In Search of Style: Rediscovering Sources Inspiration

Just when I thought I was over FB for good, I joined the Classy Career Girl network and got involved in their private community page. The questions that my fellow female hustlers have been asking are getting my brain going on topics I love to think about like tips for being a successful woman in business, the challenges of starting a side hustle and work wardrobe inspiration.

Earlier this week, a fellow CCG (Classy Career Girl) asked where other group members go for fashion ideas and it got me thinking, where do go these days? I used to be a huge fan of Blair Eadie’s (if you don’t know Atlantic Pacific, you should) and for awhile I was really into Alexandra Pereira of Lovely Pepa, but in more recent months I’ve been in a real Death by Elocution phase (the looks they post are generally more neutral and minimalist in nature, but it reminds a magpie like myself to keep things simple). If I had to pick a person, I would definitely say Victoria Beckham—even her most casual looks are so well edited (and not impossible to replicate on the average budget).

For as long as I’ve had this blog, fashion has been a major component. I love style as a form of self-expression and I find searching for outfit inspiration to be downright therapeutic. The thing is, when I’m stressed and overworked, I find that that’s the first thing I let slip. I revert to all-black outfits that require little thought (and preferably even less dry cleaning) and provide little-to-no joy in wearing.

Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific

I used to spend hours poring over the looks of style bloggers, making notes on what I liked or didn’t like about the way they put things together, but it’s been ages since I truly followed any one person. Many times I just wait to see what Pinterest sends me as a suggestion and go down the rabbit hole from there.

Somewhere along the line I convinced myself that these bloggers I once loved had just gotten so extra, that all of their looks were like this one to the right (I love Blair’s style, but this ensemble makes her look like she’s going to play croquet in the early 1900s). I told myself that it was a waste of time to follow them because the looks they were posting were full of designer items that I couldn’t afford and didn’t have time to shop for knock-offs.

Now I see that the issue wasn’t the bloggers, it was me. I was in a place where spending my free time on fashion seemed frivolous and selfish. The thing is, it’s not, it’s actually something that really brings me joy.

Now I’m getting back to a place where I am once again indulging in my love of fashion. I am once again finding inspiration in the outfits that bloggers (old favorites and new ones) post.

I’m also taking the time to read the outfit credits. It turns out that Blair is indeed wearing items from previous seasons and that many of the new items were absolutely from brands I could afford like Zara, J. Crew, and Topshop (don’t I feel sheepish).

That being said, I’ll leave you with the very first look I ever pinned from Atlantic Pacific. Now I’m off in search of inspiration once again…

Vintage 2012 Blair Eadie

The first Atlantic-Pacific look I ever Pinned

 

 

Outfit Post: Birthday Happy Hour in NYC

As tired as I am of talking about the cold, I feel the need to point out that it’s still frigid in the NYC area. Last Friday V and I braved the elements to celebrate the birthday of my fabulous best friend from College, Laura. Laura writes the awesome workout blog, werkitinnyc, you should check it out.

The temps have been in the 20’s during the day and the teens at night, so warmth was an absolute priority. On our way in V and I actually entertained the idea of walking from the station to the venue (Bo’s in the Flatiron district), but we quickly realized that that was just crazy talk. In the few minute we were waiting on the train platform the 4″ space between where my boot ended and my skirt began were already showing the signs of frostbite.

All my life I’ve had a weakness for pleated skirts, especially plaid, kilt-style skirts, so when I saw this Burberry number at my local consignment I had to have it. Pairing over-the-knee boots with what some might deem a “Catholic Schoolgirl Skirt” can be tricky, but I covered up everywhere else and felt much more Andy Sachs/The Devil Wear Prada than Pretty Woman.

Still working on these poses…

…haven’t quite got it yet #jazzhands

Another consignment score

Turtleneck: Lord & Taylor Skirt: Burberry Boots: Vince Tights: Hue Earings (not pictured): Alexis Bittar Glasses:Chanel

Outfit Post: Kinky Boots on Broadway

The cold weather is still in full force in the NY area forcing fashion fans everywhere to break out their best layered looks. Never one to shy away from a challenge I was determined to dress appropriately for both the weather and the event when we went in Manhattan last weekend to see an evening performance of Kinky Boots on Broadway.

Waiting to get in – so excited!

Given the show’s subject matter, I knew I had to break out my Vince ‘Julianne’ over the knee boots. Thankfully, they are as warm as they are stylish. I’d originally planned to wear them with my favorite Isabel Marant for H&M tank and my W118 by Walter Baker hot pink tuxedo jacket, but it was just too cold, so I convinced myself to save that outfit for warmer weather.
In the aisle next to our excellent Orchestra seats
Multi-strands make life easy
Instead I layered this high-low sweater over a black shirt-dress and added a BCBG statement necklace for some fun. The necklace was a bit more than I typically spend on costume jewelry, but I knew it would come in hand for moments like this.
 Sweater: Barney’s Co-op Dress: Wyatt Boots: Vince Bag:Gucci Necklace: BCBG Glasses:Chanel

V and I had a friend visiting from out of town who happens to be a big-time Broadway buff so we waited outside the stage door after the show to get autographs.

Here’s the show’s star Billy Porter signing my boot (yes, I took off my boot in freezing temps to have an actor sign the arch. See the show and you’ll understand, he was that good).

Outfit Post: Tee Time

Hooray for better lighting in my hallway!
Scarves and tees and leather jackets, these are a few of my favorite things. The crisp Fall weather gives me to opportunity to combine all three making my life easier when it comes time to get dressed.
Here’s the outfit breakdown:

T-shirt: Express – This soft sweater tee is perfect on this crisp fall day. It’s a snug fit so I wanted to make sure I balanced it out with a wider legged pant. I’ve tried layering it with a button-down before, but it’s definitely better without the bulk.

Jeans: Seven for All Mankind – This cut is called the Dojo. They don’t come in petite, so I took them to the tailor and she managed to shorten them without losing too much of the wide leg. This might be old news, but when having your jeans shortened I highly recommend having them reattach them hem (as opposed to creating a new hem and losing the thicker edge) because it keeps the same finished look the jeans had when you bought them.

Jacket: Gap – Leather moto jackets are super popular right not, but this is a style that I have never abandoned. This Gap jacket was stiffer than a 1950’s cocktail when I first bought it over 5 years ago (which is probably why is was on such a steep discount, I paid less than $100), but I knew that I would eventually break it in and it would be worth it when I did. The leather jacket and the jean jacket are equally essential and timeless, I just prefer the former for my style.

Scarf: American Eagle – This is the first infinity scarf that I have ever purchased and I like it, but I don’t love it. It sort of reminds me of a beard because, if you’re a messy eater like me, any food that drops from your mouth gets caught in it (T.M.I.?). Maybe if I stop eating like a savage who hasn’t seen food in a month I won’t have this problem.

Belt:
Vince – Belts were never my thing, so when I spent $80 on this one I definitely considered it a splurge. It’s adjustable and it’s a leather/cotton combo and I really bought it because it reminded me of my dad’s uniform belts from when he was in the navy (which I later stole and wore with my “skater” clothes in junior high). Now I wear it all the time.

Shoes: Vince Camuto – I bought these crackled metallic wedges on sale from Piperlime for a wedding at a vineyard (lest I aerate the lawn). They are extremely comfortable and a great height, but I almost didn’t get them because of the brand (see my bizarre issues with Vince Camuto here). Thankfully I was able to look past their poor marketing and put these great shoes into rotation.

“It’s a new era in fashion – there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.”

— Alexander McQueen

Obsessed with this quote this morning, but then again I’m obsessed with McQueen in general ever since seeing the “Savage Beauty” exhibit at the Met. Why else would I have waited on this line (or the “McQue” as the Twitterverse was referring to it) for 2 hours?


Inspiration Board? More Like Inspiration Book



Ever since I was a little girl, collecting leftover Sassy and Seventeen magazines from around the house, I have been tearing out “looks” that I love. Over the years I’ve collected these images and when I came across a leftover art journal I knew that those fashion tears had found their home.

While I’ve been really good about continuing to tear images that inspire me, I’ve been a bit lax about organizing them. But recently I’ve been struggling with my closet and, in an effort to edit down my wardrobe and reveal my style, I have revisited these images.

Watching design shows you see design boards and that’s great for one look, but when it comes to a wardrobe I need more room to work — and so the rebirth of the inspiration book. Out came the images, out went the ones I’m already over and on went the rubber cement to secure the keepers. It’s my hope that my style progresses along with the book and, when I’m having a fashion meltdown, it will serve as a place to go for answers.

Originally I wanted this to be a style blog, but I’m so sick of the standard style blogs; put-together women in their 30’s being photographed by their significant others in whimsical poses and whatever setting mimics a soft filter on their SLR camera (which they probably received as an out-of-the-box wedding gift from their equally hip friends/family).

Like so many women my age, I don’t quite have it all together. I’m getting there, but I’m not going to post phony photos that make others envious of my Brooklyn loft and my impeccably groomed puppy. I’m 29, I live on Long Island, I work in a small office and see the same handful of people every day; so my day-to-day attire simply does not call for high fashion. The problem is I’m also tired of the jeans/tee/hoodie combo, not to mention that I’m terrified of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly ambushing me for the new season of “What Not to Wear,” and I think it’s high time that I figure out how to adapt my dreams of everyday dressing to fit my reality. Yes, I escape to the city and the Hamptons as frequently as possible and when I do I use that as an excuse to wear the clothes I dream of, but it’s still not my reality.

So this isn’t an established style blog in the traditional sense, it’s a finding-my-style blog. Let the editing down begin.

In My Online Absence

While I was on my unintentional blogging break I went to Vegas for a friend’s 30th birthday. We stayed at The Hard Rock, where I had never stayed before, and I loved it!

Since The Hard Rock is a boutique hotel it was the perfect place for us to stay. We were a group of about 10 so the small size of the hotel made it easy to meet up at any given point.

We had (2) regular rooms and a suite and they were all really nicely designed; they kept with the rock and roll theme and had fabulous bed linens and great stereos (the suite even had a touch screen stereo that you could hook your ipod up to!).

I particularly enjoyed gambling there because their roulette table was just a $5 minimum bet all day and night. I’m not sure if it was because we were there in the office season or because they’re located off the strip, or a combination of the two, but this allowed me to play for quite awhile.

Everyone who worked there was beyond friendly in a chill, relaxed way, rather than an overcompensating customer service way, which I see as a huge plus.


Saturday night we ate at Nobu and there was a plate for every price point and delicious drinks as well. Think kobe beef, sushi, tuna tacos, and even the more basic dishes with chicken looked and smelled amazing.

After dinner we headed up to the suite for a few pre-club cocktails (and a mini photo shoot, my friends crack me up) and then headed down to Vanity, the nightclub at The Hard Rock.

A good friend had been to Vanity over the summer and did not like it, she even went so far as to warn me against it, and I seriously trust her opinion and taste level. Due to this information I went in with low expectations, but I am happy to report that it far exceeded them!

The crowd outside resembled a bunch of Rock of Love rejects, but that’s to be expected. I was a happy little fashionista dressed in Gucci H2T, and my friends all looked amazing as well, so I didn’t really care about anyone else.


Once inside the design was very cool, very Vegas, total excess. Mirrors, LED lights in waves on the ceiling, velvet seats and an enormous chandelier as the centerpiece. The bathroom was quite literally a vanity with huge mirrors with round light bulbs going up either side and stations to sit and fix your make-up. Cute without being kitsch.

Ladies drank free champagne until midnight so we squeezed a glass in before they cut that off. You cannot be sad while sipping a glass of champagne (or prosecco or cava or any other country’s version of sparkling wine for that matter), and I was in a good mood to start, so the night continued to go up from there.

They played a great mix of dance and rock and the crowd was attractive and well dressed (for the most part, that can’t keep all the riff raff out) and we danced into the morning before heading back down to the casino to gamble a bit before bed.

Merci!

Monday my mother came back from Paris and she brought me a fabulous present; a flowy, asymmetrical hemmed, white t-shirt with a black and white image of Coco Chanel on it. LOVE!

It is going to look amazing with my new black skinny Joe’s and the combat boots I ordered from Nordstrom. Obviously a polyvore collage is in order, look for it later today…

Merci Mama!

Bag Binge

The past few weeks have been crazy busy with weddings and weekends away so tonight, when I finally got the chance to unpack and organize my room, I realized for the first time that I’ve been on a bit of a bag binge.

In the last month I’ve purchase 5 handbags. 5!

Granted not one of them was full priced and 2 of them were exceptionally cheap, but that’s still a lot of bags in a very short period of time, even for me.

The Rebecca Minkoff is already mentioned below and that’s one of the 5, so here are the rest, each with their various purposes and price points:

Pietro Alessandro 2081 Tote in metallic champagne.
Purchased from: ideeli.com
Original Retail Price: $112.00
Price I Paid: $69.00
Reasoning: I don’t have a gold going out bag. Okay, so that’s not entirely true. I have a metallic gold-ish bag, but it’s from Old Navy, which a bunch of guy friends dubbed my “Members Only” purse because of the fabric. I was due for an upgrade. Plus, this one can be used as either a clutch or a cross body tote. It’s a 2-in-1!

Nordstrom Ruched Silk Wristlet in champagne.
Purchased from: Nordstrom.com
Original Retail Price: $48.00
Price I Paid: $22.90
Reasoning: I needed a bag to go with a bridesmaid’s dress. This fit the bill.

Barney’s Black and White
Purchased from: Barney’s Outlet at Tanger Riverhead
Original Retail Price: $120.00
Price I Paid: $19.50
Reasoning: It was so cheap and I have a weakness for bags that I know to be somewhat cheap/cheesy looking (hence the “Members Only” purse mentioned above).

Be&D “Twiggy” Large Tote in green
Purchased from: Saks off 5th
Original Retail Price: $1,080.00
Price I Paid: $125.99
Reasoning: While the markdown is reason enough, this bag is just amazing. I had my “Girl in the Green Scarf” moment, a la Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic, I could see myself walking into an interview carrying that bag and the people in HR would just know that they had to hire me.

So now I’m on a bag shopping freeze. I think I actually have every type of bag I could possibly need at this point… I think… haha