Category Archives: Outfits

What To Wear When You Don’t Know How Fancy The Occasion

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H&M eco collection dress (similar below) // Loeffler Randall heels // Nila Anthony clutch // vintage necklace via Ifinder Antiques // Maison Antonym ring (c/o) // Gorjana rings

The last time I went to a sweet 16, I think I was actually 16, so when I was invited to a cousin’s soiree for just that occasion, I was dumbfounded as to what an adult wears to this sort of event.

I got a phone call from my mother-in-law while I was in the parking lot saying, “I hope you dressed up because I didn’t get the memo and I’m way under-dressed.” It turned out it was fancy like a mini-wedding-style. The girl of the hour wore a white gown and had a court of girls in adorable bridesmaid style dresses.

My motto is always it’s better to be slightly over-dressed than under-dressed, but when in doubt, wear something you can dress up and down. This H&M dress I scored is something I’ve worn all summer to dinner with friends dressed up with heels and then dressed down as a tunic with boots.

Also when in doubt, keep it simple. I know you’ve heard tirelessly about the LBD (little black dress), but there’s a reason why it’s so popular. It’s easy an versatile. Add a clutch, heels and a couple of accessories and you’re good to go. We solved my mother-in-law’s wardrobe woes by taking off her belt, swapping to heels and throwing her scarf over her shoulders as a shawl. Insta-fancy!

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Find a dress that can be your go-to for dressing up and down:

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{TRAVEL DIARY} Why Madison Is The Next Brooklyn + 5 Must-See Things To Do There

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John & Jenn jacket via Shopbop’s store, “Bop” // Aritzia tee // Zara jeans // DV Dolce Vita shoes // Mansur Gavriel bag // Ray-Ban sunglasses // Stella & Dot bracelet // all other jewelry by etc…

You may have noticed that I had fellow fashionistas Deja and Emily covering this past NYFW for me for Dear Andi and you may have also noticed a lot of my instagram posts about cheese curd and other notable Mid-Western things.

When I told people I was styling back to back photoshoots for Lands’ End over in Wisconsin for couple of weeks, they seemed to feel sorry for me for leaving the excitement in New York. Little did they know that I was having fun exploring my new home away from home, Madison—filled with history, artisanal food and some of the best shopping around.

Here’s what I found and should give you reason to check out this surprisingly hip and fashionable city:

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1. The Farmers Market

Every early Saturday morning, the downtown square gets transformed into possibly the biggest farmers market I’ve ever seen with over 200 vendors surrounding the capitol building. I stocked up on a bag of fresh fruit for the week that beat any produce I’ve found in New York and sampled more cheese curd than I ever imagined. Most of the surrounding restaurants source from these nearby farms and the locals seemed to do all of their grocery shopping here.

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2. The Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Modeled after the DC capitol, but 3 feet shorter, it’s a less hectic and beautiful way to take in all of downtown Madison. The interior’s ornate details are well-preserved and you can climb up to the top to observe a 360 view of the city (and pose casually in front of it like I did).

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3. Biking/Walking/Running Along The Lakes

It’s not what you picture when you think of Wisconsin, huh? Insanely fit folk exercising along the water, but Madison was filled with some of the most athletic people, including those competing in the Iron Man competition while I was there.

Grab a B-Cycle from the city’s bike sharing program (similar to New York’s Citi Bike) and cruise along the city’s surrounding lakes.

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4. Shop ‘Til You Drop (or spend all of your earnings)

When I wasn’t spending all of my earnings at the Lands’ End company store in Dodgeville, I had a little spree in Madison—especially at Shopbop‘s brick and mortar location, Bop, where you can score designer clothes that were used on their e-commerce site at a discounted prices. Also not to be missed were Iona, which carried some of my favorite indie designers like K/LLER, Catbird, Raquel Allegra and Timo Weiland, as well as the gorgeous men’s shop, Context, where I wanted everything for me, including a vintage shirt that I ended up buying.

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5. Eat Your Way Through The City

Of my two weeks in this city, I spent most of my time there eating it seemed. You can’t blame me once you check out some of the best restaurants there, which rivaled some of the best in my own foodie neighborhood in Brooklyn. This is perhaps why all of the locals work out so much.

Merchant is my go-to spot (which locals told me is the most “Brooklyn-y” of all there) because you can’t go wrong with any of the food, the half priced bottles of wine on Wednesday nights and those fried cheese curds will win you over if nothing else.

Some of the locals raved that Grampa’s is the best pizza in the Mid-West and I scoffed, being a New Yorker I know my pizza, but they were right. It was better than most in New York even. The spicy pizza with honey is special and my favorite was a make-your-own version topped with truffle oil. Vegan and gluten-free options make this place one of everyone’s favorites.

Sardine (pictured above) was how brunch should be. Overlooking the lake, this fish-centric cuisine was is one of the top restaurants in Madison because of its culinary masterpieces made from locally sourced ingredients and its old school, well designed atmosphere in the raw space of historical Machinery Row.

Graze is like one of those Portlandia sketches where you can find out where every ingredient came from and the menu will direct you to one of the many local farms the restaurant sources from, it’s that local and fresh, down to even the beer menu.

Tornado Club is one of those spots that transforms you to another era as you sip on a martini at the bar (highly recommended) lined with wood paneled walls and cozy nail head adorned leather bar stools. If you’re a carnivore, the steaks are said to be a treat, but the wedge salad and fish dishes are also equally raved about.


{ADVICE} How To Incorporate Menswear Trends Into Your Wardrobe For Fall

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|ABOVE| H&M tee // Zara jeans and loafers // vintage hat from Gypsy Nation // Victorinox watch (c/o) // etc… bracelets exclusively at ByBrooklyn // Mansur Gavriel bag

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DEAR ANDI,

Got any tips for men’s / andro styles this fall season? Help!

-@soleinyourshoes

Dear @soleinyourshoes,

I love this question because you can update any menswear-style pieces you may already have like a tailored pant, a blazer, a boyfriend jean, a basic v-neck tee, etc. with just a little update with one (or all if you’d like) of these little accessories additions this season.

MEN’S / MEN’S MILITARY INSPIRED WATCHES

This season, trade your metal watch band for a classic leather or rugged rubber. The men’s watch is a bit more classic this season so it’s okay to borrow from the boys. It also looks great when layered with any bracelets you may have.

LOAFERS

Whether classic black or an updated twist, these look great when you wear a cropped pant and show off a little ankle (no socks please!).

SLIP-ON SNEAKERS

This comfortable trend from this past season is easing into fall with more options and updates to the classic.

CHELSEA BOOTS

These boots are making a strong comeback this season, as women are trading in the stiletto for a flat more often lately.

Also make note of these “trends” because they’re all fairly classic and are good investments that you may end up wearing into the next season as well. Happy fall shopping!


{Travel Diary} The Pacific Northwest

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As if traveling to the other side of the world wasn’t enough this summer, I took a quick trip across the country to visit my friend who just had a baby in Portland, Oregon and therefore had a little adventure in Pacific Northwest.

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While I’ve done the must-see things as a tourist in Portland like hike in Forest Park, admire the International Test Rose Garden and Lan Su Chinese Garden, spend time in the largest book store, Powells, wait in line for an hour just to get Voodoo Donuts, lunch at the food carts, and get the original Stumptown coffee, we decided to try some new things, including other coffee at Water Street Coffee (also good!).

|ABOVE| Mavi overalls (c/o) // J.Crew tank // Birkenstock sandals // Free People tote // Goorin hat (similar here) // etc… for By Brooklyn necklace // Stella and Dot spike bracelet // Maison Antonym ring (c/o)

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Doughnuts are the new cupcake in Portland—and definitely meant to split to try all of the fun flavors. Voodoo is the most famous doughnut shop there, but this trip we did as the locals do and tried Bluestar donuts, which had some of the most exciting flavors like including blueberry bourbon basil.

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After traveling across the world this summer, it took flying 30,000 feet over Portland to realize how magical some of our own country is.

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We took a road trip to Washington, which was surprisingly mostly desert through the middle and what little forest we saw was sadly on fire. On the bright side, we managed to get past the smoke and watch a beautiful sunset over the gorge next to Arcade Fire in concert. We laid on the grass and watched the stars, something us city folk don’t see often, and enjoyed the show that way.

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We stumbled upon the Renegade Craft Fair and found some amazing local designers and artists braving the oddly hot day for the Pacific Northwest.

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One of my favorites there happened to be a jewelry line called Dea Dia, which won me over with their beautiful recycled brass cuffs with raw crystals on it. I had a stack of them on one arm and was so tempted to buy them all. I’m kicking myself for not purchasing just one of these one-of-a-kind cuffs.

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Another tempting purchase was the most adorable cat food bowl I’ve ever seen by Cinder Ceramics, complete with golden fish scales and a fish in the inside. The designer told me she just sold the other half of the set, which houses the water and a fish actually moves around in it.

Below are more of my picks from these talented Portland designers. Click on the image below to shop their sites:

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Casually Polished

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As I’ve mentioned in the past, sometimes it’s just a few pieces in your wardrobe that make you always look polished and complete.

Case in point: when I went to visit my good friend Rachel on her family’s panoramic wrap around deck on the Upper West Side, I had been casually dressed in jeans and a tee all day. Then I swapped my flat sandals for heeled sandals, threw on a blazer and a killer bag, and I was then ready to go from my comfortable casual look to catching up with a friend and grabbing dinner with friends in the city.

Speaking of killer bags, I’ve coveted this bag since last winter to the point where I’ve had a picture of it from Harper’s Bazaar ripped out and hung in my office. To my dismay—and every other fashionista’s dismay—it’s been sold out to the point where I’m on the wait-list…for spring 2015. I couldn’t wait until then and who knows if this style will even be around then? Like the savvy shopper I am, I stalked eBay for a while until I found the one I want and a reasonable price.

If you’re loving the bucket bag look but can’t get your hands on one, check out the alternatives below.

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Rag & Bone blazer (sample never produced from sample sale, similar here and here) // Isabel Marant x H&M tee // J.Crew jeans (similar) // Iro shoes // Goorin hat (similar here and here) // Nona E. Rose belt // Mansur Gavriel bag (sold out everywhere, similar styles below)

photos by Rachel Sax

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