Tag Archives: fashion

Senior Soul: Reflections of a Graduating Fashionista

Think of that one great pair of shoes that fit like a slipper. These shoes that keep your outfits grounded and are a recognizable asset to your overall look. Then after about four years of wearing them raw you realize that your sole mates are not going to last much longer and you will have to set them aside and start with a new, not entirely comfortable, pair.

Freshman YearAn unsettling feeling right? If you have ever experienced the apprehension of losing a fabulous broken in shoe, you know just how I feel about my upcoming graduation from college in less than a month. Just like my favorite pair of sneaker-boots that I found on the Haight during my school tour visit before Freshman year, USF has been the perfect fit for my time as an undergraduate student.

Throughout my four years as a Don, my style has been influenced by San Francisco flair, has been questioned (by myself and others), and has completely evolved. Reflecting on some of my greatest style accomplishments and a few questionable choices (such as buying an authentic four tailed coyote shawl and doing my best to defend its “cruel nature” to those on campus), I realize they all mark my time spent as a student-Don. I have been a contributing style writer for the Foghorn for more than three years. As I look back over the articles I have shared with you, I realize that my fashion aesthetic has shifted during my time spent with you in print.

One of the greatest things about personal style is the ability to not only to change and grow. In anticipation of my graduation date, I realize I have to break in new styles as I step into the work world. I wold like to offer my departing words on the ways to mature your most fabulous self through style.

Junior Year

The fashion she found abroad in her junior year

I am notorious for biting my nails down to bloody stumps. I have battled, what I consider is an addiction, for as long as I can remember. When I was a younger, I even found a way to get to my toenails (oh don’t judge, we all have skeletons in the closet). After years of being reminded this was an unladylike habit, it finally clicked that nail maintenance is an integral part of a polished look. For the longest time, grooming my nails just seemed like a waste of time and money to dedicate to my beauty regimen but it is now clear that manicures are an essential style component to both men and women.

After years of using my teeth as my grooming tool, I am handicapped in performing an adequate manicure on my own hands. I now dedicate about thirty minutes a week and eight dollars at Natural Salon to my nails, almost always opting for a dark shade to keep my fingers away from my mouth. No matter if your preference is colored, frenched, or buffed, having a well groomed handshake is a sign of confidence.

Mane Maintenance

Sophomore Year

Her Anna Wintour best in Sophomore year

Long curly, healthy hair tantalizes me with something I don’t possess, I must remember that the grass is always greener on the other side. The first day I moved into Hayes-Healy and met my freshman roommate, I remember thinking, “Oh that hair!” Caroline’s long, shiny, honey blonde locks were the perfect stereotype symbol for how a California girl’s hair should flow. That was the day I decided to grow my mane. After a year and a half of focusing my efforts on catching up with Caroline’s length, backcombing the nest on top of my head and applying all sorts of heat, I realized that my hair maintenance needed some work and it was necessary to start fresh. I chopped my ‘do’ up to my shoulders and embarked on a new hair routine early last semester. As my hair continues to grow healthy, I have a few new rules to maintain the mane.

I almost never apply heat to my hair in order to keep it as hydrated as possible. I wash it every other day, apply a hair mask once a week and apply leave -in-conditioner on my ends every time I exit the shower. I know it might seem that I am just suggesting what every beauty-interest writer would preach, but I have actually lived and learned that keeping true to this routine not only keeps my locks more lush it also saves on the personal upkeep budget as I don’t need to trim as often. While I will never possess naturally long bouncy curls, I believe that sticking to my new haircare routine allows me to feel proud of my fringe. The most stylish women have effortless and purposeful hair style. The first step to match this chicness is to realize that looking ‘effortless’ requires effort.

Personal Knack is the New Black

Becoming comfortable in your own skin can be a tricky task so I suggest that you start by finding comfort in the “u” in universal style. When I first arrived at USF, I remember thinking that I had a knack of putting clothes together that looked magazine worthy. I giggle when I think back to that thought process as I have come to realize that my style ‘knack’ is found in my ability to put pieces together that tell a story about who I am, not what Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar displays to wear that month. While fashion magazines provide inspiration and feature editorial and design artwork, it does not dictate what I wear anymore. I have found find this adornment habit much more refreshing than a game of trend follow the leader.

DSC00118 007

the pulled-together, ready to graduate style in her senior year of college.

I will share another ‘unfashionable’ tidbit about myself. I truly do not like wearing stilettos. I am not even attracted to wear them. If you asked me about Louboutins three years ago, I would have told you how much I want the high red-soled beauties. Today, if I had a Louboutin fund, I would beeline to the studded sneakers or spiked loafers. Now that I think about it, I would totally go for those spiked loafers. (Graduation gift anyone?) The point is, don’t stumble through life in the wrong shoes. Four years ago, I was strapping on my then-cute four inch wedges for 8:00 a.m. class thinking that I was teetering above the rest in style. Now I find class comfort in my two pairs of Converse or Haight Street sneaker boots, even though the treads are wearing thin. Going back and forth from my work wear of, groomed and tailored classics at Saks Fifth Avenue, to my senior class style, donning denim and little makeup, gives me the opportunity to express the different sides of myself in a practical and non-fussy manner. To look the most comfortable in your skin, start with your style comforts and look for opportunities to express all sides of your personal knack.

Over the past several weeks, I have been emotional honest about how strange it is to be leaving college, my “fashionable experimental” years behind. However, I am realizing that one of the most beautiful aspects of personal adornment is that everyday in my future, there will be a new opportunity to experiment with what I put on each day.

One thing I know, I’ll always walk in a shoe that fits and is comfortably chic. The sole steps I have taken across our campus leave a mark of self growth on my inner soul. No person will ever graduate from finding excellence in self expression.

So it’s time to step up to the next adventure in life… I need to find the right shoe to don beneath my graduation gown.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tracy Sidler

Trend Profile: The “Grandma Chic” Phenomenon

I’ve never fit well in “trendy” clothes. I always have to hem my pants, I wear size 5 shoes (most stores don’t sell that size),  and designers tend to over-look the petite and curvy market (of which I am both). Growing up my mom always took me to thrift stores, which, at the time, was horribly humiliating. But after enough trips, I started to find items I couldn’t resist. As I’ve grown familiar with thrift and vintage shops I’ve tailored my style to what fits my petite body, an ageless style that surpasses trends, a style I call “Grandma Chic.” Through a series of events I found my fashion niche, and urge others to flaunt this look proudly.

The first, and most essential, step to achieving Grandma Chic is to actually own the clothes of grandmothers you know.  Freshman year of college, my best friend’s great grandmother passed, leaving us a treasure trove of hand-sewn outfits, and vintage jewelry (her great grandmother and I happen to be the same size).  It was her wish that these items were given to her family and friends—those that would appreciate these items. Through wearing her hand stitched chiffon blouses while donning brooches circa 1955, I’ve celebrated her life, while also expressing my unique style. These series of events led to the formation of “Grandma Chic,” and I haven’t looked back since.

Granny Chic

Elizabeth Brown demonstrates the grandma-approved way to enjoy a cup of tea (Angelica Harris/Foghorn)

If you don’t know a grandma that will pass on her clothes to you, your second best bet is scavenging thrift stores for items that will allow you to play the part. Unfortunately, most San Francisco thrift shops are picked over, but if you know where to go for specific items, you are sure to walk out with that pair of arch-support loafers or over-sized cardigan you desire. For shoe shopping, hit up the Goodwill on Haight and the Salvation army on 4th and Geary. These shops contain the petite penny-loafers straight off the feet of Richmond-inhabiting Chinese grandmothers. I recently picked myself up a pair of 1990’s Nine West (slightly lifted) loafers at Salvation Army. For $5.99 (and 50% off on weekends) you simply can’t go wrong.

One cannot properly execute  Grandma Chic without a chiffon, silk, or synthetic blouse. Bonus points for a bow at the collar. My personal favorite stop for blouses is Mission Thrift, on 21st and Mission. They tend to be a more upscale thrift-vintage hybrid, but have a rack of elegant blouses for $5.99.

It’s important to remember that a woman of this age and class does not wear mini-skirts. When defining myself as Grandma Chic, I know this means completely abstaining from any sort of provocation. There is nothing finer than a high-waisted wool skirt, and thrift stores host a multitude of these. You can find some fabulous wools in the “Vintage” section at Thrift Town (17th and Mission). The price ranges from $4.99-$9.99. Of course, tights are always necessary.

Granny Chic

A perfect “Grandma Chic” outfit, complete with stockings and arch-supporting loafers (Angelica Harris/Foghorn)

Finally, we arrive at hair and accessories. Luckily for me, I have wispy hair, not unlike many grandmothers. On occasion I let it run wild with reckless abandon, but I prefer the classic bun. A bun that perches softly on the crown of my head allows me to portray that wise-sophistication both my Granny-Barb and Grandma Brown exude. I’ve also found myself a pair of cat-eye glasses. This can lean towards Schoolmarm Chic (another look I adore), but I find it appropriate when aiming to look like a grandmother as well. With accessories, the more authentic, the better. Vintage frames are encouraged; although mine are new, they’re based on the original cat-eye design. The same goes for jewelry. Costume jewelry is always appropriate—no need to shy away from the kitsch.

For me, Grandma Chic means class, wisdom, and sophistication. For others it may mean something else. I prefer the gentle grandmother, but there is also the role of the Southern Florida grandmother in her pink gingham shorts and polo, or the woman who feels fabulous for the first time at 75, sporting a full-length fur coat with exquisite over-sized rings. Whichever look you prefer, commit to this look with a sense of pride. Know that you are exhibiting that unique vintage find, while paying homage to the ladies that deserve our highest respect.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tracey Sidler

A Brief Guide to Fashionable Giving: The Fashion Community Reaches Out to Help Japan

Every day, somewhere in the world, tragedy strikes and hearts are broken. The coverage of the Pacific’s earthquakes and tsunami continuing to rattle Northern Japan has brought thousands of individual tragedies and broken hearts to our television screens. We watched the crisis with sad spirits, feeling helpless for Japanese families and those affected by the destruction. Being students at the University of San Francisco, we are trained to extend our hands to those in need in our community and beyond. Yes, Japan is many miles away, but our diverse campus community at USF is made up of many who are connected to the tragedy.

While almost every media outlet is providing information on how to contribute dollars to the efforts in Japan, there are other ways to give and create awareness to the cause. Leave it to philanthropic designers in the fashion industry to provide support with perks, connecting your credit card as an IV to the Red Cross to aid those in need.

Red Crossing
Red Bags by  Rebecca Minkoff
The red circle on the Japan flag symbolizes the rising sun. Help the sun rise in Japan this season by carrying a red Rebecca Minkoff bag with each sale supporting the Red Cross. Not only will your ruby bag cross your heart and sway at your side with fierce style, but $100 of each bag purchased will be donated to help provide medical care, food and shelter to thousands affected by the tsunami. Prices range from $294-$495 for all styles and occasions.


Love in the Mix
We Love Japan T-Shirts
by Tory Burch
Help carry on the Tory Burch craze of comfy leather and gold T-emblem flats to the designer’s Japan relief t-shirt. No need to worry about this charitable fashion item going out of style as the t-shirt camouflages its message with rows of petit Japan flags surrounding one row of red hearts. No matter if worn under a blazer, thrown on with denim, or cuddled up in bed as a PJ shirt, your heart will feel its warmth with 100 percent of proceeds heading straight to the Red Cross. This relief effort is just $29 with no shipping cost. Cute, comfy and charitable.


A Wave of Relief
Wave Necklace by Jewelry
for a Cause
The wave that destroyed Northern Japan was unstoppable, fluid and powerful. It is now our turn to fight the destruction with an unstoppable, fluid and powerful aid to reconstruct the lives affected. Charm the idea of lending a helping hand by honoring Japan with a wave charm around your neck by Jewelry for a Cause. The two $30 blue wave pendents are modern and easy to incorporate into your accessory rotation with more than 20 percent rolling to the Red Cross. This necklace duo is perfect to share as a gift with any friend or family member and is fashionable for ladies and gentlemen alike.


Positive Bandwagon
Charity T-Shirt for Japan
by Anna Sui
The weight of the earthquake and tsunami crisis is an impossible handful to balance. However, Anna Sui’s t-shirts (designed by Dean Landry) show hands holding the heart of Japan announcing, “Japan: We’re All in This Together.” Unify this effort by choosing to purchase this shirt for $20 in a women’s lavender or a men’s black. 100 percent of proceeds go to Japan disaster relief. The world of Anna Sui communicates imagination and nostalgia, so this is a perfect piece to remember destruction while realizing healing is on the horizon.


The fashion industry endures the criticism of selfishness and snobbery but it also provides one of the most compassionate artistic outlets to extend a helping hand. Let your guard down and consider shopping for a cause. Keep your eyes open for tsunami relief t-shirts, red hot Rebecca Minkoff satchels, and symbolic waves around our necks to see fashionable support at USF. Courage will help rebuild Japan. We must stand together to support the cause as an institution specializing in humane relations.
Through donations, fashion, or hands on service, USF awareness and concern shall be addressed to contribute to our world’s well being.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tracy Sidler

Runway to Pavement: A Guide to NYFW 2011

Linda Man models the biggest trends of New York Fashion Week 2011. From left to right: Look 1, the drop-waisted dress; Look 2, layers of layers; Look 3, faboulous faux fur; Look 4, a bright pop of orange. (Photos Courtesy of Ishtar Schneider)

If you’re at all interested in fashion you’re probably aware of this little thing called “Fashion Week.” No big deal or anything. If you haven’t been avidly following each runway show here’s your recap of what’s hot in the new Fall/ Winter 2011 collections, and how to take them from the runway to the pavement (without looking like a tranny let loose on campus).

The color trends of this season were pale neutrals and bright colors: particularly a rich cobalt blue (check out Tadashi Shoji, Nanette Lapore and Carlos Miele) and a fiery bronze orange (my favorites were Jill Stuart, Chado Ralph Rucci and DVF). Classic minimalistic lines included Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Badgley Mischka.

Proportion was EVERYTHING and the key words (and usually a taboo in fashion) were BIG is IN. Huge capes, coats and furs abounded the runway. Luxe was the look, with luxurious furs on models in Derek Lam, Farah Angsana, Dennis Basso and Rebecca Minkoff just to name a few. Chunky knits and skinny jeans of all textures, colors and fabrics graced the catwalk from Joy Cioci to Elie Tahari. Long skirts trumped the old favorite minis and ball gown after jaw dropping ball gown made fashionistas everywhere die a little inside. Honorable mention goes to Zang Toi’s sculptural and billowing creations, and everyone’s favorite Project Runway winner Christian Siriano for building a more refined (and wearable) collection. Jenny Packham dazzled with her sequined and jeweled line of silky dresses both long and short.

Now for how to take the top looks from the runway to the pavement.
[Special thanks to my roommate Linda Man for letting me dress her up! ]

Look 1:
The Drop-Waisted Dress
The drop waisted dress was all the rage during fashion week. Keep it realistic by trying a shorter (knee length) version in a bold color, like this Kelly Green one from Banana Republic. This waistline looks great on everyone and can be dressed both up (think chignon and pumps) or down (throw on a sweet cardi and complimentary flats.

Look 2: LAYERS
This fall more is better. Avoid looking like an Eskimo by keeping your sweaters body hugging and add chunky scarves in a similar color on top. Don’t be afraid to mix up prints and fabrics like acid wash jeans and flannel. Add some edge with skinny jeans and loose military style boots.

Look 3:
Fur (it’s faux… don’t be alarmed)
Vests are THE way to wear fur this season. Make sure proportions are correct by defining your waistline with a fabulous belt and keep the rest of the outfit simple. Your fur should take center stage. Forever 21 and H&M have great low price options.

The looks from the runway are a tad difficult to rock for your everyday wardrobe so ease into it with one statement piece. This color looks GREAT on every skin tone! Try it in a silky fabric with skinnies and heels for a great night out look.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tracy Sidler