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Refinery29

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    Are we the only ones who feel like wedding season — also known as the long, money-draining months of taking planes, trains, and automobiles around the world to see some of our closest friends and family tie the knot — lasts all year long? Now, we're not necessarily complaining; we know it's a privilege to bear witness to love. But let's not beat around the bush. While wedding season might be fun, it is not cheap — especially when it comes to buying outfits for multiple events.

    Luckily, H&M is bursting at the seams with everything from actual wedding dresses to bridesmaid gowns, guest outfits, and even accessories. And of course, being H&M, it's all happily affordable. The best part of the range, though, is that there's a wedding dress with a strong resemblance to the one Kate Middleton wore when she married Prince William — for under $300.

    Click through to see our favorites from the collection, and get excited: Wedding season just became way more affordable.

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    Jared Kushner got candid about his relationship with Ivanka Trump in a recent political forum held by CNN.

    In an interview with CNN political commentator Van Jones, the White House senior advisor, when asked about being part of a power couple with Ivanka, said, "Anyone with Ivanka would be a power couple. ... Ivanka is brilliant. ... Working together has given me an even greater appreciation for just how effective she is."

    His fawning, even self-deprecating — " anyone with Ivanka would be a power couple" — comment makes sense in the context of other anecdotes about their power dynamics we've heard come out of the White House.

    In Michael Wolff's tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which we should take with a grain of salt, Wolff writes that the two had made a deal about who gets to run for president first, if it comes to that. "Balancing risk against reward, both Jared and Ivanka decided to accept roles in the West Wing over the advice of almost everyone they knew. It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she'd be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump."

    According to body language expert Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, Ivanka has over time seemed to emerge as the one with the upper hand in the relationship.

    When analyzing photos of the two from 2014, Wood says she's noticed that Jared didn't make a lot of effort to show his affection for her. "If you look at what's striking about all of these 'early' photos is how he's facing flat-out toward the camera and she's an 'attachment.' She's doing all the work of intimacy to make it look like they're a couple," she says.

    But Ivanka and Jared's body language has changed in a major way. In more recent photos, they are on a more equal plane. "She's still slightly angled toward him, but not as much. He's more 'V-ed' toward her — they're more in a love 'V' position here, which shows more equality. His shoulder is tilted down to her, which gives her a little bit more power," Wood says about this 2017 photo (below), which was taken just as President Trump announced a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and thousands protested in airports across the U.S., and thus widely slammed for being tone-deaf.

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    When it comes to assembling night-out looks, nothing beats using the high-rise jean as the base. It’s the most reliable piece you can wear. Cases in point: It’s ideal with crop tops, perfect for tucking in T-shirts, and well-suited for bodysuits. High-rise jeans are flattering, they elongate the legs, and there are no accidental exposures when you sit or bend over in them (which begs us to ask, why did we ever wear low-rise jeans?). Our only gripe, of course, is that many non-stretch high-rises tend to restrict and restrain.

    So this season, we’re keeping high-rise jeans in full rotation for our nights out — from slim fits to straight legs to bootcuts — but opting for denim made with LYCRA® dualFX® technology, an innovative stretch fiber blend that ensures our jeans keep their shape all day, every day. Turns out, what's inside our jeans really does matter. Ahead, inspired by the new Joe’s Jeans Hi (Rise) Honey collection, made with LYCRA® dualFX® fabric, five R29ers tell us how they like to wear their shape-smoothing, waist-defining, and curve-hugging jeans when hitting the town after work. Whatever is penciled into your after-hours calendar — date nights, industry shindigs, or entertainment — we’ve got solid outfit ideas that'll have you living in your high-rise denim.

    "If I'm going out with my girls, a low-maintenance look that’s easy to wear into the after hours is key. This outfit — high-rise stretch skinnies that'll hold their shape all night with a slightly cropped knit top and pink teddy coat (in case it gets cold) — hits the mark. To finish it off, I find that a low-heeled bootie is the ideal shoe for dancing and a crossbody purse the very best bag option, so I don't have to hold onto anything except for the arms of my best gal pals." —Isabella Alesci, associate photo editor



    Joe's Jeans The Hi (Rise) Honey Curvy Skinny, $178, available at Joe's Jeans

    Topshop Cable Knit Crop Jumper, $65, available at Topshop

    H&M Faux Fur Jacket, $99, available at H&M

    Vince Lanica Leather Block Heel Booties, $395, available at Bloomingdale's

    Clare Vivier Midi Sac, $299, available at Clare Vivier

    "I'm the kind of girl that wears jeans for everything — and a date night is no exception. This cropped satin button-down and comfortable skinny jeans ensemble is equal parts romantic and relaxed (I just love the cool cutoff detail on the denim), plus it's, well, totally reminiscent of my favorite decade: the '90s. When it comes to accessorizing, a feather-trim patent-leather bag, leopard-print heeled slides, and heart-charm earrings are the perfect accents." —Kelly Agnew, director of branded content



    Joe's Jeans The Hi (Rise) Honey Curvy Skinny, $198, available at Joe's Jeans

    DIVINE HERITAGE Deep-V Silk Blouse, $295, available at Intermix

    Shashi Heart Huggie Earring, $64, available at Shashi

    Chinese Laundry My Girl Slide Sandal, $59.95, available at Chinese Laundry

    Staud Nic Bag, $395, available at Staud

    "If I have a casual soiree booked — say, a gallery opening, industry mixer, happy hour, or client dinner — I typically wear a presentable but still comfy ensemble. Lately, I'm skipping tights and wearing my maxi-dresses over slim-fit, cropped jeans with extra flexibility instead. Low-heeled pumps are a solid choice to dress up my denim, and if I'm feeling fancy, I'll throw a cocoon coat over my shoulders. As for my bag? A straw bucket bag is perfect as an additional fall-transition piece." —Megan West, associate creative director



    Joe's Jeans The Hi (Rise) Honey Curvy Skinny Crop, $178, available at Joe's Jeans

    Zara Snakeskin Print Tunic, $69.99, available at Zara

    Ganni Ridgewood Jacket, $360, available at Ganni

    COS Ballerina Heels, $175, available at COS

    Pamela Munson Petite Isla Bahia Basket, $240, available at Shopbop

    "If I have a fun night out planned, like a concert, I tend to opt for a polished but rebellious look. A plaid longline bralette and high-rise dark-wash jeans that won't bag or sag are the perfect pairing — you can reveal as much or as little as you’d like with a day-to-play double-breasted blazer layered on top. My bag of choice? The fanny pack. It can be worn around the waist or as a crossbody, allowing me to be totally hands free while wildin’ out." —Paulina Canini, senior project manager.



    Joe's Jeans The Hi (Rise) Honey Curvy Skinny Ankle, $178, available at Joe's Jeans

    Fleur du Mal Prince Of Wales Checked Silk-Blend Bustier Top, $295, available at Net-A-Porter

    Loeffler Randall Celeste Mid Heel Knot Slide, $350, available at Loeffler Randall

    Bershka Fanny Pack With Chain, $25.9, available at Bershka

    & Other Stories Double Breasted Blazer, $245, available at & Other Stories

    "When fall rolls around, my calendar is chock-full of dinner parties — where, tbh, extra-comfortable jeans like this bootcut style are a must. A turtleneck with charming frilly details is a good option on top, as is a classic motorcycle jacket. For me, final touches can come from bold accessories like statement hoop earrings and eye-catching mules." —Lilac Perez, associate casting director



    Joe's Jeans The Hi (Rise) Honey Bootcut, $168, available at Joe's Jeans

    Cinq à Sept Zabrina Flare Sleeve Top, $295, available at Intermix

    Madewell Ultimate Leather Motorcycle Jacket, $498, available at Madewell

    Nicole Saldaña Naomi Embroidered Heel, $365, available at Opening Ceremony

    Laura Lombardi Mini Curve Earring, $86, available at Laura Lombardi

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    As a former Catholic school student, I can tell you that Britney Spears' most iconic music video look is pretty hard to achieve. Her cutesy schoolgirl outfit in "...Baby One More Time" didn't just happen. It takes a lot of time to properly hike up your pleated skirt and position a white blouse just so. But slide on some thigh-highs, add ribbons to your pigtails, and voila! Schoolgirl Britney has arrived to whatever Halloween party is in your iCal, with wine ready in her book bag.

    But what about Spears' other hits? "Toxic," "Stronger," and "Womanizer" have some pretty compelling Halloween looks, too. Instead of focusing on the present (the jury is still out on her G-Eazy collab), let's look at Britney in her prime. Nearly every Britney Spears video serves a look that would steal the spotlight at any Halloween party.

    So dig out your Curious perfume (or her new gender-neutral perfume, Prerogative), slip into some leather, and pile on the jewelry. Being the best Britney Spears this Halloween will take everything you can find in the back of your closet.

    "Till The World Ends"
    Apocalyptic Britney

    If the world was ending, what would you do? The only correct answer is grab a red sheer bedazzled bodysuit, a spiked and studded leather jacket, and torn-up tights. Then dance like the world isn't crumbling.

    "Gimme More"
    Dark, Confused Britney

    Britney was in rare form for this video, which saw her with black hair, fishnets, and a fedora of all things. The visuals for this club banger are dark, so if you're feeling emo, this one is for you.

    "Piece Of Me"
    Fur Vest Britney

    Sometimes Britney gets a little fed up. "Piece of Me" was Brit at peak Leave Me Alone. Her wardrobe, then, is appropriately thrown-together. Live your life, because Blackout -era Britney Spears was intent on living hers.

    If you're down to saunter into the Halloween function as a Britney circa "Piece of Me," copy the video's most consistent look: A fur vest over a sparkly black bra, worn with low rise jeans.

    "Lucky"
    Old Hollywood Britney

    " This is a story about a girl named Lucky... "

    Remember the glitz and the glamour of Hollywood's golden age? The furs! The gowns! Tears shed because we're all nothing but cogs in some big studio's starlet machine! Slip on a ball gown, sob in your mascara. Think about the existential trauma of only being famous for your movie star good looks. Make some random Titanic reference, and it's showtime.

    "Toxic"
    Flight Attendant Britney

    Wouldn't you feel just a little bit safer if you knew your flight attendant was able to shimmy the plane to safety? Also acceptable in this video is the bedazzled bodysuit, if you have that kind of cash and time.

    "I'm A Slave 4 U"
    Hot, Sticky, Sweaty Britney

    Who made it through 2001 without wanting to be one of those dehydrated teens dancing with Britney in a post-apocalyptic America? This Neptunes' beat was the flyest thing to come out of Spears' entire career. Tease your hair, drench your abs in body oil, and bring the summer heat wave to your October party.

    "Stronger"
    All-Black, Metal Chair Britney

    If you're going to go for this look — and, of course, you should — remember the metal chair. It makes the look. The black bandeau, pants, and choker are all key, to be sure. but the metal diner chair really sells it.

    "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman"
    Low-Rise Denim Britney

    Skip this Britney. They don't make bell-bottoms as low cut as they did in the early 2000s — and for good reason: It's just not reasonable. There is such a thing as pants that are too low-cut, and it has nothing to do with modesty: It's a lot harder to traverse a canyon range in low-cut denim than Britney makes it look.

    "(You Drive Me) Crazy"
    Emerald Crop Top Britney

    Please be this Britney. Please be this Britney — you deserve it. Pull an emerald crop top off a sale rack, pair it with black yoga pants, tease your hair, and call it a night. The bright, bold colors of this video also make plenty of options for your entourage, like the red cami worn by Melissa Joan Hart.

    "I Love Rock 'N' Roll"
    Rock-'N'-Roll Britney

    Take out every piece of leather in your closet, real or fake. Once you've laid out each leather purchase you've ever made — purses, chokers, that jacket that's not leather (but looks real enough) — put it all on. Leather pants plus a leather vest plus a leather jacket might feel weird or uncomfortable on any other human, but Britney pulls it off. Pile on silver rings and a screechy whine for effect.

    "Oops!... I Did It Again"
    Leather Jumpsuit Britney

    If there ever was a Britney Spears in top form, it was the day she filmed this video. She's playful and sarcastic: "Oops... I think I did it again," she says, a little bit annoyed and a little bit excited.

    Cover your entire body with a red fabric and get ready to break hearts. Space exploration not necessary.

    "...Baby One More Time"
    Schoolgirl Britney

    Trade your regular Monday-to-Friday look for pigtails. Grab a button down and tie it up. Find a grey cardigan. Add ribbons accordingly. In this video, Spears wasn't the sexy schoolgirl that haunts Halloween parties of decades past. She was a lonely! She was tormented! Maybe add a teardrop or two for effect.

    "My Prerogative"
    Bedroom Eyes Britney

    Britney Spears was not playing around with this video. She jumped around a creepy mansion, spooky bedroom, and a red-lit nightclub. To get this look: Shimmy into a black slip or a white bra and undies, smear some black eyeshadow on, and get really fed up with the way people are talking about you.

    "Circus"
    Ringleader Britney

    "I'm like the ringleader / I call the shots," said Britney Spears in this legendary video. It's time to mimic that well-placed Bulgari product placement. Wear a white leotard, black high-waisted hot pants, and finish it off with a top hat.

    "Womanizer"
    Corporate America Britney

    For several videos, Britney Spears thrived on naive, after-school loneliness and sticky hedonism. In "Womanizer," she turns her attention to the ultimate con: scamming a cheating boyfriend. There are a lot of certified looks in this video, but the boldest is Corporate America Britney. Grab a black bobbed wig, a striped black top, and a super-tight pencil skirt. Rub on red lipstick, scam, repeat.

    "Sometimes"
    Innocent Angel Britney

    If Britney were wearing more white, she'd be at her wedding (whether that be for her three-year marriage or just 55 hours). While the singer may be busting a move in the music video for "Sometimes," she's rocking the most serene getup while doing it. A white turtleneck crop should strangely be no problem to find in this current fashion climate, but baggy white parachute pants could be more of an issue. Nevertheless, if you can get your hands on those items, all you need is to slap on some black sneakers and you've nailed the look. Dance moves not included.

    Like this post? There's more. Get tons of celebrity news, fun takes on pop culture, and trending stories on the Refinery29 Entertainment Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!

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    If you haven't heard, we're still feeling the adverse effects of some planetary mayhem. Already we've dealt with at least four short-lived retrogrades, but we're also in the midst of Venus backspin until the middle of November. 'Til then, we're encouraged to look before we leap and avoid any rash behavior. While some may focus that energy on their careers and relationships, we'll be putting our conscientious decision-making into our nails.

    If we can't control the direction in which the planets seem to be spinning, at least we can control what kind of nail art decorates our fingertips. With summer coming to a speedy close, we need something to look forward to for fall. Why not make that our manicures? We're ditching the predictable wine-red autumnal polish for something special, kind of funky, and totally unique.

    Need some inspiration before booking that nail appointment? Check out our fall manicure plans ahead.

    "Lately I’ve been loving the idea of negative space at the base of my nails. Decorating just my tips with art makes nail growth in between appointments nearly undetectable. I’ve been eyeing this geometric look, which feels like the French manicure’s more playful, younger cousin." — Aimee Simeon, Beauty Writer

    "Some people save bedazzled nails for the holiday season. But me? I wear blinged-out nails year-round (with no shame). I’ve been thinking about mimicking this multi-colored gem look with all blue stones to coordinate with my sapphire birthstone." — Simeon

    “I am in love with all the '60s vibes this fall, and I want to copy these retro floral nails immediately. My grandma actually had a skirt with this exact print on it in the '60s, and I'm praying it's somewhere in my parents' attic for my ultimate matchy-matchy moment." — Cat Quinn, Beauty Director

    "I love the idea of taking the dainty jewelry trend down to your nails with matching gold and pearl designs. It's minimalist, yet maximalist, and so damn cool." — Quinn

    "I'm super into the modern art trend for nails, and I'm in love with this minimal, abstract design that uses negative space. Then again, I don't have Portia Doubleday 's lovely, long nails to use as a canvas." — Rachel Lubitz, Senior Beauty Writer

    "This is the epitome of rainy day nail art. At first glance, this looked like it would take me three hours to do, but then when I considered what exactly goes into a look like this (just a bunch of globs of random polish, really), now I'm determined to give this a shot. I can't promise I can get those itty bitty black dots in there though like Michelle Lee, and the Ukrainian nail artist who inspired her, did." — Lubitz

    “I’ve always wanted to own a massive geode or two — not the kind they sell at, like, Urban Outfitters, but the really legit ones that go for thousands of dollars in rocks and minerals galleries in New Mexico and come with backstories and certificates of authenticity and shit. At this stage of my life I don’t foresee myself having the disposable income I’d need to purchase them without skipping rent for a few months, but hey, geode nails are cool, too.” — Rachel Krause, Senior Beauty Writer

    "I blame Gigi Hadid and her iconic $2,000 manicure for the timeless appeal of a chrome manicure. Unlike classic polish shades, this shiny finish matches every sweater I own — and that's all I'm asking for on my most indecisive days." — Samantha Sasso, Beauty Writer

    “I hate to be the person who just wants nude nails all season, but there’s something about this specific shade of a muted leathery brown that I find so sexy for fall. Now, all I need to do is put some Miracle-Gro on my gel-destroyed nails…” — Sasso

    "Mixing nail polish might sound like an immature move when it comes to your next mani, but with just the right amount of contrast, the mismatched trend can look chic, cool, and #adult." — Sasso.

    “Yellow is one of my least favorite colors, but I cannot stop saving images of sunny negative space manicures right now. There's something fresh and modern about the color, especially when done as a swoop or half-dip …” — Lexy Lebsack, Senior Beauty Editor

    “I mean, tell me this isn't the cutest manicure you've seen this season?!” — Lebsack

    “I'm also really feeling this French manicure done by nail artist Alicia Torello with not one, but two colors. Plus, the grow-out process is so much easier than a solid shade, which makes justifying the cost of intricate art that much easier.” — Lebsack

    “My grandmother recently gave me an Evil Eye necklace as a gift and I've fallen in love — not only with the message (to ward of evil spirits and bad luck), but with the design. I have a feeling if I bring my Evil Eye to life through my mani, it'll bring even more good vibes. And who doesn't need more of those?" — Thatiana Diaz, Beauty Writer

    “These squiggly lines are everywhere lately. And while this specific design from Chillhouse is inspired by Keith Haring's pop and graffiti art, it's hard to deny that the trend is growing. By fall, I'm betting this creative and playful design catches on." – Diaz

    "This floral nail art reminds me of being 12 years old when I asked my mom to take me to the salon just before our family vacation, but that doesn't make it any less cool for my 23-year-old self (who still really loves flowers on her fingertips)." — Megan Decker, Beauty Assistant

    "Despite the fact that I've seen this everywhere, I'm still obsessed with Violette's minimalist studded manicure. The lack of color underneath the tiny gemstones makes the nails chic and edgy as opposed to cheesy and bedazzled." — Decker

    "Between vacations and summer parties, I can't be bothered with regular nail appointments. That's why I try to stick to negative space manicures because I can go weeks without a salon trip. This look from Paintbox has really bold colors, which I always end up getting around August because I want to squeeze every neon nail opportunity out of summer." — Jessica Cruel, Deputy Beauty Director

    "I'm all about minimal nail designs. Lines, curves, and clean graphics are all my go-tos. This manicure looks like waves from one angle and flames from another. Either way, it's hot." — Cruel

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    Balenciaga is in hot water, yet again. TMZ is reporting that the fashion house is being sued by Car-Freshner Corporation. You may not know the company by name, but you definitely know its product, Little Tree Air Fresheners, the scented trees that hang from the rearview window in thousands of cars. Apparently, Balenciaga did not get permission from the brand and started selling copycat versions as keychains. According to TMZ, Little Trees believes "unsuspecting customers will confuse the two brands." The price, however, may indicate that they are not the same" Little Trees air fresheners cost $3, while Balenciaga's leather key rings will set customers back $275.

    Designer Demna Gvasalia, who took the reigns at Balenciaga in 2015, isn't shy about the fact that he finds "low brow" culture captivating. So much so that he is often criticized for selling "working class brands and motifs to [...] rich consumers." In May, after Gvasalia printed an airbrushed cityscape on a hoodie, and there were cries of cultural appropriation. Producer Swiss Beatz called out the designer in June 2017 for using what appeared to be New York-based music label Ruff Ryders Entertainment's logo on a men's shirt. He's also created riffs on the Ikea plastic bag and plastic Chinese mesh slippers.

    "I see the people trying things," he told The Cut of frequenting thrift stores in his neighborhood in Paris for inspiration. "They make looks. I find this really fascinating... In Paris, you have a lot of characters. And those people who might inspire me, I don’t see many of them on the Left Bank,” he added, alluding to the fact that the people he watches shop are forced to be inventive because they can’t necessarily afford the latest high-end fashion. But at what cost is it all worth it?

    We reached out to Balenciaga for comment and will update this piece if/when we hear back.

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    Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

    We're going on book tour for our new book, Money Diaries: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Your Finances... and Everyone Else's. Next stop: Chicago on Wednesday, October 24. More details here!

    Calling all entrepreneurs: We want to hear from you! If you’re a freelancer or self-employed, we’d love to feature your Money Diary. Submit here.

    Today: a data analyst working in utility who makes $54,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Pabst Blue Ribbon.

    Occupation: Data Analyst
    Industry: Utility
    Age: 26
    Location: Knoxville, TN
    Salary: $54,000
    Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,580

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $1,000 ($950 + $50 for a parking space)
    Student Loan Payment: $0 (My parents helped with undergrad so I only had $6,500 in loans, which I paid off shortly after graduating.)
    401(k): 6%, or about $115 per paycheck. My employer matches 3%.
    Utilities: $50 (I use a levelized bill payment plan that takes the estimated cost of utilities for my apartment for a year and averages it, so my utility bill is the same every month.)
    Savings: $1,000
    Car Payment: $242
    Car/Renters Insurance: $108
    Spotify: $10
    Sling/Netflix: $36
    Health Insurance: $100
    Internet: $50
    Cell Phone: $60 (I pay my mom one-quarter of the cost of our family plan.)
    Gym: $29 (I have a fitness plan through my insurance company, which gets me a membership to the YMCA, Planet Fitness, and a couple of private gyms for $29 a month, flat.)

    Day One

    6:40 a.m. — It's a hair wash day, so I need to get out of bed. It takes me about 40 minutes to shower, get dressed, and feed my cat. I bike to work in five minutes.

    7:30 a.m. — I keep granola and milk at my office, and we have free coffee, so I have granola and coffee every morning in the office. I like not having to worry too much about what I'm eating each day.

    9:30 a.m. — I bring two pieces of fruit into the office every day and have one at 9:30 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. Today I have a banana for my first snack, plus a second cup of coffee.

    12 p.m. — I live within walking distance of my office, and while I usually bike, I like to walk over to my apartment during my lunch break to check on my cat, do laundry and dishes, and water my plants. Today I unload the dishwasher and fold some laundry that's been sitting in the dryer. I drink a SlimFast shake every day for lunch so I can spend my actual break taking care of chores and errands.

    2 p.m. — I have an apple for my afternoon snack.

    4:10 p.m. — I leave a few minutes later than usual, which is fine by me since the parking lot isn't as crowded. When I get home, I tweeze my eyebrows, wash my face, and brush my teeth. (I have a full night ahead, and don't want to feel guilty if I'm too tired when I get home to brush them.) I've been brushing with baking soda and rinsing with hydrogen peroxide at night to whiten my teeth, and I think it's helping. I also water my plants and give my cat dinner.

    5:20 p.m. — I am running a little behind for my spin class at the gym. I've never been before and don't want to be late.

    5:35 p.m. — I'm late. And the class is already in full swing. I hop on a bike and try to keep up, but this is...intense.

    6:15 p.m. — We do a little end stretch and I haul ass out of there. The class was great and I'll definitely go back, but now I'm biking to a nearby bar and I hope my thighs don't give out on the way.

    6:27 p.m. — I make it! Every Monday at 6:30 p.m. I meet with a group of local feminists to discuss ways to act against harmful legislation and to generally empower people in our community. I order a veggie dog and a PBR at the bar and meet the rest of the group outside. $12.29

    6:30 p.m. — The meeting is great! A new member is passionate about having a documentary screening on our local campus and brings people from a couple of campus organizations to help facilitate. My high school friend brings a new friend too — she is my biggest advocate and is always recommending people to our group. And two people bring their dogs, which always helps lighten the mood. We make concrete plans for the film screening and take care of some other business, like our bimonthly book club and an upcoming voter turnout event we're hoping to put on at a local bowling alley. The meeting is productive, and we have a good turnout of new folks who seem to enjoy getting to know each other.

    8:36 p.m. — The meeting doesn't last as long as I expected, so I'm home early. I create the Facebook event for my feminist group's book club in November, and schedule the post to run tomorrow in the hope that more people will see it then. I'm sore, so I take a bath while texting my friend about her dating life.

    11 p.m. — My studio apartment is arranged in such a way where I can watch TV from my bed, so my cat and I fall asleep watching Food Network, which is a typical occurrence.

    Daily Total: $12.29

    Day Two

    6:50 a.m. — I dry shampoo this morning and save myself a little time getting ready. Then it's a quick and cool bike to work!

    7:30 a.m. — I am a woman of routine — I have granola and coffee, and then a banana for a snack.

    11:30 a.m. — I don't have any pressing chores today, so I spend my lunch break writing an email to campus organizations who may want to partner with my feminist group on the documentary screening. I don't want to send the email until I have confirmation that we have reserved a space to show the film, so I save it in my drafts.

    4:05 p.m. — I head home and work on the trivia event my feminist group is hosting one week from tomorrow. Several members of the group wrote questions, so now I need to consolidate, edit, and write the script for our host. I get laundry started and boil pasta as I write.

    4:45 p.m. — Rotini with tuna and olive oil for dinner! A random concoction that turns out better than expected. I somewhat spontaneously bought a flavored tuna pack for something cheap to eat on the go, and this one is “Thai Chili Style” flavored. I'll be getting more of these.

    5:15 p.m. — I head to my local Planned Parenthood for Tuesday Volunteer Night. It doesn't start until 5:30 and I am only five minutes away, but I need to return a table I borrowed for a health conference last weekend and don't want to interrupt people by hauling it in.

    5:25 p.m. — The Planned Parenthood organizer puts me on postcard duty. They provide Oreos, cupcakes, chips, and salsa, and I indulge in all of them. I also bring three PBRs I had left from a six-pack, and they're gone by the end of the night.

    7:15 p.m. — I write about 25 postcards to Knoxville voters encouraging them to vote for two state candidates in the upcoming midterm elections. The handwritten postcards are more attention-grabbing than generic flyers and will hopefully encourage more people to vote. Another volunteer helps me out and we're done earlier than I expected, which means I have time to run to Target and the grocery store.

    7:35 p.m. — At Target I pick up toothpaste, deodorant, dry shampoo, shower cleaner, and toilet cleaner, and treat myself to a charcoal sheet mask. My skin has been oily and could use it. $30.04

    8 p.m. — At the grocery store I get more tuna packs, a box of rice and beans, canned diced tomatoes, an avocado, a tomato, granola, and a 12-pack of SlimFast. Men try to start conversations with me in, both the Target and grocery store parking lot, I don't engage and text a male friend about it, who is mortified but not surprised. $28.23

    8:16 p.m. — Home for the night! I put away groceries, wash my face, brush my teeth, and then do my sheet mask. I hang up my laundry to dry and scroll through social media until going to sleep at about 10 p.m.

    Daily Total: $58.27

    Day Three

    6:50 a.m. — I'm ambitious about waking up, and set alarms as early as 5:55 a.m., but sleep until 6:50. I shower, dry my hair, get dressed, pack up my banana and apple, and leave the apartment at 7:25, which gets me into work about five minutes late. Could be worse.

    7:35 a.m. — I check emails, message my coworker, and get a query started before I get my granola and coffee.

    12 p.m. — I walk home, check my mail, and fold laundry from last night. My cat is upset because she thinks I'm home to feed her. Just a few more hours!

    4:15 p.m. — I break free! I have just enough time to feed the cat and answer text messages.

    5:12 p.m. — I recently tweeted about needing new pants since gaining some weight, so my friend offers to take me to the thrift store. I try on seven pairs of pants with no luck. I do find a big comfy sweater that will be good for cooler weather, though. $8.99

    6:30 p.m. — When we finish shopping, we get a couple of tacos at my friend's favorite Mexican place by her house and catch up. $4.35

    7:56 p.m. — A different friend is trying to break up with her boyfriend. She's so anxious she leaves work early and we meet at a Mexican restaurant near her house. We talk over margaritas and quesadillas for a little over an hour. $14.90

    9:22 p.m. — I get home, wash my face, brush my teeth, and pass out in bed. The margarita made me sleepy.

    Daily Total: $28.24

    Day Four

    6 a.m. — I shouldn't wash my hair today, but I feel greasy after yesterday and we smoked outside of the restaurant last night. I have a bagel with tomato at home for breakfast.

    7:05 a.m. — I have therapy at 4 this afternoon, so I get in early to leave a little early. It's raining, so I drive and save a couple of minutes on my commute time. As soon as I get in the office, I drink some water I left chilling in the fridge overnight.

    8:14 a.m. — After I get out of a 7:30 meeting, I type up notes to pass onto my coworkers and follow up with other coworkers on items we need resolved. Then I have my first coffee of the day as I wait for a report to run.

    11:30 a.m. — I head to my apartment to make dinner for tonight and clean up a bit. I also order some pants from Target that I already own and like in a larger size, since I didn't have any luck shopping yesterday. I pick up Persepolis, the graphic novel I'm reading, on my way out in case I end up waiting for my therapy session to start. $21.95

    2:30 p.m. — I think knowing I'm leaving early is causing the day to drag on, because I cannot wait for 3:30 p.m. I have another banana because I'm out of apples.

    3:30 p.m. — This is my first therapy session in about a year and a half, and I'm nervous and excited. My old therapist was not very body-positive, and she didn't validate my bisexuality. Finding a therapist this time was harder: everyone kept suggesting the same therapist who “specialized” in LGBTQ+ issues. I called and emailed her to try and schedule an appointment and never heard back, so my friend told me to just schedule a session on her client site, and here we are!

    3:45 p.m. — I'm mad at myself for driving when I know I'll have to pay to park, but then I find a metered spot with enough time paid on it to last my whole session!

    5 p.m. — It's just an intake session, so it's basically a highlight reel of everything wrong in my life, and I leave crying. When I leave, there's no one in the reception area, so I'm not sure if they'll invoice me later or if this first session is free. I like the therapist a lot and want to see her weekly, but her schedule is really tight, so we schedule an appointment for the week after next and she gives me a small assignment.

    6 p.m. — Back at home, I eat the pasta I prepped during lunch, answer text messages, and watch YouTube videos on my phone to try and distract myself from the session I just had. Thursday is my cleaning night, so I put on music and get busy.

    8 p.m. — I cleaned the cat's dishes and litter, wiped down all surfaces, dusted, cleaned glass surfaces, scrubbed the bathroom sink and toilet, shook out all the rugs, swept, Swiffered, and mopped the floors. The only thing left is the bathtub, which I'll do Saturday or Sunday morning. I start putting together the scorecards and answer sheets for trivia next week while watching Adam Ruins Everything. It feels so nice out that I can turn off the A/C and open my window.

    9:53 p.m. — I tweeze and do a face mask. I used to get my eyebrows threaded once every six weeks, but I find that if I tweeze two to three times a week I can maintain the shape I like. I'm in bed super early.

    Daily Total: $21.95

    Day Five

    6 a.m. — I wake up early and have time to eat a bagel with tomato again.

    7:22 a.m. — I make it in early to work! It's Friday, so I'd love to leave a little early. I have an avocado to split between morning and afternoon. I am probably a little under dressed for the temperature drop, but I'd rather be cold than hot.

    9 a.m. — I get confirmation that the space to screen the documentary is reserved for us. I send out the email for partner organizations that has been sitting in my drafts. This isn't as much time as I had hoped to give them, but at least we have the space!

    11:20 a.m. — I'm meeting my friend at my apartment to give them back t-shirts I had for sale at the conference last weekend. I haven't heard from them, so I unload the dishwasher, say hi to the cat, and take out the trash. We were supposed to meet at 11:30, but I still haven't heard from them, so by 11:45 I head back to the office. It is a beautiful day for a walk.

    2 p.m. — I see that tickets for a local chorus' winter concert are for sale on Facebook. Two of my friends just joined the chorus, so I go ahead and buy two tickets before they sell out. $60.65

    4:15 p.m. — I don't make it out of work early. I go home, feed the cat, change into comfy clothes and take the box of t-shirts to my friend's house. Every Friday night my parents and I make pizza and watch a movie. This Friday, my parents are too tired to make pizzas, so I pick a couple up on my way. $31.78

    9:30 p.m. — We watch Chappaquiddick and we are all furious at how little Ted Kennedy was reprimanded for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. When I get home I text a friend for a bit about her night and then get to bed.

    Daily Total: $92.43

    Day Six

    7 a.m. — I wake up, cuddle the cat before feeding her, make pancakes (it's the weekend!), and run over to meet my friend. We're going to a state park for a 10 a.m. yoga lesson and plan on hiking after.

    9:30 a.m. — I look at the Facebook event and see yoga is actually at 9 a.m. We decide to go on the hike anyway since the weather is so beautiful. We stop at Starbucks on the way — she has $3.65 left on a Starbucks card and I pay the $7.21 remainder plus $1 tip to finish our order. $8.21

    11 a.m. — The hike is beautiful! We realize how close we are to the outlet mall and decide to head there since I still need pants. I get one sweater and two pairs of pants that I really like. I'm relieved to have pants for work this week. $98.74

    1:35 p.m. — We're hungry from the hiking and shopping, so we stop at Subway before going back to Knoxville. My friend spies some coupons for a $3.49 six-inch. I get a six-inch veggie sub plus chips and a drink. $7.21

    4:05 p.m. — I'm home but need groceries for the week and decide to go to the store now so I don't have to worry about it tomorrow. I get apples, bananas, wine, cheese, bagels, BBQ tofu, a tomato, and cream cheese. I also get $60 cash back for a changing table I am buying from Facebook Marketplace to use as storage. $33.16

    5:30 p.m. — My dad is nice enough to meet me to pick up the changing table in his truck at a gas station about 30 minutes away. My tank is about one-third full, so I go ahead and get gas while we wait on the people to show up. $17.34

    6 p.m. — The changing table works great! My dad helps me carry it up three flights of stairs to my apartment. I was previously storing my things in milk crates, so this looks much better. $60

    9:30 p.m. — I move my items from the milk crates to the changing table, read over a statement my friend sent me that they are presenting next week, hang up some Halloween decorations, and settle in to watch Nathan for You before bed. I also Venmo my friend $20 since she drove to the state park and the outlets. $20

    Daily Total: $244.66

    Day Seven

    8:32 a.m. — The cat wakes me up — I slept in pretty late! We cuddle and then I get up to make her food and myself coffee.

    11:30 a.m. — I spend the morning watching Food Network while eating pancakes (I made too much batter yesterday morning and saved the rest) and drinking coffee. I finally clean the bathtub, take a quick shower, light a bunch of candles, wash my makeup brushes, do dishes, and put some clothes that I outgrew on Poshmark in hopes of making some money on them. It's an overcast day, and I'm happy to spend it inside with the cat.

    1:45 p.m. — I look for a movie to watch as I paint my nails. I decide on the Lady Gaga documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two. It's different than I expected, but a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

    4:13 p.m. — My friend comes over to bake a cake for another friend who recently hit a milestone. I need eggs and frosting, so we go to Kroger. $2.53

    6:25 p.m. — As we wait for the cake to cool, we watch House Hunters and eat leftover pizza that I have.

    8:45 p.m. — Our friend loves the cake, but it's Sunday night and we're all tired, so I head home. I wash my face and settle in to watch The Walking Dead before bed. The show is so boring now, but I can't quit it!

    Daily Total: $2.53

    Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

    The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.

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    Have you been working for at least 8 years and seen your salary increase or fluctuate? If so, fill out this form for a chance to be featured on our Salary Story series!

    Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqs

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    If you have even a tiny bit of hoarder in you, you likely find it really hard to part with the piles and piles of clothes, shoes, and accessories hiding in your closet. Some reasons are legit and are bound up in the fears and insecurities about what it means to give up something that you used to identify so strongly with. Other reasons are just crazy, because, no — despite Justin Bobby (all hail the return of The Hills) making them look oh so good, baggy hipster beanies are never coming back in style.

    Of course, for those of you for whom some of these items are still integral to your wardrobe, we salute you (after all, there's nothing more stylish than a woman who loves and owns her style). But for the rest of you, we're about to make things really, really easy. We ID'd 12 items that almost all of us probably own, but most haven't (or shouldn't have) worn in ages, and will not want to wear again — donate these space wasters, reclaim your closet, and rest happy knowing that you couldn't accidentally dress like an extra on Laguna Beach, even if you tried.

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

    Swap: Way Too Big Clothing Pieces
    There's a big difference between purposely opting for oversized clothing and just wearing things that don't fit. Drowning in fabric isn't a lewk.

    For: A Well-Fitted Alternative
    On the other hand, a dress that hugs in all the right places or a pair of jeans that look like they were made just for you — those are definite winners.



    ASOS CURVE City Maxi Tea Dress With Split , $51, available at ASOS

    Swap: White Sneakers That Just Won't Come Clean
    Everyone has that one pair of Adidas Superstars or white Converse high-tops that you wore one too many times to a muddy day in the park or had beer spilled on them every weekend in college. So why do we always hold onto them for so long? They're gross — toss them.

    For: Chunky Sneakers
    Nope, we're not giving up on dad sneakers quite yet.



    Adidas Falcon W in Triple White, $100, available at Need SupplyPhoto Courtesy of Need Supply.

    Swap: "Interview" Pants
    Someone convinced you that you needed to have a "business professional" look before interviewing for your first jobs, and you spent too much money on a pair of pants that did you no favors. It's time to let those go.

    For: High-Waisted Flair Trousers
    Unlike an untailored pair of slacks, these add shape while still managing to be office-appropriate.



    & Other Stories Skinny Flare Trousers, $115, available at & Other StoriesPhoto Courtesy of & Other Stories.

    Swap: Counterfeit Handbags
    Not only are you not fooling anyone, you're also contributing to a whole industry of crime, human trafficking, and child labor.

    For: Real, Second-Hand Bags
    With e-commerce sites like The RealReal, Heroine, and Vestiaire Collective, you don't have to scour 150+ pages of eBay listings to find the designer handbag you've always wanted.



    Gucci Vintage GG Marmont, $800, available at HeroinePhoto Courtesy of Heroine.

    Swap: All The Tote Bags
    The one from that conference your best friend dragged you to. The one from your cousin's wedding. The one you bought when your purse bottomed out that one time. Get rid of 'em, get rid of all of them (except for maybe one good one).

    For: A Patterned Tote
    When it comes to practical, durable totes for all your grocery, gym clothes, and junk-carrying needs, there are a lot more options than just another sand-colored tote.



    Baggu Standard Baggu, $10, available at BagguPhoto Courtesy of Baggu.

    Swap: All Your Frumpy Pajama Options
    We're grown-ups, which obviously, has its downfalls (i.e., bills, bills and more bills), but it also means getting to do all the grown-up things you always dreamed of doing. And for us, that means real, proper pajamas.

    For: Grown-up Pajamas
    Whether you go for a two-piece set or a nightgown, finally ridding yourself of the 20+ college T-shirts, flannel pants, and boxers will do loads for your closet space and your confidence.



    Sleeper Black Pajama Set, $265, available at SleeperPhoto Courtesy of The Sleeper.

    Swap: Slouchy Beanies
    Finally, the days of slouchy beanies that don't fit and require constant adjustments are behind us. And while you're tossing those in the donation bin, maybe do the same with all the non-prescription horn-rimmed glasses you bought at Urban Outfitters to "look smart."

    For: Fisherman Beanies
    These more-fitted and less over-the-top beanies will keep you warm and look cool this winter.



    Acne Studios Ribbed Beanie Hat, $150, available at Acne StudiosPhoto Courtesy of Acne Studios.

    Swap: Pilled Leggings
    No matter how delicately you wash your leggings, if you're rolling around the carpets at Pure Barre and wearing them on repeat, they're going to pill and it's not going to be cute.

    For: An Investment Pair
    If you're serious about getting #fit, you're probably wearing leggings on at least a three-day-a-week basis. And if you're not (we feel you!), we're betting you still frequent your leggings drawer because, well, they're great. With all that stretching and wearing out, investing in a good pair is never a bad idea.



    Alo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Legging, $78, available at Alo YogaPhoto Courtesy of Alo Yoga.

    Swap: Your Too-Many-Winters Coat
    Face it, there comes a time in every coat's lifespan where it needs to be replaced — especially if you live somewhere with real, negative temps, white-out blizzards, winters.

    For: A Stylish Coat You Can Hold Onto
    Of course, you'll need some sort of parka to survive the cold, but a good wool coat will last you forever if you take good care of it.



    H&M Cashmere-Blend Coat, $399, available at H&MPhoto Courtesy of H&M.

    Swap: Super Skinny Jeans
    You don't have to suffer, you know. There are indeed well-fitting jeans that don't restrict your organs and force you to sit in contoured positions all day.

    For: Vintage-Style Denim
    There's a reason Levi's have been around for...well, pretty much forever.



    Levi's 501 Skinny, $98, available at AritziaPhoto Courtesy of Aritzia.

    Swap: Socks With Holes In Them
    There are other fish in the sea.

    For: Socks That Act As Accessories
    More and more, we're turning to socks for an extra oomph to any outfit.



    Rachel Comey Biles Metallic Crew Sock, $65, available at Rachel ComeyPhoto Courtesy of Rachel Comey.

    Swap: Tarnished Jewelry
    If you're anything like us, your jewelry box is a mess of tangled chains and rings that all look like they could use a good scrub. And for some, that's exactly what you should do. But for a lot of lesser quality jewelry pieces, the best you can do is toss them out.

    For: Minimal Jewelry
    You know — those wear everyday, with anything pieces of jewelry that'll last you forever if you take care of them.



    Knobbly Petite Locket, $325, available at KnobblyPhoto Courtesy of Knobbly Studio.

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    As we know from Money Diaries, we all have our unique styles when it comes to saving and spending money. Some people are partial to money-saving apps that do (some of) the work, others use piggy banks, and some are ready to hit purchase on the cart that's been filled for days as soon as that direct deposit hits.

    These habits doesn't necessarily have to do with salary: Sometimes, a diarist with an entry level salary one-third of what our highest-paid diarists earn is the most willing to shell out cash on beauty products or morning coffee. The bottom line is: Everyone has a different idea of what's worth spending on and what they can afford — be it a fresh pair of Gucci loafers, a honeymoon, or a home. We don't judge! But the interesting thing to know is why these purchases were worth the hard-earned cash.

    Ahead, some recent Money Diarists tell us their biggest purchases, why they bought them, and — most importantly — how they feel about them now.

    During the week of her Money Diary, this 25-year-old copywriter in Shanghai spent money on acupuncture and cupping and prepared for her upcoming wedding.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "To be honest, I have probably spent an average of $1,200 twice a year on flights home to the U.S., and I don't think twice about it, because in my mind it's mandatory that I see my family that often. Besides these international flights, my most expensive purchase to date was a one night stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. One night in a basic room, with no breakfast included, was $600. (I'm 25, and this is a lot of money for me — okay?!)"

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "I had been living in Singapore for about a year and a half and had planned on moving to a new country soon. My boyfriend (now husband) and I decided that we couldn't leave Singapore without staying in this hotel and swimming in their epic infinity pool (and getting a sweet picture of it for the 'gram #sorrynotsorry). Despite having a beautiful apartment down the road from this magnificent hotel, I treated us to a one night staycation. I was basically living paycheck to paycheck in Singapore, so I just splurged on a whim and tried to avoid looking at my bank balance as much as possible that month."

    Did you have buyer's remorse?

    "I had mentally prepared for this staycation for months, so I didn't have any buyer's remorse from it. However, during our stay, I did think to myself, 'Wow, I just paid $600 to essentially swim in a pool and sleep in a comfy bed.'"

    Was it worth it?

    "It was absolutely worth it. The view from that hotel is unlike anything I've ever experienced."

    In her Money Diary, this business analyst in Houston, TX, was in a cookie bake-off competition and had a no-spend day, something she tries to do once a week.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "The most expensive purchase I have ever made was on an IRO jacket that I bought at Harrods when I was living in London a few years ago. It was 475 GBP, which is about $611."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "I was out shopping for a new jacket, but I did not intend to spend near that amount of money. I had money in the bank to cover the purchase, but I did not actively save up for this purchase."

    Did you have buyer's remorse?

    "I think initially I had a bit of buyer's remorse. I did not (and still don't) regularly drop hundreds of dollars on clothing items, but I think living in London made me a bit more materialistic. I felt like I was surrounded by people with beautiful things — clothing, handbags, jewelry — and I wanted to step up my game. I did consider returning the jacket, but I truly loved it. It made me feel gorgeous and powerful."

    Was it worth it?

    "I definitely think it was worth it. It may not have been the wisest decision at the time, but I still own the jacket and get the same rush when wearing it. It will be a piece I cherish forever."

    In her Money Diary, this digital marketing specialist in Petaluma, CA,  spent money on a wine tasting at a local winery with her boyfriend and friends.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "My most expensive purchase was my dog — not up front, but over time. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my dog, but getting a dog is expensive in a lot of ways. We got him as a puppy from some people on Craigslist for $100 (sounds like a good deal right?). First day’s vet visit cost $250 because he was not being taken care of and was really sick, and then we had to go to the vet every few weeks to get him all his puppy shots, and will continue taking him to the vet at least once a year. Each visit is ~$100.

    "Since he’s got a lot of energy, he needs a yard to run and play, so instead of living in an apartment that would cost $1,500/month, we rent a house with a yard for almost $3,000/month. All the little things add up (higher rent, food, toys, vet visits, medicine, etc.)."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "My boyfriend and I had been thinking about getting a dog for a couple years, so it wasn’t impromptu, but we didn’t fully realize how much having a dog would cost, especially when renting."

    Did you have buyer's remorse?

    "No, but my advice if you’re thinking about getting a dog: wait until you own a home! If you have a small dog, you can probably get away with an apartment, but most will not allow dogs, or they require an additional deposit. Renting with bigger dogs means you can’t live in a cheap apartment without a yard. You’ll end up paying the premium to make sure your dog can have a happy life."

    Was it worth it?

    "Even if he's expensive, my dog makes me so happy, and getting him was soooo worth it."

    In her Money Diary, this media strategist in Hoboken, NJ, spent money on a clothing subscription box and celebrated her birthday at dinner with friends.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "The most expensive purchase I ever made was a 10-day solo trip to Spain that I took last year. I spent five days in Barcelona and five days in Madrid. Factoring in flight, hotels, transportation, and money spent while there (on food, drinks, tours and activities), the total cost came to about $3,000."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "It was a little bit of both. A few months earlier, I had gone through an ugly breakup with my then-boyfriend who I was living with. Post-breakup, I moved back home into my mom's house for the first time in a long time while I figured out my living situation. I saved a ton of money, as I wasn't paying rent/utilities living at home, but I wasn't saving specifically for a trip. At the time, I was incredibly heartbroken and just going through a really rough patch. So one random day (after a particularly stressful day at work), I decided I deserved to treat myself, and I just booked the flight!

    Do you have buyer's remorse?

    "Not one bit. I've always been very much a saver, and never make any crazy expensive or spur-of-the-moment purchases like this. Travel is something that I've always been passionate about, so I decided to spare absolutely no expense for this trip — I booked Airbnbs in the hot-spot neighborhoods, ate and drank every single thing I wanted, and did every tour/saw every sight that I wanted to."

    Was it worth it?

    "Absolutely. I know it sounds corny, but a solo-vacation to a foreign country was exactly what I needed to 'find myself' in the aftermath of my failed relationship — I met incredible people from other countries (some of whom I still keep in touch with!), ate the most delicious food I've ever had, saw incredible sights, and just had a great amazing trip overall."

    In this Money Diary, a marketing coordinator in Los Angeles, CA, spent money on vegan potato tacos from Taco Bell and went to a Drag Queen-themed spin class.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "My most expensive purchase was going to Burning Man. I didn't live in Los Angeles yet, so the whole thing involved: tickets and a car pass (which I got at a discount through the Low Income Ticket Program), round-trip flight to L.A. to meet up with my friend who was also going, camp fees, gas for the drive there, and supplies. You can't buy things once you're there, so 'supplies' included food and water for seven days. It cost me about $1,400."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "I applied for a Low Income ticket on a whim. I was 22 and I'd just left my corporate job and moved to Texas where I was waiting tables. If I'm being candid, I was severely depressed at the corporate job. Even though I knew I needed to leave that job for my own mental health, I felt ashamed for quitting. I was feeling really lost and needed something to look forward to, so I decided to go to Burning Man. I saved up for months while simultaneously saving to move somewhere new to start over. It was an overwhelmingly messy time in my life. I look back and feel a tinge of pride that I made it through."

    Do you have buyer's remorse?

    "No. Absolutely not. That trip was life-changing for me. Not in a 'I went to the desert, took LSD, and saw God' kind of way, but in a 'You can get through this and be okay again' way. I met some of my best friends at Burning Man that year and they gave me the confidence and courage to finally crawl out of my depression hole. I hadn't felt fun or funny in months, but the people I met through my camp saw value in me. They made me feel like myself again. Wow, I'm getting a little emotional even thinking about it."

    Was it worth it?

    "It was completely worth it. I'm stressed out now just thinking about what a financial strain it was, but I'd do it all over again. The day I flew home from that trip, I used my newfound confidence to apply for the job that eventually brought me to California. I'm trying to say this in the least dramatic way possible, but had I not gone on that trip — I wouldn't live in L.A., I wouldn't know the majority of my closest friends, and I probably wouldn't be as happy as I am with my life right now. It wasn't even about Burning Man as a place or event. It was about me finding a way to hit the reset button on my relationship with myself. In retrospect, it's wild that I even felt the urge to apply for those tickets in the first place. None of my friends had ever even gone to Burning Man, and most didn't even know what it was. I just had a gut feeling that I needed to go, and the rest is history!"

    In this Money Diary, an executive recruiter in Austin, TX, bought herself new Vince Camuto boots and got stood up at the dog park by a Bumble BFF match.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "My most expensive purchase to date is my Mazda sedan, which I bought when I moved from New York City to Los Angeles. I made a $3,000 down payment and financed $17,000, but I'm going to end up paying around $21,000, due to interest."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "Once I knew that we were moving to L.A., I decided to buy a car, and saved up enough money for what I thought was a hefty down payment."

    Do you have buyer's remorse?

    "I definitely do. I moved to L.A. with my boyfriend for his new job, and we thought he'd be driving into an office every day. I work from home, but I bought a car so that I'd be able to run errands and visit with friends while he was at work. Three months after the move, his position transitioned to full-time remote, and we definitely didn't need two cars.

    "I've owned the car for two years now, and it has less than 9,000 miles on it. It would be even lower if we hadn't driven from L.A. to Austin, TX, when we moved here last December. I'm still making payments on the car, though I've really buckled down on paying off debt this year, and should pay it off nearly two years early this July. I really let my emotions get the better of me with this purchase. I was so excited for the freedom of having a car after living in NYC for almost five years, that I didn't really think it through."

    Was it worth it?

    "Yes and no. The car is very nice and incredibly reliable. At the rate that I use it, I could drive it for the next decade without hitting 100,000 miles. In that sense, it's a good value. However, I'd much rather have avoided the 'stupid tax' in the form of interest on my auto loan. Not paying for a car payment/gas/insurance for the last two years would have made a big difference on my overall financial situation. Plus, I've learned that my car is really too small for what I want to do with it. When my family visits, they can't all fit comfortably in the back seat, and I plan on getting a second, larger dog. I wish I'd purchased an SUV instead of a sedan."

    This communications manager in Glendale, CA, spends her Money Diary reading parenting books and buying things for her nursery in preparation for the birth of her baby.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "A new King-size bedroom set and mattress that we bought when I was pregnant with my son. One of my friends works at a mattress store, so we were able to buy our mattress and sheets at a major discount. Our bed and dresser are the matching dark gray Hemnes set from IKEA. Altogether, the furniture, mattress, and bedding came out to about $2,500. Before that, my husband and I were sleeping in the Queen-size bed he had since high school. When we moved in together, we were saving up for our wedding, so we re-stained his bed and dresser ourselves to avoid buying new stuff."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "We had been talking about buying a new 'grown up' bedroom set for a while, but it wasn’t a priority. With my pregnancy support pillows taking up most of the bed and our 60-pound dog who loves to hop in bed with us, there was barely any room left for my husband. It was definitely time for an upgrade.

    "We hadn’t specifically saved up for a new bedroom set, but we do have a savings account dedicated to miscellaneous big purchases that might pop up, like this one."

    Do you have buyer's remorse?

    "When the mattress arrived, it felt a lot softer than I remembered it being at the store, but we decided to try it out for a few days. But then the holidays happened, and our baby was born, and we never got around to reevaluating if the mattress was the right firmness before the return window expired. I still think it’s too soft (while my husband thinks it’s perfect), so I’m having a bit of buyer’s remorse. It probably wasn't a good idea to buy a new mattress while I was pregnant."

    Was it worth it?

    "The size upgrade was definitely worth it; it feels so luxurious to be able to stretch out as much as we want and also have our dog and baby in there with us. But I wish we had spent a little more time and effort making sure the mattress was a better fit for my preference, because it’s something we’re going to keep for the next decade, and having the right amount of support is essential for preventing back pain. At least for now I have an excuse to indulge in more massages, so there’s a bright side."

    In this Money Diary, a service coordinator in NYC spends most of her money on clothing and makeup. She has a skincare obsession and a Sephora VIB Rouge card to prove it.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "My most expensive purchase was my Givenchy Small Antigona leather satchel. It was $2,290, before tax. My mom loves it and asks how much I paid for it, but I'll never tell her since she would probably murder me, lol."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "It was a bit of both. I tend to be careful with my spending and I work VERY hard for my money. But I'd been wanting a designer bag for so long, and I finally found the perfect one, so why not?"

    Do you have buyer's remorse?

    "Initially I was like, 'Whoa, this is f**king ridiculous, I can't believed I really paid this much for a bag.' After that, I fell in love with it. It makes ANY outfit look amazing and I get compliments on it all the time."

    Was it worth it?

    "YES. It's my go-to bag. I know this will sound vain, but when you walk into any place with a designer bag, that place turns into your runway. It's an amazing feeling."

    This children's librarian in Cleveland, OH, spent her money during the week of her Money Diary on B12 supplements, a garlic press, and two tanks of gas.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "A road bike in the summer of 2014, which was about $950."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "I bought it on layaway, giving the bike shop $200-$300 whenever I could. I finally took it home with me about three months after I first saw it. I bought it because my boyfriend at the time was a cyclist, and I wanted to be able to ride with him."

    Do you have buyer's remorse?

    "I occasionally have buyer’s remorse, because I’ve ridden it maybe 10 times in four years. I keep saying this will be the year I get out and ride it, and I even bought one of those stands to make it into a stationary bike so I can ride it indoors during the winter. We’ll see if I actually follow through on riding it outdoors."

    Was it worth it?

    "Yes, because I’d really like to be a person who cycles regularly. But I’m also sort of terrified of riding it on the actual road, even if it’s just a small stretch that connects trails."

    This deputy director in Silicon Valley wrote in her Money Diary about how she and her husband sleep on a mattress on the floor because they aren't ready to buy a bed as expensive as what they ultimately want.

    What was your most expensive purchase, and how much was it?

    "The most expensive purchase I’ve ever made was my three-week honeymoon to Europe. It was a little under $16,000 altogether, including airfare, trains, hotels, restaurants, and tours."

    Was it impromptu, or did you save up for it?

    "It was the opposite of impromptu, as you might have guessed from the London planning in my Diary. I meticulously researched everything we did, from hotels to tours to restaurants. I knew approximately how much the trip would cost ahead of time, and we were fully prepared."

    Do you have buyer's remorse?

    "We save pretty effectively most of the time, so we made a conscious decision to spend a chunk of our savings on this trip. We didn’t travel much in our 20s, so we decided to do and eat everything we wanted to in Europe. We spent almost no money on shopping, however. Every expense was experience-related. I have no buyer's remorse."

    Was it worth it?

    "With the exception of one tour guide who I didn’t like much (he only took up six hours of our three-week trip), I loved our honeymoon. It was worth every penny."

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  • 10/22/18--12:30: 29 Big (Fashion) Ideas
  • The Clothes
    The Styling Tips
    The Politics
    The Buzz
    The Transformations

    In the political and cultural world of 2018, it’s hard to define the value of Fashion Month and its role in the "bigger picture." The idea that four weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris are supposed to influence the closets of those who have never even been to any of those cities feels disconnected, to say the least. Why should “non-fashion people” care about productions that flaunt wealth and exclusivity? Why are we looking at clothes that don't come out for another six months? What is the return on investment for designers and their hundred-thousand-dollar runway shows? Why is September still considered "the January of fashion?" But despite the fact that every month feels like Fashion Month with endless capsule collections, pop-ups, and other one-offs, the spring 2019 season ultimately proved to be rich with timely, resonant discussions and heady, much-needed escape.

    What made this season such a standout was the context in which it took place — in the middle of a historic and ugly Supreme Court nomination, the month when Black women took the covers of fashion magazines by storm, and a year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico as Trump’s America shrugged. The idea of prioritizing clothes over real world events felt as misanthropic as it sounds.

    But designers leaned into and confronted today’s toughest issues. At Pyer Moss, racial tensions weren’t tense at all: the designer cast an all-black runway for his latest show, which reflected on the positive side of the modern African-American experience. For his contentious Celine debut, Hedi Slimane had us re-thinking what it means to dress sexy in the age of #MeToo. Sacai deconstructed conventions of feminism, while Carolina Herrera did the opposite. And Dries Van Noten provided the glamour that was missing from it all.

    It’s safe to say, then, that there has been a fundamental shift: What happens during Fashion Month does matter. Women have always been ready for serious and cheerful clothes — clothes that are appropriate for real life and dream-like moments, be it on the dance floor or on the street marching in the resistance. And just because it costs more than an arm and a leg doesn’t mean it doesn’t have heart.

    As we look back on the latest trends and headlines, we know there’s a lot to discuss. Below, we’re tackling 29 ideas that have captured the zeitgeist during one of fashion’s most relevant seasons.

    Illustration by Bijou Karman. Animation by Brent Clouse.  

    Teva's vs. Dr. Martens: Divisive Footwear Faces Off

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Why we ever spent money on shoes we couldn’t walk in is beyond us, but everyone’s been there. Gone are the days of wobbly heels and footwear you knew would give you blisters — in these trying times, we need shoes that can hit the pavement. Thus, the practical options of choice this season came in polar opposite silhouettes: Teva sandals and Dr. Martens boots. Both major proponents of fashion-crowd-favorite "ugly" footwear, these two brands were mainstays on the runway, paired with everything from sequin dresses at Sandy Liang to deconstructed suiting at Snow Xue Gao. Sure, they may be divisive, but isn't everything in 2018?

    Are Bike Shorts On The Runway A Coincidence Or Just A Cheap Pull From Street Style?

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Riddle us this: Aren’t designers supposed to debut trends first, with street style stars following close by with their own takes? Apparently, it’s the other way around — at least when it comes to bike shorts. That’s why we were admittedly surprised to see a trend basically pioneered by Kim Kardashian West popping up in collections by Karl Lagerfeld, among many, many others. From playful styles at Area and Jacquemus to Chanel and Fendi’s dialed-down versions, it’s clear we should just stop asking whether leggings are pants, because the answer is obviously yes. The people want comfort, and designers are here to damn well deliver.

    It’s Time To Take Up Knitting

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Alert your grandma and Pinterest-obsessed sister that you’re going to need one hand-sewn cardigan stat. Be it genuine knitwear or smaller embroidered details, the runways of Dior, Alberta Ferretti, and Jil Sander saw an influx of crochet that had us wanting to cuddle up. Maybe after a few seasons of a lot of not-so-comforting textiles (see: leather, latex) designers are taking a step back and focusing on craftsmanship that 1) involves actual craftspeople (Ulla Johnson’s beaded pieces were made by Maasai women in Nairobi), and 2) can be thrown in the wash without worry. Catch ya later, prairie dress — we’re moving on to a new frontier.

    Somehow, The 2000s Have (Already) Made A Comeback

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    If the only constant is change, then, in fashion, the only guarantee is that every trend will come back around again. Despite our loud and proud love for the ‘80s and ‘90s, we've heard a lot of adults saying they don't need to re-live shoulder pads and denim mini skirts. Even millennials can now say they’ve already witnessed a resurgence of the high school items they’d rather forget. Relics of the early-aughts — low-rise pants, bandana tops, even flip flops — popped up at Ashish, Marta Jakubowski, Christian Cowan, LaQuan Smith, Vaquera, and beyond. Now someone call Paris Hilton.

    Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Thai elephant pants are getting an upgrade (in case you aren’t familiar with the yogi staple, click here). While drawing inspiration from travels across the globe is nothing new for designers, spring 2019 had us wondering if they all spent the last three months on the same vacation. The flood of rope belts, artisanal prints, and safari hats seen at Anna Sui, Rejina Pyo, Rosetta Getty, and more had us reaching for our passports and aching to book a flight (or, for those balling on a budget, just read Eat, Pray, Love). But, on a serious note, this particular reference has us hoping that, for all the other motifs culled from across the globe (like batik fabrics), designers are incorporating the original artisans into their work, too.

    The Ongoing Interpretations Of Menswear For Women

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Some might say we’re living in a post-Pantsuit Nation world, but Hillary Clinton’s go-to enjoyed several iterations this season: In tailored silhouettes at Christian Dior, swishy fabrics at Dries van Noten, and oversized proportions at Tibi, you can now find a different pantsuit flavor for every day of the week. What this means? Designers are finally starting to get it. For spring, they proved that power suiting isn’t just a stuffy work uniform from the ‘80s tiresomely recycled — it can be liberating, too. Take Emilia Wickstead’s suits, for example – shown with pants and skirts – at an afternoon wedding, or the black suits at Akris at a cocktail party. And just about every suit works well with a comfy flat sandal or sneaker – the sensible footwear we’ll need in order to topple the patriarchy.

    Colors So Ugly You Just Can't Look Away

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    We’ve seen a return to color over the past few years, with designers shunning black in favor of zingy pastel and primary hues. Where soft millennial pinks and playful electric blues once were, this season brings replacements of a more lurid palette, and brands are encouraging us to reach for pieces that should, in theory, turn us off.

    Think of the nod to military uniforms seen at Marine Serre, Dior, Sies Marjan, and Ports 1961: head-to-toe khaki was seen throughout. Dull grays associated with brutalism were employed by Esteban Cortazar and Miu Miu, while turgid browns flooded the runways at Givenchy and Hermès. 2018 has seen ugly sneakers, ugly jewelry, and ugly sunglasses all reign supreme, but, as spring 2019 proves, the unsightly has officially reached the color spectrum. And we can’t look away.

    The Unsexy Lady Bag

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Last season, Staud may have made the barrel bag the most sought-after plus-one, and Simon Miller and Jacquemus may have given us the inconceivably tiny — and inarguably nonsensical — microbag, but spring 2019 (thankfully!) saw a return to practicality. Meet the Unsexy Lady Bag: a top-handled beauty, part doctor’s toolkit, part briefcase that’s made for a woman on a mission. At Valentino, leather in turquoise, red, pink, and black was contrasted with gold hardware, while croc finishes were given a bejeweled finish at Miu Miu. Jil Sander went even more minimal, with a concertina-style tan number. Gone are the days of trying to fit all of your possessions in a bag that carried more style than substance. Now, you can do both.

    Illustration by Bijou Karman. Animation by Brent Clouse.

    Who Needs Handbags When You Have Extra-Large Pockets?

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Is anything more thrilling than trying on a dress and realizing it has pockets? Glorious, glorious pockets you can stuff with various paraphernalia, making for a heavenly purse-free existence? Carolina Herrera, A.W.A.K.E, and Fendi are just some of the labels offering gigantic pockets that can fit a pair of sensible flats, say, to make your commute less hellish. These pockets aren’t a demure surprise either – they’re puffy, three-dimensional, and unapologetic. They appeared on jackets, skirts, pants, dresses, coats, and even blouses, which means you’ll probably encounter them sooner or later. Adios, purse dust — we never knew what to call you anyway. (Hello, pocket dust.)

    Silk, Satin, & Sequins Get Remixed

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Conventionally feminine materials — like, the three S’s: silk, satin, and sequins — are now in total opposition to the typical. Thanks to designers like Sacai, Preen, Paco Rabanne, and others, what was once considered frilly (see also: dainty or feeble) is now devoid of any weakness, concealed by heavier matter, or is genderless. The thought of deconstructing the DNA of womenswear at a time when overtly feminine clothes are taking on new meaning may seem like a step backwards, but now more than ever, we could stand to be reminded that fashion has to evolve. Where would we be if it didn’t?

    Fashion's Latest Tech Boom

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Wasn’t it peculiar that, as Europe continues to soft-pedal their own tech boom, several European designers sent tech tools down the runway? A pair of headphones, for example, seemed AirDropped from one show to another; even the most practical of accessories, like belts and handbags, are now equipped to carry your every device. At Salvatore Ferragamo and Fendi, belts included pockets that were the exact shape of your iPhone, your iPods, and say, an e-reader. (There were iPads in the pockets of backpacks at Margiela, too.)

    But this isn’t an advertising act. It’s not some millennial stratagem, nor is the quirk of clipping your iPhone to your thigh like a drop-leg holster some act of happy chance or contrivance. It is, however, a sign that designers are beefing up their accessories lines because, hey, that’s where the money is. Who cares if the government is always watching, and if this makes it even easier for them to do so? Fashion houses, too, know that practicality — at least these days — prevails. So, until the next system update, we say so long to fanny packs; the utility belt is back.

    Time To Grin & Bare It All

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Fashion no longer wants you to hide your underwear lines like they’re a bad family secret. From floral trenches at Dries Van Noten to polka dot dresses at Prada, articles of clothing have gone completely and shamelessly sheer — and with that comes some practical briefs. In place of thongs and other fancy, frilly undergarments, Calvin Klein 205W39NYC sent its infamous logo-ed underwear down the runway. On the not-so-practical side, Gucci offered up crystallized jock straps. But if designers want to dress our every nook and cranny, who are we to complain?

    Things That Go Pouf

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    It’s a poof! It’s a loofah! It’s...a corsage? Eh, we can worry about this part later. As we watched the spring 2019 collections unfold, something stood out: rosette-style embellishments adorned to dresses, blazers, and necks made for one of the more obvious trends of the season. And they came in all shapes, sizes, and colors: At Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, and Molly Goddard, those “the-bigger-the-bow-the-closer-to-God” vibes were less of a surprise than they were at Sacai, where designer Chitose Abe made them smaller (and more manageable), appearing more origami-like than some sort of used fashion sponge.

    Nostalgia for ‘80s-style clothes is alive and well, so if that means more is more and less is…well, less...then so be it. Blending in is so last season.

    Illustration by Bijou Karman. Animation by Brent Clouse.

    Designers Bring True Inclusion To The Runway

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Do clothes actually speak for themselves? The reality is a lot of them don’t. It’s why, at a time when originality is tested by Diet Prada on the daily, the conversation has expanded to casting, too. The industry may be split on whether or not the runway should reflect the real world, but with increasing diversity numbers each season, there’s no doubt designers have begun to make more space for the industry’s persona non grata, and for themselves: curvy, Black, transgender, differently abled — see also: “real” — models.

    Kerby Jean Raymond of Pyer Moss, Claudia Li, Marco Marco, and Savage X Fenty by Rihanna, cast all-Black, all-Asian, all-transgender, and all-everything runways, respectively. That doesn’t mean tokenism is dead, but their impact permeated the web. Have designers finally found a way to speak to their customer? Only a long-term commitment will tell. But for now, repeat after us: Inclusion ≠ exclusion. Inclusion ≠ exclusion. Inclusion ≠ exclusion.

    Everyone Is Wearing (& Collaborating With) Nike

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Streetwear remains a huge influence on fashion, which means Nike was bound to pop up at Fashion Month sooner or later. Dozens of street style stars were photographed in Nike sneakers, and the brand’s logo was emblazoned on tops, dresses, and leggings in Virgil Abloh’s sporty-elegant Off-White show. At Comme des Garçons, models wore chunky Nike dad sneakers wrapped in gold and silver chains. The swoosh was everywhere.

    But the brand isn’t just having a moment because athleisure is, nor are we copping this up to the blessed ongoing popularity of comfy shoes. Nike is one of the rare legacy brands that has managed to modernize and make a statement this year, thanks in large part to its iconic Colin Kaepernick campaign. And, after a few gender discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits were issued earlier this year, we’re not saying Nike’s presence throughout Fashion Month was an attempt to lure back women and remind us to Just Do It — but we’re not saying it wasn’t, either.

    Accessories Ready For Combat

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Last season’s Joan of Arc chainmail hoods were just the tip of the iceberg. The accessories needed to dress like a warrior are becoming less a commentary on the political climate and more like a survival necessity. Antonio Marras had camouflage headgear that lets you slip into a bush unnoticed. Courrèges had padded headgear (a.k.a. chic puffer helmets) and visors so large they could double as eye protection. Rick Owens had literal torches. Where do we go from here? Do we sense breastplates and luxury battle spears in our future?

    Should We Really Be Styling Models In Durags?

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    For Black people, durags aren’t anything new. They’re a staple when it comes to haircare, laying down the friz to emphasize the person’s waves or curl pattern without messing up their growth. But in recent seasons, the head wrap has emerged on designer runways as a high-end trend sported by non-Black models. This season, thanks to Pyer Moss and LaQuan Smith — though they also appeared on Tom Ford, Max Mara, and Michael Kors runways — it was refreshing to see durags on Black models presented by Black designers. As Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond described his spring 2019 show: "What does a mundane Saturday look like when we’re just left alone? What is black leisure wear?" Well, it’s something as mundane as a durag. So much so that a version of one from Smith’s runway will be available with the designer’s first collection for ASOS.

    The SCOTUS Moment

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    The day of the Kavanaugh hearings in Washington D.C., Rick Owens staged his fashion show around a flaming pyre in the Palais de Tokyo. Models walked the runway Lady Liberty-style, carrying burning torches or swathed in sullied American flags. Owens couldn’t have known when he created the collection that the hearing would overlap with his show, but his portrayal of a dystopian universe was surreal and spot-on.

    People wondered if posting about Fashion Month during the hearing was insensitive. But sometimes, we learned, the show must literally go on. In that sense, it’s why sharing updates from the runways wasn’t a bad thing to do, even if fashion seemed particularly insignificant in the moment. It was a lesson in accepting the things we can’t change, mustering the courage to change the things we can, and having the wisdom to know the difference.

    Illustration by Bijou Karman. Animation by Brent Clouse.  

    Former Designer Duos Break Free

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    We’d like to think that, back in 2011, designers Carly Cushnie and Chris Peters knew they’d be presenting their own solo collections at New York Fashion Week seven years later. The two, formerly of duos Cushnie et Ochs and Creatures of The Wind, respectively, competed in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund together, and for spring 2019, they finally debuted their own labels: Cushnie and CDLM. The collections were strong and concise: both embraced themes of diversity and wearability in under 40 looks.

    Another one of their classmates, Erin Beatty — who competed alongside them in the same year with her design partner Max Osterweis under Suno — also got back in the game. Beatty joined Nina Sarin Arias at her label Arias to lend her colorful, painterly eye to a line of sophisticated, contemporary separates. It’s more serendipitous, or golden, than it is timely that these three happened to join fashion, and then rejoin fashion, at the same time — but the fact that they did is just a really good thing.

    The Fenty Effect

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Leave it to Rihanna to close New York Fashion Week with a bang. The multi hyphenate creator cast the most curve models of the season, Slick Woods went into labor backstage, and the industry was there for it all. Editors made the trek to Brooklyn, some even leaving the Marc Jacobs show before it started (an hour and a half behind schedule, at that). We’ll skip the rumors that Jacobs wasn’t pleased with losing his coveted last-show-of-New-York-Fashion-Week spot, and instead focus on what matters: That Rihanna’s show celebrated women of all forms, body types, and cultures. That whole celebrities can’t be designers thing? Yeah, it’s been put to rest.

    The Phoebe Philo Void

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    When it was confirmed that Phoebe Philo was leaving Celine after a decade at the helm, those both in and outside of fashion publicly mourned the sophisticated, ingenious kind of dressing that Philo celebrated. Just as much anticipation mounted when Hedi Slimane was announced as her successor. How could the man that brought his signature codes of the alt-youth — often unbearably thin models in precision-cut blazers — possibly mirror Philo’s female gaze?

    As think-pieces and Instagram accounts dedicated to the old Celine circulated, there emerged a focus on what Philo herself represented. She wasn’t always fantastic when it came to diversity or representation (an argument put to Slimane after his debut collection, which featured just nine models of color), but she was forward-thinking in that she let women be whatever they wanted to. She made clothing for women that women wanted to wear, while Slimane’s debut felt like the opposite. Until Phoebe returns (please come back), we’re looking to designers like Stella McCartney, Claire Waight Keller, Victoria Beckham, and Sarah Burton to lead the way.

    Hype In Overdrive

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    This season, there were a few designers whose runway shows felt more like events of the season than seasonal events. Take Ralph Lauren, for example, who fêted his 50 years in the industry with a spectacle that drew a glittery, feverishly devoted crowd that squeezed onto the the Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. Kerby Jean-Raymond commanded an audience for his Pyer Moss collection all the way to Weeksville, Brooklyn. Fenty shut down the Brooklyn Navy Yard. And, over in Paris, Hedi Slimane’s hellish Celine premiere was historic for all the wrong reasons. They were the shows everyone wanted into, for better or worse; they proved Fashion Month is (still) something of a popularity contest.

    Illustration by Bijou Karman. Animation by Brent Clouse.  

    Illustration by Bijou Karman. Animation by Brent Clouse. Illustration by Bijou Karman. Animation by Brent Clouse.

    The Endless Runway

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Was it just us, or did Fashion Month feel a lot longer than four weeks this season? We’re talking about designers and their prioritizing of quantity over quality — and it wasn’t just Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana. The new Celine, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Gucci all dragged on, with each house sending more than 75 looks down the runway. What happened to editing? It could be inferred that pressure from the corporations that own them, like LVMH and Kering, think more is more. Maybe when you’re a headlining brand, it is.

    Life's A Banquet, Literally

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    How about a side of calories with your clothing? It seemed as much of an impossibility as sneakers becoming the go-to shoe, and look how that turned out. Whether it was eaten or not, food was all over fashion week, and not just in the form of complementary Muscle Milk. Labels like Brock Collection, Mansur Gavriel, Gabriela Hearst, and Staud offered full brunch ‘scapes with their shows, where guests were actually seated around tables set with avocado toast and deconstructed macarons. The set-ups were almost too pretty to eat, but as anyone who’s ever worked in an office knows, who turns down free food? Not even fashion people.

    The Subversity Of Beachwear

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    We’ve all heard the trope: “Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.” But what happens when you venture into paisley? Deep oceanic hues? What about designer surfboards, like at Etro? Baja tops at Michael Kors? A seashell bra at Thom Browne?

    On that note, what does beach culture actually mean post-Beach Boys and Blue Crush? Are pricey bucket hats or Calvin Klein-stitched wetsuits worth the about-face when beneath the surface, an entire ecosystem, is dying in the background of our selfies? Fashion is still one of the largest contributors to ocean waste, and millions of plastic microfibers from our clothes find their way to the oceans every time we wash them. Think about that.

    Surfing is cool — but aren’t most models skateboarders anyway?

    Family Ties

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Dolce & Gabbana, Pyer Moss, Eckhaus Latta, and Marine Serre incorporated families of models onto their runways this season; they were diverse in age, size, and race; a much-needed sense of community was felt. The message, no matter what side you’re on, was direct: Families (should) stick together. The fact that this theme occurred on all parts of the spectrum — from mega-brands to mid-tier contemporary labels to emerging designers — was no coincidence. Actually, it’s evidence that, when the rest of the world gets political, the fashion crowd leans in. It’s worth pointing out, too, that baby-spotting at Fashion Week is too darn cute.

    Can Sex Still Sell Post-#MeToo?

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    This season, Balmain, Christian Cowan, Isabel Marant, or Saint Laurent pushed the idea that sexiness in a post-#MeToo world doesn’t always have to come in the form of a power suit — and it certainly doesn’t mean having to cover up. (Just don’t get us started on Hedi Slimane and Celine.) But what made these asymmetrical looks so daring wasn’t that they were shiny, tight, or short — it was that they were made of fabric that doesn’t breathe well on a summer night, in the club, or the morning after. Put simply: They’re clothes you can dance in, but not too hard. They’re clothes for standing there and….looking pretty — but is that really what women want right now?

    Our Favorite Street Style Stars Are The Ones Who Have Been Here All Along

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Anyone in the industry will tell you that street style has become an oversaturated zoo that blocks street corners and stops traffic. We’ve officially hit maximum tolerance for "who-even- is -she" pretenders. So this season, we looked beyond the staged photos and lingering peacocks and refocused on the women who made us actually care about street style in the first place: eternally stylish industry mainstays like Glamour Germany's Véronique Tristram and her bold, black-framed glasses, layering master Lucy Chadwick, Tamu McPherson and her eclectic, considered femininity, elevated-casual expert Natasha Goldberg, Irina Linovich and her perfectly draped lengths, and Christine Centenera, the OG ( God, she nails it every time, doesn't she?). These women stay true to their own identity, rather than chasing the most-likely-to-be-photographed Balenciaga bag. And if you ask us, it’s that authenticity that makes the best outfits.

    Mugler & Herrera: The Underdogs Who Came Out On Top

    Collage by The Cuadro.

    Ahead of his Carolina Herrera debut, designer Wes Gordon was certain he was going to nail it: “Get ready for the era of Herrera," the brand posted to their Instagram. And boy, did he ever. The same could be said for Casey Cadwallader, who recently took over the helm at Mugler. We could say so much more about the juicy color-blocking and oversized silhouettes at the former or the more muted tones and elusive, controlled shapes at the latter, but what’s even more inspiring is the unshakable inkling we got when watching both collections dominate Fashion Month. Gordon and Cadwallader are poised to be the future of the industry, and with all the uncertainty currently plaguing establishment fashion (creative director shifts, burnout, collections that just don’t sell), it’s refreshing to have something that gets us really, really excited about what’s to come.

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    Yes, we know drivers licenses are not glamour shots — they are serious pieces of ID that help law enforcement officials identify us and keep potential threats and troublemakers in check. But, those things are with you for a decade — is it a crime to want to look like a somewhat presentable human being in ours?

    We all have horror stories (with the photos to prove it) of ID snaps gone amiss. Bad lighting, cranky photo takers, and now, in some states, not being allowed to smile all add up to create a perfect storm of bad pics. If you do manage to get a good one, it's either luck or because you are photogenically blessed, right?

    Not so, friends. While you can't necessarily guarantee an amazing shot, there are some little beauty tricks you can do to make sure your hair and makeup aren't totally sabotaging you. We asked the pros to tell us their best tips for taking a great driver's license photo — because you've got enough on your hands dealing with that long-ass line and the cranky employees.

    Click through to see how to get your best driver's license photo ever, crappy DMV camera be damned.

    Find Your Angle

    While most of us have mastered the art of looking great in regular photos, it's a little more difficult to "find your good side" in a straight-on, close-up shot. This is where selfies come in handy: According to celebrity hairstylist Danilo, do a selfie session before your actual photo to help prep.

    "Take a couple shots of yourself with your phone — you'll get a general feel of what a singular source of light does to your face," he says, and you'll know the best angle for you.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Pull Back Your Hair

    One of the biggest mistakes many women make with their hair is something Danilo calls the hair corsage: Piling all of your loose hair in front of one shoulder so it looks like you have a giant blob of hair on your shirt. This hides your neck and shoulders and makes your proportions look off in the photo, plus it can take up a large part of the frame, making the shot look cluttered and heavy.

    Danilo suggests keeping your hair off of your face with a ponytail, low side bun, or even a yoga knot. The look he created at Desigual's spring '14 show is another great example of a stylish way to keep hair up. "It's not about playing peekaboo with your face," he explains. "You need to reveal yourself and show as much of your face as possible. Too much hair in the face blocks out the light and creates shadows, which can make you look older and tired. Putting it back is refreshing and lifts the face a bit."

    Just be sure not to pull the hair too tightly up, which can look severe. Instead, let a few pieces fall out to help soften the look. If you simply must wear your hair down, Danilo says to make sure your hair is behind your shoulders. Be sure to brush your hair before your photo, or, if you don't have one with you, use your fingers to comb through and neaten up your ends. Give it a quick spray of shine spray to help gloss it up. "It's about shiny, happy hair," he says.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    No Red-Carpet Makeup

    While the temptation to layer on the makeup might be strong, celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal says it's in your best interest to resist. You want to look like you, as this is a form of serious identification. That means no smoky-eye-and-red-lip combo. Instead, Roncal says to keep it natural with browns, peaches, and pinks, and to use a light hand when applying your cosmetics. "You want to look like yourself," she reasons. "You don’t want to be completely overdone or trendy."

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Embrace Your Texture

    According to celebrity stylist Tommy Buckett, don't try to radically switch up your hair the day of your photo. "Always work with what you have," he advises. "If it's curls, take a curling iron to it and enhance the curls. If your hair is wavy, add some cream to it to define the hair and control flyaways while adding texture." For those with fine hair or prone to oil, Buckett says to get your photo done when hair is freshly washed and dried. Or, if it's at the end of the day, hit your roots with some dry shampoo to perk it up.

    "You know how your hair looks at its worst," he says, "so avoid those pitfalls. "Trying to wrestle your hair into doing something unnatural will only up your chances of a possible hair disaster.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Skip The Shimmer

    While you may want to try to balance out the harsh lighting and shadows by piling on the luminizer and reflecting pigments, Roncal says this could easily backfire. "The lighting and white background can do crazy things to shimmer – it can make you look like your skin is wet, or if the shimmer is too chunky, it will look like glitter specks on your face." Instead, Roncal says to focus on adding color back into your face with bronzers and blush (more on that later).

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Don't Look Like A Convict

    The harsh lighting, the close proximity, the straight-on angle: "There's a fine line between a mug shot and a license shot," says Danilo. With all of those factors working against you, it's important to make sure you look as friendly as possible in your photo. "Give a little expression — don't be dreary-eyed," he says. Smile, of course, unless you live in a state that no longer allows smiling in identification photos. In those instances, you've got to inject the warmth into your eyes, so practice again with the selfies to master your Tyra-approved smize.

    According to Danilo, this is also why it's important to put a little effort into your appearance. "No effort shows, and it just makes you look like a junkie in the end," he explains. Definitely not the vibe you want to give off to any law enforcement official who is checking your ID.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Get A Glow

    As Roncal explains, the combination of a white background and fluorescent lighting will wash out your complexion, no matter what your skin tone is, so you need to counteract that by adding color back into the face. If you have light skin, Roncal says to use a matte bronzer, one or two shades darker than your natural color, on the high points of your face to add back in some of the color that will be lost.

    Need an example to follow? Check out Nikita Dragun's epic license photo that leaves all the other top contours in the dust.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    If you need a solid matte bronzer option, we're big fans of this bronzer from Make, which is highly pigmented and comes in three different shades. There's also plenty of great budget-friendly matte bronzers out there, including this $4 one from E.L.F. and this $6 one from CoverGirl.



    Make Bronzing Bricks , $30, available at Make

    Be A Peach

    Those with medium skin tones should grab a peachy blush and use Roncal's cinnamon-bun method to apply: Swirl a little of the blush in the middle of your cheeks, then blend outwards on the apple of the cheek.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Tiffany Haddish's makeup artist Dionne Wynn relies on this creamy peachy-pink blush from Benefit to amplify Haddish's natural flush, telling Refinery29: “This melts right into Tiffany’s skin and creates a sunkissed glow."



    Benefit Cosmetics Majorette Cream Blush, $29, available at Benefit

    Stay Away From Translucent Powder

    Roncal says everyone should avoid translucent powder, regardless of skin tone. While you might be tempted to dust some on to avoid a shiny face, she says it's actually going to create worse problems.

    "Many women think translucent powder is the best way to battle shine, but I’m here to tell you that is not the case," she says. "It will leave you looking dry, white, cakey, and it will settle in all of your fine lines and wrinkles." Instead, use a blotting paper to get rid of grease, or a clear setting powder.

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

    Roncal recommends her own Poreless Face Defender, which she says sets makeup, reduces shine, and makes your complexion look satiny-matte without settling into fine lines.



    Mally Beauty Face Defender, $40, available at Mally Beauty

    Make The Most Of Minimal Lighting

    Something as simple as raising your chin can improve how you look in the photo. "If you lift your face to the light and jut it out a little, it makes a huge difference," says Danilo. "When your chin is down and away from the light, you get all the dark circles and fine lines, thanks to the shadows created by the lack of light. It's a machine taking your picture — there's no sympathy."

    One trick Danilo says has worked for him in the past: Get your photo at a DMV in a more remote location, rather than a big city. "They're a little more lenient," he says, "so it's not such a tragic experience. You can even sometimes talk them into another shot if you know your first one was bad." Every little bit helps, right?

    Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.

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    Financial anxiety is real: Between massive student-loan debt, skyrocketing rents, and higher costs of living, it's no wonder that a quarter of millennials say that their money-related stress makes them physically sick. But just because our lives are filled with countless financial considerations doesn't mean we have to live in a state of sheer panic over it. The key is finding the confidence to truly own all your money moves.

    In order to do just that, we teamed up with Intuit, the financial brand that's all about empowering financial prosperity, to explore what it really looks like to rid yourself of financial anxiety. Ahead, seven women across all different industries share the tools, tricks, and attitudes that led them to feeling good about their finances: from creating a retirement fund as early as possible to setting aside one day a week for all things money. The biggest lesson? It's not about how much you have in the bank, it's about how you make it work best for you.

    "I started a retirement fund when I started college. The idea of having financial security later in life is really comforting, and it forced me to budget. Since I started the account early (as opposed to waiting until I graduated and got a job), I didn't feel pressure to put a lot of money in right away, as I knew I'd build it over time. I found confidence in knowing that the little amount I could afford to put in each month (which wasn't much as a working college student) would have a big impact in the long run and that starting early would give me a good head start. I also get a little boost of confidence every time I'm able to add to it outside of my monthly contributions." —Danielle Leuker, graduate student

    Designed by Abbie Winters.

    "I found my financial confidence through gobs of research and [by] messing up and finding my way out. I figured out [the] average cost of living in New York before I moved and built a budget around that for my basic expenses using Mint. I like that I can categorize all of my spending into custom categories and figure out how it all fits together to give me financial stability. Mint has also been really helpful in figuring out where I can pull back from month to month to catch up if I need to. The app notifies me when I go over my budget, and I use it to reconcile each month.

    "[I also use TurboTax], which makes filing my taxes so much more accessible with pictures and places to ask questions when needed. I'm not a financial expert by any means, but I feel confident that even when I spend more than I intend to, I can use the technology around me to make smart financial choices and even myself out within a few months." —Lanni Solochek, digital content strategist

    Designed by Abbie Winters.

    "I’ve found that the [purchases] that are really worth it are the ones I don’t think twice about the next day. Granted, this takes some trial and error, but it’s relieved a lot of stress when it comes to money. Coming home late at night alone and the cab costs 30 bucks? Never regretted it. It’s about knowing when you and your time are more valuable than the actual financial cost you’re facing. Generally, I don't spend money on things I already own. Like if I own a pair of dark distressed jeans, I'm almost 100% not going to buy another pair until they're unwearable." —Charlotte Carlton, civil engineer

    Designed by Abbie Winters.

    "I've implemented what I call Financial Fridays. On Financial Fridays, I sit down and do all things money: bookkeeping (gotta get the expenses logged), invoicing clients, paying bills and contractors, and reviewing how my money is trending (I track and log my weekly and monthly income). It's incredible how dedicating even one to two hours a week [to finances] can be HUGE for overall money magic and abundance. [I also] keep a running list of all things money related. The key here is to keep all money to-dos in ONE list so that when you sit down to your Financial Fridays, you know exactly how to spend your time." —Abbi Miller, wellness coach

    Designed by Abbie Winters.

    "Staying on top of my finances as a freelancer is dependent on hyper-organization: The amount that I'm bringing in every month can fluctuate a lot , so it's up to me to stay on top of my projections and craft a realistic monthly budget for myself. I've learned how to stay within these budgets and know where I need to make cuts in my spending. Some months I can afford to spring for a gel manicure and fancy coffee from the café on my corner, other months not so much. My organization system has helped me feel confident that every month I'll at least be able to pay my rent, feed myself, and have a little something left over for savings (...and hopefully a manicure)." —Zoe Weiner, freelance writer

    Designed by Abbie Winters.

    "I found my financial confidence by embracing the FOMO. I may not be able to buy and splurge on everything I want, but I will always have ease knowing that I have some funds in case shit hits the fan. Don't get me wrong — I definitely treat myself, but savings always comes first!

    "I found a credit card with a great points system and use it like a debit card. I'm very conscious of how much money I have in the bank at any given time so I have the restraint to not overspend. But with the ability to put things on my credit card, I get the benefits while also choosing my schedule of when and how to pay. I also have a separate credit card for just transportation, online purchases, and recurring purchases. This keeps me honest and aware of the money I spend when I’m not physically swiping my card." —Megan Madden, associate photo research editor

    Designed by Abbie Winters.

    "Taking the risk to start my own company was scary, but having a profitable and flexible public-speaking side hustle gave me enormous confidence. I've always had a gift for inspiring others through my words. I knew that I'd be able to ramp my public-speaking practice up or down to meet my financial needs." —Tiffany Dufu, founder and CEO, The Cru

    These interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

    Designed by Abbie Winters.

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    Since its genesis in 2003, we've seen the Pumpkin Spice Latte go from being completely novel to overly trendy to a total fall cliché. Now that the PSL has gone from hottest fall beverage on the block to settling into its place as a seasonal staple on coffee shop menus across the country, there's plenty of room for a new festive drink to take its spot.

    So, we set out to discover coffee trends that have the potential to spark the same level of excitement PSLs once did. For insight into what coffee orders people will be obsessing over in the crisp months to come, we reached out to baristas from cafes across the country. Ahead, find all the autumn beverage fads they've been noticing, including different variations on oat milk lattes, sweet and savory mashups, and even CBD oil add-ons.

    Thor's Hammer

    "This has been one of our best sellers this year. Lavender is commonly used in warm weather drinks, but it also works well for autumn when combined with seasonal flavors like cinnamon. The cayenne adds just enough kick to make it interesting, without overpowering the lighter flavors." — Jessica Carlan, barista

    Recipe:
    pinch of cayenne
    generous shake of cinnamon
    1 teaspoon honey
    1 teaspoon lavender syrup
    8 ounces steamed milk
    2 ounces espresso

    Shake dry ingredients into cup first, then add honey and lavender. Pull two espresso shots, about 2 ounces, and add to cup. Stir espresso and flavors well before adding steamed milk. Finish with a shake of cinnamon or latte art; I like to do a leaf to show the swirls of cayenne and cinnamon.

    Red Bicycle Coffee in Nashville, TN

    Cardamom Coconut Cold Brew

    "Our Cardamom Coconut Cold Brew has almost outsold our lattes, which is huge. You’re seeing a lot of sweet/savory mashups and people using ingredients you don’t always think about when you think of coffee pairings. With the huge surge in oat milk in the industry, I'm sensing that people are looking for heartier coffee beverages, both in flavor and mouthfeel. I am currently working on a smoked sea salt caramel for one of our seasonal beverages. I think sea salt is making a big move right now and it pairs with the acidity of coffee in a really interesting way. I also think we’re going to see more earthy flavors- maple, cinnamon, cloves, even star anise. These flavors don’t present as overly sweet, either, which I feel a lot of our guests are moving away from." — Valerie Pollock, coffee program manager

    Butcher & Bee, The Daily in Charleston, SC

    Maple Lattes & Anything With Oat Milk

    "Maple Lattes aren't an item that Birch Coffee serves but I would love to see Maple Lattes make their way into people's seasonal coffee routine. I think this drink would taste great made with oat milk."

    "I'm sure this isn't the first you're hearing of this, but Oatly 0at milk is all the rage right now, and I have a feeling people will get really creative with this for the fall season. Oat milk is an incredibly approachable non dairy, milk alternative, and I think that's a huge reason people are becoming familiar with it — its dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and it doesn't have any added sugar — so it is seemingly one of the more healthy milk alternatives." — Sara Kjelsvig, barista

    Birch Coffee in New York, New York

    CBD Oil Add-Ons

    "We are seeing big trends in oat milk lattes and CBD oil add-ons (and this way, you can still taste the balanced flavor of the espresso we are serving!). We will be offering CBD as an add-on this fall. We decided to partner with Higher Wave Wellness — they have a water soluble CBD product that doesn’t interfere with the taste of the coffee. According to them, 'Merging the stimulation of caffeine with the calming nature of CBD, customers will enjoy the synergistic effects and in addition counteract unsettling feelings of anxiety, shakiness or jitters brought on by one two many cups of brew.' I’ve tried it and personally, felt much more focused and relaxed." — Claire Chan, owner

    THE ELK in New York, New York

    Honey Lattes & Simplified Menus

    "Our honey latte is a popular choice among our customers year round... Offering homemade syrups help showcase and compliment the coffee we serve — to open up the dialogue of the story and origin of the coffee if possible or simply provide a consistently delicious beverage for any new or current customer."

    "The next trend could become more focused on transparency of "seed to cup." This will include, sharing with guest what country the coffee beans come from, the relationship we have with the farmers, using the same coffee in various brew methods ie cold brew, nitro, pour over, and espresso. These topics have contributed to having menus that are a bit more simplified and specialized." — Adriana Uriostegui, barista

    Coava Coffee in San Diego, California

    Vegan Buttercup Latte

    "For the fall menu at Black Fox, I wanted to create a beverage that I personally would enjoy as well as our customers. That drink is a Vegan Buttercup latte. Though I'm not vegan, I am lactose intolerant and felt it necessary to have something on our menu that we could enjoy. The Vegan Buttercup includes a single shot of espresso, steamed oat milk, and a house-made vegan butterscotch syrup made with coconut milk and panela sugar, all in an 8oz cup. It's the most delicious vegan sweet treat! I carefully balanced the ratios to highlight each element of the drink." — Brittney Bell, barista

    Black Fox Coffee Co. in New York, NY

    Maple Cold Brew Oat-Lait

    "This fall, Colectivo is kicking off cooler weather with our Maple Cold Brew Oat-Lait. Offered hot or cold, it’s a combination of creamy Oat Milk, our signature Session Cold Brew, and maple-flavored syrup infused with cinnamon, clove, and ginger. Maple is a rich, deep flavor for fall. Combined with warming spices, the Oat-Lait will be helping me ease into the harsh, Wisconsin winter." — Rebecca Siahaan, retail and wholesale barista trainer

    Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Cafes in Milwaukee, WI

    Oh, Snap!

    "This fall we are rolling out some new drinks that I'm really excited about. The 'Oh Snap!' is super refreshing drink with a hint of spice. It's an iced drink, because even though it's autumn, it's still 90 degrees outside here in Texas! The 'Oh Snap!' is made with ginger beer, cold brew, lime juice, and house-made maple-infused simple syrup, with a candied ginger garnish." — Julie Serafini, shopkeeper

    Houndstooth Coffee in Austin, TX

    Turmeric Chai Latte

    "I know that Turmeric has been gaining traction for a bit now, but I think it’s going to go big this fall. A Turmeric Chai Latte is perfect for fall because its earthy taste is great for the colder weather and the chai tea and hint of ginger gives just the right amount of spice. Turmeric is also great for your immune system which is oh so key during the cold and flu season." — Hyeyoung Tarin, co-founder and in-house barista expert

    Supa Coffee in Los Angeles, CA

    House-Made Ingredients

    "Seasonal specialty beverages are putting a strong emphasis on synergy, allowing for the coffee's true flavor to shine through. There is also definitely a trend of drinks that have a house-made ingredients like homemade nut and other alt-milks, and many of these drinks are being developed with health, wellness, and sustainability in mind." — Allie Caran, director of education

    Toby's Estate Coffee in Brooklyn, NY

    Cocktail-Inspired Botanical Ingredients

    "I've noticed a shift away from the traditional fall palette of pumpkin + common baking spices to fresher and more vibrant botanicals. Creative ingredients are surfacing in cocktails and coffee drinks alike as part of a broader interplay of mixology and specialty coffee — many craft coffee beverages make use of techniques and ingredients from behind the bar, including tonics, shrubs, and bitters." — Pia Barnet, green coffee coordinator

    Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, CA

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    Weleda Skin Food is perhaps the world's fanciest $12 moisturizer. Rattle off a few models — just the first ones that come to mind — and at least half of them will tell you that they have the crinkled, green aluminum tube stashed in their bedside table or in their medicine cabinet.

    If you're a fan of the original moisturizer, you're well-aware that it has Vaseline-like versatility — meaning you can massage it into your face before a long flight, smooth it under your eyes to keep that area from getting crepe-y and dry, or dab a little onto your cracked heels to soften calluses.

    And now, you're going to have to make some more room in your bathroom, because Weleda is expanding its Skin Food line — with a new body butter, lip balm, and lightweight moisturizer — all at the same, under-$20 price point. Ahead, check out the full Skin Food collection, which will be available on Weleda's site come November, and rolling out at national retailers ( hello, Target) in February 2019.

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

    Nine out of 10 models swear that they slather this super rich cream onto their faces before a big photoshoot. Makeup artists tell us they like to squeeze it onto a damp Beautyblender and dab it on the tops of cheekbones. We just rub it everywhere, including cracked elbows, hands, and feet. Regardless of the prescribed use, everyone loves the $12 price tag and the fact that it's available at Target.



    Skin Food Skin Food, $19, available at Weleda

    If you love a luxe, creamy body butter, but aren't crazy about the ones that leave your legs smelling like gingerbread cookies, this green tub of Skin Food is for you. Formulated with a blend of sunflower seed oil, lanolin, beeswax, shea butter, and cocoa butter, it leaves skin intensely soft, smooth, and hydrated — without any headache-inducing seasonal fragrance.

    Weleda Skin Food Body Butter, $18.99, available in November at Weleda.

    If you've been hesitant to try the OG Skin Food because you think it will be too heavy for your skin, consider the reformulated, lighter version that has the texture of a gel-cream.

    Weleda Skin Food Light, $12.49, available in November at Weleda.

    If you like your lip balm extra glossy, the oil-based chamomile and calendula Skin Food lip butter is a great buy before the cold weather season kicks into high gear. Be forewarned: The consistency is a little runny, so squeeze with caution.

    Weleda Skin Food Lip Butter, $6.99, available in November at Weleda.

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    It's no secret that Amazon owns our shopping habits. So much so, it's become our go-to for everything from a 10 pack of Pocky sticks to designer dresses, sending us down a rabbit hole that results in a cart full of items we hadn't planned on purchasing. If you can think of it, Amazon probably has it.

    But coming across more unique and worthy finds, like a novelty plant holder or a new pair of heels, isn't as easy a task. Unless you're a pro at scrolling through hundreds of thousands of products, it's easy to quit three pages in. So, we're doing the grunt work and digging through the deepest reaches of Amazon for the best goodies around. Tech, beauty, fashion, wellness, home; there's not one category we're excluding from our search.

    From the most buzz-worthy eyeliners on the market to affordable furniture that only looks expensive, our editors are rounding up the best Amazon has to offer. Even better, we're bringing you a brand spanking new list of items, every week. Check back here each Monday for the latest round of Amazon available products you'll want to add to cart, sans the toilet paper.

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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    While eclectic decor is great, sometimes you need a neutral rug or two to temper it out.



    Stone & Beam Contemporary Rikki Border Jute Rug, $119, available at Amazon

    A planter pot almost as cute as the little succulent it holds.



    T4U Ceramic Succulent Planter Pot with Bamboo Tray, $11.93, available at Amazon

    This fun nightlight looks just as good during the day as it does lit up in the evening.



    Emoi Multicolor LED Night Light, $24.99, available at Amazon

    This true reproduction of Kardiel's 1963 iconic mid century design is both a conversation piece and a stunning decor addition.



    Kardiel Tripod Plywood Modern Lounge Chair, $389.99, available at Amazon

    Nobody needs to know that the secret to your spotless living room is storing all your odds and ends in a large basket.



    Connected Fair Trade Products Woven African Knitting Basket, $55, available at Amazon

    Fashion
    Maximum coziness achieved.



    Cable Stitch Mock Neck Cozy Sweater, $59.5, available at Amazon

    The shearling lining can roll up or down depending on the ankle height you want.



    Doracoko Short Suede Ankle Booties, $30.9, available at Amazon

    Winter is coming basically already here.



    Orolay Drawstring Down Jacket Hooded Coat, $96.99, available at Amazon

    The best things come in (faux) furry packages.



    Me Plus Faux Fur Pull Through Wrist Tote, $24.99, available at Amazon

    Take a page from the latest @shoesofnyc post and create your own DIY hype sneaker.



    Fila Disruptor II Sneaker, $115.97, available at Amazon

    Tech
    The new Amazon Smart Plug comes with Alexa voice control capabilities so you can finally achieve your dream of yelling "Lights off!" comfortably from your bed.



    Amazon Amazon Smart Plug (Works with Alexa), $24.99, available at Amazon

    These cute little cable chompers cover the ends of any cable to keep them from fraying, saving you precious time and money.



    Unicorn Republic Cable Chompers for iPhones, $2.99, available at Amazon

    Invest in a durable laptop stand to prevent your laptop from constantly overheating



    Steklo X-Stand Laptop Stand, $22.95, available at Amazon

    Point, shoot, post, and print.



    Kodak Mini Shot Wireless Instant Digital Camera, $119.99, available at Amazon

    Spigen's car mount (which can hook right onto an air vent) comes with a magnetic backing you can attach to your phone.



    Spigen Kuel A200 Magnetic Car Phone Mount, $7.99, available at Amazon

    Wellness
    This intimacy cushion features "a 27-degree angle to amplify every performance, ease every position and intensify every single sensation."



    Liberator Liberator 24-inch Wedge, $79.98, available at Amazon

    You already get brownie points for hitting up the gym. Now make it a little easier on yourself by buying a pair of gloves to help optimize your weightlifting.



    Harbinger Power Non-Wristwrap Weightlifting Gloves, $12.95, available at Amazon

    Fall: the season of sweater weather, flavored lattes, and cramming in as many overlook hikes as possible.



    Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot, $74.98, available at Amazon

    The reviews don't lie. Over 2,000 people think this $10 massage roller is the answer to muscle soreness.



    Supremus Sports Muscle Roller Massage Stick, $9.99, available at Amazon

    Chic decor piece or multi-functional diffuser? Why not both!



    Breathe Essential Diffusers Aroma Cool Mist Humidifier, $27.99, available at Amazon

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    10 Indie Brand To Watch, Plus The Must-Have Piece From Each

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    Fall is always associated with a fresh start. Even though it's a couple of months away from the new year, the change of seasons always inspires a bit of an overhaul as far as your wardrobe is concerned. And so, that shouldn't mean just shopping at your usual haunts. But if you really want some unexpected fall and winter pieces, you should think outside the (brand) box and look to indie labels.

    Since fall is the perfect time to stock up on newness for the chilly days ahead, it's also the ideal opportunity to broaden your horizons label-wise and give Zara a much-needed break. And Tictail is the perfect place to start. With up-and-coming brands from all over the globe, you're sure to find a slew of pieces no one else will have. Ahead, Tictail's Shoko Wanger has compiled 10 names to watch, along with the must-buy picks from each. Hands down, these designers will have you feeling like a whole new you.

    "We’re long-time fans of LA-based Selva \ Negra, a fashion line turning heads with its distinctive take on tomboy-inspired womenswear. Their top fall staple? The long-sleeved Cabana Top in lush pine green. 'This deep forest green is the new navy. You can wear it with anything,' says designer Kristen Gonzalez. 'The top pairs well with denim, black trousers, gingham pants, and even floral pants — if you dare.'



    Selva Negra Cabana Top, $195, available at Tictail

    "New York label Vincetta turns out elegant, beautifully draped wears — or, as they say, 'basics for the non-basic.' Says designer Deanna Ansara: 'The piece you need this fall is our Gallerie shell. It took multiple fittings to sculpt, and to achieve that subtle yet special drape at the neck. Tuck it into your favorite pair of vintage jeans and you’re good to go.'”



    Vincetta Black Gallerie Shell, $98, available at Tictail

    "Designer Lina Nordin Gee specializes in playful footwear that’s stylish, sturdy, and suitable for all seasons. Her Charonne ballet flats, made of soft leather, are no exception. 'As the temperature drops this autumn, I'll continue to wear these buckled little beauties, but I'll add a pair of sheer black tights,' she says. 'They're the most comfortable shoes I've encountered.'”



    Deuxieme Studios Charonne Jet Black, $199, available at Tictail

    "Every piece from New York jewelry line Jam + Rico is colorful, expressive, infectiously fun. 'These handmade earrings are an ode to a horseback-riding trip in Cuba,' says founder Lisette Ffolkes. 'They make a statement with their unique shape, but are lightweight and easy to wear with anything — you won’t want to take them off.'"



    Jam+Rico Horseshoe Earrings, $65, available at Tictail

    "Instructions + is a Parisian clothing brand with a focus on ethical production and pieces that can be worn year-round — like this unisex, four-pocket jacket. Says founder Sophie Nothnick-Moustafa: 'As the days are starting to get colder, we'd recommend wearing it as a blouse with a pair of high-waisted, wide-legged trousers and a light, long coat. It's a great layering piece — it’s made of lightweight handwoven cotton, so you won't feel like you're stuffing yourself into your coat.'"



    Instructions+ Jacket - J.2 B.2, $183, available at Tictail

    "For fall, Jenny Wang-Howell — founder of Petite Studio, a stand-out New York label made by and for petite women — recommends these soft, stretchy, pearl-embellished pants. 'I love so many things about these pants,' she says. 'The fit is amazing, and they have an elegant flare that helps elongate my legs. And they’re only $105!'”



    Petite Studio Buvette Pearl Pants, $105, available at Tictail

    "We love Indonesian jewelry brand Tsunja for its commitment to a handmade, slow fashion philosophy — and for designer Jessica Jasmine’s clean, cutting-edge aesthetic. Case in point: these chunky, marbled clay stunners. 'They’re a statement, but they’re minimalist at the same time — also, they’re light on the lobes!' she says."



    Tsunja Yu, Fork Shaped Minimalist Chunky Earrings, $32, available at Tictail

    "Sustainable fashion brand Odeyalo is known for masterfully merging style and comfort ('odeyalo' translates to 'blanket' in Russian). 'The September top is one of our favorite fall items for many reasons,' says team member Vanessa Girard. Among them: ease, versatility, an insanely luxurious Japanese cotton knit, and unique collar and cuff details."



    Odeyalo Clothing September Stripes Long Sleeve Top, $92, available at Tictail

    "On the hunt for a stylish, sustainable, cruelty-free handbag? Look no further than JW PEI, a U.S. brand known for bags made from vegan leather and recycled plastic bottles. 'This particular one in olive brings a sophisticated pop of color to any fall look. It’s lightweight, easy to wear, and instantly elevates your outfit.”



    JW PEI Fiona Bag, $129, available at Tictail

    "Tel Aviv brand LAX produces top-quality, handmade leather shoes in limited runs. First on founder Shani Lax’s to-wear list this fall (and beyond)? These playful, leopard-printed mules. 'The mule is the perfect all-year-rounder,' she says. 'They can be slipped on and kicked off in seconds. This pair can be worn with almost any outfit, adding charm to a work-day look or a little glam to an evening outing.'"



    Lax Shoes Printed Pony Slippers, $271, available at Tictail

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    Branded - Lycra: Calia

    Even as a professional trainer, when it came to being a mom, Niki Klasnic had a lot to learn about flexibility. Everything from letting go of a tight schedule to finding pockets of time for herself helped Niki realize just how liberating it is to embrace an adaptable attitude — so that she can be the best version of herself and a better mom.

    This new appreciation of flexibility is just as important to Niki when it comes to her leggings. When she wears high-performance pieces from CALIA by Carrie Underwood made with LYCRA ® SPORT technology, Niki has the comfort and mobility to embrace motherhood around the clock, whether she's running errands or squeezing in a quick workout. Because she knows it's what's inside that matters most, Niki chooses CALIA by Carrie Underwood Energize leggings which not only look great, but perform and are comfortable enough to keep up with her ever-changing routine, too. Watch how Niki balances it all and stays on her path, just above.

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    Even if brick & mortar are on the decline, interest in fashion has not waned one bit. In fact, curiosity for clothes is at such a high that even if we can't buy it, we'll still show up to gawk. In recent years, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has seen its highest numbers —  ever — and they're not slowing down. It makes sense, then, that even smaller exhibits focused on certain designers, like the Rodarte exhibition at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., are just as captivating and hold the potential to draw similarly endless lines.

    When Rodarte burst on the scene — first, on the cover of WWD, and secondly, as a runner-up in the 2006 CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund — Californian designer sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy made a profound impact on the industry. Their backgrounds in art history and literature may not have lent them the technical skills expected of conceptual designers, but their demi-couture style of designing and construction prove that none of that has ever mattered. They've since won dozens of awards, designed the costumes for Black Swan(which are featured in the show), made their own film, moved their runway shows to Paris, and so much more.

    The show, which will "explore the distinctive design principles, material concerns, and recurring themes that position the Mulleavys' work within the landscape of contemporary art and fashion," will span the first 13 years of the American label. That means 90 complete looks, presented as they were shown on the runway, from their most pivotal and headline-making collections (yes, including that Star Wars -themed show) . Oh, and there's going to be a selection of Mulleavy-designed objects in the NWMA's museum shop available for purchase, too, so you can get your hands on a piece of the magic. No word on the prices of those just yet, but we suggest you save your pennies just in case.

    Of the show itself, Jill D'Allessandro, guest Rodarte curator and curator of costume and textile arts of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, said "The exhibition celebrates the Mulleavys’ pioneering approach and explores their use of narrative to convey complex thoughts on a wide range of subjects, including film, literature, art history, nature and the California landscape." Pioneers, indeed. In the slideshow ahead, take a peak at the Rodarte exhibition on display from November 10, 2018 to February 10, 2019. We promise it's worth the trek.

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    On Thursday night, Victoria Secret taped its annual holiday fashion show after months and months of speculation — little will be a surprise when the show airs on CBS in December. Not only do we know who walked (Gigi Hadid will return to the runway after pulling out of the Shanghai show after pulling that offensive face), we know the performers providing the soundtrack (Halsey, Shawn Mendes, Rita Ora) and we know which veteran model just took their final bow as a Victoria's Secret angel. Adriana Lima announced on Instagram on Thursday she was retiring from working with the brand.

    "Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly," the 37-year-old model captioned an Instagram video featuring her walking in the show over the years. "And all the ❤️ to the best fans in the 🌎! Love, Adriana 💖"

    The Brazilian model first walked in the show in 1999 and in 2000 was officially named an angel. Victoria's Secret will reportedly honor their 18-year relationship with a segment of the show. She's been a mainstay over the years, only missing one show in 2009, when she was pregnant. In 2008, Lima wore the illustrious Black Diamond Fantasy Miracle Bra, the Bombshell Fantasy Bra in 2010, and the Dream Angels Fantasy Bra in 2014.

    For her dramatic final strut, Lima wore extra big wings to give her final strut down the catwalk and VS even made her a sign that read "Thank you to the best Angel of all time."

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    Winter is coming, and with it comes the inevitability of dry, callused, flaky feet. We don't know about you, but after months of trudging through slush in waterproof boots and ski socks, our feet more closely resemble paws.

    It's not cute to talk about, we know, but ahead of the coldest months of the year, it's important to give your feet a bit more attention than usual, even if no one's gonna see them out of socks for the next, like, four months. Thankfully, the beauty industry has made that easier than ever with a selection of scrubs, lotions, and even foot masks that treat your feet.

    Ahead, nine products that will make sure your toes and heels never fully go into hibernation this winter.

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

    Need to get your feet beach-ready in less than two weeks? This foot peel will make sandpaper-like skin baby soft — but it won't be a pretty process. Slip on the alpha hydroxy acid-soaked booties and let your feet stew for a little over an hour before rinsing.

    Your feet will start peeling in about a week — and we're not talking itty flecks of skin. Imagine long, thick sheets. (If you've ever seen a snake molting, then you have an idea of what to expect.) It's a long and gross process, but your feet will come out on the other side transformed. We also love Baby Foot.



    Boscia Baby Soft Foot Peel, $20, available at Sephora

    For a similar foot makeover experience, there's this foot mask from the Korean brand Tonymoly. You wear them for one hour, and then in four to six days you'll notice the skin start peeling off. It's definitely gross, but it also works.



    TonyMoly Foot Peeling Shoes, $6.5, available at Ulta Beauty

    Looking for something a little less messy? Reach for a softening foot mask like this one. It's infused with safflower seed oil and hyaluronic acid to hydrate tired soles.



    Sephora Collection Lavender Foot Mask, $5, available at Sephora

    This Aveeno foot mask is another solid option for those who aren't into watching all your foot skin peel off over a number of days. Enriched with shea butter and prebiotic oat, just wear these masks like socks for 10 minutes to reveal more nourished, smoother skin.



    Aveeno Repairing CICA Moisturizing Foot Mask, $2.99, available at Target

    After lathering up in the shower, we like reaching for a body polish to slough off dead skin. This one contains sugar to exfoliate rough heels along with coconut oil, rosewater, and shea butter to leave them softer than you found them.



    Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish, $36, available at Sephora

    Unlike Boscia's foot peel, this one is gentle — and won't leave you with huge chunks of dead skin floating around your tennis shoes. It features a mix of AHAs and BHAs that work to chemically exfoliate dead skin, leaving our feet touchable, smooth, and soft.



    Patchology PoshPeel Pedi Cure, $35, available at Patchology

    After a long day of walking, we like slathering a couple dollops of this minty cream onto our tired feet. The hydrating formula contains peppermint oil, which cools and tingles on contact. (Just do a patch test first, as some people are sensitive to peppermint oil.)



    The Body Shop Peppermint Intensive Cooling Foot Rescue, $12.6, available at The Body Shop

    Too lazy to devote your time and energy to masking or scrubbing your feet? At the very least reach for a lotion that hydrates and smooths. This one has conditioning allantoin, glycerin, and macadamia oil as well as exfoliating fruit acids.



    Soap & Glory Soap & Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream, $8.99, available at Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

    At long last, a foot cream in a chic container. This lavender-scented foot cream deeply moisturizes the skin with shea butter and coconut oil while addressing redness and irritation thanks to its other key ingredient: arnica, a natural skin healer.



    L'Occitane 15% Shea Butter Foot Cream Enriched with Lavender & Arn, $29, available at Amazon

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