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How to Create Your Own Fashion Resource Bible

Victoria Moore is a Los Angeles-based fashion/feature journalist. When she's not writing, she's reading or tap dancing.

Fashion Done Your Way

1970's patchwork denim jacket

1970's patchwork denim jacket

John Robert Powers Modeling School and My First Fashion Resource Bible

In 1979, when I attended the John Robert Powers Modeling School for a six-week makeover course, I was taught a style trick that I continue to use from my course notebook. Although it started out simply enough as a homework assignment for my Wardrobe and Styling class it opened up a whole new world to me.

At first I was nervous when the model instructor said, said "I want you to buy the latest Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour or Mademoiselle, cut out photos of the clothes and accessoreies you think would look become on you, then label 13 sheets of colored paper-coats, basic dresses, skirt suits, pantsuits, blouses, pants, skirts, vests, sweaters, evening dresses, and accessories-then attach your selections to the colored sheets and put them into your course notebook.

Interactive, informative and useful the part that influenced me the most, then and later as a fashion student at CSULA and Academy Of Art University, professional Los Angeles-based fashion writer and clothes horse was the process of editing and organizing my inspiration.

Five Steps to Creating Your Own Fashion Resource Bible:


Looking good enough to feel confident whenever you leave home has never been easy. First you have to have excellent personal style. Second you have to maintain a well curated wardrobe and third you have to add the right finds to remain on-trend and relevant.

Now it's become even more difficult to stay on top of your fashion game because the pandemic caused a shift to comfy gear flexible enough to be worn for Zoom meetings and on brief errands. E-commerce replaced on-site shopping and designers weren't able to create live fashion shows.

As we re-enter and embrace the "new normal" of masks, athleisure and sneakers how do we emerge without looking like a sartorial Rumplestiltkin? If you're a designer or influencer you can refine your daily inspos with pictorial journals, mood boards or lookbooks, yet if you're a mainstream consumer who wants to stay au courant these may not work for you. You probably need something more user-friendly like a Fashion Resource Bible. Part scrapbook, part diary it's definitely your ally during these turbulent times.

Consisting of an 8 1/2 x 11 inch three-ring binder, dividers, magazine and internet fashion clips, notebook paper, colored paper, and sheet protectors it's a great visual and shopping aid.

I'd like to teach you steps how to create your own Fashion Resource Bible where you'll learn how: (1) to do a Closet Edit and Wardrobe Inventory, (2) create a Daily Diary of the outfits you wear everyday, (3) analyze and record the new trends you see in magazines, like Vogue and online, (4) how to categorize and place the clips you collect, and (5) how to create a Shopping Wish List every season.


Closet Edit and Wardrobe Inventory

Closet Edit

Closet Edit

Closet Edit and Wardrobe Inventory

A Closet Edit and Wardrobe Inventory are two of the most important organizational tasks you'll undertake while creating Fashion Resource Bible. If you've never worked with a stylist,or taken an online class with one, it may seem like a daunting proposition at first, so let me break it down for you. The definition of a Closet Edit is "the orderly categorization of a wardrobe by item, color and usage." The definition of a Wardrobe Inventory is "a visual record of the items within a wardrobe according to item description, color, style and brand or store it was originally purchased from."

Wardrobe Inventory

Wardrobe Inventory in Chart Format

ItemColorStyle

Skirt

Black and White

Pleated

Pants

Beige

Wide-legged

Basics Wardrobe List

Now that you have your clothes neatly separated by category (i.e., jackets, tops, shirts, dresses, pants, skirts,etc.,) you need to edit again to make sure you have the basic pieces that're the foundation of any functioning, versatile wardrobe. Next you need to hang everything up on velvet hangers and put them back into your closet by category and color, light to dark.

To help keep you on track you should also create and include a copy of the list at the front of your Fashion Resource Bible. The chart below demonstrates which items it should include:

Basics Wardrobe List

Traditionally your basics should be in Neutral colors, such as black, navy-blue and gray and have a timeless, classic cut.

Female BasicsMale and Female BasicsAccessories

Black dress

White button-down shirt

Briefcase

Two-piece skirt suit

Two-piece pantsuit

Black purse

Black skirt

Black turtleneck

Scarf

Black pants

Tie

Beige khakis

Pearls

Jeans

Socks

White tee

Tights or pantyhose

Cardigan sweater

Black pumps

Gold chain

Watch

Black beret

Scroll to Continue

Dapper Day Outfit

Vintage print dress, hat and shoes

Vintage print dress, hat and shoes

Fashion Daily Diary

Besides the Wardrobe Inventory and Basics Checklist another document you'll be adding to your Fashion Resource Bible is a Daily Diary where you'll record everything you wear everyday that you're out. Here's an example of the format:

Date: 3/21/19

Place Worn: LACMA

Description of Outfit: Beige blazer over a print vintage dress and brown men's shoes

The Top 10 Trends

The Top 10 Trends

Clip File Gathering and Trend Analysis

Before you proceed to perusing Vogue and other top fashion magazines and online sites for the season's trends make sure you have your Wardrobe Inventory completed so you'll be able to create your Shopping Wish List.

As you note the season's trends you need to make your own list, as well, and place it in the front of your Fashion Resource Bible. This is also the time to clip the images from the magazines that appeal to you and prepare them for your bible.

The method I used was collage because it succinctly told the story of my style and how it's portrayed by various designers, icons and influencers.

When I studied the December/January issues of InStyle, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle I noted the 10 biggest trends are:

  • Funky prints
  • Puff fashion (coats, vests, scarves)
  • Faux fur
  • Animal prints
  • Velvet
  • Classic styles (car coats and loafers)
  • Black-and-white
  • Art-inspired prints
  • Chic boho wraps
  • Lavendar
Collage pages from my Fashion Resource Bible

Collage pages from my Fashion Resource Bible

Shopping Wish List

After comparing your Wardrobe Inventory, Basics Lists, and Seasonal Trend analysis and deciding where you have holes in your existing wardrobe you're now in a position to begin creating your Shopping Wish List to aid you on-site and online.

Once you do purchase something make sure you coordinate it with at lease three items in your existing wardrobe to insure it will fit in seamlessly. Let's say you just bought a beautiful green second-hand Boden cardigan from ThredUp.com and you want to wear it to work in January, how would you style it?

Working with your basics, you could wear it over the black dress, over the white tee and the khakis, and over the white tee and the black skirt.

Fashion Resource Bible Round-up

Ultimately your Fashion Resource Bible should always be a work-in-progress each season and a method of organization that helps you stay on track with your personal style.

Getting On the Style Map

Modeling Schools Are a Good Place To Learn About Fashion

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2011 Victoria Jean Moore

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