One of my life goals is establishing a “look” for myself, an aesthetic by which I can be known. Pinterest has been key in my quest to achieve this goal.
Pinterest lets me scroll through endless outfits, pairings, shoes, accessories… I can find anything I want. Everything I like and would wear goes on a board (“Ooh Pretty Clothes“), and from there I create my aesthetic.
Recently, though, I’ve realized that Pinterest can only take my so far in my quest. In order to find my own style voice, I need to stop imitating.
So here are three things Pinterest has taught me…about how to stop relying on Pinterest.
1. Accessories do matter…but not how you think they do.
Many of the pins on my board feature a mostly plain outfit, maybe a t-shirt and jeans, and one “wow” accessory that somehow turns a a comfy-day outfit into something fit for a job interview.
And it is true that accessories can make or break an outfit. The key, though, is not statement necklaces or perfectly stacked bracelets. The key is you.
Because let’s be honest. If you’re wearing something that isn’t you, you’re going to feel wrong wearing it. When the clothes I wear express who I am, I feel comfortable and free to focus on other things.
If you’re committed to an aesthetic all your own, the key is experimentation. Try stacking necklaces that shouldn’t go together, or opt for just one — or no jewelry at all. Wear all the dorky bracelets from high school that you’re not “supposed” to wear anymore. And don’t be afraid to arrange the rings on your fingers based on what’s comfortable.
Express yourself. The key being that the expression is yours, not someone else’s.
2. Embrace the “imperfections.”
I’ve spent more time than I would care to admit trying to perfectly master the fold on my jeans, or the tuck on my shirt, so that it looks just like the picture.
Confession: If I ever do succeed, it always looks weird on me. Always.
There are two reasons for this: 1. I don’t look like the model in the picture, 2. Someone spent forever trying to perfect that fold or tuck to match the model’s body type. So it’s natural if my attempt looks weird.
So again, experiment. Try different things. And don’t spend forever trying to make it perfect. Because it’s the “imperfections,” that make the look unique to you.
This principle goes for other finishing touches on outfits. Wear weird socks or mismatched Converse. Whatever you want to do…do it.
And most important here: don’t let the fear that someone else won’t like it prevent you from expressing yourself. There are plenty of pins I see on Pinterest that I would never ever wear in a million years.
But someone else pinned it, which means that someone else liked it. They can do them; I’m doing me.
3. Use Pinterest for brainstorming. And then log off.
As I said earlier, Pinterest has helped me to understand what I like. And I still go back every once in a while to remind myself or find new things I like.
But if I — if you — wake up every morning and go onto Pinterest to decide what to wear today, the purpose is defeated. You already know what you like, and you already know what you own.
Use your pins as inspiration, and then walk away from your computer, or shut down the app, and start finding your own fashion voice (which is in your closet, not on Pinterest).
Remember: fashion is not about imitation (or if it is, it shouldn’t be).
And please don’t take my suggestions as law. If mismatched Converse isn’t your thing, or you really want to copy an outfit on Pinterest, then do you. My point is not to say you can’t look like a Pinterest board, but rather, that you should make sure that you’re dressing like yourself, and not just conforming for the sake of it.
Create something new. Create something you. (And if you’re on Pinterest, be sure to follow CF for more posts like this.)