Is it just me or has anyone else realized that dresses are one trick ponies? That’s right, I’m calling out dresses- lowbrow brilliant or highbrow despicable, you be the judge. Either way, you can’t deny the fact that dresses have a default modus operandi, and that is to plainly exist as one outfit encapsulated by one item. Despite your efforts to deter a dress from merely clothing your body, even the best accessorizing and layering tactics can’t always breath new life into a simple dress. Not to vilify the garment more than I already have but can we talk about how finding a dress that perfectly fits your upper and lower body simultaneously can be considered a near impossible feat on par with finding the perfect pair of jeans?
Now that I have officially rendered myself a curmudgeon harping on about the monotony of dresses, allow me to wax poetic on my new favorite spring trend: matching separates. Offering the duality of division and union, matching separates allows for endless outfit opportunities. As the name of the trend suggests, the pieces have the ability to be worn in perfect harmony, hiding in plain sight as a dress. But if it should strike your fancy that you would much rather wear the top with white jeans this evening and the bottoms with a white oxford tomorrow, you have the pleasure of doing so! No longer do you have to bisect your favorite dresses to grant yourself multiple outfit options, only to stitch the halves back together again the next week (if you have actually taken scissors to your dresses to dissemble them- talk to me, you sound fascinating). And another added bonus- by donning this trend, you are now one step closer to becoming Solange Knowles, so congratulations! A round of matching separates on me!
Mint Organza Matching Separates, pixiemarket.com
Neon Lace Match Set, pixiemarket.com
Island Dream Skirt Set, pixiemarket.com
Brushstrokes Matching Separates, pixiemarket.com
True Blue Matching Separates, pixiemarket.com
ASOS Reclaimed Vintage Pink Hawaiian set, asos.com
Girls on Film Blue Lace set, asos.com
ASOS Premium Knitted Foil Print, asos.com
ASOS Reclaimed Vintage Floral Set, asos.com
Featured image via InStyle.com
Consider the blue jeans. Since their humble beginnings in San Francisco nearly 250 years ago as part of the working man’s uniform, jeans have certainly come a long way, baby. As one of the most trusted and frequently donned item in any man, woman or child’s wardrobe, this beloved style of pants has clothed millions of people, been worn by princes and paupers alike, and inspired artists to create odes in its name. Not only has this garment transcended the trends of countless seasons, but it has also managed to remain the lifeblood of American fashion. There ain’t nothing more American than the stars and stripes, the bald eagle, and a pair of tried and true jeans- except of course for a pair of tried and true jeans made in the good old US of A.
Introducing Industry Standard: the newest need-to-know denim brand. Not since the days of Levi Strauss has there been more buzz about jeans made in America. Designed in New York and made in Los Angeles, Industry Standard is serving up classic and chic silhouettes available in indigo and black washes, as well as offering mid and high rise styles. With pairs starting at $95, you can look like you got it going on and not break the bank while simultaneously being an upright American citizen. Your boyfriend will like how you look, your dad will be proud of you, and you will have more money in your wallet to spend on some summertime beers. Ain’t nothing more American than a win-win-win.
Image via industrystandardny.com
You don’t need a degree in psychology to figure out that based on last week’s post on my inability to commit to minimalism, I also suffer from C.O.P.S., also known as chronic overpacking syndrome. Again, it arises primarily due to my reprehensible worrying tendencies, rendering me useless when it comes to effectively and efficiently packing for even a simple overnight trip. I am THAT person who shows up for a weekend stay at your home with enough baggage that you might assume I am actually moving in. I tend to pack enough outfit choices to adequately clothe Daenerys Targaryen’s army, along with my entire arsenal of beauty products. Having bountiful outfit options allows me the freedom to re-imagine the preconceived ensembles that I will inevitably eschew once I have arrived at my destination. Lugging around the entire counters of my bathroom drawer has proven to be a necessary evil as my skin and hair are creatures of habit and without their daily regimens in tact, they will lash out in the form of breakouts and untamable frizz.
With an upcoming four day trip to Chicago planned for later this week, I have yet to begin packing, thus providing me the opportunity to remedy my propensity to overpack. The volatile weather slated for the latter part of the week combined with my travel companion/boyfriend enforcing a strict carry-on luggage only policy means that this trip will provide a few experimental parameters to test my packing capabilities. While my travel preparation style is typically improvisational due chiefly to the fact I am a terrible procrastinator and usually ready my suitcase only hours before departing, I am going to make a sincere effort to pare down the nonessentials. Here’s my anticipated* shortlist of must-haves for the trip.
*Subject to change due to weather forecast and/or this writer’s fickleness.
Wish me luck, and if anyone has any sage wisdom regarding traveling with one lone valise, please enlighten me because I could use all the help I can get.
PAIGE DENIM Skyline skinny jeans, nordstrom.com
J.CREW Perfect-fit tee, jcrew.com
NEW BALANCE 515 sneakers, newbalance.com
VC SIGNATURE Camoya Laser-Cut Espadrille, neimanmarcus.com
H&M quilted jacket, hm.com
ZARA printed crop top, zara.com
Featured image via Luckymag.com.
In my wildest dreams, I would be a minimalist. I would live in a home free of piles of unopened mail, magazines stacked high on the floor, and heaps of clothing would not be draped over all available surfaces of my bedroom. My wardrobe would be finely curated with only necessary yet classic pieces with the ability to translate from season to season- it would be so effortlessly chic as shit à la Céline. Makeup and skincare too would be simplified as in this idealized imagination of this lifestyle, I would only require moisturizer and lip balm to look simply gorgeous. And of course as a mark of having achieved true minimalism, I would become one of those women who could successfully leave the house for the day with all of my belongings neatly stored in a tiny purse.
I am in awe of women who have the ability to pack their daily essentials into miniature bags. As someone who schleps around a giant Longchamp tote on the daily that is brimming over with makeup supplies, sunglasses and eyeglasses and other random objects, I am in fact envious of these women with their skillful levels of refinement that allows them to be at peace with the fact that they are armed for whatever the day may bring with only a debit card and an iPhone placed in their clutch. I often wonder how do these women get by without carrying around what I consider to be essential accoutrements:
- Tide to Go for early morning coffee spills
- multiple writing utensils because a) pens are useful and b) I just like pens
- four different kinds of chapstick that I use depending on my mood
- tampons even when I’m not expecting my period because I feel some sort of social responsibility to be that woman who has a tampon in case any other female in a five mile radius finds herself a victim of unexpected menstruation
- snacks and a good book to stave off hunger/boredom- my current favorites are almonds and the Divergent trilogy
I’ll blame it on my persistence to be a worrywart since childhood that I feel the need to lug around everything and anything that may help to alleviate any minor disaster that I could potentially encounter throughout my day. Unfortunately for me and my shoulders, I do not see an end in sight to my tote-filled days because even if I could get over my anxious hangups regarding stains and surprise periods, I would still require a bag large enough to accommodate the hefty hardcover young adult novels that I am currently reading- Divergent haters to the left. So in the spirit of dreaming a little dream- sorry, can never resist a pun- here’s to the best of the bitty bags. Let me know if you too carry about everything but the kitchen sink so that we can unite over our shoulder pain, and if you’re one of those rare breeds with the ability to edit your essentials, teach me your ways!
JASON WU Daphne 2 clutch, nordstrom.com
VALENTINO Gryphon Fringe Leather Clutch, nordstrom.com
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN De Manta Feather Print Silk Clutch, nordstrom.com
ZAC ZAC POSEN Posen clutch, nordstrom.com
RIVER ISLAND Orange Lasercut clutch, asos.com
TONYA HAWKES Aqua clutch, farfetch.com
CHARLOTTE OLYMPIA Gummy Bear clutch, farfetch.com
OLYMPIA LE-TAN Caviar clutch, farfetch.com
CLARE V geometric print canvas clutch, netaporter.com
Featured image via Vogue.com
When I was a sophomore in high school, I found a pair of vintage tortoiseshell Ray Ban Wayfarers in a tree knothole and for the next six years, I embraced this particular silhouette as my go to choice for summertime eyewear. When my hidden treasure sunglasses irreparably broke one summer and my dismal collegiate budget could not swing splurging on another authentic pair of Ray Bans that I would actually have to purchase this time around, I resorted to buying cheap $10 pairs of knockoff wayfarers from Urban Outfitters. Bearing an exact likeness to their inspiration apart from the trademark Ray Ban logo on the lens, these bootleg sunglasses allowed me much needed freedom- I would let friends borrow them, I did not care if I forgot them at the park, I did not cry out in grief when the two year old I babysat for sat on them. Their commonness and modest price point provided a sense of comfort and ease for a broke and accident-prone college student like myself, as I could always placate myself with the knowledge that finding an identical pair for a couple of bucks was never a difficult task.
After years of loyalty though, my eyewear desires shifted and now the classicalness and simplicity of the silhouette bored me and I began to seek out shades with more eccentric details. I figured if I wanted to make a fashion statement, I might as well project said statement from my face so that I could bewilder, delight and at times horrify, those around me with my optical opinions. I think it’s time we all took a page out of the Elton John handbook on life and started embracing all the zany and wild sunglasses the world has to offer, and I’m sure Elton would agree with me when I say that the world looks better through the lens of crazy sunglasses. Click through the below selection and tell me which shades I can see you donning this summer, my fellow Elton-ites.
LE SPECS + CRAIG & KARL Roundabout round-frame acetate sunglasses, netaporter.com
ANNA-KARIN KARLSSON Tropical Swarovski crystal-embellished D-frame acetate sunglasses, netaporter.com
ASOS oversized metal sunglasses, asos.com
KAREN WALKER Super Worship Black & Gold sunglasses, karenwalker.com
H&M sunglasses, hm.com
QUAY Fleur sunglasses, asos.com
LINDA FARROW BY AGENT PROVOCATEUR ‘Want Me’ sunglasses, farfetch.com
PIXIE MARKET White Lace Heart sunglasses, pixiemarket.com
KAREN WALKER Intergalactic sunglasses, matchesfashion.com
If you have to ask who is the man in the featured image, I don’t know if we can be friends.
At the tender age of seven, my favorite outfit was an ensemble of well-worn and well-loved overalls, clogs, a backwards baseball cap, and a chartreuse t-shirt that said “GIRL POWER” in azure and yellow block letters. This was 1990s after all people and I was deep into the aforementioned feminist movement made popular by the Spice Girls. Shit, I even remember the exact day Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls (May 30 1998) and that I was wearing a lilac gingham dress and thought my young world was crashing down around me. As that old lyric goes, it was the day that music died, or so a seven year old little shit like me so naively thought.
Now over a decade later with the livelihood of music intact, Karen Marie Ørsted, better known by her stage name Mø, brings us a worthy cover of “Say You’ll Be There” that I hope will receive enough airplay that the current generation of easily-influenced seven year old girls will christen it their new anthem and the banners of Girl Power will once again be raised.
We all know those tired old sayings that dismiss the potential of metamorphosis- people don’t change, a leopard doesn’t change its spots, a zebra doesn’t change its stripes, etc. While there may be some degree of truth to these philosophies and we could belabor the issue of people and their ability to change or lack thereof but my concerns relate primarily to striped shirts. I know, riveting. But consider the conventional striped shirt and its relative lack of transformation- its aesthetics remain remarkably unchanged due to a) inability to become noticeably different, unless it becomes spotted rather striped, and b) our reluctance to change it due to the ease and access of striped shirts.
Every closet should possess a striped shirt- be it a t-shirt, a oxford, a blouse- because like jeans and the color black, they are always à la mode. The one strike against stripes is that as one of the more common prints for the past thousand years or so, stripes can, at times, seem rather trite and conventional. How can we really blame it on stripes for their apparent banality though when such vivid printmasters like Mary Katrantzou, House of Holland, and Peter Pilotto (all of the aforementioned designers hail from England- is London the mecca for printlovers? More on that later) can offer us stunning graphic prints that leave little old stripes feeling only fit enough to outfit prisoners? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing that I love more than print- when asked what was my favorite color to wear and I typically say that for me, color is secondary to print in most cases- but there is something to be said for the skillfulness of stripes, offering both simplicity and style. The trick in utilizing stripes lies in departing from the norm and adopting bolder versions of the simple striped shirt in order for this tried and true print to regain a sense of newness. Click through the slideshow and see if you pick up what I am putting down.
And yes, it is fair to say that this may be my open love letter to stripes, and yes I did buy two striped shirts this weekend, what of it.