Fellow fashion blogger, Ashe Mischief introduced a very interesting topic this morning on her blog and I wanted to share it, as well as add my own personal thoughts. She confronts the topic surrounding the financial consequences that fashion blogging might have on our lives. Ashe says, “We write about fashion– but we don’t often write or talk about the financial choices behind our sartorial choices.”
In addition to sharing her own personal struggles with the cost of fashion blogging, other women expressed having similar issues as well. One felt that real financial responsibilities (ie: rent, groceries, health care) hold them back from sharing their daily outfit posts, because they feel their readers will become bored with their reworked closet favorites. Another expressed that fashion blogging sent them into a downward spiral resulting in a very destructive shopping habit.
So we have to look at a few things: Why do we feel it’s necessary to financially compete with our fellow bloggers? Is it really worth it?
A few months ago I started a formspring account and found that I was being confronted with a lot of financial questions. Many wanted to know things like what my day job is, how I can afford Chanel bags, and if I constantly go shopping. At first I found it a bit strange that people were questioning this, but to be honest I have no shame and nothing to hide. And after reading Ashe’s post, I’m now understanding why they wanted to know these things about me.
At the age of 18, I found myself in a heap of debt due to major immaturity and a terrible shopping addiction. Almost 10 years later, I don’t own any credit cards and I’m very happy about that. (And I’m pretty relieved this happened pre-fashion blogging. hahah.) So how do I afford my “fashion blogger lifestyle?” The answer is. . . I have a job, I’m a thrifting treasure hunter and I don’t feel pressured by the wardrobes of other bloggers.
I think the main issue at hand is struggling with self inflicted “peer pressure” from comparing one’s wardrobes to other bloggers. Nobody should be doing this to themselves. The reality of fashion blogging is this, MOST of these people are not paid bloggers, they live at home with their parents, suffer from credit card debt or have trust funds. And to be honest, style comes from within not from your bank account. I’ve always said that just because you’re sporting this season’s outfit from the runaway doesn’t mean you have style, you just have the financial means.
Recently, I found myself bored with bloggers who were constantly showing off their overly expensive purchases and offering nothing but self indulgent outfit posts. I love looking at clothing just as much as the next person, but I actually enjoy reading blogs for thought provoking content and creativity. Has our society really become that obsessed with consumption that these are the people we label as inspiring or allow to make us feel inferior? I’m sorry but a teenager with rich parents is not going to make me feel ashamed of what I can afford or my wardrobe.
The bloggers I admire are those who work with what they’ve got. So you wore that black dress last week with a different jacket? Your entire outfit is labeled with thrifted or Forever 21? So what? Do you love your outfit and does it make you feel good about yourself? So share it with the world. Our blogs are a personal expression of who we are, and that shouldn’t be held back because of another person’s financial advantages. I love runway fashion just as much as the next person, and I’ll drool all over magazine editorials, but I won’t risk my livelihood just to say I own something. And to be honest, if I’m going to really splurge on something expensive it’s going to be a classic piece of fashion, not a 2010 runaway item.
So how do we overcome this? More DIY posts, bargain shopping tips, showcase indie designers and most importantly encouraging our fellow bloggers to not be ashamed of their wardrobe allowance. I’m not saying we shouldn’t shop or fulfill desires to keep up with trends, but let’s be smart about it. Nobody should feel inferior to anyone because of their financial situation, size, gender, shape, race, etc, ESPECIALLY in the “blogosphere”. We blog for ourselves not for anyone else.
“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”
– Gore Vidal