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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Do Fashion Bloggers Influence Consumers?

by Heather

Before you read any further in this post, I have to mention that I created it on a brand new laptop: a MacBook Air. Picked it up this afternoon from the Apple store at Scottsdale Quarter and I'm already in love with it. Faster than a speeding bullet and lighter than... well, it weighs less than 3 pounds and fits neatly into my Michael Kors Hamilton handbags. Once I retired from education, I had to give all my computer toys back which meant that hubby and I have been sharing his laptop for the past three weeks. That didn't work well, so this little baby is a present from him so he can have his own computer back. Thanks, hon. And no, you can't borrow this one 'cause it's cooler than your old one.
MacBook Air - 13" screen
Ann, Sheila and I were asked to present at a local fashion conference last week for Arizona fashion teachers. This was a three-day conference held at Scottsdale Fashion Square and our objective was to show how bloggers influence the fashion industry.  We're still pretty new at this blogging game (our first post was last November) but, as current bloggers (all of us), former educators (all), rabid shoppers/consumers (well, I'm rabid; Ann and Sheila are a little more controlled), we were up for doing this. Sheila was just getting home from her trip to Scotland, so Ann and I did the presentation.


What do you wear when you're presenting at a conference about fashion? I wanted an outfit that was somewhat casual but not too casual; on trend but not too trendy. And I didn't want to buy anything new (did I really say that??). The problem is that I'm transitioning from a working wardrobe (albeit a somewhat casual working wardrobe since I was a teacher) and I don't really know what I'll be wanting to wear as a retired person. Anyway, nothing new was my order to myself, so I shopped my closet. I found what I was looking for -- the jacket and pants hadn't been worn yet (I had been waiting for just the right occasion to wear them and here it was) and I had the appropriate accessories to go with those two pieces.

Chico's Black Label lace motorcycle jacket; Chico's pants; Kiss Me Kate (local shop at Gainey Village) orange and gold tank
Michael Kors wedges and purse
Michael Kors watch; Alexis Bittar bangles; Juicy Couture bracelet; BCBG ring
Michael Kors sunglasses
I love to create PowerPoints (visuals always help) and I did some research that uncovered several interesting facts about blogs and their influence on consumer buying. I already knew that a lot of my purchasing decisions in the past year or so have been heavily influenced by what I see on other blogs, but I was surprised to find that the latest statistics from the 2013 Technorati Digital Report show blogs are third only behind retail and brand sites in influencing consumer online buying decisions.
That's Ann doing her part of the presentation -- she's the local expert when it comes to CTE teachers incorporating Common Core Standards into CTE curriculum.
Our recommendation to the high school and college fashion teachers was to have their students create a classroom fashion blog which would give the students great practical experience with both the fashion industry and writing. From my experience, if students know that their "writing" will be published to a wider audience than just their teacher, they take it more seriously. I can only imagine the fun that students would have if classes around the world did something like this. They could be doing comparisons of global street-style fashion trends and perhaps gaining a better understanding of the world around them, learning such things as we're dressing for 115 degree F weather here in Phoenix while it's snowing in New Zealand and they're into their winter wardrobes, or that rain boots and umbrellas are a practical purchase right now in Minnesota (hey, Gillian and Jock, is the power back on in your homes in Minneapolis?).
We were given lovely plaques at the end of our presentation -- a first for us as bloggers!
What  purchasing decision have you made recently that was influenced by a fellow blogger? My last one was buying the J Crew-inspired flower necklaces from Brina Box -- a happy purchase from a site that I wouldn't have known about if it wasn't for a fellow fashion blogger. We do influence consumer buying and the fashion industry is beginning to take notice!

Have a wonderful week! I'm heading outside to look at the Super Moon as it's rising from behind the McDowell Mountains.

Love,
Heather

40 comments:

  1. Interesting post. I've noticed that blogs are influencing what I see, both in stores and on other blogs. And I pretty much only look at +40 bloggers, so it's good we're having an influence on retailers. And the blogs definitely have influenced what I buy - I'm more adventurous and also trying to be more ethical.

    You look so fabulous in orange!

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    1. Thank you, Val. Although I look at all different ages of fashion bloggers, I'm more interested in what the 40+ are wearing. It's nice to see older people being fashionable and age appropriate at the same time. What do you mean by "more ethical?" I'm interpreting that to mean not buying name brand merchandise that isn't really that brand, but I may be getting that wrong.
      Heather

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  2. You look wonderful in orange. So stylish.

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    1. Thanks, Marla. How have you been doing since giving up blogging?
      Heather

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  3. At first I was thinking .. nooo, fashion blogs don't influence my purchases, but .. then I saw a few blogs on how to style a chambray shirt (which I have), but now I need to go buy some colorful prints skirts! So .. um, y e s .. I'm influenced to purchase by the fashion blogs I read (I digress) LoL.

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

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    1. Too funny, Monica! Thanks for commenting.
      Heather

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  4. First of all I love the outfit you chose for the presentation!
    Hmmm I have to say magazines still influence HEAVY on what I buy for the season. Lucky is one of my favorites. And now Pinterest is so much like a magazine--so that has influenced me also. Bloggers tend to influence my styling of items already bought--and sometimes they may influence a purchase.

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    1. Thank you, Paula. I agree with you on the magazines -- love Lucky but also really like Style Watch (People) and Marie Claire. I'm heavily into Pinterest as well but have realized that most of the pins I really like are coming from blog sites :)
      Heather

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  5. Your outfit looks perfectly coordinated! I think fashion blogs have influenced my buying habits a little bit--I found some new online shops through reading blogs! But I haven't perhaps found blogs that really fit with my sense of style yet.

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Rachel, and leaving a comment. I have several blogs that I follow pretty faithfully. Their style isn't like mine but I really enjoy seeing what they choose to wear and how they put outfits together. Their outfits are beautifully done but not what I would choose...or could choose to wear (either because of fit, money, or age appropriateness).
      Heather

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  6. Great post!! I've been thinking a lot about this lately. It has made me feel like I want or need more things but I also have a broader wealth of knowledge available to me from other bloggers so I can find better deals than I would on my own so it has been helpful too. Thank you so much for linking up!
    walkinginmemphisinhighheels.com

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    1. Laura, your comment about thinking you need or wanting more things is so true in my case, also. But you're right in that we have more knowledge available to us to make better purchases at the same time. Mmmm, quite a quandary but a happy one!
      Heather

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  7. If any of your readers need encouragement ... here it is! And if anything makes kids want to give a flip about clear and original writing, then I am all for it.
    I'm absolutely affected by other bloggers, especially my peers in age. I've changed the way I dress in some ways, but more generally than a specific purchases. I'm sure I have been influenced in that way, just can't think of a particular item.
    You look grand always in your carefully chosen and thoughtful combinations. I learn from you, every post.

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    1. Jan, you're just too kind. I really appreciate your thoughtful comments. Here's hoping that our teens will spend a little more time focused on professional writing!
      Heather

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  8. Lovely look! I love when women loves to look great! http://differentcands.blogspot.kr/

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    1. Thank you, Diana, for visiting and leaving a nice comment!
      Heather

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  9. I'm definitely influenced by my fellow bloggers! Love the bag!

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  10. Would love for you to share this at my linkup that goes live tomorrow at 8am
    http://myfashionforwardblog.com/all-things-pretty-14 we pin all those who join to our party board

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    1. Leslie, I will certainly link up with you tomorrow!
      Heather

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  11. Yes, I definitely think bloggers do influence buying. I know I have been influenced by other bloggers before. I love your orange bag!

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    2. Thanks for visiting, Tara, and leaving a comment. I appreciate that!
      Heather

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  12. Love the orange! Such a fun color! And I absolutely believe bloggers influence consumers. I heard at a conference that people are more likely to take the word of someone like them (a blogger) as opposed to a celebrity. Thanks for linking up at All Things Pretty!

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  13. I like what you heard at your conference. I know that I'm much more apt to believe a fellow blogger rather than a celebrity. Thanks for stopping by!
    Heather

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  14. That is one fabulous outfit! AND what a great experience to speak at a Fashion Show.... how great is that!!! They picked a lady that knows fashion for sure...would have loved to attend:) Have a great weekend and thanks for linking up!
    Sherry
    thelifeofthepartyblog.com

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. You sure looked good in your sequined anchor top!
      Heather

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  15. Love your orange-themed look here.....you look terrific. And yes, I believe fashion bloggers do influence so we should all be cautious about the vibes we send out thru our posts!

    Rebecca
    www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca. What kind of vibes do you think you send out as a fashion blogger? I hadn't really thought about that until I read your comment so I will ponder that a little longer to think about what I'm sending out.
      Heather

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  16. So happy to discover your blog. As a former FACS teacher (HECT in CA) I was extremely interested. I agree that bloggers do have a lot of influence and it is growing. Before I retired a year ago I had my fashion students writing a classroom blog on fashion topics we would cover in class. Some went on to create their personal blogs.

    And congratulations on your retirement. I do miss opportunities to wear dresses and heels. I look forward to seeing your more casual but fashionable looks.

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  17. Hi Susie, Glad to meet you! Do you have a blog? Tried looking you up but didn't find a blog name if you have one. Would love to hear more from a retired FACS teacher! And I would love to pick your brain about how you did your classroom blog. The teachers from our conference seem very interested in doing one with their students and I'm sure we'll need some guidance.
    Thanks for dropping by!
    Heather

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    1. No I do not have my own blog but still love to read them. I too was inspired to use them in my classroom after a young fashion blogger spoke at our annual home economics teacher conference. My fashion design and merchandising class blog was run through our school website so that I could have control of the postings. I was afraid of negative comments on a fashion site although my colleague in culinary had no problems with her class using blogspot. I began by sharing actual blogs and having them comment on paper as a class assignment. Then I wrote personal postings on our class blog and they posted their comments on my fashion topic. I would always end my postings with a question to use as a prompt. The next step was for them to write their own postings based on classroom assignments ie. showing the garment they draped or sharing the outfit they styled for our fashion show. My more advanced student actually set up her own blog using blogspot for her final exam.

      Hope this explanation helps. Sorry I do not have an example to share but my blog was taken off our school's server.

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    2. Thank you for responding to my question. I'm going to forward this information to the people who put on the conference so they can send it out to our teachers. Great info!
      Heather

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  18. Love all your pops of orange! Thanks for linking up. Hope to see you back this Friday!
    Tara
    Penniless Socialite

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    1. Thank you, Tara. Will definitely link up with you again this Friday!
      Heather

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  19. I love everything about your outfit! In fact I want it all in my closet. LOL :D
    Love how you pulled it all together.
    Thank you so much for linking up to my What We Wore link Party! Hope to see more from you next time.

    I think fashion bloggers have a lot of influence on people, More so when I just started reading fashion blogs, I felt like I needed everything. Well, that is partly because I discovered that my wardrobe was not functional, so I started by buying basics, good jeans, white blouse, blazer.... etc...
    And I am gad, otherwise, I would still have a full closet of clothes I don't really like and buy clothes just because they are on sale

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    1. Hi Rita, Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. I know that I'm influenced by other fashion bloggers, especially after just looking at you and your two sisters' lovely summer dresses. Makes me want to go out and buy one (or two...or three).
      Heather

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  21. Love your Chico's Black Label lace motorcycle jacket, Can't wait to buy this at Chico's FAS.

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  22. Lonehood - a detachable and adjustable hood that can be worn with anything. Made by Styleuno - an innovative fashion company for trendsetters.
    streetwear
    hip hop clothing

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