Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hi Everyone!

06/02/2010

Hi everyone! It’s Lizzi. As you probably can tell, Mom and I are taking a little break with our blog. But, you can still connect with Mom on Twitter twitter.com/etkotite and me on Chictopia!!! chictopia.com/lizzishopaholic

Stay fashionable! xoxo

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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!

Our 10 Favorite Fashion Trends for 2009

12/22/2009

Me and Mom in Venice....shopping of course!

(Lizzi/Daughter) Since it is almost the end of the year and 2010 is right around the corner, Mom and I decided to recap our favorite trends from 2009. We each chose five trends that we would love to see continue and flourish in the upcoming year.

Lizzi’s Five Favorite Trends of 2009:

My Favorite Fashion Trends of 2009
My Favorite Fashion Trends of 2009 by ChicLizzi featuring Matthew Williamson
Items in this set:
Discount Balmain Military-style denim jacket | theOutnet.com, 3,394 GBP
Matthew Williamson | Fitted twill blazer | NET-A-PORTER.COM, 745 EUR
See by Chloe Crepe boyfriend-fit blazer, $735
ABS Black Bandleader Jacket with Gold Trim
Jimmy Choo York leather motorcycle boots, $1,195

1. Blazers. This is my favorite trend of 2009. I liked the whole menswear trend and thought blazers were a very chic way of dressing up anything whether it was a button-down and jeans or a frilly floral dress.

2. Motorcycle boots. I love motorcycle boots. They are tough and edgy but feminine and fun. They are especially great for the cold winter weather!

3. Bib necklaces. Any statement necklace is great but bib necklaces always seem to catch my eye more than other necklaces.

4. Lace tights. Lace is one of my favorite fabrics and tights are my favorite bottoms to wear, so when both of them are combined they make something wonderful!

5. Military jackets. I love military jackets because of the structure and the buttons. It always reminds me of the toy soldiers in the Nutcracker, my favorite ballet!

(Erika/Mom)
I have to say, thank God romance is back in fashion! I mean the soft, feminine, flowing kind, not the French maid, bodice-ripper kind. We moms have more to choose from than we have for a decade. Today’s stores are filled with clothing, jewelry and accessories that show a great deal of imagination and an attention to the fabulous techniques and silhouettes of the past. I actually had a hard time narrowing my trends down to five, but they are all generous categories and easily adopted by every taste, budget, and (best of all) figure type. Take a look and get ready to hit the sales after Christmas!

Mom’s Five Favorite Trends

My Favorite Fashion Trends for 2009
My Favorite Fashion Trends for 2009 by EKotite featuring Miss Selfridge
Items in this set:
Milly Ruffle-sleeved merino wool dress, $295
Prep School Dress, $65
Ruffle Tie Blouse, $19
Stella McCartney Wide quilted waist belt, $263
Full Wool Mini Skirt, $245

6. Romantic (styles and fabrics). From sheerest organza to heavyweight velvets, garments of every type are getting a gorgeous lift. Lizzi and I have discovered marvelous tiered skirts in Forever 21; dresses embellished with fabric flowers in gorgeous colors; jackets with lightly puffed sleeves; and of course, shoes with ankle straps and sparkling buckles.

7. Ruffles. Lizzi laughs at my slavish devotion to ruffles. A simple white blouse I bought at White House/Black Market with a ruffled front has been my wardrobe stretcher of the year. A hybrid mom cannot have too many ruffles.

8. Faux Fur. I must admit I have not yet indulged in the fabulous fakes out in the stores this year. But these faux fur makers are really doing something right in their labs. Today’s vests, jackets, coats, and accessories are soft, warm, and oh so stylish.

9. Preppy. When I finally tossed my mid-calf pinwale corduroy pink skirt from college, I never thought I’d see the like of it again. Today’s preppy trend is a bit sexier but super feminine and flexible. You can look like Muffy instead of Skip with these soft fabrics and understated silhouettes.

10. Watches. The amazing, eye-catching array of watches out there drives home an important point: utility definitely shouldn’t look useful. (If you aren’t convinced, take a look at the wonderful tricked-out Steampunk computer we had in a recent post). Insist on pretty whenever possible. That rule, at least for me, has never been easier than now.

Steampunk Fashion and Jewelry

11/17/2009

Steampunk fashion

steampunk n. a genre of science fiction set in Victorian times when steam was the main source of machine power.

(Lizzi Hayes) Mom was the first to introduce me to steampunk about a year ago. I remember she was really excited about it and showed me different pictures of the different things that are involved in the steampunk trend (you gotta see this modified PC):

steampunk PC

I was very interested, but mostly in the jewelry, which is made out of different metals, watch and clock pieces, jewels, wires, stones, and so much more. This one is from The Steampunk Trunk on etsy:
steampunk bracelet

But Mom was more interested in the fashion; tight corsets, full skirts, embroidered jackets, top hats, and long coats. Since Mom and I are so fascinated and interested in steampunk, we decided to show off the pieces of steampunk jewelry and the steampunk fashion we love!

As I was surfing the net, I found a great website full of steampunk clothing and accessories that every fashionista would love. It’s called Clockwork Couture.

This website provides lots of cool Victorian-esque clothing. Some of my favorite items were these:

DSC_0082_29

elasticbelt

bebe126

02(4)

Dame-05-blue_0

motive20

Feel free to explore this wonderful site!!!

Now onto jewelry. Steampunk jewelry isn’t as simple as it looks. It seems as though you could just smash an old watch and glue the pieces onto a simple bangle. It’s actually a lot more beautiful than that…

edmdesigns on Etsey has wonderful jewelry. Some of it is extreme, others are very classy and simple.

An example of extreme would be this gorgeous steampunk cuff.

steampunk cuff

It also comes in many other styles.

There are many rings that I find actually very beautiful and fascinating:

steampunk ring

This ring I’m putting on my Christmas List!!!!

Overall, I think the steampunk style and philosophy is great and very stylish because I love the intricate mix of mechanical and romantic.

(Erika/Mom) Maybe I’ve read too many Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian fantasy novels but for me steampunk is as seductive as Johnny Depp. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of the same old, same old jeans and sweaters. Steampunk is escapism you can wear. Evoking the adventurous feminism of Amelia Earhardt, the tailored romance of Nicole Kidman in Australia and the everyday wackiness of Helena Bonham Carter, steampunk is a trip to the past when England’s love of mechanical innovation met its last days as an uncontested world power.

I discovered this new-old world of steampunk while working on a book proposal last year and am fascinated with the people who live it.

steampunk fashion male

Jewelry is probably the easiest way to express your steampunkism. Etsy has many sellers who specialize in exquisite piecees as Lizzy pointed out. Dressing steampunk is a little trickier–the components are highly theatrical and you might easily be mistaken for an extra in Moulin Rouge. An example of toned-down steampunk is this little mineral wash jacket Lizzi and I spotted at Delia’s over the weekend:

Delias mineral wash jacket

Pair this with a ruffled white shirt, black jodhpur-style pants, a pair of black boots, and by jove, you’ve got it!

Capital Fashion

11/12/2009

Lincoln Monument Washington DC

(Erika/Mom) While New Jersey teachers were on a convention of continuing education last Thursday and Friday, we decided we’d take a little fact-finding trip of our own. Tim and I took our children (Lizzi, her sister and her brother) to Washington DC and let them gaze for the very first time on Our Nation’s Capital. It was a wonderful family weekend. Although we only had two days of exploring, we learned a great deal. Here are some facts we can share:
1. The White House is big, but not that big. Many of our neighbors have oversized homes that rival its size. You can meander around right in front, on Pennsylvania Avenue, while stoic policemen watch. Probably could have tried to start a game of flag football, to see if Sasha and Malia could come out and play. We saw that something was going on, as dark-suited people with press badges were walking in and out of the gates. I asked if the President was home and got a terse “we cannot divulge that information.” In retrospect I believe everyone was gathering for the momentous healthcare legislation announcement.
2. When parking says “9:00 to 4:00” on H Street, that doesn’t mean it’s free after 4 pm as my husband and I naively guessed. Rather, it means “better move your damn car on the dot of four or you will get a $100 parking ticket.”
3. We were told brown squirrels only lived in Princeton. Not so; they’ve migrated to Washington, where they mingle in peace with the common gray squirrel.
4. The Smithsonian should be designated one of the 7 Wonders of the World. It’s free (after taxes) and goes on forever and ever. Being the average tourists, we started at American History and were instantly sucked into the worlds of the First Ladies and their dresses, Lincoln’s top hat, Julia’s kitchen, and Archie Bunker’s famous armchair. We learned how heavy a bucket of water is that an early 20th-century washerwoman had to carry 24 times to fill a washtub. (Answer: 21 pounds)
Caroline Harrison's Inaugural GownJacqueline Kennedy Inaugural Gown

5. There seems to be some kind of dress code in Washington that relies heavily on navy blue.

Lizzi and I began to pick up on this phenomenon as we posed for photos in front of the White House. Secret Service men were of course dressed in black but many of the people on Capitol Hill, chatting with colleagues and talking on their cellphones, were swathed in blue. Men seemed to prefer solid-color ties in greens and pinks. The obsession with navy really struck us at our hotel. We discovered an FBI meeting was taking place our first morning and we had to weave through a sea of blue to reach the front door.

Lizzi and I think that this epidemic of navy blue is in serious need of healthcare reform. Taking a cue from our President and the House of Representatives, which on Saturday passed the nation’s first national healthcare plan, we offer a somewhat less exhaustive but no less radical blue suit reform for the FBI, the press, the White House, and anyone else in Washington who doesn’t already have a strict dress code.

May We Suggest…
This classic suit was somewhat typical of what we saw. While nice, it is more of a camouflage than a standout:
classic navy womens suit
But for a little more distinction, how about this? (a 1940s suit from Lulu’s Vintage)
Lulus Vintage 1940s ladies navy suit
Accessories are really key here. Besides the nifty FBI badge and id tag, we suggest a great brooch or scarf, like these from 1928 Jewelry and Eileen Fisher:
1928 Jewelry vintage style broochEileen Fisher red scarf
I’ll let Lizzi be the world’s first under-21 fashion stylist for the women of the FBI. Lizzi, don’t forget to show everyone the first pair of shoes you chose. Let’s just say they were fabulous, but wouldn’t be your friends on a perp chase. 🙂

(Lizzi/Daughter) The outfits I saw in the hotel and around town were for the most part very boring. Black or navy frumpy suits with clunky black shoes. So I thought it would be fun to do a before and after and show how to transform from this:
boring suit

To this:
fashion suits

Suits in order:
Women’s Business Suit from China.cn
YSL Asymmetrical Suit
Two-piece wool skirt suit from YESSTYLE

Not knowing much about what you wear as an FBI agent, or anyone else who works for the president, I at first chose a pair of black stilettos for my new and improved black uniform.

black miu miu shoes

When I showed Mom my choice of shoes, she laughed and told me to change the shoes to a pair of lower heels. How was I supposed to know that running full speed down dark alleys was sometimes part of the job description of an FBI agent? (And scratch that as a career option for ME). Anyway, my outfit turned out like this:

For My Blog
For My Blog by ChicLizzi featuring Nine West shoes

Items in this set:
Vivienne Westwood Red Label skirt, $820
Juicy Couture coat, $400
DAY Birger et Mikkelsen blouse, $240
Nine West shoes, $79
Iosselliani ring, 160 GBP

Pretty nice, eh? Dressing like this for a job that has a strict dress code is pretty simple. All you need is an asymmetrical black skirt suit (nothing is symmetrical these days!), a pair of low heeled, simple (but NOT boring) black heels, a dark gray or black feminine blouse, and, if you need it for the outdoors, a black pea coat. To accessorize, a simple stack ring set and a brooch is very classy and chic. Of course, this particular outfit was made for an FBI agent. You can tell by the cell phone case and Presidential Seal!

Overall, I had a great vacation and learned a lot about how people who work for the federal government dress. Let’s hope they start representing us in a style that rocks the nation.

Back-to-School Shopping in NYC

09/03/2009

Back-to-School shopping in NYC

(Erika/Mom) One of the best parts about moving to NJ from CA a few years ago was the proximity to my favorite city: Manhattan! This is our third summer on the East Coast and as of last Thursday, our third trek (mother and two daughters Lizzi and Caroline) into NYC for back-to-school shopping. We’ve already learned a few things to improve our performance:

1. Get an early start.

2. Choose one or two quadrants of the city. Our first year we went down to Soho then up to the Upper West Side, and nearly killed ourselves.

3. Make a list and check addresses. Lizzi did this and it helped us stay on track and cover more ground.

4. Be open to serendipity. We found an amazing shop on Columbus Ave. called…oh crap, can’t remember the name. Something like Very Best Gowns. Look for it a block or two from Betsey Johnson somewhere in the 70s. We weren’t in the market for gowns but wish we were. Lizzi bonded with the owner’s 12-year-old niece who was hanging out there.

5. Grom sorbet and a park bench.

Of course we had to check out the new JCP on 33rd St. and Avenue of the Americas. Talk about sinking serious amounts of money into your brand! We’ve been inundated with TV and print ads and finally decided to see if there really WAS something new going on at JCP.

The verdict? Very nice. It helps when you have a brand new building and large, pink-papered dressing rooms. We loved the dressing rooms. Both Caroline and Lizzi found a few things they liked, including this cute diamond-pattern tunic top:

JCP finds

Next stop: Macys. We can’t ever shop in New York without stopping at Macys. And after a trip up to the 7th floor on the wonderful clackety original wooden escalator, we found a wonderland of merchandise that both girls loved.

(Lizzi/Daughter) Macy’s was probably one of my favorite places we stopped at. I got half of my back-to-school clothes there! I thought I wouldn’t find anything in the girls department in Macy’s because our local Macy’s has all this cutesy-little girl stuff in the 7-16 section. But when we got to the right section, I found myself piling clothes of all types on one arm and then we finally decided to try everything on once my pile of clothes weighed about ten pounds. My favorite buys were a cool leather (or pleather… plastic leather or fake leather) jacket by Baby Phat and a pair of deep red acid wash jeans. The jacket had a cool metallic tint to it that Mom says makes it look like metal which is really cool. It also had studs lining the pockets and zipper. I loved it so much, I had to buy it and it will be great for cool weather in fall and winter.

Baby Phat leather jacket and Hurley graphic t-shirt... both great pieces I bought at Macys!

Baby Phat leather jacket and Hurley graphic t-shirt... both great pieces I bought at Macys!

I spotted the acid wash jeans in the Guess section of Macy’s and I thought they were so cool because I had never seen that pretty a red on jeans before. Also, what was amazing was that they fit perfectly and jeans almost never fit me well in either the waist or the length.

After trying on a couple more things and heading to a few other shops, we finally ended up at Urban Outfitters, my favorite store in the whole universe. Again, I grabbed everything in sight that looked like it would fit and finally ended up in the fitting room. I randomly pulled out a bright floral dress that I thought looked cute on a mannequin. I thought it wouldn’t fit, but when I had tried it on, it “fit like a glove,” as Mom said.

floral dress from urban outfitters
I also bought a nice floral skirt and a cute jacket:

my skirt

my skirt

my jacket

my jacket

Aren’t these both the cutest?

In conclusion, Mom, my sister Caroline, and I had an awesome day in New York City! We may hit a mall later on but Manhattan is the place to start your engines. Seventh grade, here I come.

caroline and i eating lunch in nyc

Even though Caroline isn't as into fashion and shopping as I am, she still had a great time!

When the Best Man Is a Woman

08/31/2009

Erika's Best woMan dress(Erika/Mom) This post should have been written about a month ago, when I had the honor and pleasure of standing up for my friend David Sowell, whom I’ve known since 7th grade. He married my friend Diana Markarian, whom I’ve known since 5th grade. The two of them, however, didn’t know each other until I introduced them a little over a year ago. This apparently awarded me one of the top spots in the wedding party and I wanted to look the part.

The happy couple

The happy couple

You’ll see in a previous post I mulled over various options, focusing on some kind of tuxedo-style dress that would give the feel of tradition. But when I looked at them in the stores, they screamed “costume” and seemed overly conspicuous.

As the event grew closer I started having fits about spending a lot of money on a new dress. In uncharacteristic frugality, I began trying on dresses I already had, starting with the bridesmaid dress from my own wedding…nearly 15 years ago. I thought it looked pretty good on me and was thrilled that the size 8 my sister wore actually fit me. When I showed it to Lizzi, however, she threw cold water on my enthusiasm. She did this using only her eyes–those beautiful green eyes expressing first incredulity that I would even consider wearing such an old, outdated dress, followed by compassion for my severe fashion naivete.

So it was back to the closet, where we combed through everything I had and finally decided a light, pretty Ann Taylor sundress would work well. It bothered me that the dress was a few years old and the hemline hit me at that singularly unattractive spot above the knees, but I tried to ignore my misgivings. Because the wedding was taking place outside, I figured a more casual dress would be fine.

The day before the wedding I went up to see if I could help with last-minute details. Diana showed me her dress (gorgeous, with a small train) and David confirmed that he was wearing a very formal black tux. I also saw the bridesmaid/matron-of-honor dresses, which were silk with a large fuschia floral design. In a flash, I knew my tired summer dress was not going to do AT ALL.

I had one hour to hit the Santa Rosa Macys. As I parked, I prayed that they would have the perfect Best Man dress.

Scouring the “Occasion” section, I scooped up about 7 or 8 dresses with ceremonial potential and low-three-digit price tags.  It was difficult to walk the line successfully between dressy yet not too formal; feminine but not fussy; flattering yet complementary with the bold florals of the bridesmaid dresses.

Bridesmaids

You can see that despite the very bold pattern I chose, it still somehow looked good with everyone else’s while setting me apart as the groom’s sidekick. And for that I have to thank Jones New York. You guys somehow manage to give off that wonderful aroma of “designer” yet make the ordinary woman like me feel (and look) pretty damn extraordinary. Check out how this filmy, flowing dress hides the fact that I’m terrified I’ll impale one of the mothers as I’m pinning on their corsages:

Don't.....move.....

Don't.....move.....

The wedding was fabulous. I got to see two friends who mean so much to me find happiness together. I danced, I toasted the happy couple, I basked in the warm sunshine of a beautiful Northern California summer’s day. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Mad Rush for Mad Men

08/13/2009

Mad Men

(Erika/Mom) Ever since I heard about the casting call for Mad Men’s new season, my reason went out the window. I was determined to try, even though it meant a lot of work. You had to actually go to a Banana Republic store to get the brochure, the discount card, and the secret code for entering. That alone took a week. Not to mention dressing in your “best mad man or woman style.”

I finally made it to a Banana Republic and then didn’t bother to study the deadline until, well, the day of the deadline. Aaagh! Today. Any thoughts of getting hair and makeup done to resemble a 60s femme fatale faded into black. I looked down at my very contemporary skirt and tank top, my decidedly un-retro curly hank of hair and almost gave up. Then I had an idea: How about a headshot accompanied by a Polyvore set that showed what I WOULD wear if I had my act together? Brilliant! With considerable help from Lizzi, here’s what I came up with:

My Mad Men Polyvore set

So is that groovy or what? I began looking for decent headshots when Lizzi came by my desk and asked what I was doing.

“Looking for something to submit to the Mad Men casting call,” said I.

“But don’t you have to dress up?” inquired Lizzi.

“Um, no, I don’t have time for that,” I replied. “I’ll just give them an idea of what I could look like.”

Lizzi wasn’t buying it. “Mom, you have to dress up! C’mon, I’ll help you.”

It takes a very well-adjusted mom to accept wardrobe assistance from a 12 year old. We went upstairs and started going through my dresses. I was looking at a full-skirted vintage dress I wore to my brother’s wedding when Lizzi had the winning answer.

“Mom, what about this one?” she asked.

Oh man, this was perfect. She pulled out my Oscar de la Renta gray dress, the one I bought for all of the New York editor interviews I would be going on. It never landed me the job at Conde Nast, but I have to say I look pretty good in it. Brilliant! I had officially forgotten all of the things I was going to do that afternoon and was obsessed with my chance for Mad Men fame.

Dress, belt, hose, eyeliner, lipstick...check

Dress, belt, hose, eyeliner, lipstick...check

Ready for my closeup?

Ready for my closeup?

The hair isn’t quite authentic but I felt really good about this. After my hasty photo shoot I went online to send in the winning entry.

At AMC’s website, here is the message I got:

amc casting call

I MISSED IT! Lizzi and I looked at it, stunned. “Mom, can’t you do something?” Lizzi asked.

Nope; I blew it. All that work and excitement, down the drain. Still in my gray wool dress, sweating in the humidity of a New Jersey August afternoon, I questioned my attempt to capture the attention of AMC’s casting team. They had so many entries, their server nearly crashed. Why did I think I had a chance?

The answer is, I don’t know. There is something about losing yourself in another identity, another time, another place, that is irresistible. Mad Men is a smart, compelling show that I love. Every once in awhile, each of us loses our minds and we do something impulsive. We forget about laundry, cooking, dusting, unanswered emails. We just run up to our closets and begin to dress like someone else. Another time, another place.

So here I am. If there is a God, AMC will find me. And I will be ready for my closeup.

Coolifying Dad

08/03/2009

Picture 1(Erika/Mom) I married Tim 15 years ago. He was and still is the love of my life. He’s also handsome, in great shape, and very, very smart. He works in a field where safety and comfort, not style, is paramount.

So one day Lizzi and I found ourselves in Urban Outfitters (how did that happen?) and we decided to coolify Dad. First, the pants. No Dockers, no pleats! We found a great pair of straight-leg black jeans. Next, a soft T-shirt with varying threads of cranberry and cream. Cardigans are hard to do without looking geriatric, but I think this one pulls it off nicely.
The piece de resistance? Converse sneakers. No kidding. These may look sort of ordinary to the casual observer but if you saw the clunky New Balance shoes Tim normally wears, his new black sneakers are a huge departure from the status quo.

(Lizzi/Daughter) I really do love my Dad, but his style sometimes, not so much. He’s always in Levi’s that all look the same, Nautica Polos, and big, clunky, steel-toed shoes. Some of the Polos I like (the ones I bought for him, for example, a bright fuscia polo), but I really want him to branch out. But, Dad’s not the worst I’ve seen.

One of my friend’s Dad wears white socks that go all the way up to mid-calf. I HATE that. A lot of boys in my grade do that, so I got used to it on them, but little did I know that grown men wore them. I don’t mind it if they are wear trousers, because their socks are covered, but in the summer, when all they wear are shorts, they look like those nerds from movies and TV shows. Seriously.

Dad's got a couple dozen of these. Yikes.

Dad's got a couple dozen of these. Yikes.

Some other Dads wear t-shirts constantly, which is okay if they’re clean. But, I know a couple Dads that wear dirty shirts, full of paint splatters holes every day when they get home. They should separate their work t-shirts from their nice t-shirts. It’s that easy.

What I would like to see on Dads are cool sneakers like Converse or Vans, snazzy cardigans, and cool, straight leg jeans. Or in the summer, shorts that cover their knees, but also aren’t below mid-calf. It’s really simple if you get a variety of those things that they can wear every day, after work, or on the weekends. Maybe add some cool accessories like a scarf. (Can you tell we’re big on scarves?!)

Like this Dad:

baby bjorn stylish dad

photo credit: babybjorn.com

Even though are Dads are the coolest men in the world already, they can be even better if dressed in the right clothes.