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Friday, October 31, 2014

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SN Style File

Style tips: haunted house edition

By Megan Cochrane          Last updated: 10/29/14 5:53pm         

Happy Halloween week, East Lansing! 

To get you in the groove of this spooktacular holiday, today's post will highlight the do's and do not's of clothing when going to haunted houses. There are plenty of haunted house attractions around EL this year and one even on campus — Haunted Aud at the Auditorium. Follow these simple clothing guidelines for a memorable experience with minimal wardrobe malfunctions.


Alright guys, let's get you in on this conversation. No matter which haunted attraction you decide to take that special someone to, you're going to be waiting in a cold line outside. So, dress with enough layers that you won't freeze when you are chivalrous enough to give her your jacket or flannel shirt or vest. If most ladies are like me, we are always cold. An extra layer is always appreciated, and it's a cute way to get some flirting in before the scares.

No hats

As someone who has attended plenty of haunted houses in her time and has worked a number of them, I can tell you that hats are not the best choice for an evening of being frightened. There are often times low-hanging decorations and jump scares that will tempt that awesome, lucky hat of yours to fly right off your head to hide in some corner until the clean up crew finds it afterwards. Instead, opt for gloves, maybe a scarf, and a hood if necessary. But, leave the hats at home.


Footwear is key when making your way through a haunted house. Let's be honest: when that bloody clown jumps out right in front of your face, you're going to jump and run as far as you possibly can from it. So, instead of stumbling and tripping during your retreat, make a dedicated rush for safety with appropriate shoes. The flatter and more secure, the better. Heels are a huge no, and even flats can be iffy. Lean toward tennis shoes or boots that will be comfortable, protect your feet, and allow you to high-tail it out of any particular situation. 


Ladies, this particularly concerns you. I know how it goes, packing your purse to be prepared for anything. But, you really want as little to worry about during a haunted house tour as possible. Ideally, bring only as much as you can fit in some pockets of your jeans or coat. If you must bring a bag, choose a cross-body bag over a wristlet or shoulder bag. It will be more secure and less of a nuisance when making your way down a dark creepy hallway with friends clinging to all sides of you. 

Shoes for the season

By Megan Cochrane          Last updated: 10/27/14 9:58am         

Alright ladies, it's time to talk about shoes. I know, I know, it's our favorite subject. However, as much as we love our footwear, we need to make sure we are wearing appropriate footwear as the seasons change. You wouldn't wear flip-flops in the dead of winter, would you? No. So, why disregard the rules of footwear the rest of the year?

Autumn brings brisk breezes and damp, sticky leaf piles along MSU's many sidewalks. You don't want to be that girl whose stilettos are sinking into the damp ground or skewering leaves as she clicks all the way down Farm Lane to class. 

The first thing we need to remember when walking on our beautiful fall campus is the sturdier the heel, the better. Save the stilettos for the club or a night on the town, not for class.

Instead of those mile high heels, opt for a pair of thick-heeled booties. I am very passionately obsessed with ones like thisthis, and this. Oh, and this pair. So cute, so comfortable, so practical. That's what fall is all about, for me — dressing cute, comfortable and practical.

Another option is always your tall boot. They can go with practically anything from straight up casual to business casual and can even push the limits into semi-formal wear. The trick is just finding the right pair. Like this pair for very casual days around East Lansing. This pair would be fantastic for wearing to work with a cute pair of tights and an adorable dress and cardigan combo. And, if you're willing to push the envelope, try a pair of thigh-high boots with black nylons and a nice dress and clutch, similar to this

Flats are great for when you need a go-to shoe. They're comfortable and the right pair can be very flexible with your wardrobe. I suggest saving flats for the sunnier days of fall, so your feet stay nice and dry. No one likes wet feet. Ew. Plus, why would you ever want to ruin these, or these. Or especially these

SNStyleFile's Instagram will have as-seen-on-campus looks coming soon! 

Different hat styles to keep warm this autumn

By Megan Cochrane          Last updated: 10/19/14 3:09pm         

Keep those ears toasty and that hair in place with a hat this autumn. The wind can blow dead leaves around, but don't let it kill your 'do. Whatever your style and whatever the occasion, there's a hat for you. Trust me.



When I head to my 8 a.m. across campus and don't have the energy to style my hair, a beanie is my best bet to keep those fly-aways tamed and my head warm on those chilly morning walks. So simple.


A knit headband with a cute accessory attached can also make bed-head cute on those early morning treks. I love mine. 


Slouchy knit

Arrive at work in style with a cute slouchy knit hat. Similar to a beanie, this hat adds a few extra style points in a cute color. Score super style points by clipping on a cute accessory to make it uniquely yours.

Evening on the town


A evening on the town calls for a dramatic hat. Give a classy cloche a try! One of my personal favorites, I wear mine with a sexy dress, gorgeous jacket, tights, and a killer pair of heels. If you want to make an impression, here's your opportunity.

Day in the country

Wide-brimmed fedora

Whether you're going apple picking or finding the perfect pumpkin to carve at the pumpkin patch, playing with leaves, shopping with friends, sipping a latte between weekend errands, or taking a walk to enjoy the leaves, a wide brimmed fedora hat adds some serious flair to an outfit. 

Check out my take on these great hats on the  SNStyleFile Instagram.

Try new hues to spruce up your fall wardrobe

By Megan Cochrane          Last updated: 10/13/14 11:32am         

Autumn is all about change: changing of seasons, changing of colors, and even changing our wardrobes to accommodate that brisk weather.

Instead of sticking with the same denim, brown, and other neutral tones this fall, try implementing some of these hues into your next outfit. They may help to warm up those drab neutrals. (I know that link brings you to a paint website, but everything there, I think, makes sense in regards to fashion, too.)

Plus, check out this great Buzzfeed post when you're done reading my list of favorite fall hues. It has some amazing ideas on how to combine and coordinate these new hues with some old favorites. I am in love with this post and cannot wait to start making new outfits with it as a guide. 


This neutral is a softer take on the classic fall brown. Make this your new go-to neutral, and you won't go wrong. Just look at all of the color combinations within just the Buzzfeed post - pink, orange, melon, scarlet, olive. It's a neutral. It can go with pretty much anything. Give it a try!


This color has gotten a lot of attention this summer, but bring it into the new season with sweaters, tall socks and booties. Mix a purple dress and some mint jewelry for something unexpected.


I love gray. I think it's a beautiful neutral that really allows other colors to shine. Just look at all of the ways gray was paired in the linked post above.

Light Pink

Light pink can be trick, especially on lighter skin tones. It's easy for such a color to wash the wearer out. However, layer the light pink item it with a cardigan, scarf and cute boots to keep that from happening and anchor the outfit. 


A deep red is such a strong yet warm color for autumn. When I need to make a statement or feel confident, I look for these items in my closet. Though it's not considered a neutral, look how well it pairs with many different colors in the linked post above. Any deep red item will become an instant statement piece. 

Keep an eye on the SNStyleFile Instagram for some SN style inspiration as I play with this newfound inspiration!

Use dye to revamp your wardrobe

By Megan Cochrane          Last updated: 10/09/14 6:40pm         

We all have that one T-shirt we never wear anymore; that one tank top we grew tired of; that one cardigan we bought simply because it was on sale even though the color would never go with our skin tone.

Luckily, there's a simple way to breath new life into these garments without breaking our delicate student budgets. Plus, this thrifty little trick will leave the rest of your wardrobe dyeing to be paired with the new clothes on the rack.

I'm talking about clothes dyeing.

My roommate got me hooked on the practice, and I am now continuously on the prowl for items that can be personalized with some color.

Sure, this prospect can seem daunting at first, especially since the color outcome varies tremendously based on the fabric and type of dye used. However, a few tips can help you to revamp your wardrobe for the changing season while still keeping a few dollars in your pocket and those worries at ease.

Garment Tips

First thing first, you will need clothing garments to dye. Updating something already in your wardrobe is a smart idea when trying to save money. Grab those old, yellowing t-shirts, boring white tanks and off-colored cardigans. Just take note: the whiter the fabric, the better. Cream colors and even tan will undergo a pretty drastic color change, but white fabric will later resemble the purest color. 

Also, 100 percent cotton is the best fabric to use for dyeing projects. A cotton mix will work, but the color may not be as vibrant or retain as much color as pure cotton fabrics. 

Another great way to save money when updating your wardrobe is to shop at Salvation Army, Goodwill, or Plato's Closet and similar thrift stores for white or cream colored items that could be brought into this decade with just a simple dye job. I loved thrift shopping before I started dyeing, but now I am constantly hunting for the perfect items to personalize. So, channel your inner Macklemore and head to the Plato's Closet or Salvation Army on Grand River to "pop some tags." 

Dye Tips

Using quality dye is another key aspect. Personally, my favorite dye to use is Rit dye. The colors are vibrant and it's easy to use. It comes in powder and liquid form. The colors can also be mixed to create custom colors, which is like a crazy fashionista science experiment. You never know what you're going to end up with, but it's usually awesome and 100% unique.

Hot water — not boiling — helps the dye to permeate and stick to the fabric fibers better.

Adding salt to the dye bath results in a more intense color.

The Rit website has great tips and information about using their products.

Process Tips

Have thick rubber gloves on hand at all times. No one wants Elphaba hands when trying to chat up the cute guy in class. (Yes, that is a "Wicked" reference. I'm a theatre major, what do you want from me?)

Paper towels are great to have handy to quickly wipe up any spills or splatters that may occur.

Make sure to follow the dye's instructions carefully so as to not ruin your garment, sink, or washing machine. 


Get my roommate Jenna's take on dyeing, and get a closer look at the process in this short clip.

Check out this amazing Project Runway video featuring a dress that transforms down the runway thanks to powder dyes. Super cool! 

Our Instagram has cool examples of recent dye projects done by myself and my roommate, Jenna. Let us know what you think and Instagram us your dye project results!

Fun ways to style scarves this fall

By Megan Cochrane          Last updated: 10/06/14 11:52am         

The leaves on campus have begun to change colors and litter the ground. But, unlike campus trees, your style does not have to lose its vibrancy as the weather continues to grow colder.

Scarves are a simple, cheap and warm way to make any outfit look polished. And, with so many different ways to style your scarf, you'll never tire of wearing one. Try these scarf styling tips to keep your fall wardrobe fun, interesting, and warm. 

Single loop

The single loop is a classic look. Pair a bright scarf tied in the single loop style with a neutral top and jeans for a casual, put-together outfit that is great for class or studying. The single loop scarf is the perfect accessory when you need to pull an outfit together quickly.

Bunny ears

This style is a bit more chic than the single loop, but very similar. I would recommend this style with a business casual outfit. Try pairing a white shirt and grey pencil skirt with a jewel-toned bunny ear scarf for a fall interview or job fair. Show those potential employers you know how to be trendy and warm.  


The infinity style is another easy way to take your outfit to the next level. Try an infinity scarf with leggings, and a v-neck shirt for a comfortable yet pulled-together look that will take you no time at all. 


Try this style when you're on the go, like running errands. A denim jacket and any colored scarf go together like Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande. You'll have one less problem to worry about as you run those errands all over East Lansing.

European loop

This is my personal favorite for an exceptionally chilly day. This works best to keep your neck warm with a super thick knit scarf, but it will look just as cute with any other type. Wear this style to the next football game! There are many options for Spartan scarves in shops along Grand River. 


I find this style to be very versatile. Wear it with some casual clothing for a polished laid-back vibe or try  it layered over a white tank and cardigan to add some visual interest.

To see step by step how to style these scarves, check out this great Youtube video by Wendy's Lookbook. Check out her blog here. Stay warm and stylish, Spartans!

Winter style

By April Jones          Last updated: 03/12/14 7:26pm         

Even though it seems like winter will never end, the official start of spring is within the next couple of weeks.

With that being said, there are a few wintery fashion items that I wouldn’t have survived without this year.

Long down coat

For most students, you are forced to trek these wintery roads on a daily basis. There is a huge difference between wearing a coat that covers your bottom and legs vs. one that just covers the waist. The coat I had this year was a black Michael Kors down coat and it kept me very warm. The hood was oversized and could come down and cover most of my face if needed. You can find coats on sale around fall for good prices. Check out sales in department stores such as Macy’s during the changing seasons for a warm coat for affordable prices.

Basic Beanie

Beanies are definitely one of those items where if you never had one, you don’t exactly know what you’re missing. However once you start wearing them, it becomes a necessity. This winter, I bought a basic black beanie from Urban Outfitters for $15. The beanie being black went with everything I wore, but most importantly kept my head warm. It protected me from harsh winds while adding a cute accessory. Beanies with phrases on them are also sold for those who want to make .

Going out boot wedges

This winter, I invested in cheap black suede wedges from Forever 21. They have not only kept my feet warm, but were very stylish when going out on the weekends. The boots only cost me about $30. Despite my usual displeasure with their shoes, I never had a problem. They are comfortable and always put the final touch to my outfits. Because they were fairly cheep, they were my go to bar shoes where I didn’t exactly mind beer grazing by boots. They held up this season, and I may even continue wearing them next year. Keep those fingers cross, and hope they are available next year as well.

How to stay fashionable, yet warm this winter

By April Jones          Last updated: 02/19/14 7:38pm         

Even though it may appear winter is coming to a close from the storefront spring fashion trends, it’s not. The calendar says there’s a month left of winter and let’s face it, this is Michigan so it might be even longer.

When going out at night, it is important to keep covered to prevent sickness. Here are three major tips on how to stay warm but still fashionable when exploring East Lansing’s nightlife.

Keep it tight

Some occasions just call for that head-turning cutout dress, I understand. To get around wearing exactly what you want and while keeping warm, throw on some tights and you’ve got a winter-friendly outfit. Tights with a skimpy dress can save you judgmental eyes from other girls, they will give you the respect from the fellas and will help you retain feeling in your legs during a long walk home.

Zip it up

For those who drink, it may seem like the “alcohol jacket” is enough to get you from point A to point B. Little do some know that the warming effect you get is caused by the alcohol dropping your core temperature which causes you to lose heat rapidly, according to an ariticle by the New York Times. Save yourself the unwanted cold and grab a small jacket to keep warm.

Strut the sidewalks

Although some days are warmer than others, it’s still not time to bust out those favorite summer wedges. Even though shoes have the power to drastically change that perfect going out outfit, save yourself the hassle from tip-toeing the slush-filled sidewalks and throw on some boots. To be honest, no one ever really notices your shoes expect the fashion-obsessed girls in the bathroom who will critique you no matter what you wear. Walk comfortably and keep those legs warm. The 2 a.m. you will thank you.

How to style boots this (never-ending) winter

By April Jones          Last updated: 02/05/14 7:35pm         

It’s pretty clear winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It feels like there’s another fresh snowfall in East Lansing every other day.

When walking through campus in the frigid temperatures, head down to avoid the chill, it’s hard not to notice the variety of footwear on people’s feet.

Here are a few tips to correctly match your boots with an ever-changing selection of college outfits.

Sweats vs. boot styles

Most students can relate to those lazy ‘roll out of bed, not trying to impress anyone’ type of days. It’s ok to have these days every once in a while. If you’re going to keep your clothes casual, match your outfit with a casual boot such as any classic UGG’s or snow boots. It looks silly to rock sweatpants with designer heel boots, or anything made with leather — save those boots for your real pants.

Pant color vs. boot color

Black and brown should never meet. It’s something we learn in our elementary school art classes. Those basic color principals should carry on to clothing, and people really need to start getting the picture. Black pants or leggings with brown boots are not ok, and the fashion Gods are angry every time it happens. If you chose to wear black bottoms, opt for black, gray, purple —anything else except brown boots. Just because everyone else is doing it, does not make it ok.

Pant type vs. boot type

If you’re wearing baggy bottoms, try not to stuff them into tight fitting boots. When doing this, you’re leaving lumps around your calves and possibly stretching out the material of the boot. Not a good look. Also, for low style boots, make sure the pants you’re wearing have enough fabric to reach the opening. If the pants are short, you can solve this by wearing leg warmers. Leg warmers are handy for staying warm and can spice up your style.

Super Bowl style

By April Jones          Last updated: 01/29/14 10:19pm         

Ladies, the Super Bowl is quickly approaching and the invites to watch parties are rolling in. Whether you’re a football fanatic or using the game as an opportunity to hang out with your best buds, Super Bowl Sunday calls for a sporty yet stylish outfit.

For those who know who they’re rooting for, go try to throw the team colors into the get-up.


The top is where the outfit will get its spunk. Whether it’s a jersey of the team you’ve decided to root for or just the team’s colors, your shirt will tell people the team you’re most interested in. If you have no preferences, try to choose a neutral color.

If you have time, try making a custom t-shirt. Not only is it an awesome souvenir to hang on to, but it can be used as a conversation starter. Just make sure to quiet down during game time.


Black pants or dark jeans are a good neutral bottoms, and they will hide the barbecue sauce from when someone dropped a wing on your lap, or the spilled beer when your team scored a touchdown.


Don’t be the girl who shows up to the Super Bowl party with heels on. It’s not the time or place to strut your 4-inch stilettos and quite frankly, the guys will totally think you’re trying too hard. Instead, try to go casual with winter boots or tennis shoes. When you find yourself constantly jumping up and down, you’ll be glad you did.

No matter what you choose to wear, don’t expect to draw too much attention. From the actual game to exhilarating commercials and an awesome half-time show, the guys will be preoccupied. Hopefully somewhere in their football-addled brains, they’ll remember later that you were looking awesome.