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Style on the Street

Over the past ten weeks SLO Style Watch has focused on many of the popular styles found around San Luis Obispo. Some of the trends were very specific, and some of the trends were open to personal interpretation.

But then we realized we had never asked people about their personal style.

So for our last post, SLO Style Watch wanted to focus on the individual. Everybody has a different story, and more times than not, their style is a little piece of that story.

SLO Style Watch hit the Cal Poly campus and asked people what their style is and how their style is a part of who they are.

 

When Fashion Meets Function

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Being a college student is all about practicality. Life can get quite hectic— between class, work, the gym, sleep, a social life.

So when life gets crazy, being practical and time efficient is a must.

SLO Style Watch’s audience has spoken, and quite a few eager readers asked us to cover the style trend of wearing gym clothes to class.

As soon as we started to investigate, we realized this trend is perfectly suited for the hectic, crazy life that comes with the full-time student status.

It’s genius really—this trend encourages a healthy lifestyle, saves time, cuts down on laundry—all while looking cute and fashionable at the same time.

Parks, Recreaction and Tourism sophomore Emily Seropian, who balances work, a full course load, WoW training and homework, says dressing to exercise is the most practical option for students like herself.

“As college students we are just going through our day,” Seropian said. “We’re busy people and we sometimes don’t have time to get dressed up and then change completely into workout clothes.”

Seropian says she often wears clothes that are appropriate for all her activities throughout the day —work, class, and the gym.

The winning outfit? Cute gym clothes.

And Seropian is not alone.

Business administration sophomore Amanda Matteson works at the Cal Poly Recreation Center’s front desk five times a week and says she sees students stopping by after class already prepared for a workout sesh.

“The majority of people who walk in the door are already in their clothes,” Matteson said. “I definitely see a lot of people in gym clothes with their backpacks on.”

It’s ok to dress with a purpose

After taking a quick poll, the majority of students interviewed said it is okay to wear gym clothes to class.

Leah Stamer, mathamatics sophomore, cross country runner and a member of the Cal Poly Triathalon team, was one of the students interviewed.

“That’s what I love about Cal Poly,” Stamer said. “It’s totally okay to wear workout clothes to class. Especially because there are so many cute workout pieces out there.”

Stamer loves Nike brand, especially the Nike Shorts. Stamer says her love for Nike shorts started in high school and has continued here at Cal Poly.

“They’re lightweight, breathable and they have ‘Nike Dry Fit’ built into them, so when you sweat, it’s not uncomfortable,” Stamer said.

Stamer is the proud owner of 30 pairs of these shorts, and says she isn’t the only one who loves the shorts.

“(Nike Shorts) are popular here at Cal Poly,” Stamer said. “And I can tell because I always look around and see new colors and think ‘Ooh I want that color,” Stamer.

Functionality aside, Seropian says Nike shorts are great to wear because of the variety that is out there.

“They are fun,” Seropian said. “They come in so many colors and they spice up the average workout outfit. For example, I have these bright red shorts that I love.”

Besides the Nike shorts, Seropian says yoga pants are also her favorite — for both the classroom and the gym.

“You can wear them to class because they are just as socially acceptable as jeans,” Seropian said. “And then they are also perfect for the gym because they’re comfortable and easy to move in.”

And, Seropian says, they can be worn with anything.

“You can wear yoga pants and a cute top,” Seropian said. “But then they can also go with a comfy top, sports bra and running shoes. All of these are acceptable to wear to class and the gym.”

Seropian swears by yoga pants from Victoria’s Secret, and Matteson says lululemons are also popular.

One final reflection

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Dear readers,

Today marks the two-week countdown to the beginning of summer and therefore the end of the quarter. This end to the quarter, however, doesn’t mean an end to this blog.

We come bearing good news.

Although we won’t be posting weekly, SLO Style Watch has every intention of continuing. But more on this later.

Because the end of the quarter is upon us, we’ve decided it’s time to have another self-reflection— on our past performance and a look into the bright future.

Over the last eight weeks, we’ve hit the streets of SLO, consulted fashion experts and discovered new companies to watch. We’ve experimented on our writing styles, storytelling abilities and site’s design.

And we’ve found the perfect balance.

And we know this because of our readers. SLO Style Watch is close to 600 views and has returning viewers from all throughout the United States, France and Canada. SLO Style Watch has also received a constant stream of viewer feedback in the form of comments and fellow fashion blog followings. This is something we never dreamed of achieving.

Because of this viewer interaction, SLO Style Watch would like to continue blogging.

And we are thinking bigger.

After studying web-based journalism for the last eight weeks, SLO Style Watch realizes that blogs catering to a specific niche audience are more successful. But also, we feel that expansion is good. And here is how:

Because a departure from SLO is inevitable this summer, we will continue blogging from the road. We will be covering fashion trends wherever we go. And that means some place very exciting.

Italy.

SLO Style Watch will be spending four months in one of the memorable fashion countries in the world. Now how’s that for style watching?

So readers have no fear — SLO Style Watch wants to continue doing what we’ve been doing. We also want to expand our audience. Tagging and word of mouth is the best way to do so, and audience numbers will continue to be something that we will constantly be working on. 

Handmade clothing company brings new flare to SLO

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Amongst the hustle and bustle of the weekly San Luis Obispo Farmers’ markets, one booth stands out from all the rest.

Positioned in front of the Pillow Pets store on Higuera is Phil Hurst and his handmade T-shirt business Genuine Stolen.

With a handmade cart that towers over many of the booths, the makeshift display features vintage T-shirts and trucker hats— all made by hand.

Hurst is the designer and printer of these one-of-a-kind shirts.

Hurst began printing T-shirts in 2009 while studying at Cal Poly. Over the three years since then, Hurst has evolved his single screen print, which he was working on at his kitchen table, to a growing small business.

Using artwork and designs from himself, his friends and the public domain, Hurst produces T-shirts that are bright, quirky, different… and very popular.

Genuine Stolen’s booth has a constant flow of curious market-goers. SLO Style Watch was fortunate enough to get an interview with Hurst, and we were able to learn about the beginnings, inspiration, and history of the brand that is Genuine Stolen.

Owner and creator Phil Hurst (right) and friend “Big Sean” (left) with Genuine Stolen’s first T-shirt design. Big Sean was the inspiration for the t-shirt.

The danger of paying by popularity

Times are changing. With a growing number of consumers turning to the web to get their news, the journalistic realm is forced to change with the times. Media outlets and journalists alike are charting new territories. One trend online journalism has seen is judging journalists based on their popularity. Many sites get paid “per click” on a website by advertisers. In other words, the more page views a site recieves, the more money the writer or news source gets.

This idea makes sense— however, it can lead down a dangerous road. In an article published in Big Lead Sports outlining USA Today’s plan for page view pay, a flaw to this model is stated. If a journalist is judged, and therefore paid, based on their popularity, journalists are more likely to focus on what is most attractive, popular and interesting to the majority of the population. The article goes on to state:

The goal, obviously, is to get writers thinking digital. But once writers start scrutinizing their page view tallies, and realize slide shows, rumors, and celebrities drive traffic, what will be the impact?

Sure, prominence is a factor in determining what makes news, but the majority of the popular and appealing gossip and celebrity rumors are not always newsworthy. The lives of reality TV stars and athletes may be attractive, but does that mirror what is going on in the rest of the world? Not really. News should help society stay current and informed so they can be aware of the world around them and make informed decisions. If journalism becomes a field where a journalist’s salary depends on popularity, reporting and news coverage may become selective or even biased. Journalists should not be paid for their popularity, but by their ability to thoroughly and accurately report on issues and events to the masses.

Dress to impress (and for success)

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Business Management senior Sarah Tjepkema began the search for her dream job in September of her senior year.

She started by sending out five initial resumes—but she didn’t stop there.

During her winter break and through the winter quarter, Tjepkema built her profiles on sites such as Monster, Career Builder and Mustang Jobs, attended Cal Poly’s Career Fair, and attended networking sessions and on-campus interviews.

By the beginning of March, Tjepkema had applied to 71 different jobs and had a total of 31 interviews with 25 different companies.

Three weeks later, she was in the final round of interviews for six different companies.

She was traveling to Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Santa Maria and was interviewing with vice presidents and human resources directors from across the nation.

Of those six companies came four job offers. Of those four offers, Tjepkema landed her dream job with Pepsi in San Diego.

Tjepkema found success. She went into the corporate world and conquered.

One of her secrets?

She dressed to impress.

Continue reading

Shops at Target

Sunday, May 6 marked the premier of Target’s newest collection, Shops at Target. According to an article written by Justine Griffin for SunSentinel.com, Shops at Target is unlike any of the solo-designer collections Target has featured in the past. Instead, five specialty boutiques from across the nation have partnered with Target to create one unique collection.

Shops at Target features the Conneticut-based housewares company Privet House, the Colorado-based body care company Cos Bar, the Boston-Based specialty dog store Polka Dog Bakery, San Francisco-based treat shop The Candy Store, and the Miami-based clothes boutique The Webster.

Why is this new collection important?

According to Target’s Press Release,

Shops at Target marks retailer’s latest evolution in affordable design.

This new collection is focused on high quality design, but at prices for the average shopper. (And that definitely means those on a college student-budget)

The clothing aspect of this collection, The Webster, comes straight from the boutique’s designers, just minus the hefty price tag.

The Webster collection features trendy clothes for men, women and children. The styles focus on summertime clothing that include dresses, jacket-and-shorts combos, and beachwear and tote bags.

According to the article,

the Webster Collection will have a Miami vibe, and some items will incorporate Miami Beach Art Deco district looks.

Not only is The Webster’s collection fashionable for the summertime, but also the prices are reasonable. According to the article, all the clothing and accessories range from $7.99-49.99

According to the article, Shops at Target are available at Target stores and Target.com throughout the nation, and last for six weeks or until supplies last.

So Shops at Target is another way to dress for summer without breaking the bank.

How to shop resale

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One of the most gratifying feelings a penny-pinching college student can experience is knowing they got the most bang for their buck —especially while shopping.

It’s always a happy day when you get a killer clothing piece without spending your weekly (or monthly) food allowance.

Tight wallets turn college students into bargain hunters who always have their eyes peeled for those red clearance tags. Unfortunately, limited funds mean a limited selection.

All too familiar, right?

Don’t take it the wrong way, great bargains can be found on the sale rack, but discounts are unpredictable, and selections can be very limited.

But what if there were places that have fashionable clothes for a fraction of the price —all the time.

Two words: Resale shops.

A resale store is an umbrella term used to describe a shop that sells pre-owned clothing.

There are many sub-categories of second-hand shops, with the most familiar being consignment stores and thrift stores.

Now, many can be weary of buying and wearing pre-worn clothes, but shopping at resale stores have many benefits.

Kristen Melancon, sales associate of the consignment store Retrofit, says shopping at resale stores is great for college students, especially in a town like San Luis Obispo.

(Shoppers) are able to find pieces that are one-of-a-kind that people aren’t wearing,” Melancon said. “When you walk around downtown, especially in a town the size of this one, you get a lot of repeats because you only have a small amount of commercial retail stores.

Who: Hannah Corry
Favorite resale find: Green A&G pants
How much: $20
Where: Buffalo Exchange,Santa Barbara

Child Development sophomore Hannah Corry agrees, and says she sees resale stores as a sale rack, but with character.

“Shopping at consignment stores is a way to find things nobody has,” Corry said. “When you get something from a second-hand store, it is something that is rare, vintage and is a lot more cheaper.”

To shed some light on this subject, SLO Style Watch hit the streets to find the best tips for resale shopping.

1. Be open to the possibilities

One of the most important things while second-hand shopping is keeping your mind open, Melancon said.

“You never know what you can make an outfit of,”Maloncon said. “Something may look silly, but it can be a really great piece if paired with the right thing.”

2. Shop often

The greatest, most exciting aspect of second-hand stores is the constant circulation of clothes. New arrivals are added whenever a store receives new items.

According to the article “How to be stylish in pennies,” Monday is the best day to shop because people are more likely to clean their closets on the weekends.

3. Don’t get discouraged

Since merchandise is ever changing, don’t be discouraged if you don’t find anything you like the first time around.

Shopping is a different experience every time, Corry said.

“It can be hit or miss because everything is ever-changing,” Corry said. “You might go there one day and not find anything, but you could go the next day and there’s a great selection.

4. Examine carefully

Since the clothes have had a previous home, articles are more likely to have experienced some wear. To ensure you are putting your money into a piece that will last a long time, inspection is necessary.

Journalism senior Karlee Prazak says she inspects her potential purchases when in the fitting room.

“I grab everything that I would be interested in,” Prazak said. “Then while I’m trying on the clothes I ask, ‘Ok is it a little too worn in’, ‘Do these jeans have too many holes in them?’”

A personal critique

Hello readers! Today marks the sixth week of SLO Style Watch, and the half-way mark of the quarter. So in honor of this important milestone, a little reflection is in order.

This blog began as a class assignment, and I expected the audience to be composed of strictly classmates and my instructor. But I have been happily mistaken. The word of mouth is a wonderful tool, and after casually mentioning this blog to classmates, coworkers and roommates, this blog has gotten a lot of visits. But I would like to expand this blog’s audience.

And that means: Promotion.

After this post, my goal is to promote SLO Style Watch to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. By “inviting” friends on Facebook to click into the site or provide a link in the tweet, curious mind will (hopefully) pay a visit.

I also am very pleased with the amounts of feedback I am receiving: both from fellow classmates and other fashion blogs. The most popular post to date has been “Ode To Headbands.” Although it was lengthy, I feel the number of pictures and the interactive sideshow kept the readers hooked until the end. Therefore, I will try to incorporate more pictures and visual components into my posts.

On a more technical note, I feel it important to critique my writing. In every post, I try to be conversational and compelling. Short, stand-alone sentences are frequently used to emphasize a point or add a little humor. Style is a fun topic, and I try to convey that in my tone.

I am very passionate about this subject, and my posts show it. In the last two posts, I have gone over the 500 word limit. I have received feedback on this subject, and I am practicing tight writing.

So from this moment forward, I will be focusing on:

  • Promotion: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and tags
  • More Pictures: Try to add more sideshows and/or visual components
  • Tighter writing: Stay close to 500 words
  • Audience interaction
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