‘Delightfully Tacky’ blog documents Tacoma style

Believe it or not, Tacoma is a pretty stylish place. Not only does The Alderist capture Puget Sound students’ style, but Tacoma is the new base for Elizabeth J. of the well-known blog Delightfully Tacky, a blog dedicated to style, fashion and the confidence to be one’s self.

Elizabeth started Delightfully Tacky during her junior year of college as a response to the outcry of sweatpants-clad opinions after she wrote an article for her college’s newspaper questioning why some students choose to wear sweatpants when clothing offers an enormous canvas for self-expression.

“Blogging was a medium for finding out who I was,” Elizabeth said as we sat outside Beyond the Bridge Café, where her artwork of Winnebagos has been on display for the past few weeks. “With my blog, I wanted to explore style and get out of my box. Blogging allowed me to gain confidence, the lack of which kept me from branching out stylistically.”

People who say they don’t judge people based on how they dress are out of touch with reality, Elizabeth thinks. “We are visual people, we’re hard wired that way. Clothing does say something, and it can be good.  What does wearing sweatpants say about you?”

Though some would argue that taking pictures of what one wears on a daily basis and posting them online is narcissistic and silly, Elizabeth disagrees.

For many people, blogging is a way to become part of a larger community and, for fashion bloggers, that community centers on clothing and how one can express oneself through clothing.

With the rise of fashion blogs and their focus on how real people on any budget showcase their style (The Alderist is a play on the internationally famous The Sartorialist), the fashion industry is taking notice.

Look at almost any fashion magazine, from Nylon to Lucky, and you’ll see articles on the real people behind some of the better-known fashion blogs. The power to influence fashion is shifting from “what people should buy for the season” to “what people want to wear to look and feel good about themselves and their bodies.”

“It’s so now and what people are doing. The fashion industry needs to follow it to stay relevant,” Elizabeth said. “It’s all real people and they’re showing that clothes can look good on you. People used to dress to ‘hide problem areas’. When I look in the mirror, I ask myself ‘how does this outfit make me feel?’ Hopefully we’re now seeing that we can dress to like what we wear and enjoy being ourselves.”

How does living in the rainy Pacific Northwest, as well as living in her native Alaska, affect her desire to dress stylishly or for the weather? “I try to make things work for me rather than change for the weather,” Elizabeth said.

Although Delightfully Tacky is now a well-known blog, Elizabeth never went into the blogging world expecting to find recognition. “I saw it as a way to be creative, gain confidence, and be part of a community of people with similar interests. I never expected to receive emails from women in Mexico or Uganda.”

“There are differences culturally, but style is universal,” she said. For Elizabeth and other fashion bloggers, internationally known or not, blogging is an avenue for a discussion on style, whether across town, state lines or international borders.