I got an email from one of our readers, Samantha Drearie, who apparently has been a victim of what we call "the bite". When you've been bitten, it's the worst way for someone to tell you that they admire your style since they take it upon themselves to replicate it.
"Sergio, I have been onto you and your blog since last month and I can go without telling you that you guys have something really great on your hands. I thought that you might be the ideal person to ask for your opinion on a problem I've been having with an associate of mine. I work as an intern at a PR firm in Los Angeles and I've recently noticed that there's fellow intern that has been duplicating my style and my ensembles too. I think I have a pretty distinct taste in fashion so I take pride in calling it my own. I have asked a couple others on what I should do, but they've all just told me to slash her tires and cancel her credit cards. I don't exactly have the guts to confront her, so I need a subtle and effective approach. What do you suggest I do? "
Now, whether we like to admit it or not, we've all had this happen to us before and like Samantha, it's a sensitive issue for anyone to handle. It's just not the same experience when you notice someone else has your "taste" in style on the street than someone who works a couple cubicles away. I took the time to reply this email because no one likes to be copied in such a close space.
1.My Style: First, before you do anything, you must understand that in these particular cases, you are the trendsetter and should "take pride" in being just that. People will follow you, there's really no way to avoid it. Under no circumstances should you abandon your style because someone else has tapped into it. Just bring a fresher take to what you've already been doing. Sometimes you have to cut the edge.
2. My Tailor: Another way to handle this is find ways to personalize your wardrobe (resist the urge to use your mother's bedazzler gun). For example if you have a dress that suits your personality and your wardrobe, but you want to make it a little bit more special, one of the ways to achieve this is to take it to your tailor. This way, you can have the dress fit you better or shorten it if you'd like. This would also go for the dudes and their gear.
3. My Access: As I've said before, accessories will complete your everyday looks and in some cases, will save them as well. You can always find something unique at your local vintage shop. And don't ever underestimate the power of the almighty Thrift. You will be surprised at what you'll come across.
4. My Rock: Lastly, no one can do anything the way you can... fact! No matter how one may try, Originators rule. Identify what makes your style special and amplify it!
Don't be the victim