Typically, my favorite part of a magazine involves the last few pages, when there’s a beautiful editorial spread. All the models have their hair and makeup done in a unique way, and outfits are almost always stunning.
But once we look in the corner to find out where the clothes are from — and see the price — we quickly get depressed and shut the magazine.
In the past, I would go to these pages to get inspiration before a shopping trip, being well aware I could never afford what the models were actually wearing. Well, we at Broke & Chic teamed up with fashion photographer Marcus Cooper, makeup artist Kyle Harder and Redlight PR to show you that you don’t have to wear head-to-toe designer to look like a million bucks.
So seriously, why don’t we just suck it up, and build the fashion confidence Lady Gaga has? You probably have many reasons: what will your boss say? What if your friends hate it? What if you scare guys away?
Obviously you shouldn’t be too daring with your style at work, and maybe you shouldn’t even wear a bold outfit all day. So when can you experiment? We here at Broke & Chic have the perfect plan for you.
Test out those dream outfits you’ve always been to scared to try when you’re walking to your local coffee shop in the morning, when you’re spending your Sunday afternoon at the laundromat, and if you’re still not brave enough, in the comfort of your own home when you’re scrolling through Facebook or playing FoxyBingo.
That’s right, wear your short sequined shorts, spiked Lita’s, orange lipstick and grandma’s vintage fur coat the next time you have a load of dirty laundry to deal with. Once you get back home, you can switch back to your usual look…but only if you want to.
Note: Bold and daring makeup is another thing to have fun with the next time you run down the street to grab your latte.
Are you thinking about being daring on your next errand? Snap a photo and email it to email@example.com for a possible feature.
A big thanks to Redlight PR for supplying the clothes, Kensie for supplying the jewelry, Kyle Harder for makeup and of course, Gasoline Alley for the coffee! To stay Broke & Chic, everything but the leather coat was under $80.00!
We all experience stress. It can come with change, insecurity, a long to-do-list, or sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. Here are some helpful tips to manage and get rid of your stress, no matter where you are or how tight your budget is:
1. Relish good music and good memories.
A study was performed at a nursing home that found that when individuals listened to music from their favorite era, (say, the 1950s), their seratonin levels increased and their symptoms of depression decreased.
I think this tells us that forcing ourselves to take a break in the day and listen to an old favorite song, looking at photos of happy memories, or talking to a long-time friend for a few minutes really makes a difference in our mood and state of mind. It doesn’t take long, and it has profound effects on your overall well-being!
2. Try breathing exercises and meditation.
Focusing on taking full, deep, cleansing breaths is one of the most effective and quickest ways to relieve stress. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your nose, feeling the breath fill you and then exit. Watch your breath move throughout you with your mind’s eye, bringing your attention to your internal self, and feel your body relax.
Bringing your conscious attention to your breath automatically calms your mind and brings you to a state of meditation. A technique for beginner mediators is to count your breath, on the exhale, up to ten and then begin back at one. If you lose track, simply go back to one. To learn more about mediation, please read here.
3. Use nature to find inner peace.
Find a place to sit for at least 15 minutes where you won’t be too distracted by cars or other people. Just sit there.
By actively watching your surroundings, you will see that the trees, grass, and plants must adapt to survive. Change should be embraced with trust that it is necessary in order for something better to enter your life.
Focus on one tree for a minute and notice how it adapted to its surroundings in order to grow. Maybe you notice that there is a fence obstructing where branches could grow, and see that the tree gracefully re-directed itself in order to survive and flourish. The tree doesn’t give up just because there are obstacles. Obstacles are just a reason to find a new path. Don’t stress about the obstacles in your life. Trust in yourself and in the Universe that a new path will appear for you to flourish in.
4. Think about the Universe, and put it in perspective.
Put your worries into perspective. Although you may have a few things on your plate that you could do without, is that “thing” that’s stressing you out so much really going to matter in 5 days, 5 years, or 50 years from now?
But honestly, nothing is so important that you sacrifice your health, your state of mind, and your interactions with others. Being in a state of stress is not only destructive to your immune system and overall health, but it doesn’t feel good, either.
Your stressor is going to exist regardless of how you respond to it…you might as well have a positive attitude about it. It is what it is, why make things worse by your reaction to it?
Isn’t it relieving to know that you are responsible for how you react to events in life? Once you stop giving control to things outside yourself, (i.e.: the “stressful event” that occurred), you stop victimizing yourself and take back the control of your emotional response and the world is yours.
And… I like to think that a positive attitude not only makes the feeling of being overwhelmed disappear, but it makes you feel better, too.
5. Write down an action plan.
Action plans are always a go-to to alleviate stress. Jotting down a few quick bullet points immediately allows your mind to let go of that stressful thought. A list lets you focus on relaxing but still know that you have a plan to conquer the to do list, or whatever the stress is.
If all else fails, take a nap!
How do you relieve stress? Let us know in the comments below!
Life is already difficult, complicated, confusing and stressful. Don’t make it worse for yourself. Give up these 15 things for a happier and healthier you!
1. Give up your need to always be right
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong — wanting to always be right — even at the risk of ending great relationships and causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it.
Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question:“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?
2. Give up your need for control
Be willing to give up your need to control everything that happens to you and around you — situations, events, people, etc. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will feel so much better! This applies to everyone, whether they are loved ones, co-workers, or just strangers you meet on the street.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” - Lao Tzu
3. Give up on blame
Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
4. Give up your negative self-talk
Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” - Eckhart Tolle
5. Give up your limiting beliefs
…About what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” -Elly Roselle
6. Give up complaining
Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things; people, situations and events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy and no situation can make you sad or miserable, unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it.
Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
7. Give up the luxury of criticism
Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
8. Give up your need to impress others
Stop trying so hard to be something you’re not, in hopes that others will like you. It doesn’t work this way.
The moment you stop trying so hard, the moment you take off your mask, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you’ll find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
9. Give up your resistance to change
Change is good. Change helps you move from A to B. Change allows you make improvements in your life, and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change — don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” - Joseph Campbell
10. Give up labels
Stop labeling things, people and events you don’t understand as “weird” or “different.” Minds only work when open.
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” - Wayne Dyer
11. Give up on your fears
Fear is just an illusion. It doesn’t exist until you create it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. Give up your excuses
Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them.
A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses — excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even legitimate.
13. Give up the past
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present, and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have (and all you will ever have).
The past you are longing for — the past that you are now dreaming about — was ignored by you when it was the present. So stop deluding yourself, and be present in everything you do. After all, life is a journey, and not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
14. Give up attachment
The moment you detach yourself from all things (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them — because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another. Attachment comes from a place of fear, while love is pure, kind and self-less. They can’t coexist) you’ll become so peaceful, tolerant, kind and so serene, that you’ll arrive at a place where you understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.
This is a concept that, for most of us, is difficult to grasp. It was for me too (it still is), but it’s not impossible. You get better and better at this with time and practice.
15. Give up living your life for other people
Too many people are living a life that is not their own. Instead, they live their lives according to what others (their parents, their friends, their teachers, their government, their enemies and the media) believe is best for them.
They ignore their inner voice and inner calling. They are too busy pleasing everyone else, living up to other people’s expectations, and so they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget themselves.
You have one life, this one right now, and you must live it, own it, and never let other’s opinions distract you from your path.
I hope my tips guide you down the path to happiness.
I am in my mid-twenties, blogging from Boston, and focusing on living a life full of meaning and happiness.
You can find me on Holistic Hippy. My blog’s purpose is to bring the mind, body, spirit, and environmental awareness to one place. There, you will find helpful tips on how to live in a clearer mind, obtain excellent physical health, find meaning in your life, and do so with an awareness for our environment, making conscious choices.
Every single thing is interconnected, so I find that a holistic approach to finding meaning and happiness works best.
“Don’t wear white after Labor Day.” You’ve surely heard that before, maybe even from your own mother or favorite style icon.
But should we really put an entire color in time-out for two whole seasons? Not on our watch! Below are four fashionable items we think are okay to wear after Labor Day.
White boots aren’t that common and since most of us live in boots during fall and winter, why not be a little daring? These Cheap Monday booties popped out at me while I was browsing their website. They’re a bit pricy but so worth it.
If you’re in high school, you’d be the talk of the school for weeks if you showed up to homecoming in this number. If you’re a 9-5 fashionista, you’re sure to be an all day distraction. To make it not look too sexy, pair it with a fitted black blazer and sexy red pumps. Think Melissa of Office Style would approve?
White Dress Pants
During a Fashion Week event yesterday I noticed someone wearing perfectly fitted white dress pants. It was after Labor Day, but she looked great. It’s nice to break the rules sometimes!
You really can’t wear coats in warmer weather, so does that mean you can only wear your elegant white trench for two months? Absolutely not! Pair it with a black bag and bright lipstick, and you’re bound to stand out this fall and winter.
Christine Centenera, Fashion Editor of Harper’s Bazaar Australia
Don’t have one? Get one!
What do you think of the no white after Labor Day rule? Is it time to move on?
Bella Dahl, 80%20 and Level 99 are three clothing companies I was introduced to earlier this summer. I have since fallen in love with all three of them, which led us to include them in our summer shoot with B&C’s amazing photographer, Marcus Cooper!
Unfortunately, these companies aren’t exactly budget friendly, but as you’d expect, the quality is amazing. Here’s why there worth a look for the fashionista on a budget: all three companies sell simple staple pieces, so these items will last for seasons to come.
Take a peek at the photos below, and if you’re smitten, you know what to do.
Level 99: The colored jean trend will still be going strong for fall 2012. Instead of yellow, pink and mint jeans that took over the spring and summer, go for a darker pair. A pair of plum or emerald skinny jeans paired with a fitted chambray top from Bella Dahl, and some killer black wedges from 80%20 works perfectly.
Typically we try and avoid color when it gets cooler out, but this will be one of the first years in a long time where that rule is void. Rock the color ladies! Find these jeans at Anthropologie and Couture Candy for about $98.00.
Bella Dahl: This company is known for their flowy tops and simple patterns. You can find Bella Dahl at your local Nordstrom and Anthropologie for ~$128 a top.
80%20 Shoes: I’m a huge shoe fan and love anything with height. If you can’t help prancing around in heels, but have a grudge against stilettos, this company is for you. They specialize in wedges and platforms, which in my opinion are the most comfortable way to get sexy height!
If you’ve decided you’re more of a downtown girl, don’t forget your unique pieces that everyone will envy such as rockin’ wedges or an asymmetrical top. Robb & Hugo is the perfect designer to rely on due to the one-of-a-kind pieces they offer, which are not only stylish but comfortable as well.
Either way, be fierce! Show the street who’s boss. Remember, simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. Are you more of an uptown or downtown girl? Let us know in the comments below.
This company is sassy, sexy and affordable: Nectar offers customizable sunnies at a price that won’t hurt your bank account.
Mix and match, rep your school, rock ‘em at night, wear them on the slopes, at a concert or while surfing. Whatever your heart desires! The best part is, they allow you to exchange for ANY reason. Break ‘em? No worries. Send them back and they’ll send you a brand spankin’ new pair.
Wearing sunglasses in the summer is a must, but I personally tend to loose them like no tomorrow. I like that Nectar offers quality pairs of sunnies that are in my price range. They start at only $13 and go up to $25.
Summer is in full swing, and with this heat wave affecting most of the country, pool and beach time can’t be avoided. That said, finding the perfect bathing suit isn’t as fun as lounging around on the beach — but MiX Bikini changes that!
With MiX Bikini you can design your bikini from start to finish. From the color all the way to the cut. Want a leopard bikini top with a gold string and a black bottom? You got it!
My favorite part: you don’t have to just get one size. Most girls aren’t the same size top and bottom. You might need a large bikini top, but a medium bottom. MiX Bikini makes it possible!
According to their website:
Mix & match left & right triangle & halter-tops with classic & scrunchie bottoms & connect them with rings & strings to create thousands of bikinis. The more bikini parts you collect, the more bikinis you create. Reassemble MiX Bikini as much as you want.
Broke & Chic was given the opportunity to create two of our own MiX Bikinis. We tested them out on the beaches of Newport, Rhode Island over 4th of July weekend with Marcus Cooper as our photographer. Our models got tons of compliments on their MiX Bikinis during the shoot. What do you think?
Mix – The Interchangeable Bikini LookBook
If you you love what you see, head on over to Mixbikini.com to design and purchase your own! The best part about it? You won’t be spending any more than $50. It could even be less, it all depends on your design.
Will you be purchasing a Mix bikini this summer? Let us know in the comments below!
Dominique is the Marketing and PR Manager for Karen Millen USA. She’s been a New York City resident for 2 years now and is originally from San Francisco, where she found her love for fashion. She spends a lot of her free time traveling, exploring NYC and occasionally dancing her butt off at downtown parties. Follow her on Twitter @missdominique.
Lucky for me, while at the Karen Millen store in Soho chatting with Dominique I found this perfect summer dress. I’m looking forward to wearing it at an upcoming summer event. I like the way it fits and the little lace and ruffle detail make it a perfect party dress. I also plan to pair it with a bright color blazer for the office.
Besides my Karen Millen shopping spree, it was a really exciting week at the office! I helped coordinate the SocialChorus sponsorship at BlogWorld - one of the largest conferences for content creators held at the Javits Center this year. We hosted interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry including Jay Baer, Ted Rubin, and C.C. Chapman to Google+ pro Lynette Young and Katie Richman from ESPN.
I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek into what everyone was up to, plus share news about SocialChorus. (Yay, PR!) Overall, it was a huge success for work! But definitely exhausting, I haven’t stopped talking for 9 hours and these stilettos are really starting to hurt.
I love to shop, but I love finding great deals even more! I fell for my first Calvin Klein dress sometime last year. I scored it at Marshalls for around $50, it normally retails for over $150. I now have more then I probably should admit, but they fit me perfectly and all have unique accents. This bright blue one is amazing, the color is so bold and the cut is very chic. It doesn’t require much styling at all. I just threw on a pair of nude stocking and pumps and I was ready.
Speaking of nude stockings. After banishing them from my wardrobe sometime in middle school, I’ve recently started wearing them again. The spring weather came upon us so quickly and I was not ready to reveal my un-spray tanned legs to NYC. There is not a dress out there that could ever make white pasty legs look pretty. So taking a cue from the style icon Kate Middleton I bought a pair and surveyed a few people. The votes are in- they didn’t even realize I was wearing hose until I pointed it out. I’m now a believer and totally recommend adding them back into your life.
Check out the mother/ daughter duo below. Both professionals with amazing taste and the eye for a great deal.
Calvin Klein Coat: $29.99, Marshalls in North Kingston Rhode Island
Flower Pin: 25 cents, Thrift Shop
Alfani Clutch: $3.00, Nearly New Shop in Ruskin Florida
Bracelets: Designed and Made by Jess Cooper (model)
Meet Teresa Cooper
By day, Teresa is a promoter of education, self determination and goal setting. She spends her leisure time in search of all things beautiful, and she will most likely end her search in a local consignment shop. Teresa wears her passion for life by discovering new and eclectic styles of clothing, shoes and accessories for both herself and loves ones.
Meet Jessica Cooper
Jessica Cooper, a Sr. Management Consultant based in Boston, spends almost as much time packing and traveling as she does in the office. Her style is fashionable and sophisticated, and she is always on the hunt for versatile pieces that travel well and need little maintenance. To add some flare to her otherwise corporate look and show off her street style, Jessica will layer on her self-made bracelets, wear bright eye shadow, and accessorize with animal prints and vibrant colors. And of course, she’s always sporting her mother’s latest thrift store find!
What do you think of Melissa, Teresa and Jessica’s sophisticated yet colorful outfits? Let us know in the comments below!
Office Style is going to be a new weekly series on Broke & Chic (check out last week’s post.) Learn how to be fashionable in the office. Melissa, who spends eight hours a day at SocialChorus, will be your style coach!
Black is Back
Working at a startup has its perks. Unlimited granola bars for one, but being able to dress to meet a CMO one day and platform developers the next is super cool! It gives me a chance to switch up my look, while still maintaining my personal style.
The easiest way to look sharp is Black. The LBD, black blazer, black bag, and black tights are all necessities. (Just don’t wear them all together!)
And remember to always have a black blazer in the office closet, because you never know when one of those casual days can get serious.
Melissa Murphy connects brands with influencers as Senior Manager of Influencer Activation and Collaboration at SocialChorus. Her campaigns with Fortune 500 companies like Tropicana, Intel and Toyota are awesome – she’s the ultimate PR turned social media maven. Murphy attended The Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in Marketing Communications, and was previously the Director of Communications for The Trump Grande Resort and Pop Artist Romero Britto. She loves meeting influencers (IRL), rocking a killer pair of heels, and a great party! Follow her on twitter @MelMurphytweets
My personal style includes a lot of basics, and I have a serious weakness for ankle boots and a great jacket. I’m willing to splurge on staples that can go with everything, and am a pro at finding designer goods at consignment shops. I’m a die hard classic rock fan, so I love clothes that can give a bit of a rocker edge, and have a collection of vintage band tees I wouldn’t trade for anything. My best style tip: when in doubt, I always wear all black, you never have to worry about being under or over dressed for any occasion!
When she isn’t blogging or searching for funny videos on YouTube, she designs jewelry under the name Findings.NewYork, that is sold at AlwaysNeverNY (and currently is purchasable by request via email!).
What do you think of Melissa and Hillary’s great style? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Photographer:
Marcus Cooper is a Moderation and Implementation Coordinator at Social Chorus. He’s the man behind the computer, assuring social media success for some big name brands. He’s a recent graduate from University of Tampa where he studied Advertising, Marketing and Digital Production.
His true passion, though, is photography, which he began in recent years after a life changing trek across Europe. His photos display his raw and understated talent and fine tuned eye for all things beautiful in life. Aside from social media and photography, Marcus loves traversing the city and discovering all it has to offer and he’s always looking for new and interesting people to meet.