Saturday, July 31, 2010

Loafing around.

Remember when I decided to embark on a search for the perfect pair of loafers?

Found these in Second Best Thrift in Astoria, Queens. Literally the best thrift store I have ever visited. I realize this is a strong statement coming from a secondhand goddess such as myself, but there is nothing about this place that isn't amazing. There's no rhyme or reason to the layout, which might prove frustrating to some, but I relish poking around for hours to unearth the best of the best from tangled piles and musty armoires. So many thrift stores give you secondhand clothes in a crowded, overwhelming retail mall format (and for astronomical prices, to boot). Worst of both worlds! If I'm gonna go thrifting, I want a grandma's attic experience for mere pocket change, and this place delivers. It also boasts an impressive selection of ugly-chic footwear, which is so where I'm at these days.

Anyway, I love that these are light enough to wear right now, but not so much so that I won't be able to transition them into fall. They're also the most comfy. I walked from Times Square to SoHo, then back up to Union Square by way of all three Villages (East, West and Greenwich) yesterday and barely felt a thing. That is a long-ass way, for the record. It wasn't until later, when I was stumbling from the Meatpacking District back down to SoHo in a Blue Moon-fueled haze, that I finally had a stop in a hotel for a Band-Aid.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stylin' little liars.

I have an embarrassing obsession. An UGH-bsession, if you will. With ABC Family’s new teen drama/thriller Pretty Little Liars. For those unfamiliar with the basic premise, the series centers on a clique whose fifth member (and former leader), Alison, went missing a year before the show opens. The unexpected twist? Alison (or someone using her first initial) is now sending her former besties sinister messages from the great beyond. Whoa. Whoa. WHOA. Whoa. WHOA. Whoa. WHOA. WHOA. Whoa. Edgy.

Like any teen drama worth its ratings, clothes play a major role in Pretty Little Liars. The four main characters have wildly different styles: Spencer is a preppy overachiever with a hipster sensibility, Aria is a punky thrift-store queen, Hanna wears whatever Lucky tells her to and Emily is the token jock who couldn’t care less. I’ll cede that in life my style naturally veers more toward the Aria aesthetic, but I’ve gotta say: Spencer has been killing it so far this season. I’m style crushing. I'm a style stalker, and I’m about to be a bona fide style thief.

Spencer HastingsFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

The key to Spencer's look, which has been called "business casual with a twist," is to take a classic pairing and riff on it. Do the nautical cardigan with the white shorts, but pair the outfit with nerdy socks and oxfords instead of the expected leather sandals. Go ahead and wear that ruffled blouse and blazer, but choose flat, knee-high boots instead of pointy law-firm pumps. And when it comes to casualwear, men's dress shirts and leather backpacks are where it's at. By the way, the black skinny jeans at right (they are jeans, by the way. Spencer wouldn't be caught dead in leggings. Riding pants, maybe) should be neatly rolled twice at the cuff and hit just above the ankle for optimal hipster chic.

Pulling off this style also requires a restrained hand when it comes to accessorizing. A delicate necklace, a simple bangle or a pair of stud earrings are about as elaborate as Country Club darling Spencer would go with the jewelry. Too much bling throws off the balance of polish and zaniness, giving the outfit a whole different vibe.

I think it may be time to hang up the guitar pick rings and chunky chain necklaces, return to my Virginia roots and debut this look for fall. I'm into it. The best part? It lends itself exceptionally well to wearing flats. I've got the riding boots nailed down, but expect to find me digging for penny loafers in the Astoria Salvation army.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

La Parisienne.

I love everything French. (Okay, not French dressing. I’m actually morally opposed to salad dressing. Don’t get me started.) I took five years of Spanish in middle and high school after being told it would be more useful in the "real world" (attention to all those with aspirations in a fashion-related industry: this is a lie), but I’m one-eighth French and exceedingly proud of it. When it comes to design, food and general worldview (okay, maybe not military tactics), there’s no denying that the French know best.

No surprise, then, that I spritzed on my YSL Parisienne perfume this morning and left my apartment feeling decidedly fierce.

If I'm going out, I usually strap on a cute balconette bra under this dress and embrace the cleavage buffet approach. For work, I layered it over a lace tank to make the ensemble a tad more office-appropes. Even Condé Nast has its limits.

If you're into this look, you would die over Paris-based Denni Elias's blog, Chicmuse. She's all about the legs, lips and massive platforms (and even heart-shaped sunglasses in her latest post). Her charming, quirky style is one of my favorite pools to dip into when I need a little style inspiration. Or workout inspiration. Those legs. No homo.

Tank: Kimchi Blue.
Dress: Kimchi Blue.
Shoes: BCBGirls.
Sunglasses: H&M.
Bracelet: Gifted.
Ring: Inherited.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The good war.

The dress that can go from the office to the outdoor flea market is a rare and precious find. I typically accessorize this sweet, peek-a-back floral number with brown leather Ralph Lauren platform sandals and traditional gold jewelry. For a casual half-day of work followed by an afternoon of gallivanting around the city (one love summer Fridays), however, I decided to "downtown" things up with a surplus belt and ankle boots.

I think the reason this mishmash works despite the divergent styles of the dress and the accessories is the common color thread. The green in the belt picks up on the green in the dress, as do the gemstones in the rings. Similarly, the black-and-white ribbon in the hat keeps the dark footwear from looking too heavy. Blending different styles is all about creating balance in the head-to-toe look.

Dress: Reformed.
Belt: Vintage.
Purse: Vintage.
Shoes: Bamboo.
Hat: Street vendor in Astoria, Queens.
Rings: Inherited.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Social media what?

So. Sa-HO. If you're a longtime reader, you'll know that I'm kind of a champ at Facebook (article slightly outdated due to changes in profile structure, but the core principles remain the same). If we e-mail a lot, you'll also know that I maintain my Gchat status religiously. After my Twitter account staged a coup last week, I decided to relaunch it with newly open privacy settings and join the 21st century when it comes to shameless self-promotion (follow me by clicking the button at right! If you like me on Blogger, you'll love me on Twitter! Whee, look at me go!). Now seemed as good a time as ever to lay down the laws of the land regarding Twitter. Twitskies. ~*~TwiTteRLiCiOuS~*~ TIT-ter. I'm hilarious.


Twitter (n): A stupid site for stupid people with no friends, who think everyone else gives a shit what they're doing at any given time. Also lacks the functionality of other social networking sites, not that it matters because just like Twitter all those sites suck anyway.

Well then.

I've been on Twitter for a little over a year now, and I think I understand it. At least I understand where so many people go wrong with it. Here's the thing: Twitter is for clever people. And not everyone can be clever. And that's okay. I have plenty of friends who are kind and wonderful and completely uncreative, and I love having them in my life. I just don't want their boring thoughts all over my Twitter feed. Sorry I'm not sorry. Apparently, one of the biggest "problems" with Twitter (according to Twitter) is that so many accounts lie dormant; the masses join Twitter to follow friends, celebrities and businesses without ever posting updates of their own. I would argue that this is not even remotely problematic. In fact, I can think of about twelve people off the top of my head - twelve delightful people who I enjoy in real life - more people than I have fingers on my hands! - whose Twitter accounts should lie dormant. And don't.

It's difficult to make sweeping generalizations about what is and isn't appropriate for Twitter, since I have friends who love to use my words against me when I inevitably break my own rules (Jamie). It ultimately comes down to two simple adjectives: entertaining and justifiable. Example time! The other day I tweeted about the weather, commonly understood to be a faux pas in the world of social networking. I did not, however, write "UGH SOOOOOOOO HOT WANT TO CRY" (it was, and I did). Instead, I wrote, "Barely clinging to solidity. One more hour in my apartment this morning and I would have been a puddle." Not laugh-out-loud hilarezzz, but clever, right? Thought and effort went into that tweet. Sure, you could have lived without knowing that I was on the verge of of a phase transformation, but I need a place to cultivate my wit or its sheer magnitude might just crush us all. So I made my weather complaint at least somewhat entertaining. Funny stories (of 160 characters or less) and fascinating observations about the world fall into this category, as do links for pure enjoyment purposes (YouTube videos, etc.).

Under the "justifiable" heading, we have tweets for the sake of career advancement. My friend Megan is a perfect example. She works in book publishing, and she loves to share articles on the state of her industry and reply to posts by various publishing houses. I may not want to read every article about book publishing that she retweets, but I understand why she does it. Justifiable (and not just because I like her). A lot of bloggers also use Twitter as a more interactive interface through which to connect with their fans, as well as to publicize their posts and keep track of their freelance work. This is perhaps Twitter at its finest: used not to hear the sounds of our own voices (you know...figuratively), but rather to begin a conversation among like-minded people. Justifiable. (In fact, I would argue that the weather post is also justifiable because if you live in New York right now in an un-air conditioned apartment there is literally nothing else you can think about).

Things that are neither entertaining nor justifiable: "RIP [insert dead celebrity here]," a laundry list of what you did today, passive-aggressive complaints about your roommate, your dark and twisty inner pain. Save that shit for the year 2004. Hey-oh! Content aside, you also need to employ proper logistical behavior in order to navigate Twitter without pissing me off. If you haven't noticed by now:

If you start a tweet directed at your friend with @YourFriend, it will only be seen by that person and your mutual friends.

If you end a tweet directed at your friend (who I don't know or care about) with are pissing me off.

Retweets. Perhaps you enjoy typing the letters "RT." I get to type them all the time because there's an "rt" in my last name, so I suppose I can't fully empathize. But there is now a retweet button. Use it. If you type "RT [insert tweet here]" without linking back to the original content (and it's not for the sake of clarifying a point or adding witty commentary) (assuming, of course, that you are a witty person who belongs on Twitter at all) are pissing me off.

If you make a typo or decide to reword something and are too lazy to go back and delete the first are pissing me off.

The rest of my thoughts on Twitter, in less than 160 characters: "#" is your friend. Catchphrases do not constitute humor. Don't over-abbreviate; find another wording. Don't drink and tweet. No, no, LiLo!

Harsh? Maybe. Twitter awakens some powerful emotions within me. Since it's not as ubiquitous as Facebook, the bar to use it in the first place is set way higher, as is my sass level. Maybe you disagree with my strong feelings about Twitter. Maybe you think I'm a bitch.

Whatevs. Just trynna start a conversation among like-minded people.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cotton candy.

You know these pants were the loser pants at the thrift store. They were the pants all the other pants made fun of after the owner went home for the night. Some teenage girl's mom wore them to her birthday party, and it. Was. Mortifying.

But all they needed was a pair of snakeskin platforms to lift them out of their life of anguish.

T-shirt: Zara.
Pants: Vintage.
Belt: Vintage.
Shoes: BCBGirls.
Earrings: Forever 21.
Ring: Inherited.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dyed and tied.

I had planned on taking a timeout from my rampant narcissism this weekend (to resume on Monday with the work week, duhzies), but then the best thing ever happened. I left to buy groceries this morning to find ten blocks of carnival outside my door. Not one to shy away from an opportunity to ogle one-of-a-kind pieces (or haggle with street vendors), I made a beeline for the nearest ATM and took a few laps to see what the local artisans had to offer. Sure enough, I left an hour and a half later with a funky straw hat, a leather fanny pack in the perfect shade of tobacco, a fistful of hand-painted rings, a beautiful Indian wrap skirt that can be tied 21 different ways, and this dress:

So into the unexpected combo of lilac and orange. I've been wanting a tie-dye dress for a while now, and this one will make for perfect weekend thrifting/poolside lounging attire.

Dress: Street vendor in Astoria, Queens.
Hat: H&M.
Earrings: Forever 21.
Ring: Street vendor in Astoria, Queens.
Cuff: Inherited.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Floral terrace.

Just as I was emotionally preparing myself for a summer of awkward lurking in Bryant Park, it dawned on me. I have a balcony. Well, a fire escape. I've always had a thing for fire escapes. They're this magical fusion between two of my favorite things: cities and being outside. So suck it, haters. It's a balcony. This girl's got a room with a view.

Today was a day for gray-on-gray and floral hipster glasses.

It took a while for the fashion industry to sell me on sweats as a fashion statement, but it happened. Much like how I'm now slowly but surely developing an affinity for clogs (blame it on Miu Miu). These H&M high-waisted jersey harem pants were the straw that broke this camel's back.

The white, yellow and rose gold bracelet in the middle is my all-time fave. Delicate and feminine, yet subtly unexpected.

Bodysuit: Forever 21.
Pants: H&M.
Shoes: Deena & Ozzy.
Glasses: Street vendor in East Village.
Watch: Casio.
Earrings, rings and bracelets: Gifted or inherited.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Highlight 'er.

After doing some serious thinking (and I mean serious. I am well aware that I possess neither a model-thin body nor an impressive designer wardrobe), I've decided to try my hand at outfit posts. As fun as it is to talk about fashion, sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words, and there's no way to illustrate your style illustration. I'm sure I'll chicken out in a week and be all NOPE, NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS. But until that day, feel free to judge me.

So it turns out it's really hard to subtly take pictures of yourself in Bryant Park. I kept at it for about a half hour before putting my tail between my legs and scampering home to Queens. I failed to get a quality full-body shot because in all my sneakiness and inexpertise passersby kept wandering into the frame, but since the high temp in New York City today was 102 (really too hot for anything other than a simple skirt and t-shirt), I was all about the accessories anyway.

This t-shirt looks yellow in these photos, but it's really more of a chartreuse-y green. It's ridiculously soft. I'm stockpiling $5 Forever 21 tees and tanks, because I wear through my nice ones in a hot second anyway (not trynna put sweat stains on no Alexander Wang). Buy them small, because they lose their shape fairly quickly.

Note the aforeplugged gray nail polish. Also, I've taken to wearing a tangle of mixed-metal chains on my watch hand so that I can wear my old school Casio (obsesh) with gold or silver accessories.

My tattoo (on the inside of my left wrist) says "this is it." It's not a Michael Jackson homage, just a reminder to be present in every moment of my life. I liked that it was three small words that only had meaning because I gave it to them. It's in my handwriting.

This guitar pick ring is one of my favorites. My mom got it for me in Italy.

I love, love, love these crazy boots. There was one pair in Urban Outfitters (a return) and it was my size. I had to have them. The wedge makes them relatively easy to walk in (I once hauled ass from Times Square to SoHo in these babies), and the bandage detailing adds a little edge to what could be a deeply uninteresting nude shoe.

Yeah, that last one was just my lunch. But it was exceptionally delicious.

T-shirt: Forever 21.
Skirt: Forever 21 (you can't really see the detailing, but it has understated ruffle gathering and a zipper across the front and actually fits beautifully. A rare F21 win).
Purse: Zara.
Shoes: Deena & Ozzy.
Sunglasses: Lou Lou boutique in Middleburg, VA.
Earrings: Forever 21 (this is hilarious. I usually hate this store).
Watch: Casio.
Necklace, chains and rings: Inherited.