Friday, November 29, 2013

Ombre and Lucite

Committing to boot materials that require diligent weather-proofing, in a city like New York, can be a tricky thing; no matter how copious and fastidious one sprays those magically noxious protective clouds, the fury of rain, ice, snow, and all the hybridizations is so rarely completely quelled. Nevertheless, with my propensity to throw both practicality and caution to the wind, when I saw this pair of suede ankle boots from Jeffrey Campbell on supreme sale over at Nasty Gal, I did not hesitate and paid the inevitable awful winter, which has came and is here, no heed. Featuring an absolutely killer heel, an ombre lucite bit of fascination that is an simultaneously attractive and comfortable height, these boots instantly lend even the most dull and stereotypical all black office garb a bit of funk and flair. 

The other week, the filmmaker treated me to a night on the town after work, with absolutely marvelous seats to see Sirs Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart in the Harold Pintor classic No Man's Land at the Cort Theater. I debuted the boots here, and was pleased that a full day in the office followed by adroit racing through Times Square, for the sake of pushing through the jetsam as quickly as humanly possible, did not aggravate my poor feet. A true measure of city success.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


The past number of months have introduced much change into my life; frenzied and frenetic, I have not dedicated as much time as I would ideally like to reflection, to pausing and giving thanks for how truly lucky and privileged and blessed I am. Bemoan frustrating clients though I do, I am so happy for my new position, with a new wonderful group of intelligent people, in a new and ever-exciting city, one both familiar and perpetually wild to me. Long hours clocked at the office allow for new, inspiring friendships, and make the other joys in my life all the more sweet: swaying to live jazz, exploring small bars, walking in the cold under a warm beaming sun, sharing food and wine with friends and family. Earlier this month, my niece celebrated her second birthday with cupcakes and sliders; my growing relationship with her and my continued close bond with my sister are sources of wonder, comfort, and much happiness. Living nearby, I am delighted to watch her as cautious, wobbling steps become jaunty, carefree sprints, awkwardly spit incoherent sounds, foreign and bizarre to her, become full words, thoughts expressed. A mirror, tiny and warm, she mimics my movements, repeats my words, laughs with abandon. So much fun. My little brother has the graduate school finish line in sight; I am immensely proud of his accomplishments and cannot wait for the next stage of his adventure. Hopefully, he is northern bound. Ever steadfast, ever kind, ever generous, with support and encouragement and goofiness that know no limits, my filmmaker; he helped me move on, literally carrying my many belongings, but also emotionally. Having grown professionally and personally complacent in my small suburban town, in my small company, I was afraid of risk, of the potential for failure. For him, there was never a doubt, never a question of his confidence that I could do it.

Downstairs, in my childhood home, my mother artfully prepares what will assuredly be a beautiful and delicious meal; the perfume of turkey coats the house, taunts our senses. Tonight, we will eat our fill, and then some more, gracious for this incredible bounty.

(image taken from Mommy Has a Potty Mouth)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Outfit for a Tuesday: Animalistic and Amulet

Over the past few weeks, all mental capacity has been inundated with strategic imperatives and subsequent seamless tactical execution for my brand the coming year; after presenting a plethora of comprehensive ideas over the summer, we were tasked with revisiting our thinking, infusing even more potent urgency into our planning. After toiling for hours and delivering a revised presentation, the team continues to be wrenched and rung, more water or more blood being desperately sought from the proverbial stone. With winter and holiday festivities looming, it has been, needless to emphasize, a stressful few weeks. Weary and frustrated though I feel, my younger brother is visiting the city and the stupor of tryptophan-laden turkey impends, so, I am feeling optimistic.

Last Tuesday, seven days ago but still completely melting into my mind as time blends and hours cease to seem to be discrete, measurable elements, I abandoned my new black jeans that have become ubiquitous, appropriate in my new casual office, opting for a refined but saucy leopard pencil skirt. A strategy I have employed since university days, exhausted from library marathon sessions and copious papers, when fatigued, I like to dress more formally, to at least give off a superficial air of being pulled together. A complete posturing. Typically, it works wonders. Play the part of a happy woman, find eventually that happy you have become. Stop wearing the same pair of pants, put forth effort, the organization of thoughts and confidence of competency will ensue. Or, at least, like these spots in the wild, painted across fur swathing tightly bound muscular flesh of a prowling beast on the hunt, the skirt is some camouflage.

This brooch, a golden cross-flower hybrid, centered with a cluster of rhinestone stars, reminiscent of some ancient religious relic adorning a bishop cap or frock, was a gift from a friend of mine, while we lived together in the dormitories our sophomore year. Impeccably fashioned, always, her style was classic and sophisticated; though rooted with beautiful neutrals and basics with a twists, her outfits were always vividly memorable, at least to me. She must have been cleaning her closet, clearing out a few items, when she came across some brooches she knew I would enjoy. Fixing them to a pale pink satin ribbon, she left them for me on my desk, with a note succinct but sweet. Enjoy. A bit of surprise and luxury, amidst a day of weighty biology textbooks and trying problem sets. She lives on the opposite coast now, in northern California; we have not seen one another or spoken in years, though, I like of her often fondly, sadly.   

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Outfit for a Monday: Cream and Black Cascades

When a substantial portion of the office is donning some iteration of comfort casual wear, ranging between sweatshirt and flannel button-down, maintaining the inspiration and the impetus to wear something structured and sophisticated can diminish surprisingly quick. While I have certainly succumbed to the evils of the lackadaisical dress code more often than I would care to admit over the last handful of months, my dignity and desire to appear professional and presentable typically prevails. This classic cream button-down, sheer, embellished with an asymmetrical hem and some demure cut-out patterns along the shoulder blades, was infused with some neutral sparkle in the shape of this cascading layers beaded necklace. Discovered amidst a hovel of various vintage flotsam in a small shop near my former town in New Jersey, this necklace fast became one of my favorite pieces, particularly to pair with monochrome black and cream looks. Bold alone, I occasionally adopt the bigger-is-better bombastic attitude of former decades, draping another layer of black beads to the mix.

Rebelling against my typical mantra of not matching pieces of jewelry, my earrings mirrored the iridescent crystal beads of the necklace. I rarely, rarely wear these earrings, so had to dust them off and shine them up a bit before adding them on for near lascivious flaunt of glint and glitter. Against a back drop of cotton, they were a beacon, like most of my rhinestone costume jewelry.

Leaving my apartment this morning, I was greeted with cold winds and a spitting of snow-rain; unfortunately, the days of dainty sling-backs may be behind me, until the new year.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lazy Saturday Stroll in Cashmere and Cameo

Trees are on fire, gold and red. Yesterday, it was pleasantly warm, and pleasantly chilly, the perfect autumn day; I spent the day leisurely, sauntering lazily over to the local market for some vegetables and a roasting chicken, then met up with a new friend for a stroll around the park. Casual, lackadaisical, I stayed comfortable in an ancient olive cashmere sweater and a classic cameo locket, while introducing my friend to my favorite local cheese monger and indulging in a deliciously inexpensive banh mi sandwich.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Economics of Hosiery

Since returning from my tranquil and gloriously sweaty vacation in Costa Rica, I have been simultaneously relishing and enduring the height of tight season here in New York. During the upheaval of moving from the suburbs to my new neighborhood, I had initially jammed my impressive collection of various pairs of tights into my main suitcase, which, subsequently, was artfully crammed into the corner of my awkwardly narrow hall closet. While emptying this suitcase for vacation packing was, at the time, quite the hassle, it ultimately proved fruitful since I was then forced to find a new home for my arguably most frequently worn winter garment.

Funnily, despite being so heavy in rotation, so completely and utterly versatile, I have so far resisted the financial plunge into the realm of luxury hosiery, namely, the Wolford brand. At superficial assessment, spending more than 100$ on a pair of hose seems ludicrous; with the risk of runs and snags always imminent, tights are perpetuated as a transient commodity, an accessory that has a variable and tenuous wear-life. If I were dip deep into my business acumen, take the effort to perform a thorough cost-benefit analysis, I would surmise that, in reality, the spend on those numerous pairs of tights of mediocre quality, spend measured in dollars and time and potential for embarrassing moments of a public rip, would exceed the cost of a single Wolford pair. Cost per wear. Cost per tear. This may even elegantly, or ridiculously, be modeled in a Markov-fashion. My high school economics teacher would be begrudgingly proud; my handful of years in strategic marketing are infecting my lifestyle, running rampant. Pun intended.

Time for some fresh evening air, away from the cubicle, away from tactical decks, away from budget discussions. But, still, time to perhaps reevaluate the ancient adage of quality and quantity.

(image taken from Who What Wear)