Five Fort Collins boutiques that rock

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Apr 032013
 

Author: Michaela Koretko

Fort Collins is all about the trendy, quirky, funky, and chic. The small, locally owned boutiques help define Old Town and make it unique. Here are five of the must-visit boutiques in town:
GG Boutique
This boutique is young and fun, full of contemporary style apparel and accessories. It features clothing with bright colors and bold patterns in both casual and dressy styles.
Kansas City Kitty
This quirky store sells mostly clothing, featuring many locally made personal and home accessories. It receives new items two or three times a week, but only gets the same item in once.
Killer Rabbit
Named after the beast from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Killer Rabbit sells young men’s clothing, especially hats and plaid shirts. This is the only exclusively men’s boutique in Old Town, and currently features the mustache fad.
Repeat Boutique
Located just east of campus, Repeat Boutique sells gently used clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, and home decor. The styles they consign and sell are mostly trendy and retro.
White Balcony
This store is owned by the same people as Killer Rabbit. It has a large variety of odds and ends, from cards, journals and home accessories to clothing and accessories. One employee described the boutique as “a color-coded treasure hunt.”

GG Boutique: Where clothes create family

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Mar 312013
 

Author: Kendall Greenwood

GG Boutique

GG Boutique is located at 204 West Laurel. Photo by Logan Martinez

Walking into GG Boutique you will be greeted by a plethora of colorful designs. The staff will be friendly and you will get honest opinions about what you are trying on. GG Boutique goes beyond a store mentality by making you feel welcome.

GG Boutique, a women’s clothing store in Fort Collins, opened its doors on Aug. 23, 2012 by owner Laura Ludwin, 37, with the goal of offering customers more than clothes. Ludwin wants store-goers to have an experience.

“I want to offer our customers an experience where they walk in and find [GG Boutique] to be a happy place,” Ludwin said. “[I want them] to find something that makes them feel good without having to spend all the money they have.”

One way GG Boutique achieves this is with the items they stock.

“What you see when you open a magazine is what we aim to have here at an affordable price,” Ludwin said.

New items are on the floor every day. This is what sales associate Julia Chenoweth, 41, enjoys most about the store.

“I think that always makes it fun and fresh, not only for the customers, but for [the staff] as well,” Chenoweth said.

Emily Davies, a 20-year-old CSU sophomore, shops at GG Boutique because she knows she will find unique items.

“If you go in once a week, there is [always] something different,” Davies said. “And, [even though] I know a lot of people shop there from CSU, there is a good chance no one else will have what you [buy].”

The atmosphere created by the staff also makes this store different. For one, the employees refer to themselves as “Team GG.” They have created a family, which Chenoweth embodies when helping customers.

“We try to get a feel for what it is they are looking for and what their style might be,” Chenoweth said. “[So we will] be able to suggest things in the store they might like.”

Davies has seen this herself.

GG Boutique Dress

GG Boutique has a selection of dresses and other contemporary womens’ fashion. Photo By Logan Martinez

“It’s not one of those retail stores where it’s like, ‘Hey do you need help, hey can I help you with that, you should really buy that,’” Davies said. “They’re like, ‘yeah that looks good on you.’ It’s not pushy at all.”

GG Boutique started with the family in mind. Ludwin named the shop after her grandmother.

“I was extremely close with her,” Ludwin said. “I [even] have her chandelier and dress in the store.”

GG Boutique stays connected to their customers with their Facebook page, where they hold giveaways every Monday, so customers can win gift cards, and post new looks.

Davies tries to go to GG Boutique every other week.

“I always get compliments on the stuff that I buy there,” Davies said. “It is a little pricey because it’s a boutique, but [the clothes] are really good quality. [The items] will last me a long time.”

The shop is located at 204 West Laurel St.

Ludwin said she enjoys being able to sell colorful outfits to all generations.

“They can all find something here,” Chenoweth said.

In the Know: Kelly Turner, fashion entrepreneur

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Oct 162012
 

Author: Nicolle Fagan

What is your major?
“I am an art major concentrating in photography, and I have a minor in apparel and merchandising.”

So you are designing your own clothing line! What does that entail?
“In starting this line, I have spent a lot of time designing and working to create styles that I believe people will love and wear. It takes a lot of time planning. I have to start with the basics and work my way up to the fun part: the clothing release.”

What have you made so far? 
“To start off, I have designed t-shirts, hoodies and stickers, but I plan to create more and to go further with this project in the future. They aren’t ready yet, but will be coming soon!”

What was the inspiration for the line?
“I am a snowboard instructor and every week I go back and forth to the mountains. I wanted something comfortable for riding to keep warm and also something cozy for the 4 a.m. drive every Saturday, so I began sewing my own hoodies. Eventually, people saw them and started putting in orders. After a few months, I decided to create my own company to feature skateboard and snowboard apparel, inspired by the lifestyle and culture of the sports. I am inspired by my friends, family and the new people I meet and I hope to inspire them through this company with my art and designs.”

Does the line have a name yet? If so, what is it? 
“The name of the company is Lleky Apparel, pronounced leh-key. It is actually my name mixed up.”

What do you hope to gain from making your own line? Why did you choose to take on this huge undertaking?
“I am already learning so much from it and I’m still at the beginning of the process. I have a lot of work to do, but I plan to do it right. This is something I wanted to take on to incorporate my three favorite things: photography, fashion and skate/snowboarding. I want to design, capture local athletes and get artists involved with the apparel line.”

What got you interested in fashion?
“As a photographer, I have always had an interest in fashion, but I didn’t always know specifically what kind of fashion. During my second semester of college, I added my apparel and merchandising minor and I was so excited. I was constantly inspired by the classes to start my own company and now it’s all falling into place.”

What is your favorite piece so far?
“My favorite piece right now is a men’s tee I designed. It’s simple, but I can’t seem to get away from it.”

If you could only wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“If I could wear one thing for the rest of my life it would be my snowboard get up, just as long as there was snow, sunshine and a mountain to ride on.”

Too School for Cool: ‘Tis the season of the sweaters

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Oct 112012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Autumn is officially upon us, which means the holidays are creeping up. In most cases this involves house decorations, warmer clothing, and

christmas sweater - 1

Christmas sweater (Photo credit: GobberGo)

pumpkin spiced everything, but I’ve noticed one more trend that’s been sweeping the city.

Every elderly lady is sporting seasonal sweaters. The other day I saw an adorable old lady wearing the typical cotton-blend turtleneck with an autumn-themed sweater over it.  The sweater had a tree with fall-colored leaves on it. To top it off, there was a squirrel with an acorn in the tree and each leaf had a tiny sequin on it. As I admired the stitch work I found myself thinking, ‘I want her sweater’.

This time of year, grannies look so festive it’s almost unfair. I wish there was some way that I could pull off this merry look without looking like a turd.

Pretty soon we’ll be seeing elderly women all around Fort Collins, warm and cozy in jack-o-lantern sweaters, turkey sweaters and finally holiday sweaters with jingle bells and all.

I wish that young people would take on this sense of fashion. Every morning I’d think to myself, ‘how can I feel as comfy as possible while looking as festive as possible today?’ Now that’s the way to live.

TELLURIDE, CO - DECEMBER 18:  (L-R) Jayson Hal...

Good sweaters for gaper day. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

In a way this style makes sense for young people. We are busy-bees, and with the constant movement and work we do all day, we deserve to have the comfiest clothes as possible. In addition, it’s our job to go all-out for the holidays to show future generations how it’s done. This is easily accomplished by having a seasonal sweater for every day of the week.

As of right now, the only excuse people my age have to wear grandma-esque sweaters are the yearly ugly sweater party and gaper day on the ski slopes. I say boo to the status-quo; let’s get our grandma style on!

 

FoCo Fashionista: Heels – which type are you?

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Oct 052012
 

Author: Brian Guiducci

English: High Heels on pink background

Cute heels that would be a bad idea to wear on campus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Waking up in the morning, you go to your closet and pick out an adorable outfit to wear for the day, often times going through about five different outfit selections till you find the right one. Then comes the important decision of what shoes to wear. You glance at your gorgeous new pumps that you recently bought and ask yourself that common question that every college girl deals with: is it worth it to wear heels on campus?

I believe that there are three different types of girls when it comes to whether or not they wear heels on campus:

The Clickers: These are the girls who know how to walk in heels and how to pick the perfect pair of heels to accessorize with any outfit. They are often seen walking all over town and campus wearing heels, and the days that you don’t see them wearing heels is a complete shocker. If you ever look at their feet, you will probably not be surprised to see a ton of different blisters from the constant day to day wearing of heels. Also, they will always keep a package of band-aids handy in their purse.

The Sorority Girls: These are the girls that only wear heels on occasion on campus. Most of the time you will see them wearing flats or other types of shoes instead of their pumps; but when you do see them wearing them, you get a 50/50 scenario in which some can pull them off while others can’t. The ones that can’t pull it off will often be seen wearing some tight skirt and top that is always revealing just a little too much.

The Hippies: These are the girls who will avoid wearing heels at all costs. When it comes to their shoes, they are always for comfort. On that very rare occasion when they dress up, they will wear a cute pair of flats but never heels. Comfort, Comfort, Comfort, it is all that matters to them.

Whatever your opinion on heels may be, there is always one rule for wearing heels: if you don’t know how to walk in heels, don’t wear them, or at least get some practice before you do. There is nothing that I hate more than seeing a girl who is wearing an adorable outfit with some heels and is stumbling all over the place. It just ruins the whole look.

In the end though, its always up to you to determine when or whether to wear heels or not, but ask yourself that question girls, which category do you fall under?

A new season of trends

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Sep 272012
 

Author: Kendall Greenwood

A new season is beginning. The leaves are changing and the wind is cooler. You have pulled out your fall wardrobe. You stare at the pile of last year’s sweaters and wonder; will they still look fashionable?

The fall trends for this year are beginning to emerge.  Men and women’s trends bring new ideas on how to keep your body warm and comfortable.

Silhouette

According to Don Duty, 41, manager of Men’s Wearhouse, the fit in men’s apparel is the biggest change.

Herrenmode 2011 in London. Anzug mit Weste und...

Herrenmode 2011 in London. Anzug mit Weste und Binder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The trend coming up this fall is going to be modern fit, modern fit, modern fit,” Duty said. “That is the new exciting thing.”

This means that jackets, shirts, pants, and even ties are going to be more form-fitting.  The arm holes on jackets and shirts will be a little higher and pants will be closer to a skinny jean.

“It’s a little bit more like a European style cut,” Duty said.

For women, some clothing is going to create a multi-layered look. Pieces in an outfit will not create one length to the garments. Several lengths will be seen in one outfit.

“We see high and low lengths already happening in tops and dresses and we are probably going to see more of that with skirts, dresses, coats, etc.,” said Carol Engel-Enright, internship coordinator and instructor for the Department of Design and Merchandising at CSU.

 

Outerwear/Jackets

Men’s jackets are going to have a tighter fit and transfer from suit to casual-wear easily.

“Most of the modern fit suit coats and sport coats are very denim friendly,” Duty said.

Women’s outerwear trending this fall has a looser fit with styles like boyfriend jackets and blanket coats, according to Kevin Kissell, an instructor for the Department of Design and Merchandising.

“Blanket coats are big, giant, chunky coats probably kind of like an alteration of the trend of shawls,” Kissell said.

Greener

Greener (Photo credit: ninette_luz)

Colors

Colors for men’s clothing are fall-like, but with a bright twist.  According to Duty, pinks, lavenders, bright oranges, burnt oranges and greens will be on shirts, jackets, pants and ties.

According to Engel-Enright, color blocking is big in women’s apparel this fall. Contrasting colors will be styled together, but garments will also be made with more than one color through color insets. For example, a mainly camel coat could have black insets on the sleeves or sides of the coat.

Patterns/Prints

A trend for both genders is pattern on pattern. For men, this means stripes, checked patterns and tone-on-tone paisley could be mixed and matched in an outfit.

“The jacket and pants will have some sort of pattern to them, shirts will have high color or pattern and then the ties will be high color, skinny, and pattern,” Duty said.

Women’s apparel will have a mix of patterns like plaids and tweeds. Prints are also prominent, both big and digital prints.

“Any kind of large print is going to be a textile trend,” Kissell said.

A digital print is different from other prints. Designers use photography to make a textile design.  Then, instead of printing and cutting the fabric into a garment, the garment is made first.

“[The prints] are actually printed on the piece itself,” Engel-Enright said.

Leather

According to Kissell, we will see leather in women’s apparel as jackets, skirts and pants. However, these are not the only items we will see.

“I think co-eds are going to take their twist on it, especially in Colorado,” Engel-Enright said.

David Russon, 27, a design and merchandising student at CSU, looks for trends that fit with his classic look. One of those for this fall is the military look.

“I like the details of the shoulders, the big buttons and just the structure of it,” Russon said.

FoCo Fashionista: The New and Improved Black Hair Ties

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Sep 242012
 

Author: Brian Guiducci

The ugly black ties that you always have just sitting there on your wrist, just in case you need to put your hair up, are like an annoying itch you can’t scratch. It’s a necessity you can’t live without. Girls, you know what I’m talking about. But guess what? I have just found the solution to this fashion faux pas.

Does this look all too familiar?

Does this look all too familiar?

This weekend, I had the privilege of attending the FACE Design competition in Denver, hosting the talent of a ton of different designers, presenting their products. One designer’s speech in particular stuck out to me. Maybe it was the adorable white lace dress she was wearing that made me automatically adore her idea, but I personally like to think that my bias towards her fabulous outfit had no sway in my love for her product. She had created what she calls Black Ties.

These ties have the exact same function as a regular black hairtie, but it comes with an extra little bonus. When you are wearing them on your wrist, they look like a bracelet.

Black Ties that look great!

Black Ties that look great!

While perusing the Bloom Jewelry website, I got a small taste of this fabulous creation. There are eight different black ties too choose from and each one comes with two different styles. Adorable and chic are just a few of the words I would use to describe them.

Ladies, if you are sick and tired of your boring black hair-ties, then I would definitely recommend these for you. Time to throw out the old and bring in the new.

For more information on this fabulous product, look online here.

Too School for Cool: Only got $20 in my pocket

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Sep 172012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Let me start out by saying that I absolutely hate how much expensive clothes cost. It’s just fabric and some string, so why is it $50? It’s certainly a mind boggler. Then I saw the video for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song, ‘Thrift Shop’, and had a revelation. People can look awesome wearing other people’s old clothes.

If you haven’t seen the video for ‘Thrift Shop’, go watch it right now.

OK your back! It’s a known fact that clothing trends come back around. Think about it; bell bottoms were totally hip in the 70’s and if you’re a 90’s baby you definitely wore those on the first day of school every year until you were 13. Also, leggings have been rocked on and off since long before I was born.

Since styles go in cycles like this, it makes absolute sense that there would be some super cute clothes at thrift shops that someone’s grandpa had dropped off. Plus winter is coming up, so this is a great opportunity to fill your closet with sweaters in interesting prints without breaking the bank.

Chances are when you go shopping for thrift clothes, you’re not going to hit the goldmine on the first try, but never fear. Fort Collins has an

new recycle design

new recycle design (Photo credit: artbymags)

abundance of thrift stores to check out, including Repeat Boutique, Goodwill, Arc, Eco-Thrift, and many more.  I suggest making a day out of it and hitting up several of them.

With used clothing, there’s always that awkward uncertainty about who wore the clothes before you. Most of the things found in thrift stores smell like R. Kelly’s sheets, but that’s usually fixed with a single wash cycle… maybe double-up on soap.

I’m a strong believer in that anyone can pull off any look with the right attitude. So wherever you go, whatever you buy, whether you decide to wash it or not, make sure to wear it with confidence and strut your stuff.

 

Too School for Cool: When I move you move, just like that

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Sep 032012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

A drink called "Sex on the Beach", v...

A drink called “Sex on the Beach”, is a very popular in peruvian bars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bars are loud, hustling and bustling places. There’s loud music playing, it’s crowded and most people have had a little too much to drink.

Still, going out is a great way to spend the evening, whether you’re with your friends or stalking the opposite sex like a lion. But sometimes it can be so loud that it gets hard to hold a conversation with someone. When it comes down to it, it’s all about body language.

Reading someone’s body language can be difficult, especially if they’re of the opposite sex. If you can read the message a person is trying to display prior to striking up a conversation with them, you are more likely to get lucky, in whatever way you interpret that.

It all starts when a guy sees a girl from across the room. She’s so cute, laughing and dancing with her friends. Seems like she could be looking for a nice guy, right? Think again.

What’s she wearing? A girl’s bar outfit says a lot about what she is expecting to get out the night, especially her shoes.

Say she’s wearing heels; this probably means she is a single, available woman who would be thrilled to dance with you and maybe more. She’s wearing a short skirt and makeup too? Even better.

On the other hand, say she’s like me and she’s in a relationship. I have what I thought was a fool-proof outfit for bars that would guarantee that I would look cute, but avoid getting hit on.

I’m a girl, so I’m going to wear a cute skirt and top just like everybody else because that is what society expects of me. But look at my shoes. I know it’s dark in here, but look really hard. Notice they are moccasins. Do you really think I would be wearing moccasins to a bar if I was trying to meet a guy? No! My man’s coming to pick me up at the end of the night, so don’t bother.

You see, girls chose a specific outfit each night to display a message to guys.  If guys can read this body language, they will have more success.

On the other hand, I’m just going to come out and say it: men are easier to read than women. It happens. For example, if a guy is trying to look nice for the ladies, he wears what is notoriously known as the ‘sexy shirt’. This is basically anything in the ball park of a button up shirt with stripes or whatnot. That’s it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

So say you have picked a girl; she’s wearing the traditional ‘I’m looking for a man’ outfit, so you decide you want to dance with her. Do not just walk up to her and start dancing without asking. Being forward can be good, but don’t be so forward that she’s thinking “Excuse me, did I give you permission to rub that on my backside?”

After asking to dance, take her over to the bar to talk and buy her a drink. WARNING: just because a girl lets you buy her a drink does not mean she is single. I get free stuff all the time. It’s just a perk of being a lady. It doesn’t mean I like you or owe you anything in return.

If she is in to you, she will find random reasons to touch you, even if it’s just your arm. Also, her eyes will be hooked on yours. You can tell a lot by eye contact. If she is looking back at the table where her friends are sitting or looking at her drink, she’s not enjoying the conversation.

Similarly, if a man is attracted to a woman, his lips will be slightly parted as he listens to her. He also might sit with his legs spread open and touch his face a lot. It’s a women’s job to make males feel nervous, and the reaction can be adorable.

So by now you’ve been talking to this girl for a while. She’s twirling her hair and you’re making her laugh. Maybe it’s time to give her your number?

Girls love a guy that can make them laugh, and a little bit of cheesiness never killed anyone. At this point if you write your number on a napkin with a little note that says “Call me, maybe”, you’ve sealed the deal.