POSTED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 1:39pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 6:45pm
It's no secret nowadays that some fashion bloggers wield just as much influence as magazine editors in shaping trends and sharing the latest news and images from the runways.
Still, it takes more than a pretty face and fancy photography to make a blogger rise above the rest.
"Bloggers that have a particular angle with their content have a definite advantage over others," said Jennine Jacob, founder of Independent Fashion Bloggers, an online community where fashion bloggers share resources and build their brands.
"With the ones that stand out, when you read their blog you don't just see pretty pictures. You walk away with something."
It's what distinguishes hobbyists from professional bloggers, many of whom put in 10 hours a day to run their sites as full-time jobs and prefer titles such as editor, style expert or influencer.
Some have agents or publicists, business plans, endorsements and licensing agreements with other brands. Some operate on a shoestring budget as they search for ways to monetize their sites. Many attend summits and conferences, such as the annual Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference in New York during Fashion Week, which wrapped last week, to learn how to grow their brands.
Call it what you want: voice, perspective, expertise. But the ones who have it are the ones you're probably already following. And if you're not, maybe you should.
It can be hard to find websites that suite your style, so the folks at Independent Fashion Bloggers and StyleCaster shared some of their favorite fashion bloggers from a variety of categories. One look at these style mavens' home pages should tell you if they're for you or not. Check them out and share some favorites in the comments.
Saucy Glossie: Style expert and TV personality Lindsey Calla has built a brand around dressing on a budget but knowing when to splurge when it's worth it, whether shopping at T.J. Maxx, Zara or Bergdorf Goodman.
Girls Off Fifth: Sisters Janelle and Jessica Lloyd demonstrate that you can get the look for less, even in New York. "Our favorite? When the pair tackle a singular trend for two must-wear-now looks," the Independent Fashion Bloggers staff said.
Gal Meets Glam: Glam isn't about sipping champagne, wearing designer items or strolling through the streets of Paris, Julia Engel says on her blog. "I believe every gal can add a little glam to her life with small things," be it red lipstick, leopard pumps or a rhinestone necklace.
Song of Style: Los Angeles blogger Aimee Song experiments with high and low pairings of unique sorts, sourcing from new talent as well as big-name brands.
On the Racks: Since moving from San Francisco to New York, Laura Ellner has continued to pair the likes of Alexander Wang and Rag & Bone with high street brands Zara and Topshop for downtown cool girls -- always with a cocktail nearby.
Late Afternoon: Liz Cherkasova's lush photography combines luxe fashion, beauty and decor into pretty bundles of products for fashionistas who appreciate the finer things in life.
Bag Snob: Described as a "selective editorial on bags," Bag Snob's staff evaluates all manner of clutches, totes and "sob bags" right down to the hardware to come up with its top picks.
PurseBlog: Covering nearly every Fashion Week show and presentation with a focus on accessories, PurseBlog often forecasts the next It bag as well as the best of the best for the biggest bag connoisseurs in the business, according to the Independent Fashion Bloggers.
Nicolette Mason: With a strong voice and window into the fashion world as a columnist for Marie Claire, Nicolette Mason brings a 360-degree perspective to her tips for being plus-size in a world bent on being skinny.
Fatshion Insider: Blogger, communications expert and public relations specialist Kellie Brown wears a lot of hats but still finds time to dish regularly on her blog about how to look and feel your best "beyond sample sale size."
ISpyDIY: Jenni Radosevich has successully leveraged digital media as the ultimate platform for creativity, making it cool to craft your own style from scratch, said StyleCaster's Meghan Cross. "Her whimsical tone makes reading her site, book, and social shares addictive."
Ps.-I Made This: Erica Domesek's DIY blog has evolved into a lifestyle brand that draws inspiration from timeless looks, popular runway trends and notable style icons for projects that readers can create themselves.
The Dandy Project: A fashion and style blog for the modern dandy, Izzy Tuason shares his joy in taking on different personalities through rare vintage and designer clothing and do-it-yourself projects.
Jak & Jil: Canadian photographer Tommy Ton's pioneering street style blog known for its candid shots helped pave the way for the sea of street-style blogs.
Citizen Couture: Former tax professional-turned-freelance photographer Jason Jean focuses on beautiful people within the fashion world and creative communities, but anyone can appreciate the subjects' seemingly effortless style.
Backyard Bill: Bill Gentle captures everyday people in their natural surroundings -- gardens, cafes, their kitchens -- and asks them random biographical questions in his quest to seek out what he calls "interesting people."
New blogs to watch
The Spicy Stiletto: Serena Goh's sharp photography and knack for (mostly) healthy treats make for a delicious pairing.
LPFashionPhilosophy: Duo Erica Lavelanet and David Pena use their expertise in wardrobe styling to create matching and contrasting outfits for both guys and gals.
Bittersweet Colours: Romanian-born and Pennsylvania-based blogger Veronica Popoiacu uses color as her go-to accessory in her blog, which features looks that mix patterns and texture.