Our Fashion Editor, Sophie Miller, gives some advice for those still scouring through their closet to find that perfect outfit.Read More
Fashion Editor Sophie Miller shares her tips and tricks for surviving internship season in style.
As summer approaches, many university students find themselves staring down the barrel of four long months of coffee runs, copy-making, and cubicle-dwelling. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about internship season! For most of us, this will be our first foray into the professional world, and this can be a daunting prospect. Entering the workforce is no easy task, but, though it may sound trite, “dressing for success” is no joke. Looking impeccably put-together for work everyday shows employers that you’re committed, detail-oriented, and composed - a consummate professional. It may seem like a small thing, but what you wear to work says a lot about you, whether you’re locked away in a research lab or filing papers at a law firm. Below, I’ve outlined ways you can implement the hottest trends of spring and summer into your work wardrobe - because sometimes all it takes is the right belt to get you asked back for next summer.
Silk Pencil Skirts
An artsy spin on a workplace style staple, these provide both breezy comfort and a metallic pop to an otherwise-simple ensemble. Balance is key when putting looks together, so pair one of these with an oxford shirt, a structured top, or something simple and sleeveless. As for colour, these items are pretty versatile, so the only shade I would steer clear of is black -- dark-coloured silk belongs strictly to late dinner dates and the bedroom.
These have long had their place in summer offices, but recently, designers like Prada, Bottega Veneta, and (my favourite newcomer) Gabriela Hearst have reintroduced them with renewed structure and in new colours. When picking one of these, think less bohemian and more New Look: a-line skirts, starched collars, and buckled belts turn these from casual daywear to professionally chic.
Once commonplace in women’s professional wardrobes, these had a bit of a fall after the 1980s, but rest assured, they are back in full force. Seen all over runways for spring and summer, these can spice up your most basic neutral work heels. Always low-heeled, pair these with slacks or loose dresses for an instant boost to the trend quotient of your look.
Thanks to the influence of Kim Kardashian and Yeezy, head-to-toe neutrals are back in a big way. In a season of neon and bold prints, stand out by paring your looks back -- all-white, all-beige, all-navy, and all-black ensembles are timelessly chic, especially when the structure is bold and the tailoring impeccable. Try slacks and sleeveless tops, midi skirts and bohemian blouses, or oversize blazers and cigarette pants in these colour palettes to channel such modern icons as Alexa Chung, the Olsen twins, and Kendall Jenner.
The easiest way to update your work style is to throw on a statement blazer -- whether it be over a simple shirt and pair of pants or a basic shift dress, these are always your friend. They add a touch of 90s laid back glamour to your look, and they go with pretty much everything, making them the ultimate statement piece. Patterns work well on these, though for a workplace environment, stick to tweed, plaid, or solid colours and pair with slim-fitting pieces to balance out the ensemble.
Oversized White Shirts
An absolute wardrobe staple, whether in the office or out, the way to update this classic is to size it up. You don’t even have to go out and buy a brand new shirt - pull a Diane Keaton and snatch one right out of your boyfriend’s closet! Nothing says femininity like menswear. The flowiness and boxy-ness of your top half should -- say it with me -- balance with your bottoms. For that reason, this item is put together best with a skinny pant or a pencil skirt. The only thing to remember here is volume - since your shirt will be large and in charge, a loud pattern somewhere else might not be your best friend. Channel French understated glamour and keep it low-key.
These have had their heyday in every iconic fashion era -- from the a-line dresses and peter-pan collars of the fifties to the power suits, jewel tones, and towering shoulder pads of the eighties. They’ve made their return once again, and though they can sometimes seem outdated, with the right pairing, they can serve a look that is at once contemporarily chic and fabulously vintage. On mules and slingbacks they’re at their best, especially when the heels come in the chunkier variety. Try to keep your legs covered as well - a bare limb with a low heel does not a cohesive ensemble make.
Not a material commonly associated with summer, leather in jacket form should most definitely stay in storage this season. However, spring and summer runways have brought us new mediums to explore with cowhide: dresses, skirts, and pants are a great way to introduce leather into your work wardrobe! In these new silhouettes, the material is simultaneously sultry and serious, mimicking the vibe of the season. Try a leather dress under a white tee shirt, or a leather skirt with an oxford shirt - mix your materials and get to work!
Boxy, Belted Silhouettes
Annie Hall seems to be winning the season, according to the fashion world’s top designers, stylists, and bloggers. 70’s and 90’s inspired and stemming from the menswear-as-womenswear trend, a boxy look cinched with a belt makes you look put together and trend-savvy, and isn’t that all we want from our work wardrobe? This kind of ensemble also gives you the body you’ve always dreamed of - the contrast of a large top and bottom with a belted waist provides the illusion of an hourglass figure. Go monochromatic to give this look an extra fashion-forward push.
Fashion Editor Sophie Miller shares her tips and tricks for how to transform your personal style and build a wardrobe that reflects your personality.
A friend recently asked me for a favor: he asked me to help him transform his personal style. I was initially surprised at the question - as a relatively confident person, I myself had never considered undergoing any kind of “transformation” with regard to my style, and also being a relatively (I’ll admit it) self-absorbed person, I figured those kinds of moments of fashion discovery only occurred in the iconic makeover scenes characteristic of the “RomCom” genre of cinema.
The idea gave me pause: how many of us think about ourselves as completely lost when it comes to style, in need of some drastic rescue mission orchestrated by some astute aesthete? How many of us think of ourselves as necessitating transformation, a process defined as “a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone”? What this friend had brought to my attention through his request was something intriguing, and I began to think: is a complete and utter change of one’s style ever truly necessary? I’ve always been partial to the opinion that the way a person chooses to dress is an expression of who they are, who they want to be, who they want others to think they are - whether inadvertent or deliberate, the clothes we choose to wear are reflections of our sincere selves, so why on earth would you want to transform that
That’s not to say that everyone’s personal style is a perfect representation of exactly who they are - not everyone has the time, money, ability, or, frankly, interest to spend that much time on selecting their everyday garb. The word I would use to describe those looking for a change would be not a transformation, but an adaptation. To use an oft-cited cliche, we’re always learning, growing, and changing, so it’s only natural that our style should follow us through these ups and downs. Just as you did not become a totally new person, the way you dress should not be totally new. But, as anyone in their late teens and early twenties will tell you, change is hard - none of us belonging to this particular demographic truly understand just who we are yet, and trying to harness some form of certainty about this and translate that into a distinctive look is a daunting task. Once again, it takes time, money and know-how that few students have. In an answer to this, below you can find a few tips and tricks on how to adapt your style and attempt to find your own aesthetic. This list is by no means exhaustive, but its objective is to set you off on the right path, to help you present the best version of “you” to both yourself and to the world.
1. Scale your wardrobe back, both in overall look and size: It’s a trite thing to say, but one that maintains its utter truth: Less. Is. More. First, you should pull all the things out of your closet that you don’t wear on a regular basis. Sure, we all have those statement pieces that can only be worn once a season, and I’m in no way ordering you to throw out that iconic dress that you wore to that one amazing ball that one time. But in this era of fast fashion and double-wide closets, I think we can all afford to chuck at least a few things. I once went to a panel on women in the fashion world, and the head of a major online retailer said something memorable: “If you wouldn’t want to be seen by your ex in it, throw it out.” Truer words have never been spoken. Second, when dressing, being loud doesn’t mean you’ll stand out more - it usually means you’re being tacky (sorry, it had to be said). That’s not to say you should get rid of your hot pink club dress, or your favourite red, studded leather jacket. It just means you should strive for baance, as in all aspects of your life. I’ve been really excited that lately, trends have been heading in a more minimal direction, thanks to brands like The Row, Off White, All Saints, Saint Laurent, and (God help us) Yeezy. They’ve taught us lessons like, if you’re going to wear an extremely-oversized parka with wide-leg trousers and a thick turtleneck, maybe try going monochrome with the outfit. If you want to wear neon, pare back the structure of your look - stick to more conservative cuts and simple, clean lines. It’s all about finding that middle ground and understanding that elegance is almost always understated.
2. Find your personal style icons: “Follow the leader” isn’t just a game for little kids! Finding someone whose style you admire and wish to emulate is the absolute first step in any style journey. There are a few ways to do it: I will admit it - I’m obsessed with Pinterest. People often link the site to kitschy home decor and DIY projects, but it’s a great space to look for style inspiration. Putting in simple key words like “classic French style” or “vintage outfits” or even something as basic as “cool modern fashion” garners thousands of results for you to peruse, aesthetic ideas just waiting to be realised. You can also look to Instagram. I know I spend hours everyday on the app as is - why not add some style inspiration to your daily feed? There are a few great bloggers out there - some of my favourite include Alexa Chung (@alexachung and her fashion line @alexachungstagram), her best friend and partner in style Harley Viera-Newton (@harleyvnewton), Erika Boldrin (@erika_boldrin), Sophia Roe (@sophiaroe) and Vanessa Hong (@thehautepursuit). Finally, there are, of course, the big fasion magazines/sites that are good for high-concept style and fashion porn. The best, in my opinion, are Vogue (British Vogue and Vogue Paris are the ones I like, but it depends on your style preferences - for example, if you’re partial to extravagant style, Vogue Italia is good, whereas if you’re into more mainstream stuff, American Vogue should be your go-to), Women’s Wear Daily (more commonly known now as WWD), and the Cut (New York Magazine’s online fashion resource).
3. Identify your basics and supplement your statements: The way any good wardrobe is structured is very simple: mostly made up of fairly high-quality basics that can be worn nearly every day, with a few extravagant, fun, or hyper-luxury statement pieces as accents. For example, you should always have a great pair of jeans (Paige Denim, 7 for All Mankind, and, surprisingly, Good American are the brands to which I’m partial), white t-shirts/button downs for layering or more simplistic outfits, a classic nude trench, and a great pair of everyday shoes (be they sneakers, loafers, or boots, just make sure they’re a neutral colour and go with most of the other items in your collection). The key with these items is fit and durabilty: they should all fit you like a glove and be built to last - this doesn’t mean you have to shell out a fortune on them, but you also shouldn’t be buying your basics from SheIn or Zaful. Once you’ve laid the groundwork, you’re free to add in the pieces that make your style distinctive - that amazing statement coat, those incredible heeled boots, that gret, perfectly-beat-up leather jacket, what have you. Again, these don’t have to be the most expensive items in your wardrobe (though they might be), but they should make you feel your absolute best whenever you put them on.
4. Look for inspiration in all aspects of your life, not just on the pages of magazines: I already highlighted the importance of searching for your style role models, but developing your style isn’t just about imitating other people - it’s about amalgamating all of the things that make you happy, confident, and empowered, all of the things you find interesting and all of the things you love. Out of this will emerge a cohesive aesthetic. Look to movies, music, museums, places you love, people you love - these will all help you to define your look. For example, for lots of people, the movie Pulp Fiction is a veritable wealth of style inspiration, not just because of the clothes worn by the characters (although, Uma Thurman in this movie was an absolute vision) but because of the feel, the mise-en-scene, the ‘vibe’ of the movie. You shouldn’t just be trying to capture a specific outfit, but the feeling that said outfit conveys. What kind of feeling do you want to present? Do you want to be immaculate, exuding chic-ness and sophisitication? Then try super simple looks, neutral colors, and sharp structure. Are you trying for a more bohemian vibe, expressing open-mindedness and a free spirit? Go for ethereal prints, drapery, and vintage accessories. Do you want to look powerful and confident, emulating such 80s and 90s icons as Samantha Jones and Alexis Carrington? Try color-blocking with jewel tones, highlight your shape, and give campy statement pieces a whirl. These are just ideas, but the message is consistent: go for mood, not model.
Of course, these are all the very basics, and adapting your style will take a lot more time and energy than these four paragraphs betray. However, by following these tips, you can get a better idea of who you want to be, how you want to express yourself, and how to join these two ideas. So take these and begin your adaptation, and keep in mind that those with the best sense of style are those who have the strongest sense of themselves.
Fashion Editor Sophie Miller offers this list of fashion essentials to help you navigate the St Andrews fashion scene in style.
As every small community of college-age students is wont to do, it is a known truth of St Andrews that most of us dress more or less alike. While it is true that the fashion scene here is far beyond anything you’d find in silly places like Oxford or Cambridge, we all tend to follow certain trends. We’ve all encountered a man walking down Market Street in loafers, khakis, and a Barbour, his eyes shaded by a pair of Ray Bans, just like we’ve all seen many a St Andrews woman donning shrunken puffy jackets, mom jeans, and chunky “dad sneakers”. And that’s ok! None of these are bad looks (except for the epidemic of male students doing their best impression of homeless people in baggy courduroys and oversized tee-shirts - not cute, gentlemen), and they help us to hone in on which trends we actually like, which we could end up making our signature. The strongest and best sense of style is one that evolves from trying out many different looks, adding our own touches to them until we find a (fire) fit. However, to get you started, it’s good to track the various fashion moments in our little bubble, so here are a few that can be found in nearly every St Andrews student’s wardrobe:
Barbour jackets, Hunter-brand wellies, and Ray Ban sunglasses
Let’s just get the obvious out of the way - the closest thing St Andrews has to a uniform is the waxed Barbour jacket and knee-high Hunter-brand wellies, often topped off with a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. Male or female, as a member of our community, you’d do well to purchase these items, as you may be met with shock and awe from your classmates at your lack thereof. However, despite their label as “basic”, they can be great building blocks for your uni wardrobe, so don’t shy away from them just because everyone you know (and their mother) owns them as well. Sometimes being basic isn’t all bad (though that’s likely the last time you’ll hear me use that turn of phrase.)
If you’re a member of the overwhelmingly large female contingent of St Andrews students, then you likely own one of these. A going-out essential for the Fife evening weather, they’re the perfect add-on to everything from your heading-to-lecture turtleneck to your ball-ready sequinned cocktail dress. You can see these bobbing up and down the three main drags of our town in a variety of colours, ranging from pale pink to black, from camel to fire-engine red. Usually either shrunken or oversized fit seems a concept anathema to the chic insouciance these jackets provide.
Straight from the Parisian streets to the sidewalks of Scotland! Not really, but these do add a touch of understated French glamour to our never-ending battle against the frigid northern breezes. Mostly (or what I hope is mostly, because these coats really belong in one of two colours) camel or black, a long pea- or trench coat can make even your most unimaginative outfit unbearably stylish. A variety of lengths work for this must-have, from hip-skimming to calf-grazing (avoid going longer lest you look like a villain from the Matrix), and it will fit any mood, from your broody Sunday morning hangover to your breezy Wednesday afternoon burst of confidence, knowing you’ve finished up the last of your work by 12PM.
Stretchy fit-and-flare pants
Seen mostly on the lower halves of our female London transplants, these pants do everything a girl could ask for: lengthen the legs, highlight the assets, and stretch comfortably to fit your worst hangover bloat. Another transitional piece, these should be either solid black or patterned - save the bright colours and jewel tones for your upper body. These can give a fun, 70s-era twist to your everyday look, and can be paired with everything from a teddy jacket to a tube top to give you a moment worthy of the Chelsea art scene.
Canada Goose Parka
Despite the company’s notoriety, the infamous black Canada Goose parka remains a staple of many a St Andrews student’s wardrobe. Ususally worn with leggings and sneakers (and, let’s be honest, AirPods and whatever the latest edition of the MacBook is), these aren’t so much a fashion statement as a totem of the culture of wealth here - or, if you’re feeling generous, the most efficient way to block yourself from the harsh reality of a Fife winter. Black, oversized and fur-trimmed is usually the way to go, but why not be experimental and try an edgy navy blue? When shelling out for one of these, remember that it will do double-duty: it’ll keep you warm while also letting everyone else around you know that you’re willing to spare no expense to look just like them!
Only at this uni would an essential wardrobe list include both “Canada Goose parka” and “cashmere scarf”. *Sigh*. Anyways, these are usually gray (or camel, if you’re feeling adventurous), and they actually make for a pretty good investment - effortlessly chic, warm, and when paired with a large jacket and sunglasses, they provide the perfect disguise when hiding from someone whom you will inevitably bump into (there are only three streets in this town, and somehow you always seem to cross paths with last night’s drunken hookup at the exact wrong moment). Because we live in a perpetual state of 5 - 15 degree weather, these are year-round accessories, so why not drop the required (minimum) 50 quid?
Animal print isn’t necessarily my favourite trend, but it has nonetheless made an undeniable resurgence, and both male and female students have embraced the cheetah moment with open arms. Showing up on everything from fuzzy jackets to loafters (and, inexplicably, men’s formalwear), this print can provide a touch of whimsy to your otherwise-average ensemble. Of course, some of us aren’t as out-there style-wise as others, so for a more understated look, try cheetah on a belt, headband, or in more muted colours on a larger garment.
Oversized denim jacket
Most likely bought second-hand (there are racks upon racks of these to be found at every 601 vintage sale), this may be the most fashion-forward and on-trend look in St Andrews right now. Usually light-wash denim, perhaps with a few embroidered patches, toss this on over a plain tee-shirt for some 90s-LA realness, or pair with a minidress and the aforementioned white sneakers for something a little more “now”. The most important thing about this jacket, however, is the fit: it must be just baggy enough to look adorably-grungy, but not too baggy that it swallows you. Finding the perfect denim jacket can be a long process, but have patience! The final fashion moment is worth it.
So here you are! All of the pieces that I’ve deemed “essential” for your entry to the St Andrews fashion scene. Of course, this list is doubtless not exhaustive, so go ahead and discuss among friends and add your suggestions to the comment section. But remember: these are only the beginning. The most well-dressed people are those who take the trends and put their own spins on them. So, with that, happy trend-tracking!
In this new series, Nicola Blackburn interviews members of the St Andrews community with interesting stories to tell – all while strolling down Lade Braes. The first installment spotlights Grace Thorner, a student at the university.
It’s safe to say that Grace Thorner is someone you notice. I’m waiting outside Prêt, holding her Americano at the ready, when I spot her leopard print scarf and the cloud of curly hair bobbing towards me. Grace is scarcely seen around St Andrews without a flash of leopard print, a heeled boot, or a red lip, looking suitably fabulous for someone who is always pursuing a new project. She is currently ploughing through a university degree while simultaneously managing Concrete Catwalk’s blog - a go-to for the latest dose of university street style. She comes off as utterly chic, and her extracurricular pursuits suggest an utmost interest in the sartorial. You can imagine my surprise when, as we reached Lade Braes and set off on our wander, she broke the news to me that she’s not all that interested in fashion.
Somewhat controversial for someone who coordinates a fashion blog, right? Grace justified herself pretty well. ‘CC [Concrete Catwalk] is more student style than fashion I would say. While I’m not interested in designer brands, fashion shows - I don’t read Vogue [Magazine] or anything - I do find what people wear and how people dress really interesting.’
Personal style isn’t just an interest for Grace; it’s something she wants to celebrate. And she makes a good point about a particular stigma surrounding the St Andrews fashion scene that we’re all familiar with. ‘I think there’s this whole stigma, especially in St Andrews, about people dressing up for lectures. I personally just think that that’s getting dressed. If people want to wear a dress and heels, or chinos and a blazer, then why is that dressing up? It’s just clothes, it makes them feel good and… happy.’
This is what I like most about Grace. She’s intelligent, constantly voicing ideas that send your thoughts running at a thousand miles an hour. Nodding vigorously, you’ll often exclaim, ‘yes, oh my gosh of course, that’s so true!’ And yet, what’s she’s got to say is never unrelatable. Whether it’s unintentional or not, her profundity never comes across as intimidating. She makes you forget you’re talking to the coordinator of a fashion blog. Perhaps this is because, like Concrete Catwalk itself, Grace preaches inclusivity within fashion. Later in our interview, she tells me she doesn’t tend to follow trends; quite refreshing from my point of view. And when I press her for a favourite timeless fashion trend, she eschews the notion of popular fashion altogether, offering a friendlier paradigm: ‘whatever makes you feel good.’
So what is she currently working on? Today, her answer is The Greenhouse, which she eloquently explains to me is a purpose-built, eco-friendly theatre venue at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival; a venue whose foremost purpose is to exhibit how art can be produced in an eco-friendly way. Grace is managing the publicity for this project. The venue will be built of recycled and reclaimed materials, with no electricity involved in the construction process, nor in the productions themselves. Grace would know – she’ll also be helping with the physical construction of the event.
The Greenhouse isn’t just a venue for theatre. Its productions will include a dance and some musical shows, as well as some workshops, one of which Grace will host. Here, she will lecture about zero-waste marketing. Binding all these elements together is a shared focus on the relationship between man and his Earth, which Grace and the Greenhouse team hopes will ‘open up a dialogue about how we’re treating the environment.’
I hear the passion emanating from her voice as she explains the project, her so-called “all or nothing” attitude comes across. As anybody who knows her will tell you, this is so characteristically Grace. In the past, this has manifested in running a marathon to raise money for cancer research, and touring around the country with a theatre troupe to promote better accessibility to theatre in rural areas. Now her sights are set on eco-theatre. ‘Well, we do only have twelve years to save the planet’ she reminds me, citing a recent UN report.
So what is Grace up to when she’s not pioneering missions to save the planet via eco-friendly art practices? Grace is in her third year of her degree in English and Social Anthropology at St. Andrews. The story of how she ended up here is one we’ve all heard from an English countryside dweller: she liked the idea of going to the city, had her heart set on Edinburgh and then on Durham, was accepted at St Andrews and cried a lot, then came to see it and ‘quite liked it, actually.’ Two and a half years on, she’s come to like being at a smaller university, because ‘you know everyone, so it makes going in to anything a bit less scary,’ and there are ‘more opportunities to get involved in lots of different things. More so than if you were at a big Uni.’
And when she’s not studying? If Grace is going for a night out, you can find her at the Vic. She’s got a pretty good grasp of the place: despite the (admittedly large) ‘amount of pervy old men,’ she thinks it is the best place in St. Andrews to dance, ‘and on a night out I like dancing.’ If Grace throws herself in to a night out the way she does everything else in her life, then you can be sure she’s a pretty excellent dancer.
Grace’s fun fact: she’s a triplet.
Sophie Miller interviews
- COMFORT IS KEY‘Hygge’ didn’t get all the attention for no reason – it applies to a way of life, and a way of life includes fashion. Think straight-cut, mom, or boyfriend jeans, cosy sweaters, quality over quantity.
- BACK TO BASICSMuted palettes, white t-shirts, clean lines and boxy cuts, a good pair of ankle boots. Simple graphic tees, stripes, and patterns are also good for when you’re feeling somewhat more **funky** - but more on statement pieces later.
- BECOME THE ONIONLayering is completely compatible with a wardrobe mainly consisting of basics (I personally own about five identical white t-shirts), because everything goes with everything and things don’t have to get boring. And given the temperature disparity between North Street and the library, layers are pretty practical.
- STATEMENTS AND SUCHI’ve been emphasising the importance of basics, but statement pieces obviously still fit into that minimalist ‘Scandi’ aesthetic. A personal favourite is my new slightly cropped, chunky, red turtleneck (from &otherstories, the masters of knitwear, IMO), which I tend to pair with black jeans, but intend to pair with my black, heeled boots under straight-cut, side-stripe trousers when I get my hands on some.
- THREE’S A CHARMA quick analysis of Pernille Teisbæk’s (author of Dress Scandinavian and my personal fashion icon) Instagram will present you with a pattern: she rarely goes for more than three colours in an outfit. If she goes for multiple shades, they’re only of one of the three. If she pairs a bright red jumper and a checked blazer, streaks of the same red will be running through the latter. Simplicity. Cohesion. My heart flutters with every double-tap.
Link to Pernille’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pernilleteisbaek/ So, there you have it – my five top-tips to a scandi Autumn/Winter in the Bubble!
- Big black hat
- Black sunglasses
- Black dress
- Black Jacket
- “Hello My Name Is” (just write the name Marla on it!)
- Cigarette (real or fake)
Ashley Spinelli (Recess)Take a cue from this old Disney Channel favourite and go as tough-talking Ashley Spinelli from the Recess gang. In fact, you can choose any of the Recess characters and you should be able to find something in your closet to make it work. This works great as a solo outfit, but can be even better if you can gather a group of friends to go as the rest of the characters!What you’ll need:
- Orange beanie
- Black leather jacket
- Red dress
- Striped tights
- Black boots
Suzy Bishop (Moonrise Kingdom)This is a colourful and quirky Halloween option pulled straight out of Wes Anderson’s pastel-hued universe. Although the props may be quite difficult to drag around on a night out, the rest of the outfit can be put together even less than an hour before you’re due to head out! This is also a great idea if you’re looking for a couple’s or best friends costume, as Suzy’s counterpart Sam dresses quite simply as well.What you’ll need:
- Pink/salmon coloured long-sleeved dress
- White button down shirt (for layering underneath)
- Long white socks
- Binoculars and suitcases (optional)
Powerpuff Girls Here’s another great costume idea for a group of friends! In this one, hair styling is key; so don’t be afraid to go for some temporary hair dye and pigtails! Also, if you’re more than three in your group of friends, you can easily recreate the dresses into M&M costumes instead, to accommodate a larger group. What you’ll need:
- A blue, pink or green dress depending on which character you are
- A black belt or sash (a scarf could work in a hurry)
- White tights/stockings
- Black shoes (Mary Jane’s work best)
- Optional: blue scrunchies for Bubbles and a red ribbon hair-piece for Blossom
Knives Chau (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)Perhaps the easiest costume of all, this graphic-novel-turned-movie inspired Halloween costume only really requires a scarf and a wig (or perhaps not even that if you have a similar haircut). It may be quite difficult for some people to figure out who you are, but if you’re ready to do some explaining, this costume requires little to no preparation. Bonus points if you can find friends to go as Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers alongside you!What you’ll need:
- Black tank top
- Black flared trousers/yoga pants
- Black fingerless gloves
- Long black and white scarf
The Grady Twins (The Shining)For those who wanted a more frightening option for Halloween, then the Grady Twins from The Shining are the way to go. Unlike the previous costumes where group costumes were optional, this packs more of a punch if you go as a pair! This can also look even more impressive with some fake blood, if you want to take the fear-factor even further.What you’ll need:
- Blue dresses
- Pink ribbon
- Knee-high socks
- Black shoes (Mary Jane’s)
Blink and you’ll miss it: it’s the New Year! And what better time to make a big change than now? In a society of consumerism, it’s easy for the “more is more” mindset to trickle down to your shopping habits. One falls into an endless cycle of shopping for what’s trendy and then having to do a wardrobe overhaul every year or so, but that isn’t always easy on a student budget. The trick is to invest in a few key pieces (and yes we mean invest – good quality items with matching price tags) that will work for the long haul. Here’s how to achieve maximum style points with a minimalist mindset. Find good quality basics in your price rangeIt’s easy to think that a plain white v-neck is something to be bought at a fast-fashion retailer – it’s a simple wardrobe item that receives a lot of wear and tear. But for an item of clothing that is so versatile, you’ll be wearing it so much that it shouldn’t be so poor in quality that you’re replacing it every couple of months. Instead, opt for good quality basics that will last you close to forever. If you’re willing to splurge, A.P.C., Rag & Bone and Acne Studios are great places to start, however shops like Uniqlo and Gap also offer great basics at more affordable price tags. Pick one trend and stick to it The thing with trends is that there is always a new one around the corner. It can be difficult for your wardrobe and wallet to keep up with ever-evolving rules in fashion, so the easiest way around it is to pick just one trend to follow through with. This way, you can still incorporate fashion-forward pieces into your wardrobe, but won’t find yourself having to toss everything out once new collections (and their accompanying trends) are revealed. Neutrals are your friendsIt may sound a bit boring, but in order to save time and money on clothing, it’s important that a majority of the pieces you buy come in a neutral colour. Sure, those dusty rose strappy heels may look necessary for your closet right now, but be honest with yourself – how many times are you actually going to wear them? Sometimes it’s best to play around with different styles and silhouettes yet stick to neutral colours, that way you know you’ll get a lot of use out of something, even if it is quite trendy at first glance. The good ol’ hanger trickWhen you hang your clothes up in your closet, make sure all the hangers are facing in one direction. After you use an item, hang it back up with the hanger facing in the opposite direction. At the end of the year, look at all the hangers that are still facing in the original direction you placed them in: these are all the clothes you haven’t worn! It’s time to donate them, sell them or give them away to friends who want them. This trick actually works and will help you see how small a percentage of your clothing you actually use, helping you to stock up on only a few key, essential items.Not all new year’s resolutions are easy to follow, but if you want to become a more conscious shopper and overhaul a clunky wardrobe, this is the best place to start. Good luck! Rachel Abreu
It's that time of year again. With the Victoria's Secret 2016 casting completed it’s a countdown till Paris and time for me to pretend that I’m an angel and start working out. Just kidding, I will procrastinate like I do every year and end up watching the show while eating an extra large pizza and silently crying.
Incase y'all are like me and are in a constant search for new amazing cosmetics, I have assembled this list of deliciously fabulous items which I have been putting to the test in the month of October. Please keep in mind these are my personal opinions and recommendations, so if you happen to love a product I hate, don't take it personally. Some of these are major hits, and some are full on misses, let's get started!
With fashion idols like Rhianna sporting the iconic YSL heart-shaped fur coat, and Miley Cyrus making nipple pasties a wardrobe staple, there is something to be said for “offbeat” fashion. While it is easy to shop for items which emulate the classic styles of Suki Waterhouse, or Alicia Vikander, finding designers which cater to a more provocative clientele, at a reasonable price, is often a significant shopping challenge. At an extravagant price point, the Italian label Moschino creates runway looks inspired by pop-art that embody the “risk taking” style niche, but let’s get real, those pieces are hardly accessible to the mainstream consumer. As a result, today's article is focused on online boutiques which produce either jewellery or apparel designed with that niche in mind, but at prices that do not max your credit card!First up we have suzywan.com, with designs also available at ASOS and Nasty Gal, this fabulous jewellery line has been modelled by the likes of Snoop Dogg and Joan Smalls. With collections sporting names like Sweet PomPom, Holographic Magic, and Club Section, its pieces are anything but boring, and are often reminiscent of 90’s music videos. The motifs of the collections usually involve silhouettes of flamingos, mermaid-inspired patterns, multicoloured pompoms, and the brands signature holographic mirrors. With the articles ranging from chokers, and earrings to septum rings, Suzywan curates collections which cater to the full spectrum of avant-garde shoppers, while keeping most of the designs under £50. I will admit, when you first peruse the stock it can seem slightly unwearable, but honestly, that is the fun of it! The pieces motivate you to experiment with your everyday look, and before you know it you are looking more like a trendsetter instead of a trend groupie. So if you are in the market for some psychedelic jewellery I would definitely recommend this hidden gem!Now when it comes to the general accessories department, lamoda.co.uk is one of the best sites to shop quirky, up and coming UK brands who are heavily inspired by the LA music scene. These brands such as, Hey Mama, Cake By The Ocean, California Love, and Ignition (see a pattern yet?), all share a key interest in low prices, while keeping the quality of their pieces high. Many of the articles, be it bags, stilettos, or sunglasses, all push the norm with their bright colours, unusual materials, and geometric lines. The beauty of the site is really that it caters to so many tastes while simultaneously pulling inspiration from some of the edgiest trends of the moment. One of the reasons this is a perfect site for experimenting with bold trends is the prices, especially their section called “Look like a Jenner for a Tenner” with nothing exceeding £9.99. So if you have £10 to spare I would check out this site and their rad designs!So now that we have covered jewellery and accessories, let's talk clothing. It is pretty easy to find your staple “hipster” items of clothing at your local H&M, but if you are looking to make heads turn with some genuinely vintage and unique pieces, then you need to check out theraggedpriest.com. The site, like many online boutiques, has a limited number of pieces per season, but that is partly why the collections have so much appeal. Each collection contains a dozen tops, skirts, sweaters, jackets, skirts and dresses, each with a limited and finite amount of stock. The pieces are all mainly pastel colours, with sheer fabric, offset by unusually placed patchwork. This distinct combo, combined with the brand's repeated images of eagles, rainbows, and tarot hands, create a grunge look that is both wearable and bold.There is no way that I will be able to describe the style of The Ragged Priest adequately because frankly there is nothing I can compare the style to, it is just so different, so do yourself a solid and check out the site now! I will say that being confident in your own skin and your body is definitely key to being able to pull off these body conscious and stand alone pieces, but trust me, once you wear one of them you will feel like dynamite. Now, in case you are wondering how this site does in terms of price, I would say it is very reasonable given the quality with the apparel never exceeding £60, the only exception being the biker jackets for £130. So if you are looking to restyle yourself as more of a 90’s Angelina Jolie and trying to avoid looking like Jen Aniston in Friends, than this brand has you covered!So what is the moral of this long-winded spiel? That there is this common misconception that dressing audaciously is difficult. We see celebrities do it constantly, but often dismiss our own potential to do the same. If white t-shirts and jeans are your look and you like it, then keep on keeping on, but if that is only your look because you are nervous to take a risk then you are missing out! The boutiques mentioned above provide easy ways to take fashion risks, so you can channel your inner Miley or Rhianna, and maybe you will find that dressing like you are on the cutting edge of fashion will be liberating. Until next time, keep it real! Maya McDonald
Let’s face it: words like Prada, Valentino, and Tom Ford trigger that horribly agonizing combo of desire and despair. The clothes are easily available but tiresome obligations to buy food and pay rent sometimes keep the Add to Cart button unclicked. Happily, the Internet, along with increasing our temptations, has also created a means of affording designer luxury. Websites catering to budget conscious fashionistas allow people all over the world to buy designer clothing. Though these sites still require time and effort to use, they have made searching for affordable designer wear far easier than ever before. The Outnet This site, which is owned by the Net-A-Porter Group, offers designer clothing at up to 90% off. The selection is added to every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday so there is a constant stream of fashionable items. It stocks over 350 brands including Philip Lim, Isabel Marant, Iris & Ink, and many more, with easy international shipping and easy returns. Keep in mind that some items may not sell for weeks whilst others sell out in a matter of days. Due to the way The Outnet works, it is never known if they will restock an item once it is sold out. FarfetchThis site is a middleman for boutiques all over the world to sell to the international market. If you are patient and check the website a few times a month, you can find individual boutiques having sales of their particular stock. Depending on where the boutique is, shipping can sometimes be costly but the substantial discounts and free returns may compensate for that expense. Shopping on Farfetch sometimes requires comparisons to other websites in order to understand what kind of deal you are getting. However, with a little time spent, FarFetch can really pay off for those need-to-have items. Shopstyle Shopstyle does not sell clothing but it tells you who does. It is best used if you know what you want or have a small selection of possibilities. For instance, if you want a particular pair of jeans from Madewell, Shopstyle will list websites selling that pair or something similar. You can also be alerted when an item goes on sale. All the websites are verified so you do not have to worry about a deal being too good to be true. Shopstyle’s service, My Tailored Shop, allows users to see their favorite brands and shows those within a preferred price range. Shopstyle also features options to narrow down the possibilities for shipping, color, size, and type. BloomingdalesBloomingdales is a department store in the United States that sells thousands of luxury items. They have an ongoing sale where some clothing items fall into the lower £20 range. The site is good to use for basics and small items (such as makeup bags) that you might need. Bloomingdales also offers a personalized shopping service to help you pick what you want. They provide international shipping and are easy and efficient to use. Alexis Gostelow
What will the fashion section of The Tribe hold for our new academic year? Readers can expect a refreshed section with an emphasis on high-end trends at student friendly prices, along with a kaleidoscope of style reviews, runway retrospectives and student fashion profiles. My name is Maya Asha, and as the new Fashion Editor I am thrilled to be part of bringing relevant and diverse content to our student body! I am the definition of a fashion dork, with my collection of Vogue’s going back every month since 2000, so being a Fashion Editor has got me feeling like a kid dressing up as Anna Wintour.As a member of the SFC I am looking forward to collaborating with all of our members, many of whom are involved in FS, Don't Walk, and Concrete Catwalk. Additionally, The UK line The Ragged Priest is planning to lend us some of their fabulously off-beat items to create a student look-book which will be featured in this section using student models. My goal for this section is definitely to team up with as many fashion and style lovers as possible, focusing on bringing students and brands together so that the content is not only engaging, but fundamentally connected to the pulse of our St. Andrean culture.In terms of columns, high quality content and frequent updates are key to making our Fashion Section genuine and relevant. In case I have not repeated it enough, relevant is the theme of this new year, we need to keep content fresh and in demand! To do that I am going to encourage all the writers contributing to the section to create a column named and structured by them, because let's get real, who wants to be assigned a column when they can develop one. I want everyone to bring their own personal taste and inspirations to the table so that there is style diversity within the section to match the style diversity of our exceptionally dressed little town.One column you can expect to see from me directly is Ship It, where I recommend items and brands to our readers that are hot fire must-haves. Since online shopping can be a never ending endeavour, I plan to bring my weekly pics inspired by celebrity style, the latest designer collections, and St. Andrews street-style.I really cannot wait to start this creative journey with The Tribe team and all of you, the doors are open to collaborations and student profiles since I truly believe that inclusivity breeds innovation and that exclusivity stifles the attraction of individuality. Maya Asha
Writing a fashion review in a foreign language as a Science student? It is hard. But compared to deciding what to wear for May Ball? Piece of cake.
When it turned out two days before the event that I was going to write the fashion review on May Ball, I have to admit that I panicked. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to wear! And this, especially for May Ball, the last chance to present your style and make a memorable appearance outside the cold and depressing vibes of the library this academic year, is truly a disaster.
Weeks before the impending Kate Kennedy Charity May Ball, a new topic of conversation appeared: the outfit. Long dress or short dress? Tie or bow tie? The typical St Andrews conversation is heightened by everybody’s opinion on how formal the event is going to be and how all attendants should dress.
On the 1st of May, Kinkell Byre was glowing – the red and gold colours in the decoration, appeared as stripes in the ties of the members of the Kate Kennedy Club. It perfectly represented the organisers and their matching colours emphasised the superiority of the event.
The question arose: how to find the perfect clothes to wear for May Ball? The following factors needed to be taken into account.Firstly, the dress code, which is black tie. May Ball counts as one of the most formal occasions in the academic calendar. This can be illustrated by numbers: 88% of the females were wearing long dresses and 83% of the males were wearing a bow tie.Secondly, it is a night with dancing for hours, so comfortable shoes would be the ideal solution. Eventually, however, the choice tends to be an elegant, formal shoe - therefore by 1am many girls were dancing barefoot and quiet complaints were whispered everywhere, even by some of the male attendees. Another very unique feature of the May Ball are the rides, which brings me to the third factor: all the excitement and movement it requires could ruin the carefully chosen wardrobe.Furthermore, the temperature is important, as we try to find the balance of not being either cold or warm in any part of the venue. The outside temperature was a reasonably warm 13°C, and inside it was over 20°C. This factor influenced choice of clothes yet was the perfect excuse to don a fashionable throw or coat for the windswept photo opportunity.
The rapid approach of the summer was portrayed by the colourful crowd. Only 32% were wearing a classic black dress, whereas 50% were wearing light colours, a perfect combination of spring and summer. 18%, meanwhile, dared to wear a warming red.
The money spent on the outfits ranged from 30 pounds to 300 pounds, and most of them were not worn before to any other event in St Andrews.
Lastly, the impact of different traditions in this time of the year were also highlighted by the attire. Those who ran into the North Sea at dawn tended to wear less formal clothes and most of them only decided on their outfits a day or two before. On the other hand, many others have had their outfits ready for the past few months.
All in all, the wide variety of outfits revealed a diverse, colourful company and seeing the outcome of the surveys confirmed that the outfit finding challenge does exist. I wish the best of luck for everybody in the years to come to accomplish it just as brilliantly as the guests of The Kate Kennedy Charity May Ball this year.
The notoriously exclusive world of modelling and fashion shows is being taken by storm by one nineteen year old girl.
Madeline Stuart is a professional model. In 2015, she landed contracts with the athletic-wear label Manifesta, the cosmetics brand GlossiGirl, and the accessories designer EverMaya. She has walked in New York Fashion week for FTL Moda, donning pieces by designers Josefa de Silva and Lulu te Gigi. Most recently, she is being featured in bridal wear designer Sarah Houston’s latest ad campaign. For many models, these are mundane accomplishments; but Madeline boasts the unique tribute of being the world’s first (and only) professional model with Down Syndrome, and this makes her accomplishments pioneering.
The daring young Australian clearly does not allow societal pressures surrounding her disability to hinder her. Instead, she uses her passion to challenge the widespread perceptions of the lives of disabled people. Her official website states that ‘she wants people to know that Down Syndrome is a blessing, something to be celebrated.’
In an interview with blogger Mahalia of Love 'Em, Madeline voiced of her chosen career path, ‘[Modelling is] a way to express myself when words don't always come easy. Plus, I get to embrace society and hopefully make people feel more comfortable around people with disabilities.’
Her ultimate goal of encouraging business professionals to employ disabled people does not end with fashion. Madeline also uses her love for dancing to promote her message of positivity and inclusivity. She is the ambassador for and a founding member of the Inside Outside Dance Ensemble based in Brisbane, Australia. Founded in 2015, the studio offers classes in a variety of genres ranging from traditional styles such as contemporary to experimental dance. Its aim is to provide young people with disability a supportive platform to learn, create, explore and develop performance skills and to create pieces that can be toured regionally, and eventually, internationally.
Madeline’s determination is being given the attention it deserves. To date, she has almost 725,000 followers between Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Last year, she was nominated for the Pride of Australia and young Australian of the Year Awards. She also received the Model of the Year Award from fashion entertainment company, Mélange Productions.
Amongst increasing societal appeals for diversity, opportunity and originality, Madeline’s voice is a particularly loud (and much needed) one. She is undoubtedly already making her mark on the professional world, nationally and internationally, and is quickly assuming her position as one of the frontrunners of the burgeoning change spreading throughout the world of fashion. Madeline is a sharp reminder of the importance of believing in yourself and pursuing your goals in spite of the obstacles.
Images provided courtesy of Madeline Stuart’s official Facebook page.
Catwalk was an absolute blast! This was my first fashion show in St Andrews ever and it surpassed my expectations. The best part for me was that everyone, especially the models, seemed to be having fun. There was no army of serious looking models strutting down the runway but a group of students celebrating fashion. I chatted to one of the models, Mabel Barclay, before the show about whether she had enjoyed the process of rehearsals. She admitted she had some reservations about what it would be like to work with the other models and the potentially snobbish atmosphere that might be fostered. However, she felt that everyone had shared her experience of being slightly scared at first and warming into the fun of working together to produce their performance. No student run event I have been to has been completely perfect so, of course, there were some minor slip ups. There were small wardrobe malfunctions, some slight slips in heels and wrong turns taken on the runway but everything was dealt with with a smile and support from other models. Personally, I would rather see people having fun than a uniformly perfect show.The theme was street style, something they stuck too well on the whole. However, I found that this meant the collection was slightly limited and not as artistically interesting as it might otherwise have been. The problem with the theme is that you could literally see most of these outfits on the street, especially when placed within St Andrews culture which is so high fashion anyway. You can only look at tracksuits, jeans and simple skirts for so long without the mind wondering. Having said this, there were pieces that broke up the event and I enjoyed the sleepwear, kilts, ball dresses and underwear sets in particular. If nothing else, it was seriously impressive how many pieces of clothing they had managed to put together and how quick and smooth the changes were. Without a doubt the models are all absolutely stunning and should be celebrating their bodies but it annoyed me slightly that the same underwear was shown multiple times. Models wearing the same sets appeared three or four times which was boring; nothing was changing. They didn't do this with other sets of clothes in the first set at least, so it seemed like the point was to look at the models bodies rather than what they were wearing. On the one hand: they are all gorgeous and if they feel confident doing that that's awesome but it's a fashion show: I was there for the clothes.All the models should be congratulated for their confidence and professionalism, they made the event something special! I would have loved to see slightly more diversity on the runway but I think everyone who went had a good time and that should be celebrated. Whilst the models deserve credit for making the event so special, we mustn't forget everyone backstage who worked on the event for months beforehand. The production of Catwalk was amazing and the fact people are doing this on top of their degrees is awesome, and what makes St Andrews so special. The event was a great part of RAG week, raising money for charity, as well as using clothes from local charity shops to celebrate a range of styles. St Andrews students seem to love fashion shows so it fit in well with our fashion culture and was a great way to kick off the season.A fun way to raise money for charity? I'm on board! Looking forward to Catwalk 2017. Jo Boon Images courtesy of Lightbox