Normally, guest lecturers in class are not something that students get excited about. However, when I found out that Jessica Quirk was speaking as part of the IU College of Arts and Sciences Young Alumni Guest Lecturer Week, it was a different story. I was so excited to hear this famous blogger, author, and all-around stylish Hoosier speak that I sat in on a class that wasn’t even mine. After four years of blogging, Jessica was honored at the College of Arts and Sciences Annual Recognition Banquet on Friday, October 5, 2012.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with her work, Jessica is the internationally known blogger of What I Wore, a Tumblr that features daily photos of her outfits, DIY fashion projects, and cute original ideas for Halloween costumes. Jessica’s philosophy on her blog, and overall mantra, is “Look Good, Feel Good”. She explained to the class, “When you wear something that makes you feel better, more prepared, or attractive, that’s a valuable tool.”
Unlike other bloggers, Jessica focuses on the idea of style, rather than fashion. Trendy pieces will only be “in” for a short time, while style is classic and eternal. Her outfits are wearable, fun, and show that regular women can look great on a budget. In July 2011, Jessica came out with the book What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style.
When Jessica started taking photos of her daily outfits, she did it because she loved it, and never imagined that it would become a blog. Good blogs, according to Jessica, have a narrow focus and are written by people who are passionate about their topics. Improvement comes through making a blog better looking and more relatable. What I Wore was started on Tumblr, an unconventional method for a fashion blog, which Jessica credits for the early success. With no agent or manager, Jessica admits that being a person and a brand at the same time is difficult. She reads and answers her own emails, decides which brands to do partnerships with, and works with AOL (they provide sidebar ads). She also maintains a Pinterest and Twitter account to engage her fans and market What I Wore.
Stressing the importance of interning, Jessica believes that proving that you understand how to learn while on the job is integral. You never know what experiences you can lean on in the future. While interning at Betsey Johnson, Quirk learned valuable skills and got hands-on experience in the New York fashion industry. Her internship was followed by being a fashion designer for another brand, and then finally blogging full-time for What I Wore
Jessica’s last words of advice to the class? Spend more money on clothes that last longer, and buy American-made clothes!
Connect with Jessica Quirk!
Photo Sources: http://whatiwore.tumblr.com