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Geek Chic: Fashion Inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy, Part 2

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Geek Chic: Fashion Inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy, Part 2
All movie images courtesy of the Walt Disney Company 

Have you all gone to see Guardians of the Galaxy yet? It definitely seems to be the movie of the summer. (Frankly, I’m too creeped out by the CGI turtles to see TMNT!)

I didn’t realize until I saw the response to the first Guardians of the Galaxy Geek Chic article just how much you all loved Ronan, Drax, and Nebula. But ask and ye shall receive: read on for outfits inspired by your favorite metaphor-challenged warrior and blue villains.

Also, let’s be real, guys… epic space battles are cool and all, but this was definitely the best part of the movie!

Know Your Geek: About the Guardians of the Galaxy

  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, a ragtag team of outlaws must band together to save the planet Xandar when Ronan the Accuser goes on a crazed genocidal spree. He’s backed by Thanos and his adopted assassin daughter duo, Gamora and Nebula (There are a whole lot of names to keep track of in this movie!)
  • The Guardian team consists of Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Drax the Destroyer, and of course, the incredibly lovable Groot. Together, they save the day by utilizing the unstoppable powers of friendship, loyalty, and, of course, dance.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy sequel has already been announced for 2017. I know I can’t be the only one hoping for the Guardians and the Avengers to team up!

Outfits Inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy

We’re rounding up the rest of the Guardians crew, plus a few not-so-friendly faces!

Drax the Destroyer

Drax the Destroyer

Drax, played by Dave Bautista, is the final member of the Guardians. He’s a hulking warrior determined to avenge the deaths of his family at Ronan’s hands.

Despite his gruff demeanor, he turns out to be an unlikely source of comedy due to his extremely literal interpretations of innocuous comments. Although Drax starts out as a lone wolf, he eventually learns to embrace friendship through his adventures with the Guardians.

Drax Guardians of the Galaxy outfit
Product Information: Top, Pants, Purse, Earrings, Scarf, Boots

Get inspired by Drax “Never call me a thesaurus” the Destroyer with a wearable take on his gray, scar-mottled body. (Apparently, it took over four hours to do Bautista’s makeup every day. Plus, he had to stand with his arms out for the entire application time!)

A floral-patterned sweatshirt and comfy twill pants make a great base for fun accessories: add a rust-colored scarf similar to the shade of Drax’s scars, as well as a pair of trendy cutout boots. Dagger earrings reference the Destroyer’s weapon of choice. Finally, add a quirky clutch and you’ll be all set to break out of space prison! Or, you know, go to class.

Ronan and Nebula

Ronan and Nebula Guardians of the Galaxy

Ronan (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are a tough bunch of blue baddies! Ronan is a fanatical despot determined to destroy the entire Xandarian race, while Nebula is a robotic assassin-for-hire whose services have been lent out by her father, Thanos. She has a rocky, jealous relationship with her adoptive sister, Gamora.

Ronan & Nebula Guardians of the Galaxy look
Product Information: Dress, Heels, Cuff, Earrings, Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, Lipstick/Nail Polish

It’s not easy being green, but blue? Much more attainable. Emulate the villainous pair with a sleek navy dress that has leather accents and a cowl neck reminiscent of Ronan’s headdress. Add a robotic touch with a circuit cuff and a pair of metallic blue heels.

While you don’t have to undergo hours of prosthetics applications and airbrushing, makeup is definitely a key part of getting the Ronan and Nebula look down. Gleaming silver eyeshadow and a thick cat-eye create a futuristic look, while a vampy dark lipstick and polish duo glam it up.

The Collector and his Assistant

The Collector and his Assistant Guardians of the Galaxy

The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), accompanied by his assistant, Carina (Ophelia Lovibond), is a prolific, well, collector of rare and precious artifacts from around the Universe. His collection also includes a menagerie of alien creatures kept in glass cages. The Collector sets the movie’s plot in motion by hiring Gamora to retrieve a mysterious orb to add to his treasure trove.

The Collector and his Assistant Guardians of the Galaxy outfit
Product Information: Jacket, Dress, Tights, Boots, Sunglasses, Earrings

Director James Gunn has described the Collector as “Outer-Space Liberace.” While I’d say a more contemporary comparison is “Outer-Space Mugatu,” I can’t help but like his over-the-top ensembles. (His pigtailed pink assistant is pretty darn cute in that halter dress, too!)

Get their crazy space outfits for yourself by pairing a white skater dress that’s similar to Carina’s with a fuzzy shearling jacket. Pink tights add a pop of color (sub in black or brown if you’d rather keep it neutral), while metallic boots add to the futuristic vibe. Slip on a pair of dramatic sunglasses and duck-shaped earrings as a fun reference to the Marvel movie’s mid-credits scene.

What did you think?

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy? Would you wear these outfits? What other geeky inspirations would you like to see? As always, let me know in the comments!

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Sponsored: CF at the 2014 Keds Brave Life Summit!

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This post brought to you by Keds. All opinions are 100% mine.

Keds Brave Life Summit 2014
The scene before the Summit at Hearst Tower in NYC

This past Friday, I had the privilege of attending the 2014 Keds Brave Life Summit in NYC.

Below, I'll share my experience at this incredible event, and show you how you can win a Brave Life Grant to affect positive change in your own community.

About the Keds Brave Life Summit

The Keds Brave Life Summit is a conference held by Keds and Girls Leadership Institute. The summit brings together 150 girls from around the world to give them the opportunity to connect and learn to be brave in all areas of life.

This year's summit was jam-packed with amazing, accomplished speakers, including Rachel Simmons, co-founder of Girls Leadership Institute; Alicia Menendez, host of Fusion's "AM Tonight"; Lauren Berger, CEO of; Gina Kelly, Fashion Director of Seventeen Magazine; Tony Award-winning playwright Sarah Jones; and many more.

My favorite speaker of the night was host Rachel Simmons, who discussed how to be "everyday brave" and why "bravery is a muscle" – by taking small-scale brave actions every day, we can build our way up to actions that change the world.

Alicia Menendez spoke about her struggles in high school, her college battle with depression, and the unique ways depression can manifest itself in high-achieving young women. When she finished and opened the floor for questions, the responses were raw and emotional – I'm not sure there was a dry eye in the house. It was a real bonding experience for all of us.

On a lighter note, I also enjoyed hearing from Lauren Berger of – her talk on "Learning to Love Rejection" hit home. Lauren argued that we should use rejection as motivation – after all, "Rejection doesn't mean never, it just means 'not right now'." She also shared some awesome networking tips.

Brave notebooks keds
Notebooks distributed to summit attendees

At the end of the summit, Rachel asked the room to participate in a text message poll, sharing one brave step we were going to take tomorrow. The results, printed on the big screen, were heartwarming, inspiring, and the perfect way to end the evening.

Brave stepsText message poll: What's one small brave step you can take tomorrow?

Win a Brave Life Grant to Change YOUR Community

Now it's YOUR chance to be brave and make a difference in the world with the help of Keds. They provided $50,000 to TMI, an agency of, to help girls attend Brave Life Summit 2014, and now they have a new grant that you'll all want to sign up to win:

The Change Your Community, Change Your World Grant launched August 15th. It will provide up to 50 girls (between the ages of 13 and 24) up to $1,000 each to fund their charitable dreams. For full details on how YOU can apply to make your brave dreams come true, visit the Keds grant website here. The sooner you apply, the better your chances!

Learn more!

Thanks so much to Keds, Girls Leadership Institute, and Seventeen for putting on a truly incredible event.

For more on the Brave Life Summit and Brave Life Project, be sure to follow @keds and the hashtag #sobrave on Twitter. You can also check out Girls Leadership Institute, Seventeen, and the Brave Life Project website.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Keds. The opinions, as always, are our own. For more information, please see our Disclosure page.

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10 Must-Have Dorm Essentials Under $20

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Dorm Essentials Under $20
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To those CF readers who are just starting college – welcome to some pretty incredible years of freedom! For everyone else who’s a seasoned pro – welcome back to you, as well!

No matter what phase of undergrad or post-grad you’re in, you’ve probably been bombarded with back-to-school ads and emails filled with everything from sofa sales to friends trying to get rid of the IKEA dresser they bought four years ago.

As overwhelming as they can seem, there are definitely some gems in those promotional newsletters that can add real functionality to your apartment or dorm.

In this article, we’ll detail 10 must-have dorm room essentials. And as a bonus, each one costs less than $20!

Combed and carefully selected after sifting through hundreds (if not thousands) of retailer emails, these items have demonstrated their great value over the years, and now is definitely the best, if not the most necessary, time for you to get prepped for another year of life away from home. Let’s get started!


Dorm Essentials under $20
Sheets, Rug, Lamp, Mattress Pad, Hangers

Finding textiles under $20 can seem pretty daunting, but with a bit of ingenuity (and, of course, promotional coupons!), you can easily outfit your bed without breaking the bank.

  • Jersey sheets feel like your favorite t-shirt and don’t cost an arm and a leg. You only really need one set – just be responsible about getting them out of the laundry the same day you wash them!
  • A geometric runner fits easily next to your bed and makes for a better landing pad than bare tile.
  • Light up your desk with a sleek office lamp that has an easy on-off switch and bendy neck.
  • Protect your mattress and add a bit of comfort with a simple mattress pad.
  • As cheap as plastic hangers might be, slimline velvet-covered hangers are much thinner and more classic. Get a set with clips and hang up all your skirts, too.

On Top of Your Game

Health and academic must haves for college
Yoga Mat, Laptop Lock, Moleskine Planner, Book Stand, Filtered Water Bottle

Staying healthy is so much more than exercising and eating right – keep your mental health in check and equip yourself to stay on top of your academics with the items below.

  • yoga mat will help you greet and close each day with a meditative stretch. As a bonus, this one has yoga positions printed on it, so even newbies will be able to check their form!
  • Protect your laptop from potential theft with a simple laptop lock.
  • Keeping an agenda up-to-date (mine has the weather, assignments, meals, and daily outfits on each day) is a great way to stay organized and feeling in control. This classic Moleskine is organized weekly and monthly for easy planning.
  • If you don’t yet have a book stand, these will change your life. No more craning over massive textbooks or trying to dodge the glare of a library overhead light.
  • Finally, keep your body healthy and stay hydrated with a Brita filter water bottle.

What do you think?

Did you like our product picks? What else have you gotten for college or post-grad life on a budget that has been absolutely essential? Anything we missed? Let us know with a comment!

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Fashion Inspired By Art: Tosa Mitsuoki’s “Flowering Cherry and Autumn Maple with Poem Slips”


Do you guys ever feel like you get stuck in a fashion rut? Like, you’re either so insanely busy that you don’t have time to put together outfits, or you just get to a place in your life where it’s exhausting to wear anything but your favorite slubby cardigan? Or even when you become so familiar with what’s in your closet it all seems so…’meh’?

At the start of the school year, we get so caught up in the excitement of moving in, starting classes and having perfect outfits the first week. However, the next week we get SLAMMED with classwork, reading, extracurricular responsibilities and sports, and that excitement fades pretty darn quickly. When you’re so stressed and busy in college, it can feel like the last thing you have time to think about is what you’re wearing.

Yet, for those of us who are regulars here at CF, fashion and personal style is pretty important to us! So how do you power through that fashion rut?

In this installment of Fashion Inspired by Art, I’m going to show you how: by updating your favorite familiar outfit formulas with sparkly, trendy metallic pieces. We’re using Tosa Mitsuoki’s diptych of folding screens, “Flowering Cherry and Autumn Maple with Poem Slips,” as our inspiration:

Tosa Mitsuoki's "Autumn Maples and Flowering Cherry with Poem slips" (c. 1650s) via Wikimedia Commons
Tosa Mitsuoki’s “Flowering Cherry and Autumn Maple with Poem Slips” via Wikimedia Commons. (Click to enlarge.)

About Tosa Mitsuoki

Tosa Mitsuoki, born in 1617 at the very beginning of the Edo era, was the son of painter Tosa Mitsunori, and one of many in the long line of his family to head the Tosa school of painting in Japan. In 1654, Tosa Mitsuoki was appointed the head of the court painting bureau, effectively unseating the rival Kano school as the favored style of painting in Japan.

At this point in the Edo period, the aristocratic class sought to revive the art-rich culture of the Heian period, and began hosting seasonal poetry meetings, where participants wrote poems on thin slips of paper underneath a blooming cherry tree in spring or a changing maple in the fall. These poem slips were then attached to the trees in an artistic ritual similar to the offerings made to Shinto and Buddhist gods.

This set of painted screens, which depicts and celebrates these transient, poetic meetings, was either commissioned by or given as a gift to an imperial consort named Tofukumon-in. Unlike the Chinese-inspired black-and-white stylings of the Kano school, these screens use not only vibrant colors like reds, burgundies and jade greens, but also gold leaf and silver powder to add dimension and luxury to the artwork. This technique would later be used by 20th century artists, such as Gustav Klimt.

Outfits Inspired by “Flowering Cherry and Autumn Maple with Poem Slips”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Asian art – particularly Japanese art – but I feel like I hit my saturation point with it very quickly. A lot of the same mediums, themes, and compositions have been used over and over for centuries (this is due to the way it’s taught, as teachers directly pass down techniques and styles to their student.)

And yet…this piece in particular stood out because of one additional detail: the metallic element. It’s a good illustration (lol, art puns) of how one additional detail can elevate a simple, formulaic outfit to something stylish and noteworthy.

Cardigan + Jeggings + T-Shirt

Fashion inspired by art jeggings, cardigan, graphic tee, metallic oxfords
Jeggings, Cardigan, T-Shirt, Brogues, Headband, Nail Polish

Let’s start with our dear, dear friends jeggings and cardi. True, they were always there for me when I needed them on those Fridays I was hungover and late for my 8am class, but lets be real – they’re not the most exciting thing you could be wearing, are they?

Amp up this tried-and-true combo by adding a glitzy pair of gilded brogues. The menswear shape plays nicely with the slouchy boyfriend cardi, while the light gold color and lace-like details add a whimsical, girly touch.

The studded headband adds another complementary gold element, while the graphic t-shirt has a wry, self-aware, feminine edge. Finish with a minty jade color on your nails to emulate the natural but unexpected color combo on the painting.

Cardigan + Dress + Boots

Fashion inspired by art white maxi dress, duster, and ankle boots
Dress, Backpack, Boots, Bracelet, Duster

I am very, very guilty of this combo, too. IT’S SO EASY. Especially when you own like, 20 pairs of black boots. But who needs black boots when you can have that backpack(!!!). You can be your very own Jenna Marbles.

To mix it up with this combo, swap your average floral sundress and grandpa cardi for a white maxi dress and a floor length duster. Grab a fabulous metallic bag, like this avant-garde yet functional backpack. The silver bangle and the buckles on the moto boots riff off the bag nicely, but if you’re into mixing metals, go for it. If you’re not into wearing backpacks around campus, you can always opt for a cute satchel or purse.

Cropped Shirt + High-Waisted Skirt

Fashion inspired by art cropped sweater, gold midi skirt, flats
Bag, Sweater, Skirt, Earrings, Flats

This sophisticated and stylish update will take you from your marketing presentation straight to your on-campus internship. The deep gold pleated midi skirt is the star here, so – especially if you plan to wear this look to work – let your top be neutral and simple, like a quilted cropped sweater. The d’orsay flats add a slight touch of glimmer to mirror the skirt.

Finish the ensemble with jewel-toned accessories, like these jade studs and oxblood crossbody bag, to add a little color to the outfit. If you wanted to be really sophisticated, you could wear comfy black heels, or edge things up a bit with sleek black moto boots.

Jacket + Skirt + Booties

Fashion inspired by art metallic biker jacket, floral skort, red wedge boots
Jacket, T-Shirt, Lip Tar and Nail Polish (both in “Black Metal Dahlia”), Booties, Skort, Earrings

I don’t know about you guys, but when I was in my ruttiest of fashion ruts, I even had a go-to formula for my going-out ensembles – namely, a bustier top, a bandage skirt, and a leather jacket. But I would try to update those pieces with little trendy touches, like a velvet skirt one night and a denim bustier another.

The idea is similar here: you’ll stand out in a sea of black leather jackets with this gorge rose-gold moto jacket. Add a simple t-shirt that you can (maybe) spill on, booties that are comfy enough to walk in after a couple of hours out, a skort that you can dance your butt off in without showing your actual butt, and low-key jewelry.

The matching metallic nails and lip color aren’t necessary, but do provide some extra sass and edge to your look and make for great selfies with your girlfriends.

Final Thoughts:

Just for clarification – I don’t hate outfit formulas! On the contrary, I think they’re wonderful tools that helped make my life way, way easier when I was a busy undergrad. I know from experience, though, that it’s very easy to rely on them too much and forget what makes great outfits great: unexpected elements and interesting details!

Like all great works of art, outfits should bring a little something new to the table – something that is not only interesting for the viewer, but helps the wearer express their individuality. I used metallic elements as an example because it fit with the artwork I showed you today, but this could be anything – pyramid studs, varsity elements, fringe, even a signature beauty look, like milkmaid braids or fuchsia lips.

Find the little touches you like and the trends that speak to you, and everything else will come together.

What do you think?

How do you feel about Tosa Mitsuoki’s dipdytch? How would you style metallics to fit your wardrobe? What are your go-to outfit formulas during the school year? What art would you like to see featured in this column? Let me know in the comments below!

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