It’s getting cold outside, make your holidays hot with these hot gifts!!
Gifts for Her
Cheap but chic: Boys know that girls are picky, but a good gift for her doesn’t have to mean expensive.
Affordable perfume or lotion from Victoria’s Secret or Bath & Body Works that usually only cost between $5 to $12.
If you’re that guy who knows his girl’s style, why not clothes from inexpensive but great stores like Forever 21 or H&M? You can find amazing dresses for $25.
If you’re a girl who is buying for your best friend, buy a best friend necklace for you both in places like Target or even just Claire’s.
Pricey but classy: If you want to splurge, then try jewelry, or a nice perfume
B’elle D’opium de YSL perfume ($80)
Urban Outfitters handbag
If you are the best friend, go buy a Juicy Couture friendship jewelry
A nice dinner Maggiano’s or Prime Rib (and don’t forget the roses when you pick her up!)
For the man who has everything…
“Take Ivy” (it’s not a novel but a coffee table book that’s hot right now about Ivy League style)
For the man who wants everything…
Bleu de Chanel cologne ($59)
A nice Timex watch from J. Crew ($100-195)
Sunglasses (try Tom Ford or Burberry, $20-$99 from Loehmann’s)
Jewelry (Mommy-daughter would be a nice choice….Try Tiffany’s or Target)
Sweater from Ann Taylor or New York & Company
Sweater from Gap or J.Crew
Polo Ralph Lauren polo-collared shirt
Tie from Brooks Brothers
Scarf from American Eagle
A button shirt from T.J. Maxx (can I say Maxxinista!)
The best stores to shop? I say Target, American Apparel, Urban Outfiiters, Borders, and T.J. Maxx. They have fabulous findings for a fabulous holiday!
The freshmen class of 2014 is the first to be required to wear Sperry’s as a uniform shoe.
By Candace Brinkley ‘12
What started off as a Catholic School trend is now a mandatory shoe for Bishop McNamara’s Freshman class. Bishop McNamara is requiring that the freshmen wear Sperry’s, a brand of boat shoes.
According to Mr. Brady, Dean of Students and Assistant Principal, the problem with the old shoe policy was that some students took advantage of their freedom, arriving to school in unprofessional black sneakers or boots. Students were allowed to pick their own shoe for the uniform, and girls usually chose a black or brown ballet flat and boys chose a simple black dress shoe. Now the freshman do not have a choice, and in the year 2014 this will be true for the entire school.
The Deans of Discipline came to the decision of a school wide policy change and Mr. Victor Shin, Assistant Principal for Student Life, was put in charge of the purchase of merchandise with retailers. The decision was made without any formal consultation with students for their input.
“It’s good. It’s fashionable. It’s comfortable. It’s affordable,” said Mr. Shin. Mr. Brady says that having one shoe cuts down on interpretations of the handbook, and also adds uniformity.
Students seem to have a different take on the new policy based on their grade level. The freshmen are the first class required to wear the same shoe, and therefore are the most affected by the change.
“I don’t like them. They are not practical or waterproof,” Clarissa Corey-Bey ‘14 explains. Sperry’s are not water resistant and can be bothersome in the rain.
Other freshmen complained that the shoe costs more than what it is actually worth. The shoes cost between fifty and seventy dollars and can be found in shoe stores such as DSW or through school uniform suppliers
To the upperclassmen, this issue is not as pressing since they are not directly affected with the new policy. “It is just another part of the uniform. A tad expensive but worth it for the overall look of the uniform,” comments Janierah Jones ‘12. Other upperclassmen who do not prefer or insist Sperry’s are not their style simply do not wear them. Like it or not the Sperry’s are here to stay.
How Guys and Girls Can Dress Stylishly with Modesty for Homecoming
By Vania Brown ‘12
The Homecoming dance is less than a week away and you have no clue what to wear! That dressy outfit in the back of your closet is outdated and doesn’t fit. Next best thing is a shopping spree! But let’s not forget the letter sent home last year about homecoming attire for McNamara students. As intelligent and talented young ladies and gentlemen of Bishop McNamara High School, we are expected to “Live like Jesus Christ.” Therefore we must dress modestly and appropriately for our semi-formal Homecoming dance.
We as females have the most challenging task when preparing for a night out. Making sure that everything fits appropriately, that our hair and makeup is on point and on top of that, still strut those incredibly cute shoes that hurt our freshly painted toes. My advice: Either break in the pumps or pack some slippers! But the most important of all this preparation is that our dress reflects modesty. “Still be beautiful, but modest,” wonderfully put by Ms. Duclos, is the right way to dress.
The most popular dress styles this homecoming season are strapless, one shoulder, halter, and the usual spaghetti strap. Ladies, please avoid plunging necklines or anything overly revealing.
Length of the homecoming dress is vital as well. Are you choosing a dress that is long or short? “Definitely a short dress… It’s homecoming not prom,” Christin Coleman ‘12 responded without hesitation. Typically for a semi-formal event, a shorter dress is suitable, but by all means, dare to be different.
As far as colors and prints to look for when choosing your perfect homecoming dress, you should find something that enhances your skin tone, and compliments your shape. Abstract patterns, ruffles, and bold, bright colors are trendy and fun. “Black has not been a major seller,” said sales clerk Neicey Burruss, of the Macy’s at Bowie Town Center. However, Navy blue and pink have been rated the top sales in homecoming dress colors. Many dresses in online catalogs possess an eye-catching feature that is both unique and puts a signature on the entire outfit, making it complete. Provide an element of “POP!” to your homecoming frock by adding loud accessories.
If your dress looks as though it should be worn to a club or seen in a music video, it is inappropriate for homecoming. “Nothing too short, too tight, too revealing,” says Ms. Brenda Stevens, Dean of Students. Quoting Mr. Clark’s letter on homecoming attire from last year, remember to “consider this when trying on dresses, ‘Is this outfit appropriate for me to wear as a part of a Catholic school community?’” If you already have a homecoming dress and it does not fit McNamara’s standards of modesty, then add a cute shawl to your ensemble, or wear tights and flat shoes. With any dress you choose, make sure that you feel beautiful, happy, and comfortable in it. CAUTION: Avoid floral prints on light-weight cotton cloths. Though this dress is most likely half-off on the clearance rack, it is “Summery” and out of season.
Guys, homecoming is your time to shine! If you are striving to be extra debonair, then definitely wear a suit jacket. Corsages are most common for prom season, not homecoming. The must-haves in men’s homecoming fashion is a dress shirt, tie, slacks, and dress shoes. Please do not wear jeans or sneakers fellas!
Colors that work very nicely together: red and brown, brown and blue, burgundy and tan, and of course the usual black and white. If you are having difficulties choosing the color of your ensemble, remember every color goes with black and white. Try to avoid crazy, over powering rainbow-bright colors for this kind of event. Popular prints this season include pin stripes, argyle, and general solid colors. The “in style” look is also the big knot tie. This should be worn with a spread collar shirt to eliminate bunching. If you are a guy who is not into wearing a suit jacket, then by all means a sweater vest without buttons, a blazer, or a cardigan is stylish as well. Your shoes and belt should be the same color, and your socks should match your pants. Choose pieces that are comfortable and fit nicely. Any outfit can be made dressier simply by adding cuff links and a jazzy tie.
Coming to America, The American Perspective on Harajuku Fashion
By Alexis Jenkins ’11
In the past year, it seems as if a weird word has sporadically invaded our music and fashion scene in America. Harajuku. Say it slow, say it fast, yet it’s hard to grasp exactly what it is. This is probably because it falls into so many categories. Harajuku itself is the name of a place on the local, Japanese train route, something similar to our Gallery Place stop on the Metro. However, Harajuku fashion consists of anything eye catching, colorful, youthful, costumed, and cartoon inspired in Japanese fashion. In recent years, it has come from the island of Japan and began showing its face in our pop culture.
Sophomore Brittany Lynch recalls first hearing about Harajuku saying, “It’s not that new, Gwen Stefani def. brought it in the music world in like ’04 on the Love.Angel.Music.Baby album.” Indeed she did. In 2004, Gwen Stefani became the impromptu American ambassador to this new world of fashion, when she featured “Harajuku Girls” on her album cover. The “Harajuku Girls” are known as her backup dancers and became models of the extravent clothing style often times seen with the pop star herself. On her clothing line’s website, Gwen Stefani said, “The first time I went to Tokyo in 96 it was if I had landed on another planet…I saw kids in Harajuku that were all about self expression and had this unique individual style, and everybody was making their own clothing and mixing and matching.” Since her visit in 1996, Gwen Stefani has created an American clothing line inspired by the sights and shopping of the Harajuku district. Every tag on her clothing holds the phrase “A fatal attraction to cuteness” which many Japanese teens would simply say is super kawaii meaning really cute.
Today, this fascination holds true as the term resurfaces through the lips of another artist. This time it is Nikki Minaj, the current heiress to Young Money’s musical throne, and only female rapper on today’s charts, has coined the term “Harajuku Barbie” for herself. But word around school is Nikki is using it totally wrong. Senior Janel McCray ’10 responds by saying, “Nikki Minaj representation of the Harajuku fashion makes younger girls look towards that certain type of fashion as if it is okay to show unnecessary parts of their body that shouldn’t be seen out in public to the world. Yeah, she dresses differently than most of all of the other female rappers, but she is also deteriorating the actual art behind the Harajuku fashion. Bright colors and tutus don’t mean you’re a Harajuku Barbie.” It seems that as the style emerges in America, it has been bent and molded into something too often seen in here, another sex symbol. This, unlike Ms. Stefani’s interpretation, could not be further from the true spirit of Harajuku.
The concept of Harajuku arose after World War II. After the fighting finished, instead of returning to the States; many U.S. troops stayed in Japan bringing over their families to live in an artsy area called Harajuku, Japan. The artsy aspect came from the curious Japanese youth that moved to the area to live among Americans in hopes of experiencing a different culture. Living among each other in apartments were young fashion designers, models, and photographers feeding off the soldiers Western fashion dispositions. Thus, Harajuku fashion was born around the early 1950s. A little over a decade later, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics helped solidify the style making it more than a trend but a movement.
Now Harajuku, Japan is the world capital for unique street fashion. Since the 1950’s, it has grown from not only a street clothing district but to a venue for luxury international designers such as Chanel, D&G, and Prada among others. However, it still shows its origins with a vast number of native designers, and affordable stores for the youth. Jasmine Johnson ’12 sums it up quite nicely, “I like it. It’s different, and the girls who wear it stand out not necessarily in a bad way either.”
Mr. Pozniak’s Honors Global Studies Classes push the boundaries of learning when senior girls get a first-hand experience wearing the hijab in public. Jacqueline Wills ’10 and Aley Villareal ’10 venture to Walmart to carry out their project. Watch the video to find out what happened!
Alani Mason-Calloway ’10 was walking down an aisle in the grocery store when a woman took one look at her, grabbed her daughter and ran away. Alani is 4′ 11″ and an AP student who made Summa Cum Laude; she does not usually come across as a scary person. “All I had to do to make you run away was put a scarf over my head,” Alani said.
Eight non-Muslim senior girls went into public wearing a hijab. A hijab is the veil that Muslim women choose to wear around their heads and necks to be conservative and show modesty. While learning a unit on the Middle East in Michael Pozniak’s Honors Global Studies class, the students began studying the hijab. As the class of seniors were in the midst of reading about this garment, Renata Malionek ’10 raised her hand and asked if they could get a first-hand experience by wearing a hijab to see what reactions they might receive. Immediately, the other girls showed enthusiasm about this prospective assignment. They were curious about the reactions they might get, and “if you were someone else how people treat you,” Renata Malionek ’10 said.
Mr. Pozniak began researching whether or not this project could be done respectfully. He got the opinion of both chemistry teacher Saiedeh Khalili and Gulrukhsor ‘Guli’ Nazirova, two Muslim women. (Guli attended McNamara with the class of ’07 for one year as a representative of her country, Tajikstan, through a program with the State Department.) Neither found the proposal inappropriate as long as the girls had an understanding of the culture. Even further, Mr. Pozniak contacted Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies with the same questions. He was again informed that it would not be considered disrespectful, once again, as long as they were being sensitive to the religion.
The class came up with suggestions to make sure the girls were responsive to the religion, such as keeping modesty in their entire dress. Once the girls were essentially “coached,” they had to get a permission slip signed and then were free to complete this activity for extra credit. They were required to write a short reflection on their experience and also give an informal presentation to their class about it.
“My philosophy about teaching is that if students really want to learn, my job is to provide that environment,” Mr. Pozniak said after commenting that the whole idea was student generated, and he was the “facilitator.”
Out of the two sections of the Honors Global Studies, eight of the girls participated in the project. The girls went out to ordinary places such as grocery stores, Walmart, gas stations, and the movies. A common reaction that they seemed to get was a lot of stares.
“It seemed like I was distracting to other people, except the little kids who were just staring,” Aley Villarreal ’10 said.
Lindy Ramsey ’10 was on her way to West Virginia over Thanksgiving break and took a pit stop at a familiar gas station when she went in wearing the hijab. She noted, “I’ve been there before and they’ve said ‘hi’ and everything but this time they didn’t say anything.”
As negative as some of thoseresponses were, some reactions were the opposite, being extremely courteous. “In terms of politeness, some people were overly polite, like if you were dressed in regular clothes they would not have been that polite,” said Aley, after her experience in Walmart. One man deliberately stepped out of Aley’s way in order to let her pass first.
Each girl that participated in the assignment came out with a better understanding of what Muslim women may go through. Alani commented on the lesson she got out of the experience and realized that, “no matter who you are, there are going to be prejudices.”
Mr. Pozniak reflected that collectively the students all had diverse settings and diverse experiences which led to diverse reactions. Either way, it was clear that people did react. Whether it was because of the hijab, a prejudice, or just because of curiosity is unknown. “Who knows whether it’s a level of fear or insecurity of those who are different from those who are mainstream,” Mr. Pozniak said.
All in all, this project was considered a great success, and Mr. Pozniak intends on continuing it in the years to come. He also expressed his ideas to build on the assignment as well by possibly having the students interview a Muslim woman about the hijab. Whatever may come in future years, it is obvious that this is due to a combined effort and a shared enthusiasm out of these seniors and their teacher.
It takes weeks of searching for a dress, hours of putting on make-up and styling hair, yet in simply seconds a faculty member could tell you to take that dress, hair, and make-up right back home because they don’t find it appropriate. Is preparing that much really worth going back home to sit on the sofa while your friends are having an evening at the dance that they will be talking about when Monday rolls around….?
Exactly. I didn’t think so. Why let something as silly as the dress you’re wearing ruin your night?
After the past homecoming, a letter was sent out to all students of our school community. This letter, addressed to all parents, referenced the fashion choices made by the women at the homecoming dance. The rule in the agenda book clearly states, “Students whose clothing styles are inappropriate or deemed to be too bare or immodest will not be allowed to attend the dance.” The Stampede finds that this rule is unnecessary unless it is enforced. Therefore, if this rule was implemented, people would take this matter more seriously.
Think twice before leaving the house in something that wouldn’t be appropriate. Don’t think that just because you’re covering more that you don’t look amazing. Less DOES NOT equal more. There are many outfits that fit the criteria of the dress code that could easily be seen worn by most celebrities. By “modesty” Mr. Clark is not saying you should be wearing a t-shirt and a skirt to the floor. He wants you to look good and in good taste.
So, for students, here’s some advice so that you don’t end up being the one turned away at the door for next dance. First, we see that depending upon your body type, height, etc., you know what you can pull off without it looking trashy or immodest. For example, the same dress worn by two different girls, one being four inches taller or a few sizes larger, may not look as tasteful. Therefore, consider your body type and know what looks good on you, not someone else. Second, ask yourself honestly if you think you would wear it to a nice event you’re going to with your grandmother. Would grandma look at you proudly and say what a beautiful young lady you are? Or would she offer to take out the hem on your skirt? Lastly, just be aware of the environment in which you will be; a Catholic high school dance, not a night club, and not in a music video. We want you to look good, but it’s not necessary to show too much in order to do so.
So ladies, let’s step it up and not let this be you at the next school event.
The staff editorial is authored through a group process. The Opinion Editors select one or more topics for debate by the staff. After the staff has discussed the issue and approached a consensus on the topic, the Opinion Editors write on behalf of the entire staff. The staff then reviews and approves the final editorial before publication.
Are we starting a sailing team? No, but McNamara is all prepared with our boat shoes.
With one glance around a classroom, you may see several students headed for the deck in Sperry’s Top Siders or variations of that design. Sperry’s are the modern sport shoe invented by Paul Sperry in 1935 that are made to grip the wet decks of boat, hence the name. They also are called loafers, Top Siders, and deck shoes. Typically, they are leather with rubber soles. As Kyle Martin ’11 said, “They are water-proof!” That they are, and they “poofed” their way onto several students’ feet this school year.
Although they are the most preferred boat shoe, some prefer a cheaper buy and have adapted to the new trend without breaking the bank. Several students made it known that their Top Siders weren’t Sperry’s but were from other brands such as Payless Shoe Source where, as you might guess, they paid less.
This trend at our school is mainly seen on upperclassmen, but I suppose it’s just a matter of time until we see freshmen adorning these cushy loafers. As of now, one in every four people are wiggling their comfortable toes in boat shoes. However, if you thought this was just a McNamara thing, it seems to be popular through-out the WCAC. Many students from Seton, Good Counsel, PVI, and Gonzaga have been seen sporting these popular shoes too.
It’s a little ironic because just a couple of years ago we probably all would have called them “old-man” shoes, but now they are the coolest thing. Style is evolving and so are the boat shoes. They come in different shades: tan, brown, and black. These are acceptable for school, but they also come in bright shades of red, yellow, and blue. And to make the “old-man” shoe even younger, some have vibrant orange soles and piping or plaid. Mark Yacat ’11 said, “They’re hard to get messed up compared to black dress shoes.” Bottom line is: they are cooler than black dress shoes.
So, boat shoes win in the style category, they win against their closest competitors (dress shoes and ballet flats), and they win in what could be the most important category of all — comfort. Allison Bahneman ’11 said “Boat shoes are comfortable, they don’t fall off like ballet shoes.”
However, the benefits of boat shoes would have no importance if they didn’t fit this category–the uniform requirement. It’s one less thing the deans have to look after, one less blister, and two less wet socks. Boat shoes meet all of Amber Martin ’11 standards. “They’re easy to put on, they’re comfy, and they go with the socks too.” The people have spoken. The boat isn’t coming anytime soon, but if it does, McNamara has the shoes on deck.
In light of this, I believe it is safe to say the Top Sider is not going anywhere any time soon.
She’s strolling down the hall with her eco-friendly tote slung on her shoulder, and he sits at the lunch table dressed in his global warming awareness tee. They sit down together and have lunch. As they leave the cafeteria, she tosses her plastic bottle of water into the trash can and he throws away his Styrofoam cup. Wait, judging by their attire, aren’t they both living “Green” lives? Clearly, they are advocates for the Going Green Movement. But in recent years, the staff agrees that “going Green” has become a fashion trend more than anything.
People should back up their trends and not be posers. Someone started it and everyone followed. There are people who are concerned for the environment and its issues but for the majority of the people, that is not their main reason for doing it. One day a person could be polluting, and the next day, you are Green. Everything’s a trend. Right now, going green is vogue because of the whole global warming crisis. It is publicized with figures like Al Gore, celebrities and pop culture in general, so people naturally embraced it. Some people are losing sight of the real meaning behind the movement. They want to seem like they care, and plus, Green stuff is cute. It’s like the new definition of being a hippie. They want to be seen like this and you can be considered eco-conscious if you put on a hippie headband, some sandals and a going Green bag; even if you do not have the knowledge to back up the fashion. It has become just about buying Green clothes and bags because it is the new thing. However, it makes the problem more relevant. The fashion brings attention to the environment. By being ignorant and just following the trend, they are still spreading the issues.
Going Green is a fashionable and trendy, but at the same time, it makes people feel good because they believe that they are doing something helpful. It is a trend but it is like a good trend. When the fashion goes out of style, people will still remember the message that started it. Since it is becoming a mindset and lifestyle, it will not die out like other trends. Also, education has a lot to do with keeping the going Green movement alive. People cannot be told, “Just put your cardboard in this bin,” without any idea of what they are actually doing. If information about environmental conditions and concerns are spread to the youth generation through the celebrities, fashions and the media, then it will stick with them not just as a fashion statement but as a movement that will affect generations to follow.
Note: Staff Editorials represent the majority opinion of the staff, as debated in the newsroom. The final editorial is then authored by Samantha Ahwah ’09, Op-Ed Editor.
Sitting in a cold chair, my mother to my right, holding her breath, awaiting what is about to happen nervously. As the gun is cleaned, loaded and raised closer and closer to my head, I count my heart beats and take three deep breaths. As the woman who looks like this may hurt her more than me raises the gun and says, “okay are you ready?” I have to quickly remind myself that this is something I wanted. One, two, three. she takes the piercing gun through my cartilage as a diamond stud is placed, and I feel the cold stud in my warm skin. I have joined the masses in a time old tradition of self expression.
There are numerous ways to express yourself without saying words. This epidemic has spread through all ages, countries and peoples. It may stand for tribal ranking, a memorable experience, or just something you thought was interesting. It is performed in many different ways and shapes; it is the art of piercing.
After taking a look around, it is noticeable that our Bishop McNamara society is not excluded from this expression of self through this trend. The McNamara administration is known throughout the student body for being strict on, what and how all students present themselves through clothing on a day to day basis. But the student body has found a hole in the system (pun intended). Most girls (and quite a few boys) have their ears pierced, sometimes multiple times. Each part of the ear has a different name, such as cartilage (the upper ear), the rook (which is the outer fold of the ear) or the daith (the inner fold of the ear).
From teachers to students alike, each piercing has its own unique story. Christine Stubbs ’11 has a total of six piercings and stands out with her loud personality and personal expression. Three of them she has done herself. Her piercings started with a first hole in her lower lobe, which is typical for many girls to get as babies. Christine has pierced her own naval and cartilage. “I used a safety pin, don’t do that!” she recommended. Christine is very happy with all of her piercings, and there is no doubt she plans on getting more. This seems to be a common theme, many people say it is like an addiction.
Every piercing has a story. After interviewing different students, it was evident that some times the piercing was not only an act of expression but an act of rebellion. Randi Ayala ’11 believes, “Piercings let you express yourself and make you look attractive.” In Nov. 2008, she had badly wanted to get her belly button pierced, but her mother strongly disagreed. Randi then had her boyfriend’s mother take her to Mystics in Crofton, and sign as her guardian to get the piercing done. Her mother made Randi remove the piercing, but Randi says she fully intends on getting it redone when she is 18.
Max Allegro ’10 is one of many boys who have taken to the ear piercing trend that has become popularized during our generation. “People seem to like it,” said Max. “I got it done last spring at a pharmacy in Spain with Allison Baden and Allie Baumgartner as my chaperons.” When Max returned home, his mother was not upset but was pleased to hear when Max confirmed that it was just a way to remember Spain, and that no other piercings are in his future.
Faculty members are no exception to the craze. Few know that even principal Marco Clark wanted his ear pierced at one time. “I was at beach week my senior week of high school in Ocean City. I sat down to get my ear pierced, and at the last minute, wimped out.” Mr. Clark wants students to know that body jewelery can be a good way of expression and may look cute when you’re young, but teenagers should think about their future image too and what marks the piercings may leave.
Kari Bergman, Spanish teacher, has her cartilage pierced as well. She said she got it during her mid twenty’s in her left ear. Ms. Bergman was in Paris, France with her cousin and a friend, both who planned on getting their noses pierced. After paying, one girl chickened out. Instead of wasting the money, Ms. Bergman decided why not! “I could hardly understand the man that was piercing me! I just kept saying left ear? Yes? Cartilage? Hoping he would know what I was talking about,” she said jokingly.
Teachers Gretchen Harrison, Jenny Klimzack and Matthew Buckley also revealed that they had (or have!) naval or ear lobe piercings, but there was one teacher that stood out the most. Angela De Leonibus, chemistry teacher, has a total of seven piercings covering both her ears. Ms. D started getting them when she was a baby and as she got older saw it as a way to express herself, “you could say I’m a rebel..not really…but really,” laughed Ms. DeLeonibus. Teacher Laura Keller would love to add a piercing to her nose, maybe even eyebrow. The main thing stopping her? “Are teachers here even allowed to do that?” As the rules here and in society get stricter, teenagers and adults alike are trying to find new and creative ways to express their beliefs and who they are under the uniform.