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The ‘Give a Damn’ Campaign Gives Hope…

Cyndi Lauper and Van Gogh Vodka Present the Give a Damn Shirts Back in December, The True Colors Fund announced their apparel line for the Give a Damn campaign,  a project designed to raise money to promote equality based on sexual orientation. Co-founded by  Cyndi Lauper, the organization aims to end discrimination for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Lauper and Van Gogh Vodka have already announced the first of five limited edition “give a damn” campaign shirts, each designed by a different celebrity.  Lauper’s shirt reads “equality. Time for it to become a reality.”

On June 15th, the True Colors Fund will release the four other limited edition shirts designed by Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch, Tony Award-winning artists Alan Cumming and Idina Menzel and comedian Chelsea Handler.

“[The Celebrities] inspiring designs convey messages of understanding and acceptance that will encourage others to join us in giving a damn about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality,” Lauper said.

Shirts are available at WeGiveADamn.org for $35 and all proceeds from the line go directly to the Give a Damn campaign,

So support the LGBT community in style and show the world that you too give a damn.



Board Shorts or Shorts?

Image Courtesy of Nordstrom.

Image Courtesy of Nordstrom.

Over the past five years, men’s fashion has grown into an industry in itself.  Sure men have always needed clothes, but men’s fashion has never been as mainstream as it is today.  Today’s dapper gent incorporates the latest trends into almost every aspect of his wardrobe, including swimwear.  Because the line between men’s swimwear and everyday apparel has become so fine, some guys are rocking board shorts as everyday apparel.

Based on their styles, some swimsuits could pass as regular, land-loving shorts.  Swimsuit manufacturers have designed polyester blends that wick water away just as well the swimsuits of yesteryear, just without the bulk.  The lightweight materials aren’t awkwardly shiny like they used to be.

Swimsuit retailers, like Pacific Sunwear, sell many different styles of what they call “hybrid shorts,” which incorporate the fast wicking material and lightweight feel common to board shorts, while still looking like a pair of shorts on first glance.

We’re not suggesting hybrid shorts are a replacement for traditional bottoms, but hybrid shorts are perfect for your next beach day. They can easily transition from the beach to the bar so no more worrying about having a complete outfit change. Just throw a button-down shirt with a pair of Sperry’s in your beach bag, and you’re ready to hit the bar after a long day of fun in the sun.



Sick of Color? Try Leather and Lace….

Image Courtesy of Splash News.

Image Courtesy of Splash News.

Everyone knows this season’s hottest trend is pastels.  They’re the most fun way to ring in the warm weather, but looking like a human crayola box is only fun for so long.  Eventually, the novelty of wearing colors wears off, and you want to go back to black.

Leather quietly emerged as part of this season’s wardrobe.  Designer Derek Lam released a leather skirt earlier this season for Saks and Neiman Marcus, and Altuzzara released a white leather dress with a flower panel.

Despite being a part of the high fashion spring/summer line, the leather trend went to the wayside because it couldn’t be easily adopted by lower end stores.  Brightly colored materials are easily integrated into more affordable stores like H&M and Forever 21, but they couldn’t produce a quality leather product comparable to the high fashion leather.

Check out the local consignment stores, like Second Time Around on 17th and Chestnut streets, for inexpensive leather goods.  Pair your favorite leather piece with a hot lace for a night on the town.



Burberry’s New ‘White Line’ is Ummm…Confusing

Image Courtesy of Burberrys US Store.

Image Courtesy of Burberry's US Store.

On Wednesday, May 2nd, the British clothing house Burberry released a white collection for Spring/Summer 2012, including a video intro to give shoppers more of a feel for the line.

YouTube Preview Image

After watching the models look windswept in slo-mo for 55 seconds with camera panning over them, we’re wondering why?  The line doesn’t make sense.

Now, I’m a huge Burberry fan. But who the hell is wearing a trench coat during the summer???  I don’t care how light or breathable the material is, no one in their right mind would don a trench mid-May. I love my trench more than like it’s my first born child and even I retire it the moment temps start reaching into the 7os.

In addition to focusing on the model’s trench coats, the video highlights each model’s white jeans.  I’m a big fan of white, especially slim fit white jeans, but they’re nothing new. Based on the video, there doesn’t seem to be a difference between Burberry’s white jeans and a pair from H&M.

I only liked the male model’s sweater out of the entire collection.  The subtle, yet oversized Burberry check is iconic, and incorporates the classic look Burberry is known for.

Overall, I think the line would fare better in an area with a cooler, rainier climate than the US.  The line would be perfect for England where the average temperature through the summer doesn’t go past 70; however, in the US, it seems like a lost cause.



We’re Against H&M’s Fashion Against AIDS Collection….

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 10.55.46 AM

Image Courtesy of HM.com.

On Thursday, H&M released their Fashion Against AIDS clothing line to 300 retail stores.  The collection not only brings awareness to the AIDS epidemic, the swedish clothing mogul is also donating 25% of all the line’sproceeds to the United Nations Population Fund, MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, YouthAIDS and Designers Against AIDS.

This isn’t the first time H&M has launched a clothing line to promote AIDS awareness.  In 2008, they launched the first Fashion Against AIDS collection, and have subsequently raised more than $6.5 million for AIDS awareness.

We think it’s awesome that companies have collaborated with foundations to promote awareness about social issues, like project RED and Fashion Against AIDS.  The only problem is the clothes are hideous.

This season is all about color, and H&M designed the men’s line with absolutely no color.  Everything in the Fashion Against AIDS collection is gray, white, or black.  Although not everything in the collection has to look like it came out of a Crayola box, it would have been nice to have a little color.

They also took a risk by designing a pair of men’s drop crotch pants.  Drop crotch pants are incredibly hard to successfully wear.  They have to be very fitted in all the right places, while still appearing baggy.

The awkward fits of the men’s line continue with the women’s, but unlike the men’s line, the women’s line is full of color.  The entire line has a very bohemian chic feel.  The colorful women’s apparel is complete opposite of the drab, urban men’s line.

Overall, the line successfully brings attention to AIDS, and does so with very identifiable designs.  After briefly browsing the collection, it’d take .2 seconds to spot the clothes on the street.  The only question is, does the line attractive positive attention or harsh criticism?  The clothes look mediocre, but they may wear significantly better than they appear.



Don’t Worry About White Rules…

white-jeans

Credit: discovalante.files.wordpress.com

Earlier this year, the unseasonably warm weather caused confusion about what’s appropriate to wear.  This spring has made planning outfits almost unbearable because one day it’s like Philadelphia and Miami swapped places, and the next it’s as if Philly got bored in Miami and moved north to Maine.

Now that spring weather is here to stay, some bold fashionistas have already started rocking white.  I’m not talking about a white accent piece here or there, I’m talking about white staple pieces, like pants, before Memorial Day.

According to Time Magazine’s exposé on the origin of the “No White After Labor Day” rule, white was deemed unacceptable before Memorial Day and after Labor Day because white linen was traditionally worn by vacationers to symbolize leaving their urban lifestyles for one of leisure.

That’s great, but we live in 2012.  If I wanted to leave my urban life, I could just hop on a plane and jet set somewhere warm.  Okay being the broke college student I am, maybe I couldn’t, but you get the idea….the white rules don’t apply any longer.

Although some are hesitant to break out the white, it’s an incredibly easy color to pair with this season’s hottest pastels.  I love this season’s trends, but I wouldn’t deck myself head to toe in pastels.  I’d look like a Crayola box threw up, so why not pair one of this season’s hottest colors with a pair of white pants?

I love to throw white into my wardrobe mix because it’s clean and simple.  It keeps an outfit light without distracting from your staple piece.  Because this season’s colors are so bright, try working in white regardless of the old rule.  After all, rules are made to be broken, right?



Don’t Let Trends Take Over Your Wardrobe!

Image Courtesy of H&M's virtual fitting room.

Image Courtesy of H&M's virtual fitting room.

Bright colors are the go-to trend of the season, but as with any sizzling hot fad, they burn out as fast as they blow up.  The colors are a lot of fun, but everyone’s wearing them, so it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

I like to incorporate the latest trends with my own style to create a unique look, otherwise my friends and I would look like we’re straight out of a Gap catalog.  Trends are a great way to spice up your wardrobe from season to season, but they shouldn’t dictate fashion choices.

Earlier this season like every other season, J.Crew released their 9″ Stanton short in a wide array of colors, my favorite being their dusty berry.  Salmon shorts have been a J.Crew staple for eternity the past few spring/summer lines, but salmon and coral are hot in all stores this spring. The key is to wear them as the focal point of the outfit’s color palate.  I pair my colored shorts with a simple black deep v-neck and creme shaw collar sweater for chilly mornings because the black shirt doesn’t take away from the main color trend, but it still makes a statement in the outfit as a whole.

The v-neck shows a little skin, a little muscle, and ideally a little chest hair a little tan, all without distracting from the color of the shorts.  It turns the simple, yet sophisticated shorts and sweater outfit (or shirt and shorts on hot days) into a sexy, fun day-out outfit.

We love using pieces to accent others in order to create a mood.  Like perfume with its various notes, outfits must be designed so the various pieces compliment one another to match your personal style.  Mine screams gay club meets the Hamptons, sexy and flashy, yet sophisticated and well groomed.

Play around with the latest and greatest styles and think about ways to work them in to things you already have.  Trends are simply what’s hot now -they are not laws.  Just because something is hot, doesn’t mean it should actually be worn, cough jellies cough.



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