I have been blogging for a cumulative 5 years, but every time I think I have this brand/blog/business figured out, something changes to completely make me re-think The Style Safari’s brand ethos. Although for years I refused to say I was a ‘fashion blogger’, let’s face it, I was. Every now and then I would do a DIY project or show pictures from a recent trip, but most often I was posting photos of my outfits with a brief reason why I loved it. But there is no shame in my game! For those of you dedicated readers, you know that my style is an evolution of myself, and I am happy to be able to look back and say “what was I thinking”… because actually, I know exactly what I was thinking with each look.
That said, I feel (as I have probably felt before) that I have a renewed clarity, or maybe just a new outlook, on what my identity of a ‘fashion blogger’ is. As I migrate this blog to more lifestyle content with home improvement projects, DIYs, motherhood and yes, fashion, I have been forced to take a look at what types of ‘fashion’ content I am putting out there, and how much it really reflects where I am in my current stage of life. The more I take a look at my content and wardrobe, I realize that I’m having a bit of an identity crisis, as realized through my fashion and blog posts.
What do I mean? Well, as I said, my style reflects the evolution of myself, and somewhere, I think I am holding on to the ‘self’ I used to be, while just barely brushing the surface of the ‘self’ I am becoming. I have realized these things slowly over the past few months. As I tend to overanalyze everything in my life, I have decided to break it down into small fashion subcategories that help to understand where my style has been, and where it may or may not be going.
“Work” Style vs. “Casual” Style
This is a key player in my identity crisis. I LOVE PENCIL SKIRTS. In fact, I have a whole drawer full of them. I used to wear them to work at least 3x a week at my old job because they made me feel put together, sexy, powerful, and fashionable (for example, here). I have ones with grommets, cool pleats, bold patterns and lace details, and yet, no matter how fashion forward they are… they are not getting worn. Why? Because why the hell would a woman who works from home, was a Barre instructor, got knee surgery, became pregnant and now has a baby put on a damn pencil skirt? The answer? She wouldn’t. Yet, I can’t get rid of them because they are gorgeous pieces of my past.
This highlights the difference between my old ‘work’ style and current style. While I am not a jeans and t-shirt person, I am still struggling to figure out what my daily style identity is. I think I am getting there, which brings us to identity crisis number two…
“City” Backdrop vs “Suburban” Backdrop
I have a closet full of heels. And yes, I wear them when I head into the city for an event or dinner. But I do not roam around my sleepy suburban town in them. So it’s rather silly if put on stilettos and walk outside my front door (or go to a local cafe, park, restaurant etc) to take blog photos (for example, here). It just doesn’t look right. For example, these pictures in this post are taken right outside my front door. Sneakers, low heeled boots, sandals and open-toe heels make sense. But for a long time living here I would fight the setting and drive into the city to take pictures with heels, which made no sense for my lifestyle or my TIME.
Now, I’ve started to realize how important dressing for the setting is, and that frankly it’s a lot harder to ‘look good’ in suburban areas because you can’t just throw on a pair of heels and call it a day. Listen, I still buy beautiful high heels because those times that I do wear them make me so insanely happy, but let’s just say my sandal and sneaker collection is the one growing these days.
“High” Fashion vs. “Low” Fashion
I actually don’t really know where I stand on this one or think that I have to make a choice, but I do know that being more educated on fast fashion vs. sustainable/slow fashion has helped me to buy less overall, therefore making me feel less guilty when I buy a more expensive designer piece. Although I used to buy designer items in my old jobs because I would get them at insane discounts, I would also supplement with fast fashion as the antidote for a stressful day of work, which helped no one. Now I’ve slowed down the fast fashion purchases (doing my part not to have a landfill named after me) and try to buy or rent items that are either more sustainably produced or made in fair-trade environments.
The exception here is now that I have a newborn… I don’t know where I stand all over again. I use non-toxic laundry detergents and I can’t seem to get the poop and vomit stains out of her clothing, and she grows so fast that buying expensive, sustainable clothing seems like a huge waste of money. So I find myself scouring Old Navy and Zara for adorable clothing again. Any advice here for a new mom?
“Neutrals” vs. “Color”
Ok, I admit I’ve always worn a lot of color, but I’ve tried repeatedly to do the whole neutrals bit because I know that’s what most people wear every day. I’ve tried it in my clothing, I’ve tried it in my instagram filters… and nothing seems to work for me. I am constantly juggling two polar opposite sides of my taste, for example (Damsel in Dior’s Instagram vs. The Style Bungalow’s instagram). While one is so much more realistic and everyday, the other is goals for how I would like my life to be. Which one do you prefer? Which one is more me?
As far as my fashion blogger identity crisis goes, for this one I think it’s easy to say I fall into the ‘color’ category. And for once I think that actually makes sense for the casual, wine tasting, work from home life that I lead. Even if I am working in yoga pants, you can bet those yoga pants have a crazy pattern on them!