Dakota Fanning

Last night, my roommate pointed me to this Yahoo! article  which pokes at Dakota Fanning’s recent fashion choices. My roommate, who also grew up in LA, went to the same private high school that Fanning now attends, and saw this picture and immediately began to laugh out loud.

Campbell Hall requires all of it’s students to dress in uniform – girls are required to wear skirts and white button downs. They are allowed to add three things: scarves, hats & tights. While I cant say that I’m a huge fan of this outfit, I do have to admit I love when paparazzi get it wrong.  They even mention the school in the article, so clearly they missed the memo.

But hey Dakota, please lose the ridiculously ripped leggings – you can do so much better. And please, don’t grow up too fast.

February 25, 2010. Tags: , , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

BostonTweet

As part of our Reinventing class, we are required to do a presentation on any website we use and/or read regularly and would be interesting to share with the class. I chose to do my presentation on BostonTweet, run by a local man named Tom O’Keefe. O’Keefe posts constant updates about what’s going on in Boston. He often takes advantage of the TwitPic & TwitVid sites that allow users to post video and picture directly from their phones or computers.

The site truly epitomizes the beauty of social networking. Anything you want to know about things going on in Boston – restaurant openings, bar specials, schools being closed for snow days – is up on his feed. Lots of times, twitter users will “@” him to ask questions, many times he’ll respond. He creates “conversations” asking users what their ideas are – today’s conversation revolves around things to do on a rainy day. He can do this by using an entirely different website, BostonTweet.com, which automatically uploads everyone who “@”s him.

Another great feature of O’Keefe’s site is that he has created lists of Boston news, bars & restaurants, and music that you can follow as well – these allow you to find even more information posted to the numerous feeds O’Keefe has found directly related to Boston.

If you’re a twitter user I’d definitely recommend following him!

February 24, 2010. Tags: , , . Class Posts. 1 comment.

A perfect day for a walk

Saturday in Boston was absolutely beautiful, a balmy 50 degrees. As a California girl, I never thought I’d say that, but in comparison to the freezing cold of January, it was beautiful out!  It turned out to be a perfect day for a walk down Newbury Street for a bit of shopping with my friend Dan.

Our first stop was Club Monaco, where I found Dan a great black crew neck cashmere sweater on sale for $59 (instead of $120!) and a black crew neck waffle tee for $19. Awesome tip: Club Monaco offers a 20% student discount off all merchandise, which meant Dan scored both tops for $65 – not bad!

I’m currently on the hunt for a new pair of flat black boots. I have a great pair of flat black leather boots that I’ve had for a few years – they’re starting to fade, and they’ve got gold buckles, so I can’t always wear them with everything. My favorite pair of boots right now are flat brown boots from Target, which of course used to come in black. After a look on their website this week, turns out the boots are no longer available, and I’m totally bummed – they’re so cute & comfortable (and cheap!) and would have been perfect. Anyways, we looked in Aldo and Charles David but saw nothing, so we made our way to J Crew, where Dan made out like a bandit, and I applied for a job. I’ve decided a tiny (strange) part of me misses retail, and the manager said they were taking applications and currently in an interview process, so I’m crossing my fingers!

As is probably very obvious, I love to dress people, so I had a blast wandering the store pulling things for Dan to try.

Dan, dressed by me in a purple polo & grey & white stripped jacket

I pulled this stripped hoodie and bright polo for Dan, the combination of which I absolutely love.

He tried on a grey vneck we also liked, but decided wasn’t worth it’s price tag for something so basic, and a marked down blue v neck  sweater that I liked, but Dan decided he wouldn’t wear. With his 15% student discount at J Crew, Dan got two polos, a dark grey long sleeve henley and the stripped zip up for just over $150 – not bad!

Next we headed to Filene’s Basement, where I scored an awesome new purse for $15, a pair of $10 sunglasses and a new umbrella which I desperately needed. At the Marc by Marc Jacobs store I bought myself a new wallet that doubles as a clutch, which I’m absolutely obsessed with – it’s hot pink on the inside!

We wandered to American Eagle next, where I continued to play personal shopper for Dan. He ended up with an awesome outfit:

Dan in Straight leg American Eagle jeans, a checkered shirt & his new shades

He also tried on a pink striped shirt, which we quickly vetoed.

Dan giving a thumbs down for the awkward stripes on this shirt

New jeans, shirt, sunglasses and a few pairs of new boxer briefs in hand, we made our way down Newbury to try our luck at Steve Madden. I found this pair of boots at Steve Madden I thought I liked, but decided looked too scrunched and slightly strange on my feet. Too bad, because I found this pair of awesome purple suede flats that would have been 50% off of their sale price ($15!) had I bought the boots. I’m still thinking about whether the flats are worth their sale price of $30 – maybe I’ll go back for them this week.

Hands full of bags and starving, we headed to Chipotle for dinner – yum!

Our delicious dinner at Chipotle after a long day of shopping!

February 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Fashion. 1 comment.

Designer items… for just a few dollars?

Through a friend, I recently discovered oohilove, an online auction website that sells designer pieces for pennies… literally.

The site allows users to bid on items ranging from Tiffany’s necklaces to Louis Vuitton handbags. In order to bid, you must register (free of charge) and purchase bids, which cost $1 each and are available in bid packs ranging from 30 to 800 bids. Each auction starts at 0$, but every time a user bids on an item the price increases by two cents and the time of the auction is increased by ten seconds. During the final 30 seconds of the auction, the timer will stay below 30 seconds no matter how many bids are placed.

In my few weeks of perusing the site, I’ve seen tons of great items come and go. These Chanel earrings, valued at over $250, sold for just $5. Often, $100 bid packs sell for just a few dollars. Other items, like this Marc Jacobs Hobo, were auctioned off at $26.

Shipping on items valued under $100 is free, and $13 on items valued over $100. For those skeptical about the authenticity of their items, the site offers a two week cash back guarantee.

press release on PRweb.com explains the site, which was launched in December of 2009. A question answer piece on Penny Auction Watch gives a bit more insight into the site.

scathing review on SiteJabber.com, while incredibly negative, makes an important point about how the site makes a profit. For every user that buys a bid pack, the site is automatically making money, regardless of if the user wins an item or not.  It’s important to keep in mind that you’re paying money before you win anything just to bid – every time you place a bid on an item, you essentially lose $1, plus the money you shell out for the item, assuming you win. Using the automatic bidder can be dangerous, as it will cost you lots in bidding. Waiting until the very end of the auction seems to be a user’s best bet, but can also be tricky since the time of the auction continually increases the more bidders are trying to win the item.

I’m no math major, but some quick division on my blackberry calculator shows that on a Tiffany’s necklace that sold for $6.92, the site made a profit of $346. Considering the item is only worth $100, they sure are making a killing.

Currently, I’m a member of the site and was given a single free bid for joining. I used it in an attempt to win a bid pack, and lost, so I’m waiting to see if I decide buying a bid pack is worthwhile. I may buy a smaller pack just to try it out – I have my eye on a certain Marc Jacobs bag, and if it crops up again I may just have to try & snag it. I’ll keep you posted.

Happy bidding, & if you are interested in joining the site, please use my invitation page!

February 19, 2010. Tags: , , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

Rihanna’s fashion

Rihanna, at a performance in the UK. Photo Credits to Flickr user MiKeARB

I have long been a fan of Rihanna’s music, and her new single, Rude Boy, is one of my new favorite songs. I haven’t paid much attention to her otherwise, but recently her bold, edgy fashion sense has caught my eye.

Some people, like this recent BumpShack post about Rihanherna’s Pre-Grammy party outfit, heavily criticize her fashion sense. Others, like RihannaDaily.com, have dedicated an entire style page to Rihanna’s fashion choices that enables readers to imitate her outfits.

In searching for images of Rihanna’s fashion, I stumbled upon this great photo compilation on FabSugar that documents her change in style throughout the last four years.

There are a number of her fashion choices that I find slightly… questionable, this recent suit being one of them. Most of her outfits seem very runway inspired, as shown in RihanaDaily’s style page. Personally, I could never pull off her look, nor would I want to. But sometimes, admiring a celebrity’s bold fashion choices doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wholly imitate them.

However, taking pieces from their collections, like these awesome green jean leggings or a summery polka dot dress & belt duo, is always a great way to pick and choose what inspires you.

February 17, 2010. Tags: , . Fashion. Leave a comment.

Revisiting the flannel trend

Recently, I was reading through some of my older blog entries when I stumbled upon a post I wrote in March of last year about the up and coming flannel trend. A year later, I have grown much more accustomed to the look, and figured I’d share my thoughts.

Me, wearing one of the "flannel" shirts that I own before heading out to the bars with friends.

I can now say that I own three “flannel” style tops, although I don’t exactly picture myself wearing them with cowboy boots out on the farm. While I am a huge fan of over-sized shirts and leggings, I’ve decided to keep my checkered shirt collection shorter to wear with jeans.

The shirt pictured to the right I bought at New York & Co on Black Friday last year. You can’t really tell in the picture, but it has a few frills near the top buttons and thin silver stripes. Not only was it incredibly on sale, but I decided I liked the fit and would be able to wear it both to class and out with friends.

When I was home in LA over winter break, I got a multicolored checkered shirt from Target that I absolutely love. It was $15 and the bright, fun colors are right up my alley.

Yesterday, Erin and I did some retail therapy damage at Forever 21, American Eagle and H&M. We found these great checkered tops at American Eagle. They were marked down in the store to $19.95, and we had an additional 40% off coupon which meant we got them for $12 each. Erin got the blue one, and I decided to go for the green. The colors are more Spring like, but the material is soft and comfy, and will be a nice bright top to pair with dark jeans.

I think the trick is finding a pattern that isn’t too traditional (I’d suggest avoidng red and black checkers) and can be worn with a solid tank top underneath. Finding the right size is also key: make sure that it fits well but isn’t too tight or too loose. Adding a girly touch, like the silver stripe or the frills near the buttons, can also benefit the look.

So there you have it – I’ve officially been converted. Of course now that I’ve warmed up to the trend, I’m sure it will be on the “that is so last year” list.

February 14, 2010. Fashion. Leave a comment.

How to properly wear your leggings

Lately, everywhere I turn I’ve been seeing girls wearing leggings as pants. It’s painful and embarassing to see, as this great article from The News Record points out. In fact, there are thousands of blog posts on the subject of leggings and precisely why they shouldn’t be worn as pants.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love leggings. I would gladly wear leggings instead of jeans any day, I practically live in them. I own a half dozen pairs in black, grey, navy, turquoise, purple and even bright blue. So instead of just criticizing, I’ve decided to compile a list of the five best ways to flaunt the trend.

Flickr user Idhren shows how to pull off the legging trend well! Photo reproduced under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

1. Keep your leggings simple and in one piece. Seeing ripped leggings like these ones makes me want to cry.

2. Always wear a long top, sweater or dress with your leggings. Rule of thumb: your entire butt should be covered at all times. My trick is to always wear a long, layering tank top underneath whatever top I’m wearing. My favorite is the boyfriend tank from American Eagle which I buy in a bigger size so it’s longer on me.

3. If you’re going to wear brightly colored leggings (which I am all for!) be sure to pair them with a simple solid color like black or white. Wearing a bright green top with purple leggings can be a bit of an eye sore.

4. Keep your outfit simple. When I wear leggings, I try to stick with solids. Often, all you need is a pair of leggings, a long tank top and a basic long sleeve sweater to pull on over. What makes the outfit is your scarf, necklace, earrings or shoes. Even if you’re wearing black leggings and a great sweater, make your outfit pop with a bright gold necklace, like this one from Forever 21.

5. Pair your leggings with boots or flats – when wearing my leggings with flats, I often pull the leggings underneath my heel to create a different, unique look.

February 9, 2010. Tags: , , , . Fashion. 1 comment.

The world of video blogging

Today in class, Steve Garfield, a Boston based video blogger, came to speak with us about the world of video journalism. He began with two important pieces of advice: keep it simple, and own your own name on the web. He emphasized how important it is that you are Joe Smith on Twitter, Facebook, and at http://www.JoeSmith.com and joesmith.wordpress.com. Simplicity allows people to remember you

Garfield began video blogging on January of 2004 and since, his self-shot footage has been featured on CNN and the BBC. He’s covered everything from new cars to election day in Massachusetts, sometimes using only his iPhone and Qik, a site that allows you to live stream video for free.  Qik allows Garfield to link his Twitter and YouTube accounts directly to his iPhone application – the application updates his twitter followers about the stream going live and posts the completed video to YouTube.

Garfield goes on assignment as a one man team – he is responsible for shooting and editing everything and he has developed a method for working alone. He lets the camera roll, even when things don’t necessarily go according to plan. These changes often improve his story, as shown in this example.

Garfield also works hard to pay attention to what is being told to him during interviews so he can go back and shoot the appropriate footage. In the example above, he noted how after his subject spoke to him about the roof of the car and the aluminum steering wheel, he went back into the car to shoot that footage.

Along those same lines, he emphasized the importance of being more than just a talking head – make sure that you’re doing something more than just sitting in front of your webcam. Garfield’s video posts weren’t picked up by CNN because he had brilliant commentary or great video quality, but because he was doing something – walking around a voting place during an election day, recording him & his wife eating dinner on a night of the debates during the presidential elections – actions that set him apart from the every day video blogger.

Garfield emphasized that being able to make money off of the thing you love takes time. But investing time into something, even if you’re doing it for free, can often pay off in the long run, as it has for him.

February 9, 2010. Class Posts. Leave a comment.

Northeastern Student Fashion

As college students, we are often tempted to roll out of bed ten minutes before class, throw on sweatpants and a sweatshirt and be on our way. As a young woman who appreciates fashion and takes pride in my outfit each day, I love seeing other young college students at Northeastern who put together fashionable looks.

The three c’s – cute, comfy & cheap!

Elise Kim, a fourth year Pharmacy student at Northeastern, knows that she can stay on a college budget but still look great. She labels her style as cute and comfortable, and prides herself on always finding inexpensive items that fit her well.

Elise in her birthday outfit! Click the image for more pictures of Elise getting ready, Kinesha's co-op outfit and Daniel's closet.

On a recent night out for her birthday, Elise dressed in jeans, a Zara top and flat black boots. She added gold bangles, which a friend bought for her in Pakistan, and a gold chain she got from H&M. She estimates that although her boots were a bit more ($95 at Aldo) the rest of her outfit cost less than $50 combined.

The co-op edge

Northeastern students are unique because of their co-op experiences, and that can stretch into their fashion world as well. Instead of throwing on jeans every day, Kinesha Goldson, a fourth year Communication Studies student, has to wear business casual every day to her co-op at the Visitors Center.

Kinesha considers her sense of style an embellished, but classic look. On the day I spoke with her, both her skirt & top were from Ann Taylor Loft.

“I sound old, but they have great work clothes,” she explained. “I feel like their store has a mature chic style. I don’t feel frumpy wearing their things.”

A full closet

Daniel Davis, a fourth year Business student a Northeastern who just spent eight months abroad in France and Italy, considers himself a well put together student who enjoys getting dressed in the morning. His fashion philosophy is to put together well made, well fitted looks that work from head to toe

“I am inspired to dress well because it makes me feel good. If I know I look good I feel like I can accomplish anything that comes my way,” he explains. “It is one less thing to worry about.”

Daniel owns an incredible amount of clothing – his entire room is dedicated to his extensive wardrobe and shoe collection, and many of the items in his closet are bright, neon colors. His favorite item is his neon-blue fitted puffy coat that he bought at Celio* in Lisbon, Portugal. For Daniel, it’s all about standing out and being unique.

February 7, 2010. Tags: , . Class Posts, Fashion. 1 comment.

Growing Local, Online Journalism

After working as a reporter and editor for the MetroWest Daily NewsJennifer Paluzzi was laid off in October of 2008. Despite her frustration, Paluzzi pushed herself to do more than just settle for a PR job at a local hospital (as the health report at MetroWest, everybody expected just that from her).

Jobless, with a multitude of time on her hands, Paluzzi began to realize how terrible the news sources for Grafton, her home town, really were. In ranting to a fellow parent at the bus stop one morning, Paluzzi had an epiphany. She challenged herself to become the news source in Grafton that she longed for as a local citizen and mother. Plauzzi began to update her Word Press blog GreaterGrafton.com three to five times a day with a variety of local stories. She covered everything from local town meetings to questions surrounding the new high school being built in town. Slowly but surely, her readership grew.

Eventually, Paluzzi got an offer from a publisher asking her to become the editor of the Grafton Times, a brand new online newspaper. After some discussion, The Daily Grafton evolved, and has since become one of six local online-only news sources for towns in western Massachusetts. Their hub, CentralMassNews.com, is one of the fastest growing journalism businesses in Massachusetts, and is one of the only news organizations hiring journalists instead of firing them.

In speaking to our class on Wednesday afternoon, Paluzzi noted that creating a website is about more than just the act of writing – its about how you utilize that site. She features video and photos on her sites and if citizens demand something, she can put it up in seconds. Important information like snow day announcements and posts about big events in town can all be found on her sites. All of the sites send out daily emails, use social media like Facebook & Twitter and focus on immediate, constant coverage. By targeting local advertisers, Paluzzi makes enough advertising revenue to turn a significant profit.

“I’m covering this like its world war three,” she said. I guess that’s the trick to being a dependable local journalist -dedicate yourself wholeheartedly, no matter how insignificant the subject matter may seem.

February 4, 2010. Tags: , , , . Class Posts. Leave a comment.

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