Fashion Friday: Favorite Spring Trends 2015

I’ll admit: I haven’t super been paying attention to fashion recently. And by “recently” I mean “like for the past year.”

It’s not that I don’t care anymore about looking nice and feeling confident about what I’m wearing. It’s that I’ve just been really busy. Also I probably wore a crewneck and jeans to half my classes this year because it’s been really cold and those involved stuffing fewer layers under my coat (and also are cozy as all get out).

HOWEVER. It is now spring (hopefully to stay), which means I’ve been peeling off the crewnecks and actually wearing Real Clothes again. So I figured it was time to resurrect the Fashion Friday. (See what I did there? Resurrect? It’s Good Friday?) (I’m a terrible person.)

Here are some of my favorite trends this spring.

Utility Jackets

ASOS, $38.00

I know these have been a trend for a long time now, but I finally splurged on one last fall–then it immediately got cold and I didn’t get to wear it much. It was so exciting when the weather got above freezing a couple weeks ago and I finally was able to break it out again.

Mine is a little shorter and tighter than most utility jackets (I ordered it off Ebay, because cheap, and it didn’t end up fitting at all like I’d expected). But I really like it. It goes with pretty much anything, from jeans and a t-shirt to a floral sundress, and gives the jacket look without being too warm. (You can check out a picture of me in my utility jacket here and find it on Ebay here.)

Beanies

Forever 21, $8.99

A good beanie is another item I invested in this year. These are lovely hats, because they’re fashion items (which means you can keep wearing them inside on a bad hair day) but also functional (which means you won’t freeze your ears off if you choose to go the beanie route instead of wearing a ski cap or something one day).

My beanie is knit, bright red with a huge pom pom, and perfectly slouchy. I love wearing it with a red lip when I want to make a statement, or just pulling it on over a messy braid on the days I don’t have time to make myself properly presentable. (I’d link you to my hat specifically, but the store I got it from closed a few months ago.)

Ankle Boots

Famous Footwear, $59.99

I’m yet to get my hands on a pair of these (ALWAYS SO EXPENSIVE), but if I ever have the money, they’re at the top of my list.

Ankle boots are awesome, because you can wear them with ANYTHING (like heels), but still get comfort and support (like boots). Plus, they just really class up a more casual outfit.

Skinny Trousers

Kohl’s, $30.80

I’m honestly not sure if these are actually a Thing, or I’m just really into them because of my apparent obsession with the UK. But I love how skinny trousers are classy but still make my legs look nice. (Regular trousers always balloon out on me, so I avoid them at all costs.) Plus, they’re appropriate in so many different types of situations. I splurged on a pair of navy blue ones at the Zara in Oxford last summer (these are the closest currently available to mine) and I’ve worn them for everything from going to class (with a casual blouse or sweater, or even a sweatshirt) to business meetings and special occasions (with a, you know, nice blouse or sweater, or even a blazer). I just bought a much cheaper black pair from Kohl’s that are also wonderful, and I’m hoping to get some in other colors too if I end up interning in an office environment this summer.

Stripes

Forever 21, $27.99

I’ve always had a thing for stripes. I actually had to stop letting myself buy striped clothing at one point in high school because I had practically nothing else. The level of stripes in my wardrobe has been at an all-time low the past couple years though, so I thought I was finally over them. Then Forever 21 sent me an email with a link to this page and now I want everything striped ever all over again.

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Other reason I shouldn’t do these posts anymore: I now want to go shopping sooo badly.

What are some of your favorite trends this spring? Do you have a Must Have list?

~Julia

NaNo Day 18: Fall Layers with ModCloth

It’s well-known that I’m obsessed with Modcloth. Apparently so well-known, in fact, that one of the lovely ModStylists emailed me last week to see if I’d be interested in sharing my fall layering style using pieces from the awesomely quirky and adorable fashion site.

Um. Duh?

So, below is the outfit I came up with using pieces from ModCloth’s fall collection.

Fall Layers with ModCloth

My fall style is all about warmth and coziness, so I began my look with–you guessed it–layers. A tank top beneath a flowy blouse beneath a chunky cardigan.

I chose to go with warm colors that reminded me of falling leaves and bonfires, so the tank top is a deep red and the cardigan is goldenrod yellow. I offset these against the off-white of the flowy top, which has cutouts throughout it to show off the red tank top beneath. I’d wear it with the cardigan unbuttoned so as to avoid the contrast in necklines. (Notice how the red tank top and and off-white blouse, on the other hand, have coordinating necklines.) Wearing the cardigan unbuttoned also adds to the casualness of the look.

Of course, an outfit isn’t complete with just some cozy layers, so I paired these with dark wash skinny jeans that draw attention to their warm colors, a pair of brown lace-up ankle boots (still running with the fall colors), an army green wool jacket (playing into the utility jacket trend while adding warmth) (I don’t know about you, but the windshield here was -6 this morning), a multicolor infinity scarf that echoes and accentuates the colors already in the outfit, and, finally, an adorable grey cable knit beanie.

The long, flowy top half of the outfit combines with the tight jeans and heeled boots to give a lengthening, slimming effect that keeps you from turning into the dreaded cold weather marshmallow, while the jeans, jacket, and beanie are also important as neutral colors, because they draw focus to the layered tank top, blouse, and sweater as statement pieces. (I don’t know about you, but it’s impossible for me to be moody about the cold weather when I’m wearing such happy, warm colors.)

Altogether, my look is all about slouchy, cozy pieces you can throw on in minutes while still looking cute on the way to morning classes. Now all I need is a chai latte and a pile of leaves to jump in.

Check out the individual pieces below! And make sure to head to ModCloth’s site itself to see all their other fabulous offerings here. (Protip: You can find their cardigan collection, specifically, here! It’s one of my favorite things.)

Special thanks to Polyvore, the site I used to put together my style board. Super fun and easy to use!

*****

NaNo Update: No writing technically planned for today, but I’m probably still going to be playing catch up in NaNoWriMo, because I NEED to stop being obnoxiously behind, with term papers and final projects coming up.

Goal for today: 0 + yesterday’s leftover 2,000 + Sunday’s 2,000 + Saturday’s 3,000 + Friday’s 200.

Overall goal: 35,000.

Current word count: 31,072

~Julia

Fashion Friday: Favorite Spring Trends (2014)

I’ve been dying to do a Fashion Friday post for a couple months now, but between school and other commitments, this is the first chance I’ve gotten.

The weather has been absolutely crazy this year. It was in the seventies last weekend, then it snowed Tuesday. We have had blustery, freezing rain, and light misty rain, and burn-you-just-from-glancing-at-it sunshine. Basically: Michigan experienced all four seasons in four days.

What all this means is that figuring out what to wear this spring has been really difficult. I’ll be in shorts one day, and my winter coat the next.

This all has led to an interesting spring in clothes.

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Favorite Spring Trend #1: Layers

Target, $29.99

I’ve noticed I’m not the only one on campus rocking lots of layers the past few weeks. U of M is a sea of denim, leather, fleece, and utility jackets over hoodies. My personal favorite pairing is something light–a tank top of v-neck–under a sweatshirt with my jean jacket over top. It gives me three options to wear, depending on what turn the weather’s taken and how high the heat/air conditioning’s cranked in my classes. (I really appreciate the comfy look of the thin, baggy utility jackets though, so I’m thinking of splurging on one of those.)

Favorite Spring Trend #2: Funky Flats

DSW Oxford ShoesDSW, $39.95

I don’t know what you call the shoes in the picture above, but I call them “hipster shoes.” And they are weirdly cute. And a fantastic way of adding some personality to your outfit (also: much comfier than most ballet flats).

(While searching for the picture above on DSW’s site, I learned that the term “hipster shoes” is, indeed, not proper. They’re “Oxfords.” Which, looking back on it, I should have known.)

Favorite Spring Trend #3: Mint

Essie Fashion Playground Nail PolishEssie, $8.50

This color somehow is both calm and cheery. I don’t know how it does it, but it’s great. A nice, light green with a hint of blue.

Favorite Spring Trend #4: Blazers

Modcloth Fine and Sandy Blazer in SunshineModcloth, $64.99

This one’s been common for a while now, but I don’t think I’ve ever professed my love for blazers. While I don’t wear them often (I can’t seem to find a good, not-super-formal one that actually fits me), they’re definitely good for dressing up an outfit that would otherwise be casual. T-shirt and jeans? Throw a blazer over them, and suddenly you’re classy and smart.

Favorite Sprint Trend #5: Flouncy Skirts

Asos, $19.75

I’m a big proponent of dresses and skirts. They’re comfy and fun and a great way of looking like you actually made an effort with your appearance when in actually you, you know, just rolled out of bed and threw a dress on. This spring’s seen a lot of flowier, flouncier skirts. The kind that are soft to the touch and swish as you walk. Lots of skater skirts, made out of thinner, more breathable materials than usual for the warmer weather.

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What are some of your favorite trends this spring?

Countdown ’til summer: 7 days.

~Julia

Steal Emma Stone’s Casual, Cute Style

Last week I got an email alerting me to a neat opportunity to collaborate with the Paul Fredrick company’s blog on a series about how to “steal” various celebrities’ style. You can read their central post on their blog here, about copying Leonardo DiCaprio’s style, and I’m going to talk about actress Emma Stone’s.

Here we go.

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This is Emma Stone at a movie premiere.

Gorgeous, right? [Photo found here.]

What I love about Emma Stone is that no matter what she’s doing, she keeps things classy and simple (you know, outside of when she’s in character as someone like Olive from Easy A). From red carpet to walking down the street, she knows how to express her personality and look cute without going over the top.

[Photo found here.]

[Photo found here.]

[Photo found here, but originally from Just Jared. Obviously.]

Her style focuses on comfort and practicality, so think skinny jeans, thick scarves, and jackets and oversize sweaters.

Doesn’t she look SO happy here? (As much as I enjoy getting a chance to see celebs in their natural habitat, I can’t even imagine how awful it must be having random creeps follow you around with cameras all the time.) [Photo found here.]

This outfit is quintessential Emma Stone. Perfect for a day in the city or a night in with friends, it’s versatile and practical without slipping into frumpy or boring.

First thing you’ll need in order to wear this look is a nice pair of medium wash skinny jeans. I’m a big fan of American Eagle’s, because they come with a lot of stretch, so they’re easy to move in and don’t feel too constricting while maintaining the flattering, leg-hugging look of the skinny cut.

AE Skinny JeansAmerican Eagle, $34.95

Next up, it’s sweater time. Emma’s is long but fairly form-fitting, in a neutral color. Forever 21 has a similar one that leans towards baggy without hiding your figure.

Forever 21 SweaterForever 21, $15.80

Emma’s ankle boots add a nice touch of trendiness to the outfit. All the neutral tones in this look work well by, you know, being neutral. This gives it an overall casual air by not drawing attention to any particular piece. On the other hand, the fact that the pieces are all in different neutral tones allows the outfit to still be interesting and seem more colorful than it actually is.

Famous Footwear, $55.99

Next you’re going to want a comfy jacket a bit on the thinner side, so it keeps you warm without having to go full-blown Eskimo. Emma’s has nice tailoring to show off her thin figure and its quirky toggles add a nice touch of personality.

Target, $24.98

And the last major piece to complete Emma’s look: her big, cozy scarf. This thing looks like it’s as soft as a basket of kittens. (I’m jealous.) The alternating grey and black pattern also draw the other hues of the outfit together, completing the look, and the fact that it’s a circle/infinity scarf keeps it current.

Target, $14.99

Go light on the makeup with this look and wear you hair either up in a high ponytail, or down loose and natural. If you have bangs, sweep them across your forehead to look effortlessly put together, and either keep your nails plain and clean, or try out a darker polish, like the gorgeous medium crimson Emma wears with this outfit.

“Forever Young” shade by Essie, $8.50

And, of course, don’t forget a cool pair of shades for when the adoring paparazzi comes calling.

Claire's AviatorsClaire’s $5.00

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So, there you go! How to dress like Emma Stone. (Now we just need to figure out how to find guys like hers too, amiright?)

Once again, you can check out the Paul Fredrick company’s blog post on how to steal Leonardo DiCaprio’s style here, and thanks for reading!

~Julia

Fashion Friday: Favorite Fall Pieces 2013

Well, we’re now halfway through October 2013. The leaves are changing, it’s finally cool enough to justify boots and sweaters, and I’ve probably eaten more doughnuts in the past few weeks than all the food groups on the bottom half of the Food Pyramid combined.

They’re just joking about the “use sparingly” thing, right? RIGHT? [Image found here.]

Since we’re officially and fully into autumn now, I figured it was time for a Favorite Fall Pieces post. You ready?

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Combat Boots

Combat BootsDSW, $59.95

I’m pretty sure I’ve already highlighted this before, but I think it’s great that combat boots are such a thing right now. They’re warm, look great with almost everything, and as far as fashionable boots go (I’m not looking at you, Uggs), they’re also surprisingly practical. I can wear my combat boots walking all over campus and never once find my feet uncomfortable. My favorite way to wear them are with a sundress, leggings, my jean jacket, and some snugly socks.

*****

Cozy Sweaters

Forever 21, $19.80

I don’t think this one needs much explaining: It’s a sweater. It’s cozy. This particular one has Spider-Man on it (you can thank Hannah for this find). Maybe it’s just because I live in Michigan and seem to lack the ability to produce my own body heat, but I love warm, soft sweaters that I can just cozy up to my homework in, a nice mug of peppermint tea in hand.

*****

Black & White

Black and WhiteModcloth, $44.99

A big trend this fall is wearing all black and white. I’m generally not a fan of looks that don’t involve color (I always feel more alert if I have a pop of color on), but this one is interesting, since it does create such a sharp statement. The contrast takes an outfit that would otherwise be ordinary and gives it a spark of class and sophistication.

I’ve gone for it by wearing a white dress with a black belt, black leggings, and black ballet flats. Because I do just really like color, I try to add a little in the accessories, by wearing colorful beads or bright nail polish.

*****

Collared Blouses and Dresses

Collared BlouseModcloth, $44.99

Collars are an easy way to add a touch of quirky cuteness to a top or dress. I like how they have a smart look to them, like they belong in a classroom or at a meeting. A perfect style to help transition into fall and classes.

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Well, that’s it from me for now. What are some of your favorite fall trends this year? What’s the weather like where you live–does it get cool enough to justify a comfy sweater, or are you more likely to be spotted wearing something else?

I hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

~Julia

Fashion Friday: DIVERGENT Faction Costumes

So I know it’s only September, but I’m already getting super excited for Halloween this year. It’s one of the few times I get to show off how truly geeky I am–in the past I’ve gone as a cowgirl (with my beagle Sammy dressed as a cow), penguin supporter (in which I carried a huge sign and petition declaring that penguins couldn’t fly for the sole reason that the government had stolen their right to) (please note that some people were actually drunk enough to sign the petition), and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games (check out my guide to that costume HERE).

I haven’t decided who/what I’ll be dressing up as this year yet, but with the last book in Veronica Roth’s NY Times bestselling, and absolutely phenomenal, Divergent trilogy coming out just before Halloween–and the first Divergent movie releasing in March, 2014–I’m definitely considering going as a member of one of her factions.

So, here’s a guide to how to dress like a member of a Divergent faction. (Please note: this is based on the descriptions in the books and just what I had lying around at home; I’m going to see about doing another post eventually based on the movie costumes, but for now, this is what we’ve got.)

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CANDOR

Excerpt from Faction Manifesto: “Dishonesty is rampant, Dishonesty is temporary, Dishonesty makes evil possible.”

How to Dress: Our first faction today is the Candor–a people who believe that the best way to further society is by being honest no matter what. Because of this belief, they dress in all black and white (ya know. like the truth).

A character in Divergent who’s originally from Candor is Tris (the MC)’s best friend Christina, who she meets while in Dauntless initiation. Although by the time we meet Christina she’s already transferred out of Candor, she still holds onto some of her habits from growing up, like the fact that she is loud and abrasive, and never holds back what she thinks, even when it hurts those she loves. Christina is proud and honest, and will always support what she believes in, even if it isn’t popular.

For my Candor costume, I wore a white lace dress, black leggings, black ballet flats (not pictured), and a black headband. I feel like the Candor wouldn’t be a faction to wear a lot of makeup or do much with their hair, because those things conceal what you naturally look like, to an extent, but I did throw in the headband to get just a little more contrast into the outfit, since the white dress is sort of in-your-face.

If you don’t want to wear a dress (or you’re a guy), you can go for some nice black pants, a white button-down, and black oxford shoes.

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Purchase These Items:

White Dress** – $25.00, JC Penney

Black Leggings – $11.96, American Eagle

Black Shoes – $24.99, Payless Shoesource

Black Headband – $5.69, Rite Aid

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ABNEGATION

Excerpt from Faction Manifesto:

“I will be my undoing If I become my obsession.

I will forget the ones I love If I do not serve them.

I will war with others If I refuse to see them.

Therefore I choose to turn away from my reflection,

To rely not on myself

But on my brothers and sisters,

To project always outward

Until I disappear.”

How to Dress: The Abnegation believe in selflessness–putting everyone else before themselves at any cost. Because of this, they dress very conservatively (author Veronica Roth has described them as being Puritan-like) in different tones of grey.

Tris, the narrator of the first two Divergent-books (and co-narrator of the soon-to-be-released finale, Allegiant), is originally from Abnegation. When she transfers to Dauntless towards the beginning of book 1, she brings with her the selfless tendencies drilled into her from birth, which makes her at first appear shy and weak to the Dauntless–that is, until with a little help from her love interest and fellow Abnegation-transfer Four, she discovers that her selflessness can actually make her stronger, because it means that she’ll do anything to protect those she loves when they’re put in danger.

For my Abnegation costume, I wore a loose grey dress (the longest one you can find, the better), grey tights (not pictured), grey ballet flats (also not pictured), a too-big grey cardigan (there is just so much grey in this outfit), and my hair pulled back in a practical side-braid, tied off with a black hair tie. [Update: A lovely commenter alerted me to the fact that the Abnegation only wear their hair in tidy buns, never braids. Sorry for the bad advice!] I pulled my bangs away from my face with bobby pins, and suggest not wearing any makeup. I’m also wearing a very plain watch with this (hidden by the sweater sleeve), because that is the one sort of adornment the Abnegation allow.

Abnegation women generally have long hair pulled back from their face in a bun or braid, and men keep their hair buzzed short.

Another option for this outfit would be to wear baggy grey pants, shirt, and shoes with a plain watch.

_MG_7021

Purchase These Items:

Baggy Grey Dress** – $22.80, Forever 21

Grey Tights** – $7.80, Forever 21

Over-sized Grey Cardigan – $19.99, Kohl’s

Grey Ballet Flats** – $39.99, Famous Footwear

Simple Watch – $34.99, Target

*****

AMITY

Excerpt from Faction Manifesto:

A daughter says to her father: “Father, today I fought with my friend.”
Her father says: “Why did you fight with your friend?”
“Because she insulted me, and I was angry.”
“Why were you so angry?”
“Because I was hurt by her words.”
“My daughter, did your friend’s words change who you are?”
“No.”
“Then do not be angry. The opinions of others cannot damage you.”

How to Dress: The Amity believe in peace and happiness leading to prosperity. They’re pretty carefree, love the environment (they supply the food for Divergent Chicago), and wear lots of reds and yellows.

Amity barely makes an appearance in Divergent, but plays a much larger role in Insurgent. An important character from Amity is Robert–Tris’s old neighbor from Abnegation who transfers to Amity at the same time as she transfers to Dauntless. Robert, and the rest of Amity, like to avoid conflict at all costs (including drugging themselves to keep from disagreeing) and spend their free time singing, playing guitar, and just generally being casual and relaxed (so they’re basically hippies).

For my Amity costume, I wore a flowy red skirt with flowers on it, a red v-neck, and bronze, strappy gladiator sandals. I put my hair in a side ponytail with an orange flower-clip tucked into my hair, and I wore rose-tinted lip balm, mascara, blush.

If you’re not up for wearing a skirt, you can exchange that for red or yellow pants. Same goes for shoes. I think a pair of bright red Keds or Vans would fit this look really well.

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Purchase These Items:

Floral Skirt** – $16.00, Kohl’s

Red V-Neck** – $9.00, Target

Sandals** – $19.99, Payless Shoesource

Flower Clip** – $2.25, Claire’s

*****

EURIDITE

Excerpt from Faction Manifesto: “Intelligence is a gift, not a right. It must be wielded not as a weapon but as a tool for the betterment of others.”

How to Dress: Euridite is a faction that believes in knowledge being power. This is the place all the nerds go. (Unfortunately, it’s also corrupt by the time the trilogy begins, so it’s associated with being the bad guys and has taken to withholding information, rather than spreading it). They’re required to wear at least one blue article of clothing at all times, because it gives off a calming aura, and they’re often found wearing hipster glasses.

A well-known character from Euridite is Jeannine, an antagonist in the Divergent world, and the primary baddie of Insurgent. The Euridite are very concerned with self-image, and are known to be ruthless, self-centered, and arrogant, although they generally do have the greater good at heart when making decisions (they’re just not very good with people).

For my Euridite costume, I wore a navy blue skater skirt, navy blue tights (not pictured), a medium blue v-neck, navy blue kitten heels (not pictured), and my hair pulled back in a prim bun. Euridite are definitely the type to wear makeup–they’re all about impressing people. (I forgot to put on my hipster glasses when taking this picture, but I definitely suggest them–they’re a fun touch.)

If you’re STILL not up for wearing a skirt (seriously, you should get on this dress/skirt bandwagon), then I’d suggest wearing navy blue trousers, a blue button-down or Polo, and dark blue dress shoes. Don’t forget the unnecessarily large plastic glasses.

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Purchase These Items:

Navy Blue Skater Skirt** – $14.80, Forever 21

Blue V-Neck** – $9.00, Target

Blue Tights** – $5.80, Forever 21

Hipster Glasses (not worn here, but you should really get them) – $9.50, Claire’s

*****

DAUNTLESS

Excerpt from Faction Manifesto: “We believe that cowardice is to blame for the world’s injustices. We believe that peace is hard-won, that sometimes it is necessary to fight for peace.”

How to Dress: And finally we come to the faction that plays the most prominent role throughout Divergent–the Dauntless. Dauntless is a faction of kickbutt thrill-seekers who primarily supply the security force of Divergent Chicago. They wear all black, generally have lots of tattoos and piercings, and basically look like those people your mother hoped you’d never grow up to be. Like Euridite, Dauntless has grown pretty corrupt and ruthless by the beginning of Divergent–but those who have resisted the corruption remain loyal and strong, and they’re deadset on lending their strength to those who are weaker than them in order to protect innocence and loyalty and all that gushy stuff.

If you’ve read Divergent (or even just the back flap), then you know that Tris transfers to Dauntless at the beginning of Divergent, and once there she meets the majority of the other main characters in the books, including her love interest, Four. Four embodies everything Dauntless is supposed to be: he’s resolute, confident, and wants nothing more than to make everyone as powerful and independent as they can be. He teaches Tris that being in Dauntless isn’t about being fearless, but being strong despite their fears.

For this costume, I wore black skinny jeans, a black v-neck, and black ballet flats (not pictured). I don’t suggest the black ballet flats–you’d be better off with some black Converse or combat boots–but since I don’t own either of those, ballet flats it was. [Update: Zara has some really kickbutt trousers that remind me of the ones the Dauntless wear in the movie. Check ’em out: pair one, pair two, pair three.]

Like I mentioned above, the Dauntless like piercings and tattoos, so if you’ve got some of those to draw attention to, or can get your hands on some fake ones, go for it. I also suggest wearing lots of eyeliner and maybe putting your hair up in a ponytail/braid/etc.

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Purchase These Items:

Black V-Neck** – $9.00, Target

Black Jeans – $29.99, American Eagle

Black Combat Boots (option 1) – $99.95, Steve Madden

Black Converse (option 2) – $100.00, Converse

*****

And that wraps up how to dress like you’re from a Divergent faction, based on the descriptions in the books! Again, I’m going to see about doing another post, eventually, about how to dress like the five factions based on the costumes in the movies, so watch out for that. Thanks for reading! If you use any of these costume ideas as inspiration at any point, feel free to email pictures of your cool Divergent-wear to me at jbyerswriting@aol.com, and I might feature them on the blog!

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Faction manifesto quotes courtesy Divergent Wiki: http://divergent.wikia.com/wiki/Divergent_Wiki

[Photography by my super cool brother.]

 

~Julia

** This is not the exact item that I’m wearing, but either the closest I could find or one that fits the descriptions in the books better.

Fashion Friday: Of Summer and Sunshine (and Clothes)

I think it’s probably a pretty well-known fact at this point that I have a problem with clothes. As in: I like them too much. As in: I have too much clothing to fit in my closet (so instead it all just ends up on the floor, because I’m responsible like that).

So, as it is, I probably have enough clothing I could wear something different for the next month and still not run out of summer outfit options, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still obsessing over all the pretty new summer blouses and skirts and shorts I could buy (you know, if I actually had any money).

I give you: My Favorite Summer Pieces.

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Shorts with Detailing

Shorts

Kohl’s, $15.99

While I was ogling the American Eagle website a couple days ago, on the look out for new jeans (I’ve managed to rip holes in the knees of one of my favorite pairs, and that’s usually where I call it quits with ’em), I spotted a pair of shorts with a crocheted flower design on the front. They were really, REALLY cute, but also cost about $50.00 and were sold out in my size, so imagine how excited I was when I found the same thing at Kohl’s for only $15.99. I still can’t afford them, unfortunately, but it made me happy to know that other people with slightly more cash than I do don’t have to pay the ridiculous AE price to get such cute shorts.

I love shorts that have just a bit of a pattern or flare to them that makes them stand out without taking away from your blouse. I’d kill to wear a pair of these shorts with a v-neck and some sandals.

Speaking of which…

Bright Sandals

sandals

Forever 21, $8.80

One of my favorite, favorite, favorite parts of the summer is getting to wear sandals. I’m not a big fan of tennis shoes, so the moment I can break out the flip flops, I’m a decidedly happier human being. I especially love how there are so many more options with sandals to find really unique ones that match your personality, and this year this has been exemplified by the array of colors you can find sandals in. While a bit more difficult to pair with clothes since they have so much personality on their own, compared to your more traditional browns and blacks, I think the bright pinks and blues and greens are still really pretty, and I’m hoping to get my hands on a pair of them before the summer’s over.

Airy Tops

top

ModCloth, $29.99

I’ve been seeing a lot of great, light-weight blouses lately that look super comfy but still cute. I feel like you could do a lot wearing a blouse like this–go for an adventure, ride a roller coaster, read a book out in the sun–and it would work well for all those different occasions. Classy yet versatile and comfortable: that’s my kind of blouse.

Colorful Sunglasses

sunglasses

Claire’s, $5.00

During the last couple weeks of classes, when the sun finally started showing its face and everyone at U of M went crazy pretending it was July in April (there were people wearing shorts in 30 degree weather; I wish I was kidding), there were a lot of sunglasses popping up. And a lot of them were really funky and colorful. How much fun do these look? I’m always looking forward to sunny days now, just so I can wear a pair of sunglasses.

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So, to recap: Summer this year is looking really bright and colorful. And I am happy about that.

Do you have a favorite clothing piece or accessory that you’re especially excited to start wearing now that it’s warming up outside? What do you think about how much color there is this year? Let me know in the comments!

~Julia

Fashion Friday: Favorite Spring Trends

Whoa, look at that—it’s a mystical Fashion Friday! Haven’t seen one of these in a while, eh? I know I’m not really doing fashion posts anymore (like I did very many of them in the first place), but since spring is (hopefully) right around the corner and I’ve been salivating quite a bit over all the new clothes I keep seeing everywhere, I figured this would be as good a time as any to do a fashion post.

I give you: my favorite spring trends.

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Floral

FloralModcloth, $52.99

Floral is always pretty big in spring, but this year I’ve been seeing some really fun dresses like the one above that go beyond the usual, softer look of a floral pattern. It’s just so bright and cheery and loud, I feel like the sun would have no choice but to come out from behind the April rainclouds next month and say hello. And of course, while floral looks good on all manners of clothing and accessories, I’m personally partial to floral dresses, which leads us into our next trend…

Sundresses

SundressTarget, $27.99

Sundresses are fantastic because you can wear them for practically any occasion–going to class, going to church, going to a party; whatever you want. You can either dress ’em up or dress ’em down, and they always look great. They’re light and airy and comfy, but also have a way of looking polished and put together. This spring, I’m definitely going to be wearing lots of sundresses out and about, probably pairing them with some cute combat boots until it gets warm enough to trade those out for my sandals.

 

Coral

CoralKohl’s,  $29.99

Coral is a really big color this year, and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s feminine without coming across as being as in-your-face, hey-look-I’m-a-girl as straight up pink does. Outside of your standard dresses and shirts and skirts, I’ve also been seeing this color show up a lot as nail polish.

Keds

KedsKeds, $45.00

Last but not least, it’s Taylor Swift’s favorite shoes: Keds. A few years back, I was in a musical that required all of us to wear plain white Keds, and not a single girl in the show had a pair. Now, they are absolutely everywhere, and I love all the different patterns and looks you can get with them. (Plus, secret: I got a pair of bright red knock-offs that look exactly like the real things from K-Mart for only $12.99.)

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So, those are my favorite spring trends in fashion. What are yours? Is there anything in particular you’re really looking forward to about spring, fashion or not? (I know I can’t wait for school to let out–yay for college finals being over a month earlier than high school ones were!)

Have a good weekend!

~Julia

PS. I promise you, the next chapter of This Is a Book will be up very, very soon! This fashion post was one I had just hanging around, already pre-written and pre-scheduled for today, so no worries–I did not take time away from writing the novel for this.

Fashion Friday: Katniss Everdeen Costume

Okay, okay, okay. I know. No more posting except for on Wednesdays. But it’s October Break and I don’t have Spanish again until next Thursday and I’m getting super psyched for Halloween, so here we go: I’ve been getting a ton of hits lately on my Hunger Games Movie Reaction post by people wanting to dress up like Katniss Everdeen for Halloween (I went as her to the midnight showing of the movie last March), so I figured I’d do a quick post to help y’all out, with where I got all my costume pieces and all that. I purchased my entire costume over the course of about an hour, flitting in out of these fantastically high-end, expensive, costume-oriented stores like Meijer and Target. All in all, it came out to about $75, which is a huge bargain when you consider that I can also wear all of it (minus my Mockingjay Pin) just in every day life, as well.

(By the way, a huuuge thanks to Emma of Nose in a Book for tagging my post in her post. Thank God my roommate isn’t home right now, because I started freaking out really bad.)

Anyway, here we go: How to dress like Katniss Everdeen of the wonderful, beautiful, amazing Hunger Games trilogy.

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To start, here are some pictures of my costume:

Also, check out Detroit Metromix. You can see some great photos of fans dressed up for the midnight showing, including me and a girl dressed as Effie Trinket, and me and another girl dressed as Prim. (Now, for all you creepers out there, please take note that NO, I do not live anywhere near that movie theatre, so you can think twice about stalking me through it. Kibosh on your plans.)

Next up, the Clothes:

Black V-Neck:

Target, $8.00*

Black Jacket:

Target, $34.99

Green Cargo Pants:

JC Penney, $11*

Brown Combat Boots with Buckles:

Meijer, $35.00*

Lastly, the Accessories:

Scholastic’s Gold Mockingjay Pin:

ebay, $9.99**

Katniss’s Braid:

If you’ve got time, here’s a fancy Youtube tutorial so you can do your hair EXACTLY like they did in the movie.

Or, if you’re lazy like I am, here’s how I did it:

Step 1: The day before you want to wear your Katniss costume, don’t brush your hair after showering. Instead, twist it back until it’s wound as tightly as possible into a bun, and have it dry that way. If you have any sort of curling products, like curling cream, use it before putting your hair up. Make sure you have your part to one side. If the bun begins to fall out at any point in the day, take down your hair and twist it back again. Keep it in over night, and the next morning. The main thing is that you want it to be as curly and messy as possible by the time you want to put your braid in. (Note that this only works if you have straight, fine hair, like I do… if you’ve naturally got curls, just skip this step, you lucky human being you.)

Step 2: Once you’re ready to put your braid in, finger-comb your hair until it’s manageable although still poofy and messy, and then spritz it with hairspray (the weakest hairspray you can find–you don’t want extra hold on this; you just want it to maintain its body).

Step 3: Katniss’s braid comes down her shoulder on the side closest to her part, so go to the opposite side and pick up the hair closest to your face through the hair above your ear, and do a couple loops of a regular braid with it, pulling it back as you go. Make sure to leave some hair out on either side of your face–Katniss has side bangs.

Step 4: Grab the next clump of hair, now directly behind your ear, and add that to one portion of your braid, and then continue doing this as you loop it back around your scalp, angling it horizontally down, towards the nape of your neck. (Technically, this is not the proper way to do Katniss’s braid–she has a Dutch braid, which is basically an inverted French braid–but remember: this is Katniss Hair for lazy people. This is a much simpler way of getting a similar look.)

Step 5: Once you reach the back of your other ear, take your remaining hair and add a part of it to each of your three clumps of hair. Then do a regular braid down, and tie it off at the bottom with a thin hairband the same color as your hair.

Step 6: Bask in all your Katniss Everdeen-impersonating glory.

Nails and Makeup:

I don’t think I should have to tell you not to wear any jewelry other than your Mockingjay Pin, but nails and makeup are another thing. In the book, Katniss has flames painted on her nails. In the movie? Not so much. I ended up choosing just to do a simple clear polish.

As for makeup, go for minimal and natural: I wore some dull (i.e. not glittery) gold eyeshadow over my eyelid, a thin line of black eyeliner above my eye and in the outer corner of my bottom lash line, along with some natural-looking mascara (so it lengthened and thickened my lashes without looking like I was coating them in tar). I also had on light pink-tinted lip balm (it gives you an air of very Katniss-like innocence), concealer, foundation, and a little bit of blush on my cheeks, but all in all, wearing makeup with this costume isn’t necessary. I just really enjoy putting it on. But if you don’t, then you don’t need to.

If you’re interested, here are links to the products I used:

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Well, that is basically EVERYTHING I can think of to cover the Katniss Everdeen costume. If you can get your hands on a hunting bow or an orange backpack, those are obviously some useful props to have as well, but don’t sweat it if you can’t. The braid alone should make it pretty obvious who you’re dressing as.

If you’d like to send me pictures of your costume once October 31st itself rolls around, feel free to email them to me at: jbyerswriting@aol.com.

Good luck, may the odds be ever in your favor, and happy early Halloween! Talk to you on Wednesday!

~Julia

*Not the exact product I bought, but the closest I could find. (Also, as far as the cargo pants go: If you can find a pair of legitimate cargo pants instead of cropped ones, please let me know, because between looking in March and looking now, I haven’t been able to find any.)

**This isn’t the version of the Mockingjay Pin used in the movie–at the time, the bronzier-looking movie pins were way more expensive than the original ones Scholastic produced to promote the books. However, at this point, you can get a movie-version pin for about the same as a book-version, from places like ebay, Amazon, and Hot Topic.

***I honestly do not recommend this eyeliner, because it runs and smears like crazy, but for some reason I keep going back to it. Anyone got suggestions for another twisty-crayon-style eyeliner that’s cheap but doesn’t smear as bad?

Fashion Friday (An Apology)

Before I begin with my begging and pleading for forgiveness for not posting a proper Fashion Friday today, you need to watch this:

How cute is Glee? I had such a big smile on my face all throughout this when the episode premiered yesterday night.

But anyway: It’s currently 11:49 PM, I’m sitting in my house for the first time since I started college a month ago, and I am absolutely, irrevocably exhausted. And I went on a book buying spree today that was probably not entirely healthy, but who cares, because it’s books!

Oh, and I met Maggie Stiefvater. No big deal. At all. You know. Just every day stuff. Meeting an amazing NY Times #1 bestselling author.

So yeah, sorry about that! Fashion Friday will be back next week, I promise! 🙂

~Julia