sunshine state (of mind)

after a cold, and somewhat uneventful, January (sorry there’s been little to write about in the fashion department; i’ve been wearing the same leggings, stretchy jeans, cashmere sweaters and giant black coat for the last six weeks), the weather gods smiled upon me with four days of sunny and 65 on a trip to san francisco. the exceptionally good weather, even by california standards, was exactly the thing i needed to pull me out of my gloom and back onto the sunny side of the street.

as i gear up for my next pilgrimage to a warmer climate, this time down to the sunshine state for one of my bestie’s birthdays next week, i’ve decided i need to incorporate some sartorial sunshine into my suitcase. whatever your locale, a healthy dose of yellow is guaranteed to brighten your day. check out my top packing picks below…

 

1- faithfull the brand striped jumpsuit

2- rimless sunglasses by my fave brand illesteva

3- topshop ruffle detail top

4- the best water proof mascara

5- high waisted denim by madewell

6- intermix peasant tunic dress

7- half moon raffia clutch

8- forever 21 flower slides

9- sea ny rosalie maxi dress

10- rye polka dot bikini

11- wear with everything suede micro heels

12- pool side essentials– the best weightless sunscreen & a margarita (or three)

13- h&m leather strap sandals

rinse & repeat

this late into the summer, my weekend bag seems to be perpetually getting packed and unpacked. the easiest way i’ve found to skip some steps? keeping a bunch of easy neutrals and dual purpose items in my suitcase so i’m prepped no matter the occasion…

i’ve worn my linen wrap dress as a bathing suit cover up and evening cocktail outfit, my tennis polo on and off the court, and jazzed up a couple solid t-shirts with high waisted cut offs and a giant pair of embellished hoops. the other packing essential thing not shown below? my trusty beach weight sweater –to fend off the pervasive chill of AC. happy humpday, almost time to hit the road again! xx

1– rebecca de ravenel iman hoops

2–tory sport striped polo

3–raye sierra sandals

4–rag & bone lou jean shorts  (40% off!)

5– veronica beard wrap dress

6–tretorn platform espadrilles

7–rye swim zesty bikini set

great scott!

happy weekend minus 5 hours! sorry this post is going up mid day, I had a leeetle too much fun at the yankees game last night. today I thought I would cover some packing ideas for cooler temps. while most people’s summer vacations center around warm weather spots (don’t worry, there are a plethora of bathing suit posts coming next week), so far this summer my trips have been to two northern locales, Scotland and Maine, where I needed warmer stuff. I also know a few gals headed places like Colorado and the Pacific Northwest– so hopefully this helps!

the deets. Scotland was truly the most amazing trip, and a perfect venue for people looking for a quick 3-4 day mini vacay. it was super easy to get to from new york, delta offers a direct 6 hr flight into Edinburgh. most of the weekend focused on golf in st. andrews (#best.girlfriend.ever) but we did spend a day sightseeing in Edinburgh which was very cool and I actually fell in LOVE with st. andrews the city. it’s a small college town, where Prince Will and Kate met nbd, and completely charming and quaint, much less commercial than Edinburgh. we realllly lucked out during the weather; most days it was sunny and in the 60s but we did have occasional little rain/drizzle and it was chillier in the evenings. in terms of eats, I was actually impressed with the offering- we had great meals at Forgan’s and The Adamson plus the most magical private dinner at the Peat Inn. we also got our share of traditional English/pub food and I sort-of learned to love/accept meat pies. wow, the things i am willing to admit on the internet. my favorite part? I loved spending a lazy morning walking around the campus of the school, the castle and the cathedral ruins, coffee in hand. it felt so relaxed and not overtly tourist-y. best of all, the whole town is walkable, so for a big group like ours (11 people) it was amazing for everyone to be able to be on their own schedules and not worry about transit or who is going where. overall, I highlyyy recommend.

some snaps…

a sunny day in edinburgh

view to the top o’ the castle

working on my golf game at the New Course (#Tigerwoodschic in Nike)

ruins of the old cathedral in st. andrews

what i packed. now lets talk the main event, the fash-shuns. since Scottish weather is notoriously iffy, layers and rain gear were key. every day I had 2–3 pieces on top, from a tank and light sweater plus a jean jacket to my new bff the bodysuit, a trench, and a scarf. since it was technically summer, I tried to avoid too many dark colors and left the black in nyc. given that golf and pubs were mostly in the cards, I packed mostly casual items and left anything silk/heeled/dressy at home. some inspiration…

1. silk scarf. during the winter, this cashmere pashmina is my best friend for travel. i love using it on the airplane as a blanket and wearing it out to dinner as a shawl. however this time i packed a light floral print silk scarf from my dvf days (also love a striped option from ann taylor) . it was perfect for the sunnier days and punched up my otherwise neutral outfits with color.

2. summer midi dress. i did bring two light dresses and was shocked that it ended up being warm enough to wear both, albeit with a leather jacket over. tbh, i picked this navy floral version because it made me picture kate moss in it, traipsing through some sheep-filled Scottish field wearing Hunter wellies. sooo scottish chic.

3. navy blazer. seriously how chic is this jacket? i ordered this sort of randomly and ended up wearing it every day. while a blazer may seem more corporate than casual, it was the perfect topper for jeans and a tshirt because it made me feel not completely schlummy and american as I walked around, especially at nicer restaurants. i love how the double breasted gold buttons make it slightly funky, not as stuffy as your 9 to 5 blazer. i think it’s since sold out, but this veronica beard has the same vibe. the first designer, tara jarmon, has some amazing other jacket options on her site. also dying to add to my new blazer obsession with this one in red (so chanel!).

4. pouch mini bag. ive pretty much given up taking a large purse whenever i travel. during the day I use my trusty Bottega crossbody but at night I pack a bunch of little pouches and clutches to carry, since all you really need is a hotel key, credit card and passport. they double as suitcase organizers (i put makeup in one, jewelry in another, hair ties and bobby pins, etc) and this way I get to “accessorize” my looks without the weight and space of bringing several purses. love the ring handle on this one.

5. cropped jeans. since it was too cold for shorts, cropped jeans were the closest I could get to baring some leg. the darker sides on this pair are really slimming and the length paired perfectly with my sneaks.

6. a classic pair of sneakers. for every additional year I spend in nyc, my sneaker collection grows exponentially. this latest fashion-y pair of converse, a collaboration with comme des garcons, was basic enough to wear every day and paired nicely with my dresses too.

7. bodysuit. body suits are back from the dead and pretty much all the rage right now. other than one ill advised free people purchase (yuck, why did i buy??!) I hadn’t joined the trend. however, I bought this long sleeved version at Aritzia and after the trip have fully become a fan. the best part of bodysuits is that they lay smooth under your jeans, no tucking or bunching– which makes me wonder why they ever really went out of style in the first place. also, the deep v on this style is super flattering. basic math: makes you feel thin + on sale for $27 = buy several colors.

8. striped sailor shirt. i am an absolute striped t-shirt fanatic, i must have 20 of them. they are the perfect travel option– easy to roll in your suitcase and light enough to rinse out in the sink and hang dry overnight if you run out of clothes midweek. a lace up detail on the side is the cherry on top.

9. trench coat. perhaps its the whole turning 26 thing, but similar to my newfound love of blazers, is the development of a deep admiration for the trench coat. new york has had so much rain this season, and I got sick of looking like an intern in my mountain hardware raincoat in the elevator at work. finally, a trip to the burberry store revealed that you can have it all, if you shop their burberry brit line. it is a step down price point-wise from the classic burberry and all the trenches have functional detachable hoods, so it’s definitely made with us working girls in mind– you know, the ones who don’t have someone carrying their umbrella for them. i’ve now worn mine rain and shine, to work and on the weekends, and i feel like maybe i should have maybe figured out the genius of this purchase a few years ago. better late than never?

10. classic studs. i don’t like taking expensive jewelry on trips because the idea of losing it or getting something stolen stresses me out. I usually pack 1-2 pairs of fun cheap earrings and then keep my diamond studs in my ears the rest of the time. same goes for a simple necklace or rings. my thinking is if they’re attached to your body, you can’t lose them.

 

hope you enjoyed reading! have a great weekend! Xx

A Current Affair

A few weekends ago, it was monsooning out (seriously the most gushing wind/rain i’ve experienced in years), and I was in search of something to do. I was lucky to discover a vintage pop up sale going on in Brooklyn via Instagram, called A Current Affair. The show occurs sporadically in LA and NYC a few times a year, and it looks like they are expanding to a few other cities (one coming up in the Bay Area in June). Basically they got a bunch of different vintage vendors, some with physical retail stores and others who are more trunk show type dealers, all in one place and you buy a $10 ticket to peruse.

I have had a long love of vintage and second hand clothes– from back when I used to dress up in my grandmothers closets as a little girl–so this was pretty much Nirvana for me. Over the years I have loved collecting a piece here or there to incorporate with mainstream outfits. My favorite place in the world to hunt is the Paris Flea but I’ve found amazing things all over the world, in cities big and small. I’ve bought Tod’s loafers from a Goodwill in San Fran’s Mission District, found a 1940’s rabbit fur capelet from a thrift store in Lewisburg, WV ($50!??!! RJB this may be the best find of my life), an original 70’s Gucci crossbody in my tiny hometown, a custom beaded evening gown that everyone mistakes for Marchesa, and tons of no name bracelets, scarves, clutches and faux gemstone earrings along the way. The thrill of the hunt is like a drug for me, never knowing exactly what you will find (#addict). And I love that each piece has a story, a life before me, and it’s something no one else will ever show up at dinner in. Here are a few snaps from the afternoon–

amazing jeweled mules i still regret not snapping up

the coolest fringed shift from the 1960’s

sherpa-like knits in all sorts of colors

those sleeves!!!!??? so right now it almost looks like caroline constas or johanna ortiz

I spent about 3 hours in the sale; in addition to the clothes, there were so many great street style #chicpeas to soak in. I ended up with two silk peasant tops (one is “supposedly” a hundred years old), a beaded navajo belt (perfect for spicing up denim cutoffs this summer) and the coolest art deco clutch with removable handles (its called a Moon Bag, the closest ones I can find online are here and here). Since many of my friends often ask me about my vintage finds, but seem intimidated by the process, I thought I’d give a few tips learned over the years and a list of my favorite spots to treasure hunt.

 

Tips for Thrifting 

look at things in isolation: sometimes walking into a vintage store can be really overwhelming, with lots of prints and colors distracting the eye, sometimes stuff is arranged in heaps, bins and piles, and there’s a lot of “out there” styles you wouldn’t be caught dead in. try to look at items on an individual, isolated basis- “would i wear this one specific blazer with my current jeans and t-shirt” or “how would this dress look hanging in my closet once I’m back at home?” is an easier decision process than “what in the world should i buy???!!!”

don’t buy things you won’t wear: there is a lot of cool stuff i love to look at in these stores, but i know that realistically would never have the guts to wear on the street (see black and white dress above). think of these parts of the store as an art museum of sorts– fun to soak in but not to take home. be true to your own style and what you would/wouldn’t wear, or you’ll just regret spending money on the stuff later on.

don’t be scared to haggle: bargaining is the name of the game. even in fancy vintage stores, if i don’t feel the price is right, you can ask them if they’re willing to take less (sometimes yes, sometimes no) or leave your phone number to call you if they lower the price later on. for really expensive pieces, i sometimes do a quick ebay search to get the general feel for what an item should cost, but at the end of the day usually you can’t find a true like-for-like item so you have to go with your gut. also, sometimes it’s ok to pay up (not all vintage has to be a bargain) if you find something really unusual, designer or hard to find.

but if you love it, don’t debate: the flip side of this is that if you find something you love, especially if you’re out of town or at some sort of flea market/pop up, you should buy it. i have a mental list of regrets for items i found, loved and told myself i didn’t need at the time. my boyfriend can attest to this since i still talk wistfully about a vintage hermes belt i skipped over for $150 in Milan last summer. this is a hit or miss game and once it’s gone, its gone forever. so just buy it!!

before you buy it, inspect inspect inspect: sounds obvious, but ive overpaid for things that are stained, torn or just don’t fit right. give it the once over, and then a twice over. or better yet, get your friend to give it a second pair of eyes.

minor tweaks are doable, big changes cost a lot: removing a belt, cutting off the hem, and changing the buttons are usually all tweaks you can make yourself. shortening the straps, bringing in the waist, or otherwise altering the shape of garments usually isn’t possible from your average tailor, and if it is, will cost big bucks. i’ve never found major alterations on vintage to work out how i wanted.

Now do you have the vintage shopping bug? a few, but not all of my favorite vintage haunts in NYC:

Housing Works- a charity store that requires lots of digging but I have found some great stuff

Starstruck Vintage Clothing– right around the corner from my abode, lots of retro denim for turning into shorts, cowboy boots and vintage rock t’s

What Goes Around Comes Around– the premiere designer vintage in the world, very pricey but incredible. this store has really taken off recently through its partnerships with Gilt and Bloomies.

Diamonds & Coal– technically a consignment store, not vintage specifically

Pippin Vintage Jewelry– lots of rhinestones! luckily my friend LKH lives upstairs to this store, so i pop in a lot to peruse

Cure Thrift Shop– great slip dresses, bangles and beaded vintage purses

A very happy (but tired) post-thrifting girl ready for Saturday night in her new top