Fashion Gets Real: A Style Blogger Roundup

BlogHer Original Post

I love looking inside other people's closets, don't you?

Wait.

That's not quite right -- let me rephrase that: I love seeing how other people wear the clothes in their closets. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the gorgeous stylized images in magazines and ads -- in fact, I don't mind these images as much as others do. But I'll choose seeing a real person wearing clothes out in the world over seeing a model who was dressed by a professional stylist every time.

I know I'm not alone in this.

Earlier this month, Ann Taylor LOFT struck PR and social media gold by acting on a customer's request on Facebook asking for an example of "real models" wearing a particular pair of pants.

Hey, got the email about the "new favorite pant", the drapey silk cargo. Can you show how to style these for different body types (using real models, or fan pictures if possible). I have my doubts that these will look flattering on anyone other than the model!

To the delight of their Facebook fans (and social media types), Ann Taylor responded the very next day with a picture gallery of employees of different shapes, sizes and styles wearing the "new favorite pant." No, the pictures didn't convert the doubters, but people were very grateful for the opportunity to see the pants on real people. Just read the enthusiastic response on their facebook page.

I believe that this "voyeuristic shopping" is only one reason why personal style blogs are so popular. Like on any good blog mostly we enjoy getting to know the writer -- in this case we mainly get to know the blogger by how they choose to dress themselves. After all, we all tell the world something about ourselves by the way we dress, but personal style bloggers are doing it in a very direct and thoughtful way.

And that's why I love them.

I also love the diversity of personal style blogs: Some bloggers tell us the back story on each outfit, while others let the pictures speak for themselves. Some bloggers dress in high-end clothing, while others do magic with thrift-store finds. And of course, personal style blogs give us a glimpse of a different life style: How does a Spanish girl dress? What would a poor graduate student wear on a date? But one thing they all have in common is that these bloggers have developed a strong sense of personal style and serve as an inpiration to us all. If these women can do it, we can all have more fun dressing, everyday.

Here is a sampling of some of my favorites. What are yours?

WHAT I WORE - Jessica Schroeder lives in NYC and gives us charming glimpses into her life by telling us the back story behind each outfit. She left her job as a fashion designer to run her blog, and now she's writing a book! Go Jessica!

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DISTINCTLY DESIREE - Desiree is 20 years old and actually looks cute in a romper, unlike me. She is a crafter and a frugal shopper, and sometimes reworks clothes to make them her own.

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CUPCAKES AND CASHMERE I check out Emily Schuman's blog when I need a little vacation from my life in Boston. I love her breezy California style. She shares yummy recipes and home improvement tips on her blog as well.

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NO NAME COUTURE - Aix lives in Cluj-Napoca, Romania -- and we agree on this: "After a week full of jeans and flats, I always want to dress up in the weekend, just because I can and sometimes I like being overdressed." Preach it, sister.

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THE CHERRY BLOSSOM GIRL - Alix is a recent fashion school graduate and french. Her blog is filled with gorgeous photos of her and her friends. I love the cozy, friendly feel of the photography on this blog.

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LOOKS GOOD FROM THE BACK Marianne and Adrien have an honest-to-goodness fashion blog on their hands -- even if they occasionally poke good-natured fun at the genre. Here is Adrien doing the "Elaine" during their inagural Silly Fashion Blogger Pose Week. Sure, they're stylish but they're also funny. I hereby declare them a must-read!

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KENDI EVERYDAY Kendi got married, moved to a small town and had a blog. She's that sweet fashionable friend we all want to have. I love how she writes on the photos to tell us what we really want to know --"where did she get that?"

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THE CLOTHES HORSE Rebecca's look is slightly retro but very wearable -- I love the dream-like quality of her photos. And that hair!

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WHAT WOULD A NERD WEAR Tania is "a grad student in British literature at a big school in the Midwest, which brings myriad sartorial challenges like hot summers, freezing winters, and dressing authoritatively as both teacher and student." In my opinion, she's figured it out.

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KRAMEY MARTIN I love her posts from the Anthropologie dressing room; I can see what the clothes look like for real without setting foot in a store. It makes online shopping infinitely easier.

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GIRL FRIDAY Stephanie's style is a mix of tough and sweet. Her blog is a mix of personal style posts, inspiration from the net and her own poetry.

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Do you love style/fashion blogs? Are you going to Blogher? Then you're in luck! This year there will be a session on Fashion Blogging -- I plan on attending, how about you?

If I'm not here, I'm at my blog or on Twitter.

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