Friday, January 28, 2011

Vulnerability: On Being a Style Blogger

Hi everyone, and happy Friday! I hope you're all doing well.

I've received a handful of emails from people thinking about starting their own blogs. They've asked me a range of questions regarding how much time it takes (anywhere from some to a lot), whether it's difficult (it can be for some, I think. For me it's super fun, so even when it is hard, it's not so bad), and whether or not there are any drawbacks to doing it.

There's one I can think of, and that's the exposure. When you blog, especially when it's a style blog, you're putting yourself out there. You're taking photographs of yourself and putting them up for the whole world to see. That can be scary. I'm not always stylish or fashionable. I don't always look good in photos. My hair is generally mediocre at best. By blogging, you're making yourself vulnerable and opening yourself up to people in a pretty public way. To be totally honest, I was and still am a little conflicted about this, when I remember that my coworkers know about and sometimes read the blog. After all, this is a side of myself that has very little - well, practically nothing really - to do with my work life. 

But I'll also say that the very same thing that scares me is also the thing that has allowed blogging to be such an amazingly positive experience for me. Without having exposed myself like this, I'd never have met you. I'd never have known that in the world, such a wonderful, generous, positive, supportive group of women existed. I'd never have confronted and overcome (well, okay, it's a process. I still have bad days) my own personal demons about my body image (too short, too flat-chested, too hippy, bad hair, getting older, etc). Staying on my shopping ban would be so much harder, without the blog to keep me focused, and you to encourage me. 

Top: Chiffon and lace blouse from H&M (similar here and here)
Cami: White cotton camisole, Nordstrom Brass Plum (similar here and here
Pants: Tweed Slacks, Classiques Entier, Nordstrom (similar here and here)
Necklace: Pearl station necklace, Nordstrom (similar here and here)
Belt: Tea Rose Belt, Anthropologie (this would work and this too)
Shoes: Pink Studio bootie (old, 2008? similar here and here)

And in case you're not convinced yet, that being vulnerable has both costs and benefits, here's a wonderful talk by Brene Brown on the topic, presented at the TEDxHouston conference. It runs about 20 minutes, but it's fantastic and insightful, so I hope you find the time to watch and listen:

As always, thanks for reading!


  1. OMG Carol you look gorgeous today, I literally gasped when your picture popped up in my reader. The top, necklace and belt combination is so romantic!

    I read the Anthro centric blogs for a long time before I even started commenting, let alone starting my own blog but it's nice being able to chat with ladies all over the world who share the same hobbies, whether it's Anthro, dress making, photography or running!

  2. Carol - though I never comment, I feel compelled to do so, just to let you know are my very favorite of all the Anthro bloggers.

    And your hair is never mediocre.

  3. Great post - I feel the same way at times. Recently I've started opening up a bit more about my fertility struggle. It's something that I don't really go into detail on in my "real" life but for some reason opening up to the "strangers" who read my blog is easier. No one I work with has any idea about the blog and I think I'd be mortified if they found out because I share so much more than I do with them. But at the same time that opens me up to comments and opinions that aren't always 100% positive. It's a real balancing act.

    Cute outfit, by the way! :)

  4. I feel so similar. I love the opportunity to interact and "meet" so many like minded people, but I think that one needs to also be aware that with the good comes the bad and weird!! :)

  5. You are incredibly cute and I've never once thought of you as hippy, short, flat-chested, bad-haired, etc. Even now that you've "pointed it out," I still can't see it!

    I love seeing your pictures and your style choices. It's also great to learn something about you as a person. Thanks to you and Kathryn for the blog!


  6. Beautiful top, Carol, you look fantastic (as always!)

    I agree with you and the rest of the gals. Blogging has allowed me to meet a community of like-minded people and talk about things we have mutual interest in. My blog is just one side of me and I like to keep things light because it is a fun hobby and escape for me. Putting myself out there with blogging has helped me with both my personal sense of style and my personal confidence in how I look.

  7. That top and belt are stunning. I agree with the vulnerability thing. For a long time I didn't even tell family or friends. I think that sometimes they think that it's a bit silly. But it makes me happy so... we carry on. Happy Friday!

  8. You look so beautiful! I totally understand the vulnerability-- I felt it when I started the blog and felt even more strongly when I started posting outfit pics. But the warm, encouraging comments from friends, family, and other bloggers certainly helps. And there is something brave about putting yourself out there-- it's something I strive to do in other areas of my life as well, so I figure that the blog was a good first step :)

  9. Aww, Carol, you look wonderful. That top is so pretty on you. For what it's worth, I think you're so photogenic, and your hair is gorgeous.

    Blogging does put you in a very vulnerable spot--not only are you opening yourself up for attack, you're sharing private glimpses into your life. What is more personal than that?

  10. Your look beautiful! That top is so pretty.

    As someone who just recently started a blog, I appreciate your words of wisdom:) Thanks.

  11. You look so pretty, sigh, that Tea Rose Belt...I love it! Sometimes it's reassuring to hear that others feel vulnerable - especially since we women have a way of thinking everyone else has it all together and exudes the confidence we feel we lack. Thanks for being so refreshingly real all the time Carol - I so enjoy knowing you through your blog!

  12. Hi,
    Discovered your blog only some weeks ago and I love it. I really like your style and you seem to be such a lovely person. :-)

  13. I just told you, but i guess i'll put it in writing... love the outfit, fabulous blog and you're gorgeous!!

  14. Thanks for sharing this. I truly appreciate it. I don't know you other than reading your blog but you exude a sort of quiet beauty both outside and in.

  15. great points Carol and i totally agree that with a sstyle blog, you're really putting yourself out there. but it's been a really rewarding experience for me and i'm glad you've found it to be the same.

    your outfit today is absolutely one of my favorites. i'm in love with the top and those pants make your legs look miles long!

    cute and little

  16. I think you and Kathryn do an excellent job with your blog! I'm glad you have found writing the blog to be a positive experience. I enjoy reading it all whether it's a post on style or not.

    I agree with Kileen, the outfit is perfect and those pants make your legs look so long!

  17. Great Ted Talk. I also love your blouse :-)

  18. I loooove that blouse! It's so pretty and feminine, and I really like how you styled the whole outfit too... gorgeous!