Style

Where Did All the Style Go?

One of the things I miss most about the “golden age” of blogging–the 2010s seemed to be so rich and full of content–was how much individuality there was. Of course people took the same photos (a particular trope seemed to be latte art in the West Village specifically, or posing in front of that tiled wall on Perry Street), but there was so much style! I eagerly anticipated the daily outfit of the day selfies my favorite bloggers posted on Instagram; the outfit photos that people would take before heading to work or an event. I can’t tell you how many photos I pinned for inspiration! While trends were certainly followed, bloggers always seemed to put their own individual stamp on these trends, and it was so much fun to look at from a reader’s perspective.

Lately, and for the past few years, I have noticed that’s no longer the case. Bloggers I once loved for their individuality have seemed to all shifted to following trends to the letter instead of putting their touch on their outfits. I understand that some of this is probably due to external factors–the “algorithm,” or appealing to the greatest common denominator of readers–but I miss it! I don’t want to see an outfit styled exactly the way–and with the exact same items–that it’s styled with on the store’s website. I want to see what the blogger would pair it with, how they would put their own style on a particular item.

That brings me to the main point of this post–when did people stop dressing for themselves? I understand the desire to fit in, to feel as though you aren’t doing “it” right if you aren’t dressing exactly like everyone else. In many ways, I feel like the internet has homogenized style. Everything is right at your fingertips, and because of that, trends catch on and hang on and if you’re not on board, you’re “out.” I miss the days where fashion magazines would laud the individual dresser, where I’d eagerly watch awards shows for the unique style on display. And, as I mentioned above, I miss the days that bloggers would showcase their style in a very accessible and appealing way.

One of my goals this year is to share more outfit posts–not because I think my style is particularly noteworthy (I don’t!) but because I enjoy getting dressed, choosing outfits, and showing who I am via my clothes. I feel that clothes are the ultimate expression of ourselves–not everyone is an artist or a writer, but everyone can be creative with their outfits. You definitely won’t see me following trends here–and you won’t see me buying things, wearing them once, and then never again! I hope that I’m able to bring a tiny bit of individuality back to the blogging world.

I’m eager to hear what type of outfit posts you’d love to see–if you don’t mind, please leave a note below!

18 thoughts on “Where Did All the Style Go?

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more and I very much hope the pendulum swings back once again.
    When I started my blog thirteen years ago there was definitely a sense of fun and sharing, and only good-spirited competitiveness.
    For better or worse, many of these blogs/accounts are now businesses, complete with managers, hefty debt, and in some cases, bean-counting investors, so it may be inevitable that they have become more rote.
    And many accounts now are simply dreary.

    1. I completely agree, Muffy! I miss that camaraderie, including between blogger and reader. I hope things change as well!!! I miss individuality on Instagram, too, where I seem to scroll and see the same picture ten ways.

  2. This is so on point! Love seeing people dress to their individuality. I personally love to mix old school fashion with a little bit of funk.

      1. Thank you.
        I just acquired white loafers and metallic gray loafers. I cant wait to wear them!!!

  3. I love this post, Sarah! I’ve never really been a blog follower, however, I am always so happy when yours is delivered! I open it before clicking anywhere else.

    I’d love you to post your OOTD. What is your school run look? Going into the City?

    Thank you for writing for us and sharing your favorite purchases, pieces you inherited, and keen observations about the world. Your blog is a constant part of my week!

  4. Oh, I do so agree with this — and I do think the explosion of influencer marketing as viable business model (via affiliates + sponsorships + ‘collabs’) over the last half decade (which really accelerated during the pandemic) are big factors. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the affiliate model in theory, but it feels like brands start the majority of the content these days, versus bloggers finding items organically, linking them, and then making a commission. So then the readers are limited to a selection from whatever brands have the marketing budget to make a given blogger’s consideration worthwhile. Perversely, this whole practice has made me write off a slew of brands without bothering to find out for myself if they are any good or not (Serena + Lily, Alice Walk, AYR, all the Hill House lookalikes (how are there so many of them?!), Weezie Towels…). And it’s made me much more skeptical of affiliate recs, even from bloggers I once trusted. Hard to unsee how the sausage is made! But! I dunno, maybe the pendulum will start shifting back if this monetization model ebbs. Growth has certainly slowed over the past year. Thank you for the thought-provoking post!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Claire! I completely agree with you. It’s tough to trust bloggers when the same items are endlessly linked to… yet the product is rarely seen in those candid, day-to-day videos that so many post. I haven’t tried many of the brand you listed, but I did buy an Alice Walk tee shortly before they were everywhere and I wear it often!

      I hope that more and more bloggers choose to switch back to the model that brought them followers in the first place, and hopefully things will open up again, individuality-wise!

  5. Totally agreed. And to add in to Claire’s point about the influence of affiliate links—the other impact is folks always seem to be in something new—as opposed to rewearing like the rest of the world. It’s hard to believe someone really LOVES something or draw inspiration as a reader when it’s a parade of new things (that still somehow look the same). I loved the OOTD when you saw how someone could spin a skirt or sweater a whole bunch of ways over a season.

    1. Yes!! Great point re: affiliate links. As you know, I use affiliate links too–but I only link to items I own and love and actually wear (and rewear, and rewear!) It’s a slippery slope, though. It is hard to believe a blogger DOES love something if you only see it once!

      Great reminder re: the OOTD where you saw it throughout the season! Maybe I should do one of those…

  6. The golden age it was indeed! It has completely transformed, and unfortunately the $$$ does what it always does and messes things up. This is why I love your blog/acct. I am so into real, authentic, actual people. I hope I come across that way too.

    The oversaturated blogs/bloggers have had their day, in my opinion. That is why “micro influencers” (whatever that means) is the new buzz word. In this blog post, I love that you have pinpointed that actual style is gone in most of these big accounts. It is nice to see many likeminded people commenting here, with the same sentiments!

    Taylor (@ataylor.studio)

    1. You definitely do 🙂 I’m enjoying following along and I love to see that you actually rewear pieces!! It’s great to find so many likeminded people on the internet–and I hope that the future sees a shift to more microinfluencers!

  7. Thank you for illuminating this trend, which I’ve also been noticing but haven’t thought clearly enough about to put words to or diagnose. I do enjoy checking in on the few style blogs on my radar that continue to transmit the uniqueness and individuality of their creators and communities, this one among them. Keep on keeping on!

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