Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why Do People Post Photos of Their Clothing?

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Okay, I know not everyone does this.  But I’m fascinated with the blogs where people post their daily clothes choices.  And I keep wanting to do it myself.  Why, though?  I also keep arguing with myself about it. 

In the interest of Blog-As-Therapist, here goes.  I figure there’s no harm in trying anything once, right? 

If you’re a reader who has posted photos of your own clothes, why do you do it, and what do you get out of it?  I’d really like to know! 

(People usually say where they got what they have. Everything in my photos is a mix of new and post-consumer.)

And here are a few parting thoughts. 

I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born.”  Charlie Chaplin

“She wears her clothes as if they are thrown on with a pitchfork.”  Jonathan Swift

“Style is a magic wand, and turns everything to gold that it touches.”  Logan Pearsall Smith. 

Happy Tuesday! 


Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I agree, but haven't hankered to do this for fear of the results, kinda looking in a mirror and seeing a pic of my widening hips, legs, girth to much to cope with...
I will give it a go sometime, good results here though..
and great to catch up with your postings!!

Protege said...

I love the new comment design you have, much better!;))
It is fun to see your outfits; what strikes me about them is how different they are.;)
In regards to why it feels somehow rewarding to post pictures of one self in every day clothes is probably because if you are interested in fashion, by posting your own outfits, you create your own private fashion show. It is not possible really to walk around the city or at a work place and ask people to comment your outfits. By posting them here, you can enjoy comments in some sort of semi privacy. I think it is the same as writing a blog; it feels somehow good to write one's ideas and thoughts down and share them publicly, yet very privately.;))
I look forward to more of these fashion shows here.;))

Lola said...

I was wondering the same thing! Is it some form of narcissism?

Maraqvonda said...

Good Morning Sallymandy1 I found your blog some days ago and this a.m. was reading your comments to Djea Psue about the Alaska cruise she is contemplating. I read alot in the local newspapers (when I was up there on the large ships) about exactly the issues you spoke of. I don't know what the answer is...I would never have been able to know the wonder of it had I not done it that way because I could not have afforded the expensive smaller ships. I do know that the extra charges they tack on for Alaskan cruises have to do with helping out with the environmental havoc (well, they are SUPPOSED to) but I am not naive enough to think the money is going anywhere to really help. I guess I am just saying that I appreciate your point of view on it and it made me think a lot about the not-so-great side of tourism. I know that in the early 80's Bermuda was a Paradise with the smell of flowers wafting on the air when you disembarked. Now they have lifted so many restrictions on the # of ships and tourists that all you smell when you get off the ship is gasoline and diesel fuel. So there you go, a microcosm of what is happening on Alaska's coast. Thanks for bringing this up, it needs to be said...Maravonda

Imogen Lamport said...

Validation or help I guess - I don't do it myself.

Duchesse said...

I've occasionally posted shots of my clothes because I can't find the photo online- e.g., something I bought in a resale store. Don't post with me IN the clothes, though, as without the photography skills of Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) the pieces look dreadful.

People post to instruct, inspire, show off, seek approval or have fun, pretty much for the same reasons they ponder "What shall I wear today?"

Jane said...

I started mine as an experiment to see if I could save money and the blog was my commitment. However, I have discovered what shapes/colours etch suit me and when my year is up will have a massive clearout.
However, I think there is something of the narcissist amongst all of us dailywear bloggers.

Clare said...

Gulp. When I read this I got a little sweaty because for the very first time I posted a picture of my face and my new red top. I have never thought to do it before nor do I do a daily clothes pic but for a long time I havent felt comfortble with my look and yesterday was an unusual good day so I posted. Won't do it again because I am back to being ugly.

The Clever Pup said...

Since I started my blog I've been taking pictures of myself in the mirror all the time. When I'm all made up I don't think I look half bad but when I take my picture - Gack! That's not who I am! Bad shadows, wrinkles, sagginess.

I took a picture of myself in my own blue kimono (I have worn one for 18 years ever since I read a passage in Colette about a patch of blue on kimono that echoed the blue of the sky)to show you once, but I'm all bum and tits. You've been saved.

Pyzahn said...

Have you ever visited Vixen Vintage on blogger? She is just the cutest thing. Works in a vintage clothing store and always shows her new items. It's fun, adorable. If you can't find her, let me know and I'll get the URL.

Maria Killam said...

I guess I don't think about doing it because it doesn't work with the theme of my blog. Maybe we all secretly want to be the Sartorialist.

Deja Pseu said...

I mostly do my scarves with different ways of tying, which started when I received several requests from readers to do more scarves. Now it keeps me challenged to keep trying something new with them, either tying or putting together with clothing. I have posted entire outfits a couple of times to get some objective feedback, as I honestly sometimes have trouble judging if something is working or not.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Being of the common or garden clothes thrown on with a pitchfork variety, sallymandy, I would be terrified of posting photos of me in clothes, in case they decided to lift the ban on international whaling starting in Blogland...

I have only found one person posting clothes photos, standing like a model might in a variety of poses, I suppose it would give you an idea what works, and what might work for your readership - Not for me though, although I am inspired by your first outfit!

Kayleigh said...

You know, sometimes it's the seemingly simple questions that make us think the deepest thoughts. I post myself in outfits regularly, as you know, and yet when I went comment on your query I realized it was a deeper subject to me than I'd thought. You have inspired me! I'm going to do a whole blog post about this, either tomorrow or the next day.

Interesting -- so many ideas, thanks for asking this :)

Kayleigh said...

Oh, and PS: I almost forgot -- you look FABULOUS!!

The Seeker said...

When I started blogging I’ve done it as a way of express myself and gain confidence, to express my life philosophy, some of my ideals and thoughts. Besides it was a way of seeing me as if I was someone else, in a different perspective from the one in the mirror, trying to accept myself and also as my blog’s name says, searching the inner me. A small part of me, however, was selfishly hoping for affirmation, seeking validation and engagement with others.
As a person interested in fashion I also chose to speak about it as a part of me since my youth times. So I’ve begun to explain my ideas of daywear, showing myself. Because I like to show that sometimes the rules are ok, but we can broke them a bit and stay well.
That the gurus sometimes are too rigid.
And also because I live in a small comunity, that is very conservative and just few people understand that fashion can be more than material clothing. I believe clothes are ideas. Hence, fashion is also intellectual and creative. And creativity expresses soul.

On my blog's one year I asked my husband to do a guest post and he said among other things "During this year the Seeker helped by her blog, changed in many ways, however I will consider only three that I think are very important in her struggle to achieve her inner self: she started to see her real image on the mirror, improved it and faced her fears by accepting herself as a human being and a woman doing the path for perfection."

Since my youth that I have been struggling to accept my body and never belived when people closer to me said that I was ok, so posting my pictures has been
a way that I found to evolve. A way that helps me to become my personal best.

Also lately to show some backgrounds of my island :)

Well everybody has one's own reason. And I think one must not do superficial judgments.

(And I also think that that the shoulder pads in the 80s were to balance out the hippy-ness of tapered pants)

And you have some great outfits, looking fabulous.
What do you think when you sit and look to your pictures?

(sorry for the long comment)

All my love


Doreen said...

I have blogged about my shoes before. I have many and am a shoe freak!

Cute photo of you Sallymandy under your about me.

Modest Mom said...

Hmmm! I think I started because I need some input that I am not getting from my family. As much as they love me as long as I cook and generally take care of them they could care less.

I also find that it helps me see what works and doesn't work for me. That is a big deal. At my age I'm not sure what does and doesn't work. I've also spent so many years trying to hide myself and I'm still working on who I am to myself. How's that for a loaded statement?

I love sewing, fabrics, clothing and all those things. It is a great way for me to meet new people who like the same things.

So I guess to me I'm hoping it will prove to be a creative outlet.

Now I'll really have to sit and think about this. :-)

Modest Mom said...

sorry, i'm back!

1. You look great.
2. I like that the blog world is more real than the model world. Made up of a broad spectrum of shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.
3. I like seeing different ways to wear things.
4. I think it is great that people can show ways to wear/recycle clothing that doesn't cost more than most people can afford.

Now I'll leave...lol.

Woman in a Window said...

I've never posted what I wear. Never would. My clothing is not of interest to me except in how it feels, makes me feel. I do like your sense of style though. There's thought behind it.

Stephanie N. said...

Wow, this is such a great question. I apologize in advance for how long I know my response is going to be. I have actually been thinking about this a lot lately, as I debate whether to refer to my clothes blog on my everyday family/life blog, for fear that my family and friends will think that it is frivolous or immature or vain, what with all the so-much-more-important-than-what-I'm-wearing issues that the world has to deal with right now.

But the thing is, this is currently my favorite hobby, deciding what to wear, and especially figuring out new ways to style the clothes I already have. It's something that makes me happy. Some people like to garden. Some people like to play checkers. My husband's current big hobby is rockclimbing. For me, right now, it's this. My main hobby used to be ballroom dance, but when I went to grad school, it became extremely difficult to find the time to go social dancing, much less rehearse and compete. That was 8 years ago, and my relationship with ballroom dance has devolved into I'm-lucky-if-I-manage-to-go-social-ballroom-dancing-twice-a-year. But this new hobby of mine offers a flexible schedule, doesn't have to be expensive, and doesn't hurt my feet (unless I wear insensible shoes). And doing it makes me really happy.

So, why post photos of myself in my clothes? A few years ago, I started trying to remember to photograph what I wore on days when I particularly liked my outfit, so that I could remember how to put the same or a similar ensemble together in the future. Usually, they were blurry shots in the mirror, or if I forgot to take a picture before changing into my jammies, I'd lay it all out on the floor and photograph it. Then, less than half a year ago, I linked from a post on someone's non-fashion-related blog to a post on a fashion blog, probably Kasmira's "What I Wore Today," and from there, to many others. I was awestruck. Here were all these women like me, who enjoyed deciding what to wear and took pictures of their clothes... and then they shared those photos on the internet, often along with their thoughts on how they put the outift together, how they acquired some of the pieces, how wearing it made them feel, etcetera. I was instantly hooked, and now one of the highlights of my day is seeing my favorite fashion bloggers' titles pop up in my Google Reader.

Then, a few months ago, I started my own little fashion blog. I started putting pictures of myself and what I wore on the internet - whoa, that seemed huge to me at the time! I wasn't sure where I'd go with it. But I thought that having a fashion/clothing blog would keep me motivated. At first, I only invited my mom and a sister-in-law to peek, and some early posts were geared just toward them. But now it's public, and it has evolved into a format similar to many other fashion bloggers: here's what I wore, here's a funny or interesting story behind it, and this is how it made me feel. Now that I post more frequently, my reasons and methods for taking photographs are different. They still ultimately serve the purpose of documenting what I wore, for personal future reference, but since other people will see them, I do bother to care if I have a dumb expression on my face, or the lighting is bad, or my hair is a mess. So, there is some vanity in that, I confess.

Another thing I love about posting photos of my clothing is that I now feel like I am part of an online community of creative, fun, resourceful women (some men, sure, but mainly women). I LOVE this feeling. I get so giddy when I see that someone I have never met in person, someone from some other part of the country or the globe, has reached out and left a comment for me - Audi in San Francisco, Jane in England, Kasmira in Cincinnatti, SallyMandy in Montana, Nadine in Germany, etcetera. That is SO cool. I realize, of course, that one could get this same sense of community, of connectedness-with-the-world, from blogging in general, or from many other formats both on-line and off. But this is how I found that feeling for myself. And it is such a nice feeling.

Another thing I like about posting photos of myself in my clothes: it's a record of me, of what I thought of myself, of how I presented myself to the world. I hope to start a family soon, and I like to imagine how in 20 or 30 years, assuming my blogs are still accessible or I have saved archives of them, my children will be able to look over this pseudo-journal of mine and my everyday life/family blog, and they'll be better able to understand who I am by ascertaining who I was back then (today). How amazing it would be if I had such a record of what my parents thought/said/did/wore/etcetera when they were my age.

Now, as far as listing where/how I acquired everything that I'm wearing in the photos: I didn't do that at first, but I started to because it seemed like "the thing that one does" with blogs like mine was becoming. And now it actually makes sense to me, because sometimes I am curious about where or how someone acquired a particular piece of their outfit. I think it's also interesting to see the variety of sources that can go into one ensemble. When an outfit features items from a giftshop in China, a secondhand store in West Virginia, the local Kmart, a cheapy clothing store in the mall, and Etsy - that's fascinating to me, because it is in and of itself a historical artifact of that individual's life history.

There's so much more I could muse about the excellent, thought-provoking questions that you have brought up, but I'm forcing myself to stop now. It's late, and I don't want to overstay my welcome as a commenter! Thanks for bringing up these questions, SallyMandy!

sallymandy said...

Hi Everyone, and thanks for all the great thinking material! This was really fun and informative for me, and I appreciate all the feedback. I learn so much from all of you.

Stephanie, you win the Long Comment Award. :)

Jean said...

I wanted to share the link to this fantastic group pool on Flickr:


You will be uplifted, entertained and inspired. It's a pool in which anyone can share what they are wearing at any given time. It's so wonderful.

The Hip Homemaker said...

That so funny that this came up, and I am aware I'm a little behind. I was just thinking about the same thing. my favorite clothing blog is Some Girls Wander. I also found this crazy site where that is all people do is post their outfits for others to adore. I love them both and have found so much inspiration. As far as why people post, I think its no more vain then the pictures I post of my home or my projects. They tell people about me, allow me to express my style and give people a glimpse into my inner workings...