I studied abroad in London my junior year of college. Although I loved the city, that was seven years ago now (which makes me feel extremely old) and sometimes I feel like I barely remember my time there. One thing I do distinctly remember though is going on a bunch of walking tours around the city, where our school tour guide pointed out significant locations, some of which were iconic of the 1960s. He took us to the building where The Beatles played their last concert on the roof. He also took us to Carnaby Street, the birth place of the swinging sixties. If you're not familiar, Carnaby Street was the destination for mod fashion and new music in the 60's. It was where Mary Quant had her boutique and bands like The Rolling Stone performed.
The Cambridge Satchel Company was kind enough to send me one of their newest handbags. This style is called The Conductor's Bag and is inspired by the bags bus conductors used to carry back in the day. If you’re interested, you can shop the bag here:
Since The Cambridge Satchel Company is UK based, I decided to channel the swinging sixties as my inspiration for these photos There is an old red telephone booth outside a bar in Hoboken, where I live, so I decided this would be a good location to recreate the feeling of 1960’s Carnaby Street. I added this vintage printed silk scarf to my bag to add my personal style to it. I decided to wear a Michael Kors romper I recently thrifted from Cure Thrift shop, since it has a bit of a retro feel. To top off this mod look, I added white sunglasses and color blocked booties, and of course styled my hair in a bouffant.
Have you ever been to London? What was your favorite area or thing to do there?
Bag: C/O Cambridge Satchel Company
Romper: Michael Kors (thrifted from Cure Thrift Shop); Scarf: Vintage (from Fred and Lulu); Boots: Kling (from Hello Holiday); Sunglasses: Guess
Location: Scotland Yard (Hoboken, NJ)
This past weekend while I was home in Philadelphia, I shot photos wearing this dress from Smak Parlour and earrings from Color Theory Shop. If you've read my blog before, these are both small businesses that I love and have worked with before, so I was glad I got to wear items from both brands together in one look.
You can shop the dress here:
You can shop the earrings here:
By now you've probably noticed the fruit theme (particularly watermelons) in my wardrobe this summer, so I was excited to add this dress to my collection. When I shoot blog photos, I usually choose very specific locations because I want every post be purposeful and to tell a story. Originally I had the idea to shoot this dress in a pie shop in Manhattan, while eating a slice of cherry pie of course. However, the shop is located near Times Square, aka a New Yorker's version of hell, so the chances of convincing one of my friends to come there to take photos with me were slim to none. Instead, I made my sister help me (because that's what siblings are for right?) since we were both visiting home last weekend. I decided we should shoot at Famous Fourth Street Deli. This Jewish deli is one of my favorite spots to eat when I'm in Philly, yet it never dawned on me before that it could work as a backdrop for blog photos as well. Even though they didn't have cherry pie, they did have black and white cookies that complimented my earrings perfectly (and were also delicious).
Although this was my second choice of location, I'm happy with how these photos turned out. With so many bloggers out there, especially in NYC, I often feel the need to find obscure and unique locations that no one else has found yet to shoot. When I first started blogging, I would scour Yelp or Instagram looking for cool places. But even with a seemingly perfect location, I would sometimes end up feeling disappointed in how the photos turned out because my expectations were too high. But recently I've started rolling with the punches more when it comes to location and not plan too much in advance. Ironically, the less I plan, the more satisfied I feel with the end results of the photos. Sometimes the best photo shoot locations are right under your nose.
Dress: C/O Smak Parlour
Earrings: C/O Color Theory Shop
Shoes: Nine West (bought at Macy's)
Location: Famous Fourth Street Deli (Philadelphia, PA)
Stopping by with a super quick blog post to show off these earrings and bow pin from Color Theory Shop, an online store filled with quirky and retro inspired pins and jewelry. I love supporting small businesses, so I was so happy I got the opportunity to collaborate with Lisa and her adorable shop. She sent me a few more items, so I'll be sharing those as well in the coming weeks. You can check out her shop on Instagram @colortheoryshop or online at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ColorTheoryShop
Over the long holiday weekend, I decided to order a tripod from Amazon. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I got a camera for Christmas this year to avoid having to find photographers to work with. However, coordinating with friends or family to have them take photos using my camera has started to feel burdensome, hence the tripod. These were the first photos I shot on my own, and I have to admit, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It took me about double the amount of time to shoot on my own than I feel it would have taken had someone been behind the camera. At one point my camera even took a tumble off the tripod because I didn't have it screwed on tight enough.
I know some fellow bloggers shoot their own photos, and I definitely give them a lot of credit. If you are one of these bloggers and have any tips, please feel free to share! Here's hoping practice makes perfect and next time things go a bit smoother.
Earrings and Pin: C/O Color Theory Shop
Dress: Kling; Headband: American Apparel
We all know Instagram is an amazing platform for many reasons, but one reason I am thankful for it is because it has given me the confidence and ability to express myself though personal style. While getting ready to shoot photos in this printed dress from 405 Story (ps: this dress is currently on sale, you can shop it here: https://www.405story.com/collections/dresses/products/zooey-dress-botanical ), I thought about how my style has evolved since the rise of social media.
My style has been vintage inspired since the end of high school, but I definitely used to downplay my style and dress a lot more mainstream. I remember I started wearing my hair as it is in these photos while I was in college, and people made fun of me or called me "Snooki", so I stopped. It wasn't til a few years ago when I discovered bloggers on Instagram that I realized there were other girls who had a similar style to me, which encouraged me to dress how I really want to, and not worry about other people's opinions.
While having confidence to dress a certain way is great, on the other hand, I often wonder how many people on Instagram have manipulated their style just for the sake of their "personal brand". Of course we all play up our style a bit to illustrate our point of view, but at what point do our outfits become costumes? If there were no cell phones or cameras around to document your outfit, would you still be wearing that? Everyone's style inevitably evolves, but if we scrolled back through your Instagram to three years ago, would we see remnants of the same style? I think it's a fine line between staying true to who you really are and your online persona and how you portray yourself on social media.
Have any other bloggers out there ever felt the same way? How do you express yourself through your style but still stay grounded?
Dress: c/o 405 Story
Bag: Mint Market: Shoes: Macy's
Location: Northern Liberties, Philadelphia
I spent last week on vacation in Florida with my family, where I shot photos in these bathing suits from Unique Vintage. I haven't bought a bathing suit in four years (more about why below), so I was super excited about receiving these.
Like almost all girls, of course I enjoy shopping, but browsing for bathing suits is something I dread. I've been busty since high school, and always felt uncomfortable in a bathing suit, which made me never want to shop for them. I'm definitely more comfortable in my body now that I'm older, but I still don't like to show it off in public. In the age of The Kardashians and barely there bikinis, it can be hard to find bathing suits that are conservative, but still cute. Unique Vintage does a great job with this. I never wear two pieces anymore, but I was completely comfortable in this high waisted one. Both suits were great for keeping me in up top as well. I felt like I could go in the ocean without worrying, and wasn't constantly adjusting myself all day on the beach.
If you are top heavy, or just looking for a more tasteful swim option in a sea of cut outs and thongs, definitely check out Unique Vintage. I know I'll be ordering from them then next time I need a new suit.
Bathing Suits: C/O Unique Vintage
Shop the one piece suit here:
Shop the halter top here:
Shop the high waisted bottoms here:
*For reference, I am wearing a size Medium in both suits and I am a 34DD bust.
While in Hong Kong, we took a day trip to Macao (also spelled Macau), China. It's a 45 minute ferry ride from Hong Kong. Macao is basically China's version of Las Vegas, as there are lots of big hotels and casinos, but we stayed away from these parts. Macao was formally a colony of Portugal, from the 1500's, until 1999, so there is lots of history and European inspired architecture.
Once we arrived, we grabbed lunch at a local cafe, then stumbled upon this yellow and green building (which was actually a library) that complimented my dress perfectly. This was my first time wearing this dress from Frida Lemon, and don't be surprised if you see me wearing it again, because I'm obsessed with the print, plus it's super comfortable and fun to spin in. I got some strange looks by those passing by because I was twirling around while taking photos. I've linked the dress here, if you want to check it out for yourself:
After taking photos, we stopped by Lord Stow's Bakery to try a Portuguese egg tart. Portuguese egg tarts are a signature of Macao, so they are sold everywhere, but this location is the original spot, so if you are going to get one, definitely get it from here.
Next we went over to Senado Square, which is an area that has really great architecture and has a very European feel. At this point, it started to rain, so in between walking around, we stopped in a few stores, as well as a modern art gallery, to keep dry.
Macao is a great place to spend a day if you are visiting Hong Kong, I would definitely recommend checking it out!
Dress: C/O Frida Lemon
Location: Coloane, Macao
from the west to the east
Greetings from Hong Kong! I've been here for a few days now, and the time zone change has not been my friend, so I decided to take advantage of my inability to sleep and put together a blog post. These photos are from my first day here, where I wore this sunglasses print dress from The Other Sparrows. It is extremely humid and hot in Hong Kong, so light weight sleeveless dresses are a must.
The first day we walked around Mongkok and stopped by the flower market and goldfish market. The flower market reminded me a lot of the flower district in NYC, since they have lots of vendors in a row selling various types of plants and flowers. The goldfish market is similar, where they have a bunch of stands of people selling pet fish in individual bags. It was interesting to see, but definitely made me feel sad for the fish. We also stopped to take some photos of the taxis, since I think they are super cute since they are pretty retro looking.
I am still here for another 6 days, so if you've ever been to Hong Kong and have any suggestions of places to eat or things to do or see, please let me know!
Dress: c/o The Other Sparrows
Bag: Vintage; Sneakers: H&M
Location: Mongkok, Hong Kong
While I was home for Easter two weekends ago, I stopped at Stewart's to snap some photos in this dress from Emily and Fin (btw, isn't it so cute? I'm definitely planning to live in it this summer). I grew up in southern New Jersey, and had driven past Stewart's once or twice while in high school, but this was my first time actually stopping by. I thought it was just a stand where you walked up to order, but it is actually an old school drive in, where the waiter comes up to your car and attaches a tray to your window to serve you food.
My sister helped me take these photos, and while we were there, we received a lot of questions from our waiter about what we were taking photos for, as well as confused looks from those eating in their cars. When I first started getting into Instagram and blogging and taking photos of my outfits, I would be embarrassed if people would stop and look at me. But luckily I have become more confident and better at not letting other people's looks affect me. This is partly due to the fact that social media and the blogosphere has blown up in the last couple years. Especially in NYC, people don't think twice about people taking photos. Everyone is so desensitized to seeing people being photographed, so those passing by are less inclined to stare. And like anything else, practice makes perfect (well so to speak, because I'm nowhere near perfect). I am no expert, but I wanted to share some tips for taking your best photos possible, especially if you are on the shy side like me, whether you're a blogger or just want some Instagram worthy photos.
Find a Quiet(er) Location:
This can be extremely tricky in NYC, but if possible, find a quiet place to shoot. Not only will you be more confident if there are less people around, but it will allow you to be more focused. Having to constantly stop to let people pass by on a busy street can be distracting and take you out of the moment.
Work With a Photographer You Are Comfortable With:
I've had lots of people take photos for me and the person behind the camera honestly makes a difference how the pictures turn out. When you're not entirely comfortable with the photographer, it can show in your face or body language, which doesn't make for the best photos.
Fake It Til Ya Make It:
If you're still uncomfortable, just remind yourself that the sooner you get a good photo, the sooner you can stop. Again, you don't want the fact that you are feeling shy or embarrassed to show in your photos, so put on a confident face, even if you have to fake it.
Whether you are a blogger or not, I hope these tips help you to be more confident while taking photos. I wanted to start blogging years ago, but I was too embarrassed to take photos in public and was worried I would come across as narcissistic. But style is a way for me to be creative and express myself, and eventually I decided not to hold myself back just because of what other people think. You should never stop yourself from doing something you are passionate about because of the opinions of others.
Dress: c/o Emily and Fin
Bag: Mint Market, Necklace: Principessa Venice; Sneakers: H&M
Location: Stewart's (Burlington, NJ)
As you may or may not know, blogging is just a hobby for me, and I work full time as a fashion designer. It sounds glamorous, but the type of designing I do is definitely on the practical side, as I design children's wear clothing for both department stores and boutiques. When people hear "fashion designer" they often think I spend my days sketching by hand or working behind the scenes of a runway show. However, in reality, Excel and Illustrator are my best friends, and unfortunately I spend the majority of my day sedentary, staring at a computer screen. All of this screen use definitely takes a toll on my eyes, which is why I was so excited when I heard about Felix Gray.
Felix Gray is an eyewear company that makes non-prescription lenses to specifically protect your eyes from the harmful "blue light" that is emitted from phone and computer screens. This type of light causes headaches, blurry vision and difficulty sleeping, which affects 1/3rd of Americans, who like me, spend at least 8 hours a day in front of a screen. Their frames are super affordable ($95) plus free shipping and returns.
In addition to wearing these Felix Gray glasses, I've also made more of an effort to limit my screen time all together. While I don't have control over this at the office, I try to keep my phone use to a minimum outside of work. One of my New Years resolutions was to spend an hour reading before bed every night, to help me fall asleep easier. I'm always on the lookout for new interesting books, so I thought I would list a few of my favorites in case anyone else is looking for a new read.
The Girls (by Emma Cline)
Set in the late 1960's, it is a fictional story based on the The Manson family.
Once Upon A Secret (by Mimi Alford)
A biography written by a woman who interned in the White House during the Kennedy administration and had an affair with the president.
Valley of the Dolls (by Jacqueline Susann)
An iconic novel, that follows 3 girls in the Broadway and Hollywood scene in the 1950s and 60s.
What are some of your favorite books? I'm going to Hong Kong in 2 weeks and I will need plenty of entertainment for the 16 hour flight, so I am in need of book suggestions!
Glasses: c/o Felix Gray (https://shopfelixgray.com)
Top: Christian Siriano; Skirt: Urban Outfitters; Shoes: H&M
Confession: although I've had a love and appreciation for 1950's and 60's fashion since high school, I must admit to the fact that I didn't actually start buying vintage pieces until recently. I've always liked admiring vintage from afar, but I am a germaphobe, and I sometimes used to get grossed out by sorting through or trying on used clothing. Vintage clothing, especially in NYC, can also get expensive, so it can sometimes be hard to justify spending large amounts of money on a used item. However, for various reasons, I slowly started exploring more vintage and thrift stores and became more comfortable with buying second hand. Below is a list of my top five places to find affordable vintage pieces in NYC:
309 Bedford Avenue
Located in Brooklyn, but very easy to get to from Manhattan (it's the first stop in Brooklyn on the L train). They sell clothing, shoes and accessories for both men and women. I love this store because they always have a $5 rack, which is where I scored this plaid skirt I am wearing in this photo.
Cure Thrift Shop
111 E 12th Street (between 3rd and 4th Ave)
Manhattan (East Village)
Clothing wise, this store mostly consists of second hand items, but it is possible to score vintage and higher end designer items here. They also have lots of vintage jewelry and home items. The prices are reasonable, and they always offer 50% off all clothing, which makes the prices even better. Even more of a reason to check this place out, it is completely non-profit and all proceeds go to diabetes research.
East Village Vintage Collective
545 E 12th Street (between Ave A and B)
Manhattan (East Village)
This shop is super well curated, and the prices are extremely affordable. It seems small upon entering, but there are two floors to explore, so make sure you check out both levels! They have everything, including clothing for men, women and children, as well as records, pins, home goods, you name it. I got this dress here for around $25-30 (fun fact, it was originally much longer, but I hemmed it to be mini length)
Saturday location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Sunday location: Dumbo, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Flea is an outdoor market with nearly a hundred vendors that runs from April to October, so it's a great place to peruse through vintage pieces when the weather is nice. They have everything from apparel, to furniture, to antiques and collectibles. They also have a handful of local artist and food vendors as well. The market is located at different locations on Saturday and Sunday, so make sure you go to the correct spot!
(they have various stores around Manhattan, check out www.housingworks.org for exact locations)
Similar to Cure, Housing Works is a mix of both vintage and thrift. Each location is different, so some offer more vintage, and others offer more second hand. Their prices are very affordable, I scored this vintage animal print coat for $35, which was one of the best purchases I've ever made. You'll also be supporting a good cause by shopping at Housing Works, as the proceeds help to fight against homelessness and AIDS in NYC.
I hope this list is helpful, but feel free to comment or DM me with any other questions about thrift and vintage shopping in NYC!