Even though I had always loved getting dressed up, it would be a lie if I said I was always interested in “fashion.” I loved shopping, putting outfits together, talking about clothes with my friends, but when it came down to it, the only time I read a fashion magazine was at the doctors office or in the break room at my work. Unless you consider Vanity Fair to be a “fashion magazine.” When I found my first fashion blog in 2006, it changed my world. Lo and behold, was a young woman in Norway talking about what she wore every day, where she got her clothes and why she dressed the way she did. It was like the conversations I had with my friends, only online.
Over the years, I've learned a lot more about fashion and style. To be honest, most of it was from blogs, both in the information contained in each blog, but also how bloggers have shifted the conversation and out ideas about what style means to us on a personal level. Here is what I've learned over the years:
You can find style inspiration anywhere in the world
We all know you can find style inspiration in places like New York, Paris, London, etc… but what about Nashville, Perth and Lagos? What about that small town in the MidWest that no one has heard of? Back before the internet started housing the best of global personal style, you would actually have to travel to see how people dress, nowadays finding out what people are wearing in South Africa is only a few clicks away. Oddly enough the rise of globalization has made it so much of the world has access to H&M and Zara, but it's still interesting to see how personal style varies around the globe.
The Fashion Industry only plays one role in personal style
When you say your are a “fashion blogger” many people think you are interested in the same designers that one can find in Vogue. Or that you do a lot of shopping. Or that you live or die by the trends as dictated by Anna Wintour. However, when it comes to developing your own personal style, what's going on in the fashion industry only plays a role in personal style. Other factors like economy, lifestyle, outside interests like art and music, heck, even the weather play equally strong roles in deciding how to get dressed every day.
It's ok to talk about your clothes
Believe it or not, there was a time when it was considered shallow to discuss your clothes. Discussing how much you paid for something was almost like talking about your salary. Just a big no-no. Nowadays, the floodgates are open, we can feel free to talk about where we get our clothes, how much we spend and how we actually style clothes to get the most out of them. It's even expected to do this if we have a personal style blog.
There is an audience/someone to relate to for every style niche
Whether you are a Gothic Lolita into extreme body modifications (ie. bagel head) or a straight laced corporate climber into golfing on the weekends, there is a niche carved out for your lifestyle. What's more, is that there are other people out there into the same things as you! Just because there aren't a lot of people in your geographic area that dress like you, that doesn't mean there isn't an audience out there that does. This gives us the inspiration to explore our interests rather than to try to fit into local sartorial norms.
You don't have to look like a model to have great style
Before blogs, most of us were inspired by either what we saw in fashion and celebrity magazines or by our friends, family and people we saw on the streets. Being as a majority of the public discourse of personal style revolved around celebrities (many of which had personal stylists telling them what to wear) and fashion magazines, many trends revolved around a certain body type and economic status. Now we can put ourselves on the internet it's much easier to find someone with great style that has our body type, in our age group and similar economic status. I mean, come on, not everyone is going to be able to afford the latest “it” bag or looks good in a peplum. And even if you do, there is a community for everything out there, so we can all evolve our style together, which I think is the best contribution fashion blogs have given to personal style.
What have fashion blogs taught you about style?
[Image from eatsleepdenim.com]