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8 Professional Fashion Staples Every 20 Something Should Own

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The journey from trendy high-waisted-shorts-cropped-top college student to professional, fashion forward go-getter can be difficult. Many twenty-somethings (including myself) have yet to fully stock their closet with a sufficient supply of office attire. It’s no surprise that we’re overwhelmed by how far we have to go and, not to mention, how deep into our pockets we’ll have to dig.

Throwing out the old and welcoming the new is a fun and exciting part of being able to say we’re officially adults. But as much as we’re ready to channel our inner Olivia Pope, the slow and steady transition shouldn’t manage to break our bank. Start off with these essentials and build your professional wardrobe as you go.

1. Basic Black Heels

Whether they’re pumps, sandals, or Mary Janes, every girl needs a pair of everyday, neutral high heels. You want a pair of heels that will look great with whatever you have on and will stand the test of time—so make sure you’re buying for quality and comfort, not just style. Steve Madden is the perfect brand for all of these features and is still incredibly affordable. (Check a Dillard’s sales rack!) If you can spare the change, buy a pair of nude ones as well.

2. High Waisted Slacks

Maybe this is just the trend-lover in me, but high waisted slacks are the perfect blend of sophistication, class, and style. A pair of off-white, black or gray slacks look great with just about any blouse or button-up. If you can’t afford a nice suit just yet, these are the next best thing.

3. Midi Pencil Skirt

Midi pencil skirt

The midi skirt is amazing because it can be utilized for both work and play. While the cropped top and midi skirt combination has become a fashion trend as of late, we mustn’t forget how great the midi pencil skirt has always looked with a fitted blazer or sheer blouse. Buy a solid neutral shade for the minimalist look, or even opt for a bold, yet subtle pattern. If you’re short like I am, it may be harder to pull off, but it’s a definite essential for taller professional women.

4. Basic Blazer

Basic blazer

If only we could have a blazer in every color. But to save money, let’s stick to a neutral shade. The reason why is because bold-colored blazers are overpowering and (unless you work in fashion) can be seen as a distraction in the workplace—if you’re wearing them all the time, anyway. Opt for white or black because they will go great with any bright-colored top to help neutralize all that color.

5. Crisp, White Button-up Shirt

Crisp, white button-up shirt

A white button-up or button-down is an essential that every woman should own in her wardrobe. It’s professional, simple, and clean. It’s the shirt you’ll always find useful and will never go out of style.

6. Designer Handbag

Designer handbag

This is the one item you get to splurge on. As superficial as it sounds, studies show that designer brands heighten people’s perception of you. And not to mention, designer handbags are something every woman wants to own. Even if it’s just one, put some cash aside for a nice designer handbag. Maybe not as far out of our price range as a Céline or Louis Vuitton, but we can save up for a Michael Kors or Kate Spade. A neutral shade is ideal, but in this case, it’s perfectly fine to go bold. (Never fear a bold purse!) Opt for leather if you can—it’ll last you longer.

7. Gold or Silver Watch

Gold or silver watch

It’s something about the old-fashioned way of telling time that shouts “I have class!” If you have any money left over after purchasing that rather pricey handbag, buy a watch that won’t turn crazy colors on you. My first quality watch was a DKNY and has lasted me more seasons than I ever imagined it would. The clearance section is your best friend, but if you simply can’t afford it, select a less expensive option instead.

8. Work Dress

Nothing merges sexy and successful better than the work dress. It’s flattering yet conservative, and absolute fun to accessorize. Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and LOFT are your destinations for this style of dress. Well, they’ll presumably be your destinations for everything. Don’t forget those pumps, that handbag, and a blazer to make this dress come alive!

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Fashion

Cute and Comfortable Wardrobe Options for Work

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Finding work clothes that are both comfortable and stylish can be challenging. It seems like you always have to sacrifice one or the other, but there are actually options out there that meet all of your needs. Next time you go shopping, try looking for some of these options.

Shoes

While stilettos are really cute, they aren’t always the best option for jobs that require you to be on your feet for a large portion of the day. Many companies, such as Toms NYC, that originally marketed comfortable footwear are now making more work appropriate options without giving up the comfort factor. These allow teachers and other workers to be able to look cute without experiencing foot pain at the end of each day.

Wardrobe Options for Work

Pants

Did you know that there are now dress pants that fit like yoga pants? You can find these online or at different retail locations. You always want to make sure that they look appropriate, but you could end up going to work and feeling like you are wearing your pajamas all day. Just be careful because you might end up so comfortable that you don’t feel like working!

Dresses

Dresses are always a good and easy choice to throw on in the mornings. There are actually a ton of different options for you to choose from depending on the season. During the warmer months, sundresses can keep you cool and comfortable. Just be sure to bring a sweater if you office stays chilly. In the fall and winter, you can wear sweater dresses, which pair great with different types of boots.

Before you go buying a whole new wardrobe, make sure you consult your company’s dress code policy. Never pick something that you aren’t completely satisfied with as it will either make you feel bad or end up sitting in your closet until the next spring cleaning.

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Beauty

5 Tips on How to Look Good in a Swimsuit

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How to look good in a swimsuit, How to look good at the beach, How to look good in a swimsuit in a week, How to look good in a one piece, How to look good in a bathing suit if you're fat

The summer season has finally arrived. With the warmer weather, many men and women are looking for effective ways to tone up their bodies and eliminate flab. The following guide provides five simple tips that can help create rock-hard abs, sexy biceps and a fabulous butt.

1. Plan Ahead

It’s a good idea to start planning for summer excursions several months in advance. While some people may use a “crash diet” to lose weight, most of the water lost through fasting and rapid weight loss is simply water. In addition, very rapid weight loss can cause muscle loss and weaknesses.

Instead, try getting ready for the summer months starting in January. By exercising every day during the winter, it’s possible to have a great body when summer finally arrives. In addition, winter exercise can be a great way to break the monotony of cold weather.

2. Eat Right and Look Great

It’s important to understand how different foods can impact one’s appearance. While the occasional cheeseburger or milkshake isn’t harmful, a diet high in saturated fat and refined sugars can have a variety of significant health consequences.

Several research studies have shown that people with a high sugar intake have worse skin than people who maintain a healthy diet. When people eat lots of sugar, blood glucose levels in the body rise. This is like putting rocket fuel in a regular car.

When blood sugar levels are very high, specialized cellular structures in the skin can be damaged. This damage will reduce the elasticity of skin. Over time, people who consume excessive amounts of sugar will experience premature aging of their skin. While this effect won’t be as pronounced as people who smoke, it can still have a very negative impact on one’s appearance.

It’s a good idea to eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy meats and grains. While fried foods are acceptable in moderation, it’s important to avoid eating more of them than necessary. In addition, it’s important to avoid processed meats. Several research studies have shown that nitrates, a common preservative in processed meats, can have serious health consequences.

3. Exercises to Eliminate Flab and Build Muscle

It’s easy to build a beach body by following the right type of exercise program. While exercises like cycling can be a good choice for some people, it can cause an individual to develop very large calf muscles. For men, this usually isn’t a problem. However, large calf muscles may not be very desirable for a woman.

Running is one of the best ways to tone the entire body and get an excellent cardiovascular workout. While many people know that running can help improve heart health and can help an individual lose weight, few people know that running can also tone muscles.

The body uses almost 400 different muscles when running. This includes ab muscles, butt muscles, biceps, triceps and many other muscle groups. By running at least two miles every day, it’s possible to build lean muscle in the body.

Yoga can also be a great way to tone muscles and improve overall health. During a yoga session, an individual holds different poses that put stress on various muscle groups. In addition to improving posture and muscle tone, yoga can be an excellent way to achieve peace of mind.

4. Getting Fit at the Pool

If summer has already arrived, there are still a number of last-minute steps an individual can take to help create that perfect swimsuit body. One of the best forms of exercise for building muscle and reducing fat is swimming.

Swimming uses almost all the muscles in the body. As the body adjusts to different to different positions in the pool, it uses a variety of muscle groups. While a regular swim stroke can be a great way to promote cardiovascular health, there are also a number of exercises one can do that use the natural resistance of water. If you’re not that comfortable in the water, summer is the best time to learn how to swim. There are a number of swimming equipment that can help you get started.

5. Setting Goals

It’s essential to set goals for maintaining one’s health. Without a set of goals, it won’t be possible for an individual to achieve that perfect beach body. By exercising every day, it’s possible to have a great body, great health and a positive mental attitude.

Thanks for reading. Hope you liked it. Don’t forget to share it with your social fans and followers.

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Fashion

Hoodies: A California Clothing Classic

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Hoodies fashion, Printed hoodies, Embroidered hoodies

Today, the humble hoodie is considered to be an indispensable piece of clothing and most Americans have at least one for wearing during the spring and fall, or for layering when the weather gets extra nippy. While it may not have been invented in California, we largely have 1970s California youth culture to thank for its massive popularity today.

Hooded tops have been in use for thousands of years by outdoorsmen and travelers as a way to cope with the elements. Priests and monks also used them to block out distractions and keep themselves warm in the days before central heating.

Otherwise though, hooded tops haven’t always been mainstream. Hoods gave privacy and anonymity – which is great. Unless perhaps unsavory types starting wearing them, which is why the word “hoodlum” exists today. In any case, the hoodie has mostly shed its reputation with hoodlums and is now a classic piece of Americana today.

Hoodies As Workwear

The hoodie as we know it today was originally invented in the 1930s to help East Coast meatpackers and other laborers working in freezers and cold outdoor conditions. Compared to traditional wool and fur coats, hoodies provided a greater range of movement, were easier to clean, and easier to stow or tie around the waist should worker feel a little warm. Around this time, these items were still called “hooded sweatshirts”.

Hoodies As Statement Pieces

Printed and embroidered hoodies later became popular in university and school campuses throughout the United States from the 1940s-1960s and became somewhat an intellectual symbol. However, since not a lot of people sought higher education back then as today, its popularity remained rather niche. Still, hoodies that showed school or city pride started to appear and these still are popular today.

Hoodies As Counterculture Items

It wasn’t until hoodies were adopted by California surfers and skaters in the 70s and 80s that hoodies really came into their own. They later became adopted by the emergent hip-hop scene on both coasts as well, which took the public profile of the hoodie even further. It was no longer a practical piece of clothing for those who enjoyed their creature comforts – it also became a symbol of rebellion.

They were perfect for the mild California climate and were convenient and versatile enough for nearly every type of weather one would encounter in the Golden State. When zip-up hoodies later became available, they became a popular way of keeping warm while still showing of the increasingly elaborate and far out prints that were starting to show up on t-shirts.

Hoodies Today

By the time hoodies earned the name “hoodie” in the 1990s, they were already a standard piece of apparel in California for people of all ages and walks of life. Today, In both the cutting-edge San Francisco and Los Angeles streetwear scenes, designers are pushing the boundaries of what’s really possible with hoodies. California-based designers are always creating cuts and using fresh new materials and contexts that redefine what’s possible with this piece of classic workwear.

But for the rest of us folks, normal pullover and zip-up hoodies are still awesome. We don’t really have the stats for it, but we’re willing to bet Californians own the most hoodies per capita of any region on earth. You will literally see hoodies on avant-garde fashionistas in cities and on farmers and laborers in the countryside. You’ll sometimes even see them being worn in the summer. To each their own.

And that’s the beauty of hoodies. They’re super versatile, democratic, practical, — and uniquely evocative of California.

Zip-ups or pullovers? Which type of hoodie do you prefer? Drop us a line. We’d love to know!

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