3 Fashion Career Myths You’ve Got All Wrong

Those of us seeking a career in fashion are often met with criticism about our decided path of life. Parents, mentors, and friends give us their bits of wisdom hoping to deter us from a career many people view as too risky. They have the best intention for us, but they have some of their facts wrong. Below, I cover three of these fashion career myths and the truths that bust them.

PHOTO: Layne Miller

1—The fashion industry is full of shallow people.

This isn’t necessarily true. While there may be some shallow people in this career field, it isn’t different from any other industries. Some people may be in it for shallow reasons, but most people want to make a difference in the field. There are a lot of ethical issues in fashion that still need to be worked on, and many people going into the fashion industry today have goals to change some of those issues. People are focused now more than ever on creating environmentally friendly clothing, changing the working conditions of the manufacturers, and diversifying those who participate in the industry.

2—You have to go to a fashion school to be successful in fashion.

On the contrary, all you have to do to be successful in fashion is have a passion for it and the drive to never give up. Plenty of big-name designers never went to fashion school and in fact majored in something entirely different. Refinery 29 did a short listicle of designers who did not attend fashion school. Some of those designers include Kate Spade, Giorgio Armani, and Chiara Ferragni.

 PHOTO: Amber Sudra

3—It is hard to make a living in fashion.

Isn’t that true of every industry right now? The job market is competitive no matter what industry you are entering so you may as well enter a career field worth being competitive in. Besides, the likelihood of making a living in the fashion industry isn’t really as bad as it seems. In 2016, Fashionista surveyed their readers to find out how much they make on average based on their position. They surveyed people who worked at companies like Prada to people who worked at companies like Macy’s and H&M. Overall, the average salaries wouldn’t leave you living paycheck-to-paycheck, even with NYC’s ridiculous cost of living.

What are some career myths you have encountered? Let us know in the comments below!

Additional photo by Kenia Viezcas.

The History of the Corset and How It’s Trending Today

Corsets have been around since before the Middle Ages. At the beginning of its history, corsets were made of fabric, stiffened by glue, and supported by boning made of whalebone or metal. Women were secured into the corset either by lacing or hooking up the back of the corset or up the front of the corset, sometimes both. The purpose of corsets at the time was to narrow the waist and support the breasts. This created the much desired, even to this day, S-curve or hourglass figure that represents femininity.

PHOTO: Natalie Miller

However, these corsets caused a lot of health problems among women such as frequent fainting due to inability to breathe and displacement of organs as well as infertility as a result of the development of endometriosis.

It wasn’t until the 1920s that corsets began to loosen their form when straight silhouettes became more fashionable. No longer were corsets designed to create the tiniest waist possible. Instead, corsets were designed to flatten the curves on a woman’s chest and hips to create a more boy-like figure.

From there, traditional corsets appeared to slowly lose their following as Spandex shapewear grew in popularity with its promise to subtly mold the body without the discomfort and decreased mobility of previous styles. Corsets were no longer expected of women and began to only be a staple of runway shows and lingerie.

Until recently, only fashion icons such as Madonna and Kim Kardashian could be seen wearing a corset on the street, but with the new structure of corsets today, the trend is beginning to be seen more and more on everyday women.

PHOTO: Natalie Miller

These new corsets no longer attempt to mold women’s bodies into unnatural shapes. Instead, they aim to highlight parts of the body that women feel proud of. The new style prefers looser fits and flowing fabrics over constrictive boning and stiff textiles. The lacing is often seen around the waist of T-shirts and dresses, which can be easily styled with some modern accessories to keep from looking like a historical actor on your way to class. The corset trend has also been popular in the form of belts, which can be added over any basic top or dress to add a little detail and highlight the waist.

Whether this new corset trend will stick around for more than a season or fizzle out when the next trend comes around is hard to tell. Nonetheless, it is definitely a trend to play with as the old fashion staple joins the modern era.

How would you wear the modern corset trend? Let us know in the comments below or show us on social media. Don’t forget to tag @CFashionista!

All photos taken by Natalie Miller.

WHAT TO WEAR: Class Weather Confusion

Orange is the new black and no, I am not talking about the hit Netflix show or our recent change in president. Nope, here I am talking about this Fashionista’s eye-catching coat. Walking down campus walk in the morning, I am usually greeted by a busy sea of black coats and solemn faces on their way to class. Not this Fashionista though. She stood out like an orange flame in a dark hallway.

Her orange pea coat is bright and clearly the focus of her outfit. To make sure her look did not become a busy eyesore, she kept her outfit underneath the coat simple and neutral. She paired a black cable knit sweater over a taupe dress along with black, knee-high socks and a pair of taupe, heeled combat boots. She also decided to keep her accessories simple by merely adding a slouchy, knit beanie to her head. The hat was added more for the look than for the warmth as the warmth of clothing has not really been a necessity this season.

The weather in Virginia has been unusually warm this year so the dress and coat combination work perfectly for class. Typically, students are seen bundled up for their 8 a.m. classes but shed those layers by late afternoon. This outfit balances the weather change out so that this Fashionista can look cute without becoming too hot or too cold all day long. Plus, this look is a little more elevated than the typical jeans and a sweater combo that many people wear to class in the winter.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Winterize Summer Clothes

The cold weather is finally here, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pack away your summer clothes. With some expert styling and a little layering, those summer items can help create cozy winter outfits, like the one this Fashionista is wearing.

From afar this Fashionista appears to be wearing a pretty basic fall/winter outfit: a black and white striped skirt with a turtleneck tucked into it. A closer look at this Fashionista’s outfit reveals that her skirt is actually a dress. She took her sleeveless striped dress and layered a plum turtleneck over it, tucking the turtleneck into a sleek belt that accentuates her waistline and gives that sweater-tucked-into-skirt look she was going for.

To winterize her summer dress even more, this Fashionista added a pair of over-the-knee socks and some black heeled booties to keep her feet and legs warm. She also carries a classic Dooney & Bourke handbag with a yellow furball keychain to add some flair and personality to it. Lastly, she finished this look off with a little arm candy: a gold watch, a gold bow bangle, and a couple of gold rings.

As the temperature continues to fall and more warmth from clothing is a necessity, I suggest swapping the over-the-knee socks and booties for a pair of warm tights and over-the-knee boots, as well as adding a long dress coat that comes to about the length of the skirt to keep the proportions of the outfit right. A dress coat also keeps the outfit classy and not too casual so you can go from work, internship, or class to a nice dinner out with friends.

So before you say goodbye to your favorite summer items, I advise you to experiment with them. See if you can incorporate some of those items into your everyday winter wardrobe.

STYLE GURU BIO: Abigail Whittington

Rachel Zoe once said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” She was right. How a person dresses says a lot more about them in the first 10 seconds of meeting them than words ever can. With that being said, I try to dress for how I want to be perceived by the world, but that changes daily.

My style shifts depending on how I want to tackle the day. If I want to have a relaxed day, I usually sport an oversized sweater, boyfriend jeans, and a pair of flats with natural make-up. If I want to kick my to-do list’s butt, I wear something a little more sleek: a geometric sweater under a black leather jacket with some black leggings and heeled booties and completed with a bold lip.

However, lately I have been experimenting with textures. I love mixing weird textures to create a bolder look, like the one I am wearing above. I combined a pair of faux leather leggings with a pink, velvet camisole that was a little too long for my stature so I half tucked it into my leggings. I threw a blanket soft, furry knit cardigan over my shoulders and slipped on a pair of reliable black booties. I finished my look by adding a few accessories: a starburst choker necklace and a simple, longer necklace as well.

As I go into my second semester as a Style Guru and my first semester as a member of the editorial society, I encourage other Fashionistas and Fashionistos to look for pieces with textures stands out to you. Play with mixing those textures to create a #RAD outfit and use your clothes to show the world who you are for the day.

STYLE GURU STYLE: Sugar Plum Style

It’s my favorite time of the year—the holidays! The next month will be filled with traditions from baking holiday cookies with my mom to decorating the house with my dad, but the tradition I am most excited for is seeing the Nutcracker Ballet with my family at our local theater. I danced ballet for about 10 years so I have a personal connection to the Nutcracker. Plus, it puts me in the perfect holiday mood!

Of course when I am going to see the Nutcracker, I have to look the part. This year I decided put together a ballet-inspired outfit. One of the most distinguishable parts of a ballerina is her giant tulle tutu. I paired this ballet pink one with a basic black sweater that I tucked into the skirt. Unfortunately, it would seem rather odd to wear my old ballet slippers to the Nutcracker when I am only an audience member and not a dancer, so instead I wore a pair of my classic suede pumps. Additionally, every ballerina has to have a little sparkle in her costume so I added my own sparkle by wearing a jeweled statement necklace and earrings to match. Finally, I grabbed my kate spade new york wallet to use as a clutch since it is large enough to hold my phone, keys and tickets for the ballet.

As for my makeup, I wanted to keep my face young and sweet. I started with some light foundation and added blush for youth. I also wanted to create a bit of a frosty look since it is the time of the year for frost and snow, so I went a little heavier on the highlight than I naturally would. I finished my look with classic winged eyeliner and a few coats of mascara for long lashes.

Happy holidays, Fashionistas and Fashionistos!

BEAUTY BAR: Grunge and Glitter

Glitter was a huge beauty trend last season. We saw everything from glitter beards to glitter brows to glitter hair parts and even glitter armpits. Everywhere we went we left a little trail of glitter behind us and we are all still trying to get those little flecks of sparkle out of the nooks and crannies of our living spaces. Glitter never goes away and it still isn’t as we head deeper into the fall season.

I caught this Fashionista on her way to a campus concert. The glitter on her cheeks was what caught my eye. “They are glitter freckles,” she told me as I was snapping her pics. “I thought they would catch the light at the concert and look really cool.”

This Fashionista kept the base of her beauty look very simple with some light foundation, a swipe of brow gel and a few coats of mascara to emphasize her long, luscious lashes. The real focus on her face were the glitter freckles. To secure the glitter to her face, this Fashionista first dotted her face with eyelash glue where she wanted to place the glitter and then she piled the glitter in her hand and then pressed it to her face.

As for her outfit, she kept it a little more classic grunge by wearing a black and white graphic t-shirt with a pair of ripped acid wash jeans tucked into a sensible and stylish pair of combat boots to keep her dancing all night long. She completed the look with a flannel tied around her waist because while it may be hot in the concert venue, the chill can be quite shocking on the walk home from the concert at the end of the night.

However, it was this Fashionista’s beauty look that really made her standout. I anticipate the glitter trend to continue to shock us all through fall and into winter too. Glitter never goes out of style.

STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Mix Tradition With Trend

So often people think they can only wear traditional clothing pieces the way their ancestors wore them. Few people think to incorporate those clothing pieces with modern trends to really make a statement about who you are and where you come from. Mixing these two categories of clothing can be tricky, but it can also make for some unique and noteworthy outfits if done correctly.

This Fashionisto took a risk by combining his traditional Pakistani kurta with some of this season’s biggest trends. For those that don’t know, the kurta is a loose shirt that usually falls somewhere around the wearer’s knees. It is traditionally worn with shalwars which are loose pajama-like pants that are wide at the top and narrow at the ankle. This Fashionisto instead paired his kurta with black skinny jeans and a pair of Levi’s boots made to look similar to the classic Timberland boot that makes its way back into the fall wardrobes of men and women every year.

He also layers his kurta with one of the biggest trends at the moment, a bomber jacket. The bomber jacket hits him right at the hips while his kurta comes down to his knees. This creates unusual proportions that you don’t normally see men rocking unless they are Kanye West or Justin Beiber. However, the best part of this Fashionisto’s outfit is when he turns around. On the back of his bomber jacket is an embroidered tiger with the word “RIYADH,” the capitol of Saudi Arabia, embroidered underneath. This distinct piece of clothing is the perfect statement to complete this Fashionisto’s culture merging outfit.

STYLE GURU BIO: Abigail Whittington

Hey there Fashionistas/os! My name is Abigail Whittington. I am a junior at the University of Mary Washington, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in digital studies. I am also taking a cluster of journalism classes with the hope of being a fashion journalist for a magazine or online publication someday.

My love for fashion developed very slowly. When I was younger, I used to complain about going shopping, especially if it was clothes shopping. Through most of elementary school, I wore a uniform so I didn’t really get a chance to discover my personal style until I was in middle school. With middle school being the time of puberty and awkward phases, you can imagine how cringe-y that was.

Luckily, my mom and I started to watch What Not To Wear and that taught me what silhouettes work best with my body type. We also watched Project Runway which helped me see clothes as more than just fabric on our backs, but more as pieces of wearable art. Because of those shows, I began to actually enjoy shopping and putting outfits together.

One of my favorite places to shop when I was just getting into fashion was the thrift store. It wasn’t because we couldn’t afford clothes from the mall, but the thrill of finding a good deal on a clothing piece that no one else at school would have was undeniably satisfying. Throughout the years, my love for thrift stores grew and I learned to love consignment shops as well—so much so that I even work in one now, and over half of my closet comes from a second-hand store.

I don’t know if I could pin my personal style to one specific category. If I like it, I wear it. One day you might see me in basic denim with a classic, modern top and some pointy flats, but the next day I might be in a peasant dress with lace-up sandals like the outfit I am wearing in the photos. My lace-up sandals have been my go-to shoe lately because they go with both dressy and casual outfits. I also layered a couple of silver necklaces with this dress to make it a little more playful and fun. This outfit easily goes from class to a night out with the girls without making any changes at all.