In 2021, almost everyone I know has—at one point or another—expressed their disdain for social media. And sure, it’s a comparison trap and only shows people’s highlight reel and can be a time-sucking nightmare; but if you do it right, it can be a source of endless inspiration.
Social media has given all of us an opportunity to present whatever version of ourselves to the world that we want, and that also means being able to show off our style. We no longer have to draw inspiration from the pages of magazines—now, you can every time you open your phone. I’ve shared time and time again that one of my absolute favorite ways to get out of a style slump is by turning to my trusty folder of saved Instagram photos, particularly the one aptly named titled “style inspiration.”
Every time I’m scrolling and see one of the people I follow wearing something I absolutely love, I save it to my folder, and when I feel like I don’t know what to wear or am turning back to the same uniform too frequently, I flip through to get some ideas—and let me tell you, it works.
You don’t need identical pieces or to buy anything new to make use of the strategy; you just need a little bit of creativity. Want to see how it’s done? I replicated five of my most recently-saved outfits to see how I felt in things I wouldn’t ordinarily put together.
Inspiration: a matching set with a chic coat
I loved this outfit for how easily it made a matching set look like something you could wear out of the house. Instead of my teddy coat, I paired my set with my white, wool coat, and it instantly made me feel like a celebrity going on a paparazzi walk. Completed with easy-going chunky boots, it takes casual-chic to a whole different level, and if you see me wearing this on repeat soon, don’t call me out on it.
Inspiration: a chunky turtleneck and neutral shacket
I tend to instinctively pair my jackets (and as of late, shackets) with thin, skin-tight shirts, so this look caught my eye because it combined a shacket with a chunkier sweater—something I’d normally assume would feel too bulky. But I’m here to report that it did not; it just felt like a cozy day’s dream. I’m very into my leather trousers right now, so instead of black denim, I reached for those and a pair of sneakers.
Inspiration: a silk shirt and distressed denim
Man, oh man. Of all of these looks, this one just might be my favorite. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a minimalist, so when I saw this silk-shirt-and-denim combo that looked effortlessly cool, I knew it was something I wanted to try to replicate. Instead of a cream shirt, I opted for this emerald one and finished it off with my python booties. Did it end up minimal? No, but I love how the shirt and boots do all the talking, and you really don’t need anything else to pull it together.
Inspiration: a graphic sweatshirt and plaid pants
For obvious reasons, casual style has reigned supreme over the past year, and I thought this was an amazing take on making it a bit elevated. I wished I had an oversized sweatshirt to wear with this, but loved how this cropped one looked layered over a turtleneck with some gold necklaces. My plaid pants tend to collect some dust in my closet, but this reminded me why I invested in them and made me want to reach for them more. Win, win, win.
Inspiration: a perfectly belted blazer
I always wonder what I’ll wear on our first day back to the office some day, and honestly, I think I’ve decided. I love a blazer with a coordinating, fabric belt that comes with it, but something about adding a leather belt on top of any blazer just gives it a bit more “oomph.” Instead of jeans, I opted for my leather leggings and white combat boots, and I. am. obsessed. I feel like a badass who could go straight from the office to happy hours at a chic bar and nobody would bat an eye.