fashion blogging isn't dead

Why Fashion Blogging Isn’t Dead Yet

why fashion blogging isn't dead yet

This month  the fashion blogging world has been all in a kerfuffle over rumours that no one wants to read fashion blogs any more, so we all need to pack up our red lipsticks, our sock buns and our Starbucks cups, and find another niche to occupy.

Most of this hand-wringing has been prompted by BlogHer’s recent study of women in social media, specifically this section of it:

fashion blogging is dead

So, according to this, of the women surveyed, only 52% read blogs for ‘style tips’, and we should all start posting recipes instead, because that’s what the people want, and by God, we will give it to them!

Actually, I should probably just give up altogether, because I don’t post style tips (I don’t count photos of my outfits as ‘style tips’) OR recipes, and according to the infographic, ZERO PERCENT of the women surveyed said they were looking for the ramblings of a redhead who commits random acts of stupidity on a regular basis. OH NOES!

As you can probably tell, I’m taking this news  with a huge pinch of salt, because, as far as I can tell, the proclamations that “no one cares” about outfit posts are based on a mis-reading of this survey. The survey asks specifically about “useful info”, which, for fashion bloggers would translate to “style tips”. Most of us, however, don’t actually post “style tips”. In fact, most of us aren’t actually “fashion bloggers” at all – or not in the true sense of the word, anyway.

The fact is, most of the bloggers I know who’d be classed as “fashion bloggers” would be better described as “personal style” or “shopping” bloggers. (I don’t mean that as an insult, by the way: I put myself in that category, and those are the kind of blogs I like to read, too…)  I, for instance, have pretty much zero interest in “fashion” in the true sense of the word. I have a rough idea of what the current trends are, because I write about clothing every day, but I don’t follow those trends, and I don’t care if what I’m wearing is “fashionable” or not. If I like it, I’ll wear it: if it happens to be in fashion, that’s great, but I honestly don’t care.

Most of the bloggers I follow are the same: they’re not providing ‘style tips’ or in-depth analysis of the fashion industry. They are not experts or insiders: they’re regular women, saying, “Hey, here’s what I wore today.” The BlogHer survey doesn’t seem to have a category for that: it doesn’t ask what people read for entertainment, or for inspiration, or because they’re just plain nosey, and like seeing what other people are buying. Which, let’s face it, is probably why most of us read fashion blogs.

The confusion in name isn’t really the fault of the so-called “fashion” bloggers, either (Which is why it annoys me a bit when I see people being all, “OMG, she calls herself a fashion blogger, but I bet she’s never even heard of <insert obscure designer >”. I think it’s a fairly natural thing, which you find in the “real” world, too. For many people (particularly people who don’t work in the industry), “fashion” is simply the word they use to refer to anything related  to clothes, shoes or shopping.

“Oh, that Amber, she loves her fashion!” people say, when confronted with the bulging clothes rails in my dressing room. I don’t, actually – as I said, I honestly don’t find fashion trends particularly interesting: I don’t watch the shows, I don’t go to fashion week, I don’t worry about whether I’m “on trend or not”. I like clothes. And, you know, shopping. Clothes I can talk about all day. Fashion, not so much. But “fashion” is the word that people tend to use to describe the kinds of things I’m interested in, and that’s why people like me describe ourselves as “fashion bloggers”. It’s not because we have visions of being the next Anna Wintour, or because we want to trick you into thinking we’re industry experts – it’s because when people hit  up Google to search for bloggers who take photos of their outfits, “fashion blog” is the term they type into the search bar.

Is THAT kind of fashion blogging – or, you know what, let’s call it “outfit blogging”, huh? – dying, then? Well, probably not. It’s true that there are definitely trends in blogging, just as there are with everything else in life, and over the last year or so, there’s been a noticeable shift away from “pure” outfit blogging, with more and more bloggers choosing to start incorporating some lifestyle elements into their content, too. That’s the great thing about blogs: they can do that. If a particular subject isn’t working as well as it used to, they can shift focus slightly, or even change direction altogether.

So while I don’t really forsee a time when people are all of a sudden no longer interested in clothes, or in shopping, I do think we might to see a little more diversification from outfit bloggers – and that might not necessarily be a bad thing. Or I guess it might, depending on your point of view: I know some people get quite upset when their favourite blog changes, but personally I think it’s a good idea not to stick too rigidly to a particular niche, and to give yourself room to grow and change, if need be. Fashion blogging might not be dead yet, but there’s a chance that one day you might get tired of taking photos of your outfits, and want to write about something different: so this week’s blogging tip is to be prepared to change and adapt if you need/want to, and don’t get too caught up in the idea that you MUST stick to only one topic.

What do you think? Is fashion blogging dead?

COMMENTS
  • tanya

    REPLY

    I used to turn to outfit blogs for entertainment and inspiration, but now I only follow 2-3 blogs regularly. I realised that what makes me want to go back and read another post aren’t necessarily photos of outfits, though I do enjoy those too, but it is the quality writing that brings me to someone’s blog. I’m sure that most of your readers will agree, your blog sells itself by being well composed, relatable and funny. And while most of us wait with the anticipation for the new outfit, we mostly come here to read. Anyone can ramble about their acts of stupidity while looking pretty, but not everyone can do it well…

    November 2, 2014
  • Fashion blogging will never be dead. I agree though, style and clothes over fashion

    November 2, 2014
  • I don’t even read “fashion” blogs (with this one notable exception because redheads who commit random acts of stupidity entertain me) and *I’m* skeptical. Not just for the reasons you explain but because BlogHer is one demographic not all women; because I don’t see the great swathes of women who are interested in clothes suddenly changing their minds; and because I do believe blogs provide inspiration for a wider range of tastes, body shapes and colourings than your average monthly magazine. I know there’s a lot of fatigue over poorly written, interchangeable fashion (and other niches of) blogs, but I think that reflects the bloggers’ aspirations not readers’ levels of interest in the subject. But people like to be alarmed about things so, you know: SURVEY RESULT SPARKS PANIC! Cue a few newspaper opinion pieces; I expect it will have passed in a couple of weeks.

    November 2, 2014
  • I can’t think of a single blog I read that would fit what this survey’s definition of a ‘fashion blog’ is. And I’m exactly like you, as you know – I pretty much make my outfits up as I go along and a lot of the time find myself completely avoiding the ridiculous trends which flatter no average woman… but ‘fashion blogger’ is the labels everyone insists those who blog about clothes give themselves, so does that make me one anyway? I’ve always had a slight mix of content anyway and love writing about make-up too, so does that then make me a fashion/beauty blogger? I think every survey like this is a bit silly really because each blog is unique and people will read them for different reasons… And I personally don’t think ‘clothes blogging’ will ever fall out of favour – not for as long as lots of women love style and shopping!

    November 2, 2014
  • Amelia

    REPLY

    I think Sarah says it pretty well, when she points out that magazines don’t really cater for all body shapes, whereas outfit (or ‘fashion’) blogs do. You have never have seen me, and although I’m taller and bigger than you, proportionately we have similar body-shapes, so I know that what looks good on you will probably look good on me too. I hope you won’t take this as anything but a compliment, but really I would prefer to see a real woman who I can identify with wearing clothes than a fashion model whose been chosen because of her tall-thin frame. I want to point out that I think there is NOTHING wrong with the typical ‘model body shape’, it’s just not mine, so I can’t identify with it.
    The words you write, for me, are super important – I first came across your Fashion Police blog YEARS ago and I think the first time I found it I must have read 50% of the posts you’d written in one sitting (probably as some work-avoidance tactic, but that’s my only skill so you know…) – not for the fashion so much but because it’s so damn funny!
    I would say that its a combination of your fantastic style and great writing that keeps me coming back to your blogs. This one is my favourite (I think it’s because I like reading about random acts of stupidity because it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this pass-time…)So I guess I’m saying that reading about real people and real lives is always going to be interesting to me.
    I’m pleased that you’ve taken that survey with the massive pinch of salt it deserves. You have no reason to change anything about what you write – it ticks all the boxes (and I think other’s have said this in comments in the past too) so why rely on feedback from a completely different audience than yours? Pleased you’re not! Keep up with this because you’re doing a great job.

    November 2, 2014
  • TinaD

    REPLY

    Fashion week rundowns and street style photos bore me. Lurking the closets of people I already feel like I like is fun. As is playing “look what I bought.” So perhaps, as you suggest, the problem is in the name. And I submit that the survey responses may be skewed by a too- limited pool of topics. In a world where every print publication also runs a stable of digital blogs and journalist-bloggers, a survey such as this still implies (erroneously, I think) that women only ever follow the digital version of the “ladies’ page”– no politics, no sports scores, no current events, no philosophy, no literature…

    November 2, 2014
  • I am always looking for the ramblings of a redhead who commits random acts of stupidity on a regular basis. 🙂 Love your blog Amber – and I am in total agreement about “fashion” bloggers, I love seeing people’s personal style and photos so much more than someone telling me what the most current trends are on the runway.

    November 2, 2014
  • I don’t read fashion show recaps on blogs. I just skip over those posts as I’m not particularly trend led either. I just like seeing ootds, a bit of humour & high street shopping as that’s where I’m at too – albeit I rarely make it to the shops with two kids in tow.

    I imagine I’ll continue to read blogs the next few years – I read as much for the person as the clothes.

    It’s probably not dying off but mine seems to be – maybe it’s the post-pregnancy, maternity leave factor but I’ve slowly dropped from 1000+ pageviews a day to only 600 some days. I know it’s small potatoes numbers anyway but it can be a little demoralising!

    I guess there are SO many SAHM skinny jeans & scarves blogs that being an office worker was perhaps a bit more interesting. It certainly gave me more scope to play with. Not that I’m rushing to leave Felix & go back!!

    November 2, 2014
  • Irene

    REPLY

    I’m not sure I’ve ever commented before on your blog, though I’ve been following for a while now. Fashion, or rather, style blogging isn’t dead and won’t be any time soon. There’s always need for inspiration, which is why I think most people read “fashion blogs”. I regularly check out a bunch, but I have to say I usually don’t bother to actually read the posts, I just look at the photos! Your blog is definitely the exception, I read every single post of yours because they’re always funny, witty, and interesting, and I can count on them to put a smile on my face. You’re by far my favorite “fashion” blogger!

    November 2, 2014
  • Interesting post and comments, I concur with you though I am not a “Fashion”: blogger I always called myself a Life and Outfit of the Day Blogger ( because I do branch out to food, crafts and travel on the weekends usually). And I follow to see cute outfits or unique ways to style something but I have no clue who some designer is unless Target carries something from them. I am pretty confident as long as we have the internet people will always look for real people wearing real clothes so thus “fashion” bloggers will always have a following

    November 2, 2014
  • Maissaa

    REPLY

    Maybe they should worry more about proper definition and categorization of Blogging. If I am following a blog that belongs to a company I know I am getting “fashion news” but if I am following a personal blog then I expect something more; I would be expecting the personal touch, the randomness and the little extra.
    I think most people these days are more sophisticated and are not after “tips” all the time, specially when it comes to fashion. I think we see dressing up as a form of artistic expression and we like blogs that match that definition. At least I do.

    November 3, 2014
  • Sarah

    REPLY

    I love reading blogs and hope that they are not ending soon! I read them for the entertainment of reading about someone’s exploits, outfit related or not. The outfit inspirations are invaluable too as I’m finding that magazines can give you guidance on trends but rarely give you wearable outfit ideas. Your blog is well written, entertaining and gives great outfit inspiration and that is what I am looking for in a good “fashion” blog.

    November 3, 2014
  • Fashion blogging is here to stay. It is going no where.

    November 3, 2014
  • I like to mix it up and post pictures of building work in my house, in between the posing in dresses! I do agree that there’s some confusion over fashion blogger vs personal style blogger, I think they just get lumped in together. I’m definitely more interested in the personal style blogs, I find it a turn-off when ‘rules’ come out and people start talking about being fashion-forward (particularly as I like vintage so much, so fashion-backward more accurately describes me!). P x

    November 3, 2014
  • Oh what a silly survey, as if blogs can be categorized into a short list of generic niches! I’ve had my personal style/lifestyle/fashion advice/blah blah blah blog for almost a decade and I see my traffic constantly increasing, new readers contacting me every day, and well my ad and affiliate revenue increasing as well, showing readers do read and click on what I share. I think the old blogs of generic advice have gone by the wayside when you can essentially Google ANYTHING, and readers trust about.com or realsimple.com before someone with a blogspot URL and hot pink Comic Sans on a black background. Everything changes, blogs included. I think this survey just shows you can’t survive if you don’t change with the times, and readers don’t want the same stuff they wanted back in 2008!

    November 3, 2014
  • I love personal style blogs – especially when the blogger has a unique style and wears things I really like.

    I’m not a fan of ‘fashion’ bloggers, in the sense of posts about fashion shows or new trends. I don’t usually like new trends until they are out of fashion.

    I always hear about bloggers complaining that their bloglovin feed is full of food posts! That’s weird that it’s at the top!

    Corinne x

    November 4, 2014
  • 52% reading for style tips seems like a healthy number to me, but maybe I’ve missed the point…
    Honestly, I don’t think my prime reason for reading blogs is for any of those reasons. Sure, I do read blogs for recipes, health tips, and style inspiration for both me and my home, but I read blogs for entertainment. I like blogs that are well-written, by people I think I’d like in ‘real life’. Where is that category?
    I don’t think fashion blogging will ever be dead, but I do think that trends are shifting and now ‘lifestyle’ or things like recipes and interiors are getting more popular. There’s room for everyone though.

    November 5, 2014
  • I will admit that some blogs become tediously boring when all they do is post the dress they are wearing (which is nothing special), and then ramble on incoherently about their day. Taking the time to write something entertaining or informative ensures makes it worthwhile for me to take the time to read their blog.

    I read blogs because I like the writing or the person and hopefully what they wear. Sometimes that doesn’t all align, sometimes it does.

    It is possible that a saturation point has been achieved in fashion blogging.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    November 10, 2014
  • I believe that fashion blogging never be dead as new style of clothings and accessories are invented everyday. The greatest blogs have a strong voice and unique content, so this is the cool way of sharing your local fashion scene with whole world and I like to do blogging on fashion.

    May 14, 2015
  • Fashion is inside women’s blood, It never go away, or they never give up to read about fashion. And according to data 52% Blog are on fashion topics and tips. So It meas that more and more people want to know about fashion and day by day visitors are increase. For example we are commenting our experience on this fashion blog. By reading all comments who say that fashion blogs are dead ? Numerous comments with detail discussion, Hows it possible? Simple It’s means that women or people loves fashion and it will never dead in future. Go ahead, Did fashanobloging, And keep updating with fashion.

    September 16, 2016
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