How cooking can inspire your personal style (and vice versa)

Yesterday, I transformed myself into a cooking chef for an event called restaurant day where everyone can open his pop-up restaurant just for one day.
My friends from Révélateur design aconceived a fun concept where everyone could take part into the final part of the cooking and interact with the other guests while doing so.
Because of that it was challenging to create the recipes and also because I had to cook with vegetables leftovers they collected from supermarkets in order to show how much our system wastes.

And this was a lot of fun cause I really enjoy cooking!

Yesterday, during my cooking session, some people were surprised, I was actually working as a stylist cause it sounded so far apart…. But, actually, for me the process of cooking is similar to the process of styling someone or myself.

Here is how I proceed for both.

1. Do a reality check

A. Cooking

What season are we in? Then what groceries are available? What cooking devices do I have? How many time for cooking? Do I have help? What is in my fridge? Is my guest allergic to anything? Vegetarian? Does not eat pork?Is that a cool or a fancy dinner? Any special occasion like the chandeleur (crepes day, yummy)?

B. Styling

What season are we in? What are the available clothes? Do my client have money to buy new ones? Did my client gain/lost weight? Is that a reversible process? Can the hole in that beautiful dress be fixed? What office does my client work at? What kind of wedding is it?

2. Get inspired from reality

Creativity is often boosted by constraints. You can see that in classic poetry too (the rimes, the verse, etc).

Or in Top chef when they have to cook with eggs only while beeing suspended by the feet (true story). Or when the creative director is hired to work for another brand than his own and therefore has to deal with the preexisting codes (like Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel or Raf Simons at Dior).

A. Cooking

Ok so my constraints are: it is autumn, I have a vegetarian dinner to cook and it only a oven.

Autumn, makes me think of all that autumn vegetables and fruits and of something cosy. Oven means we can roast and vegetarian means vegetarian lol.

Why not make a roasted butternut with grilled cheddar and hazelnuts with a side of endive salad with walnuts and blue cheese?

Roasted butternet 80 breakfasts

80 breakfasts

B. Styling

My constraints are that it is super freezing but that you still wanna be sexy for your Valentine date and you have amazing legs.

Let’s go for a cosy sweater with a short skirt, opaque tights and high heeled boots with warm socks inside.

3. Get inspired by others!

For both cooking and styling, it is all about having your mind always opened and to be able to reinterpret what you taste/see in your own way.

A. Cooking

At the restaurant, at a friend’s table, in a foreign country, while looking at cooking shows, keep your mind opened about how you could do that on your own.

The other day at Top chef (yes yes, I love watching it a you can see), one of the cook made roasted pineapple with lemon grass inside. It looked delicious and soooo simple to do! Sure I am gonna try that soon.

Or that last time at the restaurant, they served black bread grilled in salted butter as a soup topping. So easy to reproduce!

B. Styling

Observe and learn.

“Waoh, that older lady in the street in wearing a camel colored sheep skin coat on her aqua blue top and that color mix looks amazing, I am going to try it home!”

Or, when looking at Carven’s autumn winter show I saw the A-line skirts he created and fell in love with that shape and decided to wear it with light sweaters just like in the show.

When I was 14 or something, I fell in love with that Kenzo ad where the model was wearing two dots under her eyes. And reproduced that on me. And keep doing it sometimes since. Saw it was actually making a comeback in the last Stylist issue ^^


Sometimes I hear “All those bloggers look fab in mom jeans but I don’t why is that?” But look closer. “Oh, wait they are rolling them up!”

Reading my blog is also a way of getting inspired by others 🙂

4. Be adaptable

A. Cooking

“Yes, I can make that roasted pineapple. Putting the pineapple in the oven is something I am able to do. But no, I cannot make that foie gras mousse (yet), however the fact that she mixed foie gras with blackberries looks fab and that is something I can do.”

B. Styling

“I just loooove that A-line dress from Carven, but… too expensive for me. But I can  just buy another cheaper A-line dress and style it the same way!”

Sometimes my clients like a trend that is difficult for them to follow because of their body/age. Either I find a solution: “yes you can wear short skirts even with plump legs, just prefer opaque tights to sheer ones”. Or I honestly tell them, that, even if that particular trend is not the one that flatter their body the most (buttoning your shirt to the neck with bigger breasts for instance), they can still wear it if they want to. It is their choice to make.

5. Think of influences

A. Cooking

Let’s say you have a chicken to cook and have NO idea what to do with it whatsoever. You haven’t bought any ingredients yet so everything is possible.

My 1 and 2 advices can be helpful but you could also think of cooking influences.

We all know, at least a bit, how foreign cooking look like, so get inspired by their ingredient mixes.

Here is how you could cook that chicken thinking of influences:

– Middle eastern style: with salted candied lemon and olives, or dates with almonds

– Italian style: with basilic, parmigiano, ham and tomatoes

– Asian style: marinated in soy sauce, lemon and honey sauce with roasted sesame

and so on.

Knowing that, when you are more experimented, it possible to mix influences!

doriann laksa soup

Laksa thai soup by Doriann

B. Styling

Instead of thinking of influences per country which do not really make sense in our globalized world, I advise you to think about fashion movements that can be linked to certain groups of people or certain periods of time.

Just like Carrie Bradshaw, you could be every woman. While staying true to your inner self, which, for Carrie, for be “eccentric and bubbly”.

So you can get inspired by:

– Rockers: perfectos, leather and fifty shades of black

– Hippies: natural leather, knits, flower prints and earth colors

– Punks: creepers, dark makeup and ripped jeans

Punks For Peace

Festival of peace, Brixton, 1983 (AP)

– Victorian england: collars and laced boots

But in fashion, the trick is never to be too serious. So mix those influences! Otherwise you would look disguised. Except if you are a TRUE punk.

To look rock, the perfecto is enough for instance.

6. Get documented

A. Cooking

Before preparing a meal, sometimes you totally lack of inspiration…

Then read a cookbook, they provide great ideas.  If you do not have all the required ingredients and equipments, just adapt ^^

You can also look on the internet! Google the content of your fridge or something like “light summer salad”, have a look at several receipes and make your own.

B. Styling

Read magazines and look at blogs on a regular basis is perfect to train your eye.

When you are looking at how to style a particular piece of clothing, just type it in pinterest and look at what the others did, or read my blog, maybe the answer is in here.

(And then, if you really do not find, you can ask me for a quick answer in the lookmaker or in private for a complete distance outfit creation ^^).

7. Play with textures

A. Cooking

Some ingredients are soft, some are crusty, etc.

Find a good balance in your meals by playing with textures.

Your risotto is already delicious but some ham crisps on the top will improve it.

That crisp peas, radishes and celery salad will benefit from some soft and greasy feta cheese.

B. Styling

Jersey on jersey is so boring.

Add some texture in your outfits!

That rough sweater will look adorable with a light silk skirt and sophisticated chunky leather heeled boots.

8. Play with colors

A. Cooking

Eating begins with the eyes, and, as famous chef Alain Passard from l’Arpège says “I put the vegetable together before cooking, if they look great, then they will taste great”. (I read that in this cool graphic novel about him by Christophe Blain).

So green peas and pink radishes, green and yellow zucchinis together with a hint of black olives, grapefruit and avocado, etc.

blog-alain-passard-betteraves-navets-shiso fannypacktravel

Dish from l’Arpège on Fanny’s blog

B. Styling

I talked about that a lot here, and here.

9. Use an ingredient/ a piece of clothing in many different ways.

A. Cooking

When you have an ingredient, the best is to think of ALL the different ways you could use it.

Different ways of slicing, of cooking, of spicing, etc.

Cooking the ingredients in different ways is like having MORE ingredients. And therefore more recipes.

B. Styling

When you have an item, think of ALL the different ways you can wear it.

A pair of rock leather heeled boots can be worn in winter with skinny jeans or tights but also in summer with socks (hidden or not) and bare legs.

You can style it in a rock way with leather skinny pants of use them to make an innocent flower skirt look less girly or a cocktail dress look more cool.

That will be like having MORE clothes in your closet and therefore more outfits.

10. Add some spice

1. Cooking

Pasta with olive oil? Meh.

Pasta with olive oil, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil? Yummy!

2. Styling

Jeans with a white T-shirt and Stan Smith? Boring (though fashionable)

Jeans with a white T-shirt, designers shoes, cool bracelets and necklace? Stylish!

Hope you liked my cooking and styling menu du jour and that you got inspired… for both.

And you, how do you get inspired?

Cover collage: Alain Passard’s twitter account, Dior couture trouvé ici

12 Responses to “How cooking can inspire your personal style (and vice versa)”
  1. Véronique says:

    Bonjour Aloïs,
    Quel plaisir de vous lire! Je suis arrivée ici en cherchant comment porter mon pantalon jaune et je ne suis pas repartie! J’aime tout particulièrement cet article inattendu! C’est bien écrit, drôle et très intéressant, merci pour ce bon moment! et pour tous les autres aussi…
    Véronique, nouvelle lectrice.

  2. Esther says:

    Je trouve la comparaison vraiment intéressante ! Tu l’explique d’ailleurs très bien en nous proposant de nombreuses similitudes auxquelles on ne fait pas attention. Ca me fait penser à notre manière de consommer ces deux produits : on appréhende un supermarché de la nourriture ou du prêt à porter très différemment de l’épicerie ou du magasin de marque qui tous deux proposent des produits sélectionnés avec soin.

  3. cécile says:

    Merci pour cette analyse très juste et intéressante. J’aime beaucoup ta manière de voir les choses ainsi que ta vision de la mode.

  4. Susan says:

    I definitely get inspired by reading magazines and blogs. Most of my ideas for dress, decor and cooking come from others. Very little is original. For example in addition to your blog, I read and I have gotten wonderful ideas from both blogs. Susan

  5. Chris says:

    Bonjour ! Je ne commente jamais mais je suis fidèle lectrice de votre blog et j’ai bien aimé ce post, décalé et amusant. Vous ne vous prenez pas au sérieux et c’est agréable !
    Bonne journée !

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Merci beaucoup Chris, ça me fait toujours plaisir. D’autant plus par rapport à ce post qui est, comme tu le dis, décalé et donc particulièrement personnel 🙂

  6. V says:

    J’adore …post original dont le fil directeur ressemble au mien…c’est que je suis sur la bonne voie …
    Bonne journée

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Merci! Je suis contente que le post vous plaise, j’ai eu peu de retours sur celui-ci alors je me demandais vraiment ce que mes lectrices en avaient pensé.

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