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The New Year’s Way

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New Year’s is my favorite holiday of all the holidays! It’s not just a time for reflecting on your previous year but also an incredible opportunity to plan out an entire year of what’s to come.

I’ve been thinking about what I want from this year, and it is packed. I’m starting with a handful of resolutions which I’m sharing here now. Hopefully if they’re written in a place where I’m not the only person who can see them (aka not my journal), I’ll be more likely to actually stick to them. So, here goes.

1. No more ‘fast fashion.’

This includes, but is not limited to, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Forever 21, Zara, etc. I’ve only realized this fact in the last few months (yes, slow on the uptake, I know) but stores like the aforementioned megashops manufacture their clothing to be on trend (okay, great) but to last for 10 washes max. That is despicable. Think of how many $30 sweaters (or 40, or 50!) I’ve bought from UO or elsewhere. One year of fast sweaters could’ve bought me at least two beautiful, made-to-last, staple sweaters that I could cherish for years to come.

This resolution will be all about control and perspective. I’ll have to remember that just because the price is good, doesn’t mean the product is. And I’ll have to remember that the $20 I take out of my paycheck every two weeks is going toward something that I will really value one day, not just a venti latte. This will also give me an excuse to focus on thrift and vintage stores.

2. Keep blogging.

It’s as simple as that. I know there has been a bit of a holiday-induced hiatus in my writing lately but between work and friends and family I just couldn’t squeeze it in! I’m really excited to stick to this resolution because it’s become so important for me to document my thoughts in a permanent-ish way. One day I’ll be able to look back at these posts and realize how much I’ve changed since way back in 2012. That alone is worth it to me.

Aside from all that, I’ve got big plans for this little blog in the new year, including a fresh theme and DIY video series! Keep an eye out for my first edition.

3. Keep that New Year’s feeling.

I always feel so optimistic at the start of a new year. Eventually that high wears off, and I land back in the doldrums of my everyday outlook. But this year I will try to keep the excitement and foresight of a new year, or at least try to keep that attitude in mind as often as I can. Sounds cheesy, but my life has taken such a dramatic reversal in the last year, I need to remind myself sometimes to anticipate the future, no matter the unexpected things that may come up.

Also, I made a playlist that I was intending to post yesterday. But I didn’t. So here it is! It’s designed for a night of all-night New-Year’s dancing. But you can dance around your room to it. Find it on 8tracks AND on Spotify!

And with that, here’s to 2013. I hope it’s the best year yet. Yes, the best year of all the years. Ever.

ttyl,

Maria Nichole

p.s. Do you have any resolutions? Let me know, I’m always inspired by other people’s goals!

Blue Christmas

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What I wore as the blizzard began ripping through my town. Okay, so it wasn’t the sixteen inches we were promised, but the winds were absolutely wicked. The weather has been preventing any decent posts lately so today  I decided to bear it for the sake of my precious readers. Just kidding. But really.

I had to post almost all the photos P took because they were all so fun! Sorry for the overload.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Wool coat: Macy’s
  • Kitten Sweater: vintage (taken from my childhood wardrobe, circa 1997)
  • Skirt: Asos UK
  • Tights: Calvin Klein
  • Lasercut Wedge Booties: Modcloth (old)
  • Neckalce (worn as bracelet): thrifted
  • Earrings: Vintage, last seen here
  • Pear Pin: Vintage
  • Hair bow: Primark UK

I hope everyone has a great holiday and safe travels.

Until next time,

–>The Fashion Serf

You Don’t Look Chic: A Word on Sweatpants

image via: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-articles/sweatpants-paris-fashion-week-street-style-fall-2012#slide-24

“You know the message you’re sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You’re telling the world: ‘I give up. I can’t compete in normal society. I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable.'”

– Jerry Seinfeld

I hate them.** As much as I can get behind the ‘athletics-inspired’ trendiness of the post-Olympics season, I will never be seen in public sporting a pair of fleecy grey (or any other colour, for that matter) sweatpants.

Why is this? you may ask yourselves. Why is it that a perfectly respectable young college girl could not fathom the benefits of sweatpants on a brisk overslept morning of exams? I will tell you, young grasshoppers. There are a number of reasons I detest these ‘sweats:’

Namely, it is because I care about aesthetics. I don’t just admire them from afar, I want every aspect of my life to be visually pleasing. If I’m having one of those not-so-rare off days, my aversion to gymwear in public is even more severe. If I’m feeling crummy or inadequate, I attempt to make up for it by looking polished or at least interestingly risky. Just as anyone would feel awkward while sporting their laundry day unmentionables in the midst of a two hour lecture, throwing on a pair of oversized, ‘comfortable’ pants on a day where I’m already not feeling myself will only make me feel more uncomfortable.

Secondly, while wearing sweatpants out and about (walking to school, on the bus, god forbid, at a restaurant), there is a horrifying swishiness of fabric about my legs. The rough, overwashedness of the once-fleecy lining of a pair of sweatpants scratches at my thighs and provides a constant reminder that I could fit several legs inside the width of these pants. I’m obviously a big proponent of a fitted trouser and will gladly slip into the odd wide-leg denim, but no matter what famed fashion house comes out with a line of designer sweatpants, there shall be no excess of fleece shrouding my legs anywhere besides within the comfort of my own home.

Furthermore, in this day and age, there is absolutely no excuse to don sweatpants in public. The equally comfortable and infinitely more chic cousin of the sweatpant, the legging, is always at your black letter day service. So the next time you feel the urge to reach for those sweatpants, streamline your look with a pair of black leggings. Heck, even throw on a pair of bright red ones! They have an instantly slimming effect and balance out that oversize sweater you want to crawl into during the height of your winter cold. I’m not alone in my thoughts. Trust me, the world will thank you.

Until next time,

–> The Fashion Serf

** Yes, hate is a strong word. I will admit that I love a good sweatpant-clad Sunday while drinking a strong red wine and crying gently to yourself over the end of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Again. But my hatred of the aforementioned sad excuse for legwear largely stems from the hoards of bubble letter writting, non note-taking, collegiate coeds who think it’s appropriate to show up to a formative presentation proudly wearing their high school softball team’s warm-up bottoms or any variation of the sort. Let me tell you, it’s not appropriate. It’s foolish.

December Playlist

Round Pond, Hyde Park, London

I really debated posting anything today but I think it’s important to keep going in spite of tragedy. So if you need some music to lose yourself in, have a listen. This mix is on 8tracks but now you can also find my mixes on my Spotify. Follow me! I’d love to share some more music with all of you.

ttyl,

Maria Nichole

Designer Drool: Alexander Wang

Whenever I find myself perusing the new arrivals at net-a-porter, nearly every eye-catching item, besides the odd Marni sheath or neon blinder, is by Alexander Wang. Be it one of the many diffusion lines or the real deal, I am smitten with the brand’s sense of sophisticated simplicity.

This last weekend I got the chance to see the fashion house’s Prefall 2013 line and may I say, the obsession has deepened (those leather details! those crazy backpack thingys! the undone wetlook do’s!).

Here are some of my favorite looks from the show. All images via Style.com.

–>FS

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WIW: Snø

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Check out my outfit post on The Fashion Serf, it’s all about winter layering!

ttyl,

Maria Nichole

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Fun fact of the day: snø is the Norwegian way to say snow. This is what I wore on the morning of my town’s first sprinkling of snow:

  • parka – stolen from sister
  • chambray shirt (underneath) – thrifted
  • wool sweater – vintage
  • mini bodycon skirt – Urban Outfitters
  • over the knee stockings – Asos UK
  • tights – Primark UK
  • knee high boots – Patagonia (last years’ Christmas present from P)
  • telephone pin – vintage
  • bauble earrings – thrifted

I. Love. Winter. So many chunky sweaters and layering possibilities! Options are endless, especially when coziness is the goal. This season is the time to toss the idea of always being flattered by your clothing choices and call in your fisherman’s sweaters and flannel-lined trousers. Although, if you’re gong seriously oversized, I suggest a balancing scheme: bulky up top, fitted on the bottom, and so on.

As I’m typing this, my cozy little house is getting doused with a fresh blanket of snow and my kettle is whistling away. Time to break out the snow boots!

Happy layering,

->The Fashion Serf

OMG GET ON MY BOD: Oversize Leather Jackets

I need an oversize leather biker jacket. These are my dream jackets.

OMG GET ON MY BOD: Oversize Biker Jackets

Here is the criteria they have to pass to become dream material:

  1. Should be exorbitantly expensive
  2. Should be a classic colour
  3. Should be exorbitantly expensive.

Check, check, and check. Dear Santa…

>FS

Inspired by Heathers

brain tumorHeathersheathers4Monocleurge to purgeHeather DukeStyle inspiration: Heathers (1988) starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. Full post here!

Movie Mania: Heathers

“Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count.”

– Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer in ‘Heathers’

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For those of you who haven’t been transfixed by Heathers’ darkly attractive analysis of the GenX teenager, the film depicts one Veronica Sawyer navigating the social jungle that is high school. Veronica has made it to the top of this hierarchy through admittance into the most powerful clique at Westerberg, a group of three uber-popular, conniving girls all dubbed Heather. The Heathers rule the school through a combination of fear, admiration, and sex appeal (“Everyone at this school either wants me as a friend or a fuck,” Heather Number One, aka Heather Chandler, boasts to Veronica).

Not to give away too many plot points for those Heathers virgins out there, but thee rest of the film highlights the demise of Westerberg’s most despicable characters, largely at the hands of Veronica and the rebellious newcomer, Jason Dean. Heathers is everything I ever wanted out of a John Hughes movie gone very, very wrong.

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My thirteen-year-old self was instantly drawn to this movie, chiefly based on the absolutely brilliant wardrobe choices. At the time of production, shoulder pads were at their pinnacle; there is no being a Heather without power shoulders. Giant hair, blazers at school, brooches, and monocles were also apparently things that teens wore. At least what the Heathers wore at Westerberg. And don’t forget the all-powerful scrunchie.

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Each Heather has her own signature colour which, not only affirms her place in the clique, but also conveys her character through non-verbal queues, if only on a skin-deep level. Heather Chandler, the most vicious and deluded Heather of the group, is red. She’s powerful, she commands attention, she’s dangerous. Heather Duke is green; she’s jealous, vengeful, and ironically, bulimic. Heather McNamara is yellow; she’s cautious, delicate, and easily persuaded. Our heroine, Veronica Sawyer, is blue; moody, discontent, and confused.

I love how this detail furthers the surreality of the whole film. Sure, there are dream sequences and a general fogginess about many of the scenes, but the Heathers’ ensembles catapult them from average teens to some kind of bizarre uniformed royalty. Primary coloured outfits never looked better.

Check out my style board inspired by Veronica. I am super into this schoolgirl/collegiate chic trend that’s in the works so I would definitely wear a Heathers-inspired look just about anywhere. College included.

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Another reason my particularly angsty self loved/loves this movie is that it effortlessly captures the frustrations of overly intelligent, bored, listless teenagers. Veronica became a Heather because there was nothing better for her to do. “Now I use my grand IQ to decide what color lip gloss to wear in the morning and how to hit three keggers before curfew.” She’s disgusted with the institution of high school, the blind, hypocritical over-guidance of the adults in her life, and even more horrified at her own contribution to the unproductive cycle. When her hand is finally forced at changing things, Veronica’s own apathy overtakes any real emotion: “I say we just grow up, be adults and die.” Que sera, Ronnie, que sera.
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I find Heathers really hits the mark in my book because it goes beyond poking fun at hilarious high school stereotypes. By pulling all the characters toward the extreme ends of their personas, the film not only mocks society at large, but also gives it a big eff you. Despite its dismal box office debut, Heathers has filled the dark teen comedy void and since become a headstrong cult classic. I approve.
Even if you hate Heathers, you can’t deny it’s influence on all teen/high school movies and shows that followed in the two decades after its release. Clueless, American Beauty, Mean Girls, Gossip Girl, etc. Case in point: Heathers cafeteria scene vs. Mean Girls cafeteria scene. Obviously the setup for either scene is completely different, but it is clear that each clique has its own designated table creating social boundaries that are almost never crossed. Thus, Heathers = insta-classic.
Fear not, Heathers-inspired outfit post coming soon.
ttyl,
Maria Nichole