Truth be told, fashion-wise I have been feeling a little uninspired lately. Well, not so much uninspired... the inspiration I save on my boards simply don't seem to line up with the style I have stuck to for the past years. For some reason (I can think of a few, but more on that later), the way I (used to) dress, doesn't quite match with how I am feeling on the inside right now. A bit of a mood/style clash so to speak.
I feel that a style shift is coming up, but I am trying to hold on to my core aesthetic. Because that's what a strong personal style is about for me: venturing out, trying new things, implementing something you'd normally not reach for, but all this without losing "The Look" that makes you, you. I didn't choose the word 'NOIR' as part of my blog name/online identity for no reason. I do wear a lot of black... it's just that colours and patterns are slowly making their way into my wardrobe as well.
Silly (sadly?) enough, I sometimes feel as though I am obligated to stick to the regular program, because that's what most people expect. NOA NOIR = mostly black looks. But in reality (that would be offline life) I have been mixing things up, sometimes not wearing a single black item. And it's fine for me... but it does seem to affect the popularity of my posts, especially on Instagram. It's always
a bit of a numbers game... it's a fine line between producing & publishing genuine content and adapting to what you think others want to see. Sadly, a lot of the time both things don't line up for most - including myself. Where do you draw the line?!
'Authenticity' may be a buzz word, but it is something that truly is important to me. And especially being authentic to myself. In an ideal world, I would be 100% satisfied with my (genuine) content and at the same time "please" my audience and grow my numbers at a good pace... but that's simply out of my control - if I want to play the game honestly... Watching your numbers go up and down can be suffocating. Thankfully I am not in a position (anymore) that it directly influences how I feel about myself, but it definitely regularly kills my creativity. Being valued, or having a sense of validation for your work, is important after all. Whether that's a like, comment or new follow... in the end it does help business, so completely ignoring the numbers is simply not an option.
But lately I have been asking myself: do I stick to a certain routine/aesthetic because I know it works well enough, keeping my numbers in check? Or do I experiment more, evolve, maybe publish some non-typical NOA NOIR content when I feel like it, with the risk of losing some likes and followers in the process? Do you stick to the same Spiel forever, in the comfort zone, or do you risk/try/fail/succeed while going with your creative flow and whatever currently inspires you?
I have always said I like stepping outside of my comfort zone, which is, well, not completely true. I don't like leaving my comfort zone per se - it's kind of uncomfortable ;-) - but I do like the reward that is waiting for me somewhere in that scary grey area. I have moved abroad multiple times, made major decisions on a whim based on my gut feeling, ditched a full-time job without any (financial) preparation for freelance life... And so far they have all been great decisions. With some major setbacks at times, for sure, but I wouldn't change it because all those shitty times have brought me to where & who I am now. And I am happy with that.
So, this post ends slightly more philosophical than I intended, but it all comes back to being authentic. Sticking to what feels right for you, ignoring the rules, just going with it. In life, in style, in black or in colour... we'll see.