Clothe in Confidence

Interview with Holly Swasko

Currently working from Chicago, IL we had the opportunity to visit with a favorite, Holly from Clothe in Confidence. We were able to share some of the earlier days of Lust Have with Holly in the past, and were more than excited to be able to catch up and learn more about what she has been up to lately.

Lust Have: What inspired you to start blogging?
Holly: I think that there were a lot of things that inspired me to start. One was my love for writing and storytelling and the realization that I could have a voice through it. Along with that, I’ve always had this fascination with makeup and clothing and how something as simple as wearing your favorite jacket or lipstick can totally boost your confidence for the day. It’s the whole idea of how it really goes deeper than just appearance. I realized that I wanted to share that feeling with others especially because I myself had struggled with body image. I figured if there was a way I could share my voice to help others feel better about themselves both inside and out, a blog would be the way to do so.

LH: In one sentence, how would you describe the purpose of your blog to a potential new follower?
H: Clothe In Confidence is all about empowerment, promoting healthy body image, and inspiring others to look and feel their best selves through beauty and fashion.

LH: Who is your number one fashion inspiration and why?
H: I love pulling inspiration from fellow fashion bloggers! Reading about their finds and favorites makes finding new styles so real and accessible. YouTuber and blogger Carly Cristman is one of my favorites. Her style is so simple and chic! She really demonstrates how having simple, key pieces in your wardrobe can open the door to so many new outfit combinations. Great style doesn’t always have to be full of frills and crazy patterns; some of the best outfits can blossom from sleek neutrals and timeless pieces.

LH: What are some of your current style obsessions?
H: Anyone who knows me knows that I love rose gold jewelry. It’s a break from the usual silver and gold finishes and it can add a touch of femininity and glamour to any outfit. I also have really been enjoying sheer, longline kimonos for Spring!

LH: What are your predictions for the next big style trend?
H: They say that history repeats itself, and I’ve been seeing so many hints of 70s style making its way back into fashion with a bit of a modern twist. It was such a carefree period of style. Things like striped ringer details, suedes, and of course bell bottoms and bell-sleeved styles are the big ones but I personally think we’re really going to see even more elements of the decade blossom this Summer.

LH: Tell us about a typical day working on your blog.
H: It’s often really spontaneous. I find it difficult to sit down and force myself come up with a new idea for a post; it just feels a bit artificial that way and I don’t feel as passionate or immersed in the topic. I’m a super visually-inspired person so I’m constantly taking photos! Whether it be of my current outfit, for example, or maybe some accessories that complement each other, if I see something that inspires me I’m more likely to run with the idea and then get to the writing part. From there, once I have the initial shots and writing, I get to editing and preparing posts for promoting on my social media!

LH: What changes have you noticed in your life after starting your blog?
H: I think I came to many realizations both large and small. I realized what a powerful tool social media is and how far your voice can travel when you make the most of it. I learned so much about networking and how to establish an identity for my online presence. Also, I think one of the big changes is my outlook on valuing your passions. I learned that if you have a passion for something, you should run with it. It’s a shame to waste something that you really love in life. There was a point where I took a break from blogging in the past but I ended up coming back to it because it’s what I love. It’s my platform where I can combine everything I love to do and give it greater meaning by sharing it with others.

LH: There are always challenges associated with success. Are there any barriers you have encountered that have or are currently preventing you from hitting any blog milestones?
H: Definitely. One of the things that I struggle with is time management. Balancing the workload of being a student with creating content for my blog is really difficult and it’s hard to find time as well as inspiration when you often can’t give all of your attention to it. However, I’m graduating this year so my aim is to devote my time and put my whole heart into creating new content for my blog in the next few months. I’m looking forward to having that clean slate and really having a chance to grow it.

LH: Speaking of which, what is your next big milestone for your digital diary?
H: I’m currently working on this collaboration with this awesome watch company. More about it will be coming soon to the blog, so keep checking back for that! Another goal I hope to reach down the road is getting to share a book I’m working on. It’s a process, but it’s definitely one of my long-term goals to finish. I always try to tie in a message to each post, but the book serves as a place for more mini-lessons and inspiration that I can’t find a place for on my blog as well as on a longer, lengthier scale.

LH: Who is your favorite photographer for your shoots?
H: For outfit posts, my sister is actually one of my favorites to work with! She’s a portrait artist so compositionally, she’s super talented and is great when working with different angles and lighting. I give her an idea of what I want and she communicates it. For flatlays and product photography, I’m usually the one behind the camera with my studio light. I have fun playing around with the different settings and backgrounds! Also, self-timers and shutter remotes are lifesavers when shooting alone!

LH: What is the toughest lesson you have learned so far from the world of fashion blogging?
H: I’ve learned that it can be so easy to feel pressured into changing your style or changing your blog around just because you think others will like you more because of it. But in the end, the most important thing is staying true to yourself while wearing the clothes and creating the content that truly represents you! I learned that a blog should be a total reflection of yourself, and putting content out there solely for likes takes away from the authenticity.

LH: As you continue working on your online presence, are there any skills or talents you wish to polish that will help you along the way?
H: There’s always more to learn about photography! I got my DSLR a year ago and I’m still discovering new features and settings! Along with that, I’d love to get better at filming. I admire the YouTubers out there that are able to film and edit on a weekly basis! There’s so much that goes into it but I think that venturing further into video would be fun!

LH: Any final thoughts or advice for those that would like to follow in your footsteps?
H: I think that people are often intimidated when putting themselves out there and starting a blog but if you look at as a way for you to share your voice and spread your own unique message and thoughts, it makes it much more meaningful! Just keep working at it, be confident in your abilities, be open to learning new things, and put your heart into whatever you do! One thing I always keep in mind is that you never know who might be listening; someone might just be in need of a message like yours!

Thanks for visiting with us Holly! Be sure to follow along with Holly on the Lust Have app at @HollySwasko

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