Fashion Dialogue: Fashion Statement or Political Mistake?

I'm excited to introduce a new series of posts called "Fashion Dialogue"! Our bloggers will give their two cents on certain topics that we find interesting or controversial, and we'll share them here on the blog to get you all updated and thinking about happenings in the fashion world. Please feel free to comment your thoughts and opinions below, on our Facebook, or by email at !

Fast fashion brands such as Forever21, Urban Outfitters, and Zara have seen a great increase in popularity the past few years. Their clothing and accessories closely follow runway trends, essentially making it affordable for the middle and lower class to look like they just stepped out of Barney's or Vogue. These companies market to such a wide range of fashion styles, economic classes, and age groups (ages 5 years and up, basically) that they are able to put almost any sort of item on the market and expect to make sales. Naturally, there is bound to be at least one clothing article that is offensive to one person, but considered fashionable to another. Again, I think that fashion is a concept unique to each individual and I firmly believe that we should respect each other and all of our tastes. 

But let us consider, say, a denim jacket with a confederate flag printed on it. Vintage, of course. Or the popular grunge label Boy London and its brand logo that is a derivation of a Nazi symbol. There has never been any full blown protest or outrage against these items to prevent them from being sold worldwide and pulled off shelves. So what's the limit to what companies can sell? What about these items?

A sweater from Urban Outfitters in the vintage section that looks like it was taken from the scene of the Kent State shooting. (It was quickly sold to someone and taken off the website afterwards.) 

This kid's 'Western' style sweater from Zara. 

Is UO taking a stance on eating disorders with this shirt?

These three items were released within the past year or so, and immediately made the news in critical light. Here's what our bloggers have to say about the situations:

Ali Pinero: American apparel is another brand with its fair share of controversial designs/ads.  

Me: It makes me pretty sad that a big name brand like Zara somehow completely overlooked the fact that their shirt looked anything like what the Jewish prisoners would wear... I mean, all of these people had to have had a decent education before even entering the industry, and I'm pretty sure the Holocaust is never overlooked. 

As for UO, it feels like they have no respect at all for tragedies, as with the Kent State sweater, or people with depression or eating disorders. Like Ali mentioned, the same goes for American Apparel and its disregard for people with body image issues. (Although the entire body image thing can be set aside for a whole new dialogue.) 
I really like Zara, and I do happen to shop from UO sometimes, so these items make me really conflicted when I see something I like from them..

Anita Kapyur: "My opinion- sometimes designers cross lines to make a fashion statement and that is not ok. It's socially, politically, and culturally rude, insensitive, ignorant, and infuriating. Fashion should celebrate style and uniqueness and even take risks but there are certain limits that should not be crossed out of respect."

Mary Anderson: " Not only designers, but artists in general should focus on ways to create an impact or move their audiences (or consumers) without offending people. If you can't be creative without being offensive, then I personally think designers/artists haven't matured yet. 

What are some other examples of problematic clothing items? Accessories? Give us your feedback here or on Facebook, or through email if you'd like! We'll post a few standout comments in our next Fashion Dialogue post! 


BCL: Last Minute Guide

You wake up and check your phone only to notice that Facebook has reminded you that Baker College Limits is happening today and you totally forgot. You already promised that you'd go so now you're in a bit of a mess. What do you wear? Is it more like a public party with live music a la Sid 80s or a chill event unworthy of anything more than sweats and a free t-shirt?

That's were we come in! Read this quick guide to give you some ideas on what to wear to add to your (awesome) Baker College Limits experience!

Luckily today is going to be a warm one, a nice 71 degrees, unfortunately shadowed by the call for thunderstorms throughout the day.

With this in mind here are a few ideas to inspire you for BCL~!

Keep it Simple Grunge:
This look consists of a combination of different hues for a simple but edgy look. Stick to blacks, whites, and greys in plain jeans, shirts, and flannels to channel your inner grunge!

Credit: Street Fem
Keep it comfy
This look is all about freedom to move and dance along to the music. Go for flowy dresses, skirts, and tops. Add a jacket  for structure and warmth (because it's still a tad cool) and you're all set!

Credit Tuolomee

Keep it Boho
Is it a music festival if there is no one dressed in Bohemian fashion? To pull off this look go for funky yet relaxed patterns in softer colors and flowy everything. Sandals and boots are your best choices for this style.
Credit withlovebanke

Keep it Sporty

This look is all about athletic style wear mixed with everyday items. Go for sport themed tops, baseball caps, and sneaks to pull off this look!

Credit kaffka

Hopefully this short guide gave you a few ideas for your BCL outfit~!



Ok, so on a college student budget purchasing Louboutin heels may not be a priority right now, however you can have the next best thing with Christian Louboutin's first nail polish line! 

These electric hues will still turn heads, especially with a sensational bottle to match. The sharp shape is inspired by Mr. Louboutin's Ballerina Ultima 8-inch (yes-EIGHT INCH) heels! At about $50 a pop, it's a much friendlier price than the shoes ;) Add this to your wish list! 

Queen Bey even dares to wear the Ballerina Ultima's in her Green Light video: 


Where to buy: Sephora, Christian Louboutin e-store, Nordstorm, Neiman Marcus 
by Mary Anderson 


Oscar de la Renta

        Oscar de la Renta (1932-2014) by Mary A. 

        Rising through the competitive fashion ranks, Oscar de la Renta’s story is truly noteworthy. From dressing First Ladies' Michelle and Jackie O to making the everyday girl look regal, de la Renta has done it all !

                Born in the Dominican Republic in an elite family, he focused on painting at Madrid’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. His full skirts are evidence of his time at Balenciaga (an iconic and formerly haute couture brand) while his focus on femininity and strength of the woman is shown through his time being an assistant at Lanvin and also working at Elizabeth Arden. A Life Magazine cover kick started his career, making him a household name in the late 60’s.

               He broke racial barriers by designing for Balmain’s haute couture collections in the early 90’s. De la Renta has also been President twice (twice !) for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (basically Olympic gold for fashion designers) amongst other impressive accolades.

Balmain by de la Renta 1995

             The de la renta look is a true classic. The 1950’s and 60’s full shapes that are making a fast-fashion comeback today in circle, bell, and a-line skirt variations? You can thank de la Renta for that! But he always made sure that his looks were beautiful, feminine, but not stuffy nor severe. Case in point-his last collection is scattered with skirt suits and separates that are perfect for interviews, but also great for a day in the park with the eyelet crop-tops and gingham shorts (#youthful).   

Oscar de la Renta ss15

 Oscar de la Renta has been an inspiration for many popular designers today, such as Zac Posen, by making age nothing but a number for style and always placing classics first.  The world may have lost a legend, but his creations will always stay with us! 

Cleopatra, Butterflies and Easter Eggs: Esperanza 2014 Guide Part III

So traditionally (can I say traditionally if it's only been done once?), our guides go along with the Esperanza theme... But is the "Night at the Museum" really just one theme?

Our answer to that is... nope! It's many themes, and in this guide, we'll be styling to the Hall of Ancient Egypt, Butterfly, and Faberge exhibits.

The Cleopatra look is one of the most classic styles that iconic women through time have recreated for their own tastes. This gives us a wide range of looks to work with, but it all narrows down to three aspects: the eyeliner, the jewelry, and the tunic dress (or similar.) The Butterfly and Faberge exhibits kind of lend themselves to their own themes: flowery and bejeweled. Dresses for those two fall under many categories, so you can coordinate your makeup and accessories accordingly once you pick your dress.

The theme colors for Esperanza this year are black and gold, but this season's runway palette has consisted of all pastels colors, black and white, and warm jewel tones like
royal blues, brick reds, jade greens, goldrenrod (TFW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hehehe), and coffee browns. So don't limit yourself to the standard LBD (although those are always a good fallback and classic) and add to your color scheme this season!

The Original Cat Eyeliner Look

all images from Google search "cleopatra eyeliner"

I'm not the resident makeup guru (maybe she'll make a special guest appearance somewhere), so here are some pictures I found of a few slightly different styles.

Bibs Aren't Just for Babies

The bib necklace has been popular for a while now, and it doesn't seem to be going out of phase any time soon. It's a quick and easy option to immediately make an outfit look multiple degrees dressier. Throw a metal plate bib necklace on a sweater and go from office to evening out. A relaxed maxi can become a homecoming dress with a glittery, jeweled piece.

An alternative version to the bib is the torc styled necklace, or similar. You may be more familiar with the torc bracelet, but torc necklaces are also a simple alternative to fancy statement pieces. 

h&m | asos | h&m    

Tectunic Shifts

That was supposed to be a play on 'tectonic shifts'... like tectonic plates... it's been a long week and a real struggle....

But shift dresses have become my new favorite this year because they're so easy to style up and down, you can rewear them for multiple occasions! Although I'm personally going for floor length chiffon (aka rewearing my prom dress hehe), the shorter dresses are always a popular choice for some reason, so here are all of the ones that I picked out for the exhibit themes!

UO | nasty gal | nasty gal

(So even though I was really partial to black and golds during the time I browsed for dresses, remember, you don't have to wear just black and/or gold!!!! Branch out! Please don't make me the only one wearing pastel pink at the dance.........)

romwe | f21 | zara

What I really like about these dresses is that they can be easily dressed up or down. Despite the print or the sequins, you can make it work for a day in the office or a date night out.

romwe | UO | f21

These dresses are just about everywhere in style... But that just shows how much leeway you have thanks to the really broad theme!

For more ideas/buying options for accessories and dresses, you can check out my Luvocracy here, on which I will be constantly adding choices as I also shop for Esperanza! 

Thank you for reading and remember to come out to McMurtry Commons this Friday, October 31st, 1-5PM for fashion advice and makeup help (maybe mini makeup makeovers?)!!!! We will have Halloween treats for the first few people who stop by, and a photobooth to show off your #riceootd! 

Esperanza on a Dime: Esperanza 2014 Guide Pt II

Welcome to our low-cost Esperanza guide! 

Whether you refuse to spend a lot of money on Esperanza

or you don't have a large budget

whatever your reason to be reading this post, 6100main will give you tips and ideas to maximize your dollar and resources to feel like this:

or like this:

Grab a paper and pen and get ready to take some notes!

Option 1: Closet Raiding
Friends: Sometimes raiding a friend's closet is a great way to mix up your outfits. Maybe your friend shares your shoe size and has the perfect heel to match your dress. Maybe they aren't going to Esperanza (and aren't bitter about not going) and have a dress you can borrow. Talk to your friends about something they have. You can make it a trade and promise to let them borrow something of your's!
College: Maybe you're feeling bold and you can suggest a college swap where people bring down their unwanted Esperanza ready items (jewelry, shoes, dresses, dress alternatives) and trade items!

Option 2: Thrifting

Thrifting is a great away to find Alternative Esperanza outfits (see post here) but also finding dresses as well!

1) Thrifting Basics: When thrifting items, make sure to inspect it before buying; are there holes, stains, signs of wear?  Also check the washing instructions! You don't want to buy a dry clean only item that will cost you more to keep than what you paid for it.

2) Goodwill, Goodwill, Goodwill: I love Goodwill for thrifting mainly because it is a non-profit company so the prices stay low as opposed to some other thrift and consignment shops. Goodwill is great for jackets and skirts. The jackets are usually around $5 and skirts are about $4. They also tend to have old formal dresses you could buy as well. Pro-tip: try to go to a Goodwill located near areas with higher incomes as the donations tend to be better.

Option 3: Deal-Finding
 Low Cost Stores: This suggestion may not be new to you. Stores such as Forever 21, Agaci, and Charlotte Russe are good places to go to find cute dresses in the $20+ range. However, there also are stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls that have plenty of cute dresses for under $20. I cannot count the times I have found a cute dress for $11 or less in Ross. They also have plenty of cute shoes, bags, and jewelry that are reasonably to cheaply priced.

Note: There is a Ross in the same Shopping Plaza as Fiesta so all you have to do is get on the shopping shuttle, get off at Fiesta and walk down to the Ross! There is also a Marshall's across from the Galleria on the Forever 21 side

1) Patience: This tip applies more to the latter type of stores (Ross, etc.) These stores have racks of dresses to go through and even though you may get lucky and find a cute cheap dress right away, its going to take a little more time than you may be used to. Sometimes the cheap dresses are hidden away between other more expensive dresses, so don't give up on a section if its out of your budget!

2) A Plan: This tip applies to both types of stores equally. You definitely want to go in with some basic idea of what you want to where. Anything like the type of dress, color, style, or length, just something to give yourself somewhere to start so you don't get overwhelmed (especially in Forever 21) 

3) The Clearance/Sale Rack: This tip applies to both but more so the Ross type stores. Clearance will always be your best friend. Especially in the Ross type stores because the regular prices are already fairly low. Clearance tends to bring nice dresses into a really exciting price range. Places like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 often have promotions on their sale racks as well (50% off sale, Buy one Get one)

4) Improvement Factor: Sometimes you'll find a dress that is cheap but isn't exactly what you were looking for. Depending on the style of the dress, you can make it much better by adding accessories and shoes to transform it into something you'll like better. Plus the money you saved on the dress can go towards the other items!

Option 4: DIY

You can DIY any part of your Esperanza outfit: clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories. Here are a few of my favorite DIY sites for you to look through and possibly find a project to try!


As always, Pinterest has plenty of DIY projects (that barely anyone actually does) for you to try and there is also an Esperanza DIY Round-up you want to check out here!

Hopefully you learned something new from this guide that you can use not only for Esperanza but in life in general so you can look awesome without spending a whole lot!


Alternative Esperanza: Esperanza 2014 Guide Pt I

Here's a guide for Esperanza alternatives! There are different reasons to show up to Esperanza dressed differently, maybe you don't like dresses, aren't willing to spend money, or just feel funky fresh for the day. No matter your mood, 6100main has your back!

This guide will be divided into sections based on option.

Part one is all about dress alternatives! We'll cover low cost options in part two!
As always don't feel afraid to share your ideas or ask our staff your burning fashion questions! You can ask questions through our Facebook page or use the #wwrw (what would Rice wear) tag/mention +6100Main  on twitter!

Get ready because this is a pretty long post~!

Part 1: Dress Alternatives

Option 1: The Two Part "Dress"

This outfit is a skirt and top combo. 
What makes this look so great is its versatility, sizing options, and comfort!
Many people complain about not being able to find dresses that fit them perfectly. With a top/skirt combo you can ensure that both parts fit you perfectly! Even better, you'll be able to use the top and skirt after Esperanza with other pieces you already own!

What to look for:
Tops: You want to try and go for either flowy blouses, tops with a strong shape, or bustier-types of tops. Peplums are an option as well. Try to stay away from cotton shirts that look like cotton, meaning the more it looks/feels like a top you want to sleep in, the harder it will be to make it look more formal

Skirts: You are pretty much free when it comes to skirts but I do recommend skipping the cheap short bodycon skirts found in most stores (You might be able to get away with a midi length skirt but I'd just skip it if your not confident in your styling skills). They usually are made from jersey cotton and that fabric is not easy to make it look formal

Here are a few examples of different combinations
(Some blogger's names unknown, All pictures are property of the original owner)

If you are especially brave or just don't like the formal look, pair a simple graphic tee with an elegant skirt for a fun look~!

Accessories are what can really elevate your style~! They can make a cute, but casual outfit into an elegant outfit fit for a dance. Forever 21, Target, Wet Seal, and Agaci are your go-to places to find cheap jewelry that look outstanding. Gold and Silver accents are always a good choice for elegant nights as are jewels~!

If you are wearing a solid top or an outfit without a lot of color, statement necklaces and broaches are your best friends.

Have a lot of patterns going on in your outfit? Try pinning your hair up and going for bold earrings or even jeweled ear cuffs

Option 2: Pantsuit 

Now don't freak out just yet. These aren't the pantsuits Hilary Clinton made famous, these are ultra comfy stylish two piece outfits that give you more options and more room to bust out your dance moves on the floor.
What you want to look for is coordinating jacket and pant combos with a cute button up top for the inside (or bare that chest! Its up to you). You have the option to wear pants or shorts for your bottom, whatever makes you comfortable.

What to look for:
Before moving on, you should decide how you want to wear your pantsuit.
Do you want to have a matching set? Do you want to go for solid colors or a bold pattern?

Jackets: First of all you should be aware of how you plan to wear your jacket. Do you want it to be fitted, loose, or do you plan to wear it as a cape? When jacket shopping this is something you want to keep in mind. Secondly you also want to decide if you are planning on mixing-and-matching or not. More concisely, will your jacket be solid or patterned?

Pants/Shorts: Similar to jacket shopping, you want to decide your fit. Do you want to have a fitted pant or a loose, flowing pant? Also will your bottoms be patterned or solid?

Tops: The biggest thing with tops is to look out for fit and material.
 Since you are going to be layering your jacket and top think about the following: if your jacket is fitted, go for a fitted top, if your jacket is not anything pretty much goes~! Its going to get hot and so you want a shirt that won't suffocate you.

Here are a few example outfits

Not quite a pantsuit but close enough! You could always add a blazer or sports-coat to make it more formal or wear as such and go for an androgynous look~! 

Also not quite a pantsuit but a romper a good alternative to a top/bottom combo

Honestly, go wild with the accessories, but keep in mind a few things:
1) If you have a fully patterned suit, bold accessories may be too much but are still totally acceptable
2) The opposite is true for a solid suit, go all out with accessories~!

That's all for this post. Hopefully we were able to spark your imagination to create a rockin Esperanza outfit!
Like the options covered in this post but don't have a large budget? Look our for Part 2 which covers low cost options for dresses and the options we presented here in this guide!


copyright © . all rights reserved. designed by Color and Code

grid layout coding by