Archive | March, 2012

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…

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Monkey See, Monkey Do…and sometimes don’t

20 Mar

Celebrities are inspiration to so many different trends…hair, makeup, clothes, shoes. You name it, they wear it, and we want it. They make the bold first decisions that give others the courage to break out their bright, bold oranges and over-sized sunglasses. They set the trends and like small children so many of us follow them. Our culture has this imitation obsession and if you aren’t careful, you could end up wearing some outrageous stuff (i mean i have a few examples…but I’ll keep them to myself this time).

What does it mean to have your own personal style? Where do you find it?

That’s easy…well maybe easier said than done. Just look around you. Everyone you see has been inspired to dress a certain way. Fashion expresses their personality and can capture the essence of the individual. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Everyone around me is in yoga pants or sweats, What kind of inspiration is that? Okay. Good point. Don’t incorporate everything you see…that might/could/would be disastrous.  Look a little bit further and you’ll find it. It might be the girl wearing a funky necklace or a pair of earrings that pop on a basic outfit. These are small fashion victories. I love it when I see someone so casually dressed, but it’s so individual. It’s as simple as a flower in their hair or a bright ballet flat.

Here are some of my favorite defining pieces that I found this weekend.

      

However, there are those ensembles you see and you should definitely never replicate that in your personal wardrobe. When you’re looking to celebrities for fashion inspiration, maybe don’t aim for the 5 inch platform heels when you’re walking out of the airport. Any normal person would land on their face. Those may not be so practical….or well, fashionable. Remember, practicality isn’t the celeb specialty… Look to them for color schemes or accents, club attire, or outfits that you could dress down for school or weekends. They have a lot to offer because they are willing to take fashion risks. I love flipping through magazines just to look at outfits or watching Fashion Police to see what terrible fashion no’s they made this week. Just think of everything as possible inspiration.

It’s a Betsey Prom

14 Mar

Betsey Johnson exemplifies quirky. Her designs take risks and are always super cute and fierce. Since Prom is right around the corner for so many high school students, I thought I’d put together a list of my personal 2012 favorites.

All of her dresses take something that is a bit unusual and make something exquisite and beautiful. I just love how she plays with color and dimensions.

1. Blue Hues.

You definitely won’t be singing the blues in this formal dress. Below is an example of a fun, flirty, and simple dress that will compliment so many different frames. Something important to keep in mind when shopping for formal gowns is definitely simplicity. You don’t need a complicated, bedazzled gown to be stunning and beautiful. I was fortunate enough to have my Mom make my dresses for me so I was able to design them and  have them fit like a glove. Not everyone has that luxury. So, you want to make sure that you are showing off your best features (whatever they may be)! This dress is a great cut for many body types and the feminine bow cinches at the waist to create one fabulous silhouette.

2. Edgy.

If you’re a little bit edgy in your everyday style and love taking risks. I recommend this dress. While the color scheme was be simple, the dress screams individuality. LOVE IT. The tulle showing at the bottom along with the black overlay is perfection. The black allows you to be bold in your accessories. Try to add a bright pump (possibly a bright blue, pink or red). You’ll definitely shine is this Betsey number.

3. Girly 

If you’re anything like me, then you love everything pink and everything girly. This Iona dress will be the belle of the ball for whoever wears it. I love the bright pink cinched waist and the lace overlay. This dress has feminine perfection and will enhance the natural beauty of any young girl. It’s a modern version of Pure Princess Elegance.

…and lastly the shoes. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I’ll never leave out the shoes. I LOVE them too much. These pumps are so amazing. I want them in my life NOW. They are rocker sheek, yet the bow is so girly. This is something that could be paired with a super elegant dress to make a statement. Take your accessories to the next level….get out of the typical prom shoe rut. Don’t just buy what’s plain and boring. Go for sparkles and bows (I know, I know, I’m shoe-obsessed). I love simple dresses because you have the ability to focus on something like a shoe and honestly, it just pulls the entire ensemble together into fashion harmony.

Think of these ideas as starting points. You have the ability to take your personal style to let that shine on your prom night! Always remember that you don’t have to spend a lot to look amazing. Look at what designers have out and then searchlocally to find similar pieces. Create your own look, don’t think you have to take something piece by piece from  a magazine.

Pick a simple style and have fun dressing it up with statement accessories (both bright and bold)! As I’ve mentioned before: less is almost always more. You’ll be stunning and perfect, turning heads right and left if you remember that.
Embrace your natural beauty and choose a dress that enhances everything that is wonderful about you!

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she IS beautiful.”