When it comes to style inspo, we all get it from different places.
For me, it usually comes as I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed and spot one of my faves wearing something I wouldn’t have thought to put together. Meanwhile my Mam gets her inspiration the old fashioned way – from the mannequins in the shop windows of her favourite stores.
To me, mannequins are simply display rather than something to be looked at and assessed similarly to a #OOTD on the gram.
So, in a bid to push myself out of my comfort zone, I enlisted the help of stylist Natasha Crowley to go through some of the looks from the windows of Opera Lane and see if they would actually be something I’d incorporate into my (already heaving) wardrobe.
Strolling down the lane on my way to meet Natasha, I spotted a few pieces I was hoping I’d be trying on and others I wished I wasn’t.
First up, was the turn of H&M and an ensemble that didn’t immediately appeal… except for a statement skirt that had caught my eye on my way to my appointment.
I knew going into this that hats were not my thing and unfortunately this outfit didn’t sway that belief too much. However, with a few of Natasha’s modifications in the form of a cool bag and denim jacket, I was feeling a lot more comfortable.
The look is exactly what I’d be after for a family BBQ or get-together.
Next up was the turn of GAP, somewhere admittedly I don’t normally shop.
This is a look I was excited about and it was all down to these jeans; 70s flare with front pockets, a style I had always been too nervous to try on.
Add a super lightweight peasant blouse and some red block heels and this was again, something I’d never piece together myself.
Swapping out the heels for a pair of white sliders, this one felt like something perfect for hot days in a casual office.
Then it was the turn of Topshop – one of my most visited shops on the Lane.
Of all the looks in the window, this was the last one I would have chosen for myself; I haven’t worn a mini skirt since Girls Aloud were still a thing – they’re just not something I gravitate towards.
But this was all about going outside my comfort zone so I was more than happy to try it on.
While I still wouldn’t wear the skirt in real life, every other piece Natasha pulled from the rails of Topshop was bang on. This jacket (pictured above) was also the first thing I added to my must-buy list.
Three doors down, New Look was last on our list.
This look didn’t stand out to me when browsing the windows but quickly became one of my favourites of the day.
Linen has been creeping more and more into my wardrobe lately so I was only too happy to see these white culottes in my current favourite fabric hanging up to be tried on.
Paired with a camisole in your colour of choice, a black denim jacket and some flatform sandals – I didn’t want to take this look off.
The linen trousers were a stand-out piece of the day and something I wouldn’t have thought to wear casually but 24 hours later I was heading out for brunch with the girls teaming my new white culottes with a black t-shirt and some woven black mules.
All-in-all, this experiment taught me a few things – always wear a strapless nude bra and undies when going for a day of clothes shopping, don’t judge everything as you see it on the hanger and taking a step outside your comfort zone can often result in something rewarding.