Yesterday I found myself in an inexplicably terrible mood. I couldn’t focus on the book I was reading (or anything else for that matter). I was bored. I had lost my voice and was still raspy from a recent cold, and my patience was like a levee that snapped under pressure, letting negativity flood all my thoughts. On a whim, I ended up watching YouTube videos of Beyoncé performances (Superbowl, Inauguration etc.) and stumbled upon this video of her singing Etta James’ “At Last” at the Inaugural Ball back in 2009 during President Obama’s first election. There is no doubt that Beyoncé’s fierce independence and success makes her an empowering role model, especially for women. But I believe what makes Beyoncé an exceptional singer is the way she puts all of herself into her singing; it is such a consistent quality, evident in every performance she gives.
So then, it is heartwarming to see her tear up towards the end of this performance, like she was fully aware of what a momentous occasion it was and couldn’t be more honored or humbled in the presence of the First Couple. It is a great reminder that strength doesn’t have to mean being detached and showing emotion isn’t merely a “weakness.”
What do you do to cope with stress or the occasional ‘bad moods’?
Some of my favorite blog and magazine features are those that provide a “tour of __’s apartment” or “what’s in her bag?”-type post. Like many, I’m a little bit of a snoop, which, more often than not, provides for some of my favorite tips and apartment-decorating inspiration. The Coveteur is one of my favorite blogs of this variety, and my recent favorite ‘Coveteur-ed’ profile is that of Sally Singer, digital creative director at Vogue. Things I’m loving: her wallpaper, her aesthetic, and her stories. My favorite homes are those whose design and displayed objects are as much a testament to the inhabitant as they are decorative.
Dairly Inspiration: Nicole Franzen.
I love Instagram. The app Itself is such a perfect medium for budding amateur photographers, and it is even more inspiring to be able to follow along the photo-journals of actual photographers and other creatives. I believe there is a beauty in simple everyday things, like the way fruits and vegetables are neatly stacked at a farm stand, or a delicious strong brew and the paper in the morning. I love seeing how some of my favorite bloggers and photographers capture these moments. Nicole Franzen is a girl after my own heart. Her recent Paris Instagrams do better tourism advertising than any postcard moment, and there’s a certain joie di vivre in her lifestyle that I’m strive for myself. After following along with her adventures on Instagram, I decided to visit her blog, and was even more pleased to find out she was also a food photographer and frequents restaurants all over New York City. Like I said, girl after my own heart.
Photos c/o Nicole Franzen
Business Casual often makes me wish that I chose to join a company in the fashion industry, or even tech, or any industry except financial services. Because in financial, business casual means conservative basics in a neutral palette, which isn’t terrible but veers on the edge of boring. I am reluctant to buy button-down after button-down or black pant after black pant but there’s very little room for creativity among suits and pencil skirts, or at the very least, slacks. A recent e-mail about the upcoming training week and first day of work got me brainstorming various outfits that are both work-appropriate and would make me feel comfortable. I turned to Pinterest and came up with some looks and styling tips that I can’t wait to use come October.
Top: 1. I love how Aimee Song of Song of Style added dainty jewelry to style a basic light gray sweater. The delicateness of the top could be easily balanced with a power heel and statement bag. Another option would be to add a statement necklace to an otherwise completely neutral and basic outfit.
Bottom, left to right:
2. This is a very basic office-appropriate outfit, but I love the pulled-back polished updo draws focus to a fresh face and bold, but not flashy, red lip. (Photo via Pinterest from Stockholm Street Style)
4. Could J. Crew ever do wrong? I think not! Because I’m on the short side, I tend to gravitate towards cropped lengths for pants. However, I love the look of wide legged pants and a fitted tee on top. It’s a great balance of casual and chic and perfect for a business casual environment.
What are your favorite business casual tips? Any Pinterest “office wear” boards out there I should know of?
I was first introduced to Humans of New York by a friend during spring of 2012. Back then, the Facebook following was around a couple thousand fans. It has ballooned to well over a million and yet the content remains as inspiring as ever. The photographer, Brandon Stanton, takes street portraits of the people of New York City with a caption of his interaction with him or her. I have cried, laughed, smiled, commiserated, and celebrated with these largely anonymous but incredibly unique personalities as I follow along with Brandon’s encounters. Recently, this photograph and story popped up on my newsfeed. As a fellow journal-writer, I connected with this person, particularly the response:
"I write in my journal everyday."
“So much happens in life, I think it’s good to live it again and get some distance from it. Or else everything is in a muddle, like on a merry-go-round.”
So naturally after watching Midnight in Paris, there’s a strong, perceptible, longing urge to hop on the next flight to the City of Lights. (True to Woody Allen’s vision, Paris is the only city I have been to where there is an alluring aura of magic stewing in the air at all times.) But what’s more? Marion Cotillard, whose character’s wardrobe I could steal and unabashedly French style I will steal. Here I am finding ways to stack my arms with all sorts of bracelets and things and she pops up with practically no jewelry at all, the simplest of purses, and the freshest of faces. That drop-waist dress won’t work for me, but the don’t-care-hair will. Admittedly I got lazy over the summer and have pretty much prescribed to that routine, only with pajamas, old t-shirts, and yoga tanks. When I need to dress for events other than the library though, Adriana here is the way to go.
The second the clock turned midnight on August 1, it seemed like all anyone could talk about has been the impending autumn season. Among the deluge of back-to-school sales, fall collections, and promos for pumpkin-scented body care is a noticeable plug for the denim-on-denim trend. I have never considered mixing the same colors and textures together in an outfit (and certainly not denim), but when styled by Anthropologie (left) and Madewell (right) it seems like just the perfect amount of effortless chic for a ‘Casual Friday’ at the office or a weekend brunch date. The key to the look, I suppose, is to mix and match the coloring and accessories to avoid a monochrome suit of blue denim.
What are your thoughts on the denim-on-denim trend? What are your favorite styling tips for it?
sheryl sandberg’s lean in
My free time for pleasure reading this summer is essentially nonexistent—one of many reasons the CPA exam is killing my soul. In an act of defiance though, I swung by the library for a study break to pick up a copy of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In as a bedtime read. Aside from all the accolades I’ve heard and read about the book, I figured the focus on women and leadership would give me some much needed inspiration while logging in days and weeks with my Becker review books. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first, given I usually get bored by memoirs. Lean In, however, proved to be just the enlightening and refreshing read I needed, and one that I can’t wait to pick up every night. Sandberg’s personal experience stories mesh perfectly with statistics and research studies. Her writing is purposeful, eloquent, and entertaining. Some of the topics she covered I remember hearing about in my Managing Diversity class I took in college (one of my favorite classes!), and some were focused less on the issue of women and the workplace than on the future, which Sandberg likens to “a jungle gym, not a ladder.”
I’d love to know… have you read Lean In? What are your thoughts?
Taking some styling cues from these ultra-chic dressers this season and beyond, snapped on the streets of Milan via neimanmarcus.
I ain’t no Hemingway, and I ain’t no Einstein either. But I do still feel the intellectual wavelengths that pulse through little cool cafes such as The Smile, originally recommended by a blog I follow. Cities like Manhattan amaze me for this reason—well, for many reasons but this in particular: there will never be a shortage of inspiration.
It was a beautiful day and all weekend long, I had been suffering a restlessness so persistent that Sunday morning, I left the BC neck of the woods early and decided to jumpstart an art paper still too far in the horizon to worry about with a solo jaunt into the city. The only items on my list were the Museum of Fine Arts and lunch. All plans thereafter were made spontaneously; decisions instantaneously. And it was truly a “best day ever.”
New year, effortless style: take a crisp, white cotton shirt. Switch it up with a lightweight silk, like this one. Maybe toss on a wrap sweater because it’s fricking cold out there. Jeans should always be the most reliable pair in the closet, hair should always be minimally styled. Top it off with minimal but meaningful jewelry, glowing skin, and a Julia Roberts smile.
Photo via nearlyvintage.
"Making history — Chinese model Fei Fei Sun is the first Asian model to land a solo cover for Vogue Italia. Fei Fei Sun takes reference to legendary China Machado in this sixties inspired shoot photographed by Steven Meisel for January’s issue.” (via pretaportre)
Prescribing to LBL's beauty routine this fall (and every season thereafter) since she’s got effortless natural look nailed to a T. Skincare over skin cover. Moisturizer over foundation. Long lasting beauty over the ephemeral kind.
(Via Elle, August 2012)
When I worked for J. Crew, my favorite part was seeing new shipment boxes being wheeled in the back room, spitting out the bright colors of the new season. Usually within three days, the contents are styled, fitted, and pinned to the mannequins and filed into the catalog, reflecting the brand’s favorite color inspirations of the season. Because of the company’s love affair with colorful lifestyles, we were always encouraged as sales assistants to experiment and be creative with color combinations in our outfits. To this day, I am always on the lookout for inspirational color combinations—from paintings, floral arrangements, fashion, other bloggers, and even weather— and Pinterest has been a great tool. My current favorites include the royal purple accents in a recent Anthropologie catalog, the soft juxtaposition of pastels and darks in an image unearthed through Pinterest, the fluorescent and rich pinks and oranges in a painting by Isca Greenfield-Sanders (h/t to Tory Burch), a seafoam green beading on a cloudy gray from a blogger’s outfit (via Glitter Guide).