The "Bad Fashion Blogger" Mistake Aimee Song Will Never Make Again

"That’s my life for the past four years,” Aimee Song, blogger behind Song of Style, says matter-of-factly when I ask what it’s actually like traveling 300 days out of the year. That’s the estimate she gives in her new book, World of Style, which documents almost a decade of her travels, both domestic and far-flung. “It involves a lot of plane rides, a lot of travel-size beauty products, and a lot of packing and unpacking.”

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Courtesy of World of Style

While Song is already skilled at what to wear where and has specific pieces that never leave her suitcase (more on that later), it’s mostly her travel expertise that’s on display in her book, which goes on sale 10 years after the launch of her wildly successful site. In it, we can follow her from Palm Springs to Phuket to Paris, the last of which was a transformative trip when it comes to her personal style.

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Courtesy of World of Style

“When I visited Paris for the very first time and saw French people dress—actually, they dress the same way seven years ago as they do now,” she explains. “It’s the constant of it: how they take care of themselves, how they style themselves, how they carry themselves. That affected me a lot. You can take that idea and put it into how you style yourself every day. You can have a signature style. You don’t always have to be like someone else.”

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Courtesy of World of Style

While Song also credits cities such as Antwerp, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Dubai with expanding her appreciation for fashion and architecture (which is her educational background), her new book explores other ways travel has taught her about fashion and people. The biggest lesson came from her first trip to Morocco about six years ago.

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Courtesy of World of Style

“I didn’t realize that the culture was so different. I just remembered what Moroccan architecture looked like, and all I wanted was to wear pretty colorful clothes—that was all I cared about,” Song admits, calling it one of her biggest mistakes. “I was being a really bad fashion blogger because I wasn’t respectful of the culture. I didn’t realize I had to be covered up. I was wearing denim cutoffs with crops tops, and everybody started looking at me. As I traveled more, I realized everybody has different cultures and traditions, and you have to respect it.”

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Courtesy of World of Style

Several years and many, many airline miles later, Song is much more mindful and culture research is key to her travel approach now. “I went to Kenya two weeks ago, and I realized that in certain areas I was visiting, they like to be covered up a little bit more,” she says, “and also people there don’t like animal prints. Even if it’s not real animal, it’s glorifying the killing of animals."

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Courtesy of World of Style

Lucky for many of us, the places Song documents in World of Style aren’t all challenging to reach. Some are quite close, like the Hamptons or Miami. To her, it seems the point is not to travel far but to travel—period—and explore new places.

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Courtesy of World of Style

There hasn’t been one trip that I regret taking,” Song says. “Traveling really broadens your mind. I feel like I grew so much as a human being, so if there’s an opportunity to travel, I highly recommend it.”

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Courtesy of World of Style

She makes a point to clarify that these trips have to be extravagant or particularly ’grammable, an obstacle that feels real in the age of social media. In fact, sometimes less is much more.

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Courtesy of World of Style

“Nobody has to travel in a boujee way,” she says. “Some of my best trips were in crappy Airbnb with five people when it was meant for one and experiencing the culture with the locals. Those have been some of my favorite traveling moments.”

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Courtesy of World of Style

Below, Song shares the five pieces that come with her on every trip she takes, so you can shop them, as well as her new book to take on all your upcoming adventures, for yourself.

Shop Aimee Song's 5 Travel Essentials (and Her New Book)

1. A Dress for Any Occasion

2. A Blazer

3. A Pair of Sparkly Heels

4. High-Waisted Jeans

5. A White Button-Down Shirt

Next: I stalked the best colorful sweaters on Instagram. Ready to see what I found?