Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Bitter Root Vintage - Product Review

fashion blogger product review bitter root vintage

I woke up all bright eyed and excited about styling and shooting my new Bitter Root Vintage dress. I'm thinking colourful tights and messy side braid while seriously craving to hear the Populaire OST blasting from the speakers.

fashion blogger product review bitter root vintage

For those of you who don't know yet, Bitter Root Vintage is a beautiful pin-up inspired apparel online store that carries unique items from independent designers. The gorgeous Moonage Daydream dress designed by ChiChi London the store sent me fits like a glove and immediately gets me in a party mood. It is probably one of the prettiest things I own at the moment and I don't really want to take it off anymore.

fashion blogger product review bitter root vintage

Pros:
- Arrived in about a week in impeccable condition and thoughtfully packaged.
- Fits perfectly. I received a size10 UK (a small US) and the dress feels like it was tailored for me.
- Padded bust - which makes bras completely optional, at least for women with a smaller bust like moi.
- While I was a bit nervous about the length, I feel like it makes my short legs look longer, which is always a plus in my book.
- The fully lined, multilayered skirt which accentuates the waist.

fashion blogger product review bitter root vintage

Cons:
- If I were to really nitpick, I'd point out that the on the sample I received the way the zipper is sewn in creates some weirdness on the back side of the skirt, which is hardly noticeable. To me it feels like a completely negligible detail.

fashion blogger product review bitter root vintage

fashion blogger product review bitter root vintage

I always loved initiatives that sought something different and I feel like Bitter Root Vintage is doing a great job at collecting unique yet affordable product and making it accessible. Head over to the store and browse their variety of vintage inspired dresses, skirts and accessories.

Have a brilliant day!
Dora

Dress courtesy of Bitter Root Vintage.


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Tips and Tricks: Working with Brands

how to work with brands as a blogger

This is a subject that comes up A LOT in conversations about blogging and fairly so. Many of us dream about developing great working relationships with brands, but not so many of us are privileged to know the ins and outs of these types of interactions. I certainly don't consider myself an expert in the matter, but I would like to share some of the things I have learned about working with brands since blogging and I'd love for you to jump into the conversation by leaving comments.

Most of the collaborations I am involved in are either sponsored posts, product reviews or giveaways and I'll take some time to elaborate on all of them as well as the subject of getting noticed by PR companies and brands.

Getting noticed. Most of my collaborations resulted from brands or PR companies noticing blog posts I have created that somehow related to their product or brand philosophy and also after seeing my activity and interactions on social media. While large follower numbers are important, I believe that a lot of advertisers look for the kind of influence a blogger can produce - comments to blog posts, reactions to social media posts.

Product reviews. A serious brand or PR company will be very clear in what they expect from you from the beginning regarding the timeline for the review, what to do in case the product doesn't fit or if you decide against reviewing it. They will appreciate your blog and want to be part of it and your community and they will offer the product for review without expecting you to give them a positive one.

Other brands might try to get you to provide extra services bundled in with the review, like free advertorial posts on the brand (ex. wish lists, or just praising how amazing the brand is). While I did use to fall into this trap quite often as a newbie blogger, I now try to make it very clear in my conversations with brands that advertorial content belongs in sponsored posts that need to be paid for and disclosed to the readers as such.

Sponsored posts. Just like any other publication, blogs make money out of sponsored content, whether we're talking about affiliate links, banners or sponsored posts. Try to think as sponsored posts as the online version of the one page ads that you see in magazines - they have pictures and text relating to the brand, they are paid and disclosed to the readers as sponsored content as opposed to editorial content.

I still get requests from certain PR representatives that want me to write up sponsored posts for free or to camouflage them as editorial content. Sometimes they try to word the request for content differently (for example "we are only asking this from a select group of bloggers that we think are special"), but to me sponsored content is sponsored content and it feels really awkward to be asked to work on promoting a brand for free. I think this is a very unfair situation that takes advantage of bloggers and especially new bloggers that try to make a name for themselves.

Now don't get me wrong, I am totally for writing about products I like and I often do that without anyone asking me to. I also appreciate being sent press releases about new products hitting the market - I always love finding about about new things - but I will never appreciate being asked to do promotional work for free.

Giveaways. Giveaways are a great way for a brand to get the word out about a product. What bloggers usually get out of them are followers and a chance to give back to their readers. However, from the recent discussions I have had with other bloggers, many find that the followers go away after the giveaway is over, so there are definitely pluses and minuses to this particular promotional method. Another thing to consider is that there is a lot of work involved in promoting a giveaway, unless you have a massive following.

That being said, I still think giveaways work great for newer bloggers that want to build a brand collaboration portfolio and get their names out there in social media. I remember being really excited about the first giveaways I have hosted and I think they really helped with building up my credibility with brands.

What did you learn from your experience collaborating with brands? I'd love to hear all about it in the comment section below.

Have a brilliant day!
Dora

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Behind the Scenes: The Making of OOTD Posts

behind the scenes of making an OOTD post

The idea of a "behind the scenes" post came to me while chatting up some fellow bloggers on Twitter one night (find out more about blogger Twitter chats here). Most of us don't have the luxury of having a team helping out with our posts so we do everything ourselves - we're our own stylist, hair and make-up artist, photographer, graphic designer and online marketing strategist - so I thought it might be fun to give you all a little glimpse into what it takes for a regular blogger to produce an OOTD (outfit of the day) post.

behind the scenes of making an OOTD post

It all starts with picking out an outfit (to be read digging through an overstuffed closet). I usually get my inspiration before falling asleep. Yep, I'm one of those people that chase the bad thoughts away with dreams of shift dresses and perfect shoes.

behind the scenes of making an OOTD post

Next step is figuring out what to do with my unruly hair and the ever growing dark circles under my eyes aka hair and make-up.

behind the scenes of making an OOTD post

I usually set up my tripod in a corner of my living room (it's the only spot in our house that is not completely obscure). I used to take a lot of my pics outside but the Canadian sub zero temperatures are too much for me to handle lately.

behind the scenes of making an OOTD post

The last step of the process is also the longest one. I spend a few hours editing the photos, writing the post, tagging it, publishing it and promoting it on social media. For some reason I feel the need to constantly eat while doing this, hence the clementines. It used to be chips and chocolate, but I've decided to be healthier so I just binge eat fruit now... not as satisfying let me just tell you that.

I'll post the actual OOTD pictures I took these days as well - that way you'll see the result of the whole process. Hope you enjoyed my little "behind the scenes" tour.

Have a brilliant day!
Dora

Friday, 9 January 2015

Born Pretty - Product Review

born pretty store jewelry and accessories review

Thank god for goodies delivered by the postman, otherwise this Canadian winder would be so unbearably dreary. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to review the Born Pretty jewelry and accessories line and the presents, which just arrived a few days ago, totally brightened up my week. My eye was especially caught by their street style inspired hair accessories, unique rings and brooches, so I chose one of each to review. Here's a little pros and cons list of the items I received:

born pretty store jewelry and accessories review

born pretty store jewelry and accessories review

Pros:

- The items arrived carefully packaged and in optimal condition.
- Free shipping worldwide - no minimum purchase needed.
- The price point is almost too good to be true. Really, you guys have to check it out for yourselves to believe it. The price for all of the items I received was under $10!
- I loved the street style / boho chic / vintage vibe of many of their designs. I feel like the selection is much more in tune with what is fresh fashion wise compared to what you'd find in most western fashion chain stores.
- While the price point is much lower than what you'd find in an H&M, for example, the quality is the same or even better.

born pretty store jewelry and accessories review

born pretty store jewelry and accessories review

Cons:

- The delivery time is a bit on the longer side (3 to 4 weeks), but that's to be expected when receiving items from Asia.
- I also noticed a very subtle transfer of paint from the cute cat brooch pins to the collar of my shirt in the form of dots (just where the pins went in), but I still really love them and will continue to wear them with darker shirts. I think the solution to that would be not to apply any of the black paint to the pin side of the brooch when manufacturing them.

born pretty store jewelry and accessories review

born pretty store jewelry and accessories review

All in all I am really happy with the items I received and I can't wait for summer so I can freely parade them around without the burden of a gazillion layers of clothing (seriously it's like -30 here). Now if you'll excuse me I'll be busy looking for a music festival to go with my extremely cool hair accessory.

Shop for your own unique Born Pretty accessories and get a special 10% discount with the code ERUT10.

Have a brilliant day!
Dora

Accessories courtesy of Born Pretty.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Get a Head Start in 2015 with These 6 Wardrobe Staples

2015 must have wardrobe staples

While some people might regard basic wardrobe items as boring, I've come to develop quite the passion for them. I'm a firm believer that smart design and a good sense of layering can do wonders even in the case of some of the most common clothing. Surprisingly placed pleats, unexpected use of materials and simple tasteful lines are all amongst the qualities of these swoon worthy, multifunctional staples, that will certainly raise your fashionista street cred, without breaking the bank.


2015 must have wardrobe staples

Have a brilliant day!
Dora

Friday, 2 January 2015

1 Shirt - 3 OOTDs

3 ways to style a check print blouse shirt

If there's one thing I'd like changed in 2015, it would be my shopping habits. I'd like to start investing in better multifunctional pieces that withstand multiple wears and crazy fashion trends (look at me talking like a grown up person). While saving for a new house, our shopping budget has become a liability, so I've definitely come to appreciate all the items in my wardrobe that don't fall to pieces after two washes or don't become irrelevant after two months (I'm talking about you, weird orange gown I bought on a sale but never ever dared to wear in public). Aaaand speaking of making the most of what I have, here are 3 OOTDs styled with my favourite check print shirt.

how to style a check print shirt blouse

Shop this look:


how to style a check print shirt blouse

Shop this look:



Shop this look:

Have a brilliant day!
Dora

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Top 10 Favourite Moments of 2014


2014 was quite the exciting year for me and A Drop of Indigo. I travelled to Europe, met and interviewed amazing people, attended my first fashion week and designed my first piece of clothing in collaboration with a brand. Here are a few of the 2014 moments I'm really proud of.

1. This insightful interview with Hayley, the designer from Birds of North America. If you haven't heard of the Canadian brand yet, do check it out. I was impressed with the retro inspired designs and the care that goes into the quality control of every item.

Interview with Birds of North America Designer

2. Discovering this hidden gem on Paros island. A must see whenever in the Cycladic islands, Mina's Closet is nestled in between the bright fragrant streets of Parikia. The carefully curated treasures in this Greek well kept secret spot will put to shame any store I have visited in the last few years.

Mina's Closet in Paros Island

3. Visiting the Greek Islands. Greece. Is. Paradise. That is all.

Paros Islands

4. Montreal Fashion Week. Outdoor stage in the middle of Montreal's Place des Festivals - check. Local merchants and designers encouraged to promote their creations - check. Fun times with fellow fashion bloggers in the Heiniken sponsored VIP area - check.

Montreal Fashion Week

5. The bigger the better. The amazing Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture hair product range infused some much needed shine and volume in my dry frizzy mane. Big thanks to the lovely people at Hairtrade for making it all happen.

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Review

6. I explored my obsession for chevron anything with this DIY jewelry box (I actually dropped it and broke it right after taking the photos, but I didn't put that in the post, bien sur).

Chevron Box DIY

7. Saddle shoes all the way. I mean, could any shoes be more perfect than saddle shoes? Not for me. At least not this year - who knows what new obsessions 2015 will bring.

How to Wear Saddle Shoes

8. Lemon is a girl's best friend. I pretty much spent this whole year with lemon and baking soda rubbed on my whole head. I tried this home made baking soda shampoo and this lemon mask and loved them both.

home made lemon and baking soda mask

9. I saw the world through new eyes. I always wondered how I would look with blue eyes and I got the chance to see what the fuss is all about via this super fun collaboration with Spooky Eyes.

blue contact lenses review

10. My moon. One of the many successful brand collaborations this year, the SnapMade partnership, gave me the opportunity to come up with my own design for one of their items, which I really enjoyed.

moon print hoodie


I'd love to hear all about your 2014 highlights.

Have a brilliant day!
Dora

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Hosting the #BDIB Chat on Mondays

fashion blogger Twitter chat host

I have exciting news for Canadian and American bloggers. I will be hosting the @bloggersdoitbetter (#BDIB) Twitter chats every Monday from 8 to 9 pm EST time (American and Canadian eastern coast time). That's right, no more sneaking out of work/school at 3 pm to attend the GMT chat (unless you really want to and I won't tell anyone you if you do - wink wink). For more details on the chats check out @adropofindigo and @Bloggersdoitbetter.

Have a brilliant day!
Dora