Fall 2019 Staples

Hello, lovely people! 

I have often mentioned how dearly I love my fall wardrobe. My chunky sweaters and denim jackets bring me a sense of joy that can only be matched with a hazelnut latte. Oftentimes my fall attire comes from local thrift stores or items passed down through my family. I find this method of acquiring clothing is much better for the environment and my wallet, and it typically provides me with my favorite clothing. 

Well, friends, here it is. My favorite fall pieces in my closet.

Disclaimer: I will be mainly featuring sweaters. Typically, I wear black leggings or black jeans with each of these shirts, making it incredibly easy to mix and match. 

To kick off this blog, I am featuring two of my most beloved chunky sweaters. Each of these will go marvelously with a vest, sweater, or jacket. Because these sweaters are high-necked, I often layer a necklace on the outside and wear my hair in some form of an updo. I have found that buns or ponytails accentuate my figure when I wear a shirt with a higher collar, and these two sweaters look best when worn with a messy bun and headband. 

Moving on to the lower cut sweaters. 

I will admit, I love stripes. The first piece is a chunky knit sweater with fringe along the edge, which gives it a more “undone” look. Silver contrasts well with this sweater, and I usually find myself reaching for a dainty silver necklace to wear. Because this is a wide-necked pullover, a necklace that falls closer to the collarbone is preferred so that it may draw attention back to the center of the silhouette. I use the same jewelry method for the blue sweater, however, I tend to lean toward gold tones to help make the blue stand out even more. Each pullover falls at my waist, making it easy to accessorize with a black or gold belt. 

To close, some of my favorite jackets come from local thrift stores. I love bargain hunting, and I ended up buying this denim jacket for $12 when it was originally $50. It falls slightly past my hips, and underneath, I often wear cropped sweaters and shirts. As for the black jacket, it has a few tastefully placed rips in it, offering the perfect amount of destruction. I find that it looks best when dressed down with a hoodie or upscaled with a sweater or blouse. I tend to buy jackets that fall at my hips or longer so that my cropped shirts offer a beautiful contrast in length. I own many more denim jackets, but these are my favorites for the fall.

If an outfit is too dark or needs a hint of color, I either add my blue recycled vans or a yellow hat. If I am feeling adventurous, I will complete the look by wearing both. As for a coat, on very cold days I will wear my black waterproof winter jacket which I bought at ASOS. It falls to my thighs and keeps me warm for hours. 

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So far this fall, one of my favorite styles has been a denim jacket, cropped hoodie, and a yellow hat. It kept me warm in the cold winds of Columbus and offered a stylish, comfortable vibe. 

All of the pieces mentioned can be mixed and matched with many combinations of pants or skirts. They can be dressed down with a simple pair of leggings or dressed up with a jacket and some jewelry. I will often wear my denim jackets with flannels or hoodies underneath, as well as my more comfortable sweaters. Summer pieces can be layered underneath as well if it is a warmer fall day.

Thank you for letting me share some of my fall favorites with you all! I hope you enjoyed.

Acoustic Favorites

I make playlists. 

Now, most people create playlists on various platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. However, when I say, “I make playlists,” I mean my Spotify account sports a new playlist at least three times a month. They range from pre-twenty first century genres to modern-day music, and each playlist includes music for everyone.

My playlists are mainly based on a vibe or a necessity for new music. Between the months of October and December, I try to give a softer, acoustic vibe to each playlist I create. 

The purpose of my blog today is to delve into my top three fall acoustic songs and hopefully bring musical inspiration to anyone who may need it. Enjoy!

George Ezra – Barcelona

Image retrieved from Genius Lyrics.

I began listening to George Ezra almost a year ago. His music flows beautifully and offers both spirited tones as well as smoother, more relaxing rhythms. Right from the beginning of the song, “Barcelona” uses a quiet maraca and soft guitar sound to bring listeners a sense of warmth. No more than twenty seconds into the song, George Ezra shows off his smooth voice, and by the time the chorus hits, listeners become accustomed to his deep resonance. “Barcelona” speaks of nostalgia for a person or place, and the quiet acoustics make this a great fall tune. 

The Lumineers – Angela

Image retrieved from Genius Lyrics.

From the fingerpicking guitar at the beginning to the clear vocals at the chorus, “Angela” is easily one of The Lumineers best songs. Every song on their album, “Cleopatra,” asks listeners to reflect on life choices and desires. “Angela” is told from the perspective of a lover watching Angela leave a small town, wondering if there really was more out there. Being from a small town with huge aspirations, this song speaks to me on a personal level. The key changes are hit perfectly throughout this song with the ideal amount of vocal fry added in the chorus. 

Hozier – Almost (Sweet Music)

Image retrieved from YouTube.

A little more upbeat, “Almost (Sweet Music)” by Hozier immediately starts off with a heavy, but not distracting, baseline. With melodies stacked on top of each other, “Almost (Sweet Music)”  seems like it should not work out rhythmically. However, each rhythmic overlap creates a beautiful orchestral feeling for listeners. Hozier pays tribute to the jazz era throughout his song leaving jazz lovers to pick up on references in each verse. 

If anybody needs further inspiration, check out my Spotify account (annaebirk)! 

Enjoy the rainy weather!

Halloween: Costume Edition

Previously, I wrote about the attire of classic Halloween characters and how to flip their clothing into an everyday outfit. 

Well, friends, the Halloween theme has not disappeared. Throughout the week, Athens has seen people of all ages trick-or-treating on each of OUs residence greens, and my favorite costume so far has been a bumblebee, worn by a particularly confident toddler. 

Here in Athens, we outdo ourselves every year with Halloween festivities. Uptown trick-or-treating, a pop-up library, face painting, and more will take place for families throughout the weekend. Activities will carry on later in the evenings for adults, giving people of all ages a chance to dress up and show off their Halloween attire. 

I was planning on keeping my costumes to myself until after I had posted on social media, but I am terrible at keeping secrets. 

All right, friends, let’s take a look at my Halloween costumes for 2019:

Friday Night, F(r)ight Night

This is my take on a boxing costume. Being an increasingly broke college student, finding a replica of Rocky Balboa’s boxing robe was difficult. Instead, I took a hike up to Court St. and went to Uptown Costumes where I bought a plain black robe and fake title belt. From Forever21, I ordered a longer sports bra/tank top, which paired well with the robe. To complete the outfit, I plan on beating the cold by wearing Nike leggings, white Nike socks, and my black Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 shoes. As for my hair and makeup, I am going to do messy french braids (remember, I just got out of a fight), and I will use eyeshadow to create a bruised cheek. 

Saturday Lineup: Travis Scott

Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD album is one for the books and so are his iconic camouflage pants. This year, I brought my purple camouflage pants to college, and Halloween provides a great excuse to wear them. Combined with a cropped orange T-shirt, oversized army jacket, and black boots, this outfit will channel Travis Scott flawlessly. Yet again, I will braid my hair and do minimal makeup to keep it easy and to the point. Being the “extra” person that I am, I will finish off this outfit with yellow sunglasses and a white boat hat.

All right, I am going to plug my Instagram account because I will most certainly be posting the finished products of each outfit. Follow me at @annaebirk to see the final looks!

A quick note to all: please be safe throughout any Halloween festivities. If you see something, say something, and never be afraid to get ahold of a police officer or higher authority figure, if need be. 

Have fun!

De-Stressing in a Stressful World

Stress. It’s a little word that holds immense power over humankind. 

Between midterms, jobs, and a social life, students can be overcome with anxiety and the pressure to do well. For those who are past their young adult years, job and family pressures can often cause immense tension in their lives. 

For the times that the world does become a little too much to handle, it is important to remember helpful coping mechanisms so that all sanity is not lost. 

Image retrieved from Scott Webb on Pexels.com

My favorite way to control my stress level is to hit the gym. Getting your body active also aids the activity of your mind. Personally, a higher heart rate helps bring me clarity and focus. It also releases all of my negative emotions toward whatever I am facing. After a weightlifting or cardio session, I often feel ready to conquer whatever tasks lie ahead.

Image retrieved from The New York Times article, “Yoga to Make You Strong”.

If lifting weights or cardio isn’t your strong suit, another personal favorite is yoga. Today, with all of the different styles of yoga, it shouldn’t be hard to find a class you like. Hot yoga helps to release toxins, while Yin yoga helps to relax your body. The body can harbor tense muscles during times of stress, so being able to stretch and practice constructive breathing can aid in relaxation. 

Image retrieved from “20 Bullet Journal Ideas and Layouts”, a blog post by Joanna Rahier.

Moving away from physical activity, I love to journal. Journaling helps to calm me and organize everything that I am facing in my life. It also grounds me, keeping me from becoming utterly lost in my thoughts. The same goes for lists; I LOVE lists. Any time I can visualize what I have to accomplish, it instantly helps to calm any building anxiety.

Realizing the importance of taking a break – physically and mentally – is a necessity. Hopefully, some of these ideas aid whoever may be reading this post. 

Have a joyous and wonderful week!

A note: Please always remember that if things reach a point beyond your control, there are professionals to help who are often a phone call away.

Modern Hollywood Halloween Fashion

Throughout fall I am often seen wearing oversized bell-sleeve sweaters, ripped jeans, and tan boots. However, for today’s blog, I won’t go into detail about each of my favorite fall pieces – I will save that for another post. Instead, since Halloween is coming up, I am going to dive a little deeper into some of my favorite Halloween movies. More specifically, I am going to challenge myself to stray away from my familiar sweaters so that I can recreate outfits based on iconic Halloween characters. 


Many characters in Halloween or thriller movies have normal people with everyday looks – unless you focus on animated movies such as Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or “The Corpse Bride.” Here are some recreations of a few iconic Halloween-themed movies and shows.

Image Retrieved from fanfest.com

To start off a little tamer, Jamie Lee Curtis offered a subtle yet fashionable ’90s look in the 2018 reprise of “Halloween.” In order to recreate this, I combined my dad’s old button-down shirt with a pair of black ripped jeans. This look can be completed by tying the ends of the button-down shirt to accentuate your figure. Much like Jamie Lee Curtis sprinting to kill Michael Meyers, we, as college students, must sprint across campus to our classes, so a simple pair of tennis shoes will work for this look.

Image Retrieved from The Addams Family Wiki

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, Carolyn Jones’s outfit as Morticia Addams provides an ideal outlet for your darker side. This beautiful black dress and black thrifted jacket make a flawless combination to recreate Morticias’s iconic long, black dress. Slip on a pair of Doc Martens, and this outfit reaches perfection.

Image Retrieved from Amazon.com

Finally, to channel the animated side of Halloween, Tim Burton’s “The Corpse Bride,” offers a stylish yet darker look into Halloween fashion. Emily wears a long white wedding dress in the animated movie. Although it may be odd to wear a wedding dress around campus, a cream-colored sundress, black jacket, and Doc Martens will make this look more subtle. 

Hopefully, these looks brought inspiration into your wardrobe and allowed you to see that fashion can be pulled from just about anywhere!

True Imagination: Clothing Edition

It can be so difficult to restrain yourself when shopping. We’ve all experienced it; you’re walking through the mall – convinced that you won’t buy a single article of clothing – when suddenly a shirt catches your eye. You know what I mean: the shirt that would complete EVERY outfit. The shirt that makes your heart soar. However, it would be shameful to purchase the shirt without a new pair of pants and a new set of sneakers. Before you know it, you’re happily strolling to the car, bags in hand and a hole burned in your pocket. 

That was then, and sadly, this is now. Being college students, we cannot afford this lifestyle. However, in the few hours of sleep that college kids attain a night, we can sure dream. And on the off-chance that sleep does occur, here are the items I hope to wake up to. 


Image retrieved from official Nike website.

Imagine, Cindy Lou Who-esque dreams of sugar plums and fairies, except the sugar plums are the beautiful Nike Air Force 1 Sage Low shoes. However, I am not dreaming of the traditional white color that so many people sport. My attention is drawn to the buttery texture of the orange pair. They are a statement piece, especially with the fall colors. 

Image retrieved from Mytheresa website.

If sugar plums are Air Force 1 shoes, then the fairies are delivering an “Off-White” belt. In all its glory, the “Off-White” industrial belt is not something to wear lightly. With camouflage pants, this belt is THE accessory of dreams. A$AP Rocky would be proud.

Image retrieved from official Versace website.

Roll out the red carpet ladies and gentlemen; this college student’s dream is coming to an end. If I woke up next to these circular Versace sunglasses, I might just have a heart attack. Sitting at over $200, these sunglasses provide the ideal mixture between vintage and upscale. What I wouldn’t give…  

Maybe next time you manage to get some rest, you won’t have nightmares about student loans, but instead, you will dream about your red carpet debut. 

Current September Favorites to Beat the Heat

If you are anything like me, I would skip right over the September heat. Walking five minutes results in a hard-core sweat, which I’m sure nobody finds comfortable. September’s muggy weather prompted me to dig deeper into my limited college wardrobe. What outfits won’t make me look like a wet dog but will still keep me comfortable in the air-conditioning? 

Well, my friends, here are some of my current September go-to’s that fit perfectly into my coffee-shop aesthetic. I hope these become some of your new favorite pieces too!

MOM JEANS, MOM JEANS, MOM JEANS! These jeans are a staple piece in my closet. This particular pair is from Eddie Bauer, and they are quite literally my mom’s jeans. The rips, however, I designed on my own. With a little help from a pair of old tweezers, sandpaper, and a washer, these jeans reached peak DIY destruction. Loose enough to remain cool yet tight enough to stay up on my waist, mom jeans are a timeless piece to anybody’s closet. 

 

The next item in this particular outfit is a top ordered from Zaful. It comes as a two-piece set (the shorts are also striped) and fits like a gem. The orange stripes allow for a fall-like vibe while the cropped aspect provides a great summer-looking contrast. 

For accessories, I added a simple gold necklace and watch. I often try to match my shoes and belt, so to finish it off, I found a brown belt and it paired with Birkenstocks to complete this look. 

Not feeling jeans but want to keep it classy? This beautiful dress from Anthropologie has you covered! The dress looks a tad odd on its own but a bralette and a navy blue tank top underneath is sure to spice up this look.

Typically, I enjoy wearing this dress with a pair of platform heels. However, I prefer not to break my wallet when I shop. Instead of purchasing a $70-plus pair of platform sandals, I stopped by my local Famous Footwear and bought a pair for less than $40! Add a scrunchie, and you’re golden.

Before I leave my dorm, I am always sure to quickly spritz Mario Badescu’s rosewater on my face, as well as a dab Love Beauty and Planet’s coconut-scented lotion on my hands. 

Hopefully, these outfits inspire you to dig a little deeper into your closet and imagination, while keeping the heat in mind!