How to find style inspiration?

Recently I have been doing some wardrobe sort outs. So far, I see that people are great at finding inspiration and buying items according to it. A few of my clients know their style and buy accordingly, which makes me very proud. However, after having a piece for a few years, and wearing it in the same combination, it gets boring. I also have seen people find clothing that suits them, but because it is a slightly different style to what they are used to, they do not wear it.

So, how do you spark a new passion for your existing clothing?

1) I like to hide some clothes away for a bit to find them later. That involves putting these pieces on display later so that you remember to wear them.

2) Try new combinations. Whenever I do a photoshoot, people send me at least one image of what they're looking for, and that has been a great inspiration for me to pull out borrowed and my clothes and see if I can recreate that. Sometimes I pull out my style inspiration board on Instagram and recreate the looks that I see there. This pushes me to create new combinations that I may never wear and even pull out pieces I do not tend to reach for on a day-to-day basis.

3) Costume design is also a huge one for me. Netflix is not the same anymore, as I pay close attention to the outfits and even set design.

4) A more difficult, but another fun way is art. Recently, I went to look at 1500-1930s art at Tate Britain and frankly, it's not my era. But I decided to go in with curiosity and pay attention to jewellery, shoes and textile textures. The easiest way is to look at colour combinations you like, take photos and recreate them with your clothes at home. Don't be discouraged by the lockdown. Tate website has a lot of artworks displayed online with all the details.

None of these approaches is guaranteed success. Sometimes the combinations do not look good; other times, I am pleasantly surprised. But it is easier and more exciting than trying to find new varieties out of thin air. It is also a good practice to see what you like and what works for you.

The question I often get when I suggest to my clients to be more playful with their clothes is "What if I look silly?" Who determines what silly is? There are days when I leave my house, see the reflection in the windows and wonder what I was looking at when I looked at myself in the mirror while at home. But like with any creative endeavour, there is no right or wrong. And sometimes it takes wearing outside to see if it is comfortable, practical and stylish for you. Sometimes when you think people judge you, they may be thinking about their problems and their own lives.

INKStyling posing in different variations of blue trousers and blue top
Examples of how I take inspiration and create looks from that

INKStyling trying on an outfit similar to Sarah Jessica Parker in a white skirt, blouse, shoes and a coat
This is an example of a look that didn't work for me, but I loved creating it.

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