Living in Little Rock, Arkansas has been quite an adventure. I love the non-existant traffic and the trees, hills, and bodies of water I pass through on my way to work. Dallas isn’t a concrete jungle like NYC but in most areas trees are scarce. My only complaint would be most Arkansans inability to drive at least the speed limit. Growing up accustomed to Dallas traffic has made it hard for me to be mad at a jam that adds less than 30 minutes to my ETA; However, the speed of Dallas as a whole has made it hard for me not to yell “REALLY?!” at Arkansan highway drivers who go less than 70 mph.
More than anything, living in Arkansas has opened my eyes. Sure I’ve traveled everywhere from Asia to Central America, but I’ve never been gone for longer than two weeks. I’ve officially been gone from Texas for over a month and that is the longest I’ve ever been away. Besides the obvious absence of Whataburger (The nearest one is in Russleville) there are some other things I’ve noticed since I’ve been in Little Rock. I’m used to living in a conservative state where we say yes ma’am and no sir and drinking sweet tea by the gallon. While working at JC Penney I was asked by a fellow employee why I said “yessir” and “no sir”…I responded with “because that’s how I was raised.” Occassionally people will bring drinks for employees in the break room. One day I walked in and smiled to myself as I reached for what I thought was a gallon of sweet tea. I was wrong. It was unsweet. Who even allows that stuff to be made let alone purchased? Lifestyles are more open here than in Texas, especially at JC Penney.
Having not been in Dallas I can only read about trends there. I have been doing some cool hunting though, so here’s some of the trends I’ve noticed there, here in Arkansas, and the world in general.
Stiletto Nails: These acrylics are long, pointy, and cat-like. I had never seen anyone wearing them until I came to Arkansas. But then again, I’ve been out of Texas for a while so they could be trending there too. Most will say that Beyonce, Gaga, and Rihanna started this trend, but I think it is rooted elsewhere… Remember my post on the trendiness of cats? Well MEOW. This is just another reason to believe that cats are no longer just a symbol of a spinster. Another contributer to these nails is the vampire trend…Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diares. See this picture of Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows? Those sure look like Stiletto nails to me!
Fashion: I know, I know. You’re thinking “what an ambigious thing to say.” Actually, it’s not. This year Arkansas hosted its first ever Fashion Week. Modeled after NY’s fashion week, they had shows, vendors, and parties. Since I have been in Arkansas I have realized that I took living in Dallas for granted. At home I live 20 minutes from North Park Mall and really any shopping center for that matter. Even when I’m in Waco I’m two hours from shopping in Dallas and an hourish away from Austin. In Arkansas it’s a different world. (Luckily I live 10 minutes from the nearest Anthropologie and J. Crew). The fashion field in America has been shrinking ever since we decided to go overseas. I would love to see it grow. One of the ways we could possible do so is by increasing the hype of fashion which is exactly what Fayettville did when they hosted their first ever fashion week. The two ladies above are the co-founders of NWA’s Fashion Week.
Chacos, Toms, Nepal roll-on bracelets, EmiJay hair bands : Living in my Baylor Bubble I’m sure of what is on trend there but never quite sure if it translates to the outside world. Coming to Arkansas has proved some of the predictions I stated in previous posts correct. Chacos and Toms have definitley moved past the “trend” category and onto more of a lifestyle grouping. Lilly and Laura bracelets or Nepal roll-on bracelets are just as popular in Arkansas as they are in Texas. As far as the EmiJay hair bands, they are now mainstream. It took about a whole year for them to really catch on, but now you can buy them at Walmart for about $5 a pack or higher end ones from Anthropologie for $15.
Denim: While jeans seem to always be in style, they are constantly changing. Stone wash, acid rinse, faded- there’s a lot of ways to wear it. Right now denim apparel is popular, not just jeans. I myself have three button down denim shirts, a denim romper and a denim strapless dress; they are just great and can be worn many ways. My most recent denim purchase is actually a mens shirt from JC Penney’s American Living brand. The associates thought I was crazy for buying it since it was a mens item, but when I wore it to work they loved it.
Peplums: I look around at stores and I feel like I’m in the past and viewing “Dior’s New Look.” Peplums have made a triumphant comeback this season- both exagerated and slightly deflated. They look good on a lot of people because they accent the waist and hide what is underneath it. Recently I bought a top with a deflated peplum from Anthropolgie. It got quite a few compliments on it at work. Another plus of the peplum top is that you don’t have to worry about them coming untucked because you wear them on the outside of a skirt or pant. This trend hasn’t made it down to mainstream level yet and I’m not sure that it will.
Color: bright pants, pastel pants, neon blazers…I could go on and on. Pops of color has been trending all Spring and has carried over into Summer. About a year a go I forced myself to stop wearing so much black and brown and I’m so glad I did. Splashes of color are so much fun to style and perfectly sass up an outfit.
One last thing… I finally created a website for all of the things I make and sew. Here it is!
There’s your trend and style update! Sorry for the sporadic posting – the life of an intern is not always an easy one…but that’s another story for another post 🙂