Winter Whites

Let's throw that pre-Memorial Day/post-Labor Day rule in the trash.

Because why should we have to follow fashion guidelines that make absolutely no sense??

I mean, I wouldn't wear flip flops in 30 degrees or wear or a merino wool turtleneck at a beach but that's just common sense, rules we follow to make our bodies comfortable depending on seasonal conditions. What I like to call necessary fashion rules. Unless you have a strange desire to freeze your ass off.

Then there's the other category of fashion rules that I hate focusing my energy on -- rules that were invented decades to centuries ago that are probably rooted in misogyny and myths that hold zero truth. For example: why, exactly, can't socks be paired with open-toed shoes? I feel that this method is a way for fashionistas to add something interesting to the mix, or simply to keep our feet warm because we really want to wear our spring clogs come December.

The same goes for white pants, the oldest fashion rule that only people who actually aren't involved in fashion care about. Ironic, yes? I've been going through a strange funk (which will be discussed on the blog in the next few days) that's rooted in boredom and being reminded of my teenage angst from being home for break, and I've come to realize in the past that the only way to get out of funks is to, well, wait it out. But immersing yourself in fashion makes these funks so much bearable! Shopping for a new wardrobe will usually do the trick, or even better, intentionally breaking the above fashion rules I discussed. Just like breaking the patriarchy, this is a really fun task.

Top by Zara (or try this one from Zara). Pants by Mango (similar ones by Madewell). Glitter socks and sunglasses by Urban Outfitters. Shoes by Adidas. 

Unlike some people, I'm not going to spend a paragraph discussing the ~right~ way to break this rule. That's like adding more rules to a rule you're attempting to eliminate, and that goes against all rebellion involved in my master plan. Breaking one rule should imply breaking all the rules you wish to be broken. Go ahead, wear what you want! Wearing white pants alone in December is already breaking a so-called rule, but wearing these with white shoes (of all the shoes I brought home for break!!) breaks yet another rule, and so on. Instead, wear something that you've been dying to wear for ages but you never had the guts to do so. Like, a pirate-esque (or clown-esque -- you decide) top, funky sleeves and ruffled collar included, and glitter socks to add a little color (and fun) in a neutral outfit. These socks immediately make me want to attend a party, which will unfortunately not be happening tomorrow night because instead I'll be working. This lack of New Year's celebration almost forces me to wear these socks to both make my outfit look cool as hell and to be in party mode when I actually cannot attend one. I'm even wearing sunglasses in the winter!! For some odd reason this is not common, even though the sun is out year-round. Something I will never come to understand, just like not being able to wear white pants in a season that is associated with snow. 

You can now call yourself a rule-breaker. Feels good, doesn't it?

Photos taken at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

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Fashion Film

Have any of my loyal Instagram followers been wondering about this post?


Even if you haven't taken two seconds to even attempt to remember my promise to reveal this documentary, I'll pretend that you all have been desperate to see this short video, because it's finally here!

I was featured in my first documentary! 

Not that big of a deal, considering it's just my friend's short, four minute long video that she had to turn in for her video production final... but it was pretty cool to talk about fashion and my passion for it (you know I love to rhyme these two words) on video. 

Anyways..... go ahead and click play! It'll only take 3 minutes and 52 seconds of your time, and you'll be able to see shots of me looking cooler than I actually am and also see two others talk about fashion (including one of my roommates!). 


What to Wear When: It's Holiday Party Season

But you really don't feel like wearing a cocktail dress or sparkly tights or pumps or, God forbid, anything that will show your hairy winter legs.

Or, in other terms, it's also finals season so your effort to get dressed in the morning has drastically decreased, and this lack of effort also applies to these infamous holiday parties. Let me first ask: why do these parties exist? Sometimes presents are exchanged but other times they are not and they only consist of christmas lights; holiday tunes (or, nowadays, Hamilton??); well-dressed people conversing about their pets, feminism, or the election; and a lot of picture taking (polaroids are a must!). They really are just like any other Dull Adult Party, but a stigma surrounds the huge cluster of them: you have to look your best. Similar to the rules for any other party, but heightened to a certain level that seems almost impossible, and that is romanticized by Instagram because let's face it: no one really looks this good in real life:

Photo from Courtney Trop's Instagram, or the fashion/music blogger in charge of Always Judging

Apart from the ~deep analysis~ of how social media really screws us over for achieving our most desired looks (I've definitely been watching too much Black Mirror (season 3, episode 1, if anyone is interested)), holiday parties are difficult and sometimes more work than it's worth. Kind of like wearing a full face of makeup that you're not even comfortable in -- was it really worth it?

But parties should be fun! It's Christmas (or whichever holiday you celebrate), there shouldn't be this upsetting stigma around the most wonderful time of the year!

I'm here to change that (as I always am with every fashion dilemma I stumble upon). I'll make a fantasy where pants are acceptable and you're allowed to cover both your arms and neck, and you can still reclaim your ~holiday charm~ while most of your body is covered. It's cold!!!

When you've been stress eating because finals so you can't comfortably wear that tight dress, and sweats are the only solution:

Joggers by Anthropologie. Turtleneck by Asos. Tank by Urban Outfitters (or try this beaded one). Boots by Topshop.
Photos shot by Maddie.

I'd like to make a claim and state that fancy joggers are the definition of 2016. Who knew they even existed? Designers were probably observing the mess that is this year (19 more days until this cursed year is over, btw), and they decided it would be best to make sweatpants acceptable in public, and even in high fashion, because everyone is so over 2016 that we can only reside to sweats to get through the day. So commence the fancy sweats! Maybe try silk ones, or chiffon, or even velvet, a.k.a. the fabric of this year. Velvet seems so fitting for a holiday party! The holiday party I attended in 2015 incorporated me wearing a velvet turtleneck LBD, shown here:

                              Photo from my personal Instagram (follow it along with @fracturedaesthetic if you'd like!).

which seems more suitable than sweatpants, of all clothing items, but I decided it was time to switch things up and stay true to the inner comfort in me. So I slipped on my new pair of velvet joggers that literally feel like pajamas (my writing professor even asked me if I ever forgot to take them off before going to bed), and felt, well, unready to attend a party. But that doesn't mean I didn't look the part! Something about velvet fixes every conflict -- how can it not when it literally feels like a cloud? I squeezed on a tight black turtleneck because this seems to always be part of my outfit template when it gets cold outside, and to ~fancify~ it I layered a red eyelet tank to give a shout out to Christmas with half of the holiday colors and to add unnecessary layers that seem to go along with the party season. I finished the look with black ankle boots, gold heel and all, to make yet another shoutout to the holiday but to also make sweats even more sophisticated. Looks like it worked, and I didn't even actually wear this to a holiday party. Hopefully it will come to good use when (if??) I go to one in the next 13 days. Maybe New Year's??

When your Levi's have been glued to your body and you can't seem to peel them off just to go to a holiday party:

A photo posted by natalie (@nataliegeisel) on
Top by Zara (or try this other Zara blouse). Turtleneck by Asos . Levi's jeans by Anthropologie. Bracelet by Madewell.
Photo from my personal Instagram.

Ever since I bought my first pair of Levi's two weeks ago they have been literally stuck on my body, like they're the only saving grace I have to get me through the rest of this semester. So how does one go about when their obsession with their new jeans has not yet died, but they have a party to attend at 9?
I'm creating a world where pants are acceptable at holiday parties, remember? Just like the previous outfit, I opted for a skintight turtleneck because it's cold and it seems to be the best base layer for events like this. I did the unnecessary layering thing again but instead went for an even more extra top to make up up for the casual jeans, and as for the shoes? You can use your imagination here because they're obviously not shown in the above picture (where I actually attended a holiday party!). The above boots that I wore with the joggers would work perfectly here, but also these clogs with these socks would work just as well. 

Or we could throw all of these ideas away and just wear tacky holiday sweaters. Is that too overdone?


A Gift Giving Guide

from Vogue Brazil 2013

We're now a week into December, so it's official -- the holiday's are here. Is this post-Thanksgiving funk over yet?

It sure feels like it!

I've been playing Horchata on repeat since last Tuesday turned into Wednesday.

Well, after my two papers and one final (which will be over one week from now!!), the holiday lights will finally turn on and my mind will only be wrapped in tinsel and the anxiety of miserably failing to choose gifts that my family will actually enjoy. The one negativity of this wonderful, wonderful season. Everyone has their flaws: always late to everything, never remembers to refill the Brita, always orders the most expensive thing at a restaurant, etc. Mine happens to be gift giving.

Am I alone in this?

That can't be possible -- everyone nowadays is desperate for the perfect gift and our tastes have increased to new levels that could never match what our loved ones could even perceive in the art of gift giving. I happen to be one of those whose taste cannot translate to other people's ideas in gifts; I am part of the problem. Some years I only ask for a sum of money because I just know that I will never be satisfied with what others will get for me, no matter how much effort and love is put into the said presents. How screwed is that???

To solve this dilemma, I will map out a sort of guide to help those in need. I may be terrible at giving, but I'm damn good at knowing what I want, so we'll use my own preferences to provide some suggestions for both giving and including on your Christmas (or other holiday) list. Yes, the holidays are not only about gifts, I know, but it can make this season so much fun, especially when fashion is involved.

Every year for as long as I can remember, I've compiled a list that mainly revolves around clothing, because I'm the kind of girl who would rather have a coat that'll last me six years rather than a cat calendar that will hide in my desk for six years. Speaking of coats, let's talk about those for a quick second:

This one from Madewell seems like it'll hit two birds with one stone: keep me warm and make my '80s androgyny dreams come true, but Zara really knows how to do something similar and for cheaper (but coats are all about investing!! choose the one that will last longer!!!). Or drop the traditional coat silhouette completely and try this faux-fur lined denim one from Urban Outfitters that just screams cool. This holiday mean a new year, and the new year means to try new things. Go crazy!

While we're on the topic of investments, shoes are a significant factor. Go practical with these or impractical with these (who says impractical is a bad thing) if ankle boots are your thing, try these jacquard heels with socks like these, or if you're feeling risky and really generous go for these. Remember: we can't necessarily survive without shoes, these are important.


Investments are $$$, so maybe try a few things that won't drain your bank account but still won't disappoint: a sweater for your arms, a sweater for your thighs, or this shiny dress that will lighten up your entire life.


Now onto items that are actually gift-able! The vast majority of us are broke (or also college students, an added plus), so let's think small -- jewelry, socks, or any other accessories. Socks are not preferred, but look at these glitter ones!! It's cooold and this scarf seems to do the trick (also 25% off at UO!!). Or maybe try this bracelet to make a ~subtle~ statement this holiday (maybe cuffed over a long sleeved turtleneck?).

Maybe fashion isn't your thing -- the only person who can give the best fashion-related gifts is yourself (I too have this mindset). So what about this makeup set for the beauty-oriented, this Wes Anderson coffee-table book for the pop culture oriented, your favorite album on vinyl for the music lovers, or a grilled cheese toaster, because why the hell not.


Or we come full circle and just ask for money. Gift-giving is hard.

Click on each image to view the products.


Post Holiday Funk

I know we all suffer from this

We spend an entire day stuffing ourselves with various meats and delicious sides, probably wearing a shapeless dress (possibly imitating a trash bag?) or those "nice" pants that secretly have a waistband that you reserve for holidays like this. Sounds like the dream, no?

But then our families leave after that extended discussion about what I'm majoring in, my new internship (spoiler alert: I'll be a part of College Fashionista's team next semester!!), or, unfortunately, our new president, and we sit there with full bellies and exhausted minds and think: now what? Christmas is in one month; I wish I could just skip the awkward 16 days I have in D.C. (with only one final!!) and go home and celebrate a holiday where I won't get that weird "post holiday funk."

Am I the only one who feels this?

It's also strangely affecting my style -- what does one wear when all you have to do for the next two weeks is study and write papers and just wait for the best holiday to arrive?

It's like retail stores know that this funk universally exists. That's why Black Friday and Cyber Monday exist. I've never been one to partake in activities surrounding the dreaded Friday after Thanksgiving, but when one realizes the only way to get out of a style funk is to, well, purchase more clothes, one must use her resources. So commence the shopping!

J. Crew and Anthropologie and Asos and so much more!! Overwhelming is the only way to describe this experience. But maybe overwhelming is the only way to dig out of this hole that Thanksgiving unfortunately dug.

Ruffle top and Levi's jeans by Anthropologie. Turtleneck by J. Crew. Boots by Sam Edelman. Faux fur coat by Asos. Sunglasses by Madewell.

One, but two tissue turtlenecks from J. Crew (40% off!!!).

A pair of Levi's, velvet joggers, and a sweatshirt-material ruffle top from Anthropologie (30% off!!!).

A Margot Tenenbaum-esque fur coat (but of the faux kind) from Asos (also 30% off!!!).

Also these boots from Topshop that I just purchased last night and now have a very small amount of money in my bank account (but up to 50% off select items!!!).

I combined two-thirds of my purchases to create an outfit I felt fresh in, new, confident. There's something about wearing all new clothes that makes you feel as if you could accomplish anything, even if I did sleep most of the day and really only completed one task on Monday: writing this blog post. 

Knowing that I now own two more delightful turtlenecks (and of exciting colors!) that I could layer under anything, especially this strange top that I'm also newly obsessed with, gives me the ability to make any outfit way more, well, me (my turtleneck obsession has not gone away just yet). Knowing that I own a pair of Levi's that I've wanted for two years -- yes, I know I'm a bit late -- eliminates the fact that jeans are dead because they're just that cool! And the fur coat is an obvious one: having a huge blanket (practically) draped over my cold shoulders in this cold D.C. weather seems to be the only thing to get me through this peculiar time. 

I'm not saying you have to buy a whole new wardrobe to fix this uncomfortable phase of the year; playing with what you already have is always a method I've been an advocate for ever since I started this blog two years ago (side note: happy blogversary to Fractured Aesthetic!). But there comes a point when you only have so much to work with, and a purchase of a few investment pieces is just like hitting restart on your style game. It's that easy.

Kind of like getting a new haircut.

All photos shot by Kendall.


What to Wear When: Tights Feel like Mini Prison Cells

I broke No-Shave November for this!

It's that time of year when there are two options for your legs: tights or jeans. We all know jeans are dead (bitter sweet about this concept; jeans are also another form of leg prison), and tights just feel so, well, unappealing right now. Is it our desire to rebel against the cold and let our bare legs suffer out in the open?

To break fashion norms and release our hot dogs into the wild?

Or is it just because tights give us that weird line right above our belly button that is a) unflattering and b) the last thing anyone wants to deal with and c) an inconvenience when eating pizza.

Most will say they risk the well-being of their legs due to my first excuse, but we really all know it's because of the second. Reasoning aside, tights are no fun. Are they even considered stylish anymore? I wore them for 15 years under a leotard several times a week, and ever since I stopped this routine, I can't get myself to slip them on. Not slip, but tug and pull and struggle. They've become an inconvenience, no longer a fashionable warming technique.

So do we just get rid of them altogether? Let our legs freeze in the tundra* when we don't want to wear jeans or those weird pants that don't count as jeans that only really cool people own (not including myself)?

The simple answer is: yes. Suffer through it. You will survive (beauty is pain!!).

The complex answer is:

Dress by Madewell (similar here). Turtleneck by J. Crew. Clogs by Anthropologie. Bracelet and socks by Madewell.

It's called overcompensation. What lacks on your legs goes on your feet or your arms or your neck! This works super well for turtleneck enthusiasts like me or people who are fans of socks. I almost cheated and wore thigh highs instead of these, but covering 3/4 of your legs vs. 1/10 completely defeats the purpose. We're here to free our legs (can this become the new Free the Nipple campaign?). I covered my neck and arms with my favorite tissue turtleneck (sidenote: what an investment!! I'm about to buy the same one in five different colors) and this flannel shirt-dress that someone told me looked like pajamas today but then I told them that technically pajamas are so in in high fashion right now. I wore socks with clogs instead of chelsea boots because this whole project made me want to try new things -- I feel like fashion is evolving a lot right now. Is this just me? 

Styling bare legs in late November should be enough to prove that fashion is, in fact, evolving. Despite the cold, the lack of tights felt liberating. My legs were free!

* The "tundra" in D.C. today was 60 degrees... this experiment would work better if global warming wasn't real.

Photos shot by Maddie.


The Mourning of America

I'm stepping away from fashion today. For many days, actually.

I'm not writing this to simply add to the meaningless cluster of thousands of articles and blog posts about what went down this past Tuesday night. My intention is not to simply state that our country is royally screwed over for the next four years. It's to gain attention, create an active community, allow people to see that everyone is affected. Here it goes.

It's also about to get pretty liberal here, but know that this isn't about politics. It's about human decency. It's about the safety of millions of people.

I've been extremely upset, disturbed, depressed, angry, afraid, simply confused by the results of this election. Basically, every negative feeling is circulating in my brain right now, as it should be in every person who currently resides in this country and plans to for the next four years. It's been very difficult to come to terms with what has happened. Extremely difficult. I've been attempting to come to terms with who will be controlling our country for the next four years, and it hasn't been easy.

I feel like everyone should be feeling the same way I do. An openly racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic sociopath was elected to be our next president. A man who has allegedly sexually assaulted people on several different occasions. Someone who's father was an active member of the KKK (didn't expect that one, did you?) and who has been endorsed by this organization only a few weeks ago. A man who has called Mexicans rapists, who has openly made fun of the mentally disabled, who wants to "kick out" all Muslims living here, who does not believe in climate change, who wants to take away the rights of the LGBTQ+ community (no more anti-discrimination laws!!), who wants to defund all of Planned Parenthood. This is just the surface. This man is ungodly (I'm using this word in a non-religious context, considering he backs up a lot of what he says with the Bible, shedding such a negative light on Christianity), selfish (he doesn't even care about the lives of white, rich, straight, cisgendered males), and now extremely powerful -- and I'm scared. Frightened. Terrified. Mike Pence openly supports conversion therapy for queer individuals and the defunding of Planned Parenthood (to the point of reaching an HIV outbreak in Indiana); is against same sex marriage, anti-discrimination laws provided for the LGBTQ+ community, and fair pay for women and minorities (source here). The idea of impeaching/convicting Trump out of office is even scarier because we'll have to deal with yet another nightmare. This is America's nightmare, becoming a reality.

This is our chance to stand up. Fight against this awful man who is only in this position to hold power over the patriarchy and White supremacy ideals. The people voted, and the majority voted for Hillary. But a system that was produced because of slavery (don't believe me? read this) has allowed a man who is treating minorities in a sense that's similar to a modern-day slavery to lead our country for the next four years. So where do we start?

  • Know that you are not alone. You are valid. This man's goal is to invalidate everyone who is not a white, rich, straight, cisgender male, but you are valid. Your feelings are valid, too. You might have more privilege than others who are affected by this, but you are allowed to mourn. You are allowed to feel terrified. You are allowed to feel angry. Everyone is in this together, and I believe that's the one positive outcome from these results -- it has created a strong community that is all fighting for the same thing. It has connected people from all over the country, from different backgrounds and races, to mourn together and to fight together. Maybe this is what we needed to wake America up.
  • Today we mourn, tomorrow we fight. This is something I said and tweeted on November 9th. Mourning is good, great actually. It's extremely crucial to mourn in these situations -- it's a depressing, scary time, and sometimes all we can do is cry. I've been crying for the past 72 hours. I'm still mourning, and I think this will last for at least the next few weeks. But let's use this mourning and sadness to fight this system. Use our anger in a positive energy and attend protests, write posts like me, and express your feelings in a progressive manner. I have the privilege (and discomfort) of living in D.C. where I can simply walk to the White House and protest. But I also live one block away from Trump's transitional office, which is terrifying. I'm going to use this fear to fight back. He is not my president
  • Donate. Almost every minority group is being invalidated and marginalized by this man. We need help more than ever. Donating to any of the below groups is extremely important, especially now, because his goal is to take away the rights of these groups. 
  • Resources are available. As I said before, everyone probably feels invalid right now (me being one of them). These results might only lead to feelings of sadness, despair, or even suicide. Know that you are not alone, but also that there are resources for you. Look below:
A photo posted by Rowan Blanchard (@rowanblanchard) on

  • Apathy is worse than support for Trump. Saying that you don't care about this because it does not affect you is far worse, to me, than actually stating you voted for Trump. The latter is a crime in my opinion, but at least it's not cowardly. It's similar to how many white people did not get involved, or even spread the word, about the BLM movement because of their whiteness. Apathy is poisonous and will only feed Trump's power complex. Also, the concept of not being affected is not really a thing in this situation. Everyone is affected, directly or indirectly. The only people not directly affected are white, rich, straight, cisgender males, and this 1% probably has wives or mothers or friends in minority groups or even just coworkers who happen to not be identical to their privileged situation. And if you don't accept this concept, you should still be affected. It's just human decency. As I said earlier, far simpler than politics.
  • We will become his worst nightmare, as Bernie Sanders said recently. Role reversal should do the trick. We think he's our worst nightmare, but that's what we will become to him. We will fight. We will protest. We will not accept him as our 45th president of the United States of America.

All photos shot by me at the White House, the night of the election. Instagram posts by Rowan Blanchard, the actress and active feminist.

If you need anyone to talk to about this current situation, know that I'm always available. Feel free to email me at geisel.natalie@gmail.com.


Style Inspo: Halloween

I've been feeling really down in fashion lately.

Like, really down.

I'm not sure if I should blame the strange D.C. weather or my lack of inspiration or lack of time to blog (my hiatus is finally over, btw!!), but it's been really hard to get up in the morning and actually feel good about what clothes I put on my body. I'm sick and tired of jeans, don't feel like wearing the same Madewell sweater I wear at least twice a week, and want to ban sneakers from my existence. (But I really don't feel like spending money on new clothes.)

So the real question is: what the hell am I supposed to wear?

Maybe I should look to the Halloween spirits for the answer.

I'm not even kidding -- my favorite holiday has to solve all of my style issues.

Sleeveless sweater by Forever 21 (try this one by Madewell). Jacket is thrifted (an Asos alternative). Wool skirt is vintage Gap (corduroy works too). Shoes by Sam Edelman.

The leaves are changing color! The temperature is dropping! I'm able to finally ~protect my neck~ again without becoming the human version of fire! Fall came a month late for D.C., but at least it's here. This should be enough to end my fashion depression, really. But the drop of a temperature only leads me to wearing the same jeans that I don't even like that much and an average sweater that I've owned for so long that it has almost lost all of its style value. It's time to look at something greater and more abstract and even bit unexpected -- I'm that desperate for a fashion revelation.

Halloween, on the surface level, could lead to styles inspired by witches (sheer lace dresses, anyone?). Or it could simply mean dressing up like someone you're not, like I did last year or this year (see below):

But we're going to think a little more abstract. Maybe use the color scheme to inspire your outfit choice, or simply use the holiday as an excuse to dress a little different or out-there than usual (that's what Halloween is all about, right?).

Shirt by Urban Outfitters.

It's obvious that I followed the orange and black color scheme, but I actually did a lot more than that (which will be explained in the next few seconds). I purchased a sweater sans sleeves -- what's the practicality of this? How outlandish!! I then layered this over a black and white striped boatneck tee and slipped a skirt under the sweater as well, something that felt so natural but also wasn't -- my first choice was to wear my black skinnies. I made up for my lack of denim on my legs with a denim jacket, and as I slipped on my chelsea boots on bare legs (this lack of tights is so liberating), I felt the most myself I have ever felt in months. 

Halloween is about being someone you're not for one day, but maybe my stranger style choices led me closer to my real self. Who knew a single holiday could be so valuable to my style evolution?

Photos shot by Maddie.


Personal Style Glue

It's not a fun place to be.

Do you ever feel stuck in fashion? Like, in the sense where you feel as if you're stuck in glue and you cannot change what you've been wearing every day for the past month? Now that it's fall, an example of this would maybe be boyfriend jeans and that one sweater you so dearly love and those chelsea boots you've owned for four years that are definitely ruined from that one time you wore them when it was raining (100% your fault, Natalie) and complete the look with your embroidered bomber you've been wearing every day for the past six months. In the summer it was either that one dress with no waistline and those slides, and in the winter it was always that turtleneck with those black skinnies and other pair of chelsea boots (yes, the ones reserved for winter).

It's comforting to know that this one outfit will always work for you. It's like the order you always get at Sweetgreen that you'll never change because it's just that damn good. But how would you know if it's the only thing you've tried? Hummus Tahina sounds just as good as Harvest Bowl. Yes, that delicious, comforting mix of sweet potatoes and goat cheese sounds so, well, cozy but falafel and tahini yogurt dressing!! How fun and exciting!!! 

We can just forget the fact that I compared fashion to my favorite salad spot in D.C., but you get my point. Comfort is only comforting to an extent, then it just gets sticky. Like glue. So we're going to change that! Swap stuck in glue for progressing into the cool (or should I just say weird) world of fashion. 

Dress by Topshop. Jeans by Gap. Shoes by Steve Madden. Bag by J. Crew. 

And guess what: this change isn't all that hard. Just find something you've never tried before in fashion and do it. Or maybe try something you did ten years ago (yes, ten years!!) and do it! As a fifth grader, I wore knee length dresses with bootcut jeans and thought I was so cool. Well, my friends, I decided to bring dresses + jeans back. Over the summer I experimented a lot with dresses and shorts, which felt way less terrifying for some peculiar reason. Waistless dresses that could technically also count as really long shirts paired with denim cutoffs seemed so simple. My bored-to-death self is tired of simple and demands complexity. So I pulled out a dress that should only be reserved for spring (which I bought only two months ago) and paired it with those same boyfriend jeans I mentioned in the beginning of this post and the same chelsea boots I mentioned earlier. 


Same jeans, same boots, same bomber (that one in my hand), but different top. Also a bandana to ~spice~ things up. I'm not sure if it's the florals in fall or the fact that I'm actually wearing a dress with jeans (not of the skinny type), but I magically became unstuck. What a confidence booster it is to know that I can now ease through my personal style without feeling trapped!

Photos taken by Maddie.


In Limbo pt. II

The transition of seasons always calls for the purgatory period, the, what I like to call, in limbo period.

I've discussed this before (that's why this is the second part!!). Something about familiarity is so appealing to me right now, and maybe this is why seasonal transitions are my favorite time of the year. Every time the leaves change color or when they begin to fall, or when the flowers start blooming, or when those flowers transform into green, a common theme is found in fashion. A need to alter what we were doing for the past few months with our clothes and actually pay attention to the changes happening around us. And now we've come full circle! The leaves are starting to change color! Maybe they haven't hit this stage completely, but the four-season calendar tells us otherwise. So it's time to put pants on! Maybe a sweater or two. Pull out the knee highs and chelsea boots and, wait a second, are turtlenecks acceptable yet?

The sweat dripping down your forehead tells us these are not things we would willingly do. Yes, we'll still do it for the ~fall aesthetic~ but coercion is not something I like to do when I dress myself in the morning. I hope you feel the same way. So how exactly do we deal with this uncomfortable purgatory?

Jeans by Madewell. Slip dress (worn as a top) by Urban Outfitters. Neck scarf from Urban Outfitters. Sandals by Topshop (try a more out-there alternative here). Bag by J. Crew. Sunglasses by Madewell. 

Pants can still be worn if we widen the hem to a foot instead of three inches. Cooler weather tones (think dark!) can be seen in items meant to be worn in warmer weather. And accessories that we love to utilize in this season can still be worn -- just think light. I followed these rules exactly to create what you see above. I bought these Madewell wide-leg jeans a few weeks ago that somewhat represent gauchos, but I like to call them culottes to sound more ~fashionable~. As I purchased these, I immediately saw myself on the first day of fall, wearing them with some sort of tank and gladiator sandals. And here I am, one month later, making my outfit dreams come true. I chose my slip dress as my tank because it felt easy (the laziness from summer is still dragging along like a lost puppy) and something about silk and lace is so appealing right now. My neck scarf did a very fall thing -- it kept my neck warm!! But the sweat soaking through the scarf made me realize I did not need that warmth. My autumn-induced mood dismissed this discomfort and realized that fashion is pain. And that fall is finally here.

Photo taken by Maddie, near the Georgetown Waterfront.


NYFW Through the Eyes of a College Student

Pajamas are not just meant for sleeping anymore.

From left to right: Adam Selman, Creatures of Comfort, Alexander Wang, Tome, and Proenza Schouler.
Photos from Vogue. Collage made by me. 

An extended title: NYFW Through the Eyes of a College Student (Who Does Not Reside in NYC).

My new location of D.C. has made things tricky. A two hour plane ride to New York has transformed into a three hour train ride, so technically NYFW should now be a piece of cake. Skip classes, Natalie! Go live your dream!!! Unfortunately, my four and a half hour long photo class makes dreams die. Last NYFW, I spent the entire week researching shows and even being in the city to take street style photos. This year, my perspective went 360 and instead I spent ten minutes everyday attempting to take slight glimpses of the shows through Snapchat and Instagram which only resulted in my newfound contempt for Marc Jacobs. This failure then led me to frantically scrolling through Vogue and Man Repeller (she always reviews the best shows!!), desperately seeking for the best collections. This was a hard task. I'm not sure if it was my unfortunate situation of not being able to actually admire NYFW as a whole or if it was NYFW's fault -- am I the only one who thought it was underwhelming this season? Through my disappointment, I still found five shows that are worth [briefly] talking about. 

Familiarity is key when time is limited, so I immediately went to Alexander Wang for comfort. It didn't match with the excellence that was SS16 and AW16, but the idea that pajamas are in (this idea will be a recurring one) spoke to me in a certain way that only college students can understand. Lace embellishments and button downs with pinstripe pajama shorts opened the collection that showed off Wang's true intentions in fashion: simplicity. But his implications are far more complex than the look of the show, drawing from his California roots and sex (as always) through the rash guards shown off in the middle of the show and the revealing of a lot of skin. It may have been an underwhelming collection due to the lack of a shock factor, but maybe uncomplicated is good -- no fuss fashion seems like the perfect way to stay in style when effort is hard to find.

Knowing how inspiring Adam Selman's collection was last season, my second step in researching shows was instantly typing his name into the search bar on Vogue. Immediate gratification was delivered. Selman followed a similar path as Wang and wanted to make pajamas cool again, but instead of creating a deconstructed look, Selman went a different route and had bold and even vulgar themes. He drew from pop culture and the past, as per usual, by connecting to disco and the '70s, but he did so with subtle undertones that don't take away from the simplicity of the collection. The progression from morning wear (literally) to evening created a collection that only whispers practicality, and anything that has a touch of that description seems so appealing at the moment. Where would fashion be without refreshing collections like this?

Comfort is key in the collection by Creatures of Comfort (how shocking!!). This is a brand I've been eyeing for the past few seasons but never got into until now, when pajamas (yep, once again) and waistless, draping shapes made an appearance. What makes the collection as a whole so captivating is not the clothes itself, but the meaning behind the clothes, which is all on inspirations from Frida Kahlo -- just look at the embroidery and ruffles! The combination of comforting colors and slides in different shapes and forms makes me want to do one of two things: either hop on a plane to Mexico or stay in my bed all day. Both sound equally appealing.

Here's another newcomer to my fashion repertoire! Similar to C of C, Proenza Schouler  has been on my radar for a few seasons after Leandra Medine said it was one of her favorite brands a couple years back. After making a lot of bold decisions, they made the cut. I'm not sure if it's because it's so different than the above reviews (or really anything I've ever seen before), or if it's the geometric focus in both design and shape of the garments, but this collection spoke to me, loud and clear, with its daring patterns, unique silhouettes, and flatforms. This collection seems the most artistic out of all of NYFW's shows, and this could either be from the risks the designers took with color or the actual Greek art displayed on a few pieces. Where Adam Selman brought refreshment and Creatures of Comfort brought, well, comfort, Proenza Schouler brought awe, and maybe this is the one show that could wake us up from the first three. We can only stay in our PJs for so long.

And finally, we end with a younger brand that really knows how to experiment. Notice how I didn't end with Marchesa or Marc Jacobs or Rodarte, a.k.a. the ones every fashion blogger and her mother are obsessing over (don't get me wrong -- the collections of Marchesa and Rodarte were stunning). College has made me have a limited attention span and an inability to be captivated by even the most awe-striking clothes, so I had to search for something that turned my gaze the opposite direction. Tome  played with fabrics and shapes and textures of all formats, creating a collection that's, in one word, different. This different isn't too much, however, because the experimentation blended together so perfectly to create a show of beauty. At the end of the day, this is why I love fashion. A brand that's just reaching the age of five can evoke emotion and wonder just as much as any big name brand. Also, the paint on the models' faces is so cool!!!