Boys, boys, boys— Menswear for Spring

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Recently, I’ve had requests from some of my guy friends for a mens fashion Friday, so here it is!

Britney Spears once stated, “Boys, can’t live with em, can’t live without em.” While there is certainly truth in this statement, we have to look at em, therefore we must dress em.

If you Google something right now, like “mens fashion trends for Spring 2014,” you will most likely come up with some pretty absurd results. Unless you are a European male model, there is no way that the everyday American male is going to go for any of these looks for spring. Double-breasted floral print blazers? 50′s inspired suit pants? Murses? No, it’s just not happening.

So here is my spring guide for the average Joe.

1. Sperry’s and Wingtip Oxford’s

You can’t go wrong with a classic pair of Sperry’s boat shoes. Whether you go for your classic brown or something with a pop of color like these from DSW, make sure you take care of them. Since, Sperry’s are worn sans socks they tend to get very, very smelly if you do not take care of them! Please spare us the odor gentlemen and sprinkle a little Goldbond foot powder or baby powder in there every once in a while. Dr. Scholl’s also makes a great product called Odor-X that will do the trick too.

But since Sperry’s probably aren’t the most work appropriate shoe, my other favorite shoe trend for spring are Wingtip Oxford’s. They give a stylish edge to your average dress shoe and are effortlessly masculine chic. Not to mention, they kind of look like you’re wearing golf shoes to work. Might as well dream, right? I love this pair from DSW as well.

2. Pastel or Printed Shorts

Maybe you were in a fraternity in college and this was your uniform for spring and summer. Well, this trend is still going strong so embrace your college days. My go-to for easy menswear is J. Crew. From chambray, to seersucker, to anchor print, J. Crew has some great short options for spring.

3. Quarter-zips and Quarter-buttons

Quarter-zip sweatshirts and sweaters and baseball Henley tee’s show off those pectorals you’ve been working on at the gym. We love um. They’re a great lightweight option for cool spring nights. Ralph Lauren is always a great go-to for these as well as J.Crew.

4. A Sharp Watch

Pick out your style and invest in a good one. A good watch for a guy is what my Burberry trench was to me. Splurge on a watch that is timeless and you will wear for years. It can make or break an outfit.

5. Online Shopping Sites for Men

I did a little research for you and found some great online shopping sites for men. Aside from J. Crew and Ralph Lauren Polo. If you’re willing to splurge, Mr. Porter is easy to navigate and covers all the basics. If you are looking for something more affordable EndClothing is great and even has some interesting categories like iPad Cases and Grooming Accessories.

Now get shopping and reward yourself with a beer afterwards!

Cheers!

Liebster Award

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liebsterMy friend {& fellow blogger} Olivia nominated me for a Liebster award! Liebster Awards are given to bloggers by bloggers to get to know each other a little better. Olivia and I have been friends since 1st grade! She is so talented and creative and runs her own blog Lively Liv, which everyone needs to check out ASAP! I’m so touched she thought of me for this! I love having blog friends, but I love having friends who blog even more :) Thanks Liv!

Here are the questions that Liv asked me and here are my answers.

1. When did you start your blog and why did you decide to start?

I started my blog when I was studying abroad in London summer 2012 as a means to learn WordPress for my internship at Schon! Magazine. I started documenting my fashion choices for each day of my internship as well as my European travels.

2. What is your favorite place that you’ve EVER visited?

This is SUCH a tough one! I’m going to have to say Paris. Because I could go over and over again and fall in love each time. Specifically, my favorite place in Paris is the Pont Neuf at sunset. It’s an island in the center of the Seine in the center of Paris. Everyone sits around and drinks bottles of wine while watching the sunset. It’s truly magical.

3. What are your top 3 favorite blogs?

I actually just made a list of these last week. Lauren Conrad’s blog, Free People and, of course, Lively Liv.

4. Describe your perfect Sunday.

Lazy. Maybe brunch or coffee with family or friends thrown in there and Sunday night TV!

5. What is your secret talent or skill? Spill!

Most people don’t know that I am actually very musical. I’ve sang at Carnegie Hall three times (one time even dancing) and The Kimmel Center twice. My choir was actually the first all female choir to sing at The Kimmel Center. Go Sacred Heart!

6. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

As a journalism major in college, I love that blogging allows me to continue my passion for writing sans pressure from higher-ups and editors. Getting to choose my own topics and writing style is the ultimate freedom for a writer. I essentially get to be my own editor every week. :)

7. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

Oh. My. God. This is so hard! I love all foods so much and make it a goal to try all the local specialties when I travel. Also, everyone in my family is such great cooks and I could eat their food over and over again. One meal that specifically sticks out in my mind though is this little restaurant in Rome called Santo Padre. It was the most amazing Italian food I have ever consumed. Everything was traditional Roman style from the anti pasto to classic Roman beef dishes to the spaghetti carbonara. If you ever visit Rome you MUST find it.

8. Fashion dos & don’t’s?

Fashion do: When in doubt, a classic button down, pearl earrings and a great watch solves all.

Fashion don’t: Running sneakers and jeans should never, ever, ever be items worn together.

9. What movie can you watch over and over again and not get sick of it?

Almost Famous and Titanic.

10. What are your blogging goals for 2014?

I hope my blog allows me to grow in my career path.

11. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting (or who is thinking about starting) to blog?

Be passionate, persistent and consistent and you will notice results.

 

I nominate: Ali The Fashionista Affair and Jackie Confetti Filled Backpacks 

Here are my questions for you! Happy blogging!

1. When did you start your blog and why did you decide to start?

2. What is your favorite place in the world and why?

3. Who is your style icon?

4. What is your go to drink?

5. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

6. Where do you find inspiration for your blog?

7. What do you do to relax?

8. Describe a room in your dream home.

9. Where is one place on your travel bucket list that you haven’t been to yet?

10. Who is your celebrity crush?

11. What are your blogging goals for 2014?

 

 

Long Hair Woes

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IMG_7278If you’re like me, my heart breaks each time I watch Disney’s Tangled when Rapunzel’s hair gets cut off and turns into a short brown pixie cut that will never grow back.

There’s something magical about long hair. Maybe not that sparkling golden healing power that Rapunzel’s has, but still I never feel like myself when my hair is too short.

I’ve had long hair my entire life. Give or take a few bad haircuts, all of which resulted in short hair traumas for me. So every time I go to get a hair cut, about every 6 months, I secretly get a twinge of anxiety.

For 22 years of my life, I had never had the desire to color my hair. Even having a sister and a mom with beautiful blond locks didn’t cause me any desire to be different. But this fall I decided to make a change. I had been four months graduated from college and was loving the natural lightness that sunkissed my hair over the summer and decided to permanently hold onto it for the fall.

My hairdresser, who I have trusted to style my hair since I was 15-years-old, was shocked when I came in and told her I wanted to try some Maria-Menounos-like highlights but was so excited that she could finally get her hands on some color to put in my all brunette hair.

This is my face during the (what felt like) treacherous foil treatment.

And this is after.IMG_5511

I loved it!

In fact, I was so happy I took the color plunge back in the fall that when I went back last week I asked for more and to even make it a tiny bit lighter for spring.

I was still a bit anxious during the process (in fact I have almost the same face as the first time) but I once again was in love with the end result.

Like Sheryl Crow says, sometimes “a change will do you good.”

*Still very protective of my long hair, I think it is important to space out color treatments and do them in small doses. There is nothing worse than dried out, ungrowable hair— like Rapunzel that truly breaks my heart. So my words of wisdom are to take care of your luscious locks but make a change every now and then; even if it’s small, you’ll feel good that you did.

** Thank you to Carrie at Currie Salon in Wayne, Pa for always taking care of me!

Laissez les bons temps rouler—New Orleans

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IMG_7252This past weekend, I spent time in the city where jazz was born for my beautiful cousin’s wedding. New Orleans, Louisiana— land of quaint cobblestone streets, charming French design influences, amazing food, fantastic music, drinks on drinks on drinks and constant celebration.

I was amazed by the lack of open container laws with signs boasting “no bottles or glass allowed on street, all drinks may IMG_7264be in plastic containers.” It’s almost like being in Amsterdam actually. Bourbon Street, even during the day, is like a nonstop party. Leftover Mardi Gras beads dangle from the sides of balconies and trees and Jell-O shots, “Hurricanes” and “Court Liquors” are promoted everywhere. I even got to experience the Oyster Jubilee on Bourbon Street where each restaurant took part in making a giant Po-Boy all made on one large roll.IMG_7261

Which brings me to the food, I could not stop eating in NOLA! Shrimp and grits, jambalaya, muffuletta, po boys, beignets it was all just so delicious! In fact, I consumed a muffuletta and a craw fish po boy all before 11am one day. Another fantastic New Orleans food find was Zapp’s Voodoo flavored chips that were gifted in a wedding favor in our hotel room. I made sure to purchase a large bag for myself in the airport before I returned home.

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The art galleries and antique shops on Royal Street are so endearing and Jackson Square holds a historic charm as well. The street artists and performers reminded me a lot of Paris and other European cities and I loved watching all the IMG_7268magicians in the land of VooDoo. The many street tarot card readers and psychics keep the eerie air alive in Nawlins.

We visited MarieLaveau’s House of Voodoo, which is taken very seriously as a spiritual belief. There is an altar where guests can leave “sacrifice pieces” and many voodoo dolls hanging from above. No photos are even allowed inside. This is serious business for some in New Orleans.

My cousin’s wedding took place at The Court of Two Sisters. A location adorned with an old cobblestone courtyard (not the greatest for high heels) and a tree canopy filled with beautiful twinkly lights. The ceremony was beautiful and ended in the happiest Second Line celebration.

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The Second Line at my cousin’s wedding will go down in my book as one of the happiest moments in my memory. The bride and groom’s closest friends and family followed them in a parade through the streets of New Orleans led by a classic brass band. Onlookers applauded and cheered and took photos and videos as we paraded by and waved handkerchiefs in celebration.

It was a beautiful wedding followed by a beautiful reception into the chill of a New Orleans March night.

IMG_7302Overall, I was taken by the city of New Orleans. The classic Southern traditions that remain are truly captivating. The lively atmosphere and highly cultural environment is hard not to fall in love with. And as the New Orleanians say—laissez le bons temps rouler!

Spring Florals

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I am not the biggest fan of floral prints; I won’t lie. Each spring they come around in fashion and each year I try to fit as little as possible into my wardrobe. Florals are hard. They are hard to mix and match with various items and often need to be worn as a statement piece. Not to mention, improper floral prints can be super unflattering.

But this season floral prints are really everywhere. One trend especially prominent on spring fashion week runways this year, were floral print dresses.

So I went for it. I found this floral print dress from Urban Outfitters for a steal! Originally valued at $79, this dress was on sale for $9.99. I had to get it—it was like it was calling for me to try a floral dress.

IMG_7162This piece has an amazing cut, which I believe is the key to pulling off a full floral dress. The deep V and cinched waist give shape and the skater style skirt gives a little flounce and flirt. The black background really makes the red, yellow and white flowers pop. This dress is a great transition piece into spring as colder days still linger, as it contains sleeves with a cutout back. For work, I added a black blazer with leather trim from Francesca’s to hide the cutouts. Voila!

For now, I am wearing it with black tights and booties, but I can’t wait until I can wear this great floral dress with bare legs and sandals!

Happy Fashion Friday!

 

 

 

Small Town Fashion-Rowen

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photo 1I grew up in the small town of Naberth, Pa. where MAPES 5 and 10 and the American Family Market were weekly staples. I’m happy to say that both these small stores still exist and operate, as well as other small town shops that include a cheese store, a French bakery, a bank, consignment clothing stores and some good ol’ American pubs.

One type of store that has been lacking in Narberth my entire life though is a trendy fashion boutique. I suppose the homey family atmosphere just didn’t boast for one. But when I saw a store called Rowen open up this October, trendy mannequin window displays caught my eye. The store appeared to have clothing that I would actually wear that was very reminiscent of LF.

I finally stopped by the store today and adored the atmosphere. It is like a city boutique in a small town. Square chandeliers and a black and white layout sets a tone of sophistication. Perfect for drawing teens and twenty-somethings back into Narberth.

My favorite fashion find were these great printed bohemian pants that I may just have to return to buy once the weather becomes a bit warmer.

photo 2Happy first day of Spring!

In the Spirit of Spring

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197070_10150111378342333_6137925_nWith warmer temperatures finally gracing the East, I was excited to pull out some lighter clothing options and hit the outdoors. Although the days are still fluctuating from freezing one day to warm the next, I couldn’t bear to write another post about scarves and sweaters. So in honor of the season of “spring breaks,” I am throwing it back to one of my most favorite shirt’s I first purchased for Spring Break a few years ago before the birth of this blog. But this shirt has served me some great times and definitely deserves its own post.

200013_10150111378482333_4941226_nI purchased this shirt from NastyGal.com, and despite the site’s name it is anything but “nasty.” The flowy chiffon shirt is patterned with sailboats and practically screams summer. There’s nothing like wearing this light peach shirt with a great tan on a breezy beach day.

189638_10150111378527333_4816052_nThe crop of the shirt gives it a little edge, but overall it is sweet as can be.

198185_10150111378367333_1292136_nCheers to the warm weather and sunny days ahead!

Philadelphia Flower Show

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Ever since I was a child, I have marveled at the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. My mom would drag me down and spend hours admiring the beautiful flower displays and shopping at the extensive lineup of garden vendors. As long as I was allowed to purchase a giant paper flower, I didn’t mind. In high school I was even a part of the Flower Show Club that got to put together the display for Lower Merion High School. But ever since those early days, I have continued to have a fond admiration for the Philadelphia Flower Show.

This year, the theme was “Articulture.” Considering myself a sort of artist, as well as an art history buff, I was excited to see what the show had to offer. The themes are always executed to perfection. The art in flowers was extraordinary and the opening exhibit was wow-inducing. There was even a live cirque show which took place within the large display.

Most of the displays were modeled after modern or contemporary works, which was a little disappointing in my opinion. I suppose there is more creative license in abstract art but I was hoping to see more representations of classical works or impressionist art, since flowers are a major theme of the impressionists.

There seemed to be more basic plant displays this year than most, maybe the harsh winter played some sort of roll? Overall, the “Articulture” theme was not my favorite in recent history. The Paris theme a few years ago still stands out in my mind as a great flower show year. Next year I hope to see a theme that is perhaps more stunning.

Sabrina’s Cafe

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IMG_6969Sabrina’s Cafe has been known for its brunch presence in Philadelphia for some time now, drawing both suburbanites and city dwellers into town for bites from challah french toast to farm fresh eggs.

With locations near the Italian Market, Art Museum and University City areas, a large clientele base was missing from the equation–the Main Line.

A lifelong resident of these Philly suburbs, I was excited to hear the brunch hotspot was opening a location within walking distance of my home, and I’m sure many other suburbanites, reluctant of driving into the city for a two-hour wait for brunch, were equally as happy.

Opening just a few weeks ago, my dad and I decided to check out the hype. We arrived on a gloomy Sunday around 12:30p.m., thinking the brunch crowd would have quieted down a bit and we were sorely mistaken.

Our wait was estimated 45 minutes to an hour, but were told if we waited around the small lobby area we could be seated quicker than that. I was surprised when we were called about 20 minutes into our wait.

The restaurant interior itself did not undergo major renovations and still appears to have the same layout that the previous occupant, Sam’s Grill, had. The only major difference is that all booths were taken out and replaced with bistro style tables that are stacked as close to each other as possible. Other differences include chic lighting fixtures made from mason jars and vintage-looking fabric, and Pinterest-inspired wall decor from framed burlap with Main Line town names to a large chalkboard drawing on the back wall of Sabrina’s Philly locations.

We were seated practically on top of another couple. Being a European traveler, I didn’t mind this too much but I can not see too many Main Liners being content with the close eating quarters. (I mean bumping elbows close).

As we dined, cheery 80′s music played overhead, but the loudness of the music paired with the brunch chatting was so loud I felt like I was practically screaming to communicate with my dad who sat across from me no more than three feet away.

We both agreed it was the loudest brunch we had ever encountered. And I am used to college-town loudness at brunch and even The Waffle Shop in State College, Pa. is not this loud.


Regardless of the atmosphere, our meal was great. My dad ordered whole wheat blueberry pancakes with a side of sausage and I got the Wisconsin cheddar and apple omelet with a side of hash brown potatoes and onions as well as a stack of sourdough toast.

Update

My sister tried the stuffed French toast today, in honor of National Pancake Day and gave them a rave20140304-124911.jpg review. Stuffed with cream cheese and cinnamon and topped with bananas and powdered sugar, she said the flavors were a perfection of sweetness cut mildly by the cream cheese.

We ate rather quickly because it is definitely not a “hanging out” type of brunch place. If you are looking for a good hangover brunch where you can lounge in a booth this is not the place for you. Hymie’s Deli is definitely a better place for that.

I will definitely be going back though to try the interesting menu options. I was eying the Blue Cheese and Bacon Fritatta and Barking Chihuahua in particular. I am curious to return once the hype of the “opening weeks” has quieted down. Oh and next time I will be taking advantage of the BYOB option. Champagne for mimosas? Yes yes yes.

 

Interview Fashion

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IMG_6928I’ve been on my fair share of interviews since I graduated college last May. Mostly, my interview outfits have been an assortment of J. Crew pencil skirts, button-down collared shirts, great shoes (of course) and bold jewelery.

However, I decided to try out a fashionable pair of “slacks” this week for my interview attire. I quote the word “slacks” because I literally don’t know what else to call them. My pant drawer consists of mostly skinny jeans and leggings so this a term foreign to my dictionary and seemingly an outdated word. But since “slacks” are what you would refer to as loose-fitting pants that are not jeans and are not trousers I’m going for it.

Slacks. I received these pants as a gift from my mother and was a little hesitant at first, until I found the perfect pair of shoes to pair with them. These metallic gold-embroidered pants are a soft cotton material with a pleat down the center of the leg that makes them look inherently formal yet very trendy. I love the gold pattern on the black pants and the slight crop at the hemline. They are the perfect spring transition pant and, when temperatures are warmer, will be great to cuff at the bottom to show off some ankle.

I paired these pants with a classic white button-down, and a black leather cuffed blazer with a bold mixed metal flower necklace I purchased years ago at Free People for my first ever internship interview.

Happy Fashion Friday!

p.s. It’s been an exciting week for me writing wise! I just had an article published on Philly.com so if you love beauty treatments and love chocolate even more, this post is for you! We tried it: Chocolate Manicure and Pedicure

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