On the eve of Mail Bombs Friday, I thought I’d do a little post on the Do’s and Dont’s of Mail Bomb Requests. We’ve been solving Mail Bombs (aka Reader Mail) since 2007, and I guess we’ve kind’ve become known for being able to find celeb looks and answer wardrobe queries. As you can imagine we get tons of inquiries, and you wouldn’t believe how many have us shaking our heads.
So, let me break it on down.
1. DON’T ask about something from 2009, 2008, or even from this past summer.
Anything from the Rihanna /Chris Brown era or before is unfortunately not in stores anymore. Clothes come in seasons, and once that season is over, they are no longer available for purchase. Keep requests current (i.e. recent pictures or videos), preferably from Fall/Winter 2010 or whatever season we’re in. It’s also true that things fresh off the runway, like Rihanna’s Spring 2011 LAMB jacket, are not available in stores. Rihanna can get a special hook up because she’s a celebrity. Everyone else has to wait!
2. DON’T send in pictures of strangers you saw on Facebook, Twitter, or randomly on the Internet.
Unless a non celebrity submits pictures to be a Bombshell, we generally can’t publish their image without their consent. Also, as far as Mail Bombs are concerned, non celebrities typically wear clothes that are not necessarily ‘in season,’ which means they’re no longer available for purchase in stores. I myself still love wearing my J.Crew down vest from 3 years ago, my two year old Miss Sixty flat boots, and 6 month old Hudson jeans. Others rock vintage, borrowed, or reworked clothing with splashes of current season trends. Bottom line: Items on everyday people can come from anywhere, any season, which means they’re usually too obscure to find.
3. DO include a picture.
A Mail Bomb I recently received said, “The Kardashians were on The View today and I sooo loved the shirt Kourtney had on so hoping and wondering if you can tell me where to find this shirt or something similar reasonably priced.” Turns out I didn’t watch the View, so I’m not quite sure what the shirt in question looks like. Unfortunately the sender didn’t include a screenshot. In the future, please include a picture so I can see the item and launch a search!
4. DO be specific.
I received this request yesterday, “There is a red and white Letterman jacket with an M on the side. I’ve been looking for it for about 2 months no luck, it was in a music video I just can’t remember.” If you can’t remember, neither can I. I really am not a fashion psychic, so include as many details as possible. Also reference #3. A picture is crucial.
5. DO use the search box.
We created the What to Wear and Style Inspiration sections to offer ideas on what to sport for a myriad of events. Still, one of our most common requests is, ‘What Should I Wear to my Birthday Party?” or “What Should I Wear to a Wedding?” We tend to cover the basics, so chances are we’ve already answered your question or something like it. Double check by typing your query into the search box at the top. Ditto for celeb style requests.
6. DON’T keep sending the same request over the course of several months.
I’m not a magician, looking into a crystal ball to find looks. I tend to recognize certain items just from paying attention to the runways and often find them by doing good old google searches. Sometimes I can’t find something, and after about 4 weeks the search is over! If anything I’ll try to find a look for less. If not, keep it to one e-mail per mail bomb request, I really do receive and read everything.
Happy Mail Bombing…