‘For the Girls,’ By the Girls

When eight top female singers unite to record one song, you know it’s for a good reason — and First Lady Michelle Obama was able to convene the powerhouses for a very special project ahead of her SXSW appearance.

According to TIME, the First Lady released a song titled, “This Is For My Girls,” on Wednesday, March 16 just before her SXSW Music Keynote Conversation. The song, penned by legendary songwriter Diane Warren, features not only singers like Kelly Clarkson and Lea Michele, but also Missy Elliott, Zendaya, Janelle Monaé, Jada Grace, Kelly Rowland and Chloe x Halle.

Done in a collaboration with AOL’s Makers series, TIME says that the track aims to “promote her Let Girls Learn initiative, which helps provide access to education to the estimated 62 million girls around the world without schooling.”

All proceeds from the track will be donated to the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund, which aids in giving “adolescent girls get the secondary education they deserve.”

To listen to “This Is For My Girls” or to download the track, check out Itunes here.


She Leads, You Follow: amfAR Inspiration Gala Edition

Fashion and fundraising came together in the Oct. 29 amfAR Inspiration Gala, held at Milk Studios in Hollywood, California. Launched in 2010, the series aims to celebrate men’s style while also raising money for amfAR’s AIDS research programs. Last Thursday’s gala certainly accomplished both goals, with stars turning out high fashion to support the worthy cause.

One of our favorite looks of the night came courtesy of the always-fashionable Sarah Hyland, who wore a blush Jenny Packam gown with beaded embroidery. InStyle says Hyland completed her gala look with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.

Following Hyland in a more whimsical look was Diane Kruger, who donned a Carolina Herrera gown in a faint sheer pink with black and white embroidery. InStyle says that Kruger polished off her look with a Charlotte Olympia box clutch and Harry Winston jewelry.

Interrupting the parade of gowns was Zendaya, who opted for a tailored blazer and shorts suit. She injected her look with some femininity by adding a black strappy heel and floral earrings.

Lea Michele rounded out our favorite looks of the evening, wearing a coral strapless gown with an origami-style curved neckline. A diamond bracelet and earrings completed her gala look.

Although these ladies are dressed to impress on the red carpet of a charity gala, there are several things we can learn from their style and apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. Simplicity makes a statement – All of these outfits have one thing in common: they are all fairly simple. While some included embroidery or beading, they all employ solid colors. While solid colors can sometimes be considered boring, these ensembles certainly prove otherwise. Their simplicity allows us to focus on each woman wearing the outfit; because we are not distracted by loud prints or overwhelming layers of material, which lets us see them and their natural beauty. When styled with bold jewelry, as these ladies did, it can create a striking, fashionable look.
  2.  Fit is everything – Another common thread running through each of these outfits is their fit; each ensemble is perfectly tailored, and good fit automatically elevates the inherent style of each piece. For example, Zendaya’s blazer fits perfectly at the shoulder and at the waist, accentuating her hourglass shape. Michele’s gown fits in a similar way, with the exaggerated neckline emphasizing her bust while the rest of the gown hugs her curves all the way down to its hemline.
  3. Proportional jewelry – Each woman also has jewelry that is proportional to their outfits; that is, because their outfits are simple, they could wear larger jewelry pieces. Notice, however, the mix of sizes in their jewelry; for example, in Michele’s outfit, she chose a smaller earring with a larger cuff bracelet. Kruger, though, opted for earrings and a bracelet that are fairly equal in size, while Zendaya chose for a bolder earring to counteract her menswear-inspired look. Hyland, however, chose the smallest jewelry, most likely to avoid competing with her bold lip color.

Michele Inspires with Recent Op-Ed

Actresses can be known for powerful, emotive on-screen performances, but recently, one actress is drawing attention not for her role in a movie or television show, but instead for an essay.

The Huffington Post reports that Glee-alum Lea Michele recently penned an op-ed for The Daily Beast in which she “explained the importance of women empowering other women in a world where women’s experiences, opinions and unique traits are often dismissed and overlooked.”

Discussing how the media often places unrealistic standards of perfection upon women while also forcing them to conform to the mainstream, Michele wrote, “Too often, female expression is stifled. The truth about women is skewed in popular culture, and so many young girls reading the weekly magazines in the grocery checkout aisle are left to wonder where they fit in.”

The Huffington Post also says Michele told of her involvement int he #ActuallySheCan campaign, an initiative that bolsters female ambition, citing supportive female friends, mentors and advocates who have helped her in both her personal and professional life as inspiration for participating in the campaign.

Further in the piece, Michele encouraged young women to share their voices and support others that do so, as well. “We have to be diligent, we have to be willing to take risks,” she said. “We have to be willing to celebrate one another and accept the challenges we face individually and collectively.”

Michele concluded her op-ed in this way: “#ActuallySheCan is a reminder that I can, that She can, and that We can.”

Thank you, Lea Michele, for reminding us that all women can and should use their voices and defy the expected to achieve their goals.

Read the full op-ed here.

Take Her Look [For Less]

The fall TV season kicked off with a scream — Scream Queens, that is. The new FOX show premiered on Monday, September 21 with a star-studded bash at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, California, and of course, there was no shortage of great fashion.

One of our favorite looks came from Glee star Lea Michele, who showed up to the premiere party in what InStyle reports was a David Koma dress. Her sexy black gown featured a thigh-high slit and a plunging neckline offset by a band at the bust. She styled her David Koma number with black embellished sandals, large stud earrings and handfuls of rings.

Michele’s David Koma number may be a stunner, but what’s equally stunning is its lofty price tag; her dress, the Low Cut Chest Strap Gown, is available at Forward for $2,614. If this price makes you want to ‘scream’ just as much as it makes us want to, you’ll be relieved to know that we’ve found all the pieces necessary to recreate Michele’s entire look for less than $100. Read on for the results!

Finding a dress to rival Michele’s sexy David Koma number was no easy task, but we thought the Slinky Cut Out Detail Maxi Dress from Missguided was the perfect alternative to Michele’s pricey gown. Although this dress does not have a similar neckline, it makes up for that with its thigh-high slit and sexy side cutouts. Another feature this dress doesn’t have — a high price tag. This dress is a fashion steal for a sale price of $30.

The Slinky Cut Out Detail Maxi Dress from Missguidedus.com.

The Slinky Cut Out Detail Maxi Dress from Missguidedus.com.

An embellished heel will complete our look for less, and there is no better pair for the job than the Zigi Soho Madyson Sandal from DSW. Featuring a similar beading across the foot, these heels will add a bit of shine to your all-black ensemble, and they will do so for only $69.95.

The Zigi Soho Madyson Sandal from DSW.com.

The Zigi Soho Madyson Sandal from DSW.com.

Although the $2,614 price of Lea Michele’s Scream Queens premiere party look made us want to scream, we were able to create a look-alike ensemble for only $99.95. Pair your new look with some simple rings and bold earrings, and you’ll have successfully taken Michele’s look for less.

Happy Shopping!

Take Her Look [For Less]

Comic-Con San Diego has officially wrapped up its four-day convention, and although the star-studded event has come to an end, we are all still in awe of the fashion from those in attendance.

In what PopSugar is reporting as one of the “sexier” Comic-Con red carpets ever, celebrities from Jennifer Lawrence to Maisie Williams to Kat Graham brought their A-game, showing little peeks of skin via cutouts, plunging necklines and thigh-high slits.

But one of the simplest, yet sexiest red carpet looks came from Glee‘s Lea Michele, who walked the red carpet in a white crop top and skater skirt by Jonathan Simkhai, which she paired with bright red and blue color-blocked heels.

Michele’s white-hot summery look seems simple, but the price tag of her top and skirt prove to be anything but simple — both pieces retail for $325, bringing her outfit total to $650 excluding the price of her shoes (to purchase Michele’s exact pieces, visit  Intermixonline.com for her top and fwrd.com for her flare skirt). But if you want to take her look for less, you are in luck! THL found the perfect pieces to recreate Michele’s crop top ensemble so it’s affordable enough to find its way into your wardrobe!

Since crop tops are all the rage these days, finding a simple white cropped tank was a cinch. The Lulu’s Make a Seam Ivory Crop Top is the perfect cropped style to mimic Michele’s Simkhai top, offering a similar neckline and seaming at the bust to provide a sleek, tailored look. This top comes in at a fraction of the Simkhai top for only $36 at Lulus.com.

The Make a Seam Ivory Crop Top, found on Lulus.com.

The Make a Seam Ivory Crop Top, found on Lulus.com.

The Drifting Away Together Skirt from Tobi completes the top and skirt set, offering a voluminous skater skirt style that pulls away from the hip, creating a narrow waistline. This skirt could easily pass for Michele’s Simkhai skater, and the best part is that it only costs $52 from Tobi.com.

The Drifting Away Together Skirt, found on Tobi.com.

The Drifting Away Together Skirt, found on Tobi.com.

Finding an equally stunning color-blocked heel to compete with Michele’s cute kicks was no easy task, but Aldo stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park with the Deserto High-Heel Sandal. These sandals are available in a fuchsia colorblock, as well as a blue colorblock, allowing you to decide which color from Michele’s heels to work into your duplicate look. These stylish heels won’t set you back much as they are on sale for $45 at AldoShoes.com — basically, this means you should get both pairs!

The Deserto High Heel Sandal, found on AldoShoes.com.

The Deserto High Heel Sandal, found on AldoShoes.com.

If Lea Michele’s Comic-Con look was on your style radar, now you can take her look for less with THL’s duplicate look; incorporating pieces from Lulu’s, Tobi and Aldo, THL’s look comes in at a reasonable $133, while Michele’s look totals $650 for only her top and skirt. Now you can look like a star and save money at the same time!

Happy Shopping!