The Wide Open Secret: Sexual Harassment in a Post-Weinstein World

One emerging fashion model. One professional photographer. Two feisty bloggers/business owners/feminists. Here are our thoughts on the recent surge of sexual harassment allegations in the aftermath of Harvey Weinstein.

 

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As a fresh face in the modeling scene, I am currently experiencing many of the challenges that come with this profession. You have to have the right connections and live in the right location, but most importantly, you have to have ‘the look.’ In the fashion and entertainment industry, looking a certain way can propel you pretty far. However, many people do not realize that there is a lot more to modeling than having desirable physical qualities. Succeeding as a model requires persistence, practice, and risk, and one of the biggest risks involves potentially putting your physical, emotional, and spiritual safety in harm’s way.

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I am lucky in that I have yet to face any abuses of power myself, but the research I have discovered while working on my senior thesis regarding the sexual harassment and mistreatment of models is rather shocking. As young women try to enter into the fashion world, they often do it with little experience or know-how, which leaves them unguarded and vulnerable to predators, which can be their photographers, agents, clients, or bookers. Sexual harassment has been widely tolerated by the fashion and entertainment industries for many years, and things are just now starting to change. As a model, I would recommend to others to always do their research before agreeing to participate in a new project. Talk to other women who have worked with those photographers or agents, and take what they say seriously to keep yourself safe.

Sofiya Stasiv, Fashion Model

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Photographers have a lot of power in this industry.

Particularly in the portraiture scene, it’s no secret that the vast majority of photographers are male and the vast majority of models are female. There is a power dynamic there that spans centuries and yet, I often see photographers write off that dynamic as unimportant or even nonexistent simply because of the ‘age we live in.’ So, I think it’s important to first establish that–in case there was any doubt–there is still a lot of inequality between men and women. Our society has not magically pushed past it; we have only made some progress. Of course, sexual harassment is not limited to just male photographers encroaching on the space of female models. It exists across the gender spectrum and throughout various other jobs in the industry. Yet, I certainly won’t pretend that the former is not particularly potent in its presence.

I approach my own work with this understanding. Many of the people I work with are female models, and a big part of their work involves being vulnerable for someone they often don’t know very well. That alone is an immensely difficult thing to do, but it is further compounded upon when the industry is so full of photographers taking advantage of that vulnerability. I don’t really wish to make a case for photographers on this issue since, as a whole, we truly aren’t the victims of the situation.

We have to do better. That starts with educating ourselves on the nature of consent, listening to women’s experiences instead of silencing them with our own preconceived notions, and understanding that the label of ‘creative vision’ does not give free reign to treat people as objects or sexual tokens.

Most importantly, we have to understand the power we wield as photographers in a male-centric industry with a male gaze. We can either be boons to the improvement of our societal standards or maintain the status quo, subsequently furthering the justified feeling of fear people may have when working with us.

Errick Jackson, Fashion & Portraiture Photographer

 

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Until fairly recently, men could abuse their power and sexually harass or assault women without much fear of repercussion. It was even written into some of their contracts. Frequent sexual harassment was an ‘open secret’ in Hollywood and across the country. Women were often pressured to keep their mouths shut or risk losing their careers. Those who did come forward were often vilified or called liars who were looking for money or attention. And considering 99% of rapists never serve jail time, it’s no wonder that many of these women chose to keep these incidents to themselves.

But something broke after the allegations about Harvey Weinstein came to light. New allegations are coming forward every day against men in entertainment, politics, and business, and they are actually being taken seriously. For the first time in history, powerful men are facing consequences for their actions. Some call it a witch hunt and think that because there are so many men being accused, it cannot possibly be true. But ask any woman alive if she has ever faced sexual harassment, and the answer will almost assuredly be yes.

We still have a long way to go in changing our culture, but we have made a lot of progress in the span of just a month or two. No longer do women have to fear losing their careers by coming forward and ousting their bosses or directors. In a post-Weinstein world, any man who has ever abused his power to sexually harass/assault women (or men), will have to spend every damn day living in fear that one of his victims will come forward and his career will be ruined. And that is one of the biggest victories. It is difficult to stomach that many of these men will never be brought to justice in the eyes of the law because the statute of limitations has passed, but at least we can rest easy knowing now that they are the ones who cannot sleep at night.

-S & H

 

 

Hannah’s Wearing:

| H&M Statement Sleeve Blouse | Goodwill Blue High-Waisted Trousers (similar) | Target Embroidered Ankle Boots | Amazon Fishnet Socks | Amazon Yellow Circle Sunglasses | Zara Black Quilted Crossbody Bag with Lion Detail |

Sofiya’s Wearing:

| TJ Maxx Floral Wrap Dress (similar) | Goodwill Leather Jacket with Fur Collar (similar) | Marc Fisher Buckle Ankle Boots | Goodwill Quilted Leather Purse (similar) |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Zara Chunky Beige Sweater (similar) | Express Flared Trousers (similar) | Amazon Embroidered Heels | Lulu’s Faux Fur Snood (similar) | Amazon Statement Strap Purse | Kohl’s Blue Sunglasses (similar) |

 

Photos by: Errick Jackson

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Super Simple Styling Tips You (Yes, You) Need to Be Using

Have you ever noticed that even when you buy the same clothes as fashion bloggers and Instagrammers, they just don’t look the same on you?

The reason why? Styling.

Employing a few easy styling techniques can completely transform your wardrobe without you having to spend a penny. Here are five tips we personally use on a daily basis!

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1. Tuck in your shirt.

One of the easiest ways to take your outfit from “college kid running late to her 8 am class” to “sophisticated woman who has her life together” is to tuck or half-tuck your shirt/sweater. Doing so defines your waistline, creates better proportions (longer legs, smaller waist), and gives you the ability to show off a stylish belt.

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2. Show off your socks.

You can make even the most boring of pair of shoes feel fresh again by pairing them with statement socks. (Or, make weird shoes even weirder, which is the path we tend to take.) Fishnet, solid black, and striped socks are all good options to show off above your sneakers or ankle boots.

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3. Wear your dress as a skirt.

Are you bored of your dresses because there are only so many jackets you can pair with them to create different looks? Well, you are about to feel like you have an entirely new wardrobe with this trick. Layer a sweater or sweatshirt over your dress to make that dress feel like a new skirt!

 

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4. Cuff your jeans.

 

Unless you are wearing cropped jeans, you should almost always cuff your jeans. A single or double cuff prevents bunching at your ankles and allows a killer pair of shoes to shine. You can roll up your jeans evenly, or do an imperfect, asymmetric roll if you are looking for a little edginess.

 

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5. Drape your jacket over your shoulders.

If you ever see a street style star IRL, you can bet that her jacket will be draped over her shoulders instead of with her arms in the sleeves. Wearing a jacket like this keeps you warm, but still allows you to show off your outfit underneath. Plus, it makes you feel powerful, as though you’re wearing a superhero cape!

 

 

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Levi’s Vintage 501s (similar) | Goodwill Varsity Sweater (similar) | Goodwill Leather Jacket (similar) | Target Platform Oxfords | Banana Republic Circle Purse (similar) | Amazon Fishnet Socks | Kohl’s Round Sunglasses (similar) | Badgley Mischka Ear Cuff (similar) | Gucci Belt (lookalike) |

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Target Striped Top | Zara Polka Dot Skort (similar) | Forever 21 Over-The-Knee Boots | Old Navy Burgundy Suede Jacket (similar) | Amazon Embroidered Purse | Aldo Sunglasses (similar) | Target Earrings (similar) | Target Choker |

Addison’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Striped Dress (similar) | Goodwill Cropped Sweatshirt (similar) | Forever 21 Metallic Mules | BCBG Quilted Purse (similar) | Kohl’s Reflective Sunglasses (similar) | Target Necklaces (similar) |

Bienvenue en France: The Fashion Capital of the World (And Our Hearts)

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There are many things that inspire me about France. From France being the first to ban “too thin” models (a monumental step in the right direction of lowering the rates of eating disorders in the modeling industry) to electing President Macron instead of succumbing to the nationalism that is sweeping the rest of the world, France always seems to come through as a beacon of hope in our modern world.

Recently, France announced legislation that will require French fashion magazines that photoshop or retouch their photos to mark those images that have been retouched.

It’s empowering to see such the home of the global fashion capital make such a bold move. Exposing young girls to impossible body standards has resulted in extremely high rates of anorexia and bulimia in the fashion industry.

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France is the first to embark to this journey towards a more body-positive world of modeling, and I hope America follows the same path.

-H

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Did you know the word “culture” actually comes from France?

Cristina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barney and Southgate College in London, told Live Science, “ ‘Culture’ derives from the same French term, which in turn derives from the Latin ‘colere’, meaning to tend to the earth, grow, cultivate, and nurture.

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I love how the French embrace their culture through style and sophistication. Their public spaces strike such a regal tone. Paris, for example, is known to many as the home to high-end fashion houses, such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Chanel. Many French people dress in an elegant, professional and fashionable style, but it is never over-elaborate. A few of my favorite typical outfits include long coats, scarves and berets, which make me feel as though I could be in Paris.

-Emily Moore

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I was lucky enough to visit France four years ago when I studied abroad in Europe.

One moment I will never forget is lying the grass in front of the Eiffel Tower, nibbling on pain au chocolate and watching this icon of Paris sparkle against the night sky.

What I love about Paris is that it somehow—impossibly—feels both timeless and cutting-edge, especially when it comes to fashion. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “effortless French girl style” more times than you can count and have never been quite sure what it meant. But this is what I think it means.
French women know how to be sexy without necessarily being too revealing. They tend to wear fewer, higher-quality clothes, and they have an inclination towards menswear-inspired pieces, which makes every outfit feel as though it has a story.

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I absolutely adore this oversized blazer, but I think a piece like this only works when it is paired with something a little sexier, like a little black dress. I imagine this as something a French girl would wear after she goes out to dinner at Pierre Gagnaire and steals her man’s blazer for warmth while they place a lock symbolizing their love on the Pont Des Arts bridge. (*Sighs wistfully*)

Anyways, after writing this and reminiscing, I think I’m going to have to drown my inner travel bug with a giant glass of merlot, macarons, and Chanel No. 5. Otherwise, I will definitely blow my entire paycheck on the next flight to Paris. Cheers!

-S

Fall Pants: Beyond the Skinny Jean

Quick poll: When you think of ‘fall pants’, what is the first item in your closet that comes to mind?

…Skinny jeans?

If that was your answer, we want to demonstrate how you can unleash the full potential fall fashion has to offer by looking beyond the skinny jean.

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I love a good pair of skinny jeans as much as the next girl, but I’m honestly happy the fashion world is shifting focus away from this style for the time being. You may have noticed that the majority of fashion it girls only sparingly post photos of skinny jeans, even in their downtime. They moreso post shots of vintage-inspired jeans, trousers, and track pants.

 

For this shoot, I paired my favorite track pants with this funky button-down from Goodwill (I’m pretty hung up on those eye-shaped buttons) and a pair of black pumps with a metallic heel. I could have just as easily worn a pair of skinny jeans with this look, but track pants make this look feel fresh, instead of something I’ve worn literally hundreds of times.

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This fall, don’t confine yourself to the box of strictly wearing skinny jeans with your cold-weather favorites. Wear your trousers with chunky sweaters and leather jackets. Wear your favorite pair of vintage jeans with an off-the-shoulder top. Or, as I did, wear track pants with your favorite button down and heels for a sporty twist on a classic look.

-S

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It’s the rise of the high rise trousers this year! Only a year ago, you probably would have found me in black skinny jeans, booties, and a sweater nearly every day. This fall I decided I wanted to challenge myself to be more versatile in my wardrobe and not remain in my comfort zone.

This ensemble was inspired by my favorite blogger, Mary Lee (formerly Mary Seng) of Happily Grey. She recently wore an off-the-shoulder knit sweater with long fringe hanging off the sleeves and a high-waisted, gingham trouser. I took this inspiration and added my own twist with an aztec scarf and maroon accessories. It’s probably no surprise that I have been fawning over her ‘tomboy chic’ style–with its menswear-inspired details and straight leg trousers–all season.

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If you want to rock your own version of this look, take these tips on high-waisted pants to heart. First off, never fear the crop. A structured black crop top with a pair of high-waisted pants is flattering on most body types! Second, to make your outfit look more finished, throw a cropped jacket or vintage blazer over your shoulders. And lastly, I’ll leave you with the holy grail of high-waisted pant styling tips: tuck in your shirt!

-H

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Hannah’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Sweater (similar) | Goodwill High-Waisted Trousers (similar) | Target Aztec Scarf (similar) | Gifted Red Crossbody Purse (similar) | Target Earrings (similar) |

 

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Vintage Button Down (similar) | Forever 21 Track Pants (similar)Amazon Quilted Velvet Crossbody Purse |Amazon Circular Yellow Sunglasses |Amazon Vintage Metal Face Earrings| Steve Madden Gold Heel Pumps (similar) |  

 

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, for which we will receive a small commission if you click on our link and buy a clothing or accessory item. Our opinions on those pieces are always our own! ❤

What to Wear For Fall When It Still Feels Like Summer

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, for which we will receive a small commission if you click on our link and buy a clothing or accessory item. Our opinions on those pieces are always our own! ❤

_MG_9065 (1)Pumpkin spice lattes and leather jackets are taking over Instagram once again, but if you live in the south, you know it feels less like fall and more like mid-July right about now. It’s t-shirt weather from sunup to sundown most days, which can be incredibly frustrating for us cold weather-loving ladies.

But, we can’t let that deter us from rocking the latest and greatest fall trends right alongside our favorite bloggers and Instagrammers! We just have to find those select few pieces that make us want to eat some warm pumpkin pie instead of feeling like we’re baking in the oven right alongside it. Here are our favorites:

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statementsleeves-1The Kimono

If you want to feel like a real-life fashion superhero, step out onto your city streets (the sidewalks, actually) wearing a pair of sky-high heels and a billowing kimono.

 

 

 

_MG_9015You will fall in love with the kimono, not only because it makes you believe for a split second that you are literally Wonder Woman, but also due to the fact that this trend works in all seasons.

In the summer, you can throw a kimono over a mini skirt and a tank top, and in the winter, you can wear a long sleeve blouse under it and add some skinny jeans. It’s the perfect layering piece!

 

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Velvet

And if a kimono makes you feel like a superhero, velvet makes you feel like a queen.

Velvet was a breakout trend last season and it is well on its way to taking the top spot this season. From ankle boots to bodysuits, you can find virtually any clothing or accessory item in velvet!

This fabric instantly makes you look glamorous, and it’s actually more breathable and comfortable than you might think.

 

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The Mini Skirt

Mini skirts of all shapes and sizes are taking over 2017, which we love because this piece is subtly sexy and can be styled in nearly endless ways.

We personally love wearing our mini skirts with kimonos and heeled shoes, but you can also wear yours with tights, a sweater, and over-the-knee boots when cooler weather finally graces us with its presence.

 

 

 

_MG_9091 (1)Embroidery

Is it too soon to call embroidery a classic?

We dearly hope that embroidery sticks around forever (or at least until the end of our lifetimes) because if there is one trend that guarantees you will receive a ridiculous number of compliments, it’s embroidery.

Particularly embroidered footwear. (AKA the holy grail of fashion.)

An embroidered pair of ankle boots adds a fashion-forward edge to any look without also having the heat-retaining properties of embroidered jeans or an embroidered sweatshirt.

What are some of your favorite trends to wear during the transitional months?

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Hannah’s Wearing:

| Refashioned Suede Top (similar) | Goodwill Cream Mini Skirt (similar) | Goodwill Kimono (similar) | Dillard’s Strappy Heels (similar) | TJ Maxx Shears Earrings (similar) | Banana Republic Circle Purse (similar) | Forever 21 Sunglasses |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| HipSway Velvet Kimono (similar) | H&M Camisole | Goodwill Black Mini Skirt (similar) | Target Embroidered Ankle Boots | HipSway Statement Earrings (similar) |Gucci Lookalike Belt | Zara Studded Clutch (similar) | H&M Gold Hair Accessory |

 

The Best Place to Find Chic, Affordable Office Wear

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As someone who has spent most of their life thrifting, investing in high quality pieces can come with some personal challenges because the prices are usually quite a bit higher than what I’m used to. I was apprehensive when we went shopping at the Banana Republic Factory Store because this brand is known for quality clothing and slightly more expensive prices. I told myself to tread carefully because I didn’t want to end up spending my entire paycheck on a pair of pants!

Yet, I was happily surprised to find that almost everything in the store was 40% off, including the clearance section (my fave), which made their clothes very affordable. I loaded up my arms with at least twenty pieces before heading to the dressing room, so obviously I loved their sense of style. It was incredibly hard to narrow it down because they had so many cute pieces, but in the end, I decided to go for a sleek pair of gray, patterned pants, a white blouse with statement sleeves, and another plum and black lace top!

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I was able to get all of these pieces for $100, which may sound like a lot to my fellow thrifters, but if you consider how long these pieces are going to remain in good shape and in style, it’s really quite the bargain!

-H

 

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The #1 question I get asked by fans is: “Where is the best place to find chic, affordable clothes for the office?” I have several places in mind that I usually tell them, but one of my new favorites is the Banana Republic Factory Store. Here, you can find all the same high-quality pieces you’ve come to know and love from Banana Republic, but you can get them at a fraction of the original cost (and you know how fond we are of that!).

I think it’s smart that Banana Republic tends to stick to fairly classic styles and silhouettes, but throws in some trendy details, like statement sleeves, open shoulders, and fun floral prints. This makes it easy to find pieces that will be in style for years, but still feel modern and fresh!

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While we were shopping here, I found so many tops and pairs of pants I wanted to buy, but it was love at first sight when I put on this dress, purse, and sunglasses. The versatility of this dress drew me to it because I can pair it with loafers in the summertime, and throw on a pair of ankle boots and a cardigan for the colder months. I still cannot believe I got this entire outfit for $100, and I know these staple pieces are going to serve me well for years to come.

-S

 

We will be hosting the Friends & Family event with Banana Republic this Saturday (the 19th) at their Little Rock Outlet location, where you can get 40% off your entire purchase and enjoy some complimentary styling assistance from us!

We hope to see you there and can’t wait to help you look and feel your best!

Banana Republic Work Outfits