Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hump Day Inspiration: We Want Candy!

Weeeeee want candy! Do do do do do dododo. Weeeeee want candy! - please excuse our Aaron Carter #fangirl moment. We don't know about you, but this gloomy weather has got us in a serious slump. What is the best medication to overcome a dreary day, you ask?! Sugar, of course! Who doesn't love a little something sweet? These bright goodies have actually turned into a total trend in the industry too. How genius - wear these tasty treats and get all the fun and none of the calories! The bright and playful colors are so perfect for spring, too! So, sweeten up your Hump Day and take a peak at our totally delicious inspiration board. 



We would love an arm full of 'arm candy', thank you very much! This is definitely an inspirational source you can just go wild with... because why not taste good and look good all at once?! Happy Hump Day :)

Don't forget to check out our Pinterest to make your Hump day even sweeter!

Truly yours,
P.S. "Once you have found your fashion comfort zone, take a risk." -Rachel Zoe


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Style Star: Justin T. Moran


We're so excited to be back with another Style Star feature. Today we bring you our extremely talented and extremely stylish friend, Justin. He's currently working for Haberdash Men's marketing department and will be jet-setting to fabulous NYC this summer to intern for Paper Mag. What a life - and to think he does it all while staying so effortlessly stylish. Check out his flawlessly crafted tips about style and see some of his phenomenal design work. He is truly so talented. 

Justin T. Moran

How would you describe your personal style? I hadn't really been able to pinpoint my personal style until I read this quote by K-Hole, a trend forecasting agency out of New York. They wrote, "It's about infinitely flexible, sunny appropriation." When I get dressed, I like to explore different facets of my personality and make references - I've always been this way. One summer I was horribly fascinated with looking pseudo homeless, and another I aimed to mimc country club dads. Now, I sort of balance on this fine line between a classic buttoned-up aesthetic, but also occasionally take on a streamlined streetwear sensibility, as well. One day, I might wear chinos, a pair of oxfords and a Ralph Lauren shirt; The next day I might wear copper Doc Martens, leather shorts, a mesh jersey and a gold chain. I'd hate to commit to just one me; I tend to think about who I want "Justin" to be, and dress like that man. It's all a bit dramatic. 

How has your personal style evolved throughout the years? Like I said earlier, I have a tendency to take on these different identities, even though all have stemmed from a very genuine place. I just think it's more interesting to invest in a heightened, dramatized version of yourself. Besides the number of aesthetic transformations I've undergone, I'd say my style has just become more confident. It's exhausting to be sheepish, and a standout piece of clothing can really change how you move throughout your day. Maybe that one pair of shoes will lead you to meet someone new and important; maybe they'll help guide you to a new life-changing opportunity. I'm still not 100% confident, today, but I'm tirelessly fighting to get there. 


Where do you like to shop and why? I really love Kokorokoko in Wicker Park, which sells '80s and '90s vintage clothing. From there, I've picked up a Tina Turner t-shirt, a mock turtleneck BMX jersey and an old Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt. They're all pretty awful, but in the absolute best way. My eyes love to shop at RSVP Gallery, but my bank account won't allow it. If I could, I'd leave that store with a shopping bag full of Acne, Givenchy and Hood by Air… One day.

With such notable industry experience, where do you see men's fashion going? To me, the menswear industry has become horribly saturated; every fashion-conscious man seems to be striving for the same overall aesthetic. I'm so exhausted with seeing armies of men in Chicago wearing the same boots, backpack, raw denim etc. Men's high fashion, without a doubt, is leaning more toward androgynous silhouettes; the line between masculinity and femininity is becoming increasingly blurred on the runway level, and I cannot wait until it transcends to streetwear. Skirts, dresses, platforms, ponchos - these styles mark the future of menswear. 


Designs by Justin T. Moran

Who/what inspires you? Growing up, I was always really inspired by Andy Warhol and the way he built an empire of subversive misfits around his work. I've read so much literature on the Warhol era in New York City, that I think he's always whispering in the back of my mind; people like Candy Darling offer so much more to the fashion world than Elle Magazine. I'm also inspired by music as a platform for harvesting different styles; Marilyn Manson's sound emits a completely different energy than someone like Bjork, but I love them both equally. 


What are three tips you would give to guys about establishing a personal style? 
1. Question trends
2. Be "infinitely flexible"
3. Don't purchase anything unless you have an emotional reaction to it, big or small. 


For more of Justin's imaginative and ever-changing menswear, check out his Instagram. Also, follow his updates on menswear and where he'll jet set to next on his Facebook.


Truly Yours,
P.S. "I'd hate to commit to just one me; I tend to think about who I want "Justin" to be, and dress like that man."

Monday, April 28, 2014

How-to: SHOP!

The first and most important step of building your perfectly personalized wardrobe is the action of obtaining all those pieces - a.k.a. It's time to shop. We're on the edge of our seats after just hearing the word, but we know that poppin' tags isn't as pleasurable for everyone. While we all do it (some of us because we love to... some of us because we have to), we find it quite true that the common pastime of shopping can become quite the stressful task. For those of us who take the term retail therapy literally, it can be dangerous to shop without limits. And for those who hate the practice, shopping with guidelines can turn the whole experience around. To guide you through your spring shopping marathons, we bring you some shopping tips and trick we always keep in mind. Read up to discover how every shopping experience can be beneficial to your wardrobe and abolish buyer's remorse! What a perfect world that would be, right?!


Don't restrict yourself to one outfit
A lot of people love to find a complete outfit every time they shop. Sometimes, instead of insuring the piece you want will have the perfect ensemble, this technique can not only cause you to spend excess money, but can also put a damper on your creativity. Instead of finding an entire cohesive outfit in the store you're in, trust your ability to play around with this new piece. Introduce it to the other pieces that are already in your closet. A closet with great essentials can welcome almost any new garment. 

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Try on things that catch your attention
If it's a browsing kind of day and you have time to try things on, by all means, do so. Try on things you are attracted to, even if you're unsure of them. Clothing looks much different on the body than it does on the hanger. In fashion, we like to call those fabulous pieces with no hanger appeal sleepers. Just because they sleep on the rack doesn't mean they wont look fabulous on your body!
Shop where you can return
To avoid buyer's remorse, or to skip the dressing rooms when you're running low on time, shop at places with fabulous return policies. (Tip: Nordstrom has one of the best return policies around.) There's nothing wrong with bringing back a piece that may not fit into your wardrobe or on your body as well as you had thought. After all, why keep something you know you will never wear...
Hunt for the hottest deal on trendy pieces
When spending money on trendy pieces that you aren't likely to wear next season, take the time to search for the best deal you can get. You never know what you might find on wonderful world wide web.
Get creative
Think creatively while shopping. Instead of throwing down a chunk of change for those distressed designer jeans, put your DIY mind to work. Us bloggers really do have a knack for sharing the latest and greatest when it comes to copying trendy fashion looks on your own time. Search "How-to distress your jeans"... grab an old pair... cut away...spend $0. You're welcome :)


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Grab it at a discount
While some people stick up their nose at the thought of a sale rack or discount store, this is where the real gold can be found. While we admit some things are on sale for a reason, often times those racks at the back of the store are where you can find some of the best pieces anxiously waiting to be personalized. For those online shopping addicts, (join the club) sites like Gilt and Haute Look sell specifically discounted items and offer some of the best finds. We highly recommend checking them out... but be warned, you will be broke before you know it. 

Know your closet
Keep a mental inventory of what you already have (even a list in your phone, if you must) to avoid buying things you don't need. It's obvious that if you're attracted to something once, you will be attracted to it again. So, knowing what to avoid and having items in mind will make your whole experience substantially less overwhelming. 

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Finally, always remember that it's okay (actually, it's encouraged) to splurge on basics. We say it all the time, your closet essentials are your best friends, so they might as well be quality ones! 

Though this isn't a foolproof plan for controlling those crazy shopping instincts, these tricks can help you from getting overwhelmed while browsing and assure you are spending wisely. Play around with these ideas to find the perfect shopping tactic for you, then share it with us because we can surely use a few more guidelines... have you seen our closets?!...

Truly yours,






P.S. “Buy what you don’t have yet, or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.” - Karl Lagerfeld

Friday, April 25, 2014

Go Local: Shelby Steiner

We're so excited to be back with another Go Local post!!!! This month's edition calls for the grungy yet minimalistic design aesthetic of Chicago Fashion Incubator resident, Shelby Steiner. This innovative and free-spirited young designer is taking the fashion world by storm only two years after graduating from Columbia College Chicago. She has debuted her works at Fashion Focus Chicago and has won an award for her exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is also highly praised in numerous Chicago publications (check them out on her press page)! 


Her designs are highly focused on quality, which we got to experience first-hand when we had a chance to shoot this photo story wearing her beautiful works of art. Learn more about the genius that is Shelby Steiner and check out how we styled up these awesome pieces.


Meet Shelby:

What/who inspires you? Why?
Literally everything. I try to combine everything I see, hear, and read into an aesthetically pleasing, functional garment. Influenced by a variety of different subject matters including: menswear, Buddhism, Bob Dylan (and Marley), architecture, and minimalism. 


 



How is your personal style reflected in your designs?
I like easy to wear garments. Nothing ostentatious, but still interesting. Styling is eclectic in photo shoots, however, you can wear garments however you’d like. 

How did you get your start in fashion design?
I was an apprentice for Norma Langenwalter, a kind soul & seamstress in my rural Iowa town. I then attended Columbia College Chicago and studied Interdisciplinary Arts, focusing on both fashion design and business. 

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Intelligent, casual yet elevated, and thoughtful. 


 


What is your creative design process? 
It varies day to day. Lots of planning, analyzation of what I like and don’t like by other creators, then execution. Fabrics, concepts, blueprints, then samples. 

When you aren't designing, how do you like to spend your time?
I work two other jobs so that takes up most of my spare time, but I enjoy sleeping, watching documentaries, and reading. 

What advice do you have for aspiring small business entrepreneurs like yourself?
Have a clear vision of who you are, what you stand for, and what you want to accomplish. Accept that whatever you decide to do is a continuous process that requires a significant amount of time. The rest will fall into place with patience and persistence. 


To learn more about Shelby and purchase her pieces go to www.shelbysteiner.com

Samantha's Look 1: Green High-Low Button Up

Samantha's Look 2: Plaid Flannel and Plaid Printed Crop Top



Shelby is definitely on our designers-to-watch list! Snag some of her work at the up-coming Dose Market on May 11. Her classic, yet stylized silhouettes are definitely pieces to invest in.

Truly Yours,

P.S. "Despite the numerous challenges, there is something so beautiful and pure about passion. Finding a single interest and turning it into your life. " - Shelby Steiner, on her blog

Thursday, April 24, 2014

5 Fashion Misconceptions

"Oh, you're in fashion?..." Cue judgmental stares. 
"You just play with clothes all day, so what." 
"So likeeee can you make me something?..."
Believe us, we have heard it all. It does seem that the second you say you are a part of this industry you are instantly connected to the hundreds of negative and plainly absurd stereotypes that surround it. To the surprise of many, this industry is much more than a surface-level profession. We are passionate human beings filled with creativity and drive. Life in fashion is hardly as glamorous as it seems. We know - shocking. Let's face it, Anna Wintour really does say it best. 


To clear the air and give credit where much credit is due, we bring you our Top Five Fashion Misconceptions:

1. Everyone in fashion is judging you.
Personally, we are never ones to pass judgement. If you are being you, then more power to ya. The notorious "glance-over" is not because you're wearing an awful outfit. We're observing. We're curious and infinitely creative creatures always looking to expand and discover new forms of inspiration. Take it as a compliment. You have created a reaction with your clothes -- that's amazing. 


2. Our lives are just so glamorous.
The fashion industry may be one of the most competitive markets in the world. Yes, there are extravagant parties, fashion shows, and events, and on the surface the glamour is undeniable, but along with it all comes TONS of hard work. Someone has to be the infamous  free-of-charge coffee-attaining, sample-bagging, errand girl. That goes alongside computing lots of mathematical data, writing formal works, and literally calculating trend forecasts. 


3. You need to be skinny to thrive.
The industry is actually going through a huge change. With designers such as Rick Owens and the CFDA passing the Health Initiative, the dangerously skinny stereotype is walking out the door. There is now a general acceptance that women just don't look like that. Slowly but surely fashion will have a whole new image. Healthy is in, skinny is out. 


4. If it's not designer, it's irrelevant.
We don't care about the designer on our label... We care about quality. We appreciate designers as others appreciate artists. Their craftsmanship is what we pay for. Brand names are a part of the consumer society. They are what the market choses to use as status symbols. The public decides the trends. We simply guide them. In fact, big box retailers like Zara and Topshop are just as influential as Marc Jacobs or Michael Kors. These stores are what determine whats in and whats out because they have a connection with the general public that high-end designers do not. 


5. Fashion only applies to "fashionable people."
This could not be farther from the truth. We preach personal style - the concept that no matter who you are or what you do you have a style and a statement worth making. Just because you may not read all the magazines, stalk the red carpets and runways, or shop excessively doesn't mean this amazing industry hasn't played a part in your day. Take it away, Miranda!


Aaaaaaaand end rant... :) Fashion really is an amazing industry that we are beyond proud to be a part of. We do hope that you all have fun with it! Really, fashion should not be taken so seriously - just be you. 

Truly Yours,




P.S. "Just because you like to put on a beautiful Carolina Herrera dress or a pair of J Brand blue jeans, instead of something basic from K-Mart, doesn’t mean that you’re a dumb person” - Anna Wintour 


 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hump Day Inspiration: We Hope You Dance

Our bodies are truly beautiful. They are capable of so many incredible things and can be the source of some of the most unique forms of inspirations. An art form that hits very close to home is the art of dance. A way for all to move and groove to their own personal beats. A form of self expression that has no limits. Dance is a way to release all your creative energy in the most rewarding fashion.You can push yourself beyond anything you thought possible, and that in its self, is truly inspiring. 


Get out this Hump Day and do a little dance to the beat of your own drum. We don't care where. We don't care how. We don't care if that simply means adding a little extra pep to your step or going full out grand jete across the cross walk. Get out, get active, and be you!

Check out and follow our Pinterest board for even more inspiring movements!

Truly yours,





P.S. "To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking." - Agnes de Mille


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coachella Wrap-up

While we mourn the end of Coachella and the fact that we weren't present, we have been enviously scoping out the best dressed. The top tier of festival style comes straight from the Coachella desert itself every single year. With out a doubt. Guaranteed. It sets the stage (punny, we know) for festival fashion for the remainder of the season. From the Coachella queen herself, Vanessa Hudgens, to some of our favorite stylish fellow bloggers, we bring you the best of "desert festival style"!


All hail the queen:



Cue the crop tops and, yes, a Snoop Dogg backpack... 


     Aimee Song - Song of Style                                 Chiara Ferragni - The Blonde Salad





All images from Refinery29 unless stated otherwise

Festival fashion really has evolved beyond crop tops and cut-off denim shorts. It has evolved into a retail category all its own, and we love to see all the different personal interpretations. The season is just beginning, and we cannot wait to see all the amazing looks to come! Flower crowns for all!

Truly Yours,
P.S. "Style is primarily a matter of instinct." - Bill Blass




 

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