Compare, contrast, despair: Defining my voice in a blogger's world

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 you struggle with comparing yourself with other bloggers, or even just other women in general? If so, how do you manage it?



  1. So cool your bag! :D im a new follower!!

    Look my blog and if you like it, follow me



  2. I went through that. More than once. I think it's just a phase you have to push through. I have also taken a break more than once when I felt the self doubt creeping in. Wondering if I would ever "measure up" to my style icons and favorite bloggers. But I got over it each time. You do offer something unique, but you are also going to be influenced by others. It's almost the whole point of the cycle of blogging, yeah? XOXO

  3. just came across your blog. i love this post because i know exactly what you mean. I love finding blogs that stand out & where I can tell they are waering THEIR style. I see tons of different blogs everyday, but some of them are the same old same old, same styles, etc. I think a true "fashion blog" is one where they are truly wearing what makes THEM confident, and that shows THEIR true style. I think your blog is awesome & that's why i am now your newest follower :)


  4. great post, elissa! one of the things i like about your blog is that your own voice and style come through so strongly! it's annoying to see similar styles worn over and over again on style blogs, i totally agree! i do like the shirt, however "blogger-approved" it may be.



I love my readers! Comments are welcomed and appreciated.