Last week in Anthropologie, I spied a silky polka dot shirt and thought it was so cute. I thought about trying it on. I felt the fabric and mentally scanned my closet for something to pair it. Then I snapped back to reality. This shirt, though it was darling, would not look cute on me. I would feel like a clown wearing it. I would not feel confident, like one should when wearing a new silk shirt. I would feel like I had browsed pinterest for too long, because that is the truth.
What looks pretty on a website does not always look so great in real life. What looks gasp-worth in a magazine print ad, almost never looks as amazing in the bathroom light. You know how models (real models) do weird things with their bodies in photographs? Like they bend over and make their arms crooked? Sometimes I think that we, as internet-savvy women consumers, are doing the same with our style. We may look good, but it’s hard to tell with all the figurative bending and elbow crooking.
Which is to say, it’s awkward, what certain style has become. Perhaps I’m more sensitive to it as a blogger. I stare at my food (or my outfit) and do everything I can to make it photograph well. But if you’ve ever seen someone just after a photo shoot, or just off the stage, their beautiful makeup looks WAY too pancaked apart from the bright lights. Garish, even.
It doesn’t always translate, from beauty blogs to sidewalk style. And worse, I think it’s making people who possess personal style second-guess themselves. Suddenly they all want enormous bows all over everything. Or cartoon cat silhouettes on their dress. And what was cool about people before is lost in imitation of something not normal.
I’m constantly honing my signature style. I have a personal look that doesn’t vary much. I call it Granny rocker prep. Those are the things I’m always attracted to: total grandmother vintage, gold details and rugged leather, and a heavy does of preppy colors and lines. I am not bohemian (though I strangely covet these mocassins. See?! This happens to everyone. Mocassins should not be in my closet). I am not professional (I admire Banana Republic, but I can’t find much there any longer). And, somewhat sadly, I am no longer a twenty-something (so Urban Outfitters is out).
But even though I know this about myself, I am easily influenced by something looking great on someone else and before I know it, I’ve fallen down a Shopbop rabbit trail.
Stand strong, beautiful women! Use pinterest and the blogosphere to inform and entertain, even as a basis to experiment, but don’t lose yourself. You’re (we’re) better as we are, not as carbon copies.