Friday, 17 September 2010

Friend Friday: Work vs Blog Wear

Friend Friday is a weekly survey for fashion bloggers run by ModlyChic.  This week is about Work vs Blog Wear.  To participate email
1. When it comes to outfit posts on your own blog, be honest are they what you actually wore that day?

Most of the rare outfit posts I’ve done generally have been what I actually wore that day.  I have posted an outfit I’d worn previously but didn’t get to photograph and also done an outfit shot just to see if a combination I was thinking about would work.

I don’t do many outfit posts as I started the blog to photograph what was in my wardrobe as a kind of image archive, but it has morphed into other types of posts over time.  I'm also more interested in photography as a medium to convey the desirability of objects (hence the blog’s focus on that type of imagery).

Also because I want to blog anonymously (this kind of thing just doesn't gel with my work) I'm wary of posting too many outfit shots and definitely don't want my face in them (sorry Sacramento!).  So sticking a headless figure with what I wore that day is less fun than sticking a nice picture of something pretty.

I actually do have the boyfriend with a talent for photography that is every fashion blogger's dream but as he’s a very busy man I almost always do my own outfit shots.  I just can’t bring myself (or have time) to prance around London with a tripod, camera and remote to take forty photos of myself posing like a model as I find it cringingly embarrassing.  I'd rather take photos in the privacy of my own home but don’t have a spot I'm happy with to get the images I want.  I dislike images produced with flash photography which limits when I can take photos as there is often not enough natural light in cloudy old London even when I go outside.

I’d love to do more outfit posts and would personally stick to posting something I actually wore or was wearing as part of the challenge to get more wear out of my wardrobe.  Thinking of a solution of how to get decent ones.  Watch this space.

2. For a fashion blogger, working in a corporate environment can be tricky. How do you mesh your day job with your personal style choices?

Not easily.  Take for example what I wore to an interview yesterday. (Here my problem with outfit posts illustrated! Excuse the flash photography and curtain background.)

This is pretty typical for my industry.  Conservative and male dominated.  I look like Darth Vadar.

When I don’t have to dress like I am ruling the Death Star I prefer to dress like this.

Polar opposites.  I am actually quite a girly girl that likes looking pretty as opposed to severe. I love wearing feminine, floaty, summery pieces and lots of colour.  Not often possible either in the English winter and pale grey light (I end up wearing lots of black). 

My only consolation of needing to look sharp at work is that I have the excuse to invest in good suits!  I try to inject a bit of femininity looking for details like the organza petticoat peeking out from the skirt in this suit and the satin lining on the skirt pockets and collar.

Or I’ll go for a designer that cuts suits to flatter the female form like Vivienne Westwood.  Cue, Mango and Warehouse are my high street favourites for fashion forward suits with feminine tailoring.  I look for cute details like pleats or frills on the skirts, peplums on jackets, puffed shoulders and nipped in waists.

If I really want to push the envelope I might stick a floral printed dress under a jacket or blazer, wear mixed separates or incorporate some layering and draping.  It all gets a bit much sometimes though and I have been known on occasion to go mad and wear suede hareem trousers on a Friday.  I mostly express my personal style through my choice of shoes which are usually the most fashion forward high heels I can get away with.  Not called Veshoevius for nothing!

3. When you get dressed in the morning, do you think what should I wear to work or what should I wear for the blog?

I think were I to be getting dressed daily for an office again and doing more outfit shots I would also be thinking about what to wear for the blog as that was its intended purpose - to raise my game!

I started a blog out of frustration that I had loads of clothes but wasn’t wearing most of them and I had let my attention slip in getting dressed every day.  It was a personal challenge to think about my style, what I owned, and to make more effort getting dressed regardless of whether it evolved to outfit posts.   I thought that surely by photographing all this wonderful gear I would actually become motivated to wear the stuff and shop less!

However, starting my blog has coincided with a period where I haven’t really had a normal day job and I'm working at home rather than going to an office.  Many days I am in a track suit!  Not really great outfit shot material.  Getting dressed up just to post seems somewhat silly.  At the moment it’s easier to photograph elements of my wardrobe to get inspiration for the days I will need an outfit.

4. Do professionals you interact with ever make comments about your clothing choices?

Yes.  It has almost always been positive so I must be doing something right.  The only criticism I’ve had was from a male manager who said that I should really wear a shirt with my suits otherwise they didn’t count as suits!!  The most flattering comment was from a male colleague who told me that I always wore beautiful shoes and that each pair told its own story!

5. Some bloggers openly admit to wearing outfits only for the blog post. What's your opinion on that?

Although I've not done this myself why not? A fashion blog is a creative outlet which should be fun and a source of inspiration.  I see a blog as a personal mood board and doing this type of post would be an excellent way to archive your inspired wardrobe combinations to refer to when you actually want to wear them out.  I sometimes see bloggers asking readers for feedback on a look they post to decide whether they will wear it out. 

I'm sure very few bloggers have lives that warrant dressing for the red carpet let alone occasion to dress up every day.  But fashion blogging is often about a challenge to try to dress better in spite of that.  I guess there might be the purists out there that say if you're going to talk the talk than walk the walk.  Should it detract from the post if the blogger doesn't strut out to get the milk in her carefully constructed catwalk look?  What's wrong with showcasing the results of pure experimentation with an audience just as designers and stylists do in catwalk shows and magazine shoots?

I am also willing to bet a lot of women buy clothing for a lifestyle they wish they had rather than one they actually have.  My hand is up.  I have more sequined garments than a professional ballroom dancer.  I have more cocktail dresses than you can shake a martini at and the last time I went out for cocktails was oh maybe...2008?  See here for a breakdown of my useless dress collection!  At least if I did outfit posts in them they’d get an outing from the closet!

I've worn and photographed things to make a visual point about something I wanted to write about and will probably do so again.  Although I doubt I’ll stretch to photographing myself in cocktail gear for posts I don’t have a problem with other people playing fantasy dress up for their blogs.

It’s your blog and you shouldn’t need to follow anyone else’s rules except your own.   Why not drag out that beloved and neglected old ball gown to wear in your own back yard and post about it for the simple joy of putting it on again and to inspire others with a beautiful image?


  1. "I have more sequined garments than a professional ballroom dancer."

    LOL! Oh goodness! When you do post outfit photos, I do like them! I enjoyed reading this post.

  2. First off, that patterned dress is gorgeous!! Where is it from?!

    Totally agree with your response to question 5 and about trying to find the right spot indoors to take outfit posts - I'm still trying to!

    :) xx

  3. I love you in colour, and eventually I would love to see your face he, he.
    Un abrazo fuerte.
    Empieza a llover y hoy ya estamos a 28ºc, algo es algo. Qué alegría fresquito!!!!

  4. Darth Vader...HA! That's a killer suit, though. Looks sensational all buttoned up. And I like the sweater and dress too.

    I'm with you on the stagefright. I can't even shoot blog photos in my own yard with my hubby watching. It's something I do totally alone!

    And this is brilliant: "What's wrong with showcasing the results of pure experimentation with an audience just as designers and stylists do in catwalk shows and magazine shoots?" I am in total agreement.

    ♥ V

  5. I admit to having a large useless dress collection, although it will be useful once again if I start going ballroom dancing more frequently, which I did up to this spring. Of course, then you'll see it on the blog. Hey, maybe I'll go tonight...hmm...

  6. Loved your answers. The Darth Vader comment cracked me up. Also the dress and jacket you wore in your second set of photos looks great. Even without a head.

  7. "more cocktail dresses than you can shake a martini at" LOL! great choice of words

    O, My life, style and pregnancy Blog

  8. You are so witty and you write so well. It took months before I showed my face on my blog maybe you'll change your mind at some point (I do hope so).
    I love your interview suit, if that doesn't land you a job the interviewer was obviously mad. Adoring your casual look, we're both bohemian hippy chicks I think. xxx

  9. Awh...I totally want to go out for cocktails with you! London-area readers, invite this girl out so she can use her dresses! (And so can you!)

    That is a beautiful black suit...kind of neo-Victorian, in a slick futuristic way rather than an ornate steampunk sort of way.

    But then..the totally different aqua-and-orange bohemian ensemble is beautiful, too, and one can sense the joy you feel in choosing both types of looks and wearing them. I'm glad you have (or will soon have) outlets for the bright, feminine looks and the elegant professional looks.

    Maybe someday you'll put together a top-secret email with a picture of your face, and send it to curious me and sacramento. I'll give you my addie if the day ever comes.

  10. I love the black outfit. Super chic!

  11. @Courtney - glad you enjoyed it and yeah doing a breakdown analysis of your dresses can be telling! I should take up ballroom dancing like @Cynthia - what a great idea to have a weekly excuse to wear a frivolous dress and sequins!

    @Shopgirl - I got the dress in Mango while I was in Spain. Not sure if was stocked in the UK. It is silk and the pattern is gorgeous. I accidently lost your other comment about opening an online shop to sell my unused dresses. Its a good idea but I still want to hang on to them for a while. Hope springs eternal! Most of my clothes that I know I won't be wearing again go to charity though.

  12. @sacramento - wueno wueno - un dia quedamos en Andalucia!

    @Grit and Glamour - thanks V! It's great to know that quality outfit photos are possible given limitations of having to do them on your own and having stagefright - your post on how to take outfit shots on IFB was great and your outfit posts are always so inspiring!

    @Vintage Vixen - "we're both bohemian hippy chicks I think."
    I think you might be right!

    @Jenny - thanks sweetie - it's hard to dress chic when an office atmosphere can be the antithesis of chic sometimes - I try, I try!
    @Cloud of Secrets

  13. @Cloud of Secrets - what is an addie? I'm intrigued. How fab would that to meet up for blogger cocktails in London! Girls we should think about it - translate the next IFB conference here!! Would be lovely to meet all the other bloggers in person one day.

    @NoGuiltFashion @Olusula - thanks for your visits and comments girls - off to check out your blogs now!

  14. Wow that's a great suit that has all the right lines to make any figure look good. I will not say Dark Vader but that's a lot of black. I also would have to break out of that black because it would not bring out my complexion at all with so I would have to add either a red stiletto, red headband or scarf around my neck for some color ( I would only select one accessory).
    Love your feminine dress the design is so pretty.
    I also find it awkward to take pics of myself in model shots off site of my home by myself so my hubby takes them either in my backyard, on the steps of my deck or when it's cold by my piano in the living room.
    Thank you for commenting on my blog.

  15. Addie=cutesy abbreviation for email address, at least in the 90s. Maybe I'm just old. :-b

  16. Hello lovely, It's posts like these that inspire me to really go for it style-wise.
    Hey, and you've got an award!

  17. @TJWisdom - how I would dearly love to wear red stilettos! But it's probably still a no go area at work would you believe. However I don't own a pair a of red stilettos. Why?? You've pointed out a gaping hole in my wardrobe!

    @Cloud of Secrets - never heard that before! But I think we're about the same age bracket so it may be an American word.

    @Pull Your Socks Up - thanks! From someone with so much style courage that is a real compliment.

  18. I LOVE your "Darth Vader" suit, especially the asymmetrical cut of the jacket. I like your casual look too, very tropical and fun.


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