Houndstooth & Tweed

Coat - Jack by B.B. Dakota / Chambray shirt, Sloan satchel, Teddy loafers - Madewell / Lindy legging - Club Monaco / Blanket scarf - Zara / Lipstick - British Red by Revlon

I had forgotten about this coat until just last week when I pulled it out of the back of my bedroom closet back home. It served as my only winter coat last year, but I grabbed it earlier that spring for a paltry $13. It's a beautiful textured tweed-like material, but it pills really easily and every couple of weeks I found myself giving my coat a hair cut. I've found a replacement coat for this year, but on warmer days I like to take this one out for a spin. It has an elongated blazer shape, which I adore in all sartorial aspects, but it doesn't do the best job of keeping me warm. This blanket scarf is pretty capable of covering what my coat can't, and let's face it, if I really wanted to I could just wrap myself up in the scarf alone. I've been visiting loads of friends and family this past week, and at least one person is bound to comment on the enormity of this scarf. They usually say something along the lines of, "That's a blanket!" and I just agree.

I've been out of classes for just over two weeks now, and I'm embracing the laziness this break allows me. For example: I've worn this outfit three times each week for the past two weeks. I'm slightly ashamed. But only slightly.

P.S. I'm 100% sure I heard a sheep bleating from somewhere in my neighborhood while we were taking these photos. I mean, I know these are the suburbs, but really?


Buda + Pest

On the last weekend of our program in Prague, three different groups of students set out to spend a couple of days in the Budapest, Hungary. One group chose the fly, the other rented a mini-van, but a friend and I chose the most economical option: an 8-hour long night train.

We left the Czech Republic at midnight and woke up bright and early in the city of Budapest, or Pest to be more specific. My grandpa always noted that the city was separated into two sections by the Danube river, Buda and Pest. Someone also told us that the train station was modeled after Gare du Nord in Paris and that it's often used as a stand-in for films. At the time I had yet to go to Paris, but I can confirm the similarity.

Our hostel was in a charming renovated apartment building, one with a central courtyard and massively high ceilings. Our trip was planned completely last minute, and while I can't say I regret going, the oppressive heat and lack of air conditioning made it hard to want to do anything.

After we dropped our things off in our hostel, we made our way to the beautiful monuments in Heroes Square. At this point we sought refuge in the national art museum on one side of the square, where we lied to get a European Union student discount and waited for the hottest hours of the day to pass. After we admired the Egon Shiele exhibition that happened to be visiting (I ran into it again at a later date in Vienna), we wandered through the shaded castle grounds of City Park. Budapest reminded me of immensely Prague in it's architecture and language, but its parks and islands had such a quiet and naturalistic atmosphere that seemed almost far removed from the capital city.

We spent our only night there on Margaret Island. Groups of friends and even families with children wandered along the banks until midnight. Yelp led us to a strange beer garden called WNDRLND where resident independent artists took turns designing the interior of the space. When we happened to visit, the entryway was an arch made of bicycle frames and parts of crash-test dummies fanned out around the central light post.

Our next and final day there was just as hot as the day before. The heat didn't mix well with our antics from the night before and our 9 a.m. check out time, so we continued our casual sight-seeing from the day prior. Even though I often lament how little time I had to spend in such a beautiful city, our discovery of the trdelník, a traditional Hungarian pastry, made the entire weekend worthwhile. They can be found in Slovakia and the Czech lands too, but none were as good as the one pictured here.

We took another night train and arrived back in Prague just as the sun began to rise. All of the beds were sold out and so I spent a long eight hours trying to make myself comfortable in an upright seat. I don't think I could ever take a night train again. I also didn't visit the baths, as we had decided to avoid the massive EDM party that was occurring that weekend - another student was there and came home with an infected leg cut, so I'm sure it was for the best. Budapest was fleeting, extremely hot, but more than anything, rather beautiful. I'm sure I'll see it again.


Madewell: Fall 2013 Lookbook

Confession: I work in a clothing store but I consistently find myself stumped when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. I'm not afraid to admit I'm a fickle creature, especially when it comes to clothing. My affections wane and ebb like the waters of a stormy sea and are often quelled, if only temporarily, by Madewell's seasonal lookbook. I have fallen right into their perfectly styled marketing trap.

What drew me so much to these looks, I think, is how many of these pieces I already own. A leather skirt, blue checked button-up, bright coat, black ankle boots, warm-hued a-line skirt, striped shirt, motorcycle jacket and graphic tees already live in my crowded closet space. Next on my list is a pair of coated skinny denim, a marled maxi skirt, a bomber jacket and that Shimmerweave tee dress, the only thing I know I won't be able to find a cheaper version of in H&M.


Store Profile: Duross & Langel

For last week's store profile, the Style section covered Duross & Langel. I was first introduced to this Philadelphia-based soapmaker this past spring by a good friend of mine. We ducked into the store to take cover from a crazy Cinco de Mayo celebration that had taken over 13th Street and he insisted I try their Moroccan Cedar scented soap. I was hooked. Further investigation revealed that many of their all-natural products are produced in the second level of their storefront. According to the owner, Steve Duross, the demand for their products is so big they have moved most of their production to local family operated laboratories, where the recipes can be carefully followed. Read my full article on Duross & Langel over at The Triangle.


Street Style: Ayanna

Ayanna Harris, senior in Digital Media 
Wearing:Forever 21 jacket, Papaya Clothing pants, Wet Seal boots, DSW bag 

My goal for next week is to shoot people for street style who I don't already know. It's a bit of a cop-out, isn't it?
On this afternoon I had lunch with my good friend Ayanna, who I've known since early in my freshman year of school. She always dresses with a point of view, but today I was particularly drawn to her vintage-inspired purse, high-waisted pants and her Rosie the Riveter-esque scarf. She was giving me a bit too much of her serious model face and it took of bit of unsuccessful banter from behind the camera to make her crack a smile. I think she was mostly just confused by the random things I was shouting at her, but once I explained I was trying to get a genuine smile, she laughed at how much of a dork I was being about it. Why didn't you just tell me? Note to self: don't try to fool your subject, you'll just end up looking like a fool.

Who or what do you look to for style inspiration?
I find myself following the styles of dancers (things that are easy to move in). I also find inspiration from ‘90s hip-hop styles and pin-up fashion.

What trend, if any, are you looking forward to trying this fall?
I am really getting into long-sleeved dresses this fall (maxi and skater). I know the weather is getting colder, so usually I stray away from outfits that show my legs, but I am still on the hunt for a long-sleeved black skater dress.

Your jacket is such an awesome ‘80s print. What print or pattern would you never wear?
I usually avoid thick vertical black-and-white stripes and thin horizontal black-and-white stripes. Thick vertical stripes make your legs look longer (if you wear them on the bottom). I am already tall, so I don’t need the illusion of looking tall. Thin horizontal stripes look bad on camera (looks like things are moving on your shirt). If I am ever randomly caught on camera, I don’t want my shirt to look like bugs are crawling all over [it].

You’re part of a K-pop dance team. How do you translate your personal style into your costume choices?
After we all agree on a color or pattern, I usually look for a crop top or high-waist shorts (recently obsessed with both) that would fit that. And then I always bling it out with a big, chunky necklace or big, sparkly earrings just to set my outfit or style apart from the others.


DIY: Madewell Paris Tee

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a bit of a self-proclaimed Madewell fangirl. I spotted this tee in the brand's fall lookbook and for some reason, I just had to have it. If you know me at all, I'm not one to often don a tee and pair of jeans. Sadly, not only is this tee $45, it's also back-ordered until January of next year! Yeah right! Within a day I was off to the store to gather everything I needed to make this incredibly simple piece for myself.

What you'll need:
  • a grey heather tee (mine was $6 from Target)
  • cardstock
  • an Exacto knife and blades
  • black fabric paint
  • a paint brush or sponge
  • tape
  • a piece of cardboard and newspaper

First, print out your text on a piece of cardstock. I recognized this font immediately as Impact, a standard font in Microsoft Office, which was what initially inspired me to make this tee on my own. I made the text as large as I could without it overflowing onto a second line in the word document.

Next, cut out your letters carefully using your Exacto knife. Save the inside pieces of the "P" and "R", you'll be using them later.

Next, insert a piece of cardboard or newspaper inside your tee. This will keep the fabric paint from seeping through to the back of the shirt.

Tape your stencil down across the chest of your tee, including the inside pieces of some of the letter "P", "A" and "R".

Then apply your paint. I used a drybrush technique to create a distressed look. I knew I wouldn't be able to create clean and exact lines that would look as good as a professionally screen printed shirt, so I just decided to work with it.

I let the first coat dry for about twenty minutes and then refined and darkened certain areas. Following the directions on the fabric paint bottle, I let the tee dry for 36 hours and then washed it inside out.

That's it! My text ended up being a little off center, so I regret no taking the time the align it more accurately. So far I've worn this to class several times and no one has been able to tell the difference. Good luck!


Roman Holiday: Part II

Ah, my beautiful Rome. I promised you I would unearth the embarrassing touristy pictures before long. Despite how boiling hot it was on this particular weekend, I can't help but recall how joyously stress-free this trip was. I think it was pure luck, having chosen the perfect location to stay in and effectively planning our days where we even accounted for about an hour of nap time to rejuvenate ourselves before dinner. 

Being in the Colosseum was almost unnerving, considering its age and current state of disarray. I was a bit afraid that the stone would crumble away beneath my feet with each step I took. Of course, that fear wasn't great enough to keep me from (illegally!) posing on the remnants of an Ionic column capital. 

I was dutifully informed by my friend Sam that the best gelato in all of Rome was to be found in a shop just around the corner from the Trevi Fountain. For some reason, I found myself incredibly addicted to pistachio ice cream this summer, so I indulged myself in a scoop of the aforementioned flavor. Our friend, who sent us a massively helpful email prior to our trip, told us to look out for pistachio gelato that was lime green in color, because that is a tell-tale sign that it's made with artificial ingredients.

One thing that struck me the most about Rome is how closely everything was set together. The only prior exposure I had to the city was through movies (Roman Holiday, The Lizzie McGuire Movie) and so I assumed everything was spread out, for some reason. Little did I know, the Trevi Fountain is not even a free-stranding structure but the back end of a building.

On our was to the airport early Sunday morning, we took the scenic route and bid our little Italian retreat farewell with a stop on the Spanish Steps.


Street Style: Sola

Adesola Onitiri, third year junior in communications
Wearing: Gap top, H&M skirt, thrifted belt, Born shoes, Michael Kors jacket 

Several weeks ago, I was prowling the sidewalks of campus for street style subjects, as I am
wont to do when I have a bit of free time. I ran into my friend Sola at a food truck outside of our library and insisted that she let me photograph her outfit. I was drawn in my her velvet bow-adorned loafers and her cool vintage belt. She also indulged me and answered my stupid questions about her sandwich. Thanks for tolerating me, Sola.

What piece in your wardrobe do you wear the most?
I probably wear my denim jacket the most. It was my dads before I tricked it out with all of my band and feminist pins. It also has amazing inside pockets.

What’s your favorite, but perhaps lesser known, place to shop?
Lately I've been doing some online shopping. I've found some really cool Etsy stores that I've been obsessed with.

What essential piece would you recommend for someone’s first fall in Philadelphia?
It's all about that amazing fall jacket. Find a cozy, statement jacket and wear the heck out of it as you eat pumpkin flavored things. Jackets are also a great conversation starter at fall festivals and music venues.

I ran into you in line for the food truck outside of Hagerty. What sandwich did you get?
Egg and cheese with salt pepper and a little bit if sriracha.



After messing around with several sites (or setting one up only to find out it costs $9 a month), I've finally settled on a portfolio site. My most current work, including my photo projects and articles, are over on courtneydenton.tumblr.com. I get all excited when I get to update it, it's super satisfying to see all of my work in one place. I wish I had started doing this years ago because I probably have a hundred published photos that have been lost in the old newspaper graveyard.


Designer Profile: Duke & Winston

Last week my profile on the Philadelphia-based brand Duke & Winston was published in the Style section my university's newspaper. I sat down with Seun Olubodun, the founder of Duke & Winston, who gave me the lowdown on how the line came to be and what is in store for this upcoming year.

This was a completely new endeavor for me: my first profile piece, the first time I conducted an interview the first time I had to funnel all of that information into an article. I'm surprised, but mostly glad, that I didn't feel overwhelmed or utterly lost. I haven't done much writing in the past few years and I had forgotten how much I like it. Perhaps I should give myself a little more credit, because at least I didn't end up with a jumbled mess of quotes like I thought I would!

If you feel so inclined, check out my story over at The Triangle!


Roman Holiday: Part I

This summer, after years of aspiring and longing, I finally had to opportunity to visit Rome, Italy. For a long weekend at the end of July, my friend Sam and I rented an apartment in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere. It's far from the historic center and filled with ivy-covered window boxes, winding cobblestone streets and charming outdoor restaurants. As per the suggestion of a very helpful student who happened to be spending his own summer in Rome, he hung around our neighborhood after dark to soak up the lively nightlife.

As per the recommendation of our reliable source, we had our first dinner at Freni e Frizioni, an apertivo bar. The bar scene was a bit chaotic, but the drinks were delicious as were the endless servings of fresh salads and food. Apertivo bars are apparently a distinctively Italian experience where you pay about six to eight euros for a flavorful cocktail, and with your receipt you're welcome to a diverse spread of appetizers and lite fare. During the day this location looks indistinct and forgotten with its heavy metal doors lowered, but we approached a scene of young, cool-looking Italians spilling out into a square and surrounding neighborhood streets.

We started each morning in a different nearby cafe with a cappuccino and chocolate pastry, where we planned that day's excursions. Don't worry, we didn't spend the whole trip wandering off the beaten path.