Magic Pants?

Years ago I read “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” My book group and I were amazed and in disbelief that a pair of pants could make each of the four girls look amazing. I now believe that there is such a magical pair of pants…
The J Brand Houlihan Skinny Cargo: Could they be magic? Photo by Piperlime

Honestly, I’ve been hesitant about J Brand Jeans because they are so skinny (and I have athletic legs). But after reading on Cindy Whitehead’s Blog how much she adored hers I had to give them a try-on.

They were amazing! I felt thin, I could move, and I was comfortable. However, at the $231 price tag, they’re going on my wish list or better called my lust list.

Magic Pants?

Ten Blogs I Can’t Stop Reading

I read in snippets. Between running after, trying to feed and entertaining Baby A, I read blogs. Here are the 10 that I frequent the most. I have written about some of these before, but since they entertain me weekly they warrant mentioning again.

Cindy Whitehead, Sports Stylist: It isn’t because she’s a friend, or that she preaches and lives girl power, I love Cindy’s blog because she has an awesome, pretty-but-not-to0-girly-eye on fashion. She points out the art in design and photography. It’s addictive to check in daily and see what she deems important to highlight.

Confessions of a Mean Mommy: Denise Schipani has a great voice and a straight-forward style. All the things I hope to achieve as a writer. In addition, I love her parenting point-of-view. Most of the time I agree with her, but I always learn something from her.

ELLE Street Chic Daily: There is something about this daily snapshot that brings out the fashion critic in me. I personally think they should send  photographers to Westwood since I see some students that have amazing style.

LA Stylist Mom: She’s a stylist and a mother of boys. I’ve found amazing fashion sites and pieces just  by checking in. Without her, I wouldn’t have consider going into H&M for summer dresses. Just isn’t my thing usually.

Mr. Magazine: As a life-long lover and student of magazines, this blog written by Samir Husni, the director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, School of Journalism, is a must read.

Sammitt: Even though I couldn’t eat most of his “what’s for dinner” recipes, this blog is a favorite because of the smart, witty writing about music, fashion and all things pop culture. Sam is one of the best things that came from M. and I living in Phoenix—a  friend with mad writing skills and excellent taste in music and fashion.

Saving Ace: This is M.’s blog and while I’m living this climb-out-of-debt chronicle, I enjoy reading about it.

Sea of Shoes: Her photographs are always beautiful. But most of all, I have closet envy. The red-head who writes this blog has incredible style. I wish I could dress this way and still take care of Baby A.

Style and Inspiration: For ideas and inspiration, I have a red notebook of things—photos, articles, essays, etc. This blog is the online equivalent. It isn’t necessarily my inspiration, but most of what she posts I agree with and would add to my red notebook.

The Daily Snark: My friend Mo says all the things I can’t say on my blog. In addition, her life is way more exciting than mine.

Ten Blogs I Can’t Stop Reading

It’s Coat Weather

First of all, I realize that I live in Southern California where the temperature never gets below a balmy 40 degrees, depending on where you live. But I have a closet full of coats and jackets. I believe my obsession is stronger than my shoe fetish. It must be my strong desire to live East, whether it’s New York, Boston, DC or Chicago, that fuels it. And maybe if I was typing this in Chicago where it is supposed to feel like -17 degrees I might feel differently. But I’m not; so my white Christmas fantasies will continue. I digress.

This week not only did we experience rain (hopefully there is more to come this weekend) but our high temp didn’t get past 60. Time to open the coat closet. I have worn four of my 10 coats and jackets. (I realize this doesn’t seem like much, but I live in LA! C’mon.) I’ve worn my London Fog rain coat, my H&M $30 special camel coat, my Elie Tahari down blazer and my vintage brown leather jacket (My family has had this jacket since I was 10. I remember my mom buying it at the Laguna Sawdust Festival. Crazy.)

The cold weather changes the pulse of fashion around here. Sure left-coasters are going to sport the UGGS but then there is another group of us that yearn to be back from where we came (in my case, Chicago) fashionably and it’s cool to see. It is almost as if cold weather make us think more about what we should be wearing. And the responsible thing to me is to choose a coat to plan the rest of my outfit around.

It’s Coat Weather

You’re My Quirky Girl

“I like your top,” my friend Cy said to me.

“Thanks. It’s a skirt,” I replied.

“Yup. That’s my quirky girl,” M. chimed in.

I remember this conversation from this summer as I slide on a pair of Levi 501s that are older than I am and once belonged to my father. I’ve been wearing these “boyfriend jeans” with ballet flats for nearly 20 years—before they are made fashionable by Katie Holmes (and possibly her stylist).

Quirky. My fashion sense has been called preppy, classic, casual, even elegant, but quirky is the one I wear with honor. Granted, I’m not always wearing skirts as a top or a dress; most of the time I’m wearing a uniform of jeans, tank top, long cardigan and ballet flats. Looking back on my fashionable life I have definitely had my moments:

  • My freshman year in high school I wore men’s boxer shorts with a kilt pin at the crotch. I remember the outfit perfectly: the boxers were white with red diamonds and I wore them with a red pullover sweater vest that I got at the Angel View Thrift Store with a plain white T-shirt underneath and white Keds (no socks of course).
  • I wore a vintage white dress with a vintage black breaded cardigan to the first bar mitzvah I ever attended. I was 13, and this was before wearing vintage was cool.
  • In college I wore a flowered button-up pajama top, which I had cut the collar off of, with jeans. I’m not sure anyone knew that it was part of a Victoria’s Secret PJ set.

When I look at my closet now, my favorite items could also by considered quirky: orange cargo pants, a brown and white Trina Turk caftan, a key hole halter top also designed by Trina Turk that I wear with a white tank top underneath, a khaki skirt that has a huge beaded white and silver starfish on it, a pair of navy shorts with embroidered white whales and skulls on them, mirrored silver Stuart Weitzman flats (that I happen to wear with all of the above) and gold flat gladiator-istic sandals that are embossed with lizard print.

Finally, I believe that my quirkiness was sealed when it was en vogue to compared your group of friends to the characters in Sex in the City. My friends deemed me Carrie-esque.

“Because I’m the writer,” I said.

“No, because you’re quirky like her,” they replied. I’m happy to join the company of Diane Keaton and the aforementioned Bradshaw. Otherwise, I might blend in too much.

You’re My Quirky Girl

Sometimes You Need To Be Distracted

Reality isn’t my friend right now. G.’s illness is taking it’s toll mentally and physically. I tend to look for things that take me away. The latest version of Bejeweled Blitz can make an hour (or two) disappear. Top Chef and Project Runaway provides a bit of entertainment. But for total escapism, I look to ELLE magazine. I’ve had two month’s worth of issues piled up and over the past two weeks I have leisurely flipped through their pages. Each ad and each editorial page makes me fantasize that I’m wearing these items and living the life that was Before-Baby-A. And that is okay, we don’t always have to deal with the right here and now.

Sometimes You Need To Be Distracted

How You Know That It’s Fall in LA

Even though the calendar said autumn began in September, yesterday was the first day that it was chilly and the air was crisp. That’s how fall rolls in SoCal style.

The other way you know that it’s autumn, the proliferation of women wearing Ugg boots (usually while also wearing shorts but not always).  Being from the midwest by way of Palm Springs, this is a bit funny to me. I don’t see more women wearing coats during this time of year just these outdoor sheepskin slippers. [Full disclosure:  I own a pair, but they are leather with a heavy lug sole and I bought them five years ago for a Christmas trip to Chicago. I rarely wear them unless it’s raining.]

The other thing that happens here is that the scarves come out. Shorts, Uggs and scarves. It isn’t really cold here until we put pants on, I guess. Luckily, I never followed these surfer girl trends. (They’re cute on surfer girls, and I’m far from being one.) Instead, I look forward to wearing my jeans every day, allowing most of my closet to see the light of day (I own lots of lightweight sweaters and boots) and to contemplate which shoes to wear instead of slipping on flip-flops or sandals. This is my favorite season: sports-wise, weather-wise and fashion-wise. Now, it’s time to go bask in it’s glow (or shiver in it’s wind).

How You Know That It’s Fall in LA

Remember When Traveling Was an Event?

Sunrise at Malpensa airport taken by Franco Follini
Sunrise at Malpensa airport taken by Franco Follini

I started my day driving a friend and her mom to the airport. A pretty innocuous event, except that when I arrived at her apartment both of them were dressed. Hair, makeup and nice clothes. No sweats, flip-flops or ponytails between them. It was nice.

When I was young, I flew a lot. My parents were divorced which meant plenty of trips between Chicago or Phoenix and California. It was exciting. Each time I would dress nicely so I look good for whomever was picking me up on the other end. (Well, the exception would be the Christmas I spent with my dad and didn’t brush my very long hair for 10 days.)

Today when I travel I still believe that it is an event—an adventure—and I should be dressed well. Other travelers don’t. Red eye flights aren’t slumber parties. You can dress cute and comfortable (Thank you, Juicy Couture sweatsuits—the perfect overnight flying uniform.), just as my friend and her mom were today. And in my humble opinion, I think people treat you better and vice versa when you are dressed.

While I realize that we aren’t Rachel Zoe and that we’ll be stepping off planes photograph ready for the blare of paparazzi flashes. Consider dressing for yourself, the airline crew and the person at the other end of your travels. You might just be thankful for the good service and the warm smile awaiting you.

Photo by Franco Follini CC
Remember When Traveling Was an Event?