Friday, November 6, 2015

Truth in Blogging Or "Practice What You Post."

I'm feeling a bit jaded about fashion blogging these days. Not fashion blogging in general. Just outfit posts. My own outfit posts. And by jaded I mean apathetic, wearied, lacking enthusiasm. Or as Dictionary.com says, "surfeited, satiated by over-indulgence." That sounds about right. I tried to do a couple of outfit posts this week, but every idea I had simply left me cold. And I couldn't muster a halfway decent smile for the camera to save my soul. I'm not terribly photogenic at the best of times, but these shots were painful to behold. I was grimacing, like my face hurt from trying to smile. 

I'm not tired of fashion. Nor have I lost my enthusiasm for finding, say, those perfect jeans or the exact sweater I need to go with them. Far from it. It's just that when it comes to outfit posts I think that I've run the gamut of everything that's currently in my closet. That I've tried every possible realistic combination and permutation that I can come up with given the items I currently own. You see the outfit ideas that left me cold this week, did so because once I tried them on I realized that I would never wear them. They were too fussy, too boring, too "not me." And I ask you... what's the point in blogging about something that I wouldn't actually wear?  

And this made me think of a post that I read in the spring written by one of my favourite fashion bloggers. Silvia Cristescu is an Art History major turned fashion stylist for the Romanian magazine Viva! And last spring I saw this picture on her blog The Stunning Look. And I couldn't get the little sign she held out of my head. "Practice what you post"... perfect. 


Practice what you post
The Stunning Look
That little sign perfectly sums up my philosophy of blogging. And for the most part I do... "practice what I post." 

Most of the outfits I've posted this fall, I've worn. Like these three. I wore my Paige jeans, purple Tory Burch tie blouse and Vince coat sweater for lunch and shopping one day in October. First time that Tory Burch blouse had been out of the house in years. I wore my jeans, white tee, and black Helmut Lang jacket for tea at the Chateau Laurier with my friend Susan. High tea calls for pumps, doesn't it? I added my silk animal print scarf. My blue equipment blouse with jeans and sneakers was perfect for a very full day of shopping with my sister. She was looking for outfits for several events. I love shopping for someone else. And then seeing how fab they look. And she did...look fabulous, I mean.


Outfits that I blogged about and then actually wore

And later in the fall when it was chillier, I wore my Vince coat sweater with burgundy jeans to my "To Hell with the Bell" lunch with a group of my retired teacher friends. I swapped the leather trousers for my Paige jeans for afternoon tea at the home of a dear friend. The better to curl up for a long, long chat. The striped Vince tee and green tweed blazer have been out a number of times. With and without the scarf. Great for running around town.

Practicing what I posted on my blog

But as much as I theoretically would wear... could wear... these three outfits, alas, none of them has made it out the door. Not once. At least not yet. And there's more where they came from. Sigh.


Which kind of brings me back to my problem. My outfit post apathy. I can't muster much enthusiasm for coming up with new outfit ideas when I'm so busy trying to wear the ones I've already planned. It's like I can't keep up with my own blog. I'm a victim of my own successful planning. Too many outfits, too few appropriate engagements to wear them. 

The way I look at it is... I have four possible solutions to this conundrum. I could stop posting so many outfit combinations at a time; that way I might have a chance of keeping up with them. Or I could go out more, thus requiring more outfits. Or I could go shopping. And add a few new pieces to my wardrobe that might pique my interest and give me more scope for creative outfit planning. Or I could write about other stuff for while. Thus not requiring outfit posts on a weekly basis. What to do...what to do?? 

As Viola said in Twelfth Night...."O time, thou must untangle this not I. It is too hard a knot for me to untie." I guess we'll just have to wait and see what transpires. 

And in the meantime, take a gander at some of the looks that Silvia Cristescu has put together for her blog. I love her minimalist, kind of retro style. She's very young, but her style is timeless in the best possible way. All photos are from The Stunning Look.

     

     

     

And so, dear friends. That's the truth about blogging, from my point of view. I try really hard to "practice what I post"...  I don't see the point of writing a blog otherwise. 

Now... I must run. I've miles to go before I sleep, well, a really good book to finish, anyway. But I'm sure you'll be hearing about that soon. 



All comments, possible solutions, commiserations, admonitions, and ideas gratefully appreciated as always.






  



Linking up this week with:Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style,  #IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb, What I Wore at The Pleated Poppy, Passion 4 Fashion at Rachel the Hat, Fun Fashion Friday at Fashion Should Be Fun, Friday Finds at Forage Fashion, Casual Friday at Two Thirty-Five Designs, TBT at Happiness at Midlife.

67 comments:

  1. Hi Sue,
    your posts are totally enjoyable, whatever the subject. You could just talk about how you spent your day or what you cooked for dinner.
    Just be sure to keep posting !
    Edda

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  2. How honest you are & I can see the problems of long term blogging . You seem to have a busy , varied life & fashion , though an important part of it , is not the be all & end all . That's healthy . Some bloggers shopping constantly for outfit posts must feel they are feeding a monster - then very soon the same items are for sale on their blogs . I have heard that fashion posts are the most popular on blogs but not for me . I always enjoy yours as we seem to have the same taste but there are so many bloggers dishing out so many outfits , who lack your humour & insight , & it all becomes very samey . I can't give any advice I'm afraid but don't wear yourself out & leave - that's all . You have a real gift with words & your posts are very personal , quirky & often funny , which is rare in blog land . The comments you receive reflect this too . So think of our old friend Norma Desmond - you are not her & you don't have to live for your public :)
    Wendy in York

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    1. Feeding the monster is a good way to put it. I don't see the point of posting something that I don't like simply to be able to do an outfit post. I may take a step back and, instead of talking about my own outfits, talk about what interests me in fashion or what pisses me off, to put it bluntly. And being a Yorkshire girl, I know you're no stranger to bluntness:) Thank-you for the words of encouragement. Much appreciated. Love the Norma D reference!

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  3. Hi Sue,
    Yours is quite possibly my favorite blog - fashion posts or not. I enjoy seeing the outfit combinations you do post, as your taste is very similar to my own, but I enjoy the posts on other subjects because they all have your sense of humor and point of view. Just keep posting!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. I will keep posting...I just may back off for a while on the fashion/outfit posts. At least until my creative juices are flowing in that direction again.

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  4. Ooh, thanks for introducing me to "The Stunning Look." Great blog! Most of my outfit posts are re-creations of something I've already worn, but sometimes with a little tweak to improve upon the first draft. I get into those ruts sometimes where I'm just not inspired to wear any new combos, and can relate to the malaise.

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    1. The Stunning Look is a great blog, isn't it? As is yours... it's always on my morning to-read list.

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    2. I really enjoy both your blogs and read regularly. And for the record, I like all 3 of the "niet/nada/no way" outfits on you!

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  5. I enjoy your outfit posts because I really like your style. You seem to have a carefully curated wardrobe of items that really go together and dress up/dress down easily. I'd be interested in seeing more about your wardrobe: how many items etc you have. I'm attracted to both minimalism and variety and you seem to have that nailed!

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    1. Thanks, Pam. That's an interesting idea. I'll give it some thought.

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  6. Your curated look is interesting but not why I read your blog. Your travels, your outdoor adventures, your reading lists and your fashion insights are what speak to me. The fact that you are significantly taller and thinner than I, makes your outfit posts less important to me.

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    1. It's always been funny to me that my fashion posts are far and away the most popular according to the numbers...but it's the posts about travel, books and life in general that are most interesting to me. Glad someone else feels the same.

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  7. I like your post and every outfit you show here. You are very elegant even a sporty clothes.
    Visiting your blog via PASSION FOR FASHION Linkup!
    Greetings from Elegant 40!

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    1. Thanks, Martina. And thanks for stopping by.

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  8. I like all your posts..travel,books,outfits.. outfits probably first and then travel..at home and abroad:) there would be a big "hole" in the cyberspace if you quit!! Be assured there are many of us who get ideas and just fun from reading your blog..Best..Coco

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    1. Thanks so much, Coco. I can't believe how nice readers are!

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  9. Please add me to the list of those who would read anything about which you care to write. Fashion is actually not a major interest of mine, although perhaps it would be if I had your lean and leggy silhouette. :o) However it was that I stumbled upon your blog, it was initially your book posts that kept me coming back. I greatly enjoy your writing voice, and will happily continue to drop by, whatever direction your posts may take.

    (Denise L.)

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    1. Thanks, Denise. That's so nice to hear.

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  10. I just discovered your blog by chance and am thrilled to find someone with such similar taste in fashion and lifestyle.... and Canadian!

    I randomly read a few of your posts, and the books you mentioned bring back such great memories. I too grew up reading The Bobbsey Twins, then Trixie Belden and then on to the Nancy Drew series and Agatha Christie. And am still reading mystery and suspense novels to this day. And yes, I too used to watch "Another World" in university and Rachel was my favourite character.

    I look forward to catching up with old posts and new.

    Yvonne


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    1. Oh my... another Another World fan. Now that's special! Thanks for the kind words, Yvonne.

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  11. Some of my favorite "take-aways" from your blog come from your posts on what you have read or are reading. I was touched by your farewell to P. D. James, an author I followed for decades and came to rely on for articulate, well developed mysteries that always required at least two readings. You introduced me to Peter May and, from another direction, Stephen Clarke, and then on to another thread that started with E.M. Delafield and Nancy Mitford. As you can see, were it not for you, my reading education would have continued to be sadly lacking - it is a rich experience to find a consistent source of interesting and enjoyable book recommendations. So, thank you for that. The fashion posts are fun because you remind me to at least occasionally climb out of Frye boots, Levis, and sweaters and play a bit with other stuff in my closet. I am not good with ruts either, and when I feel the kind of ennui you may be describing, I take it as first notice it is time to stretch and change something or regroup and change something. I really value what you do on the blog, and will look forward to seeing what happens next.

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    1. Thanks for that KS. I am consistently amazed at the number of people out there who share my weirdly varied taste in books. I think I will do a little regrouping. Blogging is too much fun to give up. But a new-ish direction may be in order. Whatever that is.

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  12. To echo the comments of many others, it's the variety of topics you cover that makes yours one of my favourite blogs. I feel people write best about things they're passionate about or topics they feel others will be interested in. I enjoy seeing how you put outfits together and I often pick up tips from how you've styled your clothes. Equally, if not more so, I enjoy all your other posts about travel, books etc.
    Have a good weekend!
    Rosie

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    1. Thanks Rosie. You're right about the relationship between passion and quality. I always told my students that they were better writers when they wrote about subjects they cared about. Same goes for me, too.

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  13. I post about my fashions when I have something I want to share. I was in town today at the mall, saw a few nice things, but really didn't need them and so didn't spend the money just to be able to do a fashion post. That would be silly, but I see other bloggers do it often. My blog is about my life, and that doesn't always include new clothing. Sometimes it's about changing my office, or something funny my husband said, the pups, etc. Life is very full without a constant parade of my clothing. Good luck! You will find oner things to blog about... xo

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    1. Wise words, Pepper. I will find other topics. Or at least do a bit of shifting and come up with a better balance among all my interests.

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  14. You're very slim, so I would think you have good eating habits.You could share those, along with some tasty but not high calorie recipes. Also, your review on your latest reads is appreciated. Unless you're constantly buying new clothes, it is impossible to come up with fresh style content. But....dare I say, looking at Silvia's blog, which you follow and enjoy, might suggest a change up in your style. A fresh look would inspire you to get out in front of that camera with a big gorgeous smile on your face. I know I just stepped out of my comfort zone and bought some skinny jeans. Turns out, I love them! From all the comments, you can see your followers come by for more than just clothes, so blog on.

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    1. I have been thinking of a change up in style ...at least on a trial basis. I've just gone through a major shift due to retirement. So we'll see. Glad you like your skinny jeans.

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  15. Blog burnout is real. I like whatever you write so maybe break it up a bit.

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  16. I read your blog for the literature recommendations. I've discovered so many wonderful authors from reading your postings. I love your travels around Canada with all the photos and comments. Your post about your trip to Australia was one of the best examples of travel writing I've seen in years. Now can you show me where to find Three Pines? :-) I am ready to travel to Canada!!

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    1. Ah.... Three Pines... I have talked with friends about where that may be. I think it's a bit like Brigadoon though. So beware:)

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  17. Susan
    I thought you looked rather fabulous in your 'no,no,no' outfits!

    I do understand where you are coming from about outfit post fatigue. Hopefully, I don't think I'll have that problem as; a) I'm new to blogging and b) most of my clothes come from charity (thrift) shops so I have loads and loads and could possibly have hundreds of outfits to post. Are you interested in thrifted fashion? It might help you to buy new outfits, when you need them, at a greatly reduced cost!

    I have enjoyed reading your book reviews so please, please don't stop doing those!

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    1. I may look into that. Veronica. Thanks. And thanks for the kind words.

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  18. While I certainly enjoy your outfit posts (while envying your tall, slim build), I enjoy your posts about books the most.

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    1. Thanks Maggie. Books are such a big part of my life...it's lovely that readers want to talk books!

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  19. Your posts are always a delight to read on whatever subject. Like others I have been introduced to new to me authors that I have enjoyed as well as the comments written by you on your reads. I also enjoy your fashion posts, particularly when you analyze fashion trends you have spotted and then interpreted them your way, often from your closet. All your posts are well thought out and well expressed. You could write your posts on anything and I would read them!

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    1. Thanks so much, Christy. I've been a bit overwhelmed bu the kindness of readers today:)

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  20. Like most others, I love your posts regardless of the topic. In fact, I love the variety! Great clothes, great reads....what could be better? It could be because every post is genuine, whether it is about your wardrobe, your passionate description of a new-to-me author or a bike ride in the country, every word recreates a very pleasant moment of your life for your readers. If you follow your gut and write about that which inspires or intrigues you at the moment, we will all be happy campers...er, readers! Thanks for the pleasurable reads!

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    1. Thanks. Kim. That means a lot. Following gut... from now on:)

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  21. Well, nothing wrong with a) repeating outfits for posts b) posting fewer outfits c) posting about fashion that isn't what you are wearing:). But in the end, your blog, your pen, your thoughts, your choice. xox.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. All good advice. I'm heartened that you made a directional change in your blog a while ago. Makes me think that I can do the same if I wish, without alienating most of my readers.

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  22. I enjoy all your lifestyle posts in addition to your fashion pics! I am curious about your life on a lake in Canada, and I enjoy reading about your travels, books, outdoors adventures with your husband, and your adjustment to retirement. But I especially love your outfit posts! Unlike many other fashion bloggers, you post realistic, wearable outfits! I love that you read about a trend or seasonal color, and then hunt through your closet for what you can re-use and update. I love your trial and error process to see what works for you at this point in your life. It actually does help me as I sort through similar issues of changing lifestyle, work-life balance, and age. I hope you keep up with the outfit posts, but I can understand that there is a limit to how interesting it is for you. Please don't shop just to post photos! That would seem fake. But if you find nice combinations in your closet and don't actually wear them, that does not seem fake. We all have outfits that could work, but we don't wear them. Your outfit posts are very extensive, so one option is to break them up into smaller pieces. Another option would be to post about fashion you see in catalogs or magazines (etc). I'd also be interested in your thoughts about why fashion is so interesting to you. Self image, aesthetics, creativity? And, any advice on retirement for those of us who haven't retired yet? In the end, this has to be fun for you. That enthusiasm is the main reason it is fun to read your blog.

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    1. Thanks so much for this. I agree shopping just to post would be silly. And defeat the purpose of my blog which is supposed to be about my post-retirement life. I guess I could write a post called "Look at how silly I was to buy this outfit just to write a post"???? Some great ideas in your comment. One or two already has me thinking. Thanks for taking the time to do this:)

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  23. Commiserations! How unfortunate to have become a victim of your own successful planning and how that line made me smile. Of course the appeal of your blog is so much more than fashion posts though the ones you have posted to date have always been enjoyable. It's the variety and your unique take and style of writing which make your blog such a pleasure to read. Lots of affirmation and some good suggestions in the comments. Ultimately you must write about what interests you so that blogging remains pleasurable for you. Iris

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    1. I'm glad that line made you smile. That was the intention. Thanks for the kind words and the continued support, Iris.

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  24. I just recently found your blog and enjoyed your outfit posts. But judging from the comments, I'm sure I'll enjoy your literature posts just as much!

    I've been documenting my outfits on Instagram (and a little bit on my blog) for a few months now, and I can see how it becomes challenging after a while if you don't buy new clothes often (which I don't). I think there is nothing wrong with repeating outfits. In fact, I find them comforting - there is really nothing better than an outfit you love and know you look great in (my husband has told me on more than one occasion that I have worn a certain piece of clothing "to death"). But it's not much to blog about...

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    1. Yep. I'm still loving and wearing outfits I posted two months ago.

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  25. I've gone through many dry spells in the inspiration department, but the spark always come back for me! You're a great writer and we'd love to read what you write about just about anything anyway!

    Thanks for linking up!

    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Dawn Lucy. And thanks for hosting.

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  26. I found your blog a couple days ago and really like it!! I love this post. I think it should be for many blogs. Be authentic and honest. I am excited to keep reading!!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Hope you enjoy the other posts.

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  27. Just be yourself, do what pleases you, and enjoy blogging - or not. I am really talking to myself, but most of us share this feeling of obligation when we blog. Unless we're getting paid $2K a week we don't have to be worried : > I love your blog, and your style, and your honest approach!

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks, Patti. Your words of support are much appreciated. And thanks for hosting Visible Monday. The first link-up I ever participated in:)

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  28. Interesting post -- I'd love to see more of us be this honest about the gap between Style/Fashion blogging and what we end up wanting to wear in our daily lives. Three weeks after getting back from Europe, I've just posted about my current (slight, but decided) resistance to leaving a Style Comfort Rut of good jeans and cashmere v-neck and good shoes. . . despite having filled my eyeballs at gorgeous Paris Fashion Retail windows for weeks. . . . hmmmm, is it something in the air?

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    1. What's the point if it's not real, eh? One can have too much eyeball action. Then jeans and simple sweaters are like a palate cleanser...kind of:)

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  29. I think all those outfits look great! You do seem to have a standard style - skinny pants and long top - which look great on you. Maybe that's what you need to shake up a bit. (And you are, too, photogenic!)

    Now to go look at Silvia's blog (wish I'd had any kind of taste at that age).

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    1. I'll have a think about that. Might need a shake-up. Hmmm.

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  30. I really like the saying "practice what you post". our blogs should be authentic!
    www.amemoryofus.com

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    1. It's a great line isn't it? Thanks to Silvia from the Stunning Look for that one.

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  31. LOVE this whole post!! And loved your outfits, too. Although I, too, loved the ones you wore more than the ones you said you wouldn't wear. I agree about truth in posting. The only time I don't wear what I've posted is if I add a scarf and load myself down with jewelry and then realize I really don't want to wear all of it out the door. And if I do that, I usually say so in the post ~ "this was my plan, but this is what I actually left the house in," etc. And do you know that I have actually tried to think up more things to do so I can wear more of my clothes? LOL!

    I saw your post in the Visible Monday linkup. Here's my Visible Monday post...
    http://www.midlifemakeover.me/2015/11/no-repeat-november-challenge-week-two.html

    Have a great day!

    Jeanine

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    1. Thanks Anna. I will eventually wear the "non, niet" outfits. Just haven't got to them yet:)

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  32. I'm not sure if I can offer advise as such as I'm a bit the same in that most of the clothes in my wardrobe I've worn on the blog before. Obviously there are numerous outfit variations but it doesn't take long before I've exhausted them. Your posts are much more than outfits, you invite the reader into your world so we see who you are and not just what you wear. I find that most people won't remember what you wore a year ago, I don't see the harm in wearing the same outfit again. Have a good week!

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    1. I may do that Lorna Mai. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

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  33. For sure ,you will never run out of smart ideas to write about. I'll talk about my experienceabout blogging outfits, that's all I can do. There are periods I don't feel like putting outfits together. it's a fact, it will happen. Then I talk about other things I'm interested at the moment. I also blog more in the school months because I get dressed every day to go to the schoo I teach and I have more material to post. And then when I thrift I find t more exciting to mix new and old thus resulting to more outfit posts. Anyway, you have a great sense of style to stop altogether!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. I just might try the thrifting thing. Although I have never had much luck in finding things that fit me at thrift stores.

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All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.