MEDITREE | Pure Australian Botanicals

I’m the type of girl who is always looking for the next best beauty product, so I spend quite a bit of time researching facial products that are effective and safe to use. An unfortunate recent experience with an allergic reaction to a less-than-perfect product in my skincare regimen caused me to stop and look at what is actually in my beauty products. I talked with my dermatologist about all of the different items I had been using and decided to revamp my skincare routine and see if that showed any improvements for my red, irritated skin.

So I tried something new. I started using Meditree’s new line of Pure Australian Botanicals that is 100% naturally derived and oh-so-good for you + your skin. This luxurious line of products was developed and created in the Byron Bay Shire, Australia, and helps all types of skin stay clear with a natural methodology in mind. I know that “clean beauty” is the latest trend, but freeing yourself from synthetic dyes, phthalates, unnecessary harmful fragrances, and many other harmful ingredients should NOT be a trend, it should be a standard. The following is a quick list of things that you will not see within this post.

All products featured in this post are free from:

-mineral oil
-petrolatum/paraffin wax
synthetic parabens
-propylene glycol
-ethanol amines

-polyethylene glycol
-sodium laurel sulfate
-synthetic dye
-animal byproducts
-animal testing

Okay, I know, that’s a long list, but I’m trying to make a point here! These products are great for your skin. Finding luxurious, well-made beauty + skincare products that meet my quality expectations is paramount. I don’t want harmful ingredients or irritants in my skincare regimen – because wouldn’t that defeat the purpose?! The products that I am about to share are not tested on animals, are 100% vegan, and are australian made + owned. Most interestingly of all – the packaging is recyclable! The tubes and caps have a “special enzyme to make them biodegradable in a landfill within 5 years.” THAT’S SO COOL GUYS.

A wonderful brand called Nature’s Bounty was kind enough to send me both of their new collections from Meditree – the Meditree Kakadu Plum Series as well as the Meditree Tea Tree Series. Each series is geared towards a certain skin type and/or environment, which makes it fairly easy to decide which one would be best for your skin. Without further ado, here are the 2 series that I have been using and loving!



I’m going to start off by talking about the Meditree Kakadu Plum Series since it was my favorite of the two! It is best for normal, dry, sensitive, and mature skin. Meditree also recommend this series for use during the winter months, while in less humid climates, or while experiencing regular/prolonged exposure to air-conditioned environments.

This particular series consists of a Creamy Cleanser, Face Cream, and Face Serum. Here are the details on each of the 3 products in the Meditree Kakadu Plum Series. I made sure to touch on the key ingredients and the benefits that they have to offer your skin!

This cleanser has a creamy consistency and smells light and natural. It does a great job of removing the residue that my makeup wipes leave behind and I like how I can use it in the morning and at night without any irritation.

My dry skin definitely needed this, especial after dealing with my recent skin/allergy issues! It works to moisturize the skin and also helps to promote collagen production. I love when products do multiple things at once for your skin!

This is another collagen promoting product that works to help even out your skin tone and protect your skin. I love using this before bed!

And now for the Tea Tree Series! Read more about that below.



The Meditree Tea Tree Series reminds me of a luxury spa experience. I seriously wish that I had used these products back when I was in high school and was constantly searching for acne-fighting products! Tea tree is known for their purity and is a natural cleansing properties, making it an essential part of your skincare routine. Tea tree also helps to combat breakouts as well as oily skin, making it perfect for people with oily, combination, or blemish prone skin.

The environmental conditions that this particular series has been formulated for include: summer, high humidity, and regular and/or prolonged exposure to harsh environments where people sweat and dirt + debris build up. This line consists of a Facial Cleanser, Hydrator, and Cleansing Scrub & Mask. Here are the details on each of the 3 products in the Meditree Tea Tree Series as well as their key ingredients:

I use this tea tree cleanser in the morning because it gives such a refreshing start to my day! It has a creamy consistency (like the Kakadu Plum Cleanser I mentioned earlier) and feels like it really draws out the impurities in the skin.

This hydrator is perfect when paired with the cleanser I just mentioned! I use the tea tree hydrator right after and my skin instantly feels more awake and energized. It doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily, so it is perfect for those who have naturally oily skin and want to mattify. If you have acne prone skin, this is a good hydrator to use on a daily basis because it won’t leave you dry or oily.

GUYS, this product feels like such a treat. It is a 2-in-1 formula with a scrub that also acts as a mask. It has a luxurious, spa-like feel to it and instantly brightens my lifeless skin (haha). I use this 2 times a week in order to give my dry skin a little “boost” without drying it out. I highly recommend it!




Since I love both of these product lines so much, I want to encourage you all to take look at the Meditree Botanicals webpage by clicking here. With each passing year, I become more and more aware of what I am using on my skin and the larger impact that the ingredients have on me + my environment. With Meditree’s new Pure Australian Botanicals line, you can get the luxury feel without reading through dozens of complicated names on in a less-than-perfect ingredient lists. This product line has something that can benefit nearly ALL skin types, so I highly suggest that you check it out! Best of all – each product I mentioned here is exceptionally priced. Make sure to use the Nature’s Bounty store locator tool if you are interested in trying these collections out in person!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I sincerely hope you give the natural products route a try. Please let me know in the comments section if you have tried any of these products + what you thought about them! xo

Spirited + Fashionable | USC GAME DAY IDEAS

Today I’m sharing my favorite game day accessories! Since graduating in 2015, I’ve had to get creative with ways to show my school spirit since my sorority/fraternity homecoming tees and knee-high USC tube socks just weren’t cutting it anymore (haha). I hope that you will find these picks helpful + creative! While these items are USC branded, I know that most of them are also available with branding for other colleges – so make sure to take a a look at the links if you’re interested in finding another school.

To say that I am obsessed with these jewelry pieces would be an understatement, guys! They are so perfect for gifting to girls who just got into USC or are preparing to graduate. I wore mine to my graduation ceremony (pictures below) and got tons of compliments on it. While I didn’t initially think that I would have many opportunities to wear these pieces (apart from wearing them on game days), I actually get a ton of wear out of them. I love wearing them to alumni events and while traveling to different places for games.
I received the USC arched full logo necklace for my birthday a few years ago and I found the SC logo interlock necklace while browsing the USC bookstore between classes back in the day. I also wear my SC interlock charm bracelet year-round, it’s around $30! You can find it here in gold and silver.

I don’t know why, but I LOVE pins! I have been collecting a few over the years from games and special events, but I narrowed it down to my top 2 favorites for this post. I like to switch them up depending on which game I’m going to and what I’m pinning it on. My Rose Bowl Pin was from the 2017 game so I don’t have an exact link, but the SC interlock logo pin + tons of other fun pins (most of them under $10!!) can be found here!

As much as I love me a good mini handbag, there’s such a ting at TOO mini. Sadly, the stadium’s new handbag policy has some ridiculously small size requirements for bags that are not transparent. While I know this rule exists for security reasons (yay for security/safety!!), it pretty much rules out bringing in a non-transparent bag because it will be too small to be functional.
Since nearly every single stadium has implemented a clear bag policy, I always make sure to have a stadium-approved bag for game days. I usually take my really cute USC Trojans Clear Handbag from Silver & Gold Boutique because it is the perfect size and fits all of the essentials! I also love taking this larger transparent crossbody satchel because it is a really chic take on your average transparent handbag. I like using the slightly larger satchel for away games since I might be traveling and need to hold a few extra things in my bag. I couldn’t find the exact link to the one that I have in the photo since it is a bit older, but this one is similar. Also, you might be able to find a similar one if you search “transparent crossbody bag” on eBay!

The walk from the tailgate to the stadium is often pretty far, so I always make sure to wear comfy sneakers to games. Last season I wore these red SC interlock logo sneakers TO DEATH and they are still in great shape! I picked those up at the bookstore a few years back, but they are also available online.
I just recently received these USC Classic Slip Ons from a brand called Skicks and can’t wait to bring them on my trip to the USC vs. CAL weekender trip next month! Skicks also makes these USC Low Tops that my mom and I plan to share (she’s also a Trojan!). Yes – I know three pairs of USC themed shoes seems excessive, but hopefully these will last for many many seasons to come!

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave any questions that you may have about sizing, styling, etc. in the comments section.


Friday Five | Silver & Gold Boutique

HAPPY FRIDAY! Today I’m covering my top 5 pieces that are trending at Silver & Gold Boutique (this is obviously one of my favorite brands since it is my own, haha). I thought that I would do a little explaining about who Silver & Gold Boutique caters to.

When stocking my boutique, I think about who would wear the piece, where they’d wear it, and what they’d style it with. Some pieces are on the boho end of the spectrum and some pieces give off a minimal (while also feminine) vibe. Some pieces are statements and some are classics that can be styled for years to come. Ultimately, we know that the modern woman is all about marching to the beat of her own drum, which is why I aim to keep the collection wearable and on trend.

Checkout my Friday Five below!

1. Penelope Floral Embroidered Sneakers
My heart quite literally skipped a beat when I saw these, haha. They are SO CUTE and I have never gotten more compliments on a pair of shoes – ever. They just got marked down to $49.99, so I know they’re such a style steal. They’re one of our bestsellers and are incredibly comfortable! Floral embroidery (and embroidery in general) is one of the hottest trends right now, so these sneakers just make so much sense for the fashionista on-the-go.

2. Pennylane Corduroy Skirt
Truth be told – this is our most viewed listing on our website! This is one of our more unique pieces in the boutique and it can be super versatile with the right styling. I would love to pair this with some opaque tights for the fall/winter and it looks perfectly appropriate for summer despite its corduroy fabrication. It’s a lightweight corduroy that works year-round, which is why it holds a solid spot in my Friday Favorites.

3. Venice Ruffled Dress
Oh my gosh, this dress is SO DARLING in person (and in pictures!). Ruffled details are trending right now and this dress does ruffles perfectly! I love how the fabric is the most feminine pale pink color and complimented by the intricate lace contrast at the neckline + sleeves. The Venice dress definitely takes the cake for the most feminine piece in the collection!

4. On the Fringe Heels
These heels are truly so versatile! They have a chunky heel + padded insoles that will make sure you enjoy wearing them all night long. I love that they have a classic, chic silhouette with the unique fringe detailing that makes you take a second look. They’re a modern, boho take on a classic shoe. I could wear these to nearly any occasion honestly!

5. Audrey Pearl Embellished Shorts
These are the pearl embellished beauties of my wildest dreams. These first caught my eye because the detailing – it really stands out against the rugged, distressed vibe of the denim. If I could describe my style in one clothing item, it would be the Audrey Pearl Embellished Shorts! These sold out super fast in small and medium, but we have a few size larges left if anyone is looking to upgrade their denim shorts collection to Audrey’s status.

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my Friday Five! I’m also more than open to answering some of the “Q&A” type of questions that I’ve received via my Instagram DMs about starting/running my business, so please feel free to shoot me an email ( or a quick DM if you would be interested in a series on boutique-related content! Have a fabulous weekend.

Makeup Application Essentials || EcoTools

This past weekend, I got the chance to put a few of EcoTools’ hottest new products to the test! Makeup tools are what make all of the difference in my morning routine. Makeup tools can either save you 10 minutes or leave you struggling to blend out some reaaaaally strange looking eyeshadow with what feels like a scratchy, stiff brush (I know we’ve all been there…right?).

Since I’m such beauty junkie, I can say that I’ve tried everything from luxurious $70 Artis brushes to super cheap sponges that I fell for on Instagram and prayed would work well  – just because they were so pretty. Right in the middle of insanely expensive luxury brushes and insanely cheap “too good to be true” dupes lies a brand called EcoTools.  EcoTools’ products are all very high quality, environmentally responsible, and super affordable. Their tree-free packaging is adorable as well!

EcoTools brushes have handles that are made of renewable bamboo and recyclable. These brushes are also are certified cruelty free by PETA and feel soo soft and luxurious to the touch. While I am a huge fan of luxury cosmetic brands, I have to say Ecotools brushes hold a very special place in the running for top beauty products, especially these brushes!


EcoTools’ Perfecting Blending Duo is also a must-have! These 2 adorable sponges are vegan, latex free, and contain EcoFoam Technology – meaning that they are made of 70% plant-based materials (how cool is that?). The uniquely shaped blending sponges work best with cream and liquid makeups, however I used the smaller one to set my concealer under my eyes with my Laura Mercier Brightening Powder and it worked fabulously (side note: I highly recommend getting the entire set of Laura Mercier’s setting powders – the set is totally worth it).

The EcoTools sponge duo is priced around $10 and, best of all, these sponges worked much better than my BeautyBlender ever did! They’re a lot softer than BeautyBlenders and are less porous, meaning less product is absorbed.

Last but not least, I want to talk about the EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths that are SO. HANDY. These are awesome for wiping off brushes between colors (like if you were in a pinch and needed to use one brush for a dark eyeshadow as well as a light eyeshadow). These are really intended to be used for more of a surface cleaning and they will not replace the need for regular makeup brush cleansing. However, this is definitely a product that you can’t stop using once you know it exists!

Thanks for stopping by! As you can probably already tell, I highly recommend all of these products from EcoTools and think you will love them too.  I’ll be posting a few #selfies of some makeup looks using these exact products, so make sure to follow along on my Instagram for more info! I post a lot of day-to-day photos as well as blog post related content on there.

Let me know in the comments about which EcoTools products you are trying + loving! I’d love to hear. I receive theses products complimentary from Influenster + EcoTools, however all opinions are 100% my own!

Launching My Business || Silver & Gold Boutique

On November 13th, 2016 I launched my very own boutique, Silver & Gold Boutique. Today, I have some amazing photographs to share from the over-the-top launch party! Before I get into explaining things, I want to stop and thank my AMAZING parents, siblings, friends, and extended family for supporting me endlessly. I was absolutely blown away by the number of people who attended the launch event and can’t thank my guests enough for their support.

Starting my own business has been a dream of mine since I was in middle school, so watching it come to fruition has been a bit surreal! It all started over the summer of 2016. After I graduated from FIDM in June, I went on interviews and was really open-minded since many aspects of the fashion industry interested me.

I wanted to use my degree in communication and my marketing skills as well as my fashion background. I wanted to forecast trends and also shape a brand’s social media. I wanted to begin my career at a job that was going to challenge me everyday. I wanted something that was constantly changing and growing.

Interviewing taught me a lot about myself and what I wanted to do. I had the opportunity to chat with a couple of #bossgirls from a few different parts of the fashion industry over the course of my interviews, which I am so thankful for. These women were passionate about their careers, their companies, their successes, and their brands in a way that I admired. Starting my own boutique was always in the back of my mind during interviews. I listened to these women speak about building their businesses and it inspired me. After a few months of job searching and testing the waters, I came to the conclusion that my “dream job” was one that I needed to create instead of find.

At Silver & Gold Boutique, I get to wear many hats! I get to do the marketing, style forecasting, buying, brand development, e-commerce development, event planning, photo shoot styling, and a few less glamorous things…like steaming over 1,000 pieces of clothing in time for the launch event (seriously though). Every single day is different as the owner of Silver & Gold Boutique. I get to dress the women who inspire me, that’s what I love about it.

Without further ado, here are the incredible photos from the Silver & Gold Boutique Launch Party, shot by Betsy Newman. The launch was everything that I wanted it to be, so I hope you love it too 🙂 Keep up with everything Silver & Gold Boutique by following our Instagram account + liking us on Facebook.  To read more about the launch party, check out what Style Report Magazine had to say about the event!

Event executed by the lovely Remington Rebeil.



Make sure to subscribe (on the right sidebar!) to get more updates about Silver & Gold Boutique. I plan to do a behind-the-scenes series about photo shoots, style forecasting, sourcing, event planning, and everything else that happens at Silver & Gold Boutique! As always, there will be fashion, beauty, and travel posts to come. Thanks for reading!

USC Game Day Fashion with Little Earth Productions

img_4993As a recent USC Grad, I take my football game days very seriously! There is no better time to catch up with old friends and enjoy the Southern California sunshine than at a USC football game. In recent years, USC has taken several steps to make sure that game days are fun and safe for everyone, which is why I am writing about Little Earth Productions.

With the implementation of a clear bag policy at the LA Coliseum, all handbags and items entering the stadium have been limited to clear totes, plastic storage bags, and small clutch bags. This is the case with many colleges, starting this season! After hearing about the new policy, the fashion school graduate within me panicked. I had never owned a clear handbag and was fearful that I would end up carrying around my belongings in a plastic gallon bag from the supermarket (YIKES, haha). But, with change comes opportunity – which is why Little Earth Productions has created a stylish line of game day handbags that are stadium-approved and sports fans approved. You can see their whole line of stadium-approved bags here.

As one of the leading licensed manufacturers for sports apparel, Little Earth offers a wide range of fashion accessories and apparel for more than 170 teams. They sell spirited items for all teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL as well as more than 60 colleges. Today I’m going to be talking in depth about their line of clear purses that are stadium-approved and fashionable, meaning that you can get through the security line at nearly any sporting event quickly, without sacrificing in the style department!

img_5045I used my USC Clear Envelope Purse from Little Earth at the USC game last weekend. I was stopped several times by complete strangers who wanted to know where I got my bag! In addition to being stylishly spirited, the bag proved to be a time saver – I was SO thankful that I got through the security line quickly and easily. I saw some fans struggling to consolidate their belongings in the 82+ degree heat and I was so happy that I had brought a stadium-approved bag. My boyfriend and I somehow managed to sneak away from the USC tailgating commotion and snap a couple photos before the game and I love how they turned out! The day of the game also happened to be my birthday, so it was nice having a purse that I could easily wear to lunch afterwards and still look stylish in. I actually also wore this bag a few weekends ago while watching the USC vs. Alabama game at a restaurant near my house, so I can honestly say that it is stylish both inside and outside of a football stadium!

img_4918My Clear Envelope Purse features the iconic interlocking SC logo (it also comes in a Waist Pack and larger Carryall!). The bag is very sturdy and holds quite a bit, as you can see. I am able to fit all of my essentials into the bag and I really appreciate how high-quality the hardware is. Because the turn lock closure is so sturdy, I don’t have to worry about the contents of my bag slipping out while jumping and cheering (hah). Also, perhaps more importantly, I am not worried about someone reaching into my bag without my knowledge.

img_4948 img_4955 img_5019The chain is the perfect length to be worn as both a crossbody and an over-the-shoulder bag, which I really like. It is very comfortable, even after wearing it for several hours of tailgating and walking quite a bit. Overall, the bag felt light on my shoulder and did not snag my dress at all, making it my new go-to game day bag.

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I also wanted to add that you can easily clip a spirited key chain or a purse charm to the chain and “make it your own.” I spontaneously clipped my car keys and red tassel key fob onto the side of the bag and it turned out very cute. Also, the chain strap is detachable, so it can be worn as a clutch as well! I think the purses from Little Earth would make a FANTASTIC gift for anyone that is a USC fan, newly admitted student, or a soon-to-be graduate. In fact, any of the stadium-approved bags on Little Earth’s website would make amazing gifts to any sports fan since they cater to so many teams, colleges, and leagues!

Someone carrying a lot of personal items or an extra sweater/hat might like the Clear Carryall Crossbody Purse. I saw quite a few moms carrying this bag at the game and it fit a ton of stuff, so I would check that bag out if you are someone that likes to travel with a bit more than just the essentials.


I know I’ll be using Little Earth Productions’ clear stadium-approved bags to cheer on many other teams in the future! I might just have to talk my boyfriend into getting Rams tickets with me since I love their LA Rams merchandise, haha! Overall, these bags are fashionable and functional, making them an amazing buy (did I mention that their clear bags are priced between $19.99 – $24.99?!).

I’ll be sporting my bag up in the bay area this weekend for the USC vs. Stanford Weekender game. You can follow along with my trip by visiting my Instagram. While you’re at it, make sure to check out Little Earth Productions’ Instagram // Facebook page for the best in game day apparel + accessories! If you’ll be wearing a bag from Little Earth at the next USC home game, I’d love to do a meet up and take a photograph or two with our bags 🙂


Lip Product Perfection || Sara Happ


Today I’m sharing a bit about a product line that I’ve been OBSESSED with lately! My lips tend to get super dry in the fall, so this year I’m being proactive and adding a few new products from Sara Happ to my beauty routine. Sara Happ Inc is a beauty line that aims to nourish, heal, and reveal the natural beauty of your lips without any compromises. Their collection of luxury lip products includes lip scrubs that perfectly prepare your lips, lip glosses that deliver nourishment + the perfect amount of pigment, and creamy lip crayons that create an effortless pout.

I’ve been loving “The Lip Scrub” in Passion Fruit and “The Fuchsia Slip” lately. The Lip Scrub tastes and smells so amazing that I made my sister try it out immediately after I opened it for the first time! I’ve found that this Sara Happ lip scrub in particular really helps all of my lip products (from glosses to lip stains) apply more evenly and last longer throughout the day.

I also use The Fuchsia Slip – which is SO highly pigmented that I almost can’t believe that it is a gloss. The applicator foot is very precise, which is a huge plus because it makes application a breeze. Best of all, The Fuchsia Slip has a high-shine finish but does not feel sticky or heavy on the lips. It’s pigmented like a lipstick, hydrating like a lip balm, long-lasting like a lip liner, and shiny like a gloss. This product really does it all, guys! I prefer to take it with me when I carry a small handbag since it does the work of several products at once. It’s literally a dream come true.

sarahappjacquelinebridgfordprettiplease2 sarahappjacquelinebridgfordprettiplease3

And last but not least, I want to mention that Sara Happ’s products are not tested on animals and their adorable packaging is produced in a carbon neutral manufacturing plant using sustainable practices. They also just came out with a Sprinkles Red Velvet Lip Scrub – yes, as in THE Sprinkles Cupcakes! If you’re interested in trying any of these products our for yourself, they are available on Sara Happ’s website as well as at Nordstrom. Let me know down in the comments if you’ve tried any of Sara Happ’s products, especially the Sprinkles Red Velvet lip scrub!


FIDM || My Tips + Advice

jacqueline bridgford pretti please FIDM tips and advice cover photoLife has changed a lot in the past year! I feel like I crammed so much information into my brain while at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). I’ve compared my experience at the University of Southern California with my experience at FIDM and come up with a list of things that I wish I had known before entering a fashion-focused college. Having come straight from USC into fashion school, there were several unique things that stood out to me about FIDM, which you’ll hear about below.

At FIDM, my assignments never felt like “schoolwork.” Instead, they felt like one huge and seemingly never-ending project. There was so much going on at once and the whole experience felt very different than my time at USC (when I lived practically across the street from campus!). I commuted from Orange County to FIDM’s Downtown Los Angeles campus for class 3-4 days a week, which is about an hour-long drive each way. It was super important that I had everything I needed for class, didn’t leave anything until the last minute, found parking quickly, knew exactly where my classrooms were, etc. since I was driving over 100 miles a day and had very little time for “slip-ups.”

Since I know many future FIDM students are going to be in the same boat, here are some of my words of advice and other information that I wish I had heard before attending FIDM. These tips are also helpful for students that are living in campus housing! I hope that you find them useful 🙂 Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.

fidm pretti please jacqueline bridgford 101. KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING.
Okay, so you’re probably thinking this is the most obvious part of any information regarding FIDM to ever appear on the internet...but many new (and returning!) students struggle with finding the correct building. FIDM’s Los Angeles campus includes 6 buildings, which I wasn’t aware of before beginning my studies at FIDM. If you think you’ll never stray from their eye-catching main building, you might be surprised when you notice a little letter next to the classroom that denotes an entirely separate building in Downtown.

With that being said, some students with certain majors may never even see the other buildings. Some of the buildings (such as the Jewelry Design Studio) may not house any of your classes. As a Merchandise Product Development major, I had the majority of my classes in the main FIDM building, which is super modern looking and takes up nearly an entire city block between Olympic & 9th St and Hope St & Grand Ave (it’s the huge star on this map). If you look at the map, you’ll notice that there are THREE buildings with the word “annex” included in their title, which gets super confusing.

While at FIDM, I had classes in the Hope Street Annex building, which is located on Hope Street, one block up from the main building and right across the street from Philz Coffee (my favorite!). This was my absolute favorite building to have classes in since it houses the fashion design labs and looks very Project Runway-esque. The classrooms on the 5th floor are complete with sewing machines, large work tables, dress forms, irons, and really pretty large windows. Almost every classroom has views of the city (if you follow me on snapchat, this is where most of my FIDM Snapchats were sent from, haha).

The other building that I had classes in is the called The Annex – yeah, I told you this whole “annex” building business was kind of confusing! This building is also referred to as the Standard Oil Building as it is a registered historical monument in Los Angeles, which is pretty cool. This is the building that I always make sure to point out to my friends/family while driving through Downtown because it is just so charming from the outside! The inside of the building looks a lot like FIDM’s main campus building (it has been renovated and is very modern) and it is complete with huge work tables, dozens of computers + printers, and some really quirky lounge chairs with desks that you can do homework in. This is probably the location you’ll recognize from all of FIDM’s marketing materials!

FIDM TIPS AND ADVICE pretti please jacqueline bridgford2. COME PREPARED.
Some students do not know that they will be receiving a ton of supplies and come unprepared. Lucky, FIDM does a great job of passing out everyone’s supplies on the first day of classes. You simply come to class with a valid student ID and walk down to the supplies distribution area as a class and pick everything up. Super convenient, right?! At Parsons/USC, we received a list of books and materials to track down and you had to hope that we purchased exactly what the professor wanted us to get. Thankfully, this is not the case with FIDM and you can be 100% certain that every single cent of the “books + supplies” portion of you tuition is being used well.

The only negative aspect of this distribution system is that some people don’t have any idea that it is happening and come unprepared. A small (but still important) tip for the first day of classes is to leave your mini crossbody purse and platform wedges at home…it may seem like it will be an easy “syllabus and introduction day,” but picking up supplies can be quite a task if your class ends up being in one of FIDM’s Annex buildings and you are lugging all of your supplies around all day. Come prepared on the first day of class with comfortable shoes and a large tote bag (or you can go all out and purchase one of FIDM’s rolling totes that are usually on sale when the summer quarter begins…it may seem suuuuper dorky at first, but almost everyone has one since some classes require large toolboxes or even large bolts of fabric!).

At FIDM, if you do something right the first time, you won’t have to do it all over again once you graduate and go job hunting. This one is plain and simple! FIDM has a very fun and exciting atmosphere, but trust me, it is hard work and you will thank yourself later on if you commit to doing and turning in everything on time. It will also make you a better future employee if you are able to stick to a timeline and get things done right the first time! Make sure to post your work to the FIDM Portfolio Gallery as the quarters pass by so that you have work uploaded and ready to go once you graduate. I sure wish I had known this tip earlier!

FIDM TIPS AND ADVICE pretti please jacqueline bridgford 14. PICK THE RIGHT MAJOR.
Ok, so this one is a little more serious than the other tips. It is important to understand that some majors are more specific than others – which can be freeing (example: land you a career in a very specific part of the industry) or it can be limiting (example: you want to work in fashion-related social media but have devoted all of your time to studying footwear). If you know for a fact that visual merchandising is 100% what you are interested in doing, then it is a wise decision to pick that major and devote all of your time to classes related to visual merchandising. With that being said, there are many classes that overlap between the majors. For example, I was a Merchandise Product Development major and had several classes with the Merchandise Marketing (different major) students.

If you are interested in gaining an overall understanding of the fashion industry and learning the many aspects of design, merchandising, line development, etc. then it would be smart pick a major that covers a wide variety of fashion-related career paths. Even better, the professors at FIDM have always been super helpful in gearing the discussions towards what you are interested in. If you tell your Sourcing professor that you are interested in working in footwear design, there is a good chance that they will provide you with special materials and insight into that particular area of the industry.

There are pros and cons to every major and you should seriously consider your program based on the schedule of classes. In contrast to my very “open” course plan at USC, FIDM strongly encourages (basically requires) that students follow a very structured plan that is outlined for each major’s specific required courses . If you are deciding between several majors that sound appealing, make sure to request a copy of the courses offered in each major. You might just find that several courses overlap and some stand out as more important or interesting to you, which could ultimately sway you in the right direction.

fidm pretti please jacqueline bridgford 125. AVOID PARKING HEADACHES.
Last but not least, parking. Luckily for you, I will offer my parking advice in downtown to literally anyone and everyone who will listen (not kidding). Parking in downtown can be easy or impossible depending on what time you arrive for classes and what day of the week it is. Street parking can be difficult since some streets are closed pretty often for construction or events going on in Downtown. The parking signs can also be a little tricky depending on what day it is, so you probably do not want to risk getting a ticket or towed. If you have morning classes at 8am, you can probably find parking at one of the parking lots recommended on FIDM’s website (page 2 of this link). Unfortunately, if you have class at 12pm, parking will be a lot more difficult as the recommended lots are mostly full by then. I have always preferred to park in the LAZ lot on Hope St (conveniently located between the FIDM main campus/The Annex and the Hope St Annex, so getting to any of those buildings is super easy). They charge the standard price for parking around FIDM ($8-$10, depending on how long you stay) and I consider it to be the best option since it is an indoor, secured lot.

fidm pretti please jacqueline bridgford 196.  EMBRACE DIFFERENCES.
FIDM attracts a  unique and creative group of people. There will be individuals from all over the world and from all different backgrounds, age groups, and belief systems in your classes, just as there are in other schools. This should go unsaid, but at a school with such an expressive student population, FIDM really stands out as institution full of unique people that you can learn from.

It is such an interesting dynamic – there are students that are 20+ years into their career in the industry that come back to school who are mixed in with students that are 18 and straight out of high school. The students with industry experience are able to offer contacts and invaluable “real-world” advice to the students who come to FIDM straight from high school, while the students who come to FIDM straight from high school are able to offer information and advice about digital marketing and how to operate the latest & greatest digital programs. It truly is such a collaborative and unique environment that you can only benefit from. Since it is such a collaborative environment, it is easier to give and receive feedback in critique sessions. It has always felt like a safe place to (respectfully) voice opinions and receive valuable feedback from classmates and professors.

I hope that you found my tips helpful! I’m also thinking about doing a “FIDM Admissions Advice” post soon, so make sure to subscribe via email (in the sidebar!) if you are interested in that. Best of luck to anyone applying to FIDM!


Pretti Tech Accessories

IMG_4250With all of the adorable iPhone cases being sold today, it’s almost hard NOT to use one at this point! I used to love the look of an iPhone or a laptop without a protective case, but these cute cases are making me want to do everything that I can to protect my phone (hah). There are also a ton of cute portable chargers, card holder cases, laptop cases, and other pretty tech accessories in stores right now, so I am sharing a few of my favorite summery tech accessories below!


Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Graduation

Today I am sharing some details about my amazing FIDM Graduation Ceremony! I had such a wonderful experience as a FIDM student over the past year and made so many amazing connections. I enjoyed meeting people from all different backgrounds and from different life/career stages. No matter how different a classmate may have appeared, we all shared the same passion. Going to USC and then on to FIDM has been my dream since I was 18 years old, and, not to be corny, but I almost cannot believe that it has become my reality.

My recent Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Graduation Ceremony was surreal. I couldn’t believe that I was on officially d.o.n.e. with my career as a student. Part of me was saddened by the thought that I wasn’t going to be a student in Downtown Los Angeles anymore, but it was comforting looking back on how far I had come in the 4 years that I spent roaming around Los Angeles; search for things like sorority crafting supplies, fabric swatches, or 24 hour restaurants (lol).

I have come to know and love many of Los Angeles’ side streets, traffic jams, and parking lots in my 3 years at USC and my 1 year at FIDM. Los Angeles will always be the city that I really “grew up” in and became an adult in, so it was only fitting that my time as a student would end with a bang in the Staples Center, one of LA’s most well-known and loved venues.

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As the ceremony began, I couldn’t help but compare my FIDM Graduation to my USC Graduation. My frame of mind was so different between the two ceremonies; it is so funny how one year can feel like such a HUGE difference! My USC Graduation took place outside in the pouring rain on a chilly & very un-Southern California day in May of 2015, just about a year before my FIDM graduation. I refer to it (only partially sarcastically) as the “best/worst day of my life.” I sat beside my best friends and we Snapchatted nearly the entire time while sporting our USC licensed rain ponchos and decked out graduation sashes.

On the other hand, FIDM’s Grad Ceremony was completely dry (thankfully it was indoors and the sun was shining that day!) and my grad cap was decked out instead of my graduation sash. The energy in Staples Center was absolutely incredible and I loved ending my FIDM experience on such a high note!

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(That’s me crossing the stage on the Staples Center Jumbotron!)

I was initially sad to be leaving college behind, but I now realize now that we are always able to learn something new or participate in something that is bigger than ourselves, whether we are students or not. I will miss being a student, being in a sorority, and being part of a student body, but I know that the real world offers just as many opportunities when it comes to pursuing new interests, making new friends, or shopping for shiny new supplies (because it is easier to get stuff done with pretty supplies, am I right? 😉 ).

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A few of my family members couldn’t attend because they were in Amsterdam watching my older brother play in a huge football game for the Amsterdam Crusaders!! I wish I could have seen my brother play but these events happened to be only a day apart and it was just too hectic to make it to both.

My mom basically came straight off of a plane from Amsterdam to watch me cross the stage! She is truly a Supermom! My boyfriend, Julian, came to the ceremony and then took me out to celebratory dinner at Perch (which was so sweet of him!). The photos below are from Perch’s rooftop! The night could not have been any more perfect. I had a great time celebrating with the other FIDM Grads and I can’t wait to see where the future will take my new friends and I.

I will carry the incredible energy from my big night at the Staples Center with me wherever I go! Congratulations to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Class of 2016. The best is yet to come 🙂

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*I will have another post on my blog about “Things I Wish I Had Known Before FIDM,” so stay tuned for that! I also am thinking about doing a “FIDM Experience vs. Parsons Experience” post for those of you who are interested. (You can read about my time at Parsons here!).