How Do I Look?

I stood in front of the closet with my arms folded and let out a long sigh. I do not usually put extra time and effort into planning my outfits, but this was a special occasion. I was going to a communications conference that Saturday and had no idea what I was going to wear. When I asked my mom, she told me to dress business-casual. I looked on Pinterest for outfit ideas, confused when I saw outfits that I had always been advised against. I had always been told to stick to neutral colors, but the outfits I saw had a mix of colors and patterns. This was when I noticed that the rules had changed.

Business-casual is a new term in fashion, only dating back to around the 1980s. It was used in companies where the employees did not spend as much time in front of consumers and spent more time in the office. It became a way of expressing yourself and still maintaining a professional attitude without the formality. What is business-casual?

Robert Johnson, executive team leader of human resources at Target in Texarkana, said “Business casual for me would be a nice pair of jeans, a nice polo shirt. For ladies, there are several variations of blouses and shirts that are definitely appropriate for an interview. When I dress business casual, I wear a long-sleeved button-up and slacks or khakis.”

For men, this is a simple take on business casual that is always acceptable. The look is easy to replicate and there are many different variations to it to make it more unique. 

Business casual has changed over time and pieces considered unacceptable like jeans or sneakers can be dressed up to look more professional. Overall, business casual is a step above what you would wear on a typical day, but not fancy enough to be formal. Blazers and sports jackets can pair with chinos, khakis, or nice jeans. When choosing a pair of jeans, it is best to stay away from overly distressed jeans and wear a dark pair.

It is also important to remember that business casual depends on the workplace or the event. When going to an interview Johnson said you should present yourself at your best.

“I’ve been doing this for several years, and you can tell when a person is presenting themselves to the best of their ability or not. I say this because you could have someone from a scheduled interview come in whatever they were wearing that morning. Their tennis shoes are not laced up or tied and you can tell if they could have done better than that,” said Johnson.

The dress code at Target is more relaxed than other businesses and it is not a deal-breaker for you to come into an interview with jeans. However, there are times to keep jeans in the closet. If possible, it is best to overdress a little for an interview than underdress. The interviewer will be able to tell if you have spent time on your appearance and it will make a good impression on them.

Women have a variety of clothing options to choose from, which is part of what made my outfit decision for the event difficult. I did not know if I should wear a skirt, dress, blouse, heels, pants, or flats. In Vanessa Rodriguez’s article, “What is Business Casual Attire for Women? Outfit Tips, Advice & Ideas,” she writes a list of tips to help women pick the right outfits. One of the safest options is khakis or dark pants with a button-down shirt. Sweaters are also a very good choice.

An important tip for women to remember is to pay attention to the types of shirts and skirts or dresses they wear. It is considered inappropriate for cleavage to be visible. If a blouse is a little sheer, make sure to wear a camisole underneath. Skirts and dresses should stay at knee length or longer. Clothes that are too tight also can send the wrong message to a potential employer or business connection.

With many options out there, the most important idea to remember is that there is no simple answer for what to wear. Your outfit will depend on the environment and the nature of the event. No matter what, take your time to pick the outfit that makes the best impression.

Field to Fashion

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live the life of a model? To walk down a runway with all eyes on you? Wearing amazing clothes, and your hair and makeup styled to perfection by a professional artist?

Sophomore Julianna Summerlin, a Mass Communication Major from our campus, gives us the inside scoop. However, her story is much bigger than just posing for the camera. She juggles school, modeling, and plays for our women’s soccer team. Activities that certainly take some time management. Both her soccer and modeling stories began long before she graduated from North Hills Preparatory in Dallas, TX.

Julianna began playing soccer at age four. Not surprising, considering her four siblings also played. The first four years were purely recreational, but second grade started to get competitive leading her to college ball. She emphasized the transition by saying “I was playing with girls and coaches I didn’t know, doing drills I had never seen before, making me the most exhausted I had ever been in my young life.”

She began her modeling career in the sixth grade. She has always been on the taller side, and decided to pursue her interest after being persuaded by a friend. She was signed to The Campbell Agency at the age of twelve years old. With a strict 5’8”-5’10” height requirement, and limiting sizes 0-4, this narrows down the number of women that can even begin their process with the agency.

She describes her first impression of modeling as being very intense, but having a sense of “extreme amazement.” She said, “At twelve I was an awkward, gangly, stinky, five foot seven tomboy… and barely spoke.” She used the first few years as opportunity to shed her shy personality, and work towards building up to the confidence level she possesses. Modeling has given her the opportunity to network with “models who grace the covers of “People Magazine” and the Victoria Secret Runway, to makeup artists who create highly successful charity organizations in their free time.” People most young women only dream of interacting with.

Both modeling and soccer require her to maintain a healthy lifestyle, physically and mentally. The overwhelming stereotype that models don’t eat is false. “My agency loves me, they care about me, they want me to be healthy. No one has ever encouraged me to stop eating or hurt my health in any way during my eight years as a model.” The agency is big on girls reaching their body goals in a healthy fashion. She aims for a diet filled with protein and veggies, and an exercise program based off of intense circuits to keep her in shape year round.

However, the older she gets, the more competitive it is with both activities. “Modeling consistently causes you to compare yourself to others; what your measurements are, how many pictures are in your portfolio, how many agencies you are signed to, how big your social media following is.” With soccer it is a lot of comparing times and how much better someone else is at winning the ball. Even though it can be hard to not take these criticisms personally, she said “There are days I may feel a little defeated after a hard practice and an email saying I didn’t get that runway show I interviewed for, but I just have to remember it’s not the end of the world.”

To sum it all up, Julianna stressed how blessed she is for both. With soccer being part of her life for as long as she can remember, it is impossible for her to imagine life without it. As far as modeling goes, she says “I am sure I would have maintained my shy and awkward ways if it were not for modeling– it really pushed me out of my shell.” Juggling school, modeling, and soccer, she has without a doubt become a much stronger person.

Halloween in a Hurry

If you are like me, you love Halloween because it is one of the few occasions you don’t have to buy gifts for someone or bring some kind of dish. You just dress up and have fun. This holiday doesn’t require one to be with family, and encourages one to just go out and have fun, fun for all ages from trick-or-treating in the neighborhood as a kid to doing a Halloween pub crawl as an adult. It has everything from costume parties, contest, to random events.

If you are still like me, then whenever Halloween comes around it either sneaks up on you, or you just do not have the money available. So, how does one dress up for Halloween when it sneaks up on you, and you are on a budget? Listed below are a series of budget friendly ideas.  I tried gathering the most unique and fun ideas I could find.

 

It’s Raining Men

  • What you will need:
  • Umbrella
  • Set of male portraits
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Tape

 

As the pictures suggest it is simple, just cut out the faces and tape string to the back of the portraits. Hint: If you have fishing wire you can use that instead of string. Next you open the umbrella and tape the other end of the string to the edges of the umbrella.

 

            Group Guess Who

  •             What you will need:
  •             Cardboard/ thick poster
  •             Scissors
  •             Markers
  •             String
  •             Tape
  •             Red or Blue Shirt
  •             *Paint Optional

Make a frame out of the available poster or cardboard by using the scissors. In this case a sturdy white poster would work best. Next you can paint or draw the ‘Guess Who” title and name onto the frame. Hint: If able, you can print the title and name out, and simple cut and paste it to the frame. Measure the inside width of the frame with the string, cut it, and then tape it to the inside width. This step will allow the frame to balance on your head without having to use your hands. Next pick a plain red or blue shirt to wear and you have your costume. You can try to style your face to look like a genuine Guess Who character but you could also use your name and go as yourself. It’s Halloween so it’s all up to you, and this idea is great for groups.

Brawny Man

  • Red Plaid Shirt
  • Blue Jeans
  • Brawny Paper Towels

Alright guys, this one is for you. If you have a red plaid shirt then all you need to do is buy a thing of Brawny paper towels and there you go. All you have to worry about is losing the paper towels throughout the night, but if someone happens to make a mess, then you are a man prepared.  Hint 1: If you lose the paper towels and have an ax at hand you can be a lumberjack. Hint 2: If you lose the paper towels and add a tool belt then you can be Al Borland from Home Improvement.

            Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn

  •             Black or White Dress
  •             Jewelry
  •             Make-up

Both of these lovely ladies are great by themselves but this is also a great idea for that best friend costume. It’s simple if you have a black or white dress already on hand. Just add a few accessories, do your hair and makeup and you have an elegant costume ready to go.

Jelly Belly Unisex

  • Clear Trash Bag
  • Printed Jelly Belly Logo
  • Clear Tape
  • Scissors
  • Multi-color Balloons

Start with inflating the balloons. Then take the Printed Jelly Bean logo, cut and paste it to the front of the clear trash bag. From their cut yourself some arm and legs holes, reinforce the holes with tape. Hint: If you want a more secure hold tape to yourself, but I recommend wearing leggings/pants and a longer sleeve shirt. Once the clear bag is secure begin putting the balloons inside the bag. Once that is complete fix the top to where it looks good and is comfortable.

            Emoji Time

  •  Yellow Poster
  •  Scissors
  •  String
  •  Markers
  • *Extra Paper
  • *Glue

This is a great solo, group, and unisex costume. And it requires minimum work. Have a yellow poster, cut it into a circle. Take the markers and color in the desired emoji face. Hint: If you do not want to risk discoloration, then color the pieces of the face on plain white paper, and then copy and paste it onto the poster. Once the face is complete poke two holes at the top of the face and thread the string through. Essentially, you are going to wear the face as a necklace. Not the string on both ends secure with tape. Make sure to wear all black underneath and you are good to go.

Darla the Fish Killer

  • Ziploc Bag
  • Nemo Cut out
  • Tinfoil
  • Makeup
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Hair Ties
  • Clear Tape

The amazing thing about this costume is it really doesn’t matter what you wear clothing wise. You cut and paste Nemo to the outside of the Ziploc bag fill with water and stick to the side. Next you add freckles to your face and put your hair up into high pigtails. After that, you take the tinfoil and roll it up and curve into a circle. You can curve the tinfoil around the ears and wear it similar to how you wear glasses, or you can pin the tinfoil to your hair. That’s it. That is all you have to do it and everyone will realize who you are imitating.

Ace Ventura Pet Detective

  • Blue Jeans or Khakis
  • Hawaiian Shirt
  • Hair Gel
  • Note card
  • Markers
  • *Sunglasses

Another simple costume for the guys. The biggest thing you will need is a Hawaiian button up shirt and we all know someone who has one of these shirts. You will need hair gel to give your hair that swirl, but other than that all you need is the note card and markers to create the Ace Ventura business card. Hint: Yes, he is seen with red pants but blue jeans will work fine. The message still comes across clear. Sunglasses are optional.

Sims Character

  • 2 pieces of green stock
  • Wire
  • Head Band or Hat
  • Glue

This costume is great for those who really don’t want to dress up, yet still want to be part of the part. You can dress like your normal self and put on the diamond and you instantly transform into a sim character. The costume is then enhanced if one takes on the role of a sim character. The plumbob diamond can be homemade. If you are like me and you are a visual learner then the DIY tutorial is down below.

Identity Thief

  • Hoodie
  • Name Tags
  • *Sunglasses

Grab your favorite hoodie and the name tag labels from Wal-Mart. Write random names on the name tags and stick them all over the hoodie. For an added effect try different writing styles or get your friends to help you out. Sunglasses are optional.

 

My challenge to the faculty of Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

I challenge you to dress up like Hogwarts Professors. So, call upon your inner wizard or witch and let us all have fun this Halloween. TAMUT community, feel free to dress up like Hogwarts students!

Death over Designer

Alvin Stuckey

They are killing people for J’s, that’s death over designer. Has it really come to a point that it is not safe to wear nice designer athletic shoes? Fashion is a way for some individuals to express themselves, but the senseless acts of violence that has taken place over the past few years has prevented some sneaker consumers to stop buying shoes in order to survive.

The huge debate started in December 2011 when the Jordan brand decided to re-release the retro Jordan 11 Concords. Up until this point people could buy Jordan’s with no worries of senseless violence afterwards. However, on December 23, 2011, this ideal would change. In a Maryland mall, 18 year old Tyreek Amir Jacobs, was brutally murdered over his pair of Concord 11’s.

Many Maryland residents did not want to believe that he was murdered over his sneakers, but as word spread through the Maryland and Washington D.C. area it became clear that his young life was taken from him over a pair of $175 sneakers.

Since 2011 crimes like this have gone down but as of late 2013, there have been some acts of violence over Jordan’s. I have seen numerous videos posted on social media sites of people getting beaten up and robbed for shoes. What goes through the mind of an individual who decides to beat, rob, and sometimes kill for something as simple as a shoe?
I am a sneaker lover and Jordan’s are my favorite shoe, but since all this has happened it has made me have second thoughts on whether I should purchase them. My life is more important than a pair of expensive shoes. I don’t want to go to a rough part of town with my Jordan’s on and be in fear for my life because shoes come and go. You can always save up and buy a pair of sneakers, but you only have one life. Why should I lose my life over a pair of sneakers that don’t mean anything to me? As I get older this makes me hesitant on buying Jordan’s for me and kids whenever I decide to settle down and have a family. I would be in consistent fear of my future children wearing Jordan’s and being hassled for them by those that seriously want them and would do anything for them.

They are killing people for J’s that’s death over designer. Really is that where the world is headed to. It is a shame that people are in fear for the shoes that they wear. If that is the world that we live in then we have a lot of trouble heading our way.

Accessorize

Ti’Ana Marshall

“I’ve come to a place in my life where I’ve accepted things that are me.”
–Lady Gaga

2013 has been the year of the perfect accessory. From spiked heels to leather clad necklaces, the perfect bangle or necklace can add the necessary pizazz to any outfit. Glamour Magazine informed the fashionista masses on the dos and don’ts in the land of accessories; however, the best accessories are not seen with the eyes, but felt by the heart.

Glamour’s 2013 women of the year celebrate women who ooze confidence, power, and, above all else, love themselves. The cover features pop phenomenon Lady Gaga, who is the face of a self-love movement and founder of the Born This Way Foundation. Gaga is quoted in the magazine saying, “I’ve come to a place in my life where I’ve accepted things that are me.” Her organization is founded on the importance of that self-acceptance, and she has made it her mission to spread that message.

Social activist and Scandal super star Kerry Washington joins Lady Gaga on Glamour’s list, adding a powerful punch of beauty and brains to the mix. Alicia Keys commented on Washington’s character, calling her a gift to us all. Malala Yousafzai, a young lady from northern Pakistan, is highlighted for her passion for education for girls in her country. With such a humble and gentle spirit, it is astounding that Malala stood up to the Taliban singlehandedly—how’s that for girl power? Glamour’s 2013 women of the year embody the message that confidence, courage, and intelligence are always the best accessories. Whether you are leather clad and spike from head to toe or not, loving yourself will never be out of style.