Here, There, and Everywhere: have blogs homogenized fashion?

The last time I was in France a few years ago, I came home bursting with style inspiration. The way the ladies dressed in Paris was just so — different, so well thought out, so effortless, that I came home determined to revamp certain parts of my wardrobe. I remember seeing everyone wearing blazers, especially with less dressy bottoms; it was a trend that made its way to the states later that year (remember when EVERYONE was posting about blazers in late 2010/early 2011?).

On this trip, it was a little different. Sure, French girls still have that special something that makes them seem so chic no matter what they’re wearing, but as far as sartorial inspiration went, there was nothing that really surprised me. In fact, I felt like I had already seen most of the styles and outfits before — on blogs. 

It’s no secret that the fashion blog world has exploded in the last few years. Blogs have been around for well over a decade, but this particular subset has seen massive growth. When I wrote this post, a reader named Valerie mentioned that on her latest trip to Paris, she felt like the style differences from country to country were decreasing. Maybe her comment was on my mind as I traveled around France, but in all honesty, I have to say I completely agree. It didn’t feel like the last time I was in France, where I felt like you could easily tell a French girl from a traveler. In fact, 9 times out of 10 I couldn’t tell until I heard someone speaking. Half the time I was shocked to realize that French girls had nothing on the American ones!

There are plenty of street style bloggers who are still featuring great content that inspires and don’t follow any particular “norm” or trend (The Sartorialist, whose blend of fashion photography meets photojournalism comes to mind), but my personal opinion is that these blogs are fewer and farther between.

So, what do you think? Do you think the blog world plays a role in homogenizing what’s on trend globally? I don’t think it’s necessarily good or bad, it’s just an observation I made, and if the blog world is indeed playing a role, WOW that’s powerful.

And an aside about blogging in general: The blog world does so many things well, but I think lately, as the industry continues to grow and more people start blogs, the impetus is to copy what has worked for others, as if there’s some universal formula to blog success. That’s not to say that there aren’t a number of things you should focus on if you want to see your blog grow (of course there are, and of course they’re proven to work!), but my hope is that all bloggers continue to push themselves creatively and do what works and what is true for them. And I know, it’s tough. I’m not immune to falling into the trap either. But we have to try! Otherwise, what previously were places to inspire will all be pretty boring, don’t you think?

{Image Credits: The Blonde Salad, Vanessa Jackman, The Sartorialist}

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27 Comments

  1. 7.5.12
    sarah said:

    This is very interesting to think about. I haven’t traveled abroad that recently, but my only comment would be perhaps there are still style differences, but we’ve seen them on blogs, so we aren’t as surprised by them. I’m sure there is a bit of homogenization as well, though. It’s incredible to think about what blogs have done and how they influence us.

    In thinking about blogs becoming homogenized themselves, I’ve been thinking about this recently as well. With so many blogs out there, there’s bound to be overlap, but I think it’s so important to find that unique part of yours, and embrace it. Thanks for writing this!

  2. 7.5.12

    i think that, as bloggers, we are more aware of fashions and trends that are blogged about repeatedly. i can’t tell you how many blog posts i’ve read about anchors recently, which i actually love but every time i see a post about them now, i think, oh there we go again.

    however, none of my friends are blogger or even read blogs, so they have no idea that this is going on in the blogging world and they are totally influenced by fashion mags and the fashions in the shops.

    i think that a main reason for the similar fashions across the globe are because more shops are now available everywhere… we can all shop in zara and topshop etc., so we are all wearing similar outfits.

    however, being an english girl who travels to america on a regular basis, i feel that i do still notice quite a difference between what i wear and what my man’s girl friends wear.

    also, i try to limit my daily blog reading to a few absolute favourites and i always trust them to come up with fun and original content — that way, i don’t get bombarded with the same thing over and over.

    woahh long comment!! really interesting topic Victoria :) xx

  3. 7.5.12
    Danielle said:

    I was in Paris in May and definitely agree! I don’t even read that many style blogs – just comparing Paris street style to Toronto styles. So similar! The one big difference I did notice is how stylish the men and children are.

  4. 7.5.12
    Jessica said:

    Thanks for such a thought provoking post! I can say from a new blogger’s perspective that finding out who you are and what you want to showcase can be difficult while you’re reading the blogs of people you admire and trying to get your footing in such a densely populated niche. It’s something I hadn’t thought about at all when I was starting my blog, but now I think about it every single day. It’s a challenge that I know will continue and grow with me as I continue posting and contributing to the community.

    As for the country to country similarity – a part of that makes me sad, but a part of me also feels like globalization might mean that some of that is inevitable. The real concern for me is how trends are presented – there’s just no way one look can work for everybody, and I hope that fashion writers (mags and bloggers alike!) find ways to present the latest fashions in ways that are true to their readership and themselves.

    Again, thanks for providing such a great topic to think about!

  5. 7.5.12
    Chaucee said:

    I’ve never thought about this before, but now that you’ve connected a few dots it makes sense that fashion bloggers have played a part in homogenizing style around the world. I’ve been lucky enough to travel as well, and while there can be some differences in style from every country, the lines are starting to become blurred.

  6. 7.5.12

    I loved this post. When I saw the title, I thought your post was going to be about the last paragraph… which is something that really bugs me… I hate how blogs are all becoming the same… wearing the same zara shoes with the same j.crew dress, etc. etc. Everyone is trying to be Blair, Taylor, or Leandra… when in fact they should just try being them self!

    But the first part was very thought provoking – something I hadn’t thought of but totally makes sense. I think I completely agree!

  7. 7.5.12

    It’s too bad you felt this way about the style in Paris. When I studied abroad there five years ago, I was in awe of the unique and individual tastes of every woman I saw on the street (even though they were also all so effortlessly chic) It’s really a great observation and I’ve definitely noticed this a little bit in DC. It’s like how because of pinterest, I’m sure SO many people had the exact same 4th of July themed dessert at their BBQ yesterday. It’s definitely a trend worth keeping an eye on…and motivation for creatives to continue to work to stand out.

    Did I mention I like this post? :)

  8. 7.5.12
    Aubrey said:

    Hasn’t it all been done before??? (c; I would definitely agree that there is probably some homogenization going on (I mean, really, with being *SO* connected by all our technology, how could we not be?)…but I definitely think there is still a very small percentage of us bloggers and really, we are just so darn *BOMBARDED* that what everyone else sees as new and fresh, we’re already thinking is blase! It’s a hard balance to strike and I am definitely with you on the hope that we don’t stop striving and thinking creatively just because we have a fabulous resource at our fingertips! (c; Dang you, pinterest!!! (c;

  9. 7.5.12

    Great post V! So interesting. I haven’t been to France but I can definitely relate…sometimes we are just so overexposed to everything that we’ve seen it all! It’s getting harder and harder to stand out, but I think that’s a good thing because it’s a push for more individuality. Thanks for sharing! xo

  10. 7.5.12

    Very interesting post! I definitely agree… I think so many bloggers stick to the same ‘formula’ as other personal style bloggers, instead of being different + unique and doing their own thing. Blogs like The Man Repeller and The Style Rookie are very unique, and so they’re a breath of fresh air to read! i definitely think we as bloggers should try and do as much of our own thing as possible – be unique! x

    Kate {Modette}
    http://modetteblog.com

  11. 7.5.12
    Phoebe said:

    I don’t know if I’d say that blogs have homogenized fashion. It’s more that good ideas are being made aware worldwide, and thusly, they are being adopted by fashionable folks across the globe. And it’s not just blogs, but the internet itself that helps spread ideas in fashion. For example, I might see Parisians wearing brogues and incorporate that into my wardrobe, but consequently, Parisians might see Americans mixing chambray with sequins and wear that around town. (Totally made up those examples, but you get the point.)

  12. 7.5.12

    Fantastic discussion point you’ve made! I have to agree that fashion blogs have made knowing what’s “on trend” very easy. I think this component was still there when people followed magazines this religiously, but those come out once a month. Fashion bloggers can post multiple times in one day. So now women are following top fashion bloggers in addition to the magazines and runways, and fashion bloggers just happen to broadcast ideas faster and more accessibly. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed this means a lot of fashion bloggers are feeding off of each other’s creativity and many styles are looking homogenized. There are still a rare few that stand out as being unique and edgy. I think the web could use more of that!

  13. 7.5.12
    Kate said:

    This is so interesting! I haven’t traveled much, but I loved reading about your experience as well as all the other experiences shared in the comments!

  14. 7.5.12

    As a marketing professional I say yes, bloggers have absolutely homogenized and inspired global trends. Ok, I take that back, designers continue to start the trends (obviously) but bloggers bring it down to the masses. Look at how many big name brands are collaboration with the Andy, Chiara and Bettys of the world? I do think fashion tends to bring more followers to any blog and posing for the camera (regardless if the pictures are low quality) grows your fan base significantly (I’ve never gotten myself to go THERE…i cringe). Bottom line: fashion is now homogeneous and the fashion blog world has exploded; but only the real, authentic and beautiful (sad but true) bloggers will prevail.

    xo Camille Marie

  15. 7.6.12
    Becca said:

    Great post Victoria! I think blogs are definitely a part of what’s happening – everything is so readily available for consumers as well as retailers and designers. A lot of it has to do with the industry in general. LIke Samantha said, more and more stores are globally represented now. Smaller stores now ship globally. On top of that there is a lot of pressure for designs to be commercial and reach certain sales targets, which for some companies means it already needs to have ‘known success.’ With stores like Forever21 and H&M reacting so quickly to trends, other retailers have been forced to look at this model of production as well. Retailers are often chasing product trends closer to the season resulting in more similar styles from many retailers versus a unique look. It’s all a bit crazy!! I’m with you on trying to get a bit more customization back into fashion, blogs, etc.

    • 7.6.12
      Becca said:

      P.S. When I said ‘a bit more’ I mean a lot more! And customization might not be the right word…but I think you know what I mean. :)

  16. 7.6.12

    Good eye. I went to Paris long before blogs and I felt that I had a fashion and trend heads-up when I returned. I didn’t even think that I could be on par if I went back today. I feel this could be the way interiors are heading too. I hate to feel the pressure to like something because I know it’ll be accepted. I have to keep reminding myself to like stuff because I like it and not because it’s popular.

  17. 7.7.12
    Bettina said:

    Yes, I think you’re on to something here and I can honestly say that I feel like sometimes I let myself fall into the trap. I’m trying to not be as influenced by what I see on Pinterest or on other blogs and remember what I love to wear when I get dressed. I’m actually about to go through my entire closet (not just the rolling rack I normally wear clothes off of) to remind myself of everything I loved to wear before I ever started looking at pinterest and other style blogs. I mean I’ve always loved J.Crew, but my now unhealthy amount of purchases definitely has me thinking I’m under the “influence”.

  18. 7.7.12

    This is such a well written post and definitely made me think about my own blog – am I writing and shooting pictures to get posts done or am I focusing on content that I am passionate about and will inspire others? I think there is always room for growth – we just need to focus on it and not be stagnant! Thanks for the reminder :)

  19. 7.8.12

    Such an interesting observation, loved reading this post!

  20. 7.9.12

    The smaller city may be the last frontier in fashion. I see so many similar looks on fashion blogs, but rarely ever see anything like the Sartorialist’s ‘street style’ here in Upstate New York. I guess Saratoga has a definite street style of its own – pretty sundresses and hats during track season.

  21. 7.11.12

    Thanks for sharing this interesting post. I agree on your thoughts on fashion blogs. I often feel that I’m looking at the same few items or trends being featured repeatedly. There’s only so many pops of neon a girl can have! :)

  22. 7.26.12

    I thought about this yesterday when I almost bought the infamous blogger Bubble Necklace from JCrew. Then I thought about how practically every blog I follow has featured that necklace. I decided that even though I love the necklace and big, bold necklaces, to keep looking for something unique!

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