Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Styled by Kimberley: Blog Birthday

I'm sort of in shock that we've somehow made it to FIVE years as a blogging duo... It really wasn't the plan!
When we started, we thought it would be a fun little project to keep us in contact (more on our About page). There was no end goal (no goals at all actually, except to create content) and a sort of understanding that it would naturally peter out. And yet, here were are, still enjoying our colourful corner with a raft of great projects under our belts. Today I am wearing my favourite new outfit for our fresh new look and I want to divulge (and indulge in) what I've learned in 5 years of blogging:

I have the best blogging partner
I would never ever keep this going on my own and can't imagine sticking with someone else for 5 years. We've never even  had a disagreement (jinx). I bet you can't name a girl group or boy band that has lasted longer - Helen is indeed my other half by now! I've already written about how to have a successful blog partnership (or any kind of working relationship!) and it still stands.

Balancing a full time job with a blog is a 'mare
Blogging is definitely not a part-time hobby. It can completely consume you, between the photo editing, writing, events and promotion. Social media alone can easily take up hours of your day and it's easy to get carried away. We work to a schedule but, as we found in the last years, it's sometimes impossible to keep it up around other life events. Since it is just a hobby for us, we've agreed not to beat ourselves up about it. No one is sitting around lamenting that a blogger's latest post hasn't gone out on time so let's all stop apologising for skipping some weeks. If you're having fun reading, and we're having fun creating, we'll carry on!

Blogging events are work
On social media, events look like parties and it's a blogger's job to sell it as a fun experience. Don't get me wrong - I've been to lots of fun evenings, normally because I've bumped into lovely blogger friends or there's some crafting or cake on the go. But the reality is that you are there to photograph and report, and think about how you are going to frame the information to be interesting to your audience. Elbowing a bunch of cameras away so you can get your decent pic in an often ill-lit room can be horrible and there is some pressure. Also... not a lot actually happens at these things once you've had a look round. Sorry to destroy the illusion.

There will always be another opportunity
A lot of bloggers talk about getting FOMO if they can't attend an event, or are passed over for a collaboration. The simple fact is that not every brand has heard of you and there are too many events (always booked on the same bloody days!) to get around. Swallow your pride and envy and get over it! We have a unique experience in that we've lived in different cities so have had to regularly go to events separately and debrief after.. and I can say that there's never been one that's been so exciting I've been upset about missing it (see above). We have to turn down a lot due to work commitments or just the distance (hello NY fashion week invitations) but there will always be another invitation, and another time to attend. Don't worry about it!

I'm still rubbish at asking for opportunities
Bloggers have a reputation for hustle and reaching out to brands is absolutely the norm. Yet I never do this. There's a delicate etiquette to it and I've heard from both blogger and brand sides about when this has been done badly. It is remembered and discussed, and to be honest, I don't want to be annoying or disliked. We've been extremely lucky in that opportunities have either come to us or have arisen naturally in conversations with brands. I like this because it feels organic, but also there are brands I adore that I never seem to get round to telling that I'd love to work with. I must try harder!

I still don't know what makes someone chic
I feel like one person can wear something very ordinary and really own it, while another can be wearing all the 'right' things and just not pull it off. What is this magic?! Investing in good quality clothes? Understanding styling? Simply being conventionally attractive or thin? I can't say I've learned what it is that gives some people that je ne sais quoui but I think you can help it along with confidence, being comfortable in an outfit and wearing the right fit. If you have a better answer please let me know!

There is always space for personal growth
As Honey Boo Boo says, "I'm already a cool person but I wanna get cooler". Although I enjoyed fashion anyway, putting thought into creative content and spending time with really inspiring creative types has made me really focus on my styling and push my outfits. I've also had to learn so many other skills I hadn't expected, like photography (yeah I'm still rubbish but I've better!), and writing for different platforms.

Not everything needs to be publicised
I have been through ups and downs in my life during the time we've been blogging and it's strange to see it all documented. While I maybe don't discuss details of my private life on the blog, mapping times of personal growth against photos makes me see how many ways I have changed. An outfit or event reminds me of the non-blog related parts of my life too. On the blog my weight has yo-yo'd up and down and I've also addressed my health problems when I've felt I wanted to. Not everything is for sharing though... it's a fashion blog, after all!
Equally, I care about things that I don't necessarily write about. I'm well-read in plus size issues, I understand retail models and my interest in sustainability and ethics in fashion long precedes Wardrobe Conversations. As a reader, I have learned that you don't need to weigh in on every subject circulating - I'd much rather read in-depth articles on issues than someone's partially informed clickbait tuppence. So I don't bother to add my own.

Being photographed every day can be difficult
I'm not really a selfie fan so my personal instagram is lacking and sometimes I really don't feel like being photographed for the blog. Like everyone, my self esteem can vary and there have been images I've shared that I've really not loved. I've written about how to pose when you're not feeling confident. However, I'm a big believer that the more you review them and ruminate on them, the unhealthier your body image will be. So I upload the photos and move on with my life. There must be a thousand images of me online now - who cares about a crappy few?

And let me tell you - I am never upset by photos where I look happy.

Very important (slightly off topic) point 
I really do not age. Am I a vampire? Maybe. Will I ever share a skin care secrets blog post? Probably not because I think it's genes, sleep and the fact I've been moisturising since I was 14. You're welcome.

Top | Sugarhill Boutique
Trousers | Zara
Shoes | Topshop (old)
Earrings | Zara
Glasses | c/o IOLLA

What have you learned about blogging? Or would you like to know about it?
Also - what do you think of the new look on the blog?! Let us know.

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