Category Archives: Fashion

Fall Denim: Sewing the Trends

IMG_6779The much-anticipated fall fashion season is quickly approaching, and this means it’s time to ditch the Levi’s high-waisted cutoffs for a fresh pair of chaps.

Move over, skinny jeans!  The mom jean (yes, that’s right), is a combination of your favorite high-waisted skinny jean and the comfy boyfriend jeans.  They are meant to fall a little bit below the belly button, unlike high-waisted jeans.  Mom jeans look best with a light or medium-light wash, and destroyed or vintage touches also help to define the trend.  Mom jeans can be dressed up, worn with a pointed toe pump and a blazer, or dressed down, with a cropped tank and loafers.

Boyfriend jeans are also on point this season.  The most flattering boyfriend fit should feature a tapered leg and be slouchy, but not falling-off-of-your-hips slouchy.  Wear a basic white tank top or tee with kitten heels to give the look a feminine finishing touch.

High-rise cigarette jeans instantly add inches to the leg.  The jeans should be skinny and as streamlined as possible to enhance the length of the leg.  Try wearing a crop top or a tight, tucked in tee with the high-rise cigarette jeans.

Along with the high-rise cigarette jean, destroyed denim is super popular this season.  Anything ripped, torn, bleached, shredded or stained is best, and DIY denim is making a serious comeback this fall.  This trend is all about being casual, cool and looking like you’ve had them for years.

The fitted ankle crop jean looks chic paired with a minimalist nude heel, blouse and leather jacket.  Sometimes the leg opening of the jeans will have a slight flare, making the cut flattering on the leg and ankle.  Try wearing a blouse with more volume to balance out the skinniness of the denim.

It’s second nature for most of us to grab our favorite pair of classic skinnies while planning our outfits, but try branching out and rocking one of these new trends.  This fall, it’s all about being adventurous!

 Photo by Amanda Hunt

Back-To-School Style: Campus Edition

c3853597ad0411031f1103fc99456f05To all my ladies (and any willing gentlemen) out there, it’s time to address the way you dress.

Whether you’re rolling out of bed just in time for class or waking up at the crack of dawn to primp and prep, the outfit you choose in the morning can make or break you later on (Yes, it’s that serious).

When you look good, you feel good. But if you’re looking so good you can’t walk to class in a skirt without a gust of wind flashing innocent onlookers, you’re gonna have a bad time – and you’re going to have to deal with it for the next five or six hours you’re stuck on campus far, far away from your closet.

For freshmen who thought walking from East Halls to Hammond would be like walking down the hall for class, or for the seniors who continue to be baffled by campus style year after year, this guide goes out to all the girls who want to look fabulous and feel comfortable.

Impossible, you say? We beg to differ.

Keep it Simple.

We know you want to look like a page out of a magazine – mixing patterns, layering your necklaces, flaunting your insane new heel purchases – but if you’re hoping to avoid boarding the Hot Mess Express, skip anything too trendy and stick to the basics.

You’ll find that jeans and a slouchy t-shirt or sweater can look fashionable on their own, and if you want to add some flair, choose one item of clothing with personality, or keep everything else simple and rock an eye-catching accessory.

Don’t Be a Shlump.

Yes, we want you to be comfortable, but there’s a fine line between cozy-casual and couch potato.

Obviously everyone is very aware that oversized sweatpants and a baggy sweatshirt aren’t considered an acceptable ensemble for daily life, but let’s talk about the inevitable evil we have all been known to fall victim to on a Monday morning: yoga pants.

Stretchy, form-fitting and multi-functional – what’s not to love? You can dress them up with a cute, slouchy sweater or dress them down with a t-shirt and sneakers, and while both those options are valid in today’s world, it’s important to remember what yoga pants are saying about the wearer.

Whether you couldn’t bother thinking of anything more interesting to wear that morning or you’ve simply given up on the class-to-gym wardrobe change, yoga pants are an excuse for laziness. We know you’re better than that, ladies.

Dress for the Unexpected.

Unfortunately our happiest of valleys isn’t known for its most pleasant weather.

When you leave your room in the morning for a 10 a.m. class, it might look like the rest of the day promises sunshine and sundresses, but by noon you’ll be wishing you had worn a sweater.

We wish it weren’t so, but wind, rain and snow are the realities of living and learning in Central Pennsylvania, and miniskirts and tiny tank tops are bound to blow up in your face (literally).

Pants are most comfortable, close-toed shoes are most practical, and a sweater on-hand is most helpful.

Plus, how are you going to play a pick-up game of Frisbee on Old Main lawn (and pick-up some hawties while you’re at it) in a dress you can barely walk in?

When getting dressed in the morning, a well-seasoned Penn Stater knows to expect the worst, plan ahead, and always keep an umbrella on-hand.

Sticking to your own personal guidelines of comfort and utility for your wardrobe is key in the battle against campus style, so strut your stuff – but do so responsibly.

Photo by Sabrina Evans

Ugly Chic: The Return of the Birk

88c2ce41e3fbf86077e1450097863a59The most comfortable sandal in the world has finally made a stylish comeback. Birkenstocks are no longer reserved only for your granola-crunching biology professor’s wardrobe.  The ‘ugly’ sandal features a cork footbed, roomy toe box and wide straps.

The 50-year-old company became famous in the 60′s, and the company prides itself on being vegan-friendly.  Each year, Birkenstock sales growth increases by 10-15 percent.

In the 1990′s, supermodel Kate Moss, who associated the Arizona sandals to the grunge movement, popularized the sandals.  Moss was photographed wearing the chunky sandals with a cropped top and cropped jeans, another trend that has reappeared from the 90’s-grunge vault. Continue reading

Palazzo Paradise

photo-21Whether or not you’ve heard of this season’s trendy darlings, palazzo pants, these wide-legged wonders are about to replace your favorite sundress as your summer go-to style.

Getting their name from the Italian word for ‘palace,’ palazzo pants have been blowing up the blog scene and working their way into the closets of your favorite celebs, making every girl’s dreams of reaching royal status that much more realistic (although we’re sure you didn’t need the extra help in the first place).

But if you’re afraid you’ll drown in all that fabric or are unsure how to strut your stuff in a pair of palazzos, Valley has your personal style guide to mastering the palazzo puzzle this summer so you can run your personal palace with fashionable flare (pun most definitely intended). Continue reading

Behind the Birkin Bag

Birkin.Gilt.comBirkin bags are the crème de la crème of handbags – the end all be all.

Created by Hermès and named after singer and actress Jane Birkin, the Birkin bag ranges in price anywhere from $7,400 to $150,000. With prices like these, it makes sense why these bags are typically seen being sported by celebs and very wealthy individuals.

When it comes to the craftsmanship and material used to make a Birkin bag, the quality of the process is of the utmost importance. When you’re paying that much for a bag, you expect big things. Each bag is handcrafted by highly skilled expert artisans in France and can take up to 48 hours to complete.

Being plated in gold or other highly valued metals, the hardware on these bags will never tarnish, hard to believe right? When it comes to the type of leather used to make these bags, it ranges from calf leather, lizard, ostrich and crocodile. Wondering what kind of hide is used on the $150,000 bag? Most likely it’s saltwater crocodile, which is the most expensive type of skin Hermès uses. Continue reading

Finding the Perfect Graduation Dress

Zucker_graduationdress-3Graduating from Penn State is something that almost seniors dread. Who would want to leave such a happy place that contains countless cherished memories and friends? However, one of the few positive aspects of the day the marks the end of an amazing four-year era, is finding that perfect graduation dress. You must look absolutely stunning for pictures that you will keep with you for years.

The graduation gowns are colored Penn State blue. There are many colors that work with this shade of Navy. However, the event is celebratory and marks a fresh start, so most people will want to choose light-colored dresses.

Pick something “white or floral,” recommends Natalie Kapustik, sales associate at Connections. White dresses are always in style when the weather shifts into warmer temperatures. Plus, white will show off that sun-kissed skin you’ve subtly been working on. Florals are also on trend right now. You can pick up a floral dress at almost any store downtown. If you’re feeling edgier, go for a larger print in a brighter color. Continue reading

These Hips Don’t Lie: Styling the Curvy Girl

SabineC.Curves1As a self-proclaimed curvy girl, there are pros and cons to wearing a size 12 pant and rocking a D-cup. Jeans often don’t fit the right way, and tops usually fit perfectly in every area except my chest. But at the same time, my hips don’t lie and I can rock a sweater like no one’s business – it’s all part of the territory.

What is also (unfortunately) part of the territory is struggling to keep up with the latest trends without squeezing into a teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikini. It’s hard to rock a crop top, high-waisted shorts, or bodycon dresses without feeling like I need to lose fifty pounds. That’s a huge struggle for the curvy fashionista. So how can girls that aren’t a size zero still take fashion risks?

“To rock a crop top, balance it out with a higher-rised bottom. And there are on-trend alternatives to the crop top, too. High-low dresses, joggers with a t-shirt, and blazers over a fun tee can do wonders,” adds Nicole Leaman, Nittany Mall Store Manager.  Continue reading

The Sporty Trend

Screen+shot+2013-05-31+at+11.38.27+PMThis spring, the athletic trend is kicking it old school. Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Lacoste and Prada (the list goes on and on), have all inspired us to try out this sporty, athletic trend. From crop tops, to jersey dresses, to bomber jackets and tennis shoes, this trend offers endless opportunities to expand your style.

Gabby McDannel, an employer at Connections Clothing downtown as well as a fashion enthusiast, gave us the lowdown on how she feels about the athletic trend for this season.

“I’m not one who finds herself ever going to the gym or exercising at all…However, I have noticed the popular trend of athletic wear both on campus around me and on the runway for this spring,” McDannel says. “Bomber jackets, cargo/rain jackets and cute little canvas sneakers get my approval.” Continue reading

Dive Into Fashion With Neoprene

NeopreneFashion (NastyGal) -2Have you ever been scuba diving before or have plans to go this summer? You probably wore a wetsuit for this particular water activity…but have you ever paid close attention to what the wetsuit is made out of?

Neoprene is a huge up and coming trend that is predicted to be very popular for this fall, and fashion moguls can’t wait to get their hands on it. Neoprene is a tech fabric that is used to make wetsuits more flexible. First noted as being used by the O’Neill Company, which produces surf clothing, neoprene is now being used by designer powerhouses such as Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney, Gucci and Tibi.

Providing a whole new take on fashion, neoprene is the perfect fabric for the fall and winter months. It keeps you warm and insulated for when those temperatures start to drop, which we hope won’t be for another couple of months from now at this point. Aside from blocking out the cold, this fabric offers a great amount of flexibility, making it comfortable to actually wear on a daily basis. Continue reading

From Coachella to Your Closet: Getting Ready for Movin’ On 2014

Florio.DaisyTrendGreat music, cool clothes and good times. Mix ‘em all together with sweat and spilled beer and there you have it – Coachella 2014.

Or should we say Movin’ On 2014?

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Movin’ On is Penn State’s annual spring music festival held free of charge for students and guests, boasting A$AP Rocky as its headliner this year with Fitz and the Tantrums, Aloe Blacc, Sky Ferriera and Air Dubai rounding out the lineup.

While you probably won’t catch Leonardo DiCaprio breaking a leg on the dance floor or the Knowles sisters performing a sister act on stage (maybe getting Blue Ivy to make an appearance would be more reasonable), bringing that Coachella magic here to State College can be as easy as dressing the part, because let’s be honest – the best thing about music festivals is the fashion. Continue reading