Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I Wore: Kimono and Cutoffs

    I must fall easily. 
Scratch that--I know that I do. Literally speaking as well as figuratively. Believe me, for an ex-gymnast, I'm quite accident-prone. As of this moment, my knuckles are scarred, my elbow is black, and I have a giant line-of-a-scar down my bicep, just to name a few of my day-to-day battle wounds.  Me versus New York City. It always wins, dammit. But, even more so, I'm falling multiple times a day for people, places, and things. Come on. In this city? 

"I was in love with New York. I do not mean 'love' in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and never love anyone quite that way again."
-Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Let's reign it back in and focus on the fashion aspect, though. I'm into--like, really into--kimonos. I went down headfirst into the land of light, draped fabric that can be thrown over summer dresses as well as extremely casual denim cutoffs. 

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And, although I do not really consider myself an "Urban Outfitters girl," or even really a customer of theirs, the primary components of this ensemble were found in that very place (gasp!): kimono, shorts, and a basic white tee all hail from the UO mothership. Needless to say, I was impressed, and particularly, with the Urban Outfitters in my neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Yes, duh, it's super hip and even features locally made designers--from jewelry to home goods with rotating "mini exhibits." Three floors that appear more loft apartment-meets-greenhouse complete with a bar and restaurant on the top floor. I definitely buy high-to-low, mix and match luxury labels with steals, thrift stores finds, Ebay purchases, and most commonly, consignment. I don't love the idea of walking into a store, especially a "hip" or trend-driven retailer, that consistently pumps out the same clothing in massive quantities that you "just muuuuust have right now" that you also had in a different pattern last month. It's just plain lazy and even more so, stale and boooooring. OK, I'll back away from the soapbox. While I almost always demand a good deal, I do occasionally purchase, off the rack, a few items that are "right now."  Urban delivered strongly in the basics department in addition to the trends. This kimono falls under the latter, and I fell under its spell. I also resisted buying about four others in various shapes, textures, and patterns. I may or may not be returning to scoop them up, considering I'm a crazy lady about my current crush.  An incredibly soft and flattering white tee, by Project Social T beckoned to be paired with these mid-waist, broken-in Levi's denim shorts. It was a no-brainer outfit, in terms of ease and comfort, which practically put itself together on my body. 

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“I love New York, even though it isn't mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me, because I belong to it.” 
― Truman Capote

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The details
Ecote square kimono via Urban Outfitters// Project Social T white tee via Urban Outfitters// Levi's slash cutoff shorts via Urban Outfitters// TopShop spikes 'n studs sandals (Tons HERE)// Bracelets: Hermes white and silver "H", David Yurman clasp bangle, David Yurman black onyx hinge bangle, Kate Spade gold geometric bangle (FABULOUS options HERE)// Rings: Lia Sophia black and gold diamond, Alexis Bittar icey-blue and gold bauble, similar HERE and alternative HERE // BrahminAtelier "Brookline" python crossbody bag via Crossroads Trading Co. (similar styles--in fabulous prints-- from Brahmin HERE and HERE)// Ray-Ban aviators 

Bippity, boppity, boo!
Take it up a notch in three minutes flat...
or, as long as it takes you to repeat that a few times to yourself.

I dressed up my plain white tee, kimono and cutoffs with the change of three simple accessories. How? 1. Added a pop of color with a turquoise multi-strand necklace. 2. Switched out of flats and into strappy black heels (that are actually comfortable! Swear!). 3. Traded in my shoulder bag for a smaller, sleeker leopard clutch. Voila! 

It continues to emit that easy and effortless vibe, but the slick accessories up the ante. It's a bit more urban, city-girl rather than, "Oh, this? I just came off of a summer stint in Mykonos" or something, right? No, I'm not writing my very own "Eat, Pray, Love"...just yet. Although, stay tuned here at TKOG. Fingers crossed, a personal explorative adventure should be commencing sooner rather than later. 
You've been warned--As someone once said (or rapped?), 
"Hide your kids, hide your wife..."

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MORE details: Colombian handmade multi-strand necklace// Kate Spade leopard clutch & shoulder bag, similar HERE// Pour La Victoire black leather heels (old), but I neeeed OPTION 1 and OPTION 2 +so many on sale HERE 

I've gone a little kimono crazy. I'll wear one whenever, wherever. In fact, I may or may not be wearing one right now as I sit here in workout pants, typing this. 
Hint: I AM. 

Two weekends ago, I took the 'ole shuttle bus down to Washington D.C. to meet my mother and two sisters for an all girls' weekend. Next post, I'll be elaborating and sharing some of our favorite moments. But, while there, my sisters saw the light and became avid fans as well of this trend. We shopped through the gorgeous Georgetown before a gluttonous Italian dinner at Filomena, after which, I sat comatose. Looking back, it was wise of us to browse the stores beforehand. The two sisters are now the proud owners of kimonos, and I'm positive it won't be their last purchase.  Mom, you're next.

Shop everything kimono:

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One//  Two//  Three//  Four//  Five//  Six//  Seven//  Eight//  Nine//  Ten
How fabulous are the numbers 5&6 as kimono dresses? !

As I've stressed to my parents and sisters, always trust the youngest. 
Isn't that what they say? Something about youth and wisdom? And beauty? And grace? And style?
Bwahaha, evil Maleficent cackle. 

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P.S. And no, your eyes are not deceiving you! I did it, the unthinkable: I went lighter...the hair! Eh, I figured in honor of the summer season, I'd give it a shot. My tendency to go "darker" in most situations whether personally or stylistically speaking, is struggling to make sense of the reflection in the mirror these days. I'll go with it for now. 

 Here's to lightening up! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Right Now in Five.

I always have a lot on my mind. As in, too much. But, right this minute, these five are fresh off the brain grill. From what I'm wearing to what I'm rocking to on the train, this is...
(drumroll, please, maestro!)

Right Now in Five!

Count 'em.

1. Cambiami interchangeable sandals

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I need to know something-
OK, seriously, why didn't I come up with this brilliant, yet "that makes so much sense!" idea?! I was invited to the Slash PR showroom to view a sandal line that had just made its online debut. But, this was even more than I'd expected. Cambiami, literally translates to "change me." And, shocker, that's precisely what they're offering! You build your own sandal to fit the occasion or ensemble in about a minute (or less!) flat. You begin with the rubber base, or sole, of the sandal  in tan or black. Comfortable enough to walk around Machu Picchu or just from the East River to the Hudson. From there, you choose your toppings. Haha, well, they're referred to as uppers, but toppings gets me all giddy, conjuring dreams of ice cream sundaes. 
Give me alllll of the toppings
No, really. Look at the #mycambis showroom setup below. Jelly beans? M&M's? I'll take a scoop of each. And then, straps to match. 
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Right now, they offer 24  various styles that snap onto the base. Doing an outfit change? No problem. Simply tote along another pair of sandal toppers and exchange them. No need for a second pair of shoes. These sandals are a jet-setter, girl-on-the-go, travel-bug's holy grail! From every imaginable solid color in regular or patent finish, to prints like leopard--there's a style for you that's not only convenient but cute. A sneak peak of the fall line proved that they're only just beginning. More, please! I grabbed a pink peonies Victorian print as well as a navy ostrich to pair with my black sandals! I can't wait to begin collecting more. Sandals upon sandals that only take up a minimal amount of room in my closet and suitcase? Sold. I only wish I'd thought of this. 

2. Shaking & Moving in Outdoor Fitness Classes

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I'm obsessed, and it's about time. Everything everywhere is about the outdoors. Refreshing (extra ice, please!) cocktails on the roof. Al fresco lunches.  Maybe it's the Viatmin D. Maybe it's the endorphins. Maybe it's the river and city skyline views. But, I'm pretty much a maniac for the outdoors. 

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Doing something productive and beneficial while enjoying? Double the points...don't confuse that with double the fun, though. In order to change up my running routine (it gets ollllldddd), I like to add in a few weekly group classes. Whether yoga, pure barre, or some insane interval bootcamp, I'm keeping it sweaty. Trying to, at least. Best of all, I keep a list of all of the city's FREE (yes, FREE!) classes, so when I do find myself with an unexpected free moment and access to tennis shoes, I head off to whatever park or pier they're offering physical activity. It doesn't hurt that there's a reward: free water and organic frozen fruit popsicles after. What can I say? I'm incentive-driven. And, FREE-driven. Here's one searchable list of sponsored New York City classesbut most cities have begun to offer weekly classes and programs as part of their health and wellbeing initiatives to encourage active lifestyles. Look up your city's Department of Parks and Recreation to see what's available to you. It's about time! Take advantage of your resources. 

3. Begin Again, the film (out now!)

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Three words for you come to mind: See this movie. The genius writer and director of the touching Irish musical film, Once, John Carney, has struck again...and unlike the Californians, he's got gold in his hands. The Broadway production and eight-time Tony award winner, Once, was adapted from this highly-regarded film. Instead of Ireland, though, the setting is the always-stimulating New York, which is more than a backdrop for the film. It plays just as prominent of a character as any. Mark Ruffalo, in one of his strongest and most heartfelt character roles to date, plays Dan, a disgraced and generally drunk record label executive, whose personal and professional choices have landed him in near-ruin. Keira Knightley, plays Gretta, a songwriter betrayed by her musician boyfriend and fellow-songwriting partner (played by Adam Levine, appropriately) after his first brush with fame once they land in New York. After moving out of their posh loft and into a childhood friend's apartment,  Gretta performs at an open-mic night (reppin' Arlene's Grocery in the Lower East Side) just as Dan stumbles in to hear her and experience a musical epiphany that had at one time, made him so brilliant at his job. 

Gretta and Dan, each lost and questioning the future, form an unlikely friendship based on their undying affection for music and its ability to authentically express the struggles that both of them, and individuals in general, experience. Music: a language in itself to communicate often what we cannot articulate in conversation. It's emotional. It's funny. It's relatable. Even better? The musical score is freaking amazing, of course! 

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One of my favorite quotes, which I've written many times here, sums up the message of of Begin Again quite well--"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool" (Almost Famous). 

4. Rocking Tove Lo
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I'm a huge fan (or sucker) for female-led bands that have their songwriting game on-point. I stumbled upon Tove Lo (Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson), singer-songwriter, after looking up Icona Pop's songwriting discography. She's written for the duo as well as Cher Lloyd, Girls Aloud + more. Now, she's performing her own material solo, and the girl's got spunk. Catchy without being overly obnoxious, which is actually still fine with me in smaller doses, but she maintains a more raw quality. Lo just played her first U.S. show this year at SXSW, and she's clearly doing something right. Tove Lo will be opening up for Katy Perry on the Australian portion of her Prismatic World Tour. Begin with the standout single "Habits" from the album Truth Serum and move from there. Don't miss the video either. Just the right amount of partying with a heartbreak chaser. 

5. Sipping & Mixing Owl's Brew

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Well, it's no secret in my circles that I'm a regular tea-drinking old lady. Jennie and Maria, the respective founder and partners of Owl's Brew, created a sister company to Brew Lab Tea. The thinking--how many more (yawn) vodka sodas can one drink? Jennie and Maria realized that besides taking your spirit straight, with little-to no originality, or chock-full of sugary mixers and juices, there aren't always a plethora of easy go-tos for creating something that's light, refreshing, and without all of the crap. Brewing in their oversized (tea) pots in Vermont, Owl's Brew brings in flavor without the additives. 

Then, it's bottled and sweetened with agave. Really, that's it. As its name suggest, drink wisely. Cut the sugar... and other unhealthy, boring mixers, and reach for a bottle of your own HERE.  It's effortless, tasty, and hydrating. Mix with whatever spirit you favor or even champagne (my favorite combination!). Peruse some recipes HERE for inspiration. Also, if you're a local or simply visiting in New York City, every Wednesday from 6-8pm at BFB Highline (55 Gansevoort), you can receive one five-cent Owl's Brew cocktail upon entry. Regress to Prohibition days and bring your spare change.

Don't plan on imbibing? Totally cool! Owl's Brew makes a mean mocktail
Alcohol or not, I need more of this in my life, and preferably, in my glass. 

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Who knows what it will be next week or even tomorrow, for that matter. But, I've got my eyes and ears open.

What are YOU into right now? 

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