Quick Note: If you haven’t linked up already, I’d love to see what you’re wearing to your office these days on the weekly Fashionably Employed Link Up that I host each Monday. What better way to start the week than talking about work (ha)? But for real, at least we’re talking about style at work!
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s my excessive love of Pinterest and my unending time spent reading other personal style blogs. But I often face an internal battle about purchasing certain new items of clothing that I love on others but don’t always feel reflect “me.” I see certain items styled in ways that look great and, often, with other pieces I already have in my closet. But the thought of running out to the store to purchase that last piece in the outfit doesn’t feel genuine to my own personal style. I do love the way it looks, but don’t envision myself walking down the street wearing it. I’ve strived to keep my blog a true reflection of my real life style as opposed to my diary of an adult version of dress up. But when these questionable pieces crop up on me and I’m inclined to make a purchase, I challenge whether the purchase meets my personal shopping desires or just fills a void in a great blog post I dream up just before falling asleep at night (you know… one of those great ideas you capture just before landing in the deepest of sleep).
Maybe the piece is out of the realm of my own style and I’m right to pass it up? On the other hand, what if it would be the perfect addition to stretch my closet just the slightest bit out of my comfort zone and add some elements of interest and growth to my ever-evolving personal style? Let me share an example:
Years ago, I fell in love with this striped dress Jessica wore on her ever-so-popular What I Wore blog. I even emailed her to ask when she bought the JCrew dress because I couldn’t find it on their website. She confirmed she purchased it during a previous season, and I was out of luck. So I pinned this look below (one of my first ever pins when I had just started using Pinterest years ago) and kept an eye peeled for the right dress at the right price.
Three years later, discount code in hand, I ordered this striped dress from JCrew Factory and loved the colors even more than the black and white version. While I have some initial styling ideas, a denim jacket over the dress like Jessica wore it looks so perfect.
But a denim jacket just doesn’t feel like me. If I strolled into a store to purchase it, I would feel like I bought it only to snap in a photo shoot for the blog. I don’t envision myself actually wearing it to dinner with friends or a date with the husband (when I first wore this dress). Such a conundrum begs the question – do I buy a denim jacket because I like the way it looks and stretch my style or do I stick to what feels comfortable and consider this a step in defining my own personal style (i.e. my personal style doesn’t include a denim jacket)? I haven’t concluded yet on a final answer (hint: soliciting all suggestions or advice), but I have decided to not yet invest in a denim jacket. Maybe down the road…
Lucky for me, while scrolling through Jessica’s Gallery to find the photo above that inspired the purchase of this dress so many years ago, I also found three more ways she wore this dress, all with pieces I already have in my closet and love. So while I pass up the denim jacket, at least for now, I certainly can wear my new striped dress with my utility jacket and my camel leather jacket, among so many other options I expect to create over the course of this dress’ life in my closet.
Do any of you have this same struggle? If so, how do you decide when it’s a great time to stretch your wardrobe and tastes or when the desire for someone else’s style is a fraudulent representation to everyone, including yourself, of your true preferences and personal style?