Bargain

3 Jun

Over the past several months, I’ve managed to pick up some pretty amazing deals. By amazing deals I don’t mean finding items 50 or 60% off, but more like 90% or more off. Of the 5 items below, 2 were brand new. The other 3 while used where all practically in mint condition. One point of interest: all my great finds have been in neutral colors. One theory I had while sifting through the racks at Nashville’s UAL is that it’s easier for neutral items to get lost amidst crowded quarters while bright items are more likely to stick out and get plucked up before the discounts go even lower.

Black pleated top by Brian Reyes

Originally $525

Paid $25 (new) at UAL Nashville

Brown dress pants by Yigal Azrouel

Originally $590

Paid $25 (new) at UAL Nashville

Tan heels by Marc Jacobs

Estimated retail $700

Paid $22 (like new condition) at Clothing Xchange Nashville

Grey quilted leather purse circa 1980s by Jay Herbert

Found similar items online for $50-90

Paid $2.50 at Found Treasures in Valley Junction, West Des Moines

Grey suede heels by Jessica Simpson

Estimated retail $70

Paid $2.50 (like new condition) at Found Treasures in Valley Junction

Testing 1, 2, 3

30 May

I spent the past semester finishing up my undergraduate career at Vanderbilt and posting weekly for CollegeFashionista.com. Unfortunately, that did not leave me much time to maintain my blog over the past several months, but I am back in action this summer as I prepare myself for a graduate program in Luxury & Fashion Management at Savannah College of Art & Design.

As I was glancing over the various Spring 2011 RTW collections in hopes of some warm weather inspiration, I was struck by Zac Posen’s show. That collection was Posen’s first showing in Paris and the magical influence of the City of Lights was certainly evident in his elegant yet fanciful creations as seen below.

Inspired by this collection, I created a not so literal interpretation with items (excluding a $225 Michael Kors watch) under $100. The gorgeous textures and feathers of Posen’s creations may not be practical for the average college graduate, but summer is the perfect time for a little eclecticism.

 

 

Don t Ask Amanda lace top
$50 – generalpants.com.au

TopShop underwire top
$44 – topshop.com

Flower pants
$60 – topshop.com

Zara leather shoes
$100 – zara.com

Zara heel pumps
$100 – zara.com

ASOS clutch bag
asos.com

Michael Kors gold plated jewelry
$225 – net-a-porter.com

TopShop square earring
$25 – topshop.com

ASOS stud earring
$11 – asos.com

I Could Never Be Your Woman

17 Dec

The quick among you have surely picked up on my naming posts after song titles. Thanks to the magic that is PandoraJam (download it is life changing) I stumbled across a lovely little ditty by the name of “Your Woman” which goes something along the lines of “I could never be the right kind of girl for you. I could never be your women, etc. etc.”. The song is actually sung by a man, but details. I’ve resisted writing this post long enough, but I made it through finals and I can only stand so much studying for the GRE. So below you’ll find pictures of my worst nightmares for men’s attire. I’m not too picky. Basically I like to go by the mantra: Dress your age. Act your age.

My hips are bigger than yours. I don’t really need such an obvious reminder of that fact.

 

I just can’t take fedoras seriously outside a gangster movie. Shoot me.

 

Graphic tees were cute in middle school. Please dress like a grown adult.

 

And now for the

“Be still my heart portion of this post”

 

Real men wear suits or at the very least have a few at their disposal. Lesson learned? Class dismissed.

My Grown Up Christmas List

6 Dec

Happy 20 days ’till Christmas. As I look over my Christmas wish list this year, I’m struck by how old and boring I’ve apparently become (I turned 21.5 today!) But let’s be real, you’re much better off asking for solid staples for Christmas gifts. Grandmas (well except mine, of course) aren’t generally to be trusted with the task of finding the perfect pair of heels or figure flattering frock. So keep the everyday pieces that can easily be found online for your family’s list and save the fun shopping for yourself. My list of practical requests is below to get you started.

J. Crew Corduroys

The new skinny jeans. Expect a rousing lecture from grandpa on the benefits of such a durable fabric.

TOMS Cordones

Your activist aunt will no doubt love to buy you such a practical gift that supports a great cause.


Etienne Aigner Riding Boots

Daddy never bought you a pony? The least he can do is get you a pair of riding boots.

Woolrich Flannel Shirt

Don’t worry Grandma, I wouldn’t dare wear this outside the house and jeopardize my future husband prospects.

Accessorize for a Cause

6 Dec

Vanderbilt’s Fashion for a Cause is holding another great event tomorrow. If you’re in Nashville, make sure to stop by the Schulman Center on Vandy’s campus between 11:30am and 2pm tomorrow, December 6th. There will be several vendors including Hemline, Posh, and Studio 615 offering their seasonal accessories with a portion of the proceeds going to the TN Youth Connection!!

Shop For A Cause

17 Nov

If you’re in the Nashville area today, make sure you stop by Muse Boutique on West End Ave. between 5pm-8pm. Fashion for a Cause will be hosing their Shop for a Cause event in conjunction with the Vandy chapters of Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Omicron Pi. Not only will you receive 20% off all your purchases, but Tennessee Youth Connection will be receiving 10% of the proceeds from tonight’s event. Check out the Facebook event and if you missed it check out the blog post I wrote about Muse.

 

I Found a Reason

15 Nov
Let us not live more in apathy born of fatalism
 than in passion born of hope.

I had an excellent Sunday. Went to church (above quote was from the liturgy) and then spent the rest of the day with one of my nearest and dearest friends. Laura and I have been super close ever since our study abroad adventures in Australia the summer after our freshmen year. So, that got me thinking about how much has changed in my life and my wardrobe over the past three and a half years. So without further ado, I present a quick review of my college career along with lessons I’ve learned- fashion related and otherwise.

Freshmen Year

High school and college have very few things in common.

Being a biology major is not for me.

Wearing heels to class is really not practical.

Freshmen year is the last time certain things are acceptable- like wearing cropped jackets.

 

Sophomore Year

The best and most interesting things always happen when you least expect it.

I want to work in the fashion industry (and it’s ok to admit I’d rather do that than work in public health)

The magic of purple denim shorts. (Or shorts as eveningwear in general)

The appeal of something so simplistic (not the same as boring) of a little black dress.

 

Junior Year

Leading an organization teaches you more about yourself and life than any formal schooling can.

The choices we make are important for our future not only because they form our next steps but because they set a pattern for how we choose to react and act.

The importance of staple pieces (MK watch, Diesel black jeans, etc)

Waiting till you’re 20 to get your ears pierced makes shopping for earrings super exciting.

 

Senior Year

You can’t always get what you want but you get what you need (Thanks Rolling Stones)

I’ve come so far but still have so much to learn.

Red lipstick is the best thing since sliced bread.

Vintage clothing works as well for everyday wear as it does for a costume party.

 

 

Dance in the Dark

10 Nov

I wish I had something to tell you about the inspiration for this outfit. Instead, it merely came to me this morning the desire to wear a bubble skirt. Then I thought to myself, “hm, I wonder what that would look like with a crop top and a tuxedo jacket?” I was told I look pulled together. Most likely the first time someone wearing a crop top with sequined swans has ever been told that, so documentation was clearly necessary. (Also, had some fun playing with my blinds for different shadowing.)

Perfect shadow of a leaf on my face??

 

Product Info: Jacket- Zac Posen for Target, Crop Top- Wet Seal, Skirt- H&M, Shoes- Vintage, Earrings – Betsey Johnson, Watch- Michael Kors

Make Her Say

3 Nov

For the final portion of my search for great semiformal attire at Vandy area boutiques, I stopped by Posh in Hillsboro Village. I’m of the strong opinion that Posh has the most diverse offerings of any Nashville boutiques with a great selection of designer denim, tops, jackets, shoes, purses, jewelry, and of course for the purpose of this post- dresses. I found three great options here- two of which were from the amazing sale room in the back. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down the brands and prices when I was in store, so you’ll have to stop in yourself to get the details.

Black and Gold

31 Oct

For part 2 of my search for the perfect winter cocktail dresses I stopped by the new location of Muse on West End. Nestled in the same strip as Bread & Co. and Borders, it seems the new boutique is doing quite well with the Vandy crowd. No wonder considering the shop’s great layout and merchandise. I don’t think I’ve seen anything in store over $100, so while the proximity to campus may be dangerous to your wallet at least the damages should be somewhat minimal. Muse has several very festive frocks in store that strike the perfect balance between youthful and sophisticated. Three of my favorites are below. I even brought one of them home with me, but I’ll let you guess which one.

 

VERY J- $56

 

Shulami- $83

 

Ark & Co. – $78

My Skin

30 Oct

Sorority and fraternity formal season is quickly approaching Vandyland, and even if you aren’t lucky enough to live in our world an extra cocktail dress can always come in handy. This afternoon, I took a break from all my schoolwork to peruse Vandy area boutiques for their best offerings. I’ll be doing separate posts for my favorite stores, starting with Studio 615. If you’re looking for sassy dresses and sky high heels, this will be your haven. The entire staff is super sweet and chill- always helpful but never too pushy. Now, I am NOT a big fan of camel colored clothing. This SJP look practically gave me an anxiety attack.

So needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive when I walked into Studio 615 and saw lots of neutrals. However, I may now be a convert after trying on a few chic dresses. You’ll find my favorites below.

Double Zero- $49

 

Ark & Co. – $89

 

C.Luce – $79

 

As if you need another excuse to stop into Studio 615, the boutique will be hosting a Celebrate Girl Power event on November 3 from 5pm to 8pm with free cocktails & hor d’oerves, event specials, networking, live performances, and giveaways.

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked

23 Oct

For some reason, I woke up Friday morning feeling like I wanted to dress like an American Apparel ad.

Here’s an ad example:

And here’s me:

Now that I’m finally blogging again regularly, I was super excited to break out my “I’m not a player, I just blog a lot” tee from Raygun (printed on American Apparel, naturally). I’m also wearing a navy ombre mini by Plastic Island, hair bow from American Apparel, thigh highs and purse from Forever 21, earrings by Betsey Johnson, and old school Nordstrom’s metallic loafers I picked up at the Des Moines Junior League sale this summer. I’m including pieces of the latter two items as I think they’re pretty quality.


Also, in case you missed the news here is a picture of American Apparel’s new president.

Now I’m all for steering American Apparel away from the smarmy Terry Richardson-esque angle, but this man looks like a dentist. I just hope as he’s redirecting the company, lame leggings and other ridiculous American Apparel goods don’t get lost. Then what will all the little hipsters do?

Know Better Learn Faster

22 Oct


Oh Vanderbilt, you really test my ability to soak in mass amounts of knowledge at a time with two midterms in one day. Fortunately, I made it through with some thanks clearly due to my cute nerd look today a la Brad Goreski.

 

My look today was a tweak on a post I wrote a while back about fashion inspired by the Rachel Zoe Project.

Sweater vest- vintage. Jeans- True Religion. Belt- from Posh in Hillsboro Village. Shoes- vintage from Clothing Xchange. Watch- Michael Kors.

Billionaire

20 Oct

In all the world of reality television, there is exactly one person I would like to be friends with. That is Ms. Patti Stanger of The Millionaire Matchmaker. (Sorry Mondo, I would still love you to make my clothes.) Now I’m sure about 1/2 of you have no clue who Ms. Patti is. Another 3/8 of you think she’s crazy town. The rest of you are clearly my friends.

I get people’s reservations about Patti and her show. Sure, the concept of setting up beautiful women with rich men may seem a bit Belle Brezing, but Patti is all about the rules and finding her clients a compatible spouse. She’s old-fashioned and traditional and I love it. I read an interview last night in which Patti revealed her non-negotiables. Obviously, we’re the same person (My comments in parentheses)

- I want a sexy, rugged kind of guy. I want a wood chopper. I don’t want to go to therapy. (Or as I like to call it unnecessary chatty chat)

-You must be a take-charge guy.  I’m the girl. You’re the leader. I want to be the follower. I don’t want to be the man in the relationship.

- I want a man who goes on camera with me for lunch or dinner, maybe once a season. I need my guy to be proud of me, and I want to be proud of                       my man. (You know, if I had a TV show. Same basic principle though)

Patti is also notorious for being brutally honest with the women who come on her show looking for their knight in shining AmEx. Patti preaches the gospel of the high heel (love) as well as telling the girls in no uncertain terms that they need to wear their hair down and straight for a date. (I’m all about the down part, but I have several friends with gorgeous curly hair so I don’t think straight is always necessary.) Patti’s all about the tight, form-fitting dresses. I think this approach worked well when she was based in LA, but now the show is moving to New York and I’m a bit concerned. I have an inkling that in the Big Apple, Patti’s signature look that she pushes on her female clients may be a bit as Simon Doonan so lovingly puts it “porno chic”.

I think this concern is supported by Patti’s feature in Elle a few months back where she faced off against Joe Zee to create a perfect outfit for various datey type events. I was fairly disappointed in two of my favorite people as Patti’s looks swerved to the over-the-top (a cocktail dress and heels for dinner and a movie?) and I think Joe may have referenced everybody’s new favorite blog – The Man Repeller- to create his looks (denim vest to meet a guy’s friends? I don’t think so).

It’s the eternal battle of mass appeal vs. devotion to personal style. Generally I’m a big believer in letting personal style win, but you don’t want some guy on the first date more distracted by your massive skull dangly earrings than by your conversation skills. Below I attempt to create an outfit that comfortably straddles the two competing entities for your wardrobe soul. The dress- above the knee and clingy, but covered up top. The heels- high, but with no scary embellishments. The watch- oversized, but with a more feminine band than most chunky watches.

We Used to Be Friends

18 Oct

Dear Carey Mulligan,

First off, your performance in An Education was brilliant. Obviously, the Oscar nominating committee agreed. With your pixie cut and fresh faced appeal, I sensed a kindred spirit much more akin to Emma Watson than Lindsay Lohan. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see you gracing the cover of the October issue of Vogue. Sure, you’re no Lindsey Wixson, but as far as actresses go I much prefer you over yet another Cameron Diaz cover.

Your requisite interview piece held nothing too intriguing until I reached this interesting tidbit: your careful avoidance of anything “above the knee, tight, girly, or ridiculous”. I’m sorry, Miss Mulligan, did you jump in a time machine? Let me remind you, you are 20 years old not 40. I know we’re all in love with the ladylike trends for fall, but I don’t think you’re ready to start auditioning for Miss Havisham yet.

Sincerely,

A Concerned Fan

Pursuit of Happiness

18 Oct

Well, I have been quite neglectful of my blog over the past several months. I realigned my priorities this summer and sadly blogging went to the wayside. Things have drastically changed for me in the past month. (If we haven’t talked lately, feel free to Facebook/text/call.) As with all large scale disappointments, I went through a period of anger and shock followed by a “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade and have a party” phase. But thanks to my long weekend in Atlanta and Athens, Georgia of catching up on fashion magazines and vintage shopping, I’m back on the bandwagon. So, I’ll be back to blogging now, but a bit differently. I’m older and hopefully a bit wiser now.

I’m still four years away from hitting the 25 year mark, but as I read Elle’s feature of twenty five 25 year old It Girls it hit me there is certainly more than one way to success.

Elle’s list of 25 was filled with some celebrities who irk me (Megan Fox and Lauren Conrad in particular) as well as several young women who are inspiring trailblazers (Meghan McCain and Gabourey Sidibe come to mind). For better or worse, these 25 women help make up our pop culture landscape. There’s not too much any individual can do about it. Just as there’s little we can do about forseeing our own future. Having your ducks lined up in a row doesn’t make you immune from disappointment anymore than having a closet full of designer clothing instills you with a sense of style.

I’m certainly not suggesting skipping class or throwing out your Kate Spade purse. Just don’t get so caught up in all that you can’t enjoy the occasional useless evening or finding a ridiculous sweater vest in a store called Rag-o-Rama.

Five for Fall

24 Jul

The summer is winding to an end, and I’m sure you’re starting to think about you’re back to school purchases. I’ve come up with 5 essential items to help transition your wardrobe from summer to fall, so make sure you add them to your list if you don’t already have them in your closet (if you do, feel free to buy a spare- you’ll wear it).

#1: The Romper

I decided to start out of the gates with the one piece I know about 80% of you are going to be scared of. But you shouldn’t be because unlike its older cousin the jumpsuit with harem pants, the romper is actually flattering on the majority of the female population. Think of it as a sundress with the added bonus of not having to worry about a strong wind coming along and sweeping up your skirt. A lightweight cotton romper is the perfect piece for a eventful Friday. It’s comfortable enough to sit in class in, trendy enough to wear on a quick afternoon shopping jaunt down to Hillsboro Village (or your own collegiate district), forgiving in the middle enough to wear while filling your belly with dinner at Chili’s, and flirty enough to pair with heels for a frat party. I’ve sold you- haven’t I?

Romper

Romper by nashmoines featuring What Goes Around Comes Around romper

#2: Nude High Heels

I purchased my first pair of nude colored high heels last summer, and it’s certainly a purchase I’ve never regretted. They elongate your legs and are perfect with any outfit from a pair of jeans to a white dress. Wearing nude heels instead of shoes that match your outfit will keep you from looking too Stepford Wives and I promise you won’t even look at your black high heels until we’ve hit the season where tights are necessary.





Tan

Tan by nashmoines featuring Steve Madden shoes

#3: Chain Strap Bag

How big is your everyday purse? Now think about how much you need to have with you at a party or anytime really you’re not in class? ID, credit cards, small amount of cash, cell phone. Don’t even try to convince me you carry around a check book. It’s the 21st century. So trade in your hobo bag for one of this season’s smaller chain strap bags. They’re classic enough to carry with a grown-up dress but also cheeky enough to pair with a tank, skinny jeans, and sandals.

Chain

Chain by nashmoines featuring Kate Spade bags

#4: The Grown-Up Dress

Blame it on the Mad Men craze or just on Prada’s ladylike fall line. Either way plan on making a space in your closet for a tailored dress that hits right above the knee. You’ll be happy you did when you have a job interview or wake up late on the morning of a class presentation. Slipping into a dress is just so much easier than trying to figure out at 8am which top really tucks in well to your high-waisted skirt. Remember: spandex, plunging necklines, or spaghetti straps does not a grown-up dress make (at least not this kind).

#5: A Cardigan with an Attititude…

Fellows that were in the mood. Don’t just stand there. Let’s get to it. Strike a pose there’s nothing to it. Vogue, vogue, vogue….

Sorry for that brief Madonna break, but seriously ditch your fleece pullover this fall for a cardigan that can contain your awesomeness. Whether you pick a brightly hued cardigan or just an old white standby paired with pearls and a wink, your cardigan can be your perfect go-to piece to throw over a tee-shirt, dress, or romper (hint, hint).

What Not to Wear: 80/35 Edition

2 Jul

So, Des Moines has made it to it’s 3rd year of the 80/35 Music Festival. It’s really quite an achievement for a city of Des Moines’ size to hold a two day music festival with over 40 bands on three stage especially when the festival is run by the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition- a non profit with only one paid employee.

Now, anyone can tell you that Spoon and Modest Mouse are headlining this weekend, but if you want to know about some of the great talent on the free stages this Saturday and Sunday I recommend you check out soZealous’ recent blog post. As for me, I’m going to try to steer ya’ll clear of a few questionable items I saw at 80/35 last year.

#1: No Raygun

I love Raygun- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- if you’re in Des Moines and haven’t been- go immediately. Please, by all means, support local business and feel free to bask in your ironic glory 363 days a year as I did yesterday while exploring Valley Junction in my “Suburbia Kills” shirt. Just resist the urge July 3rd and 4th unless you want to run into twelve other people wearing an “Idawahio” shirt.

Photo Credit

See the problem with wearing a Raygun shirt to 80/35 isn’t that you’ll look like a wannabe hipster, it’s that you’ll look just like all the other posers.

#2: No High Heels

Most of you are probably thinking, “why would anyone wear heels to a music festival?” Good point. But I saw several women in them last year, and I can’t but feel sympathetic. I really love high heels and have been known to wear them at inopportune moments. Sometimes, you can’t help wanting to look girly or have your legs look a mile long. But really ladies, an outdoor music festival is not the place. There’s soggy grass and rough pavement that will mess up your shoes. Just don’t do it.

Instead wear a pair of flat boots or if you don’t mind getting your toes a little wet from the grass a pair of sturdy sandals like these ones Raygun carries. (See, I really do love you Raygun!)

Photo Credit

#3: Don’t Overdo it on the Spandex and Denim

We don’t have an American Apparel store in Des Moines, so I know you don’t work there. Therefore, you have no excuse for showing up to 80/35 looking like this, and not just because it breaks rule #2.

Photo Credit

On the same note, 80-35 is not the place for denim mini skirt. The State Fair is still over a month off and Big Country Bash was last weekend. That being said, a pair of skinny jeans or cutoffs can be perfect. And no denim jackets with your jeans. I know Chloé thinks it’s cool, but don’t confuse the Iowans.

Material Girl

11 Jun

So, it’s been a while since I did since a post that put together a budget friendly look inspired by the runway. And since the weather isn’t really conducive to drawing inspiration from the wool and fur heavy Fall Collections, so for today’s inspiration I’ll be jumping way ahead in time with a look from Alexander Wang’s 2011 Resort Collection.

Photo Credit

There’s something wonderful about this look that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’m not usually one for minimalism but something about the combo of a tube top paired with gorgeous capri length trousers is awe inspiring. Take note of the socks paired with the high heeled sandals, no longer are socks with sandals just for tacky tourists. In fact, you’ll probably be wearing thigh socks with your heels throughout the fall and winter as Refinery 29’s article points out this huge trend. (Never say never!)

Anyway, while you can’t get the master tailoring of Alexander Wang on a budget (although, my $50 Zac Posen for Target blazer is a wonder in affordable structure), you can definitely channel this summer perfect blend of innocence and sophistication.

Below you’ll see my budget friendly answer to Wang’s simple look for a total of $120. But of course, you’ll need a million dollars worth of confidence to pull off this simple yet edgy look.

Twenty-One

4 Jun

So, I’m just about 12 hours away from my 21st birthday and figured I should write a post in celebration. I’ve pulled together my 21 most wanted items for the summer along with some of my favorite quotes.

1. Forward ever be thy watchword- Vandy Alma Mater

2. If only we stopped trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time- Edith Wharton

Clips

3. I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot- Marilyn Monroe

Heels

4. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist that is all- Oscar Wilde

Red

5. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me- Ayn Rand

6. Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest- Christian Dior

Hot Pink

7. Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future- Coco Chanel

8. Dressing up. People don’t do it anymore. We have to change that- John Galliano

Ruffle

9. I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes- Yves Saint Laurent

10. People respond well to someone who is sure of what they want- Anna Wintour

LAMB

11. A woman’s dress should be like a barb-wired fence: serving its purpose without obstructing its view- Sophia Loren

12. Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women- Elsa Schiaparelli

13. The difference between fashion and style is quality- Giorgio Armani

14. Dwell in possibility- Emily Dickinson

Shorts

15. The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity- Dorothy Parker

16. I’m no model lady. A model’s just an imitation of the real thing- Mae West

17. It’s not the having, it’s the getting- Elizabeth Taylor

18. A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water- Eleanor Roosevelt

19. I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process- Oprah

Belt

20. A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval- Mark Twain

21. Freedom lies in being bold- Robert Frost

Dress to Impress

29 May

The inspiration for this post started yesterday morning when I saw my mom standing in front of the mirror getting ready for the day wearing a dress that is older than me. It was a very cute shirt dress with a belted waist and full skirt, but my issue with it was its length. The skirt fell about two inches below my mom’s knees. She’s only 4’10”, so I was a bit shocked to see her wearing a skirt that hits below the knee since I think that length of skirt makes women look shorter. I asked her if she was planning on wearing heels, and the look on my face when she told me she was going to wear flat shoes must have been priceless. HOW could you pair a dress that is going to shorten you with shoes that won’t even help to counteract the problem?????

Well maybe the problem is me. Below the knee skirts made appearances in several Spring 2010 Collections including Dolce & Gabanna and Michael Kors , and Refinery 29 did a great article a few months back on how to wear them. But, I’m still not convinced this is a trend I approve of. Take this skirt from Urban Outfitters for example.

I can’t help but have my first reaction be, “But why not take it up about 3 inches?” Skirts that hit right above the knee are infinitely more flattering, and I think no less modest than below the knee skirts. So this becomes a matter of difference in aesthetic opinion. Do you value the integrity of the line of a skirt or how a girl looks in a skirt more?

And while the model in the skirt will probably look fine, what about the rest of us? As someone who is thin but also has what some people lovingly refer to as “child-bearing hips”, I’m constantly thinking about how to balance dressing in an edgy way that still flatters my figure. If a dress doesn’t show off my waist, I’m not going to buy it. For me, it’s not about trying to impress anyone- men or women (Check out the Teen Vogue article about “girl hot” vs. “guy hot”). Instead, I dress the way I do because I feel the most confident when my body looks its best.

Ultimately, I will always pick how I look in a piece over it’s value as an artistic garment. Some people may choose to do the opposite, but hopefully they do it because they truly appreciate a garment and not because they are a “slave to fashion”. (I love this picture below.)

Photo Credit

I have many more thoughts on this topic, but I’ll leave you alone now. If you haven’t already, check out my newest post on College Fashion that is inspired by the street styles of Lara Stone, Agyness Deyn, and Karlie Kloss. I got a really interesting comment from a reader who had a problem with me calling Lara Stone “curvy”.  You can see my response to that, and feel free to leave your own remark.

Here’s Looking At You, Kid.

21 May

So, I very recently acquired an account on Lookbook. If you’re not familiar with the site, it’s a place for the cool kids of the universe to post pictures of themselves in their favorite outfits like this one from Constance V., a 22 year old photographer from Bristol.

I’m of two minds about this website. On one hand, I think it’s awesome there’s a forum for fashion lovers around the globe to share their personal style. On the other hand, I feel like it’s pretty contrived since there’s a WHOLE lot of shots that take place in fields or on gravel roads.

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t really have time in my day to go wander into the woods for an impromptu photo shoot. I’m much more inclined to be interested in what Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist captures as he roams the streets of New York or Milan.

Someone wanting to take your picture rather than just posting your own for the world to see seems to add value somehow. But I’m quite aware that many fashion bloggers including the illustrious Jane of Sea of Shoes and Tavi of Style Rookie integrate pictures of themselves into posts.

I’ve decided to start trying to do the same thing. We shall see how it goes. I’ve never been one for having my picture taken a lot- at least by myself. But, I am going to try. However, since I need to go get dressed to be a waitress, and no one cares to see that- I’ll leave you with an old stand by picture of myself back in my tanner days.

The Young and The Restless

19 May

The other day this lady came into the restaurant where I work. I’m guessing she was about 85 and she was wearing the coolest orange blazer I’ve ever seen. She totally reminded me of Harper’s Bazaar’s “Fabulous at Every Age” feature. The magazine picks a key trend for every issue and interprets it for women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s+. I think it’s the best thing about Harper’s as it mixes high end style with practicality. Generally, I love the looks provided for the 20 something age group. But the older age groups tend to be a little drab for my taste- that is until you reach the 70+ age group. Then, the page is filled with bright colors and sharply tailored pieces like this gorgeous red Kenneth Cole coat paired with a Nancy Gonzalez belt.

So what is Harper’s trying to tell us? That the only ones who can have fun with fashion are ladies who are past their prime and no longer have to worry about a boss or even a husband’s opinion. NOT OK. What’s so wrong with going to work, dinner, or even a PTA meeting wearing something a bit outlandish? If everyone dressed like the little old lady in the bright orange blazer, wouldn’t the world be a happier and more aesthetically pleasing place?

So on the other end of the spectrum, I stumbled across this adorable video.

There’s just so many things right about that video, and of course it reminded me of the other group of people who wear whatever they feel like- kids. You might not actually want to wear pajamas out in public, but there are plenty of fun rompers out in stores and online this summer, so feel free to channel the could care less attitude of little kids when you’re running around town. Of course, if you’re headed to your job or internship, you might want to take the more covered but equally fun approach of eccentric old ladies.

School’s Out for Summer

12 May

Well, I’ve made it back to Des Moines for the summer. The weather isn’t exactly fantastic, but no doubt it will warm up soon. I’ve put together a few key looks for any college girl’s summer at home. And since the shopping in your hometown might be sparse, all the pieces can be found at Forever 21.

This first look is perfect for running around town to do errands or window shop at the mall. Throw a cardigan in your bag in case you find yourself in a highly air conditioned store.

Mall

Mall by mkltrouble featuring Forever21

The second look is perfect for hanging out with your high school friends when you haven’t decided what your plans for the evening are. The breezy dress is comfortable enough to sit in for hours if you decide to go to the movies but you’ll also be pulled together enough to look great if you end up heading out on the town.

Movie

Movie by mkltrouble featuring Forever21

And finally, since summer is all about having a comfy wardrobe that you can mix and match, I’ve pulled some of my favorite pieces that Forever 21 has to offer.

F21

F21 by mkltrouble featuring Forever21

When You Were Young

3 May

So, for those of you who keep up with this blog, you might remember me referencing a design project for my History of Fashion class. I decided to complete my design project digitally using polyvore sets that are similar to what I use for the rest of my blogging.

Young

For this eight look collection, I have used Emma Watson as my muse. As a college student and celebrity, Emma needs a wide range of apparel. The collection is a mix of pieces from British and American designers with some French and Italian influences to symbolizes Emma’s progression from a young British starlet to a well-dressed American co-ed.

Look #1: Daywear

At its base, this look is comprised of a basic v-neck tee and jean shorts paired with sandals that would be worn by any college student. However, the gorgeously geometric Sass & Bide jacket and Burberry bag and necklace make this daytime look paparazzi ready.

Look1

Look1 by mkltrouble featuring Burberry

Look #2: Formal Evening Outfit

This ensemble is red carpet ready with a beautifully draped Vivienne Westwood gown, architecturally inspired heels, and a playful purse.

Look2

Look2 by mkltrouble featuring Diego Dolcini shoes

Look #3: Cocktail Outfit

This gorgeous hot pink Temperley frock paired with designer jewelry would be perfect for a number of events that might come Emma’s way from a formal college party to an appearance on the carpet at the Teen Choice Awards.

Look3

Look3 by mkltrouble featuring Temperley London dresses

Look #4: Menswear

No, this look is not for Emma, but rather for one of her fashion forward male friends at Brown who isn’t afraid to rock a pink sneaker.

Look4

Look4 by mkltrouble featuring Paul Smith vests

Look #5: Leisurewear

Emma chose to live in Brown’s dorms for her freshman year. If she continues to do so is unknown but regardless of if she lives in the dorm or a Rhode Island apartment, Emma needs to always look pulled together in case the paparazzi are waiting outside her door.

Look5

Look5 by mkltrouble featuring Matters of Leisure robes

Look #6: Sporting Look

This workout outfit is perfect for any student with the sleek Stella McCartney for Adidas leggings and Nike top with a comfortable zip up jacket to don on the way to and from the gym.

Look6

Look6 by mkltrouble featuring Nike

Look #7: Day-to-Night Look #1

As a busy college student and celebrity, Emma needs a versatile look that can get her through a day of classes and a dinner with her agent. This look is solidly anchored by a mesh overlay Fendi skirt with chunky heels and an oversized Quentin McKay bag keeping the look practical for every occasion.

Look7

Look7 by mkltrouble featuring Jessica Simpson jewelry

Look #8: Day-to-Night Look #2

This second versatile outfit features skinny jeans and a beautifully tailored jacket that can be taken off to expose a floaty white top perfect for a dorm party.

Look8

Look8 by mkltrouble featuring Diane Von Furstenberg shoes

Forever

22 Apr

One of the headliners at this weekend’s Rites of Spring is Drake. No mom and dad, the artist. Not the school you graduated from in Des Moines. Anyway, Drake, the former star of Canada’s TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, will be gracing Vandy with his presence this Friday night bringing with him his hits like “Best I Ever Had” and “Every Girl”. Last fall, Kanye, Lil Wayne, and Eminem collaborated with Drake to release the single “Forever” which made it up to #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Drake seems to take his fashion cues from Kanye with cardigans and jeans for a laidback hip-hop cool. And who doesn’t love a man who can rock a watch?

The urban prep look is super versatile for class, a concert, or chilling at Starbucks. While this look might not work so well for all the crawfish boils at Vandy this weekend, a slouchy cardigan and boyfriend jeans can carry you through any almost other daytime occasion. Drake is often seen in Comme des Garcon clothing, and the CdG low tops featured below are a perfect addition to this look.

Drake

Drake by mkltrouble featuring MICHAEL Michael Kors watches

Give It To Me Right

21 Apr

….and now for something completely different. Sorta. I’m still on the Rites of Spring theme, but tonight I’ll be featuring the sassy looks of R&B diva on the rise, Melanie Fiona. Fiona broke on the scene last year with her debut album, The Bridge. Being signed to Jay-Z’s label has helped boost her career with a Grammy nomination, and a #1 single on the R&B charts. I can only hope Melanie impresses me as much as Santigold did at last year’s Rites. She certainly has a fun and flirty style.

You too, can look this girly and flirty but more outdoor music fest appropriate with a pair of flat sandals that won’t sink in the mud! (Yes, this is the one and only time I find it appropriate to go out not wearing heels!) Pair a simple tank with saucy high-waisted shorts, a flirty bow headband, a vintage leather bag, and a blazer to throw on once the sun goes down.

Give It To Me Right

Give It To Me Right by mkltrouble featuring TopShop blazers

Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll

31 Mar

I recently wrote a post for College Fashion inspired by the personal styles of Anna Wintour, André Leon Talley, and Grace Coddington. If you haven’t read it yet, you can check it out here- http://www.collegefashion.net/inspiration/fashion-industry-style-3-looks-inspired-by-the-editors-of-vogue/

Each of those three icons have a unique style. Anna is the lady. André is the eccentric. Grace is the minimalist. So, I’ve decided to feature the personal styles of other public figures. I’m saving profiles on wonderful designers like Vivienne Westwood and Diane von Furstenberg for a post on College Fashion. So, today, I’ll be featuring the style of a young celebrity who like me attends a prestigious university and seems to love girly fashion with a rock n’ roll flair. Unfortunately, unlike Emma Watson I was not fortunate enough to be able to host an event like the soiree in London to honor upcoming designers. (Full story here). At the event, Emma displayed her signature style by donning this leather and lace Christopher Kane frock.

Since we can’t all afford to pay a few grand for a cocktail dress, I’ve pulled together a more affordable outfit inspired by Emma’s British sensibilities. In fact, the dress and bangles featured are from a British shop (Don’t worry they ship to the USA!)

Emma

What other fashionable public figures- be they young celebrities, models, or designers would you like to see me feature?

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

2 Mar

Ah, midterm week. I just polished off a paper analyzing the costuming in a student production of The Seagull for my History of Fashion class. If only every paper topic was so much fun. Anyway, I decided to give myself a break and actually write a post. I’ve been on a bit of a 80s music kick lately-Pat Benatar to be precise. Really, there’s nothing better to listen to while hitting the elliptical. So, working off that inspiration I’ve put together three 80s-tastic looks. I normally try to keep the merchandise I feature somewhat reasonably priced; however, I let all caution go to the wind on this one. After all, looking like a rock star is never cheap. Also, you might notice I have a slight obsession with Betsey Johnson earrings.

look #1: Heartbreaker

I’ll be the first to admit this look is a bit indulgent, but I couldn’t resist the dress or the yellow leather jacket. Granted, the dress is from Britain AND out of stock and the jacket is 2 grand. Minor details.

look #2: promises in the dark

Yes, that is a sequin headband. Yes, that bangle could probably be construed as a deadly weapon.

look #3: you better run

Or you know if you’re wearing high heels- jump on your airplane. $14 tube top from Forever 21 + a gold metallic $2,700 Burberry Prorsum skirt= high-low mixing at its most extreme.

wish we all could be california girls…

10 Feb

Fact. I don’t wish I was a California girl. In my mind, Bohemian chic is an oxymoron I’ll never be able to wrap my mind around. However, the Spring 2010 collections featured some pretty dreamy looking prints from some of the most respected New York designers. I guess that’s what our nation gets for having a President from Hawaii. This look from Proenza Schouler was published more than any other look from the season (I think….I don’t have scientific research on this.)

The above look epitomizes the “surfer” trend this spring. Surfer belongs in quotes because I really doubt too many surfer girls are going to start wearing 4 inch heels anytime soon.  I certainly have nothing against adding in more color to my wardrobe, so I’ll be giving this look a chance. Mimicking Proenza Schouler’s creation is also a practical approach to a  cute shopping or nighttime look as we suffer through the end of winter. (Although, you might want to lose the sunglasses at night- the 80s aren’t THAT back.)

Complete side note: Vandy just announced the line-up for our Rites of Spring Music Festival. My comments: Dear Nylon, thank you for making me aware of the magic that is both Passion Pit and Phoenix. Drake should be excellent. Ben Harper- saw them this summer at Des Moines’ 80/35 Music Fest. Definitely not bad, but not life changing enough to make me pumped to see them again. Oh well, this is definitely not a music blog. So carry on.

So, I’ll tell you what I want….what I really, really want…

7 Feb

Lingerie. It’s not just for Victoria’s Secret anymore. Big name designers like Marc Jacobs, Valentino, and Christian Dior sent their models down the runway in corsets, lace, and my favorite- tap shorts. Obviously, the big question is can college girls pull this off in real life? Well, first off I think our age group has a much better chance than anyone over the age of 30, but still this is definitely a tread with caution trend. However, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to incorporate a lingerie inspired piece into your next going out look as long as you carefully balance out the rest of your ensemble with some trusty basics.

Look #1: The Corset

The corset is probably the most common piece of lingerie inspired clothing. The key is to keep it fun, playful, and flirty by choosing bright colors and staying away from anything lacy or black.

Look #2: The Bralet

This is not for the faint of heart, but for those of you with an itty bitty waist and not overwhelming cleavage this can look tres chic if paired with a high waisted skirt that leaves only a tiny strip of the ribcage exposed.

Look #3: Tap Shorts

Ever since my journey to Aussie Land a few summers back, I’ve been a big fan of shorts as a night time look. Tap shorts are just a comfy and silky variety. Keep it simple on top with a bodysuit that will create a streamlined look.

….and when I die, I’ll be Delta Gamm Dead.

2 Feb

So, one of the reasons I’ve been such a bad blogger lately is I’ve been busy serving in my capacity as President of the Eta Epsilon Chapter of Delta Gamma. I have the best job in the world, and one of the reasons why it’s so wonderful is we get to don anchors and all sorts of nautical gear (yes, even pashmina afghans on occasion). So, check out my favorite of all that is sailor related in stores currently.

Best of the Mags: February

2 Feb

Regular readers of this blog may remember a few months back when I started to question my loyalty to Nylon. This month brought a similar crisis with my longtime favorite: Elle. Ok, to be honest, it was really the cover of J. Lo that did me in. First, Jennifer Lopez really has no business on the cover of Elle. Second, what in the world is she wearing?????????

I’m all for edgy or different cover looks, but not when it includes laced-up cleavage. I admit the contents of this issue helped salvage my relationship with the magazine. After all, the trend pages did feature (somewhat) wearable interpretations of the lingerie–as-real -life trend. I was a total sucker for the “Curtain Call” editorial which featured Natsa Vojnovic surrounded by male members of the American Ballet Theatre.

And, even my newly single self has to admit that the “How Do I Love Thee?” editorial with modern couples in modern looks was well executed and a nice touch to the February issue. So, thanks to it’s always great Trends pages and better than (it’s own) average editorials, the February issue of Elle made a decent impression. But, Elle, mark my words, if Snooki shows up on the cover next month…..it’s over.

On a happier note, I was completely enamored by V’s cover featuring the always lovely Natalie Portman.

Natalie’s interview and editorial were everything a cover girl feature should be: concise and hard-driving. She even offered this pearl of wisdom: “Ambition can be a dirty word, but it’s pretty much more important than anything.”

The rest of the issue was also beautifully done in all of it’s oversized pages’ glory. Nothing was more wonderfully raw than the profile of Dree Hemingway- descendent of Ernest and stunning model in her own right.

Fun point of note: this issue is a little old, but just showed up in the Vandy bookstore. Oh well, it was too beautiful not to comment on.

Second Post for College Fashion is Up!

2 Feb

Check out my post with outfits inspired my mash-ups:  Wardrobe Remix! Look forward to more musically inspired posts here on Nashmoines.

Musings on the History of Fashion

2 Feb

I have been a very negligent blogger the past month, and for that I apologize. I’ve been getting my fashion fix in my History of Fashion class aka the only class at Vandy that has the word “fashion” in its title. It truly is a history class as we are currently exploring the roots of modern fashion that are based in Egyptian and Grecian style and architecture. So now when I see a trendy bib necklace, I immediately am reminded of an ornate Egyptian mantle.

As much as I enjoy learning about the ancient roots of my favorite trends today, I cannot wait to complete my final project for the class. It’s a design project- which in of itself is a bit scary considering my lack of artistic ability. However, I can’t wait to pull all the ideas rolling around in my mind into two lines- a contempary one and a historically based one. I havcn’t completely decided what my lines will look like, but I have a few ideas. It’s a safe bet that whatever I come up with will be full of irony, paradoxes, and juxtaposition- my favorite things in fashion. Below, you’ll see my current inspirations: lots of pink, black, tailoring, and asymmetry. I know you’re shocked. I promise that the end product will be much more original.

First Post for College Fashion Is Up!

8 Jan

Hey, just so ya’ll know, my first post is now up at College Fashion. I’ll be posting here on Nashmoines soon although I do have recruitment coming up this week, so I’ll be a bit tied up.

Best of the Mags: January

2 Jan

This month, I was pleasantly surprised by fashion publications, in particular two periodicals, Vogue and Nylon, that of late I’ve been a bit harsh about.

First up: Vogue. The beautiful cover featuring Rachel McAdams was the first clue that this issue was directed at Vogue’s younger demographic.

The standout piece of the rather thin issue (they all are this month), was the fantastic editorial entitled “Already Famous” that paired fun pieces from established designers like Bottega Veneta and Jil Sander with members of indie-becoming-mainstream groups like Vampire Weekend and MGMT. The entire concept of the editorial was genius for several reasons. First, it clearly appealed to the college age and 20’s sect. In fact, if you’ve never read an issue of Vogue, I think this would be a great starting point for you. Second, it was a great way to introduce the musical groups to Vogue’s older, established demographic. Music and fashion go hand in hand as it is important to always be pushing boundaries with both. So, it follows fans of cutting edge fashion would also enjoy learning about what’s new on the music scene. Finally, with the exception of model Sasha Pivovarova, everyone featured in the editorial was male. So, I really enjoyed getting to see so much men’s fashion on Vogue’s pages.

The rest of the issue was great, but of course I can’t fail to mention what has become the very controversial profile of Lara Stone. If you’ve been living in a cave for the past few weeks, Lara Stone is a size 4 model who Vogue featured in a story about how it can be difficult to find work and how she is treated in the industry. The media has come out in a full force attack against the article because they are angry that anyone should feel sorry for a size 4 model- or something like that. Which I think is ridiculous because facts are facts. No matter how much you dislike it, the fashion industry currently likes very thin models. In my opinion, all Vogue was doing was giving Lara a chance to tell her story. I didn’t think the article showed any bias on the subject. I would love to see more articles in Vogue that do tell the personal stories of models in the industry. So bravo, Vogue, who cares what the Today Show thinks?

Next up, is Nylon. This month’s issue had me rethinking my stance against the magazine in recent months. They almost (not quite) convinced me that Hilary Duff was a suitable cover girl choice.

Of course, the first thing that caught my eye about the cover was the promise of the free 27 song download from iTunes!!! Woohoo!!!! I’d figured we would have to wait a whole year for free music from the fashion magazine that keeps me somewhat educated about music outside the Top 40. If you want the download- and I know you do- check it out here . This go around, Nylon’s free download includes music from the Animal Collective, The Horrors, Lissy Trullie, Sufjan Stevens, and many more.

The rest of the issue reminded me how I fell in love with Nylon first with pleny of pop culture inspired fashion. But Dear Nylon, is it really too much to ask that your next cover girl not be a former Disney Channel star?

Speaking of former Disney Channel stars, Elle also went that route this month with Britney. The cover that featured the newly revived superstar with her two boys left me unsure of how I felt about the whole thing. On one hand, it’s great that Britney seems to have her life back together. On the other hand, Elle is supposed to be a serious fashion magazine. I don’t think Britney has ever had a serious fashion moment in her life.

The interview and photo shoot with Britney was pretty standard. I was more interested in the feature on Lady Gaga. Now there’s a pop star who appreciates the most avant-garde fashion. (You can argue if it’s true appreciation of art or if she just likes being weird for weird’s sake.)

As always, the trend pages were fantastic with this  month’s pages featuring pieces from the Spring 2010 lines.

My Style Resolutions

30 Dec

2010 is quickly approaching and with it comes resolutions of everything under the sun from weight loss to being a nicer person to watching less TV. I am personally very excited for the coming year as it presents many challenges and opportunites for growth. One exciting piece of news is that I will be interning for College Fashion next semester using my angle of a Midwest girl turned sorority president at a Southern school to write about all kinds of fun and fashionable things. Don’t worry though, Nashmoines will still be around albeit with a few changes. Since I will be busy writing for College Fashion as well as working on a blog for a new clothing line (more on that to come!), my posts may not be as frequent. You may notice that they may become less about what’s happening in fashion and more musings on my life and how it relates to style in general. (Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to catch my take on fashion through my other ventures.) I’ve had so much fun writing this blog for the past six months. It really has helped me think about my style, and I’ve learned so much about the fashion industry as well as how starting something small can lead to new opportunties (i.e. my new blogs). However, I know there is so much more for me to learn as a person, blogger, and fashion enthusiast. So for what will probably be my last post of the year, I’ve decided to share 3 resolutions for my personal style and daily wardrobe.

1. Stop wearing jeans and boots every day.

I really like flat boots. I’m sure the count of pairs I’ve featured on this blog is ridiculously high. Pairing boots with skinny jeans when I’m running late to class just seems like the best idea in the world. However, this next year I promise to wear boots with jeans no more than 2 days a week. Instead, I will allow myself to enjoy two of my favorite items. Skinny jeans paired with cute tennis shoes and brightly colored flats…..

Adidas at ASOS ($67.99)


Free People ($68)

And my boots paired with cozy sweater dresses and above the knee skirts (with tights of course for when the weather isn’t cooperating!)

Full Circle at ASOS ($118.98)

Urban Outfitters ($58)

2. Take More Fashion Risk

Adding onto my goal of getting away from my uniform of skinnies and boots, I would also like to push the boundaries of my personal style this year. Maybe not every day, but I at least want to give into my wacky fashion desires when i wake up in a funky mood. So this year, at least twice a month, I vow to don an outfit that would make Tavi proud. (If you don’t know who Tavi is, I insist you immediately check out her blog: http://tavi-thenewgirlintown.blogspot.com/)

If a 13 year old can handle being ridiculed by nasty middle schoolers, I should be able to deal with a few wayward glances across campus.

3. Dress Like a Grown-Up

Yes, I know this sounds like an odd resolution to come after wanting to be more eclectic. However, facts are facts, and my entry into the real world is approaching faster than I would like. The truth of the matter is I have a decent selection of business like dresses and skirts, I just very rarely wear them. But what’s so wrong about dressing up once in a while? Nothing, that’s what. Don’t worry, I won’t be donning any three piece suits in the near future- just a few more polished looks a la Black Halo.


Musings on the Benefits of Outdoor Shopping Areas

22 Dec

So apologies for my long hiatus. I was tied up in finals and the rest of end of the semester madness. Fortunately, I made it through and now I’m down in Sarasota, Florida visiting my grandparents. Last night, I headed down to St. Armand’s Circle- a favorite spot for shopping and dining in the area. I was a bit disappointed on arriving to see not many people walking around the area. I’m not sure if the economy or the temperature (it’s only been in the low 60s!) was to blame, but nevertheless St. Armand’s Circle was lacking it’s normally festive and fun atmosphere. For the first time, I was disappointed by the area’s mix of  local boutiques and island prep classics like Lily Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama. Even the restaurants with outdoor seating weren’t giving off their usual trendy vibe.

All of this translated into me really not being that excited about shopping. Even a half price BB Dakota dress couldn’t pull me out of my slump. And before you start blaming my lack of Christmas spirit or something, I can promise you that’s not it. No, I think it’s more about being a shopping sensualist. It’s why even finding the best bargains in the world at a suburban mall can never compare to wandering the streets of New York. Or why shopping online will never be as exhilerating as traversing Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. This is why in my mind there’s nothing better than taking a Saturday afternoon stroll down to Hillsboro Village- laughing at all the silly people in line for Pancake Pantry, grabbing a croissant at Provence, and foraging through Pangaea, Posh, and Clothing Xchange, followed by an iced power tea from the always alive Fido. When I’m home in Des Moines, the East Village is the next best thing to Nashville in great part thanks to SMASH…..er Raygun (name change friends, in case you hadn’t heard) and Aimee. Maybe in a few years Des Moines will be up to Nashville’s level- hey, a girl can dream.

But why does all this matter? Why not just be content with finding suitable clothing and getting on with your life? Well, I suppose you can. I just think it’s a lot more fun to be surrounded by fresh air and the energy of other people while searching for the perfect item. Which leads me to an interesting thought about what it means to be fashionable. Trends from the past, like shoulder pads, are always resurging. But when they do, no one ever interprets them literally. Fashion designers and fashion lovers take what was worn in the past and translate it into something relevant for today’s culture. Therefore, fashion without the rest of the world around us means nothing. So thought for the day- style is the expression of one’s personality through the means available in their current culture. Alright, that’s enough for today. I promise something a little less rambling and with pictures tomorrow.

One Little Pair of Pumas

1 Dec

I have this pair of metallic Pumas. Yes, metallic. Not gold. Not silver.

They’re pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself. It doesn’t hurt I got them 50% off at Posh in Hisllboro Village. They were practical enough to get me through a season of twirling baton on the turf at band practice, and they’re cute enough to wear in real life.

In fact, this one pair of shoes has revolutionized how I think about wearing tennis shoes outside the gym. Sometime around junior year of high school I completely swore off wearing tennis shoes with jeans. I think my strong stance at the time was motivated more by desire not to dress like everyone else rather than actual conviction of my fashion conscience. Once I got down to Vandy, continuing the ban on jeans and tennies was simple since hardly anyone here wears the combo.

But sometime this summer amongst all my random fashion musings, I started yearning for a pair of athletic shoes that I could wear to class. At first, I was drawn to brightly colored Nikes, but I quickly decided that those were a little much even for my fairly colorful wardrobe. So when I found my Pumas that were toned down but not as boring as white tennis shoes, I knew I’d found the right pair.

Now that i have my Pumas, I love throwing them on with a pair of skinny jeans and a cardigan. It might be a little hipster, but since I don’t wear fedoras or scarves I doubt I’ll fall off the deep end. I suppose the point is rethink what pairings you’ve banished from your wardrobe. You might be surprised to find that once you thought you despised can be turned into a fallback look with just a twist or two.

Best of the Mags: December

30 Nov

Ahhh…..December. The month that signals the end of another year as well as the month that contains the greatest holiday ever- Christmas. So, were the magazines this month a satisfactory present? eh, I’d say my reaction was about the same as if I had asked for a pair of Frye Boots and gotten a pair of Steve Maddens. They’ll work, but I would have liked better.

First, to Vogue this month. As for the cover, if you can’t have a model on it I suppose the next best thing is the long, lithe Cate Blanchett swathed in a gorgeous gold Donna Karan gown. I am a bit confused by the grassy background…..December in the Southern Hemisphere???

There were a few editorial distractions including “Point Break” a color-filled feature of resortwear and “Little Girl & Boy Lost” which was inspired by the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel. Both spreads were enjoyable, but nothing there or in the rest of the issue really got my heart racing.

I did enjoy this month’s “Life with Andre” which featured Ivanka Trump and her elegant wedding dress. Ivanka is a nice break from standard celebrity fare, and her Vera Wang wedding gown was refreshingly sophisticated and Old World inspired.

Moving onto this month’s Elle. As much as I love Sarah Jessica Parker’s onscreen shenanigans, I’m not sure if she was really the best cover girl choice. As much as I dislike pastels and as un-December Parker’s cover look was, I have to admit the Miu Miu top and skirt are beautiful pieces worthy of a cover.

As always, Elle’s Trend Pages were a lot of fun to flip through, and all the resortwear helped break up the neon 80s rut the magazine has been in. I was pleasantly surprised by all the Carmen Miranda inspired attire beautifully displayed across the pages, and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized my favorite piece throughout the pages was a pink paisley swimwuit by Juicy Couture.

Editorials are not Elle’s strong point, and it showed this month. I’m all for creative shoots, but the “Big Chill” which featured heavy winter knits on a backdrop of a summer beach scene was just bizarre.

“The Exhitibionist” was the issue’s other noteworthy editorial which featured a model surrounded my modern art. The spread may have seemed fresh and exciting if it weren’t for the W editorial a few months back that was shot in an art gallery and is still getting buzz. Elle wasn’t bad, but W was better.

vs.        

strictly business

25 Nov

Vandy kids are fairly well dressed, but that doesn’t mean we all have closets full of work-appropriate clothing. This especially applies to girls since unlike the guys we can hardly wear the same attire to a job interview that we would to a fraternity formal. The biggest challenge is to put together ensembles that are professional but not passé. One thing to keep in mind is that closed toed shoes are a must, and depending on what type of company you are interviewing, interning, or working at you may want to pull on a pair of hose. It can be difficult to find the right balance of conservaitve and chic, but there are several ways to achieve a savvy look such as a tailored dress, structured seperates, or even a suit.

Dress:

Maggy London at Nordstrom’s ($98)

Stuart Weitzman at Bluefly ($177)

Skirt and Blouse

Cheap Monday at Ssense ($85)

Talbots ($49)

Topshop ($18)

N.Y.L.A. at Endless ($99.95)

Suit:

Limited ($198)

Limited ($59.50)

Limited ($98)

DKNYC at Zappos ($98)

Buttoned Up

20 Nov

I hate to break the news, but winter is coming. Living in Nashville it’s pretty easy to be in denial as the temperature can fluctuate between 40 degrees one day and 70 the next. However, it’s time to face the facts and find a fantastic coat for the coming months. Below you’ll find four of my favorite coats this season.

Best Basic Black

For every day wear, over your boots and jeans.

Miss Sixty at Bluefly ($179- originally $300)

Best in Color

Sometimes you just need a pop of color.

Rampage at Macy’s ($66.75- originally $89)

Best for Dress

A beautiful off-white coat is just what you need to wear over cocktail dresses for special holiday occasions.

DKNY at Macy’s ($231.99- originally $310)

Best for Warmth

There’s no reason a warm jacket needs to make you look like the Michelin Man. Look for a belted puffer coat to keep your figure visible.

Kenneth Cole ($249)


Home for the Holidays

17 Nov

Thanksgiving break is nearly upon us, and I’m sure we all agree that it can’t come quick enough. Who can’t wait to go home to hardwood floors, comfy couches, and enough rich food to put you into a coma for the duration of break? There’s no reason to ship your entire wardrobe back home for just a week, so I’ve put together four outfits using just a few key pieces: black jeans, a dress, a sweater, boots, heels, and a top.

Black Skinny Jeans

Hudson Jeans at Chick Downtown ($228)

Dress:

James Perse at Revolve Clothing ($135)

Sweater

Arden B. ($38)

Boots:

GUESS at Endless ($168.95)

Heels:

BCBGirls at Piperlime ($69.99)

Top:

Patterson J. Kincaid at Shop Bop ($68)

Outfit #1: Lounging around the house

Throw on the tank, jeans, sweater, a warm pair of socks, and the boots if you have to run a quick errand to the grocery store.

Outfit #2: Night Out with high school friends

So after a long day of doing nothing but watching a Project Runway marathon, you decide to meet up with some old pals for dinner and some fun. Ditch the cardigan, switch out your boots for your heels, and throw on a bangle or two. Sure, you may have been the uptight nerd in high school, but now you go to Vandy. It’s time to show your old friends who knows how to pull of effortless chic.

Outfit #3: Thanskgiving Dinner

I’m a big fan of wearing a comfy dress for family dinners. One, your grandmother won’t chastise you for looking unladlylike. Two, you won’t have to deal with your jeans pulling uncomfortably after your third slice of pumpkin pie.

Outfit #4: Church/ Dinner out with Family

If you need to be a little bit more dressed up but still family appropriate, throw on a pair of black tights with your dress and heels and add a long chain necklace or strand of pearls.


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

11 Nov

So you’re running late for class and the weather is a little chilly…what to throw on with your skinny jeans and boots? A sweater is the perfect option since you’ll look more pulled together than wearing a hoody and you’ll still be warm and comfortable. Here are five of my favorite options.

 

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Lauren Moshi at Revolve Clothing ($167)

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Victoria’s Secret ($49)

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Free People ($68)

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Topshop ($75)

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J. Crew ($78)

And just for fun…..since Christmas is coming….

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Christmas Sweater ($49)

Style Mash-Ups

6 Nov

If you’ve ever taken a magazine quiz meant to determine whether your style is girly, boho, urban, etc. you may have shared my confusion at the lack of a clear conclusion. I tend to pull from pretty much every style category besides anything boho/Cali girl related. It seems to me I’m not alone in this. In fact, most people with great personal style have a wide range of looks they can pull off. Of course, you can achieve a nicely balanced personal style by switching up your look from day to day (cowboy boots one day, Nike dunks the next). However, there’s nothing like mixing and matching different styles within one ensemble to create quality fashion ironies and paradoxes. Below I’ve put together three outfits that are each a study in contrasting yet complementary looks.

Look #1: Biker Sorority Girl

If you at all keep up with this blog, you know that I’ve been obsessed with the “pretty tough” look. In my opinion this look is the easiest style mashup to pull off. All you need is a pretty dress, a structured jacket with a bit of an edge, serious heels, and a mix of good and bad girl accessories and make up (think pearl earrings paired with bright red lipstick)

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Guess by Marciano (on sale for $99.99 originally $128)

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Topshop ($110)
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Alloy ($34.50)

Look #2: School of Kanye

Say what you will about Kanye, the man has great style. So, there’s no reason you too can’t pair classics like blazers and cardigans with a killer pair of Nikes.

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Blazer by Silence & Noise at Urban Outfitters ($78)

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Shirt by Express ($59.50)

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ZCO Jeans at Macy’s ($39.99)

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Nike ($79.99)

Look #3: Urban Cowgirl

It’s Nashville after all. Do you need more of an explanation than that?

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BCBGeneration at Zappos ($128)

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Belt by Topshop ($24)

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Frye at Zappos ($302)



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