Design your own case + giveaway! 

Quick, what’s the one thing you always have in your hand? If you’re anything like me, it’s your phone (or an ice cream cone, but that’s a totally different blog post). So it makes sense to have a cute phone case, right? 

I was totally out of the loop and had my phone in a very durable, Fran Drescher pink case since I bought it several months ago. I wanted a cute case, sure, but as much as I love customizable accessories, I’m kind of a lazy shopper and rarely go on the hunt for something–I just know what I like when I see it. That’s kind of the point of following blogs and Instagram. 

Anyway, CaseApp contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to collaborate with them by designing my own  custom iPhone case and doing my first  giveaway, and of course I jumped at that opportunity. You can upload a picture of anything you want and add text, and the site is super easy to use. I toyed with the idea of writing something cheeky, like “don’t call me baby” or a “Hotline Bling” lyric, but I decided to keep it simple and instead uploaded a picture of some pink marble. Surprise, surprise. 

They were generous enough to offer me two cases, and since my little sister is the queen of having a new case every week, I decided to give one to her. She chose one of their pre-made options, which is a pattern of plants and cacti (we’re obviously related). 

If you want to browse or design your own iPhone case or laptop skin, you can go to www.caseapp.com and use the code FASHIONORFUNCTION20 for 20% off your order, and head to my Instagram for a giveaway! 

Xoxo,

– Hannah 

Shades of Grey


I’m very excited about this outfit because I’ve had my eye on this coat since November.  November!  I tried it on in Forever 21 when I was Black Friday shopping and loved it–and even got my little brother’s approval (those of you who have brothers know how difficult it is to get them interested in your fashion choices).  It wasn’t on sale and I needed a heavier winter coat, so I passed.  But I kept thinking of it for months, and finally bought it a few weeks ago.  It’s very versatile, and light enough (both the material and the color) that it will still be season-appropriate in the spring.

 

Jacket: Forever 21 // Dress: Forever 21

Xoxo,

– Hannah

You Fit Me Better Than My Favorite Sweater

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I have three final papers I should be writing now, but I’m taking a quick break to present you with something more important—my new favorite sweater.  Yes, these papers will determine whether or not I graduate and never have to take another class again after this Monday, but just look at the little clouds on this sweater.

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Instagram, you know I really love clouds, and you may have heard me complain that most cloud print clothes are made for babies.  So when I saw this cloud print sweater from Press Fashions, I got really excited.  I ordered it immediately and tracked the package obsessively online.

When I put this outfit together, I prepared myself for all the compliments I’d get on the sweater, but everyone was really crazy for the boots.  I bought them a few years ago (I think at Marshall’s) and they’re still in pretty good shape considering they were like $30.   But hey, eyes up here on the sweater!

To anyone else suffering through finals and procrastinating on papers, I wish you the best of luck!  Get lots of sleep, take a warm bath, stay hydrated, and remember there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Happy studying!

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Dress: Aeropostale // Sweater: Press Fashions // Boots: Restricted

xoxo,

– Hannah

The Instagram Exodus

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Photo Source: Essena O’Neill

Cyber celebrities are leaving Instagram at an alarming pace, and based on the magazine articles being written about them, it might as well be the online apocalypse.  Essena O’Neill, an Australian teen with 500,000 Instagram followers, announced that she was quitting Instagram and all other social media (her new website excluded) and the Internet went crazy.  O’Neill explains this decision on her website, Let’s Be Game Changers:

“I spent 12-16 wishing I could receive validation from numbers on a screen. I spent [the] majority of my teen years being self absorbed, trying desperately to please others and feel ‘enough’. . . I didn’t talk about topics and interests of me, nor did I pursue my childhood talent for writing. I didn’t find happiness in social approval, constantly edited and shooting my life.”

She also mentions that she felt like she was fooling people, and draws attention to the fact that popular Instagrammers are often paid hundreds of dollars for a single post promoting a brand.  In a video posted to her site she explained that, free from the bondage of social media, she is now simply enjoying her life, rather than obsessing over her image.  She has time for reading educational books, pursuing her passion for writing, and spreading awareness for causes that are important to her—conscious living, addiction to technology, transparency online, veganism, environmental awareness, and gender equality are a few of the many that she lists.

Despite her assertions that social media is totally fake, her fans don’t really know her, she’s been paid to advertise to them, and nothing about it is real, O’Neill’s Instagram shot up to almost 800,000 followers before she disabled her account, with fans applauding her for being so transparent.

But O’Neill has also received backlash from fans and even former friends, claiming that she is merely re-creating her online persona, and labeling herself anti-social-media is just a ploy to get attention and promote her website.  Whether that’s her intention or not, it’s clearly working.

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Photo Source: Eileen Kelly for W Magazine

Another Instagram star, Eileen Kelly, better known by her handle @KillerandaSweetThang, also opened up about the pressure that comes with being followed by over 130,000 fans.  Not only does she have to deal with the insecurity of posting perfect pictures that would garner more likes and followers, she also has to deal with the intrusive questions that come with fame.   She had a falling out with one of her best friends because of Instagram.  She even had an experience with a former fan who felt like she personally knew Kelly and began to stalk her and send her threatening messages.  Kelly deleted her Twitter and Snapchat and, like O’Neill, has shifted her focus back to what really matters.  In an interview with W Magazine, Kelly says that she is “really passionate about sex education,” and that she would like to go back to school for gender studies.

While I applaud these women for doing what is best for them, I can’t help but wonder if social media is really the problem here.  I mean, does anyone really think that a person’s social media account is an honest representation of their life?  Sure, we’ve all felt the sting of seeing our ex get a new significant other and become “Facebook Official,” or felt inferior when we see one exceptionally fit friend post pictures of herself, flawlessly made up, in impossible yoga poses.  But we know that we curate our pictures to fit our online persona and they do, too.  We post our highlights.  We let everyone on Facebook know about our new job.  We tweet the one funny thought we’ve had all month. We don’t post pictures of the nights when we sit in the bathtub and devour an entire bucket of fried chicken and then cry ourselves to sleep.

I think the root of the problem here is that we are expecting Instagram and other social media platforms to take the place of genuine connection and friendship, and they are simply not able to live up to the task.  Instagram stars but also normal social media users get caught up in getting people to “like” them but also like them.  We crave a real connection – “LET’S TALK ABOUT REAL STUFF AND REAL PEOPLE” O’Neill entreats on her website – but we won’t find that by posting a picture of our artfully crafted salad with a Valencia filter.  Social media is a fun way to express ourselves, to find artistic inspiration, and to connect with people we would never meet in “real life,” but it is no substitute for a face-to-face conversation.

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Photo Source: Socality Barbie

We are desperate for “authentic relationships,” to borrow a phrase from satire account @SocalityBarbie—who, coincidentally, is also quitting Instagram.  It’s a cruel juxtaposition; we want to put our best self out there so the most people will like us, but what we really need is people who like who we are, even without a filter and a Lana Del Rey lyric caption.

Social media isn’t the enemy, and taking a break from it won’t magically free you from insecurity, social anxiety, and isolation.  If you don’t have self-confidence, you’ll always look for validation from someone or something else.  You’ll only be content when you learn to like yourself, even if no one likes your selfie.

Spring 2016 Fashion Forecast

Fashion week has come and gone in New York, and now we all know what to wear this coming spring 2016 (and it’s probably nothing from future presidential candidate Kanye West’s collection).  For once it’s not florals on top of florals, and instead, for what I suspect is the first time in history, the fashion forecast and the weather forecast are the same: blue skies and puffy, white clouds.

Yes, friends, my time has finally come.  Those of you who know me or follow my Instagram know I really, really love clouds.  I love wearing clothes with cloud patterns or even just in white and blue colors that resemble the sky.  This is a trend that has yet to catch on and makes me seem a little eccentric.  But while I was in Paris this spring, I spotted a dress in a boutique that was covered in a cloud print, and I knew it was only a matter of time before New York picked up on it.

And here we are.  The Mara Hoffman Ready-To-Wear Spring 2016 collection is the stuff of my dreams.   In addition to flowy, white dresses and psychedelic rainbow patterns, the designer dressed many of her models – and even her adorable family! – in head-to-toe cloud print. I love everything about this collection and can’t wait until I can get my hands on it!

Photo Credit: Mara Hoffman

I’m not going to say I started this trend, but . . . here I am at fashion week last year in September 2014. 😉

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xoxo,

– Hannah