Wednesday, February 22, 2012

paris: planning a wishlist

Happiness experts always say that the thing that makes you most happy isn't the gift you receive, or the trip that you're on, or maybe even the boyfriend you land--but everything leading up to that moment. Thinking about what it will be like. Planning what you are going to do. Creating all your expectations. [I guess, in the end, then, it makes sense that the actual act itself isn't going to make you happy--can it really live up to all your thoughts and dreams?!] Well, maybe one thing can. A surprise spring trip to Paris.

I'm lucky to have a boyfriend crazy enough to make this a reality.
madewell top, jcrew flats, and converse hightops
But even while I start jotting down plans, and cutting out articles with all the shops I'm planning to visit filled with all the things I'm itching to buy, I always find myself thinking about what I need to buy NOW to be perfect for THEN. Like, all the striped tees and comfy shoes I can find and a few kitschy accessories.
fluffyco tote and luna & curious tights

Don't even get me started on what I plan to buy THERE... [or let's at least save that for another day]

Thursday, February 2, 2012

etsy love: unusual valentine's gifts

Another secret dream of mine? To have an Etsy shop composed entirely of the weird little cat and dog [and sometimes, boyfriend] drawings that I typically reserve only for the envelopes of my boy's anniversary, birthday and Christmas cards. So, imagine my delight when I discovered my Etsy-soulmate, just in time for Valentine's Day.

There are plenty of things for the ladies, whether she's a cat lover, fashionista, or true romantic..

 There are options for the men..

And plenty for your single friends who may need a little pick-me-up.

I'll admit, she really got me with her totally random non-Valentine-y listing entitled simply: Weird small pillow.

I just scored the perfect gift for my Valentine--go get yours! [& cross your fingers that shipping from the UK is speedy!]

Nicola Rowlands is the gal behind the shop, and she even has a cute blog that made me like her even more.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

trend alert: finger party

I'm convinced today's arm swag is tomorrow's finger party [why does that sound inappropriate?]. I see the beginnings starting with Leandra now. First that arm-party-related bracelet that too-delicately-to-understand turns into a ring [anyone else think they'd break that immediately?], then those diamond dizzies... Give her time, soon she's going to look like this girl:

via r29 & w's street style exhibit

Ok, maybe not her. Can she even lift her fingers??

Anyway, if you want to get a head start on this trend, I recommend incorporating some of the uber special rings from one of my favorite companies, A Peace Treaty. (I blogged about their inspiring mission once before, here.)


I love how unique and personal these handmade beauties are! I know I'll do my part getting this trend off the ground--once my next paycheck comes in, at least. Actually, come to think of it, they'd make the perfect Valentine's gift...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

my happiness project

I've always been someone bound by swinging moods and nostalgia. [And I've always figured that comes hand in hand with being someone who likes, or wants, to write.] During my latest downward swing, I booked a last-minute flight home to Florida to spend some quality time with my 'rents, in 80-degree weather while NYC was hit with the second snowfall of the very-up-and-down winter season.

I was surprised, during one of my Facebook-lurking sessions, to find that a girl I once worked with who is gorgeous, rich, seemingly successful at an awesome company that immerses her in
the life of Manhattan socialites and, to boot, was currently on vacation in St. Barth's, was reading a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Why could this girl possibly need to read anything on the subject of happiness??

Obviously, I immediately went out and picked myself up a copy. The book starts:
One April day, on a morning just like every other morning, I had a sudden realization: I was in danger of wasting my life. As I stared out of the rain-spattered window of a city bus, I saw that the years were slipping by. "What do I want from life, anyway?" I asked myself. "Well...I want to be happy." But I had never thought what made me happy or how I might be happier.
That felt like a very universal realization to me--something that I've been thinking about more and more over recent months, even the past year. Something, I guess, even a girl who looks to me has everything, might find herself thinking, too. So, that is where I am, now. Reading The Happiness Project and thinking how might I be happier... You might have guessed that, like Gretchen, I'm hoping spilling my guts to the blogosphere will be part of the answer.

I think one of the reasons I come and go so much from the fashion-blogging scene is that I'm afraid to show too much of myself, which really makes it all very limiting. That's because, as my boyfriend might say, I'm too cynical. Or, as I like to say, I'm exercising an appropriate amount of realism. If I really am who I am, it's possible I might say the wrong thing. It's possible that wrong thing may be found on a google search of my name by my current or prospective employer. It's possible I'll be kicked to the curb and left on the streets and end up homeless over a blog post!! Of course, all these other people seem to be doing all right. And, if I keep acting like this, I'll never know if I could've been Tavi-kid-genius or Man Repeller, the girl whose greatest gift [and money-making machine] is being herself through and through.

So, there it is, and here I am. I'm someone who really likes her parents and likes to go home just to spend time with them. I'm someone who likes to drink margaritas at lunchtime with her mom. I'm someone who would rather go to an ocean side art show or antique-hunting than lay out and get a tan [+ wrinkles, ladies]. I'm someone who loves Bukowski, but maybe a little less now that he's considered cool instead of slightly creepy. I'm someone who really can't keep up with all the tweets and the posts and the today's-outfit-taking, but because I've always wanted to will try anyway. Also, this is all sounding a bit cheesy, but I'm not someone who is cheesy. I am, as the boyfriend says, someone who is pretty cynical, so please don't let this scare you off.

Until next time..

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

let's make this work

I'll be honest, I don't have the best track record with these. Ever since the latest in my plethora of Expage websites or diary-x journals was hacked and ultimately erased from cyberspace, I've had a hard time committing and holding onto a blog or website. I come up with all of these ideas, spend hours designing them, and then a couple days, weeks, sometimes hours later--POOF. Forgotten. Nice try.

But I keep coming back to it--like now--and I think there are a few reasons.

  1. I need an outlet for my insane, constant thoughts.
  2. I like to write and to share. 
  3. I think ultimately I realize I must not be alone--even though I often feel crazy and alone--in the things that I think and want to write about
This started out as a place for me to reflect on the fashion/retail insights I constantly have, but I think the key is to make it a bit more personal as well. Because, let's face it, I'm not an expert in the field [yet], but I am an early-twenty-just-starting-the-real-world girl who has a lot of thoughts and issues and observations that are likely shared with many of you. I also love fashion and retail, and you may, too. I hope I can join all of these things together and over time will have readers who will help me make sense of it all.

Well, here goes nothing..

overcoming short-comings

all photos via vanessa jackman
For someone who has been obsessed with fashion from a young age, I've always felt like I was in a sort of perpetual sartorial-life crisis. I'm a person blessed/cursed with Olsen stature--5'2", petite against all odds, and age-defying (I still get asked if I'm old enough to sit in the exit row on have to be 14!). I also always wanted to be a writer and would rather act like Harriet the Spy observing from the sidelines then a circus performer doing cartwheels on stage. So, my relationship with clothing is complicated. The odds of finding something to fit my preteen boy frame are already slim-to-none, but pair that with the desire to appear simultaneously fashionable, mature, and strong, yet not in-your-face ...well, that's hard.

I find it even more troublesome as a woman in her early stages in the workforce. Perception is reality, after all, and first impressions last a lifetime. Our wardrobes and our stature communicate so much to those around us, particularly those we want to impress the most and those with whom we interact the least. So I constantly wonder--what do I need to do to send the message I really want to send? These are a few rules I've learned in the past couple years.

1. Good shoes are deafening--in the best possible way

A great shoe is like the perfect punctuation to a precarious sentence. Nothing showcases your intention, nor attitude, like the shoes you choose. If nothing else, they get noticed--and so will you. During a recent presentation I was nervous to give, someone rushed up to me afterwards to ask where I had gotten my perfect-for-any-occasion lace-up suede wedges and gushed for minutes (they were from Zara, if you must know!). Clearly, good shoes are essential to--just as important as?--a great presentation.

And, by the way, I was never a heel-wearer until I started working (I rebelled--I figured I just wasn't meant to be taller than Mary Kate!), so I truly believe a similar effect can be achieved with flats.... as long as they have some 'tude, like a pair made of leopard-printed pony hair.

2. Dress what you aren't, to be what you want


Apparently, I can come across as, someone told me once, "a meek little nothing." Basically, my worst nightmare in a nutshell. Yes, I'm small, I'm quiet(er), and have a super-young face--but that doesn't sum me up! So, ironically, I get the best responses when I dress completely opposite to the way one might expect. Even though I love girly looks, like circle skirts and polka dots, I look stronger and older when there's a bit of edge to an outfit. I'm working on choosing that short, flirty skirt in leather instead of lace (or pairing the lace with a vintage denim jacket and the aforementioned wedges). Or wearing a sweet, feminine blouse with a black bra. Sometimes it pays to scrape by with something that's almost too much, because... at least you were noticed.

3. Never underestimate the power of time and fit


If all else fails, you can't go wrong with classics. Nothing has become more apparent to me in the past year than the importance of fit, always, and the relevance of your looks. Wearing something that fits your body is the best way to make it look different. I actually look like I have a body when my clothes are close-fitting and it makes me feel better, so I stand straighter, too. (That's why I save my perfectly-fitting Helmut Lang dress for very important days.) Plus, wearing something that isn't the least bit trendy is somehow the easiest way to get noticed and stay remembered--in the day of fast fashion, it's refreshing.

What are your biggest style struggles and secrets? I'd love to know!