Fashion

Hardware

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DSC_0913A.L.C. ‘Beals Buckle Detail’ gaucho pants, Emma & Sam cropped tee, Superga classic sneakers in white, Furla customized ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag in Moonstone and Petalo.

We’ve gone over this: culottes/gaucho pants are all the rage. But, now that they’ve become a certified staple, one has to consider curating a diverse collection. This gorgeous pair, on sale at Intermix, caught my eye because of their gorgeous clay color and metal belt detailing. A little bit of hardware can really take a simple staple to the next level. It’s especially awesome in this case because the belt is actually adjustable, allowing for a little extra room when I get intimate and make a baby with my lunch. I really love culottes because they meet my foremost fashion priority: versatility. These gauchos look lovely and relaxed with my cropped tee and white tennis sneakers, but would also slay with a pair of strappy heels and a blouse (or just a different crop top, whatever).

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Fashion

Bomber Jackets, Cont’d: Staple or Trend?

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DSC_1052Bomber jacket from LF Stores, Emma & Sam crop top, Sandro jeans, Furla customized ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag in Moonstone and Petalo, Superga ‘Cotu’ snake sneakers in brown, Vanessa Mooney ‘Sun Star’ choker.

Owning two satiny green bomber jackets may seem excessive, so, for my own sake, allow me to justify. It’s not a secret that bomber jackets have become a ubiquitous piece in street style culture. Chic meets chill, they up the ante for so many looks. There are, however, two different categories of bomber jackets, which serve different style services: one is the statement bomber (as seen here on the Sauce), usually involving vibrant colors and embellishments, and the second is the minimal bomber. The minimal bomber, like my olive green one above, is understated, goes with almost everything, and I dare say is becoming the new denim jacket. That’s why I feel confident claiming that while the bomber jackets is “trendy” at this moment, it’s proven versatile enough to solidify itself as a necessary staple—a certified classic—very much here to say.  Also, I die over this olive green and blush combo. As “fall colors” like olive green, clay-camel, and navy pervade our spring/summer wardrobes, expect pastels to continue complimenting those deeper hues going into fall/winter.

Sneakers are the champions of the shoe scene right now, and I just love seeing how the fashion world keeps finding creative new ways to elevate more comfortable styles, because changes like this help to make fashion feel more inviting and fun, allowing for a more diverse street style community. These coated canvas Superga sneakers in a snake skin print are a great option for people who like subtle statement pieces. (No, that’s not an oxymoron. It’s a thing.)

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Advice, Beauty, Boston, Fashion, fashion theory, Feminism, Humor

Ten Ways You’re Approaching Personal Style All Wrong

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Despite how much time I spend I dissecting outfits and breaking down ways to properly achieve certain styles, the fact remains that fashion ultimately has no rules. That’s just how art functions. It is, however, completely possible to approach personal style (which includes your beauty routine) with a bad attitude or misconceptions, and this can negatively impact a lot more than just your look. Here are ten mistakes you might want to reconsider:

1. You think having the latest trends is a foolproof way to look fabulous: So very, very wrong. Sure, it’s great to look current and in-style, but not every hot new trend is going to fit into your look organically or flatter your figure. Dressing well and having a strong sense of style are a matter of identifying and staying true to your taste, and dressing for your unique body. With that said, even catering to your body type is mostly a matter of confidence. Basically, wear what you love, not what magazines say you should love or what everyone else is wearing on Instagram. Besides, trends are usually fleeting, and blending in is often boring. Sometimes it’s best to feel out a trend’s longevity and see if you actually love the look before you drop cash on it.

2. You pile on too many trends at once: Slow down there, buddy. We get it: you’re cool. Except you don’t look cool—you look like you’re trying too hard (you are), and quite possibly look a little insane. Avoid a lifetime of unfortunate photos and keep your trends and statement pieces per outfit to a minimum. There are 365 whole days in a year to do each trend justice, so do that.

3. You have a “that’s so last season” state of mind: Whether you’re thrusting this concept unto yourself or others around you, it’s silly. We all love having cool new things, but newness shouldn’t define the value of everything in your wardrobe. What are you going to do? Throw everything away at the end of each season? Since fashion repeats itself, just like every aspect of history, I feel justified in hoarding clothes I’ve had since high school (maybe even middle school)…Fuck anyone who wants to make you feel inferior for wearing something that isn’t fresh off the runway. If you ask me, the most stylish people know how to repeatedly find fun and fresh ways to wear what’s already in their closet. If you’re concerned about having a passé wardrobe, then I yet again discourage you from investing in a lot of hyper-trendy pieces. Instead, splurge on versatile classics with a twist that you can see yourself wearing often and for various settings/occasions. And if you’re honestly so obsessed with having nothing but “the latest,” you’re using fashion as a status symbol, and it probably stems from greater insecurities. You might even polarize others with this snobbish outlook on style. What are you trying to prove? Perhaps pause to consider real therapy over retail…

4. You’re dressing for someone else: NO!!! Whether it’s for a crush or significant other, your parents, or friends you’re trying to impress, your wardrobe should never be the product of someone else’s ideal version of you. Your style is yours to define. There is a time and place to adhere to a dress code (like your place of work), and it’s one thing to occasionally adjust your look for special circumstances (my grandmother’s independent living facility is waging a war against shorts), or to sport your S.O.’s favorite color as a romantic gesture; but if you’re constantly adjusting or straight-up hiding your true personal style (read: YOUR IDENTITY) to appease others, that’s not healthy. We all want approval, but at what cost? Your appearances can be a huge factor in self-expression, and stifling your style to make others happy won’t make you happy in the long run. Ditch or stand up to the people who want to change you, and learn to impress people by staying true to yourself. (Quick question: does anyone else always feel incredibly sorry for the people who wind up on What Not to Wear? Like, let them live!)

5. You secretly want to change your look or try something new, but you’re afraid that people will react negatively or that you can’t “pull it off”: I understand that this can be a career-related issue for some folks, but let’s pretend that’s not part of the equation. Come on out of the fashion closet, and come out wearing what you want! Taking fashion and beauty risks can be scary, but also extremely liberating and fun. If you can’t think of a single person in your life who wouldn’t judge you if you altered your appearance or experimented with your style, then there’s your real problem. Since that’s probably not the case, life is short, so you should shed your insecurities and take the plunge. If you’re just not sure how to go about it, that’s what friends, social media, and professionals are for. Talk to your fashion-loving friends, look to Instagram for inspiration, and seek the knowledge of experts. High-end retail sales associates (I mean, you probably shouldn’t go Old Navy to inquire about the art of wearing drop-crotch pants), professional hair stylists and makeup artists are always ready and waiting to help, so take advantage of their advice. Just because executing a certain style doesn’t come naturally to you doesn’t mean you can’t do it. If you’re really nervous about debuting a new look, take it for a spin with someone you trust, because I have news: “pulling it off” is almost entirely about wearing your clothes with confidence. If you loved the idea of a particular style but feel painfully awkward sporting it in public, people can probably sense your discomfort, and you’re probably not pulling it off. Wearing something you think is cool should make you feel cool. It’s that simple. If dramatically changing your look is a gender-related, or generally deeper identity issue, I realize that you’re facing something more complex; however, I still think opening up to someone you can trust is the first step. If you’re not ready to show the world who you are, try talking about it.

6. You think fashion is cool and want to elevate your style, but you’re worried people will view this change as a sign of superficiality: Look, fashion has no policy on newcomers. Unless all you do is stare in the mirror, take selfies and obsess over your outfits (lol), then it’s unlikely people will react negatively to your newfound appreciation for style. If someone does suggest that you’re shallow for upgrading your look, know that their attitude is a result of their own personal issues, and don’t make choices based on their passive-aggressive insecurities. Think of stepping up your style game as starting a new diet or getting into fitness—as long as you genuinely aren’t high and mighty about it and don’t attempt to impose your style unto others, odds are that people will be either supremely supportive or won’t care either way. There’s no shame in taking pride in your appearances!

7. You immediately cast off people who love fashion as being superficial: Haven’t you heard that old saying about what happens when you assume? Fashion isn’t for everyone, but consider the irony of this attitude. The idea that fashion and intellect are mutually exclusive is more outdated than shoulder pads, and the implication that you can somehow estimate whether or not a person is grounded based on their outfit proves you’re pretty superficial, yourself. There’s only one way to get to know someone. Wait for it…You have to actually get to know them. I’m not sure why you’re under the impression that loving fashion is any different from loving any art form (all of which involve vanity to some degree), but you need to get over yourself, quickly. No one is asking you to give a shit about Fashion Month, but we will ask that you not presume those of us who do are lesser beings. Congratulations on not caring about your outfit. If it’s really the inside that counts, well, you still kind of suck.

8. You love fashion, but you use it as a vehicle to be negative or exclusive towards others: I loved watching Joan Rivers roast people’s outfits as much as the next guy. You are not Joan Rivers. Whether you’re online or out with friends, if you’re channelling a lot of your passion for fashion towards mocking other people’s outfit choices, or even worse, body shaming, you need to realize that you aren’t being funny, you’re being toxic, and furthermore, you’re completely missing the point of personal style. It’s 2016. Fashion is an artistic form of self-expression that belongs to anyone who wants to participate, and it’s not your place to make people feel shitty about how they do so, or who they are. Because that’s the thing. Style and body image are an extension of people’s personalities, so it’s time to take a break from judging others and take a closer look at yourself, beyond the mirror. Ask yourself why you’re so compelled to criticize, as it’s definitely part of a larger problem, and your negativity won’t make you popular in the long run. Consider keeping those nasty insults to yourself, and learn to take pleasure in complimenting and celebrating styles you do admire instead of hurting others to make yourself feel superior.

9. You obsess over size: Literally every brand cuts clothing differently these days. It’s almost impossible that you’ll be the same size across the board, so you may sometimes have to take a different size than expected, and this might make you feel self-conscious. Even some individual brands have inconsistent sizing within singular collections, so try not to take sizing so personally. If you’re forcing yourself into clothes that don’t fit properly because you can’t get past the little numbers or letters on the size label inside, you’re ultimately just making yourself feel (and probably look) uncomfortable for no good reason, and to no one’s benefit. No one is going to reach inside your clothing and announce your dress size to the world. Please love yourself enough to purchase clothes in the sizes that make you physically look and feel your best. Much like those on the scale, you can’t let the numbers on a size tag define you. If there is someone in your life who is policing what size you take and making you feel bad about your body, that’s not ok. You need to do yourself a favor and take steps towards correcting that dynamic, or cut off the relationship entirely.

10. You don’t know how to shop, you hate everything you buy, so you’ve thrown in the towel: If I’ve learned anything from my time working in retail, it’s that most people find shopping overwhelming and style to be intimidating. You have no strategy, and without appropriate intervention, this can lead to bad habits, like buying a lot of clothes without actually trying stuff on, making a lot of online purchases from brands or retailers you’re not familiar with, and just constantly buying stuff that you later realize you don’t actually want or need. I’ve found that many people who struggle to shop effectively ultimately resolve to convincing themselves that since clothes don’t *really* matter, it’s easier just to stop caring and live life in outfits that miss the mark. Though shopping can seem like an impossible chore, if style is something you’d like to possess, there really are solutions. For starters, start scouring social media for images of looks you identify with and consider #goals to get a better idea of what you might like to achieve going forward. Tap your most fashionable friend(s) and ask if they’ll accompany you on your next shopping venture, and stop blowing off sales associates who genuinely want to help. Open up to these people about what it is you need and why you’ve been struggling, and learn to embrace their honest opinions—and while you should allow these people to push you outside your comfort zone to try garments that might seem strange on the hanger, you also shouldn’t be afraid to say no if friends or stylists suggest something that just doesn’t feel right. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for a special occasion, and if styling yourself doesn’t come naturally, don’t go shopping when you have very little time to spare. Give yourself a solid few hours to find things you love instead of settling or leaving empty-handed. Slowly but surely, you and your fashion advocates will zero in on your true personal style, and you’ll start to build a wardrobe that makes you feel fabulous. As for online shopping, this is for advanced shoppers who are super in touch with the styles and brands that suit them best, and who’ve become familiar enough with certain online retailers to choose the right sizes without trying items on. I’m sorry, but you’re just not there yet. Baby steps!

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If you’re in the Boston area and need help shopping for a special occasion (wedding, graduation, concert/festival, job interview, etc.), I offer freelance styling services! Contact me (Annie Goldman) at anniesfashionsauce@gmail.com for more info.

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Fashion, Feminism, Pop Culture

The Statement Coat

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DSC_1121Maje ‘Ghost’ parka, American Apparel cropped sweater & mom jeans, UNIF ‘Rival’ boots, Nasty Gal beanie & choker, Stella & Dot ‘Rebel Pendant’ necklace in silver, Spitfire ‘Intergalactic’ sunglasses.

First I’d like to make a disclaimer: any and all American Apparel merchandise I wear on this blog (and in life) was purchased before I knew the extent of former CEO’s Dov Charney sexual harassment and exploitation of many of the company’s employees, and before I heard about the new management’s willingness to continue sexualizing American Apparel employees. Though I have made a firm decision not to shop at American Apparel in the future, I’ve also decided not to stop wearing American Apparel merchandise that I already own. I will no longer be including hyperlinks to the American Apparel merchandise that I wear and post on the blog; if you’d like to financially support their business, you will have to browse the site on your own. Another positive alternative to shopping at American Apparel would be to, if you see a product of theirs you like, visit ShopStyle.com and do a search for similar items by brands that set a better example.

Now that that’s out of the way, can we talk about my new Maje coat? Even after last year’s nightmarish winter, the vinyl parka with faux sheepskin lining has me excited about the increasingly cold weather. In addition to being strange and beautiful, the ‘Ghost’ coat is actually extremely warm, which is a good thing, because its ’90s vibes have me inclined to put crop tops underneath on the reg. If I had to describe this outfit, I’d say it’s a 2015-chic take on the wardrobe aesthetic of Kevin Smith classics, like Clerks. It’s the coat that completes the look and brings the outfit to life, and that’s the value of investing in a statement coat. There are times when you simply have to wear a coat, so why not wear one that makes your outfit cooler, as well as more weather-appropriate? Low temperatures and gray skies can make it hard to get out of bed and put genuine effort into crafting a creative look. Enter statement coat, which can magically (and literally) cloak a basic getup with a punch of serious style.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion

Creep Creep: My Truest Sauce

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DSC_0316Top and jeans from LF Stores, Sandro Paris creepers, Spitfire sunglasses.

These Sandro creepers were part of a fall/winter collection, and I think this caused me to subconsciously, and oh so wrongly put them away for most of summer. Then I decided to give them a warm-weather makeover, and ultimately created what’s become my go-to summer outfit. I love the juxtaposition of this feminine-sexy, cross-back crop top with these cropped, distressed boyfriend jeans, and I love how my menswear-meets-Wednesday Addams creepers bring some eccentricity to what would be a very basic outfit otherwise. With my multi-colored hair and round, mirrored sunglasses, this look makes me feel like my most authentic self at this moment in time.

To me, the value of fashion is the confidence and sense of identity it can provide. Fashion isn’t about “looking good” by society’s standards—fashion and personal style are about physically demonstrating the energy you want to put out into this world. Like so many people, I have a tendency to get down on myself, and because I suffer from severe anxiety, it’s easy to fall into what I call “spiraling tunnel vision,” and hide under the covers for hours on end, consumed by self-deprecation. Lately, when I lose my grip on my wonderful reality and find myself focusing on the negative aspects of my life, I put on an outfit that I think represents the truest and best version of myself, put on my headphones, blast old school Missy Elliott and TLC, and go for a walk with my shoulders back and my chin up. I unashamedly check myself out in shop windows, and I remind myself that not only do the positive aspects of my life outmeasure the negative by lightyears, but also that my “negative” qualities contribute to many of the positive traits I wouldn’t trade in for anything. One great outfit (combined with some throwback hip-hop) has the power to remind me that I’m so proud to be the creative person underneath the clothes and the hair dye. The expression “dress for success” requires you to articulate your personal definition of success. Right now, my idea of success is to unapologetically follow my passions, and just be myself.

I find it kind of silly that we’ve established New Year’s as the official time for personal change. In my experience, September (and the fall season in general) has always seemed like a more prevalent time of transition. As summer comes to a close and September approaches, I encourage my readers who hope to gain more confidence to find the outfits they love, find their soundtrack, and go for a literal power walk. Smile at strangers. Dance while you wait at crosswalks. Strut your sauce. Repeat.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Fashion

White on White (on White…)

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DSC_0510Helmut Lang tank, Madewell jeans, LF belt, TOD’s boots, Sandro bag, vintage necklace.

A look of lightness and luxury, white-on-white outfits have been severely on-trend for about two years now. When this trend first surfaced, I ignored it despite my adoration, because I figured it was fleeting, and because I assumed someone as pale as myself just couldn’t carry it off.

When I was invited to help organize an event to which all guests are asked to wear white, I was forced to reconsider my relationship with the color. I eased my way into the world of white attire with a standard bodycon dress, and guess what? I looked good. Did I look pale by comparison in photos? Yes. What else is new?—and so what? There’s a difference between colors that accentuate fair skin, and colors that wash it out. If you know how to do your makeup and walk with confidence, you can definitely wear white. Ditch the negative stigmas associated with fair skin, and celebrate the fact that your vampiric tendencies will hopefully help you avoid visible sun damage, or worse, skin cancer.

After that first event, I was really excited to experiment more with white attire, and by the party’s second year, I felt ready for head-to-toe separates (see my white Theory suit here). I enjoyed the all-white, menswear-inspired evening look so much that I decided to put together a daytime version with a jersey tank, loose white denim, and simple black and silver accessories. A pop of color can give you a little more confidence trying an all-white ensemble, whether it’s a brightly colored clutch or bold lip color. Luckily for me, I’ve got a pop of color permanently attached to my scalp.

Photos by Miranda Mu.

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Beauty, Fashion

#BlueHairDontCare

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DSC_0053-Edit (1)ALC pants, Theory top, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Stoppard’ shoes, Sandro bag, Eddie Borgo jewelry.

I’ve desperately wanted what social media has deemed “mermaid hair” for about five years now. Though I might tear my hair out entirely if one more person asks me “why” I’ve decided to dye it blue (just think really carefully for a second…that’s it! You got it—because I like it…), I am willing to answer a much more important question: why did I wait so long? As someone who adamantly believes that we should all style ourselves for ourselves—and kindly assume that that’s “why” anyone makes the sartorial choices they make—I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I let other people’s opinions postpone this change, even though I knew my desire was real. I dare not compare myself to Caitlyn Jenner, but the message her transformation sends applies to all of us: if you don’t live as your true self, you’ll live with regrets. I’m not saying I’m actually a mermaid on the inside, or that I want blue hair for the rest of my life, but I do believe if I hadn’t seized this opportunity just because a few people I love and respect didn’t love the idea, I’d have lost respect for myself.

In the week leading up to my hair appointment, the most popular question I received besides “why?” was, “Are you worried it will be harder to get dressed?” Well, not really, no. Even blondes and brunettes have to take their coloring into account when choosing clothes. I think because society still associates brightly colored hair with rebellious counter-cultures, people assume that I’ll have to push my always-eclectic style into one specific, radical corner in order to cater to this extreme hairstyle. Challenge accepted! Although I definitely do intend to dip into those more radical styles colorful hair commonly brings to mind, For however long I have blue hair, I’ll also aim to prove to my readers and followers that they can still relate to my style and draw inspiration from my looks, even if a head of blue hair is something they’d never consider. Let’s start with the outfit above. I won’t let anyone tell me it couldn’t be worn by someone with “normal” hair, because I’ve rocked this look as both a blonde and brunette, as well. For a chic daytime look, I’ve styled these sleek but funky pants with menswear-inspired shoes and an oversized tee. To transition to nighttime, I’d swap in a white tank and minimal black sandals, like the fabulous pair I just got at Joie.

Hair color by Ashley Seal of Stilisti Salon.

Photos by Miranda Mu.

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