Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How To: Age Gracefully

While I could talk about fashion til the sun goes down, that's not the only thing this blog is about. I want to help you gain confidence and better your life and goes along with ageing gracefully.

One of the biggest issues you'll face is peer pressure, specifically with drugs, alcohol, tanning, and eating disorders. All your friends are doing it, they do it on Gossip Girl and 90210, it'll make you cool - yea, whatever, that's bologna. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I'm probably the biggest anti-drug advocate you'll find and I am more happy than my acquaintances that are heavily addicted. It's just not worth it. Really. Smoking and drinking ages you ten years, when in your in your young fun 20's you'll look like your in your ready-to-settle-down 30's!

It's also just not classy, smart, or confident! Yes, ok Audrey Hepburn smoked but she lived during a time when doctors actually endorsed smoking. Now we know the truth- it kills you. How classy are you if you go to a party and get falling down drunk? Not remembering what you did last night? Come on! That's not cool. Plus, if that doesn't turn you off enough binge drinking makes you gain weight faster than anything else and smoking gives you more wrinkles than an elephant. Regular exercise or healthy eating are not enough to counter act the effects of drinking. You could drink all the anti-oxidant filled tea and coffee you like, as my coffee-genius friend does in the photo above, but the side effects still exist.

When coming into your confident self, be strong! Say no to drugs! You are so much better and smarter than that. Your worth it. You are SO much better than that. If you say no to the pressure from others you will be the stronger one, be smarter than them!

Don't Succumb!

Get a Hobby!

Question: When at a party what makes one person more interesting than other?
Answer: What they do in their free time.

So how does one become the most interesting life of the party? Get a hobby!! I love to knit, dance, and exercise and through these activities I not only meet people but it allows me to relate with people I've just met. My mom has a green thumb and loves to be out in her garden, while her BFF dyes gorgeous silk scarves in her free time. Everyone has something they love to do, and that's what makes you interesting! But how do you know what you're good at? Try lots of different activites! Not sure where to start? Here is an abbreviated list to start with:

-Arts and crafts: Painting, drawing, jewelery making, knitting (as my talented friend and fellow knitter is in the picture above), or scrap booking.
-Cook: Try new recipes, bake, or cake decorating
-Writing: Journal, write a book, or start a blog!
-Exercise: Hit the gym, run, play a team sport, walk your dog, dance, or try yoga.
-Outdoors fun: Garden, camp, hike, or get a group to play frisbee.
-Philanthropy: Clean up local parks, help at soup kitchens, or donate your time at a YMCA.

These are my favorite, but everyone is different! The website has a great list to get started from. Are you a very social person? Get some friends together and do these together, or take a class at a dance studio and meet some new friends. More of a homebody? Me too. Try an individualized hobby such as photography, better yet take a class to force yourself to get out and meet new people! Community colleges offer beginning foreign language classes, that way you can meet new people who are in the same boat as you and you can hang out and study together!

Yes, I love to knit, I knit on the subway on my way to class, in between classes, at lunch and yes my friends due tease me about it. But, it's a great conversation starter! I just laugh with everyone else, yes ok I know it's a grandmotherly hobby but my scarves look cooler than everyone else's. The key to confidence is to not care what other people think of you, so what some not-so-cool kids may tease you for your hobby? They are just jealous they aren't as talented, therefore their opinion doesn't matter. Your true friends will love that you have an interesting talent and appreciate you for it, they may even share your passion! So get out there and learn something new!

Until next week!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Now Accepting Donations

If your closet looks anything like mine, pictured above, you have no room for your new spring wardrobe. What's a fashionista to do? Donate!!!!

I know, I know, I probably sounds like your mother, "Go clean your room!", but it doesn't have to be boring! Put on a fun play list and make a fashion show out of it. Try on items you haven't worn in a while and if you don't love it donate it! Go through every shelf, hanger, and drawer and get rid of anything you won't wear or is ripped, worn out, ill-fitting. Don't limit it to just clothing either, go through old jewelery too! Clear the clutter of old clothes to make room for your new items, spring is almost here!

My personal rule, is if you haven't worn it in 6 months you won't wear it again, so give it away to a charity like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other local donation center. No local charity center? Have a swap party with friends! Have all your friends weed out their wardrobe, put on a girly movie (I suggest Pretty in Pink, or Devil Wears Prada), make some girly snacks ( has some fun ones) and swap clothes! One persons trash is another persons treasure! As the weather warms up, get your BFFs together and host a garage sale and use the profit to go out to dinner or the movies together! Bring a stereo outside, pour some cool (non-alcoholic) drinks and wait for the customers! Just make sure you wash the clothes and hang them up for easier shopping.

Feeling extra generous? Get a group together and go to a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or park clean-up and donate your time to making this world a better place. Doing something for someone else is the key to confidence, so pass on the love!

Isn't it fun to be fashionably philanthropic?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Investment Pieces

Now, if you are senior in high school or older my previous post does not apply to you. If you are interviewing for colleges, going to college, or job searching it is crucial to make a great lasting impression. And how do you do that? Classic, timeless, high-quality investment pieces.

It sounds cheesy but you have to make an investment in yourself, going to a job interview in a hot pink leopard print t-shirt and jeans will not get you the job. Although the other side is false as well, going in wearing an ill-fitting suit will make you look boring and conservative. It's important to wear items that are styled perfectly for you and where your going in life.

You hear it over an over again: "Dress for Success" but it's true! You have to dress for the job you want, so how do you look smart, confident, and motivated? Investment pieces. Now every style guru has their list of wardrobe staples, and while I think there are items everyone needs each list should be tailored to yourself. Working in an office requires more work apparel such as blouses, suit pants, and business appropriate dress. While shop girls need perfect fitting jeans, versatile tops, and interesting jewelery.

Still a bit lost? Here is my list on what every girl needs:
1. The perfect pair of jeans
-If they fit like a glove buy two and have one hemmed for flats, the other for heels.
2. The little black dress
-Yes I know, as Audrey Hepburn's BIGGEST fan I am a bit biased, but trust me you get great mileage out of it.
3. The little white dress
-The spring/summer version of the little black dress. Wear it with a colorful cardigan for chilly nights.
4. The Classic Black Cardigan
-Perfect for spring/summer nights or with a pashmina in the winter.
5. The Pashmina Scarf
-Buy it in your favorite color to wear with your cardi, white dress, and black dress.
6. The Smashing Coat
-Its a coat, you have to wear it my not make fantastic? Spring/fall coats tend to be the most fun, such as the modeled by my fashion forward friend in the photo above. This fantastic coat can be found at Twist Boutique in Naperville, IL.
7. The Black Pants
-Perfect for job/college interviews when paired with a fun blouse.
8. The Statement Jewelery
-Whether your a necklace, ring, bracelet, earring or watch girl have a fantastic piece of jewelery to dress up an outfit.
9. The Classic Black Skirt
-Pencil skirts are my favorite, but wear what flatters your body. A-line skirts get the most mileage because it goes with everything.
10. The Black High Heels
-Round toe, pointed toe, square toe, 1" to 5" (the 6" inch heel is a myth), everyone needs black shoes.

Of course, everyone has different needs buy more black pants if you work in an office or jeans if you have a casual job, but these are staples.

My last bit of advice: Don't be afraid to spend money on investment pieces.
You will save more money if you buy high quality items that last forever as opposed to cheap items that fall apart within days. This are things you will have and wear forever so make sure they will last forever.

You are what you wear!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cheap, It's the New Expensive

Even though I work at a boutique that sells $150 jeans, I am a firm believer that when you are young and in your experimental fashion days you do not need expensive items. In fact, when you shop at moderately priced shops there are a greater selection of fun items. Now, as you get older and start buying more classic items it makes the difference to invest in high quality items because they last, but that is for a later blog. When you are young and shopping the trends its not worth spending your whole pay check (or your parents) on something that will be out next month. As an example, I searched high and low for the brown boots that are so in this season, and where did I find my perfect pair? Target, $24. Yup, that's right. And they are adorable, plus I can walk in the snow and not have to worry about ruining them!

My favorite example happened this holiday season, when I fell in love with a maroon and white striped dress from H&M. I wore it to my families holiday party where it brought in the compliments and it was my secret that it only cost $35! To my surprise though, and this is the best part, the next week I saw a picture of the fantastic Michelle Obama wearing the exact same dress to a social event! I compared our matching dress above, exactly the same, and both adorable. I am a huge fan of Mrs. Obama, she's a smart, confident woman but she is also extremely chic. She can mix high-end fashion classics with more affordable trend items from locations like J.Crew, White HouseBlack Market and H&M. Through her timeless style she shows the American public that you can wear more affordable items and look better than some celebrities on the red carpet!

Fashion is inspired by high-end designers, but trend forward chains like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and H&M use these inspirations to provide affordable options. At this age there is no need to buy expensive items, your still developing your style! What you consider in one day is out the next, so have fun with more affordable alternatives.

Happy saving!