So, you want to be a fashion blogger? Well one thing you will need to accept is that this does not come cheap. While you will definitely be able to get away with a mix of high and low priced items, just accept the fact that you will have to splurge on high end items from time to time. Which means two things: 1. If you are thinking ‘no’, then go down the frugal/younger blogger route 2. You will need to choose your items wisely – splurging must get you the results you want if you are going to invest that much $$$. Here are some tips on what items to buy, how to pick them, and what to look for in creating a blogger’s closet.
What to do BEFORE shopping
- Do your laundry. When you start thinking ‘I have nothing to wear,’ it is probably because all your favorite clothes are dirty. Use this as a guide and go through the rest of your closet that you were thinking of as ‘nothing’. This will give you insight on what to clean out of your closet and on your style.
- Organize your closet. Once you have your clean favorites fresh and back in action, and have had some realization of what you do or don’t wear, it is time to organize. You need to know exactly WHAT you have an WHERE it is.
- PURGE the unused and MEND the broken. A good rule of thumb: if wearing a piece does not instill confidence, or you haven’t worn it in 1+ years (aside from gowns and other rare occasion items) consider donating, selling or putting it in storage.
- Evaluate and revise. Ask yourself, why are you not wearing the things you don’t wear? Do you keep buying the same dress over and over thinking it is your style and then never putting it on….? On the other hand, what in your closet do you wear often? What do these pieces have in common? Here is were you really define your style, these are the clothes that you like, buy, and wear often… run with it.
- Lastly, plan your shopping trips. There is nothing more detrimental to curating an expert closet than the ‘I’ll just go to the mall and see what I find’ mentality. No, just no. Ask, what does my closet need (that I wear)? What is my budget (EVERYONE has a budget)? What season is it? One thing I like to do before hand is explore StyleSpotter for an hour or so before I decide on buying anything. This gives me a good idea of my options and since I can save items, I will often give myself 24 – 48 hours before making my purchase and answering all the aforementioned questions. Plan before you purchase and you will get more out of your clothes.
Clothing Checklist – What to Look for in Clothes
- Confidence. Does it make you feel confident when you are wearing it? Does it make you feel like you struck gold when you found it, that ‘this is the piece I have been searching for my whole life’ feeling? Yes? Ok, that’s probably a good buy.
- Is it Similar to the items you determined you regularly wear? By now you should know what style you gravitate towards.
- Does it fit you? This may seem obvious but if you want to be a blogger, and if you know you are not going to get the item tailored, do not buy it no matter how much you love it if it does not fit. Deal breaker.
- Is it Photogenic? This is a hard pill to swallow because this is the point where you have to realize you aren’t shopping for yourself, you are shopping for your aesthetic and for your readers. If a top you thought was cute and really like does not photograph nicely, well, honestly, what’s the point?
- Versatility and Uniqueness. Try to strike a balance between these two. While you will want to have a standout piece often to catch attention and peak interest, if every single item you wear is utterly unique, it will be hard to wear it in more than one outfit without looking repetitive. It will also be hard to put together cohesive ensembles.
Once you have done some pre-shopping prep and know what you are looking for here are some tips to follow through purchase.
- Stay focused! Online or in store once you have already picked your item, there will undoubtedly be something else that catches your eye. While you may find an occasional gem, try not to get distracted by impulse buys, for the sake of blogging.
- Shop somewhere unique. So, you are now sure of what you are looking for, try discovering a (online) boutique where you can find something no one else will have.
- Stick to your favorite stores. It will help you develop an aesthetic. Personally, I LOVE For Love and Lemons, I save my $$ and purchase something roughly every other month, which brings me to the last point.
- Save for big purchases. If you are shopping every week and then wonder why you always want more, it may be because you are not allowing yourself to truly appreciate, save for, and invest in an item you will feel accomplished in having. This will also help you know that you really want it by taking the time and effort to save. Realistically if you are ‘splurging’ $300 every 3 months, you only need to save $25 a week… that is doable. It’s all about the planning.
What to Buy
Ok, this is the nitty gritty, painstaking truth about blogging: if you don’t have some of the ‘it’ pieces of the season, your credibility will suffer. Remember when wearing a Livestrong bracelet or Tattoo choker made you instantly cool? This is similar, but on a more elite level. The following are some options – an Isabel Marant knitted sweater, a Chloe shoulder or crossbody bag, Charlotte Olympia flats, Karen Walker sunglasses, an Equipment classic silk blouse, Dior sunglasses, Stella McCartney shoes, Balenciaga boots, Kate Spade (or Marc Jacobs/other designers) iPhone case, Chloe dress, Vince Allison mules, SJP shoes, a Furla mini cross body, and Elizabeth and James jewelry. (To find all these items click here).
Now, this isn’t to say go out and buy all these items to become a hit blogger, but knowing what high end pieces will be worth the splurge in social cred and picking 1 or 2 will really strengthen your image. I can guarantee you no major fashion blogger will have a wardrobe entirely comprised of F21, UO, Zara, and Topshop. My advice for allocating your budget is to buy basics for less, exclusively hunt the fast fashion stores for only their items of quality, and lastly, carve out a hefty budget for 1 – 3 hit pieces per season. In the long run, this will help you build a valuable closet. BONUS TIP – if there is ever an item over $150, I always try to make sure I absolutely cannot find anywhere else, then you know it’s worth it.
Finally, Be UNIQUE
Ultimately, the best rule is to be individual and be yourself. You cannot have a successful blog if you don’t have your own image… but if you want people to envy your outfit, you’ll need to throw in a somewhat unattainable ‘it girl’ piece here and there.