Thank You

I had a Friday Favorite scheduled for today but decided to hold off because I need to thank you all, and this thank you is way overdue. Heads up, this post may ramble. A lot.

Last year fucking sucked. Sorry about the swearing, but really it was so bad the F word is necessary to fully state its suckdom. Yeah yeah, I broke my arm twice but other stuff went down along with it that it all really rattled my core, shattered my confidence, and made me question so much about this blog, my life, my purpose.

And then I turned 40. And I said it was awesome because it is, but even if you think positive thoughts and see the glass half full, some milestone ages can still pick at your psyche.

This June, Wardrobe Oxygen turns 10. That’s a major milestone in blogging, I think even more major than a human turning 40. And there’s no way that I could accomplish such a milestone if it weren’t for you. You reading, you sending me emails, you sharing my blog with your friends. In February I decided to show you the love with a bunch of giveaways from some of my very favorite brands. To start it off, I did a giveaway with a bunch of products I love and bought for one of you. I thought it would be fun, but I figured y’all would be far more psyched by a shopping spree at a popular store. I was blown away by all the comments that came on that post, for weeks I caught myself crying almost every time I checked my email.

I felt the universe was telling me something when the winner was Clarissa, a person who started as a hate reader from GOMI and is now my email/Whole30/kindergarten mom buddy. It’s damn hard to not peek when you know someone’s talking about you, but there’s a Firefox add-on called LeechBlock I added to all my computers that has encouraged me to stay away. There’s no point in focusing on those who don’t like you when you’re surrounded by supporters.

So I started individually thanking each of you who left a comment on that giveaway post, and all the emails I received, but it got really overwhelming. It reminded me of when I sent thank you notes after our wedding; the last thing you want to do is send a, “Thank you so much for your generous gift, it will be used in good health” when that loved one went to such effort to pick it out, to attend, to celebrate that next life step and the love of your life. What can you write to truly express what you’re feeling? I got writer’s block, not just with replies but with writing all together. I started overthinking everything in regard to this blog. I wanted this to be a great year – my 10th year, and one where I came back better than ever. But instead I was stunted. I struggled to put together outfits, wanting so badly to do my best, give you what you deserve. I questioned my advice posts and left more posts than I could count in draft form on my computer because I worried they weren’t good enough. And then the money, oh the money ate me up. If I was finally successful, was I the cause of a reader’s financial ruin? Oh gosh, was I hurting people with my blog?

I have some very dear friends who are in this industry. Some are bloggers, some are writers, some are stylists, but we’re all connected by a passion for fashion and a desire to be authentic and honest with our businesses and purposes in life. A couple years ago, I was part of a women’s circle in my community and I still see some of these women from time to time. One night, I saw a woman from that community circle and she gave me some advice. A couple days later I received the same advice from a woman in my other circle of friends:

You are only responsible for what you put out in the world, you cannot be responsible for what people do with it.

That advice not only broke my writer’s block, but also broke this fear I was still holding. The fear of being judged. The fear of not being good enough. The fear of… well being human. Human. We’re all humans, beautifully flawed. How am I benefiting you if I am trying to be perfect for you? That is the problem, not the affiliate links. There’s so much perfection out there right now, it’s so easy to feel as though you’re doing life wrong.

I printed out your comments and emails, even those I haven’t yet replied to. I have them in a binder, I have them taped inside my planner and my work notebook. When I go off course, and worry too much about the them, the everybody, I read them and I remember why I do this and who I do this for.

I love you guys. And if you got through all my crazy rambling I want to thank you for being such amazing human beings. So many of you I now consider friends, whether or not we have met, whether or not I even know your real name. I read your comments, and even if I haven’t replied yet, I take them to heart. In these past ten years I have become a better person because of you. Because of you I am more open minded, less judgmental, more giving, kinder. Because of you I get out of my holes of self-doubt and writer’s block. Because of you, this blog exists and will continue to exist, and continue to be more honest and human. I am so damn proud to have such a community of amazing, wholehearted, badass folk here. You have power, you have strength, and you have such amazing beauty. Thank you for sharing it with me.

Love,
Alison

97 Comments

  1. Anastasia
    April 28, 2015 / 3:09 am

    Alison, I’m in love with your blog and your personality! In ten years (I’ve seen this going through your older posts) you’ve done such an amazing job, you’ve put your personal evolution in it. You don’t just upload pics of your new shoes or bags similar to the ones other bloggers have (this is what happens in most trendy blogs, looks like there is one huge blog where girls wear and say the same things). You put your heart in it, you’re honest, you admit women can feel bad and not picture ready. You show real life outfits and attitude, you give practical advice, you don’t ignore the fact most women don’t wear designer shoes to the next grocery. Your sincerity is so appealing! I feel like your words are trustworthy and reading your blog made my life a little better, a little easier.<3

  2. CatherineTheGreat
    April 27, 2015 / 4:13 pm

    My 2 cents? I think that you are wonderful, professional, inspiring and most importantly, HUMAN. As a +40 year old woman, I am MAGNIFICENT (haven’t you heard:), but I am not a size 00 or even a size 10. I have boobs, a bit thick in the middle and height challenged. But again, I am MAGNIFICENT. And YOU are too.
    It is always easy for people to throw stones when there isn’t accountability or the the intense focus of a microscope on themselves. People can suck the life out of you. It’s not fair, karma is sometimes a little to slow to make us feel better. March and April 2015 are perfect examples of “life sucking” in my world. A co-worker conspired to get me fired from a job I loved, a job I had never been less than what my employers had asked for. I didn’t deserve to be fired. But…I am certain a door has been opened up to me, somewhere (I’ve already been hired at an exciting office).
    Karma will take care of haters, protect yourself and hit delete at the first sight of negative.
    YOU are MARVELOUS!

  3. Patti
    April 27, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    Love You Back Allie!! You are the reason I dont feel as old and frumpy as I did. You give me hope that I can be myself, with all the kinks and twists and remain true to myself and develop style too! You are younger than me, but I look up to you. You are a true, warm and loving person. That shines through your blog. Thank you.

  4. JB#3
    April 27, 2015 / 10:31 am

    I just wanted to take a moment to stop by and let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. I follow several different bloggers but I particularly like your blog because at 45, I can get ideas on professional styles whereas many others tend to be more trendy. My budget doesn’t allow me to purchase the same items that you feature, however I do have a lot of fun recreating the look within my budget. Keep up the good work.

    • April 27, 2015 / 3:45 pm

      I’m glad you use the site as I hope – a resource that can be used at any budget! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it means so much! <3

  5. Andi
    April 26, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    Hi – I wanted to say thank you for the blog. I originally found it when looking into capsule wardrobes. I work at home and needed to get out of the sweats and tees look. I’ve gotten great advise on capsule wardrobes for work and travel. I love that you’re a “real” person, not a size 2 blonde haired, blue eyed clone. I know it’s easy for me to say ignore the naysayers since they aren’t talkin about me. But please keep up the great work.

  6. Shari
    April 25, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    HI, I’m a longtime reader, pre Emerson. I love you and your blog. I just want to say that I am similar in size and shape to you. Someone like me has few places to turn for inspiration. I admire you for keeping up a blog for so long. By doing so, you give up a certain level of privacy. And you do it for us. Know it is appreciated. And I’ll give you my best advice, something I realized around age 32 when I left my biglaw job. You have nothing to prove to anyone out there. The only people whose opinions matter are your family and close friends. There is an old Yiddish saying for the haters: Fardrai zich deyn kop. “go turn your own head around.” In other words, “Leave me alone and go make yourself crazy!” “Quit bugging me and get lost.”

    Best, Shari

  7. Cynthia Peterson
    April 25, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Right on, Maggie! Allie, you are real and you rock!

  8. Patricia
    April 25, 2015 / 9:37 am

    Let me add another voice to the choir of Allie Appreciators. I’ve pinned many of your posts and you’ve influenced my shopping choices for the better. Please do what you do and know we’re out here reading.

  9. April 24, 2015 / 10:57 pm

    congratulations on ten years! here’s to many more. i found you on instagram, but love to pop over to your blog. thanks, for keeping it real, thanks, for sharing your style, and thanks for faithfully posting! xxoo beth aka styleatacertainage

    • April 27, 2015 / 7:14 am

      Thank you so much Beth! I’m so glad I found you on Instagram, you’re a style inspiration! <3

  10. April 24, 2015 / 10:39 pm

    congratulations on ten years! here’s to many more. i found you on instagram, but love to pop over to your blog. thanks, for keeping it real, thanks, for sharing your style, and thanks for faithfully posting! xxoo beth aka styleatacertainage

  11. Patty
    April 24, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    Been reading you for a long time. Love your honesty and uniqueness–most style blogs are overpolished and sterile. Thanks for being fun and real and sharing great ideas for getting dressed. Some products you’ve recommended I know swear by! Thank you for being you!

  12. Jenny
    April 24, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    Here’s to 10 more fabulous years of Wardrobe Oxygen! Love your blog, love your honesty.

  13. Lisa
    April 24, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    Love your blog so much. I’ve been reading you for years but have only commented once or twice. You are awesome!

  14. Gail Krueger Carriveau
    April 24, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    I hear you about 2014 being a sucky year as when I unload about my trials and tribulations over the past year people gasp! But here I am still moving forward despite what life threw at me and you have done the same.
    I want to congratulate you on 10 years that is a great accomplishment.
    I cannot believe that there are individuals that call you of people Smug!
    Wow. That would not a word I would ever think about you.
    You have given me many ideas and changes to how I think about Fashion and I always look forward to reading what you have to say.
    Here’s to 2015 being a much better year for you.

  15. CA_Powell
    April 24, 2015 / 6:57 pm

    As you know, I’m a GOMIer, but they lost me when they described you as smug. You’ve never never never struck me that way. I haven’t agreed with every word you’ve ever said, (to be expected, since we’re 2 different people), but I do respect you and love your blog! Glad you made it through your rough year & found some good coping mechanisms in the process!

  16. Melissa
    April 24, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    Wow. You have never come across as smug to me. Ever. I have been following your blog for a while. I think that, no matter what you do there will always be someone there to try and bring you down. Keep being inspirational.

  17. Mary Beth
    April 24, 2015 / 4:14 pm

    We love you, too, Alison! I love your blog and look forward to reading it every week day. I love seeing a fashion blogger who looks like me, not a fashion model, and who is so real and approachable. And while I should thank you for the inspiration, I don’t think my bank account is always that grateful!

    • April 27, 2015 / 7:12 am

      LOL sorry about your bank account Mary Beth, but thank you so much for the sweet sentiments! <3

  18. Michelle Ramsey
    April 24, 2015 / 4:05 pm

    OK cutie pie!!! I am 55 and love reading your blog – it has breathed some new life into my world and my wardrobe. You keep doing what you are doing. Smug is a crazy way to describe you!! Keep it up cause I am depending on you to help me not grow old looking like a frump!!! Your family is precious and that little girl of yours – she is beautiful just like her mom.

  19. Kathryn Braun Fenner
    April 24, 2015 / 3:34 pm

    Good Lord–you are so not smug! whoever said that needs to check out pretty much any other random blog but you are not at all smug! I really love that you take the time to care about us, your readers, and you seem so authentic and relatable, and still quite stylish.
    Plus you have the best smile!

  20. April 24, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    Oh yay Lucy your comment made me tear up, I am so glad to hear you realize how utterly lovely you are! <3

  21. bubu2
    April 24, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    You rock. Every post – even the ones you think don’t rock. ESPECIALLY the ones you think don’t rock, because you are real and likeable and inspirational. Keep being who you are — that’s why we all stick around.

  22. Priscilla Walter
    April 24, 2015 / 1:08 pm

    Thank you so much for putting the real you out there and continuing to offer fun posts and interesting advice. I don’t comment often but I have been a regular reader for years, and will happily follow your blog into the future, whatever it may hold! Best wishes to you!

  23. Tanya Moon
    April 24, 2015 / 12:29 pm

    Love you, and congrats on 10 years!!! btw welcome to the start of the best years of life. I am 56 and wear and say what I want and look good doing it, thanks in part to you. I haven’t been reading you for the whole 10 but celebrate you and your blog for being here for us.

  24. Marsi
    April 24, 2015 / 12:29 pm

    I have read you forever, since the French Chic Yahoo Group days, and think you’re terrific. You need to stop reading garbage that people say about you. It’s poor self-care. It’s poison. You wouldn’t drink a cup of Dran-o because you know it’s poison. Why take into your body this other form of poison? It’s just very poor self-care. Please, please stop poisoning yourself with GOMI and whatever else. If you take it in, you’re doing it to yourself.

    • April 24, 2015 / 2:56 pm

      That’s why I stopped. It’s hard with the Google alerts because I want to know when bloggers positively link to me so I can stop by and say thank you. But you are SO RIGHT. <3

  25. April 24, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    I have been reading your blog for several years now. I admired your style, your wit, and your all around zest to embrace life. After my 2nd daughter was born, I suddenly found myself (the tomboy who never cared a whit about style or fashion) wanting to be more pulled together, more polished. And I knew just the fashion blogger who could help me – you. Not because we have the same body type, not because we have the same lifestyle, but simply because you show readers how to make fashion work for the body they have right now. Your blog has helped me to love a post-partum body that is much much different, and truthfully I feel more confident than I ever have. So thank you!

  26. Margot
    April 24, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Thank you right back at you Allie. Thank you for being open enough to share. Sharing your struggles, the good things, the low points and the missteps. I appreciate you more than I can say. I am now 52 years old and your blog was one of my first steps back years ago on the path of loving myself as I am now, right at this moment.

  27. Karen Bowers
    April 24, 2015 / 11:26 am

    Thank you. Not sure how many years I’ve been reading your blog, but I value it. I expect I’ll keep reading as long as you keep writing.

  28. eds_77845
    April 24, 2015 / 11:08 am

    LIke Maggie, I am a good bit older than you (58) but find I learn so much from you. LIfe is just too short for the haters. Keep doing what you do!

  29. emilymfromwi
    April 24, 2015 / 9:50 am

    Ali- I’ve been reading for at least 5 years- when I first started I was a school teacher and now working in the “big city” of Chicago. I’ve so enjoyed following your take on trends and style- It’s refreshing and REAL- 2 things missing from SO MANY other fashion blogs. The peek you give into your family/personal life is a great touch, too- I have loved following Emerson and seeing her style emerge 🙂
    You’re blog is clearly impacting a whole lot of women- keep it up (and thank you!)

  30. Judy
    April 24, 2015 / 9:04 am

    You are beyond adorable – honest, funny, smart, and so darn real. Much love!

  31. Ginger
    April 24, 2015 / 8:51 am

    Congrats on 10 years! I think your struggles this past year are something we all go through at some point in life and I’m happy to see you coming out on top. Your attitude is spot on and I thank you for being so honest and open with us…the world needs WAY more of that. Thank you for all you do!!!

  32. Fawn
    April 24, 2015 / 8:40 am

    Solid advice and wisdom, so glad that it brought your out of your block. I really enjoy your wisdom and recommendations, if it weren’t for you, I’d still be wearing MC hammer pants and that Mickey Mouse sweatshirt I bought at Disney in the 90s.

    • April 24, 2015 / 8:43 am

      Fawn that sounds like something street style photographers would gobble up in an instant! LOL thank you <3

      • Fawn
        April 24, 2015 / 8:47 am

        Ha ha ha! So true! But seriously, so sorry this has caused you any anxiety. We all love what you are doing and so appreciate you and your site….

  33. Kirsten Larson
    April 24, 2015 / 8:30 am

    Take it from another forty-year-old: you are FABULOUS. I honestly don’t know how I got to your site the first time, but you have been such an inspiration. Thanks to you I am remaking my wardrobe — getting rid of bad colors, things that don’t fit, and having pieces tailored so they do fit. And I’m achieving a whole new level of confidence when it comes to fashion — something I never thought I had. Thanks Alison!

  34. Anamarie
    April 24, 2015 / 8:20 am

    If I could describe you and your style (as I know you from your blog), I would have to use the word genuine. You are not trying to be someone else, you are real, you are relatable, and you are definitely someone I know I would be friends with in real life. I love your blog and I’m so glad I found it a few years ago. Congratulations on your ten year milestone!

  35. Gervy
    April 24, 2015 / 8:02 am

    Congratulations on your 10th year of blogging Allie! It is an amazing achievement. I feel lucky to have been along for the ride for the last 7 of them! xx

    • April 24, 2015 / 8:04 am

      Has it been only 7? I think of you as one of my first bloggy friends, and everytime I buy concelaer I think of you (you had a comment once about your application to get a natural look and it was more product than I ever used, I tried and it worked!) <3

      • Gervy
        April 25, 2015 / 5:36 am

        I am honoured that you think of me when you buy concealer! You are right, actually I think it has been 8 years… I first came across your blog when we lived in New York briefly in the first half of 2007 and I had lots of time on my hands. Remember I initially thought it was incredibly weird to take photos of your clothes each day, but quickly became totally addicted to your blog, and now of course we know that you were an early adopter/thought leader/ground-breaker and zillions of people now do what you started.

  36. April 24, 2015 / 7:25 am

    I follow several fashion bloggers, but your blog is the only one that I go “HAVE TO READ NOW!” when it pops up a new entry. You’re the most down-to-earth, honest one I’ve seen. I have a high level of cynicism, and I admire that you put yourself out there, emotionally and physically, constantly. Your pics aren’t overstyled and, most importantly, you’re not 6 feet tall or 100 pounds…and you’re not afraid to show that. There are a lot more of us who AREN’T those women, and never will be, than those who are. Please keep doing what you’re doing.

  37. April 24, 2015 / 6:44 am

    You’re an inspiration to me as a fellow woman and blogger. I think it takes a lot of courage to be transparent and be a blogger for 10 years! Be proud of yourself and all that you have accomplished! <3

    • April 24, 2015 / 8:06 am

      Were your blogger ears burning the other night? We were watching some show and they featured a tiki bar and I started talking about you to my husband and shared your blog and he agreed that you and your husband are some BAMFs. I am so glad I got to connect with you through blogging, oh if we could meet IRL one day, the trouble we could get in! <3

      • Anamarie
        April 24, 2015 / 8:17 am

        Were you watching the Esquire show, America’s Best Bars? That featured Minneapolis, where I live! 🙂

          • Anamarie
            April 24, 2015 / 12:24 pm

            You really should! Great music, beer, food…if you are ever headed out this way, hit me up for stuff to do!

          • April 24, 2015 / 2:54 pm

            I will for sure! Karl has some family up there, he’s been for family reunions when younger, we say we have to get Emerson up there to meet her US-based Norwegian roots!

          • May 9, 2015 / 5:18 pm

            ALLIE! Please come to Minneapolis and let me know so I can meet you. Seriously!!!

        • Lilliasrose
          April 24, 2015 / 10:32 am

          Hey, I’m in Minneapolis too! But I didn’t see the show. What bar were they featuring?

          • Lilliasrose
            April 24, 2015 / 11:45 am

            Oh, that makes sense. We do take our patios pretty seriously here. 😉

          • Anamarie
            April 24, 2015 / 12:21 pm

            1029 (they didn’t mention The lobster rolls!!!!!!!!), Nye’s, Psycho Suzi’s, Butcher & Boar beer garden…I can’t remember where else. Curling was featured prominently. I don’t know anyone who curls!

          • Lilliasrose
            April 24, 2015 / 2:52 pm

            Me neither, Anamarie! Kind of sad they featured Nye’s, I wonder how long ago this was filmed?

          • Anamarie
            April 24, 2015 / 5:56 pm

            I’m pretty sure it was filmed this year, it was a brand new episode dated 2015. Esquire magazine named Nye’s THE best bar in America years ago, they probably couldn’t leave it out!

          • Lilliasrose
            April 25, 2015 / 11:30 am

            This reminds me I need to go again beforebefore they close for good!

  38. Maggie Fieger
    April 24, 2015 / 6:39 am

    One of the reasons that Infollow you is that you are so real and fun. I am older than you by a lot (63)but you give me good ideas and Imjust enjoy your posts. Keep it up. I don’t understand why the world is full of haters but let them go. The rest of us are right here with you! Have a great weekend!

    • HokieKate
      April 24, 2015 / 7:05 am

      Amen from the other end; I’m 28 with a three year old and a one year old working in a casual office in a small town, and I love reading about your life and advice.

    • Jennifer Williams Porter
      April 24, 2015 / 12:13 pm

      Maggie said everything I was thinking (except my age difference is a bit smaller. I’m 41). I think you’re great. I love reading your posts, and even if I don’t love the day’s topic or the OOTD, I still love your writing and the thought you put into your posts. Keep on keepin’ on! Jennifer

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