Lifestyle

The Guide to Jeans: According to Your Body Type

713 952 Lauren Kennedy

It seems that jean shopping has become a dreaded duty rather a peachy past time, and my mission is to convert boy-cotters into not just denim-lovers, but denim-fanatics. The underlying issue seems to be the overwhelming thought of wear to begin! We may have too many options, but that only means the fun increases. The market is saturated with various brands, washes, and styles, so it is finding your niche that will make the jean world small. Denim is meant to help, not harm, but after conversing with too many frustrated women, I have concluded that the latter seems more realistic. We will start at the most important aspect: what jeans fit your body shape. My hope is that this guide will take you down a jean-loving road of confidence.

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Quick Tips

1. Invest in one pair of quality jeans that transition from day to night.
2. Be patient and keep trying. You can always tailor denim.
3. Ask for help. Retailers know how their denim fits.
4. If you find a great pair of jeans that don’t fit your budget, search the brand and style online for better prices.
5. Buy sale jeans at Nordstrom Rack. They have a great selection.
6. Don’t give in just because they are on sale. Make sure they fit well.

Daddy Long Legs

No one likes a pair of high-waters, except for when the trend is intentional, and for that, I say embrace it. But on a day to day basis, most leg-endowed ladies are looking for the perfect jeans that don’t just barely sweep the floor. Get ready to fall in like with these denim brands that will still touch the ground even when you pair them with those stellar pumps of yours!

Almost all Citizens of Humanity are super long.
Recommended Style: Ava for a classic fit
Steppin’ out: Angie Super Flare
(Sold at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Cotton Island)

Seven For All Mankind
Recommended Style: Bootcut Original Fit
Steppin’ Out: The California Bell Bottom
(Sold at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Cotton Island)

The Athletic Girl

You are that toned woman who is active to the core, and you want some denim to fit well and feminize your shape. Warm up to these body-conscious jeans that keep up with your athletic lifestyle while supporting your hard-core exercise regime!

Recommended Style: James Jeans Reboot
Steppin’ Out: Joe’s Skinny Micro Flare Brigitte
(Sold at The Blue Jeans Bar)

Recommended Style: Fidelity Denim Belladona
Steppin’ Out: DL1961 Melissa
(Sold at The Blue Jeans Bar)

The Slender Chic

You are a skinny-minny who loves to rock a great pair of jeans, but sometimes you want to add a little curve to your silhouette. The key: look for jeans with flap pockets. They will immediately give your rear some shape! You have room to take risk, so try some super-skinnies, super-flare, or colored denim that hits at the ankle!

Recommended Style: Joe’s Visionaire Flare
Steppin’ Out: Blank High-Waisted Wide Legs
(Sold at Anthropologie and Free People)

Recommended Style: True Religion Becky Classic
Steppin’ Out: AG Stevie Ankle in a color!

The One with the Curves

You have a voluptuous body, and you want to accentuate all the right areas while balancing your lower half. In order to do so, skip the skinny cut jeans, and try on denim that creates a straight line from the outside of your hips to the outside part of your bottom hem. Another tip: steer clear of exaggerated stitching, flap pockets, and sand blasted denim that create horizontal lines at the thighs. Stick with a solid color dark wash.

Recommended Style: Paige “Skyline” Bootcut
Steppin’ Out: Paige Premium “Bell Canyon” Flare

Recommended Style: Citizens of Humanity Amber Mid-Rise Bootcut
Steppin’ Out: CJ by Cookie Johnson Felicity Flared Jeans
(Sold at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus)

 

Osborn Shoes: Totally Legit ‘Folk Urban’ Soles.

500 423 Lauren Kennedy

Grab a cup of joe, and enjoy this totally rad story about the beginning of an out-of-the-blue venture that turned into a full blown (awesome) shoe business. Meet Aaron Osborn, a man who lives with his eyes wide open, willing to take hold of opportunity, passionately living life. Being a creative entrepreneur at heart, I was completely enthralled by the details of this undertaking and his vision carried-out. Dive into this Guatemalan adventure that all began from meeting a jobless cobbler on a normal day and now stands as a top-notch shoe brand that is known for its ethical construction and bold, risky, fantastic prints. Suggestion: take notes, and sip on some serious inspiration.

“It was a creative outlet mixed with a desire to affect our world and adopted country positively.”

 
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What led you to Guatemala, and why have you decided to stay there?
My pop moved there when I was in high school. I decided to visit him after RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), get to know him a bit, and understand what it was he was doing. One week visit I was in love. The country is beautiful, filled with beautiful, sweet people and delicious food. I enjoyed working with kids, and I am starting to use my art for positive social change.

What did you study in college? After graduating from RISD, did you plan to pursue a career in design? 
I studied Painting in RISD. At the time the department was still interwoven with Printmaking. After graduating RISD, I knew I was going to work in design; I simply didn’t know the specifics. I just knew what I liked doing, which was making stuff with my hands, and trying to stay innovative with design, production and material. I have always had a sewing machine and would alter my clothes all the time in high school and while at RISD. So I guess I didn’t realize I was always into fashion! Carla (Co-Founder of Osbourn Shoes) studied sculpture and received her Masters from Tyler School of Art. Carla was making personal work, and I was and am still impressed.

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How did Osborn shoes come about? Was there a specific goal behind the business, or did you just need a creative outlet?
I liked your comment in an earlier email that stated – “They enjoy seeing a product come to life rather than simply reading a critique.” I feel strongly about the Osborn story, because it’s the basis for this whole project. So…… I was living in Guatemala working with kids placed in different orphanages throughout Guatemala. I was doing a bunch of STUFF, most of it dealing with art, all of it under the umbrella of a non-profit. We(the kids and myself) were making murals throughout depressing monotoned government orphanages, art classes, and intro to silk screen. The silk screen venture was the baby seed. I saw how the kids loved making things they could wear – I think we all love that! But there were two things going on. They developed a sense of pride and ownership when visitors would BUY their shirts and then wear them all the time. The second thing was THE KIDS WERE MAKING MONEY! This was huge to me. I was seeing too many kids growing up in the homes getting institutionalized and leaving the home lost and broke. I talked with the director of the homes, and giving the kids money for a product they produced themselves made the directors nervous. Would it compromise the non-profit status? Does the home get a cut? etc etc. Simultaneously, Katrina and Wilma hit Guatemala hard, and we were running aid all over the remote villages. Doing this, I met out of work cobblers and tailors, and this is were the thought for Osborn came in. What if I walk away from this non-profit model, and made stuff with these awesome artisans who are looking for work, not aid? Ultimately, I believe in aid as a short term solution, but not as a sustainable solution for any given community, no matter where you are. We all want to work and earn our living!

The thought hit me–Oh shit, maybe I can do this. That is the inception. It has been an even more interesting story trying to make it work! I met a cobbler in the town I was living in (start immediately where you are), and we just began making shoes. Carla is now involved in the picture, and we have moved back to the U.S. living off our art work, design work, and the Guatemalan Production project. There was no plan, but the shoes kept getting noticed when we would sell them. We received an inquiry about whether or not we could wholesale, and that is when we quit everything else and dove head first into Osborn Design. So it was a creative outlet mixed with a desire to affect our world and adopted country positively.

Side note: my production manager now, Agustin, was one of the first kids I met in Guatemala! He was in a children’s home, and now he has a beautiful wife and rambunctious six year old!

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Is there a classic Osborn shoe from which the company derived or did you start with many different designs?
We started with a very classic oxford. We believed that we wanted classic simple silhouettes, because mixed with the vibrant and intricate textile from Guatemala or a second hand piece of clothing, would create an interesting juxtaposition.

Tell us about the evolution of the company. Does it benefit the Guatemalan community?
We started with one cobbler. Berto! He was living on a rented plot of land behind someone’s shack. Now he and his wife and three kids rent an apartment. This is the same story for all my workers. I am VERY PROUD of this fact! This is the reason to sweat, struggle and make sure we are going to succeed. We are now a family of 30 workers. Each worker is supporting about 7 – 10 people. I know our worker’s kids are now in school, and we even bought one of the kids a laptop for her high school classes, giving her that edge in her education. I hope we benefit Guatemalan communities!

Tell us about the fabrics you use and the inspiration behind the prints. Are you concerned with keeping up with trends?
We started using second hand materials like old shirts, blankets, table cloths, as well as used Guatemalan textiles: the Huipil and the corte. From here we started to design our own fabrics, having Guatemalan weavers produce the fabric, furthering Osborn’s impact. Now we are silk screening in Guatemala, weaving and embroidering. We keep trying to define ourselves, and some words keep coming up: Folk Urban. Global Neighbors. Playful unexpected associations. We are not concerned with keeping with trends, but rather we are concerned with our artistic integrity and the continuation of  innovating. Of course we are always influenced by what is around us, but we do not actively keep with trends. We hope to humbly be surfing the waves in front of trends!

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You are very serious about production standards. What contributes to the quality of your shoes?
Carla is very good at keeping high standards. We have worked closely with Agustin and Berto to make sure that quality is defined and enforced. Also, I believe that giving a sense of pride to our workers will ensure that the quality is very very high.

What are your personal favorites to wear? For a lady? For a dude?
I love wearing the oxford. I usually go for the floral patterns as well as the Kente inspired fabrics. Carla loves it when a man wears the Huipil boots with a fairly conservative outfit or suit. I love that also!

Who would you like to see wearing your shoes?
Oprah! ha. Uh, I mean, there are some personal favs that I would love seeing wear our shoes like Will Oldham, Cool Kids, Kanye….I would like to see those who are not scared but curious wearing our shoes. One of my personal heroes has three pairs! – Steve Wozniak! WhaWhaaaaa!

What can we expect from Osborn shoes in the future?
Well, we are currently cutting new silhouettes, so stay tuned for that, and we are getting our busy little fingers into accessories and other fun items for the body! But the new silhouettes are slammin! Love them. Carla did such a great job.

Find these shoes at urbanoutfitters.com  and several other online stores! Or go to the real source to learn about all aspects of this rockin’ brand!

8 Raging Rings for Every Personality

351 350 Lauren Kennedy

A diagnosis to ring fever should become a fashion goal for this month. Why? A majority of the population seems to avoid accessorizing because of the uncertainty of how to put it all together. Well, in this case, and in any case, rings are the perfect place to start! Not to mention, this is the perfect go-to piece for you naturalists who love the look of simplicity.

Rings a fantastic way to add a bit of zest into your wardrobe without going overboard, and the best part: it is nearly impossible to mess up as there are almost no rules to these accent halos. Anything (in the ring department) goes as long as it’s rocked with confidence. Whether you are a lover of bows or a rustic nature girl, this list will find you well.

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The artist’s ring: Colorful Crag’s Ring.

The best statement ring: Alexis Bittar Woven Gold Half Moon Turquoise Ring.  

The best ring for a dressy event: Alexis Bittar Zanzibar Gold Pave Ring.

The beach girl’s ring: Free People Sea Life Ring.

The traveler’s ring: Erika Renaisi Finger Ring.

The naturalist’s ring: Free People Leaf Band Ring.

The girlie girl’s ring: Kate Spade Large Bow Ring

The everyday pop ring: Kendra Scott Rana Cocktail Ring.

4 Ways to Rock a Leopard Belt

576 1024 Lauren Kennedy

Leopard is the epitome of versatility. What options occupy this untamed print? Pure sophistication. Classic elegance. Rocker edge. This animal infused pattern can be bent towards all things hippie just as much as it can add the most polished accent to a neutral outfit.

Belts are those accessories that can afford a risk, but there is a fine line between “this works” and “this is a disaster.” Hence the reason why we took something that borders on tricky and combined it with a print that is an everlasting, non-fading, hard-to-mess-up trend. Consult the following snapshots as a guide to using one piece to create a variety of looks that think outside of the basics!

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Where to buy:

Featured belt can be purchased at Cotton Island. Other alternatives: from left to right, Michael Michael Kors Kenton Belt, $39; ASOS Fantasy Leopard Belt, $20.69; W. Kleinberg Reversible Hair Calf Belt at SAKS, $175.

Maxi Skirts: Go Long!

356 475 Shannon Yoachum

Boho is hot this summer, but don’t think the trend will be leaving anytime soon. The best part about all of the Boho inspired looks is they will carry over into the fall! So hang on to those maxi skirts you bought for the spring and summer, mix them up with different tops for the next season. Try a fitted tank, off the shoulder top, or even a loose rocker tee! Add some funky accessories (long necklaces, bright earrings or chunky bracelets), and you are ready to go. If you don’t already have one of these skirts, they are essential. Here are some uber-cute maxis to add to your wardrobe.

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Free People Rounded Godet Maxi Skirt
Be bold with some ruffles and a subtle print.

Jack by BB Dakota Kris Striped Maxi Skirt
The striped skirt is fitted, yet flirty.

Club Monoco Joni Long Skirt
You can’t go wrong with black.

Free People Lace Maxi Skirt
Lace can be dressed up or down, keep it playful.

Free People Ruffle Maxi Skirt
Pop some color with your maxi skirt!

Avocado: The Green Fruit that Keeps on Giving

150 150 Lauren Kennedy

Avocado is equivalent to a summertime dream. Why? It makes your hair shine, your skin glow, and your body burn fat while simultaneously fighting disease. In first thought, it is often known as the culprit in Mi Cocina’s addicting guacamole or otherwise referred to as the substance that sticks to your thighs. Take note: yes, avocado is high in calories, but when consumed in moderation, it is a powerful fat-burning agent.

Is it just me, or does this fruit have an element of refreshment? Maybe it’s just the lime green color, or the fact that it aids in forming a heightened internal metabolism to keep your body in bikini shape. For all it’s worth (AKA a source of GOOD fat), this superfood deserves some attention. Here are fun new recipes to sneak into your diet that ignite the health benefits of this yummy treat. It’s time to take use of this dynamic source of omega-3. Are you on board?

To jump start the morning:

Avocado Breakfast Pudding (Serves 2)

1 ripe avocado
1/2 c. 1% milk
1 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. slivered almonds
Blend first three ingredients until smooth. Garnish with granola or almonds.

Source & nutritional ingredients: Vital Juice

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For a mid-day meal:

Simple Salad

Here we have (with absolutely no measurements, as usual):

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Avocado Salad
Mixed garden greens
Red onion
Avocado
Roasted brussels sprouts: cut in half. toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. roast until toasty brown.

For extra pizzaz and protein, throw in an egg fried in a bit of olive oil.

Honey mustard dressing:

One part white wine vinegar to two parts olive oil
A dollop of dijon mustard
A large drizzle of honey
Salt and pepper

Add dressing ingredients to a small jar and give it a good shake.  Toss with salad and enjoy!

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For dinner-time:

Try this dip with grilled skewers. Choose your favorite meat and veggies!

Avocado Cilantro Dip (Makes about 1 cup of dip)

1/2 cup thick greek yogurt
Juice from 1 lemon
1 avocado (average Haas size is good – about 6-8 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
1 tablespoon capers
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of garlic salt
Pinch of smoked paprika
Optional: If you love garlic you can add a clove, extra cilantro leaves

Source

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To top off the day with a sweet treat:

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

2 ripe avocados
½ cup of unsweeted cocoa powder
½ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cut open 2 large avocados and spoon them out into a bowl. Beat well until the avocado is a creamy mouse-like consistency. Add cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla. Beat until all ingredients are mixed evenly. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve later.

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