Archive for April, 2011

Just about everyone has an item that has special meaning to them. It could be a vacation souvenir, a good luck charm or a gift from a friend. Many times these items come in the form of an accessory.

For me, my accessory with a story is my ring.

I was born the day after my maternal grandfather’s birthday and was also his first grandchild. Shortly after I was born, he left for a business trip to Brazil. While he was there, he bought me my birthstone, an aquamarine.

The stone was kept in my mother’s jewelry box until I turned 16, which was when my grandparents had it set into a ring as a birthday present.

My grandfather passed away last November, but I still have the ring to remember him by.

I’m not the only one with a story,

Denise Weybrecht also has a ring that is special to her. She had bought it on a trip to Hawaii her junior year of high school. The relationship to her trip was one thing, but she has bigger plans for her ring. She would like to hand it down to her daughter (or son’s wife) as a gift. “I kind of want to start a generational thing with it,” she said.

Fellow blogger Emma Frankart (and Ohio University graduate!) sent me a few of her stories.

One of Emma’s friends and former coworkers, Kree, runs an Etsy store where she sells the jewelry she makes. All of the pieces are named after women in Kree’s life, and these earrings are Emma’s namesake. They both agreed that the colors reminded them of the ocean. When Emma left for a new job, Kree gifted her the earrings as a going away present.

This necklace was from Emma’s boyfriend. It was a Christmas present, and the first piece of jewelry he had ever bought for a girl. According to Emma, he was really nervous that she wouldn’t like it.

“It means so much to me that he tried so hard to pick something I’d like, without me ever telling him my preferences. He knows me so well!”

The final story from Emma that I would like to share comes with this pearl necklace. Emma’s father traveled frequently for work, and always returned with presents. On a trip to China, he had gone to the Beijing Pearl Market to get necklaces for Emma, her four sisters and her mother. He was able to hand-pick the pearls and watch as the vendor strung them. Emma notes that she not only loves the color, but also the fact that the pearls are a little irregular, a sign that they were natural rather than man-made.

So, readers, do you have any accessories with a story? Share it through a comment below or send me a tweet or email. (@aebrighter, ab275109@ohio.edu)  I can’t wait to hear from you!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,



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Before I get into the meat of this post I have a quick request for you.

For this Friday’s post, I would like to focus on jewelry or other accessories that have special meaning to their owners. I have a few stories of my own, but I would love to include your stories as well!

So send me your story (and a picture of your item, if you can!) and I will try to include some of the best on my next post. My email is ab275109@ohio.edu, send me a twitter message to @aebrighter or send me a message on Facebook. I’m listed under www.facebook.com/aebrighter

Thanks Guys!

So anyway… forget diamonds, if it’s jewelry, I love it. I have a thing for all sorts of jewelry, so it only makes sense that I include a little bit about jewelry on here.

So lets start with what I have the most of…


The basics

The fun!

I started noticing as I went through my earrings (and actually my entire jewelry collection) that I really favor silver and blue. I’m fine with that, because my closet is dominated by blues, and silver goes with just about everything.  I do have some gold, but I dont wear it that often. My earring collection is probably the most diverse of all my jewelry, and its something that I can find something to match any outfit, anytime.


Big collection here...

I dont really wear things on my wrists. I own exactly two bracelets: one was a gift from my boyfriend for Christmas, the other is a set of gold bangles. Obviously, the bracelet I wear fairly often, but I find that when there are things on my hands, I play with then too much. Which bothers me, even though I’m the one playing with them. Go figure. This rule also applies with rings. I only have a handful, and I didn’t bring any of them with me to OU.


I almost have as many necklaces as earrings. Again, there’s a lot of silver and blue in this bunch. Some I have perfectly paired with certain outfits.


I wear this with my polka-dot dress. I feel like the pearl pendant gives a nice nod to the polka dots without being to matchy.

But jewelry doesn’t necessarily have to perfectly match your outfit though. I’ve discovered that pieces that are slightly varied shades of main colors, or even pick up on some detail colors tend to pack the most punch.

One interesting jewelry experiment I would like to try is mismatching earrings. One of my friends pulls this off on a daily basis, and it really fits her quirky and fun personality. I’ll give it a try if you do, and send me your photos!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


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There is something about wearing a t-shirt and  jeans. Its comforting, easy to wear and takes no thinking. In a rush in the morning? T and jeans. And while anyone can pull it off, and its hard to go wrong with it, the look is uninspired.

Its also my standby. To be honest, im usually wearing solid color v-necks. Nothing fancy. And while i do have a weakness for the occasional graphic t, my t-shirt drawers (yes, there are two) is mostly sold tees and a lot of shirts that i got from various groups and events I participated in.

So today I’m making it my mission to keep my comfy, simple t-shirt and jeans style while still making it look like I put a little effort in it.

Layer a jacket

Okay this isn’t a jacket. its a button up thats gotten a little tight in *ahem* certain areas. So i took one of my solid shirts and just throw the buttoned shirt on over. Another variation is using sweaters. You can get pretty creative with color combos, or just stick with neutrals in either layer.


There are two ways to use the belt. One is using it just with the shirt to make a high waistline- key is having a shirt that lets you make this waistline, not always easy. The other is to wear a sweater (or in this case a flowy vest) and belt it. A good elastic belt is a great choice. Get something in neutral colors so you have flexibility in using it.

Don’t wear jeans

You can wear a tee, just change it up by pairing a t-shirt with a good skirt. Suddenly a t-shirt doesnt look like a t-shirt anymore, its a dressy date-night outfit. Because I have a lot of solids, this black and white print skirt was a good choice. I can pair it with about any color, so  I can wear my tee and have color and fun patterns too!


I love the look of a vest over a t-shirt in order to make it look a little bit more dressy. It adds a bit of formalness to an otherwise dressed-down outfit.


Its a simple solution, add a scarf to the standard. Tie it around your neck, wrap it around your head, even use the scarf as a belt. Scarves are a flexible accessory.


Got a low cut v-neck or scoop neck, just but a cami underneath for a little extra sparkle or a lacy, feminine touch.

So pick one, combine a few… be flexible! Send me your pics and ideas! What is your “fashion standard” and how do you keep it fun and fresh?

One special question I have for you: What to you do to make your event t-shirts (usually unisex t’s) fashionable? Still working on that one… teach me!

Keep me posted @aebrighter on twitter or leave a comment below! I look forward to hearing from you.

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


Special thanks to Marrett Laney for helping with photography.

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What’s next in discovering style? Of course a closet makeover. I hear about “closet essentials” all the time, so of course the journalist in me had to investigate. After consulting blogs, friends and my own fashion needs, I discovered that there are few things on my shopping list. This is good for a girl on a cash-strapped budget.

So let’s start with what I already have.

1) The trenchcoat.

Its a classic staple, and I’ve already found it. I bought this baby at Old Navy over Winter Break, and I couldnt wait to bring it to campus Spring Quarter. Its a piece of style that makes me feel like I’ve just walked into a detective movie. According to my friends, it makes me look like a journalist. I’ll take that feeling any day.

2) Little Black Dress

Okay, so its not all black, but this is my equivalent to it. Its sleek and classic and has just the right amount of sparkle. It’s sexy without being too revealing. And I got it at a ridiculously low price at JCPenney. Cheap and makes me feel awesome? Check.

3) Ballet Flats

I was so glad to see this one come up. I cant walk in heels. I’m working on it, but its a work in progress and not always fitting to the brick streets of Athens. So I have fallen for the easy, comfortable ballet flats.

4) Cardigans

I actually have two: a blue and grey striped one which pairs perfectly with a cami and jeans, and a black slouchy one that goes with anything. Always convenient. Both let me jazz up my basic t-and-jeans combo. The cardigan has gone far beyond Mr. Rodgers, its all grown up.

5) Slim Skirt

My version is a simple jean skirt, which works perfectly for most casual occasions when I want to be a bit dressy. I could probably improve on this one, but for now it will do.

6) Dark Wash Boot Cut Jeans

My old ways are validated! While i did for a time fall in with the skinny jean crowd, dark washes and well-fitted boot cuts won me back. My go-to pair is the Levi 524 cut, which is the best fitting jean I have ever found.

7) Vest

It’s probably not on most fashion essentials lists, but my tuxedo-style vest is definitely on mine. Over a basic, solid color t, it adds a little class to my everyday outfits.

On to the shopping list:

1) The Blazer

Ideally I want something well tailored and well made, probably in black. Simple, lightweight. a good blazer automatically makes a girl look polished and professional. The photo above was a Old Navy blazer, but they sold it three years ago, so its out as an option. I’ve been looking, I guess I just havent found the perfect candidate yet.

2) Classic White Blouse

I’ve had a few of these over the years, mostly as part of required concert outfits for orchestra. A white blouse and black slacks are a classic combination, but since they bring me back to middle school concerts, I’d love to update them with some fun jewelry, even scarves. But I can’t try it until I buy it!

So am I missing anything? What are your fashion essentials? Let me know in the comments below or send me a tweet!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


Photo Credits: Black Blazer- Polyvore.com, White Blouse- azcentral.com others- personal photos.

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So step 1 done: we’ve found ourselves a style that suits our personality.

Now comes the hard part, finding inspiration for your fashion forays. The artists, poets and musicians of the Ancient Greeks believed that their inspiration came from the Muses, a group of nine goddesses who gave the gifts of creativity. So today, I’m focusing on finding my muse of fashion.

I will admit, most of the time, when I think of fashion inspiration, I think of the stars. Probably one of my current favorites is Emma Watson.

I want her outfit. So bad.

I think we have similar taste in style (most of the time) and her new short haircut is killer. I wish i had the guts to go cut it all off like her. My odds of looking good with the pixie cut though are probably not so high.

My mother and sister would also probably kill me. 🙂

But I digress.

The downside to having celebs as your muse is that they’re not always the greatest sources of advice. Plus they often have a stylist to team up with. That’s why I’ve added another source of fashion: friends

I’ve been lucky to have several fashionable friends who are always around to give fashion advice to usually lost me.

Awesome muse and awesome friend

Meet Molly, one of my closest friends and my fashion muse. She pulls off feminine flair with a bit of rock edge. I absolutely love it. Plus, she’s always full of advice.

But having no knowledge of fashion, I don’t always know what to ask for when searching for advice. So I came up with a plan B: the Closet Raid. I let Molly spend an afternoon buried in my closet and let her play Personal Stylist. Not only did she enjoy it (I let her have free rein on my makeup and hair) but I got some great tips as well. I rediscovered some old favorites (“Why have I never seen you wear this!?” in response to discovering a plum wrap dress) Plus I was able to make a list of some essentials to pick up on my mom-sponsored birthday shopping spree. (Slouchy cardigan, stretch belt for vest and tee days, gorgeous navy polka dot dress. Thanks Mom!)

A variation on the closet raid is also a good one: letting someone else pick your outfit for a day. I’ve actually done this twice. Molly and my future-roommate Marrett picked out the getup for my then-unknown surprise birthday party. (for which, alas, no pictures exist.) The second time I let my boyfriend pick out what I wore on our date to a concert, and I got to pick out what he wore in return. We managed to accidentally coordinate (we were classy in black and white!) but we had a lot of fun.

I ended up in a black blouse and a jean pencil skirt and threw in some srappy black kitten heels for good measure. And you know what? I felt pretty darn fashionable that night.

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


Photo Credits: fotolive.org, The Hollywood Gossip, personal photos

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Before we can even delve into finding style, what exactly is it? According to Dictionary.com style is “a mode of fashion, as in dress, especially good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.” However, style seems to be just as diverse as the people who practice it. How does one know where to look for information?

The answer lies in understanding your personal taste. There are many different categories of types of style out there. Almost everyone disagrees on what categories exist, so ultimately style is very much a personal expression. Here are a few categories that I saw come up most often.


This is the person who loves things that never go out of style. They go with basic, simple styles that are timeless, think little black dresses and neutral colored blouses. Classic types have the fortunate advantage of being able to wear their wardrobe basics for years, because they don’t go out of style. Similar styles to the classic style include preppy and conservative.


Ruffles, lace, the romantic style is all about femininity. Romantics love the elegance of bygone eras, and their style shows it. They enjoy pastel colors and light, flowy fabrics, and love a good dress or skirt. Another similar style to the romantic is the whimsical style, which has a strong creative and eclectic feel.


Bohemian style is often correlated with hippies, but that’s not the entirety of this style. Bohemian style draws its influence from global culture, and enjoys pulling these influences into the clothing they wear. They have the wardrobe staples, but love to pull in accessories and additions like ethnic jewelry and funky jackets. Those with this style can make culture clashes look effortless.


Also known as chic, people with this style love whatever is the latest craze. They love well-fitted clothes like the classic style, but love to add trendy details that look like they just came off the runway. They love fabrics with wild prints and bold accessories, and often have a little bit of all the above styles in their wardrobes. Trendy people love what’s new, and are willing to spend a little extra to have it. They often become the fashion consultants for their friends, as they often know the latest in the fashion world.

Of course, finding your fashion couldn’t be so simple. Most people fall in more than one of these categories, and even draw influences from others. For instance, I personally feel like I’m pretty classic, but also have a little bohemian in me.

So where do you fall here? Is there something I missed? Let me know!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,

Photo Credits: Classic- Marie Claire, Romantic- hipgirlie.com, Bohemian- onsugar.com, Trendy- Myddnetwork.com

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One of my better fashion moments This is me.

Admittedly, I won’t be winning “Best Dressed” anytime soon. That all might be about to change. With little knowledge of fashion, I have set myself to learn as much as I can to be a more put-together person, at least fashionably (the disaster that is my dorm room is a challenge for another quarter.)

For someone whose fashion standards tend to hang around t-shirt and jeans, this may not be easy. My family and friends know me best for my fashion faux pas. This has included blue mascara as everyday makeup and an infamous rainbow-striped blouse. So I have set myself a Spring Quarter resolution: make an effort to be more fashionable.

This doesn’t mean that I haven’t had moments of fashion brilliance. They do happen, even to the most misguided fashionistas. But for me, they usually fell on special events and occasions. Prom, the first day of school, award ceremonies, you get the trend.

This was a good day, but it was prom

One of the better days of my fashion past.

However, I’ve had little guidance, and have often been too lazy to make an effort. I’m all about wearing some polish, even when a crazy schedule makes you feel like you’re falling short. I want to prove that fashion can be almost effortless, and within reach.

So there my adventure and challenge begins, and I want you, readers, to come with me. They say that if you can teach something, you’ve learned something. Well I’m trying to learn fashion, and hope to teach and share what I learn with you. With very little background in fashion, I need not only your support, but your help! So go ahead, send me your tips. Let me know the best fashion advice you’ve ever gotten, and where it came from, no matter how unexpected. And most of all, let me know what you want to see me cover. It can be something you struggle with, something you want to improve or even something you want a new perspective one. I don’t care!

So leave me a comment, send me an email at ab275109@ohio.edu, or send a tweet my way @aebrighter. You may find your name in a future post. I look forward to hearing from you!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


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