Are You Playing the Comparison Game?

 One of my current obsessions: BASIC Chelsea Boots Topshop USA. $65. I just ordered a pair for myself.

I used to feel guilty every time I purchased a new piece of clothing or pair of shoes. Until, one day my husband said the most amazing words to me. He said, "you shouldn't feel guilty. That's your art form."


Some people paint, others sculpt, I create outfits in my mind. That is my art form. 

As a personal stylist, having the opportunity to create while helping to teach someone else is incredibly gratifying. Why am I bringing this up? 

In casual conversations people often share with me their admiration for a style guru in their lives. Perhaps it's someone at the office who always looks incredible, a friend or family member. Looking fashionable seems effortless to this guru. She (or he) is always put together, stunning, current. I love hearing about this style guru because that person can be a helpful inspiration during the style transformation process. Seeing someone else's success can inspire us to work toward our own goals. 

The danger is when you start playing the comparison game. When looking at that style guru again and again makes you doubt your own look, feel insecure about attempting a riskier approach to style, or give up all together, we have a problem. That's when I need to step in. So, here I am, stepping in.


Gut Check: Are You Playing the Comparison Game?


 Another current obsession: the perfect weekender for a man. Herringbone Weekend Bag. Mango. $109.99.

1. You versus who you think person X wants you to be.

Trauma: You feel like your partner, friends, co-workers, family, fill in the blank, want you to be hipper, younger, thinner, etc. 

Solution: It's hard to really ever know what someone else thinks about us. And, really, you can't control what anyone thinks of you. So, why bother? The goal is for YOU to feel confident everyday that your clothes communicate who you are, not who someone else wants you to be. If you can do that, their opinion will matter much less. And, if you can do that well, their opinion either won't matter at all or you might be surprised at the impact you have on their opinion. Either way, you look and feel awesome. Check!

 The look of Converse for kids without the need to tie. High Tops. Available in blue, white. H&M. $14.95.

2. Apples to apples.

Trauma: No matter how hard you try, you feel like you just don't look as good as (fill in the blank). 

Solution: Your very stylish co-worker has likely been cultivating her personal style for years. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to catch up. Seriously. 

 Scandal isn't as good as it used to be, but the clothes in the Scandal Collection for the Limited are glorious and sophisticated. Drape Collar Wrap Coat. Available in pink, sage green. The Limited. $248.

3. You versus you.

Trauma: This is the worst. You get up in the morning to look for something to wear. The weather inspires you to go for that lightweight summer dress you haven't worn since last summer. You put it on. You can imagine what happens next.

Whether it's age, weight, the lack of a tan, your different haircut, whatever the case may be, you find yourself comparing today's you with yesterday's you. Seriously, you just decided that you aren't as lovely as.... you. 

Solution: Twice a year (once for warm weather and once for cold) do a brutal closet edit. Your closet should feel like a boutique made just for you. If it doesn't fit, isn't flattering for any reason or just doesn't communicate your current personal style, move it to another room. Need a little help? That's where I come in.

Competition can be healthy. It can help us achieve. It can also be damaging. So, when it comes to your personal style, remember that the only person who can control whether or not you are playing the comparison game is you. I know it's tempting, especially on those days when you are extra tired or super stressed. But, if you can keep yourself from playing the game, you are sure to somehow always win. 

Enjoying the blog? If so, sign up for the Poplin email list and receive e-newsletters, fashion tips and invitations to exclusive events. All email subscribers (and folks who like Poplin on Facebook will be entered into a drawing for $250 worth of apparel from TomboyX, a free Poplin Style Direction styling session and much more.  Today is the last day to enter.

Like what you see on the site?

Please remember to click on items directly when you decide to buy, as Poplin may receive a commission on your purchase. Thanks for supporting Poplin!