Thursday, 16 February 2017

OUT WITH THE NEW, IN WITH THE OLD


I’ve been trying to keep you guys up to date on all the ongoing changes going on with my approach to blogging and YouTube, so in today’s post I’ll bring you another in relation to my fashion and style posts and uploads moving forward

For some, the point of clicking on an outfit post blog is to see if there’s a style element from the blogger look that you could adopt yourself- sometimes you’ll even want to imitate the whole look - a common issue for readers of Megan Ellaby, I imagine. You may see a pair of jeans that fits in the 90’s way you love, a style that you have been yearning to find for bloody ages. You’ll be able to click the link they helpfully put under their artfully posed photos and make a purchase - a link that will often be an affiliate and reward them in some way - lucky devils. It’s so/too easy.
Other people will click on the blog links because they merely enjoy looking at aesthetically pleasing photographs, a feature of blog posts which is common, if not expected, in the blogosphere these days. Gone are the simple and innocent days of phone pictures in your garden. I still pose in the garden but with a fairly ok camera…so I’ve slightly moved up in the quality stakes, OKAY?? I digress. 



Then there’s people who click on any link that given blogger sends out because they like her, a devoted follower wanting to read/view anything they choose to post.

Unless you are one of the favoured bloggers - many of the online stores/high street shops seem to have their list of preferred brand appropriate influencers that are used time and again for gifting and event invites - you don’t have the luxury of sponsored hauls, monthly gifting or vouchers in which to spend online. So the established bloggers that already have the audience and less dreary finances to actually buy the stuff for hauls are often helped out greatly, while emerging and smaller one have to fork out themselves in order to reap the same benefits of subscriber growth that doing hauls videos gives. It’s one of those weird things that always felt a bit wonky about the world to me…like the fact that rich celebrities who can afford anything are the people who get the most freebies.


 
But if we choose not to buy new pieces, and do posts with items we’ve recently purchased from the stores, we are missing out on the potential of brands retweeting or sharing on their socials when. This again means we could be actively harming our potential for growth. When I was in my super driven phase of YouTube and really trying to focus on growth I started to do more hauls and frequently post shots on Instagram featuring my new purchases. I did get the odd share and retweet, but I’m not sure I got enough reward to justify the damage it did to my bank balance or environment at home, which was looking more and more like a jumble sale with each passing week.

I found myself going in to the shop I’ll refer to as the ‘big beacon of bargains’ every time I was in the Tottenham Court Road area - if I’m honest I’d often reroute to ensure my journey placed me in that area - if you haven’t been to that particular store it’s an epic one. In part, my reason for my splurges was for that temporary high that purchases deliver. I also genuinely love the clothes they have to offer, the price tag is always appealing too, but I can’t help but wonder if it was mainly for YouTube contents sake.


 
Now that I’ve taken a step back from the YouTube/Blog world and floated above it with instilled with rational and objection that distance gives you, I realise just how crazy that behaviour is. I was spending money - tens, even hundreds of pounds I didn’t really have to spare,or at the very least could have used more intelligently. I was frivolous, even reckless, just so I had content I thought would be appealing to the masses and potentially grow my channel.

The truth is, it worked. I did get that temporary high that a successful shopping trip delivers and the little confidence boost a new outfit that is flattering/cool can bring. My subscribers also went up a noticeable level whenever I posted a ‘insert affordable brand’ haul, and the views for these videos were always a lot higher than my other videos. And that’s a problem, because when something makes you feel good, like a popular video with lots of nice comments, and nice new threads that make you feel good, you want to do it more. But like many things that feel good, they’re not entirely good for you.


 
I’ve also found myself pondering the topic of excess or pressured spending recently, because LFW is imminent and before it commences in February/Sept you can rely on the fact that you’ll start seeing a bevy of bloggers saying they’re manically ordering and organising their outfits for their street style strutting during London Fashion Week. I have been one of these people. many times, and there’s a  massive chance I will that blogger again. But not this year. I totally get it though, from a business point of view it makes sense that bloggers wear outfits that will either get attention, whether it be for the bizarro or wow factor, or for simply being extremely stylish. If they're snapped in a show-stopping or covetable look they will get street-style snapped, which will hopefully be shared on numerous influential pages on Instagram on Twitter, maybe even in the papers. If a brand’s spots that they’ve been worn at fashion week, and there is a great outfit shot to prove it ,they’ll scream about it on their pages too and bring a slew of new followers to the blogger’s accounts. 


As people who are hailed, or self appointed style experts and trendsetters, they’ll also be a hefty level of expectation to look great during this week. They’ll be even more focus than normal on their style choices, so you can hardly blame a blogger for wanting to get some shiny new fashion editions to give them some a pep and confidence. It will help them to feel relaxed about the prospect of strutting those streets, and they’ll feel like its more likely they’ll be at home in the LFW bubble.

However, if we think about it logically perhaps it takes more skill in the art of putting a look together to come up with new and winning combinations from your existing clothing collection. The ability to reinvent, update, invert or subvert some items you’ve worn before is a real talent. Customising old clothes can be a great way of re-energising tired pieces and a very cool and current form of recycling too. But another reason I ‘get’ and sympathise with blogger’s tendency to do some pre fashion week splurging is the time-factor. The hardworking bloggers are generally rushed off their feet, attending events, writing up events, trying to stick with their upload schedule, while try to be a nice human with a functioning social life/relationship/bowel movements. So if a website showcases a well put together outfit that they can see in its entirety due to a website model shot (knowing they could add their personal twist via some accessories or personalised make up look), offers the ability to buy it all in the space of a few clicks, have it arrive at their doorstep the next day - that does spare them some valuable hours of flapping.  


 
There are many things that can be deemed as positive about fast fashion in the eyes of the consumer. We can feel we are keeping up with the trends dictated or at least displayed by the media/bloggers/celebs/catwalk, and do so in a cost effective manner. If we want we can do so with the click of a button, these savvy websites remembering your details and making payment and shipping transactions and evening allowing you to purchase straight from that love at first site covet via an instagram post. It’s time saving too, because things are so cheap we can rush on lunch breaks and grab some items without trying them on or giving them much thought and not worry too much about the implications of them not being quite right when we try them on at home. But of course there are some very obvious negatives about the disposable nature in which we shop.
In reducing my spending online and on the high street I feel I will be doing some good for environment. I won’t be contributing to the extremely worrying issue of wastage and the damage the dumping and burning of it has. As I get older I HAVE to be more aware of what’s going on in the world and the implication of my actions on the future of the planet, the place my unborn children will eventually live out their lives. 



But I’m not going to pretend that it’s because I have a halo perfectly in tact, and glowing more than it has before. This isn’t really only about me being conscious about the environmental implications of affordable and fast fashion, or about the people that are taken advantage of and forced to work in questionable, unfair and sometimes potentially harmful conditions. This reasons, of course should be enough to convince me/us all to at least consider our habits, but us humans have a wonderful ability to be able to brush things under our IKEA rugs and pretend they’re not going on. Even if we do admit they’re really happening we make ourselves feel better by telling ourselves that perhaps  they’re not as bad as we’ve been told or that we haven’t played a huge part in the problem. A lot of this change of habit is selfish and due to the fact I don’t want to be making de-clutter videos for the rest of my life and stressing myself out because of the amount of stuff I have. Stuff I don’t need, which often only delivers temporary happiness.

I’m a realist though and I’m not going to put myself in a position that would allow for you guys to come to me down the road and say ‘I thought you said you weren’t going to do this etc’.
Posts are about how you’re feeling in that precise moment, a diary entry, and like all those angst ridden scribbles you read back over and cringe about from your teenage years, there’s a fair few of these posts I will likely regret or have a change of heart over. Situations change and evolve, goals re-route, mentalities modify. But as I write this on a Wednesday afternoon, having mulled over the theme of this blog post for a couple weeks now, it feels the right thing for me to do. 



Sure, If I was doing better financially and wasn’t trying to launch a new business, saving money where possible in order to have enough funds to finance expenses and set up costs, I may feel very different. Maybe I’d still be justifying these regular hauls as high street and online stores and an investment because they’d allow me to get to a point subscriber wise where money would be less of an issue of stress.

So what I’m saying is, you may be seeing less hauls and fashion videos for a while. Any brands reading, I’d love to work with you on these kinds of videos, this isn’t about not wanting to talk about style and sharing my preferences, it’s about being more mindful about my spending and the impact if spending on my personal environment and stress levels. So guys…email me (wink wink).

When I do post ‘Outfit of The Day’ videos and Look-books, they will probably feature looks constructed largely from existing things in my wardrobe. Yes there may be a new item or two that I’ll use to reinvent those pieces or that will fit seamlessly with my well worn apparels or the look I want to create, but it’s unlikely I’ll have any completely fresh new looks to share with you…unless they arrive via a sponsor or collab. 


 
For those that seek out people like me to let them know what’s fresh in stores this week, so you can browse from the comfort of your home via our pictures of videos, this may not be welcome news. But to those who enjoy the art of styling, and love a bit of charity shop and vintage shopping, you may be able to get on board with this with enthusiasm and understanding. But whichever category you fall into I hope you at least see where I’m coming from, and like I said, this may not be a permanent thing, like the window displays and new- in items, I may change quickly too. 

I'm wearing...

Missguided Faux fur coat (a few years old)
Black Sabbath Tour Tee (from their gig)
Dr Marten Vegan Boots
ASOS choker
Urban Outfitters Beanie (stolen from Si)
ASOS Farleigh Jeans 


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