The Rules Are Meant to Be Broken

There are a lot of so-called ‘rules’ in fashion.

“Don’t wear socks with sandals.”

“Don’t show your bra straps.”

“Match your shoes to your purse.”

“Dress for your age.”

Thankfully, all of these rules are completely irrelevant in 2017. The new era of fashion is all about expressing yourself however you so choose. If you are a fashion novice, it might be a smart idea to use the rules as guidelines until you get more comfortable creating outfits, but after that, feel more than free to shatter and stomp all over them.

IMG_2506

IMG_2559 (1)

 

 

I remember when I was a teenager, it was a fashion faux pas for your bra straps or your underwear to peek out from your clothes. It was such a pain to make sure my bra straps were tucked away at all times and that my underwear wasn’t showing above my low-rise jeans. Now, I love that undergarments are made to be shown. We as women shouldn’t have to worry about constantly covering up what we’re wearing underneath our clothes. It’s ridiculous!

And impossible at times!

Trust me, there’s nothing scandalous about a visible bra strap. There might be something a little scandalous about showing off Calvin Klein or Victoria’s Secret undies, but is there really anything wrong with that? (No. No, there isn’t.)IMG_2566

 

 

 

 

 

Dressing in a sexy manner isn’t a crime.

Although, I honestly did feel a little awkward during this shoot because we were at the Clinton Presidential Library and guests were arriving for a fancy wedding while I was chilling and modeling for photos in this outfit. I probably could have planned the timing/location of that shoot better so that I didn’t feel underdressed, but it wasn’t the end of the world, and I didn’t let it bother me.

-S

IMG_2637

IMG_2514

 

 

There are a couple of fashion myths that I simply do not agree with.

For starters, whoever said that you have to be as tall as Karlie Kloss to wear long pants and maxi skirts is dead wrong. Many short girls, including myself (I’m 5’2 and proud), have ventured into the world of over-the knee-boots and wide-leg pants, and you know what? They look just as fly on us as they do on our taller counterparts.

However, there are several challenges when it comes to pulling off jumbo pant legs if you are not a pro in stilettos. Just remember to have your tailor on speed dial and that high waistbands can add several inches to your perceived height

 

 

IMG_2644 (1).

Another misconception that used to exist in the fashion industry is that you cannot mix prints, but that has certainly been disproven over the past few seasons. From mixing florals with stripes to even leopard and plaid, fashion in 2017 is on a new level that does not follow any rules.

I read an intriguing quote the other day on the fashion blog, Racked:

“A fashion ‘don’t’ thoroughly owned by you is always going to be a much more interesting look than a fashion ‘do’ worn with resentful compliance.”

So don’t hold back; break the rules. Remember that rebellion has always thrived in fashion.

Without it, would fashion ever evolve?

-H

All that said, you do have to know the rules before you can successfully break the rules. So, please don’t pair Hanes crew socks with your Birkenstocks or show off the straps of your ratty, old, Maidenform bra (please). But you can wear fishnet socks with black heels or show off the straps of a lacy, new bralette!

Keep in mind that fashion icons do not get remembered for wearing what’s conventional or appropriate. Wear what you want to wear, and let it roll off your back if people have a problem with it. Right now they might be mocking you, but before you know it, they’ll be imitating you.

“Well behaved women seldom make history.”

– Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

IMG_2476

Hannah’s Outfit Details

Button-Down Shirt: Goodwill

Jeans: Target

Heeled Sandals: Goodwill

Sunglasses: Rue21

Purse: BCBG

Sabrina’s Outfit Details

Crop Top: Target

Bra: Aerie

Jeans: Zara

Undies: Victoria’s Secret

Purse: Aldo

Ankle Boots: Lulu’s

Advertisements

Falling in Love With Clothing Again

Do you remember how you felt as a teenager after you tried on a million prom dresses and finally found one that gave you goosebumps?

If you are anything like us, you probably took it out of its garment bag and tried it on at least two or three more times before prom night because you simply could not wait to wear it until then.

It was a magical feeling that most of us can still remember.IMG_2771People used to have that kind of emotional connection with a lot more pieces in their wardrobes, but many of us have lost that. We buy the same, boring button-down shirt in three different colors because it works for the office, and we don’t want to have to put in the effort to find three amazing, unique tops instead.

This is precisely why we as a society have accepted fast fashion. We’re perfectly content with finding clothes that are kind of cute and that we can wear two or three times before the seams start coming apart and the appliqués start falling off because we honestly don’t care enough about them to want to wear them year after year.

But, it’s time to bring back the emotional connection to clothing because without it, we are losing out on some of the greatest benefits that fashion has to offer us.

IMG_2709

IMG_2751

 

 

I know there are a lot of people out there who love services like Stitch Fix, where a personal stylist selects clothes for them based on their style preferences. This service is great for those who don’t have time/don’t enjoy shopping, but I personally do not think you can develop that same attachment to something if you do not pick it out yourself.

This is big part of the reason why I develop more of a connection to clothing items that I purchase myself, rather than those I receive as gifts from friends or family members. I truly do appreciate that someone else has put the time and effort into choosing a dress or pair of shoes they think I’ll like, but even when I do like it, I don’t fall in love with it in the same way I would have if I had found it myself.

 

So, use Stitch Fix for everyday wear if you like, but if you have a big event coming up that you are really looking forward to, I urge you to go out, do the old-fashioned thing, and find a dress or an outfit yourself.

The joy of discovery leads to a deeper connection with that piece of clothing, and you’ll be more likely to wear it again and again.

-S

 

There are not a lot of times I can find a print or a pattern that works for me, but when I saw this dress online at Lulu’s, it was love at first sight. This print was minimal, chic, and two of my favorite colors. I was motivated to widen my wardrobe and find more prints that I adore because of the designer, Dom Streater, who was a Project Runway winner.

IMG_2791

 

What inspires me about Dom is that she creates her textile designs based on her own paintings, and you can see her constant love affair with prints come through in her clothing pieces. Dom took a lot of risks during her season by using prints in every challenge (even the million dollar runway challenge!), but because she continually made clothes that she personally loved and never compromised her design or aesthetic, she prevailed and won her season.

Even though I’m not quite as much of a prints person, I want to try to be more like Dom by not being afraid to take a risk and always wearing pieces that I’m emotionally attached to instead of ones that I merely ‘like’.

-H

 

You are probably tired of hearing this by now, but we’ll say it again anyways because it’s important: Clothing is how we show the world who we are inside.

How are we supposed to do that if we do not care about what we buy or what we put on our bodies?

Treating clothes as if they’re disposable not only harms the environment and contributes to unethical labor practices in developing countries, but it also dilutes this crucial form of personal expression.

There is a famous quote that reads,

“Life is too short to wear boring clothes,”

but we’d like to amend that to say,

“Life is too short to wear clothes you don’t love.”IMG_2896Sabrina’s Outfit Details

Dress: Target
Button Down Shirt: Goodwill
Ankle Boots: Lulu’s
Sunglasses: TJ Maxx
Earrings: Jeweller in India
Purse: Aldo
Hannah’s Outfit Details
Dress: Lulu’s
Bralette: Aerie
Ankle Boots: Lulu’s
Choker: Rue21
Earrings: Amazon
Hat: Target
Sunglasses: Eyeglass Direct

Freedom Lies in Being Bold

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

– Neale Donald Walsch

DSC_2354 2They say it’s hardest to see what is right in front of you.

We ourselves did not see how much our sense of style was growing and evolving until we looked back at the photographs from some of our first shoots.

Our style is nearly unrecognizable from even a year ago, and that’s pretty incredible.

DSC_2468 2

 

 

 

Until just a couple months ago, I was stuck in a phase for a long time where I only liked neutrals and basics. They worked, and I knew they looked chic, so it was difficult to break out of that mold. I turned to neutrals because before that, I didn’t really have a ‘style.’ I chose clothes on a whim without thinking about how they would fit in with the rest of my wardrobe. I kind of collected an assortment of pretty clothes with no idea as to what my sense of style was supposed to be.

I’ve loved fashion for my entire life, but it’s taken me almost my entire life thus far to truly figure out my identity in it.

I think everyone goes through those phases in their chosen craft: trying out a whole bunch of random things to see what ‘clicks’, narrowing down those choices in an attempt to make everything appear cohesive, and finally, cultivating some originality and through that, branching out and trying things that are bold and risky.

If you had told me even a year ago that I would be fawning over a floral, embroidered mesh top, I probably would have laughed. I would have never bought this top a year ago because the old me would have thought it was too flashy. But the new me wants to wear it literally every single day.

-S

DSC_2457 2 (1)

People are afraid of being bold in their choices because they’re scared that other people may not like those choices. They’re afraid of indulging in the edgier sides of their passions for fear of what other people might think.

We used to be those people.

We used to care what comments people made, or didn’t make, but thought to themselves.

Yet, we’re a lot happier now that we honestly don’t give a damn what other people think of us or our outfits.

DSC_2295 2

DSC_2422 2

 

 

I knew what I was supposed to do, but I didn’t know how I was going to do it.

I was scared.

For so long, I wrestled with what my major was going to be. I tried out environmental science and journalism at first, in an attempt to be “practical,” and then turned to digital filmmaking because it seemed like a good compromise between practicality and artistry. I liked them all, but none of them ever lit a fire inside of me.

It was time to be bold and do what I was meant to do– the arts.

I jumped in headfirst and took four art classes this semester, and they have opened my eyes as a creator. When I see a garment hanging on a rack at Goodwill, my mind races through the different ways I could reinvent it to make it fresh and stylish, and my heart races with anticipation to get to work on it. I don’t think I could have (or would have) done that with an environmental science degree.

In art, we are always looking for a way to communicate a message through colors, emotion, and lines– and that describes fashion to a tee. When I was bold in my decision to go after my passion and my craft, I became more myself than ever. And my style reflected that as I began to purchase daring pieces. As I became more adventurous in my art, I also became fearless in my style. I would have never worn a mesh top and overalls even just a few months ago!

So, take that job, move to L.A., wear that dress. Be courageous and go after your desires.

-H

Making bold choices is obviously a risk, and sometimes it doesn’t pay off.

Just yesterday, we were talking about how we would like to scrap/change some of the old outfits we’ve worn for shoots! Disliking some the chances you took is part of it. If you don’t take those chances, you are never going to end up with something that takes your breath away. You have to be willing to be bold and put yourself out there if you ever want to get past a plateau.

For us, that plateau was sticking to fashion that was safe.

For you, it might be grinding away at the same sales job without ever actually increasing your commission, or yielding the same results from a research experiment over and over again. If you’re stuck somewhere like that, know that you don’t have to be there forever.

You just have to try something new, or even think about something old in a new way. Change is hard and change is messy, but change is worth it. Step out of your comfort zone, and you would not believe the incredible things you can achieve.

DSC_2332 2

“Enjoy being bold, and if that is scary at first, marvel at your ability to walk through fear.”
-Rivka Solomon
DSC_2366 2
Sabrina’s Outfit Details
Mesh Top: Zara
White Button Down: Express
Jeans: H&M
Shoes: Antonio Melani
Earrings: Badgley Mischka
Sunglasses TJ Maxx
Rings: Unknown
Hannah’s Outfit Details:
Top: Forever 21
Overalls: Forever 21
Shoes: Marc Fisher
Brallette: Victoria’s Secret
Earrings: HipSway
Sunglasses: TJ Maxx
Photos by Demetrius McCullough

Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

“…The enemy is not lipstick but guilt itself;
we deserve lipstick if we want it and free speech;
we deserve to be sexual and serious or whatever we please.”
Naomi Wolf
DSC_2212 2

Its funny how a lot of people want to encourage body positivity, but also support dress codes.

Dress codes in schools, and sometimes even workplaces, excessively lean towards restricting what girls and women wear, not boys and men.

Are we seriously surprised that sending girls home for wearing spaghetti strap tank tops or shorts that hit more than two inches above the knees results in low self-confidence and body dysmorphia?

Are we shocked that reproaching women who wear anything but shapeless suits to the office results in victim-blaming in sexual assault cases because people think the woman was “asking for it” by wearing a mini skirt?

These dress codes reinforce the idea that the female form is something to be ashamed of,and that it is the woman’s job to cover herself up as to not be distracting to men and boys.

We get that we need to dress appropriately for different situations,like not wearing a strapless dress to the office,or a pair of underwear-length shorts to school,but most articles of clothing (like leggings) should not be any cause for concern.

DSC_2026 2

 

 

I remember the first time I got sent home from school for a dress code violation. I had on my favorite a-line, red and white floral dress,white tights, and flats, so I was incredibly confused when my teacher sent me to the principal who told me my dress was an inch too short.

I didn’t understand then why that necessitated me being pulled from my class for two hours and feeling humiliated upon my return in a different outfit,and I still don’t understand now. If the point of school is to learn,the point of dress codes is to not distract from learning,yet we’re yanking female students from their classrooms for hours at a time due to dress code violations,aren’t dress codes completely illogical?

DSC_2178 2I was six years old when that happened to me,and obviously I didn’t think about the “appropriateness” of the length(it went to mid-thigh, by the way). I wore it because I loved it and it never crossed my mind that was inappropriate for school(it wasn’t).

Covering up her body is not something a six year old should be forced to think about,but so many of them have to.

Every single day.
-S
DSC_2172 2
DSC_2099 2

So many of us struggle with feeling comfortable in our own skin, but we forget that the longest relationship we will ever have is the one we have with ourselves. If you are not happy with who you are, it makes it impossible to be happy in any other area of your life.

 For a long time, I didn’t feel like myself when I interacted with people,and that projection of myself changed depending on who I was with. One day, it clicked that I don’t have to project a different “version” of myself every time I talked to someone new.

I just needed to be who I am.

DSC_2231 2This realization came after I went to college and was allowed to live–and dress–as I pleased. Its no coincidence that having creative freedom allowed me to explore and accept my true self. I can wear pajamas or a cocktail dress to class if I want to (I don’t), but knowing that I am free–and encouraged–to be myself has given me the confidence to fully express who I am,no matter the situation. I’m proud of myself and my body,and I think I probably would have gained that confidence sooner had I not been subject to a strict set of ridiculous rules when I was growing up.

If we want to cultivate a generation of strong women for the future, all girls should have the freedom to express themselves while they’re young.

-H

As you get comfortable in your own skin, you dare to try things that are out of your comfort zone. Branching out is how you grow as a person, and girls and women should not have to wait until after high school or the weekends to do so.

Loving yourself for who you are and having the confidence to show that to the world is a huge step in life, and particularly in fashion.

Before we were given the freedom to express ourselves, we mostly stuck to clothes that were neither risky nor risque. Getting comfortable in our own skin was a phase of fashionability that we recently went through, and we’ve emerged more stylish and more ourselves than ever before.

DSC_2150 2
“When you send a girl home from school because her shorts are too short or her clothes are immodest, you are telling her that hiding her body is more important than her education. You are telling her that making sure the boys have a distraction-free learning environment is more important than her education.In a way, you’re telling her that the boys are more entitled to an education than she is, and that isn’t acceptable.”
DSC_2247 2
Hannah’s Outfit Details
Top: Forever 21
Bralette: Victoria’s Secret
Cardigan: Target
Jeans: American Eagle
Heels: Goodwill
Sunglasses: EyeGlasses Direct
Earrings: Dillards
Sabrina’s Outfit Details
Top: Zara
Jeans: Zara
Shoes: Impressions Boutique
Earrings: Gift
Sunglasses: TJ Maxx
Photos by: Demetrius McCullough