Essential Indulgences for Fashion Bloggers

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There’s an old expression that people in the Greek system sometimes use to describe what it’s like: From the outside you can’t understand it, and from the inside you can’t explain it.

It may be oversimplified, but I think you can say the same thing about fashion and style blogging. It’s something that, if you’re reading this, you most likely participate in or have an appreciation for. But to everyone else, it might seem like we’re vain, ego-driven fashion-obsessed maniacs with too much disposable income and no self awareness.

Critics are quick to, well, critique the fashion blogging community for our frivolous spending, but the reality is that big-ticket purchases by highly visible bloggers draw attention and create stereotypes that don’t (even by a longshot) characterize our whole community.

Do many of us love a good indulgence? Of course. And ultimately, we’re all allowed to save and spend and splurge and budget as we see fit. In fact, it’s one of the great joys of working hard and saving your money to spend it on something you really want or need.

So what should we indulge in, and what should we hold back for? We’re not going to tell you what to do, but we certainly have a few ideas…

These are IFB’s Essential Indulgences for Fashion Bloggers:

A DSLR camera

We’re big believers in spending the money to get a great camera. The return on investment is huge. Once you learn how to manipulate and customize the settings and adjust the apperture and ISO to suit your photo shoots, you’ll end up with crisp, gorgeous images that will give your blog (and your blogger / photographer title more cred).

Here’s the thing: we know that point-and-shoot cameras can take pretty good photos, and they they are by-and-large less expensive than a DSLR, but arguably only slightly less expensive (and less practical) than a smart phone, that takes great pictures too. We say, skip the middle man!

Classic, seasonless pieces

There’s a reason everyone endorses this philosophy, and despite the fast turnover rate of our style, it’s still always going to be worthwhile to invest in quality items that have stood the test of time. It’s important not to let this perceived responsibility to your audience to be a beacon of style and forward-thinking dressing rule your budget (and your personal tastes!). Yes you’re a blogger, but you’re also an adult with a life to live away from the computer. High quality, gorgeous pieces that transcend trends (think black pumps, trench coats, silk blouses) are the foundation of a wardrobe that will last a lifetime.

Allocating your shopping budget is a very personal process, and we can’t tell you how to spend your money and what to spend it on. If you find the latest Proenza Schouler stacked heel to be something you cannot live without – fair enough! Though you give up a lot of quality when you shop at high street shops like Zara and H&M, they can be a goldmine for items that will mix in with your basics to create on-trend looks to get you through the season. Will it last? Maybe – we’ve all had those random finds from Forever 21 that somehow last for five years. How you spend your money on clothing and accessories is completely up to you, and has more to do with not going into debt, no matter if you splurge on trendy pieces or classics.

A laptop

Odds are, if you’re a blogger you already have a computer, and probably a laptop, that you use to produce your content. It’s arguably the most important and vital piece of equipment necessary to produce a blog (and run your life), so it’s a worthy investment piece. A laptop is ultimately a smarter investment for a blogger than a desktop because you can work remotely while you travel, work, commute, vacation, etc.

Tablet computers are fun and convenient, and some people really use them to get work done, read, and get organized. Mostly though, they are a superfluous toy for watching movies, playing games, and doing much of the things you can do on a computer or smart phone. If you’re budgeting your money for gadgets to help you blog, stick with the computer, DSLR and phone, and wait to get a tablet.

A graphic designer to customize your site (or a great WordPress theme)

This is one of our favorite blogger indulgences. The benefits of hiring a graphic designer to customize your blog are far-reaching and insanely rewarding, especially if you have no design experience. A designer will work with you to make your site’s look and feel, as well as the navigation and design tailor made for you. Their portfolio should give you an idea of their typical style, so look around to find one that appeals to you.

Some WordPress themes (or Tumblr themes) are very inexpensive, and a great way to get a quick template and semi-customized blog. Some themes can run as much as $200, which is pretty near the price you might pay for a graphic designer (roughly). If you know a lot about CSS and coding already, a theme might be the better option for you, but if you’re a novice with specific needs, we recommend hiring a designer.

A Vacation

Seriously. Get thee to a relaxing destination, and bring that camera. Everyone needs a little time to decompress, travel, see a new part of the world, visit friends and family – and at the very least experience a change of scenery for a day or two.

Along with recharging your batteries, you’re also giving yourself a heap of potential new blog content. From packing tips to travel stories, outfit photos and city guides there are many way you can incorporate your vacation into interesting, fresh content. Even if you don't use your time off as a direct source of posts, it can be a silent source of refreshed perspectives, renewed energy and inspiration.


Listen, indulgence doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Or a word that indicates frivolity or reckless spending. Indulging is all about treating yourself to something that will enrich your life, make you happier, and bring you joy. If it’s a DSLR camera – fantastic! If it’s an Alaia bootie – that’s fine too. The point is to #treatyoself – and do it with smarts. (And don’t go broke!)


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19 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    Totally agree about the hiring a designer part.
    I’m available for that if anyone needs me.

    Steph xx

  2. Miss Bad

    I do understand your points, but I think a fashion blog can still work well with the right digital point and shoot camera and a bit of photo customization… I think you advocate too much the use of a DSLR : /
    I once asked the budget for having a graphic designer redoing my blog and they asked more money than any university student could possibly pay on it’s own. I still don’t make any money from my blogging and the investment it’s just too damn high. I work and create what I can actually : )
    However, I think your forgot someething: what about splashing some money on creating a giveaway for the readers? It’s good for the blog, for ourselves through it and ultimately I do like my readers happy : )

  3. Auie

    This is the essence of a blogger. I’m not on the market for that long, but it sure is true. A good design defines the website… so be sure your designer knows who you are.. I have mad respect for all who actually invests on good design. Whether they make it themselves or pay someone. 😀 And yes! a vacay

  4. April

    I totally agree about upgrading that camera…I have not regretted purchasing my DSLR! And the site design is a good point, too. Humans are driven towards things that are eye-appealing…if you have a great looking site and beautiful pictures, you’re bound to build an audience!

  5. Rose @ Stylista Mama

    I definitely think hiring a Graphic Designer is the way to go. I had my blog professionally designed to help enhance my credibility and ensure continuity of my brand’s look and feel.

    I highly recommend adding a DSLR wireless remote and tripod to your kit so you can take your own ‘what I wore’ photographs.

  6. Laura

    One of these days I will hire a graphic designer, but I would like to find one near me so I can sit down with them in person to go over my preferences for my blog.

    I will admit I wish I could show off the latest designer pieces but it is just not realistic for me at this point in my life and it is something I can look forward to when my career gets rolling.

    Definitely in need of a vacation!

  7. Barbara

    Even though I am more of a makeup & beauty blogger, I am definitely taking some of these tips to heart and incorporating them. I have a phone(blackberry), laptop and point-and-shoot camera. gunning for a DSLR and android now cos I am yet to get on the Instagram ship *covering face*, lol.
    Lagos, Nigeria

  8. Rachelle Porsenna

    I totally agree, someone last week told me what’s the big deal you just stand there and post your outfits. To some people the blog just magically appears and updates itself. But I have high hopes for my blog and I recently invested into my first DSLR and when shopping for clothes I try to be less impulsive and trendy and focus more on stylish timeless pieces that still display my aesthetic.

  9. Devon

    I think that having a well designed site is key. I’m just starting out, but know that over the next few months as my voice and perspective develop I’m going to need to move away from the template and into the realm of customized design.

    But, I think that a great part of being involved in a creative endeavour is that there are likely designers who are just starting out and who would be willing to barter services, or work at a reduced rate so that they can build their portfolio…

    I’m currently developing a “social-media tips for sugar cookies” deal with a friend – it’s win-win!

  10. Alyssa Tomasic

    The thing about the DSLR camera is so true. I only have a point and shoot camera and I think that a better quality camera will greatly benefit my blog. I am getting one soon!

  11. Susanna Vesna

    DSLR is the best investment I have ever made! Not only as a fashion blogger and a Lookbooker, but as a photographer as well! It helps me make professional magazine-quality photos and demonstrate items in the right way! I have seen so many people making really bad (sorry!) photos, which turn away the audience and one can’t even notice the clothes- cause it’s blurry or noisy, or not enough light! I do agree that a small digital camera can do the trick as well, but it’s nothing compared to my Canon 550D!

  12. Linda

    I definitely agree with a well designed site. I’ve retrained as a web designer and the first job was my own site. Okay so I’m probably the worlds worst client but I got what I wanted! I offer my services for a greatly reduced cost while I build up my portfolio, definitely worth looking for a designer in this position. You’ll still get the benefit of their experience without a huge fee!