Blogger Fashion Trends

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Fashion blogs are wonderful resources for fashion inspiration. Real women wearing real clothing from off the rack. It’s far easier to replicate a look worn by your favorite blogger than to imitate the fashion of Sienna Miller or the latest spread in your issue of Vogue.

However, not all blogger fashion is flattering on everyone, and just as with shoots for your favorite glossy magazine – that which is in a photograph may not translate well into real life. As with fashion magazines, one must use fashion blogs for inspiration, but not gospel.

Recently, I have seen a few fashion trends that have been widely accepted by fashion bloggers. They are fun and a great way to mix up the wardrobe, but don’t always translate well into the real world.

Bloggers will pair tall boots with knee socks and tights, a skirt, an oxford, a sweater, a blazer, a scarf, and a belt. Maybe the fashion blogger will cuff the blazer so the sleeves of the sweater and shirt are highlighted, the scarf looped around their throat with the collar of the oxford peeking out at their chin. The layers look amazing, the combination of textures and colors are inspiring and fresh.

You’re motivated, and head to your closet. You pull out that button-down shirt that gaps at the bust, knowing it won’t be a problem under your merino v-neck. You grab your navy twill blazer that always looks a bit frumpy when worn with a simple shell, your denim skirt, those argyle tights you haven’t been brave enough to wear, your Frye Harness boots and a pair of gray cashmere knee socks. Put it all on, and top with a red skinny belt and that amazing scarf you got last Christmas from your Aunt.

You look like a combination between a homeless woman and Ralphie’s brother Randy from A Christmas Story.

layered clothing

It’s okay, it’s not just you. Many women can’t carry off layers and look as lovely as Kendi Everyday or Sarah from Wearing it On My Sleeves. I can’t. I have large breasts and full upper arms and a short neck. I too would look like Randy from A Christmas Story if I wore more than two layers. It’s okay – it doesn’t make us flawed and it doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from their personal style.

If you can’t carry off multiple layers, you can still find inspiration from the look of layering. I love wearing a pashmina or scarf at my neck – this will give the look of layering without the bulk on my torso. An embroidered scarf with a smooth sweater, a silk patterened scarf tucked into the neckline of a crisp oxford – you are still getting that combination of patterns, textures, and color but you’re working with your own personal figure.

If you are petite and/or curvy, you may find that layers shorten your figure. To elongate your legs but still want the layers for warmth, consider having your layers all in the same color. If you have black tights and black boots, your legs will look longer and slimmer than if you have multiple colors. I have wide calves and know that the tights with socks with boots look is NOT good on me. To stay warm I still wear all three, but just have the socks short enough that they are hidden by the shaft of my boot.

Colored Tights
Visit the We Love Colors Friends blog and you will see tons of gorgeous fashion bloggers showing off their personal style incorporating candy-colored tights. Fashion bloggers are famous for taking a very simple, muted outfit and adding pop to it with legwear in ruby, garnet, emerald, or amethyst. What a great way to jazz up your old LBD and a pair of black shoes? You follow suit and buy yourself some tights in mustard, teal, and magenta.

colored tights

Tania of What Would a Nerd Wear or Rebecca from The Clothes Horse ROCK the colored tights look. However I have many a time seen a woman on the street who has colored tights on, and it just looks bizarre. The other day, a woman was next to me, waiting for the light to change so she could cross the street. She had on a black wool coat, a brown plaid pleated skirt, bright pumpkin-colored opaque tights and brown T-strap pumps. Sounds cute? Well in real life, those orange tights looked a bit strange and cartoon-like and totally took away from the adorable shoes (and possibly the rest of the outfit hidden under her coat).

This doesn’t mean colored tights don’t translate well into the everyday – it just means you need to assess your entire look. When you look at yourself in a full-length mirror, what do you see first? If your tights are screaming for all the attention and you don’t notice your lovely face, your amazing dress, your fabulous shoes… maybe the tights aren’t the best choice. Accessories are created to accentuate and improve your look, not steal the show. A colored tight can really make pieces a true ensemble, you just need to take into consideration your personality and your wardrobe – it will help you realize if fire engine red is perfect, or if you would look better with a dark maroon.

Unexpected Pairings


Keiko Lynn or Terra at Stylish White Female are amazing examples of beautiful women with a true knack for pairing the unexpected. Lace tights with a plaid skirt? Check. Floaty cocktail dress with biker boots? Check. These fearless fashion females know their way around their wardrobes, their figures, and their personal style and can mix and match like nobody’s business.

This doesn’t mean that in everyone else’s wardrobe anything goes. I often see fashion bloggers try to replicate these looks and instead of looking modern, they look as though they got dressed in the dark. Mixing textures, fabrics, and genres is an art, and it takes time and practice to perfect it. The best way to incorporate this concept into your personal style is to start small.

A great way to start with this concept is to layer a tough jacket over a sweet dress. A biker jacket with feminine lines is a great piece to get this effect – it can be paired with a simple tank and jeans, but also will look quite nice with a sundress with a full skirt or a frilly frock. See how it looks, and really assess how you feel in this combination. If it feels more like a costume than an ensemble, that’s okay. But if you feel good in it – take it to the next level. Try a pair of biker or cowboy boots with a classic sheath, or for your next night out on the town switch out the black top and dark jeans for a silk camisole and a leather jacket, or even a corporate blazer with a frilly shell. With time and experience you will soon be rocking multiple fabrics, textures and genres like a pro!

Belting Everything


Sydney at The Daybook is the Queen of the Belt. She is able to make any outfit look cohesive with a bit of nipping and cinching at the waist. She makes belts seem effortless and a necessary accessory to pull together an outfit. Audi at Fashion for Nerds is another Queen of the Belts, but she rocks belts in a completely different, but incredibly awesome and stylish manner.

Yesterday when I was getting dressed, I thought of Sydney, Audi and the other fashion bloggers who rock the belts with unexpected outfits. I tried a vintage brown leather belt over my gray merino and denim pencil skirt – I thought it would tie in my boots and show off my shape.

I looked as though someone belted a pillow. It was all wrong. The sweater pleated and bunched, bloused out and made me look thicker and shorter than I already am. I decided it was the belt and tried a wider belt, a more narrow belt, a woven belt. All were wrong, wrong wrong. I went sans belt and was a better and more stylish woman because of it.

This doesn’t mean I (or you!) can’t switch up a look with a belt. You just need to know your belting limitations. Try belts in different widths and materials, and also try them at different locations on your torso (I am partial to a wide elastic belt right below the bust – hits at my smallest part and makes my legs look long). A certain belt may look amazing with one outfit, and ghastly with another. Play around with accessories… and if you aren’t one that looks beautiful when belted – it’s okay. Not every woman looks good in every trend. Rock those you can rock, and leave the belts to fashion bloggers like Audi and Sydney.

Shorts in Winter

winter shorts

Oh the winter short – it has been available for the past couple of years. Tweed, wool, distressed denim and this year leather, paired with tights or patterned stockings it can be utterly chic. Claire from Faboo and Le Blog de Betty are two fashion bloggers I think of when I think of winter shorts. Both of them make the look so lovely and effortless.

Last week I was shopping and came upon a woman in winter shorts. She was petite – short, slim, adorable. She was wearing a cream ribbed turtleneck sweater, brown tweed cuffed shorts, brown textured tights and brown ankle booties. She looked as though someone ate the legs of her trousers.

Like mixing textures and genres, it is a fine art to master the winter short. It’s all about proportions – the right length and fullness for your figure, the right pieces with it, the right location. One misstep and you look as though your upper half is in Minnesota and your bottom half in Miami.

As with any other trend, start small and conservative. A black wool short with black tights and black sleek booties will give a nice cohesive line and the focus won’t be on your shorts, but your ensemble. Again, wear this look and see how you feel. Do you feel ridiculous, or do you feel fierce? from here you can develop your winter short skills with colors and other fabrics (I personally love the leather look!).

What is your favorite trend that you learned from a fashion blogger?  Have you been able to incorporate it into your personal style?

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I can totally see that outfit in my head and I bet it WAS pretty stunning in person. Sounds as though that woman really knows her personal style and isn’t afraid to show it! That’s one of those ensembles that can look amazing on one and frumpy on another. I would love to wear such a creative combination, but I have learned I am the type that makes such combinations frump. 🙂 I just admire it on others!

  2. Allie,

    I don’t know if this is the right place for this or not, but here goes. I’ll describe an outfit I saw on a 20 something woman this morning. Her outfit sounds ghastly but on her it worked. Note that she is overweight about 25 pounds but it doesn’t take away from her look. She has a round, sweet, cherubic face. I don’t like using this word because it is so overused, but nothing else fits. She looked adorable.

    Finally, I’ll get to the description. She has short, dark brown hair in a 20s flapper style, brown eyes, beautiful skin. Top was a ribbed, long sleeved, dark red shirt. Bottom was a cotton, slightly gathered light coral colored skirt with a length just below the knees. Shoe and simple shoulder sized purse were aged, brown leather. The shoes were cowboy boots. The leather I’m talking about looks like it is very high quality and the purse and boots look like they have been loved and used for decades. No stockings or socks, at least that were visible.
    To top it all off, she wore a Trilby dark grey hat.

     Sounds awful? It does to me. If I tried that combination, it would look like I threw together what was on sale at St Vinnie’s (St Vincent’s Thrift Store) or Sallie’s (Salvation Army Thrift Store). And maybe that’s what she did. But on her it was fabulous. Amazing.

  3. Style is all about self-expression. Fashion conscious women are always searching favorite online apparel stores to get latest clothing and similarly teens are looking for the latest fashion trends in clothes and accessories. Yes I too believe that Fashion blogs are wonderful resources for fashion inspiration.
    Bailey 44 Dress

  4. Thank you for posting this! I actually just unsubscribed to a number of fashion blogs because the styles are just so out there and really end up making me question my rather classic wardrobe and simple tastes rather than help me. Then I found this post from you and I realized that it doesn’t make me unfashionable.

    This is why I LOVE your blog. You have great real-world style and still help me think about clothes in a different way, but one I can actually use.

  5. I guess I’m the odd man out in that I don’t let myself read too many fashion blogs (other than yours) because I love so many different styles, and it’s easy to forget they’re not my style. It always worried me (when I was posting more outfit photos) to get e-mails about wishing they had my closet or could do such and such, because I just wanted to hug the person and explain that their style is great, if they want to tweak it, great, but don’t feel the need to be someone else.

    That being said, you can learn things. I’ve learned that as odd as it is, some belts look better backward. That similar colors can really look great together (like two colors close together on the color wheel). And that bright and patterned tights work for me because they pop against my simple neutrals, but don’t steal the show.

  6. I too see all these cute looks and beat myself up for not trying them all…and then I remind myself that the weather where I am, my job, my lifestyle, my figure, etc may not make it easy or practical or flattering to rock that style.

    I have to remind myself that plenty of people (including ME) like my style, and while I can get ideas from others, being my creative self is the best option for me.

    And, I should add – while I love lots of those other blogs and do get ideas from them, yours is the one I like for practical I-can-wear-this-to-work-and-my-boss-won’t-look-at-me-like-I’m-nuts looks.

  7. Not weird Stefanie, I can remember a few years ago where my body LOVED hip-slung belts. I have never been one to have hips, pre-Emerson I was pretty straight (I guess an apple). However belts give the illusion of curves so they work great in the most surprising places! 🙂


  8. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better at layering because of blogs. And incorporating girly pieces into not so girly outfits… i.e. pairing a light pink chiffon skirt with a gray American Apparel T. I think the blog that has most influenced my style is cupcakes and cashmere.

    Anyway, I just started following you… love your blog – so well thought out… look forward to reading more (I’ve been reading your tweets for ages now, but just started w/the blog.)

    Keep em coming!
    xx grace

  9. I totally agree with the belt thing… I always see girls, online and in real life, who look great with skinny belts over cardigans. I look borderline ridiculous when I try to do it.

    But I do sometimes belt tshirt dresses at the hip, which I know sounds kind of weird, but works for me when I wear straight cut dresses bc my hips aren’t any wider than my waist.

    Great post!!

  10. When I think of things that I’ve learned from fashion bloggers and actually been able to put into practice in my real wardrobe, I always come back to you, Allie! You turned me on to pashminas, made me think differently about footwear, and most recently, have me lusting after a Hobo Penelope bag!

  11. I really like mixing patterns, but I have to do it in small doses or it looks ridiculous.

    I am a huge fan of layering, but like you said you have to do it right.

  12. Great post! I get so discouraged when I try to interpret what the “fashion bloggers’ are doing and feel I look ridiculous so much of the time! It’s so important to respect your own personal style and understand your that these are just creative suggestions that can spark experimentation. And that experimentation is great as long as the results flatter and make your day more fun!

  13. i love this post! i’m trying to break free from the frumpy mom look, and some of the fashion trends just look wrong on me! thanks for the tips to make them work 🙂

  14. I wish this could be required reading. I like experimenting too, but have finally learned that just because I theoretically “can” wear something, I might not “ought” to wear it.

    The cool thing is learning to accept the way you are, the way your body is shaped, and figuring out what does work. (And, accepting if you are just a more traditional person – I play with jewelry with my more classic silhouettes and it works for me. I want to be “wears funky tights” girl, but it just fails. So I’m “wears funky jewelry” girl and it is much more me.)

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