For Jilly, A life in style started 18 months ago. If you googled ‘Fashion blogger North East’ six months ago she was on page 4008. Now, she’s number one.
Her blog is for women over 30 who love fashion, have a disposable income and like a bit of a laugh, she isn’t afraid to say what everybody else is thinking.
Jilly’s mindset is: “If I turn up in a ball gown, biker boots and a leather jacket then so what? I only dress for me.”
Her love of fashion stemmed, like a lot of us, from Sex and the City, but in particular of course, Carrie Bradshaw and stylist of the show Patricia Field. Jilly said: “I had always followed her work. Then when she did Sex and the City, I really liked the idea of it being women over 30, the fact that you shouldn’t be frightened of fashion at any age and that they’re not saving stuff for best.”
“If you want to wear a sparkly skirt and a feather vest just to go into town there’s no rules and things don’t have to match, you can wear a denim jacket with biker boots and a tulle skirt, I just love that whole vision.”
Jilly wasn’t always this ball of confidence, and she explained that: “I had never been like that until I was about 25, I had a really bad time in school, I had always dressed slightly differently even as a kid and I just couldn’t find my way.”
When asked about what made her start blogging, she said: “I started reading blogs and I thought some of this stuff is absolute s****, I could write way better than that and make it entertaining, accessible and not intimidating.”
Jilly’s blog is more than fashion, beauty and events she loves to talk about ‘the elephant in the room’ and the things that other bloggers don’t mention but definitely should: “I just thought I need to talk about real things like anxiety, issues with food, all the aspects of the fashion industry not just writing about a handbag.”
“I went through my phone and I had all these outfits and I thought I’d put 20 of them on Instagram and it just went from there.”
The simple reason Jilly keeps her blog going is her readers, who often repost her blog to their friends because they love her content so much. She said: “its a bit of a release and when people say things like ‘I absolutely laughed my head off’ I love that.”
Of course we all want to know where Jilly gets her outfit ideas from so here’s her secret: “Everywhere…”
So maybe that isn’t what you were expecting, but she then went on to say: “I’m subscribed to all the magazines, I’ve read Vogue since I was 10. I rip pages out, I’ve got a big box for if I see a hairstyle or a style of eyeshadow I like.”
“Karl Lagerfeld always wore those fingerless gloves, so now I wear them all the time but bejewelled ones.”
Jilly isn’t about spewing out any kind of content for her blog, her key phrase seemed to be ‘Quality over quantity’ which contradicts anything you’ve ever known about anything really. Being real and not being afraid to say exactly what she is thinking, whether its about a bad experience with a brand or an amazing one has clearly worked wonders for her.
When asked about her fashion must haves, it was a quick and easy answer: “Shoes, a really good pair of shoes and a really good bag can sort any outfit.”
“I buy a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes every 6 months and I could run faster than you in those trainers.” I’m sorry to say we didn’t test out this theory.
Jilly’s response to the question about her greatest achievements was perfect:
“When someone contacts you and says something made them think. I wrote a post about eating and a girl emailed me and said ‘you know what I’ve got a problem’ and I went and did something about it, it’s they that you know you’ve made a difference.”
There’s a few things Jilly wished she knew before starting her blog: “I wish I’d started it sooner, and I didn’t worry too much about what people think. Now, if I love something you know I love it, if not you know I don’t.”
Jilly’s advice to someone just starting their blog would be: “Contact an experienced blogger, I contacted a really successful blogger called Alexandra Rose McNally she gave me some top tips that I’ve stuck by. Be genuine, don’t be an ‘out for nawter’, don’t just take, take, take, be selective, quality over quantity, have lots of credit cards because you spend loads. My last would be you need to have a demographic you’re aiming for and a style.