You Only Need $35 to Transform Your Fall Wardrobe

I spend a lot of time putting together slideshows of runway inspiration. Take a look at how I actually dress, though, and you’d never guess it. See, I decide what I’m going to wear in the first five minutes after I wake up—no outfit planning, no Fashion Week references… Just simple, easily-matched pieces I can throw on in a hurry, before I get coffee in my system: big sweaters over slip skirts, a bodysuit under high-waist jeans. For me, shopping is a routine, re-ordering the same few pieces over and over again, trends be damned.

Every so often, though, there comes a moment that’ll break your comfortable routine. For me, that came during Jason Wu’s Fall 2018 show during New York Fashion Week, when, among the princess tulle dresses and embellished skirts, a handful of models emerged wearing thin, camel-colored turtlenecks underneath their looks, from unbuttoned shirts to coat-dresses. It was Ali McGraw, old Céline, and sophisticated Jason Wu muse all in one outfit, a mix that spoke to my latent predilection towards neutral, pared-back dressing.

Though it’s by no means a new styling trick, I had never thought of wearing a turtleneck underneath a button-down before. But I clicked out of that runway recap thinking that it looked so easy, even I could do it. And I already had the perfect layering piece: a Madewell bodysuit that I found marked down to $34.99 in an end-of-season sale. I thought of it as a pragmatic purchase at first—bodysuits have the obvious advantage of never coming untucked, after all, and can pass for real shirts. It’s soft, warm, and neutral enough to match most of my accessories. Also, I repeat: $35.

Instead of simply wearing it with trousers, I started styling it underneath blouses and other fall tops, as a sort of “Look, I can Fashion” move. It took no time to put together, and it received a rare compliment from another Glamour fashion editor. (No exaggeration: She called out my “lewk” on her Instagram story.) I tried it with denim and chambray, with skirts, and with my favorite slip dress. The cost-per-wear is infinitesimal at this point.

I’ve since turned my sale find into the foundation for a turtleneck bodysuit collection: I picked up a black version from American Apparel, to wear under sheer tops and button-downs since my first a-ha! moment; the creamy oatmeal version I bought from Madewell is now long-gone, but turtleneck bodysuits are aplenty in stores this fall for that same price or less. It’s one tissue-thin layer, but it makes any blouse or dress look a little more thoughtful—almost like you bought it from the runway.

$35 is the most I’ve felt compelled to spend on a bodysuit so far. I rounded up a couple that fall just above my price threshold but are still less than $50—meaning that when Cyber Monday discounts roll around, I’ll have my credit card ready.

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Photo of Newly-Elected Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley

Last week’s midterm elections resulted in so many firsts for women in this country. When Congress is sworn in for its 116th term, there will be a new set of faces who are younger, browner, and more female than ever before. And no, the excitement hasn’t worn off yet.

So you’ll have to excuse the fact that I literally squealed with joy upon seeing New York Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s latest Instagram post from Washington, D.C. featuring none other than her new colleagues Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. This one photo features the youngest person elected to Congress, the first black woman to represent Massachusetts, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to the House, and the first Somali-American Muslim and first woman of color to represent Minnesota.

Talk about a powerful ‘Gram—which Ocasio-Cortez aptly captioned, “Squad”.

Tlaib also posted a photo of this power posse, writing, “#DreamTeam in Congress. Going to hit the ground running fighting for #JusticeforAll. Congresswomen elect Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. @ilhanmn @ayannapressley @ocasio2018”

I love that these inspiring women are already hatching plans to change the world together and further disproving the old-fashioned notion that somehow groups of women can’t work with each other without in-fighting and jealousy. If these elections proved anything, it’s that the power of women in America has never been stronger.

And based on the comments, I’m not alone. “The #DreamTeam makes me proud to be an American and gives me hope for a better future,” one IG user wrote under the photo. “Well done ladies!”

“Felicitaciones ❤️This brings tears of joy to me today,” said another. “Thank you all so very much for stepping up. Count on me to support you.”

The new Congress will be sworn in in January, but thankfully, our new Congresswomen aren’t waiting until then to hit the ground running. We can’t wait to see what’s next, ladies.

MORE: This Is How Women Voted in the Midterms—and What It Means for Election 2020

Michelle Obama Shares In Her New Memoir How She And Barack Embarrassed Malia On Prom Night

Now that Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated memoir Becoming is out, we’re all getting an intimate insider’s look at the former First Lady’s time in the White House. One of the book’s most candid scenes comes when Obama describes the very parent-y way she and Barack embarrassed their oldest daughter Malia just before her prom.

Obama writes that in the spring of 2015, Malia revealed that she wanted to go to prom with “a boy she kind of liked.” She only had one super relatable request of her parents on the big night at Washington, D.C.’s Sidwell Friends High School: “Just be cool please, okay?”

The Obama’s apparently did as they were told, but maybe they were a little too cool.

“On the appointed evening, her date arrived in his car, clearing security at the southeast gate of the White House, following the path up and around the South Lawn by which heads of state and other visiting dignitaries normally arrived, and then gamely — bravely — walking into the Dip Room dressed in a black suit,” Obama remembers in the book. She and Barack took an elevator down with Malia to met the boy and Obama shares that to her daughter’s mortification, “I was barefoot, and Barack was in flip-flops.”

They had arranged for Malia’s date to drive, an exception since Malia would normally be accompanied by Secret Service. Still, Obama writes, a security detail would “basically ride the boy’s bumper all the way to the restaurant they were going for dinner before the dance.”

“By my reckoning, we did manage to play it cool, though Malia still laughs, remembering it all as a bit excruciating,” she writes.

It’s such a mom moment that shows how deeply personal Obama gets in Becoming. In the book, she opens up about several other intimate experiences, including suffering a miscarriage and experiencing fertility issues.

If you’re dying to hear more but can’t get your hands on the memoir quite yet, check out our review here.

MORE: Michelle Obama Reveals She Had a Miscarriage and Underwent IVF With Both Daughters

17 Fleece Jackets Under $50 That Basically Feel Like a Warm Hug

In September, I turned 25 years old. To celebrate my birthday, my Aunt Terri sent me a lovely card that had a crisp $50 bill inside—“spend it on something nice,” she wrote. At first, I had sights set on the extreme: Why not I ~treat myself~ and put the cash toward a fancy massage, or maybe that Insta-famous bag everyone is posting about? But my sensible, just-entered-my-mid-20s side kicked in: I placed it in my wallet, and moved on. The moment will present itself, I thought.

A week later, it did: I was picking up an online order at a Uniqlo store (it’s free, people!), when I decided to meander around the racks of fall/winter clothes. I tried on a puffer coat, a cashmere hat… Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it—a a tailored fleece jacket that I absolutely needed to have. (When you know, you know.) It was so cozy, but also neutral, so I could see myself wearing it with pretty much everything I own. My instinctual reaction was confirmed when I looked at the price tag: $39.90.

Without even thinking, I walked to the counter, handed over Aunt Terri’s $50 bill, and floated out of Uniqlo with $10 to spare. And I’ve been wearing the fleece jacket nonstop ever since, even when it’s not actually cold enough for fleece. I’ve had multiple strangers—and my dental hygienist—approach to ask about it, and I proudly respond with how much I paid for it. Now, I’ve started hunting for more under-$50 fleece to add to my closet, and have been pleasantly surprised with my findings. Check out some of my favorites (including the Uniqlo jacket that started it all, obviously), ahead.

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Kyrsten Sinema Becomes First Female and Openly Bisexual Senator from Arizona

Results are still coming in from last week’s midterm elections and yes, women are continuing to break barriers. While there are still contested races in Georgia and Florida where candidates like Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum are awaiting their fates, Monday night brought the good news that the Arizona Senate race finally came to a close when Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was declared the winner over Republican Martha McSally.

Sinema, a former social worker, will be the first woman to represent Arizona and the first openly bisexual person ever elected to the Senate. The race had been too close to call over the past week and early votes and mail-in ballots had to be counted.

“As long as I’ve served Arizona, I’ve worked to help others see our common humanity & find common ground,” Sinema posted on Facebook after her victory. “That’s the same approach I’ll take to representing our great state in the Senate, where I’ll be an independent voice for all Arizonans.”

Her opponent McSally, a former fighter pilot, shared a video on Twitter congratulating Sinema on her win and wishing her success.

“Congrats to @kyrstensinema,” she wrote. “I wish her success. I’m grateful to all those who supported me in this journey. I’m inspired by Arizonans’ spirit and our state’s best days are ahead of us.”

Many feel Sinema’s victory in winning the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake is a sign of rebuke to President Donald Trump’s policies and platform. “Arizona voters rejected Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s politics of bigotry and fear and made history by electing bold pro-equality champion Kyrsten Sinema as the nation’s first openly bisexual U.S. Senator,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a statement. “For more than a year, HRC has worked to organize 800,000 equality voters across the state and we are proud to have helped Senator-elect Sinema across the finish line in a tight race. We celebrate this incredible moment and look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work with Sinema, and Arizona Congressmembers Tom O’Halleran, Ann Kirkpatrick, Raul Grijalva, Ruben Gallego, and Greg Stanton to move equality forward for all Arizonans.”

Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez echoed that sentiment: “Congratulations to Kyrsten Sinema and Arizona Democrats for such a stunning victory. Arizonans went to the polls last Tuesday looking for bold new leadership, and that’s exactly what they’re going to get with their first-ever female senator and our nation’s second openly LGBTQ senator,” he said.

“Unlike her predecessor, Senator-elect Sinema is ready to fight on day one for quality health care, a VA system that works the way it should for our veterans, comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, and an economy that works for all Arizonans. The Democratic National Committee was proud to invest in and partner with the Democratic Party of Arizona to expand their voter outreach and help get voters to the polls.”

Sinema’s win guarantees Democrats 47 seats in the Senate (compared to Republicans’ 51.) Florida and Mississippi are undecided.

MORE: This Is How Women Voted in the Midterms—and What It Means for Election 2020

13 Tech Gifts Anyone On Your Nice List Will Be Super-Excited to Unwrap

Buying gifts for tech geeks is fun: There are always so many new things to choose from! But if you’re not a technophile, choosing a useful tech gift for your tech-savvy loved ones can be a challenge. Separating the truly cool tech products from the ones that are just going to wind up gathering dust can get confusing. So we did the legwork for you trying out all of the latest and getting past all the literal bells and whistles to see which gifts techies will love.

12 Tech Gifts Anyone On Your Nice List Will Be Super-Excited to Unwrap

Buying gifts for tech geeks is fun: There are always so many new things to choose from! But if you’re not a technophile, choosing a useful tech gift for your tech-savvy loved ones can be a challenge. Separating the truly cool tech products from the ones that are just going to wind up gathering dust can get confusing. So we did the legwork for you trying out all of the latest and getting past all the literal bells and whistles to see which gifts techies will love.

11 Tech Gifts Anyone On Your Nice List Will Be Super-Excited to Unwrap

Buying gifts for tech geeks is fun: There are always so many new things to choose from! But if you’re not a technophile, choosing a useful tech gift for your tech-savvy loved ones can be a challenge. Separating the truly cool tech products from the ones that are just going to wind up gathering dust can get confusing. So we did the legwork for you trying out all of the latest and getting past all the literal bells and whistles to see which gifts techies will love.

The Best Affordable Hair Dryer Under $50

Three things come to mind whenever anyone asks me about my desert-island beauty products, the products that, if I were to find myself trapped alone on an island, I still couldn’t live without. Those would be Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes Volume 2 mascara, Weleda Skin Food, and a really good, high-powered hair dryer. Yes, I’d find a way to make it work on solar power. Because my hair is so frizzy, I’ve become a blowout obsessive. But after realizing that a life that revolves around Drybar salon locations is simply not sustainable, I learned how to style my own hair and make it look halfway decent. Trust me, it wasn’t easy, but the trickier task at hand was finding a dryer that can stand up to my strands.

I have a lot of long, fine, curly hair, all of which usually takes me about 30 minutes to an hour to blow dry straight using either the Harry Josh or Dyson blow dryers (or the GHD travel dryer if I’m traveling—hotel dryers are a no-go). Even with those models, I don’t always get the smooth, shiny results that I’m looking for.

So I’ll admit that when Revlon’s brand-new $25 Perfect Heat Smooth Brilliance Hair Dryer came out, I didn’t jump to try it. I’ve spent my fair share of hours fighting with my frizz, so why fix what’s not broken? But when I picked it up, I felt its substantial weight and saw its sleek matte finish and professional-style switches, and I had an inkling of hope. And I’m glad I did. I brought it home, turned it on, and instantly felt power comparable to my go-to Harry Josh dryer—something I’ve never come across from a bargain tool.

Not only does it look sleek and expensive, but it acts like it too. With tourmaline ionic technology, it left my hair shiny, soft and smooth, with barely any frizz creeping up throughout the day. Before drying, I prepped my damp hair with the Kerastase L’Incroyable Blow Dry Reshapable Lotion—a must-have in my regimen. Then, I let down small sections one by one, attached the airflow nozzle onto the dryer, and blew out each section using my beloved Spornette XL round brush. With three power settings, three heat settings, and a cool shot (I turned the heat and power all the way up), it dried my hair almost as fast as my go-to fancy models.

Still, it’s not perfect: the weight is a bit more than I’d typically go for, but it’s stlll light enough to leave me without a sore arm after 30 minutes of work (huge win). And while it does come with one perfectly-sized nozzle, it’s lacking a diffuser, which I’d typically use when wearing my hair’s natural curly texture. But, for just $25, I’m willing to accept the minor arm workout. Or at least recommend it to anyone on the hunt for a good, cheap hair dryer.

Revlon Perfect Heat Smooth Brilliance Hair Dryer, $25, target.com

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Stan Lee Leaves Behind a Legacy of Powerful Female Characters

Yesterday, we lost Stan “The Man” Lee, arguably the most influential writer and publisher in the comic book industry, at the age of 95. If you’re a fan of Marvel, you don’t need me to break down his legacy. Honestly, even if you’re not a comic reader, Lee was so deeply embedded in pop culture that it’d be impossible not to have some understanding of his significance.

I’ve always been a comic-book fan, but my introduction to Stan Lee didn’t happen until Tobey Maguire helmed the Spider-Man franchise. That’s not so unusual: The Marvel films are how most of us came to know Lee. His name has become synonymous with all the properties that sell out theaters: X-Men, the Avengers, Wakanda, the Fantastic Four…you get it.

Lee is the brain behind hundreds of these characters, many of whom are amazing heroines—and villains, too. These women are timeless because they have full agency. They’re complex. They’re strong. They thrive. They’re heroes, enemies, secret agents, and everyday women, but they all lead extraordinary lives. For Lee, no character was a prop. Even characters meant to be sidekicks, were (and are) able to stand in their own right under Lee’s direction.

IRON MAN 2 SCARLETT JOHANSSON as Natalie Rushman / Black Widow IRON MAN 2 Date: 2010

PHOTO: RGR Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

One of my favorites is Black Widow, the Avenger played by Scarlett Johansson in the cinematic universe. Black Widow has no superpowers; instead, she boasts a particular set of skills and the determination to keep her friends—and the world—safe. Though she has yet to have her own standalone film, she’s one of my favorites because she holds her own with these gods, billionaires, and sorcerers. Black Widow is never a damsel in distress. She uses her skills and her mind as her secret weapon.

Thor Ragnarok2017Real Taika WaititiCate Blanchet.Collection Christophel © Marvel Studio 2017

PHOTO: Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo

Cate Blanchett as Hela

Then there’s the villainous Hela, sister to Thor. (Cate Blanchett plays her in Thor: Ragnarok.) She’s hellbent on making everyone bend the knee to her presence, to treat her as the queen she believes herself to be. She’s a woman who knows her power and demands the respect she—at least in her mind—rightfully deserves. There’s a message there about embracing yourself, maybe. Like her or not, Hela gives the Marvel universe a different kind of face for power.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..L to R: Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Marvel 2015

PHOTO: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch is perhaps one of the strongest characters in the ‘verse, with powers ranging from mind control to telekinesis. In the latest Avengers film, Infinity Wars, we see her demonstrate the ultimate power: sacrificing a loved one for the greater good. The moment showed her heart—and that her strength held no bounds.

SALLY FIELD THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014)

PHOTO: AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Sally Field as Aunt May

And back to Spider-Man: What about Aunt May? Not only does she take on the task of raising a teen boy, she does it alone after her husband is slain in a robbery. She’s the prime example of an everyday heroine. She might not have superpowers, but her grit and heart are extraordinary.

Lee also helped pave the way for heroines he didn’t create, like Storm or Shuri or Captain Marvel. He created a universe so rich and diverse that it allowed these powerful women to shine. So it goes without question that his presence will be missed—but even more than that, his brilliance and creativity. But I know with certainty that Lee helped spark creative minds worldwide. Hopefully, they’ll go on to create the new heroines of tomorrow.

Jill Robi is a San Diego–based writer from Chicago, currently working on her next novel. Learn more at houseoffangirl.com.