December 2nd, 2010
Fashion Bomb 101
Fashion Bomb 101: The Do’s and Dont’s of Mail Bomb Requests
By Claire

Hey Guys!

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…

*Update: Please don’t send picture of items from Instagram, Pinterest, etc, and ask us to find them. We find current items worn by well known celebrities.

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52 Responses to “Fashion Bomb 101: The Do’s and Dont’s of Mail Bomb Requests”

  1. C.Miller says:

    I have yet to make any requests yet but the info is informative. Love that dress “the stranger” is wearing, lol!

  2. oh this is hilarious! i can only imagine the mail that enters your inbox.

  3. Fashionbum82 says:

    Hey Claire I emailed you what to wear for my housewarming..I did a topic search it wasnt covered any suggestions?

  4. jojo says:

    LOL @ this post

    I get ticked off at some of the questions and I don’t even have to answer mailbombs like “where can I find winter boots?” or “that plain white t rihanna wore?”

  5. MS Jones says:

    I co-sign @jojo, lol
    This was much needed; hopefully readers get the hint and we can see more “refined” mail bomb requests.

  6. sun.kissed says:

    LOL! Get ‘em Claire!

  7. Keshia from Dallas says:

    Shaking my head at people! Lol I commonly find that many people truly do lack discretion and this post is further proof of that. Lol

  8. SimplyME says:

    Ouch! while reading this post I sense attitude from you. Some people are not as bright as others, so be nice. :op

  9. Claire says:

    @SimplyME Definitely no attitude here! It’s just a Public Service Announcement. I know it’s my job to sift through tons of e-mails and get to them as quickly as I can, BUT it would make my job a lot easier if people would just help me out a bit by including a picture, being descriptive, and knowing that Rihanna’s bikini from 2008 is just not available. I’m just hoping to sort out 30% of the Mail I get…I used to have a FAQ section on the site with all this info, but with the redesign it’s gone. People really may not know that I don’t watch every program on TV and don’t know what shirt so and so was wearing on the View, etc.
    And @FashionBum82 like #6 states, I received your e-mail and will try to get to it…!

  10. Mrs Windy City says:

    You go Claire! Its ur site and u make the rules! Boom

  11. Lele says:


  12. N.VIXEN says:

    Claire ur site ur rules!!!

    that dress the “unknown” girl is wearing is cute lolll

  13. Claire! Where’s Halle’s dress from in that last pic? LOL

    Kidding! (Kinda.) ;D

  14. Claire Richards says:

    I have to agree with @SimplyME. No matter how bad it gets, you made this site and have to be appreciative of your readers! You came off extremely rude and condescending in this post.

    Your rules came about BECAUSE you have fanbase, one you did NOT have when you first started.

    I think you should be more respectful because truly WITHOUT them you will NOT have had a leg to stand on in the 1st place. THINK!

  15. a says:

    i was reading a post and now its gone….

  16. Miss Smith says:

    Haha! Thanks for the tips!

  17. Claire says:

    @ClaireRichards Great name!
    I didn’t mean for this post to be condescending or rude, just informative. I don’t think asking people to include a picture is impolite…it’s just a request.
    I am very grateful to Fashion Bomb readers, you keep the site running! If you think the header should be tweaked, I’ll tweak it! If you want holiday ideas, you got it! I was just asking for you guys to help me help you by being descriptive, keeping requests current, and searching the site…that’s all.

  18. Claire your tips are common sensical. If anyone is offended, welllll…


  19. R.Scholar says:

    This post was funny because I’ve always wondered what the request are like for you?

  20. Joanne_ says:

    wow! it’s crazy that you even had to do this! LOL

  21. Christina says:

    Claire, I don’t think you were rude in this post, but we can definitely tell this was written out of frustration lol.

  22. Grace says:

    Clearly this post was necessary. Claire cannot be responsible for some of her readers who may completely lack common sense/discretion. Furthermore, if those readers would simply follow the advice in this post, not only would they be more successful in finding items, they’d also spare their sensitive little feelings…

  23. zimbabwechic says:

    Imagine receiving over a hundred emails in a day all of them entailing exhaustive searches to find a skirt, a pair of shoes etc, while doing a million other things. We the fans have to understand that Claire and co, are human not super beings and a little advice on how to make their jobs easier is welcome. Hopefully you will get on point mail bombs now Claire

  24. fashionlover says:

    Clair I so see your point theirs nothing wrong with you giving us guidelines to go by. It makes our life easier to

  25. Nicole says:

    I love seeing you answer other people’s requests, but I can admit that I never thought of how difficult it must be!

  26. the truth says:

    Folks shouldn’t be so sensitive. Claire’s just keeping it real.

  27. konvinced08 says:

    I read the post & saw it as informative. If you thought something was wrong with the post the WORSE thing to DO is reply in the SAME condescending manner YOU just accused someone else of using. It’s a blog, a collection of one’s PERSONAL opinion…we read, follow, and confer bc we CHOOSE to. Get my drift???
    But in other news….Thanks Claire for even providing the FREE service that saves READERS time ;)

  28. Cherokee says:

    Claire, I love this site and you do an amazing job. Your rules make absolute sense and I was not the least bit offended. I totally agree with what you said. Makes sense.

    Looking forward to another year with the Fashion Bomb. Hugs and kisses.

  29. Claire Richards says:

    @claire I expressed how I felt as a Fashion Bomb Reader when I read this post. Some people might not agree which is fair enough.

    Your site is good but at the end of the day you’re providing a service and as we all know in that sector, some people would satisfied and some wouldn’t.

    Keep up the good work anyway.

    Claire R

  30. Way to go Claire…Sometimes you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

  31. Fashionbum82 says:

    Claire YOU are awesome thank YOU for YOUR blog! lol i love caps lock!

  32. [...] it’s time for Mail Bombs! It seems I upset a few of you by doing our fun “Do’s and Dont’s of Mail Bomb Requests” post yesterday. I didn’t mean to sound condescending or rude, I simply wanted to [...]

  33. [...] your expertise as I really want it to be a part of my New Year outfit.” As I indicated in our Mail Bombs 101 post, items from last year are no longer available in stores. Still, I found you something similar with [...]

  34. Danielle Babb says:

    Hello all. My name is Danielle, I’m 6’4 and I’ve been wanting to model for a while.. how do i approach the fashion industry in becoming a model

  35. Fashion is my life. I love how easy you make it for me to stay up-to-date :)

  36. sonitamuta says:

    baby i love so much so baby can you send to me your phone number so i can call you baby i one to have sex with you i one to fuck you an ding for you

  37. [...] cousin Dina has on at Niecy Nash’s Celebration?” Simone’s cousin Dina? We usually only find looks from well known celebs from the past year, but you’re lucky I like you:) It looks like Simone’s cousin Dina looked summer ready [...]

  38. ashley creer says:

    please help me find a similar lower price .thank you

  39. Ms. T says:

    Im very interested in finding the large cross earrings that Tamera from Tia and Tamera wears on her reality show

  40. nayan says:

    where can get Alexander Wang Leather Sleeve Wool Blend Cardigan, lots websites are sold out.

  41. [...] designer of this dress.” “Please help.” Though we only find celeb looks (read Fashion Bomb 101: the Dos and Don’ts of Mail Bombs requests), sometimes we’ll relent if the item is easy to identify. In this case, the young lady in [...]

  42. [...] designer of this dress.” “Please help.” Though we only find celeb looks (read Fashion Bomb 101: the Dos and Don’ts of Mail Bombs requests), sometimes we’ll relent if the item is easy to identify. In this case, the young lady in [...]

  43. [...] can get a similar item. I would like to wear it on my upcoming birthday. Thank you!!!” Sigh. As many times as I say we only find current celebrity looks, we still get the random queries. I guess when it’s pretty easy to find, I’ll demure. [...]

  44. Lucy Warren says:

    Hello, I am a stylist and would like to know who Ciara’s current stylist is, as I would love to assist her/him. Do you know who dresses Ciara? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!! Lucy :)

  45. [...] Thanks so much for your help.” Hmmm…don’t remember blogging that one, and we generally don’t find items worn by non-celebs/public figures. But since it’s a holiday, I’ll let these slide. And with that, I’m off! Have [...]

  46. Haha! Now I’m scared to contact you guys ;-) Just kidding. XO

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