Last weekend I went to the Tiffany's flagship store on fifth avenue to shoot photos of this party girl Holly Golightly look. You may remember I wore this look back in September when I visited the Blue Box Cafe. Utopiat recently sent me this feathered hat to complete my Audrey look, so what better excuse to go back for another photoshoot. Audrey Hepburn has been one of my style icons and role models since I was in high school, so I welcome any opportunity to dress up like her.
I have quite a few pieces from Utopiat's Audrey Hepburn collection. Although they are technically costumes, the quality is so amazing and I mix the pieces into my regular wardrobe when I just want to be Audrey inspired.
This party girl LBD dress is currently on sale!
You can find the dress alone here:
You can find it with the accessories here:
Dress, hat, earrings and gloves: C/O Utopiat
Sunglasses: Raybans; Shoes: Steve Madden; Purse: Vintage
Location: Tiffany & Co (Fifth Avenue, Manhattan)
You might not know it from looking at my beehive or bun, but I have extremely thin hair. I usually avoid wearing ponytails because of this, so I was excited to try the Pony Puffin from Puffin Beauty. It gives your hair a little life to make your ponytail appear fuller. Here is a step by step guide of how to use it. You can find it on Amazon or their website if you're interested in trying it out for yourself. It comes in hot pink, brown and clear. I've listed the direct links below.
Shop it on Amazon here:
Shop it on the Pony Puffin website here:
Dress: Dolly & Dotty; Saddle Shoes: Eastland Shoe (bought from DSW)
Location: The Pop Shop (Collingswood, NJ)
In the last month or so, I've been having bad luck when it comes to photo locations. Getting good photos in the winter is always a challenge because it can get bitter cold in NYC. And as most of you probably know by now, the majority of my photos are taken with a self timer and tripod. Shooting photos alone can be more time consuming as opposed to having someone on the other side of the camera. It's hard to physically be outside in the cold long enough to get a good photo when I'm shooting alone. Because of this, I usually venture indoors during the winter months and find retro inspired interiors. Yes, sometimes it can be embarrassing and people stare when I'm shooting in a restaurant or store, but I've rarely experienced the owners or managers telling me I can't take photos until recently.
Aside from 2 record stores and a magazine store, the diner I took these photos in was another place I got in trouble at recently. I met my friend here for breakfast before work one day because we both work in the area, and I figured I would have her snap a few photos of me in this dress. After we ordered, we took a few photos in our booth. Then I moved to the counter (where there was only one other man sitting at the time). Finally we went into the back of the restaurant where they had a wall of vintage decor (which was also empty at the time). A few seconds into taking photos in the back, a waiter came over and said "you know, people usually pay to take photos in here". My friend replied, "oh, we're eating here", so he knew we didn't just come into have a photoshoot. He said, "I know, they usually pay on top of that". When I looked at the diner's Instagram, I saw a few brands had rented out the space to hold a photo shoot or fashion week presentation. I totally get a brand or company paying to use the space. Most of the time, I'm not earning money from the photos I take, so it's not like I'm using their business as a way to profit and not sharing a cut of the revenue. If I'm a paying customer and not in anyone's way, what's the harm in taking a photo of my outfit?
I was venting to a friend about how annoying it was that I kept experiencing push back lately and he sent me an article about a restaurant that had to enforce a "no photo" policy because of influencers. I totally get why business owners could get annoyed with influencers taking photos in their store or restaurant, especially if they're taking up space without buying or ordering anything or getting in the way of paying customers. The article said customers were still allowed to take photos of their friends or food, but influencers were not allowed to. When looking through the other tagged photos from this diner, I saw a photo of a girl, clearly taken with an iphone, posed on the stools just like I was, but she was dressed casual wearing sweatpants. I feel like it's unfair to determine who can and can't take photos depending on how they're dressed or what they're using to take the photos with.
Nowadays, I think everyone can technically be considered an influencer. No matter how many followers you have, what you post on social media can influence the people that see your content. Influencer marketing has been dubbed the modern day word of mouth. I wish more business owners would realize the power of social media and by letting people take photos in their store or restaurant it can drive more traffic to their business.
What do you think? Should business owners be okay with letting influencers take photos in their establishment?
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Sunglasses: Rainbow Optx; Tights: Vintage; Sneakers: Converse
Location: Square Diner (Tribeca, NYC)
By now you probably all know how much I love vintage and thrift shopping. When it comes to any type of shopping, I'm old school and I prefer to do so in person rather than online. When it comes to second hand shopping, this is even more true because I like to inspect for imperfections, feel the fabric and try the clothes on for fit. A few months back, Thred Up gifted me with a credit so I could shop for some second hand finds. I scored 2 cardigans and 2 dresses (one of each I'm wearing in these photos). All of them were brand new and still had the tags on them! I decided to share some pros and cons of my experience with Thred Up in case you were ever curious about the app and how it works.
First, a little bit about the app if you're unfamiliar with it. Thred Up is an app and website where you can shop and sell second hand items.
Some things I liked:
Some things I didn't like:
Overall, I am happy with the pieces I scored from Thred Up. I think it's a great way to thrift shop if you prefer online shopping. I would definitely order from here again, but for the most part, I think I'll just stick to scouring the vintage and thrift stores here in NYC.
If you want to try Thred Up for yourself, you can get 20% off your first order when you sign up!
Dress and Cardigan: c/o Thred Up
Location: Odd Fellows (SoHo, Manhattan)
There are fewer things I love more than ice cream and vintage, so you can imagine why I love Brooklyn Farmacy so much because it combines both of those things in one. The space was formerly a Pharmacy dating back to the 1920's and was transformed into a soda fountain and ice cream parlor in 2010. The first time I visited was on my birthday in 2016. Now I stop in pretty frequently for a milkshake or a sundae. My favorite things to get are the "Any Day Sundae" with mint chocolate chip ice cream, the brownie sundae, or just a classic chocolate milkshake. They also have an amazing grilled cheese too!
Another thing I love about this place is that they are always super festive for every holiday. The windows are always decorated and they have a special menu with seasonal items. The drink I have here is "The First Kiss", which is cherry soda and vanilla ice cream, plus a little heart as the finishing touch.
If you're in Brooklyn, I definitely recommend checking this place out, it does not disappoint. It is located in the Caroll Garden's Neighborhood at 513 Henry Street.
Dress: Vintage; Shoes: Eastland Shoe; Headband: Lysande
Location: Brooklyn Farmacy (Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn)
Last Friday I found out that my favorite retro spot in Hoboken, Schnackenberg's Luncheonette, closed without any notice. I visited this place almost every week, whether that was to grab a doughnut before work or to sit and have a grilled cheese and milkshake on a Saturday afternoon. I shot a lot of photos for my Instagram and blog here as well. I'm upset I won't be able to enjoy their food or come here to take pictures anymore, but what makes me really sad is that a piece of history is going to be replaced by a trendy salad spot.
Schnackenberg's opened in 1931, so it was in business for 88 years. There have been a lot of articles in the past week about the closing of such an iconic Hoboken location. One article claimed "Schnackenberg's was from a different era and no longer fit in" and that a healthier eatery will be better received by Hoboken residents (even though there are plenty of juice bars and acai bowl places littered across the main street already).
Since Schnackenberg's is no more, I shot these photos at my local Johnny Rockets. While I still enjoy the vintage vibes of Johnny Rockets, it's just not the same as a local place like Schnackenberg's. And while Johnny Rocket's probably has a stronger chance of survival since it's a chain restaurant, it was still completely empty on a Sunday morning (prime brunch time in Hoboken). Moral of the story, we need to support old school eateries before they all become extinct.
If you'd like to shop my t shirt, you can find it here:
Tshirt: c/o One Round Jack
Cardigan: Kate Spade; Skirt: Vintage; Sneakers: Converse; Headband: American Apparel; Sunglasses: Hello Holiday
Location: Johnny Rockets (Hoboken, NJ)
A few weekends ago, my friend Emily and I teamed up to do a fun shot as Marina and the Diamonds and Lana Del Rey. We're both fans of their sad girl, vintage vibes and thought it would be a fun shoot to do around February. I don't like Valentine's Day in the traditional, romantic sense (like bouquets of roses and candlelight dinners). But I love it for heart shaped things, pink and red color combinations and an excuse to eat candy. I remember how excited I used to be to give out Valentine's to my classmates and eat cupcakes and doughnuts when I was in elementary school. I also feel like Valentine's Day is the first time we see a little novelty and magic since Christmas after a drab January.
What are your thoughts on Valentine's Day?
I happened to get this adorable orange dress from my friend Emily's vintage shop the week of Halloween. I'm not sure if it was just because Halloween was on everyone's mind at the time, but as I was trying it on, everyone around me kept saying it'd be perfect for Halloween and calling it a "pumpkin dress". Yes, it definitely was seasonally appropriate to wear that week, but that hadn't even dawned on me to wear it on Halloween. Orange (specifically red-orange) is one of my favorite colors, so I decided to share a few tips for rocking orange all year round and not look like you're dressed for Halloween.
wear as little black as possible:
Black and orange together is inevitably what makes orange a Halloween color. I only have a tiny bit of black in my look here (pretty much just in my saddle shoes). I opted for grey tights instead of my usual black and decided against solid black shoes as well.
choose other neutrals:
Since black is out of the question, you have to turn to other neutral colors. I absolutely love navy blue with orange. Grey, like the tights I'm wearing here, or chocolate brown also work well with orange too.
add just a pop of another color:
Adding TOO much color could look a little clownish, especially since this dress I'm wearing here is so bold. I love baby blue together with orange, so I thought this bracelet would make for a fun little pop. Another color I love together with orange is hot pink!
Basically when it comes down to it, opt for other neutrals to avoid black and orange together and you can rock orange all year round!
Dress: Vintage c/o Lulaverse
Tights: Target; Shoes: Eastland Shoes; Bracelet: J. Crew
Location: Schnackenberg's (Hoboken, NJ)
These boots are made for walking...not running.
It's officially one week into 2019, and I can't help but feel a little aimless, specifically when it comes to my blog and social media. It could be the weather and the fact that the freezing cold weather leaves me really unmotivated to take photos. Or maybe it's the fact that I spent the majority of 2018 unemployed and hustling for a new full time job, which left me a bit burnt out. Or maybe it's because since New Years, everyone has been constantly posting about what they want to accomplish this year, which has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. Whatever it is, I feel sort of stuck and haven't had much motivation or inspiration for how I want to move things forward. So far, I feel like everyone is off to the races and I'm just strolling behind.
I think posting about your intentions for the new year on social media can be great because it holds you accountable. Seeing what other people hope to achieve also motivates me to push myself and work harder. But the last week or so I've felt overwhelmed seeing everyones posts because it was so much all at once. I've written down goals for 2019, but after seeing everyone else intentions, I can't help but feel like what I hope to achieve is not enough and question if I could be doing more. I try to remind myself that there's no timeline on life and everyone's path looks different. Just because someone I follow on Instagram is going on vacation or starting a podcast this month doesn't mean that I can't do the same things later this year, next year or five years down the road. Or maybe I'll never do those things, because it's not something I'm truly passionate about, and that's okay too. Life is a marathon not a sprint.
Since I've been off to a slow start this year, I've been using this time to relax and brainstorm where I want to take my personal brand next. Now that I've reached 10k on Instagram (a major goal I had for my account) I've been thinking about my next goal. Of course I want to continue to grow my community and collaborate with brands to create content. However, this year, I'd prefer to accomplish something outside of Instagram that will still continue to cultivate my retro inspired lifestyle brand. Here are some ideas I have:
What would you be most interested in seeing? Or is there something else I didn't mention here you'd be into? Let me know, I'd love to hear it!
PS if you'd like to shop my boots you can find them here:
My dress is vintage from Mod and Fancy. You can check out their vintage shop here:
Boots: c/o King Tartufoli
Dress: vintage c/o Mod and Fancy
Location: Hoboken, NJ
I shot these photos for a campaign for Winc, a subscription based wine company. To give you a bit of background about how collaborations work, there is always a campaign brief with visual inspiration and requirements of do's and don'ts for the post and caption. Some brands are very specific with what they want, with strict requirements of how the photo should look or a word for word caption (which are usually the types of collaborations I turn down). Other brands are more lenient and give the content creator more creative freedom.
Shooting for a campaign is fun but can also be a bit nerve wracking because you usually have to submit your post for approval before it goes live on your social channels, so there's always a chance your work could be rejected. I always reread the campaign brief and requirements before I go out and shoot to make sure I'm getting what the brand is asking for. There are a lot of BYOB restaurants in Hoboken where I live, so I thought one of them would be a great backdrop for this campaign, to get a vintage, Sophia Loren inspired, Italian vibe. I was happy with the photos and video I created, but then I decided to take a look at the tagged photos on Winc's Instagram to see what other people were posting.
Almost every influencer's post I saw looked very similar, either them posing in their kitchen or under their Christmas tree with the box of wines they received from Winc. Suddenly, I started worrying if the brand would accept the content I submitted. I only featured one bottle of wine from the box, not all four. They never said all four bottles had to be in the photo, but that's what everyone else did. The brand also asked me to submit a video to post on my story. My video was more inspirational to set the mood, rather than informative, such as an unboxing video or me talking to the camera about Winc. Ultimately, the brand approved everything I submitted, but it got me thinking...
Are influencers even influential anymore?
The term influencer was coined because that's what influencers were, influential. They gained a following because there was something about them people liked, whether that was their style, personality, photography, etc. Now, being an influencer has become a career choice and people are quitting their full time jobs to peruse being an influencer. Being a "microinfluencer" myself, I know how much work goes into content creation, so I 100% respect it as a career. However, like any career, I don't think it's just something you can decide to be. It's something that takes practice, natural ability and a point of view. But now it feels like people who set out to become an influencer are taking a cookie cutter approach and thinking if they do x,y,z, they will in fact be an influencer.
Social media critics often say the influencer bubble is going to burst. While I agree that Instagram will not always reign as king, I don't think influencers are going anywhere anytime soon. Nowadays, people are watching more Netflix than they are cable, or spending more time watching YouTube tutorials than they are reading magazines. Traditional forms of advertising like TV commercials and print ads are dying out, so it makes sense businesses and brands are turning to social media to advertise. As a consumer, I've discovered brands or bought a product after seeing it on Instagram, which proves influencer marketing works. Sponsored posts don't necessarily have to be the most creative or entertaining to be effective (how many times have you seen a stupid commercial on TV, yet the message of the commercial sticks with you). However, I think influencers should strive to truly influence and inspire their audience, rather than just following the status quo. After all, you'll never influence the world by trying to be just like it.
Beret: JJ Hat Center; Top: J.Crew: Scarf: Fred & Lulu; Earrings: Vintage
Location: Johnny Pepperoni's (Hoboken, NJ)