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www.StyleSampleMag.com


FROM THE EDITOR STYLE SAMPLE Editor Tamia Stinson tamia@thestylesample.com Contributing Editor Fajr Muhammed stylishthought@gmail.com Contributing Writer Laura A. aforteforfashion@hotmail.co.uk Contributing Writer Fashion Fille fashionfille@gmail.com To subscribe, visit www.stylesamplemag.com. For information regarding permissions and advertising, contact magazine@thestylesample.com Published by TheStyleSample.com Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Maybe I'm not that vain... This magazine was supposed to be all about me. It originally started as an idea to create a digital flip-book about my blog, with a digest of the previous month's posts, maybe a little behind the scenes info. I'd be on the cover every month! You know, like Oprah—but poor.

Style Sample Magazine provides a venue to explore the hearts and minds of the people behind the pretty pictures, to promote talented individuals and the fashion blogging medium as a whole, and to provide opportunities for exposure and experience.

That was, until I started discovering the seemingly infinite number of fashionrelated blogs and the amazing people behind them.

There is so much determination and diversity in our niche, from street style photography, to “what I'm wearing” posts, to shopping tips, to aspiring designers, to online entrepreneurs, and everything in between. We're proof that the people have a voice. And now we have a magazine.

There are so many talented, intelligent, fascinating, regular people all over the world doing amazing things in this arena. There are thousands of fashion blogs—some good, some great, some that draw you in and compel you to read every single post until you've spent hours absorbing and dissecting the author's style and insight. Those are the people I hope to recognize with this publication.

This is for all of us.

Contact me at tamia@thestylesample.com and let me know what you think. *Note: all web and email addresses are working links, so click away!

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contents 4

Blogs to Watch

Featuring Modelizing, Ediot, Dirty Laundry, & The Curvy Fashionista

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A Day in the Life Stylist & writer Marian Kihogo takes us along on a busy London day of fashion PR, personal shopping, and late-evening Thai.

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Blogger with a Business Rodellee is the mind behind vintage shopping website AdoreVintage.com and its companion blog. By Laura of A Forte for Fashion

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5

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Emerging Designer Ashe Mischief talks about the inspiration for the glamorous headpieces featured in her Mischief, My Dear! Etsy shop.

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Feature: Femme Fatale

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How-To Fashion Fille shows us how to make a great blog header in six easy steps.

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Tips & Advice Priming your blog for the Googlebots: 5 Tips for better SEO.

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Illustration by Danz

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Femme Rationale's Nina models her favorite spring looks and dishes about blogging, inspiration, and great hair. By Fajr Muhammad of Stylish Thought

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Notes from the Blogosphere One Question, Three Bloggers with Juley, Alicia, & Tamia Quotable!

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BLOGS TO WATCH Fresh faces and unique concepts in the world of blogging New Yo r k

MODELIZING modelizing.blogspot.com Why did you start blogging? I started blogging after I moved to the Upper East Side of Manhattan during my senior year at Parsons in order to de-stress. I was shooting four days a week, interning, working, and had 19 credits! So I thought... why not just one more thing? I've always been really inspired by store windows, and since no one has ever documented them the way I have before, I decided it was my job to share their magic with the rest of the world. Who do you hope to reach? I hope to reach people who love New York and want to see something new.

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Who love fashion but want to see something besides street blogs and self portraits. And especially people who love clothes, seeing the details in the fabrics, fantasizing about the cuts and the draping, while seeing it in a different environment than we've all become accustomed to seeing. What's your favorite part about blogging? The readers! I love emails and comments and hearing people's thoughts. Knowing that they might have not come in as obsessed with windows as I am, but now share that same passion.

THE CURVY FASHIONISTA

Why did you start blogging? I started blogging in December thecurvyfashionista-mariedenee.com 2008, after I graduated with my MBA in marketing. I worked in retail throughout school. Although I am on the smaller side of plus (16), I noticed that there were not a lot of options for me or many of my customers. I used this newfound passion and frustration to research this industry. After completing my MBA, I amassed a list of designers, coaches, stylists, a i n r photographers, models, and Califo ambassadors in the plus-size community.


were to happen to me (I'm paranoid, ha!), then everyone would know what I was wearing!

EDIOT

Sweden

hanmedhatten.blogspot.com

Who do you hope to reach? I hope to reach people in general. I hope to bring some extra joy into someone's life, just with the daily music. I think everyone can relate to music. My boyfriend likes the music section. Not so much the rest...

Why did you start blogging? I wanted to collect my thoughts and to have a place to put my life in. I guess I have a bad memory, so it feels good to blog–then I can remember it all! Plus, I meant to post outfit pictures before I went out of the house, in case something

What is your favorite part about blogging? It's the communication, the fact that I can reach people all over the world, and of course comments. I also love it when I make people like music they've never heard before.

Knowing how hard and long I researched to find these designers, I created The Curvy Fashionista, to share with other Curvy. Confident.Chic. plus-size fashionistas. It features designers, ambassadors, size positive resources, and communities that celebrate the discerning woman who likes nice things, just in her size.

What's your favorite part about blogging? I love being able to share resources with those who feel being plus size is a negative. Helping women to “Never let your curves define your style– Let your style define your curves.”

Who do you hope to reach? I hope to reach the many plus size women who dream, desire, and dare to wear fashions for their curves.

If I am able to show one woman out there that there are options, resources, communities, and outlets for the plus-size fashionista, then I feel that I have accomplished my goal!

DIRTY LAUNDRY dirtydirtylaundry.wordpress.com

Costa Rica

Why did you start blogging? I started blogging after I realized that fashion blogging even existed because I thought it was a great “tool” to keep me plugged into the fashion world and keep me exploring different aspects of style. Who do you hope to reach? I guess my blog is aimed at other fashion-oriented girls around my age (18) but, really, I love it when anyone at all reads my blog. I hope I'm communicating something to them like that.

If you'd like to be considered for “Blogs to Watch”,complete the online submission form!

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BEHIND THE SCENES

Illustration by Danz of Fatal Attraction 2 Fashion

Day in the Life: Marian Kihogo

A

Location: London, UK Profession: Fashion Stylist and Writer. I am also a personal stylist and personal shopper. I have a background in Fashion design and Art. I was greatly influenced by my Mum who is a Lecturer of Fine Arts. I see high fashion and Couture as an art form just like a piece of great literature or, say, a Basquiat. There was never an ‘a-ha’ moment in reference to knowing what I wanted to do as career. It was always going to fashion or art, and I was obsessed with both right through childhood and my teens. They were as natural as breathing and were my main form of expression, followed closely by writing. My fashion philosophy is that clothes are an extension of who we are. So, discover your style and experiment style wise! Visit Marian on her blog at mariankihogo.blogspot.com.

7:30am 7:00am

I check my email; there is so much to go through!

I drag my still very sleepy self into the shower after a prayer. Did I mention I only got three hours of sleep last night? The day before was spent in PR appointments, then on a magazine feature shoot, then I stopped by a client's to drop off a few items I purchased on her behalf. When I finally got home, I had to work on some fast approaching article deadlines amongst other things. The hot shower helps me feel human again.

8:30am

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The Hubby kindly gives me a lift to the train station. It’s a quick kiss goodbye and then I dash for the train.

8:00am I am not a breakfast person at all but I try to force myself today as I have such a long day ahead of me.

8:20am Throw on my outfit for the day. Today I’m feeling my vintage Wim Hemmink brocade dress. I wear it with black leggings, an olive green Fake London cropped jacket with darling dog head gold tone buttons, a fascinator, and my purple and yellow curved Topshop heels.

9:00am

I make tons of PR stops all over the city to make sample returns. I also have appointments to check out pieces that I will need in the near future.


Lunch is a salad and some fruit bought from London Bridge station. I eat while I check my mail and stop by some blogs on my phone.

1:20pm

1:30pm Back on the Underground and I am heading for my next appointment, which happens to be an interview for the magazine I write for.

2:00pm I am supposed to be at the studio of the designers I’m interviewing, but instead I’m horridly lost in the rain.

2:10pm 3:00pm Still have some samples to drop off, which I’ve been lugging around in an ugly old green suitcase that doubles as a makeshift seat when all the seats are taken on the Underground.

6:00pm I stop by a personal client’s place. She is going on holiday. Her destination? Somewhere hot! We make a quick list of what she needs. Swimwearwise, I tell her that her best bet is lots of bright and printed separates that she can intermix.

12:00am

It’s an interview with the designers of the amazing high fashion label Basso & Brooke. It is one of my fave labels so the interview is such an honour. I adore their Spring/Summer 09 collection and Autumn/Winter 09-10 collection. The prints are simply fabulous!

7:00pm

Image: Style.com

Eventually stop walking in circles and find the road that I have been looking for!

Back home, but not for long! Hubby and I catch up on each other’s day over some fruit cocktails, then I get changed into a vintage velvet midi number as Hubby is taking me to dinner. I customise the piece into a knee length number when it is in fact midi length. Our Thai meal was delish and we get home. I type up the Basso & Brooke interview from earlier in the day, finish off some other articles, and email them all to my editors.

10:00pm Catch up on all the blogs I adore over a cup of hot lemon and ginger. I do this while researching on the pieces I need to get my client on our shopping date tomorrow. I also email another prospective client some outfit options for an upcoming event.

I still have tons to do but know I need to get to bed as tomorrow is looking crazy hectic. I have a quick soak in the bath to unwind and climb into bed. I doze off thinking that there is no rest for the wicked... -Marian Kihogo

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PROFILES

Designer:of AsheEmerging Mischief

Mischief, My Dear! Inspired by the glamorous decadence of the Bayou, blogger and designer Ashe Mischief brings a little southern allure to the web.

B “New Orleans is my greatest muse...”

Photo by Izik

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y day, Mischeif My Dear!'s Ashe Mischief works in fundraising & development for a Big Ten university in the Midwest. She holds a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration and volunteers with various arts organizations in her town. By night and on the weekends, her spare time is spent working on the Mischief, My Dear! Shop, which houses rhinestone and sequined encrusted headpieces inspired by her life and years living in New Orleans. Here, she talks about her design inspiration:

“Living on a student budget, both in undergrad & graduate life, I was moved to create the pieces myself after paying a hefty $120 for a tiny top hat that I knew I could create myself.” Mischief, My Dear! pieces are made with love, magic, and a bit of liquor. There’s a grand dose of rhinestones, brooches, silk, feathers, and sequins in each one—they are not for the faint of heart! “I believe that a bit of the extraordinary should be in our daily lives, and not saved solely for special occasions. After all, who's life doesn’t benefit from an extra dose of Mischief, My Dear!”

“During my days in New Orleans, I spent much of my time enjoying the whimsical and surreal life only a city like it could provide. From the Ashe Mischief's pieces can be purchased debauchery and decadence of Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, and at mischiefmydear.etsy.com, or you can contact her through her blog, New Year’s, to the historical nature of mischiefmydear/dramatispersonae. the city, New Orleans is my greatest muse.” Mischief, My Dear! was born from Ashe Mischief's love of the great French Quarter shops: wig shops with fascinators and showgirl style hair pieces run by beautiful multi-colored haired women and flamboyant men, 1940s inspired fashion stores, goth shops with studs and vinyl.

Ashe Mischief's workstation and materials


Blogger with a Business:

Rodellee of

Adore Vintage any people dream of incorporating their hobby into a career, and Rodellee of Adore Vintage has done just that. Rodellee has been running her business from Orlando, Florida for four years now, but admits that it hasn’t all been easy. “The best part is being able to create this business from the ground up on my own. The worst part is being able to create this business from the ground up on my own… it's hard work but also extremely rewarding.” Like many in the working world, Rodellee starts her day at 9am with coffee and a croissant. She reads and answers emails, and checks for new orders. A to-do list is then drawn up with a list of jobs that need to be done–for example, cleaning and checking for flaws in the fabulous vintage clothing she stocks. Tasks like web design are also important, as anyone with good business sense knows an attractive looking website has many benefits. “Shoots are always so much fun and there is a lot of creativity flowing around, but they are draining and require a lot of organizing.”

Owning an online vintage boutique is hard work, but rewarding–and fun! By Laura of A Forte for Fashion the six most important things… if the list seems never ending you are more likely to quit halfway through.” Giving yourself impossible tasks won’t help, and neither will a messy workplace. “You should create ‘stations’ in your workplace even if it’s just in your head. My studio is very small; each station has a specific purpose, which allows for an easier workflow.”

“Shoots are always so much fun, there is a lot of creativity flowing around...” Great pictures sell clothes, so Rodellee puts a lot of thought into the concept and talks to the photographer while the models are getting ready. “I go into detail about concepts and what the mood of the shoot should be. We look at lighting and poses. While the shoot is going on I also check for tags showing and threads hanging from the garments.” There are other tips and tricks Rodellee has picked up over the years: “The trick to getting through a to-do list is to simplify it. I list

Even though fashion can be allconsuming to many of us and we could blog all day and night, Rodellee warns that you should “try to stick to a normal work schedule.” She notes that with her business, as much as she loves it, she makes a clear distinction in her head between work and play. When asked about her weirdest experience while running Adore Vintage, Rodellee recalls “Being recognized in the street. It hasn’t happened very often. But it was always when I was on vacation.” Visit Rodellee’s online store at AdoreVintage.com or get sneaky updates and other vintage goodness at adorevintage.blogspot.com

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f

COVER FEATURE

emme atale Femme Rationale and its writer Nina are illuminating the blogosphere with a creative, enigmatic, honest presence.

By Fajr Muhammad of Stylish Thought

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I

n a sky of stars some shine bright and block the glare of the smaller stars that twinkle. Each star is important to the constellation and adds to the sea of illumination. So it is in the blogging world. Every blog shines with its own light; however some blogs burn far brighter. Femme Rationale, and its writer Nina, are illuminating the blogosphere with a creative, enigmatic, honest presence. Femme Rationale is a newish blog, started last fall, but Nina is by no means a newcomer to the fashion blog scene. She says, “I started in February 2008 with a blog called Chez Beauté which was only around for a few months. Then I started Femme Rationale because I missed the blogging world a lot.” Nina started blogging because of the great sense of community and a need for an outlet for her fashion obsessions. Living in Los Angeles, by day Nina is a freelance designer, merchandiser and stylist who has been interested in fashion from a young age. She fondly remembers the time when her mother, a fashion designer in Korea prior to moving to the U.S., bought her a pair of electric blue high top Converse sneakers with zebra stripes. “I hated them. I wanted white or pink Mary Janes like all the other girls were wearing. But my mom would have none of it. She asked me why I wanted to be like everyone else and told me it was much cooler to be different and have your own style.” This experience shapes Nina’s carefree and distinctly unique style today. Continued on next page

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Her fashion motto is “Wear what makes you feel good. If you’re happy with the way you look and feel good about yourself, that’s all that matters.” This mantra translates effortlessly to her blog, Femme Rationale. One glance and you understand fully that Nina is a woman who dresses in not only what makes her look good but feel good as well. She sports everything from black mini dresses and fringe booties to vintage aviator shades and her D.I.Y. bleached denim designs. By far Nina’s greatest look is her confidence and spirit. It is this confidence that sets Femme Rationale apart. Growing from a personal style blog, Femme Rationale is receiving tons of well-deserved attention. It has been given numerous blog awards from fellow bloggers, generates upwards of 12,000 hits a month and most importantly to Nina, is a lot of fun.

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“Maybe I should start a hair blog” she says jokingly But the huge buzz on Femme Rationale is Nina’s crowning glory, her hair. Her beautiful brunette locks have garnered praise, comments, and emails on how to recreate her signature waves. She’s flattered by all the attention and a little dazed by it. “It's a bit surreal. I never ever in a million years thought my hair would get this much attention. I mean, it's my hair and trust me, I have plenty of bad hair days too.” Jokingly she says, “Maybe I should start a hair blog.” If Nina is nothing, she is humble and loves the comments, emails and responses that Femme Rationale receives. She makes it a point to respond to all her readers personally, whether through an email or

comment on their blogs. Finding time to do this is not easy, but Nina tries to strike a balance between her real life and her blog. She says, “It's honestly difficult to find time to blog and take pictures. I wish I could devote all my time to doing it. But each day I allocate some time for posting and returning comments.” Time for Nina is either early in the morning or late in the evening and she uses a tripod or her trusty significant other, also known as “FM”, to take her outfit photos. When asked what advice she would give anyone looking to start a fashion-related blog, Nina says “Be yourself and have fun. The blogger should be honest about their style and [that] they wear the clothes–not the other way around.”


Nina's SPRING PICKS “I start gravitating towards a lighter palette in spring.” Alexander Wang dress, LaGarconne.com

“Anything sheer jersey, wispy, and floaty is a must.” Kaylee Tankus ombre tank,OakNYC.com

Nina plans on working on Femme Rationale as long as it continues to be fun and people respond positively. “Or until I win the lottery. Then I'm off living the bohemian life in some chic European city. But knowing me, I'll probably blog about that, too.” Femme Rationale continues to be an outlet for Nina who enjoys “meeting” other creative and inspiring people from around the world. “At the end of the day, it's just me and my wardrobe and my camera having fun and getting feedback from others.” Nina encourages her readers to take chances, experiment, have fun and be honest. Femme Rationale is a delightful example of a star shining on her own terms.

When Nina isn’t blogging at Femme Rationale or working on her many freelance projects, she can be found online at Twitter, Chictopia, Myspace, and Weardrobe.

“As for shoes, anything strappy, wooden, corked, wedged, and colorful is perfect!” Marni sandals, Net-a-Porter.com

“Light denim is perfect to transition from winter to spring.” ByCORPUS denim dress, UrbanOutfitters.com

“And a good pair of nude pumps is a must.” Rupert Sanderson pumps, Net-a-Porter.com

About the Author Fajr Muhammad bka Ms. Thought is a writer, fashion lover and aspiring know-it-all. When she's not strapped to her laptop or on Ebay, she can be found spending too much money on shoes, dancing to Prince, and conducting “research” for her blog Stylish Thought.

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SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Priming Your Blog for the

site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web

TIPS & ADVICE

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GOOGLEBOTS

Has your blog been visited by the bots? If that question conjures up images of glowing aliens sporting Gareth Pugh and wielding gleaming body cavity probes, you need to keep reading!

“There are two Googlebots: Deepbot and Freshbot” What are Googlebots? A Googlebot is a web crawler that collects information from the web to build a searchable index for the Google search engine. When you put your content on the web, you want Googlebot to find it, index it, and list it in Google's search results–hopefully on the first page. There are two Googlebots: Deepbot tries to follow every link on the web and download as many pages as it can to the Google indexes. It completes this process about once a month. Freshbot crawls the web looking for fresh content, and visits websites that change frequently. That's where blogs have an advantage!

Here are some tips to increase your blog's bot-friendliness:

Post frequently Once your site has been discovered, regular fresh content will ensure more frequent visits.

Encourage incoming links When popular sites contain links to your blog, they carry more “weight” with Google. This increases the chances of readers finding your blog in their search.

Use the right keywords When Googlebot crawls your site, it compares the keywords you use to the reader's search terms in order to generate matching results. Use popular keywords and search terms as the first words in your post titles and header tags. For help determining which keywords to use, think about the search terms people might use to find your blog. You can also do keyword research using Google's Adsense tool.

Generate Permalinks Make sure each post has its own permalink so that it can be found in the future and linked to individually. Wordpress, Typepad, and Blogger can automatically generate permalinks.

Use Alt text for images Alternative text acts as a replacement for an image that can't be displayed and helps Google index your images.


HOW-TO

STEPS:

6HEADER Create a

BLOG

Step 1: FIND A picture that is! Note: If you just want a text header, skip to step 2. Go into your inspiration folder, a favorite photo blog (I like fffound, WeYIt, flickr, and Jak & Jil), or take a picture yourself. Pick one that can be cropped and still retain quality. Make sure the image is relevant to you and your site. It should stand out and make a statement about your blog.

Step 2: CROP Look at your site's HTML code to find the best size for you. Create a new file in your photo editing software (I like PhotoFiltre) and size it to the appropriate width and height. The shorter the height the better, within reason. Use this empty canvas as the cropping guide with the picture you chose, and crop it to the correct size.

Step 3: FONT Think about the length of your blog's name and what type of lettering would display it clearly in a cool way.

By FashionFille, fashionfille.com

The first thing that influences your opinion about a blog is the first impression, and the first impression all starts with the picture or words on the top of the page: the header. Sure you can pay a graphic designer to make one, or just grab an appealing picture and throw it up there. Better yet, put your creative skills to the test and create your own completely original header! Here's how: Searching for something fresh? Try dafont.com, my favorite. If the header is just text, use something bold and easily readable.

Step 4: TEST Type out the title in a few different font styles, sizes, and colors and place it in different places on the cropped picture. Once you see the best one, you will know! It will just look right.

Step 5: TOUCH

Font: Sad Jane

UP

Font: Desperado This step can be done before or after putting the font on the image. Try different effects–sepia, blur, fade, black and white, warmify, film grain, tint, saturation, soft focus, glow– anything! Certain things may be too drastic and will distort Font: Starry Stitch your header, so be careful of If you have any questions or how much you do. want to show me your new masterpieces, shoot me a Step 6: POST message at my blog, Put your newly crafted header fashionfille.com, or an email at on your blog for all to admire. fashionfille@gmail.com. I look If you followed all of these forward to all the fresh headers instructions, it should blend I will be seeing around the 'net! perfectly with your site and look gorgeous! Good job!

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FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE

3

One

Question,

Bloggers

Juley, Swank Heights “My sister, who's just two years older, and me have shared clothes since we were little. We both have small frames and sometimes it was hard to tell us apart. It was especially difficult for our parents considering they had five other kids to memorize names for. I'd always get upset because my mom would dress us like twins every day for school. From our bowl-cut hair down to our shoes...how frustrating. But Halloween always made me happy. Our mom still dressed us up like twins, but she strategically let us have different colored princess dresses!”

What is your favorite childhood fashion memory? Tamia, The Style Sample

Alicia, Instant/ Vintage “My favorite fashion memory is from when I was about four or five years old. Because I'm naturally headstrong, one day I told my mother that I was going to dress myself. I'm sure she knew I was going look a hot mess, but I insisted. There is photographic record of the outfit that ensued–a purple sweatshirt, green sweats, red socks, and white ballet flats. I couldn’t have been more proud of my outfit in that picture. I guess matching was never really my forte. I still grimace when I wear too much of the same color.”

“When I was in kindergarten, I had a pair of pink and white Strawberry Shortcake sneakers that actually smelled like strawberries when you scratched the decal on the side. My scratch-nsniff shoes were the hit of Miss Peggy's reading circle, and people would pay me (in Legos and crayons, of course) to sniff my shoes! I loved to wear them with my black and white polka dot dress and made myself dizzy twirling around so the skirt would flare out. This may have been the start of my obsession...”

Quotable!

Funny/interesting/thoughtful comments from the blogosphere “I admire a girl who can wear so much makeup and not look like Elvira!” From That Nasty Dress “Style is just not for the thin and young, my friends.” From What I Wore Today

“Screw summer vacation in Europe. I’m saving my money and heading to NYC to buy out Topshop.”

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From BleachBlack

Style Sample Magazine April/May 2009  

The premiere issue of Style Sample Magazine, a digital magazine for and about fashion bloggers!

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