Finding Wardrobe Inspiration – It's All Around Us!

The community I live in, Norwich, Connecticut, has a lot of wonderful artistic and unusual opportunities to find inspiration for your wardrobe and accessories. Many believe that only large cities can provide that inspiration – but I often find that it’s harder to find unique treasures in larger cities and the probability that you’ll find someone else walking down the street in “your” blouse, skirt, shoes or with “your” shoulder bag increases with the sheer numbers of the population.

In order to stand out in any crowd, you must be able to accept inspiration from many different sources – and keep your mind open to the possibilities. I recently purchased a pair of shoes that I absolutely LOVE – in a style I have never worn before, and from a retailer I had never purchased from before.

I was looking for something to help me stand out from the crowd…there was a fundraiser being held at my local Arts Center and I wanted to make a big splash – I like being noticed for my unusual accessories – primarily my shoes. I noticed a pair of shoes via my Facebook account – I am a ‘Fan’ of a company called High Heel Junkie (, and during one of their fabulous sales, I found this pair of shoes:

Amazing platform heel - check the detail

Simply amazing – was my response. Not only did I love the color, I loved the detail on the heel. If you look closely, you can see a metal butterfly in the combination of gears and studs.

I simply HAD to have them, and invested just over $100 in the pair including shipping – I caught a sale and was thrilled! When I wore them to the arts fundraiser, many people immediately said to me “Steampunk!”. I had no idea what they were talking about, and did a little research on the fashion genre known as “Steampunk”.

From Wikipedia, the entry describing Steampunk includes:

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s.[1] Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne or real technologies like the computer but developed earlier in an alternate history.

While the genre interested me, after further investigation, the fashions of that era and of this genre were not exactly my preferred style. There were certain aspects of it that inspire me and that I will incorporate into my own fashion plans, like this great pair of shoes, but I will not be adopting the genre wholeheartedly.

Finding inspiration in a different fashion style than your own, or just on people you see walking down the street does not make you a copycat or lacking in personality – it means that you are open-minded enough to find many things attractive and then incorporate that attractiveness into your own style.

Would I wear these to the office? Definately not – unless I was working at a fashion-related position where individual style and departures from normal business attire may be encouraged. What I WILL do though, is to wear them as often as possible – whenever I want attention and to show off my personal style.

Take inspiration from all around you – colors found in nature and how they are paired together, depth of tone and hue, and even shapes can be adapted from the world around you to become part of your personal Style Prescription.