By: Arathi Devandran from Love, Miffalicious.
As an avid reader, blogger, writer, and aspiring fashion aficionado, I spend more hours than I should reading fashion blogs from all over the world. In the past 3-4 years, it seems like there has been a significant rise in the number of fashion blogs sprouting up on the internet which focus on fashion trends, styling tips, daily outfit posts, random rants, what have you. It got to the point where I began to ask myself: what exactly does the label “Fashion Blogger” insinuate? Are there specific roles that fashion bloggers have to serve the greater community? Does someone assign these roles or are these roles assumed by fashion bloggers themselves? Why do people embark on this exciting (and sometimes tumultuous) journey of fashion blogging?
To find out what fashion bloggers think about these issues, I began talking to some bloggers and realized that there were several insights to these questions.
1. Why Be A Fashion Blogger?
Most fashion bloggers agree that fashion blogging is a personal outlet to express individual style. They have said that they started fashion blogging because they felt that they wanted a medium through which their individual styles could be showcased, and blogging was the easiest platform that they had access to. They also concurred that fashion blogging has helped them to further develop their own styles with the feedback that they receive from their readers and through the inspiration they gain from fellow fashion bloggers.
This might help to explain why there are fashion blogs that span over such a plethora of topics along with bloggers coming from different countries, backgrounds, age groups, etc. It’s very interesting to see that fashion serves as a common ground for people who might have little else in common with each other!
2. A Greater Purpose?
It’s all well and good that many of us have joined this community in the name of fashion, art and expression, but do fashion bloggers have something more to contribute to the fashion scene (be it online, or offline)?
Nope, it’s personal! – Some fashion bloggers don’t think so; instead, they feel a relationship with fashion is personal and contributing to the (bigger) fashion scene isn’t really part of a blog agenda. These are bloggers who don’t see a need to compete with anyone but themselves, are content with their loyal readers, and don’t see a need to monetize their blogs. For the personal blogger, fashion is all about the individual.
Yes, definitely! It’s our ‘civic’ responsibility! – Other bloggers believe that they do have a greater purpose and that their contributions do make a difference to the fashion world/fashion industry. It cannot be denied that fashion blogs are popular primarily because bloggers are a) not film stars or high profile celebrities, b) don’t always turn to high-end brands that most of us can’t really afford, c) are people that most readers can relate to. This means that there is a greater reach through fashion blogs to the common masses than through high-end magazines and other fashion print types. Although fashion bloggers might not be moving mountains by introducing new runway pieces every season, they influence readers by advising them about styling, the benefits of local thrift shopping, provide commentary, suggesting cheaper alternatives to high-end wear, or provide Do-It-Yourself (DIY) posts. In this way, fashion bloggers do have a greater purpose, and boy, should they be proud of it!
3. What About Quality Control?
The common consensus that bloggers came to is that fashion bloggers have to be responsible enough to ensure that their blog posts were readable (i.e. good grammar and clear pictures) regardless of the content. This was the basic QC that is required, which is completely understandable. After all, the least that we can do is to run a quick spell check, and read through once a post is written in order to make sure that they are coherent and engaging for readers to appreciate.
Some bloggers were more critical, and said that blogs should strive to reach a certain level of professionalism (i.e. lack of clutter, good quality pictures, well-researched posts). However, they did justify that these characteristics are particularly important for bloggers who are looking to monetize their blogs, and brand themselves. After all, if a blogger wants investors to select her/his blog to promote specific brands, the blogger should ensure to provide excellent service. Anyone in the service industry will attest to that philosophy.
And The Conclusion is….
There really is no definite answer to this question. Different fashion bloggers have various agendas, and many means to go about achieving their goals. What’s important is that a blogger should stick to a vision or goal and do it well. Fashion can be about the individual, or about the masses and contributions to it can be big or small. At the end of the day, it’s most important to pursue your passion and everything else will fall into place!
Do you have any differing views about the role of a fashion blogger? Do leave your comments and let us know what you think!
P.S A BIG THANK YOU to all the bloggers who responded to my questionnaire for this article! Much love!