Monday, November 22, 2010

She's Country

It is finally late fall. Thanksgiving is this week, and there is a lot to be thankful for in the fashion world. We start to see an array of vibrant colors taking over wardrobes as we see vivid reds and deep browns coming to life. We also see fabrics such as tweed, corduroy, and velvet taking center stage. Preps thrive during this time of the year, because we can finally take our classic and basic wardrobes and with an introduction to a subtle wow factor, can make a simple outfit stand out in an envious way.

During this time of the year, I find myself retracing my steps to my childhood days of dress-up. However now, I know the ins and outs of the fashion world. For example, Friday, I was feeling girly. This caused me to pair up a tweed grey mini skirt, a red Tommy Hilfiger cardigan, matching red tights, and basic black oxford heels, with the season's fashionable cashmere Burberry scarf. The scarf gave the classic look something that stood out.

Today, I woke up to blue open skies. This inspired me to add a little twang to my outfit, so I paired a navy and red plaid flannel button down with a navy boyfriend blazer, camel colored corduroy pants, and dark brown knee high leather boots. Prep with a Country twist!

As I have mentioned before, I do some part-time modeling to compliment being a college student. This summer a great photographer and friend of mine, did a few girlfriends and I the favor of shooting a country themed photo shoot on a local farm. A few of the pictures from the shoot are below as inspiration:

Photo Credits:
Photographer: David Lloyd
Models: (left to right in horizontal picture) Allison, Amy, Kerry, and Kalyn (me)

Below is a Country Themed Polyvore that I created with the help of Tommy Hilfiger's Fall 2010 Collection.  One of my favorite pieces from it are the Duck Boots.  Growing up they were popular, and I am thrilled that Tommy has brought them back (with heels).  I have a pair of Duck Boot rain skimmers from this collection, and not only are they fashionable, but extremely practical.  They are rainproof and have great traction, and as a college student, those are key ingredients when looking for shoes!

I greatly encourage you to play up your classic looks with a small accessory or fabric alteration. My promise is that you will find an abundance of approval...especially in the college aged fashion world.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Love My Midshipman, Love Everything Nautical

Hey Preps!

Please feel free to omit the first part of this post, for it will be full of mushiness. However, this explanation is vital for my love of everything nautical. (Plus, it is a somewhat humorous tale) As you can see from my 'support our troops' link with the picture below it, you can see I am dating someone within the military.

His name is Patrick, and you bet I will be a hopelessly in love girlfriend and say that he really is the best...ever. Pat attends the United States Naval Academy located in Annapolis, Maryland. (Obsessed with Annapolis, but we will get there) For you to comprehend my full love of this nautical nonsense, we must start at the very humorous beginning of how I became the girlfriend of such dandy fellow. HA.

Once again let me point out that I am a college student. While most colleagues of mine were spending classy spring breaks in Panama City with the rest of the drunken population ranging from 18-25 years of age, I being the sometimes homebody I am, decided I wanted to spend spring break with my Mom. (This had it's many advantages, let me tell you) She excitedly decided we should go on a cruise together...and that is exactly what we did.

So while everyone else was with their friends from college on this cruise, I was with my mom. I slept with my mom, drank with my mom, had some interesting excursions with my mom...and as a college student, there does come a time where there may be too much mom. Did I just say that? (Love her way too much) However, I did manage to meet some girls my own age on the cruise whom decided to have a mommy vacation as well.

As the moms decided to retire for the evenings, the girls and I would go out together. The first night, a nice guy from West Point asked me to dance. Deciding to be polite because of how gentlemanly he was, I agreed. Do you ever remember a time in your life, where you can't help but feel queezy about? To me, this was one of those times. By the end of the song, this boy was dancing alone...all four limbs on the ground, and I was staring at him from above. The girls I was with were aching with laughter. My opinion of the military academy boys? Negative.

The following night, I was at a table in a lounge area with a few of the same girls. Three guys approached us. Here we go again. Who was the ring leader of this clan? None other than Pat himself. Since this is a fashion based blog, I should at least describe his outfit...FASHION INTERMISSION!

Pat was in, a baby pink Lacoste oxford button down, khaki Vineyard Vine shorts, a needlepoint belt, and...coveted Sperrys. (And his glasses that he really doesn't need to wear but does so because it makes him look smarter...He is very high in his class at Navy for Aerospace Engineering...doubt he needs to look smarter) Intermission End.

Pat introduced himself with his two friends, but clearly was rather outspoken compared to them. That is when the introductory questions began. We found out that they went to the Naval Academy. Strike one after the night before. So, when he asked where I was from. I may have lied a teeny bit when I announced I was from Canada. Although I did mention I went to college in the states at a small school I figured he wouldn't remember the name of. I enjoyed talking to was refreshing to have someone with so much in common after being preyed upon by so many guys that week. However, the night ended, and the cruise was stopping in Jamaica the next day.

Jamaica. What an experience. My mom and I decided to climb Dunns Falls. Do not use a tour guide if you go. They are not helpful. We both wore tennis shoes, and by the end of the climb up this waterfall we were both soaked, and solely in tennis shoes and bikinis. Attractive combo I'd say. Who was at the top of the falls? None other than the hunkiest guy I have ever seen. I am talking RIPPED. Guess who? Pat minus the Lacoste polo and glasses. Do you think I melted when he hugged me?

That night, the usual, dinner, then out with the girls. Along comes the Navy Boys. We have a few drinks together, and continue talking. The time finally comes...Pat asks me to dance. Denied. He persists. Denied. (There is more to the story but I would rather not bore you to death) The last night of the cruise, I did not want to deal with another queezy dance. Plus it was assumed I would never see him again. Why exert the effort?

Several days after I got back to school, a Facebook friend request pops up. Navy Boy! I was in my living room with my roommates. I laughed and told them that the creeper Navy guy from the cruise somehow found me on Facebook. I am persuaded to accept. That night, Facebook message from Navy boy. This is what it said: "Canada if I am not mistaken? You owe me a dance..."

A month later, I and two of my roommates made a nine hour trek to Annapolis for the Academy's International Ball. Pat soon was made fun of for his gullible nature in trusting that I was from Canada. To this day, I swear, I fell in love with him then. There is something about Annapolis, The Academy, and most importantly Pat, that just hit me that weekend.

Pat and I just clicked. My whole life I have never met someone compatible like he is to me. We can talk about anything, and it is a good respectful conversation. We have similar backgrounds, and families...the boyfriend list is perfectly matched. But that can be totally disregarded when looking at him and our relationship. Never in my life have I met someone so humble and selfless. When he has absolutely every reason not to be. Never have I met someone who completely amazes me everyday with his knowledge, and his genuine care for me. He is someone I look up to, and respect, and whom I love with all my heart. Our relationship has always been long distance to an extent. The fact we have made it through the distance and lack of communication at times that we have, makes me feel like we can make it through anything.

There are days when I am lonely, and a struggle. However, I have found that person whom I would sacrifice anything for, and even far away, I know I would never want anything else ever. that the mush is over, let us focus on Annapolis.

Annapolis, a town immersed in the regal ways of the Academy, yet quaint, and the perfect example of an east coast town. From the amazing shops to the eateries, all surrounded by the history of heroes, and the Atlantic ocean, Annapolis could not be a better place to fall in love with my own hero. So, as I write to you, I hope you may find some time in the very distant spring to visit this town and fall in love with it like I have. Below are some of my top Annapolis picks, as well as a Polyvore I created in honor of my love of the town, and my creeper Navy boyfriend. Enjoy!

Chick and Ruth's (this is a fun and unique place to eat)

The Big Cheese
Sici's Crepes
Hell Point Seafood
NOSTALGIA Cupcakes (on WE televistion)

Madison Boutique
Madeleine Boutique
Boutique Vineyard
East of Maui
Giant Peach

Also, fully take advantage of visiting the Academy. It is gorgeous and amazing to learn about.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby! It's Cold Outside!

Hey Prepsters!

Pittsburgh is the city of many great things such as The Pittsburgh Steelers and PENS, great eateries, shopping, and nightlife (college student, it is an obligation to say so).  However, there are many reasons why my first two years of college were spent down south...

I LOATHE the cold, wet, icy weather in Pittsburgh.

Never would I have imagined that this year I would be spending my free time trudging from one class to the next through the appalling weather that Pittsburgh is known for.  So, as I sit on my couch with fuzzy socks, sweats, and a immense fleece blanket on; I will find a gleam of hope in the Polyvore I just created.

Tommy Hilfiger's Fall 2010 line is beyond amazing.  I highly recommend you check it out on his website.  However, in the meantime, take a look at my Tommy inspired Polyvore that is completely cold weather approved!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Revenge of The Fashion Rejects

Hey Preps!

As a representative prep of the Steel City of Pittsburgh, I felt it necessary to add this post as a plug-in to an up and coming Pittsburgh designer, Angie Fec. Angie is quite a talent, and after spending five minutes with her, I am sure you would agree. A few years ago, she started her own line of clothing called SewAddicted. Although, not considered "preppy" by definition, she has a huge variety of designs, themes, and I am SEWWWADDICTED!

This past weekend at Altar Bar, in Pittsburgh, she put on a show called Revenge of The Fashion Rejects. She saw some of my modeling portfolio, and asked me to be in it...I couldn't be any more thrilled with the results. Check out Pittsburgh's finest!

(I am on the far left)

The fashion show: Revenge of The Fashion Rejects, had a burlesque theme to it, with great 80's music as well as retro music.  Each scene had it's own theme.  I was in a scene where we walked to "Walking on Broken Glass" and were meant to be dolls.  Can you tell?  SewAddicted.  From Pittsburgh to your home.  Have a preptastic evening :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Behind The Prep

Growing up, I was the nerdy girl with oversized glasses, braces, and boney knees.  I still look back on pictures and look at the disheveled nature of my awkward days, and can only thank my parents for still thinking I was a beauty.  However, I can also thank the preppy primary school I attended that fully accepted my penny loafers, specs, and oversized oxfords.

I can solely thank this school for the start of my prep obsessions, that have turned into an outlet from my college courses, but also a way to creatively express my simplistic and unique style to a world that has rejected the prep for so long.  So... here is a little bit about myself.

I grew up in a small town just outside of Pittsburgh.  The town could be considered a northern Annapolis with it's dainty shops and unique eateries.  There is a shop with the strict uniform of Vineyard Vine ties, Leatherman belts, and Vera Bradley galore.  There is a local country club that is quite historical and has the membership of many known names such as Bill Gates, and Dick Cheney.  Within this club we find extracurriculars such as fox hunting, golfing, shooting, and polo (but not limited to).

The lifestyles of those entwined in this club, carried over into the preppy school I spent most of my childhood within.  There I spend many years playing field hockey and lacrosse.  We had many undefeated seasons, while being coached by the Headmaster's wife whom had played for Vermont.  Our lunches consisted of sitting with a teacher and other classmates and having a family style meal, in which we learned the proper ways to behave in a formal dinner setting ( I learned very early on when I tried to slurp the rest of my soup by tilting the bowl to my mouth and having it pushed in my face by a disgraced teacher).  We wore uniforms with button down polos, plaid skirts, knee socks, and loafers.  As regimented as it sounds, I will always look fondly back on those days.

Present day...I am currently a college Junior.  I am a Biochemistry major whom after spending two years attending college in the deep south, decided to locate closer to home to finish my degree.  (Let me tell you I MISS THE SOUTH)  My love of lacrosse has carried on throughout my life, and I currently am a middy for my college's women's lacrosse team.  Go Cats!

I have an amazing family including my parents, a younger sister, and (quite the prepster himself) a Westy, named Sir Maxwell Smart.

Finally, I would like to brag about my amazing boyfriend, who attends the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and is not only the whole package, prince charming deal, plus....but also tends to give me a pointer or two when it comes to the "Gentleman" and his suave fashions.

But this is yours truly, Kalyn Brook-The Pittsburgh Prep, hoping you enjoy my rants that all involve my love of Prep, and of my hometown Roots.  Enjoy!