Tag: shopping

Dress Bright and Feel Bold

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For a long time growing up I always played it safe with my wardrobe. I would put together creative, bright, kind of “out there” outfits, but then I never had the confidence to wear them out. I was scared of standing out in the crowd and always decided on the safe route.

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Now, as I’ve gotten a little older and wiser, I’ve learned that standing out is actually a really amazing thing. Dressing bright and dressing bold and dressing a little “out there”can turn into confidence. I love putting together a super bright and colorful outfit, like this one, because it instantly puts me in a cheery mood. How can I not have a good day, and a confident day, when i’m wearing a cobalt blue dress and a plaid primary-colored scarf. This outfit is powerful, and instantly makes me feel like I can take on anything that is thrown my way.

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Interning at Kate Spade this summer has taught me so much, but one of the most amazing things that it has taught me is that living colorfully, being confident, and having fun can truly become a lifestyle. Life doesn’t have to be serious, and neither does your wardrobe! Reflect who you are, and your confidence, through your wardrobe.

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A Petite Girl’s Guide to Boyfriend Jeans

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Being 5’2″ is both a blessing and a curse. Sure, I can still get away with the kids menu sometimes, but boy is shopping for pants a headache. Very few stores carry short enough jeans, and I have had so much trouble in the past adapting the latest trends to work with my tiny legs. Flared jeans.. nope… Boot cut… nope… culottes.. absolutely not.

When I first heard of the boyfriend jean trend a few years ago I instantly wrote it off too. My first thought was, “Oh my gosh, I would swim in boyfriend jeans..” I envied the tall, thin, models in the magazines and on the runway working the trend, and wished I had their physique.

Then one day when I was out shopping I decided to take a risk and try on a pair. They looked so loose and comfy…I caved and snatched up my size to slip on.

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When I first looked in the mirror with the boyfriend style on I initially was doubtful, i’m not going to lie… but then I played around with them a bit by adding a belt, cuffing the bottoms, and throwing on a pair of heels and instantly saw a difference.

“IT’S A MIRACLE…” I thought, “I CAN ACTUALLY WEAR A TRENDY PAIR OF JEANS!”

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When I style my boyfriend jeans now I typically pair the looser pants with a tighter or more structured shirt (like the one in this photo). I like to belt the jeans to sit a little higher on my waist, and usually roll the bottoms 2-3 times to get them to sit right above my ankles. A half-tucked shirt shows off my belt and waistline a little, but still keeps with that laid-back style of the oversized jeans.

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This shopping discovery of mine goes to show that you should never be afraid to experiment with different fashion trends, no matter what your height or size is. Every girl can rock the same trends, it’s just all about your confidence and creativity.

How To Shop For Quality: 10 Things to Check Before Checkout

1. Check if fabric is ‘on grain’ – the lengthwise (vertical) and crosswise (horizontal) yarns will be at a 90 degree angle

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2. Rub fabric together to check if it pills easily (small balls of fibers will form if it does)

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3. Seams have tight stitching without loose ends (more than 9 spi, stitches per inch, is strong and 6 is weak)

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4. Check to make sure buttons do not have loose threads (image 1) and also check to ensure that buttonholes have thread bindings (image 2), this will keep the buttonhole from stretching or ripping over time

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5. Look for zipper quality – Metal zippers will last longer than plastic

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6. Try buttoning and zipping items a few times, check for difficulty and catches

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7. If there is a design on the outside surface of the fabric, check if it is on both sides or just printed on the surface

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8. Check lining for sagging or unraveling – This could affect fit and how long it will last

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9. Plaids should always match at seams if it is a good quality garment

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10. Look at seam finishes… a double folded hem, an enclosed seam or a seam hidden inside a lining will last much longer than an edge-finished seam. you should not see a jagged edge of fabric.

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Ireland

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I visited Ireland not long ago for a long weekend, and the entire trip was just beyond enchanting. Never in my life have I been to a place on this earth with such gorgeous landscapes and green rolling hills. The views I saw on that trip, both at the Cliffs of Moher and merely driving through the Irish countryside, will stick with me for a lifetime.

For the duration of my stay in Ireland, I chose an accommodation in Dublin. Dublin has a very energetic and fun atmosphere, and it was very easy to take transporation from Dublin to visit other areas. I chose to take a day trip with friends away from dublin to the Cliffs of Moher and also stop in the town of Galway.

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The Cliffs of Moher were absolutely breathtaking. You can walk along these muddy paths right along the edge of the cliffs that overlook the green terrain and rough waters down below. The views from every side and area of these cliffs were different and so cool in their own way. I was lucky to visit the cliffs on a nice day, but even still the wind alongside the edge of the cliffs was pretty strong. Not strong enough to knock anyone off the edge luckily, but I still had to hold on pretty tight to my hat.

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From the cliffs we passed by this amazing golf course. Crazy right? In my opinion it almost looks like the classic windows background screen.

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Galway was a charming small town filled with lots of locals and a plethora of street musicians. Little shops and cafes were all over the place and the Christmas markets were beautiful. After wandering the shops for a while we enjoyed spending some time in a small bakery. I had the best apple cinnamon cupcake of my life!

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Unfortunately my day touring Dublin was quite rainy, but we still made the most of our time there. The town was urban yet historic and very charming. I loved the different architecture in Dublin, and the different shopping areas and department stores had beautiful holiday decorations and window displays. My two favorite areas in Dublin were St. Stephen’s Green Park and Grafton Street. Grafton street had a bunch of great shops and it ends right near the park, and right along the outside fence of St. Stephen’s Green was a long stretch of Christmas market stands.

Towards the end of our afternoon in Dublin we visited the Guinness Storehouse. The storehouse had some really cool merchandise, and the top floor of the building had a 360 degree stunning view of Dublin. From the top bar, we used our ticket vouchers and got to have a taste of the ‘perfect pint’ of Guinness.

If you’re interested in the night life of Dublin, it appeared that everywhere you turned in Dublin was a cool historic Pub. A lot of the pubs have live bands playing in them, which is a really neat atmosphere that you do not always find in the United States. If you don’t have a ton of time in Dublin, I would suggest visiting the Temple Bar area and The Brazen Head. Temple Bar is one of the most vibrant spots, very lively with amazing bands. The Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Ireland, and the atmosphere is very rustic and inviting.

How to Shop Vintage

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Throughout my college journey thus far, I have learned to become confident in my own personal style and no longer be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone and buy those ‘weird’ items. One appreciation I have gained as a fashion student is vintage clothing. Having taken various fashion history courses at my university, I have enjoyed learning how silhouettes, materials and construction methods have changed throughout the decades. I have also taken note on how these old, vintage, styles recycle through the years and become a fashion forward option for the current times.

When shopping at a vintage boutique, it is important to analyze certain aspects of the piece you are interested in. You want to look closely at the quality of construction, level of previous wear, brand listed, estimated time period the the item was intended for and price they are asking for the item.

If you plan to wear a vintage item on a regular basis, it is important that you avoid buying something that is already damaged or too fragile.  Too often, vintage shoppers will fall in love with a garment’s silhouette and uniqueness, and avoid to notice the hidden stains, iffy smells, or weakness of the materials. It may be a great piece to buy and collect, but as far as adding it to your everyday wardrobe, it may only end up lasting one or two wears.

Speaking of materials, it is important for vintage shoppers to understand that because these garments are older, the textiles have most likely become less strong than they once were. You should try on items first if at all possible, and make sure they fit comfortably. Buying an item too small could lead to various rips and tears down the road. It is important to know that sizes have changed throughout the years as well, and just because the size listed may be what you wear today, it could end up fitting very differently than expected.

If you’re not much of a fashion history buff, and don’t always know what time period certain items are from, it never hurts to do a little research. You never know what you may come across, and though finding items dating before 1950 is rare, finding a gem like that could be a worth-while investment. Doing research on a vintage item can also add to your appreciation for what you are buying. Think of each vintage item as a historical artifact with a story. Knowing its past could be a great conversation starter if someone compliments you on it later!

Finally… let’s talk money. If you’re looking for a vintage, designer brand, item in perfect condition, expect to pay a pretty penny for it. Just because these items are old, does NOT mean they are all going to be cheap. If you’re willing to wear something less high-end though, and something that has a little wear to it, you can find some awesome deals. I found that dress and jacket pair above at a great vintage boutique and paid $36 total for both items. Had a little bit of wear, but wasn’t anything that I couldn’t work with.

Hope these tips help! Happy shopping to all!