It’s easy to assume that all those fashionistas you see on the street were born with an eye for style and an innate understanding of what looks good. In most cases though, they just know the right places to look to check out new styles, and what it takes to change a style from something they’ve seen into reality.
If you have even a small creative bone in your body, it’s likely that you too can learn about style if you know the places to look. Here are some tried and true methods to go from staring envyingly at an awesome outfit to decoding the style elements and incorporating them into your own look.
Look at Your Favorite Celebs & Style Icons
If your goal is to learn about fashion so you can become more fashionable yourself, then the celebs whose outfits you most admire can be a great place to start. The trick is to not be overwhelmed or intimidated when you first being paging through Vogue and Hello or browsing Heatworld.com. These celebrities and models have stylists who are paid a great deal to come up with outfits for them, plus most have a bottomless wardrobe (not to mention designer freebies!) to choose from.
The good thing about stars having paid stylists is that you can steal their hard work for free, just by checking out their pictures. Pick out a few favorite celebrities’ looks and grab a notepad. Now you’re going to break down the major elements of the outfits you’ve chosen. Really look at what they’re wearing and what makes the style. Is it a tailored jacket with a flirty skirt (tutu even)? Coloured tights? Eye-catching accessories? If you’re like me, the same sorts of staple items will come up in many of your favourite looks. By the time you finish, you’ll have a list of different items you can begin incorporating into your own wardrobe.
Check out Fashion Blogs
Fashion blogs are excellent to have in your style arsenal, because in many cases they do this fashion decoding for you. Many pick out different style elements and highlight new looks; whether you’ already an avid blog-reader or not, they’ll help you understand the current trends. Refinery 29 is an excellent blog which breaks down current looks and makes suggestions for style combinations. Other blogs, such as Street Peeper and the Sartorialist, post pics of enviable street fashion from around the world. When you find styles you like, perform the same “style analysis” that you did on the celebs, breaking down the actual elements of the outfit in writing. In this way, you’ll be able to keep track of established and emerging trends.
Keep an Eye on Street Fashion
While street fashion blogs are certainly excellent at cataloguing worldwide trends, it’s likely that there are at least a few fashionable lads and lasses in your town; if you live in a city, then there are hundreds. In your daily comings and goings about town, look at people who immediately strike you as “put together.” Make a mental note of the major elements of their look—is she wearing stacked wedges, cutoff shorts, tribal prints? Be a style thief and look to others for inspiration. You’ll probably find that after a short while you’ll be able to improvise these put together looks on your own.
Back to school – Take a course!
Perhaps your interest in fashion extends past just wanting to learn more so you can become more stylish yourself. Maybe you want to make your own clothes or become a professional stylist. In this case, a formal class is probably what you need. Many schools offer classes in fashion and design, from community colleges and traditional universities to art and design schools. Online fashion design degrees (see here) can be a solid option if you are interested in a more flexible educational program.
Read Books & Magazines
While books might seem like the opposite of fashion (old and dusty versus new and trendy), they can actually be great tools for learning about style. Look books and fashion books chronicle everything from vintage fashion to the latest trends, and can help you gain a little perspective on fashion’s evolution. The library will usually have the latest issues of Vogue and Elle, and these are always worth a look too. I personally love leafing through old issues in the journals archive to see how fashions have changed over the years (and sometimes have a giggle too – did anyone really wear that?!).
How do you go about re-creating celeb outfits? What influences your own personal style? Do you already read fashion blogs and what do you think about them? Leave me a comment! x