Tired of Mall Store Trends? Here's Your Alternative!

There’s nothing wrong with the mall. It’s where the vast majority of Americans do their shopping, after all, and there are many good reasons for doing so: everything is in the same place, its convenient and there are always ongoing sales.

But let’s be honest, if you are into style and great clothing, the mall often lets you down. It might be great for the basics, but ultimately, no one wants to dress in tired, repetitive clothes that look exactly the same as everyone else’s.

The good news is that there has never been a better time for American fashionistas to find alternatives, and we’re going to take a look at some of those different options - so read on to find out more.

 Imports

Thanks to the Internet, we all have the power to buy from anywhere in the world these days. That means you aren’t restricted to local trends and fashions - you can tap into the styles of any country or city on the globe. Yes, it will cost you a little more in delivery and - possibly - import taxes. But if you love those Japanese denim jeans, it can often be cheaper to buy them directly from an online store in Tokyo and ship them over than it would be to buy the same pair from your local independent clothing store.

 

Boutiques

Independent stores give you an opportunity to find clothes that you might not find anywhere else.  If you want to expand your wardrobe, so it includes unique pieces, it’s one of your best and most accessible options. There are online clothing boutiques, and you’ll find real world independents in the trendy areas of every town and city in the country. They are worth supporting, too - most local boutiques rely heavily on a loyal following from their communities.

 

Thrift and vintage stores

My absolute FAV.....

Want to get more bang for your buck? Then head to your local thrift or retro store and start developing relationships with the owners and store staff. You can often spend hours looking in thrift and charity stores without finding anything nice at all, but if you start talking to the staff, you’ll find they will be happy to keep some of the good stuff for you. And here’s another top tip - head out to charity stores in the wealthier areas of your town or city. Some of the clothes and accessories that people hand over are incredible, and you can pick them up for next to nothing.

 

Get busy

Of course, there is another way to improve your current wardrobe without visiting a clothing store at all. If you can get handy with a needle and thread, why not start customizing your current gear? There is plenty of inspiration and tutorials online and in books, so get reading, learn how to customize, and you will be able to imprint your unique style on any item of clothing you currently own.

 

Do you have any tips to add? Let us know about them in the comments section below!


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How To Pull Together The Perfect Outfit At The Last Minute

It’s happened to the best of us, hasn't it? We’ve gotten home from work eager to curl up on the sofa, order in, and catch up on our current Netflix obsession when disaster strikes! The horror of horrors, you get a friendly text reminding you about after work drinks, a friend's surprise party, or a cozy dinner with the in-laws and although you pretend you haven’t forgotten you totally have!


What’s The Occasion?

Figure out what event you’re supposed to be attending tonight and if you’ve received an actual invitation check that for any sign of a dress code. Next, consider the venue. Is it likely that jeans and a t-shirt will be out of place at an upscale restaurant downtown? More than likely yes, so shelve the hoodie and think about dresses, top and skirt combos or a dressy top, heels and smart jeans. Likewise, you don’t want to turn up at your nephew's sixth birthday party wearing a fur stole and maxi dress, so a cute top and skirt or a pretty casual day dress with flats is ideal.


Pick Out Items Accordingly

The best way to avoid a last-minute panic is to group clothes, not by style or color, but by occasion so all your casual, dressy and formal dresses are in one area, t-shirts, strappy tops and blouses are in another and shirts, skirts and trousers are somewhere else. That way, if you’ve been invited somewhere all you need to do is go the the correct area of your closet and pick out clothes that match the weather, venue and your personal style and off you go! Let’s assume you didn’t quite manage to accomplish this remember what you’ve worn to similar occasions previously and go along those lines. For most semi-formal occasions you can’t go wrong with a little black dress, smart jacket, or full length coat and a pair of classic navy or black heels.


Mix And Match Accessories

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These are what tie an outfit together so think carefully about colors, styles, and necklines. For instance, if you’re wearing a top with an intricate pattern or detailed neckline you’d do better to keep necklaces straightforward and elegant but if your outfit’s quite plain, then you can bling it up by wearing statement jewelry.

Those with certain allergies may find that hypoallergenic plastic earrings are less likely to irritate the skin while still looking beautiful. Choose accessories that aren’t too fiddly to get on because you don’t really have time to be messing around with delicate silver bracelets. Match your jewelry to your skin tone for better effect; warmer skin tones prefer the bronze colors of gold jewelry, while cooler skin tones compliment silver pieces, but of course it’s entirely up to you.


Be One Step Ahead

When this process works correctly you don’t need worry about being late! While in the shower be thinking about what to wear, lay your clothes out while mentally comparing jewelry and shoes to the dress, and while dressing, consider what makeup look you’re going for. By always being one step ahead you can mentally prepare yourself to make decisions quickly and on short notice.


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Why I Love These Fashion Ideas For 2016

There has been a lot of interesting to styles to come out of the last twelve months or so. As we’re nearing the end of 2015, I’m already thinking ahead to 2016. We’ve all seen what the catwalks are predicting for the next year, but But the street style I've been seeing lately- baby.... will give the catwalk a run for it's money. For me, I just love to people watch and check out what everyone else has to wear.

 

What I’ve been seeing has surprised me from time to time. There have been a lot of retro looks about this last season. The eighties revival has been revived yet again. Whether that’s to do with the hype for ‘Back To The Future’ or not, I don’t know. This time around looks a lot closer to the genuine styles of the era. The stone washed denim look has been done better for a start.

I’ve also seen a few hints of Victorian creeping into women’s blouses. The high necks and even the re-emergence of camay brooches have made this look really classy. Modest wear has been around for a little while now, but seeing the Victorian version of this make a mini-comeback has been interesting. I think it looks incredible for those of us that are quite tall and slim. I hope to see more of it next season in the colder weather.

Image: http://www.whowhatwear.com via http://carolinesmode.com/stockholmstreetstyle/

Of course, modest dresses for women are becoming more popular too, especially as our culture becomes more diverse. I love the length and graceful lines of these outfits and it’s the choice of fabric that makes these appealing to people. I’ve been looking at the range of fabrics coming out at the moment. They are more varied, and hold shape better than standard polyesters and cotton.

Image: http://inayah.co.uk/modest-islamic-clothing-fashion/2015/1/6/modest-new-arrivals

I’ve recently fallen back in love with tribal-inspired prints. The brilliance and vibrancy of the colors are what really appeals. I can’t get enough of all the shapes in the pattern either. It doesn’t matter what body shape you are. It seems the patterns are perfect for everybody. I’ve put the wild prints with muted pastels, and it worked beautifully. It’s a great way to get a future iconic look!

Image: http://www.thekashonnafiles.com/fashion/boldprintsandpastels

 

The beginning of next year is set to be quite exciting if the catwalks are anything to go by. I’m loving how vibrant next season’s colors are going to be. Burnt oranges are making way for plum purples and cherry reds. I hate a dull and drab winter, so I’m excited to be filling it with such bold colors. I’ve also spotted some amazing electric blues in knitwear. Perhaps that’s something for me to get hold of and layer up with later.

 

I’m happy to be see so many unique styles out on the streets at the moment. It’s very promising for an exciting fashion-filled 2016. What have you seen where you are? Here’s to hoping for even more incredible style breakthroughs for the New Year.


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8 Ways to Amp Up Your Style for a Special Occasion

Got a special occasion coming up? Well of course you want to look as stylish as possible for it. Personally, I love to make more of an effort for a special occasion, and I'm going to show you how I do so using 8 techniques... so keep reading and I hope you find them useful.

The Kashonna Files Special Occasion dress

1. Try A New Hair Style

I love trying out new hairstyles when I have a special occasion coming up. I like watching YouTube tutorials and practicing beforehand, so I know exactly how to get my hair right on the day (perfectionist... I know). Sometimes, I'll even go to a hair stylist if what I want is a more difficult hairstyle to achieve, but most of the time I do it myself.

 

2. Experiment With Your Makeup

Trying out new makeup is one of the best things I love about going out! I like to have bold lips sometimes, and daring eyes other times. Occasionally I’ll do both, but I’m always careful that it doesn’t look ‘too much’. I love contouring too, as it helps me to shape my face perfectly!

From a beauty photo shoot I did... I love purple hues because they really pop on my skin.

From a beauty photo shoot I did... I love purple hues because they really pop on my skin.

3. Wear Eccentric Accessories

Eccentric accessories will help make an outfit stand out. I like wearing different jewelry, like ear cuffs and my favorite 14k gold bangle bracelet. Sometimes I’ll use a unique bag, or shoes with funky detailing. Statement rings and necklaces are great too. I make sure my accessories look right with the whole look though, not just the outfit I’m wearing. For example, if I have my hair up, then statement earrings are a must!

 

4. Dress For Your Shape

We all look fabulous when we know what suits us. Every body shape is different, and you’ll no doubt have body parts you love. Show them off! If you have wide hips and a small waist, show it off with a waist belt. If you love your legs, then wear a mini skirt. Show off the bits you love and forget about the things you don’t.

I LOVE my legs so of course I like to show them off by wearing skirts and shorts with heels!

I LOVE my legs so of course I like to show them off by wearing skirts and shorts with heels!

5. Have Something Made 

If you want to look extra special for this occasion, you can have something made for you. Go to a tailor and explain exactly what you want. You can create the dress or outfit of your dreams this way!

 

6. Treat Yourself

Treat yourself to a few salon treatments to compliment your look. Have your nails done. Go for some lash extensions. You’ll feel great/ look great and it’ll show!

 

7. Pay Attention To Small Details

Smaller details include things like the pattern on your shoes, and even details on your nails. Having an eye for detail will make all the difference to your look.

 

8. Own It!

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you own it! When you feel good and confident about yourself, it’ll show. You’ll look great in pictures and to everyone you meet. Even if you’re not usually a confident person, just fake it until you make it honey!


I hope you try out these 8 techniques and love them as much as I do. Leave a comment with your thoughts and any extra tips below!