Over the last few months I've been thinking a lot more about clothes and fashion. It's the confluence of several factors: having moved to a climate where my choices of what to wear are less constrained by the weather than they were in Indiana; having more money to spend on clothes as a result of having finished grad school and gotten a Real Job; being around people at said job who generally dress more nicely than most of my grad-school colleagues did; and having gotten to a point in life where I don't really care if someone considers me frivolous for caring about clothes. So I've been trying to wear nicer, more interesting, and more adventurous clothes and accessories, and with Alex oniugnip's assistance, I've been taking a few outfit photos.
I've also been posting photos on the ModCloth "Style Gallery". I'm a big fan of ModCloth. Although I've bought a lot of clothes there -- starting with my wedding dress, almost four years ago -- one of the reasons I like it so much is that they work hard to make it a community rather than just a place to buy clothes. In fact, of the Style Gallery photos that people post, most don't even feature any garments that were bought on the site! (All of my photos do, so far, since most of the clothes I have that are worth photographing are from ModCloth.) I've had a lot of fun browsing other people's outfit photos and collecting ones of outfits I like and can picture myself actually wearing.
Over the years I've wasted a lot of time and money trying to improve my wardrobe by buying things that ultimately just hung in the closet, because they were too hard to take care of, or they didn't work with the rest of my clothes, or it was too hard to ride my bike while wearing them, or they just never looked right or seemed like the right thing to wear. I'm trying to do better about that this time, and also weed out the old, bad stuff as I accumulate new stuff. In fact, pretty soon I want to do some sort of exercise where I try to wear all n items in my closet over the course of at most n days, and if there's anything that I just can't bring myself to wear in that time, then I have to get rid of it at the end of the n days.
I'm also thinking about starting a blog about this stuff. I find that I like to talk about clothes, and I don't have a lot of opportunity to do so in my everyday life. I might see someone at work whose clothes I like, but I know that some people don't feel comfortable receiving compliments on their clothes, perhaps particularly if they're from a culture with a default expectation of cuteness -- as Alex pointed out to me, a compliment might come across like someone saying to me, "Wow, look at your jeans! They're really jeans that you're definitely wearing and they more or less fit!" Even if someone does like getting compliments, they might not want to talk about clothes while they're at work, when there are other things occupying them. And this is without even getting into the issues raised by the exchange of appearance-related compliments between people who have varying degrees of power over each other in the workplace or in society. But a fashion blog is different -- it signals, "Let's talk about clothes, and in particular, feel free to talk to me about my clothes."