All right, I kind of disappeared for a while there and my "Summer School" consisted of one post. Sorry about that. I was thinking of continuing it and writing a post on sunscreen and a post on lightening your hair, and beach makeup...but there is not a ton left to summer and most people are thinking about back to school already. If anyone wants one of aforementioned posts please comment and I will do it, but otherwise I am moving on!
One of my friends just called me to ask if I could come over and help her get a look together for the first day back! How cool is that...obviously in her opinion I am the pro! Well, I am sure that writing these posts will help me get some ideas together for her! Any tips you want to put in the comments would be great too, I myself am yet to come up with anything for myself.
As my friend (I'll call her K) explained on the phone, what she is aiming for is not an extreme makeover but a subtle update of herself. K wants to use mainly items she already has, but new configurations and ideas. She wants to look fresh and new, but maintain her K-ness. I think that is pretty much what everyone wants. I wouldn't recommend bleaching your hair, getting a fake tan, and three new piercings for back to school because you might not like it.
As far as clothes go? My standby has always been dark jeans with a pretty top. No one can tell if you're wearing the same pair two or three days in a row and they go with everything. I highly recommend Midtown jeans from Zellers or maybe Levi's. Levi's I find does not always have their full range of sizes at stores...Midtown is the same price range, very inexpensive but still good quality...but they have darker washes as well as a better range of sizes. In jeans I'm a 6 petite--despite being 5'6"--which I find ridiculously hard to find. Six is considered a smaller size, so in the ladies' department they don't usually carry it, 8+ usually; but at teen stores they tend to have smaller...I see a lot of 0-2, no wonder so many people have body image issues. Petite is even more ridiculously hard to find, regardless that the average person probably wears a petite because as everyone knows petite is for average people and average is for tall people. What then do true petites wear? Well, my mom has a story about my grandma getting all excited over finding pants that fit her right. "But, mom," my aunt says, "Those are capris!" But Midtown has a whole range of sizes including petites!
Why dark wash? I feel it gives a neater image--casual and comfortable yet passable as dress pants if the need be. I can wear them to school and work, as well as cutting the lawn and relaxing in my room. As a final jeans comment, you know how they always say get the looser fit--they'll shrink? I think that was from a past age...most clothing now is preshrunk, I always always always get a pair that feels a little tight because I find they loosen up. Even a pair that fits perfectly will loosen up and become a poor fit.
As far as undergarments/hosiery go, you can really do whatever you like. Have some white and black socks, nude t-shirt bra, a pair of seamless panties for tight pants/sheer dresses and then go wild...purple polka dot socks (which yes, I do own!), lacy underwear...whatever you want. Heck, what about kneehigh toe socks? Remember those? :-P
And finally to my favourite topic! (Darned auto spell checker, can't you handle my Canadian spelling?!) Tops! People say I seem to have an eye for this stuff...I can go to Giant Tiger or Value Village and actually come out with armfuls of clothes (if I wanted to, I try to limit myself to a few). I go somewhere that's a higher percentage of wearable stuff like Reitmans and it's like bam! Fortunately the prices are so high there I will come out with one or two of my favourites rather than half the store. These days it really isn't that hard to find cute stuff...isn't it one of the Loblaws chain stores that has their own great line of clothing called Joe fresh style?
I probably could put my clothes into a two basic categories...tops that you wear by themselves, and tops that you mix. There is also the slightly different category in the winter called "put anything you want under a sweater". ;-) Firstly the wear by themselves tops are not too hard to find. Those are the ones that you go into the store and go, "Ohh, that's cute!". You just pull 'em on in the morning. Blouses, t-shirts. Get a bunch of these!
And finally layering. Put a spaghetti strap over a T, a polo or sheer blouse over a camisole or tank...this is what I usually do and have more of because there are more possibilities. Even just with say 3 camis and 3 button downs you can do this:
That's nine combinations!! One for every day of the week and then some. You could totally make it through the school year on that if you had to (but really, why would you want to? I have a coral, blue, and bluey green button up blouse, a pink polo and a blue polo. That's five...seriously not that much. Mix it with the different camisoles, tank tops, etc. that I have and I am golden! Don't forget with a button up top, sweater or shrug you can get away with clothes that might not be appropriate for school otherwise, like a halter top, lacy camisole, spaghetti straps, anything that doesn't fit quite right...and vice versa, with a camisole or something underneath you can wear your lower cut clothing, anything with cutouts...if you're tired of wearing your tanks underneath put them on top of a little t-shirt!
A word on top styles: as mentioned if necessary you can get away with anything you want as long as you have something underneath or on top. But in general...a little bit of babydoll is good. Don't make it your whole wardrobe. Same with polos! Unless you really feel that something is absolutely truly your style, try to have a little bit of everything. V-necks, crew necks, princess, deep "U" (I know this isn't an official name but how else to describe it?), hoodie, turtleneck (sparingly, possibly more so than anything else because they serve their purpose but definitely are not trendy...which is unfortunate because I do love them), cowl...
Sweaters are a necessity in the winter. Do I really need to say why? Especially if you are somewhere where doors get opened a lot like a ground floor. In general I think people tend to go for ones that undo rather than go over your head because then you can unlayer if you need to rather than being stuck in a big, hot sweater all day. Sweatshirts/hoodies are great if you forget your hat! There are so many great styles again here...just be wary of the line between "boho chic", and "granny" or "bag lady" (sweaters); also "varsity" and "I pigged out and this is all that would fit" (sweatshirts). Ha ha ha. I have a shawl collar sweater I really like...I got a lot of compliments on it last year. It's great because you can fold the collar up if you're really cold and you get kind of a neat military look, or you can have it down and it covers you up well but with the deep v you can still see lots of the shirt underneath. I also have a sweater with a belt that I love. I find that little things like that (of COURSE I'm having a post on accessories!) keep things interesting. In flyers so far I'm seeing some really great stuff as far as sweaters go, really warm but still trendy. If you are having a hard time though, I'd recommend Old Navy. You'll be fashionably sweatered in no time.
I had a whole big long rant at the end here about "don't be a label *****" (Sorry, we're family friendly here, but read any other fashion blog and you will figure it out). I realized it was just too ranty. Maybe I will put it in another post, but let me put it gently here: the most important thing to looking really awesome is using your imagination and not going to American Eagle and buying clothes that say American Eagle all over them. There is nothing unique about sheep clothes (and I'm not talking about 100% wool fashions). Have some fun!