Must-read blogs: who survived the cull?

February 20, 2017
must-read blogs The Blonde Salad

I’ve been reading blogs for as long as I’ve been writing them and, in that time, my list of “must-read blogs” has gone through as many changes as my hair.

Once upon a time…

must-read blogs Atlantic Pacific

obsessed over daily style blogs. My must-read blogs were What I Wore, Karla’s Closet and Atlantic Pacific (above). Back then, personal styles blogs were just that – diaries of what people wore on any given day, usually with descriptions telling you why they wore them, and to where. This is an outfit for work; that is a dress I wore to a wedding.

My disillusionment with personal style blogs has, I think, a lot to do with how they’ve changed. Now, bloggers dress up in outfits to take photographs for their blogs. The process has been reversed – instead of the outfit coming first, and photograph second, the idea of the photograph comes first and the outfit is chosen with that in mind. What I liked about personal style blogs was that they were real women, wearing real clothing (albeit mostly white, slim women) – now the lines between style bloggers and models have blurred entirely.

From personal style blogs to knowledge bombs

From there, I went on to read more knowledge-based fashion blogs. I liked Susie Bubble; I went to a sale she had in the yard of her apartment block once, on a weekend in London. She seemed nice (and taller than I thought she’d be). Her blog was full of knowledge, not just about clothes, but of the fashion industry and the design process.

must-read blogs

In Ireland, I read Annmarie O’Connor‘s now-defunct I Blog Fashion with similar enthusiasm (Annmarie is one of the best fashion writers in the country – her books, The Happy Closet and The Happy Medium are pretty much essential reading). I was a big fan of back in the Kirstie-and-Aisling-McDermott (above) heydey. I started reading Fluff & Fripperies shortly before becoming friends with its author, Emma. And I kept reading it because, aside from her being a friend, she’s a good writer who knows her stuff.

Keeping up with the Joneses

Now, my blog-reading landscape has changed again. While I once read them because I was genuinely interested in their content, now it’s a combination of just that and, well, curiosity.

Arguably, blogging is the one industry in the world in which it is incredibly easy to keep an eye on the competition. I use Alexa to check out rankings – who’s ranking highly and who’s dropping off? I use SocialBlade to get an idea of whose social followers are real and whose are bought. And I use Feedly to read the blogs I love, the bloggers I’m envious of and the websites whose updates I want to be kept abreast of (even if, as with Business of Fashion, I don’t read every single piece).

Must-read blogs: the 2017 edition

must-read blogs Frassy

So who makes the list of must-read blogs?

I won’t bother including those I read purely for comparison’s sake; I’m just going to list my must-read blogs in terms of decent content and consistent posting. These are the blogs I look for when I open Feedly; these are the updates I look forward to seeing and the posts I look forward to reading.

  • Buy Now, Blog Later – Laura’s an English (is it more PC to say British?) blogger who lives in Dubai, and her posts are deliciously infrequent. The end result? I look forward to them even more.
  • Tanya Burr – Total honesty? I prefer Tanya’s YouTube content to her blogs, but I still read them.
  • Frassy – Audrey (above – I love how she’s holding proper weights and not stupid rubberised “lady” dumbbells!) is a funny one because, despite the fact that we’ve never met, I kind of feel like we’re friends. Her blog posts are always really well thought out and she’s smart and funny and self-deprecating. Crucially, she recognises the mad moments that blogging presents. Plus, she loves a good moan. (We’d totally be besties, clearly.)
  • Anouska – Gorgeous photographs, gorgeous girl. In a way, Anouska’s the generic blogger – her photographs are incredible and her Instagram is themed by colour – but in another, she’s totally unique: she’s such a sunny presence in a world of scowling duck faces. (And I love her cat. Insert obvious pussy joke here.)
  • A Model Recommends – Ruth is another UK blogger who, like Buy Now, Blog Later’s Laura, doesn’t take herself too seriously. She writes mostly about beauty and skincare, and I trust her reviews unconditionally.
  • I Come Undone – Sarah recently did a post on 20 Dublin cafes and restaurants that let you bring your dog, so, y’know – enough said.

Feedback welcome!

What do you think – have I omitted any must-read blogs? I would love to know whose updates you look forward to – and how you consume the blogs you do like. Do all of your links come from social media? Do any of you use readers, such as Feedly or Bloglovin?

You may note that I didn’t actually include Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad (main image) in my list of must-read blogs. What can I say? I just hate when blogs end up being written by someone else, and her site is now essentially a magazine site, written by a team of contributors. I follow bloggers more than I follow blogs – I need the personal touch. Am I alone?

(As a helpful tangent, I’ve just discovered that, on a Macbook, CMD + K = a hyperlink, and I am so delighted with myself. It’s the little things.)

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  • Reply Rachel February 20, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Great post 🙂 I really enjoy TheAnnaEdit .

  • Reply Melanie May February 20, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    All those blogs look so similar! But I love A Model Recommends. I love her YouTube channel. She is very down to Earth and has some great tips.

  • Reply Makeup Monster February 20, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Great list, always on the look out for more great blogs to read…

  • Reply audrey leighton February 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Oh babe, I feel the same affinity towards you, I just know we’d get on super well and I NEVER say that about women I come across online. I love that you speak your mind but never clumsily, you are so articulate, even while walking down the street in Dublin on snapchat. I have no idea how you do it, but you are absolutely captivating in so many ways, should probably comment more often but just know I do read all of your blog posts. Cannot wait to meet you one day!

    On another note, I think the blogging industry has become so repetitive, so mundane… its boring as hell, all these perfect looking women with obscure financial resources living in great big apartments with enormous closets. I realized it had become repetitive when, a photo of a blogger would come up on my instagram eed and I had no idea who they were, they were simply a -blogger-. That was all I knew about them.

    It makes it hard as a professional blogger, we are basically consumerism generators. The word influencer really makes me laugh, it sounds so impressive when really at the root of it all, we are only mostly influencing people to SHOP. Not exactly the most inspirational of influence. I battle with that thought day in day out, I respect and cherish my readers and yet I am basically spending most of my time curating content in hopes that they will spend their hard earned cash. All it takes to be interesting online is wealth and beauty. I resent that. I have met A LOT of really pretty, really rich people and tbh I’d rather go to the dentist than sit across from them for a coffee. We need more ladies like you. You are a unique one!

  • Reply Sarah Hanrahan February 20, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Honoured to be mentioned babe, thank you 🙂 xxxxxx

  • Reply Siobhan February 21, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I read them all… but you have to read Damsel in Dior if you’re not and follow her Snapchat… think you’d like her….

    Siobhan xx

  • Reply Sue Nicholson June 27, 2017 at 9:45 pm


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