Fashion blogs have been a source of knowledge and new ideas. However, evidence may suggest that we may not be indulged in them as we were before. This article discusses the evolution of fashion blogs and how their place in fashion media is changing rapidly.
At one point, fashion blogs were very essential in the lives of fashion enthusiasts. They have been every girl’s unwavering source for fashion preferences in their time of need. They encouraged people to make better fashion choices and revamp their style. They challenged them to become better versions of themselves for the longest time. That being said, let us find out if they are here to stay.
So what are fashion blogs? Theoretically, they are blogs that cover the fashion industry, clothing, and lifestyle. But to put it quite plainly, they act as a guide to help set up your wardrobe and make you understand what your style is. They assist you, prompt you to experiment with your choices, and help you decide what you like the most.
The reason they received so much attention is that they made people fact-check. They helped them understand what was trending and for what reasons.
The Early 2000s: When It All Started
Fashion blogging began in the early 2000s. It started receiving more attention in the year 2007 because it created a safe place for people to share their ideas and thoughts. Most importantly, they gave people the ability to voice out their opinions. They allowed people to take risks and come out of their style-comfort-zone.
Soon enough, many blogs began to gain traction, and style bloggers also began to infiltrate other platforms like Youtube and Facebook.
How They Grabbed Attention of Fashion Enthusiasts
Traditionally, magazines top the hierarchy of fashion, determining the quality of the products. Fashionistas followed these magazines and simultaneously became trendsetters for everyone else. Magazines always had that hold over the enthusiasts; they shaped their minds and informed them about the current changes in the industry.
However, fashion blogs took over or began to share this responsibility and happened to gain more traction. This was mainly because they were free to read, easily available, and accessible anywhere and anytime. A new community was gradually cultivated. Being fashionable became more mainstream. Fashion blogs also caused people to take their beauty standards up a notch, causing them to feel more confident about the way looked.
They instigated them to change their perspective. Fashion is not just clothes, bags, and shoes. It represents that feeling of excitement when you try on something new and the joy it brings. Fashion blogs explain this very feeling but through the lens of various people from all over the world.
Last-minute trouble at finding what to wear has been a crisis for many. The process of glancing at your closet for hours and not being able to find anything really is a struggle. The blogs help you decide how you can style what you own in different ways. For example, many bloggers and Youtubers popularized the scarf trend, the scarf can be styled in more than 8 ways. Fashion blogs are incredible, they flourish with ingenuity and help you style in ways you have never thought of before.
How Fashion Blogging Impacted the Society
· They Brought People Together
Personally, I feel fashion blogging is a very influential source. They have the power to bring the people together. Fashion blogging is quite thought-provoking. Everyone has their personal opinions. However, fashion blogs have the ability to make two very diverse groups have a unanimous perspective about something. At the same time, they give their readers a newfound viewpoint about something.
· Enhanced Shopping Choices and Experiences
As mentioned before, earlier, magazines were the most prominent source for new fashion ideas. However, only a few could access these. It was challenging to keep up with the latest trends. This is when fashion blogs catalyzed better shopping experiences. They made it convenient for readers to understand what the latest trends were.
In the last twenty years, our approach to shopping has changed tremendously. The internet has opened up an enormous spectrum, displaying a vast set of products. This makes it convenient for people to compare and purchase products from the comfort of their homes. It is not just the ease of the purchase by a single click that compels the consumer. It is the benefits such as free shipping and access to a variety of products that make the products desirable.
Created Job Opportunities for Women
Fashion blogs haven’t just been profitable to their readers but have proved to be efficient to the writers as well. They made many women (and men) independent workers. They were also quite convenient as blogging could be a passive job. Many college students, housewives, or new moms were able to explore and write about their fashion experiences and had the ability to inspire many.
Fashion blogs encouraged women to start their careers earlier on in life. Many fashion bloggers such as Tolly Dolly Posh (16 years), Ellie- Rose, and Vintage (18 years) were able to speak their minds. They gave the readers a different perspective at such a young age. Fashion blogging sculpts and creates employment opportunities for everyone.
Some popular fashion bloggers like Gabi Gregg and Lisa Gachet created a very prominent impression on society. Gabi Gregg informed people of the unjust body-shaming practices and spread awareness regarding the same. Lisa Gachet started her own line of clothing which was the first brand to offer do-it-yourself fashion.
How the Era of Fashion Blogs has Changed Since Then
Although fashion blogs have always been there for us, there has been a gradual change in the preference of source to find the latest trend in recent years. This is mainly because of social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, which cause only the most sought-after fashion blogs to evolve and the ignorance of the rest.
These platforms also gave rise to “fashion influencers”. While bloggers use a website or blog to share their personal style and opinions, influencers often just stick to one or more social media platforms to build their audience through visual content instead of textual.
People now have access to fashion blogs and the opinion of fashion influencers on the same platform. While the process of maintaining a website, writing engaging articles, and responding to the reader’s feedback takes time, influencers speed up the process by sharing casual day-to-day images or micro-content.
While fashion blogs set the trend, they are progressively being deprived of readers. A recent report by Smart Insights shows that millennials find information or advice from social media roughly by twice compared to the previous generation and four times more than Boomers. Consumers are no longer going online to check blog posts because it is much easier to see an influencer’s content on mobile apps/social media.
A Blogging.org survey from 2012 conducted a study based on the responses of more than 1,000 bloggers. It showed that as many as 81% of bloggers never made even $100 from blogging, while only 8% of them make enough money to support their families. This might be one of the most relevant reasons for the decline in fashion blogging.
Has Fashion Blogging Reached its Lowest Ebb?
Fashion blogs have recently begun to be overshadowed by social media platforms. This is mostly because of the user-friendly formats such as the 15-second videos. These happen to engage one’s attention and give them an appropriate amount of information in a shorter time frame.
To get an opinion on what people thought the future held for fashion blogging, ShilpaAhuja.com surveyed its team members. One of the team members replied, “I think fashion blogs won’t entirely die out. Fashion blogs are somewhat of a need and a lot of fashion enthusiasts would probably agree. But personally, I think social media i.e Instagram, would take over. People have much shorter attention spans and they prefer reading short content and watching short videos rather than reading a 1500 plus word content on a blog”.
The following is an insight into the responses received:
- Only about 36% percent of our team members still read fashion blogs regularly.
- About 72% of them prefer social media applications instead of fashion blogs for their inspiration in styling.
The essence of all the responses received was that although fashion blogs are loved and appreciated by many, they may steadily lose their readers shortly because of the potential of social media apps and their ability to hold the younger generation’s attention.
Understanding these consumer trends, more and more fashion bloggers are transitioning away from their personal blogs and creating content for social media apps and platforms instead. People demand immediacy, and for many bloggers, social media posts often generate more views compared to traditional blog posts. Even though the numbers of fashion blogs are extremely high, we are left to wonder if they have outrun their course. Fashion blogs have been very essential for many of us but at the same time they are losing their audience and unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about that.
Are Influencers the New Fashion Bloggers?
In the survey, we also asked a few of our teammates if they thought influencers were going to take over fashion blogging entirely.
The most common responses were affirmative. “Yes, I do think that fashion influencers are the new fashion bloggers. Social media apps like Instagram are the new platform for blogging. Posts of influencers are short and easy to read, short videos grab attention and the latest styles are usually always portrayed by influencers, which gains huge traction,” said one of our team members.
Even though blogging is still common among fashionistas, most new enthusiasts prefer to share their personal style on social media rather than write lengthy, thought-provoking blog posts these days. Out of the existing fashion blogs, many have been brought to a halt, as their owners have quit, either in pursuit of a full-time job, raising a family, or simply continue their work exclusively on social media.
So as much as most of us would be disheartened to see, that it is almost inevitable that fashion blogs are losing traction and there is a possibility that they might gradually pale into insignificance.
A Different Perspective
So far, we have understood that social media has had a breakthrough in the past couple of years. Instagram, Snapchat, almost have a billion downloads each. That is just an example of how potent these apps are. Having said that, a few years ago, Facebook held the attention of the multitude. It received an enormous amount of attention from people all over the world. Somehow, that changed rapidly.
This generation is eager for more. So what happens when Instagram and Snapchat cease to be as popular?
Personally, I feel fashion blogs will continue to thrive regardless of the existence of social media. This is mainly because fashion is everlasting. It is always exciting to know what’s new in the fashion industry. Not everyone who loves fashion feels contented with these posts social media has to offer. Some of these fashion enthusiasts still prefer intellectually stimulating blog posts over images or videos with limited captions. This demonstrates that even though social media is very competent, it cannot take over fashion blogs entirely. They are both peculiar in their own way and it would be difficult to pick one over the other.
Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below and let us know what you think about influencers taking over fashion blogs, or tweet us at @shilpa1ahuja.
Krishita Rajpal is a Fashion Journalist Intern at ShilpaAhuja.com. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in Business Administration at Presidency University, Bangalore. At present, she runs a thrift page on Instagram and loves writing. Some of her other interests include swimming, painting, yoga, working out and traveling. She finds fashion fascinating and is looking forward to working in the field.