Singers’ style evolves with age, success

Flashback to 2006. “Hannah Montana” debuted on Disney Channel, Britney Spears divorced Kevin Federline and a little known 16-year-old with one hell of a curly hairdo released her first, self-titled album, “Taylor Swift.”

photo: Amazon

photo: Amazon

The young country singer was featured on the album cover in a white dress with her face extremely photoshopped and butterflies edited around her curly mane.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago, and T. Swizzle has risen up the charts again, this time with a shorter, wavy hair style and her new signature shade of red lipstick. Her clothes are all high-waisted, all designer and she’s cementing as a modern style star.

photo: Harper's Bazaar

photo: Harper's Bazaar

Swift is a prime example of how, with age, success and independence, a pop star’s style can evolve past the bubblegum beginnings into true, enviable fashion sense. 

Pop star’s beginnings tend to share a common thread. They all write or sing a catchy, repetitive song that gains them excessive radio play and a devoted, curious fan base. Along with this fame usually comes a perfected, sculpted image by their PR teams that tries to depict them as innocent, bubblegum celebrities, with cookie cutter costuming and bright smiles on their faces.

But, as their albums’ sounds evolve and they start to take control of their decision-making, fans can see their clothes slowly start to reflect the change.

Take One Direction as another example. Their new album, “Four” will be released on Nov. 17. The boys have been through a slew of press functions to promote their fourth album. In each interview and in each promotional photo for the album, the boys are respectively rocking a distinct, hip style. Whether it’s Harry Styles in denim shirts and black pants with Chelsea boots, Zayn Malik brooding in black pants and a gray sweater or Liam Payne in an athletic jersey-style jumper and Timberlands, they have all struck out on their own to wear a style of clothing that defines them as individuals.

This is a huge leap from their first album after winning “The X-Factor,” when they could be seen rocking matching suits in every shade of the rainbow and with perfectly coiffed hair. It’s meant to show more unison and uniformity in the emerging group, but it’s hard to believe any of the guys would wear this if the choice was theirs.

As with Swift, their increased success and age makes it harder for their management to dictate as many of their decisions, including ones surrounding their clothes. They now have the credibility to be more free with their music and their style.  

It’s an evolutionary process that has changed drastically from the great boy bands and pop stars of the ’90s. Looking back at albums from the Backstreet Boys, even ones released in their later years, the group can be seen matching almost entirely. Their musical image was crafted around uniform looks. If one Backstreet Boy was wearing leather, then they all had to.   

Pop stars define style in ground breaking ways. Whether it was Madonna and her cone bra or the Spice Girls and their crop tops, fans flock to dress like their favorite stars and emulate them in every way possible. A star’s style can determine whether a whole generation of fans dress well. At least until the star in question grows up and starts dressing for themselves and not their manager.

It’s almost a commentary as to how much the music industry has changed when it comes to the freedom they allow their biggest, most-played stars. It seems as though the industry is slowly ready for pop stars, at least later in their careers, to define themselves.

Only time will tell how much more freedom the industry will allow their pop stars, and how pop stars will fight against the industry to allow their true selves to shine through. 

photo: Nokia

photo: Nokia

photo: Four

photo: Four

This story originally appeared in the Nov. 13 edition of the College Heights Herald

Find your style icon

The title of style icon is an honor given to a select few who have been deemed by peers, fans and magazines as consistently having killer style. Whether it’s a Bohemian style like Stevie Nicks or an adventurous spirit like Rihanna, people have always looked to celebrities for style advice.

Having a go-to style icon helps when you just can’t decide what fits your changing personality, but finding one that closely relates to your wardrobe can be tricky. Use this analysis to guide you to your icon.

 

Rihanna

photo retrieved from Huffington Post

photo retrieved from Huffington Post

RiRi has experienced a remarkable style evolution since her “Pon de Replay” days. Lately, the Barbadian songstress has been known for her revealing, adventurous fashion choices.

People who want to dress like Rihanna must exude an otherworldly amount of confidence. Rihanna turns heads and keeps on walking, and you've got to do the same.

Don't try walking down the Hill in a crystal-encrusted dress that shows off all the goods. But do try to infuse a little more leather and be ready to show a little more skin. Embrace your inner good-girl-gone-bad. 


Stevie Nicks

photo retrieved from FanPop

photo retrieved from FanPop

The gypsy queen has been donning flowing kimonos and cardigans since her cocaine-filled days recording “Rumors.” She has been epitomized as the fairy godmother of rock and the poster child for Bohemian style.

Nicks’ followers must be carefree and free-spirited. They tend to have an effortless vibe to their style, as if they just stumbled out of a dream and onto the Hill. It’s advised to skip out on the cocaine though.

Invest in a few black shapeless dresses with batwing sleeves and some knit shawls to portray a truly witchy woman.


Frank Ocean

photo retrieved from Consequence of Sound

photo retrieved from Consequence of Sound

The Californian singer-song writer slayed the world in 2012 with a little album called “Channel Orange,” and he did it all in a freshly-pressed, striped bandana.

Ever since then, he’s left everyone clamoring for more. He’s probably investing in more bandanas and continuing to be cooler than anyone can handle.

Ocean fans must channel that nonchalant attitude while remaining incredibly cool and slightly idolized by those around them.

Know how to rock a really cool printed button up or cardigan to dress like Ocean, and rock bandanas daily.


James Dean

photo: Warner Bros.

photo: Warner Bros.

In just a few short years, and with just a few short roles, James Dean managed to secure himself a place in cinematic and fashion history for decades to come.

The Hollywood bad boy had an iconic staple: a red leather jacket. He wore it with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and cuffs on his jeans to suggest he didn’t care much what was thought of him. It’s an attitude that must be carried with caution, but a little bit of bad ass never hurt anyone.

Dressing like Jimmy Dean is simple. Cuff your jeans, throw on a white shirt and don a leather jacket. Cigarettes are optional. 

This story originally appeared in the Sept. 25 edition of the College Heights Herald

Fall fashion trends await cooler days

Contrary to the belief of certain pumpkin spice latte pushing coffee shops, fall is not here yet. 

With temperatures rising into the 80s and 90s daily, it is just not yet time to sip your autumn roast from Einstein’s and kick up colored leaves in soft flannels and boots.

While it’s too early to wear those fall staples, it’s not too early to talk about them. Although not to the point of ad nauseam that pumpkin spice is already approaching.

This fall, leather will be king. Leather jackets, pants, skirts and vests will be everywhere and in every color. The punk classic gained in popularity last fall and winter, but stores such as H&M, Forever 21 and more have greatly increased their faux-leather supply. 

Entire tables in Nashville’s H&M are devoted to leather skirts and pants in different cuts and styles. Entire racks in Forever 21 are devoted to jackets that range from traditional, Ramones-inspired black to Michael Jackson red. 

Flannels, as always, will make their cozy return. Honestly, it’s impossible to foresee a fall without those idyllic images of dressing in flannel, sipping coffee and watching “Hocus Pocus.” It reached a peak with grunge bands of the 1990s and hasn’t left yet. Although the jury’s out if Kurt Cobain drank copious amounts of coffee and watched “Hocus Pocus” while wearing his.

This fall, ankle boots will stomp their way up and down the Hill. Gone (hopefully) are the days of mid-calf brown leather boots. Fashion bloggers and stylists have been pushing for ankle boots for several seasons, and this fall may be their true time to shine.

Ankle boots are typically cheaper because they use less material, and come in just as many neutral colors as the mid-calf boots. They are easily paired with the same dresses, jeans and skirts as before. The only downside: more of your tight-clad legs will be exposed to the elements. 

There are still several weeks until fall, giving you plenty of time to pull out or purchase the aforementioned products. These three only merely graze the surface of all the clothes, shoes and accessories that will color your fall. 

Photo: Alyssa Pointer/ HERALD  Model: Jennie Fowler   Open-knit floppy hat and orange loose-fitting cotton crop top from Forever 21 with a denim shirt by Levi's modeled by Jennie Fowler.

Photo: Alyssa Pointer/ HERALD 
Model: Jennie Fowler

Open-knit floppy hat and orange loose-fitting cotton crop top from Forever 21 with a denim shirt by Levi's modeled by Jennie Fowler.

This story originally appeared in the September 11 edition of the College Heights Herald

Fast fashion gets the high fashion treatment

Starting on Sept. 14, a mere 10 days after you read this little slice, the world of fast fashion stores will be shaken up again by the high fashion world.

This fall, three designers are working to bring their styles, normally reserved for those in the upper echelon of wealth and status, to the price ranges of middle America. 

Joseph Altuzarra is leading the pack with his exclusive line for Target hitting the racks on Sept. 14, the aforementioned date of high fashion revolution. 

Prices will start at roughly $17.99 and go as high as $89.99 and feature an array of dresses, tops and business-ready blazers, along with a fabulous patent leather belt that’s featured on the majority of the models for the collection. 

Taking a turn for the smallest of fashion divas, Karl Lagerfeld is getting into this fall fashion designer trend by partnering with Barbie to release a doll built and dressed in his likeness. Though not clothes one can wear on their back, he’s still lending his signature style to the original fashion queen. This doll will hit toy stores and waiting lists everywhere Sept. 29.

The pièce de résistance for many fashion fiends is the final line rounding out the list. Alexander Wang announced via cryptic Instagram video last spring that he would be releasing an exclusive line for Swedish retailer H&M. The countdowns are winding to a much anticipated close as the line hits racks on Nov. 6, only a few months away. 

Not many details have been released about his much-anticipated collection. A picture of a key chain and another of a mysterious object emblazoned with Louis Vuitton-inspired AWs across its black fabric are all that Wang has teased since his original insta-video. Either way, the collection promises that everyone, at least for the month of November, can be Kanye and spend everything on Alexander Wang.

This story originally appeared in the September 4 edition of the College Heights Herald

Keep finals week chic

Ah, here we are. We’ve made it to the end of another semester of sleepless nights, endless papers and awkward advising appointments. The only thing separating us from a blissful summer away from the Hill is finals week — the last dark, sleepless week of exams.

Many use finals week as an excuse to throw their best casual duds into the far reaches of their closet for sports shorts, yoga pants and any other kind of workout clothing or pajama wear imaginable. My advice to you this week is to avoid that cliche like the plague. Finals week doesn’t have to mean sacrificing sleep AND style.

Now, don’t just roll your eyes and ignore me on this. Even the leggings look can be done stylishly enough that I would wear them. Okay, not really, but hey, trying to appeal to an audience here.

Good style during finals week is all about comfort and class. Try wearing some of your lighter sundresses and some slip-on sandals as you trek uphill for that final. Dresses are my favorite way to be comfortable and stay stylish. For one, there are no pants involved. Who actually likes wearing jeans on a hot spring day anyway? Sundresses are easy, breezy and a simple piece to throw on before you walk out the door.

If dresses aren’t your cup of tea, try for skirts and a comfortable tee instead. A big trend in street style this spring has been pairing colorful skirts with graphic tees. The shirt gives the outfit a more casual look, while the skirt adds a fun, playful edge to your band shirt.

If you’re totally opting for the leggings look, just make sure your shirts are long enough. 

Good clothes doesn’t have to translate to full hair and make up. This is where you get your slack.

Opt for messy, tousled hair and no make up for those 8 a.m. finals, or throw your hair back in a neat ponytail and dry shampoo your bangs if an early shower is out of the question.

If you’re not comfortable without make up, go for light blush on the apples of your cheeks, a light swipe of mascara and Chapstick or a nude gloss across the lips.

These hair and make up combos will add to your wardrobe to give you a natural, laid back and stylish look, even in the midst of finals week.

With that, I wrap up my last column of the spring. Until next semester, fashion fiends, may the curves be ever in your favor.

This story originally appeared in the May 8 edition of the College Heights Herald

DCO Feature: WKU's Rip the Runway

Last Friday night, I attended the annual Rip the Runway fashion show on my University's campus. The coverage and critique I wrote for both are below

Louisville sophomore Caylin Scaten (right) walks down the runway during Rip the Runway Friday, April 25, 2014, at the Preston Center in Bowling Green, Ky. Scaten is wearing a bathing suit designed by Nashville senior Coumba Sow who drew inspiration from carnival while studying abroad in Trinidad.  Photo:  Mike Clark  (WKU Herald)

Louisville sophomore Caylin Scaten (right) walks down the runway during Rip the Runway Friday, April 25, 2014, at the Preston Center in Bowling Green, Ky. Scaten is wearing a bathing suit designed by Nashville senior Coumba Sow who drew inspiration from carnival while studying abroad in Trinidad. Photo: Mike Clark (WKU Herald)

coverage

Students rock catwalk for Rip the Runway

Preston Center was transformed Friday night into a high fashion, adrenaline fueled runway show for the fifth annual Rip the Runway event, hosted by the Black Student Alliance. The gym lights were dimmed, spotlights were brought out and a makeshift runway with multi–colored sequins lined the floor.

With songs from artists ranging from the Notorious B. I. G. to Mike Will Made It shaking the gym, spectators and fashion fans poured in and lined the runway, flooding Instagram with selfies and tweeting using the hashtag #wkuriptherunway in anticipation of the big event. 

This was the second time the event was hosted at Preston after being relocated from its original location in DSU.

The show kicked off at 9 p.m. and was emceed by Al Greene and CJ Calhoun.

“We want to thank everyone for coming out,” Greene said.

The first collection kicked off the show with a catwalk full of white- and black-clad models wearing cuts and styles from tight body-con dresses to sharp blazers and pantsuits.

Five more collections would follow, with outfits ranging from evening wear to swimsuit.

The swimsuit collection, fifth in the show, was designed by Louisville junior Coumba Sow. Models strutted down the runway in suits adorned with feathers, jewels and flowers.

Sow was inspired to create the line after a study abroad trip to Trinidad and Tobago.

“I wanted to study abroad for spring break and see other cultures and how they dress,” she said. “They [Trinidadians] wear feathers, big head pieces and show off their bodies. I wanted to bring that culture here.”

The closing collection featured all models walking the runway, wearing Rip the Runway t-shirts and dancing along to the music.

Reactions to the show poured in through Twitter and were read aloud by Greene and Calhoun throughout the night.

Brea Wilson, the coordinator of the show, was ecstatic with the show’s audience.

“This was a huge turnout. We had 200 chairs, and people had to start carrying in more,” she said.

The show functions as a fundraiser with an admission fee of $5 or $3 with a canned good item. The canned goods are donated to local food pantries and organizations, such as the Salvation Army. The money goes toward BSA.

As for the next Rip the Runway, Wilson said if she can get her head around it, she’d love to assist with coordinating again.

“It was pretty stressful,” she said. “I would definitely help out again, though.”

Critique

Energy, ferocity fuel fashion show

My Friday night was spent living every fashion columnists dream: sitting front row at a fashion show, surrounded by a sea of well-dressed individuals.

No, I didn’t get whisked away to a big European fashion mecca, or flown to Austin, Texas for fashion week. I got my fashion fix right here in Bowling Green for the fifth annual Rip the Runway.

The show is thrown by the Black Student Alliance in Preston and acts as a fundraiser, collecting canned goods and charging a minimal fee for admission. The event and clothes shown were sponsored and donated by Francesca’s, Crisp Boutique and JCPenny.

While my experience after the show was a little shocking, the show itself was exciting, adrenaline fueled and FIERCE. The all caps are entirely intentional.

The models rocked it. Every one brought their A game with their walk and poses. It honestly made me want to jump up there and see if I could rock the runway myself, though common sense kept me from doing so.

All the girls rocked towering heels with each outfit. Now, you might see me on campus in heels on a good Tuesday or Thursday, but these girls were rocking those heels at heights I couldn’t even fathom. 

One of the six collections shown that night was a swimsuit collection designed by Louisville junior Coumba Sow. Sow, originally from Africa, was inspired to create her line after an eye-opening trip to Trinidad and Tobago over spring break.

Her influence of the native style of that country showed. Girls walked the runway with intricate masks and bikinis covered in jewels, feather and flowers. The one bold man strutted the catwalk in something similar, though obviously not a bikini. 

I definitely applaud Sow for not only her boldness and ambition to put her work on the runway, but for her use of color and material to bring the style of Trinidad to Bowling Green.

Altogether, however, bravo BSA. This event was unforgettable.

 

Both stories originally appeared in the April 29 edition of the College Heights Herald 

How TV shows and movies have changed the fashion world

For years, Hollywood has influenced and revolutionized the fashion industry —  sometimes even more than the glossy, model-filled pages of Vogue. Films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Clueless” and “Pretty in Pink” have dictated style in their respective decades and beyond, introducing timeless looks and wardrobe staples for the modern, fashionable woman.  

It’s easy to look at movies like these (and others) and get fantastic Halloween costume inspiration. A simple school girl skirt, white thigh highs, a top and a blazer and you’re set, Cher Horowitz. By the way, did Calvin Klein make your dress?

The real question, the real struggle with these timeless films and their  equally timeless aesthetics, is this: how do you take the Halloween out of the look, and translate it to everyday wear?

Is there truly a way to dress like Carrie Bradshaw and not look like you’re entering a costume contest?

There are ways, ways that are mysterious, magical and wonderful. Okay, maybe not mysterious, but everything else rings true. The key word to emulating your favorite silver or small screen starlet is subtlety. 

Many of the most iconic films for style have (sadly) outdated, uncommon costuming for this day and age. Going full Grace Kelly in “Rear Window” would garner much attention, but you would easily be mistaken as someone in a play versus someone just rocking the classic 50s look. 

Take just small pieces from that film, like a full skirt or a simple strand of pearls, and interpret them into a more understated, still classy look. 

“Sex and the City” was full of so many appalling fashion faux pas. But, underneath all the oversized overalls and lack of bras, there is so much good to pull away from this HBO classic. 

Dressing like Charlotte, Carrie, Samantha or Miranda in full capacity would come off as hyperbolic, but adding pieces to your wardrobe inspired by their own can give you just that edge of professionalism (or if you’re a Samantha, sultriness) of your favorite character.

Start adding more heels to your wardrobe for a more Carrie or Samantha effect. Invest in a conservative cardigan or two for Charlotte, and look to Miranda to get ideas for a fashion-forward girl in a professional world. Just excuse her of the oversized overalls, striped T-shirt and painters cap look she was “rocking” in an earlier season.

Now granted, if you’re talking shows like the 90s classic “Freaks and Geeks,” subtlety isn’t really an issue. All characters on that show dress like your average early 90s teen, so their grungy looks aren’t hard to emulate. Especially with a resurgence of 90s fashion. Just invest in an army green parka, plenty of denim and old band shirts to capture the spirit of these freaks. 

Overall, take time to search for your good pieces, interpret the coveted looks of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly and make it your own. 

Fashion is simple when you don’t think about it too much. 

This story originally appeared in the April 3 edition of the College Heights Herald

 

An ode to black

The other day in general conversation, I had someone say to me “you really like black.” As I thought about this more, digested and processed this, said person pretty much hit the nail on the head.

When receiving said comment, I was wearing a simple black skirt, black tights, black patent heels and, to offset all the stark dark, a black and white skull patterned sweater. The day before? I was wearing a black dress, black thigh highs and a black, white and red patterned flannel. And as I write this? Black leather pants. Safe to say, there is some element of black in my daily ensemble. 

To differ slightly from that remark, I more than like the color black. In fact, I would define my relationship with it as an exciting love affair. A love affair that has spanned many years, and transformed my wardrobe from the bright colors and pinks of my yesteryears into a wonderland of charcoal, onyx and a seemingly endless amount of black leather. 

Black is simple. Black is stylish. Black is flattering for everyone. Black is everything. It’s easily styled, easily dressed up, easily dressed down and a staple color in every line, from Chanel to Céline. In the infamous words of Christian Dior, “I could write a book about black.”

I’m here this week to tell you, to screech from the rooftops, don’t fear the darkest of all shades. Embrace it. Even small amounts of black can add an instant sense of style and elegance to your outfit. Whether you dress down, or dress up, there’s a piece of black clothing meant for your wardrobe.

If I had to pick my top black basics, though, I would easily invest in a black skirt, black denim, a staple little black dress and, nearest and dearest to my heart, a black leather jacket. All four pieces are versatile for any and all occasions. Start your hunt for these through either Asos, Zara or, if you leaning towards the cheaper side, Forever 21. Neither have ever let me down in the hunt for the perfect piece. 

Parting word to the wise, though: if you’re going to go all black, have something, anything, to offset the dark tone of your wardrobe. Whether it’s adding a denim jacket overtop a black top and pants, or stacking up gold or silver accessories with a simple black dress. Offsetting all the black with good accessories, denim or a pattern will complete your look. 

This story originally appeared in the March 27 online edition of the College Heights Herald

 

Mourning the loss of L'Wren Scott

The fashion industry suffered a great loss this past week. American fashion designer L’Wren Scott passed away at age 49 in her Chelsea apartment on March 14.

Investigators believe her death to be suicide, though the official autopsy has not been released. Suicide is not something typically covered by this publication, but due to a number of suicides on campus this past year, I felt a calling of sorts to not only pay respects to a great talent, but discuss the seriousness of taking ones own life.

Scott was a presence when she entered a room, towering at 6’7 in heels, and was known her flattering silhouettes, and for mixing classic cuts and colors with edgy embellishments and patterns. She dressed celebrities such as Amy Adams, Christina Hendrix and Nicole Kidman, who wore one of Scott’s earliest pieces at the 2006 Rome Film Festival.

One of my favorite looks of hers was a navy blue sequined gown worn by Amy Adams at the 2011 Academy Awards. The dress was stunning, yet simple and glamorous— flattering Adam’s figure and adding a little sparkle to the standard conservative Oscar gown.

Scott’s death has been met with grief from those in the fashion industry, and from long-time partner and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Jagger issued a statement regarding the loss, and the Stones have postponed the New Zealand and Australia legs of their tour to allow time to grieve.

Others, including Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and former New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, have penned their own statements on the loss of L’Wren. In her piece, Horyn describes Scott as a teacher, a friend and as nothing short of Glinda the Good Witch.

Prior to her untimely death, Scott had cancelled her London Fashion Week show. Reports that she was planning to announce the closure of her line due to large amounts of debt have since been proven false by representatives from her company.

Scott’s tragedy is not the first suicide in the fashion industry, and sadly will not be the last. Four years previous, fashion designer Alexander McQueen, known for his outlandishly creative couture pieces, took his own life. McQueen was a personal favorite, and his death shook many, including myself, to the core. 

Suicide of those in the limelight can be easily misconstrued by many. Speaking personally, I know many who view the suicide of such giants as Kurt Cobain as more glamorous than tragic. This is entirely a false way to view suicide. Whether it’s a famous fashion designer, a relative or a friend, it is a tragedy. It affects all close to the victim.

It is never a solution. 

In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention completed a study and found that suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for Americans. More than 36,000 in the states kill themselves each year, and that’s not including those who attempt.

According to PsychAlive, suicide risk factors include altered and disturbed sleep patterns, anxiety, loss of interest in favorite activities and extreme self hatred.

If you, or someone you know, has attempted or is threatening to attempt suicide, get help. There are several suicide hotlines available who will answer calls at any hour of the day. Lists can be easily found online, or just call 911. 

Counseling is also available on campus. WKU has several licensed psychologists and clinical counselors on campus to listen and help at the Counseling and Testing Center in Potter Hall. There is no shame is asking for help. There is no shame in asking for counseling or requesting counseling for others. 

Maybe fashion greats like L’Wren Scott and Alexander McQueen, and music greats like Kurt Cobain, could not see another way out, but that does not mean others have to feel the same way. Get help. Help others. Promote a healthy, happy life.

This story originally appeared in the March 20 online edition of the College Heights Herald

Experience a new type of fashion therapy

In the fashion world, there are two types of therapy (give or take): retail therapy, wherein you spend an indiscriminate amount of money, adding to your wardrobe for upcoming seasons, and seller's therapy.

Seller's therapy is a unique experience in its own because it involves letting go of and, well, selling your clothes. Getting to experience that thrill, that pure exhilaration when you have extra money in your pocket is unprecedented. Not to mention, you'll have room in your closet to indulge in the other, more popular type of therapy: retail. 

Recently, I indulged in a little seller's therapy. And by indulged, I mean painstakingly pined through my overstuffed closet, pulling out any item of clothing I hadn't worn in at least the last eight months. I tried each piece on, studied my reflection in them and thought long and hard about turning in the metaphorical towel and shoving the piece of clothing back on that shelf. Suffice it to say, it's hard for me to let go of my clothes. 

I have held on to sweaters, skirts and dresses for years because I thought maybe, just maybe, I'll experience some kind of renewed inspiration for that piece of clothing and make it revolutionary. Fun fact, fellow fashionistas: there are very few ways to make a grotesquely oversized, itchy men's pastel sweater revolutionary. 

I went through a men's oversized sweater phase all through high school that only Bill Cosby could truly appreciate. We all suffer our fashion faux pas.

Anyway, I stuck with it. I persevered. I passed my collection of sweaters to my younger brother who, like me, is on the cusp of a sweater obsession. I sold a few pieces to friends and am in the process of selling what remains in my “to sell” box at consignment stores and on eBay. It's been a huge relief. I'm a free woman. 

So I now turn to you, readers. Do you also find yourselves overwhelmed by the masses of fabrics known as your wardrobe? If the answer is yes, then take some time. Seller's therapy your closet, so to speak. 

Now, unless you're more financially fortunate than me, you most likely won't be able to put up those gently used skirts and blouses on Poshmark or TheRealReal, websites that only carry the high-end labels of my dreams.

However, there are several fantastic ways to rid your wardrobe of clothes you don't want, many of which are right in town. 

Beverly Hills Boutique, a local consignment store right by campus, is a great example of a place to sell your gently used closed, for a little profit. Sellers get a percentage of the profit made from clothes sold that they donated to the Boutique.

If you're looking to cut out the middle man, though, I suggest opening an eBay account and selling your clothes directly to potential buyers. It's quick. It's easy. It's free. The only headache might be shipping your clothes out, but hey, who can complain when you're potentially making a bigger profit.

Other alternatives to lighten your wardrobe include Goodwill, the Salvation Army and clothing drives.

Part with your clothes you never wear. Your wardrobe, your wallet and your morals will thank you. And so will your saved items on Asos.

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 13 edition of the College Heights Herald

Women should embrace their own style

Fashion, for both men and women, gives a unique opportunity for a person to express themselves completely. It creates a piece of living artwork. Literally. Fabrics draped and stitched in a variety of methods blanket the one true living canvas: you.

In this column, I hope to enhance that artwork by introducing and exploring new trends, offering suggestions to enhance style and providing commentary on the hot topic issues of the fashion industry. Starting… now. 

A huge internet trend has been circulating through the blogosphere at the start of this new year. That trend being lists, compiled and edited by several online news sources, documenting clothes, shoes, etc., that women love and men, well, hate.

Excuse me, but what? This is a real thing? Sadly, yes. The new year has started off with women being told that things they wear, things they may love, don’t appeal to a general, broad group of men polled for these articles.

The lists have included, but are not limited to, peplum anything, beanies, wedge sneakers, floppy hats, open side shirts, bright lipstick, heavy eye makeup, pointy toes, fake nails, high waisted jeans and skirts, fold over ankle boots, ultra high heels, pantsuits, gladiator sandals, drop-crotch pants, hair bows, bangles, oversized sweaters, “mullet” dresses (also known as high-low dresses) and shoulder pads. Basically, half of what is in your make up drawer and closet.

Even websites like the Huffington Post have fallen guilty of this atrocity, including a video with their post, interviewing Marc Lamont Hill, a “women’s fashion expert,” on why men just hate these trends. 

Granted, none of these videos and articles are directly saying “Hey, you in the peplum, don’t wear that if you want a man,” but in some cases it is heavily implied. Especially when said expert says outright that peplum looks “ridiculous,” claiming they make women look pregnant.

Basically, I am an individual, and I will wear what I wear, when I want to wear it. And so will everyone else. 

Wear what you want to wear. Wear what makes you feel confident and beautiful, because if you feel that way in your clothes, it won’t matter what you’re wearing. Your inner confidence will radiate.

One could even rock a potato sack with as much style and grace as Audrey Hepburn did in her little black Givenchy dress if they do it with confidence.

Girls, wear your peplum, wear your sneaker wedges and rock your gladiators. Honestly, pair your peplum with your sneaker wedges, stack on some bangles and wear the brightest lipstick you can. Well… don’t really do that, but you get where I’m going with this.

Wear what makes your inner personality shine, and don’t let the ideas of anyone else, guy or girl, tell you what you can’t wear. If you can achieve that, it won’t matter what you’re wearing. People will take notice. 

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 6 edition of the College Heights Herald