The street is the modern man’s catwalk. For those living in places where higher style is in scarce abundance, God made the internet (and it was good). Growing up, most of my ideas and inspiration came from cool cats I saw and/or met out and about. While fashion shows are good to see new designs and new interpretations of older looks, try to copy them thread for thread and you’ll just look like… well, I don’t know what you’d look like but it’d be bad. Anyway, my apologies and condolences to the fashion victims.
Absorbing the aesthetic details of those around you is a means by which you can generate your own ideas and stylistic interpretations and apply them to your wardrobe (or if you want to take the thought and fun out of it, you can just steal whatever you notice and call it your own). Maybe you notice a color combination you wouldn’t have originally thought of or a style of shoe that would be a nice addition to your collection. Whatever it may be, the key is keeping an open eye for these things.
At the same time, I can’t say there is anything necessarily wrong with scanning a magazine or a catalogue. However, there is something to be said in not blindly following the styles and fashions presented in these mediums. I have never taken much flattery in being told I look like I walked out of the pages of GQ or that I look like a J. Crew model. Rather, I prefer my own style to come from my own sense of expression and creativity as opposed to treating magazines like the technical manuals you get with your printer.
My advice? Well, there’s no real “normal” way to say this, but you may want to consider taking up a little people-watching. In our modern age of social media and institutionalized “creeping”, people-watching has to be socially acceptable, right? Either way, seriously, kids, keep it subtle and to the bare minimum. If you’re caught doing this in Jersey, I am not here to save you.
Anyway, taking notice of an element of someone’s outfit or making a note of it entirely with the intention of copying it later on is a great way to develop your wardrobe. Most likely, you’ll end up formulating something of a list in your head of what you’ll need to acquire.
In short, when it comes to style, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with stealing someone’s ideas. It’s done wonders for me.