Out with the Old and In with the New!

geriatricfootwear1By Whitney Hall

You do not need a retirement fund, senior citizen discount, or AARP membership to access the next hottest trend. Geriatric footwear is an oldie but goodie that Austinites are clamoring for. Skimpy stilettos and dainty ballet flats are a thing of the past, comfortable and clunky are where it’s at. 

geriatricfootwear2Unsure of where to find your pair of clunkers? Check out Easy Spirit for a pair of little tennis shoes or Naturalizer or Clark’s for a sturdy pair of Mary Jane’s. For a more economically friendly approach, simply raid a grandparents’ closet!

Careful not to get too carried away with the trend. Balance youth and age by pairing Mary Jane’s with sheer tight and a skirt or shortsgeriatricfootwear3 above the knee. Light, leather Easy Spirit tennis shoes pair well with jeans and a simple t-shirt and let you move through the supermarket with ease.

For you next shopping trip, just remember: out with the new and in with the old!

A Little Flash That Ended in a Crash

By Magali Castaneda

20sStrength. Independence. Women grabbed the future by the balls and made things happen in the 20’s. It all started with one badass lady, Susan B. Anthony. She dedicated most of her adult life to women’s rights and it paid off! August 18, 1920 the 19th Amendment was passed which granted universal women’s suffrage. We were allowed to vote! Then, in 1921 the first Miss America was crowned, a sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman.

These events empowered women to make changes in other parts of their lives. 20s4They started to think of themselves as equals to men. At this point women were already allowed to attend college but were restricted to majors like home economics, you know, why we ALL go to college now. Ladies’ thoughts were now consumed with a new reality, if you will; she could have a career and support herself. Women began wearing different things, dancing, showin’ a little leg, makin’ a little love… maybe, I don’t really know about that last one. The 20’s was an era of flappers and flappers were the personification of how women were feeling. They wore flashy dresses with no defined waists, smoked cigarettes out of fancy sticks to keep it classy, drank as much as they pleased to keep it trashy and danced the night away to jazz, heathens, I tell ya!

20s2Coco Chanel was the epitome of a woman in the 20’s, she created a fashion house that still stands today based on silhouettes that were non-constricting. So, you can thank Chanel for getting rid of corsets! Then, this era took an unexpected turn with the stock market crash of 1929. Postwar prosperity was over and the outlook of America’s future was steep. This resulted in high unemployment, for men in particular and kicked off The Great Depression.

As I read through pages and pages of the 1920’s I felt like I could relate to all of it. I remember 2008 and 2009 and how my friends’ parents were unemployed and going through rough times. Once again America’s faith in the future was close to gone. 20s3We have all gone through similar but miniscule experiences of what happened in the 20’s. I’m an educated woman, I don’t plan on making dinner for anyone but myself in the next 5 years and if I want to run for the Miss America pageant, I can, even though I’m Mexican American. And contrary to popular belief, I was born in America. I wonder how many of us would’ve made it had we been born in that era? Now, we live our lives with no restrictions and women and men are allowed to do whatever their hearts desire. If they want to be stay at home dads, they can do it, if women want to be single until their 30’s they can do that. We can thank the ballsy women of the 1920’s for pushing social norms and giving us things we now take for granted, like voting! 😉20s5


  http://www.cmt.com/sitewide/assets/img/shows/miss_america/miss_america_moments/1921_GormanWin01-x365.jpg (Miss America kisses)

Prosperity and its Demise. (2013). America’s best history. Retrieved from http://www.mentormob.com/learn/i/1920s-playlist-3/americas-best-history-us-history-timeline-1920-to1929


The 1920s: Lifestyles and Social Trends: Overview. (2013). American decades. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3468300881.html

 http://upchucky.us/JukeCity/RoaringTwenties/Flappers.jpg (Dancing Flappers)

 http://viliflik.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/coco_chanel.jpg  (Chanel smoking)

 1920’s Fashion: Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich and more Style Icons from the Era. (2013). Huff post style. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/1920s-fashion-coco-chanel-_n_3293425.html


Please Don’t Kill the Hipster

By Preston Blackburn

When a daughter stares deep into her father’s eyes, she hopes that he sees her not only badboy1as his little girl but also as a young woman. However, that twinkle she so desperately searched for within her father’s gaze is missing and she wonders if she has not earned his approval. Her boyfriend is coming over for dinner and she’s anxious to confirm if her suspicions are correct. Does her father hate her boyfriend? He seems nice enough; however, there was that one time he pulled up to her house on a Suzuki Boulevard S40 motorcycle. He threw his cigarette butt in her mother’s azaleas and jokingly slapped her father’s butt as they talked about football. Her previous boyfriend was a music nerd and mainly dressed in cardigans, cargo shorts, badboy3colorful socks, penny loafers and large, black rimmed glasses with the lenses popped out. But this new guy was different; he was dangerous. He was too cool to comb his hair and he didn’t care if his clothes were designer or from the .99 cent bin on the corner of Austin and 25th. He might have a few warrants, maybe a traffic ticket or two…or twelve but his smile was like birthday cake and she melted every time he walked by. She was over the moody, indie band hipster and she was in love with a man whose talent was avoiding the police. How could her father not like him? He wasn’t a bad boy…just misunderstood.

It was the Best of Times, it was the Worst of Times

By Abbey McNeill

90s2Let’s take a nostalgic trip back to our childhood. I know that this can be somewhat scary and that there may be things from the 90’s you might never wish to revisit, but it is what it is and maybe some time travel would do you well. After all, what’s not to love about the 1990’s? From butterfly clips to scrunchies, revealing belly shirts to jean overalls; what an unforgettable and easily identifiable era. The decade ushered in a collection of memorable trends, pop stars, singer/songwriters and TV shows we all know and love.

90s3If you had older siblings as I did, you may remember all too well riding in the car and having to listen to a painful rendition of N’ Sync, The Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears. Those are things I do not miss, however there were several influential TV shows that made a statement of their time: you know the one’s: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Cosby Show, Full House, Boy Meets World, Family Matters, Friends, Sister Sister, and the list goes on and on. Pop culture had more influence than one would realize at the time. Shows like Sex and the City portrayed a wild mix of fun and flirty with high emphasis on the latest fashion. It was becoming more and more acceptable for woman to be sexy and to display their bodies with contemporary revealing confidence. Teenage actress Tiffani Amber Thiessen was a role model for teenager’s nation wide. TV show, Friends, took comedy to a new level and also had some affect on style of the 1990’s among younger crowds. MC Hammer’s rapid rise to fame contributed greatly to the evolution of hip-hop. And who could forget the beloved Spice girls, a phenomenal global act of the decade. As entertainment progressed it seems like style regressed.

90s4Economically, the country was in great condition and making remarkable advancements technologically, culturally, and socially. In 1991 poverty rate was 10.7% and by 2000 it had declined to 8.6%, which was the lowest it had been since 1959. This bull market produced wealth and turned millionaires into billionaires. Peace, love and prosperity, times were good, so why so grunge? In the early 1990’s people and their style were reacting to the economics downfall of the 80’s. American’s overindulgent nature led to recession, which greatly affected the fashion of the times. Floral print dresses, cargo pants, oversized sweaters, flannel shirts, highwaisted jeans, and outdated logo-fied t-shirts let 90s5teenagers expressing their anti-materialistic philosophy. This fad caught on like wild fire and had gone mainstream in no time, making its way into designer lines on the runway. As James Truman, editor of Details Magazine, put it best, “It’s unfashion. …Grunge is about not making a statement, which is why it’s crazy for it to become a fashion statement. …Buying grunge from Seventh Avenue is ludicrous.”

Boy bands, scrunchies, denim overalls are now a thing of the past, and we have the millennium to thank for that. But keep your high waisted jeans and shorts close because you might be needing them again.

Sea-ing Stripes

By Emily Grantnautical2

The classic Breton striped shirt, a wardrobe staple across the style spectrum.  It started in Brittany, a province found on the peninsula between the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay, which produced many a French sailor (Who What Wear, 2009).  The navy blue and white striped shirt was designed to make sailors stand out from the waves if they were to fall overboard (Gout Taste, 2013).  The original boat-neck shirt had three-quarter length sleeves with 21 navy blue stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories (Gout Taste, 2013). 

Soon, the knit top caught on with the locals of Brittany, and soon after that, Coco Chanel (Gout Taste, 2013).  In a 1917 nautical inspired line, it was featured with flared trousers, which stood in stark contrast to the corseted dresses of the era (Gout Taste, 2013).  In the 1950s, the look graced the silver screen several times over, seen on starlets nautical3such as Audrey Hepburn, Jean Seberg, and even heartthrob James Dean (Gout Taste, 2013).  Since then, the Breton striped shirt has remained an iconic piece that is always in style.  It’s been reimagined time after time, from glittering sequins at Balmain to Prada’s primary colored version, and of course, John Paul Gaultier (In The Seams, 2011). 

The possibilities for the Breton tee are endless, as it can be dressed up or down, and is appropriate in any season.  Olivia Palermo paired hers with an a-line skirt and statement necklace, while Alexa Chung has been spotted in a Breton stripe shirt layered under overalls, for an ultra-casual look (Who What Wear, 2009).  Whether your style is preppy or bohemian, a Breton shirt is an absolute must have, and there’s really no excuse, as they can be found at virtually any price-point.   nautical1 Alexander Wang has one for the low, low price of $270 while for just $11 you can score one at Forever 21.  This fall, pair yours with a toothpick jean topped with a motorcycle jacket for an on-trend look that can’t be denied.  For our more conservative readers, a toggle coat can be substituted, a la J.Crew.  No matter how you wear it, you’re guaranteed to have that certain je ne sais quoi that French sailors have been rocking for generations (Tishgart, 2010).

Work Cited

Gout Taste (2013).  How the French got their stripes.  Retrieved from http://goutaste.com/how-the-french-got-their-stripes/

 In The Seams (2011, July 1).  The classic Breton stripe, a must for summer.  Retrieved from http://intheseams.com/2011/07/the-classic-breton-stripe-a-must-for-summer/

 P Burns. (2012, February 6). Winehouse couture. Retrieved from http://stylewhisperer.wordpress.com/tag/breton-top/

 Tishgart, S. (2010). Gotta have it: Breton striped shirts. Teen Vogue. Retrieved from http://www.teenvogue.com/fashion/summer-trends/2010-07/breton-striped-shirts/?slide=1

 Who What Wear (2009).  Breton stripes.  Retrieved from http://www.whowhatwear.com/look-we-love-breton-stripes/

“Wipe your eyes honey; never let them see you cry”

By Preston Blackburn

30s5Sometimes you can’t foresee when the walls that protect you will crumble. When depending on the one thing that you think remains constant suddenly fails, you’re expected to fix your face, wipe the soot from your clothes, and muster forward without shedding a tear. The people of the 1930s know resiliency all too well and slapping on an unaffected mask while watching your current lifestyle slip through your fingers became their familiar. What do you do when the economy has failed its citizens? The only thing you can do; March towards the light, wave your flag, and achieve greatness even if the cloud of depression becomes too great. 

30sWhile America was experiencing financial insecurity, surprisingly, fashion, technology, and music flourished. The liveliness of jazz music began to transition into swanky swing as the short, flapper hemlines -made famous by Jean Patou- were lowered making streamline silhouettes more desirable. Elsa Schiaparelli was a trailblazer credited as the first to introduce zippers and synthetic fabrics to US fashion. Celebrating a more feminine shape, designers focused on wide shoulders and tiny waists. Concurrently, bias cut dresses became popular and Schiaparelli’s shocking pink became every girl’s dangerous pill. The times were dark and money was scarce but people wanted to feel expensive, so they would dress up in their finest silks and most luxurious cottons and attend a movie, a30s2 play, or simply meet up for dinner.  Full color films were all the rage and the radio became more prominent (America in the 1930s). Art Deco began to hit its peak and literature had a bite so enthralling that many of our classic American stories, such as Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, were written during this decade (Heroes of the 1930s).

Hope is a fickle thing. Everyday, events happen that change your current perspective of the world and you either raise or lower your expectations to prepare for each blow. We, as Americans, put our faith in being indestructible; however, once we had to rely on our own strength, we advanced in ways we never knew were possible. The times of the 1930s may have been dark and tomorrows never promised to be fruitful, but the spirits of our fellow American citizens never burned brighter. It’s because of their sheer desire to press forward; we have 3D and IMAX movies, beautifully tailored bias-cut dresses, and satellite radio in every modern day vehicle. Now in 2013, as we climb out of our biggest recession since the 1930s, we are able to look towards the past to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Wipe your face honey; never let them see you cry.


America in the 1930s. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~1930s/front.html

Heroes of the 1930s. http://life.time.com/#index/0

You Little Sneak

By Magali Castaneda

sneakers3You can wear them casually, you can wear them to work out, and everyone has at least one pair in their closet. No, not underwear, and I honestly hope you own more than one pair. I’m talking about sneakers! It’s probably safe to assume that thieves that enjoy breaking and entering all own a pair of sneakers. After all, they’re called sneakers because of the hushed rubber soles. But before the nickname, came the shoes. They were shoes with rubber soles called Plimsols, catchy name aye? Also, there was no distinction between left or right feet, making it easy for 4 year olds all over the world to be free of judgment. Then in sneakers1892 the Rubber shoe company and the US Rubber Company collaborated on creating a sneaker. You’ve probably heard of them, Keds? When they were deciding on the name, they were stuck between Ved’s and Keds… Yeah, good choice. The next innovation in sneakers came in the early 1900’s and it’s probably safe to say that everyone has owned a pair of these canvas beauties. Converse. Marquis Converse created this high top canvas sneaker and it became popularized in the sport of basketball by Chuck Taylor, who endorsed them. If you wore them now to play a pick up game, you’d probably break your ankles. At this point in the sneaker game, sneakers were very basic and mostly used for sneakers2sports activities. In 1924 a man called Adi Dassler made the first pair of Tennis Shoes for the number one tennis player in the world, Stan Smith. Adidas became one of the most popular sneakers in the world and a couple decades later they became even more popular. A rap group called Run DMC made a song called My Adidas and made arrangements to have Adidas execs come to a show. While they were performing the song, they asked the crowed to show their Adidas and some 3,000 people were wearing the sneakers. Run DMC signed a 1.6 million dollar deal with Adidas and created a line of sneakers. Although Run DMC can be given credit for the popularization of Adidas, only one man can be given credit for wearing sneakers as a fashion statement. Our Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean. He wore them in the movie and kick started the shift from wearing sneakers for sport to wearing sneakers as a statement. Even with sneakers becoming a sneakers4fashion statement, sneaker companies were still using athletes to make their shoes known. Nike, then got their hands on a legendary Rookie. His name, Michael Jackson. Just kidding, Michael Jordan, just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. Michael endorsed Air Jordan’s and if there is an iconic sneaker, this is it. His sneakers have really become a phenomenon, I know guys with no cars that own about every pair. It’s safe to say the sneaker industry isn’t going anywhere, considering all the shoe companies I mentioned are still alive and thriving.




Fact Monster. (2013). The history of sneakers. Retrieved from  http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0932723.html

 McCafferty, H. (2013). The evolution of the sneaker. Swide. Retrieved from  http://www.swide.com/sport-man/apparel/sneaker-history-evolution/2013/9/4



Taralyn, P. (2011). History of sneakers. TimeToast. Retrieved from http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/history-of-sneakers–2