August 29, 2011

IFB Project #11: The Evolution of Fashion Media

I was reluctant to dive into the new online fashion media world; there was something so intimidating about blogs. I started as a passive observer of the new fashion media, occasionally reading some stylish girl’s fashion and style musings.  I tenuously joined the fringes of the blog world when I dipped my toe into blogging on Yahoo Shine.  The response was amazing. I was a convert, I loved it and I wanted to write more. I started posting on Shine more than two years ago, it allowed me the forum to write and receive feedback without having to manage the entire blog.  This last February I decided I wanted to do more, so I started my own blog.  It has been a lot of work, but deeply satisfying.  My inspiration for my posts, come from a varienty of sources; projects I am working on, online articles, blogs and magazines.  While magazines have seen dips in readership I don’t think blogs will replace them entirely.  Most blogs offer different takes on fashion from one person’s perspective. Besides, there is something so satisfying about flipping through the glossy pages of the newest issue.  For IFB Project #11 I created a list of my top 10 resources for fashion inspiration.
Fashion Magazines:
Lucky Magazine - The magazine reads like a fashionable best friend, telling you what will be in, how to dress for your shape and where exactly to buy it.

Harper’s Bazaar - There is very little high fashion about my personal style, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to look at it. I personally prefer Bazaar’s take on straight from the runway’s style, interviews and fashion spreads.

Fashion Websites:
StylePage - Launched in 2011, StylePage is on online inspiration board, a place where you can gather images that are currently inspiring to you, be they trendy, timeless, edgy or retro. You can follow users in the community whose style you admire and they can follow you. Check out my style page or create your own StylePage today!

New York Magazine: Lookfinder - There many websites where you can view the latest designer collections, what sets NY Mag’s website apart is the ability to filter the online image gallery by designer, clothing type, season, color style or model.  It’s a great visual resource that is easy to navigate and the filters allow you to sift through the runways shows to easily find what you are looking for.

Glamour Magazine - The self-professed “Slaves to Fashion” in fashion editorial department keep a daily blog that is a friendly, funny and accessible take on their current fashion obsessions and musings.  There is also slideshows featuring current trends and a peak at each month’s fashion spread.

Fashion Blogs
Pretty Shiny Sparkly - Kristina the blogger behind P.S.S. is about all things in fashion and beauty that are Pretty Shiny Sparkly (Duh).  Outfit posts, nail DIY, makeup/beauty tips all feature on the site.  Kristina is also the creator of the Blogger’s Do It Better challenge.  A monthly outfit post that challenges participants to dress within the assigned theme and then share their looks on her site.
Who What Wear - Who What Wear has all the polish of a glossy fashion magazine. The editors Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power deliver the latest trends, celebrity styles, fashion DIY and designer interviews in daily beautifully formatted posts.  

Everything Fabulous - Everything Fabulous’ banner reads “A girl should be two things classy and fabulous”.  The quote from Coco Chanel sums up the sites aim in one sentence.  The content is not strictly limited to fashion, it covers décor, food and DIY to name a few.  The subjects may vary but the content is always...fabulous.

Bloglovin’ - While not a blog in and of itself this blog reader is indispensable to keeping up with my favorite blogs.  The simple layout and browsing feature allows me to flip through my bloglist like I am flipping through pages of my favorite glossy.

Fashion Blogging Community
Independent Fashion Bloggers - This would not be a top ten roundup with out including a website I visit daily for inspiration and advice, Independent Fashion Bloggers.  The site is an online community dedicated to informing, inspiring and connecting with other bloggers.  There have been many helpful bloggers who have reached out to me, who I have met through IFB.  The weekly projects such as this one give my fashion and writing a much need jolt and the Links A La Mode is a great to way to discover your new favorite blog.  



August 26, 2011

Conference Bound: Look 2

Last Week I announced that I would be attending this year's Independent Fashion Bloggers conference in New York on September 7th. The date is fast approaching (13 days and counting) and while I am consumed with the business and technical aspects of making my blog better, I am also in a panic as to what wear. So today I am presenting a second Polyvore set of another possible outfit(Check out last week's look here). I was inspired by the archetype of the tough lady reporter in heels (of course). Think Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday" or Lois Lane from DC Comics "Superman". Tough as nails, on a mission, but always looking sharp.
Well what do you think does this look top last week's or leave you feeling eh? What would you suggest I wear? Describe in the comment box and I just might make a Polyvore set based on your suggestion.

August 25, 2011

Behind the Blog: More Posts Vs. Quality of Posts

I set a goal for myself at the end of July that I wanted to be more consistent with the days that I posted.  Not only that I wanted to increase the amount of posts I was doing each week, from about three to five.  Five posts a week, I thought to myself am I mad? Can I do it?  I knew it could be done, other writers whose blogs I read have done it. Gretchin Rubin author of  the book "The Happiness Project" and the like titled website, built quite a following on her blog and promoted her year long project by posting everyday.  So it is possible for some, my question to myself though was would my content suffer from posting so many times a week, would my loyal followers (my family and friends) be annoyed by seeing a blog alert from me everyday?  I am dedicating this post to  examine these questions and to reflect back on my success, stress and mess from this self (inflicted) challenge.

I have learned a lot about myself since starting my blog.  I have learned that I not only like to write, I love it.  The more I write the more proficient I feel, the words are more fluid, the sentences more well crafted, my editing more accurate (well I still miss a lot).  I enjoy communicating with the readers (you guys and gals). I like receiving feedback, that check-in of "hey how am I doing" is so important to me.  I also have learned to set realistic goals and see them through to completion.

By challenging myself to write a post five days a week I have learned a few key things that helped me see my goal through.

1)  Staying organized is essential to completing a goal.  I created an editorial schedule that I planned out the week's postings on.  The schedule also served as a place to jot down ideas for future posts.

2) Be flexible and forgiving when you have to make adjustments.  There were times I would need to make changes, switch a post to a different day or plan a different post last minute because my first idea wasn't working.

3) Set specific times aside to work.  I found that when I planned a specific day and time to work on my blog it would help to get me into the frame of mind that I needed to write.  Previously I would sit down when I had a moment or if I felt like it.  While bursts of creativity are sporadic, planning time to write helped me be more productive, because it forced me to write something.  Even if I had to go back and edit later, I was still getting something down on the page. 

4) Have tunnel vision when researching online. The internet is a wonderful resource for inspiration, but it can also be a major distraction and time sapper.  When ever I went online I made sure I knew exactly what I was researching, again that goes back to the schedule, otherwise I could easily get distracted and end up wasting time.

5)  Be more aware.  Look for inspiration everywhere, not just online, but all around.  Maybe it will come from an article online or perhaps you see a woman at a store with a terrific pair of shoes.  Be more attuned to your environment and you will see that there is a wealth of inspiration all around.  Listen to suggestions from friends, family, other bloggers and readers (If you have something you want to see a post on shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment). Oh and make sure you have a pen on you to jot it down, don't want to forget those inspiring ideas.

Do you enjoy blogs where the writer posts more frequently or does the frequency come secondary to the content?  Do you think that the quality of my posts this month have been consistent even while posting more frequently?

August 24, 2011

Design of the Times: Vintage Fashion Illustration From the FIT Archives

Welcome to this edition of Design of the times, where I delve into my archives (bookshelf) and do extensive research ( a couple hours online with a good snack to fuel me) to bring you a look at a decade in fashion history.  Recently I stumbled across a treasure trove of vintage fashion illustrations that were too good not to share.  With out further ado (blah, blah, blah from me) I bring you a dash of illustrations from the Fashion Institute of Technology Department of Special Collections and Archives.  There are even more  illustrations available on FIT's Flickr photostream.

Amies Day Dress

Mark Mooring Day Dress

Leslie Morris Dress

Fabiani Evening Dress

Dior Coat

La Roche Suit

Gorgeous, no?  I am in love with the  spectacular detail of the illustrations, from the clothing to the faces.  They are head to toe beautiful and meticulously done.  If you are a lover of vintage fashion or fashion illustration, you must check out all the amazing sets FIT's Departments of Special Collections  and Archive has on Flickr.  If you are a member of Flickr, sign up for photostream updates from this group to see when new pictures are added to the online collection.  Enjoy!

August 23, 2011

Outfit Chronicles: Retro Royal Blue

With fall fast approaching and the new clothing lines hitting the shelves, my current summer clothes have left me feeling...meh.  I shrug at the light layers, scoff at the soft pastels,  roll my eyes at the light cotton crispness that hangs in my closet.  I want something with more weight and substance, but there is no way I am donning sweaters just yet.  How do I go about working in transitional fall pieces (that still work for summer), into my wardrobe?  Well the first step, for me at least, is with color. Summer's lighter hues will be replaced by vibrant brights for fall; burnt orange, fire red and royal blue.  The key to working those colors in, is to choose lighter weight pieces (short sleeves, sheer tops) that can be layered with sweaters and jackets as the cooler weather arrives.  Here is my transitional outfit take using a royal blue top by Eight Sixty, a recent purchase from Lord & Taylor (love them).  I can wear it alone or when fall begins to set in, layer it with a cardigan or a blazer.

Catalog pose!  I am available for catalog shoots J. Crew, Anthropologie..., just sayin'.
Mr. Owl is awesome and wise, I am hoping his wisdom will rub off on me.  
I am not sure what to call this pose.  Maybe, holding on to my tote with two hands, just in case some squirrels want to swipe it.
Catalog pose take two.  Just incase you weren't convinced the first time...J.C. Penney, anybody, anybody.
Crystal, leather and Claddagh oh my!
Yes, I love me some free tote bag.
Leopard print shoes with black toenails! So badass, no?
Hey look over there! Not there, there! Um... I'm not really sure what I am pointing at this point.

The Stuff:
Top: Eighty Six, Lord and Taylor
Pants: New Cafe Capri, J. Crew
Shoes: Franco Sarto, Nordstrom
Jewelry: Mostly gifts, Owl-thrift store, leather bracelet- J. Crew
Tote:  Lucky Magazine (free tote with subscription)!

August 22, 2011

Color of the Moment: A Blue Mood

Color, color, color, it's going to be everywhere this fall. All you neutral neds and nancys better get used to it. Buh-bye beige, see you soft pastels and hellooo blue. Rich, radiant, opulent, royal blue to be exact. A color that in the past I had associated with a pie shape on the color wheel or crayon in a crayon box is now suprisingly sophisticated (at least to me). In my humble opinion(very humble), out of all the colors in the bright color brigade royal blue is certainly the easiest to wear. So will you don a blue hue this fall?

Nom, nom, nom. The comment box is hungry, feed it by typing something. The comment box is not picky, nouns, verbs, adjectives it's all good.

August 20, 2011

Links A la Mode: Week of August 18th

I have been feeling a little down this week. Perhaps it's the weather (tons and tons of rain) or perhaps it's the pressure I have been putting on myself to turn out five interesting and well edited posts a week.  Regardless I was in need of a little pick me up, a pat on the back, a gold star sticker.  Something affirming, something... like being included in this weeks' Links A la Mode on the Independent Fashion Blogger website this week!  I really appreciate the blog love that IFB has sent my way so I am sharing the weekly round up with all of you.  Let's pay it forward, visit some of the blogs on the list, leave a comment and show the independent bloggers some love.  I write about fashion and style because it's what I am passionate about, I would say all (or almost all) bloggers are writing for this reason too.  Sometimes though it's nice to know that someone else appreciates something that you wrote.  Thanks for reading.

The seasons are changing and as fashion and or style bloggers, you know what that means? Time to switch stuff up! Whether it be your content or your wardrobe, I always look at the seasons as a time for change-- a time to gather inspiration from the streets or from your heart and just run with it. This week's roundup talks about issues such as "The issue fashion blogs may be facing" to "Finding the perfect fall color palette."  All important topics, right?  Needless to say they're interesting reads and certainly make the mind wander. Enjoy!

The IFB Weekly Roundup: LINKS À LA MODE: AUG 18TH

Fashion's Night Out at ShopbopAntipodium, Holy Tee, Obakki, DKNY Intimates, Daftbird, C&C California, Pamela Love, Thakoon dresses, & Rachel Zoe collection.

If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine

August 19, 2011

Big News On The Blog Front

Even though my blog is still in its infancy I know I want to continue writing and see the blog expand and grow into the next year.  How can I learn more, how can I connect with other bloggers, with my audience, how do I monetize?  So many questions that I hope to have answered on September 7 at the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference in NYC.  I will be there, excited and nervous, with my pen in hand jotting notes like crazy, flinging business cards left and right and trying to look pro (perhaps I should dispense with the card flinging then). There will be panel led discussions with top bloggers, covering things like the business of blogging, building your social media presence and more.  A "major industry pro" is the promised key note speaker, I will dish the details as I learn more.

With the promise of all I can learn in the forefront of my mind, the thoughts (well thought) occupying the back of my mind is...what am I going to wear.  This question has provoked serious anxiety, while I have a few weeks (20 days to be exact) I want to make sure my outfit is just right. I will be surrounded by fashionable, creative ladies and gents, it is seriously intimidating. To alleviate some of the anxiety I have begun strategizing my outfit.  See Look 1:Smarty Pants, below.

Looking Conference Like

Let me know your thoughts on the look. Do you like, do you not like (please explain, the more specific the better). I am open to any suggestions, heck if I like your suggestion I might make a polyvore set based on your comment for next week's look.