Friday, May 18, 2012

A Q/A with Jessica Quirk of What I Wore

What started out as a simple six question email to Jessica Quirk, author of the blog (and book) What I Wore, turned into something so much more! After her responses arrived, I informed Jessica that I would like to add a couple of photos from the early days of her blog, May 2007 to be exact, as well as current photos so that readers could see how her style had evolved over the years while still staying very much the same. She was happy to oblige, providing her Flickr account, and from there this post took flight!

What I Wore - First Photo Post

What I Wore May 5

Things took a new route when I found myself focused on three simple pieces that exist in Jessica's wardrobe. A vintage dress that was her first expensive piece, around $100. An Oaxacan dress which just happened to be her first What I Wore photo*. And a leopard coat, also vintage, that she claims "is the one thing in my closet I'd grab if my house was on fire (if my husband, cats, computer and cameras were already out)."

The Leopard Coat

Going Out Denim  

IMG_2800  What I Wore: New Years Eve

As you read, you will not only find questions and answers, you will find a blogger whom I admire and refer to as my online mentor. No, she doesn't really mentor me, but she does provide inspiration with sewing ideas, DIY projects and in her daily photos. I can't pose like her, but she has helped me in trying not to feel so self-conscious about the way I try to add new poses for my own blog. And though we aren't friends on a personal level, I feel that she is very down to earth not only in personality but in how she approaches style.

So, without further ado, I introduce you to Jessica Quirk.

Style My Way (SMW): For me, I was inspired to start my blog based on a Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity exhibit. I felt we as a society had lost our ability to "dress" on a daily basis. What inspired you to start "What I Wore" and what keeps you inspired to blog every day?
Jessica Quirk (JQ): I started the blog as a place to elaborate on my daily outfit photos, which I started taking a year before What I Wore was up and running (in 2007!). I keep it up partially for selfish reasons - it's a great way to remember what happened at a specific time in my life or a phase I was really into. It challenges me to shop my closet and wear old things in new ways too.  I also do it because I think there's a large group of women who are interested in looking good each day, but aren't going to go shopping every time a new trend hits the floor. My goal with What I Wore is to be inspiring, informative and relatable.

What I Wore: The Time Traveler
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SMW: I am drawn to bloggers that write about things that I too am passionate about such as fashion, travel and entertaining. What draws you to other blogs? And, what keeps you coming back daily?
JQ: I like reading blogs that are relatable with authors that feel like close friends. I'm also a very visual person so pretty blogs with great layout and design catch my eye too. Some of my favorite sites,,,, and (plus all of the sites on my blog roll).

SMW: I have been blogging for three years, but still consider my blog a very amateur endeavor. When did you know it was time to make your blog a full time job? What helped you make that move?  
JQ: When I lived in NYC, I had a great meeting with the found of tumblr, David Karp who introduced me to Suzanne Xie and Rich Tong, founders of Weardrobe, a personal style social media site (which was eventually sold to Google). When I told Rich about my traffic, he suggested I start working with advertisers. A few months later, with a handful of sponsor partners, I quit my job and made What I Wore my full time endeavor!

SMW: If I didn't have to go into work everyday, I'm pretty sure I would lay around all day watching TV! Because you don't work in a traditional office environment, what motivates you to "go into the office"? How do you keep yourself from loafing around all day and losing focus on your blog?
JQ: Honestly, I'd feel like a fraud of I just got dressed up each day to sit around the house. I like having a routine and part of that is getting up, getting ready and out the door each morning. Most week days I work in the morning at the office on my laptop and then use the afternoons for sewing or DIY projects. I also have a rough outline in my mind about what I need to accomplish each day and I like to work ahead if possible. It's always my goal to have a post Monday-Friday.  

WIW July 22  

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SMW: Since starting my blog, I've discovered that I love to write, share personal stories and put myself on display more than I ever thought I would. But, I struggle with thoughts of my friends thinking I'm taking myself too seriously and/or thinking I'm something more than I actually am. Did you ever have second thoughts about yourself as a blogger or did you just know this was a good fit?
JQ: No way! I love sharing, and blogging is a great outlet for me. It was also helpful that when I started my blog there was a big group of tumblr bloggers in NYC who would get together socially, so it's never felt weird for me. 

Incidentally, What I Wore was the first personal style blog I read and it continues to be a daily read. If you want to continue to explore the world of Jessica Quirk, she has a new little blog idea up her sleeve, check her out here!

*All photos on What I Wore taken by Adam and Jessica Quirk.

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