outfit: by default

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This outfit is either very child-like or old lady like; I can’t tell.  The much anticipated  Tilda pants by Elizabeth Suzann finally arrived and they are to die for.  This combo has become my default outfit– an outfit that begs to be worn day after day after day; the outfit I reach for first after a cycle of laundry is done.

Initially I had my heart set on the cotton canvas version but they looked like huge clown pants on me.  Sort of reminiscent of MC Hammer.  Nothing like what was intended and modeled on the website.  When I sent pictures to Liz and her staff, they validated my concerns and told me about their plans to re-work the design.

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outfit: oatmeal again

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Here I am in oatmeal again.  I have two pairs of shorts now and have been wearing this 2nd pair almost daily.  They’re from Everlane; for reference they are a size 4 (they run big and fit more like a size 6).  I like the high smooth waistline and oversized leg opening.  They feel like an updated pair of “mom” shorts (I’m not a mom but sometimes I like to look like one).  The pockets are deep and can hold my iPhone 6+.  With certain tops, I like to fold the hem up; they stay put and the pockets do not show when rolled up. Continue reading →

My non-toxic method for oil painting from start to finish.

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For a long time, I put aside oil painting because I don’t have a studio and I didn’t want to fill my small NYC apartment with toxic fumes.  It’s one thing, to be in a studio for a few hours inhaling the stuff; it’s another thing, to live and sleep with it every day.  Long-term effects of inhaling turpentine and mineral spirits include permanent brain damage, dementia, and psychosis.

Throughout my training, I was taught that solvents were necessary to prime surfaces, thin oil colors, wash brushes between colors, and varnish the finished painting.  Basically needed for every aspect of oil painting. I used to think solvents were an occupational hazard oil painters had to accept. Continue reading →

outfit: my light spring (rain) jacket

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It’s warm in New York.  When this happens, don’t get too excited.  Brace for rain!  Remember that pink monstrosity of a rain jacket I wore a few outfit posts ago?  It’s up for sale now.  Meet its replacement.  I took a bit of a gamble on this Patagonia “fisherman” jacket, and it paid off.  I love it!  It’s both small and oversize at the same time and has that tomboyishness that I love.  The length is what makes this jacket work.  Maybe fishermen need their jackets to be short? Continue reading →

outfit: shades of black

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Many mornings I get dressed in a mad hurry and realize all of a sudden I’m wearing all black.  I second guess myself always, (“hmm, I look like I’m going to a funeral…  maybe I should put on something else?”).  But then I remember this is New York and it’s normal to wear all black almost all of the time.  NY Mag even wrote a little piece on the history of wearing all black in NYC.

I’m trying hard to wear lighter colors and experimented with light tan chinos recently.  I love the look of top-to-bottom creams and light tans, but sadly I spilled coffee all over my pants the other day and it couldn’t be salvaged.  I snagged these J. Crew cafe capri pants secondhand online for $10 (retail $98).  I’m wearing a size 2 for reference (I usually wear a size 27-28 so J. Crew definitely rounds down on sizing).  In general, I don’t shop at J. Crew anymore, but I already own a pair of royal blue cafe capris and they’ve lasted over 5 years and I love the way they fit and feel.  I didn’t want to take a risk on ordering pants from another brand.  For me, pants are the hardest to get the fit right.  My waist to hip ratio is oddly close to 1.

It was easy to find these pants online because everyone shops at J. Crew and this cut was brought back season to season.  My light tan chinos were replaced with this black one.  Why black?  NYC is a dirty place and I need to be able to hide stains so I can wear the same thing over and over again each week.  I’m still trying to wear lighter colors on the lower half of my body though (I’m still awaiting my ES Tilda pants in a light tan color; let’s hope I don’t spill coffee all over those!).

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What about you?  What are your thoughts on the all black look?

[outfit:  everlane texture tank (xs), j. crew cafe capri, stuart weitzman flats, cluse watch]

when vintage is better than new

[vintage bags from top right 1, 9. Coach; 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. Dooney & Bourke; 7. Prada clutch]

When it comes to big name designer bags, vintage is better than new.  

As you might know, I’m trying to buy less leather and buy leather secondhand when I can.  I was in need of a small crossbody bag to carry my giant phone and pager while at work, searched for one at Poshmark, and was just blown away–99.99% deserve a big thumbs down 👎🏼 .  There were a few quality bags in the mix — all vintage .  It turns out the internet is full of affordable vintage designer bags in excellent condition and most are made in America and go for under $100.  I’ve included some of my favorites above.  Dooney & Bourke and Coach were the most common bags on sale.  Of course, I ended up purchasing the tiny minimalist black crossbody that’s just barely big enough to hold my iPhone 6+ (top right).  I like the ultra thin strap, sleek design and low profile side pocket where I can store my notes. Continue reading →

Links

Dr. It Girl Peonies and Birks

Here’s some things I read this week worth checking out:

1. Micro-blogging the next big thing for advertisers? via the private life of a girl.  I don’t believe it too.

2. Is that big sofa really necessary? — This article written in the 80’s is so relevant today!  We got rid of our sofa and don’t plan on replacing it anytime soon.  It’s a long story so I’ll write more on this later. Continue reading →

outfit: functionality

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I’m having a hard time deciding whether to keep this NF ski jacket or not.  I bought it about 6 years ago at the REI store for a ski trip.  Used it once.  Later I zipped off the outer shell and used the interior quilted jacket as a lightweight jacket for medium cold days.  The outer shell has been stored under my bed, unworn, for years.   I rediscovered it when I was cleaning under the bed.  I took these pictures with the intention to sell this jacket, but now I’m starting to feel attached to it.  All its little details– vents, hooks, hidden pockets, detachable hood– would make it great for cold weather hiking trips upstate.  This is the only non-neutral color in my wardrobe and my perfectionist mind is like: get rid of it! it doesn’t fit in!  But I think the loud color actually works well for the occasions this would be worn (even if that’s rare).  On the other hand,  it is kind of ugly and I’m not a fan of wearing big logos.  And the reality is I rarely go hiking and it seems silly to keep this for those rare occasions. There’s a tan colored Patagonia jacket, I bought at a rock bottom price secondhand, coming in the mail soon.  I bought it for ordinary rainy spring days in the city.  I needed a small rainproof jacket for mild temperatures.   I don’t like carrying around umbrellas because in New York they often work against you.  If the tan jacket can replace this and look better, I will put this pink monstrosity up for sale. Continue reading →

outfit: & peonies

My boyfriend accidentally bought me these two imported peonies at $15 a pop (he thought they were $7! lol).  Over 3 days, they bloomed from dense brilliant pinks buds to these big fluffy white flowers.  They are so beautiful!  Can’t take my eyes off of them.

Here’s the outfit I wore today on my day off.  I feel at peace in it.  These second-hand Levi’s 501ct has stretched out a bit, so I’m going to wash and dry them in hopes they shrink.  The colors are nicely balanced here and the whole outfit feels in harmony with who I am and what I’m doing.

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wardrobe radar: basic flats

everlane day flat

This week, I realized I need a good basic flat.  I’m currently selling the two pairs I already have because they don’t fit right or feel too fancy for everyday wear.  I’ve been stalking the Martiniano’s for a while but couldn’t quite swallow the price tag especially for a shoe type that I know I’ll destroy in under a year.  Everlane’s new day flats look promising.  I’m waiting for others to review it before I decide to invest.  I’m curious how substantial the soles are? can they fit thin orthotics? Are they structured or malleable like a glove?  And how do they feel in warm weather?

PS. I like how everlane is trending away from the orthopedic-ly unfriendly pointy toes!

[image: everlane]