Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rent the Runway

What are you doing for New Year's Eve this year? If you have a party to go to but nothing to wear, check out Rent the Runway. It's pretty much the coolest thing in the world because it lets you rent designer dresses for a fraction of the retail price. Pick a price starting at $50 and they'll send you your dress in two sizes, then you just wear it and send it back in a pre-paid package within four days. So so cool.

I was going to wear this pretty thing on the 31st:



But, I decided to wait (My mom and I went on a little shopping spree at J.Crew recently that resulted in about four new dresses). RTR credited my money and now I'm waiting to use it to rent a ball gown for a black tie event in 2011!

Check it out for your NYE parties--there might still be time!

<3 Megan

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pixies, Princesses, and Pick Combs

By Amy Jackson and Jenni Schweitzer

It's a dilemma that every Longwood lady faces mid-semester. Should you wait until you go home to get your hair cut, or brave the salons in Farmville? In recent years, a few new places have opened their doors to style-savvy citizens of the area. We've consulted an expert panel of judges (our friends), and here are the verdicts.

The Great Escape. This 'spalon' features an impressive repertoire of luxury treatments, from pedicures to perms. If you're looking for a lovely gift, they have spa day certificates, and Jenni's roommate once got a bold pixie cut there. However, it was hard for her to style it, and it can be expensive if all you need is a trim. It's across the street from Macado's for a complete beauty experience.

The Highlight Zone (formerly known as Total Image) sits right outside Midtown Square on Fourth Street. We've not personally been there, but two beautiful women with fabulous hair both recommended it to us independently of each other. It's a small shop, so make sure you call ahead to see if anyone is available, and if you walk in, you may have to wait.



The Outer You probably gets a lot of Longwood patronage solely based on their primo location. It's in the same building as Moe's, for those of you that never venture outside of your rooms. This salon employs a decent number of stylists, so Amy had no problem walking in. They were fast and efficient, as well as accommodating to the style that you desire. It would be helpful to specify what technique you would like your hair to be cut with, if you are familiar with it. Otherwise you could end up with something that isn't quite what you are used to as a result of the wide variety of methods they use. Like the Highlight Zone, the Outer You charges a middle of the road sort of price. For specific pricing, you can pop in and grab a brochure.



Raffles is a skinny corridor of a shop in the Walmart shopping center, to the left of CATO and the right of the Dollar Tree. It was recommended to us by one of our very stylish friends (Moe) and we tried it on for size. It is the most economical option of these four, and the staff was warm and friendly. Despite the extreme difference in our hair types they were able to edge up Amy's bob and successfully layer Jenni's lengthy curls. They also offer a wide selection of salon brand hair care products.



Hopefully your previous life experience has educated you on what sort of cut and style makes your hair look its best. Knowing the lingo can help streamline the salon visit. If you don't know, you could call your hometown stylist and ask or hit up Google. We typically ask for a dry cut, and often this will reduce the total cost and time. This means that they don't shampoo or style it, but we like to style our new cuts ourselves anyway. Another useful tip is to look for and request a stylist that has a similar hair type to yours. If you like his or her hair, chances are that your new style will have that flair. Also, if a trusted friend recommends a salon to you, go for it!

Anywhere we missed? Let us know right here right now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reboot Your Fall Fashion

The Longwood Look: Reboot Your Fall Fashion
Amy Jackson and Jenni Schweitzer

The past few weeks, almost every Longwood lady decided to bust out their boots as the temperature dipped below seventy degrees. It’s refreshing for us to see the shift in footwear away from flimsy flip-flops or scuffed up sneakers, and we thank you. You already know how we feel about notorious UGG boots, so let’s move on. Here are some of our favorites, and how to wear them.
-Everyday boots. These are the staple pieces of your fall shoe wardrobe. Yes, we have separate wardrobes for shoes, and we fully support your shoe habitat. We fondly call our favorite everyday boots ‘Link Boots’, a nickname befitting the hero of the Legend of Zelda saga. These are typically leather, suede, or canvas, and the toe comes to a rounded point. They also usually fold over at the top, which hits mid-calf on the leg. They look best with opaque tights or skinny jeans (which we wear constantly) and they keep us warm in our icy early walks around campus. Equestrian style boots are similar, but they come up a little higher on the leg and they’re usually leather in varying shades of brown or black. They are a little more polished because the material holds its shape and lies closer to the skin, so it suggests a more expensive-looking product; however, if you follow our shopping guidelines, you won’t have a problem finding a great price. The most popular everyday boot we’ve seen we call short slouchy boots. For once, we don’t mean ‘slouchy’ in the sweat pant way. These boots are usually embellished with buckles, patterns, or buttons to add interest to the regular shape of the shoe. We think these go the best with pants (other than the equestrian style) and they are the most simple to pair with casual looks. It’s also quite easy to find a unique pair that fits well with your personal style. For example Jenni has a brown leather pair that has one large buckle on the side, whereas Amy has a grey suede pair with three small straps and buckles. Even though structurally they are very similar, the effect is different. Look for ones that complement pieces that you already have in your winter wardrobe.


pumpsicle.com

-Shake your booties. Booties are the short dressy heeled boots that can be either very professional or very flirtatious. This is determined not only by the boot, but how you wear it. Typically, black or brown booties can fit into both categories. It’s super easy to turn a daytime professional outfit into a thirsty Thursday outfit with these boots in ‘toe’. They have the perfect sexy to successful ratio and the combination makes for a powerful statement. If you want to feel a little fancier on a mundane school day you can pair them with dress slacks (unlike the other casual styles). We like to wear them with tights and a pencil skirt, or if you are brave you can match them with nude stockings and a dress.


fashionmefabulous.com

-Quirky boots are best left to whatever occupation spawned them, like cowboys and Indians. There are situations in which they can be acceptable, but if you start to look legitimately like a hippie, Pocahontas, or a cowherd, you’ve gone too far. This is what people (we) mean when they say outfits are costumey, so make sure those boots are the statement piece of your look. Leave your Birkenstock-esque clogs at home, because you look like you skinned a potato and wore it on your feet. Yes, you can wear them to get the mail or walk the dog. Preferably before the sun comes up.


Buzznet.com
-Where to find these fabulous footsies? We love to shop, but our favorite boot Mecca is Rugged Wearhouse in Lynchburg, VA. They have bangin’ boots for few bucks, and they’re only forty-five minutes away. See you there!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Headbands

I really, really love fun headbands, don't you?
What's your favorite hair accessory?


The J.Crew factory stores in Lynchburg have all kinds of fun goodies.
Compared to the pricey ones in the retail stores, this feathered headband was a steal for just $10.

<3 Megan

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Desperately Seeking Fashion in Farmville

The Longwood Look: Desperately Seeking Fashion in Farmville
Jenni Schweitzer & Amy Jackson

Every Farmville fashionista mourned the loss of the Dressing Room; it was the premiere distributor of clothing with labels that you would be proud to flaunt in our humble college town. (It was even mentioned in a featured article in Glamour about little black dresses.) So what’s a well-dressed girl to do? We have some pretty creative and economical ideas that don’t involve lassoing your girlfriends and hitting the open trail.

-Buy in Belk. Get it? It’s the only department store this side of the Appomattox. They’re well-stocked with an array of interesting pieces, especially flattering tops and mountains of boots. Their collection of accessories polishes the bejeweled gamut of different tastes, from pearl necklaces to python rings. We manage to find a great deal every time we go there – they often have sales up to 80 % off apparel, Pfaltzgraff, and toaster-ovens. Jenni recently scored two scarves for $5 each, both marked down from $40. You may have to search around for pieces that suit your style, because their stock mostly caters to working, professional women and their trend-tastic daughters. That’s not a bad thing at all, it just makes you work harder to avoid those jelly-filled ballet flats.

-Cato is located to the left of Wal-Mart off Main Street. Despite its moderately large size, you may not have noticed it thanks to the giant Wal-Mart. Cato specializes in clothing for the working woman, but mixed into their pantsuits and pencil skirts are some spicy items. Leather jackets, bright heels, and bras that look like they were meant for the Victoria’s Secret runway? Yes please! When these bras are ten dollars a pop, it’s completely justifiable to buy five of them in one visit. To us, anyway.

-Guinea Creek Crafts: don’t know where it is? That’s why we're here. It’s on Main Street across from Charley’s, one salon down from Penelope’s. Among beautiful woodwork and baskets, they have candles, holiday d├ęcor, and our favorite, earrings. Their earrings are all different, interesting, and a dollar fifty each. At a price like that, you can buy a pair for everyone who loyally follows your Twitter feed as a thank-you gift. For those of you who can have candles, this is the perfect resource, and if you like to decorate for Halloween, be sure to pick up a ghostly gourd or just browse the Halloween/Christmas room.

-Goodwill hunting: you have to search to find buried treasure. It’s located in the shopping center with Buffalo Wild Wings and Rite Aid. Among all the ridiculous 80’s windbreakers there are some real gems. Sometimes a little bit of quirkiness from Goodwill is the perfect thing to pull a boring outfit out of dullsville. For example, Amy recently found a nautical striped blouse complete with shoulder buttons for about three bucks. Jenni found a bright striped blouse with a ruffle, which she dubbed "Circus-chic". On our last journey, we also found books, belts, and got mugs for free with our purchases.



For those of you that haven’t had three to four years of exploring Farmville, we hope this is a helpful guide for your adventures in style.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rainy Day Hair

It's been very chilly and raining non-stop for the past few days here in Roanoke, and it made me start thinking about that fall fashion that I love so much. Leggings, boots, sweaters, hats--scarves!!!!! I get ridiculously excited about being able to wear these items of clothing again and I think I start to bother everyone around me with my enthusiasm.

The only problem with all this rain is my hair.

When I was back at Longwood, I just wrapped a scarf around my head or threw on a knitted cap--it was so simple to go to class and look cute, even in the rain. But now I have to go to work every day, and I feel like hats are sort of awkward in the office.

So, what's my new head hero? A braid, pulled over to the side. It looks good no matter how my hair is acting, and even when my bangs peek out the side or my layers start falling out of the braid in the back, I can just pin them back and continue with my day! I actually think that the messier it gets, the better it looks.


What's your go-to rainy day hairstyle? What about for you short-haired ladies?

Happy puddle jumping!
<3 Megan

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stating the Obvious - You're Chic

The Longwood Look: Stating the Obvious – You’re Chic
By Amy Jackson and Jenni Schweitzer

Clothing falls into a few main categories; staple pieces, statement pieces, etc. Staple pieces and statement pieces can work together beautifully to create a visually interesting, yet polished look. Here’s the breakdown on how they can work together in perfect fashion harmony.

-Staples: not the office supply store. This term refers to the meat and potatoes of your wardrobe. And by that we mean the t-shirts, the jeans, the sweaters, and the opaque black tights. Alone these items seem pretty casual, comfortable, and safe. In this case the word “safe” implies a lack of risk, not a lack of physical safety. It could, if your staples include 9-inch heels. These tried-and-true classics can either serve as a foundation for your outfit, or you can tailor the use of them around a statement piece.

-Statements: they’re not written, but they’re worth a thousand words. These are the thrilling items that sit at the back of your closet until a day you feel extra daring. And when that day comes we’ll be waiting to photograph you for the Longwood Look blog. We love to see you look awesome. You may be wondering, “What exactly are they talking about?” In definitive terms a statement piece is something that is unusual and eye-catching. This could be a result of the structure of the garment, the fabric, the color, or it could become a statement piece through juxtaposition. We mean those crazy high heels with huge flowers on them, that gigantic necklace, or a feminine colored fabric cut into a masculine silhouette. To make these seem feasible (and not so Moulin Rouge), pair them with the staples.


Image:ModCloth.com

Generally, you should wear only one statement piece at a time, unless it’s Halloween, or you are Lady Gaga. But by all means, draw inspiration from her, just match that inspiration with staples. For example, one of Jenni’s favorite pieces is part-tutu, which she tones down with opaque tights and simpler jewelry. It’s fun and slightly unorthodox, and it is whimsical because it’s familiar yet out-of-place. Most importantly, it is the focus of the overall look. If you don’t have anything, don’t worry, and start small. Maybe trying a top with zippers for seams or a wild necklace on a Saturday night can up your confidence to the point where you can wear the infamous bubble dress. Why not?

-On the flip side, when all you wear are everyday staples, things can be a little boring. Accessories to the rescue! There are so many ways that they can accentuate your personality without overwhelming it. We’re talking about everything from headbands to scarves to bags and onward. Amy likes to wear a feathered headband, or occasionally a vintage scarf to jazz up a plain tee or a tame sweater. Think about the kinds of things you are attracted to and include them in your collection of accessories. If you are a fan of animal prints, for example, use them sparingly. Accessories are the perfect dose of your wilder side.
We strongly encourage all of you beautiful people to take fashion risks, and don’t fear any statement piece. It’s heartbreaking to hear someone say “I like that, but I could never pull it off.” You can pull it off! Don’t be afraid to try it, and also don’t hesitate to ask a friend for help. Or ask us! We’re here for you. Promise.

Monday, September 13, 2010

One-Piece Wonder

The Longwood Look: One-Piece Wonder
By Amy Jackson and Jenni Schweitzer

Imagine that you just woke up for class, and you have a total of fifteen minutes to grab a cup of coffee, get dressed, and get there. What’s the obvious solution on these 90 degree rushed days? A one-piece wonder, of course. You only have to pick out one item (practically), and you’re out the door. We’re all in favor of this, until it comes to the one-size-fits-all dress. You know this dress; it looks like three separate pieces, but it’s actually one dress. The fabric on the top is a different shade or print than the skirt. You probably have this dress, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when it comes to loading your closet with handy onesies, use discretion. Here are some tips for purchasing dresses and the like that both fit your body and personality.


Image: Target.com

-The Separates Dress. This combined top-skirt-belt dress’ fit hits anywhere from directly beneath the boobs to the top of the hip, and everywhere in between. The idea is to create a fifties-style silhouette by accenting the waist and flaring away from the hip. Sounds good, right? Don’t be fooled. It is rare for anyone to exactly match this specific ratio, so make sure this tricky dress fits you in all the right places. If you really want that classic shape, you can avoid this issue by wearing a high-waist skirt and shirt, because then you get to choose how the clothing frames your figure. For a quick getaway dress, we like light fabrics in fun prints or shirtdresses, and definitely a belt. As a general rule, avoid dresses with built-in belts, and find a wide black belt of your own. For more inspiration, check out The Uniform Project, theuniformprojectblog.com.


Image: Philip Lim

-Rompers. We like them, and here’s why. They’re intriguing, they’re cute without being too sweet, and they can work for almost anyone. It shows that you’ve got guts. Fashion guts. The allure of wearing a romper is that it is a bold choice, but it’s also super-easy, comfy, and chic. They emphasize the waist and create a teense more volume on the top, which keeps you cooler and camouflages anything you may want to conceal. We promise that you’ll feel much more confident in your skin and it’ll keep you cool on some of these scorching school days. When picking a romper it’s crucial that it is a comfortable length – there is great wedgie potential. Amy and Jenni both rock rompers with mini-floral patterns. Amy’s romper has adjustable straps, which is a huge plus because the fabric stays closer to the body. Jenni’s romper is pretty short, so she is sure to wear it with some opaque tights. Another attractive feature of the romper is that it is easy to pair with accessories, like a cardigan or a belt. Try a department store, and keep your eyes peeled. They’re very popular, even if mini-florals aren’t your thing.


Image: logicalharmony.net

A few extra suggestions: look for items that will transition easily from spring to summer to fall with a few basic accessories, like tights. Tights tights tights. Try to follow our ‘Shorts’ rule when trying out rompers: they shouldn’t cling too closely to your legs or warrant your arrest. When you wear a romper, keep your footwear on the simpler side: some sandals with intricate twists will do nicely, and we always love a ballet flat. After all, when you wear a statement piece, you don’t want any part of your overall look to compete. Heels? Too much. Just a reminder – when you go shopping, try things on. Seriously. And don’t bring anyone you don’t trust.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

School Year Dress-Solutions

By Amy Jackson and Jenni Schweitzer

Guess what? It’s time for school. Hopefully you’ve kept up with our blog over the summer and found interesting additions to your wardrobe. The first weeks of class offer a widely varied assortment of style philosophies, ranging from Daytona Beach classics (daisy dukes, bikinis on top) to the pajama section of Kohl’s. It is crucial to have an awareness of the persona you present with these choices, because your professors have you write your recommendations. You’re lucky it’s not us.
-Pajama People: you know that we know who you are, because we’ve called you out before. If you have to run to class straight from bed, try to choose pajama pants that are less flamboyant. We like black wide-leg yoga-esque pants in a knit cotton. They’re super comfy and flattering, and if you have no time, you won’t look as much like a walking comic strip.


Image: Sew Modest Clothing
-Who wears short-shorts? You do. But why? Especially when it’s difficult to decipher if someone is actually wearing any pants, booty shorts make you look shorter and less lean. Also, in our experience, they’re pretty uncomfortable. Wearing shorts is an art, and we are here to help you color in the lines. All of you. Capiche? Okay, so stay away from denim in general. You’ve heard of jorts, right? They are unflattering on almost everyone. You know when you sit down and they give you thigh burn? They’re cutting you down! Jenni has a pair of non-denim shorts that are wide-leg and pinstriped, and they’re much more comfortable than any jorts.


Image: chicagonow.com
-A Balancing Act: you know those birds that tip over because they’re top-heavy? You don’t want your outfit to be like that bird. If you are wearing a tiny tank top and itsy bitsy jorts (groan) chances are you’re falling out in more areas than one. Pick one area of skin to show, like your fabulous legs or your shoulders. But not both. Yes, Vogue magazine states cleavage is on an upswing, but keep it PG13. This is an easy fix – just throw on a cardigan or some dark wash jeans. Pair barely-there tops with well-fitted jeans and maybe a scarf. If you absolutely must wear minis, make sure they aren’t frayed light denim. For functional fashion, Amy wears cargo dark gray skinny jeans and a flowy romantic top. This prevented her from having to roll up her jeans on the bike ride to Sunchase to write this article.


Image: Plueys Manila
-Footwear: these boots are made for walking. To class. Speaking of boots, huge cowboy boots should be reserved for autumn and be paired with pants. The trend we have noticed ‘round these parts of wearing short summery dresses with large boots don’t apply to the Balancing Act. The line of your lovely legs that you create with the dress is being curtailed by heavy leather. Leather itself is a dense, weighty material, so if you pair it with something delicate (like a sundress) it ruins the lightness of the overall look. Opt for gladiator sandals, flats, or booties (ankle high boots).


Image: weardrobe.com
-Things That Help: opaque black tights. If you like the shorts trend, but you feel a little exposed by them, try them with your tights. You’ll feel much better, we promise. If you find that you freeze when you walk into any building on campus, a repertoire of light cardigans can help you cover those barely there camisoles. A light V-neck tee in a few colors is always a great alternative, even if you wear pajamas.
Remember that it is important to keep it cool while you’re in class. It’s not about being conservative – look at your current wardrobe and imagine asking yourself to write a recommendation letter. First impressions really do matter. The goal is to use your clothing as a means to express your personality, not your anatomy. Be quirky, create interest, but maintain a level of professionalism.

Amy Jackson and Jenni Schweitzer are crusading for a fashionable fall here and in The Rotunda.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New

I was in Farmville yesterday and got to hang out with Jenni and spend some time with our newest addition to The Longwood Look family.
Everyone, meet Amy.
Other than being totally adorable and sweet, she's a senior studying art with a concentration in printmaking and bookarts, which is really cool. I asked her to tell me a little bit about herself and she managed to eloquently connect her love for printmaking and design to her love for clothing and fashion: "The wonderful thing about fashion, in my mind, is that it allows you to design a little bit of your daily life in a relatively practical way. In general, as an artist, my philosophy is to attempt to create something thought-provoking, interesting, or beautiful. When this can happen with clothing the otherwise mundane task of dressing becomes artistic." Makes sense to me, and I love her already. I know you will, too.

She and Jenni are going to be writing the Look for the newspaper this semester, and then three of us will continue to update the blog right here. Amy and Jenni have lots of good ideas for everyone with access to The Rotunda this semester, so all of you who are still at Longwood have a lot to look forward to!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Olay Total Effects Cooling Hydration

I have a gig as an Ambassador for Glamour Magazine-- a "Glambassador," if you will. I have cards and everything. Every now and again they send me some free stuff and I get to use it and let them know what I think about it. But, I just realized that I barely even write about any of it here, which is weird, because sometimes I feel like I'm going to run out of things to write about. So let me tell you about Olay Total Effects Cooling Hydration, ya digg?

 It was light enough to wear during Virginia's muggy summers and didn't make my skin feel weighed down or anything. I could tell it wasn't clogging my pores, and that's important to me because I have really temperamental skin that refuses to grow up and sometimes breaks out just for the hell of it. It smelled really good and felt even better. 

My only criticism is that it has no SPF, which is really too bad because slathering sunscreen on over it pretty much takes away from its overall lightness and non-greasy texture. But you guys know how I feel about sunscreen. After about a week I ended up only using it at night so I could switching back to my original moisturizer with sunscreen in the mornings. Overall, though, it was really good.

So if you're in the market for some new moisturizer, you might want to give this a try!

Let me know what you think.
<3 Megan

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Polished

Some of my girlfriends and I obviously have a couple big things in common, but one strange and important one is that we're all really good at doing our own nails. Seriously. It bothers me so much to even think about paying for a manicure (even/especially one that involves French tips) because I've gotten so ridiculously good at doing my own. If I go to a spa to have them done, it's probably my birthday or I've had some sort of bizarre emotional crisis that warrants pampering from some nail tech that I don't know. It's fine.

There's a new-ish spa in downtown Roanoke called polished by claire v. that I can walk to from my apartment and I really wanted to try it out. I went online and looked at their prices and thought they were pretty reasonable. For $20 I got a really good manicure, plus an up-to-my-elbows massage with a raspberry-lemonade scented scrub and lotion that smelled so delicious and juicy, it made me have to consciously think about not licking it off my arms.


Because I hate spending money on something that I can do just as well by myself, I've learned that adding an extra layer of topcoat 24 hours after a manicure usually makes your polish last days later. This cool blue/green hue (from their own collection of polishes that you can buy for just five bucks) stayed with me for more than a week after I left polished without so much as a chip. I ended up having to take it off with remover nine days later simply because I was ready for something new.

If you live in or close to Roanoke I'd really encourage you to give polished a try. It's always nice to support local businesses and they do a really good job. On Thursday and Friday nights ladies get a complimentary beverage and the second Tuesday of every month is Guys' Night--complete with beers and snacks. If you aren't close to Roanoke, then you might just have to plan a visit and we can go together!

I'll make us an appointment.
<3 Megan

Monday, August 16, 2010

Inspiration

Posted by Jenni

So, what you basically know about me is that I really like dresses. I do. I like them so much that it's just easier to tell you that I have thirty dresses than something more meaningful. I really enjoy reading and learning to use the slow-cooker.

One of the most important things to me is music. I'm a voice major, actually, and when I find music that is created rather than recycled, well, it inspires me.



This song in particular is an abstract and literal piece of artwork. The opening whispery tones are muted and intended to create a separate atmosphere - a sphere of sound. Then the driving bass/drum combo comes in, the idea of pursuit. This is the musical representation of the image - the Resistance. It is an entity, and whole.

Like clothes, music is more than an organized collection of sound.

Music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPE9uSFFxrI
Image: Muse, The Resistance

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gimme

I'm loving these big-girl Mary Janes in all the colors, but mostly the ones pictured below.


If you have $228 burning a hole in your pocket, I wear a size seven and my birthday is September 4th.

Thanks a billion!
<3 Megan

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Style Inspiration

She's not a model or a designer or anything. But she writes and she sings and her music changed me and still gives me goosebumps so much that I'm not ashamed to say that if I have daughters, one of them will be named Regina. And yes, that daughter will be named after Regina Spektor.


First of all, the girl's got great hair. She wears the cutest dresses. She's totally sexy but is almost always wearing stockings or boots or hidden behind a piano. And she wears red lipstick like nobody's business. I love her with makeup, I love her without it. And, despite having a career that involves playing the piano all the time, her nails always look great.


I find her to be so unusual but really classic at the same time, and I can't get enough! I think it's a big feat to be able to so effortlessly blur the lines between sexiness and cuteness. I just want to put on my best heels and meet her for tea.

Who's your style inspiration?
<3 Megan

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Officially Chic: Dressing for Impressing

Written by Megan Flynn and Jenni Schweitzer

--
This week, Jenni's friend Ashley asked us to guest-blog for her over at Entry Level Angst, a blog dedicated to the life of the newly employed corporate college graduate. She wanted us to write about workplace fashion, which is kind of perfect, actually, because that was next on our list anyway.

Definitely give her a look! You can read the article below or hop over to her blog to read it and learn a few other things, as well. Enjoy!

<3 M

--

So, you graduated from college and snagged that job in an office. Whether you love it or hate it, what you wear to work is really important. If you were that girl who wore pajamas to class every day, well, whatever. We gave you a hard time and were grateful that we weren’t you, but it didn’t matter in the long run because we weren’t signing your paychecks. It probably shouldn’t, but people judging you suddenly matters when money is involved. No pressure or anything. So what are you going to wear?

Here’s the first problem: you don’t have any money. Okay, you have some money, but please, don’t spend your rent and grocery money on shoes or skirts. Unless you can budget a specific amount of money to invest in your wardrobe and stick with it (not us), don’t worry about spending a fortune all at once to score a closet full of new big girl outfits (us). We’re all about adding to your collection slowly, over a period of time. A new watch now, a new pair of shoes later. Cute necklace, new shirt, you get the idea. Our wardrobes are still growing, one piece at a time.

So, now that we’ve got the first problem figured out, let’s talk about your first course of action: look in your closet. We’ll bet you have plenty of things to wear to work hidden in there somewhere. Let’s talk about our favorite—dresses. Megan has a slew of sundresses that seem frivolous and too girly to be taken seriously in the office, but you can add to it and have a perfect career-girl look in no time. Just remember to do the hemline limbo – not too far above or below your knee. What’s our secret to success? Good accessories. So, say you have a high-waisted flowery skirt, and you have a little black tee both just lying around. You can wear these to work. Tuck your shirt into your skirt, add a necklace and some non-hoochie heels and you’re ready to go. The right jewelry and shoes can pretty much make any outfit work on the job.

Obviously, there are rules that must be applied to the use of heels at work. First of all, can you walk in them without looking like a cavewoman? Great. If you’re about to fall over, stick to flats or some cute metallic or beaded sandals. Jenni prefers pointy-toe flats: the best of both worlds. If you can pull off heels for eight hours, then remember that they don’t need to be crazy high or crazy loud. Colors are oftentimes acceptable, but for the most part you might just want to stick with black, brown, or Megan’s current favorite, nude/tan peep-toes, pumps or t-straps. Make sure you check the dress code policy at your office/retail/Outback Steakhouse.

Now let’s talk about jeans. Obviously, everyone’s job is different, so if you’re working somewhere casual or super-artsy, jeans might be allowed. If they are, stay away from anything with holes in it, and while you’re at it keep away from faded or acid-wash jeans, too. Basically, wear dark jeans to work. Trouser cut jeans are awesome but a nice boot-cut might be just fine.

So, let’s review.

• Don’t spend a ton of money if you don’t have it.
• Add to your wardrobe a few pieces at a time, and while you’re at it always look for sales. New York & Company is your friend.
• Recycle what you already have by adding nice accessories to it—an interesting necklace or a simple black cardigan or fitted jacket can work wonders.
• Your office is not Project Runway — no need for seven inch heels. Especially if you can’t even walk in them. And leave your leopard/tiger/baby seal print at home.
• Be careful with jeans. Make sure you’re allowed to wear them at work. And if you are, stick with dark wash. Dark wash. Dark wash dark wash dark wash.

Mostly, you want to be comfortable and presentable. Let your boss know that you thought about what you put on before you came to work. If you do that, they’ll know that you care about your job and representing them well. That raise will be yours in no time.

You’re welcome.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two of My Favorite Things

I told my friend Emily that I'd write about workplace fashion next, but then I found this.




Food and fashion? Yes please. I love the Parmesan purses, but this raspberry bag is just the cutest. Which is your favorite?

Let me know.
<3 Megan

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On Budget

Since graduating from Longwood, I've moved out of my parents' house and learned the joy of paying for things such as electricity, cable, and groceries. Back in the day, I had hardly anything to pay for, and my minimum wage job making lattes gave me more than enough to spend on new Steve Maddens, Lucky brand jeans and endless sushi dinners out with my friends. Now, with bills and grad school to pay for, I attempt  to make Asian food at home, and yesterday was the first time I've been shopping in months.

Now, I've never been one to pay top dollar for anything if I didn't absolutely have to, but I am sometimes kind of a whore for labels. I will pretty much only buy something if it's on sale, with very few exceptions. For example, I firmly believe that Chanel makes the best makeup in the world and anytime I'm anywhere with a Nordstrom, the Chanel counter is the first place I stop.


But anyway. I'm going on vacation Thursday and wanted some dresses to wear out at night. My best friend is one of the best-dressed people I know, and we wear the same size everything. Instead of spending however many dollars on three new dresses, I just borrowed four of hers. Of course, once I get back from my trip my wardrobe will be exactly the same as it was before I left, so I found myself in Target yesterday, looking at jewlery.

I'm really into these rough-looking, interesting necklaces that sort of remind me of chains that mix pearls and jewels into them and manage to still look elegant like this one from Ann Taylor Loft. Unfortunately, they're usually around $40. I found mine at Target for half that, complete with a couple strings of faux pearls, chains, and a ribbon, and it looks so nice. I know it will transform a number of older, solid color shirts and dresses I have and keep me from spending my Hollins tuition on a new summer wardrobe.

I also got this awesome braided golden chain for like, fourteen bucks, and I found these huge earrings in a clearance bucket for $3. As you can see, I'm pretty happy with my purchases.


You don't have to change your lifestyle if you can find the things you love for good prices. Target is always a good choice, so you can have your cake and wear it, too. Or something.

I'm glad I didn't have to use vacation money that I could be spending on drinks and dinners on unnecessary fashion purchases. See ya in a week--Vegas, here I come!

<3 Megan

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Style Inspiration

Like nearly everyone else on the planet, we're pretty sure you've seen James Cameron's newest film, Avatar. Before you get too worried, we're not going to talk about painting your body. Sorry, Blue Man Group. It's not you, it's us.

What we love about Avatar is Zoe Saldana, who played the role of Neytiri (the princess of Pandora, an alien planet, duh). Even in blue CGI, she's the bomb dot com, but her fashion exploits are what set her apart on and off the red carpet.



You can definitely wear big, funky earrings at night - if you pair them with a simpler top and opt out of a statement necklace. Feel a little bolder? Wear a huge, sparkly cocktail ring. It's fresh! Photo: fashionbombdaily.com



Zoe Saldana mixes architecture with romance in this awesome dress at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards. We love the juxtaposition of hard and soft looks, effortlessly cinched together with a plunging neckline. To achieve something similar, layering is your best friend. Shop around for something lacy, then top it with a cardigan or blazer and belt it around your waist. Tres chic. Photo: zimbio.com/glamour



Never underestimate the power of a red dress. Photo: fashionbombdaily.com

Who is your style inspiration? It can be a celebrity or your four-year-old niece! Let us know at longwoodlook@gmail.com or on our Facebook page.

Monday, June 21, 2010

So, we want these.



Any questions?

Shoes: Unicorn Princess Heels in Black, at ModCloth.com
Image: ModCloth.com

Friday, May 21, 2010

Update

Hey, Longwood Look readers.

So I graduated. Jenni and I are so sad to be seperated but we'll be meeting up at various times throughout the summer to spend our money at outlets.

As far as The Rotunda goes, we're not really sure what's going to happen. Jenni can submit alone or with a new partner, however--I'm not sure if you noticed or not, but sometimes The Rotunda forgets important things like basic editing or the fact that there's a features column called The Longwood Look that is supposed to be run every week. So, as I said--we're not really sure what's going to happen.

Keep looking here because we'll try to be semi-consistant with blog posts. I'm currently sitting in an office located in the Real World, though, and even though I wish I could be paid to blog, I'm not. Yet.

<3 Megan

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Original or Extra Crispy?

Written by Megan Flynn and Jenni Schweitzer

As you might have guessed at some point, sometimes we run out of fashion-y things to write about. We’re good at being creative on the fly, but this week we’re going to talk about something important that has turned from a simple warm-weather pastime to a strange and freakish “look” that so many girls are trying very hard to work.

“What are we going to write about this week?” Megan asked.
“Tanning? We’ll probably break some hearts,” Jenni replied.

Big deal. It’s time for some tough love.

As the temperature wandered up to above 65 degrees a few weeks ago, we started seeing the emergence of a traditionally summertime trend: sunbathing. In class, one person's skin tone suddenly matched her rich brunette hair, whereas another person appeared as though they had just fallen into a vat of Tang.


Welcome to the salon where you can get naked in a strange building, wear goggles Lady Gaga would be proud of, and lay in heat and light so intense that it damages your skin cells in five minutes. If you would like, we can also spray paint your body to resemble a traffic cone. Creepy! Here, read these silly magazines.

Not only is this trend tacky, it's dangerous. There are numerous reports of varying stages of melanoma - a cancerous growth caused by overexposure to UV light from the sun - in women as young as 20. It has become so common that younger people are encouraged to have birthmarks removed because of the potential danger. Palest Person In The World Megan has had a threatening-looking mole removed from her head, and she applies sunscreen to her freckled face every morning. We both love sunscreen. It’s the best! This week, we want to shine some non-UV light on how you can better spend your time and money than in a tanning salon.

What You Also Might Enjoy...

- 1 session. 10 minutes, 5-10 dollars. Rather than wait in line for the Easy-Bake Oven, head to the Bakery on Main Street for a refreshing citrus drink or peruse the latest Glamour at the bookstore.

- 1 month. Anywhere from 20 to 120 dollars. We would much rather head up to Goodwill and pick up a cool vintage lamp or costume jewelry. We might also go pick up some friends for some classy cocktails, take a trip to Richmond, or maybe invest our money for once and NOT buy shoes. As if.

- 1 package deal. Time and money both depend on the salon, but some have monthly payment plans and contracts are enforced. A contract to have someone rob you of your beautiful, youthful skin? No way. We don't think premature aging is ever going to be a trend, and anything risking your health definitely will not.

Our solution: Jergens' Natural Glow body lotions. They keep skin moisturized and toned while adding a gradual, natural-looking tan to all depths of skin tones. They're safe and effective, so just learn to be patient and you can have your tan without worries. Cost: around 8 dollars. And no wrinkles!

Remember to be kind to your body and especially your skin. You can always change your shirt, but the skin on your face is yours forever. If you're naturally dark skinned, more power to you. You can be tan now and not look 60 years old when you're really just 30. The sun is fun, but aging gracefully will always be stylish.

Photo:  Anne Hathaway looking awesome next to the really scary Oompa Loompa sometimes known as Valentino.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Short-Tempered

Written by Megan Flynn and Jenni Schweitzer

It's finally spring, and you know what that means: dresses and puppies for everybody! Unfortunately, we've started noticing the Ides of March, which basically translate to too much skin. Many people are so eager to free their legs after the long confinement of wintry mixes that they're donning anything and everything short. We're attempting to identify and offer solutions to this problem before you make any rash decisions regarding your clothes.

1) Jorts. This ridiculous item of clothing, otherwise known as 'jean shorts,' is pretty unflattering for everybody. Denim is a heavier fabric, which is uncomfortably warm, and it typically lies very close to the body. We love jeans, make no mistake, but we love them because they make our legs into nice long lines. When you deliberately cut or rip your jeans into shorts, well, it's just not nice. Especially when the pockets peek out from the bottom.



- Solution: Look for shorts in different fabrics. We love wide-leg canvas shorts, for example, and they come in lots of fun spring colors. If you choose a bright short, pair it with a neutral top and maybe a fun blazer. You're so cute.



2) Minis. We don't care how awesome your legs look-most items of clothing that are too short are uncomplimentary and add unnecessary and imaginary pounds to your appearance. Mini skirts are supposedly "sexy," but what's sexy about walking around with a silhouette that's not even real and definitely unflattering? How short is too short, you ask. Call us prudes all you want, but we think that if you can't bend over without exposing yourself, you should probably find something that fits you a little better. We love dresses and skirts and yes, even shorts-but we like them better when they look good on you.



- Solution: Stay away from cutoff anything and stick with skirts, shorts and dresses that have lines other than just the one at the bottom. Keep it somewhere between just above your knees and mid-thigh, and you'll be amazed at just how socially acceptable you can really be.



3) Maxis. We're talking about long, summery, sometimes hippie/bohemian looking dresses. As terrible as it may sound, you have to be a certain type of person to pull these off. Okay, maybe you don't have to be a certain kind of person, but you need to look like a certain kind of person. Basically what we're saying is don't put a groovy, printed maxi dress on and head to D-Hall with a backpack and ribbon in your hair.



- Solution: Realize that these dresses, although beautiful, should only be worn in certain situations. We always think of the beach or a nice dinner, and jewelry and even hair style should be chosen carefully. No overworked updos! And stay away from pearls or sparkly jewels. Be easy, man.



4) Beachwear. Obviously, beachwear implies that there is a beach present.
Since that's not the case in Farmville, we don't really need to see you walking around Brock Commons in your bikini, holding a towel. We understand enjoying the nice weather, just make sure you slap on some sunscreen, wear stunna shades, and have some back-up clothes.



- Solution: Beach cover-ups. There are lots of ways to throw on a few articles of clothing and look fresh and ready for summer. Target, for example, currently has a large stock of light dresses in solid colors or fun prints, so just pull one on with a hat and some flip-flops. The most important cover-up, though, is definitely SPF. Make sure you opt for a waterproof formula and at least SPF 30. Tans look nice now, but youthful skin is better.



The Longwood Look is having a contest! Any spring faux-pas that we forgot to mention? Send them to us on Facebook or on our blog, http://longwoodlook.blogspot.com, and the first 15 people to respond will be awarded a booklet of spring deals and coupons, courtesy of Glamour magazine. GO!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Clothes Indeed for Friends in Need

Written by Megan Flynn and Jenni Schweitzer

We think there’s a pretty good chance that anyone who actually reads our columns knows that we love, love, love clothes, and that we think you should love them, too. However, we realize that your resources may be better spent on other things, so why not make them go farther when you decide to use them? Help other people while you shop by doing a bit of research or following our philanthropic guidelines.

If your thing is:

--Two for one: TOMS shoes sends a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that you purchase for yourself. With your purchase of the comfortable and fashionable sneaks, you’ll be making sure that one less child in a developing country has to go barefoot, which prevents them from soil-transmitted diseases, cuts, sores, and sometimes you’ll even allow them to go back to school since shoes are usually required as part of their uniforms. You can finally buy that pair of shoes you don’t really need and give a pair to someone who does. No more frivolous shopping for you! toms.com

--HIV/AIDS Research: There are many ways to show your support, like a simple red ribbon, but perhaps the most popular clothing brand dedicated to raising awareness is The Gap’s Product RED. Product RED is a line of tees printed with empowering statements which end in ‘red’, like “inspired” or “cultured”. These comfy graphic tees are made of African cotton and 50 percent of the profits go to drug research.



--Have too many t-shirts? MAC is running a campaign with two of their new lipsticks, the “Viva Glam Gaga Lipstick” and the “Viva Glam Cyndi Lipstick.” Some of the proceeds from purchases of the pink and red lipstick shades, go to the MAC AIDS Fund to support men, women and children who are affected by AIDS and HIV globally. Check out http://www.macaidsfund.org/ for more information.






--Recycling: You knew this was coming. There are countless recycling projects across the country, and fortunately, you can contribute and benefit with minimal effort and cost. Coca-Cola Drink 2 Wear shirts, made from recycled Coke bottles, are available at Wal-mart. Freecycle.com is a website dedicated to recycling gently used goods by allowing individuals to post them and others to pick them up. Additionally, several outfitters offer handbags made of recyclables. It’s even easier to go local in Farmville. Madeline’s House is a thrift store across from Wilck’s Lake and the proceeds go to a shelter for abused women and children.

December isn’t the only time to think of good will toward men and women. These are easy ways to make it part of your spending sprees.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Style Inspiration

Posted by Jenni

Trust me, if I had 500 days to talk about Zooey Deschanel, I would be just as enamored with her as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character in the indie film 500 Days of Summer. Aside from being the sister of the beautiful Emily Deschanel - star of FOX's Bones, she is a fantastic singer and frequently stirs up the fashion world with her mod hairstyle, vintage clothing, and whimsical silhouettes.







To be your Zooey-est self, either find an amazing vintage bathing suit, or call up Marc Jacobs for your own personal day dress. Or try a fun color combination with a simple tank, skirt, and tights combination. Pair with flats, like Zooey, or try menswear-inspired loafers to test a newer shoe trend.

Send us your style inspirations here, on Facebook, or to longwoodlook@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pants with Perspective

Written by Megan Flynn and Jenni Schweitzer

This week at The Longwood Look we are seeking to help your love life with fashion sense—because there’s nothing worse than going out on a date with a guy that you barely know and halfway through think, “I know you. I’ve dated you before.” We can save you some time and definitely some heartbreak. We’ve been on enough dates, and we are 98% sure that you can know important things about a guy before you ever even speak to him. As strange as it may seem, you need to start looking at pants. And judging the men who wear them.

This isn’t very scientific. But you can’t say we didn’t warn you.

1)Khaki: Men who wear Dockers or J.Crew pants constantly aren’t actually men at all, at least emotionally—they’re either little boys or they’re elderly—and sometimes, they’re both. Don’t get us wrong, khaki is great sometimes, it’s clean and tidy and all those boring things. When your closet is full of it, though, there’s a problem. Grow up or live a little. There are other things out there. Our advice: Keep looking.

2)Skinny Jeans: Like Khaki Men, Girl Pant Boys hang out on two opposite extremes—either very confident and fun or totally insecure and obsessed with being trendy. We mostly hang out with the confident and fun variety, and a lot of our cool guy friends that dress well all rock skinny jeans. (For a funny take on skinny jeans by someone who knows, check out the post below) Our advice: Proceed, with caution.

3)Distressed/Bleached/Deliberately Damaged Denim: Oh boy. Here’s a question—why would you pay money (sometimes extra) for a pair of pants that some poor kid in a third-world country had to spend extra hours ripping up for your aesthetic delight? These men cannot be trusted. We feel, quite strongly, that if someone has a choice between lovely intact jeans and ones with gaping holes and frayed seams and chooses the latter, they’re probably not going to be able to appreciate a good thing when they see it. Our advice: Steer clear.

4)Worn-in Jeans: A silhouette labeled “worn-in” is not only kind-of gross, it’s also questionable. Someone who wants pre-worn pants? Seriously? Well, whatever the reason, we’ve discovered that Worn-in Guys aren’t so bad. Clearly, they may not welcome change or adventure, and they probably enjoy cheeseburgers. They might really love dogs. We’re pretty sure you know Worn-in Guys. The problem with them is that they really tend to be against change. These are men who live by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Make sure you give them plenty of notice if you’re going to leave them. Our advice: Give him a try.

5)Boot-Cut Jeans: Now we’re talking about men who wear normal old jeans. Uncomplicated, drama-free jeans. Just like them. We may write a fashion column, but we know the value of a guy who wakes up in the morning and knows that there are more important things than the pants he’s wearing. We’re not saying these guys don’t care—they just happen to prefer jeans that always look good without being fussy. Medium to dark wash, boot-cut jeans work with all kinds of shirts and make the whole world a little simpler. Our advice: Find one for yourself.


Like jean shopping, dating takes a few tries, and things can always change. But as always, the most important thing is finding something that fits your life and makes you happy enough to forget the rest of them.