It’s not unusual to change career paths. In fact, it happens all the time. However, when it comes to a platform like YouTube, leaving is usually a spectacle. Creators take the opportunity for one last grab at attention with a title like “Speaking My Truth One Last Time” and a thumbnail of them crying into tissues.
However, when Ashley Rous, better known as “bestdressed” to over 3 million YouTube subscribers, stopped posting without explanation in December 2020, fans took notice. Interestingly enough, Ashley has kept the same username across her remaining platforms. Was YouTube, rather than social media too much?
Ashley became known for the witty personality that went hand in hand with her adventurous style. Open about her introverted tendencies, Rous took her videos as an opportunity to explore filming content in public and developing skills like sewing and creating cost-effective ensembles. She also took the opportunity to talk directly to her audience and give them advice on how to style and carry themselves, particularly her teenage viewers.
Her editing style — colorful, quick and clean — transcended the typical vlogging format that had become popular in the 2010s. The quality of Rous’ videos spoke to her background as a film student, as she graduated from UCLA in 2019. Ashley invited her fans to come thrifting with her, sharing outfits, room tours and other go-to style ideas as she explored various cities over the years.
She started to face backlash from fans during the peak of COVID-19, when she was accused of glamorizing her lifestyle and “thrifting hauls” during a period of social quarantine. At the time, Rous was living in New York City and made videos as her full-time job. Since her last video was posted, it has been speculated that overwhelming online criticism pushed the creator to stop posting on YouTube.
Ashley’s relationship with fashion has only grown since the end of 2020. Bestdressed is still posting regularly to Instagram and TikTok, where followers can catch updates on her life. To date, Rous has been involved in a number of notable campaigns, combining her YouTube experience and film degree to make highly-stylized content. She has created videos and posts for brands like Gucci, Celine and Tommy Hilfiger. She also attended the 2022 CFDA Fashion Awards in November, sporting a vintage Dior gown.
Breaking into the fashion industry in a manner similar to Emma Chamberlain, Ashley Rous has established a professional and sophisticated identity from her creative campaigns. There has been no indication that bestdressed will return to YouTube, even as a slew of online supporters have been hopeful and expressed support on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Whether or not she decides to return to YouTube, it is clear that Rous has no shortage of brands that are happy to work with her.
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