If you’re interested in style and fashion, and post your outfits on the internet, chances are high that others will be inspired by your style in one way or another. They might try to recreate a similar outfit with their own wardrobe items, or purchase similar, if not exactly the same pieces.

You know how the saying goes, “imitation is the highest form of flattery”. But how do you really feel when someone copies your style, or purchases the same wardrobe items. Are you flattered? Or are you annoyed that what you thought was an exclusive item or outfit combination is suddenly not that unique anymore.

In my 20’s and early 30’s it was extremely important that my style felt special and unique. I would get annoyed and threatened when people asked me where I bought my wardrobe items in fear that they would copy my style and heaven forbid, wear the same clothes as me. I felt that I had to desperately hang onto my “unique style”, which wasn’t that unique in the first place, in order to continue feeling fab. In fact, I considered it a style failure when I saw someone else wearing the same thing because that meant that my look wasn’t special anymore.

Thank goodness I grew wiser and more secure in my style as the years passed by, because I’m a fashion stylist who is also a fashion and style blogger. I post weekly pictures of my outfits and recommend wardrobe items to our readership that I also incorporate into my own style. Between my clients, friends, strangers and our readership, I am asked almost daily where I’ve bought an item that I am wearing. So I have to be okay with people purchasing my wardrobe items or to some extent copying part of my ensemble.

I changed the way I thought about style imitation when I understood that style is from the inside out. Even when people wear the same wardrobe items as I do, they will wear them in ways that reflect who they are and not who I am. A dressing recipe may start off with the same ingredients, but the flavour changes because taste levels vary. Since no one can rob me of that level of uniqueness, there is no longer a need to guard it.

I admit that I still get a kick out of wearing an item or ensemble combination that people cannot easily replicate. It makes my style feel elevated in some small way, and that’s kind of a special feeling. Thing is, I also know that I have the power to make an item look and feel exclusive by adding my personal style stamp, and that feels even more special.

These days I’m flattered when people sport the same things as I do, or ask me where I purchased my wardrobe items. I am equally flattered when my ensemble inspires someone else’s ensemble. These imitations have become style compliments and are no longer threats.

Over to you. Are you flattered when someone copies your style? How do you feel when someone purchases “your” clothing, footwear or accessories? How important is for you to feel that what you are wearing is completely unique?