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What I wore today (PS, don’t I look great?)

Blogs, Fashion, Style

Last week, I learned about this soon-to-be-published book, “What I Wore Today: Online Fashion Narcissism from Beijing to Berlin.”  The title really struck me, especially the “narcissism” part. After looking around for more information about the book, I still don’t know much more about it other than what the title suggests. (They’re talking about it on StyleBubble and Bits and Bobbins, among other places, if you want to read more.)

There are myriad blogs and Flickr accounts dedicated to showcasing what real people wear everyday, such as What I Wore Today and Wardrobe Remix. I don’t think posting pictures of yourself online is narcissism. Sure, sometimes you want to show off how great you look. But most of the time, I think people post photos of themselves and what they’re wearing for a number of other, less shallow and self-serving reasons.

The way I see it, many people post pictures of themselves to participate in an online conversation about style.  If you’re talking about a new outfit, one of the easiest ways to describe what it looks like is to post a photo. You might do this because you’re excited about a new item or a great deal; you want to share that excitement with others who will understand why you’re excited. You might do this because you want feedback or suggestions from other people who know more about fashion that you. Or maybe you’re the one who knows a lot about fashion, and your photos can help inspire someone else. You might do this because you share things with people you consider friends. Posting photos of yourself and your style is a great way to build relationships with other people who are interested in these same things.

I love to read blogs that highlight real people’s style.  Sites like Face Hunter, The Sartorialist, and Sugar’s LookBook are great examples. I get ideas and inspiration from seeing what other people wear. I do this in real life, too; I think we all learn something about what to wear (or what not to wear!) by seeing other people’s choices in action.

So posting pictures of yourself to your blog or a fashion website does not necessarily mean you think you’re the hottest thing since gladiator sandals.  It’s much more likely that you simply want to be involved in a community with like-minded others who are interested in things like fashion and style. It does not mean you’re narcissistic.

UPDATE: The title of book has changed. It’s now called What Wore Today: Fashion Remixed Online from Beijing to Berlin. Interesting. A few comments in the Wardrobe Remix forum indicated that some people had talked to the author and she was not pleased with the “narcissism” portion of the original title.

Jenn @ July 17, 2008

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