Thursday, 30 June 2011

On style blog inspiration and consumerism

I have been meaning to write a post about my Finland thrift finds, but this post by RK (listed in Sal's Lovely Links last week) really got me thinking about the problem of style blogging vis-a-vis consumerism. I, like many others, feel like style blogging encourages other people to buy more clothes, be it second hand or new. I, for one, often get the urge to go second hand shopping after I've seen a favourite blogger post about her new thrifted treasures.

I have started to feel increasingly uncomfortable listing where my clothes are from. I don't want to be a walking advertisement for any brand or clothing store. But even if I skip all outfit details, aren't I still potentially inspiring people to go out and spend money on clothes, just because that is sort of the crux of so many style blogs? After all, style inspiration often leads to spending money. I've actually noticed that I very rarely read other bloggers' outfit information listings, but if I see something I really like, I'll just go on Etsy or eBay to see if I can find something similar. (Shey's gorgeous harness boots are the latest item that I've been searching for online.) I try to keep a balance between blog-induced inspiration and to-be-consumerism, but sometimes it is hard to draw the line between the two. I wonder if style blogging exists at all outside the framework of consumerism.

Everything I am wearing is second hand.


The Slowest Sewist said...

This sounds cynical, but I doubt it. Style blogging tends to attract people for whom dressing is a creative/expressive act, and who enjoy sufficient privelege to allocate resources(time and/or money)to acquiring the right "medium."

That's not to say that I think it's impossible....just unlikely.

Teeny said...

I go through phases of really wanting something i've seen on another blog - and after favouriting on etsy i have to remind myself to check my wardrobe to see if i have it or something like it. My alltime favourite is polkadot dresses - i see one on a blog, try find onem on etsy or trademe, then realise i have three in my closet. So, yeah, i don't buy another one....but if i didn't double check back with myself, i'd probably happily complete the search with buying ANotHER.

jesse.anne.o said...

Chances are, we've bought something that appears on our blogs so I think there's no way it will fall outside of consumerism.

I know I mentioned this before but I do like looking at people's outfits to see if I can replicate them based on what i have. I have done it with several bloggers' outfits and have a bunch favorited on flickr and I have gone through them one by one at times to match them up to what I have in my closet currently.

I think our participation in blogs depends on how we frame it. I think it benefits me because I am forced (by myself) to list where I sourced items from and keep that front and center. I also like scrolling through old outfits to see if there's anything I want to repeat if I'm feeling stuck.

I think most of us would be buying attire anyway. I know I bought more and less-appropriate items when I wasn't blogging. The objectiveness of pictures helped me see both what I was looking like that did or didn't work and also to compare myself to looks I really liked but never managed to try.

I do like blogs that challenge the compulsory consumptions of clothing and blogs that look at sources of clothing. Those are actually helpful for me.

Carolyn said...

I think there will always be people who love to shop, and as long as they have the means to do so, will continue to do so, regardless of the presence or absence of fashion blogs.
But I agree with you about keeping check on rampant consumerism. Your fashion through thrifting (we call it op shopping in Australia) is admirable! And you look fabulous, every time!
I have been sewing my own clothes for myself for over thirty years, but I used to buy new and second hand RTW sometimes too. In the last few years I've stopped shopping for RTW entirely. I think the time and effort I have to put into making my own clothes makes me truly appreciate them and care for them more than if I'd just slapped a credit card down on a counter

loquat said...

Honestly, I've really never felt the urge to go shopping after reading style blogs. I love seeing bloggers show their styles but I never imagine that I can recreate it myself. Even if you buy everything that is on a mannequin in the shop or what a style blogger has on, it just never looks the same on another person. Each person has their own style and it may be influenced by looking at other people but it takes time to develop within and come across the right piece. I think style magazines, watching tv and movies, looking any any celebrity photos is much more influential to making people want to shop. I agree with the comment above that style blogging is a more of a creative/personal expression.

Shey said...

I've done the same, I've bought things because I saw them on other blogs many many times, many (I had to say that again). These couple of weeks, except for the shoe buying) it's been alright, I haven't spent much on clothes, in fact I haven't bought but 2 dresses and a skirt. I know once I go on vacation things will be better and my mind won't be constantly bombarded with thoughts of buying things. I'm going over to Sal's to check her post, I hope you find the boots, can you believe I couldn't stop thinking about boots because I loved your boots? hehehehehe seriously they are perfect. What size do you wear? Maybe I can keep my eyes open for harness boots. =)

Anonymous said...

You know I pondered a bit about why I bother to include brands on the clothing I thrift. I have discovered that there are two brands that tend to hold up well--new and thrifted. This says something to me about value for a dollar.

wardrobeexperience said...

oh, those clogs are so great. their details are so amazing.