Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Cop Lights, Flash Lights Spotlights, Strobe Lights Street Lights"

This will be my last post until the New Year! I'll be taking a little break and getting the blog ready for new things in 2014. Until then, I'll leave you with a New Year's Eve-friendly post. Keep your look classy and elegant to stand out. Too many people go overboard to finish off their last night of the year. If you're going to wear a sequin dress, like so many do, then let that be your outfit's focus and add one statement accessory to the piece. I adore snake-inspired jewelry, like this arm band that can be wrapped around and around. Its' head magnetizes to the rest of its' body so it fits anyone! I actually wore this piece to prom my senior year with a Grecian goddess-inspired gown. I can't recommend enough that you be careful with what you discard, and that you really do consider wearing old pieces in new ways! 

I hope you have a holiday full of blessings with family and friends, whatever you chose to celebrate, and I wish you a happy and fashionable New Year! 

Photography: Ben Benson

Outfit Highlights: Forever21 Sequin Dress

Style Tip: Don't be afraid to shop at discount stores for dresses you'll only wear for a few hours, at a time...a few times in your life! We all have a budget.

Song of the day: "All of the Lights" by Kanye West, featuring Kid Cudi and Rihanna

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"Olden Times and Ancient Rhymes Of Love and Dreams to Share"

While I'd have to say Halloween is my favorite Holiday, Christmastime is not far behind. There's nothing like curling up by the fire with your family, with a hot chocolate in hand all while wrapped in your favorite blanket. Well, what if that blanket ventured into the great outdoors, as a  poncho of sorts? I love the idea of belting a blanket over a sweater as an inventive and chic option to keep warm. This red and navy blanket was a present that my dad brought me back from Scotland on a business trip. I wore it with neutrals to keep my outfit classic. A pale brown sweater, brown boots, a brown belt, and my mother's vintage brown leather clutch will always look fantastic with plaid and jeans.

I took these photos while on Thanksgiving break in Connecticut with my best friend Devin's white puppy named Gigi. With the adorable Gigi by my side, I felt like I was in a cross between a Downton Abbey episode where they go hunting, and a Ralph Lauren Advertisement.

Photography : Devin Karbowicz

Puppy: Gigi Karbowicz 

Style Tip: You can never ever go wrong with neutrals and a beautiful, basic plaid. 

Outfit highlights: Scottish Wool Blanket and Vintage Riding Belt 

Song of the Day: "Christmastime is Here", the Peanuts Gang Holiday song which is my favorite. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of..."

It doesn't get much more 'New York City' than this look! Incorporating black, glitz, and a yellow taxi cab into this post makes me feel like I live here more than ever because those elements are so quintessentially NYC. Sometimes, I still feel like this city is some far away place I have yet to reach, because I've either gotten used to living here, or because New York is portrayed so much differently (more glamorously!) in television and film. But then, it hits me, and I realize that I do indeed live, work, and love it here. I know that I'm incredibly lucky to have moved here at 21-years-old, about a year-and-a-half ago, and wish that everyone had the chance to follow their dreams too.

Photography: Benjamin Benson

Outfit highlights: Anna Sui Rouge Ring in color number 67 and Naturalizer two-tone flats.

Style Tip: Yes, I wear shoes from my mom's catalogs, or the more "comfy", "older" section at the department stores sometimes. Take care of your feet if you walk or stand a lot! Wear those $15 magenta sequin Forever21 heels that you only wear four times a year out on a Friday night. You're going to take a cab anyway, right?

Song of the Day: "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z, featuring Alicia Keys.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"I Gathered My Thoughts and Set Out On A Trail..."

As I do these blogs, I realize my style hasn't changed a ton since perhaps high school. I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but it sure makes it easier for me! Over time, I have slowly accumulated a lot of clothing and still re-wear it years later in new ways or with newer pieces.

This particular look is something I did, or would have worn in high school and it still really feels like 'me'. My outfit is an understated bohemian look made up of some vintage and hand-me-down pieces. My mom's old skirt (surprised?) works great belted as a dress with its a matching paisley print head scarf. Paisley is a type of pattern I swear that I will never tire of. When I'm missing nature and want to feel a bit more earthy in the busy city streets, I'll put on a look like this one and head to the park!

Photography: Ben Benson

Outfit Highlights: My grandma's eagle necklace and my Minnetonka Moccasin fringe booties. 

Style Tip: Wearing old clothes in new ways, like a skirt belted as a dress or with new accessories makes your wardrobe more exciting!

Song of the Day: "They All Surrounded Me" by Eisley

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"Now My Heart Is Returned to Sister Winter"

One of my favorite parts about cooler weather is the textures of the season. I love fabrics like velvet, corduroy, and leather and you can certainly pile them on in fall and winter. It should be no surprise to you by now that my mother made this cropped velvet swing coat for me when I was in high school. It was probably a little too fancy for me to wear through the halls of my public Connecticut school back then, but I didn't care. I like how it has such a romantic, old feel to it. This whole look is Victorian-inspired, with a little punk attitude to it. You could also make a comparison to the great Karl Lagerfeld's style.

When it's a bit more mild outside, I jump at the chance to wear a lighter jacket, or a cropped coat with gloves like this look. I went to school at The University of Wisconsin-Madison before my senior year program at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and let me tell you, there weren't really warm winter days. It's been nice to live in the Mid Atlantic with milder weather. I enjoy many parts of winter, but by March I tire of the cold, so it's great to have sporadic warmer days!

Photography by Ben Benson

Outfit Highlights: A handmade (by my mom) velvet cropped jacket and green corduroy Uniqlo pants. 

Style Tip: Weather influences fashion oh so much. Check the weather so that you can jump on the more mild days and use your wintery but lighter outerwear!

Song of the Day: "Sister Winter" by Sufjan Stevens

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Spent a Week in a Dusty Library, Waiting For Some Words to Jump at Me"

This dress and the matching socks are part of my absolute favorite look from the Fall 2013 Anna Sui collection. I would highly recommend looking at her entire gorgeous line for the season. It's 1960's France-inspired, focusing on Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina as muses. This dress is interesting to me because it reminds me of the stone patterns you might see on an adorable European house, and the color accents are reminiscent of the French flag. I paired it with matching light brown sandals and didn't wear any jewelry to keep the rest of the look simple. 

I had the great privilege of interning at Anna Sui's fashion house in the design department my last semester of college while studying at FIT. It was a dream come true to experience the world of fashion in my favorite designer's studio and see the entire design process. For a few months this past summer I also worked at her beautiful SoHo boutique when I was right out of college and beginning to get into the freelance costume/wardrobe industry. If you don't already know why, Anna is my favorite because of her amazing ability to interpret culture, and history in a modern, wearable yet unique way. Plus she has the best runway soundtrack around, so what's not to love? 

Photography: Benjamin Benson

Outfit Tip: Don't ever be afraid to match accessories to your clothes. It's more interesting and fun in this day in age than people think, what with all of the mismatching going on.

Outfit highlights: Anna Sui Fall 2013 dress and matching socks. 

Song of the Day: "French Navy" by Camera Obscura

Bonus photo: My sister and I with Anna Sui at her in-store party (SoHo, NYC) this past September to celebrate her Spring 2014 collection and her new make-up products.

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Get Your Leather, Leather, Leather On"

I believe that when you wear an outfit that is mostly neutral, you should have the right about of pizzaz with it. That's why the little details of this look are so important to make it unique. A black leather jacket should be really wearable so it can be paired with almost anything in your closet, but a special touch like subtle studs and quilting make it a little more fun. My mom's vintage black leather boots are really different because they don't have a thick sole and hit my leg at a point that I don't see on a lot of shoes in stores. Keep your eye out for a pair of vintage ones with their own interesting design elements. They'll add a lot to your look and be a statement piece. 

I wouldn't define my everyday style as anything close to punk, dark, or fierce so when I wear a leather jacket and lace-up boots I add an air of sweetness. A bright, eye-catching heart purse and a girly, floaty dress underneath gives me the femininity that makes me feel like me. Skirts at knee-length or slightly below are popular for the fall and winter season, and I layered this sheer one with an actual black slip underneath. 

Photography by Ben Benson

Style Tip: Sometimes you can reverse your dresses! I find that a lot of the vintage dresses I buy have buttons down the back, but I can also wear them frontwards depending on how the collar situation is set up. This one is totally reversible because the collar is two completely different pieces on each side.

Outfit Highlights: My heart suede purse from H&M is the show stealer, and I must note that I was excited to see Zooey Deschanel's character Jess in New Girl wearing the same one in black. 

Song of the Day: "Zero" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"I Want To Thank You..."

 The fantastic thing about jewel tones is you can wear them all year round, to any occasion. A jewel tone is just a very saturated color that resembles a gemstone, so anyone can find a few that look good on them. This silky tunic consists of jewel tones from all over the color wheel, but I picked the vivid blue and purple to highlight with my scarf and bag because they're such basic, easy to wear colors. I love mixing prints, so I enjoyed pairing this purple scarf with its organic print with the paisley of my tunic. Adding a leather bag with an imprinted design adds another subtle print to the mix. 

Jewel tones are always great during the holidays because they add so much beautiful color, but aren't too bright or distracting. I find that they tend to make one's hair and skin look great and are always a good choice for family Christmas photos. Whatever you choose to wear this season, I wish you all a great Thanksgiving. Let the holidays begin!

Photography by Ben Benson

Style Tip: Wear jewel tones in your holiday family photo!

Outfit Highlights: Steve Madden suede flats that are oh so comfortable, and a thrifted silky tunic.

Song: "Thank You" by Dido

Monday, November 25, 2013

"I Get Carried Away"

Autumn is my favorite season because of the gorgeous warm earthly tones in nature. I love the reds, oranges, and yellows that appear in the trees (and I also love the season's occasions like Fashion Week, Halloween, my birthday, and Thanksgiving). Though many of the trees are already bare, I like to think I'm keeping the spirit of fall alive with an outfit like this. After all, winter doesn't officially hit until December 21. 

On one hand, this look is really seasonal, and on the other it's a bit retro. A vintage hat and dress paired with a leather jacket and tall boots evoke one of the best time period's, the 1970's. It's okay to get a bit carried away with color, I always do. Mustards, golds, and yellows are my favorite color family and I am a sucker for colored tights. It's still important to pick a neutral like light brown to keep the look grounded and tie it together. However, there's nothing that will stop me from buying some bright sunflowers to match my dress...

Photography: Ben Benson

Outfit Highlights: Vintage Dress and my friend's Dooney and Bourke bag. 

Style Tip: One word: color. When it gets cold, and you're feeling down because the sky is gray and it's getting dark so early, stick to cheerful hues to keep your spirits up.

Song of the Day: "Carried Away" by Passion Pit

Friday, November 22, 2013

"I've Got The Eye Of The Tiger, a Fighter, Dancing Through The Fire"

You don't see me in black very often, but when I do wear it, I feel like a powerful New Yorker. Even though I don't have an office job, I'll play pretend in this look and find an excuse to wear it. A black tuxedo dress can go from influential business woman by day, to social butterfly at cocktail hour by night. 

This Ann Taylor piece was a dress in the front with shorts in the back, like a skort-dress if there is such a thing. I took some seams out and altered it into just a dress. I highly recommend tuxedo-inspired pieces for the season, because styles taken from menswear can still be so feminine when they fit your shape well. The satin accents on the buttons, the pockets, and of course the lapels make it dressy yet professional. It goes perfectly with a vintage bag and some oxfords. If you look successful and feel successful, I truly believe that it will help you play the part. Watch out for this girl all in black taking over New York City, because you're gonna hear her roar! 

 Photography: Ben Benson

Outfit Highlights: Altered Ann Taylor tuxedo "skort-dress" to a dress, and vintage bag.

Tip: When you're going to wear all black, make sure your hardware stays continuous, as in all one shade for a classic and neat look. I chose gold accents for this look. 

Song of the Day: "Roar" by Katy Perry

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Andy Warhol, Silver Screen, Can't Tell Them Apart At All"

The way music, fashion, art, and history meld together is something that fascinates me and makes me so happy. Andy Warhol has always been one of my inspirations in life. I enjoy his art, and the art and music scenes he was a part of during his career. Though his soup can pieces are a little bit cliche these days, I still can't help but love them. Once in design school, I decided it would be a good idea to make a skirt out of real Campbell's soup labels. After eating a lot of Chicken Noodle Soup, since I preferred that kind to the classic Tomato, I sewed them onto clear plastic vinyl. I was excited to find this more wearable option from Uniqlo's Warhol collaboration. The sleeveless dress I am wearing is actually an extra large shirt that I belted.

This outfit obviously screams 1960's, and the moped and French-style beret make it a little bit European. I also paired the look with bright red lipstick, cat's eye sunglasses, and black, leather boots. I can't tell you how hard it is to find a plain and simple boot these days. Department stores are the place I would recommend you to go to for the broadest range of options when you are looking for a specific item. So many have bells and whistles though, like buckles or studs which honestly come off as tacky a lot of the time. These boots are Corso Como, which makes many shoes that I approve of. They also fit your leg well if it is slim at the calf. There's a time and place for chic and crazy shoes, but sometime a girl just needs a mod, fitted, black leather boot to pair with her colorful Andy Warhol look!

Photography: Ben Benson

Style Tip: Mix it up! Wear an oversize top as a dress, or tuck a dress into a skirt for a new closet option. 

Outfit Highlights: Uniqlo cotton top worn as a dress and Corso Como black leather boots

Song of the Day: "Andy Warhol" by David Bowie

Monday, November 18, 2013

"I Had The Best Day With You, Today"

 I just turned 23-years-old last Monday and as a freelancer, I had the wonderful opportunity to go home with my boyfriend for a few weekdays to see my family and celebrate. My birthday is on Veterans Day, which I am always proud to share with such commendable Americans. 

My special gift from my mother this year was a handmade shirt and skirt made from materials from Mood Fabrics, and a matching necklace. This look is almost the complete opposite of the last one, but just reflects another aspect of my personality. If you couldn't tell already, I enjoy dressing in a lot of different styles. My outfit inspirations depend on my mood and my feelings, and what I have read, seen, or watched lately. It's hard for me to comprehend how people can easily sum up their personal style in a couple words or why they would want to. Your personal style doesn't have to be limited at all, and shouldn't be in my opinion. 

Though I can't give you the place to buy this look unless you place a special order with the designer, I do recommend the vintage-inspired online retailer Modcloth. If you love color and quirky, unique clothing like I do, it is the place for you!

Photography: Ben Martini

Outfit Tip: Don't be afraid to mix unusual colors together like coral and mustard. My mother asked me to pick out two fabrics that I liked from Mood Fabrics a few months ago, and without knowing it, I picked out my birthday fabrics! I didn't know that she would use them together, but it totally works. 

Outfit Highlights: A birthday top and dress made by my mother with fabric from Mood. 

Song of the Day: "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift

Friday, November 15, 2013

"I've Got That Summertime, Summertime Sadness"

Although New York City is one of my favorite places in the nation, I've always been fond of California as well. This time my look was inspired by the laid back, cool vibe of the West Coast, as well as the color scheme of its blue-green waters and yellow sands. 

During dreary winter or fall days, us New Yorkers are allowed to get a little bit of "summertime sadness" as we miss our picnics and outdoor concerts. As much as I love wearing my tights, boots, and scarves and experiencing the seasons of New England, a couple of months into 2014 I will be longing for warmer weather again. Let's just say, I will be more than ready to visit my sister in San Francisco! 

My look consists of a Tobi suede motorcycle jacket and Anna Sui for Hugh Puppies suede booties that are a modern contrast to my vintage psychedelic purse and hand-me-down 90's high-waisted denim shorts. I'm also wearing a marvelous turquoise leather ring from my sister. Grab a couple items from your closet that you would never think of pairing together, and you may surprise yourself. 

Photography: Ben Benson

Style tip: When you miss warm weather, try to work some cheery, California hues into your look even if you're wearing wools or layering with tights.

Outfit highlights: Vintage purse and shorts, Tobi zip-up motorcycle jacket, and Anna Sui for Hush Puppies lace-up booties

Song of the day: "Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey