I remember the very first time I realized a picture spoke more clearly about my outfit choices than the mirror and my personal opinion. I was in high school on a service trip to Mexico with some classmates. There was this horizontal-striped, brightly-colored t-shirt that I wore constantly. It was my go-to top and in my opinion went perfectly with shorts and a skirt. My mom might have bought it. Or perhaps I borrowed it permanently from her closet. I don’t remember.
On this trip to Mexico I managed to get a great tan, consume my first taste of tequila, cook meals for those less fortunate, build houses, take culture classes and teach local children – obviously as epic trip, full of pictures. A whole album worth of pictures, in fact. When I developed the pics and started placing them in the album I came across a picture of me in my favorite top and was shocked at what I saw – a shapeless mass. A shirt that was neither cute nor flattering.
I never wore the shirt again.
A few years later it happened again. I was obsessed with this oatmeal-colored sweater of my mother’s. I wore it everywhere despite the fact that it was huge on me. I wore it to my best friend’s birthday party and when the pictures were developed I realized how absolutely horrible the whole thing appeared. The sweater was quickly relegated to at-home use only. It became my weekend study-sweater in college; the one I curled up in when no one but my roommate and close friends would see me.
Now I photograph nearly every outfit I wear. And while not all of them make it onto the pages of my personal fashion blog, ModlyChic, the act of photographing what I’m wearing each day has become super helpful in my shopping exploits and in purchasing clothing that is flattering and functional.
I think everyone can benefit from taking outfit pictures – especially when it comes to favored looks or ones intended for special occasions. A picture allows you to see the look from a third-party perspective. You are no longer looking at yourself in the mirror and unintentionally altering your perception based on outside circumstances – like the event you wore the outfit to or the feel of the material on your skin. You get the chance to see if there are any funny folds or any unflattering lines.