AEO Associate Interview: Get To Know Jenelle H.

Do you want to know what its like to work as a buyer for AEO Women’s Fleece? We sat down with Jenelle H. to learn all about her role at AEO, what she’s like outside the office and even dug into her insanely creative side. Check out her interview below and be sure to watch her rapid fire interview for some Q and A’s that are sure to make you giggle.

Name
Jenelle H.

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Jenelle hard at work.

Occupation
Assistant Buyer, Women’s Fleece

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Jenelle’s #AEOStyle includes Hi-Rise anything.

What are some of your favorite trends that you’re seeing this summer/BTS?
Hi-rise anything! Shorts, jeans, skirts, swim bottoms…they’re comfortable, a throwback to my 80’s birth era, and all I want to wear this summer.

Summer days tend to be hot, while summer nights can get a bit chilly. How do you recommend styling your outfits to prepare for the change in temps?
Layers on layers on layers – I’m never caught without a second something, especially an open neutral cardigan or light soft jacket.

Are there any trends coming up for fall that you’re excited about?
Jegging tops! I’m exclusively a Jegging fit denim girl, so I’m excited to get cozy with over-sized sweatshirts & plaids. High rise bottoms & crops are great for the summer, but these tops are going to make it easier to accept winter finally setting in.

Jegging tops? Please explain!
Basically just a longer length, over-sized top that is meant to be worn with either leggings or Jegging fit denim. They cover your backside and are really comfy – this is the one we have in fleece:

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Jegging Top sneak peek!

What is currently your favorite AEO product?
I’m thrilled to get my hands on these Polka Dot Slip-On Sneakers we have now…  I’ve been plotting all kinds of summer biking in them since I first spotted the samples months ago.

Are there any prints, colors or styles that you’re currently obsessing over?
You might have already picked up on my passion for polka dots, but I also have a thing for florals.  Both are fun and classic, and definitely not limited to one occasion or silhouette.

Who is your style inspiration and why?
I somehow always manage to look slightly disheveled (the hair, maybe?) and I feel like Alexa Chung has that look perfected. She has this confident playful retro vibe with things like her dress silhouettes, peter pan collars, & the ability to rock some polka dots. I once stood behind her in the bathroom line at Lollapalooza in Chicago, and it was definitely a star-struck girl-crush moment.

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Words of encouragement drawn by Jenelle.

Favorite part of your job?
Seeing girls wearing products I’ve worked with – even if it’s years later! It’s fun to see how people decide to outfit a piece, and how they’ve made it part of their own style. I know the effort that went into it from my entire team… I always give them a mental high-five when I see other people loving something we brought to life!

What advice do you have for those wanting to enter into a Merchandising career?
Be good at juggling! Not necessarily literally (though I CAN do that – I’m secretly a single person circus), but being able to manage a million things at once is key. It’s a fast paced world here, and it takes a little time to get the hang of staying up to speed, but it’s part of what makes this job fun… every day is different!

You also have a very artistic side to you and have a website to boot! Tell us about your creative personality and inspiration behind your designs.
It’s impossible for me to sit still! I feel antsy unless I have something on my mind that I want to crochet, draw, cook, or bake. I’m inspired by seeing other people being passionate, having fun, & making awesome things – it makes me want to get up and do the same!

Is there anything else that we should know about you?
I have an odd adoration for word play – to the point where I have a pun problem. I’m considering starting a coin fee jar for each one I make…though some people think I should never change.

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This little lamb was crocheted by Jenelle.

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Music Monday: Interview with Aer

For this week’s Music Monday, we called up David von Mering and Carter Schultz of the band Aer to chat about life-changing albums, puppy parties and what kind of jeans they live in. The reggae/hip hoppers just released their first full length album this year and have been on the road a lot. Between the tour bus and the stage, these two have stories to tell. Get to know after the jump!

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AEO:  People usually want to know what any artist’s influences are. But we’re going to make you narrow that down to the one album that truly affected your path in music.

David:  Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Carter:  For me, I’d say, The Mixtape “A Kid Named Cudi” by Kid Cudi. It just opened my eyes to the possibilities of genre melding.

AEO:  Being a musician means traveling to a lot of different cities and playing to a lot of different crowds. Which place was your favorite and why?

David:  Dallas, because the crowd showed way too much love for us not being from there.

Carter:  We should say Boston, ‘cause that’s our most love. But besides that, Dallas. Just to clear that up.

AEO:  Where was your first show together and what was it like?

Carter:  The first show we ever played together, we were on Newbury street. My older brother was running a pop up shop on Newbury St, he was selling backpacks. And they were having a launch party one Friday night. So there was probably about 40 people there. And we set up two speakers, plugged in our laptops, pressed play on the instrumentals and performed in front of 40 people there at the party.

So it was awkward. It was fun. It was an icebreaker. And it was definitely a learning experience.

David:  It was a pretty embarrassing, but also like, groundbreaking moment. I’ll never forget that experience

AEO:  If you could bring just three things on tour, other than your equipment, what would they be?

David:  C lean socks. Chapstick. Probably like, I dunno, my money. Yeah, my identity and my money, I guess.

Carter:  Metal chopsticks. Fresh shorts. And my mini plastic skateboard.

AEO:  Anyone who’s seen any movies about rock bands knows that the tour bus can be like an extension of a wild backstage party or a place for band antics. Tell us the craziest or funniest tour bus story to date…

Aer:  After some shows, depending on how we feel, we’ll have a party on the bus afterward. And one night we decided to have a party, and we had a bunch of people on the bus. And this one girl was like, hold on, I’ll be right back. She left, and when she came back she had four puppies with her and she just let them loose on the bus and everyone just lost their minds.

AEO:  Describe a day in your life in five words.

Aer:  Always trying to move forward.

AEO:  At AEO, we love our denim. What’s your favorite fit or wash and how do you style them?

Carter:  Dave, I’d say you’re like a regular fit. And I go for more of that slimmer fit. Preferably, in terms of wash, I like it to be like darker jeans and maybe like waxed. And I don’t like to cuff unless the cuff has something cuff-worthy like sometimes the denim will have a funky patterned cuff. So I’ll cuff that. I really love jeans that just fit really well that you fall in love with and are like, damn, these were made for my body.

AEO:  Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper?

David:  Dr. Pepper

Carter:  Dr. Pepper

AEO:  Saturday or Sunday?

David:  Saturday

Carter:  Saturday

AEO:  Scrambled or fried?

David:  If he’s making them, scrambled. If I’m making them, fried.

Carter:  Depends on my mood.

AEO:  T-shirts or tanks?

David:  T-shirts

Carter:  T-shirts

AEO:  Sweet or Savory?

David:  Sweet

Carter:  Savory

AEO:  Stones or Beatles?

David:  Beatles

Carter:  Beatles

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Music Monday: Rusted Root

Being that our HQ is located in the black & yellow city of Pittsburgh, we thought we’d show locals, Rusted Root, a little love. So we sat down to chat with the band’s guitarist and lead vocalist, Michael Glabicki to see if he had any juicy backstage stories to tell us. Read on to find out.

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AEO:  Name the one album that truly affected your path in music.

MG:  I would probably say the Beatles St. Peppers.

AEO:  What was your favorite place to play and why?

MG:  It’s a tough call because normally my favorite place to play is the last place we played, ‘cause I always have a really fresh experience. So that’s always what I’m into. But, I would say, the Grassroots festival in upstate New York in Ithaca. Just because it’s a really great community there and the people are truly into the music. It’s a really good time.

AEO:  Where was your first show together and what was it like?

MG:  It was at the Electric Banana in Pittsburgh. And I think we opened up for a high school band. And it was funny because, the guy who owned the Electric Banana – it was pretty much a punk club, a famous punk club for Pittsburgh – and prior to that, I had worked in a music store for about 3 days in high school and Johnny Banana walked in and said, “Keep workin’ on your music, kid. And someday you’ll play the Banana.” And so the first thing that came true in my career was that I got to play the Electric Banana.

It kinda went by really quick because we just kinda played a short set. And I think there was maybe like 3 people there.

AEO:  If you could bring just 3 things on tour, other than your equipment, what would they be?

MG:  Probably a really great pillow, and I haven’t found that yet. And a portable recording rig, because I’m recording all the time. And my family…and my dog.

AEO:  Tell us the craziest or funniest tour bus story to date.

MG:  Most of those I can’t tell.

AEO:  Haha! We can say that you plead the fifth.

MG:  Yeah, let’s do that.

AEO:  Describe a day in your life in 5 words.

MG:  Walking and drifting into the mystical.

AEO:  We love our denim, here. What’s your favorite fit or wash and how do you style them?

MG:  I used to wear these jeans and they were like the most comfortable jeans. But then I wore these black pants over them and they were like loose, free-flowing black pants and you could see the denim out of the bottom. There was a certain way that the black pants were cut that they worked over the jeans. And I don’t know if you guys wanna take that idea and run with it or not. But it was really cool looking with like a denim vest or just a vest.

AEO:  Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper?

MG:  Dr. Pepper

AEO:  Saturday or Sunday?

MG:  Uuuuh…midnight.

AEO:  Scrambled or fried?

MG:  Fried.

AEO:  Skinny jeans or straight leg?

MG:  Straight leg.

AEO:  We might know the answer to this one already but, Stones or Beatles?

MG:  Beatles…and Stones!

Do you want a chance to win Rusted Root tickets to their concert in Pittsburgh, Pa? Enter now for your chance to win!

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Real Talk with Aerie’s Undie Buyers

Sun’s out, buns out! Show off your cutie booty even more with the new Mini Cheeky! The Mini Cheeky is a hybrid of your favorite undie fits. If you’re a fan of our Cheeky, but love the no-line benefits from a thong, Aerie’s new Mini Cheeky could be the best fit for you!

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Sun’s out, buns out! Show even more cheek with the new Mini Cheeky undie!

We had the opportunity to sit down with 3 of the Buyers behind this hot new arrival! Meet the women behind-the-scenes…Kristen L., Ta Jane’ P., and Rebecca H.!

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Meet Undie Buyers: Ta Jane’, Rebecca, and Kristen!

Hi, girls! Let’s begin with learning a little bit more about you. What University did you attend and what did you study? 

KL: I attended the University of Pittsburgh and was a Dual Business/ Communications Major.

TP: I went to Georgetown University and I studied International Business and Marketing.

RH: I went to Miami University in Oxford, OH and majored in Marketing with a minor in Sociology.

We’re sure you get this question a lot, but we are curious…what’s the difference between a buyer and a merchant?

KL: At AEO a buyer and a merchant are synonymous. Whatever terminology you choose, you are an integral part of the cross-functional team. A buyer works with their design, production, planning, allocation, strategy, visual/marketing and store ops teams weekly if not daily to keep your department moving forward. You are a key player in mastering the competitive landscape to identify trends that are relevant to our customer, and helping to strategize/plan upcoming seasons from concept to in-store and analyze business weekly in order to chase upside or mitigate risk within current or future seasons. No matter the callout/challenge at hand, the merchant is usually the center of communication.

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Meet Kristen L., Aerie’s Associate Buyer for Flirty Undies!

What is your favorite part about the new Mini Cheeky? 

TP: I absolutely love that I can still get adorable prints on the back without having to go for a fuller coverage fit! I’m a thong girl but I love a cutie booty so this fit is perfect for me!

RH: The Aerie lace at the waistband and leg opening, it’s super soft and doesn’t give you muffin top! I also think the prints are really fun and the colors are pretty and feminine.

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We love these blue hues in the new Mini Cheeky!

What is the difference between the Cheeky and the Mini Cheeky? 

KL: The Mini Cheeky is exactly what the fit name denotes—a miniature cheeky. The Mini Cheeky has a lower rise, shorter side seams and extra cheek peek. Our Mini Cheeky fit bridges the gap between our Cheeky and Thong fit offerings. If you are looking for a little more cheek peek but not to the total cheek peek extent of the Thong—the Mini is your go to.

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Which Mini Cheeky print is your favorite? Comment and tell us below!

Do you prefer printed, solid, or lace undies? 

RH: I prefer all 3! It honestly depends on what mood I’m in.

KL: All the above!?! From neon bright laces, classic dots/stripes, to our everyday basic solids—there’s no need to discriminate. You can pick up an eclectic mix of all style offerings in your 7/$26.50 bundles! :)

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Meet Rebecca H., Aerie’s Assistant Buyer for Favorite Undies!

What’s your favorite type of undie? 

TP: I love undies with flirty details. A few bows or lace trims can go a long way!

RH: I’ve actually really grown to love our Seamless and Outta-Sight collection. The fabrication is so soft and buttery and I can pretty much wear it under anything. It’s very versatile.

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Our hearts race for lace!

What’s the first thing you do when you start off your day at work? 

KL: My morning cannot begin without my Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte. I love the ritual of going up to the café every morning, then again at 2:30 PM for my afternoon caffeine pick me up. Yes, I realize I have a slight coffee addiction but at least I recognize I have a problem, that’s the first step right direction. :)

TP: When I first get to work, I start up my computer and grab my tea and oatmeal. Have to have my energy drivers.

RH: Clean up all of the undies that are usually on my desk. :) I typically go straight to my email but sometimes it’s nice to do a little bit of competitive or trend analysis before I dive into my work.

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It’s hard to choose just one, which undie is your favorite fit?

Let’s talk trends. What’s summer color trends are you excited about? 

RH: I absolutely love the coral and turquoise we have in our assortment, they’re really feminine colors and go great with a tan.

TP: I am all about the saturated pinks and purples right now!

KL: Every season, I am a sucker for saturated neons—fuchsias, grapes, pinks, turquoises, aquas, acidic greens…I don’t discriminate! Adding a pop of color to any ensemble instantly brightens my mood….

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Kristen and Rebecca organizing the new summer assortment!

No wonder our summer assortment is so colorful! :)  What are 3 words to describe your personal style? 

KL: Feminine. Colorful. Stylish.

TP:  Casual, sometimes quirky.

RH: Classic, simple, and tiny bit preppy.

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Meet Ta Jane’ P., Aerie’s Assistant Buyer for Direct Undies! (all the undies you see at Aerie.com!)

Instagram, Twitter, or neither? 

RH: Instagram! Find me @Hammonrj.

TP: Instagram, too! Find me @InTaJicated.

KL: Definitely Instagram! @Klaut727.

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Sun’s out buns out! We love these pinks and corals. Is it summer yet?

We love Instagram, too! What’s your best advice for a student looking to pursue a career in fashion? 

TP: If you want to pursue a career in fashion, I’d say the best thing you can do is research! Know what the competitors are doing or know what’s happening on the runway. You can’t assort to what you don’t know and understanding how these pieces interact is one of the best things that you can do. It’s all about knowing the business.

RH: Make connections and build relationships. Whether you search for someone at a company you’re interested in on Linked In or meet someone at a career fair, don’t be afraid to reach out as often times it’s the relationship that will get you through the door.

KL: If you show immense passion for whatever it is you want to do, I’m talking the type of enthusiasm and drive that is contagious to those around you, you are half way there. Passion is something that can’t be taught and is immensely valued; so pursue whatever it is that you are passionate about in life and good things will be in store for you. :)

MINI_CHEEKY_BLOG_INTERVIEW_738Thank you so much for your time and behind-the-scenes look Kristen, TaJ, and Rebecca! Click here to learn more or shop the new Mini Cheeky Undie!

xoxo,

Aerie

#AerieREAL 

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Music Monday: El Ten Eleven Interview

We called up LA post-rock duo, El Ten Eleven, to chat about Star Wars, cell phones and skinny jeans. Their song “My Only Swerving” was featured in our in-store style videos and our American Beagle Outfitters campaign. Get to know the double neck guitarist, Kristian Dunn, after the jump.

 

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 Kristian and Tim of El Ten Eleven

AEO:  People usually want to know what any artist’s influences are. But we’re going to make you narrow that down to the one album that truly affected your path in music.

Kristian Dunn:  The soundtrack to Star Wars. I’m not joking. That’s one of the most influential records of my life. It still holds up too. I was actually listening to it today because it was Star Wars Day. And it’s just really brilliant. It’s hard to hear it with fresh ears because you’ve heard it so many times before. But even as a film score, it’s really different from all other film scores.

AEO:  Being a musician means traveling to a lot of different cities and playing to a lot of different crowds. Which place was your favorite and why?

KD:  It’s hard to pick one. Austin, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, LA. We just went to Europe for the first time and that was cool because we went to a lot of places that we wouldn’t have really chosen to go like Moscow, Athens, Croatia, Slovenia. So that’s kinda one of the cool things about being in a professional band – you end up going places that you wouldn’t expect.

AEO:  Where was your first show together and what was it like?

KD:  It was at a place called the Whistle Stop in San Diego, it’s a bar. And we were nervous. We didn’t know if we were quite ready. We only played 4 songs. We were opening for, actually, we were opening for ourselves. We were in another band at the time and we were opening for them.

I was pushing us to play. Tim, my drummer, was thinking, “I don’t know if we’re ready for prime time.” There were about 40 or 50 people there or something and they reacted really positively. And that kind of vindicated the feelings I was having that we were onto something that was kinda cool.

AEO:  If you could bring just 3 things on tour, other than your equipment, what would they be?

KD:  Laptop. Phone. Actually, I guess I could live without laptop. Clothing. I was going to say toothbrush but you can get those on the road. Phone is the most indispensible thing. I remember touring – this is how old I am – without cell phones because they didn’t exist at the time.

My main thing is I miss my daughter and my wife and that’s what the phone’s for. I can Facetime with my daughter.

AEO:  At AEO, we love our denim. What’s your favorite fit or wash and how do you style them?

KD:  I like skinny jeans. I don’t like them as skinny as I used to like them. I look back at pictures of me from 2, 3, 4 years ago and those jeans are so freakin’ tight. And I’m like, ohmygod what was I thinking? But I still like the cut – the tapered cut. Right now I’m barefoot, but I just got some high tops that I wear with them and I’m wearing a collared shirt, untucked. But El Ten Eleven is pretty much a t-shirt and jeans kind of band.

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Merchant Interview: Laura Khan

Some may say that a girl’s best friend is a great pair of shoes. Now, imagine getting to work with shoes all… day… long.  For Laura K., Merchandise Manager for shoes and accessories, this is reality.  We sat down with Laura to learn more about her amazing job as well as a little bit about her, too — she is quite the fashionista, gals!  Check out the interview below.

Name:  Laura Khan

Occupation:  Merchandise Manager

Where are you from:  This question is always tough for me because I grew up moving around a bit.  I lived in Maryland, North Carolina and Ohio before moving to Pittsburgh.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do… I’m a Capricorn, a dog lover, married to a smarty pants and a new mom of the coolest kid in the world.  I’m obsessed with interior design and party planning for any one of my friends — our accessories team is famous for office birthday parties!  I manage the men’s and women’s shoe and accessories buying team for our website.  We work with the store merchants, design and production teams to develop amazing AEO product and then buy styles from other brands (New Balance, Birkenstock, Timberland, etc.) to build an awesome assortment online.

What kind of projects do you find yourself working on from day to day?  Our team manages four seasons at once, so we are analyzing sales, tracking shipping, buying or hind-sighting on any given day.  Right now we are working on buying our Holiday 2014 collection, so I am spending a lot of time checking out new vendor assortments to see if we want to buy any of their product.  There will be a lot of fun gifts in accessories this year and you are going to want to update your closet with at least five new pairs of shoes.

What do you love most about working with shoes?  I like being able to shop the market, going to different trade shows to see product from our vendors AND working with our fantastic AEO shoe design and production teams.  That gives us a lot of options to make sure that our collection is trend right and ties back to the apparel assortment.  Shoes complete the outfit!

What made you want to pursue merchandising?  I kind of fell into merchandising.  I started out at AEO allocating skirts and dresses to all of the stores eight years ago.  After about a year, I moved over to the web merchandising team because there was a lot of growth potential and I could get creative merchandising the web site and be focused on product.  I started in web when there were only five merchants and now there are 30!

Who are some of your favorite artists?  If you know me, you know I like slow R&B jams.  My favorites are John Legend, Miguel, Trey Songz and Bruno Mars.

What are you obsessed with lately?  Watching my son grow up.

Associate Interview- Laura K.

Check out Laura’s adorable son on her Instagram.

On your playlist?  Beyoncé, Beyoncé and JayZ!

Any upcoming vacations planned that you are excited about?  Headed to Nags Head, Outer Banks in 2 weeks with our family!  I can’t wait to sit my bum on a beach chair and watch the kids play and listen to the waves crash.

Five words to describe you:  Sparkly, Neon, Happy, Smiley, Yes.

Favorite destination:  St John, USVI.  We went in January with some friends and every beach there was ridiculously gorgeous.

Favorite quote:  If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely – Roald Dahl

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?  Be kind. Work hard. Stay humble. Smile often. Stay loyal. Keep honest. Travel when possible. Never stop learning. Be thankful always. And love

And the advice you’d offer aspiring buyers?  See above!

Three items on your AEO wish list.  AEO thick strap sandal in gold, AEO Crocheted Romper in black and the AEO Boho Embroidered Bucket Backpack in multi.

Three tasks on your bucket list.  Travel the world, have a garden and ride horses.

What are your fashion rules to live by?  I live in jeans, I make sure to purposefully wear white before Memorial Day and I can never have too many pairs of shoes.

What AEO pieces are topping your list this year?  Overalls, rompers and all of the shoes I buy of course.

If you were accidentally locked in AEO HQ overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?  I would seriously have to call the AEOHotline if this happened to me, but luckily the Aerie team sits two rows down from me and they normally have a few samples lying around.  And I’d have to hit up our AEO sample closet for a dress.

AEO Associate Interview

Laura’s purse contents. We know where we’re going if we want a sweet snack!

Favorite style of shoes?  Booties. They look perfect with almost any outfit all year round.

Favorite accessory?  Jewelry.  I always have a watch, stacks of bracelets, stud earrings and some sort of necklace on.

Are there any accessories or shoes coming out this summer that you’re loving?  Stacking earrings up your ear, I was surprised to see that I still had my second earring holes! I’m even contemplating getting more — crazy!  Birkenstocks are back in a big way this year, I still have my Arizona’s from middle school, but I also have the Gizeh in black and Kairo in white. And now I want to buy baby Birks for my son.

What trends are you seeing with shoes and accessories for Summer and BTS?  This is definitely the year of the sneaker.  There’s a lot of print and pattern to spice up a basic outfit.  Bandanas are a fun multi-use accessory to wear as a headband, bracelet, bun wrap or tie around the strap of a bag.

What trends would you like to see gone for Summer and BTS?  Skorts!

 

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