When I started my blog a year and a half ago, I had a dream of being just like the bloggers I had followed for years. I listened to all the podcasts, watched all the videos, and read all the posts on blogging and running an Instagram account. I felt like I was doing everything right – posting at certain times and a certain number of times a week, batching content and planning ahead, looking to the people I admired who were succeeding to see what they were doing – so I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t completely happy with my style and why my pages weren’t growing the same way they were in the beginning.
It took me a while to realize that I was so focused on doing everything right, that I lost myself in the process. I lost the joy of putting together outfits just because I love to do it. I was buying things because I felt like I had to. I was buying things I saw other people wearing because I liked how it looked on them. I was so worried about my content doing “well” on social media that I lost my identity (and news flash, your posts will not do well if you’re trying too hard and not being true to yourself. And you certainly won’t feel happy!). Everyone always says to “be yourself”, but I felt so entrenched in the hours upon hours of social media that I wasn’t even sure what my true self was anymore.
Unfortunately, I think this is common with social media these days. I felt lost and tried searching for a post like this one and I just couldn’t quite find the answers I needed. It took me a long time and of course it will always be a learning process, but I finally feel confident that I have regained my own true, unique sense of style. Here are the tips I learned along the way:
You can appreciate someone’s style without imitating it
Do you know how many times I’ve purchased something online because I loved how it looks on someone else, just to hate how it looks on me? I’ve learned that just because someone else looks amazing in their clothes, doesn’t mean their outfits will automatically look good on me. So much of how an outfit looks comes down to how confident someone feels wearing it. In other words, what makes someone else feel confident won’t necessarily make me feel confident. I’ve gotten better at discerning between what to appreciate on others, and what to actually buy for my own wardrobe. I stop and think – does this color/cut look good on me? Would I grab this a lot if it was in my closet? Another helpful tip is to see if you can find a particular item in photos of more than one person. This will help you better visualize the item and keep from buying just because it looks good on the original person you saw wearing it. You may find you only liked it because you admire a certain person’s style.
Mute someone on social media who doesn’t make you feel like your best self
I am all for following and supporting other fashion accounts and looking to them for inspiration, but if you find thoughts creeping in like “I wish I was her” or “why can’t I look like that person” it’s okay to mute them on social media (this is a feature that keeps them from popping up on your feed, without actually unfollowing). If inspiration starts to turn into something more negative like jealousy, it may be a good idea to take a break from seeing their posts until you’re feeling like you’re in a better space. You can unmute whenever you’re ready! You should be inspired to be your best self, not a copy of someone else. The people you follow should make you feel good, not the opposite.
You don’t need new things all the time
Guilty!! I was so frustrated because I was shopping ALL the time but felt like I had nothing to wear. Quality > quantity! I’m going to put up a whole post on how I created my capsule wardrobe, but I learned that investing in things I love is much more valuable than constantly buying things that I don’t. I’m also trying to be more conscious about investing in higher quality and timeless pieces that I know will last me a long time.
You don’t have to like something just because it’s trendy
If you don’t like a trend, you don’t have to participate just because you feel like everyone else is. It’s called a trend for a reason, and it will be gone before you know it. If you don’t love it, let it be. If you do really like a trend but aren’t sure you will wear the item long term, see if you can thrift it instead of buying it new. It will be cheaper, more sustainable, and likely higher quality.
Go shopping in real life to help yourself stay true to your style
This has been a game changer for me. I was buying things that I saw people share on Instagram all the time. Not to say I don’t do it at all anymore, but it’s been so fun for me to go out to the mall or thrift store and pick out things that I found myself and can be 100% sure I love, without having to question whether I only like it because I saw it on someone else whose style I appreciate.
Keep a wish list and try to avoid buying right away
I am a big time impulse shopper. Lately, I’ve been keeping a wish list in the notes on my phone when I see something I really like. A lot of the time, I will realize by the next day I didn’t really want it. But if it’s something I still really want and think about after a few days, I buy it.
Donate the things you don’t wear
I have another post coming on how I have been working to create my dream wardrobe, but the biggest part in that has been decluttering my closet from the things I don’t wear. I will be sharing more on how I decided what to keep and get rid of, but it has made it so much easier for me to put together outfits I truly love. If you love everything in your closet, you won’t end up with an outfit that you don’t!
Like I said, I recently really struggled with feeling like I was having a style identity crisis, and with how much we’re on social media these days, I have a feeling a lot of other people do too. I wish I had this advice when I was searching for it, so I really hope this is helpful. Follow for my future posts with details on decluttering my closet and creating my dream capsule wardrobe!