February 3, 2012

Chicago Manual of Style | Fashion blogs bring couture to the masses

It seems that just about everyone has a blog these days, and with so many out there, finding a few good ones can seem an impossible task. Not to worry! I have braved the Internet and found three great fashion blogs for your enjoyment.

  • JakandJil: JakandJil truly understands visuals. No, really—I know it seems obvious in a field like fashion, which is so visually based, you would assume that most fashionistas’ blogs would be easy on the eyes, but that’s seldom the case. Rarely do you come across a blog that’s so aesthetically well done. It has a simple, coherent design that’s all about the images. JakandJil runs photographs from behind-the-scene shots of the latest, most influential fashion shows to street-style candids of various fashionable folks from around the world.

    Moreover, the photography is not only good but interesting. The colors are rich, the images sharp, the cropping effective. It’s clear what aspect of an outfit the viewer is supposed to focus on; so clear, in fact, that JakandJil rarely relies on words. Like a good outfit, the visuals do all the talking. They don’t spell out every little bit of what’s beautiful but instead trust the viewer and the photographs themselves to make it known.

    Finally, JakandJil presents a fairly even ratio of men and women. Unless it’s a purely male blog, most fashion sites stick to the women, with the men getting an occasional shout-out every once in a while. But the photos on JakandJil are equally likely to be either gender, a refreshing and welcome distinction.

  • Garance Doré: Frustrated with the lack of connection she felt with her readership when working for magazines, Garance started her blog to develop connections and start a conversation. Consequently, the site emphasizes the back -and -forth between blogger and reader; Garance often publishes and responds to comments. She poses questions to her readers, and her interviews come across as less of an official report and more of an introduction to a close friend. While the focus of the blog is unequivocally fashion, you get a strong sense of Garance herself.

    The blog is a mix of photos, personal musings on fashion in general as well as the latest trends, and interviews/photo sessions with style icons that Garance knows. There are photos, illustrations, and videos, as well as collages, advice sections, entries on lifestyle, travel, and more. Garance is also the girlfriend of professional photographer Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist, another great fashion blog, so you can trust that her posts will have quality photos.

  • The Uniform Project: In May 2009, Sheena Matheiken started the Uniform Project in order to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation, a non-profit group which provides education for underprivileged children in India. For 365 days, Sheena created and posted unique outfits around a single little black dress. In addition to raising money, the project served as an exercise in creativity, as well as commentary on fashion and sustainability.

    Even though Sheena now has more outfits in her rotation, the blog is still worth checking out. It’s inspiring to look through her outfits and, with 365 entries, it takes a year to get through them. Moreover, she has inspired other charitably-minded fashionistas to mimic her project on a monthly scale to raise money for various organizations. The site also hosts a daily little black dress outfit, sells little black dresses as a fundraising project, and has the pattern for Sheena’s dress for sale as well.