Thursday, January 30, 2014

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

Friday, January 24, 2014

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).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

So-So SoulCycle Session

Another week without shopping means another SoulCycle class. I spent most of my day super-psyched for Mark's 6:15 class at SoulCycle on Long Island. Sadly, it was just meh.

Let me start by saying that I think it was an off night; no one was really riding together or with the beat. Mark chose a lot of instrumental techno which is not my favorite (I have enough trouble staying on the beat and it helps to ride to songs I know the lyrics to) and then switched to AJR's "I'm Ready" for the post-arms hills which isn't a bad song, but it kind of came out of nowhere.

At the start of the class Mark told us that we were going to do a lot of Triceps and he was not kidding. This was only my third class back after quite the lapse from not only SoulCycle, but the gym in general and my tris were burning and I was only using 2lb weights! (This isn't a complaint, just an admission of my own shortcomings.)

While it was a physically demanding session (huge plus), it didn't seem very SoulCycle-y. The first time I took Mark's class he doled a lot more of that feel-good mumbo jumbo that SC-haters love to hate. This time he seemed to be on autopilot so I wasn't at all surprised when I heard him telling my classmates that he was off to Vegas for vacation when I was on my way out. Hopefully he'll come back refreshed and ready to rock it in SC style because I hate to pay $34 for a spin class I could've taken at my gym for free.

Other than that, it was my first time in the back row and the depth kept coming loose on my bike, so I was a bit distracted as well. On the plus side, everyone was really nice and there weren't that many "skinny bitches" as my friend Laura from werkitinnyc would say. The class also inspired me to try as many instructors as possible -- you never know who's going to help you find your Soul.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Unsubscribe All

In an effort to actually succeed with my current shopping ban, I have been mass-unsubscribing to retailer mailing lists. After Christmas I realized that I was receiving over 100 shopping-related emails per day; every store I shop at, every website I bought a gift from, even brands that I’ve never purchased, but didn’t want to forget about, they all send me emails. Knowing myself as well as I do I know that if I don’t see the deals, I’m much less likely to look for them and so my mission to unsubscribe began.

Some retailers took the ‘either you’re in or you’re out’ stance and so I opted out. Each time I would see some sort of “we’re sorry to see you go message,” which got me thinking, if they’re so sorry to see me go, then they should come up with more options for me to stay. For almost every brand that offered to consolidate their emails to weekly, bi-weekly or better yet monthly, I decided to stay on the mailing list. My personal favorite was Shop It To Me – a website that send you deals based on the sizes and the brand preferences you provide – which allowed me to put my daily email on hold for up to a year! Not that I got that crazy – this shopping ban is only supposed to last until my birthday in June, so I chose to defer for 6 months.)

I’m a brand-loyal type of gal; even if I’m not shopping I want to stay up to date with what’s going on with my favorite stores and I appreciate any brand that doesn’t need to bombard my inbox daily. I’m confident in our relationship, so the brand should be too. I guess what I’m saying to most brands is, I think I need some space because I’m just not that into you.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Shopping Ban (for Real This Time)

One of my OCD tendencies is that I keep a list of items of clothing that I have bought, but not worn yet. The list currently has 24 items on it. 

I’ll give that a minute to sink in.

That’s 2 dozen items! I’m honestly kind of disgusted with myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love each and every piece and I have plans on when and where I might wear them in the future, but until I do I’m banned from shopping.

Those who know me and/or have been reading the blog for awhile know that I’ve tried this before, but I’ve never been 100% successful. There are a few items among the 24 that have been on multiple lists (i.e. the Andrew Marc body-con dress that’s fit for a night of "clubbing," a word that isn’t even in my vocabulary anymore.), but I am determined to stick to it this time and get the list down to 0 before allowing myself to shop again.

Disgust with my own gluttonous behavior is not my only motivator. I have recently realized that buying new is lazy. Working with what I’ve got is where my creativity comes into play; these shopping bans allow me to rediscover the joy in getting dressed.

Here are a few notes on how I plan to succeed this time around:

Accept Help: V has been brave enough to offer to help enforce this ban. He has really great style and I actually ask him for help when I’m struggling to make an outfit work. I often over-think things and I'm very critical of myself, which he is very good at counteracting.

Incentive: For every week that I don’t shop I’m allowed to attend SoulCycle classes. Here’s the thing – I don’t even like how a lot of my clothes fit right now. Rather than buy new items that will camouflage my recently expanded middle session (Holiday and stress-eating), I should do something that makes me feel good about myself and will also get me back into the clothes I haven’t even worn yet.

Purge: Binge and purge go together like a horse and carriage. I have done the former and now it's time for the latter. I spent last Sunday night going through clothes and managed to come up with yet another black garbage-bag full of donations.

Consign and Save: This is old news, but I plan on sticking with it. My first attempt was pretty successful, I actually made a couple hundred bucks!

Loopholes (this is three-fold): 

  • I know myself and if I want to be successful in this fashion diet, I'm going to need to arrange for a way to have a cheat day here and there. Therefore, I am going to allow myself to use gift cards that I received for Christmas. I think this is completely reasonable. Sadly, I already know that I'm going to need to use a Visa gift card I received to buy socks. 
  • I’m not allowed to buy, but I can borrow or rent. My mother was never a fan of us borrowing/lending clothes with friends, so I just never got into it. In the past few years I got more liberal with the lending, but I usually just wind up giving the item to the person because they will clearly get more use out of it than I will. Now I can cash in on a few of those favors if need be.
  • I'm allowed to buy make-up. I used to be so incredibly into make-up; I would sit for hours by myself in my room recreating the elaborate looks in Kevin Aucoin's books. It's so much fun to be a chameleon! Seriously, you should try it sometime. I'm hoping to get back to that, besides make-up is yet another way to transform an item or an outfit you've already worn.
So that's the plan. I've got more readers now than the last time I did this, so I have all of you to account to as well. Thanks for keeping me honest.



Saturday, January 4, 2014

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