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.

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.