I think one of the topics that’s heavily overlooked by a lot of bloggers is our style evolution. How we started from the bottom shopping at fast fashion retailers, following our whimsies then taking our photos with timers on point and shoot cameras, having to sprint to capture an outfit then shamelessly posting it unedited onto our blogs. Or on occassion using our iPhone and door mounted mirrors. A time when we used Instagram the same way, to share what we were actually wearing in that moment. When we would link to the actual products we wore instead of the expensive alternative or a bunch of other options. And even more importantly sharing our experiences with where we shop, how the things we buy fit, make us feel and tips on how to style them. It feels like the fashion blogosphere these days is such a far cry from our humble beginnings. And I get that for a lot of us bloggers our old photos may not be on par with our current aesthetic, but it’s so interesting to look at what I used to wear and just how many outfits I actually would, and could because I still have those pieces, wear now. So today I wanted to take it back, maybe share a laugh with you at some of my old photos, and have a real talk with you about how my style has changed and what I’ve learned about style through blogging.
How & Where I Shop.
Of all the things that have changed the most I think it’s my shopping habits. When I first started blogging I was less influenced by what I felt you guys wanted to see and I was way more in tune with my impulsive side. I honestly didn’t give any thought to longevity, versatility, practicality, sustainability or if something was ethically made when I purchased a piece. If I liked it, and it was in my budget, I bought it. It was as simple as that. I also used to do most of my shopping in actual stores, usually frequenting retailers like Forever 21, H&M, Charlotte Russe, TJ. Maxx, etc. I also used to thrift shop a lot more. I was the epitome of ballin’ on a budget. Which to be honest I have found myself missing that in store experience more and more these days. Going into the store, seeing and feeling the pieces, actually trying the clothes on before purchasing, not having to deal with the hassle of shipping back returns and waiting weeks for a refund. Shopping seemed to be much simpler before I started blogging.
Fast forward to now I feel like my habits have done a complete 180. Which I’m a lot happier with. Firstly I do almost all of my shopping online. While I do still check out H&M every once in a while I found I’m shopping at different stores like ASOS, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters or Shopbop. I’m also more mindful now not only of what I’m adding to my wardrobe but where it’s coming from and if it’s worth what I’m paying. Not just looking at the quality but how often I’ll wear it and the amount of time it took me to earn the money I’ll be spending. While I haven’t abandoned fast fashion, I’ve definitely been starting to turn to ethical brands especially for my basics. Another habit I’ve developed is patience. While younger me might’ve rushed to snag a piece right off the rack, current me is about waiting until the pieces I’ve been eyeing go on sale. Shout out to Shoptagr for making this super easy! I’ve come to understand that buying the latest and greatest isn’t a necessity and there are other things I’d much rather be putting my hard earned money towards. Like my savings so I can travel and retire. By making myself wait until items go on sale I’m less likely to impulse buy and suffer from buyer’s remorse. And I save tons of money in the long run! I’ve also found that I cherish my pieces even more when I do this. Instead of immediately moving on to what else I need in my closet I obsess a lot more over my new purchase and find myself wearing it nonstop.
What Clothes I Buy
The one thing I feel like hasn’t changed is that I’m always experimenting. When I was younger it was with different vibes, i.e. boho, urban, preppy. If it caught my attention I threw myself into it without a second thought. I wore t-shirts and jeans, dressed like a J.Crew ad, beanies with sweaters and sneakers, bodycon dresses, I’ve tried just about everything. The nice thing about being this open is that you develop a level of confidence when rocking a new style. The downside is inevitably having a lot of clothes that never really got worn more than a handful of times.
These days I find myself more content in my style. I’ve found I’m definitely more of a top + pants or jumpsuit person over a skirt or dresses so it makes sense that those things dominate my closet now. Not that I don’t love a good dress or skirt, but I’m far more skeptical adding those into my wardrobe because I’m realistic about if I’ll actually wear them or not. I’ve also become extremely picky about my shoes. If a pair of shoes is uncomfortable in anyway I will instantly return them. Cute shoes are not worth having ugly, corn covered feet that could lead to serious issues down the road.
How I Style My Clothes
I started my blog around the time I started my job. And as most of you know the transition from your college clothes to your 9-5 can be a cluster. I took cues from my co-workers on which items were work appropriate and what to steer clear from. At some point I was preppy which turned into creative work wear and then I migrated to being more professional before I landed on a version of elevated casual vibes. Younger me was definitely more shameless about mixing prints and colors and not needing every outfit to look perfect.
Now I will say that these days I feel like I put a lot of pressure on myself to look perfectly done up. So I stress a little more about what I consider a “casual look” and being much picker about what to pair together, where my clothes hit on my body and how they work together. Overall though these days I find that I’m all about wearing classics in an unexpected but accessible way. I like the minimal effort looks that make an impact. And of course rocking clothes that make me feel how I want to feel. Which why I think I’m so particular about the fit of my pieces because I don’t want to have to fuss with them to make them sit just so. I like to style my clothes in a way that doesn’t feel forced, overly trendy or like I’m trying to look like everyone else.
Honestly looking at some of those older photos made me cringe. At first out of embarrassment, but then as I looked a little longer it was because of the realization how much being in the fashion industry had altered not only my style but who I am. In those photos from the past I proudly wore those outfits with little concern about being perfect because it was about being me and sharing my style. And there was a time where I lost myself trying to get popular and Instafamous by wearing what everyone else was wearing and encouraging you guys to do the same because that’s what I thought I needed to do to succeed. But that was never what this space was supposed to about. First and foremost it really was just to share my outfits. No matter how basic, how well it matched, or didn’t, or if it was on trend. I started my blog simply to share some outfit inspiration for work, the weekends and anything else. To share that it really was okay to wear what you wanted regardless of what everyone else was doing. Thankfully I feel like I’ve been finding my way back to that. Back to being less curated, less perfect and just being me. And that’s brought back a lot of fun I had when I first started. Setting my timer, running in front of my camera and trying to catch all kinds of poses. Because that’s really what style is about anyway, expressing yourself, having fun and feeling great while doing it!