Uncategorized

The Orchid Effect

When I moved into my apartment almost a year ago, my friend left me three orchids to look after while she moved to Vermont. I was so terrified that I would kill them in a matter of days, but miraculously they have survived. It’s ironic actually; I’ve managed to let my peace lilies, basil, rosemary, and several other herbs die, but the orchids have prevailed.

These delicate flowers have taught me a lot over the past nine months; first, that I do not have a green thumb, but also that just because something appears dead and barren doesn’t mean it cannot bloom.

Thus the inspiration for this post. If you’re a Triangle local, you’ve probably noticed the unseasonably warm weather these past few days. This seems impossible considering that just last week we had a high of 20 degrees, but indeed it has felt like Spring rather than Winter. So, just as the orchid can bloom despite the time of year, I decided to dress in pieces more suited to the relatively high temperatures. But how do you dress for warm weather when it is technically winter? No one wants to look crazy wearing a sundress on a 60 degree day in January, yet draping yourself in dark colors just feels wrong. Keep reading and I’ll teach you my three tricks for merging the seasons!

Light Layering
This ensemble was inspired by the first bloom from Medusa (named for all of her snake-like roots) since I cut back the stem last Summer. A bright, sunshine yellow sweater was the focal point for the outfit, but I needed to tone down the hue and make the look more appropriate for Winter. I did this by adding a touch of black and layering. The undershirt is a super lightweight chambray, but just the hint of a layer makes everything feel more warm and cozy. This technique doesn’t have to be implemented with a sweater; you can layer two button-ups or shirts to give a similar effect. Add a lightweight scarf and you have the perfect outfit for a warm day in Winter.

Layers

(Ann Taylor Loft sweater and shirt, Joe’s jeans, Sam & Libby for Target oxfords, vintage Casio watch)

Bright Colors, Warm Fabrics
Nothing says Winter like chunky knits, thick wovens, and fabulous furs. Wear these materials in bold colors to embrace the spirit of Spring. This outfit combines multiple textiles in mostly solids to create a statement, taking inspiration from a single print that makes the look cohesive. If this technique is new to you, try introducing it in accessories, like a blue fur scarf or pink leather gloves. Even a pop of color can make a mostly black ensemble feel fresh.

Textiles

(Vintage cape and scarves, Kate Spade gloves, Gloria Ortiz heels, J. Crew shirt, Susana Monaco dress, vintage belt)


Juxtapose the Intensity
Most Winter fashion is comprised of deep, dark colors. When the sun comes out, take the opportunity to wear more vibrant variations on these hues. I played off the deep purples in this vintage skirt by incorporating a bright violet sweater. This ensemble combines sporty details, reminiscent of Fall athletic events, with feminine touches that are so Spring. Floral prints with dark backgrounds help to blend the two seasons even more.

Color

(GAP jacket, J. Crew sweater, vintage skirt, Cole Haan heels, vintage necklace and clutch)

So the next time it rises above 50 degrees in the dead of Winter, remember that there are no rules that state Winter fashion has to be dark. Liven things up with a splash of unexpected color and don’t be afraid to show a little skin!
(Just make sure you remember to get a pedicure before breaking out those peep-toe heels.)

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Lifestyle

Changes

“Time may change me
But I can’t trace time”

— David Bowie

As you finish one chapter in life and begin another,
you reflect on all that you have accomplished
and all that you still want to complete.

2014 was a big year for me:
It was my first year out of college
I moved in to my first apartment by myself
I started an amazing job
(a real, grown-up salary job with vacation days and health insurance!)
I adopted a kitten, Lunar Eclipse
and I launched the Style Asset blog.

But there is still so much I am working on and that I have to do!

Some goals cannot be completed within a year.
They are journeys that take time and dedication.

One of my biggest journeys has been in the health & wellness sector of my life.
About two years ago I began eating better, thanks to a book that changed my perspective on food,
(Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman)
But this healthy eating led to unwanted weight gain.
Looking back now, I can see that prior to changes in my eating habits I was unhealthy.
Yes, I was skinny and everyone gawked at my tiny frame and I loved it,
but I was not healthy.

Healthy is a two-part program.
I had the eating part right, now it was time to work on the dreaded exercise portion.
So last year I joined a gym and went maybe three times a month.
Pathetic! How can I expect change when I put in so little effort?
Well, I did change: I gained 10 lbs, but my body fat remained at 19%.
That’s good, right? Maybe, but it’s not what I wanted.
Needless to say, I am not wasting money on a gym membership in 2015.
There are other ways to be active that suit different lifestyles.
I recently signed up for Daily Burn, an at-home work-out program,
and so far I’ve been able to stick with the weekly regime.

Fingers crossed that this helps me achieve my wellness goals:
not to be super skinny, but to be the best version of me that I can be.
I will not look at super models and envy their long legs or their 23″ waist,
because I have strong legs and beautiful curves.

2015 is about loving my outward appearance for what it is
and bettering myself mentally & physically.
In 2015 I will read more, I will drink more water and less wine,
I will use less salt, I will cook a majority of my meals in my own kitchen, & I will exercise weekly.
In 2015 I will continue growing Style Asset by encouraging my creativity
and not letting a busy work week drain me of energy to express that creativity.
This year, I vow to shop smarter by investing in quality pieces
rather than buying something “because it’s only $10, so why not?”
I will consume less and save more.
I will prepare my body & mind for this amazing future that I have in store.

2015 is gonna be big.

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Styling

Black & Blue

Season after season, I find myself turning to a tried & true color combo: black & blue. No matter the variation (light blue, cobalt blue, navy blue) this match made in heaven always works for me. Whoever said you can’t wear these two hues together needs to go see an eye doctor.

Keep scrolling to see some of my favorite black & blue ensembles…

Light Blue/Black as an Accent

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You may think light blue & black is too much contrast, but it is actually a softer take on black & white. This works best if there is already some black worked into a print, but if you feel like wearing black shoes with your blue outfit then do it! The first look puts the print trick into action; there is a subtle outline of black around each flower, thus tying in the skirt which is totally appropriate for a spring day. The second ensemble is a visual trick; the print on print (yes, that is a cardigan & skirt) consists of a white background with dark blue design, but your eyes blur the colors to read “light blue.” The bit of black up top & in the shoes gives your eyes a break, keeping the ensemble from looking like tacky wallpaper. In the third outfit black plays a bigger role and all shades of blue are present. I chose white as the accent color to lighten everything up for summer. Lastly, we have an all blue look with only a hint of black in the loafers. Black CAN be a neutral to blue!

Cobalt & Black

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Cobalt & black has to be my #1 Fave version of this theme. The first two images depict ensembles consisting of mostly black & white with a POP of vibrant blue. This technique can be very effective and give off an artsy vibe. The third & fourth looks allow cobalt blue to be the star of the outfit. With these looks, black is simply used to cover the skin (because I freeze in winter) and accentuate this bold hue. You may notice that I went a little edgy with the last looks, but really this can be done with any style.

Midnight

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This is possibly the most controversial color combo in the fashion world: navy & black. I know people who loath the pairing and others that work it on a regular basis; I fall into the latter group. This first ensemble exhibits the color scheme by way of color blocking; no prints, just solid-color pieces. The second ensemble uses a subtle print as the centerpiece of the outfit. If you look closely, the shirt is a navy floral brocade against a black jersey background. I completed the outfit with a black skirt, tights, and heels so that the navy stands out. The last two looks are variations on the same dress, styled for winter & summer. The winter ensemble toughens up the geometric print shift dress, while the sheer tights add a little sass. Ditch the tights & jacket, trade the booties for strappy wedges, add some fabulous sunglasses and you have a simple summer ensemble that will not disappoint. It just goes to show that even a dark color scheme can be appropriate in warmer weather. Blue & black is so versatile, why don’t you try?!

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Styling

We’re All Mad Here

What do the Scotch, Irish, and English all have in common? Besides England’s frequent efforts to invade their neighbors, all three cultures have a plaid history. The plaid print arose for symbolic purposes, rather than attempts to be on-trend, but stayed in style due to various cultural movements that evolved in the centuries and decades to follow.

Plaids come in all colors and sizes, and these elements help to tell a story. Traditional plaids, or tartans, were used to differentiate between clans or regional groups of people. This purpose of identity comes as no surprise when you consider that the punks of England’s late 1970’s adopted the print with a rebellious intent. In the modern fashion world, you can see plaid being used by avant garde designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood to pay homage to their past.

This unique print has also been adapted for a more classic environment. Take school uniforms, for example, and their preppy interpretation of plaid. Mix this print with a white button-up and smart shoes and the print goes from edgy to sophisticated. On the flip side, the plaid school uniform has also become a sex-symbol (thanks to Britany’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time”) and a common Halloween costume choice.

With so many incarnations of plaid, it’s evident that this ancient print has been able to sustain itself in the ever-changing fashion atmosphere. The following looks demonstrate four ways to wear plaid, each with it’s own take on this classic print.

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GLAM
Seeing as plaid has a more masculine history, I wanted to shake things up a bit and add some glamour to this utilitarian fabric. I am obsessed with this Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti dress, complete with it’s own waist capelet. Throw on an actual capelet and you’ve got drama — add some jewels and little leather gloves and you’ve got a statement.

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GRUNGE
Grunge may have began in the mid-80’s, but it is obsessed with this 16th century textile (usually in the form of a flannel shirt). I’m not one for the frumpy, so I took it upon myself to modernize this style with a sports bra and skinny jeans. The result is sexy, but still cool enough to hang with the guys.

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PUNK
To the untrained eye punk may look like grunge, but in both music and fashion they are very different. Channel your inner Sid Vicious with stove-pipe plaid pants and metallic accents. When in doubt, look for pieces with buckles and/or zippers and pair with black. Warning: outfit must be worn with attitude!

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PREP
Thanks to Ms. Spears and certain anime series, the school girl ensemble has become a fantasy for many boys. Instead of playing in to this sexist ideal, I decided to call it out in a more stylish way. A men’s tux shirt and an oversized safety pin add toughness to this ensemble, which is off-set by the ultra-girly accessories; Tous bear earrings and bracelet with bright blue platforms that resemble the classic Mary Janes. The low, sleek bun and longer hem-line work to give the look a more sophisticated quality. I guess what I’m getting at is, if you’re going to wear plaid in a preppy manner take care not to play into uncouth stereotypes.

That’s the great thing about a plaid print: you can style it however you want! There is no singular trend or fiber that defines this textile. Plaid lends itself to so many items and fashions that it is easy to wear regardless of your personal style. Try incorporating a little into your winter (or spring!) wardrobe and you won’t be disappointed.

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Styling

Going Green

If I were to ask you to list some neutral colors, you’d probably mention black, brown, and white. But what if I told you that navy, raisin, and olive can also be neutrals? It may sound crazy, so let me explain.

Recently I’ve been obsessed with this pair of soft green cotton twill pants from GAP and you’d be surprised at how versatile they are! Wear them with colors, other neutrals, for spring and for fall. The options are endless. Here, let me show you…

With Neutrals
BlackTan

Green pants can be paired with other neutrals for a very subtle & chic ensemble. I love the touch of leopard print seen in the ballet flats of the first outfit and the pop of orange in the second look. When playing with an all-neutral color pallet it is nice to throw in an unexpected element, like a print or a bright hue (used sparingly).

With Colors
OrangeBlueMintGreen

Do not be afraid of other colors when wearing green pants. I play off of a complimentary color scheme in the first example by pairing these slacks with a burnt-orange print top. Some bronze accessories and a loose-knitted cardigan make for a soft, earthy ensemble. The second image draws inspiration from the scarf – you do not have to match the colors of a print exactly to make it look good, just stay with the same intensity (bright VS light) of the hues. The third image takes on an analogous color scheme with moss green, mint green, and a pale blue. Since this shade of green is so muted, it works well to highlight pastel hues without looking childish. Lastly, I put a spin on the color/neutral dynamic by making white the stand-out color. The core of this ensemble is monochromatic green which allows for the white accents to take center stage to complete the look.

With Prints
StripeBlush

I love mixing prints. It is easier than it looks and a pair of green pants is the perfect place to start. I have a lot of green in my closet already, so this came naturally, but if you have another color that acts as a neutral for you then the same idea can be applied. When mixing prints, pay attention to the scale, color scheme, and type of print. For example, in the first outfit I mix two geometric prints (plaid & stripes): this works because the prints have a 2:1 scale ratio and the color pallet is limited to three main colors (white, navy, and green). In the second look I mix an organic print (floral) with a geometric print: again, the color pallet is the same and the prints are in good proportion. An easy way to start playing with prints is to work the secondary print as a contrasting accent, like at the cuff of your sleeve or as a scarf. When in doubt, florals & stripes are always a favorite of mine!

 

 

 

Still not sure about green pants? Send in your questions & I’ll answer!

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Styling

Dressing for the Holidays

We’ve approached that time of year where just about every weekend holds a holiday party. It all starts with Thanksgiving, or “friends-giving,” and ends with the night of all nights, New Years Eve. If you’re the type of person to start gift shopping in November, then you may also want to start outfit planning. In this digital age, the last thing you want is the same outfit appearing in every party picture.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

LGD1LGD2

This little gold dress used to be floor-length. A vintage piece I purchased for a New Years celebration several years ago, I later decided it would be more useful as two pieces; a party dress and a knee-length skirt. I like to toughen up something this glamorous with a leather jacket. Not only does it keep you warm on cold winter nights, but it prevents the look from turning into a pageant ensemble. I chose minimal accessories and hair&makeup styling for the same reason: you have to balance the sparkly with the simple.

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I inherited this gold lamé skirt from my mother and I absolutely love wearing it. I followed the same guidelines as my previous picture, off-setting the gold with some leather, but did so in a more elegant way. You don’t have to show a lot of leg and cleavage to be sexy. This ensemble is sleek and refined without being boring. Oh, and a red lip never hurt!

green1green2Snowflake

Attending a more casual affair? You can’t go wrong with a sweater. I love this moss green color, as it makes my eyes pop, but it is also a less obnoxious holiday hue. Pair it with black jeans and some gold accessories and you have a perfectly understated holiday ensemble. I did add a little bit of fun with snowflake earrings: subtle, yet festive!

*On a side note, turtlenecks can be tricky depending on your body type. I learned early on that they can make my bust-line appear larger than it is, throwing off my proportions. This sweater works because a) it is a darker color (read: minimizing) and b) I have my hair pulled back (so the combination of the neckline and full hair doesn’t overpower my face). If you can’t do a turtleneck, look for an open neckline like a v-neck or scoop neck. Those who are petite on top can benefit from a brightly colored turtleneck, or a top with added detail (like ruffles or pleating).

 

Still need outfit inspiration for your upcoming holiday event? Take a look at some of the party-worthy ensembles I’ve created in the past. Remember: when in doubt, throw on a LBD and some sparkly jewelry!

LBDGreenFloralRedVelvet

 

 

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Styling

New American Goth

The goth kids from high school, with their excess makeup and zippers to nowhere, are not the goth kids of today. This underground style has evolved into something so chic, so now, that everyone is doing it.

The goth kids of today are it-girls, tattooed photographers, and that chick on the treadmill sporting all black. They covet Rick Owens’ latest collection, spend the weekend shopping local, and their iTunes library contains The Cure as well as Lorde.

This new variety of goth is not limited to black. Take collections from Rick Owens, where he incorporates all-white ensembles that are just as spooky as his all-black looks. The concept is a minimal, neutral color palette with luxe textiles (think brushed silk, chunky cable knits, and skintight soft leather). The focus on detail has shifted from studs and buckles to textures and contrast.

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The 90’s revival has influenced the new goth aesthetic, but not as much as one would think. Instead of being kitschy, the New Goth is toned down and void of stretchy tattoo choker necklaces. The cross-over is seen more so in the make-up decisions: redish hues around the eyes, dark (almost black) lip colors, and not a trace of blush. Fashion wise, the 90’s influence is more Wednesday Addams than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Take a cue from American Horror Story: The Coven for a modern pop culture interpretation.

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Goth has even become sporty: you don’t have to hate yourself to hate the world, thus goth kids have ventured to the gym in their black Lululemon leggings and Nike sneakers. They prefer Samurai buns over ballet buns and would rather listen to The Distillers during Boot Camp instead of Top 40 remixes. They are health conscious, eco friendly, and slightly more social than their predecessors. The new goth kids embrace life with the same enthusiasm they have for the macabre.

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I remember when I painted my nails black and my mother thought I was joining a cult. Until recently, all-black everything was considered too strange for every day. Now you see professionals draped in dark layers, models leaving fashion shows in combat boots and black leather jackets, and people of all ages embracing the New Goth. The aesthetic can even be a little bit feminine, à la Alexander McQueen.

The New Goth is elegant in a Morticia Addams kind of way. Long black dresses elongate and slim the figure, while eclectic accessories help to differentiate you from the masses. Sheer tights and mesh sleeves are wonderful ways to stay dark and mysterious without being too revealing: keep the sex appeal subtle for this new aesthetic. A sleek hair style featuring a center part hasn’t always been en vogue, but Nicole Riche has perfected the look and inspired others to try the “wet hair,” which happens to pair perfectly with the goth philosophy.

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Do not be afraid of goth, as it is a part of us all. When the season changes and the temperature drops, when leaves fall from trees and the sky turns grey is the time of year when Goth feels “right,” but in reality it is a look that can be pulled off year-round. You don’t need to live near a cemetery or drive a vintage car to feel at home with this style. Try incorporating a little edge into your daily ensemble or experiment with a black monochromatic #ootd. Next time you see a 30-year old soccer mom with dark plum nail polish, remember that anyone can do goth with the right attitude.

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Uncategorized

Images of Halloweens Past

As a fashionista, Halloween is naturally my favorite holiday. When else can you dress as whomever, or whatever, you want without ridicule? It is the perfect opportunity to try something outrageous or become someone else.

The key to a good costume is recognition. I usually try to portray a simple character or someone from pop culture. Once I’ve selected my persona, I pinpoint a few key visual cues that define the character.
Example: if you have  wings and green outfit people will know you are Tinkerbell.

I hate commercial, mass produced costumes because they are cheap, over-priced, and unimpressive. When you use what is in your closet, or can be found at your local Target, the result is much more interesting. Bonus points if the items you purchase can be worn/used in the real world!

Scroll down for some of my favorite Halloween costumes from over the years.

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I recreated these costumes a few years ago.
Unfortunately I have no photographic record.

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I always liked being a princess.
This is also where my store-bought costumes end!

Geisha

Black hairspray, chopsticks, vintage silk jacket, home-made skirt, fan my father brought back from Japan.
My mom was on point with my makeup that night!

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These were from my first few years of college. My friends and I were all about dressing up and going out. One year, Halloween fell on a Sunday, so we celebrated all weekend with different costumes each night, but after the first we forgot to take pictures.

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I also like being a cat. It’s my favorite animal and easy as a costume. In the first picture, I am actually a tap dancing cat (complete with sequin leotard). The second is from my senior year when Halloween was on a school day/night and I never pass up an excuse to dress up.

These are the main elements for this year’s costume. I am so excited that my place of work encourages you to dress up!
Can you guess what I’ll be??
2014 Preview
Check my Instagram tomorrow for the complete look!

@Style_Asset

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Styling

Setting the Trend on Glenwood South

Last wednesday, I had the pleasure of assisting Revolver Boutique as they participated in a fashion show on Glenwood South.

The show was organized to unveil the newest Mercedes models, the C-Class and GLA.

Cars aside, the event was a blast and some of our boutique friends from Cameron Village joined in on the fun!

The following is my re-cap of the event, a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into a fashion show.

At 1:00pm on show day I met Liz, the owner of Revolver, at the shop to review the looks and go over our game plan. Some of the models were already present, so I led them over to Primp Salon & Bar to start getting ready.

EmmaHairSunnyHairShinHaeHair

First came hair: I considered the look(s) each girl would be wearing and decided on a hair style that would complement the outfit.
Some ladies went edgy while others had a soft, feminine ‘do.

After hair came make-up and the transformation continued. While all of our models are absolutely stunning, it’s unbelievable what a little mascara and lip color can do for a girl.

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Once the beauty portion of the day was complete, we waited… and waited some more.
That’s half of a show is waiting. For hair, for makeup, for the show to start.
I treated myself to a mini manicure and a glass of champagne (thank goodness it was a salon/bar!) while other attendees networked, chatted with friends, or read fashion magazines.

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Around 4:00pm it was time to start getting dressed. The lovely staff at Raleigh Downtowner let us use their space to get ready. Bonus: their outdoor space made for a great photoshoot backdrop!

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Eugene and Gabby rocked it in alt-military inspired looks.

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Vanessa and Tariq were a dream duo in soft hues and cream accents.
I’m obsessed with Tariq’s Marc by Marc cardigan.

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ShinHae is a glamourous chameleon with her two totally different ensembles.
She goes from cute and retro to fierce in Dolce & Gabbana (peplum top).

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This is one of the two looks Emma worked on the runway.
This outfit features a Proenza Schouler dress that I am literally dying over, with a Haute Hippie blazer and DVF heels.

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How adorable is Sunny in this LBD?! Be sure to note her artsy Nicholas Kirkwood flats (LOVE).

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Despite the dark, I just had to snap a picture of these last few looks. The first features the most luxe reversible fur coat, the second a super cute Ocsar de la Renta sweater with a Proenza Schouler skirt, and the third an adorable Chloe skirt topped off by a MiuMiu shearling jacket. If these outfits don’t make you want to rush to Revolver right now, then you must be crazy!

All in all it was a wonderful night and a huge success!
I am so thrilled to be an honorary member of Revolver even though I’m no longer an employee.
Although fashion shows can be stressful at times, it is totally worth it in the end.
Can’t wait for the next one!

Hey! Have you ever wanted to shop Revolver but felt overwhelmed or don’t know where to start?
Fear not! I’m available to assist you (free of charge).
Comment below to schedule a shopping date or email me at tbgore@ncsu.edu 🙂

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