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When I started this blog, it was the 2000’s and I wanted to be polite to any potential readers. I wrote trying to create content that would appeal to everyone, since my goal was to offer style advice regardless of age, size, or lifestyle. But by time the 2010’s arrived I knew I couldn’t keep it up.
I remember in 2011 attending a Planned Parenthood rally on the National Mall in DC and sharing it on Wardrobe Oxygen. Unfortunately, it is one of the posts that lost its comments when I merged this blog from Blogger to WordPress, but I received a real mix of ones that supported my beliefs and those who were furious with me. So many nasty words, nasty emails, just plain nastiness.
And that nastiness taught me not to stay silent, but to speak up more often. Because I don’t want to create content for those who believe that a cluster of cells is more important than a human being on this planet. I don’t want to create content for individuals who want to take away the basic human rights of others. If I regularly shared my thoughts on abortion, healthcare, human rights, and the environment no one would be surprised.
And it has worked pretty well for me. In fact, the reason I was able to quit my day job and for almost five years have this blog support my family is because I offered advice on what to wear to the Women’s March. That advice post in 2016 was shared with multiple Women’s March Facebook groups organizing individuals to head to DC for the protest and shared on Twitter hundreds of times.
And because I was regularly sharing my views, the individuals who came for advice on what type of bag and boots to wear for the Women’s March stuck around for advice on suiting and swimwear.
If you’re my age or older, you likely were taught to be polite. Go ahead and have your beliefs, but don’t cause any waves in mixed company. Never discuss politics or money at the dinner table. But the thing is, discussing politics in 2022 is a whole different beast from discussing politics in 1992.
We’re a different country and that which we politely swept under the rug and pretended had been resolved we are bringing out into the sunlight. We elected a president who encouraged hatred and division and empowered individuals to become so selfish and angry and vicious. And then on top of it, we’re dealing with a pandemic that won’t end and we still don’t understand and is full of confusion and conspiracies bringing on even more division, selfishness, and hatred.
I have no more respect for those who force their religious beliefs on others. I have no more tolerance for those who find some humans more valuable than others. And luckily I have created a community here of other like-minded folks.
I don’t care if you don’t know how to dress your stomach or don’t know what jeans to buy this season or need a new bra or swimsuit if you are a selfish asshole. I don’t want your traffic, I don’t want to make income from you, you’re not invited to this party.
Since lockdown started, I have really analyzed this business. Brands I LOVED, who I so enjoyed working with, I ended my partnerships because they didn’t have the same beliefs. I began creating content that I knew wouldn’t bring me in a single dime of affiliate income because it shared ideas or brands or information I felt needed to be shared. I said no far more than I said yes to opportunities in my inbox because the product or company didn’t align with my values. Our values.
And in 2020, a year when so many companies went out of business, I made more than the year prior. I made 50% more in 2021 than I did the year prior. Standing up for what you believe in doesn’t have to hurt your business if you find your community.
Being polite hasn’t done jack shit for women so just stop. Our country doesn’t care about us, it is trying to control us, why are we being polite about it? Change only happens when the majority speaks up. The majority of the United States believes abortion should be legal (Pew Research); our government isn’t acting on our wants but on the loud minority that would very much like to make our country “great again” for white men and the very polite women who feel protected by their white men.
With Wednesday's post, I only received one comment and one email from individuals who didn't agree. That is only because I have continued to speak up. Let this empower you to, in the words of a show many of us watched, stop being polite and start getting real.
If you feel I am targeting you, let me tell you, there are plenty of other blogs out there that don’t share their beliefs to cater to more clicks, and there are some that likely share your thoughts. You can read them.
Wardrobe Oxygen isn’t for them. It’s for us. And I am so glad you are here!
Glad to be here, Alison!! In unity!
Linda B says
Alison, I haven’t been keeping up with reading posts very well in recent weeks. But I have to jump in and say YOU GO GIRL!!!! I so love this post, and love that you have had such success sticking by them.
I will be at my local Women’s March event on Saturday. I am almost 65 and no way am I going to stand for the country going down this very wrong path cooked up by the fascist right wing minority. At this point in life, my personal impetus as an activist (in various realms) is trying to save the country and the planet for my children and grandchildren—and everyone else too.
Alison, I have said this before on various posts–but you being your full, authentic self is brave, compelling and REAL. You are such a good writer (whether you write about fashion, make-up, your love of the Peloton, what to wear to a march, how to support all kinds of people, sights of DC and so much more) and I think you inspire all of us to be more real, authentic and compassionate. I have been reading forever, have bought so many wonderful things that you’ve recommended and I truly truly appreciate your hard work, your honesty and the fact that you are true to yourself. All of those qualities create an oasis where I can learn, think and grow–so THANK YOU!
I continue to love you and your boldness. Thank you for loving people. It’s really just that simple: do good and love people. Thank you, from a thick Black woman who feels community here.
Thank you for evolving, growing, and speaking your mind even though your *bottom line* might be affected. I feel like influencers who say nothing, or lean with the popular opinion all of the time are not to be trusted (not for jeans, shoes, bags, or when they finally want to speak up). It’s the people who have always spoken out that I believe when they say “the bra is crap” or “I found a good article about politics and I want you to check it out”.
You’ve never been afraid of an honest review, or to tell your readers how you really feel, and I am here for it!
INFINITY clapping emojis. THANK YOU!!!!!!
Amy H. says
Thank you so much for all you do and all you are, Alison! And thank you for creating this community. Sending love and strength to all of us for the fight.
I echo everything everyone else has already said and just wanted to add… The picture of you and your mom and sister and daughter with the Black Lives Matter signs made this black lady tear up. Thank you for standing up for what is right and for using your platform for good. xoxo
Angel M. says
Could you please let us know which brands left due to a difference in opinion? You probably can’t/won’t, but I know I would like to stop shopping those retailers.
Go Alison! I’ve been reading your blog for years and have loved watching you ( and the blog) develop. I am a 74 year old white woman living in Lancashire, England and even though I am a long way away age wise, culture wise, distance wise, looks wise and loads of others, so much of what you say resonates- how good is that? I have also bought many things you’ve written about from Tinkle razors to the Ever X dress ( the best purchase!) which shows how you cross boundaries, ages and styles through your writing and recommendations. I love that you speak out on difficult issues and stay true to yourself. A lesson for all women everywhere.
I love this so much! This is the best thing I’ve read in such a long time (post and comment). Perfect timing to re-establish my hope in humanity.
I’m aging myself but here it is: you go, girl.
Cindy Spell says
Great post!! Thank you!!’
Just yes. And thank you.
Nicole Kowalski says
I imagine us all marching behind you saying “WHAT SHE SAID”!
I can’t remember how I found my way to you, but like so many others, your politics help, not hurt my loyalty.
BAD ASS WOMEN-UNITE!
I’ve been reading your blog for years even though our style is not the same—except for striped shirts!—and I have little interest in beauty products. I’ve long appreciated your integrity, especially since the 2016 election. Thank you for not selling out.
Karen O says
Excellent! I really enjoy your blog Allie and being with like minded people. I live in Florida and it’s just a sea of red hat MAGAts. They are even more emboldened because of our governor. God help us if he’s the next president. Anyhow, I’m feeling pretty down right now but it honestly does help to read this blog and your wonderful commenters to let me know there are some intelligent, thinking, caring folks out there.
1000 x every word you wrote and all of the sentiments supporting your stance. You rock BECAUSE of all of who you are, including your fierce and funny point of view. Lurve and hope to run into you at one of the marches here in DC one of these days.
Jaye Coker says
I’ve been reading your blog probably since you started it and have enjoyed not only your fashion advice but also your evolution into a mature, self-confident woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. You have set a wonderful example for your daughter to. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Alison!
Usually, I never read the comments, but today, THANK GOD for the comments. I was feeling so disheartened and alone and frustrated.
I’m still disheartened and frustrated, but slightly less alone.
In it for the fight; so glad that to be with you!
I just started following you recently and you have quickly become my favorite. I love your writing voice, your advice, and now your politics. I live in rural Ohio and so often I feel overwhelmed by the racist, gay-bashing, trump-supporting culture around me. It helps to hear your voice and good to know there are many others who see the the tragedy of what’s going on in the US now.
Yes!!! Love this – loud, proud and fierce!!! Thank you for speaking out and using your beautiful voice and blog to keep us stylish and connected.
Thank you for being a grown-ass woman who speaks her mind on all topics.
FUCK YEAH. You rock on with your bad self! Thank you for being vocal and for using your platform for good. Keep going!!!
Sometimes it feels like the bad and good parts of the 60s all over again. As an older reader who was on the streets then it is heartening to hear from this generation. Keep it up, it can change.
Amen, huzzah, yeah girl, you know it, go you (to all of this)!
I bonded with you (ha without you knowing) when we both had badly broken arms at the same time. (I think I googled cast covers and found you.) That was a very hard time for me, and it helped to hear from someone else in a similar place.
I appreciate your fashion advice, adore your sweet family, and admire your strong spirit and your weak moments. It is brave to be yourself and share yourself.
I agree 100% with what you said- I don’t think I could have articulated all of this as you did; THANK YOU! We have to engage, and speak up- or we will lose our freedoms, our rights, our country.
Shelly Cook says
Very proud to be part of your community!
“I don’t care if you don’t know how to dress your stomach or don’t know what jeans to buy this season or need a new bra or swimsuit if you are a selfish asshole.” I LOL’d at this. And you are absolutely right!! Thank you for consistently speaking the truth and reflecting what so many of us believe and care about. Rock on, Alison!
Thanks for having the courage and character to tell it like it is. Love all you do on the blog and IRL!
beth byrd says
I am recent newcomer to your blog and so glad I found my way here! I only wish I had discovered it sooner!
I applaud you!!!
There have been times when I felt like I was the only one who felt the way I do. I am grateful to be able to be a part of a community online to help me realize that I’m not alone and we are actually the majority view in this country.
I’ve always enjoyed your honesty and your point of view. Keep on keeping on.
As a biracial woman in an interracial marriage and grandmother to a trans kid, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I needed this post this morning as I head into a job where I will never be included, recognized or promoted. Been reading your blog for years and your beliefs and willingness to speak up are the reasons I will never stop. Hugs from northeast Ohio!
Monir Evers says
What you wrote here is in great part why I read your blog and follow you on social media. You provide so much more than fashion guidance. If you lived in my community I would want to be your friend. Better yet, I would march with you!
Thank you! I follow you for more than wardrobe advice and you feel like my cool friend. I need to find my voice like you have.
Been with you since the beginning and I’ve never admired you so much as I do right now. Thank you for never sacrificing your principles.
A standing ovation from up here in Canada! I value your integrity so much. Thank you
As a 66 year old straight white woman, I enjoy every one of your posts. I am so happy to be in your community and it’s been really fun to watch you find your voice.
The people doing this to our country are mean, vindictive, and very scary to me. Thanks for your effort to model inclusivity and fearlessness.
I’m in Canada and I LOVE that you share your politics so clearly and so often – I, too, want to support the people whose beliefs align with my own. Keep it up!!
Shouting “hell yeah” from way down here at the bottom of the South Pacific.
I love America but I can not understand what the heck is going on right now.
Love your “give no f*cks” attitude Alison. I’ve been reading your blog for 13 years now and I ain’t stopping.
E hoa, ka whawhai tonu mātou, Āke! Āke! Āke!
Friend, we will fight on forever, forever and forever!
Love this so much! Cheers to you!
F*ck yeah, Alison! Your transparency and integrity are what has kept me around for well over a decade.
Keep fighting the good fight.
Mary Beth says
Thank you, Alison, for constantly speaking out and celebrating bodies, from how they look and feel to our autonomy and rights!
Michele Inman says
I’m so glad YOU are here! Thank you for all that you do.
Thank you, Alison, for speaking loudly and encouraging us to do the same. So grateful for your advice and your example. I continue to be more and more selective as to who I follow and you never disappoint. ❤️❤️❤️
Stephani Miller says
I’m here for the fashion advice AND the activism. Fashion, after all, is often if not always political.
Potatoes of the world, unite!
A thousand times yes to this, Alison. Thanks for your integrity, clear-headedness, and badassery. I’m thrilled your business is so successful.
And I’m grateful you’re in it with all of us for the long haul.
“Being polite hasn’t done jack shit for women so just stop. Our country doesn’t care about us, it is trying to control us, why are we being polite about it?” — AMEN! I am so done being polite! Thank you for speaking your truth, Alison, and for bringing this amazing community of women together. Like so many others, I needed to read this today. Sending much love to everyone who is here…
Alison, thank you for being the strong, truth-telling person with fabulous fashion sense that you are. You’ve helped me be bold and be myself. I love your blog.
I love this about your site! I feel the same way. We cannot repress our views and if we don’t others in our community will support us. And they will know how loud our voice is!
Thank you. Love you, this space and this community.
I love your blog Alison and the way you speak out on what is happening and state your point of view. It can be pretty scary watching what is happening across the pond sometimes. It seems the right for women to own their bodies is now in question. Again. How many times does this have to be debated? I also love to read your journeys through the makeup and clothing racks of online shopping. I don’t buy clothes through you because I like to shop locally (Australia) but the concepts can usually be tweaked to what’s available locally. Keep it up.
Oh, Alison – I don’t really have the words for what this space has brought me over the years. You are my bestie, even if you don’t know me. I came for the capsule wardrobes, but I stayed for the racial justice. I’m a middle aged white lady who likes dressing cool and “weird” and who believes that EVERY being on the planet deserves the same basic rights and dignity. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being you and not being polite.
Thank you! I am crying reading this. I have been feeling very disillusioned and helpless and reading this was just what I needed. I have always loved your style and your capsules, but when you started sharing your beliefs, I made sure to check in every day. It’s nice to feel part of a community and I am grateful.
Marsha Banks says
Yes, a million times, yes!!! I knit so many pussy hats that year! I proudly wore mine and still do!
Hear, hear. It’s deeply disespectful to imagine that we aren’t whole people who can simultaneously care about jeans that fit AND racial equity… cute jumpsuits AND LGBTQ+ rights. I would a million times rather engage with people who are ready to be honest and speak up for thier beliefs. I HATE when I find out I have been supporting someone who, unbeknownst to me, supports racist or misogynist ideologies. It’s not cancel culture to make choices about where my little dollars go– it’s consumer choice. No company, brand, or person is going to be a 100% twin of ME– either in taste in footwear or policy preferences– but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to live into (and spend according to) my values.
Absolutely! We are so lucky to have you, your voice, and the community you have created.
Love this blog, love YOU Allie, love this community! Thank you!
As an LGBTQ person this is one of very few “lifestyle” blogging spaces in which I consistently feel seen and supported.
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ ️ ️⚧️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
My emojis look weird!
I did hearts and rainbow and trans flags
Mary Lou says
I’m glad to be a part of your community. Keep speaking up.
It won’t only be Roe-the same crowd is now bringing up Brown vs. Board and interracial marriage. Gay marriage will be in trouble too-they are already threatened parents of trans kids. It is going to get worse and worse unless we mobilize and VOTE.
Add Loving. Add Griswold. Add any New Deal/Great Society legislation. It’s ALL on the table.
& don’t buy Alito’s fig leaf about “this only applies to Roe.” Every one of those MFers lied about Roe being settled precedent in their confirmation hearings.
Lisa Vogt Hopta says
This ^^^ unfortunately. I’m tired of hearing the “oh but’s”. Bull. They are out to control us, our daughters/sons/brothers/sisters who don’t stick to their version of the straight and narrow “right way”. I’m horrified of the hypocrisy, sexism, racism and misogynism that has bloomed and gained acceptance in our country. I’m sickened that so many other women accept and embrace this garbage. I’m tired of the damage that Fox News is doing to our country. I look at those who voted for our governor of Virginia because of some “CRT” that isn’t even taught in our public schools (but a version of it is taught in Youngkin’s (our gov) son’s private school in DC) and think “What the hell is wrong with you?” Sigh. So I will keep donating to the causes I hold dear, and speak my piece when I can. And enjoy Alison’s blogs on clothes and hair and other such interests as it gives us warriors a needed break.