shops_with_blogs.jpgA few years ago, nobody in the fashion industry knew what the hell blogging was. I've lost track of the times I've been treated by blank looks when explaining what I do. "What? That's an actual job?"

But things have changed in the last twelve months. Now everyone is aware of the power of the fashion blog. Not only are they engaging more with fashion bloggers, but loads of our favourite retailers are now getting in on the act themselves.

From Topshop to Karen Millen, My Wardrobe to Urban Outfitters, here's our list of just some of the big UK names that are now blogging... have asos Today, which has a lot in common with other mainstream fashion news blogs, but with loads of links to relevant products available on their site. As far as updates go, it's one of the best with loads of daily posts, guest bloggers and competitions.

Topshop's Style Blog sits on the homepage, and contains mainly product info and news on changes and additions to the site, but also features the odd special feature (like when we were guest editors). There's no comment feature and you can't really view the blog as a separate site, but it's a step in the right direction!

River Island are definitely ahead of the pack with their bold, bright Style Insider blog, which features behind the scenes gossip, celeb news, product picks and contributions from industry folks and River Island staffers. A lot of time and effort goes into this blog, and it shows.

Karen Millen has a wordpress blog linked on the retail site which looks quite new, like they're just dipping their toes into the blogging world. It's updated every day or so with product news, and they seem to respond well to comments. is another site that we've guest blogged for in the past. Their blog has now been rebranded as 'Bargainsta' and is available as a standalone site. It's tipped as 'the fashionista's one stop guide to riding out the credit crunch in style' and features links to discounts, news of high street reductions and sample sales, and all kinds of other money saving news.

Oasis win the prize for the most beautifully designed blog. Their Fashion Journal is packed with luscious photography and great collages, and they've also caught onto what works on blogs; video content, street style and all kinds of gorgeousness.

Warehouse are doing something very similar over at their site, with a slightly more streamlined look but the same attention to detail. There are photos from store launches, street style snaps with recommendations, and even a fashion week guest blog from Elle's Stacey Duguid.

Always on top of web trends, My Wardrobe's blog managed to sit comfortably on the line between informative and fun and useful for the brand. Alongside the usual 'guess what's online top buy now' stuff there are more fun features, a bit of celeb stuff and some 'meet the team' features.

Miss Selfridge have chosen Typepad as their platform of choice for their new blog (which launched in November) and they get extra points for the comedy header "Take VAT and party' (love it!). Also plenty of brownie points heading their way for linking out to other sites (even if it is only Marie Claire so far).

The Urban Outfitters blog brings together content from around the world in a mad-but-fab sideways scrolling layout. What's lovely about it is it's not concentrating too much on flogging product - there are actually some really interesting stories and bits of news. Like the retailer that spawned it, it's uber-stylish, funky and a bit too cool for school!

So what are your favourite shops with blogs?