Public Service Announcement For Last Minute Shoppers

bargainOn my way home last night, as I had to stand during the entire train ride awkwardly in a hot crowded car full of annoyed people with overflowing shopping bags, then attempted to walk home and almost got hit by numerous cars rushing from point A to point B that had no regard for me as a pedestrian or my livelihood, I realized, holy shit, this is the last weekend of holiday shopping. And no wonder people are bonkers.

Yes, this weekend is the last opportunity to shop for Christmas without it being over your lunch break or after work. And yes, OMG, you waited until now to do all of your shopping, and all you want to do is mow down innocent bystanders to get your shopping done as quickly as possible. I get it. But stop. Seriously. Chill the fuck out.

Before pandemonium ensues on this last weekend of shopping, I want you all to take a minute and read the following before embarking on your journeys this weekend. Seriously.

1. Just because you waited until last minute to do all your shopping doesn’t mean you can act like an asshole. That’s on you, my friend. And you know what, there are probably a myriad of other last minute shoppers in the same boat, trying to cross off all their shit on Santa’s list. Instead of giving your fellow shopper the evil eye, or an elbow to the face … maybe smile. Give a sign that says, “hey friend, I feel your pain, and this really blows. But hey, let’s make the most of it, shall we!?”

2. Treat sales associates at stores like you would treat your Grandmother. Okay, for real. It isn’t their fault they are out of what you want. It isn’t their fault you waited until now to shop. It isn’t their fault the line is out the door. It isn’t their fault they don’t have clones of themselves to help every single person the minute they enter a store. Would you yell at your Grandmother for things she couldn’t control? Treat them with respect, for the love of God. The holiday season is BRUTAL for them. They deal with complete assholes lacking manners all day long. So maybe give them a break. Thank them. Be kind. It’s the holidays for crying out loud. (Ps. My mom happens to work at Nordstrom and if anyone makes her cry this weekend, it’s ON).

3. Be aware of people around you. Whether you are on foot or in a car, don’t mow people down. It’s kind of illegal, and by kind of, I mean it absolutely is. Don’t shove. Don’t bump into someone and not apologize. Don’t blow past a pedestrian crossing and leave those people out in the cold longer than they have to while you relax in your warm car. The same rules go during the last weekend of shopping as they did when the Titanic was sinking … WOMEN AND CHILDREN (and the elderly … I’m throwing that one in there) FIRST!

4. Manners, people, manners. We learned them in preschool. Please. Thank you. Etc. Remember? Opening doors for people. Letting people go ahead in front of you. Giving someone a parking spot. Tipping a little extra. Pardon me, and what not. Not screaming at people in public. Use. Your. Damn. Manners. And Christ, pay it forward. Why not? It is kind of a rush, I gotta say. Giving someone that parking spot, or letting them get in front of you in line is not only insanely kind, but a little something that could make someone’s day. Do it.

5. And finally, breathe. It’s the holidays. One of the most lovely times of the year. And not because of the presents, you greedy greedy people. The lights, the music, the decorations. Outside of the psychotic shoppers (which I hope won’t be you after everything I’ve outlined above), just enjoy it. It happens one time a year. Indulge. Smile. It’s okay. I won’t tell anyone. But dear God, enjoy yourselves. Last minute shopping shouldn’t be a scene out of Braveheart.

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Abominable Snowman House Decor

abominableI never thought I would be a person who would become obsessed with home decor, but alas it has happened. I thought I would absolutely always want to focus on my wardrobe over my surroundings, but nope. Turns out creating a stylishly zen environment is as equally as important as looking fantastic all day err day. Does this mean I’m getting old? Perhaps. Those N’Sync posters on my wall just weren’t doing the trick anymore, what can I say. Sorry JT, I still adore you, frosted tips and all.

My sense of style, decor-wise, has gone from creepy porcelain dolls (thanks mom), to boy band obsessed, to shabby chic, to plastering my walls with pics of my friends in college, to black, white and red only, to now, very minimalistic. Very. I blame the Kardashians. Annoying as fuck, but my God their home decor is on point. Because just like my wardrobe, I don’t really enjoy color, and the same goes for what I surround myself with.

With that being said, my color palette for home decor consists of white and grey. And even more importantly, I’ve become obsessed with white furry accents. Which is totally strange for me considering I’m a magnet for stains. Regardless, these accents make me insanely happy. And quite frankly, what you come home to is your sanctuary, as completely cliche and stupid as it sounds. If plastering your home with pictures of horses is what makes you feel zen, my God do it. (Just don’t invite anyone over, cray-cray.)

Sure, call it abominable snow man chic, or what have you, and sure in a couple of months this trend will fade and I will have to trash the stain-covered, cat hair-covered trendy accents I once fell in love with. But for now, it is all about surrounding yourself with things that make you feel at peace and cozy. Am I right? Clearly. I always am :::flips hair:::. And Jesus, I mean who wouldn’t want to dive head first into a luxurious faux fur oasis?!

 

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A Very Braidy Christmas

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Photo credit: http://northhaven.paulmitchell.edu/blog/rock-worthy-dirty-hair-a-guide-to-styling-unwashed-locks

This might be blaspheme for me to say this as I’m a fashion/style blogger (but hey, I like to keep it real), but I suck at doing hair. Since I was 13, my only goal in life was to have poker straight hair (side bar: I should REALLY update my life goals), and since I’ve pretty much accomplished that, I’m just sticking with it. No buns, no waves, no flips, no bobby pin extravaganza’s. Just straight. And down. I’m going to be that women some odd years from now hip 20-somethings make fun being all, “she is SO early 2000’s.” And that is when I will curl up in a small ball with my cats and bottle of chardonnay and wallow.

That doesn’t mean I can’t look in awe at the fantastic ladies who can concoct a rad hair style. To me, these people are like wizards, and I look at them like they are 10 feet tall in awe like, “wwwwoooooooww, how did you DO that?! Like for real, how can ANYONE make the back of their heads look that intricately amazing?

Currently, I’m most impressed by the braided hair styles. Sure, I know how to do a simple braid, but usually get frustrated because my hair isn’t all one length and little annoying pieces of hair fall out, to the point where I end up using a whole tin of bobby pins, which leads me to ripping it all out … and … you know it … wearing it straight and down.

But if you are more competent then myself, a braided hair-do can be a very chic hairstyle for the holidays. Personally I’m not even going to attempt, because you know those Buzzfeed articles that show Pinterest fails? Yeah … I would probably be #1. But for the ballsier gal, I say go for it. Get a little festive, ya know? I’ll be the “early 2000’s boring nightmare” in the corner.

So for now I’m going to go pet my flat iron and wallow in the hell I’ve created for myself since I’ve spent the last 15 years mastering straight hair and have neglected to learn how to do anything else remotely interesting with it. Sigh. But you all have fun with these braided do’s … seriously, have a ball. Or a braid. Whatevs.

For Christmas, I want one of these hair wizards to come and show me how to not have boring hair. Santa can you heeeeeeeeeeeear me?!

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Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra’s Favorite Things … 2014

CaptureThis time of year warms my black heart. The lights, the shiny things, the opportunity to brighten someone’s day by buying them something their heart desires. I mean, it truly is delicious.

Except when you can’t figure out what the hell to buy. When you hit that brick wall, all of a sudden your body fills with rage, anxiety, and panic … forcing you to enter Bath & Body Works in a desperate attempt to buy whatever kinds of Cucumber Melon scented shit you can find (and nobody REALLY likes anything from Bath & Body Works, right?) I know, I know, I’m such a BBW hater, I realize this.

So if you’ve hit said brick wall, I want you to brace yourself because something magical is about to happen. Oh yeah … wait … let me get my best Oprah voice on … ahem … it’s LIFE SUCKS IN A STRAPLESS BRA’S FAVORITE THINGS … 2014 STYLEY! Ahhhhh! Ensue pandemonium.

As much as I would love to virtually shove free shit at you in an Oprah-esque fashion, leading to your heads to pop off, I unfortunately cannot. BUT … I hope the list of some of my favorite things will inspire your gift buying experience. And like I said yesterday, it is a-okay to buy yourself something shiny, too.

So let’s do this thing, shall we?

1. Benefit Erase Paste: This shit will take you from tired, hungover, puffy-eyed mess to bright and alive human being. I consider this my magical elixir of life.

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2. Aritzia Parka: I don’t believe in having to sacrifice style for warmth. And that is why this parka is a dream. Fur hood, doesn’t make you look like a shapeless brick of down. And waterproof. You could totally rock this skiing or a night out with the ladies. Just don’t get drunk and forget it. This guy is kind of pricy.

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3. Muffler (No, not the car part): Old world style fascinates me. The idea of getting dolled up to go to the movies and/or the mall instead of wearing sweats that have PINK tattooed across the asses of women all over the world makes me really happy. And nothing is more stylish than a muffler. Nothing. Gloves be gone, time to get down with this guy.

img40j4. Glossier: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Emily Weiss is my spirit animal. And her products from the packaging to the rad stickers to the amazing effects they have on your skin is genius. Pure genius. Slow clap for this bitch.

8093-08F-GLS-SRG-ALLPRODUCTBAG_R_RR5. Chicago-Style Popcorn: Umm yeah, food can be fashionable, right? Especially when you combine something as random as caramel popcorn with cheddar popcorn to create this scrumtrilescent mixture of pure mouth pleasures. Oh yeah. Mouth pleasures, popcorn-styley. It may seem gross, but the cheese and sugary mixture is kind of perfect.

52762-chicago-style-popcorn-mix-di6. Cats: Wait, what? I know, I know, I’m a crazy cat lady. Blah, blah, blah, etc. But really this is just about loving animals, specifically cats, though. There are so many that need to be adopted (no, I’m not going to get all crazy eHarmony girl and start crying on you), but for the right person, a cat can be an amazing partner in crime … and an awesome thing to Instagram. I mean, welcome to my life. I’m a huge supporter of the AWA, where I adopted my cat, Ellsworth. Check them out and do the right thing. Or at least donate money, food, your time … something. (By the way, yes that is my lovely cat … but you can’t have her)

Capture557. NARS lipstick: I know this is so clique, but if you are feeling down and put on an amazing colored lipstick, you all of a sudden get this bad ass urge to take shit down. Seriously, I’ll throw on a lip color on a Sunday while I’m doing laundry just for funsies. Shanghai Express is my jam, but it is notoriously always sold out. A sales person at Nordstrom once told me to buy in bulk, no joke.

06078450100678. H&M Jewels: I’ve become a statement necklace whore, and the most compliments I receive are from my statement necklaces from H&M. And it shocks people when I tell them they are from H&M. Gotta say their jewelry game is on point this season, and price points aren’t ridiculous. You just gotta care for them. They are delicate little guys. Unfortunately their e-commerce store doesn’t have the same caliber of jewels as in-store, so bring it on down to your local H&M.

Capture99. The Perfect Blanket: Screw babies, every adult needs a blanket. There is nothing better in life than coming home after a day of life bitch slapping you and hiding underneath the comfort of your favorite blanket as you binge watch Netflix and chug wine.

img4c10. Blanket Scarves: And when it isn’t socially acceptable to walk around all day with your blanket on, enter blanket scarves stage right. I first knew I was obsessed with them when I saw a friend of mine wearing one and wanted to rip the thing off of her and run away. I love a scarf with options, you know? Blanket, scarf, invisibility cloak. You name it.

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Treating Yourself During The Holidays: It’s Okay

clueless-shoppingFinding the perfect gift for every single person you know can not only be exhausting, but brutally stressful. As adults, handing over thoughtless gift baskets from Bath and Body Works just doesn’t float the boat anymore, and if you still do that, well, for shame. Seriously … for shame.

But while scouring the ends of the Earth to find those perfect gifts, for me, I notoriously stumble across things for myself that I adore. On an average day whilst shopping, I can’t find shit. But when I’m NOT shopping for myself, it is like everything I’ve ever desired in my life is in front of me. When people ask me what I want for Christmas I’m always like, “meh … nothing.” But whilst shopping for others, I make a pretty amazing wishlist of things that I want to make out with.

The question is, do you treat yourself when you’re supposed to be shopping for others? Now, I’m a big supporter of the “treat yoself” movement. Every now and then, it is only healthy to buy yourself a present. But the holidays are supposed to be a selfless time. A time when you treat your loved ones with things THEY desire, and give back to those in need.

When it comes to my birthday, I always buy myself a gift. Always. I mean you are the only one who truly knows what you want, am I right? And you deserve a reward for making it through another year. So why should it be any different for the holidays? You’ve worked hard, you’ve been a good boy/girl this year, and even if you haven’t, Jesus Christ, you’ve worked hard (and if you haven’t … well … maybe sit this one out, bud). So I’ve decided it is a-okay to buy yourself a holiday gift. Because loving yourself is important. Even if that means buying an expensive handbag that makes you drool that you really can’t afford, but decided the joy it will bring you is way more important.

I’m not saying scoop up everything you adore when holiday shopping, even if it is tempting. For me it sometimes it completely impossible to focus. “Oooh that jacket is REALLY cute, do they have my size. WAIT … I’m not shopping for me, I’m not shopping for me. Why am I even in the women’s clothing section?! Where in Jesus Christ’s name is the robe department!?

So if you feel guilty, consider me the red sequin devil on your shoulder telling you it is 100% okay to buy yourself a little holiday somethin-somethin. I mean you’re shopping for all these people, dealing with crowds and annoying people spazzing out like they’ve never been to the holiday rodeo before. Do it. Pull the trigger and buy yourself something shiny. You deserve it. Because I said so.

Beard Baubles – Nope, Not A Joke

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Photo credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2868265/Forget-Christmas-tree-BEARD-baubles-new-hipster-accessory-December-selling-out.html

Today, I’m going to go somewhere I’ve never gone before on Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra. I know … I know … brace yourselves, people. Because for once, we are going to be talking about dudes and their style. What?! I know, right?

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know shit about mens fashion, mostly because it bores me to death. Plaid button downs and belts … riveting. But what I want to discuss is probably the most manly accessory of them all, also known as the beard. Yep. A beard.

Recently it is like men just discovered the beard. Wait wait, I’ll rephrase that … HIPSTER men just discovered the beard. It is like THE thing to have. I personally don’t get it. Beards, yes, do look rather dapper on some gents. SOME. Others should just stop trying to be overly ironic and sit this one out.

But having just a beard is no longer acceptable. Nope. How boring, right? Now there are things called “beard baubles.” I thought it was a joke at first, but oh no, people are actually buying decorations to hang on their beards for some extra yuletide flair. I suppose the ironic ugly holiday sweaters just weren’t getting it done for people. Sigh.

I’m not sure if these dudes feel left out because they don’t have as many accessory options as us ladies, so they feel the need to decorate their beards to compensate, I really have no clue. Or perhaps they think it will bring all the ladies to the yard by making them giggle over their ridiculously ironic beard bling, which in turn will make them drop their panties. But listen closely gents … some women … SOME … find beards intimidating. They cause rashes on our sensitive skin, and quite frankly we don’t know what you have hidden in that thing. So to add ANOTHER layer of weirdness is just ruining your chances at getting any action underneath the mistletoe. If anything, you will be that guy people want to Instagram pics of. That’s. About. It.

Listen, beards have been around since the beginning of time, because I don’t believe the cave men had a Mach 5 razor. So just leave them be. If you really feel a void in your accessories, buy yourself a watch or something. I don’t know. You are disgracing the good men who paved the bearded way for you by dangling some weird shit off your facial hair.

Now let’s check out these dudes who know what’s up when it comes to beards, shall we?

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Sequins – Golden Girls Style

Golden-Girls_lNothing is better in life when you stumble upon a Golden Girls marathon on TV. I used to watch the show with my Nana when I was little and always said I wanted to be Blanche … which looking back is super awkward because that would make me an old hussy. Currently I would chose to be Estelle Getty because her sarcasm and lack of giving a shit is epic … but that is neither here or there.

As a kid, I thought their style was straight up heinous. Was in mandatory for you to wear shoulder pads, over-sized shirt dresses and pounds of sequins when you started collecting social security? I was never sure, but let’s just say I never watched the show for fashion tips. Quite frankly I have no idea why I watch the show … it just rules. I have no other explanation.

With all of that being said, as a 27-year-old broad, I secretly wish I could rock one of their sequin shirt dresses hardcore. Simply because, sequins really never go out of style … sans shoulder pads and weird geometric shapes, that is. And also because I adore shiny things. There. I said it.

I just hate that people only dive into the sequin pool during the holidays. Sequins shouldn’t just be worn on holidays and special occasions … no, no, no. On a random Tuesday in April, rocking a touch of sequins, I believe, can put an extra pep in your step. I’m not saying rock a sequin gown to work, for crying out loud. But a little cardigan, brooch, shoe with a little sparkle on it never hurt anybody.

So here are some Golden Girls-inspired sequin looks I’m currently drooling over. Click on the image if you so wish to purchase. And in an effort to get people to stop thinking about sequins as something you wear on Christmas or on special occasions, I will be rocking my Golden Girls-inspired cardigan that is dripped in black sequins to my work holiday party tomorrow. Word.

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Stores I Won’t Be Caught Dead In

200_sFor some reason, the whole gift buying process this year has just seemed so bland to me. It isn’t that I don’t know what to buy for people, oddly enough. It is that I know exactly what I need, it is just a matter of actually buying it, slash deciding if I should buy it in person or online. I know, I sound like a crazy person, right? There is just something so fun about spontaneously buying things for people that they aren’t expecting but you know they will love. This year, well, I need to dig and find that magic. I suppose

And as much as I love the people in my life that I need/want to buy gifts for, there are just certain stores where I refuse to go. Like refuse to even go to the website. I just remember making my mom go to horrific stores as a teenager and her coming back with comical stories of her voyage. Me, well, I suppose I’m just not that open-minded.

So enjoy as I share with you the list of stores you couldn’t get me to go to even if they were giving shit away (sorry, family members, in advance if you were jonsin’ for anything at any of these stores).

1. Victoria’s Secret: Yeah … their commercials freak me out. That British woman on the voice over being all, “buy one bra, get the second a quarter of a percent off and receive a FREE Victoria’s Secret sparkle tote bag.” I don’t know why, but anytime I see those free sparkle tote bags, it immediately makes me think of a stampede in the store of crazy bitches with PINK tattooed across their asses trying to get these elusive bags. You would think those damn sparkle tote bags are couture or something. I don’t see the allure, nor do I see the want to have the word “PINK” all over my giggly bits.

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2. Abercrombie & Fitch/Hollister: First of all, Abercrombie is the devil that only tends to stick figures. Second of all, remember above where I said I made my mom go to heinous stores for me as a teenager? Yeah, these two were some of them (sorry mom). Her stories consisted of complaining about how loud the music was and how incredibly dark the stores were. “Wait, are these jeans? WHAT?! Do you work here? HUH? Why can’t I see anything.” Also, the “Abercrombie store scent” which you can smell the minute you walk in the mall, makes me want to vom because it reminds me of all that is wrong with the college frat scene.

6a00e54f10a09888340162fbf8c139970d-pi3. Boscovs: Okay, why hasn’t anyone said, “hey I have a brilliant idea, let’s do a renovation and step out of 1982″? Seriously. The insane amounts of mirrors and lights make me a wee bit dizzy and slightly afraid. I’m sure there are fantastic sales there, but I just kind of feel like the store is a black hole and if you step into it, it is like an immediate time warp … and not the good kind.

boscov_jayKayEss4. Bath & Body Works: Need I say more? It’s like an instantaneous headache. Between the scents and the over enthusiastic employees … I just cannot stand it. “Do you like cucumber melon? Do you like cucumber melon soap? How about cucumber melon eye masks. Did you know we have a whole cucumber melon body suit so you never lose the scent?! CUCUMBER MELON … ahhhh :::brain explodes::::” Listen, I got down with Cucumber Melon about a million years ago when I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup and I considered Bath and Body Works the second best thing. This ship has sailed kids, along with the headache that goes with it.

m2tgzETqULPb6qkGPdmXD6g5. The Disney Store: This is a no brainer. I don’t know what freaks me out more, adults walking around the store secretly putting Cinderella-branded items on their Santa wish list, or kids screaming to their parents about how good they’ve been this year and why can’t they have said toy now, as Fantasia plays in the background. Yeah … no. Nothing good comes from Fantasia … NOTHING.

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So there ya have it. If I’ve broken any of your hearts, I apologize, but deep down you know I’m right. Take me to Auntie Anne’s and I’ll be your best friend for holiday shopping, but I will plant my feet firmly and refuse to enter any of the above stores kindly as I finish my cinnamon sugar pretzel.

Marsala – Pantone Color Of The … What?!

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Photo credit: http://www.pantone.com/pages/index.aspx?pg=21163&from=hp

I have a long list of words that I loathe. Number one on my list is a word that rhymes with “hoist”. You know what I’m talking about :::shutters::: and never will you hear the word escape my lips … NEVER, I say, NEVER!

So when I heard the Pantone color of the year was “Marsala,” my mind immediately went to my favorite Italian restaurant, a big plate of chicken marsala, copious amounts of carbs and wine, and a rather large food coma to follow. Which immediately made me cringe. Sure, chicken marsala is delicious … one of my favorite Italian meals as a matter of fact. But thinking about it in terms of fashion and home goods … well … woof.

By now I’m sure you are aware that I’m not a HUGE fan of color, especially in my wardrobe. Never once will you see me frolicking down the street in a hot pink sweatsuit. While “marsala” doesn’t scream, “HEY! YOU! LOOK AT ME!” I still can’t help but feel I will be walking around with a huge pasta stain on my shirt if I rock said color. Do you know what chicken marsala looks like?! It ain’t pretty, but my God, sure is delicious.

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Photo credit: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Classic-Chicken-Marsala

Marsala, well sure it has a cool name, but I just don’t think it knows what it is. It’s like trying to be ox blood (which was so 2013 … am I right?), but like kind of wants to be brown, but isn’t sure and doesn’t want to commit. Perhaps sticking its pinky toe in beige. It seems more of a follower color than a color that owns it shit, like orange. Orange knows what’s up.

And quite frankly I don’t want to walk into Sephora and have some stylist tackle me and try to make “Marsala” happen on my eyes. It happened to me once during the Pantone color of 2012, Tangerine Tango. I went to Sephora trying to get a new “look” on my eyes and walked away looking like a tangerine has vomited all over my face.

Marsala personally isn’t my cup of tea, mostly because I will feel like a huge tool walking into a store and asking them if they have anything in a “marsala,” teeth clenched and all. Sure it would look nice in an accessory … a scarf for the ladies or a tie for the gents. Other than that, I’m going to think of marsala in one way and one way one … in the delicious chicken form.

Mmm … shit now I want chicken marsala.

Apparently You Can Rent Ugly Now

CaptureI bet you’ve been wondering where the frick I’ve been. I wish I could say I was on the island of St. Bart’s chillin’ with my super cool friends on a super cool yacht sipping on super cool “Diddy approved” champagne. But alas, I had some sort of Black Death that led me to talk to my cats and my cats only in my bed for the past couple of days. But enough about that :::cough:::

I want to talk about ugly Christmas sweaters. A theme party that should have stayed behind with all of the other ugly things that went along with attending college, like dressing like a whore for Halloween and a whore for Christmas (sexy reindeer, duh?).

Back in my day :::adjusts dentures:::, we would go to the local thrift store or Good Will and see what kind of absolute crap we could find. And if that didn’t work, we would get all Martha Stewart on a sweatshirt and make our own. Any opportunity to show up to a party looking like an absolute a-hole was my cup of tea. No competition, no whose dresses is more bandaged than the other, or whose ribs stick out more. More like who has the most rad glitter encrusted Christmas unicorn sweater on to cover up the 15 pounds they’ve gained since Freshman year. It was comfortable, and my favorite part, you could pass out drunk it in … comfortably!

But kids, apparently “thrift store Christmas sweaters” just don’t fly anymore. Wasn’t the whole point of buying an UGLY sweater at Good Will was that it was ugly and you were only going to wear it once, so you didn’t want to spend more on it then what a case of beer cost. Right? I’m right, right? You know I’m right.

Henceforth why my brain exploded that Rent the Runway was letting fashion-forward broads rent ugly Christmas Sweaters. Oh I’m sorry, did Rachel Zoe pull these from her vintage archives or something? Does DVF have a line of ugly Christmas sweaters from 1985 that I was unaware of?

Why, dear God why, would anyone rent an ugly Christmas sweater? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. They aren’t even ugly! They are kind of charming as a matter of fact. And my God, that just defeats the whole purpose. You aren’t supposed to walk around bragging about where you got your ugly Christmas sweater. “Mine’s vintage.” Well yeah, mine was previously worn by a crazy hobo who thought birds could talk to him.

True, I loathe the idea of an ugly Christmas sweater party. I’m 27 years old. If I’m going to a holiday party, I’m going to rock my style …and maybe add a little Golden Girls sparkle flair, not sip spiked cocoa with a bunch of adult nerds giggling over whose sweater is the ugliest. It’s outdated and quite frankly, a bit vanilla. But to go so far as to rent one, well kids, that is just a little desperate. The whole point is that it must be U-G-L-Y. Ill-fitting, nasty, worn by some freak prior, and burns your retinas. If you MUST partake in this type of shindig, bring it on down to a thrift store. Help the little guys and spend $4 on some REALLY heinously ugly shit.

Ps. Rent the Runway I still adore you. Like a lot. And for Christmas I would LOVE if you were to open one of your boutiques in Philly. Just saying. :::wink:::

The Northface Clones

8073301_fpxI’ve never put a lot of emphasis on being warm. I was that asshole in college that would strut around the streets of the city in “going out” tops when it was 30 below out that consisted of an inch of fabric around my taas, and nothing more, leaving onlookers to scream things like, “put a coat on ya whore, it’s freezing!” (Hi mom).

The Northface Denali was the thing to have during my high school/college years. Every girl had at least the black one, and maybe three others in different colors. I had to have it. I swear the good people over at The Northface sewed in hypnotizing devices in each coat so every girl who passed one immediately needed it.

When you come out of The Northface Denali haze, you realize what a true fool you were. There is absolutely no allure to this coat. They aren’t chic. They aren’t fashion-forward. They aren’t timeless. It’s just an overpriced black fleece coat, or excuse me, some weird technologically advanced fabric they engineered to keep you somewhat warm. That’s. About. It. Riveting, right? So I came to and indulged in some proper coats … trenches, over-sized black wool coats, faux fur. The warmth factor of all are debatable.

But let’s roll back to last winter, when the polar vortex was bitch slapping us every single day. The ice cold beating must have made me lose my marbles, because once again, I asked around for the “warmest coat out there,” and all I kept hearing was the long Northface puffy coat in black. I resisted temptation as much as I could, until I opened a Christmas present and found my mother had pulled the trigger for me. I was secretly so pumped. I was always so envious of the stylish girls in their long puffy coats, strutting down the street with their over-the-knee boots, red lips, and slicked back hair (I told you, I have a very vivid imagination). But why?

Sure, this coat is warm as hell. And I’m thankful for having it, I really am. That was until I whipped it out for the first time last week, and on my way to work, I felt like I was in a weird episode of the Twilight Zone. Ever single girl I passed had the same coat on that I was wearing. I wish I were exaggerating. Northface clones were strutting the streets of Philly. And it didn’t stop there. Every day after I saw them. And quite frankly, it freaked me out.

Listen, I don’t need to be the most original, the most outlandish, the one to flip their hair and be all, “I had that first,” I really don’t. In fact, I loathe those people. But why, dear God why, does everyone drink the Northface kool aid and all have to indulge in the same coat habits and be walking around like a Northface army or something? It’s a little weird when you think about it.

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I once again I fell down the Northface rabbit hole, and you know what? Once again I’m starring at this Northface coat that I’m so blessed to have and find no allure to it. It isn’t sexy. It isn’t cute. It isn’t timeless. It’s just warm. Perhaps I’ve been reading too much about Parisian women as of late, but we do too much damn work styling ourselves to be covering up it with coats that look like the Michelin Man designed it.

Again, I’m thoroughly thankful for the coat I have. I just wish I didn’t feel like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone when wearing it, like I’m apart of this army of Northface clones who capture non-Northface wearers, throw them in a cage, and make them drink the kool aid to be ONE OF US. ONE OF US. ONE OF US.

I told you, I have a very vivid imagination. 

Style Stud: Lafayette Kanard

CaptureIf I remember any advice my Nana gave me, it was, “never wear a logo because a brand isn’t paying you to be a walking billboard.” From then on I avoided logos at all costs. Well … I did fall down the Abercrombie and Fitch rabbit hole for a brief period before college. I mean hey, we all makes mistakes.

I love a good t-shirt, but what makes me swoon even harder is a t-shirt that is not only original, but handmade with care and precision by a true artist. You can see why I was immediately drawn to local designer, Lafayette Kanard’s designs that Emily Goulet of Philly Mag’s Shoppist so immaculately raved about. After reading her article, I had to socially stalk him (which I did successfully, a-thank you) and get to know him more.

Please enjoy getting to know him as much as I did. He’s absolutely a Philly talent to keep your eye on.

What inspires you?

Life. My experiences, both struggle and success, mainly struggle though. Also, the people I love.

Describe your design aesthetic.

LEFT. Organic. Substance.

Tell me about your partnership with BelaShehu. How did it happen, how did you collaborate for the collection at Joan Shepp?

The collab with Bela and I was fate, very organic. We both worked with Craig Von Schroeder CEO/Founder of Commonwealth Proper a while back, but never crossed paths and formally met. Then one day while strolling through Rittenhouse I noticed her, called her name (startling her) and a few weeks later she invited me to the Ninobrand atelier. We vibed out, shared personal experiences, and connected. I remember telling her about a collection I was working on at the time called “LESS.” The conversation(s) & questions of “less is more,” “more is less,” came up and “LESS vs MORE” was birthed.

I never collaborated with Joan Shepp, (maybe something is in the works) but I have been blessed with product placement for KUSTOMS by LK in their retail space since October of 2013. I love Joan and Ellen, that’s family.

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Do you hand-paint all of your designs? What goes into hand-painting fabric?

YES! I hand-paint, and will continue to hand-paint every single piece that goes onto each garment. I am fusing art with fashion so when someone purchases my product they know that my hands actually created this art piece.

Hand-painting fabrics isn’t for everyone. There’s many different elements that goes into it. It takes 10,000 hours of tedious love/passion, precision, calculation, and vision. You also have to know what fabrics work well with paint(s) and which paint(s) work well with fabrics & textures.

How did you get the idea for “left” shirts? What does it mean?

By going LEFT, literally. After graduating, well technically graduating from Architecture + Design High School (CHAD) I took a year off instead of going straight to college. I then received pressure from my grandmother & others to go back to school. I completed a semester at CCP and then transferred to The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Majoring in Graphic Design, a goal at the time, I was in my drawing class and my teacher stopped the entire class one day during a live portrait and said, “Lafayette! Why do you keep coming to my class? Your drawings are amazing, clearly talented, you’re always stylish. Change your major to Fashion Design and don’t come back to my class.”

I left the class puzzled as hell, like what the fuck is she talking about! During my computer science class, it hit me, I had this feeling of her being right. A feeling I couldn’t explain. I walked out that boring C.S. class and never went back. I dropped out (very Kanye-esque). Of course my grandmother and others disagreed with my choice, they told me it wasn’t the “right” way of doing things, that if I didn’t obtain a degree I wouldn’t be successful in life (man were they wrong). I didn’t follow the typical, mediocre way of society’s “right way” to make it in life. I went “LEFT,” I followed GOD and followed my heart & that formula has been working every since. LEFT is my right, it means to follow GOD & follow your heart.

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What is your favorite t-shirt and why?

My favorite t-shirt would have to be my unreleased ‘L-K’ tee which will drop SS15. Reason being is because, not only does it represent my name, inspiration from one of my favorite brands, but even more because of a suggestion that my girlfriend’s brother gave me before he passed away from cancer back in November. May he rest peacefully knowing that I applied his advice.

Who is your favorite designer and why?

YOHJI YAMAMOTO and the cross collab with Adidas Y-3 ^_^ Why? Because he’s an O.G. & his attention to detail, simplicity and quality is spot on. The overall aesthetic of his draping, to his comfort back to the ninja-like inspiration of the Japanese culture. Also because not everyone can afford it nor knows too much about the brand. It’s not over saturated.

What is next for you? Where can people buy/view your other pieces?

Next… just have to wait and see. People can not only purchase my pieces from Joan Shepp located 1811 Chestnut St. Philadelphia PA. but also at The Geisha House in Old City, Philadelphia. I’ll have an e-commerce site launching in 2015. Stay updated by following my brand on Instagram: @kustomsbylk and my personal Instagram: @lafayettekanard

Any advice for aspiring Philly designers?

Follow your heart! Put your 10,000 hours in. Remain humble, work hard/smart, love what you do, do it with passion, do it with purpose!

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My Admiration For Emily Weiss

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Image credit: http://intothegloss.com/2014/10/emily-weiss-glossier/

I was a huge fan of the Hills as I had an editorial internship at a fashion mag the same time LC and Whitney were at Teen Vogue, and me and my co-intern, Kelly, were convinced we were them as we sat in our intern room proudly working our asses off and making a truce that if we got the opportunity to go to Paris, we would GO. TO. PARIS.

Lauren Conrad was my spirit animal from 2007-2009. If I could have skinned her and worn her, I would have. So you could imagine my disgust for Emily Weiss, also known as “Vogue super-intern,” who would fly in and make her and Whitney look like complete assholes (or at least that is how MTV portrayed it). Girls like her that are so perfectly flawless and make jobs look so effortless make me want to punt things.

Flash forward to today, some :::mumbles::: years after my Hills obsession, and Emily Weiss is what I’m ALL about. I started slowly becoming immersed in Into The Gloss, a blog I bowed down to without realizing it was “her.” But even after finding out “super intern” was behind the blog I was gushing over, it didn’t matter.

Most recently my borderline stalker obsession falls with her new cosmetics line, Glossier. Whilst getting my hair did this weekend, I read an interview with her in an old Elle Magazine, and immediately fell in love. She no longer was that perfect specimen of an intern that shows up everyone and everything, in fact I don’t think she was EVER that girl. She was too busy making a name for herself, and not only doing a job, but doing it so fucking well it left a mark instead of crying over dirt bags like Jason whatever-the-hell-his-name-was.

Right now in my life, I crave to ingest as much as I can about powerful women to not only inspire me, but to help me keep on keepin’ on. Lauren Conrad, yes, a totally success, but to me she is the fashion industry’s Martha Stewart. Cool, you cut your hair … again! Cool, you had the most Pinterest-worthy wedding of all time (yawn). Shit, the day that chick gets pregnant I may give up on the Interwebs all together.

Listen, if you aren’t familiar with Into The Gloss (first of all, what the hell is wrong with you), or Glossier (again, why), get educated. For the girl who gets overwhelmed at the sight of a Sephora, Glossier products seems like they will be your best friend, as they keep it real. True, I have not tried these products, but literally find myself foaming at the mouth awkwardly awaiting for my golden opportunity to do so. And also, a Glossier sticker is considered Instagram GOLD right now, how rad is that?

It’s funny how we change over the years, as I never thought at 27 I would want to punt Lauren Conrad in the face every time I saw an article about her perfect life. But Emily Weiss is absolutely a breath of fresh REAL air that is so intriguing to me right now. She makes me want to get off my couch, remove my granny-like blanket from my shoulders along with my Eeyore attitude and like head butt a CEO in the face until she backs my brand. She keeps it raw and is making such a bold mark on the fashion industry. Hey, gotta respect that, because that just ain’t an easy thing to do, kids.

#GirlBoss? No, too trendy. I take it back.

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Photo credit: http://intothegloss.com/2014/10/emily-weiss-glossier/

Less Is More Whilst Shopping

Signs-You-Have-Too-Many-ClothesNothing in life is better when you go shopping, end up breaking your arm due to too many clothes to try on, and then end up liking everything. Right!? It’s genius. Well, maybe, it’s kind of a double-edged sword.

But during my first voyage to Century 21 Philly, the stars aligned and I ended up liking 98.7% of everything I brought into the fitting room. And mind you, I could only bring like 8 items with me at a time, and had to swap out clothes three different times. In fact my right arm hurt the next day from carrying it all around (sad, right? Muscles is something I don’t got).

So then I was faced with the deadly question, “can I afford everything I love here,” which was WAY too much shit. Like too too much. I was high on clothes, what can I say. Questions like, “do I need to eat this week,” and “how does one sell their eggs” crossed my mind … true signs of an addict. But I stopped myself because I have a problem called, “quickly falling in love with an item, not thinking it over, buying it, then never wearing it.”

Enter palazzo pants stage right. I bought them in early spring from Zara, red and wide-legged to the max, imagined myself strutting down the sun-kissed streets, hailing cabs and flipping my Herbal Essence-like hair in them and immediately fell in love with the idea. I become so immersed in this vision that I neglected the fact that they were COMPLETELY see-through. Then I just wanted to set fire to them.

These “visions” are why I buy things and never wear them. What can I say, I have a vivid imagination. But during this trip to C21 Philly, I decided to stop this pattern that only wastes my precious dolla-dolla bills, pull over to the side of the store and think shit out.

I encourage you all to do this. I know, I know it is all “go, go, go,” but taking a second to think it over and decide if you REALLY love the piece or if you’re just picturing yourself as something you aren’t (i.e. Kate Moss on a spring day) is UBER important. For the first time, I walked away with really awesome pieces, that I love, fit amazingly, and that I look forward to wearing and styling in different ways.

So before you buy, and end up with a closet full of “meh” items, or if you are like me, ones you want to set fire to, consider these things:

1. Is it seasonally appropriate? Will it keep me warm? Will it be too hot? Can I layer? (Real talk, I almost bought a pair of pants that were paper thin. It is going to be 20 degrees tomorrow. Genius, self, genius.)

2. Is this in my color palette? If you don’t wear pink and things with bows on it, why buy the shirt? And if you don’t have a color palette, work on it, for the love. No one likes looking like ROYGBIV vommed all over them (Side note: I almost purchased a shirt that was pink with bows on it … I told you I was high on clothes)

3. Do I own this already? (We are creatures of habit. I have the same black sheer shirt in 5 different styles … and I could easily buy more)

4. Is this piece see-through, or defective, pulls, rips, stains … and if it is see-through, think about how your under garments can work with it. Do you have to go commando or do you have to purchase some weird ass contraption that will turn this $40 top into a $95 top?

5. How will this piece hold up? Will I need to get it dry cleaned every time I wear it? It is fabric that wrinkles when the slightest wind blows on it. (I have a white button down that I cannot wear because if a mouse coughs, it wrinkles … nobody’s got time for that nonsense). All of these things will add cost, time, and annoyance to your life.

Style Stud: Tiny Airplanes

CaptureRemember that time my best friends accused me of worshiping Satan early this week because of the necklace to the left? Welp … I introduce you to its designer, one of the most creative souls I have had the pleasure of meeting, Nikki Virbitsky. Her jewels and goods and what not fall under her company, Tiny Airplanes. Follow her and become just as obsessed as I am … I command you!

Like I’ve mentioned numerous times, I’m a complete and utter jewelry whore and when something shiny and interesting catches me eye, I just have to have it. I first became one with Tiny Airplanes this past summer where I purchased this antler-like necklace. For me, it definitely wasn’t something I would have been normally drawn to, as I had never been one to even wear fur, let alone an antler from a deer around my neck. But there was something inside of me that knew if I didn’t purchase it I would be torturing myself thinking about it day-after-day. So I went for it, and I kid you not, I wear it pretty much every day because it compliments all of the other crazed jewels I wear.

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More recently is when I took a deeper plunge into the wonderful world of taxidermy, enter claw necklace stage right. Again, there is just something to Nikki’s jewelry where you don’t immediately think, “OMG THERE’S A CLAW IN THAT NECKLACE RUN,” but instead get entranced by it’s beauty and craftsmanship. And for the person who isn’t a fan of taxidermy, she caters to you as well, as you can see I purchased an antique doll piece necklace from her that I adore as well.

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I realize taxidermy is a touchy subject. I’m not even sure how I 100% feel about it yet. Right now I believe if the animal passed away in a natural manner and an artist gets to do something beautiful with it in a respectable way, why the hell not. I’m not going to push my views on people and be like, “hey you, look at this claw around my neck, isn’t it gnarly?!” No. I believe in beauty and that is that.

With that being said, be sure to check out her goods this weekend at the Taxidermy Competition on Saturday, November 15 at 7 p.m.! And while you are there, check out another artist that I’m a huge fan of, Kristie Matt of Clovenhoff for some one-of-a-kind beautiful pieces as well.

Defining My Spirit Animals

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Photo credit: http://smsouthnews.com/4935/southbuzz/whats-your-spirit-animal/

I’ve been talking a lot about spirit animals this week. What can I say, I find a buzz word and I beat it to death. What is a spirit animal, you ask? Well … Urban Dictionary defines it as:

A spirit animal or totem is meant to be a representation of the traits and skills that you are supposed to learn or have. Online, saying something or someone is your spirit animal is a statement that said person or thing is a representation of you or what you want to be.

Friend 1: “Did you see Misfits last night?”
Friend 2: “YES. Nathan Young is my spirit animal.”

In my line of work, career path, life in general, spirit animals are what keep me going. In fact, I think no matter what you do … cow herder, accountant, surgeon, designer, you need a spirit animal in order to help you grow. If I feel I’ve hit a brick wall, or don’t know what to do, where to go, what to write next … I hit up my spirit animals. And no it’s not a damn cat … okay maybe it SOMETIMES is a damn cat … but whatever, I love my cats, leave me alone! Ahhhhhhh :::runs away::::

So in an effort to invoke your spirit animals, I thought I would go ahead and share with you some of mine, just a few, you know, my mega spirit animals. It is so important to have role models, no matter what age, or just people who you find so intriguing and so bad ass that they make you want to explore new aspects of life. I encourage you to find your inner spirit animals and embrace them. Hell, give them props.

1. Patti Smith: I read her book Just Kids after graduating college when I was the definition of a lost puppy and it became one of my all-time favorite books. I wanted to go to NYC, but I didn’t, but I did. At that time, I was begging for inspiration or something to help me make sense of this “real world” which was incredibly overwhelming. I then dove head first into her music and poetry which was just as delicious. I found diving into someone’s life story can really make a difference on how you lead yours.

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2. Leandra Medine: Also known as the “Man Repeller.” Her blog is pure genius, and she is an evil genius. She turned fashion blogging on its face by not only writing intelligently, but opening people’s minds up to new designers and ways to wear clothes. She’s also a fucking hoot. When I need a creative spark or find myself banging my head against the wall due to writers block, I hit this bitch up (not in real life, I mean on her blog, but if she wants to be best friends, I’m totally into it. I’ll buy the first round. No wait, you can, you have an awesome book out and I don’t … tee hee?).

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3. Iris Apfel: No one does accessorizing better than her. No one. And as a total jewelry whore, I want to bow down at her feet in a non-creepy way. I dream to walk through my life as classically chic and stylish as her. It is rare to have a style that is yours and only yours, for when people copy it, they know it is an “Iris look.” One can only dream to have that style power.

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4. Gwen Stefani: I’ve always been a No Doubt fan, not a super fan, but I would get down with some of their tunes. Don’t make fun of me, but I DO in fact watch the Voice, and kind of discovered how awesome she truly is through this season. I mean, I’ve always known she has had this amazing rock star power to her, but I never realized how effortlessly stylish and cool she is. You can tell she walks to the beat of her own drum, and that is something really valuable in this life. True, a new spirit animal to my repertoire, but a powerful one on the fashion front at that.

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5. Tina Fey: I mean, do I need to say anything more? I don’t think I need to. I dream to one day have an ounce of talent in my pinky finger and be able to make the world laugh like she does, then goes back to her amazing NYC home to have her, somewhat, normal life. But she’s Tina f-ing Fey! Writing genius extraordinaire. AND she’s from Philly-ish. Philly rules! Cheesesteaks, Bobby Clark, Will Smith. Your town, SUCKS! Hey, if for some reason she wants to be my full-time mentor, I’m totally open to it.

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Now let’s hear your spirit animals, people.

Makeup Is My Spirit Animal

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Photo credit: http://www.eonline.com/news/595518/jennifer-aniston-not-wearing-makeup-in-cake-was-so-dreamy-and-empowering-and-liberating

When I look at someone like Kim Kardashian, her look makes me want to take a nap. Not because it bores me or because I think it sucks, but simply because of how many man hours and people it must take to remain that perfectly flawless at all times. Jesus. Going to the gym, walking down the street, pumping her damn gas … the woman looks immaculate. Me? Well, chances are if you see me in a Wawa at any given time, I probably look like an untamed gargoyle with her hair in a bad bun (another thing I cannot do well).

I personally adore makeup. Going into Sephora is synonymous to Charlie entering that room where everything is eatable in Willy Wonka. The colors, the textures, the shiny things … it is all delicious to me. Can I apply it like a boss? Absolutely not. I have not the slightest idea of what to do with makeup, but God damn it I give it my best try every day.

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So when Jennifer Aniston comes out and makes a statement that, not wearing makeup in her new movie Cake was, “so fabulous, and so dreamy and empowering and liberating la-de-da,” I gotta say, HOGWASH, sir, HOGWASH!

Sure, not wearing makeup must be amazing for a person who has a team of people making sure your skin is as moisturized as possible and every pore is perfectly opened and cleansed. I’m sure getting facials once a week or so could make anyone not need or want to wear makeup.

For me, makeup empowers me. Of course there are days where I just throw on a foundation and Erase Paste from Benefit (literally never leave home without it, it is my makeup spirit animal) when I’m feeling lazy. But the days that I’m feeling down or not like myself, the right lipstick and the right black winged eye liner can do wonders for the soul. I’m telling you, and I know it is cliche to say, but the right dark red lip can take you from a timid mouse to a straight up street strutter.

I wouldn’t say I hide behind makeup, I would say I feel better and more confident with it on. When I wake up my face is a little too red in certain places, and I may or may not have some ridic dark circles under my eyes, and perhaps I have a drool stain traveling from the corner of my mouth all the way down to my neck (impressive right?). So yeah, jazzing myself up with a little makeup, not Kardashian-style airbrushed to perfection makeup, but a little bronzer here and a little blush there to make myself look less like the hard sleeper I am, then so be it.

So while I appreciate Jennifer Aniston trying to make it okay for women to go au natural, because it is important to love the true you, I kind of want to hear from someone who doesn’t have endless amounts of money and teams of people making sure your skin is as flawless as possible without a drop of makeup. Because even without makeup on (which, come on, bitch DEFINITELY has some primer on or something), she looks amazing. If I woke up looking like that, I would hands down let the public see my face sans makeup. But alas I do not have a team of skincare professionals watching every inch of my epidermis.

Makeup is there to accent the amazing features you already have, and personally I think it has the ability to help women find their inner warrior queen. I’m not saying you need to wear it every second of the day, a la Kim K. Because the minute I get home it is OFF. Again, running to Wawa equals me looking like a proud hot mess and I ALWAYS end up running into someone I know. “Oh hey … YOU! Yeah, I’m not feeling great, that’s why … I look … like this … and have 10 bags of Doritos in my hand. Gotta go BYE! :::runs away frantically:::”

Wear makeup to give yourself that extra pep in your step. And if you don’t know what that is, there are some talented folks that work at numerous makeup counters (I personally fancy the ones at Nordstrom the best … just a little tip from me to you), that can help.

Here’s To The Brave

Capture1If you know one thing about me, it is that I’m a huge jewelry whore. You should see my bedroom, my collection is slowly but surely overpowering everything else in there, until one day I imagine I will be sleeping in a pile of costume jewels. Let me be clear, I would be TOTALLY okay with that.

But there is one piece of jewelry I wear every day. It is simple, it is quiet, and usually my sleeve is covering it. There are no bells and whistles to it, no bling, no extra jazz (which is so outlandish for me, right?). It just rests easy on my right wrist.

A lot of people assume it is a medical alert bracelet as it kind of blends in with my person, and is stainless steal and kind of boring. But in fact it is a Vietnam War Memorial Bracelet that I got at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. when I was 17. My Dad served in Vietnam back in the day, so visiting this memorial was extra special for me.

I remember walking past this little kiosk where a vet was selling these bracelets with names of POWs on them. Now, my father wasn’t a POW, nor do I know the man whose name is inscribed on my bracelet, but I thought by wearing this I could pay homage to my father and maybe, just maybe, it would bring me some of the bravery he had by fighting selflessly for our country.

Knowing me, I assumed I would get bored with it and take it off shortly after purchasing it, but I didn’t. 10 years later it is still planted on my right wrist. And, clearly, after 10 years of wear, the engraving with the name of the POW is only faintly shown. In fact, I can’t even make it out anymore.

This bracelet is hands down my favorite piece of jewelry I own as I feel it connects me with my Dad. And as a veteran’s daughter, it makes me proud of all he sacrificed, along with numerous others, to keep our country safe.

I know, I know, I rarely get sentimental on here, but it happened. Sigh.

Be sure to tip your cap to a veteran today. You have no idea what they have gone through, let alone what they are dealing with when they return from war. They deserve our full care, attention, love, and support. I’m very proud to be the daughter of a veteran today.

This post is dedicated to my Dad. Love you and miss you.

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My Satan-filled Weekend

CaptureMy style is always evolving … as it should. Otherwise I would still be wearing overalls, an over-sized Tweedy Bird T, and velcro Aladdin shoes from Payless. I believe it is healthy to evolve your style and always be open to experimentation.

Most recently, I’ve completely ex-communicated myself from color. Pinks, reds, blues, yellows … all dead to me. I’ve made a conscious effort to stick to monochromes only … whites, blacks, beiges, more blacks, blacks on blacks on blacks … and instead have turned my attention to interesting fabrics and designs. No, I’m not depressed, no, I don’t hate the world, and no, I don’t want to be Satan’s mistress. This has just been what has interested me as of late.

With that has also come my fascination with out-of-the-box jewelry. Large and in charge chunky chains, skeleton everything, and just pieces that, well, yeah, make a statement. With a simpler palate comes the opportunity for loud jewels, which honestly makes me happier than anything in life.

This past weekend, I had dinner with two of my best friends. They have been with me throughout all of my style triumphs and fails. including wearing a white tank top (also known as a wife beater, but I just loathe that term) as a skirt over flared jeans. Don’t ask, I got the idea from Project Runway season 2, I believe. Sigh.

Shockingly enough, I was wearing all black … different textures of course so break up the monochrome a bit. And I threw on my Italian-horn like gilded necklace with my new taxidermy piece one of my dear friends made that I had to have (stay tuned for a piece of her later this week).

Now yes, as an animal lover, taxidermy has made me squirm just a little. But I think if it is done respectfully and tastefully, anything has the opportunity to be beautiful, and I was just drawn to this necklace (see below). Never once did I find it disturbing or cringe-worthy. I mean there is a God damn pearl at the end of it, for the love. Never once did I even pay any attention to the fact that there was a tiny claw hanging out of the top. I was too distracted by the craftsmanship and beauty. Hey, I’m a simple person, what can I say. SHINY THINGS!

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So when my friends noticed my new necklace it went a little something like:

Friend 1: Your necklace is pretty. Those feathers are lovely.
Me: Not feathers :::sips wine:::
Friend 1: Wait not feathers? :::takes a closer look::: OMG KATE WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!
Me: I don’t know, it’s just pretty.
Friend 2: JESUS CHRIST I SEE CLAWS.
Friend 1: KATE!
Me: :::Laughing::: I don’t even know if it is real …
Friend 1: You need to take that off, I can’t I just … no.
Me: Who knows what it even is, come on … I doubt its real (it’s totally real)
Friend 2: Are you into Satan now? What is going on with you?

Yep. That conversation happened. I found it hilarious and after a couple bottles of wine (yeah that happened, too), they found accusing me of “Satan worshiping” for wearing something a little, hmm, more abstract around my neck just as funny, too … thank sweet Jesus. I mean COME. ON. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to get in touch with Satan, from crying out loud.

A day later my mom and I ventured to the new Century 21 and fell in love with a brand I had never had the pleasure of meeting called “Religion.” It is magical. My mom fell in love with it, too, so much that she almost bought a sweater with a pentagon on it (my mom is the coolest person on the planet, have I ever told anyone that?). Clearly she didn’t, but we both walked away with really interesting and unique Religion pieces.

What can I say, I had a Satan-filled weekend, and the apple doesn’t fall far. Listen, I think it is SO important to experiment with your style. That is what makes getting up in the morning so fun, right? Picking out how you will portray yourself to the world. And listen, who knows, in a year I could be rocking only Lilly Pulitzer (voms). Haha never … just … no.

In conclusion, I’m not worshiping Satan, nor is my mother. But if I could live in the brand Religion only, I would in a heartbeat. And I love me my necklace no matter what. Boom.

A Blessing For The Lazy Girl With Dirty Hair

not-your-mother-s-clean-freak-refreshing-dry-shampoo-350x350Sometimes, as women, we don’t feel like doing certain things. Wearing a bra, putting makeup on, wearing pants, shaving … and my favorite and yours, washing your hair. Remember when, “sorry, I can’t, I have to wash my hair,” was a viable excuse to get out of things? I’ve always thought, “what asshole would actually believe that excuse,” but it has never resonated more with me now as a grown ass adult.

Nothing makes me sigh in annoyance more than the idea of washing my hair. To the women who can just jump out of the shower and let their hair air dry to perfection, I loathe your existence … truly. Or even worse, the ones who just need a quick blow dry to have Herbal Essence commercial-worthy hair. You suck, too.

I’ve never been the girl who could wake up in the morning, wash her hair, and be off on my way to work with a coffee in her hand and a smile on her face. Nope … I was the girl that had to dedicate an evening to washing her hair. Hell, I am still that girl. And you know what, sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes, when my hair is a disgusting dirty mess, I just want to say fuck it and go out with my friends, or do something more productive then sit in my room with a blow dryer and a flat iron. You know?

That is when I decided to throw in the towel and try a little thing called “dry shampoo.” A product I had prayed for for so long. Mostly during my teenage years when it took me two hours to straighten my hair, which made me NEVER want to wash my hair. So during a day when I was feeling extra lazy, I marched to Ulta to give this new phenomenon a whirl.

First of all, how does anyone EVER buy a product without a recommendation? Overwhelmed was an understatement during this excursion to Ulta. Luckily beforehand I had taken to Twitter to get some recommendations from my fellow style bloggers. And of course, my girl, Meaghan over at District Sparkle (check her ass out) came through and recommended Not Your Mother’s Brand Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo.

I woke up the next morning to extra gross, disgusting hair that was matted to my face. I took a deep breath, parted my hair down the middle, and sprayed my first ounce of dry shampoo onto my scalp. The first thing I thought was, “holy shit I look like an old bag!” because it comes out white, giving you the illusion of grannie hair, which really isn’t cool when you are ALSO overdue for a dye job. But I followed the directions and brushed it through, returning my roots back to their good ol’ dark brown hue.

I was skeptical to say the least. How could a product so amazing exist that would actually work and release the grasp my blow dryer and flat iron had on me for so long? But it worked. Holy shit … it worked! What once was an oil slick of grossness (sexy right?) on my head, was now this beautiful illusion of clean hair. True, I wouldn’t want anyone to gingerly run their fingers through my hair, because it was straight up dir-tay, but to the blind eye … I wasn’t a scumbag. AND, this product gave my hair this lovely “just went to the salon bitches” scent all day. Glorious!

Girls … run, do not walk to buy this product. Seriously. I don’t care if Jesus himself blessed you with the perfect hair, you secretly loathe washing it. We all do. It is SO time consuming and annoying and stupid … I mean, I can’t. I won’t! For I have dry shampoo! Dirty hair for all!

Got Wang? Wait … What?

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Photo credit: http://racked.com/archives/2014/11/03/alexander-wang-hm-collaboration-collection-2.php?utm_source=RackedFacebook

When it comes to traditional Alexander Wang, I would probably sell my mother on the black market for it (sorry ma). It’s amazing. It’s gorgeous. I can’t afford it, but if I could, I would be dripping in Alexander Wang all day err day. When I watch his runway shows, I drool. Literally. It’s disgusting.

Oh course, when you hear there is going to be an Alexander Wang collection that won’t have the cold breath of death price tag, you may get the urge to jump for joy, but I’m smarter than the average bear … or I like to think so (hair flip). Even though I notoriously loathe designer collections for retailers like Target and H&M … I always give them a chance. I always keep my fingers crossed that it will make me want to rise and shine early to stand in line with fellow psychopaths that would sell their souls for a piece of the collection before it goes up on Ebay for astronomical prices.

Alexander Wang for H&M, well, I wouldn’t say I loathe it, I’m just kind of sitting here scratching my head at it like, “huh”? If we were playing the game of, “what Spice Girl would you be,” I guess if you chose Sporty Spice this collection would be money for you … otherwise, again, my head is tilted and I just keep asking myself what in the what is going on in the wonderful world of fashion? Because every girl who gives a shit about style is dying for it. Literally clawing their way in to the H&M showroom to get their hands on a piece of this collection … and I’m just like, “meh.” Is their something wrong with me? Why don’t I like Wang? Wait … what?

If you are anything like me, you have a group of friends that are violently immature and walk around waiting with baited breath to say, “that’s what she said!” as dated and dusty as that phrase is. So I just can’t fathom walking around this earth with sports bras, hats, gloves, dresses that say WANG across them in big bold letters, for I would be a walking punchline. That’s just me though … I suppose my balls aren’t big enough to sport WANG. Get it?!? Ehhhh?!

And then, maybe he’s tipping his cap to the “strong woman.” The woman who isn’t afraid to wear all black and kick some ass. Which I mean, who couldn’t get behind that? In fact, when I see this collection, all I can think about is various Janet Jackson videos from the 80’s/90’s. Like Rhythm Nation, right?! But for me, I wear black all the time, but I’m also the person who has dreams that she goes to hit someone and her fists go limp. I truly couldn’t hurt a fly. I’m more of the run away as fast as I can from danger kind of gal. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what to do with WANG boxing gloves.

I’m not saying this collection is comparable to that nightmare known as Missoni for Target … woof … I’m just saying I don’t get it. It’s cool. It’s bad ass. But it isn’t for me. I think you have to be a very specific kind of woman to rock this collection and rock it right. Like Cara Delevingne. You need to be Cara Delevingne. If you aren’t her, then just admire it from afar.

And, for anyone,  Cara Delevingne included, be prepared for jokes due to the fact that you have the word WANG printed in bold all over your person. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Because I’m already starting to think of some creative ones.

But this dress is kind of rad. Not rad enough to wait in line with all the Wang Psychopaths (see what I did there), but rad to look at from afar.

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My First Pair Of Heels

CapturePreface: This was supposed to have been posted on Halloween, but due to technical difficulties … well … yeah … didn’t. So better late then never, right? (Damn you … technology :::shakes fist:::)

As I prepare for a Halloween filled with the lacking of tricks AND treats, it makes me think back to better Halloween days. When instead of preparing for a BOOzed-filled evening (see what I did there? Ehhh??! No … no … I’ll stop, I promise, continue reading), I was preparing for how much candy I was going to score.

I feel like I should be knitting something and rocking in a rocking chair on my porch when I write the next sentence, but I believe my favorite Halloween was when I was in the 4th grade. Travel back with me now, won’t you?

I was a freak of nature when it came to growth spurts. While the boys were still shopping in the kids section at retailers, I was making my way up to the women’s section, fitting into a size zero jeans, not for the size, but because my legs were freakishly long. It was really cool. Psyche. When you enter into the “women’s section” for the first time, it is horrific, because I felt like I was going to turn into this:

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So when I made the decision to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for my 4th grade Halloween party, my mom insisted that I get a great pair of ruby red slippers, not those lame ones that came with the costume from the Halloween store.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but since I came out of my mother’s womb, I have been obsessed with high heels. I called them “sippy shoes” because of Cinderella. Get it … “sippy” … “Cinderella” … no? Oh shush, I was a child. So you would think the idea of my mom buying me my first pair of high heels would be something dreams were made of, right? Well no. I was too busy digging my claws into the children’s section and refusing to move on up to be bothered with it.

She took me to TJ Maxx … which I LOATHED. I was NOT a Maxxinista when I was a wee one, let me tell you. Nothing bored me more than following my mom around as she looked through racks and racks of clothes that all looked the exact same as Smooth Operator played in the background. Woof. She was certain I would fit into a women’s size 5 or 6 … so we went to the shoe department in hopes of finding the perfect red heel. The only thing I was certain about was that my Aladdin velcro sneakers still fit me perfectly fine from Payless (which they totally did not).

And there they were. A ruby red satin shoe with, I want to say, about an inch and 1/2 block heel. I tried on the 6 1/2, praying to dear sweet Jesus they wouldn’t fit and I could stay a kid forever, but they did. And I secretly adored them. But wanted to cry and jump back in my mother’s uterus all at the same time. Dorothy would have approved of these shoes, so we bought them, as I was secretly having an anxiety attack about wearing high heels to my 4th grade Halloween party and being a gigantic monster more than I already was, towering over the boys, when I just wanted to click my heels together and stay a kid forever.

When it came to fashion at this point in time, I had no balls. I was cool being the wallflower so no one had any reason to laugh or make fun of me. I was the quiet, shy girl who liked to write. So walking into this party in ruby red HEELS was mortifying. But like I said, I would have made out with these shoes if I could because all I ever wanted was a pair of heels that fit. And walking in them was no problem, as I had been strutting around in my moms heels that were WAY too big for me for years like a champ.

Unfortunately I can’t remember the reaction of my classmates. I blame it on being millions of years ago … aaaaand booze. No one laughed or threw anything at me … I recall that, so that’s good. I’m sure I got a, “wow, you’re tall,” as I was towering over my teacher in my ruby red heels. And I remember doing the macarena (yep, I was obsessed with the macarena), and I remember my feet hurting like a bitch after trick-or-treating, but that was about it.

I truly wish I still had these shoes, but at some point I tossed them as they were “90’s nightmares.” Looking back, it took balls to wear heels to a 4th grade Halloween party. Especially as a “tall girl.” How I got said balls, or where I pulled them out from, I have NO clue. But sometimes you just have to give into who you really are and what you really love in life and not give a shit about anyone else and their dumbass opinions. Word.

Happy Halloween, errbody! Feel free to share your fave costume below … would love to hear your embarrassing stories. And for the love, be safe tonight. Don’t be a dumbass. Keep it together and so on.

Ps. Sorry I don’t have a pic to share with you in my Dorothy costume at age 11? 10? How old are you in 4th grade? Anywho it is down in my basement, and like I said, my basement is scary as shit … so no.

Waist Train THIS

CaptureIf you happen to follow any of the Kardashian klan on Instagram (not that I do … or … anything ::shifty eyes:::) you begin to notice that they are totally pushing products on us. “Wait, if I take those pills that Khloe is holding in that pic my hair will look as amazing as hers!?!” Cha-ching! No kids, your hair probably won’t look as good as her hair, for she has hair minions following her around at all times making sure it stays at that pristine level of perfection. I’m on to your product mind games, Kardashian’s, I’m on to you.

Recently I’ve seen Kim Kardashian posting pics of herself, duck face and all, in what looks like a torturous mid-evil device wrapped around her core. What is this said tortuous device? Was she on a movie set? But no, in fact, she was in her living room, doing what is called “waist training” in an effort to compress her core. WHAT?! I know right, my brain exploded, too.

I’ve seen some ridiculous shit in the name of weight loss. Pills, pills that could kill you but promise to make you stick figure thin, machines that giggle you until the fat is gone, a massaging agent that shrinks fat cells, I mean you name it, it has been invented. But Jesus Christ, a corset-like device that trains your waist and decreases its size over time?! Is this real life?

I mean women, for centuries, have worn corsets underneath their dresses to give the illusion of a smaller waist, but the genius of it all is that you get to take it off at the end of the evening and down a cheeseburger. But this nonsense, a garment that will train your waist to be smaller, similarly to how you train a dog to sit or roll over, makes no sense … no sense at all. “Good waist … now go down a size smaller, come on girl, you can do it, come it. That’s a good waist! Yes you are, YES you are!” Think about it, where does the fat go? Wearing this waist trainer doesn’t make the fat evaporate … so its gotta go somewhere, right? I’m no scientist, in fact I’m an idiot when it comes to science and math related topics, but I know I’m right here.

I know, I know … beauty hurts. We have to go through some fucked up things to keep up with the Jones’ in the beauty department. Waxing, wearing Spanx, wearing corsets, sky high stilettos, god damn strapless bras. But I’m putting my foot down with these waist trainers. Not up in here … NOT up in here.

For any celebrity pushing these on the general population, shame on you. What ever happened to eating healthy and working out? Namaste bitches … right? And if we went on a hamburger bender (man I’m really craving a burger) the night before a red carpet event, we suck it in with Spanx. Wearing Spanx doesn’t train our bodies to do something physically impossible, it gives us the golden ticket to be able to go on a burger bender and still look like we don’t have a fat roll on us. Uncomfortable as hell, but they have a purpose. A purpose that isn’t damaging to our bodies.

A waist the size of a Disney princess is not realistic … or attractive. Kim Kardashian is a freak of nature and I bet the evil people behind these “Waist Trainers” are giving her mad money to hypnotize her followers and make them invest. Wearing Waist Trainers didn’t give her that bod … she has an army of people smacking carbs out of her hand and whipping her out of bed to work out every morning.

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Look, we all want to look our best. We all secretly see those commercials for weight loss pills and want to try them but know a few years down the road some lawyer on TV will be promoting a class action law suit for these weight loss pills who gave people a rare form of cancer. We all hate working out. But life is tough enough … why add on to it by wearing some torturous device that probably compresses all of your organs together (which cannot be good), doesn’t allow you to get the proper amount of oxygen, AND stops you from binging on burgers (seriously, will SOMEONE get me a damn burger).

Be healthy, be smart … eat a damn burger once in a while … and literally do the opposite of everything Kim Kardashian does outside of the fashion realm, because, gotta admit, the girl’s got style … thanks to Kanye, of course.

What Up, Fellow Cat Ladies

CaptureMeet Ellsworth and Lit-Lit, my fantastic cat clan. It’s National Cat Day today and if you follow me on any social network, you would know that I’m a full blown cat lady. And you probably know Ellsworth and Lit-Lit a LITTLE too well. I am one step away from adopting another cat and turning into this:

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But I’ve always been a cat lady, even since I was a wee child, because my mom has been a cat lady since SHE was a wee child. I remember asking, no, begging my Dad to adopt me this awesome black and white cat from a local farm. And after much eye batting and persistence, he came home with my cat Spike … who passed away years ago. RIP big buddy. I’m not just indulging in the cat lady trend because Taylor Swift gave her stamp of approval, okay? Which makes me nervous because what happens when she writes a song about being so over cats? Uhhhh …

The thing is I kept my love for cats in the closet for so long because it was a bit passe for a while. The term “cat lady” was synonymous with “spinster.” Turning into a “cat lady” was the worst possible scenario for women all over the world. Now we are welcoming it with open arms. They are actually the greatest, Instagram-worthy accessory to have. Karl Lagerfeld says so, for crying out loud. Instead of gossiping about the men and drama in our lives around the water cooler, we are talking about our cats. It is kind of awesome … and weird … and I adore it.

Listen, I’m not quite sure what made everyone in the world go cat crazy, but I’m kind of okay with it, because there is nothing better than a cat. They are hilarious, great stress relievers, don’t talk back, and will always snuggle with you. You can’t say that about much in this life, am I right?

So a Happy National Cat Day to you all. If you live in a city where Uber is bringing around kittens for people to snuggle, I hate you. Truly. And if you are a closeted cat lady and want to scream from the roof tops how much you love cats, I encourage you to go out and adopt one, because they are rad, and so many need a good home.

And now I feel like I’m starting to sound like the chick from the eHarmony video who cried about how much she adores cats. Yeeks. Check it, there is a fine line between Karl Lagerfeld cat lady and eHarmony cat lady. Know that. If you start to own more cats than pairs of shoes and can’t take the curlers out of your hair, and chain smoke inside your house as you creepily look at the world through your blinds … seek help … like, immediately.

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Feel free to share pics of your cats or cat stories below! Us chic cat ladies gotta stick together, am I right?!

Adventures In Modeling At Philadelphia Mills

091614_philadelphiamills_600If anyone of you know me, you’re aware of how much I loathe having my picture taken. I know, I know, I’m like a freak of nature when it comes to the wonderful world of fashion blogging. You’ll never catch me posing in front of a cool piece of architecture, or against a wall filled with abstract graffiti. It just isn’t who I am. But I WILL shower you will stock images of much more photogenicc people … so there.

But when Franklin Mills, now known as Philadelphia Mills after some wonderful re-branding, asked me to check out one of their stores and be followed around with a photographer as I shopped, I was clearly skeptical. Me? Model? Not up in here. But the more I pondered it, the more I talked myself into looking at is as supporting a local retail establishment in their new ventures instead of me striking a pose and being something that I am not … aaaaaaaaaand there may or may not been a gift card to Saks Off 5th involved. Maybe, just maybe. Hey, a girls gotta get her fall wardrobe on somehow some way, am I right?

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Luckily shopping is something I do when I’m stressed out, and nothing stresses me out more than having my photo taken (something I should really talk to a professional about, right?). So the minute I walked into Saks Off 5th, I started to shop … hard. Which wasn’t difficult as they literally hit every fall trend point perfectly. Fur vests, designer jeans, monochrome everything, sky high stilettos … I was in heaven. It was like I was five years old again and pulling princess dresses out of my toy box … except replace cheap princess dresses with Marc Jacobs. I learned even as an adult, playing dress up is really good for the soul.

Since I was being asked to style fall looks, it was kind of like the sky was the limit. Normally I would just drool over a Marc by Marc sweater instead of picking it up to try it on, as it would only cause me torturous pain, but this time I added it to my collection. Those sky high stiletto boots that I lust over but never try on because I would become gigantor ended up in my dressing room, happily.

I feel like there is a stigma along with outlet malls that they are “shady,” “cheap,” “tacky.” But with every shopping experience you either score and find the diamonds in the rough or you walk away empty handed. Philadelphia Mills absolutely has something for everyone (which is so cliche and annoying to say, I know), but it’s true. I’m a very picky person when it comes to shopping … but nothing pleases me more or makes me want to post all over every social media channel when I score an amazing deal, and that is what you find here.

I would like to thank Philadelphia Mills for the invite and helping me step out of my anti-photo bubble. I’ll admit it, but the end of my shoot, I may or may not have been hamming it up in front of the camera, and channeling my inner Man Repeller (she’s my fashion blogger spirit animal). It’s kind of cool to work with a legit photographer, even if I will go to my grave claiming that I am the least photogenic person on the planet.

Get a little taste of some of my Off Saks adventure below and be sure to follow Philadelphia Mills for sales and style tips and such. Hell, you may even get served a sponsored ad on Facebook with my mean mug on it. What what!

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Adults And Halloween

il_340x270.659559187_t73uI adore Halloween. Always have. Well … maybe not so much during my college years since I went against everything I believed in and went as the “sexy” version of non-sexy things … I mean I suppose that is what you do in college. The pictures are cringe-worthy, though, and no I won’t share them with you. Sigh. You live and you dress as a sexy cat and you learn.

This year Halloween falls on Friday, and quite frankly, for adults, that rules. We all secretly would love nothing more than to throw our inhibitions to the wind and go beg for candy … although alcohol would definitely be involved. Clearly. But alas … we cannot. Because it’s weird. So instead of passing out in front of our TVs watching the Peanuts Halloween special on ABC in a candy coma like we once did, we pass out drunk in our kitchens after an energy-filled rendition of Thriller. Not … that I do that … or … anything … :::shifty eyes:::

Being that Halloween falls on a Friday, it really gives us adult-like creatures an excuse to be anything but ourselves. Which is a beautiful thing. But I keep hearing people stressing about costumes and what to be and having nowhere to go. Last year I had a place to go and dressed as the horrifying twins for the Shining. To this day it was the best thing I’ve ever been … turns out I thoroughly enjoy horrifying people. This year, I don’t have anywhere to go, but I DO have this insane urge to wear an amazing mask and maybe some black lipstick. I blame Margiela for this. But if I had it my way I would wear one every single day. Aren’t they dreamy?

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Instead of cursing your friends for not having a fantastic Halloween party, or having no one to go with to that exclusive party at “da club” (which no one should ever do … like EVER), or not coming up with an insanely creative costume, I’m taking this as my golden opportunity to wear the things I secretly covet, but don’t wear outside of Halloween because people would look at me like I was crazytown … like a Margiela mask. And I suggest you do the same. Secretly love the Kanye West-inspired leather sweats? Rock that shit. Dreaming of wearing a tutu over your jeans? Now is the time, people, now is the time!

Halloween is the one day a year people cannot judge you. Unless you dress as the sexy version of something, well then people will totally judge you and call you a slut, whether to your face or behind your back. It’s going to happen. Just own it. But if I wanted to wear black lipstick and a mask, no one could talk shit because it is Halloween, for crying out loud. The day when anything goes. And if you do talk shit about people embracing the holiday, well, you straight up suck. Lighten up, bud.

So instead of desperately trying to be a sexy mouse, duh, I challenge you to wear something you have always wanted to, but never had the balls. You don’t have to be defined as something, necessarily. By stepping out of your bubble and rocking an outlandish something or other, like Gaga-esque shoes, or a ball gown for the hell of it, I believe you’re embracing the holiday spirit.

Now excuse me, I need to go work on bedazzling my Margiela-like mask, because GAWD knows I cannot afford the real thing.

Fear And Loathing Of Crowds

holiday-shopping-crowdI wouldn’t say I have claustrophobia issues. And I wouldn’t say that I’m a recluse who lives in her basement, petting her cats whilst eating canned goods. I’m totally good going out and functioning as a normal human being with the rest of the general population.

That is … until there are crowds.

Yesterday I attended a pre-party for a store opening. Philly is bursting at the seams right now with amazing new shopping venues. Which you would think would make me the happier than a clam, which, in a way, I am, don’t get me wrong. But when the words “pre-party” and “free” and “tote bags” and “alcohol” and “free alcohol” get tossed around to the public, it gives people this idea that they can act like complete assholes in public and not consider their fellow man. So run. RUN FAST.

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I don’t know what I was expecting, a butler wearing white gloves serving me a chilled glass of champagne as I walk in, greeting me with a, “welcome kate, your shopping destination awaits,” escorting me in to another butler who hands me a tote bag filled to the brim with branded good and gift cards. The aisles are cleared and the perfectly organized designer goods on the glimmering silver racks wait patiently as I prepare to shop. A few lovely, calm people in pristine outfits flutter about me, shopping quietly as they sip on their champagne. As I make my way to the second floor, another butler in white gloves notices my champagne needs to be refreshed as I make my way to the shoe section. As I go to sit down to try on a pair of Louboutins on sale for $100, the butler comes over and offers me a lovely shoulder massage.

And then I woke up.

In real life, pre-party store openings aren’t like that. You think it is all exclusive and shit, but it isn’t. It is like walking into a jungle. You need to take off any extra layers, remove your hoops, and go in ready for battle.

I wish I had a pic of my face the minute I walked into the store. First of all it was 100 degrees, and second of all, there were SO many people, I could barely tell if I was staring at men’s clothing or women’s clothing. And no one moved. No. One. It was like I was having an outer body experience and didn’t exist to these people. I started walking around just to well, walk around. I think I was scared that if I stayed stationary too long someone would try to buy the clothes off of my body.

The only way I could describe the look in these people’s eyes was ravenous. You could tell they would do anything and everything for the free goods and insane deals before anyone else got their hands on them. I literally was a bumbling fool, wandering around in circles, making my way through people (which was no easy task) as “excuse me” didn’t work, and pushing past them only led them to offer me with a lovely, “ummm bitch” comment.

I looked around and saw some people had their shopping bags filled to the brim with goods, and I wondered how they could shop in such conditions. I contemplated exploring the accessories section, as it looked much calmer than the rest, but the idea of picking up a statement necklace and having some crazy broad bite my hand off (literally and figuratively) freaked me out far too much. So I went to make my grand escape.

I shoved through people, who, again, literally did not give a shit that I existed, only when I went against what I believe in and shoved past them without an “excuse me,” which awoke them from their shopping haze to notice that I was, indeed, a bitch messing with their space. Yikes. I ran to the exit, only to find that it was only an “entrance.” What? There is clearly a door to exit here, but no no … I’ll walk across the entire store through these crazy free shit hungry bastards to the OTHER “real” exit, no worries. I’m sure I’ll emerge unscathed.

I took a second to find a safe path, free of crazytown shoppers, which entailed a lot of zig-zagging through racks of unimpressive men’s clothing (these people probably thought I was the crazy one). I finally made my way to the real exit and was greeted by a man who met me with a, “I hope you enjoyed shopping with us!” I rolled my eyes at him and shoved through the revolving doors, wanting to rip off my clothing as I was sweating profusely.

Annoyed. Hot. Overwhelmed. Anxiety-ridden. And not a new piece of clothing on my person. I was straight up miserable. You would think all of that commotion happened in hours, but it truly happened in less than 15 minutes. I won’t give away the name of this store because I do adore it, and look forward to the day I can shop there in peace. Without the free goods. Without the insane people.

But for now, until everyone gets over their “new shiny penny” syndrome, I will be calmly and quietly shopping at the old dusty stores people are SO over. Because one thing I learned about myself is mama cannot handle shopping crowds.

Century 21 Philly: Words Of Wisdom

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Photo credit: http://articles.philly.com/2014-10-16/entertainment/55065695_1_flagship-store-eddie-gindi-century-21

When I was in high school, in August every year, my mom and I would trek up to NYC for a few days of shopping and exploring. It was the best. We called it our “back to school shopping trip,” but really we both just loved New York City and knew we could get some really original finds there.

I wish I could say we checked out the Guggenheim Museum, or wondered through MoMA, laid around in Central Park, but we didn’t. How could you have time for that when you dedicate an entire day of your trip to Century 21?

Recently I asked my mom how we discovered Century 21, but neither of us could remember. The first time I stepped foot in there was literally two weeks before 9/11 when I was 14. My mom and I had a croissant at the bottom of one of the towers before going in. Kind of surreal. Even during 9/11 I remembered thinking there was no way Century 21 could still be standing as it was right by the towers, but it was. From that point on, we made it a point to spend an entire day at the store every time we visited NYC.

I like to call myself a seasoned Century 21 shopper, since I’ve been going there for more than 10 years :::hair flip:::. Century 21 isn’t like any other store I’ve shopped. It makes Nordstrom Rak and TJ Maxx look like crying little wusses. If the rumors are true, the Philly store will mirror the NYC store, which means there will be 3-4 floors of insane goodness, which makes me swoon. Literally … I have butterflies like some groupie dork.

You may think I’m being over dramatic, you may think I’m being a little crazytown, but talk to me after your first Century 21 experience and you can buy me a drink for the rad advice I’m about to give you.

Now behold, my words of wisdom to help you get the most out of your first Century 21 Philly experience.

1. Dedicate a day: Especially if this is your first time, give yourself ample amounts of time to shop the store as there’s various floors with various goods: Designer, more affordable shit, accessories … I mean it never ends. It’s so good … it’s all SO good.

2. Fuel Up: Eat a meal and drink your fluids (non-alcoholic) before entering the store. Maybe do some jumping jacks … I don’t know. You’ll only understand once you’ve been there, but it takes stamina and strength, my friends, to score the good stuff. You gotta muscle up when we are talking Dolce and Gabbana for close to nothing. Otherwise you will fade fast and some other lady will get the goods, and no one wants that, right?

3. Dress Appropriately: The fitting rooms in the NYC store didn’t have doors, which was a little mortifying at first, but when you have an arm full of insane designer deals, you really don’t care if some random old lady sees your bits and pieces. I have NO idea what the fitting room sitch is in the Philly store, but if you are more modest, wear appropriate undergarments JUST in case.

4. Be in the Right Head Space: If you aren’t at least 85% in the mood to shop, don’t go. This is a marathon, not a track meet. Lots of people, lots of shit to dig through. When I only had a few minutes in NYC to roam Century 21, I would browse accessories, get frustrated by the people and the chaos, and leave. If you’re thinking, “maybe I’ll hit up Century 21, take a cab ride down to the new Nordstrom Rack, maybe hit up Uniqlo … I don’t know, I don’t know if there will be time!” don’t. Just … no. Don’t. You’ll regret it. Century 21 or bust.

5. Have A Strategy: What are you looking for? Do you want high-end designer goods? Shoes? Accessories? Find out what you want the most and work from there. I always did accessories last because it was less to carry (I’m an accessories whore) and you can’t bring them into the fitting room. I started in the more affordable section, then ended up in designer and was able to filter my finds better. And by filter I mean standing by the register contemplating how I cannot pay my rent that month to afford everything.

Century 21 is where I purchased my first Burberry scarf for $50. Century 21 is where I scored my first piece of designer anything, a pair of Catherine Malandrino jeans. Century 21 is where I got the most original looking things that drove my friends crazy. I can’t explain to you how excited I am that it is making its debut tomorrow in Philly. Seriously … I just … yeah. This:

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Side note: Century 21 Philly did not pay me to write this post or bribe me with goods, I’m just a ridiculous super fan of this store. Century 21, if you WOULD like to bribe me with goods, I’m totally available for a conversation. Hit me up, boo.

Malls Give Me Anxiety

CluelessAliciaSAs a teenager, hanging at the mall after school was never my thing. I believe my generation was more into going to the movies or hanging in someone’s basement. I looked at going to the mall without my source of money (my mom) sheer torture, so what was the point? Even if I asked to go “chill with my friends at the mall,” my mom would have said no because at that time only derelicts of society hung out there, shopping at Hot Topic and buying out Annie Anne’s and such. Luckily we saw eye-to-eye on this hot topic.

Some odd years later, as a grown adult, I have no desire to step foot into a traditional mall. Now I’m not talking about the gorgeous outdoor malls you would see in Miami with beautiful architecture, clean sidewalks, and high end stores that have soothing sounds of Sia remix playing. No. I’m talking the old school malls with glass ceilings, fake trees, and kiosks selling hair ties that say your name in over-sized blinged out letters lining the walk ways.

Even though my mall I have gone to since I was a young person has done some major renovations and now has a Nordstrom, two-story Forever 21, and Henri Bendel … it doesn’t really take away the “ick” factor for me. They even tried moving the food court far away from all the “trendy” shops in hopes it would attract the shady balls elsewhere, but I’m going to go ahead and say that didn’t work.

To me, a stroll through the mall is straight up overwhelming and brings me one step away from an anxiety attack. You have the women with double strollers taking up the entire aisle so you can’t pass and have to walk at a snails pace, the people walking down the wrong side of the mall making you play a ridiculous game of chicken, the mixing scents of leather, food, and Abercrombie and Fitch swirling magnificently together, the punk kids who are loud and obnoxious (shaking fist), and the kiosk people who basically come at you with a hair straighter exclaiming that your hair looks like shit and how great they can make you look in a thick accent.

Ps. If you know where this image is from, we are officially best friends.

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And you will always see someone you know. That saying, “always dress like you are about to run into your worst enemy,” is basically for people who frequent malls. It is the perfect place to play, “this is your life.” “OMG Kate is that you!?” is the most terrifying statement in the world when all I want to do is find some God damn leather over-the-knee boots and go home to watch Will and Grace reruns. You want to run, you want to pretend you had a tragic scuba diving accident and have lost your memory, but you can’t. Insert torturous small talk here. “Yeaaaaaah it HAS been a long time since pre-K :::rolls eyes:::”

And kids … the kids. The crying kids. The parents who let their kids scream bloody murder. It is like the bad elevator music of every mall. “SUZY! IF YOU DON’T STOP CRYIN’ :::mother continues to shop as daughter continues to scream her brains out::: I SWEAR I WILL TAKE YOU HOME RIGHT NOW!” Jesus. YES! Take her home. How can ANYONE shop with a screaming toddler? Seriously. Yet I see it all the time. I don’t even have kids, but when I’m shopping and I hear a kid start to scream and carry on, I vacate the premises immediately. I’m getting a headache just writing about it.

The idea of having everything in one place may seem like a dream, but something happens to the general population when they step foot into a mall that I just cannot take. I don’t know if it is the bazaar and abnormally hot temps or the absurdly loud techno music from Abercrombie, but everyone just gets a little crazytown. A little too crazytown for my liking, if you ask me. I blame Abercrombie.

Outdoor malls or even city shopping is much more my jam. I think it is because when you vacate a store, you get a breath of fresh air, literally. You get to remove yourself from the crazy for a mere moment until you find your next destination. And if you had too much crazy, you don’t have to walk through another wave of ultimate crazy to get to where your car is. Kid is crying like he/she is being murdered in the store you’re in? Go outside, there is probably a park somewhere to sit and meditate and get your brain waves back in order. It’s genius.

Down with indoor malls. We have all these innovations in life, yet we still shop like it is 1985. “Let’s like ditch and go to the mall :::twirls hair/pops gum::::.” Nope. NOT up in here … NOT. UP. IN. HERE.

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The Year Of The Vest

progger_annie_hallFrom first grade until third grade, in every school pic I took, I was wearing a vest with a turtle neck underneath. And it wasn’t like a cool pink fleece vest or a Micky Mouse embroidered vest, no. It was a straight up plaid vest and I have no idea how my mother got me to wear it. She couldn’t get me to wear jeans, but hey I guess I held vests to a different standard. I suppose I thought it was “fancy,” … so fancy I wore it for numerous school pics like an idiot. I can only tell what age I was by home many teeth I had … sad, right? I would share the pics with you, but they are down in my basement in a Tupperware container, and I’m terrified of my basement, so no.

And come on, we ALL fell down the Old Navy Performance Fleece rabbit hole, right? I totally had a light blue one when I was in middle school and rocked that shit like it was nobody’s business. I even added a Paul Frank monkey charm to the zipper. I mean … uber chic. Now let me torture you with the Old Navy Performance Fleece commercial … oh yeah, it’s happening, welcome to the jungle.

I think Old Navy beat us so hard with their Performance Fleece advertising (I mean I still have the jingle stuck in my head like 15 years later) that vests become so passe. The only person wearing vests after 2003 was Paris Hilton’s dog. Even Super Bad, one of my all-time favorite comedies, hated on vests.

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Until now, people, until now. 2014 is the year of the vest. Oh yeah, I’ve been hitting the vest scene HARD, and I gotta say, they are all so good and so chic. In the past week I have purchased three different vests in different styles and fabrics, and I truly cannot get enough. What is happening to the world, right?

I’m sure in a few years, maybe even in a few months, I will look at these vests and be like, “Jesus I was on crack when I bought these.” But until then, I intend fully to roll around in my faux fur vest like a boss because I love it so much I want to marry it.

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Defining Sexy

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Photo credit: http://www.esquire.com/women/the-sexiest-woman-alive/penelope-cruz-swa-interview-1114

Penelope Cruz was named “Sexiest Woman Alive” by Esquire Magazine, to which I have to say, well DUH!

It got me thinking though, what makes someone “the sexiest person alive,” ya know? Looking at Penelope Cruz, just looking at her, I see she is drop dead gorgeous, hot body, petite, big taas, hot accent, decent actress … so are those the qualities one needs to be named “sexiest person alive?” Who makes up these requirements? Because I would like to have a sit down with said person and go over a few things.

“She is impossibly beautiful. When she walks into a room, men start walking into furniture.” Just a little diddy from the Esquire Mag article. It was almost like the dude interviewing her was just sitting across from her drooling and nodding his head back and forth like a babbling fool.

Penelope: I like to kill puppies for fun.
Journalist: Uh huh … whatever … just keep talking, and maybe eat a little more of that steak … just … like … that.

Gross.

Listen, I get it, it’s all a popularity contest, and maybe a little bit of a PR stunt. She clearly has a movie coming out. Magazine’s won’t sell if we don’t have a hot piece of ass, dripping wet, straddling a chair on the cover. We like our actors and actresses and musicians too hot to trot so we can daydream about them and buy their shit. I get it. Really, I do. But the whole concept seems a little dusty to me.

A USA Today article outlined the Esquire Mag article with words like “gorgeous, talented, magical, mysterious, and modest.” Hmm … perhaps those are the qualities one needs to define sexy.

The article, which is oddly enough mostly about bullfighting, doesn’t outline her charitable duties, or organizations she’s associated with, or how she is helping to make the world a better place. Nope. But don’t worry fellow ladies, she likes to eat JUST like us! “She is always hungry, she says. She orders the chuletón de buey, a huge slab of bone-in rib-eye steak, seared on the outside and covered with coarse salt. When it arrives, the beef is so rare that it is crimson and gleaming in the middle. If it ever had a relationship with fire, their time together was insignificant and short. She stabs her fork into her first thick slice and cuts into it with her knife.” Umm … is this supposed to be turning us on? Because it is NOT working, just to be clear. In fact I’m rather uncomfortable.

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Listen, congrats to Penelope Cruz, the title was well deserved in some weird way, but really … like I said … the concept is dusty. I don’t care that Penelope Cruz is attracted to drama now but hated it when she was younger, and that she speaks 14 different languages. I seriously couldn’t care less. I want to read about a hot ass woman who not only is a knock out and likes to eat, but is INTERESTING … doing cool things, gets her hands dirty in changing the world, inventing something new … becoming the female Mark Zuckerberg. Not saying Cruz doesn’t have interesting things in her life, but hello, share them with us, for crying out loud.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “oh you’re just jealous.” And you know what? You’re absolutely right, I am. She looks amazing after having kids and she’s 40! Guess I’m just too busy drinking wine and eating carbs to get my body in perfect shape for an Esquire Mag cover shoot. :::Sigh::: But hey, that’s just me. I just would like to know what the definition of “sexy” is for someone to be deemed “the sexiest person alive.” That’s all.

Until then …

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My Mom Likes Pharrell More Than Me

photo credit: http://qualitystreetmixes.com/?p=4616&cpage=7

photo credit: http://qualitystreetmixes.com/?p=4616&cpage=7

For real. Like if she could skin Pharrell and wear him, she would. Well, yeah, that is totally true, but I kind of think she wants to be best friends with him SLASH adopt him, which would basically leave my sibs and I without a parent because I mean … how do you compete with Pharrell?

Why am I writing about this? Well, my mom is pretty much the most stylish person I know, and I’m not just saying that because she birthed me. Listen, I won’t give away her age because that isn’t proper, but the woman looks like she is in her 40’s and most definitely is not (fingers crossed I got some of those genes). She schools me in shopping, coming home with the coolest pieces that I would die for, for insane prices. I would attempt to snake them from her but oh that’s right, she’s a five foot nothing stick figure and I’m, well, a monster.

I’m not sure when her Pharrell obsession started. She definitely wasn’t getting down to N.E.R.D. years back, and basically had no idea he has his hands in like every chart topping song over the past decade. “Pharrell sings on Blurred Lines … what?!” she exclaimed recently. I think it was when the “Happy” phenomenon hit. She works at a store that plays “trendy-ish” music, so I suppose she heard it there. And then I showed her the music video, which made hearts pop out of her eyes. And every time we are in the car together, as I’m listening to some ridiculous oldies song like “Give Me The Night,” she asks me politely to scan the radio to find her “song,” which means anything and everything Pharrell.

It’s not just his music she likes, though. She’s obsessed with his style. He’s totally her style sensei. Oddly enough, I think they would make a stunning pair of best friends. Don’t ask me why I think that. If Pharrell is as “zen” as everyone says he is, well they would be just like peas and carrots.

My mom: KATE! Did you see the sweater Pharrell was wearing on that music show last night?! I need it! Did you watch it?
Me: What music show? No.
My mom: YouTube it!
Me: Okay.
:::Hours later:::
My mom: Did you watch?
Me: No.
My mom: Come on!
Me: Fine, fine I’ll do it now.
Me: Mom, that sweater is definitely Chanel.
My mom: I NEED IT! We can find a knock-off, right?

That conversation actually happened. And here is the sweater. It’s pretty rad, right?

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Now that Pharrell is a judge of the Voice, which is a show my mom and I like to watch together, it’s kind of our thing (cute, right?), the lusting after Pharrell’s style has been taken to a whole new level. Seriously. If people don’t choose Team Pharrell she gets infuriated. “Why would anyone not choose him?! I would TOTALLY be Team Pharrell.” If anyone of you knows the Voice, the “blind auditions” take FOR-EV-ER, and the judges literally don’t change outfits for like four long episodes. While I was drooling over Gwen Stefani’s boots and Gwen Stefani in general, my mom had her eyes set on Pharrell’s necklaces, which again, were Chanel, I believe. See below. They rule. And they continued to tease her throughout all of the Blind Auditions.

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My mom: I need those necklaces.
Me: They are cool, but they are Chanel.
My mom: Pharrell and I need to be best friends. He’s just seems so nice. He would just give one to me. He would be like, “here you go,” :::puts imaginary necklace around her neck:::

Pharrell, if you are reading this, which you totally are because psshh why wouldn’t you be, the joy you bring my mother is an awesome thing to watch. To the way she turns up the beat and rocks out in the car to your most recent jams to the way you inspire her style (although I don’t foresee her wearing an over-sized hat anytime soon), it is rad thing to witness. I really hope you are as chill and “zen” as people say … which I believe you are. So be best friends with my mom, kay? You’re a match made me stylish heaven. And then I can steal her Chanel necklaces you give her. BOOM.

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No. More. Wire. HANGAHS!

CaptureI am not particular about things. If my manicure is slightly chipped, it doesn’t ruin my day. If my sweater has a pull in it, I will still wear it. And if my shoe has a scuff mark on it, hell yeah I will strut my stuff in them until the cows come home. Shit like that doesn’t bother me. In fact, I trick myself into believing it gives them character.

That is … until I decided to reorganize my closet so I can move my fall stuff in and summer stuff out. No, I don’t keep my non-seasonally appropriate clothes tucked away in a cute piece of Tupperware in my basement. I’m not that organized slash I like all my shit where I can see it. Except my closet is the size of shoe box, so I keep my non-seasonally appropriate stuff in there and my seasonally appropriate thangs on a rolling rack so I still have access to my maxi dresses in case I get an urge to dance in the snow in one.

Since I’ve been a teen, I’ve have an obsession with clear hangers. My mom worked at a clothing store at the time and would come home with barrels of them for me. So from that point on, my clothes would hang on only what you see below. I just love um. They have that little groove so your shirts won’t slide off. They keep the form of your shirts at an unprecedented level of perfection. I mean … does life get better?

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Now, some odd years later, things haven’t really changed. Until I started to get some of my pieces dry cleaned, and obtained an even sicker clothing addiction. Which means only one thing … you start to run out of hangers. So every now and then I would say, “hey, these We Heart Our Customers hangers aren’t THAT bad, I’ll just use one until I can get more of the clear guys.”

Over time, more clothing was being accumulated than hangers … therefore I needed more. Everyone said these were the best … the Cadillac of hangers (see below). So I went to Burlington Coat Factory and bought them in bulk. In grey. Why grey? I have no idea.

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So when I was moving my summer stuff out and fall things in, I noticed how many damn “We Heart Our Customers” hangers were being used. Too many. Just too many. Too too many. It was like the fancy grey felt hangers had gotten eaten or something, because the amount of wire hangers was staggering. I just … it just … I mean …

And all of a sudden I turned into Joan Crawford. Yep. Had a Joan Crawford moment, kids.

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I ripped the “We Heart Our Customers” wire hangers out of my clothing and violently threw them in a trash bag. I didn’t even know where all of them had come from. I truly don’t get THAT many things dry cleaned. Which leads me to believe they have minds of their own and multiply and will one day take over the world. Seriously. I bet they are in my trash can procreating as I type.

Nothing is worse than wire hangers. Joan Crawford was a CRAZY bitch, but she had a point. They fuck up your clothes. Straight up. Your shirts will slide off of them and end up living on your floor collecting dust and becoming a bed for your cats making you exclaim, “hmmm I wonder where my Marc by Marc tee is?”

Dry cleaners, thanks for the free hanger, kind of, sort of, even though I’m pretty sure it is included in the dry cleaning price. And gee golly thanks for saying you love us. It truly is flattering. But my God, you spend all this money to get your clothes dry cleaned, only to take it home on a horrific hanger that you will use out of sheer desperation and laziness. And then wind up turning into Satan, also known as Joan Crawford, when you realize how truly disheveled they make your clothing.

Maybe let’s update this. Clear hangers for everyone!

Real Talk: Bridesmaids Dresses

27-dressesPreface: If I have participated in your wedding as a bridesmaid, or one day you were planning on asking me to be your bridesmaid, this legit has NOTHING to do with you. Your weddings, future weddings were and will be forever and ever lovely and it was an honor to be apart of them slash WILL be an honor to be apart of them. There.

This is about bridesmaid dresses, the bridesmaid dress industry, and the people who sell them. First, and most importantly, what a rip off. I’ve found, that as a seasoned bridesmaid, the minute you walk into a bridal boutique to shop bridesmaids dresses … you are going to get shook down by some bully in a skirt suit who will take her pretty little tape measure and get your sizing completely wrong (which I think is on purpose), but will tell you it’s right because “she’s a professional.” I’m like a size 22 in bridal boutique world … what … the … fuck. Oh also, girls over 5’8 need “extra length” added to their dress ALWAYS, which is a damn dirty lie, too.

Now if you are the type of bride who is in it to make your bridesmaids look like absolutely shit because it’s “your day dammit,” why? Seriously, no one gives a flying fuck about the bridesmaids besides the single dudes at the wedding. Also, bride, are you paying for their dresses? If so, go to town, make them look like a clown school exploded all over them, but if you’re not, that means you’re making them spend their hard earned money, and a lot of it, on an ugly dress they will wear once. ONCE. Is that what girlfriends do to one another? Not in my house. I’ve had the pleasure of being in two weddings where the bride was open to our opinions and made sure the dress complimented each bridesmaids body type. Hell, the last wedding I was in, the bride let us pick out the damn dress. Now THAT is friendship.

As women, dress shopping should be fun. You know what’s not fun? Walking into a bridal boutique where bridesmaids dresses are shoved so tightly onto a rack you literally have to roll up your sleeves and dive in to awful shades and styles until you find a diamond in the rough. The whole experience is pretty heinous, I gotta say.

And why, dear God why, do they only have sample sizes. You walk into Bloomies, Saks, and you see racks and racks of lovely dresses in a multitude of sizes. And if they don’t have your size, they can ship it to you … what?! Some sales person doesn’t get all up in your bidness in the dressing room, literally seeing you naked and strapping you into some weird sample dress that 1,500 other girls have worn and clamping it closed with a binder clip only to get the wrong sized dress to you four months later. Could you imagine falling in love with a Monique Lhuillier dress at Bloomies and having to wait four months to get it?

Brides, think outside of the bridesmaid dress bubble. I know it’s tradition … blah, blah, blah, but it’s 2014 for crying out loud. I’m over seeing the same dress again and again in different colors rolling through my Newsfeed (you know the strapless number I’m talking about, see below. We should all get together and wear these dresses at a party while we drink wine and eat french fries).

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but J. Crew has done some really innovative shit with bridesmaids dresses, because they are legit wearable again, not the whole, “OMG girl, you could TOTES shorten it and wear it again!” Listen, when people say that to me, it makes me want to head butt them … and I don’t do that. You can NEVER alter the typical bridesmaids dress. Why? Because those dresses are made from material that if a bridesmaid got too close to a flame, they would be done for.

Think about a bridesmaid dress as an investment piece for the girls you so specifically picked out to stand beside you as you take a huge and monumental step into the future. Actually get something they can wear again! Dresses should be fun and should make women feel amazing and special … even if it isn’t “their day.” But if you are in it to make them look meh, I have no idea why you would even ask them to be apart of your party, to be honest. It’s just rude and awful.

Now THIS is how bridesmaids dresses are done. BOOM. :::Drops mic:::

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Bo Without The Tox

mac-cremestick-liners-side-in-handWhen I think of lip liner, I think 1980s nightmares. I suppose it was because I used to watch shows from the 1980’s growing up, like Matlock, yes, Matlock, and all the women had on what seemed to be really heinous lip liner. So I would sneak into my moms room and try to recreate these ridiculous looks with that I thought was lip liner, but was really an eye brow pencil. Yeah … it was hot.

Lip liner has never been something I have used. When I learned how to apply makeup for the first time, never once did someone hand me a lip liner and tell me the benefits. Even to this day, I’ve gotten my makeup did a considerable amount of times and never once did a makeup artist take a lip liner to me. You can understand why I assumed it was a nightmare from the 80’s since no one seemed to be bringing it back … much like blue eye shadow.

Now, I’m very skeptical when I get my makeup done by anyone. Strictly for fear that they will make me look a hot mess. So this past weekend I was in a wedding and therefore, had to get my makeup did because doing my own makeup for special events makes me sweat profusely. I had seen her work on a few of the other bridesmaids and all of them looked lovely, so I took a deep breath and let her work her magic.

…Until she whipped a lip liner out. It went a little something like …

Me: What is that?
Makeup Artist: Lip liner.
Me: Umm …
Makeup Artist: :::starts applying:::
Me: I don’t really …
Makeup Artist: No talking.
Me: But my lips are soooo dry … uh okay this is happening.

And before you knew it, my lips were lined and shaded in … and then a thick layer of gloss was spread evenly on top (how gross does that sound … my God). I told this woman to make me look as flawless as Kim Kardashian (yes, I really did that. Shame me all you want, the woman has amazing makeup on at all times). I didn’t know that meant Kardashian sized-lips, too.

My lips are thin. Not like freakishly thin, but sometimes when I smile, my top lip goes away. And sometimes I get excited when my gums blend in to my top lip to make it look bigger in pictures. Yep. That happens … sometimes.

So when I looked in the mirror for the first time I was shocked, scared and waiting for my friends to exclaim, “what up Bozo, how’s clown school treating you?” But they didn’t … in fact they were raving about my makeup. When you normally don’t wear a ton of makeup and see yourself all “done up,” it’s a shock, BUT a good shock. Always remember that.

Back to my lips though … my GAWD, I had them! I couldn’t stop staring at them! Who needs a needle filled with Botox injected into your lips when there is this magical thing called lip liner that gives the illusion of a bigger lip. Ta-da! AND … my favorite part … it makes your lip color stay on longer … what?! I know, right?

Lip liner, seriously, where have you been all my life? I don’t normally do this, but I’ll show you the awful pic I took of myself the minute I saw the finished product, I believe the kids are calling this a “selfie” nowadays. I know right, don’t my lips look all Botox-ey?!

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The Scarlett B

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Photo credit: http://rebloggy.com/post/bitches-kreayshawn-gucci-gucci-basic-bitches-basic/39433779630

For some reason, the moment the season changed to fall, I feel like an angry mob of people who hate Ugg boots and pumpkin spiced everything have emerged carrying pitch forks and torches.

Don’t get me wrong, I loathe Ugg boots and pumpkin spiced everything. It drives me nuts. #CrunchingLeavesInUggBoots makes me want to vom, but that is my personal opinion. If you get down with pumpkin latte’s all day err day, who am I to judge, right? Well this angry mob of basic haters says something different.

Basic Bitch, defined by Urban Dictionary, is, and I quote, “a bum-ass woman who thinks she is the shit but really ain’t.” … … … … yeeeeaaaah … I’m just going to let you take a moment to let that sink in. I wish I were kidding.

When you Google, “being basic,” articles like “how basic are you?” a Buzzfeed quiz, and “50 signs you are dating a basic bitch,” pops up. Well I took that Buzzfeed quiz, kids, and it told me I’m not basic, buuuuuuuut I have some minor basic tendencies. Sorry I watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians and claim my yoga teacher has “changed my life,” and drink vodka sodas because I love vodka, NOT because of the lack of calories … and P.S. I call them vodka clubs, a-thank you very much (P.S. saying P.S. was so basic of me, right?)

Listen, I will never drag a boyfriend to go pumpkin picking with me, and I believe I just donated my last and final North Face Denali jacket to the homeless, but what I cannot understand, for the life of me, is why being “basic” has turned into this awful plague stylish girls do not want to catch. Seriously … in the fashion world, being basic mine as well means you have two weeks to live. It’s the worst.

I won’t lie to any of you (seriously, when do I ever), but when I took that Buzzfeed quiz and it listed all of these “basic” things we should check off if we indulge in, I kept getting more and more enraged thinking, “who would do that!?!? Who truly actually has a brunch club.” It kind of made me want to bang my head against the wall. But then I stopped and thought to myself, “hey, self, I have friends and family who like this shit … maybe I should shut up.” And I did. Well I didn’t, I just kept the thoughts to myself.

We likes what we likes, and sometimes we are afraid of turning into things, like a bitch, our mothers (not me, though, mine rules, I totally want to be my mom … shout out to my ma!), boring, hated, and most recently … basic. But before you pass judgement and decide to not indulge in something for fear you will have to walk the earth wearing the scarlett “B,” think about if you really like it. And hey, if you really like leaves crunching underneath your Ugg boots as you pumpkin pick with your BF/GF who wears a plaid shirt from J. Crew … my friend, go on with your bad self. Who are we to judge.

GOD we need to stop calling each other “basic bitches” because it makes it okay for other people to call us “basic bitches,” and that just isn’t cool. Alright, everyone take some rubbers. (How basic of me to quote Mean Girls, right? See … I’m still breathing)

 

Things I Don’t Give A Shit About

big-carrie-love-mr-big-Favim.com-833741I don’t know why, but lately I feel like we (the general public), have been getting beaten with a stick filled with the same pop culture topics over and over again … that really no one should give a shit about. Every time I turn on the TV, scroll through Instagram, go on the interwebs, I’m once again beaten by the same facts over and over again which leads me to say … “I don’t give a shit! Why do you insist on telling me these meaningless things that I don’t care about. Honestly!”

I thought about it and said to myself, “self … I couldn’t possibly be the ONLY one feeling this, right?” I mean sure, breaking news Taylor Swift has a new boyfriend … fantastic. But five days later, do I REALLY still care? No. Did I ever REALLY care? Probably not. Things I don’t care about for $5,000, Alex.

Since I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed by this fact, lately, I decided to make a list of the topics I just don’t give a shit about in hopes that I will send them into the blogosphere for them to never come back. Psyche … who am I kidding, Mario Lopez is probably salivating right now waiting to blab about them tonight on EXTRA! EXTRA!

So here they are, in no particular order. Call me cynical, call me a bitch, call me rude … call me cranky (okay maybe I am, JUST a little) … but you know you KIND of want to add to this list, right? Come on. Come on. COME ON! Do it.

1. Lauren Conrad. Lauren Conrad’s wedding. Lauren Conrad’s wedding dress. Lauren Conrad’s wedding party. Unless it has to do with Lauren Conrad on the Hills not going to Paris … I don’t want to hear about it, kay?

2. George Clooney no longer being a bachelor. Get over it, no woman can even come CLOSE to competing with Amal Alamuddin. Throw in the towel gracefully, girls.

3. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone watch and everything related to the iPhone 6 and watch and all of their controversies. If I hear, “but it bends” one more time … I swear … :::shaking fist:::: iOS this.

4. Kendall Jenner getting bullied by other models at fashion week because of her “reality star status.” Really? Really? Isn’t there and Ebola epidemic happening? Just sayin’…

5. Taylor Swift trying to be a feminist. I just … no. Stop it.

6. Beyonce Photoshopping her Instagram pics and any other star Photoshopping their Instagram pics. I mean how much time DO you have on your hands to Photoshop your Instagram pics? Granted a minion is doing it for you, but still … someone has to art direct your thigh fat, am I right?

7. That freaking picture of Amal Alamuddin’s wedding dress with Oscar de la Renta in Vogue. Seriously. Byeeeeeeee.

8. Kate Middleton being preggo, yet again, and her preggo style. Nope. Yawn.

9. Any star having a wardrobe malfunction. Really? Selena Gomez’ zipper was down at the airport? Riveting, Guiliana Rancic … simply riveting.

10. Pumpkin flavored anything. My GAWD. Now it’s trendy to make fun of the “basic bitches” sipping on their pumpkin spice latte’s, but I guarantee the woman writing about these “basic bitches” and their pumpkin fetishes has a pumpkin spice candle burning next to their Mac Book Air. BOOM. I can’t wait for the first frost to kill off all this pumpkin bullshit.

I Want To Be North West

PFW Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 - Givenchy - Catwalk and Front RowThe thought of going back in time and doing it all again, makes me want to run like a bat out of hell. Elementary school bullshit, trying to figure out simple math (seriously, math class used to make me sweat with anxiety), puberty, college, finding a job … yeah um no.

But if someone guaranteed me that I could come back as 1-year-old North West, daughter of Kanye and Kim, I would absolutely give it all up and sit front row at Paris Fashion Week on my “Mommy’s” lap. Okay … that is a little creepy to say. Kim Kardashian’s taas are always out and about with those deep v’s … that may be a little too close for comfort. And I assume her and Kanye as SUPER weird. But I digress.

A lot of people don’t agree with how Kanye and Kim are raising young North. Shocking. My mother, for example, was appalled by the young one wearing a sheer top to the Givenchy fashion show. “Babies shouldn’t wear sheer anything!” she shrieked. And while I slightly agreed with her, I felt like it was tastefully sheer for a 1-year-old. And then I realized how insane the whole convo was.

Listen, mother and daughter outfits aren’t anything new. We’ve all been there … well not me because my mom was awesome and would never step foot in Talbots. But a LOT of people have creepy pics of them in mother and daughter matching outfits. Kim just took it up a notch and decided to rock sheer Givenchy outfits that complemented each other. I mean, I’m okay with it. It’s Givenchy, for crying out loud. And she didn’t put North in sheer pants like she was wearing, did she now? Nope. Because that would be creepy … and weird on a baby.

Now don’t throw shit at me after you read the next statement, but I want to give Kim and Kanye a slow clap for the way they dress North. No pinks, no sparkle, no cutesy Disney characters all over her weird cotton onesy. Just straight up fashion. I adore it. Just because you birthed a female doesn’t mean as parents you need to exaggerate that fact with tutus and pink ponies. My God.

Does it bother me that a 1-year-old has a better wardrobe than me? Absolutely. Not only a better wardrobe, but a wardrobe I couldn’t afford in like three years worth of salary. The fact that this baby slash heiress to the West/Kardashian fortune, is like boys with all of the biggest and baddest couture designers and sits front row at all the best fashion shows in God damn Paris drives me mad. I was lucky if I rocked the latest line from K-Mart when I was her age, for the love of God. Yet this kid drools on Lanvin … literally.

:::Sigh::: I hate to admit that when I saw North sitting front row at the Givenchy fashion show, I secretly wished I was her. And I still do. Mostly for the clothes. Not for the youth. Like I said I would NEVER want to go back in time, even if Yeezus was my Dad. I also secretly wished I could wear leather pants and a Yeezus tour T … but alas I just don’t think I can pull it off as well as her.

Damn you, North West, damn you!

Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and their daughter North West walk to the Balenciaga Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015

Temperature Tantrums

lady-gaga-madThis kind of weather makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thoroughly jazzed that it is fall. I truly love me some fall. But these up and down temps make me want to punt Mother Nature in the face … just a little.

When it started to take a turn for fall a week and a half or so, I happily started my hunt for my winter wardrobe, because it seems every new season when I look back at my previous year’s wardrobe, I have nothing. (why is that?) But regardless, I bought some light weight sweaters, some pants … and slowly but surely started to put my dresses and short shorts in storage.

But wait, what happened over this past weekend? Oh that’s right, the death rattle of summer. When all I wanted to do was eat chicken noodle soup and douse myself in leather and fur, the temperature spikes to over 80 degrees, and all of a sudden my air conditioning is back on and I’m rocking a maxi dress, craving water ice. What in the holy hell?

Nothing is worse when you wake up and know when you travel to work it will be a chilly 60 degrees, then as the day grows old, the temperature will reach 80 degrees and you are thinking, what do I wear? Over the past week and a half, my closet looks like it got sick to its stomach all over my room because when I get home from work all sweaty and such, I throw on shorts and a tank, then after an hour, I cool off and get a bit chilly and need to change into sweats and a t-shirt. Not to mention dressing for work is impossible. Today I wore a light cotton t-shirt dress with gladiator sandals up to my knee. Umm what?

If only I could do quick costume changes at work for different temperatures. I suppose that is what dressing in layers is for. But how annoying? Coat in the morning when walking to the train in case you get cold. Cardigan at work, since the AC is still on, and it will be cold as balls, and a light t-shirt under the cardigan for when you run errands over lunch and get all hot and bothered.

You can tell I am not the only one confused on what to wear right now. Walking through the city, if you weren’t aware that it was technically fall, you would have absolutely no idea what season it was. Some girls are still rocking short shorts, tanks, and sandals. Other girls don’t give a fuck and are rocking oversized boyfriend cardigans, tights, and over-the-knee boots, and some girls are wearing long sleeved dresses, coats, with sandals (hi, that is me … because I’m confused and rather annoyed).

I personally despise being hot, so I haven’t given my boots their first stroll this season, because there is nothing worse than sweating to death in over-the-knee boots. But quite frankly that is all I want to do. I want to not be a hot, sweaty mess when I get into work and when I get home … and sometimes randomly in between. I don’t want my hair to look frizzy and poofy the minute I step out the door until the minute I lay my head on the pillow. I want over-the-knee boots, sweaters, tights, faux leather, faux fur. I want these 80 degree temps to go back to where the came from. No more death rattle. No more sweating. No more confusion over what to wear.

So if you are suffering because of all this up and down weather nonsense, you aren’t alone, kids, you aren’t alone. We’ll get through this together. Because in a mere month we will probably want to punt Mother Nature in the face for polar vortex-like temps. I mean are we EVER happy?

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Umbrella Etiquette

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Photo credit: http://rubymaecollins.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/vintage-rain-umbrella-vogue-vintage4.png?w=670

Umbrellas are things made from Satan. Straight up.

The umbrella I use is one I stole from my mom years ago. It is made by Nautica (fancy, I know) black and red, and the handle looks like at one point it was covered in something sticky and then some weird black substance got stuck to it, and now is covered in this patchy black solid mass. Needless to say, it is a mortifying moment when the handle sticks out of my purse or someone asks me to borrow it to run an errand or something.

Did I mention that one of the metal arms holding my umbrella together is completely exposed, leading me to fear the day that I poke someone’s damn eye out when walking the streets. Which leads me to my next point …

No one knows the proper umbrella etiquette. Listen, I get it, when you’re existing in the city, it is a “go, go go” mentality … and if you dilly dally (yeah I just said that), you will get trampled over by a mob of fast paced cats. Literally. Face down in a puddle. And there is a good chance that something unsavory is all up in there. Mmm hmm. Best keep up.

It gets even worse when it rains because no one wants to get wet, so the pace gets picked up even more. You’re walking down the street in the rain, holding your umbrella, trying to get to point B, when you see someone walking towards you doing the same exact thing. All of a sudden you find yourself in a severe game of chicken thinking, “she’s going to move. She’s totally going to move. Do you see the size of my umbrella? Yep. Moving. She’s going to do it.” But she isn’t. She won’t. You look at the size of the sidewalk, trying to figure out if both umbrellas could fit for a sheer moment in time, side-by-side, but it is impossible. Who. Will. Blink. First.

But no one blinks. In what feels like a slow motion flash, your umbrellas become one, slowly screaming to one another, “nooooooooooooooo,” as you breeze past the girl with rain flying every which way because your umbrella just got abruptly interrupted from its regularly scheduled duties of keeping you dry. I wish I could say this is the only occurrence of a moment like this, but alas, it is only one of many.

People, we all don’t want to get wet. Hence why we are holding umbrellas. We all have places to be, people to see, cocktails to be drank. No one is more important than one another. But when you see someone coming at your holding an umbrella, just like you, make the proper adjustments to not have an umbrella impact. For me I always move because, like I said, I have a sharp piece of metal sticking out of my umbrella and don’t really need to take a person down like that.

Listen, by moving over slightly, you aren’t backing down, you aren’t a wuss or a lesser human soul. You actually rule. The person who doesn’t move, the big almighty street walker thinking they are the shit … suck. Truly, awful people. For shame. Just move. For the love of GOD. It means nothing except you kind of care about the human race, just a tad. Or get poked in the eye by my faulty umbrella … your call.

Umbrellas. The bane of my existence, truthfully. The ones that fit in my purse, all nice and snug are the ones that break, and the over-sized beasts that are trendy and cute are A. overpriced and B. don’t fit in my bag, leading me to carry one more thing I don’t want to. And who wants to pay $50 for an umbrella when you know you will lose it within a couple rainy days.

A piece of advice for me to you, if you are in need of an umbrella and don’t want to pay for one, go to your local watering hole. If you are friendly with the bartender, ask them if they have any umbrellas up for grabs. People drinking equal bye-bye umbrellas. I’m guilty of it. The last thing you want to do when you are half way home, drunk as balls and realize you forgot your umbrella is turn back around to get it. Nope. Not up in here.

But yeah … the umbrella paradise lives at your local watering hole. You’re welcome.

Playing Dress Up As Olivia Pope

Kerry-Washington-Scandal-Prada-Twin-Pocket-Tote-590x366The only thing that has helped me get through this week is knowing Thursday night we all get reunited with the “Gladiators.” I’m going to dress in all cream, pour myself a glass of red wine, and watch Olivia Pope handle shit once again (realistically I’ll be in my shrunken PJ bottoms, mis-matching top, hair in an insane top bun sipping on white wine because I just cannot with red).

I mean, we all wish we could wake up in the morning and be faced with Olivia Pope’s closet. Her coat and bag game is on POINT. Alexander McQueen, Prada, Chanel, Burberry … literally drooling. And how she doesn’t spill said red wine all over those couture cream looks is beyond me.

For those of us who have threatened to skin Olivia Pope and wear her due to our lust for her wardrobe, I suppose our threats have been taken seriously … by the Limited. I was pretty sure the Limited didn’t exist anymore, but alas, I was sorely mistaken. The only Limited I knew was Limited Too, which was my jam in elementary school. Everything from neon tank tops with weird looking Limited Too monkeys on them hanging from trees to feather pens, Clueless style, I owned. I wanted to bathe in Limited Too. But the Limited? That shit made me yawn.

I suppose the Limited has taken a Target-esque approach, much like other retailers have like Kohls and JCPenny’s, to make themselves look “trendy” and “cool.” I’m not like other retailers, I’m a HIP retailer, I’m a COOL retailer (if you get that reference we are officially best friends). But when I think of the Limited, I think of boring black pant suits with thousands of different patterned shirts to wear underneath, and matching jewelry sets. It’s the color by numbers of fashion. Literally, when I would walk past the Limited, I would yawn. The Limited was also apart of the reason I vowed after graduating college that I would never wear a suit (5 years later and still going strong).

As much as I appreciate their attempts at giving us Pope style without the Pope price tag, I gotta say it is way too much like playing dress up for me. When we were little, we all wanted to be Cinderella, right? And the Disney Store made it possible by selling Cinderella costumes and fake glass slippers. I don’t have any interest, as a grown woman, in going to the Limited and buying an “Olivia Pope costume” for $228.

Olivia Pope, the character, is a bad ass working woman. She literally makes the fake president, who is a straight up slore, come across like a smart, intelligent family man. She “handles” pretty much every large and in charge case in Washington, D.C. Hence why she makes large and in charge money to purchase such lust-worthy items like Burberry coats and Prada handbags.

:::Sigh::: I’ll be continuing on saving my pennies and dimes until the day I can proudly march into Burberry and purchase an amazing coat. Until then, I’ll be sitting on my couch, looking a hot mess on Thursday evenings, lusting after Olivia Pope’s wardrobe. But you won’t find me running to the Limited any time soon.

P.S. where does one find a Limited? Do malls even still exist?!

The Makings Of A Timeless Coat

mcx-90-fashion-carrie-bradshaw-sex-in-city-lgnIt’s the first day of fall … hooray! Let’s all go apple picking and dip our entire bodies in pumpkin spice everything!

No. Just. No. Those articles detailing the things “white girls love about fall” make me want to punch pumpkins in their tiny carved faces.

But right now, I want to talk coats. Because this delicious chill in the air that made me sleep like a fricken baby last night is making me want to whip out all of my coats, throw them on the ground, and roll on top of them out of sheer joy and excitement (yes, I’m that much of a freak).

My favorite coat I own is legit seven years old. SEVEN. I got it when I was a sophomore in college at Burlington Coat Factory for a little over $200 for things like interviews and internships … and maybe the potential frat “mixer” that I never got invited to (whomp whomp). The only other coat I owned when I was in college was the North Face Denali. Oh come now, you know you had one, too. I had the black one … and yes, I rocked it with Ugg Boots. You can say I was the epitome of “cool” in the mid-00’s (by the way that is SO bazaar to say).

So why have I had this coat for seven years, and why will I still be wearing it this season? Because it is a little thing called timeless, my friends. It’s long, black, military-esque. Great hardware, great pockets. The lining is completely shot to shit and ripped to shreds, but honestly, who looks at the lining of a coat? Someone could have worn it 50 years ago and not looked out of place, and someone could have worn in 20 years ago and not looked out of place.

There are a few coats every woman should own that will remain in your closet, and your lives, forever. These coats are something you should spend money on, because hopefully seven years from now, you will still be rocking them.

1. Long, black, military wool coat

2. Trench

3. Faux-fur (you’re welcome PETA)

4. Faux leather (again, PETA, got your back)

5. One trendy coat (that you don’t spend as much money on and indulge in ONE a season)

The other coats out there … meh. I mean indulge if you must, but the five above are your simple building blocks to a get coat collection. Trust. You just need to look for the “timeless” signs. Ask yourself the following questions.

1. Would my great grandmother worn this coat back in the day?

2. Would my mother have worn this coat back in the day?

3. How will this coat age (think of fabric, hardware … take a close look at it)?

4. Do I have the means to care for it properly (dry cleaning, storage, etc.)?

5. Will my future self look back at this coat and cringe at its trendiness? Will your grand kids laugh at it?

Coats are the things that make the outfit statement in the winter when you are getting from A to B. Nobody will give a shit if you’re rocking all couture with some trendy monstrosity covering it. Invest wisely.

Me. My Taas. And NuBra.

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 7.46.36 PMI happen to have a thing for backless dresses. I think it is such a chic way to bring the sexy aspect without letting your taas out and about for everyone to see, or so much leg your vagina is about 10 seconds away from making its grand entrance.

With that being said, if you adore backless dresses like I do, it means one thing and one thing only: no bra allowed. Now, because of the title of my blog, people tend to think I’m a “bra whisperer” or some sort of “bra connoisseur.” Well kids, I’m nothing of the sort. I do get access to some of the finest legit “bra whisperers” on the planet though, who shame me for things like not washing my undergarments properly (apparently throwing your bras in with your darks so they get wrapped around your jeans like a snake isn’t okay), and how I put on my bras (again, slapping the thing on and going ain’t cool). Without them, I would be lost, though.

So when I found an amazing backless dress, I had to go to the experts for some help. Because unless you have bee stings for taas or fake ones that go against the laws of gravity, “free balling” ain’t an option. Free balling certainly wasn’t an option for me. I wouldn’t want to subject the world to that. You’re welcome.

I’m not one to go for the whole “backless bra that you slap on with some tape and call it a day.” Nope. I’ve tried it. Victoria Secret style. It was Satan. And the minute I started to sweat, it started sliding off. Do you know how awkward it is when you are trying to raise the roof on the dance floor and feel the stickiness of tape sliding down off your skin. It ain’t pretty or cool. In fact, you’re screwed. One time I brought masking tape just in case of a wardrobe malfunction. Yes, masking tape in da club. And it malfunctioned. So I spent the good part of the night trying to readjust the backless bra with masking tape in the bathroom. Turns out masking tape doesn’t stick either if you have sweat glans. Oh … and the whole “you can wear it again” thing … is complete bullshit. Just an FYI.

But then I met NuBra. After my previous experience, I was more than skeptical. But I had no other choice but to give it a whirl (there was a bad ass dress at stake). And an amazing “bra whisperer” slash good friend assured me that she wore it on her wedding day and it didn’t move.

So I wore it for the first time this weekend. Gotta say, it was an odd experience. NuBra is basically suction cups on your taas. I followed the application instructions (which were rather easy), and all of a sudden, I was strapped in and ready to go. Well, after I asked my girlfriends if my taas looked weird about 500 times (sorry, ladies). It most definitely didn’t give me super duper Wonder Bra-style lift, but it’s much better than nothing.

Of course the entire night I was waiting for the … taas to drop, if you will. The minute I started to perspire I kept thinking, “here we go, I’ll be in the bathroom in no time throwing this thing away, making me spend the rest of the evening with my arms crossed awkwardly, in a ‘DON’T LOOK AT ME’ way.” But I was wrong, it stayed in place the entire evening. Even during “Shout!” (I was at a wedding, clearly), except I didn’t jump up, jump up and get down. No one wants to see that. NuBra is good … but not THAT good.

So there ya have it. I hope you enjoyed my intimate explanation of my taas weekend in NuBra. I’m just excited that no longer do I have to see an amazing backless dress and be like, “whomp whomp … taas are just too big to free ball. Moving on.” Nope. Never again, I say, NEVER AGAIN!

Third Is The Word

Capture1Preface: I’ve never given an acceptance speech, so I’m going to take the opportunity to do so today … right here … right now. Ahem …

Today is a pretty fantastic day. And not just because it is Friday and not just because it is beautiful outside and starting to feel like fall. But strictly because it is OFFICIAL that Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra placed 3rd for Best Local Blogger in the PHL Philly Hot List. And, might I add, the only fashion blog in the top five. I truly don’t have words for how ecstatic I am … in fact, I just feel like this:

giphyPhilly has an amazing blogging scene. Yes, a lot of talent, but what I love most about it is how supportive we all are of one another. True, I don’t know a lot of bloggers outside of the lifestyle/fashion realm, but the ones I do know, some of whom were nominated for Best Local Blogger as well, are encouraging, supportive, and always willing to retweet or leave a lovely comment on a post. It is such a breath of fresh air and something that makes me honored to be apart of the Philly blogging scene.

I want to sincerely thank all of you who voted. I know it sucks having to give your email address and make a profile and do all of that nonsense and then getting all of those horrid emails (damn you, Philly Hot List :::shaking fist:::) But the fact that all of you suffered through that annoyance to support me and help me to get to where I am today … I cannot thank you enough. Seriously … beyond overwhelmed over here. Talk amongst yaselves …

CaptureI went into this thang with a loose goal of being in the top 10 … out of 96 amazing blogs, and to be the only fashion blog in the top five … well, is something special.

TURN THE MUSIC OFF, I’M NOT FINISH!

Anywho … thanks to my family, my amazing friends, co-workers, cats, my lord and savior Jesus Christ, my Apple laptop where all the magic happens, and mostly to anywho and everyone who voted. THIS ONE IS FOR YOU!

Freckles McGee

Photo credit: http://blackswandive.tumblr.com/

Photo credit: http://blackswandive.tumblr.com/

We always want what we can’t have. Curly haired ladies want straight hair. Blondes want to be brunette (I mean clearly, it’s the better side of life), and so on and so forth. Luckily in this wonderful age of technology, you can get whatever your hearts desire as long as you have a big ol’ sack ‘o money. Oh, you want straight hair forevah? DONE! Sick of your hair color? Wah-laa, you’re brunette! Wish your taas were a little more voluptuous? Taa-daa (no pun intended …okay maybe a little)!

Except if you have freckles. I have freckles. I have HAD freckles since I was a wee one. And I’ve loathed their circular existence for as long as I can remember. Don’t ask me why, but I would see girls, probably mostly my dolls, with this amazing porcelain skin and think to myself, “why do I have this nonsense all over my skin?! And why isn’t there some laser that exists to remove them?!” Yes, at the age of 5 I was already contemplating plastic surgery before I even knew what the hell it was.

There was one freckle I wanted to take down the most. One that sat in the middle of my nose … that happened to be bigger than the others. Yes. An over-sized freckle that lived on the center of my nose. One that my family was obsessed with and had given it a proper name of “Emily.” A freaking name, for a freaking freckle. They would come over and say things like, “there’s Emily!” and boop me on the nose, when all I wanted to do was try and violently scrub this “Emily” off my face.

Cindy Crawford didn’t have freckles. Madonna didn’t have freckles. Paula Abdul didn’t have freckles. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air didn’t have freckles (see how I’m dating myself here?) But I did. “Emily”, this over-sized freak show of a freckle in the middle of my nose, was all I could see when I looked in the mirror. I wondered to myself, if that is all I can see, I guess that is what everyone else will hone in on when they look at my face. Even though my family adored it like it was a member of the family, I was certain kids would find some way to ridicule me for it. Hell, I was already ridiculing myself for it.

Flash forward to present day, I am still the curly-haired girl with freckles. Except now I own a really amazing straightener and realize that freckles are basically sun damage, and everyone has them in some way shape or form. I just have more of them because my Irish genes dominated over my Italian ones.

My freckles really only make themselves known when I sun bathe (which is rare, and now usually consists of me wearing SPF 70, a hat, and sitting under an umbrella), and live in small colonies on my shoulders. In the winter time, you can barely tell I have them, and sometimes think the Gods actually heard my plea when I was 5 years old for Cindy Crawford-like non-freckled skin.

And yes, “Emily” is still there. Although, I never acknowledge her presence. We are frenemies, if you will. And she usually gets covered up with Laura Mercier foundation and Mac bronzer. My family, to this day, still talks of “Emily” like she is a part of the family. Even though I’m not her biggest fan, in my 27th year of life, I don’t find myself wanting to take a laser to her as much, simply because it is a part of who I am.

We all have shit we would love to change about ourselves. Whether it is as simple as a hair color, or a birth mark, or something more severe … we all carry something like that with us. But at the end of the day, that thing we so desperately want to change about ourselves, makes us who we are. And sometimes ya just gotta own it, freckles and all.

Do I Look Fat?

anigif_enhanced-2570-1399938997-41_previewThere is nothing worse than having a friend stand in front of you asking the following questions:

“Do I look fat?”
“Can you see my muffin top?”
“Does this dress flatter my figure?”
“Do I look like I gained weight”

It’s a shitty situations for both parties, as a matter of fact. As the person asking the questions, if you are anything like me, you want the cold, hard, honest truth because you don’t want to walk around looking like an asshole. For the person responding to said questions, well, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Even though your friend may be asking for the cold, hard, honest truth, does she REALLY? For me, even though I do ask for the truth, I know deep down I would be absolutely devastated if my friend did tell me I look like I gained weight or that indeed she can see my muffin top. And that friend runs the risk after speaking said truth of me turning into Satan, spiraling out into a haze of self loathing and labeling her the worst friend on the planet who thinks I am fat.

Ahhhh females, aren’t we AMAZING?!

As females, we have days where we feel awful about ourselves, whether it is brought on by PMS or just having an “off” day … it happens. For example, yesterday I found myself in a dressing room, sweating to death, trying on dresses whilst feeling completely bloated and disgusting. The last thing I wanted to be doing was trying on dresses, but alas I needed to her ‘er done. Luckily my best friend came with me for support and opinions.

Nothing I tried on wow-ed me. In fact, I don’t think I would even be wow-ed if I was trying on couture since I was feeling straight up like this:

24zhab9So I was relying on the reaction of my best friend. You can tell when something looks good right away. It is an immediate “YES!” “PERFECTION” “SOLD!” If the next sentence is, “wweeeelll :::circles around you:::, do you own Spanx?” it is a no go. The worst thing you can do is lie to someone whilst dress shopping. In fact I have the sickest lie-dar on the planet. There are simple signs to looks for. The corner of their lip starts to curl, their eyes will get big, they may start playing with their hair. Listen, I know, you don’t want to hurt your friends feelings. I get it. You are a good person. But there are nice ways to do it without being like, “you look disgusting, take that off.”

“That style just isn’t working for you, let’s try something else more flattering.”
“You have such great legs, we need to find something that accentuates them more!”
“That dress is something a hooker would wear, take it off, you are better than that.”

And so on and so forth. What I am saying ladies, if you ask your friends to give you the cold, hard, honest truth, don’t get pissed off when they give it to you. You asked for it. If you are asking for the truth, but really fishing for compliments, that is just an unfair game to be playing. If by asking, “do I look fat,” you really want validation that you are thin, I mean … just stop.

But to the person having to give the cold, hard, honest truth, there are ways to sugar-coat it without being like, “meeeeh ya definitely look like you gained 10 lbs,” all the while destroying your friends hopes and dreams and potentially your friendship. Just don’t lie. For the love. It isn’t cool to let your friends walk around like assholes. And lie-dar exists. You think you’re being coy, but, indeed, you are NOT.

The-More-You-Know

 

Dresses, Dresses, Where Art Thou Dresses?

Photo credit: http://www.liveluvcreate.com/image/nothing_to_wear-383015.html

Photo credit: http://www.liveluvcreate.com/image/nothing_to_wear-383015.html

What’s the age old saying, “a watched pot never boils.” Well, yeah, the same goes for shopping when you are looking for something specific.

Say you are looking for a red leather crop top (bare with me), and you go out to hunt for that one and only red leather crop top … I guarantee you, you will not find it. It’s just how the universe works. You will find everything else under the sun during that hunt, jeans, leather jackets, spectacular statement jewelry. All things fine and dandy … but just not in the budget … because God dammit, you are in need of a red leather crop top (don’t ask me where the red leather crop top came from … it manifested in my brain and … well … wah-laa).

My frustration is stemming from the fact when a girl needs a great dress … they can never be found. At least that is how the cookie crumbles for me. Any other random time in life when my day planner has tumble weeds rolling across it, I stumble across the most drool-worthy dresses that make me crave someplace fancy to go. Do I buy them? Absolutely not. Something shiny will catch my eye, and since I have no place to go, the shiny thing wins. And then there are the times, like right now, when everyone and their mother is having an event slash getting married, and the only options that I have in front of me are to wear are my birthday suit (gross) or a dress I have worn about 15 bazillion times. Yawn.

Sure, I could Rent The Runway. I’m a HUGE fan of Renting said Runway. It is pure genius … IF you only have one event to go to in that month. Unfortunately for me (I mean yaaaaaaay weddings), I have a bazillion, like I said. So Renting the Runway just wouldn’t be a financially smart move. I’m in the market for a new fancy dress, anyways. A girl should invest in at least one a year, right? And lucky for me, all events I have will be with different people. Therefore they will NEVER know I wore the same dress a bazillion times … that is unless they are reading this, well, then …. hey, ya got me. Give me a break, what do I look like, Paris Hilton?

If only I could find said dress :::sigh::: Especially after seeing all the magic during NYFW and now LFW, I want something spectacular, something different, something that doesn’t have a DVF price tag. I’ve gone to Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Zara (which had some awesome dresses, but everything I liked was in white, and that is a HUGE no-no whilst attending a wedding), and yeah … yawn central. Everything is so cookie cutter. Short, strapless, crew neck, a little leather, a little sparkle. Literally have seen it a million times.

Lesson learned: When you see a good dress that makes you swoon and fits you like a glove, no matter what you have going on in your life, buy it, for the love of God. So you don’t find yourself in these situations like I’m in, banging your head against the wall, and contemplating going to stores you would never step foot in only because you have run out of options. “Oooh I wonder if Talbots has any hot looks?!”

What Anna Says Goes

annawintour_getty_650145a1After watching Anna Wintour answer 73 random questions, which to the normal person would be exciting, but to her looked truly painful, I got to thinking. Wonder if Anna Wintour asked me to do something?

Now, I’ve never met Anna Wintour, and I’m not sure Caroline Wozniacki has either. Who knows, they could be wearing matching BFF bracelets for all I know. But according to an article, Anna Wintour told Ms. Wozniacki (who is a Danish tennis player … it’s okay, I had to Google her, too) to cut her hair. Really? Cut her hair?

Alas, Caroline did it. She got a hair cut. Why? Because Anna suggested it. My mind exploded. You should only get your hair cut if you want to, or have such bad split ends you need to, not because a powerful stranger told you to do so, right? And how insulting. Why don’t you just tell me I look like crap instead of dancing around the obvious. I was outraged, thoroughly.

And then I remembered … it wasn’t just a powerful stranger that told Ms. Wozniacki to get her hair cut. It was Anna Wintour. The most powerful and most influential woman in the fashion industry. With that being said, she knows her shit. It’s not like your Aunt June from Nebraska who always liked you with a bowl cut.

So then I put myself in Caroline’s shoes. If I got the pleasure of sitting next to Anna Wintour during fashion week, and she actually acknowledged my existence … after I tried to inconspicuously take a selfie with her in the background all the while nerding out, I would almost instantaneously become her bitch. Why? Because it is Anna Wintour. If the woman “suggested” I rip off my dress because it was so ugly her eyes were beginning to burn, I would rip that baby off like it was put together with velcro. No ifs ands or buts. It would be my pleasure. And only because I would have the comfort of knowing because Anna suggested it, I would be applauded for it, instead of laughed off the fashion week runway.

Basically, after a lot of thought and contemplation … I would most likely do whatever Anna Wintour told me to do. Dye my hair blonde. Shave my head. Wear hot pink all day errday. Like the pavement in Times Square. Sign me up. Why? Because well … A. I would be slightly scared of what would happen if I ever disagreed with her and B. after years in the industry, and months and months of putting together a pretty rad magazine … ya gotta trust the woman … unless she asked me to lick the pavement in Times Square, then she truly is a sadistic witch.

Bad Juju, Be Gone

Photo credit: http://www.designworklife.com/2012/08/17/the-dark-arts/

Photo credit: http://www.designworklife.com/2012/08/17/the-dark-arts/

I am, truly, a very superstitious person. I knock on wood, throw salt over my right shoulder, I never count my chickens before the hatch … it all just freaks me out.

But the worst is when you buy something and come to find that it is a hex. Now I know you are probably thinking, this chick is crazytown, which I totally get, I think that about myself, sometimes, too. But I have to admit, there are a few pieces of clothing and accessories that I refuse to wear because something always goes wrong when I wear them. Hence they are a hex and should be burned … but are too pretty to be set ablaze. So I just keep them in my possession and stare at them longingly.

Most recently it has been a pair of shoes. I won’t blow up their spot, because truly they are so pretty and so fantastic … and I covet them. But in the two times I’ve worn them, everything has gone to shit.

For example, one of the biggest wardrobe malfunctions I have ever encountered, leaving me basically naked for the evening, happened when I rocked those shoes … or well, attempted to rock them. THEN an opportunity that sent me to the moon and back with happiness unraveled before my eyes whilst wearing them. When I got home from said opportunity unraveling, I threw them against the wall … hard. Like really, REALLY hard. It felt good.

To the non-superstitious person, there is no correlation. They would still rock these amazing shoes until the cows came home. For someone like myself, they are dead to me. I’m not saying these shoes caused all of these bad things to happen. In fact, maybe they have no involvement what-so-ever. The fact is, the idea of walking this Earth in said shoes with all that bad juju surrounding them, and with the potential for other things to go to shit … doesn’t seem like something I’m down for.

Unfortunately it isn’t just the shoes, I have really nice pieces of jewelry I refuse to wear … or outfits that traditionally bring bad things to my life that now hang in my closet neglected and probably a little dusty, all because EVERY time I wear them, negativity follows. I know, I know … #SuperstitiousPeopleProblems, waahhh, boo-frickity-hoo, but it sucks when you pour your hard-earned cash into your closet only to find a black cloud follows said piece.

Weird, right? I know … I should probably see someone about this. They are inanimate objects, for crying out loud. But regardless, no one wants to rock something that reminds them of truly unsavory memories, right? Or with the potential of a black cloud to follow. Better safe than sorry is what I always say.

:::Sigh::: I should call a priest.

Me, Myself, And A Wardrobe Malfunction

Jennifer-LawrencesWhen it comes to packing for a long weekend, or an event, I always pack a backup outfit. Even if I’m dead set on what I’m wearing, I always have something else to fall back on … God forbid. Except … this weekend.

After work I was headed to a friend’s house to get dressed for our other friends bachelorette party. Now, because I hate lugging things around town, I decided to only pack the outfit I was going to wear because it was my black leather pencil skirt, new shoes (which I wrote about like 15 times last week) and a simple black lace tank. In the words of “Yonce,” it was “flawless.” That skirt is hands down is my favorite article of clothing because A. I got it for a ridic price at Loehmans (RIP) and B. it fits me like a glove. So why would anyone need a backup outfit when dealing with such perfection … right?

A glass of wine down and a few moments of relaxation, I decided to start the dreaded “getting ready” process, which usually leads me to start sweating profusely and getting extremely anxious (hence why I only go to dive bars now where sweats are totally acceptable). “Da club” outfits stress me out. The hair, the makeup, the “do I look fat” questions … oyyy.

So I put on my black lace tank, shimmied up my black leather pencil skirt, awkwardly reached behind me back to zip it up, and realized I had gotten it caught on my black lace tank. Shit. Zipper up: nothing. Zipper down: nothing. So thankfully the bride-to-be was sitting right there, so I called her in for assistance.

The worst possible thing you can hear when someone is zipping you up is “shit.” And alas, that was what I heard. “Umm your zipper just broke,” she exclaimed softly for fear rage may travel through my body making my head explode.

Me: What … no … stop … what?
:::Moves to the mirror to see the damage:::
Me: Fuck.
Friend: Let’s just find some pliers.
Me: PLIERS?! I’m trapped! I can’t even get this thing off of me!
Friend: We can fix this. Let’s just shimmy it over your head.
Me: ARFGHSDKGHSK :::Fiddling with the zipper:::

And that is when the handle of the zipper (probably not the proper term for it, I’m aware) broke off. And that is when, out of sheer rage, I ripped open the zipper like the Incredibly Hulk. Leading my friends to consider fleeing for safety.

So there I was, standing in my favorite black leather pencil skirt that was just shot to shit … with absolutely nothing to wear. Nothing. Besides what I wore to work, which was a stupid cotton dress, when all of my girlfriends looked like they were going out to dinner with Carrie Bradshaw.

Moments like that, you’re hopeless. Literally. Screwed. Do I run home, which would take me time, or do I go buy something quickly, which means I will only be shopping for need instead of want, and I probably won’t really like it. Do I show the world my birthday suit? Or better yet, do I go “Carrie” style and start destroying and killing everything in my path?

As much as I wanted to go with the later, I took a deep breath and decided to work with what I had … AKA my friends closet. Not much more you can ask for. Hence why having really good girlfriends who know you well enough to just start throwing her black dresses at you until you find one you like and fits is SO very important in this life.

So my friends, lesson learned. Shit breaks. Shit goes to shit. It happens. But there is always a solution. Wardrobe malfunctions happen … even Nicki Minaj knows that. You just need to take a deep breath, maybe chug some alcohol (if you are of age) be resourceful … and pray you are your girlfriends you are with are the same size.

For those of you concerned (I know you are secretly), my black leather skirt is currently at the dry cleaners getting a brand new shiny zipper. We will be together again this Friday.

Style Stud: Bus Stop Boutique

logoAs a tall gal, it has taken me a VERY long time to embrace sky high heels. I would always admire them from the sidelines. Maybe purchase them and just gaze longingly at them in a glass case. But only recently did I rock them with zero fucks given.

But even if you don’t care, standing next to a 5 foot girl, as a 5’9 girl wearing 4 inch heels .. is super awkward. I end up resembling Gigantor and in an effort to make fun of myself before anyone else has the opportunity to, I will stomp around making growling noises (I’m normal, I swear).

My dream has been for there to be a middle ground between amazing stilettos and kitten heels, so I can still feel like I’m wearing big girl heels, but not looking like the damn Jolly Green Giant whilst standing next to my teeny tiny friends. But alas, none can be found, unless you like Easy Spirits … which no … just … no.

Enter Bus Stop Boutique, stage right. We fell in love on Instagram (I feel like I should make up a song about this), when I saw my fantastic friend Sarah (yes I spoke about this earlier this week), rocking a fierce pair of heels that I needed to have. I made her take me to this mystical place where I knew there was just something special about the shoes.

If you live in Philly, congrats, now go to Bus Stop Boutique immediately. If you are looking for a cool pair of shoes, something out of the ordinary and want ace customer service by the lovely Elena (owner of Bus Stop Boutique), bring it on down to Queen Village.

But in all honesty, the reason why I fell head over heels (no pun intended) for this boutique is because it catered to the tall girl. Yes, they have stilettos and insanely cute flats, but they also have the rare and illusive mid-size heel … aka a tall girl’s dream. You can still strut and be sexy, but not turn into a sky high beast.

I would like to thank Bus Stop for treating my tootsies like a queen and for hooking me up with a pair of heels that make my feet feel completely and utterly fancy. Sometimes we need an extra special pair of shoes to get us from A to B … and this is the spot to get um, ladies.

Now indulge with me over just a few pairs of shoes I’m drooling over for fall …

ALL-BLACK-Kitten-Heel-Black-Stud-BUS-STOP-Boutique-338x600

MATIKO-Cooper-Black1

Nina-Payne-UNA--571x900

Jeffrey-Campbell-Oriley-e1394152272361-506x900

Nicole-Banyan-Stone.-400x400

Cat Calling Your Clothes

pantsoffIf you are woman, you’ve been cat called in some way. For me it is usually overly cocky construction workers telling me to, “smile,” which makes me turn into Satan. But either way, there will forever and always be those gross men in this world that think it is okay to compliment a woman by screaming awkwardly at her on the street. “YO BA-BEEEE, BRING THAT OVER HERE TO DADDY.” Oh yes, I forgot, let me swoon, twirl my hair, and bring “that” over to you. Which is my fist. To your balls.

And listen, if you haven’t had the pleasure of being cat called, consider yourself lucky. It is just straight up embarrassing and doesn’t make you more of a woman or validate your “hotty status” in any way shape or form.

But I realized something over this past weekend. I found myself in Zara, drooling over their fall line and twirling around saying, “it’s too good … it’s all TOO good!” with stars in my eyes. Especially when I came across this amazing motorcycle jacket (see below). It was straight up sexy … I had to have it. But I found myself verbally harassing the inanimate object for no apparent reason:

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“Look at you over there, you leather temptress.”
“You need to come home to mama.”
“Oh baby … bring that over here and be mine.”

Umm yeah … awkward as shit. I’m very much aware. But when I fall for a piece of clothing like I did for this motorcycle jacket, it is love …pure, unadulterated love. And I feel very much the need to express that love … by acting like a buffoon on the street ogling ladies and making them blush with embarrassment.

Listen, if I were this leather motorcycle jacket, I would have totally slapped me across the face. “FRESH! :::Slap:::” But my mom always told me to invest in a good,expensive piece only if you love it so much you could kiss it. And I suppose I took that a step too far. Unfortunately my leather love muffin is still sitting in the store as A. they didn’t have my size and B. a $300 leather motorcycle jacket just isn’t in the budget unless I wanted to live out of it for a few months.

I’m not saying it is okay for assholes to whistle at ladies on the street and embarrass us profusely, but I AM saying it is okay to cat call your clothes … because that only means you love it so much you could kiss it.

Bitch, I’m Stealing Your Look

CaptureWhen in elementary school, or middle school even, sharing a look with a friend was completely okay and insanely cool. Much like “On Wednesday’s we wear pink,” I would call my best friend up and exclaim, “tomorrow let’s wear white crew neck Gap t-shirts and Gap boot cut jeans!” (Yes … I actually literally did such a thing) And we would walk down the halls thinking we were the bees knees when in real life we were the biggest bunch of clowns that had ever existed.

Even if I saw a fellow classmate, you know one of the “cool” girls, rocking a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes that I coveted, I would have no qualms going out, buying them, and then sitting next to the girl wearing the same thing. I saw nothing wrong with it.

Nowadays, in this place called “adulthood,” that shit don’t fly. If you go out for drinks with a friend and find you are wearing the same thing, it is mortifying. Simply because well A. you look like you’re auditioning for Deal or No Deal, and B. all night you will deal with drunk assholes slurring being like, “jjjjuuusssguyys twinsssooorr ssssumthhiinn”?

And in the office when you walk in wearing the same thing as a fellow employee, you smile and exclaim “twinsies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and maybe take a pic and post it on social, but deep down, you know it sucks and is uber annoying. And not because you think you’re the most original person on the planet by wearing a black maxi on a Monday, but strictly because you are an individual who detests every five seconds hearing, “omg Susie in Accounting is TOTALLY wearing that outfit, too. You guys should take a pic.”

But this weekend I found myself falling back into my elementary school ways. Scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon the most perfect pair of heels that ever existed that my friend Sarah had just purchased. Drool dangling from my mouth I commented, “I want to go to where those shoes are.” And like that I had started the “bitch, I’m totally going to steal your look” process, something I hadn’t done since I purchased the same pair of Puma slide-on sneakers as the coolest girl in the 8th grade.

The difference was … I asked. I asked my friend Sarah if it was okay. Yes it is a free country and yes I had every right to purchase said shoes without her blessing, but to me, fashion is sacred. When you buy something as fantastic as these heels were (see above) you do so because you adore them and can’t live without them and find them to be something special. By not asking her if I could steal her look, I felt like I would be destined to strut around in them with some bad ju-ju. You know, falling face first into a puddle, the heel cracking off and spraining my ankle … normal stuff.

When I asked her, which felt like I was proposing marriage, her response was quite refreshing … “I take it as a compliment when people want to steal my look, go for it, girl.” And then I jumped up in mid-air and ran off skipping and kissing said heels. No that didn’t really happen, instead I kept asking “are you sure, are you sure, are you REALLY sure?!” until I was REALLY sure she was going to hit me.

So I bought the shoes. Now we are shoe twinsies … we should take a pic and post it on social (psyche). But no in all seriousness, it is normal to covet another person’s look. I do it all the time. Strangers on the street? Bitch, I steal their look all day errday and never ask. “Excuse me kind lady, may I go to the store and buy those shoes you are wearing, pretty please?” Umm no. But when it comes to friends, co-workers, your dog walker … you ask. Because that is the right thing to do. Otherwise you are tacky, my friend, straight up tacky. Admit that you envy their look and want it so badly you can’t stop drooling. It will make their day AND you’ll get something you desire out of it as well … without any bad ju-ju.

TWINNING … I mean … WINNING!

What I Learned This Summer

67a4c8077fa9b247b48b74915c649fbcDude, it’s Labor Day weekend … what the eff. As everyone is getting ready to get their best festival gear out for MIA Festival, or hit the beach one last time, or wear their white pants until they fall off ONLY until Labor Day, though (which is a bullshit rule that makes no sense), I find myself getting all reflective and shit. I think it’s because when I left my house this morning, that awful chill was in the air that still gives me “back to school” anxiety … even though I’ve been out of school :::mumbles::: years. You know what I’m talking about. I always remember having to write the “here’s what I did this summer” essay … which I secretly loved, because I was a huge nerd who loved writing prompts/still do. “I went to Florida with my family and it was fun.” Good times. Good description, self.

But, oddly enough, I do think reflection is important … or maybe it is the fact that I just started yoga again and I’m drinking the kool aid … either or, either or. As trivial and silly as the things I learned this summer are, I do feel it is important to write them down … strictly so I can look at them 10 years from now and ridicule myself for being such an asshole.

So with all of that being said, I hope everyone had a lovely summer, and if you are anything like me, you are really to kick its ass out of town so we can embrace the deliciousness of fall fashion. Until then kids, have a fantastic Labor Day weekend, be safe, be smart … wear white until the cows come home. And, oh yeah, ‘MERICA!

1. Canadian tuxedos (all denim errthang) makes me way happier than I should get and are shockingly chic

2. Leather is okay when it is about 80 degrees, but you WILL get swamp ass

3. One piece bathing suits are no longer for prudes and squares (I want to thank Khloe Kardashian for this one)

4. High tea is an event that every woman needs to attend, at least one (but it is expensive and you will need a cheese steak after)

5. Reading is a great escape from all the bullshit you are suffering through (I clearly forgot this and was reunited on my vacation)

6. Birch Box is something everyone needs to subscribe to, because it always arrives when you need it (bad days, PMS, just hating life in general)

7. To be kind, because you have no idea the battles and struggles other people are facing

8. That I loathe flip flops, but would sell my mother for some great vintage jewelry

9. That adult temper tantrums exist and can be brought on by awful pants and lack of air conditioning

10. To never go to trendy pop-up anything in the city because you will end up wanting to punt it (Spruce Street Harbor, I’m looking at you … bathroom passes … pssshh)

Drool With Me Now: Fall Fashion 2014

image1xxlOkay, I know we have a few more days until Labor Day, and I promised after bitching about the Polar Vortex last winter that I would do nothing but embrace every drop of sunshine and twirl in myriads of maxi skirts … but, yeah … I just made my first fall purchase. I couldn’t help it because I’m THAT ecstatic over summer getting the eff out of town. And yes, I truly intend to make out with said bag when he arrives at my doorstep, that is how much I adore him.

I’ve just had enough of sticky subways, makeup dripping down my face, and having to apply deodorant like three times a day, it’s unbecoming. And I want to punt my summer wardrobe. Listen, I’m not the girl who makes “mood boards” or “inspiration boards,” I have Pinterest for that shit. But the drool coming out of my mouth over fall fashion is excessive, to say the least. So I just had to share with you what I’ve been daydreaming about, right? Clearly.

1. Leather: Leather shoes, leather motorcycle jackets, leather shorts, leather underwear, leather all day err day (calm down, PETA, it will be faux or “hemp” leather … whatever is the politically correct way to rock leather)

11P10FBLK_normal2. New Over-The-Knee Boots: Oh yeah, they are still completely relevant and nothing brings me more joy than walking down the street in hooker boots “Pretty Woman” styley.

Capture

3. Capes: Ya gotta bring the drama every now and then, and quite frankly I’ve been lusting after them since Lupita dropped the Cape bomb at the Golden Globes last year.

Capture4. Fuuurrrrr: I already own a faux fur jacket … and that clearly was my gateway drug to more fur, because now all I want to do is add to my collection. And quite frankly the fur they showed during fashion week is on POINT (seriously PETA, settle, I couldn’t bare to skin my cat and wear her, so this, again, will be eco-friendly fur … chill)

30C01GBLK_normal5. Removing Color Completely: Not that I wear a lot of color to begin with, but I’m really going to make a conscious effort to only wear neutrals. Black, white, beige, maybe a camel. Then if I’m in dire need of color (yawn), I’ll throw in something like a merlot-colored tote bag or something.

2014-Black-White-Outfit-Combination-Ideas-136. Bucket Bag: I’ve been on the fence about these bad boys, as I couldn’t decide if this was a bad 80’s trend revamped or a classic staple. I’m still not quite sure, but anything stylish that I can carry my entire life in is something I want to take a spin in.

23015591_927. Chelsea Ankle Boots: Swoon. The boot game this season is fierce, and where to begin can seem overwhelming. Welp kids, you start here, with the classic Chelsea boot in black. God speed after that.

Capture8. Extreme turtlenecks: If the Farmers Almanack is right, this winter is going to be freaking cold. True … turtlenecks have been connected with prudes and squares in the past, but the dramatic thick turtle necks that I literally could hide in and hibernate is something I can get behind.

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9. Novelty Prints: I gave up ironic t-shirts years ago, even though I did own the typical “Everyone Loves an Irish Girl,” shirt. Yes, I’m sick of seeing the overly ironic “Celfie” shirts, but I kind of like what some designers are bringing to the table … especially under an over-sized mens blazer. Mmm scrumtilescent.

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10. Textures: I’m very basic when it comes to fabric … I’m mostly a cotton gal. That “Fabric of our Lives” commercial should totally check out my closet, although I refuse to sing. But this season I want to dip my feet in the season of velvet, silk, satin, lace, and everything in between … hell, throw felt up in this piece.

Karl Lagerfeld Gets An Internship

CaptureSince I was 18, all I wanted to do was work at Vogue … said every girl who has ever watched Sex and the City. But no seriously, it was all I want to do with my life. I freelanced my ass off until I found myself a Junior in college, in Philly, realizing my Vogue dreams were in the wrong damn city. So I decided to find the “Vogue” of Philly … which was Philly Style Magazine.

When my interview got scheduled for an editorial internship, I immediately had an anxiety attack that all of the Natty Ice in the world couldn’t fix. Devil Wears Prada had just come out and all I kept thinking about was this is a style magazine, in a large city, and a Miranda Priestly-esque woman wearing couture will surely turn her nose up at my discount garbs and dismiss me. I was a college student, for crying out loud, I could barely afford Forever 21. Seriously … Forever 21 was my couture. All I had was bedazzled halter tops, ugly boot cut jeans, and kitten heels I would wear out to “da club” and sweats. Stay classy.

In this case I reference the only source I trust when it comes to timeless fashion … enter my mother stage right. She took me to Forever 21, even though I was thoroughly against it as I was certain four editors wearing Helmut Lang would start hysterically laughing at the poor quality of my clothes. But luckily my mom had/has a sick gift for finding cheap clothing that looks insanely expensive. We settled upon a pair of high-waist (literally came up to my taas), black flared pants that were to die for, which I would pair with a black button down puffy capped sleeve shirt I had from Old Navy. The whole, “but mom, I need Chanel,” shit didn’t really fly over well.

The day of my interview I threw my portfolio in my black over-sized tote … from Forever 21 … which looking back was heinous with horrifying “gold” hardware, and went on my way. When I walked into the all white room, basically almost every girl looked like Lauren Conrad from the Hills (the Hills was basically the Bible for college girls at this time … see below). Me … I looked like Karl Lagerfeld. I had completely forgotten that Lauren Conrad was basically Jesus for girls 18-25 years old and everyone wanted to not be the “girl who didn’t go to Paris.” Fuck.

CaptureLong story short, Karl Lagerfeld got the internship over all the Lauren Conrads … okay maybe a few Lauren Conrads made the cut, too. Turns out the editors were more interested in my writing then my outfit. Take that, Devil Wears Prada. Real life wins in this case. AND I didn’t have to get coffee for anyone once OR get their kids an unreleased copy of the Harry Potter book. Boom.

Internship style is insanely tricky, kids … there is no perfect formula. My advice would be definitely to own your style. That is important. Your style … not trends (there is a distinct difference). You want to be you and express who you are, not rocking cheetah print rompers with your bra straps hanging out because some style blogger told you to. At the same time, remember you are in an environment with people who no longer beer bong Natty Ice or go to ABC parties (oh yeah … I know what that is, kids). Don’t be that girl/guy that the older folks in the office talk shit on and ask “where your pants are,” behind your back.

Ps. I totally said that about an intern this past year.

Dude, Who’s My Designer?

Homer-BlankStare-1Giuliana Rancic: So let’s hear it … who are you wearing?!?!
Celebrity: :::Crickets:::
Giuliana Rancic: :::Confused look:::
Celebrity: Umm …
Giuliana Rancic: … does it start with a J?
Celebrity: :::Frantically looking for assistant to find the name::: yeah umm … give me a minute … JENNIFER GET OVER HERE. JENNIFER. HELLO. JENNIFER.
Giuliana Rancic: :::Awkward::: Alright … let’s get Jennifer over here. Hey Jennifer, girl!
Celebrity: What? Who? Jay Mongel? No, that isn’t it. Wait. Oh yes. Right. Herb Jones. Yes. That’s it. I’m wearing Herb Jones.
Giuliana Rancic: Thanks so much … now over to you Ross in the skycam.

Seriously, though? The amount of celebs at the Emmys who didn’t know the designers they were wearing from shoes, to earrings, to clutches, to dresses was astounding. And quite frankly, for no apparent reason, pissed me off thoroughly.

I suppose I put myself in the shoes of a designer, regardless if they are established or up-and-coming. Mostly I felt horrible for the up-and-coming bastards. Could you imagine? Holy shit … Julia Louise Dryfus’ stylist called you and wants clutch options for her Emmy look. I would die. I would probably embarrassingly enough pee myself with joy. And then turn on disco music and start jazzercizing in place.

You either make a clutch to match her dress or send her options … and then she chooses one. You think, “this is it. I’ve made it. Here I am standing next to JLD, and we are officially best friends.” You will be her Kate Moss to a Marc Jacobs. Wait. Strike that. Reverse it. No longer will you be that poor bastard in the billowing over-sized shadows of Michael Kors, you will be known, dammit, KNOWN.

So you gather your crew. Host an Emmy watch party. Pop some popcorn, pop some bub, pop your booty with joy. And wait for the moment when JLD graces the red carpet. Okay, it’s here. It’s happening. JLD is chatting with Guiliana Rancic … she’s putting her clutch on the freaking nonsensical “clutch cam,” and the moment arrives. All of a sudden things start slowing down in only a way that  makes it prominently known something insane is about to happen.

Guiliana Rancic: So tell us who made that amazing clutch!
JLD: Ummm … wait … hmmm … uhhh … fuck … JENNIFER!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! You fall to the ground in actual pain caused by the carelessness of a celebrity. “She wanted MY clutch. She hugged me. We shared laughs together. I was making her a friendship bracelet for fucks sake.”

When people see something shiny, they want it, they need it, they just have to know everything about it so they can either, A. max our their credit cards to buy it, or B. daydream about it in a series they like to call “my life would be so much better with …” So when you are getting interviewed, remember the little people, would ya? Who is that clutch by? HERB JONES, ladies and gents, HERB JONES (I really feel like the fake designer known as Herb Jones would bring a lot to the table, don’t ya think). Then everyone with a line of drool coming out of their mouths will Google and oogle all things Herb Jones. Then Herb Jones will be famous … kickin’ it on a yacht with P. Diddy.

So for shame, celebrities, for forgetting the people who made you look so fantastic. And, oh yeah, let’s not forget about your damn stylists. When do you ever hear a celeb give props to their stylists. Umm never. We aren’t idiots. We know “you did NOT wake up like dis.” The jig is up, friends. Ya had help … now maybe throw up your thanks, just a little.

Oh you want to know what I’m wearing today? Dress by Zara, gladiators by Coconuts, necklace by the lovely and talented Nikki Virbitsky. That is how you DO. :::Drops mic:::

Consciously Uncoupling From Carbs and Vodka

Screen shot 2014-08-25 at 5.31.05 PMWelp, I’m back from vacation. And it was lovely. Truly. I’m refreshed, rejuvenated, creatively stimulated from my brain sitting on a shelf for the past week, and I’m no longer Casper the Friendly Ghost status. I’m more like his fourth cousin second removed, Slightly Toasted Marshmallow. What I’m trying to say is, I no longer look like I have a vitamin D deficiency, ya dig?

But when you look deeper inside my soul, and my veins, you will find something way less pleasant. Way less … healthy. And that is because vacation means carbs … and copious amounts of vodka. Seven days of, “ooh a frozen pizza for breakfast … SURE why not!” “Cocktails on the beach at 11 a.m. that can’t stop won’t stop until I crawl to bed at 1 a.m.? Bring it on!” For seven days. I know, I know … poor me, my life is so terribly, waaah, boo frickity whooo … but talk to my body, who wants to go on strike. It hates me … thoroughly. It wants to cut me.

If you don’t believe the horrific state I’m in right now, let me tell you a little story called I only peed once on an eight hour car ride home. Just once. That is how significantly dehydrated I am. The only hydration I received whilst on vaca was when I switched to vodka and club. Literally, I think I drank 14 bottle of water today and I still feel like my eyes are roaming around the desert with no water in sight seeing mirages of dancing pieces of bread.

So because I can’t keep my eyes open and I’m lethargic, and cranky, and my skin looks like something that roams around the hallways of a middle school, and I feel like I’ve gained straight up 15 pounds … I’ve made a decision. It has been a hard one to make, let me tell you. And slightly disturbing to even contemplate. But carbs, vodka and I … need to consciously uncouple. It’s time. I’ve always wondered why this Atkins character would invent such a torture-some diet that cancels out all carbs. Now I get it. He must have gotten back from a family vacation and felt like a bloated whale and said, “ENOUGH!” 

I’m not one for diets. Or working out. Or being active. Or wearing those crazy ass “waist trainers” that Kim Kardashian has been seen using (ps. what in the name of all crazy is that shit about?) I’m just not. To sound like an obnoxious, valley girl for a hot minute (we all get one minute in life to sound like such hideous fools), like :::twirls hair::: shopping is my cardio :::pops gum:::. But when you feel this gross and unhealthy like I do right now, you do drastic things that you would never thought were possible. Like MAYBE just MAYBE not ingesting so many damn carbs.

At the end of the day, ladies, it is about being healthy. Mentally and physically. Pizza at all hours of the day and too many cocktails equals death. Yoga and veggies equals fresh to death. I mean, I hope so. If I don’t start feeling better on top of giving up carbs and vodka, I may or may not shank someone. Just sayin’.

Man, if everything goes according to plan, I will look like a super model just in time for the polar vortex to rear his/her/shis ugly face so I can layer my six pack under inches of wool. Screw that, if I have a six pack, I’m rockin’ a bikini in zero below weather. What what. #Classy

 

Old School Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra Week!

vacationcover2Want to know why I woke up with “Vacation” by the Go-Go’s stuck in my head this morning? Because that is where I am headed tomorrow … what what :::Raises roof awkwardly:::

As much as I would like to continue sending you my snarky, sarcastic, honesty- and lerve-filled posts on fashion, lifestyle and what-have-you throughout the next week as I kick it on a beach, I’m going to try the impossible and “disconnect.” Even just saying it gives me anxiety. I mean what is life like without social media and having your phone glued to your body?! ACK! How will I make my Selfie Book!??! (Kidding … clearly). And not posting to Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra for an entire week kind of makes me feel like I’m leaving it with a shady babysitter as I go off and gallivant. But … I’m going to give it a whirl.

The good news is, I’ve deemed next week, starting tomorrow actually, Old School Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra Week! What does that mean? Well let me explain! I went through a solid three years of content and pulled out my favorite seven posts, all the way from 2011 to present day. I’ve outlined the posts below, and check Twitter and Facebook for live updates throughout the week, and use #OldSchoolLSIASB to join in on all the throwback fun. I hope you enjoy reminiscing as much as I did … I had a little too much fun doing it, actually.

Sadly I must bid you adieu at this point, kids. I hate goodbyes! Have a lovely week and enjoy all of the old schoolness happening on Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra as I lay on a beach at an undisclosed location (don’t want any freaky stalkers … because clearly, people are dying to stalk me) and try not to turn into a lobster. Yes, I will be that girl on the beach with a hat, under an umbrella, with SPF 70 on and will probably forget to rub it in thoroughly in awkward places … like my cheek. Hot, right?

We’ll return to our regularly scheduled program Monday, August 25 … now let’s awkwardly raise the roof for funsies again … because … why not!

Saturday, August 16: Is Your Dress TOO Short?!

Sunday, August 17: Hangover Chic

Monday, August 18: Beyonce is Brainwashing Us

Tuesday, August 19: Even Target.com Can’t Handle The Missoni Collection

Wednesday, August 20: Just Say No: Drunk Online Shopping

Thursday, August 21: A Day In The Life Of A Woman Wearing Spanx

Friday, August 22: Why I Would Be The Worst Victorias Secret Model

Ye Old Art Of Waxing

sq_carell_chest_wax_300x300I’m about to embark on a week filled with sun, sand, and cocktails … lots and lots of cocktails … at odd hours of the day … when you are properly at work … mwahahaha! (Sorry, I had to).

But as I’ve been making mental lists and starting to pile up things I would like to bring with me (#overpacker), it also has brought something to my attention that not a lot of people feel comfortable talking about … but oh yeah, we’re going there. That would be waxing, kids … waxing.

When you go on a beach vacation, you basically have it all out there for a week, as bathing suits leave little the imagination. Even if you’ve moved to the one-piece (which, for the most part, I have), there is a lot of skin you’re showing … a lot of skin that if you’re a lady, shouldn’t be covered in hair. Hair is gross … woof.

I’m a waxing neophyte. The only thing I’ve ever gotten waxed is my eyebrows … and that took me years to commit to. I was so scared of the pain I walked around like bushy mcbusherson … it was hot, let me tell ya (I was also 13, give me a break, that is what those awkward years are for, right?)

But now, it is all about getting your bikini area waxed. And to that I say … bitch please. I’ve heard horrific stories about a thing called a “Brazilian wax.” Perhaps they are urban myths, but I would rather not pay a total stranger to make me get on all fours, ALL-FOURS, naked, and have them take a burning hot substance to my lady parts. It just doesn’t sound pleasant … to be completely honest it sounds nuts. Call me a Granny all you want, I’m here eating Werthers Originals and clutching my handbag for dear life. I keep it real. The stories I’ve been told and the screams I’ve heard at salons from women enduring the Brazilian are something made from nightmares.

I realize the “Brazilian” is the extreme end of waxing. But the PG-rated wax, the ones where I hear you put your legs in stir-ups and still have a stranger get all up in your bid-niss whilst being half naked … hmm yeah, still not my cup of tea. I’m not a prude. I’m just not down for paying for embarrassing torture. At least give a girl a shot of vodka before getting that personal with her, my God.

Sure, dealing with your “bikini area” yourself isn’t pleasant either, but at least you are alone in your shower. Sure, the end result usually looks like you have tiny red spider bites all around your woo haa or a weird rash … but quite frankly I would rather that than, again, paying a stranger to be all up in my bid-niss making me turn and twist in weird positions for the sake of removing ever stitch of hair. And if anyone questions my weird rash or wonders if I have an STD, I will be HAPPY to explain to them my theory on waxes. Yep. That is sure to bring all the boys to the yard.

You know what, your gyno should give you a free wax after your annual. I would be okay with that. He/she, a trained professional, has already been down there exploring, poking and prodding … why not get a complimentary wax after it all. I mean the whole visit is rather unpleasant to begin with, why not get a little “spa-like” treatment afterwards to heal your wounds of being completely violated for the sake of lady health. Just a thought, gynos of the world, just a thought.

I know, I know … hundred and thousands of women get waxes every year. I bet if you’re reading this and you’re into bikini waxes you think I’m the biggest wuss in the world. And to that I say … you are correct, sir. Unless I’m going to go live in a nudist colony on planet “that would never in blazing hell happen” I will most likely never get a Brazilian. I may try a regular wax just for funsies, though. But someone better get me drunk before hand. That is an order.

Be Kind

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Perhaps it was the outpouring of love and memories on social media, or how he was such a large part of my childhood (I’m pretty sure I watched Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Jumanji until my VHS broke), but the passing of Robin Williams struck me hard.

This ridiculously talented man, who made so many laugh and brought so much joy to so many lives found no other answer but to take his own life. I had the same reaction when Alexander McQueen died. And it truly hurts my heart.

Alexander McQueen, Loren Scott, and now Robin Williams. I read a tweet by Maria Shriver yesterday that said, “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” And nothing has ever resonated more with me. One of my main messages throughout a lot of my posts is showing kindness to your fellow person. Share compliments and stop being “mean girls,” for the love of God, because unfortunately, that shit still happens after high school.

That snarky email you want to send today for no reason, that eye roll, that silence in the bathroom instead of saying “hi,” or “wow you look nice today,” because you feel too awkward to say something, your crutch of “resting bitch face,” your neglect for the people around you … today I challenge you to make a change. Because one compliment, one acknowledgement, one smile, can bring an uplifting moment to someone who needs it more than you will ever know. Hey, I’m guilty of all the things I just listed. Hell, I eye rolled an innocent mother on the train today because her toddler was screaming bloody murder. But truly, we are all human. Perfection isn’t obtainable. And we need to remember this and change.

I know I rarely do “real talk” on Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra, but depression is present more than you think … and it’s unfortunately deadly. It is also something I care about deeply. That woman you work with who you think is the biggest snobby bitch in the world who you can’t stand, may be dealing with an unimaginable battle, whether mentally, physically, at home, or elsewhere. Put yourselves in other peoples shoes before you judge and take the “mean girl” route. You have the power to help others in need, whether you know they need it or not.

I beg of you to be kind today … and hell, most days. Step out of your awkwardness and remember you’re dealing with human beings. Talk to the girl you loathe. Smile at a stranger on the street. And if you yourself are suffering, please know there are a myriad of people who want to help you and want to listen, myself included.

Robin Williams will be a massive presence who will be missed dearly. But your presence is just as important. Know that and never forget it. Take the proper steps to get help if you need it.

How Long Does It Take You To Get Ready?

audrey-as-holly-in-sleep-mask_with-cat-on-backI remember when I was in high school, I would spend hours planning my outfit for the next day. By the time I was finished it would look like a bomb had hit my closet as I was trying to concoct the “coolest” most “outlandish” outfit possible. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like waking up not knowing what I was wearing. The horror.

Flash forward :::mumbles::: years later and it’s all about sleep. Nothing is more important to me in the morning than sleep. I don’t care if I have to wear a belted trash bag to work … mama needs her ZzzZzz’s. It takes me a solid 15-25 minutes to get ready in the morning, maybe 30 if I fall asleep whilst taking a straightener to my hair (hey, it has happened … mostly when I’m hung over).

But seriously, to the women that take over an hour to get ready in the morning, what in the name of sweet Jesus are you doing? I’m not shaming your or trying to make you feel bad. Hey, we all have our rituals in the morning. And sometimes those rituals involve massive amounts of sleep, but to each their own. A well rested lady is a lovely lady, that’s what I … always … not … say … :::Shifty eyes:::?

So I’m here to help the ladies who take an extreme amount of time to get ready in the morning. No longer will your significant others toe tap and complain about your beauty regime, because all ladies hate that shit. Dudes will never get it that it takes time to make us look like decent human beings in the morning. I happen to look like a gargoyle when I wake up. So, regardless of how long it takes you to get ready in the morning, you have every right to tell you significant other to shut the fuck up. Oooh you showered and had to put gel in your hair, maybe a little moisturizer? Boo frickity hoo. And if they gasp in horror, tell them Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra told you to say that.

Anywho, back to what I was saying. Follow these steps for a morning that will have you out the door in less than 45 minutes. Your life will be changed. Think of all the time you will have left over for activities, and by activities I mean sleep.

1. Don’t make breakfast. Don’t even turn your coffee pot on. In fact, don’t even go downstairs, that is where temptation lies. Throw a Special K bar in your purse when you’re running out the door, get coffee at work and call it a day.

2. Shower the night before. I’m telling you, it makes a difference. When you wake up, wash your face, put some moisturizer on, and start making yourself not look like a gargoyle.

3. Wash your hair the night before, too. I mean this is the true time suck. If you wash your hair and blow it out, all you will have to do in the morning is touch it up with a flat iron or curling iron. Boom.

4. Get a lucid idea of what you want to wear the evening before. If you’re like me, you have a Clueless-style catalog of your favorite outfits in your mind (or perhaps I’m just a freak, either or). Just make sure the outfit is clean and ready to go, and factor in some time to steam said clothes need-be (although if you can rock this out the evening before, too that would be splendid).

5. Keep your makeup simple, for the love. You aren’t going to da club, you’re going to work. Moisturizer, foundation, concealer, a little mascara, eye liner, blush, fill in your brows … and ta-da. Most likely you won’t look like Kim Kardashian, because she has a team of professionals that surround her at all times … and I’m pretty sure it takes hours to make her look like that. It just isn’t reality. The irony, right?

6. Don’t you dare groom yourself in the morning. Nails, eyebrows, waxing, shaving, plucking, smoothing, extracting, exfoliating all needs to be done the evening before. Otherwise you’re screwed. Have fun getting up at the crack of dawn, kids.

7. Keep your hair simple. If you did all the hard labor the evening before, all you have to do is touch it up, or throw it up, or add a little wave. We aren’t going to prom, we are going to work. Keep your eye on the prize. Why do you think they invented sock buns? I bet it was invented by a broad who hates getting out of bed in the morning, I’ll tell you that much.

8. Keep your accessories organized. If they are a jumbled mess, that is an obvious time suck. I keep my necklaces/bracelets/etc. right next to where I do my makeup so I can be thinking about what I want to wear with said outfit. Grab it. Throw it on. And wah-la, I’m accessorized.

9. Take a good amount of time for your teeth. Seriously. Dental care is important, coming from a person who has had some issues. Brush, gargle, floss, water pick … do your thang with this one, kids.

10. Absolutely no social media. Disconnect. 100%. Take this time to meditate or something as you get ready. No tweeting, updating your status on Facebook (OMG you guys, trying out my new NARS lipstick this morning, what do you think? #PoutyMcPouterson), Snapchatting (is that the next thing the kids are doing?), Instagramming, texting, or taking selfies. For the love of God … no selfies. Truly, no one cares.

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Drool-Worthy Beach Kimonos

rs_560x415-140401091650-1024.2thailand-kim-kardashian-elephant.ls.4114_copyOkay, it’s true, I haven’t taken a “beach” vacation in years. So you can clearly understand why I’ve been going on and on for the past couple of weeks about flip flops and one-piece bathing suits and sunshine and unicorns … oh my. Yes, I’m thoroughly pumped.

And since I haven’t been on vacation in some odd years, I clearly needed to re-stock up on the “summer essentials.” 70 SPF (not trying to become a hot wrinkled mess), bath suits that aren’t like string bikini’s because, like, no … and swimsuit coverups. Which leads me to my newest obsession in life … kimonos.

Listen … I have scoured the interwebs for awesome coverups, and nothing compares to the coverup kimono … they are rad. If you’re going to the beach anytime soon. invest in one ASAP. They are so fierce (like Kim Kardashian fierce … and yes, I just called her fierce because her style is insane … come now, you have to agree), sexy, and uber chic. Who wouldn’t want to float around a beautiful beach with your sheer kimono flying behind you in the wind. I mean … hi Beyonce, what up.

Even more good news? They are all on sale right now (and if they aren’t, well screw that, it’s basically fall … give me a break). I just purchased this one from H&M on sale for $17. But sorry kids, they are sold out. Whomp, whomp.

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Beach kimonos, they are so hot right now, beach kimonos. Here are some of my faves …

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Flip Flops … Yawn.

flip-flop-for-the-fischers-001I don’t think I’ve invested in a pair of flip flops since I was in college, and they were used strictly for shower shoes. Now I know, people will contest that a pair of flip flops defines summer and is a staple that every woman should have. To comment back on that statement, all I have for you is a big ol’ drawn out yawn. I know. I’m a freak.

There’s a reason why I haven’t purchased flip flops in :::mumbles::: years. They straight up bore me to death. And the sound they make when you walk is ridiculously annoying. Nothing makes me want to take a nap more than standing at the “wall of flip flops” at Old Navy as women excitedly snatch up every color of the rainbow. How do you choose a color?! Seriously. All you have to work with is a color, since, really, there is nothing much more to them, and quite frankly I don’t want to stand there having an anxiety attack over what color blue to buy. And then I realize I loathe color and call the whole thing off.

Unfortunately I find myself in a predicament where I need to invest in a pair of flops :::sigh::: In 2 weeks I will be going off the grid in an attempt to relax on vacation. So I’m trying to make that week as stress-free as possible. If I’m running to the beach, need to take the dog out, want to go drunkenly dance somewhere other than my rental house, a pair of flops sounds like a good idea instead of spending time putting my gladiators on (although I covet them). But can I tell you, my search for a cool pair of flops has been nothing but an annoyance.

All of them are so basic, or have some weird ugly design or have a 3 inch platform, or say some awful shit like “Hottie!”, or are waaaaaaaay over priced, again, for a thing of rubber on my feet I’m using to walk on (Havaianas, I’m looking at you). If I’m going to spend $45, I’m going to buy a pair of gladiators, not some yawn-worthy pair of flops I will probably end up burning by the end of summer. I’ve literally scoured all of ShopStyle.com and every other “trendy” site for an outlandishly cool pair of flops for a decent price, and they cannot be found. Like can a sister get a pair of flops with studs or skulls on them, or something?!

True, my search wasn’t a total bust. ModCloth is on their game with cool flops, but alas, my size was out of stock in all of the flops I desired. Besides that, the only other ones I fell head over heels for, of course, were the Valentino rockstud PVC thong sandal. Literally drool-worthy. But if I won’t spend $45 on a pair of flops, I sure as balls won’t be spending $295. Seriously, like I know you’re Valentino and all, but come now. They are damn flop flops.

I’m torn on what to do and running out of time to make a decision. Do I cave and just buy the most basic flop I can find, and deal with the yawning and bordem, or do I stick to my guns and just continue to rock gladiators to the beach … which, I imagine, will be uber annoying. Or who knows, maybe I’ll become one with nature and not wear any shoes. OR, become a total princess and wear heels to the beach. What do you think?

Listen, if you know of a place were I can find a sweet pair of flops that won’t drain my bank account, send that info my way as soon as humanly possibly. Until then, my search continues.

Yawn.

Style Stud: Jinxed Philly

outside2Hi, my name is Kate, and I’m a vintage jewelry addict.

No I’m serious … I have complete vintage jewelry problems. You can tell by the ridiculous overflowing amount I have in my bedroom. I know, I know, I could have some other truly disturbing and life threatening vices in my life, but still, an addiction is an addiction. At least with this one my body is decorated amazingly at all times.

Meet Jinxed … the best Philly vintage store (in my opinion) AND my all-time favorite dealer of vintage jewels. At any given weekend you can find me there, face down in a pile of awesome necklaces, trying to figure out how I can financially afford 10 of them. But the reason why it is so tantalizing and addictive … is because the price is always right. $15 for a choker? $20 for some awesome weird looking statement piece that happens to look like the Philadelphia Flyers symbol? Umm hi, you’re mine.

I’ve always been a girl who would find her accessories at places like Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, Forever 21 … because they secretly had/have some awesome pieces, you just have to look hard and be patient. And if you’re laughing at me that I ever bought jewelry from Forever 21, laugh again, friend. I actually have some fantastic pieces from like six years ago. I call it F21 vintage. Their jewelry is definitely shit now, but back in the day, there were some wow-worthy pieces, let me tell you. You just had to take care of them … which I did :::hair flip:::

I find something so interesting about vintage jewelry. The history, who owned them back in the day, how they got to the point of me holding them and lusting after them. And, hello, they are one-of-a-kind. Okay maybe they aren’t really … I’ll never be sure, but you probably won’t see some random gal at the bar wearing the same necklace as you if you happened to score it at Jinxed.

:::Sigh::: I must really like you people for telling you my vintage jewelry secret … so … you know … you’re welcome. Feel free to say hi to me on Saturday afternoons … I’m usually the girl holding a myriad of necklaces contemplating which to buy, and how I can have them all … and which organ I can sell to do so.

Check out some of my Jinxed scores below:

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Down With Plus Size

CaptureI was watching E! News the other day where they were talking about this stick figure model who is considered “plus size.” And then I kicked my TV in, set fire to it, and ran out of my house screaming madly like a crazy person. No. That didn’t actually happen, but you understand how frustrating that is to hear, right?

What the hell, society? Seriously. How sick is it that this woman (shown to the left) is considered to be “plus size.” And quite frankly, who makes these decisions? Huh? Some big shot at some corporation got together with the “board of big shots” and decided, “yes … let’s teach the women of our country that being frail and freakishly thin is the chic decision to make … no matter what health complications come from it.” (Ps. I image them all to be wearing top hats, smoking pipes, and all having handle bar mustaches with curls at the end … and monocles. Definitely monocles are involved.)

No no … don’t you dare take an interest in good food or cuisine, ladies otherwise you will become “PLUS SIZE!” DUN DUUUUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN! :::lightning bolt and bats flying about::: They are treating the term “plus size” like it is the black plague that shows like the Twilight Zone would cover. Oh no, don’t eat that cupcake or the Plus Size Plague will get ya! Run bitches!

In all seriousness, this needs to stop. It’s a damn size, and you know what? No ones business. How about that. Do you tell people how much money is in your account? Or how much money you make a year? Or how many people you’ve slept with? Then you don’t need to disclose your size in clothing.

I’ll come out and say that the size I wear is totally considered “plus size.” If I wanted to take an interest in modeling, I wouldn’t be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cara Delevingne or Kate Moss, nope I would be on the D List runway with the “plus size” models. The only celebrities at the fashion shows would be like reality stars, Bret Michaels and Fabio. Woof. But the funny thing is, most women, the normal ones who are healthy, work out, and indulge in the goodness of life, are considered “plus size.” And all of a sudden makes all of them, including me, spiral out thinking, “I’m not good enough, I’m fat, I’m ugly, I have rolls, no one will ever want me.”

Well screw that. Every woman’s body is different. And that is what makes every woman awesome. We need to embrace our size instead of fearing that we will have to walk around with the scarlet “Plus Size” strapped to our asses. And those big shots with the pipes, top hats and monocles, really need to re-think this whole “plus size” business. Sizes are sizes. Numbers are numbers. Just because a size goes past a certain number and is two digits (gasp) doesn’t mean you need to make us out to be freaks of fashion nature, alright?

Down with the term “Plus Size,” I say. Burn it at the stake!

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Photo credit: http://www.stylehasnosize.com/2014/home/beauty-comes-shapes-sizes-ethnicities/

Totes!

64857-610x610-1328126070-primaryI’m not a huge fan of graphic anything. I think Juicy Couture and Urban Outfitters ruined it for me back in the day (although I totally had an “everyone loves an Irish girl” shirt, but can safely say I never had “Juicy” across my ass). I’m more of a straight forward kind of gal, leave the quotes and bold words for Twitter and Instagram … or a blank wall, not my choices in fashion. Like, for example, I was walking through the city last night and saw a girl wearing black short shorts that said “I love skulls” across the ass. Like why?

As I went from working in suburbia to a city transit commuter over the past year, I have adopted a love for tote bags. Reason being, I no longer have a car to stash all of the necessities for the day ahead, like a change of clothes in case I am going out after work, different shoes, makeup, a book, etc. Now, I need a bag that lets me carry my entire life without looking like a straight up bag lady … Mary Poppin’s style, if you will. I want be carrying a damn floor lamp and not have anyone know AND look super chic doing so.

I used to roll my eyes at canvas totes, probably because it reminded me of something my aunts would use at holiday functions to haul in all the delicious foods they made. They weren’t a statement of style … they were a statement of functionality (yawn). But not anymore. I gotta say, the tote game has been kicked up a notch this season … graphically speaking.

Now, there is a fine line between graphical totes that are acceptable to carry around. If it says something like, “HI HATER!” or “Ain’t No Wifey,” I will most likely light fire to it instantaneously. Just stop. No one cares if you’re trying desperately to be “gangster” and feel the need to express your teenage angst via your tote. Just stop. Sit this one out.

Luckily, this season, I have seen some really clever (and chic) graphic totes that are not only outlandishly cool, but a total conversation starter. And if you can’t tell the different between an acceptable tote and a non-acceptable tote, step outside of yourself for a second and picture someone else carrying that bag. If you don’t think, “man what a douche who is trying too hard,” it is good to go. Otherwise, run … RUN FAST!

To get your TOTES inspired (see what I did there … I’m so cool), here are some of my faves for the fellow bag lady, like myself.

Street Glitter Gallery’s …

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West Elm’s …

img34cMarc Jacob’s …

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ModCloth’s …

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Lulu Guinness’…

50005291_3K Is For Black’s …

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Bringing Back The One-Piece

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Photo credit: http://couturecourier.tumblr.com/post/6089440859/i-want-a-one-piece-bathing-suit-i-want-to-look

I blame teenagers for giving the one-piece swimsuit a bad rep.

Think about it. Going down the shore with your friends, sans parents for the first time in your life … boys to flirt with, sun to soak up, and most importantly, boys to flirt with. So no one had any time for a one-piece. What are we five with cut little cut-outs in the back or on a damn swim team? No … girls wanted to show off the goods, bring the boys to the yard (minus nips and va-jay, of course). You weren’t anything unless you were wearing a ittys bittys teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini, or something of the sort.

But somehow this mentality was carried on into adulthood, and I am very guilty of this. As I got older, the more I detested the idea of a bikini. I would sigh, stomp my feet, but end up buying one anyways without even considering a one-piece … because clearly that meant I wasn’t “sexy”. Sure, I could have worked out, ate right, got some side abs going on … but instead I wore a mou-mou until I wanted to tan, where I would lay completely flat, remove said mou-mou awkwardly and blend into the sand in my stupid bikini, so no one could see how undefined my stomach truly was. All of this lead me to loathe going to the beach, by the way. How silly, right?

I’m going to say something right now, and it will probably lead to several women throwing stuff at their computer screens or tablet screens … but I’m willing to take that risk. Brace yourselves, kids, are you sitting down? Ahem … most people … don’t look good in a bikini. There. I said it. Now everyone calm the eff down and let me explain, won’t you?

You really have to be 100% comfortable in your own skin to rock a bikini and rock it right. If you aren’t comfortable strutting around buck ass naked like you own the world, then I doubt a bikini is the right option for you. If you are, congrats, rock that shit. And you know what, there is NOTHING wrong with not being comfortable walking around naked. Hell … I’m not. It doesn’t mean you’re fat, or out-of-shape, or ugly. It means bikini’s are the devil. No article of clothing has the right to make any woman feel this way! Now, let’s burn them! Who’s with me!?

Besides lighting fire to these bad boys, there is a truly brilliant solution to this problem. A simple, easy solutions that will make all of us stop hating going to the beach and wishing death upon those stick figure models who look so damn perfect in a string bikini (ps. unless you are 100 lbs with no taas, or happen to have fake taas, string bikinis won’t work … it’s total discrimination, I know. I happen to have larger taas and they just don’t work). The solution is finding a different style of swimsuit … taa-daa! There is a whole world of swimwear that will make you feel sexy, cool and confident and that doesn’t mean you have to show off 95% of your epidermis. Sometimes, the less skin you show, the better. Leave a little the imagination … ehhh?! And no … I’m not talking about this … calm yourselves.

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Photo credit: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2889267/posts

I’m not saying don’t strive for something. If your goal is to rock a bikini hard, do it. My God, go for the gold. But I am saying as a group, we should stop shaming ourselves because we can’t fit in to Gisele Bundchen’s bikini. I’m sorry … it’s just unobtainable. Real life doesn’t have Photoshop. God made us all different and fantastic in our own ways. Find a style that works for your body. So what if the world can’t see your damn belly button. The important part is a swimsuit that compliments your body in the best way possible. And yes, one-pieces can we sexy. Trust.

Here is the proof, kids.

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JETS by Jessica Allen

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Are You Sure Those Are Your Pants?

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Photo credit: http://www.drawnforyou.com/jimmy-fallon-wears-tight-pants/

I’ve always heard stories about people going to work and then realizing that A. they aren’t wearing their own pants or B. that they aren’t wearing any pants at all. Okay, maybe B. is a drastic exaggeration, but it falls in line with my assumptions that these people were straight up mad. How the hell could you not be wearing your own pants? Who are you? Seriously. Get help.

Welp … the saying is true, kids. Thoust shall not call the kettle black … or the pot black … wait. Oh shush, you know what I’m saying. Let’s bring it back to a time last week when I got up in the morning, took my black skinny jeans off the hanger and thought I had gained 100 pounds over night.

Now, anytime a gal puts on skinny jeans (or guy, I won’t discriminate if you get down with ball huggers), there is a little dance involved whilst putting them on, especially if you just washed them. You pull them up halfway, do a little squat and shimmy, pull them up a little more, shimmy shimmy shake, then bring it on home and pull them all the way up with three mid-air jumps, and a bit more shimmying (this time it’s just for funsies). This is the life of a skinny jean wearer, am I right?

Well on this particular morning, I slipped on my black skinnies, and by the time I got to the second shimmy shimmy shake, I realized they weren’t fitting right. Now I base my weight on how my clothing fits. If it isn’t tight, it’s right, if it is, well, you need to lose weight … for SHIZ (see what I did there? Ehhh?!).

All I could think was, “did it happen finally?! Have all those years of eating carbs and potato products finally caught up with me!?” Literally buttoning these suckers was the saddest moment of my life. Like how could I have let this happen?! They buttoned, so that was good and all, but were they comfortable? Umm negative. I think I still have a button imprint under my belly button a week later. But typical me, I was running late, so I threw on an oversized shirt so no one could see my protruding muffin top, and went on with my way thinking about how obese I had become overnight.

The entire day I kept fidgeting in them, trying to pull them up in an effort to make them more comfortable and tolerable, but alas there was no rescuing my suffocating stomach. The worse part was I had to return something at Zara and the last thing I wanted to do was enter in to one of my favorite stores in my sad condition. But I went anyways, and since they were having a mega blowout sale I HAD to try stuff on, of course. Duh.

After acquiring way too many pieces of clothing to try on, I entered the Zara fitting room, questioning why I was subjecting myself to this violent form of torture. My damn pants didn’t fit me anymore. I had no right to enter into any room unless it was a Jenny Craig waiting room.

Now, if you are familiar with Zara fitting rooms, you know everything is very white … and VERY bright. You can’t hide from yourself in these bitches. So I went on my way, trying stuff on, trying not to make eye contact with my grotesque body. But when I went to put my ill-fitting pants back on I realized something: Wait. When did my black skinnies get so faded? And Jesus, when did the back pocket start to look like it is about to fall off? And OMG, when did I fall and rip the knee on these guys? What … is … HAPPENING! Then all of a sudden it hit me.

I’M WEARING MY BLACK SKINNIES FROM 5 YEARS AGO!

If I could have done a touchdown dance in the Zara fitting room, I would have … but the room was too restricting. Turns out I didn’t gain an excessive amount of weight overnight, I’m just a dumbass who keeps her old skinny jeans that should be thrown away still on a hanger in case of a “what if” moment (yes, I’m THAT psychotic).

So as you can assume, I’m super relieved and have since thrown those devil jeans away. The bad news is I have not the slightest idea where my real black skinnies are. If you have any information about their whereabouts please contact me ASAP.

Cheese fries for all!

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HELP! I’m Dieting!

CaptureIt’s sad but true :::sigh:::

I can’t say I’ve ever dieted in my life. And it isn’t because I’m naturally thin and gorgeous (I mean if you are I want to personally smack you), but it’s because, basically, I love carbs … mostly potato products. And if I couldn’t have carbs, I would probably stab someone. My whole thing is if my clothes fit and if I feel healthy, then there is no need to diet. I don’t own a scale, and when I go to the doctor and, against my will, they have to weigh me, I don’t look … after begging them not to weigh me in the first place (I always lose that battle). It is all about how you feel, not about the number you are.

I’m subjecting myself to this dieting nonsense because in a mere three weeks I will be on a beach for the span of five days … a place I haven’t seen in quite some time, also known as “vacation.” And the idea of putting on a bathing suit makes me want to light fire to them and frantically run away into a dark cave and hide in the fetal position until the next snow storm.

Could I stand to lose a few LBs? Sure, who couldn’t. But here is a fun fact about me: I hate gyms. Loathe them. I’ve tried, really I have … numerous times in fact. But they skeeve me. People are always trying to talk to me, asking me when I’ll be done the machine, telling me my shoe is untied, hitting on me. And seriously dudes, why? I don’t go to the gym to bring the boys to the yard, okay. In fact I’m probably in a disgusting t-shirt, weird sweats with stains on them, hair in a bun, and no makeup … sweating my balls off. Oh yeah … let me get some o DAT! Freaks. So yeah, gyms are not an option for me. EVER. Unless there is one in my house … real housewives style. That I probably, STILL, won’t use. But I imagine a treadmill would make a lovely clothes hanger.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a stationary person. I walk a ton, and sometimes I dabble in yoga (although I’m currently in the hunt for a new studio). But the reason I’m subjecting myself to this dieting hell is because, well, in your late 20’s things just aren’t, oh, how you say, naturally tight anymore. Gross, right? Eww, aging.

So as I sit here eating my plain Jane salad with half the dressing, no cheese, and minimal croutons miserably, I can’t help but crave a large plate of curly fries … and maybe a large margarita pizza to back it up. But in order for me to thoroughly enjoy myself on vacation, mama needs to tighten this shit up. I’m only dieting for me, because at the end of the day, you are the one that has to live with yourself, am I right?

In other news: dieting is the devil.

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The App Is IN The Tablet?!

01-zoolanderI wouldn’t call myself “tech savvy” in any sense of the term. I still have one of those old school block TVs that weigh a literal ton, I’m not a huge fan of HD and don’t really grasp the difference, and my computer is from 2007 (although that is something I’m well aware that needs an upgrade).

So when I got the opportunity to use the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, I was thrilled to expose myself to some new technology … even though I’m a notorious Apple snob. To be quite honest, I had no idea how to use the thing once I got it (picture Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson banging on the Apple computer like monkeys in Zoolander). “The files are IN the computer!?” But after a little investigating and Googling, I got on track and started the App downloading process.

When it comes to Apps, I’m very basic. Traditional social apps, Shazaam, Google Maps, you know, the norm (what can I say, I don’t like a lot of clutter). But I did use this Tablet opportunity to try out some fashion/lifestyle apps that could potentially upgrade my life. Oh yeah, and MAYBE I may or may not have downloaded Kim Kardashian’s app and became slightly addicted to it. I won’t say yes or not, but I will say if you need some downtime to just play something that is mindless, download immediately. But that’s all I will say about that.

When I stopped pretending I lived in Kim Kardashian’s world (not that I’m admitting to downloading her app, nope, not up in here :::shifty eyes:::), I did find some apps that every woman needs in her life, on her tablet, and/or phone. Seriously. Even though technology may not be my forte, I did enjoy stepping outside of my App comfort zone on this fancy little device (although I am not converting to Android, ever. Sorry … Apple fo’ life).

Pose:  Trendsetters, this one is for you. Check out the latest looks, trade clothes with other fashion-forward folk, and get inspired for some new style. I mean, if you are looking to stay one step ahead of the style game, this App is a must.

Silk Knots: Okay, maybe not everyone owns slash can afford an Hermes scarf. Hell, I sure as balls can’t. BUT this awesome app teaches you how to tie knots in elegant and unconventional ways. Target, Hermnes, Chanel, H&M … Apps shouldn’t discriminate.

Whisp: This App is like one big super gigantic mall, minus all the annoying people, germs, women with strollers, gross loitering teens, and people working in kiosks insulting your hair styles in hopes you will let them use their fancy hair straightener on you. Whisp literally pulls millions of products for you to shop in one convenient place. Genius? I think so.

Beautified: Some days, I wake up in a shitty mood and decide I need to treat myself. But it isn’t always easy to get a last minute appointment at the prized salons and spas. Thanks to this nifty app co-founded by Who What Wear and Byrdie, you can now book last-minute services in awesome salons and spas near you. Right now it is only available in NY, LA, and San Fran, but coming soon to Miami and DC (ummm hello, where is the Philly love?!)

ASAP54: Have you ever seen a girl out one night wearing an outfit you would sell a loved one for? Welp, now you can take a creepy pic of said person, upload it to ASAP54, and find where that chick got her look. Creepy? Slightly. Amazing? Totes. You may not find an exact match, but definitely something similar. Meh … something is better than nothing, right?

Kindness: It Still Exists

c36cbc551d1f4cfe40989b8bc7b07807You know when two ladies rush up to give you a compliment and your first thought is, “holy shit I’m about to get jumped,” there is something seriously wrong with me slash this world we live in.

I found myself at a dreadful outdoor drinking arena where you needed a damn bathroom pass to go visit the fancy Porto-potties on the other side of the venue (Spruce Street Harbor for those of you from Philly). Beer only? Bathroom passes? Hipsters passed out in hammocks? The stank of the Delaware River? Porto-potties? Not my scene. But this is neither here nor there.

As I was waiting to enter the fancy Porto-potties, I saw these two normal looking blonde ladies, who were probably in their 30’s, rushing over to me. At first I thought, “dear sweet Jesus I’m about to get jumped/harrassed/or robbed.” When you’re in a city, especially on the East Coast, that is where your mind goes. I secretly surrendered and braced myself like a fool and just said, “welp, here it is, my time has come.”

But to my surprise, and mostly shock, these two ladies stood in front of me saying, “OMG you look so beautiful this evening! Look at that outfit of yours, it is so pretty!” I stopped flinching in anticipation that they were going to deck me, and looked at them like a deer in headlights. Friendly people? No no … friendly women offering up amazing compliments that were making me glow? Whhhhaaa?! Where am I? Did they just jump me and now I’m in heaven?

And no, I was not wearing anything special. I wore my most comfortable maxi skirt, tank top, and had exhaustion and anger splashed across my face after a long day of hosting a bridal shower all day and then having to deal with an overflowing bladder at a bar with bathroom passes and way too many rules … and no vodka.

These ladies were a breath of fresh positivity, and quite the confidence booster. Never once in my 27 years existing on the East Coast had any stranger, especially a woman, been so sincerely nice for no reason. I had to ask them though, “where are you ladies from?” And my assumptions were correct, they were from out of town. The midwest to be exact. And there you have it.

I’m not going to single out city gals or East Coast ladies only, but we are so quick to judge one another, and I’m guilty of this, too. When I’m standing in line for the bathroom, most likely I’m entertaining myself in my head making rude comments about people, and it’s shitty. And when we do reach out to our fellow female and offer a compliment, we are too quick to roll our eyes, or assume they are hitting on us, or think, “what does this bitch really want.” 

I truly want to thank these anonymous ladies for making my night extra special. Sometimes a stranger telling you that you look lovely is just what the doctor ordered, let me tell you, because I had an extra pep in my step the rest of the evening. You never know what people have going on. And always assume women have RBF (resting bitch face), because I’ve been told I look like a non-approachable bitch, and that is so not the case. If you assume they have RBF, it will make the compliment giving THAT much easier.

Since then, I’ve been more opened to complimenting my fellow females, even if I don’t know them. And hopefully you will do the same. Sure, the girl may think you’re trying to mug her, but listen, baby steps people, baby steps.

I’m A Little Tea Pot …

759ce1220f70c77d1d1278b17ddc95bbSometimes you just need to shake it up. Lately I’ve been feeling like Mr. Roboto, doing the same things every weekend. And you know what? Life is too short for Mr. Roboto nonsense. So this weekend is when I say, “ENOUGH!” and do something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little girl … and that is attend high tea.

Perhaps it is my recent obsession with the show Ladies of London, or with my admiration for British culture in itself, but high tea has always been on my to-do list. Since I was little I’ve had a fascination with teatime, pretending with my plastic tea cup set, and throwing fits when I didn’t get the matching teacups in the Match Game. And I’m pretty sure I will be that old lady with the millions of china closets lining my house filled with precious tea cups, and if anyone tries to touch one I will most likely throw one of my cats at them.

The thing is, what does one wear to high tea? I have this vision of a fantastic white dress with lace white gloves and maybe a hat. But Jesus, we aren’t in foggy London town back in the early 19th century, for crying out loud. This is 2014, in Philadelphia, in the summer heat. Even though I won’t be having tea with the queen or any dignitaries (not that I’m calling my friends slobs, lahve ya!), I still feel like one needs to pay homage to the tradition by not dressing like a slob OR a hipster.

Jeans are definitely a no no, and anything plaid probably isn’t the greatest of ideas. I do have this vision of wearing all white, pinkies up and such, graciously pouring my tea into my lovely tea cup, and then accidentally pouring the hot tea on my lap, which will lead me to leap up like a psycho, knocking over the fine china, cursing like a sailor, and leaving stained and probably wearing a badge the owner of the tearoom gives me that says “unfit.”

Listen I believe I’m the Eliza Doolittle of the tea scene, but before the professor shoved marbles in her mouth to make her speak properly. “THE RAAAIN IN SPAAAIN FULLS MAIIINLY ON THE PLLLAAAINEE.” Yep. That’s me. Regardless of my klutz tenancies, and the fact that I’m a magnet for stains and awkward situations, I’m truly looking forward to drink real tea with real people and eat real scones instead of drinking water with my stuffed animals and eating Wonder bread.

Pinkies up!

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Rubbing Of The Thighs

polls_lauren_uncomfortable_1658_620846_answer_1_xlargeThere is something disturbing happening to ladies in the summer heat. Something that women don’t usually like to talk about. It is the evil that cannot be seen, touched, or smelled … but yes, oh yes, it can be felt. I am here today to air out this dirty laundry, because let’s be real, it happens to the best of us. I’m talking about our upper, UPPER thighs rubbing together. And no, I’m not going to refer to it by the name so many like to call “chub rub,” because even saying it in my head makes me gag. And quite frankly, no matter what body type you have, it can happen to you. :::The more you know star swipe:::

There is nothing worse. You think you look so cute in your little skirt, strutting your stuff down the street, then all of a sudden it starts to happen. Skin on skin. Sweating. Back and forth. Back and forth, until you find yourself no longer strutting, but walking like you have a stick up your ass to soothe the irritation, but it doesn’t help. You know you are going to end up with an odd looking rash that will be the antithesis of sexy.

The sick part is women immediately think they are fat when this happens. Hence why I want to take the name “chub rub” throw it in the mud, run over it with my car five times and light fire to it. Ladies, trust me, regardless if you have the elusive and coveted “thigh gap” … there is a special place in your thighs that will, inevitably, rub together and torture you until you sit down. So don’t think you’re safe if your thigh is the circumference of a penny, it will happen to you, one day. Oh it will happen.

When it happened to me the first time, I immediately thought I had gained weight or the carbs I so love and cherish finally caught up to me. But no. I am proud to say I am not shaped like a model. I’ve got curves, my body isn’t perfect (but really, who does have this elusive “perfect body”). My thighs rub together when it is hot and humid and I’m sweating in places that I didn’t think I could sweat, and you know what, that just makes me feel more like a woman.

But even though this “situation” makes us become very VERY aware of our thighs and almost embrace them (which we should), the irritation it leaves is still the least sexy thing in the universe, like I said before. I mean no one wants to see that. Hence why these are the most genius things I have ever seen, Bandelettes. Sexy and cute, these lacy numbers wrap around your thigh to stop the rubbing. Genius, thy name is Bandelettes.

It almost makes you want thigh chaffing to happen because they are so cute, resembling a saucy thigh high. And for $14.99, I think this is a fantastic solution to a rather unsavory problem, don’t ya think? So thank you for helping us avoid that ridiculously unattractive rash thigh chaffing creates. Seriously. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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Adult Temper Tantrums

veruca-saltRemember when you were little and it was totally acceptable to freak out about something, turn into a complete spazz, and throw yourself on the ground kicking and screaming in defense? Looking back, those are cringe-worthy moments (not that I had them, I was a perfect child). Because now when I see children in full-blown freakout mode, it makes me want to overdose on birth control.

But this weekend I had a bit of an outer body experience. You know when you have the perfect outfit in your mind, and you spend time and good amounts of money trying to pull it together, and think you have it made … but later on find out you absolutely do not?

I was attending one of my good friend’s bridal showers, and what I was dreaming of wearing was my red palazzo pants from Zara, a lace black tank, and lots of strands of sparkly black beads, perhaps hair in a bun, and my strappy black stilettos. Sounds genius right? So I put my pants on, my tank, my heels, and started layering on all the strands of beads I purchased (which were not cheap), and well, the whole thing looked like shit. I felt my anxiety rising, but I took a deep breath and thought, “I’ll save the styling for last.” (Important point to my story: I don’t have AC in my upstairs, which isn’t conducive to rage.)

Luckily my best friend was there getting ready with me, and my mom … well lucky for me, not them. As I was slowly transforming into the Incredible Hulk over jewelry drama, I turned around only to hear from my best friend, “dude, can totally see your underwear.” Shit. What? I was wearing the only nude pair of undies I owned. So what do you do in a pickle like this? You go commando. Not my favorite thing in the world, but, meh, when in Rome. So I took it off, put my pants back on and did a little spin for my loved ones to check out my “situation” in the back, to which I saw faces trying not to burst out laughing … for fear they may die. Yeaaaahh I mine as well not have been wearing pants. My neck, my back, my woo haa and my crack were literally all out and about (gotta love silk pants). Sweet Jesus, my blood pressure. My blood pressure!

Bet you think it couldn’t get worse, right? Welp, have you ever had your mother say, “I KNOW! I’ll go get some of my underwear for you to wear.” At that point my mouth just hung open. Was she serious? “What?! They’re clean!” she screamed in defense of my shock. Sharing underpants with my mother? Is this what my life was coming to?! I was sweating, everyone was lying to me, I felt like crap about myself, and now this?! Enter adult temper tantrum stage right. It went just a little something like …

“I’m not wearing your damn underwear, you crazy woman.”
“NO! NO NO NO NO NO!” This is all mother f-ing wrong!”
“I look like shit.”
“You lie to me one more time I will cut you!”
“I hate these f-ing pants.”
“You all have heinous lie faces. HEINOUS!”
“Where are the scissors, I’m cutting these pants in half.”

And so on and so forth. I only gave you a dose of the massive amounts of curse words that were flying out of my mouth. God help my mother. But seriously … who offers someone their underpants? I mean I guess that’s love, in some odd backwards universe.

I was on a rampage, to the point where everyone just left me alone. And I was happy about it, because clearly I needed to find my zen. But on the voyage to find my zen, I looked in the mirror to find my hair looking like something Sporty Spice would have rocked back in the day. I tried to take deep breaths but the rage was coming out of my pours. If I could have screamed, “I’M NOT GOING!” ripped off my outfit, jumped back into bed in an air conditioned room, pulled the covers over my head and called it a day, I would have.

So there ya have it. Some may say I need medication, others would say I need therapy. I just call it the shit hitting the fashion fan all at once. When you don’t feel like you look your best, it alters your mood drastically. As much as I wanted slash still want to take a scissor to those pants, I got my shit together and wore them loudly and proudly to the bridal shower. I hope all the ladies in waiting enjoyed my panty line and being able to clearly see that they were lace. Because I looked HAWT.

Lessons learned: Try on your outfit dream ahead of time to check for wardrobe malfunctions. And get ready in air conditioning … ALWAYS. And if you don’t get ready in air conditioning and you are having massive wardrobe malfunctions, don’t take it out on your loves ones. OH YEAH … and if you are a mother, NEVER offer your daughter your underwear.

To my mother and best friend, I apologize thoroughly for my adult temper tantrum. Kids get pacifiers if they act up, I got Chardonnay. I was a win.

Three … Three Years Old!

il_340x270.325624847Yes, it’s Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra’s THIRD birthday today. And can I say I now feel bad for rolling my eyes at parents who cry during everyone of their children’s birthdays like, “where did the time go :::sob sob sob:::” Well yeah … now I’m one of those sobbing fools.

As I sit here sipping on champagne (I traditionally treat myself to a bottle of champs every blogaversary), there is a montage of blog moments rolling through my head with “Memories” playing in the background (aren’t you jealous that you aren’t in my head right now)? Every year has been so different and so filled with those delicious “pinch me” moments that make me just hungrier for more. Oh yeah …I’ve got big plans, people .. BIG plans.

This blog is my epicenter of happiness and the best thing I have ever done so far in my 27 years on Earth. Never once have I thought to myself, “meh … over it.” And when that thought never crosses your mind, I truly believe you have something special. Because being a blogger is hard, and time consuming, and lonely, and annoying, and exhausting, and competitive … did I mention time consuming? But like I said, my life would have sucked way worse if I didn’t wear a strapless bra when I was 16 and thought to myself, “LIFE SUCKS IN STRAPLESS BRAS! Wait … I should do something with that one day.”

Most importantly, it is one of the most rewarding things I do because of all the amazing support I receive. From friends, family, co-workers, friends of friends, people I don’t even know, and freaks on Twitter … it is overwhelming sometimes how supported and encouraged I feel because of all of you. Cliche warning: I honest to sweet Jesus wouldn’t be able to keep on keepin’ on without all of your well wishes, comments, retweets and other social media buzzwords that equal support nowadays.

So yeah … I can KICK, STRETCH and KIIIICK …. I’M THREE, THREE YEARS OLD! What up year four, let’s do dis!

 

Mmmm Couture

6.nocrop.w840.h1330I want to go to Paris. And not so I can fall in love under the Eiffel Tower, or stand in the ridic line at the Louvre to not see the Mona Lisa, or wear a dumbass beret and really scream, “HEY … I’M MURICAN!” No. I want to dive in the sea of overflowing fashion that is happening right now. I want to bathe in it. I want to be injected with it. Oh yeah …  I said it.

Ladies, New York Fashion Week is amateur hour compared to the Paris Couture shows. You don’t see the swarms of fashion bloggers from all over the country taking selfies out front of the shows. Or assholes like me who just stand out front of Lincoln Center ticketless and hoping to see a cool famous person. Nope. This is strictly for the big wigs. The people who truly respect and want to soak in every ounce of the beauty and art that these shows have to offer. I’m not hating on my fellow fashion bloggers, but even I know I don’t belong there. Some things should remain sacred, ya know?

So instead I sat on my bed last night, flipping through the slideshows on The Cut and pretending I was sitting front row next to Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington trying to act cool but secretly freaking out inside. Everything was so beautiful, so abstract, and some so simple you would sell a loved one just to hold it (trust me, I’ve contemplated it).

Life just doesn’t get any better than couture. It just doesn’t. We forget sometimes because there is truly so much crap out there. Beautiful crap … but crap. But when you see couture it just like a breath of fresh air, like “holy lord, I’m wearing trash bags and paying too much money for them. What am I doing with my life.”

I’ll let you decide which is your favorite, but I completely fell head over heals for Dior’s show and would put on one of those coats in this heatwave happily and twirl around. Hell, I would probably live in it like a cartoon character who only rocks one outfit. So if you would excuse me, I’m going to go back to daydreaming that I’m in Paris for the couture shows and not sweating on the subway with the commoners. K, bye. Now enjoy some of the pieces I’m currently drooling over.

CHANEL

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CHRISTIAN DIOR

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Dior

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ON AURA TOUT VU

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On Aura Tout Vu

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

Giambattista Valli

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SCHIAPARELLI

Scrap

STEPHANIE COUDERT

Stephanie

*All photos were taken from The Cut.

Heat On The Street Is Making Me Delusional

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Photo credit: http://www.unbrelievable.com/little-fille

I feel like I end up writing about this every summer, but I can’t help it. The heat is too much. And I know, I know … I was the queen of bitching about the polar vortex this past winter, but my lesson has been learned. At least I don’t want to pass out trekking through a blizzard, am I right? But you know how it goes, the grass is always greener … blah blah blah.

With that being said, I’ve found myself wanting to do/doing some really awkward things due to the heat. Call it heat stroke, call it not giving an eff … who knows. But I felt the need to share as I’m sure we are all in the same boat if you are suffering through this heatwave in the city like me … ahem:

1. Dressing like Kim Kardashian: Seriously. I was on the train this morning and I looked down at my outfit and thought to myself, “OMG I’ve watched so many Kardashian’s marathons that I’m turning in to them.” Well that isn’t exactly the case (at least I hope not). But I am rocking a high waisted pencil skirt and tank, much like this … but less skin (don’t want to become the office ho), of course … and not in Paris … on Patco. And not in couture … in discount. And proud of it!

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2. Sweating all over my tote: Do I need to go into more detail here? I just would rather not. But my tote … my poor, poor tote.

3. Pencil dive: I would love nothing more than to dive into a pool in all of my clothes and then continue on with my day. Black eye liner running down my face and all.

4. Get naked: Not really … I’ll never be THAT hot. But I’ve been trying the extremely hard task of dressing by wearing the least amount of clothing possible. And FYI, maxi skirts don’t breathe.

5. Take a breather: In the subway station. And yes, there are no chairs, but the idea of sliding on the disgusting, disease ridden, yet cool walls all the way down to the disgusting, disease ridden ground sounds glorious.

6. Walk slow, homie: I’m a notoriously fast walker. I want to get from A to B as quickly as possibly and if you get in my way, I will call you a “douche clown” in my head. But in this head, honey I stroll. Which sucks because I have to leave my house earlier than usually to make my train.

7. Try really hard not to stink: I started to notice around 1pm that I stink. I’m that guy stinkin’ up the joint. Some deodorant brands claim they last all day … well no. When it is hot as hell and you’re a commuter, it sadly does not. So hell yes I have “desk deodorant”. Every woman needs one. Don’t be the stinky employee in the building. Don’t be that guy.

8. Not drinking my Starbucks: I’m obsessed with the lemonade black tea combo not sweetened. It’s insanely refreshing. But lately, I’ve just wanted to pour it over my head rather than drink it. Sure flys would attack me, and I would be a hot mess for the rest of the day, but it just seems so delightful, doesn’t it?

9. Get hooked up to an IV: Of water that is. Why isn’t this a thing? How much quicker would it be to get hydrated if you could just get hooked up to an IV of water and call it a day. Running to the water cooler, and the bathroom, gets exhausting. #LazyAndDehydrated #SmallBladder

10. Buy a Parasol: I’ve seen these women walking around the city with umbrellas open when it is perfectly sunny. Secretly I was like, “What up Michael Jackson,” but then I realized they were genius. Umbrellas block out the sun, dumbass. Seriously, the top of my head feels like it is on fire when I’m in the sun. Not good for the hair coloring business, let me tell you.

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All joking aside, be safe in this heat! Take your time, wear light and breezy clothes … and for the LOVE of GOD … hydrate!

Style Stud: The Great U S Of A

 

flag-detailLadies and gentleman … ‘MURICA.

I mean how could I NOT make the American flag my style stud of the week? It’s a beaut … what can I say.

Well I’m going to keep this short and sweet as I need to get dressed and prepared to start getting my eat on and my drank on underneath some fire works (which I hope you all are doing the same). But I got to say how lucky all of us are to live in such a fantastic country (and if you are reading this and you’re in another country … I’m sure it’s fab, too). Sometimes we forget … but freedom of speech kind of rules, along with all of our other pieces of freedom we most certainly take for granted. For example the fact that I can sit here typing whatever the fuck I want (yeah I said it) whenever the fuck I want (uh huh … said it again) … is kind of amazing (my family is most certainly going to kill me at our BBQ today for cursing on my blog … sorry fam).

So with all of that being said, I will dazzle you with some of my most coveted ‘MURICA pics. Like the one at the top is by one of my favorite artists, Jasper Johns, who just happened to be from Philly, too (not that I’m biased or anything :::shifty eyes). Everyone have a fantastic 4th … eat, drink, be merry … and responsible. No one likes a hot mess.

women tina fey american flag magazine covers vanity fair magazine 2340x3329 wallpaper_www.knowledgehi.com_100

KGrHqJgwE4-W5OBOQbUDERmg0_3 willf ladygagatelephone Britney_Spears_American_Flag

(I know, I know … not ‘MURICA but I still adore her)

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And FINALLY … the lady who started it all …

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Backhanded Compliment … Meet The Back Of My Hand

tina-fey-thumbs-downWe’ve all been there. We look good. We feel good. We want to strut a little. Then all of a sudden you run into “that” friend. The friend that loves nothing more than to investigate what you are wearing, doing, and seeing with a fine tooth comb. That person mine as well be a hurricane that will wipe away and destroy all the goodness you have going on with one simple comment, that goes something like this: “I wish I had the confidence to pull off something so see-through.” Umm … wait what? Are you saying I look good and confident, or are you really telling me my outfit is see-through?

When you receive a compliment, all you should be doing is blushing and saying how flattered you are … and a little taken back by how nice this person is being. Your hand will go to your heart and your face will shift as your are saying “Awww!” and then you will say, “oh my GAWD … THANKS!” You might even give them a little friendly shoulder punch. It will feel like a breath of fresh air. It will feel like spring time with no humidity. It will feel like the first sip of wine after a heinous week. It will make you glow.

Backhanded compliments, on the other hand (no pun intended), deserve to go to the back door. What is the damn point?! Are you THAT insecure that you feel the need to insult me, yet don’t have the balls to follow through so you just sugar-coat it with a little positive adjective to make me feel all warm inside?

You know when you’re given a backhanded compliment when you start to say, “thaaaan…” but stop and say, “wait, what?” instead to yourself. You still say, “thanks” minus the blushing and the feeling of taking that first sip of wine after a shitty week feeling. Because really, you are trying to dissect what the person just said to you and see if it truly was a compliment. Most of the time, if you are scratching your head in confusion … it was a backhanded compliment. I think we should change it to something more delightful like, “YOU JUST GOT BHC-ed!” I’ll come up with some hand motion to go with it shortly. Hey, it’s a work in progress.

Now I get it, you are probably saying, “seriously … what the hell are you talking about. Maybe you should stop being so paranoid and just accept a compliment when it is given and stop being a bitch,” But let me give you a taste of some common BHC’s that you (probably) have encountered. And then I will do the “I told you so dance” … ahem:

“You’re so fortunate that you can go shopping so much when you don’t have family and a mortgage.”

“It’s so refreshing to meet someone who likes simple things.”

“I love that you don’t care what people think!”

“You’re so brave for wearing that.”

Grrr ::shaking fist::: just stop. Everyone stop BHC-ing one another, for the love of sweet Jesus. Didn’t your parents teach you, “when you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all?” They probably did, except some asshole found a loophole, also known as backhanded compliments and that is how people get around it. Listen, you either like something or you don’t. I don’t think people should shell out compliments unless they are REALLY passionate about something. Like if I see a girl walking down the street in shoes I would sell my mother for, I would say, “hey …random girl … those shoes RULE!” And then she would think I was hitting on her … and probably run away, but come on, you know what I’m saying!

So I challenge you all to give a REAL compliment today. Don’t bring someone else down just because you are feeling shitty and jealous … just do it. It will feel good. If it doesn’t … well, there is always wine.

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I Swear I’m Not Goth

99a2fa5150e40e7336fb410239dd192aAbout two weeks ago, my 12-year-old niece told me that, “everyone knows if you wear all black, you’re goth.” And then my head did this:

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:::Sigh::: kids, am I right? Silly, silly, per-pubescent children … how little do thy know. Right now, my niece is all about neon. Neon everything. The more color, the better. So I can understand why she looks into my closet and thinks, “holy shit (although she best not be cursing :::back of my hand:::), my aunt is goth.”

When I was her age, I would have never worn all black anywhere for fear people would have thought I was goth. Goth wasn’t something cool to be in middle school, or even in high school. They were the scary kids who shopped at Hot Topic, had KORN patches (backwards R and all) on their book bags and rocked a lot of chains everywhere. Their hair was either black, or spiked in different colors of the rainbow, and they invested in black lipstick stock. I would only threaten to go goth when my mom made me do something I didn’t want to do. I mean I worshiped the book of Britney Spears and wished I was in the Gap commercial swing dancing in khakis, for crying out loud. In no way shape or form did I associate myself with the “goths.”

So as the words were coming out of my mouth to shame my naive niece, “Ummm black is chic, you know nothing,” I kind of understood where she was coming from. In kid-teen world, all black everything means uncool and goth. In adult world it is dignified and chic …Karl Lagerfeld and Kanye West says so. The more black you wear, the cooler you are (well, um, that’s what I think, at least).

And if I was forced to go back to middle school, right now, as a 27-year-old woman, Billy Madison-style, I would most definitely be considered “goth.” 97.4% of my wardrobe is black … or some dark color. I like my neutrals, what can I say. My jewelry is always statement-worthy (I have a cuff that most certainly could be used as a weapon). My nails are Lincoln Park After Dark (aka close enough to black as I will go). My hair is one shade away from being black. Anything with studs on it makes me insanely happy. I rarely leave the house without liquid black eye liner, and I’ve recently become obsessed with dark burgundy lipstick. Preppy bitches would most definitely be yelling, “go back to the crypt, goth!” as I strutted down the hallway.

But I’m not goth. I don’t wish I was married to Satan. I’m definitely not depressed. And never once have I ever nor will I ever own or download a KORN album. I wear black because it makes me feel good and comfortable. Black is chic, and that is something you learn over time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. I wear blackish nail polish because I think it rocks. I feel naked without my liquid black eye liner as I feel it makes my blue eyes pop, and the color pink makes me want to vomit. But hey, that is just my style. If you want to walk down the street looking like a God damn highlighter … go for it, people. Style is about self expression.

I suppose the age-old saying is true, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Those “goth” kids in high school that I used to avoid were probably not as freakish as I made them out to be. They were just doing something I didn’t have the balls to do … which is to be true to themselves. One day I looked at my colorful closet and realized I was only wearing the same two black shirts I owned over and over … and decided to say, “screw it,” and wear what I liked without worrying about some jerk giving me a stupid title like, “goth.”

So yes, I don’t enjoy color, but no, kids, I’m not “goth.” And even if you do ID yourself as a said “goth” … that, again, doesn’t mean you beckon Satan on the reg. If only kids knew how cool the color black was sooner. :::Sigh:::

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Great, now I feel old.

Style Stud: Old Navy Flip Flop Vending Machines

Emma Roberts Checks out the Old Navy Flip Flop Vending Machine in LAThere’s absolutely nothing worse than wearing a fantastic pair of heels throughout the city, but your feet hurting so badly you just want to chop them off. Or even worse, your feet hurting so badly you wouldn’t mind strutting through the city streets barefoot! Trust me, the idea of getting hepatitis rather than having to deal with wearing 5 in torture devices seemed pleasant to me definitely more than once.

But could you imagine, suffering and walking like an idiot through the city to avoid sharp pains of death, when … wait? Could it be? A FLIP FLOP VENDING MACHINE?!?! WAAAAAAAAAAAA!?!

Thanks to Old Navy, a flip flop vending machine isn’t just a mirage women see when they are in shoe pain anymore. It’s the real deal to honor their $1 flip flop sale. Listen, I haven’t worn a pair of Old Navy flip flops since I was in college, mostly as shower shoes, but if I was in need, I would literally kiss the machine and give it my money … happily, instead of carrying around a pair of flats with me and taking up precious purse space. It is genius.

I have nothing against Old Navy flip flops … they are a great go-to when you need to run a quick errand, walk your dog, go outside and get the paper … and especially, when you want to set fire to a pair of uncomfortable heels. Old Navy … I applaud you.

My only bone I have to pick with Old Navy is this: Why don’t you have any flip flop vending machines in Philly? Huh? We have lots of stylish women who love their high heels but hate the pain. We have lovely parks and lovely streets for you to put said vending machines on … so why are you depriving us of this golden and comfortable opportunity. Philly needs some comfort and some flop love, too, Old Navy … Just sayin’.

Vogue: The New Debbie Downer

debbie-downerNothing makes me pee my pants laughing more than the Debbie Downer skit on SNL. Specifically the episode with Lindsay Lohan where everyone in the skit can’t control their laughter. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, well :::sigh::: shame on you, but let me dazzle you with this, you’re welcome in advance: http://vimeo.com/41787619

I came home from work yesterday to find myself hot, tired, and needing a little escape. Enter Vogue, stage right. Now I have notoriously expensive taste. I can’t help it. I’ve tried, I’ve really tried, but it is in my genes. I want to thank my mother for this one, because the apple doesn’t fall far. So yeah … thanks Mom. But as I poured myself a glass of wine, snuggled in on my couch and started to dive face first into the land of Vogue, I realized something. If you are an average gal like me, makin’ money, but nothing close to Beyonce money, with a taste for the finer things in life, but live on a tight budget … Vogue is the new Debbie Downer. Yep. There. I said it.

“When you’re enjoying your day, everything’s goin’ your way … then along comes Debbie Downer. Always there to tell you about a new disease, a car accident or killer bees. You’ll beg her to spare you, DEBBIE PLEASE! But you can’t stop Debbie Downer! :::WHOMP WHOMP:::”

So this is what was going on in my head as I thumbed through Vogue last night:

Me: OMG that bag is to die for. Seriously. My heart … It’s the perfect color, size, everything. It is exactly what I have been look forward. THANK JESUS! That’s it … I need it. How much could it POSSIBLY be?
Debbie Downer: The bag is Balenciaga … and it is $5,000 … WHOMP WHOMP If you buy it then you’ll most likely end up not being able to pay your rent and living in a van down by the river. And you know what they say, where there are rivers … there are snakes.
Me: :::Heart breaking, fiercely flips page:::

Debbie_Downer

Me: Now look at that dress. That is a dress that every woman needs. It is classic, it is the right length … it’s timeless. This is totally an investment I could make. Oh please be in my price range, please be in my price range :::crossing fingers:::
Debbie Downer: The dress is made by Chanel … and it is so expensive you have to call someone to find out the price. Probably because it is so expensive you will go into cardiac arrest.

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Me: Those shoes are everything. EVERYTHING. I would wear them everywhere. I would kiss them every day. I could think of 15 outfits I could pair them with. I could make it work financially … perhaps I’ll sell my blood? Ehh?!
Debbie Downer: Whoa, whoa, whoa … slow down there, Sally, these shoes are Valentino and only Kim Kardashian can afford to buy them like they are pairs of Keds.

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Ugh. I literally punted the magazine after I was done torturing myself. Now I’m not stupid. I know Vogue only shows high fashion pieces of clothing and high fashion accessories. I get it, I get it. But just ONCE. ONCE I would like to instantaneously fall in love with a garment on the pages of Vogue and actually and realistically be able to purchase it without hearing this sound.

Hiss … DEBBIE DOWNER …hiss :::shaking fist:::

Sorry I Can’t Go Out, I’m Shaving My Legs

lady-gillette-ad-1965The idea of showering is so relaxing, right? Getting in your clean tub, scrubbing off the dirt and grime of the day, soothing scents like lavender floating about. Glorious, right? Even taking baths seems like a treat (except I will only take baths in really nice hotels, only … don’t ask me why … most tubs skeeve me), but I’ve always wanted to fill my tub up with lemon slices and just chill.

But in the summertime, showering gets a little less relaxing due to a little thing called excess leg hair. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do shave my legs in the winter, but I half ass it 100%. If you do take the time to thoroughly shave your legs in the winter, well … hmm what’s that sound, you ask? That is me shaking my shame stick at you. Take advantage! For the love …

I personally have rather long legs :::hair flip::: To some that may be considered an envy-worthy quality, but quite frankly, during the months of sweltering heat and short skirts, I would like to chop them off.

Shaving my legs is literally the last thing I do whilst showering (I know you all REALLY needed to know that). I don’t know why, but the idea of flinging my leg to the side of my tub and covering it with body wash (because I never have shaving cream), exhausts me.

There is nothing fun about shaving your legs. Nothing. You can’t even turn on music and rock out whilst doing it, because you will get cut, and you will bleed. You have to make sure your legs are properly coated in whatever kind of shaving cream you use otherwise you will be plagued with a little thing called razor burn (woof), then you have to move in some contortionist fashion to grab your razor on the other size of the tub. And then the fun begins, as you try to balance on one leg … yes one leg … while holding a device that could be considered a weapon. Cool.

Sorry for the Seinfeld moment here, but what is the deal with razors?! Why do they all have to be pastels? Huh? I don’t get it. Men get these cool silver razors with different speeds and we get Susie Sunshine’s razor? Bullshit. Just because it is pink with pretty little flowers on it, doesn’t make me want to hop in the tub and spend my evenings smiling and removing the hair from my legs and thanking Jesus Christ I’m a woman. No. It infuriates me. If Schick made an all black razor with skulls all over it, I would totally invest. Just a thought. Because the idea of dragging a sharp razor blade up my leg just so I don’t offend people with my leg hair doesn’t equal frolicking in a field of daisies, let’s be real.

And no matter what, I cut myself. Always. I could be going as slow as possible, concentrating and balancing on one leg like a boss, and I ALWAYS tend to bleed. I’ve literally ruined every white towel that I own. I even get the razor that promises to not cut you and I still walk out of the shower with a line of blood dripping down my leg. Sexy, right?

The worst days are the ones where you are going to a pool party or the beach and have to shave it all. Like ankle to thigh. Woof. Nothing is the worse than ankle to thigh shaving. I literally have to block off like an extra 15 minutes in the shower to do a thorough and complete job. Because if you don’t think you have hair on your upper thigh … you’re a damn fool. It’s there. And it’s fierce.

So what I’m saying is, let’s stop shaving our legs, ladies! To HELL with those pastel razors. FEMINISM! YAY!

 

Juuuuuuuuuuust kidding, body hair isn’t okay. Ever. But seriously, Schick, black razor with skulls all over it. Make it happen.

An Ode To My Juicy Tracksuit

paris-hilton-and-juicy-couture-terrycloth-trackpants-galleryYes, I lived my teenage years during the 00’s … the zeros? The 0’s? What the hell are we calling that decade? So that only meant one thing. Everyone was well aware of the fact, that my ass (or lack there of), was indeed … Juicy.

Why my mother gave into my incessant begging for these coveted tracksuits, I have no idea. Looking back, they look like something that should have died in the 70’s. But seeing the cool, popular girls strutting around the hallways of my high school in them, like something out of the O.C. or Mean Girls, with their designer totes to match, made me crave them. I wanted them in every color. And not because they looked comfy. Oh no. To be honest, I don’t know what the allure was.

But one Christmas morning, I tore through a gift box, and there it was. My very own, black, velour Juicy tracksuit. The dangling J on the zipper gleamed, and all of a sudden, I felt … rich. Famous. Like Paris Hilton (ew right?). Side note: Do you know how expensive these tracksuits were? I want to say, somewhere in the high $100’s to low $200’s for both pieces … of velour. With that being said, my mom got mine at Lohemans, meaning I probably had last year’s style … but God I didn’t care. I wanted to throw on oversized sunglasses, strut around town with my knock-off designer tote, and listen to the newest B. Spears track (pre-K. Fed … she was still cool).

You would think rockin’ a tracksuit to school would be the epitome of comfort. Like wearing your jammies to school, right? WRONG. YOU ARE WRONG, SIR. Me? Well I was 5’9 in high school. But rail thin. And let me tell you something, a large didn’t fit me in Juicy tracksuits. Seriously? Umm okay. So I was an extra large … and THAT barely fit me. Oh yeah, and the pants (no, unfortunately mine did not have “Juicy” across the ass), were never long enough. When I sat down for class, everyone knew what kind of socks I was rocking with my Birkenstock clogs (oh yeah … clogs … and velour … I was the shit) and if I had shaved my legs.

You know what else sucked about rockin’ Juicy velour sweats? Everyone seeing my ass crack and/or thong (oh yeah … I wore thongs, too. I probably owned stock in thongs in the 00’s). Why in the world some big shot at the Juicy velour tracksuit factory thought it was a genius idea to make a pair of sweats so low that women’s vagina bone hung out … I will never understand. Did I give a shit? Oh no. If Britney Spear’s vagina bone was out, as was mine. So I sat in my seat, listening to my teacher go on and on about something, hardcore slouching so much that my back was barely touching the seat, trying not to move, for fear the person in back of me would get full view of my crack. Back problems were no concern to me (literally I would walk out of class and my lower back would be numb). And forget crouching down to get something in my locker. I perfected this sideways, limbo where I strategically would pull my shirt down as I scooped whatever I needed up.

Good times, right? I actually just gave away my last Juicy zip up to my niece (it wasn’t velour, it was cotton and striped and what I thought to be, once upon a time, super abstract and different for Juicy), which is, unfortunately, probably a vintage relic for her. But am I sad to see Juicy closing all of their US stores? Absolutely not. Those tracksuits were torture devices, and their sizing was unrealistic and idiotic, and by the way, it’s not nor has it ever been cool to walk around with the word “Juicy” on your ass. No one will think your ass is “all that” just because the word Juicy is across it. Track suits are full of lies, I tell you, LIES.

Hey, every generation has that cringe moment. Mine happens to be rather expensive and stupid … and probably the reason why I have back problems. The good news is, I don’t wear thongs anymore. So that’s cool. What up, granny panties!

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Style Stud: TOGGERY

contact_imgI can’t stress how important it is for a woman (or a man) to own a good set of basics. Now I’m not talking about stuff you can rock to the gym or wear lying around watching Kardashian marathons, eating snacks and getting stains all over them … no (not that I do that … okay maybe a little). I’m talking about quality basics you can look fantastic in whilst running errands that are also so versatile you can throw them on with a pair of skinnies, a great statement necklace, a pair of fierce stilettos and rock it out on the town. Not only that, but a good set of basics that lasts (and doesn’t become hard as a rock after a wash and shrinks down into something your Barbies could have worn … trust me, it happens to the best of us).

Finding the perfect white T is like finding a diamond in the rough. Call me the Goldie Locks of basics, what can I say. But it happened. I found a white T that was JUUUUUUST right and thy name was TOGGERY. They are based out of Philly (I’m a pinch biased), the garments are beyond soft, versatile, stylish … and LAST. Umm and hello, Lana Del Rey rocked TOGGERY on the cover of her new album. Clearly all of the cool girls know what’s up.

Lana-Del-Rey-Ultraviolence-2014-1500x1500So when I got the opportunity to hang out with Kate D’Arcy and Alison Latta, the ladies behind TOGGERY, I only fell in the love with the brand that much more. It was so refreshing to hear designers be so passionate, not only about the brand, but about the quality of their product. I’ll stop babbling about how much I adore them and let you get to know TOGGERY, as well as Kate and Alison, a little better below. If you need me I’ll be rockin’ my cool girl white TOGGERY T around town.

Ps. Between you and I, make sure to check out one of my FAVE style sections, Shoppist on PhillyMag.com, on Monday for a little TOGGERY promo. But shh, you didn’t hear it from me.

1. Tell me a bit about how you both got into fashion. What inspired you?

K: I grew up in a retail business and after college I went back to night school for design. I’ve always been in fashion in one form or another so finding a career in the industry only seemed natural.

I’m inspired by personal style; I love people watching, especially fashion people watching. My favorite part of the job is seeing how people put their personal touch on the clothing we create.

A: Prior to TOGGERY I had been working in the Financial Services industry. I had always been in love with fashion, and would always pine over magazines such as Vogue, In Style and Harpers each month – even as a kid. TOGGERY was like the dream-career I never thought was even attainable. When I joined TOGGERY 2011, I began to realize how truly passionate I am about working in fashion.

2. Where can you purchase Toggery? Is it national or just in the Philly area?

You can buy TOGGERY online at www.toggerybrand .com or find us at a specialty store near you! We currently sell to 200 + specialty stores across the US, Canada and Japan. You can find TOGGERY at Fred Segal in California, United Arrows in Japan and more locally Knit Wit in Philadelphia.

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3. How long has Toggery been around?

K: 2007 – 2010 I was doing TOGGERY as a side project at night and on the weekends. It started as something small that evolved into a lot more than I expected. During that time I acquired a vast knowledge of the industry as a whole from production and manufacturing to sales and marketing.

In 2011 TOGGERY sales really started to pick up and I realized I couldn’t do it on my own. It was at that time I approached Alison about working together and overseeing the financial end of the business.

4. Describe the woman that would wear Toggery.

K: She is your favorite person at a dinner party!

5. How did you both meet?

A: Kate & I actually met through mutual friends at a Phillies tailgate party in 2009. We all collectively stayed in touch due to the Philly network, and eventually paths crossed and we became friends and business partners! Interestingly, we met on the same day that Kate and her now husband met! It was certainly a day to remember (although for the life of me I cannot tell you who the Phillies played and what the score of the game was)!

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K: Proudly made in the USA! From start to finish we create our goods working with expert production partners along the east coast. We knit our uber soft custom fabrics at Carolina knitting facilities and our remaining production and distribution takes place in eastern PA.

7. Out of all of your pieces, what would you say is the “go-to” piece for any woman?

A: A great fitting tee is crucial, specifically a TOGGERY short sleeve white v-neck tee.

8. Tell us a bit about your upcoming collection. Is there anything new we can expect?

K: We custom knit this amazing sweater for our F/W14 collection. The fabric has our trademark softness and it’s cut in silhouettes you’ll live in come fall!

9. Why would someone choose Toggery over another “basics” brand?

TOGGERY is your favorite tee. Our uber soft fabrics, precision cut fit and insane quality sets us apart from other ‘basics” brands. We give our customers more than their money’s worth through style and quality that lasts beyond a season.

10. Who do you both admire in the fashion industry? What inspires you in Philly?

A: I am inspired by Zac Posen. He’s an American designer (so I of course love that) who so remarkably understands how to design for a woman. Zac lets his fans follow him through the workday and shares some of his personal life with us, which really allows a follower to understand the hard work and emotion that goes into building a brand.

K: Sticking with the designer theme I’m going to say Isabel Marant. I really respect the brand and business she has built over the years. Her design aesthetic makes you feel like the ultimate cool girl and her brand is accessible without being saturated in the market place… that’s a hard balance to keep in this industry.

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My Self Diagnosed Shopper’s Remorse

Buyers-RemorseI love clothes and accessories. I luhve um. I luhve um. I LUHVE um :::kicks leg up in the air::: What lady doesn’t? If I could take home everything I try on and lust after, I would. But alas, :::sigh::: … I would be living in a van down by the river.

You know those commercials for diseases or illnesses on TV? “Do you feel tired? Weak? Like you can’t get out of bed? Take :::fill in name of drug here::: for relief! Side effects may include bleeding from the eyes, toes, and finger nails. See your doctor for any complications.” I would love to make a PSA or something for a little thing that I’m personally plagued with known as “Shopper’s Remorse.”

“Do you love shopping? Do you lust after clothes :::showing a girl getting excited over a new blouse, and giving a cashier her credit card, jumps in mid-air in excitement over purchase::: But after you purchase the item, does the price tag make you filled with fear? Anxiety? Self-loathing? :::shows girl scratching her head curled up in the fetal position with visible signs of anxiety::: Then you may be suffering from Shopper’s Remorse. But with this quick pill, you will no longer feel anything but happiness over your new purchases! Side effects include skin tone changing to green, balding, and extreme rage.

Yeah, if only there was a pill for Shopper’s Remorse. I would be a happier, less stressed out person. Yes, I would even risk the side effects of becoming the Incredible Hulk. Because most times when I shop, no matter if I scored an amazing deal, or just broke the bank, I will leave that store freaking out over how much money I spent. It’s insane. I’m a crazy person, I know. “Did I spend too much money? I totally spent too much money. OMG I’m broke. Wait, no I’m not. But I should return this shit, I don’t need it. But I love it. I just won’t buy lunch this week.” AHHH.

For example, once I was roaming through Nordstrom Rack and found Marc by Marc handbag, that was gorgeous, marked down to like $80. When I stopped thinking I was getting punk’d, or that the handbag had a string attached to it and if I attempted to pick it up, someone would move it, I think I texted everyone in my contacts list asking if I should buy this bag. Now yes, $80 is a good chunk of change. BUT the original price of the bag was like $400 (it was a refurbished bag, meaning someone bought it and returned it, and there was NOTHING wrong with it … it was gold). Any normal human soul would have already been home with it, stroking it and doing a happy dance. Me, well, I was sweating, pacing back and forth, waiting for my friends and family to text me back to tell me to purchase the handbag … dumbass. I did. Thank Jesus. But not without being PLAGUED with Shopper’s Remorse.

Hell, I get Shopper’s Remorse when I buy two pairs of sandals from Forever 21. FOREVER. 21. What. Is. Wrong. With. Me. It happens almost every time I shop. Sure, some may say I’m cost conscious and concerned about my spending, but that isn’t it. I think apart of me just hates spending money. OH-EM-GEE, am I cheap?!

Regardless, if you suffer from Shopper’s Remorse, I feel your pain. We can curl up in the fetal position and drool all over ourselves until anxiety consumes our entire bodies together … but at least we’ll have fantastic style, am I right? UP TOP!

My Flirtation With A Straw Tote

31812167_009_bThis past weekend … I fell in love with this bag. Isn’t it grand?

I locked eyes with it from across the floor. I acted casually. Pretending I was looking at skirts and shirts, dancing around the store floor, pretending the bag didn’t exist, but my peripheral was always on it. Always. And forever. I think I was scared to pick it up and get intimate with it, because I’m well aware of how expensive Anthropologie bags are (hello triple digit madness). But of course, I picked it up anyways (because clearly I like torturing myself). And it was only :::gasp::: $88! WhaaaaaaaAAAA?! I know … but did I buy said fantastic bag? No. Because I’m a damn fool. A damn fool who falls in love with bags and then doesn’t buy them because of the, “what if I can find something like it for cheaper,” factor. And as I sit here and type, I’m desperately trying not to go on Anthro’s website and purchase the bag.

I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t just jump to buying a bag on impulse that is over $50 … UNLESS it is a ridiculously good deal. Then jump. Hell, do a pencil dive. In this case, I knew I had some time to do a little research. So yeah, my newest quest in fashion is for a straw tote. I love the idea of them. They are feminine, have a vintage edge (old lady chic), fits the summer bill, and still allows me to carry my entire life within it. That’s magic right there. And as much as I adore the Anthro one, I just needed to see what else was out there … slash if I could find a better one for cheaper (more importantly).

Sigh … my research you will find below (click the image and it will take you to your desired tote). But at the end of the day, I’m probably going to cave and invest in the Anthro straw bag, simply because of our history and my undying love for it. If you can’t get it out of your head, it has to be yours, right? But I truly believe every lady needs a good go-to straw tote this summer. Buy yourself a little Tuesday treat … you deserve it. Because you rule, and you’re pretty, and you work really hard, and it’s hot as balls outside. Right? (I can find an excuse to invest in anything)

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The “Just For Funsies” Methodology

d2eb25d88a86b94229ace14408e2b411Shopping is no easy task … I don’t care who you are. Say you go out shopping for plain t-shirts, right? Well, if you are anything like me, you will return home with a bag full of everything except plain T’s (what can I say, I get distracted quite easily … ooh something shiny?!! EEEE!).

I do have a method to my madness whilst shopping, though. My number one rule is I try not to fixate on the one or two things I need within my wardrobe. If you go in saying, “I need a black maxi dress and only a black maxi,” think of all the goodness you will overlook, right? Tunnel vision is a bitch, let me tell you. So I believe in walking into a store with an open mind. Take a deep breath, and start combing through the garments.

But I also believe in a little thing called, “just for funsies” whilst shopping. What is that, you ask? Well, let me explain. This past weekend I went shopping with my best friend, who was looking to jazz up her style a bit, which is always fun because it is like an untouched canvas. But you know when you are shopping and come across a piece that you DIE for, but say, “oh I could never pull this off,” and put it back down, only to lust after it secretly for the rest of the day? My question to you is, umm why can’t you pull that shit off? How do you know? You’ll never know unless you embrace the “just for funsies” methodology.

Just for funsies [juhst-fawr-fuhn-ies]: Trying on a piece of clothing that is out of one’s comfort zone.

For example, I came across a pair of wide-legged satin red pants. I adored them instantly. We were instant lovers. But I was saying to myself, “oh I can’t pull these off. Where could I wear them? Will they be flattering …bitch, bitch, bitch whoa as me?” as I shamelessly flirted with the material through my fingertips. But that’s when I thought to myself, what is the harm in bringing them in the dressing room with me? What, I could look like a clown and the dressing room attendant will point and laugh at me? Umm no. So I grabbed a couple different sizes (as I had no idea how they would fit and loathe having to get dressed and run back out to grab a different size), and decided to give them a whirl. Long story short: they are my new favorite thing. If I could make out with them I would (but that would land me on that weird show on TLC where men make out with their cars).

My “just for funsies” methodology is a great way to step outside of your style comfort zone. It is also great for a laugh or two, especially if you are shopping with your girlfriends. My best friend and I peed ourselves laughing over micro mini skirts that barely left any vagina to the imagination and unflattering dresses that made me look like a 1950’s housewife, and not in a good way. Even if you are shopping by yourself … Jesus put doors/curtains that close off dressing rooms for a reason. Have a laugh at yourself if you tried something outside of your comfort zone that makes you look a hot mess. I feel like dressing rooms should be a “safe place” or “judgement free zone.” Talk to yourselves, ladies. Laugh a little … for the love. Clothes are meant to be tried on.

My “just for funsies” methodology won’t kill you, I promise. It will let you embrace styles you never in a million years could pull off, but, realistically, can … sometimes. So for that, I accept your praises. Don’t be shy … send them my way. You’re welcome in advance.

Stress Shopping

tumblr_mbnhm9ULPH1qcuglxo1_500When faced with a confrontation, or find yourself stressed out to the max, or perhaps receive an email that makes you want to pull your hair out slash punch your fist through the wall, do you ever just want to … shop? Some people work out, mediate … I shop.

This past weekend I found myself in a situation where I was so annoyed that I just needed to be surrounded by style. I didn’t even know what I needed or wanted, I just needed to be in a store to relieve some stress. All of a sudden I found myself driving to Old Navy. Why? Because I love their jeans. To die for. And they are like $20, you can’t beat that … aaaaand I happen to be in the market for a white pair of jeans.

But what I found was over stimulation. Holy colors and graphics, Old Navy, holy colors and graphics. I tried to take a deep breath, close my eyes, open them and take my time sorting through the insane amount of clothes, but it was too much. The large volume of people, and the lights, and the strange hipster music was literally making my head swirl.

My breaking point was when I tried to get into a new section of the store, and was blocked off by a mother, pushing a cart, with two rambunctious children, immersed in a conversation with her friend. First of all, why do clothing stores offer carts? Are you REALLY going to buy THAT much product that you need a damn cart like you are shopping for Thanksgiving dinner? Come on. Last time I checked they only let you bring like six items max in a dressing room. So hence my confusion around the cart convo. All they do is clog aisles and make fellow non-cart using customers, like yours truly, infuriated.

So back to the cart lady blocking the aisle. I politely, with a smile on my face, said “excuse me,” which got no response. Her children still danced around me like candy possessed nightmares as she yelled to her friend, who was at the end of the aisle, to “get her the right size, NO NOT THAT SIZE, THE OTHER SIZE. YEAH YEAH … THAT ONE. NO NOT THAT COLOR.” I said “excuse me” one more time, which still fell on deaf ears, when I decided to suck in every ounce of fat on my body to squeeze past her. Only then did she acknowledge me as I snaked past her, which made her send me a look of death that probably would make babies cry. Really? Seriously? Did you not hear me … oh whatever.

That’s when I said, “I’m out.” Before I made it out the door, my frazzled self became eye-to-eye with a bohemian-style maxi dress. I stood there for a bit figuring out if it was “me”. Does it go with my sense of style? Could I pull it off? Before I knew it I was waiting in line to check out with said maxi that I was still unsure about. I didn’t even try it on. I just bought it. What in the hell? The funny thing is … almost a week later … I STILL don’t know if this maxi is “me.” Do you think this maxi is “me”? It’s so not me, I’m probably going to return it.

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The fact that this silly maxi dress that I purchased for $39.95 at Old Navy is hanging in my closet is due to a little thing that I like to call stress shopping. Although this specific experience was stress on stress on stress due to ignorant women and insane children running amok. Oh yeah … and carts. Those damn carts. Can’t a girl just shop in peace?

If you need me I’ll be at Old Navy making a return.

The Bright Side Of Being Sick

Photo Credit:http://www.refinery29.com/siri-tollerod-makes-the-cat-la

Photo Credit:http://www.refinery29.com/siri-tollerod-makes-the-cat-la

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you are probably wondering, “why is this bitch turning into a full blown cat lady?” For the past three days it has been all about cats, simply because, well, I got poisoned by something I ate which landed me in the hospital. Yes. The hospital. None of it was cute. Not that any illness is “cute” per say … but I would have preferred to have to discuss the symptoms of anything besides food poisoning with a male doctor who is a stranger, and probably my age. Ugh … I lost a piece of my dignity for sure.

And because I’ve been trying to pretend I’m a different more fantastic human soul than I actually was the past couple of days, I’ve been forced to shine a light on the positives whilst dealing with such a non-chic illness. So here is what I’ve come up with. And hopefully, if you (God forbid) end up not feeling your finest, remember the following things … ahem:

1. I’m giving my skin a break. I haven’t turned the light on at my makeup table in literally three days. Nothing but moisturizer has touched my skin in literally three days. Normally I would be mortified that my naked face would frighten children, but alas, I am just straight chillin’ with my cats. This is a perfect opportunity to purify and just get “au natural” if you will.

2. I torture my hair on the reg. All day err day I’m taking 450 degree torture devices to my follicles, straightening and curling and de-frizzing, and dying, and de-tangling. I’m a straight up hair abuser. But not in the past three days. My hair hasn’t been touched by a brush, nor has it been touched by any styling devices. It basically hasn’t left bun form. Sure, it may look like a rats nest, but it is getting rest, just like my body is. There is nothing better than styling your hair after a few days of giving it rest. It’s like buttah … trush.

3. I’m sure we are all guilty of not drinking enough water. Lucky enough for me, by doctors orders, I was told I had to drink water … or bad things would happen. What those bad things were, I have no idea. Dehydration? Fainting? Who knows … but I wasn’t about to mess with it. And like Zoolander says, “moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty.” Beautiful skin and complexion just doesn’t happen without being properly hydrated. That lesson is learned with age, ladies and gents.

Aaaaaand that’s about it. I wouldn’t wish what I had on my worst enemy, but alas, at least I took advantage of the situation to give my entire body, and beauty regime, a rest.

Most of all … I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning and making myself look a little less like this. It’s starting to get worrisome …

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Style Stud: DYLANLEX Necklaces

Capture8I think I need jewelry rehab. Specifically my vintage jewelry obsession. It is starting to get comical. Every weekend I somehow acquire two more pieces … I just can’t help it. They are so affordable. And unique. And sad … sitting there in the vintage shops, all lonesome. Looking at me with those sparkly puppy dog eyes. I just HAVE to rescue them, right?! So yeah … I’m pretty much the cat lady of vintage jewelry.

But that is neither here nor there. What I do want to discuss is Dylanlex. The jewelry line that is making me drool all over my iPhone since I discovered them on Instagram. I mean … this collection is straight up necklace porn. It’s delicious. It is everything.

If I had to describe the perfect piece of jewelry for someone to buy for me, I would send them to this site (hint hint for all you ladies and gents just dying to win over my heart … ehhh?!) Hmm a $10 vintage necklace or an $800 rad piece of Dylanlex art. You know what, I’m THAT crazy about this line that I would contemplate living out of my car for a week with my cat with no food just to be able to afford one. Yep … that crazytown obsessed.

They are just … so beautiful … I mean … it’s just … I can’t. Just check it out. These bad boys have left me speechless … talk amongst ya selves.

Ps. There is a necklace named “Jagger” … which I assume is after my  most favorite person on the planet. I’m in lerve. Hearts are in my eyes.

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ROYGBIV Hair … The Thing Of Dreams

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Photo credit: http://callinamarie.buzznet.com/photos/32rainbowhairstyles/?id=68523464

Sometimes I envy Kylie Jenner. And no, I SWEAR I have not gone mad.

The girl can literally wake up in the morning and say, “hey … I want blue hair!” Makes a quick phone call to her “glam squad” and with hours it is done and she is posting selfies of her new blue do on the Instagram looking all pensive and shit. There was no contemplation. There was no thinking about the consequences. There was no asking her friends what they thought. There was no thinking family members would disown her. She just did … because she can. Because if it ended up looking a hot mess, she has the power (and funds) to get it dyed back to normal the next day. Or if she gets bored with it she, again, has the power (and funds) to do the next hair big hair trend she is craving at that very second.

If I lived a “Kyle Jenner-esque” life, my hair would be a different color every week. And it wouldn’t be damaged because my “glam squad” would insure that it would stay healthy throughout the dying process. But, alas, Kris Jenner is not my mother (thank sweet Jesus). I don’t get paid thousands just to show my face at events, and brands aren’t begging my sister and I to throw our names across product lines for hipsters. I’m … ::: le sigh::: normal. To be a Kardashian or to be normal, that is the question.

Unfortunately I function in the “real world” where I have to ask myself questions before I do something drastic like dye my hair blue. Will I get fired? How will my family and friends react? Will people on the street look at me like I have 12 heads? Will I get fired? I know half of these concerns are just me being overly aware of what people think of me, and that is a personal battle (working on it every day), but I, unfortunately, whether it is just in my head or a real fear, cannot just wake up and dye my hair a random color. And quite frankly … it’s a bummer. Because like I said, my hair would be a different color every week.

Vidal Sassoon just came out with box dye for bright red, purple, or blue colors. I thought to myself, “finally … out-of-the-box hair colors are going mainstream … this is my chance!” Perhaps I could do the blue, and the blue would look more black then blue and wouldn’t be THAT shocking. Right? Buuuuuut after the DIY ombre disaster of 2013, I refuse to ever dye my hair something crazytown myself. Lesson. Learned. The hard way, of course.

To the ladies strutting down the street with ROYGBIV hair colors, I envy you and applaud you. I adore it, actually. No I refuse to not roll my eyes and say “bitch please” under my breath when you pass me out of sheer jealously … even though I kind of want to, but it would only be out of jealously, I swear. ROYGBIV hair for me is a bucket list item for sure, probably above bungie jumping (which would involve me overcoming my fear of heights … which is a WHOLE different story).

 

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Photo credit: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/f1/2a/b4/f12ab49e0c6066717c0b2eb433b1e7c3.jpg

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Photo credit: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/42/66/0f/42660f77e6b22e6e59b32eac48e401c5.jpg

Photo credit: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/0e/4d/2b/0e4d2b48dbdfd113fe4248490affc218.jpg

Photo credit: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/0e/4d/2b/0e4d2b48dbdfd113fe4248490affc218.jpg

 

Photo caption: http://doublecoolwithknobs.tumblr.com/post/23109133885

Photo caption: http://doublecoolwithknobs.tumblr.com/post/23109133885

My Closet Issues

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Photo credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/497929302522278185/

I’m the type of gal who likes everything in one place. I don’t understand the people that have a shoe closet and a coat closet and a sweater closet and a closet for God knows what else. I likes it all where I can sees it. That is until I moved to a place that was clearly built before women were plagued with shopping addictions. One dress. One petticoat. One corset. Literally my “closet” is a hole. A small, dark hole that can’t come close to holding what I need. Hence why I adopted a garment rack, which has become my best friend. I feel like Kim Kardashian or some shit … minus all the designer clothes, and the big ass. But I digress.

Going back to how I like everything in one place, I was never a person who put all my winter gear in a Tupperware box in the basement and switched it out for my summer gear. My theory is clothing doesn’t belong in Tupperware boxes or in “space saving bags” in a basement. How sad, right? My clothing is like my children. Would I put my children in the basement when the weather changed. Umm no … I’m not a psychopath. And wonder if in the middle of winter we get a heat wave and I need a cool t-shirt or something? Nope. Can’t have it. It’s in the Tupperware box never to return again until Memorial Day :::shakes fist:::. Whomp whomp. Screw that.

Unfortunately, due to my clothing addiction, I’m running out of space. Even on my Kim K garment rack. And since I thoroughly don’t believe in Tupperware (with my clothing or with food … it’s skeevy and weird), I’ve resorted to turning my dark hole closet into my “winter gear” storage (I had to give it a nice home), and then kept my spring/summer/things that are typically for warmer weather but I might be able to make them work in the warmer months on the garment rack. Yet … I still find myself having a space issue (I told you, I have a really bad clothing addiction).

I’ve literally forgotten about pieces of clothing I own, strictly because they are so cramped together. Which is a curse and a blessing because when I come across something I forgot I had … it’s like God damn Christmas morning. And then makes me feel silly because I’ve realized I’ve been buying similar garments over and over again (I swear I’m not crazy, I just likes what I likes).

I’ve found myself wondering if I should have a method to my madness. I’ve always rolled my eyes at people who color-coded their closets or alphabetized their closets, but maybe it makes a different. Oddly enough, the whole thing freaks me out. People can get SO intense with it … and I’m just not type of gal. And … ps. I loathe change. “From right to left you will find my sleeveless dresses, maxi dresses, formal dresses, which then transitions to t-shirts, fancy t-shirts, embroidered t-shirts. Oh and everything is color-coded in alphabetical order based on color.” :::Bangs head against wall::: I mean … no. Just no. The idea of it makes me sweat.

But for someone like me who likes having a bit of chaos in my life, I’ve decided the best way to organize my closet overload is to do it strictly by the following system: Dresses, tanks, t-shirts, long sleeves, jackets, and pants. Boom. And in my dark hole of my closet will live the bulky sweaters and coats that will have a comfortable rest until the cooler months return. This way, when I’m madly rushing to get out the door in the morning, and don’t have the slightest idea what I want to wear, I will easily be able to pull exactly what I want and not have anymore “Christmas morning” moment (although they are delicious) or a Clueless moment screaming, “WHERE IS MY COLLARLESS SHIRT FROM FRED SEGAL!”

I’m excited about this decision. I call this growing up, people, I call this growing up.

How do you organize your closet?

Real Talk: One Stall Bathroom Etiquette

Photo credit: http://chloes-vintage-nostalgia.tumblr.com/post/21556591157/caron-paris-powder-puffs-and-perfume-3-the-puff

Photo credit: http://chloes-vintage-nostalgia.tumblr.com/post/21556591157/caron-paris-powder-puffs-and-perfume-3-the-puff

This weekend, I found myself in a crowded, trendy bar/restaurant with a full bladder and a dire need for a cocktail. I know … I know … you are wondering, “dude, seriously? Where are you going with this story.” But trust me … it’s going somewhere, I promise.

I truly don’t understand the restaurants that put their bathrooms in a place that require people to have to stand around tables of other people eating until it is their turn to relieve themselves. “Sorry I swear I’m not hovering … just waiting for the bathroom, but wow those enchiladas look delish!” Annoying, right? Well anyways, this where I found myself. So let me explain the bathroom situation (I won’t blow up said restaurants spot since, well, their food and cocktails are to DIE for). There is one room for the ladies and one room for the gents. Meaning you walk in and lock the door behind you, leaving a line forming outside. So the woman in front of me, who was rather fancy looking, left her friends, who looked like they were ready to peace out of the joint, and entered the bathroom.

Now … who knows what the hell was going on. And I’m not going to make any guesses because, well, that is just rude, and I’m a lady … but this woman took FOR-EV-ER. Like obnoxiously long. To the point where there was like five people standing behind me waiting … yes, that long. To the point where I was getting nervous that the door wasn’t really locked and I was just waiting outside causing a line for nothing (I’ve totally done this before) even though I saw the broad go inside. And to the point where the five girls behind me started chatting with one another, including myself, which is THE WORST. I hate “girling out” whilst waiting to pee. Am I the only one?

So you know when you are looking for a parking space at the mall and see a person get into their car in a SICK spot, so you put on your blinker and wait for them to back out, but they take their sweet time? My Nana used to say, “oooh look, she’s putting on her makeup and combing her hair.” Again … I don’t want to make any assumptions because this woman could have been sick for all I know, but I just had this feeling that something like this was going down. And that enraged me even more.

FINALLY … she opens the bathroom door, looking more glamorous than ever in her little white sundress … and makeup bag … YES … makeup bag, in hand. I resisted temptation to trip her. Not only was I going to pee my pants, but I had a freshly poured margarita waiting for me at the bar. She flipped her hair and frolicked over to her friends, kissed her boyfriend with her freshly glossed lips, and went on her way. My newly found best friend waiting behind me looked and said “it’s about time … and I right?!” I smiled politely and went on my way into the bathroom.

I was in and out. Peed, washed my hands, checked out my hair, all in under a minute, or at least I thought so. It was impressive enough for my new line BFF to say, “girl you are QUICK!” Want to know why I was quick like a bunny? Because I was aware that my newly found best girlfraaaands were waiting. And they are human beings who probably have lonesome margaritas waiting for them as well and don’t want to spend their moments out on the town hovering around strangers eating glorious meals waiting to pee.

What I’m saying, ladies, if you are in a restaurant with a one stall bathroom … maybe don’t feel the need to apply another layer of makeup, flat iron your hair, and file your nails. It’s just not cool. Unless you are having some personal problems, which again, I don’t want to discuss because that would be weird … and gross … you have no reason for taking more than 2 minutes. None. That’s why Jesus invented compact mirrors that fit nicely in your handbag. It’s a-okay to powder your nose at the table. Why? Because I said so. If there is more than one stall, powder your face in the bathroom, girl. Do it up. Hell, paint your nails. But when you know people are waiting, be kind. Be conscious. Because then you leave people like me out in the wild with a bunch of talkative girls who I don’t know, thirsty and about to pee my pants.

Style Stud: Lobo Mau

Photo Credit: LoboMau.com

Photo Credit: LoboMau.com

I gotta say, one of my favorite things in life is original, one-of-kind fashions for a price point that doesn’t make your mind explode. When I first came across Philly designer, Nicole Haddad and her clothing line, Lobo Mau in a Philly Mag article, I literally had to stop myself from drooling all over my keyboard whilst viewing her FW14 collection. I wanted/still want everything. And I was praying to the Gods of fashion that it wouldn’t be $500 for a t-shirt. Lucky for me, the fashion Gods heard my prayer. No only is Lobo Mau a brand that every stylish lady should have in her closet, but is one that won’t break your bank and have you justifying not paying your bills. We’ve all had that “I don’t REALLY need cable this month,” moment, right? Yeah … not necessary here.

Nicole is definitely a creative soul that everyone needs to chat with. Her dedication and eye for style is something to be admired …  And it is just an extra added bonus that she is from my favorite city in the entire world … Philadelphia.

Enjoy getting to know Lobo Mau and Nicole as much as I did!

1. Where are you from originally?
My father is from Brazil and my mother is Italian-American. I’ve spent most of my life living and traveling between Brazil and Philadelphia.

2. Where did you study design (if you did)?
I have a Master’s degree in Fashion Design from Drexel University. Prior to that I earned my BA in Art History and Italian from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.

3. What inspired you to become a designer? What inspires you in general?
In Brazil it is very common to have your clothing made for you by local seamstresses or designers. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been taking my ideas to seamstresses and having my clothing made for me. Eventually I just thought to myself “Why don’t I just learn to do this mysef?” Also, my great-grandmother and grandmother on my mom’s Italian side were bridal and evening wear designers in Philadelphia. They were very successful and designed dresses for celebrities such as Grace Kelly. So I grew up with that influence in my life.

4. Have you always designed or did you go down a different career path at first?
I have always designed, but for a while I was interested in Academia. I thought for a few years that I would become a scholar and art historian writing books, publishing journal articles, and lecturing to college students … but then I realized I needed to lead an artistically creative life, so I went back to school for design.

5. What year did you design your first collection?
I graduated design school in 2008 and then started my line. My first collection consisted of digitally-printed fabrics that I created in Photoshop.

6. Where is your studio located?
My studio is currently in the basement of the designer co-op US U.S. I have been a part of this co-op shop for 3 years now, and it has been a really supportive environment for me to grow my business.

 7. Who do you look up to designer-wise?
I look up to Alexander Wang for building such a big business based in salable clothing. I look up to Mary Katrantzou and Manish Arora for their crazy amazing prints and use of color. I love designers like Jil Sander for her beautiful minimalism. I’m obsessed with Dries Van Noten’s FW2014 Collection.

8. How do you view the Philly fashion scene, and what made you design here instead of in LA or NYC?
The Philly fashion scene is growing a lot, but it still has a long way to go. I am currently working with a group of dedicated individuals who want to change the manufacturing situation in Philly. There aren’t many places for a designer here to manufacture, which is a shame because it was once the #1 place in the US for garment manufacturing. I love this city though, and I have built a life here. My family is here, my husband has a great job here, and I’d like to continue living and working here.

9. Describe the girl that would wear your most recent collection.
The girl who would wear the FW2014 collection is fashion-forward, but also classic.

10. Where can people buy your pieces and when will your most recent collection be available?
I sell to about 12 stores all over the country. In Philadelphia, the latest collection will be sold at US U.S. Designer Co-op in Old City and Style Camp in Chestnut Hill.

11. What are your price points?
Anywhere from $50-$100

12. Are your garments American made? What fabrics do you work with?
Everything is made in Philadelphia right now, although my fabrics come from LA.

13. How did you come up with the name “Lobo Mau“?
Lobo Mau means ‘big, bad wolf” in Portuguese. As a child I loved the story of Little Red Riding Hood and I thought it translated well into an idea for a clothing line. I’ve always liked bold fashion, and the name fit well.

14. What’s next for you and your brand?
I’m going to keep growing my business and work on getting my web store really up and running. I’m going to be dressing some celebrities this summer, and working on a capsule collection with a singer from Brooklyn, Denitia, from Denitia and Sene. They have been named Nylon Magazine’s favorite artist this month.

15. What is your advice for aspiring designers?
Be prepared to work hard and to keep persevering. You are going to knock on hundreds of doors and sow hundreds of seeds, and if you keep at it long enough, you will make it. Also, having a niche product is helpful.

Photo credit: http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2014/04/07/philly-designers-lobo-maus-latest-collection-is-amazing/

Photo credit: http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2014/04/07/philly-designers-lobo-maus-latest-collection-is-amazing/

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Photo credit: http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2014/04/07/philly-designers-lobo-maus-latest-collection-is-amazing/

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Photo credit: http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2014/04/07/philly-designers-lobo-maus-latest-collection-is-amazing/

photo credit: http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2014/04/07/philly-designers-lobo-maus-latest-collection-is-amazing/

photo credit: http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2014/04/07/philly-designers-lobo-maus-latest-collection-is-amazing/

A Naked No-No

Photo credit: W Magazine

Photo credit: W Magazine

This is a public service announcement sponsored by a somewhat street-wise woman who knows better.

Ahem …

Rule number one of womanhood: NEVER. POST. NAKED. PHOTOS. OF. YOURSELF.

Never. Like never ever. I don’t care if you are a nudist, a person who is allergic to every kind of fabric there is, or someone who just loves their body and wants the rest of the world to love their body, too … don’t. do. it. God didn’t just create amazingly gorgeous pieces of clothing … or Marc Jacobs for that matter … for funsies, am I right?

The reason I’m ranting is because of the latest Scout Willis drama that went down yesterday. The girl took it upon herself to march around Manhattan topless in order to “stick it to Instagram’s nudity policy.” Jesus Christ … excuse me while I go bang my head up against the wall.

I’m in no way shape or form a prude. I would never classify myself as a “square.” And I’m pretty open minded when it comes to shit. But I’m also a realist. And the real fact is, when you share naked photos with a person … no matter what social media platform you are on … they will inevitably be seen by other eyes. Oh that cute boy from science class wants to see your taas? Just one pic, then he’ll delete it? Bull. Shit. Trust no one with your nudies. Because if you do, your life will, somehow, some way, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow … will be tarnished. OMG that amazing dream job interview you landed and are 100% qualified for? Yeah … that will be a dream come true! Your life will be amazing. Oh wait … not so fast, nudey mcgee. The HR department found a pic of you on the interwebs showing off all your giggly bits. And there goes the golden ticket. Seriously … who wants to go down like that?

So Scout Willis, maybe use your “celebrity” and take to the streets supporting a more prominent cause … yeah? Oh … I don’t know, like the 200 girls who got kidnapped by complete religious psychopaths, or the hundreds of missing people on that Malaysian airline that no one can find, and their mourning families that don’t have answers … perhaps the huge mental illness epidemic our country is suffering from, leading to numerous violent shootings … or maybe the next tragic weather disaster to strike anywhere. Literally. Anywhere. Because letting impressionable young ladies/and naive older ones know it is okay and should be okay to post naked photos of oneself on the interwebs is DEFINITELY something worth everyone’s time. So keep flower picking with your taas out on the streets of NYC. We all appreciate it.

Psyche.

Listen, do what you please. Let your freak flag fly. I’m not going to judge. But social media taking a stand and not allowing people to post these kinds of photos is a step in the right direction, because nothing good can come from them at the end of the day. Tip of the cap to you, social media channels. I mean hell … I don’t even like seeing my naked body in the mirror, let alone in my Instagram feed. Why the hell would I expose my Instagram followers to that nonsense? You’re welcome.

Alright … rant complete. Whew.

Oh, Em, Gee. Sandals.

Photo credit: http://www.dsw.com/shoe/fergalicious+ferocious+gladiator+sandal?prodId=296723&cm_mmc=CSE-_-Shopping-_-Fergalicious-_-296723&mr:referralID=b2f92be4-e6a1-11e3-8dbe-001b2166c2c0

Photo credit: http://www.dsw.com/shoe/fergalicious+ferocious+gladiator+sandal?prodId=296723&cm_mmc=CSE-_-Shopping-_-Fergalicious-_-296723&mr:referralID=b2f92be4-e6a1-11e3-8dbe-001b2166c2c0

Let our feet be free! It was a joy to kick my boots to the curb. An honest to God joy. Seeing for the first time my feet, which had only been randomly manicured by yours truly during the chilly months prior, well … that was a different story. Woof.

But once a pedicure was secured, I was ready to dive head first into sandal season. I literally wanted to do the back stroke in a sea of cute gladiators and thong flops. Nothing would have pleased me more. But where does a gal begin?

I’m pretty sure you could walk into one store, find a smashing pair of black gladiators for $150, say “bitch, please,” walk into a more “economically friendly” store and see the (almost) same pair for under $50, and say “that’s more like it.” Even though I swoon over delicious high-end brands, I just don’t see spending over $100 on sandals. (Unless someone wants to buy me a pair, then of course, OMG expensive sandals, you shouldn’t have!)

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in investing in pieces. A sun dress? Absolutely, where do I swipe my credit card? Sandals just don’t happen to be something I see worth investing in unless they have a heel. Specifically because my favorite sandals come from the land of Forever 21. They are amazing and last. AND LAST. For example, I bought a pair around 2 years ago, wore them when I went tubing (I don’t do “water shoes”), washed them by hand afterward, and still got a full 2 summers worth of wear out of them. And they were under $20. Hello? You can’t beat that. I’m sorry.

In a world where we have 500 different versions of black sandals in different styles … where the hell do you start, am I right? Well … calm down, take a deep breath and let me outline for you the best sandal-styles to invest in for summer 2k14. And once you snag these … the sandal world is your oyster. Get all freaky with them if you please. Just don’t wear Birkenstocks with socks … or you will be dead to me. DEAD, I say, DEAD!

The simple black pair you can literally wear with anything and everything:

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Saucy brown pair you could (almost) wear with anything:

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A wedge (sandal … not salad):

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A sandal for those Xena Warrior Princess days:

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Ones with a pop of color/personality:

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Just promise you won’t rock these … promise?:

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Stains McGee

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Photo credit: http://www.redbookmag.com/recipes-home/tips-advice/spring-cleaning-tips#slide-1

Hooray! It is now acceptable to wear white! Everyone rejoice!

Psyche. If you still believe in that dusty old rule of not wearing white until Memorial Day, well, let me take a minute to shake my shame stick at you. Come now … it’s 2014.

So yeah, I loathe color. In small doses, fine, but you will never catch me in a ROYGBIV anything. I praise the book of Kardashian (yes, I just said that), wearing mostly neutrals. White, black (mostly black), grey, nude … and then, you know, I’ll spice it up with some colorful accessories. It’s not because I’m boring or “basic,” it is just because I find neutrals to be extraordinarily chic and leave endless options for accessorizing. Word.

As much as I wish I could rock an entire white outfit, I unfortunately am not gifted with those abilities. Because I’m what you would call a “magnet for stains.” People say it is all in my head, but I find it to be 100% accurate. So much so that it pains me to buy light colors because I know said garment will be destroyed in the matter of minutes. Stains just find me. If I’m sitting sipping club soda and a woman across the restaurant is eating a hamburger with ketchup, that ketchup will find its way to my blouse. I can’t win.

The worst part is taking my stained articles of clothing to the dry cleaners. The looks of judgement and confusion I get are slightly painful.

Dry cleaner: ::::Inspecting::: but what is it?
Me: I don’t know :::starts to sweat:::
Dry cleaner: :::Still inspecting::: dirt? Soda? Grease?
Me: Seriously, I just don’t know, can you save it?
Dry cleaner: Oooohh this will be tough, but I’ll try. You need to be more careful!
Me: :::Sulking away:::

Awkward.

Stain-wise, the strangest things happen to me. For example, this past weekend I had a bottle of hot sauce in my hand bag (I mean … don’t ask), which happened to be light jean colored and to DIE for, and said bottle of hot sauce opened in my bag and destroyed everything in its path. I’m calling it the “hot sauce massacre.” It actually isn’t easy for me to discuss as I will be begging dry cleaners on my hands and knees to salvage my bag over my lunch break. Not to mention I’m never touching hot sauce again as the smell is making me want to vom. Literally. I can’t. But somehow the hot sauce, which  ground zero of the hot sauce massacre was strictly centered inside my handbag, ended up on my duvet cover, a t-shirt, and a pair of shorts. I just don’t get it. :::Sigh:::

What I’m saying is, I hope you are all enjoying your light colored clothes … all day errday. And most importantly, not carrying around bottles of hot sauce in your hand bags. And if you aren’t, think of people like myself who when they wear white, the tops of Starbucks cups magically fall off whilst drinking tea, leaving light-colored shirts covered in abstract tea art. Yeah … that happened, too.

 

What’s In A Name

CaptureI remember when I was in 7th grade, I had to get a palette expander installed across the roof of my mouth. It probably was one of the darkest times of my days as a teenager. Not only was it extremely painful, as my mom had to hold me down and turn the thing everyday with a key to “expand” it, but it drastically inhibited my speech. Oh yeah … and one day I woke up with a massive space in between my teeth, but that is neither here nor there (I’m not damaged from this experience at ALL). Anywho … back to the speech issues. I couldn’t say my name with that thing in my mouth. My name is Kate Concannon, and with the palette expander it sounded like “Kace Cocaon”. I’ve never hated my name more then in that moment.

Now in my post-palette expander days, I don’t hate my name as much as I once did, as I can clearly pronounce “Kate Concannon” properly. I do remember. pre-palette expander, begging my mom to let me change my name to “Cate” with a “C” when I was a tween (Cate Blanchett had just become ultra famous and I wanted my name to stand out). Or perhaps I craved a cool nickname like “CC”. But I always wondered what my name would look like in lights, or rolling off the tongues of E! News hosts. “Kate Concannon, pregnant with Justin Timberlake’s baby? Find out only here only on E! News!” So blah, right?

One day I came across something about January Jones, and I said to myself, “no way could that be her real name.” Some agent found her in LA as “Jessica Jones,” a doubty brunette or something and said, “I deem you … JANUARY Jones. Now off to the salon!” Welp, turns out joke was on me, her real name is January Jones. Bitch must have some super cool parents or something, am I right?

Then again there are some celebrities who I could see sitting right next to me in my office. “Hey Justin Timberlake, can you forward me that email when you get a sec.” “Tina Fey … can you grab me a pen when you go to the supply closet?” See! Totally normal … yet they are mega-super famous. But then again I could never in a million years see Kim Kardashian working in an office and filing papers. “Hey gang, this is Kim Kardashian, she will be our new receptionist. Make her feel welcome.” Hmm. No. Although it does excite me slightly to know the Kris Jenner would totally adopt me as my name would be “Kate Kardashian.”

I believe a person makes a name. If you have the right personality, style, charisma, etc. … you have the power to make “John Smith” stand out in lights. I, personally, don’t think I could go through with changing my name for the sake of stardom. Even for the sake of marriage! The whole idea makes me sweat. I’ve been Kate Concannon my entire life, and now I will be someone else? The whole thing perplexes me. I know it’s tradition and blah-blah-blah … but what? Seems a little dusty to me. A deal breaker to some, but a dusty deal breaker.

I remember an episode of Full House (yes, I’ve literally seen every episode like 20,000 times), where Stephanie wanted to change her name to “Dawn.” And then Danny Tanner went into this whole Dad spheal about how special she is and so on and so forth :::cue the sentimental music::: and she decided, “hey, I’m Stephanie Tanner and I’m okay with that!” It’s funny … I can’t remember what I did five minutes ago, but I remember that episode of Full House verbatim.

It still amazes me to know that so many celebrities have changed their names. And my curiosity is endless about how that process works. Does an agent not sign you if he/she demands you change your name and you refuse? And what qualifies as a “star-worthy” name? I like to think my name would look amazing in lights … at least on a billboard? Okay … maybe printed in a magazine or a book. Let’s be real, that’s where it belongs. Hell, we all belong somewhere!

Now a list of celebs who aren’t who they claim to be … ahem:

Bea Arthur: Really … Bernice Frankel

Carmen Electra: Really … Tara Patrick

Judy Garland: Really … Frances Gumm

Bruno Mars: Really … Peter Gene Hernandez

Spike Lee: Really … Shelton Lee

Natalie Portman: Really … Natalie Herschlag

Louis C.K.: Really … Louis Szekely

Olivia Wilde: Really … Olivia Jane Cockburn (Yikes, I kind of understand this one)

Portia de Rossi: Really … Amanda Lee Rogers

Kardashian Konfession

rs_604x1024-140520095320-634.kim-kardashian-shopping-parisI don’t understand the craze with the royals, never have. Now, don’t throw stuff at me when I say this, but I find Will and Kate ridiculously boring. Oh she shops at J.Crew? Riveting. Oh, she wore the same thing she did last week? Welcome to my typical Wednesday. I mean, yawn. Down right, yawn.

But what I’m about to admit is painful for me … and slightly embarrassing, but I have to get this off my chest. :::Sigh::: Okay, here goes … I’m … quite obsessed with Kim and Kanye. No I won’t refer to them as “Kimye” … but yeah, I find them so ridiculously intriguing, if I could sit in front of my TV and watch E! News updates on them all day, I would. Now … go ahead, judge me. I deserve it.

I’ve been a Kanye West fan for years. People think he’s crazytown, I see him as an artist. Kim? Well … yes, I’ve pretty much watched every episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians (because sometimes I just want to put my brain on an invisible shelf and drool), but I’ve always found her to be a little … oh, I don’t know, full of herself? Is that the right way to explain her?

But this Kanye West rebrand of Kim Kardashian (because that’s what happened … they fell in love and he rebranded her) is epic and completely fascinating to me. She went from this Herve Leger, hoop earring, Phantom riding, lip liner, extension rocking, party host in Vegas to this silent beauty with such style and class in everything she does. Like she isn’t just known for her big ass anymore, she is actually known for her style. What?

And Kayne didn’t just rebrand Kim, he rebranded the entire family. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during that conversation. “Yo, listen. No wearing colors. Only rockin’ french brands. No more eating. No more blowing off the gym. Everyone gets a waist slimmer instructor. Kendall … I’m going to call up my boy Marc so you can walk in his show.” He probably had stricter demands, let’s be real … but he totally curated that family. Who curates an entire family?!

The issue with all of this that I’m having is I find myself on the train to work, drifting off in my imagination, thinking about what kind of plastic surgery Kim got (seriously though, what did she have done … she looks effing amazing). And what will her wedding dress will look like. And if all of this will be televised so I can get all of my questions answered. Why wouldn’t I be thinking about my to-do list for the day, or my goals in life. No. I’m pondering what Kim’s diet regiment is and how I can get on it. Sick. Sick sick sick.

I’m not saying Kim and Kanye are the American version of the royal family. Absolutely not … I refuse to be that guy. I am saying my obsession with them is slightly frightening. Not like I’m going to fly to France and stalk them frightening, just a little unerving. It’s like staring at something shiny. I just can’t turn away. Slash her style is insanely on point. Every outfit she has been rocking in France this week … I need. Now. (See! The fact that I even know about all of her outfits in France is kind of vom-worthy. Am I right? Who AM I?!)

Now all I need is a Kanye West to come into my life and rebrand me. Any takers?

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My Quest For The Perfect Maxi Dress

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It might sound nuts that I cannot find the right maxi dress, right? I mean they are everywhere. My GOD, they sell them at freaking Walgreens, for crying out loud. But real talk for a minute, I get it if a Walgreens at the shore (or the beach for you non-tri-state area folk) sell maxis, but one right outside of a city? Really? Stop it. No one wants any of that. But I digress.

The last time I found a maxi dress I wanted to live in was about three years ago at Loehmans (RIP … pouring some out for the raddest store EVER). It was one of those garments that I had no problem wearing once or twice a week. It was everything. And then I shrunk it like an idiot. And no one wants to wear a maxi that comes up to your calf … am I right?

Since then I’ve been living in maxi skirts, which, don’t get me wrong, rule … but sometimes I don’t feel like pairing a shirt together with a maxi skirt, alright? Yes. I’m literally THAT lazy. I just want to throw on a maxi dress and be done with it. I preferably one that doesn’t have chevron print on it. I mean that is what summer is all about.

Right now I find myself having what I like to call “MDE”… Maxi Dress Envy. Specifically with Kristen Taekman of the Real Housewives of New York. She’s currently the only one I don’t want to throw a shoe at, so that is saying something, right? But her maxi dress game is on POINT. Everyone I want to rip off her body, Cinderella step sisters-style. Look at the one below (sorry for the shitty image). Now this is something that I would live in until Labor Day. I mean mind you it would be a stained hot mess by then, but at least I would be comfortable.

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You know how they say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again? Perhaps they are right. I’ve been going to my same old stomping grounds, H&M, Urban, Zara, TJ Maxx … and just haven’t had any luck. Yet I keep going there over and over again and keep getting let down. And then someone brought “LOFT” to my attention. And I am using quotes because (now don’t throw anything at me) LOFT is Satan to me. I loathe it. So much that I have never stepped foot in there. I can’t tell you why, I just do.

BUT in the same breath, I am all about “pieces.” In no way shape or form is my wardrobe from one store only. I have Marc Jacobs all the way down to Target. I’m not a label snob (unless you are buying a maxi dress from Walgreens outside of a city, then you will get an eye roll from me). So perhaps one item from LOFT won’t kill me, right? I am that desperate (and I know I’m probably offending lots of LOFT lovers, which is not my intention … love you, kisses?).

So here I go on my journey of exploring stores I’ve never stepped foot in just to find the perfect maxi I can rock all summer. Talbots, I’m coming for you!

Hahahaha … kidding. Never. Never ever will I EVER step foot in there. Only because I did once for a job when I was in high school. They told me I would have to wear a suit and Fridays were considered “casual” where employees wore aprons over their suits … and then I left. I think I left so quickly there was a dust imprint of my body still standing in front of the store manager. Bitch, please.

Lion Necklaces … So Hot Right Now … Lions

m_524c99615a38f35785023773Mondays suck. There. I said it. Something is always just, I don’t know, off. There is either not enough caffeine in the world to revive you, you just aren’t completely out of the “weekend” mindset, or you, like myself this morning, were so frazzled whilst leaving the house you remembered your tea, buuuuuuuuut not your wallet. Henceforth, I’m a bit cranky. But that is neither here nor there.

With all of that being said … let’s talk about lions!

I’ve become obsessed with ridiculously gaudy gold jewelry. I can’t tell you where my obsession stems from, but all I know is that it’s fun and really makes an outfit. For example yesterday I wore an all black outfit, rather boring, with an insanely large gold lion necklace, and was complimented up and down. And if I wasn’t wearing that necklace people would have probably just been like, “oh look at that sad little goth girl.”

So back to this lion necklace. I was first confronted by one about a year ago. My heart fluttered and cartoon hearts began to appear all around me, and all I could think about was Versace … well, Maya Rudolph playing Donatella Versace specifically. Versace is known for their gaudy gold. And this lion necklace was definitely a throw back to that. Did I buy it? Well … no. And I wish I had a good excuse for this, but let’s just blame it on my severe shoppers remorse that I’m plaqued with.

Fast forward to present day when I frolicking through Nordstrom Rack and WAH-LAH, there was the lion necklace. And not just any gold lion necklace, a larger more gaudy lion necklace. I wasn’t going to let this guy get away from me this time. And I didn’t. He now lives on my jewelry rack in my room with tons of free space to roam with the other gold gaudy jewelry I own.

What I’m saying here is everyone is usually uber cranky on Monday’s and doesn’t want to be doing the adult-like things they have to do in order to survive. But what makes all of that better, is a Versace-inspired lion necklace. Nothing says, “suck it Monday,” more than that. Am I right? Talk to the lion.

Alright, everyone go get a lion necklace. Promise?

Max and Chloe – $60

phpdH1288366064Romwe – $12

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Charlotte Russe – $10.99

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Kenneth Jay Lane – $70

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My First Pair Of Kicks In 11 Years

Capture1I know what you’re thinking. Are those the beat up ol’ running shoes Jennay gave Forrest in Forrest Gump? Sadly … no. I assume they are probably in the Smithsonian or something. These pink gems happen to be the last pair of kicks I purchased … in 2003. Yes. 2003 was the last time I invested in a pair of sneakers. I bought these Reeboks on an annual NYC shopping trip that my mom and I used to take before every school year. Back then I rocked sneakers almost every day (I was in high school, heels weren’t really appropriate).

Fast forward 11 years later and here I am. The reason why sneakers haven’t graced my feet since 2003 is because I had absolutely no need for them. In college I pretty much wore Uggs or flats, or if I was heading out on the town, heels. Also I had absolutely no money to purchase things I didn’t 100% need. Once I got thrown into the “real world” I started my love affair with heels. Like big girl heels, not the kind I once upon a time purchased in Target in the sale bin. When it came down to it and I was faced with a pair of Sam Edelman stilettos or a pair of Nike kicks … who do you think won? Sam ALWAYS won. Still does. :::Swoon:::

I bet you’re wondering, do I work out? Am I active? Are you obsess? The answers to those questions would be sometimes, kind of, and absolutely not. I just found a way around purchasing sneakers by participating in physical activities that didn’t require any “active-wear” like yoga, for example. No shoes required, what so ever. Kind of genius, and my favorite way to break a sweat. Because I don’t run even if I’m being chased by a serial killer and gyms annoy me more than anything.

But after years of wearing seriously inappropriate footwear … stilettos, pointed stilettos, flats with absolutely no support, I realized I was doing a number on my feet. Let me say, I hate feet. Loathe feet. I will never ever understand people who have feet fetishes. But thanks to my poor footwear decisions, I started noticing that I’m developing bunions (ew), I have scars everywhere from blisters and cuts (ew), and my feet constantly ache. Cool.

As a commuter in the city, I walk EVERYWHERE. And when I gained the title as “public transportation user” and threw my car keys to the wind, I promised myself I would still wear cute shoes and not be one of those women who rock sneakers with a skirt suit. See below:

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And after almost a year of doing this, my feet are in worse shape than ever (don’t worry, I’ll spare you the imagery). So that’s when I decided to take to Twitter and have the general public help me find a great pair of sneakers that wouldn’t make me feel like a 1980’s working woman. Enter Reebok Women stage right.

I saw the commercials for Reebok Skyscape with Miranda Kerr strutting around and almost forgetting to take off her shoes before getting in the shower, but I was too fixated on how Miranda Kerr is the spokesperson for EV-ERY-THING to notice how rad these sneakers were. But I digress.

So after chatting with the great people over at Reebok Women, telling them my sob story about how I’ve been torturing my feet for years, they recommended the Reebok Skyscape … and not just recommended, but demanded that they send me a pair. Out of all the fun colors and styles, I, of course, chose the leopard print ones, as I felt I would have a better opportunity to style them up more. See below:

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And after 11 years, I FINALLY own a pair of ridiculously cool kicks that don’t make me feel like a “Sport Spice,” but just like me. A ridiculously big thanks to the great peeps over at Reebok Women … I’m in lerve. And no, I still refuse to part with my pink Reeboks. They are just too good to toss.

Oh also, I totes lay on my bed in my Skyscapes just like this … totes.

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Bathing Suits And Laying On Rocks

Gisele-Bündchen-HM-2014I am absolutely a realist. Give it to me real. Give it to me straight. So you can imagine how taken back I was when I saw H&M’s new commercial with Gisele Bundchen singing “Heart of Glass” in a string bikini, right?

I heard rumors that she was staring in their new campaign. I even heard she recorded her own version of Blondie’s renowned “Heart of Glass.” And you know what? I tipped my cap to her. I most definitely would NEVER have the balls to make my own version of such an epic song … and that takes BALLS. We are talkin’ Blondie here. It was something courageous and admirable, especially coming from an international super model.

:::Sigh::: and then I see the commercial. What the HELL, people? Her voice isn’t bad … auto tuned to death … but overall not bad. Definitely better than any reality star that has dropped a single, I’ll give her that (hello “Money can’t buy you class”). But what is with the fashion industry thinking women will buy bathing suits if they see stick figure super models with sick bodies just straight chillin’ on a rock with splashing waves behind them.

Seriously … no real woman wants to see that shit. None. Ever. Never ever. When was the last time you were at the beach and said, “hmm … you know what? I’m going to go sunbath on that rock over there with the rough surf surrounding it. I’ll catch you guys in a few.” WHAT?! Seriously. First of all, how uncomfortable could you be? Rocks aren’t comfortable last time I checked. Rocks bruise humans and leave scratches and weird marks. And knowing my luck, I would probably end up with a rock up my ass or some sea creature crawling on me, leading me to freak out, make some quick awkward motions and leaving me with a chipped tooth or unconscious on said rock, or something.

You know what else, when was the last time you were sunbathing, in a string bikini mind you, and said … “hmm, I’m going to lay on my side.” MOST. UNFLATTERING. POSITION. EVER. See below … have you ever done this, hmm? Does this look comfortable and relaxing to you? It looks like something that would induce an anxiety attack to me, personally … because everything just … you know … rolls to the side. Everything. Just sayin’ …
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You know what I’m doing when I’m wearing a bikini? Sucking in my stomach slash thinking about my fat rolls … what they are doing, if they are visible, and when and if I should put my mumu back on. Yep. That’s what’s up. I realize if you aren’t comfortable with your body, you should maybe find a suit you are more comfortable in, yeah yeah … blah blah blah … but bathing suits are awkward. They leave little or nothing to the imagination. You mine as well be walking down Broad Street in your bra and panties. For the life of me I have no idea why the sight of “water” makes it all of a suddenly okay to be half naked in front of total strangers. It’s weird, right? Listen, the only way you could get me in a position like the one above on a beach is if Photoshop glasses existed and everyone was wearing them.

So my point is whilst selling bathing suits … keep it real, for the love of God. Because when I’m sitting on my couch eating party mix, sucking down a Diet Coke wearing ratty ol’ PJs with my cat and all of a sudden Gisele in a bikini straight chillin’ on some rocks appears on my TV … yeah that doesn’t exactly make me want to hop in my car and head straight to H&M. It makes me eat more party mix … and maybe invest in another mumu or two … or five.

Reasons I Adore My Mom

unnamed-1This picture was taken at West Point either in the late 80’s or early 90’s. Pay no attention to me, I look a hawt mess, per usual, but how chic is my mama, right?! :::coughing::: years later, and some things don’t change

1. For never making us wear “Mother & Daughter” outfits from Talbots

2. Her sick obsession with rugs, baskets, and anything in a rustic red color

3. For never putting a leash on me when we went to the mall

4. For never licking her thumb and then removing “shmutz” from my face in front of my friends

5. For never telling any of my friends, “There are no rules in this house, okay. I’m not like other moms, I’m a hip mom, I’m a cool mom.” And in the same breath, for never rocking Juicy Couture or other inappropriate outfits.

6. For eye rolling people who always look “crisp” and put together whilst wearing white, no matter what … even if ketchup or mustard or other stain-prone condiments were present

7. For giving me “the treatment” every time I stayed home from school, including coloring books, slurpees, snacks, and a sweet setup on the couch … even if I wasn’t 100% sick

8. For blessing me with my Rolling Stones addiction, going to see them in the 4th row, in hot yellow pants, and touching Keith Richards

9. For teaching me that if wine bottles don’t have a cork, they are probably rubbish

10. And last … but certainly not least, how she refers to everything as a “machine.” Machine=remote control, Machine=pen, Machine=cat, Machine=oven, Machine=pretzel … it’s genius

Every year I write about how much my mom rocks … how could I not? In fact when I told her I was writing this post, she said, “Why?! No! Write about your Nana!” We are so much alike it is scary, because if I had a daughter who had a blog, I would probably say the same thing. It’s like how she hates having her photo taken … as do I (blame the lack of selfies on her … or thank her, either or).

But I have/had a lot of brilliant women in my life who have helped mold me … and this blog. My aunt, and God mother, reminds me I’m blessed every single time I see her. My Mom’s mom (Nana) was a chic hair stylist, and I feel I get some of my love of style from her. My Dad’s mom (Mimi) went to fashion school, and I still have her mannequin she made clothes on, which we call “Maude.” My great aunt (Aunt Rose) was a Rockette, and sparked my love for high heels. Quite frankly any woman in my mom’s family was a strong Italian broad who lived a very delicious (all AMAZING cooks), full, and wrinkle-free lives (seriously great skin … fingers crossed I get those genes), and my sister, well, she is the strongest woman I know … hands down.

I realize you don’t know these ladies … and you may be yawning reading this. But I wouldn’t be who I am today without every single one of them. And I encourage all of you to tip your caps to all the ladies in your lives that helped mold you into the powerful, fierceless beast you are today

Happy Mother’s Day!

*See Mom, I didn’t embarrass you THAT much, right? Love you all the stars in the sky!

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Style Stud: So Worth Loving

CaptureI think everyone by now is well aware of the fact that I’m an Instagram whore, right? Well one day I found myself in a bad mood, self esteem a little low, feeling kind of bad about myself (hey, we all have those days, and if you don’t, you are a dirty, dirty liar), when I came across the Instagram account for this brand called So Worth Loving. If you haven’t followed them, do so now … immediately.

Anywho, bad mood, feeling low … and I see this Instagram feed chock full of inspirational quotes, people inspiring others, messaging confirming that everyone has something special about them and everyone is, well, “so worth loving.” And it wasn’t corny or didn’t make me roll my eyes (trust me, I’m the first one to punt really awful inspirational quotes … like the ones in all pink with a high heel that says something in lipstick like, “EEEE kick that bad mood mama.” Woof.) Women all over are rocking “So Worth Loving” shirts, and not just rocking them, but styling them like a boss (another reason why I adore this Instagram feed).

Sticking with the Mother’s Day, women love and support kick that I’ve kind of been on this week, I think it is beyond important for all of us to take a giant step back from our “self circle” and make someone know “you are so worth loving,” and that is why I fell in love with this brand. I remind myself daily that you have no idea what struggles others are battling. That bitch you want to verbally tear down, might just be dealing with a personal crisis. That hater that keeps rolling her eyes at you, may just be having a low day and feeling terrible about themselves and just dealing with it in an adverse fashion. You never know.

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So Worth Loving isn’t just about selling shirts, and branding and what not, they are about promoting self worth, no matter what your sexual orientation is, body type, religion, hair color, eye color, or what group of friends you hang out with. They have created a community that shares personal stories in hopes that people will connect. They post inspiring quotes in hopes that people will recognize how worth loving they truly are. No, you will not find Gisele Bundchen in a string bikini on a rock formation singing “Heart of Glass,” rocking a piece of So Worth Loving (which DON’T even get me started on that), but you will find people you can relate to, which I think is WAY less infuriating, right? I want to throw a shoe at my TV every time I see that H&M commercial.

You only get one you in this life, and sometimes it is really hard to be true to your own brand. Trust me, I struggle with it every single day. And being a girl, no matter what age, just isn’t easy. Being anyone isn’t easy. People are just really good at making it look easy. Remember that. But it is so important to stay true to your brand, no matter if you have purple hair and five lip rings and covered in tattoos, or if you are a plain Jane. That’s you, and you are SO worth loving. Word.

I really do want to tip my cap to this brand because they have found a really great way to combine style and inspiration to lift people’s spirits and create a community where it’s 100% okay to be you. You know me, I’m all about stopping people from tearing one another down. I’m tempted to quote Tina Fey from Mean Girls right now, but I feel like I do that once a week on this blog and need to refrain.

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Full Of Admiration

9c7dc8490a9cbf193954119d345dd0e4As a writer, blogger, editor, creative soul … every single moment I’m looking for inspiration. And sometimes, on those lucky days, it isn’t something you have to seek out. It could be as simple as noticing something new that you walk by every day, or, you know, a cool door (not going to lie, I ALWAYS roll my eyes at door Instagram pics and restrain myself from making sarcastic comments). But hey … inspiration comes in different forms for different people.

A professor of mine in college once told me that you need to write every single day. It is like exercise. And yes, there are some days when all I want to do is punt what I’ve written and light it on fire … but I’ve learned to just send it out into the universe and see what comes of it.

What really revs my writing engine and makes me want to trek on, even at hopeless moments, are the fellow fashion and lifestyle bloggers out there. Joining this community several years ago, I braced myself for cut-throat attitudes, bitchiness, and to be on a lonely blogging island by myself, desperately trying to get my name out there, which sometimes feels like a needle in a stack. I was armed and ready. To my surprise, though, this community might be one of the most supportive and encouraging ones out there. Weird, right? I was floored. I still look at my support network in awe.

Maybe it’s the fact that Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and I find myself reflecting upon all the strong women that are in my life … but I just felt the need to give a shout out to my fellow lady lifestyle and fashion bloggers who make me want to keep on keepin’ on. I think it is SO ridiculously important to praise the ones that inspire you, motivate you, and guide you to become better at whatever the hell you’re doing, and I suggest you do the same.

So here are a few of my blogs that inspire me (and if I didn’t mention you PLEASE don’t take offense. It doesn’t mean I hate your face and your blog, it just means I admire SO many of you that I don’t want my readers scrolling for hours down multiple hyperlinks.)

 

Mother’s Day: Real Talk

sos55When I was little, buying my mom a present for Mother’s Day was easy. I could draw her something, make her something out of macaroni, give her a coupon book for hugs (I know, I was SUPER creative), or even get my siblings to sign my name to their gift (not that I EVER did that mom, never ever :::shifty eyes:::). And then you grow up, start making your own money and no longer are Crayola-sponsored gifts appropriate.

But you know what else isn’t appropriate for Mother’s Day? Anything that is being shown in commercials. It’s infuriating actually. No, my mom probably wouldn’t get jazzed over new towels. And she would probably punt an “open heart necklace” from Kay Jewelers. And I mean I might consider an Edible Arrangement, except the minute you want to dip a piece of fruit in chocolate, the price goes up by a million dollars.

Basically, according to commercials, moms want really tacky jewelry that looks fancy but isn’t … because supposedly “every kiss begins with Kay” … woof, food their kids will probably end up enjoying more than them, and stuff for the home. What? If and when I ever become a mother and I’m gifted anything for the home, like a vacuum cleaner for example, is the day I turn into the Incredible Hulk and start destroying shit. Fire balls would explode in to my eyes.

So instead of this bullshit we are being fed, I decided to come up with some really cool, authentic gifts for mom that will totally win you the coveted “favorite child award.” Because moms ain’t what they used to be. They are doing it all … kicking ass, taking names, and making a beautiful life for themselves and their family. That’s what women DO. And because of that fact, they deserve Dolce … not Dyson.

1. Classy Cocktails: Put down the bottle of wine that was on sale at your local liquor store, for the love of God. Get dressed up and take your mama out to a restaurant or bar that serves fancy cocktails (and no, anything with “well” liquor in it doesn’t constitute as “fancy” … sorry, bro). If a cocktail is more than $10, so be it. When it Rome …

2. OMG. SHOES: It’s true, ladies LERVE shoes. But instead of getting that pair of Keds your mom so desperately wants for her commute, maybe purchase a pair that she has been lusting over but would NEVER buy for herself. Even if she just struts are the house in them, a pretty pair of shoes can always brighten someones day. Am I right?

3. Plan An Adventure: My God mother always told me that “memories” are the best gift. So plan a day at a winery, get bombed with your mom. Go see a play. Explore a new part of your town. Plan a “couch potato day” where all you do is watch bad TV, eat greasy food and chat. Make a memory … you’ll always have it. (Damn, I’m getting sappy). Plan a spa day, but not a gift certificate, a day for you AND your mom to go together.

4. Birch Box: This is the Mother’s Day gift that keeps on giving. Not only will they get a box full of goodies every month, but they might just find their next go-to product, leaving the reminder behind each month that you are the best child on the planet.

5. Jewels Glorious Jewels: I swear to God, if any of you give anything to your mother’s from Jared or Kay or any of those other cheesy ass jewelry stores and you are an adult, SHAME. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME. Listen, if you’re going to get your mom diamonds, you should probably spend more than $99.99. Just sayin’. Go big or go home. That doesn’t mean all jewelry is out of the question, though. There are sooooooo many great statement pieces out there from Anthropologie to your local vintage store. You know what your mom likes, now go out there and get it. If you don’t well … SHAME. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME.

Listen, I realize I don’t know your mamas. Only you know her like the back-of-your hand. But try and think outside of the box. They deserve it, and you deserve to give your brain a little creative workout.

What’s In Your Purse?

Screen shot 2014-05-05 at 6.36.04 PMSometimes when I wake up on a Monday morning, I feel like the only thing going on in my brain is a tiny monkey in a Sergeant Peppers-like outfit banging together two symbols under a tree. That’s. About. It. Insert copious amounts of caffeine stage right.

So as I was sitting on the train this morning, pondering what I would dazzle my readers with, I began thinking about how I literally lived out of my purse this weekend (yep I was a bag lady), which means the weekend debris in my purse is usually epically random and strange … and sometimes gross. One time I found a hard-as-rock no longer soft pretzel in the bottom of my purse. Stay classy, self.

Do you know what this means? It’s time to play one of my ALL-TIME favorite games … WHAT’S. IN. YOUR. PURSE! (Side note: I should really come up with theme music for this game. For the time being I’m stealing the Price Is Right theme song. Sorry Bob? Or … Drew? Screw it, it will always be Bob Barker in my eyes.)

I haven’t done this in a while, in fact, here is the last time I wrote about WHAT’S. IN. MY. PURSE! With that being said, this is an interactive game. I request that everyone reading this shout somewhere on social media, or to me, either or, WHAT’S. IN. YOUR. PURSE! Honesty is the best policy, no need to doctor up weird shit just to sound cool or funny. And if you have live animals in your purse, I WILL in fact report you.

So let’s do this, shall we? Cue the stolen theme music …

-A Stephanie Johnson sparkly makeup bag that I love so much I could make out with it, full of 10 … yes 10 … lip glosses and lipsticks (If anyone knows of a makeup rehab, let me know)

-A receipt from the restaurant Bricco (girl needs to get her carbs on)

-An H&M tag for a pair of flip flops I bought out of sheer desperation because my feet hurt so badly from the shoes I was wearing. Turns out the flip flops hurt more (note to self, $5 flip flops are Satan)

-A random $5 bill floating about

-Ear buds

-Vintage sunglasses that I covet

-House keys on a Las Vegas key chain even though I’ve never been to Las Vegas, nor do I know where said key chain came from

-Transit pass

-Tic tacs (fresh to death)

-Sharpie pen (listen, I’m an extreme pen snob, if you ever were to steal my Sharpie pen, I would cut you)

-Another tag from an H&M sleeveless polka-dotted shirt I bought, impulsively, at the same time I purchased “Satan flops” because I was hot as balls in the shirt I was wearing (I’m clearly a traveling gypsy … and now a Cher moment, ahem: Gyspies, tramps and thieves … we hear it from the people of the town they call us … okay I’m done. I swear.)

-Receipt from dry cleaners

-A random three dollars (seriously, do I USE my wallet?)

-One bobby pin

-One mini hair clip

-$1.36 in change

-A mini sugar skull pillow that smells like lavender (it soothes me and it super rad … AND makes my purse smell delightful)

-Zac Posen wallet that I got for a ridic price at a vintage store

-Cell phone

And there ya have it. Definitely not my most random components to ever exist in my handbag, but still a little off. Now what I’m looking forward to is seeing what is in YOUR purse. Let’s hear it ladies … and gents. I will not say no to hearing what is in a murse or a “satchel” if you will.

Style Stud: Aoki Boutique

CaptureLast week I was scrolling through Twitter (I’m slightly addicted), and came across this Racked Philly article listing the top boutiques in Philly to follow on Instagram (I’m even more of an Instagram whore).

So I started checking out different boutiques, frolicking through their feeds, when I found something that made me stop what I was doing and say, “I need this in my life immediately slash I need to speak to whomever owns this boutique, she is my soul sister.” The image was of a plate that said, “Here’s your snack dumbass” (pure genius, am I right?) The boutique was Aoki Boutique and the owner, who I happened to have the pleasure speaking with, is Alina Alter.

This boutique is a cool girls dream, if you ask me. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind finds or fashionable flair, this is your one stop shop. Nothing makes me happier than walking into a boutique, or even their e-commerce site, and screaming in my head, “I need it all! How can I financially make this work! Maybe I can just cut out drinking. Haha no wait, that’s just plain ol’ silly.” So yes, all drool-worthy, all things you will want to covet.

So I hope you enjoy getting to know Aoki Boutique a little bit better as much as I did.

1. How long has Aoki Boutique been around?
Aoki Boutique has been open for just over two years now!

2. How did you come up with the concept of the boutique?
I wanted to be self-employed, I wanted a women-centered business, I wanted a space that I could welcome people into, and I wanted to be able to curate a collection to share with people; all of those things provided the foundation for the boutique’s concept. Aesthetically, I just wanted the space to be happy, warm, inviting, inspiring, and for it to look and feel like stepping into your cool older sister’s closet or apartment!

3. What inspires you daily?
I’m inspired by international street style blogs like www.hel-looks.com from Finland and www.style-arena.jp/en from Japan; I’m reminded of my semester abroad in Tokyo and all the bold, outrageous, and impossibly cool outfits that I saw there! I’m also really inspired by other forms of media; movies, books, live music, you name it.

4. What made you open up Aoki in Philly?
I grew up around here, but never really imagined myself coming back to live here once I left for school. My last semester of college I was doing an externship in Florida and from there was all set to move to Arizona to do Teach For America, and was really only stopping home to attend my graduation ceremony and sort of get things in order. Long story short I had a total change of heart about what I was doing with my life and ended up not leaving again, settling back down here in Philly and starting to build a really great existence for myself here. I started to appreciate things about the city that I had missed growing up and realized what a perfect place it is to open a small business. It’s affordable, entrepreneur-friendly, and has a real DIY ethos. The independent retail scene here was and is strong and diverse, but I didn’t see anyone doing exactly what I had in mind for my store.

5. What are some of your favorite brands you carry?
My favorite in-store clothing brand at the moment is probably Three of Something, a cool up-and-coming label from Australia. My favorite jewelry vendor is Serefina, out of the Bay Area, and my favorite home goods vendor is Fishs Eddy (makers of the beloved “Here’s your snack, dumbass” plate)!

6. Describe your boutique in 3 words.
Quirky, Colorful, Whimsical.

7. Will you be carrying any new and exciting brands/products in the upcoming months?
I know it’s not even summer yet, and has barely felt like spring lately, but style-wise I’m already looking forward to fall! I’m all about yummy, cozy fall flannels, faux fur coats, vegan leather leggings, and other great layering pieces that I’m already dreaming about! Fall is definitely my favorite season to buy for, and I’ve already placed a few orders, I couldn’t resist!

8. What is next for Aoki?
I’m just continuously trying to grow my brand and expand my presence, especially online. The bread and butter of my business is through my brick and mortar location and it’s my favorite way of operating because I really get to know and interact with my customers, but it’s so important to supplement that with my e-commerce site and other online platforms. I sell directly from www.aokiboutique.com and also through a curated online marketplace called Shoptiques.com. Now that I’m in my third year of business I’m not looking to change any of the core aspects of my brand, I just want to continue to get my name out there and make sure people know that Aoki Boutique is here and what it’s all about.

9. Describe Philly fashion?
Philly fashion is as eclectic and diverse as its residents, so it can be hard to sum up. Generally it’s a mix of that conservative prep that you’re bound to see in any northeastern city, combined with that really original, DIY hipster aesthetic that you get from all the students, young professionals, and creative types living here. I wish I saw a little more risk-taking and a little less sports team-related gear, but that’s just my personal opinion. As long as people are wearing things that make sense for them and their life and are comfortable and practical, I respect and encourage that.

10. What is your advice for achieving a bad ass summer look?
It’s all about the crop top for me! Pair it with anything high-waisted to show just the slightest sliver of skin above the navel- super sexy, flirty, and keeps you cool as the temperatures rise

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Daft Punk Chic

Vanessa Stiviano comes back from court and shopping at Fresh and Easy

Photo credit: http://globalgrind.com/2014/04/29/every-sponsor-drops-clippers-nba-authenticates-donald-sterling-racist-recordings-v-stiviano-photos-updates/playlist/v-stiviano-makes-a-run-in-her-mysterious-head-gear/item/3961340/

Only one good thing came out of this Donald Sterling NBA nightmare, besides his racist ass getting kicked to the curb, and that is the Korean sun visor that his side piece wore to hide from the paparazzi.

Some may call it over-the-top, outlandish, idiotic. Me? Well, I call it sheer genius (and in no way shape or form does my love for this visor reflect my feelings for Donald Sterlings side piece).

There are just some days you don’t want to be seen. Nothing is worse when you are having a bad hair day or feel like something is in your teeth and run into your ex-boyfriend on the street, forced to make awkward small talk, trying not to fixate on the fact that a piece of broccoli is straight chillin’ in between your pearly whites. If you were wearing one of these lovely visors, none of that would happen. Your ex would be contemplating, “is that her, is it not? She would never wear a visor like that. But maybe in could be her. How embarrassing if it isn’t and I tap her on the shoulder. Wonder if a freak is hiding under there?” And by the time he’s done contemplating, you will have strutted past his ass.

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It’s rather flawless, if you ask me. And for all those famous people out there complaining about the paparazzi following them, laughing at how stupid Donald Sterlings side piece looked in this Korean sun visor, maybe re-think your judgement. Not only will you not be in the, “stars without makeup,” section of Us Weekly, but you will take back just a small slice of your privacy. You’re welcome. I swear I won’t call you a hypocrite if I see you rocking one of these.

So I’ve drafted a list of when it would be appropriate to rock one of these visors. I hope this helps every single one of you on your path to hiding from the public, ahem

1. You just hate people in general and don’t want to be seen
2. Hungover running errands
3. Hungover and just trying to exist
4. Doing the walk of shame
5. Days you don’t want to wear makeup
6. When you have the Black Death and need to make your way to the doctor without scaring small children
7. You’re in a Daft Punk tribute band
8. When you are playing hooky from work or school and don’t want any evidence that you’re day drinking
9. When it’s extremely humid out and experiencing a ridiculously bad hair day
10. After you got a chemical peel and don’t, again, want to scare small children

See? There are ENDLESS ways you could rock a visor like this. They’re futuristic, chic, and will help you defend yourself from awkward encounters with the American public.

With all of this being said, I want one strictly because of reason number 1 above.

Beyonce Wind Machine Hair

wind-machineLet me paint you a picture. …

This morning I actually took the time to do my hair. And I’m not talking about just combing it, oh no. I ran a flat iron through it, AND … wait for it … styled it by slicking a front piece back with a bobby pin. It took time, placement, patience … talk about motivation on a Tuesday, am I right?

My walk to the train is about 8 minutes, maybe 6 sometimes if I’m really hustling. And yes, I’m usually hustling because I’m notoriously always late. But thanks to this “awesome” spring we’ve been having, I usually have to deal with the elements, whether it is bitterly cold in the morning, raining, or more recently, windy. Like obnoxiously windy where I fear I may get blown off the train platform. But honestly … that is just the beginning of my windssues (see what I did there).

Quite frankly, I think this “April showers brings May flowers” nonsense is a bunch of hogwash. It should be, “April wind storms brings really bad hair days to women.” Nothing infuriates me more than when I see a woman in a gust of wind looking like Beyonce with a wind machine on her. And I see them all the time. Me? Well, my hair usually does this really heinous dance when wind hits it. It’s like swing dancing with hair, except more annoying and less cool. Here are some of its moves:

1. The Fling Around: Makes your hair look like a bad toupee with a weird fake comb over
2. The Smack Across The Face: Need I say more?
3. Low Visibility: Hair gets in your eyes making it difficult to see in front of you (yes, I have walked into things before)
4. The Illusionist: Hair flings to the opposite sides of your face creating a fake beard
5. The Glossy: Hair in lip gloss, my favorite and yours (nothing like the ends of your hair being covered in sticky gloss that you can do nothing about until you shower)

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Never once does my hair get flung backwards in some sexy, fantastic super model fashion. Never. Once. I’m always that girl trying to casually keep my shit together as my hair flies around like Medusa. And then you end up on the train, like me this morning, thankful that you no longer are getting blown around like a rag doll, thinking you look just as good as you did when you left the house, only to catch a glimpse of yourself in the train car window to see you have an alfalfa-like piece of hair sticking straight out of your bobby pin. And that is when I quietly removed said bobby pins shamefully, deconstructing all of my hard work.

Sigh, so yeah to the Kate Upton’s of the world who always get caught in the perfect gust of wind, never ruining any hair style you worked so hard on … I hate your face … just a little.

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Kate Is Coming! Kate Is Coming!

CaptureIf you can’t tell by my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook … pretty much every day existence, I have an unnatural obsession with Kate Moss. And no, it is not because we share the same name, although that doesn’t hurt the situation. It is mostly because she was the “it girl” when I was falling head over heels for fashion … and one of the reasons why I wanted to do a pencil dive within the industry.

So with that being said … you can kind of imagine how thrilled I am about the Kate Moss for Topshop collection with Nordstrom happening THIS Wednesday. And by kind of thrilled, I mean this is one of those rare instances where I will wait in line to snag a piece and perhaps even smack a bitch for it. Yes. Smack. A. Bitch. And by smack a bitch I mean casually bump into another woman and then run away screaming like a little girl after apologizing thoroughly (I don’t get violent over fashion, neither should you … it’s not a good look).

If I had to describe this collection in one word, I would feel compelled to make up a word and say, “fringetastic.” And if it doesn’t scream, “FLORENCE WELCH, BUY ME!” I don’t know what does! Sometimes people forget that clothes should not only look smashing when you wear them, but should also move in a way that accentuates a woman’s curves in the best way possible. So thanks, Kate for recognizing this. In 86% of her Topshop collection, I just want to put on said garment and twirl. So if you see some freak twirling in a Nordstrom dressing room on Wednesday … yep, that will be me.

There are definitely more than a few pieces I’m obsessed with and need in my closet as soon as the clock strikes 12 on Wednesday, which I have outlined below in an effort to get you all just as excited as me. But I swear if you take my size, it’s on. Hell, let’s just rename Wednesday, Mossday. Who is with me?!

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Girl Power!

There is nothing more that I love in life than empowering women :::insert Spice Girl high kick here:::

Unfortunately, when it comes to workout gear, I’m not one that likes the sparkles, and the frills, and the “PINK” across my ass. I’m sorry, I’m going to go sweat my ass off and burn some calories, not find my future husband.

When I came across the brand Machina, an elite boxing brand for women straight out of Philly, I immediately wanted to give them a slow clap. Not only are they a brand that motivates women, but they make it easy for us to get in the ring and face our fears, inside and outside the boxing world. And quite frankly, this line sold me on their website: “We love boxing and we are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer something special for women to help them do the things that they’ve been told that girls shouldn’t do.” A-freaking-men, because when we hit things, we want to look epically cool.

Whether you are going to go kick some ass in the ring or find your center in a yoga studio, Machina is the perfect empowering must-have.

How long has this brand been around?
Machina began out of a conversation in the Summer of 2011. One year later Machina officially launched as the first and only boxing brand dedicated exclusively to women.

Was it established in Philly? If not, where?
Machina is indeed a native Philly business – Philadelphia founded, universally loved

As a sporting goods brand we embrace the old school, classic style. We avoid gimmicks like adding techno-jargon labels to our product names or offering zebra striped pink gear. Machina is all about being tough, serious and no-nonsense – y’know, Philly-style.

What inspired this brand? Did you feel there was something lacking in the market?
The concept for a dedicated brand of women’s boxing gear began when partner, Courtney, started realizing that there were very few suitable options for women who were serious about boxing. She was training in gear that was bulky and awkward and she realized that the typical “ladies” gear that other brands offer is merely men’s gear colored pink or else inexpensive garbage intended for a light workout.

So there was a definite marketing opportunity. And as we had hoped and expected, there is no shortage of women who are serious about their boxing training and appreciate what Machina is about.

Where can you buy this gear?
Machina gear and clothing is available to purchase in our online store at http://machinaboxing.com

What are your price points?
Our gear for boxing is in the neighborhood of $50 – $60 for high quality, genuine leather goods. We also sell our Club Duffle bag, which is ideal for boxers and kick boxers for $77. Our tees and tanks go for $34 and $32 and the shorts and pants are $54 and $64. Oh, and our hoodie is outstanding at $69.

What is your most popular product?
Well our best seller, by far, is our 12 oz Carbonado training gloves. Word is spreading about how nice these are. We get tons of positive feedback and we even have a good number of professional and amateur level fighters who train exclusively in these gloves.

Is this gear only for female boxers or could a woman going to yoga wear this?
Actually, Courtney wears our clothing for every type of workout she does. In fact, our training pants and shorts are patterned after yoga and pilates pants. The fabric feels like a second skin, yet it’s breathable and forgiving. Additionally, the waistband of our pants was inspired by the classic thick boxing short waistband, only instead of a fat, heavy piece of elastic, the entire waistband is elasticized so it moves dynamically with you and doesn’t dig in. So absolutely these could be popular with women doing a pilates workout and there would be the added benefit of showing off how tough they are.

Our tops are also great for other activities. The fabric is super soft and has a bit of stretch to it. We wanted to be sure that when you’re throwing a punch that the shirt itself is not constraining you in any way. This unrestricted movement of the shoulders and torso is ideal for all sorts of workouts.

Why does this brand differ from other boxing gear brands?
We like to say that ‘women make up about 15% of the market for combat sports and therefore other brands spend about 15% of their time thinking about women. On the other hand, women make up 100% of Machina’s market.’  So when we design a boxing glove we are thinking about the end user strictly as a woman. This singular focus means that when we sell a “women’s boxing glove”, we are actually selling a glove that has been designed for a woman, as opposed to a glove that was designed for a man and later repackaged.

We often get comments from women looking for specific things that other brands don’t offer or that is not up to their expectations. So when we think about new products to add to our line, we are thinking about how to make each product suitable and desirable for a woman without being stereotypical or cliché. This is the major difference between Machina and everyone else producing combat sporting goods.

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HELP! I’m Scared Of A Bra

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 7.46.36 PMSo I thought life sucks in a strapless bra … no, life probably sucks more in a bra that is backless. Yes. Backless.

I love backless dresses. Always have. I think it is a really classy way to show a little skin without having your taas out or a slit going all the way up to your who-ha. I’m not talking about your entire back exposed so everyone can see your tramp stamp, no. Just a little, you know, peek-a-boo, if you will.

I stupidly fell in love with a dress at Zara that was backless … and on sale … for $20. I mean how could you possibly resist a to-die-for sale like this, right? It was that romantic length down to my ankles, cap sleeves. You know what, let me show you a picture … see below:

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Lovely … right? I was slash am obsessed with it. It’s comfortable, simple … everything a girl could want in a dress. But wait a tick … how does one with rather large taas get away without wearing a bra with this dress? If I do wear a bra, it will be exposed in the back, and I’m pretty sure only Carrie Bradshaw can pull off exposing a lime green bra whereas I would look like I got tossed from the hot mess express. So … what the hell do you do? Because unfortunately going braless is not an option. Trust me. Half of the room would be really excited when I walked in, leading me to turn 50 shades of red and run away in a panic, and half would be trying to sew a scarlett “S” on my chest for “slut.” No thanks. Also, this dress is slightly see-through. Le sigh … anything else Zara dress, ya needy jerk!?

So I went to the experts (shout out to Kim over at Linda the Bra lady), and cried to her with my brassues. I had tried a backless bra from Victoria’s Secret that basically had masking tape on the sides that you would stick to either side of your taas, which supposedly you could wear more than once, but in real life would slide off the minute you began to sweat. And quite frankly I didn’t want to have to carry masking tape in my purse to this event I was attending in said above dress. And yes, once upon a time when I was in college, I wore that stupid Victoria’s Secret backless bra and brought masking tape with me in case it fell off. Which it did. Pan to me masking taping my taas in the bathroom of a bar. Stay classy, self.

So enter Nubra bra stage left. When I met with Kim, I explained to her my bra dilemma and how I really can’t “free ball,” if you will (what … it’s okay for guys to say it but not me?). She introduced me to the Nubra bra and immediately I had flashbacks of the time back in college where I was masking taping my bra back on in some shady bar bathroom. I’m a big girl now … I need a big girl bra. According to Kim, she wore this bra on her wedding day, when it was a bazillion degrees and never came off. Wait, what? Yeah … I know … I was amazed, too. I was sold immediately because quite frankly, you don’t screw with a girl on her wedding day … especially one who is a bra expert. Ring me up.

Since purchasing, I’ve taken the Nubra bra on a test drive, and yes, it is thoroughly strange to wear … but oddly comfortable. No, it doesn’t support your taas in a way that magical underwire can, but does the trick for something staying up with just adhesive cups. You know that feeling of falling when you are just about to fall asleep? Well, this is the feeling I get walking around with this thing. Except instead of falling I’m waiting with bated breath for this thing to fall off.

I will be wearing Nubra this Thursday at an event, and need as many positive vibes as possible that a heinous wardrobe malfunction doesn’t occur. I suppose that is why alcohol was invented, right? Don’t get me wrong, I trust Kim’s opinion, but there is something about big taas and no underwire … and no back for that matter … that makes me EXTREMELY nervous.

Stay tuned for the aftermath post!

Style Stud: Paula Mendoza

CaptureRecently my jewelry infatuation has been taken to another level. Every piece of jewelry I pass I want to adopt and make my own. Perhaps it is because I have a proper place for them to live now (shout out to Home Goods), so they no longer have to co-exist in a tangled, mangled web of insanity on my dresser.

I wouldn’t say my taste in jewelry is conventional. The stranger the better in my book. I would rather wear a gold tiger around my neck then a simple piece from Tiffany. So with that being said, I would like to introduce this jewelry designer that I have been swooning over, and slightly stalking via Instagram, Paula Mendoza.

I can’t even put in to words how fantastic her line is. But every time I see a piece, I get this tingly feeling all over my body and start drooling … just a little (sexy, right?) I also start plotting how I can obtain a piece of her work by doing things like oh … you know … selling my body, selling family members, selling my soul. Yes. That is how much I adore Paula Mendoza jewelry. I know I’m a freak … I love me some obscure jewelry, alright?

So instead of freaking you out more with using imagery and adjectives explaining why I adore this brand so much, let me show you a few of my favorite pieces.

And if you have been looking to get me a little gift just for funsies, I would happily accept anything below … :::cough, cough::: Easter Bunny (Mom).

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Easter Shoes

CaptureEaster was never my favorite holiday growing up. It was due mostly to the fact that I was force fed ham and milk at the kids table thanks to my aunts. Woof. Since then I’ve sworn off all pork products and get nauseous at the sight of milk. My bones will probably disintegrate by the time I am an old bag, but quite frankly I will take that risk.

The only part of Easter I truly loved was getting all dolled up. The picture to the left is me with my Dad at age 5ish … maybe? Yes, even I wore a proper hat and Easter shoes, once upon a time. Now my family is lucky if I even remove myself from my PJs on Easter.

Up until this season, I used to cringe at white shoes. They just reminded me of going to Payless with my mom as a child, getting the same God damn white patent leather saddle shoes year after year … oh yeah, with the white frilly socks to match. It’s like when you eat too much of the same thing, you get sick of it, right? Well … my mom bought me too many pairs of those white patent leather shoes. And since then, I’ve just had an adverse reaction to anything resembling an “Easter shoe” aka a white shoe … until now.

Now … mama wants a white pump. Like yesterday. The idea of an all white outfit, including shoes, or jeans, a nude top, and white heels just makes me swoon a bit. They are the PERFECT shoe for spring/summer. Hmm … perhaps I’m not so disgusted by them anymore because the white frilly sock factor was removed? I digress, though.

Yes … they have the potential to get extremely dirty, but you know what? I don’t give a shit. I’ve learned that if you are craving something, whether it is a piece of candy or a vodka martini, you should satisfy said craving to achieve pure bliss in life. So many times I’ve wanted something, but refused to get it. Instead, I just went back and forth in my brain about said potential purchase until I drove myself nuts. Now … mama is getting a pair of white pumps.

Happy Easter/Passover to all my readers. Hope the Easter bunny hops into all of your homes and gifts you with white pumps (hint, hint … “Easter Bunny” … aka Mom).

Now let’s review some white pumps that are making me drool, shall we?:

If I was a Kardashian, I would buy these bad boys:

407399_in_ppI would also buy these …

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And these …

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Since I’m not a Kardashian and “Ball on a budget” … I would snag these:

CaptureAnd these …

CaptureAnd probably these …

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How Weird Can You Go?

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Photo credit: http://www.businessinsider.com/coachella-crazy-outfits-2013-2013-4

Lately I feel like people are obsessed with out-weirding one another. I blame hipsters. “Oh your hair is purple? Well MY hair is a rare shade of purple AND I shaved the sides of my head.” “Oh yeah? Well, I not only dyed my hair purple, but I ALSO have a green under tone and then got a tattoo of a unicorn on the side of my head.” I mean I could go on for hours.

Everyone wants to be the first to do something. Everyone wants to be original. And you know what, there is absolutely nothing wrong with striving for something. But there is a thing called taking it too far. Kendall Jenner, I’m looking at you, lady. Kindly remove that Givenchy oversized nose ring and listen up.

Yesterday I found myself frolicking through the interwebs when I stumbled upon a new trend known as “Palm Bracelets.” Yes. We are now blinging out our freaking palms, apparently. And yes, it is basically a bracelet you were just too lazy to slip on the rest of the way so you let it rest on the palm of your hand. In the words of Miranda Priestley, “groundbreaking.” I guess everyone will be high-fiving their enemies now. #Ouch. And that is about when I threw my fists in the air and started shaking them violently screaming, “WHY?!?!”.

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Photo credit: http://www.vogue.com/vogue-daily/article/palm-cuffs-and-handlets-a-new-kind-of-bracelet/#1

I’m all for originality, and “Normcore” makes me want to curb stomp a pair of Keds. But when we are making up products/accessories just because we’ve hit a wall of originality … that is where my problem lies. For example, you can now put your Instagram pictures on your nails. Wait, what? Yeah … I’m scratching my head, too over that one. Social Media and nail care do not walk hand-in-hand down a beach being kissed with a sunset, alright? Instagram pics on your wall, in Polaroid form, on your newsfeed … GREAT! Makes total sense. But I don’t want to see the rad dinner you had last week at some really obscure vegan restaurant with the Kelvin filter over it on your middle finger.

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Photo credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/14/nailsnaps-kickstarter_n_4965498.html

Nose rings. Love the idea. Not for me, personally … but I like them on others. Small hoops, diamond studs … I think they all give people the opportunity to express themselves. BUT … when you decide to take a hoop earring, and no, I’m not talking small hoops, I’m talking, “let me take my hoops off so I can smack a bitch,” sized hoops, in your nose? Really? Come now. Kendall Jenner … yes, more than half of America is under the insane spell your family has put on us. You say jump … we say in what designer shoes. But could you not think of anything else besides putting a massive hoop in your nose? Now everyone has this dazed look in their eyes like, “Must. Get. Massive. Hoop. Earring. In. Nose. Kardashians. Rule. Me.” So, Kendall, thanks for that, really. The entire fashion industry is starting a slow clap for you right now. Can you hear it?

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Photo credit: http://www.thefashionspot.com/buzz-news/latest-news/394893-so-theres-this-kendall-jenner-wears-oversized-givenchy-nose-hoop-to-coachella/

And finally … Coachella. Ground zero. Where all the madness is crafted. :::Sigh::: Listen, I wish I could have experienced Woodstock (the original, not the weird one they had in the 90’s). And I love the fact that music festivals still exist with an environment that allows people to feel free and comfortable to wear whatever they want. I adore that. I’m ALL about dressing for self expression. If I attended Cochella, hell yes I would let my freak flag fly, because sometimes you want to wear something that isn’t office or real life appropriate, and may cause people to think you belong in an insane asylum (isn’t corpoate life grand?) But outside of the walls of Cochella would I wear a flower wreath around my head, neon short-shorts, a fringe top, and a massive ring in my nose? HELL NO.

So what I’m saying is, stop the movement of trying to out-weird one another. Seriously. Stop. We can see right through the “cool vibe” you are desperately trying to put out into the world and instead see that you are trying a wee bit too hard. Be true to yourself. Be true to your style. Strive for something, but not to be the strangest person walking down the street … if that is not who you truly are.

That is all.

If Looks Could Kill …

Tina-FeyThis past weekend, I realized if looks could kill, I would have died.

I found myself walking through a crowded bar, trying to make my way to the bathroom, and felt like I was being stabbed by a million daggers, and by daggers I mean eyes. I immediately thought to myself, “OMG am I too drunk? Is my Resting Bitch Face acting up again? Am I having a wardrobe malfunction?!” But after I checked myself I realized I was fine. I had a good buzz going on, I was with good people, and just had to pee, for the love. So why did I feel an icy chill when I passed certain women? And that’s when it hit me as I was standing in line for the ladies room, it truly SUCKS being a woman in a “trendy” bar. And I say “trendy” because at dive bars no one gives a shit if you showed up in sweats. Just sayin’.

In college, my roommate and I wanted to open a bar where the dress code was sweatpants, sweatshirts, hair in a messy bun, and no makeup … because getting ready to go out was the worst. Now, a bit older and wiser, I no longer have “normal clothes” and “bar clothes.” Thank GAWD … because bar clothes can get a little skanky. When I get ready to go out, I don’t put on four inch heels, my tightest halter top and jeans, and pair it with a bad excuse for a smoky eye. I just dress like … well, me. Because I no longer frequent bars that serve bottle service and let you dance on tables.

It has always been about the competition factor. You always wanted to be the best dressed at the bar in order to bring all the boys to the yard. Am I right? Yeah, maybe when you had a fake ID or just turned 21. It still happens, though, whether you are rocking four inch heels and a halter top or skinny jeans and a T. Women are always eyeing up their competition, for reasons I don’t understand. Perhaps they are scared someone might out-dress them, steal their boyfriend or their prey, or perhaps they are concerned they will have a “bitch stole my look” moment. Who knows.

But Jesus Christ this needs to stop. If you are in your mid-late 20’s/30’s/40’s/50’s/90’s … this behavior is no longer acceptable. You know what I’m doing when I’m eyeing up ladies at a bar? Checking out their outfits for inspiration. Truly. It’s like a realtime Pinterest. And I have no problem going up to someone and saying, “that bag is fierce, where did you get it?!” And not in a Regina George fashion, either, and turn around and say, “that is the ugliest effing bag I’ve ever seen.”

Seriously, stop giving other girls the look of death when they pass you (unless it is your Resting Bitch Face … we all suffer from it time-to-time). I’ve never seen a “hot” woman walk up to someone’s boyfriend at a bar and steal them. That shit only happens on daytime television.

My concept for the sweatpants only bar is so genius simply because it would cut the female tension. Women are SO much happier getting drunk in sweats, am I right? I know I am. I mean for the love of GAWD we have so much other shit to worry about whilst out on the town. Lipstick/lip gloss coming off with every sip of a cocktail, drunk face ruining all the time and effort we put on makeup application, deciding when to break the seal, because if you break it too soon you will be running to the bathroom every 5 seconds, protecting drinks so we don’t get roofied, protecting our handbags so no one robs us as we drink, trying not to lose our jackets. I mean, it’s exhausting.

So my double-triple-quadruple dare for you next weekend is when you’re out and about, make and effort to smile at your fellow female. Perhaps compliment her on something. Just don’t make her feel like she wants to die with your dirty looks (again, if it’s RBF, you are excused). Because chances are she is not trying to steal your boyfriend or kill your vibe, she just wants to go to the bathroom.

I’ll leave you with this:
Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.
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Blister Season

cruelshoesYou guys, I’m in pain. Severe, severe pain. And I would like to thank my feet not being conditioned for sandals of any kind.

With the weather, for once, being over 60 degrees this weekend slash this week, Friday I took it upon myself to march to DSW to stock up on some new sandals. Let me tell you, I was like a kid in a candy store. How could I not be? All I’ve wanted to do was toss my boots to the wind and let my feet flourish in fresh air (after a nice pedicure, though … no one wants to see any of that pre-pedicure. Hey, it was a rough winter.).

After scoring some ridiculously good deals (seriously, you would be a fool not to march to DSW right now … go … well, no … finish reading this post … THEN go), I literally was ripping open the boxes and putting the gladiator heels and sandals on my feet before even making it home. Now for those of you who don’t know, I walk. A lot. I work in the city and hate driving, so yeah. Without thinking or taking the proper precautions, I threw on my new shoes and started trekking out and about. There’s truly nothing better then strutting in a pair of new sandals. Until after an hour of strutting you literally are in so much pain you want to cry. If you saw a person walking awkwardly in the city and cursing under her breath because of the pain this weekend, that was me.

I suppose at the end of every summer, there is some hormone or enzyme that makes women forget how much breaking in sandals sucks … much like they say about childbirth. Because flash forward to me last night, at the end of the weekend, with my feet covered in blisters and cuts (sorry for the amazingly graphic image right there). I spent my Sunday evening covering my wounds in Neosporin and writhing in pain. And then I remembered, oh yeah, sometimes, and by sometimes I mean most times, sandals need to be worked in. Seriously, have you ever taken a shower with your feet covered in blisters? Yeah. It sucks. Everything sucks unless you are a princess and can kick your feet up all day. If so, I hate your face.

As much as I’m so pumped the weather is finally warm enough to retire the over sized sweaters, boots, and jackets … I’m not so pumped about conditioning my feet for new sandals. It’s a bitch. I mean I woke up this morning, hoping the Neosporin magically cured my feet wounds (again, sorry for the mental image) overnight, but alas it did not. So today I had to rock a pair of flats that are so old I probably needed to retire them six months ago, but so comfy I just could not part with them … thank God. Oh yeah … and I had to wake up super early for the covering of wounds with Band Aids process … even though half of them won’t stay on and I will probably find a really random Band Aid under my desk or something. Sexy, right? Nothing like a random Band Aid.

So here I am, walking carefully as literally anything I put on my feet rub one of the many blisters the wrong way, praying for the days when I’m all healed up and ready to rock my sandals. And hoping to dear sweet Jesus they won’t re-damage my feet. Which, let’s be real, they probably will.

I leave you with this Public Service Announcement, ladies. Don’t walk far distances in new sandals. Wear them around your house, walk around the block, but don’t do anything ambitious like walk 10 city blocks in them … like me. Learn from my mistakes. Hopefully one day you’ll see me strutting in my cute new sandals that I want to kiss I love them so much. But until then, it’s crusty ol’ flats for me. :::Sigh::: I mine as well say screw it and rock orthopedics.
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Ready … Set … SELFIE!

BktuvDdCIAAYNs-So today is the LAST day to enter to become the new face of Marc Jacobs. I know, I know … I’m stressed about it, too. Psyche. As most of you know from my lack of selfies and photos of myself, I hate having my photograph taken. I think it’s genetic because my mother hates it, too. I get awkward, uncomfortable, I start to sweat, I don’t know what to do with my hands, I look like death most of the time … I mean … wait!

One of the reasons why I adore Marc Jacobs ads is because he highlights the best part of women … our fun/carefree side. We don’t always need to be jumping in mid-air perfectly wearing couture in ads (I mean who the hell can HONESTLY pull off jumping in mid-air looking all glam and shit, Vogue … huh?!)

So here’s why I think I would make an awesome candidate as the new face of Marc Jacobs … ahem:

1. I’m super awkward

2. I look really good stuffed in a shopping bag

3. I’m extraordinarily pale … like Casper mine as well be my bro from another ho

4. I’m tall (5’9 … what what)

5. I’ve mastered the “deer-in-headlights” look

6. My hair can easily become an afro with a little humidity and moisture

7. I can duckface with the best of um … (but I HATE it … don’t make me do it, promise?)

8. Stripes and/or polka dots are my fave

9. I believe the bigger the hat the better

10. And finally I have no problem being made up like a tranny hot mess

So there you have it. In my Marc Jacobs ad, you know, if I get chosen :::hair flip:::, I would have one of his fantastic handbags covering my face, with like some fierce, Lady Gaga-esque cat-style nails gripping the bag, sitting with my legs spread open (calm down) on a velvet couch, wearing an over-sized ridiculous skirt, fierce ass socks with heels, and a simple T that just says “MARC!”

Now … I will leave you with some of my favorite Marc ads … and maybe a pic of myself. AHH!
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Me. #Awkward

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Prom Dresses … Real Talk

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Photo credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298456/Photographs-probably-didnt-make-family-album–downright-strange-prom-photographs-really-capture-awkward-teenage-years.html

I was just made aware of a horrifying and disturbing fact. And I need all of you to stop what you’re doing and listen: CANNONBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m sorry I couldn’t help inserting a shameless Anchorman quote up in here. No, but seriously, I was just made aware of a horrifying and disturbing fact that some girls, SOME, are spending over $500 on prom dresses. PROM DRESSES. Ladies, ladies, ladies … grab a non-alcoholic cocktail, happy hour is from 4-6 (if you know where THAT quote is from we are BFFs, clearly), and let me give you a little “prom dress 101.”

Almost :::coughs intensively:::: years later, I’m STILL obsessed with my prom dress. It was everything, and it was under $150, and I got it at Bloomingdales … and 6 years later they were still selling it. A dress is good when you still want to wear it almost 10 years later. (Yes 10, I know I’m old … whatever) And if I could still fit into it, I would slip it on and wear it right now. Never once have I looked at my prom pictures and cringed and had the, “what was I thinking?!?” moment, and THIS is what I want for all of you, future prom attendees.

Number 1., there is absolutely no reason for you to want or need to spend over $500 on a prom dress. This is prom. Not your wedding. (You’re welcome, parents). Seriously. I know you think this is the end all be all of your lifetime, and you desperately want the slow motion walk down the stairs as your date gulps hard over how fantastic you look moment, and that will happen … but a super expensive dress just won’t put a guarantee on that moment happening, unfortunately. The only thing that is guaranteed with an over-the-top expensive prom dress is that it will hang in your closet for the rest of time, taunting you as you come home from college because you wish you could have that money right now to buy beer and you know … food with it.

Number 2., refrain from going to a shop that specifically sells prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and mother of the bride dresses. If you are looking to stand out, this ain’t it, trust. It will be tempting … all of your friends will be doing it, and they have a service where if you buy a dress, they won’t let anyone else in your school buy it. But shield your eyes, for the love.

Prom is your chance to look stunning, one-of-a-kind, and to feel like a damn princess. And all of this can be accomplished for under a $100, :::gasp::: I know, right? So here are a few options to finding the prom dress to end all prom dresses … ahem:

1. Rent the Runway: Hello? Genius, right?! “Oh … you’re wearing some weird prom-dress-only designer? Well,  I’m wearing Dolce :::Z snap:::.” I’m probably their biggest fan. Not only do you get to order an extra size for free, but they have specialists you can chat with and explain your body type, who will then recommend designers/styles to compliment it. AND you get cute little freebies with the delivery like tape for your taas and moisturizer. The only problem is, if other girls in your class Rent The Runway, there is a chance you may have a “bitch stole my look” moment. And if that happens, I’m not to blame.

2. Go Vintage: I like to call vintage stores the cave of wonders. If you can get over the fact that someone else wore the dress (I mean I hope you can, it has been washed … duh), then you have an opportunity to wear something one-of-a-kind and really different. You may need to get it taken in, and you may need to have a Cinderella moment and cut off certain parts, and kind of “make it your own,” but that makes it even cooler if you ask me. Now shopping vintage is not a one-stop-shop. It involves digging, and visiting lots of different stores. If you fail your first couple of times, keep your head up … it takes time. But from me to you, if you walk into a vintage store and everything is astronomically expense, leave immediately. You don’t want to mess with couture vintage. We aren’t Rachel Zoe just yet.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Go Discount: Stores like TJ Maxx have excellent dresses that are actually different. AND they have a section called the Runway, where they have designer dresses for ridiculous prices. I was there last weekend and found a Valentino dress for $119. Crazy, right? Again with stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx, this involves patience and digging. You may not score your first try. Make it fun, though, who knows what else you might find along your quest. Perhaps a sweet statement necklace to go with your potential look? Ehhh?!

So you see? There is no reason to go to those fancy prom boutiques and look like a cookie cutter of every other girl in your grade. A strapless dress with panels of color? Groundbreaking. You deserve to stand out. And be proud if you scored your dress at TJ Maxx or a vintage store! You deserve to have your moment.

Know, the bigger the price tag doesn’t mean the better the dress. Boom. Happy prom-ing, all!

On The Fringe Of Glory

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Photo credit: https://www.etsy.com/listing/117142923/velvet-fringe-kimono-classic-peacock?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

Warm weather, for the love of GAWD, where are you?

You know what, I’m done. I’m done waiting. I’m done bitching. I’m done. I’m just going to indulge in warm weather fashion no matter WHAT the temp is. And I loathe being cold, like most, but hey, I’ll sacrifice. Hell. I’m planning on wearing a maxi skirt this week at some point, and it won’t even be 60 degrees. Suck on THAT, Mother Nature.

Look … my winter clothes are worn out. Aren’t yours? It’s just no longer fun. I literally yawn and put no effort in my outfits anymore because I’m SO bored with it all. I just want to do a pencil dive into spring/summer fashion. Hence why I want to discuss with you my strange, but slightly awesome, obsession with fringe.

Fringe? Me? I know right … weird. But I find it fascinating, so much that I desperately want to adopt it into my wardrobe. And I love the idea of doing the twist in it and/or twirl around and have a Stevie Nicks moment. Jesus … I almost bought a brown fringe Steve Madden bag at TJ Maxx last weekend. Number 1: I don’t wear brown. Number 2: Fringe is a little country … which is SO not me. But I just HAVE to have it. In any way, shape or form.

So won’t you fringe-out with me?

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Style Stud: Charlie’s Jeans

KNEEBENDblackwhite-355x534Oxygen, food, water, alcohol, unicorns, chocolate, bread … and jeans. What I like to call the necessities of life. Finding the right pair of jeans can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Skinny jeans might be in style, but how do you know which ones will fit you best? And wonder if none fit correctly at all?! Wah!

So that’s why I took it upon myself to get to know the Philadelphia denim brand, Charlie’s Jeans. Sorry, rest of the US of A, Charlie’s Jeans is only located in Philly, but that just gives you another great excuse to visit, am I right? Premium denim fit perfectly to you? Umm yeah, add that to the list under cheesesteaks, liberty bell, and the rocky statue. (No I don’t work for Visit Philly, I just love me some City of Brotherly Love)

No matter who you are or what you believe in, every human soul needs a good pair of jeans. Not a pair that gives you a muffin top or lets the world see your underpants. A nice, fitting pair of denim that makes your ass look phenom. And the best way to do that is to get acquainted with the experts and let them work their magic.

So enjoy and get to know this amazing American-made brand, and my style stud of the week, Charlie’s Jeans … ahem …

1. How long has Charlie’s Jeans been around?
Charlie’s Jeans was established in 1997 – we’ve been specializing in premium jean fit for 17 years now.

2. How did the concept come to be? Did you feel there was something lacking in the jean market?
Sebastian learned early on after opening his first store that when jeans fit right, people feel more confident. But he saw that for customers, navigating the vast denim world alone was easier said than done. With all of the different fits, sizes, and fabrics, it was hard for them to know even where to start. He wanted to eliminate any source of frustration for them and make the process as simple as possible. So he took it upon himself to learn everything he could about the world of denim. He studied fabric content, stretchability, and all different types of wash processes. He became acquainted with all the varieties of fits and learned which fits worked best for which body types. His goal was to take the hassle out of jean shopping and instead make it a quick, easy, and most importantly, enjoyable experience.

3. Can you give me a little background about the owners and what inspired them to establish this brand.
Sebastian’s mother is a beautician, and growing up, he spent much of his time with her in her salon. Time after time, he watched how something like a simple haircut could transform a person – not just physically, but on the inside. What really stuck with him was something his mother would always say about her clients – “No matter how they seem when they come in, watch the smile on their face when they leave.” He developed a true appreciation for how happy these transformations made people feel, and ultimately, he wanted to create this happiness in others within his own career path.

After spending years working with all of the premium brands, Sebastian began to notice certain areas that were lacking in consistency – most prominently, the waist gap issue, pocket placement, and fabrics losing their shape. He decided to take his denim expertise one step further and create a jean that would correct these issues and fit perfectly on any body type, every single time. In addition, once the economy began to turn, Sebastian saw that many of the brands that he carried began to outsource their manufacturing, yet were still charging the same price for their product. He was known for carrying jeans that were made in the USA, and he wasn’t willing to sacrifice that. Sebastian wanted to create a jean that was made in America, with the highest quality fabrics and treatment, so that his customer would not be short cut.

4. Are you guys just in Philly? If not, do you have any plans on opening shops outside of the city?
We currently have two convenient locations in Philadelphia – one in the historic area of Old City, and one in the shopping district of Rittenhouse Square.

5. What is your best selling pair of jeans?
There has never been a better selling jean than Sebastian McCall Jeans. They are known for their consistently perfect fit. The waist band never gaps, the pocket placement is always perfect, and the fabrics hold their shape incredibly well.

6. Why would a woman/man go to your store over other retailers?
We make the jean fitting process as easy as possible. You don’t have to know your size, or even what you’re looking for! There’s no need to spend hours in the fitting room trying on dozens of jeans – we take the hassle out of jean shopping and make it a quick, easy, and a pleasurable experience.

7. What are your price points for a pair of denim?
Most of our denim ranges between $170 to $200. Our jeans are made in the USA, and the majority is American fabric.

8. Do you sell anything else besides denim? Are there any other brands sold here?
We also carry a wide variety of tops, dresses, and accessories, and constantly get new styles in! Most of our tops range from around $30-$80, and most of our dresses range from around $60-$120.

9. What new styles do you have out for spring?
White jeans are always a spring staple – the straight and skinny styles are perfect for showing off this season’s sandals.

10. Define style for spring 2014
Style is, and always will be, perfect fit. When your clothes fit well, you feel amazing, and there is nothing more stylish than feeling great about yourself! Perfect fit is seasonless!

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Meet My Fashion Faux Pas

hot_mess_1024x1024One of my favorite fashion sites, Refinery 29, posted a shocking and terrifying article yesterday concerning fashion faux pas. I clicked on the article proud, laughing like an obnoxious multi-million dollar man in a tuxedo smoking a Cuban cigar. “BAH HA HA … Let’s see what these FOOLS are doing nowadays,” I said to myself, boosting and sipping on my invisible champagne glass filled to the brim with Dom. I was 100% convinced that I could do a touchdown dance after reading the article knowing that I commit ZERO fashion faux pas. Well …

I was wrong. So so very wrong. It’s like some cruel person snatched the invisible glass of Dom right out of my manicured hands saying, “ah, ah AH … not for you, slob.” Out of seven fashion faux pas, I’m guilty of three of them. THREE. :::Sigh::: Don’t look at me, I’m too ashamed.

Yes, I was ashamed. And yes, I was slightly mortified and embarrassed. And once all of that subsided, I picked myself off the ground, snatched my invisible glass of Dom back from the oh so very rude non-existent person who took it from me, and said, “bitch, I’m human.” I. AM. HUMAN. Perfection is impossible. I’ve said it numerous times. That is what makes human beings so rad, and at times, so not very rad.

So I’m going to be open and honest with the fashion faux pas I am guilty of … and I’m not even going to use quotes around faux pas like I initially wanted to, because I guess, in some strange universe, these things are just not cool to do as a person within, or teetering gracefully on, the edge of the fashion industry.

Faux Pas Number 1: Sporting stains, hair, and grime.
Crime: Sigh … I love to sleep and hate mornings. Therefore I will snooze as many times as I possibly can before I know I can’t make the train that will make me late, but not too too late. So that leaves little room for ironing and clothing inspection. Yes, I have shown up to work with tooth paste stains. I also have “slob tendencies.” If I can’t find exactly what I want to wear, I will have a Cher from Clueless moment, sprawled out on my bedroom floor with everything from my closet surrounding me, screaming at my maid, “WHERE’S MY WHITE COLLARLESS SHIRT FROM FRED SEGAL?!” Except I don’t have a maid nor do I own anything from Fred Segal. So yeah, the aftermath means my closet won’t get reconstructed properly until I’ve had enough and go on a cleaning rampage. Clothing on the floor exposes them to my hair, my cat’s hair, wrinkles, and God only knows what else. Hence sometimes, when in a time crunch, I turn a blind eye. JUST sometimes. I blame all of this on not having enough time in the day. Damn adulthood.

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Faux Pas Number 2: Pretending to be something you’re not.
Crime: GUILTY. Who isn’t? I remember when I was 17 I was OBSESSED with Ashlee Simpson. Like if I could have skinned her and worn her, I would have (but not in a creepy, murderous kind of way). She was “edgy”, and I was, well, The Gap. 10 years later I’m still going through phases where I become obsessed with being something that just isn’t me. But I give it a whirl for funsies to see if it works, which it never does. Experimentation is necessary, only as long as you are true to who you are. For a long time I tried to make color in my wardrobe happen when I realized, holy hell, self, you only like to wear black. And it isn’t because I’m goth … it is just what I likes. I’ve worn the triple popped collars, and almost, ALMOST purchased a Vera Bradley bag … but at the end of the day I always go back to black. (I personally don’t think this is a faux pas, I think it’s called life. But I’ll play your game, Refinery 29, I’ll play your game.)

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Faux Pas Number 3: Wearing clothes that almost fit (but obviously don’t).
Crime: My crime is that I have rather large taas. I can’t help it. God gave them to me. And do you turn a gift down from God? Negative. So wearing buttoned down shirts kind of sucks. Technically I need to get a size larger than I normally would so I wouldn’t get that peek-a-boo window between the two buttons going down my taas so everyone can see my Victoria’s Secret (not that I wear that shit … neither should you), but I refuse. Because the larger size doesn’t look as good. Then the button down shirt stretches across my taas giving me this “fat guy in a little coat” vibe. It’s a mess … yet I continuously do this.

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So there are my crimes against fashion. BOOM. But again, I am human … hear me meow.

Confessions Of A Diet Coke Addict

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Photo credit: https://www.etsy.com/listing/61284620/diet-coke-queen-retro-vintage-style

Hi my name is Kate, and I’m a Diet Coke addict.

I feel like a Diet Coke addiction is trendy … or has become trendy over the years. A LOT of people drink the stuff, mostly because they think it is the healthier choice. Me? Well … I drank it because I loved/love the taste. The sweet sweet carbonation. The bubbles tickling your throat as they travel down. The refreshing feeling that leaves you wanting more and more. DAMMIT. I need to stop.

But yeah … you come across people and they openly admit, “yeah I’m a Diet Coke addict.” And then you say, “no way ME TOO.” And you guys laugh and giggle and crack open cans of the sweet sweet nectar. #Trendy. But in reality, it is my gateway soft drink. I don’t want to eat certain things if they aren’t accompanied by Diet Coke. Pizza, for example. Pizza and water? Woof. Pizza and a foundation Diet Coke … HELL. YES. Water and hummus? Sure. See, healthier choices.

Right now I’m all about getting healthy. I blame it on the fact that I’ve been hiding under what I like to call “hibernation gear” to help me withstand this awful winter we’ve had, and the thought of slipping on a tiny little sundress makes me want to vom. I need a spray tan and to lose 10 pounds IMMEDIATELY before any of that happens. So whenever I get on a healthy kick the first thing I do is go to Diet Coke rehab. Not really … it’s more just me drinking a lot of water and unsweetened iced teas and trying not to murder people as I ween myself off.

I know a lot of you think Diet Coke is the “healthier choice,” and it is compared to a lot of the other more sugary options … but at the end of the day … it isn’t good for you. One a day? Sure, go for it. But I can’t just have one. Honestly … and this is a judgement free zone … I used to sometimes have six cans of Diet Coke a day :::hides face:::. SIX. Okay shake your shame stick. I deserve it. :::Sigh::: Hence why a Diet Coke addict can’t just have one. I’ll end up passed out surrounded by cans and cans of Diet Coke by the end of the evening.

If you think I’m nuts, let me tell you a little story called, “When I Gave Up Diet Coke In College For Two Weeks.” No lie … I lost 10 pounds. I wasn’t working out … I wasn’t taking diet pills … I literally just stopped drinking soda. But by not drinking soda, I was making healthier choices. Like I said above, certain non-healthy foods just don’t seem appetizing without the saucy little temptress known as Diet Coke.

So right now I’m on Day 3 without Diet Coke. I’m drinking a lot of water and a lot of black tea. I haven’t given up caffeine … I’m not insane. I’m pretty sure I would turn into the Incredible Hulk without caffeine. I almost caved last night … but since none was in my reach I refrained and stuck to water. But overall I feel less bloated, less weighed down. I actually feel lighter … which is a weird, but great, sensation. Only when you stop drinking Diet Coke do you realize how disgusting it truly makes you feel. Also aspartame is kind of the devil. But I’m not about to get all Preachy McPreach on your asses.

My challenge to all you Diet Coke addicts, or soda drinkers in general, is to go cold turkey with me. If you’re up to my challenge, share with me your trials, tribulations and successes! It’s worth seeing what happens, right? And if you turn into the Incredible Hulk and start flipping tables … I’m TOTALLY not to blame … got it?

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Photo credit: http://www.brainwreck.com/lists/874/15-Signs-You-re-a-Diet-Coke-Addict

 

How To Master #IWokeUpLikeThis

.i.10.58 FLAWLESSI’ve been thinking a lot about the post I wrote earlier this month about how I look like a gargoyle when I wake up, and how there is really no way you can pop open your eyes in the morning looking like a fresh and sparkly super model.

Since writing that post, I’ve become violently obsessed with mastering this look. Because dammit I want to roll over in the morning, turn off my alarm, snap a selfie, open Instagram and use the #IWokeUpLikeThis. It’s happening. Anger and frustration can make a woman conquer the world, am I right?

So after a lot of trial and error … A LOT. Like days and days of torturous trials … and then crying myself into a frenzy … then starting back up again … I’ve figured it out, ladies. YES! I’ve. Figured. It. OUT. No longer do you have to sleep over your boyfriends house, set your alarm for 6 a.m. so you can tip-toe to the bathroom and remove the crusty line of drool from your face, sleep in your eyes, and apply a fresh, but not noticeable, layer of makeup … so when your man rolls over, he thinks you’re freaking Heidi Klum.

So here it is! Are you ready?! Follow these simple and flawless steps so you too can use the rare and ellusive hashtag, #IWokeUpLikeThis:

Step 1, 11 p.m.: Before bed, wash makeup off your face and moisturize thoroughly. Place hair in loose bun. Set alarm for midnight. Turn on Netflix and fall peacefully into dreamland.

Step 2, Midnight.: Get out of bed, turn on light and head to where you do your makeup. Apply more moisturizer, and add on toner and under eye cream. Then coat your face with a light foundation. Set alarm for 1 a.m., and let your head hit the pillow … but definitely watch another episode of House of Cards.

Step 3, 1 a.m.: Get out of bed and head back to where you do your makeup. Make sure foundation is in tack, and with a damp washcloth, remove any dried … or fresh … drool from your face, and if necessary apply more foundation. Then lightly dust your face with your bronzer, set your alarm for 2 a.m. and head back to that awesome dream you won’t remember in the morning.

Step 4, 2 a.m-5 a.m.: Repeat step 3 every hour on the hour.

Step 5, 6 a.m.: Get out of bed and head back to where you do your makeup … again. This time, whip out your hair straightener (or whatever tool you use) and start taming the beast. Once that is complete, add some rosy blush to your cheekbones and a touch of mascara … maybe a little eye shadow if you’re feelin’ glamalicious, set your alarm for 7 a.m. and head back to your peaceful night of sleep.

Step 6, 7 a.m.: Roll over. Turn alarm off. Hit camera app. Snap selfie. Open photo in Instagram. Pick filter. Caption photo “#IWokeUpLikeThis”. And go the fuck back to sleep. Drool all over your damn face, smear your mascara. Nothing matters at this point.

And there you have it. See! And I never thought I would EVER wake up not looking like a scary beast. Suck on that, “Yonce.”

 

 

 

Oh and … yeah … APRIL FOOLS! Because we all know I don’t give a shit if I wake up like this:

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