Copycat Style,  Style and Styling

Copycat Style? Or Style Springboard?

Jeans + Blue Top + Neutral Flat

Happy day, reader dear!

Where do you go for style inspiration when you feel “stuck”? I know many women go to Pinterest, and as much as I’d like to say that I never run out of inspiration, let’s be real. I go to Pinterest, too! Pinterest is a valuable tool if you are in the market for style ideas, but sometimes the pins get monotonous. For example, if you search “White Shirt Outfit”, you will get oodles (#veryscientificdata) of pins of lanky young things in oversized button front white shirts tucked into jeans, paired with heels. Okay. So where do you go from there? What if you don’t wear oversized white button front shirts? Or heels? Or are not a lanky young thing? And haven’t tucked in a shirt since 1999? How do you Copycat that Style?

That’s where some of my clients get stuck. Now it’s time to ask some deeper questions? What do you like about the look? Is it the colors? Is the denim faded or dark? Is the shirt pressed and crisp, or rumpled and relaxed? What other accessories is she wearing? Is the vibe more urban, or outdoorsy? If this all sounds complicated, let’s talk through a style I Copycatted recently…

As always, please feel free to Pin any looks you love or share them with friends or family on social media. I love to meet new people, and you are my best introduction!

Image from

So here’s the look I wanted to Copycat. If it looks familiar, that’s because I used it on my Winter Capsule inspiration board. Let’s start with the elements? How does this look play out using my wardrobe? And for my style?

Let’s start by shopping the wardrobe. Navy shirt? Check. Cropped Jeans? Check. Loafers? Check. But none of my pieces look like these! That’s not a problem, that’s where you get to customize a look that’s YOU. Think of your inspo look as a Springboard to Style rather than being a Copycat!

My shirt doesn’t have buttons or a collar. I’m not likely to tuck it in. I have jeans this faded, but they don’t have this polished trouser look. Nor do they fit right now. (I’m a little fluffier than I’d like to be.) I love these ballet flat style loafers, but as gorgeous as this cognac color is, I don’t own shoes in it. Nor will I buy any that color; it just doesn’t play well with my palette. (PS: I would never suggest buying new pieces to create a Copycat Look!)

So what’s a girl (Or woman, if you prefer.) to do? Let’s think about the vibe. It’s certainly not outdoorsy with those thin soled flats. Okay, more urban, then. Practical. And pared back simple. Here are my pieces:


And here they are together…

1, 2, 3, but not working for me.

Yes, I did add earrings. She’s not wearing any jewelry, but I cannot handle empty earring holes. My hair doesn’t cover them, and those empty holes look nasty to me. What can I say? Other women hate toe cleavage. We all have our quirks.

When It Doesn’t Work

Where does this outfit go wrong? First thing: There’s nothing wrong with me. (OR you!) Let me repeat that. When an outfit doesn’t work, ask yourself “What’s wrong with this outfit?” There is NOTHING wrong with you! It’s not you, it’s the pants. Or the shirt. You are perfect just the way you are! The clothes, or the colors, or the lines simply aren’t working for you.


Rather than Copycat, let’s Springboard! Ask: How can I make this look work for me? That’s taking the inspiration and making it your Springboard! You’re not simply a copy! The problem with that first take? It’s not the clothes themselves. They are all mine, and I love them. Just not paired that way. The outfit is 2N, with absolutely no color. My coloring is 2N+1C, so I need color to make this work. The easiest way to add color? Lipstick is good, but so is a neckerchief. And that’s very signature for me. Springboard!

Such a simple addition, but it makes all the difference! Now the coloring of the outfit reflects mine, AND my added signature still maintains the pared back and simple vibe of the original look. A larger scarf or a pashmina would have complicated the pared back look that was the appeal in the first place. A pair of simple stud earrings or tiny hoops would be even more faithful to the original! That’s what I’ll try next time.

Soooo… How about you? Can you make that serious model face from the inspo picture? (I can’t. Every time I know there’s a picture, I laugh. Not because I want to smile, but because taking photos of myself feels ludicrous. Still.) What’s your take on toe cleavage? Where do you find style inspiration? Do you struggle to go from inspiration to action? What’s your signature? Does adding your signature to a Copycat Outfit make it feel more like you? Do let me know in the comments below… I LOVE to hear from you!

You are an original! Don’t Copycat your style… Springboard it!

Stylishly yours,


  • Lise

    Once again a really interesting post. What a difference your little scarf makes to make the outfit yours. I also hate empty ear holes and always wear earrings. I don’t have an issue with toe cleavage – sometimes it can be quiet sexy on a pointy closed shoe. Lise

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for visiting, Lise. Yes, sometimes it only takes one little thing to make an outfit. I don’t have an issue with toe cleavage, either, but know women who are grossed out by it… Which makes shoe shopping a challenge. (I have long toes, and would have a real problem if toe cleavage bothered me!) I feel better about the earring holes! I was wondering if I was the only one.

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