It was over a year ago now when I originally posted how to create your own look book in the men’s section of the blog. It still remains one of my most popular posts to this day. If you never caught it then I’ll do a quick recap before I kick off with this post. A look book, if you’re not already familiar with one, is a collection of looks that showcase how a collection works. The beauty of your own personal look book is two fold; it documents your own style progression and it also helps you develop your style. How does it develop your style? You may ask, well it allows you to build a collection of looks that you want to achieve. You then have them documented and can go out and focus when shopping to purchase pieces to help create the desired look. So no more wandering around aimlessly looking at the shops until you find something you like. Fashion magazines have been doing these sorts of things for ages, you’ve probably seen them where they have outfits made up of different pieces from different retailers. You’ve probably picked certain ones that you like the look of. The difference is this is a book where you won’t like just one piece but the entire collection… because it’s yours. It’s your collection… and just by seeking out and looking for what’s stylish will automatically fine tune your own sense of style.
Now in that post a year ago I talked about making a physical copy of your book, but a lot has changed even in the space of a year. By all means if you still love the concept of cutting pictures out and sticking them in folders then stick to that because for some people it can be a lot of fun. However, if you’re short on space or want to embrace the world of technology then there now a number of ways you can create your look book 2.0.
If you’re the proud owner of an iPad or any other tablet or smart phone then you’re literally walking around with a personal computer in your hand/pocket. This opens the opportunity to store your look book on your digital device. It’s a lot more portable and a lot easier to edit. You can really spend as much or as little time on it depending on how creative you want to be. You could simply dedicate a folder or a section of your tablet’s/mobile’s gallery for your look book photos. Alternatively you can create a full-blown presentation style look book using something like keynote for iPad and add notes and have it displayed nicely. I use this method to create a trend bible for my clients each season and they always end up looking really cool. Even something like evernote will allow you to add photos to notes which could be used to compile a sort of look book. The options are endless.
I originally had my look book as a folder on my mac containing pictures. But it soon frustrated me because every time I wanted to look at it I had to turn on my mac. So I decided to upload them to ‘the cloud’. There are loads of cloud services you can use. I chose flickr simply because it’s automatically built into my phone so made uploading photos easy. I set the album to private but you can have it public if you wish. You don’t have to use flickr, you could make an album on Facebook or tweet your ideas and providing you use them same image hosting service e.g. tweet pic or yfrog then you have your own collection. It also allows feedback from other people if you’re posting it on social media sites as well, if that’s what you desire. There is even lookbook nu which is a site dedicated for user’s to upload their ‘looks’. The beauty of having it stored on a cloud service is it’s accessible on any internet enabled device where ever you are.
I know technically it should fit in the category above but I felt it should have a place on it’s own. You could create your own blog purely for this exercise and make notes to accompany your look book. The only downside to this is as you’re putting it out there you’re opening yourself up for potential feedback unless you turn off the commenting option. There already plenty of personal style bloggers who do a similar thing by posting up pictures of their outfits and inspiration on their personal blogs. So if you haven’t considering using a blog as your own personal look book then now’s your chance.
I really think look books are great to have to help document your style, help you shop and generally improve your style. Now you have the option to create one and have it where ever you go.
I’d love to hear your thoughts as always.