Inspire Your Style!

Sweater detail

One of my friends once implied that she didn’t understand the point of fashion magazines.  She could not relate to the images of women wearing things she would never dream of wearing.  This got me wondering why I have all of these fashion magazines when essentially, I would never dream of wearing a lot of these clothes either.

As it happens, I am a magazine and catalog junkie.  Getting one of these in the mail is like Christmas!  I love paging through them to see what the latest possibilities are because I’m tickled by how many patterns, color combinations, embellishments and fits designers and stylists come up with, as well as the themes they choose for the photo shoots.

Why would you want to pick up or subscribe to a fashion magazine or clothing catalog?  And what should you look for?  Here are a few ideas the next time you come across and page through one:

  • Could I wear that color or pattern?
  • Would it go with anything in my closet?
  • Do I like that embellishment?
  • What does the outfit or accessory say in terms of personality?
  • Does it match how I want people to perceive me?
  • Would that shape work on my figure?
  • Do I know where I can shop to get something like that?
  • Is that a type of piece missing from my closet?

If you’re more of an online shopper or prefer a more environmentally friendly approach, you can also do this online with some great sites.  Or you can start online and decide if you want to go print…  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Anthropologie:  I hardly ever shop there for me but I *love* the creativity in their catalogs and products.  I would classify them as a combination of feminine-romantic-bohemian.  Great for unique shoes, jewelry, bags and prints/patterns.
  • J. Crew:  I actually don’t own anything from J. Crew but they are a huge inspiration in terms of classic style accented with pretty/feminine details.  If I wore suits, I would shop here because they have a big selection of cuts and styles.
  • Nordstrom:  This is a store I shop at for a number of reasons.  First of all, their commitment to customer service is unprecedented and their stores are always impeccable.  They have top-notch products (you pay for what you get!) and excellent sales.  And I like that they are firmly committed to their petites section (unlike too many other retailers who can’t seem to decide).  On top of all that, their catalogs are lovely for pre-shopping.  And, no, you do not need to be a card holder to be on the mailing list.
  • Lucky Magazine:  Sometimes I feel like this is for young girls.  But they are always on top of the latest clothing trends AND they have great shopping guides for cities.  And if you want less celebrity coverage and more product – clothing, accessories and beauty – this is perfect for you.
  • In Style Magazine:  This is a staple for me.  They have a great mix of celebrity style, advice and products – from shoes and handbags to jewelry and clothing.  They also feature celebrity parties and home decor, which is a great way to get ideas.
  • Oprah Magazine:  OK, I know.  Enough with the Oprah name-dropping.  But I can’t resist!  The magazine (along with Adam Glassman) does a great job of providing practical information, real-people makeovers and a mix of different prices so I can actually consider buying something I see!
  • Vogue Magazine:  I realize this may be a bit of a stretch (trust me, it was for me!) but they are an excellent resource if you are looking for ways to feel extra special.  Want inspiration for dressing for a special event?  From the ads to the actual content, everything is exquisite.  Ignore the skinny models and focus on the colors, the embellishments and the dreamy textures.

Now that you have a few ideas of how to use the fashion magazines and store catalogs, give it a try!  If you own the magazine or catalog, tear out the pages you like and start a folder of things that inspire you so you can reference it the next time you go shopping.  And don’t forget to have fun!

If you have a minute, tell us how it goes, share with us some of your resources for inspiration and/or what types of things you’re thinking about when browsing.


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3 Responses to “Inspire Your Style!”

  1. teahon Says:

    My name is teahon, and I’m a magazine addict, too. It started when I was ten years old with YM (remember that?). By the time I was 16 or 17 the perimeter of my room was lined with stacks and stack of magazines. My mother was distraught. “See all this money you’ve wasted?” she would cry. But I just couldn’t stop. And to this day you will find stacks and stacks of magzines littered–er, I mean carefully place around my home.

    For style I like Lucky, although the content is starting to get a bit thin. I’m hoping they’re not about to fold like so many other mags these days.

    Real Simple has some good, informative style tips, usually geared toward finding the right fit for your figure or age. Altough they don’t seem to have gotten the memo about the economy and they continue to feature $700 blouses and the like.

    Occasionally I pick up Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Totally unattainable fashion but fun eye candy nevertheless. I like to see what the couturiers are doing and read about up-and-coming designers. I think Harper’s Bazaar also has a good regular column that’s something along the lines of “trash it, store it, keep it” that helps you track the lifeline of a trend.

    Agreee with your catalog selections and I would add that Anthropologie has some great fashion and decorating books in stores that are fun to peruse while you’re shopping.

  2. Jen Says:

    I love all magazines. It doesn’t matter what kind they are. I love looking at the people, the ads and then giving the mags to my daughter to make collages with them. I’m not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination but I still love looking at the fall catalogs and magazines to see what everyone might be wearing. It reminds me of the Seventeen back to school issue and paging through it with my girlfriends.

  3. fabuliss Says:

    teahon: Yes! I, too, started my addiction early in life :)

    Jen: Great way to get reuse out of the magazines. The collages ought to make for some really interesting reflection if you save some for when she’s older.

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