I bought this hat today. It’s a pretty nice hat. I’m especially fond of the leather strap and the raised branding detail on the clasp. It’s not something I would typically recommend to my clients (mostly because of the very overt branding.)
I wasn’t on the Vineyard Vines website looking for shit to buy.
This hat found me. Months ago actually.
I was in the grocery store and I saw a lady wearing a Vineyard Vines hat and I COULD NOT keep my eyes off it. It was most likely not even a hat purchased from Vineyard Vines, but a hat purchased from Target when Vineyard Vines collaborated with them (the grocery store is very close to a Target so it would make it sense.)
I knew it at the time and I didn’t care. Some snobs turned their nose at Vineyard Vines at the time because of the increased accessibility to the brand (the “exclusivity” of a fucking $30 hat. Are you kidding me?) but this brave little venture by Vineyard Vines made a customer out of me.
But this article isn’t about diffusion brands, it’s about INSPIRATION.
The best way to get inspiration isn’t to go looking for it. It’s to wait for it to FIND YOU.
This article is a testament to that. Generally speaking I don’t brainstorm ideas for articles. I tried it, yesterday actually. I went on /r/mfa to try and find ideas to write articles about. Nothing came from it, at all.
I got the idea to write this article when I decided to purchase that hat. So in a way this advice kind of transcends style.
Don’t waste your time looking at inspiration albums to find individual pieces. You will get literally nothing out of it. I’ve tried. If you’re looking for stuff to buy it is THAT MUCH easier to rationalize away wasting money on clothes you don’t even love.
Let me give you an example.
This is from Drake’s High Summer lookbook. I like that shirt. I really like that shirt. I wouldn’t mind it being in my wardrobe at all. It’s a $285 shirt and I can afford it. So I should buy it right?
I mean obviously I shouldn’t right? I should actually go on a fast fashion site like H&M or Zara and buy a similar shirt that’s a lot cheaper to try the style first and see if I like it right?
The secret to expanding your style isn’t by throwing a bunch of shit at your closet and keeping what sticks.
If you buy 10 fast fashion pieces and they’re $15 apiece to try and “experiment and expand your style” that’s $150 that could go to one quality garment that you love.
If you go looking for clothes to buy just to buy them this will happen to you EVERY TIME.
The only time you should EVER actively look for inspiration or guidance is if you’re trying to completely change your style and have no idea how to achieve the look for you’re going for. If you have a look already don’t bother.
I’m not saying to avoid inspiration albums. It’s a mindset thing.
There’s a difference between:
- Deciding you like the look of streetwear and googling “how to dress streetwear.”
- Already having a streetwear wardrobe and looking at a streetwear inspiration album you ran into on a forum because YOU ENJOY STREETWEAR and seeing something you like.
- Googling “streetwear inspiration” when you already have a full streetwear wardrobe to buy more clothes because ???
Like you guys know lookbooks and runway shows were made to SELL GARMENTS right?
All of my best inspiration is from COMPLETE happenstance. It’s never when I’m in “fashion mode.” It’s always when I’m out and about or doing other things.
Stop looking to consume just to consume like some giant fashion vacuum.
If the piece doesn’t stick in your head for months you don’t love it and you don’t need it.
“This hat found me. Months ago actually.”
“Months ago actually.”
One more time.
“Months ago actually.”
If you already have a solid wardrobe STOP BUYING CLOTHES YOU DON’T LOVE. Stop buying clothes you won’t miss if they get ruined. You are w a s t i n g your money and creating closet clutter.
Start asking yourself the following question:
Since clients come to me and I go farther than base level (boring, safe) styling and help them develop their own personal style and look this article makes me kind of a hypocrite right?
I’ll tell you the cold hard truth.
Usually the best any personal stylist can do for you (including me) is find you pieces you really really really really like. Occasionally the stars will align and a client will be COMPLETELY ENAMORED by a garment I recommend, but this is a rarity.
Even if you’re styled by the best stylist in the world your look will still be amalgamated with at least 5%~10% of the stylist’s tastes. The goal of a great personal stylist is to get you 90% of the way there and hold your hand and teach you to get the remaining 10% yourself.
This article consists of a sentiment I’ve already express (pretty wordy sentence huh?) to my clients.
The featured image of this article is a look from the movie Casino that brings me inspiration. I ran into it while watching the movie for the first time.
Picked apart: a masterful use differing yellow hues (look at the jewelry and shirts.) These yellow hues combine with the blue and red checkered jacket and result in a triadic color scheme that is quite pleasing to the eyes. Kudos to costumer designer Rita Ryack.
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