Author Archives: Meredith Mitchell

  1. Your Guide to Valentine’s Day Lingerie

    Leave a Comment 90f60239cdbbb082c21535ea2536a6f3 Anonymous Drop Cap 1t’s Valentine’s Day.  No matter if you’re spending it binge-watching Bridget Jones, going on a hot date, or eating all the chocolate in your apartment, it’s the perfect day to step up your lingerie game. Check out this chart below to see what Valentine’s Day look you should try.

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    A: Time to slip into something new
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    Your lingerie should be just like you – cool and confident. Throw on a silk or lace slip for a look that isn’t over the top, but still radiates sex.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    B: It’s a Match!

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    No, not a Tinder match, matching underwear! It can be your dirty little secret –  a playful and sweet look that only you know about. If you aren’t already wearing matching underwear, today is a great day to start.

     

     

    C: Rock your body
    Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 11.41.36 PMYou are adventurous and like to experiment with your wardrobe. Spice up your night with a racy bodysuit. If you are going out for a romantic evening, you can even wear it as a top!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    D: PJs anyone?

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    Perhaps a pajama set isn’t the first look you imagined for Valentine’s Day. But pajamas can be super elegant when done right. If you’re planning on spending the night relaxing, this is the look for you.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Image Credits:  Journelle (1, 2), Princess Tam Tam (1, 2 ), Anthropologie, QuotationOf 

  2. Mark Albert Boots

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    Fall is officially here, and that means it’s time to pull out sweaters, jackets, and most importantly, boots. This week The WALK sat down with Mark Barbera, the founder of Mark Albert Boots. Born and raised in the small town of Somerset, Pennsylvania, Barbera, now a sophomore studying Marketing at La Salle University, launched his hometown-based Chelsea boot company this summer.

    The company is off to a strong start. This August, Barbera launched a Kickstarter. In in just 32 days, it raised over $20,000, well above its $14,500 goal. Through Kickstarter, the company sold 112 pairs of boots. Barbera said Kickstarter was not only a great way to raise capital, but also to test out the market for his Chelsea boots.

    He was drawn to the Chelsea style boot for their sense of maturity, versatility, and timelessness. The British style was introduced in the 1800s by Queen Victoria’s boot maker, and is still in a fashion staple today. Inspired by Common Project, Cobra Rock, and St. Laurent, whose classic boots also have unique looks, Barbera’s Chelsea boots also make their distinctive mark due to their coloring and style. Barbera’s boots do not come in the typical black, rather they are available in beige or walnut brown. Also, the boots have a western flare. In fact, Barbera’s manufacturer typically makes western boots.

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    The idea for Mark Albert Boots all started when Barbera was on a search for a pair of Chelsea boots, but struggled to find a pair that would be an intermediate between likes of Zara and St. Laurent. Barbera decided to start his own company to provide high quality shoes in this intermediate range – keeping his boots at $200, what he describes as “an investment, but a smart investment.”

    While it might seem shocking to see someone so young interested and knowledgeable in the shoe industry, the idea of working with and creating shoes is far from new to Barbera: It is in his blood.

    Early on in his high school career, Barbera put his artistic talents to work by customizing sneakers. The sneakers proved to be a success, becoming a steady side job and even attracting customers outside of the country. Later in high school Barbera notes that he became strongly interested in leather restoration. This new hobby took him back to his roots. Barbera notes, “My great grandfather was a cobbler. He’s a wild story. Born in Italy, fought in WWI for the Italians, was a prisoner of war, came over to the United States for a few years to provide for my Noni, but then ended up opening up a shoe shop in my hometown Somerset, Pennsylvania in 1936. He had his own shop till he was 86.”

    And, as if only by fate, Barbera’s great-grandfather also advised a Somerset based boot company on shoe craftsmanship. Today that company, the Abilene Boot Company, is the manufacturer of Mark Albert Boots.

    After work months of hard work, going back and forth between designs with the manufacturer, Barbera has created a product in which he truly takes pride. His face instantly brightens as he notes that his boots have a genuine leather sole, stacked leather heal, leather and suede upper, and Goodyear welt construction which allows the boot to be easily re-soled – a rare feature in shoes today.

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    While these high-quality details are important to Barbera, the fact that his boots are American-made is what really matters to him.

    “The difference between foreign manufacturing and what I think of as American-made is the craftsmanship, because American-made is something that, especially in fashion, is so small batch – everything is going to be touched by American hands. That is something that I really appreciate. I wouldn’t want my boots to be thrown through an assembly lined and stitched with by machines because you lose the personal touch and also the quality control” he said.

    Barbera is not only proud of his American made boots because of their skilled craftsmanship but also because they are a way for him to give back to his community. He explains that when you buy a Mark Albert boot you are supporting the lives of the 54 Abilene Boot Company workers.

    A true busy-bee – he has a 4.0 GPA and runs a boot company – Barbera is already thinking of ways to expand his line. Right now his plans include creating a Chelsea boot that is better suited for outdoor activities, like hiking. But no matter what he does, the high-quality and personal touch to his company will continue to be his top priorities.

    Check out Mark Albert Boots here!

    -Meredith Mitchell

    Images courtesy of Mark Albert Boots.

  3. Deals You Can’t Miss This Black Friday and Cyber Monday

    Leave a Comment black-friday-cyber-monday-sales Mitchell Drop Cap 1hanksgiving break is almost here. Whether you’re dreaming about a delicious home-cooked turkey or dreading an awkward political debate over dinner, one thing to look forward to is the beginning of holiday season deals – otherwise known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Read on to learn about predictions for this year’s biggest clothing deals, and the clothes you should buy with them.

    Gap

    The deal: You won’t have to wait outside overnight to get these deals. This year the Gap online is predicted to have promo codes that could save you up to 70% on apparel. Better yet, the code will most likely be out the week before Black Friday, so make sure to browse through the site before it gets picked over.

    What to buy: The Gap is just the place to stock up on closet essentials. But this season, instead of going there for a pair of jeans or the perfect plain white t-shirt, try out their classic sweaters and adorable winter accessories. They will keep you cozy!

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    Merino Wool Blend Mock Neck Sweater, $49.95

    Funnel neck shaker sweater, $69.95

    Honeycomb cable knit beanie, $29.95

    H&M

    The deal: This year, H&M is launching an all-black line specifically for Black Friday, with prices starting at $4.99.

    What to buy: This is the perfect opportunity to stock up on the typical, but essential, all-black going out looks. No matter what, any item from this line will pair well with items already in your closet.

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    ASOS

    The deal: In 2015, ASOS offered 30% off on all items for Cyber Monday, and it looks like the same discount will be offered this year.

    What to buy: Get ready for holiday-party season with ASOS’s newest items. You can never go wrong with velvet, reds, and metallics, and with the 30% Cyber Monday discount, you have a bit more room to splurge on these typically pricey items.

    image1xl image1xl-5 image1xl-3 Miss Selfridge Velvet Bow Metallic Shift Dress, $127

    Keepsake Translate Midi Dress, $218

    Ted Baker Opulent Bardot Dress, $331

    Zara

    The deal: Last year Zara had a 20% off discount for all knits, outwear, and shirts. We predict the same deal for this Black Friday.

    What to buy: This fast-fashion brand is sure to have the latest trends in winter attire. Use this Black Friday discount to experiment on new looks. Perhaps a statement piece jacket or sexy sweater.

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    Quilted Velvet Jacket, $189

    Sweater With Tie Sleeves, $35.90

    Sequinned Bomber Jacket, $99.90

    -Meredith Mitchell

    Images courtesy of Gap, Pop Sugar, ASOS, and Zara

     

  4. Fast Fashion Five: Marketing 101 TA Alice Lee On Commanding Authority With Your Wardrobe

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    Alice Kim

    From bartending at Smokes to being a Marketing 101 TA, Alice Lee is making her way around the Penn circle. After graduating from Wharton in 2011 and moving to New York to work in investment banking and private equity, Lee has returned to Penn for her MBA. Read below for Lee’s advice on dressing in the finance work-sphere, the unexpected benefit to being one of the few women in the office, and a glimpse of past Penn fashion.

    How has fashion changed for you in each stage of your career?

    I feel like I’ve always dressed maturely for my age. I don’t know why that is, maybe it is because I wanted to be taken seriously when I was younger. I remember when I was in high school I wore a lot of J. Crew – that was before J. Crew got as big as it got. And then J. Crew got really big when I was in college, so I wended off of that.

    After I graduated I had to wear business formal everyday. Which was really annoying. I mostly wore skirts because they are more comfortable. Then when I got to private equity it was such a relief, because it was business casual.

    One of the “advantages” of there being very few women in finance is that there are very few people to compare your wardrobe to. Men have a very strict guideline of what they can and can’t wear, because there are so many other men. It’s like, “that guy is wearing a tie, should I be wearing a tie?” There really weren’t that many women in the office so I kind of felt like I could get away with more. I did end up skewing very casual at the office. I was wearing a lot of corduroys and Vince joggers – they’re super comfortable and if you throw on a pair of heels they look formal.

    Is there a dress code for TA’s?

    No. But I feel like when I first started TA-ing I felt like, ugh, I have to command authority. So, I felt like I had to dress up. I didn’t wear a blazer but I definitely was trying to dress with a little more authority than I usually would, instead of just slumming around. But after about two weeks I stopped caring.

    But I think when you are women sometimes in a position of power especially if you are a younger woman, yeah you probably want to wear things that command authority you probably want to wear like a pantsuit. It’s a subconscious bias thing.

    I definitely also try to avoid anything that makes me look really young – frilly, lacy, bows. Subconsciously I tend to stay away from bright colors. But now I’m realizing my wardrobe is really depressing.

    Do you think fashion has impacted your career?

    I think in finance there is a very specific way you are expected to dress and should dress. And I think I have managed to successfully stay in that but also retain a bit of my personality as well in a way that’s advantageous. Because when I was working at a consumer fund they probably wouldn’t have thought very highly of my ability to pick brands that consumers would like if I didn’t appreciate great clothing or fashion trends.

    Do you think Penn Fashion has changed since you were a student?

    Oh definitely. I do have to say, I went to Smokes – don’t judge – to say hi to my old boss and I was struck by how old I felt, and also by how trendy everyone was dressed. Everyone was dressed really nice. Everyone was wearing floral off-the-shoulder tops.

    What’s a trend you remember from college?

    Everyone had Blackberry’s. BBM was all the rage.

    Also, I’m from the west coast so there are certain things that really stood out to me when I first came to Penn. I was like what are all these bags that everyone has. Turns out it was the Longchamp bag. Everyone had one. People probably still use those. Everyone had the Hunter boots and the Stuart Weitzman 5050’s. Oh and Tory Burch. The Tory Burch flats were everywhere. I don’t see those around much anymore.

    What’s your tip to looking professional or a secret hack that makes looks more put together than you really feel?

    Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This book will change your life. It’s written by this Japanese woman who is a professional tidier. It’s short, it’s a good read. But the thesis of it, is that you should cut anything out of your life that doesn’t bring you joy. So she has all these theories for how to pair down and encouraging you to live with just the stuff that makes you happy. She has a bunch of videos too.

    I haven’t followed it religiously but I’ve started to a little bit and I feel pretty good about it. And, honestly, I’ve always been good about throwing this out that I don’t like. So I do a big closet clean out every six months. I think when you’re pretty happy with everything in your closet you can just grab whatever and leave the house. Like, I can run out the house and still feel relatively ok. Also, one benefit of having no colors in your closet everything goes with each other.

    -Meredith Mitchell

    Video courtesy of  Karen Yang

  5. So Long Little Black Downtown Dress

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    Mitchell Drop Cap 1he unwritten, but obvious, rule for downtown attire is the little black dress. We all have that go-to black dress hanging in the closet, and no matter if you’re going to your third downtown or your twentieth, you’re probably growing tired of wearing the same thing – and looking like everyone else. Here are some ideas to help you stand out at the next downtown.

    Ditch the dress

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    You don’t need a dress to be dressy. A pair of dress pants – think silk, leather, or velvet – or a jumpsuit are perfect ways to amp up your going-out look. Plus, they are way easier to dance in compared to body-con dresses.

    Reformation Rolls Jumpsuit, $218

    Zara Cropped Trousers With Slits, $35.90

    The Fifth Label Lovers + Friends Cold Shoulder Culotte Jumpsuit, $120

    Black isn’t the only color out there

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    It is easy to find yourself in a black hole. If you quickly browse through Topshop, Zara, or ASOS, it seems like black is the only color for going-out looks. But if you are trying to avoid studying for a midterm, or need a way to kill time in between classes, take the time to search specifically for more colorful items. A vibrant color like a bright red, a metallic, or even a pastel will surely turn heads at any party.

    ASOS Square Neck Velvet Mini Dress, $41

    Finders Keepers Round Up Playsuit, $180

    Zara Shiny Trousers, $49.90

    It doesn’t have to be short to be sexy

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    While a shorter hem line may add a flirty flair to a look, by no means do you have to wear a short body-con dress to have a sexy downtown look. Although a longer dress may seem more conservative, with an off-shoulder, Deep-V, or slit, there is no way your look will be mistaken for business casual.

    C/MEO Collective Life Is Real Long Sleeve Knit Dress, $250

    Reformation Ashley Dress, $278

    Club Monaco Simonettah Sweater Dress, $159

    -Meredith Mitchell

    Images courtesy of The Reformation, ZaraASOS, BNKR, Urban Outfitters, and Club Monaco.