I feel like I am wearing a very blogger-approved outfit here:
|J Crew denim jacket; Old Navy check shirt; Urban Outfitters stripped tee; Gap Outlet cargos; Forever 21 belt; Via Spiga bag; thrifted booties.|
I am wearing the ubiquitous blue check shirt. I am layering. I have belted my shirt quite assertively around my waist. There are thrifted brown booties on my feet. I dressed in a version of the Houlihan cargo, a pant that you couldn't avoid running into this past summer and fall. And, in addition, I am performing the classic head-down pose, employed by style bloggers the world over to seem mysterious, quirky and deliberately nonchalant.
I am an avid reader of style and fashion blogs. From Syd of The Daybook, to Kendi of Kendi Everyday, to Erin of Work With What You've Got, these bloggers have not only taught me how to remix and style my wardrobe, but they've also inspired me to start my own personal style blog. Lately, though, I've been noticing how deeply their style has been bleeding into my own. Sometimes, when I get dressed in the morning, I question how my outfit compares to that of these infinitely more popular bloggers. I wonder, what would Kendi think? Would Erin approve of the way I artfully mixed stripes with plaid? Would Syd have paired these booties with those pants? And my photos...surely they'd all get a get a hearty chuckle over how unpolished and unedited they are.
All this comparing adds up. Before I know it, I've fallen down into a dark tunnel of self-consciousness, self-doubt, and despair. I begin to wonder if I would even know how to make myself presentable without the assistance of my favorite blogs.
For many women, it is an constantly evolving process to define one's own style. I know how much I've changed just in the last few years, trading in my preppy department-store clothes for vintage and thrifted pieces. I am in the process of learning how to dress both appropriately and stylishly, while expressing my own unique perspective on fashion. It's not always easy, especially when I'm struggling to avoid comparing myself to other bloggers.
I believe that the fact that I'm aware of the problem will encourage me to dress for myself. There is room for compromise here - I can still wear what I want, when I want, yet permit myself to continue learning from other bloggers. I will try to distinguish myself through my unique writing style. Furthermore, I will never, ever quit smiling in my photos. Why do so many fashion bloggers avoid smiling? Clothes make me happy, writing makes me happy, gaining followers makes me unbelievably happy (hint, hint.) What's not to smile about?
I'm curious...do you struggle with comparing yourself with other bloggers, or even just other women in general? If so, how do you manage it?