In Defence of Fashion Bloggers – Blogs That Inspire Me To Buy

Susie Bubble of Style Bubble by Refinery 29
Photo via Style Bubble from Refinery 29

Fashion bloggers have been having a tough time over the last few weeks, their role in the fashion industry brought into sharp focus by that article by a sharp-tongued Suzy Menkes. My two cents can be summed up as follows: Suzy Menkes is entitled to her opinion – if she finds fashion bloggers annoying and in her face, so be it – but she does seem to have conveniently forgotten the following:

1. Fashion, more than any other creative industry, is, by its nature, full of peacocks – some are bloggers, some are editors, stylists and wannabes – posing and preening for an audience that includes themselves and others. And I really see no difference between fashion bloggers parading the fashion week circuit and club kids out on a Saturday night – they’re dressing up for fun and to be noticed and, contrary to what Menkes says, I can’t think of anything that makes the club kids more authentic than the fashion bloggers (or editors, stylists etc) – what of it if they’ve contrived a more-outlandish-than-usual outfit? And if you prefer to be a black crow, well, nobody’s stopping you. Being a peacock might be annoying in the way we tend to find any kind of show-off annoying, but it’s nothing to feel guilty about, especially if, like many of the bloggers I saw at LFW, it’s done in a sweet and gracious way – less of the judging, people.
2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but magazines and newspapers are often very much at the mercy of their advertisers – to the extent that I know of one weekend supplement beauty editor who left her position because she could not handle the extent of control the advertisers had over editorial. A stand-alone blogger can probably exercise more editorial independence than many a journalist faced with pressure from their editors and sales team.
3. Fashion journalists and editors are often on the receiving end of freebies, gifts and samples and, as far as I understand, are not required or expected, nor rarely choose, to disclose. I think that the transparency of fashion bloggers is paving a way to a new (and better) way of doing things. So, well done, fashion bloggers. I’m guessing the key is not to come off as bragging and showing off. A little humbleness is good.

Anyway, enough about that. The point of this post is to affirm the position of fashion blogs in the industry and the simplest way I can see to do that – praise for creative, inspiring and beautiful online editorial content aside – is to demonstrate how fashion bloggers connect readers (this reader in particular) with products they want to buy. Discovering well chosen and cleverly styled items that I find inspiring and desirable is one of the reasons I visit fashion blogs, and this is why the fashion blogosphere will continue to bloom and be relevant to the industry – like magazines, they influence and encourage buying and that’s a yay for everyone. For the buyer, who has found something they love, for the blogger, who has the kudos and possibly a commission for introducing the product and for the brand who has made a sale. A very happy triumvirate as far as I can see. Everyone’s a winner.

So, in support of my argument, here are the fashion bloggers who have recently inspired me to shop. Susie Bubble wearing a Sarah Frances Kuhn x Meredith Wendell camera strap (above) – currently next on my ‘saving up for’ shopping list; Camille Over The Rainbow featuring pony hair vans from Zara (which I’d also seen on Caroline’s Mode) – I bought a pair last week;  Laura from Ascot Friday wearing Sam Edelman Petty booties – I bought a pair in the January sales; Andy Torres from Style Scrapbook wearing a neon beanie – on my shopping list, nice and cheap so no need to save. I could list you a whole load more but I’ll keep things short for now. So, tell me, what have fashion bloggers inspired you to buy recently?

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  1. Great point about the editorial link to advertising and the influence that can have…
    Since I’ve started reading more fashion blogs, it’s broadened my horizons when it comes to putting together my wardrobe – and for this spring, I’m hoping to track down some brogues…either metallic or with a bit of pattern (something I would normally NEVER have considered – thanks fashion bloggers!)


  2. Ooh, love metallic brogues! They’ll look amazing with denim. Absolutely, it’s a great way to broaden personal style. Even experiments that don’t work out are still worth while as they narrow things down. Can’t wait for the spring to hit and see what everyone’s wearing then!

  3. I personally don’t find “inspiration to buy” an attractive aspect of fashion blogging, simply because there is a wide range of people from different socioeconomic backgrounds who feel alienated by these top bloggers wearing all the things they couldn’t afford if they saved up for years. Are there things I want? Yes. Are there things I can make by myself? Most definitely. The camera strap? I can weave one by hand. Metallic shoes? Whip out the paint and shellac. I think fashion blogging should focus more on the art of styling, rather than the art of buying (which has essentially lost its qualification as art because we’re handed sales on a platter, and have no need to find something humdrum and turn it into something we and those around us love). A Pair and A Spare will forever be on my to-read list, because as a college student with loans and one part time job, I’m strapped for funds and need an alternate means of remaining stylish. Learning to sew, and taking a few hours every week can not only create more designers, but making an ensemble out of $5/yard fabrics for $15 is a lot cooler than spending $50 for a tshirt because an awesome blogger has one. Plus, I’d like to have stuff no one else can buy. From there, fashion bloggers can become a whole new type of entrpreneur, not only publicists, editors, and stylists, but designers and manufacturers as well.

    Blog: Youth Savage

  4. You’re absolutely right. The art of making is definitely a world away from buying, which is why I guess DIY blogs do so well as well. The satisfaction of something you’ve made or customised yourself can’t be beat. I think there’s room for both, even on the same blog, as most people’s lives often involve both, I know mine does. I’ve taken sewing classes so can make a variety of pieces of clothing, but I have to admit the things I make tend to end up as presents for others, rarely for myself. You do need to have a bit of time on your hands too to make things… Weaving a camera strap is a great idea, I’m inspired, I might give it a go! You have some lovely DIY ideas on your blog. x