Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

New Headshot for Mom

03/25/2010

(Erika/Mom) I’ve been using the same photo for almost all of my online activity (except this blog): Twitter, Facebook, bios, etc. The photo was taken in the summer of 2005, in a little grove of lemon trees and I just love it:

But…2005? That was five years ago! I’m starting to feel dishonest. While I look pretty much the same, there’s just no way that this can be considered a recent photo. It’s like using a resume that you haven’t updated in awhile. I don’t like the fact that I look older, or somewhat heavier, but it’s the truth. This was driven home to me a few months ago at a meeting I attended where we could post stuff live on Twitter. The guy who was speaking looked around the room (and it was not a huge room) and said he was looking for the resident Twitterer (me) but couldn’t seem to find her. Hmmm; maybe because my hair was about six inches longer, my face wasn’t professionally made up, and, well, time has passed.

So this week I decided to ask my friend and wonderful photographer Simon Alexander to get me an updated face. Of course before heading into NYC to do the shoot I had to figure out what to wear. And as usual, I had to do it fast. While trying to return a few things in Princeton I rushed into Ann Taylor with about four minutes left on my parking meter. They had lots of pretty things meant for layering. I loved all of the ruffles and prints, but didn’t indulge this time. Instead, my eye was caught by a steel-gray cardigan with tiny silk rosebuds framing the front. I paired it with a champagne camisole I already have, and some dark gray pants. Then for a splash of color I borrowed Lizzi’s orange LV scarf. Here is the final presentation:

So where’s the professional NYC headshot, you ask? I’m still deliberating. You’re going to have to check back in, or Google me in a few weeks. But thanks to a good haircut, some serious highlights, and great makeup (all thanks to the Village Salon in Pennington), I think that five years have been good to me.

Mixing Patterns

03/08/2010

(Erika/Mom) An easy costume for Halloween is to dress like a nerd. All you have to do is find startlingly patterned pants, and pair them with an equally startling patterned shirt. Voila–instant comedy.

We all live in dread of wearing an outfit that clashes, but sometimes a bit of pattern mixing results in a really great look. Lizzi and I often look at the wild combos in Teen Vogue and Seventeen–darn it, they always just seem to work! Kristen O’Reilly, in a post last April in Idiosyncratic Style, dares us to mix it up and her examples are really wonderful. It’s like looking at a bowl of mixed candy: sure, the colors and patterns vary wildly, but the big picture is pleasing to the eye.

Yesterday Lizzi and I tested our pattern savvy at the mall. Each of us chose an outfit with lots of pattern (and the rule was, NO picking merchandise already put together by the store!) I chose Macy’s and the two of us perused the racks, starting with a graphic silk skirt with a black border. We tried it with a very loud (but really cool) blouse with a swirly green and white pattern. Even with a complementing black belt, the overall effect is rather bizarre:

So then I went safe, pairing the skirt with an off-white cardigan.
Yeah.
Don’t see fireworks? Neither did we.

Still having green in my mind’s eye, I rounded the corner and both of us spotted this button-front cardigan with just a hint of tie-dye.

“I like it, but too groovy, maybe?” I asked Lizzi.
“Try it on,” said she.

So I did, grabbing a simple white blouse with lots of ruffles to put on underneath. We decided this one’s a winner:

Here is an example of two pieces I never would have thought to wear together, let alone buy together. But we both instantly voted yes on this outfit, as the stodgy skirt got a jolt of color and fun from the top. I probably could have gone a little more adventurous on the belt. Shoes? Well, you could go chartreuse suede with some serious heels, ballet flats, or laceup boots. Lots of choices. This experiement was a lot of fun and what’s more, it pushed me out of my long-held fashion conventions that much more.

Now it’s Lizzi’s turn!

(Lizzi/Daughter) Mixing patterns isn’t as hard as it looks. Polka dots and checkers, plaid and stripes, leopard and floral… it all works. Of course, there are times when an outfit can go way too far when mixing patterns… and after Mom and I visited the mall, we found multiple different ways that an outfit could be safe, sorry, or just right.

As you can see, mixing patterns is big this season so I was excited to look at all the choices Mom and I had to create outfits for ourselves!


DVF SS10


Marc Jacobs SS10

I went to Forever 21 to find my outfits and they had many choices. I went with a gray boat-neck top and an orange and white striped cami for the main pieces.

First, I decided to pair the outfit with a blue and black skirt with an Aztec print.

It obviously doesn’t look good, so I switched to a pair of light pink leggings, to play it safe.

Finally, I tried on the same skirt as before but in black and white…

… and finally! an outfit that works.

This shows that not only patterns can make an outfit clash, but so can color!!!

Rosana: Our new favorite store!

01/24/2010

(Lizzi/Daughter) A couple of months ago, Mom and I went to a trunk show for our neighbor’s client’s new teen clothing store called Rosana. Since she was just beginning, there was only so much clothing and only a little bit of color. We still loved it though! The other day, I got an email from her and I told Mom that I wanted to go see her new store soon (which opened two months ago). So we headed down to Princeton and met up with Rosana again. She remembered us and was so excited to see us! Her store looked amazing. It was decorated with cute chairs and she had a much bigger variety of clothing! She also told us that she’s getting a lot more shoes in, so I knew that I would definitely be going back for more.

Mom and I grabbed different pieces right and left and I tried everything on. I was glad to find a store where I loved the clothes and most of the clothing fit me! (P.S. Sorry about the bright blue tank top… I happened to wear it and it didn’t exactly go with some of the pieces I tried on!)

First, I tried on a light blue ruffle mini dress and a pair of sequined pewter flats:

After that, I tried on an adorable black cut-out mini dress (cut outs are BIG this spring! Again, as I said before, so sorry about the tank!!!!)

Next was a beautiful orange chiffon dress which I was absolutely CRAZY about! It was a little big on the top (perfect on the bottom half).

Then I tried on a couple of things: a strapless top and a pair of really cute cropped pants! (the cardigan is my own)

Finally, I tried on a basic black cami and it looked pretty cute!

Oh, and by the way, if you happen to visit Rosana boutique in time, remember to sign her wall!

At the end, I bought the pewter flats, the black cami, and the cropped pants! I can’t wait to go back again… hopefully you’ll be able to visit the boutique sometime also!

No Rips and Fewer Uggs for the New Year

12/29/2009

happy new years!
(Erika/Mom) Last week, my daughter Lizzi and I came up with 10 terrific fashion trends we would like to see continue in 2010. We thought it only appropriate to follow up with New Year’s wishes of what we DON’T want to see anymore. Let’s start with a clean slate, people. January 1 is the day to wake up in those cute new PJs you got, eat a healthy breakfast, play Monopoly with your kids…and throw out your Uggs!!!
brown uggs
Before you start chucking your old worn-out boots at me, you should know that I have my own version of Uggs. They are Lands End clogs, red with sheepskin lining. They are supremely comfortable, easy to throw on, and I wear them far too much between November and April. Lizzi averts her eyes when she sees my red feet coming. But I’m not talking about banning Uggs for shoveling snow off the driveway or thick clogs for walking the dog. They are wonderful cold-weather boots. Here’s what I hate:

It's alright to wear them inside but not out!

It's alright to wear them inside but not out!


Uggs aren’t much of a fashion statement. I don’t think we should default to Uggs just because they’re easy. Don’t even get me started on wearing Ugg SLIPPERS as real shoes. Geez. It’s totally fine if you’re inside and lounging around the house. There are a lot of shoes and boots on the market that are warm, convenient, and don’t make you look like you stepped in some kind of suede cement. If you must wear Uggs, consider the styles that aren’t “classic Ugg”–like this one, for example:
cute grey slouchy uggs

Don’t hate me. I’m just tired of Uggs worn in all the wrong places. Now Lizzi will tell you her wish.

(Lizzi/Daughter) One trend I would not like to see in 2010 would be the whole destroyed/ripped trend. I don’t know the exact name for it, but I think it looks totally trashy and weird. I’m constantly seeing ripped leggings and shirts and dresses being sold everywhere from Forever21 to even Neiman Marcus! I don’t mind destroyed jeans to an extent. But if they’re destroyed to a point where your whole leg shows then it makes me want to gag.

ripped everything

Instead of wearing rips and detroyed jeans, try cut-outs. They are a lot cleaner and more sophisticated than tons of rips and holes.

cutouts

Have a Happy New Year, everyone!

Trend Spotting for Moms and Teens

08/24/2009

fashion sketch

When I was 12 I entered a Levi Strauss design contest. The premise was to create a product in denim that was entirely new and unique. I spent many days sketching and rejecting things and finally came up with two winning ideas: knickers and a trench coat. These little drawings were submitted with high hopes. I was going to be a fashion designer someday!

I’m still waiting for that to happen. Meanwhile, daughter Lizzi seems to have caught the same bug. She’s entered about 100 Polyvore design contests and usually sketches out her entire back-to-school outfit–accompanied by a scary-long list of items she simply cannot live without for the year. Channeling all of this pent-up fashion frustration we bring to you our first annual Favorite Back-to-School Trends for 2009. Keep in mind our demographics (47-year-old editor Mom, 12 1/2-year-old 7th grader, suburban New Jersey), body sizes (8 and 00), and personalities (conservatively creative Mom, nonconformist adventurer daughter) and don’t be shy about offering your own opinion. Fashion is a community pool with a huge deep end!

(Erika/Mom)

Trend #1: Ruffles. After years of androgynous shirts and jeans, it’s nice to welcome back the feminine ruffle. This trend is really hard to miss–it’s everywhere, from dresses to jackets to simple blouses. Here is a great plaid blazer from Free People with a relaxed ruffled lapel:

Free People plaid ruffled blazer

Trend #2: Houndstooth. I would swath the world in houndstooth if I could. And I’ve waited a long time for it to come back but it has, in earnest. In fact, I got up early so I could beat Lizzi to the punch on this one.

Houndstooth dress Marc Jacobs

Houndstooth began sometime in the mid-19th century in Scotland and in the 60s and 70s tickled the fancy of Geoffrey Beene. You can even find a 1969 Camaro upholstered in houndstooth if you’re lucky!

Houndstooth upholstery-1969 Camaro
This year instead of a predictable houndstooth skirt I want something more exciting–are tights going to be in? I’ll have to check with Lizzi.

Trend #3: Loafers. Yes, loafers! Thanks probably to Michael Jackson the little loafer is making a big comeback. Macys has tables of sleek, shiny loafers like these by Etienne Aigner:

Etienne Aigner loafers
Bottom line: There’s a lot of great stuff out there. Watch your wallet!

(Lizzi/Daughter) Wow, Mom! Great trends. I had a feeling you would do houndstooth for one of your trends.

A lot of the Fall trends I get are from Teen Vogue or Who What Wear Daily or style.com. I love a lot of the Fall trends this year, so choosing my top three will be hard. Right now, I only have one in mind. I’ll start with that.

Trend # 1: Bright scarves. I haven’t been seeing a lot right now being worn, but I have seen them in stores, in magazines, and online. I love the bright colors and they can make any boring, dark, outfit into an exciting bright one by just wrapping it around your neck!

marc jacobs bright scarves fall 2009
Ahhhh, Marc Jacobs, the best designer (in my opinion) of all time. His Fall 2009 collection was full of his bright pink, green, and yellow neon scarves, but this outfit really caught my eye because the outfit had such dull colors when you look from her shoes to her top, but then you see this statement scarf.

You can get your own bright scarf this year from Urban Outfitters, Macy’s, Forever 21, and more. It’s one of Fall’s biggest trends.

You can get this scarf in either color for $18.90 at Nordstrom. I think I might get one!

bright orange scarf bright turquoise scarf
Trend #2: Pretty in Pink! My favorite color has been pink ever since I can remember and I love how designers like Michael Kors are incorporating a lot of pink into their collections.

michael kors fall 2009

michael kors fall 2009

michael kors fall 2009
Michael Kors almost beats out Marc Jacobs with his Fall 2009 collection. It was full of neon colors like yellow, orange, and pink plus a bit of black, gray, and khaki here and there. But, my top 3 looks were these because of the awesome pink color. I’m so glad that pink is one of the Fall colors this year.

Trend #3: Boyfriend jeans. Loose and comfortable jeans that are also very chic and stylish if you dress them the right way. GAP’s new line of jeans has a wide selection of jeans including boyfriend jeans. American Eagle, Current/Elliot, and Levi’s also has a wide selection of boyfriend jeans.

gap boyfriend jeansgap boyfriend jeans
You can dress ’em up:

polyvore - boyfriend jeans - dressing them up
by BellaMarie on Polyvore

Or dress ’em down:

polyvore - boyfriend jeans - dress them down
cropped boyfriend jeans by popbarb on Polyvore

Either way, they’ll still look great.

So now it’s back to Polyvore and listmaking. Mom and I have a BTS shopping trip in NYC to look forward to this Thursday. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Blogging for Bliss

08/04/2009
Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey (Lark/Sterling)

Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey (Lark/Sterling)

(Erika/Mom) We are proud to be participating in the official book release party for Blogging for Bliss. As the Good Book says (and I’m going to botch this) we are not fit to touch the sandals of the blissful bloggers who are featured in the book and others who are participating. They are amazing creatives who have collectively turned the plain old blogosphere into a Shangri La. But we aren’t ashamed to hang onto their coattails and hopefully learn lots in the process.

Tara Frey is mistress of the camera and a veritable modern-day Jane Austen with her witty prose. Catch her at Typing Out Loud and I dare you to click away without subscribing. She is better than a cup of coffee in the morning. My partner (Eileen Paulin at Daily Courage) and I helped give birth to this book and we’re about as proud as a couple of hens in the rooster house. It’s times like now I wish I grew up in the South and learned all those great sayings. Help me, Paula Dean!

Anyway, many thanks to Kari Ramstrom at Artsy Mama for hosting the party. This sure beats handmade nametags and hovering shyly at the door. As soon as someone figures out virtual champagne I’ll be completely happy. In the meantime…POP! goes the cork. A toast–to the pioneers of pretty, the blissful bloggers who have proven to the world that when you look good, you write good. 🙂