For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Working With Brands, How to Say No... politely! #fakeituntilyoumakeit LINK UP

After an interesting post by the lovely Catherine @notdressedaslamb that discussed an event that had caused a bit of a stir... or a "shitstorm" as someone called it (charming!) I started to think about bloggers working with brands.

Working with brands is something many bloggers do, and it can be great fun!
In fact, some people start blogging with the intention of working with (big) brands, making loads of money and never having to buy anything ever again.

Hmmmm.... it's not quite that simple is it? 😛

The discussion on (and off) Catherine's blog got me thinking about the difference between changing your style (aka: mixing things up) and wearing things you don't actually like, just because you're being paid to do so.

I'm a firm believer in changing your style as you see fit.
Why be stuck in a style rut, or be put in a safe little box?

However, wearing things I don't like because I've been paid to do so is not something I want to do.
I don't think you have to either, even if you're making your living by blogging.

I've had the pleasure of working with a few brands now and have really enjoyed it.
For the most part the brands were new to me (I'd heard of them but never shopped there) and I had to look quite hard to find something that felt like my style.
I always managed it though.
Some items (like THIS maxi) just needed styled up to make it feel like 'me'.
Other items blew my mind and I became hooked on the brand.... like this dress and this cashmere wrap.

{I've just noticed, they'd look fabulous together!}

Nowadays many of the offers I receive I don't accept (the majority in fact).
This may seem a little crazy, but here's why....

Despite the fact brands offer me 'free products' (and even payment) I often don't feel like I can accept.
Unfortunately, being in the "over-40" category makes people (i.e brands) assume I am wanting to buy a certain style of clothes, or shoes.
Often these styles seem frumpy, or old fashioned looking.
Despite my open mind to new brands I sometimes can't find a single item on their site that I could work with.
The cut is not quite right.
The shoes may look dowdy and frumpy.
Often clothes don't even come in my size!

{I have pegged a top in the past but it wasn't from a brand....see that funny post HERE}

So instead of taking goods I don't really like I just say a polite "No thank you".

Usually it goes a little like this....

Dear XXX,
Thank you so much for your email and your offer of collaboration.
Unfortunately, XXX are not really my style and I don't feel I could endorse the brand in a way that my readers would find authentic. 
I hope you do not mind my honesty, and I wish you every success with your campaign.
Kind regards,

So, when you read about an item on Fake Fabulous that comes with a little 'c/o' you know it's something I actually like, which is something we can ALL do.
In fact, all of my favourite bloggers manage it, and some of them rely on their blogs to pay the bills.
Hats off to them!

Last week the fabulous trio at Jodie's Touch of Style made me smile with their OTK boots, proving that age is no barrier to having fun with fashion.
See the original post HERE.

Now it's your turn.....



  1. Sam, thanks so much for sharing the way you decline collaboration offers! It is so awkward to do because I am flattered whenever a brand reaches out to me so I always feel bad, for some reason, saying no. Although I find a way to decline when the brand does not represent me or my style. And sometimes I even get the strangest requests for collaborations on topics that have nothing to do with what I blog about. Those a little easier to draft the email declining as I feel they probably didn't even scroll through my blog. Otherwise they would know that their topic is not for my site. I did recently have a request for a collaboration and the website only carried cut out bandage dresses, aka slutty club wear. Totally not my jam. And my readers would have probably been like "Has she lost her mind?" In any event, I politely declined. They persisted. We went back and forth 4 times with them trying to push me to agree to share their dresses on my site. It was really weird. All that being said, you have provided us with valuable information in this post. Thanks so much!


    1. Hahahaha... I was once offered clothes from a plus sized (Uk16+) brand. I read the line "We love your blog and your cool style!" and thought you've not even looked at a single post, have you?
      I guess they just trawl for email addresses and hope for a bite.
      It's a waste of our time, isn't it?
      We do get some weird and wonderful offers though don't we. sometimes I laugh out loud and just hit delete!
      Thank you for your fab comment Shelbee.... and thank you for linking up!

    2. Some request are quite hilarious, aren't they? But like you said, sometimes we discover some fabulous brands in the process as well.


  2. Samantha thank you so much for the mention about the shitstorm!!!! ���� I’m just having to laugh about it now, certain people have got so incensed that someone’s bad behaviour has been called out that I’m just finding it funny that all they’re doing is sending traffic and engagement my way which ultimately benefits me.

    I agree with what you said about how we work with brands - we get criticised left right and centre despite staying true and honest. Thanks for such a great suggestion for how to refuse offers, if only people knew how often we have to send those sorts of emails...!

    Much love to you for being open and honest yourself and for your support for Liz, it’s the least she deserves!! C x

    1. Thank you for popping over to comment Catherine!
      AND inspiring this post.... so thanks to you and Liz and the original person who sparked the whole thing off.
      (I bet your page views have spiked for all of the hulabaloo! :oP)
      It's sometimes easier to say "Thanks, but no thanks" than to receive an item then panic that it won't work... only to send it back.
      I try to keep an open mind but sometimes I think " My Nan would have found this frumpy!" so what hope do I have? hahahaha.
      It's such a simple email that I send out regularly... and I almost always get a "thank you for your honesty" reply, which is nice. XXX

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you about turning down offers from companies that don’t “fit” with you and your blog. The Husband and I had a heated discussion on this topic when I received an offer from an overseas company that didn’t impress me (to put it mildly). He thought it was a good opportunity to be noticed by other companies I liked better and I feared that it would tarnish my reputation. Ultimately I didn’t accept and I don’t regret that decision because it felt right to me. Thank you for sharing your opinion and for the link up. I hope that you have a wonderful week.


    1. I've worried about that too Rena, but it's important to go with your gut and do what feels right.
      At the end of the day it's your blog and your BRAND you need to keep true to yourself.
      Once that's gone then what is the point?
      If it felt right then it WAS.
      Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Oohh I will have to copy that decline text from you! I'm never that polite! But I'm dutch....did someone expect something different..... Ha ha ha.

    1. Hahahaha... You are so funny Nancy :o).
      There's nothing wrong with getting to the point... it save time!

  5. What's the point in working with a brand wearing something that you don't like? That would surely show in photos? I've been very lucky apart from one brand that I worked with and the item was such poor quality! I did tell my readers that too! xx

  6. First---thanks for the shoutout for our OTK boots, Samantha!! In fact, we just had a discussion about them with my cousin who doesn't like them because she thinks they cut your body in half. But it's good to have differing of opinions with styles.
    And the same with companies. We are all different, and we should be open to trying new styles at times. But that doesn't mean we should work with every company out there. I've actually turned down a couple because their price point was too high also. I know I wouldn't pay for the item, so that wouldn't be fair to my readers!!!

  7. What a great post, Samantha! I love being approached by brands and don't find it too difficult to say no. However, like you – I will have a proper look through the site to see if there is anything that would suit me, that I would buy. Take today's post, for example. It's a sponsored post to a company that is clearly aimed at 40+. Actually, perhaps more like 50+ but I was blown away by one particular dress and that's how I knew I'd work with them! All it takes it one item to impress me and it's worth it!
    Hope you have a lovely week, my friend!
    Suzy xx

  8. I have turned down a couple lately because I couldn't find a single thing I would honestly wear ---- it pained me to do so because I'm finding it hard to manage a full time job with blogging and the constant need to be sending for / trying on clothes. But I'm holding on for the brands I love.....

  9. I wouldn't be caught DEAD wearing something I didn't like, dearest why the heck would I accept such an item for free or be okay wearing it just because someone paid me to?? I'd be doing a real number on my self-confidence (never mind a "bad hair day"...a bad outfit day is even worse, in my opinion!) so any blogger who's posting photos of themselves wearing things they don't like isn't doing anyone any favours...least of all themselves!! P.S. I've yet to accept offers for "free" pieces in exchange for a whole social media and blog just doesn't seem worthwhile to me. I'm holding out for a true "collaboration" with a brand that I'm genuinely a fan of!! XOXO

  10. I have to agree with you Samantha about this. The offers still come through no matter what your age, but not for things that I would happily share with my readers. Authenticity is so important for your followers otherwise they can spot it a mile off. Polyester party dresses that have been mass produced in China or flannel nighties will never look very you and I'm so pleased that you've kept your integrity. Thanks for another great post.
    Anna x

  11. How funny...the "shitstorm" has also inspired me to write a post that is somewhat related, but I'm saving it for later this week. Shitstorm or not, it really got us all thinking and talking, didn't it? I could not agree with you more about the age thing in regard to collaborations. I often say no as well and for the same reason as you. Just because I'm over 50 that in no way means that I want to dress like a 50 year old is "expected to dress". As you said, if a brand even takes a cursory glance at my blog, it's pretty apparent that frumpy is simply not in my vocabulary. Great post Sam!

  12. Hi Sam, I enjoy working with brands that relate to my style and are items i would want to, and do wear. I have written a response similar, as to thank them for their interest but also say that the style is not in alignment with my style or my reader's taste. I do keep it short. It should be about representing your style, i say on my blog, 'over 40 doesnt mean frumpy' ;-)
    enjoy your day!
    jess xx

  13. I like my fashion bloggers with wit, guts, creativity, color, mischief, intelligence and integrity.

  14. I wish I don't have to feel guilty every time I write a "thank you but no thank you" email! I love how professional yet polite your reply is, I will definitely be copying some of the words you used there Samantha, hope you don't mind!

  15. I've had a few offers of collaboration that I haven't hesitated in turning down. There's no point accepting something that's poor quality (often evident in the ridiculously low prices) and I won't wear. Enough clothing goes into landfill as it is without contributing to the problem, so if I'm not confident I'll love it and wear it repeatedly I say no thank you.

    Emma xxx

  16. I've said no a few times, but don't feel bad about it - normally it's something that's just not MY style. Thanks for the interesting post. Jacqui

  17. I have had toi turn down brands for that reason too! If It isn't something I will wear why post about it. Now if there are things I may wear Ill do it. It has to represent my style some!


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