10 more movies for fashion inspiration, then tell us YOUR favorite movies in the comments. The possibilities are endless!

2. Magazines

Britney spears elle magazine 2012 400x470
Photo courtesy of ELLE

This is a little old school, but those awesome fashion spreads in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and ELLE are in there for a reason! Clip out any looks that you particularly like and see if you can re-create the look with things already in your closet.

Don’t forget to check out advertisements and celebrity spreads, too — these are particularly great for fresh hair and makeup ideas!

3. Runways

3 1 phillip lim spring 2012 rtw
Photo courtesy of ELLE

I know this one’s probably a no-brainer, but for some reason I always forget to check out the place where trends originate. Thanks to the internet (and the Style.com iPhone app), getting clear pictures and videos of the latest looks from big fashion houses is easier than ever.

After you check out the photos, you can tone down some of the more extravagant spectacles, or use fashion shows to forecast what sort of pieces to invest in this season.

4. Style Blogs

Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere
Photo Credit

Again, this one is probably super obvious to you web-savvy readers, but it bears repeating anyway. I love to use style bloggers for outfit ideas. In addition, it’s fun to live vicariously through some of the more successful bloggers with really glamorous lives, like Rumi Neely of Fashiontoast and Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere (pictured above).

The awesome thing about looking at personal style blogs is that once you find a few whose styles you really identify with, you can refer to their looks over and over again. And who knows — it might even inspire you to start a blog of your own!

5. Lookbook.nu

Lookbook nu screenshot
Photo Credit

Lookbook.nu touts itself as a “collective fashion consciousness” and I couldn’t think of a better description for the site. Every country, style, and body type is represented on the site, and there are tens of thousands of photos to look at.

The site has a few guidelines, but here’s the general idea: you take a picture of what you’re wearing, categorize it in a few ways to help search-ability, and post it for the world to see! The result is an endless catalog of eccentric styles and an active community of fashionistas all over the world discussing what we all love best — great style!

Some of my favorite people I like to creep on lookbook are Jennifer Grace, Lua P, and Rachel-Marie. Do you guys have anyone you follow on there? Tell us in a comment!

6. Catalogs

Urban outfitters catalog photo
Photo from Urban Outfitters

This is going pretty far back, but does anyone else remember how excited they were in middle school when the Alloy or Delia’s catalog arrived in the mail? I would immediately circle everything I wanted and show my mom. At that point, she’d usually just give me a thumbs up and tell me I had to wait until Christmas!

Even if you don’t have much money to spend, I still like to look at clothing catalogs for the interesting photo spreads. They usually have really cool ways of layering pieces — and even though they probably do that to show off as many of their items as possible in one picture, I love the way it turns out looking.

Just like you do with any great magazine spread, tear out your favorite looks and keep them all together in a tin, photo box, inspiration board, or binder.

7. TV Shows

Gossip Girl cast
Photo Credit

Similar to movies, television shows have an entire team of people dedicated to making every single outfit on the show look perfect.

Although we love the new shows, don’t limit yourself to just current faves like Gossip Girl or Hart of Dixie – the greatest shows for inspiration are often the oldest. Check out our posts on The Nanny, The Cosby Show, Saved By The Bell, and I Love Lucy to get you started on a few awesome old school TV shows to look at for fashion inspiration.

Be sure to let us know your favorite TV shows for fashion inspiration by telling us in a comment!

Tell us your ideas!

Where do you turn to for fashion inspiration? What are some of your favorite movies or television shows for style tips? Who are your favorite bloggers, or lookbook posters? How do you keep all of your outfit ideas organized? CF is a community, and we want to know all of your trade secrets!

Posted on on January 3, 2013 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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18 Responses to “7 Awesome Places to Find Fashion Inspiration”

  1. 1
    January 3rd, 2013 at 11:51 am

    i can’t believe you didn’t mention street style. I get some of my most inspiration people watching

  2. 2
    January 3rd, 2013 at 11:56 am

    No offense, but some of these seem to be obvious places to find fashion inspiration – runway shows? magazines? style blogs? it would have been cooler to see an article on 7 different places to find fashion inspiration, like art or cities or interior design, and not on the ones that are there to give fashion inspiration.

  3. 3
    January 3rd, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I agree with gen. Using fashion magazines to look for fashion inspiration is not exactly breaking news :P i would love to see some more unorthodox places! Although, I have definitely started looking at TV shows for a new outlook :)

  4. 4
    January 3rd, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Lookbook.nu is one of my top places to go to when I need outfit inspiration, no matter what the occassion is. The people have amazing style, and obviously an amazing photographer. I have an account on there as well but it doesn’t compare to the top lookbookers there ..lol. One of my favorites would also be Lua P…love her edginess but aside from her, others would be Daniela R., Olivia L., Tricia G., Victoria T., & others I cannot think of right now haha.

    But another great source for fashion inspiration is from getting ideas for People’s
    StyleWatch Magazine.. :)

  5. 5
    January 3rd, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    chictopa.com is just like lookbook and u can earn points for commenting reviewing etc that u can use to catch rewards

  6. 6
    January 3rd, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    ohh and google, specially when i buy something and want to see it in dof outfits even before i wear it, or any piece that i wonder about, i just search .. let’s say… polka dot shirt outfit, i search for it, then press images and dido! or even combos, coral pearl necklace and white skirt outfit, and so on, or somehing more general, outfit trends 2013.. search and dido! hope this helps as well ;) !!

  7. 7
    January 3rd, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Evernote is a good place to store fashion ideas. I try to look for outfit compilations that include an article of clothing that I own…and I organize it accordingly. YouTube also has some great fashion blogger and haul videos. Also, Asian fashion websites are great.

  8. 8
    January 3rd, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I don’t know if I can agree with lookbook having all shapes and sizes of people. Maybe I’m not digging deep enough but while I enjoy perusing lookbook I get a bit sick of the people all looking the exact same, body type wise anyway.

  9. 9
    January 3rd, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    1. My favorite fashion inspiration movie is the Tourist, Angelina Jolie just has so much elegance. Some teen flicks that I thought had a surprising amount of style were Aquamarine, Monte Carlo and Pitch Perfect.
    4. I love the blog, Style Scrapbook! Andy just has a unique style and her travels around the world add some much culture to the outfits.
    7. Despite the show only being one season I adored the fashion in Jane by Design.

  10. 10
    January 3rd, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I agree with Crystal and Gen, but I like the places selected in this article. I would also love if CF included more unusual places like Gen said (i.e. art and other things). I love looking at fashion from movies and TV shows, especially Gossip Girl. I also agree with Mare about Google. It’s a nice article though.

  11. 11
    January 3rd, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Don’t forget books!! I get so inspired by some really strong characters and their descriptions in books that I love to try and emulate their personality in what I choose to wear. And since it’s just descriptions and not photos, you can really explore your imagination along the way.

  12. 12
    January 3rd, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Haha weird, I have that pink shoe picture saved somewhere for a future collage

  13. 13
    January 3rd, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Anyone else looking forward to the CW’s The Carrie Diaries? It’s about a young Carrie Bradshaw and is supposed to have tons of great fashion inspiration. Can’t wait!

  14. 14
    January 4th, 2013 at 1:11 am

    I find my inspiration from colour schemes! For example, I go around photographing colourful animals/ cities/ food/ signs/ whatever takes my fancy, & then post outfits inspired by those colour schemes on my blog.

    That might sound crazy or stupid, but it works! And documenting it all on a blog lets me spot any patterns/ trends emerging from my looks (like for example, although I’m bohemian at heart, my current city surroundings have led to me creating more sleek/ structured/ graphic/ urban looks, with ‘pops’ of colour rather than swathes of it).

    Try it out yourself- you might be surprised! ;)

  15. 15
    January 4th, 2013 at 2:13 am

    TV shows and movies are where I get almost all of my fashion inspiration! People-watching, especially in big cities like LA or San Francisco, is one of my favorite ways too.

  16. 16
    January 6th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Television shows, movies, and lookbook are always my go to for outfits.

  17. 17
    March 5th, 2013 at 4:59 am

    I’d love to see a Pitch Perfect based “Geek Chic”. It’s got diverse but doable fashion (in my opinion, at least).

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