Guys: Why you need the jogger pant now

Jogger pants continue to be the craze in menswear right now. These tapered sweatpants are the ultimate staple for cool and fashion-forward #AEOStyle. With a relaxed fit, drawstring waist and cuffed bottom, this is where style and comfort come together.  The legs of the sweatpants, which feature elastic at the feet, are designed to fall just above the ankle to so you can perfectly pair them with your favorite sneakers.  We put together three looks to help you master the jogger look.

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Weekend Style:
Jogger Pant
Quilted Wool Vest
Buffalo Check Bomber Cardigan
Flannel Slip-On Sneaker

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City Street Style:
Ripstop Jogger Pant
Tipped Polo
New Balance Heritage 501 Sneaker

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Campfire Cool:
Jogger Pant
Heritage Flannel
Reebok GL 2620 Sneaker (Similar Style)

Hey Guys! Have you rocked the Jogger Pant yet? If so show us how you wear the pant by using #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for the chance to see your photo on our AE.com Style Gallery, Instagram, Tumblr or on our blog!

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Wear America x Wit & Whistle

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Please introduce yourself, your business name, and where you’re from.
I’m Amanda Wright, the girl behind Wit & Whistle. I design and illustrate witty greeting cards and whistle-worthy paper goods. My husband and I live in a quirky 1970s A-frame house in Cary, North Carolina with two dogs, three chickens, and an absurd quantity of houseplants.

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You have been painting since you were a child, what sparked this interest at such a young age?
I’ve been at it so long that I can’t even remember what first motivated me to start creating. I believe my urge to create is a God-given gift, so it was natural for me to start making art as early as I could. I’m sure I was hooked from the moment I experienced the intoxicating aroma of my first box of crayons.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m inspired by my love of drawing and my desire to indulge in light-hearted creativity. My goal for Wit & Whistle has always been to create a line of products that are both funny and beautiful. I leave plenty of room for frivolity in my designs, because creating is so much more enjoyable if you don’t take yourself too seriously. I want my work to feel like play!

What does the day in the life of Amanda Wright entail?
After breakfast I make a cup of tea and head to my studio. I have a short commute, just a walk down the stairs to the basement. In the morning I ship orders, reply to emails, send invoices, and reorder supplies—all the necessary but boring stuff. I try to reserve my afternoons and evenings for creative things like working on new designs, taking photos, brainstorming, and writing blog posts.

What was the first product you started selling?
I first tried to sell sets of block-printed snowflake cards around the holidays back in 2008. I painstakingly hand-printed each card in metallic silver ink. They were lovely, but no one bought a single one! So, I went back to my sketchbook and came up with a few witty Valentine’s Day cards. I had more success (and much more fun) when I started incorporating my sense of humor into my work.

Educate us on your design process and making methods, what it’s like and why do you love it?
My design process involves spending a lot of quality time with my sketchbook. I usually curl up on the couch with my dogs while I draw. Once I finish a pen and ink illustration for a new product, I scan it into my computer to make layout adjustments and add color. I love all the little imperfections in my work that make it obvious each one of my designs was drawn by hand.

witandwhistle_process1Amanda’s sketches coming to life! Jotter above and Spiral Notebook below.

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If you had one product to describe as your signature item, which would it be and why?
My “uterus” birthday card is my signature item. Slightly inappropriate greeting cards have always been my best sellers, and that particular card has been around almost since Wit & Whistle began. I think it’s the perfect blend of funny and awkward while still being pretty—just the way I like it.

We love your humorous approach on your cards and prints, do you consider yourself a ‘jokester’?
I don’t think of myself as a jokester, I just have a strange sense of humor. In the real world my “humorous approach” is usually just me saying weird things and getting strange looks from my friends, hah.

Describe your decorating style inside your home.
I like calming, neutral colors with interesting textures like metallic gold, exposed brick, and rustic wood. I prefer bright spaces with lots of natural light and a mix of old vintage finds with newer pieces. I have a weakness for anything mid-century modern. Above all, a house isn’t a home unless it’s brimming with houseplants. If I could live in a greenhouse I would be happy!

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My coffee table is my favorite handmade possession. My dad, mom, sister and I spent a day piecing together the herringbone tabletop from reclaimed barn wood. We finished it off with hairpin legs and carved our names on the bottom. It’s gorgeous, and whenever I look at it reminds me of how awesome my family is. I even wrote a blog post about it!

Tell us something surprising about you that no one would guess!
Running Wit & Whistle is my dream job, but if I had to change careers I’d love to own a small zoo. For now I’ll just have to focus my zoo-keeping energy on my dogs and chickens.

What is the best advice you would give to designers starting their own business?
Whether you feel ready or not, just jump in. If I waited to start my business until I had everything figured out, Wit & Whistle wouldn’t exist. The most important (and most difficult) thing is to take that first step and get going. Just worry about one day at a time, and figure out the rest as you go along. Baby steps!

Check out Wit & Whistle on ae.com, and tell us which jotter or notebook is your favorite in the comments below!

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Look we Love: GAME DAY #AEOSTYLE

It’s football season… which also means it’s tailgate time! Hot dogs, iced beverages, corn hole, cheering on your favorite team, hanging out with your crew, and cozy style! What could be better? We reached out to a few of our favorite fashionista’s to inspire your tailgate #AEOStyle. See how they styled their game day looks by rocking the colors of their fave football team.

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Shop Cathy from Poor Little It Girl’s look:

Heathered Turtleneck Sweater
Tomgirl Jean
Shimmery Slip On Sneaker
‘C’ Studs
Chunky Knit Beanie

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Shop Kristin from Living in Color Print’s look:

Boyfriend Cardigan
Waffle Knit Raglan Sweater
Sky High Jegging
Textured Zip Bootie

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Shop Lacey from A Lacey Perspective’s look:

Classic Denim Jacket
Jegging T-Shirt
Jogger Pant
Heart & Horn Earring Set

Show us your game day style by using #AEOSTYLE on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr for a chance to be featured on ae.com!

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Trend Alert: How to style Over-sized Sweaters

Over-sized sweaters have become one of our favorite fashion trends this fall.  This cozy, cold weather essential can take your look from day to night by simply mixing up your favorite accessories. Start your look by selecting your favorite over-sized sweater — add flats and a beanie for a more casual look or swap out those pieces with booties, a fedora and a cross-body hand bag for the perfect evening look.  Read on to check out three looks we styled to inspire you to wear your over-sized sweaters this season (and next).

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Shop the Look:
Soft Cable Sweater
Tomgirl Jean
Slouchy Marled Beanie (Similar Style)
Suede Bootie

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Shop the Look:
Shawl Collar Cable Knit Sweater (Similar Style)
Vegan Leather Hi-Rise Jegging
Glory Hats Fedora

OVERSIZED_SWEATER_3_19306Shop the Look:
Cable Knit Sweater
Denim X Jegging
Slouchy Perforated Bag (Similar Style)
Open Side Flat

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6 different ways to wear Leggings

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Leggings, ahhhh, every girl’s dream come true… style, warmth and comfort come together for your wardrobe must-have for the fall and winter seasons. If your’e anything like us, then you probably own multiple pairs of the same exact legging and wear them over and over again. To keep your legging style updated and on trend, we came up with six different legging looks for outfit inspiration that you can rock all year long.

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Look One: The run errands, go-anywhere look. Pure comfort meets style in our Printed Legging (similar style), Jegging Hoodie and Reebok Classic Sneaker.

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Look Two: The perfect night on the town look. You’ll be the the life of the party in our Mixed Print Leggings, Henley Sweater, Vegan Leather Moto Jacket, Fitted Baseball Cap and Lace-Up Harness Boot.

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Look Three: Lattes and lunch, anyone? This may be our favorite of the looks. Pair our Ankle Zip Legging and Blanket Knit Cardigan back to our Slouchy Suede Bootie and Glory Hats Fedora.

LEGGINGS_1_8606Look Four: Friday night football game. Hi-Rise Legging, Classic Denim Jacket worn over our Long Sleeve T-shirt, and Textured Zip Bootie.

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Look Five: The campus look. Turn heads this school year in our Zig Zag Legging, Jegging Sweatshirt, Hooded Parka, Riding Boot, Knit Beanie and Geo Pattern Tote Bag.

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Look Six: The Sunday brunch look. Dine with friends in our Floral Legging, Over-sized Cardigan, Chunky Knit Loop Scarf and Double Zip Bootie.

Which legging look is your fave? Tell us in the comments below.

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Wear America x Pommes Frites Candle Co.

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Introduce yourself, your business name and where you are from.
My name is Kristen and I’m half owner of Pommes Frites Candle Co. I grew up in Northern Virginia, but I currently live in downtown Los Angeles. By the way… our business name, Pommes Frites may translate to belgian fries, but it’s actually just a goofy play on my last name (Pumphrey). That’s what happens when you start a business at age 22!

You made your first candle at the age of 12, what inspired you to do that?
My sister brought a candle-making kit home from Michael’s craft store, to make and sell candles for a home economics fair. In true little sister, “me too!!” style, I learned to make candles and continued to make them for easy gifts throughout high school. When I started my business after college, it was a no-brainer to make candles again, I already had the tools!

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Tom and Kristen in their studio 

What does the day in the life of Kristen Pumphrey entail?
During the week I usually work from 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. or so. Work usually entails emailing with the shops that stock us (both independent boutiques and our national brands), developing new scents, making sure all the orders are heading out and receiving supplies. I usually take time each day to post on our instagram (@pfcandleco), play with our dog (an Italian greyhound named Max), and go for an iced coffee. Weekends, I love to explore our neighborhood in DTLA, or get away from it all on a quick camping trip.

Your candles smell amazing, what inspires your scents and how do you know which scents to combine?
Thank you! There’s two ways we go about picking scents: brainstorming sessions and direct inspiration. We do a scent brainstorming session once or twice a month, where we will pull out all the oils we have on hand, dip blotting strips, and just start smelling combinations together. A little bit of this, add some of that, mix the oils together. Then the whole team will stop what they’re doing and smell the results. For direct inspiration, we may think something like “we want to create a scent inspired by Big Sur” and we will take a trip to that location and smell everything we can, just taking it all in, and taking notes. This usually gives us a base to start with, a few notes that were prominent to us, then we will take that inspiration to our brainstorming sessions for further development.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Travel and nature are huge inspirations, visiting national parks, camping, or even visiting a nearby botanical garden. We want to produce scents that invoke feeling or meaning and that also smell really, really good.

Can you share the making of a soy candle with us?

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Our soy candles are poured in small batches, but we work from a larger batch to get there. We will melt anywhere from 50-150 lbs. of soy wax at a time. Once the soy wax is melted and has come up to temperature, we add fragrance oil into our giant wax melters.

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From there, the wax is poured off into metal pitchers, allowed to cool, and then poured in into pre-wicked jars in batches of 8-9 (or 12-16 for the mini size). We use the same method I used when I started making candles, just with fancier equipment and on a much larger scale.

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What inspired the packaging for PF candles?
My design skills are pretty limited, having never taken a class in graphic design, but I wanted to make something that felt authentic to me. I loved interchangeable stamps and used them in packaging across the board (when our company used to make more than just candles), so one day, after feeling frustrated with designing on the computer, I went back to basics and just started hand stamping our labels. I wanted the candles to be simple enough that they can exist in your space every day without being too fussy, toeing the line between rustic and clean design.

What is the one scent that we will always find burning in your home?
It depends on the room! For our living room, I like Neroli & Eucalyptus and Summer Breeze. Sweet Grapefruit is always either uncapped or burning in the bathroom. When I’m at work, I like to burn Campfire on my desk.

Have you ever mixed a scent that made you say ‘what was I thinking’?
Absolutely! Luckily with our brainstorming session, it usually doesn’t get past the initial phase. There have been a few combinations that I’ve smelled and said “NOPE!”. My biggest no-no when it comes to a scent is if it gives me or any of our crew here a headache then it gets eliminated from the list. We work hard to make sure our candles can be enjoyed by even those with fragrance sensitivities.

Besides candle-making, what other hobbies/interests do you have?
Camping, bike riding, tending to my ever growing plant collection. And as I said before, traveling and experiencing new places. We try to take a weekend trip at least once a month. We live and work in the heart of downtown LA, so escaping from city life is awesome.

Describe your personal style.
Mostly utilitarian with a little bit of California hippie thrown in. My job is always hands on. You can find me unloading a pallet or unpacking wax or mixing fragrances, so I tend to wear things I don’t mind getting messy. In the summer I wear simple cotton dresses and Vans sneakers. In the winter, I’m all about jeans (including AEO jeggings!) and a simple tee shirt. I usually always wear little stacking rings and copper or bronze skinny cuff bracelets. But my favorite thing to wear, hands down, is a poncho. I can’t wear them at work,just not practical enough, but on a camping trip I usually don’t change out of one. I have this awesome one my dad gave to me when I was a kid; it’s from Argentina. It’s one of those things I didn’t appreciate until I was older.

Tell us something surprising about you that no one would guess!
I may be a candle maker, but I actually studied to become an actor. I did 4 years of rigorous training at NYU’s Tisch School, and right before graduating, I realized it wasn’t the right choice as a career for me. I got involved in the DIY community, and haven’t looked back since. In school, they constantly told us that you have to make your own work – sometimes there wouldn’t be somebody who would want to give it to you or take a chance on you. It was a really important lesson to learn – and one I clearly applied when starting PF.

Anything else you would like to share?
We’re so happy to be able to partner with AEO for their Wear America initiative! It’s awesome to us that the candles that are handmade in our studio by our crew of six can be enjoyed by a wider audience, and that handmade on a larger scale is possible!

What is your favorite scent from PF Candle Co?  Tell us in the comments below!

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