green knitted dress and biker jacket

The Fashion Blogger Effect: how blogging changes your style

green leather biker jacket with faux fur collar

green leather biker jacket with faux fur collar

green leather biker jacket with faux fur collar

Last week Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb published a really interesting post about whether or not blogging about her personal style has changed it in any way (whether for better or for worse), and it really got me thinking about the effect my blog has had on my own style. 

Now, my first instinct was to say that blogging about what I wear hasn’t had any effect at all on my style, really. I still like the same kinds of things I liked when I started blogging about my outfits, after all, and I still WEAR the same things, too. Er, sometimes EXACTLY the same things, actually. I mean, here’s one of my earliest outfit posts, wearing a white Zara dress on a 2010 holiday to Tenerife:

white ZARA dress with silver sandals

And here I am wearing the same dress just a few months ago in Las Vegas:

in front of The Bellagio, Las Vegas

Same hairstyle too, although the Vegas heat was doing its very best to destroy it in this photo, obviously. Style evolution? WHAT style evolution? GOD.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realised that although the clothes and styles I wear haven’t changed much since I started photographing my outfits for the blog, fashion blogging HAS changed my style. Because the fact is, if it wasn’t for the blog, I probably wouldn’t even have bought that dress in the first place: or I would have (I’ve never been able to resist a good dress, fashion blog or not), but I wouldn’t actually have WORN it. I mean, heaven forbid! Where would I wear a dress like THAT? For what possible reason?

The thing is, I grew up (and still live) in a place where it’s very much NOT the done thing to stand out. Dresses of ANY description, for instance, are only for weddings – and ideally, only on the bride. (OK, OK, I’m exaggerating: it’s not quite THAT bad. You get the idea, though.) For years, I bought into that idea, and wore the same things everyone else wore, with little thought as to whether they suited me, or even whether I liked them all that much, and if I hadn’t discovered the wonderful world of fashion blogging – or personal style blogging, rather – I’m sure I’d be doing exactly the same thing now.

I DID discover fashion blogging, though. And along with it, I discovered, not just the confidence to wear the clothes I wanted to wear, even if they were a little bit different to what everyone around me was wearing, but also a whole community of people to share those outfits with. (Not literally, I hasten to add. I am NOT sharing my clothes, and you can’t make me.) Before I started blogging, I didn’t really have that. Not many of the people I know in “real” life (still hate that phrase, by the way…) are particularly interested in fashion, and even the ones who are don’t have quite the same obsessive tendencies I do. There aren’t many people, for instance, who’d gush over the ‘New In’ section on the Lindy Bop website with me, and, as silly as it might sound, when you’re interested in something, it’s much easier to sustain that interest when you have other people to share it with – which is what I found from the fashion blogging community.

So, blogging about my outfits definitely gave me the confidence to find my own style, which I think is a good thing. It hasn’t been ALL good, though. I actually first started posting outfit photos over on ShoeperWoman, as part of a challenge to wear all of my shoes in the space of a year (if you think that sounds like no challenge at all, well, you haven’t seen my shoe collection, is all I’ll say…), and I remember feeling a lot of pressure to make every outfit different, and “blog worthy”, for want of a different expression. The pressure was entirely self-imposed, by the way:  it’s not like there were people emailing me and saying, “Amber, if you don’t make your outfits appropriately interesting, your ‘fashion blogger’ card will be revoked!” or anything like that, but I guess I’d been spending too much time on the internet (So what else is new?), and I somehow got the idea that it wasn’t enough to just photograph my daily outfits: I had to be constantly experimenting, and remixing, and doing God knows what else to keep up with all of the other fashion bloggers on the virtual block.

There was a lot of colour-blocking, I seem to recall. A few pairs of brightly coloured tights, which I secretly thought made me look like an overgrown toddler, but which I dutifully wore anyway, because that’s what fashion bloggers were supposed to do, and if I looked like a giant Smurf in the process, so be it.  Thankfully, I got over all of that pretty quickly, and went back to wearing the clothes I liked, rather than the ones I thought I SHOULD like, but I didn’t quite get over the pressure to make every outfit “blogworthy” at all costs. I’ve always prided myself on only featuring outfits I actually wear (Or WILL actually wear, anyway: in the case of some of the sponsored/gifted items, the fact that I’m obliged to feature them within a certain time period means I don’t always have time to wear them in “real” life before I have to photograph them: especially with evening wear, say, or clothes that arrive out of season. I do always wear them at some point, though!), but that occasionally meant actually wearing outfits I might not otherwise have gone for, just because I knew I’d be blogging about them.

I don’t mean I’ve ever worn things I didn’t like, obviously: that would be super-weird, and would presumably involve buying things I didn’t like first. So while I won’t claim to never have made a mistake (I WISH I could claim to never have made a mistake!), I DID at least like the outfits at the time I wore them. That’s not to say they were always totally appropriate for the occasion, though. I’m thinking here of the time I almost froze to death at the beach because I really wanted to get some outfit shots against that amazing backdrop, and I wasn’t about to let the sudden drop in temperature stand in my way, for instance. Don’t get me wrong: I liked the outfit, and I DID get some cool photos (both literally and figuratively), but if I hadn’t had the blog to think about, I’d like to think I’d have worn something just a little more sensible, huh? (I mean, I’d LIKE to think that: it’s not necessarily a given, because there were plenty of times in my pre-blogging days when I wore something totally ridiculous too, it’s just that those times weren’t documented, thankfully.)

This year I’m going to try my best not to do that. I feel like my style has changed a bit lately: I still love my 50s-style dresses and gigantic skirts, but I’ve been finding myself buying less of the “blogworthy” pieces, and more of the classic items that I know I’ll wear forever, but probably won’t want to photograph much, because they’re just not as interesting to people. Oh, and I’m also finding myself wanting to wear the same things on repeat – like this dress, for instance, which I wore twice this week, but probably wouldn’t have bothered to photograph again after the first time I featured it, because that’s not what style bloggers do, is it? It IS what I do, though, so from now on I’m going to make more of an effort to include some of the less “blogworthy” outfits too: because that’s what life’s about, isn’t it?

(P.S. If you’re an outfit blogger, I’d love to know if your blog has changed your style – whether for better or for worse?)

green knit midi dress

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  • I absolutely love this! It is so true! Half the things I buy I wouldn’t of before I blogged or found instagram. Great post! x

    January 20, 2016
  • Yes my blog has totally changed my looks. For starters I’m actually buying clothes again because I know that I will have a reason to wear them. Then I have learned to put more thought behind what I’m wearing. And all the clothes feels really me and I feel so happy when I look into my closet and see all the different fabrics in it. I have also stopped caring about the odd looks I sometimes get from old people or the kids at my step-kids school./Ida

    January 20, 2016
  • Starting to blog was the best idea I ever had. Since then I started to feel much more feminine because I started to take more care about on what to dress. And also made a couple of great blogger friends that are the best of it actually.

    Kiss 🙂
    Shop My Closet

    January 20, 2016
  • Deanna


    I am not a blogger, but do feel that my style has evolved due to all the fashion blogs I read! I always had an idea in my head of how I wanted to dress, but didn’t know how to execute the style – thanks to the wonderful world of fashion bloggers, including you, I have a better visual idea of how to put outfits together! And please do outfit posts with the more classic pieces you find yourself buying – I for one would LOVE to see those! Today’s outfit is gorgeous!!

    January 20, 2016
  • If I find an outfit that I love, I literally wear it to death! Sometimes two days in a row as well (which I know is probably a little bad!!) or at least maybe like five times in that month haha.. I love that you wear the same things more than once because it shows us how you style the same piece of clothing in different ways which is great 🙂 Love the photo’s and VERY jealous of the snow by the way!!xo

    Char |

    January 20, 2016
  • I’m definitely more creative since I started blogging and IGing my outfits. Before, I wore a VERY small percentage of what was in my closet. Now I explore and mix much more.

    I also sometimes wear rather ridiculous things for the occasion for the blog. The other day I wore boots with a skinny heel and we ended up walking through a lot of sand, grass, etc. My son asked me if I didn’t know where we were going when I put them on since I had planned the outing…. Let’s just say it wasn’t fun. And I didn’t even end up using the photos…

    I actually really like you “less blogworthy” outfit posts. They show a different side of you. Plus, they are things I can copy…

    January 20, 2016
  • Maria


    What changed my style more than everything else was reading and watching fashion blogs: I saw all these women happily strolling around in different styles/clothes, all confident and happy, and I thought to myself “Ok, some of these may be ‘fake’, just for the blog’s sake, but many of these women have the courage to happily wear the colors/shapes they love the most, and to hell with the others’ opinions…” And I took inspirations from a few blogs to hone my style and start wearing what I liked, instead of succumbing to the ubiquitous unwritten rule of “thou shall wear jeans&t-shirts only, unless it’s a formal occasion”… I like skirts and dresses as much as the right pair of jeans and a cute sweater, so why should I want to limit myself to the latter options in everyday life? So now it’s been some time since I took the courage to wear skirts&dresses in my daily life: needless to say, no one cared much, the world didn’t crumble, the fashion police didn’t come knocking at my door, and I’ve been more confident since then! 🙂

    January 20, 2016
  • I’ve had my blog for around 5 years, and I took a hiatus in 2015 (pretty much all year) because of unexpected things. Blogging definitely changed my style, as soon as the dust settled and I realised I wouldn’t be blogging I instantly reverted to leggings and tees. No style at all. And I can say while I’m comfy I don’t always feel to great about how I look. Now that I’m getting my blog back up and running I’m watching the trends again to see what I’m interested in, and what u won’t be touching.

    So I think rather than changing my style, fashion blogging encouraged me to wear my style like it did for you.

    January 20, 2016
  • Mine hasn’t changed my look, but I do think to myself ‘how will this look on the blog’ before I buy an outfit

    January 20, 2016
  • My style has absolutely changed for the better. I work at a very casual job where everyone wears jeans and tees. Before that, I was unfortunate enough to work in warehouse so I couldn’t wear nice clothes even if I wanted to. I was really sad that I had tons of clothes I loved but never really got to wear, but when I discovered fashion blogging, I was forever changed. Now, I really DO wear all the things I always wanted to because I have a reason beyond just wanting to. Honestly, it’s been incredibly helpful for my self esteem as well. I don’t care when people sneer anymore because I am not dressed entirely in basics. The fact is, I’m so much happier with my style than I ever was before I started blogging. Of course, I did go through a “hop on trends and spend too much phase” trying to keep up with other bloggers, but that’s long gone now. All my outfit posts are composed of items I bought because I loved them and love to wear them. So I guess the long story short is yes, fashion blogging changed me, but for the better.

    January 20, 2016
  • I definitely know that my style has changed both by reading & having a style blog! I’m way more adventurous in trying new things/styles and have fun the “love” of dressing up again!!! It’s all a good thing! jodie

    January 20, 2016
  • Definitely changed – mostly for the better. I challenge myself to broaden my options and if it wasn’t for blogging, may have never worn a full skirt! I like documenting the things that worked, particularly when they took me by surprise, but also sometimes getting feedback on why something didn’t… Blogging is an endless source of inspiration and support and the community has changed the way I look at clothes I thought I’d never wear completely with so many creative looks and tips by others. The bad though is wasting money on things you love on other people but look awful on you!!

    January 20, 2016
  • Sarah


    A really interesting post! My style has changed for the better now that I read fashion and style blogs. It’s makes you think a bit more about what you wear and what your personal style might be. I too want to start investing in really good basics for my wardrobe this year so would be really interested in following your journey.

    January 20, 2016
  • I have to say–I’ve only recently found your blog, but I have been in love with your writing as well as your style. You are so relateable and this post is no exception. I weirdly think about this concept more than a normal person really probably should . . . In other words, would I be wearing this if I didn’t have a blog? Would I be BUYING this if I didn’t have a blog? Most of the times the answer is no but that is in a good way AND a bad way. I feel like for the most part I dress like myself because I have always had a weird sense of style (ever since high school in my archaic blogging days of just logging my outfits BY HAND on a PAPER calendar . . . it was the 90’s), but I also get a lot of inspiration from bloggers in ways I didn’t expect. For example, I am always amazed that I never thought to use a dress as a skirt or a shirt until blogging. #DUHmoment I also don’t know a lot of people who are big on fashion (I live in Colorado, i.e. the perpetual world of North Face) and I’m a mom so all the moms I know think I’m weird for preferring a tulle skirt over jeans and a J. Crew sweater (although that is ok too!). So I would say that blogging has challenged me and almost fed my love of fashion. For a hot minute I thought I was just a freak in a square state. Turns out, I’m one of many freaks! Loves it!

    January 20, 2016
  • I think sharing my outfits online hasn’t necessarily changed my style as such but rather it has inspired me to think about different options sometimes. Being a freelancer there are times when I could just wear pyjamas for a week if I wanted to. But being inspired by other fashion bloggers I make the effort to make myself feel nice and this gives me confidence.

    P.S. I’m glad I’m over the colourful tights phase as well.

    January 20, 2016
  • I’m still relatively new to blogging and I still get the fear every time I hit publish that someone will think WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS??? Particularly when posting photos of myself. I haven’t been at it too long, but I definitely think I make decisions about my outfit based on what I might blog about it – most commonly ‘I would normally wear it with those shoes but I posted about those last week so I better pick something else’, which is good in a way as it means I get more wear out of my wardrobe, but I do feel a bit daft for saying it. I could never find any of your outfits boring though, no matter how many times you post them! One thing I have noticed is that I’m suddenly uber critical of the strangest, tiniest things, like I now think my eyes are wonky and that my upper body is dramatically disproportionate to my bottom half. I’ve never been super body confident anyway but now I’ve convinced myself I’m a hideous freak of nature – I hope that isn’t a lasting effect?!

    January 21, 2016
  • I don’t think my style has changed but my confidence has and now I will wear outfits to places I may not have before, like a tulle skirt to the office just because, And I do mix more and try to repeat pieces

    January 21, 2016
  • I’m not a fashion blogger, but I can think of many things I’ve tried doing and ended up loving, and the main motivation for getting out of my comfort zone and trying them was to have something to blog about. So, I can definitely relate.

    January 21, 2016
  • I’m not a fashion blogger but I feel the same way about I’ve been on there since 2009 and developed my style so much and got so much inspiration from it. It’s been a big part of my online life for years now and been half of the influence for fashion and style for me. Swapping events are the other so I can try different styles at almost no cost which has changed my life as a constantly broke minimum wage worker

    January 21, 2016
  • I like blogs like yours, where I can learn something useful and helpful when it comes to style and fashion.
    My blog is about fashion too, and after reading so many books about how to dress well, how to boost my confidence through the clothes I wear I am much more open to experiment and also learn from other bloggers who are good at this.
    So me personally blogging and reading other blogs helped me so much in building my own style, for better!

    Good luck to everyone !

    January 21, 2016
  • I think that personal style blogging has changed my style. Not having enough money to be constantly buying new clothes has meant that I look for different ways to style the things I’ve already got. If I didn’t have a blog to take photos for I would never have put the effort into that.

    Gisforgingers xx

    January 21, 2016
  • Amber thanks so much for the shout out – it was something I’d been thinking about for ages and I’m fascinated to read your take on the subject!! You’re someone I think of as having a very strong sense of personal style that’s not dictated to by trends – rather, you know your own style and what suits you.

    A few people have said I was over critical about my early outfits in those posts, but man, I cringe looking back at some of them now! And I can remember many occasions wearing an outfit to the office (back in the day of not working from home), then photographing it and thinking OMG WHAT do I look like…?!!!! It’s safe to say those ones never made it to the blog, imagine what I’d be saying about THOSE outfits now if I had published them – doesn’t bear thinking about 😉

    Thanks for a great read hun as always!

    Catherine x

    January 24, 2016
  • Judi


    I don’t blog, but, as blogging has affected the way you wear clothes , reading blogs has affected me in similar ways –
    I work from home, though I go into the office once or twice a month. I have some beautiful clothes, and usually try to buy things that will work with other things in my wardrobe; black and blues are my main colours, but even so, I seem to spend most of my time wearing jeans and a jumper at home, or a suit in the office – Why? because despite having beautiful clothes I don’t seem to have the confidence, or a clue for that matter, how to wear them or how to pull an outfit together – so I frequently have that “I have nothing to wear” feeling!
    So reading blogs like yours (I too have a great fondness for that vintage, 50s style, though I don’t carry it off anywhere near as well as you!), gives me a bit more confidence to put on that skirt or dress that has been hiding shyly in the back of my wardrobe!

    February 13, 2016