Monday, 25 April 2011

On personal style, blogging, and our narratives

For the past couple of days wearing clothes has felt very organic to me, just natural. I haven't thought twice about what to wear in the mornings; I've just grabbed a pair of jeans and a shirt and gone with it. The interesting thing is that I have felt really good about the clothes I have worn, but that I haven't thought of taking outfit pictures, because the clothes have not felt blogging-worthy, and this worries me a little. Actually, it is not even the blogging-worthiness. It is more about the problem I am starting to have with style blogging in general. I feel like the style blog narrative is starting to escape from my grasp, or perhaps that my own issues with personal style are escaping from the world of style blogging altogether.

I have often wondered what long-term style blogging does to our style. I started blogging a little over three years ago because I had become a clothes hoarder and a bit of a shopping addict. I felt like I needed to get my head around what I really thought about fashion, personal style, shopping and body image. Through my own writings and the writings of others, I feel like I have learned a lot from blogging. Most importantly, I have become a more of an ethical consumer, and I have learned to trust my instincts when it comes to what I should wear. But I do feel like in some ways, blogging has made me completely over-think the meaning of the clothes I wear. On the days when I don't post an outfit picture, I see my personal style differently. I settle for less, and it all comes together without any effort. Aside from complicating my personal style, I also feel that style blogging has, at least to some extent, encouraged the shopping habits I wanted to get rid of on Day One.

Overall, I feel that style blogging in general (my own blogging and that of others) encourages me to want to consume more. Us style bloggers write about the clothes or the styles we want, the clothes we can't afford, and the clothes we thrifted and stuffed our closets with. When another blogger has scored big time in a thrift shop, my instincts tell me to go visit our local Salvation Army: perhaps I will find a treasure myself. Since I got off the Great American Apparel Diet, my long-term objective has been to really love the clothes I wear. I want to buy less. But there is a bit of a conflict between wearing the same things over and over again, and style blogging. In many ways, style blogging is all about re-inventing and over-narrating our personal styles, and it often means buying (or thrifting, or swapping for) new things. In many ways, style blogging clutters our lives. It is not just the stuff we buy, but also the time we spend making sense of it all.

Due to the countless links between style blogging, buying and wearing clothes, I have become suspicious of the idea that we should actively use fashion and clothes to express ourselves and our personalities in the first place. I read somewhere (for the death of me I can't think of the connection) about Derrida's theory of personal narratives; essentially, that we define ourselves on the basis of the stories we tell about ourselves and the stories that others tell about us. This is sort of what style blogging is, right? We take photos of the clothes we wear and portray ourselves in a particular way to define and re-define how we feel about ourselves. There is nothing wrong with that, but a part of me feels uncomfortable anyway. Do we really need to establish particular narratives about our clothes to know who we are? When it comes to clothes that essentially are image enhancers, how can we tell the difference between "real" narrative and a wanna-be narrative? We know that fashion magazines are full of the latter. But there are a lot of style blogs out there that have nothing to do with what those people really wear in their day-to-day lives. (Really, they went for a walk in the woods wearing the latest Miu Miu heels?) These types of personal style narratives that we encounter can be completely false, and yet we often let them influence us to create our own narratives. So could our intense search and portrayal of personal style be leading us astray from who we really are? In our increasingly layered lives filled with different types of social networks, various forms of consumerism and our multiple identities, what do our clothes say of us, if anything at all? Could our need to define our personal style be just a front, an avatar of sorts, to help us navigate the seas of endless confusion?

I have written countless posts about how personal style is an outlet to have fun, and that clothes are a great tool for expressing myself... but do I really mean that? Am I just saying that because perhaps it allows me to buy more clothes and not focus on the person behind the clothes? Or am I just trying to figure out who I am with the help of clothes, because other markers are too difficult to manage? Or am I just doing what everyone else is doing? For some reason, these questions seem important to me at the moment. I guess what I am really after is the following: who wants to see me wear the same pair of jeans every day? The only answer I can come up with is, well, that I do. I suppose that's the only answer that really matters. I don't really know what all of this means. This blog is not going away, that I do know. But a part of me feels frustrated. The endless personal style jargon isn't doing it for me anymore.

I am wearing a thrifted stripy tee and plaid shirt, a cardigan from Urban Outfitters, Gap jeans and vintage boots from Etsy. Illusia likes to hang out by the window.


Cynthia said...

I think any time a deliberately self-reflective person sits down to construct some kind of narrative about themselves, it becomes like art and not quite like reality. I'm not sure that's bad, though. I spent 10 of the professionally and personally hardest years of my life keeping an online "daily life" journal. I converted it into a book recently. It clocks in at over a thousand pages of personal writing, and most of it is not actually deluded, self-indulgent drivel. I was actually kind of impressed with myself after I browsed through it, although not impressed enough to try to reformat it for future publication. But still, what a document. Maybe someone will use it someday to write a Ph.D. thesis about early 21st century professional women's daily lives.

What am I getting at with this? I don't know exactly. But I think that all this documenting (even just of our clothes and how we feel about them) is producing something that might be of value, even just in understanding ourselves.

Sal said...

You really are the best, lady. I wrestle with these SAME issues. Trying to utilize the blog to curb my shopping urges, but knowing that it simultaneously feeds them. Believing that I use clothes to express myself, but wondering if I'm expressing something that's been externally generated instead. It's a muddle.

Teeny said...

I've never thought of your blog as just a style blog. i'm more interested in what you write than the accompanying photos...although I absolutely look at the pics too. I am a woman who likes to wear clothes after all. I purposely do not try and take amazing photos of my outfits...or story them. Because that would be less truthful about what i actually wore and why. (also i am completely incompetent with a camera and so very time poor!)I don't put clothes on in the morning and consider if they are blogworthy - i put them on to suit the purpose of the day, however; if i put them on and think, oh, this looks nice, or i'm wearing something refashioned or blogpost relevant THEN i'll photo it. Joining wardrobe remix EXPANDED my wardrobe like nothing else, and I'm out of that buying cycle now...but some habits remain... i can trawl etsy for hours if left to my own devices. I think it's great you look cute in this outfit, and just put on what is comfortable and feels like you - i'm willing to suggest that you felt really good about yourself in this outfit. I wonder about the "collector" nature of my own buying; collecting textures and colours to make more interesting layers in my wardrobe- it appeals to my creative side.When is enough enough? As you know, I've pondered that it has to do with how we evolved to survive...hardwired need for variety. I'm done with berating myself over liking long as i don't overspend when i don't have the money for it. Keep blogging, even if you don't put up pretty pictures, what you have to say is worth reading!

Gracey said...

Oh, goodness. I actually wrote about this (not even half as eloquently) the other day. I've only been blogging for about four months, and I've already started to question how "real" blogging was. It's not just the Miu Miu hikers, it's me. I really do dress this way to go to work, but I have definitely started thinking more about if what I wear is good enough to post.

I don't want to have to think about that, but at this point I'm not sure how much blogging is to blame. I mean, I actually put a lot of thought into what I was wearing before I began blogging. I'm recently described my style as colorful and deliberate because I don't just throw something on. I never have. I actually thought blogging would be a good forum for me because I am so conscious of what I wear, but now I feel like maybe I've gone from conscious to hyper-critical and that's a very bad thing.

Anyway, that is a lot of words to tell you that I enjoyed this post. It made me think and sometimes I like thinking. ;-)

Jennefer said...

Just came across your blog at random... I just wanted you to know that I really enjoyed reading this post and I look forward to seeing how your blog and style evolves :)

Good luck with everything!


Anonymous said...

I am not a fashionista, and I think you look comfortable, beautiful and relaxed in your jeans-and that's all that matters. This comes from your jean-loving friend in Johnson City. See you Wednesday!

Shey said...

Waves, in this outfit you look so beautiful, I think it's just the simplicity of the outfit, an outfit that you can go to the park with or you can be comfortable in, an outfit that doesn't make me think "I wonder how much she paid for it and how can she afford those clothes?"
You hit the nail, lately I've been a bit fristrated because I've worn all my clothes and I have nothing much new to blog, I went back and I looked at my past outfits and wonder why I haven't worn the same outfit again, what is wrong with repeating an outfit that you really like? maybe it's not blog-worthy as you mentioned, so I don't wear it again. In the pasts few days I've also thought about the wardrobe mistakes I made trying to follow trends that didn't fit my style at all, I wanted to try them because someone else tried it and it looked cute, at the beggining because I was new to blogging I got more carried away trying to follow what everyone did, most it was with vintage outfits, cute yes, but I always wondered how people went to work in a big hat or very short skirts in a professional environment, teachers in tiny skirts, really? So for my first year I tried ineffectively to follow trends that were so not me, I bought many many clothes that reflected the styles that I saw on the blogs, it wasn't until recently that I've finally started dressing in clothes that I like and fit me, even if I make the same skirt over and over again it makes me happy and it fits me, not the trends I see. I get inspired but now I'm trying to stay true (er?) to myself and wearing only the things that I feel comfortable in instead of something I saw on another blogger which looked very cute. You're always an inspration and always help me stay grounded with your posts. Thank you!

metscan said...

The first thought, that came to my mind, having read your post, was: Finally.
I have never understood the philosophy ( if there is one ) of daily outfit blogs completely. Is there a need to show yourself, is it about narcissism or what?
I don´t feel comfortable in front of a camera at all, but I enjoy gathering arrangements, and every now and then present them on my blog. I´d rather only show the ensembles, and leave the labels and brands out.
Seeing and following outfit blogs, has actually increased my decluttering. The more stuff I see, the less I want it for myself.
I think that you have arrived at a crossroads, where you have to decide what you really wish to do/ blog about. With pleasure, I have marked, that e.g. cats now have a place in your blog too.
But, I have followed your blog for a small time, so my opinion is based only on a few month´s view.

Anonymous said...

I know I come here mostly for your words...and that is what I meant last week when I described you as a "big picture" blogger. To me, it honestly doesn't matter what you wear, though I often like your interesting pieces of jewelry and the hair-dos I've seen.

I know I am blogging this year to push myself OUT of a style rut. It is true that I treat thrift stores like libraries, but I have no problem with such sampling...I do it with many commodities in our culture. By the time you are my age, you may not go so gently into that good night, as the poet says.

Milla said...

Wowzers. Having never considered myself a "style blogger", even though I post outfits all the time, this piece really gave me pause.

See, I kind of feel opposite about the whole thing. Always the chronic over-dresser, I find that blogging is a legitimate outlet for my fancy, a way to feel like someone out there understand what I'm wearing.

I don't know if that makes sense, but for someone who's gone to lectures dressed like a Laura Ingals Wilder, when everyone else wore black, it was a huge relief to discover that there are other people out there doing the same.

And, as odd as it seems, I feel like I'm quite honest about what my life is really like. I really do wear prairie dresses on my daily chores, though the fanciful interpretations of my outfits may be a little further from reality, but I generally don't do anything just to make it blog-worthy, or write things up to make myself more interesting. We all choose what we share, of course, but I strive to be candid about my life...

I don't know. I fully agree with you on the "zoo of the new" that following "style-y" blogs can lead, but I also feel like finding my own niche and gaining confidence in what I wear, has totally freed me from the pressure to wear the latest thing. Not to say that I don't still fancy new things, but blogging and swapping has definitely honed my style to where I have a closet full of clothes I love and wear and construct 5 minute outfits out of. For me it's been a good thing. I spend a lot less time thinking about what I wear than I did three years ago when I started blogging and W_R (remember W_R? I've always been bummed you didn't make it to the meet, I would have loved to have met you. And what a strange thing that we both ended up immigrating to the U:S. It's a weird wide world out here ;)

Not to sound cheesy but I feel like I found another tribe of folk I belong with through this strange medium and if it was due to vintage prairie dresses then by goodness I care not!

I want to echo your other readers in saying that it has always been about your great writing and deep thinking for me (and gratuitous cat photos) and the clothes are just a bonus. Just so we're clear.

Madeline Quaint said...

This is wonderful food for thought.

I only started blogging a month ago, but I can see where you're coming from. I post an outfit post every 4 days or so, and I just couldn't possibly do more. How is it possible for so many bloggers to wear a different outfit every day and not re-wear at least certain items from one day to the next, eg. jeans? (On a side note - What about all the washing this adds up to?)

I really don't want to end up at a place where I feel pressurized to post more frequently, and acquire more clothes to always look interesting. In other words, dress for the blog, not for my life...

Thanks for making me more conscious about this!

Myrna said...

While I like seeing what you're wearing, it's your writing and thought processes that attract me to your blog. That said, I have a minimalistic wardrobe and after twenty years working from home wearing jeans and a black t-shirt, I've started a part time job that requires dressing. I'd be totally interested in how you change the look of a pair of jeans with the combination of sweaters, jackets, accessories, and so on. A more from less idea.

Lain said...

No time to post a lengthy response, but I read your blog for the words. The pictures are always nice, but I enjoy your thoughts on fashion, beauty, discovering the US, gardening, etc. In other words, the entire you that you put out to the world through your blog is what is most enjoyable.

Thank you for sharing your thoughs so openly and honestly.

Also, I find the fantasy bloggers less and less enjoyable. I want to see what real people wear, and if you wear the same jeans 3 days a week, so be it.

Maytheweed said...

After reading this earlier I was going to pop back, read it properly and try to say something relevant, but everyone else already said it all and more (and better!). So this is just to say I don't really think of you as a 'style blogger' but someone who writes well about cool stuff, some of which is clothes. :)

Audi said...

To echo Sal, I also struggle with these same issues; the need to control my tendency to over-shop and the conflicting desire to keep my wardrobe fresh and interesting. Both are fueled by blogging too; on the one hand it's great to be able to show creative new outfits and use them to drive discussions about style, but on the other hand I have a strong aversion to being one of those, "Hey, look at all the stuff I bought!" sort of bloggers.

Personally I find the "Miu Mius in the woods" blogs to be very off-putting. I always wonder how these people have the time to drag a photographer out to the woods every day to take dozens of photos of their outfit, not to mention the time it takes to post all those. Your blog feels much more like a personal journal to me; the outfits are merely a way for us to connect with you, to experience a little of your daily life, and sometimes to use as a starting point for talking about style.

There are many blogs I look at to get ideas for outfits, there are others that I find instructive in some way, and others I use mainly to find new products or stores that I might like. But yours falls into a different and much rarer category, the blogs that make me think differently not only about style but about a whole host of things. I like seeing what you're wearing, no matter what it is, simply because YOU'RE wearing it. Because it's nice to have a face and a personal style to go along with the voice.

Rad in BK said...

I'm rusty on my Derrida, but I believe that everyone creates a narrative of their presentation of self, whether in person or online (online is probably easier to do), and those who receive are free to accept, challenge, reject the presentation (which is why there is probably so much criticism around certain style/lifestyle blogs, because the presentation is unrealistic, at least for many). Perhaps because I see myself (and thus self present myself in both my interactions online and off) as a serious but silly person, irreverent and unconventional, that many of the competitive or exhausting aspects of self presentation (which can be intense in a place like NYC) mostly doesn't effect me, but I'd be lying if I claimed I was above it all.
But for me, style blogging was something fun to do, and I like having many things to do in addition to my career and my primary relationships. I am mostly away from it for now, and I may not return, but I had a fun moment thinking about hypothetical all white outfits I might wear when I don't ride the train after reading an article by the fashion editor at the Guardian, so maybe I do enjoy it. I'm not sure. As for the consumerism, I think that's not just style blogs. I think everything around is geared towards selling us the message that we are not enough, and that buying things will compensate for our shortcomings. And resisting the message, whether implicit or explicit, will be a challenge within any human community. (But I agree that my GAAD participation has made my blogging interest go down, and probably interest in clothes, but as clothes was a new interest of mine, probably not something I paid attention to until after 27, shifting priorities for me hasn't change much).
Like others, I appreciate your blog for much more than the clothes, although the clothes are beautiful and you wear them so well.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what I enjoyed more, reading your post or reading the answers to it- all of them are lovely and it's grand that you are so thought-provoking.
But I've noticed something weird in here. This overwhelming feeling that something is *just* a style blog. Why *just*? A blog - in my opinion, although probably I shouln't have one, never having owned a blog - is something in a way artistic. Not artistic in a sense that it's great and innovative, but artistic as creating something. Transforming yourself and the world near you into something else, something better. It's not self-deceiving but self-expression. And style blogs seem to be the epitome of such thinking.
Blogging is all about putting on a mask and showing this mask instead of your face to the world. Is it even possible to try and express yourself as a whole, complex being - in any form, let it be music, painting, comic or blog - without this artistic self-alteration?
Still, if the blogger's mask becomes your real face or worse, you keep confusing them, that's not good. Yet I find that you're so self-conscious (can't think of any other word, I mean it in a totally positive sense) that this will never happen. Besides, your blog and writing are so much more than a lot of things I've seen on the web, it's a constant pleasure to visit this place and read your insights on fashion, psychology, books (oh, books! yes!), life in're a natural born writer, Waves.
Cheers to you,

Franca said...

I just wanted to add my comment to say that I loved this post. You are such a fantastic writer.

I have many of the same feelings about style blogging as you do. For me, the buying clothes thing is not so much of a concern right now, I went through a phase of buying lots, before i was a blogger actually, but posted regularly on wardroberemix, but now that's worn off an my wardrobe is full I think I probably buy as many clothes as I did pre-WR, i.e. not that many. But the thing about overthinking and overnarrating our clothes, absolutely. When I used to post daily and would photograph 3 our 4 outfits a week I was spending inordinate amounts of time planning out outfits for no 'real' occassion. I would wear these incredibly fancy or interesting things to work and it was all for the blog. I did learn a lot about my style and it was fun, no doubt. But still. Now I only take pictures once a week, and its usually outfits I've worn at the weekend to do something where it would be appropriate to dress up, so it feels more natural. On the other hand, I've started taking more 'editorial' style pictures, and i'll now take about half an hour getting to my location and back, and posing in front of different backgrounds. Though I actually wear the clothes to do stuff, it's not reporting daily life any more, it's artifice and fantasy and creative expression. I don't know how I feel about that yet really. Its confusing.

Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, sweetie, oxox, CR

jesse.anne.o said...

I'm coming to this late but for me, not blogging is like "consumption unexamined". I'm less-good when left to my own devices.

I think when I began reading style blogs, my fashion magazine reading reduced until it reached nothing. I do also think it depends on the blogs you follow - I often wish there was a tag/badge for bloggers interested in realistic ethical consumption (vs. bloggers who leave their consumption unexamined) and also professional or for-profit bloggers. There are bloggers who inspire me to wear something I have in a different way or to rethink what I own. But it also depends on the questions I'm asking myself as I read their blogs, just like my interaction with walking past a sweatshop retail shop depends on the questions I ask myself as I walk by (or in).

I have a hard time taking the vignette/editorial style blogger pictures seriously. I don't and I can't. It's a value judgment and I realize that.

tigerteacher said...

I'm with Lain! I enjoy many aspects of your blog, beyond the outfits. And I think a lot of people with an interest in fashion (non-bloggers also) share your doubts and questions. I wonder how and why my outfit (the magic ratio of feeling physically comfortable, adequately professional and enjoying wearing something fun) can add or detract so much from my workday.

Also, I would like to say how much the style blogs I read, yours included, do encourage me to see the things I have or the style "rules" (barriers, really) in my mind, in a different light. I feel more encouraged to use the items in my closet in different ways and, in fact, to shop less. I'm not a blogger and imagine I'd feel outfit pressure if I were...that said, my favorite blogs are the ones where I see someone use the same item over and over in lots if ways.

Also great about style blogs, at least for me, is seeing real people with different shapes enjoying real clothes. It's uplifting. What a contrast from fashion mags.

I guess all this is to say that hope you keep blogging as long as it's fun and interesting for you!

Mary said...

What if we really posted what we wore regardless of norms and what people may think...I'm thinking about this. I already dress casually but for instance on Tuesdays I wear work out clothes all day but obviously I don't take photos of them--what if I did? Or sometimes on a Saturday I will wear the exact outfit from Friday--I should just post it! It's a thought...

elle s'ennuie said...

"Personally I find the "Miu Mius in the woods" blogs to be very off-putting. I always wonder how these people have the time to drag a photographer out to the woods every day to take dozens of photos of their outfit, not to mention the time it takes to post all those. Your blog feels much more like a personal journal to me; the outfits are merely a way for us to connect with you, to experience a little of your daily life, and sometimes to use as a starting point for talking about style. "

I agree with Audi. I no longer follow as many style blogs as I used to, but the ones that I do, I read because I like the blogger, find them an interesting person with interesting things to say, and like having a small window to a part of their daily life, filtered through their style choices.

I dislike the heels in the woods blogs because they feel unrealistic in a pretentious and marketing'y way for me - they're too much like mainstream fashion magazines, trying to present a 'perfect' image to aspire to, and to entice you to 'need' new things.

AshleyDoll said...

I really liked your post--it put some of my own thoughts into words, and now I want to write about this topic in my own [offline] journal. Reading the other comments; it's great to know that there are other women who feel the same way about trying to portray something with your clothes. I constantly feel pressure to dress a certain way so I can impress certain people...and that might conflict at different points in the same day! Then there are the days when I get dressed and I love my outfit, but then I go outside and feel like a freak when other people see what I'm wearing. The weirdest thing is that something like this shouldn't be so important!!

Elly said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful post, with a lot to reflect on! (and loving reading the comments, too!)

Absolutely, personal style narratives can become more "wanna-be" narratives than "real" narratives. But I don't feel that those "wanna-be" stories are necessarily less true to ourselves or hinder our trying to understand our self-identity stories. As I'm a performance artist/costume designer (though that isn't so much yet reflected through my style), I see that the kind of art, the stories we choose to create, reveal powerful information about ourselves. Even if it's just "these are the things I find absolutely beautiful." Or "this is the sort of person I would like to project to others that I am." All valuable and interesting to me. (Though I certainly am someone who loves overthinking, analyzing, over-intellectualizing things, fashion and personal style included!)

And interestingly, I feel like my clothing consumption levels went on more of an arc through my engagement with style blogs...first it increased as I started to see more examples of wonderful and interesting, inspiring outfits, and looked for new kinds of clothing pieces that helped create outfits that looked the way I wanted. But recently, my consumption has been decreasing significantly, as I become more conscious that I DON'T want my blog to keep showing the great "new" piece I just got (even though new = thrifted, almost always). I've never been a daily outfit blogger, though, so I don't know if I would feel more pressure to have new items and not repeat outfits if I truly posted everything I wear. I'm finding my blog shifting to writing about more things than just my style, so I'm interested in seeing where that goes. (and I'll certainly be interested to keep reading what you have to say on things that may have nothing to do with style or what you're wearing!)

Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us!

Eline said...

You are documenting not only your style but your personality with this and most importantly you give visibility to intelligent women who happen to also like things that are too often called frivolous (i.e. fashion/style) and by naming those things frivolous people want to strip away of our intelligence and erase our ideas and bodies. I have a headache and can explain myself well but you know what I mean! Keep being awesome and putting it up on a blog.

Katie, Interrobangs Anonymous said...

I remember debating Derrida with my fellow academics back in undergrad, and the narrative of clothing came up.

As a biologist, I took the argument that, as visual organisms, there's an additional layer to Derrida's theory of personal narratives: what people "read" when they see us. When you take that attitude, style blogging can be interpreted as an active attempt to participate in that narrative. Yes, you ultimately cannot control how someone will read/interpret what you present, but you are setting a deliberate stage.

The problem then becomes that this is no longer a personal endeavor. By acknowledging the audience and the role they play in your definition, you change the encounter parameters. The other issue you mention is what happens when you bring the people you're reading into the equation. By letting your observations of style bloggers influence your interpretation of yourself, which in turn will influence others' observations of you, you lock yourself in a tension in which you are a conduit, not a result.

I don't know any easy resolutions to this issue, but I do believe that the power to move past simple comparison and conspicuous consumerism lies in finding deeper ways to engage. Let style be a catalyst, a gateway that invites people into the larger narrative that compels you, and let yourself be brave enough to share it.

bonita said...

~ * ♥ * ~

I am late commenting on this post; but I felt the need too because it is so good!

I really love the depth of this article, and some part of me definitely sees where you are coming from, and the other part of me doesn't...

Practically, I find it frustrating that I too dress with blogging in mind, so there are definitely days where I think I could do an outfit post, but decide not to because my outfit isn't "good enough".

On the other hand, I love how blogging about my outfits once a week, {sometimes more, but not often} makes me do something special with my choice of dress. It gives me a chance think about what I wear differently and try new things which is always fun for me!

I agree that the hard thing about outfit blogging is the desire to have new 'pretties' to show off all the time. I tend to justify my shopping by the fact that I am recycling by thrifting, but really if I don't need something, then that is just the same as over consuming on retail.

Then again, I always have had a large wardrobe. Blogging hasn't really changed my shopping habits, but it does give me more of an urge to shop that I have to resist.

Sorry; this comment is turning into an essay! But my final thoughts on the subject of unrealistic blogging; i.e. Miu Miu wood hikers, is that I actually enjoy blogs/photos like that. I think this aspect of fashion blogging may be about personal taste. For me, it's not actually about the clothes featured, but how they work with the theme/feel of the photograph.

I enjoy pictures like these for the artistry and it's the artistic expression of blending clothes and photography that I try to aim for. I love the fantasy of such photographs {although I try to keep mine realistic as in I actually wear the outfit I put on} so I still try to frame the practical with a beautiful setting so that people can see my outfit artistically as well as objectively.

This is just my personal preference though, and I do understand how other people may prefer a more 'real' source of inspiration.

bonita of Depict This!
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bonita said...

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P.S. ~ I linked to your post on my blog because I thought it was awesome. :D Hope that's ok with you.

bonita of Depict This!
~ * ♥ * ~

miss sophie said...

hi - i found your post via lin at out of the bag. just wanted to thank you for such a thoughtful post! it's insightful and honest and all of the things that make style blogging worth continuing, if you ask me. :)

Perdita said...

This idea of 'blog worthiness' and how it sometimes detracts from recording 'real' clothes is something I have been thinking about recently. I blog about fashion (and general thrifty-but-fun lifestyle), but rarely do outfit posts. Why? Possibly because I'd only consider blogging my 'real' outfits and don't consider them blog-worthy to my largely vintage and alt readership. Especially as those two scenes can be rife with snobbery and disdain for the high street/cheaper modern items. Silly really, I'm anticipating rules and reactions...

I prefer to keep myself out of the equation, for fear of setting up an image which I cannot live up to! When I do post a photo, it's usually a natural 'snap'.

Anonymous said...

When I started my blog almost 3 years ago, I didn't do outfit posts. I just wanted to write about fashion. This year though I decided to take the plunge and post outfits posts too...but I don't get to frustrated with the clothes! If you see my latest posts, you'll see me wearing the SAME H&M neon yellow cardigan 3 times!!! (styled differently everytime) And
I don't mind...because honestly I love this cardigan.
And I'd like to see how someone else re-cycles her wardrobe. I would never say..."oh look, she's wearing the same jeans again"!
On the other hand, you personality is not only shown through your outfits, but though your words as well!


Anne @ The Frump Factor said...

What a thought-provoking post! (Discovered you via the "Style Me" blog). After reading all the many issues you touched on, and also the excellent points raised by those who commented, I'm struck by how we all look for such different things from style blogs. There is such rich territory to explore, and we can all do it differently. I don't really do outfit posts, and I don't know how people have the time or clothing to do it. (I also can't comprehend never repeating an outfit). But I LOVE looking at style blogs of ALL KINDS -- real women, and Miu Miu's in the woods -- for inspiration.

What I don't like is when I start feeling the sense that I "should" be doing what others do, or I don't belong. That's my baggage. But I think it's important that we all put our own creative vision out there, whatever form it takes. There is room for so many different approaches.

Mary said...

Very interesting post and though this seems contradictory to say...I love the boots.

Anonymous said...

Could it be that you've reached a point where your outer style reflects your inner self, and thus you have no need to explore new looks?

I know that I started my "style journey" because I was very frustrated with how I was perceived by others. I didn't feel that my clothes reflected my personality or my values. I seemed to be attracting people in whom I was totally uninterested.

Nowadays I feel that I'm closer, stylewise, to where I want to be. As a result, I feel stronger and more positive. I also feel more empathetic toward others. I just feel like I connect better with other people because they see me more as I see myself.