Ciao Bella! I channeled my inner Princess Anne and put my own twist on Audrey Hepburn's iconic Roman Holiday look with the help of Utopiat’s Audrey Hepburn Costume Collection. If you're not familiar, this company sells recreations of Audrey Hepburn's cinematic looks. From Roman Holiday to Breakfast at Tiffany's, you can buy the full outfit, down to shoes and accessories, or buy individual items to mix in to your everyday wardrobe.
For this look, the scarf and shoes are part of the Roman Holiday collection. I paired them with a polka dot button up shirt and gingham skirt I already owned for a more modern take on the outfit Audrey wears in the movie. I also want to note, the quality of these products is great. These items definitely don't feel like a cheap costume so you can easily wear these pieces on an everyday basis.
Now I’m ready for a trip to Italy, but for now I guess I’ll just have to settle for this cute gelato spot in East Village.
If you’d like to shop the shoes, you can find them here:
If you’d like to shop the scarf, you can find it here:
You can also use my discount code nicole13 for 13% off your purchase!
Scarf & Shoes: c/o Utopiat
Top: Macy’s; Skirt: Madwell
Location: Gelarto (East Village, NYC)
I used to hate fishnet tights. Maybe it's because I was a dancer growing up and we used to wear them as part of our costumes, so they never seemed like an everyday fashion item. Maybe it's because they are often associated with strippers and promiscuity. Whatever the reason, I avoided them, until about a year or so ago, when they became popular. The more I saw them in mainstream fashion, the more I started coming around to the idea of them. Now I incorporate them into my everyday wardrobe. They are especially perfect for this time of year when the weather is starting to warm up, but you're not ready to go bare legged just yet. Below are some tips for how I style them.
•choose a fish net with small holes
Fishnets come in all shapes and sizes. Personally, I prefer fishnets with small holes to large holes. The small hole tights are more classic and offer more coverage on your leg so you don't feel too exposed.
•watch your proportions
Since fishnets offer less coverage than opaque tights, you want to be careful not to show too much skin in the rest of your look. For instance, with this look I felt comfortable wearing fishnets because my dress is more conservative since it's knee length and loose fitting. I would avoid wearing dresses or skirts that are too tight or short with fishnets.
•keep your shoes classic and conservative
Again, you want to keep your fishnet look classy, so choose a shoe that is more on the conservative side. You can still wear heels, like these Mary Jane shoes I am wearing here, but stay away from anything too crazy.
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Sunglasses: Hello Holiday; Shoes: Steve Madden
Location: Shade (West Village, New York City)
For years I've been seeing photos of retro inspired girls in laundromats. I've always wondered why this has been such a popular location idea, now I'm thinking that maybe they just needed an indoor spot to shoot. It feels like spring is right around the corner, but not quite yet. I can brave taking a couple photos outside during the winter, but if I want to get a full blog posts worth of shots, I'd prefer to be indoors, especially if I'm taking them by myself with my tripod, because I usually have to tinker around with things a bit. I decided to shoot this Lindy Bop top inside of this East Village laundromat I've walked by dozens of times because the colors matched my top pretty perfectly. East Village is my favorite area of the city to hang out in, so I shot this outfit on Sunday in between grabbing brunch and checking out my usual vintage stores. Sometimes I can get pretty obsessive with finding the perfect location or getting the perfect shot, but I find the less I plan ahead, the happier I am with photos. Sometimes a seemingly cliched or mundane location, such as this one, works out just fine.
If you’d like to shop my top, you can find it here:
Top: c/o Lindy Bop
Skirt: Urban Outfitters; Bow: Claire’s; Sneakers: Vans (bought from Madewell)
Location: Cosmo’s (East Village, New York City)
There are a lot of amazing things about living in NYC, but trekking around in freezing cold temperatures is not one of them. I've always looked forward to summer, but since living in NYC, I look forward to it even more. Yes, sometimes the sweltering temperatures can be equally as unbearable as the cold, but in general, the city is just so much more magical during the warm weather months. More hours of sunlight, drinking on rooftops, and the ability to simply throw on a cute sundress and be on your way. I know most New Yorkers can't wait to bust out their leather jackets once fall rolls around, but on the contrary, I always feel sad packing away my summer clothes. So I've partnered with Malibu Rum to show you that it is possible to rock tropical prints all year long and a summer state of mind is just a sip away.
-add a turtleneck
Throwing a cardigan on is the most obvious solution to wearing a summer dress in the winter, but instead I decided to layer a turtle neck under this dress. I think this combination is a bit more unexpected. You could also try throwing a chunky sweater over top so only the skirt of the dress is showing for a more subtle tropical look.
Adding tights is a must for pulling off a summer dress in winter. Otherwise, you will totally look like THAT girl who got a little too exited when she saw the weather report said it would be 50 degrees that day.
-wear seasonally appropriate shoes
Make sure your shoes are seasonably appropriate. I opted for black, suede Mary Jane's. Even with tights or a sweater, pairing this dress with sneakers or sandals would look like I was a little too overzealous for summer.
-ground the tropical print with black
-There are hints of black in the print of this dress, so I made sure to ground the tropical print with black items to keep the look seasonably appropriate.
-add some winter touches
As a final winter touch, I added a red beret to my hair. No matter how you style your summer item, just make sure it’s the only one in the look.
Now how many more days until summer?
“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.”
January and February have never been my favorite months, but since I started blogging, I’ve become even less fond of them. These two months are always the most challenging for getting good photos. The days are shorter, which means less natural light, freezing cold temperatures, which makes it harder to take photos outside, and in general, the gray skies and melted snow just make everything look drab. Even though I usually prefer to take my photos outside, during the winter I don’t really have a choice but to photograph indoors. I know a lot of bloggers just take photos inside their apartment or house during the winter, but I prefer to match my outfits to my surroundings to really tell a complete story, so I usually scout out a very specific location for each outfit. Below are some tips that I use to find the perfect location.
keep a list:
I am constantly wandering around NYC, so whenever I walk by a location I like and think could work for photos, I add it to a list I have saved in my phone. This list includes all types of locations, from bars and restaurants, to a vintage sign or an interesting door. Whenever I get a new piece I want to shoot, I consult the list to see if any of the locations could be a good match.
Sometimes when I’m putting together an outfit, I’ll immediately get an idea for a specific type of location, say for example, a candy store. If I don’t have a specific candy store in mind, I’ll then go to Yelp, and search through to see what locations are nearby, and what would be the most aesthetically pleasing or match my outfit the best.
Yelp is great for getting an extensive list of a specific type of location, the only problem is, a lot of the photos usually end up being of food and are often not very high quality. If I feel the location I found on Yelp might work, I then search the location on Instagram, and see what photos come up there. There you can usually see more specific spots within that location that would be “instagramable”. You can also get a better sense of the lighting, how spacious the location is, etc.
Before you head out to a location to shoot, see what their hours are, and arrive as early as possible. I shoot almost all of my photos by myself with a tripod, so arriving early usually means less people there looking at me like I’m crazy. The less people around, the more comfortable I am shooting, and the better the photos will turn out. Less people around also means less opportunity for a photobomb from someone in the background. If you have someone behind the camera, they can maneuver around people easier, but that’s not possible with a tripod. Theres been many times I’ve tried to shoot in a crowded location, say a street in NYC, and people just walk right through my shot, which is super frustrating.
If you’d like to shop my sweater, you can find it here:
Sweater: c/o Joanie Clothing
Collared Shirt: Forever 21; Skirt: Forever 21: Shoes: Bait Footwear; Beret: Target
Location: Lucky’s Famous Burgers (Lower East Side, NYC)
If you've been following along with my Instagram stories for the last few months, by now you probably know I'm the queen of turning vintage maxis dresses into minis. When I'm thrift or vintage shopping, I often find a lot of dresses from the late sixties with amazing prints, but are ankle length, which is just not my style at all. Since I can't pull of the prairie dress look, but can't pass up the print, I end up chopping several inches (sometimes up to 16") off the bottom and turn it into a mini dress.
Lexi from Lexi Goes Thrifting, who is one of my Instagram pals, reached out to me and said she'd love to send me a dress to deconstruct. Lexi is a vintage seller and blogger. You can check out her blog and Etsy shop here:
Instead of just chopping off the bottom as usual, I knew I wanted to make something out of the excess fabric, so I decided to go with a wire headband. I put up a step by step DIY on my Instagram stories, and will keep it in my story highlights if you're interested in trying this sewing tutorial for yourself!
Dress: c/o Lexi Goes Thrifting
Ring: FlowerMoon by Kittoune; Tights: Target; Shoes: LF/Life
Location: Hoboken, NJ
I studied fashion in college, where we learned about color, symmetry, proportion and other design elements that make a garment "successful". It sounds silly, but I apply the same things I learned about designing a piece of clothing to my Instagram feed. For me, color in particular is one of the most important aspects of creating great imagery and curating an aesthetically pleasing feed. Many people think using the same filter is all it takes for a consistent feed, but it's important you shoot the right colors in the right locations as well. Below are some tips for a consistent feed and photos that pop.
•utilize complimentary colors:
I am big on utilizing complimentary colors in my photos, which are colors that are opposite on the color wheel. If you need a refresher, the complimentary color combinations are as follows: red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. I feel a lot of bloggers go the monotone route when taking photos. For example, if they're wearing a primarily pink outfit, they'll place themselves in front of a pink location. I personally prefer to find a location that is opposite of my outfit. These photos are a perfect example, since I'm wearing an orange sweater in front of a blue wall. The neon orange sign in the background perfectly ties the whole photo together since it coordinates with the sweater as well.
PS if you'd like to shop my sweater, you can find it here:
•stick to one color palette for your feed:
My Instagram feed is mostly primary colors (red, yellow, blue). I also have neutral colors, like brown and black, in there as well, to tone it down and add to the vintage feel. In general, I make sure whatever photos I'm posting fall into this color palette.
•stick to the same color tones:
In addition to utilizing the same colors, stick to the same tones of those colors. For example, I usually have a lot of red pops in my feed. However, there are so many shades of red, from bright cherry red to burgundy. Some reds are cool with a blue undertone, others are warmer with a more orange undertone. I personally usually aim for a more red-orange in my feed.
•balance out photos:
If you do find yourself wanting to post a photo of something that is a color outside of your usual palette, find a way to balance out the photo. For example, in my last blog post, I was wearing a pink dress, but I hardly ever have pink in my feed. However, I think the photos still worked overall because of the background colors, there was a good amount of brown and blue, two prominent colors in my palette.
•ignore the rule of 3:
I know a lot of bloggers follow "the rule of three", when they post three photos of the same color in a row, or strategically place the same color photos so they make a diagonal or a triangle. I don't follow this rule, because it's too time consuming and honestly will just drive you crazy trying to get everything so precise. It's nice when my photos happen to align that way, but in general I just make sure my photos have the same feel and flow nicely into one another.
•use the same filter:
Using the same filter every time you edit really helps to give your photos a consistent feel. I'm thinking of doing a tutorial on how I edit my photos, as I get a lot of questions about what apps I use and how to get the vintage effect, so stay tuned for that if you're interested!
Sweater: c/o Joanie Clothing
Skirt: May 68; Collared Shirt: Forever 21; Bow: Claire's; Shoes: LF/Life
Location: Joe's Steaks (Fishtown, Philadelphia)
I couldn't think of a more perfect place to wear this Voodoo Vixen diner print dress than to The Arcade Restaurant in Memphis. The Arcade is not your average old school diner. It is actually Memphis' oldest eatery, and considered a historic landmark. It first opened in 1919, but was renovated in the 1950's. Not much has changed since then, so The Arcade has a very authentic retro vibe. Elvis used to be a regular here, and he even has his own booth dedicated to him. Sadly, the booth was occupied when Desirae and I arrived, but we still very much enjoyed dining here. Desirae and I both coordinated our fifties inspired outfits to match the pink and blue interior of the restaurant.
If you're interested in shopping my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Voodoo Vixen
Tights: Express; Shoes: Steve Madden; Bracelet: J. Crew
Location: The Arcade Restaurant (Memphis, Tennessee)
While in Memphis, Desirae and I were lucky enough to stay at the beautiful and historic Peabody Hotel. Everything from the lobby to the rooms are gorgeous. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the hotel is iconic in Memphis for several reasons.
Elvis visited the hotel multiple times, most notably to attend his prom in the hotel ballroom in 1953. He allegedly was too shy to dance, and spent the evening sitting at a table and drinking Cokes with his date (which honestly still sounds like a dream night to me). He returned to the Peabody in 1955 where he signed his record deal with RCA. The hotel also has a store in the lobby called Lansky Bros, where Elvis used to shop. He befriended the owner, Bernard, in 1952, before he rose to celebrity status, or even had any money to shop there. But as he became famous, he continued to support this local Memphis store and bought much of his wardrobe here. Bernard, dressed Elvis for his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and is responsible for starting the menswear trend of wearing black and pink together, which became an iconic color combination of the 1950's.
The hotel is also home to the famous Peabody Ducks. The ducks first came about in 1933 when the hotel manager placed ducks in the lobby fountain as a joke. Now the duck march happens daily. The ducks come down in the elevator from the penthouse at 11am and march into the fountain, where they stay until 5pm, then they march out of the fountain and back into the elevator and back up to the penthouse for the night. We spoke to the Duck Master, and he told us they keep the ducks for 3 months at the Peabody, then they release them back into the wild.
They take their ducks very seriously at the Peabody, and there is duck themed decor everywhere. Everything from the soap in the bathroom, to duck design tile on the elevator floors. They even had duck shaped deserts, including a white chocolate duck they were nice enough to send up to the room for us one night.
Overall, The Peabody is a gorgeous hotel, which I would definitely recommend! I know I would love to stay here again if I am ever back in Memphis.
Thank you to The Peabody for comping our room for our two night stay!
If you'd like to learn more about The Peabody, you can check out their website here:
Top: Madewell; Skirt: Forever 21; Shoes: Franco Sarto; Bow: Claire's
Location: The Peabody Hotel (Memphis, TN)
This past Saturday, I went to the movies and saw "Call Me By Your Name" (which was good and I would recommend seeing it). The movie takes place in 1980's Italy where the main character, a teenage boy, spends his summer days reading, writing and listening to music. This aspect of the film made me nostalgic for the days before social media. It made me realize how much time we waste mindlessly staring at our phones and how easy it is to pick up your phone and start scrolling through apps out of boredom. While I love creating content for Instagram and my blog, and I have no plans to stop doing that, this year I want to be more intentional with my time on social media. I want to avoid falling down the rabbit hole of hate stalking frenemies on Instagram or reading poorly written Facebook articles. So here are some tips I've already began implementing to limit my social media screen time.
•unfollow accounts that no longer inspire you
By now, you are probably aware of the "follow/unfollow" method a lot of Instagramers use to gain followers. If you're not familiar, a user will go through and follow a bunch of accounts, hoping they will follow back. Then they go through and unfollow anyone who did not follow them back. I've ended up following a few bloggers this way, bloggers whose style I do not like at all. Every time their posts would come up, I would get a little annoyed, or ask myself, why am I following this person? I decided to start cleaning up my following list, and make sure I'm only following accounts whose content inspires me. It's not worth it wasting your time looking at images you do not enjoy, especially just for the sake of a few extra followers.
•mute instagram stories
I started muting certain people's Instagram stories a few months ago, and will continue to do this in the new year. I've muted a bunch of friends who I've grown apart from, because I was constantly getting FOMO sitting home on a Saturday night and seeing them uploading story after story all hanging out together. I've also muted some bloggers, not because I don't enjoy their stories, but because they were just posting too often and I was wasting a lot of time watching them. The beauty with muting Instagram stories is you are still able to watch them if you go to the persons profile, but you're not tempted to keep clicking to see their next story every time their little icon pops up in your queue.
•turn off notifications
I don't use Facebook much, it's not a platform that I post content to or interact with friends on. The main reason I keep it around is because it is a way I find out about events happening around the city. However, if I see I have a Facebook notification, I'll end up mindlessly scrolling through the app once I open it. I turned off notifications, so I am opening the app less, which is less opportunity for me to waste time on it. I've also unfollowed a bunch of pages, such as Elite Daily, Glamour Magazine and E! News, pages that are constantly posing click bait articles, which I would waste so much time reading when I was bored. With less temptation and opportunity, I will hopefully end up spending less time on Facebook in the new year.
•schedule time for activities that don't include your phone
One of my goals for 2017 was to read more. While I did finish a few books, I didn't read as much as I would have liked to. Often times I'd find myself bringing a book along somewhere I might have free time to read, but then end up scrolling though Instagram instead, merely out of habit. To get myself in the habit of picking up a book rather then my phone, I am going to schedule time to read. I am going to try to plan to read every night before bed, instead of staring at my screen until right before I go to sleep. Hopefully this will help me stop using my phone as a security blanket and find more fulfilling outlets for filling my time.
I hope these tips were helpful if you also want to become more intentional with your time on social media. What are your goals for 2018?
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
*I am wearing the "Ruby" dresses from the Resort 2018 collection, which will be available on Jan 12th
Beret: Target; Shoes: Franco Sarto
Location: Pardon My French (East Village, Manhattan)