I like clothes, I like playing with clothes, the proportions, fabrics, colors.  I do not however like shopping.  When I figured this out it was shocking!  I used to find the mall one of the most peaceful places on earth, now I feel a little dizzy and ill when I’m there.  To remedy this situation, I’ve become a major shopper of my own closet.  When inspiration strikes and I feel the creative juices flowing, I set aside some time go back through my clothes try things on and take pictures.  To some this might sound like an exercise in vanity, superficiality and silliness.  For the others, keep reading.

Why take a picture, you might wonder?  It’s like writing down a good idea, sometimes we are given a gift to see things in a slightly different way, all of the sudden a tired outfit gets new life with a belt or a new proportion.  The pictures are especially helpful when I’m plagued by hormones and all of the sudden I can’t find one thing to put on my body.  Or I get the “new urge”.  It happens, an event comes up and I think, “Oh, I need something new for that” – I’ve now documented my clothes so thoroughly that be it a funeral, a hot date, horseback riding, a walking trip around Paris – I have an outfit for that!

A couple tips:

1.  Don’t include your head in the pictures, it’s a distraction, you might hate your hair in the picture and then the helpful outfit documentation is worthless.

2.  Don’t spend more than an hour trying on and documenting your ideas

3.  Hang up as you go, a mountain of clothes isn’t a great reward for your efforts

4.  Include shoes, that dress you never wear might due to the fact you don’t have footwear that works with it, so who cares if it looks great with a belt

5.  Ask a friend for help, either in finding ideas in your closet or editing your pictures.  That skirt might be perfect just a couple inches shorter.

6.  Think about alterations with a tailor, I’ve turned dresses into shirts and dresses into skirts.

7.  The internet is a great source of inspiration, I screen capture (or you can “pin”) photos I love and see if I can recreate the idea with my own things.  I keep two folders on my computer: “style” and “me in clothes”

I have a wedding coming up so I flipped through my formal wear here’s the winner:

Dress, Buffalo Exchange $16

Happy hunting.


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