Archive for May, 2011

I was sitting in Front Room (for my non-OU readers, the campus coffee shop) surfing the web when my friend Sarah sat down next to me.

“You’re doing that fashion blog right?

I nodded.

“Could you give me some advice? I’m going to Michigan to see my boyfriend and I have no clue what to wear on our first official date.”

Her question made me pause. My whole blog has been about how I don’t know anything about fashion. I’m normally the one asking for advice, not giving it. Have I learned enough this quarter from my fashion explorations to be able to give fashion advice?

I really don’t know, but I gave it a shot anyway.

So now, I pass my tips to you. Maybe they will come in handy.

First off, have an idea of what the date involves. Some guys like to keep it a secret, but at least ask for a hint. No one wants to show up to a date wearing a dress and heels and discover that you’re going on a two-hour hike. Or come to a dinner at a fancy restaurant in jeans and sneakers. If your date doesn’t give any direction, it’s usually better to dress down and look awesome than be overdressed. Good basics would be the dressed up t-and-jeans or a nice sundress.


Good basic date outfit (feeding the Polyvore addiction again)

Another good rule of thumb is to not try anything completely new on a date. While you are making an effort to look good, a first date is not the time to try an outfit that features a new trend that you haven’t tried before. Save the fashion experiments for after you’ve been dating awhile. It’s much better to wear something that you know you look good in, rather than something you might look good it.

Attached to this rule is the “be yourself” doctrine. Yes, you want to look good, but at the same time, you don’t want to be uncomfortable on a first date. Nor do you want to have your outfit distract you or your date from whats really important: getting to know each other. If you wear something you feel comfortable and confident in, it will show your best side to your date.

As for my friend, she ended up wearing a skirt that fell “right where a skirt should on your hips,” a nice tee and a long, funky necklace. She said it was a hit. So I guess I have learned something, or at least enough to help a friend out.

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


P.S. Send me your fashion tips, inspirations and advice! You may be featured in an upcoming post!



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Before I get started with my obsession of the week, a few housekeeping things!

1) Thread Magazine is selling coffee table books! They are $13.99, and look absolutely awesome! (plus $2 shipping if you’re from outside Athens) My friends at Thread have done an absolutely fantastic job putting this book together. It showcases the best of their magazine’s first year.

So if you want to check it out/get the deets, Thread has all the info on their Facebook and Twitter Pages. If you’re from outside of Athens, email threadcoffeetablebook@gmail.com with your name, address and how many books you would like. 🙂

2) The end is coming! No, not the Rapture, the end of the quarter! I would love to have one my final posts for the quarter be a collection of reader photos, tips and inspirations. So go back through the blog, find a post (or two) that struck your fancy. Show me how you’re reinventing the T-shirt, take a picture of your color-soaked outfit, or send me an accessory with sentimental story. Take your pick! My posts are at your mercy. And if you think i missed something, fill me in! Send your submissions to ab275109@ohio.edu.

So back to my post’s original purpose. I have moved on from wedding dresses, and have found a new online fashion obsession

If you’ve noticed that last couple posts have included some fashion boards

They look like this.

These are the results of Polyvore.com, a site that essentially works like internet paper dolls. After creating an account (you can just connect to your Facebook) you can create sets and collections of items you love from their library, or you can upload your own items and create sets around those.

You can sort items by color, price (there’s a lot of designer stuff) and item type.

This gets addictive very quickly.

But there is an upside to this. This site has helped me figure out my sense of style. By investigating what items catch my eye, I am beginning to figure out how to create outfits.

I now know what kind of items I would like to look for when shopping, and have been able to experiment with new ideas without having buyer’s remorse. And Polyvore allows you to look at what other members are up to, allowing you to find inspiration and ask questions.

My usual approach is to find an item I love, then build an outfit around it, but occasionally I’ll build around a color instead.

This one started with the dress. For some reason my next logical step was black leather biker jacket. I don’t know where that came from, but I like the combination of traditional elegance with some grit to it.

So if you ever wander over to Polyvore for a study break (and you should) find me under “Amy Brighter.”

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


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Sidewalk Runway

A friend of mine sent me a text last week. “Could you do a post on making runway looks work for everyday?”

Here you are Aimee. 🙂

To start, there’s a few reasons that you can’t just walk off a runway and onto the street. Runway fashion is usually a bit over-the-top, so walking down Morton hill in some of these outfits would get more than a few stares. But, if that is your aim, go for t!

I love Alexander McQueen, but I don’t see a lot of people just wearing it around.

The other problem with runway looks, is that most of these clothes (or decent replicas) are very expensive. So how does one make runway looks work for everyday wear?

First off, find some looks you love. Don’t just wear something because it’s a hit on the runway, make sure it suits your personal style.

Michael Kors usually suits my classic style.

After selecting what looks you like, consider the following:

What draws me to this outfit?- bold colors, an interesting element, unusual pairings?

What do I like about this look?- the pants, the skirt, how it was accessorized.

Once you have determined kumquat what you like, make those your cues for how to mimic that look. You don’t have to completely match everything to the look. You may just want to mimic the color scheme, or find an item that resembles one of those used in the look.

To demonstrate, I’m going to create an outfit that is inspired by the Michael Kors outfit above.

Inspired by Michael Kors

I created this outfit on Polyvore. (Look out this Friday for more on that) Everything in the set is less that $100, and other than the skirt and bag, everything else is under $50. I loved the color scheme of the outfit, especially the leather accents in the purse and belt. I mimicked the green skirt, and was trying to achieve the same crinkled effect in place of the knife-pleats. I would have liked to get a longer skirt, but i feel that the shorter skirt is a bit more summery and appropriate for my taste.

So there you have it friends, how to make the runway work for everyday. Send me your favorite runway looks, and I may try to make them street-ready in a future post! (consider it a challenge. 🙂 )

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


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The all caps of the title is completely necessary. If it didn’t seem so tacky, that one word would be followed by several exclamation points.

What I mean is, color in a wardrobe is something to get excited about! I think, no matter how simple or plain an outfit is (and I know, some days its hard to pull together something really fashionably inspired) adding color is something every outfit needs before you leave the house. You could be wearing something completely white, or black or brown and just adding a simple, colorful accessory can add something more to an outfit.

Color Accents

And there is something about wearing color and your mood. Have you ever noticed that on down days, color seems to mysteriously disappear from wardrobes? Color is very much related to mood.

So maybe, after all this rain in Athens, its time to break out the color. Student morale seems to suffer with the grey days that have invaded Ohio for the last month or so, but I think that color is the perfect way to combat the grey!

So here’s a challenge, show me your color combat gear. I want to see how you’re using color in your outfits! I’d love to do a post of your guys’ submissions. (and if you have photos, advice or stories based on anything I’ve already discussed, send those my way too!)

But to continue our adventures with color I would like to bring up something that I’ve always wondered about. Do certain features lend themselves to certain colors?

I’m pale, blue eyed and brown haired. I always thought that I had to wear jewel tones and cool colors. But lately I’ve discovered that color rules are made to be broken. My pasty skin does not dictate my color choices, color can be used in any way. I’ve started trying pastels  and even the occasional bright. The only thing limiting me from that bright yellow blouse or bold orange skirt is me.

One of the biggest trends this season has been color blocking (check out Thread Magazine, my loving sponsor, for an article in their May Issue with the details) so I plan on taking full advantage.

So join me in taking on color. Go wild, combine colors you thought would never work, and show that gray weather who’s boss.

And then, of course, send me your photos and tips.

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


Photos: bizchickblogs.com, jbstylezone.blogspot.com, color accent photo created on polyvore.com 

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My roommate and I have a slight obsession with wedding dresses. Neither of us are engaged, and we won’t be for a good long while.

But something about the wedding dress attracts us, and I know we’re not alone. Shows like Say Yes to the Dress feed on many girl’s dreams of that white wedding. And the recent fascination with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding has only made me notice this trend even more. Admittedly, I did not get up early to watch the wedding, but I did scour Twitter upon waking up that morning for the dress.

And I did like her dress. Just not for me.

Thats what got me thinking. Even though looking at wedding dresses seems a bit ridiculous for two girls who aren’t even engaged, there’s a lot that can be understood about a person’s fashion style from the wedding dresses they love.

Lets start with this: Alfred Angelo’s Disney collection. Yes I said Disney. This collection has dresses based on many of the Disney Princesses. The contrast between my style and my roommate’s style is emphasized by our favorites.

For me, its the Belle gown.

Its the classic ball gown, perfect for my classic style. I tend to prefer A-line gowns, with a bit of sparkle. Not a lot of lace, no flowers everywhere, just some poof and polish. Other elements of a dress I find attractive are corset backs and layering, LOTS of layering. Dislikes are really formfitting dresses, lots of lace and over the top adornments.This really fits my everyday style: simple and classic.

Annie on the other hand, love some slink in her dresses. In the Disney collection, she falls in love with the Jasmine dress

Annie loves quirky details, asymmetry and dresses that are a bit untraditional. It shows in her personal style as well. The wedding dresses she loves usually fall into the categories of dresses you would see at destination or beach weddings. Her love of dresses expands beyond the wedding realm and into other online shopping obsessions. The dresses she loves (wedding or not) are very fitting into her personal loves.

Maggie Sottero is Annie's favorite designer.

So, friends, do you have a wedding dress obsession? Do the dresses you love describe your style? Send me your photos and comments!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


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When it comes to fashion, everyone has an opinion. So I decided to ask some of the wonderful and beautiful women I’ve met over this year to give me their perspective on what fashion is to them. Each has a very unique “Phashion” Philosophy.  (Please dont kill me for the bad pun!)

Sarah White

Phashion Philosophy: Hottest Modest Hippie :)
Describe your style: Flower child meets Forever 21 and Target
Can’t leave the house without: Dangly earrings or big-ish hoops
Favorite item: see above :D but really all earrings
Look I can’t stand: Leggings as pants/shirts as dresses
Favorite color to wear: BLUE
Fashion Idol: Me?

Camille Scott

Phashion Philosophy: Anything goes!
Describe your style: lazy bum, punk rock, hippie, 90s
Can’t leave the house without: aviators
Favorite item: leather jacket
Look I can’t stand: Uggs + Northface + leggings. So unoriginal.
Favorite color to wear: charcoal grey or sage green
Fashion Idol: When I find one, I’ll let you know ;)

Molly Bowen

Phashion Philosophy: Wear what you want.
Describe your style: Sweet and Sassy ;)
Can’t leave the house without: a pair of sunglasses, you never know when you’ll need them.
Favorite item: Oh geez… it’s either my battle boots or my converse, both are my go-to shoes!
Look I can’t stand: Uggs…I wouldn’t be caught dead in them. Unless someone put them on me when I was dead. And if that was the case, I’d haunt the crap out of that person!
Favorite color to wear: Red or purple.
Fashion Idol: Emma Watson and Adam Lambert.

Hillary Johns

Phashion Philosophy: Kate Middleton meets Athens
Describe your style: I’m a fan of pretty much everything and I love trying out new trends. Lately I’ve been obsessed with riding boots and flouncy/ 70s tops.
Can’t leave the house without: A giant purse/tote.
Favorite item: Knee high boots. My brown riding boots and my hand me down moccasin boots are my current obsession.
Look I can’t stand: Booty shorts. Leave something to the imagination please!
Favorite color to wear: Blue or purple.
Fashion Idol: Emma Watson and Kate Middleton. They’re classy, elegant and still throw fashion curveballs. I think it’s important to take notes from your fashion idols but then put your spin on it. Don’t loose you in your quest for fashion.

Annie Sand

Phashion Philosophy: Elegant bohemian
Describe your style:: I love things that are flowy or loose to show of the body’s curves without hugging them (though I usually balance that with skinny jeans). Then I add in some interest with natural elements and textures.
Can’t leave the house without: subtle color – I tend to avoid neons but instead use soft pastels and jade tones to play up my pale skin
Look I can’t stand: long flat ironed hair with a comb-over, I mean really, plenty of other hairstyles look great. Find something original.
Favorite color to wear: pale blue or burgundy
Fashion Idol: Nicole Richie and Lauren Conrad

While these women have figured out their philosophies, I’m going to keep working on mine. Let me know what your philosophy is!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


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Makeup Mania

I’ll admit.  Makeup can do wonders.

The difficult part of it, however, is striking the balance between just enough and overdoing it. So my general philosophy is less is more (read: I usually don’t bother.)

Slowly but surely though, I have been coming around to makeup. As a result, I have been doing a lot of experimentation with makeup options. So let’s go through my typical makeup routine.

The Necessities (what I use is in parentheses):

My makeup arsenal.

  • Foundation (Neutrogena Skin-clearing oil-free makeup in 20 Natural Ivory)
  • Concealer (Almay Clear Complexion Concealer in 100 Light)
  • Eye liner (Maybeline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Pewter)
  • Mascara (Sephora Waterproof Black mascara)
  • Eye Shadow (Covergirl Eye Enhancers in 260 Coffee Shop)
  • Lip Stain/Lipstick (day- Covergirl Outlast Lipstain in 400 Everbloom Kiss, night- Revlon Just Bitten in Gothic)
  • Lip Balm (Nivea Kiss of Milk and Honey)


My skin is notorious for stress breakouts, so concealer and foundation has become my typical standard. If I get anything on my face in the morning, it’s concealer. I use a concealer that also has acne-fighting components in the hope that I wont have to use quite as much concealer tomorrow. I follow up the concealer with a light foundation, but I still dont cover my whole face. Instead I focus on problem areas, red spots, and dark circles under my eyes (the occasional late college nights are starting to catch up to me.)

A fresh face is like a canvas. 🙂


Again, I have two looks for this one. My average, everyday look is eyeliner and mascara. I have very narrow eyes, so I love anything that can make them look a bit wider.  A tip I picked up is to only line the top lid halfway, and make the line a bit thicker at the end.

Basic eye makeup

When I want to dress things up a bit, I’ve learned a nice smoky eye effect (via Molly Bowen, fashion muse) to make my eyes pop a little extra.

Smoky eye: Step 1

Adding to the basic liner/mascara combo, put deep brown shadow on the lid, keeping it below the crease. Put gold shadow above it, blending where the two meet.

Smoky eye: Step 2


I don’t own lipstick. Instead, I have developed a love for lip stains. They last longer, and have the pigmentation of a lipstick without the shine of a gloss. The downside to these is that they tend to dry out my lips.

So the general lip routine is pink lip stain, let it set for 30 seconds, then follow up with a lip balm ( I love Nivea’s Kiss of Moisture or Kiss of Milk and Honey) For special occasions, or when I want to feel like a bombshell, I switch things up with a rich red lip stain. If I want a little extra shine, I put lip gloss to top it all off, but it tends to disappear quickly.

Still love your lip gloss or lipstick? Exfoliate your lips with a toothbrush or damp paper towel before applying. Apply a first coat, then blot. Apply another later. Your color should last longer and stay looking great.

The full look

Got any foolproof makeup tips? What makeup can’t you leave the house without? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,


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