6 Ways to Get Inspired

When it comes to fashion, one of the biggest mistakes women make is spending too much time shopping and not enough time in their own closets. Yes, your closet may feel like the farthest thing from a magical place, but I assure you that with a little time and effort you can find some hidden gems you didn’t even know you had! (And you will save mucho dinero!)

There are many ways to get the creative process going, but one of my favorites is by using inspiration photos from celebs and fave sites. Here are six types of inspiration and some tips to get you started!

[This is a guest post previously seen on Shecky's and Fitnessista.]

1. Celebrities: Thanks to the internet and magazines, pictures of celebrities are everywhere! Don’t get discouraged by the fact that their clothes cost thousands of dollars though. You can often find look-alikes for much, much less at Forever 21 or ASOS.com.

In this look: I re-created a Blake Lively look using almost-identical pieces found at Forever 21 and TJ Maxx for less than $200 total.

Inspiration photo: FabSugar.com 
Faux leather jacket: Forever 21, $40
Dress: Forever 21, $30
Tights: Hue/TJ Maxx, $6
Boots: Cynthia Rowley/TJ Maxx, $85
Earrings: Urban Outfitters, $5

Just like J:
1. Charlotte Russe Pretty Petals One-Shoulder Dress, $29.99
2. Forever 21 Textured Leatherette Jacket, $39.80

2. Retail: Retail catalogs and lookbooks are an endless source of inspiration. My favorites are J.Crew and Shopbop, and other retailers like Banana Republic and Talbots often post cute outfits on their sites too. Or, sign up for emails for great ideas sent right to your inbox.

In this look: I didn’t copy the J.Crew outfit exactly, but rather used the overall theme to come up with something from my closet. The picture was a starting point (a spark!) to get the wheels turning.

Inspiration photo: J.Crew
Shirt: Urban Outfitters, $20
Lavender skirt: Urban Outfitters, $17
Belt: Gap, $3
Necklace: Banana Republic, $30
Shoes: Banana Republic, $50

Just like J:
1. Spiegel Tulip Pencil Skirt, SALE $29
2. Ann Taylor Long Sleeve Tee with Puff Sleeves, $44

3. Magazine layouts: Magazines may use expensive clothing for their layouts, but basic outfits like these can often be found sitting in your closet, just waiting to be put together.

In this look: I took the preppy theme of this ensemble and ran with it, adding a scarf and brooch for an extra flare. Don’t be afraid to insert your own personality into looks, even when you are re-creating something!

Inspiration photo: InStyle magazine
Sweater: Gap, $20
Shirt: H&M, $13
Pants: Gap, $15
Brooch: Banana Republic, $15
Shoes: Endless.com/Restricted, $39
Purse: Juicy Couture
Watch: Michael Kors, Christmas present
Scarf: The Vintage Scarf

Just Like J:
1. Charlotte Russe Birdseye Crop Trouser, $26.50
2. American Apparel Chiffon Oversized Button-Up, $58

4. Other People: Everyone copies other people’s outfits, just not everyone admits it! Get ideas from everyday people or what bloggers are wearing.

In this look: The foundation of my outfit is the same (shorts, shirt, blazer), but when it came to accessories, I didn’t have a perfect match so I just used what I had. Point is, don’t stress about the details—work with what you’ve got.

Inspiration photo: Chicisimo.com
Jacket: Express, really old
Shirt: J.Crew, $40
Necklace: Banana Republic, $35
Short: Forever 21, $22
Guess/Marshalls, $30

Just Like J:
1. Forever 21 Drawstring Knit Shorts, $14.80
2. LOFT Handkerchief Hem Ruffle Shell, $49.50

5. Runway: Runway looks are the hardest to re-create, but sometimes you’ll find a gem that translates to real-life, such as this Rachel Roy look.

In this look: Choose ensembles that utilize colors you already have handy. Recreating this look was a cinch, because I had these same navy-turquoise-camel/orange colors hanging in my closet!

Inspiration photo: Rachel Roy
Cardigan: Gap, $18
Shirt: Express, really old
Navy skirt: Limited, $25
Shoes: Restricted/Endless.com, $39
Watch: Michael Kors, Christmas present
Bracelets: Forever 21, $8
Earrings: Forever 21, $8

Just Like J:
1. Gap Ribbed Waist Cardigan, $24.99-$39.99
2. The Limited Navy Plainweave Pencil Skirt, $59.90


6. Store Displays: Store mannequin caught your eye? Take a picture with your phone so you’ll remember what it looks like later! 

In this photo: I snapped this photo of a store mannequin, and then hunted through my closet. Not only does the photo serve as inspiration, but it’s also a reminder of an outfit idea that I may have otherwise forgotten!

Inspiration photo: Taken with my phone 
Jacket: Gap, $25
Shirt: Banana Republic, $18
Belt: American Eagle, $5
Skirt: Limited, $50
Shoes: H&M
Earrings: Forever 21, $8
Watch: Michael Kors, Christmas present 

Just like J:
1. LOFT Watercolor Floral Print Pencil Skirt, $69.50
2. American Eagle Military Shirt Jacket, $49.50

What are your favorite ways to get inspired?