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What Should I Wear… Instead of Juicy Couture?!

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What Should I Wear…?! is a biweekly column that is here to answer that very question. If you have an event coming up that has you stumped fashion-wise, this is guaranteed to be your best source for outfit inspiration when you need it the most!

Juicy Couture tracksuit ad
Photo: ELLE

Truly an event in the fashion world, the internet is buzzing over the imminent closing of all Juicy Couture stores by the end of this summer. Along with Limited Too, and so many other once-successful brands, you now know how it feels to be “old” and watch that which you once craved the most become obsolete.

Juicy Couture was a celebrity favorite in the early 2000s and epitomized the era with their “bling, bling”, “purse dogs” and, of course, the tracksuits. When I say that they “epitomized the era” though, remember Paris Hilton was probably their best customer.

Paris Hilton in a pink juicy couture tracksuit
“Peace out, won’t forget about you.” | ELLE

Those trendy Juicy Couture tracksuits – which used to be “it, ” literally “it” for almost everything and everywhere – are the focus of this “What Should I Wear…?! post. I know what you’re thinking: “What?! Nobody has worn those in forever!”, but the looks below are current (I promise!) and this post is for more than just nostalgia.

Juicy Couture tracksuits became popular because the brand’s founders, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, answered the pleas all females have about getting dressed. These velour wonders were comfortable, yet cute and flattering, they were oh-so versatile, and were the epitome of easy dressing – all you had to do was put on the matching top and bottom.

While you may not realize just how much they had going for them and maybe didn’t even particularly like the brand, at least consider how revolutionary they were. You live – and, more importantly, dress – in a (fashion) world that was forever influenced by the allowances set by Juicy Couture.

And since “nobody has worn them in forever,” a replacement was never found… well, a good replacement, at least. To fill the void, here are outfits based on the four places 2000s trendsetters wore Juicy tracksuits the most: while shopping, at the spa, during airplane travel, and to yoga class.

Shopping

“The glamorous U.S.A.” does not seem so glam when one goes shopping these days. I don’t understand why, but when shopping for fabulous clothing, people wear that which is not. At least when tracksuits were the uniform for shopping trips across the country, there were cohesive ensembles going on that looked intended and practical.

Britney Spears in a blue Juicy Couture tracksuit
Brit’s so “blue” about this… what’ll she wear to the stores now? | ELLE

Of course, you can wear whatever you like when you go to the mall (within reason), but if you’re looking for a new shopping “uniform,” check out this chic getup:

Juicy Couture inspired shopping outfit
Product Information: Dress, Cardigan, Shoes, Bag, Earrings, BowPhone Cover

That dress, look at it! It was just made for shopping. The buttons down the front mean it’s easy to get on and off, and your hairstyle won’t be sacrificed in the process.

Flats are a godsend when you’re going to be on your feet all day and this bag (ironically called a “shopper”) is ideal for holding smaller purchases along with your other necessities. Aside from their practically, the shoes and bag both add a polished vibe to the look.

This clip-on hair bow is a feminine way to pull back your hair and keep it away from your face while shopping. This is so beneficial when you’re trying a bunch of stuff on in a dressing room!

The earrings mimic the buttons on the dress, and a long cardigan adds a pop of color. The cardigan keeps the outfit grounded, but also adds visual interest while keeping you warm in the notoriously cold stores (A/C all year long, it seems).

We love Audrey Hepburn here at CF, so we went with a Holly Golightly-inspired phone case to finish the look. After all, the stylish Miss Hepburn is the perfect gal to guide you on your shopping expedition.

Spa

Whether you were just stopping in for a mani/pedi or went in for a full day of rejuvenation, Juicy tracksuits and spa days used to go hand-in-hand. However, if you’re planning on pampering yourself sometime soon, this ensemble is what you should be wearing.

Juicy Couture inspired spa look
Product Information: DressBandeauHeadbandBagSunglassesFlip Flops, Book

Versatile pieces are the best, and the “dress” in this outfit fits that mold – it’s actually intended to be a swim cover-up! I found it on Etsy, and it’s based off the popular Victoria’s Secret Wrap Cover-Up, which is as easy to put on as:

Victoria's Secret wrap tutorial
Product Info

This is the perfect thing to wear when you go for a massage or are just going to undress and model one of those soft-as-a-cloud bathrobes the rest of the day. Also, if you’re into DIY projects, keep an eye out: our resident DIY genius, Gloria, will be showing you how to create your own version of this cover-up very soon!

Until then, plan on wearing yours with a bandeau underneath for more coverage. Keep your hair pushed back with a headband and slip on a pair of Havaianas… because is there really any other choice for footwear here? (Hello, pedicure!)

I chose this tote because the pink contrasted so nicely with the color of the dress, plus tote bags are easy to reach into for tipping and grabbing a good book. Please, do not just reach for any old tabloid the spa leaves around, but instead plan to bring your own book – it will be much more satisfying.

My suggestion: The Glitter Plan by the founders of Juicy Couture (I know, it is like I planned it….), which came out in May and is a great summer read of all of you aspiring entrepreneurs!

Airplane Travel

Juicy Couture tracksuits and airplane travel used to be synonymous, but that was also back before the “Kardashian Klan” had their own television show(s) and Kim was just Nicole Richie’s replacement as Paris Hilton’s best friend.

Kim Kardashian wearing a gray juicy couture tracksuit
Going on vacation to somewhere “that’s so hot.” | ELLE

The flyer friendliness of this look is as over as their friendship. In fact, Kim has probably gotten rid of this tracksuit (anything to forget the days before she graced the cover of Vogue) and that Louis Vuitton bag. It was a “best friend bag” with Paris (see the second picture on this Buzzfeed list).

Ah, I digress. Anyway, when it comes to traveling, deciding on what to wear to the airport can be harder than figuring out every outfit in your suitcase combined. No fear though, I’m here with the perfect pieces to take that flight!

Juicy Couture inspired airplane outfit
Product Information: TankPantsCardiganBagShoesSocksSunglassesEarringsNecklace, Book, Drink Tumbler

The loose-fitting bottoms and tank are comfortable, breathable, and look stylish – the perfect start. Now, you’ll need to wear socks (two words: airport security), and that means finding shoes that will allow this. I love wearing boots at the airport because they are sturdy, comfy, and good for walking.

The black hue of the boots looks sleek, as does this roomy bag. These pieces also add a bit of professionalism to an otherwise fun and relaxed outfit. The cardigan is a must because the airplane will be cold (you’ll also appreciate those socks!) and the airport probably will be, too. Style-wise, this cardigan adds dimension with the different threading: some matches the black pieces, but the blue and gray play against the pants – it even sort of resembles the sky.

Back at security, you won’t have to remove stud earrings, and these are fabulous anyways, so wear them. You will have to remove necklaces though, but long chain styles can just be slid off the top of your head and back on after you are “all clear.” The little details make an outfit, and this airplane necklace looks chic but also adds a touch of whimsy to your look. Don’t forget a pair of aviators because, again, they make such a statement, plus you’ll need them anyway to look out the airplane windows during daytime flights.

As someone who travels a lot, I have an important tip to share: bring an empty drink tumbler. You can take it through security – make it a large one – and then fill it up on the other side. Airplanes are very low in humidity and that dryness can destroy your body, so you need all the water you can get!

My other piece of advice? Make real use of the time in-flight and read a book. My suggestion this time: #GIRLBOSS by the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso – you’ll appreciate the advice and edge.

Yoga

When it comes to intensive yoga classes or those designed to make you break a sweat (think Bikram – oh, so hot in there – or others that are deviations of this style), there is plenty of cute yet practical workout gear out there.

For restorative or relaxation yoga though, Juicy Couture tracksuits would have been more suited to keep your body feeling soft and warm. But since those are no longer an option, the look below is ideal for an upcoming yoga class.

The Answer:

Juicy Couture inspired yoga look
Product Information: CamiPantsSweatshirt, Gym Bag, Mat CarrierShoesHair TiesNail PolishTowelettesBlanket

Most diehard yogis love black yoga pants because they hide sweat during vigorous sessions. However, for a more low-key yoga class, we say expand your horizons by opting for colored bottoms. (Psychologically, shades of green promote relaxation.) The sweatshirt is French terry cloth – can’t get much more comfortable than that – with embellished zipper detailing, and is also 50% off! Of course, put an athletic cami underneath and bring hair ties.

Even though you do not wear shoes to practice yoga, still consider the pair you come and go in. Sport sandals are in, and the pair pictured here are actually made from – get this – yoga mat material, which will get you in that yoga mindset before you start.

Don’t forget your bag either! Catwalk into the yoga studio with a sleek mat carrier and a matching gym bag. In the bag, always have a blanket (it is really recommended for restorative yoga and, also, shavasana) and yoga towelettes – I can’t live without these, they are great for relaxing during mediation.

Never forget the details, and since yoga puts you in some awkward positions where you will be forced to catch sight of your hands at weirder angles, make sure you are not distracted by them in the wrong way. Always, have your nails manicured. I really like this fun nail polish color from OPI’s Brazil collection called “Red Hot Rio!”

Tell me what you think:

How did you react to the news about Juicy Couture? What did you think were some positives of the brand in its heyday? Did you own one – or, maybe many – of  the tracksuits? What did you think of these outfits? Would you wear any of these looks?

Are there any special events or occasions you would like to see covered in “What Should I Wear…?!”? Let me know in the comments!

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Fashion Inspired by Art: Rachel Ruysch’s “Still Life of Flowers, 1710″

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I know what you’re thinking: Florals? For summer? Groundbreaking. But think about how striking a floaty floral dress looks with a leather jacket or vest, or how cool a girl looks pairing a flowery shirt with combat boots. (I’m looking at you, Miley…)

This Fashion Inspired by Art post - based on “Still Life of Flowers, 1710″ by Rachel Ruysch – will show you how to create edgy, summer-appropriate looks with a feminine twist, using accessories inspired by bugs, bones, butterflies, and other aspects of the natural world.

Rachel Ruysch is not your average flower painter. I’ve seen one of Ruysch’s paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts; it was breathtaking. Not only was each flower was painstakingly detailed and richly colored, but for every beautiful bloom there was a flower with a broken stem, or a delicate-winged moth, or the dark, shiny shell of a beetle.

Ruysch’s compositions are all about contrast and truth: the natural state of flowers, some decaying, some broken, some covered in bugs, but still beautiful and captivating.

Rahcle Ruysch's “Still Life of Flowers - 1710” (1710) via Wikimedia Commons
Rachel Ruysch’s “Still Life of Flowers, 1710” (1710) via Wikimedia Commons (Click image to enlarge.)

About Rachel Ruysch

Born in 1664 in the Netherlands, Ruysch was one of the first female Dutch artists to achieve international recognition, and is still known today as one of the masters of flower painting from the Dutch Golden Age. Her father, a professor of botany and anatomy at the University of Amsterdam, fostered Ruysch’s interest in insects and exotic flowers by allowing her to assist in the preparation and display of his specimens when she was young.

In a time when women were rarely allowed to learn painting unless they were taught by male family members, Ruysch was apprenticed to the still-life artist Willem Van Aelst in 1679. Ruysch’s dynamic compositions of exotic flowers in bright colors, combined with fauna like beetles, bees, snakes, salamanders, and other creepy-crawlies, as well as flowers with broken stems or blooms in various states of decay, quickly earned her a reputation as a talented artist.

Ruysch and her husband, the portraitist Joriaen Pool, enjoyed much commercial success in Amsterdam, where Ruysch’s considerable social circle and skill allowed her to sell her paintings despite a guild restriction that banned women from selling their paintings. They joined the painter’s guild in The Hague in 1701, and in 1708 were both named painters to the court of Johann Wilhelm von Phalz-Neuberg in Düsseldorf. Ruysch and her husband raised ten children together, and she continued to paint until her death at the age of 83.

It is important to note that, during this time, women were not allowed to work with the male form or nude models as male artists were; this kept women from many subjects, such as historical and mythological painting, that would have allowed them to explore loftier concepts and ideas with their art.

Though it is unclear if Ruysch intended for her paintings to have symbolic or moral interpretations, some feminist interpretations of her work suggest that the unorthodox inclusion of insects, reptiles, and flowers in decay was the artist’s way of accessing subjects that were barred from her as a woman: the exploration of death and decay; the true, wild, chaotic state of nature; the subversion of beauty and the feminine ideal.

Outfits Inspired by “Still Life of Flowers, 1710″

Nature and Chaos

Ruysch still life outfit inspiration
Earrings, Blouse, Skirt, Ring, Sandals, Lipstick

Start with your floral base – this cropped, bell-sleeved blouse is perfectly sweet and summery, with it’s creamy crochet accents and feminine color scheme. Paired with a dark, midnight-blue velvet maxi skirt (which mirrors the dark, velvety background of Ruysch’s painting) and black sandals, it becomes both edgy and free-spirited.

Gold or rose-gold jewelry glams up snake and cicada motifs, but if you wanted to take it even further, you could accessorize with jewelry made from natural materials, like porcupine quills or shark teeth. Wear with a dark red lipstick and, if you’re having a frizzy hair day, a glam hat.

Feminine and Subversive

Ruysch fashion inspiration
Necklace, Shirt, Pants, Sandals, Nail Polish, Earrings

This outfit is comfy, stylish, and perfect for your summer art history lecture. The bright pink and black print of these floral pants is bold, but also cool and feminine, thanks to their slouchy silhouette and high waist. Add a soft, cropped t-shirt and black sandals to keep with the flirty, cool-girl feel.

This outfit’s edge truly comes from its accessories – a bold statement necklace made of beetle wings (!!!) adds a metallic pop of color that complements the pink flowers in the pants beautifully, and EVERYONE will want to know where you got it. An iridescent green on your toes mirrors the necklace nicely, and spider earrings (or these gorgeous butterfly earrings!) are another unique touch that would look great with a no-fuss top knot or a ponytail.

Not into wearing beetle wings? (Aww, why not?) Green feathers would work fabulously, too. Can’t bear the thought of wearing pants in the summer? Try these adorable floral tap shorts.

Death and Decay

Ruysch floral still life outfit inspiration
Necklace, Kimono, Top, Sandals, Ear Cuff, Shorts, iPhone Case

These cheerful sunflower shorts remind me of the sunflower with the broken stem in the painting, and when paired with the bright, graphic blooms on the iPhone case, the combination of colors and shapes perfectly evokes the painting’s atmosphere. (Or you could get an iPhone case of a Ruysch painting, just saying…) Pair the shorts with an airy, lacy top, a black kimono, and strappy gladiator sandals for a look that’s comfy, casual, and just a little bit sexy.

Oxidized brass accessories shaped like bones and teeth really elevate this look from sweet and comfy to edgy and fashion-forward, and you can wear these trendy ear cuffs even if you don’t have pierced ears. This outfit would look fab at a party, a music festival, or just out running errands.

Final Thoughts

Like stripes and polka dots, florals are a classic print that never goes out of style. However, we see so many iterations of them on the runway and in stores, it can be really hard to make them seem fresh and interesting! This is why I think accessories are so important.

They really do make or break your outfit, and can help you bring something from one season into another. I believe accessories are worth investing a little in if you know you’re going to wear them enough to make it worth it.

Of course, while accessories made of bones, bugs, and porcupine quills have been popular for a few seasons now, who knows how long they’ll stay on trend? If the lasting power of Ruysch’s paintings is any indicator of our collective interest in all things creepy, weird, and beautiful, they might be around for quite a while…

What do you think?

What do you think of Ruysch’s paintings? Are you a fan of the accessories in this post? What do you think is more important in art – the artist’s intentions, or the viewer’s interpretation? Let me know in the comments below!

Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , , , ,

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Nail Art How-to: Summer Skies

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Summer Skies Nail Art Tutorial

Hello, hello lovelies! I know that I can’t resist spending whatever time I can outside during summer, so I wanted to capture the look of those perfect blue skies right on my nails.

Using some cute scalloped edges and a good nail art pen, I’ll show you a simple and easy way to accomplish this fun design. Read on to learn how to get this fresh look!

Step 1: Bases Set

summer sky nail art

To start off, I’m using Wet n Wild’s Megalast nail polish in “I Need a Refresh-Mint” on my thumb, index and ring finger, and a basic white nail polish on my middle finger and pinky. Personally, I just like having a little bit of variety, but if you prefer to use just one color or style on your nails, go for it!

Step 2: Your Heart’s in the Clouds

Cloud nail art tutorial

You can’t have those endless summer skies without picture-perfect clouds drifting by! As you can see, I already have an example of a finished cloud on my index finger, but I’ll show you the steps on my ring finger.

First, with the side of your brush, start around the middle of your nail and make a stroke away from you on one side. Using the side of the brush rather than the flat side helps to make a skinnier line, and keeps the tip of the cloud a little more rounded rather than straight or sharp.

Bring the brush slightly lower than your first line and make another edge by curving it out. This helps to make a rounder edge since you can start painting on the first line to have a larger area to work with.

Create one more line, but bring your brush almost to the tip of your nail, which gives you the final edge on your cloud. These scalloped edges create the perfect cloud shape!

Step 3: Raindrops on Roses

Raindrops nail art tutorial

To be honest, late night storms are my favorite, and summer is filled with those rain-soaked nights. Although sometimes rain is a bummer, at least raindrops can look cute on your nails!

For this part, I’m using Sally Hansen’s “I Heart Nail Art” pen in Blue on my white-colored nails. I love using these pens because of their precise tip, although you need to make sure to shake them well first. That way, you manage to get enough product out when you press down.

Begin by making a small dot, then pull up slightly to create a little point, which makes a teardrop shape. Repeat the process until you have a rain shower on your nail!

And There You Have It!

Finished nails skies tutorial actual

What’d you think of this look?

Would you wear clouds and raindrops on your nails? Do you have any favorite nail designs? Are you a fan of cute nail looks or more elegant ones? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , ,

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Looks on Campus: Katie – University of Washington

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Seattle is usually slightly warm during the month of June, with typical highs ranging from the 50’s to low 70’s. But on this day, a miracle happened: clear blue skies and sunny 78 degree weather!

I found Katie lounging in the long-forgotten Seattle sun with a friend as I was wandering around the beautiful University of Washington campus. While she seemed a bit shy at first, it turned out she was sweet and bright, just like her outfit!

Katie 101

University of Washington student style

Name: Katie

Major: Cellular Biology

Year: Junior

School: University of Washington, Seattle campus

Let’s Talk Fashion

What inspires your style? “Comfort, really.”

Where do you like to shop? “I like to shop at Buffalo Exchange and consignment shops.”

How would you describe your sense of style? “It’s more casual and outdoorsy. I don’t usually wear skirts that often.”

Why did you choose this particular outfit? “I just got back from Alaska, my home [state]. The weather was nice outside, so I decided to wear a skirt!”

What fashion advice would you give to other students looking to improve their style? “Dress comfortably. Wear something that makes you happy.”

What do you like to do for fun? Do you have any unique hobbies or interests? “I like to hike and ski. Also, I like to bake a lot. During finals I do a lot of stress baking for my roommates.”

Elements of Katie’s Outfit

1. Color Contrast

Street style at the university of Washington

Katie’s bright orange J. Crew v-neck and dark blue patterned skirt from Urban Outfitters instantly caught my eye. In this look, the orange tee grounds the outfit, and the unique patterned skirt takes center stage. Also, the contrasting colors takes her casually cute outfit to a terrifically fashionable level.

2. Lackadaisical Bow

Printed skirt with bow college street fashion

The bow on the back of Katie’s skirt lends a feminine touch to her outfit and quite literally ties the look together. Its effortlessness is another indication of her fashionable and casual sense of style.

3. Minimalist Jewelry

College student fashionista rocking minimalist yet chic jewelry

Katie’s minimalist jewelry really shows her personality. Her earrings were a birthday gift from her mother and resemble the ovals in the pattern of her skirt. The elegant lines of her ring are balanced, while the silver coloring flows with the tones in her outfit. It’s the little details like these that really make this ensemble stand out!

What do you think of Katie’s sunny-day style?

Do you love her bold patterned skirt and delicate jewelry? What do you wear on gorgeous summer days? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!

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