Tag Archives: style

There’s a party on my fingers! Yay!

This week I forced my brothers to watch Fudoh: The New Generation with me (I feel like there’s probably a lesson in there about compromise, but…), my brother flew back to London on Thursday night (the most emotional part of the week), and I went to this awesome exhibit at MoMAI’ve also been trying to get my posterior in gearior regarding my next Fashion Challenge segment (I’m trying to post one/month and I’m already behind schedule), but I can’t find certain garments in the Polyvore archives or when I Google them, which is something I find unacceptable in 2013. Seriously, why is it so difficult to find the leather Rick Owens sporran I spotted in Philadelphia two years ago at a store that no longer exists?!

I knew that I was going to be doing my fair share of socializing this week, so I needed to be prepared for whatever excitement and mischief was to come my way. Enter the PARTY MANICURE.

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Despite the fact that all of the manicure photos I’ve posted are fun, glittery, trendy, and two-toned, I generally stick to more solid and uniform manicures (which is also one of the reasons why I’ve only written about four of my manicures so far). What can I say? I was in the mood for confetti. Plus, this manicure matches these crazy pants which I’ve had for MONTHS and finally wore for the first time on Saturday night. 🙂

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I absolutely love the print of these pants; however, there is this brown paint splatter motif that makes them kind of look….. soiled. Gross, huh? Well, I’m all for fugly chic and anything kind of transgressive.

Here’s to my gross-looking, but awesome printed pants and the party on my fingers!

Base coat: White Hot by Sephora by OPI (see the tip below)
Top coat: Twinkle by Milani
Pants: H&M

TIP: Use white nail polish as a base coat for solid, colorful manicures. Cover those white digits with a neon color (Dream On by Sinful Colours is my personal favorite) and watch that color really pop.

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Fashion Challenge: Mesh Top *Lots of Pics* *New Segment*

It’s been about a month since I’ve written about my decision to abstain from purchasing any non-necessary and/or low-quality items. While it’s true that my wallet hasn’t felt this good in years, this decision hasn’t entirely been “sunshine and roses”. Listen, I knew from the start that cutting down on clothes shopping wasn’t going to be without its obvious issues (has anybody seen Jeffrey Campbell’s Seem platform?), but I definitely didn’t expect to have any new concerns related to style and upkeep.

Now, instead of just being afraid of one day cracking and dropping $300 on some stuff I don’t need, I’m haunted by another, even more pressing concern: will my newly limited wardrobe resources lead me to eventually run out of outfit ideas? I’ve seen what’s in my closet: lots of clothes that either no longer fit me or have shoulder pads and ‘80s proportions (remember, most of this stuff belonged to my mom twenty to thirty years ago). Wtf is a modern Millie to do!?

Finally, I convinced myself that that would only happen if I allowed it to happen. Mind over matter, Size J! Or, as my grandfather would say if he were alive, “Coraggio!” That’s when I got the idea for the Fashion Challenge!

The core idea behind the Fashion Challenge segment is that anything can be styled. That’s right — anything. Give me your tattered, your fugly, and your outdated, and I will make them wearable once again. Sometimes, all you need to do is reimagine the world in which those pieces would be worn; other times, you might need more of a nip or a tuck. Either way, anything can be worn again, including your stripper heels and your ‘70s plaid bell bottoms.

Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed by my crazy, immense-scale ideas that I abandon any efforts to get a plan off the ground. Luckily, I know myself well enough by now to know that if I want to pull something off, I need to be organized and consistent, and avoid limiting my ideas. I am very pleased to showcase the inaugural Fashion Challenge post, and the Polyvore style boxes I’ve made to accompany it.

For this post, I decided to style something a little more simple: a black mesh dress.

Yes, you read that correctly. This is a black mesh DRESS.

Mesh is one of those materials that often looks cheap, which is why it’s especially important to pair it with quality accessories. There are ways to make your mesh top the standout piece, and ways to make it more of a “supporting” piece. Below, you will find several examples of how you may stylishly incorporate mesh into outfits without looking like a hot mesh… mess. Sorry — I blame the Sean Connery movie marathon. 😉

SOLIDS WITH MESH

With mesh, it can be really easy to go from night club to strip club. Here are some tips to keep you at the bar and off the pole (unless, of course, that’s where you want to be):

1. Match the solid top to the color of the mesh for a more refined finish.

How to Wear a Mesh Shirt -- Solid with Same Color Mesh

Click the style box for clothing credits.

2. If you select a solid in a color different from that of the mesh, layer the solid OVER the mesh.

How to Wear a Mesh Shirt -- Solid with Different Color Mesh

3. Try a more monochrome outfit for elegance and a more streamlined silhouette. Black on black is timeless, sexy, and mysterious. White on white is fresh and modern.

How to Wear a Mesh Shirt -- Smaller Solid Garments with Mesh #1

4. If you decide to go the less-is-more route by layering a bra or bandeau underneath your mesh top, there are two styles you can try. If you have a loosely fitting mesh top, go the bohemian route with down-to-earth accessories and more contrast among garment textures and style.

How to Wear a Mesh Shirt -- Smaller Solid Garments with Mesh #2

If you have a more tightly fitting mesh top, don’t be afraid to really crank up the sex appeal by channeling the strippers of yesteryear with a leather bra, like I did. If you’re worried about looking cheap, never fear — keep skirt hemlines about knee-length at their shortest, only wear tailored jackets, and style with only good quality (or industry-approved — wink, wink) accessories. For extra impact, go monochromatic.

Mesh dress: the Luxe Collection (bought it at some store in Chelsea), leather bra: DeMask

Skirt: H&M, leather pumps: Pleasers, jacket: BCBGMaxAzria

I’ve already gone into detail about what makes this leather and silk jacket so awesome, but thrown over a mesh top and leather bra gives “ssssssexy” a whole new meaning! Oo la la!

These rings were my mom’s. She told me that she was on a serious silver kick in the ’70s. I think they make the outfit look very biker-esque.

MESH OVER MESH

1. Throwing a really loose net-like knit cardigan over mesh adds some funky movement to your upper half. Select a colorful knit for an even bolder optical effect.

2. A mesh shirt is pretty daring to begin with, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of your outfit can’t have an edge. Just remember that edgy “supporting” garments and accessories should at least be cut in more classic shapes, as your outfit will otherwise run the risk of looking too illogical.

How to Wear a Mesh Shirt -- Mesh with Mesh

3. Mesh is both a pattern and a texture. Mixing textures creates more visual interest in an outfit, so don’t shy away from mixing the smoothness of leather leggings with the bumps and jags of an alligator handbag. The key here is not to overdo it; make sure at least two of the garments in your outfit are the same texture and/or material.

4. Use neutrals to pull the outfit together.

5. Always know what you plan to wear underneath your mesh. Will you be wearing a t-shirt or a tank top? Will you be making a statement with a bra or a bandeau? Will you be wearing something skin-toned to keep the focus solely on the mesh? Be aware of what it is you’re trying to highlight or play down.

PRINT OVER MESH

Mesh can have the same effect as a print. For a punchy look, mix mesh with something graphic.

1. A uniform print like mesh should be layered underneath a more complex print to keep the focus on the statement garment.

2. To keep your outfit from looking schizophrenic, balance the colors in the selected print with accessories in one or two neutral tones.

How to Wear a Mesh Shirt -- Print with Mesh

3. I love garments with pleats and origami-esque folding. For a ladylike look incorporating mesh, combine printed architectural dresses, shirts, skirts or pants with edgier takes on classic accessories.

4. If you’d like to use mesh to look more “bohemian urban raver tribe child” (I made that up — I don’t know if that’s a thing), try pairing a loose printed dress with unusual shoes, statement rings, and a structured bag.

Sunglasses: my brother’s. Attitude: FUN!

Lastly, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS remember to have fun. I had so much fun trying to figure out how I could style a couple of outfits using a mesh top that I completely forgot to feel anxious over the prospect of running out of style ideas. Take that, closet!

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The Battle of Bloomingdale Rd.

This past spring, I experienced some pretty horrendous customer service courtesy of Bloomingdales. I found the experience a little too Orwellian for my taste (pardon the melodrama), and so I decided to cut ties with the retailer altogether. After spending a considerable amount of time mulling over how sinister the customer service situation really was (credit services trying to contact me by calling my cousin? How did they get his number?), I turned my rage to another question: why do so many retailers and designers sacrifice quality for higher profit margins?

Frankly, I felt pretty insulted by the prospect of having acrylic and nylon jackets pushed on me for upwards of $100. Frustrated with the over-priced, low-quality clothing peddled to the masses via Instagrammed marketing campaigns, glossy ads, and fancy brand names, I vowed to go without buying any new clothing for as long as I could stand it. As it turns out, this wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

First, I needed to change the way I felt and thought about fashion. The night I closed my Bloomingdales account, I thought of all of the times I had spent too much money on clothing. I thought of the time I had spent over $500 on two pairs of flats that, to this day, give me painful blisters, all because I thought my old shoes made me look frumpy. I thought of the time I had purchased some crappy Ella Moss t-shirt for over $80 because I thought it would hide the weight gain of which I was so ashamed. In other words, I was trying to look and feel less like shit, instead of trying to look and feel more like my awesome self. It hit me that night that I don’t need to pay to feel better about myself or to be more creative; I just need to be willing to trust myself every time I open the closet door.

Next, I needed to establish some ground rules. Surely, it would be impossible to go without buying anything for six months, let alone a year. However, if I were to give myself a little leeway, it would need to be in the name of creativity, skill-building, or necessity. I could only buy something if…
1. I need it. I bought two glorious one-piece bathing suits over the summer because I didn’t have any, and because it’s always good to have two options.
2. I can create something with it. DIY projects are great for flexing a little creative muscle, increasing patience and self-discipline, and appreciating craftsmanship.

For a long time, I believed that I could fill any emotional void with a little shopping. I’d buy whatever I liked and could afford at that moment of disappointment or sadness, only for those feelings of inadequacy or dejection to return once my purchases were no longer new. I let a spike in dopamine run my finances, all for naught. I’ve since unsubscribed from the whole shopping-as-an-Olympic-sport philosophy because it felt empty to me, and spending money on stuff I don’t need always leaves me feeling pretty anxious. My new outlook has led me to want to take this blog in a new direction — one where I can challenge myself to cook up new ways to work with my wardrobe, and where creativity and adventure create value for all of us. Let’s see what discipline + creativity can do!

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