Okay, there's this experimental formula I've been working with when it comes to streamlining a personal style. It's easy to say "Oh, golly gosh, Babs! Just play around and have fun! It's only fashion!". And while I wish I had a friend named Babs so I could relive my Tiny Toons days, and it is supposed to be fun, I have this idea in my head that fashion can very much be a metaphor. It can represent not only who you want to be and who you feel you already are, it can also be an extension of what's going on inside your head.
If you're messy on the outside, you're messy on the inside. For the record, I hold the same attitude when it comes to your living space. The environment you choose to live in is going to say a lot about who you are, even if you never have anyone over for tea and stale crumpets.
However, it's really freaking tough to design your personal style. I don't give a sweet damn to those who tilt their heads and present the whole "I always had my own unique style." Bullshittery.
It may be unique now, but we all learn through emulation at the very beginning. Which brings me to my little formula idea:
* Pick three people whose personal style you are regularly drawn to. I recommend selecting three celebrities as multiple photographs in different outfits are going to be a lot easier to track down than people you may know personally.
* Really go through the pictures of these people and decide what it is you are attracted to about their style. Is it their color usage? Reference to prior decades? Strategic use of feathered boas?
* While shopping think about which of your three icons would be wearing this particular item. Is it something you could integrate into your wardrobe? This will also help curb the impulse shopping by making you actually stop and really think about what you pick up.
* When you finally go to put your outfit together, pick two of the icons and attempt to blend their individual looks. 1) this will help you experiment and 2) combining two different people's set styles will keep you from looking like a clone while you yourself are sculpting your end game trousseau.
I've been using this tactic for a few months now and I'm digging on the results. My three icons are Dita von Teese, Alison Mosshart and Beyonce. All three have extremely defined and differing looks and it's been fun to try and make hybrid, cohesive outfits using them as my starting point. B and Dita tend to be a lot easier to blend and Alison is totally my wild card, but today I came up with this little ditty:
The printed sundress and heels are totally Dita, not to mention the red lipstick, but the white leather jacket is my attempt at a nod towards Ms. Mosshart. It's a color you don't see all that often in leather and it's motorcycle style cut keeps the dress from taking me into Sunday attire territory. I'm sorta digging the hell out of it.
Also, I seriously can't get over how cute my girl JP looks in this picture we took at Coney Island a couple months back.