As a street style photographer and as a fashion writer, I look, search, and think about fashionistas all day long. And people always ask me how I choose the people I photograph. Confession time: I usually don’t have a concrete answer or a formulaic approach. Because there’s a part of my brain that just knows when an outfit is undeniably photo worthy. And that’s because many “Street Style Superstars” have - undeniable, fearless style. But this style is not created overnight. Being an undeniable Street Style Superstar is all about planning and preparation. For example, if you have your eye on a pair of, I don’t know, white patent calfskin Dior boots, then last year probably was a good time to save up. However if your goals are more “realistic” then today is the perfect time to get a jump on spring shopping. There’s something about taking off that winter coat, and unbinding yourself from a wool scarf that makes you really want to dress like you jumped from the pages of Harper’s Bazaar. But after months of being bundled up, your personal style might take a while to come out of hibernation. So, this week, I want you to use your imagination and flex your online shopping skills so that you can make Spring your most undeniable stylish season ever.
Figure Out Your “Thing”
It’s no secret that I’m all about ~ a e s t h e t i c ~ when I go shopping; I think about the outfit as a whole. So, say you go out shopping for a pair of pants, that’s great, first step down, now let's take it to the next level. What do you own that will make those pants part of a full look. Once you got that picture in your head literally create a name for it. It sounds silly but it’s actually very helpful. Hear me out:
If your look is Eccentric Upper East Side Gallery Owner, than when you go shopping you're going to search for textured ponchos and earthy statement jewelry. Of if your look is Cher from Clueless meets Cher the legendary music/style icon, you’re going to be mixing and matching high glam crop tops with 90s inspired mini skirts. Don’t think that your look has to fall under one aesthetic title! Have fun with it, step out of your own comfort zone. Be Doris during the Day and Joan Jett at night. This is the best way to not get overwhelmed when you shop. So when you go shopping you should be able to complete this sentence, “This spring/summer I’m going for a _________ look”.
If you need a little help cultivating your look don’t be afraid to look to others for inspiration, but remember to Do You. I want to slay as hard as Leandra and Shiona but I also know that I want to be me. So when I’m feeling particularly stuck, I head to Polyvore and put together an outfit inspired by my fashion inspirations, but I also add some Sola Onitiri flare to it.
Creating Your Style Guide & Shopping Hacks
Now that you’ve figured out your “thing” it’s time to move on to the mechanics. Some people are born shoppers. They get pleasure out of going through racks of tops, piles of pants, and aisles of shoes. If you’re like this, shopping is a walk through a well lit, perfumed department store. If you are not like this, chances are shopping may get pretty overwhelming for you. I totally get that. Since moving from the suburbs to Philly, my threshold for shopping has decreased exponentially. So instead of suffering my way through racks, piles, and displays here’s what I do. I visit at least three of my favorite stores online, go through every section of the site, and save (NOT add to cart), but save the items that I’m interested in. When saving the items to your wish list, ignore the prices. Simply click on what you truly like and worry about the dollar signs later. Here’s what so awesome about this method. You get to familiarize yourself with the latest trends and shop from the comfort of your own home at your own pace. This is basically the best form of window shopping there is.
This list of saved items will act as your Spring/Summer Style Guide, so make sure it adds up to your “look”. Screenshot the items of your Style Guide so that you can refer to it when you shop. If you’re a balling enough to buy everything you like from your style guide - then you bettah work girl. If not, here’s how to work around it.
If you know your size in that brand, then add a few items to your cart every other week and get them. If you are unsure of your size, you have two options. If the store you’re looking at has a brick and mortar location, visit with your research in hand and ask a sales associate to help you find some of the items to try on. If your store doesn’t have a brick and mortar location, read some reviews on how the item fits and get them. If they don’t fit, most online stores allow you to do an exchange free of charge.
Have Fun & Be Fearless
After the winter, It's so easy to want to tip all of your clothes in a garbage can and set it on fire. I'm right there with you - sometimes my wardrobe makes me want to pull my hair out. But remember, fashion is supposed to be fun! It's supposed to make you feel confident and fearless. So find or keep the items that make you feel like that and get ready for some Lifestoned Adventures.