Evolution of Personal Style

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Personal style develops as you grow and change.  In the years we are in elementary school, middle school, and even high school, our style is influenced by society, by our surroundings, and by our friends. At some point, individuals find a style that suits them, and that they feel comfortable in. It doesn’t matter when that happens, it only matters that it does. Naturally, as we grow and develop and move closer to discovering what our personal style really is, we look back on past phases and can be quite shocked by what we used to wear. (Change “shocked” for “horrified” or “amused” if either fits better.)

Trends make the whole personal style thing a whole lot harder. It's expected that you keep up with trends, but it's also expected that you concurrently maintain your own style. How is that stylistically possible? By adapting to every trend that waltzes down the runway, you are, undoubtedly, compromising your style.  So I guess, in my opinion, doing both is impossible. Or rather, doing both fully and to the utmost extent is impossible. My advice would be to use the trends to find your style- what you like, what you feel comfortable in, what makes you feel like you- and then once you find that style, only follow the trends that fit those three W's. 

The people around you as well as your life situation will always affect your style in some way, but don't let them change it completely. Remember, your style is an outward expression of who you are as a person. Own it.

What You Need to Know- Fall 2014 Trends

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Fall 2014 is all about contrast. Opposites. Dichotomies. Call them what you will, but the meaning behind the words stays the same. Trends this upcoming fall land on both sides of the spectrum in practically every way, on every field. Which will you choose?

Structured vs. Unstructured
Fitted vs. Flowy
Bright vs. Dark
Patterned vs. Monochromatic
Sporty vs. Feminine
Organic vs. Manufactured

The possibilities are endless this season, and the choices are up to you. Take a look at some of the major trends displayed below for Fall 2014. 

Check It Out: Lee Lee's Forest

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Just this past week, I was walking around South Street Seaport before my internship when I came across Lee Lee’s Forest, a cute little boutique. They have an incredibly stylish selection of comfy tees, casual and fancy dresses, shoes and jewelry. I was impressed by their ability to combine preppier pieces with more relaxed pieces, while still maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.



Get Work-Ready: Simple, Fast, Done!

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When starting an office job or internship for the first time, it's a bit intimidating trying to decide what to wear. I know, I've been there. (To be honest, I'm still there a little.) While the situation differs depending on where you work, I have always been a fan of pairing classic pieces with trendy, but still appropriate, pieces. 

To me, the most  important part of your outfit is your bag. A classic bag, with room to fit anything and everything you might need is incredibly helpful, and it has the capability of adding a lot to an outfit.

Internships 101

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1. Never say no.

Saying no to a task given to you is a very bad decision. It shows to your superiors that you are inflexible, and unwilling to try something new and learn, even if that is not the case. If you are asked to do something and you’re tempted to say no because you are unsure of what you have to do, just ask for clarification. By asking for clarification, it seems as though you want to assure success in what you do, and it reflects positively on you, as opposed to the negative inflection from saying no.

2. Ask questions.

Tying in from the above questions, always ask if you need clarification of any sort on an assignment. It’ll benefit you in knowledge, and it will appear (accurately, I’m sure) that you really want to do well on the work that you do. In addition, if there is a specific area that you want to learn about, such as marketing, sales or production, you can ask a person working in that department if you can shadow them. If you’re working in that department already, remember that you can and should ask questions about processes or anything else that you want more information about. The goal of an internship is to learn more and gain experience, so remember to ask questions to expand knowledge.

3. Always try to figure it out.

If you don’t exactly know what to do on an assignment, always spend a little while trying to figure it out before you ask someone. Do you remember the “ask three before me” rule that teachers used in elementary school? That applies here. First, try to figure out your work by yourself. If you can’t figure it out, ask other interns who may have more knowledge in what you’re working on. Finally, if you are out of options, ask the person who assigned this work to you. While I’ve said that asking is a good idea, giving up right away and asking rather than trying to work through the issue and use your resources can reflect badly on you.

4. Leave your personal life at the door.

Honestly, no one at work cares about your night out, or your friend drama, or your overwhelming amount of summer assignments, or your current relationship. My general rule is to not talk about it at all, and to rather focus on discussing work, and future career aspirations. Those are related to work, but can be personal if the conversation leads in that direction. Some people do discuss their personal life at work and it works for them, but I personally find it safer to leave any personally discussions for outside of work.

5. One no, two or more options back.

I admit, I have adapted this tip from countless career advice books and speakers that I have heard, but it has proved to be insanely helpful in all aspects of work. If you are told to do something that turns out to be impossible or unsuccessful, before going back to your boss with the bad news, come up with at least two plausible options. Having two or more alternatives that would work shows that you understand the importance of the assignment and have ways to get around the roadblock you have reached. Your employer will really appreciate it, and it’s likely that your ideas will be used, at least as a starting off point for final brainstorming, if not as a new idea to use permanently.

6. Listen and learn.

While working, avoid plugging into your headphones, even if other people are doing so. When you stay aware and listen to what’s happening around you, you can pick up a lot of new information. Besides learning more about the company, you can learn about certain people’s roles in the company and the issues they may have been facing or the success they had. It’s quite helpful, and a nice learning alternative to asking questions.

7. Connect with people.

When running errands, which you are likely going to be doing, have a positive attitude. The people you work with while getting fabric, coffee or important forms could be helpful to you in the future, and you always want to make a good impression of yourself wherever you go.