Friday Chic-Out: Wardrobe Staples for the Fit and Fashionable

Happy Friday everyone! I'm trying something new here, something that I hope will keep me on a more regular schedule blog-wise as well as provide an exciting way for readers to keep up with the latest trends in fashion and technology. Those who know me will already understand that the intersection of fashion and tech has always been my sweet spot, but for those less familiar, let me explain. For a long time the only way people could buy stuff was to...go to the store and buy it (shocking, I know). Then came the Internet, and before long people realized they could use this new-fangled invention to buy stuff and have it delivered to their door without putting on pants. This was a huge revelation because no one thought fashion had anything to do with technology (and vice versa), but it turns out they have everything to do with each other and now every day we are seeing cutting-edge technology infiltrating the notoriously exclusive front lines of the fashion industry. This evolution can be seen anywhere, but a few fairly obvious and well-known examples are: e-commerce (remember: you don't even have to be wearing pants), mobile shopping, 3D printed design, shoppable media (hello, Conde Nast - I see you), wearables, and what us industry fanatics call "creating an omnichannel experience" (e.g, you check out a pair of Brian Atwood's on your phone during the morning commute, drool over them at your desk at work, check and re-check your bank statements to see if the shoe fairies have observed your salivating state and dropped an extra couple hundred into your debit account, and finally pick up your iPad at home while on the couch after two glasses of wine and "accidentally" hit the "Confirm Purchase" button. Omnichannel = always buying shoes).

I find this booming new industry terribly exciting, so exciting in fact that I quit my job and moved across the world to go to business school in one of the fashion capitals of the world so I can make it big. And since I also blog, I realized it would be a missed opportunity not to share with you some of the trends that are moving fashion and tech closer and closer together. So without further adieu, let me introduce my first topic: wearable technology.

Wearable tech is not brand-new, but what is new is the idea that it doesn't have to be ugly. Apple of course helped this cause greatly with last year's announcement of the hotly anticipated Apple Watch, but many designers have been paying attention to the growing demand for tech accessories as well - devices that monitor your every step, heartbeat, and calorie burned (or consumed) - and are trying to figure out how to tap into the market. As a person who enjoys being fit and healthy but who also loves cake and dressing up, I find this market to be very attractive. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that Tory Burch is now selling these beautiful art-deco-inspired bracelets and necklaces in partnership with Fitbit, and my complete euphoria when I received one of each from my in-laws for Christmas!

IMG_1751

IMG_1753

IMG_1758

 

The Fitbit that works with Tory's accessory line is called the Flex, and it's perfect for people like me who just want to keep track of their exercise habits but who do not want to sport a half-inch rubber band bracelet 24 hours a day. I love that I can wear the Fitbit band to work out and while sleeping (for more accurate measurements), but can also be monitoring my health while out and about with friends and not have to sport an eyesore on my wrist. Well done, TB & Fitbit!

The other interesting development with respect to fashion, tech, and fitness has to be the industry's recent obsession with chic sneaks (for those in the UK, read: trainers). Ever since Karl Lagerfeld marched his models down that Chanel Supermarche runway for his AW14 show clad in a sneaker assortment of the tweed and neon variety, designers everywhere have jumped on the trend. After about six months of thinking it ridiculous to wear sneakers with "regular" clothes, I caved last week and bought this super cool pair from Nike (via eBay):

IMG_1739

IMG_1741

IMG_1725

 

(Note: my hands are clenched into fists in the above picture not because I'm angry but because I was cold). They're pretty sweet, no? I still don't think I'd wear them to a cocktail party, but they sure make the days I wear lululemon to class more edgy. And while I was warned that one shouldn't buy fashion sneakers for the purpose of working out, purchasing these from Nike means they are as functional as they are chic.

So there you have it! Your first Friday Chic-Out, a weekly post on what's happening in the world of fashion and technology, brought to you by yours truly. Have a great weekend!

Back in Action: My Sartorial Siesta is OVER!

Hi everyone! It's been a WHILE since I last posted (wow three months?!), but as it is a new year and a new term for me at school I thought it's about time I get back into the swing of things. After a grueling first trimester filled with study group projects, papers, and final exams (okay, there were some awesome costume parties and treks to Mallorca too), I welcomed my winter break with open arms and spent a blissful three weeks state-side with Michael and our families. While I was sad to leave Boston, we returned to London last week in a fairly epic fashion with two of our closest friends in tow and two more waiting for us upon arrival.  We spent the long weekend showing them around and celebrated Michael's birthday at a variety of venues - Emirates Stadium included! Now that it's been a few days since we returned, I think the most surprising thing about London in the middle of January is the weather. When we decided to move here last year, a lot of people warned us about how terrible the weather would be - cold, rainy, overcast, and dark.  They got the dark part right - sunset hovers around 4PM - but I have to say the temperatures have been completely mild compared to what I would otherwise be living through if I were in Boston.  Don't get me wrong: I love my city, but if I had to choose between 12° F and 45° F, you can bet I'll take the latter. No longer do I have to pad myself with layers of insulation (read: thermal pajamas under jeans and three sweaters followed by a Michelin man-esque down jacket is not a good look). And since today was a balmy 40° F and sunny, I decided it was the perfect occasion for my first OOTD in 2015:

2015-01-14 08.33.42

2015-01-14 08.33.14

2015-01-14 08.32.46

2015-01-14 08.32.25

The look leans a bit towards "equestrian chic" (that's a thing, right?), but I couldn't help it when I saw this adorable horse-print peplum blouse on sale at Secretsales.com (UK version of Rue La La / Gilt for my US readers). To keep in the same color family I paired the top with my camel and black-leather accent leggings from Club Monaco and my Michael Kors riding boots - forever a closet staple. The fur vest served as a comfy outer layer without hiding the print of the top, and can we please talk about how cute my Paris purse is?! My mom got one for me and my sister for Christmas, and everywhere I've worn it I've received nothing but compliments. The bag is actually from the US site Hanuel.com, they carry it in white and clear as well as red. To see the white in action check out my sister sporting hers here.

I do apologize for the hiatus in my posts - I could blame it on being "too busy" but more realistically it's just that I was too tired at the end of last term to put any effort into crafting my outfits, and therefore had very little to blog about. But a resolution of mine for 2015 is to focus on doing what I love, academically, professionally, and personally - so here's to a new year and many more exciting posts to come!