How to Avoid Instagram Fashion Envy

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

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Happy New Year!

I hope you are reading this feeling relaxed and happy after the holidays. This time of year is often associated with Pinterest boards full of inspiration, goals of all kinds and lofty ambitions. These days however – and for the stylishly inclined – “inspiration” also comes in the form of a perfectly curated Instagram feed, or those infamous style roundups that are supposed to help us get dressed when we’re feeling “blah”.

I think this abundance of style inspiration is a double-edged sword – on one hand we have an infinite source of ideas for different outfit combinations and styling. On the flip side, it is a constant reminder of the things we don’t have (this article is proof), which can turn into a perpetual feeling of needing more, and that if we acquire what’s in these photos, we too will have a fulfilling closet and will ultimately reach fashion nirvana. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of pressure to put on style – something that’s supposed to be fun.

So for 2017, instead of using social media and fashion websites as a source of envy (which – let’s be honest, I totally do, nobody is immune to the likes of the uber cool style set), I’m going to try and use them instead as what they were originally intended for: inspiration, and only that. Next time I see myself admiring another blogger’s put together look, before going all heart-eyes emoji and clicking on the link that will take me to an opportunity to spend money and acquire more stuff, I’m going to look in my closet and see if I can recreate a similar ensemble with items I already have.

The easiest way to recreate a look or style you love is about obsessing less on one particular item of clothing and paying more attention to the overall formula of the look and how the clothing is being worn. Here’s an example; maybe you like one blogger’s #ootd: a chunky knit worn over ripped skinnies and a cute heel. Instead of lamenting the fact that her skinnies are Paige ($$$) and her knit is a super cute of-the-moment-lace-up-cuff-detail chunky sweater (trend trap!), think of what is actually attracting you to this ensemble. Here are some q’s to help you out:

  • am I attracted to this outfit’s colour palette?
  • do I like the proportion play?
  • do I like the quirky mix of styles (in this case, casual wear with dressy – a high heel)?
  • do I like how the sweater/pants are styled (sleeves rolled up/pants cuffed? sweater half-tucked in? etc.)

Answering these questions can do wonders for discovering your own personal style, as well as avoiding impulse buys, and going gaga over a purchase that could end up being potentially wasteful (not to mention expensive!).

And dear readers, just so you know – I tried this little experiment prior to writing this post. The idea of posting about it actually came to me when I came across an Olivia Palermo outfit (or 1,034,876 of them, actually) that I really liked and thought – wait a minute, I can make something similar! Do you want to see how it turns out? Come back Thursday to find out what the rest of this outfit looks like and the original pic I used as inspo!

As always, thanks for reading,

xo





Read the comments.


  1. Chantsy says:

    YASS!!!! This is exactly what I’m talking about!!!! This is what I used to do, and all of a sudden I’m broke, uninspired and my closets have never been more full!!!
    Once again you are my inspiration to keep my 2017 promis to myself “LESS”!!
    I don’t think I can become a minimalist, but i sure can get creative once again!
    Love you 😘

    • msbeltempo says:

      Love you right back! Truly – I really appreciate your feedback, I’m so glad this resonated! I started feeling the same way recently – wanting all sorts of things and not feeling great about my closet and was like wtf Alyssa get it together!!! haha then wrote this post. Thank you thank you for reading xox

  2. Katie says:

    Love this post! Something I like to do is take a piece I really love in my closet but feel somewhat bored about and then Google ideas on how to wear that one piece. I’ve recently rekindled my love for my metallic pleated skirt by doing this!

  3. Lenny Wu says:

    Great post for your start of 2017. Impulse buys, oh boy. The last few weeks of December drove me bonkers.

    Oh yeah, I wrote my first blog post of 2017 yesterday and it had to do with brunch. 🙂
    I recently moved my materials (a part of it) to a web hosting service. The pain of saving photos but embarrassing to re-visit past posts. I hope to change a theme layout down the road. It feels complicated with WordPress.com…. *sigh 🙂

    • msbeltempo says:

      Thanks so much for reading Lenny! I’ll def check out your first post, congratulations!! I’ll be totally honest, i’m the worst with the tech side of things … I do like wordpress so far though – you’ll get the hang of it! 🙂

  4. Dominique says:

    Oh Alyssa! I have this SO BAD. Sigh. It rarely occurs to me to see if I can recreate a look with what I already have. Sometimes, I’ll see an IGer wearing something, think that I have something similar, and buy her whole outfit anyways. FOR SHAME!

    I will remember this post next time I’m “influenced” to buy another pair of black boots, the 40th red lipstick, etc.

    “…all heart eyes emoji..” LOL!!!

  5. Alisa says:

    I really, really love this post. I’m getting really sick of thinking “ooh, I wonder how much this piece is? Maybe I can afford it..” only to realize it’s yet another triple-digit price tag that is beyond unattainable for me, and feeling bummed out instead of inspired, and I love the idea of shopping my own closet for a ‘look’ rather than specific outfit. Thank you, as well, for mentioning the trend trap…living in a very, very fashion-forward city here, I feel I’m the only person not on board the “what’s hot this week” train, and I feel better about it just reading your writing 🙂


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