Hands up if you use Pinterest for your style inspiration? Yeah I thought so too! Pinterest is often cited by many as a go-to tool when they need some ideas for outfits and new looks. It’s brilliant for creating vision boards and collating images that can easily be accessed from pretty much anywhere. I remember in my early 20s spending hours sourcing and cutting out pictures from newspapers and magazines to pin on an old cork board. I’d create vision boards with images of the things I’d want to achieve. All that’s now a thing of the past. So you’re probably wondering what exactly is wrong with it then?
Thin and Pretty
There’s nothing wrong with the platform, but rather the content. I often use it to as a starting point for clients but the more I do this the more I keep drawing the same conclusion. There’s very little diversity on there. If you’re a white, tanned, slim female it’s all unicorns and rainbows. However, if you’re any other body shape then you’re going to have to do some major digging to come up with ideas that will work for you. It reminds me a little of the point Vahni from Grit and Glamour made about sites like lookbooknu and chictopia years back.
When I talk about diversity, I’m not really talking about race, though you could make a point about that too. I’m more concerned with a broad range of body shapes (or lack of) being available when I look at women’s fashion. Yeah jumpsuits and crop tops maybe nice to look at. But if they don’t give you any outfit ideas you can take away with you then theres no value from that pin, other than the appreciation of the aesthetic.
I decided to do a (not very scientific) test for the purpose of this post. I selected women’s fashion and flicked my trackpad until the page scrolled and randomly stopped. I did this five times and selected from the images that were on my screen, so it was completely random. I used the images I found through-out this post. You’ll notice they’re very similar and although the outfits maybe different, they all fit the same body shape.
It’s probably no surprise that these images are all from bloggers. I was getting some serious blog envy when clicking through to check out where they were from.
“But we don’t want to go back to cutting out pictures from magazines” I hear you say! You don’t have to and most fashion magazines are just as bad, if not worse at only representing one particular type of woman.
What Do I Do Now?
Get your shovels ready because you’re going to have to do some digging. Searching certain terms like ‘plus size’ (I hate that term but hey-ho, that community seem to own it) will give you some success. But if you’re anything in between you’ll need to know what body shape you are to yield some semi-decent results.
Get out there! One of my consistent sources of inspiration are the people I see around me in real life. You see a huge mix of shapes and sizes all with their own individual style. In any big city you’re going to see someone who really nails it in the style stakes. If you’re from a small town use it as an excuse to travel and visit a near by (or far) city. I’m pretty sure you don’t need an excuse for a shopping trip and you can see if those Parisian women really are as chic as everyone seems to think they are.
I’m not saying give up on it completely but don’t rely on it solely for your source of style inspiration. The value you’ll get from it is questionable, although there’s plenty of content to go at. Not all of it maybe relevant to you. Besides, getting out there and exploring different sources of inspiration is exciting and will lead to an all-round, diverse personal style. Now where did I put my passport…
Have you noticed anything similar on Pinterest?
I love reading and replying to all my comments and will click-through to say ‘hello’ and visit you on your site. I usually end up working with those of you that do comment in some capacity, whether it be a guest post or Google hangout.