#EXPRESSU AMBASSADORS – What’s up for summer?

Collegiate ambassadors get ready for summer

Right now, our #ExpressU Collegiate Ambassadors are celebrating the start of summer with a toss of a cap and nostalgia for their campus life, or a plan to enjoy one of their last long breaks.

Before heading home, they talked up their favorite school memories and summer fashions, the best part about being an #ExpressU Ambassador and their coolest plans for the long, hot season ahead.

Bonus: Today on Snapchat, Ambassadors from each campus will even let you in on some of their school-end festivities. Friend Express now so you don’t miss out!

What’s on your summer schedule?

Collegiate ambassadors get ready for summer

Amy, ASU: “Getting a big girl job and going to the beach a lot!”

Taylor, SU: “Going to concerts. I’m most looking forward to Governors Ball at Randall Island in NYC.”

Alison, OSU: “Shopping!!!!”

Got any travel plans?

Jacqueline, ASU: “Studying abroad in Italy! I am so excited to explore this beautiful country.”

Emily, OU: “I plan on visiting all of my friends in the different cities they live in like Chicago, Charleston, Columbus, etc.”

What’s your summer
style go-to?

Gabriella, U of Miami: “Denim shorts and a tank top, or a bathing suit and the beach!”

Carly, ASU: “A beachy floppy hat.”

Brian, OSU: “Short sleeve button-ups and above-the-knee shorts!”

New grads, how are you
celebrating the end of school?

Collegiate ambassadors get ready for summer

Natalie, SU: “With friends, reminiscing at all of my old college stomping grounds.”

Morgan, OU: “I hosted a giant graduation party at Huntington Park baseball field in Columbus.”

What have you most enjoyed about being an #ExpressU Collegiate Ambassador?

Collegiate ambassadors get ready for summer

Amy, ASU: “The confidence it’s given me. Whenever I am out and about wearing Express, or even when I post pictures wearing Express, I am always getting compliments on my style.”

Alex, IU: “One hundred percent, the adorable friends I’ve made!”

What’s the most valuable thing you learned from the experience?

graduationCollegiate ambassadors get ready for summer

Ronnie, U of Miami: “The power of planning. I learned how important it is to go through in your head how you see yourself executing the day’s tasks before even getting out of bed. It makes executing those tasks less stressful.”

Amara, IU: “It’s OK to go outside of your comfort zone!”

Thanks to all our #ExpressU Collegiate Ambassadors for being such amazing partners. Have a great summer – you earned it!

Collegiate ambassadors get ready for summer

 

 

 

BLOGGER STYLE: CITY LIFE

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Blogger Bows & Sequins takes on the Windy City

The holiday season is one of my favorite times to spend in my favorite cities… The snow, the twinkling lights, the crisp air… It all feels so magical! New York, Paris, and Chicago all know how to do the holiday season right, but now that I’m in Chicago – let’s focus on the holidays here!

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Lincoln Park has long been one of my favorite neighborhoods. Gorgeous homes, great shopping, and a lot of quaint places to grab a quick bite. My absolute favorite bakery in Chicago is Sweet Mandy B’s. Start the day there grabbing coffee, hot chocolate, and sweet treats for some much-needed fuel!

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The shopping on Armitage is really fun… Lots of cute little boutiques like All She Wrote, Lori’s Shoes, Art Effect, L’Occitane, Benefit and more! (There’s also a Dream Dry if you want to start the day with a blowout!)

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I’d highly recommend dinner in the West Loop! It’s a super popular area right now and just about every restaurant off of Randolph has opened in the last 2-3 years. Some of my favorites include: Bar Siena, Maude’s, Au Cheval, Blackbird, Avec, Vivo, Nellcote, The Publican, Green Street Meats and RM Champagne.

Have more than a day?

If you’ve got more than 24 hours, I’d also recommend ice skating near the Bean in Milenium Park, or on the outdoor terrace at the Peninsula Hotel. Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo is also a lot of fun! Don’t forget to check out my Travel Guide for more spots to see while you’re in town!”

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Post-dinner, head to the Loop to Chicago’s Theatre District and catch a show. You can’t go wrong with A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre or The Nutcracker at Auditorium Theatre! It’s a quick cab ride from the West Loop to the Chicago Theatre. Add a super chic faux fur coat over your dinner outfit.

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Once the show is over, why not cozy up near a fireplace for a nightcap? Some of my favorite cozy bars include; Hubbard Inn, Drumbar, RM Champagne, Scofflaw, The Dawson, the Bar at the Peninsula, Frontier, and The Library under Gilt Bar.

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Hit the West Coast with Blogger Gal Meets Glam

San Francisco is an incredible city and I feel so lucky to call it home. Whether you live here or are making a trip in, there are a few activities that are perfect around the holidays for locals and tourists alike. There is something so special about being in the city around the holidays. Maybe it’s the buzz of the people around, the festive decor that starts to pop up or the abundance of things to do, but it’s a feeling that I look forward to every year.

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Skip Ghirardelli and make your way to Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission. It was listed as some of the best chocolate in the US. Thomas and I like to order the house hot chocolate with almond milk and usually pick a variety of sweet treats (with chocolate, of course!).

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One of the more touristy activities in SF is riding a cable car. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve ridden one and have friends who have lived in the city for years and still have yet to do it. We usually take friends that are visiting, but it’s still a fun experience and worth doing.

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Union Square is always filled with holiday decor around this time of year- a giant Christmas tree, ice skating rink and lights galore. While we usually avoid shopping downtown because of the crowds, I love the hustle and bustle around the holidays. It gets me in the festive spirit!

Gal Meets Glam’s favorite piece?

This Express faux fur jacket is a fun piece to have for the holidays. I threw it on over an all black ensemble, including this black turtleneck and these black coated skinny jeans.”

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The Ferry Building has a long list of shops and restaurants to choose from. When we stop by, we usually pick up a load of bread from ACME, some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, olive oil from Stonehouse, a sweet treat at Miette, coffee at Blue Bottle and grab a bite to eat at Frog Hollow.

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If we’re downtown, we’ll usually grab lunch at the Rotunda in Neiman Marcus. It’s a glamorous spot for a late afternoon lunch with a great view of Union Square. The popovers with strawberry butter are my favorite!

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BLOGGER STYLE: HOLIDAY HOSTING & TOASTING

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Take some cues from style bloggers Gal Meets Glam, One Dapper Street, Viva Luxury, and Hello Fashion & Hello His to throw the best party ever.

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 Achieving the Perfect Middle Ground‘ Tis the season of holiday parties! Almost every week we have at least one on our calendar, so I think it’s safe to say that we’ve got some of the planning down on what to wear. I never want to be too dressy or too casual, so I usually like to find a middle ground. I do this by combining a fancier piece with a more laid back item. For guys, it’s a little easier and my husband Thomas always seems to get it just right every time.

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Nailing the Holiday Dress Code

New year, same old story. Holiday parties right and left, whether they’re at the office, at a friend’s house, or at a restaurant for an intimate date night, the age old question of the dress code is still high up on the list. I worked with Express to inspire you guys a little bit for those three situations this year, with links to shop everything right away if you think you’d rock it!

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Don’t go over the top if it’s super relaxed. Get a nice bulky knit – season appropriate – and keep it well coordinated but simple with a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers.

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Now you want to look good, but you don’t want to outshine the Christmas tree, so my look is integrating a deep oxblood-colored sweater over a dark brown dress shirt, the subtly patterned gray tie just peeking out, playing off the dark gray suit. A pair of dark brown double-monks picks the brown back up, and make it a dressed-up, yet not too strict option for festive office-wear.

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Last but certainly not least, the velvet tuxedo blazer over a light gray knit sweater, black pants and black boots… all that for date night. You want to dress up (blazer) embracing the special occasion (velvet tuxedo) but still show that you’re down to earth (sweater), a straightforward guy (black pants) with a little bit of edge (boots).

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What to Wear for Every Occassion

Though I love the holiday season in general, dressing up is definitely one of my favorite parts! Yet, with so many different events, parties, get-togethers and mixers to attend, choosing what to wear, it can get a bit frustrating! So, I thought it would be fun to do a post covering a few different functions like a casual work party or a family get-together for example, girls’ night out and finally, a dressier, date night-type occasion.

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For me, holiday dressing doesn’t automatically imply getting super dressed up! Take festive outerwear for example, a beautiful plaid jacket in a signature holiday black and red color combo captures the spirit of the season without looking too formal! Perfect for any casual function, not only does it look great but it will also keep you warm and cozy for the rest of the season. I paired my red checked moto jacket with a plaid blanket scarf to make that red really pop!

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A little fun, a little edgy and sexy, a feather skirt and a tailored blazer are a match made in fashion heaven and a great alternative to a little black dress! Aside from my general love of separates, what makes this particular feather mini & fitted blazer so great is their versatility. You can pair this mini with tailored pieces like I’ve done for today’s look or wear it with a slouchy turtleneck sweater and boots for a slightly more casual vibe.

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Dresses are my Achilles heel, and fun, sequin numbers are my ultimate weakness, especially for the holidays! I love the way sequins catch the light, sparkle and shine in a beautiful rainbow of colors! Once again, a great alternative to a little black dress, sequin dresses add that perfect dose of glitz and glamour and create a really strong impact. Because they are such a statement piece, I prefer to pair them with really simple accessories.

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Holiday Party Theme Ideas

There are so many different ways you can celebrate the holidays, whether it’s getting dressed up or going low-key. Instead of sticking to the same holiday themes over and over, here are a few more ideas.

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Holiday glam

Color themed (pick a color for everyone to wear)

Give-back (collecting or making items for charity)

White Elephant

Secret Santa

Family/office dinner party

Ugly sweater party

Hot chocolate bar

Christmas carol karaoke

Christmas tree decorating party

Christmas movie marathon