Judging by my attire last week, you would have no idea I’m a fashion blogger. I wore jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers all week. I had on minimal jewelry and makeup and my hair was either up or being it’s crazy curly natural self. But I spent four days setting up, working, and breaking down our semi-annual tent sale. So really, I was dressed for the part.
The truth is, most days you would have no idea that I have a love for fashion. Working at an outdoors store doesn’t leave a whole lotta room for fancy and frankly, dressing for myself makes me look horribly out of place in the workplace. (Trust me, I tried. And the comments about being “dressed up” or people not thinking I knew how to do my job because I didn’t look the part made me stick to our super casual unwritten dress code.) Basically, I spend most days dressed like this.
My style has always been a little… loud. I like bright colors, different textures, and designs that pop. As of late, my style has taken an edgy turn, though I still enjoy the occasional preppy look. Black is a staple color in my wardrobe and if I knew I wouldn’t sweat to death, I’d wear boots every day. And as far as I know (please correct me if I’m wrong and share some links), there aren’t a whole lot of fashion bloggers out there like me.
My friend Katie wrote a post about how fashion blogs have become so mainstream. They’re filled with designer duds, sponsored posts, and lackluster styles. I agree with a lot of her feelings. In a way, this makes me frustrated because it feels like there’s no individuality in fashion blogging anymore. But this lack of personality also gives me – a frugal fashionista with a love for “different” – hope because it’s proof there is a place for me. Somewhere there’s an audience that shares my sense of style and is begging for more bloggers like myself to come forward with looks that aren’t so cookie cutter. We don’t want to be limited to off-the-rack stores. We don’t want to spend a lot to look and feel great. And we don’t have to!
Walking into the Nordstrom Gala, I felt a bit like a fraud. I was wearing a dress that I got from Ross for $16, boots also from Ross for $18, and accessories that I picked up on clearance. My entire outfit cost maybe $50… and I was walking into a store where $50 will buy you a scarf. But you know what, I had so much fun and got so many compliments on my look. While I appreciate the stock at Nordstrom, I realize most of it is out of my price range. But all of that doesn’t make me a fraud, it makes me real!
I received an email from a friend asking for specific fashion advice. I felt flattered that she considered me her go-to-girl for that type of information. She was looking for affordable and flattering clothing for both work and play. She asked my advice on styles and where she should look. I composed a response email, including links to some affordable stores and had a blast virtually shopping with her. She went out with the advice I’d given her and bought items that she felt good in without having to break the bank. That is what fashion is all about to me.
So, as I think about the direction that I want this blog to go (and I’ve been doing a lot of that lately thanks to some thought provoking articles like this one from Jessica), I know that I want to stand out. Not because I want to be a fashion rebel or because I want to necessarily be different, but because I want to be be myself and accepted for that loud, quirky, frugal fashionista that I am. Sure, I won’t make bookoos of bucks by using referral links because you can’t link to a Ross find. And I may limit future sponsors because I don’t want to become another fashion minion. But at the end of the day, I’ll go to sleep happy knowing that I stayed true to myself and didn’t become another sheep in the herd.