22 March 2013

Click Refresh

jailbird   jailbird

I guess you could say that I inadvertently theme-dressed in this outfit, but I couldn't help the matchy-matchy-matchy. Once I grabbed the dress and top, the rest just snowballed. I'm not sure what the theme of the day is though, when I put this ensemble on and glanced at myself in the mirror, I didn't know if I should get in line and grab a shovel or don a mask and go steal some cheeseburgers.

jailbird  jailbird

Blazer: J.Crew Robert Noble herringbone (worn here - sim, sim, trimmed)
Top: Modcloth lace share (worn here - sim, sim, sim, black)
Dress: J.Crew maritime (worn here - sim, sim, dressier, deal)
Scarf: Ebay (sim, sim, sim)
Tights: Anne Klein
Bracelets: Asos (sim), J.Crew (sim), Target (sim)
Ring: BR (sim, sim)
Clutches: Rebecca Minkoff (worn here + here - sim, wallet, pricey)
Shoes: Vince Camuto bronco (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)

jailbird

jailbird

+      +      +      +

So I've had this current blog layout for a while now and I am starting to wonder whether or not it is time for a refresh. I've pretty much DIY'd my own blog layout since the beginning by doing what I can with the Blogger's canned themes and "customizing" with Picasa and the now-gone Picnik (I miss you Picnik!).

I am wondering whether or not it would be worth it to get some pro help this time around if I decide to move forward but I'm a bit intimidated by the whole deal of working with a web designer since I've heard some custom blog designs can run upwards to the hundreds of dollars (egads). And honestly I'm not entirely sure I know what I want (I can't decorate my living room, this "theme" thing kind of blows my mind).

So I'd like to see what you ladies think about blog layouts. What do you like (or irks you) about certain things people do on their blog layouts? 

Have any of you worked with outside help for your own blogs? If so, are there any blog designers you recommend? And how does the whole process go down?

90 comments:

  1. I'm not a blogger so I don't have any advice on web design, but I like the size of the pictures you post. They are easy to see and the picture quality is good. I enjoy your blog and love your outfits.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ipiccy.com is pretty much just like Picnik if you want a comparable site to use for photo editing or enhancing anything here on your blog.

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  3. Lisa, this is one of my favorites of yours, you look gorgeous!
    Ginny
    mynewfavoriteoutfit.blogspot.com

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  4. I literally LOLed at the idea you're going to go steal some cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers are awesome! And you'd be the best dressed hamburgler ever! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just need a stylish hat and a cape then I can go sidle up to McDonald's and try to sneak into the kitchen for double cheeseburgers.

      Delete
  5. The stripes on stripes are fabulous...you can never have enough! I won my blog design in a giveaway so I didn't pay for it but I highly recommend Span Tag Designs (http://www.spantagdesigns.com). She let me do a bunch of edits till it was exactly what I was looking for.

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    $50 PayPal Giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ah, I love a good black-and-white-with-a-dash-of-colour. It is so refreshing for the eyes! Don't ask me about blog design- I've been scared to try anything for fear of messing up...silly, I know. I look forward to hearing some more practical answers from others!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean - every time I change something, I am scared I mess something big up and then can't undo it! HTML ...

      Delete
  7. Lisa, I love this dress on you! It's so awesome. Fabulous clutch too. I would suggest you write down what you want or would like to see on your blog. I have a SWEET theme, so I looked on Etsy and found Casey with Sugar Studios. It was the perfect match! Mine cost $250, but she's gone up in price. Remember whoever you work with are not mind readers. You have to have some concept of layout, color scheme, etc. A lot goes into the process! Blog buttons, header, sidebar, font, signature. Hope this helps doll

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your input, Kim. I think I need to put together a list of ideas for what I want before approaching anyone because you make a good point. Designers are just going to know what's going on in my head especially when I don't even know yet! ;o)

      Delete
  8. I love this outfit!! I am in bad need of some professional help on my blog so I would be interested to see what others say. I have found there are some cute prefixed layouts of sale at Etsy that's much more reasonable than hiring a web designer.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your outfit! You are so good at putting things together, the dress/scarf/coral blazer combo is perfect...

    I am really impressed that you did your blog yourself! I like your layout a lot, it's clean, simple, and classy and your header looks great. I have virtually no experience with web design and not a lot of time, so I actually ended up having mine done by Shannon Page Designs. She is really fast and not very expensive since I think she is just starting out, and I'm happy with the way things turned out...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl, I love your header - it's clean but still got loads of personality. Thanks for the rec!

      Delete
  10. i get the itch like every month to change up my layout/design. but i have a self hosted wordpress blog so i hired yellow & savvy designs to design mine. it was a couple hundred dollars but money well spent IMO.

    and p.s. i LOVE the matchy matchy look. =)

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

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  11. I paid a designer to my site and I didn't think it was too outrageous. You could always just get a professional header done!

    Fizz and Frosting

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  12. You can also ref games while you're at it ;) Super-fun outfit and love how you always manage to make prints fun.
    I have no advice to give when it comes to blog layouts because I tried my hand at applying blog templates while on blogger and it was just....a big ol' mess. Once I switched to Wordpress I feel like everything is just cleaner, simple, and the focus is on the content rather than the little icons/gadgets surrounding the posts. I think you've done a great job with your blog and it keeps me coming back! That and your content ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hm, I've never even considered changing up platforms before. Maybe I should look into that - but small steps, right? ;o)

      Delete
  13. I'm so drawn to minimalistic designs, something like Atlantic-Pacific's is perfect for my taste. I don't mind seen ads either, just as long as they are not pop-ups or taking up half of the screen. Having said that, I actually don't see the layout of blogs much, since I do all of my browsing within Google Reader, it's so sad that they're retiring it soon...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - I don't know why Google is taking away Reader, a ton of people utilize it. Bloglovin must be having a field day with this.

      Delete
  14. Yikes, I meant "I don't mind *seeing* ads...".

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  15. Call me reactionary, but I love the design of your blog :-) Familiar and comforting!
    Every time you wear that blazer, I get a lottle jealous. It is SO pretty and it looks great on you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant a little, not a lottle. But maybe I can make it a thing? Lootle = big little? :-)

      Delete
    2. Thanks! I looove this blazer - in fact I have three of them in different colors. I miss the cut and quality of some of JC's items from a few years ago.

      Delete
  16. I looooooooooooove that dress Lisa! I've wanted a pretty striped dress forever! As for the blog layout, I paid to get mine done about a year or so ago. It really wasn't very expensive and it was HUGE for me because I can't do jack with html. It has really made a difference and I feel that my blog is more "professional" now. If you're up for a change, I would suggest looking into it. It's worth it.

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  17. You make a cute convict, Lisa! ;) I like your burglar chic a lot!

    I don't know much about blog design ,but I think your blog looks fine the way it is, it's very easy to read and isn't that the most important thing?

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely - I kind of don't like it when blog layouts become too complicated to navigate and they try to fit too much stuff on the homepage!

      Delete
  18. I am loving the stripes!

    On getting a blog redesign - I am such a novice that I paid someone to do over a year ago - and it was cheap then but prices have since gone up.

    Sorry can't be of great help but this website looks good now anyway!

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  19. Very cute and I love your clutch!

    Smile On:)...Classy Pam

    http://classypam.blogspot.com/

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  20. I like simple + clean layouts.

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  21. Kimmie @ Blue Paper Lanterns & Linda at Little Tin Soldier are both great!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the recs, Caroline! Linda did your blog, didn't she? I noticed bits of her whimsical art, it's clean but still full of personality, if you know what I mean!

      Delete
  22. This outfit is WAY too perfect- not "hamburgler-ish" at all!! :)

    And since I am incredibly cheap and hate paying for things I can figure out on my own, I actually redesigned my whole blog myself. I made the graphics (header/background/info/profile pic) in iScrapbook and googled A LOT! It hasn't been easy and it's taken me quite a while to get my blog to look like I've wanted it to, but hey, it was free, and I got to have my hand in the entire redesign process! If you want to do just a small update to your blog, like the banner, I would love to help you :) just email me at jennab1017@aol.com

    -Jenna Brianne
    wearablefunfashion.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the offer, Jenna! I need to look up this iScrapbook business, sounds like a good tool - and I totally Googled a ton whenever I tweaked anything! How did I do anything before Google?! ;o)

      Delete
  23. Robble robble :)

    Simple clean layouts with big pictures! Your middle/center (pretty much where everything is) has always looked great to me! The best thing I ever did to my blog was to get rid of whatever design I had going on in the background.

    Taylor

    Two Wheelers

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    Replies
    1. I'm always conflicted about backgrounds to blogs. One one hand I fear that if I make it white, then they'll be too much white on my page, and then on the other it's hard to find anything (free especially!) that isn't too distracting!

      Delete
  24. There's always a time in blogger's life that they consider more professional design. I think your blog always looked beautiful, but I'd totally support your new design as well. I'm sure whoever does it will make it look awesome.

    So, in other words: GO FOR IT, GIRL!

    Oh, by the way, cool outfit. Stripes works on you.

    Beauty Fashion Skin Care Blog -Girlie Blog Seattle | Casual Chic Fashion

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  25. This dress is so cute on you and I love the lace top with it.
    Method Clothe

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  26. Absolutely love this dress! So cute and perfectly styled with the blazer and arm candy! Looks great!

    xo, Kenya

    www.kenyaldesigns.com

    Kenya L Fashion Blog

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  27. I love the double stripes! I think your blog design looks good...especially since you did it yourself! But it's always fun to change things up! I won my blog redesign through a giveaway so I didn't pay for it. Tunes and Spoons design re-did my blog and she has very reasonable prices.
    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

    ReplyDelete
  28. J. Crew scores again - they really do such a great job with their pieces! Love the outfit. Sadly, I have no advice as far as blog design goes but I hope you figure it out!
    PS I think your layout is just fine!

    FashionEdible Blog

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm always so hesitant to change my blog. I was using the super old layout from 5 years ago and finally decided to change to the updated version. It took all morning to try and get my blog to look exactly the same (but it still doesn't). I should have taken the opportunity to do something new, but...

    I'm totally guilty of getting all matchy-matchy from time to time. You just can't help yourself!
    Chic on the Cheap

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Black and white - they were made for each other, weren't they?

      Delete
  30. You are the undisputed queen of layering. It took me a minute to realize this was a dress over a shirt. I love the multi textured Peter Pan collar and the combo of color and stripes.

    I did some fiddling with my blog recently which took hours but basically came down to me changing the margins, background and the header. I think if you don't want a drastic change with google and some free time you could do it yourself.

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    Replies
    1. I remember every time I've done layout changes on my own, it's been nail-biting because I keep hoping I don't mess anything up, and if I do, I can undo it!

      Delete
  31. I love the matchy matchy look actually! I really dislike blog layouts that are too wide, so that I have to scroll sidewise and up and down while reading a post (yes, these blogs do exist!), otherwise I don't really have any pet peeves when it comes to layouts I think :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean! I've been to a few like that and honestly I don't go back too often - call me lazy, I guess, hehe.

      Delete
  32. Given that I'm obsessed with black and white stripes, I love this entire outfit, especially with the scarf and cardigan. This is copycat worthy my dear :) And I think your blog design is just fine the way it is but if you want to change it up I say go for it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, we can be on the same chain gang then! ;o)

      Delete
  33. It seems like every several months I get bored with my blog design, probably because I look at it so much as I'm putting together posts! Up until my current look I'd done the templates myself but this last time around I went with a professional. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars -- I'm super happy with my look and it was not expensive at all. I used Amanda from Lust Luxe Love (hope it's OK to link to her site, if not please delete and I'll re-post without it!). She was great to work with and we went though every stage I'd expect in website design: a creative brief, a preview site, two iterations and then launch.

    As far as your current design goes I love it! The only thing I might change would be the background, which pulls my eye from your content sometimes. However that's such a small quibble. Your blog is clean and lovely overall. The main thing I look for in blogs is cleanliness and being easy to read. Clutter, colors that are too bright (or have too much contrast), overly small text or really serif fonts, and no visual balance makes it hard for me to keep coming back.

    Here are some other blogs I like (just listed for now):
    - The Glamourai is the most magazine-like layout I've seen. Love all the different shapes and sizes utilized.
    - Oh Joy gives you an idea of Joy's personality as soon as you arrive! I like how each post is boxed. The use of white space and color balance is really good.
    - The Weekend File is clean, simple and has beautiful photos.
    - io9 just launched a redesign that's beautiful. I adore all the different photo sizes and the clear authorship/comment/time posted credit. I'm not a big fan of infinite scroll though
    - Polygon. If I could, this is how I'd make EA look. There's so many stores accessible from the front page and while it could be overwhelming it's easy to flow through in my opinion.

    Hope that's not too long, I tend to prattle on about this kind of thing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your input, Roxy! I really appreciate your feedback because I know you're quite a tech-savvy person with a design eye so it makes me feel good that I've been doing it mostly right this time.

      I agree, I like to keep the overall layout clean - but sometimes keeping it too clean makes it look like every other blog out there, you know? It's hard for me to think of ways to be clean yet still be able to show bits of my personality through the blog - probably why I need someone's help!

      Delete
    2. Yes, I hear you! You want your personality to show through. I don't know if this will help you but in the past I would always Google blog layout designs to help give me ideas, even when I was making my own templates. You might some inspiration that way.

      Delete
  34. I love being matchy-matchy! As for the blog layout conundrum, I'm the same as you. I have done everything myself and I've kept it simple. I think as long as everything is easy to navigate, nothing provokes a headache (flashy backgrounds), etc. I love simple blogs and that's why I've kept mine as simple as possible, with small pops of the same pink/maroon color.
    Liz
    http://liz-makes.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  35. Funny you mentioned about this, I was contemplating whether to buy a design from one of the website for my blog or not. It is not cheap but one of a kind design. Then I started looking at what are the things I like about the designs, and came up to a conclusion. I am drawn to simple lines and clean design with big space for pictures and that I can do even with Blogger, in fact I already have those elements in my blog design now.. well, might not be one of a kind but it's enough for now :)

    GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

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  36. I love this dress on you Lisa!! Its so adorable & I love that you also used stripes in your accessories!
    xoAmy
    www.dreamingincashmere.com

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  37. black&white looks great with orange, good job:)

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  38. I LOVE your inspired version of the matchy matchy black and white - clever with all the different width stripes - and the collar on that dress is gorgeous! Inspired by you I bought a striped shirt today ...am so happy with it and will wear it loads. I have no issue with ads but like blogs to be clean and restful to look at to some extent....then you actually look at the photos and words instead of being distracted

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  39. i usually just change little things on my blog like the header or some widgets. i'm a pretty plain person so i actually prefer the least busy layouts!

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  40. I like your lay out! It's simple and isn't cluttered, which I always feel mine is but I don't now how to make that go away. If you are looking for a cheap upgrade, I found someone on etsy to make my header and social media buttons - it cost $35 but made a lot of difference. Then you can change the background if you want and ta-da, new blog :)

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  41. ohh loving the coral blazer on you!!

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  42. I like your layout, but I also like change. :) Blogmilkshop has reasonably priced templates that I've used, and their service is great, so you might want to give them a try. :)

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  43. You're so cute!

    Your discussion on blog layouts got me to rethink mine and I went completely the other way from the dark side, now my blog is all plain and white. Overreaction perhaps. The only thing that bothers me about some blogs is when they take a long time to load. I like yours and whatever you decide, you'll still be a fun read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tiffany! Good thing about DIY-ing your own blog layout is that you can change it whenever you feel like it!

      Delete
  44. You have had more than enough advice of people who know a great deal better than I do. So I will refrain. But I am seeing a web designer next Monday and I am going to ask him how much it is going to cost. I just want to be able to adjust slight things which I cannot with Blogger.
    As for your outfit: it looks very very good. Fun these colours and stripes.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hey there:)
    LOVE the black and white trend, so obvi love this look. The color is just adorably sweet and the pop of coral is great!

    I revamped my blog about a year ago..really simple and clean...I can't stand cluttered blogs with too much going on other than the post...It makes my eyes cross, lol. I was very happy with Danielle Moss...she was professional and not too pricey...worth the investment in my opinion. Only downside is now that it is coded that way, I can't make any small changes that fit in with the aesthetic without hiring her again. :( Oh well. Happy weekend. C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the rec - ooh, excellent point to note about making minor changes though!

      Delete
  46. I have no blog tips, unfortunately. I've thought about redesigning mine. I usually look at sites I like and then see if the blog designer is listed. I've never hired anyone because the choices have overwhelmed me. One day...

    I agree w/others about keeping it clean and having photos, ads, etc...that load easily. I click out instantly on sites where there are 10 photos of one outfit and they take a long time to load.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I appreciate a good editorial outfit shoot but sometimes there are a million and one photos of the same thing and it is a bit like "what's the point?!"

      Delete
  47. I am LOVING the navy and white stripes right now! So clean and crisp! Very cute!

    Nikki
    Fashion Finds on a Dime

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  48. Totally in love with your bold stripes:) I know Etsy is a great place for a more affordable design.

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  49. So many stripes! I love it! And the collars are so cute, too!

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  50. very very cute dress! i am a HUGE fan of the peach blazer

    http://mscomposure.blogspot.com
    http://www.infinitelifefitness.com

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  51. How about a blog entry on capri pants for petite ? Spring is here! Do you own any? Debating to buy some to wear at the office.

    Thanks brenda

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  52. how cute is your smile? how can you ever go wrong with black and white stripes?

    modern.girl

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  53. I think it's great to change up a blog every once in a while. Things I like are a simple design and one that doesn't have a lot of ads flashing at you that you have to click ;) Loving the stripes!

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

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  54. The stripes on stripes is fabulous! Love that mini clutch, really too cute :) And I've never worked with anyone on my blog... maybe I should? If you want something new, go for it! I love your set up, but totally understand the desire for a facelift every now and then... I wanted to do something a few months ago and then work got busy and I forgot ;)

    XO
    Pearls & Paws

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  55. I love this look! Something about the matchy, matchy works so well in this look.

    I love your blog design now.

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  56. I was convinced that the top and dress were one. That's how perfectly placed the collar was. Great! love this.

    http://www.thefashionableesq.blogspot.com/

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  57. What shovel :))?
    You're perfect for an outing on a yacht!
    Kiss,kiss :)...

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  58. Wow - you look amazing - matchy matchy amazing. This works perfect!
    And i miss picnik too... i have settled with picmonkey for now.
    I do my own blog design which clearly shows as its basically neanderthal.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I can't get over how much I love the striped clutch with the striped dress.

    ReplyDelete

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