Friday, 12 March 2010

Rebel rebel you've torn your dress

I've decided I'd rather be a hot tramp and be wrong than compromise in anyway. Make Do Style was a blog born of my attempts to stop people wasting needless money on clothes they couldn't afford and make them think about the why.

It has never been a tirade against the fashion industry, because I love it but not unconditionally. I'll criticise things if they need to be examined and highlighted. Whilst everyone fawns over Burberry I still continue to remind all and sundry of the decimation of communities caused by the closing of the last of their manufacturing bases in the UK, most notably in Treorchy in South Wales where 300 hundred jobs went in an already high unemployment area. This was done to create bigger profits. I don't shop there nor take clients there. That is my choice and I don't expect anyone else to concur.

I don't wear fur nor do I want to but I'm not going to lose sleep over it or tell someone else not to. I couldn't live with myself if I did because I think the breeding of animals for fur and the way they are caged and killed is revolting. But I still love Anna Wintour and she's one heck of a fur lover.

My point is, seeing as I'm meandering towards it, is that I'm staying firmly on the outside. This blog is not for turning! I've cancelled my ad by my-wardrobe because whilst I love their offerings I truly want and need to stay a free blogger. Free in every sense of the word.

On Monday I was incensed by a throwaway sentence in a Oscar fashion resume and wrote a post based around one sentence in the piece. Well, you'd have think I called the Queen a nasty name or spoken up for Robert Mugabe given the reaction. I'm not particularly concerned with the comments but what does concern me is the fact blogging is losing it's point. The point of a blog is primarily to be someone outside of the mainstream creating discourse, community and forging new paths. It is a publishing tool that allows a voice where there wouldn't have been one and essentially is not policed - you can't be told what to write. You can be good, bad and indifferent. You can choose to post or not to post. You can have a readership of none or few or many.

However, of course in the nature of these things there are blogs which have been public successes on different levels and for different reasons. Some people blog as a job either making it their work or as part of their work. I don't. My blog is done for the joy of it. I do it because I want to and I enjoy reading other blogs and peeking into people's lives. Some blogs I discovered by chance others through recommendations or an interview. It is all a free for all and everyone can do as they please.

Except there is a need for some of us to say 'no conforming here'. I have to say it so everyone understands I will do and say as I please within reason. I'm not going to call anyone a c*** that is trademarked by Sister Wolf. It's not my style but it is hers and it's jolly good. I am always going to be free to say what I want, it is after all it is my blog. I don't care how many people read it or like it. I'll probably stop at some point, for instance if I got a job as opposed to being freelance. I don't think I could remain free and a maverick whilst having to be responsible to an employer.

Just in case there is any further need to clarify, I don't write this blog as a job, I'm not looking for a book deal, nor fame, status whatever. I have no issue with anyone who is a mainstream blogger and earns a living through it etc. Just don't tell me what to do or how to be.


  1. Sorry didn't have time to write anything earlier, just wanted you to know I had read your post.
    It all made for uncomfortable reading to be honest and I felt quite sad about it.
    We all feel passionate about fashion in one way or another whether we work in the Industry or just adore buying clothes. I love your posts because they are thought provoking and cover topics that don't just encompass my shallow view of clothes,shopping and love of designer labels. I Love the way you won't shop in Burberry but you know I would if funds permitted! I love the way you are true to yourself, like a modern day Maggie Thatcher "This Lady is not for Turning"!

  2. Hi there-yes, I ditto a very thought provoking and inspirational post, I hope you don't stop blogging in the near future as I would truly miss you but I love your stance and a big hi-five to you!!!

  3. Great post Kate.. I am blonde in so many ways had I realised that you were sponsored my my-wardrobe I would have used your link when I bought my bloody jeans !!
    I am not a fashion blogger just a woman interested in fashion, have had the odd sponsor suggestion but as I don't always post about fashion I didn't want to go down that path as I would feel obliged to blog about it all the time and have done enough sales to last me for a lifetime.. well for a while anyhow. I love the freedom of blogging. Although unless I go anonymous there are still issues that I cannot touch xxx
    I love your blog what ever you do and you will always be the first I would come to for fashion advice .. xxx

  4. Make Do style you are a non-conformist. We love you here at publication x, you're our best kept secret. Stay rad don't become one of the crowd.

  5. Yay for the non-conformists!

    The blogs I love the most are independent and call it as they see it and that for me is the joy of blogs, there are no bosses, editors, responsibilities to the consumer blah, blah, blah - it's just you out there on your own.

    Keep doing what you're doing Kate, there will always be lovers and haters, but that's life!

  6. Thank you for this post- sometimes I look at my blog and think there's not really much fashion on it, what's the point of calling it a fashion blog (at one point, three out of six posts on my front page were about dragons, a St Trinian's cartoon, and an artist who sticks things on ceilings, to put it hurriedly) and then I realise, it's my blog, and it's just a log- I can do whatever I like with it. It's nice to have a reminder, though.

    And not everyone who blogs about fashion has to be one of the big guns- blogging is for everybody, not just the super young or the super rich. It's just that those happen to be what the mainstream media bangs on about (got to find a 'hook', I guess)- not that I don't love some of those, but there are fashion blogs that don't blitz you with outfit posts or even daily posts, and will probably never get their authors invited front row anywhere, and they're no less gems for all that.

  7. And also- there will always be idiots who take things personally, and trolls who try to back them up. I had a similar episode a little over two years ago, and discovered that the only way to deal with it was to sit back and let them reveal what idiots they are. Keep doing what you do, please- being opinionated is not a bad thing!

  8. The entire point of journalism, let alone blogs is to spark debate!

    Your opinions are valid, thought provoking and inspirational and although I may not always agree with them i always respect them and enjoy the debate that insues! So keep being a rebel because that is what makes your blog stand out from the crowd!

  9. I'd rather read blogs with some independent thought and critique than the ones that are all just "yay fashion!" all the time. Keep up the good work. And I didn't know that about Burberry, bad on them.

  10. Had a long discussion with other half yesterday night what blogging is about and he said: 'It's like a little magazine'. Exactly, I thought, a little magazine with one's own editorials... And like in the print media you'll have your readers and groups (and more easily digestible stuff might have more readers...) and you will have people who don't like your style or your opinion. But hey - it's your magazine and because you have chosen the big luxury of not necessarily wanting/needing to make money with your blog you don't have to sell your soul to commerce. (Personally I've started my blog for exactly the same reasons. I've worked in marketing for too long and I just want some creative freedom.) You go Kate!

  11. I didn't know that about Burberry either - leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
    There's room for so many different types of blogs and the ones I read really vary: I think thats a good thing.
    I'm glad you do what you do - keep doing it!

  12. Gosh, I've only just seen what happened in the comments on the Oscars post.

    I didn't even think about it as an attack. I was amused by the image of SJP standing simpering in a corner while she was shoe horned into inappropriate frocks by a stylist and really enjo0yed reading your views.

    I find red carpet events like the Oscars fascinating as it's amazing how much effort and behind the scenes work goes into putting on a pretty frock and doing your hair up! I love seeing how actresses and/or their stylists use it as a "shop window" to present an image to the world that they know will hang around for years.

    On the other issue I DO try and make a living from my blog, and it's a bit of tightrope to walk sometimes, but I've genuinely never felt that my advertisers have had the slightest impact on my writing. If they don't like what I write they can pull their ads. I'm sure someone else would eventually want to advertise there as long as the readers kept wanting to read what I wrote!

    I do enjoy your blog, so try not to get a job too soon. Freelancing really is the only way ;)

  13. Mrs Fab - I am so not Maggie except when I done a twinset and pearls!

    Sharon Rose - yours is my favourite blog, you create community and have been inspiring on the charity shop/car boot sale front. You are an unsung genuine blogger xx

    Wildernesschic - that's ok! I love my-wardrobe and was really chuffed to be an associate but I want to stay completely unfetted and transparent. If I went anonymous god help!

    Team X - thanks whoever you are!

    Delicious Inds - I will, love the idea of just being out there on ones own.

    Blue Floppy Hat - the most improtant thing about fashion is to remember it isn't just about clothes, but trends across art, architecture etc and about taste. It is quite political and cultural too. It is a shame when things get out of hand. I don't take it personally but want to be clear that no one owns me. The days of women being shackled or property are long gone!

    Claire - you mean you don't bow down to my superior knowledge, whipper snapper! Good point about debate, it would be well for people to understand they can interact with bloggers in a way they can't with newspapers and magazines and that comment boxes allow expression. I don't even censure mine, except I do remove the penis enlargement offers.

    Deja Pesu - thank you and yes Burberry turned its back on heritage and some other standards...

    Sal - coming from the cape crusader that's good!

    Sabine - it is a mini mag or fanzine or whatever and yes it is your own. And it is a wonderful freedom from conformity. I think that is why so many women blog, no one to answer to but themselves.

    Tor - well said. You know I don't want to say all blogs should be the same and that mainstream engagement is wrong, far from it, everyone can do as they please. I was reacting to the notion of censorship and some really stupid comments. My favourite was some random I should have know who so and so was and bow down to their brilliance. Bonkers. I need you to keep having fab items on fabfrocks to give me hope of winning again xx

    Retro Chick - it wasn't an attack, one sentence galled me. I don't think adverts or anything is an issue for bloggers. It is down to choice and I've not thought of it as impacting on posts. I'm just going for glory on being outside and staying there.

  14. This is great example of a blog with a specific remit and it is always interesting.

  15. Hello! Just wanted to say that if you hadn't been kind enough to comment on my blog I wouldn't have found yours.
    You're an interesting and inspired writer.
    I adore clothes but have never been interested in fashion. I love blogging because it's like people-watching, my favourite hobby. I love peeking into the lives of imaginatively dressed women and if there's a thought provoking dialogue then so much the better.

  16. I love your blog and your spirit, darling!
    Keep up the amazing work!


  17. I agree with many of the points you've made here. I think speaking up and asking folks to question their assumptions and actions is well worth the time and trouble, even though it often can get YOU into trouble, haha. I'm glad you're letting less than sweet comments roll off your back -- that's classy, and the definition of a lady, in my opinion. Keep doing awesome work.


  18. What a fantastic rant! In Canada we have this show called the Rick Mercer Report. It's political, satiric, kind of a news show format. At any rate, he has this one segment each week called "The Rant" and he wanders around the graffiti-clad alley ways of the downtown TO core and just goes at anything he finds ridiculous. This post has elements of his free-spirited monologues. Of course, your topic is more interesting :-)

    I bet you could find a clip on

  19. I've been sitting here nodding my head and cheering you on! You go girl! I love that you are so outspoken and aren't afraid to be yourself. Love it!!! And I hope you do get a book deal, because you are such a fresh voice. You actually make fashion intelligent.

  20. Make Do - you bring up some great points. I think the nature of blogging is primarily for self. I cringe a bit whenever I see ads on a blog. I imagine it would make one want to behave but why should one? I love the independant nature of blogging and how there are no deadlines or requirements except those that are self[-imposed. Don't know where I'm going with all this except that I liked your post.

  21. I need to be better at thrifting in my fashion. I'm going to a 40s clubnight tomorrow and my look is all about austere chic!

  22. Holy shit, you are too kind, I'm truly honored you gave me a shout out! And I'm so glad I clicked on your blog today, BRAVO to this post.

  23. Its always unpleasant when a fight breaks out in the comments section -especially on such a nice blog like this one. I am glad that you used those comments to consolidate and clarify your thinking so positively! (But also, it was rather cool that the original author could come forward and further explain her thinking, which is the beauty of blogging)
    Your free spirited blog is fabulous and thank-you for doing it!!

  24. Dear Make Do Kate,
    Good for you. I like blogs because I am very nosey and like to see how other people about the traps are living and what they wear while they are actioning tasks. I hope this gives you a sense of freedom and you can just go on and say what you want when you want. I really enjoy your blog, you are one of my daily visits. Don't go changing. xx

  25. What grabbed me about your blog in the beginning was the sound of an original voice -intelligent, idiosyncratic and passionate about your subject matter.

    Say whatever the fuck you want, and I will always read it.

  26. Completely I share your opinion. It is good idea. I support you.

  27. I like your insights--on style and on independence. And I respect your backbone. No conforming--exactly. You are going on my daily read list!


  28. You go girl, although I'm obsessed with style I'm not a fan of fur or the way in which some of the industry conducts itself. I've learned to stay positive and work around it....Being true to yourself is the most fashionable move one can make. I will keep reading.

  29. Great post (also great song!) Don't conform, you're amazing just the way you are!

  30. You know, I like your attitude. It's honest.


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