Thursday, January 10, 2013

behind the blog: respect the shoes

Lisa from Respect the Shoes is one of my new favorite reads. She has that classic style while still having fun with her outfits. She's completely adorable and I know you are going to be so inspired by not only her style but also her attitude.

Tell us what motivate you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?

I was a total style blog lurker for several months before I started my own blog. I found style blogs on accident when trying to Google a review on some clothing I was considering and it took a few weeks before I even “got it” in terms of what the heck this whole deal was. I thought the community was really supportive and fun, plus I worked from home at the time and sometimes had little reason to even change out of my jammies some days. Style blogging challenged me to 1) get dressed, and then 2) experiment with fashion.

Which blogs do you read every day? 

I look at a handful of style blogs which are aspirational and inspirational to me in one way or the other – Atlantic-Pacific, Gary Pepper, Park & Cube, Classy Girls WearPearls.

But the blogs I really connect with and read are daily style blogs by real women I can relate to – Little Tin Soldier, Girlsack, Notes from the Dressing Room, Dea Diaries are some examples (and your blog has been a wonderful new discovery for me).

Who takes your pictures? What camera and lens do you use? Have you ever been caught in the act of taking these?

I take my own pics with a wireless remote and tripod. I currently use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 which has a cool flip up screen and loads of fancy features I don’t know how to use.

Due to time restraints, I pretty much take all my pics in, or right outside, my home. I’d love to be one of those gals who can find interesting backgrounds for her pics, but I have neither the time, talent, nor guts to haul a tripod around town and takes pics of myself in public spaces!

Do people in real life know about your blog? What were their reactions when they found out about your blog?

Only immediate family and close friends know I have a blog. Most of them have little interest in it, but I was really embarrassed about it at first – I mean, I’m proud of my blog and all, but to those who don’t really know about blogging, it just seems like a really vapid and self-absorbed hobby … and it kind of is, but aren’t all hobbies kind of like that? I honestly feel like people who don’t read blogs or blog themselves don’t really get it.

Your outfits are always an adorable mix of classic and modern. What tips do you have for those who are trying to round out their closet with those timeless pieces?

It’s taken me a lot of time, probably too many dollars, and a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for my lifestyle and body type. And I am no expert by any means, so I am still learning myself.

Not sure if this answers your question or not, but I work in a corporate environment with mostly older co-workers and I travel quite a bit, so that instantly has forced me to opt towards more “grown-up” pieces that can withstand some abuse and be flexible enough for lots of different situations. Stuff like suit separates, coats, handbags, etc.

However I didn’t want to look too conservative (or old), so I try to mix it up in terms of what’s appropriate and what’s trendy. So maybe a shirtdress in a brighter hue. Or a wool jacket with some spiked metallic jewelry. Leopard shoes with a pair of trousers. A classic blazer in stripes. So that I fit in, but still kind of stood out.

Many fashion bloggers hop from one trend to the next. How do you manage to stay on trend without breaking the bank and just blindly following each trend?

Fashion is all about trying new things, which I enjoy, but I’m no trailblazer. It usually takes several weeks and/or months before I try out something new to me – shoot, I just got into colored pants this year. So honestly some trends die out or hit super-sale before I even get to them – being tentative is an instant wallet-saver, hehe.

If I do want to try something new, I’ll usually start with one of the fast fashion retailers. They usually have a ton of options and prices are cheap, so if something doesn’t work out for me – hello, cropped harem pants – I’m not out a whole lot of money.

Putting yourself on the internet comes with the expectation that not everyone will always love what you are wearing and writing. Have you encountered any of these criticisms, and if so, how do you handle it?

I know not everyone’s going to like what I wear all the time, or think I’m vapid, or write like I’m living in a land of unicorns and fairies - and that’s fine for people to think so and even tell me so. Like you mentioned, I am putting myself out on the Internet for phrase and inevitable criticism alike.

If someone really doesn’t like me just because I exist, they don’t have to read my blog. I’ve had random people leave hateful pointless comments before – yes, I am well aware what I look like, thanks so much - and I went right ahead and deleted them. I don’t need to waste my own time on that.

However, if someone doesn’t think my outfit works and wants to recommend another kind of top, or wants to correct me on a fact I’ve misused, or has a differing opinion on a post topic – that’s just creating a dialogue and there’s nothing wrong with that, IMO.

What has been the best thing to come out of blogging? 

Learning to dress better. Being less afraid to try new things. Making more of an effort to look good, and in turn, making myself feel better. Being more accepting of myself. “Meeting” a great community of other stylish women in an environment where it is OK not to completely serious all the time.

When it comes to promotion of your blog, what methods do you use? Do you spend a lot of time commenting on other blogs, pinning your looks, doing link ups?

I guess I don’t really do much in the way of blog promotion. My blog is a fun hobby for me and I kill enough minutes already taking photos or thinking up posts, so honestly I don’t do a whole lot else. I appreciate the people who take the time to visit my blog and leave a comment so typically I’ll check out their blogs and leave a comment back – it’s been a great way for me to find some new really interesting blogs.

I’ve also started pinning some outfit pics but really use that as a way for me to see quickly what I’ve worn recently. I don’t have tens of thousands of followers on Pinterest or anything, so I can’t really correlate if my pinning has any effect on my blog.

What tips or suggestions do you have for your fellow bloggers? 

I think there’s a tiny bit in all of us gals who start a style blog that hope that we’ll catapult into blogger stardom and gain a huge following and loads of luxe sponsorships in a matter of weeks. And I’m sure that does happen to some ladies, but for the vast majority of us, we work really hard to get a following, find out voice, our niche, etc. So I think my only piece of “advice,” if you could call it that, is to make sure you’re enjoying it. Blogging takes up a lot of time and most of us make little to no money doing it, so please blog because you want to, not because you think you have to.

Thank you so much Lisa! Next week we have Heather from Pearls & Paws!