Getting A Little Dark and Mouthy

In case you haven’t realized from my previous posts, I have a slight addiction to shopping. I am always looking to build up my wardrobe and create more definition in my personal style. Last week, I adjourned to the mall twice with a few of my sisters, and I made a few staple purchases to expand on my nightly wares.

2013-10-08 12.10.02 My love of clothes led me to this very versatile, little black leather skirt from Forever 21. To me, leather is a classic material that never loses its appeal, and always adds a little kick to any outfit. What I like most about this skirt is that the leather isn’t heavy or too textured, and it is simple enough that it doesn’t tie into any one trend too closely. At the moment, leather skirts with studs seem to be very popular, but who knows how long that trend will flourish? My take on this skirt would be to pair it with a very feminine blouse and colorful tights for a daytime look, maybe layering on a cardigan for good measure. On the other hand, this can be taken into the nighttime with a sparkly sleeveless top or a printed crop top for a little edginess.

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One of the most important things a girl possesses is her mouth. Now before you let your mind wander, I’m talking about having pretty lips and pretty teeth, not to mention the gift of gab. So, being very particular about keeping my bocca in tip-top shape, I scoped out options at Forever 21 and Lush

I personally love all types of lip products, from Burt’s Bees fabulously tingly lip balm to my trusty Maybelline Vivids lipstick. Typically, I’m not very picky about color, as I tend to just pick based on my mood and outfit. However, being that a lot of the colors I tend to own lean towards the bright red or hot pink variety, I kept this in mind and went searching for a berry shade to compliment my more golden complexion. Just my luck, as I was checking out with my skirt, I found this high-pigmented lipgloss from love&beauty in one of the bins wrapping the line. It was cheap and the color was what I was looking for, so I took a chance and was rewarded. The gloss is so easy to put on, and it’s pleasantly smooth and scented. But the most important part is that because the color is “high-pigmented,” it is more likely to stick around on your yap for a longer period of time.

Moving on, I was pulled into Lush by my sorority sister and fellow fashion blogger Tammy, in search of facial products that she’d been yearning to try. I browsed the perfumes, dabbing on a little Karma and still adoring Lust, the stick I’d bought during a previous adventure. Back home in Jersey, I was assisted by the most charming lady in the store, and she supplied me with multiple awesome samples, as well as introducing me to a phenomenon that I think everyone should know about. TOOTHY TABS! 😀 Basically, these little tabs are condensed, natural “toothpaste-on-the-go” in various eco-flavors. The flavor I chose, Dirty, is a sharp blend of spearmint and orange, which gives a clean taste without being overpowering. Toothy Tabs are perfect for those days when you’re running late or eliminating morning breath after nighttime adventures, and they even have baking soda mixed in for gradual teeth whitening. What more could you possibly ask for?!

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I just want you all to know that I kind of love mall food court options. The styrofoam boxes of Chinese food and the comfort of a Chicken California from Charley’s is enough to satisfy my cravings for days. Beachwood Mall, which is about 20 minutes from my campus, has a really great selection of stores, as well as food providers. What is your guilty pleasure at the food court? What kind of products do you use to create the perfect pout? Tell me all about your mall adventures. Stay smiley, everyone.

OOtD: The Violet Femme

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We were back at the art museum today for costume design, and it was lovely weather outside again. There were so many children there, and I give props to the girl leading the line with pigtails and giant flower-like bows, strutting her stuff. There’s something about being able to walk to museums and all manner of charming public institutions that reconciles some of the less appealing traits of Cleveland for me.

I’m usually very wary about mixing prints, especially when they are rather differing in color. However, I am not one to wearing anything plain except perhaps pants or jackets. So today, wanting to stay cool, but also not wanting to wear a dress for the third day in a row, I decided to toss on a pair of my more ripped-up tights and match that with boots from Steve Madden for a kind of rocker look.

Factor in a strangely unconventional floral print skirt from Urban Outfitters, then layer on top with a purple tank and a pinstriped vest from Wet Seal and you get the package deal. Layering pieces are a great way to have more outfit options, especially in fall when it gets tiring to wear the same 7 jeans and you have a limited amount of long-sleeved shirts. I actually drew inspiration from my roommate and little, Sasha, who is an aspiring musician with a lot of flair and a killer collection of heels.

There are times when print-mixing is okay, such as here, where one is more subtle than the other, and solid colors are in between for some break up. If your outfit is leaning more toward a playful or irreverent attitude, mixing prints can be exactly what you need to extend your wild personality. If you have to ask whether two go together, however, you probably should skip and go for something like a solid ruffled blouse or printed accessories. It’s similar to when you wear makeup and you either go for a bold lip or shimmering pigmented eyeshadow. Keeping the focus on one part of your clothing is a way to save peoples’ eyes—and your style.

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Shameless plug of the day, Sasha is actually really talented (I’m not biased or anything…) and she has recently entered a contest through Guitar Center with her first music video. I’ve included the link, just click on my photo and watch, and if you reaaaaally like it, share it with your friends via Facebook or go ahead and like her page. In the worlds of art, music, and fashion, I always believe that support and collaboration are the best ways to stay inspired and keep the pool brimming with great things. Stay talented, everyone.

Taste the Rainbow: A Look At All Things *Coral*

Ever since I walked into Lush one summer day and decided to try on some new lipgloss, I have been obsessed with all things coral. To me, coral is red and orange’s sweet, more playful little sister, transitioning well from day-to-night, and from warm seasons to the newly-crisp fall weather. Coral makes me feel a little brighter and a little bolder every time I wear it. Whether it’s my beloved Tommy Hilfiger bag slung over my shoulder, or my loose and comfy sweater from the Loft, I can’t get enough of this saucy shade in my wardrobe.

945186_10201148199761566_1958386450_n My fave sweater – plus, my bff Mimi rocking the polka dot trend

There are many different shades of coral; whether you favor a more orange, red or even pink version is up to you. Coral is flattering on pretty much any skin tone, as I have come to realize. The other day, I was delighted to find one of my sorority sisters Sarah sporting this dark coral sack dress, and I just had to snap a photo of her. The style is simple with just enough distinction (shoulder cutouts) to be flattering; the real fashion gold is in the color. The color really pops against Sarah’s ivory skin, and the muted tones in her shoes and bag allow the focus to stay on her outfit (it’s even prettier in person!)

Sarah

Coral was a very popular color on the red carpet early in 2013 and the runway in spring of 2012, and has only become more prominent in the fashion world. While coral is primarily a color that conjures images of island beauties and pretty petals, coral is a chameleon that tones down the sexiness of red and bypasses the quirkiness of orange for a passionate impact. On the cool spectrum of colors, mint has caught the eye of designers everywhere. Which color is more you?

I have to say that coral lipstick has become a staple in my everyday look. While I believe there is a shade of red out there for every lady, coral gives me a pop of color while maintaining a soft and glossy look. My favorite brand of coral lipstick is Electric Orange by Maybelline. I don’t even have to put on chapstick underneath because it goes on smooth and doesn’t flake on my lips. Personally, their “coral” shade is too pink for me, while the orange matches a similar color I tried on at Lush.

Coral Collage

How do you rock this fun color trend? Do you throw a coral sweater over a pastel tank to add contrast your outfit, or do you wear coral jewelry over a brown dress to go from neutral to fab? Drop a comment about your favorite coral piece(s) and why you love this trend. Stay fresh, everyone.

OOtD: Graceful Green (so this is a day late…)

OOtD: Graceful Green (so this is a day late...)

In case I haven’t already made it obvious, I love dresses. Dresses are so easy to put on and almost always make you look more presentable in any situation. I had the pleasure of having costume design class at the Cleveland Museum of Art yesterday, as we were working on renderings of paintings to work on proportions and how clothing falls on bodies. This photo was taken by a very sharply-dressed Asian woman who was visiting with her young son and elderly mother for the first time. Too cute.

The thing I like most about this dress is that it is very movable, and much like the skirt from the previous post, has a billowy and pleated upper layer, and a stable, black underskirt. For a figure like mine, emphasis on the waist is key. The loose bodice area and sweetheart neckline creates the illusion of a fuller bust (which doesn’t bother me one bit!) It’s so important to take your body type into account when buying dresses. For instance, most strapless dresses do nothing for me because I have a smaller bust area, whereas the same dress on my roommate Sasha would be gorgeous and show off her ample assets. The right shape in a dress can make you look sexy and more mature, or sweet and playful. It all depends.

I love pops of color mixed with black in all of my outfits, so the green here becomes a sultry emerald. The dress looks even prettier with the lace straps, and the sheer lace back which shows just enough skin to spark the imagination. Lace has become a wonderful trend within the past few years, and I love it because lace is so inclusive of an edgy but feminine style. I think that understanding how fabric can be utilized and how it falls on the body is really important for projecting a certain image of yourself, if you so desire.

I’ll be dedicating a whole post to this, but I don’t go anywhere now without my Tommy Hilfiger purse. The coral color looks good with pretty much anything, and with a versatile strap, it transitions for anywhere necessary. I appreciate how the logos on the bag are not too gaudy or distracting, but add a pleasant print and texture over the exterior. The purse was fairly inexpensive too, completely a lucky find. I love love love this purse so much.

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I’m so excited that the blog is taking off. I really want to branch out and include useful content, and display other styles besides mine. I am always inspired by someone who has a very cohesive and defined personal style. I should be talking to her later, but my sorority sister Emily has one of the classiest, preppy wardrobes I’ve seen in a long time. I swear she should be a Kate Spade model; she knows how to take regular clothes and make every outfit fabulous. Whether it’s tossing on a strand of pearls, or pairing her pastel outfit with a bold ultramarine blue bag, Emily is effortlessly chic and inspires me to look at fashion from a different angle.

Do you have any friends or family whose style differs from yours but still manages to awe you? Drop me a comment, I love to hear about other peoples’ inspirations. Stay hip, everyone.

Sometimes Being A Girl Has Its Perks… (And They’re Printed!)

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I’ll be honest; I have never been the type of girl who would be found toting around the ever-present bags and wallets of Lilly Pulitzer. The designs always seemed a little too cluttered for me, a little too girly. I also try not to fall into the trends of typical females (not to say that there aren’t some girls who work the look, no disrespect meant).

My opinion has changed, however, thanks to the company’s latest print, dedicated to my dear sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. After having spent a month or so entering multiple votes with my sisters on a Facebook contest, we were all thrilled to receive the winning design. They revealed the print concept on Instagram today to the catchy tune of Bruno Mars’ ‘Treasure‘, and I’ve definitely fallen in love. With our name and our lyre twisted in the stems of our bright red carnations, the Lilly designers have hit the nail on the head and enchanted all of us. This is one moment when I’m happy to embrace a very typical aspect of sorority life.

When I think about it, having a Lilly print has a legitimizing feeling for us, and that’s not to say that we are shallow types of girls who need to own pretty little totes to boost us up. But Lilly has revolutionized branding, and the company has certainly done well to give girls preppy, feminine pieces that are fun but classy. The original herself started out selling juice and started designing bright, collected print clothing after spilling on her dresses; talk about a stroke of genius.

And you know, I think girls should definitely look more into the brand, there really does seem to be a print for every type of person, whether you dance for joy at ’70s paisley or nautical that ties you up in knots. If print isn’t your thing, they have plenty of other options, including some very cute clothing lines (I was actually really surprised that Lilly wasn’t just for accessories, but go figure!) Lilly stores all over the country and the world carry everything from accessories and dresses to men’s clothing and stationery. Is there anything Lilly’s people can’t make?

So, Lilly, even though you’ve passed on to designer heaven, your lovely legacy lives on, and the brains you left behind have gleaned another happy (future) customer. Thank you for inspiring generations of girls and women to brighten up and turn what you’ve got into something beautiful. You’ll always be the Queen of Preps, but I think I’ll make an exception, just this once. Stay sunny, everyone.

ImageR.I.P Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau – April 7, 2013

Fashion Procrastionation

Fashion Procrastionation

AXO recently had our alumnae formal in conjunction with our 30th anniversary, and I had the bright idea of getting heels that would even out the large gap in height between my date and I. Jetting off with two of my favorite sisters Jordan and Tammy (who is also a fashion blogger, but more on that later), I scoured the department stores for a lovely new pair.

Part of me wanted to get some fancy pair with baubles or fancy design, but after much trouble with heel-to-toe height ratio and walkability, I chose a pair by Nickels. They’re simple, but versatile, and they’re the tallest pair I own so far (which, honestly, is kind of sad… what kind of short female am I?). That, and they were affordable.

What is your favorite style of heels? Are you a sexy stiletto type of gal, or do you have a penchant for platforms? Either way, own whatever you wear, because any pair of heels can spin an outfit into sartorial gold in the blink of an eye. Besides… everyone needs a little lift in the derriere area once in awhile. Stay sassy, everyone.

OOtD: Black and Red and Leopard All Over

OOtD: Black and Red and Leopard All Over

There are some days when I just do not feel like wearing pants. Perhaps it is because I am a fairly feminine person, but the draw to wear dresses and skirts is very real for me. So today, I decided to go with leggings.

Add in a preppy button-down and some classic black flats for a streamlined silhouette before layering on the statement pieces.

I’ve had this skirt from Forever 21 for awhile, and I really like the material because it is somewhat translucent while having pattern and substance. I like to pair it with black so that the focus is on the skirt itself.

While I am a big fan of wearing scarves around the neck to draw the eye upwards, sometimes it’s better to mix it up and change the accessory to embrace a different style. Here, I take the scarf (an H&M summer purchase) and create a kind of pirate-gypsy nod to Bohemian fashion.

Headscarves always seem to add some depth to outfits. Audrey Hepburn is my biggest inspiration; I always wish I could pull off her traveling headscarf look from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
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I had a lovely day, and I am really excited to start this blog. I went to Coventry (I’m currently
living in Cleveland as a student) with my sorority little Sasha for froyo and art supplies for my costume design class. Rendering is so interesting to me, I almost wish fashion design only required drawing. I guess that is why I prefer the marketing/consulting aspect. Oh well, I’m signing off now. I’ll get the hang of this and start writing shorter posts. The writer in me just wants to ramble on… Stay colorful, everyone!