Boston, Culture, Fashion, fashion theory, Feminism, Pop Culture

Boston Bloggers: Boss Ladies

Photos by Elissa Garza of Style-Wire.

I’ve surely mentioned it bitterly a million times before—growing up, I didn’t really have friends who shared my interest in fashion. Between middle school and my three years at college in Florida, I met a lot of people who “loved” fashion as a status symbol, but few who executed personal style as an artistic form of self-expression. Don’t get me wrong. I am lucky to have a circle of loyal, diverse friends, many of whom have been at my side since childhood, and our differences bring invaluable richness to our friendships and group dynamics. With that said, passion is often best enjoyed with company, and my affinity for fashion felt pretty lonely at times. Then, I started Annie’s Fashion Sauce, put together an affiliated Instagram account, and everything changed.

I have encountered so many unexpected perks and exciting experiences since launching Annie’s Fashion Sauce three years ago this month but I never could have anticipated the greatest benefit of all: finding like-minded ladies to inspire and, yes, validate me. As with my fabulous go-to photographer, Miranda Mu, I “met” both Jazzy Roulhac and Nathalia JMag on Instagram, where we quickly became frequent fans of each other’s photos and personal aesthetics. It wasn’t long before we took our cyber-friendships to Facebook, where I discovered that kindred spirits resided behind the photos. Jazzy (the statuesque, retro queen in the red lip), the stylish editor-in-chief of The Beautiful Boston (a.k.a. The Happiness Blog), writer (check out her E-book, HERSTORYhere), and eternal optimist and I are surely the loudest feminists and most annoying social justice warriors on anyone’s Facebook News Feed; and Nathalia, a blogger and up-and-coming fashion designer (and mermaid) soon to appear on Season 15 of Lifetime’s prestigious and infamously grueling competition reality series Project Runway, and I are two Sagittarius ladies who desperately want to know…what is wrong with being confident???

I had only met Jazzy in person once, and neither of us had ever actually crossed paths with Nathalia when we started planning this shoot. While discussing where our three aesthetics overlap and how to style ourselves for the shoot, we decided to pay homage to iconic online shopping websites Nasty Gal and Dolls Kill, both of which have helped create a strong, millennial counter-culture of girls who embrace opportunities to stand out—women who defiantly dress for themselves and have fun doing it. We wanted to capture that spirit, because it’s what brought us together.

Once the photo shoot arrived, we experienced one of life’s most luxurious clichés: making new friends that feel like you’ve known them forever. The three of us instantly clicked, fell into squad formation, and once we wrapped, we took our little party out to dinner, where we toasted to the rare joy of finding people who “get it.” We also gushed about Elissa Garza, one of Boston’s most notable bloggers and side-hustlers, who’s found so much success through her blog Style-Wire, and who graciously volunteered to take these photos in between work and another photo shoot.

I could ramble forever about these boss ladies, but I’d rather you click on the links I’ve included within this post and get to know them and their amazing work, yourself. This surely isn’t the last you’ll see of them on the Sauce, so stay tuned and #StaySaucy. And OBVIOUSLY don’t forget to tune into Project Runway Season 15 on September 15th to watch Nathalia represent Boston’s growing fashion scene.

P.S. Jazzy and I are both wearing customized round, soft-touch sunglasses by REKS Optics. You can get an exclusive offer on your first pair by entering the code TheFashionSauce at checkout. You can find versions of everything else the three of us are wearing in the depths of Nasty Gal and Dolls Kill. Happy shopping!

 

 

 

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Fashion, Promotional

REKS Optics: #BeUnbreakable

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REKS Optics round ‘Lumolux’ soft touch sunglasses in white with polarized lens in smoke, worn with Triangl ‘Isabel’ bikini in fuchsia. Photo by Bella Caballero.

Sunglasses are by far my favorite accessory, but they often come with a big price tag, and since most are pretty easy to break, that means they also come with a certain level of responsibility. Who hasn’t had their heart broken by a broken pair of shades? (I’m still sulking over a pair that lost their life during the excitement of Bonnaroo 2014. R.I.P.)

Much to my amazement and delight, I was recently introduced to REKS Optics, a new line of affordable, cute, customizable sunglasses that bend…but don’t break. Yes, you read that correctly. Go ahead—bend and twist your REKS, toss them into your purse, or cram them into a suitcase, and they’ll still remain as good as new. REKS Optics’ unique soft touch material renders their sunnies perfect for travel, sport, or for downright clumsy people, like myself. But REKS doesn’t want you to sacrifice style for practicality. You can choose from six frames, eight frame colors, and eleven different polarized lens colors—some mirrored, some not. For somewhere between just $30-$60, you can customize the perfect shades for your poolside look without having to worry if it might be precarious to wear them in the water. Plus, the soft touch material prevents REKS from wobbling or sliding on your face while you’re on the move. Scroll down to see more color combinations in the round-style frames, which are my personal favorite:

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REKS Optics round ‘Lumolux’ soft touch sunglasses in raspberry with polarized lens in amber-rose, worn with Maje ‘Bacary’ silk bomber jacket and dress from LF Stores. Photo by Miranda Mu.

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Photo by Annie Goldman

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REKS Optics round ‘Lumulox’ soft touch sunglasses in metallic blue with polarized lens in blue mirror, worn with Madewell plaid off-the-shoulder dress and Alexander Wang ‘Marion’ cross body bag. Photo by Miranda Mu.

REKS can add such flair to such a variety of looks, it’s really hard to believe they can’t break—and won’t break the bank! The great news for you, my beloved Fashion Saucers? You can get an exclusive offer when you customize your own REKS by using the code TheFashionSauce at checkout. So what are you waiting for? The latest way to #StaySaucy is to #BeUnbreakable. (Don’t forget to show off how you rock your REKS by sharing photos and using the hashtag #BeUnbreakable on social media! Follow REKS Optics on Instagram here.)

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Fashion

Off The Shoulder, On the Bandwagon

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006-14Nasty Gal ‘Stripe a Pose’ top, Citizens of Humanity ‘Melanie’ jeans, Joie sandals, Furla ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag in silver, Marc Jacobs sunglasses, Joie sandals.

I often prefer to observe a hot trend’s versatility and potential staying power before I take part. With about a month left of summer, I’ve finally decided to jump on the off-the-shoulder bandwagon. Hard. (This top is one of a few fun off-the-shoulder pieces you’ll see me wear over the next few weeks. See two others on Instagram here and here.) These dramatic, wide-leg denim trousers with a raw-cut hem give my striped blouse a strong, modern feel, and I maintain the edgy vibe with metallic accessories and a black choker.

Photos by Miranda Mu

 

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Fashion, Pop Culture, Travel

Osheaga

Last weekend, my best friend and I took a quick road trip up to Montreal for the last day of Osheaga Music Festival. I have a major soft spot for festivals, but haven’t attended any serious ones since my third and final (for now) Bonnaroo back in 2014, so it was exciting be back on the scene, especially in an entirely new setting. I’d never been to Canada before, and even for the flicker of time I was there, I found myself enchanted by Montreal’s French and friendly atmosphere. I kept my festival attire simple with a black bodysuit, black denim shorts, my go-to Western belt, a red silk scarf and a mini leather backpack, but quite honestly didn’t feel like squandering my time posing for pictures. It’s just not what you do when amazing artists like Leon Bridges, Grimes, and Radiohead are pouring their talent (and in Grimes’ case, a little bit of puke) onto the stage for you. (You can see a little Instagram Boomerang video of my look here.) I did, however, recently invest in a decent camera of my own, and while I’m more than rusty, I managed to snap a few festival street style shots while hammered that I’d love to share with you! I was super impressed with the eclectic mix of minimalism, boho-chic, and new-wave ’90s grunge, so here are some highlights:

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Fashion

Stripes

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03-23Zara trousers, crop top from LF Stores, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Belanger-2’ flats, Furla customized ‘Metroplois’ cross body bag in ‘Moonstone’ & ‘Petalo’, 66 The Label paisley scarf.

I don’t have central air conditioning in my apartment, and have spent the past two weeks holed up in my bedroom, standing in front of a window AC unit in just my underwear, groaning to the higher powers that when I begged for winter to end, I did not intend to request a formal receipt for climate change. (If there’s anyone out there who still doesn’t believe that this planet is getting hotter, I invite you to spend just ten minutes in my living room.) It’s tough to get dressed at all when it’s 93 degrees outside, and even tougher to put on something that might appear remotely polished—but we can’t wear jorts everywhere. Yesterday was a scorcher, and I found myself as comfortable as perhaps humanly possible in these super lightweight, billowy culottes, elevated by a pair of pointed loafers.

Who doesn’t love vertical stripes? Flattering and eye-catching, I think this combination of pastels and navy is so dreamy for summertime, and my paisley silk scarf achieves some fun pattern play without stealing the trousers’ spotlight. Silk scarves can instantly add Parisian-style sophistication to just about any look, so if you’re like me and want to mix up your choker obsession, you should consider this alternative neck accessory. You can even tie them to handbags, wear them as cute retro hair accessories, or fashion yourself a unique cuff. I fully support trends that offer options.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Boston, Fashion, Promotional

A Night in the North End

Visiting Shake the Tree Boston

Maje ‘Marco’ ribbed knit fitted vest, BDG jeans, Joie sandals, Yazbukey ‘Banana’ clutch.

I often feel like simplicity and eccentricity are wrongfully kept apart, but combining them doesn’t have to be contradictory—in fact, the effect can be pretty complimentary. For a lovely little gathering at Shake the Tree in Boston’s North End, I went with a minimal outfit, punctuated by a very loud accessory. To clarify, a pop of color can be, but is not always a statement piece, and I personally think adding a mere pop of color to this outfit, like a plain red purse, would have come across as a failure to commit to minimalism, as well as a lackluster attempt to give the look more panache. This blue Yazbukey clutch (which is currently on sale and low in stock), complete with bright yellow banana detailing, is unusual and playful enough to make this simple outfit pop without looking like an afterthought.

I have to admit, because I don’t visit the North End as often as I should, I hadn’t heard of Shake the Tree until I got an invitation to a blogger party they were hosting in collaboration with Georgina of A Noted Life and Boston Foodies. Regan Cleminson, the insanely talented photographer and marketing/communications consultant, was on site to snap fun street style shots of attendees. (One of these photos recently became my most liked photo ever on Instagram. Regan’s kind of a big deal!) Not even impromptu photo shoots and mini meatballs could distract me from Shake the Tree’s amazing collection, though. It’s truly one of the most charming and well-curated fashion and lifestyle boutiques I’ve ever seen, filled with flowing printed frocks, uniquely specialized cook books, ornate champagne glasses, jars of raw honey, and candles far too pretty to burn. The small space is jam-packed with gorgeous little somethings. You could easily get sucked into Shake the Tree for two hours, and leave with no money to your name. I think I’ll definitely start making my way to the North End more often.

Photos by Regan Cleminson

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Fashion, Humor, Pop Culture

“Pink is My Favorite Crayon”

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DSC_0992Motel ‘Rosebud’ satin bomber jacket, Emma & Sam cropped tee, Calvin Klein x UO boyfriend jeans, Furla customized ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag in ‘Moonstone’ & ‘Petalo,’ Superga classic sneakers in white.

I have always loved the color pink. In case this post title doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a line from Aerosmith’s ’90s single “Pink,” which I liked so much that I named a pink teddy bear Stephen Tyler. (I was an interesting kid.) Given that I was seven or eight, I understand why no one felt compelled to tell me that, in this case, “pink” was being used a euphemism for the vagina. (Funnily enough, that’s also the story behind the singer Pink’s stage name…I like fun vaginal facts.) ANYWAY, I have always been into pink, but shied away from wearing lighter shades until recently. Considering my newfound confidence in wearing pastels and my affinity for bomber jackets, this one was a no-brainer. The pink jacket and purse give such feminine vibes, so I decided to balance this look out with these amazing Calvin Klein, khaki-colored, cropped boyfriend jeans. These jeans fit with unparalleled perfection, and I have a close relationship with denim. No one does it quite like Calvin, am I right? Unfortunately, these pants were designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters and are completely sold out. Their medium blue acid wash counterpart, however, is still available here.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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