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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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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,

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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This past Sunday, I headed to Columbus for the All Time Low/Yellowcard/Hey Monday/The Summer Set concert at LC Pavilion. I picked by outfit with careful consideration. Because the band I was dying to see was Yellowcard, I grabbed a white Old Navy T with yellow stripes to pair with my dark washed jeans. To follow my own advice from a previous post, I threw on my black vest to dress things up a bit. Throw on a pair of brown Sonoma sandals, and I was feeling pretty ready to rock out.

Me with Sean O'Donnell Yellowcard's bassist. More on that later.

Perfect outfit, right?

Wrong.

What I had forgotten to think of  was that I was going to this concert with my best friend, and die-hard Yellowcard fan, Eric Miller. Because of this, I forgot that we would be spending most of the concert in “the pit” or the area in front of the stage. I neglected to think of the implications of spending several hours in a mosh pit in an attempt to get as close as possible to the stage.

To admit, we were fairly successful in getting close. By the time Yellowcard got onstage, we had reached the second row of the pit.

I didn't use the zoom on my camera for this. We were that close.

In my defense, this had been my first time going to a concert where there was a mosh pit, so I came with few notions of what exactly I had gotten myself into.

So this was a lesson in dressing for the occasion, and dressing properly. While most times if you show up looking amazing, you’re fine. But there are sometimes when just looking good doesn’t quite do it.

So here are a few of my lessons learned for dressing for a concert.

1) If you’re going to be in a mosh pit, dont wear anything open-toed. As cute as my brown sandals are, my toes did not thank me later. I ended up with a chunk of toenail missing from each big toe. Im still amazed that i didn’t feel it, but my feet we’re probably numb by that point. Lots of jumping. My feet got stepped on a lot. As Eric put it “Dumb move.”

Great shoes, not good for concerts.

2) While the t-shirt was a good choice, I was quick to discover how hot the pit gets. Pack a couple hundred people into a space meant for half that many, and its going to get awkward. The vest was not such a good choice. All the bumping, shoving constant motion of the crowd made it easy for the vest to get caught on things, which did happen.

3) I actually followed this rule, but it was because I was warned. If you buy a t-shirt at a concert, you are required to wear it the next day. I absolutely love the shirt I got. Its jersey style with 3/4 length sleeves. Its the super-soft, favorite old tee type of material that makes this shirt not only fashionable, but comfortable too. Added bonus: It has signatures from the bassist and drummer of Yellowcard on the back right sleeve.

Front of shirt

Back of shirt- signatures on sleeve.

So chapter read, lesson learned. I’ll be dressing better for the next show

(Almost) Fashionably Yours,

Amy

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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,

Amy

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