Archive | Link Love

My favorite blog posts of the week, sometimes IFB’s Links a la Mode, sometimes my own.

How to Pack for Vacation

Fashion Illustration: How to Pack for VacationAt a young age my mother taught me how to pack for a vacation. Her technique took at least two weeks, over which time she would put out all her luggage on an unused table. Slowly the suitcases would fill up with the perfect wardrobe, toiletries and other sundries. I don’t need to tell you she never forgot a toothbrush or a hairbrush, or anything else for that matter. My mother was organized and disciplined when it came to packing. She still is. Unfortunately I don’t have the spare table where I can set aside all my vacation items. I must rely on carefully prepared lists, but even these have failed me, like the time I left behind my son’s security blanket. I don’t think he or I slept at all that vacation. Continue Reading →

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A Few Tiny Closet Organization Ideas

Closet organization - The Style ConfessionsClosets, they’re never big enough are they? I dream about having a large walk-in room like the ones on my closet inspiration Pinboard, but instead of getting larger my wardrobes keep getting smaller. I’ve had a lot of experience with tiny closets, but my newest is so small that even I was stumped at first. I did get it really well organized though. Here are a few tiny closet organization ideas.

My Tiny Closets

I spent years complaining about the 4 foot by 7 foot closet in my 1920’s bungalow, but since we’ve moved to our temporary home my new wardrbe is barely three feet deep and two feet wide. That’s a tiny closet! It makes the previous one seem like ample space for any woman’s collection of clothing. My new situation is really one step up from living out of a suitcase. It should be horrible, but oddly enough it’s actually easier to get dressed in the morning. All I brought to our temporary home are the spring and summer clothes I love the most. I was careful to pack my most versatile items and I also picked a color scheme of blues and greens. The end result is the wardrobe I’ve always wanted: the one where almost everything goes together and getting dressed is a breeze.

Still, I needed help setting up the closet which was just an empty space when we arrived. I needed to arrange purses, shoes, underthings and of course clothes in a way that made sense. I wanted a few tiny closet organization ideas, so I searched Google and my favorite blogs for inspiration and came up with these ten helpful links. Continue Reading →

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What’s Wrong with Fashion Blogs?

Photo courtesy of The Styleograph

I write a fashion blog. What’s more, I read lots of blogs about fashion, personal style, street style and beauty. I like discovering the formerly unheard voices of women who wear the clothes the apparel companies manufacture and the magazines glamorize. I like the critique, the stories, and the often complete superficiality of what someone wears on any given day. I like the style advice even if I don’t agree with it. And street style photography? I love it! How else will I ever know what the cool kids are wearing in Milan, New York and Paris? Beauty blogs are their own niche but I love them too and read several. I was not an early adopter of all the internet had to offer, but now that I’m into it I am really, really, into it.

The internet has empowered me. I am no longer tied to what the fashion magazines want to show me. I can go out and find it myself without ever leaving my home, and I thank the fashion bloggers for that. But there are plenty of people who don’t agree with me. There is as much criticism out there as there is love for this medium that I have embraced. Every so often it seems like it’s hip to dish fashion blogs, and although I’ve found articles criticizing fashion blogs going back as far as 2010, recently there’s been another wave. Now, I can’t disagree with all of it but much of the criticism seems to stem from people disliking the way fashion blogs have evolved. Here is a smattering of the complaints and rebuttals I’ve found on the internet.

What’s Wrong with Fashion Blogs?

Thoughts from fashion writers and fellow bloggers.

  1. Susy Menkes’ now blogosphere-famous article, The Circus of Fashion, is a nostalgic rant on how much better and cooler everything was back in the day, before all these silly bloggers in their equally silly outfits hit the scene.
  2. Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller apologizes for being silly and making some money while doing it in Blog is a dirty word.
  3. In Criticism/Uncensored: Why Fashion Bloggers Are Not Journalists, and How They Killed Their Credibility Batty mamzelle points out that fashion bloggers are critics, not journalists, and she doesn’t read any of that stuff anymore anyway.
  4. A L’Allure Garcinniere sees fashion blogs repeat “…the same derivative formula, over and over again.” in Fashion Blogging Culture: Demanding Substance Over Style
  5. Beta Beat asks “What happens when the marketers come knocking?” and responds with the well researched Fatshion Police: How Plus-Size Blogging Left Its Radical Roots Behind. It seems fashion bloggers have sold out.
  6. Oh, but it gets better! Not only have some bloggers sold out, some are paying good money to look like they’re selling out. Check out the lying and cheating revealed by Beautifully Invisible in The Dark Side of Blogging. It isn’t all Glitter and Gold.
  7. Although Running in Heels is still a “…firm believer in the fashion blog” she is concerned about the numbers of bloggers who “…have fallen prey to the ‘sponsored post’…” Read more in Have style bloggers sold out to the lure of big fashion brands?
  8. Style Sizzle talks about sponsors and why fashion bloggers need them in the unapologetic A Word about Sponsors.
  9. Wardrobe Oxygen chimes in on the pitfalls of sponsorship in It Happened to Me: I Sold My Soul for a Haircut.
  10.  Final Fashion wakes from the style blog dream and wonders if regular people can make it with a fashion blog these days.

Selling out or sustainability?

One thing almost everyone criticizes is that bloggers have “sold out” to companies by taking money for advertorial posts and wearing free, a.k.a.gifted, clothing but when I hear that someone has managed to make their blog into a sustainable business I am happy for them. When photographers single out a pretty young woman in an over-the-top outfit it brings a smile to my face. When I hear about bloggers being invited to sit in the front row at fashion shows and asked to fabulous parties and events I think it’s great. Good for them!

Disclosure: Lets be clear here

Obviously, some bloggers are better at disclosing when they’ve received money, vacations and beautiful clothes from a brand. I try to be as transparent as possible. Not only is it unethical not to disclose when I’ve been paid for a post, it’s also illegal. Deciding which sponsored posts to allow on my blog is often difficult. These are the posts that pay, but often the sponsors want the post to appear as if I came up with it on my own. The language I use to explain that a post has been paid for by a company is becoming more obtuse as my clients request vague disclosures. “Brought to you by…” is popular this month.

Free stuff

Personally, I really love receiving apparel to wear and review for the blog. Most of the companies that contact me are small businesses, independent designers or internet start-ups . I get a new something to wear, the brand gets some exposure. It’s a win-win situation. So far I haven’t accepted anything I dislike. Why would I? Often the piece I receive isn’t something I would go out and purchase myself, but this allows me to check out a style I might not normally try.

Creativity vs. making a living

I would love for The Style Confessions to be purely a creative outlet, but the reality of our current economy is bleak. This blog is a work of love, dedication and time. I would like to see it grow into something that can help sustain me and my family while at the same time continue as a creative space and a relevant source of inspiration and entertainment for my readers. I create this blog from personal passion, but the ad at the bottom of this post is there so I can pay to keep going.

Do you think it’s possible for a blogger to make money and create something worthwhile?

(Many thanks to The Styleograph for allowing me to use his photo on my blog!)

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Minimalism in Fashion

Minimalism in FashionSometimes I wish my closet was stripped bare, with only a few, perfect, simple clothes in black, white, and maybe tan staring back at me. Okay, okay! Maybe some red too. They say to be careful what you wish for, and my minimalist day dream might be coming true very soon. This month my family and I will be moving out of our home to get it ready to sell. In the meantime we’ll be living at my Mother-in-Law’s small backyard studio. It was the previous owners art studio, and it has a little kitchen and a bathroom. I’m going to have to pack away a lot of clothes and only bring with me the pieces I wear the most. What? I’ll be bored out of my mind in a month? Probably. But planning is key, and I have lots of inspiration to keep me going.

Minimalism in Fashion

My Favorite looks and articles on the subject

  1. A big white coat with oversized black buttons worn over black shorts looks fresh and fun.
  2. High-waisted jeans, men’s shirts and expensive, pointy-toe shoes are all this wealthy, chic, Angeleno wears. I wish my style was so simple.
  3. A fabulous, unadorned, t-shirt with an unusual cut is a good addition to the chic minimal wardrobe.
  4. What list of great minimal looks would be complete without mentioning the home of minimal cool? Odyssey Home shows us how to be minimal without ever being boring.
  5. This outfit of white jeans, black blazer, and red boots makes me want to get my white jeans down from the summer storage area ASAP!
  6.  Have you seen The Divintus? If you like minimalism in fashion, especially the cool, punky, kind, check out her blog.
  7. white top, black skirt, and fabulous shoes are all a girl really needs.
  8. There’s minimalism, and then there’s minimalism. Here’s an interesting article on what the word means in terms of fashion and personal style. 
  9. To make a minimal outfit more interesting choose a collection of interesting shapes and unexpected accessories, like this girl wearing a black crop top, knee length white skirt, and black gloves.
  10. Need more inspiration? Check out this wish list of black and white outfits.

If you like my fashion illustration above you can see more on my design and illustration website and blog.

What does minimalism in fashion mean to you? Are you a fashion minimalist?

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Ten Ways to Wear Boyfriend Jeans

Boyfriend jeansBoyfriend jeans are one of my favorite denim fashion trends. This summer I purchased a pair of 7 For All Mankind Josefina Skinny Boyfriend Jeans on sale. The big, slouchy, comfortable-looking rolled jeans intrigued me, but I had no idea if I’d ever wear them. Well, I did, and I do, CONSTANTLY. In fact I like my boyfriend jeans so much a new pair is on my “to buy” list, maybe in a darker wash. The best thing about these jeans are their versatility. Boyfriend jeans are naturally casual, but they can be dressed up too. In these photos I’m wearing my slouchy jeans with my favorite Gap black t-shirt and a pair of Sketchers flats. If you were to stop by my house on an average weekday this is how I would probably look. It’s my everyday uniform. Even though I wear the jeans in a casual way during the day, I love dressing them up with pumps and a pretty blouse like I did in this post. Honestly, my take on the boyfriend jeans trend is pretty basic, but there are lots and lots of way to wear them. I’ve found ten of my favorite looks from around the web and listed them below for your viewing pleasure. See anything you like? Continue Reading →

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