Navigating Professional Dress

I spent 3 weeks in professional clothing.

via Tumblr

3 sad, long weeks without leggings, sweatshirts, t-shirts, sneakers, moccasins – basically all of my most loved pieces in my wardrobe.

And the reason why I spent 3 weeks in professional clothing was primarily due to the fact that I was pledging Emerson College’s only local, professional sorority, Kappa Gamma Chi! Now that those 3 weeks are over and I crossed into Kappa, I learned a lot about professionalism and what it means to dress professionally; especially figuring out how to balance professionalism with comfort.

For the most part, I had two constant questions running through my mind when I was pledging: Is professional dress limited to a select handful of clothing options? Are we all going to be stuck wearing dress pants, blouses, and heels for the rest of our lives?

Continue reading “Navigating Professional Dress”


Dad Hats: From Baseball to Fashion

You’re scrolling down your Instagram when you first see it; the hat. It has a vintage feel or even a pop culture saying that speaks to you. Immediately you know that your wardrobe will not be complete without it. You feel that you must have it in order to achieve the level of cool of the current wearer as well as to add to your personal style. So, you go on a Google frenzy lost in click holes until you find it and make it yours.

Caps, or “dad hats” as many style sites have affectionately begun calling them, have been taking over Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards for months now. These hats have been reoccurring in the fashion scene for several years popularized by Brandy Melville and other brands as well as celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian. However, this summer seems to be the summer of the dad hat.

Commonly known as baseball caps, these types of hats have been around since the mid-1800s when they were first worn by the baseball team the Brooklyn Excelsiors. Soon, they became the standard for baseball players across the globe. The hats shield the eyes from the sun which is essential in the sport.

For many decades, fans also embraced the hats to support their favorite team, leading to their association with fathers cheering on their team. Soon, many other brands and logos began appearing on the hats. The hats became common accessories in most wardrobes. However, they were not necessarily always deemed “fashionable.” More so, caps were thought to be reserved for bad hair days or athletic outings. That is, until now. With the trend hitting the mainstream market, these caps are no longer just for dads or even baseball players, the “dad hats” are for everyone.

Caps typically contain a logo or lettering of some sort embroidered on the front above the brim and an adjustable band in the back. Due to their various colors and possible personal options, these hats can be adopted to fit almost any style. The hats even come in many materials from classic canvas to leather. They can be used to show support of your favorite sports team, college, pop culture statement, or just about anything else. In addition, the brims still fulfill their original purpose and can act as a shield from the sun. Thus, the hats can be worn on beach days or for trips in the city, music festivals and everything in between.This combination of functionality and fashionability makes the caps the perfect summer accessory.

Caps can be styled with a large variety of outfits. The classic summer look can include cut off shorts, a tank top, high top sneakers, and your favorite cap. However, caps can also be paired with a skirt or dress to make an outfit more casual or day time appropriate. The material and color of the cap are also important in determining what outfit to pair it with. The right cap can often be worn as a statement piece adding a certain fashionable feel to an otherwise basic outfit. If you have long hair caps also allow for a variety of hairstyles. This includes the classic athletic look of a pony tail sticking out the back of your cap or something more fun like a half up half down look. The ways to wear caps are seemingly limitless. So, pick up a “dad hat” and begin experimenting with your own summer style.

How To Transition Your Wardrobe For Spring

It’s that time of year again–though the bitter winds of winter may still be pushing us down Boylston, spring is right around the corner. Maybe it’s just me being optimistic, but in my head, March is synonymous with spring–and it’s only a blink away! That means the days of ski jackets and snow boots are almost over, and all of Boston can breathe a collective sigh of relief. This brings us to an impasse–what are we to do with all of our lumpy sweaters, our thick socks, hats and mittens? It’s high time that we all begin the happy transition into milder days. Spring break is just around the corner and so is the season it’s named for!

Know This Season’s Colors

First thing’s first: we’ve got to check the trends. The Pantone Fashion Color Report, for Spring 2016 tells us that “Colors this season transcend cultural and gender norms. Vivid brights give way to excitement and optimism, though quiet stability prevails in this season’s palette.” The top colors are as follows: rose quartz, peach echo, serenity (very similar to periwinkle), snorkel blue (cross between navy and royal blue), iced coffee, lilac grey, limpet shell (kind of like aquamarine), fiesta (fire engine red), green flash (lime), and buttercup (you can see pictures of all these colors by following the link above). This is an exciting lineup for springtime fashion, considering it has traditionally been a time for muted tones and pastels. 2016 is proving to be a fierce, fearless year.

Get Creative

I know what you’re thinking: “But Margeaux, I don’t have these colors in my closet. I can’t just go out and buy all new clothes!” Worry not my darlings, this thought has occurred to me. It’s all about working with what you’ve got. For instance, the lime color “green flash” is not too far off from the kelly green that was popular a few years ago. There’s nothing wrong with dipping into seasons past. (Don’t worry, I won’t tell.) Pair this green color with “snorkel blue” for a fresh, classic Tommy Hilfiger look. If you love Easter colors like I do, try going with “limpet shell” and “rose quartz.” Both are very traditionally spring-like and will pair well with “iced coffee” or “lilac grey.” It’s always a safe bet to put one cheerful, popping color with a more muted one. Swap the “iced coffee” for taupe and “lilac grey” for slate and you’re ready to venture out into the dewy air.

Time to Transition

Now it’s time to talk outfits. Coming out of sweater weather, we can eliminate some of our bulkiest pieces in favor of some lighter fare. With Spring break approaching, it’s easy to throw some of your warm fuzzies into a duffel and cart them home so as not to waste already meager dorm-room closet space. Knowing how unpredictable Boston’s weather can be, it’s still a good idea to keep one warm coat lying around. That being said, while away for break you have the opportunity to swap out some clothes you have waiting at home.

When I think of spring clothes, the movie Miss Congeniality comes to mind. When Miss Rhode Island is asked about her idea of the perfect date, she says confidently, “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th, because it’s not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.” Truer words were never spoken by a native of my homeland! On your return voyage, bring back a light cardigan or two to replace heavy sweaters. Try a windbreaker instead of a coat, and maybe even some capris! As for shoes, try some Toms instead of Bean boots (but keep your Doc Martens all year round because they look boss in any season). Fashion trends aside, the most important tip I can give you for Springtime is to smile, shed those winter blues and get ready for lots more sunshine!


Make the Most of Your Small Space in Three Easy Steps

Moving into college, especially for the first time, is exciting. Squeezing all of your belongings into a tiny room you share with someone else is not. Even if you’ve graduated from a dorm, chances are your apartment may not be that big either. If you’re not sure how you could possibly fit everything into such a small space and make it look good, read on for some tips.

Don’t bring too much. There are huge lists of things colleges suggest you bring when moving in, but you may not need everything. If you’re staying in a dorm, don’t waste too much space on kitchenware, because you’ll rarely use it. But if you’re living in a suite or apartment with a full kitchen you might need most of it. Having an iron and ironing board on hand seems useful, but if you’ve never ironed your clothes at home, don’t bother bringing one to college, because you’ll probably be even less likely to use it there. I think I used my iron twice the entire year I lived there.

Talk with your roommates and coordinate who’s bringing the big stuff. If you want coffee pots, hot plates, kuriegs, microwaves or fridges, you’ll only have room for one of each. Keep in mind that you might not even have enough space for all of these and/or most colleges may not allow things like hot plates.

Another thing people (myself included) over pack is clothing and shoes. Especially in triples or quads, you just won’t have the space you want to store everything. Seriously think about how often you’ll wear the clothes you bring, especially if you’re a sweats/yoga pants type of person. Those nice outfits are great for going out, but you probably won’t wear them to your 8 a.m.

Get creative with storage. Since there is so little space, you may need to think of some out-of-the-box ideas. First of all, don’t buy anything until you know what the room looks like. In-person tours are of course the best option, but a virtual tour works in it’s place. Especially if you’re flying, you don’t want to lug things that won’t fit.

Under bed storage is one of the most commonly used storage spots. Many dorm beds can be raised quite high, and if you have bed risers that’s even better. I knew a couple people whose bed were raised four or five feet off the ground, and they used a stool to get into it. That may be undesirable for some, but unless it’s a bunk bed, try to raise the bed enough to fit a bin underneath. I stored my shoes, towels and sweatshirts in bins under my bed and it worked out great.

Most dorms have some kind of closet or wardrobe. Storing vertically increases the amount of things you can put in your wardrobe. There are hangers that store a bunch of clothes, bras, shoes and more down in a line, so one closet spot hangs six shirts instead of one. Put some hooks on the outside for your coats and your robe. Cut a door shoe hanger to the size of your wardrobe door to store shoes, hair products or other small things, like packaged food items. Plastic jewelry and accessory holders are also great for keeping your things organized and easy to find without taking up a lot of space. You should also utilize the space on the floor of the closet or the bottom of the wardrobe. Crates or smaller fabric cubes are great for keeping things like first aid supplies, shoes, kitchen supplies and food if it’s a dorm, laundry supplies and other miscellaneous objects.

Dorms also have a set a drawers. I know folding is no fun, but if you have a lot of clothing, it’s the only way everything is going to fit. For clothing that won’t get wrinkled, such as t-shirts and tanks, rolling them up or folding them small and storing them upright are often space savers.

Drawers make it easy to keep your desk organized. If your desk doesn’t have drawers, you should get something small enough to fit underneath it. Chances are your desk will also be a part-time kitchen table and stylist chair. Small containers could also be useful to keep pencils in drawers and other items on top of the desk.

Don’t ignore the walls! Adhesive strips and hooks may be your best friend, because they are great for more than just posters and decorations. Put up adhesive hooks to hang anything from coats and robes to storage containers. Using something light with a lot of shelves or pockets, such as a hanging shower caddy, can make makeup, beauty products or school supplies easy to reach.

Try these design hacks. There are lots of easy design tricks to make the room look bigger. Many dorms and apartments have white walls, which naturally makes rooms appear more spacious. Keeping a color scheme also creates a sense of unity in the room. Try picking one or two main colors and using different shades and patterns with those colors in them. Stripes are a good choice because they give an appearance of a longer room.

If possible, pull large furniture away from the walls of your apartment to create an illusion of space everywhere, even if it’s only a few inches. You could also try double-duty furniture. Use an ottoman or bench seat with inside storage or a desk that also works as a coffee table. If that doesn’t work for you, there are small fold-up table and chairs that don’t use a lot of space when you’re not using them.

One of your first college freedoms is picking supplies and designing your room (or your side of the room), which is something many college students might not have been able to do before. Even though the shopping, packing and moving can be a stressful experience, remember that it’s also really fun, too.

Style Bloggers: Who’s Really Behind Their Photos?

Recently, style blogging has become incredibly popular and there’s no end in sight! There are a lot of fashion lovers who have become famous or rich through blogging. Some of the most well known bloggers are Chiara Ferregani, Nicole Warne and Kristina Bazan. It is interesting to look at the great photos posted by these fashion stars, but have you ever thought about who took those pictures? Although each of them comes from a completely different background and possesses a unique sense of style, there is one thing they all have in common: they all have amazing photographers behind them and most of them happen to be their boyfriends.

In my opinion, the best photographer of the three bloggers I mentioned is the Australian style blogger, Nicole Warne. Her clothes are very colorful but there is always a sense of togetherness. In her pictures, her outfit is always balanced well with the background. Since she grew up in Australia which it’s surrounded by the ocean, she has a lot of beautiful photos of her under the sea. In one of my favorite photos of her, she is under very blue and clear water, with her dress was flowing along with a wave so thin that it looks like part of the sea. She is gently moving her body like she is a mermaid. The whole picture looks so unreal but so harmonized.

The person who can always capture the unique beauty of Nicole is Luke Shadbolt, her photographer, business partner and boyfriend. Nicole explains in her blog, Gary Pepper, that it was Luke who helped her started her own online store and blog. She writes,”Gary Pepper wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for Luke and his on going love.” It is easy to see how instrumental Luke was to the development of her blogging career. Not only did he help her start the blog, but he has also taken on the important role of transferring Nicole’s beauty and style to an audience. It seems that when the photographer deeply understands the model’s beauty, he can make the audience understand it too.

Another person who has had a similar experience is Kristina Bazan, a style blogger from Switzerland. She is one of the few that has achieved this amount of success at such a young age. She was only 18-years-old when she first started her blog with her boyfriend, James Chardon, who is also a photographer. James can always find Kristina’s best angle. Through his lense, she has a certain atmosphere around her that makes her delicate and perfect. Again, this shows how important it is for a fashion blogger to have a boyfriend photographer who can always see the best in her through his camera.

I’ve saved the the best for the last: Italian style blogger, Chiara Ferregani, whose photographer story is a little more dramatic, because she has two. When she first started her blog, she was dating photographer Riccardo Pozzoli. They dated for a long time and they even had a cute dog together named Matilda. Unfortunately, they broke up but have remained friends, and Riccardo still works on Chiara’s team to help her with the blog. Now, Chiara is dating photographer, Andrew Arthur. No matter how many times her photographer changes, she has still kept her high standing in style blogging arena.

How to Make Cash Fast This Summer

                   Money During the school year, students are faced with homework, extracurricular activities, everyday jobs and parties. So once that is all over and summer comes along, what happens? Going home is always beneficial, as it allows you to escape the grueling dining hall food, but what about making money? Often times, summer jobs fail to pay as much as we need in order to survive the upcoming year.

The amount in our bank accounts would only rise if we saved every cent of our paycheck; however, it is the season of fun and relaxation, of no worries. So in order to save the money from our summer jobs, we have to have a way of making extra pocket cash for times during the summer that we will spend money frivolously. There are numerous ways in which one can creatively and effectively make money when working another job, or even without one.

1. MindSumo

MindSumo is a website that pays people for writing ideas and concepts for different companies. When you first sign up, they automatically give you $25. After this, there are various ways including inviting friends, sending an idea in to your first company, and signing up with a referral number that will automatically give you some more cash! The first cash out, which is to PayPal, has to be $100. After this, however, you can cash out every $25.

The website presents different challenges every day. These can vary from sending an idea into a food company for a new product to a new marketing strategy for a major company. After submitting your first challenge, you will receive $15. Once you finish your first challenge, however, you can only get money from the challenges by winning them. At the bottom of each challenge it tells how much money can be earned and how many days are left in it. Overall, this is a cool and fun way to make cash over the summer and keep your critical thinking going after school is over.

My referral code (which will give you extra cash) is AN141D2C.

2. has come a long way from when they first debuted their first commercials a couple of years ago. Their community has grown tremendously, which benefits you as the employee. Signing up for is pretty easy, no credit cards are necessary, and you have the option of a free account. The free account is still just as beneficial as the paid account, the only main difference that would effect you being hired is that the employees cannot send you a message first. In other words, you have to reach out to them through the job posts and listings on the website. This is still very easy, as most of the employers ask for applications.

There are multiple jobs that one can be experienced in to be a part of Under childcare, there are tutoring, nannying, special needs and babysitting jobs. Some of these are part time positions and the others are full time. There are also jobs in senior, pet, home and military family categories.

3. Etsy

Etsy is a go-to online retail store for many of us. It is filled with fun, new, vintage and creative products that come from small businesses. Personally, I have bought many things from Etsy just because of the quality. There are, of course, frauds just like there are on any website, but looking at the product reviews given by other customers can give you a pretty good idea of who you are dealing with. So how could you make money through Etsy? Be creative, make a good product that you think will sell. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or intricate. You can make hair ribbons, headbands, and jewelry. You could even set up a retail store that sells all of the clothes that you no longer wear. I don’t have an Etsy account myself, but mostly because I haven’t gotten around to it; however, its a simple way to make some fast money, especially if your crafty or have a lot of things to get rid of in your house that are still in relatively good shape.

4. SwagBucks

SwagBucks (SB) is similar to MindSumo, in that it rewards you with money for doing certain challenges. In this case, it requires a lot less brain energy. Much like with MindSumo, you can earn a lot of startup cash just by signing up. For example, you already have six swagbucks when you create your username and password.  In order to gain swagbucks, there are games, surveys, and even a search engine that can be used.

Of course, making basically free money online is not always easy. This will take time, and you have to earn a cSwagBucks onsiderable amount of swagbucks in order to cash out for rewards. For example, a $5 Walmart giftcard reward costs 420 SB. While this does seem like a lot to earn, the good news is that there is no wait or timeline for you to gain your SB. You can complete as many surveys and games as you like. The only downfall is the amount of time you might have to complete them. Another con about this website is that a lot of the largely rewarding games and surveys that you can complete request a sign up for their website. This can be okay for an organized person, but if it is only a free trial for a week and then makes you pay afterwards, and you forget to cancel the membership, your losing a lot of money.

Overall, SwagBucks is a very time consuming website. However, if your dedicated enough and participate in it for about an hour a day, you could come out with a couple of pretty nice awards.

Help me make money by using my referral code during sign up!

5. Plato’s Closet

Plato’s Closet has been around for awhile. They always have commercials on radios bragging about how great their thrift stores are. If you haven’t heard of it, the store is a huge thrift shop that bases itself around teenage and adolescent gently used clothing. It’s almost like a teenage version of T.J Maxx. There are multiple locations of the store, but they do tend to be a little out of the way for daily life. For example, I live in Philadelphia. You would think that there would be a Plato’s Closet in the city, but the closest one is 30 to 45 minutes away. In other words, don’t expect this to be a short trip.

Not only can you buy clothes at a cheaper cost, but you can also sell them. So when cleaning out your closet, take a second to realize the brand names on your clothes and how much you wore them. Whichever ones look relatively new and are well known brand names can be taken to the store. Unfortunately, I have heard that store clerks tend to be picky about what they accept and decline in the clothes pile that you bring, but if you have a lot of good looking pieces, you could be welcoming some well-desired cash in your wallet. The “buyers,” as themselves call them on their website, also look at the style and current stock levels in the store. So if you are trying to give them an skirt from Abercrombie that you bought three years ago, it might not make the cut.

Do you know of other ways to make cash fast this summer? Feel free to share them in the comments!

Summer Trends 2015: It’s Time for You to Show Off!

Summer is finally here! I could tell as I walked around the other night, the warm summer breeze gently touching my face and flicking through my white long skirt. Summer doesn’t only mean hot weather and sweats; it also means that we can finally take off heavy coats and pants and put on our bright colored, lightweight clothes! From top to bottom, there are so many choices. Let’s take a look at what’s trending now!


White T-Shirt

white t

You can’t go through summer without a white t-shirt! It’s so easy to wear with almost anything, that’s one of the reasons why it has been trending forever. If you have a round face, choose one with a v-neck, it will actually make your face look slimmer. There are also so many ways to wear a white T-shirt, but I personally like to roll up the sleeves just to make it look more unique.

Crop Top


A crop top is great for summer, because it’s lightweight and definitely makes you stand out from the crowd. At times, they may not be the most slimming choice, but I say that it depends on the colors and patterns you choose. It may be safest to start with a black one with straight line. In terms of other styles, American Apparel has a wide range of choices that I really like.


For summer bottoms, the first thing that always comes to my mind is a skirt! We can finally wear them without any uncomfortable tights. There are three types of skirts that are really trending right now.


jean skirt

Denim skirts are always a classic go-to!  A long one with a straight line will add a different taste to your summer fashion. If you don’t have one yet, consider giving it a try!



The 70s are back and so is suede! Suede shirts are perfect for the summer! Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. Try one with some tassels on the bottom. This combination will never go out of style.



I have always loved how lace can bring out your feminine side and now the effect is even better when it’s on skirts. There are also a lot of choices for the color. While white and black ones are a great basic neutral, you may want to go for something a little bit brighter. A pop of color will never hurt as long as you wear it right!




Ballerina flats are hot now! The round head is super cute already and if you add some lace or ribbon detail, your pretty feet will look even prettier.


Sneakers are not just for going to the gym anymore. Now they are all over the runway! Wear them with skirts or pants and fear no longer that they will dress down your outfit or style!



If you think sporty shoes are too hot for the summer, roman sandals are definitely another great choice. There are a lot of really long ones on the runways this year, but the short ones may be more practical for daily use.

Now you know what to look for when you are shopping on a day with nice weather! Give these trends a try and you will be on your way to looking your best this summer!

On the Runway 2015: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Click. Flash. Click. Flash.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicked off with a bang on February 12 with the menswear shows starting the day before. The first stop on this international fashion extravaganza: New York City. Home to some of America’s most iconic sights—the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State Building—New York City has become a center for innovation in business, fashion, art and writing. And with the famous Fifth Avenue stretching from West 142nd Street in Harlem to Washington Square North in Greenwich Village, it was the perfect place to host one of the most renowned fashion events in the world.

This year’s designers created looks for Fall 2015. They freed their artistic expression to make a collection worthy of awe and inspiration. Among them were Kenneth Cole, Ryu Hayama, Prabal Gurung, Nina Skarra and Zac Posen, to name a few.

Ryu Hayama showcased his menswear collection on February 11, 2015 at Industria Studios. Far from the traditional men’s fashion, Hayama offered out-of-the-box styles that jolted the audience’s attention. With them, he attempted to bring together the concept of the young man and the sea. One particular design featured a blue, raincoat-type jacket with a matching fisherman-style hat. The hat slopes down to cover the model’s eyes. Another design featured a model with bottle-pink hair, a gray turtleneck underneath a glaringly yellow jacket and very loose, almost sweatpant-like, bottoms. While I believe this collection looked disordered and ill-fitting, I admire Hayama’s creative endeavor. (;

Prabal Gurung, who first launched his collection in the 2009 New York Fashion Week, returned to the runway on February 15, 2015. Here, he showcased a variety of embroidered tank dresses and long-sleeved gowns; some of which were paired with a fur jacket. His opening piece featured a gray, wool coat with a white fur border. Underneath, the model wore an ivory slip that had a fold-over slit. Overall, I found Gurung’s palette of gray, white, black, navy and red soothing. But matched with sharp angles and bulky, fur-lined coats, his collection exuded strength. I would say Gurung successfully channeled the beauty and power of the Adirondacks, which was his inspiration. (

Of all the pieces presented during this week, one of the most show-stopping was designed by Zac Posen. Known for combining couture with striking invention, Posen created a collection worthy of Hollywood glamour. He’s designed for recognized figures such as Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow and First Lady Michelle Obama and is a judge on Lifetime’s Project Runway. For this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Posen finished his collection with a heart-stopping red dress. He accompanied model, Naomi Campbell, as she glided down the runway in a shimmering, ruby-red, strapless ball gown fit for any princess. (

However, it was FTL MODA that stole the show for me. On February 15, the company unveiled futuristic designs that sparked my anticipation for the unknown future. Some models became canvases splattered chaotically, yet strategically, with white paint; they carried large handbags that demanded equal attention. Other designs featured layered, flowing dresses accented with embroidered flowers, which reminded me of nature and its simplistic beauty. But it’s designer, Antonio Urzi, who gained my utmost notice and respect. In association with Models for Diversity and FTL MODA, Urzi proved that high fashion isn’t only for the thin, perfectly featured and perfectly formed. Several models with disabilities strutted down the runway, comfortable and confident in their own skin. Jack Eyers, a 25-year-old leg-amputee and past nominee for Men’s Health magazine’s Man of the Year, remarked in a press release with Caters News that “it all feels so surreal…[and] I just want to show that having a disability doesn’t need to hold you back. I want people to see me and to realize that there needs to be more disabled models walking the runway.” (

From February 12 to February 19, 2015, New York City was bursting with cameras, lights and layers upon layers of fabric. Celebrities from across America, from Rihanna to Katie Holmes, came to gaze and remark on the upcoming fashion phenomenon. Each day, designers wowed the audience with couture designs and each day the audience left with the sense of amazement that is fashion.

Due to copyright usage laws, the photos can be viewed through links.

Sweater Weather

All jokes about infinity scarves and pumpkin spice lattes aside, fall is actually a wonderful time of year. I love the brisk air outside, which makes it feel so much cozier when you curl up under a blanket with a good book. I also love that the start of fall means that soon, it will be time for the string of back-to-back holidays to help you slide through end of the year and to start the next year off right.

One of the best things about fall, though, is the clothes. All of my favorite clothes are fall clothes, largely because they’re the perfect combination of comfortable and fashionable. Unlike the summer, where you frequently have to choose between looking like a put-together human being and staying cool, the colder weather allows you a little more choice with your clothes. You don’t have to worry about getting too hot; you can wear as many layers as you want to! And, on the other hand, it’s not so cold out that you have to bury yourself under layers and layers, like you do in the winter. I also like fall style more in general; it tends to be a little more subdued and a little more classic. These factors combined make it a lot easier for me to up my game a little in the fall.

With that in mind, here are some of my favorite fall fashion items in particular.

Pea Coats
I bought my first pea coat as a teenager at a Filene’s Basement going-out-of-business sale. I wasn’t sure if it was exactly my style while I was looking at it on the rack, but my mother encouraged me to try it on anyway. I fell in love immediately. After a childhood of big, puffy, marshmallow-like snow jackets, there was something glamorous about wearing a pea coat. It looked almost like it came from another time, and it made me feel more dignified–a feeling that’s sometimes hard to come by as a teenager.

Now I have a couple of pea coats in my fall and winter arsenal. I really like them, not only because they keep me warm in the cold Boston weather, but also because I feel like they add a touch of sophistication to my wardrobe.

Sweaters and Cardigans
I’m obsessed with sweaters. If I could spend all year wearing sweaters, I would. (And I do.) I really love big, chunky sweaters, many of which you can find at stores like H&M and Forever 21 for pretty cheap. They’re casual enough to be worn with a nice pair of jeans (my go-to on school days) but they can also be dressed up easily with a nice statement necklace.

I am also a huge fan of the sweater’s not-too-distant cousin, the cardigan. I’ve always loved them, whether they’re to touch up a jeans-and-a-tee-shirt ensemble or to go along with a nice dress. My favorite cardigan is a big, thick grey one. I usually wear it with dresses, but it’s also comfortable enough that I wear it around my room in the fall just to stay warm. (As you can probably tell, I am a big fan clothes that are versatile and can be dressed up or down.)

It’s a strange correlation: the older I get, the more I love boots. I’m not sure why. I was always a sneaker girl when I was a kid, and then I went through a deep, teenage love affair with Uggs*, and now I’m very into much nicer boots.

My favorite boots are my black combat boots I bought off the Internet, but I also have a pair of high-heeled brown boots from American Eagle that I love. I’m also becoming obsessed with classic-looking ankle boots, which just fit so well with any outfit.

*Well, they’re $20 Ugg copycats from Old Navy, but I won’t tell if you won’t. And let’s be honest: my love affair with Uggs will never end. I can’t help it! They’re so comfortable! They’re my lazy day shoes.

I don’t usually go very heavy on the makeup; I usually just go for some mascara and possibly some eyeliner, and then foundation or BB cream if my complexion is looking wonky. In the fall, however, I do have one more glorious product that I like to use, and that product, friends, is called “Nic Cage Raking Leaves on a Brisk October Afternoon”.

It’s an eye shadow from Shiro Cosmetics, a small and beautifully geeky online makeup company. Some of their other nerdy-themed eye shadow shades include “TARDIS” (a shade of blue like the Doctor’s spaceship) and “Yzma’s Essence of Llama” (from The Emperor’s New Groove, obviously.) But the crowning jewel of my makeup collection is “Nic Cage Raking Leaves on a Brisk October Afternoon,” which is a dark brown shade with hints of gold and orange. It is just as glorious as the name sounds. (And, all jokes aside, it’s actually a really great product and a beautiful color.)

As you can tell, there’s a lot of clothes and styles that I’m excited to break out of the closet this October. Nothing says fall like hot drinks, good books and cool and comfy clothing. (At least until it starts snowing, at which point you can probably find me hiding under ten blankets, flannel pajama bottoms and a hoodie until it gets warm again.)

Fashion for Beginners

When I was growing up, I went to a small charter school. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but growing up in such an insulated environment did have a couple of interesting effects on my college experience.

One of the most surprising is how I dress. I wore a school uniform almost every single day of my life between the ages of five and 18, so having to pick my own outfit to go to school every day in college was not quite as easy as it seemed like it would be. In high school, I spent almost all of my time at school (where I wore a uniform) or at swim practice or dance class (where I wore workout clothes) or at home (where I wore sweatpants), so I didn’t need a lot of street clothes. We did get dress-down days at school but there were so many rules about what you could and couldn’t wear (no tank tops, no hoods, don’t even bother trying shorts or skirts because they’re just gonna tell you they’re too short anyway) that it was easier just to buy jeans and a t-shirt and call it a day.

This, of course, made the first part of my college experience interesting. I never learned how to dress like a real human being: someone who’s just walking down the street or going to class or hanging out with friends. I had never really considered myself the kind of person who cared about clothes, but to my surprise, I’ve learned that I kind of am. Now that I have a vague idea of how I like to dress, it’s becoming easier (and a lot more fun) to fill my wardrobe with pieces that I actually want to wear.

Although I am probably the least-qualified person to give fashion advice, I’m going to anyway. Here are some things that I’ve learned in my attempt to figure out how to put clothing on my body:

  • Don’t buy it unless you’re actually going to wear it.

This seems pretty common sense, right? But I’ve gotten caught in this trap a couple of times. I’ll see something at the store and think, “I mean, I don’t really like it, but it looks trendy/it’s appropriate for work/[insert other justification here], so I should probably buy it anyway, right?”

No, you should not. If you don’t like it now, you’re not going to like it in two months. Just hold out and wait until you find something that you actually do like.

This goes for trends, too. If you don’t like a trend, then don’t buy into it. I, for example, will never understand why overalls are suddenly coming back, so I’m not about to waste my money on them when I could just as easily spend it on another nice, reliable pair of jeans.

  • You’re better off investing in one really good piece than buying a bunch of cheap other pieces.

I have gotten screwed over by this several times. I’ll see a nice shirt or sweater, but it’ll be a little more expensive than I want it to be, so I’ll decide that I’m better off investing that money in more items of clothing that are cheaper. Instead, the cheap clothes begin to fray and fall apart much earlier than they probably should and I have to go out and buy clothes to replace them. If I had paid a few dollars extra for something that was a little higher quality, I would have saved more money in the long run, because I wouldn’t have to keep going out and buying new clothes to replace the old one.

This rule is true with a lot of shirts, cardigans, jeans and things such as those. (Of course, you should still try to get them on sale. There’s a difference between things being on sale and things just being cheap and poor quality.)

The exception to this rule is t-shirts. T-shirts will be five for $20 or something like that. That is when you cheap out. Charging more than 10 dollars for a plain t-shirt should be punishable by law.

  • Plan your outfits out ahead of time.

In high school, I only had three or four different options for what I could wear, so there was no standing in front of a mirror, agonizing over what I looked like. Oh, you don’t like the way you look in that polo shirt and navy blue skirt? That’s too bad, kid, because that’s what you’re wearing today. And tomorrow. And until you graduate.

College is a whole other ball game, especially at Emerson, which is not exactly a sweat-pants-and-flip-flops kind of college. Do you know how many times I’ve spent, like, 45 minutes trying to pick out an outfit for the school day because I couldn’t find anything that I liked? Some days I almost wish that I could go back to high school and just wear the stupid uniform, because then it would be one less thing to worry about.

It makes it a lot easier when you have an outfit already picked out ahead of time, or at least if you have a vague idea of what you want to wear the next day when you go to bed the night before.

This also goes for shopping: don’t buy something unless you already have pieces that go with it or unless you’re prepared to buy pieces that do. Otherwise you’re going to have that gorgeous, traffic-cone-orange shirt hanging in your closet all by itself, because it doesn’t match anything else you own.

  •  Use your resources.

For the fashion illiterate like me, it can be hard to find cues on how to dress for different occasions or even just to pull together a cute casual outfit that isn’t just jeans and an old t-shirt. Luckily, I’ve found a couple of resources to draw some fashion inspiration when I need it.

Some of mine are Pinterest, my one true love, Teen Vogue and (and also regular adult Vogue, but Teen Vogue features 20 and 21-year-olds and less expensive clothing) and Rookie Magazine. I also take cues from some of my favorite TV shows (such as Pretty Little Liars and Awkward.), as well as What Not To Wear, which is one of the great stay-home-sick-from-school-and-watch-a-marathon shows of our time. Of course, there’s also Atlas Magazine, which has great posts on style from some of our other writers!

That’s my round-up of some of the things I’ve learned in my attempt to learn how to dress. Leave your best fashion tips in the comments!