Be The Girl Who Got Away

Do you have a reason to stay or an excuse not to leave?

I’m lucky to have a loyal friend like Kali*. We’ve been friends for just over a year now, and I recently found out that each month she drives 8 hours to upstate New York to the military base her friend lives on to help her out with her baby. The father is a pill-popping cheater who probably wouldn’t know the baby’s middle name if put on the spot. Kali has reasoned with her friend to leave a number of times, but she has excuses to stay. She is married, and they have a child together. We find it easy to look at situations such as hers and shake our heads; but are our decisions really any better? Are we really in the position to pass judgment? Absolutely not, but I hope that is obvious.

I was with Kali last weekend when she found out that her friend was finally ready to leave. We shook our heads in unison, while repeating a phrase we have all said at one point “once a cheater, always a cheater.” The more chances you hand out the less respect your partner will have for you. Your forgiveness will be a given, not a gift. We judge girls who make emotionally weak decisions with a singular phrase, until we are the one with reason to leave who chooses to stay.

Only days after her friend chose to leave her dysfunctional relationship, Kali discovered something about the person she was with. Her boyfriend was also in the military, and at various points while they were together their relationship was classified as “open.” Although they remained mostly monogamous regardless of their label, Kali was honest about when she took advantage of the structure of their relationship. Who hasn’t had a blurry relationship with someone that allowed for the possibility of a guiltless makeout session with a stranger at a bar? Nobody I’m friends with….

Kali expressed concern about a particular girl, a family friend of his, and he immediately shot her down; “It’s Tara, she’s practically family, I would NEVER.” A few days ago, Kali found out “never” actually occurred over Thanksgiving break. She stayed with him throughout the time he spent in Afghanistan, but this was no longer about patience or love, it was a matter of respect. She found out through a blocked phone call, otherwise she might have forever lived in the dark. Kali had given second chances when they were due and deserved, and even when they weren’t. We all compromise our interest in relationships, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we can’t allow someone to get comfortable disrespecting us.

Be the girl who got away. Be the best he ever had who was too good to come back. Don’t be the girl who stayed longer than she should have. Be the girl who makes someone realize how good they had it, not the girl who showed someone how much control they have over a person. Be the girl who is impossible to forget once she’s gone, not the girl who fights battles that she already lost. Choose to be remembered as someone with self-respect, not the girl who sacrificed herself for a lover. Be the girl who gives other girls the strength to leave.

Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean sticking around. Be empathetic, not pathetic. Don’t allow yourself to be the girl everyone keeps a secret from. Don’t be the girl who ignores her gut for a rush. Don’t be the girl who fears leaving more than living in her current circumstance. It’s OK to bask in the glory that is “he wants me back,” but refusing to give someone multiple chances isn’t unfair. An overload of emotions doesn’t equal a love worthy of pain. Be the girl who is doing so well that he feels bad for himself, not the girl who is doing so poorly that he feels bad for her.

If you want him to love you more, walk away. If you want a relationship that is worth being in, walk away. Rarely will your complications sort themselves out. Trust that you know what is worth the fight, what should encourage the flight, and never assume you can change someone. It is an admirable quality to see the good in people, but don’t be the girl who is consistently ignoring the bad. Its okay to love someone unconditionally, but don’t be the girl who stays with someone unconditionally.

Ask yourself:

Do you have a reason to stay or an excuse not to leave?

Alexa Chung for AG

Naturally at Sparkles & Secrets we LOVE professional fashionista Alexa Chung. As a functioning designer denim addict, AG makes some of my favorite pieces (s/o to “the Stilt.”) Yesterday they released a line together and the fashion angels sang, bloggers rushed to get the first AC for AG goods, and I sat and perused my Instagram feed with envy (for the time being.) I’ve chosen to style two pieces my readers might be skeptical about.

One particular piece I was shocked to find myself drooling over was a denim skirt. Although my friend Nicole has been *insisting* that they were making a comeback for nearly a year now, I’ve shut her down time and time again. Nikki, you were right.

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Mara Hoffman crop tank / Black top, $20 / A line skirt / With Love From CA knee-high socks / Sam edelman boots / Charlotte Russe wedges shoes / MARC BY MARC JACOBS leather purse / J.Crew retro circle sunglasses

On the left is how we would style the AC for AG denim skirt for spring/summer and on the right is how we would style it for fall/winter (mild days of course.) Mara Hoffman cropped top, be mine?

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Off shoulder ruffle dress / Manolo Blahnik high heel pumps / Converse shoes / ZAC Zac Posen chain purse / Black knapsack, $38

At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about AC’s “off the shoulder ruffle dress.” Perhaps I was apprehensive about it because I am typically too busty for ruffles– fair? However, after playing around a little bit I think I’ve come up with a couple cute options for the dress– which should be worn in the spring and in milder climates. Light pink Manolo Blahnik heels? Crying because they aren’t in my closet… but I’m into the floral converse as well. The bag on the right is ZAC Zac Posen (a personal favorite,) and on the right a $40 backpack from New Look… but I think they look like they came from the same collection.

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Denim dress / Vans black shoes, $71 / Isaac Mizrahi high heel pumps / Adidas weekender bag / Tory Burch shoulder bag

Probably the most iconic piece in the AC for AG collection is this retro denim dress. The dress makes a vintage statement that shouldn’t be ignored, only built on. Love the idea of wearing this dress with navy heels in order to dress it up a bit, and a fringe bag to solidify the statement. Want to go for a more casual style? Try Vans (or Converse) with a cool floral backpack. This one is Adidas by Stella McCartney… I think the Beatles (the designers Dad is Paul McCartney,) would approve.

 

 

Too Lazy For Love.

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My mother inquires about my love life almost as often as I brush my teeth (which is twice a day on average.) When I attend family gatherings; aunts and cousins wait anxiously to hear about the bustling love life they assume I have in the big city of ~*Boston*~. Whenever I find myself looking at my own Facebook page, the hidden relationship status I set about two years ago insists I update it. Although I sleep like a starfish and prefer frozen meals for one as opposed to cooking for two, it seems the entire world is persistent that I should be in some pre-marriage-material relationship.

I torture myself about a lot of things. There is a constant battle in my head: gym or couch. When I do make it to the gym, I fight with myself on what I should do with my time– sit on the bike and read an outdated Entertainment weekly, or pick shit up and put it down so I can have Jennifer Aniston arms. My career plans are scattered. Do I want a poorly paid hobby, or shall I experience financial freedom on my days off, and slavery on my days on? I have a vague picture of what I want to be when I “grow up,” but despite having a blurry idea of what it takes to get to the top, I lack the patience to make the climb….for now. In addition to these realish-pre-graduate-life-issues, Netflix vs socialization.

While the world seems to think I should have some sort of grasp on who I want to do, I find myself more concerned about where I need to go, what I need to see, and who I want to be. So, I am sincerely sorry if I fail at responding to your texts in a reasonable time frame. It isn’t for lack of interest that I neglect unread messages for hours or days on end. Perhaps I am experiencing relationship fatigue after years of analyzing my romantic experiences for the sake of this blog and my sanity. More than likely, at this point in my life I cannot imagine falling in love. I can appreciate your company, but I cannot commit myself– so why begin the mundane process that is “getting to know someone.” I’m home, but this is transit.

 

It isn’t you, its London, Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, all the places I need to see— and yeah, it’s me.

WHITE for Winter!

 

Alessandra Ambrosio

Alessandra Ambrosio

Celebs strut down the red carpet dressed in all white, breaking fashion rule and taking names. However, every time you try pulling off white jeans you look like you’re seasonally challenged and the words “labor day” can’t seem to be removed from your conscience. Maybe not ALL fashion rules were meant to be broken, but there are ways to pull off typically taboo styles without looking like an alien.

LWD (little white dress:)

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Although it may seem basic, wearing white in the winter is a massive fashion power move– don’t go overboard with the other additions to your outfit. I love these two-tone bags; the top is YSL (tears) and the bottom is Kate Spade (cheers.) The black and white look is chic and can be work 4 seasons, when done correctly. As far as tights go, stick to sheer black. Otherwise, you might end up looking like a black and white cookie (and not hot like Beyonce Grammy’s 2013.)

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Thakoon white dress / MANGO shift dress / Charlotte Russe black sneaker / Maiden Lane black pumps / Kate Spade leather handbag / Yves Saint Laurent leather handbag / House of Harlow 1960 leather neck

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For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a strict rule about winter white; use it as a statement! Treat it as a color and not a neutral like you would come spring time.

  • I’m a little skeptical of the white-on-white thing, but this flannel by Rails (my fav flannel company ever,) works.
  • Please don’t wear white jeans with high boots. Leave that to fashion experts as it is nearly impossible to pull the look off flawlessly.

Rails white top, $190 / Sleeveless top, $14 / Black blazer / J Brand jeans, $275 / Free People bra / Dolce Vita leather boots / Black booties, $30 / Alexander Wang leather tote, $920 / MARC BY MARC JACOBS leather handbag

 

Wear it with confidence, or else you’ll never truly pull it off. Rules were meant to be broken, but not everyone can get away with breaking them.

 

School Girl Inspired

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More often than not I turn to my friends for blogspiration. This week, my friend Rachel expressed a desire to wear oxfords and high socks, but didn’t think she could pull it off. First off– as long as you rock something with confidence, the limitations of fashion become much smaller. In addition to covering the oxfords + high socks combination, I’ve covered a few school girl classics.

High Socks + Oxfords:

oxfords and high socks

As long as you stick to dark or neutral colors, it is almost impossible to get this look wrong. Pair with a skater skirt or a flowy dress (anything floral,) and you have a fall-spring outfit.

With Love From CA knee socks / Nine West socks / ALDO oxford shoes / Charlotte Russe oxford shoes / Kate Spade shoulder bag / Givenchy black handbag, $1,780

Colorful blazers:

blazer style

Purchasing a burgundy blazer is a lot more sensible than you may think. Fashion counterpart: the black skater skirt. Pair with a cream blouse (tights,) a statement necklace and some ballet flats? Work. Unbutton the top a little bit more, swap out the statement necklace for fun earrings, and slide on some heels to take this look from day to night. Option 2: graphic t-shirt, hardware necklace, and badass sneakers for a more edgy look.

Uniqlo holiday top / Chicnova Fashion short sleeve top / Red blazer, $17 / Mini circle skirt, $27 / Tory Burch black flat shoes / Yeswalker platform sneaker / House of Harlow 1960 kohl jewelry / MARC BY MARC JACOBS tie necklace, $175

Plaid skirts:

Plaid Skirt

Perhaps you’ve promised yourself you wouldn’t put a plaid skirt on unless role-playing or dressing as Britney Spears in ‘Baby One More Time’ for Halloween. I hope you reconsider. Wear Converse to make the outfit more casual, or booties for something more refined. Please, don’t forget tights.

River Island black crop top, $15 / Halter top, $190 / VIPARO black jacket, $365 / Red skirt, $20 / Short skirt / Whistles black tight, $18 / Converse canvas sneaker / Black boots, $30 / Ray-ban glasses, $170

Solve Your Jumpsuit Problem

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Thin and 5’8? You’ve won the fashion lottery this decade. The beloved jumpsuit is the ultimate sleek statement, but it is impossible to pull off for many. Seriously, I’ve tried on countless and they are always a major disappointment. Solution? Create your own jumpsuit using the perfect top-bottom combos.

Jumpsuit yourself
Pair a cropped top with a wide-legged trouser (amazing ones from Brandy Melville) for a sophisticated yet sensual look. Body suits are also an ideal component of creating a faux jumpsuit. Black is the easiest color to do this with, but stores like American Apparel make most of their clothing mix-and-matchable. If you don’t already have a bodysuit, AA or Asos are the go-tos. Needed a reason to wear your harem pants in the winter? You now have one. The fringed bag gives the look a hippie feel, especially when paired with wide-legged trousers. The House of Harlow gold chain necklaces adds a badass component to the look.

Style Your Sneakers

One of the most recent & controversial trends of the moment is wearing sneakers with otherwise more dressy outfits. Although it’s easy to double-click an Instagram post of your favorite fashion blogger; implementing the look into your own wardrobe is more complicated…. until now.

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Incorporate sneakers into your lookbook:

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What is more rockstar than a badass fashion statement? Few things. The Rebecca Minkoff “mini mac” bag is the perfect badass statement to pair with high top sneakers that are (surprise) just $30 from Charlotte Russe! The shoes are beyond practical and look chic with a blazer and this Karl Lagerfeld graphic t-shirt.

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Warning: not to be worn until May (unless you live in hotter climates than me, you bitch.) Replace the chucks or gladiators you’d typically wear with boyfriend jeans and try these AMAZING Sam Edelman ones instead! They look perfect paired with a white (or black) t-shirt. Add some accessories statement colors, particularly my favorite 3.1 Philip Lim bag– perfection.

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Tattoo necklaces are very “in” at the moment— why not double up on a trend? The sneakers are Sam Edelman via Nasty Gal the tweed makes them a bit more dressy, right? The bag is Alexander Wang… but I’m sure there are affordable options elsewhere. This particular look was inspired by Pinterest.

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My favorite outfit was (obviously) inspired by my baby girl BadGalRiri. The House of Holland  chambray shirt is beyond amazing, but completely unaffordable. I suggest buying one cheap (at Walmart or a secondhand store) give distressing your own denim a shot! The sneakers are (of course) Sam Edelman. I’m obsessed with the camo print for all four seasons. Match with a plain black beanie and black (leather?) leggings– you’re the baddest bitch