Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Decoded by a Confused Feminist

When it came time to brainstorm costume ideas for my first college Halloween, I started by reminiscing about Halloweens past. I quickly realized that none of my favorite home-made costumes were going to cut it in college – I didn't have time to enlist my grandmother to help sew a full-on Disney princess costume, I wasn't yet close enough with any of my college friends to revisit my conjoined twins costume from junior year, and I couldn't imagine a crowded house party in the green Lego costume of 2001. Still hopeful, I dragged my boyfriend to the Halloween store to look for ideas, but after a half hour of wandering the store, I found myself confused, exhausted, and still costume-less. Now, two days from Halloween, I still don't have a costume, but I do at least have a better understanding of what I'm calling the Five Stages of Halloween.

Stage 1: Over-ambition
Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I spend all year racking up ideas “for next Halloween,” which, of course, never come to fruition. Brilliant ideas for group costumes get less and less elaborate as Halloween creeps up and suddenly, I'm going to be Medusa and I'll get real snakes for my hair and I'll actually turn people to stone and and and... becomes Maybe I'll just buy my costume this year.

Stage 2: Confusion
Suddenly it's two weeks before Halloween and you have no time to make a mind-blowing costume, so you shamefully drag yourself to the Halloween store to look for something over-priced and cheaply made. There, you find yourself in an alternate universe where very normal things are marketed as “sexy.” Was that a sexy corn costume? Is that supposed to be ironic? Why does it cost $60? Pair with that incredibly racist “sexy Indian” costume and you've got yourself the makings of a nice, wholesome first Thanksgiving theme (or porno?). You notice a nurse costume for men which, shockingly, actually looks like something a nurse would wear. Next to it is the nurse costume for women, which is called “Naughty Nurse,” costs $40 more for significantly less fabric, and comes with a working syringe for your booze! You move on, and notice a similar pattern with various other respected professions, including police officer and soldier.

Stage 3: Anger
Okay, seriously now, does there have to be a sexy Chucky costume? What is sexy about a murderous talking doll? Even worse is the sexy Olaf costume. Why aren't soccer moms everywhere fighting to protect the sanctity of Disney's Frozen? Is nothing sacred? Obviously not, you think as you pass the sexy nun costumes. At this point you're pissed off. You suddenly hate all men and the misogynist expectations associated with Halloween costumes and you hate sexy costume-wearing women for perpetuating the tradition. You remember overhearing a guy on your floor say, “I think for girls, Halloween is just an excuse to wear as little as possible,” and start fuming. I'll show them, you think. I'll wear as many layers as I can this Halloween! I'll go to the Halloween party as laundry! You realize you may have crazy eyes and it's probably time to leave the Halloween store.

Stage 4: Guilt
Once you start thinking a little more rationally, you feel ashamed for judging girls based on whether or not they choose to wear a “sexy” Halloween costume. No one's worth is determined by how little they choose to wear, so whether the girl next to you on the dance floor is dressed as a sheet ghost or barely dressed at all, defend her and her choices. I could use this holiday to take back female sexuality and empower myself! you think. The new riot grrrl revolution lies in sexy Halloween costumes! Then you realize you're more of a Zooey Deschanel than an Angelina Jolie and you'd look more awkward than sexy and rebellious in anything too skimpy. You can still feel empowered this Halloween by refraining from using sexist slurs like “slut” to describe anyone's costume. The sexy costume isn't your thing? Don't fall under the pressure to wear one, but also remember not to chastise those who do. Admire her confidence and move on.

Stage 5: Giving in and wearing cat ears
So here we are. Halloween is upon us and if you're anything like me, you've gone through all four previous stages of Halloween and now find yourself defeated and still lacking a costume. Your worst nightmare is coming true – you're settling for the easy way out. You can't even say it. C-a-t. It's time to accept your fate – you're going out this Halloween wearing the most basic, least creative costume there is. But you find relief in your less-than-purrfect costume. Maybe you even find comfort in the sisterhood of millions of girls who have resorted to cat ears and whiskers on Halloween. Maybe the quintessential Halloween costume for feminists is the cat – the costume that brings us all together.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tech Round-Up: 3 Apps to Keep You Updated Long After NYFW

With New York Fashion Week coming to a close, fashionistas everywhere are left with feelings of post-Fashion Week depression. But never fear! These helpful apps can feed your fashion addiction until next year.
Not everyone has the opportunity to sit front row as top models strut down the catwalk or snap coveted photos at your favorite designer’s show, but everyone can stay updated on their beloved collections all year round!'s app for iPhone, iPad and Nook Color allows you to browse every look from New York, London, Milan and Paris without leaving your hometown. Use this app to stream videos of fashion shows complete with interviews from you favorite designers or check out snapshots from the hottest parties and stay up to date on the blog. is perfect for catching up on news and photos from NYFW and beyond on the go, so even the busiest fashion-lovers can stay in the know!

With a tiny dorm closet and an even tinier budget, high-fashion runway looks are out of my reach and unrealistic. It's impractical to wear haute couture heels to class, and all too often I trade designer bags for backpacks. However, ASAP54 can help make my walk to Journalism 1111 into my own personal runway! When you see a look you love, simply upload a pic to ASAP54 and let the app do the rest. Choose your price range and the article of clothing you're looking for and ASAP54 will find you affordable options with similar materials, patterns and colors. Get creative! See an awesome pair of flats but wish it came with a heel? Inspired by the colors of a late-summer sunset? Have a favorite piece of artwork? Upload pictures of anything and find the next piece for your dream wardrobe!
Instagram is a great tool for fashion inspiration, but you can't always rely on your favorite Insta-fashionistas to spill the details of their latest “ootd.” isn't an app, but rather a program that works with your Instagram. Connect your Instagram to and every time you like an authorized Instagram photo, you'll receive an email with product details. Even Vogue magazine is using, so you can finally get the looks of your favorite magazines, fashion bloggers and Instagrammers!

While I use my new favorite apps, I'll be keeping up with our very own Fashion Week here in Philadelphia! Posts coming soon, but for now check out and!

Please note: A version of this post is now live at Her Campus Temple! Go check it out and support Temple's online magazine!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Restaurant Week Fun!

Before I went away to school, I went out to dinner with my mom and brother once a week. It was our way of catching up, talking about our weeks and staying connected no matter how busy we were. I knew our dinner dates would be something I missed most about home - it's hard to get together so often even though I only live right across the bridge. I've been missing my family a lot lately, so we decided to get together this week for a little bit of Hump Day Restaurant Week fun!

I have an ever-growing list of restaurants to try, so I took advantage of the opportunity to try something new. I'd been craving Mexican since Emily of Her Philly posted about Lolita, so it seemed to be the perfect choice! Tucked away on 13th Street, Lolita definitely didn't disappoint (except maybe my little brother, whose idea of quality Mexican food just recently upgraded from Taco Bell to Moe's).

Lolita is a "modern Mexican" restaurant with a cozy-but-chic atmosphere.

We started with traditional guacamole (my favorite!) for the table, and I ordered chipotle shrimp enchiladas, both of which I'm still thinking about. As a college student, it's not often I get to eat anything other than pizza and EasyMac!

We tried to skip dessert but couldn't resist heading across the street to grab gelato at Capogiro before taking a walk through Midtown Village to end the night.

Philadelphia dwellers - what restaurants should definitely be on my list?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Zac Posen's Striking SS15 Styles - NYFW

Runway queen Coco Rocha (pictured above in black) opened last night's Zac Posen show on Day 5 of New York Fashion Week in her first of three looks, a stunning off-white dress. Coco Rocha and Zac Posen have been working together since spring 2007, and their collaboration-turned-friendship is apparent in their work. Posen's gowns simply seem to be made for Rocha, and often times they have been (Coco's wedding gown was custom made by Posen). Look out for the documentary they both worked on, coming soon.

I've always been a Zac Posen fan (fun fact, my senior prom dress was from the Truly Zac Posen line for David's Bridal), so I had high hopes this season. With clean lines and classic black, white and red pieces, he definitely didn't disappoint.

No one knows structure like Zac Posen. His gowns have a life of their own, with beautiful boning and striking silhouettes. His structured looks in classic colors stand out from the flowy pastels we've seen so much of this season.

What do you think of the latest from Zac Posen?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fall Lipsticks on Lock

If, as Michael Kors said, accessories are the exclamation point of a woman's outfit, lipstick must be the exclamation point of her beauty routine. Surprisingly enough, I wasn't always a fan of lipstick as an everyday staple. I thought lipstick was only meant for women much more sophisticated than little old me, so for most of high school I stole my mother's quality lipsticks and crayons only for special occasions. However, this past spring and summer I fell in love with the look of bright pink or red lips and started sneaking into my mom's makeup bag a little more often.

Now that I'm away at school and stealing from my mother's collection is no longer an option, I decided to invest in a couple "big girl" lipsticks to get me through the fall and winter. I needed an everyday nude color and a deeper, autumnal red, and I think I hit the marks perfectly.

Golshan (9206) Satin Lip Pencil from NARS is a classic red with a satin finish that won't bleed - perfect for crisp autumn nights out and upcoming holiday parties. YSL's Number 3, Ultimate Beige, is a warm nude perfect for everyday use. It's so easy to apply and keeps my lips moisturized all day. I can't wait to use it all season, from class to fun fall weekend activities!

Do you have any lipstick recommendations? I'd still like to pick up a nice plum color before the season really starts!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Monique Lhuillier impresses with dreamy, fairy tale frocks

Bridal favorite Monique Lhuillier surprised me this season by putting on my favorite show of New York Fashion Week thus far. Her intricate beading, soft pastels and dreamy evening gowns are straight out of a fairy tale. 

The show was all about celebrating spring with the beautiful colors of an early spring sunrise, shimmery frocks and a sprinkle of iridescent petals at finale time. Lhuillier herself took the runway in a white, floral dress perfect for springtime. 

I loved this show so much that it feels wrong to pick just a few favorite looks, but the cocktail dresses pictured above had me swooning.

What are your thoughts on Monique Lhuillier's SS15 Ready-to-Wear collection?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Inspiration

Yesterday while I was writing my recap of BCBGMAXAZRIA's runway show, I found myself scrolling through BCBG's Instagram (which I totally recommend following - such a beautiful feed). Among the glamorous shots of models and gowns that I thought only existed in my dreams, I found these words of inspiration from the BCBG team itself. The advice is meant for runway models, but it struck me.

"The most beautiful girl in the world." 

What does it mean that even high-fashion models need to be reminded that they're beautiful? Of course, as a young women I've had my own struggles: overcoming self-esteem issues, finding beauty in myself, staying confident. Since I moved to Philadelphia, I feel like a new person. I know I am confident and strong. I finally feel beautiful. But if even models need to be reminded, who is safe from the crippling pressure to be beautiful, thin, the "ideal woman"?

I often worry about my baby sisters and how they'll view themselves as they grow up. As first-graders, they haven't a care in the world. Their minds couldn't be farther from their weight or the way they look. But how much time do they have left before they start poking their tummies in the mirror and paying attention to the scale? I only hope that they always remember they're confident, strong, effortlessly cool, the most beautiful girls in the world.

As you go about your Friday, take Max and Lubov Azria's message to heart. Strut into the weekend and don't stop at the turn - keep going. Confident. Strong. Effortlessly cool. The most beautiful girl in the world. We love you!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

BCBGMAXAZRIA kicks off NYFW 2014

Today I'm celebrating the very first day of New York Fashion Week 2014 as well as 25 years of BCBGMAXAZRIA! BCBG didn't disappoint with romantic, effortless whites and dreamy pastels. The bohemian vibes that always show up in the Azrias' work is certainly apparent, with a feminine, vintage twist. Flowing frocks cinched with bows make for my kind of spring!

Here are a few of my favorites from the show this morning. I'm definitely inspired to wear white after Labor Day!

What did you think of the show? Comment below!

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