Life at the bottom of the Fashion Caste

Posts tagged “college

Beer, Wine, Champagne: the Interview

I’ve been attending scores of interviews lately. Moving to a new city will do that to a girl.  Now that the whole process seems old-hat, I’ve taken to sitting back in my assigned folding chair and really analyzing the other applicant’s interview strategies. There’s the awkward shy one, the goody-two-shoes, the bad-attitude, the it’s-my-first-job-interview one, the list goes on. I tend to be the quiet but extremely competitive type. What can I say? I’m ruthless. Especially when I know I’m the best person for the job. Not hard when the job is cashier at your local Banana Republic, but still.

Aside from interview techniques, appropriate interview attire has also been a great topic of interest for me in the last few weeks. Since the idea of next month’s rent still leaves a terrifying pit in my stomach, I couldn’t rush out and buy the latest anything for my successive job-hunting endeavors. So I turned to my closet in lieu of a credit card. It was tough at first, but I was able to tailor what I already owned into relatively appropriate outfits for my desired positions (read: everything nice I own now has at least one hole or delightful grease stain). Not having the best outfit made me nervous and left me doubting my ability to perform in said interviews. It’s stupid, I know, but an interview is the one place where first impressions count, BIG time.
So, in my day-dreaming frenzy, I came up with some more ideal variations on that theme:
The Dreaded Interview
What you’re working with: a structured black leather tote or messenger bag (anything that will fit extra copies of your resume without folding/bending/otherwise ruining that pristine record of your previous employment), a folder for aforementioned record, natural makeup, and a subtly edgy, black jacket or blazer. DON’T FORGET A PEN!!!
The beer:
Appropriate for your standard, entry-level position just about anywhere (excluding department stores, secretarial positions, etc.), this outfit lets you be comfortable so you can focus on incredible answers and crushing the competition. Wear to college campus tours, most food service interviews, and casting calls.
The wine:
The bouquet of this ensemble has lovely notes of metallics and a spicy pop of red. It’s so important to let your personal style be seen in interview settings. You probably have less than an hour to make an impression on this person so you’ve got to be sensibly impactful. Wear for internship interviews, mid-scale retail stores, and anything where wearing the pants could give you a leg up. Pun intended.
The champagne:
The creme-de-la-creme of interview wear. This pulled-together look suggests you’ve got the brains for your desired position and the responsible attitude. At first I wasn’t too thrilled with the grey-on-grey situation, but the subdued plaid of that lovely Equipment blouse paired with the houndstooth of the J.Crew pencil skirt is a more serious way to play with your patterns, even in a professional environment. Wear for all grown-up girl interviews including corporate offices of any kind.
Hop over to the polyvore to get the deets on all the pieces and good luck out there!
Until next time,
– The Fashion Serf

School Daze

 

It has been horrifyingly cold lately, meaning a severe lack of opportunities to be even slightly stylish. En route to a holiday party with friends last month it dawned on me; Wisconsin isn’t known for its fashionistas not because there’s no one in the whole state with a keen sense of personal style, but largely because 6-8 months of the year completely prohibit any opportunity to wear an appealing ensemble. Trust me, any height of heel in three inches of snow just doesn’t work.

Good thing I’ve been keeping busy indoors while ruthlessly pursuing my transfer applications. Breaking news, I will not be attending Central Saint Martins in the fall. Instead, I have my sights set on a slightly warmer locale, but I’ll stay mum until my plans are set (!). Either way, these apps have been draining any semblance of sanity I have retained over the last year so I haven’t had a ton of time to blog. Does this mean I’ve already broken one of my resolutions? Gosh, I hope not.

To keep my spirits up in the midst of this wintry slog, I’m proud to say that I’m working on streamlining my wardrobe. I never thought I would be the kind of gal to desire limits in this area of my life but things are getting out of hand. After an influx of crap clothes from my old dorm in London, I’ve not only run out of hangers but also drawer space. And let me emphasize, I have plenty of hangers and drawers. More than average.

So I’m taking Anuschka of Into Mind‘s advice and planning my Spring 2013 capsule wardrobe. The planning portion has been surprisingly enjoyable. Lot’s of self-reflection, dog ear-ing magazine pages, collaging, and–gasp–pinning. That’s right. I’ve learned to use Pinterest for something other than entering unattainable contests. It’s still in the works, but feel free to check out my board of looks/textures/patterns that are inspiring my SS13 looks.

If you couldn’t decipher the huge range of themes in the board, I hope to aim for two different styles of looks. I love Sarah Rutson’s ladylike-chic style (vibrant tailored trousers, nautical stripes, a-line skirts, sheath dresses, no-nonsense colour combos) but i also have a huge weakness for a bohemian, gypsy woman, carefree, Dylana Suarez kind of style, too (flowy maxi skirts, an excess of paisley, windswept hair, and layers layers layers). Also, add a dash of schoolgirlisms including jumpers, letterman sweaters, and charm bracelets. I know it’s kind of passe at this point but I just can’t get over it.

To be honest, I’m no minimalist. I love trinkets, packed book shelves, and cozy clutter. So I do plan on keeping some stand-out pieces from my current wardrobe for sentimental reasons, even if they don’t fit into either of the broad categories I’m aiming for with my capsule planning.

Also, P took me on a much-needed tour of some of the best vintage shops in the cities recently (more on this to come!). The topmost photos are a preview of our outing! Some of those shops were last seen here.

Anyways, now you’ve been updated! Hopefully I can get out of this school daze long enough to blog again soon!

ttyl,

Maria Nichole


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.


$100 or Less: Brunch with the Gals

Something I’ve been rather awkwardly stumbling across ever since coming home from school is that flustered run-in with that semi-good acquaintance from high school. I always end up being in a state of disarray during these instances.

But when that semi-good acquaintance asks you to coffee or brunch and you exchange your new numbers in all that “I haven’t seen you in a while” niceness, keep in mind these tips for your next meeting. This way, you’ll be sure to keep up that “I was moderately well dressed when you knew me last, a time when I was relying on my mother’s pocketbook for all my fashion needs but can still maintain that look even though I am less than penniless at the moment,” appearance.

That’s right, an impressive edition of $100 or Less perfectly suited for Brunch with the Gals.

$100 or Less: Brunch with the Gals

And now for the breakdown:

Black Diamante Rose Stud Earrings via River Island – $5.00

Amity Bow Kitten Heels in Rust via Shop Ruche – $34.99

Porch Swing Dance Skirt via Modcloth – $35.00

BDG Printed Sheer V-Neck via Urban Outfitters – $9.99

Grand Total: $94.98

At this rate, you’ll even have enough cash left over for a bottomless mimosa to help you through the dreaded catch-up chat. Throw your locks up into a sloppy sweet topknot, spritz on your favorite perfume, and, if you’re feeling daring, a red lip. A navy/cream/maroon cardigan might also be in order.

Do note, this outfit works best assuming you have a base canvas of a solid leather bag, warm winter coat, and black tights.  You know, that stuff you bought before you were broke.

All my best for your brunch date, good luck, and be sure to brag about your new European boyfriend you met taking Honours Chemistry 410.

Until next time,

The Fashion Serf


Kitties and Pretties: First Edition

Today I’m revealing to the world something that, up until now, I’ve only hinted at here and there. Think what you may, but aside from being a serious student, a lover of all things literary, fashion, film, and craft, I am also deeply pleased by the subject of this post: kitties and pretties!

It’s exactly what it sounds like, an absolutely indulgent, hilarious, wonderful subject that is simply a way to have some visual fun with this blog and throw a hefty dose of cuteness into the world amidst a whole lot of really bummer subjects. Enjoy!

Above, a box full of vintage earrings, all recently found and upcycled from clip-ons. Also seen are some vintage bracelets. A new favorite of mine has one of the ten commandments punched onto each charm; I can’t get enough of the kitschy Sunday school vibes.  It’s also proof that I never hesitate to add an element of humour to my outfits — I told you I’m a jewellery addict! And now for this week’s kitty…

Above is one of my favorite little kitties, Nola, a resident of P’s new house. She was adopted for free from an ad on Craigslist but everyone thinks she’s a Bengal. I love her to death because she’s so smart! She’ll play fetch for hours. See below for more pretties pictures.

Above, a vintage strawberry pin.

Well there you have it! Next up: the full scoop on my most excellent birthday weekend.

ttyl,

Maria Nichole