Sunday Style: The Pressure to Fit In

Skirt: c/o Apricot Lane, Tee: Shade, Cardigan: Target, Tights: Target, Shoes: Old, Necklace: Made Myself, Bracelet: Gift

The other day, when Emery and I both had the day off, we took a nice scenic drive over to Park City.  Although most of the Fall leaves have dropped to the ground, there was still a little bit of color to enjoy.  It's no Oregon (I may be a little biased), but Utah's mountains do provide some nice scenery!

We stopped along the way to take a little family picture.  Not bad for just setting the camera on the bridge and using the self-timer...I can't believe both kids actually looked at the camera and smiled at the right time!

Once we got to Park City, we made our way to the outlet stores.  I found the cutest lace-up boots, which I am super excited to wear!  The kids each got a sweater and Emery was a grump, so he didn't get anything (he hates the outlet mall).

At one point in our shopping excursion I found myself in JCrew, about to purchase a cardigan that was on sale.  Then I started thinking.  The only reason I was wanting to buy that sweater was because of the name on the label.  I remember acting like that in high school, always wanting those silly sweaters that had "American Eagle" or "Abercrombie" plastered all over the front.  Why was my adult self caring so much about having the "it" brands in my closet?  I guess it's just easy to get sucked back into that mentality when all of the "popular" bloggers have certain things.  Their daily outfits consist of Anthropologie, Madewell, JCrew and even more expensive high-end brands.  But the reality of the situation is that I can't afford to shop at those stores.  I will probably never own a pair of Louboutins or a Balenciaga bag.  And that's ok, right?  Because as far as I know, the majority of the population can't afford those items either.  And this isn't high school.  So, I quietly put the cardigan back and left the store.

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  1. Jenny, I can relate to your feelings! I walked in to JCrew a few weeks ago and bought a sweater that was on a great sale. I can never afford those high-end brands without a sale (And often even with the sale!). I got the sweater 1) because I LOVED it. 2) Because it was my birthday so I decided to treat myself. But I definitely feel pressured sometimes to "fit-in" and be like the more popular bloggers but then I think, as you did, most people can't afford that! I personally find so much more inspiration from bloggers like yourself who wear modest (both in covering & price!) than the high-end bloggers (though their outfits are gorgeous!) You're more REAL to me and I thank you for that! :)

    Blessings to you and your beautiful family!


  2. Your daughter's boots are FAB! Great family pic!
    Sheaffer :)

  3. I felt the same way about american eagle when I was in high school! and agree with you now too! I am a proud clearance shopper of old navy, target and kohls!

  4. You don't need to fit in! The wonderful thing about blogging is finding your own voice and unique style! Keep on being you!


  5. That's the beauty of maturing, you realize that you can look just as great in less expensive items. I like to make fashion approachable and affordable for ALL women. Not just those that can afford it. We all deserve to feel fabulous after all.

    You always look great. And your family picture is precious.


  6. Loved this post. I couldn't agree more. Don't worry I will always continue to shop at F21 and Old Navy because when I look at the price tags at JCrew or Madewell, I just can't imagine paying that much for 1 piece of clothing!

  7. haha--I've always had a policy of not buying clothes with the brand name in big letters all over it--to me it just looked ugly. And good for you, not being swayed by the brands other bloggers wear. That's one of the reasons I hardly ever mention the brand of some clothes I'm wearing. For one thing because I often don't know any more, and for another thing because I want to fight against brands being important. I do have some brands or stores I prefer because of styles or because they actually make sizes that fit me...but brands really aren't worth caring about. What should matter is whether you like what you wear! (and your husband, because his opinion counts too!) :P

  8. I soo know what you mean about brands. Not that I can even to attempt on sale prices. But it's hard to see other having the "it" and you don't. Then I remind myself: "I'm not them. I am me." And being me is just fine.

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  10. LOVE the skirt Jenny!

    The thing that I love most about fashion is that it is different for every single person. There is no "right" way to be fashionable, and there are no "must-have" brands that you have to wear in order to be a beautiful and successful style blogger.

    Cute is cute, no matter the name on the label :)

  11. I SO relate to this. I do mostly all, and yes, I mean mostly ALL, my clothing shopping at thrift stores. I believe in making the best use of the resources God has given me, and I really don't believe HE would be super impressed that we were wearing a manufacturer's label across our top. Gosh, shouldn't they be paying US to advertise for THEM for free?! I so appreciate your honesty, and hope you don't mind if I link back to this post in a post I want to do on my blog?

  12. Yep, totally know what you mean! I'm almost a year into blogging, and I think I am more aware of trends and labels now than I ever was before. Thanks for your honesty -- and stylish self! :)

  13. I agree that it is hard not to be swayed when constantly being bombarded with images of people wearing higher end pieces. Recently Garance Dore commented that she was ashamed and embarrassed to admit to a style icon that she was in fact wearing Zara pants. I don't consider Zara to be a super low end brand. Some of their stuff is quite pricey if you ask me. That statement kind of turned me off her. I had to remind myself that I'm not working with Karl Largerfield or lunching with the newest "it" stylist or fashion blogger to the stars Rachel Zoe. I'm having lunch with my husband, friends and family. They won't care that I'm not wearing a brand name. What they will notice is if I look happy.
    I will openly admit however that I am often swayed to purchase items that are on sale that I normally couldn't afford were it not for the sale price. Not because I'm trying to look like other bloggers, in fact quite the opposite, I want to have my own unique take on fashion. I purchase it because I like it and it looks good on me.

    I liked this post. I will think about it next time I'm in a JCrew store.


  14. Seriously! I won't throw away my old JCrew sweater, even though it has a stain and it's too small, because of the fact that it's from JCrew. It doesn't make sense to keep it, and know I realize it's from the pressure to fit in and wear cool things. What a great post Jenny!

    P.S. I LOVE that pleated skirt.

  15. I love these jewel toned colors together, they look fabulous. Perfect for Fall! You are your family are adorable!!!


  16. I agree, I don't like tops that provide 'free advertising' for a brand because they are emblazoned with the name of the brand.
    I'm glad you put it back. You are a great role model for your children as well as all of us readers!

  17. im sooo with you on this one. Blogging can be like being back in high school, you kinda want what the popular kids/blogs are wearing, but as a working mama i just cant afford it. And plus lots of the time they get given pieces too so dont have to part with their £$£$. With me it was Hunter wellies. but at £80 i just cant justify it for a pair of plastic boots with the hunter brand on them!
    anyway, glad you pointed this out hun and plus you look totally gorgeous!!that skirt is so so pretty on you and such a great length xxx

  18. Love the paragraph about labels! I feel the same way. THANK YOU for putting it into words!

  19. totally agree with all you said!!! Thanks for your words. There really are too many bloggers who go out shopping JUST so they can wear it on their blog. It disgusts me!

  20. I agree with you! You should buy clothing because you like it not because someone says it's the "it" brand. With that said, not everyone that CAN afford the more expensive clothing is shallow or selfish if they buy it. It's all about perspective and what makes YOU feel good. Expensive or not.

    1. I definitely agree with you Shannon. I am just saying my reasons for wanting to buy the cardigan in the first place was silly. If someone actually has the financial means to purchase items from these stores and they are buying them simply because they really love the way they look/feel that is totally fine :)

    2. I definitely agree with you Shannon. I am just saying my reasons for wanting to buy the cardigan in the first place was silly. If someone actually has the financial means to purchase items from these stores and they are buying them simply because they really love the way they look/feel that is totally fine :)

  21. It looks like you struck a chord. :) I know there have been times when I didn't want to post an outfit because I knew it didn't "add up" to what I've seen others posting. But I have MY life, not anyone else's, and comparison is the enemy of contentment.

  22. I agree with you say about brands. Sometimes it feels like if you don't wear these certain brands you won't be popular. I just wear what I LOVE, represents my style, and fits within my budget. I tend to take inspiration from those popular brands and just make my own copies for a fraction of the cost.

    Love your outfit, btw.

  23. I don't know why as teenagers we all wanted to wear A&F and AE with huge writing ABERCROMBIE & FITCH. So not cool, so not styling. I sure did it. HA It's just human nature to want to fit it. It's true though most of us cannot afford these high end brands. I have never bought anything from Anthro, Madewell, a designer pair of heels or a Kate Spade bag. Way to expensive for me.

    Method Clothe

  24. I love your beautiful and modest outfit. I'm glad you were able to resist the urge to buy. I'm not have much success at reducing my shopping spending. It's not making me happier.

  25. That's SUCH a great family picture! And I love your outfit and how the colors are so different, but yet they go really well as a whole. I completely get what you're saying about our adult selves acting like we're back in high school at times with the whole "popular" thing with blogs. I actually do the majority of my clothes shopping at Goodwill/Salvation Army stores, Target, Kohls,...places like that, with the occasional Loft or other more expensive store when I see something on sale that I really like. And as much as I WISH I could shop at Anthropologie, it's just not happening, and I'm okay with it. :)

  26. I think we all have those moments where we fall pray to peer pressure. It's tough! Generally, most of my clothes these days are from charity shops and primark, but I do own a Mark Jacobs bag and have a few "special" items. The thing is I saved for them and use them all the time - ok I think! :) x

  27. Unfortunately, I've done that before. Only I do it "cheaply"-thrift store. I'd pick up an item, look at the tag and go "oh!" Only to realize I didn't really like the piece, just the brand!
    A Modest Fashion Blog:

  28. I feel EXACTLY the same! Sometimes im even embarrassed to mention where a piece is from but I seriously can't afford to shop at all those great places so I stick to more affordable fashion for the most part. I think it's great to see other bloggers making the best of a budget!
    And im totally obsessed with your skirt in these photos! Perfect color, pleats and length. Cute family too!!

  29. Such a lovely family. Thank you for the honour of beeing in your site.

  30. I'm totally with ya on that one.....good for you for not conforming. You family is just precious. I know that's nothing short of a miracle to have everyone looking AND smiling! You're awesome, Jenny! :)

  31. oh! your family is darling! And good for you for not falling into the name brand trap! :)http://ktandcamsmith.blogspot.com/

  32. I'm proud of you! That took so much discipline to put the sweater down! I am working on an upcoming post that relates to this- I'm sure you'll be able to relate to the other things I write about.

    You look great by the way! (Arguably better than those girls who are mismatched, and unrealistically dressed, often from head to toe in J Crew.)

    Kate @ A Journey in Style

  33. i literally had a similiar experience on saturday. i too was in jcrew checking out the sale section when i had to put back the items that my heart was set on purchasing. they both were on sale for 45% off and i knew that id go over my budget to have them in my closest. i was sad. it didn't help that my husband was with me and in his eyes said, "sale is still money."

    i walked away, went home and slept it off, and woke up the next morning proud of myself. haha proud of YOU!!

    Darling family Jenny! xoxo

  34. Lovely pictures! I know what you mean that it is easy to find yourself wanting the "name brand" when most of the time you can't afford it. Then you stop and think that maybe the item isn't even that great! I tell myself, why pay more to advertise for free for some company? Why should I care to walk around with some logo. The people who run that company aren't walking around with my name on them. I don't really know if I'm expressing what I mean, but when you really start thinking about what it means to wear logos and visible brand names, it makes me feel like it's not only kind of silly and shallow, but maybe even we're unintentionally representing something we don't know much about and that is not what we want to be about.

  35. Amen to that. I find myself doing the same thing at times. That's a great photo of you family!

  36. Great post, and I totally agree with what you have stated here. It's so easy to get 'carry away' when you see some people sporting pieces, that as you mentioned, I simply can't afford. With the years I've learned to be more aware of the things I'm buying, and I try to keep in mind if I'm buying it because I really like it and I can really afford it, or just because it's a passing trend and I'm just getting caught up in it.


  37. i just found your blog and i loved this post!
    i wear gap and target and modcloth exclusively since i just can't swing anthro prices...but i love the clothes i wear, and i'd rather feel great in well-fitting gap clothes than feel guilty in anthro!