Inspiration : It's So You!


by Mary Sheehan Warren on 02/29/12

I think it's safe to admit publicly that I am indeed just about finished my book for a slightly younger set on fashion and communication. I've read and researched and interviewed all sorts of "sources" and now I've come to the point where the most difficult part must be tweaked and perfected.

Body type? Color analysis? Psychology of Shopping? Etiquette?

Nope. Fashion Personality. It's always the most difficult to perfect because it's not only an emotional subject, but it involves a quiz for which I must anticipate all sorts of freakish combinations of answers and reactions. (Not to say that anyone's combinations of answers and/or reactions are freakish.)

I mean, just imagine the pressure of writing something that you know people will read and rewrite (at least mentally), because, after all, aren't we all experts on fashion personality?

This new fashion personality quiz, however, will hopefully remedy a problem which women point out to me every time I provide a service: Is fashion personlity really about how you are or how you'd like to be?

That is such a valid question, that I had to address both in the way I take on the issue. However, without giving too much a way, I think that this particular fashion season (Spring 2012) is the perfect time to consider the how you'd like to be part.

So, how would you like to be? For what look are you shooting? What inspires you? Who is your muse?

Often, I recommend to my clients to record their sources of inspiration (objects, landscapes, art, fashion, etc.) onto a board or into a notebook. My Gracie creates her own Power Point presentations for her different areas of interest. You can see why a site like is so popular.

A good exercise in noting your inspirations is to create a timeline of things that have inspired you in the past. Those past inspirations are what have shaped you and can't be put aside as embarrassments even if they were something like:


(I really really wanted a pair in elementary school.)

But it's spring 2012 and we could all benefit from a look around at the fashion.

Below are some of the looks which inspire me:

Vivienne Tam

T.J. Maxx has this for well under half the price of this one.

No, I wouldn't wear this shoe. I just like to look at it.

Elie Tahari

I guess you can see that cherry blossoms inspire me.

Are you laughing? I do have one...but in a different color combination. I got it at Tuesday Morning last week. I like the idea of my children remembering me in this just as much as they'll remember me in painter's pants patching the bathroom ceiling.

Very fresh...

Blue again...this time in a prom dress at Nordstrom.


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ISYFashion no longer accepts clients for personal wardrobe design services. For information on what Mary's been up to, visit