Seeing Stars

In this day and age, we all want to be among the stars. However, because this fantasy can only become a reality for some, the rest of us have decided to done stars on our clothing and accessories. From metallic stars added to a leather bootie, star studs emblazoned on a belt or even a star-print pajama set, this motif has taken over the mainstream fashion industry.

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Personally, I own a pair of jeans with black beaded stars embroidered on them and a pair of maroon leggings with stars covering the legs. Clearly, the star trend permeates both street style and athleisure. Additionally, I plan on purchasing Sheila Fajl’s Equulei Hoops, once they are back in stock. Although this infatuation with stars will probably only last another few seasons, I think it is such a fun and whimsical trend.

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A pair of jeans with black beaded stars embroidered from Lord & Taylor’s DesignLab line.          

Truly, it is incredible that such a familiar shape has been transformed into a fashion symbol in the present day. In elementary school, a star is something you strived to receive with kindness to classmates and turning in your homework. Nowadays, it seems as though we all can be stars…or at least wear them!

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Must-Have: Mules

Everything old is new again! Whether you are excited for this must-have shoe trend or still experiencing deja vu from 2007, mules have officially made a comeback. Interestingly enough, the resurgence of trends about every ten years is often a topic of discussion in my “Trend Forecasting and Analysis” course; therefore, it is no surprise to me that designers have drawn inspiration from the mid-to-late 2000s to re-create the mule.

However, prevalence of the mule extends far beyond the 2000s. According to S. Marshall (2016), “The origins of the word mule lie in Ancient Rome, where it was mulleus calceus (a red or purple shoe worn by the three highest magistrates), but the contemporary appropriation refers to a shoe that is backless and usually closed-toed.” Additionally, Marshall (2016) adds that “when Comtesse d’Olonne, the risqué society beauty, wore a soft red pair of mules to church in 1694—daringly peeping from beneath her richly-embellished skirt—it paved the way for the style.” Continuing into the eighteenth century, mules “went on to become popular within the French Court, both Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette donning variations” (Marshall, 2016).

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

Although fashion often incorporates innovations from past styles, why it is that mules are popular again right now? According to K. Abel (2017), Manolo Blahnik may have profound insight in assigning the state of our world as a contributor for the mass-consumption of mules. “It’s extraordinary that the times are so terrible and people buy these stupid shoes. Maybe they want joy for five seconds,” Blahnik claims in his new movie, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards. Perhaps the mules’ unique shape, opportunity for creative designs and wide acceptance by the fashion cycle draw various consumers to the product.

“With the changing seasons, it’s time to pack away our sandals and flip-flops in favor of some sturdier choices. And while chunky boots are fall must-haves, sometimes we just need the cozy-cool feel of slip-on shoes on our feet” (Sirera, 2017). Although many believe that mules cannot fully translate into the cooler temperatures of fall, I beg to differ. While a pair of opened-toed chambray mules (see my pair pictured above) may edge more on the summery side, other pairs of mules are designed for the latter-part of the fall season, or potentially even into the winter. Also, with the rise of “seasonless” dressing, mules can certainly be incorporated into various ensembles, regardless of the month. Seasonless dressing provides an opportunity to pull “together pieces from across your wardrobe, regardless of whether they were designed for now or later,” to generate “more creative looks,” E. Stalder (2016) claims.

Looking for the perfect pair of fur-lined mules to carry you into the fall and winter? On the hunt for a a unique pair of heeled mules to pair with tights? Well, you’re in luck! Take a look at a few of my favorite pairs; all under $100!

Steve Madden Hugh Embellished Mule

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Sam Edelman Yumi Bow Mule

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Sole Society Caribou Mule Bootie

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Free People Butterfly Faux Fur Lined Mule

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TOPSHOP Villain Beaded Platform Mule

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H&M Powder Pink Satin Mules

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Seychelles Commute Heels

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NANETTE nanette lepore Madeline Ruffle Slingback Mule

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Betsy Johnson Embroidered Mule With Striped Heel

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Target Soho Cobbler Dhyana Woven Suede Block Heel Mules

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Enzo Angiolini Gillian Mule

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References

Abel, K. (2017, September 8). Why Manolo Blahnik Will Be Closing His Eyes During the Premiere of His New Movie. Footwear News. Retrieved from http://footwearnews.com.

Marshall, S. (2016, May 10). A Brief History of the Mule. AnOther Mag. Retrieved from http://www.anothermag.com.

Sirera. L. (2017, September 27). 13 mules that will take your fall footwear game to the next level. Hello Giggles. Retrieved from https://hellogiggles.com.

Stalder, E. (2016, December 15). What Is ‘Seasonless’ Dressing, and How Could it Improve Your Style? StyleCaster. Retrieved from http://stylecaster.com.

Trend Alert: Ruffles

Designers are often looking for unique details to diversify their garments, as a way to set them selves apart. One detail—ruffles—have become a staple on many pieces of clothing recently. From a tiered ruffle sleeve to a single row of ruffles edging a skirt, ruffles are a fun and flirty wear to add flare to an ensemble! In the outfit below, I adore the ruffle detail on the sleeves and the hem of the crop top, and they complement the slight ruffle on the edging of the shorts.

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

Often, when people think of the word “ruffle” images of young girls, bright pink and overly “girly” styles flood their minds. However, ruffles have infiltrated the fashion industry and can be seen in multiple different styles of dressing, from classic to edgy. Take a look at some of my favorite ruffled garments to get inspiration for your next shopping trip!

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Where to Shop This Trend?

Forever 21

Tiered Ruffle Blouse

Ruffle Sleeve Mini Dress

Scuba Knit Ruffle-Hem Pants

Chambray Ruffle Wrap Dress

Boohoo

Aurora Wrap Ruffle Hem Mini Skirt (I own it in pink!)

Evie Ruffle Detail Wrap Over Blouse

Martha Striped Cold Shoulder Ruffle Top 

Nordstrom

Chelsea28 Ruffle Scuba Dress

Charles Hem Ruffle Shift Dress 

Topshop Ruffle Eyelet Lace Sweatshirt 

H&M

Jersey Top with Ruffles

Short Ruffles Top 

Ruffled Dress

Ruffle-Sleeved Cotton Blouse

Zara

Poplin Dress with Contrasting Ruffle

Jumpsuit Dress with Ruffled Sleeves

Ruffled Wrap Skirt

Revolve

Lovers + Friends Liv Dress

Endless Rose Asymmetrical Ruffle Mini Skirt

J.O.A Ruffle Neck Lace Mix Top

Cynthia Rowley Lace Cold Shoulder Mini Dress

Bloomingdale’s

Lucy Paris Stripe Cold-Shoulder Ruffle Top

Sandro Mystery Ruffle Trimmed Shorts

Rebecca Taylor Sleeveless Ruffle Dress

Athleisure: A Trend That’s Here To Stay

Athleisure refers to casual clothing — like yoga pants, sweat pants, and hoodies — that are designed to be worn both for exercising and for doing (almost) everything else, as defined by Merriam-Webster. Within the last few years, people have become increasingly more aware of their health and being active. Athleisure allows people to lead a healthier lifestyle, while still partaking in their daily activities. In the 1950s, a woman would put on her workout clothing to take a walk around the neighborhood, then shower and put on a dressier outfit before heading to the grocery store, out to lunch, etc. Presently, a woman can slip into her leggings, tank top and sneakers to hit the gym, shopping mall, a restaurant or anywhere that her day takes her! Athleisure, which many predicted to be a fleeting trend, has proven its permanence with its utter practicality and versatility.
The stylish athletic gear promotes healthy living and active lifestyles. For example, as a college student, I put on athleisure every morning on y way to class. Because I am comfortable in shorts and a tank top (especially in the Georgia heat) and my sneakers, I am more apt to walk from class to class rather than riding the bus. In addition, once I finish my classes for the day, I am already dressed for the gym. Therefore, I have no need to return to my dorm before going to exercise.

The success of athleisure can also be seen in the multitude of designers and celebrities who have produced trendy, athletic clothing lines. Retailers like Lululemon, Nike, Athleta and Adidas specialize in athleisure. More exclusive lines such as, Ivy Park (co-founded by Beyonce), Fabletics by Kate Hudson and CALIA by Carrie Underwood were created as a result of athleisure’s rising popularity. Because athleisure started roughly around 2012, it is drifting further away from an impermanent trend to a lasting lifestyle.

Athleisure: A Trend That's Here To Stay

Shopping From The Sofa: Websites I’m Loving

While I do love strolling down the aisles at Nordstrom or trying on several pairs of shoes at DSW, there is also something quite convenient about online shopping. Sitting in my pajamas with a cup of coffee in my hand, I found myself engulfed in an activity I do best- online shopping. Considering the new summer trends and ease of ordering, below you will find a list of online retailers that I’m loving right now. Don’t hesitate to let comment your favorites, too!

  1. Revolve // With a variety of prices for any budget and the hottest trends in clothing, bags, shoes and jewelry, Revolve can be your one-stop-shop for all your fashionable needs this summer.
  2. Lulus // When you are in need of a dress for a specific occasion, chances are Lulus will have exactly what you are in search of. In fact, I currently have a dress in the mail from Lulus that I am hoping to wear to my cousin’s wedding this July!
  3. Tobi // Who doesn’t love great fashion and an even better deal? Tobi offers 50% your first order after signing up for their emails, and they are constantly have different promotions. Check it out!
  4. Asos // A British company, Asos, carries a wide range of clothing in unique styles, several sizes and varied prices. Whether you are searching for a specific item or simply perusing, Asos is certainly a place to look.
  5. Forever21 // The closer I approach age twenty-one, the more I am starting to realize that Forever21 is not a place I will be shopping the rest of my life. But, I do still find the occasional trendy piece at a great price. Forever21 is most definitely the best for any “fast-fashion” needs.
  6. ModCloth // Personally, I don’t shop at ModCloth often, but I do have a few cocktail dresses from the website that usually earn me many compliments. Their merchandise is unique and whimsical with a vintage twist, which can certainly make you stand out!
  7. Romwe // Like Forever21, Romwe is another great online retailer for “fast-fashion” pieces. They merchandise is certainly very low-budget, but also not top-of-the-line quality, which makes their pieces great for trends and items you might not keep in your closet for more than a year.
  8. H&M // I much prefer shopping at H&M online rather than in their brick and mortar stores, as their sheer volume of merchandise usually overwhelms me. Therefore, the online experience at H&M is usually much more enjoyable!

Happy shopping!

 

Suede & Stones

Looking for your summer statement piece? Well, I certainly have the versatile bauble for you! Suede & Stones is an Etsy-based, jewelry company, which I discovered through Instagram.  I have been following the company on social media for a few months and last week I finally decided to order one of the fabulous designs.

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2016.

Suede & Stones attaches a variation of agate stones, horns, arrowheads, shark teeth and other unique mediums to different colored suede on either side. Therefore, some of the pieces can be worn as both a necklace and a bracelet. With all products under $30, it is quite affordable to look incredibly chic!

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2016.

As the proud owner of a Gray x Gray Wrap, I have already worn it multiple times- as a bracelet, longer necklace and even a choker. Who knows; maybe even a second product is in my near future (shopaholicism is real thing, my friends). Check out Suede & Stones on Instagram and Etsy and don’t forget to place an order ASAP to stay on trend this summer!

From My Shelves: The Fashion Book

The Fashion Book…more like the Fashion Bible! Phaidon has managed to include over 200 years of fashion in a beautiful little book that fits in any woman’s handbag. From designers, models, and icons to photographers and even prestigious fashion colleges, The Fashion Book covers the key names in the fashion world in a mere 571 pages. Each entry includes an accompanying photograph of the individual or and illustration that pertains to the work or aesthetic of the individual. First published in 1998, The Fashion Book has seen many runways and photo-shoots since its original creation. Therefore, Phaidon created a new edition; just published in 2014. Although trends and styles have come and gone in the last seventeen year, Phaidon kept timeless icons and designers in addition to the new, fresh faces of the fashion world.

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

 I could spend hours in my pajamas, simply flipping through the pages of The Fashion Book. With the turn of each page comes increased knowledge of the men and women who have shaped the well-dressed world we live in today. Some of the most notable names include; Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Jacqueline Kennedy, Alexander McQueen, Kate Moss, Twiggy, Valentino, and so many more! Not to mention, the beautiful cover of the little work of art. The bold pink, black and white design is absolutely stunning and makes the book seem so chic.

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

If you are anything like me, you absolutely love learning about the history of fashion in order to mold your sense of style. These pages have been the utmost inspiration for me since opening the book on Christmas (thank you David!). I would highly recommend adding The Fashion Book to your literature collection!

Trend Alert: Palazzo Pants

Want something as comfy as pajamas yet as chic as a cocktail dress? Well, you’re in luck! Although summer is slowly drawing to a close, it’s never too late to snag yourself a pair of fabulous palazzo pants.  

Whether I was sauntering to the beach or headed out to dinner, my palazzo pants were my “go-to” summer piece. Pair them with a simple tank, some fun baubles and wedges, and you have the perfect summer outfit! 

In last night’s #ootd to commemorate the end of summer, I slipped on my Lilly Pulitzer palazzo pants. A Warehouse Sale find, these pants are amazing AND they were a bargain! Don’t forget to get your online shop on (or do it the old fashion way), and find yourself a pair a spectacular palazzo pants!

©  Bridget Donahue, 2014

© Bridget Donahue, 2014

Top: Black Tank Top, Forever 21

Bottom: Iris Blue Loopy Elephant Palazzo Pants, Lilly Pulitzer

Shoes: Tan Wedges, Vince Camuto

Jewelry: Gold & Tortoise Link Watch, Michael Kors // Black & Gold Sunburst Pendant, House of Harlow

Tick Tock: Time to Shop

Looking at my watch and counting down the minutes until I was free to leave work, I couldn’t believe only 5 minutes had passed since I last checked. Twenty minutes later, my watch still read 8:35pm and I knew that it had gone to its eternal resting place in watch heaven. Well, at least its battery! This incident gave me the perfect excuse to upgrade my old, slighted rusted, and now broken watch. 

Walking into the Michael Kors Outlet store the next day, I knew exactly which watch I wanted (After several hours of online perusing, of course!). Gazing into the glass cabinet, I was ecstatic to find that they actually had the one I wanted! All I have to say is, Michael Kors has done it again because I’m absolutely in love with my new watch. Also, my beloved new arm candy was 25% off the regular price at any signature Michael Kors store. 

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

The Michael Kors Chain Link Watch in Tortoise and Gold is the ultimate watch for any girl who can’t decide between wanting a large boyfriend watch and a more dainty choice. Because of the chain links, the watch doubles as a fabulous bracelet! In addition, the combination of tortoise and gold enables it to be worn with casual outfits as well as any dressy ensemble. The Michael Kors label—MK—also holds a very special place in my heart, given my name. Are you sure its not for Mary Kate, Michael?

If you’re due for a new watch or simply want to treat yourself, hop on over to your nearest Michael Kors Outlet store, and find some fantastic arm candy! 

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

Raising the Hier

In honor of Mother’s Day, not only will I be celebrating my very own mother, but also new mother who is constantly in the spotlight. No other than Kate Middleton, or the more official title of the Duchess of Cambridge. This fabulous momma always looks stunning, as she cares for little George. It must be easy task raising a child who will one day rule the country; no big deal. To the contrary, being a mother is a lot of work, and Kate is constantly under public scrutiny, which adds immense pressure to her motherly duties.

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© E! Online

Kate must always make sure that George shares with other children at playgroups, eats his vegetables, takes daily naps, behaves at royal events, and visit his grandmother (at Buckingham Palace, of course). I thoroughly enjoy picking up an issue of People, to peruse an article of Kate’s flawless fashion and adorable little George. I cannot wait to see the prince grow up!

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© People

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© People

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© People

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© People

Credit to People

© People