Monday, September 15, 2014


I have been planning out this post for a few weeks now and with each edit, it kept getting longer and longer. My goal is to not overload anyone with too much information, as finding your personal style should not be tedious. So without further ado, here is the third and final segment of my style guide.

Now we have our staple clothing, colors, and patterns. The next step is to look at your preferences and figure out what style "category" your preferences fall into. 


Bohemian style has matured in the last decade. From its late sixties and early seventies roots, bohemian style has evolved to a less-is-more mentality (Unless you are taking cues from Coachella where bohemian cliches are driven into the ground.). Bohemian style thrives in a world of pattern whether it be paisley or tribal prints. If whimsical sundresses with elaborate patterns are your thing, then perhaps bohemian is for you. "Boho" style is the perfect blend of effortless cool meets soft and dreamy. The bohemian style can be dressed up or down, made edgy or fanciful. 
Staples: Wide brim hat, crochet, sheer, soft colors, leather woven belts, sun dresses, wide-legged pants, layers of necklaces, motorcycle boots, dusters, floor-length dresses and skirts, and furs
Designer Inspiration: Chanel pre-fall 2014, Yves Saint Laurent ss 2013
Where to Buy: The URBN brands (Free People, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters), thrift stores, Lucky Brand 
Icons: Sienna Miller, Mary Kate Olsen, Zoe Kravitz, Stevie Nicks

Your dream closet contains: a little black dress, a pair of all white sneakers, plain t-shirts, neutrals, simple black belts, and stripes. Sound like you? Then you are probably a minimalist. Minimalists are typically seen wearing all black, white, or tans. Stripes feel like branching out and items with graphics on their surface are seen as excessive. Minimalist style is all about simplicity and finding confidence in easy styles. Even though minimalism thrives on keeping outfits clean, there is nothing boring about this style type. 

Staples: Blue jeans, clean sneakers, box-like silhouettes, the t-shirt, blazers, chelsea boots, trousers, turtlenecks, black leather purses, thin gold chains, khaki trench coat, striped t-shirts, pencil skirts
Designer Inspiration: Jil Sander Spring 2014, Helmut Lang Spring 2014, The Row Pre-Fall 2014
Where to Buy: Zara, Topshop, American Apparel, T by Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein, Gap
Icons: Audrey Hepburn, Francoise Hardy, Kate Moss (also could be considered high fashion)

[Vampire Weekend's self-titled album plays in the background.] A little bit WASP-y, a little bit tacky if done wrong, preppy style has been a symbol of Americana for years and despite its upper-crust connotations, the prep look is always on-trend in some way, shape, or form. I almost titled this section as "Classic" because the Ralph Lauren polo with a pair of chinos and boat shoes could almost be seen as that -- classic.  Taking a look at the "new school prep" icons of today, like Kate Middleton and Jenna Lyons, prep can be done in new ways that evoke a classiness that is so much more than the typical WASP attire.
Staples: Flats, polos, items with icons applied, boat shoes, pearls, boatneck tops, cardigans, ankle-length trousers, a-line skirts, cable knit sweaters, tartan plaid, oxford button-down. 
Designer Inspiration: Tommy Hilfiger spring 2014, Ralph Lauren spring 2014
Where to Buy: Lacoste, United Colors of Benetton, Dooney and Bourke, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, J.Crew.
Icons: Jenna Lyons, Kate Middleton, Katie Holmes Grace Kelly, Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl)

All designer everything, or at least the look of it. High fashion is all about wearing brand names and looking opulent. Although, this can be easier to fake than it seems. Buying one or two higher fashion items that can be incorporated into any look can help to up the outfit into high fashion style. Being high fashion certainly does not mean head-to-toe in Chanel or wearing labels all over. If anything, high fashion is almost about being glam. Extravagance and avoiding anything ripped or frayed (unless on purpose, of course) can be seen as the core principles of high fashion. 
Staples: Stilettos, fur coats and vests, large sunglasses, designer skinny jeans, statement necklaces, dramatic dresses (plunging necklines, no back, high slits), large purses, gold details 
Designer Inspiration: Burberry fall 2014, Balmain fall 2014, Gucci fall 2013
Where to Buy: Net-A-Porter, high-end vintage clothing stores, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue
Icons: Kate Moss (also minimalist as well), Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Cher, Olsen twins, Kanye West

It can be tough categorizing yourself. Some people feel that there a giant mix of all of the above styles and then some. Much of street fashion falls into this category. One day you will wake up feeling like Jackie O. and the next day you will want to emulate the looks of 2002 Britney Spears. Really, the eclectic style can be seen as one of many costumes. 

Staples: Anything one-of-a-kind, offbeat graphic t-shirts, platform shoes, colorful coats, details such as studs and pins -- the list is endless as it can entail just about anything.
Designer Inspiration: Miu Miu Fall 2014
Where to Buy: ASOS, thrift shops, Topshop, your mother's closet, anywhere!
Icons: Chloe Norgaard, Cara Delevingne, Alexa Chung, fashion week street fashion


To note, this does not mean, for example, that those that are considered to fall into the Bohemian category cannot sport a polo one day or a Burberry trench coat the next. These are meant to serve as a guideline and a source of inspiration.

Where do I lie? Well, I once considered myself eclectic. I wore just about anything that suited my personal taste and experimented with all trends for the fun of it. In the end, I found that eclectic was too broad for what was really staying in my closet, which was all things minimalist. I was more comfortable in plain black t-shirts with loose jeans than I was wearing maxi skirts paired with broad rim hats. This discovery is as recent as something that happened in the last few months and I want to encourage you to explore your stylistic interests because, in my personal opinion, true personal style is a personal style that can evolve. 

Monday, August 18, 2014


In my last post I covered the importance of understanding your staple clothing, shoes, and accessories. You have made your list and now what? Well, the next step to creating your solid wardrobe is to understand your preferred colors and patterns. This has nothing to do with knowing your personal color palette (Whether you are a summer, winter, fall or spring.). Rather, this next segment of "finding your style" deals with these three basic concepts:

What colors do you find yourself wearing everyday? Do you find your closet dominated by one color in multiple shades? Or is your closet covering the entire spectrum? 

(Photo credit:

Above is a basic color wheel (include secondary and tertiary colors). There are a multitude of different hues beyond these, but take a glance above and think beyond your favorite color. Do you like cooler shades (blue, green, purple) or warmer shades (red, orange, yellow)? Is any color appealing on the color wheel? 

For example, I know I am not a huge fan of color. I know I do not like to wear yellow, orange or purple, no matter the shade. I do like blues (specifically navy), dark greens and dark reds. Lighter shades wash me out and, since I prefer to wear minimal color, I lean more towards colors that look almost like neutrals. 

Neutral shades include browns, tans, whites, grays, and black. I live in neutrals. I tend to buy my jackets, shirts, shoes, etc. in neutral colors. I know that I will get the most wear out of neutral shades and I admittedly feel out of place when something I am wearing is not black. 

Do this analysis for yourself. If a shirt comes in every color, what three colors will you buy it in? What colors do you think compliment your hair? Your eyes? There are a myriad of questions to ask but know the most important thing is to focus on what colors feel the most you. 

Colors of the year, color stories, etc: color favoritism in the fashion world is always changing. Last year Pantone's Color of the Year was emerald and now everything is covered in orchid. Some people like to dabble in the newest color trends, whether that be applying the shade on their eyelids or buying full outfits. Even when a color is the newest thing on the runway, it is good to ask yourself whether or not the color suits you. Once again, I shy away from color. Typically, I am the one maybe committing to a nail polish or a keychain with the newest "it" shade. It is all about color flexibility. Some like to try it all while others like to stay in their color box.

(Photo cred: bau hype - 2006 was a good time for me. )

  • "TRIBAL" 
Those listed above are just to name a few. I feel in my experience,  every person I know either loves or hates patterns. I, personally, only like stripes tartan plaid, grid and gingham. The few times in my life I have branched out (Flashbacks to bright abstract patterns in 2010.), the item of clothing always, without fail, has a short life in my closet. 

Patterns fall in and out of popularity. For example, florals fell out of popularity for much of the late 90s and the 00s. 2009 rolls around and florals are the new thing as girly grunge trumps over the revival of the 80s business woman in the mid 00s. Florals are still thriving although, they are slowly being weeded out by a lean towards pinstripes and abstract patterns. 

Trying patterns works incredibly well for those with eclectic style taste (something we will talk more about later). Patterns can be a risky investment and they are not for the minimalist. Knowing your pattern preferences is a good start to knowing what style category you fall into (also, more on this later). I always recommend trying on any pattern before investing in it. If it suits your personality, great. If you feel you are liking it to adhere to a trend, unless you have the money, you are better off sitting that trend out. Always know that stripes and plaid are constant staples in the fashion world. Polkadots and tribal also circulate quite frequently. 

Current pattern trends include: art house (Prada), butterfly print (Valentino), brightly-colored tribal print (Valentino),  and pinstripes. This is only surface level. Tropical, vintage florals, black-and-white color blocking, and a handful of other pattern trends also exist.  

Now that we have our clothing staples, colors and patterns sorted out, we will then move on towards "style types". 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Working retail makes for a lot of time to space out as loud music blares in the background and as customers destroy perfectly folded piles of clothing. More often than not, I think about the million ways I can off myself but when I am not lost in the despair of my mediocre way of living, I am thinking of how someday this will all pay off and how I will become a style advisor to the stars - or something like that. 

So this past week I have been cooking up ways to help people establish their personal style. The first step is to admit that style comes naturally for some and that the rest need a little guidance. If this were not the case, then I would be out of a future career. Accept this first step and you are good to go.

I thought, in lieu of recent events (a story for another time), I should dedicate my next posts to creating a guide to style. This will not be a guide to trends. As Ralph Lauren says, "Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever." Rather, this will be a step-by-step process on how to create and shape your own personal style. Think of this as a foundation. Eventually, I will release you like a bird to the wind, or some other terrible analogy that involves setting you free into the world with a better sense of self and personal style.


Want to find your personal style? Want to revamp or change your personal style? Alright, let's do this. 

FIRST we will start by figuring out what you consider to be your staples. Think: You are planning out a week of outfits, what are you most likely to wear? 
  • Pants: trousers, jeans, harem pants, etc.
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Sneakers
  • Heels
  • Etc.
Do not worry about specific style-influences just yet. The most important thing is to know what you are most comfortable in. Yes, reaching out of your comfort zone is fine and dandy, but it is always good to know what feels like a second skin. As an example, I will list my basics. As a heads up: I will also get into specific cuts, shapes, etc. 

My Staples
  • Harem pants, jeans.
    • Harem includes any drop-crotch sweatpants for the sake of simplicity.
    • I need my jeans to be high-waisted. I have a short torso and the high cut gives me more of a waist. I also know that I like higher-waisted boyfriend jeans. No flares or bootcuts.
  • Mini-length straight skirts. 
    • I know I cannot pull off a-line. I have tried and failed on numerous occasions. 
    • Maxi skirts are cute but do not suit my personal look.
    • I need a skirt that hugs me, though, "school girl"skirts (only pleated) are an exception.
  • T-shirt dresses, shift dress.
    • Too short for maxi. 
    • Baby doll is not for me - nothing empire.
    • No drop-waist.
    • Essential rule: if it looks like a potato sack, it works for me.
  • Button-ups, t-shirts, loose tanks, crop tops
    • Tops are easier for me. 
    • Preferably not fitted and longer (if not cropped).
    • Nothing with cinched sleeves or v-necks.
    • No halters.
  • Jackets. Jean, leather, cotton blazers.
    • Nothing cropped.
    • Jackets are a must have for me. I am most flexible in this category.
  • Sneakers, Dr. Martens, platforms, chelsea boots.
    • I cannot wear heels. Every time I buy heels I wear them twice then resell them.
    • *I can wear platforms or flatforms.
  • Accessories:
    • Minimal accessories. No statement necklaces, bracelets or rings.
    • Watches.
    • Beanies.
    • No large hats, headbands, or large clips.
I mainly thought of what I have worn over time, what I feel comfortable wearing, and what I know looks good on me. This does not mean that I do not try on a baby doll dress every once in awhile or that I do not want to purchase a pair of non-platform heels, this is just the basic skeleton of what I am known for wearing. 

Your homework is to list out your basics and trust me, it does not need to be this detailed. I would even recommend writing out a list of items you want to put in your basics that still need to be tested out. After this is done, we will move on to basic style types. Until then, good luck!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Once again,  life caught up to me and my personal blog had to be put on the back burner. The last month of my final year of college had been spent writing blog posts for my College Fashionista internship and promoting a massive KickStarter event for my PR internship. Oh, and school, work, a social life and a few pinches of sleep. Life has been hectic and I am only now starting to feel it slow down. With graduation on the horizon, I am feeling less tension and, rather than nervousness, I feel relief.

Over the past month I have kept trying to conceptualize normcore, perhaps giving more credit than I should to the blasé fashion movement (or anti-fashion movement, rather). The past few years fashion subcultures had been inspired by efforts to standout. Clothing with loud prints (think donuts and Bart Simpson), cutouts, high-low, oversized Jeffrey Campbells, pastel lipstick, neon - the list goes on. I would call it a strange blend of the big-and-loud eighties and the aesthetic of a late nineties teenager taking fashion advice from a Lisa Frank backpack.

Now it seems as though fashion has matured. Rather than looking to Saved by the Bell or ironic captioned stills from King of the Hill, fashion is grasping for the complete opposite. We are making a time jump to the early 00s where Sex and the City reigns and the efforts to stand out are at a minimal. But by setting oneself apart from those that strive for the abnormal, are those that work hard (though, they may think by being minimalist they are not trying at all) to make themselves "normal" standing out in the end? Or do they even really care? The normcore movement is oozing with irony and, yet, the aesthetic is appealing and right on time whether those that consider themselves a part of the in-group think so or not. Fashion works in cycles and in due time the ones still "stuck" standing out will gravitate towards normcore (maybe not as a lifestyle, but as a trend). Eventually being normal will be...normal again. Is the next move to standout? Is fashion always about fluctuating between these two modes?

(The nineties fashion Tumblr users around the world praise.)

(Massive trenches, loafers, easy-going style - Sex and the City reigns supreme.)

Well, if we continue to move on this path of working our way through the nineties and 2000s (not to say other decades are not serving as inspiration) we will eventually hit the next line of trends. Soon we just might find ourselves idolizing 2004 Nicole and Paris and ironically sporting Von Dutch caps. Leather pants with a lace up crotch or Jnco wide-legged jeans could be our new future. What sounds absolutely dreadful (in my honest opinion) could be the post-normcore. With Naomi Campbell in Phillip Plein's fall 2014 show sporting a look reminiscent of Nelly in the "Ride Wit Me" video, the reality of an early 2000s aesthetic is upon us. Arguably it is already here with its microscopic crop tops, shimmery accessories and chunky shoes but on the flip side, those were also popular in the late nineties. There is so much more I could go on about, but I feel as though I am exhausting my point. Overall, normcore is more than likely here to stay for the next year or so. I like it (though, not necessarily the attitude surrounding it), as I have always admired minimalist fashion. Just be prepared for what is to come and understand that Jnco jeans could be a fashionable reality once again. 

(Naomi Campbell in Phillip Plein's fall 2014 show - Fashionista)

(I would have killed for these outfits in 5th grade - More photos here!)