Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Friend Friday! What's new Copy Cat?! Whoa Whoa Whoa!

What is fashion if not copying? We look at In Style and copy styles that are featured there. We copy hairstyles that we think would look good on us. We copy outfits, jean styles, color combinations, handbags, runway looks and anything else we feel would make us more attractive. It's what we do, we copy. It's what fashion is all about.....copying. That is the marked difference between fashion and style. Style says, "I am unique". Fashion says, "I want to look like you". Style shouts, "I will be me even if it gains me no approval". Fashion whines, "Everyone seems to like you, so I'll be just like you!" Style is a an expression of self whose mission is to inspire others to express themselves. Fashion is a sycophant who mimicks "popularity" to earn her own sycophants.

As just another fishy in an ocean of fashion and style bloggers, I know that there's a thin line between being inspired and copying. It's important to me to stay on the "Style" side, it's an expression of who I am. It's not just about looking cute, but using my wardrobe to express my feelings and creativity. This week, Katy of Modly Chic, has asked us questions regarding copying. These questions are thought provoking and force us as bloggers to examine why we do what we do.

1. What are the 'unwritten rules' about copying content that we bloggers should all abide by?
I know if I post something that's really uniquely mine or inspired by another blogger. It's just the right thing to day and at the very least the "kind" thing to do to credit or link back to my inspiration.

2. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. But when is a post imitation and when is it copying?
Well, I think imitation IS copying. That copying is flattering when credit is given to the one whose work is the inspiration. When a blogger copies and then tries to pass it off as original to them, it ceases to be flattering. But honestly, I think we should be careful to look for the best in our community. There truly are hundreds (could there be THOUSANDS) of fashion blogs. It's entirely possible that 10 of them could have come up with the same pose or prop without EVER having seen each other's blogs.

3. Taking another blogger's idea (perhaps for an outfit, or DIY tutorial) is pretty common in the blogging world. Do you think it is necessary to credit the original source?
It depends on the difference between inspiration and imitation. Jessica, of What I Wore, posted a tutorial on attaching a pin to a pendant to create a unique necklace. If I post a tutorial on attaching a pin to a pendant to create a necklace, then I should credit her. No biggie, I haven't lost's just my spin on her idea. If however, I post a tutorial on how to make a necklace out of fishing line using lures as pendants, then that's completely original to me even if her tutorial inspired me to make a tutorial. By the way, if I see fishing line necklaces and lure pendants in the bloggosphere, I'll know my idea was jacked!!

4. How have you improved your blog by comparing it to other blogs? Have you made changes due to something you have seen others doing?
Going to a plain background and keeping my blog "clean" was absolutely inspired by other popular blogs. I liked the idea of making my blog about easy to read. I've been inspired by Second Skin Style to embrace my love of vintage; and while our styles are completely different, she has absolutely been my inspiration to be more bold in wearing vintage pieces. Sacramento has inspired me to completely discard the question, "Should a woman my age wear.....?" from my criteria for what I wear. I'm so thankful for all the bloggers I've "met" and for their style! It encourages me to embrace my own style!

5. Have you ever had one of your posts copied by another blogger or publication? How did you handle the situation?
Not to my knowledge. I honestly don't know how I would handle it. I guess my reaction would depend on if I was the inspiration behind someone's post or if something was blatantly stolen from my blog and uncredited. I'm really not going to nitpick anyone. I blog because I love personal style. THAT'S what I want to keep the focus on and just leave the petty competition alone.

I'll close out this Friend Friday post with a quote that I think is by Chanel, but I could be mistaken. "Fashion fades. Only style remains." I love that!


  1. Serene, you address so many issues that have run through my mind since beginning to blog a few months ago! One day I noticed someone use the exact same quote to begin their blog as I used just the day before. It might have been a is hard to know. I teach journalism and do lessons on plaigarism, so I may be more sensitive than most. But I have been so encouraged by the majority of the bloggers and you absolutely have influenced me in many ways!! That's a good thing!

  2. I never understood people who have a blog, and copy others. Why do they have a blog if they have nothing to say in the first place???????Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  3. Agree with all your points! I often am inspired by other bloggers, but I always e-mail to ask their permission before I do anything that could be construed as copying.


  4. Hello Serene! i followed you over here from your post on Be Fabulous Daily "I honestly think that if someone were to copy something off my blog right now, I'd be so flattered I'd send them a thank you note! "

    this is a very nice sentiment, BUT any blogger who copies you should be thanking YOU! after all, YOU would be the one who came up with the idea they think is great enough that they want to feature it on their blog. you did the creative work, and you did the work to put it up on your blog.

    sorry to lecture, but blogging is a lot of work and it's nasty to not acknowledge people.

    i mean, is it any skin off a person's nose to give credit where it's due? it just makes you look generous and thoughtful, and makes allies. /end of rant/ have a great friday!! steph

  5. First off, love the title of your post! I completely agree that fashion is all about copying. This is why I try not to be too trendy and instead focus on style. Great responses.


  6. Very well put, my dear! The whole thing gets very complicated--especially if your blog becomes "journalistic" where on-line magazines are stealing your stuff.....

  7. I loved reading your blog today! And also some of the other comments. I have had some of these same thoughts and feelings (I am not trying to copycat you with my feelings ;) lol) But you made so many good points. I also learned a thing or two and you gave people some things to think about. Thanks!

  8. I couldn't agree more with your analysis of fashion vs. style.

    Like you said fashion is meant to be copied, this is how trends get started, how certain items (ahem black leggings) take over in stores, etc Personally I find a blogger that is more style than fashion is more interesting.

    ~Em K

  9. Serene--I really like your distinction between fashion and style.

    My husband believes he has a million dollar idea...which he can't reveal or he'd have to kill me. It strikes me that proprietary ideas out to hoarded and kept out of the wild west of the blogosphere. Whereas if you're here to share, you're here to SHARE.

  10. Thanks everyone for the feedback! These were some interesting questions. Another of my favorite quotes, that I know for certain is Coco Chanel is "To be irreplaceable, one must always be different". I really believe this which begs the question, "Why would anyone copy anyone else?" Haven't you just made yourself replaceable?


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! ~Serene