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April 25th: Find The Perfect Date Look

Everyone knows April 25th is the perfect date, because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket. But not everyone knows what to wear on said perfect date, until now.

finally dress weather

7/10 guys say a girl is hottest in a sundress, 3 times out of 10 guys prefer yoga pants. Go figure. Chances are, when you’re on a date you aren’t wearing your Lululemons (and if you are i’m glad you found this blog you needed me), so we’ll take the dress route.

Dresses

Alice + Olivia dress / Theres something very timeless about a fitted striped dress, but also very “modern.” Although some of us have a chronic fear of horizontal stripes, I assure you they are sliming when the strips are thin themselves.

Christian Louboutin heels & pumps / On your average day I’d choose Choo over Loub, but this turquoise pump stuns with the red back. I’m not suggesting turquoise heels people– I’m specifically suggesting THESE heels.

Topshop baby doll dress / Even skeptics of the denim dress have to admit if anyone can do it, it’s Topshop. I love this little dress because of the lightness of the fabric.

Topshop penny loafer shoes / Loafers are all the rage at the moment, likely due to The Blonde Salad’s CEO Chiara Ferragni’s obsession with Prada’s. Most of us can’t drop $900 for much other than rent, these are amazing. 

Short sleeve dress $24 / Everyone needs a floral dress, and what floral prints are in change every year. This year, it’s all about simplicity when it comes to florals (unless we’re talking tropical prints).

Manolo Blahnik pointed toe flat / First off– half price– secondly, ballet flats are equally acceptable, if not more than, heels on a first date. Pointed toes elongate, and bright colors set you apart– please don’t look like a Mom on a cruise ship.

the smaller the bag, the less maintenance.

Guys hate girls they consider “high maintenance.” Although they should be counting their blessings that we take care of ourselves, “excess” means being late for parties and being impossible to Christmas shop for. It makes sense. So while sometimes I’d like to wear my Rebecca Minkoff Large MAB, realistically I could use it to pack for a long weekend.

 

bag

Rebecca Minkoff satchel handbag// the perfect bag for a dinner or lunch date. As long as you don’t expect to go on a hike or a night out on the town, this bag is amazing. The color is subtle and will therefore work well with other colors. #pastel4president
ZAC Zac Posen zac posen handbag// I love Z Spoke, especially since I own one of his bags that I truly believe is indestructible. This bag is perfect for any occasion, from a wedding to casual drinks at a dive bar. It also looks similar to the Chloe “Drew” Bag (but not knock-off close.)
J Crew leather purse//  I have to give it to J Crew, they make amazing leather goods that are severely underrated. I love this bucket bag (a big style for the spring) and can truly picture myself wearing it for years.

that loose light jacket

 

Coats I love

 


River Island moto jacket, $89 / this coat is perfect for transitioning from day to night, and season to season. I picture this jacket with boyfriend jeans in the spring, with ripped jean shorts and a white t-shirt in the summer,  and with tight dark skinnies and booties in the fall. Moto jackets are also incredibly flattering.
J Crew jean jacket $128 / much like anything J Crew does, this jacket has a very slim chance at going out of style in this century. Pair flawlessly with a sundress, or an all black attire.
Boohoo white jacket $52 / something about fringe really excites me. I feel like its such a great statement piece for a reasonable price. Amazing with light washed destroyed denim and a white tank.
Parka London brown jacket, $165 / when I think of this style I imagine striped dresses and/or light jeans and white tanks. I don’t know if I’ve got enough light washed skinnies, but I’m on the lookout.
Hope you all enjoy your month, and have a great date on April 25th.
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The Cutest Shoes: The LEAST Expected Place

Between Target and Old Navy, this summer’s cutest shoe styles are completely covered. I’m as surprised as you are, but for even less than your designated budget, you’ll be able to get shoes cuter than you normally would be able to afford! Confused, very confused, but very, very impressed.

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shop old navy shoes

Target:

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Shop target shoes

Sure, it hasn’t been the sunniest day. Look forward, and I’m about to check out my Old Navy shopping bag.

Shaping your face: Cream Contouring & Demo

Hello all, it’s Nicole! Let’s talk about contouring, highlighting, bronzing, all that crazy stuff Pinterest tells you to do:

Contouring color: Typically a cool toned color leaning toward the taupe/grey side

Highlighting color: Typically 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation to highlight the high points of your face. Powders can be matte or have a glow.

Bronzing color: Typically 2 shades darker than your foundation and a warmer tone

Fun fact: You can do whatever the hell you want. Don’t let the contour police come after you (trust me, they’re out there…wander over to the beauty blogging world and beauty vloggers and check the comments). Makeup is supposed to be fun and it’s about doing what looks best on you. Guidelines are great for a start but you need to do what works best for your skin.

This is my personal routine:

Cream Contouring 1

I started with my normal foundation, CoverGirl Ready, Set Gorgeous in 105. You can read more about it here.

Cream Contouring 2

The peach concealer under my eyes is to cancel the purple. It is Maybelline Dream Lumi in Radiant. Around the areas I get red and down the center of my nose is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla. Personally, I feel like highlighting is to let your natural features shine. You do not need the full Kim K “triangle” under your eyes for everyday but it’s good for events/photos.

Cream Contouring 3

I dot a cream *gasp* bronzer into the hallows of my cheeks, around my forehead, and sides of my nose, then blend with a damp beauty blender. I take the excess under my jawline to balance.

Cream Contouring 4

Finally, I add the NYX cream blush in Natural. If I want to feel extra glam, I also add Benefit’s High Beam on the top of my cheekbones for some more highlight.

Finishing touches: Add the rest of your makeup. Now, you have two ways you can choose to set all of those cream products (something you want to do so they don’t go sliding around). You could do a light dusting of translucent powder all over or you could go over with like-colored products for a more intense, long-lasting look.

Key Products for Contouring & Highlighting

Here are all of the products I mentioned, as well as the powder products I use to set. If you want to contour/highlight with just powders, then apply all of the same steps above with the powder products, same formula. Remember, blending is key.

What are your favorite products?

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High-Low: Not The Hem.

Whats the best way to make something inexpensive from a fast-fashion chain like H&M look expensive? One way is to pair it with something that actually is. I wore this light-pink H&M blazer ($25) with one of my favorite J Brand tanks ($150 via Intermix), Blank NYC Skinny Jeans ($80 via Lit Boutique), London Royal shoes (sold out) and Club Monaco bag (via Fashion Project)

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Anyways— you don’t have to get my exact look to wear the outfit. I picked out some similar choices from Topshop!

 

My look

 

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The New Age of Fashion.

Social media was once widely referred to as the deterioration of traditional communication. By 2015, the belief that the virtual and physical worlds hold equal importance in our society has become a universally accepted concept. Just as Pinterest has eliminated our need for cookbooks and Google is the new 411; Instagram has cancelled our magazine subscriptions.

High-end brand literacy is rapidly increasing. Charlotte Russe’s shoe section resembles that of New York’s Canal Street, with studded flats nearly identical to the iconic Valentino originals. This winter, Forever 21 sold handbags that were blatantly aimed to replicate the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel. Even contemporary designers feed into the imitation game. Botkier bags, which sell for $300 on average, look suspiciously similar to Balenciaga classics.

Thanks to Paris Hilton, In the early 2000’s the entire world seemed to be sporting faux mini Louis Vuitton bags and velvet tracksuits. If someone’s lounge-wear were Juicy Couture, or their trucker hat authentic Von Dutch, their social status would increase. History repeats itself, but it can be difficult to see a pattern when its a Canada Goose patch that represents the elite, and not an outfit that would have appeared on MTV Cribs.

In the past, mass-marketed trends have lasted for years. With social media, an article of clothing or accessory can easily become an overnight sensation. Tattoo choker necklaces similar to those we wore during our childhoods became immensely popular this winter. While the nostalgic tribute was fun for a few months, the rebirth of “normcore” wasn’t particularly sustainable. During Paris fashion week this year, the “it” item was a $2.4k Saint Laurent suede fringe skirt. The most successful fashion bloggers certainly have the financial capacity to invest and the swag (for lack of a better word) to pull off the style without looking like Pocahontas.

Just as we dismissed Dooney and Bourke and Coach from our wardrobes, we’ve begun to do the same with the comparable Kate Spade and Tory Burch. The lifespan of contemporary brands depends on the rapid speed they reach the mainstream. In just a few years, Michael by Michael Kors became the unofficial uniform of the “basic white girl”; a term coined on the internet. Marc Jacob’s decision to terminate his Marc by Marc Jacobs line indicates that designers are aware of the negative impact widely accessible products can have on a brand. Jacobs told WWD that he never meant for Marc by Marc to be the “impoverished little sister” of his signature collection, but perhaps he feared becoming the next Michael Kors.

Growing up I firmly believed that an impressive sense of style was to be able to dress exceptionally well without overspending. I disregarded certain girls as fashionistas due to the unlimited spending allowance allotted by their parents and shoplifting habits I knew to be true. Speaking of which, LF stores should really improve their security system.  Over the years we’ve built a society of entitlement by categorizing high power bloggers as the voices of the people instead of the celebrities they have become. One of the most successful fashion bloggers, Chiara Ferragni, has millions of followers on Instagram and enough Chanel mini bags to host a flagship store in her closet. She also keeps vacation t-shirts and wears them 10 years later; brilliant seeing as she is creating her own vintage.

The pace at which trends are being recycled is astonishing. What has already been considered “in for spring” is already out, and there is still snow on the ground in Boston. It is absolutely impossible to dress like your favorite blogger without a AMEX black card. But there is an upside, a huge one— there has never been a better time for personal style.

Editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour, considers “trend” to be a dirty word. Only buy the “it” bag if you think you’ll love it even when nobody else does. Choose the pair of jeans that fit you at your normalist, not when you’re on a coffee and stress diet, nor when you’ve abandoned your gym membership. Let your clothes speak for your personality and not your finances. The iconic Hermes Birkin bag was named after a french woman named Jane who carried a wicker basket as her signature accessory.


Would you rather hangout with the spectacular women who inspired the bag, or Kim Kardashian, who has it in every color?

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About Me in 2073

*Inspired by last week’s Man Repeller’s writers club prompt*

Movie tickets are discounted, theres always an excuse for eating lunch early and the limitations of the fashion rules cease to exists. Someones always offering you a chair, worried that you may be in need of a cardigan and willing to adjust the thermostat for your comfort. I refuse to believe my prime was at 18 in a tight bandage dress carrying a fake ID. My dormant clothes person is thriving at 80.

I always wanted to wear silk in my early twenties, but I couldn’t afford the drycleaning. Now I wear Escada. I always mix my metals, pair navy with black, and wear denim on denim (even during off seasons.) When I take walks on the beach, I wear white linen Calypso St. Barth clothing. When I do speaking events, I wear tweed St. John skirt suits.

My hair is experiencing its long awaited moment. I directed my stylist to cut it in a way that permits me to have a faux hawk. I dyed it silver, which seemed more controlled than letting myself go grey. I don’t miss brushing my hair. My blush is brighter than ever and my mascara clumpy and over-applied.

My sunglasses cover most of my face, usually tortoise shell, often cat-eyed. I wear Elie Saab couture gowns to my doctors appointments and floor length fur coats to the grocery store. I have a diamond ring on every finger, but lost my orthopedic shoe virginity a long time ago.

I have so many leather capes and velvet embellished dresses that my grandkids speculate I might be a witch. I named my corgi Rhiannon. I wear my Birkin to bingo and go to church for the coffee hour gossip. I’m atrocious at knitting but excellent at sudoku.

I drive an alarmingly bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle. I believe cheetah print is always relevant and wear Birkenstocks no matter what you fashion people say. I hum show tunes and watch Days of Our Lives. My shoulders are largely-padded and I wear multiple strands of pearls casually. I was personally responsible for the revival of velour sweatsuits.

I’m somewhere in between utterly insane and a delightful sensation. I will make a conscious effort to remove any stray facial hair, but my manicure will be historically chipped. I snack on craisins and when I drop them in the couch cushions I don’t fish them out. All the while I’m draped in feather boas, flirting with my son-in-law, and throwing back martinis. Life is too short to remember anyone’s name.

Dormant Clothes Person

Illustrated by Elizabeth Ruby <3

(featured image from advancedstyle.blogspot.com)

 

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Is there ever an excuse not to tip?

It’s not uncommon to see a photo taken of a tip-less check go viral on the Internet. Typically the server that posted it gets featured on Ellen and receives $20,000 to pay her debt. Often time these stories are inspiring, tear jerking, and typically anger-inducing. Who has the right NOT to tip? Sure, its internationally absurd that servers make less than minimum wage and are forced to rely on tips as means of income. On the other hand, could it be said that some servers feel they are entitled to the 20% tip. After all, their livelihood is in the hands of the customer, and they should recognize the significance of making a reasonable living.

My mother was a waitress when I was young, and both of my sisters serve at our family’s restaurant during summer break. I understand how challenging the job can be, how rude customers can be towards servers, and how a tip-less bill can send someone into tears.  I have friends who have worked at “tourist trap” restaurants in Boston, many of them express disarray about international guests who are unfamiliar of American cultural norms— or at least they pretend to be. I myself work at the front desk at a hotel, I’m well aware of how difficult mankind can be at times.

BUT there have been a few occasions where I was extremely tempted not to tip, and it wasn’t for lack of impression— ever. I would never “dine and ditch” and I would NEVER go out to eat without the financial means to tip 20%. I don’t respect those who do.

Today I went to brunch and my food was awesome, we sat outside in perfect weather, my bloody Mary was strong. The only problem was I didn’t leave thinking about how awesome my steak and eggs were, I was pissed off that I had to tip our waitress.

Great food. Perfect atmosphere. Strong drink. And all I could think about was how annoyed I was by our server! She was in her early twenties, just like my friends and I, and she seemed completely disinterested and annoyed at our existence. I felt as though I was burdening her by eating at the restaurant. She rolled her eyes, let our drinks sit for 10 minutes (seriously) on the bar before giving them to us. It took 15-20 minutes on average to get drinks served, and the small restaurant wasn’t even half full. She didn’t smile, nor did she apologize for the delay.

I understand that its difficult to work under short-staffed situations, and perhaps she was new! I know what its like to be new. A servers job is to be polite and accommodating. I’m not saying that there aren’t challenging aspects to the job— customer service jobs can be exhausting. I believe transparency is under-valued. If there were insinuating circumstances that negatively influenced our experience, it would have been nice if she told us. It is no big deal to say “sorry the bar is really backed up, it might be a couple extra minutes!” Most people are going to understand completely. It is another thing to give someone a watery drink after they’ve finished their food and are clearly trying to leave the restaurant, 20 minutes after they ordered it, with no explanation.

Of course there have been a number of times where I have frustrated guests. There are miscommunications and unfortunate situations that are not always possible to avoid. Some people are definitely ridiculously challenging and borderline batshit crazy. I get into at least one argument a day with someone staying at the hotel I work at whose mind works in ways I simply cannot fathom. People are sometimes mean, dysfunctional, disorganized, and unable to vocalize their needs. This isn’t that.

An average server deserves the 20% we plan to spend on a tip prior to even arriving at the restaurant. A slightly-below-average server deserves the 20% we plan to spend on a tip prior to even arriving at the restaurant. But where do we draw the line? When you find yourself leaving a restaurant pissed at how poorly you were treated? Fortunately I think its a pretty rare situation, but when it does happen, its hard to know what to do about it. People have bad days, but I was having a good one until I met my server. Her service was essentially a middle finger to the group I was with; negligent, rude, and slow. I didn’t feel any better knowing I tipped only 15%.

So serious question, world. Do situations exist that validate not tipping the server? Is everyone entitled to the 20%? I don’t believe our server was out to get us, but I know if her service were a tangible product– I would have returned it.