As a girl with an undeniable love of all things fashion related it seems natural that I’m consistently knee deep in fashion blogs. I read them religiously, I get inspiration from them, and I most certainly admire the women who write them. The following are some of my favorite Maine fashion divas writing from the Portland area.
Below, you’ll find their answers to some of this season’s burning fashion questions, from thrift store shopping to work attire.
Allie Munier started her aptly titled fashion blog, Broke 207, to help Maine women be fashionable on a budget. Allie describes her style as, “how Punky Brewster would dress if she was a 34-year-old office manager” and is a fashion risk-taker.
Ashley Jordan writes Sweet William, which she started when she challenged herself not to wear the same outfit for 30 days — without buying anything new. She continued her challenge for a year, using her blog as a fashion diary. Her site has transformed into a blog about being fashion-forward and trying new trends on a small budget.
Laura Duplissis is a fashion and food blogger who runs her own blog, Sweeter Salt. She posts delicious (and healthy) recipes and her best, day-to-day fashion moments. She chronicles easy-to-wear, practical fashion with a bit of a vintage ’60s and ’70s inspiration.
Anna Glaser and Liz Smith are the co-founders of The Sequined Blazer, a blog that focuses on being trendy and professional. The blog got its start when Smith was having a hard time finding fashionable, work appropriate outfits and felt that others must be having the same struggle. They are now professionals at incorporating the hottest trends into everyday looks.
Bangor Daily News: What is your favorite piece in your closet?
Allie Munier: It’s this brown and white, slightly shrunken oxford shirt. It sort of has a feminine touch to it, but it’s really just a brown and white oxford shirt that I’m pairing with everything. Its light, it’s summery I can tuck it into a pencil skirt and wear it to work or I can pair it with jeans.
Laura Duplissis: It’s a vintage dress. I got at swapmaine. It’s cream and blue and yellow and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a statement piece.
Ashley Jordan: I got this Christian Dior blazer and skirt suit for $7.99 at Salvation Army. I’ve been wearing the blazer a lot. It’s a cobalt blue with huge shoulder pads. It’s pretty amazing!
Anna Glaser: My personal favorite thing is my Michael Kors leather bomber jacket.
Liz Smith: Right now it’s an emerald green hot, hippie little dress. I love the color and it’s really great for summer.
BDN: What piece should every woman have in her closet?
AM: I’m a big pencil skirt fan. And I feel one really great gray pencil skirt you can do so much with.
AJ: I’d say denim. Whether it’s a great pair of pants or a chambray button down. You can use it to dress anything up or down and it’s something you know you can always throw on and feel comfortable in.
AG: Probably a great pair of ankle skinny jeans. That you can dress up or down, wear with flats or heels and, of course, wear year-round.
BDN: Where do you get your inspiration?
AJ: I take inspiration from runways, but I take a lot of inspiration from street style looks as well. I do a lot of styling, both personal and professional. That’s a huge passion and force behind my love for fashion.
AG: I am an insane magazine subscriber. I read Glamour, InStyle, People Style Watch, Lucky and a lot of blogs that are street style blogs.
LS: I think I get a lot of my style inspiration mostly from the blogs I read and the street style section because they’re so much more practical and easy to replicate.
BDN: What are your favorite stores to shop?
AM: The place I shop the most these days is Goodwill. You can afford to take risks, you can find amazing vintage. You can do a lot of crazy stuff for $4.
LD: I love Goodwill and thrift stores. Find and Material Objects are probably my two favorite [Portland] stores. Aside from that I also love H&M and J. Crew.
AJ: I spend a lot of time at Goodwill and Salvation Army. Over half of what I have is thrifted or vintage. I work for Urban Outfitters so I shop there. But I love Bliss, they have a an awesome denim collection.
AG: Locally, Bliss in Portland, is one of my favorites. And T.J. Maxx definitely!
BDN: Do you have any tips for thrift store shopping?
LD: Go into it not really looking for anything in particular. Go in with an open mind. Just look for colors, patterns and shapes that catch your eye.
AJ: Watch out for things that are dirty and have holes in them. Just inspect things. And take risks. If you see something and you’re not sure if you can pull it off and you have an extra $5, then try it.
BDN: What is this summer’s must-have piece?
AM: At this moment in time the summer’s must-have piece appears to be a raincoat! Maybe a great pair of ankle jeans. A nice pair of crisp ankle jeans.
LD: I would say for this summer it would be a great fitted denim shirt. It goes with everything. It’s casual, comfortable and great for layering.
AG: I definitely think everyone, even though the trend has been going for a while, should have something neon. Whether it’s a bag or a shoe, probably an accessory.
BDN: What trend have you been dying to try?
AM: That is actually a hair thing. I’m obsessed with the ombre hair trend. People are dying the tips a color. I have a whole board on my Pinterest that’s devoted to this hair trend. I desperately want to have pastel hair, just underneath or just the tips. Lavender or mint green would be amazing!
AJ: I’m really loving the peplum look. It’s just that a lot of the pieces out there are a little more expensive, so that’s not really in my budget. But I love that look.
LS: I’m not a very colorful dresser so the neon trend has kind of passed me by. And I think it’s a really important and good trend, and it’s really easy to incorporate. I just need to get on it.
BDN: What is your favorite summer trend?
LD: I’m loving the neon and bright colors mixed with neutral colors to soften it.
AJ: It’s a tight race between print on print and pastels and pleats. Pastels and pleats are very girly and pretty and mixing prints can be bolder. Summer, I think, it a great time to try out bolder things.
AG: For me its probably prints and bright colors, blues and oranges and yellows, so probably printed summer dresses.
BDN: What is your biggest fashion don’t?
AM: I don’t think there is any universal fashion don’t. If you feel awesome in it, then you can make it work.
LD: Anything that is horribly unflattering. If it’s a giant tent, if it’s hugging the wrong places I just can’t get behind it.
LS: I often see girls wearing cutoff shorts that are way, way, way too tight and way, way, way too short. And I think that it just looks super trashy.
BDN: As far as accessories, what are some must-haves?
AM: Ashley Jordan and Laura Duplissis both have these really amazing chunky men’s watches. I love a woman in a substantial men’s watch.
AJ: Statement necklaces, like bibs. It just adds to any outfit. I love rings. I wear like five every day.
AG: For me it’s always shoes. Shoes, shoes, shoes. I think that a pair of bright sexy, summer sandals would be my top accessory right now.
BDN: Who are your celebrity icons?
AJ: I have lots of celebrity icons. Anywhere from Stevie Nicks, to the ever-popular Coco Chanel and Carrie Bradshaw types. The Man Repeller is huge on my radar, she pushes the envelope all the time and I absolutely love that.
AG: For me I think Jessica Alba, Olivia Palermo are two of my favorites and I always love Emma Stone’s red carpet style.
LS: My favorite is and always has been Nicole Richie. I’m obsessed with her. I love her boho/rock ’n’ roll flair.
BDN: Do you have any suggestions for updating your look without breaking the bank?
AM: It’s really about knowing what’s in your wardrobe. Falling back in love with things you already have is great.
LD: I would suggest clothing swaps. Even if you do it with a small group of friends. Get together and bring clothes you might not wear anymore and swap them for some you might. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great way to get new stuff.
LS: I think replacing a cardigan with a blazer is something that Anna and I both do on a regular occasion. And when we do consultations it’s one of the first things we tell people. A blazer just adds a more put together, professional look to your outfit.
BDN: How do you balance looking professional and looking fashionable?
AM: I choose professional silhouettes and professional fabrics in slightly bolder colors. I’ll wear a crazy piece of jewelry or a really wild shoe. Accessories are great for dressing up office basics.
LD: I usually try to keep it relatively conservative and then add an element of your style to it. Wear a cool belt, or a bright color, paint your nails a cool color or wear great jewelry.
LS: I think if a trend has been around for a couple of seasons, like mixed prints, you can mix a skirt and a blouse. You can find the pieces that look a little more professional.
BDN: What is one item that you think is good to splurge on?
AJ: A pair of jeans that fits comfortably and looks good on you is priceless.
LD: A great black dress, or a go-to dress that will last you forever.
AM: I think shoes are a good thing to invest in. Shoes that are made well and fit well and are comfortable, that are more classic, will last you a long time.
AG: I would say a bag. [Liz and I] love our bags. It’s something that you carry around with you every day, something that everyone is seeing, whether you’re wearing a coat or sandals and a sundress. It’s an excellent way to make a statement no matter what else you’re wearing.
BDN: What items should you save on?
AJ: Trendy items. If you’re trying something out and you’re a little apprehensive I would spend less money on that.
AG: Jewelry. You can get so much costume jewelry for cheap. Unless you really want to treat yourself, that’s a place where you can cut back.
BDN: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to start a fashion blog?
LD: Come up with your brand first of all and then just sort of jump into it. Read a lot of other fashion blogs to get a lay of the land. Start meeting people, comment on other blogs.
AJ: Be honest and be yourself. Do things the way you want to do it.
AG: Definitely social media and being super active on social media, Twitter and Facebook especially, and having a Pinterest is really important.
LS: Also being super passionate about what you’re writing for because it does take up a significant amount of time.
BDN: What are some fashion sites, magazines, or books that you would recommend?
LD: I would say the forefather of the whole fashion blog movement, What I Wore. Cupcakes and Cashmere is a great one. Locally, here in Portland, one of my friends does a great one called Fore Front Fashion.