Must-read blogs: who survived the cull?
I've been reading blogs for as long as I've been writing them and, in that time, my list of "must-read blogs" has gone through as many changes as my hair.
Once upon a time...
I obsessed over daily style blogs. My must-read blogs were What I Wore, Karla's Closet and Atlantic Pacific (above). Back then, personal styles blogs were just that – diaries of what people wore on any given day, usually with descriptions telling you why they wore them, and to where. This is an outfit for work; that is a dress I wore to a wedding.
My disillusionment with personal style blogs has, I think, a lot to do with how they've changed. Now, bloggers dress up in outfits to take photographs for their blogs. The process has been reversed – instead of the outfit coming first, and photograph second, the idea of the photograph comes first and the outfit is chosen with that in mind. What I liked about personal style blogs was that they were real women, wearing real clothing (albeit mostly white, slim women) – now the lines between style bloggers and models have blurred entirely.
From personal style blogs to knowledge bombs
From there, I went on to read more knowledge-based fashion blogs. I liked Susie Bubble; I went to a sale she had in the yard of her apartment block once, on a weekend in London. She seemed nice (and taller than I thought she'd be). Her blog was full of knowledge, not just about clothes, but of the fashion industry and the design process.
In Ireland, I read Annmarie O'Connor's now-defunct I Blog Fashion with similar enthusiasm (Annmarie is one of the best fashion writers in the country – her books, The Happy Closet and The Happy Medium are pretty much essential reading). I was a big fan of Beaut.ie back in the Kirstie-and-Aisling-McDermott (above) heydey. I started reading Fluff & Fripperies shortly before becoming friends with its author, Emma. And I kept reading it because, aside from her being a friend, she's a good writer who knows her stuff.
Keeping up with the Joneses
Now, my blog-reading landscape has changed again. While I once read them because I was genuinely interested in their content, now it's a combination of just that and, well, curiosity.
Arguably, blogging is the one industry in the world in which it is incredibly easy to keep an eye on the competition. I use Alexa to check out rankings – who's ranking highly and who's dropping off? I use SocialBlade to get an idea of whose social followers are real and whose are bought. And I use Feedly to read the blogs I love, the bloggers I'm envious of and the websites whose updates I want to be kept abreast of (even if, as with Business of Fashion, I don't read every single piece).
Must-read blogs: the 2017 edition
So who makes the list of must-read blogs?
I won't bother including those I read purely for comparison's sake; I'm just going to list my must-read blogs in terms of decent content and consistent posting. These are the blogs I look for when I open Feedly; these are the updates I look forward to seeing and the posts I look forward to reading.
- Buy Now, Blog Later – Laura's an English (is it more PC to say British?) blogger who lives in Dubai, and her posts are deliciously infrequent. The end result? I look forward to them even more.
- Tanya Burr – Total honesty? I prefer Tanya's YouTube content to her blogs, but I still read them.
- Frassy – Audrey (above – I love how she's holding proper weights and not stupid rubberised "lady" dumbbells!) is a funny one because, despite the fact that we've never met, I kind of feel like we're friends. Her blog posts are always really well thought out and she's smart and funny and self-deprecating. Crucially, she recognises the mad moments that blogging presents. Plus, she loves a good moan. (We'd totally be besties, clearly.)
- Anouska – Gorgeous photographs, gorgeous girl. In a way, Anouska's the generic blogger – her photographs are incredible and her Instagram is themed by colour – but in another, she's totally unique: she's such a sunny presence in a world of scowling duck faces. (And I love her cat. Insert obvious pussy joke here.)
- A Model Recommends – Ruth is another UK blogger who, like Buy Now, Blog Later's Laura, doesn't take herself too seriously. She writes mostly about beauty and skincare, and I trust her reviews unconditionally.
- I Come Undone – Sarah recently did a post on 20 Dublin cafes and restaurants that let you bring your dog, so, y'know – enough said.
What do you think – have I omitted any must-read blogs? I would love to know whose updates you look forward to – and how you consume the blogs you do like. Do all of your links come from social media? Do any of you use readers, such as Feedly or Bloglovin?
You may note that I didn't actually include Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad (main image) in my list of must-read blogs. What can I say? I just hate when blogs end up being written by someone else, and her site is now essentially a magazine site, written by a team of contributors. I follow bloggers more than I follow blogs – I need the personal touch. Am I alone?
(As a helpful tangent, I've just discovered that, on a Macbook, CMD + K = a hyperlink, and I am so delighted with myself. It's the little things.)