Why No One Wants to Hear About The Decline of Personal Style Blogging (Yet)

fashion blogger

When I first came across personal style blogging in 2006, it was a revelation. It changed my thinking about fashion, getting dressed, and heck, even shopping. I couldn't get enough personal style blogs (and at that time there were not that many) so I started my own.

A few years later, personal style blew up. Fashion bloggers like Fashion Toast, Style Bytes, Karla's Closet,What I Wore,  the Glamourai and Tavi came on the scene. It seemed like an unstoppable force, finally the democratization of fashion. Bloggers sharing their outfits and people having insatiable appetites for this simple and (self)gratifying form of media. I have to say, that I benefited from this moment enormously. IFB would not be what it is today had it not relied on the clout The Coveted had built in its early days.

But something happened. At first I thought it was my own personal boredom with my own blog, maybe I had outgrown it even though I love writing for IFB and Eat Sleep Denim. Maybe, I thought, talking about my clothes didn't matter to me as much, or that I really only liked talking about it for fun with my friends. Maybe I just wanted to create something bigger than myself.

Denial Isn't Just a River in Egypt

Bloggers who “make it” aren't just cute anymore, they have business plans, niches, specific purposes other than broadcasting their own vanity.

Whatever it was, I noticed there was a trend of general decline in interest in personal style blogging. People aren't leaving as many comments, and the commenting on the big ones are mostly blogger-spammers promoting their own sites. Content on personal style blogs had become minimal, some just listing their clothes. Others just talking about what they ate for breakfast, or how they were so excited to work with this brand or that brand. Bloggers who “make it” aren't just cute anymore, they have business plans, niches, a specific purpose other than broadcasting their own vanity. You can tell that the pretty fashion blogger with a great wardrobe isn't making it as much as she used to because there aren't as many making it as there used to be, and the the ones who are still around are changing things up to adapt. The Glamourai is a good example of this, as her content has evolved from just her outfits to tutorials and editorials. The Manrepeller turned her focus to writing articles mixed with her outfits. Heck, even The Sartorialist is experimenting with his content to adapt (and he's not even a personal style blogger).

There are more personal style bloggers now than ever. What's more, is that even though the fashion blogging community has been aware of this issue for some time now, as with my January article about the Fashion Blogging bubble bursting, and yesterday's Buzzfeed article Why The Era of Personal Style Blogging Must End, bloggers don't want to hear it. Even if the writing is on the wall.

I don't know, if I were putting all my dream-eggs in one basket, I'd want to make sure that basket wasn't on a sinking ship.

Granted, many people do blog for fun, to reach like-minded people. But in my six years of fashion blogging, those bloggers rarely stick around long. Sure, there are a few that blog for a couple of years, but most give up the neediness of maintaining a blog unless they have a less altruistic motive: professionalization.

Sure, there are a few that blog for a couple of years, but most give up the neediness of maintaining a blog unless they have a less altruistic motive: professionalization.

Maybe It's Just Not That Bad Yet

Hey, bloggers are still getting deals with brands. Bloggers are still getting invited to lavish events and being sent free items. It's not a bad life even for a side-gig. Heck, even I miss some of the perks that personal style bloggers get (try attending a lavish event for a brand when your content isn't a good fit). Personal style bloggers are still getting hundreds of comments and making tens of thousands of dollars in affiliates, just for getting dressed in the morning. Interest in these blogs might be waning from the general non-blogging public, but more people are blogging right? That should count for something.

If personal style blogging isn't broken, why fix it?


No One Really Likes to Change, But The Internet is Fickle

Yes, the idea of posting photos of yourself online and attracting loads of wonderful compliments is a wonderful thing, and the idea of adhering to a formula (posting outfit pics, working with brands, get validation from readers) sounds easy enough, why mess with it?

Personal style blogging runs the risk obscurity because, let's face it, the internet is fickle.

Personal style blogging runs the risk obscurity because, let's face it, the internet is fickle. Maru jumping in and out of boxes isn't as cute anymore because we've moved on to Grumpy Cat, and even her days are numbered. The same goes for personal style blogs. One minute it's Fashion Toast, the next it's Blonde Salad, who's next? Maybe it's Gabi Gregg. But if you spent years building your blog, wouldn't you want more longevity than just a moment in the sun? Sure, but is change really necessary?

Industries evolve.

Remember when everyone said, “Print is dead.” Remember all those out of work journalists? This can happen to fashion bloggers, even the fashion bloggers who never made a dime to begin with. Because we chose a medium that's notoriously fickle, we have to be committed to adaptation if we want to survive as a community.
So what can we do? Here's a good article to start with… How to Survive the Nest Stage of Blogging. I promise, the next phase of fashion blogging is going to be great. (Hopefully!)

[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]

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37 Responses

  1. Mary

    There is only one personal style blog that I follow on a regular basis, and it’s not just because I like her style, but also because she’s sweet and makes the blog, well, personal. It isn’t solely about what she happened to be wearing. It is also why she is wearing it, and the events surrounding it. I really feel like I’m with her on whatever day or event she is posting about. In other words, she tells her story behind the photos. I love that.

    But I’ve gotten bored with all the others, especially those who you know are just showing off what designer brand they are wearing today without any real content. Good for them. I can just flip through my latest copy of Vogue if that was all I wanted.

    What has held my interest are the blogs that mix it up. Maybe once or twice a week do a personal style post. Another post with a wish list. Another for outfit ideas. Or a “look for less” segment. Perhaps another segment with an “inspired by” look. Just a mix to break up the monotony of always seeing the same thing, or always having posts where you are, essentially, showing off. Because let’s face it…it isn’t the internet that is fickle: people are. And after seeing the same thing day in and day out, people are going to get bored with it and move on.

    • Noemi

      Yes, I’m curious, too. I really don’t understand personal style blog, I only follow The Cherry Blossom Girl, because she makes beautiful photos (while I’m not crazy about what she wears) and not only of her outfits. Lovely Pepa is quite cute (it’s kind of useful for me to read about fashion in spanish, because I studied it) because she doesn’t seem particularly stuck-up but honestly, I always see the same photos, and the ones I really can’t stand are where bloggers fake spontaneity, they run, laugh like they’re having so much fun, have the mouth half open (terrible!).

  2. Krystal

    I totally agree with this article and with mary! Blogging about fashion in general is a very tricky subject. There are so many places readers can get information from….valid…helpful information. A blog needs to be more than one continuous picture of your closet. After all, most of these items have been seen, in a store, in a mag etc. I think the evolution of social media has brought on the decline of the personal style blog. I can go to pinterest, tumblr, or instagram if i want to simply see beautiful ppl in beautiful clothing. I made it a point that I would not be doind daily personal style post on my blog, because I want to give my readers valueable info they can use! Thats key in todays fashion blogosphere

  3. CynthiaCM

    There’s a reason why I don’t post too many personal outfit posts on DelectablyChic!. I feel like REPORTING/REVIEWING style-related events (and food/home-related events and travel), interviews and personal opinion on related topics (often ones that might not get much mainstream press) have more longevity. I’m pushing into my mid-30s, and personal style blogs are really more for younger women – those who’re fresh out of school and into their late 20s. The downside of this is the lack of press and opportunity from other sources. I get all of the preview and launch invitations, but no one will contact me to be a brand ambassador (trust me, it’s not because of looks or age. I know people who are bigger/shorter/not as pretty who get opportunities)!

    Question: Do some people here find SOME personal style blogs a little annoying due to the “LOOK AT ME!!!!” and over-positive attitudes when they rave about a brand?

    • Nichole Alabi

      I don’t…

      If you don’t like it don’t read it. What I do find highly annoying is everyone calling themselves critics/reporters/reviewers. Sometimes I read some style/fashion blogs and think: Who are you to critique/review a designers show from your desk in Oklahoma after looking at the pics aggregated on someone else’s site who got them first? You haven’t touched the fabric. You weren’t even at the show. You have never even worked in the fashion industry! But then I think…this is your blog to do what you want/will. With that being said, http://Nicholealabi.com is proudly a personal style blog. I see my personal style as well…personal. As an expression of myself based on my experiences/influences growing up in the hip hop and fashion industries. And if no one ever reads it, and I never get a press invite, or a brand ambassadorship…it doesn’t matter to me. It will always be my little archival piece of my personal history.

      • CynthiaCM

        FYI: I actually attend shows and previews, so it’s not like I’m writing about a show from looking at images from my desk. There’s a decent sized fashion industry here in Toronto, after all. If I review out-of-town shows, it’s usually from video.

      • Mary

        Interesting you single out Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City Fashion Week takes place every year in April. The Oklahoma State University’s Design, Housing, and Merchandising department puts on a yearly fashion show. I am attending a fashion show tonight in Tulsa. There are several other fashion events throughout the year in this state as well. And I appreciate blogs that do reviews of shows that they may not have necessarily attended. Sometimes it is nice to get a fresh perspective on things rather than reading the same stuff from the same people who keep being invited to the same shows.

      • Nadya Helena

        Hi there Nichole. It’s not that I disagree with what you say. But are you very sure that even if nobody comments, invites you to events, and no emails for partnerships you would still love your blog the way it is?

        What makes blogging fun and lovable (for me, anyway) is the interaction I get from it. I love meeting new people, discuss about some particular issues, etc. I’m no personal style blogger, but I figure it would be a little sad if no one cares about the new skirt you buy, right?

        I’m sure personal style blogging is super fun as a way of expressing yourself, but interactions make the experience even richer and much more enjoyable (that’s why there are so many follow for follow messages here on IFB).

        eyeshadow illustrator

      • Tali

        Sounds like you’re saying that not everyone has the right to express their opinion. Well the news are, internet is free and belongs to everyone and to noone. If someone can generate an interesting thought from looking at the photos someone else made, why not? As if everyone who attends a show and studied fashion for years is automatically interesting, professional and creative.

    • olga

      Hi Cynthia, you said: “I get all of the preview and launch invitations, but no one will contact me to be a brand ambassador (trust me, it’s not because of looks or age. I know people who are bigger/shorter/not as pretty who get opportunities)!”

      Then why do you think they would not contact you? I also in my mid 30s and I am absolutely sure it is because of my age. No offence to anybody, but let’s be realistic, it is for younger girls in their mid 20s like you said to become an ambassador to any brand. This is what I think – reality of life ;-(

      • CynthiaCM


        I know a couple of ladies my age who are brand ambassadors for beauty products or have are “beauty reps” for a well-known Canadian fashion publication, so I am SURE it isn’t because I’m old or what I look like (one of the reps is from a similar ethnic group as me and with a similar frame). I think it’s more about me often giving a more honest write-up rather than the “OMG, it’s SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD” that a lot of bloggers seem to write!

      • olga

        Ok, I see what you are saying, well you have to be honest not only to yourself but all readers of your blog, otherwise it would have no point. On the other hand it is good someone our age is becoming ambassadors, did not know about it. I was really skeptical. I still think personal style blogs are really for young girls. I keep telling this to my mom who takes pictures of all my outfits, and she is saying “NO ,everyone has their own place in life, and you and others like you fof your age group are bloggers and also those (not bloggers) just interested in fashion and every day style. She is so optimistic 😉

      • Marie Denee

        Hey there Olga,

        When it comes to age, I do not see this as a factor per say especially as I am and for a few years been on the other side of 30… I think there are and will be varying factors when bloggers work with brands…

        While it would be easier to use that as a reason, I find myself more than ever having the platform to reach and work with various brands 😀

    • Musank


      I totally agree that personal style blogs are for younger women. When we reach the age where we have full-time day job (esp. the ones not related AT ALL with fashion), have more things thrown at us in life, etc, we are not as inclined to take pictures of our outfits.

      I’m similar with you in a way that I like to review things, mostly fashion shows I attended. Or designers I get to meet one-on-one and do interviews with. Other than that, I post DIY projects I get to do on my spare time (usually motivated by things I see either on the runway, the streets, or online), or do product reviews occasionally.

      And once again, totally agree with seeing a bit too much “positively enthusiastic” reviews out there, we can all be honest and to-the-point without being negative.

      Cheers from SF Bay Area,

  4. Nichole Alabi

    Thank you for this! When I read the Buzz Feed article I was instantly annoyed and wanted to leave a not-so-nice comment but I’m glad I didn’t. This is way more well-put and says everything I was thinking (bravo)! I also what to add: Whats so wrong with there being a million bajillion personal style blogs? Don’t forget the word blog is a contraction of the “web log”. So let all the boys and girls of the world who want to post pics of their daily outfits do just that! The web is big enough for all of their daily logs, musings, and photos. Think about it: In Julie & Julia, Julie just wanted to log her journey cooking through Julia Child’s cookbook. She didn’t care who read. She just wanted an outlet. Did she think it would be a bestselling book and film? Probably not on day one/post one (Btw…I don’t see anyone coming after the at-home-chef-blogs…but I digress…). So I say, let the style blogging world evolve as it may (without the snobbery), but don’t take anything away from those who want to express themselves the way they see fit.

  5. olga

    I was also thinking about the future of fashion blogs recently. What direction it will take us? This article is really interesting. It is true, personal style blogs are not so interesting any more, but how to mix it up or spice it up…? It is a challenge. I absolutely sure the certain niche that is occupied by popular blogs now (blogs like: Atlantic-Pacific,Blond salad, Gary Pepper,Tuula and may be 10 more) has no more “seats”, no need for more. That means we – other bloggers, may be who started recently – has less and less chance, we have to try something new, improvise, evolve if we have any goals in growing from just “personal style/hobby” bloggers into “professional/business owners” bloggers.

  6. Rebeca

    It’s true what you say! note that some time ago, it happened that ends bored when I see only personal style, why my blog, not just personal style mix but also other issues like I like my food, beauty, inspiration, decoration, etc. I really like that my blog continues to receive visitors think the variety of information also generates interest, great article!


  7. The Redhead

    It’s true.Everyone says they got bored with outfit posts. Hell even I am bored with my blog posts and I’m still trying to figure it all out. What I miss is the connection old bloggers used to have. You would see comments and responses and it was like getting to know them. I left a message or two like that on a big blogger I really like but (of course, and I don’t blame her) she never answered. It was never about the outfits themselves it was about the connection they made with the readers! That’s why it’s all a bubble now. Nobody cares enough to connect!

  8. Jeanine Marie

    My blog is a “hobby” blog. Sure I want it to be successful one day but I do not have the time to give it serious attention it needs.

    It seems that fewer and fewer bloggers are putting in the time and just phoning it in. Personally the blogs I like to read are the ones where the blogger is working on exciting projects and travel. I do not think blogs like that are going away anytime soon.

  9. Rachel

    The bottom has really started falling out of personal style blogging in the UK since Google changed their terms of service. The main revenue stream for UK based mid to high range bloggers was sponsored links in posts, and now there is no point companies buying them thanks to Google.

    Honestly, I had noticed the bottom is falling out of personal style blogging, but it does not bother me too much. My fashion blog has somehow morphed into a food blog because of my personal journey, but it still has a mix of lifestyle content too. But honestly, recipe posts are more than about 200% more popular than outfit posts ever were.

    • Bike Pretty

      Is that true about recipe posts? I love to cook and research food, but I keep it completely out of my blog.
      I always felt like there were so many other blogs that did it better. And I didn’t think it would jive with my readers.

  10. Youri Park

    I think the saturation of the blogosphere could be discouraging to new people starting blogs. Because so many people have started blogging (even though they aren’t necessarily consistent with posts or don’t stay around for long), it’s hard to feel like you’re contributing with your teensy blog in the sea of millions. I blog as a hobby because I like working on a project outside of the stuff I do for school, but it’s hard to stay active with it because even though it is a hobby, it’s always encouraging to get feedback and feel like you’re part of some sort of community.

  11. debiparna

    the hobby bloggers quit because life gets in the way..and the ones doing it just for the perks get irritated and quit soon when they realise it is actually a lot of dedicated work. but what about the ones who are actually out there to umm make a difference? I still follow all my initial style/lifestyle inspiration blogs and have added many to the list. i am a creative person and i need inspiration. i am sad to see so many above agreeing so very heartily. it’s almost like a justification for them to quit. people lose interest in things all the time and move on. i do realise that things change and simply cannot be the same as they were since the beginning and that is why they evolve. i think blogging in general is still evolving and declaring its death right away is too premature right away. this makes blogging and bloggers seem fickle.
    and yes google’s new policy changes are indeed worrying. i did write to you about it and left a link for you here in public message boards.

  12. Brooklyn Grey

    The bottom hasn’t fallen out in terms of personal style blogging, honestly speaking. I think it’ more to do with people blogging for the wrong reasons and quality versus quantity. If we lower the over-saturation an simply have more quality blog columnists writing based on their passion and love, we will see a positive change.

    Another thing is in general, too many people are creating blogs for the idea of becoming the next star. That isn’t the point at all, the point is to share our thoughts, ideas and views. Something that got lost.

    I see a lot of bloggers on here and other places that simply don’t have the passion, conviction or sheer ingenuity to be “top-tier”, they barely have the ability to show personality. because, again there is way too many to be focused on within one subject matter. As I said quality over quantity.

    Another thing is diversity in blogging, that is completely lacking. Why are all the “top-tier” bloggers Caucasian or European or Asian? We need diversity, we need creativity, we need more of a reflection of today’s world.

    Does that make any sense? Thank you guys for reading.

  13. narda

    I am still confused of what is the best for my blogs. I really love blogging because I can work my own personality doing simple things. Also, it change my views on how should I face my challenges without the care about what others think of me. Thank you for this post because I never thought or realized that I am not the only one who feel the same way….. Fashion rocks!

  14. Hayami

    As someone who just launched their blog, it’s daunting not knowing what the landscape of fashion blogging is going to be in 5, even 2 years. I think that makes it even more important to make your blogging experience a professional but fun one; not everyone’s blog becomes a business, but everyone can choose to blog to their heart’s desire!

  15. Nasreen

    this really opened my eyes to the option of posting things other than personal style. I like to write so something more than just the clothes would be great!

  16. Street Fashion Paris

    I think the personal style blogging, street style blogging in traditional sense is already dead.

    Before the personal style blog was about showing the “personal” and “unique” style (we could of course discuss how unique the style was in real life but for sure it was possible to find something unique comparing to a few hundred blogs). Now there is a thousand “personal” style bloggers wearing the same items, using the same cameras, and making the same photos with similar backgrounds. So I don’t believe that anyone starting in 2013 so called “personal style blog” (the type “what I wore today”, “that was my breakfast yesterday”) could “make it big” because average internet user is simply not interested looking for a new blogs to read. However, there is still bunch of people who just want want to create their space to share some stuff with their peers from school, so I think that personal style blogging as hobby will be around for a while.

    Street Fashion blogs also does not exist in the way they used to. Behind the idea of street fashion was more about capturing what people wear on the street… and today the wanna-bes (at least here in Paris) are waiting for street fashion photographers during fashion week and ASK openly “can you make me a picture”. Not to mention the fact, that so called street style from Paris has nothing to do what people really wear in the town, nothing wrong with that, but people in the metro or on the street of Paris really look way different that what I have seen recently on the blogs.

    So what’s the future… I think as you wrote in your article the true is to “make it big”, you need to have:

    -a plan and that means certain budget to invest in advertising as people finally get it that follow for follow thing doesn’t work and never will be

    -professional skills: for example not in general good writing skills ,but certain style that drug people to your site or very special style of photography/ video, photo editing not in general good skills in photography.

    -some connections to the industry, let’s be honest most of the top blogger had already some kind of connection before they started their website:)

  17. Maria

    Well, I’m actually new to this blog thing… As strange as it may be cos it’s been around for a long time now. It just took me a long time to get a Facebook account so I guess that explains a bit:))
    I find personal blogs entertaining to be honest and I also think is helpful to so many girls who are not so resourceful when it cames to dressing up. I think that personal style blogs are popular when they mix cheap, vintage and same brands as well. Cos honestly, is not hard to get what’s on Hermes window and look good! I think people who does have talent for choosing and mixing are gonna survive. I guess there will always be space for talent. and yes! Let people do whatever they want and what makes them happy! I like when I see nice outfits and nice photos! Maybe the blogs could be even more professional, lime professional photographers and Stuff. I know as a fresh blond that I return to The ones I see that The owner made an effort to make the best she could!

  18. Megan Doyle

    This seems kind of crazy!
    It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was reading that blogging was the future of fashion and was permanently changing the way people interact with fashion and generate conversation online, and now we’re preparing for the end of it? Has it all changed so quickly? I write a blog that I consider a hobby (albeit a time consuming and expensive one) and I’m hoping that I’ll continue to write it and create content regardless of whether I”m told that people are becoming disinterested.
    I think bloggers have to evaluate why they blog and who they blog for. Is it to make other people happy? These articles have helped me evaluate why I blog, and the future of my blog. They challenge me to strive to work harder and push myself to create the most varied, honest and interesting content I can, regardless of whether people are reading.


  19. Bridgettweeter

    I follow a couple of fashion blogger but not the ones who think that 200 dollars is budget. I think when it comes to the end of fashion bloggers it is talking about the bloggers who idea of budget is 200 dollar wallets. Real women who wear real clothes are very much viable. Where other real woman can incorporate their sense of style into their lives. Now don’t get me wrong I like the idea of Elle magazine but I don’t purchase it I go for Marie Clair or Glamour. They give me new insight into possible choices for my closet. NOT over the top editorials for a select few. When the blogger start aiming at the main stream rather then select few then they will find they last a while rather than become a flash in the pan.

  20. Way2Dress

    Bloggers who “make it” are businesses with marketing plans, usually with more than one person working on it. But, I believe that if you are passionate about what you do, you should do it even if you don’t attract thousands of readers. I started my blog simply because I wanted to share my NYFW street photography, and I was hoping to get some assessment on it.
    Naturally, I prefer in depth comments, but I am happy even if someone levees just one word, and I would not call it spam.