First, I should declare that the word ‘Best’ is relative. I found Style Park (theme page, demo) to be the best theme for fashion blogs and lifestyle blogs, among the themes I was able to evaluate during my research. I bought it and have applied the theme to this blog (have a look at my homepage) because it satisfied my key requirements. I will list my experience – both good and bad things I found with this theme, in this post.
My main requirement was to have both a customizable static front page and to have the blog posts listed prominently. I wanted blog posts to occupy a considerable space as this site is basically a blog! At the same time, I wanted a stylish and widgetized front page too as I had to highlight certain focus categories, email subscription, my books, etc.
Most premium themes I went through did not satisfy this criterion. They were either magazine-styled or they offered a predominant static page with a small listing for the latest posts. I wanted both. This theme, fortunately, offers many widgeted areas on the front page along with a large area for blog.
Some premium plugins were included in the theme to get the look and functionality of the demo site, but I was not able to customize it to my satisfaction. So I just hard-coded the images and links using img src tag and a text/html widget. Best thing to do when nothing else works!
One big plus point in this theme is, you don’t have to include a beautiful image on every post to make it look good. Heck, there is an option to display blog posts with just the title/author and ‘read more’ without any images, and I gladly opted for it. Now I don’t have to worry about adding an image to every blog post. Most premium themes rely on a having great image in each post to retain their beautiful look. Be careful with this when you buy a theme.
Another issue was the lack of color palette themes to choose from. This theme, being low-cost maybe, offered only one color palette – Purple, with a dark background. Although I can change this via the code, it’d be better if I had got a few more color options by default. In my case, this wasn’t an issue because I bought this theme for its purple theme and I wouldn’t have changed it anyway. But you’ll have to see if you are OK with it.
This theme has been released under GPL so you can apply it on any number of domains you own – another advantage. Few themes restrict your usage to a certain number of domains and sometimes it’s just one! The stock photos (that you see in the demo site) are not included, but that was not an issue for me as mine was a lifestyle blog, not a fashion blog. The chat support offered by Template Monster (maker of this theme) is good – I tried it once and my issue was solved.
I just love the casual look and premium feel this theme gives to my blog. It is responsive – it adapts to well to mobile devices. I am amazed at how customizable blog themes/templates have become nowadays. So if you are looking to buy a theme for your lifestyle/fashion blog, do consider Style Park. If you see this theme on my blog when you read this post, it means I am happy with it 🙂