Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Writers Block, The Man, and The Box

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you feel horribly uncreative? Yeah, me too. I've been trying so hard to put up a post for you guys - I've honestly made, then promptly discarded, about five collages on subjects ranging from Audrey Hepburn in Charade (looove that movie) to badass schoolgirl. But instead of whining some more, I'm going to force creativity on myself. I'm making a list of things to do to shake your wardrobe up a little, and I'm not going to let any sort of sense or rationality get in my way. Take that, writers block! I'm sticking it to you, The Man, and that box we should all step out of.

And now, in no particular order. . .

1) Go shopping for yourself, but in the men's section. We all know that large t-shirts can be casual dresses, that skinny jeans are technically unisex, and that some men's clothing seems more appropriate for girls than guys anyway (Manskirts, Miuccia? Really?), but immerse yourself fully in the treasure hunt. That cute v-neck tee in size xs, pointy-toed oxfords, and tartan workshirt might be just what you need!

Where to look? Check out Old Navy. I know I rave about it too often, but the fact is its next door to my favorite book shop, and I tend to duck in after spending blissful moments among those crisp white pages and the glorious scent of new paper. Not to mention the design is getting better and better. But to get back on point, I was there two days ago (bought the world's softest floral henley and a plain black tank dress), and I noticed that the men's section was looking mighty good. Good enough for me to contemplate buying it out for my brother, to be honest. Also look at the selection of Heritage 1981 men's items and the shoes at Payless.

2) When shopping, tape a picture of a look (whether from a runway show or a photo shoot) you adore to the outside of your wallet. Even if the look seems totally "not you," just having it present as part of the shopping process will keep it on the brain. Maybe it will cause you to pick a similar item to try on, but more likely I think it will give yout the courage and creativity to step back from your usual picks and try on something new. At the very least, you get to view that gorgeous outfit every time you take out your wallet, thus giving you a reason to spend often!

3) Watch movies that aren't known for their costumes, looking closely for any amazing styling that might be hidden away. Examples: Run Lola Run (I just saw this, and Lola's hair and plain style managed to look amazing), The Motorcycle Diaries (Mmm, Gael Garcia Bernal in motorcycle gear), The Man in the Iron Mask (Decadent French court frocks, anyone?), Mary Poppins (The epitome of a well-dressed Victorian lady, chimneysweeps in dapper caps and scarves - need I say more?), etc. . .

4) Oh, I'm so predictable, but - read! Novels are great for fashion inspiration because you get to invent garments in your mind, based on descriptions. I remember first discovering the existance of this phenomenon upon reading The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews in second grade. (I'm representing Ms. Andrews today, apparently.) The book, which you should know is absolutely magical enough to merit countless reading at any age, has a description of wacky hats worn to help focus the mind, as well as beautiful bedroom slippers the last Whangdoodle grows on his feet. Later I imagined the dresses Anne so loves in the Anne of Green Gables series, shivered with delight over descriptions of gyspy-like clothing in Wolf Tower, and let my mind fill with images of the amazing wardrobe's owned by Francesca Lia Block's characters. I find the best outfits are often in not-so-prestigious books - I like my profound bestsellers, but I also flip through any book that catches my eye with the frenzied motions of a mad woman. Non-fashion-y tidbit: Am currently reading A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain. The man is a magician when it comes to description - of food, not clothing, that is.

5) Okay, so much for stepping hugely out of the box. I'm feeling too tired for that now. It's late but I can't sleep! My final style tip: Find ways to wear clothing all year round. I've been pairing combat boots with shorts in the hot weather, as well as slipping on a wool beret or scrunched up over-the-knee socks for a final touch. I haven't figured out how to wear my sweater dress in the 90+ degree weather, but I'll keep thinking. . .

Do you guys have any unusual ways of inspiring yourselves? What do you do to give your style that extra boost of creativity-powered exuberance?


Katlin at URPLE said...

I love getting inspiration from movies and anything old like magazine pics, ads, etc. I also look in the kids/preteen sections for clothes and get the bigger sizes because they're cheaper. Especially for belts to wear at the smallest part of the waist. Oh, and Gael Garcia Bernal, YUMMY!!!! I loved him in the Science of Sleep, weird + hot = my kind of man! :)

ladyjulianne said...

These are really inspiring and practical tips, great post :)

I mostly try to make do with what I've got rather than buy new clothes, so when I'm getting bored with my style I'll reorganise my wardrobe in a different way as it gives me a chance to look at my clothes in different combinations. I've done organising by type of item, colour, and by item and colour, the latter of which is the current structure!

Kim said...

The best thing about shopping in the guys section for tops is that they actually have proper length sleeves AND the material is thick enough that you don't have to wear a cami or singlet underneath!
You just have to try to find a small engouh size :]

Anonymous said...


just wondering if u think these ksubis are real. not sure if i shud purchase them?



Kori said...

Great tips, everyone! I'll have to try 'em!

anonymous - I have no clue; sorry...

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