I hate style blogs. (Not really)

One of my favourite styles from Self-Stitched September

OK, hate is too strong a word. In fact, I very much want to like them. I know for a fact I’m not the be-all, end-all of fashion (not when I spend as many days as I still do in jeans and a knit shirt). I have things to learn, especially about not dressing like a teenager/skank/student/harried mom. Sometimes all four together, which is not the best look ever. (What’s worse is that I’ll end up dressing like a teenager from ten years ago. Fail.)

So. Style blogs. I’ve tried them, I really have. I’ve flipped through Already Pretty, Fashion for NerdsWhat I Wore TodayInside-Out Style (some great info on dressing for your body type there, which basically amounted to what I’ve already figured out by trial and error. Nice to have the backup on why, for example, I hate belted on me)…

And here’s the thing. With sewing blogs, if I see something I love, my first thought is—what pattern did she use? How hard would it be to knock it off?

All I think of when I’m reading style blogs is either a) not me (which could mean “not

my style” or “gorgeous but not going to work on my body”) or b) I want it! And in this second case, unlike the sewing blog, I can’t have it, because obviously it’s in someone else’s closet and I’m not buying RTW much these days anyway even if it’s still available in a country near me. And she definitely doesn’t have a helpful how-to on how she knocked off this Anthropologie-esque look

It’s almost as frustrating as when I used to read “women’s magazines” at the gym. This was pretty much the only point in my life I’ve actually read a women’s magazine, by the way. It didn’t do too much of a number on my body image—I was 23 and 115 lbs and going to the gym regularly enough that I was actually toned, what did I have to complain about—but it did leave me with the intense desire to shop. Especially bad since then, even more than now, the shopping budget was basically nonexistent. So I resigned myself to digging through the piles for the occasional copy of Newsweek or MacLean’s.

A fun photo

Which I guess is a roundabout way of saying that I find style blogs frustrating. Which isn’t fair at all to style bloggers, who I’m sure are lovely people just trying to share their wardrobe creativity with the world—which is what we sewistas are doing, too, in a slightly different way. But I feel faintly like I’m butting my head up against a wall—trying to take something away from the blog that isn’t actually there, or wanting something that isn’t really on offer.

I guess I’m thinking about this, too, because we’re on the cusp of Me Made March and my own blog is going to devolve, temporarily, into a rather lackluster version of a style blog, probably with far more jeans-and-random-knit-top than is strictly good for it. And it’s a good thing, because it will push me to wear more of my less-used clothes (Businesswoman Pants anyone?), and to find ways to be more creative with what I have. But it’s (at least potentially) a bad thing in that my “product”, which is sewing and yakking, will be at least somewhat changed to “styling and yakking,” with sewing interspersed.

I miss my lawn.

Looking back at these highlights of SSS makes me more excited for my impending style-bloggishness, but then these are my faves out of the whole month. On the other hand, I have a number of fun items I didn’t have before, at least some of which I need a little push to get me wearing.

Speaking of which, the Businesswoman Pants got their first out-of-the-house wearing ever today. Mostly because the button had come off and it took me this long to get around to fixing it. They were, I’m happy to report, deliciously warm, which is good considering the daytime high today was -23C (not including wind chill… and it was windy).

So what do you think about style blogs? Love ’em? Leave ’em? What am I not getting? What do you get out of them, if you do love ’em? (and what killer-awesome-knock-your-socks-off ones am I missing?)



Filed under Sewing

26 responses to “I hate style blogs. (Not really)

  1. CGCouture

    I’m pretty much with you on style blogs. For many of the same reasons, actually. I don’t know, I like the concept behind Me-Made-March, but sometimes it does get boring just seeing what people wear. I like the creativity behind what people make, seeing/hearing about the process, watching the fabric go from a flat rectangle to something that fits a 3D body. Maybe I’m just weird….well, OK, I know that I am, but I think you know what I mean. 😉

    And whomever told you that you look like a skank obviously has no idea what the word means or else they were jealous. 😦 I love your edgy style. 🙂

    • Hehe. As to the “skank” thing… let’s just say I spent a very long time baring all that the weather would allow… which is not particularly reflected in what I show on this blog (I’m getting modest in my old age or something…) but still crops up as a default position, especially in the summer…

  2. I like style blogs, but definitely not as much as I like sewing blogs. I agree with you in that I like to read about how something was made and how I could possibly make it, too 🙂 One type of blog I’ve run across lately and totally don’t understand are some design or “lifestyle” blogs (I’m not sure what to call them) that only post other peoples photos (with links, of course). I don’t get it. I like to hear the firsthand account of how something was made from the person who made it.

  3. Joy

    Brrr…we keep getting snow but haven’t been that cold for a while.
    Style magazines always bugged me. It’s commercialism, pure and simple. But style is much more than buying stuff and more stuff.
    Style blogs…I guess I don’t follow any bona fide style blogs because I’m not too interested in what can be done with RTW. In a sense, sewing blogs are infused style blogs. What you make for yourself is so much more “you” than what you can buy, especially as you hone your skills and know yourself better. My style has slowly evolved since I started sewing clothes – especially since budget is not a consideration beyond the fabric purchase. You can make something boring or not. So in that sense, it is fascinating to watch others’ ventures in making outfits that suit them.

  4. I’m right there with you…. sewing blogs are interesting because the process is interesting. (Plus I love the wacky stuff people come up with)

  5. I’m with you on the style blogs. And some of them get rather repetitive which is even less interesting.

    Speaking of wondering what pattern people used…I love that tunic you’re wearing in the first picture.

    • Thank you! It’s the Danielle dress off Burdastyle (yay, free pattern!); my only alteration is the inverted pleat at the centre-front. If you click on “danielle” in the tag cloud on the sidebar, it’ll bring up the posts from when I made it last summer :).

      • Thanks! I will definitely check it out. I just started following your blog recently so I haven’t had a chance to explore everything, but I love what you make. That new corset skirt is to die for!

  6. I like style blogs better than fashion magazines because there is a much wider variety of people and styles represented. I find them interesting for idea mining and some of the style bloggers actually do some DIY stuff as well. Style bloggers are, in most cases, watching the fashion world at large much more closely than I care to and subsequently tip me off to a variety of obscure designers, or independent jewelry, leather, knitwear lines all over the globe. This is not to say that I in turn BUY these products, but I do become more aware of what’s available, and that influences my notion of possibilities, either purchased or handmade. Sometimes I’ll check out a style blog for a while and eventually find myself with a headache from all the eye-rolling, then it’s time to move along. It needn’t be a “love you forever” relationship.
    Sewing blogs also provide me with tons of ideas- as well as support, advice, humor, tutorials and a community. I often comment on sewing blogs, but I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a fashion blog.

  7. Sue

    I’m positive you’re not 40 years old but I do like the blog Style Underdog (http://styleunderdog.blogspot.com/). She says she is 44.
    Her body shape isn’t anything like mine but she has some interesting outfits.

  8. oops! messed up the tag! meant to reference the man-repeller blog. Did NOT mean to make everything a link!

    crossing fingers that this will work….

  9. Style blogs are a bit of a hit and miss affair and they do get boring after a while. I do have two favorites…

    http://www.outsapop.com/….style and DIY at the same time
    http://www.thedivinitus.com/…because all the clothes I love…maybe the only style blog I really like.

    I’m all for creating/sewing blogs

  10. I feel exactly the same I tried style blogs too and it just didn’t work out. I did get bored with SSS as so many sewing blogs I watch were doing it. Its the creative process I crave which I haven’t quite master the art of sharing on my blog very well. You do a great job I like your creations. I even enjoy watching sew along’s without participating.

  11. I only read one style blog. It is called The Blog of Big Beauty. She is a European size 50 and wears whatever she feels like wearing. She does not really care about the “don’t wear white”, “avoid carrot pants”,… I like it because it opens my ind to some thing I could try to sew. She also has AWESOME accessories and lives in Paris.

    However, I visit a few online shops for inspiration, such as Anthropologie, Monsoon (uk), Steps (nl) and didi (nl).

    I am also participating to Me made March, and I really need to sew myself at least a pair of pants. The Cupcake Goddess and Patty have great posts, but I never seem to manage to fit mine like they do. I could really do with the Fit for Real People book, but that is not in the budget! I still want to tray a few patterns though…

  12. Hatty

    Yeah, style blogs are so crap; I usually find them quite repulsive and creepy, mostly because of the horribly self-conscious/narcissistic poses that they come up with – so desperate to look attractive or hot or sexy or what i don’t know, and i don’t know why they think a bunch of women readers (and let’s face it most of their readers are women) are going to love seeing them with their knees turned in or the chest thrust out, and looking hot or sexy, etc. etc. etc. Sorry, it might do it for some people but it’s not doing it for me. And I hate the influence of style blogs on sewing blogs when sewists start doing the same stuff. Just show us the clothes already (in a nice straight pose please) and then show us the process! The problem with Burda magazine, for example, is that you only find out the dodgy features of the garment after you’ve sewn it because all the “action” shots and posing conceal a lot of things you might not like. It’s a reall bu**er (and I sew exclusively from Burda). As a keen sewist and blog reader, I am not looking forward to MMM. In fact I will just be a less keen blog reader. Sure, we should wear the clothes we make, but we can do that without photographing ourselves every day and taking up good sewing time!

  13. Hatty

    I have to say, with the sole exception of “Advanced Style” blog, which is just whizz and novel and fantastic and I want to dress like those women while I am still young! But look how they get to be elegant and stylish and funky and dignified and gorgeous at the same time without the “Take me! Take me!” stances!

  14. I follow some style blogs but i don’t really read most of them. Mostly they give me ideas to sift through with already knowing what works and doesn’t work for me. I never would have considered layering tights otherwise. Bright colored tights with a open weave pattern on top during the coldest of days and a shorter skirt? AWESOME. (Coldest of days in Georgia being maybe below freezing, like 28F)

  15. I like style blogs, but I read a very small percentage of the posts that come through my RSS reader. While I read every word of my favorite sewing blogs, I typically just skim through style blogs and when I see something I love, I either star, or bookmark, or otherwise save it for later (actually, I am loving Pinterest right now for this reason). I like the potential for inspiration… It is helpful to have a collection of pretty things to flip through when deciding what to make next. I also enjoy seeing how others accessorize since this is something I often find challenging to do well.

  16. Cathy

    I’m just starting to check out a few style blogs as my coworkers sister writes one. I suggested a few of my favourite sewing blogs and checked out 3 of her favourite style blogs. I like Already Pretty, but I don’t read all of her posts, very rarely to I really look at the daily outfit or shoe posts. I do enjoy her posts on body image or styling suggestions. She has made me reenter the world of coloured tights this winter.

    I think with all blogs you start to feel like you know these people and that forms the attachment as much as what they post about. Kids are a touchy subject for me, I can’t read bloggers who go on and on about their babies or maternity wear. Not that I avoid mom blogs completely (clearly) but I’d rather read about people who sew for themselves like I do (or identical cousins…). It’s been inspiring and even when Idon’t have time to sew, I feel connected to my hobby and planning for when I will have time.

  17. “What’s worse is that I’ll end up dressing like a teenager from ten years ago. Fail.” <– This had me literally laughing out loud. I do the same thing (except longer than 10 years ago). I'm really trying to make an effort to not be in a 1992 timewarp.

    As for style blogs, I lose interest if the person's wardrobe is all high-end designer stuff but I love seeing someone make good use of thrifted or discount pieces, especially with a vintage flair. Work With What You've Got is a great blog and you might like her personal style. Blue Collar Catwalk is another of my current favorites.

  18. I keep thinking that style blogs are something I would like, but I just can’t get in to them. They mostly come down to, in essence, blogs about how good the blogger is at shopping. So not interesting to me. And although I never tire of seeing sewing bloggers in their creations, I have limited interest in seeing a style blogger’s every single daily outfit. It’s just too much of one person. I’d love to find a style blog that is about 75% fashion “reporting” (for lack of a better word) and 25% that person’s outfits.

  19. This is a great post! Personally I love (only a few) personal style blogs, but I don’t actually “read” them as I find a lot of them to be quite shallow in content, but I like looking at them just for eye candy and inspiration in the same way I love flicking through fashion magazines like Vogue for inspiration in my sewing. Like you, I am immediately working out how I can make the thing for myself, definitely not to buy RTW…
    btw, the above “shallow” accusation is a generalisation, Terri’s style blog Rags in the Machine is thought provoking and so interesting and so not shallow at all… but I’m talking about the same ones you are talking about, the overly-styled young things with a seemingly massive shopping budget.
    A personal turn-off to me is the sheer vanity of lots of photos of the exact same outfit in a post, apart from close-up shots to show off some particular little detail that might not be obvious in the overall shot. Sewing blogs can be just as guilty of this one, unfortunately… One photo is enough, right? And muslin shots are pure boredom. That’s just my personal opinion.
    I also like personal style blogs to scope out different ways of styling my own pieces and not just wear the same thing the same way over and over. I haven’t “shopped” (except for fabric and haberdashery, hehehe!) for well over a year now, but I still like to mix it up in my own wardrobe and look try to look as fashionable in my handmade clothes as I possibly can. I guess my own blog is a bit of both, because I love fashion, styling and photography just as much as I love sewing, and my blog is not just about the sewing process. And some home seamstresses are talented, but the final effect can sometimes be frumpy and unfashionable. Checking out those fashion magazines is something I would recommend to some… I’m not talking about you, obviously! My aim is to construct it myself, but to look current.
    And additionally, you know what? When I do look back over my own blog at my own “personal style” days and see that picture, it really makes that day stand out in my head and I recall that day so much better than the other days around it when I have no picture of myself. Comes with getting older?… possibly, but still those days when I do have that personal style shot are the clearest in my mind.
    I recommend StyleBubble for fab inspiration with intelligent fashion commentary… and Outsapop for DIY inspiration.
    Oh, and sorry about the essay, but lastly thanks so much for explaining how to do a link! You computer savvy whizz, you!

  20. The Mom

    I have never really looked at style blogs, until now, and I rarely buy fashion magazines, but I bought two this week. I am getting bored with my default winter attire of long-sleeved t-shirt under some type of sweater or little jacket and jeans. But this week it has been -30 Celcius, with a wind-chill that feels like -46 C. So there is not much choice, if one must go out and does not want to freeze. But, spring will come! The days are already noticeably longer.

  21. I don’t really follow any, mostly for the same reasons you’ve stated. Also because I’m a curvy girl and there aren’t that many plus style bloggers that I think do it well (Frocks and Frou Frou notwithstanding). Maybe I just haven’t found any I like though. I just don’t have time to peruse much either, I’d rather stay on top of what my sewing bloggers are doing! Now that’s up my alley!

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