Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Astrology for the Materialistic

You guys, astrology.

I'm late to the party, I know, but in the same way that I was late to the Jonas Brothers party in 2007, I jumped on the bandwagon at full force and now I'm addicted. When I read that Mercury was going retrograde for the first week of June, I had no idea what it meant. As any poser does, I looked it up online and then blamed every misshap for two weeks on Mercury being in retrograde. I can't stop consulting my horoscope. (I adhere to the Susan Miller school, but if I need extra guidance I source second opinions.)  Who am I? What am I? Sagittarius.

Now that I've discovered my newfound passion for astrological signs, I've been toying with the idea of wearing my sign on my sleeve (by which I mean, shoe, chest or neck). A few examples from the cross-section of clothing/accessories and astrological signs include Scosha's Supernova collection, VFiles sweatshirts, and Rebecca Taylor zodiac slippers.

I like them all because I generally like wearable objects of the graphic design type, but I've found in my sartorial experience that wearing such things on your chest fields a common question from observers: What's on your [article of clothing]? This is a great way to start a conversation at a party, but you have to be educated in what you're wearing for the conversation to flow. I wouldn't have had a clue that this necklace was depicting my sign had the product not included 'Sagittarius' in its description. Poser fail. I like the VFiles sweatshirts for laying it out point blank--who needs time for illustrations when you can just read the words? And the Rebecca Taylor slippers are a different story. Yes, I'm aware that there's a difference between zodiacs and astrology, but it's all the same hullaballoo to me.

The limits of my wallet restrict me from buying astrology-themed jewelry anytime soon, but between you and me, if I had a few more dolla dolla bills to my name, I'd be adorned in Sagittarius jewelry. Yolo.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sneakers and Crew Socks

Here's a thought: Vans with crew socks.

The look has been flooding my thoughts for the past week, which is a long time as far as outfit fantasies go. I tried it out last year with a pair of metallic high socks and my red Supergas. I thought it was going great until a friend asked "what was going on with my socks" as if I had no idea that I was wearing metallic crew socks. What did it look like was going on with my socks? They were clearly having the time of their lives being the stars of my outfit. I retired the look immediately because her comment dropped my sartorial confidence level to below 100% and the socks had lost their metallicity anyway.

Before I get into how sneakers and crew socks will be better this time around, I'd like to discuss the plausibility of sneakers in the summer, or more specifically, in bare legs weather. It's a tricky thing for me. I like sneakers more than the average woman, a partiality that may also correlate to my having smellier feet than the average woman, and having smelly feet is ind of a one step forward, two steps back situation. One plus one equals two and I can't wear sneakers without socks. I need to wear socks, except my keen eye for detail combined with my slight obsessive compulsivity means I can't wear ankle socks with non-running sneakers. The tiniest bit of sock exposure over a sneaker drives me insane (see: white ankle socks and Supergas). So, if I'm going to wear socks with sneakers, I might as well go to extremes and wear crew socks. It's very Wet Hot American Summer, don't you agree?

I like the idea of wearing high socks and sneakers with a dress. It reminds both the outfit wearer and any outfit observers that though the wearer's pedal half resembles that of a Lord of Dogtown, she is still a womyn who likes to feel the wind beneath her wings/through her legs as she's walking down the street. Can I get an amen?

Man, is that an eclectic outfit or WUT: Madewell poncho dress, Vans, Stance Banner socks, Thorlo Classic crew socks, Lulu Frost earrings, Madewell necklace

Thursday, July 3, 2014


The blog has been dormant over the past couple of weeks for reasons neither here nor there. Well, actually, I know why. The internet is hyper wonky in my new apartment and an internet connection is crucial to the functioning of a blog. Also, in the time that I should be at my own apartment living my independent life, I'm usually at my parents' apartment. I'd blog from there, but I'm too busy picking fights with them and pretending I'd rather be somewhere else.

I've been inspired to give the blog another life because I finally have some time off from work. A four-day weekend is a mini break if I've ever seen one, and I haven't had time off like this since I impulsively went to Paris in February (things that were awesome: that.) Also, I found a new blog the other day that has become my new blog idol and thus motivated me to get my fingers typin': Ma Récréation. It's not so much that I want my blog to be this blog as much as I want to be the blogger herself: a French beauty editor. If all my years spent learning French have amounted to nothing but the ability to read French blogs then so be it. I'll never be a diplomat. Or a professor. (What other professions does a fluency in French require? Do tell.)

This post is mainly an acknowledgment of the low frequency posts any of you readers have been noticing over the past couple of months and a subsequent promise to get back on the saddle. And go read Ma Récréation. You can translate it into English if you'd like. C'est comme tu veux, nanas.

Friday, June 20, 2014

GIVEAWAY!! Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

Exciting news people -- the blog is entering the uncharted territories of book reviews and (wutwut) giveaways. Yah, you read that correctly, a chance to win free stuff. No it's not for a clutch or a bauble of the costume variety, but for the gift that lasts the duration of a trip to the beach: a book. Hehe. And not just any book, but a lovely tale that is part family saga, part love story and part historical fiction. Because I'm a selfless person who enjoys the simple pleasures of reading and lying on the beach, I spent last weekend in my brand spankin' new tie dyed bathing suit immersing myself in Amy Bloom's yet-to-hit-shelves novel Lucky Us so I could put my literary two cents in and give you a chance to win the book. Thank me later. Here's the skinny on the novel:

Bare bones down to it (is that a saying? It should be), Lucky Us is a story of two half-sisters, Eva and Iris. The book takes place throughout the 1940s, so not so coincidentally, the happenings of World War II are implicated in the plot. Thrilling. Eva and Iris share a dad who kind of has a Gatsby-esque chasin' the American dream one con-at-a-time type thing going on. Needless to say, he's not much to hang around the Midwest for, so the two gals hit the road for bright lights big city Hollywood, USA. The sisters' journey doesn't end in Hollywood, in fact, one might argue that's where the story begins. Throughout the book, the ladayz pick up a few new friends (who lend themselves to family members) and ultimately reinvent themselves. If you liked A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Water for Elephants, then you'll like Lucky Us. Trust me. (I trust you, Jack. You jump, I jump, am I right?)

Okay, now the fun part. You get a chance to win a copy of the book, which doesn't come out until July 29. Not the lightly-used paperback copy I read, but a new one. Oh yah. Here's how: leave a COMMENT. Seriously you guys, comments are an effing gold standard in the dog eat dog blogosphere. Tell me what's on your summer reading list and you'll be entered for a chance to win. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, so take a chance on me (if you change your mind, I'm the first in line) and enter the giveaway.

Okay bye, TGIF, and not just any Friday, but the LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR FRIDAY!!! (Forthcoming post on #PublicSchoolSummer. What's that, you ask? You think you know but you have no idea.)

UPDATE!! THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. Thanks to all 11 of you who entered, you wouldn't have done so had I not bombarded you with personal emails and texts, but thank you. Congratulations to a @TheVoiceTrumpet (that's a nascent viral Twitter account) for winning. Doo doo doo.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Inside the Designer's Studio: Erica Weiner

My never-ending search for the next best sample sale led me to Erica Weiner’s Greenpoint studio in March. It was 5 PM on a Sunday and I had spent the better half of the day seeing Craigslist apartments in the flesh around Manhattan. The fruitless housing hunt left me needing to destress in the only way I know how: by surrounding myself in a room with wearable objects available for purchase. I stood on a corner by Union Square and scrolled through my inbox until I found a sample sale that the investigative shopping journalists behind Racked.com had deemed worthy, and so I headed to Erica’s studio. I didn’t realize until I got there that the sale was cash only, so I bought a five dollar bangle from the seven dollars cash I had in my wallet.

Fast forward/flash back to a few weeks ago when I went back to Erica’s studio to ask her about her #creativeprocess and find out how she wound up a Brookyln-based jewelry designer. Context alert: she’s from the New Jersey town that neighbors the one in which I grew up.

In true autodidactic fashion, Erica taught herself how to sew when she was in high school. She went off to explore the liberal arts for college and majored in art history at Vassar. Her foray into the world of wearable art began when she was studying abroad in a textile program at the Glasgow School of Art. After graduating college, she got a job working as a costume manager of a Broadway touring company, where she learned how to make things on both a budget and a tight schedule. She ditched the theater after two years and entered the high fash-un industry as a patternmaker.

Jewelry making began as her side project, but once she walked away with wads of cash from selling her charms and chains at a Philadelphia craft fair, she knew she was onto something. In a case of being in the right place at the right time, she snagged one of the first five vendor spots at the Brooklyn Artists & Flea circa 2006.

The trademark pieces that catapulted her from flea market artisan to established jewelry designer still make up much of her business, though she’s since expanded into the antiques sphere. She and her business partner go antique hunting in treasure troves in London and Maine and either sell their finds in vintage form or modify them as part of her 1909 line. Anywhooze, she’s got something for everyone--from brides looking for an antique ring to lil’ old you and me in the market for an airplane charm necklace--all of which you can check out here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Tale of the Mismatching Bathing Suit

Today's Sunday Styles section was underwhelming--the Modern Love piece was depressing (most are, but this one wasn't as emotionally heartwrenching as the best ones tend to be), the featured wedding had a boring love story, and the rest of the wedding announcements were unremarkable. The only thing that stood out was that the bride in the featured wedding was a bikini designer, which got me to thinking about, duh, bikinis.

As anyone who's gone to the beach with me in the past five years knows, I've been wearing the same mismatching bathing suit for way. too. long. I got the bandeau top at a Tibi sample sale a few years ago. It's a purple floral print that was $20, and I didn't see any matching bottoms in sight but bought it anyway. The bottom half of my, uh, ensemble is a a basic bikini bottom that I found in the sale section at the freestanding Lord & Taylor that divides (at least for me) the town that I grew up in in half. My family moved from that town five years ago, so I've been wearing the bottoms for at least five years.

Every year, when the end of May rolls around, I plan to buy a new bathing suit. I go to a fancy department store or bathing suit boutique and look around only to walk out empty handed and appalled at how overpriced bathing suits are. Eff that, I'd rather put that money to more substantial fabric.

Around this time last year, my friend and I went to the Mara Hoffman sample sale in Nolita. Both of us had long admired Mara Hoffman prints, and at least for me, the only thing resembling employment on my resume was a few (not even--one and a half) unpaid internships, so if I wanted one of her suits, I had to go the sample sale route. We very much were not the only people in New York who heard about the sale, and we spent two hours shuffling between plastic bins of bathing suits and a room full of half-naked women trying them on. I found a suit, the top and bottom didn't match but it would do. As we were waiting to pay, I saw a hidden rack of (DRUMROLL DRUMROLL): patterned pants. They were eccentric and I couldn't imagine life without them, so I examined each pair from where I was standing just as people grocery shop from their place in line at Trader Joe's. I chose one not by pattern but by size because when it comes to eccentric prints, it really doesn't matter which you choose. Point of the story has to do with opportunity cost (I think). I had to give up the bathing suit for the pants because I had no income at the time and I was set to start an underpaid job the next week. I knew I'd wear the pants more, which I have because they are awesome.

So, I spent last summer in my stupid Tibi-Lucky Brand mismatching bathing suit, and I tanned on the Jersey Shore in it last weekend too, so I don't feel good about the odds of a wearing a new bathing suit this summer. It's my signature look. It's so ugly.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Babysitters Club

After two nights of babysitting this week, I've come to the conclusion, succinctly put by a friend, that it's the best gig on the block (literally speaking: 83rd street). I realized this as I rode down the elevator of an Upper West Side building with a wad of cash in hand after spending three hours sitting on the couch of a young couple who four years ago was just another pair of attractive magna cum laudes announcing their nuptials via the New York Times. Instead of going to an ATM to take out cash, I ate Thai food on someone else's dollar, watched Anthony Bourdain on Netflix, and read magazines all for the sake of making sure nothing happened to a sleeping baby who I've never seen in the flesh. Pinch me, I live the life, I really do.

There's something about babysitting that causes me to revert to my high school self. Whenever I babysit, I feel the need to raid the kitchen cabinets of whosever house I'm in. This habit started way before I hit whatever level of maturity comes with entering high school. My older sister used to call me from the neighbor's house where she was sitting to tell me if there were any cookies or ice cream worth coming over to eat. Usually there were because the only semblance of junk food in my house was stale pretzels, so yes, any offer of a cookie would propel me across the backyard. By the time I was responsible to take care of someone else's small children on my own, I knew how to tactfully eat my way through a snack cabinet. Like, which type of fruit snacks are worth opening a new box for? Answer: Fruit rollups. They're so worth it that it's probably best to eat the entire box so the mom doesn't realize that she bought them in the first place.

(Don't even get me started on the snacks I ate while babysitting in France. Girl talk: I literally can't.)

Second, I still wear an iteration of the outfit I first put on to babysit at 15. When I went to a friend's house post-childcare gig the other night, she looked me up and down and declared, "classic babysitting outfit." If you too came of age in the mid-aughts watching Friday night ABC Family lineups on a neighbor's couch, then you know what I mean: ill-fitting jeans, shoes that are easy to put on as to avoid the awkward "you already paid me but now I need to tie my shoes at the front door" moment, a brightly colored North Face rain coat or fleece, and a Longchamp bag with books and a laptop should the remote control be too complicated to figure out. I wore black skinny jeans to guard a sleeping infant not too many months ago, but they weren't conducive to eating tortilla chips and watching TBS on a sinkable couch.

Since this blog vaguely rallies around the theme of fashion, here's an outfit idea for the mat-ure babysitting lewk. It features a Rag & Bone sweater, but I'd like to note that if you're wearing Rag & Bone sweaters to babysit, you probably don't need to be there in the first place.

Citizens of Humanity jeans, Vans, Rag & Bone sweater, Stephane Verdino bag, button down shirt