Personal Style, Real Life, and The Blog

Many positive changes have occurred since I started blogging about my personal style a little over a year ago. I have made new friends and connected with a community of people who are passionate about fashion. My husband and I are having a blast scouring the city for cool locations to shoot photos. I lost the baby weight that I carried around for 10 years and beautiful new clothes fill my closet. I dress much more stylishly now than I have in a long time and I’m really getting in touch with my personal style. 

Fashion Blogging vs. Personal Style

Blogging inspires me. It excites me. This blog has improved my design abilities in real life and has made me a better dresser too. I no longer just look an image and think “Oh, how pretty”. Instead, I pick it apart. What did the photographer do here? How does the model’s pose set off the garments? How is the background affecting the overall look of the image? How do the accessories improve and refine the look? Then I try to take those observations and work them into my life, outfits, and designs.

I learned quickly when I started this blog that the outfits I wear every day just weren’t exciting enough to create an interesting photograph. This creates a problem for me. I like personal style blogs that are a reflection of the real life of the blogger. When the blogger’s personal style is eccentric it makes for a great blog, but I’ve always loved simplicity. I want to the outfits I feature here to reflect my real style, but sometimes I wonder just how much the needs of photography influence my clothing choices.

Take shoes for example. I do love shoes, but I’m usually rather practical about them. Most of the time I wear flats. If I’m doing something fun I like to wear a bit of a heel, and for fancy parties I go all out and wear high heels, but I’m not the sort of girl who normally tromps around in 5″ platforms. I have definitely bought shoes just for the blog and rarely wear them unless we’re taking photos. The ones in this post are a good example. Yes, they’re a lot of fun and they weren’t expensive. I do like them, but I don’t think I would wear them if there wasn’t a photo opportunity involved.  Still, there’s no denying that super-high heels look great in photos.

What AM I Wearing???!!

So that gets me back to this outfit. Yes, I really did wear this for an evening out with my husband. I had spent the day drawing for a client and felt completely drained, but the thought of going out for dinner and taking some photos perked me up a bit. I didn’t know what to wear but the “boyfriend” jean trend was on my mind. At the time I didn’t have a pair of the correct jeans: those slightly baggy, distressed, cropped trousers that are so hot right now. Not wanting to give up I folded up the cuffs my old J-Brand strait leg jeans and threw on a white cotton blouse. Then I doubled the denim with an old jacket, stepped into the mile-high orange heels and pulled out one side of my shirt for that fun “half-tucked” that’s all the rage on the fashion blogs. I was ready to rock. Unfortunately I looked completely silly.

The photos tell the truth. Real life, personal style and the blog all collided into a big trendy mess. But I had fun doing it!

Photos by Hugo Fonseca


  • Denim Jacket by Anne Klein
  • J Brand Jeans
  • White cotton shirt by Club Monaco
  • White belt from Target
  • Shoes by Charles Jourdan

Do you ever make fashion faux pas? If you have a personal style blog yourself, do you ever dress up for photos?

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40 Responses to Personal Style, Real Life, and The Blog

  1. Sarah
    August 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    You know, I don’t hate it. I think I would’ve made the jean turn-up longer (like the MiH jeans) and pushed my jacket sleeves up more. But I make fashion faux pas AAALL the time; usually when I’m trying to emulate a trend, but end up missing it entirely. I think you’ve got to do it sometimes, so you know you’ve done well!
    Sarah recently posted..NUMBER THIRTY-SIXMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      I’ve been hitting the mark a bit better the last couple weeks. I just thought the way the outfit came out was so funny. I felt like such a wanna be.

  2. Pam
    August 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    I really like real life blogs the best…this is an outfit that I would wear if I had the jacket! It is perfect cute casual style. Blogging has really changed my dress and closet. But I try to always show that I am wearing in real life what I put together for the blog…it just would be too fake and contrived if I didn’t. have a great weekend!
    Pam recently posted..Just For the Fun of It….One More Video!!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      Hi Pam. I love the fact that your blog is very much your real life clothes. Mine are too in a way as I almost always photograph outfits I’m wearing for an outing or something I wore a lot that week, recreated for the photo. But the accessories and shoes are often a bit more fashioncentric than what I would wear if I was just running errands. It’s just hard for me to tell where the dressing for the photo starts and the dressing to go out begins. It’s a mush.

  3. Donna
    August 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    I can relate, Heather! I have always been into fashion, but for the past few years I haven’t had to go to an office to work, so I don’t dress up as much as I used to. (I remember one of my colleagues at my last office job saying “you don’t ever wear the same thing twice.” not true, but probably close.) When I go out now it’s usually to the gym, which obviously doesn’t require fashion-forward clothes, and the same for the grocery store.
    So does that mean that only people who go out socially every few days, or who go to work in an office can write good fashion blogs? Because if you only post once every few weeks, people generally won’t read your blog.
    My answer to the question is that I like to look at what people wear, especially if I like what they’re wearing. I don’t care where they’re going, or if they’re just dressing up at home. I also enjoy interesting photos, regardless of where they’re taken. I’ve always been an artist, and both fashion and photography are forms of art. The models in magazines are posing in a studio, and personal style bloggers are posing in various other places. Some of them aren’t even wearing clothes that they choose – they’re wearing a free thing that someone sent them to publicize their brand. I would rather see a blogger wearing an outfit that they put together themselves, that they WOULD wear out, but I don’t care if they are out at the moment the photo is taken. And yes, I have bought things thinking “this will be great for the blog”. I don’t think that matters, either, as long as you create a beautiful outfit. So what if you don’t have somewhere to wear it at the moment?
    P.S. Your husband takes great photos, and my back kills me if I wear heels for too long.
    Donna recently posted..Make your eyes pop with bright green linerMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Thank you Donna! I do consider this blog something of an art project, and the outfits have to look interesting for the photos to be interesting. I’m just aware that it’s sometimes a bit fake. Does it matter? I’m not sure.

  4. Donna
    August 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Btw, thanks for writing such an honest and great post! I’ll be passing it along because it’s refreshing.
    Donna recently posted..Make your eyes pop with bright green linerMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Thank you Donna! I love it when my friends share my posts.

  5. Jamillah August 25, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    I am so so pro posting pictures on the blog that reflect my real life. The outfits that appear on the blog are the items I wear for real, especially since I want to promote a more ethical way to shop I want to show readers that it’s totally possible to do these things in real life! So what you see is really what you’d see me in life, which is why I’m so often in flats and you’ll never see me in 5″ heels unless I’m attending like a wedding, which not really even then b/c I like to dance :).

    I mean I love aspirational fashion too, but I want blogs to show me practical living outfits that you can go to work in and then dinner. So maybe you can do a real life outfit once a week, keep showing your real life, friend!
    Jamillah recently posted..Consciously Trending-Neon DressMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      Hi Jamillah! All my blog outfits are kind of real life in that I usually wear them out anyway and then we photograph them during the time we’re out. But sometimes the destination is a photo shoot! For everyday I wear some variation of pants and t-shirt because I work from home. It’s not interesting enough to photograph, believe me!

  6. Shanti August 25, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    another wonderful post and outfit! I can relate on trying to strike a balance between real life and blog photos. sometimes I just want to live out my dream life a little in photos. have a beautiful weekend!

    • Heather Fonseca August 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Thank you Shanti! I like the idea of living out a dream in a photograph, and your photos are dreamy.

  7. Alexis Grace August 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    It is really interesting how fashion blogging further influences our tastes—- it does for me too!
    Funny enough, I like shoes pre-blogging, now I love them and am much more adventurous even in my every day picks (my older sister thinks its hysterical that I am still wearing serious heels- sometimes- despite being more than 5 months pregnant!).
    Alexis Grace recently posted..Heavyweight: The Vogue 2012 September IssueMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      It’s true, blogging has made me more aware of my fashion choices even though I was aware of them before the blog. I am pushing myself harder, I just sometimes make a mistake, like I did in this post!

      • Donna
        August 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

        Yes, I suppose that is one of the good things about writing a style blog when you work from home. If it weren’t for the need for blog content, I might slide into the easy path of wearing pj’s or gym clothes every day. It’s especially hard in the northern states once winter comes. Practicality often outweighs style if no one is paying attention to you.
        Personally I don’t think this outfit looked bad. If you hadn’t said anything I wouldn’t have thought “oh this looks bad”..
        Donna recently posted..Mixing the old with newMy Profile

        • Heather Fonseca August 27, 2012 at 11:02 am #

          Thats always the risk we take when we’re honest. There are times when I don’t totally love an outfit but I don’t say so because it would be a little immature I think. This time I really couldn’t just post the photos and say “hey I look great!” because the outfit is sort of laughable. The super trendy shoes with the too rolled up jeans and the half-tuck PLUS double denim? It’s hilarious really. But I’m laughing at myself without meanness. Maybe it’s not possible to get it right every time, but I think it’s OK and anyway like you say we have to make an effort. I’d rather have a bit of fun and make mistakes than wear my old jeans and t-shirts every day.

  8. Sylvia
    August 26, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Great to read that blogging has been such a positive experience for you. And of course I make fashion faux pas. I don’t think you’re much into ‘fashion’ if you don’t. It’s about taking risks (more on that on Tuesday). I’m definitely more conscious of what i’m wearing now that I have the blog. Like you I wear more heels and generally I just make a bit more of an effort, which in itself has a positive influence on how I feel. And that is exactly the message of my blog as well!
    Sylvia recently posted..Inspiring this weekMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 27, 2012 at 10:56 am #

      Overall this blog has been a great experience, and I am dressing more carefully than I was before I started the blog. I still trip up on the shoes though. I’m trying to find wearable shoes that still look great in photos and real life. It’s a challenge!

  9. Mel August 26, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    You know.. wooden heels, one of my absolute favourites. And the way the cross in front always make feet look fabulous and feminine – great pick!
    Mel recently posted..How to wear | Khaki trousers – Karolina KurkovaMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 27, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      You’re so sweet to say that Mel. They are very sexy shoes.

  10. SACRAMENTO August 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    I couldn´t agree more with you heather, I feel much the same way about my blog and the wonderful comunity of friends are a treasure.
    Brilliant post, my friend.
    SACRAMENTO recently posted..Back From The Wild Part 1- Glen Affric- ScotlandMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 27, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      Thank you Sacramento! So glad to have you back. I hope your vacation was wonderful. From the photos you’ve been posting it looks like it was beautiful.

  11. Stacey - Total City Girl
    August 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    That’s so funny because I’ve seen people with shirts half tucked in and thought they just looked sloppy. Had no idea that was an actual trend!!
    Stacey – Total City Girl recently posted..6 WeeksMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 27, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      I think it’s mostly a fashion blog trend. I’ve heard it started with the JCrew catalog and moved outward from there. There are all sorts of funny half tucks going on, but I kind of like them because they hide the muffin top while still showing a bit of waistband. I think my try of the half tuck is a total fail though. Clearly if there’s a way to do it “right” it didn’t happen here.

    August 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    I think you already know how I feel about ‘real’-ness in blogs, but just to reiterate, I totally appreciate it. I love when bloggers just be themselves and show their true colors. Who knew that your photoshoot would inspire such a throught-provoking post? 🙂
    THE-LOUDMOUTH recently posted..Loves :: Sick WishesMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 27, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      I couldn’t just post these photos and say “don’t I look great!” when I clearly don’t, but I wanted to use them on the blog because I think it’s interesting when bloggers are honest. Sometimes I really do love how an outfit turned out, sometimes I wonder what I was thinking.

    August 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    It’s interesting, when I view your style photos on your blog, I generally feel like they have a high-fashion glossy look, even in the simplest of outfits, because the shots are always so artful.

    For my shots it’s usually what I actually wear or have worn. If I wore a crazy hat that day, I more than likely wore it out! 🙂

    I prefer “real,” it’s always best. For me, I wear everything on the blog .. perhaps when I gain more time I will be able to do more styled shoots, they can be quite fun at times. I believe I’ve learnt to remix more of my items, since I started blogging though.

    Good to hear that you’ve had fun experience with blogging, it truly shows!
    FASHION TALES recently posted..Feelings of FallMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 27, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      I’m so glad you feel the shots are artful. That’s certainly the look we’re going for. Most of the time what I wear on the blog I’ve worn out that day or earlier in the week, but blogging has really influenced my personal style. For better or for worse, sometimes I’m not sure.

  14. citizen rosebud
    August 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    I loved the shoes in the pic- photogenic you are so right! I’m feeling frustrated because I walk so much on hilly terrain, I have to wear not only flats but those ugly comfy kind. And they are terribly unphotogenic. I love the honesty and the confession of real life style and your blog life style. PS: you look lovely!
    citizen rosebud recently posted..Picture Perfect: The Still PointMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 30, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Thank you Bella! Whenever I go to San Francisco I have to take all my fugly comfy walking flats. It definitely makes looking chic a challenge. I prefer wearing a bit of a heel to go out, though flats are always fine for everyday and errands and such. Still, the whole shoe thing is interesting. I’m always amazed when I meet women who can wear 5″ platform stilettos on a daily basis.

  15. Anna
    August 29, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Truth is that when I started the blog I didn’t plan on becoming an personal style blogger. More about sharing my travels and writing about fashion. When I started discovering other fashion blogs (and that was really late) I realized that an outfit post can go a long way! Thing is I didn’t have the time to search for photoshoot locations and find someone to take pictures of me…so I got a tripod, but our terrace wasn’t the best place for a shoot, so at some point last year I gave up on outfit posts and rarely do them!
    For me it would be ideal to have my photo taken when I go to work, because I do wear some “interesting” stuff sometimes, but when I go home I’m too bored to freshen up my make up and take photos (lazy me)!
    Now as for your photos, as Madison said above I find them really arty and really enjoying seeing them! As for your look, I’d only omit the half-tucked shirt (I think it works with sturdy and crisp fabrics) and tuck it all in! It’s a basic outfit, but the shoes elevate it a lot!

    • Heather Fonseca August 30, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      I don’t think every fashion blog needs to be a personal style blog, just the opposite actually. I enjoy your blog and like it when you do post a picture here and there. As for my outfit, I still think I look silly but everyone seems to like the shoes. Without them the outfit would probably just look boring.

  16. Kiki August 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Let’s see…I don’t dress up specifically for the photos, but I certainly have plenty of fashion faux pas. I usually don’t realise that it was a mistake until much later though…like, when I look back at the photos a year later or so.
    BTW, I love those shoes. They’re right up my street.
    Kiki recently posted..Jersey DressMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 30, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      Hi Kiki and thanks for stopping by my blog! I do kind of shudder when I look at some of last year’s fashion statements as well, but live and learn right?

  17. Patricia
    August 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    I agree. Outfit shots that are used in blogs can come with pressure. You want the outfit to be worth looking at it. It can make you questiom how genuine the look is. Is it your personal style or are you wearing it to keep your viewers satisfied. Either way, I like your style and clothing. I like that you mention where you found them. Some people are to proud to say the found something thrifting. Clothing doesn’t need a high price tag to be valuable and lovely.

    I agree with your shoe comment. I have cute shoes to choose from but my job keeps my on my feet all day. I’d rather wear flats. If I’m going out, then I’ll put my feet through hell. Lol.
    Patricia recently posted..Let’s Take it Back to the 20s!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca August 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      Going out is always reason to wear something fab on one’s feet I think. Thank so much for your nice compliments as usual Patricia.

  18. Wynne Prasetyo August 31, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    i completely agree with you that blogging helps us improve in dressing up! hmm i don’t normally dress for photos. i dress my best for the sake of my own confidence, because i believe when one is confident, one glows. 🙂 and everything else (good photos, good vibe) shall follow.

    • Heather Fonseca August 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

      Hi Wynne and thanks for stopping by! I tend to wear a lot of the same clothes every day, and that coupled with my fondness for flats does not make for exciting blogging! Right now I’m trying to think of what I’m going to wear this weekend because we’ll probably be taking shots for the blog, and I don’t want to wear what I wore last weekend. It’s complicated I think.


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