Dear Brooke, put the sweater down. I know at this exact moment on this cold, grey, blustery day, buying this Rage & Bone sweater that was clearly created by the gods might be the difference between life and death but lets be honest…it’s not. This, my friends is an example of one of the infinite conversations I have with myself while shopping. Being a college student, shopping is an activity I have to be very careful with. That being said, I would say these "do not buy, save your money, you don’t need these pants", type of conversations work 30% of the time. The remaining 70% of the time, they are more along the lines of, Brooke. Treat yo self. You NEED these black jeans. You would literally wear them everyday and they are the exact style you have been searching for since you were born. The thought of people actually being able to hear my thoughts is really frightening. Speaking of black jeans, everyone needs a pair of good fitting black jeans. No matter how broke, rich, fancy, or grungy you are, if you have a great pair of black jeans you are ready for anything.
When I find myself with free time, my computer in my lap, and a comfortable place to sit, there is no doubt that I am shopping online. It has gotten to the point that whenever I open Safari, that beautiful 4 by 3 grid of my most visited websites pops up and I don’t even have to waste time searching the internet for my favorite online shops. I am mainly attracted toward simple, sexy, solid colored and almost plain pieces. A surprise sheer back or shoulder cut out is just icing on the cake from there. I do still love bright colors and prints, I am just very picky with them. I think my taste can be summed up in a leather trench coat from Burberry. It is simple, sexy, casual and edgy. It will go with anything and everything as well. Some of my other favorite brands would have to be Rag & Bone, Balmain, Isabel Marant and Marc Jacobs. Also, feel free to send me something crazy from Jeremy Scott and I’ll rock it.
Sienna Miller and Cara Delevingne would have to be my favorite fashion icons. Ever since High School, I have been obsessed with Sienna’s casual, chic and simple style. The same goes for Cara Delevingne. Plain and simple, she is the coolest. She can go from classy to grungy to edgy and pull it all off without a care in the world. I would happily wear any of the outfits these two put together.
When I go shopping, most of the time I have a specific item in mind. I think, alright you have gone far too long without a great go-to casual sweater. Go forth and find ONLY that. I usually never have an exact outfit in mind, so I go look for a specific item that will be able to go with anything I already have at home. This way, I get something awesome that is versatile enough to mix and match with tons of different outfits. I do enjoy walking around or surfing the web for anything that I fall in love with as well.
My most cherished item would have to be my layered turquoise necklace my grandmother gave me. It is made from huge chunks of turquoise and is long, heavy and just beautiful. In fact, it is so beautiful and I am obsessed with it so much that I refuse to wear it because I have nightmares of it breaking. So, I have it hanging from a horse skull in my living room safe and sound. Now for what I hate, flip flops. I will not, have not, and won't ever wear them.
Other things that inspire my wardrobe are definitely music and movies. For example, think about Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. That movie is basically a cashmere sweater commercial and I want to live in it. I am also obsessed with Free People’s short film called Roshambo. You can imagine, being that Free People created it, the clothes are absolutely amazing and the storyline is fantastic. Music is by far the most influential thing to me on a daily basis. I try and put on music immediately in the morning and immediately when I get home because no matter my mood, listening to music and getting ready is something that relaxes me, makes me happy, and gets me prepared for the day.
Speaking of the end of the day, I am going to throw on my girl Cat Power and relax.
To begin with, I’ll say this; fashion puts me to bed at night, and wakes me up in the morning. It’s often the answer to all of my questions. Having a bad day? Go shop. Need some cardio? Go shop. What day of the week is it? Doesn’t matter, go shop. Just kidding, I’m not that one sided. However, fashion is an extension of self… so I take it to heart.
From a very young age I started taking interest in the industry, I’d spend hours learning the names of models and designers, I’d sketch dresses and watch award shows with such commitment to see what went down the red carpet. I think if it were even possible, I knew too much for my age at the time. Still to this day I find importance in knowing the different sides of the industry, as it’s all a culmination of hands from every end of the spectrum. The brand that I most identified with from the very beginning was Chanel, and it quickly became a religion to me. I respect the dedication of keeping Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s legend of simplicity, and the immaculate attention to detail that goes into each individual piece on display at the Grand Palais during Couture week. It really is something I pull into my everyday style, simple, classic, chic, but always a bit embellished.
For me, a new pair of shoes can turn an entire day around. It’s nearly impossible for me to walk through Nordstrom without letting at least four different pairs break my heart! While I find it nearly mandatory for every girl to have an incredible collection of heels, I think one of the most essential parts of a wardrobe is a good solid pair of sneakers. You can never go wrong with a pair of “sneak sneaks” as I call them. As much as I love my heels, I often find myself reaching for the comfy kicks as my go-to. I proudly display my collection of all black sneakers next to my six-inch heels; the combination is pretty yummy.
Inspiration for me comes in so many forms: music, movies, art, but most of all people or fictional characters. For instance, if you combined Penny Lane, Lisbeth Salander, and Victoria Beckham’s wardrobes, it would probably look pretty close to mine. Toss in a couple pieces from the witch hiding out in the woods and you’ve nailed it. I know what you’re thinking, it sounds terrifying, but I assure you… despite its bipolar appearance, it’s quite magical. The second biggest inspiration for me is music. Music has an absolutely massive influence on me. Much like my taste in humans, my taste in tunes is pretty eclectic. I’m listening to something all day every day and that controls my mood. With just one click of a button I can go from being my grungy leather and denim self to being in the mood for a chic, cosmo-drinking, upper-east-side ensemble. It’s that easy. I wonder what that says about me… Anyway, I really dig people who document their day-to-day outfits. It's probably my favorite thing to see scrolling through any social media feed. Inspiration at it's finest!
I have some pretty barefaced advice to give for people when shopping. I suppose you could say I’ve got a lot of fashion pet peeves… It’s simple really; if you don’t listen to the band, don’t buy the t-shirt. Don’t buy something just because it’s a trend, especially if it doesn’t flatter your figure. Big trends are cool but don’t pile them all on. If I see a girl wearing a camo-flannel-leather-denim-beanie combo (it has happened) I immediately retract any thoughts of “well dressed”. Keep it simple, keep it easy, and keep it effortless. Don’t pattern yourself after someone just because they’ve got thousands of Instagram followers, I see so many people trying to be exactly like one individual all too often. I think it’s so important to be yourself. Take things from different characters and make them your own. Individual style is something to be admired, not duplicated. Be whatever version of yourself you want to be, just be YOU.
Hi everyone, my name is Jamee, and I am psyched to be writing about fashion for Ugly. I’ve admired the people doing work on this publication for a while now, and I feel lucky to be among such talent.
I started really caring about what I clothed myself with during my senior year of high school. (I’m 21 years old now, so we aren’t going too far back in time!) My monthly copy of Teen Vogue came in the mail, and mentioned a pretty cool guy named Marc Jacobs. I sat down on the computer and between compulsive checks of my various social media sites, scrolled through style.com’s slideshow of the newest Marc by Marc Jacobs
runway collection. It was the S/S ’09
show, and it was fucking beautiful. I’ll never forget the immersion lesson of layering I got from clicking through that show over and over again, and those lace-up boot/sandal hybrids are still a shoe I wish I could find and horde forever. Plus, an extremely young looking Karlie Kloss was the opener. Proof that models who walk in Marc’s shows often go very far!
That collection served as a springboard for the very long dive I took into the fashion world. I started taking great pride in knowing things like the fact that Balenciaga wasn’t run by a dude with the amazing family name of Balenciaga (not anymore, at least!) but by a genius man named Nicolas Ghesquiere, and it’s been really exciting to see our generation’s prodigy Alexander Wang step into the role of creative director at the house this year.
An oft-quoted line goes, “Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it.” One of the most common critiques of the fashion industry is the fact that it’s completely inaccessible to the majority of people. I mean, we can all log on to the internet and window shop for a perfectly minimalistic clutch from The Row for $5,950, but how many of us can actually proceed to check-out? Not many of us, and surely not me.
Luckily, we live in a world where designs from the Paris runways are translated into H&M pieces almost overnight, and while direct copying is always a bummer, turning popular silhouettes and color palettes into something everyone can afford and enjoy is a practice I can get behind. Plus, we should all know by now that you get what you pay for. If you want boots you can wear almost every day for three years, I’d skip Forever 21 and head straight to Nordstrom.
My own personal style is constantly evolving and I hesitate to even try to define it with adjectives, but currently I’d say the best description is grunged-out-girly-shit. (It’s a very technical term, I know.) I’ve spent the last year growing my hair out and it’s taken me pretty far down Androgyny Lane. Recently I purged my closet of almost all color, and then filled my entire stand-alone clothes rack with new black pieces. (The only color being gold studs, of course.) I’ve made a habit of topping most of my outfits off with a black beanie and black ankle boots. I usually balance out the masculinity of those things with a skirt that makes my hips look all wide and girly-like. It’s a combination I’m super into right now, and I highly recommend it!
Well-made ankle boots are something I think everyone needs in their closet, especially if you live in Salt Lake City. You’ll be trudging through snow half the time, and during winter you can wear them with leggings or jeans. Then bring those babies out and pair them with a figure-hugging dress and red lips at Bar X on warm summer nights; perfectly casual and put together at the same time. (Attention men: the ankle boot suggestion applies to you, too. There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows what a good boot looks like. Also, jeans that fit well…but that’s another post for another day!)
I often joke that my style icons are Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen…two years ago. Because those ladies always seem to be about two years ahead of the mainstream fashion world. It’s mind-boggling. I’ll see what they wear this month, and think, hey that’s pretty nice looking. However, I’m not necessarily clamoring to replicate it (yet). BUT, if I go back into the paparazzi archives by approximately twenty-four months, it’s almost identical to what I see, or wish I saw, in my closet. No matter what they wear, you can always tell they chose it because they genuinely liked it and felt like themselves in it.
That’s a lesson I’ve taken from them and adopted as my style mantra forever. Sometimes this leads me to wear five inch tall wedge platforms to class in the dead of winter, and people ask me, “Why are you so dressed up?!” or something to that effect, and my answer is always the same: I physically feel more comfortable in this than in jeans and a T-shirt! To me, there’s nothing worse than being out in public in something that doesn’t feel like a true reflection of who I am and how I’m feeling that day.
I’m always changing my mind about which piece in my closet is my favorite, but one thing about my style that never changes are my tattoos, which do a great (and permanent) job of keeping the balance between masculine and feminine no matter what I’m wearing. Tattoos are innately masculine, but the images I’ve chosen (hearts, roses, a pretty lady and a butterfly) are extremely feminine. I highly recommend Jake Miller at Cathedral Tattoo
if you are in the market.
At the end of the day, every single ray of light that reflects off your retina and produces an image is something you accept or reject as an influence on your style, which in turn influences what you pick up and ultimately purchase. Every film, every person, every street sign, every piece of vintage jewelry. It’s a culmination of your whole life, and the key to looking your best is to follow your every aesthetic whim, no matter where it may take you.
First things first… Lets be real. I was a huge tomboy growing up and to this day I’d much rather go rock climbing than shoe shopping. That being said, I’ve seriously embraced my inner shopaholic/fashion junky during my mid twenties and I currently own seven pairs of heels. That’s a lot for me! I own four purses and two clutches. What?? That’s too many. Yet somehow, I can see how all you fashionista’s out there are shaking your head in embarrassment right now. I KNOW. You have entire rooms dedicated to shoes and purses. Anyway… I don’t care how androgynous your style is or how many mountains you climb; a woman should ALWAYS have a classic pair of heels in her closet.
I’m the type of woman who loves classic, chic, clean, and timeless pieces. The first time my heart and my eye started to understand style and fashion I found myself instantly gravitating towards Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs pieces. There’s nothing more juvenile or unattractive than big, loud, and down right scary looking name brand logos. We know it’s your piece, now settle down. Am I right? I remember my first Michael Kors piece to this day. It still hangs in my closet and surfaces whenever I’m home in Salt Lake City during the winter. It was a gorgeous, long, black coat with a large collar that zips all the way over my nose with gold zippers and beautifully placed pockets. I’ve owned this coat since 2006. You see? Chic, classic, and timeless! As my fashion taste continues to expand I’ve continuously found myself drooling over the eccentric and jaw dropping pieces of Alexander McQueen. Those are pieces you hang in a museum, not your closet.
There are two very strong fashion icons I’m continuously drawn to, Iris Apfel and Kate Moss. Yeah, yeah, yeah… Kate Moss. So what. I love her, you love her, and we’ll always love her. Kate will never be out, that’s just all there is too it. While my heart and inner 90’s girl will always be attracted to the androgynous and uncontrived flow of Kate Moss there is another side of me that can’t get enough of the bright, over-the-top, and overly layered styles of the lovely Iris Apfel. That woman is a genius. Seriously, look her up and try to argue with me. YOU CAN’T. Coolest grandma ever? Please be my best friend? Ok, I’ll stop. For real though, depending on the day and my mood I channel these two babes.
I’ve been a makeup artist for five years and I am always following runway trends. I have always been inspired to create makeup looks based off fashion collections and vice-versa. Anyone who lives in the fashion and beauty world knows how important fashion and makeup are for each other. They bring out the best in each other and they never take away from one another. In my personal style I have a very tomboy look with feminine touches but my goodness, if my bank account allowed I would rock the most extravagant runway collections you’ve ever seen. Yes, even if I’m simply running to the store for milk. You only live once people.
When it comes to shopping, I prefer it to be from my laptop in the comfort of my own home, in my sweat pants, sipping a coffee. Sure, I shop just like everyone else but not really. The UPS man is starting to get sick of me. What’s the worst that could happen? It doesn’t fit me and I return it. Too easy. When shopping in person I love thrifting! And sometimes, all you need to do is go shopping in your own closet. Get creative! I’m a very “to the point” kind of person. I don’t have time to browse, look around, or beat around the bush. When I shop I have a very specific look in mind and I know what type of hem lines, fabrics, patterns, styles, and colors I want. Yeah, I’m that annoying customer and I don’t even care. I’m beyond picky but thankfully I’m able to appreciate an amazing piece when I see it even if it wasn’t part of the plan.
My most cherished items in my closet are my scarves. I LOVE my scarves. There’s something so sexy, feminine, and fun about scarves and I treat them like they are gold. I style them as head wraps, headbands, scarves (duh), and from time to time have been known to tie them to my purse. They are one of the best accessories. And you better believe you’ll never, ever, ever catch me in crocs, flip flops, or TOMS. Not happening people. Just no. Stop. Ok, stop.
While many things inspire my style I often find that movies, tv shows, and music play a huge role in my over all mood. Which essentially has a huge role in my fashion and makeup choices. When I find myself in a Nirvana, Tool, Rage Against the Machine phase I often rock torn jeans, cut off shirts, heels, leather jackets, scarves, and lots of jewelry. Then there’s a side of me that can’t stop swooning over the makeup, fashion, and hairstyles in Mad Men. Who wouldn’t want to rock some glamour hair and makeup with a vintage dress once in a while? Ok, it’s not often. I usually pair the glamour hair and makeup with my 90’s fashion pieces. Nothing better than grunge fashion mixed with perfect hair and makeup. A movie that always pulls at my heartstrings is ‘Annie Hall’. Diane Keaton’s character in that movie has the best style ever. Big hats, long uncontrived hair, big sunglasses, suspenders, button up shirts, ties, yes please.
Phew. Was that enough for you? I’m up to chat fashion with you anytime, anywhere.
Style isn’t just what we wear; it’s a way of life. Style can determine our choices, our friends, our jobs, and any other aspect. Finding your own style is something I think is incredibly important. I know I have spent my entire life finding mine, and I’m not through yet. Your wardrobe should include things that make you feel like you- a reflection of whom you are and where you want to go.
When I was growing up my outfits were nothing like my peers. I was taking notes from some of my favorite designers like modern day Michael Kors plus adding anything vintage, making my style stand out and go against the brand name, logo’d t-shirt, flip flop norm. As my life has progressed I have seen how that was just the beginning. At an early age I was showing signs of becoming the makeup artist/stylist I am today. Androgynous outfits were some of my favorites and I was one of the few girls who actually wore dresses to school. I have such a broad range of style that life never has a dull moment.
Fast forward a secret number of years and I find myself working in the very field I had always dreamed of. I’m loving life as a fashion blogger/ makeup artist/ stylist/ master aesthetician (and that’s not even all I do. I wear a lot of hats… or I get bored easily, take your pick). As a fashion blogger I draw a lot of my inspiration from my fellow bloggers. There are so many stylish women in this world and I feel lucky that I live in a day where I can “know” and learn from them. Of course, there is inspiration all around, especially in some of my favorite celebrity fashion icons- Emma Watson (I used to look just like her, no joke!), Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (I love that they’ve always been role models for me, we even share the same birthday), and Alexa Chung.
Like I said, and as you can tell from my celebrity fashion icons- my style has a broad range. You’ll find things in my closet from vintage to bohemian to androgynous. I love being outdoors and finding inspiration in nature, that’s where the bohemian/ androgynous side of me comes from and I was raised by a mom who taught me the beauty of the past- which brings in the vintage side of me. I’ve often wondered if I were born in the wrong decade. Nothing makes me happier than watching Singing in the Rain or finding that antique I’ve been looking for in perfect condition. Since the past is such a part of me it explains why some of my biggest fashion icons are people like Katharine Hepburn and Twiggy.
While my hippie, outdoor loving, dirt rolling side is a big part of me; my fashion loving, makeup applying side is definitely more prominent. Because of that, it’s no surprise that one of my favorite activities would be shopping. Just because I love it doesn’t mean I buy anything that fits, I’m picky. Things have to really feel like “me” and embrace all of my sides for me to buy them. You’ll never catch me wearing things like “bling” on my pants or v-necks that are low enough to the point where an undershirt is necessary and you get that odd, upside down, trapezoid neckline (although I’m guilty of doing that one in the past). You’ll often catch me wearing harem pants, hats, oversized blouses, and one of my most prized possessions- my oversized, rose gold, Michael Kors watch (that baby goes with me everywhere).
Fashion is not just what I put on day to day; it’s how my life has come to this place, right here, right now. My style is what makes me me, and I’m proud of that.