Fashion Done Right: The Hottest New Labels To Have In Your Wardrobe

In planning for Her Campus Princeton’s first-ever photo shoot—aptly titled Sound of Mind, Body and Style for the week in which it was shot, Mental Health Awareness Week—I scoured the internet in search of both well known and little-known designers, local boutiques and online shops who’d lend us clothes, accessories and shoes to bring our creative vision of the stress Princeton causes us and the ways in which we cope (or fail to cope) with it to life. After my foray into the unbelievably chic depths of the online fashion world, I’ve made it my mission to share my new, precious treasures with you, devoted Her Campus Princeton reader. Below you’ll find what I deem the best new sources of those ultra stylish items you could only get from the Internet.
 
Lulu*s: Seriously, Lulu*s has the most fantastically usable things I’ve ever come across on the Internet. Yes, I could aspire to the high or foreign fashions of the Nordstroms and Topshops of the Web. But honestly, the average Collegiette just needs the basics—an awesome pair of wedges, towering heels for a Princetoween costume or the Street, comfy jeans, and a great mediocre outfit-disguising coat for those days when 75% of your wardrobe is either still in the laundry or on the floor of your room. Lulu*s carries my favorites like Jeffrey Campbell (I die) and Aryn K, but it also has these wonderful surprises from designers I wish I had known about long before. Hand over heart, anytime I scan the new arrivals page at lulus.com I can’t believe what I see—they have such accessibly beautiful things. It is so easy to picture a real girl, i.e. myself, wearing them and by wearing them I mean to perfection.
 
Fancy French Cologne: This online boutique just has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. It’s like accidentally entering a room with mood lighting, delicately scented candles, mahogany furniture and silk violet curtains after a long day of fluorescent lighting, monotone professors, and that occasional smell of what I can only imagine is a nearby landfill or a horse’s stall. Fancy French Cologne has this way of setting the sartorial mood with its careful selection of reliable labels and handmade designs by promising designers. I find myself perusing its inventory of staples like Cheap Monday and BB Dakota and new talent like Miju and You or 50 Dresses in search of a fresh perspective, something contrary to the manufactured, thoughtless riff-raff of dare I say it, the mall. At Fancy French Cologne (affectionately known as FFC) you’ll find an aesthetic both disarming and delightful. Clean lines, nonstandard prints (not just “Striped”or “Floral”), infrequently occurring hues and fine details abound. It could be that FFC is so unaffectedly cool because its creators were once part of an indie rock band or it could be that the name invites an elevated and esoteric perspective (https://www.fancyfrenchcologne.com/shop/).
 
Freedom From Doubt: Is it wrong of me to think that only a secure man could successfully pull off that elusive, yet highly sought after I’m-only-vaguely-interested-in-your-opinion-of-me aura in a silk, burgundy bowtie? Jared Zachary’s neckwear line, Freedom From Doubt features handmade bow and neckties, all of which have remarkably obliterated any preconception I had of “the bowtie.” (Stuffy, irrevocably pretentious, peculiar to architects, attorneys and visibly aging men.) Innovative in its aesthetic specificity, the FFD bowtie can just as easily serve as the centerpiece of an outfit as it could appear a mere sartorial afterthought—a last minute addition to an otherwise unfinished look. Moreover, the combinatorial range of fabric and color Jared Zachary uses is astounding. Cashmere, Wool, Herringbone…Collegent, I could continue to expound the limitless merits of his resourcefulness and craftsmanship or you could continue to his site, http://freedomfromdoubt.com, to become a fanatic yourself.
 
Gary Pepper’s Vintage: If Penelope’s Vintage (view below) turned me on to vintage finds, then Gary Pepper’s Vintage has made me a sworn believer. It is possible that I am not nearly as in love with the inventory, as broad, wearable and mouthwateringly exquisite as it is, as I am with the way the “Gary Pepper Girl,” Nicole Warne, the creative force behind GPV, styles herself in it. She can color block clothes in ways I have never seen—the range of saturated hues she has at her disposal does not cease to amaze me. An emblem of style at its finest and most consistent, I often find myself wandering off of the chromatic GPV mainstay, http://www.garypeppervintage.com/, onto her superbly wrought blog (http://garypeppervintage.blogspot.com/). Entry after entry increases my envy of how Technicolor beautiful this powerhouse of a woman’s life is. (Definitely a lady to add to a list of female role models, if you have one.) Would that GPV weren’t in Australia, but in my backyard…
 
Penelope’s Vintage: Vintage was once anathema to me—reserved for a privileged class of Fashionistas whose sense of pride was inextricably tied up with how vintage their “Vintage” was. Moreover, how unoriginal and insecure would I feel wearing something that clearly belonged to another zeitgeist, a long past phase of fashion history? Another person. In one fell swoon, Penelope’s Vintage, an online vintage store (http://penelopesvintage.com/) that sells pre-owned vintage on Etsy, has crushed my misconceptions of vintage clothing and its wearers. The handsome pieces of fashion history one can find in her petite albeit impressive Etsy shop are enough to incite strange, but wonderful feelings of nostalgia for bygone eras of Fashion. Be it 90s Grunge or 80s New Wave, even the least vintage-crazed of you will come across an item begging to skillfully be incorporated in your ’010 wardrobe. Hint, hint, for those of you new to the Vintage scene, each piece is one of a kind, i.e. the only one of its kind in stock, so this is definitely one of those times in which your rash impulsivity will be a good thing. Think and shop fast!
 
Rosana: As faithful to trendy, modern styles as the next Collegiette, Rosana is my fashion savior. I have to say that little black dress with the artful draping and spandex fabric is my absolute favorite. Rosana’s new store, the opening and location of which will be revealed at a later time, will carry not only wonderful variations to her classic LBD, but also neck-snappingly chic designs like the Rosana Sparkle Skirt. Moreover, Rosana can personally advise you on how to style her gorgeous designs. She’s having a fall shopping party at her home—17 Caroline Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540—from 2 to 7:30 p.m October 9th, this Sunday. There will be desserts, great prices and fresh fall merchandise! Rosana’s back, Collegiettes, so be sure to check out her brand sparklin’ new inventory this weekend.
 
Ben Sherman: Collegent, thankfully you don’t have to journey over the pond to indulge in the fine ruggedness of Ben Sherman’s new autumn collection, Plectrum, the name of which is nothing short of awesome. I could attempt to describe the perfect manliness, the refined toughness, the sophisticated brusqueness of Plectrum, but I believe it’d be a far better use of your time (so precious here at Princeton) to see it for yourself—http://www.bensherman.com/looks/.
 
Moderne: If you prefer having an eclectic range of designers and aesthetics at your disposal then shopmoderne.com is the online boutique for you. Be it a formal dress or a casual sweater, there’s not an item you won’t find at Moderne. ­­­­­­­­­It won’t surprise you that the likes of Kristin Cavallari, Khloe, and Kim Kardashian have been seen in dresses from Naven, one of the designers at http://shopmoderne.com/designers/naven. I, myself, favor the sensual and romantic designs of Lovers + Friends (http://shopmoderne.com/designers/lovers-friends). Collegiette, which Moderne designer is your favorite?
 
Colour Me: Do you often find yourself overwhelmed with the boundless options of Tops, Shorts, Sunglasses, Jewelry, Bags & Purses, Coats & Jackets, Shoes, Socks & Tights, Swimwear, T-Shirts, Suits, Dresses given you by most online shopping sites? I do. Thankfully, Colour Me provides a much needed singularity of product—Accessories—to those unable to process the sheer volume of things with which to outfit yourself from a single site. And as per the name of the site, Colour Me, you can quickly select the color of the accessory you need so you don’t have to trudge through page after page of stock! Say you need a turquoise watch to really stand out against that black and silver sweater you bought—just click on the color that most closely resembles turquoise and voila, page after page of turquoise jewelry and watches magically appear! To instantly simplify your online shopping experience I heartily suggest you visit http://www.colourme.com/. Colour Who? Colour You.
 
 
I hope I’ve been successful in expanding your fashion horizons. Until next time collegiette™.
Happy Shopping Princesses (and Princes) of Princeton!