Where do you look for inspiration?

Obviously, inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere. I'm that way with some areas of life, but I'm not there with my wardrobe, at least not at this point. I've struggled to visually pin down what I'd like to aim for because whenever I look, it's just more of the same, and that's not what I want. 

Am I lacking the lingo for what I envision, so I can't find it when I search? I'm hoping I'm just not looking in the right places.

Surely I'm not so fringe that no one else is doing it? (Although I certainly don't find it in stores ...) I can't draw, so conveying it that way would take a while.

I want to be boho, but practical. I strongly prefer natural fibers. I love color and texture. I love wearing my handknits, but sometimes I fear they add several decades to my age (lace shawls, hmm). 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • always trying replied 8 years ago

    Some of my inspiration comes from here from other blogs and pinterest.

  • Jenn replied 8 years ago

    Pinterest! The easiest way is to start by searching for "outfit" and an item you own or that you know you like. Scroll until you find a photo you like (or even mostly like), click on it, and then look at the related pins below to get more ideas in a similar vein. Continue until you realize it's dark out, you've wasted four hours on Pinterest, and you've crossed nothing off your to-do list all day.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Do you have anything pinned or saved that i could look at?
    I like people watching in trendier parts of town.
    I also like going to boutiques and less mainstream places to look.
    My new thing is to just force myself to try stuff on because stuff that I thought was bland or too trendy actually looks pretty good on.
    I also like finding a designer/store that I like and using them as a jumping off point to find things I like. 

    I think I'm probably more mainstream than you are wordlily, so it might be easier for me...

  • cjh replied 8 years ago

    Jenn, I like your approach. HAHA. Easily the best strategy ever.

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    Smittie: That's the thing, I don't have a decent collections of pinned things I like because I can't find anything to pin that feels like me! Here's my pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/wordlily/ there are a few kind of style related boards ... 

    Jenn: That might work ... I think I'm stuck for that starting point, though.

    Always Trying: How did you find the blogs/pinners that inspire you?

  • Jenn replied 8 years ago

    Lily, I searched for "boho skirt" since I know you ordered a sari skirt recently. Does something like this suit your style concept?


  • replied 8 years ago

    I get inspiration from magazines - both digital and print, from street-style photography and from a very few select blogs and instagram feeds  I follow. If I feel myself getting too far astray from what I know I like and want (for example when it becomes too easy to just buy everything from Banana Republic because it takes zero effort and thought), I go back to the internet and go through the European fashion week photos, and fashion editor street style pics to remind myself of my direction.  I actually find Pinterest just a big self-generating blur of the same looks pinned over and over again.  But I may not be searching properly there. It's a rabbit hole I get into too easily, and before I know it, I'm pinning photos for garden ideas.  

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    I do really like that, Jenn, thanks (except for the palette, but still helpful).

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    That's what I had been finding, Lisa! The same thing over and over. Any recollection how you found the sources that really help you?

  • amiable replied 8 years ago

    Here, mostly.

    I like Angie's ensemble posts. 
    Form challenges provide lots of inspiration - here's a few of my favorites, that might also give you ideas:

    Picasso (search "picasso challenge" for lots of forum threads after this).

    Ornella does some really terrific challenges:  
    Here's her apple challenge 
    And her Flavia challenge 
    And her Fall Photo challenge

    And we've had several "Picture Perfect" challenges that you may also enjoy.  
    Spring 2013
    Winter 2013
    Summer 2011
    another one in 2011
    Summer 2012
    Spring 2013

    Search for "picture perfect challenge" and you'll get lots of hits.

    And if I need inspiration for a particular item or color, I put that into the search here or in pinterest for more ideas.

  • Jenn replied 8 years ago

    Once you find a look you like, you can also look at the boards of people who pinned those looks, because you may have some tastes in common. And the blogs or catalogs those looks came from.

    Oddly, while I was searching for you just now, I came across a dress I really loved, which led me to search for that designer, which just sent me down a new rabbit hole of delightful color and texture. Inspiration comes in strange ways.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I love your pinboards! I definitely get a sense of 'you' from this.
    Have you invested in great boots/shoes/hats/bags, and some nice fitting jeans/pants? Those seem like key pieces that will go nicely with sweaters.

    I guess you'd also need to find sweater silhouettes that flatter, as well as colours that flatter. And ya, you're not going to find this type of thing in the stores, I don't think...

    It looks like there is a lot of variety to work with, at least for fall.

    For the summer, I can see why you'd have a harder time finding things you like, but there's no reason you can't wear a shawl. To me, that's enough of a statement with t- and jeans, and again, a great bag and shoes.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Hmmm, boho but practical, natural fibers.....
    Have you tried looking at the websites for Flax Designs and CP Shades? They might offer some ideas for simple pieces that you could add your own twist to. Also, some of the looks at Sundance catalog might appeal to you?

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for all the help and links, Amy, Ryce, and everyone!

    Smittie: All those sweaters on my sweater board are I'm still working on the boots/shoes, but I've got a waxed canvas cross body bag I had custom made last year. And I live in jeans, so I'm getting new ones every year at least (hopefully it'll be less than 6 months before I need new ones, despite buying 2 pair in June, because I'm slowly losing weight), but I haven't invested in great quality, because I hope to not wear these long.

  • RoseandJoan replied 8 years ago

    I can see from your pinterest board you have a full life with lots of interests, I'm now feeling very hungry :-)

    Perhaps you could try searching the vogue archives for knitwear designers to see how designers are styling knits within a modern context? Being from Scotland I had to pick Pringle as an example ;-)


    Or online stores with a boho edge http://www.plumo.com/categories/Fashion/

  • E replied 8 years ago

    I enjoy a few Pinterest boards, a handful of style bloggers (many of my favourites are now defunct *sigh*, and a couple of designers. I get inspiration from looking at colour palettes too; sometimes I'll start with one item & do a quick search on Design Seeds to get an idea of what colours to wear it with.

    There are these ideas of 'style archetypes' floating around the internet (sort of like colour seasons but echoing/flattering your body's lines in the lines of clothes) & while I retain my skepticism, I do find them inspirational to look at, because they tend to group similar 'types' of clothes together. Here are boards of the two types of 'naturals,' which are probably the closet to boho, just in case they inspire you too: yang natural and yin natural.They're also called 'flamboyant natural' and 'soft natural' respectively, if you like one of them and want to google to see other people's interpretations. The main difference has to do with waist definition. :)

    I also really like this sewing blog, which goes a lot into personal style & suggests various retailers to look at for inspiration.

    Do you want to be romantic boho (aka traditionally feminine shapes/girly details)? If so you might like Alabama Chanin!

    I'm not sure how to style shawls into a wardrobe, other than to wear them as if they were actually scarfs. I just finished knitting my first shawl & am gifting it to someone else. But I played with it a bit first & decided shawls just aren't for me sartorially; instead I'll be making big lace scarves (pashmina style, which I think are called stoles?) or cowls for myself if I'm craving that type of knitting. However, you wear a lot of jeans, which I think are much easier to combine with shawls than my frillier stuff!

  • Suja replied 8 years ago

    YLF :)

  • Diana replied 8 years ago

    So I think I know the look you are going for in my head - like boho but sophisticated, no patchouli or excessive fringe or flower crowns, right? I'm not sure what the term would be though. I tried "streamlined bohemian" and "sophisticated bohemian" and got some looks that I think might be closer, including the ones below that look like they could incorporate handknits.

    Other random thoughts:
    How do you feel about prairie underground? I think it might be a little too urban for your tastes but it's definitely a different spin on boho.

    Also, how about the Japanese "natural" style? You know, layers in flowy natural fibers, lots of neutrals, etc. it's popular in Japanese sewing books and some knitting ones too.. I think you'd want more color though.

    Re: shawls. I wear mine as scarves mostly. Point in front or side, wrap the rest around neck, either cowl style or with ends dangling in front. It's actually very practical bc I don't like high necklines so the extra fabric in front covers up my exposed neck/upper chest when it's cold. It's easiest with crescent or shallow triangles so the point is not too deep.

  • Word Lily replied 8 years ago

    Amy: That’s a lot of links, whoa. :) It’ll take me a while to dig through what’s sure to be a treasure trove.

    RoseandJoan: I’d begun looking at how handknits were being styled by indie pattern designers, but I haven’t found any in particular whose style resonates with me (although a ton I respect and even some whose patterns I love, but it’s not quite the same thing). Vogue has always been intimidating to me, for some reason, but that’s a good idea! Of course, it would help if I knew the names of several knitwear designers … ;)

    Eva: I’ve briefly encountered those archetypes before, but I find them overwhelming! I love several things on the Yin Natural board you linked, though. Hopefully I’ve have the space to dig into that sewing blog soon. I do like some Alabama Chanin things! (Hey, someone/something I’ve heard of before, yay!)

    Diana: I’m not sure I’d use the word sophisticated, but I think yes? More polished/refined/structured, or at least with elements that are that. You said: “no patchouli or excessive fringe or flower crowns, right?” Absolutely! I laughed when I read that; I don’t like fringe at all, basically ever, let alone when it’s excessive. Patchouli makes me sneeze, and I don’t see flower crowns in my future, either. I’ll give streamlined and sophisticated a try as modifiers, thanks! I like a few of the Prairie Underground pieces. That’s how I’ve been wearing my shawls, mostly. More bunched up, more casual, asymmetrical.

    Thanks again, everyone!

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