The Ultimate Homemade Halloween Costume Guide

Black Swan Halloween Costume
Mermaid Costume
Homemade Halloween Costume: Jester
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Jeans You Should Own

On average, women own 7 pairs of jeans but only wear 4. I’m actually surprised by this. I would imagine it would be a lot more.

Here are the jeans I think everyone should own. I’m not advocating you need all these, but if you were to only have 6 pairs of jeans, these would be it.

Jeans You Should Own

The Perfect Fall Outfit

I LOVE this outfit! The colors work great for fall, the tights add the extra warmth, and it is such a versatile outfit!

Blogger from This Time is a Charm

Click her photo to see the full post and more of her awesome outfits!

Color blocking clutches

A great way to add a little extra color and style to a plain outfit is to add a colorful clutch like the ones featured below. Personally I am a little hesitant of the color blocking trend but I might try getting a bright purse instead.

Color blocking clutches

Trend: Layers

I have always had trouble changing up my style throughout the year.  Sometimes I want to look chic without looking like I much too much effort in my look.  I hope to include some tips that you can try to make your look feel natural, but cute.

The first tip is wearing a collared shirt under a sweater or t shirt.  I love this look because it keeps you warm, gives you the chance to switch layers for temperature fluctuations, and makes  an otherwise boring sweater pop a little.  Here are some other ideas:

from the blog "What I Wore"

from the blog 'What I Wore'

from Chictopia

from the blog 'Sterling Style'

Good News For Student Loans

President Obama announced critical changes to federal loans for college students.   Under his new plan, recent grads are responsible  for only paying 10% of their income to federal student loans for 20 years and anything left will be forgiven.  This is fantastic news!  I still have a ton of private loans, but once I take out loans for law school next year I will have an easier time paying them off.  It also means I don’t just have to look at salary when choosing a job.

Democracy works. Students have been yelling at the Obama Administration to pay attention to the rising costs of higher education and the crushing debt and unemployment rates that faces them after graduation.  Recently, student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt.

From Obama in Colorado pushing student loan relief:

The price of attending the average public university rose 5.4% for in-state students to $21,447 this fall, according to a report released Wednesday by the College Board. The cost for one year at a typical private college rose 4.3% to $42,224.

The average student loan debt for the graduating class of 2009 at four-year nonprofit colleges was $24,000, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.

While college costs are rising, employment prospects for new college graduates are dimming. In 2010, the unemployment rate for college graduates age 24 and younger rose to 9.4%, the highest since the Labor Department began keeping records in 1985.

Thank you Obama!

-Lori

A New Hope

I had to call into AT&T Customer Care the other day and I was greeted by a message that said my call would be answered by a disabled military veteran.  This was the first time I had heard this message or even of this program and I had called into customer care hundreds of times before.  The man who helped me was probably the most helpful of any of the representatives and went above and beyond to assist me with my problem.

From the AloriCare article. :

AloriCares was established with AT&T in late 2010 to provide customer care services staffed entirely by veterans with disabilities. The new hires joined the initial team of disabled veterans, 60 percent of whom suffer from combat-related trauma, in early July.

President Obama also passed a measure similar to what AT&T is doing.  He is calling for health centers across the country to employ 8,000 military veterans over the next three years.  The funding for this project already exists from the health care bill.

From Kaiser Health News article:

W.H. Seeks Health Care Jobs For Veterans
Tom Van Coverden, president of the National Association of Community Health Centers, said veterans are a natural fit. “They bring almost an unparalleled focus on mission and desire to serve, and they understand clearly what teamwork means.”

I was impressed with both of these policies when I discovered them.  I am so tired of the United States’ hypocritical principles.  No person who has ever risked death and mental illness fighting for this country should be homeless, without health care, and without a support system.  This is a small step in working to keep military veterans off the street and appreciate them a little bit more for all that they’ve done.

Professional Wardrobe

The bare minimum of a professional wardrobe.

I stick to the basics in this list to keep costs down and this should be what you build your wardrobe around. Once you have all these items you can shop around for more trendy items that are less expensive.
1.) 3 Versatile work pants: Black, Gray, Navy Blue, Tan of any material.
a. Budget: 100 dollars/pant. I go a little high with the price because they pants should look excellent on you. They should flatter your curves and be the right size. No pinching, bulging, stretching. I also added a little wiggle room if you need to tailor them. The rule is: your pants should skim the floor. If you are wearing heels, the pants should cover the entire heel. That might mean you can only wear some pants with flats or heels. That’s ok.
2.) 1 Skirt: Black pencil skirt. Goes with everything.
a. Budget: 70 dollars.
3.) 1 Dress: Goes with everything and you can dress it up for something after work. You can also use it like a skirt.
a. Budget: 100 dollars
4.) 8 Button down work shirts: 1-3 white shirts, 1 black, 2 dark, 2 bright. You need more white button down shirts because they tend to wear out and get dirtier easier. I also say 2 dark, 1 light and 2 bright because certain colors go better in winter/fall (dark), and summer/spring (light). I say 2 bright because you should have a couple shirts that just make you happier wearing them.
a. Budget: 50 dollars/shirt. TIP: The best places to get these shirts are New York and Company, Express, Gap, and The Limited. These places tend to have sales a lot and when they do, stock up. I generally get these shirts for between 20 or 30 dollars/shirt.
5.) 1-5 cardigans: Cardigans are your best friend. They keep you warm in a cold office and keep you looking chic. I would say definitely have a black, gray, and white cardigan so you get the best value. But also throw in 1 or 2 funky colors or patterns again for the splash of color.
a. Budget: 40 dollars/cardigan. My favorite places to get cardigans are the Gap, New York and Company, and Forever21.
6.) 1-3 blazers: Same thing as above. Keep these neutral, but if you want to take advantage of a current trend like bright colors I say go for it. Red is actually a neutral color so if you’re going to value and trendy, get red.
a. Budget: 100 dollars/blazer. For some reason, well fitting blazers are incredibly hard to find. Maybe it’s because I have a petite frame, but so many blazers make my shoulders big and are too wide in the waist. Use the extra money and find a blazer that is fitted to your shoulders and shows that you have a waist. Every woman has a waist. If you need to have it tailored, do it. The best blazers I have are from H and M. I have also heard J. Crew and Banana Republic have good ones.
7.) 1-2 suits: I say more than one because you’re going to need it. Stick with neutrals and dark colors. If I was interviewing someone and they needed to come back for a second interview and they were wearing the same suit, I would definitely pass judgment on them. You don’t want to have one suit you always wear for a presentation or interview. You want to look professional and professionals have multiple suits.
a. Budget: 200 dollars. The two suits I have are both way under that because I got them at H and M, but I would say give yourself an allowance. You wear a suit when you want to impress someone and you are usually getting something out of it.
8.) 1-3 shirts that are not button downs: These blouses should be professional, but not quite as stiff as a button down. Use these slots for trendy items like a floral blouse, a tie blouse, or a sheer blouse. Budget: 30 dollars/shirt
9.) 1-4 shoes: 1 black heel, 1 nude heel, black flats, and trendy flat. Black goes with everything in your closet that is dark and nude goes with everything else. The trendy flat is to give you a little more style.
a. Budget: 60 dollars/pair of shoes. Again, with browsing sales, you can definitely find something nice. I like Kohls, DSW, or Nordstrom’s for work shoes.
10.) 1-2 Purses: Black and Brown: Goes with everything.
a. Budget: 50 dollars/purse. Just don’t go with designers and you will be fine. Almost every trendy young womenswear store has cute purses.

Total: If you max out the budget that puts you at 2000 dollars. If you shop for sales, than you are around 1500. This might seem like a lot, but we spend the majority of our lives at work and you must always present a positive image of yourself so why wouldn’t you spend the money to look good. 2000 dollars over 12 months is 167 dollars/month. Surely you could afford that which will be an investment into your future. My suggestion for a professional wardrobe is look often and smart. Don’t leave yourself the last minute to try and find a good fitting suit. You either won’t have time to get it tailored or you won’t find anything you like. There are a ton of websites that allow you to track sales and be alerted when something goes down in price. You can also sign up for store emails. Make a friend at the local department store and they would love to call you when they see something you might like especially if they work on commission.

Professional Wardrobe