So when I started seeing posts about "Look Books" popping up on style blogs I immediately thought "Skint people should have these!" We want to look good too, right? And for us it's not as easy as going to a shop and buying what we saw on someone else or what the dummies in the window are wearing. We either have to save up, make our own, alter what we already have, find them in the depths of thrift stores and charity shops or search through nightmare sale racks. It can be difficult to get the look you're dreaming of! So we need Look Books!
A Look Book in this case is basically a book (of some sort) packed full of inspiration and ideas about clothes you want to wear and the image you want to put across. It helps you figure out your own personal style and what things you need to create an awesome wardrobe full of outfits you love. Want one? First you need to find some sort of book to use. I think bigger is better! Ideas:
- cheap scrapbook
- notebook/jotter sketchbook
- ring binder and clear folders
- a heavy brochure
- yellow pages
- an old encyclopaedia
It doesn't matter if what you use has writing or anything, because you'll be sticking stuff over the pages. See what you've got around the house or look in kids stationary sections of cheap shops. Decorate the cover, if you want to! This is gonna be your style bible and will hopefully get lots of use, so it's worth making the effort.
If you're using yellow pages or something like that I recommend strengthening the cover with cardboard (use old packaging?) or that clear plastic stuff, or you can cover it with masking tape to stop it tearing. (I used a book of squared paper that I've had laying around for a while and never knew what to do with (other than colouring in the little squares, but that gets old!). I covered it with masking tape to disguise the ugly cover and stuck on a few fashion-y pictures. I'll add to it eventually, when I find more good stuff).
Now it's the fun part - cutting and sticking! You can use your Look Book to store pictures of clothes you love, looks you aspire to, hairstyles that would suit your head, make-up techniques, your style icons - all that type of stuff. Jot down notes on what you love about certain looks, ideas, colours, how you could make something similar...and write lists of the sorts of clothes and colours you plan to look out for on your thrifty shopping trips.
Where do you get all these images when you can't afford to be buying glossy fashion magazines all the time? - ask people to save their old magazines for you (I'm lucky enough to live near a weekly market where this guy sells magazines from the month or two before, 3 for £1.50!), print things off the net, order free brochures, doodle outfits you see real-life people wearing or from your imagination or take photos.
Be creative about how you stick stuff in! You could cover a page with gift wrap and stick stuff on top, stick squares of bright paper in and write on those, use colouring pens to pretty it up, use stickers, add swatches of fabric, etc.
Ideas to get started:
- a collage of colours you enjoy wearing
- a page dedicated to shoes and dresses
- a list of fantasy items from your imagination with crayon illustrations
- notes on your style icons (with pictures) including ways you can add element of their style to your wardrobe
- a page of words that describe YOU - do your clothes reflect that person?
- photos of you in your favourite outfits - for future reference and to figure out what looks good
If you're stuck in a rut with your clothing situation, your Look Book should help you become more stylish and put together as time goes on. You'll feel a lot more confident than you do when you chuck on the nearest clean thing! In the meantime, shake things up:
Fun ways to get dressed.
- Dress to a theme - green, princess, geek, stripy, housewife, Shakespearean, retro, ice queen, ballerina, the list is endless. (The idea is to add elements of the theme, not to look like you're in fancy dress).
- Choose an accessory first, like an interesting ring or headscarf, then build an outfit around it.
- Experiment with layers - jumpers over dresses, T-shirts under dresses, dresses over trousers or jeans, vest tops over T-shirts, petticoats under skirts, necklaces over more necklaces...
- Get one of your friends to make up a few outfits out of what you've got - we all think differently, they might be on to something.
- Decide to wear say, only dresses for a whole week.
- Make a few days worth of outfits with the same item of clothing by teaming them with different items and accessories.
- Swap clothes with a similar sized friend to get new ideas.
- On a day when you're staying indoors, wear something fancy. Do your cleaning in a tutu or study in a Tiara! xxx