FALMOUTH – Joanna Pease’s rules for style have changed through time. A former devotee of no white after Labor Day and no mixing of different prints or clashing colors (like pink and red), she now scoffs at the idea of style rules.
“I have broken all those rules, multiple times,” Pease said.
Today, Pease, 29, has three simple style rules: no open-toed shoes if the temperature dips below 60; always leave the house with a little bit of jewelry, mascara and lip gloss; and finally, no pajama pants outside. Ever.
“I believe how one presents oneself is extremely important,” she said. “I think people have gotten so used to dressing down, they have forgotten how to dress up.”
And with that statement, the idea for her blog was realized.
As a nod to her preppy style, love of sailing and all things nautical, Coastal Closet (coastalcloset.blogspot.com) was born. After working from her Falmouth home for the past few years, creating the blog gave Pease a reason to dress up, explore the range of her closet and connect with other fashionable women.
Often only dressing up to travel for work or meet a friend for lunch, before the blog, “it was just me, my computer and my dog,” she said.
It was easy to slip into a routine of dressing more casually since she was only having to leave the house to work out. She quickly realized that she missed getting dressed up and found she was more productive when she traded in her gym clothes for more professional attire.
In 2012, she found more and more girls positing their outfits on Pinterest and she loved the idea.
Labeling herself late to the blogging game, “I found there were tons of girls all over the country blogging their personal style,” Pease said.
It was then that she jumped right into blogging, teaching herself in the process. She has connected with fellow bloggers all over North and South America as well as Europe.
Pease devotes about 20 hours to her blog, which include planning outfits, taking pictures and editing them, writing posts and maintaining her blog’s presence with links to other bloggers’ sites, while also using Pinterest and other public blog forums. In addition, she follows about 60 bloggers and spends an additional few hours a week following trends.
Her favorite bloggers are ones she has followed from the beginning: Pink Peonies, thepinkpeonies.com; Atlantic Pacific, atlanticpacific.blogspot.com; Bittersweet Colours, bittersweetcolous.blogspot.com; Kendi Everyday, kendieveryday.com, Suburban Faux-Pas, suburbanfauxpas.com; and B Soup, bsoup.blogspot.com.
“I admire these women for making their blogs into a business. They’re creative, polished and professional,” Pease said.
While blogging is a hobby, style is how Pease expresses herself and is a major creative outlet.
“I credit my mother for allowing me to dress myself at an early age and helping me develop my own sense of style,” she said.
Often seen pairing neon-colored clothing with a goofy pose in her early days, the opinionated Pease learned confidence from her style and had a true sense of self because of experimenting with her look.
Today, Pease describes her style as mostly preppy, classic and a little trendy. She’s evolved from extremely preppy in her days at Trinity College, where she graduated with a degree in art history in 2006.
“As I get older, I have embraced sophistication, style and the cut of clothes,” she said.
Coastal Closet celebrates its year anniversary on Dec. 18, and has had nearly 57,000 page views in its first year. Pease isn’t quite sure how she will celebrate: it could be with a party dress, cupcakes and balloons or perhaps she’ll reflect on favorite outfits and lessons learned from the past year. As of press time, she is leaning more toward the former than the latter.
“This blog is meant to be fun. I like to keep it light,” Pease said.
She adds, “You probably will see me celebrating though, I never thought I would make it a whole year.”
As for Coastal Closet’s future, Pease would love to feature more Maine products and stores.
She also has been working on designing a new look for the site and hopes to step up the blog’s photography and background locations. Right now she uses a tripod and takes pictures on her porch.
“Settings matter,” Pease said and all the improvements involve more of a time commitment.
She is working with a photographer to elevate the quality of her photos. When she started in 2012, she took photos with her phone, with her closet as the background. Shortly after launching, she started using a much nicer Nikon camera, often having her husband, Andy, take pictures and get involved in the process.
“The blog is something I want to be proud of,” Pease said.
A Closer Look
Find Joanna Pease’s blog at coastalcloset.blogspot.com.
Joanna Pease, author of the Coastal Closet blog, rocks an outfit perfect for fall. Pease will post several images, like this one, with each blog entry and explains what she is wearing, where to buy the items and her thoughts on putting the outfit together. “It makes my day to hear someone say to me, ‘I love your outfit,’” Pease said.