Relatable.

Relatable.
coat // bag // shoes // tights

Have you seen Ellen’s Netflix comedy special, Relatable? It made me laugh so hard. I love her. She so perfectly dead-pan hilarious. She opens with how she had been so excited to do a comedy special but someone told her it wouldn’t work as she was no longer relatable to most Americans.  Then she goes into this bit about how she was expressing her outrage over this and how ridiculous it was to her butlers (emphasizing the plural). I think there was a reference to polishing gold bars and having her butler draw her a bath and feed her some pineapple. I’m not doing her bit justice but it was good… definitely watch it, if you haven’t!

It led me to think a bit about blogging though. Are bloggers and influencers relatable at this point? (I’d love to hear your thoughts here.)

When you think back to it, the reason bloggers (at least some of us) initially became popular is because it was a new, relatable media. As someone who still reads a lot of blogs, seeing an iPhone pic of a cute outfit on a body that looks similar to mine  or a more personal post is more interesting than reading a glossy magazine packed with clothes I can’t afford, unrealistic beauty standards, or someone who is wayyyy younger than me.

Over time, as with everything, things shifted. In advertising, the money goes where the eyeballs go. With the influx of sponsored content, outrageous gifting, free trips, and whatnot, everything changed quite a bit. You can earn a living (or for some, not me just yet haha, employ full teams of people) from blogging which is something I never would have dreamed possible when I started. There’s pressure to up your photography game or hire a professional photographer so that your site + content can look a certain way. And besides catering to your readers, your blog becomes a business and you’re also catering to advertisers.

Outfit Details: 

Topshop Camel Coat // Target Leopard Dress // Express Opaque Tights // Soludos Boots // Sézane Bag // Polaroid Sunglasses

Outfit Details:  Topshop Camel Coat // Target Leopard Dress // Express Opaque Tights / Sézane Bag // Polaroid Sunglasses

It’s the smallest thing but what triggered this thought was thinking about beauty reviews. As a blogger, I have access to so much stuff. Boxes and boxes of product samples arrive every day. When compared to what comes in, the products that I actually write about here + use in my rotation feels small but I also know that for the average woman my “stash” is certainly not relatable.

It’s my actual job (well, part of it!) to try as much of it as I can to report back with my favorites here, but I’m well aware that the average woman cannot keep five shower gels to go with her different moods in her bathroom (a definite single girl perk), have three favorite face scrubs, or just try out a new $150 face serum and then pass it along to her bestie if she doesn’t like it. Honestly, I try to keep this in mind with every product I feature here and I never want you guys to feel like you are going to die/have bad skin/get the plague because you can’t afford or don’t want to buy something I show you here.

I think about when I started this blog…

I was 28 years old and struggling to pay off my credit cards. To spend $100 on a pair of ballet flats was a big investment. Kiehl’s was a splurge brand. I bought most of my clothes at Gap and Forever 21 and started doing (and posting) DIY projects to make versions of designer pieces (mostly jewelry) that I was coveting.

Nine years later I am out of debt, have gotten a few promotions, quit my day job, and started working for myself. I’m in my late thirties, so things are different and my lifestyle probably isn’t relatable to the average twenty-something. The same could be said though for someone my age who is married with children. (No mortgage or private school to pay for, no husband to tell me I can’t buy that $300 sweater.) Or someone who works a more traditional day job. (Yoga in the middle of the day? L-O-Freaking L.)

Outfit Details:   Soludos Boots & Sézane Bag

I had an interesting conversation with a reader via DM’s a few weeks ago, brought on my something I’d said on the hashtag no filter podcast. She said, “blogging is unique in that you’re a normal person who has a very public persona, and that brings its own stresses… but the anxiety posts are at an all-time high these days and I think it’s becoming unrelatable to some of us.

She hit the nail on the head with that first part. Blogging is funny because you’re basically a very normal person with a very public life. But your life is not really all that “normal” anymore as you attain more success you have access to all these perks.

At the end of the day I just try to be my most honest true self here and keep things real. But the combination of growing up, achieving more success as I’ve built a “following”, and the way that the industry has shifted can definitely make things interesting.

Outfit Details:  Topshop Camel Coat // Target Leopard Dress

So how do we navigate that?

I’d really love your thoughts on this as well. For me, it’s definitely a balancing act but I wanted to share a few thoughts of my own.

Photography.

I’ll probably always use a professional photographer here – not just because I like the way it looks. But because I absolutely hate asking friends/family/boyfriends to take my photo. It disrupts the mood and makes a fun moment into a work moment. (Can you just take it from this angle? Lower!!! Ugh I need more lipstick – REDO!)  It’s really, really important to me to be present with my loved ones. I’m not someone who enjoys looking at my phone and I’d rather just write down my outfits throughout the week and shoot them later with a photographer. Relatable? Maybe nah but it lets me keep work + personal life separate and that is EVERYTHING for me.

The free stuff and trips.

I am saying no more and more not only because it’s hard for my readers to relate to but also because honestly I don’t want it. I’d rather work with advertisers who pay me money, disclose that to you, and buy the things I want to buy (or take the trips I want to take – with my friends, not strangers!) with my OWN MONEY.

I’ll always tell you exactly what I think.

I’m never out to burn bridges or relationships, but if a product sucks (like the Quip toothbrush my dentist more or less told me to burn) or I see a company doing something shady, I will tell you because I would want to know. As a blogger, my word (and your trust) is the most important thing. All it takes for me to lose a reader (or hundreds of readers!) is for me to recommend one faulty product, have them try it and hate it and never want to come back here. That sounds dramatic but is very scary and is something constantly on my mind with every single thing I write and share here; sponsored or not.

Sponsored content.

This blog is my business and I treat it as such. I’m really lucky in that you guys understand that and support my advertisers (THANK YOU.) I will always do sponsored content – it pays my bills and also lets me keep running my blog (you’d be surprised at how many expenses go into running a site!) BUT I will always be picky. Any beauty products here (sponsored or not) get tested for at least two weeks. And I say no to brands WAY more than I say yes. As I said above, your trust is the most important thing to me.

Polaroid Sunglasses

Keeping it real. 

I’ll always share my struggles here. Not for advice or sympathy (ugh to both of those things!) but because I want to normalize things and for you to come to my site and know you aren’t the only one struggling with something be it feeling lonely or dealing with dating nonsense, or being stressed out about stupid sh*t that doesn’t actually matter. We all do it but rarely do we talk about it, which is why I like to talk about it.

Want vs. need.

It drives me crazy when anyone (blogger or not) says they NEED this shirt or these shoes or this thing. A thing can be awesome and you can really want it but you probably don’t actually need it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself to something new but I will also always be honest with you guys about what you need (water, exercise, food, a roof?) and what is fun and awesome (all the frivolous things I tell you about here). I think that the word “need” is very very overused in this space. Let’s be clear – you don’t need most of the things I feature here. Does that make those things any less awesome? Of course not! But when we say that we “need” these things, it contributes to a negative mindset of having to have all these things in order to be whole as a person.

I think that about sums it up. But I’d love your thoughts – on the industry, on my content + site, what you’d like to see more of, what you’d like to see less of, what you can and can’t relate to, and so on and so forth! In the meantime, happy Friday! xo

Soludos Boots & Sézane Bag Outfit Details:  Topshop Camel Coat relatable

photography by Carter Fish.

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Comments

  1. I love Ellen too! I’ve watched every single clip of hers on Youtube, haha. Too bad I can’t actually stream the show here in Hong Kong!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Rachelle says 1.25.19

    When I started reading blogs and blogging myself I was at the beginning of my career. I had a little bit more disposable income and could afford nicer (in my opinion) things. Now in my thirties I do read some bloggers like you but the majority of the OG bloggers have lost my interest. I personally don’t feel good buying clothing, bag and shoes every other week and honestly to know how well a product works you have to use it consistently for a month or more, so I don’t pay much attention to beauty posts. The thing that irks me with blogging is now that it’s so popular, every other day there’s a new hype. This $166 serum you must try or this new IT bag, most of all I think Instagram is the worst thing that happened to blogging. I don’t want to be ON all the time and I don’t need to know what strangers are doing every single day. This cannot be good for our mental health, so I personally decided to take a step back and consume less media.
    I think some bloggers just reached the celeb status that’s when I usually move on, other than that I think it is possible to run a successful blog without all daily trendy things, you will just have a different type of audience then, a more mature one.

    xo
    Pinksole

    • Barbara says 1.25.19

      I feel the same way. I actually just deleted Instagram and Facebook from my phone, and plan on having it off for the next 30 days. I think what some bloggers feel like their intention is with posts isn’t quite aligning to what reality is most of the time.

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much for weighting in, Rachelle! Really appreciate it.

    • Ashley says 2.6.19

      I agree, I am definitely more interested in the “grassroots” influencers than those who have hundreds of thousands of followers. It’s kind of like supporting local businesses over big corporations in my mind.

  3. sharon says 1.25.19

    I love your site and your content. Yours is one of very few blogs I read daily. Can I wholly relate to you? No. I am a 45 year old mom of 2 ( teen and pre-teen) with a corporate job and kids in competitive sports. I however love skin care and wellness. I cannot take a yoga class in the middle of the day but I can use an app in the am or pm and do a 20 minute flow. I love to travel and although our travel styles are different ( remember the kids part?!) we go to some of the same destinations or I add some destinations to my list for the next season of my life. Funny enough though, I relate more to you than the few bloggers my age. Maybe I just have not found the right ones but the ones my age seem to either 1) spend all of their time shopping and getting cosmetic surgeries which I cannot relate to at all or 2) spend all of their time crafting and remodelling their homes which again, I cannot relate to. I really feel that you have a niche Grace. Happy to hear that you will keep doing you!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much Sharon!! Much appreciated – have a great weekend!

    • Christie says 1.28.19

      Hi Grace, I’m just now getting to read this post. Sharon sums this up so nicely. I am also 45 and do feel even though we have an age difference with you, that I can relate and truly value the things you share and post about. While I cannot afford everything you share, I love your style and this inspires me in my own life. I also appreciate your post and reviews on natural skin care and deodorant. For example, you are the reason I have switched to natural deodorant and when you share a new natural option that works, I listen. I trust your opinions. I am from SC and love your post when you visit Charleston, too. I don’t live there but we visit often since it’s so close by. Thanks for keeping it real for all of us.

  4. Helen says 1.25.19

    Honestly, this post and you are why I still follow a few bloggers. Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s real and it comes across loud and clear. xoxo!

  5. Lisa Autumn says 1.25.19

    Such an interesting read baba (and your coat is to die for!)

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  6. Shana says 1.25.19

    I’ve mentioned this before but I found your blog via Krista about a year and a half ago I think it was?? time flies, and I look forward to your content each day! I recently turned the big 4-0, have a 2yo child, and work in corporate america but I can relate to the majority of what you are saying 🙂 I travel a lot and Bangkok – yesss to everything you posted!! I personally love the skin care and that you try so many products. I can pick and choose this cream or that mask, etc. I’ve been inspired but several of your fashion choices and have found new to me brands (Acne, Sarah Flint, Sezane, etc.) to explore after seeing you wear something. I like that you use a photographer because this is your job and your photos are consistent which adds to my viewing pleasure HA! The “buying you first Chanel bag” post was great as I’m into buying higher quality/forever pieces. I’m looking forward to a similar shoe post 🙂 It seems like you are doing what works for you and it’s really shining through which is what I enjoy most!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      YES! I remember you! So glad you found me via Krista, she is the best! Thank you for the kind words, Shana – enjoy the weekend!

  7. Jackie says 1.25.19

    Grace this is such a great and thought-provoking post. I think you’re one of the most relatable bloggers out there because you talk about these things, and other personal things as well (not just clothes and such). And as bloggers become more like celebrities in terms of freebies and thus lose a lot of their relatability, posts like this help readers still feel connected.

    I think some of the loss of relatability comes when bloggers get all of this free stuff and free trips (especially the trips!) and don’t talk about how grateful they are that this is their job. Maybe that’s an unrealistic expectation but I followed someone who was leading a very glamorous life as a photographer and she often talked about how lucky she felt and how her job had so many “pinch-me” moments, and it was just nice to see someone acknowledge that. A surprising amount of people just don’t!

    And I also struggle with how sales-y a lot of blogs have gotten. Buy this, buy this, buy this! Again, this is why I like your blog – I feel like you point out products and discuss them but it doesn’t feel like a constant sales pitch. Some blogs, it does – and the constant materialism and feeling like I’m being sold to CONSTANTLY gets really tiresome. It’s such a catch-22 though – blogs need to make money obviously, but if it all feels like a big commercial it’s not going to be fun to read. And blogs started out as appealing because of the relatability factor – but to be successful a blogger has to keep upping the quality of their content!

    Anyway I probably have even more thoughts on this as it’s such an interesting topic…I hope you’ll write more on the subject!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much Jackie. I agree with absolutely everything you’ve said here!!! Have a great weekend. xx

  8. Olga says 1.25.19

    This is such a great post! I think some bloggers have remained relatable and authentic but others haven’t. When you make something your full-time job/career, it does change things and I think some bloggers have lost sight of what their readers are like.

    I appreciate that you make such a big effort to stay relatable and only show us the best of the best! I know I can trust your opinion!

    Olga
    http://www.littlethingsolga.com

  9. Annie says 1.25.19

    The idea of relatability is interesting. Sometimes I think there is this knee-jerk reaction against bloggers for not being relatable when it’s really a diverging of a) interests b) disposable income. Relatability, to me, comes more from tone and thought than how much you spent on an outfit or beauty product.

    For example: you spend more on clothing than I do because it’s a greater priority to you, and you have fewer responsibilities of the human persuasion *cough husband and baby cough* that allow you to spend your discretionary income in different ways than I. However, the way in which you craft a message or story about your purchases is what resonates with me – you wear what you love, you think about what you put on your body, and you craft a narrative that reflects that. I think bloggers who don’t think about this narrative and just push the “buy this! you need this!” idea are the ones who are less “relatable.” This is what keeps me coming back to your blog even if I’m not spending my money in a similar way.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what others say in the comments!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Annie! I’m really loving (and learning so much) reading all of the comments on this post.

    • Breanne says 1.26.19

      Spot on! I love the narrative that’s written, even if the purchases aren’t the same. (The recent Chanel post comes to mind)

  10. Elizabeth says 1.25.19

    I love this post. I’m early 30s, married with a baby, working full time as a litigator, our lives are not totally the same, but I find your blog so refreshing!! I come here for inspiration on quality basics, outfits for the cold weather (UGH) and dressing in a major city (no bikini tops doubling as a shirt). I appreciate that you are aware of the privilege of your job but transparent about the reality (so those of us thinking ‘oh isnt her job amazing’ also recognize that it’s still a job). I am SO over the bloggers with their anxiety issues (“i’m just putting out this super personal post..” and it’s all about feeling torn between being on their phone while staying home with their children). And bloggers with their “routine” posts, including how to fit in a workout (just drop kid at gym daycare and hit the 9am barre class…lol) and constant “try-ons” in a dressing room while advising the xxs runs more like a xs. I just really appreciate that you know both the audience you have and the audience you want. You are in a class above the rest in my opinion. Thanks for all you do!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      You made me laugh with the XXS XS comment. Drives me nuts too, haha!
      Thank you so much for the kind words and for reading my blog!

  11. Allie says 1.25.19

    Your blog is one of my favorites. I love the mix of high and low (like Target finds and talking about Chanel bags) you keep it real while not over sharing, and I always like the beauty products you recommend. Plus you’ve recommended so many good books!!! Thank you for all the inspiration! xAllie
    http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com

  12. Rachael says 1.25.19

    Love your balance and ability to keep conversations open, inviting and respectful. Two thumbs up. Keep up the amazing work. This site/your social media adds energy and inspiration to my life. A rule I use online! Is this life-giving content or depleting? Important to be mindful of i put in front of my eyes/heart. Your communication speaks volumes to your self-awareness and authentic self. You are doing an awesome job cheers to 2019 and what’s ahead for you!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much Rachael! I love the idea of “life giving vs depleting!!!”

  13. Mary says 1.25.19

    You’re the best, Grace! This is why I keep reading your blog. Thanks for keeping things transparent <3

  14. Anne says 1.25.19

    This post is the first that prompted me to comment, although I really wanted to comment on your “breakup post” (ugh, but that’s what it was I guess). I find you very relatable, and I am a 45 year old college professor with two kids who lives in upstate NY. There is very little pressure on me to look any certain way, and for most of my life, everyone who knows me would describe me as “low maintenance.” So what is relatable about your content? I’m not sure, but I read your blog every day, and I guess I would say that I look forward to your honesty, your enthusiasm for life, and your wit. Your recommendations have led me to purchase Everyday oil, the acupuncture mat, and to the Forever 35 podcast. The only other fashion blogs I read regularly are Midlife Chic and Wardrobe Oxygen. If I think about what you three have in common, it is the transparency about the process and your integrity/work ethic. Honestly, when you posted about splitting from your boyfriend, I was really impressed by the way you handled it – so forthright but also not in need of anything from your readers. I wanted to comment then, but felt kind of gross about saying anything. I wish you lots of success, Grace, because this is a medium that you have made work for you, because such a wide variety of people find you relatable, and because you work so hard.

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much Anne! (And I’m so happy I’ve gotten you into a handful of my favorite things!!!) I will check out Midlife Chic and am already a big fan of Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen – she does such a good job being transparent and real!
      Have a great weekend. 🙂 x

      • Anne says 1.25.19

        I came back because I forgot about the books! Your book recommendations line up almost perfectly with my tastes. Glad to see you had such a positive response to this post. Two comments for me – yikes – I think I need to hide under a rock now.

        • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

          OH GOOD – thank you! I’m so glad to hear it!!! And no need to hide, I love it! xo

  15. Bailey Humphrey says 1.25.19

    I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoy more personal posts over everything. Following with current favorites and gift guides. Solely posting outfits always leads me to the comparison trap which I try to avoid. Thank you for sharing!! <3

    xo,
    Bailey
    http://www.baileysbulletin.blogspot.com

  16. Amy says 1.25.19

    This is such an interesting post and so timely. I recently stopped reading most blogs because I no longer felt then relatable and many are not forthcoming about sponsored content. I am only following a handful of blogs, with motherhood/recipe/life content, not about style or beauty (although I still check your blog every once and awhile). I totally understand sponsored content pays the bills but it only works when it’s done tastefully, honestly, and with other information (I think cup of jo does a good job). I just can’t buy a $1500 purse, do yoga during the day, take nightly bathes and spend thousands on skincare. Life is about so much more than that and I think bloggers that will continue to be successful will tap into that “realness.”

  17. Mary says 1.25.19

    My favorite post was your review of Charleston and your unsponsored review of 86 Cannon hotel. I visited as a result, using many of your suggestions and had a great stay. Thank you!
    I don’t mind sponsored clothing posts because we as readers can see the products with our own eyes (and return them if they aren’t right). On the other hand, sponsored skincare posts are something that I just don’t take on any blogger’s word. Skincare is so personal and can be so expensive that I’m just skeptical that what works for one person will work for me. It also seems like bloggers are constantly changing what products they use. This is what’s unrelatable to me. I do a lot of research before buying any beauty products and stay within a budget that no blogger seems to have. That said—I love your book recommendations and wellness trend reviews. I think you cover daily topics that most women can relate to and that is a refreshing change from the always-on-a-beach vacay bloggers. I tend to appreciate going on “virtual vacation” with a blogger when they aren’t constantly on one. It’s more relatable to see bloggers spending an equal amount of downtime at home between travels. Summer can be especially annoying when every blogger you follow is living out of a suitcase. Not relatable.
    Sorry for the long comment but I really enjoy your blog and think you bring a fresh perspective to the table. Keep up the good work!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Hi Mary,
      Thank you so much for the comment – I know, skincare is so hard! I often get emails/questions asking for exact advice and I’m like – I NEED TO SEE YOUR SKIN! Like, it’s very easy for me to give recs to my girlfriends but so hard through the computer!

  18. Joanna B says 1.25.19

    Grace,

    I so appreciate your willingness to be honest and to actually treat your blog like a blog—with words! I’m an editor so of course I love words, and they are the main component of my job. But I’m getting tired of bloggers who can barely type a sentence and don’t have much to say. Your blog posts are thoughtful and interesting, and I can tell that you’re always reading/thinking/processing yourself. And just to echo a few other comments—I also love the high-low aspect of the blog. I love the Target/Amazon real life and the aspirational “how to one day buy a Chanel bag.”

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you Joanna!!

      I agree, I wish more blogs wrote more, as that’s the sort of content I enjoy reading most. (I think Man Repeller and Garance Dore both do such a good job.)

      • Theodora says 1.25.19

        As a writer, I so, so agree with this too! Your posts are always well thought out, and there’s actually content to read that you can tell you’ve spent a long time on.

        As a single woman in NYC in her late 30s who’s a freelancer/blogger, our lifestyles are kind of similar, so I find your content relatable…and anything I can’t relate to or doesn’t interest me…I just don’t read. (But I still read probably 90% of your posts.) Either way, your blog usually gives me something to think about, whether that’s for my own site/writing or my own life.

  19. Jennifer Howard says 1.25.19

    Great post! Your blog is the first (and often only) one I read each day. I look forward to your posts, and although I’m a little older than you, do find your posts quite relatable. Keep up the great work!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much Jennifer!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you stopping by every day! xo

  20. Jenny says 1.25.19

    I think your honesty and candidness are very refreshing. In this curated world we live in we need more of that. You are definitely relatable able Grace. Happy FriYay!!

  21. Kendra says 1.25.19

    I think you do an amazing job of being relatable while producing unique content. I’m your age, in a slightly different place (married, small children), but love looking at what you put out, because of what you said above. Seeing a normal woman mixing high with low on the day-to-day is more interesting than glossy magazines packed with clothes I can’t afford. I too struggled financially in my twenties, and have experienced more success in my thirties, and it’s nice to see someone similar who is down-to-earth, sharing your stories. Regardless of our differences in relationship/parenting status, you ARE relatable to me because you share a passion for fashion, design, aesthetics, and beautiful things and you are unapologetic about it. It shows that you’re not in it purely to sell a product. Keep doing what you’re doing because it’s unique in this space and it’s refreshing.

  22. Allison says 1.25.19

    Thanks for this! Honestly, I love your relateable-ness and unrelateable-ness in equal parts! I like that you are 37 and don’t apologize for what you can afford/do and aren’t trying to fit in with the younger trendy bloggers. As a 35 year old, I definitely appreciate that and take your recs seriously. That being said, I like that I can’t relate to being a blogger/influencer as a job, it makes me want to peek into your life and dream a little bit if that makes sense? I’ll never be a blogger as a full-time job which makes me intrigued by your life more!

  23. Shirley says 1.25.19

    Grace-I absolutely loved this post! The fact that you are even talking about staying relatable is one of the reasons why you are one of my daily reads. I can tell that a lot of thought went into this post. I appreciate your transparency, which is something that I think a lot of bloggers struggle with. I think this post is my all-time favorite of yours and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.
    Wishing you the best!

  24. Megan says 1.25.19

    Most bloggers I still follow are the ones who have a healthy and respectable balance of personal/un-sponsored and sponsored content. Also, I’m really turned off by over-consumption by anyone of any financial status and when some bloggers/influencers constantly feel the need to clarify how difficult their job actually is. I get that there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and that bloggers spend a lot of time working, but it would be off-putting for people of most other occupations to talk about how difficult their jobs are. Also, most professional jobs/careers require a lot of behind the scenes tasks and multitasking. For me, sometimes I get disappointed thinking about how I’ll never be able to live anywhere close to the lifestyle of popular and successful bloggers, but that’s not much different than comparing myself to celebrities or independently wealthy people. I think what makes it harder to swallow is that bloggers try to present themselves as relatable, whereas celebrities don’t. It’s also frustrating at times when you think about how bloggers (and celebrities) get paid to tell people to buy things that they got for free. I won’t to know bloggers’ recommendations for things that they would buy with their own money. Bloggers are required to say that they got something for free or are being paid to talk about an item/product, but it’s impossible to be 100% completely unbiased in a review for something that you didn’t purchase with your own money.

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Hi Megan, Thank you so much for the honest feedback! Re: bloggers constantly clarifying how hard their job is, I’ve heard that feedback before and think it’s so interesting. (It’s also why I stopped doing it!!)

      I think a lot of bloggers want to share that because we’re always hearing how we aren’t working at all (which isn’t true) BUT yes – If I were out with my lawyer or doctor friend I probably wouldn’t want to hear how hard her job is either.

  25. Gigi Hinkle says 1.25.19

    Thank you for not making everything something I “need”..blog titles like “The black dress you NEED in your wardrobe” don’t get any of my attention as I don’t really like being told what I “need” and just sound like the blogger is trying to get clicks! Plus how can a blogger truly know what I “need”?
    Also, thanks for only sharing items you truly believe in. Not items you wear for a blog post, get our clicks and $, then get rid of. A popular Chicago blogger raved about a gray lole coat that she got for free but still I believed her review. She is now doing konmari method and 2 months later this coat is pictured in her “discard pile”. How stupid does she think her readers are? I am actually a little offended. I feel tricked and will never trust this bloggers opinion again! You are right about trust being broken with your readers and do a great job with this 🙂

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      HAHA yes I think that the reason people write that stuff is actually for SEO. We need so little. I hate when people say it. NO SHAME in loving and buying beautiful things (I mean hello, look at me) but recognize you don’t actually need it all!

  26. allie says 1.25.19

    Years ago I stopped following you because the content felt very generic “blogger” type content and then in the last few years I came back because you totally get exactly what we are looking for in a daily site we check. I love seeing what you’re reading, what you’re loving and what you’re wearing because you’re real and authentic with us. I also love that you never push the clothes. You rock what you buy and then say if you want it, get it but if you dont, who cares?! Basically, you’re the best and you’re killin it!

    Allie
    modbroadco.com

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      I think you’ve said that before, Allie! I really appreciate your honesty – and that you came back as a reader!!! It really means the world. Thank you so much for the kind words.

  27. Emma says 1.25.19

    Hi Grace! Longggg time follower and I think maybe first time commenter? Anyways, I think this post alone is something that really separates you from a sea on non-relatable bloggers. I look forward to your IG stories (always my first or second blogger to pop up) and read your blog every day. I think something I’m realizing about bloggers and IG influencers is that you need to be relatable in real life and it’s easy to tell if that carries over to your digital presence. I hope that doesn’t sound odd (seeing as we have never met…) but I get a clear feeling of that from you. Your IG stories are about real life, working out, living a balanced life of going out and staying in, reading, etc. – so many things I can relate to. I’ve had to unfollow SO many bloggers this year who post nonstop about all the shopping they do, insane beauty treatments they are always trying, posting picture-perfect images of their huge walk-in closets, not to mention sponsored everything. I can’t relate to that life outside of a digital realm, so those bloggers don’t feel relatable to me. I also think you are SO self-aware and genuinely care about your readers and community (hi FB group!) and I always feel like you talk to us the way you would talk to your friends. So there’s my two cents, hope you have the best weekend. Xx

  28. Wendy says 1.25.19

    Are bloggers relatable? Nope, not at all. When I first began reading blogs, it seemed different. As others commented, the rampant consumerism and sales pitch of blogs is over the top now, and very disheartening. I deleted fb off my phone, and unfollowed all bloggers/influences from my insta and I am happier for it! So much is sponsored contents and ads, so the majority of the time, I am not going to take a bloggers recommendation. I do appreciate you mentioning above how long you try out a product. Weirder still is when you see posts for products it seems very very unlikely someone uses. That said, yours is one of the few blogs I still read, primarily because you do mix in other content besides just fashion, as well as peeks into real life. It’s those aspects (hello, we’ve all been through a breakup) that make you more relatable. While I don’t have a husband or kids, I work in higher education, and thus not in the market, or salary range for many of things all bloggers seem to have multiples of like crazy expensive bags. A Chanel bag would be ridiculous in my office, but a good quality work tote would be more my speed.

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much for sharing your honest thoughts here Wendy!!! Really appreciated.

  29. dana mannarino says 1.25.19

    You’ve really hit the nail on the head here. I’ll ALWAYS come to your site because I love how easy it is to relate to you. While we’re on completely different tracks in life, your content and personality is something I’ve always admired! Just admitting that you’re not “relatable” in the sense of the products, the trips, the “take this product, it was sent to me and I don’t use it” is amazing — and eye opening for sure!

    You inspired me in 2017 to switch into more REAL, RAW, and HONEST content…and I owe a lot of my successes to you just for that one small inspiration!

    The Champagne Edit

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so so much Dana (And so happy to hear that it’s inspired you to create more real content – I’ve been loving yours!!)

  30. Mariana says 1.25.19

    I read blogs for inspiration (outfits, decor) and to know what’s new out there (clothes, beauty products) and for me the most important thing is to know that the blogger is giving her honest opinion about whatever she’s talking about: sponsored or not. It’s a business for some of you so of course you have to have sponsored posts (and professional photography) and I don’t mind that at all, as long as you really like the products and aren’t just promoting them because the company paid you the most money. I’m 34 with 2 children, work in an office all day in Portugal and can’t buy most of the stuff you wear or recommend because they’re expensive for me (and we don’t have most of the same brands here!): but to me you’re relatable because we have the same style, we both love fashion, beauty and traveling and because you seem so cool, honest and have such a nice energy in your writing that it feels like I’m listening to a girlfriend talk to me over coffee (if it makes sense lol). Bottom line, I love your blog just the way it is so keep up the great work!

  31. Abby says 1.25.19

    I think you are both a relatable and an aspirational blogger (one of the few!)! I’ve read your blog now for almost 7 years and can see the reason for your success is because you are such a hard worker. You inspire me to work harder so that I can maybe one day have a chanel purse or a lot of awesome skincare 🙂 I love seeing these personal posts from you and it just reinforces your relatability for me!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Thank you so much, Abby! (And thank you for reading for SO LONG… truly flattered/honored!) Have a great weekend!

  32. JENNY B says 1.25.19

    You are one if my favorite bloggers even though I have nothing in common with you-except that we both like you! You have a great personality/writing style and are someone I would like in real life, and like hearing about your life. Keep it up!

  33. Emily says 1.25.19

    Thanks for keeping it real Grace! I’m a 33 year old mom with twins, so I definitely can’t always relate. BUT – you’re one of the few bloggers I’ve followed for years because of your authenticity. It’s nice to have a trusted resource like you to come to when I am ready to purchase a new face cream or to browse the latest Target finds. Have a great weekend!

  34. cjsw says 1.25.19

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Grace, this is one of my favorite posts of yours maybe. Ever. The reason I follow you is because you still keep it real and I feel like I can trust you. Are some things priced out of my budget? Sure. But I also love that your personality shines through and you don’t seem like a robot without feelings. THANK YOU for what you do.

  35. Katie says 1.25.19

    Fantastic post! I have a handful of blogs I read daily and it’s really nice to see someone (YOU!), actually show that you are self aware and have that understanding that your lives are not typical for most people out there. Still enjoy the skincare reviews and glimpses into your life! Bravo!

  36. Elizabeth says 1.25.19

    I recently deleted every blogger/influencer from my Insta. While I appreciate that posts will be sponsored, one of the things that was the catalyst for me doing so, and what really bothers me re: certain bloggers, is when a blogger will bait with, “A really personal blog post” and then write a couple of seemingly relatable sentences, and then at the end… #sponsored #ad #liketk {or whatever that site is.} It negates the entire post for me and makes me feel like I had invested time in caring for someone when in reality, they were just trying to sell me something. I appreciate your blog, and think, for me, you are a rare blend of relatable and aspirational.

  37. Lindsey says 1.25.19

    Another great, thoughtful post Grace! This is why I’ve been following you for 6+ years at this point! I really agree with an earlier commenter who mentioned how so few bloggers acknowledge the privilege or excitement of their jobs. I totally get that for a lucky few blogging affords them the opportunity to travel non-stop, buy tons of clothes or even a house (and I might do the same!). But owning tons of designer bags, wearing a head to toe new outfit 5 days/week or buying and remodeling a multimillion dollar house in your 20s is simply not normal and taking a few moments to acknowledge that and express some gratitude would go a HUGE way in my book towards being more relatable (or at least more likable). I love that you get this and managed to stay grounded despite your success. I really wish more bloggers would take a page out of your book. I used to read so many on a daily basis but have cut almost all of them out because they just didn’t make me feel good. So please keep up the great work 🙂

  38. Kate says 1.25.19

    Grace, I love that you keep it real. As a former blogger, I understand a lot of it. But as a now non-blogger for about 5 years I also have the “regular reader” perspective. I LOVE that you acknowledge your lifestyle – like in your Chanel bag post when you say you don’t have kids or a mortgage and you have a fancier life with lots of events so a Chanel bag makes sense for you, and you acknowledge that it might not make sense for everyone. Rather than the “OMG you NEED this!” sentiment we see from a lot of bloggers. I think where I get a little bit lost is trying to figure out “What do normal people do?” vs bloggers because they have a very different reality even though they think they’re just normal people. Like, most bloggers I follow have started doing botox. It leaves me in this weird state of “Am I supposed to be doing this? Are my friends getting botox and I have no idea? Is this just because they live in big American cities and no one here in Eastern Canada even considers botox before the age of 65 if at all?” And same with beauty products and clothing – do people actually spend $100 on a single face product? Is that normal in my social circles or for my life? Bloggers (inadvertently) mess with my head about what my own normal is and what I should be spending on things, if that makes sense. But that’s maybe more my own problem than theirs. That said, I still love looking at it all and appreciate reviews of things!

    And not to turn this into a snark on bloggers comment because I do truly understand a lot of how it all works, but the one thing I find cringe worthy and absolutely not relatable is bloggers considering things “work” because it’s content, but to the rest of us it’s really just you getting to run errands and snapping photos while you’re doing it – yoga or fitness classes, trips to whole foods/trader joes, buying or returning clothing items, getting a hair or spa treatment, decorating your house for christmas, redecorating your living room etc. Getting your eyebrows microbladed doesn’t count as work (to us) just because you’re documenting it or doing a post on it and becomes very irritating when it’s then posed as “Oh my gosh, such a busy day! I literally have not stopped working!” when it’s all the stuff non-bloggers consider errands or luxuries we need to squeeze in after our full work days. You might view it as content and therefore work, which I can also understand, but I think it rubs people the wrong way when whole foods, spa treatments and a yoga class are on your schedule as “work” when it’s a dream day for many of us! It’s not saying a lot of bloggers don’t work hard, I know many hours can go into photos, editing, writing posts, dealing with brands, website stuff etc etc, but it’s the personal errands as content and therefore “work” (especially if being complained about as omg so busy) thing that gets me.

    Anyway, all that to say that I think YOU do a very good job at keeping it real even though we have very, very different lifestyles. I still appreciate and trust that what you feature is stuff YOU like and that you recognize that same stuff might not make sense for other people! (And you don’t shame them for it!) You’re remained authentic in a profession that is very difficult to do that in and it doesn’t go unnoticed! xo!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      I agree with so much of what you’ve said! And I totally get it when you say that stuff is not work – I agree, haha! As I have so many channels (my blog, my Youtube, my podcast), I am at my desk most of the day so when I get invited to do those sorts of things I usually say no because I don’t want to be up all night working bc I dicked around during the day.

      Also no not everyone is getting botox. Sometimes I feel like I need it (same pressures, seeing everyone else doing it) but at the end of the day I just don’t want to do it!! At least not yet! xx

  39. Chrissy says 1.25.19

    I stopped following most blogs (not yours) because I didn’t find their content useful. I don’t care a ton if someone’s lifestyle is relatable, but I want more non spon content. If someone is spending their own money on something and genuinely loves that thing, share it! Too many bloggers get powerful and don’t want to share things if they feel they deserve the brand to pay them. If that makes sense. So they lock these finds up and then what’s the point of any of their access to their readers? I don’t want every rec to be sponsored or gifted. I love that you shared that you Poshmarked a Brooks Brothers sweater from last season. Yes I get that it’s a balance but readers can sense greed from some of these ppl and it’s offputting.

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      I totally agree with you on this point!!!

      It’s also frustrating as a blogger because there are a lot of things I talk about without being paid, and then I see the brands paying other bloggers who have never talked about the brand before as they want to get in front of a new audience. Frustrating for me from a business perspective, and understandable from the POV of a former marketer (my background is marketing and social media!) but what can you do? At the end of the day, I’m going to talk about the things I love whether paid or not.

      And I’m glad you liked the Brooks Brothers’ story – I love that sweater!

  40. Alexandra says 1.25.19

    Married, entrepreneur doctor mom of two littles here, with the goals of your closet, but far far from it…and yet I read your blog daily. Daily! Life is boring if you only want to see your own reflection – please know that smart, genuine content unifies people across all walks of life. And even when you have other things from someone else (husband, designer bags, ‘dream job’), everyone has the same baseline wants and struggles, albeit in slightly different forms. Love all that you provide!

  41. Kara says 1.25.19

    Absolutely love love love this post. As a small time blogger and mainly someone that just loves reading blogs I think this was a great post about the industry. Thanks for sharing! It’s interesting how the industry has changed over the years. I always love your thoughts and reviews on everything and how you keep it real.
    -Kara
    http://Www.everydayk.com

  42. Emily says 1.25.19

    Hi Grace,
    I discovered your blog 8-9 months ago and have become a regular reader. Around 2009-10, I read a lot of different blogs, and like you mentioned was particularly interested in fashion/ootd blogs featuring women who were around my size and/or had similar coloring, to get outfit ideas. After a few years, when my work dress code shifted, most of those outfits weren’t realistic choices for me, plus I was somewhat turned off by the selling/materialism. Also, a number that I followed had children, and their life, style, and content changed for me, and it was no longer particularly relatable. So I stopped reading most blogs.
    In terms of what I like or find relatable–I really like most of your content. I’m probably less likely to spend money on something (though I ordered the Acwell toner on your recommendation and may purchase some more products that I’ve seen recommended here), but I also understand that it’s important to run a financially sustainable business. I probably enjoy your book, travel, and personal posts best. I also am probably most interested in items that you’ve used for quite awhile (whether beauty or clothing) that you continue to feel was a worthwhile purchase several months (or years) down the line–though I know that can be tricky because it’s likely no longer in stock.
    In terms of content on other blogs and relatability, this echoes some other comments, but sometimes when I would read other blogs, I’d think about how this must work for the person financially–how much are they spending and how much are they making? Not intending to be rude or intrusive, but just more practical curiosity. And if there’s a better way of managing my income, I’d like to know! It’s something I sometimes wonder about ‘real life’ people too, just with bloggers/influencers, they’re just providing more information on what they’re spending.
    Thanks also for engaging with your readers!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      I think it’s really normal and natural to wonder that! I wonder it about other bloggers and “regular people,” too. As human beings we are naturally curious.

  43. Catherine says 1.25.19

    I like for the blogs and accounts I follow to be relatable while also somewhat aspirational. Some random reactions…I like clothings posts way more than beauty as I don’t think you can get a good sense of a skincare product with just a few or irregular usage so I tend to block those out. I also really agree with you on the NEED sentiment. I would rather someone post great basics that can be worn again and again versus hype up a bunch of random trendy pieces. I also wonder how many sweaters people can actually wear in a given week?! Finally, I love stories showing real life (relatable!), but I am sort of over pics of kids doing normal things because while they are cute it’s just kinda boring to me. One of the reasons I like your blog – no kids!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      I feel the same as you.. when reading blogs, I like a mix of real life but also pretty photos and a little inspiration. You made me laugh with the sweaters comment though. I often wonder the same!

      And haha I know, I agree – a lot of blogs have lost me as they’ve had kids.

  44. Gina Pierce says 1.25.19

    The short answer to your question of whether bloggers/influencers are relatable: NO; however, there are always exceptions, and major kudos for shining light on this topic. I am close in age to you, live in a major city (Chicago), have a penchant for Chanel and good, quality fashion, and spoil my pets like you do with Tyrion, so I definitely relate to you. However, I do miss the days of bloggers having a “normal” full-time job and using their blog as a creative outlet or side hustle. I have a hard time wrapping my head around blogging and social media as a career/full-time job, which leads to many questions. For those that monetize their social media platforms and create a personal brand, I congratulate and applaud you. Yet, as someone else mentioned, I have seen those that never stepped foot in the corporate or “real” world, bought/remodeled a multimillion dollar properties, and start their own clothing/shoe/jewelry line all before hitting the age of 30. Those same bloggers/influencers then post content that has me shaking my head and screaming, “who made you an expert,” or “bullshit.” It’s unrelatable and honestly, I don’t think it’s sustainable for much longer as the general population becomes more skeptical. In my opinion, many full-time office jobs produce so much good, entertaining content to discuss, so I try to seek out those that can capture a good balance of both.

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      I think that’s totally understandable and you raise a lot of great points. I spent over ten years working (at both corporate and start-up types of job) before pursuing my site full time and can’t imagine what life would be like or how I’d run a business without that experience. But I’m still inspired by those younger girls all the same.

      (And always happy to hear that someone else loves spoiling their pets as much as I do!)

  45. Brandi says 1.25.19

    Hi Grace! I’ve never commented but I am a long time reader. I don’t have social media accounts but can see your public instagram if I google it. Our lives are quite different. I am a stay at home mom with a part time side hustle and I live in a smaller town. I am interested in fashion and like to be current even if I am not buying the highest end pieces I still relate to “your look and style”. I relate to your love of yoga and I love your book recs! As far as the things that may be more off my personal radar, I still like to know what is happening in the dating world, which investment shoes are the hot thing now, what the street style is in bigger cities, etc. I guess it is really just a form of entertainemnt like reading… looking into someone else’s life and style. Keep doing you! I certainly don’t think you come off AT ALL like the majority of over shilling, complaining, “fake life” bloggers!

  46. Lyss says 1.25.19

    I think this was a really great article and I love the self-reflection. I do want to say that something else that should be discussed is the responsibility of having a platform and bloggers realizing they are accountable for what they post. This ranges from typos to promoting trends that aren’t necessarily good. For example, in your Friday links last week you had a link to an article from Man Repeller about celery juice. They discussed the guy who made celery juice “trendy” with the help of goop. But when you look at instagram post they embedded in the article, you realize he just makes up “science.” I ended up going down the google rabbit hole on him. He has no medical license and gets his knowledge from a “spirit” that came to him when he was four. But instagram is blowing up about celery juice for no reason. I don’t knock anyone for trying celery juice, liking it and keeping it in their routine but if you’re going to put it out there, do it with the disclaimer that it’s not a miracle juice, you’re just drinking more water.

    I don’t mean to call you out specifically, I’ve just been noticing a trend of bloggers having typos in posts, using words incorrectly, not reading the links they post, or acting like an authority on something when they are incorrect. I know one person can’t do it all but at a “normal” job these are things that would be problems.

  47. Sharon says 1.25.19

    Grace – such an awesome post! I don’t usually write comments, but I had to say how much I’ve been enjoying your blog and Insta, your approach to the whole beauty/fashion game, and your ability to strike a relatable chord with your readers. I’m stay at home mom in the ‘burbs right now (and the kids are on a play date so I’m spending a moment reading- yay!), but used to be in beauty editorial back in the day, and your blog makes me feel like I’m still “in the know,” sitting at the table at a product launch 🙂 Your placements never feel forced, they don’t overshadow your voice, and I’ve yet to be disappointed by a product I’ve found thanks to your recommendations. Thanks for being such an inspirational, honest voice in the biz!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.25.19

      Aw thank you so much for the kind words, Sharon – appreciate it! Have a great weekend. xx

  48. I LOVE that you wrote about this. It’s natural for us to change over time. If we were in Corporate America we’d have different positions and incomes over a decade, different wardrobes, different priorities, different everything. In the blogosphere, that change can make it seem like we’re no longer relatable. And in the ways you describe, we kind of aren’t. And it’s easy to forget how “normal” life is when you don’t receive expensive skincare in the mail without asking for it and be invited on amazing free trips.

    But I think what makes you stand out is how you notice this, and look for ways to make your site and brand as a whole still relatable in ways and always beneficial. I’ve stopped following a lot of bloggers over the years because they were too disconnected from “the real world” and their audience. It’s why I continue to follow you and cheer for your success!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.26.19

      That is so so true about how things would change in ten yeqrs if we’d stayed in the corporate world.
      Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, Allie – continuing to follow + cheer for you as well! xx

  49. Kate says 1.25.19

    You’re my favorite blogger because I relate to your interests–yoga, skincare, travel, nice things (but not like, crazy amounts of things out of any normal person’s price range every day), reading, etc. I think your blog works because you don’t focus ONLY on outfits–but you don’t ignore them, you don’t focus ONLY on skincare–but you do thorough reviews, you don’t focus ONLY on wellness–but you are honest and real about it, etc etc. It’s just nice that your blog is well rounded. I also appreciate this isn’t a political blog or anything like that–but you don’t hide your feelings or the fact that there are more important things in the world than headbands (and i love headbands!). It feels good to come to a space that interests me but also I like reading from a blogger that I know just in general cares about issues in the world, tries to do good, and wants to be honest. I really do rely on your honesty with reviews!!

    And it’s ok to spend a little more on things now that you can, as long as they are worth it. I think that goes with the whole “trust your review” thing. And in some cases, it’s nice to give a cheaper option. Or say “this is why i spend more on this kind of item and less on this kind of item..”

    • grace at the stripe says 1.26.19

      Thank you so much Kate! What you described is exactly what I try to do hee, so I am glad that it is coming across!

  50. Breanne says 1.26.19

    First of all, that bag. second, I love this post. I find your posts/stories/insta super relatable. And I love your approach to buying splurgy but classic items and the caveat that not everyone needs to spend their money the same way. You seem to be EXTREMELY self-aware, and much more so than so many bloggers. I also appreciate your approach to free stuff. So often, on other blogs things ‘forget’ to get disclosed and I’m left thinking “but what do you really things about XYZ, and would you spend your own money to get what you just got for free?”

    I guess that’s a long winded way of saying thanks for keeping it real, and you’re doing a great job!

  51. Julie Weinstein says 1.26.19

    And THIS is why you are one of my all time forever favorite bloggers. You keep it so real and honest. Your transparency is refreshing!! xo Julie

  52. Silvia says 1.26.19

    You are somewhat my Carrie from Sex and the City. There are many dimensions to Carrie that made her likable, one that was completely implausible but contributed majorly to the fun, was her penchant for outrageous (expensive) clothes: it as impossible that someone on her salary would have all those clothes, never wear anything twice, so they had a storyline of their own. Also, all those mega-sized cocktails… Carrie staggered through her love life, and we rooted for her. Overall, it was entertaining. She was a good mix of all the things we want, and the struggles we have, and so she was ‘relatable’. Although, a fictional character.

    I think you have similar mix. You seem very nice, easy going, with a good sense of humor, and enjoy your life, in all humility, and I really like is who you seem to also be (can we ever know who/how someone really is?) like your giving the finger gnome, or your “I never expire” post, or saying “I broke up with my boyfriend. Please, no advice or sympathy, ugh”. Underneath it all is a really great attitude, and it’s not in your face.

    Sometimes, I get annoyed at all the click-bait lists of things to buy, but I can always ignore it. I understand you have to make money, and are a business, and not really my friend 😉

  53. Kayla says 1.26.19

    1. I really love this post overall. As always you are well spoken and just so self aware which brings me to:

    2. I still do find you super relatable because you are really real. I find I relate to your life as a blogger as someone also with a “non-traditional job” that goes to yoga classes in the middle of the day (or is teaching that yoga class in the middle of the day). I think what sets you apart from some of the other bloggers out there is your “unfiltered” ability to be really real, still. To talk about dating struggles. Anxiety. Loneliness. All these things that aren’t perfect pictures of outfit but are real things many of us experience. Thank you for keeping it real as always.

  54. Ashley says 1.26.19

    Grace, I’ve followed you for a couple of years now and I believe there are only a handful of bloggers who have been around as long as you that still can come across as relatable. (Liz Adams and Jess Kirby are some of them, too.) While there are certainly items you promote that I can’t afford, you also caveat that with posts like your recent Chanel one where you say, “No one NEEDS a Chanel,” and I appreciate that. There are definitely a lot of bloggers out there who are more inspirational to me, Julia from Gal Meets Glam, for example, but a lot of bloggers I just can’t relate to anymore. Personally, I sometimes feel icky being a world that is so need, need, need when so many out there don’t have much. I really enjoyed this post, and I hope you keep them coming! xoxo

  55. Susan says 1.26.19

    Ugh you’re so real and awesome. What a breath of fresh air!!!!!!

  56. Leigh says 1.26.19

    Hi Grace. Ugh, loved this post, it’s why I follow you. At this point, your blog and Helena @ Brooklyn Blonde are the only two blogs I ever look at, and just about 5 years ago, I used to read an upwards of 30+! I work in social media, so I have A LOT of thoughts on this overall topic, but my greatest issue with bloggers is that I think they incite a lot of jealousy—and the bad ones actively TRY to. For example, some bloggers will be stick thin and say “oh I NEVER work out, I eat 14 hamburgers a day!” Or constantly talking about travels and expensive clothes as if it’s not a big deal, only posting super flattering pictures of themselves (even the most beautiful people have an off day sometimes!), and even when trying to be “real” they post in a way that’s still really flattering to themselves. It’s people like this that aren’t relatable and aren’t adding anything to the conversation. You show the realities of this lifestyle (sitting at your computer ACTUALLY WRITING lol) and the low points without just trying to make yourself look good. Helena is a good example by talking through her acne struggles and she shows how restricting she is with her diet to stay so thin. I think bloggers get caught up in the circle jerk of trying to get followers to think “ugh, she’s so beautiful all the time/she has the nicest clothes/she’s ALWAYS traveling/etc.” People I know IRL do it on social media too and it’s insane! I think posting anything to incite jealousy or make you look better than other people is bad behavior and I think that’s where bloggers get into trouble. Sorry for the long post, so many thoughts! Thanks for opening up this discussion!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.27.19

      Awwww – I actually sent your comment to Helena, we’re friends! I LOVE her content so much too (especially her skincare recs, and we have the same taste in books!!!)

      I LOL’d at the hamburgers comment. Makes me think of the @youdidnoteatthat instagram account from a while back. That drives me crazy too!!!!

      Really appreciate you sharing your feedback!

  57. Diana Pearl says 1.26.19

    Grace, I love this post! I think there are very much two types of influencers — the ones who have gotten SO big that they and their lives just feel so distant from anything that even resembles normal, and those who are aspirational, but not in an over-the-top way. I don’t really follow anyone who falls in the first category, and even in the second, there are bloggers who engage in the behaviors that grate on you. A big one is constantly feeling like you’re being sold something. I obviously understand bloggers need to make money, and it’s not even the sponsored posts that bother me — its’ the constant shilling of products. I’m talking the people who screenshot every Nordstrom new arrival and add a swipe up on their stories. And the NEED thing is beyond irritating — particularly because it’s usually about some unremarkable fuzzy sweater or something, haha.

    Personally, I like following bloggers whose lives somewhat resemble my own — or could one day. There’s a reason I follow a lot of bloggers who live in NYC (where I live) or Chicago (my hometown), but not many in middle America. I think a lot of times we gravitate towards what’s familiar — you living in NYC is definitely a big reason why I started following you, and now, of course, stick around because I love your content!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.27.19

      Aw thank you Diana!!!

      I feel the same way about the constant swipe ups on stories – it makes me immediately skip! xo

  58. Emily says 1.26.19

    Wanted to add that I appreciate that you use and credit professional photographers!

  59. Hatton says 1.26.19

    Loved this post! You are an entrepreneur, and your career path is unique in that you are the brand you are promoting. So, you are your business. You should be proud and confident and amazed that you have created content that people want to consistently read and generates income. That’s extremely difficult to do, and you have to keep adapting to online trends. It’s an interesting balance between writing content people want to read and writing content that makes money – and you do a fantastic job.

  60. Julie says 1.27.19

    I really love how you communicate your message through this post. It’s the reason why I have been following your blog for probably 10 year and have even gotten you meet you after I have moved to NYC! 🙂 The trust is so important!!

  61. Meghan says 1.27.19

    The “need” Item I couldn’t agree more with. The other thing that drives me crazy is “FAVORITE”. When a blogger is posting a new cardigan every week saying “this is my new favorite” or constantly says “I’ve been living in this” but yet posts new outfits every single day – it is just not relatable and comes off so in-genuine in my opinion. I have had to stop following a lot of people on Instgaram because of this behavior. I don’t NEED everything you post. None of us do! Loved this post, Grace xo

  62. MeaganE says 1.28.19

    I would like to echo what so many others have said – I really enjoy your blog and after a recent instagram purge you are one of the only bloggers I am still following! I rarely comment, but I do enjoy following your IG stories and reading some of your posts. So many bloggers are so focused on the “sales” aspect, and while I can appreciate that some of your livelihood depends on the commission made from clicking a specific link to buy or sponsored content, you do a great job of balancing that with other interesting lifestyle topics (wellness/yoga, BOOKS, travel, etc..) it is so refreshing and offers a much more balanced take than many others out there! Though I don’t have nearly the beauty or travel budget to keep up, I enjoy reading the reviews and curating my own list of things to purchase or add to my wish/travel list. In this era of so much extra stuff I think it is becoming more and more important to have that balance – I am very curious to see where all of the “buy this and this and this” bloggers go in the age of Marie Kondo and minimalism/sustainability. Thank you for all that you do!

  63. Shanna Cohen says 1.28.19

    What a great post! I think for me the most un-relatable thing about bloggers is that they don’t have to schlep around in their outfits. Especially with the over-styled photo shoots of gowns in beautiful locations, it’s lovely to look at, but in my mind that’s what Vogue is for. I’d love to see what a stylish person wears on the subway in the rain to work etc. I realize that every blogger’s lifestyle is different and for beauty posts I find bloggers to be unbelievably helpful. But for my day-to-day outfits if you’re just putting it on for 2 hours for an event that you uber to and from it doesn’t inspire me to click purchase.

    • grace at the stripe says 1.29.19

      Haha you are definitely right!!!
      I try to make sure all my outfits are exact outfits I’ve actually worn (and schlepped around in) but I think there is also pressure to be interesting and sometimes those everyday looks can feel so boring!

  64. Kristin says 1.28.19

    So a bit late to the commentary here, but I gotta jump in. I follow a couple of blogs and the way I tend to follow, is that one account leads me to another via their links, instastories, etc. I have found that after a few weeks, I see really similar content, structure, etc. among the accounts I follow.

    I’m all for the game of supporting / promoting your fellow females, but when it comes to the social media world it can get really repetitive, really quickly. I’m sure the bloggers are not aware of how this plays out for the user – it’s maddening. Like watching 3-4 different commercials for the same product in a row…lol

    For instance, I follow two bloggers who are quite often invited to the same events, get the same sponsors, promote each other’s pages, etc. When I scroll my social feed I’m seeing the same event and product several times, just from different angles. I imagine your sponsorships influence your content creation, so I’m even seeing similar content on their websites. These two bloggers also both promoted an interior designer that I began following and now I’m seeing their reno posts, along with the interior designer’s reno posts on their respective homes…..

    It’s exhausting to watch the cycle and I’ll probably scale back my following so it’s not so repetitive. But I think being relatable is hard for bloggers – you have to be original but also evolve and exist in a world where sponsors / promotions need you to market for them. For some reason this starts to look very similar across the blogging spaces and over time this can make one trend towards losing their originality.

    I don’t know what the solution is, but breaking away from the herd somehow and remaining true to vision and mission has got to be part of the answer. Whilst still getting paid of course 🙂

    • grace at the stripe says 1.29.19

      Kristin – Thank you so much for chiming in! I agree with a lot of what you’re saying… I really try to do my own thing over here, work with different sponsors, and just stay true to me but I would imagine that if you read a lot of blogs it can get so repetitive!

  65. u87 says 1.28.19

    Loved this post. More wellness (mental and physical) posts please!

  66. Jordan says 1.28.19

    Thanks for being so honest and open in this post! You are one of the few bloggers I follow and read your posts religiously. While there are certain parts of your lifestyle that are unattainable for me at this point, I’m grateful that you remind us that hasn’t always been the case (e.g., I’m in my late twenties and a Chanel bag is something that won’t be happening for me anytime soon). I’ve never felt that you are just trying to push products and sales on your audience. Also, the way you share things like handling breakups, prioritizing working out, spending time with your kitty and being an introvert, all make you a role model for me. Keep up the great work!! And thank you for all that you do bring to your audience!

  67. Caitlan says 1.29.19

    To be honest, I only read your Weekend Reading posts and your Reading Lists because that is pretty much what I relate to here. (Because this article was linked in your most recent Weekend Reading post, I found my way here!) I’m noticing that I’m reading blogs less and less because so much content today is sponsored, which I don’t have an interest in. That being said, my interests are probably much different than many of your readers, and that is okay! I still like to come to your site once a week or so to catch up on some reading, and, again, I think that is just fine 🙂

  68. Katie says 1.29.19

    I’m 33, married, with a 7 month old. I work full time and my son is in daycare. I hate being away from him and don’t find bloggers relatable. Before we had a baby,daycare and mortgage I would splurge on beauty products a lot. Hence, why I love your blog! You’re a great writer and I appreciate every category you cover. I find you intelligent and think your independence is inspiring. I find you relatable because you’re a “geriatric” millenial as you mentioned on your podcast and I’m an older millennial too. I like that you’re positive and encouraging to your readers. I can’t really afford most things you show on here since my paycheck is pretty non existent after all the expenses I have now. I do find it as a nice escape and interesting to read for creating wishlists should I decide to save and treat myself to something. Your transparency is a huge benefit and you have great content. I don’t understand these other bloggers that have little content or look like they’re made out of plastic and just made a collage of expensive crap and get a huge following. At this point, the only people I love to reference on the internet are you, Lisa Eldridge, and Quinn Murphy. I think Quinn is only on instagram. My dream would be to run a successful blog/youTube station so I could have a more flexible work life to be with my baby. Not to shill crap out to strangers. 🙂 Thanks for providing great content to your readers!

  69. Natalie says 1.29.19

    Hi Grace, I don’t always get time to read your blog but when I do, I love your posts. I hate to use a cliche phrase, but yours is honestly one of the few blogs I follow because you do keep it real. While you get access to lots of cool things because you are a blogger, you are always so down to earth about it. Thanks for a great blog!!! (You are also relatable – I am single and in my mid-30s in NYC too!)

  70. Kit Graham says 1.29.19

    I love this post. I’ve been blogging for 7 1/2 years and I have been very frustrated with the state of blogging recently. I’m seeing bloggers produce so many sponsored posts and they often conflict with each other. One day they are telling you to switch to all natural beauty products and the next week they are getting a chemical peel! Or they are writing about things completely off topic for their brand. It’s making readers think that we don’t have a point of view and will do anything for a paycheck.

    As a blogger, I understand that everyone needs to make money somehow. I have decided to focus on passive ad income and to do less sponsored posts. I write about recipes and travel, and luckily it’s pretty easy to write posts that incorporate food products into recipes. Often I can work with brands that I already stock in my kitchen. Saying no to sponsored work can be difficult, but I don’t want to betray the trust I have earned from my readers.

    Oh, and if I see one more Gucci bag giveaway on Instagram I will lose my mind.

  71. kelsey says 1.30.19

    you are an amazing role model. please keep it up and keep pushing yourself. you’re the best!

  72. Kelly Nash says 1.30.19

    Thank you for writing this post and being open and transparent. I joined the blogger community last year and I quite honestly didn’t follow many bloggers before that. I’m now more aware than ever of the things you reference now that I am part of this community. I decided towards the end of last year to write a similar post so I could be transparent and honest with my readers because I never want them to think I’m not being authentic and just trying to make a buck by promoting a product I don’t believe in:
    https://thelipstickandink.com/life-lately-vol-3/

    Thank you for raising awareness to this and starting a critical conversation that needs to be had!