Do you keep a style journal, a style scrapbook, or some other record of your own outfit combinations? Do you grab and save killer outfit images off the internet so that you can refer back to them later for inspiration? Many of my clients do, hoping to reinvent similar looks using their own wardrobe components.

As part of my service to clients we have a productive “create session”, spending a few hours putting together super duper outfit combinations. We try to cover as much of the wardrobe as possible, incorporating the new with the old. We think of fresh ways to wear existing pieces and include footwear and accessories in every outfit. Clients actually try on the combinations throughout the create session to make sure that they work. We snap pictures of the outfits for easy reference.

Some clients print the outfit photos on huge posters that they stick on the inside of their wardrobe doors. Some have the photos complied into booklets. Some add the outfit photos to their existing style scrap books. And some keep the outfits saved on a CD-ROM or their computer’s hard drive, ready for retrieval when the need arises.

In recent years, using an iPhone to snap pictures of outfits during a create session has become the way to go. That way the outfits can be retrieved for inspiration at any time, on the bus ride back home perhaps, or standing in line at the bank or grocery store. How’s that for maximizing time efficiency when deciding what you’re going to wear the next day.

As a fashion stylist I am in a somewhat unique position when it comes to documenting inspiration for my own outfits. I am constantly, constantly absorbing street fashion and what I see in stores, in the media, and on the Internet since this is my bread and butter. I don’t keep a style journal, collect magazine pictures, or grab images off the internet. I don’t take pictures of my outfits unless they are for a blog post. And I don’t write down potential outfit combinations either. It sounds absurd but I rely completely on my memory for inspiration. I think it works because I am engrossed in the subject matter for most of my waking hours. I feel like I AM a walking style scrap book!

There is one thing I do that helps me keep outfit combinations straight in my head. When I add a new item of clothing or footwear, I will spend time in my closet with that item making sure I have found the best combinations. That way I know exactly how to wear the item when the urge strikes me – which is often as soon as possible.

Most books on style suggest that having some form of scrapbook is essential. Although I have seen them work wonders, I also know people who do very well without one. How about you? Do you document your style inspiration and outfit combinations? If so, how do you do it, and what are the benefits you see?