To put it plainly, there are a ton of fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers these days; it seems almost everyone wants to share his or her own personal aesthetic with the world. Among the many blogs out there, only a few really stand out. And, while all are distinctly different from one another, there are definitely some things they have in common, too. In addition to consistency and a strong work ethic, all the best bloggers possess a powerful sense of individuality and major creative abilities.

Though blogging (especially fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogging) is often labeled as something shallow, truly being creative requires a lot of hard work, dedication and critical thinking. Thankfully, the bloggers behind Zanita Studio recently devised a guide to finding inspiration for all types of creatives–not just bloggers–because even the best sometimes find themselves feeling unmotivated and uninspired.

The author mentions that 2017 is the “year of story telling” because social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram allow followers to take a behind-the-scenes look at bloggers’ lives with “story” features. Sharing so-called “stories” on Snapchat and Instagram is a great way to develop more intimate, personal relationships with followers; at the same time, however, it puts a ton of pressure on us bloggers to constantly be creating top-notch content.

Furthermore, Instagram also recently introduced its “live” feature, which allows users to video chat with followers in real time. Many bloggers use this feature for impromptu makeup tutorials and unboxing hauls. Several creatives, such as YouTuber Lauren Elizabeth, expressed how difficult and tiring it can be to keep up with all these new platforms.

To combat this problem, the author suggests Pinterest as a resource, and I definitely agree! I joined Pinterest a couple months ago, and I genuinely wish I started sooner. There is an endless amount of creative content on that platform, from lengthy articles to DIYs to stunning visual inspiration. Many bloggers and creatives share their work on Pinterest, and from that inspo, others can come up with their own unique ideas, then “pin” them to inspire others.

So many bloggers and influencers publish the same “trendy” content the rest of the world shares, and as a blogger myself, I know how hard it can be to develop unique, quality material on a regular basis. In order to stand out and be successful in the blogosphere, it is undeniably important to find what inspires you personally and share that with your followers in a meaningful way–not the superficial, insubstantial content you think you should be posting based on the blogs or Instagram feeds of others. Not only is Pinterest a great way to find inspiration, it helps you save and organize your favorite findings, as well.

[source: Instagram user @areyouami]

Speaking of trend-based content, Matt Elison predicts women’s fashion trends for the upcoming season on a blog known as Chronicles of Her. One of the first trends the author mentions is from Vogue, which has throughout history always had a strong influence on designers (which have a strong influence on fast fashion retailers, which have a strong influence on consumers). This year, Vogue predicts the “death of cleavage.”

Elison also mentioned that chokers, a huge trend in 2016, will no longer be in style. We are currently a little over a month into the new year, and I am still seeing chokers everywhere I look: on campus, downtown, on social media, etc. Runway designers and luxury fashion brands may steer clear of chokers in 2017, but it seems a lot of young women still enjoy wearing this type of necklace. Because high fashion is typically ahead of street style, many who wear chokers now (including bloggers) may still see them as trendy, while big name designers are tossing them in favor of other styles.

[source: harperandharley.com]

Sara Donaldson, blogger behind Harper and Harley, did a brilliant job executing several of 2017s hottest trends in a single post last month. Oversized dress shirts–especially in a crisp white fabric like Donaldson wears–have been pretty big these past few months, while statement sleeves and shiny pants came into style more recently. While bloggers everywhere have been promoting all three of these trends, Donaldson ties them together in a way that is unique and tasteful.

Her neutral and nearly monochromatic color palette definitely helps tone the entire look down, while a neat bun keeps her hair out of the way and black sandals remain virtually invisible under gorgeous flared plants. This outfit embodies everyday glamour because it is the perfect mix between casual and elegant; it shows that fashion bloggers (and other influencers!) can create content that is mainstream and relevant (i.e., trendy), as well as thoughtful, substantial and most importantly, authentic.

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Vinyl pants are popping up everywhere I look lately. As soon as I saw fellow blogger Tessa Barton in a flashy red pair, I knew I had to get my hands on some of my own. Even though I think Barton’s fire engine red trousers are ah-mazing, I decided a jet black pair would be more practical for my everyday life–and who knows? I may end up loving these so much that I invest in a red pair down the road.

But for now, I’ve been having so much fun styling this black pair, which has zipper details across each leg. It is pretty cold where I currently live in West Virginia (with a mild day here and there), so mainly I’ve been juxtaposing these biker-inspired, structured trousers with chunky knit sweaters and feminine faux furs. Even though they are definitely a statement piece, these bad boys are super versatile; they work well with just about anything. And, yes–they are very comfortable.

Because layering is super important both for keeping warm and for putting together a killer outfit, I find that dainty, lacy camisoles make the perfect finishing touch on this look. Then, I add my go-to black booties for a little height; after all, my legs are definitely the focal point in these pants.

I polished off the ensemble with a couple shiny necklaces, including my rose gold nameplate, and as always, undone hair so it wouldn’t distract from the outfit. When warmer weather rolls in, I know these pants will look totally hot with a vintage t-shirt, red lips and a big, dry shampoo-induced rockstar mane.

Faux fur coat (not pictured), Free People, no longer available

Turtleneck sweater, Brandy Melville, $38

Patent finish pants, thrifted

Chelsea boots (not pictured), Free People, $128

Layered necklace, Free People, $28

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A couple months ago I taught myself how to use Pinterest (better late than never) and instantly became addicted. In fact, I already pinned close to 2,000 inspiring images, articles, recipes and DIYs to all my boards and completed five of my fav findings from the site. Winter tends to make people–including myself–a little restless, and there really is no better cure for cabin fever than working on a few beautiful and functional do-it-yourself projects.

As I continue to explore Pinterest, I will most definitely be updating this list a few times over. I cannot wait to get started on some of the stunning makeup tutorials the site has to offer. But for now, the following are the five best DIYs to hit my feed. Be sure to follow my boards for instant updates!

Coconut-rose body scrub is almost too pretty to use! I love displaying mine on the bathroom counter in a simple ceramic bowl.

Coconut-rose body scrubNot only does this body scrub smell amazing, it is 100 percent natural AND it actually works. Coconut oil moisturizes skin, while pink Himalayan salt exfoliates, leaving my entire bod feeling smooth and silky. In addition to the hydration and salt your skin craves, this scrub includes rose oil, which tones and tightens skin, reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks. As with all beauty products that contain coconut oil, you should only make this scrub with organic, extra virgin coconut oil–otherwise, you’ll end up with clogged pores and breakouts.

Hair-thickening mask: This is another all-natural beauty product–can you tell I have a type? I don’t always take the greatest care of my mane, so it has definitely thinned out over the last couple years. Coconut oil is my go-to hair treatment once a week when I have time to pamper myself, but I wanted to see what else the world of Pinterest had to offer my tresses.

I quickly discovered this 10-minute thickening mask that combines castor oil, coconut oil and honey. In addition to promoting hair growth, this mask also leaves hair feeling soft and looking shiny. And, after I did a little research, I discovered that castor oil, its main ingredient, also promotes eyebrow and eyelash growth. What more could a gal want?

Cereal box organizersOver the years I’ve accumulated a ton of magazines and journals, making this DIY a must-do for me. As my collection grows over the years, I will definitely be recreating variations of this project–this link alone offers 15 different ways to turn cereal boxes into perfect space-saving storage containers for magazines, journals, folders and books.

Brass hoop earrings with suede laceSo, this one isn’t technically a DIY (it’s a link to an Etsy shop), but instead of purchasing these earrings, I decided to make my own. A quick trip to AC Moore for some brass hoops and suede lace was all it took to create a super unique pair of statement earrings.

These babies may seem like pricey vintage jewelry (aka my motif), but in reality I made them in half an hour and for under $20. I absolutely love pairing them with a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans for a casual, yet polished daytime or weekend look.

Cucumber-avocado smoothieI am a total sucker for a green smoothie, and this recipe offers a unique spin on the usual spinach/kale blends. Don’t get me wrong, spinach and kale smoothies are great, but sometimes I need a change. Enter: the cucumber-avocado smoothie.

The base ingredients, i.e., cucumber and avocado, combine to create a creamy, yet refreshing texture, while lime and cilantro give the smoothie a zesty twist, making it the perfect micronutrient-rich post-gym or afternoon pick-me-up. I will definitely be adding this recipe to my weekly wellness regimen. For an extra nutrition boost, I may try adding a cup of spinach–which is virtually tasteless in smoothies–to the smoothie the next time I whip it up.

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Last month famed French fashion house Louis Vuitton debuted its highly anticipated collaboration with streetwear brand Supreme. The high fashion label–which is known predominantly for its signature luggage–included six handbags, a backpack, a messenger bag and a holdall in its Fall/Winter 2017 collaborative menswear collection with the Manhattan-based subculture clothier.

Streetwear staples like denim baseball jerseys, jackets and scarves, emblazoned with a mix of Louis Vuitton and Supreme logos, turned heads as they casually made their way down the catwalk, according to fashionista.com.

Other noteworthy garments included oversized sweaters, sport coats and trousers, as well as clean-looking sneakers, eye-catching keychains and various styles of outerwear. As it is a fall/winter collection, many of the looks featured several layers of both solid and printed pieces, in fresh, muted hues. Pops of candy apple red and bright white added a youthful vibe that did not overpower an otherwise neutral color palette.

While the fashion show itself took place in Paris, Vogue claims it was a “celebration of the style of New York in all its artistic, eclectic, sybaritic, and liberated variousness” that was “inspired by the artists and parties that have shone brightly in the city…crammed with elegantly expressed underground references.”

In other words, Louis Vuitton’s quality craftsmanship and timelessness took the form Supreme’s alternative style–and vice versa–without a single comprise to either brands’ distinct aesthetic. Think: Parisian artistry with a New York attitude.

Also extremely popular over the past several months is Vêtements’ Thrasher hoodie, a hybrid of another French luxury brand and a San Francisco-based skater magazine. In terms of entirely collaborative collections, however, Vêtements worked with Champion to design high fashion sweats and activewear. Ranging in price from $540 to $810 on NET-A-PORTER, it is safe to say these pieces are meant to be worn anywhere but the gym.

In addition to buzz-worthiness (high fashion/streetwear collabs are big this year!), Louis Vuitton x Supreme has plenty of longevity. For one reason, it’s actually wearable. Runway styles often get a bad rap for being impractical, but Louis Vuitton x Supreme is the complete opposite. It maintains street style ease and comfort without jeopardizing a luxurious, high fashion feel.

The collection also draws in a ton of attention from teens and young adults, who typically favor streetwear over high fashion. If runway designers want to remain relevant in a society consumed by fast fashion, collaborating with streetwear brands may be the way to go.

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Admittedly, I am way more into secondhand shopping and thrifting than I’m into hitting the mall. Recently, I picked up a few major scores, and thanks to Poshmark, I was able to find a vegan suede fringe jacket–for $20, nonetheless. While I was on the hunt for a camel moto jacket, I spotted this Western-inspired piece and decided it would make a stylish alternative to a biker one. After all, I already own a black moto jacket, so why not change things up a bit?

I was instantly able to think up a ton of cute outfits with pieces already in my closet. From this season’s must-have bodysuit-and-mom-jeans combo to a smokin’ hot “athleisure” getup, the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to styling this gorgeous statement jacket.

On this particular day, however, I decided to play it safe with gray and black underneath; in my opinion gray, black and tan look really elegant together, so this outfit was totally a match made in heaven for me. A simple, soft v-neck allows a lacy bralette to peek through, while high-waist skinny jeans and sock booties give the look a sleeker vibe.

Vegan suede jacket with fringe, thrifted, $20

Bralette, Free People, $38

Easy Jeans, American Apparel, $78

Sock booties (not pictured), Topshop, $70

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