If you want to turn your basic wardrobe into something unique and creative, there is inspiration all around you. Fashion magazines have now been joined by websites, bloggers, vloggers, You-Tubers, Instagrammers and all your friends who post pictures of themselves in their new outfits.
Sometimes the number of images and possible looks can seem quite overwhelming; here is an edited selection to start you off.
Sometimes it’s good to read an actual, physical, glossy magazine, but if you don’t have the money, the following two both have good websites as well:
Vogue – the mother of all fashion magazines. Not noticeably relevant to most teenage girls’ daily life, but an absolute must for true fashionistas – and it also has a Miss Vogue section designed for younger readers (with more realistic prices). Vogue also hosts an annual competition for fashion journalism, which has started many journalists’ careers. You might also enjoy TeenVogue, which is an American publication but available in the UK from WHSmith or by subscription – although you won’t be able to buy most of the clothes, the content is fresh and relevant to UK girls as well. It also has a very good Instagram account.
Elle – smart, stylish, modern fashion magazine and website
The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph both have good fashion coverage; if you buy the actual papers you will be helping to support journalism and journalists, but if you are short of money plenty of fashion content is also free to view online.
Lots of teenage girls write their own blogs, photographing and analysing their own fashion choices. Everyone’s style is different, so have a look around the internet and find one you like. You will find more wide-ranging fashion inspiration in the following blogs:
The Sartorialist was one of the pioneering street-fashion blogs, and is still going strong with photos of inspirational individuals from around the world.
Style Bubble written by pleasantly eccentric Londoner Susanna Lau since 2006
Fashion collections in museums have inspired many fashion designers and can inspire you too. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has huge collections, regular exhibitions, an excellent bookshop and an exciting programme of events and workshops designed specifically for young people. The museum itself is well worth a visit, but if that is not possible the website has a mass of information and inspiration as well.
The London Fashion and Textile Museum, also in London, organises regular fashion exhibitions and courses, many designed for teenagers. It is a much smaller operation than the V and A, but does what it does very well.
Courses and workshops offered by museums normally offer the best value; you can find fashion summer schools for teenagers at prestigious institutions like Central St Martins and The Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design , but these are very, very expensive. You may find some cheaper courses locally, perhaps at your local further education college.
It takes a certain confidence to walk into a Chanel or Gucci shop; but visiting the designer section of a department store like Selfridges or Liberty or Harvey Nichols is much less intimidating, and allows you to get up close to the some of the most creative, beautiful, inspiring and up-to-date fashions you can imagine. The internet is an amazing thing, but there is nothing quite like seeing the colours, patterns and textures in real life, for yourself.
Going to new places is a sure-fire way of getting inspired, but you don’t need to go far; just getting a bus into town one weekend and looking at all the different people wandering around will help you develop your ideas of what you do and don’t like.
Films and television programmes
These can often give you new ideas. Our own film selection has quite a fashion bias.