Style Graduate

Professional style on a graduate student budget.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Museum day - for free!

The Smithsonian Magazine is sponsoring Museum Day this Saturday, September 30. Hundreds of museums around the U.S. are giving free admission with a Museum Day pass. Print out your pass here, and find a participating museum near you here.

I am doubtlessly exposing myself as a big dork, but I love museums, and I think a museum visit is one of the best date ideas ever. I've been on several museum dates, and I've absolutely loved every one!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


It's hard to believe, but evidently not everyone has heard about the new iPods yet! I think the new shuffle is the greatest, hands down. It costs just $79, holds a whole gig, is really tiny, looks super-slick, and if you buy directly from the Apple Store you can get it engraved for free! Plus it has a clip, and the new earphones are supposed to be much better than the old ones!

The new models of the regular iPod and the Nano are also supposed to be great, but if you don't want to shell out that much cash, go for a refurbished player: Apple sells them for as little as $99 for a Nano or Mini.

But really, everyone should buy the new shuffle. And if someone wants to buy me one, all the better!

Monday, September 25, 2006

More Optimus Prime!

Reader coupon riot fondly remembers the time when little children would proudly declare "I am Optimus Prime!" I wanted to find a t-shirt with this slogan, but I couldn't find one. I did, however, find a pretty co0l design available at Cafepress, "I cried when Prime died":

This is available on a range of shirts and various accessories, and prices start at just $3.49 for the bumper sticker.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ditch those jeans: Guide to buying pants

As a graduate student, it can be awkward to be both a student and a teacher (many of us double as teaching assistants). I was the typical 'roll out of bed', put on whatever is clean or handy or didn't require ironing girl. But as I started teaching more, I wanted a more 'grown up' style that was still trendy, comfortable, casual and fit my very limited BUDGET.

The only major change I made was to give up jeans - at least some of the time! Wearing pants instead of jeans instantly dresses up any outfit, yet can also be very casual depending on the type of pants and what you wear it with. I have had quite some experience in choosing the right pants, so I thought I would share what I have learned:

* I tend to stay away from cheap styles and polyester fabrics because I can guarantee that they will not last long and they will shrink after washing. This has happened to me countless times before I stopped wasting my money. Aim for quality (good fabrics like cotton or linnen), and in this case, quality WILL cost a little more.

* If you are tall - and I'm speaking from personal experience - then buy pants according to inseam measurements and NOT BY SIZE. Forget about buying a size 4, 6 or 8 etc. because they will probably end up too short. Figure out what your inseam length is and buy only pants that specify this (not all do). Don't even waste your time with the rest - I am no longer taking 10 pairs of pants in the dressing room (knowing better) and finding that none of them fit!

* If you have fit issues, like an ample derrier - again, personal experience with that too - then when you find a store or brand that fits you well - never forget it and always try to buy there - sale or not! I stick to The Limite offline and Victoria's Secret online store, both of which sell quality pants with different inseam lengths.

* When you are trying on pants - stand on your tip toes, or wear heels becaue your pants being the right length while you are barefooted is entirely different from the length when you have to wear heels or boots.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

just can't let go?

Even though the end of September is *quickly* approaching, I am still having a hard time saying goodbye to summer. Luckily, the gulf stream (? something like that) keeps the DC area more or less warm until around Halloween. In fact, I was *just* outside and felt a tad too warm in jeans and a top with 3/4 sleeves.

It's times like these when I am frantically trying to wear all of my sandals and open-toed shoes before it's too late! Which made me think that I need to share Mohop Shoes with you all. A lovely husband-and-wife team from Chicago are responsible for these gorgeous creations. These sandals are completely handcrafted and are infinitely customizable, just by changing the shoe's ribbon!

This is one of my favorites from the gallery. You start by picking the heel you like (always the highest for me, of course!), and then the handpainted sole that speaks to you the most. Then, pick your ribbon and you're ready to go! You'll see from the gallery that customers have sent in pictures with their own customizations...buttons like the picture shown, various trims from the fabric store, their own vintage ribbons, and more!

These shoes are definitely a splurge, but at around $150 are waayyy more affordable than any handmade shoes I've ever heard of. Sometimes you need a little bit of luxury!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Optimus Prime wants YOU to vote!

So here in the U.S., mid-term elections are approaching - they're less than 2 months away. If you haven't registered to vote yet, you can do that at If you've registered, but need an absentee ballot, you should request one ASAP. Don't know how? Google "absentee ballot yourstatename" to get the info.

Voting is great because you can write in candidates if nobody good is running (which is all-too common, sadly), so go out and make that county clerk mark that there was a vote for Optimus Prime* for State Senator.

* Optimus Prime regularly does well as a write-in candidate in student elections at CMU, I figure we can spread the Transformers love!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I was going to tell you all about the Kashi giveaway and cardboard challenge, but I've been scooped! Go read about it on :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Space Blog!

This is incredibly cool: Anousheh Ansari (yes, Ansari as in the Ansari X-Prize) is in space right now as a private citizen, and she is blogging about it. Go check out the first ever space blog! I can't express how jealous I am right now!

Etsy is one of my favorite places to find gorgeous, handmade items by independent designers and crafsters - all at very reasonable prices! I featured these teardrop earrings by citizonejane's Etsy shop on, and I thought the earrings were so cute that they needed to be here too. They are only $10.00 and there is only 1 pair left.

I also love the laptop sleeves by rockinggear's Etsy shop. Most laptop bags I have found are really heavy, not stylish, or very expensive. I love laptop sleeves because they protect my laptop, and I can drop them in any bag of my choice. I like the ones by rockinggear, because this is gorgeous and only $29.00.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pixelgirl Shop discount

I haven't featured Pixelgirl Shop yet, but it's not for lack of good stuff to buy! Now the perfect opportunity to feature some awesome indie wares has come up - from now until September 23, you can get 10% off your Pixelgirl order by using the code "shopdeal" at checkout. And what might be in your shopping bag? Why, I'm glad you asked!

So much love...

Maybe it isn't proper blogging etiquette to promote Valerie's work, seeing as she's a contributor here at SG, but I am so in love with this Shop for the Cure accessory pouch set over at Holland Cox that I don't care. Breast cancer runs in my family, so supporting cancer research and awareness is really important to me. So the fact that Valerie is donating 50% of the purchase price of each set to breast cancer awareness charities is really touching. Get this gorgeous set of three zipper pouches for just $38.00, half of which will go to charity. Don't like pink yourself? Get it as a gift for someone else. This is a good thing, folks. (Photo credit:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

SCADs of good stuff

Via Modish I've found the online shop of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Shop SCAD features jewelry, books, housewares, stationery, fine art, and much more. My picks, after only the briefest perusal of ths site:

  • Piggy in my Pocket - a delightful children's book by Hui-Mei Pan, only $5.95 for an autographed copy.
  • Les Fleurs Art Card Set - gorgeous photography turns these cards luxurious. $20.00 for a set of 20 cards. Other designs available.
  • iPod armour - the best iPod covers I've seen yet! $20.00

Monday, September 11, 2006

Give it up!

Here at SG we mostly focus on acquisitions - what you can buy to make your life a little better, a little more chic. But just as important it what you can get rid of to improve your life and your style. Everyone has too much stuff, it's a universal problem, but it's one that can be addressed. Here are some tips on cleaning out stuff you don't need.

For clothes, clean out your closet using the "box method" detailed at StylePhyle. Give your "charity" clothes to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or Vietnam Veterans of America, who in some areas will come to pick up your donations.

For knick-knacks, remember that just because it was a gift doesn't mean you have to keep it. Wedding favors are not particularly meaningful gifts, so that salt and pepper shaker pair can go, as can the porcelain flower. That really ugly platter your aunt gave you for Christmas six years ago shouldn't stick around either. If items do have real meaning to you, decide how to display them to their best advantage, or pack them carefully away until you have the space to do so.

Take a good look at your furniture and see if any of your old pieces need to go. Leftovers from college dorm roms often fall into this category. If you are keeping furniture, keep it because you like it and you use it. If it doesn't fit both categories, you shouldn't keep it around, unless it's a family heirloom you just don't have space for yet. Sell or give away your furniture on Craigslist.

And books. I have a lot of books, and I find it very hard to part with them. But if you haven't read a book in years, and have no plans to read it again, it should go. Donate used books to your local library, and sell your old textbooks or give them to a local high school.

Old sports equipment, old computers, and mismatched dishes kitchenware should also be dealt with ruthlessly.

When you're done, you'll have a much less cluttered place, more cash, and some tax credits. Isn't that worth it?

Ahh - now that's a clean closet!
Photo credit:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Project Runway Recap: Episode 9

This is my first post on the Style Graduate and I'm happy that I get to join the two wonderful fashionistas already blogging here. So for my first blog, I NEED to talk about Project Runway Episode 9: The Couture Challenge. The challenge was to design a couture gown, and by 'couture' they meant that much of the gown needed to be sewn by hand. The picture to the left is the winning gown by Jeff. I'm definitely not a high fashion kind of girl having just lived through quite a few 'poor grad student' years, but this gown just looks ugly to me. Plaid? Couture? Granted it was edgy, and I like edgy and unique clothes, but couture it was not! The picture was obtained from the Blogging Project Runway blog. There are probably a zillion comments on this episode, both for and against Jeff's gown.

Vincent got the boot and I think he really had to go. Not only were his designs just plain bad, but is it me or does he use some very perverted terms? His gown "got him off." His designs "turns him on?" See ya Vince!

Welcome Tanya Patrice!

We have another new blog member - Tanya Patrice recently joined us! I first came across Tanya as the author of; she also runs, which has food reviews. She just finished graduate school and has great style; I can't wait to see what she contributes to SG!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Busy busy!

This is a really busy week for me, which is why I haven't been posting much. Go ahead and check out these other sites, and I'll be back in the swing of things soon!

Have fun, you crazy kids!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


So graduate school takes a while. It takes upwards of a year to get letters like MS, MFA, MSE, etc. after your name, and upwards of three years to get those coveted JD, MD, or (my personal favorite) PhD titles. While you are slogging towards these alphabetic accolades, you can enjoy being FCD - a Friend of Charles Darwin. That's right, by declaring that Charlie is your Darwin, you can publicly support evolution and gain some precious letters to tack on to the end of your name. And it's free.

This public service announcement was brought to you by Style Graduate, FCD.