Ok, so I’m being a touch dramatic with the title of this post, but “Why I Don’t Do Outfit Posts That Much Any More” just wasn’t as catchy.
In almost three months, I’ve shared just one outfit here on the blog. Compared to a year ago when I was posting at least three a week, or a couple of years ago when I totted up five a week without fail, sometimes six, that’s a marked difference. So what’s changed?
Outfit posts are the fashion blogger’s bread and butter. In my experience, an outfit post will get far more views than any other content – people want to see what you’re wearing, how you’re wearing it and where they can buy it. It’s the perfect example of the ‘real life’ element that makes blogs so popular.
The thing no one really says, though, is that outfit posts are a bitch.
They’re by far the most difficult to photograph – there’s the weather, the location and the light to consider as well as the actual outfit. And unless you’re up for lugging a tripod out to some remote back alley where you can take your self-portraits in peace (I did this for years and it was not fun), you’ll also need a willing photographer. Outfit posts often take ages to write up, too, as you’re constantly searching for interesting ways to say ‘this is what I wore today’, as well as hunt down links to stuff you bought two years ago. With a full time job – which inconveniently takes place during those precious daylight hours – and some semblance of a life, creating just one outfit post is an absolute mission.
For me, though, the real killer is how this kind of blogging can make you feel. Although blogs are generally nice, happy, positive places, offering your personal style up for comment is a dangerous game. There’s an expected standard for outfit posts, and if you don’t meet it – too bad. When I was sharing my outfits regularly, I stressed over what to wear almost every day. I was so caught up in keeping up, I felt like I needed new clothes constantly and I shopped like a maniac. Anything for fresh, new, relevant content. Buying clothes was no longer about what I actually wanted to wear – which is, as it always has been, jeans and a t-shirt – but about what would look good in an outfit post.
I was literally shopping for page views.
I didn’t really realise how hard trying to maintain outfit posts had become until I stopped. Standing in front of my (full-to-bursting-rail’s-already-collapsed-once-and-it’s-a-double) wardrobe despairing at the lack of anything to wear, I thought about what I was doing that day. Going into my studio, where I have no boss because I work for myself and no dress code because I’m not a lawyer, to sit at my desk and work. I could wear my pyjamas if I really wanted to. Basically, it was time to get a grip.
For the past couple of months, I’ve worn a rotation of leather leggings and skinny black jeans, various pieces of oversized knitwear and my DMs, all in shades of black and grey. Sometimes navy. It’s not that I’ve sacked off fashion in favour of floor-length hemp dresses and Crocs – I’ve just cut out the rigmarole that comes with creating ‘outfit posts’. I still want to share what I wear, but more full-length mirror selfies on Instagram than artfully posed professional shots at sunset.
Since realising that I’m not the next street style star and adopting a more laidback approach to getting dressed, I actually feel stylish. I guess it’s about being comfortable – I’m much more myself in jeans and an oversized shirt than a mismatched co-ord and pointy heels.
So here’s to spending a little more time behind the lens than in front of it… with the exception of heavily-filtered selfies, obvs.