Things I've Worn On Campus

Real talk: is it possible to consider myself a style blogger and walk around campus in some of the getups I wear on a regular basis? Because campus casual (for the ladies, at least) is dictated by a bizarre unspoken mutual agreement of "meh," I somehow find it acceptable to walk around in public in the following: 

A baseball hat and the hood of my raincoat pulled up on top of it. Bonus points for day-old hair. 

A tee shirt I wore three straight days in a row. 


Workout clothes when I have zero intention of going to the gym. 

Fleece vests and extra large flannel button downs. Bonus points if the flannel is from the Americas Thrift. 

6 pairs of leggings if it gets below 40. I get cold.

Tee shirts that cover my norts so it looks like I'm not wearing pants. (Breaking News: This look now has a name as reported by TheSkimm...)

Cheap tube socks. 

Expensive, whimsically patterned tube socks.

Christmas-themed tube socks (in August).

I have a love-hate relationship with the college uniform. There are a lot of benefits to dressing this way. The most obvious cop-out is that everybody sticks to this uniform. It's common knowledge that if you substitute your leggings for jeans one day, students will quizzically query why you are so dressed up (which is awkward). Plus walking around campus all day seriously limits your options anyway. You need good speed-walking-to-class shoes, a shirt that doesn't show your back sweat from so much speed walking, and something that won't get ruined from toting around a heavy backpack all day. And everything needs to be comfortable enough to curl up in a coffee shop armchair to study in between classes. As much as I do hate purposefully looking like a slob, I secretly love being able to rely on a semi-acceptable way to be extremely comfortable 100% of the time. I hate you, I love you XL tee shirts. I hate you, I love you leggings. (But I mostly love you.)

Do you like the campus casual uniform? What is the worst outfit you've worn on campus??

Midweek Musings: Mysteries & Marty McFly

Universal Pictures
First of all, Happy Back to the Future Day! Can you believe we made it to 2015?! We managed to make it through the 2012 apocalypse crisis and survived that time ponchos and low rise jeans were in style, so I'd say we're doing pretty good, future-wise. In other news, this week I'm obsessed with Lists, freshly brewed tea that smells like what I imagine Ina Garten's living room smells like, hot new jams, and a favorite franchise on the verge of getting a facelift.

5 Ways to Improve Your Writing

Though English may not have been everyone's favorite subject, every career requires some skill at written communication whether you be a copywriter or a just a frequent email sender. As you write your memos or speeches or prescriptions or novels, these 5 improvements to your written words may make all the difference.

One \\ Use synonyms. A Thesaurus has been a favorite desk essential for as long as I can remember, but the synonyms feature on word and are also great resources. A great rule of thumb is to vary your syntax (sentence structure) and your diction (word choice) in each sentence so you aren't repeating phrases. Some favorite synonyms for "style?" Hmmmm... conduct, attitude, expression, propriety, savoir-faire.

Two \\ Always have a thesis statement. Every written word should have some purpose. Even when simply composing emails, it's to your reader's benefit to have some kind of statement of purpose, usually in the subject line. For essays and assignments and presentations, get to the point, quickly and specifically. A thesis statement should be a one-line summary of the topic of your writing. This is possibly the most important tip because all your other writing will stem from this statement. Does the body of your email or essay support this phrase? If a sentence doesn't directly relate to your thesis it's probably superfluous and you should take it out. Fun fact: the first thing I wrote when starting my blog is its thesis statement: "every individual has a unique style: a gem, deep inside that begs to be made known to the world." Each post celebrates and encourages that individuality!

Three \\ If you can say it in three words, write it in one. Much of our writing is colloquial, particularly emails and short memos. It makes sense, right? When we write, we are dictating to ourselves, thus a casual writing is usually very talkative and informal. The downside to this? If you are a woman (or man!) of many words, there are probably unneeded phrases sprinkled in your writing. Phrases like "due to the fact that" and "a large proportion" and "absolutely essential" can all be reduced or eliminated. For vocabulary enthusiasts, there are names for these unnecessary words: a tautology is a "needless repetition of an idea in a different word, phrase, or sentence," and a pleonasm is "the use of more words than are necessary for the expression of an idea." In other words, just get rid of them. For a complete list of tautologies and pleonasms, check out this resource.

Four \\ Be specific. In addition to removing unnecessary phraseology, it is important to be specific in your writing. Perhaps the most used comment I have when proofreading essays, "being specific" means your descriptions are concrete, definite, and specific. In fact, your descriptions are not descriptions at all, rather confident statements. Consider this example from Strunk & White's The Elements of Style:

A period of unfavorable weather set in.
It rained everyday for a week. 

Besides the reference to our current weather situation in Athens, the second phrase immediately gives the reader an image, (grey skies) a feeling (cold and wet), and an understanding of the situation. And notice the sentiment is expressed in fewer words.

Five \\ Read your words out loud. The very best proofreading comes from physically saying your words back to yourself. Reading an essay or memo out loud allows you to catch grammatical errors, identify awkward or wordy phrasing, and note any holes in your narrative. Though your roommates may think you've gone a little crazy reading out loud to yourself, this method is the quickest and surest way to improve your writing.

Bob and Annie and Nancy

      The Intern, 2015

The best kinds of movies leave you inspired long after you leave the theater. It just so happens that The Intern falls into this category, and so does every other film done by its director: Nancy Meyers. You may recognize her name from the slew of your favorite DVDs lining your shelf with titles like Father of the Bride and It's Complicated and The Holiday and The Parent Trap. A true classy lady, Nancy's movies are known for their unique points of view, attention to detail, and of course, their beautifully furnished sets. The Intern excels in all of these categories and provides an overwhelmingly accurate commentary on friendship, success, and the modern woman. What particularly resonated with me is Meyers' depiction of the contrast between the Millennial men and Robert De Niro's character, Ben. Anne Hathaway mentions somewhere in the film that men used to be more chivalrous and put together - now they dress like little boys and there is very little incentive for them to grow up. We are a Peter Pan generation. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, but it certainly is an interesting talking point about modern culture. And of course, I fell in love with the artistic characteristics of Meyers' world, especially Anne Hathaway's wardrobe and her hip Brooklyn office. I love clean white washed walls and beautiful typography, both of which were expertly represented. My favorite Jules Ostin (Anne's character) outfit was definitely her first one: black flouncy skirt, cable knit white sweater and calf hair pumps. And she wears it to ride her bike around the office!!!

The Intern, 2015
Since seeing the movie with my friend Kaitlin one rainy Friday evening last weekend, I've read several interviews with Nancy and thought I'd relay some highlights for those of you unfamiliar with the movie and with Meyers herself.