I’m a bow tie kind of girl.

We all know that bow ties are in right now- whether you’re a fratstar or a hipster, they look good. But what about for girls?

If you have read my previous posts, you know how I feel about menswear. For those who are new, I LOVE menswear. I seriously could dress guys all day long and be content… J. Crew, will you take me?

It's a Tux-y Subject :  wedding brooklyn menswear Untitled 1 Untitled-1

Anyway, another point I’ve made is how I like to wear mens clothing such as shirts or cardigans. An androgynous look with a feminine twist is very in right now. One accessory that is gaining wide spread popularity for women to wear is the bow tie. This summer when I was working for JC Penney, there were a couple of girls who came in and they were shopping for bow ties for themselves! At that point, I knew I was not alone in my love for the accessory!

One of my favorite things to sew for Southern Elle are bow ties. I got so jealous that I started making them and wearing them as headbands. My sister looks adorable rocking this maroon star bow tie headband. I have a tendency to buy fabrics that are pretty and then figure out what I’d like to do with them. I fell in love with a brown cotton blend with white polka dots and decided to make a bow tie out of it…for myself.  I love the way it looks with the chambray shirt. I’ll definitely be wearing it again. But don’t my word for the trend…Check out the Ralph Lauren ad below. She makes bow ties look phenomenal. Also, one of my favorite American made brand is Kiel James Patrick. He is coming out with a new collection of bow tie bracelets. I’m in heaven.

If the bow tie is a little too boyish for you, then try a similar idea with a scarf!

If scarves are still to big for you, then rock a lady tie! They are basically necklaces for your shirt.

Womens Neck Tie - White & Black Zig Zag - Art Deco

This trend may be new for some, but in reality, it’s only resurfacing. We saw this hit in 2009, but the masses are just now picking it up. That shouldn’t surprise you though, because when a new idea occurs we are usually slow to adapt.


Whether it’s for a costume or to show your trendy side,  rock a bow tie and you can’t go wrong.

p.s. Check out my latest Style post for Fleur Ibis!

p.p.s. I graduate in 40 days. Thank you Shutterfly.



So far in my college career there have been only two classes I have loathed: economics and finance. Why? Because those are the only  Cs I’ve received and I got them in the same semester. Talk about a double whammy… Granted, I was taking 18 hours, all the while balancing academic meetings, sorority events, and a social life, but still, it makes me mad.

Economics is not really my cup of tea [and apparently, it isn’t America’s government leaders’ either].

Quite frequently people ask me where I get my clothing and how I could spend that much money on something that “isn’t important.” Well, first of all, it’s important to me. No, not to impress others; I just like it. I am an Apparel Major after all… Second of all, I budget money for it. Others people my age spend a similar amount, they just put it toward things like video games, alcohol, or eating out all of the time. That’s fine and dandy, but there’s a market supply of fashion, and I am here to demand it.

I find that a lot of people don’t know how to shop. Shopping smart is the key to a good closet and a happy wallet. I call this concept Stylenomics.

Here’s a few outfits from my personal closet that won’t hurt your bank account. (well, for the most part…investment pieces are important for your wardrobe!)

Dress: JC Penney, Blazer: Urban Outfitters Belt: Kohls

Pants: JC Penney Lace Top: JC Penney  Scarf: Tolani Sweater: JC Penney

Shirt: Ralph Lauren Cardigan: JC Penney Skirt: Elle’s Originals Jeans: J Crew  Belt: J Crew

Dress: Target Scarf: Target Shirt: JC Penney

When I purchase things, I often try to see if I can wear it more than one way. When you shop with this thought in mind, you realize just how far one “staple” dress can go. Don’t be afraid to spend a lot * on an item that you will get a lot of use from and can style it multiple ways. Heck, I still wear khaki capris that I bought in the 7th grade. If it still looks good and is wearable, why throw it out? For investment pieces that you don’t really want to pay a lot for, try shopping them in their off season. Ex: Shop for espadrilles at the start of winter or coats in springtime.

*a relative term. Something like a $25 blazer from Forever 21 does not count.

Looking at these pictures, it seems that I do a lot of shopping at JC Penney. I interned for them this summer, so I was around their  clothing all of the time. They have great prices for quality products. In reality, most of my wardrobe consists of items from J Crew, Ralph Lauren, and Anthropologie, but unless you find them on sale, they’re not really budget friendly. The point of this post is to show you that you can in deed find stylish, good quality items that won’t break the bank.

Be like Isla Fisher in Confessions of a Shopaholic after she got out of debt…

I can do affordable fashion. I mean, I know where all the sales are. 

-Rebecca Bloomwood, Confessions of a Shopaholic

There’s something trickling down…


There are certain things that just make me smile- some call these God-Winks. I love when I see trends hit mainstream that I have seen grow from the beginning. It makes me feel like I’m in the exact field I’m supposed to be in.

So, what exactly does it mean to “trickle down” ? Basically, these trends have made their way from couture to the masses.
For example...
-neon pants: I first saw these at J. Crew last November and loved them from the get-go. I have seen them reach the mass market- they now sell them in places like American Eagle and JC Penney for 1/3 of the price they cost at J. Crew last year.
-mens statement socks: I caught on these from David Wolfe this spring and fell for the fun nature. I searched long and hard to find my dad some (and eventually did from ASOS) but now they are more available and in a wider range of colors and patterns. I just love the way a fun pair of socks peeks out from under mens trousers.
-Peplums: This blast from the past of Christian Dior’s New Look has successfully made it from couture to college kids (and others for that matter). It has been popular on dresses, skirts, and tops, but will probably start to fade out soon.
-hi-low/mullet skirts:  Jason Wu wowed the crowd with this form of skirt for Spring 2012. I made one of these for myself early spring because I couldn’t find one that I liked. Now, however they are available in all different fabrics and colors.
Fall is basically a month away (September 22)… Can you feel it in the air? Fat chance if you’re in Texas; the heat is still upon us.  Though we may not be able to feel the cool air yet, let’s look at some of the hottest trends this fall.
DENIM: If you’ve been reading my previous blog posts, you know that I’m a huge fan of denim. It goes with anything and is so classic. It’s originally a trickle up trend…Coal miners wore jeans and then the upper class wanted them too! I’m very happy this trend is being carried into the fall. (Not that I’d stop sporting it if it “went out of style”…I really just do what I want.)  The up and coming trend for denim is to be faded and ripped. I personally don’t know if I will participate, mainly because I love my dark jeans so much and I already went through my distressed denim phase. Does that make me old? Oh well, here are some looks off the runway.
          –ANIMAL SKINS: This spring at FGI career day, David Wolfe said that cheetah was out- if you wore it you were either a superstar or a slut. I refuse to believe that, as I love it, even enough to have J. Crew cheetah Cafe Capris.  He said that zebra would be in, but that’s not what I think… There’s an influx of reptile print, snake more specifically. Michael Kors was one of many who participated in this trend for 2012.
      -AZTEC/NAVAJO: This print started popping up in stores as early as last winter and was all over the Dallas Market last week. From sweaters, to mini-skirts, this print is easy to wear. I purchased this Buffalo sweater and can’t wait to sport it this fall.
      –CHEVRONS: This isn’t as big as the previous two prints, but I think it will be around long enough to be considered a fad. Rachel Bilson is one of many celebs who have been seen wearing them.
DECORATIVE COLLARS: Louis Vuitton put a beautiful Peter Pan Collar necklace on the runway earlier this year and everyone else seemed to love it.  The craze is beginning to become more mainstream and will probably hit its peak this winter. Kate Spade just came out with bedazzled PPC  on blouses and they’re sure to be a hit. I worked at the Dallas Market last week and one of the most popular blouses had a lace collar! For those who can’t purchase the higher end garments, there are collar necklaces available at every price point. My friend Rachel bought her collar necklace last spring…it’s no wonder she’s a fashion major.
Coming soon:
MENSWEAR: This makes me oh so happy. There were some girls who came into JCP this summer for bowties…for themselves. I wanted to reach across the cash wrap and hug them. You’d know this if you read this post. I love when women done menswear in a chic manor. Urban Outfitters has some manikins with bowties for girls. I’m not really sure if this will hit the masses, but the menswear influence is definitely coming.
WIDE LEGGED PANTS: no, not bell bottoms- big pants all around…kind of like long gaucho pants. These are great if you can pull them off. I’m looking for a good pair, but have yet to find some. There were quite a few pairs of these at market, which inspired me to look harder to find some! I can’t wait until these Mink Pink ones are available.
New IT color: Mint has been one of my favorite colors this season and I will definitely continue wearing it, but it’s fixing to get kicked to the curb. This fall, Oxblood- a rich, deep redish hue, is going to make a scene. Basically, Oxblood is the new mint.
GATSBY: Like it or not, movies greatly influence trends. Remember when Kate Hudson wore Uggs with mini skirts in Raising Helen? That was the beginning of the snow boot being widely popular. Sadly, The Great Gatsby release has been pushed back to the Spring, but it will definitely still influence fashion; it’s trends are probably better suited for spring anyway. (pun intended) The Dallas Market theme this August was “Gatsby Goes Modern.”  It was amazing!
On that note, I’ll end with a quote from the The Great Gatsby:
“Can’t repeat the past?… Why of course you can!”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
After all, fashion is really just a repetition of what has already been done…

66 Days of Summer: My Life as a JC Penney Intern.

No, it wasn’t like The Devil Wears Prada, and it certainly wasn’t like that horribly unrealistic ABC Family show “Jane by Design.”

I spent my summer working at a JC Penney store as a leadership intern, but that’s just a fancy name for “management intern.” Though (as of now) I don’t think I want to pursue a lifelong career in retail, I did learn a lot this summer and will be able to  apply that knowledge to my future jobs.  I dabbled in visual merchandising, doing sets, interviewing, management, and much more.

The thing about retail that makes it so interesting to me, is that anything can happen- customers, as well as some employees are crazy. There’s never a dull moment.

Here’s a list of events and quotes (good and bad) that happened while I was working this summer:

-I was a Baylor bear in Razorback Country…that certainly wasn’t good timing for me. I had just arrived when Baylor was playing Arkansas for the college world series spot. There was quite a bit of harrassment and my face turned as red as Razorback stadium on gamedays.

-One of the most memorable times was when I was closing the store and was told by an associate to come quickly to the womens fitting room. To my dismay, a customer had peed all in the fitting room and the clothes were sopping wet. Our maintenance team had already gone home for the night, so I had to clean it up- all three large bags full of urinated clothing. There’s no picture of this for obvious reasons…

-I never thought of JCP as a crazy place, but you’d be surprised by the number of kids on leashes that I saw this summer.

-It was only the beginning of my second week, and I already had received nicknames…some of them included: Barbie, Baylor, Miss baylor, Miss thang, Diva, Texas, Miss Texas

-JCP is undergoing construction for their new look. It’s really great, but one night a construction worker pulled an associate into the construction room alone…let’s just say my supervisor was not very happy.

-The meanest customer I ever had was a  lady I wasn’t even being rude to. She was very illogical about the way she wanted things rung  up, so it took more time than usual. Long story short, she told me that “she knew people who were sick, and I needed medicine and could borrow some of her Prozac.”

-I had a Russian family come in and try to barter with me and finagle prices…I had to kindly explain that  prices were fixed and giving me a piece of chocolate wouldn’t change my mind. Or would it?;)
-Before working here, I never realized how many people actually steal. Just in these two short months, I’ve witnessed people running about and even getting taken out of the store in handcuffs. Besides the fact that it’s wrong, it just isn’t worth it to me to steal a $25 sweater…
-When ringing up a lady  because she wanted to pay her credit card bill, her card she was going to pay it with wasn’t working. I told her she should try a different card or a different register and moved onto the next customer. She then proceeded to yell at me as she rode up the escalator in front of the long line waiting at the register. Awkward much?
-JCP has a cockroach problem; I’m not even going to lie. There’s not a lot, but enough to make me grossed out. One day there was one on the sales floor, so I decided to kill it. As I bent over,  I succeeded in killing the cockroach, but I also managed to rip the kick pleat out of my skirt and had to do a shoddy mend job to make sure I wasn’t bearing any extra skin.
-There’s a customer who comes in and always causes a scene- one time she even had to be escorted out by mall security. I didn’t know this at the time, so I offered to help her. Let’s just say the conversation ended with tears in my office; I avoid her if all possible when she comes in.
-The associates know I’m from Texas, so they like to ask me questions about it. One guy asked me if I listend to UGK. When I replied “what??” he got his answer. When he was taken aback because I didn’t, I said “Do I look like I listen to hardcore rap?” You can never get better than Get Low, Yeah, Ignition, and This is how we do it. They will forever be my favorites.
-A group of teenage boys came into our store and immediantly started playing with the escalators and making the buzzer go off. I could never say anything to them because I never caught them in the act. I finally did catch them, and that was that!  I chased them down the escalator and they immediantly began to run. Without thinking, I yelled “you BETTER run!” Oops. I forgot my manners.
-The most memorable thing a co-worker said to me was right after I had just shared baked goods with him. He asked me if I was bloated because I looked bloated. I said “excuse me?” trying to give him another chance and HE ASKED ME IF I WAS BLOATED AGAIN. Who says that? Needless to say, he didn’t  receive any  baked goods from me ever again.
-I wear headbands like a hippy around my head and one customer (who clearly had no fashion sense told me) I was dating myself. I just smiled. In my head, I thought (actually you’re dating yourself because you just said you wore them when you were young.
-upon finding out I was leaving soon, one co-worker said “Oh, I’m going to miss seeing your beautiful har everyday…” What? Won’t I be missed as a person? haha.
-One of my favorite customer memories was with an older gentlemen who I helped. When he left, he said “That’s a cute get-up you have one; you’re a nice looking lady” Of course, that morning, one of my managers told me I “looked damn cute.” It was a good day to say the least.
Sure, more things  happened this summer, but there’s some of the best and worst moments. I had a blast and pocketed lots of experiences that I’ll take with me. I may not have gotten a tan this summer, but it was an awesome internship. I know, I know. You’re thinking “Lauren…you’re a ginger. You wouldn’t have gotten a tan even if you weren’t in an office all the time!” Anyway, who know’s where I’ll be working after I graduate in December?
The opportunities are endless.
I am blessed.

It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a boyfriend because…

…he would probably break up with me for stealing his clothes.

HAH. I couldn’t help but title this post  like that. It’s actually not about relationships at all.

But really.

Now I’m not referring to the “ohhh I’m your girlfriend now; let me wear you shirt to bed” type thing. I’m talking about actual garments. I have a current obsession with menswear. You can find me shopping the mens department or altering items from their section to fit my body better.

Exhibit A: I bought this American Living Chambray shirt at JC Penney’s. When I purchased it my co-workers asked who it was for. When I told them it was for me they gave me quite  funny looks.

But when I wore this outfit to work they changed their minds completely.

Exhibit B: I stumbled upon this Stafford oxford shirt at JC Penney and fell in love with the green and white striped pattern, so I had to get it. Naturally.

Again, my co-workers thought I was crazy when I got it, but when I wore it to work, they all wanted one!

Exhibit C: Last fall I purchased these Oxford Shoes and my roommates told me they looked like a grandma shoe. I told them just to wait it out because soon they’d be popular.  Of course when they popped up in J. Crew’s magazine, I happily rubbed it in their faces. These shoes are based off mens oxfords but are made for women. I love sporting them.

Exhibit D: It’s no secret: I love Mary-Kate and Ashley.   They have a line called Olsenboye at JC Penney and I always try to shop that section. I found these combat boots and thought they’d be the perfect fit for my fall wardrobe. Of course, they’re based off combat boots worn in war, typically by men.

Those are just a few examples. I would love to find a way to wear skinny ties in a girlier way, because I would make so many to wear. I’m already experimenting with making “hair ties.” Literally.

I’m not quite sure where this obsession stemmed from. I’d like to say Coco Chanel, but who knows?  One of her biggest complaints with other designers of her time was that they constricted women. She described her style very differently and it’s the way I usually feel when I sew apparel. In her own words she said:

“I make fashions women can live in, breathe in, feel comfortable in, and look young in.”

Smorgasbord of Style.

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!
 Dark Shadows Star Johnny Depp
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.
Mullet skirts: I blogged about these on tumblr for Shoe Revolt but never really talked about them on my blog. I think they’re so fun whether in skirt or dress form. I actually made a cheetah print one and am so happy with the way it turned out.
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 🙂


My life has been overtaken with Baylor University’s All University Sing, but now that it is over, I can finally share this post!

My time away was well worth it, because my act with Delta Delta Delta and Alpha Tau Omega got an invitation to Pigskin Review next fall and won third place.

We were Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in an act called Adventure is Out There.

I decided to write this post a while ago, before the State of the Union Address, but since it correlates with it, I thought I’d tie it in. One of the things Obama said he’d like to do is bring manufacturing back to the U.S. While this is a wonderful idea, I don’t think the American people are ready for that. We live in a world where girls have been trained to pay $5 for a “cute top” at Forever 21…They don’t want to pay more.

I have Tri Delta New Member Dance this weekend, and our theme is famous couples. Since I’m a ginger, I just had to be Ariel- my date is going to be Poseidon.  Now, I’m not going to wear an actual mermaidesque outfit, so I did what I hate and ventured to the dreaded Forever 21 to purchase something cheap and make it into something Little Mermaidish. This is what I came up with.

I bought two dresses and combined them for less than $20 thanks to clothing manufacturers overseas.

Let’s face the reality…less than 5% of the clothing we sell is made in America, and what is made in the USA is deemed more expensive and not worth the price tag.

I had a recent conversation with my friend Warren about an expensive belt. I tried to make an excuse for the $200 price tag, but the fact that it was USA born and raised didn’t really matter. While people say they have pride in what the USA does, I don’t think they realize how much it would actually change their spending habits if we had more manufacturers on our ground.

Now, don’t think that I’m negating what Obama said- I’m totally for it. After seeing first hand the dilapidation of the garment district in NY this past summer- an area which used to house a number of jobs and factories- almost empty, it would give me great joy to see it up and running again.

Here are some of my favorite brands that are known for being 100% USA produced.

Kiel James Patrick

“To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.”

I could sit for hours and just flip through the pages of his website. He started out making bracelets, and now has a collection of anything from headbands to bow ties. I recently bought this bracelet and lovelovelove it. KJP is the perfect combination of seaside merriment and prepster chic.

Tru Colors

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Amy Chenevert, the creator and owner of Tru Colors. She spoke to a group of Baylor students in Austin, Texas, at a local Saks Fifth Avenue- one of the places that carries her line. She has a unique concept of focusing on colors of Colleges and Universities, rather than the actual artwork. A fashion merchandising major from LSU, she has done extremely well for herself and has an amazing line that would look great on almost any age- current collegiate or alum.

Tipsy Skipper

I’m a sucker for a good pair of flats, and this is definitely one of the places to find such an item. Kearsley Lloyd, the owner, is a descendant of Captain Morgan. She uses lots of fun prints and vibrant colors. Having graduated from RISD and completed internships with Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer, it is no wonder she is so talented.

I believe there’s a song for everything…This post’s song is Made in America, by Toby Kieth.

Besides the fact that the song’s main character isn’t happy because we’re wearing cotton we didn’t grow, my favorite part is the following line

“Spend a little more in the store for a tag in the back that says ‘USA'”

So do just that…take pride in your country and its resources.

p.s. if you haven’t been keeping up with the latest fashion, here’s some little tidbits.

Pointy toe shoes are coming back in.

Here’s the best looks at the Oscars.

Will Kate Middleton choose your shoe?

JC Penney’s has wonderful, new ideas and commercials.

I can’t wait to intern for JCP this summer in Little Rock, Arkansas.

On that note…

Only SEVENTY days until my last real summer ever!