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COLOR!

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,

Amy

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,

Amy

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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)

Skin:

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. 🙂

Eyes:

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

Lips:

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,

Amy

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Slowly but surely I’m starting to figure out what fashion is, but there’s still a few problems left to conquer. I’ve realized that there a a few places my closet could use some help. There’s just one small problem.

I have a tiny budget.

I mean, it makes sense, I’m a college student, most of my money goes towards books and printing costs, (still trying to get our room printer fixed) not to mention food and other essentials like soap. So my fashion budget is pretty small. So today’s post is going to focus on bargain hunting.

In my search for good fashion steals, I stumbled upon an About.com article about sale prices. Not only do they explain how stores get prices, they also explain how many bargains happen.

They note that many merchants will double the cost of production as their retail price, others will mark up items higher, then “discount” them to a more reasonable price. i.e. have the price of a $20 shirt as $50, then mark it off as 20% off, or $40. By having an understanding of what a typical price is, you can determine how big of a deal you are getting.

As for that item that is at a ridiculously low price? There’s a few reasons for that too.

One is that its the end of a season, so demand for that item is about to fall. In a similar reason, an item may be on sale out-of-season, such as jackets or boots in the middle of summer. Other reasons include that an item came in at the end of a fad, or simply the item didn’t sell well.

This is making me wonder how my $100 dress that I got for $26 was so deeply on sale.

Then again, I did buy it on Christmas Eve.

Of course, many times there are times where style is more important than price. Here are a few rules that I’ve been learning (and yes, I’ve broken a few of them.)

1) Don’t just buy it because it’s on sale: I dont care if its a $5 pair of dyed jeans, if you’re not in love with it, don’t buy it. I can think of several things in my closet back home that I bought solely because it was a sale, and I didn’t think about if i would wear it. Use good judgement. And just because its a certain trend or designer, doesn’t mean its automatically something you must have.

2) Splurge only on classic items in durable fabrics. Its no use paying $50 for a dress that will be out of style in a few months, or a shirt that will have holes in it after a few wears

This leads me to…

3) Look for good return policies. This is a big one especially for internet shopping, because sizes may not work out or colors may not be as they appeared on the screen. But even for in-person shopping, if something has a problem (rips after the first wear for example- I had this problem with a pair of pajama pants) you want to make sure you can exchange it or get a refund.

Got any good bargain-hunting tips? Share in the comments, or catch me on Twitter! The best may be in a future post!

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,

Amy

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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,

Amy

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,

Amy

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.

Classic

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.

Romantic

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

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.

Trendy

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,
Amy

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

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