And so here we are, the final day of 2017, a day that no matter how hard I try to join the cool consensus of ‘it’s just another day’ I always get a tad reflective on what has been, and what I want from the next 12 months.
This year I started taking full outfit, or OOTD (outfit of the day) photos, and made a concerted effort to do this on a regular basis. If it wasn’t for these pictures, I’d have never have started to write on this blog about fashion, and so we would not be here right now. That’s the glorious thing about life is that sometimes the smallest of decisions can send you on new, unexpected, joyous, paths!
The outfit shots were partly down to vanity – I like to inspect what I look like. Plus I’ve always done the selfie, even since before digital cameras. I’ve a box in a wardrobe somewhere full of selfies I took aged 16-19 on my film camera. I find the form of the selfie fascinating. I love playing with light, angles and the way that you can manipulate your face to create different looks and make yourself appear like entirely different people. Sometimes others ask how one takes a decent selfie and the most simple answer is boring – practise. I have 17 years under my belt, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever stuck to any other hobby for so long!
As I increased my online presence on Twitter and Instagram with my selfies, which people seem to enjoy, it made sense to expand the photo range to include my entire outfit, as I do get a lot of comments on my outfits on a day-to-day basis, and so it felt right to start sharing these too.
Secondly, the OOTD photo is a great exercise in documenting your own style and fashion evolution. For someone who loves clothes and experimenting with looks and themes, it’s fascinating to have a record of your ensembles and how they have evolved and changed over the months.
For example this year, I can easily trace back my debut of my first tassel accessory, some orange earrings, and go through to see this expand out to multiple items, worn with much enthusiasm, all year. I can also really pinpoint the strong influence of New Orleans on my wardrobe – I didn’t think it was possible to get bolder, bigger and brighter with my colours and prints – but I somehow managed to turn things up several notches, which coincided with going on that adventure and having absorbed the culture, music and magic of the place, with some assistance from the few pieces I picked up whilst over there. New Orleans really got deep into my heart and soul and I figure that if I can’t be there, a little bit it can be worn with me each day, and reflected in my outfits.
Fashion is a journey and you should never be at your final destination when it comes to your style. Evolve, grow, experiment, take weird detours along the way. Hair, make-up, and clothes are all temporary and can all be swapped and altered in a heartbeat. “I like that dress you’re wearing, but it’s not the kind of thing I can pull off” is something I regularly hear. Says who? Like with my tassel earrings, or dungaree dress in my last post, which were both risks, you can pick up one cheap item that catches your imagination and give it a whirl. There’s little to lose, but a whole ton to gain if you decide it’s for you. You might surprise yourself.
I really feel that if I keep this outfit photo endeavour up, in years to come, I’m going to love looking back on my own style trajectory and maybe even be reminded of long forgotten pieces and combinations that will make me pull them out of storage and bring back into circulation. We’re all guilty of casting aside older pieces as we get new ones, and sometimes you just need a little reminder of how good a certain piece was.
Amongst my goals for 2018, one is keep blogging here on So Long Marianne, about my outfits, style (and no doubt other things) on a regular basis. I love writing, and know it’s really good for my well-being to keep doing so. I get so much from your comments and feedback and the general community that having a blog pulls you into. However, primarily I do it for myself, which I think is the best reason to pursue anything in life!
Secondly, I want to invest in a tripod and play around with my set up for these outfit photos. As this foray into OOTD photos was all quite unplanned, a natural progression, I do not currently have a tripod. I also do not have a Boyfriend of Instagram to take my photos (nor ever will, after all, that’s not what a boyfriend is for!) and so at present I’m totally self reliant and my pictures are constrained to a ledge on my garden fence that sits at the perfect height for my framing (as you can probably tell!). But I want to sharpen that up, refine things, in the New Year. If you currently use a tripod or another set up for your own OOTD photos, or blog posts, please feel free to let me know any tips or recommendations you may have.
But for now, I’m really quite elated with how far I’ve come in the past 6 months. Today I took some time to go back through my camera roll and was pleasantly pleased with the array of looks I pulled together, fun I had in the process, and consistency in style and, it though feels like an icky term, personal brand. As much as I preach about mixing things up, it’s still nice to have a recognisable and reasonably consistent look, that someone can see and instantly associate with you.
So here’s a collection of some of my favourite OOTD’s from 2017, some I have blogged about already, some may still be to come. Enjoy!
Thank you so much, my lovely readers for joining me this year. Have a safe, beautiful and swoony New Years’ Eve. If you’re going out, put on that face glitter, bold lipstick, or dress you’ve been saving. After all, if you can’t pull them out tonight, then when can you?!
I’ll see you in 2018.