Monday, January 7, 2013

Help! I'm pinning and I can't get dressed

So, blog addicts, fashion Tumblr tumblers, pinners, winners, stylistas, fashionistas and dressers of all sorts, answer this for me.

Why is it that I live in an era with fashion magazines, blogs, Pinterest, street fashion, high fashion and so much more fashion than there ever has been before in the history of man . . .  but I still can't get dressed in the morning?

If anything, it's worse.

Ten years ago, I stood before my closet and debated the black skirt or the beige skirt.

Today, I'm trying to block my colors, mix my prints, hi-lo my hems, spin the color wheel, boho my mojo, and still get to work on time.

I've gotten better. But did somebody go and move the bar over my head?

Tell me I'm not the only one.

Here are the symptoms:
  1. You have five or more fashion blogs in your reader
  2. You have 200 or more pins in some fashion or style category on Pinterest
  3. You have stuff in your closet you have not worn in a Mayan calendar year
  4. You often lapse into a stupor at 6 a.m. while staring at your clothes
  5. You get strange looks at work 
It's not your fault.

Here's a couple of ways where Pinterest and the Internet in general has led me wrong when it comes to personal style.

Overly flattering depictions of average stuff on gorgeous models shot by professional photographers


Let's take those marketing geniuses at J.Crew for example. The above outfit has been pinned all over the place. It's nerd glasses, white shirt and ripped up jeans. When J.Crew does it, it looks classy prep. If you do it, you will look like you came to paint the kitchen.

Gorgeous stuff that can't be worn anywhere in anything resembling your life

Here we have Anna Dello Russo being all glamazon and scary outside of somebody's fashion week. You see it and get inspired to grab yourself a thick gold belt and DIY some chiffon train and then it all sits in your closet while you wait to be invited to the next Klingon war council.

Trying too much too hard

Fashionistas often have eight things going on at once. Take Blair from Atlantic-Pacific. We've got paisley/damask with stripes. With leather. With fur.  You pin this thinking you can do paisley with stripes with leather with fur. You can't. You can do paisley. Or stripes. Or leather. Or fur. Atlantic or Pacific for you. Not both.

So, how about you? What are your tips for pinning like a machine gun and still looking like a normal (albeit subtly stylish) person when you head out the door?


  1. Seriously. I agree with your assessment of the first two 100%. If I wore the first outfit I'd look like a dork and I seriously wonder what sort of lifestyle the woman in the second picture leads. I think for the bottom picture you can probably pull off two or maybe three of those elements if you are really skilled, but no real person could put all of that together.

  2. This is hilarious! I'm a personal trainer by day, and a hobby DIY-er at night, so my wardrobe consists mostly of yoga pants, sports bras, ripped up/paint-splattered jeans, and flannel shirts. Oh, and pajamas (do those count?). I like to look at fashion blogs or my more fashionable friends and think, "I wish I had a reason to dress up!" Your post makes me think twice. ;) Thanks for the laugh!

  3. Oh man, that last item hit the nail on the head. While I'm all for wearing whatever makes you happy, the overall effect is not effortlessly chic if you're wearing a denim shirt, sweater and blazer with 9 pieces of jewelry and a giant envelope clutch as you totter around on 4 inch stilettos. For most, it says "please pay attention to me and ask if I blog".

    And yes, everything looks good on 5'10" models with thighs barely larger than their knees. If you don't have inner thigh clearance, getting dressed is a whole different affair and I've had to really be objective and learn what looks good on me, the real person sitting in an office who needs to command the respect of people 15-25 years older than me while still appearing stylish and young-ish. Quite a challenge!

  4. Your three examples perfectly illustrate my issues with fashion. I pay no attention at all to it any more, and merely dress eccentrically. Or 'prettily', as I like to call it.

  5. I think the most likely problem is too much choice, and perhaps being swayed by things which are current, rather than things we truly love. I'm not a big fashion pinner, and I've noticed in recent seasons I'm happiest when I pick a few key pieces I ~love~, where them to death, and then move on.

  6. I think the biggest problem is planning. Most of us think we have "nothing to wear." When in fact our closet is full to the brim. It's call organization. Figure what you are going to wear in advance and more importantly, see what kinds of new outfits that you can come up with before hand. This way, you get dressed in the morning and have plenty to wear.


  7. OMG you hit the pin/nail on the head ;-]

  8. OMG, I was just thinking about this this morning! It's sad to wake up, grab your phone and open you Pinterest app in search of what you're going to where that day. You spend 30 min searching for inspiration, only to get nothing and start your day running late!

  9. This cracked me up, especially the part about the "next Klingon war council."

    I have a board for high fashion and editorials, but I also have a street style board that I restrict mainly to more realistic people. If you're a celebrity, stylist, model, editor, big-name blogger, or appear outside fashion shows often enough that I know your name, you aren't allowed on that board. I find it helps me to see more looks that I could actually pull off.

  10. Brilliant post and rings so true for me right now! Very perceptive deconstruction of the on-line fashion world. Loved the line about the Klingon council - ADR is a bit ET, now you mention it.

  11. This is so spot on! I just stumbled across your blog and I love the way your using pinterest and actually committing to the outfits. In an attempt to find wardrobe clarity I recently cleared out my closet and am now totally inspired to try some of the outfits I have pinned.