Category Archives: Fashion

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

Cozy Chic: Wearing Socks with Heels

Florio.SocksHeelsShoes are a girl’s best friend, and that’s a fact. They have limitless possibilities and never let you down. They also have the rare super power to take your outfit from zero to high fashion faster than Joan Rivers can call you out on The Fashion Police. One of the most popular (and equally daring) shoe trends as of late? Socks with heels.

I know, I know. It sounds just as bad as crocs with a dashing pair of argyle knee-highs. But when given the chance, the socks-and-heels combo has the potential to take you to the big leagues of fashion.

“This trend is quirky and chic at the same time. You can wear high-top wedge sneakers, high heels or wedges with it and mix it up. It can go with any outfit. It’s a really cute trend,” explains Metro sales associate Quish “Q” Lambright. Continue reading

Pushing Up Daisies

Florio.DaisyPictureSunflowers and roses and daffodils – oh my! Floral is a classic look that has been popular for years, and it never goes out of style. I would bet you my favorite NYX lipstick that there’s at least one floral piece in your closet. (I’m right, aren’t I?) But even though florals serve as the perfect go-to print, a new flower is on the rise – daisies.

As the boho look becomes increasingly popular, so does the rise of the daisy. But why all of a sudden the sudden burst of flower power? And how can the more conservative nix the hippie look?

“They’re becoming more popular since the seasons are changing. It’s a more juvenile print, so you could easily dress it up with something nicer, like black and white. Maybe even through in some denim to offset the bright colors,” say Urban Outfitters Manager Laura Kerpovich.

April showers bring May flowers, and daisies are here just in time for spring and summer. The major upside: they can virtually be paired with anything to create any look. Whether you’re bohemian, classic, girly, punk, or hipster – everyone has a little room for flowers.

“Daisies are great because you can dress them up or down with anything. For a daisy print top, you could easily pair it with some high-waisted jeans or a skater skirt. For a layered look, daisies can also be rocked with a kimono as a statement piece,” says Alexandria Gonzalez, Assistant Manager as People’s Nation. “There’s even the flower crown, though that definitely takes some guts to pull off.”

So next time PA gives us a break from the cold and actually shows some sun…girl, treat yo’ self. Splurge on that cute daisy crop top or stop by Urban Outfitters and pick up their new daisy print vest. If you’re feelin’ the love, maybe invest in a flower crown. Woodstock, anyone?

Photo by Sam Florio