Why Mood Boards Are Key to Developing Personal Style
According to celebrity stylist Kate Young, anyone can figure out the look that works best for them by creating a mood board. The simple tool—an informal image collage of inspirational clothes, people, looks, and hair and make-up—is the first thing she creates for every new client. “I find it’s easier to dress yourself when you have an idea of what you’re going for,” Young says on the second episode of her new YouTube show, Hello Fashion, created with The Slowdown. While her mood boards take various forms, including Pinterest boards and entire books of photos, Young’s aim in studying them is always the same: She’s attempting to determine a person’s “vibe.”
To make your own style mood board, Young suggests looking at photos of yourself and picking out ones where you felt good, liked what you were wearing, or where a specific garment or accessory looked especially great. “Try to figure out what’s working when it works,” Young says of the exercise, which she does with each of her clients. “Is it a color? A silhouette? An attitude?” From there, she continues, make outfits that look like the people you want to look like using the clothes in your closet, pinpoint the pieces that are missing, and add them to your wardrobe. Photograph yourself wearing the completed looks you create, and tape them to the back of your closet for reference.
Actress Dakota Johnson, one of Young’s clients, echoes her love of collecting and analyzing images around a given theme in a FaceTime call. “Mood boards are like playlists for physical things,” Johnson says. Young couldn’t agree more. Her personal mood board, which she presents on the episode, features fashion icons she admires, such as Debbie Harry, Sade, and Tina Chow, and some of her favorite color combinations, like red and turquoise. These visuals are the “codes of who I am,” Young says. “If you can figure them out for yourself, then you have a key to what to wear.”
Watch new and previous episodes of Kate Young’sYouTube show Hello Fashion at youtube.com/kateyoung.