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)