The Chubby Fashionista fashion blogger Mel Carrero is keeping her readers up with the latest in fashion styles and making sure that they suit the wearer.
The Chubby Fashionista fashion blogger Mel Carrero is keeping her readers up with the latest in fashion styles and making sure that they suit the wearer. Jay Cronan

Mel likes playing with dolls

FOR Mel Carrero, owner of the style and photography blog, The Chubby Fashionista, providing fashion advice to friends and clients is like playing with Barbie Dolls again.

Although Ms Carrero in person is the very picture of up to date style and taste, she is the first to admit she does not fit the mould of the super skinny fashion vixen.

"I can't wear some of the stuff I dress my models in," she said.

But increasing numbers of women are turning to fashion blogs such as the Chubby Fashionista for the answer to the eternal question: What should I wear?

With an estimated 172 million identified blogs producing more than 1 million new posts each day and shoppers increasingly looking online to compare and buy merchandise, Ms Carrero is in the right place at the right time.

She had always wanted to work as a fashion stylist.

But after posting her written work online with limited success she finally borrowed a friend's camera, recruited and styled a friend, shot some pictures and posted the results on Facebook.

The response was immediate and very encouraging.

"Normally I would get 30 hits to a written blog over two weeks but the photo shoot got 100-300 hits in three days," she said.

"I realised that people respond to photos more than they do words.

"The feedback from Facebook is immediate and very specific."

Ms Carrero is now taking her business one step further, offering her styling and photography expertise entirely online.

She recently styled a singer who is set to appear in the coming series of The Voice due to air on the NBN network later this year.

"The performer said she needed something long and flowing to wear for the ballad she was singing," said Ms Carrero.

"I picked three Lisa Brown dresses and mailed them off to her to try and then we did the final selection and styling via Skype and email."

Ms Carrero also provides wardrobe auditing and personal styling services. For a fee she will check out the clothes in your wardrobe advising what is working for you and what is not.

But despite the rise of online styling and shopping Ms Carrero does not believe the internet will spell the end for retail shops.

"At some point we still need to see and touch the clothes we are buying," she said.

The Chubby Fashionista is at thechubbyfashionista.blogspot.com.



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