Tag Archives: American Apparel

American Apparel Nail Laquer Review

Fueling my obsession with nail polish, many retail stores are branching out into the world of beauty. Cosmetics are becoming as trendy as clothing, and nail polish is on the forefront of said trend because of the crazy and creative manicures we’ve seen on the runways and on the likes of Katy Perry and Rihanna.  It’s also good from a marketing standpoint, a nice display with a fun array of colors right there on the counter. It’s hard not to buy some when they’re 3 for $15 which was the case today at American Apparel.

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L’Espirit – Neon Orange – California Trooper

The first thing I liked was the selection of colors. They have your classic red, basic colors like nude and black, then a nice array of more interesting tones ranging from a lovely turquoise shade to a great mustard yellow (which I have to go back and purchase, as mustard is my favorite color.) I think my favorite thing about American Apparel is their color choices, despite all the controversy and snootiness, it’s those muted tones and deep shades that keep me coming back.

I went with the three shown above, I didn’t want to go overboard and purchase every color I liked in case the polishes were just terrible. I did this at Urban Outfitters and after needing about ten coats I had lost my patience. L’Espirit and California Trooper are amazing. They are thick and glide on easily, needing only one coat. L’Espirit is a beautiful pale lavender that is interesting yet subtle. California Trooper is a lovely tan,  it reminds me of clay and those days in ceramics class where my nails would be coated in it and I’d stare at my hands wishing there was a polish in that color. Now there is, and it’s probably my favorite ever due to the fond memories it brings.

The neon orange is…..tricky. I’ve read that neon polishes are somewhat difficult when it comes to application and staying power, but it’s just a trend and not something I’ll need for year round or consistent wear. It takes several coats for opaque color, and a steady hand. It’s kind of gloppy, which is the only word I can think of to describe it. I had a lot of cleaning around the nail to do once I was done, and once I saw my nails in natural light I realized I still hadn’t applied enough. I suggest using somewhat quick strokes and be careful not to have too much polish on the brush to get it perfectly even. I now understand why Cupcakes & Cashmere has a How-To on neon nails.

In the end, I would definitely recommend AA’s nail polish, it’s cheap and easy *insert joke here* and has great color payoff. I’d recommend the neon polish if you have some patience and skill (and short nails, long nails with neon goes from daring to scary.)

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Hipster Fashion Rise and Fall

American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Target

American Apparel’s recent Groupon release got me thinking; how is the Hipster fashion giant failing when the “Hipster” style and culture is so popular?  Even Ke$ha is singing about it and her fans are wearing high-waisted trousers and vintage inspired oxfords.

The Groupon offered $50 worth of merchandise for $25, several thousand sold in Los Angeles alone (AA’s home) and I definitely snagged one here in New Orleans. Its become more obvious now when a bigger brand is struggling (as so many are now in this economy) when you see they have something like a Groupon. Groupon usually features local businesses, a way to discover your city and have a cheap outing. When you see stores like Gap and American Apparel pop up, you can’t help but realize that nobody wants a $200 denim jacket or a $45 t-shirt anymore.

That brings me to the marketing aspect, and the stereotypical aspect. So lets completely stereotype here, most “true” hipsters would never claim to be hipster, they were the true original. They liked Animal Collective before you, they went to a liberal arts university, and they have the money for American Apparel and Urban Outfitters. But when something takes off as a trend, the number of originals fade and you’ve got your 16 year old high school girl Googling “How to be Hipster” and running out to get the items listed.

When I was 16, “Emo” was popular. Everyone wanted plaid shirts, cutesy band tees, guys wore girl’s pants, we all had a rainbow of Converse and a Dashboard Confessional poster. Then the whole Emo thing changed to something darker, presumably because stores like Hot Topic were the only stores you could find that As I Lay Dying cd without having to order it.  Not only was the music more accessible, but so were Hot Topic’s darker fashions, so the plaid/denim Rivers Cuomo esque Emo kid started wearing black jeans and dyed his hair. Then that took off. By the time I’d graduated, kids had shifted their music tastes and traded their dark colors for neon colors and “Scene” was born. Soon you noticed that, even stores like American Eagle and Urban Outfitters were sporting bright splashes of color and deep v-necks. Do I need to explain how this transitioned into the “Hipster” becoming popular, or is it obvious now?

And with said Hipster popularity could actually come the downfall of the “true” hipster, and their flagship stores. In marketing, you go after what is most popular at the moment and make it attainable. American Apparel and Urban Outfitters aren’t terribly expensive, but they are for the trend-hungry masses. So, cheaper fashion destinations such as Target, Forever 21, even Wet Seal started releasing pieces and changing their store windows to the more vintage inspired, eclectic Hipster style. What young Ke$ha fan wants to spend nearly $60 on high waisted trousers when they could just go to Forever 21 and get the same thing for $20? The fad will fade like they all do, so of course there’s a cheaper alternative. Forever 21 is a huge spot if you want something trendy, because trends come and go. So why spend money on them?

At this point, even those people whose personal style has reflected that of a “Hipster” for quite some time are taking the cheaper route. Whether it be personal frugality, an economic hit, or the fact that it’s easier to find Forever 21 and Target as American Apparel and Urban Outfitters are in limited locations.  So, in turn maybe soemthing becoming popular can hurt it just as much as help it. Those “true originals” are struggling and the trendy attainables are thriving.

 

(Please don’t take my stereotypes seriously, it’s just an example for observation)

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Tour De Fashion: Bike Shorts

Bike shorts have been popping up everywhere this summer, and not just on cyclists. They’ve become the sort of knee-length (and shorter) legging for summer. They’ve been peeking out of casual outfits, as well as dressy ones. I’m really liking them, there are so many tunics and short dresses I have that I’ve always paired with tights, a skirt, or jeans. But now I’m glad this trend has come about, because so many of them look so much better paired with some simple black bike shorts. They’re better than regular black shorts because they’re fitted, unless of course you wear really tight shorts, in which case I would suggest bike shorts for you because…….wait for it….they’re insanely comfortable! I believe that’s obvious though.

I’ve mostly seen bike shorts being made fashionable on a lot of blogs and sites like Chictopia.com. For example, here’s a post where Katy Seibel of Kansas Couture paired some bike shorts with an XL button up shirt, I think this outfit is adorable: http://www.kansascouture.com/2009/06/on-pedestal.html

I wore some under a colorful Johnathan Saunders dress with red Chuck Taylors to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I really wish I had a photo, but I digress.

Let’s also jump back to Prada’s Resort 2009 collection. Bike shorts were in half of the outfits, and they were very cute and stylish.

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There was also Alexander Wang’s Pre-Fall 2009 collection where they were given a sheer, edgy twist. Then of course, there are many other collections they’ve popped up in throughout the past year.

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Of course, besides going to your local Nike store or digging through the drawer where you keep your exercise clothes, American Apparel has bike shorts in every color you can imagine. There are even fluorescent colors if you really want to rock the returning 80’s trend.

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Trend I Cannot Wait For!

For my first actual post, I’m going to write about an upcoming trend that absolutely can’t wait for. With each season we get a new set of trends, whether they be only for that season, or they last a whole year or more. Not every trend will look good on everyone, of course, so I’ve decided to pick out my favorites.

Sheer clothing is a huge trend for Spring and Summer, it was all over the runways and I’m very excited to test it out. It started showing up last Spring, but it’s been a huge hit with designers this year. I’m not a fan of sheer clothing that shows way more than anybody wants to see, but I think showing a little skin here and there never hurt. 
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