Monday, January 15, 2018

How Blogs Influence You and Learning To Be Yourself

Influencer...or Not?

Wearing my new all weather coat purchased at Stein Mart.

Do you ever feel like you are influenced by bloggers to buy things? Even when you really hadn't really thought of purchasing a particular product or item until you see someone else with it on a blog? And you think, "hmm... maybe I would look good wearing that." Blogger influence is my topic today and a case in point of how I have been influenced is the coat you see me wearing in today's post. Luckily, even though I was influenced....I think I ended up buying what I truly needed.

Wearing a stylish all weather waterproof coat.

The past couple of months, I've been noticing some bloggers I follow modeling what I call "classic" coats. These are dressier coats that you would wear with nice slacks or a dress. I have several cold weather coats to choose from, but it's been several years since I have purchased a "dress" type coat. By several years I mean...oh....probably 20? 

A fun musical scarf worn with a stylish all weather coat.

I had thought a few times over the last couple years of getting a dressier coat, but deemed it not really necessary. I had a dressier coat in the downstairs closet. I just never got it out to wear. It kind of slipped my mind until a couple things reminded me. During one of my closet clean outs this past year, I took out my "old" dressy coat and discovered it had become mildewed from hanging in an unheated closet. I decided it was past saving and chucked it out. And then, I started seeing these really nice coats on the bloggers and...well....I was influenced. Guess that's why many of these bloggers are called "influencers!"

I kind of half heartedly would check for dress coats in some stores I frequent, but didn't see what I was looking for. Until last week, when I was running errands and found myself close to Stein Mart. I figured they would have dress coats. And they did. And, even better, they were 30% off. Yes! 

But, this is when things got a bit tricky for me.  The "classic" coat I tried on was beautiful, but the style fit really tightly against me and showed off every unflattering curve. I tried it on again and again, trying to convince myself it was for me. I almost talked myself into it, but finally,  I left the store and came home. There, I proceeded to look up the coat online, reading reviews about it and, again, trying to convince myself it was for me. After all, the bloggers were wearing this style. I was under the spell of being "mega-influenced!"

An all weather coat with both zippers and buttons for extra warmth.

I actually made up my mind to return to the store that afternoon and buy that "classic" coat. I convinced myself that I had only imagined that it hugged my curves unflatteringly. After all, I have a very vivid imagination! So back I went, where I proceeded to put the coat on....and off....and on....and off....over and over. Finally, I gave up, disgustedly hanging the coat on the rack for the final time. And that's when I turned and saw the coat I'm wearing in these pictures. I took it off the hanger to try on thinking, "but this is not a "classic" coat like the bloggers were wearing."  Maybe not...but, it was the perfect coat for me. The first thing I noticed was how it was hanging perfectly on my body, not hugging me in an unflattering way. It is basically an "all weather" type coat which both zips and then buttons and has a removable liner, making it perfect for year round use!  I remember owning such a coat years ago and I loved it! Although not a "classic" coat, it is still dressy enough to wear with nice slacks and dresses when occasions call for such a coat. I can tell you that so far, I have worn it in downpours of rain and very cold weather and it is a winner! And that trumps being "classic" in my opinion! 

So here's the moral of this story. I need to be careful about being too influenced by things I see on the blogs. I need to really consider, first of all, whether I need something or not and, secondly, I need to choose things that fit me and my body and not someone else's body. One reason I try to encourage folks to "shop their closets" is that I know I have made some splurge choices in fashion just because of blogger influence. Some of those fashions have worked for me, but some have not. I'm trying to be much more particular about what I buy these days, making certain that it truly "fits me" and not someone else. And, sometimes, if I just shop my own closet, I realize that I truly have all the style I need at this time. Other times, as with this coat, I find that I need to let go of pre-conceived ideas of what is in fashion and just shop for what fits Debbie. 

How about you?  Do you ever try to "convince" yourself to buy something that doesn't really fit your style?  And what do you think? Am I an influencer?

Until Next Time,


Karen said...

I have done this so many times, see someone wearing something that looks good on them, click on the link and think "I have to have that" maybe thinking I'd somehow look the same even though I'm a different person?? I don't know, but I have rarely made a purchase like that. I click the links all the time, so I guess that qualifies me as being influenced. I have several 'classic' coats that will never go out of style and I will wear them until they fall apart (which I've had happen after years of wear, and I wear coats A LOT where I live.) But like you, I have to try them on to be sure. Once I stop working, I doubt I'll keep all of these coats. Right now I like the variety since I have to wear a coat daily. You found a winner there, and good that you didn't cave to the pressure, or influence. When it comes right down to it, no matter who we saw it on or how they looked in it, we have to feel confident and good about how WE look in what we wear. Doesn't this kind of fall under comparing ourselves to others? Maybe not, but for me sometimes it does. I'm sure when you tried the coat on that you are wearing, you just knew, right? You didn't need to try it on 20 times or return to the store after 20 questions. You just knew. For me, it's about not trying to fit in someone else's mold, it has to be me. But it took me a lot of years of trial and error to learn that!

Debbie Styles Life said...

You're right, Karen, it's important to not try to fit in someone else's mold. Oh, and I wanted to mention that after telling you I had not encountered bad language in the Magical Cats books, that today while I was reading there was some minor bad language. A crusty character that pops up sometimes in the books used some rough language--what I would call PG13 type language. Nothing terrible in my opinion, but I thought I should correct what I said earlier about not having encountered bad language in these books.

Sharon said...

First of all, Debbie, the coat you purchased is really nice and looks great on you! I like your musical scarf too! I laughed when I read your post because so many times I have second guessed myself either after I make a purchase or when I don't make a purchase and then feel that I should have. I also have tried on an item multiple times. I'm the kind of person who needs plenty of time to make a decision. I have to mull it over, and even then sometimes I'm a second guesser. You give sound advice to basically be true to myself and go with what works for me. I need to take that advice with me when I'm making decisions about purchases.

Karen said...

Thank you for the update Debbie, I think she could put up with that!! : )

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks, Sharon. I'm really enjoying this coat! I'm glad I'm not alone being a person who takes a looong time to make up their mind! Being true to ourselves is key!