Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How I Got Into Fashion

John Marine | 8/11/2010 04:52:00 AM | |
This marks my official 100th fashion-themed blog entry. I want to talk about how I got into fashion and why I care so much for it. I also comment on some of my past fashion blog entries. I figured I'd tell as much as I can about fashion and what exactly I believe in with fashion. Everything is personal and is completely factual. I'm not saying any or most of these things just to drive up the number of viewers and readers I get. I let my content do the talking. So without much more delay, here is a look at how I got into fashion and how I eventually became fond of fashion. No shopping resources, no Amazon material, just commentary. Enjoy.

How I got into fashion...

--- Humble Beginnings ---
The earliest beginnings of fashion for me relate to my days basically looking at sale papers in newspapers. Primarily, I would look for sale papers to companies like Sears, JCPenney, Target, and the like. Reason why was because I always wanted to know what was trendy among people in today's cultures. I can recall some time in the mid-1990s when I would constantly look to certain sale papers and ads of certain fashions I liked. I used to store these sale papers to remember some of the favorites. The problem, however, was that many of the styles in sale papers weren't the only things I'd see being worn. For example, I can remember in the mid-late 1990s of these bootcut stretch pants that appeared very dressy cute. They were more like dressy stretch pants rather than dress slacks. I even noticed girls wearing blouses with sweater vests worn over them in the late 1990s. Another example was when I would see scarves being worn as belts for jeans in the mid-2000s. So I see almost everything and try to take my own personal snapshot of fashion culture as others perceive them.

The one thing I was aware of is that this is what most everyday folk wear, NOT what the big-name fashion shows are showcasing. I didn't really care what the runways of the big time fashion shows were showcasing. I was always interested in what everyday folk are wearing. Would I care if all the fashionable people were wearing 7 for All Mankind jeans and True Religion, while most everyday folk were wearing Old Navy and Wrangler jeans? Would I care if I were around a bunch of people who are much more fashion-forward than people who I am around on a regular basis? No and no. While I don't hate on the big-name fashion types, I know that not everyone is into being extremely fashion forward. Not everyone is trying hard to be their own fashion icon. It wasn't likely anyone I know personally was going to fill the pages of Seventeen, Teen Vogue, or anything like that. Did I care if they did? Probably not. I'd be proud, but I'm not about what you see make the pages of major fashion and style publications. I have, however, known a number of females who are very much fashionable and stylish. They are those who'd look fashionable in a simple T-shirt and jeans as they would in any fashion-forward outfits.

I even stop a few to compliment on their looks. Fashion just says something about people each day or with certain outfits. Fashion speaks a certain language and translates it in the form of art. Fashion is artwork that you buy and wear to express something the way only you can regardless of what anyone thinks about your looks. That's why I care so much as to find various examples and convey my own fashion views the way only I can.

Over time, I would grow to appreciate certain figures in fashion for their fashions. I may name many of them in a future blog entry, but one of the first I've truly grown to love was Oscar de la Renta. This would help in my further maturation of being into fashion.

--- Fashion Loyalties ---
Regardless of whatever styles were hot or are hot, I knew I had my own idea on things. I've had "John's Blog Space" (apparently) since May 2007, but posted my first-ever blog entry in January 2009, and didn't post my first fashion-themed blog entry until late October 2009 (if you can believe it). Even before blogging, I knew what I was most interested in- feminine fashion. I had been a regular of a message board called the Fashion Spot. For something of since April 2005, I called it home for discussing fashion. It was my real gateway to being part of a relevant fashion community. Through this time, however, I felt I've had my fair share of great times and times where I regret getting on the bad side of various people with my comments.

There were times when I'd praise certain things, but then extremely blast certain styles. I would be one of the first to dislike almost any '80s fashion trend revived. I seriously disliked open-toe boots, failing to understand what makes them so stylish in the first place. I was one of the ones to dislike skulls and get tired of seeing skulls. Did it mean I was an outcast, or did it mean that my ideas are too far off-base to consider myself qualified to talk fashion? It just meant that I believed in things in different ways from most other people.

Especially my dislike of certain things has made me become truly unpopular and disliked to many people. I'm sorry if my fashion views were much different from the general consensus. There would be styles I would later grow to accept. In reality, however, I do and state things at the expense of getting someone upset. When times were really rough, I felt I would concentrate on taking my business elsewhere, knowing there is only one person that can judge what I think about fashion- me. And where was that place? This blog you're reading right now.

I always followed feminine fashion because it was the stuff I could be comfortable with looking at and discussing with a degree of professionalism (and sometimes casual chatter). I feel fashion is more versatile for females than for males. Always followed and admired fashion. I think fashion says things about people that people would never even dare say or mention. Here is one thing about me- the most important thing I always look for with fashion is footwear. A good outfit can be spoiled with a poor choice of footwear. I sometimes even try to get a better view of footwear just to see what is being worn. That's to show the importance of picking good shoes to go with a good outfit.

One last thing... would I consider a job in the fashion industry? Very unlikely. I don't think I'm any good to make any kind of significant dent in the fashion industry. All I do is blog about it casually.

--- Having to Move On... ---
It was time for me to move on. I took my fashion chatter to this blog in hopes of discussing certain ideas the way only I can with only myself to judge. Rather than Moderators being the tell-all of what is acceptable, I basically took my material to this blog. I've taken all comments with a grain of salt. While I talk like I'm some kind of tough guy or rebel, let me make one thing perfectly clear- I am not a tough guy. In fact, I'm scared to discuss certain things that I think will result in some kind of backlash.

--- My Evaluation of Myself in Fashion Discussion ---
I can say that I am not any kind of professional or deserving of any seriously high praise. My fashion-themed topics have been mostly commentary; NOT advice. People often times visit my blog seeking advice on certain items. I am not qualified to be of any real advice to others. All I am is basically a fan of fashion who is deeply opinionated. I've chosen topics carefully in addition to choosing words for those topics.

Has it worked or hasn't it? I can honestly say that I am very thankful of people to visit my blog for any number of reasons. There have been a number of topics that I posted in this blog in the realm of fashion. Sometimes, I would edit them to not only thank my readers and viewers, but also to change my views on certain things. Let me offer my own personal ideas on discussing some of these topics.

There's more to this blog entry! Read on after the Page Break to get extra commentary from me regarding my fashion-themed blog entries and also to find out what I'm working on in for future fashion blog entries!

--- Success with Fashion Blog Topics: My Commentary Piece ---
The items in this section are broken up into different parts. The blog entries I will focus on are all based in chronological order. These are all my own commentary pieces on all the blog entries I've posted in the past. (In future edits, I may add links to all of my blog entries that I make mention of here. I chose not to for my original edit because I just wanted to release this material as is.)

* My first true fashion blog entry had to do with jeans tucked into boots, a fashion trend I've disliked at the time of typing it. I hated this look if it wasn't bitterly cold or in areas that aren't miserable to walk through. I just hated it as a style, then hated the praise of skinny jeans just to bring this look even more into form. After about three or four years of offering my opposing views of this look, I would later accept it. I would even make a future blog edit offering my change of heart. My blog entry on this look is one of my most-viewed blog entries even to this day.

* I was one of the few to think differently on gaucho pants. Many have disliked them because they are so clingy and make your butt look big. I thought differently. I think flares and drapes are beautiful. The skirt-like look of gaucho pants was what drawn me most to them. And while it may seem discomforting to discuss this, the fabulous-looking booty is what gives gaucho pants their sexy appeal. I look at things on style and on overall appeal. This is also a popular blog entry to John's Blog Space.

* I only have thoughts of street walkers when I see over-the-knee or thigh-high-boots, even with designers' best attempts to make them chic. I stood behind my dislike the way only someone in a "stand by your views" person would.

* I try to merge certain things into fashion. So when I blogged about pin-up girls and go-go dancing, it was my intent to talk about things from a style perspective. I loved the vintage appeal of pin-up girls, and I fell in love with modern go-go dancers who wear skimpy outfits and dance in five-inch tall platform wedge boots (like from Demonia). I felt my success with the go-go dancing blog was in trying to provide an overall look at go-go dancing in general. I wanted to focus on feminine go-go dancing, but I also mentioned go-go dancing from males as well as from the ever-popular ladyboy dancers of Thailand.

* Before the "Go-Go Dancing" blog entry, I talked about exposing midriff, a notorious fashion styling exercise especially in the mid-late 1990s. I thought there was a sexy side to showing off your midriff in fashion. It was because you were either beating the heat or wanted to show off your body. Many still frown upon midriff-baring, mostly in wake of the "Britney Effect" upon seeing singers like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera showcase their glorious midriffs in pictures and videos. Some time later, I would go ahead and showcase cropped T-shirts to thank my readers for visiting.

* The first big break I've gotten in fashion discussions and for my blog was when I released "Long Hair." I think long hair can be very beautiful. I went ahead and defended my views and offered my views the way only I could. The end result was absolutely unexpected- LOTS of views from people the world over! I didn't do anything about mentioning how to maintain long hair, I didn't do anything to make a conservative effort to discuss long hair in a truly professional fashion, but my blog entry on long hair remains one of my most-viewed blog entries EVER. Not only is it one of my most-viewed fashion blog entries, it is also one of my most-viewed blog entries almost every day, usually topping the list or high in the Top 10. This blog entry gets hits from all over the world. I've even edited it a few times to include more content in thanks to all of my readers and viewers.

* As I joined Amazon Associates, I felt like the next best thing to do was offer items to people in hopes of profiting from my work. One of my other most-viewed blog entries was "Sporty Cute!" The intent was to discuss a fashionable and cute side to sporty fashion. To me, I would see some teenage girls and some young adults wearing '70s-style running shorts with flip-flop sandals. I would see sporty-looking shoes that are just cute to the eyes. I would see some women wearing fitness capri pants with athletic sneakers. I would see fashionable sweatpants worn either with flip-flops or some kind of athletic-inspired shoes. I was also inspired by the bootylicious appeal of yoga pants (especially yoga pants with bootcut legs, not the yoga capri pants). Also of inspiration were those Juicy Couture tracksuits, offering a sporty cute touch to some athletic staples like tracksuits. I see these things. I'm inspired to blog about these things. As a result, I've discussed the cute side of sporty fashion. This is also a popular blog entry of mine almost every day.

* "Tasty Fashion Influences" was a look at fashion by taking cues from certain flavors. I discussed fashion items primarily in vanilla, strawberry, and (my personal favorite) chocolate. You know... vanilla white skirt, strawberry bolero jacket, chocolate pants, chocolate pumps, and things like that. It is still popular, but nowhere near today's popular topics.

* The topic of wearing a sundress with cowboy boots was inspired by the style of Taylor Swift. In so, I've created "Dresses With Cowboy Boots" to discuss this look inspired by the country-pop superstar from Pennsylvania. I've struck a chord with my female viewers and readers because I would constantly get visitors checking out my blog entry on this topic. I'm not sure if it's because I'm actually mentioning the look, or if they follow just because I mention Taylor Swift. Perhaps BOTH reasons. That blog was really a blog entry from a long time ago and re-introduced with new content.

* "What Makes the '80s So Appealing to You?" was my own look at why people love the '80s so much. I've personally trashed anything '80s because it was getting so annoying constantly seeing all the '80s flashbacks and stuff. I even dislike the early '90s. I had always been a fan of the '70s and especially the mid and late 1990s. I made tie-ins to fashion with this blog entry, though. I spared no expense to express how I felt. By the way, this blog entry was inspired by "Hot Tub Time Machine" being released in theaters (at the time of the blog entry).

* I blogged about a certain look that conjures two different parallels. A blouse with a pair of slacks is common for women's fashion, but the look takes a different turn when you're talking about wearing sneakers instead of pumps or sandals. Not just ANY sneakers, though- sleek-looking sneakers that somehow remain classy. When I read reports of people visiting that blog entry, the majority of readers just look for a blouse and slacks, but the blog entry is about a blouse and slacks... but wearing certain sneakers with them. It still remains a popular topic, but doesn't usually make the Top 10 for blog entries viewed each day.

* Because I'm not as adept with men's fashion, I don't do a bunch of men's fashion blog entries. I do, however, become pleasantly surprised when such a blog entry becomes popular. So is the case when guys read my blog entry on men's ankle boots. My other blog on the combination of a dress shirt and jeans with casual shoes is also popular, but I tend to get more at times about men's ankle boots than that look I mentioned briefly.

* I had no idea that my blog entry called "Wedding Hairstyles" would generate so much traffic. It was another fashion blog entry on hair, and I do nothing to discuss advice on getting wedding hairstyles. It has actually grown to become one of my most-viewed blog entries each day. In fact, it is usually my most-viewed blog entry almost every day. I blogged about it because I think brides' hair for wedding outfits can be absolutely beautiful. I did, however, post a few links to much more qualified sites and blogs where better advice on these hairstyles could be attained.

* I felt like I was doing a great service for other people when I blogged about Plus Size Fashion. I know there are females out there that aren't slim and slender. I've shown that just because you are a plus size female doesn't mean that you still can't look as fabulous as you want. I've warranted the respect of many ladies by posting about plus size fashion. I even worked to find Plus Size fashion items for my readers online.

* I took on a risky topic- Males Wearing Feminine Fashions. The intent was on discussing males wearing clothes made and designed for females. There was nothing crossdresser about it. Some males feel that they can look as fabulous in feminine clothes as much as females do in their own feminine fashion. It was a daring topic I took on, and it had paid me back with a great number of views and comments. It was also a blog entry that offered a look at a publication called Femboy Magazine, that I highlighted upon. Femboy Magazine was something that really changed my view of things as art. It helped me to appreciate the beauty of the male form in an unusual new way with young males from around the world who cross the lines of femininity while still retaining their male character. I get a lot of offsite clicks to this deal when I mention Femboy Magazine in that blog entry.

* As much as I did a service for Plus Size women, I wanted to do the same service for Petite women. And in so, I launched "Sweet Petite!" in my blog. "Sweet Petite!" not only has gotten me a lot of support from petites, but it also earned the respect of, a blog that I've featured in my blogroll. It was another way I was proud of the service I've given to others online.

* I actually did about four different blog entries about hair prior to doing another one. "Long Hair" was and still is a success. "Wedding Hairstyles" ended up becoming a big hit. Another high-traffic blog post was in the works when I blogged about braided or plaited hair. This doesn't generate as much traffic as "Long Hair" or "Wedding Hairstyles," but it is usually one of my most-viewed topics each day. I even briefly mentioned men's braided hair in that blog entry.

* It was time for me to try a fun blog entry on a fun topic. "Party Time!" was a discussion of night-out fashions for both men and women. I blogged about various fashions for those attending fancy parties or clubbing with friends. I actually built up my blog entry with the intent that it would generate lots of hits. In so, "Party Time!" became a great success. It is among my Top 10 most-viewed blog entries each day. I had fun with it because I wanted to give people the chance to see fun night-out fashions. In my secondary blog, I moved over most of my items to that blog. As much as I enjoyed blogging about evening fashions in both of my blogs, "Party Time!" on John's Shop Space was MASSIVE to find various evening and night-out fashions to feature. Discussing evening fashion and offering evening fashions was a long and tedious process, but I made it all work to make it a hit topic.

Thoughts Overall...
I am NOT a fashion expert. Don't look to me for advice. I blog out of a love of fashion and a love of what I see on the streets and in magazines. I am not at all worried that I couldn't be respected as a fashion pro simply because... I'm not a fashion pro. So why do this? Love of blogging and a love of fashion as only I can express.

I will not argue with my success, as much as I would like to. I did something to get people to visit my blog and check out any links I've posted. Because of this, I am happy. I am glad that I have excelled in an arena that I'm usually no good at even if my life depended on professional advice.

--- What Does the Future Hold? ---
I usually discuss any future plans I have for future blog entries on my Facebook fan page. If you love my blogs and want to keep up with the latest information I have planned for my blog, I recommend you Become a Fan of my Facebook Fan Page to keep up with my latest future considerable blog entries. I may even discuss my intents via Twitter. I am careful about Twitter because I ALWAYS block suspicious followers. If I feel you don't represent a real person, I WILL block (and maybe report) you. So if you are a real person who isn't going to hate on me or spam me, Follow Me on Twitter.

--- My Final Words for All of my Readers ---
This goes out to all of you readers of my fashion-themed blog entries (as well as all of my readers in general): thank you, thank you, THANKS VERY MUCH!!! Thanks for making me relevant. I have to do something with my life and feel I have some kind of purpose. So I chose blogging (as well as YouTube). I will continue to provide great blogging material for all of you. Thank you very much for continued support!

One thing I WILL express, though, is that I need to find ways to share images from people who actually wear some of the fashions I talk about on here. Relying on pictures from around the Internet does only so much. I wish I could find a way to get my readers to send me legitimate pictures to share to help enhance my fashion discussions. However, I am so careful in giving out my Email address or anything just to get people to come along and showcase pictures in support of my work.

Now you know more about my views on fashion as well as reading my commentary on my past fashion blog entries. I thank you for reading all of this. Take care and God bless! :)
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