Personal Style Bloggers Expire at Age 35?


I've always considered myself a late bloomer, or at least slow to the uptake. Dressing up Barbies at 13, putting off college until 25, starting my new career at 32. Growing up was never a priority, as I figured, I'd get there eventually. Here I am at 37 with a career in blogging which I'm very happy with.

Today blogging is no longer a stepping stone, it's a career destination. AdWeek published an article today highlighting the careers of Leandra Medine, Scott Schuman, Bryan Grey-Yambao, Amy Odell and the career moves of editors like Nick Axelrod leaving a magazine to work on a blog. In the article various influencers chimed in on the phenomenon  including Lucky Style Collective's John Januzzi:

“Still, for every Sartorialist, there are hundreds more bloggers whose hobby will remain just that. “I think there are a very, very select few bloggers that can make this a lasting career,” said John Jannuzzi, a contributing digital editor at Lucky who runs the magazine’s Style Collective, a blogger network. “Everyone out there has some kind of expiration date. What happens when a personal-style blogger wakes up and she’s 35 and not the cute 20-year-old girl in Brooklyn anymore?””

While the first part of the statement is true. Many bloggers do enjoy doing this as a hobby, my observation is the ones who truly want to become professionals, find a way to make it happen. They may not be the Sartorialist, but they do quite well for themselves.

The second part of the statement, “wakes up and she's 35 and not the cute 20 year old girl in Brooklyn anymore?” is a bit off putting. First of all, I lived in Brooklyn when I was 20, and I wasn't cute. And I smoked…which is even less cute.

What is that ducky tee-shirt? Dude! I was going to say “thank god, no one was using the internet when I was 20” but I'm sharing with you the horror of a misspent youth to illustrate the point. Youth does not equate brilliance or beauty. For those of you under the age of 30, you're going to be in for a treat. For those of us who are over 30 knows that life really begins. I don't know what happened, but when I turned 30, there was a distinct waking up point. Things started to come together, like I didn't care so much I have chubby cheeks, or that I'm two cans short of a six-pack. I know I'm crazy, and I really don't try that hard to hide it, like I did in my teens and 20s.

What's this have to do with being 35 and blogging? Actually quite a lot. After starting my blogs at the age of 32, I started a new chapter, one that would open the doors to a whole new life I had no idea was possible. If I thought that being 32 was too old to start a career where you would expire at 35, I would have never have started. Plus, in my youth, I was too riddled with insecurity to say anything worth while and too spacey to stick to something long enough for it to amount to anything.

Also, the notion that 35 year old women somehow wish they were 20, or to look like they are 20 annoys me. There is no part of me that wishes to relive my 20s. My 20s were an extension of my teens with crappier food and even crappier dates. Hello, Top Ramen! And the clothes? Hell no! I would take my 37-year-old-wardrobe over my 20-year-old-one any day of the week. Thank you very much. Finally, even with my wrinkles, my skin is much better nowadays. So did I wake up one day and realize I'm not cute anymore?

No, I woke up one day at 35 and realized it didn't really matter if I was cute.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

32 Responses

  1. The Style Kaleidoscope

    35 is too old to look stylish? My response would be – tell that to Iris Apfel, dude!

  2. justine

    some of the best advice i have ever received is – don’t worry so much in your 20s, because your life starts in your 30s. i’m 24, i have a blog (not a personal style blog but an art-travel blog)… and I truly believe what you are writing. I have to! Things have to get better!

    What advice might you have for people in their 20s who are struggling to make ends meet, regardless of ‘being cute’?

  3. Naughty Baubles

    I think that’s the most ridiculous statement ever. Like you said, in your 20s most women are filled with minor insecurities that can really hold them back. They aren’t so sure what it is they want to do outside of having fun and they are probably having a hard time adjusting to a more adult life unlike before when they could do nothing until 1pm, go to class and then party the night away. I’ve watched all of my aunts jump into amazing careers they love to get up and go to everyday well after their 30s and each one has said that they finally decided to not care what anyone else had to say about and went for what they wanted. When you finally decide what it is you want to be when you grow nothing…not even age…will stop you. Besides most editors, buyers, stylists and designers are not in their “cute” 20s so is that to say that they don’t know jack about style…

  4. DirtyBombshells

    I think that fashion and style transcends the ages. What happens at 35? We become unstylish, non cute women who walk around wearing moo moos? No way!! If anything we become MORE Stylish, after all most of us can now afford to buy the things we couldn’t in our 20’s. I started my blog at 35. Why? Because I felt I had good solid info to share. And that is what makes a good blog…great content. Regardless if you are 19, 25 or 35 if the content is there, who cares how old the person is who’s telling you, right? That’s how I feel, and I agree 100%, you couldn’t pay me to be 20 again!!

  5. Amber

    What an arrogant statement for this man to make. It actually infuriates me. Do MEN wake up at 35 and realize that they are no longer “cute” as they were in their 20’s? This kind of social insecurity is something that has been put into our brains by ill-educated people like this person. How dare he say something like that when he works for a woman’s magazine. How dare he.

    • Sascha Alexandra

      I agree with Amber: why are women always the ones that have to be young and “cute”? What will happen when Robert Pattinson wakes up and realizes he’s 40 and there are new, handsome 20-something vampires for the teenage girls to crush on? As Amber says, this is particularly arrogant coming from a man working for a women’s magazine.

      I’m 29 and I love this post. I think true talent and true dedication goes beyond a simple number, which is what age really is, right? Building a brand and creating a career has nothing to do with age. And would I want to be myself at 20 again? Heck no! Having said that, I think that many of today’s bloggers will no longer be “famous” in one, two or five years. But that has nothing to do with how old they are.

  6. Camilla Youngman

    What a brilliant post! I’ve read a few blogs recently talking about ‘how old is too old’ when it comes to blogging. But blogs like Advanced Style show that style most definitely has no age limit, and 37 is definitely not too old!

  7. Cherie

    A sexist comment coming from a man who works for “Lucky magazine”?!?! I can be equally sexist and say that I can’t take any man seriously who works for “Lucky” magazine. Come back and tell your thoughts, John Jannuzzi, after you take a “real man’s” job at Newsweek covering the war in Afghanistan. Geez, what nimrod!

    • Kelsi (@Stylesmith)

      Cherie, I do hope you’re being sarcastic. I don’t actually believe he was being sexist but what you just spewed was positively revolting, certainly not equal and pretty much the equivalent of me telling you to go back to the kitchen or go look after your children like “a real woman”


      Anyway. I wasn’t going to post this here. But now I feel compelled to:

      • Cate

        Exactly. You don’t cure sexism by being sexist. I read the article you posted and I think it’s spot on. His words weren’t a personal attack, but rather a critical assessment of the state of blogging. Let’s be adults about this.

  8. Roz

    Well, I am someone who is blogging as a second career after being in fashion business for 30 years and loving it. I am a baby boomer, with a youthful spirit that relates to the young, get it, but have been there and done that and my followers come to me for my experience and knowledge that I have gained over years in the fashion business. I think I have much greater sense of style than I did in my 20’s, keep in touch with that group through my daughters,interns and young fashion gals that I mentor, but most importantly, have a greater sense of self and style than I ever had at that age. Bloggers expire at 35…..I don’t think so!? If so, why are so many former editors, journalists doing as I have done and moved on to blogging…….and BTW, it’s not a hobby for me, it’s a business and doing well and growing all the time!

  9. ttdb

    Brilliant post, congratulations!!You have a reason in everything really.My opinion is that a 35 years old is already young and have more security, and very clear ideas, she doesn´t need to come back to the teenage or the 20´s to be better in any sense.



  10. Kari

    You look great!!!
    I am 38 and write style blog, the whole point is that you can look great (and dodgy) at any age. Style is also subjective and a blog allows like minded people to appreciate what you have to offer.
    35 is too old – rubbish!!


    Great post. I’ve started blogging very lately and I am nearly 30. Mine is fashion/style blog. And I do feel nervous that it will all end once I have babies. From my observation from friends, I am afraid I simply wont have enough free time.

    Have anyone seen a fashion blogger with children? I am curious how they cope.

  12. Sarah

    I love your openness and honesty in this post, Jennine! I think it’s very brave, and I agree that Januzzi’s comment was quite condescending and off-putting. I relate to your story a lot – I’m 28 and still feel completely lost, and I hope things start to come together soon. I do feel myself growing a little more confident each year, and so I hope my 30’s will be better than my 20’s were!

  13. Kimbers

    Thank you for addressing this absurd, sexist comment. You’re gorgeous and people need to stop harping about age so much.

  14. [email protected]

    As a 43 year old woman who doesn’t feel a need to care much about statements like the one above, I am annoyed for the women, young and older who might be affected by this type of snide comment.

    Just know this ladies….there will always be someone trying to define you but the only definition and value that matters is your own.

  15. Mariana L

    Oh Jennine, you and I are contemporaries. When I first started blogging, my goal was to bring my years of fashion industry experience and try to bridge the gap between casual consumer or fashion fan and hardcore industry vet. I never intended to be the subject of the fashion and style in my blog. The more fashion bloggers I met, the more I realized I was in a different generation!

    I met a fellow blogger the same age at a publisher dinner who had to nerve to ask me if “I was an adult in the 1990’s”.

    Thanks for keeping it real!!!

  16. A Sunny Day in LA

    I didn’t take issue with John Jannuzzi’s statement, as I took it as an evolutionary comment (i.e. evolve with the times), not an age-ism/sexism comment. I don’t believe that was his intent, especially when you see it in the context of the article.

  17. Nataya A

    I started my style blog just at my 31 and just as enthusiast as any other hobbies or got new job at my 20s. The more various ages of bloggers and styles the more interesting and fun the fashion world and blogsphere is. Look at fashion icons, famous editors, stylists out there…a lot of them are over 30s. Come on come on over 30s, blog your sense of style out!

  18. Kathryn Hu

    Thank you for this inspirational post, Jennine! Just gotta say this first: I’ll take your 37-year-old-wardrobe over your 20-year-old-wardrobe, too! And at 37, you’re not cute. You’re exuberating confidence and glowing with beauty that originates from the core, which is so much better & lasts much longer than being just “cute.”

    I’m two years shy of turning 30 and I honestly can’t wait. Don’t get me wrong—I’m still enjoying each moment now (well, some moments more than others…ha). What I’m constantly working on is shedding away the insecurities that have been deeply ingrained in me since childhood so I can only improve as I get older, while reminding myself to be balanced and understand that sometimes, you need to take two steps back in order to go forward.

    Your post touched my heart. Your closing sentence, “No, I woke up one day at 35 and realized it didn’t really matter if I was cute,” carries a deeper meaning to me and a certain truth… I look forward to the day when I truly believe that about myself and can announce it with conviction. For now, I’m going to keep working towards that goal…

    Thank you, Jennine 🙂

  19. Madeline @stylemethrifty

    LOVE this post! You are 35 years YOUNG and fabulous. I just turned 30 myself — and I see many benefits to blogging in this decade than my 20’s: I have more style, more money! and more confidence. Cheers to all those 30+ bloggers out there.

  20. Cortnie Elizabeth

    This post was so inspiring. I’m 28 and I do wonder what I’ll be doing in the next few years. I blog because I enjoy it, but it’s great to hear someone else say that life really gets going in your 30s. I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot. Not to mention that I learned to sew and started selling oversized clutches on Etsy within a week and have turned it into something pretty major. I would have never anticipated the response I’ve gotten, but I do it because I love it. Thank you for this post!


  21. Christina Gregoire

    Wow, the secret to blogging successfully is to write for people who are like yourself and are around the same age. I’m 59… wait a minute… am I really 50-freaking-9? and I have been writing articles about clothing for the past few years. I made a lot of money for the website where I used to write, but I’ve decided to start my own site…and people like my sense of humor My boomer site is about a lot more than clothing, but…I guess I just want to tell you that you are a baby and you’ve got plenty of years of blogging left in you, babe.

  22. Annie

    I loved this post. I also loved being in my 20s, but honestly? I like myself — and my life — more. While I feel comfortable with my personal style, I also don’t feel pressured to keep up with fashion trends and wear every single one. Because, really, while clothes are fun, they certainly aren’t everything. Or even half of everything. Not if you have balance.

  23. Jessica Caldwell

    As someone about to enter her 30’s (at the end of this year), I think we definitely have a voice and a place in the fashion blogging world.

    Not to take away anything from our 20-something counterparts, but I’m inspired by women forging their own paths no matter what age. When someone is breaking the mold of a typical fashion blogger–in this case, age, I definitely sit up and pay attention.


  24. Krystal

    Amen Sista! I think it is so important for women to know that 30 is not as ‘all down hill from here’ as people want us to believe. Its like the general public wants us all to believe that there is some sort of magic that dies at 30. No, this is when the magic happens!