Saturday, January 2, 2016

Winter Prep

This past semester was one of the busiest I have ever had as a college student.  I recommend that if you ever take 18 credit hours all at once, just find time to sit back and take it easy.  In my case, I had time to play around with outfits while preparing for the winter.

Now that the Chicago winter is here for sure, there really is no time to play around with what to wear.  Instead, the entire city population has fallen back into the pattern of bundling up in the morning, checking the weather on their smartphones, and dressing as smartly for the day as they could.  However, I don't think that it could be harmful to share some of my winter prep outfits with you, my audience.  I mean, now that I actually have time on my hands, why the hell not?

Early to mid November was not so bad.  It marked Chicago's first snowfall of the season, but overall, the weather was pretty damn bearable.  Bearable enough, in fact, for comfortable and "ridiculous" lounge wear like the one pictured below:

I admit it, I have a thing for harem pants.

But it's very chic, no?  The sweater is from my mom, I wear it all of the time in the winter.  The boots are from Brooklyn, and as for the pants, I found them in a thrift store.  They're actually from Baghdad too.  

Eventually, it moved into December, and the wind started to pick up, which required more layering and more sweaters.  Don't worry guys, I had it covered.  Especially, when I went to the Christkindl Market with one of my best friends...

It's the return of my mom's sweater.

I really think I chose the perfect outfit to enjoy hot spiced wine in.  Besides the mom sweater, the leggings, and the Brooklyn boots, I found the cream camel sweater in Francesca's this past August.  I normally am not a fan of Francesca's, but I made an exception for this comfy sweater.  As for the hat, my mom threw it at me over Thanksgiving break and told me to make an outfit out of it.  Being the loyal fashionable daughter that I am, that's exactly what I did.  

Finally, the rest of December proved to be quite muggy and rainy.  Therefore, in order to protect a majority of my shoes, I broke out the rain boots.  It s still fun to come up with cute outfits involving rain boots though, and sure enough, this is what I came up with:

Winter prep?  More like winter "preppier than I intended."

Layering is as important in the rain as it is in general cold weather.  That's how I feel anyway.  Would you believe that the black sweater and leopard print leg warmers were hand me downs?  As for the fur hooded vest, I received it as a Christmas gift some years ago.  The rain boots are courtesy of DSW.

Well, if this winter is truly supposed to be as mild as predicted due to El Nino, then I hope this post is inspirational enough for mixing patterns and layering playfully.  I also seriously recommend getting a pair of harem pants, they are AWESOME.

  Maddy Thiers

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Play It Cool

We've all thought about it, but not much of us have had time to put it in writing.  There are just certain things a person can wear that makes them look eternally... cool.  The kind of cool that Snoopy tries to achieve when he impersonates Joe Cool by the water fountain.  The kind of cool that Anna Wintour exudes from her appearance and (although not always necessarily) her personality.  You get what I'm saying.  Here are some items that can help a person achieve that kind of cool:

1) Sunglasses
I don't care if you're at the beach or just trying to protect your eyes in the dead of winter.  There's something about sunglasses that just scream "cool."  Need I say more?

 2) Leather
Whether it's a leather high heel boot or just a classic motorcycle jacket, leather is one of the staples when it comes to cool.  And did you know vegan leather is also a thing?  I happen to have a badass pair of vegan leather boots that I found in a Brooklyn boutique this past summer.  Leather, in all forms and styles of how you wear, is just too cool.

3) Oversize Layers
Almost anyone can achieve this look, especially with unzipped winter coats and chunky sweaters.  It's almost strange how something so oversize and bulky can make you look so damn cool.

4) Mixed Patterns and Colors
In case you're not into all black ensembles and what not, there's hope!  Mixing patterns is one of the best skills you can have when it comes to styling an outfit.  I seriously tip my hat to those people who get it right every time.

And for the final touch...

5) Coffee
As cliche as it sounds, people who carry around a cup of coffee immediately seem cooler than anyone else standing around them... unless of course, someone else has a coffee in that vicinity as well.  Is it because it looks impossibly "vogue" and "high fashion?"  I suppose we'll never know.  


Well whether you drink coffee of not, there are still a multitude of ways to look cool!  The ultimate key to cool?  Being yourself and loving it.  What can I say?  Confidence just oozes cool.

Maddy Thiers

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What I'm Wearing This Summer

This summer, I've been all about mixing two things: athletic wear and artsy layering.  Granted, this was largely inspired from my desire to be effortlessly comfortable as well as continuously experimenting.  Aside from this random spurt of "trying new things" (there's really nothing new with fashion, just old stuff resurfacing), I was able to make some fun statements so far this summer.  From my brother's wedding in North Carolina...

(I'm the one in the pink)

... to sticking with the classic themes of the 4th of July and wearing overalls...

... to straying out of my comfort zone in Atlantic City and actually wearing a bikini in public!

 Sheesh, I'm so pale.

But while making these statements, I couldn't help but sneak a bit of my experimentation one or two of these looks.  For instance, if you look closely in my 4th of July picture, I layered like crazy - just not in a way that one would fully expect.  See, on America's birthday, I decided to try wearing my black athletic shorts underneath my overalls while wearing my Coach sneakers and a vintage striped button down around my waist.  I turned out to be quite satisfied with that outfit, so decided to take my experiment further when I visited my sister in New York.

So last week, I came crashing into my sister's apartment in Brooklyn with my duffel and backpack, eager to get started.  I was going to explore Brooklyn, go shopping, and see my sister's sketch show, as well as surprise myself with my styling skills!  Those few days I spent in New York were completely spectacular, especially when I took my experiment to one of the most beautiful, commonly visited places in New York: the High Line.  Here is the result:

AH.  The return of the athletic shorts.

For this look, I dug up my Steve Madden boots, and combined them with my fitted black workout shorts.  I then decided to layer my chambray vest over my sister's old ivory button down, and accessorize with my wooden dogtag necklace and my wooden print earrings from South Africa.  The outfit was breezy and fun, and I felt as confident as can be when walking through the streets during the day and through the bars at night.
 Summer is one of my favorite seasons to try new looks, so I'm glad that I was able to pull this off.  Fashion is always new and exciting, and... I wanna be apart of it (see what I did there?  No?  Okay...).  Signing off.

Maddy Thiers

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Double-Stiched Issue

A couple of interesting events occurred over the past week or so that led me to put aside my school work to work on this particular blog post.  First of all, I must start by saying that as a fashion business major, I thoroughly enjoy the field of work that I'm researching and the classes at my school.  I cannot get enough of the information; true, it's overwhelming, but every second I am soaking up new classroom knowledge is worth it at Columbia.  However, I could not help but note the events over the past week.

It began two Tuesdays ago, when I woke at 8am and eventually made my way over to my 9am Visual Merchandising class.  After some discussion about our final project, the teacher turned on a news special (I believe it was a more recent one) that talked about the accomplishments of fashion business extraordinaire Mickey Drexler, the CEO of JCrew.  This, for point of reference, is Mickey Drexler:

Adorable, ain't he?  Look at that grin.

The special raved about how he quickly jumped into the business after he finished school, and then proceeded to talk about his positions at Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale's, and Macy's.  He only became more notable when he was the CEO of Gap because he was the one who was responsible for the company's accelerated rise into the fashion world back in the 90s.  For instance, do any of you know the television ad that aired during that time that exemplified the decade's obsession with khaki?

Yep, it was the one and only Mickey Drexler who was responsible for that ad!  The news special almost portrayed him as the protagonist in some sort of fairy tale… using his bravely equipped skills as a visual artist and a sleek and noble business man, the charming Mickey Drexler saved the mistress Gap from almost fashion fatality, and brought the name of good American people into the brand, which pretty much secured Gap's seat on the retailer throne, and the company lived happily ever after (that is, not entirely for Drexler since he was let go during one season, but he is still fine now because he is currently the CEO of JCrew and the company practically worships the ground he walks on).

Overall, I found the news special fascinating, but a little too… cheery.  And usually, when the news gets a little too cheery in general, I get a little too suspicious.  I decided not to think about it much, and brushed the thought aside.  The thought didn't come into my head later, until I went on Youtube a day or two ago to watch one of my favorite shows Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and I saw that he had a whole segment about the fashion industry.  Of course, I couldn't help but watch what he had to say (you can see the segment here:  And of course, what he had to say was brilliant.  

In the segment, Oliver talked about something that I continuously learn in my fashion classes: that while discounted clothing made in other countries are great for consumers in America, they're not that fantastic for the makers in other countries.  This is usually because the people producing our favorite jeans and T-shirts work in horrible sweatshop conditions, with little to no fire safety methods.  And was it mentioned that a majority of the factory workers were small children?  In other words, KIDS.

Preach it, man.

As I mentioned before, this information on the fashion industry is not new at all to me, although it definitely may be news to a lot of other people.  However, the parts of information that were new to me took me off guard, and those were the specifics on Gap for the past few decades.  For one thing, Oliver pointed out that Gap was criticized during the 90s for making its clothes in labor abusive conditions in El Salvador.  And then I believe it was at 6:32 during the video that John Oliver showed a particular commercial from that time period, and guess what commercial it was?

That's right, the good ol' swing dancing khaki enthusiasts.  And forgive me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the one who was responsible for that commercial the Prince Charming we mentioned earlier, Mickey Drexler?  Which meant that Mickey Drexler, the protagonist of retailers everywhere, was responsible for overlooking the conditions in which Gap's clothes were being made?

Now to be fair, Oliver went on to talk about how Gap took measures to install "independent monitoring" in their factories and what not.  But then not to be fair, Oliver proceeded to tell how Gap continued with a series of mishaps similar to the El Salvador instance to this very day.  Now c'mon Gap.  And c'mon, news media outlets in general!  I understand that it's important to advertise and to showcase how well a fashion/retail brand is coming along, but you can't ignore the other facts.  That's what the news is for.

Overall, it's important to realize that while the fashion industry can be a beautiful thing, it can also have some ugly downsides.  And sometimes, those ugly downsides can be the same thing as portraying fashion business moguls as heroes when in reality, they have their dark sides too.  The news should really be addressing more of these issues head on, and not shoving them behind to portray companies in a light they don't deserve (if you're curious as to what hypocrisies I'm referring to, just watch the John Oliver segment.  You won't regret it, trust me).

Well kids, the more you know.  Take this knowledge and apply to it what you will.

Maddy Thiers

Monday, February 23, 2015

Let's Talk About The Oscars!

Last night was one of the most important nights for both the fashion world and the acting world, and the event that made it so was the 87th Annual Oscar Awards.  The Oscars are always a great time for family or friends (in my case, it was me and a few of my closest friends gathered around a live stream on a computer) to come together, critique the outfit choices of our favorite celebrities, and of course, to see who wins the well deserved awards in each category.

That being said, I just can't get over what some of the celebrities wore last night!  Here are a few of my favorites:

1) Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita stunned everyone last night in a beautiful Calvin Klein gown, designed by Francisco Costa.  As you can see, the cut of the dress is classic Calvin Klein, and - get this - the outside of the dress is completely covered in pearls.  Let's face it, Lupita just deserves her own damn planet for her and other perfect people like her.

2) Emma Stone

Emma went completely old Hollywood glamour last night in a custom chartreuse Elie Saab gown.  Apparently she had a crotch slip on the red carpet at one point, but being Emma Stone ya know, she just brushed it off and went about her business.  Anyway, back to the point!  I was so in love with this dress and how she literally shined at the Oscars.  And that red lipstick is on point!

Lupita and Emma were my two favorites of the night.  As for the others, I found that I liked quite a few dresses and outfits more than some others.  I mean, let's take a look at Anna Kendrick…

Anna did a fantastic job picking out a great color for her skin tone.  The dress also fits her perfectly, and it just flows flawlessly on her.  Overall, she stunned everyone in Hollywood last night.

And now, let's take a look at Jennifer Lopez…

Now just to set the record straight, I do enjoy how Jennifer is fearless on the red carpet, and how she isn't afraid to take risks.  And the dress is quite beautiful!  However, the fit of this gown doesn't sit quite right with JLo.  I have seen her with better fitting red carpet getups in the past, and this one just didn't make the cut (literally).  Better luck next time, lady!

For a few final thoughts on last night's tailoring choices (I unfortunately do not have time to go through them all), I will say this… lots of nude and pink.  Sienna Miller can absolutely OWN Oscar de la Renta.  Oh, and if anyone can get away with wearing a green gown, it's totally Scarlett Johansson.

Until the 88th Academy Awards!

Maddy Thiers

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bring In(stagram) The New Year

Well, this is it.  2014 has been one insane year that has shaped each of our lives in one way or another.  And without a doubt, 2015 will probably do the same.

There have been so many occurrences during this year, especially with the fashion industry.  John Galliano made a huge comeback, Kendall Jenner is the hottest model of the moment, and Chanel made a statement during Fashion Week with its colorful feminist protest.  However, the strongest and most notable event that I have noticed was the big social media lunge this year.  If social media wasn't already interlaced with our lives, well, this year definitely sealed the deal on that issue.

To add to the point, this year was the first year that I had hopped aboard the iPhone train.  I received the iPhone back in March, and as soon as I got it, I eagerly joined Instagram, Vine, and all of the other apps that I had heard about.  This past summer, I was especially having fun with Instagram, and I had experimented with spreading awareness about this fashion blog through Instagram, using pretty pictures and the appropriate hashtags and what not.  The response that I got was incredible, and it affirmed my beliefs that the human race will not stop ascending the social media staircase any time soon.

There were also many Instagram occurrences of the year, including Grace Coddington joining the app in May, and Rihanna returning to the app after a six month hiatus (for more Instagram events of the year, check out this article from Refinery 29:  Many fashion forward bloggers gained more followers on the app as well, reaffirming the fact that social media and fashion are interlinked beyond belief, from now and into the future.  I mean, it certainly helps that blogger Adam Gallagher uses classic menswear and Oxford charm…

… that Luanna Perez has an intriguing Goth girl glamour…

… and that Jessica Stein masters the element of travel to her already fashionable Instagram posts.

Social media has been on a steady rise for a while now, but 2014 has been the year that has confirmed its place in our future.  I know a lot of people who are uneasy about this, and I'm not going to lie, I feel a bit of unease as well.  However, social media has already proven to have a beautiful side with a lot of creativity and originality.  I can't help but yearn to see what's next.

Here's to an awesome 2015!

Maddy Thiers

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Star of the Moment: Emma Watson

Nowadays in Hollywood, it's hard to come across a genuine, caring person who is outspoken about buried issues such as feminism and sexualization.  I'm talking, of course, about the fabulous Emma Watson.

Emma has been my favorite celebrity for quite a few years now, and it's not just because of the reasons that I have listed above.  I also admire her ability to keep her social life under wraps from the media, in order to live out as much of a normal life as possible while simultaneously living her dream career.  She is always as charming and as classy as can be when she makes public appearances; why, she comes pretty damn close to being another Kate Middleton!

Oh, and I completely admire her flawless sense of style.  I mean, how can she go from looking sleek and professional like this…

… to daring and sexy like this, without any controversy? 

Seriously, anyone who can pull off any kind of look without any outcries or complaints from the public is a star in my book.

I also have to give kudos to Emma for her sense of humor.  I was one of those people who lost it at her cameo performance in This Is The End.  

She makes losing your shit at James Franco and Seth Rogen look positively adorable.  Not to mention badass.

And lastly (I'm doing my best to contain this post because I know I can go on for pages about Ms. Watson), I just have to go on again about how bold she is with her style.  I really am emphasizing this again, I love the way she dresses.  She is, without a doubt, one of my biggest style inspirations.  

I had to restrain myself from adding more pictures (it certainly doesn't help that I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to her).  

Emma, even though you aren't discussed a lot in the media, you are most certainly the star of the moment.  In fact, that makes you more of a star, because of how low key and awesome you are.  Stay classy Emma, and everyone else, take a note from Emma and be classy like her.  That is all.


Maddy Thiers