A few days ago, I was reading a post by Gala Darling about her Shopping Detox Experiment. Gala has decided to stop shopping in an effort to save space, money and sanity. She talks about how so many of her fashion –conscious friends have bagged her out for this decision, or have been unconvinced that she can succeed.
Gala’s decision made me start to wonder whether shopping, and specifically shopping to excess, is part of the culture of fashion bloggers. As a fashion blogger, I feel that it’s important to display a range of interesting outfits and daring clothing items on my site. Furthermore, I feel the need to dress up in my everyday life, especially when I go out, to cement my reputation as a fashionista. Fashion has always been a passion of mine, and I would still mix and match my style and experiment with new looks even if I had never started my blog. However, I find that being a fashion blogger does give me a bit more drive to experiment and put together interesting combinations for my daily outfit photos. I would certainly say that there is a bit of pressure to look your best when you blog about fashion and beauty on a regular basis, but I, I don’t find this pressure to be a negative thing.
For some, this pressure to look good and showcase an awesome wardrobe can spill over into a need to shop til they drop. I don’t feel this pressure, but I do notice it in some of my peers. I have quite a limited clothing budget, and I try to be quite disciplined with my spending. I do my best to only buy things that I need or truly love. I try not to buy things on impulse, but splash out on items that I really adore, that flatter me, and that will allow me to wear items I already own in new and interesting ways. However, I have heard other fashion bloggers say that they feel pressure to shop regularly, so that they can be seen in the latest trends and always have something new and interesting to show their readers.
I get bored with blogs that seem to exist only to feature the latest purchases of the blogger. There are a couple of blogs that I have stopped reading, simply because every single post they wrote started with “This is what I bought today” and then a series of pictures of shoes, handbags and blouses followed, with the product information after each picture. This type of blogging doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Anyone with a bit of cash can go out and buy a bunch of new stuff each day, take a photo of it and then whack it up on the internet. This doesn’t take any sort of skill and it doesn’t inspire me. When a blogger writes posts like this on a regular basis, it doesn’t make me think, “Gee, she has amazing style and I wish I could dress like her”, it makes me wonder “How the hell does she get the money to spend on all this crap?” and “Where does she store it all?” Going shopping every day and posting your spoils on your blog doesn’t showcase your fabulous personal style or creative flair, all it does is highlight the fact that you have an astonishing case of financial diarrhoea. I love showing off my newest purchases as much as the next girl, but when you’re doing it on a daily basis, it gets very, very dull. Not only is it boring, it sends the wrong message to fashion bloggers about what they should be writing.
I don’t read fashion blogs because I want to see the latest fashions or trends. If I want that, I’ll buy Vogue. I love fashion blogs because I love seeing real people wearing real clothes from their actual wardrobes. I like to be inspired by someone living in the real world, turning themselves into a work of art every day. I adore seeing a fashion blogger wear the same item twice, in totally different ways. It’s awesome when a blogger sees a fashion item they want but can’t afford, and finds a way to make one for themselves. These are the things I find inspiring, not pages and pages of new purchases.
I think that shopping and spending are a part of the fashion blogger culture, and we need to dial it down a notch. There’s no need to spend hours a day trawling online stores and buying up big just so that you have something new to wear for tomorrow’s outfit post. I’d much rather see a post that reads “These are my favourite jeans, and I just figured out a new way to wear them” than “Today I’m wearing my new shorts, and my new shoes, and my new necklace”. When you are constantly adding to your wardrobe, you don’t have a chance to appreciate and experiment with the things you already own. There’s no challenge in putting together an interesting ensemble each day if you have an infinite number of items to choose from. It’s better to spend only on the things you need or truly adore, and love the things you already have than to splash out on a bunch of clutter that you don’t really like anyway. Fashion bloggers need to realise that the thing that makes us such a unique breed is that we are regular, ordinary people, with extraordinary creativity and the drive to share our style. We don’t have to be up-to-the-minute or on-trend with every outfit post. Each fashion blogger is unique, and should embrace their own individual style, looking in their own wardrobe and their own world for inspiration . Spending doesn’t breed style. Style is something inherent, which develops with experimentation and the courage to be a little different from everyone else, and to me, that’s what fashion blogging is all about.