Many women flip through the pages of fashion magazine for style inspiration.
Instead, Deerfield mom, Dana Weiss, has always relied on a different resource—her television—and used it as the inspiration for her blog, Possessionista.
Documenting outfits from popular shows like the “The Bachelor” and “Glee,” Weiss provides her readers with helpful information on how to track down these coveted looks.
Now gathering an average of 1.4 million visitors every month, her homemade blog has lead to opportunities she could have never imagined when she launched the blog in 2009. For the past season of “The Bachelorette,” Weiss cohosted the “After Party” online at ABC.com where she and Marc Istook recapped the highlights and fashion of the night’s episodes.
She also has a show called “Shop the Shows” on Look TV, a YouTube channel from the creators of “Project Runway,” and has her own self-curated shop on Open Sky.
Make It Better got a chance to chat with this busy lady before she flew out to Los Angles for the long awaited “Bachelorette” finale.
Why did you start Possessionista?
I just had my second son, left the workforce and was kinda bored. I was watching TV and started documenting the things that I saw people wearing. It was never really supposed to be anything except for something fun for me and a couple friends.
How did it evolve from documenting looks you liked to hunting them down?
It started out as a catchall for whatever was going on in my head—whether it was TV fashion or celebrity fashion or recipes. It was a daily diary. Then people started finding it. I happened to be writing about a couple different shows at the time and people must have been Googling specific pieces that I wrote about because they would end up on my blog. They would then say, “Oh you found Sloan from Entourage’s earrings; can you also find her dress?” or “I noticed you found Jillian Harris from The Bachelorette’s dress; can you also find the shoes she wore?” And that was how it started to grow.
What type of work goes into it?
I update it at least once a day—sometimes three, four or five times. It’s a combination of three categories: things I like, things people are looking for and then specific items that I’m just personally obsessed with. There are specific shows that I watch and recap every week and I work with the stylists at those shows. Then I take email requests, which can be from those shows or a show that I don’t watch regularly or it could just be a celebrity ID—what was a Kardashian wearing, what was Kate Middleton wearing.
Lately, people have been finding pictures on Pinterest and then asking me to help them find it. Recently I did one for a girl who had found a wedding dress on there and she said, “That’s my dress. I have to find it.” So I helped her to track down the dress of her dreams.
What are your favorite shows to cover?
My absolute favorite shows are the “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” What I love about “The Bachelor” is the fashion is relatable because you have these 25 regular women who are going on television. There isn’t a stylist and there’s not a ton of money involved—these girls are wearing Forever 21 and H&M. So if you see something you like, chances are you can make it work for your life too. It’s not all couture.
On the higher end, I love fashion of “Revenge.” It’s just a stellar show: ascetically it’s great; it has an interesting story line; it’s well acted; and the people are attractive. That’s my checklist for good TV.
I love “Pretty Little Liars,” too. The stylist’s name is Mandi Line and she’s really creative with her costuming. She’ll buy things off the rack but tweak them just a little bit to make them match the characters’ personalities
What other shows do your readers regularly ask about?
People love “Glee.” They’re always asking about the Kardashians. “Gossip Girl” I think is a really obvious one.
There are others that you don’t think of as shows for fashion, but they feature really interesting pieces like “Parenthood” and “Modern Family.” Lauren Graham has a great laid back, adult style. I’m a mom and I live in the suburbs, so I think Julie Bowen always looks good on “Modern Family”, and she’s just in great jeans and hoodies.
Is it tough being in Deerfield and working with people out in LA?
For “After Party” I fly out to LA anywhere from one to three times a month. As a mother and a wife, it can be tough. But being in Chicago has also been an advantage because to someone living in LA, there’s something very appealing about a mom in minivan, working out of her house and taking care of her kids who just want to write about the clothes and TV she loves. In an industry that is so cut throat, it’s refreshing because I’m not jockeying for a position. This isn’t about making money and becoming famous; this is just about helping people.
I’m imagining you’ve always had a love for fashion.
Since I was a kid, during the most important moments in my life, I can remember what I wore. Those are my benchmarks. I had a crush on this guy named Jeff, and I can remember what I was wearing the first time he ever talked to me. I moved when I was 12 from Ohio to Washington D.C., and I can still tell you what I wore on my first day of school.
It’s hard to say I’m into fashion because I’m not into models and the high-end stuff. I’m not a brand person. I love the aesthetic—I love pretty people and pretty clothes.
Did you have any idea that this would be what you’d be doing with your life?
No, no, no. I’m just so grateful. Who is 36 and drives a minivan and gets flown out to Los Angeles to host “The Bachelorette After Party?” I never said when I grow up I want to be famous.
I like that I have these two lives. When I go out to LA, I get my hair and makeup done. I shop for clothes and get driven around in a car service. But when I come home, I wipe my kids’ butts. That’s the reality.
In the very beginning, it was such a relief to go to LA and get away from all of this. But now, the relief is when I leave there and get to come home.