Clothes

What Not To Wear This Thanksgiving

Ahh, Thanksgiving is here. The seemingly endless few hours where you are forced to not fight with your sister like you’re 11-years-old, where you must try to simultaneously drink enough wine to get through the evening yet not bring suspicions that you may be an alcoholic, and the day where you must listen to your grandpa’s boring stories again while feigning attention.

It would be easy to wrangle up a few fall outfits for the holiday if it wasn’t for some of these pesky above issues looming about. The possibility of a brawl, of spilled red wine and a cheaply heated home can seriously inhibit your fashion choices. However, there is hope.

1. Do not wear white. 

No white pants and no white, or otherwise lightly-colored sweaters, because you’re soon going to be so drunk that red wine is going to be spilling all over you. It’s way easier to hide a drunken stumble over a black blouse, trust me.

Found on lookastic.com

Found on lookastic.com

2. Do not wear anything too revealing. 

You’re not going to the prom – you’re going to Thanksgiving, where there is pretty much a zero percent chance you’re going to meet any men unless you’re a holiday drifter and you got it right and avoided a family gathering on this special day. You don’t want anyone’s weird uncle hitting on you in a wine stupor so just bypass the whole mishap so keep the cleavage hidden.

Found on mygoldbutteruniverse.tumblr.com

Found on mygoldbutteruniverse.tumblr.com

3. Do not wear anything too tight. 

You do realize this is a holiday focused on eating, right? The last thing you need is a protruding belly dipping out under your tight shirt. Ew. Please just join the rest of us and wear something classily baggy. You can thank me later.

Found on Pinterest

Found on Pinterest

4. Do not wear a skirt or dress with bare legs. 

Although this would be a pleasantly cute outfit according to Pinterest, it doesn’t work out too well in practice since it’s winter and Thanksgiving hosts like to cheap it out and crank the heat down. Put on a pair of pants.

Found on extrapetite.com

Found on extrapetite.com

5. Do not wear anything too bright. 

This isn’t an EDM concert – it’s Thanksgiving, and if you didn’t get the memo, it’s about pilgrims and Indians. No neon pinks, yellows or blues – scrap together some neutrals instead.

Found on fashidea.info

Found on fashidea.info

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

The Birth of the Fashion Blogger

As an awkward, boyfriendless and bracefaced preteen, I pored over trashy fashion magazines. I lived for the day when I would walk up the outrageous hill that was my driveway from my bus stop, pull open the rusty mailbox, and reach in to find a brightly colored magazine featuring someone unfairly beautiful.

I used to spend hours combing through the pages, studying the lame articles on what was in for the summer or what new lip gloss to try out. By nightlight, I read my magazines like my very own middle school girl bible and then I hoarded them in drawers to read back through later, over and over again. I really didn’t buy any of the products in them – I was a kid with no allowance and no job, for Christ’s sake – but I watched them like works of art.

This is a pretty stark difference to who I am today, the Jenna that cancelled her Cosmo subscription, her second fashion magazine to go behind Glamour.

Back in the day, fashion magazines were the only monthly update available to the masses, especially those living in rural New Jersey (yes, it exists). Surrounded by boring Abercrombie baby tees and bell-buttoned Hollister jeans, the only way for me to even find a smidgen of creativity in my small town was to head to the newsstand.

These were the glory days of my once-beloved magazines – when they were the only experts and the only aggregation of what was going on in the cultural hubs like Milan, Paris and New York. However, with the advent of the Internet, other quirky fashion lovers and forward-thinking websites popped up all over the map and suddenly, there were quite a few competing voices against the publishing media giants.

rustic9

Blogger on GalMeetsGlam.com

Against only last year, Teen Vogue, People Style Watch and Vogue newsstand sales all plummeted by 20 percent. Hope obviously isn’t lost – as with all print publications, the focus is now on digital subscribers, and although there is clearly a learning curve in the publishing world, there is possibly growth ahead. The magazine giant Cosmopolitan boasted  a 33 percent increase in digital subscribers going into 2013.

Even though I like my news online, I’ve always preferred my books and my magazines in their classic print forms, a hands-on way for me to peruse them over and over again wherever I happen to be. I’m not sure if I changed, my magazines changed, or the industry changed, but I don’t think that these magazines can claim to be the best and biggest resource any longer.

I often find that it’s these little bloggers that are taking over on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with their interesting outfit ideas, wise words, and even advertising deals with retail stores. Bloggers are heading to Fashion Week, huge opening events, and other cool stuff that the average person with a laptop wouldn’t have been able to do ten years ago. Today, bloggers and independent websites are taking over the web and making their mark on fashion without hundreds of pages of ads to back them up.

I Hate Everything

Some people are into bathrooms. Some want a nice kitchen. I’ve always wanted a well-lit, well-organized and charming walk-in closet. I dreamed of all of my beautiful things organized and in their places for me to see each morning.

Instead, up until yesterday, I had the Closet of Nightmares – so little that my clothes had been unceremoniously stuffed into various drawers, dressers, and closets throughout the house. It all felt so wrong – pieces that I had, in some cases, spent hundreds of dollars on lay sadly on forgotten dark floors, never to be seen again.

Being that there was no new closet in sight (oh and I also moved six times last year and twice this year) I had been getting rid of an alarming amount of stuff – they were shipped to foreign sellers via eBay, hung on dirty consignment shop racks, lay on the bottom of my lucky friends’ closets, or sat in collection boxes in parking lots. God knows how much money was now wasted. Even still, with the items I was lukewarm about now finally gone, nothing still fit in my closet.

That is, until a miracle happen and I got a closet. I think my mom got fed up with my dramatics and finally convinced her ex-boyfriend (because who do you have if you don’t have an ex-boyfriend to do your handiwork for you) to install two rods in the Closet of Nightmares, giving me what could be considered two closets (which is literally two more than I had before).

closet

This is not mine.

All of a sudden, I had all this space! All these hangers and lights! It was like a dream. I skipped about our house and collected my belongings from the terrible corners they had been subjected to for the past few months and brought them back heroically to my room. I organized them by color (obviously), set them up neatly and prepared for the euphoria which I was sure would ensue once I realized what an astounding collections of beautiful belongings I had.

It didn’t come.

Instead, I squinted my eyes and wondered, What happened to all my stuff? How was it that this new double-closet fit for a queen was seemingly… empty?

Using my investigative gifts, I delved into my Facebook photos and scrolled through all 2000 of them. I came to a frightening conclusion – I had sold or given away literally every item I had bought before the end of last summer. Nothing in my closet had survived more than a few short months. I was a binge buyer… and cleaner.

Why was this? Was it because I’m cheap and I get off on buying crappy items before getting sick of them and chucking them out the door? Was I too easily swayed at the mall? And on top of that, why didn’t I really like the stuff I still did have either?

I explained my dilemma to my mother, who clearly did not understand me at all. She told me I was “just hating everything today” and that I shouldn’t be so quick to buy things… or to throw them away. (Mind you half of those things I had “given away” had been to her).

So it seems that I am now in need of a rather thorough shopping spree since I can count the outfits I can put together on two hands. It’s probably for the best that I live at home now.

Do you go on closet clean-out binges? Do you ever regret what you bid goodbye? How much do you have to like something to keep it?

Why You Need Pinterest For Your Virtual Closet

“Wow Pinterest? So last year.”

This was a tweet I read that made me a little sad – Pinterest? My favorite social media? So last year?! 

Even though I’m a news fiend, a tech junkie, and a fashionado, I’m definitely not trendy. I’m not great with knowing what the coolest latest trends are, I’m can’t convince myself to purchase the coolest and latest pieces, and I can barely even keep up with what everyone is wearing, probably because the only television I watch is Netflix documentaries. Sorry.

But this is precisely why I love Pinterest, the most underutulized social media in the realm – it’s like a little Twittersphere for your life; in fun little pictures. Who doesn’t love that?

Even if you’re not a blog, a website, or a business (in which you should already have a Pinterest account, but we’ll get into that later), here are a just a few reasons why you should take the three minutes needed to create an account for your closet…  and then spending hours perusing it in search of the creation of the perfect board.

It’s a sampling of the trendiest stuff on the Internet right now. Even though you wish you could be, you’re probably not at the mall at this moment, however Pinterest is like a virtual mall in the fact that it’s showing, real-time, what people are wearing right this moment. If you take a look at the Women’s Fashion board, what you’ll see if the most recent and popular pins of the moment you clicked on the link. You’ll easily see who’s wearing what, how, and when.

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You can showcase your own stuff and it will be pinned based on merit. All over Pinterest, although you will see pins by famous magazines, designers, and labels, you’ll also see some significant followings for people just like you. What does this mean? That if you put a cool outfit together, snap a pic, post it, and you’ll quickly see how the Pinterestsphere rates you in the number of repins you get. The repins don’t stop after a select amount of time like Twitter does – instead, trends reinvent themselves on Pinterest and I’m still getting repins on stuff I posted a year ago.

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It’s the best way to collect your inspiration for your outfits-to-be. Bought yourself a checked blazer you know that you want to wear but you’re not exactly how? No problem. You can just search for “checked blazer” and tons of outfits that utilized the piece are going to pop up and you can peruse through and see how you’re gonna put this baby together. That’s way better than letting it sit in your closet for six months before you figure out a way to wear it. Think of Pinterest as your personal, daily, and virtual magazine.

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You can follow all of your favorite designers, stylists and bloggers in one image-driven place. Although you can follow them on Instagram or Twitter to get snapshots of what they’re doing and chats about what they’re feeling, Pinterest is a gallery in that you can see hundreds of designs, ideas, and inspirations in one snapshot – plus you’ll get a complete view of the most recent items in your feed.

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The Rules of Consignment

“Where the hell are you going with all those packages?” my friends used to say, mocking me as I walked out the door with an armful of envelopes on my way to the post office.

I used to relish in my eBay sales, furiously exploring my closet for clothes I didn’t wear enough to warrant their stay and then list them for hours and hours on the site. Throughout the week, I would stalk my listings constantly, hopeful for even an extra dollar’s bidding activity.

However, those days are over. Slowly but surely, eBay has been knocking out little sellers like me with selling limits, decreased rights, and hefty fees to make way for big retailers like Michael Kors, Burberry, and J. Crew. How are they supposed to make money if they have teeny people like you driving down prices with your gently used Coach bag with a $19.99 starting bid?

As a result, I have moved on from my days as a proud eBay seller and I have evolved into a consigner, toting my trash bags full of clothes to storefronts like a homeless person. Consigning brings significantly less profit than eBay selling does, however eBay also takes a lot more time, effort, and frustration.

We constantly say that we “have nothing to wear,” (which, umm, we don’t… duh) however a brief peek into our closets usually proclaims otherwise. If you’re looking to make some fast cash on gently used items (so that you can go buy more stuff…) and you’re over trying to list stuff on eBay and deal with nasty buyers, then check out these tips on how to consign your clothes.

back_on_the_racks_nj_10

 Back on the Racks in Long Branch, NJ

1. Choose a heavily trafficked store. When you walk in, is the place full of moms or young professionals? Is it empty or are people fighting to look at the racks? Don’t submit your stuff to just anyone – carefully choose a store that has a clientele that will take an interest in what you have to sell. Consider a national chain consignment store, such as Plato’s Closet or Buffalo’s Exchange. They will be pickier with what they take, but more people will see your items.

2. Read the rules. Consignment shops have varying rules from how long their selling period is (between 30 and 45 days on average) , what their cut of the profits are (30 – 40 percent) , what they d0 with the items after that period has passed (donate to charity or return to you), how many pieces they take at a time (15 -30), and what seasons they accept what styles (one season ahead). Carefully read these rules and policies before signing anything or handing anyone your precious clothes.

3. Stick with designer pieces. You may love that obscure furry top, however it’s going to sell for $3 or less in a consignment shop. Consignments shops are super brand-name focused – people don’t want to buy your old junk with no name on it. If the piece’s home was in a mall, chances are it can sell in a consignment shop.

4. Don’t bother with heavily worn items. Even if the pieces has no stains/holes/etc., if the fabric feels loose, thin, and faded, a consignment shop is not going to take it and you’re better off selling it on eBay after all (clearly labeling it a used item) or donating it.

5. Clean it up. The consignment shop isn’t going to do it for you, they’re simply going to hang it on a rack. Since you obviously want to make money, give the piece a good washing, ironing, and lint rolling. The better it looks, the more you’ll make.

6. Submit items designed in the last three years. There’s a reason that consignment shops don’t take suits anymore – because no one wears them. To you, it may be vintage, but to the average consignment shop, it’s just old. The newer the piece, the better. When you shop for clothes, do you look for old junk or fresh pieces?

 

 

Fat Closets and Empty Wallets

When you’re poor like me, you really have to become a master at tricking people so that they don’t know you live in a one-bedroom apartment with three other people and you frequently eat ramen for dinner. This is especially true at work, where no one really cares that your car insurance is making you consider roller-blading to work.

However, the great part about fashion is that you can be whoever you want to be, and it’s also exceptionally easy to make people think that you’re rich. The simplest way to do this is to have designer stuff that you didn’t pay anything for. What a walk in the park, right? Well, it actually can be. Follow my steps below so you can be better at bargain hunting than you are at your job.

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1. Before buying anything, check out RetailMeNot.com. This site collects coupon codes from across the Internet so especially before making an online purchase, browse RetailMeNot so you can possibly score some free shipping or something. Granted, I have never scored a truly great deal from this site, however it never hurts to get a few bucks off.

2. Get on eBay. Literally there is nothing better. Remember that time you went garage sale hunting and came home with a designer purse those grandparents didn’t even realize was worth more than $5? Yeah that’s kind of what eBay is like. If you are looking for a specific item, like a pair of shoes or a watch, take a look on eBay once every few days and see what they’re going for. Skeeved out by used stuff? You can buy it new and it’s exactly the same. But less money.

3. Do not be afraid of outlet malls. Yes, it is true that oftentimes, outlet and factory stores will deliberately make lesser quality items for their less monetarily blessed patrons. However, this stuff is still really freakin’ nice and is a fraction of the price. Go ahead. Explore the malls.

4. Find a favorite thrift store. Once again, remember that time you bought the $5 designer purse from somebody’s grandmother’s yard sale? OK that is exactly what thrift stores are like. I once bought a pair of barely worn Uggs for $2. If you’ve got some time, scour those racks and you can probably score some good finds. Last week I got a vintage Banana Republic leather vest for $15.

5. Groupon it. Some of us go to Groupon for some sick restaurant coupons, however we often forget that Groupon also features retail coupons with just as awesome values. Before you hit the mall this weekend, check it out and see what you can grab.

6. Compare your prices to Amazon.com prices. eBay tends to be cheaper than Amazon, but not always. Always check out Amazon as well before purchasing something in-store – you can usually get it cheaper online, plus there is more availability in terms of colors and sizes and you don’t even have to leave your home.

7. Get creative with your clothes. When you do make a large, expensive purchase, choose a timeless item that you can wear with tons of different outfits. Often, it’s only one nice item you need to pull together a bunch of not-so-great pieces. And the less clothes the better – only purchase items that you can’t wait to put on, not stuff you are so-so about.

8. Get in with vintage. Everyone is all about vintage these days… instead of buying something that is fake old for money, why not raid your mom’s closet? Like it or not, she’s got one of those leather skirts you’ve been eyeing from the 80’s. Eww.