Snow Gear Essentials for Less

The snow has finally come to Cincinnati… barely. And a day late of Christmas I might add. But I’ll take something over nothing, and I’m banking that there’s a lot more to come. And while I love looking at the snow from the comfort of my house wrapped in a bundle of blankets, I don’t enjoy venturing out into the cold as much.

It’s important to have the essential snow gear items handy when it comes time to pack on the layers and stay warm. Some of my essentials include a pair of warm gloves that still allow me to function and text. These gloves from Urban Outfitters look and feel warm, and still allow your fingers to function with your phone.

 

Also, too keep my ears warm; I love wearing a cozy headband style ear muffs. I like wearing these because they allow me to still do my hair and look composed and not hide my entire face under layers. Etsy has a great selection of warm headbands to choose from. This grey one is adorable and has a great knot detail, which adds the perfect amount of style.

Additionally, everyone needs a nice cozy scarf to wrap around him or her and help avoid the flu. I go for the heavier ones for extra warmth and I like the look of more layers for a scarf.  This cable knit scarf from The Gap does the trick. It comes in grey and black which are both great colors for matching with a multitude of outfits.

Finally, once you get out of the cold and back into the comfort of a heated room, be sure to throw on our favorite pair of slippers. I love this pair form Target because they will keep your feet nice and fuzy and warm but will still allow you to walk around the house without slipping and sliding everywhere.

Courtney Ott is a student at the University of Cincinnati in the college of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP), majoring in fashion. She is a proud native of Cincinnati, and her hometown favorites include Skyline Chili, Graeter’s ice cream and the Cincinnati Reds. As a broke college student, Courtney has become an expert at finding the look for less. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyWOtt

What To Wear: Oxblood Oxblood Everywhere!

If there’s one trend that is absolutely everywhere this season, one trend that every single fashion expert, blogger, editor and lover can agree is THE hit for fall, one trend that nobody can seem to get enough of, it’s oxblood.  Walk into any store, and I mean any store at all, and you will see at least one thing in oxblood.  I’d bet at least 5 things to be more accurate.  This burgundy hue is all the rage, and for good reason.  It’s colorful enough to make your wardrobe pop, dark enough to fit perfectly into the warmer, earthier tones that are synonymous with fall, edgy enough to be considered fashion forward, and subtle enough to incorporate it into outfits necessary for a corporate atmosphere.

The best part about oxblood?  It goes with pretty much anything.  This is one of those hues that matches blacks, browns, and blues.  It goes with a simple white tee or a stunning silver party dress.  You can be daring with oxblood velvet skinnies, or play it a little more safe by adding a burgundy bag to an otherwise subdued ensemble.  Wearing a simple LBD and tights?  Slip into to some sky-high oxblood platforms to take your look from standard to unexpected.  Or swap out your go-to practical flats for a pair in oxblood, and instantly upgrade your casual Sunday afternoon outfit.  If you’re still not convinced, try throwing a deep red scarf around your neck, or warming your hands and feet with oxblood mittens and socks.

As I already stated, oxblood seriously goes with everything, including every type of person, no matter your sense of style.  So whether you’re in the market for a new clutch, pair of boots, or sweater, do yourself a favor and get it in oxblood.  You won’t be sorry.

Does your entire closet consist of this hue, or are you just now considering adding this color into your wardrobe?  Tell me what you think of the shade, and how you like to wear it best in the comments section below!

After graduating from college in ’09, Allyson Barkan flew off to Greece to teach English Literature at a private high school and explore Greek and European culture for a year.  Since returning stateside, she now works in Entertainment Public Relations in New York City.  For travel advice, stray observations as a 20-something in the big city, and the occasional hilarious misadventure, follow Allyson atwww.allysonbarkan.com and on twitter at @aebarkan.

Look for Less – Your Guide to Summer Style

With so many fun events and things to do this summer, I’ve compiled a guide on stylish looks for less so you’ll look great at all your summer events and outings.

Summer is baseball season, and who doesn’t love a trip to the ballpark to celebrate?! Add some all-American style with some denim shorts, a cute patterned red and white tank, your team’s baseball cap and some flip flops for the perfect ballpark look.

Baseball cap – $19.00; Short shorts – $19.95; Tank – $15.00; Flip flops – $18.00

 

Look good when heading to the park for a walk or run. Invest in some good workout gear like these GoDry tops from Old Navy, some Nike running shorts and a solid pair of tennis shoes.

Gym shorts – $32.00; Athletic top – $14.94; Running shoes – $59.95

 

If you’re going to the pool to chill out and soak up some Vitamin D. Try this simple Old Navy bathing suit which makes it easy to mix and match pieces. Throw on a loose cover-up and you’re set for some fun under the sun. In order to avoid looking like a lobster, be sure to wear your SPF.

Top – $10.00; Bottom – $12.50; Black coverup – $22.99

It’s likely you’ll be getting together with friends this summer for a BBQ or will be grilling out . Arrive in style by wearing a cute and loose sundress, like this one from The Webster collection (See: “Look Hotter Than Miami in August – For Less!“) and some simple neutral wedges.

Sundress – $36.99; Wedges – $39.94

 

Courtney Ott is a student at the University of Cincinnati in the college of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP), majoring in fashion. She is a proud native of Cincinnati, and her hometown favorites include Skyline Chili, Graeter’s ice cream and the Cincinnati Reds. As a broke college student, Courtney has become an expert at finding the look for less.


Even Alexa Chung Is Doing It? How to Consignment Shop!

As a fashion blogger I am clearly aware of the stigma that comes with the title. The thought that I am always put together, judge mental of others clothes, and only buy fashion worthy apparel are probably three of the common misconceptions that kind of make me cringe.

What makes Reality Chic different is that I am not afraid to say that I am sitting on my couch writing this blog while wearing mismatched pajamas, if you can qualify pajamas by sweatpants and an old high school t-shirt, all while wearing no make-up and fully aware of the fact that I haven’t yet bathed today.

So while judging others clothes might be suggested by the sparkle pants comment it’s something that others should not fear but embrace as the previous paragraph clearly exclaims! Though the thought of me only wearing fashion worthy apparel was nice for a split second that too has been shot down due to the previously previous paragraph.

It’s not about being put together all the time because that isn’t reality, but knowing good and well that when you are put together you didn’t pay full price for it!

So what’s this all have to do with anything?

Well one of my favorite things is …YOUR ALL GOING HOME WITH …(sorry my inner Oprah just came out).

Anyhow like I was saying…one of my favorite things is shopping at consignment stores. Every time I walk in thinking I’m never going to find anything until I walk out with less money! They really are a great place to find quality clothes at affordable prices. You just have to look! Even Alexa Chung is doing it?

When I was recently approached by Smashion to do an interview with their Smashion Lounge and to check out their no-fees online fashion marketplace and community I got a little excited. It’s what I like to consider the 21st century version of consignment shopping! They consider themselves: “a social fashion site that features a free marketplace connecting people with a passion for fashion. Express your style, connect with others, and have fun buying and selling without paying a fee!”

As consignment/thrift shopping becomes more and more popular due to Alexa Chung’s upcoming show and a site like Smashion, it’s important to have a few rules of the game.

What to look for when consignment shopping?

1. Quality Brands- Quality last. Therefore it matters.It’s one time to pay attention to brand names.

2. Size- It’s been worn and washed and could have shrunk. In this case it’s not size that matters, but description.

3. Trends- You can’t beat consignment prices so it’s a great place to buy trendy items that don’t typically stick around.

Recommendations:

Smashion

Smashion Lounge Interview with Reality Chic!

Thrift America Tips from Alexa Chung!

Attention Granddaughters! How to Wear Tights!

Even though Grandmothers everywhere have petitioned, nagged, and pinched our cold winter legs for years, fashion has once again made wearing those itchy tights better known as hosiery COOL! Tights have taken a bit of a fashionable turn since our grandmothers once wore them, but they are still a classic way to show off our legs and stay warm while doing so!

With multiple colors and patterns to choose from there are some rules that simply need to be established! Don’t allow your legs to literally walk a fine line!

How to Wear Tights

  • Match your shoes to your tights to elongate your legs and for a cleaner look
  • For a funkier less formal look break the rule above and don’t match your shoe to your tight
  • When the obvious choice is a black tight, instead try a chocolate brown tight with a brown shoe
  • Worry about blending, not matching
  • Mix a colored tight with conservative wear such as a tweed skirt
  • If wearing leggings the shirt, jacket, or cardigan must cover your bum
  • If wearing tights the dress or skirt should also cover your bum

Opulent Opaque Tights

Hot! Brown, Black, Deep Purple, Grey, Deep Red,

Not! Neon colors, White

Pretty Patterned Tights

Hot! Ribbed, Cable Knit, Chevron, Herringbone, Open work Diamond, Striped, Back Seam

Not! Hairy (Lace) below, Over worked, Animal Print, Polka Dots, Fishnets

Lovely Leggings

Hot! Brown, Black, Deep Purple, Grey, Deep Red, Navy, Mustard, Ankle Details such as zippers and buttons

Not! Neon colors, White, Stirrup

Top Sights for Budget Friendly Tights/Leggings!

Kohls

Gap

J.Crew

Target

Old Navy

Spanx

Effortless Chic… Layers, Knits, and More

When thinking of cooler weather, hiking, or apple orchards visuals of  L.L Bean, Eddie Bauer, and Lands End ads all come rushing to mind.  However, capturing this effortless outdoorsy look in a modern way can be somewhat difficult meaning:

It’s sort of like having to put on make-up to look natural…Looking effortless takes some effort!

This fall season it’s all about layering, belting, and looking comfortable! Think comfort over style and you’ll end up looking chic!

How to achieve this Outdoorsy Rustic look? Pair classic tanks with long sleeve tees and/or button-ups and layer with chunky knits, cardigans, or jackets. Belt the look if your shape starts to resemble a square! To finish off, add one of these particular items such as a patterned scarf, rustic jewelry, or a knitted hat. And last but not least don’t forget the BOOTS!

Need some help? Check out these brands for a boost!

Lands End Canvas

Eddie Bauer

J.Crew

Urban Outfitters

Old Navy

“Revenge of the Nerds!” Or, “Outfit Ideas for School.”

Being a so called bookworm was once thought of as Nerdy..Geeky..Dorky, but like always what goes around comes around.  And though Sue Sylvester (Glee) might not agree, being a Nerd isn’t so bad minus the occasional slushy in your face! With intelligence on the rise or at least the “look of it”, taking ownership of your Nerdism is most definitely the way to go!

However, having to pull off this particular look can leave you walking a fine line. One might wear a Harvard or Yale tee and avoid the question of “When did you attend?” Only to answer by saying “Yesterday, when I bought this shirt from Target!” Or one too many steps which can leave you looking like Violet..Remember Screech’s Girlfriend from Saved by the Bell? Let us observe…

Either way, we can all relate to the “nerd” of the group because at one point or another our cool specter involved braces, giant glasses, and french braids or maybe I’m just speaking from my own experience. Anyhow, instead of acting like we are “too cool for school” embrace your book loving, retainer wearing (because if you had braces you know you wear one), glasses in the morning, and secretly or not so secretly french braid loving geeky self!

Updated Nerdy or Should I Say… Popular Looks!

3 Trends Even a Hot Chick Can’t Pull Off..So Don’t Try!

Even if you’re the cutest little thing on this planet that  doesn’t mean you’re immune to terrible trends!

Giant Belts

  • I’m all about wearing a bulky belt to cinch the waist. After all, they’re in style, they help build the appearance of curves, and accentuate a smaller waist. However, when wearing an abnormally large size belt that makes you or someone on the street question whether you’re planning to do extensive squats, just won “Worlds Best Wrestler” (because obviously that’s not something to joke about), or sport a groovy (yes I just said groovy) retro back brace… then you and your hunk of a belt have serious issues. Instead stick to the chic mid-size belt! Trust me on this one.

Patterned Pants

  • Of course…why would you turn down wearing flowered, striped, or polka dotted patterned pants? Maybe because they are simply flowered, striped, or polka dotted patterned pants. If you want to look large and in charge then this trend is for you. On the rare chance you’d like to keep your figure… try a patterned skirt instead!

One Earring

  • I’m just going to go ahead and nip it in the bud. Not too long ago Gossip Girl Jessica Szohr appeared on the oh so lovely Regis and Kelly. Instead of wearing two earrings like every other girl in the U.S. she wore only one rather GINORMOUS earring. Now maybe it’s my slightly OCD self that can’t seem to understand how you wouldn’t feel lopsided, but then again that’s just me! So ladies, instead of pulling a gay man’s look..one earring on the left side…or is it the right…or was that just a bad rumor in the 90s? Anyhow, let’s stick to our own trend..two ears…two earrings!

Call Me Crazy…Or Don’t?

Is it me or is this hot August weather making everyone a little off-pudding?! Examples please…

First, it was the man who stepped onto the sleepy and quiet bus after the 3rd stop this morning and proceeded to yell at everyone for having their I-pods up too loud all while placing giant Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones over his head. It took everything not to say “Excuse me Sir Crazy, while you’re landing a plane please let the rest of us ride in peace.” Did I mention that he chose to sit next to me?

Then, while minding my own business on the crowded subway two guys decided to serenade me with what I’m pretty sure was a “Subway Original” leaving me with an awkward smile and an “I’m not sure how to act” look on my face before finally getting off at the next stop.

Last but certainly not least, is one that I cannot figure out. Every girl seems to be wearing high heels these days! Don’t think for a second that I’m not a fan, because I am. However, I’m starting to wonder if there is some sort of girl code out in the world that I’ve recently been excluded from. Mainly because I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how these ladies are walking down 5th Ave. in 5 inch heels without shouting expletives or limping as if they are recovering from a serious foot injury. After all, the last time I checked heels were made for sitting not walking.  Did I miss the memo or is this just another serious sign of August weather gone to the brain?

So in light of today’s mishaps and women wearing high heels everywhere I thought I would put together a little something called …

Sitting Pretty for $50  & Under

Translation Please…Updated Runway Looks for Under $100!

Only on the RUNWAY can you catwalk but not actually walk a cat, get a job based on your size because apparently it does matter, and be covered head to toe in fur while acting like everything is perfectly normal.

The Runway Ready to Wear collections are suppose to be … well….ready to wear. However, there seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding unless you’re planning a hot date with a native North Polean or preparing to hibernate for the upcoming winter. And on the rare chance that either of these scenerios actually happen I highly suggest ditching the full fur attire and sticking to the basics.

What are the basics you might ask? Since the runway has proved to be a bit over dramatic in the world of fashion check out:

Updated Runway Looks You Can Mix and Match for Under $100!

TRANSLATION PLEASE…