on finding inspiration without getting discouraged

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shirt: Madewell Emporia Plaid Shirt via Poshmark (very similar) // utility shirt: Old Navy // jeans: Old Navy // shoes: Old Navy (sold out online, available in stores) // necklace: PSYCHE JEWELRY // purse: vintage Coach via Prototype Vintage


If you're here, I have to assume that you've read a blog or two for inspiration. You probably have at least a few favorite Instagram accounts whose lives and closets you look at with heart eyes. You even have a Pinterest board full of smiling, stylish women you sartorially admire. Just as likely, you've felt discouraged when stepping into your own closet or standing in front of the mirror, not seeing the same polished affect you had in mind. I feel you.

I was texting Chelsea the other day about how disappointed I sometimes feel looking at my own blog outfits and not seeing the "sheen" I so admire in the fashion bloggers I look to for inspiration. I was feeling down on my style, on this blog, and on myself. I know I'm not alone in that; there's think piece after piece about not letting the perfect captures on Instagram make us feel like our own lives are less than.

I really love this outfit. I enjoyed wearing it, I think it photographed well, and I'm excited to re-wear it when the temperatures drop for good. I created it with a specific blogger in mind -- truelane. In my opinion, she's the queen of the cool girls, always rocking flats, sleek city layers, and a laid-back vibe. When I got these photos back, my heart dropped just a little in seeing that, though I had all the components of a great truelane outfit, I was still missing the sheen.

It sounds silly, but I think I was hoping to get these photos back and see truelane actually wearing the outfit...on my own blog. But I don't need to be her, or even look like her. Me and my outfit are good enough! I think a lot about whether my approach to style and this blog are aspirational or inspirational. I think (hope!) it's obvious that I want a sense of personal style and put-together outfits to be accessible, so I tend to fall on the inspirational side of things. Maybe the sheen isn't there because I want to break it down and make fashion available to everyone. Or maybe I have my own sheen for readers who look up to my style, and I'm just too close to my clothes and these photos to see it.

When it comes to blogging, I have doubts all the time about why I bother. Does anyone really need me to put up photos of me in, essentially, a T-shirt and jeans on the Internet? Well, kinda. Because it's not just a T-shirt and jeans. I work hard to put something else out here, to fill a pocket that isn't currently occupied. And that's something that only I can do and that makes what I do (and am) worthwhile.

Like with anything you see, whether on Instagram or Pinterest, remember to make it your own. It doesn't do anybody any good to clone what someone else has already done. Yes, be yourself, because no one else will, but also celebrate the things that make you and what you do different! If you're feeling inadequate, consider what someone else might admire about you.

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