Mood Boards

Do you find yourself wearing the same things in the same way all the time? Inspiration can give you some ideas for putting together fresh, updated looks using what you already have.

Inspiration often stems from something I saved on my mood board. It’s about expanding my creativity to look more up-to-date.

A mood board isn’t about finding a new style. If you’ve curated a wardrobe and invested in timeless classics that you can wear season after season, you don’t want to abandon it. Staying current with accessories and styling tips makes lots more sense.

With all that in mind, I often use my mood board to guide me as I dress or shop. A cohesive wardrobe that allows me to dress for any occasion while maintaining my style and aesthetic has been my goal for the past decade. It all clicked into place when I abandoned wild card purchases that didn’t go with the overall plan.

While using the saved images, I find inspiration to incorporate a piece I don’t wear often. When building a look around something with bold style elements, adding it to classic basics feels more authentic.

I was sock-footed and housecleaning today, and while vacuuming, I noticed that the snow outside was providing excellent light. I thought it might be fun to post about using the denim shirt I wore in other looks using ideas from my mood board here.

I hope you enjoyed this fun exercise and that it gave you some ideas. You can cut pictures out of magazines and save images on your phone, computer, or any number of social media sites. I don’t aim to copy the looks; instead, I use the inspiration to style pieces I already have in a way I might not have thought about.

Nothing I wear in these examples is new, so I’ll share links to the sites where I bought them. The tees and jeans are from Gap. The gray coat and denim shirt are from Banana Republic. The quilted vest is from J. Crew. You can find similar boots, totes, jewelry, belts, and bags at Nordstrom here.

If you want to sign up for the newsletters to learn when I publish a new post, you may do so here. Recent posts are summarized here. I purchased all the products I show since I no longer accept gifts or products to review. However, referral links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission without cost to you.

  1. Your creativity is certainly shining through in these looks! I love all of them and you don’t need a lot of “new” stuff to put them together. Bravo!

    On another note, do you smoke? I have a friend that swears you have to be a smoker in order to limit your appetite to what you show on your blog.

    Enjoy the snow. We have some here in North Alabama also.

  2. Good morning Susan
    I do something similar. I write down every piece I have worn and who was there when I wore it. This way
    I dont wear the same thing twice with the same people. It really helps and keeps me rotating my wardrobe.

  3. I love the way you style a few pieces so many ways. I have been actively working (due to your inspiration) to do the same with my wardrobe. I take pictures of my outfits and store them in a folder on my phone. It helps keep me out of a style rut and inspires new combinations.

    Thanks for all you do!

  4. I just love the looks you put together…..classic, simple,beautiful as are you. Thank you for
    continuing the blog . I look forward to them.

  5. Pinned every outfit you showed us! I love your inspiration to use what we have. All I need to add is a denim/chambray shirt for layering. You look a bit more put together for cleaning than I usually do with my bleach spotted tee shirt and shabby sweatpants. Please give Mr. Mickey my best wishes.

  6. Love these great everyday looks! I’m retired, so most of my clothes are casual for puttering around the house or grocery shopping. Thank you for styling the denim shirt in so many ways. Snow and icy rain has hit my area, so I’m confined to the house for a few days. I was so happy to see your post this morning to brighten my day. Have a great week!

  7. susan thank you for your advice. I am 64 and we have a similar view on style and clothing choices. You are more disciplined than I. I am decidedly ordering a shapeez bra. Can you disclose your opinion and style that you have ordered. I dont like to emphasize my bust. We are about the same size. I am 5’6 , 140#
    Thank you so much
    Diane Schiller

    1. I wear a size medium top, so I add my bra cup size to get my Shapeez size. The staff there will be happy to help you make sure you are ordering the right size. My favorite is the Ultimate Pretty.

  8. Hmm not sure what smoking would have to do with small appetite ? I am 5’3-1/2’”, 95 lbs, over 60 and never smoked in my life, nor ever been overweight. Eating healthfully and keeping physically active is the key.
    Thank you Susan for your classic style inspiration. Like you I go for classics and quality over quantity.

  9. Hmmm..nice looks all around, except the striped Tshirt plus over shirt plus short little vest …looks a bit jumbled for me….I don’t see the way these are working together, and why you combined them.

  10. Good morning, Susan! This post is full of ideas that I love! Every outfit incorporates items I have in my closet.
    You styled each one perfectly. Thank you for sharing your experience, and thoughts on staying current, tastefully! Love how glowing you look even in your house cleaning mode.

  11. I love your posts! Thank you!

    Awhile back you mentioned an exercise you were doing at home. Could you please share what it was. Yoga? Pilates?

  12. Hi Susan,
    You always share creative ways to enhance our wardrobe choices, yet simplify the entire experience. I have been reading your blog for several years now. I think I finally get it! (I guess I’m slow to break old habits.) Based on your examples, I have a wardrobe “system” of 3 basic warm neutrals in addition to black. I then chose three other colors that I enjoy because they look good on me. (teal/green, warm red, and burgundy.) I also decided to have one special color to warm up basic black for more formal occasions – Chicos calls it Florentia Plum. Thanks to you I now wear only jackets and sweater styles that work for my hourglass figure.

    I used to stand in front of my closet with dread and frustration. Now I feel joy when I select my outfit each day. Your advice has saved me money and time. Thank you so much for the time and thought you put into each post. It’s obvious that you care greatly about sharing your knowledge and ideas.
    I apologize for a long post.

  13. Susan, thanks for all your ideas. It’s fun to be creative and work with what we have. I have learned alot from you yet have my own style, which I know is what you suggest. I always get out, cold and snow or not. I have the winter gear: big boots, puffy coat with hood and warm gloves.

  14. Happy snow day Susan. I have helped other women with their clothes over the years. I go thru their closets and find outfits that they didn’t know would look good together. I have help with my own closet from time to time from my sister. Sometimes our eyes go to just one look and it’s fun to discover you have more options than just one or two. Thank you for reminding me of this. I also like to pin things from Pinterest. They are not always exactly my style but I have things that are similar to put together and see if it works for me. I also like to take items I haven’t worn in a while and wear them and figure out why they are not in the mix of things to wear. If they don’t work for some reason, like they shift while wearing, or they are uncomfortable, they go in the wash in a bag and then to the donate pile. Who needs to keep things in the closet that don’t work? Thank you again for all your help with getting our style to reflect who we are.
    Patty V

  15. Love, love this post! I relate because I go to some of the same pieces that are comfortable over and over. Love all the looks above. I also needed the push to declutter and stop shopping sales. I have too many odd pieces that go with little else. They hang in my closet sadly. I’m decluttering and letting go. Asking God to help me shop only when I really need something!
    You’re an inspiration!
    Sue Williams

  16. “Wild card purchases!” What a great expression, and I think most people can relate to it…I certainly can!

    It’s getting harder to find good, solid pieces that are classic and well-made and can be worn for years. I find the cost of good clothing prohibitive these days. An Armani jacket that I could (gulp) afford at $500 is now $2,500. I can afford it, but it feels like too much of an indulgence.

    That’s why I so appreciate your posts! You give me great ideas that are affordable and still “investments” in an overall classic, good-looking wardrobe.

    Thanks, Susan!

  17. Great post, Susan, with great examples of using what you have to create outfits.

    I have a couple of questions about your pictures, because the photos are always so good. I’ve noticed that your background is consistently only a little darker than the foreground, while the subject is well lit. How do you accomplish that? How far away from the camera do you stand? The camera angle is always good. I don’t take many selfies of my self in my outfits because I just haven’t figured out the right formula for photos that please me (pose, lighting, location, etc.). I’m sure one of the remedies for this is practice, practice, practice, but I haven’t found a great starting point. Could you do a post on things to consider (and how to fix them) in taking indoor pictures?

    Thanks so much! I always enjoy your posts.

    1. Learning to take my own pictures is always a work in progress. Thank you for the compliment. I use a tripod and the timer on my camera most of the time. I stand facing the best available light about six feet away from the camera and hope for the best.

  18. Susan. I started following you because you and I have the same body type. It’s been so helpful to see how you dress. I appreciate that you have shared your personal struggles as well as your lifestyle. You are an inspiration.

  19. This post inspired me to create a few mood boards. It was very helpful to play around with different options and put together better outfits. I included everything , including purse and jewelry. An added bonus is that it showed what holes I have in my wardrobe. This will help me shop with purpose. Thanks Susan!

  20. I like the name if your board! I have one too! I look at it quite often when I’m trying to get dressed. Need inspiration. I do love your style!

  21. This type of post does help me dig deeper into my closet and also gives me ideas to use what I have. This type of post is very helpful to me. Thanks for taking the time.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.