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Summer Break

May 6, 2011

Summer Break signifies the end of many things.  School is over, with it entails the end of my online journalism class and the end of my obligation to continue posting on this blog.  I would, in all honesty, love to continue this blog.  Campus Lookbook embodies all that I am passionate about: fashion, photography, journalism and more.  I have had such a wonderful experience working on this blog throughout the semester.  It has helped me to grow as a person and connect with people who share the same passions.  Looking back, here are a few of the posts I am most happy with:

On The Street – One of my On-The-Street posts with photos of fashionable Rowan students.  I am very proud of all of them!

Building a Professional Wardrobe While In School – I spoke to a student in the education department about the importance of starting to add professional looking garment to your wardrobe early on. (Includes audio.)

Se La Mode – I covered this year’s fashion show hosted by the BCL and created a short video based on the footage I gathered.  I loved this event because I was able to meet so many people.

Link-O-Rama – I provided a ton of links for students looking to delve deeper into the world of fashion.

Great Places for College Students to Shop Online – I was able to use my own personal experiences with online shopping to offer students some of the best and cheapest places to shop online.

I am so thankful to have had the experiences I have had, and therefore, would love to continue my work.  Unfortunately, Campus Lookbook is not much of a blog without a campus to cover.  Hopefully, I will be able to continue working on projects like this one the future which utilize all of the skills I love.

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Campus Style-Off: UPenn, UArts, and Drexel

May 6, 2011

In the beginning of the year, I asked students what they thought of when I said “fashion on campus.”  I ended up getting such a variety of answers that I wasn’t sure where to go with it.  For instance, Claudine Jacob said, “Now, a lot of people on campus are wearing sweatpants and hoodies but, other than that I’ve noticed people trying to bring back 90’s styles.”  Justin Sheppard said he thought that everyone had a pretty unique style and, “Hoodies with pea-coats” was pretty common for guys at the moment.  Finally LaMont Douglas told me what he thought students should be wearing,”I think, as college students, we should have a professional look when it comes to fashion.”  Which means, for guys “a button-up shirt and tie with khaki pants or a polo” for girls,” a blouse with a nice skirt or black pants.”

After spending the entire semester working on this blog, it has become clearer to me why I received such a wide variety of answers.  Fashion, like art, is subjective.  We all have our differing opinions on it, and frankly, some of us have no opinion of it at all.  Which is why it is so important to stress the fact that there are no rights and wrongs.  All that matters is what is important to you, what you like, and what looks best through your eyes.  Although you have the option to choose your favorites, keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Rowan University is not home to the only campus where fashionable students are present.  Photos of stylish students from all over the world are available on websites such as StreetPeeper.com, Facehunter.com, and more.  Inspiration is available to us in many forms, and I personally feel that the best inspiration comes from the observation of others.  There is only so much that we can take from advertising.  Because the goal of advertisers is to get you to buy the clothes, they want them to look good.  However fashion is not always about simply looking good.  It is a form of self-expression that communicates a great deal about the wearer to the outside world.  The best way to observe it is through the examination of reality.  Today, not only do we have the ability to ask and answer, “What are people wearing on campus?” without having to leave our computers, we also have the ability to learn what are people wearing in Russia, Amsterdam, or New Zealand.  I encourage you to take advantage of the tools that are currently available to gain inspiration and connect yourself the world outside of your campus, your hometown, and even your country.

To bring a more expanded look at what students in other universities in the area are wearing, I traveled to the University of Pennsylvania, The University of the Arts, and Drexel University (all located in Philadelphia, PA).  Below I have provided the photos of students.  It is up to you to decide.  Which university do you think is home to the most stylish students? (Remember there is no right or wrong!)

Pictured: 1)Adrian Brown 2)Jasmein Dowe 3)Michael Olivo 4) Kelly Peterson 5) Chrisianne Clymer 6) Adam Hrenko 7)Lan Mguyen 8)Rachel Crum

Coming Up: Campus Style-Off

May 1, 2011

For my final project of the semester, I am going to be visiting colleges in the area and taking on the street photos of some snazzy students.  Are there any particular colleges you would like to be featured on the blog (they must be within 30 to 40 mins away from Rowan, preferably).  I welcome your suggestions!

What to expect when selling to Plato’s Closet

April 23, 2011

“One thing that I have heard people describe it as that gives me chills is ‘Oh, it’s like a nice thrift store,” says Deptford store manager Jen Lynch.  “The way that I would describe it is a lot more similar to consignment because the amount of time and effort that we take on each item that goes onto the sales floor is insane.”

Image Source: B.k.l.r on Flickr

Plato’s Closet is a store that accepts gently used clothing and accessories in exchange for cash and then sells those clothes for a fraction of the price that the garments originally sold for.

For those interested in selling clothes to Plato’s Closet, do not think that all of your clothes will be accepted!  The staff at Plato’s Closet are trained to only accept stylish items that are free from any defects like stains or excessive wear.  However, do not be discouraged.  Here are few things that employees will look for when going through you items:

“First thing we take a look at is the tag,” says Jen.  Headquarters sends out photos of “hot” tags (which means recently sold in stores), “warm” tags, and “cold” tags (old).  Jen showed me a sheet of photos of current tags from Forever 21, it read HOT across the top, highlighted in red.  Employees at Plato’s Closet are required to only buy things that have been out in the stores within the past year to year and half.  “Even if it’s a really cute style, even if it is in really great shape, they don’t want us buying it unless it was out within that time frame.  The second thing we’re gonna look at is the style.  If the style is similar to things we’ve clearanced before we typically don’t accept it.  Because we give out money right away, as opposed to waiting for the clothes to sell, we don’t have as much room to take a risk. The last thing we have to do is make sure it’s in good shape. We inspect every single thing on a garment.  We make sure there aren’t rips in the hems, any kind of staining, nothing in the pockets.”

Try not to get offended if Plato’s Closet does not take a majority of your clothes.  “I think a lot of people get the impression that we just don’t feel like going through their stuff or, were being judgmental or, it’s something personal.  It’s human nature that someone would feel like that because your clothes are how you represent yourself to the world and to have somebody tell you, ‘Oh I’m sorry but there is  a small hole here’ might sound like ‘Ew, you’re a slob’.  So the one thing that we are always working with the staff is how we present the clothes we aren’t able to take.”

“Every single person that comes in here, even if we can’t take anything from them at that point in time, we always want them coming back to sell to us.  That is the whole basis of our store, without a good inventory, we are done for,” says Jen.

Gone in a Flash

April 22, 2011

Have you ever heard of flash sale websites like whiskeymilitia.com or woot.com? If not, then have I got a treat for you! Flash sale websites are sites that sell a variety of goods, in a flash. They sell an item for a short period of time (usually until they run out of stock) for a considerably reduced price. The catch is that you never know what the next item will be, and the items do not stick around for a long time. However, the prices are unbeatable.

Here are a few flash sale websites:

WhiskeyMilitia

Shirt Woot

No More Rack

There are additional websites also called sample sale sites.  Most of them require a membership, but anyone can apply!  I’m personally a member of  Rue La La, Beyond The Rack, Gilt, HauteLook, and Ideeli.  There are many more though!

Stay Tuned!

April 22, 2011

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the manager of Plato’s Closet in Deptford, Jen.  Soon, I will be bringing you a post explaining a little about Plato’s Closet, how it works, and what you can expect when shopping there.  In my opinion, this store is truly an invaluable resource, especially for college students looking to switch out last season’s clothes for a fresh, new look.

Show You Care: Clothing for a Cause

April 15, 2011

Previously, I wrote a similar post, sharing information on clothing items you can buy to benefit those in need.  Since then, I have come across a few more brands and organizations for you to check out.

1. Shirts For A Cure

Shirts For A Cure features shirt designs donated by punk bands.  All the proceeds from the shirt sales go towards helping women fight breast cancer.

2. Uptown Liz

Uptown Liz is an amazing website.  It is a compilation of products where a percentage of the proceeds go towards a cause.  You can shop by cause or by type of product you are looking to buy.  The causes stretch everywhere from autism to disaster relief.

3. The Cause Shoppe

The Cause Shoppe is another website with a variety of products to offer.  There are products ranging from clothing to kitchen appliances.

4. Warriors In Pink

Warriors in Pink is a campaign started by Ford Motor Company.  Each symbol they offer represents a different aspect in the fight against breast cancer.  Funds go to the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure.

5. Japan Relief Tees

This article has 10 different t-shirts you can buy to support the people of Japan during this extremely difficult time.  In fact, Rowan’s own Bomba Dulce recently created a Japan Relief T-shirt that is now available for order.

Photo Courtesy Twesh Chowdhury