Yesterday, Christina Binkley wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal about young people’s work attire, and how entrepreneurial environments and particularly 20-somethings are embracing creative wardrobes. The article focused heavily on big brand-names and how they are a critical part of expression. Binkley elaborated in this podcast, and shared that she talked with young people about why they make the choices they do.
Today, Hamilton Nolan from Gawker responded, and was up-in-arms about the generalizations made (Chuck Taylors = surfer), and poor representation of this young (and successful) generation.
Binkley has a very valid point that the brands and clothing selected by individuals speak strongly to personality, with personality being integral part of establishing a company culture and work environment. While a buttoned up look may convey professionalism and enable employees to feel more empowered (everyone knows someone who will say “I just feel better and more powerful in a suit”), employees at smaller companies are finding other ways to express confidence, and their inner self. More liberal style choices are common today, and using style as a form of expression is no longer relegated only to weekends.
Creative work environments are even being embraced by retailers. Take “work desinations” Banana Republic or J.Crew for example. Five to ten years ago, you’d see many more traditional button down shirts and black pants as part of their selection, where they are now skewing toward patterned choices, and items with a unique or novel twist. They’re realizing that young men and women are desiring to express some personality and flair while in the workplace too. Binkley hit it on the head with “…young people say their mix-and-match style offers them more versatility and creativity than the old uniform did.”
Binkley shared, “In a way, their aesthetic represents a new kind of uniform — one heavily dependent on corporate labels.” I personally take a different tack here — I’d venture to state that often subculture/smaller labels hold even more cache for young generations than mainstream brands. Young people seem to enjoy expressing their style through independent labels or smaller brands such as Mike & Chris, Penguin, Black Halo, Sky, Goldenbleu, Kooba, 18th Amendment, etc. The brand identification is often not evident to the naked eye, and these items are not logo-filled. In this way, 20-somethings are embracing brands but because of a unique style expression, more so than a way to convey status.
In the podcast, Binkley shared that she asked young people whether they forecast their style changing/evolving as they mature and reach the age of the current Boomers. Surprisingly, they voiced that their style likely would become more status-quo as they grow up. I found this point particularly interesting, as it seems that relaxed workplace style choices could have more lasting impact than just a passing life-stage choice.
Binkley’s most controversial quote “Their choices among brand-name items are meant to communicate substance,” really set Gawker off. By changing the slant to be less strongly focused on brand names specifically, and instead reflecting how young people intentionally choose specific style choices to best represent and convey themselves in the workplace is a point Nolan would perhaps agree with — and be proud of.
November 14, 2008 No Comments
Back in the early ’90s, t-shirts with slogans or phrases on them were starting to become really popular. When I was in the 6th grade I actually bought a shirt that said “Yeah! I throw like a girl. I kick like a girl. Cuz girls kick butt!” Exclamations and all. My best friend convinced me we should both buy them. I was too embarrassed to ever wear my shirt, but my family still teases me mercilessly about it.
That was just the beginning of slogan tees. The next iteration were the highly controversial Abercrombie shirts that had middle schoolers walking around with phrases like “Who needs brains when you have these” written across their chests. Sure there were other shirts with overt sexual innuendo, but they were largely relegated to spring break or St. Patrick’s Day apparel, with sayings like “Irish men love a little lass.” After that were the faux vintage sports tees with made-up team names on them. They were inauthentic, but so comfy — the retailers made them extra soft to give them the illusion of enduring years of wear.
Slogan tees have come full circle now, poking fun at the shirts of the ’90s. The other day my friend Abby wore one that I love:
The shirt is by Ju$t Another Rich Kid, who makes a whole range of ironic tees printed on old vintage and D.A.R.E shirts. I’ve been on the lookout for these types of tees in my Salemail. So who knows? I might just end up buying my “girls kick butt” shirt again, recycled with a facetious phrase on top.
November 13, 2008 3 Comments
I finally made it over and set foot in Nordstrom last night, and was instantly propelled into sale flurry! My excitement bubbled up inside as people eagerly perused the shoe racks at the 1/2 Yearly Sale, and brushed past each other to swoop up cute tops, jeans, and not to mention — the number of handbags on sale at SIGNIFICANT discounts.
This is the time of year! This is the moment for Sale shoppers! Just wanted to give you a tiny taste of the great sales we’ve seen.
Shopbop, with their 30% of all regular price items today and tomorrow only (enter code EARLYGIFT) at check-out…it’s like a dream. Dangerous for the wallet, but wonderful for the closet!
And even though Shopbop ends tomorrow, the sale flurry continues! Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy are having their 30% off Friends & Family this weekend, and Bloomingdale’s is offering an extra 30-50% off online purchases, applied at checkout through Nov 16th.
Very curious — what are the best deals you’ve found?
November 12, 2008 No Comments
The Grand Mademoiselle, one of our Trendsetters, knows the perils of trying to find fashionable footwear for large feet! Here, she shares tips around how to find shoes that will fit just like Cinderella’s glass slipper!
Finding a gorgeous pair of shoes is hard enough, but the task is exponentially more daunting if you happen to wear anything above a size 10. While a few select retailers like Nordstroms and Saks offer lovely picks from some fashion houses in a size 11, it’s a rare shoe designer who makes shoes in those often neglected sizes 11-15 (and above). Why is the case? It seems counter intuitive, since oodles of women wear these sizes and they certainly don’t constitute a population minority. So, it’s time to reclaim 11-15 from the small-minded set and return it to the ladies with big-time style.
The Grand Mademoiselle’s go-to shopping destination for large size women’s shoes is online retailer Barefoot Tess, which offers a ridiculously beautiful and expansive collection of designer shoes in sizes 5-15.
Here are my favorite picks this season:
For the perfect flat, opt for this gorgeous confection from Loeffler Randall. The ‘Gracie’ is a soft ballerina with a gilded side bow; a glittery way to celebrate winter.
For the perfect boot, go for this delightful black leather knee-high from All Black. The ‘Stud’ has a great pointy toe and a cheeky fold over top that can be worn up or down with the help of button snaps.
For the perfect trendy shoe, choose this darling gladiator bootie from Dolce Vita. The ‘Kent’ is a playful ankle flat with leather buckles and appealing cut outs that create the must have piece of the season!
As an aside, Shop It To Me does offer the ability to receive Salemail when shoes go on sale through Women’s size 12 and in narrow and wide widths, and each of brands like those featured above (Loeffler Randall, Dolce Vita) are included in the brand options list! Time to not only find those shoes…but on sale!
November 7, 2008 No Comments
Spread the word to your friends in Tucson, AZ!
Sponsored by Shop It To Me
Meet other fashionistas and share tips on finding designer discounts.
Great style-related giveaways too!
Monday, November 10th
Espresso Art Café
944 East University Blvd
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
November 5, 2008 No Comments
The celebs are all over this trend — fringed boots! Minnetonka Moccasins, Boho-Chic, whatever you want to call it. Recently, Trendsetter Shoe Smitten paired moccasins with other great boho looks.
Another Trendsetter, Shopping And Info, had great photos featuring Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss, and Blake Lively:
And now, just today — in my Salemail, not one, not two, but SIX pair of these boots! I just love when Salemail is so on top of the trends! And for pretty affordable price-points!
Sam Edelman ‘Utah’ Boot
Steven by Steve Madden
Sam Edelman ‘Uri’
Over the Knee Boot
November 4, 2008 4 Comments
Earlier I had promised I would blog about the best quotes of the year from fashion reality TV shows. Season 5 of Project Runway is over, but the snotty quotes endure. This week’s pick is from your favorite contestant, and mine, Kenley.
“I wasn’t going for elegant, HEIDI.”
-Kenley, Project Runway
It’s a mermaid! It’s a Chinese finger trap! No, it’s Kenley’s floral-inspired dress! If the Season 5, Episode 12 challenge were inspired by sea monsters, I could understand. But in fact it was the Botanical Gardens. A purple plant inexplicably inspired Kenley to create a magenta dress with faux fish scales at the bottom. When Heidi told Kenley the dress didn’t look elegant, Kenley snapped at her with this bratty comeback. I have to admit I got sucked into the moment and felt badly for her when she cried, but I got over it when she tried to blame her attitude problem on the fact that her father was a tugboat captain. Umm…right.
In any case, she totally deserved all the smack talk from the other contestants. ”Kenley can make one hell of a ’50s dress, but that’s all she serves up,” Jerrell once said of her. I beg to differ. She also serves up one hell of a ‘tude.
November 3, 2008 No Comments
At Shop It To Me, we have been riveted by a very exciting election cycle. Given all of the news cycles dedicated to the election (and recently to fashion choices by both candidates), we thought it would be fun to look at the differences in brand preferences by campaign.
So, we compared women’s brands preferences for our users who live in blue states (states leaning heavily for Obama/Biden), to those who live in the red states (leaning heavily for McCain/Palin)
Here’s what we found!
If you want to show off your Red State roots, you might want to wear White House Black Market, Chicos, Nautica, Coldwater Creek, To The Max, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren Polo or Crocs. Users who live in Red States were 30-50% more likely to choose these brands in their Shop It To Me profile.
If you want to present yourself as a Blue State member, you might want to wear brands like Sigerson Morrison, Tsubo, AG, L.A.M.B, Antik Denim, Hard Tail, Triple 5 Soul, Costume National, Botkier, Derek Lam and Vince. Users in the Blue states were 30-50% more likely to select these brands.
And If you want dress in a bi-partisan fashion, we recommend wearing Banana Republic, UnderArmour, Vera Wang, Adidas, DKNY or Dolce & Gabbana as they performed equally well for Red State and Blue State users!
(Of course, there are still plenty of Shop It To Me users living in Red States who love brands like Sigerson Morrison and Antik Denim, and a lot of Blue State users who are into Liz Claiborne, Coldwater Creek and Crocs…)
October 31, 2008 1 Comment
Another great guest post from one of our Trendsetters, Truly Madly Deeply… this time about Project Runway!
My name is Aharon Hill, and until about 4 months ago when I took a leap of faith, I was an attorney (= miserable!), plotting my escape into a fulfilling creative career. Now I own my own jewelry business, Kaleo Designs, which I am currently expanding to include my photography services as well. Oh yeah… and I post daily on my blog, Truly Madly Deeply, about fashion, interior design and other pretty things….
If you’re anything like me, Bravo’s hit fashion designer reality show, Project Runway, inspires you to dust off your old sewing machine and get to work! But short of that, how can the rest of us rookies get the designer looks debuted by finalists, Kenley, Korto and Leanne, without spending a fortune? Well, I may just have a few leads. (Left side is the Project Runway look, Right side has the look for less with links below!)
1) For her Bryant Park debut, Kenley served up style circa 1950, with a modern twist.
You too can have Kenley’s trademark retro look by investing in the looks to the right of Kenley’s runway fashions: A.Anthropologie, $268. B. La Monir, $390.C. Stephanie James (price unavailable). D. SZ Style by Shez, RM89 (price unavailable).
2) Korto concocted a spirited, yet tailored, couture ensemble, with a sprinkle of ethnic flair, compliments of her Liberian roots.
Get Korto’s vibe by investing in the looks to the right of Korto’s runway fashions: A. BCBG, $358. B. Good Orient, $163.98. C.BCBG (price unavailable). D.ASOS, E30.00
3) Leanne, who rarely failed to please the judges in the second half of the season, created a collection inspired by waves, and unified by her use of architecturally constructed petals in blue, creme and beige fabrics.
Get Leanne’s winning look by investing in the looks to right of Leanne’s runway fashions: A. Ombre, $124. B. Jessica McClintock, $196. C. BCBG, $290.D. Tadashi, $268 E. BCBG, $208
My take on the finalists? Well… even though I loved Kenley’s old-school aesthetic and Korto’s ethnic vibe, the judges definitely got it right when they picked Leanne’s brilliantly constructed collection as the runway favorite. Her innovation far surpassed the other finalists, and her collection was positively flawless. But I must admit that I’d personally rather wear Korto’s looks for a night on the town, and I loved Kenley’s wedding dress so much that it made me want to renew my vows!
October 29, 2008 1 Comment
Everyone’s favorite holiday is around the corner Halloween! Especially with saving money being such a recent focus, do-it-yourself costumes are a huge plus this year!
Lollie Shopping, one of our Trendsetters, is a sleuth of great deals and continuously uncovers unique fashion-related goodies! She wanted to guest post and share some great advice just for you about costumes you can make from home:
Halloween is upon us, and if you haven’t had the chance to plan, purchase or construct your Halloween costume, do not despair. Here are three easy-to-make Halloween costumes created from everyday fashion.
1) 80s Rag-a-muffin
Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, The Go-Go’s or any type of 80s pop star wanna-be, this is an easy costume to create since retro 80s trends are a part of every modern wardrobe.
What I’m wearing: ankle boots, leggings, knee length tulle skirt, vintage Cyndi Lauper concert t-shirt and a scarf on my head.
What you could wear: brightly colored pumps, leg warmers, tights, denim mini and a bustier. Or, wear ankle boots, black tights and…a black garbage bag. Where the bag is sealed, find the center and cut a hole to fit your head and neck through. Cut holes along the side where your arms go. Cinch with a studded belt. Not only will you look like a young Belinda Carlisle, you’ll stay dry if it rains.
Tip: Focus on accessories – sunglasses, fingerless gloves and pile on the jewelry.
Alternative: Pat Benatar – A pair of fetish shoes, black liquid leggings, an asymmetrical blouse and a headband across the forehead and you can hit ‘em with your best shot.
2) Space Diva
Finally you can wear all your metallic fashion at once and it’s not a faux pas.
What I’m wearing: metallic boots and a metallic dress.
What you could wear: any type of metallic shoe will suffice, along with metallic jeans and a metallic blouse. Or, did you invest in a sweet metallic coat? Pair it with some metallic shoes, keep the coat belted all night and you’re good to go.
Tip: Use metallic makeup to give yourself a space age look. Create a laser weapon with some cardboard and foil paper.
Alternative: Femme Bot – If you’ve got the body and some sexy metallic pieces, why not? For this one, knee high boots are a must.
3) Deranged Beauty Queen/Prom Queen
While Carrie set the trend for this one, you don’t have to stick with a pink slip dress and pig’s blood. Think “Prom Night” or “Jawbreaker” for inspiration.
What I’m wearing: dressy shoes, full length beaded gown and a tiara strategically skewed.
What you could wear: any type of dress shoe, any full length or knee length party or cocktail dress.
Tip: Props, wild hair and smeared makeup are essential. My props are a skewed tiara and a “Miss Anthropic” sash. You could also try a dried bouquet of flowers, a knife (preferably a toy knife) or a bottle of whiskey.
Alternative: Deranged Bridesmaid – Now is your chance to mock the hideous satin dyed shoes and garish bridesmaid dress you were forced to wear at your cousin Greta’s wedding. And, if you’re bold enough, tuck the back of your dress into your pantyhose for comedic flair.
Thanks again to Lollie Shopping for this great post!<–>
October 27, 2008 8 Comments