5 Things Fashion Blogs Taught Us About Style

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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]

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25 Responses

  1. Dixie

    It’s like you’re in my head today. I’ve recently been feeling very uncomfortable talking about my clothing. Thanks for putting things into perspective.

    xo
    Dixie

    Reply
  2. rachel

    I want to include more style in my blog but – I over think it. Great article, and nudge to just do it.

    Reply
  3. Vita

    Fashion blogs taught me that whatever works if you are confident about yourself. I learned how to be brave and innovative without blindly following trends. It’s difficult to be unique, but I’m getting more courage looking at other bloggers.

    Reply
  4. Monique McCray

    Great advice. I start off confident but then begin to have self doubt and over think what I planned and almost always feel like maybe my outfit just wasn’t good enough. I eventually get over it.

    Mo

    Reply
  5. Pinksole

    When I started my blog I thought I was just another girl sharing her personal style. But a few readers emailed me saying how they were inspired by seeing a girl that is not stick thin and 5’11. Honestly I never thought that people would relate to me because of my looks, but I was wrong and I’m happy to show them that you can be stylish at any size, shape or height.
    xo
    http://pinksole.com

    Reply
  6. Monica

    It has taught me that we don´t have to look like supermodels or even be perfect. Also, that sometimes we don´t need to spend a lot of money on clothes, we only need creativity to play with our wardrobe.
    http://thirtysomethingchic.com/

    Reply
  7. Nathalie F.

    These are all great insights that I’ve also come to since I discovered the world of blogging. I especially like your observation that the fashion industry only plays one role in deciding how we dress.

    I’ve shyed away from the term “fashion blogger” precisely because it has a strong “I am a trend-obsessed designer label addict” connotation. This seems to be true (at least on the surface) for many of the top fashion bloggers. So I prefer the term “personal style blogger” for myself, since it more accurately describes what I am. I simply take pictures of my outfits and talk about them. Very personal.

    -Nathy @ Earnestyle

    Reply
  8. Abby

    Love that you included South Africa, we have great style but the fashion blogging personal style platform is no where near as vast as overseas. It is so much fun to see how trends translate here versus in Europe especially as we always used to be a season behind but now with TopShop, Tommy Hilfiger etc shipping the latest items to us at the same time as the rest of the world, we have set our own unique translation of “summer” trends in our winter time.

    Being able to follow bloggers from all over the world certainly made me appreciate just how personal and relateable fashion truly is.

    Reply
  9. Nerline

    Thank you so much. I really needed that. I just started blogging about fashion, but I used to shop a lot. Now I feel like blogging about fashion is giving me my groove back. Now I am more into looking a certain way before I leave the house.

    Thanks:-)

    Reply
  10. The Science of Happy

    Totally agree, however – I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find bloggers/blogs with real personal unique style. Most seem to be influenced by the fashion industry. I’d like to see someone not in a pinafore/dungarees and leather sleeved utility jacket for a change!

    http://thescienceofhappy.blogspot.co.uk/

    Reply
  11. Robyn Adrienne

    This just boost my confidence Jennine. It inspired me to think outside the box for fashion inspiration, and not just heavily rely on fashion magazines.

    Reply
  12. narda

    I’ll bet you can. But, I just don’t know how to look good on accessories and dresses I fancy. Do you really think so that you don’t need to be a model just to have great style or something? Well, this is something I have been deliberating myself since I started my blog. Thanks a lot for sharing this one! 🙂

    Reply
  13. E-M

    I absolutely agree with this! The last point particularly caught my attention since I’m not a skinny blogger – I wear size 10, I have a chubby belly and things like that, but I still blog and I’ve got only good feedback! I’m eating very healthy and working out, but I want to show my followers that you really DON’T have to be size 0-2 to blog 🙂 If you love fashion, there are no bounaries. xo

    Much love!

    http://www.zerxzastyle.blogspot.com
    http://www.facebook.com/zerxza

    Reply
  14. Adela

    I get so much inspiration from blogs! I follow loads and read them daily. I love it. I’ve definitely become more adventurous and playful with my style. I’m more likely to try new style if I’ve seen it in a blogger and like the look.
    Adela x

    Misspinkstyle.net

    Reply
  15. catherin

    Thank you Jennine Jacob for the post
    We all know you can find style inspiration in places like New York, Paris, London, etc… but what about http://officeshoes.co/ our website you thought that will help you to redefine your fashion.

    Reply