Blog Love: Style with substance

Friday, May 03, 2013

In my first year of blogging, I wrote 200 posts. It's taken me over 15 months to churn out another hundred, but here we are: 300 posts and still going. Not going strong, exactly, but definitely going. Hooray.

And what better way to celebrate than to share the love? I've given my Blogs I Love page a spring clean and added some new favourites. There are many smart and hilarious women on there, generously chronicling their lives, and a few stubborn wedding sites that I just can't quit. Plus ça change. What's noteworthy is the recent emergence of a style and design category, something that was barely on my blog radar 100 posts ago. Over time, my own blog has gradually become less about pondering and fretting and more about getting off my arse and doing things, so I've been increasingly drawn to blogs with a visual, creative emphasis.

It's a difficult genre to get right, though. I have a not-so-secret love of admiring beautiful things, but I've also come to realise that empty beauty doesn't hold my attention for long. If I just want to look at mindless images of nice stuff, I can go on a Pinterest binge; the content's better and I don't have to put up with the badly-written copy that seems to be the trademark of the amateur style blog.

If a style, design or fashion site is going to hold my attention, it needs to offer something more. It needs to be funny, or clever, or just plain well-written. In my experience, blogs like that are surprisingly hard to find, so I thought I'd share a few that have captured my interest lately.

Style by Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson won a TV interior design contest in the US, but that's not why I find her blog so compelling. Emily is a stylist. Her job seems to involve making over expensive homes in tasteful ways for wealthy clients and arranging expensive things in tasteful ways for glossy photoshoots. Doesn't sound like the most thrilling premise for a blog, but there's something in the way she writes about it that draws me in. Despite her success, she writes in a refreshingly natural voice that is funny, engaging and a little bit awkward. If you know anything about me at all, you'll know that being funny, engaging and a little bit awkward is pretty much the key to my heart.

Of course, she has impeccable taste as well. Her styling work is gorgeous, full of bright colours and quirky things, and she's generous with her advice. If you have even a remote interest in making your environment more attractive and pleasant to live in, I'd highly recommend perusing her blog. Plus did I mention she's funny and engaging? And awkward? Go, read.


Morgan Satterfield of the Brick House has a completely different aesthetic to Emily Henderson, but she too is funny and a little bit awkward. I'm sensing a pattern here. There seems to be some unwritten rule that design-y blogs must be earnest and sweet and excruciatingly chirpy, so when I find someone who has not only great style but some semblance of a personality, I'm sold.

As well as general eye candy, the Brick House shares DIY ideas that are actually - *gasp* - kind of cool. Obviously none of them live up to my own adventures in doing it myself, but hey, not everyone can be as talented as me. She is still quite talented though, so you should probably read her blog right now.

A Little Bird Told Me

Next, a good old personal style blog. You know, those blogs where people post awkward pictures of themselves standing on one leg beside a wall wearing weird and/or terrible outfits. There must be tens of thousands of these blogs, mainly written by 22-year-olds with a Topshop addiction and an aversion to uppercase letters. So it's something of a relief to find a style blog written by someone with genuine writing skills.

Jen of A Little Bird Told Me is a blogger by day and a freelance copywriter... also by day. The girl knows her way around a semi-colon. She also does a very nice job of taking awkward pictures of herself standing beside a wall, which takes some serious balls. Her fashion sense is quite different from mine, but it's always good to look outside your comfort zone for inspiration. Plus, she has previously rocked a pixie and is currently rocking a pair of dusty pink wedge hi-tops, so that's enough to get my attention.

Empty Emptor

And lastly, something completely different. Empty Emptor is described by its creator, Jess, as "a whole lot of over-thinking and navel-gazing," and it is, but in a good way. Jess explores issues of consumer behaviour, wardrobe politics and the ethics of style. She makes exceptionally good points. And she's funny. And she's a NEUROSCIENTIST. How many blogs do you read that are written by neuroscientists? Exactly.

Empty Emptor makes you feel cleverer just by reading it. It also makes you examine your motivations before splashing cash on disposable fashion. Her series on the classics  (1, 2, 3) should be required reading for anyone with an interest in building a longlasting wardrobe, and is especially relevant given my ongoing search for a classic of my own (thanks for your suggestions, by the way).

So, there you have it. Enjoy. And here's to my next 100 posts. If my current pace is anything to go by, expect them to be finished some time in 2017.

Images: 1. If you think I'm going to credit 100 posts, you are very wrong, my friend. You'll just have to read each individual post for the deets. 2. Laure Joliet and 3. Monica Wang both via Style by Emily Henderson 4&5. Morgan Satterfield 6. A Little Bird Told Me 7. Andrew Biraj via Time via Empty Emptor 


14 boats moored

  1. Some wonderful links here. I'll be popping back to them later for a proper read.

    Congratulations on 300 posts too. This has long been one of my favourite spots on the internet, even more so since we met in London last month!

    Franky xxx

  2. Wooh! I know I'm pretty new here, but given that I read most of those 300 in the last two months, it's been a pleasure and I look forward to the next 300.

  3. hundreds and hundreds of more posts! xx

  4. Love them all - you are a star - obviously take after your mother!!

  5. Congrats doll! I still have blog archiving to do here, but thought I would finally drop a note and say I adore what you do so please churn out another 300 ;)

  6. Congrats on 300 posts!! It's a hell of an accomplishment no matter how long it takes so hope you popped some champers ;)

    As for your picks, will be checking them out. Emily Henderson is honestly ON FIRE at the moment - I'm forever drooling over every single thing she touches. Sigh. And she's cool and funny and awkward. Yeah, girl crush, seriously.

    Off to check out your other recommendations!


  7. I'm so busy packing I sometimes miss your pithy procrastinations.I'm on a short break so am catching up.It's really hard parting with "stuff" to which I am attached but have no need or room for in our new But 'n Ben.
    I did a nice zig zag the other day,I ran out of paper,Al went to fetch more and I packed some breakables in a box with my wedding dress at the bottom and my Burberry duffle on the top! Don't imagine I'll need either in the desert but didn't have to throw them out!

  8. Congratulations on 300 posts! I'm not usually one for a style blog - not being very stylish or waif-like they don't seem to be for me, but I'll check these ones out as they sound like they have a bit of substance too.

  9. Ahh, congratulations on 300 posts! And excellent posts too, I might add. (Seriously, when I discovered your blog, I did that thing where you just spend hours and hours going back through the archives, haha.) And thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. ;)

    I know what you mean by "the badly-written copy that seems to be the trademark of the amateur style blog". It pains me to read that sort of prose, lie the writer is trying to regurgitate as many worn-out fashion clichés as possible in the hope that it seems like something you'd read in a magazine. I do understand that some of these bloggers are still trying to find a voice and develop a personal style, so it might simply be early days for them. However, I think there also are plenty of bloggers who just continuously trot out the same tiresome phrasings as can be seen in the product descriptions on online retailers, with no evidence of development or individuality. "Make an impression with a look of off-duty, effortless cool by dialing up the quirk factor with a statement print in acid-bright hues, styled with an edgy pair of patent pumps for some ladylike chic, all accented with layers of luxe bling for some cool-girl edge and a downtown vibe, and polished off with a slick of lipstick for a pop of colour, creating the perfect on-trend, super-luxe look that you can wear from desk to dinner!" [Insert 28 nearly identical photos of the outfit.] Hhhhnnnnnnnggggggggghhhhh.

    (I mean, whatever floats your boat, of course - people can feel free to write and read whatever blog content they want and I'm not judging. I just know what sort of writing personally makes me despair for humanity.)

    1. HA! Have you ever thought of starting a personal style blog? You've got the knack ;)

  10. I just wanted to make general noises of appreciation for you & your blog, lady. The internet is better for it and ALL THE SPARKLES.