How to Use Instagram to Get Dressed Better, Faster, Handsomer
This is way more useful than cat memes and your friends' babies
Your correspondent has a very love/hate relationship with Instagram. On one hand there are the deliberately addictive qualities and their well-documented psychological fallout: the mindless scrolling, the creeping (albeit completely ridiculous and unfounded) feeling that my life is not measuring up to an unrealistic standard propagated by meticulously curated images of attractive, smiling people on boats/private planes/molly at Coachella.
On the other hand, it’s helped me discover loads of new products (many of which we’ve shared with you, dear readers). It’s compelled me to travel around the world to be tattooed by artists I never would have known about otherwise. And it also helps me get dressed more quickly and stylishly on an almost daily basis.
Here’s what I mean: in my opinion, the problem for most people when getting dressed — except for those people who either A) don’t really care and just wear whatever, or B) are blessed with the ability to just kind of roll into an outfit and look amazing — is the deciding. It’s getting over the initial creative hump of figuring out what your general vibe is going to be, at which point it becomes a process of putting together pieces that fit the vibe.
Instagram is tremendous in this regard, because what helps this creative process (I can feel your eyes rolling at referring to getting dressed as a “creative process” and I reject your judgment outright) is images. You ever see a person on the street wearing a really great outfit and think to yourself, “Oh I could do something like that, I should remember that”? Well Instagram is the biggest street in the world, bursting at its algorithmic seams with all manner of stylish folks. And remembering their stylish kits for later is as simple as holding down the little flag icon on their pic and saving it to a folder that you give a clever name like “Style Filez” or “Clothes Encounters” or “Pants for the Memories.”
Then in the morning, when you’re out of the shower and trying to decide what to wear, flip open that folder and give it a gander — dollars to donuts you’ll see something that strikes a vestiary chord, and you’re off to the races.
“But where do I get these images? Who are these people? How do I find them?” These are valid questions.
In short, they’re all kinds of people. Sometimes it’s actual “style influencers” like Luka Sabbat or Moti Ankari, who, despite having the most obnoxious professional moniker since “creative director,” tend to nail it on the style front because, well, they wear dope clothes professionally.
Sometimes it’s actual stylists like Ilaria Urbinati or Michael Fisher, who continually post photos of their clients looking dapper as hell. Again, usually a safe bet because professionals were involved in the “getting dressed” process.
Sometimes it’s the occasional stylish celeb him/herself — the guys in the band Midland have a fun, Linklater-esque take on southern style, and USWNT winger Megan Rapinoe’s streetwear game is so swag that I wrote a whole ‘nother article about that.
The occasional brand or tailor can also be a good source of inspiration — I happen to dig the throwback vibes of Articles of Style and the rakish Brit looks from my pal Duncan Quinn. Our Editor in Chief routinely pants heavily while scrolling through posts from Rome’s Sartoria Giuliva.
Finally, don’t count out folks in your actual life — he doesn’t know it, but I’ve got probably 15 photos of my friend Courtney in my Insta folder because he slips into clothes like Daniel Day Lewis slips into a role (that is to say, effortlessly and with great authority) and also we own a lot of similar shit so cribbing from him is (relatively) easy.
Once you figure out what floats your style boat and start saving it, you’ll find that you start to see it everywhere: it’s a like a sartorial Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon that Instagram algorithmically optimizes as you go. Before you know it, you’ll have a backlog of outfits you’d like to replicate in one way or another.
Which brings me to my final point: it’s not so much about copying what you see as it is using it as a jumping-off point for something similar you can achieve with the tools at your disposal. Whether it’s a piece that speaks to you in terms of fit, color, pattern, whatever, take the image as it’s meant to be: inspiration for you to interpret through your own personal style lens and tweak to make your own.
Because the goal here isn’t JUST to make the process of getting dressed quicker and easier, but also to make it more fun — because when you’re having fun with your style, you carry that positive energy into your day and people pick up on it.
And that’s when the compliments start rolling in.