Pitches, Blogging, Networking, Emailing, Media Plans & Kits! These are a few of my favorite things.

Loved this tweet by Gregory Russell, winner of the tweeting competition (he is good), and fellow Fashion PR enthusiast with whom I got to #PRnerd it up at Fashion PR Con in NYC! Tanchis be going places! #SiSePuede

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It was the ultimate meeting of the #PRNerds with some of the most amazing girls in the industry hosting, Crosby Noricks and Danika Daly. Bringing together aspiring publicists from all over the country and world, I am incredibly grateful I was among those in attendance.

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Photo Credit: Alexandra Dimichino

What is Fashion PR Con?
It is straight up Chevere (awesome). It’s perfect any for aspiring publicist-in-the-making, especially in their “This Isn’t College Anymore” stage in life (for near post college, post college, and post entry-level professionals). Fashion PR Confidential is the first of its kind. It’s a two-day workshop unlocking the secrets of fashion PR. This year it took place at WE CREATE NYC. I really recommend this experience to anyone aspiring to be a publicist in fashion.

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As a career jumper, not pursing the grad school route to do it, finding networks and participating in professional development of this kind is essential for success. Fashion PR Con provides the ultimate crash course with practical tips and know-hows for working in the industry. Just remember to bring your flats for the 8 flights of stairs to climb! Que Yuca! …but it’s so worthwhile.

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Photo Credit: Alexandra Dimichino

What Happens at Fashion PR Con?
Absolutely everything– accomplishing a great deal in one weekend! We created mini PR plans on day 1, working with groups of great minds who all think alike. We all brought a variety of perspectives and skills, and were able to make great connections including with a fellow San Dieagan, Angelina, and Tatiana from Canada. We came from SD to NYC! Represent!

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On day 2 we got personal one-on-one feedback on our crafted pitches, participated in a speed networking round, and learned from the wise in the industry – including editor, Julia Rubin from Teen Vogue,Jinna Boo of the fantastic fashion blog, Grease and Glamour and publicist at Club Monaco, and finally a digital PR guru from The Row, Ruthie Friedlander. Did I mention there were cupcakes involved? The panza got the love from Megs Sweet Treats!

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What I wore to Fashion PR Con: Professional Attire from Anthropologie
Networking events and professional development opportunities are important for growth in any career. In fact, Ruthie Friedlander advised us to “stay at a job as long as you are still learning, when you’ve stopped…you’re quitting.” I really enjoy conferences and workshops actually; it is the lifelong learner in me.

When attending, I make sure to dress for the occasion, not only because I love it, but because there is something powerful about dress and overall presentation. In a previous post, on professional attire in the teaching industry, Trendy Teachers what we can learn from Obama, I share how I’d like to put part of the blame on the way teachers dress as reason to why we are so underpaid and undervalued. Sounds harsh, but Julia Rubin’s comment of “be professional so editors take you and your clients seriously“, really struck a chord with me for this reason. Although Julia purposed this in the context of email etiquette to an editor, professionalism is important when dressing, especially for the Fashion PR career – style is a uniform. For the fellow tanchinistas, here is how I curated style – the tanchi way:

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I wore Anthropologie.
I love my Anthropologie, there is no secret there. They are one of the leading petite apparel offerings for tanchis and have an endless array of panza friendly attire. I wore a pair of High Halls Pumps by Miss Albright in a wine color suede with glittery light pink sparkles – a perfect height for the business occasion and just the right amount of glitz to be able to wear to a “business casual” event. Since I wore a fun shoe, I paired it with more neutral tones and conservative attire. I wore black bebe (of course) Kristie pants (size 10), a similar pair is the Petite Dania Skinny Pant. Finally, a petite size M, Striped Candence Top – or as I like to call my peter pan collared Chanel-like top that I have worn numerous times since purchasing. In fact, I previously wore this very outfit to an Anthropologie Petite Shop event with designer Corey Lynn Calter. I have no shame in repeating an outfit – in fact I embrace it with my mantra of “less is more.” I love when I get the most use I can out of an outfit. I find that with Anthropologie attire you get longevity and versatility in most of their garments.

Why I went to Fashion PR Con
“Coupled with a big yucky fear that I didn’t look right (read: wasn’t thin/pretty enough) or have the right connections/confidence to play the part of aspiring fashion editor in New York City meant that I only applied to college in California. I went to the one that offered me the most scholarship money, but no classes in fashion, advertising, marketing, nada.” -Crosby Noricks, from Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR

When I read that upon the first pages of Crosby Norick’s book (which by the way every aspiring fashion PR girl has to read this!), I was hooked. She essentially called out the invisible script I’d been playing in my head for years and now that I have “outgrown my old script,” I can’t believe how freeing the experience has been and how incredibly hard the growth was. All thanks to the personal finance guru I follow and his ideas on “invisible scripts” – Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach you To Be Rich.

What’s Personal Finance got to do with Fashion PR Dreams?
One of my favorite bloggers and thought leaders is Ramit Sethi. He writes about personal finance, but really so much more. I discovered his blog about 2 years ago and it dramatically changed my life. By applying what I call “Ramitting,” I’ve been able to negotiate credit card APR rates, create a budget for blogging, and most recently, conquer ‘invisible scripts’ to pursue a career in fashion and lifestyle PR.

What are Invisible Scripts?
An invisible script is an assumption that is so baked in to how you view the world and your choices that you don’t even question it. It often involves an inner voice telling you what you should do, need to do, or can’t do

Ramit writes about invisible scripts in his blog post, The Invisible Scripts that Guide Our Life. Beliefs are pre-written by our societal values and my invisible script is much like that of Crosby Noricks’ story and not feeling adequate to be a PR Girl. Needless to say, I read every page of the text with great conviction.

I Thought the Dream was Completely Out of Reach.
The most important lesson I learned from my career experience is that I choose not to pursue “fashion passions” (Kelly Cutrone would kill for the use of such a phrase) because I was afraid I would be seen as selfish and superficial for leaving such important work (teaching)- work that makes a difference in this world. In fact, I would hide my Kelly Cutrone books and lock the door when I read them during my convent days in my teacher service program. But here I am, a graduate of Fashion PR Confidential and making my way in the Fashion PR world with panza and all.

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Hashtag #FashionPrCon
Follow the hashtag ‪#fashionprcon for great info, insights, + pics! Wishful thinking, but wish I was still waking up to attend another day of ‪Fashion PR Con this morning! Some of my favorite takeaways were the digital workbook, and great swag bag with goodies from Tattly Designy Temporary Tattoos, Pretty Please Nail Polish, Rifle Paper CoJamberry NailsTeen Vogue, and PR Couture.

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There is a God
Hearing the success stories of Danika Daily and Crosby Noricks was the best. Muchisimas Gracias to these ladies and to Ruthie Friedlander for the 101 on digital PR and metrics, Julia Rubin for the inside scoop on how to get an editor to love you, and Jinna Boo for insights on how to work with bloggers. Just so you know Ruthie thinks, “It’s so sexy when a girl can code”, Julia “has a lot of feelings about emails,” and Jinna believes “there is a God” when you get your first big break as blogger. Loved it all, Hasta Luego Tanchis!

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All the way from UK – The Carmen by Jeetly Petite

Wahoo! Royal Mail has arrived!

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All the way from UK – The Carmen – I fell in love with the Carmen the moment I saw it at Jeetly Petite. I own a similar style in pink from bebe, but it’s not so great of a blouse for the workplace. You can always count on Jeetly, though, for your “This isn’t college anymore (or entry level)” wardrobe – not to mention I’m huge fan of their bold colors with bow ties!

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Jeetly Petite is an emerging online petite retailer based out of the UK making quality petite apparel perfect for any tanchi’s workplace attire. They are perfect for the tanchi in her 20s – going from entry-level to mid-career professional. It’s that stage in your life when NY&Co. and fast-fashion isn’t cutting it anymore but your not in your 30s yet – ready for the Ann Taylor and Express fashions. Jeetly Petite garments have it all in quality– construction, style, material, and fit. It is a price point value worth every penny! Right now the Carmen and others are on sale – get them while you can! They truly live up theirs claims of being chic and classy, no tailoring necessary, giving a confident look, and using smart tailoring.

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With Jeetly Petite, not only will you get a great product for it’s price but because they are garments made especially for petites – no alterations are required and the fit is impeccable on the tanchi body – especially the panza region. When the Carmen arrived, I didn’t have to wait to schedule my shoot until alteration were done because I put it on and it fit perfectly! Is this really happening?

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It’s so lovely. The feminine details such as an oversized neck bowtie and the satin wrapped button on the cuffs. Such a marvelous piece to put on! A word of caution, though — as silky and soft as the garment is – it is also delicate. It absorbs body sweat easily and I highly recommend saving it for the Fall or Winter season.

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For such a feminine piece – I paired it with a more masculine look, staying in line with Fall 2013 trends. To achieve the fem/masculine look I wore black high-waisted bebe trousers and white suspenders I got ages ago from Wet Seal.

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Suspenders are a favorite accessory of mine to wear to the work place – very fashion forward, yet professional. And yet again, my go-to choice for fashion is bebe because it does everything right. They even make high-waisted pants that are fab in style and fit for the tanchi (even with a panza)!

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For shoes I picked a slightly higher kitten heel high by Steve Madden – plain black closed toed heels. Topped off with accessories – an Anne Klein silver watch and bebe black and white purse – making for the complete “This isn’t College Anymore (or entry-level)” look.

I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.” – Diana Vreeland.

Vreeland and Jeetly Petite share this mindset- a garment is worth a thousand words and This isn’t college anymore so make sure to take care of the scrunchy bottom looks!. A Scrunch can make all the difference – keep it classy with smart tailoring (and in San Diego) – the only kind you’ll find at Jeetly Petite.

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Shopping tips:
1. I purchased a size 14 (equivalent to a Large) in the Carmen because with petite apparel I always go one size up plus one more for UK and European companies.
2. The price for the Carmen plus delivery comes out to $65.54 in dollars. All pricing is in pounds but you can use Dollars2pounds to help convert.
3. You may get a fraud alert call from your credit card company if you have never purchased overseas.

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Trendy Teachers What We Can Learn from Obama

What Not To Wear: “That Tie”
Do you remember that teacher growing up that always wore “that tie” or some other quirky garment? I was definitely not that teacher – I love fashion too much (and myself).

I was disciplined, however, in that even if I came to work having just rolled out of bed, I still managed to wear black slacks at the minimum and on jean day threw on a black boyfriend blazer on top of my school logo polo. To this day I keep in my touch with my students from high school teaching days. They ask what I’m up to and I tell them about my recent fashion endeavors like going to events, taking fashion related classes, or starting this blog. There baffled at my wanting to have a hand in many pots, but not surprised. They remember a well-dressed teacher and then realize fashion has always been a part of me.

Election Time and Public Discourse on Education
Back in November during election time there was a lot of attention paid to education crisis. A lot of the discourse I often hear from the public is about how poorly our teachers are paid. I agree, of course, because I’ve been that teacher that worked endless hours, whole heartedly cared for each of my students and their families, and know the devalue we face in perspective and especially in our paychecks.

Just say ‘No’ to Guayabera Renditions & Chargers T-Shirts (well sort of)
I’d like to put part of the blame on the way teachers dress. Sounds harsh, but there is something powerful about dress and overall presentation. I don’t exactly see Obama showing up to work every day in jeans, untailored suits or unhemmed dress pants, and certainly not wearing oversized tropical print guayabera renditions. In an ideal world we’d be wearing Chargers t-shirts to work, but this is a joke of course (some dreams can come true).

Like Obama, teachers are leaders and I call to action that we start dressing like it. I do understand that being overpaid and underworked often enough in the profession adds to the obstacle. If price is the issue, there are low price point options like NY& Co. Express has great coupon deals, and higher ends retailers like J. Crew extend a teachers’ discount. Fellow curvy petite blogger, Tara from Mix and Match Fashion, is a New Jersey teacher that does a weekly posting on items for under $30. It’s a fantastic curation I look forward to every weekend, after all curation is the tanchi way. A la orden (at your service) for your teacher style needs on teacher budget!

Stacy London Please Intervene!
I wish Stacy London from TLC’s “What Not to Wear” would do an intervention in classrooms and start chewing out teachers for how their dressing and demand that tanchi and honorary tanchi teachers especially go see a seamstress. (Or better yet tell teachers to stop wearing jeans to parent conferences).

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Photo Credit: Beauty is Inside Blog posted by Nancy Lynne Kanter

We are public individuals and many of us continue to look unkempt and unprofessional to audiences that we are preparing to venture into professional settings. It begs the question: Are we really modeling and leading by example?

Bad Teacher Photocall - London

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 16:  Actress Cameron Diaz attends the ‘Bad Teacher’ London photocall at the Dorchester Hotel on June 16, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

Wa Wa Wa, Get your Dress On Teach

When I hear a teacher complaining about their depreciated career, wearing a polo with no undershirt, wearing clothes unflattering to the panza, a faded pair of khakis or jeans, and shoes resembling my grandmothers ‘comfy’ shoe, my inner thoughts include asking if they want a higher salary–then start by looking like someone who makes a higher salary. And if you’re not trying to make a statement of uplifting the perception of teacher at least do it for yourself.

I’m mean, “You think your cool just because you ate in the teachers lounge and used the vending machine.” -Kingsley

Value yourself and hit up the Kohl’s and splurge on a J. Crew staple cardigan (they provide teacher discounts) and show students ‘I value myself and you should as well’.

You Say You Want a Revolution
I think assessing our practices, experimenting with new instructional practices, collaborating with disciplines and other partners will add value to the argument on why teachers should make more. But I’m calling for a revolution with teachers and the way they dress. Get some dress slacks, blazers, pencil skirts, shirts with collars, and a bag that screams, “I’m a professional, out of my way!”