While going through some of Sylvia Plath’s works online (I felt nostalgic of my pretentious High School years and decided to google her on a whim), I saw an article wherein she was quoted saying: “Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it and the imagination to improvise.”
I couldn’t help but agree. Above everything else, an aspiring writer should have the drive and the inspiration to want to communicate his or her thoughts to an audience–“guts”, as Sylvia would call it.
When it comes to the fashion blogging industry however, things get a little bit more tricky. Unlike Creative Writing, you just don’t think up of words to say or relate your story to an unknown audience, you also have to post visuals of yourself, subjecting it for public scrutiny. For those with self-esteem issues (which makes up for 99% of the human race), that combination alone requires you to not just have titanium guts but to be practically shameless as well.
Fortunately, modesty is a rare commodity in this industry.
Given the burgeoning list of bloggers, the competition is to set one over the other apart–how else but by the delivery of their message? In line with the quote from Sylvia Plath, this is where “imagination” and “improvisation” comes into play. When I talk about message-delivery, I am not simply referring to narratives, especially in an industry where people don’t even bother to type more than 100 words; I mean in terms of how they present their blogs, their “leverage” as I’d like to call it.
In business or the advertising industry, we call it the “USP” or the “Unique Selling Proposition.”
Being an analytical person by nature, I’ve noticed a common formula: one, the blogger has to be easy on the eyes–skinny and pleasant-looking; two, they need a professional camera that boasts of depth and bokeh; three, they should have great photoshop skills that enables them to put pretty filters on their photos; four, frequency in blogging; and five, their ability to integrate the hottest trend in every single outfit post.
Now, personally, if you ask me, the points stated above are quite effective–think of your favorite top blogger–is she pretty? Is she skinny? Are her photos nice? Does she blog a lot? Is she trendy?
In most cases, she’ll probably be 4 out of 5 of these qualities, right? It’s a tried and tested equation, no surprise there really. Now the problem with that is it’s pretty generic too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there’s anything horrible with that. It is, after all, necessary. In fact, the above qualities stated are what clients usually look for in addition to metrics when considering endorsers for their products (trust me, I service a media agency that handles a lot of digital placements) so it’s only natural that big and budding bloggers follow that particular formula. Myself included, just to stop any of you from thinking that I’m being a hypocrite.
But what allows readers to build a certain affinity for a blogger is how they are able to set themselves apart from the mold.
For example, we have Laureen Uy’s blog: Break My Style. Disclaimer: I do not know her personally, I’ve had a minimal exchange of words with her when we were trying to get her for So Fab! as an endorser, and I see her around events. I’m not close to her and I don’t think I can pull off whatever she’s wearing but I greatly appreciate the principle behind her blog. The thing that mazes me about it is how she plays with her theme; true to form, her style revolves around breaking a variety of fashion rules. Maybe this is me over-analyzing but I vividly recall saying “that’s so smart” upon seeing a post of hers presenting a print-on-print ensemble way before anyone was doing it.
Next, we have Seph and Shai’s blog: Lovechic. Seph and Shai are good friends of mine so it usually blows me away when I visit their blog. Apart form the usual cute photos, they always have intelligent content to accompany it. Given that Shai is a journalist and Seph is a photographer by hobby, their dynamics are so complementary that it actually makes sense for them to establish their blog as a “couple blog”–a “he” and “she” sort of thing. Although it’s been done elsewhere, the fact that they’ve managed to own that niche in this country, gives them quite the upperhand and a whole new perspective that targets a wider range of audience.
Finally, there’s Stacy and Danah of the Plump Pinay. I love that their affinity lies in advocating the thought that Fashion is for everyone, I really do. It makes them reachable to another set of market–girls with real curves, as they’d like to call them. It breaks down that misconception that fashion is restrictive and exclusivist–something I feel, should be drilled into the heads of a lot of elitists. More than that, Stacy and Danah don’t just post outfits on a daily basis, they do actually tackle on self-esteem issues and inspire people with their witty blog posts.
So where does that leave me? I used to think that my blog would tackle heavily on Asian Fashion–not the Japanese Harajuku Kawaii shtick–literally, legitimate Asian Fashion since I travel to various Asian Countries a lot and deal with Asian suppliers. I love the boldness of the East Asians and I’ve always wanted to get to the bottom of their aesthetics. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to. I mean, it’s still a part of what I do but my blog has transcended my formerly shallow visions. Now, I don’t over-analyze the theme of my blog, if only because I have no desires of making a business out of it. I’m more into exercising my writing skills, practicing proof-reading, being pretty candid, and sharing my observations unabashedly.
I think what every fashion blogger should imbibe at the end of the day–whether they figure out how to set themselves apart or not–is to have a sense of humor. You will always have haters out there, you will always have people talking about you, and you can’t please everyone, so it’s pretty ridiculous to take yourself too seriously. Learn to relax, fashion blogging isn’t the world, but it’s supposed to make the world colorful, right?
In line with this, here’s an outfit post that aims to bring a splash of color to my world!
Crochet Vest: C&A Yessica | Orange Chiffon Top: Zara | Colorful Beaded Necklace: New Look | Bandage Skirt: Topshop | Aztec Print Satchel: Queen Street Satchels | Colorful Pumps: CMG | Wooden Bangles: Forever 21
Normally, I would steer clear from pairing orange with black–I’ve always associated the colors for Halloween. However, that morning, I was looking at my satchel and looking at the common denominators and figured that orange and black, when put side to side, didn’t look that as bad as I thought it would.
Given that I’ve been wearing new season clothes for the past few months, I decided to take last season’s purchases out for a spin again. I mean, it’s still a pretty tame combination for the office, with a dash of fun, right?
I’m so in love with this shade of Chanel lipstick. It’s not really that bold, it’s close to my original lip color but it brightens up my face.
I took out my iPhone so I can take a quick photo and post it over at instagram! For those with instagram, please add my instagram account!
These shoes from CMG are simply divine. A little secret? A good friend of mine (who works for the company) and I helped choose the color palette and styles to CMG’s new and trendy color-blocking collection. Every time I see blogs feature it, I feel a sense of pride–I’ve long been an avid fan of CMG even before I touched-base with their company two years ago, truth-be-told, they provide good quality shoes made out of good quality materials, for a reasonable price.
Here’s to hoping they continue to change the feet of amazing and brilliant Filipinas all over the country!
I don’t buy that much aztec/tribal print items because I was never confident that I could pull it off. I figured it was too edgy for me to rock.When I came back from my Singapore Trip however, the boyfriend surprised me with this adorale shoulder candy from Queen Street Satchels at the Supersale Bazaar–and states it’s because he was shy that I got him clothes from my trip but in reality, I feel it’s most likely because he misses me. Thoughtful man, that man.
Under most circumstances, this is how I look like when I’m writing a blog-post. I know it looks like a glamor shot–and okay, so maybe it is somewhat because I posed and gave my secretly artistic yaya, a look that states “I-am-trying-to-appear-smoldering-but-watch-me-fail”–but this is the coziest position for me to hack away with my keyboard.
If I’m not sitting down in a desk, I am splayed on my bed, feet bare, with a can of diet soda, a variety of my gadgets strewn all over the bed’s expanse.