My Satan-filled Weekend

CaptureMy style is always evolving … as it should. Otherwise I would still be wearing overalls, an over-sized Tweedy Bird T, and velcro Aladdin shoes from Payless. I believe it is healthy to evolve your style and always be open to experimentation.

Most recently, I’ve completely ex-communicated myself from color. Pinks, reds, blues, yellows … all dead to me. I’ve made a conscious effort to stick to monochromes only … whites, blacks, beiges, more blacks, blacks on blacks on blacks … and instead have turned my attention to interesting fabrics and designs. No, I’m not depressed, no, I don’t hate the world, and no, I don’t want to be Satan’s mistress. This has just been what has interested me as of late.

With that has also come my fascination with out-of-the-box jewelry. Large and in charge chunky chains, skeleton everything, and just pieces that, well, yeah, make a statement. With a simpler palate comes the opportunity for loud jewels, which honestly makes me happier than anything in life.

This past weekend, I had dinner with two of my best friends. They have been with me throughout all of my style triumphs and fails. including wearing a white tank top (also known as a wife beater, but I just loathe that term) as a skirt over flared jeans. Don’t ask, I got the idea from Project Runway season 2, I believe. Sigh.

Shockingly enough, I was wearing all black … different textures of course so break up the monochrome a bit. And I threw on my Italian-horn like gilded necklace with my new taxidermy piece one of my dear friends made that I had to have (stay tuned for a piece of her later this week).

Now yes, as an animal lover, taxidermy has made me squirm just a little. But I think if it is done respectfully and tastefully, anything has the opportunity to be beautiful, and I was just drawn to this necklace (see below). Never once did I find it disturbing or cringe-worthy. I mean there is a God damn pearl at the end of it, for the love. Never once did I even pay any attention to the fact that there was a tiny claw hanging out of the top. I was too distracted by the craftsmanship and beauty. Hey, I’m a simple person, what can I say. SHINY THINGS!

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So when my friends noticed my new necklace it went a little something like:

Friend 1: Your necklace is pretty. Those feathers are lovely.
Me: Not feathers :::sips wine:::
Friend 1: Wait not feathers? :::takes a closer look::: OMG KATE WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!
Me: I don’t know, it’s just pretty.
Friend 2: JESUS CHRIST I SEE CLAWS.
Friend 1: KATE!
Me: :::Laughing::: I don’t even know if it is real …
Friend 1: You need to take that off, I can’t I just … no.
Me: Who knows what it even is, come on … I doubt its real (it’s totally real)
Friend 2: Are you into Satan now? What is going on with you?

Yep. That conversation happened. I found it hilarious and after a couple bottles of wine (yeah that happened, too), they found accusing me of “Satan worshiping” for wearing something a little, hmm, more abstract around my neck just as funny, too … thank sweet Jesus. I mean COME. ON. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to get in touch with Satan, from crying out loud.

A day later my mom and I ventured to the new Century 21 and fell in love with a brand I had never had the pleasure of meeting called “Religion.” It is magical. My mom fell in love with it, too, so much that she almost bought a sweater with a pentagon on it (my mom is the coolest person on the planet, have I ever told anyone that?). Clearly she didn’t, but we both walked away with really interesting and unique Religion pieces.

What can I say, I had a Satan-filled weekend, and the apple doesn’t fall far. Listen, I think it is SO important to experiment with your style. That is what makes getting up in the morning so fun, right? Picking out how you will portray yourself to the world. And listen, who knows, in a year I could be rocking only Lilly Pulitzer (voms). Haha never … just … no.

In conclusion, I’m not worshiping Satan, nor is my mother. But if I could live in the brand Religion only, I would in a heartbeat. And I love me my necklace no matter what. Boom.

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Dude, Who’s My Designer?

Homer-BlankStare-1Giuliana Rancic: So let’s hear it … who are you wearing?!?!
Celebrity: :::Crickets:::
Giuliana Rancic: :::Confused look:::
Celebrity: Umm …
Giuliana Rancic: … does it start with a J?
Celebrity: :::Frantically looking for assistant to find the name::: yeah umm … give me a minute … JENNIFER GET OVER HERE. JENNIFER. HELLO. JENNIFER.
Giuliana Rancic: :::Awkward::: Alright … let’s get Jennifer over here. Hey Jennifer, girl!
Celebrity: What? Who? Jay Mongel? No, that isn’t it. Wait. Oh yes. Right. Herb Jones. Yes. That’s it. I’m wearing Herb Jones.
Giuliana Rancic: Thanks so much … now over to you Ross in the skycam.

Seriously, though? The amount of celebs at the Emmys who didn’t know the designers they were wearing from shoes, to earrings, to clutches, to dresses was astounding. And quite frankly, for no apparent reason, pissed me off thoroughly.

I suppose I put myself in the shoes of a designer, regardless if they are established or up-and-coming. Mostly I felt horrible for the up-and-coming bastards. Could you imagine? Holy shit … Julia Louise Dryfus’ stylist called you and wants clutch options for her Emmy look. I would die. I would probably embarrassingly enough pee myself with joy. And then turn on disco music and start jazzercizing in place.

You either make a clutch to match her dress or send her options … and then she chooses one. You think, “this is it. I’ve made it. Here I am standing next to JLD, and we are officially best friends.” You will be her Kate Moss to a Marc Jacobs. Wait. Strike that. Reverse it. No longer will you be that poor bastard in the billowing over-sized shadows of Michael Kors, you will be known, dammit, KNOWN.

So you gather your crew. Host an Emmy watch party. Pop some popcorn, pop some bub, pop your booty with joy. And wait for the moment when JLD graces the red carpet. Okay, it’s here. It’s happening. JLD is chatting with Guiliana Rancic … she’s putting her clutch on the freaking nonsensical “clutch cam,” and the moment arrives. All of a sudden things start slowing down in only a way that  makes it prominently known something insane is about to happen.

Guiliana Rancic: So tell us who made that amazing clutch!
JLD: Ummm … wait … hmmm … uhhh … fuck … JENNIFER!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! You fall to the ground in actual pain caused by the carelessness of a celebrity. “She wanted MY clutch. She hugged me. We shared laughs together. I was making her a friendship bracelet for fucks sake.”

When people see something shiny, they want it, they need it, they just have to know everything about it so they can either, A. max our their credit cards to buy it, or B. daydream about it in a series they like to call “my life would be so much better with …” So when you are getting interviewed, remember the little people, would ya? Who is that clutch by? HERB JONES, ladies and gents, HERB JONES (I really feel like the fake designer known as Herb Jones would bring a lot to the table, don’t ya think). Then everyone with a line of drool coming out of their mouths will Google and oogle all things Herb Jones. Then Herb Jones will be famous … kickin’ it on a yacht with P. Diddy.

So for shame, celebrities, for forgetting the people who made you look so fantastic. And, oh yeah, let’s not forget about your damn stylists. When do you ever hear a celeb give props to their stylists. Umm never. We aren’t idiots. We know “you did NOT wake up like dis.” The jig is up, friends. Ya had help … now maybe throw up your thanks, just a little.

Oh you want to know what I’m wearing today? Dress by Zara, gladiators by Coconuts, necklace by the lovely and talented Nikki Virbitsky. That is how you DO. :::Drops mic:::

The “Just For Funsies” Methodology

d2eb25d88a86b94229ace14408e2b411Shopping is no easy task … I don’t care who you are. Say you go out shopping for plain t-shirts, right? Well, if you are anything like me, you will return home with a bag full of everything except plain T’s (what can I say, I get distracted quite easily … ooh something shiny?!! EEEE!).

I do have a method to my madness whilst shopping, though. My number one rule is I try not to fixate on the one or two things I need within my wardrobe. If you go in saying, “I need a black maxi dress and only a black maxi,” think of all the goodness you will overlook, right? Tunnel vision is a bitch, let me tell you. So I believe in walking into a store with an open mind. Take a deep breath, and start combing through the garments.

But I also believe in a little thing called, “just for funsies” whilst shopping. What is that, you ask? Well, let me explain. This past weekend I went shopping with my best friend, who was looking to jazz up her style a bit, which is always fun because it is like an untouched canvas. But you know when you are shopping and come across a piece that you DIE for, but say, “oh I could never pull this off,” and put it back down, only to lust after it secretly for the rest of the day? My question to you is, umm why can’t you pull that shit off? How do you know? You’ll never know unless you embrace the “just for funsies” methodology.

Just for funsies [juhst-fawr-fuhn-ies]: Trying on a piece of clothing that is out of one’s comfort zone.

For example, I came across a pair of wide-legged satin red pants. I adored them instantly. We were instant lovers. But I was saying to myself, “oh I can’t pull these off. Where could I wear them? Will they be flattering …bitch, bitch, bitch whoa as me?” as I shamelessly flirted with the material through my fingertips. But that’s when I thought to myself, what is the harm in bringing them in the dressing room with me? What, I could look like a clown and the dressing room attendant will point and laugh at me? Umm no. So I grabbed a couple different sizes (as I had no idea how they would fit and loathe having to get dressed and run back out to grab a different size), and decided to give them a whirl. Long story short: they are my new favorite thing. If I could make out with them I would (but that would land me on that weird show on TLC where men make out with their cars).

My “just for funsies” methodology is a great way to step outside of your style comfort zone. It is also great for a laugh or two, especially if you are shopping with your girlfriends. My best friend and I peed ourselves laughing over micro mini skirts that barely left any vagina to the imagination and unflattering dresses that made me look like a 1950’s housewife, and not in a good way. Even if you are shopping by yourself … Jesus put doors/curtains that close off dressing rooms for a reason. Have a laugh at yourself if you tried something outside of your comfort zone that makes you look a hot mess. I feel like dressing rooms should be a “safe place” or “judgement free zone.” Talk to yourselves, ladies. Laugh a little … for the love. Clothes are meant to be tried on.

My “just for funsies” methodology won’t kill you, I promise. It will let you embrace styles you never in a million years could pull off, but, realistically, can … sometimes. So for that, I accept your praises. Don’t be shy … send them my way. You’re welcome in advance.

Style Stud: Aoki Boutique

CaptureLast week I was scrolling through Twitter (I’m slightly addicted), and came across this Racked Philly article listing the top boutiques in Philly to follow on Instagram (I’m even more of an Instagram whore).

So I started checking out different boutiques, frolicking through their feeds, when I found something that made me stop what I was doing and say, “I need this in my life immediately slash I need to speak to whomever owns this boutique, she is my soul sister.” The image was of a plate that said, “Here’s your snack dumbass” (pure genius, am I right?) The boutique was Aoki Boutique and the owner, who I happened to have the pleasure speaking with, is Alina Alter.

This boutique is a cool girls dream, if you ask me. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind finds or fashionable flair, this is your one stop shop. Nothing makes me happier than walking into a boutique, or even their e-commerce site, and screaming in my head, “I need it all! How can I financially make this work! Maybe I can just cut out drinking. Haha no wait, that’s just plain ol’ silly.” So yes, all drool-worthy, all things you will want to covet.

So I hope you enjoy getting to know Aoki Boutique a little bit better as much as I did.

1. How long has Aoki Boutique been around?
Aoki Boutique has been open for just over two years now!

2. How did you come up with the concept of the boutique?
I wanted to be self-employed, I wanted a women-centered business, I wanted a space that I could welcome people into, and I wanted to be able to curate a collection to share with people; all of those things provided the foundation for the boutique’s concept. Aesthetically, I just wanted the space to be happy, warm, inviting, inspiring, and for it to look and feel like stepping into your cool older sister’s closet or apartment!

3. What inspires you daily?
I’m inspired by international street style blogs like www.hel-looks.com from Finland and www.style-arena.jp/en from Japan; I’m reminded of my semester abroad in Tokyo and all the bold, outrageous, and impossibly cool outfits that I saw there! I’m also really inspired by other forms of media; movies, books, live music, you name it.

4. What made you open up Aoki in Philly?
I grew up around here, but never really imagined myself coming back to live here once I left for school. My last semester of college I was doing an externship in Florida and from there was all set to move to Arizona to do Teach For America, and was really only stopping home to attend my graduation ceremony and sort of get things in order. Long story short I had a total change of heart about what I was doing with my life and ended up not leaving again, settling back down here in Philly and starting to build a really great existence for myself here. I started to appreciate things about the city that I had missed growing up and realized what a perfect place it is to open a small business. It’s affordable, entrepreneur-friendly, and has a real DIY ethos. The independent retail scene here was and is strong and diverse, but I didn’t see anyone doing exactly what I had in mind for my store.

5. What are some of your favorite brands you carry?
My favorite in-store clothing brand at the moment is probably Three of Something, a cool up-and-coming label from Australia. My favorite jewelry vendor is Serefina, out of the Bay Area, and my favorite home goods vendor is Fishs Eddy (makers of the beloved “Here’s your snack, dumbass” plate)!

6. Describe your boutique in 3 words.
Quirky, Colorful, Whimsical.

7. Will you be carrying any new and exciting brands/products in the upcoming months?
I know it’s not even summer yet, and has barely felt like spring lately, but style-wise I’m already looking forward to fall! I’m all about yummy, cozy fall flannels, faux fur coats, vegan leather leggings, and other great layering pieces that I’m already dreaming about! Fall is definitely my favorite season to buy for, and I’ve already placed a few orders, I couldn’t resist!

8. What is next for Aoki?
I’m just continuously trying to grow my brand and expand my presence, especially online. The bread and butter of my business is through my brick and mortar location and it’s my favorite way of operating because I really get to know and interact with my customers, but it’s so important to supplement that with my e-commerce site and other online platforms. I sell directly from www.aokiboutique.com and also through a curated online marketplace called Shoptiques.com. Now that I’m in my third year of business I’m not looking to change any of the core aspects of my brand, I just want to continue to get my name out there and make sure people know that Aoki Boutique is here and what it’s all about.

9. Describe Philly fashion?
Philly fashion is as eclectic and diverse as its residents, so it can be hard to sum up. Generally it’s a mix of that conservative prep that you’re bound to see in any northeastern city, combined with that really original, DIY hipster aesthetic that you get from all the students, young professionals, and creative types living here. I wish I saw a little more risk-taking and a little less sports team-related gear, but that’s just my personal opinion. As long as people are wearing things that make sense for them and their life and are comfortable and practical, I respect and encourage that.

10. What is your advice for achieving a bad ass summer look?
It’s all about the crop top for me! Pair it with anything high-waisted to show just the slightest sliver of skin above the navel- super sexy, flirty, and keeps you cool as the temperatures rise

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On The Fringe Of Glory

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Photo credit: https://www.etsy.com/listing/117142923/velvet-fringe-kimono-classic-peacock?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

Warm weather, for the love of GAWD, where are you?

You know what, I’m done. I’m done waiting. I’m done bitching. I’m done. I’m just going to indulge in warm weather fashion no matter WHAT the temp is. And I loathe being cold, like most, but hey, I’ll sacrifice. Hell. I’m planning on wearing a maxi skirt this week at some point, and it won’t even be 60 degrees. Suck on THAT, Mother Nature.

Look … my winter clothes are worn out. Aren’t yours? It’s just no longer fun. I literally yawn and put no effort in my outfits anymore because I’m SO bored with it all. I just want to do a pencil dive into spring/summer fashion. Hence why I want to discuss with you my strange, but slightly awesome, obsession with fringe.

Fringe? Me? I know right … weird. But I find it fascinating, so much that I desperately want to adopt it into my wardrobe. And I love the idea of doing the twist in it and/or twirl around and have a Stevie Nicks moment. Jesus … I almost bought a brown fringe Steve Madden bag at TJ Maxx last weekend. Number 1: I don’t wear brown. Number 2: Fringe is a little country … which is SO not me. But I just HAVE to have it. In any way, shape or form.

So won’t you fringe-out with me?

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Phantom Hair Syndrome

tyra-haircutSo if you don’t follow me on any social media network, you would have no idea that I hacked five inches off of my hair last night. Yep. I did it, guys. And if you DO follow me on social networks, you are probably like, “shut the eff up, you cut your hair … cool. Unfollow.” Which I hope isn’t the case :::insert emoji sad cat:::

I suggest everyone do something like this, at least once in your life. Perhaps it was my drive for change, or that my hair bordem hit an all-time high, but from the moment I made the decision to hack my long mane into a long bob, I’ve been filled with excitement. Sure nerves showed their nasty face here and there, but never once did I say, “meh … maybe this is a bad idea.” I didn’t even have my reality show, “Top Model” moment where I was sobbing and hyperventilating as they cut my hair off saying, “TURN. OFF. THE. CAMERAS.” Hell no. I was telling her to cut more.

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So how do I feel with five inches less of hair? Free, most definitely. I oddly do feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders … I think it was all my dead ends from all the dying and frying. I feel slightly more mature, which is strange to say. But you know, a little more dignified. Like I could go to a fancy bar in a black strapless dress, long black satin gloves, red lipstick and order a dirty martini or something. Just kidding, I’ll be at the dive bar tonight slugging back house vodka and clubs. And overall I just feel excited and refreshed. I actually wanted to get up earlier than usual just to play with my hair. Seriously. Me. The girl who snoozes a legit 10 times at least in the morn.

I haven’t felt a second go by where I’ve longed for my long locks. So yes, if you are looking for something to make you feel empowered, do this. I seriously feel like I could bitch slap the world for no apparent reason. But before taking a plunge like this one, here are some tips I would like to offer throughout my experience.

1. Find a stylist with a good amount of experience. I had never gone to the lady who long-bobbed me, which was a bit unnerving, but after reviewing her background, I knew she had the skills to give me what I need. Now I adore her and have adopted her as my go-to stylist. Which is maybe another reason why I’m on cloud-9 because it has taken me YEARS to find someone like this. Jenna at Verde Salon, I adore you. So does my hair.

2. Do detailed research on the look you want. True, Kim Kardashian was my spirit animal during the whole process … which still kind of freaks me out to be honest. But I suppose it was realistic. I went on Pinterest and tried to find celebs with my skin tone, hair color, and face shape to see if this is something I could actually pull off. I even tried this stupid thing on Marie Claire where you can upload a pic of yourself and try out different hair cuts. Ugh. I’m really embarrassed to even admit that. Don’t do it … or do if you need a laugh. You never want to go to a stylist as a brunette with an oval face shape and say you want to look like some blonde with chiseled cheek bones. It just won’t work. Stylists are good … but they can’t turn water into wine, ya know what I mean?

3. My experience in the past has been to be like, “yeah I want it short, and layered,” and then I get overwhelmed and just let them do whatever the hell they want because they are the “experts” … and then I end up wanting to stab them because I hate it. No. Ask questions. Be as descriptive as possible. Talk out what you want to do with your stylist. It may not be just a five minute convo either. And if they aren’t giving you the answers you want, or not making sense, or talking you into shit you just aren’t down with, and if you feel your heart start to race … maybe back away slowly, just saying. This was the first experience where a stylist was asking ME questions … like how I wear my hair, how I foresee myself wearing my hair, etc. The more you talk, the more you get what you want … AND you walk away with some great tips, too.

4. Listen to your gut. It actually is wiser than you think and not just full of Chipotle like mine is. If you really want to dye your hair pink, but every time you think about it you feel like you need to pop a Xanax, maybe don’t dye your hair pink. I told you, from the minute I set my sights on a long bob, I never looked back. It was soothing but really creepy at the same time, because I’m never calm about ANYTHING like that.

5. Limit yourself to opinions. I’m the type of person that needs to survey the masses before making a major life decision. Survey says: that’s not a good idea. Luckily this time around, everyone was very supportive, besides a select few. But if you are impressionable, just follow YOUR instincts. Not what your best friends, dog walker’s, sister says. It will save you a lot of agony.
So there you have it. I just had to go invest in a brand new bag of tricks in order to tackle this new hair do. And by bag of tricks I mean hair curling wand and beach spray (which if heaven had a scent I bet it would be this … and cookies. Yep. Beach and cookies … and maybe vodka). No longer will I be my hair straighteners bitch. I’m lettin’ the wave out, and for people who know me, that is a SHOCKING statement for me to say.

Out with the old … in with the new.

Oh, also, here is the new ‘do … this isn’t a selfie … I swear:

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Style Stud: London Fashion Week Street Style

loneliness-catwalk-useDon’t get me wrong, I love ‘MURICA! USA all the way … USA Olympic team … yadda yadda, red, white and blue.

I think us American girls have impeccable style, and yes I’m 110% biased. But I got to say, the girls of London have brought their style A-game for London Fashion Week. I mean they put us to SHAME.

The reason why I love street style, as do most, is that it inspires me. Fashion is all about taking risks and thinking outside of the box, and if you are looking for a little wardrobe jump start, I suggest you stroll through London Fashion Week street style photo galleries. I think it is so important as women that when we see another woman rocking a great look, no matter what country they are from, we should compliment them. And that’s why I’m tippin’ my caps to the ladies of London right now.

One thing I think the Brits have over us is they are fearless with their fashion. I mean yes, we have our moments, hello Marc by Marc fall 2014, but their looks have this air of severity to them with an abundance of bold pops of color, to straight up baggy-ass menswear to the point where you can’t tell the gender of the person. They are about mixing and matching the most insane things that you would never in a million years think would work … but 100% do to the point where you are drooling over them … like yours truly.

And let me say, after looking these looks over, I’m contemplating adding color into my wardrobe. I know, right? Who am I? GASP!

Photo Credit: Vogue.com
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Photo credit: Refinery29.com
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Photo credit: Refinery29.com
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Photo credit: Vogue.com
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Photo credit: Vogue.com