“I still can’t believe you write a fashion blog Helen”. A sentiment frequently expressed by my long-term friends and, if I’m honest, something that I find hard to believe myself. My teenage self-had very little interest in fashion, I did experiment with current trends (badly), but for the most part, I was happy and content in my Adidas three-stripe trousers and a white t-shirt – a mid-90s staple for most teens.
University did more to influence my current love of fashion, a result of living with two very fashion-orientated individuals in my second and third years. Yet throughout my intensive fashion induction I stuck to a uniform of jeans and a ‘going-out top’ for nights on the town. Until that is, in a moment of weakness I allowed my determined housemates to negotiate me into a skirt. It turned out to be a minor epiphany moment, I finally realised I could look good in something other than jeans, but it still wasn’t enough to encourage me to take fashion seriously.
Even in my early twenties I struggled to be adventurous with fashion. I enjoyed shopping and I enjoyed buying new clothes, but wouldn’t look twice at anything resembling a dress. Instead I stuck to my new style-mantra; jeans, black trousers or skirt with top. Living with my boyfriend (now-husband) and his brother did little to help matters, although the introduction of my (soon-to-be) sister-in-law into the picture did help to focus my attention onto less masculine pursuits.
The real turning point for me had very little to do with fashion at all…
After studying Multimedia Design at university I headed into a career of website design and it was whilst I was working for a company as part of their web-development team that I came across the concept of Affiliate Marketing. Since this is a fashion orientated post (at least, that’s what it started out as), I won’t bore you with unnecessary details, suffice it to say, I saw an opportunity to take my web-design skills and utilise them to make some extra money. After about a year of building small general interest websites (Midsomer Murders anyone?!) I decided to focus my efforts on building a more extensive site. I spotted a relatively untapped niche with high-end fashion brands and decided that would be the emphasis for my new site and The ‘It’ Guide was born.
Three years on and the site is still going strong, but the focus has shifted. It’s not shifted away from showcasing high-end fashion brands, but it has become more of a personal effort. I added the blog to the site in October 2010; I had arrived back from our honeymoon and discovered that as the wedding was over I had all my free time back and needed something to occupy it. Blogging gave me an outlet to write about a subject I had (subconsciously) become passionate about. It’s been a little over a year since I started blogging in earnest and whilst I don’t have time to update my site as often as I would like to, I do enjoy keeping a record of my foray into the world of fashion.
Since I’ve been involved in the fashion blogging arena I’ve found it to be a wonderful opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and if I never take anything else away, I know I’ve made some great friends along the way and that’s more than enough for me.
Fashion is something I feel I’m still learning about and as my personal style evolves I hope my blog and the site as a whole will develop with it. I hope that in the future I’ll be able to attend London Fashion Week without feeling like a fraud and that one day I might even begin to take myself seriously as a fashion blogger… maybe… perhaps… one day…