I've been thinking a lot lately about the things that I love about having this blog, and what keeps me posting day after day. Today I thought I'd share some of that with you, but to do so I will first tell you a little bit about my job, which I rarely discuss here but which is nevertheless relevant to the way I feel about blogging.
One of my favorite things that I do at work is mentoring other people. Unfortunately with mentoring, the better you do it the less and less you're needed to, because the people you mentor eventually become independent and no longer need your guidance. I suppose this is how parents must feel as their kids grow up; sure it's gratifying to watch them accomplish things on their own, but it's bittersweet because there's nothing more to teach them.
But even when my mentees (is that a word?) at work no longer regularly need my advice, they still bring me moments of real satisfaction in my job when they show me what the mentorship has allowed them to accomplish. What I provide is not expert advice, it's just the seeds of my knowledge and experience that someone else can nurture and develop in their own way. Mentorship is a collaboration between two capable people who care about the same thing. That glimmer of an idea that I might provide is taken away and developed into something better and more complete, like a wave that pulls away from the shore and comes back bearing something polished and beautiful. This is in many ways far more satisfying than the feeling of simply being needed.
That, I think, is what draws me to this daily discussion about style and fashion. I'm clearly not an expert; I'm just someone who has a passion for it and has been dressing myself with varying degrees of success for several decades. The little kernels I throw out there, in the form of daily outfits or mini tutorials, are meant to spark the innate talents of the people who pick them up, and are meant to be interpreted in as many different ways as there are readers.
And like the mentoring I do at work, the most satisfying moments are when someone tells me about how they experimented with an idea they got from this blog and how great it made them feel or the compliments they received. Or how they've started to take more of an interest in their style, or are getting better use out of the clothes they have by combining them in new ways. Sure it's flattering to be asked for advice, but it's better still to hear that someone has taken an idea and run with it, transforming their wardrobe to suit their own unique lifestyle and taste, and developed their own skills in the process.
Not everyone who comes here needs any advice at all, of course. Perhaps you prefer to scan through the pictures for inspiration and don't often stop to read the text, or maybe you just enjoy the amusement of peeking into a wardrobe that is the polar opposite of your own. Quite possibly you're here to chuckle at whatever train wreck of an outfit I've put together today, and that's fine too. But the opportunity to provide other people with ideas that can ignite their own creativity, whatever direction it takes, is the thing that keeps me interested in this blog and is what keeps me posting day after day.
Dress: Forla Paris
Cardigan: Max Studio
Scarf: a boutique in San Luis Obispo
Belt: Oscar de la Renta
Boots (new!): Bronx