Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Wearing > Modeling

Do you model your clothes, or do you wear them?

I got stuck on this question yesterday after leaving a comment on Kimi’s blog. In her post she commented on bloggers who say they wear something several times a week, and yet wear new clothes in almost every post. I’m pretty sure we’ve all given a major blogger side eye over that claim before, but it doesn’t often get properly called out in mainstream media.

We’re pretty sure you’re lying to us.

This blog started out as a project. Fix my wardrobe. Stop wearing t-shirts and jeans so much.

As with many things in life, the beast of comparison snuck its way in early on and I found myself making outfits “for the blog”. I still wore the outfit for a day, but it always felt a little forced. Would I really add that necklace or bracelet if I knew I wasn’t going to be taking pictures of it? Do I really need yellow in my wardrobe just to have “options”? Do my tops really need embellishment? I got caught up feeling like I needed to produce a new and appreciably different outfit every post.

I wasn’t wearing my clothes. I was modelling them. I was dressing for other people, and it subconsciously caused stress whenever I was picking out clothes in my closet. Not exactly what I was going for!

I bought clothes because I thought variety made getting dressed easier. I could wear different outfits every day (just like those other bloggers!)

You know what I wore yesterday? Jeans and a t-shirt. I didn’t model them, I wore them. I was comfortable in my own skin. If it wasn’t for dog slobber and a little dab of almond butter, it would have made its way into this post.

An easy way to tell the difference between the clothes you model and the clothes you wear is to look at how many times you reach for it. Don’t mentally track it, write it down. How often are you actually wearing it? If you have to force yourself to wear something, you’re not going to grab it very often.

I only have 6 months worth of data in my Stylebook App, but the results are compelling. Those jeans I spent $300 on last October? I’ve worn them 48 times. Next runner up is a pair of jeans I spent $200 on, and fit back into this past January. I’ve worn them 35 times since then. They’re also 6 years old.

I don’t model jeans, I wear jeans.

One of the biggest keys to building a wearable closet that I’ve found so far has been being honest with myself about how often I’ll wear something. They say you should be able to make at least three outfits out of a new wardrobe addition using your existing clothes, but what if you’re pairing those new additions with deadbeat items you never wear? Or creating combos that you have to fuss with and force yourself to put on? That compounds quickly, especially if you’re a hobby shopper. Pretty soon those new purchases are the new deadbeats you’re pairing future purchases with.

Shedding those deadbeats has been liberating.

For anyone who is curious, this is what I wore yesterday:

Olive Utility Jacket* – Last shown here – Worn 11 times – CPW $11.83
Dark Skinny Jeans – Last shown here – Worn 48 times – CPW $6.23
Navy T-shirt – Last shown here – Worn 5 times – CPW $2.09
Taupe Flats – Last shown here – Worn 22 times – CPW $8.35

*purchased prior to keeping stats. Actual number of wears is higher/CPW is lower than listed.

If you were to be honest with yourself, how much of your closet do you model, and how much do you wear? Would you want to see the number of wears on a clothing item or the cost per wear in outfit posts?

7 Responses to “Wearing > Modeling”

  1. SarahN says:

    I’m am definitely a lot like you, and followed you before you fashion blogged 😉 I wear what I want and don’t blog about.. cept today, when I thrift shopped and got a ton of stuff and wanted to share :p But I am rules driven – things I my wardrobe work for me, and my life. They aren’t costumes or one off wears…

  2. NOUT says:

    I have a bad habit of buying a lot of thrifted clothes (because they’re cheap) and then wearing them maybe once (or none at all). I try and donate or consign items that I am realistically not going to wear because I don’t have a lot of space to store things. Because I try and focus on business casual work clothes on my blog, I wear 99.999% things for real, not just “for the blog.” I can’t afford (space nor money) to be a fancy blogger that can just model brand new clothes for every post. I ain’t that fancy blogger that gets free stuff from all these brands, I’m just a regular old career gal that happens to blog about clothes once in a while.

    • The Minuteglass says:

      To be honest, I don’t think most bloggers can afford buying brand new clothes all the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a lot of people taking photos and then returning their clothes. If you’re going to have a lot of turnover in your wardrobe, thrifting is definitely the way to do it. 99.999% of us are regular old career gals, not models!

  3. Xin says:

    I can totally relate to this, and it’s something that took me a long time to learn. Way back in the day, before I started blogging, I was very much a “statement necklaces and other costume jewelry” person – I accumulated a large collection of fashion jewelry and also bought a lot of clothes just because of a sense that it was proper to have a wardrobe with a lot of variety.

    I distantly realized that a large part of me just wanted to default to the same outfits every week, and that it was kind of annoying to wear statement necklaces all the time – a lot of them were a little heavy or annoyingly large and er… I sometimes got an allergic reaction to them. When I started my current blog I was at the tail end of that phase. I do feel a little bit forced to dress up “for others” a bit with work outfits, but I cycle through the same very small collection of items for my weekends (wearing the same top every other weekend almost, and I’d totally wear it every weekend if I did laundry often enough, ha).

    • The Minuteglass says:

      I tried to get into the statement necklaces. Everyone was wearing them, so I felt like I “should” too. They’re really not me though, so I totally get what you’re saying. I have to laugh at the laundry frequency too, because I’ve definitely been guilty of that as well (we just got caught up again. Mostly)

  4. YAS! I love this! They totally are lying to us and it’s super annoying. It was super eye-opening to me when I started keeping track of what I wore with Stylebook. I used to think I wore certain things a LOT when it turned out I really didn’t… I feel like now I’m pretty good at figuring out what needs to go and what I love enough to hold onto even if it’s not worn all of the time.

    • The Minuteglass says:

      It IS super annoying! I went through a big unfollowing spree a while back because I was just done with that nonsense.

      Normally I don’t pay for apps, but Stylebook was completely worth it!

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I'm Cassie.

I'm a petite hourglass, slow adopter, food geek, Engineer, wife and mom. Welcome to the little corner of the internet where I ramble on about random things. Mostly clothes.