Fashion Inspiration: An Education


When I reviewed An Education last week, I quickly touched upon the movie’s costumes. Since the movie is set in 1961 London, the clothing is reflective of both 1950’s silhouettes and early mod styles. Jenny’s style in particular is fresh and feminine, and as she grows up and learns more about the world, her clothing becomes more sophisticated with richer textures and colors.

The movie’s wardrobe was chic and timeless, especially Jenny’s clothing. Her wardrobe was certainly an object of envy for me, so there’s no reason why young women can’t try to emulate it. That’s why I choose An Education as my first fashion inspiration post- Polyvore sets included!

Look #1: Schoolgirl Sass

As bright and cultured Jenny is, a big part of her identity is that of an English schoolgirl. The preppy uniform is a fashion staple, with its newest reinvention coming from Gossip Girl‘s Blair Waldorf. That’s why pairing a crisp, white button-down with a matching skirt and blazer is no fashion breakthrough. Still, using Jenny’s look as a starting point, I tried to put a little spin on the classic schoolgirl uniform.

An Education- Schoolgirl Sass

Rope Headband- Forever 21 (Canada); Color Blocked Tank Dress- Target; Cardigan- All Saints; Purple Slim Tie- ASOS; Oxford Heels- Aerosoles.

This tank dress is a great alternative to Jenny’s button-down and long skirt, plus the mauve band mimics her red belt. The purple skinny tie adds another pop of color and can worn loosely for a casual look. You can also throw on a comfy gray cardigan. A rope headband is a stylish way to keep your hair off your face. Finally, add some oxford heels to complete the outfit.

Look #2: Bon Voyage


In one key part of An Education, Jenny and David travel to Paris. It’s a trip of a lifetime for her, as it would be for most seventeen-year olds. She does all sorts of fabulous things, all while looking gorgeous in a light purple print dress. It’s a classic look that’s perfect for spring and summer.

An Education- Paris

Dress- John Lewis Women; Sunglasses- Forever 21 (Canada); Flower Stud Earrings- Miss Selfridge; Peep Toe Pumps- ASOS; Gold Watch- Amazon; Locket- Forever 21 (Canada).

The focal point of the outfit is definitely the purple dress, and this one is actually pretty close to the real thing. I picked these cat-eye sunglasses in tortoise-shell which flatters more skin tones than Jenny’s black ones. I love the frames because they’re not extreme cat-eyes but aren’t the ubiquitous wayfarers either. The watch and locket are not overly glitzy, so they compliment the look. I chose the flower studs because they are girly, young, and fresh, and I felt that pearl earrings would be a little costume-y. The peep toe pumps in a creamy ivory have a cute vintage vibe, but don’t compete with the dress.

So what do you think? Did I capture Jenny’s style? Would you like to see more posts like this? Let me know in the comments!

~ Sarah

Less is More

In many ways, I’m your average jeans-and-t-shirt girl: my style tends to be comfy, basic, and low-maintenance. Still looks can be deceiving, because I love shopping. I love the thrill of a good bargain- instant bragging rights. Here are a few of my latest finds:

– Steve Madden Oxfords: $16.99 My friend Eleni described these as a “funky”, and I have to agree. I don’t know about elsewhere, but oxfords were a huge spring trend up in New York. I picked this pair up at a Ross during spring break. “sale” price: $69.95. Win.

– Sundress: $4 I’ve already worn this a couple times, which means it survived through the washer! I bought it in the Bronx, and then found the same brand dress at Ross this summer, for twice the price. (I know, that’s only $8, but still.)

– Nautical Headband: $1The nautical trend is also big for Spring/Summer ’10, and this cute headband (the print has anchors) is an easy way to incorporate the look. I bought it from a street vendor in the Bronx. The original price tag was still attached- $5. (Hey, those $4 are almost a roundtrip subway ride!)

– Cocktail Dress: $14.99

Another item from Ross! Because it’s cotton, this is pretty casual as far as cocktail dresses go, but it’s perfect for summer.

One item that was on my wishlist for a while was a (preferably straw) fedora. Last week my mom and I finally made a trip to Sawgrass Mils, our local mall (and the 6th biggest in the U.S.). Turns out this was a bad idea, because I was way too successful at shopping. It lead to a mini-shopping spree…

First stop: Target, the promised land. To the best of my knowledge, even though Target takes out giant ads in Times Square, the only location actually in New York City is in the Bronx, just a bus ride away. I’m usually too tired/lazy to make the trip, which is probably a good thing. Whenever we go, my mom and I head straight to the kids’ department. I know, it sounds weird, but the clothes are cheaper, fit me better (I’m petite so XL is usually the right size for me), and I like the styles better.

– Tiered Skirt: $9.99I’m glad this style skirt is back, because it makes my inner hippie happy. (For the record, I got the tank top last year for $3 at Dillard’s clearance.)

– Xhilaration Dress: $14.99; $12.00 on saleI officially have nowhere to where this to. Still, once I tried it on, it was love and the dress was coming home with me. The colors are amazing though, which makes the leopard print that much more fabulous.

– Mossimo Dress: $14.99; $12.00 on saleThe plan was to only buy one dress… it didn’t work out. I couldn’t get a decent close-up of the print, but it has paisley and peace signs and it’s adorable. I love the ruffles too. Oh, and the straps are braided- it’s in the details, people.

– Fedora, $12.99 I can’t rock the fedora as well as my friends Alyssa and Vincent, but I’m still pretty happy with it. It’s not straw, but the tan color and decent fabric is probably more versatile in retrospect. I found cheaper ones, but I guess I have a small head or something, because they didn’t quite fit. Which is too bad, because thirteen bucks for a hat seems to be pushing it… then again, baseball caps are ridiculously priced.

You’d think with four new buys, I’d be done. Wrong. My mom (again, I blame her) introduced to me a new store, right next to JcPenny Outlet. Everything in the store is five dollars. That’s right, $5. For my South Florida people, next time you’re at Sawgras, go there! Sure, some of the stuff there is horrendously tacky, but there’s hope. Case in point:

– Chambray Jacket: $5I think this is originally meant to be a chambray shirt, which is just too ’90s for me. I’m wearing it as a lightweight alternative to the once-again-hip denim jacket. It’s also a nice change from the usual cardigan. I wish I had a black floral dress to pair it with, but next time I go shopping, it’ll be thrifting. (After this trip, I’m done buying new clothes until back-to-school season.)

– Denim Skirt: $5

No explanation necessary- it’s your basic tiered denim skirt, by The Limited. And yes, I intend to pair it with tees and tanks. (And I didn’t notice until upload, but it seems the tank here and my room are the exact shade of cucumber/lime green.)

– Tunic: $5

Cute, comfy, and bohemian. It’s all embroidered and the original Sears price tag of $14.99 was still attached. What’s there not to like?

The total cost of my mini-shopping spree? Just under $67, including taxes. On average, that’s less then 10 bucks a piece.

I realize this was an excessively long post, but I have a problem (clearly). I want to hear from you guys though- what are your tips for bargain shopping?

~ Sarah

P.S. Thanks to my brother for taking all of these awkward pictures of me. 🙂