Today, I'm wearing a cobalt blue mini trumpet skirt from Patricia Field and tucked into that is an off-white blouse with black lines which create a gradient starting from the boat neckline and continuing down to where my waist is. Underneath the skirt, I have on a pair of sleek black tights which lead right into my signature pair of black faux suede booties.
Before this outfit, I was wearing black faux leather moto leggings from BCBG paired with an oversized black sweater adorned with metal buttons on the sleeves. This look was also paired with my signature pair of black faux suede booties.
And before that outfit, I was wearing a blush colored dress, with a black sweater over top and a maroon colored faux leather jacket to finish off the look. And again, I was wearing my signature pair of black faux suede booties.
I had started getting dressed at 10 a.m., and I had moved on to my third outfit by 2:30 p.m. In the course of four and a half hours, I had changed three times.
But saying I only changed three times would be a blatant lie.
I had experimented with 12 different outfits prior to my blush dress ensemble, which caused my closet to resemble the afterlife of a tornado.
This was all due to social media and my recent lack of self confidence.
As a blogger who's main goal is to help ignite one's self confidence, I have recently been feeling like a imposter on my own website. I've been in a self confidence rut that has not only been impairing my ability to get dressed in the morning, but has also been impairing my mental positivity.
I have been going through this fashion identity crisis for a few months now, and this has been because of two reasons.
For starters, since I go to an art school in one of the most creative cities in the world, I feel the unduly need to dress eccentric. When I see others walking around wearing these ridiculously beautiful outfits, I feel the need to compete with them.
I get in this mindset that what I'm wearing isn't "artsy" enough.
Recently, when I have been getting dressed in the morning, I choose my outfit based on the mindset of "is this artsy, does this look like I go to an art school?"
And this is incredibly backwards.
One of the beautiful things about going to an art school — which I have recently forgotten — is that individualized self expression is celebrated. I shouldn't be concerned if the way that I dress fits the stereotypical art school look, I should embrace my personal style and be content with it.
Secondly, as a fashion blogger, it's hard not to compare yourself with those who have made it big in this industry. From bloggers such as Leandra Medine from the Man Repeller and her vintage whimsical style, to Leonie Hanne from Ohh Couture and her cohesively layered street ensembles, I have found myself inherently undermining my personal style.
When you're a blogger, you automatically receive that label (and sometimes I think that's what people automatically think of when they see me) and others undoubtedly assume your clothing will be unique and unlike anything they've ever seen before. So, when getting dressed in the morning, I'll start obsessively scrolling through top fashion blogger's Instagrams to find outfit inspiration. I'll find a look that I like and then proceed to attempt to re-create it with the pieces I have in my wardrobe. Sooner-or-later, my room will look like someone projectile vomited my entire wardrobe on my floor and afterwards I'm left naked, without an outfit and a slashed self esteem to boot. I start feeling like I need to reinvent my wardrobe because it's not analogous to those dubbed as fashion icons.
That process of self comparison has been going on for months, and as much as I tell myself that I need to stop, I continue to do it. It wasn't until today that I really sat down and thought about the ways I needed to change my mindset in order to start living a healthy and confident life once again.
Dressing the way you're comfortable in, regardless if it's simple or eccentric or not, should be your main focus in the morning. What's considered "fashionable" shouldn't be based off of those with over 10k followers on Instagram, but based on what you can rock and feel your best in; whether it's by wearing a maxi dress with thigh high boots and a statement belt which cinches in an oversized sweater, or if it's by simply wearing an A-line skirt with a shirt tucked into it and booties, the most important thing it's the way that you feel after you have put our outfit on.
Social media should be used as a way to become inspired, not a catalyst towards negative emotions that you may be feeling about yourself or your personal sense of style. As I have mentioned before, fashion blogs and magazines should be used merely as inspiration, not the end-all-be-all to fashion.
I'm have pledged to start my challenging myself to stop being consumed with the style of others and start becoming content with my own. If you have also been feeling in a rut lately, I encourage you to join me on this journey of rediscovering the concept of "staying fashionably confident."