Oh, outfit posts! You thing of hesitancy and glamour. You taunter and convicter. How I both love you and hate you. This post is written to you dear personified outfit posts. Here are my rather scattered thoughts of the good the bad and everything in between all stirred together...
Vanity. Let's face it. Outfit posts, full of pictures of yourself, are vain. I don't argue that fact at all and I honestly struggle with this. The "hey look at me, I'm rocking this sweater, be like me" aspect makes me cringe. I hear the crowd yell fake and mock me. I get it. Yes -- I tell young girls to avoid the pressures of the world (I just wrote about that here) and I hate the way big companies market their ads with sex and use all sorts of manipulation to allure that the bigger & better thing wins. So I recognize the danger that looms and the responsibility that comes with blogging fashion posts. I refuse to ignore it. This is part of the reason for this present post and I give this as a disclaimer: For me outfit posts are a way to express myself and find enjoyment in my widening intrigue in fashion trends. I aim to always wear modest attire and not take myself too seriously.
Reality. When I post outfit posts. I 98.5% of the time post an outfit that I wear on a pretty regular basis. Now, I might not have actually worn it the day I took the picture, but it is something I wear in real life. Sometimes my outfits are created for a post and inspire my everyday wear, sometimes my everyday wear inspire my posts. I've loved how I have developed my personal style through creating outfit posts. I've become a more confident dresser. That doesn't mean I actually get dressed everyday or put on lipstick everyday. Some times my reality is pjs & uncombed hair.
Insecurity. There is not much more I have found in blogging that will point out your insecurities to you than taking and preparing for outfit posts. You willingly submit yourself to taking large handfuls of pictures--all of yourself--that you then must sift through with a scrutinizing eye and pick whatever you feel in the moment best displays the least flaws. Taking pictures (most days) feels pretty silly. You know that meme on Facebook "what I think i look like, what my friends think i look like, what I really look like..." Well, I know I look silly when I'm out in my front yard taking pictures of my new purse. Most days I laugh and giggle through it, but some days the camera defeats you as it seems all it captures through the lens are your gray hairs or baby weight or crooked smile and sometimes the camera even viciously attacks as it seems to distort your body -- "is my nose really that big?" The camera lies to you. Don't let it have a voice. I want to embrace my "flaws" to the point that the word leaves my vocabulary. I'm convicted of this.
Exploration & Confidence. On the other side of the coin, one of the reasons I really enjoy outfit posts is because I love exploring new trends and the use of my camera and editing tools. Doing outfit posts allows me to work with different companies and styles that I otherwise might not get the chance to try. I enjoy the challenge and the amount of guts it takes me to try a new trend -- be it leather pants or wedged hightop sneakers. As I try new things I gain confidence in myself to try and wear things that I like because I like them and enjoy them and not worry if Susie Sue down the street thinks they are weird. When I create a post, I am putting myself out there and saying "this is what I like, judge me if you will -- but I like it and I'll wear it."
Frugality. I rarely buy clothes anymore. I don't make a lot of direct money from blogging, it is not a huge aim of mine, but this blog does save me a good bit of money because I am able to add great staple and statement items to my wardrobe through working with some great companies who share their items with me in return for feature style posts. Y'all -- I love this. Often time, if there is something I think I really want, I will try find a company to work with who can provide it as a trade so that I don't spend money.
Stewardship. Another area I struggle with about outfit posts is the idea around enticing others to spend their money. Like I already mentioned, my outfit posts are nearly always sponsored through the trading of goods for features. I get super excited and girly girl giddy about my partnerships and getting to wear different items that I would not otherwise be able to afford. I love my new Steve Madden shoes (and heck, you can expect to see them soon on the blog), but I know they would not be a wise purchase for my family right now -- it just not the stage we are in. I never want to be putting out there the vibe that fashion is where our money should be pouring into. Where we spend our money reveals to us our idols and I believe in giving God our firsts. There is nothing wrong with spending money on shoes or trips or expensive wine -- whetever your desire may be, but I support making wise, careful decisions with money.
Integrity. Whenever I am approached by a new company I want to be really particular about choosing to work with them. If their style doesn't match mine, I don't want to partner with them just for the sake of receiving something free or any amount of payment. Or, if they have non family friendly material on their site -- no matter what the offer is, I want to say no. I'm not super great at sticking to this. I need to investigate sites/companies further. I need to make some firm lines in the sand, write them down, and stick to them. And that doesn't just include questionable visible things on their online spaces, but also even business ethics and providing fair wage to workers.
See. What I want you to see when I do an outfit post is a girl who doesn't take herself too seriously. Someone who finds enjoyment in using her closet like a palette. Someone who believes in inner beauty. Someone who believes in finding your own style and not changing it at another's whim. A woman who desires to glorify in all that she does no matter how much she fails to. I hope to never be a wolf in sheep's clothing--I desire to be transparent. I want to delight myself in the Creator and never the creation. All good things come from Him--even new high waisted jeans and long gold necklaces. It is okay to take pleasure in clothes and in blogs. I want to teach young girls to be confident in who they are, to respect their bodies, and to find joy in their beauty.