Do Your “Vest”: Five Ways to Rock this Winter Style

By: Christiana Sallard, Blogger

During the winter season, it can be really hard to compose an outfit that’s both warm and fashionable. One alternative to the typical winter outerwear is the winter vest, which can easily be layered over almost any piece of clothing, and adds a fun and unique flair that can complete that warm winter outfit in style! Here are five different ways to style a winter vest for the casual or slightly dressier occasion.

For a dressier style, combine a chic patterned vest with a loose, modern dress and streamlined ankle boots. Top off the look with neutral accessories like this bag and nail polish.

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

For a more eclectic look, pair a vintage-style fur vest with a unique top and a pleated midi-skirt. Finish it off with some lace-up ankle boots and your grandmother’s antique jewelry.

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard 

For this dressy-casual look, try pairing a winter flannel with a puffy vest and boyfriend jeans. To give this outfit extra flair, you can add a statement necklace, suede ankle boots, and even felt hat if you are feeling bold.
Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

For the chill days, try a winter vest with a pop of color. Complement its fun vibe with a graphic striped sweater, quirky socks, and sneakers with a dash of neon. Polish off your look with a knit circle scarf and cute crystal earrings.

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

For a semi-casual event outfit, try a chunky, cable knit sweater underneath a belted fur vest with either leather leggings or dark wash jeans. Complete the look with over-the-knee boots and an embellished clutch, and you will epitomize bohemian glamour.

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

Photo Courtesy: Polyvore by Christiana Sallard

What are you waiting for? Try your “vest” this winter with any of these creative styling options.

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The Five Most Anticipated Albums of 2015

By: Kasey McIntyre, Blogger

Coldplay’s seventh and final album, A Head Full of Dreams, is set to come out sometime in 2015. They will follow the release with a tour to support the album. Chris described the band’s final project in an interview with According to Martin, “the way we look at it, it’s like the last Harry Potter book or something like that. Not to say that there might not be another thing one day, but this is the completion of something.”

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

Drake’s new album, titled Views From the 6, is due to drop sometime this year. Performing the song “0-100/The Catch Up” at the Grammys last July, he rapped, “We already got spring 2015 poppin’,” and continued with “not to mention me dropping.” He is clearly confident with his impending music this year.

Photo Courtesy: Rolling Stone

Photo Courtesy: Rolling Stone

Ellie Goulding hasn’t released an album since Halcyon in 2012. In a November 2014 interview with, she revealed that she has big plans for 2015. “The only big thing coming up for me now is my third album, which won’t be out until next year. Everything is going into that,” Goulding said.

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

Kid Cudi is set to release Man on the Moon lll sometime during 2015. This will be the completion of his Man on the Moon series, which he started back in 2009 with the debut album, The Man on the Moon: The End of the Day. Scott Mescudi’s goal for the albums?  As he told, “I want people to be able to put this album on at different points in their life and grow with me.”

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

Madonna was in the process of creating her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, when 13 “unfinished demos” were leaked online in December. She responded quickly by releasing six of the tracks on iTunes. Afterwards, she revealed to Rolling Stone that the full album would be available in 3 months, and is set to come out on March 10, 2015.

Photo Courtesy: Rolling Stone

Photo Courtesy: Rolling Stone




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How To Layer Sweaters With Jackets

By: Kayla Davies, Blogger

Winter is officially here, which means wearing layers beyond layers! It can be rather difficult to dress nice in cold weather because of the intimidating winds, snow and ice. Here are some tips for layering sweaters with jackets to keep a sleek look while still dodging the effects of inclement weather.

Photo Courtesy: Pinterest

Photo Courtesy: Pinterest

For a casual, business-inspired look, layer a flannel button down under a crew neck sweater and top it off with a chic blazer. Add some skinny pants and ballet flats and you will be fully equipped f0r a class presentation.

Photo Courtesy: Fashionably Cleveland

Photo Courtesy: Fashionably Cleveland

If you want to dress up yet stay warm, you can add a collar necklace over a classic sweater. Top with a leather jacket and a cute beanie for an offbeat vibe.

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

For a cozy, winter combo, pair an over-sized sweater with an infinity scarf and a thick, textured coat. Think chunky cable knit sweaters and tweed outerwear.

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

Finally, layer a cape coat over top of a sweater or sweatshirt. This is perfect for showcasing a printed or more voluminous piece.


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Blurred Lines: Gym Wear to Street Wear

By: Isabella Siravo, Blogger

People are becoming more health-conscious and hitting the gym—fashionistas included. Designers are catering to this audience by creating clothing that can transition from working out to running errands. There are different hoodies, compression pants, shorts, tees and accessories that will add a chic vibe to any gym outfit. Any of the following options will transform your look.

  1. The most common gym outfit is a tank and leggings. It is comfortable and cute. Add a fitted jacket over your look and you will be both sporty and comfortable.
  2. Add a pop of color pocketbook to make it stand out from the rest of your outfit.
  3. Brush out your hair and put in a high ponytail or if you can, add a braid into your ponytail. This will make your outfit appear more casual.
  4. Emulate your favorite sporty celebs by adding some oversized sunglasses and a cozy scarf. Instant polish.
  5. Lastly, touch up your makeup and throw on some deodorant and perfume. You not only look better, but you will also feel better.

By washing up in the locker room and adding a few extra elements to your outfit, your gym clothes will easily transition from workout to play!

Photo Courtesy: Isabella Siravo

Photo Courtesy: Isabella Siravo

Photo Courtesy: Isabella Siravo

Photo Courtesy: Isabella Siravo

Photo Courtesy: PopSugar

Photo Courtesy: PopSugar


































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The Five Most Highly Anticipated Movies of 2015

By: Corinne Justus, Blogger

Lately, there has been a lull in Hollywood as far as movies are concerned. Judging by these upcoming titles, 2015 is bound to be an exciting year. Here are the five movies that I am anticipating the most.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – December 18 

The sequel to the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, the latest Star Wars movie is just the beginning of the new trilogy. The movie features familiar faces like Harrison Ford as Hans Solo and Mark Richard Hamill as Luke Skywalker. Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, this sequel is bound to satisfy anyone who is a fan of the cult classic series.           

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

2. Fifty Shades of GreyFebruary 13

Based on the first book from E.L. James’ best-selling trilogy, this movie is unequivocally one of the most anticipated movise of 2015. The movie follows 21-year-old Anastasia Steele, who is about to graduate from Washington State University. Ana soon finds herself stepping in for a friend to interview one of the successful businessmen in Washington, Christian Grey. Grey quickly becomes infatuated with demure Anastasia, and wants a relationship. Whether you have read the book or look forward to watching the movie, you will see that this partnership is far from normal.

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

3. The Avengers: Age of Ultron - May 1

Following the instant success of the first Avengers movie from 2012, which had the most successful opening weekend of all time, this movie brings back with battles and action like never before. With heroes and villains like Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Iron Man, Loki and Hawkeye, you will not be disappointed!

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

4. Mad Max: Fury Road – May 15

This movie is based off of the popular 1978 Mad Max movie starring Mel Gibson. In this fourth installment, you follow Mad Max, a man who just wants to wander alone, venturing with a group who are trying to flee the Wasteland. Meanwhile, Wasteland is being destroyed by the immortan, Joe. If you are looking for a crazy, creepy, action-filled movie, then Mad Max: Fury Road is perfect for you.

Photo Courtesy: We are Movie Geeks

Photo Courtesy: We are Movie Geeks

5. Jurassic World – June 12

Twenty-two years after all events at Jurassic Park, a dinosaur adventure park has been created in its honor. An on-site staff member, Owen, performs behavioral tests on the Velociraptors. After the attraction dies down, one of Owen’s studies goes awry. Can he fix it? Are there lives in danger? Watch the anticipated film and find out!

Photo Courtesy: IMDB

Photo Courtesy: IMDB



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PhilaU’s fashion program features student accolades, immersion in New York fashion industry

Philadelphia University now proudly boasts 9 nationally and internationally ranked programs.  Our students’ and faculty’s commitment to innovation have increased the visibility and prestige of these programs and helped make PhilaU a competitor among elite schools.  The programs are: fashion design, fashion merchandising and management, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, physician assistant studies, midwifery, communications online, and business online.

Our fashion program, ranked as one of the top 50 fashion schools in the world by Fashionista magazine, is a wonderful example of how PhilaU’s Nexus Learning signature educational philosophy gives our students a dramatic competitive advantage.  We embed opportunities to work in collaborative teams and professionally engage with companies and organizations as a part of our internships and coursework.  Our students flourish when facing the diverse challenges that the fashion program’s industry and organization collaborations provide.  Fashion students have collaborated with Target; Laura Geller cosmetics; Johnson & Johnson; Nicole Miller; and the Philadelphia Art Museum, and many, many others.

Our fashion students’ professional excellence in external competitions against fashion students from all over the country underscores the value of a Philadelphia University education.  This year, six Philadelphia University fashion students won prestigious YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund scholarships.  Our remarkable fashion program is a wonderful testament to our school’s textile history. Philadelphia University has a long history of understanding fashion and the business of fashion.

Five of our YMA scholarship winners won $5,000 scholarships.  They are:

  • Madeline Bill ’17, fashion merchandising and management
  • Maria D’Agostino ’16, fashion design
  • May He ’15, fashion design
  • Kristen Heun ’15, fashion design
  • Courtney Hunter ’16, fashion merchandising and management

Our sixth winner, Tia Pion, won a $10,000 scholarship as one of eight national finalists in the Geoffrey Beene scholarship competition.  She also won a $5,000 scholarship in 2013.

Courtney Hunter also recently won a $10,000 National Retail Foundation scholarship as one of five finalists in the Next Generation scholarship competition.

Accolades such as these are indicators of our students’ professional commitment to their disciplines and their desire to become leaders in their industries.  Past YMA scholarship winners have been very successful in their careers.  Casey Saccomanno ’08 is a designer for wovens and knits at SoulStar Creations LLC; Anfisa Sokolova ’11 is a color design assistant at Eileen Fisher and a YMA Scholar and Mentor; Terniqua Osborne ’11 worked for PVH and is now a production coordinator at LF USA.


But we will not rest on our laurels. PhilaU’s fashion program has also launched the New York Immersion Program.  The program is coordinated by Sheila Connelly, director of the fashion design program; Beth Mariotz, director of the fashion merchandising and management program; and Nioka Wyatt, assistant professor of fashion merchandising and management.  Once a week, sophomore fashion design and fashion merchandising and management students travel to New York to study the work of design studios, manufacturers, and retailers.  They will also meet with PhilaU fashion alumni.  This program exemplifies Nexus Learning: it gives students real-world experience in the spaces where fashion professionals do their work every day.

20150123_140351(photos courtesy of Vivian Cooper ’17, Fashion Design)

Later in the semester, the students will attend New York Fashion Week.  Fashion design students Tia Pion and Dana Jackson ‘14 have been chosen to show their collection in the New York Fashion Week Emerging Designers Collective.  They were chosen from an international pool of talented young design students. New York Immersion students will work behind the scenes at the show to give them vital experience in America’s largest fashion show.

Last Friday, the students went to Xcel Brands, the parent company of Isaac Mizrahi, Liz Claiborne New York, and Judith Ripka; Mood, the fabric store made famous by Project Runway (which PhilaU alum Jay McCarroll won in its first season); and Tiger J, a clothing manufacturer that licenses for many celebrities and designers.  Tiger J has developed brands for Carson Kressley H’13, PhilaU trustee; Rachel Zoe; Serena Williams; Liz Lange; Giuliana Rancic; and Queen Latifah.


For Isaac Mizrahi, students will tackle a semester-long group project: they will design, merchandise, and market a home improvement business that is targeted toward women in a Home Depot and/or Lowes, establishing Isaac Mizrahi as a brand that allows women to live with style.

At Tiger J, students took a look at some of the fabric designs that the brand uses in their clothing; Tiger J is the force behind the proliferation of faux fur.


PhilaU students are effusive with their praise of the program and the opportunities it will provide.  Fashion merchandising and management major Alyssa Tomaseck said, “All the excitement built up for this course was definitely worth the wait because this is an experience of a lifetime… not many students will be able to say they had this kind of amazing opportunity.”  Kimberly Hill, a fashion merchandising and management major, said, “I learned a great amount from our visit to Tiger J… I got to see the designers, graphic designers, sewers, and the head of the department that would work with the fashion labels. This helped me to understand the various aspects of the value chain that makes up a company… This visit to Tiger J got me extremely excited for this industry.”

We treat our students as professionals from the very beginning, so even as sophomores, they possess the maturity and industry knowledge that lets them fully appreciate the significance of the New York Immersion experience.  The hands-on aspects of this program, plus the visit to New York Fashion Week, will give our students an edge over their peers in the industry.

You can follow the PhilaU fashion design program on social media:

List of Social Media Handles No Date

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PhilaU Wins CASE Award for “Single Bullet” Media Campaign

Philadelphia University’s media relations effort for the inaugural exhibit of the Arlen Specter Center for Public Service, “Single Bullet: Arlen Specter and the Warren Commission Investigation of the JFK Assassination,” has been awarded a bronze CASE DII Accolades Award.

“This media campaign got the job done, in terms of building awareness of a cool, innovative on-campus exhibit and driving foot traffic,” noted Gretchen Wood, Accolades Awards executive committee member, highlighting the judges’ comments on the wining campaign.

single bulletPhiladelphia University will be recognized at the CASE DII annual conference in Washington, DC, at an awards reception Feb. 2 in the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is the leading international association for education professionals in communications, marketing, alumni relations and development.

The “Single Bullet” media campaign successfully reached a print and broadcast audience of more than 1.8 million people, while online coverage reached an audience in excess of 38.4 million unique viewers per month. The exhibit received national coverage in USA Today, a front-page story in The Philadelphia Inquirer and resulted in stories and significant on-air segments at all four network affiliates in Philadelphia.

The “Single Bullet” exhibition displayed the collaborative work of architecture, graphic design communication and law and society students and faculty members, as well as Specter Center staff members, to investigate the controversy over the Warren Commission finding that one shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, was responsible for President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

The exhibition, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death, transported viewers back in time to the scene of the assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, with a full-scale model of the 1961 Lincoln limousine President Kennedy was riding in when he was shot during a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

Read more about the exhibit here.

The Accolades Awards program recognizes best practices, programs and communications in advancement across 39 categories, including Web design, campaign publications, special events, alumni programs and college magazines.

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Industrial Design Student App Impresses Local Start-Up Community

Thorpe's team's “Should I?” app enables users to compose a yes-or-no question to instantly generate a poll and gather responses from other users.

Thorpe’s team’s “Should I?” app enables users to compose a yes-or-no question to instantly generate a poll and gather responses from other users.

You may have seen industrial design junior Kyle Thorpe careening around campus on his red Rocketskates. He found the battery pack-powered skates on crowdfunding website Kickstarter and decided to give them a try.

Testing new products and supporting fellow entrepreneurs with design feedback is something Thorpe sees as essential to achieving success in today’s start-up world. It’s what makes him an early adopter of the latest technology gadgets such as Google Glass. “In order to be on the edge, you have to stay on the edge,” he said.

Thorpe captured the attention of the local start-up community when he and his team took first place for their design of polling app “Should I?” at this fall’s Philadelphia Startup Weekend.

The business pitch competition challenged local entrepreneurs to form teams, develop business models and deliver final strategies and prototypes—in just 54 hours. About 100 people in more than a dozen teams participated in the Nov. 14 to 16 competition.

The winning “Should I?” app enables users to compose a yes-or-no question to instantly generate a poll and gather responses from other users. For example, “Does Pat’s have the best cheesesteak?” To narrow their poll results, users can sort respondents by gender and location.

Thorpe said his team would like to see “Should I?” head to the App Store.

Industrial design junior Kyle Thorpe believes in testing new products in the start-up world, such as Rocketskates.

Industrial design junior Kyle Thorpe believes in testing new products in the start-up world, such as Rocketskates.

“We’ve been given a great opportunity to do this head on,” said Thorpe, who was responsible for prototype creation. “I think this would be a great learning experience, if nothing else. If we get enough users, we will start looking into venture capital funding.”

Thorpe said he felt well-prepared for the collaboration required at Startup Weekend after participating in several sprint projects with industry partners at PhilaU. “They gave me a head start,” he said.

Thorpe is something of a serial entrepreneur. In his spare time, he has been working on such projects as an origami-inspired collapsible water bottle, an ergonomic standing chair and an app designed to find the safest bike paths by mapping frequently traveled routes. “You can’t change the world if you are doing what everyone else is doing,” he said.

For their Startup Weekend win, Thorpe’s team was rewarded with a membership to ic@3401, a local collaborative workspace, a free design and development evaluation from Webjunto, a Philadelphia-based web, mobile and social design company, as well as coding assistance and other valuable start-up resources.

The group also will receive coaching from Chris Baglieri, engineer for Philadelphia-based mobile app management company Artisan Mobile Inc., as it pursues further product development.

“‘Should I?’ has the raw materials to hit the ground running with the potential for traction,” Baglieri said. “It’s super simple conceptually, and, if built right, to use. It plays with concepts we see leveraged in already successful apps.”

Thorpe, a resident of Spring City, Pa., has long had a passion for creativity. “Ever since I was five I wanted to be an inventor,” he said. Now, he said he’s following his dream by pursuing industrial design at PhilaU, learning such skills as rapid prototyping, design thinking, 3-D modeling and material selection.

“My end goal,” Thorpe said, “is to start my own company and invent things for the greater good.”

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Look Board: Super Bowl Party

By: Nia Wilson, Staff Writer

We all know it’s about that time for the Super Bowl 2015, but there’s always that one issue: What do I wear? This time instead of reaching for the usual fitted cap and jersey,  venture out! Below are few suggestions to get you started with looks inspired by the NFC and AFC champs — the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.


Items from: L.L. Bean, NFL Shops, River Island, SheInside, Lyst



Items from: Forever 21, Etsy, Cranium Fitteds, NFL Shops, Victoria’s Secret

You don’t always need to wear the actual jersey to show support, try mixing in some of your team’s colors with sweaters and plaid shirts to spice things up! Feel you must wear your team’s logo? Go for a cropped T-shirt or an oversized jersey! For you football loving girly girls, show off your sense of style by showing up in a casual midi skirt with one of these tops. If you’re not really into skirts, jeans and joggers are always acceptable for a Super Bowl party as well. Lastly, you can’t forget those accessories! Go to your Super Bowl event sporting your teams beanie or socks (even if your team didn’t make it to the big game)!

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Shopping for a Purpose: Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

By: Olivia Brown, Blogger

This may be a relevant topic due to its correlation with the media-conjured subculture pinned as “normcore” in the previous year of 2014 or it may be relevant simply because of the increasingly tight college budgets we have been adapted to, forcing us to shop much more modestly. If we drop all of the flowery lingo and foisted campaigns for “dressing normal,” at least I can agree that shopping for a purpose sounds a lot wiser than my old habits of racking up on fast fashion that gets about three to five wears tops before it “must” be replaced.

If it’s shrunken or a bit more distressed than you intended from the wash, or strings aren’t loosening in its seams, it simply just isn’t remarkable enough to serve as any staple item in your wardrobe. That’s the way my story went and I’m sure with being a college student, yours is quite similar. You simply don’t have the money to purchase staple items that you really love–and I mean really actually love, not something that you are compelled to buy because it will match perfectly with the $25 boots you just purchased from a discount retailer (guilty)… But why? Why do I seem to be continuously shopping and yet still being continuously frustrated as I am scouring through my “empty” closet and drawers each morning?

This is something I began to ask myself much more seriously around the fall of last year as I was preparing to return to campus. I had been stuck in a rut for some time squandering money on anything that caught my eye, regardless of poor fit or quality. It was quite entertaining to my ego and yet affirmative of my need to be more budget-conscious when huge brands like Gap and H&M (which ironically was a main contributor to my bad shopping habit) began marketing new campaigns regarding the ideas of minimizing consumption and more sustainable fashion. (You can read more about the campaigns here: Gap’s “Dress Normal” CampaignH&M’s Commitment to Sustainable FabricsH&M Commitment to Recycles Used Clothing.)

As I continued to think more seriously about the rut I was in by considering the amount of items I was consuming, the lack of use these items were getting, and the seemingly constant need to replace these items, I finally became fed up with the money I was losing to items that were of no use to me. I decided to draw the line and from there refuse to spend my money on any fashions that were apparently of poor quality. It takes much discipline to ignore the sales in specific stores, but with my new objective perspective it is not difficult to decline what has been proven to be subpar of the “perfect fit” or a little too easily shrunken to be trusted again.

The miracle of this new objective perspective: the money I have saved from the countless quick tops or pairs of jeans that “almost fit” that I would have mounted, I now am able to put towards timeless pieces that matter to me — pieces that I have deemed “keepers” for sure and am proud to wear on a regular basis. This is what I believe Gap was getting at in their, unfortunately not-very-popular, “Dress Normal” campaign. This campaign most likely wasn’t widely accepted because of the fact that it’s so easy to shop for cheap, fashionable, pieces. It’s only $200 spent later, more or less, that people begin to realize how they have no sustainable and staple-worthy pieces in their wardrobes.

But many of us college students are now ready for change regardless of the coming and going of intriguing marketing ads. That’s right — we’re making this decision ourselves. Well at least we’ve begun changing our mentalities. It’s not easy letting go of your old ways and I am still struggling myself to shop “sustainably.” Below, however, I have posted 10 tips that I am sure will be helpful for you and I both as we progress toward making, no less than, remarkable sustainable fashion our normal dress.


Popsop via GAP’s “Dress Normal” Campaign

10 Tips for Conscious Consumption:

  1. Try things on when shopping at new stores or are tempted to buy impulsively at stores you have had a less than ideal history with.
  2. When shopping at off-price retailers, be aware that sizing may be different than what you are used to due to possible manufacturing errors. They may carry your favorite brand for a price you love, but the difference can often be due to sizing errors or defects.
  3. Sometimes an accessory as minor as your phone case or a cool key chain on your purse can be a staple piece. Consider these to be small investments as well.
  4. Before you shop impulsively, try remixing your closet. Line your clothes up in a new way — something to shake up what you’ve been seeing every day. You never know what new pattern/color combination you may discover from this simple step.
  5. Exercise discipline. Make a list of stores you know have let you down time and time again and draw the line! No more spur of the moment spending!
  6. Ask a friend to pick out an outfit for you sometimes. It’s awesome to have the insight of someone new. You never know how they may inspire your shopping habits.
  7. Key pieces. When remodeling your wardrobe with new staple pieces, it can be much more reasonable to start slow. Some good add-in pieces are jackets, shoes and accessories.
  8. Shop balanced. Be careful in buying too many tops and not enough pants or several dresses but few sweaters or accessories to allow them to be transitional.
  9. Don’t think just because you are out of the discount retail stores that you can not find a deal! Higher quality stores can have great deals as well. It simply may take a little more patience or planning.
  10. Don’t be afraid to rock your staple pieces over and over again! You paid a cost worth wearing them and if you appreciate them mix and match them confidently and proudly exemplify the message of conscious fashion!

**Don’t forget to donate or recycle your old garments when they are no longer of any use to you! I usually donate mine to my younger cousins so that I can witness how they re-live them but there are always donation centers in need as well. For an alternative to donation,however, H&M’s garment collection initiative is a great way to get the most out of your no-longer-used clothes!

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