When I asked everyone for feedback on my content last week, one of the big requests was more outfit posts, especially those who responded on Snap or Insta. The other big theme, which was the most requested, was more personal posts…so let’s get personal about outfit posts!
Honestly, they can stress me the f*** out!
The bar is set really high when it comes to outfit posts, especially on Instagram. When I scroll through my feed all the “outfit” girls I follow are sooooo dressed up in the latest and greatest and every picture is wildly perfect. I constantly feel like what I’m wearing isn’t generally good enough to post, but don’t get me wrong, what I’m wearing is perfectly good enough for me in my real life. I spend just about everyday going to my full-time job at the LEAF office wearing jeans or little dresses and flats. I’m comfortable and casual, and it works for me. For Insta though? Not so sure.
On top of that, I feel the pressure to have high-quality photos, or at the very least, pretty backdrops. But at LEAF, we work in an area of orange brick office buildings which do not lend themselves well to a clean shot. The good walls are at closest a 10-minute walk which leads me to the last restraint: asking my friends and co-workers to take photos of me. This doesn’t feel good either. They work for me on LEAF, not my personal musings, and the amount of photos it takes to get “the one” can take time, time that I’m not willing to ask of them out of respect.
Instead of allowing the above limitations to be excuses, I’ve found a way to work around my constraints. I shoot most outfits on weekends (sometimes with a professional photographer) and try to snap as many as I can (daytime outfits, night time outfits, workout gear if I make it to the gym, etc.). I shoot what I genuinely wear, but I’ll be honest, I often feel pressure to go out and buy things that are current/link-able/trendy/Insta gold to shoot…which doesn’t always feel right. It can feel forced and sometimes like a waste of money.
If/when some weekends come along and I don’t have anything new that’s great, or haven’t reinvented outfits in my closet, I get stressed that I don’t have anything interesting enough to shoot. I’ll change outfits a handful of times, destroy my closet (and room) then catch myself spinning out until I get to the “why am I doing this to myself?!” point. These are the weeks when I don’t post much outfit content. It just isn’t flowing naturally.
This silly but real anxiety started long before Instagram, too. I’ve been blogging since 2005 and felt similarly when we were on Blogspot (who remembers those days?!). I didn’t have the money to buy new clothes all the time to “compete” and more importantly, I wasn’t willing to ask others to judge me (something that became a little more normal with the explosion of Instagram). It didn’t feel healthy and I decided it was pressure I didn’t want to solicit. Nor did I want to spend my time taking photos of myself; it just wasn’t for me, so I chose not to participate in personal style and opted to build a curated site, more of a magazine.
So yes, between the unrealistic expectations, quality, self-inflicted pressure, etc. outfit content can be stressful BUT at the same time it’s so much fun and I genuinely enjoy sharing when it all comes together. I promise to keep sharing on the days where things come together authentically – hopefully often!