Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Elements of Style

Meet the shoes of 2015: elegant, edgy, and quilted! I am absolutely in love with quilted and high-low boots. All of the ones pictured below are courtesy of Nordstrom - so if you're looking for a place to spend some hard-earned money, that's the place to go! 
(From top): Bucco burgundy quilted boots, Extreme quilted bootie, Leuven Alexander Nerine wedge bootie, Top Guy Polly tall boot, ZiGiny London Rebel Camron bootie, Westwood Refresh Paco tall boot, Westwood Alto knee high boot, Top Guy Page heeled boot 
I study at the University of Alaska Anchorage, conveniently located in the worst dressed state in the United States. So my campus is littered with people wearing extra tuffs, sweat pants, and those sequined Uggs that I personally think are an abomination to fashion. Style is sacrificed for comfort. And, trust me, I totally get that. I just happen to think that there's a way to combine the two. 

Effortless style is actually really simple. It's all about combining trends and classics, neutrals and colors. Basics everyone should have in their closet with some modern twists:
Black jeans, distressed jeans, cream sweater, grey sweater, oxblood/burgundy leather pants, black draped cardigan, black leather leggings, red leather circle skirt, striped crop sweater, black pencil skirt, black leather shorts, burgundy skater skirt, black leather jacket, graphic sweater, black leather dress, white peplum blouse, neutral sweater dress. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holiday Chic

Crop top: Misguided
Skirt: Three Floor Fashion
Boots: DSW
Silk Scarf: Vintage

Long time, no see ;) I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and has something epic planned for New Years! 

I had a blast hitting the holiday sales - I probably had too much fun, if you catch my drift, but my wallet can handle a little Christmas splurging. This skirt is from Three Floor, which is hands down one of the coolest and uniquest brands out there. All of their pieces are incredibly intricate and beautiful and the quality is amazing. This skirt caught my eye because it combines classic colors and patterns with unique asymmetrical structuring. The material is heavy and wool-like, making it appropriate for winter.   

Aside from Three Floor (my ultimate splurge-worthy brand), I also gave some love to New Look and River Island. I swear, the UK hosts the best designers. Lately, I've been really into structural purses in neutral and pastel colors. These were all the bags on my wish list - the bottom three have now become part of my beloved collection. And the best part is, they are all extremely affordable and extremely good quality! Yay UK! 
(From the top): New Look Structured Bag with Blue Contrast, New Look Didi Check Duffle Bag, River Island Gusset Detail, New Look Color Block Tote, New Look Xhatch Backpack, River Island Slouchy Duffle 

I also did a little shoe shopping, because let's face it, I have no willpower when it comes to shoes. But I only bought two pairs, which is quite toned down for me ;). The Report Deshah and Venni booties joined the rest of my winter favorites (pictured here) that I've accumulated over the years. I really love the Call it Spring booties because the soft camel color is the perfect way to incorporate lighter tones into my winter palate. 

(From the top): Report Deshah Booties, Call it Spring Taowien Boots, Jessica Simpson Astery Booties, Report Venni Booties, Franco Sarto Walker Wedge Boots, C. Stuart Over-the-Knee Boots

The holidays are a little overwhelming with all of those sales. How I keep myself from buying EVERYTHING is to create a list in advance of specific things I'm looking for. I only allow myself five or so items and I hold myself to a spending cap. I enjoy my purchases so much more when I know I haven't broken the bank to get them.

Have a happy New Years and (for all of those college students like myself out there), enjoy a much deserved break from classes!  

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Cropped Top: Eight-sixty
Pleated Skort: River Island 
Ankle boots: Guess

Skorts are awesome! It's business in the front, party in the back. This pleated version from River Island is so elegant and refined and looks so modern with the scoop-back crop top. Mixing patterns and textures doesn't always work but when you keep the colors neutral, it can work really well. 

Nothing goes as well with high-waisted skirts/shorts as crop tops! They are form fitting, show a sliver of skin, and create a slender and lean shape. This striped and scalloped one from Eight-Sixty is my favorite. The material is silky soft and the circle cutouts add intrigue, as does the wide low-cut back. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Eye Candy

Rachel Zoe is a shoe goddess! I'm not usually a bling-y person but these are one of my absolute favorite pairs of shoes. The studded criss-cross ankle strap and intricate gold design add so much interest to basic black booties. I, for one, am an enormous fan of black ankle boots. With these beauties added to my collection, I own approximately eight pairs ;)! Ankle boots are great for adding some sass to my outfits - they are edgy, sexy, and confident. I particularly like how the flat heel of these makes them a bit more hipster and relaxed than heels would be. 

Some Thoughts on Fashion and Finance

I'm an Economics student in college and so this is something I've been thinking about a lot recently: I follow a lot of fashion bloggers and they all seem to be packing thousands of dollars of designer clothing per outfit. Now, I absolutely love designer fashion - I subscribe to many of the major fashion magazines (in fact, I one day hope to work for one of them in the marketing department) and am inspired and amazed by the intricacies and details of the clothing pictured. I have a deep love and appreciation for the finer things of life. While I hope at some point in my life to be able to afford more of them, at 19 years old, I simply cannot and I know this is true for most people. 

I used to work for JCPenny and most of my closet came from there or Forever 21 (the great favorite amongst teen girls). I was pretty happy about this for a while. But then I bought two button-up shirts at Forever 21 about two years ago. The next day, I put one on for the first time and two buttons popped off. I decided then and there I was done prioritizing quantity over quality. There had to be a way to have high quality clothing for less exorbitant prices than those of my favorite designers. Since then, I have systematically replaced every single item in my closet. 
Now, I know that I spend too much money on fashion and beauty. I work two jobs (one in the Economics department of my university and the other at a cafe) to save money for my study abroad next year and to afford nicer clothes. To me, it's worth it to have two jobs in order to fully enjoy my passion; I am a deeply artistic person and fashion is my creative outlet. But even with two jobs, there's no way I can afford Valentino heels or Chloe purses or Burberry jackets. And to be completely honest, if I did own anything that expensive, I would be terrified to wear it for fear of ruining it accidentally. 
So instead I found a compromise. I buy clothes from designers and websites that still use high quality materials, but are at prices I can afford. These include: Zara, Asos, Free People, FrontRowShop, DKNY, etc. I love the website Bluefly because it has a huge compilation of designers (Alice and Olivia, Elizabeth and James, Aryn K, French Connection, etc.) for pretty amazing prices. 

Of course, everyone loves to splurge occasionally and I am no exception. But, when I do, I make sure it's really worth it and the item is ALWAYS on sale. French Connection, BCBG, and Three Floor are my guilty pleasure brands ;). This Black Friday, for instance, Asos was having a 30% off sale. I'd been obsessed with three absolutely incredible Three Floor skirts for a good month, and so when I saw they were on sale (and that there were only 1 of each left in my size) I jumped on them. Or, every now and then, Nordstrom will have an Alice and Olivia skirt originally at $395 on sale for $45. Who can resist that?! 
I always feel myself getting jealous when I scroll a fashion blog and see that the shoes I was lusting after were Jimmy Choos and cost $800. And I lecture myself afterward because that's just not realistic. Fashion magazines are fantasy, and fashion bloggers are supposed to be reality. But lately, bloggers are just another kind of fantasy - and it's worse because it's the kind of fantasy that tricks you into thinking it could be reality. Maybe someday I'll be able to own a few real designer pieces, but I think I might have to question my priorities if I find myself at 30 in head-to-toe couture. It reminds me of that Sex and the City episode where Carrie goes "I spent $40,000 in shoes and I have no place to live!? I will literally be the old lady who lives in her shoes." 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Winter White

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everybody! I hope everyone's lives are as chaotic and fulfilled as mine is right now ;)

Tunic: Nicole
Leggings: BCBG
Boots: Nine West 

I love wearing white in winter - it feels so fresh and clean. This Nicole sweater tunic is one of my absolute favorite pieces; the high-low design and zipper back add interest and cream color is so classic.

I've always loved looks that are subtly provocative while managing to be chic and sophisticated at the same time. I'm talking oversized sweaters paired with high-waisted shorts and above-the-knee stiletto boots, thigh-skimming tunics paired with dark stockings, body-con dresses with heels and duster cardigans, etc. This tunic is just long enough to pair with opaque stockings and be both slightly sensual and classy. The thigh-high boots elevate the outfit, yet the color block scarf keeps things playful.  

I hope everyone has a wonderful week :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

C'est Moi

Hello! I'm Sam - fashion, photography, and art connoisseur, with a love of travel, dance, and cooking! Fashion and beauty are artistic outlets for me, especially when I'm so busy with college work that I don't have time to do anything else! 

My philosophy on fashion (yes I do have a philosophy) is perfectly summed up by the following quote:

I like to characterize my style as urban chic - artistic, sassy, sophisticated, with just a little bit edge. I usually construct my outfits with a neutral base with pops of color and a pair of really amazing shoes. My color scheme tends to be black, white, nude, and grey with pops of muted, pastel, or jewel tone colors. I love using lace, chiffon, and leather accents to spice up staple pieces, like a basic white button down. 

To me, shoes are the foundation of all things fashion. They are wonderful, majestic creations that make every day so much sweeter. Shoes make or break an outfit: if you're wearing ratty jeans and a slouchy sweater with a pair of UGGs or worn in sneakers, it's pretty obvious you didn't care that morning. But take the same jeans and sweater and add a pair of Oxford flats or wedge ankle boots and, all of a sudden, you have the perfect understated chic look. 

I think the type of shoes we each gravitate towards says a lot about who we are. Take ballet flats for instance- they're classic, sweet, comfortable, convenient, and simple (usually). Oxford flats show a tendency towards vintage-y looks and relaxed, yet put together, silhouettes. If UGG boots and the like are your staple, chances are you're sporty casual, looking for comfy, cute and convenient. Cowboy boots and riding boots are relaxed yet elegant. Pumps and heels are major statement shoes, indicating ambition, style, class, and sophistication...the ultimate power shoe - think Wall Street Woman with places to go and people to see. And then there's my favorite category: boots and ankle boots. Chic, sexy, sassy, and sophisticated, with a bit of an edge - boots are the ultimate outfit elevator. 

Of course, these are all generalizations, but the foundations are there. So then the ultimate question is: who do you want to be? 

On that note, I bid you all adieu and hope everyone is having a lovely fall week!