Why. No. The Belt Bag.

Rebranding a fanny pack as a “belt bag” doesn’t make it any less a fanny pack. I love that I’m seeing these crop up all over the place, but to me, they belong on a mom or dad at a theme park. One use and one use alone. And you can bet that I sure as hell won’t drop $1800 bucks for something that will invariably get doused when I go down Splash Mountain.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 4.15.03 PM.png

GG Marmont Velvet Belt Bag – $1,890

Listen, I don’t mind that these are making a comeback from the 80s and early 90s (though it’s been attempted on and off for the past 6 or 7 years, at least, on runways with limited success). What I mind is not calling a spade a spade, and for something to be so on-trend it’s almost useless for daily life. You can fight me on this, but when I have kids, IF I ever elect to wear a FANNY PACK, you can be sure I’ll be proudly rockin’ the Goofy special in some garish neon color, having paid for the Walt Disney tickets with all the money I saved NOT buying these (despite the inarguable stylishness).

September 12 OOTD: Outdoorsy

I just recently returned from spending some time at my in-laws lake house. It’s a bit outside of Yosemite and has a bunch of gorgeous hiking trails, camping spots, and such.

Unfortunately, outdoorsy clothes aren’t exactly cute, are they? I mean, sure there are people that own that ish, but it’s hard to put the outfits together given the just general blah-ness of what we have to work with. So without further ado, here’s a cute outfit for your fall adventures (specifically for mildly cool, not-too-rugged conditions).

Fall Hiking Outfit

TOP: Kuhl Aspira Tank Top – $22.99

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 1.10.49 PM

Breathable and layerable, a good base layer for your trekking!

SWEATSHIRT: Alternative Apparel Athletics Hoodie – $15.24 – $54

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 1.16.48 PM

I love Alternative Apparel – they’re super duper soft, really breathable, and not too confining. This is not a heavy sweatshirt, so you won’t overheat if you are on a tough trail in cool weather. Nothing worse than getting sweaty and picking up a chill…

VEST: Uniqlo Women’s Ultra Light Down Vest – $39.90

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 1.21.48 PM

This is such a great added layer – it scrunches into a tiny-sized carrying case that you can pop into your backpack and pull out as needed. I’d suggest going for a bright color, like red, though this burgundy shade pictured is nice, too.

PANTS: KUT from the Kloth ‘Diana’ Stretch Skinny Jeans – $36.97

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 1.38.49 PM

If you’re not getting super rugged, a pair of jeans with comfortable stretch should do the trick. I’m all about premium denim, but not for an activity like hiking, where I’m almost guaranteed to destroy my pants. If I dropped $180 on jeans that snagged on thorns, I think I’d cry.

BOOTS: Kodiak Surrey II Hiking Boot – $121 – 170

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 1.52.34 PM

Don’t skimp on price for anything that connects you to the ground! Meaning, don’t cheap out on shoes, tires, or your mattress/bed. Seriously – you’ll thank me later. Having destroyed my feet in fast fashion high heels on cobblestones for a few years, I can assure you that the scars aren’t prettier with each year. And particularly with an activity like hiking, you want your shoes to be sturdy and safe. Make sure you break these in sufficiently, and always wear the appropriate socks when hiking!

OTHER (MAYBE ESSENTIAL?) ODDS AND ENDS

 

A Girl Can Dream: Daniela Villegas

I can’t find these earrings in stock, but I’m absolutely in love with them. I love classic and easy pieces, particularly when it comes to clothing – but I really like to indulge myself with funky and crazy jewelry pieces and accessories that can amp things up and really just kind of let my creative side loose.

That said, I don’t love jewelry that will turn my ears green, so indulgent pieces aren’t exactly something I feel great splurging on – I’d rather get jewelry that lasts a long time and is multi-purpose.

But this Jurassic Park 25 collection by Daniela Villegas (an NBC Universal collab to commemorate the film) is something I’m kind of obsessed with. Comparable DV pieces I’ve found online cost thousands, so while I can’t find pricing on these, I know for a fact I can’t afford them. But I’ll lust after them anyway!!

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 7.54.35 PM

Meteoro Earrings

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 8.00.01 PM

Triceratiops Ring

July 31 OOTD: Beach Babe

I’ve recently quit my job, and as of next week will actually have some beach time and an ability to go out into the sunshine during the week. If you look at me, you’d have no idea it was the peak of SoCal summer – I’m so darn pasty.

So, here’s a cute beach outfit that also translates well to a glam pool party — looks super luxe.

A DAY AT THE BEACH

BATHING SUIT: Myraswim Enzo One-Piece in Vanilla – $120 AUD

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 7.08.12 PM

Hi-cut and with a bustier detail to keep the girls looking perky and… less like headlights, this classy white suit is easy peasy lemon squeezy. Pop on a pair of shorts and wear out like a tank top, tight jeans if you’re going beach-to-clubbing, or just a traditional kaftan or cover-up to complete the look.

COVER-UP: ASOS Design Slinky Glam Long Sleeve Plunge Beach Dress in Rust – $51

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 7.23.35 PM

Holy moly, how cute is this dress? I don’t advise blowing a huge budget on cover-ups, though I do think good swim items (specifically bathing suits) are worth the price tag. That said, every cover-up I’ve ever owned has taken a ton of punishment. If I put things on after the beach, light colors get dingy, and it’s difficult to wash items with a lot of beading or embellishment. If I wear things in the sand or poolside, the sand itself is harsh, as well as chlorine and sun – you get regular bleaching punishment. Of course, if you don’t plan to actually go in the water… worry less about what you wear 😉

SHOES: Steve Madden Bandi Platform Wedge – $89.95

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 7.30.38 PM

Cork for sand, easy slope, not much that will chafe… and very Côte d’Azur. You can wear these all day with no pain – the straps are textile, not anything that’ll sweat.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

Enjoy your suntime funtime – I know I will!

July 30 OOTD: Sassy Florals

Sorry for my absence – despite best intentions to post twice a day to get this blog up and running initially, real life called. I’ve quit my job and am tying up loose ends.

That said, what this has meant for me is a deep dive into fashion magazines I’m behind on reading, a schedule for how I will fill my days, and a reinvigorated focus on the things I love and am personally trying to accomplish.

Yield: The Florals. I absolutely love the continued presence of big and bold florals we’re seeing across the board, with Gucci and D&G and others. I was ripping out page after page today from Elle to tuck into my sketchbook because this ish made me SO HAPPY. And this mother-daughter post from one of my favorite Instagram accounts (Mrs B.C.) was so darn cute.

IMG_0807

Elle Magazine… June (?) 2018

But, because most of us don’t have a few K just laying around to spend on Dolce and Gabbana, here’s the hot summer rose look for less.

Casual Floral Outfit for Summer

TOP: Rebecca Taylor Silk Blend Floral Blouse – $129.97

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 1.19.06 PM

Admittedly on the pricier end of the spectrum for a casual outfit, I think the material is worth the splurge. When looking for something that follows a trend, most of the dupe items you find will be polyester, which frankly doesn’t breathe in the dog days of summer. This is cool and breezy.

BOTTOMS: 7 For All Mankind Distressed Denim Skirt in Montreal – $134.99 (or 40% off retail with code – $80.99)

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 1.27.39 PM

I am totally in love with this skirt, and 7FAM jeans are my favorite, by far. This isn’t too short/high, but is youthful enough to be a really good multi-purpose piece – wear to brunch or daytime activities with your boyfriend, or throw on a blazer and sleek blouse and ankle boots for a night at a bar. At the time of prepping this post, there is a 40% off code on Off5th, but these sales are not infrequent – if you miss this, you’ll catch another. Plus, 2% cash back on Ebates.

SHOES: Adidas Cloudfoam Advantage Sneaker – $44.97

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 1.41.41 PM

These Cloudfoams land on my Wardrobe Essentials list. Unbelievably comfortable and versatile as just a general daytime shoe.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

A Girl Can Dream: Luxury Nightwear

This actually is something a little more attainable in my “girl can dream” series of luxury items. Personally, silk nightwear has always been an indulgent fantasy of mine, but I still haven’t copped because I’m just a gross, disgusting sleeper who sweats through everything, and I imagine I’d ruin anything that wasn’t a plain cotton t-shirt quicker than you can say “deodorant.”

However, if you were going to cop, Lunya does washable silk sleepwear that’s super cute. They have silk kits and slips, as well as short pj sets, but I personally have already put these two items on my Christmas wish list with my husband:

WASHABLE SILK PANT SET – $238

Lunya_WashableSilkPantSet_Drift-6

WASHABLE SILK ROBE – $248

Ads_WashableSilk-27

Not quite as out-of-reach, but more out of budget than strictly necessary. But this segment is all about indulgence, right?

July 23 OOTD: The Not-Outdated Powersuit

I think I’ve made my feelings on suits relatively clear – the time of the old-school power suit has passed. Women’s suiting has a long and illustrious history of an attempt to level the playing field between the genders.

a17556f0ec8d60e8c2fcd775fdcb68c5--s-punk-fashion-s-fashion-trends

The 80s power suit in particular, with its gigantic padded shoulders mimicking the broad structured shoulders of Wall Street suits, did a fair amount to visually achieve that goal… and then didn’t progress all that much for 20-30 years. These “modern silhouettes” attempted to liken the genders by, in my opinion, reframing traditional femininity within the outlines of what was perceived to be masculine.*

Unless, of course, they were fetishized.

business-women-2268728_640

*Note that the trend toward androgyny in attire is, at least to my mind, a completely different and intention in fashion, something to reclaim pieces and fashion as “neither-nor”  as a concept when gendering attire, rather than “either-or” and forcing women to choose the latter in order to play with the boys. Own that androgynous style – just recognize the difference and nuance between the motivations of why these styles are worn.

The reality is that we don’t live in a world anymore that sees being womanly or feminine as a weakness – we don’t need to necessarily have to have linebacker shoulders to be taken as seriously as men. Being female is a power in and of itself, and not one that’s sexualized or fetishized – it’s about perfect comfort in ones own skin, in one’s own clothing, and accounting for the sexism behind the office thermostat.

That said, we’re hitting summer sale season. It’s a good time to stock up on your transitional suiting pieces.

THREE SALE SUITING SUGGESTIONS TO HOP ON RIGHT NOW:

#1- THE PRICEY: Theory Sculpted Chevron Jacket and Theory Adbell K Chevron Stretch Pants – Nordstrom Anniversary Sale total: $514.80

Yes, I know this is pricey. This viscose and wool set is the highest end of the price spectrum I’ll suggest today. The chevron print is both timeless and youthful, and these pieces can liven up an outfit when worn either together or separately – plus, I love a good mandarin-style collar. Good suits, with fine cut, cost money, but they should last years. Consider the amortized costs to decide if this is worth it for you.

#2- THE MODERATE: WHBM All-Season Peplum Jacket ($150) and Essential Slim-Crop Pants ($89)

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 7.59.32 PM

Super tailored to accentuate the positive, with some unusual detailing to draw away from the strictly-classic structure. The crops would be good for transitional seasons.

#3- THE ULTRA AFFORDABLE: Zara Cape Jacket ($99.90) and Flared Pants ($69.90)

2761045800_1_1_1

I love capes! Zara is pretty fast fashion, but with an item as on-trend as a cape, it’s tough to beat the price… plus, no uncomfortable shoulder-pulling from your sleeves, and an easy piece to use/transition into evening wear!

#4- ULTRA AFFORDABLE AND PRONE TO SALES: Nine West Kiss-Front Blazer and Flare-Hem Skirt – $168

9856487_fpx

With some added frill detail on the skirt and a notched collar / kiss-front closure, the set pictured here is such a dressed up version of a classic. And Macy’s frequently has sales (48 hour, etc.), and offers up to 12% cash back via Ebates.

Happy suiting!

July 20 OOTD: Brunch with Friends (under $150)

Look cute and stay cool for a mimosa brunch out with your girls this summer! Better yet, all these pieces are super affordable and effortless.

OOTD WHEN YOU’RE DRESSING TO EFFORTLESSLY IMPRESS YOUR GIRLS AT BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH:

TOP: Laundry by Shelli Segal Ruffled V-Neck Blouse – $29.99

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 10.26.43 PM

Easy and not fussy, the slight lace ruffle detail on this gives it some added panache and takes it out of simple t-shirt territory.

BOTTOMS: Tahari ASL Flora Striped Tiered Shorts – $27.50 (with last call’s 50% sale)

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 10.06.24 PM

Confession: I’ve always loved skorts. And this piece isn’t quite a skort, but it’s close. Gives a little oomph to an otherwise simple stay-cool outfit. Plus, it’s slightly naval-themed and beachy, perfect for sipping some champ at a beachside venue in Malibu. Side note: get Ebates. At the time I’m writing this, LastCall has 9% cash back!

SHOES: Ugg Elena Platform Wedge Sandals – $79.97

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 10.44.02 PM

Classic UGGs might be hideous (albeit comfy) but they really do craft a great shoe – every pair of heels, booties, and such that I’ve bought from UGG have been excellent and lasted me quite a long time. These wedges in particular are super cute – with a gentle slope, you won’t lose your step after a bottomless Sunday.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

Happy brunching!

Shopping Therapy: The Psychology of Stuff – Part 1

All opinions are my own, and I’m not at all a psychologist or any sort of expert — in fact, I’m wholly unqualified to express this opinion (but express it, I will). This piece is simply a very unofficial exploration of an idea.

“Our relationship with stuff starts early,” says Christian Jarrett in an August 2013 edition of The Psychologist, a publication of The British Psychological Society. “The idea we can own something something… is one that children grasp by the age of two. And by six, they exhibit the ‘endowment effect,’ placing extra value on an object simply by virtue of it being, or having been, theirs.” Moreover, this fosters the beginning of what appears to be cyclical mentality: children place extra value on what is there, but “With ownership comes envy. When youngsters play with friends, they soon discover other people’s toys they’d like to get their hands on.”

Cute Snuggle Teddy Bear Young Joy Girl Kids

Women’s (and Men’s) fashion and lifestyle magazines carefully nurture and cultivate this mindset of envy that has been fostered from youth. You need to get this new Prada bag. You need to find the latest floral trend. Fanny packs are out, but belt bags (a wholly different product altogether) are the next big thing – so get your Gucci one now before the trend is done.

All of these things are geared to make you feel as though you’re not good enough, not stylish enough, not cool enough unless you have the next big thing that your neighbor can, in turn, envy. I’m guilty of this too, of course– I begged my husband for years for a Burberry trench, and asked for a Louis Vuitton Keepall for our first wedding anniversary. I have eagerly devoured subscriptions to Elle and Vogue that I don’t even remember signing up for (nor do I think I pay for- it might be magic). One of my greatest pleasures is pulling out one of the 49 initial pages of ads and sketching new colored frocks and imagining purchasing a $4,500 skirt for no reason whatsoever and wondering why Kendall Jenner is so popular.

But the reality is… this is just stuff. As an affirmed shopping lover, I also am well aware that my love of things is both a sense of expression and a lodestone. The more you collect, the more options you have to mix and match your style, but… the more room you have taken up in your home. If you’re a luxury buyer, you can probably walk into your closet and realize you’re sitting on the mortgage for your house. And slowly, as our closets grow and we outgrow our space because we don’t let go, we begin to verge dangerously on a hoarding mentality.

Jarrett argues that this is correlated to self-esteem: “our things embody our sense of self-hood and identity.” He suggests that “how much we see our things as extensions of ourselves may depend in part in how confident we feel about who we are.”

More than that, for some, acquiring things goes beyond simple self-esteem. We’ve heard of shopping addiction, also known as compulsive buying disorder. This is a repetitive behavioral addiction characterized by a circuit of behaviors: a feeling of anxiety or arousal when thinking about shopping, an urge to shop/buy, relief when purchasing, and subsequent guilt. These behaviors mimic a drug addiction, causing the sufferer to spiral into cravings, disregarding the adverse effects of giving in to these urges.

16034903779_2076e11d28_z

Per Addiction.com, “someone who is a compulsive shopper becomes psychologically dependent on thoughts of shopping, the process of shopping, and the euphoric (or trance-like) feeling that comes from buying. For some, spending sprees temporarily quell difficult feelings of inadequacy, poor self-esteem, anxiety and/or stress.” As someone who admits to liking shopping too much, I get it. I truly understand how easy it is to try to fill a hole, emotionally or spiritually, with stuff in an attempt to keep up with the Joneses and feel better about oneself.

Please don’t judge me too hard for referencing Goop, but despite Gwyneth’s endorsement of “Jade Eggs for your Yoni” (NSFW) and her love of steaming her vagine, the site also has some really accessible and smart lifestyle tips that make the few sillier (and disproportionately newsworthy) suggestions worthwhile. There are a number of articles on Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method, and one post in particular that implements some of these lessons into minimizing your closet. “Very few of us,” it reads, “have the necessary hard heart to part with items that often have sentimental value– or worse, cost a lot of money, yet still carry their tags with the promise of a ‘some day’ outfit.”

Succinct and concise, I can’t think of a better way to put our emotional attachment to things, and specifically the things in our closet. The prospect of “what if” (What if I need this in the future? What if one day this style comes back? What if I want pass along this battered-to-hell Coach bag with no real value off to my children?) keeps capitalism hale and healthy and brings another generation into disposable fashion habits. Let me tell you a secret: you don’t need this stuff.

I know it seems a bit hypocritical that I’ve started a shopping and style advice blog, and am advising you not to buy too much. I’m hopeful that you’ll see repetition in my suggestions, and that you’ll take my advice on ways to shop for items as frugally as possible. I hope that you see the amortized value of a few quality pieces as more worthwhile than lost of fast fashion.

If_You_Don't_Need_It_Don't_Buy_It

Check out this sweet Canadian wartime propaganda poster! Still applies today.

I hope that waiting to finalize a purchase becomes a part of your process. I hope that the waiting period has the same intended effect as Brady Laws, that require gun buyers to wait to purchase a guns in hopes of avoiding more crimes of passion– consider this a time to avoid crimes of fashion. Sorry, was that tasteless? But seriously, think about everything before you compulsively buy.

So, how does one enjoy shopping without developing a dependence on stuff for self esteem or instant gratification? How does one avoid becoming a hoarder? What’s the smart way to shop?

…I’m totally the cliffhanging jerk that tells you that Part 2 of this post will be published this time tomorrow.

 

July 19 OOTD: Work-to-Date Double Duty

The Proposal was a solid rom com. I mean, I barely remember more than the initial premise (though I can’t suspend my disbelief about Ryan Reynolds being a secretly rich publishing assistant-slave, which, to be blunt is absurd– the only thing comparable to killing oneself as an entertainment assistant is being a publishing assistant, and I don’t recommend these career choices for anyone who’s not passionate. Live off the trust fund, Ry Bear, trust me).

Um, segue, sorry. I barely remember more than the premise, as I said, but god knows I remember Sandra Bullock owning the SHIT out of a tight black pencil skirt that hit just below her knees, with a blazer fitted to perfection. Oh my god and strutting around in those pencil thin stilettos- for some reason this outfit, with bitch-boss Bullock, struck me so hard as one of the sexiest outfits I’ve ever seen, and it jarred me.

I hadn’t previously ever thought of a power suit as sexy… just something to level the playing field with the men. But suddenly, power suit had a whole new meaning- it owned Bullock’s femininity in a way that, I felt, gave her an advantage. I never advocate dressing for a man (or woman or non-binary identifying partner- I love everyone here!), but I DO advocate wearing something that makes you feel gorgeous, powerful, and incapable in walking in any other way but a confident strut. And yes, that translates well to a hot date after work.

OUTFIT TO GO FROM DESK TO DRINKS

TOP: EVERLANE SILK V-NECK CAMI, WHITE – $65

A really utilitarian piece, the material adds a touch of luxury to your outfit and makes it appropriate for a nighttime rendezvous. Tuck this into your skirt, with a gentle overhang, if possible. It will control the flutter of the hem.

BOTTOM: WEEKEND MAX MARA APLINO PENCIL SKIRT – $165

This viscose skirt basically fulfills my Sandra fantasy. It’s a little pricey but this is another versatile piece that works just as well for court or Chinese food with the boo. Imagine this with virtually any button up, or with a silk one- shoulder blouse with a bow flourish for a cocktail party… you get the point. I usually wear mine a day or two after I do a squat circuit at the gym- my butt rarely looks different but I feel like flauntin’ after all that work.

SHOES: HALSTON HERITAGE RITA SUEDE STRAPPY PUMP – $95.40

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 11.34.58 PM

Love this shoe in either pink or black! Retails for $159 at LastCall.com, but pretty frequently discounted (like now) for 40% off, plus 9% cash back from Ebates. Sexy but office appropriate.

BLAZER: BCBGENERATION WOMEN’S TUXEDO BLAZER – $52 — $118

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 12.39.43 AM

Revisiting this blazer! Wonderfully versatile and the cut is unusual enough that it doesn’t look too plain. Pull it off and bare your shoulders for your date! I’d suggest the rose quartz color for this outfit.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

REMEMBER: Balm or gloss, not messy lipstick for that first kiss!