If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite pasttimes, amongst Netflix bingeing and cake baking, is looking at fashion blogs and borderline-stalking bloggers on their websites and social media accounts for outfit inspo. This is a great and enjoyable hobby to have, but can be disheartening if you’re a college student and can barely afford a Venti Starbucks, much less a Valentino purse. Most fashion blogs seem to be full of designer accessories and expensive jeans. But style is style, regardless of the price tag or brand, and whether you spend $5 or $500 on sunglasses, fashion is for all of us.
Mason, who writes a monthly column for Marie Claire and designed her own collection for Modcloth last fall, is one of the most in-demand bloggers working right now. The 29-year-old writer played a role in the promotion and social media around Target's new plus-size collection Ava & Viv and is also a budding TV personality, offering style advice on programs including "Today" and "Good Morning America." Mason is notable because she uses her blog as a platform to discuss bigger social issues, including race, sexuality and body image. 
The New York Times "Style" section writer, Eric Wilson, did an extensive study on the impact of fashion bloggers on the fashion industry for one of his style columns. Wilson wrote that these bloggers have ascended ‘from the nosebleed seats to the front row’ in the past year and that the divide between the ‘high code’ editors with a professional opinion and the ‘amateur’ fashion bloggers is beginning to disintegrate. Wilson interviewed prominent publicists, editors and designers. Publicist Kelly Cutrone stated that over the past two years, there has been a complete change in who is writing about fashion. Not only does Cutrone say she needs to keep a watch on the editors of mainstream writings, such as Vogue and Elle, but now she needs to monitor on the millions of fashion bloggers around the world. Cutrone goes on the later state that once these bloggers post anything on the internet, it never comes off, and it now becomes the first thing that the designers will see.[5]
9. Wear lipstick. Even if your smile is more like the pursed-lip grin of Mona Lisa until you get serious about whitening your teeth or finishing your dental work, a little color energizes your face and brings attention to what you say. And if you're dashing around doing errands or working from home, lipstick may be all you need to perk up the day. Be it a rich nude caramel, sheer sandy pink, rosy tan or go-for-it red, find your best shade and forget about trends.
“I don’t recommend buying a highly trendy item for a lot of money because in just a few months it’s almost guaranteed to be on the ‘OUT’ list next year. One example this season are the embellished handbags. These fun bags with stars, hearts, moons, and beading can be super fun for some nights out but really shouldn’t be a big part of your fashion budget. I’d look to stores like Zara or Topshop for great versions at an affordable price.” —Mr. Hernandez
Neely, 31, launched Fashion Toast in 2007. Her particular style of blogging -- photo-heavy posts featuring cool clothes and model poses -- has greatly influenced the generation of influencers who have followed her. While Neely has collaborated with established brands in the past, she recently launched her own line. Are You Am I, a collection of slip dresses, tap pants and distinctly cut tees, is notable for its specificity. For fans who want to emulate Neely's style -- and there are plenty of them -- there is nothing more perfect. 

Devoting this much time to your closet is unnecessary if you don’t take care of all those clothes you’ve carefully chosen. One quality iron, a nice detergent and a couple of seconds you should devote to checking the instructions on a garment is all it takes, so don’t be lazy. There is something for everyone on this list, and the truth of the matter is that mastering some fashion basics will allow you to develop and polish up a unique style that suits you very well and let’s you stand out, but has a universally aesthetic quality to it at the same time. 

I was asked to share my "big big world" at the Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne Writers Festival and mostly talked about fangirling, the anxiety of influence, and being happy instead of putting pressure on yourself to be some tortured artist. I love Neil Gaiman's "make good art" speech, but I wanted to talk about what happens when you can't make good art, and about how fulfilling it can be to appreciate other people's art. If you prefer to watch the FIRST-EVER DELIVERY of this thing, the Sydney one is here, but I've embedded the slightly-updated Melbourne one above.

Kathleen’s blog was created out of the realization that post-grad life wasn’t as fabulous as Carrie Bradshaw had led her to believe (even as adults, we’re still trying to solve the puzzle of how Carrie could afford a closet-full of Manolos on a writer’s salary). But looking at her inspiring outfits and picture-perfect lifestyle, you might have to disagree that it is extremely fabulous (except she pulls it all off with affordable pieces and doable outfit ideas).
"Well, really, our memories are all we have, and even those we think of as "real" are made up. Art can condense experience into something greater than reality, and it can also give us permission to do or think certain things that otherwise we’ve avoided or felt ashamed of. The imagination is where reality lives; it’s the instant lie of backwash from the prow of that boat that we think of as cutting the present moment, everything following it becoming less and less "factual" but no less real than what we think of as having actually occurred."
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