Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Am A Master!


After two years of hard work, sleep deprivation, writing millions (ok, hundreds) of pages, and reading countless articles- I have a Master of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University! Here are some of the topics that I learned about during my journey:

-Language Maintenance and Immigrant Communities
-Social Support in Religious Communities
-Strategic Marketing/Communication Campaigns for Nonprofits
-Fashion as Storytelling
-Group Assimilation
-Social Networks (face-to-face, not facebook)
-Blogging Ethics
-and many, many others.

There were two days of graduation ceremonies, and both days were beautiful.  After all of the terribly dangerous weather that's happened over the past month or so, it was wonderful to have good weather at least for those two days.  

Here is what I wore on Day 1 (Friday) of the celebrations:

After the ceremony with hat hair
Grey Embellished Cardigan: Abercrombie & Fitch (I took this off during the ceremony because the arena was sweltering hot)
Hot Pink Silk Chiffon Dress: Donna Morgan
Golden Brass Belt: My Grandma's Belt from the 70s or 80s

Apparently I was supposed to open the cap and gown package much earlier in the week to get rid of the wrinkles!

I will post more about my outfit for Day 2 later this week.  

Thank you everyone who supported and/or challenged me through this experience- I couldn't have done this without you all! (ahem. . . friends, family, mentors, advisors. . . )

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inspiration: Difference Matters

Hello Readers,

On Tuesday May 10, I began my morning in the most delightful way: with a workshop on inclusivity hosted by Dr. Brenda J. Allen.

For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Allen, she is perhaps best known as a leading scholar from the field of Communication, especially for her work in organizational and group communication, diversity/inclusivity and teaching/pedagogy.  I read some of her work as an undergrad at Greenville College and even more of her work in graduate school at Saint Louis University, especially in my Language and Cultural Diversity class.  I've heard for years what a dynamic speaker she is, and I was thrilled to finally see her speak in person.

The title of Dr. Allen's presentation was "Preparing for the Future: Communicating Inclusivity" and she explored enrollment projections in higher education and the need for greater awareness and greater efforts toward making colleges and universities (like my alma mater, SLU) places of inclusivity.  She defined inclusion as "the process of helping people feel like valued members of a group or community." That sounds precisely like a process that educators, administrators, and students should strive for in their schools!

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Allen, or inclusivity through communication, I highly recommend her book, Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity.  The book is available on her website for the book (, as well as Amazon.  I haven't read the whole book, but I am in the process.

There are so many wonderful things that I could say about her (her poise, brilliance, charisma, grace) but since this is a fashion blog, I will focus on that aspect of her. In addition to being an amazing scholar, this woman has major style! I wish that I would have taken a picture of her outfit that day- she looked fantastic! The story of her outfit that day was of strength, confidence, warmth, and creativity- a stylish scholar!
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Fitting Room Reviews

Hey Readers!

I apologize for my absence on this blog lately.  The past two (or maybe few?) weeks have been so busy with the oral defense of my comprehensive exam, finishing final papers, grading final exams, getting ready to graduate, and packing up the majority of my apartment.

Anyways. . . in the midst of this craziness I was able to make it into Anthropologie (of course!) Here are a few of the things that I tried on:

Across the Land Dress by Maple
Across the Land Dress (Maple):
I love the seafoam green and polka dots of this dress but its fit didn't quite suit me.  There was too much fabric and I wasn't too fond of the cross-over neckline.  I think the dress would have been better (for me) if it had a v-neck instead of a modified sheath neckline.  Overall, I thought the dress was well-constructed, but not for me.

Chartreuse Shoots Dress by Moulinette Soeurs 
This dress wowed me online, but in the store I found its neckline to be a bit too high and the hue of dress resembled something closer to the color of a highlighter.  I appreciated the tie at the waist, but it was placed too high on the dress for my torso. Maybe it would work better for girls with shorter torsos?
Quechua Dress by We Love Vera
This was a graduation dress contender but it did not make it to the stage on Friday.  I stalked this dress online, and eventually tried it on in the store but it was a disappointment for me.  The amount of fabric was overwhelming, the top of the dress was way too roomy and I wasn't impressed with the quality of the fabric. The only winning quality of the dress, for me, was the beautiful black and white print.

Name of dress unknown
I really wanted to like this dress: it is navy blue and it has a ribbon-tie waist.  But this dress just didn't impress.  The fit of the dress was very loose- but not in an intentional easy-breezy sort of way. It looked sloppy and I felt like I looked 10 lbs heavier while wearing this dress. No thanks!

Whirligig Dress by Velvet available here
I absolutely love this dress- the raspberry color, the romantic draping, the soft jersey, it's overall feel.  I took a size S in this dress and it fit wonderfully.  My only complaint is that the hem was a bit too short for my height (it hit my leg at an odd spot).  I really like this dress, but I think I'll wait for a sale.

My friend Mary came with me on one of my recent visits to my local store and she tried on this outfit- which looks stunning! She is wearing the Deletta Expanding Horizons Tank in Navy Blue and a skirt from the sale rack whose name I forgot.  This skirt will be perfect for her internship this summer in Florida!

Looking good Mary!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Boo Hoo (Spoiled Surprise)

Today I was going to post pictures of the skirt that I found at Anthropologie last week, that I wore to church and brunch with my very lovely and very beautiful mom today, but it was defective! Later this week I am going to the store to see if I can exchange or order another one.

OK- my pity party is over- back to grading speeches and writing papers!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fitting Room Dress Reviews: 05/5/2011

Happy Saturday Readers!

On Wednesday, I went into Anthropologie to return a sweater that I bought during the Spring event last month. It was a lovely cardigan, but I have so many cardigans right now, and it really didn't make any sense to buy another right before summer.

While I was in Anthropologie, I decided to try on a few things that caught my eye online and happened to be in the store.  Here they are:

Nouveau Rose Skirt
Side Angle

 I absolutely loved this skirt!  The color, the print, the cut, the draping- absolutely wonderful!  My only hesitation in purchasing the skirt (besides my dwindling budget) is that it made me look wider than I am from the back.  The front was flattering, but the draping in the back accentuated my rear and hips (which actually made my legs look smaller).  Maybe I will purchase this skirt when it moves to the sale section.
Level 99 Lily Straight Leg
Let's just say that these pants run small.  Usually I wear a 28/29 in skinny pants, and these were a 28 and they were tight.  I could still zip the zipper, but the fabric of these pants were thin enough that they looked like leggings (which I do not like).  Maybe a larger size would look better? The pants are cute, but if you are going to try them on or buy them, I recommend going up a size.

Expanding Horizons Tank- Deletta
Deletta = Delightful. That equation rings true with the Expanding Horizons tank.  I tried on my usual S, which was a bit snug, but flattering nonetheless.  The V of the neck runs a bit low, so it would be a good idea to layer this tank with a cami or another tank.

Loosened Shelby Blouse- Porridge
I was not impressed with this blouse on me.  It is a beautiful blouse, but it just didn't suit me.  I wasn't sure if I should tie the hanging ribbons of fabric or leave them hanging.  It is cute, and I think that styled properly it would look better, but for me it wasn't quite my style.  But. . . if you are considering this blouse it is definitely worth a try!

Reflecting Pool Dress- Moulinette Soeurs
If I lived near the ocean, or was going on vacation anytime soon, this dress would be a great pick! It is lightweight, breezy, and colorful.  The print of this dress reminds me of a watercolor painting, a trait that adds to its breezy feel- but it was so lightweight that it almost felt like a slip.  If I lived in a warmer climate, this dress would be wonderful, but for the climate in which I currently reside, this dress felt a bit bare. Sizewise, I found that the dress ran a bit small. Usually I take a 4 in dresses from Anthropologie, which is what I tried on in the photo, but I think a 6 would have been more comfortable.

Hope you enjoyed these reviews! Let me know if you have any questions!
(PS- When I returned the cardigan, I found something that I've been looking for for a great price- more details on Sunday!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wearing the Colors of the Wind

Hello Readers!

Yesterday I made a bold move.  Usually, when picking out an outfit I will stick to neutrals with maybe one pop of color in the outfit, but yesterday I wore more than one non-neutral color, I wore 3.  Mint green, turquoise, and copper.  The color combination made me think of the song Colors of the Wind from the movie Pocahontas. . . Anyways, here is the outfit:

Outside of my lovely office

This sudden burst of color was inspired by one of my friend's suggestions that I incorporate more color into my wardrobe (thanks Jasmine!) The result of this change?  Well, in addition to feeling bright and cheery on a Wednesday, I received compliments from several of my students and friends at school.  Also, when I went to the mall to pick up a few things for my mom I received a few compliments from employees at a few stores!

Just for fun, here are a few more photos of my colorful outfit:

Apparently I still have problems locking my office door. . . 

There we go!

I will miss this office after graduation!

Thank you for your advice Jasmine!

Retail Details:
Mint Green Scarf: A kiosk in Chinatown (NYC)
Turquoise 3/4 Cardigan: Zara (purchased in Madrid in spring 2008)
Enchanted Eyes Beaded Leather Belt: Anthropologie
Brownish-Grey Lace Skirt: 1960s Vintage, purchased online from a seller in Scotland
Copper Scallop-Patterned Tights: Anthropologie
Beige and Off-White Spectators: Seychelles
Patterned Wallet: Vera Bradley

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trends I Will Not Try: The Undergrad Uniform

Hello Readers,

Oh dear.  The trend I tackle tonight is one that I'm sure we are all familiar with.  I first remember seeing this trend on the campus of SLU Madrid (worn by American students) in the spring semester of 2008.

What is this trend?  With the exception of one ingredient, the elements of this trend (alone) are harmless but combined they are a disaster. Why do I call this the undergrad uniform?  Because I have seen it on campuses everywhere: Madrid, St. Louis, Greenville, Milwaukee, Peoria, Chicago, and even across facebook. Do you know what I am talking about now?

Need a hint? Here are the ingredients:

from NorthFace's website- the Denali Jacket

Black Leggings from Banana Republic
Black UGG Tall Boots
I own a similar NorthFace jacket, and I love it.  I also own a pair of black leggings (the very same style pictured above from BR).  I do not, nor have I ever, owned a pair of UGGs but I try to understand their original function and current appeal.  

I am not the first person to notice the disaster that the combination of these elements create.  Last summer, I learned of UIUC No Pants- a blog that posts reader-submitted photos of wearers of this perfect storm of the uggleggingface affliction across the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois.

My favorite post, "The NoPants Trifecta," captures my similar loathing of the trend of interest for this post.  If you feel the same way about The NoPants Trifecta (North Face jacket with leggings and UGGs), I highly recommend this blog and most especially this post.  

So. . . Readers, what do you think?  Are you an offender? Do you know an offender?  What do you think about The NoPants Trifecta/uggleggingface affliction?