The Politics of Fashion.

If you hadn’t noticed, the presidential election is going on.

Silly me, how could you not notice?

The RNC and the DNC are the only things TV channels can talk about and I bet your facebook friends are posting like crazy people  about their opinions and how you should feel the same exact way.

I have my beliefs, but I don’t go posting a bunch of single minded rudeness. Even when there was the Chickfila fiasco, I didn’t post a hate statuses to stir up feisty comments. (Though yes,I support Chickfila in every way. Our country is founded on principles that were made because of persecution. Stating that a man and a woman is the true definition of marriage isn’t hating on GLBT. Chickfila is a Christian based company that is even closed on Sundays. Did you think they were going to contradict the Bible in order to please everyone? I digress…) Why can’t we all just love each other?

I’m a member of Baylor College Republicans and don’t really agree with everything Obama has done; however, I do respect the man. But, that’s a Biblical command.

1 Peter 2:13-14, 17 says  “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good…Honor everyone. Love the Brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor.”

Peter is saying that by honoring the government officials, we honor God. Here’s a really good article I stumbled upon that shows you the importance of honoring Obama even if you disagree completely.  All I can say is that he is a dynamite speaker and his wife has a wonderful wardrobe…which leads me to my next point.

FASHION IN POLITICS

If you have tuned into the RNC and DNC, then you know what the FLOTUS and Ann wore to their respective conventions.

Last week in Florida, Ann Romney sported a traditional and classy Oscar de le Renta red dress from his pre-fall 2012 collection.

This ensemble was safe and sophisticated…definitely FLOTUS material.

This week,  Michelle Obama showed up in North Carolina sporting a dress made by Tracy Reese coupled with J. Crew heels.

No matter if you’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Anarchist, you have to agree that she looked stunning. This custom made dress was chosen because she hoped to relate more to the American women, as Reese’s garments retail around $350. She is known for her love of J. Crew, so it came as no surprise that she donned their suede heels. The thing that most people were gushing over most was not either of the above statement pieces. People have been ravishing over her fingernail polish. Yes, you read that correctly: fingernail polish!! It was a blue-greige tint applied through the ever popular gel manicure. The brand is Artistic Colour Gloss Soak Off Color Gel in “Vogue”  If you can’t afford that type of manicure, then give these a try OPI I Don’t Give A Rotterdam or Essie Boxer Shorts for a cheaper yet chic look. Don’t like these colors, but still love Obama? His campaign is selling nail polish… think I’m kidding?  Think again.

essie Nail Color Yogaga Collection.Opens in a new windowThough Michelle’s outfit is getting a lot of buzz, I’m not sure if it was DNC worthy. I’m a bit of a traditionalist, so though I like it, I wouldn’t have worn it on the night she did. For a First Lady who gets criticized for her casualness, I’m not sure I would have pushed the envelope on this special week. I mean, who wears a sweater to meet QE2? I wouldn’t… Not to mention, Oscar de la Renta has expressed hurt feelings that he doesn’t get to design for her. That’s great and all that Michelle chose to support a U.S. African American designer who is somewhat affordable; I’m all for supporting designers on the brink of stardom. If Tracy Reese wasn’t already well off by selling to stores like Anthropologie, she certainly is now! I didn’t hate the outfit, just hated that it wasn’t more first lady like.

No, I’m not against trendiness for First Ladies. I’m actually jealous of Mrs. O’s J. Crew collection, though my jealousy for her does not surpass my longing for Jackie O’s closet.  I’m all for modernizing, but I don’t think this should transfer over to fashion within politics. Let’s face it. Our leaders set the tone and trends for American fashion. We have already lost a sense of pride in what we wear, and at the rate we’re going, it’s only going to get worse. As the daughter of a Baptist deacon who still wears a suit and tie every Sunday, I have high standards. In a world where popular TV shows consist of Jersey Shore and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,  America doesn’t need any more help on the casual scene.

p.s. Oscar de la Renta, you can make me a dress ANYDAY.

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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.

The White Picket Fence in Which I Live: a glimpse at my junior year of college.

Another school year is through and my GPA has survived another semester.

Though this was my toughest year of college thus far, it was also my happiest.

Since I first came to Baylor my life has done many 180s; each year brings new struggles, but also newfangled joy.

About a year ago I implemented a new way of living…living life with open hands.

Human nature leads us to take control of our lives and hold tight to our mortal desires. Proverbs 16:9 states that “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” God has an inherently better plan than I ever could imagine, so better to start out with the notion that life is fleeting than to stay hung up on things that are not part of that grand plan. In short, don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things. As long as you are doing what you’re supposed to, then God’s plan will unveil itself as planned.

One of the troubles I experienced this semester was my Finance class. I constantly struggled with it no matter how much I studied. By the end of it, I barely passed the class, but at that point I was praying for a C! So though I made my first C this semester, what I learned was that in the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter. I did my best and by golly I can calculate the Present Value  and Future Value of money! In my parents’ words I took that grade and ran…no looking back!

In addition to the business Finance class I took, I also was enrolled in Individual and Family Financial Management which happened to use the same book. It was challenging, but not in the same aspect as the previous course. This class showed me how truly blessed I am. Until this course, I was ignorant to many financial items of the regular world. I’ve never had to worry about bills, paying a mortgage, or wondering if I had enough money for food. Heck, I don’t even know how to log onto my debit card account to see how much money is left. One assignment I had was to document my spendings for 6 weeks. I then had to write a paper on what I spent my money on. It was really eye opening to see what I spent on average per week. It also caused me to do things like buy gas from the cheaper station or look for the less expensive food item. Even more eye opening was a family project I had to do. Along with other students in my group, I had to use a family simulator and buy things for it like insurance, as well as make major financial decisions. I never realized how many calculations and thoughts had to go into living. One could say that I’ve lived in a white picket fence and haven’t had to worry about such things…

One thing that brought joy to my life was where I lived and who I lived with. The people you surround yourself with affect how your life is and I’m happy to say that they brought joy to my life. My friends in general have blessed me immensely. Due to early graduations and studying abroad, there will never be another time where we’ll be together at Baylor again.

Another melancholy subject is the loss of the house I lived in this year. Though the thoughts of these things cause sadness, I know that it will all be okay. It always is.

This semester I was able to do my dream job and design shirts for my chapter of Tri Delta. One of my best friends got engaged. I’m one semester away from getting my diploma. I live with the sweetest dog in the world. I have a huge support group within my friends. My sister is graduating from high school. I scored an amazing internship for the summer. I swam with dolphins. The list could go on and on.

Overall this year at Baylor was a good fantastic one. Sure, there were road bumps here and there, but what’s life without those? There are way too many things to be happy about than to let bad things keep you from living the life you were meant to.

Illegitimi non carborundum