Monday, November 29, 2010

The West Has Won My Wardrobe

(image from

Growing up on the East Coast gives you an intense appreciation for structured fabric, sleek fitting coats, heels and of course, black. It's not in my nature to embrace the flowing, layer-y-ness that encompasses living on the West Coast. For the first six months I lived here, I couldn't understand the importance of a pair of Uggs when worn with a dress.

However, before that gets taken as negatively, let me explain. I now understand that the reason why the style of dress is completely different in Los Angeles. It developed out of two things; nicer weather and necessity. The fact that it is considerably sunnier does do something positive to the psyche, shaping it into a totally different disposition. When you wear black on a sunny day you can't help but feel like you are raining on someone's parade. And as far as the Uggs goes, well, one thing I have realized about L.A. is this: when you are standing in the sun you are standing in all that California is known for, the sunshine, the warmth, the happiness. When you are standing in the shade however, it's like standing on a different continent where the wind is cold and the dampness seeps into your bones. Those Uggs with the dress may look crazy, but the flowy dress is perfect for the sunshine and the boots help you to not freeze during the time you're in the shade. There is actually a method to the madness that has turned into a West Coast fashion statement.

Layers are not in my nature, however, I have learned to adapt.  I used to feel fat whenever I wore more than one layer, now I have just gotten over it.  The weather here is bi-polar.  Seriously, you can basically have all four seasons in one day. The morning is cold, (unless it's a heat wave) the afternoons are warm to hot, and as soon as the sun goes down, the evenings are cold. And as I said before, layering is not something that came naturally to me. As a matter of fact, I despised it so much when I first moved here, I found myself either sweating or freezing most of the time. I had to stop fighting it and go out and buy a more layering friendly wardrobe. This means, T-Shirts, Open Cardigans, and (God help me) lightweight scarfs. Gone are my days of choosing a black turtleneck and a coat and being done with it. Now getting dressed actually requires a lot more thought, and honestly, a lot more fun. Yeah, I said it, layering with color, is actually fun. 

Case in point, when going to pick out a Çhristmas tree, I was wearing a tank top, an open cardigan, a floral scarf, jeans and knitted Uggs.  While I was standing next to the tree we were purchasing, waiting for an attendant, my husband said, "This is your look, " as he gestured to my outfit, "you look great like that." The old me would have shot the woman wearing this outfit a nasty look and hissed under her breath, "get ahold of yourself, and take that stupid scarf off!" The L.A. Mom I have become was happy.

I think the sunshine has gotten to me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Women Like This Exist

I know this picture isn't doing the situation I'm about to describe any justice, but you have to bear with me.

This woman was walking in front of me on the way to drop my daughter off at school this morning. She was fully dressed, (including makeup expertly applied), her outfit consisted of leggings, Uggs, a cashmere hoodie and a True Religion jean jacket. She was carrying a new Fendi bag and last year's Prada sunglasses. Her dog had on a designer jacket and her kids were decked to the 9's.

This is bad enough.

Upon striking up a conversation with her she mentioned that she actually has five children and her husband wanted to have one more. She was stunning, her body was perfect, she looked amazing, and I felt pretty ugly duckling standing on the street with my hair all crazy and my Puma sweats on. But that's not even the worst of it...As her dazzling smile is lighting up the sidewalk she says this; "I don't know, having five kids is a lot of work, but it's so much fun! I think we actually may have one more."

I immediately looked around for the hidden cameras I was sure had to be there. Having five kids is so much fun? Having the two (and a half) that I have is fun at times, but it stresses me to high hell. I find the daily task of trying to raise good, respectful children daunting and exhausting. I completely understand the parents who let their kids just do whatever because it's easier, that's just not the parenting that I practice.

And as far as getting decked out enough to have makeup expertly applied that early in the morning on top of getting five kids ready? Good for her! But unless I have somewhere to be that early, don't expect to see me walking to school with more than a headband for accessories, and that's only to hide the bedhead that I am sure to have.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Are You A Boutique or Store Stalker?

(image from

I am what I would call a Boutique Stalker. Since having a disposable income has become a pipe dream, there is no way I can go out and buy new clothes right now. This is a reality that I have accepted and adjusted to accordingly. And while I may not have hoards of money to spend on clothing, I have done a great job of finding small ways to update -$20 skinny jeans at a sample sale, a $3 AMAZING scarf at a vintage show, $8 designer bathing suit at a sample sale -and even though I am perfectly happy searching high and low for the right item at the right price, it does requires a lot of research. Well, I call it research, boutique owners may actually call it stalking.

Let me clarify: when I say stalking I am not waiting outside of boutiques for the owners to come out and shaking them down to have a sale; what I mean is, I frequent certain stores to see the new merchandise and to see if the items I had my eye on have gone on sale. By frequent I mean, go in often just to look.  I know the employees by name now, and I am sure after I leave they are probably exasperated.  Hey, times have changed and a girl still has to find a way to look good.

For example-my favorite store, Purple Poppy has some of the best and most unique pieces I have seen. I have had my eye on a certain shirt there for a while now but at $75 that's a little too far out of my justification. However, I knew that if I held out long enough, it would come down. And sure enough, on one of my stalking missions I saw it for 50% off.

The thrill of finding an amazing deal has replaced the high of shopping and paying full price. I feel like if it's still there and it's in my size and the season hasn't changed, I've earned it.

I could now give tours of Los Angeles based on which boutiques have what items at what prices. If I were at all organized, I could probably create a spreadsheet, but even I'm not that neurotic.

But trust me, if you're ever in L.A. and need to know where to find the best stuff at the best possible price, just call me. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why Mom's Dress Mom-Like

 (image from

As much as I like to pretend that I am far superior fashionably to most mom's, I'm really not during the weekdays when I am in full on Mom mode.  No. I'm not rocking mom jeans or sneakers (unless they're my leopard print Puma's) with faded jeans when I'm pushing the stroller, but I'm not wearing anything particularly fabulous either.

Case in point?  I found a cute little summer dress at a sample sale that I paid $10 for. (One thing I can do is hunt out a bargain when it comes to fashion, it's a true gift) This particular dress is a royal blue halter dress and it's really cute, if not subtly sexy.  I've even worn it with heels and gone out for drinks.  So I decided that with sparkly flat sandals, it would make a great casual outfit today because we are having a heat wave.  After all, it's 90 degrees inside our un-airconditioned apartment.

Since the thought of eating while sitting in our home that is now an oven is absolutely nauseating, I decided to take the kids to their favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner.  And, let's face it, I'm dressed presentably enough to be seen in public, so why not?  I am the cool Mom today!

Until... my 2 year old throws a tantrum at the table and is wearing the milk she is supposed to be drinking and then literally lays in the salsa bowl.  After realizing that even a visit from Santa Claus himself isn't going to save this meal and allow the people around us to enjoy theirs, I quickly pay the bill and get our dinner to go...just in time for the little one to throw herself on the ground and start screaming.  This, of course, leaves me no option but to pick her up and hold her tightly to me while she is kicking and screaming, allowing all of the milk and salsa to press wonderfully into my cute little dress.  By the time we reach the car, we are both wearing her runny nose, tears and a disgusting, sweaty combination of food that should never be mixed together.  My dress is dangerously close to slipping off and what's left of it is of course, wet and disgusting.  And I finally realized in that moment, that this is EXACTLY why Mom's get so comfortable in their unattractive clothing. Who has disposable income to ruin outfit after outfit when their kids are in their terrible twos?

The trick is to dress to kill anytime you don't have kids and as soon as they hit Kindergarten, go out and buy yourself a new wardrobe, because believe me, you earned it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hire Me Goddammit.

(picture from

When looking through my sent box the other day I realized just how many jobs I have applied for and just how many I have not even been considered for.

To tell you the truth, I used to feel like the girl in the picture above, well I still do actually, however the one below is how I feel right now after realizing just how many jobs I have applied for and not heard back from.
(picture from

The job market is humbling to say the least.

I had an employer tell me last year that even though I wasn't experienced in the field he hired me for, I was smart, therefore I could learn whatever he taught me. He showed me that I could do all of the styling, writing and the photography for a deadline driven sample sale website. I even moonlighted helping the buyers at that same job. It was fantastic, fun and I felt alive.

However the dreaded (I hate hearing this word, so I feel like a hypocrite using it) economy, got the best of my situation and here I am, freelancing.

I'm not complaining. As a freelancer, I've been pretty damn lucky. However, it still sucks to live in fear, pondering over every word or outfit I put together, knowing that there are thousands of people just like me who would love to have the opportunity that I have been given. I'm not made of stone, I think about that when I'm working sometimes and it freaks me out to the point of having to get up and do something else for a little while before I can settle down to complete an assignment.

Case in point; I was hired to write for a gourmet Rice Krispie company. The job is fun for Christsakes, and I still take all of the fun out of it by thinking about how lucky I am to have it in the first place.

Maybe I should lay off the caffeine.