Monday, July 31, 2006

We are now members of the Coutorture community! Check them out, the website is chock-full of the best fashion and beauty articles on the internet. The community page has links to dozens upon dozens of blogs and websites that are contributing to the ever-increasing fashion/beauty awareness in the blogosphere.

Thanks to them, we will be able to give our readers the opportunity to participate in Coutorture weekly giveaways, as well as use special Fashion Week photographs in our posts.

I am very pleased because Julie Fredrickson, Editor in Chief of Coutorture, is an alumnus of the college I will be attending starting this fall, so there is a bright ray of fashionable hope for students such as myself :)

Finally, the links are up and running on the right-hand-side sidebar. Have a ball and make sure to spend several hours a day reading fashion and beauty blogs!

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Sunday, July 30, 2006
Top 10: College Wardrobe Must-haves!
One thing readers will quickly learn about me is that I love making lists, including but not limited to to-do lists, shopping lists, and top 10 lists. So you may be seeing frequent posts from me in list format, starting with today's list of my top ten college wardrobe must-haves!

1. Flats. Lots of flats. I know, we fashionistas are partial to heels. I myself have a penchant for four-inch pointy-toe heels and stacked wedges. However, college life necessitates a collection of cute, comfy, chic flats because of all the walking we'll be doing around campus.
Kohl's, $34.99 Old Navy, $19.50,

2. Stylish totes. Personally, I hate backpacks. I've never fancied myself to be a backpack-carrier, but in high school, the functional, bulky backpack was a necessary evil. However, in college, since we won't be carrying all our books around at once, I'm going totes all the way! I love these:
Old Navy, $19.50 H&M, $14.90

3. Cute tops for going out. You'll probably be going to lots of clubs, parties, mixers, frat parties, stock up on lots of cheap, cute tops for going out. Like my favorite Budget Fashionista said in a post once, if you have lots of different tops, you can afford to not have lots of different jeans, because no one will notice you're wearing the same jeans over and over.
Paul + Joe for Target, $19.99 Isaac Mizrahi for Target, $22.99

4. Cute jackets. Blazers are still hot, as are military style jackets, bomber jackets-- pretty much any kind of lightweight jacket that you can toss over your outfit.
Gap, $58 Old Navy, $36.50

5. Skinny Jeans. Skinny jeans are definitely making it big this fall, after months of being seen only on Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, and the like. So be one of the first to get on this trend before it gets overdone! Pair it with pumps or flats, a billowy top and tote bag, and you're good to go!
Old Navy, $25.00 Gap, $58.00

6. Clutches. Clutches may not seem like the most practical type of purse, but think about it--when you're out at night, you won't need more than your cell phone, digicam, ID, cash, and lipgloss, so clutches and wristlets are an excellent way to stylishly reduce the bulk. I adore this one from target!
Tara Jarmon for Target, $10.19 (also in purple)

7. Wide Belts worn around the waist, not hips. I love this most versatile of accessories because it looks good on everyone, yet so few people (at least in my rural college town) choose to wear it, so those of us who wear it look very put together. These belts are perfect when thrown on oversized sweaters, tunics, or long billowy tops, and are the perfect addition to any basic outfit.
I don't know where this belt is sold--but it's a cute example :-)

8. Sweaters. Think variety and versatility. Boyfriend sweaters, cable-knits, cashmere, wool--lots of different sweaters in different colors can take you through fall, winter and spring.
Gap, $48, $48

9. A Great Pair of Boots. I don't think this really needs matter where you go to school or what climate you live in, a great pair of boots can always jazz up an outfit.
rsvp, $81,

10. And finally...a trenchcoat. Because no wardrobe is complete without a version of this timeless, classic, versatile, all-weather piece.
Banana Republic, $168

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Temporary template
Your eyes are not deceiving you, there has indeed been a change of template. However, this is only temporary -- the default template was so painful that I lifted the template off my other blog and dumped it here, with some moderate tweaking and a lot of fingers and toes crossed that claudia, my favourite techie, will not murder me for breaking the rules issued when she made that template (these rules can be read if you view the source of this page.)

Must stay in Claudia's good graces so that she'll come up with another brand new gorgeous template for this blog! More crossing of fingers of toes ensues.

I've spent two hours changing the pictures at the top. The ones I've used are pictures I had saved during my thorough perusal of during the SS06 shows last year (which, incidentally, took place right before my preliminary exams.) Tomorrow I will find more current pictures and do some further tweaking and also try to figure out how to widen the middle column with the posts in it, because at present it looks terribly lopsided.

And I will put in all the links!

Actually I'm quite pleased with the template now. It's much better than the default template but it isn't a carbon copy of my other blog (so I won't get confused when looking at my own blogs). And I've also figured out all by myself how to post the images such that they stay in the centre with all the text below them. For a self-professed html-phobe, these are enormous achievements.


Dresses and boots
I think wearing a dress with boots is adorable. It reminds me of Lorelai Gilmore, and it's a perfect mix of feminine and rugged/boyish/comfortable/whatever you want to call it -- which is exactly what I'd like my college style to be. I guess for regular dress-wearers unlike me, this must be quite a common look in the fall, but for me it's something of a novelty and anyway I've found some really nice dress-and-boots ensembles that I just need to show to the world.

The J Crew fall lineup is full of gorgeousness. This is one of the best looks. I really rarely wear dresses, but if I'm going to invest a dress anytime soon it'll definitely be a shirt-dress in a beautiful deep colour like this one. And I'm loving the cute cap!

Yeah I do love the J Crew fall looks very much. Which is why I'm going to pretend that this is a dress. Which it isn't, but it is a skirt-with-boots outfit and the skirt's the same shade as the incredibly pretty antique blouse so let's just pretend it's a dress okay? In fact you could take an off-white or cream dress in a similar shape, loosely fasten a dark-coloured leather belt around the waist and you'd have a very similar look. It's so cute and young-looking with the messenger bag and the boots and the way the skirt's slightly rumpled, which is how our skirts are going to look when we're busy being college girls, right?

This dress is very femininely drapey and flowy but the boots which are almost the same brown/grey shade just give it a fantastic shot of attitude.

This is called "Classic Grunge" in shopbop's fall trends. Heavily layered, it edges dangerously close to Mary-Kate Olsen bag lady territory but just manages to stay chic, and does offer some interesting ideas to continue working the dress-and-boots look when the weather gets even colder. I'd probably go with slightly brighter, bolder or deeper colours in order to look less muddy, though. I covet those laced-up Kors boots.

I just really like this picture from the anthropologie fall catalog. I wish I could see the rest of the dress, it looks really cute with the patterned tights. Beware of patterned tights though, they're generally avoidable if your legs are even a hint thicker than models' regulation stick-figure legs. Still, they're fun.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006
Some of the best fashion inspiration comes from the lookbooks at shopping websites. Some like anthropologie make ensembles on mannequins, some like Gap photograph models in different outfits and some like shopbop make catalogs which are downright amazing and could pass for fashion spreads in a glossy mag. Whichever way these websites assemble outfits for our perusal, online lookbooks are a really great tool to help you mix your look up a little, get some ideas and make the most out of your wardrobe.

This, from Gap, looks simple enough and it's a great look for college -- comfy and cute. A long skirt, but not too full or colourful because you'll be recalling last year's boho summer. And a little cropped hoodie with a longish tank underneath and an adorable pair of ballet flats. Perfect proportions. Muted tones like in this picture are great for fall, but bolder combinations are entirely possible (I'm a big fan of bold colours; they cheer me up). For instance, a black skirt with a red tank and white hoodie.

Cozy knit wraps are going to be everywhere this fall. You could pair this with black leggings and boots for when the weather's not so conducive to short skirts. A pair of knee-length tan boots to complement the leather tote, or a cute pair of ankle boots - which are going to be another fall staple; when I finally start boot-shopping I'm going to be so hard-pressed to decide between ankle and knee length!

I love this ensemble. The masculinity of the wide-leg denim trousers is balanced by the flamboyant bow on the victorian-inspired shirt. And the subdued colours and relative formality of those two pieces is balanced by the bright, casual, FUN orange hoodie which just makes the whole outfit pop. If the huge collar on the shirt is a little daunting, even a regular high-necked victorianish blouse or something with some ruffles would work fine. Basically, something ultra-feminine and a little bit old-fashioned.

Sweater tunics: so trendy, so soft, so lovely. If you can splurge on cashmere like this particular one from Vince, go for it. Otherwise just go for something affordable in a cotton-wool mix and make sure it's soft. I love the loose blousy sleeves on this one. And how it's worn with contrasting layering tanks underneath. The best part is the quirky necklace. Absolutely adorable. This can be worn with skinny jeans or with a denim mini and boots or even flat-fronted menswear trousers.

This isn't really my kind of look, but it's an interesting way to take shorts into fall, and to wear leggings. There's something incredibly appealing about the textures - soft tanks with the velvet shorts and leather boots. And of course the mossy, woody colours are beautiful. So even if I wouldn't necessarily wear this outfit, I love looking at it.

Finally, another luxurious sweater look. The wide lapels and wide charcoal-and-black stripes are gorgeous. The rest of the pieces are understated, but the accessories pull it together: the black belt loose around the waist, and the long silver chain with the pendant against a bright white tank. You can work similar understated pieces with great accessories and any sort of wrap sweater with unusual colours or an unusual design for a comfortable, chic fall look.

The thing about all these outfits is that almost all of the individual items are not hard to find on a college-girl budget, or even hiding in your own wardrobe! Which is really what great style is about - innovation and experimentation and accessories. I guess this is a little rich coming from me because I'd always pick shopping over working with what I already have. But that could be because in perpetually sunny Singapore, funky layers are out of the question and therefore I don't get much of a chance to reuse/reinvent the same items in different, interesting ways. So hopefully Chicago will give me the long-awaited chance to play around with the clothes I have and stop buying so many new ones!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Important Issues
So for 12 years I've worn a uniform to school in Singapore, which allowed for fashionable individuality only in terms of sneakers, bag, and occasionally sweater/jacket (although the introduction of the ultra-stylin' RJC hoodie partially eliminated that last one too, though I love my RJ hoodie).

In September I'm off to Chicago where in addition to the ordeal of returning to academic life after nearly 9 months, on a daily basis I will have to deal with a great might-as-well-be-existential question: What Shall I Wear Today?

I have next to no idea what cold-weather style is like, especially in the relatively arctic temperatures of Chicago. I do not own a single pair of boots and I've yet to get myself a decent coat. Plus, in university my numerous totes and cute little messenger bags won't do because I'll have a laptop to schlep around.

I'm not the only person searching for some college fashion wisdom -- teenfashionista has also been on the prowl. As tf mentioned, omiru and ClosetTherapy have some memorable posts related to college fashion, but I have come to the conclusion that there isn't really a blog around that really caters to college-related fashion and in particular, the college girl's budget.

So here it is. My first attempt at a fashion blog, from the perspective of a girl who is veritably obsessed with fashion and beauty, who will soon be in university and therefore certified to dish on college fashion issues. Until then, you can watch and be amused as I freak out about the amount of things I have to pack, the number of things I want/need/have to buy, and generally display my inner addict to the world. Or to the small part of it that actually gets around to reading this blog :)

Coming soon:
- Fabulous fashion links on the sidebar
- Hopefully a new fashion-forward template if I can convince a tech-savvy friend to make me one
- Even more hopefully, some fellow college fashion spies to help me out with this blog

Watch this space!

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