Beauty, Boston, Fashion

All Black Everything

I have two pieces of exciting news. 1) I decided to chop my hair into a lob (slightly longer than a bob), and 2) I got a new job! I’m now working as a a sales professional for French sister brands Sandro & Maje at their concession stores in the Women’s Contemporary department of Bloomingdale’s in Newton, Mass. If you know me or follow the Sauce remotely closely, you know that I’ve been a huge Sandro & Maje fan for a few years now (I actually discovered their stuff while working for a different company at the same Bloomingdale’s location), and it really is so much fun to be able to work with clothing I connect with so deeply in terms of my personal style, and help others style it to their own taste. The thing is, I need my readers to understand that, although I do do some representative work for various brands and companies here on the blog, that is NOT my relationship with Sandro & Maje. While I may wear and write about their merchandise, the views expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the company’s management, and so from now on, whenever one of my outfit posts features Sandro and/or Maje merchandise, you’ll see that disclaimer at the bottom of the post, right before the photo credits.

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DSC_0095“Vintage” Piazza Sempione blazer, Maje ‘Pigou’ velvet pants, Theory turtleneck, Sandro creepers, Stella & Dot necklace, Oliver Peoples sunglasses.

One of my favorite things about working at Bloomingdale’s is that employees have to wear all black, and while a lot of people think this must get boring, on days that I’m in a hurry, it’s actually an easy way to get dressed and ensure that I look chic without too much thought; and on days when I feel like making a little more effort, the all-black wardrobe requirement presents an opportunity for me to stretch my creativity as a stylist. Going for a menswear-as-womenswear look is a cool and edgy approach to wearing all black. Here, I put my own spin on this style with a blazer that’s cut a little longer than most (thanks, Mom!), velvet trousers, and my beloved creepers. Velvet is so luxe and beautiful, and I think creepers are one of the most delightfully androgynous trends. To make my gender-bending outfit as sleek as possible, I stick with simple silver jewelry and pull my hair into a side-parted pony. Someone on Instagram pointed out that this whole look is reminiscent of Karl Lagerfeld’s signature style, but I swear I’ve been dressing this way since long before I dyed my hair gray. That being said, I certainly don’t mind the comparison one bit.

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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Fashion

Black Magic

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IMG_0991Shag coat, ombre beanie, and coin necklace from LF Stores; Rag & Bone sweater (—yes, the same one as in the previous post. Go ahead and judge me.), J Brand coated ‘Maria’ skinny jeans, Loeffler Randall ‘Mini Agenda’ crossbody bag, MARC by Marc Jacobs combat boots circa 2005, sunglasses a la Nasty Gal.

I hope everyone made it through storm Juno safely—and with a Netflix account. Though the blizzard may be behind us, there are still plenty of cold and dark winter days ahead, which means we can continue to embrace all-black outfits without feeling like we’re cheating on our florals. Keeping it simple doesn’t have to look simple: statement outerwear and jewelry will prevent a monochromatic outfit from feeling drab.

Photos by Frank Chen, founder of Tisket, a simple tool for the savvy online shopper.

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Fashion, Promotional

Sloppy-Sleek

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IMG_1013Piece Apparel beanie, Sandro coat, Rag & Bone sweater,                     T by Alexander Wang track pants, Sandro ‘Aida’ shearling crossbody bag, Tod’s boots.

In the wise words of the Biebs, never say never: When I was younger, I thought I would never wear sweat pants in public, but track pants and joggers have recently become fashion staples. And let’s be honest, I got really lucky. I’m in my twenties, and that promise to non-leisure pants was going to fall apart whether or not Alexander Wang decided to be an American hero and add leather trim to the waistband of cozy gray joggers.

You still might not be convinced that sweat pants could ever garner adjectives such as “chic” or “sophisticated,” or that you could ever pull them off for an occasion when you want to, as they say, “dress to impress.” Allow me to convince you as to why this outfit works (despite the fact that it serves as strong evidence that I’ve spent the last couple of months collecting as much lint as possible): 1) Leather details like the panels on my coat elevate staples and can make a seriously comfortable ensemble seem a little more serious. 2) They could use some polish, but my Tod’s booties elongate the slouchy pants and heavy coat, and solidify the fact that I am not, in fact, wearing pajamas, but a cool and stylish outfit meant to be worn publicly and proudly. 3) Graphic beanies are the perfect remedy to the gloomy winter grays, when you suddenly become Keanu Reeves in The Matrix and just can’t bring yourself to wear actual colors. My Piece Apparel logo beanie brings home the outfit’s tomboy aesthetic, and brings some extra life to the look by giving it a focal point. In the event that you don’t want to attract attention to your face, invest in a less cool hat.

Photos by Frank Chen, founder of Tisket, a simple tool for the savvy online shopper.

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Fashion

Posh & Punk: A Lesson in Layering

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IMG_0892Furst of a Kind Vintage Van Halen tee, Equipment printed blouse, Milau shag coat from LF Stores, J Brand coated skinny jeans, Sandro ‘Aida’ faux shearling crossbody bag, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Stoppard’ shoes, Nasty Gal wool hat. NARS Audacious Lipstick in ‘Fanny.’

Winter is all about texture and layering, which makes for an awesome opportunity to combine contrasting styles, and given that my last outfit post featured this coat as part of my Halloween costume (I promise the Sauce is back for real this time), I thought I’d share how I wear it when I’m just being Annie. I love pairing prim pieces, like this silk blouse, wool hat, and these revamped oxford-style shoes with rock n’ roll elements, like this concert tee and my beloved shag. A crisp collar with a graphic tee creates an unexpected bohemian vibe that’s neither too contrived nor too sloppy. You can take this look from lunch on Newbury Street to a show at the Sinclair or drinks at a swanky bar without having to make any day-to-night changes. Just make sure you have a bold lip color you love in your purse! Mixing prints and playing with matching-clashing colors can help brighten up your winter wardrobe, and I try to embrace the cold weather with lots of fuzz, whether it be on my coat, my purse, or both.

Photos by Frank Chen, founder of Tisket, a simple tool for the savvy online shopper.

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Fashion

Fashion Week Street Style: What I Would Have Worn to Milan Fashion Week

This is my third Fashion Week-inspired outfit post. I’ve always wanted to visit Milan, but playing pretend in the alleyway behind my apartment is always a glorious adventure…

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IMG_0810Vintage Versace tee, American Apparel pleated skirt, Jean-Michel Cazabat “Elle” red leather pumps, Alice + Olivia piano bag, Nasty Gal “Nita” shades, necklace a la some random vendor at Bonnaroo Music Festival (—which tent? That tent!), and Zero Gravity “Bestie” iPhone 5/5S case.

As you probably know, it’s custom for Fashion Week attendees to dress based on the city they’re in and the designers they’re seeing—and designers typically debut their new work in their city/country of origin. For my NYC look, I wore a Marc Jacobs skirt; for London, I wore a Reiss hat. So for my Milan-inspired ensemble, I reached for my favorite Italian piece, my beloved vintage Versace tee—‘gotta love Mom’s hand-me-downs! It was an obvious choice, not only because Versace has been one of the most prominent Italian names in fashion for decades, but also because (as I mentioned previously) snapshots of Fashion Week street style revealed that dressing up graphic prints/tees is one of the freshest trends right now. A cool graphic tee can be surprisingly versatile, and I love the challenge of wearing one thing a million ways. I recently styled this outfit with some different accessories (and a lot more hair) at the press preview for the MFA Boston’s amazing Hollywood Glamour exhibit. (If you’re a fashion-enthusiast in Boston, this exhibition is a must-see.) To reboot the look for an imaginary day at Milan Fashion Week, I took cues from Italian fashion blogger/bona fide icon Chiara Ferragni’s girlish flair and penchant for quirky accessories. Who wouldn’t want to walk the streets of Milan in a twirly skirt and bright red heels? My new Alice + Olivia piano purse honestly doesn’t hold much more than a tube of lipstick, but I’m totally obsessed. It’s unconventional, but also has a simple color palette, making it the perfect statement piece for the plainest or funkiest of outfits. Plus, I have a thing for things that look like other things. And don’t forget about tech accessories—fun iPhone cases are the newest way to spice up your accessories, and I think Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour  would approve of my sleek new case featuring their unmistakable, angrily fashionable faces. Stay tuned for my upcoming Paris post…

Photos by Rebecca Browne & Annie Goldman

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