Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Varsity Jacket, Nostalgic or Just Ick?

Recently, I was reading one of my favorite blogger, one that refers to herself as "The Man Repeller", who I truly admire for her lack of concern for what the male population thinks of her stylistic choices. Her  most recent post was all about the revival of the varsity, or letterman jacket, and instead of my usual giddiness when reading any of her posts, I found myself wondering if I agreed with this particular fad. Maybe it's just me, but when I tend to think of varsity jackets, the first image that comes to mind is one from a music video circa 2001 (Gwen Stefani and Fergie Ferg to name a few).

here
here
Now, I love a new coat trend, because, living in the northeast means you will probably be donning something heavier than a sweater for pretty much 5 months out of the year, and I enjoy some variety. My doubts of the reminiscence of 2001 pop videos was erased when I saw Rag and Bone's and Givenchy's adaptation of the letterman jacket, posted below.

Rag and Bone

Givenchy
So cool! Naturally, being a broke college student, I obviously went to websites such as Forever21 and Delia's to find a more economically conscious number. Here's what I found:
Delia's

Forever 21
Totally wearable! I have been converted. Thankfully, my dad was a track star in high school! Yay vintage!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Outer(where?)

Being a current college student, I don't expect much from my fellow classmates on the fashion front, especially later in the semester near finals. Want to wear sweatpants and Uggs? Your prerogative! Lately, though, I have come across many girls suffering on how to stay warm while walking to class and stay stylish. Simply putting a North Face fleece on will not only not warm you to the fullest ability, but will probably make you look like a clone of everyone on your campus, and who wants that? In order to combat the attack of the clones (nerd reference..) I have compiled some stylish ways to keep from freezing on the impending long snowy winter ahead of us.

As I said in my "Fall Fashion" post a few months ago, (can be found here!), capes are very much making a comeback, and I am elated. Burberry produced a more insulated cape number for the winter that will satisfy any cape needs for the snowy season. 

Burberry, via here
As always, pea coats are always stylish and classy, and a well-made pea coat should be in every woman's wardrobe. This version, by BB Dakota, puts a slight twist on the typical pea coat by removing the collar, and making it in a bright, mustard color, perfect for brightening up a dreary winter day!
BB Dakota, via here
Although not very practical on a college campus, if you are looking for extreme warmth with some extreme glamour and diva-feelings, fur is the obvious way to go.  Fur was seen all over the runways, but luckily the faux variety can be found in many of your favorite shopping establishments, just make sure you get a faux that at least seems to be from an animal...(no need to go for the green furs that look like you killed a muppet!).
via here
In my opinion, the easiest way to class up a boring outfit is to add a scarf. Whether you fancy the printed variety, the extreme comfort of an infinity scarf, or the classic look of a silk scarf, you will look that much more polished with the simple addition of a neck-warming tool. Instead of showing some runway-inspired scarf looks, I am instead showing you some of the more price-appropriate variety (hint hint, Santa!)
Infinity Circle Scarf, via here
Printed Scarf, via here


Let's top it off (haha) with hats. This season, one of the best accessories you can own is one of the trendy hats. Many designers like Hermes, Missoni, Victoria Beckham, just to name a few, have been all about the hat this season. From wide-brimmed 70s wonders, to retro baseball caps, and of course, the best of them all in terms of warmth, the knit cap. It is a known fact that the majority of your body heat escapes from your head, so why not get something cute to keep that all in?
Hermes, via here
Missoni, via here
Enjoy the time of layering and experimenting with different, heavier fabrics. Attempt to stray away from the college girl stigma of North Face and Uggs as best you can, and stay warm!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tis' the Season to be Trendy!

With the Christmas season quickly approaching, social calendars are losing space (much like my closet). This means many fabulous ensembles are needed for the upcoming 4 weeks of constant party rotations. And let's just be honest here, who wants to be an outfit repeater to a bunch of parties?! Not me!
To make sure there are not too many "repeat offenders" (haha), here are a few tips, pictures for inspiration, and ideas for outfits for every occasion, from Aunt Gertrude's holiday potluck to the pre-Christmas wine-palooza with your besties.

Occasion: Family dinner or Party

Now, many times these may not be the most interesting thing, and therefore may feel as though they go on for HOURS. Because of this, many people choose comfort over style and sacrifice a prime time to execute and practice styling certain outfits (if it's a total miss, your family will tell you, rather than some strangers at another function who may tell you that it looks fab). While this is a good forum to try out some looks, these looks should be somewhat conservative, and with this season's trends, that shouldn't be a problem.


Courtesy of Paper Crown
One of my favorite trends this season is the high waisted, short, a-line skirt. This lace adaptation done by Lauren Conrad's line, "Paper Crown" is the perfect way to seem polished yet comfortable. 

Courtesy of Jcrew
If your family soiree is less formal, thankfully, the oversize/chunky sweaters with patterns known as "fair isle" are very much on the cutting edge, and pretty much one of the most comfortable things we can have in our closets. Pair one like this from J. Crew with some black corduroys and you will be good to go!

Occasion: Night Out with Your Girls

These are the most fun to dress up for. Express your sense of style, if it matches that of the rest of your group, you will look like cohesive models straight off the runway, if not, you will appear as an eclectic group of confident women. Win-win! (Although when my friends make me laugh so hard I snort, I think the model illusion is somewhat shattered...)

Courtesy of Paper Crown
Maxi skirts have not left us yet! For shorter girls like me, these are a bit daunting for fear of having them swallow me alive. This maxi, done once again by Paper Crown, is very high waisted, with bow detailing at the waist, making it somewhat available to girls of shorter stature.


Courtesy of Jcrew
Can you tell what my favorite brands are? Once again, J. Crew is detailing the effortless elegance of color blocking, and the level of "funky" you can get out of just a few pop colors here and there. Although this model somewhat resembles Velma from Scooby Doo due to these color choices, to make it somewhat holiday-appropriate, maybe change the base color from orange to red or even black and accessorize the heck out of it!  Skinny ankle-length pants are almost universally flattering, so you can never go wrong. 

Occasion: Holiday Party With Friends

This is a tricky one, go conservative or fun? Well, this season, the dress silhouettes are so versatile you don't have to choose!

Courtesy of H&M
These sweet dresses apply many trends of this season, the slight a-line of the skirt, while keeping it slightly shimmery and fun!

Courtesy of H&M
This perfectly cute pink shift dress is accented by a simple black belt, but could not look more polished! The color makes it young, but the sleeves keep an air of conservatism. Either of these dresses could be worn to pretty much any holiday affair this season, and because they are at H&M's fabulous price point, why not get both!?

I hope I have covered every possible function you will attend this season! Enjoy your soirees and look fab doing it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Like Turtles



When reading this morning's "Thursday Styles" in the New York Times, a Thursday morning ritual of mine, there was an article depicting the great advancements and comeback of something I revered as a torture device a mere decade ago. The turtleneck.

The article delves into many different designers such as Olivier Theyskens for Theory, Ohne Titel, and Dries van Noten, all who marketed turtlenecks of differing fabric weights, textures, and lengths in their fall and resort collections. Irina Aleksander, the author of this piece, does not forget to mention Michael Kors and Donna Karan, designers known for their classic silhouettes with modern adaptations, and their many "resurrections" of the turtleneck over time. For whatever reason, it seems this season it finally stuck.

Further on in the article, Aleksander mentions a famed turtleneck donner, the late Steve Jobs. Remarkably, it seems that very recently after Jobs' death, the company that manufactured his famed black mock turtlenecks' sales doubled.

Many may stray from the turtleneck for fear of the male population finding them unappealing. Other than my grave disdain for these individuals (fashion should be about you, not men), the article quotes a woman named Ikram Goldman, a boutique owner in Chicago, as she says; "It hugs your body, your neck, your arms--its like a mold...and that tightness on your neck is almost like bondage. What's not sexy about that?".

Here, I have included some of my favorite of this trend, turtle turtle!

you can read the whole NYT article here!
 Resort 2011
Alexander Wang

                                                  
via here                                                        
 
 0307-white-turtle-necks-fall-trend-costume-nationale_fd.jpg
Costume National and Martin Grant 
And a personal fave:

                                            



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show?

Why watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show?
A valid question if you are not a straight male with a pulse, in which case the answer is quite obvious, it's beautiful women strutting around in their underwear. But for straight women, why do we watch something like this? It is not as though it is a typical fashion show in which the designers have their newest lines coherent with the trends on display, in which attendance is expected. No, it is simply impractical lingere that many women would not wear, let alone could afford. Is it wrong to glorify super-skinny bodies and scantily clad women? Do we watch it to solely envy in all the "angels" have? Beauty, an apparent sense of humor, and a body that keeps them very happy all the way to the bank.

Believe me, I have heard all of the above sentences from friends and strangers alike. I, however, have watched this show for the past few years now and finally have my own comprehensive take on it all. I will give you the top 5 reasons I watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion show every year:

1. Envy
        Let's just get this one out there in the open before we really begin. Yes these women are beautiful, apparently flawless, rich beyond comprehension, and everything like that. But the thing that always gets me, is after this show I do not feel ashamed of myself, or of how I look, but rather inspired. I don't know if this feeling is generated across different peoples, but I, myself, always look to hit the gym just a little bit harder the day after the show. Now, if it took an hour of emaciated women strutting around on stage to uncover this motivation, so be it.
2. Creativity
        So despite the fact this is probably not the most traditional fashion shows, in that it shows clothes rather than costumes and underwear, you cannot deny that the creators of the show, and of the many looks, have great vision. Through all of the different themes, we see perfect cohesion in accessories and choice of undergarments to complete the outfit. Some personal favorites of this year's show were the underwater theme, and the antebellum theme (pictured below). The models emulate (read: attempt) to capture the attitude of the theme they are presenting, and most of the time succeed in convincing. Suddenly, we are rapt with the idea that the women strutting down the runway in nothing but a bra and some delicately placed shells is actually a mermaid.
3. Performances
         Although this is supposed to be about the fashion and the Victoria's Secret brand, it seems that this show always seems to get the hottest performers to, for a moment, be upstaged by the beautiful women sauntering past them. This year's highlights were; Kanye West, Jay-Z, Adam Levine, and my personal favorite/idol, Ms. Nicki Minaj.
4. Celeb Sightings
          For whoever watched this year's show, I challenge you to tell me that seeing Orlando Bloom beaming with pride, on his feet, cheering for his wife, Miranda Kerr as she walked down the runway did not just melt your heart. Also a pregnant Beyonce on her feet throwing up a diamond in the sky while rapping husband Jay-Z-s new song was something I will not soon forget.
5. Interviews
           Throughout the pre-taped show, the models and designers are interviewed and recorded. The designers are asked about their inspiration as well as execution of how to make such lavish designs as well as how to choose the right model for each look. Whether speaking about their fellow models, home life, or just being an angel, when interviewed, the models become more like real people. Instead of amazons cantering down the runway in upwards of 2.5 million dollars worth of clothing, they become real girls who simply lucked out in the gene pool.
6. Fun
          As much as you may hate the message this show sends, you have to admit that no matter what, it is always a good time. The models all seem to be having fun with their choice of profession and co-workers, and the audience is enjoying their time jamming out to current artists and watching a parade of unattainable bodies travel past them. Of all the fashion shows I have seen, obviously on the internet :(, it seems this is the most fun.

And there you have it folks. That is why I will continue to watch the Victoria's Secret fashion show year after year, and have the best workout of my life the day after.  Below I have included some of my favorites from this year's show, enjoy!
Miranda Kerr at 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Lexington Avenue Armory, New York City on November 9, 2011.
Miranda Kerr, my favorite! via sawfnews.com

Erin Heatherton and Nicki Minaj via safwnews.com

Anja Rubik via safwnews.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wedding-palooza

It has been a big year for weddings! Starting out the nuptial trend was, of course, Duchess Kate Middleton and Prince William. Their over-the-top ceremony was completed by the ravishing Alexander McQueen (designed specifically by Sarah Burton) dress that was unveiled (little play on wedding words) to the United States around 5am on April 29th, and yes, I did, in fact, get up at that ungodly hour to watch the entire ceremony.
via http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-04-30/entertainment/30227016_1_sarah-burton-wedding-gown-catherine-middleton
            
Kate’s dress was a stunningly beautiful, and somewhat uncharacteristic of past royal weddings. The long-sleeve, V-neck, A-line gown showed the Duchess’ figure perfectly, and made her appears not like a royal girlfriend, but of a Duchess.
            We cannot talk of the Royal wedding without addressing the smoke show that happened to be carrying the bottom half of Kate’s dress, her sister Pippa.
via http://www.weightlossexercisediet.com/images/pippa-middleton-bum.jpg

 The satin sheath with buttons down the back and a simple cowl neckline made for the second most talked-about dress of the day.  Due to her impeccable figure, Pippa was able to carry this dress with all of the elegance it was made to exude.

Skipping over many other weddings this year, I know, but we continue with the marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.  This over-the-top affair was done in true Kardashian fashion, (aka televised and shown nationally to over 10.5 MILLION viewers. While I may poke fun at the Kardashian’s extravagance, I am a fairly awful liar, and to be honest, I was one of the 10.5 million, and yes, my eyes got a smidge misty. While this marriage ultimately, and famously, ended in a mere 72 days following this incredibly lavish experience, the pictures and the 3, yes 3, wedding dresses, will live on forever.
via http://creativewedding.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Kim-Kardashian-Wedding-Dress-The-Wedding-Ceremony.jpg
Kim’s first dress was a traditional princess gown, with layers upon layers of tulle, a strapless bodice made of satin, and, of course, much bling to complete the look.

                    
Kim’s mermaid-style dress was by far, my least favorite. I mean, we know you are fond of your “assets”, but I believe a figure-hugging dress with some unnecessary frills at the end is just overkill. Yet, now that I write that, it seems the dress describes her perfectly! Figure conscious, over-the-top, and impractical. Snarky comments aside, this was the least practical dress, and one that was inappropriate for a wedding, in my opinion.
via http://info.partydressexpress.com/Portals/29549/images/c--documents%20and%20settings-administrator-my%20documents-my%20pictures-kim_kardashian_dress_3-resized-600.jpg
Next dress was one that emulated “old Hollywood glamour”. A v-neck, figure-flattering satin sheath reminded me more of a dress for an awards show rather than a wedding reception, but there is no denying it was a beautiful dress that fit Ms. Kardashian-Humphries-Kardashian perfectly.

Finally, I am going to let my inner geek shine through and talk about the wedding I have been anticipating for approximately 4 years. I am, of course, talking about the nuptials between a Mr. Edward Cullen and Ms. Bella Swan from the multi-million dollar movie franchise, “Twilight”. I began reading the twilight series about 4 years ago, and when I read the final book and discovered there would be a vampire/human wedding, I was immediately curious about Bella’s wedding dress, and how it would be interpreted in the movie. Naturally, approaching 20 years old, a few friends and I traveled to the midnight showing of this tween sensation. Let’s just say, we were probably the most excited in the theater, and definitely the most emotional.
            Bella’s first dress was revealed in a dream (actually nightmare) sequence about her impending wedding day. This dress, although beautiful, underwhelmed me to the highest degree, and my heart dropped when I considered that would be the dress further on in the story. It is literally impossible to find any pictures of this, so I will just describe it for you. The exaggerated sweetheart neckline, lacy appliqu├ęs and subtle green/grey bow at the smallest point at her waist is all so beautiful. This just seems a little generic for my taste, and a little generic for this impossibly successful franchise.
            My fears were squashed a mere 10 minutes further into the film, when Bella’s true wedding dress was revealed.
          Look familiar? The buttons on Bella Swan's gown are very similar to those which Pippa Middleton wore on her bridesmaid's for the Royal Wedding in April                             ROBERT PATTINSON and KRISTEN STEWART star in THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN-PART 1
It was a stunning, long-sleeved satin gown with a semi-revealing lace back, and buttons down the entirety of the dress and train. It was truly breathtaking. Although not many in life can pull this sort of silhouette off, Kristen Stewart had the perfect body type. The subtleties of lace on the sleeves, the diamond-like paneling on the front, and the subtle train fit both the mood, and character perfectly. When attempting to write of this magnificent dress, it seemed as though the dress was nowhere to be found online! It was kept secret almost as strictly as the royal wedding dress! Finally, when the movie releases were in full swing, it seems the creators of twilight had a deal with a certain dressmaking company that would produce a copy of the wedding dress soon after release of the movie.
via http://racked.com/archives/2011/11/21/after-a-top-secret-delivery-the-bella-swan-twilight-dress-is-here.php
Astoundingly, the copy of the dress is a mere $779! Thanks Alfred Angelo! Hopefully this will still be considered stylish if I ever get married, because you can bet I will wear something similar.
            It is interesting to note the similarities in all of these dresses, mainly culminating in the creation of Bella’s dress. It seems as though bits and pieces from the other two weddings played a role in this creation; the satin sheath aspect from the Kardashian wedding, with the obvious play on the lace and long-sleeved silhouette from the Kate’s dress, and the lastly, the cascading buttons from Pippa’s dress at the Royal wedding. It is interesting to see all of these current bridal trends in so many different mediums. From the ancient tradition of Royal weddings, to the highly publicized weddings of our generation’s “celebrities”, to a franchise seen by millions. It seems these trends are able to coincide despite their obvious differences in occasions, and as far as my psychic abilities can see, these designs and trends are here to stay. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Fashion!


It’s that time of year again! The leaves are crunching under newly covered toes and shoulders that were once solely warmed by the sun now lie beneath layers of cotton and wool. It’s getting colder by the day despite the crazy, unpredictable New England weather. This means not only adding some serious Vitamin C to your diet, or switching from beloved iced coffee to regular, but most importantly, dusting off your fall and winter wardrobes!
When it comes to fall fashion, the type of coat and sweater to wear varies greatly depending on the current trends. Thankfully, this season, it seems what is old, is new again! The extreme comfort that comes from a so-called “grandfather sweater” is always a big hit, and cardigans and pea coats are always closet staples that never go out of fashion.  If you are bored with these tired styles, and wish to be on the cutting edge, you are in luck! Such styles such as, the cape (reminiscent of a Mr. Sherlock Holmes), are all over the runways, and have, of course, been adopted by your favorite shopping establishments (Forever 21, Macy’s, etc) for a far more reasonable price.
via Nordstrom.com

 Some basic sweaters are getting a modern update, with the addition of the “peplum”. Which, for those who don’t know, is defined by dictionary.com as, "a short full flounce or an extension of a garment below the waist, covering the hips”. This addition is usually found on skirts, but recently, it has traveled north and found a place on both cardigans and coats.
via glamour.com
If we travel further south, menswear pants are having a serious moment in the fashion world. Although the menswear trend has been slowly evolving over the past few seasons, and with the blazer trend becoming more and more popular, especially among Hollywood royalty, the menswear trend is evolving even further into pants. High-waisted trousers are popping up everywhere, not just on “That 70’s Show” re-runs. Hem lengths and widths are something that, with this season, brings great variation. Some current fascinations include; skinny ankle-length, wide floor-sweeping, and the always-popular, trousers with a boot-cut. Any of these lengths and widths will put you on the fast track to becoming a fall fashion maven.
Monique lhuillier, via trendalertdaily.com

Thanks to websites such as glamour.com, vogue.com, and for runway fashions, style.com, we are able to see progression and newly adapted trends in a more in-depth way. Happy styling!