May Influence Delight

I've been pondering the difference and separation between influence and inspiration lately. To me, influence seems to be the things that guide us and affect us, but we aren't totally aware of. Inspiration is that spark that drives you; something you spy and it creates a nebulous vision in your mind. Inspiration can be incoherent, but it has a palpable presence, whereas influence is there without us every seeing it. Like some mastermind or puppeteer, influence pulls the strings that make us dance.

However, where does one begin and the other end? Are not certain objects influencing and inspiring us simultaneously? I suppose what really bothers me in this pointless contemplation is the little matter of free will. How free or independent is anyone when their very surroundings have a profound impact upon their thoughts? Even when we feel inspired there remains the niggling worry that we're really just having a gut reaction to something placed in eyesight...
So this outfit: inspired by this image (haunted me for months now) and influenced by my surroundings.
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"The poet's habit of living should be set on a key so low that the common influences should delight him." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Outfit details: dress- H&M, necklace courtesy of Modcloth, bangles- Marc Jacobs via eBay, tights- Urban Outfitters, shoes- Bloch via Gilt Groupe, nail polish- self mixed

CONVERSATION

117 comments:

  1. you look precious and what beautiful images!

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  2. I really love those tights. I really need to get a pair like them. You have such great style.

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  3. The lace tights look great with that dress.

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  4. I love how you broke down the difference between influence and inspiration.
    Your outfit is lovely, as always.

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  5. I really enjoyed reading this post! I also love love your thick gold bangles. As always you look amazing and these are beautiful pictures!

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  6. I love the black and gold combi, and your patterned tights are really pretty~ (Black & Gold is also one of my favourite songs btw XDD)

    I'd never discerned between inspiration and influence, but what you said really does make sense :)

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  7. Love the dress.

    I know what you mean about the inspiration vs. influence with regards to free will. Is it still us making the decision if we were influenced by something? And how heavily does one have to be influenced (and know that they're being influenced?) before it's not their own decision? I wonder what the law says about this, perhaps it has something to do with brainwashing.

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  8. Like renwore, I never thought twice about distinguishing influence from inspiration but your post is making me think about it. Such a pensive introduction for an outfit post; you do this many times over and I love how your posts make me think. I do agree that influence guides us and drives us to do things and it's not a entirely palpable force...sorta like the collective unconscious.

    Anyways, great outfit - I can see the connection between this and your inspiration source but I liked how you used black instead of white!

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  9. Love the way you described both influence and inspiration! Makes sense! Love the dress!

    colormenana.blogspot.com

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  10. beautiful photos as always! Love the tights!

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  11. I love this! It's adorable and looks really comfy. :) The pale blue nail polish is also pretty great!

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  12. I love your gold bracelets! tights! shoes! and really cute!!

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  13. such a cute dress. fabric buttons are my favourite thing everrrr

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  14. Amazing! Lovely scenery! Wow! love your outfit, the addition of the gold cuff really is the perfect touch!

    -Coco from Our Paper Moon

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  15. I would say that influence affects us without our knowing where as we are aware of what inspires us :)

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  16. i LOVE that dress on you and those rad mint-colored nails.
    the influence/inspiration line is an interesting one to tow. so often, isn't that how trends work? when you see them first, you might hate them, but after seeing them on dozens of people influence sets in so much that you eventually credit it to inspiration.

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  17. i love your shoes with this outfit! great choice with the tights also. xo

    http://www.halcoholic.com

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  18. Love it! xxxx
    Camilla

    RAINBOWPAVINGSTONES.BLOGSPOT.COM

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  19. You're going to be a great philosopher one day, I can feel it. I agree that it seems nothing is your own anymore. Also, people get somewhat superstitious when you made something (a writing, drawing etc.) and they tend to think you faked it from.. somewhere. And sure you get influenced and inspired by things on the outside, but that's either unconsciously or minimal. People should have more faith in their own, and in others's personal creations.

    Love your shoes :D and the nail polish, and.. the entire thing, once again ;)

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  20. I love this dress. It seems like one of those things that you can wear in many different ways. Plus those tights are gorgeous.

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  21. love the mj bangles! gorgeous photos! the setting is amazing.

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  22. Great post...good thinker for the new year. Espesh with blogging now, it is so hard to distiguish between influence and inspiration. Did I come up with that outfit alone or did I see it on a blog somewhere?

    Anyway, your images are beautiful and I love all the elements of this outfit-espesh the dress!

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  23. The details on the tights are so beautiful. I can definitely see how the outfit was influenced and inspired by your picture and the surroundings.

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  24. Oh, my, that dress is gorgeous. I love your pictures, Rebecca, they're always so romantic and with a note of melancholy that I love!

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  25. REBECCA! These images are stunning. Absolutely in love with the last 3! Perfection. Love that gigantic gold bangle.

    xoxo
    J

    www.talkprettytome.blogspot.com

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  26. Oh dear, this is such a marvelous post. I love having a little peek into your (extraordinary!) thoughts and I have the same questions as you. It makes me feel a little weak and a little helpless even as I am happily putting on my new wares! Your accessories have been superfine lately and so has your hair!

    xx Jenny

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  27. gorgeous darling
    wonderful inspiration, great
    refreshing and cool blog as always, keep it up
    thanks for sharing

    -cma
    COSMICaroline.blogspot.com

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  28. your wonder woman cuffs are amazing!!!
    love the photos!

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  29. Love the bangles, greek goddess style.

    gisnotforgucci.blogspot.com

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  30. I suppose I think about this inspiration v. influence a great deal (I don't think I've specifically defined either side of that internal dialogue - but it is the same question).

    As far as this photo, I think you already know my feelings. It's one of my favorites from the past year! Your (wonderful) outfit is just paying homage to that - I think inspiration is the right word.

    To me, inspiration is fleeting but influence becomes and remains a part of your being.

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  31. This outfit is marvelous! I recently bought a black dress like that and I was planning on wearing it with lace tights too! Haha, amazing.

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  32. Really interesting to read your thoughts on influence and inspiration. I'm inclined to agree with you on both counts. I think influence is something quite solid, reliable and tangible, whereas inspiration is whimsy, ever-changing, fluid.

    I love the striking black against the soft brown of your surroundings. Pretty.

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  33. Beautiful pictures...

    Love & Aloha, S
    www.elisharon.blogspot.com

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  34. Although I don't really understand the term influence here (others' influence on you? your influence on others?) my first thought was 'influence can clog up inspiration'... But then I thought 'maybe there is no inspiration without influence'... oh dear, difficult one. About the dress and the tights - 30 comments before me have said it all. Sabine x

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  35. lovely. i have this dress too, it looks great with the lace tights :)

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  36. Love those bangles! This is a great photo shoot.

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  37. gorgeous! i like that you wore it in all black.

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  38. love this look! the bangles are so fabulous!

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  39. Loving your gold bangles!! Black and Gold always looks great together! xoxoxoxo

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  40. that makes complete sense!! very insightful!

    i almost got that dress in red :)

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  41. I L-O-V-E your blog. What fashion sense! what creativity! Im surfing about the blogging world, trying to find some inspiration, and you struck a chord! kudos.

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  42. The 6th picture is my favorite, its very different from what you've done before. I love your dress and tights.
    http://thedollhouse0101.blogspot.com/

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  43. such fab bangles, I remember from before. I like how you kept this look simpl for them (and the lace tights) to take centre stage.

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  44. i ponder about that too--how much of our thoughts are really ours, and things like that. but i don't think we'll ever really know since everything is so interrelated and influenced by each other.

    anyway, you look so lovely in that dress!! the button detail is so cute!

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  45. The dress is perfect. Those gold bangles are amazing and really make this outfit pop.

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  46. Wonderful post and thoughts. It really made me contemplate my own influences that I'm never fully aware of. Curious how something as simple as our surroundings or the weather can change our inspirations and style.

    You look adorable, as always! And I see you're wearing your horse necklace again! It's so cute! :D

    http://playingdressupwithkellie.blogspot.com/

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  47. Love the outfit. I wish I could find awesome dresses like the ones you have.

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  48. wonderful photos!

    http://alinemaira.blogspot.com

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  49. This has to be one of my favorite outfits yet!!!!!

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  50. This dress is absolutely fantastic!! So are these photos, just perfect. Do you still take them yourself? I can't imagine how difficult that is... or maybe it's better than having someone else do it?

    ♥ Aya
    www.strawberrykoi.com

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  51. the lace tights are beautiful with the pointed oxfords ! i love how u photograph ur outfits in these scenes.. they look mytical :D

    marvelous blog post !
    keep me updated with ur new posts :D id love to check 'em out !

    thanks for taking the time to comment and visit my blog .
    visit / comment / follow me back at..
    * GLISTERS and blisters *

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  52. Ho, I have the same dress from H&M but in red color! It's funny I've done photos of it this sunday, I will put them soon in my blog.
    In this color it's really nice too! I love your tights and these pretty shoes!!
    Kisses from Paris!
    Pandore

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  53. your outfits and photos never cease to impress - fun and quirky while still staying true to your style =)

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  54. great outfit. i'd have to say i'm inspired!

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  55. These are such beautiful photos, almost gothic. I love this!

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  56. gorgeous outfit, I love the gold accessories

    lovelove,
    http://marissaexplains.blogspot.com

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  57. Those bangles are bananas!!! If I was guaranteed that they wouldn't fall right off of my insanely small hands, I'd start looking for them online right now! Love them!

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  58. The surroundings complement your outfit perfectly, in color scheme! And those tights are almost inspirational themselves-- and I love how those bracelets resemble giant cuff links, and you've broken free...

    http://charmalade.blogspot.com/

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  59. Your hair is looking particularly good!

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  60. is that a rocking horse necklace? my mom had an entire collection of rocking horses when she was younger! if only she werent so "practical" ... it'd be the perfect gift for her!

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  61. Beautiful what you said between inspiration and influence. I guess I myself mix that up sometimes.

    I really adore your black dress and tights with those 2 statement goold cuffs,so stunning!

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  62. dudeee it says black long sleeve dress on my clothes-i-want-to-buy list. you put it together really nicely!

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  63. Very cool. Your version turned out beautifully.

    closet365.wordpress.com

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  64. I love how you took the little details in that photo and made them your own. My style has definitely been inspired by living in Taipei. A lot of the stuff here is either overly ornamented (lots of rhinestones, sequins, lace appliques, embroidery, bright colors, etc.) or shapeless (baby doll tops, etc.). At first I reacted against it, but then I started incorporating little details from what I saw into my outfits. That to me is inspiration, because I'm figuring out how to translate what's popular here into my own sartorial language. I agree with you that to be influenced connotes a more passive acceptance of outside forces.
    Great entry! It gave me a lot of food for thought.

    the renegade bean

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  65. "The poet's habit of living should be set on a key so low that the common influences should delight him." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I suppose Thoreau took this to the extreme, but it's food for thought: not a feast though, just a small meal.

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  66. great outfits as always,love ur bangle, I want it soo bad!

    xxx

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  67. really beautiful setting, i love it! :)

    xoxo

    natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

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  68. I just love that little dress so much. This post definitely got me thinking about influence/inspiration, Rebecca! Thank you.

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  69. i'm a lover of bangles...and what you did here is so chic! not over the top at all..:D

    i think the answer to your question is: choice.. but i don't know..sometimes i just go with the flow..i try my best not to ponder too much about things...sometimes, it's best that way *wink*

    gizellefaye.blogspot.com

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  70. you are the only one blogger i know who update your blog very often

    i like you so much!!!



    greetings from indonesia :)

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  71. i quite agree with your definition :)
    i believe inspiration is something you looked for, aware of it, whereas influence comes and goes whether you know it or not :)

    really nice black dress, loove it

    leen

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  72. i love your tight.
    beautifuls photos
    www.whatdialike.com

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  73. I am so in love wit your shoes & tights.

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  74. I love the picture you were inspired by, and that you wore black while she's in white, amazing.

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  75. Love the black dress on black lace tights with patent black shoes, 1 colour but different texture!

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  76. these pictures are so romantic. love them!

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  77. oh darling
    i love the dress and the accesories<3
    and i must say thank you for the lovely coments
    huggs,nana

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  78. Please tell me that is your backyard. How lovely...

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  79. I hope you're taking the GRE (for graduate work in philosophy) in addition to the LSAT. You have a great philosophical disposition. And I don't know how you do it, but you are able to perfectly illustrate your philosophical ponderings with your photography.

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  80. You're so lovely ! Happy new year dear !

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  81. Oh how I love those Marc Jacobs Bangles! Say, how did you mix your nailpolish? Is it actually mint green as it appears on the pictures?
    I am really in search of mint green nailpolish right now but the only ones I know of are Chanel Jade (way too expensive) and polishes by Essie and OPI but those are also about $19 here in Europe :(

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  82. Love the bangles and the necklace. Pretty pictures.

    Carmen.xx.

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  83. I completely agree with you, inspiration influence us by choice when influence we don't even know it strike us. I want to believe I'm rather have more inspiration than influence!

    love black outfits with golden accessories! and I adore your tights!
    x

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  84. It's hard not to blend inspirations and influences together, to the point where it's hard they seem impossible to separate. I can't begin to tell you how much I love this outfit & photo series...one of my favorites of yours! You look beautiful as always!

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  85. you self-mix your nail polish? how cool is thath!

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  86. Gorgeous! I love how you make black look so light and fresh, somehow! x

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  87. You look absolutely stunning. I couldn't love this outfit more!

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  88. love the tights, and your hair is beautiful. :)

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  89. Your dress and gold bangles are gorgeous.

    Lulu Letty

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  90. AMAZING!
    love it!!
    dress shoes!!
    all!!
    es una buena entrada para
    comenzar el año
    suerte :D

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  91. you look fantastic! I love those tights and dress. your necklace is lovely aswell :) this is an all around delight.

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  92. very haunting images. A stunning set. Like a ghost of a child pioneer.
    -indigo

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  93. love your outfits and this blog, happy new year from France :)

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  94. i really like that dress, is it recent h&m?

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  95. love that style! and the tights...ahhh :) gorgeous

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  96. Ah, a visit to your blog is a long overdue. What can I say is how your thoughts has influenced me a lot to finally be inspired...

    Just like now, seeing you on that classic outfits, bring me serenity and overjoy. This is a good excitement for my early days of the year. Keep inspiring, Rebecca :)

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  97. you could also say influence sometimes causes inspiration, so it's not all bad! Those bracelets are wonderful, kind of Cleopatra-esque.

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  98. That's a good thought, hmm, for me, I think influence means acting on it. While inspiration floats around me all the time, I don't necessarily act on it. Either way, both are essential to staying sane and creative!

    Btw, mad mad love for this outfit!

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  99. LOVE the tights. and the bangles even more.

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  100. how do you manage to buy shoes on gilt?? i'm always afraid they won't fit correctly when i order online

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  101. I've been pondering the same thing. As I try and piece outfits together and post on the blog, I usually try to find direct visuals to show where the thought originated, but often times, I'm working backwards. The outfit came forth from a spare thought, a fleeting image, and then I end up spending more time trying to find an obvious visual to reference it for the post. I should just let the creativity be organic and move on its own merry way.

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  102. A beautiful post: as others have commented above, your thoughts on teasing out the distinction between influence and inspiration certainly made me think and question the way I construct my outfits. Perhaps, I never even appreciated the distinction between the two, considering them to be almost synonymous with one another.

    As always, the images are compelling - I love the black dress.

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  103. Firstly: great outfit, great background!
    Secondly: Of course there are things, like our parents for instance, that have so big an influence, that we will never know what we would be like without this influence. But, I think other things (people, ideas) we only let ourselves (subconciously) be influenced by, because they are similar to our own tastes, opinions, etc. -or at least not completely different. Or, to put it more dramatic: We are most likely to be influenced by things that correspond to something inside ourselves. I don't know if this is true, but I just love this kind of "philosophising". :D
    Influences are more powerful than inspirations. In fashion terms this means: Inspiration can be an idea around which you build an outfit, influence is something that has formed a certain habit of dressing (I for example, as someone who was a teenager in the late nineties, will never feel comfortable in waist-high pants or skirts and stick to hip-highth instead)

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  105. I've been away for too long and now there is so much to catch up on! I love your outfit here.

    plus, I'd love to interview you for my talk to me tuesday post!

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  106. So, I recently got home from New York and out of the loop with all my blog readings. Upon catching up here, I discovered that I bought this dress during my trip! I guess I know what I'm doing then...

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  107. The outfit is great, and I love the somewhat dreamy quality of your images! I like your outfit better than the one you were inspired by :o)

    http://www.ToilTroubleStyle.com

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  108. This outfit is really different from the rest. it's so gothic. I love it especially because you added the golden cuffs so it isn't too much black.

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