Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Knit-y Grity

Hi! I am so excited to post today because I have been alerted by BLOGGER that I now have a follower! Although so far, the count is one, that is one more than I originally had so thanks for following and welcome to my style world!

I woke up this morning and the sky was gray and depressing, but I made myself a promise last night to embrace every day as it comes and to have a positive outlook on life because:
"Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine" -Anthony J. D'Angelo

The last few days have been really hard for me; my grandfather's funeral, drama with friends and BOYS, catching up on all my work, and trying to get back into the swing of everyday life. I really do feel as if I am going to be embracing a new outlook starting today. When I picked out my outfit today I thought:
"look good, feel GREAT!"

I decided to put on my favorite stretchy black jeggings from Forever 21 (because it looked rainy and they are comfortable.) To be honest, I never thought I would wear the dreaded "jeggings." The concept, jeans and leggings combined seemed weird and slightly moronic to me a few months ago; now I am a victim to their stretchy comfortable-ness! They are tight in all the right places, and just seem to suck you in, like lower-body spanx! I topped the outfit off with a knit short-sleeve sweater with tassels on the side and a cinched waist (which I tied in a girly bow!) I got the top at Marshalls on clearance for $5.00 and never looked back. Don't you love those cheap thrills! I already got two compliments on it today and its only 9:57am! Definitely worth the purchase. As for shoes, I am wearing black and gold studded gladiators from the Cynthia Vincent for Target Line. I love when big name designers, create limited edition lines for Target and other bargain stores. It definitely makes big-time fashion more available to regular poor college consumers like me, I definitely appreciate the design Cynthia!

As for jewelery, I am wearing my typical mish-mosh of bracelets that I never take off. However, an additional piece of jewelery I am wearing today (I am not typically a jewelery person) is a grayish-blue beaded ring that my aunt got for me and my sister for Christmas. It is really pretty and it always receives a lot of attention. I guess it is my statement piece for the day.

The humidity is killer today so I decided to not "do my hair" but just used some texture spray to embrace my natural wavy texture. I also embraced a natural face, only blush, concealer and eyeliner. I spritzed myself with Burberry London perfume and I was good to go.

Getting over hard times is hard, but I reminded myself that I am stronger than I thought. You need to do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, and dress to look fabulous because it really will brighten your day!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Grandfather's Legacy

I know this is a fashion blog (so I promise to get to the fashion soon) but my family went through a really difficult time this past weekend and I think it will help me to write about it. My grandfather passed away on Friday, and I went to his funeral this past Sunday. While the whole event was overwhelming and sad, I heard something at his service that is relevant to all of our lives, every person leaves behind a legacy; big or small every individual leaves something behind to be remembered by those who loved them.

In my case it is my grandfather's wedding ring. After the service my grandmother gave me his ring and placed it on a gold chain, something that I never expected or thought I deserved to ever have. A wedding ring is a huge sign of commitment and love, and although she has many other mementos of my grandfather, it was very special that I was given it out of the four of his grandchildren. The gold ring hangs on a dainty but sturdy long gold chain and I will never lose sight of it's significance or importance to me and my family. It is a constant reminder of the legacy that my grandfather bestowed upon me.

Sorry about the minor tear-jerk, but this post revolves around the ring (now a necklace) so it deserved a honorable mention. As for the rest of my outfit today...When I woke up I saw the rainy, murky Rhode Island weather that I always pray NOT TO HAVE! I just can't stand the rain on campus, it floods everything and the one lane on 108 is constant traffic 24/7. So far, we are not at the extreme of the floods of last Spring semester, so let's keep our fingers crossed. I wanted to dress comfortably and casually, especially since the chance of more rain is high.

Although I own very nice Hunter rain boots (we are in Rhode Island and you would be a fool not to have a pair), I don't like how I feel walking in rubber boots; I feel stiff, sticky, and tense in my legs and I hate that feeling so I chose to wear my weathered and most trusted pair of shoes, my SPERRY TOP-SIDERS. They are boat shoes and literally are so comfortable they feel like you dipped your feet into butter. I have gone through about 3 pairs and will be a Sperry devotee forever, I highly recommend them, they are perfect for walking in the rain or shine and they always look "vintagey" and effortlessly cool. As for clothing, I wore a faded glory 3/4 sleeve flannel shirt. It is a half button down (I posed a half button down earlier in the week, I can't get enough of them) in a faded tanish-camel color. I love this color because it is such a great neutral you can pair it with anything AND I DO!

Word to the wise: Only buy clothing that you can think of getting multiple uses out of in colors that you constantly wear. Statement pieces are fun sometimes but I always go back to my trusted classics, they make me feel comfortable and protected.

As for the rest of the outfit, I paired my sperry's and top with my favorite pair of BASS strait leg jeans in a medium wash. I love jeans and can completely sympathize with people saying they have a hard time finding the perfect pair. I have tried them all and have recently discovered BASS which is a part of a company that also owns IZOD, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein (all stores which have great pieces that withstand the changing fashion industry- classically cool!)

Lastly, I topped my outfit off with the necklace that my grandmother gave me which holds my Grandfather's ring. This is really special and does seem to top off my outfit in the most perfect way possible. Anytime I wear it I will think of how lucky I am to have had him in my life for 21 years! He was a great and stylish man and he will always be missed and greatly loved by my family.
This post is dedicated in his honor.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Button-Down Feeling

Hey there! So I am back with yet another fashion post, this time I am showing an outfit that I wore to class on Friday. The sun was shining and there was a crisp breeze. I love this weather in September because it isn't too hot or too cold, it is just perfect! I thought the best thing to wear would be cut off jean shorts (why not wear them when I still can get away with it) and a button down blue long sleeve t-shirt. I accessorized my outfit with a brown and studded leather belt as well as brown leather sandals (not pictured.)

The jean shorts I got at American Eagle years ago. What I love about jean shorts is their ability to be dressed up or down. I have worn these shorts to class, the movies, BBQ's as well as nice restaurants. It is all about the accessories you pair with the jean shorts as well as the shirt/tank tops/cardigans you wear on top! The blue shirt I wear I got at Marshalls. It is a half-button type shirt which I really love because it is kind of tunic-esque. I could pair the shirt with leggings, or even wear it belted as a dress, it is very functional and that is something I look for in every piece that I buy. The leather belt that I am wearing I found at Hollister. I am not a huge Hollister fan, mostly because I am not into big trendy stores who label every piece of clothing with a huge BIRD (Hollister) or MOOSE (Abercrombie & Fitch.) However, the accessory was amazing, engraved and studded brown leather which was neither gaudy or over-embellished. I wear this belt all the time. I highly encourage you to invest in a belt like this. You can wear it in the belt loops of shorts and pants, or belted around a dress to cinch the waist and create a more feminine shape. Lastly, the shoes (not pictured, but I wear them all the time so you will see them soon, I promise!) are brown gladiator sandals from Bass. I love these sandals because they can be dressed up or down and have a great bohemian flair to them. I always feel very KATE HUDSON when I wear them!

I think part of style is makeup and hair so I may describe these elements occasionally. For school I like to keep things natural and light. I basically use a foundation, mineral blush, bronzer, tan eyeshadow, and brown eyeliner. I obviously spritz myself with my favorite fragrances: Marc Jacobs Daisy or Burberry London. As for my hair I have the mentality:
and I love to wear my hair down loose and natural.

What do you guys like to wear to school? Do you glam it up or go natural like me?

Bonvue Babes

Hi Guys! So this past Thursday I went to Bonvue for the first time (legally, I am now 21) with all my friends, to celebrate my birthday that was on Wednesday. We all wanted to dress up and look classy and edgy. When I think about ultimate class and rocker edge I channel my inner Taylor Momsen (however I try to keep it classier, although you got to admit it, the girl has a wild side!) and rock out, quite literally. We were fist-pumping the whole night and it was a great time. I wanted to wear something that I could dance comfortably in but still feel pretty, because hey, I was the birthday girl and I wanted everyone to know it.

Anyway, back to the outfit. In this post I am going to describe the elements of my style choices and where you can buy the same pieces. I don't know if this is a good way to go about fashion posts but I guess it is a "try it out and learn" type of thing, just like finding a unique style, see how clever I am? Okay, sorry no more random outbursts! I wore a tight black spaghetti strap tank top that I purchased at Forever21 for $6.00 (Yes, $6 dollars people.) Seriously invest in these tanks, even if just the black (basically all I wear is black anyway) because you can wear them with anything. I tuck them into skirts, pants, shorts, wear them under dresses and sweaters, I even sleep in them sometimes-fashion and function, I LOVE! Besides the tank I wore a black skirt that I just got at Target. It is the Marciano for Target brand and it is a cotton skirt with leather panels down the front and back of the skirt. The skirt cost only $30.00 which seems a bit stiff for Target, but I am a firm believer in the black skirt. I think I wear a black skirt at least once a week; so if you are anything like me and love little black skirts, invest in this piece, it is super comfortable too and pretty much stays in place (ladies, you do not want a skirt that rides up- not classy.) Lastly, I wore my favorite pair of BCBG wedges. They are black and tan leather peep toe wedges and I love them. They weren't comfortable at first (literally made my feet bleed walking the cobblestone streets of the West Village of New York City this summer) but now they are my go to shoes. They cost $50 and I got them at Marshalls. Marshalls is a very under-appreciated store. They have top brands, and I love the adrenaline rush I get when I find an amazing deal right off the racks, there is no better feeling! Wedges are so comfortable because the weight isn't just placed on the sole and heal of your foot. If you want to dance, pick wedges over stilettos.

Anyway, this was my first fashion post and I hope you all liked it. I assume I will change how I go about these things but did you like the price point and store information? I am trying to be as descriptive as possible. As always let me know what you are thinking and wearing; I would love to hear from my readers!

Why Am I Inspired?

In my first post I explained a little bit about who I am and why I am creating this fabulous fashion blog...however, I didn't really explain why I am so inspired by fashion. Fashion is the ultimate form of self expression; where else would bow-ties, rainbow suspenders, combat boots and feathered earrings seem cohesive? I am not saying everyone can pull off that look, but anyone can try it and I love that freedom. The freedom to look however you want, and try anything you want. Fashion is better than a tattoo or piercings (although I love both) because it can be here today, gone tomorrow. If something works, GREAT! But, if you decide that trendy sequined hot pink forever 21 skirt looks much better on the model in the catalog than you at a fraternity party, you can totally burn the skirt and forget you even bought it. There may be some Facebook pictures tagged of you in that heinous get-up but, un-tag the picture, un-tag the memory and burn the skirt- easy fix!

But the reason for this post...WHY AM I INSPIRED? I am inspired by the great women in my family who each have their own flair and aesthetic. Each woman is different and unique, has different hobbies, different eye colors and different hair styles but each influenced me in a really amazing way. I have two aunts, let's call them the ARTSY AUNTIES. One is an artist and one is a craftswoman. While Auntie Artist paints amazing murals, pet portraits, and adorns herself with insanely beautiful original turquoise jewelry, Auntie Crafts creates amazing beaded bracelets and necklaces, and can make anything out of yarn and fabrics. Besides these two women my grandmother has the most amazing sense of interior design. She knows how to mix colors and prints, integrating amazing patterned fabrics, with bold and cool solids, she truly is an amazing designer. My mother is also a style maven in her own right (although she wouldn't tell you so), but she is willing to try anything once. I remember she wore a magenta and fuchsia skirt suit with a jewel adorned collar from Banana Republic. Although she is a self proclaimed "black-only" devotee, she looked beautiful and elegant. Lastly, my sister is my biggest style inspiration. Two years my junior she is light-years ahead of me in the style department. She can make the most basic jeans look chic and always follows her heart, not the pages of a fashion magazine. She is always my biggest fashion supporter and critic. She knows my style inside out and always helps me think of new ways to improve my look.

I am really blessed to have these women in my life, they inspire me on a daily basis. Without their fabulous style, amazing support, and amazing "eyes" for details, I wouldn't be me (and that would be a darn shame!) Be inspired by everyone and everything!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

About Me (aka My 1st Post!)

So since this is my first post, I assume it is best to introduce myself...all I can hear in my head right now is Jay-Z saying, "allow me to introduce myself, my name is HOV, H to the O V." Anyway, back to me, because this blog is all about me! I don't know if that seems self-centered but it's actually true, and it's not like I am going to be narcissistic, just really Cassie-Strum-viewpoint-oriented!

Back to me...again. I am twenty-something college gal with a ton of personality and a definite love for women's fashion. I started following fashion in middle school, when I opened my first Vogue Magazine and my neighbor Robyn's house (I remember like it was yesterday). All the big, glossy ad campaigns, models with their perfect pouts and insanely perfect outfits drew me in like moth to a flame. Fast forward about 10 years and I am the same silly girl with long, brown, wavy, hippie hair, but I have found a style, and have been trying to establish it since. By establishing my style, I constantly look to other fashion blog and websites, as well as magazines, store catalogs, television and movie costume designs to learn what looks good together. I am self taught and even have written "Style & Fashion" articles for my college newspaper. I am also a member of a collegian, fashion blogging website for my college, which features over 35 top universities in the United States--so although I am no Karl Lagerfeld, I am no guppy.

I would love to share my fashion personality. I am unsure if this is because of my love of fellow fashion bloggers, but I am always inspired by what the people around me do and create. I used to be a self described "prep" meaning that if I thought something didn't look "J. Crew" enough I wouldn't wear it. Essentially, my wardrobe consisted of only said brand. I have evolved a lot since. I do not describe myself as fitting into one fashion category. Sometimes I want to be bohemian, draped in funky swirly patterns- with my wavy hair in full force. Other times I want to be a minimalist, straitened hair and an outfit with sleek and clean lines. I can be a prep with my Sperry boat shoes, or I can be a little "cozy-cute" with comfy and slouchy sweaters and leggings. Whatever the occasion, and whatever the time of day, I dress for me and no one else.

Fashion is an incredible outlet, inspiring and creative: there is no one right way to express yourself and this blog is a dedication to that testament. The have been so many instances in my life where I was directed to wear a certain style that didn't flatter me, just because someone told me to. Now, I wear what fits and skip what I truly believe doesn't fit my style aesthetic. I may not have the style that every reader wants or looks to replicate, but I have a style that works for me and I would love to share it, in the form of pictures and sources of inspiration that I love.

Thank you for reading, and please email me, comment, anything! I would love to hear from you fabulous people!
Decorate your soul!