Category Archives: Fashion+Accessories

The Dress

dressI am absolutely fascinated by this debate. The very idea that news organizations and celebrities have joined this trending conversation, emphatically claiming that the garment in question is either blue or black or gold or white (or any other combination of colors) is a little disappointing on the surface. Do we not have more important things to talk about? 
Then, you slowly find yourself getting drawn into the discussion. Sure, it looks white and gold— even Anna Kendrick says so. But there are photos floating around that PROVE it is black and blue. And then some crazy person on Reddit swears it’s fuchsia. Before you know it, you have wasted hours asking all of your friends what color they see and reposting your emphatic opinion that it HAS to be white and gold or the universe doesn’t make sense. 
So now, I hope you will forgive me, but I have to be THAT person who insists that there is something more to this debate than the color of a dress. 
It reminds me of another trending story regarding Tammy Meyers, a 44-year-old mother who was shot and killed in her driveway on February 12. 
When the case was originally reported, Tammy was said to have been gunned down as the result of an incident that occurred on the road. Early on, we were led to believe that the gunman followed Tammy home and, in a fit of extreme road rage, shot her in her driveway. 
My news feed began to fill with people debating road rage and how scary the thought is that someone you flip off at an intersection might snap and follow you to your home— a complete stranger might actually take your life because you expressed frustration at their choices behind the wheel. People I knew who talked about the story would say things like, “This is why I need a concealed carry permit.”
Then, new details started to emerge. Reporters began saying that Tammy actually knew the victim. Now there are rumors about a prescription drug deal gone bad, and the details of what happened to Tammy and her family that day continue to get more convoluted as they are passed around the internet like a hot potato. But there are still people who say this story is about road rage– even though evidence has emerged to the contrary. Suddenly we are all involved in a situation that, if we are being honest, is none of our business. We share Facebook updates and retweet things without checking the facts. It’s kind of scary when you think about it.
And, I’m sure at this point you are wondering what this has to do exactly with the now famous Tumblr dress. 
Here’s the thing: the internet is a wonderful place to connect with people. We interact and learn from one another every day— but there is a dark side. And the very fabric of that dark side is in the gold and white (black and blue) dress that you have spent hours trying to decode. The point may not actually be that the dress is one group of colors but that it has the potential to LOOK like something else from another point of view— and that the only people that know the true colors of the dress are those who have actually seen it in person—not some potentially doctored image on a computer screen. A Huffington Post’s writer’s firm belief that the dress is blue and black should not change what you see. Anna Kendrick’s emphatic statement that the dress has to be white and gold should not sway you either. Remember the old adage about opinions? Everyone has one— and until we actually know the truth, a difference in opinion doesn’t make someone wrong. An inability to discuss or accept that difference like adults, however, is something else entirely.
And, here’s the more likely scenario— perhaps the point was to get more followers on a Tumblr or Facebook page. Either way, I think it is fair to say that some of us are missing the bigger picture. 
Finally, I’m not going to weigh in on either side of this debate. I haven’t seen the dress in person, but I’m sure we will all see it on Good Morning America (or some other equally popular newscast) soon because they will have to weigh in on its deceptive color scheme. It’s segment will be right between someone calling Obama a terrorist and the latest report on Bobbi Kristina Brown’s health. 
In the meantime, I have to admit that watching people swear what they see is right and everyone else is “ignorant” or “blind” is honestly kind of breaking my little hippie heart. However, in some sad way, I am used to it— and I don’t think it is going to stop any time soon.

Bella’s Fall Fashion Essentials

SCARVES! Chunky, oversized scarves are something every girl should have in their closet to keep warm and complete a simple outfit. Floral or printed infinity scarfs are also a way to go, especially on a warmer day. La De Da is a great place to find trendy, one of a kind scarves.

bellafallBOOTS! Ankle boots, combat boots, cowboy boots, knee high boots, biker boots, booties – ladies we love em all! Boots are something that never go out of style and can be fashionable but functional. If you’re looking for the perfect place to find a stylish boot, Bush-Flora Shoes has a great selection! 

WATCHES! Mix up your arm candy with a watch. Watches are becoming more popular and the different styles of watches are never ending. Choose your favorite watch and add a bangle to enhance the statement. Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade, Fossil and Guess are just a few popular watch brands but adding a simple boutique watch is still very simple yet a statement piece. Yarid’s boutique offers several different brands of watches that are sure to give you that final statement piece. 

bellafall1CHUNKY CARDIGANS! MUST MUST HAVE! (By the way, you can never have too many or too many colors) La De Da has several different fashionable cardigans that would add a perfect layering item to your fall wardrobe.

TIGHTS! You can still wear your favorite dresses and/or skirts with a cute pair of tights! Make sure you stick to fall colors and don’t head for the bright, summer floral dress. Patterned and solid color tights are very popular to spice up a plain dress or skirt. But if you are looking for a safe and settle way to go, you can never go wrong with simple black tights. H&M has tons of printed leggings and tights that will be sure to add some flare to your outfit!

 

Written by Kristi Hall

Summer Brights Spotlight: Turquoise

Spending summer in the office can be rough. It may seem like everyone is outside enjoying the weather while you are in indoors. (Hey, at least you have air conditioning inside!) While you can’t work on your tan from your cubicle, you can bring a bit of summer to your deskside by adding pops of bright, sunny colors like turquoise to your wardrobe.

inspboardTurquoise was originally found in Turkey and is prized as a gem that brings good fortune. It is a calming and polished blue-green color, reminiscent of exotic oceans, clear pools – and, of course, chic jewelry.

Both relaxing and invigorating, it’s the perfect hue to use in your office space! Put a turquoise framed picture of you and your friends at the beach on your desk to motivate you. Your vacation will be here soon enough!

You can also splurge on a turquoise macaroon during your lunch break, or dress with a sophisticated teal and gold statement ring. The possibilities are truly endless! In the meantime, let this inspo board take you away to a turquoise paradise filled with good fortune!

From middle right: Sleeping Beauty cocktail ring from ShopHQ ∆ dress from C. Luce Rag & Bone sandals from VIVALUXURY ∆ Marie Claire Netherlands shot from Inspiration by Color ∆ Macaroons from Pinterest ∆ Beachside from Flickr

 

 

Pick up a copy of our August issue for tips on how to use summer brights like these as part of your autumn wardrobe as well! It is never to soon to think ahead!

Written by Sara Pagliante 

Fashion Fun– Jelly Sandals

Some of my favorite childhood memories were made wearing jelly sandals. I used to get a new pair in my Easter basket every year. Always pink, always sparkly, they were my most coveted accessory.

It always fascinated me that I never got blisters from these plastic sandals, but I didn’t dwell on it much, I was too busy being my awesome ten-year-old self. Recently, I have noticed the sandals making a come back. When I saw them back in stock at the Gap near me, I let out an audible gasp. I didn’t have to get very close to smell the recognizable rubbery scent and be immediately sent down memory lane. Since first seeing a near carbon copy of my original jelly sandals at Gap last summer, the trend has continued to ramp up, becoming both more popular and more fashion forward.

Now they are carried in nearly every store at the mall, and major fashion houses like Dianne Von Furstenberg, Givenchy, and Chanel have even adopted the style. Because of their unique material and typically bright color, jelly sandals can seem intimidating to style. They are certainly a statement piece, but they actually play surprisingly well with most summer staples.

They are adorable with a pair of boyfriend style jeans and a graphic t-shirt. They can also add a whimsical feel to a simple summer dress. My favorite way to wear them is with an all white outfit; white pants, a white v-neck t-shirt, and a light neutral bag. 

This trend is for all ages—so buy a pair for you and your daughter! Share photos of your favorite jelly sandals on our Facebook page. We can’t wait to see them!

 

Written by Eleanor Haeg

Purse Problems

I have always envied my husband’s ability to fit everything he needs into a tiny wallet. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about accessorizing my outfits with the most fabulous purse I can find. The problem is, the bigger the purse, the more stuff I put in it. At this point, I carry one bag with all the junk I think I need, and then another tiny one inside it to take with me when I go into a store. Nothing ruins a shopping trip like inexplicable pain in your shoulder from carrying your giant bag.

The same is true for a girl’s night out. On these occasions I need four things: My cell phone, my ID, a credit card, and some lipstick. So there is no reason for me to carry everything else downtown. Not only is it unnecessary, it can also be dangerous. I needed something that disguised my valuables but was also convenient to carry.

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Recently, we stumbled upon Sholdit. Their creation, a Clutch Wrap purse, is both fashionable and functional. It can be used as a scarf, wrap, or purse—whichever is more convenient.The best part? It holds all of my essentials! There is even room for a medium sized wallet or passport. Visit their website for more information and to purchase your own in a variety of colors.

 

Lapis Blue: The NEW Color of Valentine’s Day

Written by Breckenridge Charapich

Special holidays often make us wonder, “What on earth should I wear?”  February is the month of romance and love, which includes all things pink and red.   People expect you to dress head to toe in one or both of these colors on Valentine’s Day.  Whether you are styling your date night outfit or a fabulous look for a night on the town with the girls, you want to stand out in a crowd. This year, surprise everyone with a unique outfit combination that is far from expected. For a look that is sure to be remembered, try wearing the color lapis blue. A few shades different from royal blue, it compliments every skin tone and hair color. Although it is eye catching, it is not over the top. Paired correctly, your Valentine’s outfit will look as it should– sexy and put together.  

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Instead of adding a red statement piece, try some not so subtle red lips with a lapis blue dress and gorgeous gold heels. The red lips will make heads turn and the blue and gold will cause all eyes to gaze in your direction. Because the color works for everyone, it’s the fit of the top, skirt, or dress that should be the focus. Use subtle detailing to draw attention when the light hits you.  Find a piece with a bit of peplum or even some beading in silver or white. The little details can make any outfit stand out in a crowd.

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If by chance you aren’t able to find something with some extra detailing, a statement necklace is always the way to go. Be fearless.  Try something with a little bit more color, like a fun neon necklace, to add some contrast to the outfit. Neon is an unexpected addition to the blue, but will enhance the look you have created. Now that you have some ideas for the perfect outfit, go search your closet.  Better yet, treat yourself to a little shopping trip. Get ready to look fabulous and have fun on Valentine’s Day, no matter what you have planned!

The Plus Sized Problem

Body positivity and fat acceptance have never been an integral part of the fashion world. When an industry is built to thrive from shame, it often reflects the current societal expectations from the majority. Stores everywhere cater mostly, if not entirely, to women of “straight sizes.”  That is, women who fit into sizes 0 to around 12. Trying to find trendy, affordable styles for larger women is a quest that often seems impossible. Most of these stores order very few pieces of clothing in the upper ranges.  Even plus sized models that are used in their ads or campaigns look to be more on the smaller side when compared to the diverse body types of the American woman.

Professionals are trained to eliminate fat where it exists because it is not considered marketable. For instance, Target recently opted to use a pregnant model in order to show off plus size wear, instead of just hiring a plus size model. The American obsession with thinness is so rampantly widespread that “fatshaming” is becoming a cultural norm. Young people are being bombarded with billboard campaigns insulting and degrading overweight children.  Young girls are constantly flooded with edited images of their favorite stars, giving them unrealistic measures to attain. When children’s anti-obesity ads are created, they often use a lot of children of color as well, even going as far as Photoshopping thin child models to look as if they were overweight behind demeaning advertisement text.

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In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, straight sized actress Jennifer Lawrence stated “I just think it should be illegal to call somebody fat.” I believe the main issue with this statement is that it perpetuates the stigma that “fat” necessarily equals “bad.” We are facing consequences of being culturally ingrained with this mindset daily. Going to any store and being able to find your size represented is an example of thin privilege. Being able to say statements like the quote above is an example of thin privilege. As another thin woman, we do not have the authority to deny or dismiss words that aren’t meant for us. Fat isn’t/shouldn’t be a bad word, but Lawrence is inherently saying it still is unacceptable.

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On the bright side, there has been a lot of recent movement towards reclaiming the word “fat”–not as an insult but as a positive identifier.  The fashion world has been steadily advancing the availability of cute and quality plus size clothing to be distributed to the masses. Eden Miller became the very first plus size designer to have her own runway show at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, showcasing models sized 12 to 24 in her collection of bold printed dresses. Rick Owens’ fashion show in Paris showcasing his 2014 Women’s Spring/Summer collection featured four step teams to model the line. This gave a new diverse and genuine look to the fashion industry that has never been represented before, as most of the models were Women of Color ranging in all sizes. Rockstar and fashionista Beth Ditto walked in designer’s Jean-Paul Gaultier’s 2010 Spring/Summer runway show and has even launched her own edgy clothing line for women sized 14-32 that was carried by the plus sized clothing store Evans. In Manhattan, Full Figured Fashion Week, a concept developed by former plus size model Gwen DeVoe, finished its fifth year with a bang.  It drew attention from hundreds of fashion bloggers and some lesser known celebrities who would occasionally walk in the runway shows.

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Visibility and representation of body diversity in the fashion world and the media, as a whole, is too important. Without which, many women who are unrepresented in the media available to them will continue to feel less than other women. We are making small steps towards body positivity and acceptance and hopefully, we won’t stop now.

Look Cute and Stay Warm!

To be cute or not to be cute?

That is the question that’s definitely been on most of our minds during this frigid winter. Freezing blasts of cold air have put a damper on daily ensembles around the nation. So who is this invisible enemy, daring us to tuck away sexy heels and lightweight jackets in favor of fur lidded puffer coats and ski masks?

Thanks to the Polar Vortex, a low pressure system of circulating cold air descending south from the North Pole, many of us have put fashion on the backburner in order not to freeze to death when having to deal with weather as low as 1° Fahrenheit in some areas. You shouldn’t have to choose between wanting to look cute and hypothermia, so here are some tips on how to survive the winter weather and still look fly:

  • LAYERS!  The number one way to make it through these frosty days is to pack on lots of layers. This is especially good for constantly moving from outdoors to an indoor setting. You can wear a nice coat, a scarf, a nice blazer, and a comfy cardigan underneath. For the main outfit, try a slip underneath your dress or layering t-shirts. Leggings can go under jeans or trousers or for a more whimsical look, try knee highs over tights!

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  • OUTERWEAR: Puffer coats aren’t always the answer. (And if they are, try a less bulky one with a high collar or tailored waist!) This winter, don a double breasted wool pea coat instead, like a Jason Kole product, available at Macy’s for only 79.99!  www.macys.com                                                  
  • Keep your fingers warm and your hands adorable with quirky gloves and fingerless mittens! The Etsy shop, Yastikizi, specializes in handmade hand warmers and other winter fashion necessities to combat the cold weather in style! www.etsy.comwebsitecoldweather
  • Funky tights can add flavor to any drab winter ensemble! Retailers like SockDreams or Romwe have large collections of inexpensive one-of-a-kind legwear sure to make a scene.  www.sockdreams.com or www.romwe.com