It’s About That Time

16 May

Wow. I went on a little hiatus there, with the end of school and everything. It’s time to get back on the horse.

Recently, I have been exploring the wonderful world of business clothing. My upcoming internship requires business casual attire and since my personal style is more fun and cute, I thought it was time to expand into the professional atmosphere.

I put together a “Top 5” for the most essential business pieces in your wardrobe:

1. A basic black pant

[The Limited Drew Collection Pant]

 

I recommend black or navy for pants because they are basic and professional…both bootleg and ankle pants are extremely versitile.

2. A fitted button-down shirt

 [Banana Republic Button-Down Top] 

This will go with skirts and pants, made for both business casual and professional atmospheres…

3. Cardigans

 [Banana Republic Cardigan] 

A cardigan is a great way to cover up at the office, but in the summertime you can toss it in your bag and not worry about it until you’re inside. You can play it up with a skinny belt or a cute, yet professional top underneath. Both patterned and solid cardigans (don’t be afraid to through bright colors into the mix) are great options for a business casual wardrobe.

4. Blazer

 [Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s Black Blazer] 

This is a piece which can be worn for a professional work event/meeting, as well as in a casual setting or even on jean days. Basically, having a blazer in a solid color such as black, navy, khaki, or gray should be an essential piece in all female wardrobe. I love blazers because they add are versitile and easy to dress up or down. I have a mauve blazer which is great with jeans or a skirt, but a black blazer can be worn with almost anything and is a great office essential.

5. A basic pump

[Mercanti Fiorentini Women’s Leather Pump-can be found on DSW.com]

 [Bandolino Getonby Nude Wedge]

This could be in a few different colors: black, brown, and gray are all extremely versitile for all seasons. Recently, I purchased a nude wedge and this is a great piece for summertime and it goes with everything.

If you keep these 5 pieces in mind for you business wardrobe, you’ll be sleek and sophisticated in and out of the office. Don’t be afraid to play with color. It’s important to have basic blacks and navy, but spice things up with pops of color (tops, necklaces, cardigans, etc.)

Exposing Sweatshops

30 Apr

Do you ever wonder where your favorite electronics and clothing come from? Why are these items so cheap? Well, often our luxuries come at the expense of persons in less developed countries, working long hours under harsh conditions.

Here is a snapshot of a serious and current issue: Sweatshops.

Exposing Sweatshops – A Communication Ethics Presentation

^ I’ve attached it as a PowerPoint file because the animations are crucial to the aesthetic of the presentation. Just click and it will open in Slide Show mode!

Below is a copy of the presentation from an online program. However, it does not run as smoothly and there are a few slides which are confusing because they require animations.

[</strong> <div style=”padding:5px 0 12px”>]

Beauty, Bullying, and a Battle

28 Apr

I just finished watching my peers’ Ted Talks and there were three that stuck out because of the importance of the topic: Bullying, Teenage Depression and Suicide, and The Perception of Beauty. These are all social issues which I’m constantly thinking about. Our societal perception of beauty and other issues has been so skewed over the last few decades. It’s interesting and beneficial to take a step back and ask yourself, How can I make a change? What have I done lately to improve my life or someone elses?

Beauty:

I continuously post about our society’s flawed perception of beauty. As an avid fashionista, this is something I struggle with. If I have trouble finding NORMAL style icons and I’m actually aware of our skewed perception, imagine how a susceptible a 13 year old girl feels. They don’t know the difference, and what they see in magazines is what they think beauty is. THIS IS SO FALSE. If 96% of women think they aren’t beautiful…something is seriously wrong. I joined the 4% about a year and a half ago when I ended a six year battle with myself. I’ll post a quote below, but I decided that I wouldn’t be subject to the ignorance of others and I would no longer have my life narrowed down to the pages of a magazine. Clothing slowly became a celebration of beauty, not a battle against it. This is the bottom line: our skewed perceptions leads to a fake image of perfection and then we bully those who are “different,” ultimately leading to depression which no one will address because “we don’t talk about it” …do you see the dilemma and the vicious cycle? I sure do.

The issues Marissa addressed were perfectly on-point. Our social media should not be a place where we allow ourselves to be consumed with the images of skinny girls and buff guys. Don’t we get enough of that everywhere else?

So, will you join the 4%?

The four percent of women, worldwide, who will consider themselves beautiful and worthy of everything life can offer once you start living for yourself and not others….

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.” – Bell Hooks

Bullying:

The effects of something doesn’t stop once the words are said or the magazine is closed, the effects of both verbal and visual stay with us. Hence, why this topic is so pertinent because I feel as though today’s youth cannot function without putting others down to make themselves feel better. Last weekend I had the privilege and honor of meeting a young boy, Joseph, who is scared to enter middle school because he fears being a subject of bullying. I met Joseph after this talk and I couldn’t help but think of how valid the argument was. The obsession with stopping bullies has become impractical and a failure. Noah’s use of a personal story really made the talk impactful and left the viewer thinking about it after it was over. Finally, last Saturday, when my day came to an end, I told Joseph to stand tall and remember to be himself. That bullies won’t go away, but you don’t have to let them affect how you go through school. Now, this boy was marvelous and He loves science and math (makes sense since his Dad is a science research professor). It broke my heart to hear how scared he was…

Teen Depression:

As a university student, this topic is extremely relevant because we confront these issues almost daily. However, the social stigma attached with teen depression has left individuals feeling even more alone and unable or scared to find treatment. Silencing something which affects millions of teens and adults is not the way to handle any situation, let alone mental health. If young adults don’t receive help, they can become the victim of suicide. Suicide is a fully preventable death, but because society turns a “blind eye,” it has become the third leading cause of death among people ages 15-24. I liked the focus on the importance of our mental health because it IS just as important as our physical health. I think that teen depression is something that the public has covered up for too long and now it is time to talk about and deal with. A life could be saved.

In a world of Size 2…Real Women Deserve Recognition

19 Apr

I read an article yesterday on Kim Kardashian and Photoshop. First, I just want to say that she looked beautiful in both pictures.

Photoshop has distorted the way we view beauty in our society. Today, we expect everyone to be perfectly airbrushed in real-life. That just isn’t reasonable nor is it rational. Kim K, alongside other celebrities such as Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez have capitalized on their curves. Personally, I’m one hundred percent supportive because no one can realistically or healthily look like the twig which Hollywood has marketed over the last decade (there’s a difference between this and those individuals who are naturally thin).   The average American woman is not a size 0. With over 8 million American girls/women and 1 million men suffering from eating disorders, one look at a magazine is a dead giveaway for WHY. (These statistics are not consistent because many do not receive any form of treatment) It’s gotten to the point where we think that unless we are tall, long-legged, and twiggy that we aren’t worthy.

    A twitter picture that Kim K. posted

What should we be doing?

The media should be capitalizing and recognizing women with curves. There shouldn’t be such backlash on celebrities and their weight. It’s as though the public thinks they are super-human when in actuality they are real people with real bodies. They don’t deserve constant scrutiny based on their weight. Women like Kim K who embrace their curves are inspiring because in a world where size 2 seems unacceptable, female icons such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and my favorite First Lady Michelle Obama are what I want to see on the covers of magazines.

Don’t be Caught in These Summer Fashion Don’ts

18 Apr

Every Summer I see the same things over and over. I always think to myself, “why would anyone wear that?” Well, here are a few things that are more trash-ion than fash-ion:

1. Super short-shorts

I’m not quite sure that anyone wants to see that. You know how they say keep something to the imagination? … yea maybe keep some of it covered too when you’re in public. I don’t care if you’re a size 2 or a size 12, inappropriately short shorts are just tacky. Now, I’ve heard the motto “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” before and if you’ve got legs as tall as me, go for it…but there will always be something intriguing about a girl who is put together and leaving a little something to the imagination.

2. Inappropriate clothing 

You probably shouldn’t whip out your lowest vneck or backless halter when you’re at church. That would be an extremely poor fashion choice. It may be summer, but all your class doesn’t have to fly out the window. There are plenty of clothing options that can keep you cool in the blistering heat and yes, you can still show off all your fabulous assets; just do it at the right time. However, the right time would probably not be when you are at the playground when you’re baby-sitting or out to dinner with your parents. Be realistic and rational. It seems like the heat makes people wear crazy things. Really, is this necessary? Anyways, flowing maxi-dress or sundress are probably a much better option when its 100 degrees.

3. Foam flip-flops

We all have them. They’re not the problem…the problem is how people wear them. I’ve never been a fan except for in the freshman dorm showers at college… Just because it is summer time does not mean you need to wear flip flops everywhere. If you’re out to dinner at a nice restaurant or at a more formal gathering, the bar, work, etc. you probably should have on a nicer sandal (i.e. flip flops that aren’t made out of foam…wedges and flats are always great options and they can still be comfortable). There is a time and a place for your “beloved” foam flops.

4. Tanning

Your skin is one of your best assets. So, take care of it. When you spend hours in the sun not only are you risking Skin Cancer, but you might end up being a leather-y as your purse. ICK.

5. Socks with Sandals

We’ve been over this before. It’s just not acceptable.

6. Dress for YOUR body type

This is the most important rule…Don’t wear something just because it’s been in every magazine of the season. Wear it because it looks good and makes you feel confident. Not everyone is meant for bikinis and daisy dukes. A sundress might be the perfect summer look for you.

The Little Black Dress

10 Apr

Little Black Dresses are a female essential. They go with anything and everything. You can wear them to work and then wear them out at night. You can dress them up with high heels or down with a cute flat or sandal.

A little black dress is the most versatile piece you could have in your wardrobe.

Some guidelines:

1. Find a dress that compliments your curves (a flowy skirt or a fitted mini, whatever it is there will be a style that you resonate with)

2. Look for dresses with details (pleats, flowers, one-shouldered, strapless, etc. ) This makes the dress personal and “one of a kind”

3. Length: if you wan the dress to be a cross-over Day/Night look for something that hits you only slightly above the knee. This is professional, yet versatile. If you are looking purely for a cocktail dress for night’s on the town…go a bit shorter. Just choose something that you like and the dress will do the rest.

Here are a few LBD’s that I’ve spotted recently:

 this Little Black dress is professional, yet super adorable

 this LBD is great for a day out or a night at the bars

 This is a great example for a versatile LBD…

 

So College.

28 Mar

Almost every college student struggles to make it work. Are you the one who anxiously awaits payday so that you can buy groceries?

Many of us are broke, working and scrounging up some change for food. This leaves zilch for a designer clad and fashion-forward wardrobe. With that said, I’ve put together a list of my favorite places to shop because I too am that broke, college student who will always love good fashion finds!

So, let’s talk fashion on a college budget:

1. Lauren Conrad

  •  FAVORITE. Her spring 2012 line is just absolutely fabulous. I am in love with the colors. She has pretty pale pinks, mints, creams, light lavender, and corals as her main color palates. These are perfect for spring and summer. This past Saturday I went shopping while I was home and I bought the cutest cream chiffon trimmed blazer with a bright mint pleated tank. I wore it the first chance I got and loved it.
  • Her clothes are reasonably priced and of good quality. I’ve had a few pieces for over a year now and I wear them quite a bit and they’re still in great shape!
                             
NOTE: Check the tags though (this is true for all clothing brands though) and watch out for rayon because it tends to shrink a lot in the wash. Rayon is super soft and it’s a great fabric to wear (if you’re never washing it…eww) so if you just can’t live without the piece, buy a size up and after washing it will fit like the smaller size.
2. TJ Maxx
  • Everyone knows TJ Maxx. Who doesn’t want to be a maxxinista and save money?
  • You can get some great deals if you hit the store at the right time. If you live in a larger city the quality and selection is much better than small town stores. They have more brand names and more seasonal styles.
  • I am a HUGE fan of their shoe department. Over the years I’ve gotten BCBG, Nike, Nine West, Aldo, Ralph Lauren, and a few other designer brands for prices under $30. Now, that’s my kind of steal. I love love love shoes and if I can get designer ones at a major discount, watch out.
3. Thrift Stores (example: Philadelphia’s Buffalo Exchange)
  •  Thrifting is a fabulous way to save money and find some unique pieces. I’ve had some great experiences in the Philadelphia area. I bought the most amazing light gray wide, double buckle belt about a month ago for $8! I just can’t get enough of it.
  • Yes, you do have to look and be conscious of what you’re choosing. However, you have the chance to get some nice items at great prices. Buffalo Exchange had an awesome purse/tote collection, as well as earrings and belts. Basically, I really enjoyed their accessories department. You are able to find both retro and modern pieces if you have the patience and time. Check out your local thrift scene, I bet you won’t be sorry.
4.  H&M
  • Everyone is always buzzing about H&M. They are fashion-forward, but affordable. I bought an oversize navy button-down with a long chain necklace (with a great, individual painted bead) for $16. Now, I’d say that is a deal. Right now, H&M has cute, spring dresses and tops all in the bright colors for the season. You can mix and match different pieces to create your own spring style.
  •  I am a fan of their accessories department, in particular, the bags. I’m currently looking for a messenger tote for my summer internship and I don’t have much money to spend. H&M has some great spring bags which I’m definitely going to check out in the next few weeks. You should too!

Now, this is just a short-list of my favorite places to shop on a college budget. I’m sure there are more out there with equally great deals, you just have to find them! Like I always say, you don’t need a lot to look straight out of the fashion mag…