A little about passion

Home at last.

This past week has been a long string of goodbyes, hellos, and final paychecks. I left residence for the summer, saying my farewells to friends I will reunite with again in the fall, and others who I may not see for quite awhile. In both cases, it was tough. I don’t do well with departures, and this time was no exception. There’s just so many expectations and emotions; I get lost in the crossroads. But I did it and I survived, all 5’1 of me. It was a miracle, to say the least.

My co-op ended on a good note, and I left my cubicle for the last time on an accomplished high. I’ve learned so much about myself, what my goals are, what I like (and, you know, what I absolutely loath), and what I’m passionate about. That last one really became prominent as my term was wrapping up, because I’ve come to realize that work and passion can coexist and complement each other. Shocker, I know.

Passion is such a funny thing, isn’t it? There’s so much power to it. Passion is the driving force behind change and innovation, and it’s astounding to see where it takes people. As someone who revolves my life around my passions, I really love admiring this trait in others. One of my fellow co-workers in residence and close friend is immensely passionate about travel, urban planning, and Hong Kong. It’s inspiring to watch him take those three ingredients and shape a future for himself around them. He’s got such a drive, such a fire inside of him that I truly envy.

I guess it’s friends like this who have opened up my eyes to the possibilities of passion. I never really saw a parallel between my passions and my future career endeavours. They may have crossed paths once in awhile, but they were never running on the same track. The two were never friends, but rather, acquaintances who knew each other only on the surface. You know, that “I’ll make a pun and you’ll laugh and you’ll think I’m funny but you don’t even know where my hometown is” kinda acquaintances.

But this semester, whilst embarking on an adventure through the world of co-op and micromanaging my life, I realized that my passions CAN be at the forefront of my future. I just have to have faith in myself and believe that what I love to do can help me make a career for myself. So I’m going to go out there and write like no one is reading, discussing topics I love, and see where it takes me. You can bet your tuition that it’s going to be challenging, and this blog will more than likely be filled to the brim with endless accounts of me struggling. But I want to write about what I know and love–fashion, music, communication, and Korea. So I’m taking one hell of a chance, and putting my heart where my fingers are (does that even make sense?), to utilize my passions into something beautiful.

I guess you could say I’m inspired.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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Get ready Vancouver…

What do you think of when you hear the word “Vancouver”? Do images of the sea come to mind, or do you visualize steam rising from tall skyscrapers? Maybe it’s the landscape, with its lush greenery and voluptuous mountains. Perhaps, though, it’s the endless showers spewing from the sky, creating an overcast of greyish hues while you stand under a protective umbrella. Anyway you look at it, Vancouver has its own illustration for each individual.

What about fashion, though? Because fashion, I believe, is an essential part of any Vancouverite’s life. We live on the west coast, and with that comes a more relaxed, laid-back mindset. But this does not mean we are by any means lazy with the way we dress. If anything, it makes our style have a certain edge that cannot be found anywhere else. We are courageous, adventurous, and unafraid to step outside the box. As such, I think it is only fitting that we have a fashion week that is indicative of our unique fashion sense. Sure, you are used to seeing NYF and PFW spreads all over the place, but it is just as crucial to take a look at what is going on at the upcoming F/W 2015 VFW, taking place this upcoming week. In the spirit of this, I wanted to highlight some of the designers that I will be looking out for on the runways, and give my reasons why you should, too.

Alex S. Yu

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With eye-popping hues, and futuristic silhouettes, Alex S. Yu’s designs continuously stand out for me as both eccentric and ridiculously cool. I love the way he plays with the different cuts and sizes of the garments, and how he seamlessly blends textures together. You just get this refreshing feeling from looking at his designs, evoking this sense of contagious energy. The clothes are fun, artistic, and progressive–a mix that is quite hard to find in fashion today. His ability to mix bold with subtle is astounding, and I am eager to see what he produces for this year’s show.

JY Kim

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With clean lines and monochrome colour scheme, JY Kim’s collection is high on my “most anticipated” list. I love how his work is classic but modern, pulling together looks that are creative but timeless. The styles appeal to both men and women, which I think is absolutely fantastic, and would definitely make great pieces for any individual. As an avid wearer of all things black and white, this collection has already scored high points in my books. #monochromeforlife.

Atsushi Nakashima

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Where do I even start? Each collection I have seen from Atsushi Nakashima exudes fantasy, sophistication, and mysticism; it’s addicting. I love everything–from the textures; to the colours; to the prints. Each design he produces just combines so many different elements, and they all tell their own individual story. There is just something so fluid about them. It’s great to see a designer use and blend colours in a way that creates symmetry throughout a collection the way that Nakashima does. That, in addition to unusual fabrics and cut of the materials, really makes this designer stand out in my books.

Needless to say I’m excited. I honestly cannot tell you how great it is that Vancouver is having their own fashion week because, in reality, there is so much local and global talent that needs to be showcased. Plus, by bringing the fashion to the city, it is opening up so many doors for local fashion bloggers and enthusiasts to show off their style. Vancouver is not just yoga pants and Uggs–our streets are filled with progressive, innovated, and cultured fashion that is as unique as the individuals who live here. VFW is a platform to show the world that Vancouver is indeed one of North America’s fashion capitals, and for good reason. Our city inhabits some of the most creative minds this world has to offer, and VFW continues to reiterate this fact with each passing season.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

OOTD: Sheer Brilliance

So here’s the thing: I have started to wear a bit more colour recently. Shocking, I know. But the truth is those neutral hues are kind of wearing on my spirits. Yes it is still winter and yes it is still bitterly cold out (I’m from BC, okay: -15 means you don’t leave your dorm room) but that doesn’t mean my wardrobe and attire should reflect the same atmosphere. My best friend Maria consistently counts down the days until the first bloom of cherry blossoms spouts because for her, spring is the ultimate season. It gives her the excuse to prance around in dainty dresses, a crown of daisies circling her petite head. For me, being the literature enthusiast that I am, spring recollects quotes from Wordsworth and Keats, where nature is this empowering being that sparks the human consciousness. So why not embrace the look of spring in the hope of its speedy return, to break us from our winter slumber?

And for this OOTD, that’s exactly what I did. I fell in love with this soft, sheer pink top the moment I laid eyes on it, and the contrast of it’s femininity with the darkness of my black jeans created the perfect balance for me. I decided to match the silver stud detailing on the lining of the shirt with my black studded loafers to tie everything together. For my accessories, I kept things relatively simple with silver rings to coordinate with the silver else where in the look. The result was this simple, but ready-for-spring ensemble that was perfect for the events of that day: group projects and studying for midterms. Ah, the university life.

Credit to the lovely Druscilla Henault for these lovely shots and for hanging out with me in the common room despite being dead-dog tired after an entire day of production set up. I owe you one.

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Until next time,

Jasmine.

Items worn:
Shirt: H&M
Jeans: F21
Loafers: Aldo
Rings: Oval-shaped: Adrene
2&3: Forever 21
Remaining: couple ring and promise ring.

So Long, Summer.

According to my calendar, fall is on its way. YES. I know it seems redundant in my posts now, but I just refuse to contain the joy I feel for autumn’s fast approach. The leaves are changing, the weather is getting chilly, the rain is (of course) falling, and up here at my uni, the fog rolls around like a sleeping child. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

I think the reason I love fall so much is because you can do so much more in regards to fashion. That, and I’m a sweater junkie. Anything cozy and warm is right up my alley. But in all honestly, I believe fall is the start of something new. School had begun, the sky is changing, the days are (sadly) getting shorter. There is just so much change occurring around us that it is hard to ignore it.

It is also a time to change your wardrobe. We tend to put away the vibrant, neon hues of summer, and instead opt for darker, more richer tones to throw on in the fall. They reflect both the atmosphere and the mood of our surroundings. Autumn is the season to dig out those knit hats and riding boots, to pull out the scarves and the oxfords. My go-to fall look is something that incorporates both the scholastic feel of fall as well as the comfort aspect as well. Try and opt for burgundys, browns, tans, royal blues, and even blacks. Try layering pieces as well; it will keep you from the cold while helping to build a structured outfit.

Now I pose a question to you, in this short but sweet post: what is the one thing, if any, that you will miss about summer? And if not, what is the one thing that excites you about fall? Is it the ever-coveted pumpkin spice lattes making their fateful return? Or perhaps the appeal of layers and scarves that has you anticipating the colder days? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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How-To: Back-to-School Essentials

Ah, September. The time for textbooks, crisp air, and, that’s right, a bringing out the fall wardrobe.

Now, when you were a kid, you probably used to get brand new clothes for school. Am I right? Well now that you’ve stopped growing out of your clothes every year, it’s time to analyze what you have, and how to make it work for the upcoming season.

Now let’s start with the basics: shirts.

1. A knit sweater. For this season, preferably in any shade of red or oxblood. The days are inevitably getting colder (unless you live in California, which, in that case, skip this one), so why not break out the sweaters already? Though it still might be above 20 some days, the mornings are always chillier than the afternoons, so use this piece to layer! Wearing a thin button-down underneath can create warmth for those chilly runs to 8:30 classes, as well as making you look Oxford-ready. If it warms up later in the day, take off the sweater and you’ll still be able to look effortlessly chic. My favourite way to wear this look is with a classic blue jean and a knee-high or riding boot. It’s very scholar-meets-vogue intern.

2. A printed tee. Now I know every one of you owns one of these in some form or another, so why not utilize them now? They’re fantastic to wear under chunky cardigans and you can express yourself in the process. Brownie points if you rock one with a cheeky comment. Now that’s individual style at its finest.

3. A black maxi skirt. These are literally trans-seasonal, if that’s even a word. You can wear them every single season and they work great for all of them. Dress them up, dress them down. They provide so much option a buffet would be jealous (…ha…ha). But seriously, you can pair a simple black maxi skirt with any colour top, whether it be crop, baggy, or even tailored. For the fall season, I suggest playing with the dark hues by wearing a grey thermal or a navy crop top, alongside a white or cream cardigan. If you want to bring the edge up some more, wear a black ankle boot or a black wedge heel.

4. High waisted jeans aka the love of my life. High waisted jeans are not just for the stylish hipsters out there. Oh, no. They are great because not only do they rarely fall down, but they will never accentuate or create love handles like low rise jeans do. Crazy, right? As well, they are super fashion-forward, making any outfit you wear them with look like something off of Lookbook. I cannot stress how much I love this style of jean. They’re one of my essentials not only for school but for life. Anyone who owns a pair can back me on this.

5. Plaid. Anything plaid. The quint essential pattern of fall, plaid is my go-to look for school. There’s just something about it. It’s edgy, scholastic, and just so Alexander McQueen. Am I right? Opt for a basic piece to coordinate when wearing this print, just to make the plaid the main focus of your outfit. Whether it be pants, shoes, or a shirt, tone the rest of the outfit down to showcase the piece from and centre.

So there you have it! I hope this gave you all somewhat of an idea on how to put together your outfits of school, or even how to incorporate some basics into your fall wardrobe. To all my fellow students out there, I hope you’re having a great first week back and I wish you all the best this semester. Don’t let the assignments weigh you down!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

In Motion: Transitioning from Summer to Fall

Is it just me, or does it seem like the days are getting… cooler? Not drastically, but every day it seems that the temperature has dropped one degree, and for me, this only means one thing: fall is on its way.

Love it or hate it, the autumn season is the best time for any fashion lover. The rich colours, layering, big overthrows. There is so much more potential for outfits.

But before I go any further, let’s back track for a second. It isn’t fall yet, and this means that we are quickly approaching that awkward, in-between time that I like the call a seasonal transition period. During these times, it may be somewhat difficult to figure out what to wear in the morning. The weather can be a tricky thing; it could be freezing in the morning, and above 30 in the afternoon. How does one dress in these types of conditions?

Well, I have a few basic pieces that can carry over from summer in to fall effortlessly, all the while incorporating the latest trends from both seasons.

1) Boyfriend Jeans. These babies can work literally year-round and are ridiculously on-trend at this period in time. They work great for seasons shifts because they are loose and lightweight, but also still keep in the warmth due to their jean material. I personally loved ones with shredded detailing, as they give the pants a bit more edge. Pair them with a minimal heel, oxfords, or even ankle boots — it all depends on what the weather is like. The best pair of BF jeans I have found are from The Gap. Yes, they’re a tad pricey, but the quality will make them last for years. I have had mine since I was in middle school! (And yes, they do still fit. Quite well, actually.)

2) Breathable Blouses. Now it should go without saying that this should be a staple in anyone’s wardrobe, as they’re versatile and great for any style out there. But what is even better about these shirts is that they make the best bases for layering. They’re light on the hotter days just on their own, and they look amazing under sweaters or comfy cardigans. Basic colours work the best, too: look for neutrals like black, white, and beige. If you want to mix things up, take the plunge into Fall’s biggest trend and grab one in plaid. Layering it with something more summer appropriate, like a crisp white or tan, can off-set the extreme autumn-ness of the print.

3) Anoraks. These thinly-lined jackets make great overthrows for the chilly transition days, and can also be worn into fall as well. For the most part, they come in colours that work both in summer and in autumn, like army green, tan, and brown. Great for keeping you protected from the rain and the sun, anoraks provide the ideal coverage for any type of weather found at this time of the year. I personally love them on my lazier days, where I can chuck on a loose t-shirt, a pair of black skinnies, and a forest green anorak.

There you have it, my top three essentials for transitioning from summer into fall! These pieces are staples in any girl’s wardrobe, so make the most of them! You can use these basics to wear now and wear later!

For those of you heading back to school like I will be in the next two weeks, I wish you the best. Our break has sadly come to an end, and it looks like we’ll be hitting the books in no time. So keep your chin up, your mind open, and your coffee brewing.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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Victorian Style: Day Trip + OOTD

Wow, where has the time gone? I feel like just yesterday it was the beginning of July, and now here we are, four days into August.

Lately, I have been working my buns off, selling clothing to customers and attempting to keep my head afloat amongst the other hungry stylists. I cannot even begin to explain how tired I am from working so much. I literally have had no time to post, to take photos, or to put together outfits.

But this past Saturday, I had a day off (finally), and it was the perfect time for Kyujin and I to take a little vacation to our province’s capital: Victoria.

Though we didn’t take too many photos, I did want to share the ones we were able to capture, as few as they are. The day was so grey in the beginning (which I loved), but slowly, the sun started to show its face through the clouds. In the end, it turned into a beautiful sunset, which was perfect for snapping a few shots on the ferry back to the mainland.

First stop of the day: The Parliament building. I just love the look of it, and the gorgeous fountain out front makes the perfect backdrop for a picture. (Ignore my expression in this one)

My accomplice for the day (and pretty much my life): my amazing boyfriend, Kyujin. Ain’t he a cutie?

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Most expensive hotel in Victoria (and all of BC, for that matter) say, what?! Even going inside there you feel inadequate. Absolutely gorgeous. I’m making it my mission to one day stay a night there.

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I caught him off-guard. My bad.

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Look who we found. I just love how different our expressions are here. Me, attempting a supermodel pose and Kyujin, trying to copy Sully’s stance. Sigh.

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Chinatown in Victoria is amazing. If you’re in the area, you need to go.

And now for the outfit.

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Since we were going to be walking the entire time, I wanted to opt for something comfortable and cute. The weather in the morning was terrible, so I knew riding boots were going to be a must. As well, I wanted to add layers, just in case it warmed up as the day progressed (which it did) so I wore a lightweight and flowy white button-down under my new duo-toned cardigan/jacket. Going along with the colour scheme of the overthrow, I chose to wear my comfy black skinny jeans which blended well with the rest of the look.

I kept my accessories minimal, with my gold watch, leather friendship wrap bracelet, silver and pearl cat earrings (see the photos below for a better look) and a few rings. I really love to mix metals, so my little details really incorporated that into the look.

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The final shots of the day, on the ferry home. The sunset was absolutely stunning, and we had to go on deck for a better look. The way it reflected off the ocean… I am so glad I got to share that with this kid. It was magical, just like the day itself. A perfect finale.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

Items worn:

Earrings: Le Chateau
Wrap Bracelet: Gifted
Watch: Aldo
Rings: Midi = Aldo
Wolf & Spike = F21
“LOVE” Couple Ring = Korea
Promise Ring = Gifted
Cardi/Jacket Hybrid: Le Chateau
Button-down: Japan
Pants: Material Girl by Madonna
Boots: Spring
Sunglasses: Night Market

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Summer Essentials

Summer has always been one of my favourite things about living on the west coast. The long days, the ocean breeze, and the coolness of the forests. I love it all.

When it comes to summer fashion, though, I have some key items that will help me last until the school bells ring once again.

1) A printed romper.

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Credit: AX Paris

The great thing about a romper is that it’s light weight and easy to wear. Adding some print to it will help to create dimension, as well as keeping it on-trend for with this season’s explosion of prints. I love this one from AX Paris because of the colour scheme, which looks effortlessly summer ready.

2) A Breezy Maxi Dress.

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Credit: ASOS

What I love about this one from ASOS is that it is airy, but still edgy at the same time. When ti comes to maxi dresses, flow is definitely key. They can be great pieces for the beach during the day, and taken up a notch for a dramatic evening out on the town.

3) A Skater Skirt

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Credit: Nasty Gal

I love skater skirts because they are girly and easy to wear. Pair them with a crop top, or a tucked in button down, and you can look effortlessly chic. This one from Nasty Gal adds the perfect punch of summer coral to any outfit, while still keeping everything simple and fresh. It can also act as a create piece to colour block with!

4) A Pair of Cat-Eye Shades.

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Credit: Topshop

Nothing says sassy like a pair of cheeky cat-eye sunnies. They’re cute, flirty, and fashion-forward. These ones from Topshop take a different approach to the traditional shape of the cat-eye shades by altering the initial frame. I like the way they look both vintage and modern at the same time.

5) A Flower Crown.

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Credit: whimonline.blogspot.com

You’ve seen them everywhere: Coachella, Lana Del Rey, Nasty Gal. Flower crowns have taken the fashion world by storm, and all for good reason. Giving an outfit a more laid-back, boho vibe, this accessory is one that will have you chilled out in a meadow, singing along to Summertime Sadness all season long.

And there you have it! My 2013 Summer Essentials. Remember to keep hydrated, slather on that SPF 60, and stay in the shade as much as you can! Summer is meant to be enjoyed, so keep yourself safe from the harmful UV rays and enjoy away!

Until next time,

Jasmine.

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Being Chic on a Budget

It’s no secret that I’m a broke university student. I, alongside the majority of my peers, spend thousands on school, books, supplies, transportation, and, well, clothing each and every semester. University is one of those money-sucking fiends that, unfortunately, is necessary for my future. Being an aspiring fashion journalist myself, this makes things somewhat difficult. If I’m constantly strapped for cash, how am I supposed to keep up on the latest trends?

Well, I have a few tricks that I want to share with any other fashion-conscious student like myself, who find themselves stuck in this situation.

Shopping is inevitable. You honestly cannot completely cut yourself off from spending, especially if you’re known to be an avid shopper. It is not going to work. This is why them the moment strikes, there is a way I make sure I’m getting my money’s worth, and this is by using the division method. If I am wanting to make a bigger purchase, something over $50, I calculate the amount of times I know I will wear the item, and then divide the cost by it. Now, you don’t have to do the exact calculations, though I have in the past. It’s just a general way to be more aware of what you’re buying. Say, for instance, you’re looking at purchasing a pair of $200 Jeffery Campbell heels. Now, how many times do you see yourself wearing them in the near future? Would you only pull them out on special occasions? Are they impractical for the weather in your area? These are redflags you want to be aware of. If you’re only going to wear them 5 times in the next semester, that’s costing you $40 each time you wear them. Is that really worth it? Perhaps you could spend your dollars on a pair of $150 riding boots from Aldo. They are a) more practical for everyday use, b) easier to incorporate into outfits, and c) going to be a staple in your wardrobe. It is better to spend the money on something you are going to be constantly using, than waste it on a luxury item that you rarely pull out of its box.

With that being said, I also go by a rule on how I spend my money when shopping. Think of it this way: for trend, think cheap; for classics, think expensive. Trends come and go, so do you really want to be shelling out big bucks for something that won’t even be in season come next month? No. The best way to save money and still look stylish is to spend less on the trendy pieces, and invest in some great basics. Timeless pieces, like black skinnies, blazers, and LBDs will always be in style. So spend your bigger bucks on basics that will last, and are better quality. Sure, Urban Outfitters might have just gotten the latest style of crop-tops in for summer, but are you really willing to pay $80+ for them? You can easily find the same trend-wise pieces at stores like Forever 21 or H&M for much more reasonable price point.

Online stores are also a great way to save money. Many web retailers charge a fraction of the cost of what normal stores do. Do some research! There are tons of great online stores that carry amazing things, some that you can’t even find in your normal H&M. My favourites are Romwe (super hipster street style, that reminds me of Myeongdong in Seoul), Runway Bandits (a favourite of my idol, Jennifer Im. Watch her on YouTube!), and Chicnova (a cute little site where you can find anything from basics, to trend pieces). There are so many more out there! It’s definitely worth the time to investigate and do some research. As well, many of these stores offer free shipping, unlike the main stores’ websites, like Forever 21. You’re saving money, and sometimes even getting better quality than in-store!

When in doubt, thrifting is the ultimate money-saving shopping experience. Thrift stores carry tons of unique pieces for as little as $1.00. Sometimes you can even find some really great vintage items, and it’s an awesome place to stock up on basics. Things such as belts, sweaters, shoes, and coats are normally the items I come looking for when thrifting. Why spend tons of money on items you can find at the local Sally-Ann for 50-90% cheaper?

Saving money and still trying to look great isn’t an easy task, especially when you’re following fashion bloggers like songofstyle and chrisellelim on instagram, but with the right tips and tricks, you, too, can look like a million for a fraction of the cost.

Until next time,

Jasmine.

p.s.

I thought I would also add some links to some great inexpensive retailers who offer great deals online:

Uniqlo  (based in Japan, Uniqlo offers amazing clothing for small prices. Though they do have stores in Japan and New York, it is usually hard to get to them unless you are travelling to those destinations. Therefore, their online store offers the same great things)

Shopmarkethq (Though their regular priced items are a tad expensive, their sale stuff are normally a steal.)

Dailylook (A staple website in any fashion blogger’s online shopping list, this store offers the latest trends and items for relatively low prices. Check out their shoes!)

Interview Fashion

For the past week or so, I have been attempting to hunt down a second job for the summer. And so far, I have had no avail. But to prepare myself for the coming interview process, I have begun to plan out several ways in which I can look professional, but still fashionable as well.

Working at Le Chateau somewhat gives me an advantage here. All of the clothes we carry in store (Or most of them) are business casual, but still retain that chic aspect to them (like I said, most of them). This makes it easy for me to be able to put together interview-appropriate outfits that still have a little something to them.

The main thing is comfort. you want to make sure you are comfortable in what you are wearing, because you are bound to be nervous. Why wear something brand new and feel like you’re falling out in all the wrong places? Make sure it is something you have worn several times before, and pair it with a staple piece in your wardrobe. That way, you will feel more you in the interview. I used this trick with my interview at Le Chateau, wearing my Oxblood high-waisted pants, a nice black top with simple lace detailing, and my holy grail tan blazer. I felt great in the outfit because it was something I had worn before, and I kept my shoes the same way, putting on some black flats.

Structure is also key. If the job you are applying for is more of a formal business setting, then a blazer and dress pants are a must. I wouldn’t try and pull a pencil skirt for this one. Too many things could go wrong with that. An outfit that I would do would be a skinny black cigarette-style dress pant, a solid-coloured or printed shirt that is on-trend, and a fitted white blazer. Don’t do the boyfriend style, as it tends to look more casual and lack shape. A crisp, white blazer that fits you perfectly is the key to this look. It says “I care about current trends, but I also mean business”. Also, all of these pieces you could easily use again in the future. Who wouldn’t rock a clean, white blazer to a dinner party?

Until next time,

Jasmine.