A mermaid in a sea of fish

As soon as I turned 16, I desperately searched for a job, which turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. I applied to any and every place, including McDonald’s, and even they turned me down.

Come on. I was private school educated, active in my community and just darn right cute! Who wouldn’t want to receive their McDouble and large-sized fries from me?

Soon my frustrating endeavor came to an end when I discovered that Dots, a clothing retailer, was hiring. I immediately turned in my application and awaited a call.

Within a week I received a call informing me that they were interested in interviewing me. My heart warmed. I’ve always had a knack for putting clothes together. Even the thought of different styles, trends and fabrics excited me, so needless to say this was my teenage dream job.

My first interview called for something cute. I wore a cerulean blue pullover, destructed denim vest by yours truly before that was even a thing, a navy striped bodycon skirt and tan ankle boots. When I think back on it, it may have been a little bold, but I got the job.

For the next three years, Dots became my second home. I learned and grew in the world of retail. Unfortunately, Dots closed permanently, causing me to find another job. Of course, it was another clothing retailer and, from then until now, all of my jobs have been in that field.

As I entered college, I had a dream of being a broadcaster on a big television network. That dream was short-lived when I discovered that I didn’t particularly care for the back-work behind it. I then changed my major from communication to business because I knew I’d excel in that division. The University of Toledo has a great business program. Bloomberg ranked it to be in the top 100 best undergraduate business schools in the nation for 2016, so I was eager to see what I could gain from it.

As I shifted to the new program, I knew that I wanted remain creative and I wanted to veer in the direction of the fashion and beauty world.

I soon learned that our accredited college is known for molding people into positions for companies such as 3M, Dana and Penske to name a few, but these weren’t going to fulfill my desires. Don’t get me wrong: They’re great companies, but I knew they weren’t for me.

This became discouraging because I didn’t want to conform to the cut-out that our college was creating. I wanted to do something different, so I decided to create my own journey.

Pursuing fashion at a school without a fashion major is disheartening, but I was given an option to sink or swim and I decided to swim. Being the mermaid in a sea full of fish can be hard, but you were made a mermaid for a reason.

When I discovered that I wanted to remain in the fashion world, I devised a “career blue print” that focused on my goal setting criteria.

I have three notebooks that consist of all of the journeys in my life: career, finance and personal. My career notebook has all of my goals that I have and will meet.

The fashion journey that I am on requires a lot of organization, networking, persistence and extensive research, as do a lot of careers, but in my opinion these are the core four.

In addition to being extremely organized, networking is probably one of the more essential facets of succeeding in any career, but I knew I had to go ten times harder. The networking you conduct has to be sincere; you have to genuinely build the relationship and be tenacious with it.

You think not having a fashion major is hard, but try living in a small city with limited opportunities in your forte.

I decided to join StyleList, a fashion organization at the University of Toledo, and fashion wasn’t even the reason behind it, creativity was. Being around like-minded people with the same creative goals as you is satisfying. Although we might not all feel strongly about fashion, we all are in tune with self-expression.

Persistency within relationships as well as with yourself is vital. Understand that it gets hard, but nothing in life is easy.




I Wear What I Want

Growing up, I knew I was fatter than my friends. It wasn’t something that just suddenly happened. And it wasn’t something that I did. I was just as active as my elementary classmates, playing kickball on the playground and racing around the soccer field to tag my friends. Being fat was something that I just dealt with, like being tall or having brown hair.

It wasn’t until I reached middle school and felt the insecurities brought on by puberty that I truly realized why my size mattered. Shopping with my friends became difficult because they looked in the preteen section while I have to look elsewhere in the store. I couldn’t just borrow and exchange clothes with them. Every time I looked in the mirror, I compared myself to them. I wasn’t as skinny as Natasha, I wasn’t all tall as Jess, my hair wasn’t as straight as Breann’s. Nothing was right with me.

Luckily for me, my weight wasn’t something that mattered to my friends. They didn’t see me as the fat girl of the group. They saw me as Emily, which was something that took myself a lot longer to realize. If they ever had opinions about shopping with me in the plus section, they kept them to themselves, for which I’ll be forever grateful. We were able to bond over things more important than our differences in size.

Last Thursday, body-positive activist and mental health advocate Jes Baker came to UT’s campus as part of the Eberly Center lecture series and gave a lecture on body acceptance for men and women. I sat in awe of this woman who is so comfortable in her body.

Here stands this woman, oozing confidence. But Baker wasn’t always that way. In her journey to body acceptance, Baker says that she blamed her body for a breakup and wanted to begin to express herself in an authentic way.

“I purposefully tried things I never was ‘allowed’ to and the more things I tried … the more empowered I became,” Baker wrote in an email interview. “In the midst of all this I thought “Why the f— does no one tell fat girls that this is all possible?”

Baker writes about her experiences and opinions on her blog, The Militant Baker. One of her most popular source of posts is fat girl fashion. She talks about her many tattoos, dresses, tights, heels and crop tops. You name it, she’s worn and rocked it.

“I think that the way we dress ourselves is a simple and silent way that we can claim space and show pride in our bodies,” Baker wrote. “It’s a great place to start.”

Society teaches us that if we’re the slightest bit different, then we don’t belong; we don’t matter in society’s perception of beauty, as Baker said in her lecture. Healthy is the newest body myth. If you don’t look ‘healthy,’ then you are ‘unhealthy,’ But what is seen as healthy? Long legs, tone bodies that are muscular but not too muscular (the kind of muscles you get if you do yoga), soft, feminine beauty and a natural thigh gap. Who in the world has a natural thigh gap?

Being fat opened me up to the belief that nothing would ever be right with my body. Because I didn’t look like my friends, I couldn’t see the parts of myself that were actually good. Because of my weight, it took me a long time to realize that my naturally curly hair was a good thing or that I love my spattering of freckles. It was because I didn’t fit society’s perception of being ‘healthy’ that I thought I wasn’t ‘healthy,’ which is a huge and awful lie.

“Fat isn’t a negative term; it’s a benign descriptor,” Baker said. “I use it when describing myself because destigmatizing the word is the first step towards looking at body acceptance as a whole.”

Much like real life, the Internet is full of people who want to tell me that my size is not healthy. They want to say that because I am fat, I cannot be happy. My size is not in correlation to my happiness with myself. I’m happier now, having accepted my body, than I was five years ago, still struggling with my weight and my inability to lose it. I may not be the skinniest or prettiest person on the planet, but I’m okay with me. And that’s a good enough reason for me.

My size is not in correlation to my happiness with myself. I’m happier now, having accepted my body, than I was five years ago, still struggling with my weight and my inability to lose it. I may not be the skinniest or prettiest person on the planet, but I’m okay with me. And that’s a good enough reason for me.”

— Emily Schnipke

The Internet also loves to tell fat girls what they can and cannot wear. People say that fat girls shouldn’t wear clothing that emphasizes their curves. The general consensus is that cellulite is gross and showing too much skin is even worse.

One of the silliest ‘fat girls can’t wear’ ideas is that fat girls can’t wear bright colors. So that means no deep blue dresses, no pink pineapple tank-tops and certainly no shimmery peach dresses like the one I wore to junior prom. Bright colors were a big no-no for much of my life. But why should I deprive myself of something because others say that it isn’t aesthetically pleasing to them? Bright turquoise pants? Hell yes. Skinny jeans or leggings? Leggings made me love myself, even if others don’t agree with me wearing them. But what I put on my body is my decision, not the choice of others.

I love the way it looks on me and that is all the more reason to wear it.

In my own journey of body acceptance, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work to help me stay happy. It’s something that everyone has to figure out for themselves. There isn’t something that works for anyone.

“Surround yourself with as many body positive images, books, magazines and people as possible,” Baker said. “We sometimes want to do this ‘alone’ but really, we can use all the help we can get.”

There are still many days where I wake up and don’t feel like being me or putting myself out there. It’s something I constantly struggle with. And that’s okay. Because it means that I have even more days where I believe in myself and have confidence in my abilities. And that’s even better.




UT students strut their stuff

Roll out the red carpet and put on your fancy pants. Cameras flashed as UT students showed off the latest fashions during the 47th-annual Black Student Union fashion show on March 24 in the Student Union Auditorium.

“The BSU Fashion Show is an annual scholarship fashion show that’s held every year,” said Desmond Dunn, director of this year’s show. “We [BSU] give out two $1,000 scholarships to deserving students; upon filling out the application they also write an essay and this year’s question was: what would you do to improve the black student experience here at the University of Toledo?”

The doors opened at 5 p.m. with a red-carpet event from another UT organization, StyleList. The introductory event showcased the students’ outfit ensembles as they walked the carpet to be seated.

According to Melaney Goosby, assistant director of the show, BSU expected to sell over 400 tickets and, for the first time, additional seats were sold at the door for those who were unable to purchase tickets ahead of time.

“It’s amazing being a part of the 47th-annual BSU fashion show,” Goosby said. “As vice president of BSU, as well this is a tradition at UT, and I feel like everyone should experience the fashion show whether that means coming, being a model or helping out backstage. This isn’t just a BSU thing; it’s a UT thing.”

The show opened at 8 p.m. with host KC Clark, a comedian from Detroit, Michigan. Other acts included a performance by dance team Fire Squad, a ballet solo by UT student Jayla Satterfield and UT student KeLee Smith sung a song while playing her guitar.

The “Coming to America” theme centered around the idea of an Egyptian king on an unusual quest. Rashad Irvin, a fourth-year student majoring in business, acted as the king during the fashion show.

“I’m a king looking for my queen and through the progression of the show I finally find my queen,” Irvin said. “The fashion show is actually based off of the movie ‘Coming to America.’”

 

Fashion-Show---Joslin2Savannah Joslin / IC

Beginning in Africa, the fashion show incorporates traditional African clothing and colorful prints and transitions into today’s urban fashion and typical New York style.

This year’s show also exhibits the personal style of the scene directors in the outfits displayed. Darrea Ragland, a third-year student majoring in public health and one of the scene directors of this year’s show, says her fashion sense follows more into the urban fashion and edgy looks of New York streetwear.

“I’m trying to incorporate the urban pop to it, the edgy rock star style and then I wanted to do a contemporary business casual for the third look,” Ragland said.

Unlike Ragland, Miylie Yarbough, another of the BSU fashion show scene directors, says her scene is influenced by a current style icon.

“My scene is the Egyptian scene; it has a lot of African wear, but more of what you can wear now,” Yarbrough, third-year majoring in majoring in marketing and one of BSU fashion show scene directors, said. “There’s a lot of Kanye-inspired clothing, but more green, beige and black colors.”

Forever 21 sponsored this year’s fashion show by donating clothes for the models to wear. Some UT students also displayed their talents by designing clothes for the models to wear on the runway. George Lokko, a fourth-year majoring in bioengineering, provided his African-print handmade bags and backpacks for the models to carry while on the runway.

During intermission, the audience was invited up on stage by host KC Clark, as well as other fraternities and sororities, to flaunt their own outfits.

“This is my third college fashion show and I will say this is probably the best one so far,” Clark said. “It’s very organized and it’s just turnt. It was so dope and I really enjoyed it.”

Also during the event, BSU announced this year’s recipients of their scholarship. Sydney Jones, a second-year majoring in political science, and Alonia Lewis, a second-year double majoring in Africana studies and women’s and gender studies, were each granted a $1,000 scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year.

The show concluded with a rap performance from T’Shawn Russell, a local artist and Toledo resident.

“I loved it. Everyone had mad energy and everyone is so genuinely nice and made me even more happy to be here,” Clark said.




Man Leggings

Attention all dudes: leggings aren’t just for women, and wearing them isn’t going to magically erase your precious masculinity.

I never realized how truly comfortable and freeing a simple pair of legging pants could feel until I decided to wear them for an entire week.

The first time I ever wore leggings was last summer when I bought a pair of running compression pants. You know the wicking kind that helps keep you cool? I absolutely loved them; they are so comfy, airy and the range of motion is ridiculous, but I never considered wearing them outside of the gym.

But as the temperature dropped, many of my female friends began breaking out their leggings and wearing them in public. Secretly I was seething with jealousy; why are they able to go to class wearing pants that feel like clouds wrapped to their legs? That’s not fair. Why do guys have such limited trouser choices? Why am I stuck between wearing only khakis and jeans?

In reality, no one is telling me I have to dress a certain way. I mean, except for the Internet, my closed-minded friends, gender roles, societal norms, judgmental employers and perhaps everyone with a pair of eyes. I’m not going to lie, it’s scary to run against the grain — being vulnerable enough to be judged publically.

Then, my world was rocked a little when I ran across a pic of Jaden Smith in a dress, a real life dress, the same exact dress that style icon Lady GaGa had worn.

I was shocked.

Then it hit me: “If Jaden Smith can rock a dress and not care, then I can wear leggings.”

What I was actually beginning to discover is that fashion, in all senses, is truly androgynous. Fashion is art for your body, and I’m pretty sure people weren’t telling Van Gogh his portraits were too feminine for a male painter.

Sadly, this realization did not give me all the courage I needed to walk into the women’s section and start trying on leggings. (Also sadly, they don’t really sell leggings for guys, but I have hopes that will change someday). Fortunately, my good, open-minded friends took me with them and helped me navigate the scary “other side” of clothing stores.

In the end, I bought two pairs of leggings: a pair of plain black ones and a pair of red, lumberjack-plaid ones. From the minute I popped my slightly-larger foot through the smaller ankle hole, I knew I wasn’t going to care what others thought. I was really comfy and free.

Last week I wore leggings to my editorial meetings, I wore them to a concert, I wore them when I went to restaurants, I wore them to the bar and I even wore them to church. Gasp!

Guess what? Not a single person seemed to care. No disgusted looks, no snide remarks, not even a disguised comment. They didn’t care if I was wearing leggings, and neither did I. This level of empowerment felt dangerous, both my legs and my hippie spirit felt free and wild.

Yet, over the course of the week I ran into a few drawbacks. The biggest problem arose when I tried to make sure I wasn’t showcasing any packages I didn’t want shipped or handled.

I had to make sure things were tucked away so they wouldn’t be super visible, or I had to find ways to cover that area up. Neither was super hard. To cover up the no-nos, just wear a long shirt or sweater, a long scarf or sport athletic shorts over top of the leggings.

In the case of leggings, the pros vastly outweigh the cons. The cons might be the fear of judgment and perhaps some accidental bulge action, but the pros include feeling incredibly comfy, having an increased range of motion, looking slimmer and adding a huge variety of outfit choices.

You have so many options with leggings. You can look sporty with some Nikes and basketball shorts, or you can look like a NYC Fashion Week model with a larger jacket and army green leggings. You can wear boots, Toms, some white Vans or Converse. I’m not kidding you, the options are pretty limitless.

In spite of all the open-minded reasons I just gave, I know some of you are saying, “Joe, leggings are for girls. You aren’t a girl.”

I’ve got one thing to say to this: who cares? Leggings are much more than just feeling good, or showing off your body. They are quickly becoming a very integral part of the fashion world.

Fashion is much more than trying to just look good. Fashion is about art, creativity, expression and experimentation, not about gender or trying to fit in. So be different sometimes, try something new and you just might love the way you look. Do not let the Internet or your friends tell you otherwise.




Trendy & Cheap

If you’re anything like me, then a dream of yours is to find a cute outfit for less than $20. A lot of us love to express ourselves with fashion, but let’s face the harsh reality: we’re college kids and money doesn’t always come easy.

Never fear, fashion does not always have to mean breaking the bank. Your dream of finding an outfit for under $20 can be reality, and to prove it, I ventured into my local Goodwill with a mission in mind. My goal: walk into Goodwill with nothing more than $20 in my pocket, and leave with a complete outfit.

Rule number one of shopping in thrift stores is patience. You’ve got to be willing to individually sift through each piece of clothing carefully or else you could miss out on some gems. You also need to pay attention to stains, snags and rips.

The fashionable items are a diamond in the rough, hidden among the pastel, flower-embroidered shirts that smell like they soaked in your grandmother’s perfume. Don’t give up; good things come to those who wait, and to those who have the patience to mill through someone’s old Hawaiian vacation T-shirts.

The first find was a red-and-black houndstooth-patterned skirt. Houndstooth is one of my favorite patterns because it’s classic Cruella de Vil. Houndstooth is just one of those patterns I think will always be in style. The skirt can easily be dressed up or dressed down depending on what you pair it with, which is really nice because an item like that makes it versatile. You can create countless outfits, and it was only $3.

Next, I found an awesome black blazer that fit me. A black blazer is a staple item for any wardrobe, but this one had a bit more of a modern cut and had a flared-open front. It’s way more flowy and freeing than a traditional black blazer — not so stuffy. Paired with the skirt, the blazer added a bit more of a sophisticated look instead of merely casual. It only cost me $6.

But I couldn’t just wear a blazer without a top: I needed something to tie it all together, so I went with a plain white camisole tank top. Black would have worked nicely too, but since I liked the blazer I found so much, I wanted it to pop. A white cami against a black blazer would allow that to happen. It was a good way to showcase the more important parts of the outfit, the skirt and the blazer — and it was only $2.

I pulled the whole ensemble together with black tights and little black Chelsea-style booties. Black on black made for a sleek look.

Altogether, I only spent $11 on my whole outfit from Goodwill. I even had $9 left over, so I could have gotten a pair of shoes to go with the outfit, but I couldn’t find any in my size. I guess there are some pits, but overall, 9/10 would recommend for college students looking to pinch pennies and stay stylish on a budget.




Easy, comfy, sporty chic

Sporty chic is 2015’s new hot look, and although the year is ending, the look isn’t going out of style anytime soon.

This fad is comfortable and casual with its own flair. It lets you go through your day feeling relaxed, while not looking lazy. You’ll look fashionable even though you threw your outfit together in 10 minutes. It’s nice to utilize when you’re running late, as most of us college students do, but you still want to wear a cool outfit.

This is my go-to look because it’s modern and stylish, but also really simple and easy.

Since it’s more of a sporty look, you’ll want to have more casual shoes like Keds, Converse or tennis shoes (especially Nike’s because those have been a huge trend this year).

Jogger sweatpants are a must in order to pull this off. Joggers are baggier on the top, but are snug toward the calf and ankle, like skinny jeans. They are still casual like regular sweatpants, but they make the outfit look sleeker and thought-out. Although you’re really just wearing a warm, comfy pair of sweatpants, joggers make it look like you’re putting in the effort to look good.

Picking a top is almost as simple as throwing on sweats — a plain color or cute graphic T-shirt works best. If you wear something dressier, you might not match the overall tone of the outfit.

A jacket works really pairs well in this situation because it ties it all together. Whenever I try to rock this trend, I feel lost without a jacket to keep that edgy chicness.

A jacket also makes a bigger statement than just a T-shirt. A jean jacket or army jacket works nicely with the sporty chic ensemble.

You can get away easily with hair on this one. Messy buns and ponytails look adorable, and I don’t know about you, but any day I can get away with my hair up in a mess and still be called fashionable, I’ll take it.

With make-up, go big with the cat-eye wings and some dark lipstick. The lipstick makes your outfit look a bit more dressed up without feeling out of place with the rest of the look. Dark lips are also extremely in style at the moment.

Fashion doesn’t always have to be dressy and uncomfortable. It’s easy to look effortlessly stylish if you use the right tools.




Feeling comfy while looking fly

It’s starting to get a bit nippy outside boys, which means it’s time to put away the basketball shorts, the Nike Elites and burn your Sperry Topsiders (not just because it’s cold, but because they’re ugly). Here are some very simple tips to layering up, staying comfy and to looking like you aren’t hungover and late for class.

First tip: shower, wash, groom, brush, comb, apply, etc.
Do what you need to do to NOT smell. End of that lecture.

Second tip: Sweatpants
Praise God for jogger sweatpants. Nowadays you can slap on a pair of insanely comfy sweats that don’t make you look like you just woke up (which is great for when you did wake up late). I recommend a pair of gray or dark blue that taper down toward your ankle. With a pair of gray sweats you can wear a cardigan, a sports jacket or even a sweater-button down combo. Sweats also allow you wear any type of shoe, with the exception of maybe dress shoes. Rock the sweats pulled up knee-high or tucked into your boots. Just like any sweatpants, beware not to flaunt any family heirlooms.

Third tip: Crewnecks
Are you tired of looking like an accountant with your V-necks? Switch it up and tell your ex to give back all your absconded crewnecks. You need them. Sure you can wear them for just a casual day on the town, but you can also wear them to work. Take your normal get-up: shirt and tie, blazer, dress shoes, pants. Now put a crewneck on over your shirt and under your blazer and you’ve got a killer outfit. Not only are you dressed for the stress, but you’re also saying, “I’m a cool coworker; I’ll talk about cable television with you.”

Fourth Tip: Hoodies and Jackets
Hoodies and jackets are the most kickass combo there is — one without the other is like a coke without the rum: subpar. I know what you’re saying, ‘Hoodies are already perfect.’ Yes, but when you add a denim jacket, you level up. This trick doesn’t just work with denim; pair your hoodie with a sports jacket or blazer. You are upgrading in style without sacrificing your comfort. The look is also a great blend of low and high fashion. You will not look like the dirt poor, in-debt college student that you are and you won’t look like a rich-ass snob who drinks wine on the green with his daddy’s dime.

Joe Heidenescher poses in his joggers and pairs it with a pullover and jean jacket combo.

Abigail Sullivan/IC
Joe Heidenescher poses in his joggers and pairs it with a pullover and jean jacket combo.

Fifth tip: Shoes
I am not afraid to admit, I love shoes — everyone should own more shoes. Sneakers, canvas, wingtips, boots, get them all. ‘But Joe,’ you say, ‘I don’t have that kind of cash to blow.’ I’ve good news, friend. Buy one pair of shoes from that list and make them work. You might be surprised how versatile shoes really are. We millennials are rocking sneakers with suits and brown dress shoes with blue jeans. Once you find yourself a pair of comfortable and affordable kicks, match their attitude. If you want to rock the sneakers and suit look, ditch the black and go for navies. Also aim for some fresh, lighter-colored sneaks. As for dress shoes, you can easily wear browns with blues so long as your shoes aren’t the classiest thing on you. Be sure to at least put on a button-up or polo.

Now who said being stylish meant being stuffy and uncomfortable? I say, it’s easy as hell to look fresh while still feeling comfy. Half of these clothes already double as my pajamas. So even if I’m late to class, I can still show up looking sharp. Because remember, no matter how dead you are on the inside, you can still look fly on the outside.

Joe Heidenescher is a third-year English major and the Features Editor for The Independent Collegian.




5 Halloween costumes in under 30 minutes

It’s 8:30 p.m. on Halloween night. You’re in your pajamas watching “Hocus Pocus” when your best friend texts you: “Hey. We’re going to a Halloween party. I’ll pick you up at 9.” You only have half an hour to get ready, but you don’t have a costume! Don’t freak out; here are five costume ideas that I picked out of my closet and threw on in only 30 minutes.

A 1950’s greaser

It may just be my bias over the best movie adaptation ever created (“The Outsiders”) but a greaser is a perfect costume choice. You’ll look cool, you’ll be stylish and you’ll be festive all at the same time. You’ll need a plain white T-shirt or tank top, a leather jacket, blue jeans rolled up at the bottom and converse. Sunglasses and snapping your fingers while calling people “daddy-o!” are optional.Fashion_Web

Rosie the Riveter

Unleash your strong and confident female self with this option. This costume is super easy to accomplish and is a really cute look. All you need is a jean or plain blue button-down shirt and a red bandana. Throw your hair up in a ponytail or bun, tie on the bandana and maybe add some red lipstick to make more of a statement. Flex your bicep in midair and yell, “We can do it!” for the full effect.100_2081

Lumberjack

Lumberjack plaid is one of those things that never go out of style. It’s a staple in any wardrobe. And let’s just admit it to ourselves: we’ve all had lumberjack fantasies. Whether it’s being one or being with one, that’s your business, but take this night as an opportunity to live out your wildest dreams. For this costume you’ll need a plaid flannel, blue jeans and boots. Bonus points if you wear a white T-shirt and suspenders under the flannel.Fashion-2_Web

Greek Goddess

This is probably the simplest option to accomplish, but also the prettiest. All you need is a plain sheet to wrap around you and something to tie around your waist. Put your hair up in wavy curls or braids and you’ll look fresh out of Olympus. Make sure to wear some leggings under the sheet — just in case.Fashion-3_Web

Ginger bread Person

I had to include a special option just for my people. This one only works if you’re a redhead, because if you have red hair, congratulations; you’re already halfway done with this costume. You’ll need string and bread. What you have to do is put bread on the string (by the slice or loaf, whichever you prefer) like a beaded bread necklace, then tie it around your neck and ta da: a gingerbread person.   Fashion-4_Web

Halloween doesn’t have to be stressful. Enjoy the night and join in on the fun with your under-30 minute costume.




Oldies but goodies for the fall season

Fall is finally here, and we should be excited not only for the return of trips to the pumpkin patch and Halloween but also for the autumn fashion trends.

Flare or Bellbottom Jeans

Just like pumpkin spice lattes, the 70s are back. Bellbottoms are no longer your parents’ high school memories. Jeans with flared bottoms can actually be pretty figure-flattering. Since they are tighter at the top and flare out at the bottom, they give the illusion of an hourglass. And this flared bottom phenomenon isn’t limited to denim. A big trend in the world of bellbottoms is the almost pajama-like material pant. These are comfortable while still looking super-stylish and come in a ton of different colors and patterns.

Shoes that work best with flared-bottomed pants are typically clunkier, heavier-type shoes — like chunky-heeled sandals or platforms, especially ones with wood heels.

A-Line Skirts

A-Line skirts are great for a number of reasons. Not only are they adorable, but also they are really flattering for every body type. The way they cinch in at the waist and flare out a bit adds a lot of shape and slimming features. They really compliment any body shape; it’s one of those items that just looks good on anyone. In style right now is a jean A-Line skirt, especially the kind with buttons going all the way up the front. The jean A-Line skirt is a really fun look that you can do a lot with. They obviously go with any color you can imagine and a lightly-tucked-in shirt paired with it makes for a casual but cool look. Another popular one is suede, typically in shades of brown. The suede has a much more classic, vintage feel and really looks nice this time of year.

Turtlenecks

Turtlenecks are also a thing of the past making their way to our present. While your grandmother may sport some holiday-print turtlenecks, I promise there’s a much more stylish way to wear turtlenecks. One of the more popular trends is the turtleneck crop top, sleeveless or with long sleeves. It makes for a sleek fall look paired with high-waisted jeans. Paired with pea coats, ponchos or wraps, turtlenecks also make for a cool modern look. Solid colors create clean, polished outfits, but if you’re feeling a bit bolder, a simple pattern or small detail will look nice without being overwhelming.

Fall is my favorite time of year for fashion. There are always so many new trends to try, and a lot of oldie but goodie trends make comebacks. Try some of them out and you’ll be ready for show-stopping trips across campus in the crisp autumn air.




Must haves for any college student’s wardrobe

Summer has come to a close and the time of waking up to alarms and stumbling out of bed has reared its ugly head. School is in session and let’s face it: we need to figure out what to wear.

Some days we all just want to roll out of bed and show up to class in our pajamas. While that sounds so  tempting, take this year as a fresh start and a new challenge to dress your best (even if it only lasts for a couple of weeks). These top three staple items for your wardrobe are perfect for the year ahead because they are practical and don’t require much effort.

Black skinny jeans

Black skinny jeans are a MUST — no ifs, ands or buts about it. They can easily transform an outfit with no more effort than a pair of regular blue skinny jeans would. They make it look like you put more effort into your outfit than you actually did. Easy for an on-the-go, “throw it on because I’m late for class” kind of day.

Pairing a T-shirt with a pair of black skinny jeans makes for a more put-together look than pairing it with blue jeans. Not to mention, they look good with any shoe you can imagine: boots, heels, sandals, flats and even tennis shoes. They give your outfit a sleeker, more fashionable look without spending extra time in the mornings. And who wouldn’t like a few extra minutes to actually eat breakfast for once?

Blazers

If you are interested in strutting around campus letting people know that you mean business, then blazers, my friend, are for you. I love keeping at least one blazer in my wardrobe at all times because, like black skinny jeans, they give your outfit a whole different look in mere seconds.

Black or gray blazers do give a more professional look, so if you’re looking for something a bit more casual with a sophisticated side, colorful blazers are a good choice. Colors like mustard yellow, maroon, forest or emerald green or light blues are excellent choices. Even fun colors like pink or purple go great with neutral tones. Pairing a colorful blazer with a plain black, white or gray tee is an effortless outfit that looks well thought out and grown up.

Boots

Boots are the mother of all footwear. Why, you ask? It’s because there are so many different kinds and there are so many different things you can wear them with — jeans, shorts, dresses and skirts. You have your combat boots, ankle boots (the Chelsea-style ankle bootie is really popular right now), heeled boots/booties, your general, lace-up Katniss Everdeen-style boot and even rain boots can be made to look fashionable. Combat boots give you a cool, edgy look, while ankle boots or heeled boots give a more sophisticated look without looking too professional. The lace-up Katniss-style boots (usually only found in black or brown, whereas combat boots you can find in many different colors) are much more casual and easy for everyday use.

Now, we go to school in Ohio, which means if it’s going to rain, we may as well be headed for a flood. Rain boots are an excellent option for a college student walking across campus, and you certainly don’t have to pick between wearing the rain boots and being fashionable. Plain colored rain boots (especially black) or rain boots with simple designs (such as black with small white polka dots or houndstooth-patterned) paired with leggings or skinny jeans and a cute jacket can make for a really great and practical outfit.

Starting the school year can be stressful enough without having to worry about what you’re going to wear. Make it easier on yourself by keeping these three things close at hand and I promise you’ll find putting together outfits much easier.

 




Five trends for spring

Spring has finally sprung and I know that I couldn’t be happier to wave my last goodbye to the snow flurries. But now that we’ve entered a new season, it’s time to enter a new part of our wardrobe. Here are five super-fun trends for spring.

 Pastels

We all know that florals are great in spring. Pastels look beautiful with all skin tones and hair colors. There is a color out there for you, I promise. The soft colors really bring out the tones in skin and make hair pop. Pastels are light and fun, and they work nicely with the colors of spring. Pairing them is a trend I’ve grown especially fond of because there really aren’t any rules: any pastel matches with any other. You really can go all out with no consequences.

Socks with Sandals/Heels

I know what you’re thinking, “Socks with sandals? Since when do fashion columnists take advice from uncles at family barbecues?” But trust me on this, this trend is coming back and it totally works; you just have to have the right type of sandal or high heel. The 90’s style jelly sandal is adorable paired with some cute socks. Sandals, or heels, with a lot of openness showing skin with straps across the top of the toes and around the heel are also good choices for this look. This style makes heels look more casual, so you can get more use out of them because you can wear them more casually. It also allows you to show off your favorite cute socks in a great way, and if you’re like me, you have plenty of those socks to choose from.

Khaki Jackets

Khaki jackets give the perfect balance between practical and adorable. They have a cool, casual look while also being the perfect type of jacket for spring weather. They can honestly make an entire outfit truly work. Leggings with boots, a T-shirt and a khaki jacket is a really nice look that makes it look like you put in a lot of effort, but really it’s incredibly simple. And there are a variety of color options: khaki, navy, black, army green or a mix of these. From my experience, I would say that army green is the most popular and the most versatile.

Windbreakers

Let’s not lie to ourselves; we will never truly be over the 90’s. It’s the decade we love to miss, and that includes the fashion. Windbreakers are practical in the spring with all of these rain showers. They give you a bit of a vintage-y look while simultaneously keeping you dry and happy. They do come in practical colors, but what’s the fun in that? Go all out and get yourself a true 90’s windbreaker: bright, neon colors that will surely make you stand out in the crowd.

Baseball Caps

Let me just say it. I. Love. Baseball caps. They are so cute and are really starting to become everyday fashion wear. You can so easily incorporate one in a casual outfit. High-waisted jeans with a shirt tucked in and a jacket with some little Ked-like shoes or Converse paired with a baseball cap is an adorable, casual look for spring. You can also put amusing pins on your hat to add a more personal touch. Not only will it look cute on you, but it’s an easy way to hide a bad hair day or to keep your head dry in the rain.

Spring is a great time to explore new fashion trends. There are so many little ways to update your wardrobe with practical, cool and cute pieces to make outfits that are perfect for this weather.

Emily Modrowski is a second-year communication major.




My top five favorite accent pieces for your wardrobe

Every wardrobe needs a few key items that allow you to really stand out and show that you want to be noticed. These five items are easy to find, you can get them relatively cheap (depending on where you go) and they can be used over and over again.

  1. Necklace:

A necklace is the most common accent piece for an outfit, but it’s also a needed one. A big, flashy necklace can really add enough show for the rest of an outfit to be more on the plain side. Necklaces are truly a staple for your wardrobe. They give great variety and switching out one accent necklace with another one can really change the tone of the outfit; you could quite literally have a whole different look with just that small change.

  1. Blazer:

At least one blazer is an absolute necessity in your wardrobe. Blazers can be used for casual or dressy occasions. It’s only a pants change away from a work-filled day to a fun-filled night. Trade in your work pants for a pair of jeans and your blazer has suddenly become more casual. To make a statement, a brighter colored blazer paired with darker colors is a good choice. It also makes an outfit more fun.

  1. Skirt:

You may not think of a skirt as an accent piece, but let me introduce you to this new concept. A black shirt with black tights and black shoes paired with either a solid color or a fun patterned skirt really makes a statement and makes the skirt pop. It’s a great look for any occasion, formal or casual.

  1. Bag:

Something that has always been a great staple accent piece is a purse or bag. Neutral colors in shirts and bottoms paired with a bright colored bag give a simple, modern and clean look with a sense of fun. The pop of color in the bag will make people notice you in a more subtle way than if you were to wear neon head to toe. It’s also especially nice for showing off your favorite bag.

  1. Shoes:

Like bags, shoes have been great accent pieces since the beginning of fashion. Pairing neutrals, especially black or white, with a pop of color in a shoe makes for a sleek look and really makes the shoes stand out. This is especially a good look if you really want to make those brand new hot pink pumps you just bought the star of the show and the cause for conversation.

Emily Modrowski is a second-year Communication major.