Imagine this: your favorite song serenades your ears, and you can’t help but sway to the rhythm, feeling it tug at your heartstrings, inspiring your spirit to soar. Music has an uncanny power to transport you to a specific memory, a cherished place, or a vivid moment in time. Now, picture being able to harness that magic and infuse it into your everyday outfits.
Music and style, two powerful forms of self-expression, have the uncanny ability to shape our emotions and influence our perception of the world. Music has the remarkable ability to convey emotions, stories, and personal narratives. Style, on the other hand, can communicate a powerful visual message about your personality, tastes, and moods. Both offer us a canvas for creativity, a way to communicate who we are, and a means to evoke feelings and memories.
Step 1: Pick Your Musical Muse
It all begins with a song, a genre, or an artist that resonates with your soul. Your musical muse should be a source of personal connection, something that ignites a spark within you. Whether it’s a song or piece that empowers you, a genre that captures your essence, or an artist whose style you admire, your musical muse is the heart and soul of your style journey.
The music doesn’t have to contain words to provide you with inspiration as I’ll show you below with a couple of outfits inspired by a classical piece I love.
Step 2: The Art of Musical Deconstruction
This is the fun part – listening intently to your chosen music. If there are lyrics, what are they saying? How’s the mood? Is it a toe-tapping, head-bobbing tune, or is it more about quiet contemplation? Does it conjure images of the beach at sunset, a bustling city street, or a cozy, rainy day at home? Or does it just evoke a feeling or emotion? If so what is that in you?
Step 3: Translating Musical Vibes
Now, let’s bring the music into your wardrobe. This is where the real creativity happens. Consider these elements:
- Style – Think about the dressing style the music embodies. Is it bohemian, classic, edgy, or minimalistic? Think about clothing that aligns with the mood and message. A jazz piece with its timeless elegance and sophistication might lean towards tailored pieces; a classic trench coat and pearl jewellery. Folk music may inspire you to include items with a bohemian vibe such as fringe details, layers and embroidered patterns. Is the music heavily structured with a beat? If so does this mean more structured clothing?
- Colour – The colors that pop into your mind while listening can become your style guide. Upbeat songs might call for vibrant hues, while mellow tunes might lean toward pastels or earthy tones. If it’s in a minor key that may mean more muted or darker palette. Whilst if it’s fun and light in feeling then a more bright or light palette may work best.
- Fabrics and Textures – The texture of your clothing can also be influenced by the music. Consider whether the song feels soft, flowing, and light, which might translate to choosing silk, chiffon, or lightweight cotton. If it’s a rock anthem with a rough edge, think about leather or denim. If it’s a love ballad, you might want to incorporate romantic elements like lace, and heavy metal may include some leather. Maybe it’s a disco hit (Blame it on the Boogie) that gets your heart pumping and you want to add some sequins and sparkle which remind you of a disco ball.
- Silhouettes – The way the music makes you move can influence your clothing choices. If it’s a song that makes you want to dance and twirl, consider flowy dresses and skirts. If it’s more about strength and boldness, opt for structured pieces such as blazers or architectural details like angular sleeves
- Accessories – Accessories are your secret weapon. They can reflect specific lyrics, instruments, or imagery from the song. Let your imagination run wild – if the music sings about stars, why not incorporate celestial-themed accessories?
Step 4: Crafting Your Sound of Style Outfit
Now it’s time to play dress-up, for grown-ups! Mix and match your clothes, experiment with layering, and embrace your inner fashionista as you create stylish outfits inspired by music. There’s no need to be literal – it’s all about capturing the emotions and essence of your musical inspiration.
For example, I was watching the TV series Only Murders in the Building (season 1) and there is a character who plays the bassoon in an orchestra and is practicing a bassoon solo from Berceruse of the Firebird Suite by Stravinsky. Now this is one of my favourite ever classical pieces as it was our winning orchestral piece that I played a the World Youth Orchestra’s Championships in Vienna in 1984 as part of the Canberra Youth Orchestra (I was a viola player at the time). Hearing it again really took me back to that time in my life and I could hear the whole orchestra playing their parts as well, particularly all the string parts (as I was one of them).
This is a piece that has no words, but has a sweeping haunting melody, it has a detailed feminine feeling so to me, it would inspire an outfit that has grace and movement – so thinking about fabric that moves – made me think about this chiffon blouse, which has long tails that sway when I walk or in any breeze.
Another option for an outfit inspired by this piece could be based around this teal silk kimono which again moves as I walk. The whole outfit has a more feminine feel and the skirt moves as does the kimono which catches the air as I move, the darker colour of the dress.
The sweeping sound gives me a feeling of expansion which makes me think about larger-scale jewellery, yet made from many smaller elements, in the way this music is created, with lots of tremelo (quick repetition of a single note by string instruments) making a larger sound.
In the end, both style and music are opportunities for self-expression. So the next time you’re stuck in a fashion rut, don’t reach for the same old outfit – put on your favourite tune, let it guide you, and let your style dance to the music of your heart.