As a blogger, there is a LOT of pressure put on us to have a clear 'look', an image. The reality is that the blogging and social media market is so saturated that the need to stand out feels greater than ever - and so does that elusive, never-ending quest for perfection. The 'perfect' image does not just mean a clearly-defined, set style (designer or high street? smart or casual? girly or androgynous?), but also a certain theme on Instagram (bright? dark?monochrome? warm? cool?) as well as a well-defined USP and always having perfectly-shot, blurred-background, high-quality images. The 'perfect' blogger's images are always well-lit, there's never an editing fail in sight - even her Instagram Stories look like they're straight out of the pages of a magazine. But if the blogger seems too perfect to be true - then she probably is. The perfect image isn't real, merely a façade - one that people are increasingly turning away from.
In reality, you don't have to always stick to the same 'look', and I'm sure, in real life, you don't - even if your Instagram feed does. I'm sure that many international bloggers don't only wear all black and white, as many of their Instagram feeds would have us believe. I personally have experimented a lot with my style over the years, and I'm still experimenting today. I spent a long time trying to fit myself into one of those cookie-cutter, perfectly-styled images that I've experienced almost every phase under the sun - from my 'emo' phase aged 15 with my jet-black hair, oversized sweaters, ripped tights and Doc Martens to my 'hipster' phase aged 16 where I wore as many bright, clashing colours (that also clashed with my bright ginger, badly-dyed hair) and prints as was humanly possible. With each phase, though, I gained the bravery to incorporate in my wardrobe things I would have thought I'd never normally wear; and each thing makes my style more unique - a little less perfect - today. My Doc Martens still sit proudly on the floor of my wardrobe at home - ready for whenever I want to toughen up a floral maxi dress. And, when I happened to find a gorgeous oversized knit in Zara with a distressed effect, and holes in the sleeves that would be perfect to put my thumb through - well, it brought a little bit of the teenager out in me.
Blogging has almost become too 'perfect'. Now, people want to see what's behind the filter, to see less perfectly-curated outfit shots taken by professional photographers, and more immediate, varied 'OOTDs' - uploading relatable content of what they're genuinely wearing that day. And anyhow, with the advent of 'fast fashion', trends are evolving more quickly than ever - so shouldn't our wardrobes evolve with them? Some of my favourite bloggers have no theme at all on their Instagrams - focusing instead on producing high-quality photos - and they're also some of the fastest-growing I know. And, according to recent studies, some of the most popular shots on Instagram are taken with iPhones, rather than with fancy DSLRs. Now, I think I'll definitely stick to my trusty Canon, but I've been trying to create a more realistic and relatable image on my social media. I used to edit my photos SO much, blowing up the brightness until you could barely see the subject of the photo because I loved the white/bright theme. Now, I'm editing my photos less, using my captions to tell a funny, relatable story about my day, sharing the unfiltered, normal aspects of my everyday life (me working out at the gym with no makeup, in the bath, in a bright green face mask) on my Instagram stories. Beautiful images are one thing - but the reality is that none of us are perfect. I'll be the first to say that I swear, I make mistakes (now and in the past), I have off days and outfits which don't always work - some of which you're starting to see, in my writing and my social media posts. The pressure to be perfect is slowly lifting - embrace it.
COLLABORATION WITH PURELEI
My outfits are definitely never perfect, and part of the reason I love experimenting is discovering and trying out new, niche brands. Sometimes it's the little things that can make a difference - as Iris Apfel said, 'Accessories are like herbs and spices. They give zest and zing to an outfit.'
I don't normally wear bracelets that much (usually I stick to rings and necklaces) but in the spirit of this post, I decided to experiment. And when I heard about Purelei, I realised that there's a first time for everything, as these bracelets genuinely became a consistent part of my wardrobe.
Handmade in Germany, the brand ships worldwide and is inspired by the beauty of Hawaii, so I instantly fell in love with all of their boho, beachy designs. And, I've always always loved anything nautical themed which is why was so drawn to their anchor motifs. One of my favourite items is the charmband - I love how you can mix and match a huge range of cute, girly charms, from pineapples to hamsa hands, to create a combination that's unique to you. I'm wearing the Sail Away Set in rose gold, the Anchor Girl Bracelet and the Lotus Girl Bracelet.
You can get 10% off sitewide at Purelei with code 'FASHIONBLUR10' and free shipping with orders over £20.