Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We Made It In America

Thanksgiving is about as American as you can get. All of our country's value are spiced up, cooked down and plated. You wake up in the morning to smell of baking pies and go to bed looking forward to at least a week turkey sandwiches with a side of greens and sweet potatoes. This is the time of year when family reigns supreme. Despite how daunting academic tasks and decisions-to-be-made might seem, you find the time to give thanks.

While large retailers have taken over prime time ad space to drill into our brains that they will be open at 6pm on Thanksgiving (like, what?...), some stores are sticking true to their roots. There's one shop that just opened in Hyde Park that is worth its weight in gold: Independence. This is place that is American to its core. Forget about scooting out of Thanksgiving dinner early to wait in some insane line to get a "deal;" Independence is where it's at. I went to school about a five minute walk from the the Oak Street location and I now find myself about a ten minute drive from the Hyde Park location on 53rd street. Basically, wherever I go, Independence goes.

Last Friday, MODA, the fashion organization on campus, teamed up with Independence for an opening party of sorts. Students spent the evening drinking out of mason jars (I'm 'bout it) and ogling at all of the great products. Independence is unlike any other store in that it only carries goods made in the USA. When you buy a shirt here, no need to fret -- you're supporting American dreamers just like yourself. 

Independence is a men's shop, but eff societal norms; anyone and everyone can find something here. I picked up the Apolis Chicago, Illinois tote and some Field Notes. There's a pretty strong showing from Oak Street Bootmakers. Every time I see a pair of shoes from Oak Street, I want to straight snatch them off the wearer's feet. I'm still waiting to find a brand that makes quality menswear inspired boots and shoes for women, so if you all know of one, hit meh up. 

You can seriously find anything there: jeans, sweaters, coats, aftershave, boots, blankets, scarves, everything. Independence has it all. This is exactly why it appeals to more than just its target market; everybody loves blankets. One thing that might come as a surprise to many is the price. You're paying for what you get and what you're getting is quality. You can buy one thing from here and have it for years, or buy a crap ton of the same thing over and over again from a sheisty store. Take yo pick. 

I'm one of those people who doesn't go "Black Friday" shopping because I'm really into the shopping experience. I can't deal with the crowds, the inability to find a store associate, and the all around chaos. Call me what you want, but once you have a great shopping experience at a store like Independence, crazy shit like Black Friday will drive you nuts. Also, look at that decor. Can't get that at Macy's. I'm actually just salty because Macy's messed up the epic shoe department Marshall Fields championed, so now I can't go drool over all the nice shoes at the State St. location. So, yea, Macy's sucks.

Copyright Ivy Zhang Photo 2013
Be sure to stop by Independence, either in Hyde Park or up on Oak Street. You really won't be disappointed. Even if you don't buy anything, talk to the guys in the store, see what's hip with the heritage movement. Trust me, you want to shop at a place with a name like Independence. That's about as American as you can get.

Big thanks to MODA and Independence for putting on this event for the plebes; we enjoyed ourselves. 

Be sure to like All Worn Out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. It's almost December and if you're a true fan you know what that means: wish lists for days. Get ready.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Soooo High School

The more time I spend on this campus, the more I become convinced that time is an abstract concept. Days end quickly and weeks pass by even faster. It's been two weeks since my last post. Whaaa?! Maybe you all are living your lives like normal people and can comprehend the fact that it's been two weeks since I've made pointless comments in the blogosphere. But...let's be real, I'm far from normal.

A little over a week ago (I think...), we had our Fall Formal. I jumped at the chance to relive the glory days of high school. Apparently, this is a big deal for those of us who love an excuse to dress up. Tickets went on sale at 7am and were sold out by 8am. I was up before sunrise making the trek across my dimly lit campus to be one of the first people in line to get a ticket. It was one of those mornings that made me think about how great it is that I'm actually out of high school. Waking up at 6:15 and leaving my dorm before the birds were even chirping was, uhhh, awful. I will admit that I'm being a bit dramatic, but it's hard to believe I did that everyday for four years.

My five friends. Jk, I have more. 
The dance (lolzzz) was at the Shedd Aquarium. I was actually too hyped about the venue. Fish, food and fun?! What more could I ask for?? A lot, but ya know. 

My roommate pretty much killed it in a super nice dress with a statement necklace. The dress is nice on its own, but the necklace brings the look together.

I never really have anything to wear to formal events that aren't super formal. This was more semi-formal. If you're a diehard fan of this blog, you might remember that this is the same skirt I wore to my senior year homecoming. I really can't be out here droppin' dollars on a new dress. My skirt is from Kohls and my shirt is from Banana Republic. Also, the same shoes from homecoming; they're BCBG. My purse is a throwback Coach that was gifted to me by my cousin. I wore silver rings, a silver watch, and white gold earrings. 

Fall Formal was actually such a good time. When the usual options are booze-filled, sweaty frat parties, a change of pace was much appreciated.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Rain, Rain Go Away

Last week was pretty rainy. Aaaaand it sucked. But, it would have sucked even more had I not bought a pair of Hunter rain boots the week before. I've been in college for seven weeks now and I've probably done more than my fair share of online shopping (whoops...). But, I count my rain boots as a necessary luxury.

I wore them with a cashmere sweater and skirt I picked up from the J.Crew outlet, a quilted jacket I got on sale at the regular mall J.Crew and lace tights from Kohls. 

Even though it's been raining a lot, I love this weather. I'm one of those people that absolutely loves fall. It's not too hot, not too cold. You can wear nice jackets, jeans, and break out your boots.

I just realized how jacked up my fisherman's bracelet is. Ha, I should probably buy/make a new one. But, I like to think it has character.

Thanks to my beautiful friend Maya for taking these pictures. She'll be making more appearances on the blog, so watch out for her. 

Oh, and we both love jack-o-laterns. 

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