10 Signs You’re An “Old School” Fashion Blogger

This year quite a few fashion bloggers celebrated 10 years of blogging; Grechen's Closet and J'Adore Couture are just a few. While more than a few bloggers have burnt out, many bloggers have stayed in it for the long haul.

How do you know if YOU stayed in it for the long haul? Well, a good sign is you have blogged for several years. As an “old school” blogger, you've seen quite a few things happen over the years. Here are just a few!

Brands definitely did not want to work with fashion bloggers.

Fashion brands have historically tried to over-control their image. In the early days, bloggers were pirates. Bloggers blogged about whatever they wanted. Bloggers said whatever they wanted. Bloggers didn't have “relationships” with brands (because the brands didn't want to work with them). Brands lived in fear that a blogger would say something “negative” about them, so they tried to ignore bloggers as much as possible. In the early days a few brands experimented with bloggers, like Chanel invited a group of bloggers to visit Coco Chanel's residence at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris.


Above is the photo Betsy from Fashion is Spinach took on the infamous staircase.

Fashion Weeks definitely did not consider bloggers “press.”

In the early days, I had enough naiveté and quite a bit of self-importance, because you know, my blog had 500 visitors a day, therefore I was internet famous! When my town, San Francisco, hosted a fashion week, I knew it was time to “arrive” on the fashion scene. In 2007, I applied for a press pass and they promptly denied me. Their logic, ANYONE could start a blog. Yes, anyone CAN start a blog, but how many blogs actually have readers?

Everyone took photos of themselves in the mirror or with a crappy camera.


Susie Bubble did it. We all did it. We didn't have BOYFRIENDS to take our photos!

Coutorture was a blogger network.

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Over the years, Coutorture has had many iterations, a fashion news site, a celebrity fashion blog, now it's just absorbed into POPSUGAR. But before it was acquired in 2007, it was the first network for fashion bloggers to share content.

View From the Fourth Row was the only “fashion insider” who blogged.

Nowadays it seems that every former editor has a blog. Models have blogs. Designers have blogs. Everyone in the fashion industry dabbles in the ol' nerd log eventually. But back in the day, fashion bloggers were just nerds (myself included) we weren't allowed in the fashion industry. The only one who blogged was the anonymous blogger, View From the Fourth Row which was kind of like the Conde Elevator of its day. Snippy, snarky and brutally honest this blogger said what no one dares to say about the fashion industry today.

You blogged anonymously at one point.


In the early days of the internet, people were afraid. They feared axe murderers would find out you existed and want to kill you. They feared their boss would find out you blogged during work hours and fire you. They feared their friends would find out they were not actually fans of Sex and The City, but of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or both!). Even though that fear doesn't exist today since we all peruse the internet, many blogs started out anonymously. Sasha Wilkins, the blogger behind Liberty London Girl, penned anonymously for years.

You submitted outfit photos to wardrobe_remix.

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Before there were any “OOTD” communities (Lookbook.nu) there was wardrobe_remix, founded by beloved ex-blogger Tricia Royal. It's how a lot of personal style bloggers got their first followers.

You loved Style Bytes.

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One of the first super-star personal style bloggers was Agathe Molvik, the Norwegian girl with a pig. She was one of the first bloggers who had a boyfriend photograph editorialized outfit of the day shots until one day she abruptly stopped blogging. She recently cofounded a blog, so we'll see how that goes!

You had a Myspace profile.

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Before Twitter was popular and Facebook was open to the public, everyone used MySpace to discover other bloggers, designers, photographers, you name it.

Your Technorati ranking meant something.

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Now for the most nerdy thing ever. Technorati. Technorati ranked you based on how many sites linked to you. The more sites linked to you the better your score. It was one of the first public stat sites that bloggers based their credentials on. Whatever happened to that?

What do you remember from back in the early days of fashion blogging?


[Screenshots created using the Web Archive.]

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21 Responses

  1. Anmarie

    I’m old old school. While I only started blogging 5 months ago, I don’t have a fancy ‘smart’ phone from which I perpetually tweet about my latest posts, I don’t do OOTD photos, I’m not a size 6 and I’m over 40 (what!). Blogs – other good ones – have replaced glossy magazines for me. The mainstream fashion industry has become insensitive (faux Chanel feminist march) and unimaginative (normcore, give me a break). Style bloggers I beg of you, resist the insipid lure of the FFI (Flippin’ Fashion Industry), remain the anarchical arm of vestiary! http://huntresslondon.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/found-normcore-bore-me-some-more.html

  2. Manpreet

    Only thing I remember of that time was blogging anonymously. I made a blog. Wrote stuff on it but never knew what else to do with it. So, only thing I could relate was being anonymous.
    I was actually scared to let people on the internet know who I am.

  3. Mariana

    Oy! 7 out of 10 definitely applied to me, and I started around 2005/2006… Congrats to all of the blogging Godmothers who made it to their 10th anniversary!

  4. Jacky Auerbach

    I definitely did some of this starting out! I think every new blogger takes a mirror picture!
    I’m checking out some of the things you mentioned for sure. We should make Technorati a thing again. 🙂


  5. Aja

    I always blogged anonymously . . . until now! I left Agathe anonymous comments for years before we became friends! We’ll see how it goes indeed! Thanks for including us 😉

  6. Betsy

    I totally remember when Agathe disappeared. Her (many) fans went nuts–so many theories about what happened! A seminal moment in fashion blogging, for sure.

  7. Onianwah

    OMG, this is so cool. I never did any of these (I’m just going on 4 years, lol).
    I think this is really cool. Wish I could do a post like this for Nigerian bloggers. In 10 years, I probably will.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  8. Ms YoLee

    haha how true! still lol’ing about the selfie in the mirror with a crappy camera 😀

  9. Susie Bubble

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane… Technorati, my crappy Canon point and shoot and that infamous Chanel trip that set the ball rolling for every brand-blogger collab that was yet to come…

    Do young blogger things have it easier or harder? That’s the real question…

  10. Laetitia Wajnapel

    This made me so happy. Technorati, gosh! I will have a look at Style Bites new blog, I often wonder what happened to her. Hope all is well in Jenine land x

  11. Sasha @ Libertylondongirl

    I just celebrated EIGHT YEARS this September! Thanks for including me in this brilliant and funny piece oh lovely lady.

    Goodness I was TERRIFIED that someone would work out that it was me, that I would be judged and found wanting. There was no Facebook, no Twitter for me to join to tell people about the blog so I just relied on word of mouth and commenting. In some ways I rather miss those innocent days where there was no way to monetize content apart from writing a book. Although if someone *had* told me in 2006 that in 2014, almost eight years to the day, I would be publishing my first cookbook, and that Ralph Lauren would throw the launch party on Bond Street for me I would have told them roundly that they were on crack!


  12. Crystal

    OMG talk about a flashback! I started blogging in 2001 (I can’t even talk about how old I feel) and I remember all of this so clearly. In fact, I can remember when you used to have to BEG brands for a sample to review only to be passed off to their PR people who had no idea what you did on “the online”, but if you ever did any print work, let them know. LOL!

    How far we’ve come!

  13. Kaisha

    I was in fear of posting my pictures up. Before I started my own blog, ColorMeLimitlessly.com, I was blogging for years but for hair and how I took care of it on fotki.com. I blurred my face and removed images so that no one would know who I was and to deter people from commenting on anything else other than my hair, which was the main topic.

    I’m changing, and I’m glad others are, too! Many success to those who believe in their blogging and want to share.

  14. Anett

    I have to admit I still do the odd selfie in the mirror – with my iPhone 5 or great camera. One of the difficulties of being a single over 40 blogger is to shoot your own photographs. You are at an age where you don’t hang out with your girlsfriends all the time so can’t ask them to shoot, you don’t have a partner that can do the job and you don’t dare ask one of your colleagues, as they don’t think much of blogging. If you know of a good and cheap photographer in Oslo, I’m first in line!

  15. Alison

    Yes to all of this! I started my blog in 2005 and relate to all of this! I didn’t even know you could make money from a blog or get free stuff until 2007 when Suave asked to send me some shampoo. I was so excited I took a picture of the shampoo sitting on my office file cabinet with my Canon Poweshot and shared it on MySpace! Boy times have changed…