Back to College Shopping

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I got to play fashion stylist for the weekend and I loved it! Savers reached out to me to write a blog post using items purchased at Savers. The concept I pitched was of a young woman returning to college for her senior year. My friend, Maya, agreed to be my model. Savers gave us a wardrobe budget of $150.

We planned the outfits in advance.

  • jeans and a t-shirt for attending classes
  • an outfit for her work-study job at the library
  • everyday pieces for late night study sessions
  • a chic ensemble for art openings or an evening out
  • a pant suit for presentations and interviews

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I found these vintage Lee jeans in the men’s section. I cropped them and washed them to accentuate the fringe. The slides were actually slingbacks but I cut off the straps and turned them into mules. Remember to check the men’s section for plain white t-shirts. These thick cotton boy-cut t-shirts are a nice alternative to the tissue tees that have been popular for too long. The red bag is actually new but the shot needed a pop of color so I included it. It’s a Jelly Retro Basket from Lisa Says Gah. I’m obsessed with it.

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Cinch the waist of your jeans with a thick black belt for that 90s look.

The perfect pair of vintage jeans is not easy to find.  Be patient. The inventory at Savers turns over quickly. If you don’t find a pair on the first visit, go back again in a month. Trust me.


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For a more studious look, pair a silk secretary blouse with a classic wool skirt. We added a vintage watch for a bit of analog bling and a quality trench coat for chilly Fall days. Personally, I am keeping my eyes peeled for a classic belted trench coat so I can pull off this look by Reese Blutstein. Follow Reese on Instagram for great style inspiration.

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Turtlenecks and high-waisted pleated pants are a comfortable choice for late night study sessions. Layering is key for transitional seasons and drafty old buildings. SAVERS-TURTLENECK2

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This thin turtleneck sweater dress can be dressed up with simple accessories making it a smart choice for an art opening or an evening out. SAVERS DRESS1.jpgFunny story — we couldn’t find a handbag that spoke to us so we opted for this basket from the home goods section instead. It’s a fun alternative to a traditional bag.  The cowhide slides help make the outfit feel unique and memorable. Judging by Maya’s reaction, I think these slides were her favorite find of the day.

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Sculpture:  Arcangle, 1984, granite and Carrara marble by Gary Haven Smith  located at the University of New Hampshire Dimond Library

We opted for minimalist jewelry. The jewelry selection at Savers is insane. You can achieve just about any jewelry trend with the options they have. I know that sounds very sales-y but it’s true.
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We scored a quality Ann Taylor pin stripe suit that fit Maya like a glove. For this shoot, we paired it with a vintage camisole but for an actual interview or presentation I would recommend a classic button down or silk shell top. Death by Elocution has great inspiration for updated classics like that. SAVERS-SUIT-2-cropped

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SAVERS-SUIT-SHOESAgain we opted for slides over pumps. Block heels are easier to walk in and they offer a nice juxtaposition to a traditional suit.

How’d we do? Let us know in the comments.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Maya lives 3 hours away from me. It was a challenge to find the time to shop and shoot together. She arrived on Saturday night at 7 pm. Savers closes at 10 pm. We rushed over and treated the experience like a reality tv show. We split up and loaded up our carts with options. She tried everything on and quickly determined the best pieces. We dove back into the racks to find more pieces. When we went to cash out we discovered that everything we had still only added up to $130. We had to go back in and spend another $20!
The next morning we planned the outfits. There were a few pieces that on second inspection didn’t work well for our shoot. I blame it on us having to rush. I decided to swap out the items that didn’t work with items from my personal wardrobe that I actually did buy at Savers, just not on this trip. We swapped out ankle boots for the slides. We swapped out a big blazer for my vintage Lee jeans, and we swapped out elastic waist pants for the wool skirt.

That was fun! I want to do it all again. I hope the takeaway is that you can get quality pieces secondhand. It’s better on your wallet and on the environment. Next time you feel like your wardrobe needs a refresh —  think secondhand first! xo jam

Normcore

My friend and I were talking about how we are just not into fashion that much lately. For me, it has to do with not wanting to buy anything unless it is secondhand, or well-made by an independent designer (expensive). Also, as a library clerk, I can’t afford that much.

The world feels depressing lately so I decided to dive back into fashion blogs and see if I could get excited about anything. I stumbled upon Double3xposure, a fashion blogger, on Instagram. She is a 20-year-old college student living in Atlanta, Georgia. What I love about her style is how normal she looks.

Her hair is undone. She is wearing sensible shoes. Many of her outfits are just a t-shirt and cut off jeans. I particularly love that she embraces the off-the-shoulder trend by wearing a pajama top that she simply shimmies around her shoulders. #genius

Seeing her outfits got me thinking of normcore (think hardcore normal). I’d always heard about it but didn’t really know what it meant. I found this Vogue video where Alexa Chung interviews the people (K-Hole) who invented the term. This story is fascinating! You have to watch this. It’s like an art joke altering the fashion industry.

Wanting to always promote sustainable style is like always being on a diet. Occasionally, I just want junk food. Double3xposure has inspired me to keep eating healthy. I’m inspired to be creative with what I already have and make smart investments with pieces that I love.

Double3xposure says about her personal style:

To me having style has nothing to do with the amount of money you have. I believe style has to do with the creativity you put into the outfits you wear with the things you already have.

BTW — It is through Double3xpsoure that I learned about Older Brother. I love how eco-friendly and unisex their designs are.

P.S. Vivienne Westwood wrote a great blog post called — Unisex is good for the environment.

That’s enough to chew on for now. xo jam

The Family Room Podcast

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Hey Locals, you should totally subscribe to this podcast by Peter Squires. It seriously is a great way to learn about your friends and neighbors. Peter interviewed me recently about blogging, Style Queue magazine, and random life stuff. Click on the image above to take a listen.

Speaking of interviews, Peter was just interviewed on the Five Spot on Seacoastonline. Follow the link to learn more about Peter, like his favorite color for instance. 🙂

Peter Squires 4077 Photography
Peter Squires – 4077 Photography

I am currently enrolled in an Intro to Photography course at UNH. I am finally learning what all those buttons mean on my camera. I love this photo of Peter by 4077 Photography. So well done! What is the positive version of the word jealous? — That is how I feel about this photo.