Authenticity

This is sort of a spin off on the idea of your audience.  With the preponderance of online images – blogs, pinterest, online shopping sites’ catalogs – comes a false sense of what we should be looking like.  Or what others look like, for that matter.  The online, virtual world is not the real world.  No matter how much of it we ingest.  Once you walk out the front door you enter the real world.  A world where sitting creates wrinkles in your pants and skirts shift as you walk.  Wind blows your hair.  Lipstick fades halfway through the day.  It’s okay.  It’s reality and we are all subject to it 😉

This last year I found myself increasingly dressing with the online audience in mind.  I tend to do this when my personal life is in a lull and I don’t have a lot of face to face interaction.  I start to substitute the online world for what’s lacking in my real life.  Unwittingly, I begin to dress in a way that aligns with the online community, supplanting the real life cultural norms around me.  I want to get back on track with being authentically me, in whatever environment I find myself (and with frequent cross country moves, that shifts often!)

What I rail against is the staged outfit image, most often with very high heels that could only be described as sitting shoes.  It’s always been very important to me to display exactly what my real life outfits are.  I’ve gone so far as to show sweaty running gear shots and lounge wear with bed head to represent what I actually look like day to day.  I will never take a pretty picture, post it online, and change out to something else.  My most favorite outfit pictures are ones I’ve nicknamed ‘in the wild’, meaning they are not posed at home but taken while I’m out with friends or loved ones doing whatever it is that’s on the agenda that day.

There are the out to dinner shots, the parties at friends’, sporting events, or even more fun, the spontaneous roadside shots (a certain 20 foot dinosaur on HWY 19 in FL comes to mind lol).  In my mind, there is little value in showcasing a look that does not get utilized in real life.  There already are models for this, right?  I am no model.  Not by a long shot!  I’m just a gal who likes clothes but wants to shop responsibly.  And to share that with others.

Outfit pics won’t be a major part of this, but I plan to post some from time to time.  Rest assured they will always be exactly what I really wore, head to toe.  Dressing for, and by extension shopping for, my actual life was a major lesson.  After all, that’s the point – to buy clothes for your lifestyle, station in life, and climate that you will actually use. What good are clothes that we don’t actually wear?

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5 thoughts on “Authenticity

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head regarding how we are feeling about what people are really wearing. I get so frustrated that I never feel like I am looking stylish because I just cannot wear those shoes. And those clothes! And clearly those outfits I see on the internets are not good for my daily life. Wrinkles, tugging/adjusting, painful feet. I wouldn’t last 2 minutes out in the wild!

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  2. Mo, this resonates with me. I too felt I was chasing after the online approval and decided to be more true to myself. I would wear an outfit that didn’t feel like me and get positive feedback and wonder at my own sense of style. Alternatively, if I post an outfit picture that I am really pleased with and get little feedback, I feel a bit deflated. I am questioning whether trying to be true to my own style and preferences is enough or whether I too should consider limiting my participation to comments rather than outfit posts.

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  3. Hi Mo — I was missing you on YouLookFab.com and found your thread in the OT section about starting your own blog. Congratulations, and good job! I’ve read all of the posts and enjoyed reading about your focused, disciplined approach to clothing. I’ll continue to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I subscribed to the fantasy. I actually believed for a long time that I was “supposed” to look like the images I saw in so many different fashion outlets to be “stylish.” The disconnect was that my actual life didn’t sync with those images and I frequently had nothing to wear. I finally saw the light about two years ago and began buying for my actual life. To do this, I had to purposely stop looking at all those images. I still enjoy them, but I make a point of reminding myself that they are mere fantasies and have no bearing on my real life. Now I look at what people are wearing around me. This has helped immensely and my working wardrobe is becoming more in tune with my life. That means I have lounge capsules, work out capsules, and casual wear capsule. I’m not sure if you count lounge clothes as part of your 150 items. I do count them because I wear them so often. I count anything that I have to include in my budget.

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