Beauty, Fashion

Mix It Up: How to Make a Statement Piece Make a Different Statement

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DSC_0243AllSaints ‘Belvedere’ leather bomber, Lazy Oaf ‘Dog Walk’ shirt, J Brand ‘Super Skinny Scuba’ pants, UNIF ‘Rival’ boots, Furla ‘Metropolis‘ cross body bag in silver & ‘Bubble Key Ring‘ in ‘Pelato,’ Spitfire ‘Intergalactic’ sunglasses, MAC Cosmetics lipstick in ‘Deep Love.’

This is not a fashion magazine. This is a personal style blog. I am a real person, with a real budget, and a wardrobe that contains the same items today as it did the day before. As a fashion-enthusiast who lives in a multi-seasonal location, I thrive on opportunities to maximize my wardrobe and wear everything I own in as many different styles as possible—and it’s my mission as a fashion blogger to encourage and help my readers to do the same. Unless I’m shopping for a specific, special occasion (and even then), I try my best not to buy anything that can only be worn one way or in one climate. I love to challenge myself to transform statement pieces. A lot of people steer clear of “loud” items, assuming their boldness renders them limited in terms of how you can wear them, and how often; and (as I’ve mentioned before) the life-documenting aspect of social media pressures many of us to avoid wearing the same items in close proximity. The changing of the seasons, however, presents an excellent chance to take a statement piece you’ve already worn, and make a totally different statement.

It was only a few, warm months ago that I fell for this playful, oversized peach button-down adorned with multi-colored puppies. For a sweet summertime look, I first wore it as a shirtdress with black heeled-sandals (see here). With my then-brown hair and some light pink lipstick, I was able to give the shirt a feminine sense of softness. Fast forward: the need for layering makes fall/winter my favorite time to go for punk and grunge-inspired looks, and my pastel hair obviously often pushes me in that direction, as well. The shirt is reborn as an entirely different animal by adding my leather bomber, ultra-punk UNIF ‘Rival’ boots, mirrored accessories, and a deep red lip. So, before you put away your so-called summer clothes for the upcoming colder months, and before you let your beloved statement pieces gather dust after wearing them only once, ask yourself if any of those items can be retooled. Trust me, you won’t be recognized as a “repeat offender,” but rather as a skilled stylist who knows how to make the most of your purchases.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Boston, Fashion, Promotional

OMG! Nice to Meet You!

DSC_0315-15Crop top by The Hanger, skirt from LF Stores, Phillip Lim clutch, Aldo ‘Istrago’ sandals.

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BostonBloggers2015-TheDangerBooth-44(From left): Sydney, myself, Gabby, Koko, & Miranda.

DSC_0331-18Jenny Bird Palm Cili Collar in Silver.

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BostonBloggers2015-TheDangerBooth-96(From left), Stephanie, Neha, myself, Sydney & Lianna.

DSC_0399-30Eddie Borgo bracelet, Michael Kors watch. Rings (from left): Cartier band, Gamine Zofia Ring Set in Silver, Margaret Elizabeth Faceted Cocktail Ring in Navy, Gorjana Gisele Ring. 356 Lacquer Creme Polish in ‘Alimersai.’

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This past Monday I attended the annual Boston Bloggers Meet & Greet at Audubon with my kickass new crew of blogger friends. Between the drinks, the delicious snacks, and the infamous Danger Booth, everyone had a blast—and since the large majority of the group are female fashion bloggers, the event served as glorious evidence that the catty stigmas of fashion culture are so out. With that said, one still feels some pressure when dressing to impress a group of fellow fashionistas…

Unsurprisingly enough, I went to the event in my favorite silhouette: high-waisted bottoms and a cutaway crop top—and in my favorite color combination: plain old black and white. The skirt’s dramatic asymmetrical hem and the sweatery fabric of my summertime top bring new life to my go-to look, and I went with my bright blue Phillip Lim clutch and Jenny Bird collar necklace, courtesy of Rocksbox, to kick things up another notch. I chose a mint-turquoise shade of nail polish to offset the bag, and added a navy cocktail ring for good measure, also from Rocksbox. If you haven’t heard of Rocksbox, it’s basically like the Netflix of jewelry: with Rockbox, you can rent and try fabulous new jewelry by top trendsetting brands like Gorjana and House of Harlow, and you can purchase the pieces you love for discounted prices. All you have to do is fill out a quick but effective style survey, start keeping a wishlist, and expert stylists will send you three pieces per box in a prepaid envelope, so returns are no fuss. You can return and receive as many boxes as you want for just $19 a month, but you can also get your first month free by using the promo code FASHIONSAUCEXOXO.

As for the gorgeous polish, it’s by Somerville-based 365 Lacquer, a vegan and non-toxic polish company dedicated to making fun colors without harmful ingredients, and without testing on animals. I have to admit, I can be a bit calamitous (by which I mean careless), and have therefore stuck almost exclusively to gel manicures for the last two years, so I felt a bit wary of going back to regular polish. But 365 Lacquer promised a quick-drying, long-lasting product—and they weren’t lying. I’ll admit to a couple of chips within the first 48 hours, but they weren’t caused by faulty polish; so many consecutive gel manicures have left my nails in a slightly weakened state, but on my nails that have managed to stay strong, 365 Lacquer has stayed strong, as well. Plus, they just released a neon collection that’s sure to get you even more excited about summer.

Fashion photography by Miranda Mu | Group photos courtesy of The Danger Booth.

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Beauty, Fashion

Prints & Flower Power

DSC_0947-11 Theory blouse Twenty8Twelve shorts, Brixton hat, Madison Harding sandals fringe purse from LF Stores.DSC_0957-17 (1)

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I visited the SoWa Vintage Market on Sunday, and the warm weather and colorful vintage racks inspired me to break out some funky springtime flare. Much to my delight, today has been even sunnier. After months of pretty much exclusively wearing layers of black, white, and gray, it felt really good to mix these bold prints and resurrect my straw hat and wooden flatforms. Since mixing prints is tricky business, I almost always pair a colorful one with a black and white pattern. To make the whole look more cohesive, I threw on this fabulous magenta cross body bag, which picks up the pinkish accents in my printed shorts. Silky fabrics and fringe accents really capture the spirit of spring/summer. If you want to freshen up your springtime beauty routine, try a swipe of pale pink lipstick, like “Obsessed” by Urban Decay.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion, Humor, Pop Culture, Promotional

Taking Bill Murray to Brunch

It’s Monday, so let’s talk about the weekend…

DSC_0827-13Piece Apparel Bill Murray sweatshirt over an LF blouse, J Brand ‘Maria’ skinnies, ALDO ‘Istrago’ heeled sandals.DSC_0814-10

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DSC_0880-Edit-26Oliver Peoples sunglasses, House of Harlow earrings, NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in ‘Dragon Girl.’DSC_0786-3

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DSC_0881-27Sandro Paris purse, Gorjana rings.DSC_0873-25

Who doesn’t love Bill Murray? Not only is he an accomplished actor who’s consistently made audiences laugh and truly think since the ’70s, but he’s also proven to be one of the most mysterious and spontaneous members of the SAG. It won’t take you much time lurking on Reddit to discover elaborate stories about Bill Murray’s wild nights with unassuming fans who are left baffled by the actor’s nonchalant sense for adventure, and his apparent ability to disappear out of thin air. Between his hilarious days on SNL, to his tender moments with Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation, to his roles in the wacky world of Wes Anderson, I was so stoked to see that Piece Apparel included Mr. Murray in their “Old Man Crew” collection of sweatshirts, which also honors men such as Rod Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and Johnny Cash.

With respect to Bill’s affection for the unexpected, I decided not to pair my oversized sweatshirt with boxers or my TV remote, and instead dressed it up Sunday-brunch style. In my experience, brunch isn’t such an obviously glamorous occasion. It’s usually a group of hungover friends peeling themselves off their mattresses in the interest of good food, good stories from the night before, and, questionably enough, more drinks. That being said, Instagram and other social media outlets have deemed brunch the official favorite activity of “betches,” and, fortunately or unfortunately, an obligatory photo op. Brunch-obsessed consumers have prompted fashion magazines to address brunch outfits on the regular, and they typically suggest flouncy, frilly ensembles that seem more appropriate for an old-fashioned tea party or somebody’s baby shower. So, if you’re like me, and tend to wake up on Saturday and/or Sunday morning lacking the energy to mix joyful prints, or just want to be more comfy than you ever could be in a strappy sundress, try dressing up your favorite sweatshirt or tee with forgiving stretch-skinnies, a statement bag, and a bold lip. (A good shade of lipstick and big sunnies are the best tools for looking polished when you’re feeling less-than.) I think graphics with a sense of humor, like these other witty tops by Piece Apparel, make the perfect palette for a look that’s chic, but not too serious, which is exactly how brunch should feel when you’re doing it right. For those who feel confident in their styling abilities, add a statement necklace or a Peter Pan collar to further elevate your look. As for shoes, go with something comfortable but sleek. While I personally find these ALDO heeled sandals light as air, if the idea of walking in heels after a long night out makes you want to crawl back under the covers, just reach for your favorite pair of ballet flats or slides.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Costume, Fashion, Pop Culture

Halloween 2014

Cruella de Vil

DSC_0009 - Version 2Maxi dress and shag coat from LF Stores (previous seasons), Jean-Michel Cazabat pumps, wig from eBay, gloves and play cigarette holder from Party City.DSC_0012 - Version 2Eddie Borgo ‘Safety Chain’ choker.IMG_0169MAC x Rocky Horror Show lipstick in ‘Strange Journey.’DSC_0025

I decided to spare just one…

DSC_0011OK, I know, I know. I did it again: I disappeared for almost a month. I’m a bad, bad blogger! Or just consistently fashionably late, depending on how you look at things. But I hope this year’s Halloween costume will make up for my online absences. (I’m also sorry I didn’t post pictures of my costume sooner, but I can’t have been the only person who spent yesterday nursing a hangover…) I seriously do have lots of cool projects and collaborations in the works, so I appreciate your patience.

Anyone who’s known me for at least twenty minutes knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday. It gives fashion lovers a special chance to get really creative, and while so many girls like to play princess, this year I decided I should honor a villain on the one night we openly celebrate sin. I chose Cruella de Vil because she’s not just an iconic female villain, she’s also a fashion icon, determined to commit a heinous crime in order to achieve a fabulous style statement. Whenever I put together a costume, I try to use as much as possible from my own wardrobe. This year, it started with a dress that had been sitting in my closet gathering dust and making me feel guilty for over a year. I bought the black and white maxi dress, complete with shoulder pads and a dramatic slit, on a whim at one of LF’s infamous sales. Obviously it didn’t cost much, but I got home and thought to myself, Where did I think I would wear this? My prom years are far behind me, and my calendar isn’t exactly marked up with galas. But when I saw it hanging next to my shag coat, an LF purchase that I’ve worn constantly for three winters, my Cruella vision suddenly became clear, and the rest just fell together.

I’m obsessed with Eddie Borgo’s odd yet simultaneously minimalist jewelry, and this choker was on my wish list for months before I made it mine. The fact that the sleek, glamorous necklace happens to somewhat resemble a dog collar was an ever-s0-appropriate coincidence.

For Cruella’s signature red lip, MAC Cosmetics made my Halloween dreams come true with their Rocky Horror Picture Show collection. Rocky Horror is a Halloween cult classic film, and one of my personal favorites. Like so many MAC lipsticks, the Rocky Horror reds are smooth, rich, and flawless—and totally sold out. Special shout out to a special friend who helped me get my hands on these coveted colors!

The finishing touches for almost any Halloween costume are easy to get online. eBay and the Party City website have all the Halloween essentials, and even the more unusual accessories, as long as you don’t wait until the last minute. A significant other who loves you enough to wear a full dalmatian suit? That’s a little harder to find.

Photos by Brooke Appe & Annie Goldman

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Beauty, Fashion

Cheetah Girl Cheetah Sista

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_DSC9564American Apparel spandex crop top, printed silk joggers from LF Stores, Shoe Cult by Nasty Gal pony hair pumps, Boyy ‘Slash’ cross body bag, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, MAC lipstick in ‘Heroine.’

High-waisted pants with a crop top is my go-to nighttime look, because I personally like to show a little skin without risking a wardrobe malfunction. (Getting in and out of cars gracefully is not my specialty.) I also like to create the optical illusion that I have long legs. When you find an outfit combination/particular silhouette that flatters your figure and makes you feel good, stick with it when in doubt. Having a few “fashion formulas”, as I call them, can seriously cut down the stress of getting dressed, and you won’t seem like a repeat offender if you collect a variety of prints/colors and switch up your accessories. Trying different hair and makeup styles can also completely change the vibe of one look. (Warning: do not wear cheetah-print pants in public unless you’re comfortable talking to strangers.)

Photos by Lev Avery-Peck

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Fashion

The White Witch

1Q1A8546My need for and obsession with this hat started with my recent, late-in-the-game American Horror Story binge (—not Pharrell). I absolutely fell in love with the wicked, Stevie Nicks meets Nasty Gal wardrobe in the third season, American Horror Story: Coven, in which Stevie Nicks actually makes a few appearances, portraying a fictional version of herself also known as the ‘White Witch.’ Not since Addams Family Values had I felt so spooky-style inspired, so I ordered this hat, and reached for my favorite T by Alexander Wang dress, my Sandro booties, and MAC lipstick in ‘Violetta.’ I thought, who better to emulate the White Witch than the palest girl on the blogosphere?1Q1A8548Then I wore this outfit while I was visiting my parents in Palm Beach and, as if by magic, my mother and I stumbled upon this vintage YSL necklace, the missing piece that would complete my whole bewitched look. A piece like this—a piece of fashion history, really—is hard to find, but there are two women from a group called The Silver Fund who come to the famous Worth Avenue in Palm Beach once a year with a jaw-dropping collection of vintage costume jewelry. When I saw this necklace, I felt a cosmic connection to it, like when Louise finds her magical amulet in Teen Witch. (If that reference means nothing to you, there was a hole in your childhood.) Though the basic elements of this outfit really only scratch the surface of Stevie Nicks/AHS-inspired fashion, the necklace takes it to a much more mystical place…and I’m absolutely going to test its ability to make my girlfriends freestyle against their will.1Q1A8553

1Q1A8563Shellac brand gel polish in ‘Mint Convertible.’1Q1A8570Photos by Amanda Rosen

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