February 28, 2012

Why I Blog


 Are all y'all familiar with Madeline from Jean Greige?  Because if you are not, you should be.  I found her blog from the blogroll from the first blog I ever, ever saw/followed, Champagne and Marshmellows and I have been grateful to stumble upon it ever since.  Madeline is a real chic.  She is funny and she also talks a lot about issues about body image, which I love.  When I first started blogging, I wrote her an email telling her how much I admired her blog.  She wrote me the sweetest email back!  Today I am especially excited to talk about Madeline because she made this amazing video post about her personal experience and feelings on fashion blogging. 

While I am still too virginal in the blogosphere to do an actual vlog yet (I seriously sound like I'm 12 and have little to no articulation when put on the spot), I do want to touch on some of my thoughts on blogging.  I realize that I am by no means an expert on this issue as I have only been blogging for 10 months or so, but I sees what I sees, ya know?  

For me, the thing that attracted me to style blogging was a love for fashion (duh!).  Until this time last year, I had no idea that these little websites even existed!  I was just doing some random searching, wasting time on the computer, when I stumbled on Lauren's blog (Champagne and Marshmellows).  I was completely enamored and hooked at that point.  What is this?  You can do this?  Wait . . . I could do this!!!

So that is what attracted me to fashion blogging.  But, I was still hesitant to start a blog myself.  I'm not a "model" type.  I am not skinny or glamorous and my style is not even understood by some people.  What I found, however, was that after my attraction to style blogs developed, so did my curiosity.  And my curiosity led me to hundreds and hundreds of blogs.  And each blog had a personal vibe.  I saw blogs of all body types, styles, budgets and skin colors.  Maybe I could do this after all.   

So, obviously, I decided to start a blog.  And I started following lots and lots of blogs.  And part of my "getting my blog off the ground" was to send out some emails to blogs that really touched me in some way--this could be their style or their words or a specific post.  And no, absolutely not was I sending out the ever-so-lacking of any kind of personality or sincerity emails like this: "I found your blog, I love it, you are so unique, I have a blog, FOLLOW ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I.  hate.  that.  I wrote really sincere emails.  And from my responses (or lack thereof), I was able to find out what kind of community I was getting into.  

Some of the bigger named blogs that I wrote to, of course, did not contact me back.  They were already sitting at the cool table and need not be bothered by a lowly newbie.  But the majority of the blogs that I wrote to actually responded in kind and with support.  There were even some of those girls that became loyal readers of my blog and come by to support me frequently (Ife from Fashionista Next Door, Andrea from Blonde Bedhead, Meg from Another Day to Dress Up, Tiffany from A Reason to be Fabulous, Lauren from Magic Happens, Liz from 26 and Counting and Veronika from Tick Tock Vintage).  And there are a lot of great women that I have connected with via this blog in addition to that (Megan from Megan Mae Daily, Natasha from One Woman's Style Evolution and Lydia from Chic on the Cheap and many, many more).  It is such a special community to be a part of and for the most part, I'd say that it is very welcoming, supportive and inspiring. 

Which brings me to my next reasoning behind why I blog: inspiration.  I have been inspired on so many levels by so many women.  I've always had a style all my own, that's for sure, but there are so many things that I would have never thought to do.  My closet has been feeling so much love from blogging.  Not only am I much more aware in my purchases (actually trying on clothes, figuring out cost v. wear, incorporating basics into my wardrobe and not being so narcotic about trends), but I am more creative in how I wear my clothes.  I mean, who knew there were this many ways to tie a scarf?    

 On a personal front, this blog, to me, is my thing.  I am a mother of three kids.  I have a full time job as a paralegal, which means I work for several attorneys.  I have a fiance.  I have a very close family.  Essentially, I do things for people all day long.  As a mother, employee, fiance and family member, I am always needed everywhere.  Shuffle kids here, take care of this, did we ever hear from so-and-so, will you fold my socks this way, Kaden needs braces, so on and so forth.  So, finding time, even only for a moment, to have something that I can do that is just for me, feels really good.  I have always loved clothes and fashion.  And being able to express myself in this way, even if I was the only one listening/reading/watching is just the break that I need sometimes. 

Also, I've heard many different opinions on what fashion blogging is and what it means in an economic sense.  To some, fashion blogging feeds the corporate monster of consumerism--buy, buy, buy!  trend, trend, trend!  must have, must have, must have!--and to others it means recycling (thrifting), being a conscious shopper and even giving up shopping all together and finding different ways to shop your closet.    For me, I find both ends of this spectrum in the blogs that I follow.  I see a lot of blogs that are "c/o" everything and designer labels.  I see a lot of blogs that loathe the mainstream shopping staples like F21, Anthro and H&M. 

So why do I do this blogging thing? It's not a paying job.  I mean, I have accepted a few items to review and done a couple of paid posts, but by no means in any way that could compare to a paycheck.  I spend a lot of time and energy blogging.  Reading and interacting with other blogs, taking my photos, writing posts . . . all of that takes dedication and time.  It's a lot of give.  But it's got an equal amount of take as well.

Because I enjoy it.  I really do!  I love the interaction and community.  I love that I have "met" so many lovely ladies.  I love working with the different companies that I have.  I love reading and being inspired sartorially by such a diverse group of women.  I love learning from these women about what works for them, what works for me and what just plain works.  I love having something that I can call my own.  I love being able to share my style--for others to take it as they may. 

Salmon Colored Trousers-BCBG, thrifted; Mustard Ruffle Detail Button Up-Elle for Kohl's; Studded Wedges-Kohl's; Watch-gifted; Earrings-vintage from Grandma; White Peacoat-Rue21

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