Next week's episode of Glee will be a two-hour special and it looks like we can expect at least one new outfit for Emma Pillsbury.
A lot of people ask me how I find the clothes Emma wears on the show. I'd like to brag that it's a Very Special Talent, but the truth is, it's not that hard. Sure, there are a few pieces that have eluded me since season 1 (DAMN YOU AND YOUR HARD-TO-FINDNESS, EGGPLANT BLOUSE FROM SHOWMANCE), but most of Emma's clothes are just a google search or a mouse click away.
If you've ever thought it would be fun to be a fashion blogger, you're right. My advice? Do it! Don't know where to start? I'll help you out! Here's a quick tutorial...
1. Blog about what you love. Whether it's a television character or show, a movie you just adore, or a style that's all your own, make your blog personal to you.
2. Make friends with Google Image Search. Let's take this dress, for instance. I knew right away it didn't come from one of Emma's usual haunts - Kate Spade, J.Crew, or Anthropologie. And for me, the clothes that require a bit of detective work are the most fun of all. Describe the item you're looking for with as much detail as you can without going overboard. A quick search for "black and white floral dress" didn't turn up anything specific. Neither did "black and white floral drape neck dress" or "black and white floral retro dress" or "black and white floral 50s style dress." I usually check the first couple pages of results before moving on.
3. Join Polyvore. If you're old enough to remember Fashion Plates, you'll understand what I mean when I say that Polyvore is Fashion Plates for the digital age. On Polyvore, you can style looks, find products, and browse other users' creations. It's my go-to site when I'm avoiding things like vacuuming the house, but it's also my go-to site to find Emma's clothes when I don't immediately recognize them on sight. This time, no luck.
4. Bookmark Shopstyle. Shopstyle is the Google of fashion. It's an enormous database of links to nearly every item of clothing available for sale in most major retail and online stores. Search it by keyword, designer, item, color, price - if you can think of a way to search it, Shopstyle will help you find it. This time, my search results came up empty, but I wasn't giving up yet.
5. Apply for a membership with a commission-based referral site. Now, I add this tip with caution, because if you're going into fashion blogging solely to make money, then this isn't the site for you, and you should probably go somewhere else for advice.
I started WWEPW on whim, for fun, because I loved Glee and I loved Emma Pillsbury's style. I never expected anyone to read it, save my friends and family, or look to me for style advice. I'm the girl who finds one thing that fits right and doesn't look ridiculous, and buys it in every color. At 5AM every day, finding a cute and stylish outfit in my closet is the least of my worries. I'm lucky I have the wherewithal to remember to put on pants.
But people seemed to like what I had to say, and I was having a ball playing vicarious virtual dress up. I've always written WWEPW honestly and from the heart. After going back to school for a second Master's degree, my posting became less frequent. Even when I could only devote one post a month to the site, writing that one piece was (and still is) a joy.
And that's why WWEPW has never been about money. Do I use commission links? Yes. But they don't drive my content. Ideas drive my content, and they always will. If you see a post from me, you can be sure that it came from a place of creativity. And I hope that if you are thinking about starting a fashion blog, you'll do the same. Write about your passions, write for fun, and make your blog as interactive as possible. You might make a little extra cash from your efforts, but the other rewards will be so much greater. I've made several real-life friends from this venture-on-a-whim, I've been interviewed by several news outlets, and - true story - I was even called to appear on Oprah because of this blog (too bad they didn't end up selecting me for the show!).
Now. All that warm-and-fuzzy stuff aside, commission-based referral sites can be very helpful. Shopstyle has one, but my favorite is a site called RewardStyle. It's run by an awesome woman named Amber, who's a blogger herself, and she runs her business with honesty and integrity. RewardStyle is not your average commission site - it's original and creative, and it offers links to products from designers, stores, and brands that aren't found in other places.
And that's exactly where I found Emma's dress.
A search for "black and white floral dress" turned up this picture:
Black White and Fabulous Floral Print Katie Wiggle Dress- $98
which I instantly recognized as the same pattern as Emma Pillsbury's dress.
A quick trip back to RewardStyle to search for "unique vintage black and white floral dress," and TA DA! Emma's dress! (Minus the red crinoline!)
Black & White Blanc! Noir! Fleur! Scoop Neck Belted Swing Dress - $124
And there you have it.
Now get out there and start blogging.