Education, Fashion Sense


Over the last decade, Sacred Heart University’s fashion marketing & merchandising program has seen its share of growth and change. The Jack Welch College of Business program was offered as a concentration in 2009, became a minor in 2015 and will be a major this fall.

There is a demand for the major, said David Bloom, program director. More than 100 students are enrolled in the minor, and having the major better prepares students for the competitive industry, he said.

The major comprises nine courses (27 credits) including a rotation of fashion electives. Courses will teach the skills and knowledge students will need to be successful, such as fashion marketing, which will introduce students to the field and its history. “Students will create their own fashion lines and develop a business line,” Bloom said.

A course on fashion buying teaches students about product line analysis, vendor relations and negotiating. Other courses deal with textiles, management and creating an image around a brand. Seniors can take a fashion seminar on issues surrounding the fashion industry, as well.

Students also will have the opportunity to study abroad in Milan and Paris for a two-week, three-credit, fashion brand marketing class. “It’s great exposure,” Bloom said.

Senior Katharine Li, 21, of Lyndhurst, N.J., a marketing major who is minoring in the fashion program, was part of a SHU group that went to Milan last summer. She said studying abroad was “an amazing experience,” and likely will be one of her “favorite college memories.”

“Milan is one of the fashion capitals of the world, so it was incredible to see the importance of fashion in the culture,” Li said. “The class in Milan was called ‘fashion brand marketing,’ and we learned about various types of brands. It was very interesting to see the brands not only in a different country, but also where they originated. We also took a trip up to Lake Como and toured a famous silk factory.”

Among her fashion studies at SHU, Li said she has enjoyed the program’s hands-on classes. “The textiles class was very interactive. We worked with over 100 fabric swatches. I also enjoyed the end-of-semester projects in each class,” she said.

In the last three-and-a-half years, Li had two internships in the fashion field. At The Impression, an online magazine, she published posts on the website and ran its social media pages. At a private-label wholesale company, Li worked with various fabrics. After graduation in May, she will seek jobs in styling and costume design.

Like Li, students in the fashion marketing & merchandising program will gain job experience through internships. The University’s proximity to New York City gives students easier access to potential internships at nearby fashion giants.

Just because students are studying fashion doesn’t mean they have to have a career in the apparel industry, Bloom said. They can apply their fashion experience and education to design trends in cell phones, automobiles or other products. “When you can analyze trends, you can carry that knowledge into any business,” he said.

Graduates who minored in fashion merchandising have landed jobs in digital marketing, product development and graphic design at companies such as Reebok, Asics, Vineyard Vines, American Eagle, Jack Rogers and FitFlops, Bloom said.

“We highly anticipate the launch of this innovative new business major. I expect it to be successful and a popular complement to our current undergraduate department majors in marketing, sport management and hospitality, resort & tourism management,” said Joshua Shuart, chair of the Marketing Department.

For more information on the fashion marketing & merchandising program, visit

Fashion Sense


Prom dresses are gorgeous and glamorous, but they can also be very uncomfortable. An uncomfortable prom dress can ruin your formal evening. That’s why you should consider not only the style and beauty of your evening wear, but also the comfort level. Beauty doesn’t have to be painful. Fashion doesn’t have to ruin the most magical night of your high school life. Use the guide below to look elegant and feel great on your prom night.

When comparing prom dresses either online or at a formal evening wear shop, consider the material of the dress, especially for the areas of your body where it needs to give a little. Prom dresses made of stretchy material in certain areas allow you to be comfortable and flexible while still keeping in fashion.


When you bend over to pick something up, sit or twist and turn while dancing, does the dress give in areas where needed?

When you sit to dine and need to move your arms freely, will the prom dress be comfortable?

Does the material breathe so you won’t get too hot during the prom or dinner?

If shopping for your prom clothing online, ask questions about the material and if it gives and breathes for ultimate comfort. Order your prom dress far enough in advance so you’ll have time to try it on and return it if you absolutely don’t like it.


Stretchy fabrics for prom dresses are great for those moveable areas of the body while dancing and dining. They’re also great for the tummy area for easier breathing. Look for prom dresses that are highlighted with stretch satin, stretch lace, stretch illusion, or stretch mesh. These materials will give and stretch as you move without taking away from the design of the dress. Other popular materials are ultrasuede, velvet, and silk or silk blends.


void fancy fabrics that are itchy, hot, or those that can tear easily. You’ll need a durable prom dress that can withstand all the movements while dancing. Also, avoid a lot of glitzy items that will make you uncomfortable or that can rub your skin such as sequence, lace, and beads. You might choose from prom dresses that are only modestly decorated with these items, but avoid excessive decoration for maximum comfort.


If you want a tight-fitting prom dress that clings to your body, you better make sure you can walk, sit, and dance in it before buying! There are many styles of long, elegant dresses that are made for beauty and walking, but nothing else. Many homecoming gowns, evening wear gowns, and Quinceanera gowns are made this way, but prom night requires much more movement than many other special occasions. So, choose a prom dress that allows you to move, even if it is tight fitting.

Don’t settle for an uncomfortable prom dress. Shop around online at a prom dress specialty website for one that will allow you to make the most of your dream night!

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies. For tips/information, click here: prom dresses Visit Majon’s Clothing for Women directory.

Fashion Sense

Shades of White

“Here comes the bride, all dressed in white”, or should it be optic white, or soft white, or antique white, or ivory, or pearl, or linen, or ecru, or eggshell? You get the picture. The shade of the bride’s wedding dress is crucial to enhancing her natural beauty and creating beautiful photos. The shade of the dress can either make the bride look like she just came back from her honeymoon or make her look like she’s exhausted and needs a vacation. I dare say, the shade of the dress is more important that the shape of the dress.

Robert Floyd of Robert Floyd Photo Gallery agrees. “If a bride is wearing the wrong shade of white, it’s very hard to compensate, even with natural or artificial lighting. When a bride is wearing a shade of white that compliments her skin tone, hair and eye color, she naturally glows, making the photos that much more beautiful.”

When it’s time to shop for your very special wedding dress, please remember to find the most complimentary shade of white first. While shopping, keep the following questions in mind. Will your skin tone be more tan or less tan than you are now? Will the wedding be mainly outdoors, indoors, daytime or nighttime? Find the right shade with those factors in mind. Once you’ve figured out the right shade, only then should you go on to the silhouette. And remember, if you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to hire a professional to help you. So, congratulations on your engagement and happy shopping!

Your Girlfriend,

Jen Roberge Jennifer Roberge is a New York trained Personal Style Coach. Graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology, manager at Bergdorf Goodman, 13 year career with EILEEN FISHER mostly as wholesale Director of Special Sizes, co- founder of Zesta Style, and founder/ owner of Girlfriend in your Closet. Jennifer’s calling is helping women discover their personal style, thus discovering confidence and new potential, professionally as well personally. Jennifer was recently voted one of the top 25 women to watch in western Massachusetts where she lives with her family. She travels nationwide as well as Skypes with her clients. She can be reached at

Body, Mind, & Soul, Fashion Sense

Helping Western Massachusetts Women “Dress For Success”

Being professionally dressed for an interview is a major stepping stone to empowerment for women. Under the direction of President Dawn Creighton, Dress For Success of Western Massachusetts is on a mission to provide disadvantaged women with the professional attire they need. Dress For Success promotes the economic independence of women across our region by helping women, many of whom have been in challenging situations or abusive relationships, take ownership of their lives and make a change for the better.

Dawn continues to be astonished by her team of referring agencies and key employers who step up to support women achieve their goals of entering or re-entering the workforce. She states, “I am so proud of the amazing board members that give tirelessly to ensure the woman we serve get the support they need to succeed! My heart is truly warmed by the collective efforts of individuals and the business community who are helping women achieve.”

Under Dawn’s leadership, Dress For Success partnered with Square One and The YWCA of Western Massachusetts to go a step further. To help women “Get Their Foot In The Door”, a $14,000 grant from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts will fund a new workforce development initiative slated to begin in January 2016. According to a recent press release, “The program is designed to improve the employability, employment placement and self-sufficiency of low-income women seeking independence and economic empowerment. It will create a pipeline of women who are prepared to enter career opportunities with essential skills, as well as knowledge of support resources.”

For information on the new initiative, donating, volunteering or other ways to get involved, please email Find them at or visit

Alysia Cutting, Senior Staff Writer

Fashion Sense, Women's Showcase

Girlfriend in Your Closet

“Know first who you are, then adorn yourself accordingly”


I love this quote made by a Greek philosopher almost 2000 years ago. In our busy day-to-day world, do we as women take the time to know first who we are, then adorn ourselves accordingly?

Girlfriend in Your ClosetWorking in women’s closets I often hear “I needed something to wear for______, so I just quickly bought this. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but it was good enough”.

This scenario often leads us to a closet full of “not exactly” clothes. This makes getting dressed in the morning stressful, discouraging and unfulfilling. We often leave our house not feeling like the goddess we want to be, but feeling “not exactly how I’d like to, but good enough”. I say, “stop the insanity”! I encourage every woman to take one hour for yourself and do three things….

  1. Look in your closet and pick out several clothing items that you quickly purchased to fill a need. Ask yourself…
    *Does the item bring give stressful or happy thoughts?
    *How do you feel wearing this item?
    *Was the item a bargain or do you feel you overspent?
    *Do you often wear this item or was it only worn for that occasion and now just takes up space in your closet?
  1. Look in your closet again and pick out several clothing items that you just love and wish you could wear everyday. Ask yourself…
    * Why do you love to wear this item? Is it the color, feel, shape?
    *How does this item make you feel?
    *Does the item work with your lifestyle?
    *Why do you gravitate to this item?
    *Did you have to have this item at almost any cost?
  1. Now look at your accessories (shoes, jewelry, handbags, scarves). Do the same exercise as above. Which items do you love and which were bought just to fill a need? How do they make you feel? At the end of this hour-long exercise, see if you can identify a theme. What is it about all the items that you love?
    *Why do they make you feel special?
    *Do they represent you and your lifestyle?
    *Do they complement your coloring?
    *Do they fit you well?
    *Do they work together to make different outfits?

Now you have some concrete idea of what you love to wear and which items makes you feel like a goddess. Take a photo of these fabulous items. Build a working wardrobe around these favorite items. Keep these items in mind next time you get dressed or go shopping.

Here’s to stress free happy dressing!

Jennifer RobergeYour Girlfriend,

Fashion Sense

The Perfect Fit: Every Body Is a Beach Body

Let’s embrace this concept; we are all born with different and beautiful body types! Whether you have big hips, a small chest, a rear that is larger than you’d wish or legs that go for miles, we all have experienced the hardship of finding a swimsuit that is both comfortable and flattering. Here are some tips you should take with you next time you go to the fitting room.Best Swimsuit for your Bodytype

If you are pear-shaped: Hello Ms. Bootylicious! You are small in the chest and abdomen but heaviest below the waist in your hips, rear and thighs. Therefore your main problem is to proportion your small top with your round derrière. Wear a dark-colored bottom that either has a thick band around the hips, is skirted, or high-waisted. Go for a colorful top that has ruffles or
embellishments to give an illusion of a larger bust.

If you are built like an athlete: Sporty spice! Your hips, waistline and shoulders are about the same in width, with a smaller bust-line and butt. This body type is usually lacking some curves, so looking for a bathing suit that can create an illusion of curves is ideal! Stay away from straight bandeaus and boy-cut briefs since it will only enhance your athletic body. You need brightly colored, printed, or ruffled tops. Your bottoms should be the same but ruched.

If you are an hourglass: Shall we call you Miss Kardashian? Your hips and bust are the same large width, with a significantly smaller midsection. Vintage bathing suits are a classic look on you. Underwire tops with thick halter straps will flatter and control your larger bust. A shelf bra, or cups will give better shape to your chest as well. You have hips, but are not as heavy as a
pear shape; therefore you can get away with any kind of bottom (just make sure you have good coverage).

If you are apple-shaped: The apple of our eye! You have a larger bust and abdomen, but slim legs/thighs. You want to take the emphasis off of your torso by opting for a solid colored halter-top, with thick straps to make your shoulders smaller. A  patterned high cut bottom (a la Kelli Kapowski) will draw more attention to your slender legs!

Kristina D’Amours, WMWM Intern

Beauty Beat, Fashion Sense

Luxurious Scents for the Average Fashionista

Estevia ParfumsEstevia Parfum Paris, a perfume brand out of Dubai, has a line of luxurious fragrances that satisfies an expensive palate without breaking the bank. Designed for both women and men, Estevia fabricates an aura of extravagance that makes you feel as if you should be having brunch in a French chateau. Here are my favorite scents that I found to be the most stimulating and long lasting throughout the day:

Estevia Myrina
3.4 oz. (100 ml) $39.99
Estevia describes Myrina as the “epitome of modern femininity.” With a musky patchouli base, it is strong but not overwhelming, softened by floral scents of jasmine and vanilla. It has an elegant aroma and would be best worn on an evening out.

Estevia Carme
3.4 oz. (100 ml) $39.99
Carme is the most sensual scent out of the perfumes. With orange blossom and undertones of rose and vanilla, the perfume is a great scent for the summer. I would best describe it as a very strong and stimulating fragrance with a yummy citrus zest.

Estevia Elpis
3.4 oz. (100 ml) $39.99
Elpis is the softest, or as I would describe it “cleanest,” scent out of the feminine perfumes. Using white amber and jasmine, there is a subtlety to the fragrance, making it light enough to be worn throughout the day. I highly recommend Elpis for those who prefer a subtle perfume.