The Personal Style Project: Inspiration file!

I’ve been looking around at some of my favorite inspirational websites (a bunch of old stuff from Anthropologie, and some more recent finds from places like ModCloth and Free People and other various websites), and in my old sketchbook where I’ve pasted pictures of and drawn sketches of clothes that have inspired me in the past. And I did find certain themes beginning to emerge of what I’m drawn to… (The first collage being a sampling of the things that have inspired me, and the second being things I’ve actually copied.)

  • I tend to be drawn to tops that, while mostly flowing, have some element of fitting–either at the waist, or an empire waist that’s still somewhat defined at the actual waist. I tend to avoid tops that are shapeless or too tailored, with the exception of blouses that have some really exceptional detail to them. (See the pink and white blouse in the collage of stuff I made–the basis for my “Doolittle blouse” Anthropologie knockoff.)
  • Oddly, I’m also drawn to more tailored jackets–especially if they are longer and/or vintage looking and/or military-looking.
  • I also like draping, particularly in the realm of knit tops. However, I usually stay away from ruffles.
  • Despite my penchant for flowy tops, I’m drawn to tailored details within that, at least for the woven-fabric tops–pleating, gathering, interesting seamings, etc. I also tend to like details that are kind of a throwback to Medieval or Renaissance days, like lace-up stuff. (That’s probably very 60s too, come to think of it.)
  • I also like a variety of textures–silky, velvety, denim, suede-like, leather, etc.
  • I’m drawn to colors that are either very bold or very earthy. Not so much neutrals, and definitely not pastels. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, it’s no secret that I’m also quite fond of prints–generally, the bigger and more colorful (and, apparently, the harder to match with anything else I already own), the better!
  • I do like vintage, but the 60s and 70s are way more me than the 40s and 50s, which is where most of the vintage lovers seem to end up. At least, the swing dancers I know and the blogs I read that deal with vintage sewing.
  • My choice of bottoms is rather tied to the season–this time of year, all I want to wear is jeans and pants, but once the weather warms up, I’d rather wear skirts than shorts!
  • My accessory of choice is generally jewelry–I never really like the way I look in hats, I’ve already mentioned that shoes and I have an ongoing feud due to how uncooperative they tend to be in getting on my feet, I’m not really a scarf person (at least beyond “they keep my neck warm when I go outside”), and while I’ve seen a lot of that belt-over-clothes look lately that I like the look of, so far all of my shopping attempts to find a way to try it have failed. (I haven’t found a belt that actually fits my waist yet, and the ones I own are basically for the utilitarian purpose of keeping my jeans where I want them!) This is usually in the form of beaded necklaces and earrings.

In part 3 of the RetroChick guide, she suggests that the next step is to take an honest assessment of who I am–what I do (both for work and for play), and my body type and coloring. So that’s going to be the next post. Mainly because I’m going out of town tomorrow morning with the church’s outing club (going to make my second attempt ever at skiing, which will hopefully go all right–my first time was one of the worst experiences of my life, but a big part of that was who I was with.) And I probably should have gone to bed an hour ago to prepare for that…

Edit: I forgot a couple of things, mainly due to not having much in the way of inspiration pics for them!

  • Jeans and pants: I don’t like skinny jeans or leggings or short shorts. In fact, I prefer skirts in the summer for the simple reason that it shows less of my leg. I’m most comfortable in pants that are flared or wide-legged, and my favored skirt silhouettes are long and flowing (think hippie-style) or knee-length A-line.
  • Shoes: I tend to go for boots with chunky heels, and strappy sandals that can accommodate my excess foot width. (But nothing between my toes…I can wear toe rings, but shoes that do that drive me nuts!) Either that, or my trusty Birkenstocks. Yeah, I’m so fashionable. 😉 When I have to do other shoes, I prefer to get Mary Jane-style shoes since the strap helps them stay on my feet. And I hate loafers.

5 thoughts on “The Personal Style Project: Inspiration file!

  1. That's fantastic!

    Although you point out that the tailored blouse has special detailing I would also point out that although it's a blouse it contains a lot of elements of the other tops you've picked up on: the deep v neck, a fitted waist, and a looser bottom half.

    As long as that's a style that suits you then you've definitely found your look there! You should maybe look at something like a 60s style tunic dress with an empire line to break out of the tops and skirts/trousers all the time. You could even wear it over a slimmer legged trouser.


  2. Thanks for that suggestion, Retro Chick! I actually do have a pattern in my stash that's one of those modern remakes of a rather mod looking dress that would fit that silhouette quite well–will have to see if I have a good fabric for it in my stash!

    Angelia– it was actually a rather fun (and revealing) exercise! If you do it, please do post about it–the clothes you post are always so interesting that I'd love to see what you have to say about it.

    I guess if I hadn't been finishing that post after midnight, I probably should have also mentioned that the jeans and pants I go for are usually some kind of flare or wideleg, and for skirts I tend to favor are either long and flowing or knee-length and a-line. Just to round it out, since most of my saved-for-inspiration pics are tops!


  3. Ok… ALL weekend I worked on a lookbook and color analysis. and it is actually fun!!! I think I'm getting some stuff figured out!! For awhile now I have known my wardrobe has been in need… of something! but I wasn't sure what. I think I'm on to something! I'll post my 'results' when I'm a bit deeper into it.


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