Category: Fashion Forward


The Beauty Book

I am not a big fan of winter. I am a very cold-natured person, and my body does not take well to cold weather.

My hair — which is normally soft and shiny — gets dry and brittle and uncooperative.  My hands — my poor, soft hands — become dry and cracked and alligator-like. And my face — which is sensitive anyways — is extra dry and red. When I look in the mirror, I try to remind myself that it’s not just me suffering from winter beauty blues. But then I see girls walking around campus in the cold with their beautiful, shiny locks and “un-splotchy” faces. I become jealous.

This jealousy has led me to researching for hours about proper winter hair care. After all, these women I see can’t simply be free of winter’s destructive powers. While staying up late one night working hard on my winter skin research, I recalled a book my mother gave me before I left for college. Fast Beauty:  1000 Quick Fixes. I sprung out of my bed and began searching my bookshelf for this “Beauty Bible.” Eventually I found it nestled between The Bombshell’s Manual of Style and The Prophet. I clutched the treasure across my chest and jumped back onto my bed.

Holding the book in my hands, I felt the power rush into my body.  Before me laid a book that would unlock the answers for combatting the winter-time blues.  It was almost too much. After several minutes, I finally cracked the book open to the index.  I searched for the word “winter” and found an expanded list of “hair and scalp care,” “hand and nail” and “skin care.” My heart skipped a beat.  If I followed the guidelines in the book, people around campus would soon be jealous of my hair and skin.

I flipped to the “hair and scalp care” pages.  Then I turned to the “hand and nail” and finally “skin care.” For hours I read the book, soaking in this newly, found beauty knowledge. To combat dry hair and a splotchy face, use plain yogurt with a bit of honey.  Soak nails in warm milk to regain strength. There was so much to learn and take in, and I quickly lost track of the time.

Finally, my eyes darted to my bedside clock. 4:30 AM! I couldn’t believe I had spent three hours researching.  I had to be up in two hours.  I began to freak out when I realized the sleep deprivation would be easy to spot the next morning.   But then I realized the answer laid in my lap. I flipped to the index and began my research for combatting sleep-deprivation.

-Hillary Rose Owens

Lanvin Collaborating with H&M?

It’s true! Alber Elbaz, Lanvin’s artistic director, has teamed up with H&M to create a French-inspired collection that will hit stores at the end of the month. Compared to other designer collaborations, this one will be a luxury brand for H&M and will feature higher-end clothing. Prices for dresses range around $200. What do you think? Will consumers go for the pricier, Parisian-chic look? Will Elbaz succeed in transcending Lanvin into mass-market designs? See for yourself!

Check out the preview video below.

-Eloise Hamilton

Leggings or Jeggings? Let’s Take a Look

In a society that celebrates individual expression, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish where we should draw the line. Luckily, this week I’ve been on an honesty kick, calling it like I see it. So I am going to enlighten you – yes, you, the girl who wears see-through cotton leggings as pants. See-through cotton leggings are not pants, and if you refuse to cover your bum-bum with a dress, skirt, tunic or long camisole (wow, who knew! lots of options!) then just know that every time you pass by, more than one person will be mentally referring to you as Cellulite Cindy.

Have a perfect posterior? The innumerable repetitions you spend on the thigh and butt blaster machine still do not excuse you from wearing leggings as pants.

For those who crave a sleek silhouette and also want to also show off the booty, this can be achieved without exposing your wobbly bits to the world: Jean Leggings, or Jeggings. Now, this doesn’t mean you should go out and purchase cotton leggings that look like jeans. If you buy leggings that look like Jeans, you still must cover it up with a long shirt. The trick is getting dressed near a window with ample light, if you can see your underwear’s color or texture through the fabric, it’s time to layer up and cover that butt.

If you can see skin, cover up. Even if your cotton leggings are completely opaque, and you have the world’s juiciest backside, please cover up; it’s just not fashionable, and it’s sexier leaving a little to the imagination.

Back to the Jeggings, Jean leggings are jeans that have extra stretch in them. They are just as comfortable as leggings, but do not require you to cover up in the back because they aren’t revealing as cotton leggings. Some people have to go up a size when purchasing Jean leggings because they are very form fitting.

Cotton leggings should be treated as the sister of stockings or hosiery: undergarments meant to accessorize an outfit, not take the place of pants. So next time you are out shopping, don’t hesitate buying leggings, cause they are a wonderful fashion staple to have for accessorizing, but do hesitate to wear see through leggings without covering up that rump!

Don’t: Brown cotton leggings worn as pants. She is overexposed – I can see all of the dimples in her bottom and thighs. This outfit would be acceptable if her top was long enough to be a shirt-dress, and she incinerated her rainbow socks or wore boots long enough to cover the silly socks. Also, her boots should cover the exposed skin on the ankles, for a sleek, put together look.

Do! Express sells Jean leggings. This is a major do. These women look stylish and flawless because they have chosen to wear jeans that give them the slimming and shape-enhancing feel of leggings, and have the option of wearing a shirt that sits on the hips because their jean leggings are made of unrevealing fabric.

– Kristen Cubero

Leather, Sequins and Fur, oh my!

Zara Italia Shopper Combinata

Urban Outfitters Cooperative Spectator bag

Topshop Faux Fur Lock clutch

J.Crew Mongolian lamb tote bag

 

Zara Italia Citybag Manico Risvolto

J.Crew Galaxy purse

Here are a few of my favorite bags that capture the classic, simplicity of the season.

These clean-cut, structured totes are great because of their versatility. Pair the satchel bag with a pair of jeans and a sweater during the day, and transition it to a nighttime look by pairing it with a solid colored dress. These business-chic bags are trendy, but also practical. They are durable, timeless and not to mention spacious – elements of a worthy purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also included a couple examples of a crucial trend this fall: fur. Unlike previous years, this season, fur is meant to make a big statement. I’m not talking about modesty here, fur is meant to be worn as outlandishly as one desires. See Chanel fall 2010 ready-to-wear below.  Chewbacca, anyone?

 

Ok, so maybe don’t go to this extreme, but I do love the absurdity of the J.Crew Mongolian lamb tote bag, a mere $795 splurge. Its over-the-top nature makes it a quick fix to any boring outfit. J.Crew really has beautiful bags this season; definitely check them out. The sequined black Galaxy purse is another of my favorites. Although less versatile than the others, this one truly makes a statement. Very Serena van der Woodsen, don’t you think? It’s glitzy, but just enough to be trendy and not tacky. The multiple gold chains give it the edginess that this season calls for. I find that mixing textures such as sequins, metal, fur or leather makes any outfit more sophisticated.

To conclude, look out for satchel, over-the-shoulder and multi-textured bags to zip up your wardrobe this season. Go back the basics and pair these items with whatever you want during the day and with neutral-colored looks at night. Don’t be afraid to go over the top with fur (according to the experts), but in Chapel Hill, I might just stick to modest fur accessories.

 

Fall into Fashion

Welcome back Fashion’s Finest! Hope everyone had a wonderful summer. If you’re like me, you’re ready to toss out the summer wear and bring in the crisp, cool clothes of fall. Whether you’re mourning the loss of your favorite white jeans, or getting out your sweaters for the first sign of cool weather, you’re in for a real treat this season.

It’s back to the basics. Look out for warm, neutral colors mixed with edgy pieces that contrast textures and mix sophistication with the classics. Nothing too over-the-top though – this season calls for simplicity. I can’t deny it, I love this style. Think skinny jeans, gladiator heels, a simple sweater, an oversized watch and a chunky necklace. Classic. Or, try a military jacket paired with rolled up khaki pants, a brown belt, and a leather satchel. A third option for the trendsetters out there: pair a sequined skirt with a studded belt and a cargo-style tunic (tucked in, of course) complete with a pair of clogs… yes, you heard me, clogs. What’s one word to describe all of these looks? Iconic.

Over the next couple of months, I hope to use this blog to share with you my passion.  The world of fashion is my escape, my fantasy. I am by no means an expert at fashion, or blogging, for that matter. But this is something I really enjoy, and I hope the information I share might be beneficial to you in some way!

Send me pictures, links, ideas…whatever catches your eye. I’d love your feedback!

I’ll try to incorporate a designer of the week for each post as well.

Until next time,

– Eloise Hamilton (edham@email.unc.edu)

Short and Sweet

So I’m sure some of you are wondering—what’s the most essential item to have for the summer?  Well, after much investigation, I have come to a conclusion.  The one piece you must have for the sweltering days of June and July is a pair of jean shorts.

Why shorts, you ask?  Because jean shorts (which I refuse to call “jorts”) are effortlessly chic.  This season, shorts are meant to be thrown on and paired with a nautical t-shirt or other kind of cotton tee, a light cardigan or blazer, and whatever kind of accessory you can think of.

Check out this fashion video from H&M.  Jean Paul Cauvin explains why shorts are the trend of the season!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m loving that the waistline is rising—no more low-rise tackiness!

I want to focus specifically on jean shorts because I really think that everyone should invest in a pair this season.

Here are a few suggestions (inspired by my roommate):

Introducing the Roll Up Short in Vintage Honolulu by 7 For All Mankind…a.k.a. “the everything shorts.” Although they might be a little pricy, these shorts will last you a lifetime and they will age wonderfully too (given that they’re already a little distressed).  They also go with everything.  I know what you’re thinking: there are a million pairs of knock off jean shorts that look just like this one.  But I’m telling you, with jean shorts, quality over quantity is best.

Some other great options are the Hudson Jeans Distressed Short in Killbourn (left) or Citizens of Humanity Gibson Loose Fit Rolled Cuff Shorts (right).

Once you’ve picked out a pair, it’s time to start mixing and matching.  There are a MILLION combinations of things to wear with jean shorts.

How about a pair of classic Ked’s and a blue and white striped tee from Forever 21?  Nautical is so in right now.

Or what about an over-the-shoulder bag like this one from Anthropologie, another tee from Forever 21, a hat from Urban Outfitters, and a pair of gladiator sandals like these from Dolce Vita—(Hint: Sax Fifth Avenue-Off Fifth Outlet has a GREAT selection of sandals like these for half the price. Check it out.)

And finally, try a loose-fitting floral blouse with your jean shorts like these from Zara (left) or Nordstrom—BP section…shhh…(right).

The moral of the story is that jean shorts are your friend.  They are no longer trashy, Daisy Duke-esque.  The L.A. casual beach style has hit the East coast.  Embrace it!

And of course, to leave you in a denim state of mind, here is the designer of the week:

D&G Spring Ready to Wear 2010

Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney and Chloé also dared to do denim this season (good alliteration, huh?). You can search all the runway shows at Style.com.

-Eloise Hamilton

One for One

The Toms Shoes phenomenon has officially hit Chapel Hill.  If you haven’t noticed the Toms takeover yet — look down.  UNC-Chapel Hill students are crazy about the comfy, canvas shoe company that bases its business off a “One for One” model.

For every pair of shoes bought, Toms donates a pair to a child in need. The Toms’ philosophy is geared toward providing children in developing countries with shoes who can’t afford them and would otherwise be subject to disease, cuts, bruises and denial from school (because shoes are required as part of the uniform).

The Toms company uses a wide variety of social networking outlets to promote its brand.  They encourage consumers to “tell the Toms story” by posting videos or pictures of themselves wearing Toms Shoes on their website.  They also dedicated a day (April 8th) for people to go barefoot in order to generate awareness of the millions of children around the world who cannot afford the simple commodity of shoes.

According to the website, ¼ million people participated in the event, including many UNC students.  Elizabeth Symons, a sophomore at UNC, left her flip flops at home that day and trekked through campus without shoes.

“When I first started walking to class, I thought people would think I looked weird, and I was kind of embarrassed.  But then I realized that I was doing it to raise awareness for the

Toms movement, and it felt rewarding to me because people are losing their lives because they don’t have shoes.  I was helping fight that.”

Symons and others experienced #hardwithoutshoes (a popular trending topic on Twitter around April 8th) first hand.

Many students are passionate about the brand because of its inspirational business concept.

Sarah Dehart (left) wears her favorite pair of Toms shoes: the Ghandi slip ons.  Ghandi’s quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” perfectly embodies the Toms motto.

Whether you’re a fashionista, tomboy, punk, or really anything in between—Toms has something for you.  Check out their website to learn more about the Toms movement or check out more styles.

Have a wonderful week and good luck on exams!

– Eloise Hamilton

Accessory Before the Fact

Hello again blog world,

This post (accidentally) turned out to be an accessory guide! From bright colored scarves to sporty watches and fun purses – I’ve posted some accessories you’re not going to want to miss.

But first…

Lots of news from Chapel Hill happenings!

How many of you were at the GenerAction concert on April 12? Anoop Desai performed as an opener to Sean Kingston, and from a fashion aspect, he and his band members looked great! They all wore white tops, black ties and black slacks  —so classy. Anoop stood out in his violet button down and “stunna shades,” as one of my friends called them. He awed the audience with his soulful R&B voice and especially with his performance of “Carolina in My Mind.” Despite Anoop’s Hollywood status, he couldn’t deny his Chapel Hill roots.

I also met some fashion-forward ladies at the concert:

Ayana Allen, a senior at UNC, popped in a yellow scarf from H&M, a hand-me-down dress and a Puma clutch from Jamaica.  She looked magnificently glowing in the afternoon sun. Ayana is the perfect example of how accessories can completely illuminate an outfit!

Lucia Huddleston, a freshman at UNC, rocked an awesome over-the-shoulder Melie Bianco bag. Fendi knockoff?? Looks like it to me. Beige is the best color for shoulder bags because no matter what you’re wearing- they go with everything!

Speaking of over-the-shoulder bags, a one-stop shop for all your slouchy bag needs (not to mention my favorite store in the universe): Zara.

Never heard of Zara? It’s a Spanish based store that has trickled over to the U.S. Unfortunately, it has only made its way to big cities (the closest one is in Atlanta).  But Zara’s trendy and high quality products are timeless and guaranteed to spice up any outfit.

Here are a couple over-the-shoulder, envelope and doctor bag purses from Zara’s website: Notice the details on each.

Here’s something else I’ve been drooling over recently: bright colored watches – a must-have for the season. Everyone is familiar with (or owns) the Michael Kors watch, so why not do something different and try a DKNY watch? Like I’ve said before, this season is all about color. Check out these rockin’ hues:

And to top off your v-neck tee, tank top, cover up (I’m trying to ensue that this can be worn casually!) layer up with a chain necklace like this one from J.crew.  Take my advice: don’t be timid! Wear it with anything and everything. You’ll be sure to get a couple glances your way (from people you want to get glances from).

Now it’s time for…

Designer of the Week: Emporio Armani’s spring 2010 ready-to-wear

This collection is so diverse.  He incorporated polka dots, stripes, neon, draped scarves, splatter paint-type prints and so much more.  He really captures the youthfulness of the season.  This collection is all about having fun and daring to wear those colors you might be hesitant to wear!

That’s all!

Until next week,

Eloise Hamilton

Fashion Forward

Hello readers!

I am an aspiring fashionista looking to experiment in the world of fashion blogging.  I will try to bring you style updates, new trends and hits of the season through pictures and commentary.  Although I admit I begin with little experience in this field, my main goal is to serve you.  Let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

H&M- Cheap and Chic…without the chic

Been to the new H&M at Crabtree Mall in Raleigh yet? In my opinion, there are two words to describe it: Epic Tease.  The cheap and trendy retail store that has finally made its way to North Carolina is stocked with cotton, oversized t-shirts and sweaters that might be easily confused with pajamas.  Don’t get me wrong, if you’re looking for some good basics, H&M is the place to go.  But where’s the trendy, unique pieces that make you think, “Yes! I’m going to look fashionable and no one will know that I spent $30 on this outfit”? It’s hard to tell whether the store was out of stock, headquarters sent nothing to the new Raleigh location or H&M just has a weak collection for the spring.

Your thoughts?

Despite the green haze that seems to be covering everything these days, spring is absolutely the best season for color. I have a habit of ripping out pages of magazines when I see things that I like.  Here’s a collection of what I consider essentials for the season:

A good pair of comfy peep-toe heels are crucial because a) they go with everything and b) they show off your perfectly manicured toes (duh). Make sure they’re comfy!

Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue


Forever 21

Another essential for the spring: a little decorated jacket with details on the shoulders. It’s the perfect accent to any outfit. HINT: If you’re looking for something a little more towards your price range, check out old trusty Forever 21. Forev is so great, isn’t it?


Yigal Azrouel

Saks Fifth Avenue

Cut-outs. Asymmetric slivers of missing cloth equals sexy, chic dresses. These dresses are flattering on everyone because they draw the eye to your exposed skin! I am also all about showing off your shoulders.  One-shoulder dresses are effortlessly classy.

Comfy-cute is the way to go, especially given everyone’s busy lifestyles.  You can make an effortlessly chic outfit with 3 ingredients: a decorated t-shirt, a patterned skirt and a belt. Accessories also help if you’re looking to add a little more pizzazz.

And who would’ve thought the jean-jacket could make a come back?  Love it.

J. Crew

Sequins. Tibi Begonia Sequin Dress – hot, hot, hot. It’s casual, dressy, flirty and classy – what’s not to love? The shoes are great as well.

Shopbop.com

Scarves. Thanks, Diana, for letting me stalk you down to take a pic!  I love the way she has the scarf wrapped around her neck; it’s almost like a necklace.  This is easy and it adds so much flavor to the outfit.  By the way, her bag is from Ecuador (how cool!).

Diana Amaya

And finally (drum roll please)….

Designer of the Week: Valentino’s Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear Collection (my personal fave)!

With nostalgic ruffles, big bows and glimmering textures, this collection takes baby-doll chic to the next level.

Also notice the details on the backs of the shoes. Ahhh so great!

– Eloise Hamilton