Four Ways I Take Inspiration From Fashion Magazines


Fashion Magazines - A Parisian Shoot

One of the things that I love about Paris is that there is always something going on, something that you might not see at home. Perhaps an art installation, or a demonstration or some sort of parade or pageant.

During out last visit, Scott and I were entertained by a full on magazine fashion shoot in the middle of my very favourite spot in Paris, the Palais-Royal.

It was fascinating to watch the entire spectacle. And I’m not overplaying it by using the word spectacle. It really was quite the show. Four models, a photographer with a team of assistants, at least four make-up artists and a whole crowd of support crew – from junior stylists right through to the catering team.

While we had a great time watching them shoot different outfits in different parts of the historic Parisian landmark, it got me thinking about the way fashion and women are portrayed in the media.

Hundreds of shots were taken and reviewed just in the time we were watching. At one point Scott commented that they moved a bag about 3 millimetres to the left before shooting it again. And all of this effort went in before the editing process, which will only enhance both the outfits and the beautiful women wearing them.

In a time where style and body confidence issues abound I think it is really important that we understand the work and the effort that go into creating the pictures we see in magazines..

Now I’m a big fan of glossy fashion magazines. I pick up copies regularly. I love to spend time on Saturday and Sunday mornings poring over my latest acquisition. And I take so much inspiration from what I see and read.

But I think it is worth remembering what a construct all of these shots are and that we enjoy them first and foremost for the creativity and inspiration they deliver. Beautiful girls in wigs, wearing stunning, expensive designer outfits and talented photographers, stylists and editors create absolutely gorgeous pictures for us to admire.

However, we don’t have to copy the looks exactly, or worse, compare ourselves to the women in those images. As the saying goes – comparison is the thief of joy. And we certainly shouldn’t lose confidence in our own style due to reading fashion magazines. Let’s face it – most of those looks are not for every day wear. Instead we should let the images we love influence our style, which should in turn, enhance our confidence.

Four Ways I Take Inspiration From Fashion Magazines

  1. My top takeaways from fashion magazine always seem to have something to do with colour. I look for unique colour combinations that I adore and consider ways I could incorporate those colours into my wardrobe. Often, I find you can create new colour palettes through the introduction of scarves, shoes and other accessories.
  2. I create mood boards. I’ll often clip pictures I love from magazines. I like to do this without editing myself or thinking too hard about it. Over time I start to see themes in the pictures I’ve collected and it becomes pretty obvious when I’ve fallen in love with a particular item or look. That’s when I might decided to make an investment – when I know I’ve truly fallen for something.
  3. I get a feel for trends. Not necessarily so I can rush out and follow them. No, it’s more likely that I will write about them here. However sometimes I will add a touch of a trend to my (mostly) classic wardrobe.
  4. Finally, I never race out and buy a whole new outfit after flicking through my favourite magazines. Nope. I prefer to wander over to my own closet and look for opportunities to recreate the essence of looks I love using clothes and accessories I already own. Often I’ll be inspired to use my existing clothing differently to create a whole new look. And this way, I not only get more value from my purchases but I also guarantee I’m working with clothes that suit my body shape.

Are you a fan of fashion magazines? Do you enjoy them for the creativity like I do? Or do you steer clear? Either way, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that every woman can bring French style and joie de vivre to her life, no matter where she happens to live in the world. She only needs to know a secret or two to be on her way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll learn the style and grooming secrets that will help you to dress with the confidence so many French women seem to have.


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7 thoughts on “Four Ways I Take Inspiration From Fashion Magazines

  • Teresa c

    I always enjoy reading what you’re sharing. I look through fashion mags and tear out what inspires me too. For years though I’ve worn vintage clothes, adding scarves, belts and other accessories to update a little,

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Theresa, thanks so much for your comment – I’m glad you are enjoying the blog posts. I didn’t think I’d be the only one who took inspiration from those glossy pages!

  • Barbie Beaton

    I love the idea of mood boards to discover an item you “must have”. It would be a good technique to teach my daughters who love to shop, but who will, in time, be cut from the parental purse strings.

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Barbie – how lovely to hear from you. I wasn’t always the best at managing the ‘impulse buy’ – and I was often tempted by every shiny object going around. Only to find that I wanted the ‘next’ item soon after. The mood boards have really worked for me – I find that I’m attracted to shapes or colours and now when I buy something I know it is because I love it, as opposed to being ‘sold to’ by the marketers. Pinterest works in the same way if your girls tend to get tempted by the online world – they can look for themes in the material they are pinning.

  • Alisa

    Janelle, I love the last part of this, when you encourage not necessarily running out to buy, but first to see if you can generate your desired look with what you already have in your wardrobe. This may have been inspired by Inès de la Fressange’s Look Book that you reviewed just a bit ago!

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks Alisa – I do hope your latest travels have started well. I’d say that the Look Book definitely provided additional inspiration to keep reworking my existing wardrobe. The initial impetus came from the Style Coach diploma that I completed earlier this year and I’ve really been trying to remain creative with my existing wardrobe.