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Metro Detroit Goodwill (and how I broke my shopping ban…)

Last night and early this morning, I went to the opening of the Goodwill in metro Detroit. I was really excited when Melissa invited me, because, as we all know, I adore thrifting. And, I got to meet Nicole from The Sale Rack!
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Melissa, left and Nicole.

I live in an area surrounded by five different thrift stores and I have to say the new Goodwill location is phenomenal. Melissa, Nicole and I were noticing that it doesn’t have the typical musty thrift store scent. It looks like an upscale department store, which is a huge plus!
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With the exception of a small display in the center of the store, everything sold is donated. The items in the center area are new and inexpensive pieces like gloves, earmuffs, some jewelry and even some U of M gear. (I believe there were also some new undergarments in the same area).
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While looking around, we found great brand names like Guess, Coach, Christian Dior, Ann Taylor and American Eagle. I, obviously, went straight for the shoes and the dresses and found some amazing deals.

Melissa showed me this wedding dress, in amazing condition with a birdcage veil, for $29.99. No, that’s NOT a typo- only $29.99.
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This jacket would look amazing with a black pencil skirt and black heels.

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I was tempted to buy this camera to put on my shelf, because it would be an interesting conversation piece! But, then I decided I shouldn’t, since my cats would destroy it.

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I almost bought these pink Barbie heels for Jenni, but she said she’s not allowing herself to buy any new shoes for a while, so I left them for someone else with tiny feet! (I couldn’t even fit my toes in!).

Before I show you what I bought, I have to admit my most favorite thing in the store was also the most expensive. No, I didn’t buy it, but another lady went home with it today, and I am jealous!
It’s a 1977 Mata Hari Bally pinball machine. It’s GORGEOUS!!
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So now, onto what I bought myself. Honestly, I don’t even feel bad about it because I only spent $20 AND the money goes right back into Goodwill, which helps someone in Metro Detroit find a job. So, it’s a win-win for me!
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Oh yes. These are granny-style red and white wingtip heels. NEVER BEEN WORN. I got them for $4.99. And they fit my giant feet. Love!!

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Melissa’s holding up my new dress. it’s flowy, 70s style and RED! We all know how I feel about wearing red (I love it!!). My mom and I are trying to decide if we should hem it at my knees or leave it long. What do you think?

So, there you have it. I’m not done with the 30 for 30 yet, but I’ve already spent money… oops!! I forgive myself, and I hope you’ll forgive me too!

Suze

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What is the 30 for 30 and why should I care?

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Recently, I’ve noticed some interesting observations about the 30 for 30 challenge that 337+ bloggers are currently participating in. From offhand comments like “I don’t need a challenge to be creative” to people wondering what the impact of the challenge is, sorry to say, but some people are confused.

Kendi explains her reasons for beginning the 30 for 30 challenge on her blog. “By April 2010, I’d run out of funds and had lost the original intent of my blog: to remix the contents of my closet. I introduced the idea of remixing what was in my closet by the idea of the 30 for 30 Remix. ’30 for 30′ simply meant that I would take 30 items and remix only those items into 30, (hopefully) stylish outfits.”

Well, that sounds like a pretty good idea to me. But Kendi goes on to add insult to injury, restricting shopping during the time of the challenge (which can be about 6 weeks, if you only do it five days during the week).

Why? Because, Kendi says “of two reasons: 1) so you’ll learn to shop your own closet and 2) so you’ll appreciate it. So many times I’ve run out and bought a new dress for one event or I bought something because I felt lacking, not what was in my closet. Obviously, this is not the best solution to a problem. I have found that when I limit myself with shopping, with 30 items, I become so much more aware of what I have versus what I need.”

The first 30 for 30 challenge Kendi did by herself, in the spring of 2010. In summer 2010, she opened it up to her followers. Loving her reasoning and knowing I needed to challenge myself, I joined. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

I’m a pretty creative person to begin with, but when forced to only wear/remix thirty pieces; your mind goes into overdrive. I was pairing things I’d never thought to pair before. I refined my love for all things printed and colorful, and even found a nice balance of wearing all black (which is so not me).

But, I was ready when the challenge was over. I needed to get back to the rest of my closet. In those thirty days, I proved that I could live with only thirty pieces, although I don’t want to.

This time, when Kendi opened up the challenge to her readers again, I jumped at it. I wanted to do it again, with different pieces than last time and prove that I still had the ability to do it, and rock it out. Plus, my favorite part of the challenge is that we don’t shop.

In a perfect world, there would be no waste. Clothing would only be purchased and worn to cover your naked body. But this isn’t a perfect world. There is waste. People purchase clothing to add to their wardrobe, to make themselves feel better or because they have no idea what they really own. I am a big believer in purchasing secondhand or used clothing, because we don’t need more waste. Just because someone else didn’t want it, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have value. I’ve purchased secondhand cars, shoes, clothes, even pets! I think that the 337+ bloggers involved in this challenge are proving that we don’t need to shop at a store to be creative. We can shop in our own closets and showcase our fashion ability without needed retail therapy.

I work for a nonprofit. We do donation drives. The number one thing people donate? Clothing. The number one thing we don’t need? Clothing. There is so much of it. People buy things and wear them once, then get rid of them. By forcing yourself to remix what you own, you’re proving that you don’t need to buy things.

There are many bloggers who have already gone the route of not shopping for a specific length of time. Alyson, Angeline, Beverly, etc, etc, etc. These women prove that you don’t need new pieces to make your closet work for you. There are also bloggers like Marissa who take $1 each day and revamp an old piece of clothing she finds at thrift stores, garage sales or discard piles.

So why do the 30 for 30 challenge? Because, dear friends, it’s about proving to yourself that you can do it. It’s not about the not shopping, or the time commitment. It’s about proving that you can master the remix and work with only thirty pieces in your wardrobe.

If that’s not enough for you, continue to be mystified why 337+ bloggers would jump on the same bandwagon and attempt the challenge. Sure, some people are naturally creative, but that’s not what this is about. This is fun, challenging and a way to force yourself to think outside the box and prove that you can do it.

Did I think I would ever wear purple, pink and red together? No! But did I do it? Yes. And that my dear friends, is reason enough for me.

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November featured blogger Chic on the Cheap

4758732075_ae29012321_bIt’s finally November and I can now introduce you to a blogger I’ve been stalking following for… oh, heck, a long time! Chic on the Cheap is an inspiration blog with great photography and cute, affordable outfits. Lyddie Gal is open about how she spends her money, her clothing budget (if she breaks it!) and how she manages to look fashionable and fearless all the time.

So, without further ado, read all about Chic on the Cheap!

Describe your blog in three words:
Today I wore…

How would you describe your style?
Quirky trying to be classic.

Who/what are your style inspirations?
Lately I’ve been getting tons of inspiration from other bloggers, and I always think it’s fun and interesting to see how trends travel amongst the fashion blogger community – everything from they way the ends of belts are looped to how we wear our hair. Every time I see someone trying something new, I have to do it myself!

4987945865_cb27ae685f_bWhat are your three favorite items in your closet?
My leopard pencil skirt, floral cardigan, and bubble hem dress – but wait – what about shoes?!

What outfit or item would you purchase if money was no object?
I think it would be more about where I would shop. I would love to be able to walk into somewhere like saks 5th ave and head up to the shoe floor and just buy a pair, without a care about how much they cost.
Also I’d love to know if my theory that $700 heels are magically 100x more comfortable to wear than $40 heels is true.

What is your favorite magazine?
It would have to be Lucky, since it’s the only one I currently subscribe to. I like that they have very attainable looks and even some things I can actually afford.

5002491979_fc05eeb76a_bWhy did you decide to start a fashion blog?
I thought it would be fun to have a creative outlet, and when I started getting readers I loved posting outfits and getting to show them to people who were actually interested. (Unlike, oh say, coworkers.)

What is the hardest part about blogging?
Trying to keep up with everyone else. When I started blogging, I followed about 10 blogs. Now it’s somewhere upwards of 200, and I often spend several hours each day reading through new posts.
Even thought it’s something I want to, and enjoy doing, I start to feel guilty if I haven’t gotten to someone in a few days.

What is the easiest part about blogging?
Reading comments :)

4569725079_96af30021f_bWhat has blogging taught you?
How to be a shopaholic.
And maybe now it’s trying to teach me how not to be a shopaholic. It’s a work in progress.

What fall trend are you excited for?
I’m anxious to layer my faux fur vest over my leather jacket!

What fall trend are you dreading?
I’m not a fan of the midi-skirt. I feel like only the really tall girls can pull it off.
(So yes, you look fab in the Anthro skirt.) <— LOL! :)

4736677641_83be94c0c0_bAre there days where you’d rather not take photos? What do you do on those days?
There have been many days when I haven’t taken photos. Last year especially, I only took photos a few times a week.
But now I force myself to get dressed and get out there. Even if I’d been in PJs until 3 pm that day.

How has your style evolved over the years?
I’ve become much more willing to try new styles and ways of wearing clothes — before the fashion blog, did you ever belt a scarf, or wear a dress as a top? Because I certainly didn’t! I’ve also stopped wearing pants/jeans five days a week.
My three biggest changes are probably, high heels (anything above 2″ used to scare me), horizontal stripes (“I’ll look enormous if I wear those!”), and pencil skirts (I’m too curvy).

Have you always been interested in fashion/clothes, or did you have to learn to like it?
When I was little I loved making clothes for my dolls, and then I started making clothes for myself; and I’ve always been very interested in the consumer end of the fashion industry, but it’s only recently that I’ve given a second thought to a fashion designer, or what goes on in New York during September.

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What piece of advice would you give a beginning fashion blogger?
Write things you would enjoy reading. Take photos that make you happy. Buy a tripod. (Don’t buy a cheap one.)

Do you think you’ll still be blogging in five years?
I’d like to say yes; I’ve found the past two years to be very gratifying. I am always amazing at how large, and how welcoming the fashion blogging community is. I’ve learned and evolved a lot, and hopefully will continue to do so.

To date, what has been your favorite post to write and why?
I wrote an April Fool’s post on Crocs as being just as stylish as they more expensive clogs trending at the time (or still trending) and there were a few people who actually thought I was being serious! I couldn’t decide if I should be flattered or offended, but I was howling with laughter.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for featuring me Suze, love you and Miss Vinyl Ahoy, and your Anthro necklace DIYs – which I’ve been meaning to, and need to do!

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October featured blogger: Kendi Everyday

4997650020_e86150f82c_bFor October, I’d like to introduce you to Kendi, although unless you live under a rock, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of her. Many months ago, when I actually started utilizing my Google Reader, I was surfing around to random blogs, to see what I liked. I came across Kendi Everyday. Between her humor and great fashion sense, I was hooked.

Kendi is the best friend you’ve always wanted. She tells it like it is, isn’t afraid to be herself and is such a nice person, you can’t help but adore her. She’s funny without being over-the-top, and her doodles and description of what she’s wearing make her blog one-of-a-kind.

Describe your blog in three words:
Style meets sarcasm

How would you describe your style?
Eclectic chic. (does that even make sense? I think it changes every time someone asks!)

Who/what are your style inspirations?
Bloggers for one. I live by blogging inspiration– style bloggers, fashion bloggers, street style blogs. But if we are talking celebrities — Rachel Bilson, Alexa Chung, Zooey Deschanel. Each girl epitomizes class and charm with a little bit of quirkiness thrown in.

5034573559_639347737a_bWhat are your three favorite items in your closet?
Suze — seriously? Only three? Fine.
1) a leopard print skirt 2) pair of red heels 3) a navy blazer.
(Suze’s note- wear them together!!)

What outfit or item would you purchase if money was no object?
Frye Over The Knee Boots — they are like $500. But I still think I’d cry a little at the thought of spending $500 on a pair of shoes.

What is your favorite magazine?
Lucky Magazine. It has the most realistic style for me to gain inspiration from.

Why did you decide to start a fashion blog?
I followed so many other style and fashion bloggers that I wanted to have a voice in the community too. I also was in a style rut and wanted to figure out my style and blogging seemed the best way to go about that.

What is the hardest part about blogging?
The time that I put in. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I spend a lot of time on my blog, but the hard work is worth it if you are doing something you love.

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What is the easiest part about blogging?
Making friends! I love all of the friendships I’ve made that I never would have otherwise.

What has blogging taught you? That the bigger the risk you take, the more return you will see. It has been hard to put myself out there in front of a lot of people, almost every day. Not only do I put my outfits on display but my thoughts, my opinions, and my life. But I’ve learned that the more you put yourself out there, the more people give back. The return is far more valuable than the risk.

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What fall trend are you excited for?
All of the animal print that is out there to buy. I could go crazy thinking about it. The 70-year old socialite inside of me that is dying for a faux leopard fur coat this fall. That and wedge boots, I’ve been eyeing a pair since late August. :)

What fall trend are you dreading?
Socks with heels? Don’t hate me for this — I think it looks absolutely ADORABLE on some people. But I just can not figure out how to rock that look! Maybe I just need to go for it, but if it takes over the world, I fear I will not be able to rock that trend.

Are there days where you’d rather not take photos? What do you do on those days?
Yes, of course! This usually comes mid-week when I’m exhausted or our house is a mess or my outfit is just not happening. I either let my husband talk me into to taking photos anyways or I talk him into going and getting dinner instead.

4928335682_fcc5f0168c_o How has your style evolved over the years?
In high school, I was a lost little puppy when it came to style. I think this had to do with the fact that I didn’t know who I was or where I was going. In college, I dressed in a lot of thrifted, eclectic items — not really my style now at all. I still carry over pieces from that time because I loved how I dressed in college, but I think I’m too old to wear a crazy thrifted dress and copius amounts of jewelry to work (or am I?…). When I first started my career, I again was so lost and I went opposite of what I wore in college. I bought every wrong piece of clothing you can imagine because I was freaked out by my work’s dress code so I went crazy on office pants, button downs, etc. This style just didn’t work for me. Once I figured out how to dress with personality within a dress code, I was on the right path to finding my style. Now I know how to dress for my body within my budget and within HR regulations. I hope that my style will evolve with each chapter in my life.

Have you always been interested in fashion, or did you have to learn to like it?
If by fashion you mean clothes, then yes. And by interested you mean obsessed, then yes. I remember my favorite outfit when I was 5 years old! I used to cut outfits out of catalogs and create my own clothing line by pasting new tops with bottoms. I would also draw my own paper dolls and design clothes for them. So I think it’s safe to say, I was born with a love for clothing. As I got older the love for clothes never left, it just changed. It has always been a way for me to express myself, but now I do it with actual clothes not paper doll drawings or catalog cut-outs.
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What piece of advice would you give a beginning fashion blogger?
Stick with it! Don’t give up, as it’s easy to do in the beginging. Do not blog for anyone other than yourself. And write what you know — your story is yours and that makes it unique and worthy to be shared.

Do you think you’ll still be blogging in five years?
I hope so! I hope that Kendi Everyday is a part of my life in some capacity in 5 years, even though I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing.

5013837706_5585da007d_b To date, what has been your favorite post to write and why?
I think the one about dressing like what you want to be for that day. For that post I said that I felt like a museum curator and I doodled a museum scene. I liked that post — it stretched me in my writing and drawing (haha) skills.

Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks so much for the fun interview! And to those who can rock socks with heels, I’m deeply jealous.

(All photos taken, with permission, from Kendi Everyday)

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10 ways to find hidden gems at stores

When I go shopping I’m always on the lookout for a hidden gem. It doesn’t matter if I’m walking into a thrift store or fast-fashion store, if I’m going to purchase something, I want it to be special. I have plenty things other ladies (and bloggers!) own, but if I’m going to buy it and wear it, it needs to be able to assimilate in my wardrobe and not look like it was purchased on a whim (even if it was).

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So how do I do it?

At the store I:

1. sort through the racks. If I’m in a thrift store, I search through all the pieces one-by-one. If I’m in a fast-fashion store, I search a little faster, but I try to be as thorough as possible.

2. pull out the things that look interesting or have potential. I often end up choosing many more things than I’ll end up trying on, but if it has potential, I want to snag it just in case.

3. give it a shot, even if it’s not my style. I know my style and usually stick to it, but if I find something that strikes my fancy, I’m not going to write it off, just because it might not be my thing.

4. sort through my pile after I’ve scoured the racks. I can usually talk myself out of a few things because I have something similar at home. If I’m unsure, it comes to the dressing room with me.

5. try on everything, coats included. I’ll make two piles in my dressing room, “no” and “yes.” Once I’ve gone through the entire pile, I re-try on the “yes” pile, further editing those down.

6. think of at least three different outfits I can make with each piece. If I can do that, it is more likely to become mine. If I can’t I leave it behind (returning it to the appropriate rack, of course).

Once home, with my new purchases, I:

7. start playing visual dress-up with the item. I lay it out with other pieces from my closet, things I wouldn’t usually pair together, to see what looks good. I try to pair with other things that weren’t in the three-outfit rule.

8. think outside the box. Just because I purchased a dress doesn’t mean it can’t be worn under a skirt or with jeans. I try to force everything to have multiple purposes.

9. edit the details. If it has an attached belt or plastic buttons, I’ll remove, update or change those, giving the piece a different look and feel. Sometimes something as simple as removing the loops for a belt or changing buttons can make a huge difference.

10. wear it with confidence. It’s easy to go into a store, buy an outfit off a mannequin and know you look good. But that’s not my purpose. I want to buy something that is special to me, even if tons of other people have it. I make sure that I am comfortable and happy with my new purchase, and I wear it proudly.

Do you have ways to find something special when you go shopping?

-Suze

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Midwest Fashion Blogger Meetup


Yesterday was the Midwest Blogger Meetup that has been in the works for about a month. (Snagged this pic from Gina.)

Cher and I packed the lovely giftbags with items gifted by We Love Colors, Spotted Moth and Ruche, then carted them to the train (yes, we rode the train into town with all this stuff!)
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I had a great time meeting everyone in person. It’s really interesting when you meet someone you know through their writing and photographs, because it’s almost weird to see them animated in real life.

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Maybe too animated? (photo by Andrea)
Megan, Binny (she was hiding!), me, Emily, Elena and Lisa.

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The Michigan ladies! (Andrea, me and Tieka)

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Toni and me (for some reason I thought Toni was going to be short- I was excited when she turned out to be the same height as me!)

I was really excited to see what everyone was wearing, because, after all, we are all fashion bloggers!

Andrea, being the doll she is, took photos of me. I want to move to Lansing and beg her to take my photos everyday. Holy crap these are awesome photos. (Or maybe I just need lessons… that could help!).

(The photos below were all taken by Andrea, and I think she has some crazy filter because they look awesome, so pardon me for the immense amounts of photos of my outfit and myself!)
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Top/Shoes: Forever 21
Skirt: Anthropologie (bought with b-day money and on sale!)
Earrings/ring: Forever 21 and Target
Belt: Borrowed
Purse: Borrowed from Cher, The Limited

More photos here

Bloggers in attendance:
A Fashion Adventure
Archives
Blonde Bedhead
Caffeinerd
ChiTown Fashionista
Clothes Inter Alia
Defying My Closet
Fashion Butter
Gina Josephine Aggie
Lemon Drop Love
Miss Vinyl Ahoy (me!) :)
Sartioriography
Selective Potential
Shoe a Day
Transmission Me

PS- come back tomorrow for a meetup related giveaway!! :)

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September featured blogger: The New Professional

It’s not often I run across a “real” professional’s fashion blog. I say this, because most fashion bloggers are very liberal with their sartorial choices, especially if their job permits it. But, what about us few creative individuals who work in a pretty professional workplace, but still want to be creative and dress professionally, but like themselves?

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That’s where Angeline of The New Professional comes in. She has a creative eye for clothing, but always dresses professional for work (even when participating in the 30 for 30 and having few pieces to chose from!). She offers tips to help you get through your work day, relate to coworkers and better manage your work life. The New Professional is a haven of information about how to mix work with fashion.

And, I’m really, really excited, because she’s my featured blogger for September (insert YAY here).

1. Describe your blog in three words.
Dress & act professionally (& is a symbol!)

2. What/who are your style inspirations?
Jennifer Aniston and Fred Astaire. Jennifer Aniston because she seems to put together looks that are simple but really nice, and Fred Astaire because he always looked so dapper (plus he always had colorful socks–always have a surprise!).

3. What are your three favorite things in your closet?
Black pencil skirt–it goes with everything!

Brown tweedy pants–super comfy.

Navy cowl-neck shell–basic but not boring.

4. What outfit or piece of clothing would you buy if money was no object?
An extravagant Ralph Lauren evening gown. ::swoon:: I love this gold one:

5. What are your top five favorite stores to shop at?
Hmm…that’s hard since I’m on the Great American Apparel Diet and shopping is the last thing on my mind these days. But I’d say (in no particular order):
Ross/Marshall’s for everything, Target for shoes and basic tanks and tops, Banana Republic/BR Outlet for pants and dresses, LOFT for skirts and tops, Macy’s for outerwear and shoes.

6. Who is your style icon and why?
I can’t really think of one (please don’t take away my fashion blog!). I’d like to think it’s all those women who juggle a career, family, and social life, and still manage to look put together without shopping themselves into debt. It’s all about how you wear it.

7. What has been your favorite blog post to write?
Well, it’s one of three: the one about making yourself indispensable, the one about choosing art, or the one about personal planners. I find that my advice posts are generally more personal and enjoyable…I am oddly passionate about professional behavior and development.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Honestly…I have no idea, except I’ll probably have a kid. We’ll be moving to a different state next year when my husband finishes his PhD and finds a professor job, and I haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do yet. I could definitely see myself being happy in a job similar to what I have now (communications manager/magazine editor), but I could also see myself doing a number of other things. My running joke is that if we move to a small town, I’m opening my own cupcake/cookie shop, but I have to learn to make good frosting first. I’ll probably reassess the blog after I move and figure out what I’ll be doing.

9. Why did you decide to start a blog?
I’ve always enjoyed the creative outlet a blog can be (helllooooooo, I’m a writer!), and it’d been a few years since I stopped my last blog. I was reading a bunch of design blogs, which led to reading fashion blogs, but I couldn’t relate to most of the clothing I saw–short floral dresses, heels everyday (not just at work), or more couture looks. I’d been working in office environments since my junior year of college, and had accumulated a lot of thoughts and opinions on professional topics as well, so that got worked in to make the blog more of a resource for readers. I let the idea stew for about a year before I started the New Professional in March. It allowed me to really consider the focus and format of the blog. I think having that vision laid out from the get-go was really helpful.

10. Anything else you’d like to share?
One unexpected perk of blogging is the blogging community. I think that’s been the best part…getting to “meet” loads of beautiful, fashionable women from diverse walks of life. You ladies are awesome!

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Detroit Fashion Pages

So a big shout out to Cher for making this happen.

Detroit Fashion Pages is featuring me. ME!

I can’t believe it. Check out the interview (and let me know what you think!)

♥ Suze

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Is the controversy surrounding Forever 21′s maternity inaccurate?

Forever 21‘s recently launched maternity line has currently come under fire. It seems parents, teenagers and some media believe this affordable line of maternity wear is being targeted to teenagers.

Forever 21 responded on their twitter account with this statement:

Forever 21 has currently launched the line online and in stores in five states: Alaska, Utah, California, Arizona and Texas. The bloggers over at The Gloss reported that three of the states, Arizona, California and Texas, have the highest rates of pregnancy in the United States.

The Gloss (appropriate name) glossed over the not-so-insignificant detail of using decade old data from the year 2000.

According to a report from January 2010 by Guttmacher Institute*, teenage birth rates have dropped in every state since the 2000 report.

According to this report, Arizona and Texas are ranked as #3 and #4, respectively, as the states with the highest pregnancy rates.

But California fell to #15. That doesn’t match the argument from the original article. (For reference, Alaska is #31 and Utah is #45.)

So where does that leave the argument? Forever 21 is loved and hated for being “fast-food fashion,” offering new styles nearly everyday, often borrowing straight from runways with dollar-bin prices.

Before the maternity was launched, Forever 21 also launched Love 21 (contemporary line),  Twelve by Twelve (LA couture inspired), Heritage 1981 (vintage inspired), Faith 21 (plus size), 21 Men (men’s line) and HTG81(children’s line). It seems as though Forever 21 is just continuing the expansion into other markets. They already make clothing and accessories for tweens, teens, adults, men, kids and plus sizes, so why not maternity?

Mom-to-be Kari J. isn’t sold on the maternity line. “Meh, I’ve seen better, honestly. The clothes just look plain and baggy and not flattering at all… Their line seems a little boring for F21. Ugh.. the colors! Seriously!” Currently, Kari hasn’t purchased anything from the line, and doesn’t plan to unless they start “selling dresses, skirts and anything flattering.”

Kari also doesn’t agree with the controversy, “like it or not, teens have sex and GASP babies! …right now it looks like they are trying to break into a lucrative market they know nothing about.”

Even bloggers from two of the states that carry the maternity line in stores don’t agree with the controversy.

Angeline E. from California says, “I’m not sure I see what the big deal is. A huge portion of their customers are in their 20s-30s. [The maternity line] is no worse than all those MTV shows about being 16 and pregnant.”

Mom-to-be Indiana Adams from Texas says, “I first heard about this “controversy” over on Perez Hilton‘s fashion gossip spin-off site CoCoPerez.com, and I’ve since read a couple other articles wondering if Forever 21 is glamorizing teenage motherhood by coming out with a maternity line. I think these claims are a little off base. The maternity line is a part of Forever 21‘s contemporary line “Love 21**” which is marketed toward an older audience.
To me, it’s quite obvious when you look at the models used on the Love 21 section of the website. While the models are still youthful, it’s apparent that the company intentionally chose slightly older models for the Love 21 section versus the very young-looking models they choose for the Forever 21 section.
Additionally, Forever 21 makes a wonderful line of plus sized clothing under their Faith 21 line. No one is accusing Forever 21 of encouraging teenage obesity, are they? No, because that’s ridiculous. Forever 21 is simply taking their fashion concepts and making them marketable to subsets of women who fall outside the norm of their original, intended audience. I, for one, applaud their efforts.”

Indiana was very excited when she heard about the line, “thanks to one of my blog readers who tweeted me the link, I saw the new maternity line online the day it launched. I instantly loved it. The prices are unbeatable, the fashion is functional, and I thought to myself, ‘Finally! Maternity clothes in my price point, meant for someone like me!’ For the record, I am a 30-year-old, married woman, who is six months pregnant. I have a fashion blog, but I consider myself to be a conservative dresser. I do shop at Forever 21 a regular basis.”
Indiana hasn’t purchased anything from the line yet, but plans to purchase a pair of the maternity jeans in the next few weeks.

So what can we infer about the maternity line? Is it a marketing ploy, as The Gloss put it? Or an attempt to branch out into a new market they know nothing about? Or is it neither of those two, and is Forever 21 just trying to see if a maternity line can sell?

What do you think?


*Please note- Guttmacher Institute also complied the information used by The Gloss in their article, and this updated report was quickly and easily obtained with a quick online search.
** The maternity line was launched under the Love 21 umbrella, which, according to Forever 21, is described as their contemporary line “with more focus on fabrication and trims, and a more sophisticated feel.”
9

10 things Ke$ha taught me about fashion


She’s kind of a hot mess, singing about booze, shoes and boys. But she never fails to impress, surprise and shock. She’s very much an individual, with an I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude we could all use a dose of.

I’ve played her CD non-stop on trips around Michigan, giggling at the puns and singing along to the chorus. And now, I’ve compiled a short list of things Ke$ha has taught me about fashion.

Too much glitter is never a bad thing

Got a favorite accessory? Enjoy glitter? Too much is never a bad thing. It can be your signature. The thing that sets you apart from all those other girls on the dance floor. Just make sure to not wear too much to work. Unless you’re a go-go dancer. Then it’s ok.
Lesson: don’t be afraid to pile it on, if the occasion is right.

Wear the same pair of shoes over and over again

That’s what all the cool kids are doing. Buy a great pair of shoes and wear them all the time!
Lesson: take note from the normal people of the world- wearing the same thing over and over is ok, fashionable and normal.

Don’t be afraid to forget your pants

If you’re willing to wear thigh-high boots or micro-mini shorts with a tunic, it might be ok to forget to wear pants. Sometimes. Blame it on the weather or atmospheric pressure.
Lesson: If you’re willing to take a risk, sometimes it can pay off.

A little attitude goes a long way
Instead of getting pushed around all the time, a little attitude can go a long way. There is no need to be a bitch, but sometimes being forceful can be very useful.
Lesson: stand up for yourself and be assertive.

Changing it up is good
If you can stand to wear a pretty dress one day and tight jeans the next and look damn good in both, why not? Changing up your clothes, hair, accessories and makeup is a good thing.
Lesson: play around with your look and push the boundaries of your style- you may find things you like that you hadn’t tried before.

T-shirts never go out of style

A t-shirt can be worn with jeans, shorts, skirts or dresses. Basically, it goes with everything. The more obscure, vintage or thrifted it is, the better.
Lesson: basics never go out of style.

When in doubt, make a face
If you hate having your photo taken, instead of smiling, throw in a funny face or stick out your tongue. It can be just as interesting as a smiling photo.
Lesson: have fun everyday and make lasting memories of the fun.

It’s all in the details

Wearing a t-shirt and jeans everyday can be boring and monotonous. But when you add accessories you can change the entire look and feel of an outfit.
Lesson: accessories can make or break your outfit. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Leopard print goes with everything
It’s one of those patterns you can find in every age group, from birth to seniors. Everyone loves their leopard print. It’s so ubiquitous but yet still very fun and youthful.
Lesson: classic prints are a good investment.

Be yourself

When all else fails, when you’re struggling to get through the day, just remember to be yourself. If you love wearing dresses and cardigan, don’t try to wear jeans and army boots. Just be you.
Lesson: stay true to you.