One of the reasons blogging is beneficial for me is because it pushes me outside of my comfort zone. I tend to be a bit anti social at times, and avoid social situations where I don't know anyone or where I might not be 100% comfortable. So when Skedaddle reached out to me and asked if I'd like to join them on some winery tours around Long Island, I was hesitant. It sounded fun, but I was worried I wouldn't know any of the other bloggers who were invited. When I was younger, my mom used to make me go to parties or force me to invite friends to come over to get me out of my shell. Obviously I'm a grown adult now, so my mom isn't constantly around to force me to be social, but I still try to push myself into these types of situations, so I accepted Skedaddle's invite.
When I showed up for the bus at 8 am this Saturday, I worried I had made a mistake by saying yes to this trip. Not everyone knew everyone, but everyone there knew at least one other person. There were 8 other girls there, and I was the random 9th wheel. But I told myself to just make the best of the trip, its only one day, and it would be over before I knew it.
Everyone was pretty quiet and sleepy on the bus, but by the time we arrived at the first winery, Bedell Cellars, I began to feel a bit better. All of the girls seemed really nice and friendly. One of them even helped me take photos at this vintage truck I had eyed up from the second we arrived. We tasted 5 different wines, and even got to see how they crushed the grapes to make the wine, then it was off to our next destination.
Next, we stopped at Greenport Harbor Brewery. We ordered a bunch of snacks for the table, and we each got to pick our own flight of five beers. I tried all different kinds, from an IPA, to a lager, to a saison. They were all good, but all of them were the exact same shade of light brown, which did not make for a good photo, and confirmed why I am not a food blogger, like a lot of the girls there. We also got to take a quick tour of the brewery to learn about how the beer is made.
Our third stop was Macari Vineyards, and my favorite stop of the day. Immediately after we arrived, we drove the bus around the vineyard to explore their extensive property. We made one stop to say hi to the adorable cows they use for compost. Then we drove a bit further to a private beach where we all got out to enjoy the view and a glass of rose. Then it was back to the main building, where we did our tasting in a private cellar. I think the highlight of the tasting was when “LOVE” by Nat King Cole came on and we basically all felt like we were living The Parent Trap. I really enjoyed the Chardonnay wine, probably my favorite tasting of the day, which is interesting because I usually don’t care for Chardonnays. They also have a pizza truck on their property, so they gave us a few different pies to try. I had the white and margarita and both were amazing.
After a quick nap on the bus, we made our final stop at Table 7 just outside of NYC. We got to try a bunch of different cocktails and appetizers. To be honest, I didn’t eat much here because almost all of the food had some type of meat in it and I am a vegetarian. But I enjoyed some of the cocktails and the chocolate cake they served us for dessert.
We arrived back in the city around 10pm. It was a long day, but overall it was really fun. I am a creature of habit, so I can easily get stuck in a routine of doing the same things in the city, but it was nice to get out of NYC for the day and explore Long Island with some new people. I am definitely glad I said yes to this opportunity and didn’t turn it down just because of my social anxiety.
Thank You Skedaddle for having me on this trip! If you’d like to learn more about Skedaddle, or any of the locations I mentioned in this post, I have listed their websites below.
Greenport Harbor Brewery:
Cardigan: C/O Tobi
T-Shirt, Skirt, Sneakers: Madewell (old)
Necklace: In God We Trust; Earrings: Vintage
Location: Bedell Cellars (North Folk, Long Island)
Stopping by with a quick blog post to share some more photos of this polka dot shift dress. Although it looks sixties, it’s actually an Esprit dress from the 90’s. It was handpicked especially for me by my friend Emily. I met Emily at the first job I worked at after graduating college. Like me, she works full time as a fashion designer, but is also a lover of all things retro, and resells vintage pieces on Etsy as a side business. You can check out her shop here:
We had a lovely day in Brooklyn catching up. We started out with brunch at Esme (the food was delicious, I highly recommend if you are in the neighborhood). Then we bounced around to a few vintage stores, while taking photos in between. We started at Record Grouch, where these photos were taken. We also popped into Monk Vintage, where Emily picked up a few pieces. Lastly, we stopped into Fox and Fawn, where I bought a sweater (and it is also the store where Emily found this dress I am wearing). All three stores had an excellent selection, with reasonable prices, I will definitely be visiting these stores again in the future.
Dress & Sunglasses: Vintage; Socks: Hansel From Basel; Shoes: LF Life; Ring: Kate Spade; Watch: Hyper Grand
Location: Record Grouch (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
By now we are all well aware of the various pros and cons of social media. Critics of social platforms say that it's "fake", creates unrealistic expectations and is hazardous to our mental health, all of which I agree with, under certain circumstances. Of course the photos and messages we put out on social media are just a sliver of reality. I've seen couples I know that have relationship issues posting photos that make it seem like they are completely content with each other. I've gotten FOMO from seeing my friends out at bars or at events that look way more fun in their Instagram stories than they actually were in reality. But one aspect of this argument I do not agree with is the notion that having a curated Instagram feed automatically makes you "fake".
I consider my blog and Instagram feed to be a creative endeavor. I have always been an artistic person. Growing up, I loved art and dance, I went to college for fashion design, and now I work full time as a designer. I put a lot of creative thought and energy into the content I create. Creating content for social media is something I enjoy doing, the same way I enjoy dancing or illustrating as a hobby. Therefore, it makes me upset that some people think that I'm "fake" in a sense because the photos I post on social media are premeditated and are designed to create a certain mood.
Yes the photos I post are usually taken in advanced and all intentionally reflect a certain style, but that doesn't mean they are in genuine. I don't "do it for the gram" and post photos of things I'm not passionate about only for show. On the contrary, I feel like having a curated feed and planning out my posts ahead of time actually allows me to live in the moment more and not worry about capturing the perfect photo while I am out with friends or family. The goal of my Instagram is to create inspiring images that reflect my personal style. I never want to give people the wrong impression about my life to try to appear like someone I'm not. I feel like creating a false self image is the main reason curated feeds get a bad rap, but if you're staying true to who you are, then what's the harm in thinking or working ahead of time to create inspiring images?
How do you feel about curated Instagram feeds? Do you find them inspiring or do they create unrealistic expectations?
Top: C/O Yummy Cactus
Skirt: Madewell, Sneakers: Vans (from Madewell); Wristlet: Charming Charlie; Beret: Topshop
Location: Daly Pie (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)
People are always saying you can't wear red and green together, otherwise you look like you're dressed for Christmas. But this is actually one of my favorite color combinations. There's something very 1960's school girl about this color pairing to me. When I saw this backpack from Leafling, I was immediately drawn to the colors and the embroidery on the side. I decided to take this backpack look full school girl and pair it with this vintage plaid skirt I own (which I'm pretty positive used to be an actual school uniform). If you want to try wearing red and green together, but aren't sure how to pull it off, here are some tips.
If you notice, the majority of my outfit is actually navy, and the red and green are just accent colors. This is key for achieving the school girl look.
•pick the right tones
The red and green I am wearing in this outfit are brighter, more saturated tones, which can easily read very Christmas, but because the colors are in such small positions, it works. Picking darker, less saturated versions of red and green, like a burgundy or forest green would work better if you do want to wear solid red and green pieces together.
you don't have to wear a completely printed outfit like I am here, but adding a print or two is an easy way to tone down a red and green look, especially if you do want to wear bright red and green together. For example, a solid bright red top paired with a solid bright green bottom would look ridiculous, but if you change one of these pieces to a multi color print that has red and green in it, this look easily becomes more wearable.
What are some other color combinations that are taboo, but you love to wear?
Backpack: C/O Leafling
Top: J.Crew, Skirt: Vintage (bought from Arbor Vitae); Socks: J.Crew; Shoes: LF Life
Location: Hoboken, NJ
By now you probably all know I love vintage and thrift shopping. However, I am very selective about what I purchase, because I never want my wardrobe to look like it's full of costumes. If you're new to vintage shopping and not sure which items are worth buying, I've put together a guide to help you.
-classic prints (polka dots, gingham, simple stripes, etc)
I usually pass on items in any of the above prints because it is easy to find modern garments in these prints, so you don't have to waste time altering your vintage find to look current.
Garments yellow over time, so I usually try to avoid all white garments or garments that have white in sweat prone areas, such as the neck/collar, armpits, etc
I know a lot of people love a good vintage band tee, but personally this is something I would not buy vintage. Vintage tees always look super worn and pilled (and for good reason). Plus it's so easy to find a reproduction of vintage tees nowadays, where they have a retro feel without all the wear.
-interesting collars and necklines
Even though oversized collars or exaggerated necklines can look very specific to certain time periods, these are the types of pieces I am always drawn to when I'm vintage shopping. If I do decide to buy something that looks super retro looking, I make sure I alter it to look more current or modernize it with my styling.
Bold and unique prints are also a guilty pleasure for me, but again, they can look very dated very quickly. Again, styling or alterations can easily tone down an amazing vintage print.
Denim is stain resistant and holds up amazingly over time, so I love buying denim pieces second hand. Because denim shorts or jeans are so abundant, you can easily find vintage denim pieces on the cheap too. PS: if you are in NYC, checkout No Relation Vintage in East Village if you are in the market for denim cut off shorts. They have two whole walls and each pair is only about $8.
If you're still on the fence about whether or not to purchase a vintage piece, a good rule of thumb is to weigh the cost vs the amount of time it will take to alter. If I’m not confident I can fix a piece or if I feel l can easily find a modern replica, especially if it’s not super cheap, I won’t waste my time or money attempting to bring it back to life.
Cardigan: c/o Rip and Rose
Dress: Forever 21; Shoes: Franco Sarto (bought at Century 21); Watch: Hypergrand;
Pin: Copper Cactus Vintage
Location: Jim’s Steaks (South Street, Philadelphia)
I shot photos for this look early on Sunday morning. I got some strange looks on the street by those passing by, and I'm pretty sure some of them thought I was doing the walk of shame in my outfit from Saturday night. When I do go out to bars on the weekends, I usually like to keep it casual, but every now and then I like to get a little more dressed up, and maybe show a little skin. Below are some tips for dressing a little provocatively, but still keeping it classy.
Tights are the easiest way to add more coverage to a nighttime look.
•wear flats or boots
The shoes you wear can easily tone down a look. Opt for a flat shoe or a causal bootie over heels.
•pay attention to proportions
This dress has good proportions, even though the stomach is cut out, the skirt of the dress flares out and the bodice has good coverage, so I'm not showing too much skin. A rule of thumb I follow is that a dress can be short and loose fitting, or longer and form fitting, but never short and tight.
•don't go crazy with hair and makeup
Keep your makeup casual. You can't tell because I have sunglasses on in these photos, but my eye make up is just a simple cat eye.
Dress: C/O Tobi
Sunglasses: East Village Vintage Collective
Boots: Kling (bought from Hello Holiday)
Location: Hoboken, NJ
This graphic tee from Pinup Girl Clothing is the perfect response to that guy who won't take no for an answer when you're out at the bar with your friends. So I thought, what better place to shoot this outfit than a vintage inspired bar. I look forward to wearing this shirt out on many Friday nights in the future, but in the meantime, I'm sharing my 3 favorite vintage inspired bars in NYC.
•Beauty Bar (14th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue):
My absolute favorite bar in NYC! Arrive early to take a photo in the old fashioned hair dryer chairs and to get your nails done. They have a $10 manicure and martini special (you can get any type of drink though, it doesn't have to be a martini). $10 is a great deal, especially in NYC, and the manicure is actually amazing and lasts the whole week. On the weekends they have a DJ that plays the best music from the 60's, 70's and 80's, so you can dance. I've never had a bad time at Beauty Bar.
*disclaimer: Beauty Bar is currently closed for renovations, but hopefully will be open again soon!
•Genuine Liquorette (191 Grand Street)
A speak easy type bar in Little Italy. It's located downstairs of the eatery, Genuine Superette. When you walk in, go straight to the back and down the stairs. Once inside, definitely get one of their signature drinks, called the "cha-chunkers", which is essentially a mini can of soda or juice with an airplane size bottle of liquor upside down in the can. Considering the novelty, the drinks are still reasonably priced by NYC standards, plus they're super Instagramable. My favorite is the Dark and Stormy, but a lot of my friends also like the Paloma. Be sure to check out the bathroom before you leave, it's covered entirely in pictures of Farrah Fawcett.
•The Trailer Park Lounge (23rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenue)
This is the bar I shot these photos in. There are so many kitschy decorations here, you won't know what to Instagram first. They don't have a very wide selection of speciality cocktails, mostly beer and mixed drinks, but they do have champagne in a can, if you're feeling classy.
Shirt: c/o Pinup Girl Clothing
Skirt: c/o Pinup Girl Clothing
Location: The Trailer Park Lounge (Chelsea, Manhattan)
Photos: Aye Ostertag (www.ayeostertagphoto.com)
Peter Pan collars. Red lipstick. Top knots. Polka dots. All of these things are present in my outfit in this blog post. And although these things are classic, they were also super trendy a few years ago. That Kate Spade inspired, classic yet quirky look (basically how I describe my style) was very popular. I couldn't walk into a store without finding something to buy. Recently though, the market has changed and it hasn't been in favor of my personal style. Lately, I struggle to find clothes I actually want to spend money on. I don't fit into the Zara, assymetrical, minimalist look. I also don't fit into the 70's boho look (although I have found myself gravitating towards late 1960's pieces more and more). And there's no way you will ever find me in athleisure, which it seems like is all anybody wears nowadays.
I've never been one to chase trends or just wear something because everyone else is. But sometimes I look in the mirror and worry I look like I'm stuck in 2012. Last week was fashion week here in NYC and I attended a few events, which made me remember (one of the reasons) why I don't like fashion week is because I never feel cool enough. I definitely don't think you need to wear head to toe designer to attend fashion week, but I just always feel like I don't have that New York City, fashion forward edge so many other girls have. Again, while I don't believe in changing my style for the sake of trends or to fit in, I do think it's a fine balance of incorporating trends and staying true to your personal style. Below are some tips for how to balance.
•only wear trends that compliment your style:
It can be tempting to jump on a trend, especially when you're seeing it all over the place. Sometimes we don't even realize it and subconsciously gravitate towards things we wouldn't normally after we see it on our friends or bloggers wearing it on social media. By all means, if you truly like something, you should definitely wear it. But usually when I'm shopping I like to pause and think about if this item makes sense with my personal style. Since I try to keep my style more classic, rather than trend driven, I usually buy depending on if I think the item embodies a fleeting trend. If I feel it's something that will only be around for one season, I usually pass on it.
•incorporate trends in a subtle way:
If you want to try a new trend, find a way to bridge it with your personal style. For instance, as we know, the 70's are very trendy right now, but my style isn't very hippie or boho. Bell sleeves are one 70's inspired trend I do like, so I recently bought two bell sleeve sweaters, one in black and white and another in a chevron print. I feel these colors and patterns are a good way for me to try out this new trend without straying too far from my style.
At the end of the day, confidence is the best thing you can wear. You can have the trendiest outfit on, but if you're not comfortable in what you're wearing, it shows. So even though polka dots and Peter Pan collars might not be the coolest items at the moment, I'm going to stay true to my personal style and not be influenced by those around me.
Sweater: c/o Tobi
Shirt: Forever 21; Skirt: American Apparel (thrifted from Housing Works);
Pin: The Silver Spider Print Shop
Sneakers: Vans (bought at Madewell); Back Pack: Century 21
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Even as a newbie blogger, I receive emails from brands asking to collaborate on a regular basis. While it can be tempting to say yes to everything, I try to be selective and only do collaborations with those companies I feel fit my personal brand. When Romwe reached out to me, I was hesitant. Romwe is an online retailer that offers super trendy clothing. Because my style isn't super trendy, I usually am not a fan of these types of sites, but I decided to have a look just to see if anything caught my eye. When I came across this lip button up shirt, I thought it was quirky and unique, so I decided to go for it.
When I received the shirt in the mail, I noticed a signature which was part of the graphic. The signature read "Garance Dore". I immediately recognized the name, as I read Garance's book, "Love, Style, Life", a couple years ago. I thought it was strange that she would have collaborated with Romwe to design a shirt, so I decided to search Google to see what information I could find. Sure enough, I saw almost the exact same shirt pop up on Farfetch, a website that sells high end designers. The shirt originally retailed for $385. Clearly this shirt I received was a direct knock off.
I am a fashion designer for my full time job, so I know mass retailers look towards high end designers to determine trends and gather inspiration. However, it is one thing to be inspired by a designer, it is another thing to directly copy them. I know some people don't mind wearing or carrying knock off items, but this is something that has never appealed to me. For example, as much as I would love a Chanel handbag, buying a knock off just wouldn't give me that same satisfaction.
I don't mean to speak negatively about Romwe. Technically speaking, this shirt is actually well made. The fabric is super soft and has a nice drape. I also really do like the style, and I still think the lip graphic is super cute and quirky, but knowing it's a fake just doesn't make me feel good about wearing it. I know I could have easily glossed over this while posting this look, but as a blogger, I think it's important to be transparent and speak up about the issues that are important to you.
Shirt: C/O Romwe
Skirt: Madewell; Shoes: Nine West (bought at Macy's)
Location: Pisillo Italian Cafe (Financial District, Manhattan)
On Friday I received this cat shirt in the mail from SheIn. Even though I'm actually afraid of cats in real life, I am always drawn to quirky clothing with animals on them, cats included. I thought about how to style this shirt, and something about it felt very Parisian to me. I think because it reminds me of that very famous and iconic "Le Chat Noir" poster from the late 1800's.
If you're interested in buying this cat shirt for yourself (it also comes in a variety of different colors, both solid and striped), you can find it here:
Since the top is striped, I decided to pair it with this polka dot skirt. I added my cat eye glasses and a beret for a retro Parisian touch. I decided to grab a croissant and head to Washington Square Park, where there is an arch, similar to the Arc de Triomphe.
Although last year was the first time I visited Paris, I've always had a love for the city of lights since I was young. Even though I think New York is a superior city, Paris is my favorite city. But the amazing thing about New York is it is so diverse, so there are many places here that make you feel like you're actually in Paris. Below I'm going to list my 3 favorite places in NYC for getting your French fix.
Laduree (2 locations: Soho and UES):
Laduree is hands down the best spot for macarons. Don't even bother trying to get a macaron anywhere else in New York City because you will be disappointed (trust me, I've done the research). They also have a restaurant where you can sit down to eat. It is a little more pricey, so if you're on a budget, pass on the food and just go for the macarons.
Raclette (East Village):
If you are a cheese lover, you will probably consider this place to be heaven. Raclette is a traditional French dish, in which melted cheese is served on top of vegetables, potatoes, etc. The waiter brings over a wheel of warm cheese and scraps it onto your plate. They come back again mid meal for a second scrape. Again, if you love cheese, you will not regret checking this place out.
Pardon My French (East Village):
PMF is another east village gem, and is one of my favorite spots in the whole city for boozy brunch. For $30, you get an entree and unlimited mimosas or bloody Mary's for 2 hours. If you'd like to forgo drinking alcohol, there is also an option to get a $20 brunch with coffee or tea instead. For your entree, I highly recommend the pancakes!
What are your favorite French inspired spots in NYC?
Top: C/O SheIn
Skirt: Banana Republic; Shoes: Nine West (bought from Macy's); Watch: Hypergrand; Beret: old
Location: Washington Square Park (West Village, New York)