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

How To Sparkle This Holiday Season

I hope you take the time to read Allyson’s last post for Reality Chic. We are sad to see her go but will be of course supporting her in all her future and fashionable endeavors  I am personally going to miss her awesome posts and advice in the What to Wear column. She has been a great fashion blogger and addition to our somewhat and slightly snarky tone here. So again don’t miss her last post, and thanks so much to Allyson for being part of  Reality Chic! The girl is great at helping a 20 something transition her style!

The holiday season is that rare time in the yearly calendar when sequins are not only allowed, but also encouraged.  Seems that come December, the sparklier the better.  There are shimmering pants, skirts, shorts, shirts, shoes, gloves, earmuffs and everything in between.  Something about the festive nature of the season extends to our clothing, and suddenly the female population over age 7 is dressed up head to toe in glitter.

The best part about this seasonal wardrobe must?  When done right (and appropriately), you can wear this trend day or night, in the office or at the club…or to the family function.  If you’re more daring, there are a few pairs of pants with your name on it.  Feeling a bit more conservative and want to get in on the trend without converting fully to the shimmery side?  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Below, from head to toe, your guide for all things bedazzled:


Jackets and Sweaters:




















Skirts and Shorts:

























The secret to wearing sequins in a “this is not a costume I am a 26 year old working professional thank you very much” way is to keep the rest of the outfit simple.  Pair glittery pants or a sequined blazer with a basic white tee.  If opting for a shimmery dress, match with standard black pumps and stockings or tights.  Now is not the time for patterned tights.  The little black dress can be spruced up with glittery heels, but think twice before matching the glittery heels with the sequined dress.  Basically, it’s a balancing act.  Make sense?

One more thing.  This will be my last week writing for Reality Chic and the What To Wear section.  Unfortunately, after this post we must part ways, but I will continue to join all of you as a devoted reader and fan of the website.  I’ve enjoyed writing these posts for the past two years as much as I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them.  If you received any helpful advice from any of my articles that you’ve since put into action, well, that’s just the cherry on top.  Thank you all for taking this journey with me, and stay chic (and have some while while doing it)!

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 and on twitter at @aebarkan.

How To Keep Your Feet Toasty All Season Long

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s time we started getting a bit comfortable.  The temperature outside is dropping, while the fireplaces and radiators are getting cranked up inside.  Holiday movies are starting to play on endless loop on all channels, gingerbread lattes and peppermint hot cocoas are readily available, and pumpkin pie, sweet mashed potatoes, buttery biscuits and hearty stews are just a Seamless click away.  Yes, the stores and streets are filled with glittery dresses and sparkly stilettos, but when the snow starts to fall and Hugh Grant is on tv, why bother getting all dolled up?

Sometimes the best wardrobe solution is dressing down, and that cozy, comfy look starts from the feet up.  When spending a night in, slippers are an essential part of feeling at home (after all, you don’t want to tire out your feet with all those long walks to and from the bathroom and kitchen).  A solid investment that won’t cost you a pretty penny, there’s no reason not to have a cute pair of kicks for kicking back.

Below, I’ve dug up a few of the best pairs I’ve found on the web.  Get inspired, and then get settled on the couch.  Your feet will thank you.

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 and on twitter at @aebarkan.

Trendy Cape Coats! To Fly or Not to Fly?

To fly or not to fly may be the question that I’m posing, but it’s possible the real question should be “A Cape, Really?”

Capes have made appearances on the runway and have recently been seen out and about this early winter. Rocking the cape takes more than a bold fashion sense and uber confidence…YES PEOPLE…it takes super powers!

Though a man or a woman who chooses to wear a spandex suit with red underwear located on the outside topped off with a giant cape hanging from the back means pardon my language but… “Badass”.

I’m afraid in the real world it just means medication and a love for wearing Snuggies backward.

Unless you can prove your flying ability, squirt webs out of your wrists, or direct a bull it’s probably best if you keep your underwear on the inside of your pants, your cape located near a pillow where it belongs, and I wouldn’t advertise your initials either.

Cape out,Jacket in! Check out other options for under $100 :

10 Fall/Winter Must Haves. Forget the Rest…

With a plethora of information on Fall/ Winter trends and so-called season “Must Haves”,  how in the world are you suppose to know what is actually worth buying or what will be “out” in just a week. After all, magazines come out with new “Must Haves” every monthly issue!

For a girl with a budget, affording these “Must Haves” every month not only puts a giant HOLE better known as a CANYON in my wallet, but also leaves me questioning whether the item I just bought is a weekly trend or stellar fashion piece.

In order to break through the clutter I’ve come up with a list for the “real girl”. They are Fall/Winter Must Haves that will not only last through this season, but next season as well!! Check out these trends that are worth buying, and Forget the Rest!

10 Fall/Winter Must Haves

1. A Giant Comfy Sweater- Whether it be a cable knit, wool, or just a bulky sweater. Comfort has never looked so chic not to mention warm!

2.Cardigan- Classic cardigans will never go out of style. You can’t go wrong! Any color, any style. If it’s looking a bit boxy, cinch it with a belt!

3. Trench Coat- Classic and effortless! It will last you years.

4. Leggings/Patterned Tight- Pair leggings with a long comfy sweater or a long cardigan. Subtle patterned tights are a perfect way to add something extra to your outfit. Match your leggings or tights with the same color as your boots!

5. Blazer- The blazer is not leaving anytime soon. Wear it with jeans and a white tee or dress it up with a skirt or dress. This item is completely versatile!

6. A Comfortable Boot- It’s your choice on the heel size. No one knows your feet better than you, but they must be easy to walk in! Everyone should have a boot for the winter/fall!

7. Skinny or Straight Leg Jean- These are a necessity in the winter months. Stuffing your jeans inside your boots will be a thousand times easier and looks ten times better!

8. Flats- A good flat can be worn throughout the year! Choose wisely!

9. Faux Leather Jacket- The leather jacket has been around for years. It’s the simplest way to look sexy and great for “going out” in the winter months!

10. Something Printed! Whether it be plaid, floral, or a striped shirt a print is a great way to add life to your outfit. This piece can be layered throughout the seasons and can be worn all year long!

Trend Alert: Recession Cutbacks?

Is this how were cutting back due to the recession, no buttons on our shirts? or Is this just another terrible trend? It wasn’t that long ago when undergarments were just undergarments. Ya know…worn under your clothes! What’s next…underwear outside of the pants?

IT’S YOUR TURN TO COMMENT…Let me know what you think of the VISIBLE BRA??