10 In Style

Finding Style Inspiration on TV

We’re starting to feel fall in the air here in the Bay Area and while I’ve been working with my clients and their fall outfits already, I’ve been a little slow in thinking about my own fashion for fall.

When I’m in the stores shopping with a client, all I see is what’s right for them. I don’t even register what’s attractive to me personally. Before I head into stores to shop for myself, I like the homework I suggest to my clients and students of fashion. Here it is.

Number One is to go through magazines and catalogues, maybe even Pinterest and Instagram, to get ideas for things that inspire you. Style evolves, fashion changes, we change. There’s always some updating to do every season.

Number Two is to pay attention to what you’ve been doing that you’d like to do more of in this next season. Sometimes we discover a color (white, orange, blue) over the summer and fall in love with it. Perhaps we want to bring that color along with us into a new season. That means finding it in heavier fabrics than the ones you were wearing in July like Pima cotton and linen.

Number Three is to pay attention to accessories. Even if you don’t buy any new clothing this season, an accessory can make everything seem new.

So like I said, I’ve not gotten very far in terms of doing my own homework for the new season.

What have I done instead? Well, I’ve been watching TV. I’ve gotten caught up with the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series Inspector Lewis. I’m getting caught up with Showtime’s Ray Donovan. I’ve invested time into that over the top drama (not always sure why) and can’t not finish it. And Russ keeps begging me to watch America’s Got Talent. I don’t watch it (now that’s an investment of time!) but he saves a few clips for me to view that he insists are must-see TV.

Here’s what I’ve inadvertently discovered from my TV watching: style inspiration!

While catching up on these shows, I’d see something on the screen I liked, put the program on pause and then snap pictures to remind me of things I want to do or try this season. Take a look at what I’ve discovered.

Style Inspiration from Showtime’s Ray Donovan

White pant inspiration from character on Ray Donovan on Brenda Kinsel website

Loving the white pants on Ray Donovan

I know, you can’t see much. But what I saw on the Sonia character, an art dealer played by Embeth Davidtz on Ray Donovan, is full of inspiration. I loved her column of white. She wore a draped silk white top and what looked like white ankle pants. Her long jacket was amazing. It had a peplum detail at the waist and but then extended to her knee. I was crazy about her black patent leather oxfords with the block heel.

Note to self: Get white wool pants immediately! Pull out the black peplum jacket you didn’t wear once last year but didn’t donate either because it had great style and you were going to give it another chance. Look for that sharp styled oxford which could actually be comfortable for your touchy feet.

Brenda wears white in the summer on Brenda Kinsel website

Wearing white this summer

I wore bright white and soft white this summer in linen and cotton and loved it! I want to carry this look into the winter. Sonia’s version in Ray Donovan is very sophisticated looking and I’d like some of that this fall!

Style inspiration from America’s Got Talent

Style inspiration from Grace on America's Got Talent on Brenda Kinsel website

Getting style inspiration from a 12-year-old singer/songwriter

Russ is right: Grace Vanderwaal, a twelve-year-old singer/songwriter ukulele playing girl is my vote for America’s Got Talent. She’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Her style won me over in this episode. Her sweater looks handmade. It’s peach and says LOVE across the front. What’s not to love about that? But my favorite part was the Peter Pan collar peeking out with the black ribbon tie coming down from the center. It’s so whimsical and darling and cute and fun.

Note to self: Find an inexpensive white shirt with a Peter Pan collar and cut the sleeves off so it won’t get too warm under a sweater. Go to the fabric store and buy some ribbon–maybe in a few different colors–and use as ties this season. Ask the fashion fairies to find you a sweater like this that would fit a grownup. Fashion fairies, it doesn’t have to be exactly like this one but it needs to be charming.

Style Inspiration from the BBC Masterpiece Mystery series Inspector Lewis

Inspector Lewis is a fun mystery show and is inspiring me on Brenda Kinsel website

A character on this British mystery series inspires me

I will watch any BBC mystery series. I’m crazy for them. On this episode of Inspector Lewis, this woman’s husband was killed. As Inspector Lewis says, “I’ve never seen a widow act quite like this before.” She didn’t seem sad at all, even though she’s taken to drinking in the dark.

Note to self: Find a blouse with a floral print. Find a dress or coat even with a floral print. MUST HAVE FLORAL PRINT. And there’s that tie again coming out from under the collar. Like it! Want it!


Style inspiration from horticulture images on Brenda Kinsel website

Can’t get enough of horticulture pictures

See the horticulture images on the right hand side of this picture? They’re on the inside of the door in my home office. The outside of the door has eight more images stacked just the same only in shades of lavender and purple. The Royal Horticultural Society (more British!) creates these diaries every year with the most beautiful illustrations. I adore them. In order to enjoy them every single day I’ve ripped out some of the pages from past diaries to line my home office door. I never tire of looking at them. They are one of my very favorite things. Would I enjoy wearing a blouse with images like these? Uh, YES!!! I hope I can find one I like in this season where prints are everywhere and on every thing!

When you’re doing your style homework, you could discover inspiration from the TV or the telly, as I have. Maybe you already are!

Are there characters on TV that are inspiring your style? Do share!


P.S. To order your 2017 Royal Horticultural Society Desk Diary, here’s a link. It’s pretty!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Cynthia Peterson
    September 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Amazing!!!! I just discovered your blog and read this post. I too LOVE British mysteries and fell in love with the blouse you show from Inspector Lewis — reminds me of Portmeirion Botanic Garden china. I also loved the style of the character you mention on Ray Donovan — so chic. Thanks for the fashion homework tip 🙂

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Well, this is my lucky day! Two new people discovering my blog. So happy to have you here. And I love OUR love of British mysteries. My sweetheart just does not get it but I’m hooked. Wow, I’d love to see the garden you’re talking about. Thanks for checking in Cynthia and hope to hear a lot from you!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I just found your blog and I love your style! Even though I live on the East Coast (literally) I can glean some great ideas for my wardrobe. Thanks for your generous sharing.

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      I’m so glad you found my blog! Yes, there will be many bi-coastal tips that will work both ways and all the places in between too. Thanks so much for being here. Welcome!

  • Reply
    Nancy Molstad
    September 13, 2016 at 5:50 am

    I only watched “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for the outfits.

    Strangely fascinating: “Columbo” and “Mary Tyler Moore” reruns to see how the outfit building elements and strategies are timeless.

    • Reply
      September 13, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Oh gosh, this is going to be so much fun! You bring back memories! Mary Tyler Moore–she was so modern, wasn’t she? And tell me about Columbo. Was it his character or others in the show. Never saw Buffy but may have to look for that. Another show I watched for the outfits was Ugly Betty. And I thought this last season, the final season, of Downton Abbey had such beautiful, beautiful outfits. All seasons were great but this one had lots of stimulation for me. Darn, why didn’t I take pics of those??? I can’t watch TV now unless my phone is near! Thanks for sharing, Nancy!

  • Reply
    Jill Ann
    September 13, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Brenda, I have also just discovered your blog, but have read several of your books (read the one about one’s forties, back when I was in my forties!). And we share a love of British murder mysteries. For some epic BBC fashion, run do not walk to find the Miss Fisher Mysteries! It’s been on my PBS station lately, but is also on Netflix. It’s set in post WWI Australia actually, and features an incredibly glamorous, spunky detective heroine. DROOLING over her wardrobe!

    • Reply
      September 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      I am running to my iPad and opening Netflix right this minute!!! Thanks for discovering my blog and do come back and share often! And be sure to let me know of any other British shoes. CRAZY for them! Thanks for the tip, Jill! And Welcome!

    • Reply
      La semaine d'une gourmette
      September 20, 2016 at 4:29 am

      Oh lord, I love love love Miss Fisher! All of it: The actors, the costumes, the stories… Can’t get enough of it.

      • Reply
        September 20, 2016 at 6:12 pm

        She’s just so sassy and assertive and GORGEOUS! Seeing her in her incredible outfits while in gritty scenes is just too fun! I want to be like her!

    Leave a Reply