The Journey Ends Here, But The Story Continues…..

grumpy cat

As many of you know, I’ve been conducting my blog as a college assignment through my Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media course at Texas State. We’ve now come to the end of the semester and I’d like to walk through some of the pro’s and the not-so-pro’s to the blog assignment itself, the tools we learned, and using social media as a promotion tool.

This class opened my eyes to the potential world of blogging as a career. I had played around with the idea, if only to begin as a passionate hobby in hopes of being one of the few successful bloggers on the web and realized that it’s tremendously more work than I had originally expected. No, this isn’t your average Tumblr account where you can dump all of your fabulous ideas and thoughts.

Having had experience with WordPress in my professional career beforehand, I had a general knowledge of what I was getting myself into. I knew how to upload posts, edit, and create my own “about me” pages.  However, things that I hadn’t taken the time to learn were simple, yet important things like creating slideshows, tagging photos to optimize web search results and changing the post format.

I learned that using tools like promoting my posts on Twitter get my posts looked at – For example, I made sure to tag local blogger ATX Street Style in my tweet story and she re-tweeted and re-posted my article on her Twitter page and Facebook page. I received 240 views in one day compared to the average 25 I had been getting.

What would I want to improve within the blog is obvious to a perfectionistic mind like my own. Having only my mac and iphone as tools for photography, movie and editing, I had posts that to me were less than professional. As much as I like clothing, I am by no means a model and found it extremely difficult posing as such.

Looking back, my blog would’ve been much better with a professional camera, a professional model, or a more creative way of showcasing clothing – perhaps showcasing my clothing ideas in non-traditional sense.

Lastly, the knowledge of blogging and the tools we used are extremely useful in several professional settings, including marketing professional positions, advertising, social media coordinators and the like.

To sum it up: I’d make a hell of a Free People Blogger.

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Keeping The Focus on Austin Artists: An Interview with Kathryn Leffingwell

I had the pleasure of Interviewing Kathryn Leffingwell, Co-founder and COO of Austin RAD magazine. Kathryn gives us the scoop on the Austin Artist scene, how the local fashion scene is changing as well as some of her favorite affordable places to shop.  Enjoy!

Spring Trend 2015: Red Alert

Monochromatic Red

One of the most fascinating times for new trends is during Fashion Week every spring. We see new trends through designer’s collections on the runway and many make predictions as to what will be the next look for the upcoming season.

Some of the best inspiration comes from what fashion bloggers and street style artists are wearing to events that really brings in the chatter.

This year we saw a lot of monochromatic red – a bold move and strong fashion choice, these fashionistas took to the streets clothed head to toe in the timeless and sexy color that calls for attention in a great way.

Check out Harper’s Bazaar Top 8 Street Style Trends: Spring 2015 for a glimpse at these crimson beauties.

If you’re fearless enough to rock the red on red trend, take a look at some of these great fashion finds – all for under $50!

photo credit: DIEGO ZUKO  Red by well-drest 

Zara stripe long dress
$20- zara.com

Zara red tee
$9.90- zara.com

H m jacket
$45 – hm.com

H M beading jewelry
$30 – hm.com

H&M metal frame glasses
$9.00 – hm.com

NYX red velvet lipstick
$6- sleekhair.com

Keep it Weird – Keep it Stylish- Keep it Austin Street Style

I have a new found respect and admiration for creative, successful- and damn good fashion bloggers.

I’ve had a long-time interest in fashion, blogging, photography, shopping and the occasional online blurb about a great outfit. It’s fun having an outlet for your creative energy. Regular fashion blogging, however…. is a JOB. It’s an art form that combines all interests into a discipline that not everyone can conquer.

So today, I give a huge shout out to those bloggers who’ve dedicated their time, talents, efforts and good writing skills to giving us the enjoyable reads we indulge in today. In particular, a shout out to one of my favorite local bloggers:

ATX STREET STYLE

austin, atxstreetstyle, fashion

While Austin is known for “keeping it weird” it’s also buzzing with stylish, trendy and inspiring energy that Shelley Neuman expertly captures.

Shelley started the blog in 2011 as a creative outlet after being inspired by other street style blogs, and after some surprising internet searching, realized our unique city was lacking in it’s own blog praising our rare style.

The great thing about this blog is it’s approachability. Shelley brilliantly interviews each person she captures to discover where they buy their unique looks.

Street style blogs are always inspiring. They showcase real people in their day-to-day clothing that’s celebrated with a creative capture. Cities are swelling with stylish, exciting energy and it’s brought forth by the artistry of these individuals.

As a five-year resident of the great city of Austin, TX I rejoice in our city’s thriving creative community and the energy that swells from the heart of our residents. Looking at Austin Street Style gives me a great sense of pride in our people and our uniqueness.

At an average income per capita of $31,387 the buzzing young adult nightlife and stylish individual accurately portray an affordable, approachable fashion sense.

You’ll see several looks from real people that combine vintage pieces with items from affordable stores like JCrew, H&M, Forever21 and online retailers.

This blog is an ode to personal style, day-to-day fashion, realistic trends and the beautiful “weirdness” that is Austin.

Visit ATXSTREETSTYLE

(photos Shelley Neuman @ atxstreetstyle.com)

Dress For Your Shape – The Perfect Pear

pear body shape, pear, woman body shape
Let’s talk about the pear shaped body. Women with pear shaped bodies – rejoice in your amazing curves! You girls are SEXY. To make the most out of your bodacious body, let’s look at some typical body characteristics:
  • You carry your weight in the lower half of your body.
  • Your bottom half is wider than your shoulders
  • You have a clearly defined waist
  • You have rounded hips
  • Smaller or flat bust

For the Perfect Pear body, you want to downplay your hips by showing off your arms. Be sure to stick to darker wash denim and pants and play up the top half of your body; look for fun prints, cool patterns, and unique details. When you’re looking for dresses and skirts, look for A-line fits and fit and flare dresses. You’ll want to avoid pencil skirts and any straight laying fitted piece that emphasizes your hips. Wear bold accessories like statement necklaces and bright earrings to draw the eye upward.

DO’s:

  • Wear dark denim in straight or bootcut fits
  • Wear bright and bold shirts
  • Look for A-line dresses and skirts
  • Play off your petite shoulders!

Dont:

  • Wear sheath dresses and pencil skirts
  • Pick skinny jeans as your first go-to jean.
  • wear clingy fabrics
  • buy bright printed bottoms or skirts

The look below shows a great dress for a Perfect Pear body shape. The fit and flare silhouette will downplay your hips, the navy color is great for disguising your wider bottom half, and the top of the dress has intricate lace detail that draws the eye upwards. Style it with fun bright accessories like the yellow purse for contrast and an edgy finish.

pear body shape, perfect pear body, women's fashion

Siren high heel shoes
$53 – theiconic.com.au

Evening handbag
$50 – etsy.com

Dress For Your Body shape – The Delicious Apple

apple
 It’s no mystery that we all come in different shapes, sizes, colors and types…. we as people and women are as diverse a species as they come. That’s why it’s so important that you understand what “shape” your body type is, and how to dress to accentuate the parts of your body that flatter your figure.

Today, I’m starting with the Apple body shape.

You know you’re an apple if:

  • You tend to carry your weight in your midsection
  • The bottom parts of your body are smaller in proportion to your top half.
  • You have a larger bust
  • Your waist is not very defined.

Maximize your assets!! 

Your best features are: bust, shoulders arms and legs.

Say yes to empire waists!

Look for tops with v-necks and sweetheart necklines with empire waists.

Tunic dresses that show off your legs.

Look for A-line dresses and skirts.

The Delicious Apple: The Free Spirit

Apple Body Shape - boho style

“Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.”

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I had so much fun finding items that were on-trend and most importantly affordable!! Take a look at some pieces I found at Buffalo Exchange that are perfect for the spring season – everything is under $30!

alexachung, dress, fashion

Alexa Chung Style – For less!

alexa chung style

BDG flare mini dress
urbanoutfitters.com
As most of you all know, I’m a huge fan of Alexa Chung’s style and I’m always inspired by her effortless and timeless look. She’s edgy yet classic and I’m always looking to her for my fashion inspiration.
Today, I focused on an classic look that’s easy to immolate for less.
UO dress
BDG Urban Outfitters denim dress is currently on sale for $49.99. Check it out here.
black bootie
Grab a killer pair of booties from Aldo on sale from $110.00 to $38.49. Check them out here.

The Fashion App That’ll Save the Shopping Universe

For the entire retail world, the hunt of a perfect eggplant colored top or a black leather pencil skirt can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. You know what I mean…. WHERE ARE THE STRIPED FIT AND FLARE DRESSES WHEN YOU NEED ‘EM? Tirelessly, and after hours of scouring through your favorite stores you still haven’t found the striped dress of your dreams. You’re stressed out, discouraged, and not even sure anyone even carries said dress in the entire universe.

So I’ve invented a new idea for a fashion-focused search application for my Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media that runs similarly to Google and Pinterest combined.

fashionappideaScreen Shot 2015-03-10 at 1.22.29 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-10 at 1.22.08 PM

The interface will be clean, easy to use, and focused on a problem-solving and visual user experience.  Like Google and other search engines the application will use a system of sorting through online data to find what you’re looking for by a process of keywords.

The user will first narrow down their item search by clothing item.

Example: “Style Me, I’m looking for a White Button Down Top.”
User hits the “Blouse” button and sorts through an easy-to-use list assortment to find what she’s looking for.

These lists will include relevant information such as Item Type (blouse or T-shirt) Color (white) Price (under $50 please!) Size and Material (cotton).

Our Pinterest inspired catalog will display online photo results only, keeping the user within the app and able to “click” on particular items and “heart” them to her profile for saving for later. Once she’s ready to check out the perfect white cotton top, she’ll push her checkout tab and be guided to that particular website’s checkout page.

I’d hope to have partnerships with online retailers just like Google uses its online ads in that I can have their item come up on the search higher than others by paying a price. I’ll also like to include partnerships at a later date so that users can use their credit cards and purchase within the app without ever having to go to another store’s website.

Now, until I get an app developer and engineer to create this and make me rich, I’ve included some already developed Fashion Apps that’ll hold you over until my App is out for purchase. (wink, wink).

Spring– This App made waves in 2014 and was one of the most hyped fashion apps so far. Raising $7.5 million in capital from backers like Group Arnault, Proenza Schouler CEO Shirley Cook, Google Ventures and Theory’s Andrew Rosen, there was a lot to be expected. This Shopping app has a great user interface and clean design.
Use it to follow favorite brands, find items and buy straight from the App. What the App lacks, however, is world-brand participation and a clear search mode. You’re asked about your interests and then given a list of participating brands and a “scroll” feature much like Pinterest.

Keep– “is revolutionizing the way stylish women discover and shop for trending products across the entire web. Keep’s never-been-done-before web-wide shopping cart opens the floodgates of mobile commerce by making it possible for shoppers to buy any product from any store, anywhere, in one seamless and delightful checkout experience: the Keep One Cart.”
Pros: Everything goes into one cart and you don’t have to pay separate shipping! There’s even an “under $50” category.
Cons: Much like Spring, it’s only based of participating stores and you’re not able to “search” for a particular item.

Any Favorite Fashion apps that are a must for you? Let me know!

(photo credit to ASOS- all tops are currently available for sale if you loved any of the above. btw.)

Thrift Store Shopping: Challenge, Accepted

Walking into a giant warehouse that smells like laundry detergent and what must assuredly be the lost and found of Grandmother’s scarves can seem like a meager place to find great fashion pieces.

However, many great fashion enthusiasts will tell you that one of their most treasured wardrobe pieces was found at a Goodwill or an unassuming second hand store. So what’s the secret in finding great items without spending hours at a time sorting through piles of tacky polyester??

Look for:

1. Clean Lines
2. Quality Fabric
3. Unusual patterns
3. Classic piecesScreen Shot 2015-03-09 at 1.59.05 PM
For my Goodwill shopping trip this past week, I focused on blouses. I went in primarily for new material for this blog post and crossed my fingers I’d find good enough pieces to use as examples.  I loved the red blouse as soon as I noticed it and kept it along for it’s 100% silk material tag. It has great clean lines and is in good condition. Overall, just needs a good steam. The green shirt stuck out to me because its a limited edition shirt from Target. It’s from a designer’s collection, and I loved the bright colors and colorblock scheme to it. The white blouse was simple, clean and made of linen. Great quality item I picked up immediately. Lastly, I picked the apple blouse for it’s fun, unique pattern.

image (4)image (2)
imageimage (6)

In the end, I decided that the red blouse had too much of a “christmas shine” to it. Great for the holiday season, but not currently relevant to me. Once I tried on the green blouse, I noticed it had an elastic hem, contributing to a very “parachute” look. Not good. As cute as the apple print was, the top looked bad in all the wrong places- the polyester material also made it look cheap on. I had to say no. The white linen top was chic, classy, and looked like I had spent $50 on it. At $4.99 it was a done deal.

 For those with shopping anxiety, a love for online shopping, or if you’re just plain passionate about finding great deals on quality name brand items then you’ll be happy to know that Goodwill has an online store.
 goodwill coachdressgoodwill marc j
left to right: Coach brown leather bag $48, MICHAEL Michael Kors dress $6.99, Marc by Marc Jacobs white leather purse $53
(prices current at time of published post)
I don’t think I have to reiterate what a SCORE you’d be getting those items at. Check out the website and see if you can’t find your own awesome treasures!