Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Flat lay vs. real life

Well, if you read yesterday's post, you know that I've been busy. And being busy means blogging takes a back seat and I was unable to photograph 4 new outfits for you this week! I'll share the outfit I wore to the rehearsal dinner tomorrow, but today I thought I would do something a little different!

This is a random roundup of sorts. I wanted to showcase some outfits using the flat lay version in comparison with real life and talk about how and why I prefer one over the other. 

Scarf: H&M | Jacket: Express (option) | Sweater: Banana Republic | Jeans: Express | Heels: BCBG (option)

I definitely prefer the way the flat lay turned out vs. real life. I was lazy when I was getting dressed and kept my grey tee shirt on that I was already wearing in real life, which I wish I would have just eliminated. I also wish I wore skinnier jeans since the scarf and jacket are so voluminous. I love the combination, but the execution could have been just a little bit better.

Sweater: Express (option) | Necklace: CS Gems (use code CARYLEE15 for 15% off!) (c/o) | Top: Pulse STL | Leggings: Express | Boots: Frye

The real life version wins for me in this outfit. The sweater/tunic combo looks a lot boxier, naturally, when laid flat. And leggings are hard to depict in a flat lay, so the proportions of this whole outfit are just a bit off when you're not seeing it on a real person.

Vest: JCrew Factory | Necklace: CS Gems (c/o) | Top: Express | Bottoms: American Eagle | Booties: Vince Camuto

Again, the real life version is the winner here. While this top is easy to "fluff" in a flat lay, the  vest is a little thicker and harder to show how fitted it truly is when it is laying flat. I love how easy and effortless, but still interesting, that it looks in real life. While I love the bright colors in the flat lay, it definitely looks more boring than when I actually put it on.

Necklace: Stella and Dot | Top: ExpressBottoms: Express | Booties: Hinge (optionoption)

I preferred the flat lay version of this over the real life version. I was skeptical about the flat lay because there are literally only 3 pieces and it's not on my super white background since I was traveling when I took this photo, but you lose the detail and colors of the shirt in the real life version - the real life photo doesn't do the shirt justice as a result. My Instagram followers ended up agreeing with me since the flat lay received 155 likes vs. the real life version that received 101 likes. Isn't it funny how the same outfit presented two different ways can have such different engagement results? I know other things like what time of day you post can affect engagement as well, but it all truly fascinates me, and I'm not sure I will ever truly figure out the perfect formula for success.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this also! Let me know in the comments which you prefer in these 4 outfits - flat lay or real life?


Linking up with: CarolinaTuesday TalkTremendous Tuesday#AllAboutYouErin and Laura for Trend Spin Linkup


  1. I love seeing how the layed out outfits compare to real life. I think all of these look fab and my favorite is the leopard top with the cream colored cardigan!

    Doused In Pink

  2. How funny on the likes of the last flatlay vs. real life! I much prefer the real life outfit of that one. I think it's a very flattering look on you and now that I'm spoiled by your crisp, flat white backgrounds on your flatlays, it looks less "clean" to me to see it on a bed. You've ruined me! I agree with you on the other options, although for the middle two outfits they are neck and neck....I couldn't really pick a winner. Fun post!
    Gina - On the Daily Express

  3. I do love the flay lay but seeing an outfit on a person is the best.
    xo, Lee

  4. I have always wanted to do this experiment. You layed them down so well - some tips on laying them flat? I still prefer the on-person version, though.

  5. What an awesome illustration! Thanks for sharing!


  6. Love the comparison idea! Do it more often!! My fav outfit was the one with the green vest. Looks casual but still put together. Swinging by from Tuesday Talk!

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

  7. Love seeing the comparison here!
    Carrie and Stacy

  8. I love these all! You layer like a pro and have the best accessories! I haven't mastered the flat lay picture yet!

  9. Love the comparison idea! Sometimes the flat lay version looks much cuter then real life version.

    Alena & http://garmentsspeech.blogspot.com/

  10. I love and would wear all of these. But I adore your leopard tank it is the cutest. The flat lays are cute but I do prefer the real life.


  11. I like alllll the outfits on you better!!! Flat lays, for me, are good to see certain color combos but I MUCHprefer your real life photos :) XO ~ Casey @ A Little Bit of Cheer


  12. I LOVE your style!! Casual chic! The fatigue vest and jacket were my favorite!!! And that leopard top - SWOON!!! Well done!!

  13. I really like the real life version on the second outfit better than the flat lay. You are so right, it's hard to show flowy tops in a flat lay and leggings don't work well with flat lays either usually, but I really love the way it looks on!