From sunny, warm and beautiful Florida comes the wonderful Stephanie Ziajka. Stephanie was awesome enough to join us and answer a few questions about her style and where she is going. In addition to humoring us she spends her time managing her blog and Instagram. They’re viewing and reading and we highly recommend a follow!
When did you launch Diary of a Debutante and what made you decide to get into fashion blogging?
I started Diary of a Debutante about four years ago while I was on medical leave from my financial day job. I was battling a really serious eating disorder, so I wanted an activity to help pass the time. After I recovered and went back to work, Diary of a Debutante became a much-needed creative outlet for me. Finance can be painfully dull, and my blog served as a colorful platform for expressing myself through fashion.
What inspires your style?
My fashion icons– Audrey Hepburn, Kate Middleton, and Victoria Beckham (to name a few). With the exception of Posh Spice in the ‘90s, I’ve never looked at any of their outfits and uttered the words tawdry, tacky, or cheap. My every day style is colorful and conservative, so I love looking to them, whether it be through magazines or old photos on Pinterest, for ideas and inspiration on how to make a statement without showing too much skin.
How do you stay current with what’s new or in style at the moment?
I don’t worry too much about being current because my style is mostly classic. I’d prefer a timeless little black dress over a trendy pair of trousers any day. That being said, I’m always skimming through magazines and Pinterest looking for inspiration.
What are some of the latest fashion trends you love?
I love ruffle sleeves! They’re so chic and feminine, and they’re versatile enough to work well for so many different occasions. You can dress them up with a sleek pencil skirt for work or down with a ripped pair of jeans for a casual date night. I also love high-waisted flare jeans. I’m 5’6.5”, so any pants that gives me an extra half an inch of height is golden… and this style of jeans does it in the most flattering way possible!
What are some the latest fashion trends you can NOT stand?
Overly distressed jeans! I remember when I was in middle school, and I wanted to buy an $80 or $100 pair of ripped jeans from Abercrombie… and my mom refused because she said she’d rip up an old pair for free. As frustrating as it was at the time, I completely understand her logic as an adult. Why pay someone else to destroy a perfectly good and probably overpriced pair of jeans? Also, I’m long over crop tops. They’re just not my style, and it feels like every store has a 60/40 ratio of crop tops to regular tops these days.
Who is your favorite brand/designer? Do you own any of their designs?
My favorite high-end designer is Chanel, and outside of a few vintage pieces of jewelry, I unfortunately don’t own any of their new designs—to be honest, if I did, I’d be much too scared to regularly wear (and potentially ruin) them. On a more affordable scale, I love Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer, and I wear their unapologetically colorful designs all the time. Since I worked in finance for five years, I also love Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein for their chic, affordable, and timeless work wear.
What outfit have you worn that most represents your fashion style?
That’s a tough one! If I had to pick one, the first that comes to mind is this colorful and breezy chiffon maxi dress I wore from Jack by BB Dakota. Color makes me happy, and it’s a vital element of my every day style. You can’t get much more colorful than this pastel painterly stripe print! It’s also delicate, feminine, and classic, and it retails at an affordable price point, which are all regular attributes of my style.
What’s your favorite fashion era from the 20th century?
I love the romanticism of the Roaring Twenties. Women had just been given the right to vote, and they were determined to passionately express themselves through femininity and glamour. I love that. Plus, a flapper is and will probably always be my go-to Halloween costume.
What daily tools and platforms do you use in your blogging routine, for research, promotion, sharing and other?
I spend so much of my day on social media! It’s such a huge part of my job, so I try to streamline it as much as I can. I use Tailwind to schedule pins on Pinterest and Buffer to schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. For research, I use BuzzSumo to look for similar content, and I’m about to re-try Market Samurai, as well. And for overall peace of mind, I use Asana and Wunderlist to organize all my daily tasks and ideas.
Where do you hope fashion blogging will take you in the future?
I hope it takes me to a place where I can continue to positively impact my readers! The fashion industry has long set the dangerous precedent that skinny is sexy, and I’ve personally fallen victim to its criterion for how an “average woman” should look. I want to help re-write the industry standard to convey that strong is sexy, healthy is sexy, and confident is sexy! Diary of a Debutante’s mission is to promote body positivity and eating disorder awareness through a variety of affordable fashion, realistic beauty, and healthy lifestyle content, so I hope to eventually write a book about my journey and start a local non-profit to raise awareness for the silent prevalence of eating disorders in modern society.