05/08/2012 09:19 am ET Updated Jul 08, 2012

Fashion Bloggers are the New Fashion Icons

It's Sunday night. After looking through my closet for the third time in an attempt to find an outfit for school, I decide I might need some help. I can turn to the fashion section of a teen magazine and see looks trying too hard to be "trendy," or I can grab a copy of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar and see clothes more appropriate for the runway than my school's hallways. Neither of these options will do me any good. Instead, I head straight to the computer. Fashion blogs are the perfect alternative, displaying the day-to-day looks of real girls and proving that style doesn't have to be showcased via elaborate photo shoots with an army of stylists, hairdressers and makeup artists.

A few years ago, when these blogs started popping up on the web, they were used just as much for general rambling as they were for talking about fashion; it was a more intimate platform than magazines or actual websites. Bloggers were mainly overlooked in the fashion community. Since then, many people like me have turned to fashion blogs as a source of inspiration, which is why they have become such a major part of the industry.

As fashion blogs continue to gain popularity, they are offering a wide range of opportunities for companies as well as the people behind the blogs. Many smaller clothing lines have turned to bloggers to help spread the word about their clothes, gifting them various pieces to style and post on their blog, and also holding giveaways for the blog's followers. Even multimillion-dollar companies like Jeffrey Campbell and Forever 21 feature bloggers on their websites. In an issue of Teen Vogue, style advice from fashion bloggers can be found alongside articles on high profile actors, musicians and models. Blogger Lindsay Calla of Saucy Glossie stars in a T.J. Maxx commercial that currently airs on television. Last year, Tumblr invited 24 of its most popular fashion bloggers to New York Fashion Week.

Looking through some of today's most popular blogs, it is clear that the bar is raised high. A laundry list of sponsors and press features is commonplace on these glossy sites filled with crystal-clear photos. "Fashion blogger" is slowly becoming an exclusive term, reserved only for the people who consider it a full-time job (and reap all the benefits) -- not the teenage fashion lover posting from her bedroom. The "real-girl style" that made bloggers so attractive is quickly fading. With so many people vying to get into the industry through blogging, it is less about expressing individuality and more about getting invites to parties and networking with professionals.

As a result of this, many teenage fashion enthusiasts are turning to different outlets to flaunt their creativity, such as the popular smartphone app, Instagram. Searching the tag "OOTD" (short for Outfit of the Day) on the app provides pages of snapshots captured and edited by users. As time progresses, there is no doubt that young people will continue to find new and innovative ways way to make an impact on the fashion industry.