I’m going to write about that heart-stopping, joyful sensation that occurs when you find a perfectly distressed, perfectly fitting vintage piece. That feeling – after flipping through racks, digging through piles, and trying on garment after garment – of discovering something that’s one-of-a-kind. If you’re like me and the idea of mixing vintage and contemporary looks excites you, then you understand the possibilities that finding a vintage wardrobe staple like a pair of Levi’s jeans can hold. Jeans and a t-shirt is an unbeatable combination, but adding high-waisted timeworn jeans that are undoubtedly as rugged as they are feminine to the mix takes it to another level. I have found some pretty sweet vintage pieces in unlikely places, but I have yet to find, yes find (not “find” in Urban Outfitters, which, not going to lie, I’ve been tempted to do) my own pair of vintage Levi’s. In cherishing these timeless jeans (or jackets, or shoes) of the past I feel as though I can bring nostalgia to an outfit of otherwise current pieces that were most likely manufactured in this decade. A pair of vintage Levi’s can stand alone with a modest shirt and not much else and can add something special in their own subtle way.
Sometimes the equation for an outfit doesn’t have to be complicated. That proved to be the case with this Thursday-but-really-Friday ensemble I pulled together yesterday. The last day of the week before a holiday weekend can be tough to remain productive and not in full relaxation mode, and like “casual Friday”, the last day of the week can yield to some of the most leisurely pieces in my closet. But I resisted the urge to wear my most casual of office looks (usually a t-shirt, drapey pants, and sneakers) thanks to a super arty and beautiful necklace that was gifted to me by a Jewelry Affaire published artist. Like a kid who gets a new toy on Christmas, my excitement caused me to want to wear it right away, which meant forgoing a thoughtless Thursday outfit for something a little more pulled together.
I won’t say that I didn’t try on a few different tops before realizing the most reliable outfit equation – neutral basics + statement accessory – works 95% of the time. So that’s what I did. I pulled on a simple grey top, my favorite black jeans with rips in the knees (yes, Dad, I bought them like this … EXTRA 40% off though, THANKS, J. CREW), my St. James striped shirt for an extra layer for the AC in my office, and a pair of slightly heeled sandals from Topshop. Those basics provided an ideal canvas for my new decorative, one-of-a-kind bauble. The artist, Melinda Barnett, carved a block of wood to look like a faceted gemstone and finished it with a couple layers of blue paint and gloss. This is, without a doubt, my most handmade looking piece of jewelry, and I’m so happy to add it to my collection of mostly manufactured, mass produced pieces. Not knocking the jewelry sections at my favorite stores, however, there’s something special about speaking to the artist who handcrafted the piece and asked you to have it, you know?
I am currently in an Independence Day state of mind (three day weekend!), listening to a Billy Joel record, sipping iced tea, and thinking about how I will incorporate red, white, and blue into my outfit tomorrow. That being said, have a very delightful and safe 4th of July!
On the eve of the beginning of Award Season, while reeling with excitement for the impending glamour that could only exist in a place like Hollywood, I decided that I wasn’t going to do a round-up of my favorite red carpet looks this year. Why? Because pulling pictures from HuffPost Style and posting them up seems a little “in the box.” But after seeing the red carpet showing from both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards the number of ‘hits’ tremendously outweighed the ‘misses’ (who am I? E! Network ?!).
My jaw dropped when Lupita Nyong’o confidently stepped out in a bright red, strapless cape-dress by Ralph Lauren that was equal parts elegant and badass. The always stunning and very pregnant Kerry Washington so perfectly put her fashion foot forward and was glowing in a custom gown by Balenciaga. And I am still trying to recall a better tailored, more flattering gown than Reece Witherspoon’s turquoise Calvin Klein creation; red carpet queen Reece proves once again that fit is everything.
With so many red carpet moments worth mentioning, I present my top picks below. Whose looks did you love? And who are you looking forward to seeing on the BAFTA and Academy Award red carpets?
Sarah Hyland in Georges Hobieka Couture
Zoe Saldana in Prabal Gurung
Cate Blanchett in Armani
Kerry Washington in Balenciaga
Julianna Margulies in Andrew Gn
Caitlin Fitzgerald in Emilia Wickstead
Emma Watson in Dior
Michelle Dockery in J. Mendel
Amy Adams in Antonio Berardi
Rashida Jones in Fausto Puglisi
Reese Witherspoon in Calvin Klein
Anna Gunn’s customized Breaking Bad clutch by Edie Parker
Show of hands, how many of you have looked at an image on a visually driven website like Pinterest (universally accepted procrastination station) and immediately been reminded of someone close to you. Perhaps it’s a pair of camel-colored, suede driving moccasins with tassels that one of your BFFs used to sport in her ultra-preppy high school days. Maybe it’s a pillow in the perfect shade of aqua blue reminiscent of the exact color of your friend’s bedroom walls: you think to yourself, “That is such a [insert friend’s name] color!
The photo above conjured a distinct memory of my maternal grandma. Momma knew how to work the classics and often chose to wear tried-and-true prints like the featured tartan trousers. A classic “Momma” outfit also included some sort of neutral-colored cozy knit, perhaps a turtleneck and, if cold weather permitted, a fuzzy coat that often resembled the coat of a teddy bear. A devotee of the LeSportsac classic hobo, she was also known to switch it up and carry a red shoulder bag similar to the one above.
Aside from being reminded of all the wonderful times I had with Momma and the aphorisms she passed along, most memorably, “C’est la vie,” what was most enjoyable about finding this image was the fact that I further understood the trans-generational appeal of classic wardrobe staples. Momma would totally wear that outfit, I would totally wear that outfit.
And if you would totally wear this outfit too, take a look at the pieces below and shop away!