Project: Create a Look Book. Step 1: Inspiration.

by Rachel Yeomans | October 14th, 2009   

Earlier this month during my discussion with author and stylist Dawn Del Russo, she mentioned that the best advice she can give (besides making your tailor your best friend) is to incorporate a “look book” into your daily routine. A look book can be a binder or folder of your favorite looks from magazine pictures/advertisments, photographs, illustrations, and any other inspiration that can be referenced for inspiration when standing in front of your closet.

I used to work at a retail department store and one of my good friends I met through the job always carried around an overstuffed binder of looks and fashions and patterns that inspired and excited her. I shamefully made fun of her for being so organized; I’m sure now she will get her revenge as I now see her genius. So what did I do? I set out to create a look book!

First step, I bought a binder with the clear sleeves. Next step, I was stuck. I found myself staring at my stack of magazines and asking questions. How should I organize it? Should I categorize my looks or just go for it and organize later? Should I take photographs of my own clothing to know what I have? I found myself sitting on my living room floor with an empty binder daunted and overwhelmed by this seemingly simple task. So I got up, set the binder aside, and looked to the Internet for inspiration.

I went to fashion websites that I know of that have look books integrated within them. Here are some images from that took 14 pieces and turned them into 12+ looks.

Picture133 Project: Create a Look Book. Step 1: Inspiration.

Picture134 Project: Create a Look Book. Step 1: Inspiration.

Picture135 Project: Create a Look Book. Step 1: Inspiration.

Then I perused Net-a-Porter and they had a specific look book (or as they term it, “Boutique”) geared toward work attire and segmented it off between corporate, creative and professional.

Picture136 Project: Create a Look Book. Step 1: Inspiration.

To wrap up my look book research, I checked out the fashion website Workplace section was also categorized. The ensembles designated for corporate looks and creative looks opens with very cute sketches. Clicking on either look takes you to grouped sections of attire for various working occasions such as Working Classics, Dresses that Work, and Boardroom Meeting.

Picture211 Project: Create a Look Book. Step 1: Inspiration.

By seeing the work from others, I may now have enough inspiration and ideas to create my own look book. Next step, sitting down and doing it. I have a feeling this look book will be a forever work in process, which makes sense as looks and styles, likes and dislikes constantly rotate and change. I’m looking forward to this project and will report back on progress! Wish me luck!