I’m a Fashion Fraud

It’s true. I’m a fashion fraud. Actually, I should really say style fraud, but I like the alliteration better.

Pinterest has helped me come to this conclusion. Let me explain.

I like the outfits in the following three photos. All three are comfortable, work appropriate, not too boring, and are pulled together. But here’s the problem, none of them represent how I see my style – at least not my ideal style.

fashion fraud one
Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses • old cardigan from a local boutique • So Worth Loving tee (read more about it here)• Club Monaco necklace • Limited skirt • Sole Society shoes

Fantas Eyes sunglasses • dress worn as a top from a stall in London • Asos lace skirt (now on sale in coral) • Dolce Vita sandals

Phillip Lim for Target top • second hand Derek Lam jacket • Spotted Moth pencil skirt • BC Footwear wedges • Longchamp bag

What’s my ideal style? If you take a look at my Style Inspiration Pinterest board, it looks something like this:

A lot of menswear inspired pieces, minimal patterns, lots of neutrals, structured pieces, tailored pants, and mostly black shoes. I have some of these items in my closet, but they’re few and far between. Which leads me to ask, why do I end up buying items that don’t reflect the style I want?

After some thought, I’ve come up with a couple of reasons:

1. Impulse purchases – I find that I’ve done more of this with so many designer collabs and seemingly never-ending online sales.
2. Lack of focus – A lot of times when I’m out shopping I have a vague idea of what I need (another pencil skirt, a blouse for work), but nothing specific.
3. Laziness – I tend to wear the same outfits over and over again because when I get up in the morning I don’t have the creative energy to think of something different. Also, menswear inspired pieces like oxford shirts and tailored trousers usually require some sort of ironing or planned out trips to the dry cleaner.

In a perfect world, I would give away almost all of my clothes a buy everything on my Keep Fall 2013 Shopping List.

Keep Fall shopping list

But in reality I have very little money budgeted for clothes. So, here’s my plan:

1. No more impulse purchases. Duh. I’m going to unsubscribe to all those shop e-newsletters so I won’t get tempted to buy items randomly online.
2. I have a list of specific items I need (well, want) on my phone’s notepad. So next time I just happen to find myself shopping, I can stick to what I really need/want. I got this idea from Hilary Rushford.
3. I’m going to stop being lazy! Just kidding. That’s impractical – sitting on the couch watching TV is just too enjoyable. But I’ve started using Dryel and it’s made my life much easier – and more affordable.
4. Using Keep.com has been really helpful because it notifies me if any of my items I’ve posted go on sale.
5. Be more deliberate about how I spend my money – this applies to clothes and everything else. I go through periods where I’m really good at sticking to a monthly budget and then there are those other times – like when I travel – that my budget just goes out the window.

I’ll keep you posted on how well I stick to my plan. Hopefully you’ll see some evidence of change in upcoming blog posts.

What about you? Am I the only who has this problem of real style versus ideal style? I feel a little ashamed that I’m a style blogger and am now just realizing my vision doesn’t match my reality. Leave a comment, I can’t wait to read your thoughts!


Dearest Lar,

You’ve been much better at buying clothing items that you need and walking the talk of ethical fashion. I know some of that has to do with your limited closet space, but I still find it so admirable. Also, you’re able to save up for things like a pair of Ferragamos where I’d be pushing it to save up for a pair of Payless boots 😉

I feel like I had a better weekend than usual because I was able to Skype with you twice!

Love you so!

xoxo, Cath

16 thoughts on “I’m a Fashion Fraud”

  1. I know what you mean. My mental ideal style is very streamlined and clean with fantastic tailoring – strong shoulders, good angles. My day-to-day style is . busier. But I think for me, my mental ideal doesn’t really work with my body type most of the time(like pleated cropped trousers – don’t look good on me). I don’t know – but really interesting question!

    1. Lisa, you’re totally right. I find that I end up pinning styles that I like only to realize that I like them because they look good on someone with zero percent body fat. Almost everything looks good on a hanger! I think that’s why I don’t buy as many pants. Skirts tend to look better on me and it takes me ten times as much time to find great-fitting pants 🙂

  2. You know it’s so funny, Cath. I actually think of your ideal style as very similar to your actual style. I know you wear more color these days, but I remember when we were like 17, even then you loved a good cut and slightly masculine pieces — way before anyone made them popular — so that’s how I think of your style!

    Mine has actually gotten more monochromatic since I paired down my wardrobe — so that I can wear things in multiple combinations. So maybe add paring down to your list. That really helped me see what I had and what could go with what.

    I know how hard it is not to impulse buy. I would so be doing more of that if I lived stateside. I think you do so well with so much temptation: Tarjay! The dollar (v the pound!). Watch out at xmas ;D

    xoxoxox, Lar

    1. Awwww, thanks for thinking so highly of my style. I hope I can live up to the image you have of me in your head. I think paring things down would help a lot. I’m trying to get better at giving away or selling items that I like, but really never end up wearing for a multitude of reasons. I think having less also forces you to be creative and I haven’t pushed my creative side much lately. Time to start DIY-ing more – and thrifting!

      Can’t wait for you to come home this Christmas! I promise I won’t tempt you too much to shop 😉

  3. Definitely! My ideal style is fairly sleek and I have come to realise that a lot of the clothes Inlove and admire on others wouldn’t work for my body type or would be horribly impractical for my lifestyle. I still love looking for ideal style pieces as they inspire me and once in a while the stars align and I find something that tick all the boxes (ideal style, suits me, is practical and fits my budget) – otherwise known as a GOOD day 🙂
    I also tend to do this with my home. I have an ideal style there too, but the reality does not resemble it at all. That is totally the fault of unfocussed and uncoordinated shopping though. And I like your idea of keeping a list on my phone. I am putting a staircase up to my attic early next year and am going to turn the attic into a bedroom in the process and your tips on how you are going to turn your style around might just be the guidelines I need to do my bedroom up right. Thank you!!!!

    1. I think you’re right. Those tips could really apply to so many things. Creating an extra bedroom is so exciting! I know I’d be tempted to just go crazy at Ikea and Home Goods 🙂

      You make a very good point about clothes not working for your body type or being impractical. Like I responded to Lisa, I realize that some of the stuff I pin looks great on models, but would look ridiculous on me. Nevertheless, I think a lot of my style failings (that sounds harsher than I intended) are due to the fact that I fall into outfit ruts pretty easily.

      I can’t wait to hear how your renovation goes!

    1. Yay! So glad another style blogger feels the same way. I do blame blogging partially, because I attend store events and always want to buy something new and shiny. I just have to get more disciplined!

  4. I can empathize! I think it’s interesting that your pins are almost all pants. I have the same wardrobe goal so I am going to try to take some inspiration from you.

    1. Oh good! I’ll try to keep everyone posted on my search for good pants. I clearly like them, I just rarely have the patience to try them on. I know if I buy a skirt online I can make it work even if it doesn’t fit perfectly. Pants are not the same way. And I usually have to try on at least 5 pairs before I find something that remotely works. But I suppose it’s worth spending time looking for something you’re going to spend money on. Let me know how your wardrobe goal achievements go!

  5. Such a great post! My dilemma is that my ideal style is as all over the place as my current wardrobe. I love masculine pieces, for sure. I like vintage party dresses, classic ballet flats, oxfords/brogues, cigarette pants, luxe fabrics, and silky blouses. I love pops of color but also love all black and neutrals. But, I find myself buying things that are none-of-the-above because “I need a jacket,” or it’s on sale, or what a cool thrift-store find. UUgh. I have a wardrobe wishlist that I put together 2 yrs ago and I haven’t bought one thing from the list. Probably because they are expensive pieces, but if I had not bought the few silly purchases I made, I could have bought one thing from the list. Plus, throw crazy post-partum body in the mix, the NEED for nursing-easy clothing, and that my husband likes “colorful clothes” on me, clothes shopping is just so all over the place for me. One day. One day, I will have an awesome wardrobe. Sorry for the ramble.

    1. I love the rambling! My style used to be more all over the place because I used to buy a lot of trendy pieces, but now I’m trying to be a little more mature and purchase pieces that’ll last longer than a season – I’m not always successful at that 😉
      It’s so hard not to get tempted by sales or cheaper, trendy pieces. Places like Primark and H&M make it almost impossible!
      You mentioned your husband. When my bf saw the photos from my Pinterest board, he was like, ” Those outfits are horrible!” Ha! Too bad!
      But don’t worry, one day we’ll both have awesome wardrobes!

  6. I love your style inspiration board on Pinterest 🙂

    One thing I would recommend for the menswear look (if you want to do button-downs) is to invest in a few Brooks Brothers non-iron shirts. They are well tailored, last forever, and don’t need to be dry cleaned.

    1. Brilliant! I never think of going to Brooks Bros because I’ve always written it off as too expensive. But investing in a few key pieces – especially low maintenance ones – would totally be worth it. $98.50 isn’t crazy expensive if it lasts forever. Now I just need to be disciplined enough to save up for one -or two or three!

  7. i always do the same thing too! I don’t think I know how to shop for clothes. I would say I have a lot of similar style pins as you. I just want a personal shopper. haha

  8. Oh man, I am a huge fashion fraud. My pinterest board looks nothing like what I wear on a daily basis. It is mostly dresses and I wear jeans and t-shirts mostly. I have been wanting to remedy that for some time. This Keep site sounds amazing! I will have to try it out.

Leave a Reply