How to Channel Your Creative Style Energy Into Life

As a fashion blogger and freelance fashion writer, I will say it:

Fashion isn’t everything.

Most of us do not work in fashion. We are lawyers, accountants, doctors, journalists, business owners and a million other things. We enjoy reading, hiking, bowling and movies. We go to book club on Wednesday and date night on Friday.

However, one thing that we can do is bring the joy and creative spirit from fashion into other parts of our lives as we go about our day. Even if we don’t head over to Vogue every morning at 9 a.m. and the style of our lives ends after we get dressed in the morning, the decisions and feelings that go into our fashion decisions don’t end there. Here’s how you can bring that into the rest of your day-to-day life.

Courtesy TheyAllHateUs.com

Courtesy TheyAllHateUs.com

1. When you go to the mall and you only purchase things that you really love. When was the last time you picked up a disastrously ugly shirt at the store and then decided to take it over the register? Hopefully never. Instead, you hold out for the best – that one thing that you can’t live without. Even if that means you have five pairs of jeans and four tops in your arms, you only pursue what makes you happy. This is how you should be making all decisions in your life. If it doesn’t make you excited to get up tomorrow (and get dressed…) then why are you doing it? Do what makes you happy, people.

2. When there’s a little extra strut in your step because you’re wearing your favorite outfit. Think about it. When you’re feeling your best and you’re hoping you’ll run into your ex-boyfriend that night, it’s because you’re wearing your favorite outfit – a simple piece of cloth. There is no magic in those heels or that dress. It’s all in your head. So why can’t you feel like that always? Get it in your head that you’re great, you’re beautiful, you’re smart and you’re interesting. You don’t need an item of clothing to prove it.

3. When you’re feeling pretty snazzy because you just put together an awesome new ensemble. You know when you wake up, feel a sudden pull of inspiration and you have the best outfit ever? You kind of feel like you just solved a great mystery of the world and you feel ready to take on the day. Bring this in everything you do by always trying new things. What fun is always eating the same meal, wearing the same outfit or taking on the same projects? Get creative, be courageous and try new things whenever possible.

There you have it, ladies. I know that you love to shop, you love style and you love fashion (or else you wouldn’t be reading this blog). Now, I want you to bring it to your lives.

How To Transition Your Summer Business Closet to Fall

Not all of us have a complete arsenal of fall fashion just rearing to go as soon as October comes around (although we certainly wish we did). Although we’re always more than ecstatic to pull out our fall riding boots, cozy sweaters and classic jackets, our closets can start to look pretty empty if we simply packed away all of our favorite summer and spring pieces. However, packing all that stuff away simply isn’t necessary since many pieces can easily be brought into fall. Here’s how.

1. Pair darks with lights. 

In the summer, wearing white jeans with a salmon is perfect for a workday. Unfortunately, this simply won’t work anymore once October shows its face. Instead of packing away your white or pink pieces, pair them with darker pieces instead (such as white pants with a burgundy top or light blue pants with a black top).

Photo Courtesy CaraLoren.com

Photo Courtesy CaraLoren.com

2. Throw on an interesting blazer. 

I’ve been wearing many of my summery, floral tops in the fall simply by pairing them with a classic blazer. Blazers don’t have to be boring – instead, stand out with hounds tooth, stripes or a bold color to completely transform an otherwise summertime look. Also, always remember, especially when layering, that accessories must match to pull a look together.

Photo Courtesy Vogue.com/AU

Photo Courtesy Vogue.com/AU

3. Put some tights on. 

Not all dresses need to retire in the fall. Those in darker shades can follow through to fall with opaque black tights. To keep from looking like your grandma, wear solid booties or other shoes made for the autumn. Stay away from flats as well to avoid looking like a schoolgirl lost in your office.

Photo Courtesy necessaryclothing.com

Photo Courtesy necessaryclothing.com

4. Accessorize with a scarf. 

Paired with a scarf and a cardigan, most tops that are in classic styles (not too summery or flowy) can transition from your spring closet to your fall. Grab a cozy scarf and tie in the way that most complements the outfit. Obviously, for sleeveless summery tops, a cardigan or other kind of laying is usually necessary to complete.

Photo Courtesy TheBerry.com

Photo Courtesy TheBerry.com

5. Utilize classic accessories. 

Summer is for all those wild and crazy accessories that your mom balks at. Fall is for classic pieces like pearls and more subdued and neutral colors. If you pair these classic accessories accordingly with more summery pieces, a summer outfit can easily transition into the autumn, no purchase necessary.

Photo Courtesy cyndispivey.com

Photo Courtesy cyndispivey.com

How I Made My Hair Healthier, Silkier and Stronger

I shudder a little when I think back to high school when I would shower at night, blow-dry my already thin, fine hair, then get up early to straighten or curl it before heading off to first period. This was also simutaneous with my color treatments, including red dye, highlights and lowlights every three months. When I now peer in the mirror, a little disappointed over the result of my careful air-drying of my naturally colored hair which I have been sporting for the past three years, I often wonder if my sad locks are the result of my poor habits early on.

However, I don’t really think those days caused my non-ideal hair today – instead, my hair stylist, Rachel, insists that my brown hair is not damaged at all, instead, it’s just naturally thin and fine and it’s just the luck of the draw that some can do color treatments every six weeks and heat styling everyday without any impact. Rachel herself straightens her color-treated hair everyday, and it’s still so thick that she shaves off the underbelly of it just to make it more manageable. It’s still so thick that you would never wonder if anything was different.

After years spent anguishing over my unfortunate luck, I went to Rachel again to get some easy at-home treatments to help thicken up my head. Although I will never have obscenely long-flowing locks like Rachel or exotic actresses in magazines, I have seen significant impacts. Here’s what I did.

Photo Courtesy of BeautyTips4Her.com

Photo Courtesy of BeautyTips4Her.com

1. I use a hair mask about once a week. On Saturday mornings when I wake up, I make a mixture of two raw eggs and two tablespoons of olive oil and mix them together in a bowl. Then, I pour it over my hair in the bathtub, grabbing the remaining bits that pool into the tub and re-scrub them into my head. After working it in, I tie my hair up and let it dry for 30 minutes before washing it out with normal shampoo/conditioner. Although I’ll admit that I don’t smell great for the day (maybe I would be better off doing this on Sundays…) after it’s done, my hair is incredibly soft, smooth and rejuvenated.

2. I rinse my hair with cool water, always. Hot water causes your hair follicles to open while cool water causes them to close, protecting them from damage. So when you’re done showering, it’s always a good idea to rinse with cool water – it doesn’t have to be freezing, just cool enough. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, take a whole shower with cool water – it’s better for your skin, too.

3. I sleep with my hair tied in a loose braid. When you’re rolling around in your sleep, your hair crunches under you, damaging it. If you loosely tie your hair in a braid, it will keep the ends together – safely – and protect them from damage.

4. I sleep on a satin pillowcase. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase is rougher on your hair while sleeping on satin or silk is much softer on it and will make it prone to less damage while you sleep.

5. I always use a heat protectant spray before styling. When my hair is completely dry (NEVER straighten or curl your hair when it is still wet and prone to damage) I spray it with Tresemme Creations Heat Tamer Spray and then it dry again (will only take about five minutes) before using any type of hot styling tool. Also, once I’m done styling, I use Chi Silk Infusion on the ends to prevent them from frizzing out.

6. I only use heat styling once a week. Technically, someone who has non-color-treated hair can safely use heat styling three times a week, while someone with color-treated hair can do so once a week, however I try to limit myself to one heat style per week.

7. I take extra supplements of Biotin and B12 everyday. These vitamins have proteins in them which will promote healthy growth of your hair and nails. I take pills of these everyday (in addition to a multivitamin).

9. I take Silicon droplets everyday. Every morning, I take fifteen drops of JarroSil Activated Silicon in a small glass of juice (usually you can’t even taste it). Like a protein, this also promotes healthy hair and nail growth.

10. I use organic shampoos. Organic shampoos are free of many chemicals that weigh hair down. I use Organix Shampoo and Conditioners – which I also really like because there are an endless amount of types (in which I plan to try every single one).

11. I use Moroccan oil after air-drying my hair each morning. Since my hair is fairly thin and straight, my hair is nearly dried after about an hour and a half. At this point, I take a pearl-sized amount of oil (I like Organix) and sift it through the ends of my hair to prevent frizzing.

12. I massage my head throughout the day. At random points, I’ll massage my scalp with my fingertips, which promotes hair growth. It also feels awesome.

13. I switch my part everyday. By switching your part, you are exposing and healing different hair follicles.

Now I feel sort of crazy.

What You Need for Fall 2014

Alongside pumpkin picking, apple picking, haunted hay rides and trick-or-treating comes the inevitable, and much-anticipated, fall fashion. The time has come to unpack our dusty fall boots, sweaters and scarves and get ready for this very fashion-forward season. However, amongst this gleeful unpacking comes a familiar feeling of need – the need to get back on track and pick up the latest trends for the season.

Obviously, the classics will stay – the tall, black leather boots with gold details, the plaid scarf, the off-white knit sweater. However, here are the items that you need to add to your growing collection this season.

1. Matchy-matchy sets were slowly becoming a staple back in spring and summer, and they are here to stay. Pick up a set of matching skirts and tops, preferably with a little skin showing to eliminate the grandma effect. Go for strong pieces in solid shapes, especially those in busy, yet classy, prints.

Courtesy ShopStyle.com

Courtesy ShopStyle.com

2. Leopard has always been a part of many a woman’s closets, and it is back in motion for fall. Pick up a leopard scarf, booties, and other accessories to avoid overdoing it for everyday life. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, don’t be afraid to pick up a long leopard coat or a ladylike skirt.

Photo Courtesy atlantic-pacific.blogspot.com

Photo Courtesy atlantic-pacific.blogspot.com

3. Mini dresses are feminine pieces that can be taken to the office with a nice pair of boots, especially while summer is still transitioning to fall. This is a great option for those days that are remaining in the 60s and the 70s. Pair a mini dress with a scarf and flats to make it known you are here for fall.

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Photo Courtesy amyparent.cabionline.com

4. Leather skirts are another fine transitioning piece since they can paired with a long sleeved shirt or jacket with boots for a fall look. Get a leather skirt in a slightly longer length to take it from club to professional and mix it up by trying leathers in other neutral colors besides black such as blush or tan.

Photo Courtesy  necessaryclothing.hardpin.com

Photo Courtesy necessaryclothing.hardpin.com

5. Eccentric faux furs because fur doesn’t have to be boring. Mix up your faux fur sweater or jacket with prints utilizing more colors and patterns while keeping nice and cozy warm in the chill, too. Faux fur, always a classic staple, has gotten a slight mix-up this season.

Photo Courtesy  adoreness.com

Fall is Here: So When Can I Wear Boots?

Ah, the age-old question. School has officially begun, the leaves are falling and we are planning our Halloween costumes as fall gets underway (officially). We go through days where the wind is blowing and we’re left digging for our winter coats shoved back in the closet and days when we can still drive down to the shore for the day. This is all fun and good, but… when is it appropriate to wear boots?

September is a funny month in that it retains the last strains of summer yet we’re left wanting for fall, asking ourselves when we should unpack the vests and the jackets. Today, I posed the question to my friend Megan, who had a pleasingly specific answer:

boots

Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

After October 1st when the temperature dips below 70 degrees. 

Being that I live in the northeast where we, too, get quite the chills once fall is underway, I do not think that wearing tall boots before this time is ever OK. Unless there is a blizzard or something. If you must, put on the short boots, but stick with open-toed shoes or flats by all means possible since people (i.e. me) are still hanging out on the beach and all.

This Week’s Haul: Century 21

I can’t get enough of Century 21, the discount department store with locations throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Century 21 is sort of like a Marshall’s, full of discount designer clothing, but just… better. Unlike Marshall’s or other discount stores, it’s obviously much bigger at department store-size and they have a much larger selection of high-end brands. This week, I picked up a couple of nice accessories for fall:

Steve Madden $98 Handbag at $45

IMG_6927

I really like this bag because I love cross body bags (who wants to carry a bag…), I like the leopard (obviously), but I don’t think it’s overwhelming because the entire back of the bag is in solid black (with the Steve Madden logo).

Steve Madden $70 Flats at $35

IMG_6928

I don’t even usually buy Steve Madden stuff but I couldn’t pass up a classic pair of flats which I was lacking. I like the more demure, pointed toe as well as the patent leather. I’ve worn these a couple times already and they’re pretty comfortable too.

Michael Kors $45 Belt at $24

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The $7k a Minute Event: The True Price of a New York Fashion Week Runway Show

Reposted and Written From JustLuxe.com

The most coveted time of the year is now complete. The cameras flashed, the models strutted and celebrity faces lined the front rows of New York Fashion Week. The fashion-conscious took in the newest trends from beneath the runway while getting ready to purchase their next season’s wardrobe. However, there are some at NYFW that have already emptied their wallets—the designers. NYFW is an incredible source of profit for the city. Each year, the legendary event earns $850 million for New York, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation and reported by the International Business Times. By comparison the Super Bowl hosted at MetLife Stadium drew in half of that number. This comes to about $7,000 a minute, even more astonishing considering that shows regularly last 15 minutes. These colossal figures do not come easy. Designers at NYFW can expect to spend $100,000 to show at the bare minimum, ranging up to $1 million for prominent brands committed to presenting a true performance.

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Courtesy of Rag & Bone for JustLuxe.com

Marc Jacobs is one acclaimed designer who does not blink when it comes to dramatically showcasing his fashion. At his fall 2011 show, he spent $1 million; this year, he opted for something slightly less grandiose: a large, purple farmhouse and plushy violet runway for his utilitarian collection. Aspiring designers, however, attempt to save their pennies after sometimes committing their life savings to show at NYFW. Taking a great gamble in their spending, there is no guarantee that designers will later reap the benefits of having stores buy their merchandise and then being able to successfully sell it to customers. Dao-Yi Chow, co-founder of the menswear line Public School with Maxwell Osborne, told theHuffington Post, “In order for us to make money, we have to sell to the stores, and then the stores have to sell to the customers. All of that is a linear progression: We present; we get press; the buzz starts; the buyers come; and then hopefully the customers buy the clothes. All of that starts with the presentation.” Showing is even more imperative for designers who need a certain style of backdrop to accurately showcase their work. Ray, a menswear designer known for his Brooks Brothers collaborations, told the Huffington Post, “When I send a tie to an individual editor or a store, all they see is the tie. But here they see my world: It’s a rendering of my vision and my culture.” Venue choice is one of the most imperative assets for the branding of a label, bit it can also be one of the most expensive. Venues range between $15,000 and $60,000, the priciest being the Theater at Lincoln Center, the largest venue at NYFW. Another expensive venue includes the New York Public Library, a historical locale that commands a $50,000 starting price. Sometimes, designers can save by selecting a more obscure venue, but even this is not guaranteed. Ralph Lauren, for example, creates a unique space at Skylight Studios each season where a custom space is created after two to three weeks of labor, which does not come cheap.

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Courtesy of Shutterstock for JustLuxe.com

In the past, standard models were a bargain expense as they were frequently paid in merchandise. However, following the work of organizations such as the Model Alliance, which advocates for real payment, brands must now pay their models in monetary values. Smaller labels will pay $150 per model while larger brands will pay $200 to $1000 for a non-celebrity model. With 10 to 20 models working in an average show, this can get expensive, and some international brands will pay as much as $200,000 for all of their models. International celebrities used to line the front rows of every big-name fashion show and cost a hefty price. Today, designers rarely opt to recruit front-row celebrity attendees for their shows. If they do, their payment depends on their attendance at other shows, how much the celebrity ‘fits’ the image of the brand, how often their photos get published and how famous they are. Rihanna was paid $100,000 to attend Karl Lagerfeld’s show in 2010, one of the higher celebrity paychecks in NYFW history. A B-list fashion icon may receive closer to $15,000 or solely be paid in clothes, travel and accommodations. Backstage beauty is one of the few things that comes inexpensively to designers. A brand can actually get paid between $5,000 and $15,000 to showcase beauty products on their models. Other beauty brands, such as Maybelline, will provide their services for free as it most likely did for Lacoste this year, since it can be seen as a publicity act. Otherwise, teams of makeup artists can charge $5,000 to $100,000 per show.

3 Courtesy of Shutterstock for JustLuxe.com

Styling is another expense that can be very cheap or very expensive depending on the budget of the designer. Some designers choose to style a show by themselves, while others will hire an accomplished stylist for up to $8,000 a day for an average of two weeks. Designers can also hire a less inexperienced stylist for around $10,000. So how much does it cost to show at NYFW? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, it greatly depends on the preferences and budget of the designer. Regardless, in today’s cutthroat world of fashion, it is near impossible to showcase for less than six figures. However, from up-and-comers to established cornerstones of fashion week, a memorable show is imperative for success in the fashion business.