I’ve gotten asked this question a lot, mostly by people who know me in real life. Honestly its a pretty valid question, seeing anyone who’s met me knows that I’m an extreme introvert.
I’d like to say that I had some grand plan for this blog, but honestly i didn’t. That’s not to say it just happened magically (blogging is work, don’t get me wrong), but it was a very slow process for me.
I’ve harbored an interest in fashion since i was a little kid, even though most of my life I was quite sure that i was awful at it. I remembered as a child i always gravitated towards outlandish or gothic clothes. I had a babysitter who wore black pants and crop tops all the time and i thought she was the coolest girl in the world. I often wore my mom’s old clothes to school. Sometimes I would mix prints together. Needless to say i got made fun of a lot. I was always torn between loving clothes and hating them; or more accurately: loving fashion as an actual art form versus hating the idea of mindlessly following a trend. Other kids at school would tell me I looked stupid. But I would look at girls in a clique who all wore virtually the same outfit and think ‘i may look bad, but at least i don’t look boring.’
I found High School completely un-inspiring fashion wise. I mean seriously, nothing makes you feel more pathetic than being placed in a sea of teenagers that judge everything you wear or say (not that i was any better than them, i was probably just as terrible.) I was positive that i wasn’t thin or pretty enough to wear the sort of clothes i liked. So i did what i never wanted to do: i tried to blend in.
It wasn’t until college that i really got inspired by fashion again. It was when i discovered a site called Lookbook NU. It struck me as this extremely simple idea that was also kind of revolutionary: A site where people shared their fashion and personal style.
It was full of the sort of girls I wanted to be. Their clothes were daring and over-the-top. It was the type of clothing I’d always loved, but assumed I’d never actually wear. After-all, there was something special about girls who wore clothing like that. They looked brave, and interesting. I spent hours searching blogs for fashion photos. I made collages of ones i liked.
It wasn’t a well known platform like Facebook or Instagram, so posting something on there felt somehow safe. I went on that site nearly every day for a year before i got up the courage to actually post something.
This was my first post. Pretty awful right? Also i had platinum blonde hair because ‘Game of Thrones’ was new at the time and i wanted to look like Daenerys.
Slowly, I began posting more and more and growing a very small following. I didn’t tell a soul about the site; I never planned on sharing these photos outside of Lookbook. I thought of it as a dairy or a journal; something private i did just for me. I’d buy clothes from thrift stores, put outfits together (often altering pieces), and take photos of them. Almost like a child playing dress up.
After college I took a short temp job. I sat behind a desk and answered phones. Sometimes i re-stocked the snack room. The majority of my day was spent sitting and waiting for it to be 6:00. I applied to jobs, but there’s really only so many hours a day that you can spend doing that. I hated the idea of wasting so much time. I needed a project. Something fun and productive.
That project would eventually become this blog. At this point, I had been reading fashion blogs religiously for years, so i had a vague idea of what i wanted mine to be. I tried to improve my photos. I bought a new phone with a better camera. I spent time learning how to take a better picture. I wrote posts on this blog daily. As my following increased, i began to wonder what the next step was-if there was one at all.
One day during lunch, a co-worked sat down next to me and informed me that she had found my Lookbook page.
‘fuck!’ my inner monologue went. I had never spoken to anyone about my lookbook.
“It’s cool!” she chirped, “Where do you get your clothes from?”
Her tone wasn’t mocking. She was actually curious. I muttered one of my favorite thrift stores and turned back to my sandwich, stunned. That had painless. I began to wonder why I had always been so quiet about it.
Finally, i showed my blog and Lookbook to a friend. Her response was just as positive as the girl at my office. She suggested that i start posting them on instagram.
I’d never used Instagram, but i hated the idea of it. At this point in time i had a certain disdain for social media. I felt like it was a platform specifically designed for everything about my generation that I could not relate to. Full of poorly framed smiling selfies, laughing girls crowding into a small photobooth, or a plate of pretty gluten free-whatever-the-fuck pancakes someone or another was talented enough to make for breakfast.
The whole thing didn’t feel social to me-it felt isolating. It made me wonder if everyone’s life was supposed to sparkle that way? Mine certainly didn’t.