Is it a good thing to do?
Are we putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves to look good?
At what cost, emotionally and financially, do we ensure that an outfit is posted on our feed?
For the benefit of my mum, who reads my blog and anyone else who has better things to do than know what hashtag abbreviations stand for, #OOTD stands for Outfit Of The Day – sometimes #WIWT which is What I Wore Today and so I don't #BYTD Bore You To Death, I’ll stop wittering on about #hashtags now.
My opinion of #OOTD posts used to be along the lines of "I haven’t got time for all that shizzle and my pictures would be naff anyway as I don’t have the first clue how to take a good selfie - and isn’t all that ‘look at me' stuff a bit shallow?" But having engaged in, enjoyed and invested so much time into the world of Instagram, my opinion has somewhat changed.
So, what changed my mind? Here’s a little rundown of why I think #OOTD isn’t so OTT…
Firstly, I was right about the time-consuming element of it – it can take bloody ages to capture a half decent shot of a good outfit. But, because I love the challenge of experimenting with different poses, angles, filters etc., I have ‘made’ time to do it – it’s creative and fun. And I’m sure, judging by the fantastic images that I see on Instagram every single day, I’m not the only one who gets excited about a great image/outfit.
By entering into an #OOTD regime, you have to make an effort and consciously think about what you’re going to wear - or at least put on something different from the last outfit you uploaded! That’s quite a lot of pressure to put on ourselves, don’t you think? But actually, I’m thinking, it’s more about planning than pressure.
How good would it be that if, on a Sunday night, for example, you planned your outfits for the whole week, regardless of whether you’re posting pictures online or not? Think how much time (and sanity) you would save every morning knowing what you’re putting on. The kids may be faffing about and misbehaving but you are READY, looking fabulous and in control And, something else that occurred to me (I warned you that I may have been overthinking this!), what if, like someone who’s keeping a food diary for health reasons, this public accountability for daily outfits is exactly what someone needs to keep them looking and feeling good about themselves?
To post a different and interesting outfit every day is a challenge and this is where my main concern is. What lengths will we go to create a good photo? Spend money we haven’t got on the items we think will give us an amazing shot? Seriously, I wonder how many of us spend more than we should on clothes because of our need to keep our outfits and photos current?
Hands up, I think I spend far too much on clothes (I don’t spend fortunes because I don’t earn fortunes, but it’s all relative) and I’m pretty sure (though not certain!) that, if I wasn’t posting my outfits online, I’d be content with fewer clothes. I used to make do with the same 4 work outfits, week in, week out and whatever I wore on Monday, I’d be wearing it again on Friday.
So, with my expenditure in mind, I’m currently trying to curb my shopping habits which is a challenge because I honestly adore clothes - they excite me in a way nothing else does. And from a stylist perspective I feel I’m torn between a) wanting to explore, sample and wear a range of clothes and b) communicate that you don’t actually need a vast wardrobe to look stylish every day! So, you see my predicament. However, I think I can marry ‘a’ and ‘b’ by incorporating the old items with the fewer new pieces that I buy and keep it exciting. Only time will tell - watch this space.
So, do we get up mega early to make sure we get an outfit snap before school run /work?
But it’s too dingy in the morning to get a good photo, isn’t it? So, we’re spotted on our way to work or in our lunch hour trying to get a picture of an outfit that may well be a bit more creased and lived in than we intended!
Therefore, maybe attempt to photograph all the outfit pictures at the weekend thus taking ourselves out of circulation for a chunk of Saturday and/or Sunday?
I am of course speaking from the perspective of a woman who has to go to work or has commitments that render ‘a photo a day’ as a military operation as opposed to the professional bloggers whose actual job it is to take pictures. Though let’s not forget, the professional bloggers had to start somewhere. So, this photo taking malarkey is hard work but demonstrates, again, why my view of the people posting #OOTD shots, has changed. The women behind these outfit posts are juggling home, work and/or family whilst keeping their account populated with good pictures and often titillating commentary - that’s pure dedication!
On Facebook we have friends but on Instagram we have followers. Followers sounds less warm and welcoming, doesn’t it? Well, here’s the thing – my followers and the people I follow, are the nicest, kindest, funniest and most supportive bunch of people that I’ve never met! We exchange pleasantries and have a laugh every day - which is more than I can say for myself and Mr. B! Love him really.
Well, yes and no. There are some accounts that I’ve stumbled across that are, let’s say, ‘confused’. You’ve probably seen them too “Yes, that’s a very nice necklace love, but with your huge bazookas falling out of your top, is it the necklace you really want us to look at?” But each to their own, and if you don’t like what you see, say nothing and move on. I’m lucky enough myself not to have been a victim of nastiness and I wouldn’t dream of giving anyone else a hard time just because I didn’t connect with or appreciate their post. Anyway, I digress slightly - back to ‘Is it shallow?’
These posts may seem a bit ‘ooh look at me’, but I have to say, as a stylist and a clothes lover, I fully appreciate the power and confidence a good outfit can give you so why not show a photo of something you feel good in? And let’s not forget, it’s not a one-way street as it may just inspire someone else to try a different style or way of dressing that gets them that promotion/new partner/happiness/spring in their step.
Finding out about the real people stories
What are your thoughts & views on #OOTD posts?
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