Getting Literal

oscar wilde quote

The other day a woman walked into my office building as I was walking out. As soon as I saw her I knew…

…that woman reads fashion blogs.

No, I highly doubt she reads mine or knows of mine, but I can probably rattle off the dozen that are must-views on her Google Reader. The Daybook, Kendi Everyday, B. Jones Style, Jen Loves Kev, What I Wore, My Style Pill, Sterling Style… not like there’s anything wrong with these blogs or these bloggers. They are lovely women (many who I also follow) with their own style… but it’s a style that is regularly repeated by others.

This woman had on a halter dress that I bet came from Modcloth – it nipped in at the waist and had a full Mad Men-like skirt. She took a long oblong scarf (I am guessing vintage) and wore it around her neck, and then took two different belts and cinched them over the dress and the scarf, making the scarf like a halter or vest. She had on nude peeptoe ankle booties, two “arm parties” going on, a braid where her bangs usually reside, and a Foley + Corinna City tote. She was a walking fashion blog.

One cannot be stylish if she copies another. Style comes from knowing yourself and expressing it through fashion. When you literally replicate a style of another you become a fashion victim.

Fashion blogs are a wonderful resource, a way to see relatable trends, relatable pricepoints, and brands that are easily accessible. Women with real bodies – petite, tall, pear-shaped, plus size, athletic, and everything in between. However, these fashion bloggers are individuals – and you are too.

Knowing your personal style takes time. Yes, there are some folks who know their style voice straight from the womb. Most women need time to get to know who they are before they can even start figuring out how to express it through fashion. But that doesn’t mean you should take upon the personal style of another.

Take your time. Buy simple pieces, simple colors, classic cuts. It’s better to be properly dressed than fashionably dressed. Buy for your current life, and your current budget. Try looks out in small doses, and see what FEELS right to you. Ask those who know you well for their honest opinion. If anything feels like a costume when you put it on, it will look like a costume. Those women who can carry off crazy trends never feel as though there are wearing a costume – to them belted scarves and pleated leather shorts are as comfortable and commonplace as bootcut jeans and tee shirts.

Personal style is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t waste your money on fashion until you know who it is that you are dressing. Stick to basics and slowly build up the style as you slowly build up your confidence and your self. And that self you are is pretty fantastic. Never hide it under the style of another.

Note: I know I wrote about this same topic before, but I think this bears repeating. Just as I keep harping on quality over quantity, I must repeat again – be YOU! And if you aren’t sure who YOU are, that’s okay but don’t try to be another in the mean time. Focus on you, the fashion will follow.


UPDATE: I encourage you to read through the comments below, there's some great discussion going on!

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73 Comments

  1. Erika
    December 6, 2011 / 12:38 am

    I like your chef vs cook comparison to one’s own (well known) style vs something new (maybe from inspiration from some else’s style)

  2. December 6, 2011 / 12:37 am

    For all who are coming via J’s Everyday Fashion, I thank you for visiting!  Wardrobe Oxygen is a community, where discussions often take place from one post to another.  I encourage you to read other posts on this blog before commenting so you can get a bit more about me and this blog and not judge me by one post alone.  Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. Lyla
    December 6, 2011 / 12:36 am

    I completely agree. This post was completely judgmental. I think it’s a compliment to those fashion bloggers that others want to emulate their looks. By criticizing others and claiming they’re “not stylish if [they copy] another” is ridiculous and is contradictory since you yourself are a fashion blogger. Since you’re judging others and whatnot, this post just seethes jealousy–that other women are “copying” other more fashionable bloggers, unlike you. 

  4. December 6, 2011 / 12:36 am

    This struck me as so judgmental. You could have said anything about how piling on trends doesn’t usually work, and given advice on how to develop your own personal style without copying others, and left it at that. But instead, you ended up picking on this one person. Was it necessary to describe every detail of this poor girl’s outfit (would you talk about a friend that way?)? If you had good intentions in writing this post, they were lost in the tone that you took. I read plenty of style and body image blogs and I can’t imagine any of them publishing such a mean-spirited post. 

  5. jseverydayfashion
    December 6, 2011 / 12:36 am

    Allie, I don’t want you to feel that I was ever judging you, your blog
    or your advice! My apologies if you felt that way. I am just trying to tell you that I personally feel
    extremely judged with this one (very large, very bolded) statement: “One
    cannot be stylish if she copies another” and I know other women would
    too. My statement above was merely to point out that a lot of women
    would read this post, and then be afraid to try something new for fear
    of being judged. Making statements like that is doing the exact opposite
    of what I believe you intended – which is to encourage people to find
    their own style. You gotta encourage people with kindness, rather than
    telling them they aren’t stylish!! No one is ever going to step out of
    their shell if you are telling them they stink at fashion. That’s all I
    was saying. 🙂

  6. Uxman143
    October 23, 2011 / 1:51 pm

    I deleted many of them because it was clear they had never been here before. Maybe they googled the quote you used? Whatevs, it’s water under the bridge. 🙂
    Vertical Jump Bible

  7. jseverydayfashion
    October 18, 2011 / 6:48 pm

    Wowzers. Starting internet wars or angry comments was totally not my intent and I never even knew this was happening! I’m a huge fan of discussing controversial topics and seeing things from multiple sides but never intended to personally call you out or have people comment here. Agree to disagree is totally fine in my book and yes water under the bridge! 🙂

  8. October 18, 2011 / 6:40 pm

    No clue. I know you didn’t link to me, but I started getting a bunch of angry comments the same day you made your post about this topic. I deleted many of them because it was clear they had never been here before. Maybe they googled the quote you used? Whatevs, it’s water under the bridge. 🙂

  9. jseverydayfashion
    October 18, 2011 / 6:38 pm

    This is so strange? I’ve never linked to your blog from my blog, so how are you welcoming people from my blog?!! The internet confuses me… for reals…

  10. August 9, 2011 / 3:19 pm

    Allie, I don’t want you to feel that I was ever judging you, your blog or your advice. I am just trying to tell you that I personally feel extremely judged with this one (very large, very bolded) statement: “One cannot be stylish if she copies another” and I know other women would too. My statement above was merely to point out that a lot of women would read this post, and then be afraid to try something new for fear of being judged. Making statements like that is doing the exact opposite of what I believe you intended – which is to encourage people to find their own style. You gotta encourage people with kindness, rather than telling them they aren’t stylish!! No one is ever going to step out of their shell if you are telling them they stink at fashion. That’s all I was saying. 🙂

  11. August 9, 2011 / 1:02 pm

    I think you may be judging my blog, my style advice, and my theory on style vs. fashion on one post.

    I think one aspect of blogs that is so wonderful is that so many different people with different opinions and thoughts have a platform to share those thoughts and opinions.

  12. jseverydayfashion
    August 9, 2011 / 5:09 am

    So we are saying the same thing? That you may not be a chef if you copy, but you can still be one heck of a cook? Therefore the statement “one cannot be stylish if she copies another” from your post is totally false. You can be stylish, you just aren’t as original or as advanced as a chef. So maybe “one cannot be original/a trendsetter/a mater fashionista if she copies another” would be WAY closer to the truth.

    Overall, I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with not being a master fashionista, btw. Why should I feel bad about myself, or have people look down on me, just because I’m not a master chef? I’m a good cook and there is nothing wrong with that. I eat well and that’s all that matters. 🙂 I wish we would all be a lot less hard on each other as women. I think a lot more women would feel a lot more brave about fashion and about showing their true colors if we didn’t make such judgmental statements about each others fashion choices.

  13. August 4, 2011 / 11:48 am

    Vinegar Woman is Wardrobe Makeover Consultant India, A Complete Personal Stylist, Wardrobe Fixing, Holiday wardrobe, Image Makeover and Celebrity Makeover, Wedding Dress Designer, Retail Fashion Store, Fashion designer for Women.

  14. Bec
    August 3, 2011 / 5:48 pm

    Awesome post!  On one hand, my first thought is that I LIKE that there’s a distinctive aesthetic emerging from among fashion bloggers, one that we can admire/contribute to/emulate/challenge more easily, and with more whimsy, than one could ever challenge Vogue.  After years of feeling like fashion was very much top-down, it’s cool to see trends that are a bit more democratic– and more available to those of us outside the big fashion centres of the world. 

    On the other hand, I find Modcloth styling a bit costumey, especially the way it filters down through the twee-er lifestyle bloggers.  There’s something a tiny bit embarrassing about women who don’t quite OWN the look or something– could that be what you were responding to, Allie?  Of course, my late teens and early 20s were spent trying to look like Gwyneth Paltrow at her 90s-era Calvin Kleiniest, despite my being a tall, curvy, curly-haired brunet with a boho edge.  In other words, maybe the fashion-blogger “look” is just their particular playground, and a fun, cheap, democratic way to experiment? 

  15. August 2, 2011 / 11:21 pm

    I never said one shouldn’t get inspiration from bloggers. On the contrary. I just think a person should find inspiration, and not be a carbon copy.
    When I write these posts, I write them as a person in the world, and I use fellow people as examples. It may be seen as judgement, it may be seen as examples. I never said I didn’t like this woman’s style, I never said I didn’t think bloggers should be inspiration. I think people are misunderstanding my angle, possibly because this post hits a bit too close to home. I think if I used a celebrity as an example, a socialite or actress who took on too many fashion trends, it would be more acceptable. But by using a “real” person (though all humans are real) it is hitting this nerve.

  16. August 2, 2011 / 9:23 pm

    While I absolutely agree with Oscar Wilde’s sentiment (I believe I would have been his beard had I lived back in the day) I don’t love the idea that getting inspiration from bloggers means you can’t be stylish. Those bloggers do not own those styles. There are countless women (who may or may not have even seen those sites) who could very well have been dressing like that forever. It’s easy to look at someone through the lens of the blogs we read and assume they must be getting them from the same places we are. But we have no idea where their inspiration comes from. I choose not to judge anyone’s style. If we look around at others and pick and choose where their style comes from and whether they are a “real” fashionista or not, then we have to wonder if others are doing that to us. I refuse to buy into the need to create more insecurity in other women and myself. If you like something and it makes you feel beautiful and happy, then wear it. No one – not me, not Anna Wintour, not any blogger on the planet- gets to decide who has true style and who doesn’t.

    That being said, I like what you said about personal style. It is constantly evolving and once you are in it, you are in for the long haul.

  17. August 2, 2011 / 8:50 pm

    This is a lovely and very well thought out post.  Bravo!

  18. August 2, 2011 / 7:08 pm

    I had this problem with fashion and design blogs.  Not that I ever went crazy and bought a bunch of things that weren’t me (I’m cheaper than that), but I started to notice I was questioning my own style.  So I unsubscribed to a lot of them.  I still read a few, obviously, but in a way where I consider an idea they had and choose to either say “Well, it works for them” or give it a whirl myself.  I feel lucky that at 27 I’ve spent enough time really considering what I like that I don’t find it hard to stick to a style that I both love and works for me.

    And I agree about the chef vs. cook thing.  I’d usually say I’m an excellent cook.  But occasionally I have days where I throw something together because I know my palette and I know what flavors intertwine well and I end up having an excellent chef moment.  I think fashion is the same way.  Most of us will stick to what we know and can replicate and make it work.  Occasionally we’ll try something completely whimsical and it’ll work beautifully.  Imitating one thing about a style is one thing… looking like you go dressed by a mad stylist is another.

  19. August 2, 2011 / 5:29 pm

    I am so glad to hear you are finding your boho style, that’s awesome.

    I think what it was is that it was such a collage of so many different and conflicting trends, it really caught my attention.  I usually walk down the street and see people, not just their clothing.  Even those dressed in more unique trends, I see the whole person, the message being conveyed.  And her message was so confusing, I couldn’t even see the person underneath.

    I totally think people should be creative with fashion, try out trends.  Like you said, see what sticks.  I just think by adapting so many trends all at once it’s hard to really know what actually is sticking because it’s too much information all at once to absorb.  J below compared fashion to food and I find it to be an excellent example.  One wouldn’t have a meal of sushi and Beef Wellington and pad thai and a fruit smoothie all together.  It would be near impossible to know which one you liked and which one you didn’t.  Conflicting tastes all muddled together just makes everything taste off.  I believe the same is true with fashion trends.

  20. August 2, 2011 / 5:24 pm

    man I hate this spotty internet here, I tried three times to comment, when I finally did it ended up being all goofy in formatting!  Gah!

  21. August 2, 2011 / 5:24 pm

    I respectfully disagree. 
    One who copies recipes may make delicious food, but would not be
    considered a chef.  A chef is one who has
    learned from other recipes, but has put his own spin on it and has created his
    own unique recipes.  A good cook learns
    over time how to alter recipes to fit her own tastes – maybe a little less
    salt, a bit more garlic.  She may figure
    out ways to adjust a meat-based recipe to be vegetarian, or how to lower fat
    content to have it work with her diet.  Anyone
    can copy a recipe and have success, but the good cook or chef is the one who
    gets to know food, and learns what tastes best to his or her own unique palate.  I see chefs as True Fashionistas, those who
    can carry off the extreme trends comfortably and define new trends; anyone can
    be a good cook just as anyone can have personal style if they learn from
    others, and adjust it to work with their life and personal voice and taste.

  22. AJ
    August 2, 2011 / 3:26 pm

    I wonder if she’s trying to experiment, see what works for you. For you and I, it might be easier to just integrate one trend in with a more classic wardrobe – I just bought a pair of lilac Levi’s this weekend that I’ll be trying to style soon – but some people throw everything at the wall to see what sticks. Tomorrow, she might do away with the belts and wear the scarf as a headband in her hair. She might add a pair of vintage-inspired patent peeptoes. But style is a journey, and I’d hate to discourage people from trying different things. 

    I’m someone who’s spent the last couple of season wearing only classics, and in some ways I feel like I’ve lost my own personal style by solely dressing in a wardrobe of pencil skirts and refined knits. I’m trying now to integrate my more boho sensibility in with the classics so that I’m well-dressed, but I’m still me. 

  23. jseverydayfashion
    August 1, 2011 / 11:41 pm

    How could I have forgotten my favorite example to use for this… The best chefs make recipes, but there are plenty of people who buy cookbooks and cook dinner that way. It’s the same with fashion. You may not be a chef if you are copying outfits, but can’t you still be considered a good cook for executing a complex recipe for an outfit? Something to think about. 🙂

  24. jseverydayfashion
    August 1, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    I totally agree with you that most fashion bloggers wear completely unobtainable style and you can spot it a mile away. I also totally agree that fashion is a journey and it’s all about finding whatever it is that is uniquely you.

    Where I don’t agree is this statement: “one cannot be stylish if she copies another.” We forget that there are MILLIONS of women out there who are completely hopeless when it comes to fashion. They are probably not reading this blog because fashion is not their interest. There is also nothing wrong with not being good a fashion – for example, I am completely hopeless when it comes to cooking. We all have our talents in different ways! For those millions of women, one of the BEST ways they can get started on her own fashion journey is by trying out looks that they see in a J.Crew catalog, on a blog, in a magazine etc. and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think the tone of that particular sentence sounded extremely judgmental and far too strict. In fashion there really are no rules that work for everyone because it’s far too subjective. I would put that (not very nice) rule you stated as just another fashion rule that’s made to be broken!

    And one last little side note – I am not sure what is up with the world today, but in general I don’t think it’s nice to judge what that girl was wearing. If she was happy and in dress code for work, then who cares what she was wearing?

  25. kathy
    August 1, 2011 / 7:06 pm

    Just finished reading all of the great comments to this post. I’m new to reading fashion blogs (except yours) and I agree that I myself have started to feel lost when it comes to my own style. Fashion blogs have taught me a few things, such as how to relax my standards as far as matchy matchy is concerned and different ways to wear the clothes that I already have. But then I found myself becoming too obsessed with them and trying to dress like the bloggers, who are all a good 20 years younger than me (not to mention about 30 pounds thinner)! I used to shun trends and do as much classic as I could, but then I started to try to be too trendy like the bloggers, and it’s just not working. I actually like matchy matchy and more classic styles that won’t go out of style. I’ve slowly been eliminating the fashion blogs from my daily reading because they’re just not right for me. And one of the things I get the biggest kick out of is that many bloggers seem proud of the fact that they wear a piece of clothing more than once. Um, I thought you were supposed to wear clothes more than once. But I digress. Thanks for this post and for being true to yourself and your style and encouraging your readers to do the same.  

  26. August 1, 2011 / 3:35 pm

    You are wise.

    I still want that F&C tote, though.

  27. July 31, 2011 / 6:39 am

    Weddings are the same thing, you are so right! Even back in ’03/’04 when I was planning my wedding everyone had similar details they found from the knot or blogs. Great example on how this happens outside of fashion as well!

  28. Elizabeth
    July 31, 2011 / 5:54 am

    My thought is a bit off topic but close enough. I have felt the same way about weddings. I am already married but still love to view wedding blogs. I have begun to feel that so many weddings are just a bunch of trends put together. They are all pretty but are all the same. My wedding wasn’t perfect and it took a lot of effort to not get stuck in all the trends, but I know from experience its possible to put on a modern, not so stuffy, wedding without following every trendy thing out there. Sometimes I look at a wedding and wonder if the decore, food, activites, etc. the bride chose actually mean anything to her or she just saw it on a blog and thought that she had to have it to have a successful wedding. I never thought so much about it in relation to fashion blogs but it make sense. It’s so hard to keep balanced though. It’s a daily struggle when reading blogs to not want what everyone else has, to not want to be like them, to not want the latest and greatest. Sometimes one just has to step back from all of it. 

  29. July 31, 2011 / 2:46 am

    I have to agree with you Allie.  Whether people realize it or not, MOST people are influenced by either fashion bloggers or other sources of media.  A previous commenter mentioned that maybe the woman was dressing to express herself.  This could be true, but I think she was implementing what she has seen on fashion blogs or on some young starlett to an extreme level.  Some fashion has a history and has been around for ages(Madmen’s fashion), while other types of fashion(like the scarf trick) was probably developed from somewhere and it just caught on.  While these blogs are a great source of style inspiration of what an average women can do and create, we are getting lost and not expressing our own unique voices.  Young girls are looking at singers, bloggers, actresses, and dare I say even porn stars as their guides.  That’s why I read your blog, Allie.  It sometimes seems like the “independent woman” we should be striving for is becoming more and more distant.

  30. Magstarpie
    July 31, 2011 / 1:45 am

    If you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all. 

  31. July 30, 2011 / 4:48 pm

    I love your take on what she wore, that very well could be what was going on!  Thank you!

  32. July 30, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    Thanks, and thanks so much for the great comment.  I love it when my posts really bring on the discussion in the comments.  Thank you for your take on it all Anna Jane!

  33. July 30, 2011 / 4:46 pm

    For the record… I fully agree!  Gosh I see some outfits on fashion blogs (and have to admit I have been victim to it as well) where I think that person looks just crazy wearing that outfit.  I just didn’t want people to think this post was bashing on the bloggers I mentioned. 

  34. Shannon
    July 30, 2011 / 3:36 pm

    That should be “a nightmare where I couldn’t keep up”.

  35. Shannon
    July 30, 2011 / 3:36 pm

    What a great comment.  I had to do a much similar thing this winter with all blogs – decorating, fashion, cooking.  I felt like I was in a nightmare where I could keep up with everything changing.  It felt like just when I got “the piece” that they were throwing into a donation/yardsale pile and going in a whole different direction.  One morning on the treadmill I was thinking about how miserable I was trying to keep up with people I DIDN”T EVEN KNOW and came home and unsubrcibed to all blogs, hid the blog reader on my phone and breathed a sigh of relief.  Obviously I’ve started reading blogs again but am really strict about who I allow in my line of site.  I’m having a lot more fun actually going to stores to find what I love rather than sitting at home on the computer waiting for someone to tell me what I’ll love.  I also like stopping people to ask where they got that great whatever which spreads some goodwill.

    Great post, Allie!

  36. Ashe @ Dramatis Personae
    July 30, 2011 / 2:43 pm

    YESSSSSSSSSSS.  It’s so funny, because I’ve been to events and seen girls and thought “Oh, they’re fashion bloggers/read fashion blogs” because.. to some degree, I think people don’t really dress like that! I have students who do, but somehow you can tell those that just have their own great style and those who spend all their time trying to recreate an particular blogger aesthetic…

  37. revbiou13
    July 30, 2011 / 1:47 pm

    I’ve read the other comments and I completely understand.  I think it would have been different had you used a celebrity as an example, because you yourself are not a celebrity.  The tone of this post was very, “Fashion bloggers have every right to push the limits and dress as we please; the rest of you should probably go home and rethink it, because YOU look ridiculous.”  Not a tone I’ve ever seen in any of your posts previously, and I’ve been subscribing for years!

    I’ve never read your comments before now so I don’t know if you usually see so much objection to a post.  Your style (of dress and writing) has always been so approachable and relatable, so it’s a little unexpected when the tone takes on a touch of elitism.  Obviously not what you intended.

    For the record, I completely agree that an overabundance of trends looks comical.  But it looks just as comical on a fashion blogger – who IS just a regular person – as it does on the woman you saw.

  38. July 30, 2011 / 12:31 pm

    Allie, I never saw your site until now, thanks to the beauty of Twitter. I’m passing along to some other as I’m putting it, “avant garde” fashion bloggers in my personal community. They will feel just as refreshed & uplifted by this as I was. thank you! let’s keep in touch <3 Sammy

  39. July 30, 2011 / 12:25 pm

    Exactly, I don’t think these trends are prevalent outside of blogs.  Doesn’t mean they are bad, but they are easy to pick out of a crowd when you see them. 🙂

  40. July 30, 2011 / 12:24 pm

    LOL… many a time I have gone to check out something I saw on another blogger and then I realize… I don’t have the body or lifestyle to carry it off like she did.  🙂

  41. July 30, 2011 / 12:22 pm

    I explained a bit more below with the other comments, but I think these are trends that are pretty specific to fashion blogs – you’re not really seeing Rachel Bilson or the cast of Gossip Girl or the pages of Marie Claire showing these trends.  They were several very popular trends that don’t really work together, but were all put together.  Maybe she is a fashion blogger, but the reason I find the trends work on the bloggers and not on this woman is she put ALL of them together, not choosing which ones worked for her outfit, look, self. 

    I wonder how the reaction would be if I wrote this post about a celebrity who was wearing too many fashion trends.  Or a person on the street who was wearing too many fashion trends that were supported instead by magazines or E! news.

    I am not trying to start a fight with you, I just realize I didn’t fully explain myself in my post, and you’re right, I was being critical.  I am hoping to clarify myself in the comments, and I thank you for pointing out the problems with my post and view. 🙂

  42. July 30, 2011 / 12:17 pm

    Laura, you said exactly what I was trying to convey above, but in a far clearer and more tactful way. 🙂

  43. July 30, 2011 / 12:15 pm

    Oh wow, that was a helpful comment there. Don’t own any cowboy boots, but if you can find some to fit over my sausage legs let me know so I can rock them!

  44. July 30, 2011 / 5:39 am

    I’m a writer, and although I read voraciously, sometimes when I’m in the middle of a big project I take a break from reading certain kinds of works, ones that are in the same genre as I’m working on, or that have a very distinct style/voice. I think in any creative endeavor, sometimes you have to make the space for your own creative thoughts and attempts. Although other people’s work can be inspiring, sometimes you have to ‘force’ yourself not to rely on other people’s eye/judgment and give yourself the mental space to give it a whirl yourself. I find that is true with fashion blogs just as much as with writing. That’s why I only have a few fashion blogs on my blog reader (which tend to be ‘real life’ type ones, not aspirational) and dip into the rest on occasion. Otherwise I do tend to get away from my own aesthetic without meaning to. Although, of course, a little experimentation is sometimes just the ticket.

  45. revbiou13
    July 30, 2011 / 3:27 am

    Perhaps she has a fashion blog of her own, and you haven’t read it yet.  Would you think she was trying too hard if she did?  Or would it be okay to dress like a fashion blogger, if she is a fashion blogger?

    This post seemed pretty critical.  I, too, am taken aback a little when I see someone drowning in trends, but I don’t know why this specific woman’s appearance suggests to you that she is imitating blog styles, while also suggesting that the bloggers she appears to imitate are unique and valid.

  46. July 30, 2011 / 3:07 am

    I really see where you’re coming from and don’t believe it was meant to be a dig in any sense.  As a blogger myself, I know that I can get sucked into some “blog trends” but on the flip side, I think my blogging has made me a much savvier shopper and I only buy things that I can imagine wearing at least 3 different ways.  I will flirt with different trends from time to time, but as a whole, I feel my style keeps evolving and I’m always trying to be a better “me.”  Great post!

  47. July 30, 2011 / 2:33 am

    Of course, we can never TRULY know why the women chose to wear what she did but I think you’re correct.  I read many of the blogs that you’ve listed and while I like them and think the way they dress is interesting, I find it’s just not practical in my everyday life.  This is not to say that their way of dressing is “wrong,” it’s just not for me!  

    I’ve noticed a lot of copying among bloggers but I hardly see what some bloggers wear translate to my “neck of the woods.”  I think that’s why I like your blog so much – you’re style is stylish [how redundant was that?] yet sensible in my world.

    Thanks for this, Allie!

  48. C.Thia
    July 30, 2011 / 12:55 am

    I find that one of the best ways to find my true style and break out of what is merely comfortably routine is to go completely over the top, as this lady did, then analyze what felt right and what has to go. It’s a jump off the roof approach to style instead of a walk slowly down the stairs approach that tries only one new item each day. Doing something stylistically extreme is liberating, and the safest way to start out is to copy someone admirable. Isn’t that how we learn as children, by mimicking those around us? If this is part of her journey to her true self, good for her.

  49. Ally_hater
    July 30, 2011 / 12:21 am

    Who are you to judge others. You get around looking like a cowboy with a cowboy hat, boots and your fat legs like sausages in too short shorts.

  50. Meredith
    July 30, 2011 / 12:18 am

    Maybe the woman you saw was being her. You wrote it yourself: “it’s a style that is regularly repeated by others”. Bit harsh and critical Ally.

  51. Indy
    July 30, 2011 / 12:05 am

    Love the quote!

  52. July 29, 2011 / 11:06 pm

    This made me laugh so much! I read tons of fashion blogs, not that you’d be able to tell from my jeans and tee shirt wardrobe. I love seeing what other people wear, but rarely replicate it because it’s just not me.

    That being said, yesterday I saw that awesome orange skirt you got in the window at Ann Taylor, and almost headed in to try it on. But it’s just not very practical for my life, cute as it is.

  53. July 29, 2011 / 10:41 pm

    For most of us it *does* take time and some effort to figure out what clothing really reflects our personality. I do envy the women who seem able to just throw something together and look fab.

  54. Gail
    July 29, 2011 / 10:31 pm

    love the oscar wilde quote! 

    i was kind of wondering why you thot s was copying rather xpressing her own style, but then you kind of  answered it in one of your comments.  i’m kind of new at getting back my style.  being overweight for the 20 plus years i wasn’t really interested in fashion and style, but you and other plus sized ladies have inspired me to better myself and seek out how to up my style wattage.  thanks for putting  yourself out there as a blogger and stylist =)

  55. July 29, 2011 / 10:12 pm

    Also, love the use of the Wilde quote. He is one of my favorite people of all times.

  56. July 29, 2011 / 10:04 pm

    Exactly. These bloggers offer great inspiration, and they are creative with their wardrobes which I love. It just should be inspiration, not literal copying.

  57. July 29, 2011 / 10:01 pm

    I read a few of the blogs mentioned, and I can admit that I take ideas from them. I do the same with you. I know that my own style can always be evolving. I almost always wear a cardigan (and odd socks) . That is just me. However, I rarely belted them before, and would never have thought to use a scarf to create a whole new look. However, both of these changes improved my look (I think!). I know I will never look like Sydney, Kendi, or you because we are built differently. I am 5’1 and def. not a zero, but I can still take inpiration from you all. I guess what I am saying is I agree with you! This is just a long way around it.

  58. July 29, 2011 / 9:44 pm

    You are correct, that totally could be the case. And yes, everyone does have the freedom to dress in the manner in which she desires, even if it’s 17 trends at once that contradict one another. I just recognized these trends as coming from blogs more so than from magazines, television, and other sources of fashion trends. While all these trends are out there, they are far more prevalent with fashion bloggers and I think it proves the power of blogging in how one can adopt a trend and make it that commonplace. The strange combination of all these trends looked to me, a blogaholic, as someone who was trying to replicate, not express. But you are right, and I very well may be wrong. Thanks for making me see it in a different light.

  59. July 29, 2011 / 9:43 pm

    She def reads fashion blogs! I have never seen anyone do the double belt or scarf- halter thing in real life haha! I have tried some bloggy inspired looks but I rarely feel good or look good in them. I have to keep reminding myself of my true style identity.

  60. Melissapedsrn
    July 29, 2011 / 9:39 pm

    May I respectfully comment that maybe, just maybe, that woman doesn’t read blogs, but found those particular styles in harmony with her own sense of what she likes? Isn’t that a possibility? Isn’t she also allowed the freedom to express herself, with one fashion trend or seven, as long as that is what makes her happy? Maybe she is thrilled “Madmen” type styles are back in vogue and can’t let a day go by without showing off her collection? Maybe scarves really ARE her thing ( I have been wearing scarves since high school, and that was in the 70’s.)  I’ll tell you this…anytime I see anyone that has made an effort to present herself in public in more than just a pair of sweatpants, t-shirt and Nike sandals, well, I applaud her. And isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
    Maybe she dressed exactly how she wanted to that morning and didn’t care one bit that someone passing her on the steps might be judging her.

  61. July 29, 2011 / 9:38 pm

    A blog is a GREAT way to figure out your personal style! I started mine to make sure I didn’t wear the same suit twice when traveling to meet clients, and it also gave me fresh eyes into my closet. It really helped me with my personal style, and I think it will with you too. Best wishes with your new project!

  62. rccola921
    July 29, 2011 / 9:36 pm

    I loved reading this today. I just started a blog and am trying out the fashion thing, but don’t even know if it will stay in that direction. I know and read the blogs you posted above and like them a lot, but feel like I could never pull off those looks and honestly I wouldn’t want to because they are not “me”. Actually, as far as style goes, I’m not even sure what “me” is and maybe that’s why I’m doing this, to figure that out!  

  63. July 29, 2011 / 9:28 pm

    I fully agree, overdoing has been happening for quite a long while, but I think blogs have helped it come to the masses in a larger quantity and on a more regular basis.  There have always been those who over accessorize, are far too matchy matchy, are fashion victims.  It just seems to be far more prevalent these days and I can see that many do because they see others do it (though in a better manner).

    Yes, she did make me sweat just by looking at her!  Lots to be wearing during this heatwave! 🙂

  64. July 29, 2011 / 9:26 pm

    And I gotta say, I came back, reread your comment and LOVED the line, “…get back to my own style, instead of trying to look to emulate others.”  I feel that since I had Emerson I have been on a journey to get back to my own style.  It’s a tough road, but gosh isn’t it an exhilarating journey? 🙂

  65. July 29, 2011 / 9:15 pm

    I hope no one thinks I mentioned those specific bloggers because I don’t like them. I obviously read them, and that is how I was able to pinpoint exactly what is on her Google Reader/Bloglovin/etc. I think the problem is that Vogue isn’t accessible, but a blogger is. And when one doesn’t know her own voice, it’s easier to copy one that she finds attractive, or sees that others find attractive. I think if I had the chance to sit down with Kendi or Christine or Sydney they would say the same thing – use the blog for inspiration, but wear what is right for YOU. 🙂

    I am so glad my blog has been helpful. When I merged the two blogs together last year, the reason I hesitated was because I feared my style advice would get lost in the shuffle with my personal style. And I think people should dress for them, what works just for them. And maybe my style is something another can be inspired by, but it’s surely not right for (or liked by) everyone.

    …and that is one reason why I love that there are so many fashion blogs out there! VARIETY!!

  66. Mony_Mony
    July 29, 2011 / 9:10 pm

    About two years ago I started following most of the blogs that you listed above.  Then I noticed my style starting to morph into someone that just wasn’t me.  Between the conspicuous consumptive-ness that they inspired (as many of those bloggers either work in fashion or regularly get freebies, so they seem to always have new clothes) and the subtle hive-mindset that seemed to permeate many of them, I just felt that they weren’t speaking to me.  I slowly unfollowed all except one (which I may be cutting soon) and don’t even wear many of the clothes that I bought at that time.

    I would much rather follow a blog like yours, that seem to speak to a variety of styles, ages, lifestyles and body types (instead of those who are young, slim and work in fashion/the arts).  You’ve helped me to get back to my own style, instead of trying to look to emulate others.

  67. Ginger
    July 29, 2011 / 9:01 pm

    Overdoing things isn’t something that just started with fashion blogs.

    Most people, on almost the hottest day of the year, pare back a little.  I can almost feel sweat running down my back thinking about the scarf things belted!

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