Draw Inspiration to Re-Create Looks in Your Own Way

Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but copying someone else’s style or going cliché with a ubiquitous purchase, won’t help you obtain a tone that is true to yourself. What works for one person may be a disservice to someone else (think: cropped pants on a lady with gorgeous long legs or a white couch in a home with three kids). When choosing style elements for yourself or your home, it’s important to draw inspiration without drowning in imitation. Here are a few ways to do that.

Image via LovelyCrazies.blogspot.com

Slapping up a Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster if Holly Golightly’s story resonates with you would be easy. But rather than creating an eclectic, ephemeral atmosphere of your own, you’d be dressing your home like a college dorm room.

Instead, try choosing one or two aspects you admire from the film and outfitting them with your own flair! A bathtub couch, for example, would be a subtle nod to the movie while also becoming a focal point and conversation piece to break the ice when you have guests over. By selecting your choice of fabric for the cushion and pillows, as was done with this one shared on the Altered States Pinboard from Goodwill Industries Suncoast (St. Petersburg, FL), you’ll also be customizing it to harmonize within your home environment.

Image via Instagram.com/Goodwill_inw

Since I’ve just implied that posters can often come off as tacky, I’m sure you can imagine how I might feel about touristy knick-knacks. I’ll admit that when I went to Paris, I did purchase a mini Eiffel Tower, and when I went to London, I was very tempted by all of the red telephone box goodies. These bits and bobs can definitely be styled well if their place is planned carefully, but making them truly fit is tricky.

For someone who loves to travel and wants to bring the thrill of globetrotting into his or her home, acquiring a little piece of that place is an important rite. Happily, there are more solutions than just lining up souvenirs (which are often made in China rather than the city you’re visiting) on a shelf upon your return. Maybe try thrifting a map, like this one shared on Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest’s (Spokane, WA) Instagram, and adding marks on the places that you’ve been. Since it’s a map specifically chronicling your visits, it will be a functional form of décor that is completely unique to you. Those little souvenir shops are always overpriced anyway.

Image via VinylMag.org

When it comes to fashion, the same concept applies: imitation is a cheap and fruitless method of adopting a mood. I say this partly as a public service announcement and partly as a personal reminder because I am very guilty of this. It’s all too easy to see Taylor Swift wearing a darling dress from Anthropologie and then run out to snatch the same frock up for yourself. No matter how lovely it is, though, you’re still basically ripping her off.

That’s one reason why I appreciate this blog post from Vinyl Mag, which talks about capturing the essence of the icon Jimi Hendricks without exactly replicating his attire. The dress and vest pictured above were tracked down at Goodwill! Read the full post for more details.

When you feel uniquely you — inspired by your heroes, but without sacrificing your own qualities — your interactions with the world positively influence others. You walk a little taller and feel more comfortable in your own shoes.

You know what else has that positive effect? Your support of our organization! That’s right; your donation to Goodwill helps people in your community, too! So head out there and find a way to take your muse and make it your own.