Kristian is a member of the Flock Together collective, which is how I found her blog. With a mix of outfit posts and other things (like classic films and letter-writing), Never Fully Dressed ... is more of a lifestyle blog than strictly a fashion blog, which I really enjoy. But don't be fooled — Kristian has a killer sense of style that always surprises me with a great mix of the classic and the quirky. And, girl knows how to strike a pose! I asked Kristian about style and blogging, and here's what she had to say:
In 25 words or fewer, tell me what Never Fully Dressed Without a Style is all about:
I write Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style) to provide classic inspiration- for your wardrobe and for your life.
When I was student teaching, an elementary student told me I "looked prettier in my pictures than in real life." Kids are brutally honest, but I was finding that my wardrobe of mostly jeans and T-shirts was leaving me ill-prepared for life as an adult. A short while later, a friend introduced me to these mysterious things call "style blogs;" I was hooked. So much so, that when, later, my then-new boyfriend asked why I wasn't writing one too, I thought, that's a very good question. Why not?
How has your blog evolved since then? Tell me about the process of refining your blog to what it is today. Did you try and discard anything along the way that didn’t work?
I'm still blogging now two years later because I one hundred percent, really and truly finding it fascinating to learn about as a skill, and an industry! That, I think is the real secret to successful blogging. You like it enough you want to learn more about it. I read a lot of articles and books about blogging when first getting started and have even taken classes. While there is a lot of information out there (sadly, not all of it good information), that is how my blog was refined and improved- by learning and experimenting a little at a time.
For me, the biggest game changers have definitely been: 1) getting an editorial calendar to know what I'm writing about ahead of time, especially if a piece takes research. 2) Treating a blog like a business- at least in the sense that you have goals, a plan, and a vision for it. 3) Having defined topics that I to write about helps create cohesion and also conversely limiting myself allows me to brainstorm ideas much better!
I'm not sure I've "discarded" things that didn't work, though I've introduced new series and retired older ones. I think it is good to get rid of what isn't working for you though. One of my goals for the year is a new layout.
Do you consider blogging a job, a hobby, or something else? Does it generate any revenue for you?
I currently consider it a hobby, but one that can- or could- generate money. Here's something I've never really mentioned before- when I was substitute teaching in the fall of 2013, I was also taking an entrepreneurial course and looking at making Never Fully Dressed more of a business. This was in part to help supplement the income I made teaching. Not being employed full time is hard- on one's self-esteem as much as one's pocket book. Even though now I have a full time job at a school (still not as a teacher though, which is what I've trained to be), I've been afforded the luxury of slowing down that process, to focus just on growing my blog and refining it to what I want it to be. But I loved that class (and my blog) for allowing me to see other options and paths for careers and goals.
I still continue to treat Never Fully Dressed as a business in some respects though. Blogging better often means treating a blog as a business- businesses have plans, but also have to be flexible and changing. Businesses have goals, have partners, and require you to be learning more about your industry.
What’s been the hardest, or most challenging, thing about maintaining your blog? The most rewarding?
Time management is definitely the most challenging. Some days it has felt more like work than pleasure. On those days, I do it anyway, knowing the long term happiness I get at having done a task well will mean more. Plus, a blog is rewarding for the creation outlet it provides, for the adventures my Boy and I have making it (finding photo shoot locations has made us appreciate the nature around us much more), and for the connections with people. A lot of bloggers have become friends through this crazy journey!
How would you describe your fashion aesthetic? How has it changed over the years?
I would describe it as "classic" or "timeless." Otherwise, it can vary quite a bit from tomboyish or minimalist one day to retro and feminine another. Since I started reading blogs, I've been much more deliberate in trying to find a style that was "me." Looking back even just from two years ago, when I started blogging, there are some outfits I cringe at, some I love but would not wear again, and ones whose style is still very much me! Personal style is always an evolving process.
What are your five favorite wardrobe items right now?
My red ballet flats (I never turn down an opportunity to feel like I'm wearing ruby slippers), my blue silk shirt from Popbasic, my sweater with a fox terrier on it since I have a fox terrier as a pet, a pair of skinny jeans, and a floral skirt that hasn't been shown on my blog yet. I've been dreaming about this skirt though, it's quite beauty. I'm excited to remix!
Thanks Kristian! Check back tomorrow for the next installment in this mini series of interviews.