Summer 2013

Kick-It in Old-School Sneaks

Kristen Stewart made headlines when she ditched the heels for her favorite Converse sneakers at the 2009 VMAs.

A trend we LOVE this summer that we definitely anticipate carrying over into this fall is the return of the old school sneakers. Lots of designers are catching on to this trend as well, and designing their own exclusive lines with shoe companies while putting their twists on the classic looks.  If you’re a Converse lover like myself, one line definitely worth checking out is Free People’s unique twist on the classic Chuck Taylor’s. Even J. Crew has caught the sneaker fever and collaborated with Vans to create a vintage-looking line of sneakers.

With a celebrity endorsement like Taylor Swift, it is no wonder that Keds are making a killer comeback on women of all ages.  Keds complete a simple and classic look while being the epitome of comfort.  If you’re looking to add a pop of color, or spice up a simple look with some floral patterns, both Vans and Keds have released new lines for women that be may be just what you’re looking for.

One of the best part about stocking up on new sneaks is that you can find some amazing deals and don’t have to worry about making too big of a dent in your wallet.  If looking to add a bit of edge to your look, a graphic print pair of Vans, or studded pair of Chuck Taylor’s would do just the trick. Pictured below, Whitney Port completed her edgy red carpet look with a pair of leopard print vans that really stand out, even next to those graphic print leggings.

If you’re a fashionista who values comfort as much as I do, invest in a pair of sneakers that you love!  By adding a pair of plain white Vans or simple black Chucks, you will always have a simple and comfortable shoe to pair with just about anything.  The greatest part about this sneaker comeback is the amount of variety being offered in the stores right now, there is a unique pair to match every gal’s personal style!

-Catherine, fashioniSTA

(Image Credits:,,,

Summertime Style: City VS Countryside

No matter where it is you’re spending your summer, we know you fashioniSTAs are doing it in style! This summer is all about making a statement, while also remaining true to your individuality and personal style.  When dressing for your vacation getaway, we are seeing a huge nautical influence on the latest trends.  Some of the hottest trends this season are simple patterns with a preppy vibe, think classic Tommy Hilfiger and Tory Burch.  When seaside no matter what your style is, you cannot go wrong with a brightly colored Lily Pulitzer ensemble.  Whether headed to the ocean or traveling to the countryside, vacation style is all about simple, elegant, and classy.

This summer’s urban style has a much edgier vibe.  When it comes to looking your best in the city streets, it is all about making a bold statement.  Lots of trends we are seeing this season are pushing boundaries, the streets definitely have an 80’s vibe when they are full of destroyed denim, studs, and leather. What we recommend trying is mixing older trends with newer ones or pairing two totally different items to make a unique look.  Next time you decide to wear a floral pattern, add some edge with some leather or destroyed denim! If there is ever a time to try something new and different, it is when strutting down the city sidewalks.

It is hard to ignore how much of a bohemian influence there has been on this summer’s trends.  With maxi dresses and cross body bags being two of this summer’s must haves, this summer you can’t resist the catching the bohemian fever.  Even if you don’t consider your personal style particularly bohemian, this style is absolutely worth trying, even if just for the comfort factor alone! From crochet and fringe to vintage looking over-sized jewelry, we are loving everything about this style. We recommend you try pairing a floral pattern with an over sized sheer shall to get just the right vibe.

-Catherine, fashioniSTA

(Image credits:,

One-Stop to Becoming a Fashion Expert

If you’re anything like us, you gravitate towards anything fashion-related, soaking up all the information you can find. Well, Alicia Kennedy has made it easier for us to do that with her new book, Fashion Designed, Referenced written in collaboration with Emily Banis Stoehrer and Jay Calderin. Armed with dazzling photos and a handy historical timeline, this is a one-stop resource on the path to becoming a fashion know-it-all.  In this exclusive interview with STA, Alicia Kennedy explains the contents of this fashion bible with a target audience beyond just fashion students.

STA: This book encompasses a wide range of fashion topics, from the history to how certain elements are constructed. Was one of your objectives to make it a teaching tool for fashion students, especially since all three of you are involved in fashion education?
Fashion Design, Referenced is, in essence, a reference book that aims through lush images and lively text to illuminate as many aspects as possible of this enterprise called fashion design. We absolutely see our work as an alternative to the often dry and poorly illustrated textbooks marketed to schools. It’s our hope that students, whether in design, communications, or merchandising programs, will discover something in our depiction of the fashion cycle and in our parade of designers to excite their imaginations.

It’s our hope that students…will discover something in our depiction of the fashion cycle and in our parade of designers to excite their imaginations

STA: What is your favorite part of the book? (Not to influence you, but mine is the historical timeline with the illustrations at the beginning!)
I really love the first two subsections because they posed such a challenge. These delineate the components of haute couture, on the one hand, and the trajectory of ready-to-wear, on the other. But I had the most fun putting together the timeline, starting with folks strutting the streets of the Renaissance city in all their finery and ending with the wild fluctuations of style in the 1990s, from Lagerfeld’s high-low pairings at Chanel to McQueen’s cheeky bumsters. Of course, it’s the charming drawings that enliven this section, especially those by Lynn Blake.

STA: This book is chock-full of facts, histories, profiles, and behind-the-scenes looks. What’s the most interesting thing you learned while doing research for this book?
One piece of history whose deep ramifications became clearer was the Grand Divertissement à Versailles. In a fashion showdown in 1973 the simple elegance and verve of five ready-to-wear designers from New York KO’d the elaborate efforts of five top Parisian couturiers. Just as important were the racial barriers tumbled when eight African American models walked the Americans’ runway. I also discovered some truly extraordinary directions that fashion is taking, such as Suzanne Lee’s BioCouture project, which attempts to “grow” clothing from bacteria. But what I found interesting above all else was the enormously different trajectories that designers have taken to get to where they are now.

FD,R aims to reveal that there are as many routes to a fashion practice as there are fashioned objects.

STA: We heard that you are a big STA fan! What is your favorite piece (or pieces) that you’ve found in one of our stores?
I am a fan. While I’ve found great pieces at STA stores by Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens, and Miuccia Prada, I have two favorite garments: a silk dropped-waist dress by Phoebe Philo for Céline, very severe and modern, and a wool jacket by Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garçons, a play on the trench that I wear both with black jeans and with cocktail dresses.

STA: If you could wear one thing for a week and not be judged by anyone, what would it be?
I tend to dress in a kind of urban uniform, so it already seems as if I’m wearing the same thing repeatedly. The whole issue of judgment fascinates me, though.

When I do wear something that stands out… I love how it invites complete strangers to come up and start a conversation.

A sneak peek of what's inside.

You can grab a copy of this fashion guide on Amazon, it’s the perfect accessory to any closet!

Girls’ Night Out!

My friends and I heading out on the town this summer.

Let’s face it, every single one of us needs a good girl’s night out on the town every once in awhile. Between the laughs, drinks, gossip, and opportunity to look fabulous, they’re truly hard to beat. If you’re anything like me, you could try on clothing for hours with your girlfriends to find just the right look for that particular evening. In honor of our stores hosting their own GNO events this Thursday, Here are a couple look suggestions we recommend trying this summer!

Be Bold
No matter what that latest trend is that you’ve been eyeing, girl’s night is a great chance to rock it! Whether it’s sequins, metallics, or neon colors, don’t shy away from eye-catching items. Being with your favorite ladies will give you that extra boost of confidence to try something new.

Closet Essentials
As a very social fashionista that loves any excuse to get dolled up, I must admit I own a skirt in almost every color. The key with skirts is having a variety of styles. You cannot go wrong with a pencil, circle, or high-low skirt this summer, all you need is the right blouse. One trend we cannot ignore lately is sheer and lace. No matter how they are worn, these items always make your look classy and chic. If you don’t know what to pair a button down blouse with, we suggest trying a killer pair of bright shorts.

Pump It Up
If you happen to be on the shorter side like myself, you love any opportunity to give yourself those extra few inches. One item every fashionista should have in her closet is the perfect, and comfortable, pair of pumps. We recommend always having a pair of nude pumps because no matter what crazy color combo you may throw together, these shoes are always going to match, while making your legs look awesome. If you’re a city gal, always keep in mind those pesky grates! You may want to stick to a thicker heal if you’ll be strutting through the streets. And if you’re not confident you’ll last a long evening in those new heels you just bought, don’t be afraid to rock sandals, people will envy your comfort and style.

The Essential Accessories
Be sure to not leave your house without an adorable clutch that can hold all of the essentials: your phone, money, identification, and lipstick of course. Avoid taking a big bag at all costs, you’ll regret it when it’s time to hit the dance floor! For jewelry, try going big and bold with either your earrings or necklace, while staying simple with the other. Bangles and statement bracelets are always a fun accessory, along with bigger rings. If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to rock your fun costume jewelry, your next GNO couldn’t be better.

More Formal
To keep your look more on the formal side, it is all about finding that perfect dress. For these occasions, its OK to invest! For the frugal fashionistas, STA has some fabulous designer dresses at amazingly affordable prices, so be sure to stop in one of our stores to check them out! You will not regret that little extra you may have to spend on the perfect dress for you. If you need a cover up, this summer is all about the blazer! We recommend every fashionista keep a plain blazer in her closet this summer, it is sure to get plenty of use.

We want to see what you fashioniSTAs are rocking this summer!! Tweet or instagram a picture of you & your girlfriends with the hashtag #fashionistasGNO and we will share our favorites!

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5 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

1. Vintage-Style Bathing Suit
One look I cannot stop obsessing over this summer is the return of the retro bathing suits! This style suit, with high waisted bottoms, and ruffled hems, is absolutely adorable (Think Rachel McAdams running through the water in that red bikini in the iconic Notebook). Whether it is a ruffled one piece, or the addition of some buttons, when trying to find this summer’s suits keep an eye out for the designs with a vintage touch.

2. Chic and Unique Shades
Rocking a killer pair of shades is absolutely mandatory to enjoy a day at the beach. There are so many different styles to chose from right now, so its a good idea to search through the adorable and inexpensive pairs that can be found at retail stores, rather than risk bringing your favorite pair of designer shades to the sand and ocean. Don’t be afraid to go for a bright colored rim, this summer is all about standing out!

3. A Fabulous Hat
Hats are the go to accessory this summer, so don’t be afraid to break out that fedora or cowboy hat you haven’t touched in years. Big, floppy Kentucky Derby style hats are back on the shelves, and besides being fabulously fashionable, they protect our face and hair from the hot, and potentially damaging, sun rays. And if you insist you just aren’t a hat person but your hair gets totally wild in the wind, a thick fabric headband may be just what you need to keep those beach waves under control.

4. A Stylish Cover Up
You cannot go wrong with a simple crochet cover up, this bohemian look will keep you cool and covered. If you’re looking to show a little less skin, a light maxi dress or skirt is always a great option. If you’re dying to show off your new bikini top but don’t have complete confidence with your body, you’re not limited to the classic sarong, this summer try a pair of high-waisted shorts to lounge around the beach in. Other hot looks are an over-sized chambray shirt, a cotton or terry-cloth romper.

3. Suncreen!
While having fun in the sun, you cannot forget about your most important accessory, your skin! Despite being so easy to forget, protecting our skin is extremely important. In the long run, you will be thankful you protected your skin against damage, premature aging, and most importantly, skin cancer by simply applying some SPF on your days in the sun. We recommend looking for a sunblock that that is oil-free and water resistant so its good for your skin and long-lasting!

Festive Fashion for the Fourth

It’s all about the red, white and blue! Designer Tommy Hilfiger, who incorporates these iconic colors into so many of his designs said, “these colors reflect freedom, optimism and a youthful spirit,” and we couldn’t agree more.  On this holiday, whether your celebrating at a cookout with your family or heading to the beach, one look we recommend trying is a nautical style.  But don’t forget, you’re not the only fashionista limited to this color pallet, so try to find a way to make your look unique!

A great and easy way to incorporate blue into your outfit is adding anything denim.  Whether it be your favorite pair of blue jeans, or a chambray top over a blouse, denim is always a safe go-to.  If you’re attending a party a bit too formal for denim, a navy dress, skirt, or pair of high-waisted shorts are other great options.

If your closet is not full of bold, red items,  there are plenty of ways to add a splash of red into your look.  Bold red accessories, like a statement necklace are a great option.  A more casual outfit could be completed with a simple red scarf or headband.  As you put the final touches on your look, we recommend trying a bright red lip or polish.

If there is any holiday when you should rock your favorite white jeans, it is this one! A white sundress is also a great option, or if your outfit is already complete, bring along a plain white sweater or blazer to throw on, in case it gets chilly for the fireworks.

Rocking this patriotic color combo is not limited to just the 4th, its a classic style all summer!  When putting something together for the fourth, just keep in mind there are no rules! You certainly don’t have to balance out how much of each color you incorporate, we love when a simple belt or jacket pulls it all together. Here’s a casual outfit we put together using some plain and popular items this summer.

The opportunities to be festive this fourth are endless, so try to be a fun, unique, and patriotic fashionista this Independence Day. And remember, every STA store has tons of options, just waiting to be worn for the 4th!

-Catherine, fashioniSTA

(image credits:,

Take Your Style to the Max

If you’re looking to beat the heat in the latest trends this summer, be sure to fill your closet with plenty of maxi dresses. You are guaranteed to feel and look fabulous as your long skirt flows in the breeze on a beautiful day this summer. Coming in a variety of hems, shapes, and styles, there is the perfect maxi match out there for every woman.

How to accessorize your maxi
Some of my favorite looks are when women pair their dress with another trendy item, such as a denim jacket, cropped blazer, or fedora hat. Lightweight scarves can be summer appropriate, and can be worn as a headband to give the look a little something extra. When wearing a plain colored maxi don’t be afraid to wear big statement jewelry that complements the dress or skirt. If you tend to shy away from this style dress because you feel its shape can be sometimes unflattering, a wide belt around the waist could make all the difference. If you’re not sure what shoes to pair with your new maxi, you cannot go wrong with a simple pair of gladiator sandals or straw wedges (skinny heels tend to look out of place unless your dress is a little more formal).

These are some of our favorite fashionable celebs, each creating a completely different look with their maxi.

Where to wear your maxi
Floor-length dresses were once only synonymous with formal events, but this summer you’re sure to see this style all over the place. The beauty about purchasing a maxi dress or skirt is the amount of opportunities you will have to wear it. Depending on the material and how you accessorize, a maxi can be appropriate for a variety of occasions. Pairing a simple cotton maxi with a pair of sandals makes in the perfect cover up for a day at the beach. A patterned or more embellished maxi dress can be just what you need for a fancy dinner or cocktail party. Throwing some sort of blazer over a maxi can even make it office appropriate.

At our STA stores, we have collected quite a selection of maxi dresses this season, so be sure to ask about what we may have available in this style next time you stop in!

-Catherine, fashioniSTA

(Image credits:,,,

Pretty in Peplum

One look that we are seeing plenty of this summer is the peplum hem on shirts, skirts, and dresses. A big hit in the 80’s and 90’s, this feminine, flirty, and flattering look is making a comeback as one of the most popular trends of the summer.  The peplum hem tends to be a tighter material item that cinches at the waist and flares out around the midsection, often resembling a tiny skirt.  There are a variety of ways that designers have utilized this style, making these items unique and timeless.

This style dress was recently worn by the breathtaking Angelina Jolie on the red carpet, but it certainly is not just for formal occasions. One of the greatest aspects about adding a peplum item to your collection is the variety of ways you can style this look.  Paired with jeans, a simple cotton peplum top could be the perfect look for a Sunday cookout, while pairing this same top with a pencil skirt and pumps could make it just the right look for a fun date night.

Even for those of us that wouldn’t consider their style particularly ‘feminine’ or ‘girly,’ leather peplum tops have been quite popular, and give this style a whole new edgier feel.  Peplum tops tends to be pretty plain in design, making them ideal to accessorize with a statement necklace or other bold jewelry, which is the perfect way to really make this look your own.

What we love most about this look is how flattering it can be on almost any body type, allowing us to hide any flaws while feeling fabulous.  Whether its a vintage piece from the 80’s or the latest design to hit the shelves,  a peplum item adds just the right amount of flare to any look.  On your next shopping trip keep your eyes peeled for the perfect peplum hem item to add to your summer wardrobe!

We’ve seen quite a few peplum style items in our own stores, so next time you stop in be sure to be on the hunt for a great deal!  If you’re rocking peplum, we want to see your look! Tweet us a picture at @staconsignment with the hashtag #peplum to share your style with us!

-Catherine, fashioniSTA

(image credits:,

5 Summer Shoe Trends

I’m a shoe-a-holic. There, I said it. I’m obsessed. I’m constantly on the lookout for a new pair—platforms, flats, stilettos, you name it. Why? Because no outfit is complete without the right pair of shoes. But as the seasons change, so must your shoes. While there are tons of different styles to try, I’ve selected my top five favorite new shoe trends for summer, so your outfit can sizzle all the way down to your toes.

1. Studs
Studs aren’t necessarily a new trend when it comes to clothing—grungy studded leather coats and pants have been in style for a few seasons now. However, take the trend to your feet with some fun studded flats this season. Try a pair of ballet flats with a studded toe or a pair of blinged-out loafers. You’ll be fashionable, fierce and comfortable.

2. Pointed Toe
The pointy toe is making a comeback! After years of round toed shoes, I’m ready for a change. This classic style is perfect for day and night. Try a simple black pointed stiletto to start; you can wear them to the office and out for drinks. Bonus: the pointed toe gives the illusion of longer legs—yes, please!

3. Transparence
Take a fashion risk with a trendy transparent element to your shoes. I’m obsessed with chunky open-toed platforms with a transparent heel.

4. Menswear Inspired
The menswear trend has always been pretty intimidating for me; I always have a little difficulty rocking an androgynous outfit. For those like me who think the trend is daunting, rocking a menswear inspired shoe is a great way to get the look without feeling too masculine. You can never go wrong in the summer with a pair of light brown brogues! I like to pair mine with a sundress or my high-waisted skinny jeans.

5. Spiky and Wild
Fashion is all about risks and standing out, and this summer that means rocking brightly patterned shoes. Think color blocking, cutouts, laces, and sky-high stilettos. Let these awesome shoes stand out on their own and pair them with a simple dress or crisp black skinnies.

~Alyssa, fashioniSTA

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Heatwave Hairstyles for Summer

Summer is a great time for experimenting with fun, bright new fashion trends. As the temperature gets hotter, I look for new means to work a sundress or a pair of cutoffs—and also to experiment with ways to tame my thick, long brown hair as the humidity takes its toll. I know I’m not the only one with heat wave hair struggles, so hopefully these new summer hair trends will help us rock flawless summer looks from hair to toe.

The first and most flexible hairstyle to rock this summer is an old standby: braids! But I’m not talking Pippi Longstocking pigtails—there’s so much more. The fishtail braid is a fun and easy style to try; I like pulling all of my hair to the side in a low pony and braiding it all into a fishtail. One of the greatest parts of a fishtail braid is that it looks great even when it’s a little messy, so it really takes no effort. Another great braid to try is a braid crown. For those who are a little more experienced in braiding, this style is definitely one to try. You can either braid part of your hair into a crown, or try your whole head of hair for a bohemian updo.

For those who want something a little simpler, don’t be afraid to play around with different buns! The topknot has been a favorite in fashion for a few years now, and it isn’t going anywhere. Take it to the next level by trying a topknot sock bun—the sock bun will add extra volume to your limp summer locks, and is the perfect look to take from day to night. For a gentler, more tousled look, try a loose bun at the nape of your neck. It’ll add some glamour to your look.

Finally, when it truly is too hot to deal with anything, you can always resort to a big floppy hat. It’ll hide your frizzies, protect your face from the sun, and requires no time or practice!

~Alyssa, fashioniSTA

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