Don’t Give Up

AYO THRIFTERS,

So I know you want to look incredible all the time (and probably take pride in this). Some days, though, are just such a drag. Maybe it’s because you were an idiot and waited ‘till 4 AM to do homework for your 8 AM that day, or you watched all of Parks and Rec to get pumped for the new season premiere and forgot about your body’s need for sleep. But huddle up because I’m going to tell you how you can be a bum and not look like total shit while doing it. The basic rule to follow is don’t give up: it’s easy to succumb to soft, hideous sweaters or flip flops, but these tips will provide you with equally simple alternatives.

Tip #1: NO SWEATPANTS. EVER.

I know, I know, when you’re tired and look like a raccoon you don’t feel like wearing real bottoms. However, if you’re going to wear pants, might as well put on some jeans instead. You’ll look so much more put together and if you have the stretchy kind you will even feel just as comfortable after a little while.

Tip #2: Hats on Hats on Hats

Having a good hair day can make you feel a little like Beyoncé, while a bad hair day can make you want to avoid eye contact with every human alive. And of course the one day you don’t have time to do your hair, it looks like complete shit. Well here’s a quick fix – HATS!  It can be a baseball cap, snapbacks (I enjoy these), fitted hats, even beanies! It covers the rag on top of your head and may even add some swagger. A Crap Day instantly becomes a Hat Day. This goes for you, too, gentlemen!

(I am a little obsessed with Cara Delevingne.)

Tip #3: A scarf!

Throw on a plain white tee, a plain black tee, really anything that resembles a shirt; it doesn’t matter because once you add a scarf you will look less miserable AND be warm!

Weigh in! How do you not look like a slob?

Fall Fashion Staples

Happy Autumn!

The long days of blistering heat and warm nights are fading away, taking with them wardrobes full of shorts, bikinis and summer dresses. Sunday was the first official day of fall and a crisp chill has begun to take over the air. It is time to break out my personally favorite wardrobe: THE FALL CLOTHING!!!! (I’m pretty psyched if you can’t tell).

1. BOOTS

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YOU NEED A PAIR OF THESE BALLER-FALL-EMBRACING-STREET-STRUTTIN-BOOTS. They are the quintessential fall footwear since they can both keep you warm from the cool air AND make you look fabulous at the same time.

2. SKINNY JEANS

All ladies look hella fine in jeans and SO WILL YOU when you wear them. Personally, I appreciate denim with a bit of stretch since I don’t have the thighs of a model and all.

3. SCARVES

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I cannot stress how dope scarves are. If you feel like a bum, just wear a simple t-shirt, throw on a scarf and VOILA! You now look bangin’. And there’s SO MANY KINDS! Rack up on these scarves, kids. They’re a keeper.

4. DENIM JACKETS

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Just do it. You can dress it up, dress it down and stay cozy while doing it. Also, you just look a little more badass. Just a little.

5. SWEATERS/CARDIGANS

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Because they’re just so fall. You need to be warm and cozy and look good. Sweaters are the perfect solution to this!

6. BEANIES

 

 

 

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Just look at Cara wearing that red beanie. You cannot tell me you don’t want one after that. Also, If you are having a bad hair day or are just lazy, BOOM, BEANIE!

Weigh in! What are your personal fall staples?

Documentary Review: The September Issue

This documentary by J. Cutler offers up a coveted look into the sought after world of fashion and the life of those steering the industry. Enter Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine.

The realm of fashion, to a bystander, gives off a unique and intimidating sense of mystery (and perhaps exclusivity) which tends to evoke an instinctive dislike towards it. To others, it is seen as a magical path that has been dramatically fantasized over time through media and its limited accessibility. Overall, it is accepted as a rather cutthroat and competitive world that yields great results for those who “make it”.

In this documentary, Anna is everything she is rumored to be: blunt, ruthless; a machine. The difference, however, is that these attributes aren’t necessarily all that evil. I know, I know, how can a “blunt, ruthless machine” not be evil?! Well, for one, let’s not forget that Anna practically RUNS the fashion industry and has, even in the documentary, been labeled as the Pope for the Church of Fashion. Secondly, the need to be friendly for someone so powerful is superseded by the need to be successful; being successful, in turn, demands perfection. I could go on another rant about how her being a woman has contributed to the negative connotations she has been attached with for having an unsparing work ethic. Personally, after seeing this movie, I only yearned to be more like Anna!

Another great thing the documentary did was provide a real glimpse into what the fashion world really is like. The hard work, the scrutiny, the blood, sweat and tears that go into the production of an entire industry that affects our most mundane lives. It’s not all glamorous parties and glittering spotlights.

Lastly, while the documentary shows some pretty brutal and discouraging scenes involving rejection and disasters in the process of compiling the September Issue, there is a distinct voice of optimism that echoes throughout the 90 minutes. For example, a side story features the designer Thakoon and how he is carving his name in the world with pure talent and an admirable work ethic. The September Issue is definitely worth your time!

Weigh in! That’s our take on “The September Issue”. What did you think?

Fabric or Fiber?

This post is part of a series called Getting Started. It’s meant to guide new thrifters (or seasoned ones looking for tips)!

One of the most common style errors that I witness is when one sacrifices the quality of his or her clothing for quantity (or trend factor). Yes, that mint green maxi dress is bright, but if I can see your behind through the super-sheer material, I can assume you bought it at a low-grade store. This is a no-no when trying to maintain a classy/classic wardrobe. I’m undeniably picky when it comes to this, and I do not apologize in advance for coming off as a snob.

 

(I’m not.)

I tend to shy away from brands such as Forever 21 and H&M. The clothing is trendy and fashionable, sure, but often shoddily made and therefore what I like to refer to as disposable clothing: wear once, and watch the fabric unravel after two washes. For that reason, it also tends to have a cheap look to it (polyester does not equal silk). I do occasionally find something nice at these stores, but for the most part I stick to thrifting and better quality brands.

Ew.

Double ew.

Don’t panic, thriftinista: you can still shop at your favorite places. You can choose clothes at less expensive stores and websites that look more expensive. Certain fabrics tend to hold up better, and will feel a lot nicer against your skin than the scratchy ones. It’s possible to find such items for the right price: you just have to know what to look for.

(Side note: I find it hilarious that stores refuse to call anything “faux” anymore. We’ve moved on to the more sophisticated term “vegan”.)

One thing that’s good to know is the difference between “fabric” and “fibre”. Fabric, or textile, is usually a flexible, woven material made of natural or artificial fibers, such as cotton or silk. Fiber (or fibre) is rope or string usually used in the making of other materials. It’s often produced very cheaply and in large amounts, and less comfortable though it has a high retention for color. Polyester is a popular example. Additionally, man-made plastics like PVC (aka “vegan leather”) are also widely used in clothing and accessories.

It’s easy to navigate the shops for the best quality once you know what to look for. Tight stitches, double hems and thicker fabrics (even if they’re poly) are safe bets. Sometimes PVC really does look like leather, but I recommend avoiding bags and accessories with the distressed or cracked look. Keep it simple, and your cheaper finds will blend in. Another tip is not to dress head-to-toe in one brand; instead, mix and match.

Example 1: This polyester mint dress is a poor stand-in for silk. You can see that the hem is sheer, which means that the dress itself is as well (hard to tell because it’s against the mannequin) and the folds in the back are sort of awkward. Ruche, $54.99.

Example 2: On the other hand, this polka-dotted dress (also poly) looks more expensive. The pleats are nice and thick, and the material probably feels heavier in general. It’s definitely more durable than the faux-chiffon. Ruche, $42.99.

Online shopping is even more difficult, because it’s tricky to determine the quality of something based on a photo. You just have to be meticulous when it comes to browsing, and pay attention to the fabric content in those little info boxes.

Those are only a few examples of what to watch out for when navigating the deep waters of lower-end clothing. Maintaining a standard of quality makes the hunt a lot more fun!

Weigh in! Have you found something that looks way more expensive than it actually is?

 

Book Review: Teen Vogue Handbook

If you love and want to be involved in the delightful world of fashion in any way, you need to get your claws on “The Teen Vogue Handbook”. This book will serve as your *insert relevant sacred text here* and your sustenance for days to come.

Reasons this book is dope:

First. Amy Astley, the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue tells you to read it in the introduction. Obviously, you do what Amy Astley says.

Second. Its divided into sections based on professions: Designers, Editors, Stylists, Models, Beauty and Photo. This means you can not only know which section you specifically want to spend re-reading and highlighting, but also don’t have to waste time flipping through pages.

Third. There are interviews with industry superstars on how they got into the industry (which is exactly what wide-eyed dreamers like you yearn to know).

Fourth. In addition to that invaluable information, these fashion gurus also disclose their creative process, dispel misconceptions and tell the readers the qualities in people they find hirable. If that’s not a jackpot, I don’t know what is.

Fifth. Anna Wintour gives you advice. That’s all.

A few of my favorite pieces of wisdom:

-“With each job you have, you’ll learn a skill to use for your next job. Every experience in your life goes on to shape who you are. Nothing is wasted.” –Natalie Massenet (creator of Net-a-Porter).

-“Do your homework, go online, visit every museum, and intern.”-Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of Vogue).

-“Instead of being jealous of your peers, be inspired by what they do.”- Serge Normant (hairstylist).

Here’s the gist of the book: There are insurmountable ways to enter, blossom and revolutionize the fashion industry. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to become successful; however, hard work is a key component no matter what.

Weigh in! Is there a fashion-related book that you can’t put down these days?

 

What I Wore: Indian Summer

“Indian summer, I caught a glimpse of things to come/Racing to finish, I never think before I run…”

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It’s been warm out these past few days–the perfect opportunity to channel my not-so-inner Zooey Deschanel.

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It’s my last chance to enjoy flowery, flippy, sleeveless dresses and bare legs!

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I saw this Cynthia Rowley dress on clearance at TJ Maxx (Psst, did you know they’ve got an online shop now?) and had to have it. Only $20, and worth every penny – it’s colorful and well-made; the fabric swishes and swirls when I walk and the Monet-esque pattern is much too fun to pass up.

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I paired it with this bazooka pink Kate Spade belt (eBay, $34.99), gold bow ring (Madewell, $9.45) and mint green nail polish (American Apparel, c/o).

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Campus is still looking pretty green, which makes sense since the weather has been so fair. I’m enjoying it though, because for some reason I’m not as eager for fall fashion as usual (maybe because of all the cute summer stuff I’ve been picking up on clearance?)…

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Twirl, twirl, twirl! Pink lipstick is a must. Here I’m wearing the brightest shade that came in the 4-pack Izak for Sephora lipstick collab.

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I lusted after these ankle-strap pumps for about a year before they popped up on eBay (Madewell, $36). They’re as spectacular in person as I’d hoped–the straps are comfortable and sturdy, and the shoe itself is a perfect black suede. They look amazing with everything from jeans to shorts.

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For details and my own comments, click the collection below! Thanks as always to the fabulous Tyler Constance Photography for the amazing photos.

Weigh in! Which summer items are you squeezing into the rotation before the sweater-weather settles in?