There's been a lot of interesting discussion swirling around in the blogosphere about a certain blogger who recently issued a mandate to readers about how and wherefore they may comment. I first caught wind of it, albeit a bit late because of my holiday break, over at Sal's blog, and was really impressed with Franca's excellent discussion over at Oranges and Apples.
I'm not linking the original post because it annoyed me too much, but you can follow Sal's or Franca's links if you haven't seen it already. If you follow fashion blogs at all you probably already know to what I'm referring; the gist of it is that readers were instructed to only provide positive comments, a mandate to which many people, myself included, took exception. But as I've thought about it more, the thing that has risen to the surface as being the most irritating was the assertion that the blogger is happy with her style exactly the way it is and is not, "looking for pointers." Oh, really? So you're the world's foremost expert on style, and nothing that anyone has to offer could possibly be of any value to you? Huh.
Rather than embarking on any sort of diatribe about the original post, because I think it's already been covered quite well, I'd rather share with you today my own philosophy of blogging and the comments that come from it. As always, I'd love to hear what you have to say about it.
I started this blog without any sort of expectations other than having some fun with it and perhaps cataloging my outfits for future reference. The fact that it has continued to grow in readership and participation frankly floors me. Every day I eagerly log on to read all the wonderful feedback I get from my awesome readers, many of whom offer insightful commentary on what they like about my outfits, or what they'd try the next time around. It is from these comments that my style grows and evolves, and I'm always (I think) receptive to any sort of constructive criticism. Perhaps I'm overly optimistic, but my default assumption is that if someone takes the time to stop in and say that an element of my outfit is off, they do so with the best possible intentions, in the spirit of friendship and collaboration.
I know myself that my outfits aren't always perfect, and frequently it's due to the limitations of my wardrobe. Often I have gone after a look that didn't quite succeed simply because I didn't have the right piece in my closet (yes, even my massive collection has holes!). Other times I'm pressed for time, I'm tired, or I'm not feeling particularly creative. Sometimes I'll scrap a look altogether, but more often than not I'll try it anyway on the hope that someone will offer me the solution that I just didn't see when I was putting it together. With any luck, the solution won't even have to involve me purchasing something new.
I believe that the beauty of the blogging community is that it offers the opportunity for everyone to participate, and that's why I prefer it to fashion magazines or other mediums where the communication is largely one-way. I'm no fashion professional; I'm just a clothes horse with a day job, and I for one am open to all input as long as it's presented in a respectful way. Sure, if you drop by just to tell me I look like crap then I'll probably delete your comment (thankfully no one has ever done that!), but if you want to offer me a suggestion that you feel would would improve my outfit, I'm all ears.
My main objective in writing this post is really to thank everyone who takes the time to stop in and comment, whether you love my outfit or think I really missed the boat. And just to prove how earnest I am, I'm going to offer you a special prize. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post sometime before midnight (PST) on Friday, January 22 and you'll be entered to win one of my handmade hats, custom designed just for you! Tell me your thoughts about this post or the one that started this discussion, tell me which of my outfits in the last month you liked the least and what I could've done better, ask me for style advice or tell me about your 5-toed cat; this is an open forum and you're invited to help make it a collaborative space for sharing ideas, stories, and advice, or simply for being fellow fashion enthusiasts and friends.
Drawing will be at random, and international entries are welcome. Good luck to everyone who enters, and a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU for participating!
Scarf: Banana Republic
Top: Just Angels
Shoes: Jo Ghost
P.S. Beautiful blogger Eyeliah from Style Symmetry has interviewed me for her Symmetry Seven feature! Check it out!