If you examine some of the current internet vernacular, it’s indicative of a culture that’s become hyper aware of the “other,” while simultaneously increasing focus on the self. Whether you’re using the hashtag #humblebrag to poke fun at all the rampant social media boasting, or the acronym FOMO to reference the feeling of being acutely cognizant of all the fun you’re missing out on, it’s clear to this editor that social comparisons are at an all time high. I’m no stranger to the uncomfortable, yet addicting nature of measuring your life against another’s. Especially in fashion, where appearances are a major part of the industry, it’s very easy to scroll through Instagram and feel that your closet, your style, and essentially your entire self is inadequate. Just like kicking any bad habit, there are a few steps we can take to stop playing keeping up with the Joneses, or in our case, keeping up with the Palermos, Chungs, and Delevingnes of the fashion world.
Scroll down to learn how to finally quit the comparison game—I promise you’ll ultimately be happier!
Randi Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, urges people to focus more on JOMO (the joy of missing out) instead of FOMO. She recommends the following mantra: There is nowhere I’d rather be than exactly where I am. We suggest the slight style spin: There is nothing I need right now. I am perfectly content with my style and all that I have. The general idea is to practice an attitude of gratitude (excuse the cheesy rhyming).
Nothing puts your life in perspective more quickly than helping those in need. We recommend volunteering with a fashion-based charity such as Dress For Success.
Ready for an ego boost? No matter your background, income, or lifestyle, you have a style that is special and unique, and you have the ability to put together incredible outfits. Recognize your style successes, and take the time to feel proud of them. This feel-good trick is a sneaky way to motivate yourself to pursue even higher levels of style and to stop focusing on others as much.
Fun fact: People with goals are nearly 20% more satisfied with their lives. This applies to the fashion realm too—if you take the time to make some style goals (here are our top five suggestions), you’ll feel as if your personal style is in your control and progressing, and subsequently feel less of a need to turn an envious eye to what others are doing and wearing. Another tip? Set small, achievable goals, like planning just one of your outfits in advance. Life satisfaction is 22% higher for those with a steady stream of minor accomplishments, rather than those who are interested only in achieving major goals.
Remember that life seen through an Instagram filter is usually pretty far from the real thing. Not to mention, most celebrities and magazine editorials have a team of wardrobe stylists whose entire job is to make them look incredible. We often have the tendency to be more forgiving in the way we see others, and be harshest on ourselves. Sometimes a little reality check is the best way to snap out of the comparison game.
Do you find yourself frequently comparing yourself to others? Tell me I'm not alone here! Let me know in the comments below!