Transitioning Trends: The Peplum

Do transitioning seasons make you grimace at the thought of parting with your current favorite go-tos? Are you anxious for the new season, but still want to hold on to a few summer favorites for as long as possible? If one of your go-tos right now is part of the peplum trend, your garments will not be forgotten this Fall.

This ultra-feminine staple is more flattering than it looks–I surprised myself when I first tried it on. Because the silhouette juts out at our widest part–-the hips-–I thought it would emphasize my hips, but it does quite the opposite. The peplum skirt itself is  w i d e r than our actual hips; your eye goes above the skirt to the smallest part: ze waist! Wearing a peplum top or dress will accentuate your waist while the frilly-ness of the style will up the feminine factor of your outfit as well. I have to admit: I’ve succumbed to the peplum…

I even spotted fellow DC blogger, Lacey Maffettone, rocking a peplum. If you’re reading this, Lacey, I want to apologize in advance for buying the same top–it was my feminine indulgence at the end of the summer 🙂 I want to note what the same exact H&M top did for our different body types:

For me, the skirt balances my slender hourglass figure. I am conscious of how masculine my shoulders can look, but the peplum creates a literal symmetry between my bony shoulders and the width of the skirt, allowing each to look very proportional and neither too extreme. I’m also a bit self-conscious of my upper arms, but the longer length of the short-sleeves takes care of that.

For Lacey, the skirt balances her fuller hourglass figure. Again, the peplum creates a literal symmetry balancing a wider upper-body with the fullness of the skirt. An added benefit can be seen on Lacey as well–her larger chest provides curves for the peplum to cling to, accentuating her tiny waist even more! For you readers who have a well-endowed chest, I suggest you seek a peplum in a polyester double knit, or “scuba,” fabric–this fabric has a fantastic amount of stretch (read: cling) as well as form, so the garment will have a better chance at clinging to the curves of your bust and waist but enough form to properly jut out as a peplum should.

Anywho, let me show you how versatile this popular trend is:

Everyday wear: Play up the feminine factor by choosing your peplum in a girly hue and pair it with your favorite pair of cropped jeans & wedges.

Cocktail / Work wear: Instead of a shirt, choose a structured jacket with a peplum detail–an interesting twist to the standard blazer. You’ll be able to pair it with skirts as well as pants, even as a topper to a form-fitting dress.

My way to rock a peplum: as a shirt–I can’t bring myself to buy this trend in anything other than a topper (my style just isn’t that girly). To take the focus off of the girly-ness, I chose the shirt in a dark merlot or burgundy color and added a tougher plated waist belt with cone spikes. Throw in my staple jeggings and wedge moto booties…that’s how I rock a girly trend 🙂

 

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Tips to Make Your Summer Break Bikini Body Last

With the Fall semester underway have you noticed your roots starting to grow in and your sun-kissed glow fading fast? You’re not alone. At least don’t let the cooling temperatures put a damper on your summer physique! Here are a few of my tips to make that bikini-body of yours last a bit longer.

1. Watch Your Alcohol Consumption

The ever-present selection of parties with copious free alcohol sounds great during Welcome Week until you realize what comes with your evening on Greek Row: late night drunchie run (drunk munchies), morning-after bloat, excessive dehydration, fatty fried hangover foods, and a slowed metabolism. “When you have a drink, you burn less fat, and more slowly than usual, because the alcohol is used as fuel instead. Knocking back the equivalent of about two martinis can reduce your body’s fat-burning ability by up to 73%” according to MSNBC. Not to mention that many women gain this weight in their lower abdominal area, resulting in the dreaded muffin top.

2. Don’t Go Overboard in the Cafeteria

Coming back to campus is a nice break from parents, but don’t think replacing mom’s cooking with cafeteria food has the same sentiment. If your cafeteria is a buffet/all-you-can-eat style make sure you’re watching your portion sizes. It’s very easy to mindlessly top off your plate with waffle fries, but if you didn’t eat that way during the summer, why start now? You should also be mindful that cafeterias provide the food for you; you don’t know what ingredients they use. This is key to keep in mind if you’re watching butter, salt, or sugar intake.

3. Manage Your Stress Load

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new freshman or looking to graduate in December, we all fall victim to poor time management and increased stress levels. Try to find your rhythm early in the semester and stick with it. Increased stress also raises the levels of your fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol. Having raised levels of cortisol for an extended period confuses your body a bit–we have these hormones from our prehistoric ancestors for literal fight or flight situations. Nowadays when people are stressed they sit and think about their problems, not having a physical reaction that those hormones intended us to have. Your body still responds to stress with the hormonal signal to replenish nutritional stores making you feel hungry. It gets worse: 1. This can lead to weight gain and a tendency to store fat around your tummy, 2. the “fuel” your muscles need during the fight or flight response is sugar, the reason you crave carbs when stressed. This article can tell you more.

4. Be Consistent

Don’t let your Summer efforts fall behind just because school started. Obviously the additional 30hrs/week you’ll be spending in class–not to mention the additional time for homework and assignments–will be a time killer, but try your best to stick to the regimen that got you your bikini body in the first place. Consistency is key to any hot bod.

5. Think About the Foods You Eat

Do you eat differently at school vs. during the summer? If you were home for summer does your mom buy whole wheat bread but you eat white bread at school? Little changes in your diet like this can make the pounds creep back. Maintain the healthy diet regimen you followed during summer–do you eat more fresh fruits and veggies during the summer because they’re refreshing in the heat? Don’t just dive into easy-solution fixes because you’re back on campus–being in the college atmosphere doesn’t have to equate to a college “kitchen” where your best friend is the microwave.

6. Skimp on the Cream & Sugar

If this is part of your normal daily routine, ignore this tip. But if you didn’t have cream and sugar in your coffee every morning during the summer, why do it now? Think of the bloat and spiked energy levels that cream and sugar come with. My suggestion is to not let “wearing more clothing” be your excuse. Translation: don’t adopt new caloric eating habits in the cooler months because you think “you’re wearing more clothing than you were in the summer so you won’t be able to see the effects.” My only question: Will your self-confidence be the same while naked?

7. Mindful Snacking

Tying in with number 3, be smart about what you snack on. I find myself grazing more during times of stress; if you follow suit make sure you don’t just gravitate towards carbs. Depending on what you’re snacking on it could just leave you feeling tired, bloated, and even hungrier than before. I always gravitate towards something with a high water content (fruits or veggies) combined with something either high in protein or high in fiber to make your “fullness” last. For instance, some of my favorite combos are Granny smith apples paired with crunchy peanut butter/almond butter or baby carrots dipped in hummus or even a homemade trail mix with dried cranberries, dry roasted almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sometimes dark chocolate chips.

8. Get Active

Even if you are “doing your best” to stay active, your efforts may fall by the wayside. As a little bit of motivation, think of it this way: you’re sitting much more now in school than you were during the summer between sitting in class, in the libs, doing hw, studying, playing video games, extended dinners in the cafeteria, even just late night chats with friends–you’re more sedentary than you were during the summer. Get active or try to remain as active as you were during the summer because the more muscle you build the more calories you burn while at rest 🙂

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Building a Solid Foundation pt. iii The Extras

The purpose of undergarments are to provide a smooth foundation on which to build your outfit. I don’t want it to come off that I think fashion is all work and no play–you’re supposed to have fun with it!! This edition of “Building a Solid Foundation” does just that: builds on the first two posts (which you can read here and here). You need to have the simple basics before you can add in the frivolous extras. Although, sometimes the extras aren’t so frivolous…

I may not have the largest chest in the world, but I have enough that not wearing a bra isn’t often an option. Then comes every girls’ dilemma: bras often limit what you can/cannot wear. HELLO ADHESIVES!! I love wearing plunging necklines and backless dresses–2 styles that are not bra friendly. I began my research earlier this summer and found my new best friends: 2: Braza’s Reveal Adhesive Bra, 6: Fashion Form’s NuBra Ultalite. Number 6 provides a great shape, but your night may be cut short if you sweat a bit–the adhesive slowly peeled away making me cross my arms for the rest of the night to hold it in place. Number 2 provides such a light lift you feel like you have nothing on! (And the adhesive stayed put All. Day. Long.)

Now here’s the fun part:

While I do think that unmentionables should remain unmentioned, there are times when I think they should show, too. I’ve often worn bandeaus (5) under super skimpy tanks, lacy bralettes (3) under low-cut shirts, and slips under shorter dresses to add a cute trim to my hem (8 & 9). I have yet to try bras as full-on shirts (1, 7, & 4 if under a blazer), but in no way shape or form am i opposed to it. But I will say: there is a fine line between sexy and skanky, so be weary.

Summer Hair Rx

After a summer filled with time spent poolside, lounging at your favorite beach, relaxing on your building’s roof deck, and gallivanting on your family’s boat I hope everyone is feeling well rested and thinking, “Wow, did we do any work this Summer?” While your brain may have been on vacation for the past few months, your fun in the sun was wreaking havoc on your hair.

Sun, salt, sand, wind, chlorine, and humidity all make your hair a bit haggard, but you don’t need me telling you this–that’s probably why you’re reading this post! There are a few different measures you can take to mend your tresses, but each one starts out with getting a trim–this allows you to be treating healthy hair, not wasting your time on the dead and mangled ends. After the trip to your stylist you should start doing treatments on your hair; the frequency that you do it is up to you, but I recommend starting off with once every other week to see how you like it. Depending on how fried my hair is feeling, I bump up my treatments to once a week or sometimes twice in one week, never more. To maintain your mending mane, start applying a conditioning product after you shower.

The Products Listed:

  • mmmmmmmmmm1. Bumble & Bumble Mending Masque
  • mmmmmmmmmm2. Bumble & Bumble Quenching Masque
    mmmmmmmmmm3. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
    mmmmmmmmmm4. L’Oreal Professional Absolut Cellular Repair
    mmmmmmmmmm5. Moroccan Oil Original Oil
    mmmmmmmmmm6. Sebastian Potion 9 Styling Treatment
    mmmmmmmmmm7. Sebastian Whipped Creme
    mmmmmmmmmm8. Bumble & Bumble Quenching Complex
    mmmmmmmmmm9. Bumble & Bumble Mending Complex

Why I listed these specific products:

After working in a fashion-forward salon for about a year here in DC I had the opportunity to try nearly every product I listed. I say “nearly” because the only 2 I have not tried were the B&B Quenching Masque and Quenching Complex. I never bothered to try them because my hair has always been too damaged–the Mending Masque and Mending Complex were much more beneficial to my needs than the Quenching series. I have tried and loved (nearly) each one of these products. All are available for purchase in salons, with the exception of…

The one I didn’t mention: Coconut Oil. I will be doing an in-depth post on coconut oil at a later date, but for hair treatment purposes:

– Scoop out a spoonful and work it into your dry hair, starting from mid-hair shaft and working it through to your ends, really focusing on your damaged ends. Many people suggest sleeping with your hair like this in a braid or bun and washing your hair in the morning. I prefer to shower at night, so I apply this at about 3-4pm and shampoo as usual before bed. Note: this oil starts in soft-solid form and melts with the heat of your hands; don’t be alarmed that it isn’t a liquid when you buy it.

– For a lighter treatment: wet or dampen your hair first and follow the same instructions.

You can find coconut oil in your local health food store and at Whole Foods.

With regular maintenance you should start to see a noticeable difference in your hair within a month or so.

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Shopping Tip #2: Be Wary of Shopping Buddies

Going shopping with a few close girlfriends may sound like the perfect bonding activity, but it can wreak havoc on your wallet and last for hours. With a group of women time seems to fly by: each one gravitates towards items of their own tastes, picks through, tries on, comments on each others’ picks, etc. It’s fine if you know you won’t get much accomplished in the span of 4 hours, but if you’re actually trying to shop productively the last thing you want is a group of wishy-washy “yes men.”

You need someone who is going to have the same intention as you: shopping to get specific items in mind. If your friend won’t:

  • – be honest in the fitting room
  • – offer constructive comments
  • – encourage you to get something before at least asking, “what else will you wear it with?”

…she may be less helpful than you think. You should look to bring someone who will be brutally honest in the nicest way possible with no hidden intentions. I personally enjoy shopping alone. I used to shop with friends until I realized that some girls: say yes to something because they don’t have the heart to say no, say yes because it’s their taste and want to borrow it in the future, or they encourage you to buy so they can “live vicariously through you” (as odd as that sounds, it’s happened when girlfriends are on a low budget).

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My logic has come down to this:

While trying on, if you look in the mirror and legitimately need someone else’s opinion, you should not buy that item.

When you put a new garment or accessory on your body, if you do not feel adoration or if the item does not evoke some sort of emotion and make you feel good in a certain way then you should not buy it. No one else’s opinion is going to help you decide whether or not you will wear something. If I am not confident enough to know that I will definitely wear it or that I “need” it, I will not buy the shirt/shoes/bag/dress/whatever.

Shop smart, shop confidently 🙂

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