In the immediate future:
By Lindsay Patton-Carson
As an American, there are many reasons why I hit the polls. I want marriage equality, I want women to get paid as much as men for the same job, I want General Electric to pay their fricken’ taxes, I could go on…
But there’s one basic reason why I vote and why I’ll continue to do so until I die:
I’m a woman, and I CAN vote.
On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified – allowing women the right to vote. That’s not even 100 years ago. To put things in perspective: George Washington was elected as our first president in 1789. Women gained the right to vote 131 years later.
To be succinct, American women have spent more time not voting than voting.
And to get women’s right to vote? It took more than 40 years. Forty years to allow someone like me to participate in the choices that make up our country, my country.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony drafted the 19th Amendment in 1878 and both died more than a decade before it was ratified in 1920. These two women fought their whole adult lives for something they never got the chance to be part of. Can you think of something you’d fight until your death for? Hard, isn’t it?
So, ladies, vote or not; it’s your choice as an American. But don’t forget about the countless women before you who were forbidden from doing what you choose not to do.
So I’m an admitted shoe-lover. They’re kind of overflowing out of my closet at present. I have more shoes than reasonable amounts of space. Admittedly, I need to get rid of some (my fave pair of boots has sadly bit the dust) to make room for some new ones. And while I tend to be practical in my own shoe-shopping habits, there’s always something attractive about that quirky-one-of-a-kind heel that no one else has. For example, the nerd within me that had a little girl crush on Han Solo (and still sort of does) definitely wants these shoes. And they’re definitely a conversation starter. Think of the endless debates you could have about who shot first and you could finally have inspiration to perfect your wookie call.
And then there are shoes that are essentially works of art. Israeli designer Kobi Levi’s designs are just so clever and pun-ny. For example, they give new meaning to “Let me ‘slide’ on a pair of shoes” or “slip-on a banana peel.” I sort of want the banana shoes, just so I can keep cracking “There’s always money in the banana stand” jokes. Besides who wouldn’t want to own a wearable optical illusion?
–By Lindsay Ray
Painfully Hip: I pride myself on staying fashionable with today’s equivalent of a 19th century scullery maid’s paycheck. Yet, when I discovered Painfully Hip, I realized I could learn a lot from creator Amber Mortensen’s posts and About.com links, if that says anything. Not only is her blog chock full of useful advice and adorable pieces, Mortensen’s writing style is fresh, witty, and will really make you “lol.”
Glitter N Glue: Do you like DIY fashion, but don’t want your pieces to look like Girl Scout memorabilia? Or do you want to explore DIY fashion, but don’t have crazy crafting skills? Then I suggest checking out Glitter N Glue. Their latest DIY how-tos–button statement rings and snakeskin handbags–are easy to make, much cheaper than buying the real deals, and perfect fall fashion accessories.
Sally Jane Vintage: The pieces featured on Sally Jane Vintage inspire all kinds of…feelings. Envy. Covetousness. Despair (that I can’t reach through the computer and magically snag every cute thing I see). Ahem. Anyway, if you like vintage with a clean, classy Middleton-twist, Sally Jane Vintage is full of eye candy. Plus, she has an Etsy shop with plenty of sale items that cost less than $15 (and that includes dresses…wow…).
–By Jenna Cooper
I don’t know how I first found Go Fug Yourself. Did I hear about it by word of mouth? Or did I stumble on it as a bored undergrad sitting in another endless lecture? All I know is that I knew immediately I had come across a hilarious goldmine of fashion commentary. The Fug Girls (as they’re affectionately known to fans) are snarky, thrive on Diet Coke, love young adult literature—especially Harry Potter—and vehemently advocate for the tights-are-not-pants movement. It was love at first blog post.
GFY is celebrity fashion with a side of sass. If they look bad, the girls will call them out, all while referencing Joan Collins, Pringles, 90210, Barbie and whatever other obscure pop culture reference you can think of. Generally, I have to stifle my laughter while reading the blog in public places lest anyone think I was deranged (because laughing uncontrollably can give that impression). GFY introduced me to SWINTON and the alternative to March Madness, Fug Madness, which is the ultimate bad fashion throw down. I also can’t look at Jennifer Lopez anymore without hearing her say, “Hello lovers!” in my head. And the best part? None of it is mean spirited and it’s all in good sarcastic fun, my favorite kind.
–By Lindsay Ray
If you’ve read my bio, you’ll see that I don’t consider myself terribly fashionable. If you’ve seen me in person ever, you’ll agree. My daily uniform: v neck, jeans, flats or boots, plus a scarf and a cardigan in the colder months. While I love Tavi’s style blog, I can’t relate. I feel like an alien when I’m looking at it.
That being said, I prefer the blogs of Everygirl USA, those “how I wore it” or “what I wore today” blogs. They give me a sense of peace; these are women that live on the same planet as my v-neck loving self. Of course, these gals are still more stylish, and have better jobs and cameras, but there’s an element to these blogs that I can grasp more easily.
What I Wore 2Day: a Cincinnati woman into theater, cats, thrifting, and wearing brights.
What I Wore: a woman with a fashion designer past living in Bloomington, Indiana, with an eye for classic and fun fashion. Her blog is so successful that it became her full time job and led to a book.
Two bonuses are segments on the against-the-grain and against-boys-club-entertainment-blogs frisky.com and hellogiggles.com. While fashion isn’t their singular focus, Frisky frequently hosts “what are we wearing today?” segments where the fabulous ladies explain their outfits, and where they are from. Hellogiggles has a recurring series called “Style me Grasie” where Grasie Mercedes answers reader questions about everyday fashion conundrums like how to make a t-shirt and jeans look a little more hip or how to dress in a business casual office.
These blogs attempt to save me from my boring, fashion-backward self, and I can’t say they always succeed, but I appreciate the help.
–By Samantha Howard
OK. I usually love Tim Gunn. I think he’s smart and savvy and one of the kinder, more reasonable souls on Project Runway.
But Tim Gunn is getting some heat for commenting on Hillary Clinton’s fashion sense. And he deserves it.
On a recent episode of Lopez Tonight, he really lit into Hillary, saying that she “must be confused about her gender” for wearing so many pantsuits.
This isn’t new criticism. People have cut up Hillary since the second she stepped on the scene as First Lady. She wasn’t girly enough, she wasn’t pretty enough, she was too loud, people called her a bitch. And now that girlfriend is one of the most important leaders of the free world as we know it, she still can’t get any respect.
Men like to chastise women for being obsessed about their appearance. But as Hillary’s plight shows, how could we not be? Whether you’re the Secretary of State or a starlet whose stomach is magnified on a tabloid cover, the message is crystal clear: no matter how impressive your credentials, if you’re a woman you will ALWAYS be judge first and foremost on your looks.
Meanwhile, bimbos like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin get lots of attention and speaking time – often on matters they clearly know next to nothing about – largely because they’re “pretty.” How many times have we heard about Palin’s short skirts? About Bachmann’s “sexy librarian” look? Somehow these women are taken seriously, despite representing extremist beliefs and being incoherent or incorrect. Sure, Hillary is taken pretty seriously, but her wardrobe is also somehow a legitimate topic of conversation.
Listen, Mr. Gunn: I like you. I really do. So don’t go mouthing off on matters on which you know nothing about. Hillary’s job involves representing the world’s most powerful country among other foreign leaders. It’s a job that demands the lady carry some big cajones. And as any man would tell you, cajones need a nice pantsuit to nestle in.
So lay off, pal. Stick to the stuff you know, like fabric. Leave the international negotiations to the woman who can handle it.
Ever wondered what’s inside the pages of a romance novel? Pick up any one, and you’ll find some variation of this:
Our heroine (let’s call her Lily) is a spunky, smoking-hot career woman that leads an average life. One day, she gets laid off of her job and comes home to find her boyfriend cheating on her. This spawns a quarter-life crisis, and now Lily must “find herself” by going AWOL. Conveniently, Lily’s uncle Ron owns a vineyard and winery in Napa Valley, which is an ideal place for doing new-agey soul seeking. (Romance heroines always find the means to go on expensive vacays to find themselves.)
A few days before Lily leaves for her uncle’s estate, Lily’s friends throw her a going-away party. While Lily tries to keep wannabe suitors at bay, someone bumps into her and Lily spills her drink all over herself. She turns around and sees that a Mr. Darcy clone is the perpetrator. Oh, and he’s 6’4”, chiseled in every way imaginable, and has dark, penetrating eyes.
After initially reeling over “Darcy’s” hotness, Lily realizes she recognizes him. He went out with her roommate back in college and cheated on her. Ugh, that manwhore. Lily gives him a cold look and accepts a pile of napkins from an admirer. After doing a double take, Darcy apologizes and walks away. For the remainder of the party, Darcy and Lily obsess over each other instead of enjoying all the free booze.
As the party dies down, Lily steps out for some air and comes across Darcy while he’s smoking a cigarette alone on the balcony. He’s alone because deep down he’s a misanthrope, and she’s alone because she doesn’t need a girl posse. Darcy, drunk, comes on to Lily, but she doesn’t go for it. Lily slaps him and says something profoundly witty as she storms away. Cut to the next scene.
It’s a week later, and Lily is in Napa, still obsessing over Darcy’s piercing eyes, broad chest, and animal magnetism. Darcy is thinking about how Lily’s special, not like all the other girls. Basically, not a slut. They all said “yes” to him. But this girl is feisty, has an intellect, and the body of a “goddess.” (Romance heroes think the cheesiest things when they think they’re in love.)
Now, romance novelists rely on serendipity―it’s their favorite form of deux ex machina. Coincidentally, Darcy co-owns a vineyard and winery in Napa. Lucy discovers this while strolling through her uncle’s vineyard when she meets―surprise―Darcy!
Darcy is an old friend of Lily’s uncle, who invited him to his estate for a weekend.
Now Lily feels obliged to her uncle to get along with Darcy. Uncle Ron, scheming matchmaker that he is, invites them to a picnic in some idyllic meadow. They go, and after an afternoon in the sun picnicking, Lily and Darcy go for a stroll through the meadow. On their way, they accidentally bump hands. Because they’re harboring waaay too much sexual tension, it feels like an “electric shock.” They stop and speak openly about their attraction. Darcy reveals that he only cheated on Lily’s roommate after she cheated on him. Hmmm, Lily thinks, he’s not as bad as I thought he was…
After that poignant conciliation―that’s when it happens. They finally………kiss! On average, readers have to wait 120 pages for that to happen. Meager compared to the Twilight series. It took four books for Edward and Bella to have a sex scene.
Okay, so back to the kiss. It starts out gentle and gradually gets pretty steamy. Afraid of her own urges, Lily pushes Darcy away and runs back to the picnic site. Darcy, stunned, follows her. They pretend like nothing happened and return to Ron’s estate.
Do they finally consummate their…er…passionate acquaintanceship that night? Hardly. A good romance novelist knows to hold off on the sex scene to build tension, but we can fast forward 60 pages. It’s all meaningful looks and holding hands until that point. Now, be prepared for two things: first, Lily is a virgin by choice. (Romance heroines are almost always sexually inexperienced.) Second, I’m not going to get graphic. Then I’d have to go on about Darcy’s “pulsating member” or Lily’s “glistening mound.”
Anyway, they have sex after Darcy lets Lily cry on his shoulder about her ex. They start making out, things get heavy, and Darcy begins to explores Lily’s perfect virgin body. Lots of writing about nipples, quivering flesh, and warm entrances. Also, despite her inexperience, Lily appears to have a knack for pleasing Darcy. Finally, after three pages of elaborately written foreplay, the plot’s climax occurs―at the climax.
Of course, you can’t end the novel at the “monumental eruption” or spasm of release.” That would be bad form cause this is romance, not erotica. All you need to know is that Darcy and Lily are 100% enamored with each other for the next fifty pages. It’s all rose petals and delusions until they have a Big Misunderstanding.
Lily discovers that Darcy is still in touch with his ex/her ex-roommate by accidentally snooping through his call history. She tells Darcy he’s a compulsive liar and that she never wants to see him again. Of course, she doesn’t let him get two words in because if she did, she would know Ex-Roommate and Darcy still talk because they had a child together and share custody. After months of estrangement, Lily’s uncle mentions Darcy’s child in a conversation and Lily realizes she was wrong about Darcy.
Lily’s uncle Ron also tells her that Darcy started seeing someone else, and that they’re engaged. Paranoid that he’ll be married before she gets to see him again, Lily Internet stalks Darcy and finds his address. She takes a last minute flight and shows up the next morning at his doorstep. It turns out she showed up just in time―Darcy is about to leave for his wedding. Not anymore, though. Darcy knew Lily was The One from the very beginning, so he ditches the wedding and elopes with Lily. The novel ends with Darcy and Lily cozying up on an exotic beach, happy-ever-after-the-end.
–By Jenna Cooper
I’m not attacking all floral dresses—just the ones worn in the ‘90s that looked like textile versions of floral wallpaper or adult versions of little girls’ Sunday bests. Not only could the patterns serve as camouflage in your great-aunt’s bathroom, the color schemes designers used could make you look like an Easter egg or a sedate chintz couch. Elaine Benes from Seinfeld often sported gauche floral dresses along with clunky shoes or sneakers. Like scrunchies, you can find these dresses making a comeback in stores like American Apparel or on Etsy.
Caption: I loved Elaine’s quirkiness, but her fashion sense? Well, it was kind of endearing…
The mid to late ‘90s had a fling with the love child of hippie and disco fashion—the flower-power revival. The ‘90s version of “flower-power” had nothing to do with a political stance or a dance craze and everything to do with mainstream culture. The ‘90s interpretation of those two looks, however, only augmented the garish elements of those periods and added a plastic, dime-store twist.
Spinsters, Junkies, and Trailer Trash
Back in the ‘90s, so many of us looked like we could have used a tailor. Many popular silhouettes made women look boxy (remember the ‘80s holdover, the power suit?) or shapeless (grunge fashion). Suddenly, looking like a corporate spinster or a junkie became cool. At the same time, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera inspired my generation, preteens and teenagers in the ‘90s, to squeeze into jeans a size too small (I saw many a muffin top in my day) and sleazy spandex crop tops. This trailer park pop princess look could’ve come straight out of a Jerry Springer episode.
Not MILF Material
I can’t think of a single person I know or that’s in the media who I can envision rocking mom jeans. High waist + tapered = very, very bad. They make your lower abdomen look bloated and your butt look as shapely as a bean bag. Moreover, mom jeans don’t even make your legs look long or lean—on the contrary, they make a lot of women look stumpy and pudgy.
Please, feel free to stay in the ‘90s…
And last but not least, my leastfavorite ‘90s trend: cartoon character shirts—i.e. the ones with big Tweety Birds and some sassy phrase that ran about two sizes too large. How could this be worse than mom jeans you might ask? In this case, it’s pure personal bias. The sayings on the t-shirts scream “I need to be loud and proud about how AWESOME I think I am and I need a gigantic Bugs Bunny giving attitude to get my point across .” These shirts were big and obnoxious, enough said.