Defining My Spirit Animals

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Photo credit: http://smsouthnews.com/4935/southbuzz/whats-your-spirit-animal/

I’ve been talking a lot about spirit animals this week. What can I say, I find a buzz word and I beat it to death. What is a spirit animal, you ask? Well … Urban Dictionary defines it as:

A spirit animal or totem is meant to be a representation of the traits and skills that you are supposed to learn or have. Online, saying something or someone is your spirit animal is a statement that said person or thing is a representation of you or what you want to be.

Friend 1: “Did you see Misfits last night?”
Friend 2: “YES. Nathan Young is my spirit animal.”

In my line of work, career path, life in general, spirit animals are what keep me going. In fact, I think no matter what you do … cow herder, accountant, surgeon, designer, you need a spirit animal in order to help you grow. If I feel I’ve hit a brick wall, or don’t know what to do, where to go, what to write next … I hit up my spirit animals. And no it’s not a damn cat … okay maybe it SOMETIMES is a damn cat … but whatever, I love my cats, leave me alone! Ahhhhhhh :::runs away::::

So in an effort to invoke your spirit animals, I thought I would go ahead and share with you some of mine, just a few, you know, my mega spirit animals. It is so important to have role models, no matter what age, or just people who you find so intriguing and so bad ass that they make you want to explore new aspects of life. I encourage you to find your inner spirit animals and embrace them. Hell, give them props.

1. Patti Smith: I read her book Just Kids after graduating college when I was the definition of a lost puppy and it became one of my all-time favorite books. I wanted to go to NYC, but I didn’t, but I did. At that time, I was begging for inspiration or something to help me make sense of this “real world” which was incredibly overwhelming. I then dove head first into her music and poetry which was just as delicious. I found diving into someone’s life story can really make a difference on how you lead yours.

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2. Leandra Medine: Also known as the “Man Repeller.” Her blog is pure genius, and she is an evil genius. She turned fashion blogging on its face by not only writing intelligently, but opening people’s minds up to new designers and ways to wear clothes. She’s also a fucking hoot. When I need a creative spark or find myself banging my head against the wall due to writers block, I hit this bitch up (not in real life, I mean on her blog, but if she wants to be best friends, I’m totally into it. I’ll buy the first round. No wait, you can, you have an awesome book out and I don’t … tee hee?).

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3. Iris Apfel: No one does accessorizing better than her. No one. And as a total jewelry whore, I want to bow down at her feet in a non-creepy way. I dream to walk through my life as classically chic and stylish as her. It is rare to have a style that is yours and only yours, for when people copy it, they know it is an “Iris look.” One can only dream to have that style power.

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4. Gwen Stefani: I’ve always been a No Doubt fan, not a super fan, but I would get down with some of their tunes. Don’t make fun of me, but I DO in fact watch the Voice, and kind of discovered how awesome she truly is through this season. I mean, I’ve always known she has had this amazing rock star power to her, but I never realized how effortlessly stylish and cool she is. You can tell she walks to the beat of her own drum, and that is something really valuable in this life. True, a new spirit animal to my repertoire, but a powerful one on the fashion front at that.

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5. Tina Fey: I mean, do I need to say anything more? I don’t think I need to. I dream to one day have an ounce of talent in my pinky finger and be able to make the world laugh like she does, then goes back to her amazing NYC home to have her, somewhat, normal life. But she’s Tina f-ing Fey! Writing genius extraordinaire. AND she’s from Philly-ish. Philly rules! Cheesesteaks, Bobby Clark, Will Smith. Your town, SUCKS! Hey, if for some reason she wants to be my full-time mentor, I’m totally open to it.

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Now let’s hear your spirit animals, people.

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Fashion’s Plateau: Normcore

CaptureSometimes I wake up in the morning and feel the need to wear my black sequin cardigan, ball gown skirt, paired with a normal T underneath, with my four inch studded Sam Edelman stilettos. But then I wipe the sleep out of my eyes (ew) and realize that isn’t okay in the world I live in … and go for the black skinnies, some sort of top, and my Hunter Boots because, dear sweet Jesus, it snowed again. Yep … this Monday couldn’t possibly get more boring.

But why couldn’t I just rock the outfit that I dreamed up the minute I opened my eyes? Why do I care if people will look at me like I have four heads, or dare I say even laugh at me? I’m 27 … I shouldn’t have to care if I’m going to get laughed at on the “playground” aka normal everyday life. It’s because sometimes it is easier to blend in then be diamond in the rough. At least recently this is how I’ve viewed it. Which … can I say … sucks.

And then I stumbled upon this article about a concept in the fashion world known as “Normcore.” What is it you ask? Well … they are comparing it to a look Jerry Seinfeld would have rocked in the 90’s. Nondescript, bland … basically embracing sameness. Apart of me isn’t shocked. After the Carrie Bradshaw era … we’ve been desperately trying to out-weird each other in the world of fashion. At some point it had to plateau, right? I just didn’t think it would lead people to wear mom jeans, white sneakers, I Heart NY caps, and Patagonia zip ups. Um whaaa?

May I just take a second to say Normcore is bullshit. Complete. Bullshit. It goes against every single thing I believe it when it comes to person style. To each their own, but the reason why I love fashion is because it gives even the shyest person in the world an opportunity to have an identity. The idea of a million Jerry Seinfeld’s in the world walking about hand-in-hand in their Tevas is highly disturbing to me.

I think these people participating in the Normcore movement are in dire need of inspiration. Man Repeller said it best. “I’ve been covering Paris Fashion Week for five seasons and in those seasons, I have learned that when I come home, I come home incredibly stimulated.” It’s all about finding your stimulation.

For example, as the weather gets warmer, I made a promise to myself to explore streets I haven’t walked down or stores I haven’t been exposed to. I did it on Friday after work and let’s just say it was Instagram-worthy. Exposing myself to these new things will not only inspire me, it will open up a new world with new people to come across. I’m not one to open a magazine and immediately feel the urge to emulate styles. But when I see normal people on the street rocking something exceptionally rad … that is when I get the spark.

Yes, we may have hit a plateau in the fashion world, but I encourage everyone to steer clear of Normcore. Rock what makes you happy … but don’t be afraid to be that diamond in the rough. This is something I need to work on as well, hell we can do it together.

But yes, statement jewelry, loud prints, crazy studded stilettos, over-the-knee hooker boots, leather, camo, and all things delicious that make fashion what it is. Suck it, Normcore.

An Interview With Me, Myself, And I

5cf15ebda54c470e2d5631b0158cd12fAhh to be a celebrity … excuse me while I put my hand to my chin and daydream whilst staring out my window wide-eyed in Never Never Land. Something you should know about me … I have a secret obsession with celebrity culture. For example I was walking out of Starbucks this morning on my way to work and saw this black SUV with blacked out windows and immediately assumed Justin Timberlake was inside … clearly. I had my fingers crossed that he would roll down the window as I strolled by, ask me my name, and then casually ask for my hand in marriage after he divorced Biel … but :::sigh::: that never did happened.

But it is fun to imagine yourself as a celebrity … someone who sits in blacked our SUVs and gets swarms of people wanting to interview them. And after reading an inspiring article from Man Repeller, I got to thinking about how another writer would portray a play-by-play with me if I happened to be worthy of an interview with Vogue Magazine … :::swoon::: could you even imagine?!

And after a little thinking and getting in touch with my awkward tendencies, here is how I believe my interview would go, coming from another writer’s perspective:

“Kate strutted into Starbucks with full-blown Bitchy Resting Face, phone in hand, bundled in all black like she was heading from a funeral in the North Pole, and an awkward piece of hair sticking straight out between where her ear and sunglasses arm met. It was clearly bothering her as I watched her fail numerous times as she tried to tuck it away. She barely made it to the table before slipping on the slick marble flooring, but casually caught herself and played it off like a model who just bit it on the catwalk and had to keep going. The shame was hidden by the sunglasses … but the embarrassment was exposed by her bright red cheeks.

The RBF washed away from Kate’s face the minute she removed her sunglasses, smiled, and attempted to shake my hand, but realized she was now holding her cell phone AND sunglasses, so instead went for a strange side, half fist bump with the opposite hand and laughed off the awkward encounter.

After she sat down and got comfortable, she placed her iPhone next to her tea glass, and compulsively kept checking it like she was waiting for a phone call, text or email, but in reality just seemed like a twitch because, alas, no one was calling, texting or emailing her. Every 10 minutes or so she was uncross her long legs and would hit her knee on the table, causing her pain that she tried to hide, even though I heard a soft “son of a bitch,” escape her sigh almost every time. In between questions she would take a sip of her black tea, which I assumed matched her outfit and soul, and a little would slip through her lips and onto her sheer top, which she tried not to cause attention to by crossing her arms in an attempt to wipe it away.”

I’m a classically awkward celeb, aren’t I? Anyways it is fun to dig deep into your true self and express how you would handle a big time interview. Of course all of us would love to stroll in, on time, dipped in Chanel with every perfect answer ready to jump off our red lips that wouldn’t lose their color whilst we sipped our tea, am I right? But the cookie doesn’t crumble like that. The cookie, indeed, leaves crumbs on my H&M blouse.

Now it’s your turn, how would you handle being interviewed?

Dressing For You

I need to preface this post by saying I am not a feminist nor am I a man hater. I don’t keep a copy of “The Feminine Mystique” by my bed and “Jagged Little Pill” is not set on repeat on my iTouch (even though it is a fabulous album). I love men, they truly are a fabulous thing.

With that being said, I just read an article about trends ladies rock that men apparently loathe … and to that I said, really? :::Sigh::: Okay, so with age you begin to realize certain things you used to spend hours and hours worrying about are, in reality, not that big of a deal. I realize I am freshly 25 and have numerous things left to learn in life, but I have picked up at least one very important piece of information that I feel compelled to share. Grab a piece of paper and a pen, put this in the “Notes” section of your iPhone, Tweet it … do what you must with it. Ahem: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T LET BOYS DICTATE YOUR STYLE … ever. 

I’m going to confess that only recently did I start dressing for myself. Sure, I buy pieces and have days where I question if people will point and laugh at what I’m wearing like we are back in the second grade. But sometimes you just need to step outside of the situation and realize, hey, we aren’t in the second grade, and if anyone makes fun of what you are wearing after, oh I dunno, you are 10 years old … then they need some serious help. But more times than not, if I want to wear a toned down tuxedo to work, I will rock it with four-inch heels. But back in the day, meaning high school and parts of college, I would dress for everyone but myself.

So three years out of college, I now have the confidence to say if you are with a guy who either A. doesn’t like your style and/or B. dumps you because of what you wear, then simply file him under “jackass” and move on to someone who not only loves you for you, but isn’t so shallow as to shun you simply for your taste in clothes. I mean for crying out loud.

So, in regards to what I wear or what girls in general wear, here is what I could care less about, dudes:

1. If you hate that I rock menswear sometimes, even if it is made for women. Six words: Madonna in the video for Vogue.

2. If you are intimidated by my four-inch heels. I realize barefoot I’m 5’9, but tall people deserve to wear to die for heels, too. And let me tell you a little secret, where the shoes come off … I go back to being 5’9, shhh.

3. If you think I wear too much makeup or not enough makeup at all. I love makeup, but let me see you apply blush in all the right places and produce a fantastic smokey eye … good luck, guy.

4. If you think maxi skirts and dresses make me look like I’m from the 1800’s.

5. If you wished I would wear more color. It isn’t that I’m depressed or gothic, black is just fantastically chic. Karl Lagerfeld gets it, why can’t you?

6. If you wish I wouldn’t wear socks with high heels. Okay, fine … MAYBE I can give you an inch on this one. But it is a ballsy fashion statement.

7. If you think my wardrobe has too much sparkle … literally. No I’m not a backup dancer for Cher, sequins are chic and happy … in moderation, of course.

8. If you want me to have manicures that are either pink, red or French. Just because I wear navy, grey, black and or dark purple polish doesn’t mean I’m going to run out and get a stud through my nose. I’m still me, my nails just get bored.

9. That you hate that my clothes aren’t always ultra tight. Being fashion forward means that some garments are expected to be a bit on the baggy side. My lady lumps are still there, I promise.

10. If my outfit doesn’t match by conventional terms. So what if I have a striped shirt on with a leopard print cardigan over it. It makes sense … I promise.

I will end this by saying Lady Gaga has a boyfriend and the genius blogger behind Man Repeller is engaged. Wear what makes you happy, ladies. The right men will follow … and hopefully the others will fall on their face chasing after you or running in the opposite direction from your “cray cray” fashion sense.