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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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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Slit Skirt

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DSC_0516Crop top by Nasty Gal, skirt by asos, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Belanger’ loafers (available here in beige), Loeffler Randall ‘Mini Agenda’ cross body bag, and Reks Optics round Lumolux sunglasses in white with smoke lenses.

Midi skirts have forced their way to the forefront of fashion within the past couple of years to accompany culottes in a world that used to be dominated by “mini” or “maxi.” (Here’s to options!) The somewhat conservative length is refreshing and sophisticated, and you can easily add a little sex appeal with a dramatic slit or two and a crop top. Pointed loafers make for a polished daytime look, while my reflective shades and brown-nude lip color (Lime Crime Velvetine liquid lipstick in ‘Buffy’) remove all unwanted traces of preppiness. To embrace your preppy side, add tortoise-shell or cat eye sunnies, and opt for a light pink lip.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Stairway to Street Style

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DSC_0322Furst of a Kind vintage Led Zeppelin tee, scuba skirt by Nasty Gal, vintage belt, Furla ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag in silver, ‘Luke’ lace-up boots from Urban Outfitters, Vanessa Mooney choker, Kendra Scott ‘Elisa’ necklace in iridescent drusy, Lime Crime Velvetine liquid lipstick in ‘Buffy,’ and Reks Optics round ‘Lumolux’ sunglasses in metallic silver with silver lenses.

Sorry not sorry for the lame title! (I’m usually one of those obnoxious Zeppelin fans who automatically assumes people who reference “Stairway to Heaven” are phony fans, or in middle school.) Consider the ensemble above more user-friendly version of this recent, similar but slightly more dramatic look. Styling things like vintage band tees and menswear-inspired shoes with a feminine, fitted skirt strikes the perfect balance of edgy and polished. I love staples with unique details, so this black, neoprene bodycon skirt with an adorable scalloped hemline is a friend of mine. This outfit combination works well for going straight from your daytime errands to dinner, a date, or a concert. Also, I am newly obsessed with these round sunnies by Reks Optics. They’re made of a special material that bends, but doesn’t break, making them the perfect shades for athletes and/or idiots who carelessly toss sunglasses around and then tragically sit on them. Chic *and* disaster-proof? I’ll take three! (I already did…) Plus, on the Reks website, you can mix and match different frames with various hues of reflective lenses for a look customized to your liking. Again: yes, please! (And thank you to my friends at Reks Optics!)

Photos by Miranda Mu

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