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Welcome folks, to the highest income time of year for any blogger: the holiday season. Starting with blanket scarves and ending with sequined frocks, now through the end of December, many bloggers can make as much or more than they did the rest of the year combined. When I quit my day job, I wasn’t trying to line it up with the holiday season, but it’s a nice perk. Especially since last year, I thought I was going to lose my damn mind. As a family, we didn’t send out holiday cards because I just couldn’t get our act together. When cleaning out my office at work this week I found a Christmas gift I somehow forgot to wrap and give to Emerson. My only saving grace last year was that I was still in my old position at work which found the end of the year to be molasses slow. It’s the only way I had the energy to whip out gift guides and sparkly outfit posts to take advantage of the season.
It’s like I blinked and it went from August to November. I don’t feel ready for the holidays, but I will be. On the home front, I scheduled the family photo shoot for the holiday cards and already acquired what we’re wearing. I’ve even purchased a few Christmas gifts. On the blog front, I have clothes at the tailor to shorten to Allie length and feature, I’ve had a few brands offer to send me fun things so I can add honest reviews into some of my gift guides, and well, there’s going to be a lot of sponsored posts.
Groan, nobody likes sponsored posts, right? Well you know me, I learned from my cookie mistake, and I try to choose brands that make sense for me, you, and the whole concept of this blog. So mostly fashion with a touch of lifestyle thrown in. But there’s going to be a lot this month because… well, it’s all business stuff and some were contracted but ended up not being spread out over several months. And then brands know this is gift-giving and holiday-fashion season and see the value of partnering with bloggers to promote their stuff this time of year so some I said yes to while I was still in sandals and sundresses. So this season you may think, “Geez, Allie really sold out. She quit her job and now every other post is a sponsored post.” But it’s totally coincidental. Promise.
And the brands I’m partnering with, I think they’re pretty good. And so far, they’re giving me a lot of creative freedom with what I feature and focus on so I’ve chosen some things I know I would like to see this time of year on a blog. I hope I chose wisely, and I hope these posts blend in pretty well with the rest of the content and give you some holiday inspiration.
And I do plan to bring back gift guides. I was against them for a long time, but I tried them the past two years and you all really liked them. Again, I try to fill them with things I’d want to see in a gift guide. And many gift guides are inspired by you readers – so let me know what or who you’re shopping for, your gift pain points, and I’ll do the research.
In between will be plenty of “normal” content. I have two capsule wardrobes I created over the past couple of months but haven’t had the time to complete. Some hits and misses I need to share. And so many cute clothes that deserve to be photographed. I’ll be sharing how we celebrate the holidays, but I’ll also be prepping for 2018, and that requires your help. Let me know what sucks and what rocks. Be honest with me, I can’t improve Wardrobe Oxygen if you don’t tell me what is wrong. Don’t make me have to find your thoughts on a message board! I really think what we’ve built here together is pretty fantastic, and the only way it can continue to be awesome and become even more awesome is with your feedback. So leave comments, send me emails, slide into my DMs, tap me on the shoulder at the grocery store, and let’s chat. I’m super excited about the future of Wardrobe Oxygen and I look forward to experiencing it with you!
Like other people here, I enjoy your hits and misses. I like seeing what the clothes look like on real people. I also really like when you do posts about work clothes since that is what I mostly wear. I am not really a fan of sequined dresses or embellished clothes (and don’t really have anywhere to wear them). Work outfits are what I crave.
I also would be interested in a post about what to wear when lounging around at home. For years I have worn old running t-shirts and sweat pants and as I get older, I am embarrassed to be wearing them and having a neighbor see me in them if they ring my doorbell or I am bringing out the trash. At the same time, I worry about wearing my “good” clothes by getting them dirty if I am hanging out at home. I think it stems from my mother making me change out of my “school clothes” and into my “pla” clothes” when I was growing up. I still do that as an adult.
I am not a big fan of gift guides. I know people like them but the holidays are not supposed to be about people buying stuff that their friends and family don’t really need. I would be more interested in blog posts about traditions and the way Christmas is celebrated in different countries, for example.
Bridget Wall says
Thanks for asking, Allie! I’d love a refresh on the office-appropriate layering pieces like tights, leggings, silk base layers, that sort of thing. I know you’ve talked about them before, but any new favorites? Any pairs that do a decent job when worn multiple times a week? And I would love some inspiration on wearing tights with sneakers…unconventional, I know, but my feet have been giving me trouble lately, so trying to wear slip-on sneakers like this on casual Fridays has been helpful, but I can’t quite get the hang of how to wear them with tights. Thanks!
started reading the blog a couple of years ago and have discovered Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack through you! I am plus size and 40-ish and love the fashion advice – trends but not for 20 somethings… I miss the posts where people wrote in with a specific question and you answered it with a whole slew of outfits/clothes to try. I like the hit or misses and the capsule wardrobe posts – not entirely because I strive for a capsule wardrobe, but because it makes me look at how pieces work together in a new way. Good luck on your new/old adventure!
Congrats on quitting your job! I’m here today because I need to get back to basics. And I feel like your blog always helps me look my best even if it’s just a black pair or slacks.
Mrs.M in MI says
You did a gift guide a few years ago of “practical” gifts – boat ‘n’ tote, yak trax, etc., and I’ve gone back to it every year for my hard to shop for, pragmatic mother-in-law.
As for the rest of the blog, as long as it’s not ALL sponsored I’m cool. If you start doing those “dressing room” posts I’ll figure you are hard up for money; it bugs me that a blogger can’t even be arsed to buy and return clothing, but readers are expected to click those link$!!!
I LOVE the Hits & Misses, but you knew that already 😉
My favorite blog posts tend to be Hits & Misses and then OOTD-style. I appreciate when you talk about where you wore a particular outfit and whether it really worked for weather/event/whatever. Skincare posts tend to not be as interesting to me, but whatever, I am not the be-all end-all of the world, haha.
I also LOVE the capsule wardrobes you put together!
Allie, I would like to know how the links to products you review work. For example, you once reviewed the Beltaway, no see flat belt that helps me keep my jeans from sliding down, and you provided a link to a major online retailer. I clicked on the link, and saved the item to my “Wishlist”, and purchased on another day. Would you still get credit for steering me to that item? With other online retailers, let’s say Nordstrom, I often put something in my “cart” and wait to buy, but then move it to my “favorites” and purchase later. Hope you can clear this up for me because you deserve the credit for guiding me to the item in the first place.
I have no problem with sponsored posts; I really appreciate your voice and writings. That being said, one of the reasons I trust you so much is that you also feature clothes you’ve had for awhile. #reallife I’m excited for when you pair new things with old things!
Alison…I have been reading your blog for years. I love your transparency, authenticity, not to mention your style. You literally only get better with age! My favorite posts are hit/misses, product reviews…real life moments, and your posts where you share your heart. As for fashion, I agree with other readers, that we love to see the clothes pictured on you, when possible. Keep being you and we will all be here for the ride!
I firmly believe that bloggers add a lot of value to the world with their talent and as such, SHOULD GET PAID. You are especially good at creating that value with a quality-focused, balanced approach to the sponsored posts. I’m excited for your new adventure and look forward to supporting you along the way!
Helen Hastie says
Hey Allie, I’ve been reading your blog got a few years now and while I like the reviews and the gift guides I also really liked it when you did music posts on what you have been listening to as have found some great bands this way. Otherwise keep doing what your doing as it’s working well.
Lady, you know I love your blog and it is the ONLY one I read regularly. Your honest and real and I trust your posts. Sponsored posts are actually a great way for people to learn about items we may not otherwise have heard of. I know you will be honest about it and give an unbiased opinion. Love to you on your new adventure!
My favorite posts are your ‘hits and misses’ where you wear all the clothes, especially the misses. It reassures me that I am not alone when nothing in the dressing room works on my body. My personal conundrum is how to wear dresses when pantyhose are no longer worn, yet black tights look too heavy, and what shoes to accompany the dresses and ?tights? that aren’t too bulky. Shooties make my already short legs look even shorter.
I come to your blog because I trust you and your honesty. I would l love an update on underwear, especially for under holiday wear versus every day underwear. I’d love to know more about how to shop for good quality jewellery and to style it. Is there such thing as a capsule wardrobe of accessories that should be in most women’s wardrobes (what is the Breton stripe shirt of the accessory world?)? How can I make simple outfits look more polished or expensive? I like your skin care and make up posts a lot- hard to find them for our age demographic. I love also your hits and misses. As a mum of 2 under age 3 I’d love more insight about how to successfully shop online.
Hits & misses posts are always good! It’s helps to hear from a real person about various clothes & shoes. Capsule wardrobe posts are great too–they give me good ideas for my own wardrobe.
I’d also love to see outfit ideas for a casual work environment. I’m in public education, so I don’t need to be dressy or wear business suits. Instead, I want comfortable clothes that are easy to move in, wash well, are affordable, & still look professional (like the post you did a few years back for the pre-K teacher).
And shoes! Oh goodness–I love shoes–but I struggle with comfortable shoes that are low heeled or flat and can keep my feet warm in the winter. Maybe what I actually struggle with is which of these shoes work with my pants & how to match up socks/tights, shoes & pants. I used to wear riding boots a lot in winter so it didn’t matter so much about the socks/tights & pants. Now I love booties & loafers but am still not sure about pairing them with pants, socks/tights.
And I’m sorry for writing a book here but another idea–more behind the scenes of your blog. For example, you mentioned the sponsored post on the cookies. How did you know it wasn’t well received? The comments seemed to be positive. And for the affiliate links, if we click on the products you’ve linked to but then click on other items from that store, do you get some payment on those items as well? I know there are times that I look at your links and then end up viewing other items & maybe find something else that I like more (& might buy that instead). You certainly drove me to that site!
Kathleen LaRochelle says
I do love gift guides! One thing on your roundups like the Nordstrom one yesterday: I know that with rstyle you want people to click through to see an item, but it would be REALLY helpful to have a picture of the item next to the description. Sometimes I see that there aren’t pictures and I just decide not to read the post at all. There’s the scrolly thing at the bottom but it’s not really user-friendly, in my opinion.
It’s so thoughtful of you to lay this all out for us readers, so we understand your goals and reasoning behind who you chose to partner with! I really appreciate the Sunday charity posts you use to do, pointing out a worthwhile organisation… I’d love to see one or two other mixed in with the gift guides! 🙂
I’ve been reading your blog for a long time – 7-8 years? I have consistently read and loved your content. I don’t understand the big deal with sponsored posts, especially yours. I guess if you read a lot of blogs and everyone is breathlessly reviewing the same product, that gets old. But your voice is different and genuine. Especially in the last couple of years, you have made a point to be transparent about how you obtained the product and what you really thought about it. That’s pretty rare in the blogosphere.
I love the capsule wardrobes, travel features, hits & misses, personal posts about your values and positions on topics of the day, and sale shopping guides (even though I sometimes call you bad-influence Allie in my head when you’re on a roll and I love everything you post!) I don’t have any suggestions other than to look over your past year of posts since you took a break and came back. Since the break, it seems like you have been so inspired and creative. I think they are your best work. I so look forward to your posts each day!
Ashley Hernandez says
My favorite posts are your travel posts, hit and misses, and product reviews where we see the items on you; oh and shoe reviews and beauty/hair items. I just took a job to work from home most of the time as a product manager. So any insights on work from home, desk setup or routine, would be a cherry on top for me but not sure how widely helpful. I would also love a post on working with a tailor. I agree I love when I see clothes on actual people so please continue to show us you wearing items (especially in multi comic capsule style). I think one reason I skim the capsule collections is I don’t see the combinations of clothes on a body. I know it logistically isn’t possible, but I really enjoy your posts with you in them more. I think the Pantone color of the year will come out soon – so a plus size offering of clothes/capsule of that would be awesome. Totally agree with an undergarment guide as mentioned above. So excited for this new (continued) adventure for you!
Have you ever done a Reader Photo post? It might be fun to see what your readers are wearing for their Holiday Parties this year!
Seconding the love for the hits & misses.
Not feed the frenzy, but I hope you can get those gift guides out soon. I’m just beginning to make my lists. It’s frustrating to see suggestions when I’ve already bought something.
I love the hits & misses, and love reviews of clothing/cosmetics/hair stuff. But what makes the difference for me is when I can see the item on YOU. Not just a picture of the sweater on a model. I don’t even have the same shape as you (I’m the upside down triangle shape), but I still prefer to see things on/used by a real person.
I have never liked gift guides. They never seem to apply to me or my life. But I’m ok to just skip those posts.
I agree, what keeps me coming back is that you wear the clothes. I’m straight-sized and my personal aesthetic is trending more toward men’s clothes at the moment, but I’m petite and have a large bust so I still get useful tips from you. I’ve never been able to find another blogger who talks so much about size differences between regular and petite, fabric types, and brands, and it’s just incredibly useful.
Erin Frost says
To be honest I am a reader who has subscribed and then unsubscribed to your blog many times. Not because of anything you did wrong, I just worry when my blog diet is all shopping related. I have no impulse control. That being said, I would love to see more fun clothes. I know your focus is a work wardrobe but there are so many great prints out there and great casual clothes (especially denim and dresses). I do not require a professional wardrobe. Your review of under garments brought me back once before, I would really love to hear more about good bras, underwear, shape wear, and tights. I am a little bit plump and feel like it’s tough to find the right thing to create a flattering silhouette. Also it would be great to see some small designers (Etsy.) in your line-up. I keep stumbling across great makers but I have no idea what to try and since they are handmade I hesitate to order but I would love to support them. Maybe none of the above is your plan, so no pressure. But thanks fort passing along all the great info.
DC Celine says
I agree with Erin on the smaller designers and brands. I’ve discovered a few things I love love love through you, and even in your sponsored posts, I know you’ll be honest.
Keep staying you, show how you pair things, and in gift guides (yours will likely be the only ones I’ll check), unusual and meaningful things for loved ones male, female, and especially pre-teen girls. I know you’re careful with Emerson, and knowing you approve is a gold star for me with my Beans.
That comfort level, btw, is because you do wear your values and beliefs on your sleeve. That might turn some away, if they disagree with you, but it’s a huge plus for me.