Lately I've been reflecting on my personal style and how it comes across to people through Instagram. I am constantly examining my feed and thinking of ways I can improve it. Ideas for improvement often come from observing what works on other people's pages. It seems like girls who wear the same color in every photo or perfectly primped pinups grow in leaps and bounds, while my account is moving forward at snail speed.
Of course feeds that are extremely cohesive are eye catching and are probably more likely to make you turn that "follow" button from blue to white. However, I have to ask myself, are these feeds even inspiring? Yes, when you first stumble upon them they look like a work of art. But then once you are following them, they become so predictable. Thinking about some of these cohesive feeds that I follow, of course I enjoy their photos, but it's rare that the photos from these accounts ever truly inspire me because they are so formulaic.
I think I have a recognizable style, but sometimes I feel like it's all over the place. Some days I look straight out of the sixties, and others I'm more modern with just a touch of vintage. Some days I'm All-American and others my inner Francophile comes out. But one thing I do know is that I am authentic and stay true to myself. I'm not going to confine myself to wearing one color or one decade just for the sake of social media.
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Beret: Beau; Purse: No Fakes; Belt: J. Crew; Shoes: Steve Madden
Location: Roxy Hotel (TriBeCa)
Last Sunday, I finally got to have breakfast at Tiffany's in the Blue Box Cafe here in NYC. The cafe opened in the Tiffany's flagship store last fall. I desperately wanted to get a reservation for my birthday last December, but it seemed impossible. You cannot call to make one, you have to do it online through Resy. They also do not take walk ins. The cafe is very small, and the reservations are gone in a blink of an eye. The reservations open up at midnight for the following two week period. You literally have to log on right at midnight to get a spot. Once I tried logging on the following morning at 7am and they were already all taken.
After several tries, I decided to give up and hoped that it'd be easier to get a reservation once the initial hype died down. Meanwhile, my aunt also continually tried to get me a reservation. Then a few weeks ago she received an email saying they had an opening for September 30th at 4pm, so that's how I was finally able to secure a reservation.
Going at 4pm actually worked out perfectly. The last seating for the day is at 4:30, so it wasn't crowded at all, which meant we could get some good photos. Even though it was afternoon, we were still able to get breakfast, as they serve it all day long. Breakfast cost $32 a person, and includes a pot of coffee or tea, a croissant with fruit, plus an entree. We got the Tiffany Tea, because when in Rome, right? For our entree, Desirae and I each got the waffle, which was delicious! I was a little nervous about the food, as I read some mixed Yelp reviews. However, everything tasted great! It's slightly on the expensive side, but I thought for the food quality and ambience it was completely worth it.
Of course Desirae and I both dressed up in our best Holly Golightly ensembles. I thought more people might be dressed up too, but surprisingly we were the only ones.
Overall, I would totally recommend the Blue Box Cafe! Whether you live in NYC or are just here visiting, if you're an Audrey fan, it's a must do.
To make a reservation, click here:
If you’d like to shop either of my Holly Golightly costumes, you can find them here:
And you can use my code NICOLE13 for 13% off your order!
Last Saturday afternoon, I had a little bit too much fun shooting this look. I recently received this tee from Poetic Betty (if you're interested in shopping it, you can find it here: https://www.poeticbetty.com/product/be-your-own-cheerleader-red). I wanted to create a look inspired by 1950's cheerleaders. There is a football field pretty close to my apartment. I planned to shoot outside of the field, but luckily there happened to be a game going on when I showed up. After the game, I snuck onto the field where I was able to film and shoot. I actually felt like a teenager again doing cartwheels and jumps on the field (even though I probably looked like a psychopath to anyone who happened to see me haha).
I wish I could write a longer, more meaningful blog post, but it's almost 12:30am and I have to get to bed. I started a new job almost three weeks ago. This job is something completely different for me, so it's definitely been an adjustment. I have a tendency to get inside my head and overthink things. Often times, I am my own worst enemy, so this t-shirt couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time.
Top: c/o Poetic Betty
Sunglasses: c/o No Fakes
Skirt: thrifted from American Apparel; Watch: MVMT; Shoes: Eastland Shoe
Location: Hoboken, NJ
JK, I shot this look on the hottest day of the summer last week (97 degrees plus humidity). And it doesn't seem like the weather is cooling off anytime soon, it's still supposed to be in the 90's this whole week. But I was excited to take my new penny loafers from Eastland Shoe out for a spin. Even though I am sad to see summer go, I am excited for September weather and dressing. This outfit formula pictured here, a dress, cute ankle socks and flats, is probably one of my favorite outfit combinations ever.
Aside from the weather, this feels like a transitional time for me in life too. Next week, I am heading back to work full time after a long summer of being unemployed. This is a new job, in a new industry and new area of the city. I'm definitely a little bit nervous about this change, but excited too.
If you'd like to shop my shoes, you can find them here:
Shoe: c/o Eastland Shoe
Dress: c/o Parasol Vintage
Socks: Hansel from Basel; Bow: Claire's; Watch: MVMT; Ring: Kate Spade
A few weeks ago, I had someone DM me saying they loved my style, but felt they couldn’t pull off a vintage look themselves. I always hate when I hear someone say they can’t pull off wearing something. I definitely believe in dressing for your body type or style, but I also believe that if you like something, you should just wear it. I definitely used to hold myself back from dressing more vintage in the past because I felt like people would judge me or make fun of me. So I wanted to share some tips for how to pull off a vintage look incase anyone else needed some encouragement to try out this type of style for themselves.
make it modern:
I think the easiest way to feel more comfortable dressing vintage is to modernize your look. If you’re wearing an actual vintage item, some simple alterations like removing shoulder pads, raising hemlines or shortening a sleeve can make a vintage piece more modern. Vintage reproductions, like the dress I’m wearing here, automatically look more modern. For instance, while this is clearly a 50’s inspired silhouette, in reality, its much shorter than an actual 1950’s dress would be (it would be calf length, rather than knee length). Accessories can also help modernize a vintage piece. For example, I thought the polka dot socks added a quirky touch here.
find the right decade:
I think finding the decade that suits your body type the best is key. For example, I do not look good in drop waist dresses, which is one reason I don’t gravitate towards 1920’s pieces. Since I have some curves, I think 1950’s definitely looks best on my body. However, I still wear 60’s dresses too, even though some of them are definitely better suited for someone who is flat chested.
At the end of the day, the best way to pull off vintage, or any style for that matter, is to just be confident and have fun with it!
If you’d like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
c/o: Dolly & Dotty
Headband: Lysande; Bangle: Retro Luxe Resin; Socks: Hansel from Basel; Shoes: Eastland Shoes
Location: Regina’s Grocery (Lower East Side, New York City)
As you may or may not know, I grew up in South NJ, about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. Both of my parents were born and raised there, most of my extended family lives there and I went to college there, so safe to say I spend a fair amount of time in the city of brotherly love. To be honest, I don’t vintage shop there much, since when I am there, it’s usually to visit family, and most of my family members don’t share the same love of vintage as I do. But since I was in Philly with one of my vintage loving friends a few weekends ago, we made the trip to South Philadelphia, my favorite area to vintage shop. Here are a list of the stores we went to.
We started the morning by having breakfast at the Famous Fourth Street Deli. It’s an old school Jewish deli with a retro interior and great food. I highly recommend it!
611 S 4th Street
Open 11am-7pm daily
Come Here For:
A few clothing items, but mostly home decor and furniture
This place was definitely the most "expensive" we went to, but the prices were still extremely reasonable and they had a lot of amazing pieces!
508 South Street
Open 11am-9pm daily
Come Here For:
•Women’s Clothes & Shoes
•Men’s Clothes & Shoes
•Records, Books, Magazines
This was definitely my favorite stop of the day! They had an amazing selection for really great prices. I scored a hankie and Elvis magazine for only $4 total.
Philly AIDS Thrift
710 S 5th Street
11am-8pm Monday through Thursday
11am-9pm Friday & Saturday
Come Here For:
Literally everything- clothes, furniture, home decor, records, etc
I didn't take photos aside from the outside because this store is HUGE. Since it's a thrift store, it's obviously not as well curated, but you can definitely score some good finds if you dig around. And proceeds go to benefit local AIDS organizations.
618 S 6th Street
Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
Open 12-7pm Wednesday & Thursday
Open 12-8pm Friday & Saturday
Come Here For:
•Men’s Clothes, Shoes & Accessories
•Women’s Clothes, Shoes & Accessories
Great selection for both men's and women's here. A little more on the "pricey" side but still very affordable overall!
You probably wouldn’t guess it looking at me (because I am so pale), but I am a total summer girl. I love beach days, warm summer nights, rooftop drinks, ice cream, you name it. Sometimes I still feel like a kid because I feel sad when the summer starts coming to a close, even though I’m not heading back to school anymore. When I was little, although I didn’t want summer to end, I did look forward to fall for back to school shopping. And even now as an adult, I still get excited to wear my new fall clothes. But with global warming, or whatever it is, it feels like we don’t even have fall weather anymore. However, I still like to dress seasonably appropriate, while still dressing appropriate for the weather. I thought this Smak Parlour dress was the perfect example of how to start incorporating fall styles while still dealing with summer temperatures. Here are some of my tips…
P.S. if you’d like to shop my dress you can find it here:
be selective when wearing fall colors, fabrics or silhouettes:
This dress is the perfect transitional dress because while the fabric feels like fall, because of the colors, pattern and texture, the cut is still appropriate to wear during summer since it is sleeveless. In a few weeks it will be Fashion Week here in NYC, and I always hate seeing girls dressed for full out fall in the sweltering heat. I know we’re all excited about fall clothes, but I personally just think it looks ridiculous to be layered up in leather jackets and knee high boots when its still 90 degrees outside. I prefer to start adding pieces that have a fall feel to them, whether thats the color, fabric or silhouette, but don’t go crazy.
wear closed toe shoes:
Switching out your sandals for a toe closed shoe immediately takes your outfit from summer to fall.
step up your accessories game:
I don’t know about you, but during the summer I definitely don’t wear as many accessories as I do during the rest of the year. I feel like they just make me feel sweaty and weigh me down, so adding accessories can easily take an outfit from summer to fall. I am in no way ready to start wearing tights, but I think these polka dot ankle socks elevate this look and make it feel more fall. I also added my watch, gold jewelry and velvet bow to my hair. I also carried a structured faux leather handbag (not pictured here).
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour
Bow: Claire’s; Earrings: Brightside Boutique; Necklace: In God We Trust; Watch: MVMT; Socks: Hansel from Basel; Shoes: Eastland Shoes
Location: Empire Diner (Chelsea, New York City)
Stopping by with a quick blog post to share some photos I shot for Fat Boy Ice Cream a couple weeks ago. The last few summers when I've gone to Florida with my family, my mom always buys Fat Boy Ice Cream sandwhiches for the house, so eating them always remind me of summer and vacation. I can't believe it is almost halfway through August already. Although I am over the humidity, I am not ready for the summer to end...
Dress: Dolly & Dotty; Headband: Lysande; Bangles: Retro Luxe Resin; Saddle Shoes: Eastland Shoes
Location: Hoboken, NJ
As a vintage lover, of course, I love wearing red lipstick. However, often times I find myself shying away from it because I feel like it makes my teeth look yellow. So when Smile Brilliant reached out to see if I'd like to collaborate, I decided to give it a try.
I've used whitening products in the past (Crest White Strips to be exact), and they definitely worked, but I always experienced really bad sensitivity with them. Even when I cut the whitening time and frequency in half, my teeth were still extremely sensitive. Smile Brilliant offers a more customized whitening plan, so if you are prone to sensitivity you can avoid it.
The recommended whitening time for Smile Brilliant is 45 min-3 hours, every day or every other day. Again, because my sensitivity was so bad in the past, I tread very lightly when I first started. I was doing 45 minutes but only about once or twice a week. Once my teeth felt okay, I stepped up my frequency to every other day and also kept them on for longer (usually about 1 1/2-2 hours). The Smile Brilliant Kit also comes with desensitizing gel you can use after you whiten. Once I increased the time and frequency I was whitening I did experience some minor teeth sensitivity, but the gel definitely helped to alleviate that.
Overall, I would recommend Smile Brilliant, especially if you are prone to sensitivity like me. One negative of using the kit over the strips is it is a much longer process. Before you can get started, Smile Brilliant sends you everything you need to make a mold of your teeth, then you send it back to them once it's complete. I actually messed up one of my molds the first time, so this lengthened the process as well. Once your molds are made, then they send your custom-fitted trays back to you, along with the whitening and desensitizing gels. That said, I'd definitely recommend planning ahead if you're interested in getting whiter teeth for a specific occasion.
I will be giving away a $149 credit to Smile Brilliant for one of my followers to try out a whitening kit. Click this link to enter the giveaway:
You can also take 15% off with my code darlingindots15.
Dress: Vintage; Shoes: Eastland Shoes; Watch: MVMT; Ring: Little Stone Sky
Location: Schnackenberg's (Hoboken, NJ)
Rum based drinks are my favorite, and there's nothing I love more than transporting myself to a tropical oasis in the middle of a hot NYC summer. So I decided to do a round up of my favorite retro inspired tiki bars in NYC.
Mother of Pearl
95 Avenue A (East Village)
Mother of Pearl is the bar pictured in this blog post. Funny story, I actually intended on taking photos of this outfit in another bar. However, after a few minutes of starting to take photos, the manager got an attitude with me and kicked me out. Oh well, their loss because now they’re not getting a mention in this post. I think the decor at Mother of Pearl ended up complimenting my outfit just as well!
Anyway, the decor and drinks are both amazing here! Whenever I come, I always get the Vanilla Coke Float, and it is delicious. The waitress I had was also super sweet and accommodating while I was taking pictures in between sips of my drink. I’d definitely recommend checking this place out!
400 W 42nd Street (Midtown West)
This bar just recently opened, and I checked it out for the first time a few weeks ago. I loved it! The bar is located inside The Pod Hotel, so head up to the rooftop once you enter the hotel lobby. We sat inside, and I was surprised by how spacious it was. We came on a Thursday around 730 pm, aka prime drinking time in NYC and got seated right away. I got the Damned To The Depths drink and it even came adorned with a little treasure chest on top.
The Happiest Hour
121 W 10th Street (West Village)
I love the decor here! For their cocktails, I also like how they give you the option to choose which type of liquor you want. I usually get the What The Doctor Ordered with rum. One negative of this place, it has always been very crowded whenever I’ve been here. If you’d like a quieter, more intimate option, check out their speak easy called Slowly Shirley, which is located just downstairs from The Happiest Hour.
357 W 44th (Midtown West)
It can be impossible to find a bar that’s NOT a bro infested, Irish pub in Midtown. But Reunion is definitely a breath of fresh air. They also have solid happy hour specials. While the rest of my suggestions on this list are better for an artfully crafted cocktail, I’d recommend this place for casual and cheap after work drinks.
23 Lexington Avenue (Flatiron)
Ok, so I haven’t been to this location yet, but I have been to the Miami location and loved it! I know a few people who have been to the NYC location, and they said it was “meh”, but to be fair, this location is very new, so I’m hoping they will improve once they’ve been in the space a bit longer. This Broken Shaker is a rooftop bar, located in the Freehand Hotel, so you know your drink will at least come with an amazing view of the city.
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Sunglasses: Vintage; Bow: Claire’s; Bangle: Old; Shoes: Utopiat
Bag: c/o Sun Jellies