Outfit Photos: Is This For Me?

LOFT tank, second-hand skirt | Whisper & Howl

LOFT tank, second-hand skirt

Well, taking outfit photos is exactly as tough as I thought it would be.  I did a mini-shoot up against the exterior wall of my apartment last night and got a couple of cute pictures out of it. There are a lot of blurry shots of me jumping and spinning, making faces, and laughing *with* the neighbors who thought I was nuts.  It was sort of fun? Mostly though, I’m dealing with a lot of feelings that always come up when my picture is taken.

I’ve given a lot of thought to whether I should even have outfit photos on the blog.  I like the way I dress but I don’t know that I’m uniquely fashionable.  I also want to share my capsule wardrobe journey, to show that you can be stylish, happy and content with less.  But there are plenty of selfie-taking bloggers out there and a lot of them have excellent photography skills, equipment, and experience.  Why should I dive into a pond that’s already full of beautiful, fashionable fish?

I’ve followed a lot of fashion bloggers over the past few years and I’ve noticed that they tend to fall into 2 camps: slim and plus-sized.  I absolutely adore the plus-sized fashion bloggers; they are bold, fierce, fun, gorgeous and inspiring.  I like the slim ladies, too.  My issue here is that I am basically an average-sized American woman, and I can only find a couple of fashion bloggers with my body-type.  Perhaps it’s that thinner women are more confident sharing their photos online, and that the plus-sized women are radical, stereotype-defying badasses?  This is not to say that thin women can’t be radical, stereotype-defying badasses in other areas, but that being a larger woman and deigning to take up space, wear loud prints, and demand to be a part of the world of fashion is pretty righteous.

Plus-sized models are closer to my size, starting at a size 8, but they are taller and I don’t actually fit into plus-sized clothing.  When I search for clothing in a size 12, I am shown how it would look on a size 2 model.  This gives me absolutely no idea how it would look on my curvy, 5’5″ frame.  I often feel like I’m in this zone where I’m not quite thin “enough,” where I could definitely lose 20 lbs., but where I’m also not plus-sized.  I’m just a gal who likes clothes and getting dressed and wants to see people of all shapes and sizes in fashion, not just extremes.

Basically, this is a personal project.  Taking these photos forces me to confront my own body and face, the way I stand when I’m not posing, the way I smile when I’m trying to act naturally.  I’ve struggled over the years with feeling “not pretty enough,” especially when photos are taken.  I can get dressed up, perfect my makeup and hair, go to a party and have a total blast–but if someone takes a picture and shows me, I will crumple.  I thought I looked great, but I was wrong!, my Inner Critics will say.  I will turn inward, become self-conscious.  This problem is unique to digital photography, that instant-replay feature that steals our memories and loads them on a hard drive.

Sharing these photos forces me to be okay with the way I look, to be unashamed of my body, to be cool with my scrunched-up laughing face.  It’s not radical, but it’s important to me.


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