Requesting Your Assistance Aug 15, 2012

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I don’t often write about blogging on this blog because well… it’s a fashion blog, not a blogging blog. But sometimes things happen in the blogosphere that I think you readers need to know about. And this topic is something that I believe is very important to many of you. And something where we bloggers need your help.

I don’t blog to try to become famous or rich enough to make it my sole profession. However, I do care about you readers, my reputation, and producing high-quality content within my constraints of being a normal human being.  I know that if I had more time (or wanted to commit more time) to my blog it could be more successful. I think that may be what Taylor Davies was trying to say in her post last week on Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB). But what she ended up saying (before the article was edited) was that the reason that blogs by women who aren’t thin and conventionally beautiful is because they aren’t producing high-quality content. That “these types of women” don’t have, “…high-quality images, consistent posting schedules, spot-on design and unique style.”

Nope, that’s not the reason, the reason is money. Bloggers, even though we’ve been around a long time, are still a new concept to retailers, advertisers, and magazines. Anyone who wants advertisers tries to appeal to them with what they think they want to see… which is more of the same.

Yesterday, Jennine Jacobs, IFB founder and blogger wrote a reply to Davies’ Friday article. I am not a fan of most of what she wrote or how she reacted in the comments, but she made one good point:

“Many readers pointed out that they do want to read aspirational blogs, or that they are interested in supporting those that maintain the fashion ideal. If that disheartens you, remember that the power to change begins with YOU. If you want more diversity in the community, make sure that you’re supporting those bloggers who exemplify the qualities of a great blog.”

I fully agree, and felt it was worthy of being posted here so non-bloggers could see it.  The reason that your favorite curvy, over 30, under 21, petite, tall, disabled, Asian, African-American, Latina, modest, religious, or non thin and young (and usually white) blog is not more famous is because the advertisers don't realize that she is popular or influential.  They don’t see that blogs are awesome and popular and successful because while we women do like a bit of fantasy, we are also inspired by seeing women we can relate to who wear fashion well.

There’s nothing wrong with an “aspirational blog,” gosh I love them. Check my blogroll and you will see I link to many a blog that shows a woman who looks completely different from me, has a larger fashion budget than I, lives in a completely different world from me. I’m not asking you to stop reading those blogs or supporting them – they are successful because they have worked hard and provide great content.

What I am asking is to support those lesser-known blogs who you know do great work. Mention them on your own blogs, link to them on Facebook. Leave comments on their posts letting them know what you liked and what you hope they will offer on their blog in the future. Keep in mind that not every blog is fantastic from the get-go – I'll admit my blog is a work in progress and many of my blog’s improvements are thanks to your support and feedback.

Also think for yourself, don’t succumb to the masses. Follow the blogs that appeal to you, not that are popular or liked by your friends. Wear what makes you happy, not necessarily because every blogger you see is wearing it. Believe in yourself – your tastes, your opinions, your body, your mind. and if you see something you like, SHARE IT. Tweet it, put it on Facebook, leave a comment, click on a link. Write about it, comment on it, speak your mind.

You readers have the power to change the face of the blogosphere, the magazines, the fashion industry.
Money is power, and blog readers are the ones who click on the links, buy the purses and bracelets and dresses.  Even if you don't have actual money, your voice, where you click, where you visit – it is powerful and your choice makes businesses money.

And for my fellow bloggers, keep doing what you do. There’s some incredibly successful bloggers out there who don’t get conventional recognition because they aren’t conventionally successful. Success is rated differently by different people. For some, it’s a book deal. For others, it’s a sponsorship. Many bloggers think success means that they can quit their 9 to 5, some think it’s when they get their first piece of free merchandise, others believe it is when they are quoted in a major publication. For me, I feel successful when I get an email from a reader saying I changed her life. When I have a retailer contact me and tell me that they receive more hits and sales from my blog than other blogs in a certain promotion. When a publication I respect quotes or links to me. When bloggers I admire tell me that they admire me too.

We don’t all look alike, and we don’t all see success in the same manner. But that doesn’t mean we’re not successful, that we’re not kicking ass and taking names. Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers… but don’t stop speaking your mind. Money may be power, but the written word can also be quite powerful. Choose your words and your platform carefully, but be heard. Even if IFB isn’t interested, the rest of us CAN change the face of fashion. Are you with me?

And for some more commentary on this subject:

Let me know if there's other posts out there on this subject, I would be happy to update this post with links!

P.S. A big thank you to my non-blogger friend Tiffany who helped calm me down and tell me how to edit this post so it would make sense to those unfamiliar with IFB and the business of blogging. Love you!

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. Loved your post. I don’t aspire to be a young, tall, model/fashionista. I am a 45 y/o full-time wife and mother. I’m a curvy 5′ 4″ (size 6) and enjoy exploring my fashion possibilites. I get my inspiration from women who have something to say and who say it well, as well as those who wear affordable yet stylish clothing and who have a body type that I can relate to. I’m so appreciative to the fashion bloggers like you who fit those criteria. It’s unfortunate you’re not getting the recognition you so greatly deserve.

  2. I’ve been a reader of yours for at least the last 2 years. I am not a blogger myself but an avid reader of all kinds of different blogs (god bless Google Reader). When I first discovered fashion blogs, the only thing I hoped to get out of it was ideas to update my wardrobe. I am a plus-size who has been everything from an 8 to an 18 in the last few years and I needed to see people like me dressing their bodies in ways that I just don’t have a knack for figuring out. I noticed in the articles comments (note: I didn’t get very far) that some people seem to compare fashiong blogs to fashion magazines or advertising. I understand that to market items people will argue for perfection or an ideal not easily obtained because they are selling the desire to be like the person modeling said item. I guess it never even occurred to me that this goes on in the blog world. I assumed that most readers of personal style blogs, like myself, were hoping to get day-to-day fashion tips and ideas and see REAL women with a great sense of styling wearing things I can afford. I just want you to know that as a common Joe Shmoe reader, your blog is ideal to me!!

    1. Thanks Jessee! I think like you – who needs a blog if you have a subscription to Vogue? Blogs are different because they are real people, often with lives we can relate to. While some “aspirational” blogs can be fun eye candy, the every day fashion blogs are so incredibly helpful, and when you see a woman you can relate to wearing something great, it’s exciting and inspiring and I know for me, it often makes me more likely to shop. These days, everyone from Sprint to TJ Maxx to Pantene is looking at bloggers to be their models, their spokespeople. So it really has become possible for every day outfit bloggers to become successful and influential. Too bad most advertisers are just picking bloggers who look like models instead of finding ones who truly speak to their customer.

  3. This subject has literally knocked the fashion blogging world on it’s face! I saw you listed Blog Trends in your links on the conversation and I hope your following over there because they’ve started Must Read Mondays as a way to promote other high quality blogs that we in the community read and love and that deserve recognition. From the little I’ve read of your blog thus far, you have a great style, well put together blog and deserving of recognition. I am so glad I found you as your style is so fun and inspirational to me (polka dot shirt and shoes!! :)) ~ Sydney,

  4. I immediately thought of you when I read this post. I was like HELLO! Alison has beautiful pictures and great style haha but I definitely agree with you that we have the chance to change the blogosphere and change the demand.

  5. I am commenting to say that, even though we are not the same age, profession, or body type, I rely on your blog and take your recommendations very seriously. Crest vivid white is in my bathroom drawer because you said it works. Those Vince Camuto pumps in the polka dot post? First on my amazon wishlist (second are a pair of Ecco leopard print pumps you featured several weeks ago). I was ready to give up on Ann Taylor, but you keep me coming back. And when I saw you looking so fabulous in the Gap Long & Lean jeans you inherited from your mom, I thought, “You know, I need to give Gap denim another try.” I’m being very specific here because I want to show how much your blog makes an impression on me, weeks, months, and days after your posts. If an advertiser wants to reach me and my healthy clothing budget, they shouldn’t go to Cupcakes & Cashmere or Atlantic-Pacific (both of which I love, but I don’t identify with). They should go to you (and darling Sal at Already Pretty). Are you listening, advertisers?!

  6. Hi Allison,
    Just read through the post from ifb and the thread. I’m not a blogger but a reader. I don’t know how the blog world works but I find more interest reading post that I can relate and inspiring. Sometimes it’s good to know how others dress everyday to work. Regular life. Not in a fantasy or made to believe.

    Just want to say thanks for sharing your inspiration. You are great to express who you are. Don’t worry you have a good follower here and I bet many many more!



  7. Alison, great response. IFB offers valuable insight for bloggers (even though some of the articles seem “dumbed down” and haven’t been checked for punctuation and grammatical errors). I do get the sense that IFB is aimed towards the younger, trendy, mainstream-style bloggers. I’m petite, over 40, and have developed a purposeful and directional style in my middle years. Like many of us here, I don’t fit the mold and I wish IFB would show more interest in diversity among us. If a blog has consistently good and relevant content, pleasing layout, quality photos and writing, while featuring great style, then size and age of the blogger should not matter.
    Thanks for doing what you do, Alison!

  8. Thanks so much for this, and thanks for really summing up the heart of the problem. I think it’s so important that we too recognize that we have a role to play in all this too, and now that we’ve vocalized what we want, it’s time to go out and get it. Excellent post. And thanks for including my post in your roundup.

    1. Thank you for your well-written post. The more we bloggers speak of this issue, the more people recognize it is a problem, an the more likely we can change it! We have already gotten bloggers in runway show front rows, on TV and in magazines; now we just need to diversify the bloggers who are recognized! 🙂

  9. Hi Allie, I am a longtime reader but this is my first comment on your blog. I don’t read a lot of style blogs, but I really enjoy the awesome style perspective that you bring every day that I can keep in mind in my own style. So thanks! Please keep up the good work and I’ll try to be a little less quiet going forward. 🙂 (PS – I originally found your blog b/c I’m an Inforoo lurker too. I was over there today and am also SO excited to see MMJ at Merriweather this weekend!)

  10. I am so behind on my blog-reading, but wow, as a budget style blogger who’ll be 50 next year, I can see where a post like that would really hurt. I know I’m not taking over the fashion world any time soon or ever, but I’ve had so many people tell me that they’ve started thrifting, or accessorizing more, or just having more fun getting dressed for work, because of reading my blog. I had to look long and hard to find the blogs by real women, and especially older women, that I could follow, relate to, and yes, eventually become friends with. I’m drawn to unique voices, original personalities, love of great clothes, and yeah, to women who look like my friends, my family, and me.

  11. This was so wonderfully composed, well done! I’m so glad we connected this week through Twitter (and Courtney!) because from just stopping by your blog today I’ve found a truly admirable (and QUALITY, just sayin’) blogger with great style and honesty. Thank you for sharing your voice on this topic.

  12. Allie, I started following your posts about 6 months ago and you have made a huge difference in my life! I’ve always been the awkward one because I am super busty, on the short side, and not super skinny. I started a corporate job and had no idea where to start on wardrobe. I work with upper execs so I have to be dressed up, but I am the creative one, so I am expected to be on top of the trends. Here is where you come in. Although my budget is small, I find your looks to be easy to recreate with what I already own. You have convinced me to buy leopard print shoes, to do color locking (neutral lover here) ans even be confident with how my body looks now (after one child). Please never give up blogging! I need you!! P.S. I do click on quite a few links, too!

  13. Great response, Allie. I knew I would read a thoughtful, honest response from you re: this whole situation. And it’s true what you said that success comes in different colors and flavors. I’m not surprised that readers have told you that you changed their life. It’s been such a pleasure keeping up with you ll these years.

  14. Here, here! I can always trust you to bring some positive insight into a touchy subject. So much truth in this post. For real.

    I’m all for supporting blogs that I feel are not being looked at but easily trumps those of the so-called “popular” blogs. Funny enough, I spoke with one last night at the CapFABB meetup. She told me she always appreciate my comments and I’m like, it’s genuine. The girl always have the best outfits. I told her she should be way more popular among the DC fashion scene.

  15. I am 30, white and very thin (well, not right now at 22 weeks pregnant!) and I much prefer to read your blog than someone who looks just like me. I like your taste, I like your honesty and I love all the tips and advice you give for how to dress. Plus, your budget is realistic. You may not look just like me…but that doesn’t mean your posts aren’t relevant to me. You are doing an awesome job and I hope you will keep blogging just as you are now.
    P.S. – Can you do a post explaining how to identify different fabrics in the store while shopping?

  16. I’m so glad you brought this up! I’m so undisciplined, being not only overweight but over aged too! There’s no way I can be successful, or is there? I think Stella Louise had a great idea – the Fashion Bloggers for Diversity! I’d love to see that happen and I’d give it my full support!

  17. Thanks for taking the time to write a very articulate and important message — I hope it is widely circulated around the blogosphere.


  18. I am with you, Allie! I define success for myself as loving myself and encouraging and empowering other women thru my blog. I hope that as women bloggers, this “controversy” can be a springboard to remind ourselves that there are so many different definitions of success, just as there are so many definitions of beauty. So, therefore, I am a beautiful success. Thanks for reminding me of that, IFB.

  19. I am tall, thin and creatively minded – I love looking at beautiful fabrics and craftsmanship and could imagine myself in the high-fashion looks I see. But I also get totally overwhelmed by choice, have a limited budget and need a wardrobe that works hard. I discovered your blog via Get Rich Slowly and you’ve really helped me build the RIGHT wardrobe for my lifestyle – I noticed how much easier it was to pack for my last trip now that I’ve assembled more of the basics I was lacking plus some fun flourishes. I never thought I’d ever need a pashmina (especially one in my signature color of fuschia!) and now I don’t understand how I lived without it. Thank you!

  20. I’m fairly new to your blog and some how missed the IFB post. I love what you’re pointing out. Bloggers and readers have the power to create the change we want to see. Absolutely! Have just pinned this post. Off to explore you blog some more.

  21. You are doing a great job with this blog. Love the content. The effort you put forth is appreciated. Wishing you continued success.

  22. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and I enjoy it not only because I enjoy your outfit posts of the day, but because I like to see how you put together outfits, and you seem like a real, down to earth person who like me, likes fashion. That being said, I also relate to your blog and not the other blogs that show clothes and purses I can’t afford, people who are not the same body type as I and seem show-off-y to me anyway. I happen to think your blog photography is great. It shows your outfit, has close ups of details or items you want to highlight, it tells me where I can buy the item and/or a similar one if it is sold out. I have bought several things online solely because I saw them on you or mentioned in your blog. I can’t do that with a $600 purse on another blog. There’s something for everyone out there and if I want to read/see pictures of 6 foot tall size 2 models wearing clothes that I will never be able to afford or fit into, I can simply buy Vogue Magazine. So please continue doing what you’re doing, I enjoy and look forward to your blog posts. Thank you!

  23. Go Allie! As a blogger who is *way* older than the “norm”, it’s wonderful to see the support here for the (cough, cough) “undisciplined” among us. Oh boy, that word raised my ire. I agree with your call to action – to get the word out about the blogs we love.

    1. Oh yes Patti, when I think of your blog – your Monday link ups and your consistent dedicated posting and sense of community the first thing I think is undisciplined. 😉 Well you ARE over 25 right? Must mean you’re lazy!! LOL

  24. I’ve always said my jewelry line would be wildly successful — and I’d get all those hot deals with H&M etc. — if I had the sense to start it when I was 17. Or at least under 25. But I’m an old lady of 44 and it’s very clear that certain fashion writers/store buyers look me with much less enthusiasm than they would if I were a child prodigy.

    Same with blogging!

    1. Oh yes, if I started blogging a decade earlier, imagine how successful I’d be, Tavi would have had to watch out! Ah well, while the advertisers and magazines may find us old farts, we know we’re utterly amazing and at our age, we can have true style and have the money to pay for it!

  25. Ha – I’m going to comment without reading the linked article first, although I’ve heard about the controversy in a few other places. I spent all of two days following a couple of “aspirational” blogs and stopped immediately because they had no relationship to real life. That’s fine – but not what I want to spend my limited time looking at. That’s what my fashion mag subscriptions and the salon waiting room are for.

    That’s not to say that I don’t follow a few blogs that have styles different than mine – I love Fashion for Nerds and I could never pull off the quirky, edgy look that she does. Mostly though, I’m looking for a way to be stylish, professional, and work within a real-life budget (that is probably more generous, clothes-wise, than many since I haven’t been blessed with children yet) – and aspirational bloggers don’t help me meet those needs.

    I find the whole thing offensive and am sick of watching women tear each other apart – the next generation of women is watching us and I don’t want them growing up thinking that they will be judged solely on looks or that part of being a woman is tearing other women down. For that reason, I’m not inclined to support any of this with even a page view and will have to follow the saga from here.

    1. I respect that. I actually wanted to write without linking to them, but knew many didn’t know the backstory. But I chose to write here instead of there because I didn’t want to support IFB’s pageviews. I have a feeling, which makes me very sad, that the open letter was to keep the pageviews going. I think they at first wanted to do damage control with Taylor’s original post but then had the weekend to think, wow, this is really going to boost our ad revenue, let’s keep the drama going. I hope I am wrong but IFBCON is right around the corner…

      And I hear you about women tearing each other apart. Let’s all take this energy and anger and use it for good. It’s true that you can catch more flies with sugar than vinegar, and bloggers attacking bloggers are just trying to attract readers and advertisers with vinegar.

  26. Allie, i rarely ever comment, but your blog is the only one I’ve been following for many years. I am in the thin/blonde category and find your writing and outfits utterly more inspiring than any of the “aspirational” category (and what a becoming description, “aspiring”!). You’re not a “wannabe” anything, you’re as real as a woman can be and damn stylish at that! I admire your style choices/imagination/thoughtfulness and your personal i ntegrity! All the best!

  27. I wouldn’t have been aware of this situation if it weren’t for your post, Allie. ‘Cuz you’re pretty much the only fashion blogger I read. But it appears that MANY fashion bloggers and readers of fashion blogs agree with you–so here’s a suggestion: why don’t all you like-minded fashion bloggers who don’t conform to the “thin/white/blonde” model form your own alliance. “FBD”–“Fashion Bloggers for Diversity.” There is power in numbers and rather than waiting around for IFB to be more inclusive, form your own collective.

    1. That’s a pretty awesome idea. There are plenty of groups for the plus size industry, and a few have tried to make groups for those of us over 30 or 40, but it would be fabulous to have a TRUE Independent Fashion Bloggers that is for those of us who are happy being independent and not a Stepford Blogger!

      1. I just went back and read the Open Letter, and I think I need to take down my IFB badge and cancel my membership. I joined less than two weeks ago, and now I just feel sick about it. Allie, Stella Louise has an awesome idea, and if you are interested in something like this, I would support you and help in any way I could. Please consider it. The world needs more people like you.

        1. I love this idea, but there’s no way I have the time to get it off the ground and give it the time and love it would need to flourish. However if you know someone who is doing it, I would gladly help promote!

          1. I will check out BlogTrends. Wondering if you read Jennine’s apology. Also, I tried commenting on the original article, the letter, and the apology, and my comments never showed up. Is that normal? And would you mind if I featured you in a round up of my favorite fashion bloggers?

          2. IFB moderates comments, but they usually show up pretty quickly. However, you are not the first to say their comment wasn’t posted and I have heard from others that their comments posted and then later deleted from these two posts. And sure, I’d be honored to be part of your round-up!

          3. I noticed the comment issue before those articles, and I’m wondering if it’s a problem with their site. It also takes a long time to load. I checked out Blog Trends and joined last night, so thank you for the recommendation! 🙂

          4. And yes, read both her and Taylor’s apologies. I’m not going to comment on them because I have decided this isn’t an IFB issue or a personal issue with Jennine or Taylor. They got this ball rolling but it’s still an issue in the blogosphere whether it not the original article was written. Folks don’t realize the power of bloggers and that we can still be powerful AND “dedicated” if we don’t look like a “top-tier” blogger. Guess we weren’t being loud enough, IFB got us to raise our voices and I hope those voices don’t quiet because of their belated apologies.

      2. By banding together with like-minded bloggers, you could also have more influence with retailers. The average American women bears very little resemblance to the top fashion bloggers for the most part and a powerful co-operative of bloggers can drive that point home. Y’all better represent their customer base–unless they have something against selling clothes to other than size 0-2. In addition to cross-promotion and supporting each other and your community of readers, you could even form an ad network ala Glam or BlogHer.

        1. BlogTrends is a great resource, really what IFB is trying to be but authentic. It’s run by bloggers for bloggers – they have great content, Twitter chats, and more. I don’t have the time to dedicate to more on my plate but am supporting them as they do care about ALL types of bloggers (put a link to their discussion on this topic in the original post). 🙂

  28. Allie, I’m not a blogger. I don’t go on Facebook or Twitter, and in my online activities I stick to websurfing and e-mail because that’s what I have the time and inclination for in my life of self-employment, family, friends, community service, and personal development. So this is my only way to respond to this post — by using the humble, perhaps eventually obsolete (I hope not)!) comments.

    All that now being said, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your posts and style. You are a real woman living a real life. Your style is a few notches above mine, and that makes your blog “aspirational” for me, because it’s usually compatible with my tastes but encourages me to stretch beyond my current self-presentation. The extra information you generously provide about resources for different body types, underwear for full-busted women, skin care, cosmetics, and so on is invaluable.

    Please keep doing what you are doing and know that it is a real service not only to me and to the others who have responded but surely to numerous anonymous readers who appreciate your work. You are lovely and so is your blog — and so are your DH’s excellent photos!

  29. I was deeply offended by the original, unedited article, but this is what made me want to stab someone…”The majority of very visible, successful style bloggers are thin and beautiful – which isn’t their fault, nor should they be chastised for it. They’re “real women” too, just blessed (and perhaps very disciplined). […]” REALLY? “Disciplined?” It’s not enough to say that all “normal” (i.e. not super thin and beautiful) bloggers are lacking in quality photos and style? That’s not a broad enough brush to use to diminish an entire group of people? No, you have to throw in that these women are more “disciplined” than the rest of us too. In other words, maybe if you were a little more disciplined and lost some weight, people might read your blog. What a load of crap!

    1. DISCIPLINED – that is the word that pissed me off, and of course describing us as “those sorts of people.” I don’t want to rant… but hell this is my blog so I will. I am a full-time manager at my company and work 50+ hours a week plus 10 hours commute. I have a toddler daughter who is fabulous and I love spending time with her. Most of my friends are not bloggers and don’t want to be on the blog. My husband is amazing, and I love spending time with him, not near him on a computer. I try to be involved in my community, spend time with my family, and sleep at least 5 hours a night. All this, and I blog. Nope, I’m not disciplined, and it’s obvious because I am fat. Such an incredibly narrow-minded, sheltered and down-right idiotic thing to say. Oh I just got all shivery with rage yet again.

      Some of the most disciplined people I know don’t step foot in a gym and don’t count calories. They care about the world around them, the people in their community, the quality of work they put out, whatever the profession or passion. There are only so many hours in the day, how one chooses to use them doesn’t determine how disciplined they are. And to assume someone with a thin body is disciplined is the stupidest thing – discipline comes in all shapes and sizes, as does laziness and stupidity.

      1. Go the rant! I don’t like reading about skinny rich folk. I love your blog and others written by talented, creative, witty and fabulous women from all over the world. Keep up the great work – you are doing good!

      2. Yay rant! You put it a lot better than me, Allie! No matter how “disciplined” I am, a size 12 is about as thin as my body gets. The comments made in that article were so judgmental and narrow-minded. I can think of a lot of blogs – yours included – that feature “real” women with incredible style, beautiful clothes, lovely photographs, interesting content – so that argument is a moot point. I think what it comes down to is “realistic” women vs. the fashion fantasy…i.e. are you taking photos of yourself at the beach in 6-inch platform heels carrying a baby and a $5,000 purse? Or “hiking” 3 miles to a waterfall in stiletto peep-toe pumps and leather shorts in the middle of summer? Are you wearing Oscar gowns in the middle of the day? Going to the beach with two arms stacked with Cartier bracelets? It seems like what those “disciplined” women have in common is that they purvey a lifestyle – I think of it as the Vogue lifestyle – where you can be completely impractical in your fashion choices because there are no constraints, monetary or otherwise. In that magic Vogue world, you can hike 3 miles in stilettos or stay afloat looking like Mr. T, then jet off to a spa in Brazil before heading to fashion week. And let’s face it – except for the size-12 model in the yearly shape issue, Vogue doesn’t like women who can’t fit into sample sizes. Not only is the clothing unattainable because of the cost, but even if you had the cash, you can’t fit into it anyway. Or if you fit into the clothing, you still have to work to earn the money to buy them. You probably can’t go to the office in leather pants, cage heels and a boyfriend blazer. It’s an industry, and it makes more money when people think they can’t have it. Blogs like The Glamourai, Atlantic Pacific, This Time Tomorrow, From Me To You – they sell that lifestyle – that completely unrealistic and not based in any reality I have ever known lifestyle.

        1. But this isn’t an us versus them thing. I personally love visiting the Glamourai, she’s quite talented and deserves her success. Top Tier blogs are wonderful, as are smaller ones. The beauty of blogging is the variety. What we can do is let the advertisers know that variety is a good thing and that is why such a variety of blogs exist and we readers love them. 🙂

          1. That’s such an important thing to remember: it isn’t us v. them. And that’s your whole point, I think. There is room for all kinds of style bloggers in the world, not just a certain ideal.

  30. Allie, I’m so glad you wrote this. I recently joined IFB, but I missed that article. I have four fashion blogs that I follow on a daily basis: one is a top-tier blog with her own book deal who wears clothing I will never afford, and the other three (your blog is one of these) are real women who look my friends, my sisters, and me. The first blog is fun, but the others inspire me and I relate so much better to your posts and pictures. I’ve emailed you in the past to let you know you inspired me and helped me stretch my fashion wings.

    As a blogger, I really believe we need to support other bloggers as part of a larger community, and that starts by following and encouraging writers in our niche and readership. I think it’s fine to read “famous” blogs, but because those writers are established, they don’t need as much attention. They’ve already made it. I try to highlight and mention bloggers who are up-and-coming, with smaller readerships, because they are like me.

    What’s ironic about the IFB piece is that, when you first join the site, you are literally inundated with messages and friend requests from people just like you: bloggers looking for new readers. Most of those people aren’t perfect, famous, or models. But I make it a point to check out each and every request I get, because we’re all in this together. I’ve found some great new blogs that way.

    The fashion world is changing and designers and advertisers are beginning to see the importance of bloggers and smaller media. I definitely agree that we need to put our money where our mouths are to help push this change through. Sorry for the length, but I am so impressed, as always, with your strength and honesty.

  31. Allie, great post! I agree that there are many fabulous bloggers out there who aren’t model size or age. I read some “aspirational” blogs but I can also get that out of my favorite mags. I really appreciate blogs like yours that represent the everywoman. I like to see what other women like me are wearing. I’m over 40 and my size 10/12 body is certainly larger than what is depicted on lots of blogs. But I really appreciate blogs out there like yours that give a different perspective.

  32. Hi Alison!

    Thanks for writing this. I read the edited version of Taylor Davies article (unfortunately I didn’t see the original) and Jennine’s response to the backlash. I also read every single comment on each and I don’t know whether I’m more offended by the IFB articles or more amazed at how they’re reacting to the resulting commentary (which is not remotely “bullying” in my opinion). As someone who is not particularly thin, rich, or blond, I was angered by the insinuations made even by the edited article – and the quotes I’ve read from the original are sort of shocking – that people who aren’t in the “top tier” aren’t there because their content, etc isn’t good enough. I work really hard for my content and have to do so within the constraints of my budget, resources, and time, and there are a lot of other bloggers out there with the same issues who nonetheless have excellent blogs with all the attributes of the more famous blogs (your blog being one of those, I absolutely love it!). All they’re lacking, in my opinion, is the mainstream look/available cash!

    I completely agree that this post/similar posts can be a forum in which we discuss what can be done about this issue. I struggle frequently with “blogger envy” because I see all these beautiful, successful bloggers who get all sorts of opportunities to work with brands and designers and sure, I’d love that. But I also want to maintain some integrity, so I don’t dress for anyone but myself and what you see on my blog is what I wear/can afford to buy/like. Blogging has actually been a great lesson for me in combating “grass is greener” syndrome!

    Again, thanks for posting this. I’m really glad I am not the only one who was really angered by the IFB article. One of the things I like most about blogging is the community, and articles like IFB’s don’t really do anything except anger/alienate people!


  33. I’m so glad you shared this. I think that regardless of our blog topics we have a duty to inform our readers about what’s going on behind the scenes, especially because they likely want to help. You have an excellent blog, have magnificent photos and deserve the same level of exposure that some other bloggers do. I tend to follow blogs with style I can afford because some of those “big” bloggers wearing Chanel and who knows what are not something I’m capable of and feeling a constant state of need for items I can’t afford is not where I want to be. Glad you got the conversation going!

  34. I understand why some ppl enjoy ‘aspirational’ blogs, but I specifically enjoy fashion blogs *because* they are different than the fantasy of fashion magazines! I want to see a diversity of women’s sizes / ages / ethnicity, a wide range of budgets, a huge variety of tastes. Blogs are my alternative to the fashion mags. Oh I’ll dip my toes in some aspirational fashion occasionally — but it’s like eating a big chocolate cake. It’s a ridiculous indulgence. That’s not my regular diet. Fashion bloggers like you, Already Pretty, Ephemera, Fashion for Nerds, Jean of All Trades, Frocks & Frou Frou, Sophistique Noir, the Fashionable Bureaucrat, & others are what I read every day for real inspiration.

  35. Thank you for posting this. I have been reading your blog for years and I have so much respect for you and what you do. Keep doing the quality work that you have always done.

  36. Thank you, Ali, for this post. I’m not sure what was more disappointing – the original article or the open letter posted as a response. Check yourself IFB, your privilege is showing.

  37. I agree with your post completely. While I do follow a number of blogs of skinny, white blonde ladies, I REJOICE when I come across a blog of someone who LOOKS LIKE ME. As a curvy (albeit white and blonde) blogger, I love when readers comment that they enjoy seeing how “accessible” fashion looks on someone that looks like them instead of what they’d see in a magazine or even a store’s advertisement.

    FYI- I “rejoiced” when I discovered your blog earlier this week. I can’t wait to dig into your outfit posts a bit more. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  38. I think this will be a post where constructive dialogue can be had. At this point, nobody involved in the original post is far enough removed to be able to see what people are really up in arms about. I follow so many great blogs and while i too, can appreciate an aspirational blog – my favorite ones are the ones that feature styles that I find relevant to my life. Oh, you have Louboutins and Chloe bags? Good on you, I’m so happy for you. I do not. And that’s okay.

    I love that you touched on the money thing because when of the things I mentioned in one of my comments on IFB was about class and privilege – of course, it went ignored. We all have to stop and take a look at what we went to see, what we want to be and how blogs and sites like IFB make us feel about who we are. There’s more to life than fashion.

  39. Alison, I commend you for this post and appreciate your take on the subject (much more than the response from IFB). It’s like high school all over again when people think you have to be rich and skinny with perfect hair to be successful. We need to squash that theory and I think blogs are just the place to do it!

  40. I love that you wrote this, and while i understand their article i wrote this long rant and wish now that i haven’t posted it and taken the high road. I agree we should show each other that all of these ladies deserve shine, the ones that really work hard, the ones with great content, we have to make our presence known, we should comments more, and goes for FB fan pages as well, that goes for twitter interaction, and other social media outlets, show the love.

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