Perhaps it’s the changing seasons – or the lack thereof, as is the case in still-hot, still sunny Los Angeles – or maybe it’s my new lifestyle as a stay-at-home-mom, but lately, I’ve been in a style rut.
I no longer need to dress for the office, which I actually love, and a good part of my afternoons are spent in the car, shuttling kids to and from their activities, but I’d still like to look and feel good when I’m doing it! And while I no longer have the same aversion to wearing my (icky, sweaty) workout clothes all day that I once did – a pathetic decline in my standards, I admit – I do NOT feel hot when I do it.
For better or for worse, we live in an age where a plethora of images of women with fantastic style are easily found. But not all images are created equal and, quite frankly, as attractive and chic as the women I’ve been following on Instagram are, I’m bored by them (sorry!)
These days, every style blogger under the sun is pushing a product, talking up a label, or carrying the same handbag. (I’m sure the Juliette by Tory Burch is lovely, but ENOUGH already.) None of it feels authentic and most of it feels commercial. I’m glad so many style bloggers are making money and getting free stuff – who wouldn’t want that!? – but I can’t help feeling like advertisers are dictating their style rather than the other way around.
In an effort to refresh my Instagram feed and get out of my style rut, I set out in search of some fresh inspiration, looking for women with genuine style who aren’t letting dollar signs dictate what they wear or how they live.
What follows are some of the Instagram accounts that are making me laugh, renewing my visual palette, and getting my wheels turning on style. Even if their taste doesn’t necessarily reflect my own, these women appear to know exactly who they are, what they like, and don’t give a damn if you agree with them or not.
Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert (@bat_gio)
Giovanna is an Italian fashion editor, stylist, creative director, and consultant to luxury brands and possibly THE most photographed street style icons. I first became aware of her in the early 2000’s while she was working for W Magazine and have been intrigued and inspired by her unique style ever since. She epitomizes subversive glamour, never taking herself or her clothes too seriously, and infusing tons of attitude and charisma into everything she does.
Erin Foster (@erinfoster)
Erin is a comedy writer and performer, best known for producing and starring in the mockumentary, “Barely Famous”. She is beautiful and hilarious – the ultimate Girl’s Girl – and has great style. Her Instagram is both inspiring and entertaining.
Sarah Rutson (@sarahrutson)
Sarah is a former VP of Net-a-Porter and now the Chief Brand Officer for The Collected Group, the Dutch fashion conglomerate that owns Equipment, Current/Elliot, Joie, and other contemporary brands. She is enviably tall and lean – an ideal frame to hang clothes upon – and effortlessly chic. She’s a working mom of teenagers, which is refreshing, and seems to genuinely enjoy her life (which includes quite a bit of travel to some pretty awesome cities around the world). She’s just like us, but with a private jet.
Frederique “Freddie” Harrel (@freddieharrel)
Freddie is a stylist, blogger, and fashion marketing professional, born in Paris, but living in London. Her hair alone sets her apart from he crowd. She’s like the more attainable version of Giovanna Battaglia, with fabulous casual style that includes a lot of sneakers, flats, and wearable heels.
Charlotte Groeneveld (@thefashionguitar)
Dutch “it” girl and blogger, Charlotte Groeneveld, is what I would call “polished hipster”. She’s young, gorgeous, and cool.
Janelle Marie Lloyd (@waityouneedthis)
Janelle is a Senior Account Manager at Google and a fashion and interior design blogger from Atlanta, now living and working in NYC. Of all the accounts mentioned in this post, Janelle’s is probably the most relatable from a fashion perspective. She has fabulous casual and professional style. If you’re looking for a what-to-wear playbook to upgrade your everyday uniforms, this is it.
Phil Oh (@mrstreetpeeper)
Phil Oh was the first ever (to my knowledge) street-style photographer to become a household name. I started following his blog long before Instagram was in the zeitgeist, but his Instagram account is a little easier to peruse. The majority of the looks – worn by real men and women, all over the globe – are not practical for the majority of women, but they score extremely high on the inspiration scale, with fabulous styling ideas to help you refresh the way you wear what you already own.
Jean Stories (@jeanstories)
Current director of branded content for Vogue Magazine, Jane Herman (as in Ron Herman, the fab L.A. jean store) and fashion journalist and editor, Florence Kane, started Jean Stories, a website about everything denim, for one simple reason: they love jeans. Jean Stories delivers lots of new and interesting varieties of denim, as well as great, easy ways to style your jeans.
Elin Kling (@elinkling)
After years as a style blogger and fashion journalist, Elin and her husband, Karl Lindman, started clothing line, Toteme. Her style is the definition of Scandinavian minimalism – like IKEA for clothes (at a higher price point.) Clean, pretty, modern, and very wearable, you’ll find lot of repeatable looks here.
Danielle Snyder (@danielleasnyder)
Danielle is a jewelry designer who started Dannijo Jewelry with her sister, Jo. She is a pilates enthusiast with an unbelievable body (#bodygoals) and fabulous casual style. Although she’s firmly planted on the sexy end of the spectrum, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your day to day style.
Who What Wear (@whowhatwear)
Who What Wear is a fantastic website for all-things-fashion, including a “How To” section that features practical tips like how to avoid armpit stains, flattering ways to wear a long blazer, and how to tie a shirt around your waist (if you’re into that sort of thing.) Their instagram is more of the same, featuring some of the most chic and stylish women in the world and what they’re wearing.
Madison Hu (@madisonhu)
There are very few television shows that my daughter and I can agree upon, and only one Disney show: Bizaardvark. Bizaardvark is a show about two teenage girls, Paige and Frankie (played by Hu), who make videos for their YouTube channel and these girls are FUNNY. Although only fifteen, Madison’s style is effortlessly cool and easy. Many of her casual looks are ageless and classic.
Vanessa Hong (@thehautepursuit)
After wandering off the pre-med track in college, Vanessa started her fashion, travel, and lifestyle blog, The Haute Pursuit. There’s almost nothing that she wears that I would consider wearing myself, but I’m inspired by her boldness and she has really fabulous hair. Also, her photographers are gorgeous.
Nina Garcia (@ninagarcia)
Although she may seem like an obvious choice, I often forget how much I like Nina’s style. She epitomizes tasteful elegance and although she typically dresses in expensive, high-end designer clothes, she has a knack for putting things together in a way that is both classic and cool. She is always polished, always refined, and always relaxed. And there’s nothing more inspiring than that.
I’ll never get bored of women inspiring other women to be their best, look their best, and enjoy their lives! I hope these Instagram accounts can do that for you.