Texas Style Council

Clothing styled by Feathers Boutique in the fashion of Orchid Grey blogger, Julie O’Boyle.

Photo Credit: Shila Farahani | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s note: This is the second of two profiles on fashion bloggers who will be part of this weekend’s Texas Style Council conference.

It is hard not to take notice of Julie O’Boyle. The fashion blogger has long locks that would make Rapunzel envious, but O’Boyle has more to offer than her looks.

“My husband has described me as ‘Liz Lemon Lite,’ a rather charming cocktail of extrovert, introvert, awkwardness and the propensity to eat messy food in public settings,” O’Boyle said.

The face behind the style blog Orchid Grey certainly knows how to dress, and she will be talking about fashion and blogging at Texas Style Council, taking place March 9-11.

After graduating from Montserrat College of Art with a degree in photography, O’Boyle started working in the school’s college admissions department, but she was not satisfied.

“I started Orchid Grey as a way to be more outgoing with my clothing choices and to connect with other people who had similar interests as myself,” O’Boyle said. “At the time, I was working as a college admissions counselor at my alma mater but was dreaming of a more creative, more fashion-oriented career. My blog helped me realize that I could take the leap and pursue what I am passionate about.”

Last October, O’Boyle landed a job with online retailer ModCloth.com, and moved to Philadelphia. She’s been taking the city over with her unique style, which she describes as ’60s- and ’70s-inspired with a hint of New England prep.

O’Boyle finds most of her clothes in thrift shops. She calls thrifting an addiction of hers because she loves the idea that she can purchase new styles without breaking the bank. At the moment, O’Boyle counts high-waisted skirts, ’70s-inspired maxi dresses and men’s button-up shirts as her favorite thrifted finds.

Fellow Texas Style Council panelist Tolly Moseley is inspired by O’Boyle’s fearless look and fun personality.

“Julie from Orchid Grey has always seemed like the type of girl I’d love to hang out with in real life,” Moseley said. “Her style is quirky — almost like a boho princess got together with the school librarian and they had a clothing swap.”

O’Boyle will be talking to Texas Style Council attendees about avoiding “blogger burnout,” as well as balancing your blog with busy schedules. She certainly has had her own struggles with these issues.

“It’s a constant struggle for me to find balance between family, work and blogging,” O’Boyle said. “I have to remind myself that in the end you have to learn to let go a little. The world won’t end if you miss a post.”

But blogging is not all bad for O’Boyle. She has met many of her closest friends through Orchid Grey. And it serves as a creative outlet that connects her to people she would not otherwise be able to have access to.

Texas Style Council event organizer Indiana Adams considers O’Boyle a friend after meeting her last year on vacation.

“Julie is the real deal. I’ve been disheartened to meet bloggers who are nothing like their online writing voice, but that’s not at all the case with Orchid Grey,” Adams said. “She’s every bit as stylish, beautiful, funny, creative and smart as she is online. Plus, she has the most envied head of hair her side of the Mississippi.”

O’Boyle will be crossing the Mississippi soon to get to Texas, and she has Austin on her mind.

“I can’t wait for Texas. Austin is one of my all time favorite cities,” O’Boyle said. “My husband is traveling with me, and we’re both looking forward to seeing our New England friends. I’m also looking forward to reconnecting with blogger friends that I rarely get to see in person.”

Printed on Thursday, March 8, 2012 as: Rapunzel-haired blogger livens up fashion

Veronika Placek (not pictured), the blogger behind Tick Tock Vintage, will be speaking about issues such as blog content at this weekend’s Texas Style Council conference. (Photo courtesy of Veronika Placek)

Editor’s note: This is the first of two profiles on fashion bloggers who will be part of this weekend’s Texas Style Council conference. Look for the second profile in tomorrow’s issue.

Veronika Placek is no stranger to the camera. Everyday she heads outside and poses pretty while wearing the outfit she picked out that morning.

A few years ago, Placek was sitting at desk at a corporate job office in Philadelphia wishing for bigger and better things. She decided to start a style blog as a means of escape, and thus, Tick Tock Vintage was born in April 2010. The website now gets over 100,000 views a month.

Placek will be attending Texas Style Council, which will be running concurrent to South By Southwest, this weekend as a speaker. Texas Style Council is a conference devoted entirely to female bloggers and shop owners that will take place March 9-11. Placek will address issues such as balancing one’s life and blog, as well as finding your blog’s content niche.

As a thrifter, Placek loves to show off her vintage finds, noting where she makes adjustments of her own to pieces.

“I don’t really go into the thrift store with specific pieces in mind; I generally just pick things up that appeal to me,” Placek said. “I always look for high quality materials like wool, leather and silk, and pieces that aren’t damaged.”

Placek suggests that those who have never thrifted before look though every section of the store. She notes that areas outside of your particular size section might include pieces that can be altered in such a way as to fit.

“Don’t forget to check the boys section, too,” Placek said. “I found the perfect fitted navy blazer for $5.99.”

UT alumna and recent Marie Claire Front Row Challenge winner Diya Liu of the blog In Her Stilettos praises Placek’s unique style.

“I love how Veronika skillfully combines vintage and modern aesthetics into looks that are all her own,” Liu said. “I also love her signature red lips that go with each outfit.”

It makes sense that Placek notes Alexa Chung and Francoise Hardy as her style icons. Like Chung and Hardy, Placek’s style can be described as vintage mixed with modern elements. She attempts to avoid looking like she is in costume by adding modern pieces that balance out her outfits.

Local style blogger Natalie Garza of Closet de Natalie is an avid reader of Placek’s blog.

“I’ve been following Veronika since before I started blogging,” Garza said. “I really admire her classic, timeless style and often try to recreate it with my own outfits. She combines great vintage finds, thrifted treasures and low-cost retail purchases for a totally unique look.”

Not only does Placek have an interesting style, but she also gives her blog readers a bit of insight to her personal life, something not all style bloggers let their readers see. This allows her readers to get more of a sense of what Placek’s
personality is like.

So, when Placek is feeling bogged down with work or happy because of a recent vintage find, the readers feel as if they are a part of her daily journey. In April 2011, Placek left the corporate office and got a teaching job. She writes of the ups and downs of being a third grade teacher on a regular basis. Like her full-time job, style blogging has its own pros and cons.

“The only real negative about blogging is the time is takes up. I have a full time job outside of blogging and sometimes I get really swamped with all of the things I need to do,” Placek said. “But I’ve absolutely loved meeting lots of awesome gals through blogging, and the constant inspiration that I get from such stylish ladies.”

Placek will get a chance to meet and mingle with her favorite fashion bloggers at the upcoming style council. She said that she is looking forward to listening to the panelists speak about interesting topics such as thinking locally, informative writing and collaborating with brands.

If you see Placek this weekend walking down the streets of Austin wearing her signature vintage look, you may mistake her for a true Austinite. This will mark Placek’s first trip to Austin, and she’s sure to be entranced by its quirkiness as well as all of its vintage shops.

“I can’t wait to see what Austin is like,” Placek wrote on her blog. “I’ve heard really great things about Austin and am really looking forward to what the city has to offer.”

Printed on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 as: Vintage fashion blogger set to speak at Texas Style Conference