Thursday, June 30, 2011

T-Shirts: A Personality Billboard

The t-shirt can be whatever you want it it to be. It can display your favorite band,TV show, your political view. Something most people don't know is that a tee can be a substitute for almost anything. There's one to suit every style personality, if you'll note this collection.
                             Flirty                     Rebel                    Tomboy
Tees, A wardrobe Staple
             Girly                                 Hippie                           Quirky
They can literally fit into any style, any time. But here comes the crust. You can't flounce into work in a Beatles tee unless you work in a coffee shop. You can still wear a tee to work and still get that raise. Observe.

It's all about balance. If you wear something casual (tee), add something professional (vest, belt, cardigan).
Say you're on a date, and you want to display your favorite band, but you don't want to look like you're going to hang with your bros.
Tees, Dates

As you can see, it's necessary to add feminine touches (heels, skirt, jewelry)
School-There's no need here. As I have said before in past posts, school is an experimental zone. Go crazy! Just not too crazy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Artsy, Not Fartsy

Arsty, Not Fartsy
My school has a very large population of kids who consider themselves "arsty". They dress in.......interesting
clothing. I know, self-expression is important, but you don't need to look like an attender of a Florence & The Machine concert. If that's your look, go ahead and close down this tab right now. If not, keep reading.
A little know fact about the artsy look is that it was derived from the hippie look. Loose, flowy bohemian styles. Artsy isn't much different. With artsy, you're able to add more graphic elements, like so.


By keeping natural elements (sandals, vest) and adding more graphic pieces (Madonna tee, shorts) you have a proper mix of past and present , making the ensemble artsy.
Here's a collection I made that is equal parts artsy, and non-homeless

But you may ask, what if I want to look artsy at work? Well, pushy, I'm getting to it. Pushy.
Before- This look = NSFW


By adding a more work-friendly skirt, a cardigan and less.......expressive shoes, you go from Coachella to client meeting.
School is an experiment zone. You can be creative, just artsy, like this.

That's just gross. Separate these pieces, and anchor them with at least ONE solid item.

By adding a more structured shirtdress and neutral shoes, we tone down the huge chunk of visual space that's taken up by the shirt.
Now, what to do with those horridious boots? The thing is, they're not really horridious. Watch.

By swapping the pink jeans for regular ones, adding two cute belts, and a vest, we make sure that the color is distributed evenly.
Now, about those pink jeans.......

By keeping the scarf, and adding a soft blue sweater, and some funkier shoes, we keep the eclectic (scarf, jeans) but add two unexpected neutrals. (blue sweater, boots)
Parties are,like I said, an experimental zone. You can experiment, just make sure it's not a hungover Rihanna would wear, like so.

Artsy Party

It's called balancing. To balance the graphic-ness of one piece, you must add a neutral. Or two.
That concludes today's lesson.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Decades Pt 2

Decades Part II, 1950's-1980's
Yesterday we covered yesteryear. Now we move forward, into the flattering, colorful decade of the 1950's.Women really started to come into their own in this decade. The boys were coming home from the war, so it was time to give your man his job back, settle down, and make a baby. So we equipped ourselves with stuff to wear 'round the home, to impromptu parties, all without breaking a sweat. Here are their staples, which thankfully, flatter everyone.
#1 Printed Dress
This dress was ideal for any fifties woman. If you were a housewife, you could wear an apron over for a day around the house, then, when it's time for a cocktail party with the neighbors, you could throw on a string of pearls.

#2 A Good Pair of Heels
Marilyn Monroe once said, "I don't know who invented high heels, but women sure owe him a lot." which is too true. Heels are like plastic surgery, therapy, and a mood lift in one. I know I feel better when I slide on my black Pradas. The fifties were all about being a woman, and that included having a little wiggle when you walked.

#3 Pencil Skirt
This is a staple for anyone. The pencil skirt cinches at the waist, and can slim or create curves, which was great for women still on the workforce who wanted to look good.

Now, if I had my way, everyone would still dress this way, but unfortunately they don't. So, here's how you can infuse a little fifties glamour into you wardrobe without looking like someone from an Elizabeth Taylor film. As if that would be a bad thing.
With this look, you don't have to change much. A pencil skirt and a blouse or sweater is already pretty work-safe. But if you feel you have to modernize the look, ditch the pumps for some more fashion-forward shoes, and add an interesting necklace.
Before                                                        After

Again, I think the world would be a better place if we dressed like we still respected ourselves, but apparently the classy look is like, totally lame. So modernize it with some boots and add a touch of denim.
Before                                                        After

Cocktail parties in suburban areas gained major popularity in the 50's, so housewives had to be ready to rip off their apron and be ready to serve G&T's to Bob and Judy from across the street. You can go from work to drinks just as easily by adding more modern jewelery and a different texture somewhere else in the ensemble.
Before                                                       After

Basically, I think the 1950's was the decade, and the best crust. It puts a ladylike twist to everything and that's not a bad twist, the way I see it.

Ah, the 1960's. We got involved in a another war, and women stopped wearing bras. But that's just two bad things out of the multitude of good things that came out of the sixties. My parents. The Civil Rights Movement. The Beatles. And the Mod and Hippie looks! YAY!!!!
These two aren't really my style, but it's not very hard to make them your own!
Look at the differences between these four collections, presented in good/bad style.
Icky hippie
Anything that looks like it came from the rummage sale of a stoned yoga teacher,or the estate sale of Laura Ingalls Wilder is out. No ponchos, no barf-worthy harem pants, long prairie skirts and no barely there daisy dukes. Go for soft floral, faded jeans, and soft, nature-y colors, like so.

Good hippie

There is also the Mod look, which is easy to understand but difficult to quantify without looking like you got dressed in the dark. Observe:
1960 s Fashion

Simple shapes, but with interesting patterns and textures.
Here we have Bad Mod, which is anything that looked like ABBA threw up on it-

Bad Mod
And good Mod in simple shape, but with eye-popping brights, mixed together in a way that looks cool, not crazy.

Good Mod
Hippie and Mod are two very different styles, but in the end they're both classic sixties.

Fashionwise, the 70's are a mix of several different elements of fashion. The hippie look was still going strong, and disco wear was becoming seriously popular. Here I'll take several seventies staples and modernize them.
           Work                                         School                     Party
Bad 70's

Good 70's
Work-The sharp line of the slacks, the beige of the blouse and the blah gray blazer were all too severe. By adding a more relaxed blue shirt, and a cardigan, you keep the retro-ness, but add a still-professional air.
School- With this look, we had to start from scratch due to the ickyness of the blouse and sweater. With this look, we combine hippie (faded tee, aviators, boots) and add a small splash of disco (fuschia skirt) without looking too mixed-up.
Party-Before, the maxidress and the sandals look to washed out for party wear. Now, with a skirt in different gradients of blue, combined with feather earrings and sandals, we keep the look fresh and boho, with just the right amount of vintage.

Everyone loves this decade, but what most don't realize is that the 80's look isn't just for costume parties.You can make the look fresh with subtle updates.
Anything that gives you the shoulders of a steroid-addicted linebacker is out, and sometimes, even neon can be too bright. Stretch-stirrup pants and parrachute pants are also off-limits unless you have the legs to pull them off.
Bad 80's
I can scarce look upon this collection without weeping. Let me show you the RIGHT WAY.......

By adding more fashion-forward shoes and a more flattering pencil skirt, you transform a strong-shouldered blazer into a statement, as opposed to something you dug out of Mom's closet.

Aside form the aforementioned mistakes, there's not much you can do to mess up a look like this. Some plaid,  a graphic tee, and distressed denim and you're there.

Metallics became very big in the 80's, and thankfully you can wear them without looking like a prostitute from the era. By adding a few natural textures (cotton tee, suede boots, leather sandals) you tone down the shiny without losing any sizzle.

You were probably there already.

Well, that was exhausting, but I'm sure you'll thank me. Comment, and if you have a fashion question, feel free to ask. it may be the subject of my next post!
PS: If you're interested in keeping your well-dressed self alive, check out my other blog, Horror Movie Survival 101

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Beginning-Decades

                                                    Decades.....Part I, 1920's-1940's

Everything has a genesis. For fashion, I believe that genesis was the 1920's. The 1920’s were when women started to get game.  It was the time when women realized it was okay to bare your legs and go out dancing, and that’s just what they did. It was a perfect time to go out in a pretty dress and guzzle down champagne before hitting the dance floor. This era calls for a boyish figure, with small breasts, skinny arms, and slim hips. But don't despair, curvy wannabe flappers. These roaring wardrobe staples should flatter everyone.
The Filling

#1 A knee-length or higher party dress.You can play with the waist, straps and neckline. In the 1920's, when dress makers realized that these types of dresses were becoming popular, they all hopped on the trend. I myself observe that flapper dresses are like snowflakes. No two are alike. You have v-neck, scoopneck, halters, square neck, spaghetti straps, thick strap, drop waist, empire waist. It's a whole realm of possibilities, which is good, because wannabe flappers come in all shapes and sizes.

#2 Bling
There was a popular move in the 20's called the Charleston, a very strenuous dance move that required constant motion. Because they enjoyed the sound of the swishing and clacking of the beads, flappers would adorn themselves in long charm or bead necklaces. There was also the discovery of King Tut's tomb, which inspired the trend of Egyptian-style sandals, bracelets, and necklaces. You can make this stuff your own (it's the filling thing again) with different colors and textures.

#3 Makeup
Though this doesn't strictly apply to fashion, a flapper's constant accessory was a red lip and a smoky, kohl-rimmed eye.

The Crust
Okay, so obviously you can't roll into work looking like an extra from a Rudolph Valentino film, so here's my crust for the 20's.

Before                                                                                           After

Way #1-Work                                                                                      
Go ahead, wear that party dress to work, just pair it with a blazer first. Add some flats, throw your hair into a bun, and you're good to go! Also, for makeup, choose one or the other. A smoky eye is safer, though.
Way #2-School
If you're not working yet but want to show off your flapper-tude, don't despair, throw on some more casual touches, like a tee or a denim jacket or both. For an extra quirky touch, throw in some Converse!
Before                                                                                           After

Way #3-Casual Brunch/Dinner/Cocktails
I know how it goes. You want to be dressy, just not too much. When you get a call for something like that, weather depending, slip on a cardi and belt the look. If the weather is nicer just add a belt. Shoes are entirely up to you but at a restaurant/party, your best flats or a pair of heels may be best. Observe:

There you have it. Although there is on accessory you can't see that defined the 20's: Attitude. If you have the attitude to wear flapper gear to school no matter what the head cheerleader/workplace brownose/mother-in-law says, good for you.

The 1930's & 1940's
The Depression. WW II. And yet women still looked FABULOUS! It was time for those carefree flappers to roll up their sleeves, settle down and get a job, raise a family and what-have-you.
This was time that ladylike looks returned, minus corsets and stays. The flapper dresses that covered curves turned into flattering dresses that made room busts and hips. This good for all you curvy fashionistas out there.
The Filling
A structured jacket, which were scooped up heavily after the appearance of Irene Dunn in Cimarron. These blazers can nip you in at precise points,to either slim or create point. Play with textures and colors.

A unique hat. The 1930's pretty much invented hats. Pick one with a veil, or flowers of some kind either kind will spice up your wardrobe.

Puffy sleeves. Even though women were entering the workforce, they still wanted to feel feminine. These cutesey-pootsy sleeves were born!

                   The Crust
What I love about these two decades is the constant air of glamour. At school, work, or a casual brunch/dinner/cocktail party, these looks can get you through the day easily.
Way #1-Work
The hat, pearls, and the long dress are a bit matronly. For work, keep the pearls, but swap the dress for a tank and slacks or a pencil skirt.
Before                                                        After

Way #2
In the hallway, styles that are too ladylike may make the guys (or girls, or whoever) think you're not interested. Show the skin and keep the vintage by shortening the dress, unbuttoning the blazer, and exchanging the heels for flats.
Before                                                       After

Way #3-Casual Brunch/Dinner/Cocktails
When you're trying to enjoy an appletini with the girls on Friday, a blazer may be too cumbersome. Instead go for something close in color to what you're wearing, but in a different texture, to avoid matchy-matchiness. Add a pretty, light scarf and some fun shoes and you're good to go!
Before                                                       After

Well, That was fun wasn't it. In the next few days, I'l be illustrating how you can dress as any decade, without looking like you're heading into a theme party.