15.11.10 outfit

An outfit blog?

Read Time 4 min.

An outfit blog?

A good few years have passed since I took part in outfit blogging. It’s not really something I think much to do these days. Partly because there are enough people documenting their clothing online, and partly because my wardrobe seems a little lacklustre at times. I would say money and time are the causes, but that would indicate that interestingness in appearance is dictated by those factors. My idealistic notions do not wish to believe that, though our current fashion system does seem to suggest money and time are the lifeblood of this, so-called, interestingness in how you dress.

Sometimes, I remember the practice of photographing an outfit though. Locating the trusty tripod, before darting backward and forwards within the 10-second timer on the camera – I never had a photographer boyfriend, as the running joke says.

Documenting chance outfits is not something I would say I ever truly enjoyed, but it was something I did. Because I liked clothes. Because I was exploring what I liked and my sense of style. And most of all, because I was intrigued by how appearance-related matters could alter how you feel and how others relate to you.

Close up clothed legs wearing beige and blue checked trousers. Beige shoes are blurred underneath.
18.10.14: Thrifted beige check trousers and beige suede desert shoes

I’m not sure what’s really changed between then and now.

My trails of thought lead me along the following tangents: maybe it’s the overloaded content landscape we’re living in nowadays. Or the constructs of beauty that mean that if you’re not a perfect doll – and such people are a visual illusion – there is almost an obligation to dress more outlandishly. Maybe it’s the unsustainable contradiction that exists in daily outfit blogging, where bloggers feel they can’t post the same things twice. Or is it more personal than that – a lack of confidence as the chief reason for not photographing full outfits.

Maybe it’s all of these things and more?

Whatever the reason, the only word that springs to mind for my sartorial explorations is: standstill. A halt in the road because the unguarded experimentation has, temporarily, vanished.

The deliberate transience and obsolescence of the fashion industry is tiring. The ethical issues are deflating. And aesthetically, we have a supermarket of style-scapes yet choice appears limited.

It’s all a bit complex for something you’d think is frivolous.

Close up of a purple and green paisley print shirt, next to a black velvet jacket with shiny black sequin sleeves.
18.04.14: Diy/remade sequin sleeve velvet jacket, vintage green paisley shirt and an old necklace from the high street

What is needed is a shift of perspective. Passion for something outside this field. Or active change of current systems. Or even a slow recollection of what drew me here in the first place.

There is separation between what one actually wears and what one imagines is possible for fashion as a creative form. Having a choice in either is a privileged position. One that is often written off too quickly by those who, ideologically or systematically, seem to miss the role of the physical body in identity.

Black and white photo looking down at a person's legs wearing shiny black brogue shoes and black polkadot socks. Wisps of denim and fabric are blurred above.
17.07.11: Thrifted devoré shirt, found denim shorts, polka dot socks and black brogues from the high street

Self-portraiture – especially when it is literally you and an image-making device – is actually quite an intimate experience. And sharing it with others places a different context to it. That probably applies to any creative pursuit, but for our purposes, it brings me neatly back to outfit blogging. A curious exercise that’s layered between private identity play and public presentational ploy.

If I ever post outfits on here, I doubt I’ll follow the unwritten rule of full-length image. I’m more interested in the intricate clockwork behind the façade of clothes. The details. The nuances within a clothed body, whether mine or another, and the talking points surrounding that. And maybe, that is the slow recollection I need.