Among others, this is one question we get asked too many times: aside from the obviousness of being a his-and-hers blog, what else makes us different?
First off, allow us to say that we believe blogs cannot really be compared with each other in terms of superiority or inferiority, as each one is unique and has features that set it apart from the rest. The point of this entry is simply to state what ours are, in response to the questions. The last thing we want is to get into any rifts or psywars, real or imagined. After all, we started this blog simply to celebrate our shared love for many things such as fashion. Most of the time, we just like to keep to ourselves, content in our own little world.
This is why we’ve refrained from tackling this topic lest some take it the wrong way. But the start of this year taught us that no matter how careful you are with what you do, say, or even think, others will see what they want, hear what they want, believe what they want. So, disclaimers aside, let’s have at it for all you Tumblr Askers, email senders and talk attendees. What makes Love Chic different? We answer this by answering other blogging FAQs we’ve received over the past couple of years. Names/emails withheld by request.
Q: Do bloggers really have unlimited shopping funds? Is it true that even if you don’t, you’re always given stuff so you can afford to not repeat outfits for a year?
A: We’re not sure that it’s true or not for other bloggers, but in our case, all you have to do is browse our Archive. While we’re thankful for brands who send us gifts from time to time in appreciation of our blog, like any normal, ordinary person on the street, we have standard closet spaces in our homes and we repeat and mix and match our outfits all the time. Not because it’s a styling challenge for some fashion story or something but because we make do with what we have. And even if we did have unlimited shopping funds, we’d probably keep shopping department stores and inexpensive brands and spend the money on our dream house or a business venture or traveling or enrolling in language/music/art classes or giving huge regular donations to the Ateneo Scholarship Fund, to give back for Shai’s full scholarship in college. (By now you can probably guess that these are things we’d sink our money into should we win the lottery or something).
Q: Is it true that unless you come from a wealthy background, you can’t afford to blog? Seems like you’re all sosyal and have the time and money to pursue this.
A: Again, it may be the case for many, but not for all. In our case, we’ve always been very upfront with our readers regarding our middle-class (“commoner,” to the elitist) socio-economic background, just as we have been candid about how and why we can blog: Shai is in TV production, lifestyle journalism, clothes and accessories design and digital marketing and these enable us to be in charge of our own schedules. As for affording the clothes, anyone can afford the clothes we wear! We mention the brands in every post, and seldom will you see a high-end item (either a gift or a long-deliberated splurge). It’s not the brand, it’s not the price. It’s how you wear it.
Q: Style blogging looks so easy that anyone can do it. Why do only the same bloggers get freebies and invites to events all the time? What makes a good blogger?
A: True, style blogging is something anyone can do. All you need is your personal style, basic photography skills, decent photo-editing software, a camera and a computer with Internet. But there are bloggers who are ahead of the pack because they approach it much the same way they likely approach any other aspect of life: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. They give their best in everything they do and so reap the results. Of course, we can’t undermine that thing called luck: meeting the right people and being there when opportunity strikes. For us though, the really good bloggers are those who love blogging not for the perks, but for blogging itself. Having the passion and commitment without being overanalytical or taking themselves too seriously. They never let themselves forget that blogging is supposed to be fun; not the end-all and be-all of life.
Q: What else do fashion bloggers know how to do other than have picture-perfect hair, makeup and outfits 24/7 and look good in every photo?
A: One’s online persona is not and should not be taken as a 100% accurate representation of his or her real-life persona. We’re pretty sure bloggers don’t purposely set out to mislead readers or give off the impression that they look that good every single minute of the day, but this kind of thinking always seems to come up anyway. In our case, there are days when we have to dress up (meetings, events, etc.), there are days when we feel like dressing up (dates, parties, etc.) and there are days when we don’t dress up at all (the rest of the time). Readers who have run into us in public know for a fact that we go out of the house wearing plain-looking clothes and zero products on our face and hair. These you seldom see being blogged due to a thing called “curation.”
As for what else we can do? Aside from the skills one can presume we possess from our above-mentioned jobs, we’re happy to say that we bust some (quite unfair) notions about bloggers being all fancy and glamorous and not knowing much more beyond that. We’ve known how to cook, do housework (dishwashing, manual laundry, ironing, sweeping, polishing, gardening, car-cleaning, carpentry, the works) since we were both 8 or 9 years old. We both drive ourselves (manual, yes) to places and we also take public transport (Manila and provincial). We both know how to sew things (by hand and by machine), draw (certainly no artists, but at the very least passable) and do musical stuff (Shai sings and plays the piano and ukulele but then again, which Pinoy doesn’t? Haha).
While in college, Shai worked as a reporter, researcher and writer for different companies. Seph stopped schooling to work in a call center for a while. So an overheated car in the middle of nowhere or a seemingly insurmountable work crisis isn’t likely to have us bursting into hapless tears.
The long and short of it is that we’re blessed to have been raised by parents who made us self-reliant ever since we were kids. That way, we’re flexible: we can enjoy the finer things in life from time to time but the world doesn’t end just because a driver or household helper can’t come to work.
These might seem like no big deal to others, but to us, it is. More than being sent abroad to cover fashion events, more than being featured in local and international publications or on TV shows, more than all the other perks that this blog brings us, we’re proud that we’ve been able to pursue blogging despite not having all the resources, all the connections and all the luxuries that textbook-definition bloggers are supposed to have. We’re proud that we get to inspire readers as well as express ourselves. We’re proud of the skills and values our parents taught us that enabled us to acquire a few things on our own (with their guidance and support, of course). We may not wear luxury items, drive fancy cars or live in huge mansions, but we work hard to pay for what we do wear, what we do drive, and where we plan to live when we’re married. These, are what makes us different. ♥
On Seph: Chemistry button-down and pants, SM Accessories bag and watch, Skechers sneakers. Hype his Lookbook outfit here. On Shai: Chemistry dress, SM Accessories necklace and bag, Parisian booties. Hype her Lookbook outfit here. Favorite this look on our Chictopia here. Photographed by Richard Romero, assisted by Jeru Czar. Hair, makeup, styling and post-processing by Love Chic.