Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Closet Prepster?

Though fads and fashions go in and out, there is one style that I've found to be relatively constant: prep. Casey of TeenFashionista seems to highlight her own preppy style a lot, and I've found that though it's sometimes hard to grasp the fashion behind Hollister, the prepster style has a lot of staying power and a lot of classic elements. Though "preppy" style may often be driven by what is sold in "preppy" stores like Abercrombie, American Eagle, Hollister, and the like, there are a few pieces in those stores that tend to be fairly constant. A polo shirt, for example, can be defined as either a classic top that anyone can wear, or a holy grail object for an uber-prepster.

One thing I've found as a petite person (5'2") is that it's often hard for me to find sizes in stores that are small enough for me. A lot of my friends chide me because I complain about being very small, saying that there are worse things in life. I suppose I don't really mind being skinny. But if you took a normal-sized young woman and imported her image into Microsoft Word, then I would be what results from dragging one of the corner tabs while holding "Shift." For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking basically means that proportionally, I'm normal sized. It's just that I'm shrunken...width-wise and length-wise. This creates a problem when I enter stores with the mindset "just look for the smallest size available," and when even XS sometimes doesn't quite make the cut. Jeans are a humongous pain, so this summer I haven't worn a single pair of jeans, instead opting for skirts and dresses. But while I can revel in the fact that by many standards I might be considered skinny, it comes with a pretty negative drawback.

You're probably wondering what in the world those two ideas have anything to do with each other. Well, I wanted to introduce you guys to some of the places that I often frequent for casual wear that fits my petite frame: Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch. By all means, you have every right to groan and look away from this post. But it's not as if I frequent those stores and come out with stocks of tight-fitting tees that proclaim "California 1968" in huge white letters, or shorts that live up to their name a little too much. Instead, I browse their sale sections every once in a while, looking for some cute, casual tops that could easily be dressed up or dressed down. Plus, the sizes at Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch are made for...what seems to be very small people, so the idea that I can buy a size Small in something is pretty revolutionary!

Let's start with Abercrombie:

This tank top seems more to me like something you would find while perusing the racks at Urban Outfitters. It's not Anthropologie or Free People material, but still, for $12.90 it's not a bad tank to have. What I like is that the plaid gives it an edge, which allows you to echo the plaid trend that's been seen on pretty much everyone's shorts...without having to get plaid shorts of your own. I would probably wear this with a black cardigan and any bottom that isn't cutoff, just to make sure the plaid doesn't go in a "farmer" direction

I suppose that this pair of khaki shorts doesn't really have anything cool going for it, but personally I think that a pair of khaki shorts is an essential to have this summer. Personally, I like to dress up a little more than the average person and the T-shirt/jean cutoff shorts combo isn't really for me. What I like about khaki shorts is that you can wear a cardigan with them, a button up with them, or even a casual T-shirt with them, and they look very put-together. The reason I chose to feature this pair is that I've actually had a lot of trouble looking for a new pair of khaki shorts myself that's within my budget (these are only $18.90!). Plus, they come in size 00 :)

Let's move on to Hollister. Technically, Hollister is the "high school" to Abercrombie's "college," but I usually don't see much of a difference in the clothing between the two stores. But more on that later.

This t-shirt, which comes in navy and white (I loved it so much I had to show both) is a great casual piece with a little bit of extra pizzazz. NOTE: It took me at least three tries to get the right combination of zzzzzz's. I like that at first glance, it doesn't seem like something one would find at Hollister. They actually had a heather grey version which I adored, but sadly it's out of stock. I'm really not sure which one of these colours I would rather have...on the one hand, the white goes more seamlessly with the lace, but on the other hand the white is probably pretty sheer and I don't really want to be bothered with wearing a tank top underneath...decisions, decisions. Anyway, if you feel like rocking this tee with flavour you can pick it up for only $12.90.

This tank is a simple, casual tank that looks like it could last you a while. It doesn't really echo any recent trends, and it isn't ridiculously revealing like some of the tanks you see on sale today (which are, apparently, for "layering"). It's got a little bit of menswear-esque stripes, a little bit of flowers, and a lot of style. I was seriously considering getting this until I found...

...another tank! This one is cut in the same shape as the previous one, but it looks so much more stylish! Well, to me at least. Somehow, the first tank legitimately looks like something that could be found at Hollister. But the second tank looks like I could have picked it up from Anthropologie! Both of the tanks are each $19.

Like I said before, there isn't much of a difference between Hollister and Abercrombie. In general, Abercrombie tends to be more expensive and have more "adult" clothes, but in terms of their sale section they've been looking more and more similar these days.

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