Laurel: How to Be Fashionable and Sustainable

Given the recent midterm elections, it got me thinking a lot about policies, especially environmental policies. To me, some of the most important votes are the ones about our environment and how we choose to treat it. Thinking too much about its current state of the environment could get you depressed quite easily but what always uplifts me is the amount I can do as an individual to change that.

Now, we all know by now to use a reusable water bottle, take reusable grocery bags to the story and so on. There are tons of tips and tricks to make your life more sustainable: use a soap bar of shampoo to not use a plastic bottle, ditch those plastic straws. But did you ever think about the clothing you wear daily is both capable of harming the environment and helping it depending on how you shop?

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Clothing is being vastly overproduced around the world with many of the unsold items being wasted. This creates a chain of problems for the environment especially considering how harmful some clothing material can be to the earth when not disposed of properly. That is why I have made the conscious effort to shop more sustainably and have created a short list of the brands you can shop to do the same.

 One of the easiest ways to keep on trend while remaining sustainable is by shopping at stores that make their clothing out of recycled materials. One notable company is Everlane, who now makes winter coats out of water bottles. Of, you can opt to shop local with a brand that uses old fabrics, deconstruct them and turn them into something new like Elliot Clothing who uses recycled materials such as repurposed raw silk.

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Then, there are other brands that don’t produce the item you want until you buy it. What that means is that they are not overproducing so their materials will not go to waste if no one buys a certain style. Though this slows down the buying process, it forces us to think about how much we buy compared to how much is produced. A great brand that keeps demand and supply curve steady is Only Child based out of Oakland, CA.

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Some of the biggest negative environmental issues that arise from clothing brands are poor factories that pollute the air and create unsafe human working conditions. Everlane has been transparent about their factories and working conditions making a movement to be completely plastic free in packaging while creating safe environments for humans to work.

 Other notable brands that focus on environmental sustainability are Reformation, J. Crew and Madewell. Both J. Crew and Madewell have made strides toward sustainable clothing by repurposing old jeans to insulate houses and creating eco-friendly jeans. One of the easiest forms is simply shopping at local thrift stores and repurposing clothing so it does not add waste to the world.

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I encourage you to take more care in where you shop. Anything from workout leggings to swimsuits are being made out of plastic that is repurposed. There are so many more brands trying to create a world of fashion sustainably.  

Alex: 5 Fashion Essentials for All COM Majors

Alright, let’s get right down to it: if you’re reading this, you’re probably a COM student. But are you really a COM student if you don’t dress the part? Whether you’re an FTV, JO, or any of the MC majors, on thing you’ve gotta nail down in your time at BU is the quintessential COM look. Now, I know what you’re thinking–“But Alex! What is the COM look? How can I be as trendy and fashionable as you and the rest of the CAs?” While it takes years to perfect, you can start off by following these five tips:
1. Denim Jacket
Denim Jacket
Now some of you might be wondering, why start with a jacket? And to that I say, don’t question me. The denim jacket is a staple of COM fashion. It truly ties any ensemble together. Headed to a COM 101 lecture? Denim jacket. It’ll help you blend into the crowd and keep your feeble hopes of not getting called on alive. Spending a night out with friends? Denim jacket. You’ll stay warm and fashionable, letting everyone around you know that you’re “not like other guys/girls/people”. Late for an appointment with undergraduate advising? Denim jacket. It won’t get you there on time, but it might score you a compliment from your advisor. All in all, this jacket is the number one COM essential in my opinion; it’s the best way to broadcast to the world that you wish the 90s never ended and you don’t care who knows it. Bonus points if you’ve got a WTBU button on it.
2. Graphic Tee Shirt
Graphic TeeHere’s where you can really let your style run wild. Have a little fun expressing your personality and showing how unique you are by wearing the same Pulp Fiction shirt as every other film bro in COM! A good place to pick these kinds of shirts up is in the boys’ section at Target or the dad section at Goodwill. The best part about these graphic tees is they help you make friends. The more obscure your reference, the more likely you are to have an instant connection! And if your reference is too obscure, I guarantee that at least five people will come up to you pretending they know what it is, so it’s always a win-win. Bonus points if the shirt is ironic. Double bonus points if it references you in a familial role you clearly do not occupy (i.e., “World’s Coolest Grandpa”).
3. Cuffed Pants
Cuffed Pants
Everyone in COM has somewhere to be; we’re all get-stuff-done type of people. And nothing says get stuff done like cuffed pants. Whether they’re long or short, slacks or jeans, high-waisted or cargo, the pants must be cuffed. We can’t risk having our day stopped by anything coming even close to catching on our feet. I know if I trip and fall during the day I feel like going home and eating ice cream and praying everyone who saw me trip all get collective amnesia before I have to see them again. So why even risk it by going no-cuff. But beyond that, COM kids all share a collective sense of what’s fashionable and what’s not. Cuffed pants are in. Victorian era men would scoff and women would faint. Everybody wants to see your ankles. Why not go ahead and give the people what they want? Bonus points if they’re patterned. Double bonus if it’s a ridiculous pattern but you somehow manage to pull it off.
4. Docs
Docs
There seems to be a bit of contention over this fashion point in the COMmunity. “What about Converse? Vans? Any other shoe that looks even remotely like the ones Tyler put out with Flower Boy?” And while I recognize and validate these arguments, I simply cannot bring myself to confirm them, and here’s why: while you might see a myriad of these kinds of shoes shuffling through COM halls on any given summer, spring, or even fall day, as soon as first snow hits, they’re as good as gone. And nothing replaces them in such great number as the Doc Martens that seem to materialize on everyone’s feet come December. It almost feels like BU hands them out during orientation. There’s just something about the weight of the shoes, the thickness of the soles that says, “You’ve got this!” even in the soul crushing, sunless, winter days. Bonus points if you’ve got the flowery ones.
5. Tattoo/Piercing
Tattoo
While there are a lot of things that scream COM, nothing screams COM quite like pain. Every COM major has seen some pain; what other reason would we have to be driven to these thankless majors (except for PR kids, they for sure have everything figured out)? Tattoos and piercings are the perfect combination of pain and pride in said pain that makes COM what it is. These monuments to self mutilation show that COM kids have the dedication, drive, and possibly, lack of forethought, to not only be exposed to and repeatedly jabbed with (a) needle(s) for  hours at a time, but also that they’re willing to pay someone to do the jabbing. Whether it’s a small image always hidden by a shirtsleeve/pant leg or a face full of metal, tattoos and piercings show that COM kids are always willing to fo the extra mile to stay fashion forward. Points if the tattoo/piercing is COM related. Double points if your friend did the tattooing/piercing for you.

Laurel: NYFW Essentials

New York fashion week has come and gone, but its trends will last forever…or at least for the spring season. 

Whether you care about staying on top of the trends or not, we are all sucked into the rabbit hole of the aftermath of fashion weeks around the world. You may think you are being original when you buy 90’s wear at the store, but the only reason it is being sold to begin with is because of the influence of these major designers. It’s a never failing and everlasting marketing mastermind that has been constructed and tailored by the fashion industry. 

So, since it’s not going anywhere and we are never going to stop buying clothes why not embrace it? Here are the top trends from fashion week and a guide of how to take the runway and make it wearable. We all know, thanks to celebrities like Lady Gaga and Rhianna, sometimes runway outfits can be a little….out there so I’ve given you some ideas on how to transform them into your wardrobe.  

First things first, gone are the times of your jeans being the dreaded and uncomfortable wardrobe essential and welcome to the bold statement pant. Otherwise known as “fancy pants” quite literally, these are anything from jeans to embroidery, fringe, flare or even ruffles. On the runway, you may find sheer or even two different colored legs and if that is a little too far out of your comfort zone, stores like Anthropologie and Madewell have you covered with some spiced up basics. 

Fashion week 1

Jeans 1 Jeans 2

Moving on we have a personal favorite of mine…pastels. Who doesn’t love a good color scheme and a color coordinated wardrobe? You may laugh now but when you tailor your wardrobe colors to complement each other your outfit possibilities multiply. On the runway, you may find head to toe one solid and baggy pastel ensemble but stores likeAritzia offer a more refined and sleek look for everyday wear. 

Fashion Week 2 pastel

Next up we have bright bold and the way to tell when someone over edited their Instagram picture…saturated! This is a fun twist to include in your spring wardrobe and especially as we start itching toward those summer months and beach vacations. What better way to daydream about a tropical oasis then dressing like you’re already on vacation? If all saturated isn’t your thing try bold tops with a basic pant or vice versa. If bright is your enemy but you want to stay #hip then opt for a colorful statement jewelrypiece instead. 

FAshion week 3 saturated Saturated 2

Finally, one of my personal favorites—fringe! Fringe is the new black if you ask me. Now this one can be done in many ways. Wear it head to toe like the runway models or get a ~fringe-y~ bag or accessories. Either way you’re going to look like the coolest kid on the block!

Fashion Week 4 Earrings

Now, go forth fashionably.

Kate: How To Dress for the Boston Winter

I have a morning ritual that includes checking my Weather Channel app from the warmth and coziness of my bed.  After a morning delay on campus because of Winter Storm Janis and a few texts from family members reminding me to wear a hat, I was a little nervous to see what today would bring.  High of 8 degrees with the windchill in the double digit negatives.  Woof.  While I love Boston, my answer for the tried and true question “What’s your least favorite thing about BU?” is the cold.

In the past, I always traded practicality for dressing cute (i.e. the time I wore cropped pants and loafers when the high was 3 degrees).  However, now that I’m a senior, I’ve accepted that dressing warm is only thing to get me through the below freezing, snowy, blistery, icy weather that comes with a Northeast winter.  And here are my four rules for survival.

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Rule #1: Invest in a long coat.  I came to college with one of those michelin man, short North Face down coats without a hood and that was potentially the biggest mistake of my young college career.  Not only did I often come home with snow-soaked hair but the wind always found a way to blow up my back which was just not appealing.  Christmas of my sophomore year, I invested in the longer version above and have never looked back.  Pick one with a detachable hood and maybe even a fashionable little waist tie and you’ll be happy as a clam.

Rule #2: You can never have enough scarves.  I’m a scarf horder. You can’t really see it in this picture but I am currently wearing a massive, knit infinity scarf that has been my life saver in Boston.  Sometimes I walk around with it wrapped over my head and around my face and let me tell you, it is very warm.

Rule #3: Wool socks are back in style.  Freshman year, my dad bought me wool socks and I scoffed.  Three years later, I’m biting my tongue.  I even purchased these J.Crew Camp Socks in every color during an after Christmas sale.  Warmth is always stylish.

Rule: #4: Snow boots are a must.  After three years of pretending that my leather riding boots would get me through winter (shocker…they don’t), I finally bought a Northeastern favorite, L.L. Bean Duck Boots, seen here.  I am in love. They are great for snow, rain, and ice and keep me from wiping out on slick spots down Comm Ave.

And there you have it folks. Don’t end up like me, spending your first time three years as an icicle.  Practical is always fashionable.

Kate: London vs. Boston

Hello again from London!

I hope everyone has been having an amazing semester back in Boston and I am looking forward to joining you all in just over a month!  For the past seven weeks, I have been completing the internship portion of my abroad programme and I am happy to report it has been a successful experience! I chose to intern with a small fashion PR firm in central London who work with a variety of clients. I’ve always been interested in fashion PR but I’ve never known if it was exactly what I wanted to do so I decided, why not give it a try in one of the fashion capitals of the world?!

The internship was definitely a learning experience and the best way to get immersed in the culture and work life of London.  Here are the four most valuable (and fun!) things I learned at my internship:

 

  1. Difference in the style of journalism. Each day, I scanned through the local daily papers like The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Telegraph for fashion coverage and mentions of our clients. Here, everything is so much more sensational and almost reminds me of the National EnquirerThe Sun even features a nude photo on page three everyday! No daily paper in America would get away with that!
  2. Running PR events. During my time, I helped the team with three client events including our major fall press day.  A press day is basically when you invite all local journalists to your showroom to see you client’s new collections. It’s a really important day for the agency and I learned a ton preparing for and helping at the event.
  3. Sending out press samples. This aspect of my internship may have been favorite.  A couple times a day, journalists sent us stories they were working on so we could send them clothes from our clients that could be featured in their publication.  It was my job to pick out the clothes and accessories and send them to the journalist.  This helped me learn what types of items look best when photographed and the difference between still life shots and model shots.  It tapped into my shopaholic tendencies a bit and I loved it!
  4. The lingo. For the first week of my internship, I was so confused when I would come into work and people would ask if I was alright. Did I look sick? Tired? Sad? I couldn’t figure it out.  Nope, that is just a normal greeting like “what’s up.”  Other confusing terms? A jumper is a sweater. A gillet is a vest. Rocket is arugula. A biscuit is a cookie. Chips are French fries and crisps are chips. The bin is the trashcan. And don’t forget to say cheers before leaving for the day!

Now that the internship is over, I just have my last class and final! I can’t believe I only have two weeks left in this amazing city and I will be sad to leave but it will be good to be home with my family for Christmas.

Happy Holidays COM Family!