Death by Elocution-Inspired

The simplest outfits are often the best outfits. It’s hard to keep this in mind when whatever is trending is the opposite of simple, but when I look back at outfits that I’ve worn and felt really good in, the uncomplicated ones come to mind first.

That being said, Death by Elocution has been a major source of not just style inspiration, but wardrobe editing as of late. Her account is a great reminder that, if the cut is good on you and the fabric is high quality, you don’t need all of the bells and whistles of trend pieces.

Who or what is your style inspiration these days?

Eat Here: Ink

Food is an amazing thing. It can bring back powerful memories, it can make friends out of total strangers, it can make you happy (or sad – like when I burn popcorn), and those are just a few of the everyday things that food can do (I’m not going to get into the larger socio-economic implications, this isn’t that kind of blog). The bottom line is that there is really no limit to the power of food.

As a lover of food, an aspiring foodie of sorts, the type of person who will not let herself say that she does not like a food or a flavor or a texture if she has not tried it, I realized that it was completely erroneous that I was not including my dining experiences on the blog. Now, since I can get pretty passionate about these things (I can go on for hours about my love of Trader Joe’s creamy toscano syrah-soaked cheese), I’m going to do my best to just give you the skinny on these places. Since I’m still me, I’m also going to tell you about the dress code. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to hear more about or any details you’d like me to add to these posts.

Restaurant: ink

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Chef: Michael Voltaggio (he’s also the owner and the winner of season six of Top Chef)

Cuisine: New American (emphasis on the New, very cool stuff going on here)

What I Wore: Patterned Amanda Uprichard dress, black GAP moto jacket, black tights, black Rosegold booties, See by Chloe cross-body bag, Personalized pendant necklace, Ross Simons open triangle stud earrings.

Was I Dressed Appropriately: Yes. Since ink has a very cool vibe you can definitely go with a more casual look than I did, but you need to put some effort in. Another couple arrived at the same time as us and the woman was wearing light jeans, a white shirt, and a pale pink Louis Vuitton Louise bag. So I’d say the attire can run anywhere from date-night to off-duty model.

What We Ate: V and I agreed that this meal was one of the top three of our all-time favorites. Our waitress recommended ordering anywhere from 5-7 small plates to share and so we went with the following six:

  1. japanese scallop, soy-cured papaya, fermented chili, basil
  2. smoked hamachi, cherry peppers, px vinegar, crispy onions
  3. beef tartare, hearts of palm, sea bean chimichurri, horseradish, rye
  4. egg yolk gnocchi, mushroom brown butter, hen of the woods
  5. pasta paella, truffle coulis
  6. pork shoulder, mustard tofu, beets, toasted garlic

The ‘Oh My Word’ Order: The idea of the ‘Oh My Word’ Order is probably pretty obvious, but in case it’s only clear in my strange mind, I’ll clarify – this is going to be the one item that had my eyes rolling back in my head. Keep in mind that in this instance, every single item we ordered was worthy of that distinction, but I’m going to pick the egg yolk gnocchi. Mushrooms can be a real deterrent for me – if white button or crimini are involved in a dish you can most definitely count me out – but Hen of the Wood is fancy and delicious and I seriously contemplated licking the bowl before they took it away (that’s a compliment in some cultures, right?). The flavors and textures of this dish were just so completely on point that my mouth is literally watering thinking about it. Oh. My. Word.

What We Drank: V had one of the house cocktails with gin falernum, thyme, honey, lemon. I went with a new standard of mine, an Aviation, which was delicious.

Check, please: So the final verdict, as I mentioned earlier, was that this was one of the best meals of our lives. Not only was it delicious, but every single member of the staff was awesome, the plates were perfectly timed, the dishes perfectly seasoned, the space was cool and energetic, but still dimly lit enough for it to feel intimate and romantic. If you live in the LA area or plan to travel there any time soon, I would 100% recommend this place.

*Going forward I will do my best to take pictures, but V and I were so busy enjoying this meal that neither of us took any. That alone should speak volumes.

 

 

Accidental Anniversary Post

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about getting back to blogging. Today I’m home doing some work for my day-job and I decided to log in only to be greeted by this message:

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 2.24.05 PM

It’s been a crazy year, but lately a lot of things seem to be happening right now in a way that makes me think it’s no accident. So, I’m back. You can expect regular postings again.

To get things started here is my [very casual] OOTD in honor of it being October 3rd:

IMG_5525

Sweatpants: UnderArmour Tee: Truffle Shuffle (click on the pic to link to their site)

Date Night: Dinner and a Movie

IMG_7156IMG_7152

Waistcoat: Zara Muscle Tee: Madewell Pants: Gap Belt: Nanette Lepore

Bag: See by Chloe Sandals: Naturalizer Glasses: Chanel

IMG_7184IMG_7177

Last night V and I had a classic date night: dinner and a movie. It was beautiful out, high 70’s and sunny all day, so I took the opportunity to go sleeveless. I wanted to be comfortable enough for the movies, but dressed nicely enough for dinner. Plus, I’ve been dying to wear this waistcoat and I really like how it looks paired with the muscle tee.

For dinner we tried out a new restaurant in Malverne, Uva Rossa. The space is adorable, the regular menu is delicious, and the specials were excellent. We shared Stracciatella and prosciutto as an appetizer and then V had gnocchi in a meat sauce finished with a layer of mozzarella for a main course and I had Branzino with a bruschetta topping — both were perfectly prepared. V also had a delicious glass of sangria while I had a glass of sauvignon blanc. While we both passed on dessert (gotta leave room for popcorn at the movies), I did have a cup of coffee and our waitress (who was awesome the whole time) even brought me some freshly baked biscotti to dip in it. We will definitely be back.

After dinner we walked to a nearby theater that plays mostly independent films to see The Skeleton Twins. While we were both impressed with the performances (particularly Bill Hader, Ty Burrell, and Luke Wilson) we thought that the film could’ve been tightened up and the back story with the father could’ve been clarified to strengthen the plot on the whole. There are some really funny and beautiful moments though, so ultimately I’d say that it’s worth seeing.
Continue reading

Outfit Post: NOLA Night Out

Have you ever bought an item thinking, “I’ll wear this all the time!” and then it sits in your closet?  My cousin, Chelsea, and I were shopping at Bergdorf Goodman a few months back when I spotted this sparkly stunner on sale in the 5F section. Back in the college days this would’ve fallen into the “Going Out Tops” category and 21 year-old me decided that I had to have this fabulous Elizabeth and James top.

It’s called the “Maggie” top, but I prefer Magpie – so shiny!

Unfortunately, 31 year old me does not have quite as many opportunities to sport such an item (I mean, I could wear it on a random Wednesday, but the sequins might get stuck to my couch). When V and I decided to visit friends in New Orleans for New Year’s and I knew I’d finally get to bust this bad boy out.

I kept it simple with jeans and my favorite Guccis and the amazing Gucci Soho Leather Disco bag that V bought me for Christmas (lucky girl, right?). I’m also wearing these super-fun Elizabeth Cole Mohawk earrings that I’d scored from a Gilt sale awhile back, but the new layered hair makes them difficult to see (womp, womp). Maybe now that I broke the seal on this top I’ll be more adventurous with the styling.

Top: Elizabeth and James Jeans: American Eagle Heels: Gucci [Not pictured] Bag: Gucci Earrings: Elizabeth Cole

Outfit Post: First Date the Musical

So I’ve decided to try out a new format for these outfit posts. Since V has been kind (and patient) enough to start taking my outfit pics with a real camera (it’s still point-and-shoot, but we’ve graduated from the iPhone. Next up is the 35mm, I swear) I can post multiple pics from different angles. So much better than my sometimes-blurry selfies, am I right?

This is an ensemble I put together for a surprise date night. I was only told that we would be going into the city and that I could get dressed up, but did not have to be formal. I asked if “off-duty model” was an acceptable look and, without missing a beat, V assured me that that would be perfect.

I decided to jump at the opportunity to finally wear these crazy McQ Alexander McQueen leggings (the tags have stayed on them for way too long since coming into my possession) with my brand-spanking-new Isabel Marant for H&M tank.

Here are the results:

Surprise! V took me to see First Date on Broadway. You MUST go see it, it’s such a fun show.
Hooray for awkward poses! I’ll get that oh-so-cool air of indifference down one of these days… or not.
And now without my security blanket scarf

Coat: Cinzia Rocca Scarf: Fendi Blazer: BCBG Max Azria Tank: Isabel Marant for H&M Chain: Old Navy Pendant: Vintage Leggings: McQ Alexander McQueen Booties: Rosegold

Outfit Post: Frightened Rabbit at Webster Hall

There’s something very rock n’ roll about black clothes and boots. So when V and I went to see Frightened Rabbit at Webster Hall I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to wear black top from Zara.

Here’s the outfit breakdown:

Round Neck Blouse: Zara – I’ve never been a huge fan of low-cut tops, but I do like to compensate for a lack of skin by wearing sheer fabrics. V picked this top out on a shopping trip where I decided to “introduce” him to Zara (he’s such a good sport, plus, he’s got great taste). At $70 I thought it was a bit over-priced, but it’s definitely the kind of item I’ll wind up wearing all the time.

Necklace: Old Navy – Old Navy is one of my favorite stores to stop in for a little #treatyoself purchase. At around $6-$16 (total guess-timate based on my previous purchases) their jewelry selection is such a guilt-free indulgence.

Jeans: American Eagle – As a petite person who wears a lot of denim, AE is a dream come true. They currently offer a dozen different styles and a variety of washes and they’re reasonably priced (the selection tops out at $69.95 for Premium Denim). They also run tons of promotions for those of you looking for a deeper discount. I’m wearing the “skinny” here.

Boots: Trouve – Just as I predicted when I bought them back in October of 2010, I wear these combat boots all the time. Clearly they’ve held up well. I still kick myself for not getting them in natural when I had the chance.

Rant: Who Is Vince Camuto?

Inside the lid of a Vince Camuto shoebox that houses my metallic wedges.

The Vince Camuto brand baffles me. Many times I have been in a department store and wandered over to a display of classic shoes, bags or watches with edgy details that catch my eye, but every time I see the Vince Camuto label my feelings are suddenly neutralized.

As a consumer who is overly interested in brand identity I cannot get a read on Vince Camuto. If I had to do that old marketing exercise, “If Vince Camuto were a person,” I could not tell you what kind of car he drives or where he shops and I certainly couldn’t tell you how old he is. 

In a retail setting I can never tell where this brand falls in the pecking order of other brands in the respective departments. Should their bags be on the shelf with Betsey Johnson and Nine West? Or featured on a pad like MICHAEL Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs? The price point suggests the latter; perhaps they should change the name to VINCE [by] Vince Camuto?
They must be a lifestyle brand because they offer a full range of products that can cover men and women alike from head to toe – including scent.

A quick look at their corporate website showed me that Camuto group owns several brands that I love. Interestingly enough half of the brands have a very clear brand identity (Tory Burch, BCBG MAXAZRIA, BCBG GENERATION, and Lucky) and the others lack that same thing (Jessica Simpson, Sanctuary, Arturo Chang and, of course, Vince Camuto).

I like the diverse offering of Vince Camuto’s products; there are stylish satchels for your mom, biker boots for your cool aunt and funky over-sized watches for your on trend little sister. I even own a pair of their shoes, but I wonder if the brand is cohesive enough to survive when the customer has no idea who they are trying to be.