Modern Romantic

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"On your request, I compile a list of my top five resolutions for this year"

I do menswear in a colorful, feminine way because that's just how I roll. A tophat and vintage vest (which I pinned a bow to) could come off as super masculine with jeans and no accessories. However, a flirty mini skirt, some purple lipstick, and turquoise pieces all lend their girly touches to the look. The coat is from Chadwick's and the boots are from Delias, both of which I've had forever and I still wear sometimes when I am home. It's strange when you absolutely adore an article of clothing and wear it so much you get sick of it, but then re-visit it years later and love it all over again!

This was my last outfit of the day of 2014! Thanks so much for reading my blog this year, everybody. I appreciate every one of you. Have a lovely end to your vacation and celebrate!







Photography: Mr. Tripod

Outfit Highlights: Dress from Target and coat by Chadwick's

Style Tips: It's not even just feminine touches like skirts and bows that keep a menswear look girly, but also color! Yes, guys can wear color also but most don't choose bright turquoise.

Song of the Day: "My Year In Lists!" by Los Campesinos!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"One seems to hear words of good cheer from ev'rywhere filling the air!"

I took a little vacation from blogging, not deliberately, because despite getting the flu shot, I came down with the flu a few days before Christmas. Luckily it was a shorter term than it could have been and though it certainly didn't feel like it at the time, my symptoms could have been worse as well. Some of our festivities like Christmas Eve dinner and church were halted for me, as well as blogging for a bit.

Anyway, now I can finally have a truly nice break for my last couple weeks at home, and blog some more! This is an old shirt dress that I got at a peculiar bargain store that used to exist in the town next to ours. I love that it evokes Carolina Herrera without the price tag. I styled it with heels and a belt, folding up the cuffs and popping the collar to make it look a bit 1940's. I used to wear this to class in high school, and now I realize how ridiculous and dressy I must have looked. I was definitely destined to live in a city when I grew up with how much I loved to dress up and how I had no where in particular but biology class to go in the clothes.






Photography: Mr. Tripod

Outfit Highlights: A dress and bag that imitate Carolina Herrera and Chanel without footing the bill

Style Tip: Lots of shirt dresses are super short and hang flat. I love a fancier one like this with a fuller skirt! Keep it classy.

Song of the Day: "Carol of the Bells" by Penatonix 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"With scarves of red tied 'round their throats, to keep their little heads from falling in the snow"

I'm excited to be home for a nice, long, relaxing winter break! My neighbor and friend Devin took these photos in her yard in Connecticut with her adorable dog, Gigi running about. Gigi has been featured before on the blog, actually, in 2013! While she disappears into the white snow a little bit, she makes these photos extra sweet and special. I was inspired by the beautiful Clean White Love music video for Lisa Mitchell's song, white has beautifully faded graphics with bright pops of red accessories including red rainboots. Red rainboots make everything more exciting. Enjoy these simple and fun photos and have a wonderful start to your holiday! 








Photography: Devin Karbowicz

Outfit Highlight: Adorable red rainboots from a shoe tore in the garment district

Style Tip: Pops of red in the white snow are so much fun in wintertime!

Song of the Day: "White Winter Hymnal" by The Fleet Foxes

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NEW VIDEO: My NYC bedroom tour and organization tips!


I live in Queens in NYC and have finally finished decorating my new(ish) beroom that I moved into this past summer! I actually haven't had my own room since before I was in college at my parent's house, because sharing saved so much money. But now that I am happily settled in my own space I am here to show you around and provide some advice on organizing a small bedroom for fellow city dwellers, especially if you have lots of clothing and accessories. Let me know if you have any questions on where I specially got anything in my room! 

PS- Sorry for the weird voice. I had a cold!

PSS- Did you like/comment subscribe? Thanks for watching!









Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you"

There are some items of clothing that I could just never part with. One of them happens to be this wool, plaid jumper that my mother made for me in high school. It's so classic and perfect for fall or winter whether I pair it with socks, leggings, or tights. If you don't happen to sew or have a mother who does but are on the hunt for the perfect jumper among the season's sales, choose one with a dark, wearable print that is still interesting. It will be a piece in your closet that you'll gravitate to often but won't quite be a wardrobe staple so you can afford to make it a bit unique. 

I paired this jumper with a gauzy, thin shirt. I absolutely love the look of blouses under heavier-weight dresses. It evokes Marsha Brady in the best way possible! I wore it with socks and sandals which is a trend that I adore if it's done right. A strappy heeled sandal with a dark colored sock is perfect for sunny fall weather. You probably have some socks and sandals in your own wardrobe already that you could pair together!  






Photography: Alexandra Blair

Outfit Highlights: Jumper by Beth L. S. Wilson, shoes by Steve Madden, and bag by Nine West

Style Tip: Tie a scarf on your everyday handbag to personalize it. You can change it up depending on your look! 

Song of the Day: "Cecilia and the Satelitte" by Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Caroline Design: DIY Peter Pan Collar Necklace Tutorial


Hey there! I filmed a really fun and easy new tutorial for you on how to make a collar necklace. It's perfect for the holidays because you can make one to match your outfit for a party, or give them as presents. I recommend using leather or a somewhat thick, sturdy plastic for the necklace and ribbon or chain for the other part. You can find these supplies at your local craft and fabric stores. Check the upholstery sections for the leather and plastic! 

The round peter pan collar shape is what I used and my pattern piece is below, but you can of course create your own (perhaps a pointy one evoking the 1970's?) if you like! You will need a few simple jewelry tools to make this as well as the actual necklace materials of your choice. Make sure you have jewelry pliers and a leather hole punch (which also goes through plastic and similar materials), and you could also use a wire cutter, a large needle, clear glue or nail polish, and markers which I explain in the video. I encourage you to be creative and add extra buttons or trims! Use any material you can think of that you or someone else might like for a present. Have fun and don't forget to tell people that you made it! 

PS- I dubbed the video for the first time which I honestly thought was easier and neater. Did you like this result or me speaking while working better?


Thursday, December 4, 2014

"It was hidden in the fall, waiting on love to call"

I love scarves but sometimes forget to throw them on to accessorize my look, especially when my jewelry is in such a visible place in my bedroom, right under my mirror. However, I've put my scarves on a rack on the back of my door so that when I'm exiting I remember! I love how many ways there are to wear a scarf, and if you have any ones on the larger side, this is a really fun way to make it the centerpiece of your look.

This particular scarf was from a store in Chinatown, San Francisco and caught my eye though on a shelf and folded in plastic wrapping. I thought it was a bigger wrap or kimono style piece (even though I was in a Chinese not Japanese neighborhood, you never know) which gave me the idea to wear it in a way that evoked one. It has a beautiful design with peacocks and birds on it, and wearing it open and on my shoulders really allows this beauty to be seen, as well as emphasizing the fringe. I added a small cameo brooch to hold it together. What's fun about wearing a scarf in this way is that you could do it in so many ways, not just as a Japanese Kimono meets Victorian-inspired look like mine is.







Photography: Alexandra Blair

Outfit Highlights: Scarf from Chinatown, San Francisco, pants by Marc by Marc Jacobs, and boots by Blackstone

Style Tip: I love my black leather ankle boots by Blackstone. Invest in a nice flat pair that can carry you through all activities in the wintertime. Heeled ankle boots should be when you go more expressive with the style or color, since you'll probably wear them less if they're mostly for going out at night. Don't forgot to get them water proofed or spray them with a water resistant solution!


Song of the Day: "Thunder Clatter" by Wild Cub

Monday, December 1, 2014

"But you know old time, the tired one, class historian."

I had the fabulous experience of shooting with a new photographer over the weekend, Alexandra Blair of the amazing and inspirational photography website, 999lives.com. I love to collaborate with other creative minds, exchanging new ideas. Nothing gets your mind working than when others challenge you to think outside the box, whether it be in photography, art, writing, music, or whatever your chosen form of expression is. 

This series of photos was taken in Bushwick, Brooklyn. There is no other place in the city with graffiti like what Bushwick has to offer, now that "Five Pointz" is shut down. I joked that this colorful, industrial city scene would be funny to shoot in front of with a ladylike look. Alexandra encouraged me to do so, noting the color similarities to the look with her fabulous eye.

I paired this sparkly, vintage gold dress with Steve Madden shoes and a purple fascinator that my sister made me for my 23rd birthday. I can't believe that I haven't properly blogged it sooner. She did such a fabulous job making the tiny plaid hat on the headband with the purple tulle on top! 







Photography: Alexandra Blair

Style Tips: Fascinators are an easy way to give an ode to the past without going too over the top with your look. You could wear them to a somewhat dressed up party or if you ever do a tea party with friends! Who thinks Ashley should do a tutorial on how to make a fascinator for you guys?

Outfit Highlights: Handmade fascinator by Ashley Laurel and Steve Madden shoes

Song of the Day: "Class Historian" by Bronco

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"I'm just thinking of the right words to say. I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be."

My post with my little blue sequin clubbing dress has somehow landed on my blog a day before one of the most wholesome, family-centered holidays, Thanksgiving! Anyway, buying this cute little number was an honest mistake. I was waiting to meet a friend until she got off of work a few weeks ago near union square, and the next thing I knew I was in the Burlington Coat Factory. It totally wasn't planned, I swear. I honestly don't go shopping that much: it is just widely know that I have a clothing obsession so people give me many free items and I also make things or alter old pieces. 

However, once in a while it is always lovely to find myself on a rare shopping occasion when I am not working or looking for something specific. On this day I discovered that Burlington Coat Factory has more than just the awesome discounts on quality brand coats that it's known for (practically all my coats are from a Burlington in Connecticut), it also has tons of cute, cheap dresses! I love places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx which are simply goldmines for fabulous discount pieces, so it was a great surprise to find how great the clothing other than the coats are at Burlington. I highly recommend looking there the next time you are looking to score a deal on a cocktail dress, name brand or not! 







Photography: Benjamin Benson

Outfit Highlights: Dress from Burlington and shoes by Seychelles

Style Tip: Don't be afraid to mix a heavy shoe with a little dress. It's very "in" and gives your look an edge.

Song of the Day: "The Promise" by When in Rome

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Fountains and fluorescent lights, the season has come..."

I spent the weekend visiting one of my best and oldest friends who's a children's librarian in Pennsylvania. It's so nice to regularly get out of the city, especially if you love nature and cute towns! She took me to Peddler's Village, which is somewhat near the town she lives in outside of Philadelphia. We went Christmas shopping, got food, and visited the gingerbread house competition. There was also a festival of lights in the village with the trees and shops lit up! I definitely recommend visiting the village any time of year if you are in the area.

I love Pennsylvania and have decided that I want a house there someday for weekends, vacations, and times when I'm not working between shows. It's such a great location and has the beautiful countryside as well as adorable villages and towns. Perhaps that will happen someday down the line but I'm getting ahead of myself as usual with dreams.

I wore my beloved purple plaid wool coat that I made in college and matched my hat, tights and overnight bag to it. Purple is a fun, yet suitable color for the fall and winter time as it is a great in-between for warm and cool hue choices. I also wore my new black leather Blundstones, which are so wearable yet cute, classic pieces. A basic pair of black, flat booties is the perfect cool weather addition to anyones closet, especially since they can rock them with denim shorts at a summer event! My black velvet scarf with purple and blue accents is from my trip to San Francisco, from a store in Chinatown and pairs nicely with a multitude of looks. It's reminiscent of a velvet, fringe kimono style piece but is less bold.




















Photography: Jen Embree, Alexandra Nasto, and myself

Outfit Highlights: Purple is the way to go for a cool weather color that's still exciting!

Style Tip: A fedora or wide-brim hat will cover up some of your messy, wavy hair that you don't have time to style. 

Song of the Day: Snowbirds and Townies by Further Seems Forever