Why I Shamelessly Shop in the Men’s Section

This article was originally published on popsugar.com.

It started out as an average shopping day; I aimlessly strolled through the mall empty-handed with nothing but Auntie Anne’s cinnamon-sugar pretzel bites in hand. Glancing at window displays and browsing through clothing racks, I waited for something to jump out and grab me. But everything was so darn average and uninspiring.

And that’s when it caught my eye: the dopest, wackiest button-down shirt I’d ever seen. The only problem? It was in the men’s section at PacSun; I’d have to cross the unspoken invisible line thatdivided the store by gender. One quick glance around the store confirmed there were no employees or shoppers nearby, so I took the plunge and beelined it to the shirt.

As I thumbed through the rack to find an appropriate size, a sales associate approached me with a semi-confused look on her face. “Cool shirt, right? Are you, like, shopping for your boyfriend or something?” she asked me. I felt my face turning red, so I fibbed and said, “Yes.” Embarrassed that I was actually thinking of buying the shirt for myself, I put it back, telling the sales associate that it may not suit my nonexistent boyfriend’s style. Aaaaand cue the awkward exit.

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Comfortably Cool: The Most Stylish Sneakers For Every Occasion

This article was originally published on 20some.com.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been more of a sneakers chick than a stilettos gal. Don’t get me wrong — I love a shiny, new pair of strappy heels just as much as the next girl, but I’m way more inclined to drain my paycheck on a new pair of Vans or Nike shoes. I just know when I lace up my trusty pair of sneakers in the morning, I’m going to be feelin’ so fresh n’ so clean à la OutKast all day long.

Sneakers aren’t just for the gym anymore, dear reader. Thanks to the ever-evolving world of fashion, there are literally thousands of shoe styles for every possible circumstance. Whether you’re getting ready for work in the morning or dashing out the door to run a million and one weekend errands, a fun pair of sneakers is the answer to your fashionable prayers. Keep reading to get see how sneakers can be worn for five different occasions, all while getting some serious shoe envy. Get those credit cards ready, ladies.

1. Sneakers for Work

Sick of those same old nude flats that somehow still give you blisters even though you wear them every day? A cool pair of sneakers is just what you need. I know what you’re thinking: “What the heck is this girl talking about… sneakers in an office setting?!” This suggestion is definitely dependent on your office culture, so if you work in banking or law, this would be a 0/10 do not recommend. But if you’re in a more laid back industry like graphic design or media, go for it. Muted colors are a safe bet, but don’t be afraid to go for fashionable patterns like animal print or geometric cutouts.

Work

Shop these shoes here.

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Outfit of the Day: Valentine’s Day

For most single people, today is a nausea-inducing flurry of happy couples smothering you with their affection. They seemingly emerge from the woodwork to flood every coffee shop, restaurant and store to publicly celebrate their relationship, all in the name of love. For me, today has been a day of jamming to Webbie’s “Independent” and treating myself to some of my favorite things (shopping, coffee and Vietnamese food), all in the name of self-love.

As far as relationships go, I’m currently single as a Pringle and totally okay with it. As a senior in college, I’m in a transitional period of my life that doesn’t exactly set me up for romantic success. The “real world” is looming on the horizon, potentially drawing me to a new city to pursue my dreams of working in the print or online media industry. Plus, it doesn’t help that the selection pool of men in my college town is a jumbled mix of STD-carrying, frat tank-wearing asshats and socially awkward recluses. But that’s a whole other story in and of itself.

When I woke up this morning, I decided to get dressed to the nines for Valentine’s Day. I may have only gotten spruced up for myself and the random hipsters sitting near me right now in a coffee shop, but that’s okay. I’m a strong advocate of the adage “If you look good, you feel good.” And man, this outfit has me feeling like the spokeswoman for Nicki Minaj and Beyonce’s song “Feeling Myself.”

I encourage all you ~single ladies~ to mop up your self-pitying pool of tears and get out there to celebrate yourself today. Throw on a killer outfit that makes you feel confident, and rejoice in the fact that you don’t have to share your pizza with anyone (except your gal pals, of course)!

DSCN0905Say “cheeeeeeeeese!”

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Target x Who What Wear: My Favorite Items and How to Wear Them

This article was originally published on 20some.com.

On January 31, 2016, fashionistas around the globe celebrated the marriage of two amazing entities: Target (a discount retail store/the recipient of my paychecks) and Who What Wear (a fashion-forward digital hub/the source of on-trend style inspiration).

The two officially said “I do” months ago, and the collaboration has been in the works ever since. In January, we were tantalized with sneak peaksof the collection, which tested my patience and got me super excited all at the same time. But the two went public last Sunday, releasing the clothing line to more than 800 Target stores and online shoppers.

When I first heard of this collaboration, I thought to myself, “Yeah, okay… they’ll probably be selling T-shirts for, like, $80.” But to my surprise, the whole line is totally affordable for the average 20something, with all items ringing up at less than $50.

It’s chock-full of versatile basics as well as standout pieces, garnering inspiration from street style around the world. From button-downs and blazers to T-shirts and tunics, the items in this collection have the potential to be the building blocks of your everyday wardrobe.

While scrolling through the whole collection on Target.com, a few pieces stood out and were automatically added to my wish list — a striped T-shirt, a patterned pencil skirt and an oversized trench vest. But, as I always do before making a clothing purchase, I thought to myself: “Would you be able to get your money’s worth if you bought these?” And the answer for all three items was a resounding yes because, just like every item in the Target x Who What Wear collection, they can be worn for various occasions.

I decided to put my love for outfit styling to the test to see exactly how I could wear these items before actually buying them. With the help of my favorite website, Polyvore.com, here’s what I came up with.

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One dress, three outfits: Getting your money’s worth out of clothes

As soon as I bought this gorgeous ombré beauty of a maxi dress, I knew that it’d be hard to get me to take it off. I imagined myself sleeping, grocery shopping, working out, going to class and cleaning my house in this dress because of what I call the “Love At First Sight Effect.”

Okay, maybe that was slightly dramatic, but the bottom line is that I was super psyched to have found this hippie-esque, flowy dress at Urban Thread, a local Gainesville boutique. Before I buy something new, I always think about whether I have a sufficient amount of other clothes to wear with it to make sure I’d be getting my money’s worth. As I tried on this maxi in Urban Thread’s quaint little dressing room, the inspiration came flooding in. I realized I could wear it with a cozy knit sweater for a lunch date with friends or with fancy jewelry to dress up the casual nature of the dress for a nice dinner at home with my family.

I think it’s necessary for every gal and guy to do a mental run-through of his or her closet before buying something new to make sure the purchase is going to be worthwhile. If you’re thinking of buying a funky pair of pants or a chic fur vest but don’t have anything to wear with it, then you may need to rethink how bad you really want to drop $70 on a vest you’ll wear one time.

I’m sure you’re thinking, Okay, okay… I already know it’s important to spend my money wisely. Like, duh. But it’s also essential to think of outfit pairing options before making a purchase so you can partially escape the dreaded label of an “outfit repeater.” You can easily dodge that bullet just by adding or subtracting different layers and accessories to distract from the fact that you’re wearing the same dress you wore a week ago. If you have a dress you really love but barely wear because you’re sick of pairing it with the same old strappy sandals, then here are some options to give you some inspiration for how to wear it next.

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Tastefully tropical: The comeback of Hawaiian shirts and why you need one in your closet

Cue the steel drums and reggae island music… Hawaiian shirts are back in all of their tacky floral glory. The true underdog, Hawaiian shirts have risen again from the depths of fashion exile to take hold of concertgoers, beach bums, fraternity men and SoCal dreaming gals alike. Their recent surge in popularity has dads all over America saying, “See, I told you I was trendy!” Or at least that’s what my dad said when he caught me snooping in his closet scoping out his endless Hawaiian shirt collection…

Hawaiian shirts

Their gaudy prints and tacky aura have earned them a bad reputation in the past, mostly due to the fact that fanny pack-adorning, Floridian map-holding tourists used to be the only ones to sport them. However, these beach-themed masterpieces popped up on the spring 2014 runways of notable designers such as Prada, Tommy Hilfiger and Saint Laurent, putting them back on the map. Now they can be found at popular stores like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and Tilly’s or at any local thrift store.

These shirts offer the best of both worlds for any casual occasion: The flashy prints say “I’m here to party” but the structured design — complete with buttons, a collar and sleeves — says you still appreciate fashionable details. Though typically worn by men, who says girls can’t venture into the realm of these floral beauties? I’m all for finding fashionable ways to rock men’s clothing, so I’m here to give all of you beachy gals out there a few options for nailing an outfit centered around a Hawaiian shirt. Below are a few creations I made using Polyvore, my go-to website for deciding how to piece together different outfits.

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One shirt, four outfits: Getting the most out of your clothes

Similar to any other cheap college student, I’m a big fan of getting the most bang for my buck. Whether it’s Tijuana Flats’ Taco Tuesday special or Starbucks’ Frappuccino Happy Hour, I’m all about the bargains. My dad, an avid Groupon-er and the man who taught me my bargain-hunting ways, will undoubtedly be proud of this post when he reads it! I usually go into my shopping expeditions with a thrifty mindset, asking myself various questions while in the dressing room, including:

  1. Will I ever actually wear this?
  2. Is this really worth the money?
  3. What else do I have in my wardrobe that will go with this?

I like to put a big emphasis on the last question because I like to get a lot of use of my clothes to reassure myself that it was money well spent. I do a mental run-through of my wardrobe, and if I think I have a sufficient amount of items to pair with it, I usually go in for the kill—I check to see if I have any gift cards and grudgingly swipe the plastic card of death I like to call MC (a.k.a. Master Card) because I’m just that cheap. After I get over my initial case of buyer’s remorse, I happily skip home with shopping bags in hand, excited to raid my closet and plan new outfits for the future.

To demonstrate how easy it is to get the most of your clothes, I put my Polyvore obsession to good use and styled four different outfits centered on one graphic shirt.

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