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Paralegal Career Dressing: I Found Out Why I’m Not Famous

Paralegal Career Dressing: I Found Out Why I’m Not Famous

I also learned a lot about Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB), a fashion blogging community which I’d never paid much attention to before this week, other than noting the occasional badge on the sites of some of the style bloggers I follow. From what I’ve learned, I’m not planning to try to join, and I don’t expect they shall miss me.

Neither my face, my shirt, or my feet were cooperative this a.m. 
I’ve also discovered my pics are better when someone who loves me is behind the camera.
Loft banded tee ~ Loft Outlet sale
The Limited skirt ~ blogger swap with Megan
Coccinelle flats ~ blogger swap with Megan
Blue beads ~ Rugged Wearhouse years ago
I didn’t get a good shot of the great rhinestone bracelets from Jada’s Jewels – next time I will!

Alison Gary at Wardrobe Oxygen, and fellow paralegal Natasha at One Woman’s Style Evolution, are among the many style bloggers that shared their thoughts about a post written by Taylor Davies on IFB last week. I’m not sharing the link to that post here, because apparently it has been edited considerably since it was initially published.

But in essence Davies stepped in it big time when she tried to start a dialogue about [ridiculous] fashion industry ideals, but instead offended many female bloggers by inferring (in the original article) that lack of fame and success by non-traditional bloggers is due to lack of high-quality images, regular posting, and terrific style. And by non-traditional, she meant not thin, young, or conventionally beautiful. I know too many non-traditional but really beautiful bloggers with great content and loyal followings to believe that their blogs haven’t made them household names or rich because they don’t work hard on them. In fact, I don’t think fame or big-name sponsors matter much to them – they blog for the joy of it.

In my world, I wore shorts and a tee to the office.

I can accept that I fall deep into the non-traditional blogger category, and that by IFB standards, I am not a successful or well known style blogger. But you know what? In terms of what I get out of being a middle-aged and working mom on a limited budget style blogger, I feel successful. I’ve been gifted with wonderful friendships by bloggers I would have never otherwise met. Reading and commenting on their blogs – and recently starting to pin looks I just love or would like to try – is a highlight of my day. I’ve been inspired by so many different women to wear my old clothes with more style than I did in the past, and to be more creative and intentional with my personal style. As I rapidly approach the Big 5-0 mile marker, I am more confident and better dressed than I was when I was 30.

I also got a beloved cat out of blogging, but IFB really doesn’t care about that.

This may not fall under the category “high quality image”.

So this week I found out why I’m not famous, according to IFB standards, and certainly by fashion industry standards, which are so unrealistic that advertisers actually think I’ll buy face cream modeled by a 20-year old with razor-sharp cheekbones. Helloooo, Corporate America. I’m more likely to buy face cream from another 40+ style blogger who tried it and recommends it, or favor clothing lines (new or thrifted) I’ve seen on real women who share pictures of themselves wearing it to work on a regular basis.

As a way to support my fave non-traditional bloggers – and expand the style content in my RSS feed reader – I’d love it if you guys would share the name and link to one style blog you follow that you think others might  like to know about – and why you love that blog. I’ll start. Via EBEW this month, I discovered Reading in Skirts, and love me some Mia, because well, she’s beautiful, vibrant, original, and pretty darned fabulous.

29 Responses to Paralegal Career Dressing: I Found Out Why I’m Not Famous

  1. Hm, I'm thinking…we tend to travel in similar circles so I'm trying to think of one you might not be familiar with. I know one that I read very faithfully–The Beheld.

  2. I love that you're wearing both the skirt and flats I swapped with you. They both work so well on you!

    Y'know, I used to get hung up on the fact that I would never grace the top of Chictopia or Lookbook.nu but now I have so many great blogger friendships – I just don't care. I hit the spam button on sponsors emailing me. I have it spelled out on my blog I don't do ads or sponsors. I ignore comments saying "Nice blog, wanna follow me?" Because no, I don't want to follow strangers. I want to get to know my bloggers, make friends and be inspired.

    I like people who are unique, who has a voice. Many on my blogroll are different than myself in age, shape, even gender. I read blogs for the people, not the companies.

  3. I just heard about this and I am so irate. I was a member of IFB, though I wasn't very active at all with it. I got an account when I first started blogging. But I have since deleted my account and removed the badge from my blog. How disgusting! The thing I love most about style blogging is being able to find friends of all ages, sizes, colors, styles and budgets. I would quit if everyone was all the same! The nerve!

    You are a winner in my eyes Lynne. I love your blog. I love your outfit today. I love your comments on my page and I am so happy to have "met" you here.

  4. Well put, Lynne! I have been a member of IFB for several years, but the last year or so…I hate their assumption that I'm in it for the money, and that I can't be "successful" unless I'm monetized, young and am wearing brand new clothes all the time.

    This is the impetus I've needed to take the logo and link off my blog.

    I have to say that Megan Mae of Megan Mae Daily (aka MMD) is one of my favourite bloggers. I never, ever miss a post, and she's become a dear friend in the years (real time!) that I've known her. I think of her as my little sis, and I shop for her when I'm shopping for myself! If there are any of your readers out there who don't know Megan, skedaddle yourselves over there!

    http://www.meganmaedaily.com/

  5. amen sister!
    you will be happy to know that this week on Huffpost they actually profiled some over 50 bloggers.
    i am with you on the going for the products recommended by bloggers instead of some beautiful 20something.
    brett

  6. Oh jeez, thank you for linking our blog! I bet that when my co-blogger Tia comes back from her self-imposed blogging ban after August, you'll love her too–she's funny and smart and has great style.

    Most of my blogging friend-cluster is made up of non-traditional bloggers; all of the favorites I can think of are the small-time peeps who enjoy it as a hobby and a way to connect with others, and I'm so glad they DO blog, otherwise I'd never know them!

    The one I'll link to here is Delayed Missives. It's funny, because Alex and I have very different styles in general (she's so dang CHIC, which is never a word I'd use for myself), but we've become great friends and she even sent me a dress through the mail! Ah, the beauty of blogging:

    http://delayedmissives.com/

    Lest I neglect our host, I think this is a great and really important post you've done here (and not just because you gave me a shout-out). Part of what I love about the blogs I read and the bloggers I'm friends with is the diversity among us, both the big-time bloggers and the hobbyists. (Although I'll admit that I could stand to read some more blogs that fall outside my own demographic of young and white; I'm always looking!) Plus, I think you look pretty dang great while doing it–those colors are lovely together, and I tend to forget about muted tones myself but I really like them!

  7. If YOU are not traditional, where does that leave me? I'm REALLY out on the fringe.

    I've been following this controversy and agree with you 100%. The world can and should be more accepting, especially in our fashion-blog community.

    I like your suggestion. My favorite blog is Megan Mae Daily, both for the wonderfulness of its blogger and the rare eccentricity of her style.

    Oh, and btw, I just mentioned you on my blog! http://tinyurl.com/bmkx2xz

  8. Rock on! I joined IFB but fell off the radar pretty quickly. There is something personal about personal bloggers (go figure) that's missing at IFB. I just could not get the hang of it.

    xoxo
    Lynn

  9. All that stuff defined as "success" there – adherence to a very narrow mainstream idea of "beauty," collusion with our mass culture's fetishization of youth, thinness, and consumption, slick "high quality" images, prominent monetization, etc. – I find to be a total turn-off.

    I am exponentially more interested in human connections with other people who fall outside of those exclusive, limiting parameters: this very thing generates unique and often hilarious voices, a welcoming and inclusive spirit, creativity and finding enjoyment in dressing for one's body and life and sharing it with us, and particularly an ability to incisively reflect on those cultural norms and pressures. For these reasons, I adore the 40+ blogroll, Visible Mondays, and the blogger-friend clusters around you, Megan Mae, Megan E., Ally, Sheila, and Melanie.

    As for a recommendation, I'll suggest Lilli from Australia:

    http://frocksandfroufrou.com/

    Lynne, I absolutely love your photos, poses, and outfit today! I'm glad to see those flats again, which fell in love with when they were Megan's. πŸ™‚ Everything about your blog which some may see as "not-success" are the very factors which draw me in and encourage me – I credited you in my very first post, put up just this past Monday. Thanks again!

  10. I wasn't aware of any of this furore (is the IFB mostly an American/Canadian community?) until I read about it on a couple of blogs I follow. Needless to say, I am in that bottom tier, the never-going-to-be-famous group of thoroughly undisciplined bloggers with dodgy photos, less than perfect figures, and who have committed the sin of being over 40. Since I do it for fun and friendship, none of this matters to me, and I don't suppose most of the bloggers I love and have developed relationships with give much of a toss either!
    Anyway, I love your skirt and shoes (and the fact that they were swapsies from a fellow friendly blogger) and that soft green top. And I love your blog too, it's authentically you. I don't know you, Lynne, but I can hear your voice in my head when you write, and I like that.
    So many great blogs to recommend. Do you know Sarah of Misfits Vintage and Judith of Style Crone? Stunning women, completely original, over 40 and FABULOUS! xxxxxxx

  11. Just added Reading in Skirts to my bookmarked list; thanks for the tip.

    My suggestions is http://www.puttingmetogether.com She's cute as a bug, with a big smile. I like how she does posts on all the different ways she's styled a particular item. Fun to see how something as simple as a blue sweater can be so versatile.

    Off now to check out Delayed Missives…

  12. Okay, Walking Colors, featuring Joni, at walkingcolors.blogspot.com. She's great! And she's an artist besides.

    All this to-do about women who want to be famous fashion people. Let them, I wish them the best!! Go for it! But we'll have tons of fun being style stars among ourselves and anyone else who cares to join in. We get the circus, photos under desks, cats(!), trips abroad – who wouldn't love that?!

  13. I'm with Curtise on this one, I'm def in the non-traditional category: the thought of having a regular blog diary horrifies me, I'm really not bothered about beauty and make-up trends that I can't buy from the discount chemist and "horrors" I absolutely give zero f**s about trends! I'm a sucker for green and I love your green top, while I do love to have a photographer I love to snap my pics, although it isn't always possible:((. You are an absolute gem Lynne, I love reading your comments and I'm so very grateful for all the support you've given me, thank you so much!!! I recommend Curtise's blog and Sarah and Judith's too, while Helga von Trollop is the business for those who love their frocks on the rocks!! xoxoxo

  14. What a fabulous post! Most of the bloggers we follow are just normal average women trying to learn fashion, shop on a budget, and have fun. We have met so many awesome and supportive women in the fashion blogging community. Thanks for being honest and writing this post.

    Heather & Kayla

  15. Could have sworn I posted here last night. I guess I was just thinking it to myself and never actually typed it out. You don't read minds, do you? haha
    Well, I love this skirt and it's one of my favorites. I think that green t-shirt looks so cute with it.
    I like looking at a few of the more "upscale?" blogs…but I'm more at home in my own neighborhood and enjoy most of my time with my peeps. Yo.

  16. My dear what a well written article. Having never been much interested in the IFB…This week I have very much enjoyed the galvanizing force of their careless remarks. Personally being only interested in personal style, rather than the 'pitfalls' of the defining fashion…I have been so happy to read the discussions in the stir. I think Bella of the Citizen Rosebud, said it best in her well articulated dear John breakup letter to the IFB.

    Why am I so happy about the stir the article has raised? Because all of us amazing woman over 40 need to come together in an effort not to look back and yearn for our youth…but rather celebrate the lives and achievements we have now. Celebrate the woman we are,now I believe this is an exciting time to be older..joining voices .we can effect change on how an entire culture views aging and beauty!

    Thank you for adding your strong and well articulated voice to the dialogue!

  17. Love your outfit…those are great colors on you!

    A lot of those popular fashion bloggers are spending a lot of time on their blogs, besides making sure they are fitting into the fashion ideal. They are also wearing stuff that is too futsy for me. If I want high fashion…I will grab a Vogue. If they can make a living at it, more power to them. I don't want to have to deal with having to be a regular poster. There are just some weeks that I can't get it together!

    • Thanks, Stacy. That's how I got to push to style blog. At the time, I couldn't find anyone wearing clothes I could actually afford to work πŸ˜› And certainly no one that wasn't several decades younger!

  18. Great post Lynne, so well put. I started my blog recently because I was visiting several each evening, enjoying hearing how bloggers put outfits together, hearing how you all get inspiration, and picking up some ideas of my own. I realised if I started my own one, I could join in the conversation properly. It's fun and something to look forward to doing when I get in. Not advertising, or following-for-the-sake-of-it, just for enjoyment.

  19. Haha, you mean the tall lanky uber-rich 20yos with pro-photographer BFs are the "standard" style blogger (according to ifb)? Well darn, that takes me (and about 99% of other style bloggers) out of the game. Cheers to being non-traditional, I guess! ;o)

  20. I am a member of ibf and i almost never read the articles (i always look at the emails think i'll get to it later) now i wish i'd read this one. I'm usually interested in what taylor writes, though i think her blog often falls short of such a standard. (I do like her instagram photos though)

    I think one of the best things about the blogging community i've found is that you don't have to fit the industry standards.
    (I do feel strongly about taking the best possible photos that you can, because we came here to see the clothes after all, but that doesn't mean you can't take perfectly good photos with a cell phone.)

    I'll probably never be famous either, but I'm still going to work towards it.

    Chic on the Cheap

  21. Lynne, you're a superstar in my book! That was well put. I didn't read the original post, but I know it riled a few folks up. Hopefully a lesson was learned by the "higher ups".

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]gmail.com

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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