Sunday, November 23, 2008

food for thought

the undeniably cool fleurette of dead fleurette has put into words something i've been pondering over the last few months..

does posting outfit posts make that person pretentious and egocentric?

all that posing and pre arranging, it's a little contrived, and hey, anyone who has taken outfit posts including myself will admit that it's not exactly spontaneous, unless of course you have a personal paparazzi, ie, a mate or boyfriend, and in that case doesn't that make you more pretentious?

often i feel a little uneasy about this "photo generation" we seem to have become, constantly feeling the need to document our every move and every person that we encounter. i admit, i carry my camera everywhere with me out of thyis quasi-fear of missing on capturing a perfect moment, but i often feel it's lame that it goes without saying that evidence of a successful night is getting tagged on facebook.

BUT at the same time, we're fashion bloggers, so why not! Just because you might take photos of your outfits, it doesn't make you some vain cory kennedy-alike hipster, it's simply about sharing and documenting what we're wearing, and besides, if you're proud of an outfit and feel good in it, why not stick it up? it's when people share that a huge archive of inspiration can be created.

If personal style posts are accussed of being pretentious and contrived, then surely so many realms within fashion and fashion blogging fall into that category.

ahh, my head is spinning and i'm being tugged in both directions! it's debate time! get involved, rant, please!


ELLE said...

MM fit pic of Valentine.
I think outfit posts are fine! So long as the facial expressions isn't a side pout- urgh hate them.

Meghan and Lana said...

I love this post! I am completely tugged both ways. I think when I get caught up in the whole blogging world, outfit posts are just the norm, but as soon as I step out of it and realize what I'm doing I feel kind of weird about it... you know?
"it's simply about sharing and documenting what we're wearing"
that about sums up exactly what I'm thinking.
yeah, its a bit self-absorbed but its all in context! hey fashion is all about being uncensored and unique, so why not share it with others?

Unknown said...

hmm...that's one to think about. Like when a friend or someone from college may toss out 'oh you have such cool style' (which doesn't happen too often or anything) but it's less flattering and a bit like, 'well i hope i would since i spend every waking second thinking about it!' :S

But then again, most fash bloggers don't seem the type of people to have camerwhoring sessions explicitly for facebook/myspace purposes which is so much more square. Maybe everyone's a lil narcisstic? and this way's less about looks than creative stuff that inspires us and usually other people so...we win haha

But who knows? I often wonder what they would think, if someone i knew were to stumble on my it the same as when i see their 'just me' album on facebook? As in 'eew, tmi'

my brain hurts xxx

Marina said...

Just about everything personal can be misinterpreted as pretentious and/or contrived. At least one person out of, say, twenty, will roll their eyes at the suggestion of a blog or journal or diary and say that it is documentation of a narcissist. I would only call those "outifit posts" pretentious or egocentric if the person who posted them is interested solely in becoming the next Cory Kennedy or whomever, or if their attitude in describing what they wear (and their response to comments) was condescending and dismissive. I think so many of us are concerned with what other people think and we've all been convinced that any demonstration of pride or self-involved-ness (not a word, sorry) is evil "considering the world we live in" - that kind of attitude (the idea that saying the word I more than once in a paragraph makes you evil/selfish/narcissistic/etc) is what creates the idea that this is pretentious and narcissistic. You cannot possibly be eternally and completely selfless, and it is in fact okay to indulge in a little selfishness every once in awhile.
IMAGE. Image is what I'm getting at. We as a generation have to start being a little less concerned with the image or persona or whatever and start living a little more genuinely.
the last bit of that may not have made sense. Whoops. generation. That's an interesting way of putting it. I always thought it was because our generation was so obsessed with "the past", in remembering and reliving it and that was why we took so many pictures.

WendyB said...

Marina said it all for me.

I'll add that people should lighten up.

ontheballhall said...

Ah yes! I have had this debate too. I'm somewhat new to the fashion blogging world so I have not put up any pictures of myself in my outfits. However, I love looking at street style posts and some of my favourite sources of inspiration comes from fashion blogs where the writer has posted something they wear.
I don't think I could stand taking pictures of myself but I don't judge others for doing it. I might put up pictures of my own outfits one day if my friends were to take the picture and i liked my outfit that day or something...I'm not sure.
This is an interesting topic of debate and I admire those who have the courage to put it out there and show off their great taste!

SICK. said...

well all i know is that i want a personal paparazzi; and i don't think that makes me pretentious.
maybe it's that having documentation of my life to look back on is pretty cool, and if you look good doing it, why not !
but since the issue at hand is 'personal style post', then i must say that i don't think they're pretentious at all. the person is showing off what they are wearing which is exactly what we're seeking as inspiration. it's not as though they're taking photos of themself, wanting people to compliment them on their beauty.

but i can't really think properly right now, i'm really tired.
great post :]


Faith said...

I don't think it's pretentious but can certainly come off that way. isn't the whole purpose of having a fashion blog providing inspiration anyway possible and providing your own likes, dislikes and opinions? documenting what you wear is fine, as long as you add a mix of your own inspiration and other things that concern your style it isn't completely obnoxious. i think the intention behind those outfit posts really determines whether or not a person is pretentious.

Unknown said...

I agree with everything you have to say, and your fears along the way!

Anonymous said...

i totally agree, although i admit it is ironic we're all so paranoid about missing "the moment" we all have cameras, which often ruins the moment haha

Siru said...

I don't own a camera yet (it is on it's way though) I would love to carry it with me all the time. But I'll see.

juliet xxx

Kayla said...

hmm, well all of that is true. although i haven't in a while, i only take photos of outfits i particularly like and would like to remember. but of course, it's always nice to receive positive feedback about your style as well.

i think that the unending number of blogs poses a challenge to the fashion cycle; it seems as though trends are now adapted more directly from the runway videos and photos than from stores.

interesting debate though.

Mon Chér said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mon Chér said...

I agree that "it's simply about sharing and documenting what we're wearing", however it does bug me when photos are overly set up or in an obviously 'artificial' environment.
also, when the outfit is ridiculously shit.

other than that though, i really enjoy it.
it makes me feel closer to the blogger, in a way it makes them more relateable.

Dane said...

Well I think we are allowed to be a little narcissistic. We always look at models/actors/hipsters what have you, and think, they are so fashionable. Its cool that we can re-direct that attention to ourselves and other bloggers, I find what other real normal girls all over the world wear more interesting than what some starlet who earns thousands of dollars a day wore to get groceries.

Being a fashion blogger exposes us to regular street style and allows us to use our voices to share our taste in fashion, and we wouldnt get that from watching TMZ, or looking at perezhilton.

Blogging has opened up my eyes and made me see how fortunate I am to live the life I have, and I love sharing it, and being able to "meet" other people and admire their style via the internet.

A little bit of narcissism wont kill us.

jeanie annan-lewin said...

hmm its a tricky one i think it reeks if self indulgence in a big way but then so do blogs. I like a fair few of them but honestly there are certian bloggers who don't give any insight into fashion new designers or trends but simply post parties and great outfits that scream " i read elle and they said X is cool right now so ill just buy that whole look" but the if you really think about it Fashion in general is a bad rerun of mean girls we spend a lot of time looking for approval from others when really you shouldn't care if you have a true sense of style its one of those things you know.

but then you shouldnt post pictures of yourself especially if you gonna come out with the same old same old i mean trust me i Love certian things that are going on right now but i work in fashion and see people dresses in the same boyfriend blazer not because they like it but because said magazine told them too.

Blogging on the whole is about self promotion and different people do things in different ways some people document their lives and thoughts on certian issues or passions they have while others just use it as a vehicle for something else basicaly they wanna be famous, both are fine with me I tend to be the earlier but maybe because i can't fit into the clothes i love if i looked like that chick in fashion toast then maybe there would be tons of alice dellal like pictures of me all perfectly lit.

discotheque confusion said...

I love these debates so much, and it's really cool everyone has an opinion on this one.

Just building on what Mon Cherie said, I would agree that the whole "setting up" of an outfit post can be rather off putting if it looks really contrived, but then again, not everyone has their own "personal paparazzi" (eh, jessica?) and so in a way, I think when you can tell someone had positioned their camera on a table or whatever with the timer on(which is what I do) is actually ironically less contrived than inviting a friend over and being like "hey, can you snap me while I pose?"

Ack, there are so many ways of looking at it all, and I agree with some of you, it makes my head hurt.

Maybe Wendy is right, we should all chillax a little, but I think it's important we're all aware and thinking about this, it shows that fashion blogs can have depth!

Keep it going..


leeselooks said...

what a worldwind of thoughts going around.

i am in the middle too.
i think it is weird to the outsider & sometimes i think i am crazytown & feel like a nerd taking pictures :)

but we make a choice in everything we do.
and with decisions and choices consequences ensue.
If we chose to be a fashion blogger- we choose to put ourselves out there, to recieve both criticism + praise.
it simply comes with the "title".

i think it is all about self-expression + sharing your passion.

people we encounter on a daily basis simply do not possess the same knowledge or passion that the fashion-blogging-community shares.
like we said before - not many people know what/who BALMAIN or CHANEL is?

so we come to these beautiful ladies for inspiration + expression.

i simply say do what you want to do with your blog.
wear what you want.
document it if you want.
write about what you feel/what inspires you/ what you are craving...etc.
IF not then i guess people should choose not to blog further.

i simply think it is fun & allows me to channel my passion into something creative & connects me with other fashion-peeps ( since i live in africa too ;) ).

once it stops becoming something other than fashion + inspiration.
or if i ever feel like it is a chore.
then i will stop.

i hope i do not sound crazy.
& that this comes across correctly.

thanks for this.
i love your take on it all.


Anonymous said...

If it's pretentious/narcissistic/silly/vain/selfish...then I'm all of that...

Anonymous said...

I don't think that it's pretentious automatically. Surely people can do it in a pretentious way, but I think that's true of all fashion blogging.

I think the bigger question is whether these posts are useful to people. I'm sure a number of people get inspiration from seeing the styles of other bloggers, but I wonder if they are the most effective ways to help each other grow in this world of fashion.

What I dislike is when someone posts outfit pictures with no explanation, no thought process, just a list of pieces. This is distinctly unhelpful, and occurs too often in my opinion.

Some Like It Fashion said...

I love a personal style post WHEN the person doing it has something about them that is a bit different to the norm. It's boring to see slim girls in mini skirts and vests all the time. They look beautiful, but it doesn't make you think about fashion. it just makes you think about your next meal. I like to see people put challenging items together like Kingdom of Style and Style Bubble.

Some Like It Fashion said...

I love a personal style post WHEN the person doing it has something about them that is a bit different to the norm. It's boring to see slim girls in mini skirts and vests all the time. They look beautiful, but it doesn't make you think about fashion. it just makes you think about your next meal. I like to see people put challenging items together like Kingdom of Style and Style Bubble.

Lydia O'Connor said...

Very thought-provoking! I do feel a little silly taking outfit photos but they're my favorite thing to look at when I go to other blogs! Haha.

Anonymous said...

I must admit I totally cringed the first time I did it because it's just putting yourself out there so much, and when people don't have the barrier of actually having to face you they feel they can say whatever they want.
I feel though that if you are talking about fashion and you DON'T show your own interpretations then your are just preaching to/talking at people, and that seems MORE narcissistic. I like to see fashion on real people as it's something I can relate to. It's never going to be model perfect but that makes it more tangible.
I enjoy blogs that are well rounded, like Style Bubble, because it isn't just a whole blog dedicated to 'look at me' style posts with very little substance. I do find the ones with 'locations' at little disturbing as they often focus on the person as opposed to what that person is wearing, and that can seem a bit vain in an unhealthy way, especially if there is no apparent reason for it.
My outfit shots may look dull - you are unlikely to find me photographed up a mountain with the wind in hair lit from behind by the sunset whilst wearing 5" heels - but thats because they are entirely about my inspirations and how i interpret them. I also feel removed from the photo - by that I mean it's not about how I look as a woman, ie it's not about my face, my body, my hair, it's about the clothes and I feel having a boring old front on shot, bland as that may be, lets the viewer see the clothes more than they see me. I am still very, very uncomfortable having anyone take my photo and so insist on taking my own.
Having a blog in general is a bit narcissistic any way.

Rebecca, A Clothes Horse said...

I think outfit posts are about the clothes not the persons (don't get why people care so much about models on the runway, I barely notice them it's about the DRESSES), so I don't see how they can be narcisstic.

Boré said...

it might actually be quite the contrary, outfit posts is rather about people with inferiority complexes who want people to assure how great they look.

Boré said...

it might actually be quite the contrary, outfit posts is rather about people with inferiority complexes who want people to assure how great they look.

Boré said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dju*dju said...

i love outfits them whatever you want but it's great to see personal style that is so different from actress/model/'s like peeking into a secret world:surprising and inspirational.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to see that Susie Bubble commented here because I think she is absolutely the queen of outfit posts. As in, she gets it.

I think there is something brilliantly subversive about making style your own, and putting yourself out there to prove it. Vain or not vain isn't really the question. It's about bringing the culture home, it's about personalizing the "massive," it's about, as you say, inspiration.

So, you know, don't beat yourself up about it 'cuz it's worth doing, definitely.

Anonymous said...

i think it's great. and we're all great. this only makes me think i should post wardrobe pics more. but they do take time. when i go a long while without posting them i swear i forget who i am. somehow it helps define me to myself. so many people are having fun with it. so how could it be a bad thing?