Tuesday, February 14, 2017

17 BITS OF TOTALLY ARBITRARY DATING ADVICE FOR 2017

It's that time of year again! In 2015, it was the Dating Manifesto. In 2016, I hit you with the Drake Guide to Dating. This year, the Year of Our Lord 2017—I feel obligated once again to take stock of my current attitude towards love, relationships and when it applies, the lack thereof. 

2016 was an interesting year for me romantically, but I honestly think I spent more time writing about dating than I spent actually dating. (Scoot over to Style Girlfriend to check out 5 Ways to Boost Your Confidence Before a Date, 10 Ways to Impress A Woman and 3 Style & Grooming Hacks to Try on Your Next First Date for proof.)

So here we are, it's Valentine's Day! (Dun dun dun!) The internet is practically bursting at the seams with relationship and dating advice this month, so figured I'd better to do my part to contribute to the noise. (Need gift ideas for your main man? Or the guy you just started dating? How about just for you?)

At this point, I'm quite good at coming up with advice that I have a hard time following myself, but it's never something that just comes to me out of the vacuum of space inside my mind. My friends, our conversations, and the romantic experiences we've all had are what help me articulate the tips and tidbits you read here.

Which brings me to my point: Is there anything new to say about dating in 2017? Has anything really changed in the last couple of years? I can't say for sure. I have a hard time distinguishing between actual changes in the broad sense and my shifting attitudes that are tied to my personal experience and of course, my age.

Nevertheless, I persisted. I grilled my friends and mined my own heart for ideas and advice that feel (at least somewhat) fresh right now. From mentality shifts to shifting locations, I hope you find these little nuggets (as arbitrary as they probably are) to be somewhat helpful.

// CLICK THROUGH FOR MY BEST DATING ADVICE FOR 2017 //

Friday, February 3, 2017

{ GIFT GUIDE } VALENTINE'S DAY GIFTS FOR EVERYONE—ESPECIALLY YOU


Oh god, Valentine's Day. Sorry, but that's honestly the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this holiday. A couple of years ago I wrote sort of an impulsive, almost rant-like post about how being single on Valentine's Day is very "chill." I don't know if I was trying to prove something to myself or what, but looking back, that post doesn't feel entirely honest.

I think my true feelings like somewhere between "Thank God it's on a Tuesday this year" and "If I'm being honest about myself, I really like wearing red and pink anyway!" And so, after that long and winding introduction—a little gift guide for ya!

A lot of the festively hued selections above are handily gender neutral—like a wine-colored pair of Vans sneakers and a delicious bottle of wine. (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is my favorite affordable red!) See also: burgundy cashmere socks and an adventure-worthy backpack from Herschel Supply Co. (that's majorly on sale).

Same goes for fun, playful gifts like the gigantic Where to Eat Pizza book or a big box of my favorite (repeat, favorite) chocolate treat, Sees suckers. Perhaps you're looking for an excuse to treat yourself, and if so might I suggest Everlane's preppy new penny loafers in rich oxblood leather, or burying yourself in a good book, like Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, which I'm picking up next.

Whether your Valentine's Day includes a hot date with your main squeeze or a cozy, lazy, it's-just-Tuesday night with your roommates remember that at the end of the day, this lame-o holiday is about love. And if you love cute pajamas, tassel earrings, fancy water bottles (bkr, anyone?) or novelty socks that only cost $4—you're going to want to scroll through all my fun and festive Valentine-y picks below.

// SHOP SOME FUN VALENTINE'S DAY FINDS BELOW //

Monday, January 30, 2017

DO NOT SHUT UP.

Yesterday, Meghan and I took a long walk around Brooklyn. Saturday, as you no doubt know, saw the introduction of an executive order from President Trump, "closing the nation to refugees and people from certain predominantly Muslim countries." (That's a quote from everyone's favorite FAKE NEWS provider, The New York Times.) Saturday night, as I showered and dressed to attend a friend's birthday party, I couldn't stop myself from rather obsessively looking at Twitter—all around the country people were gathering and protesting at airports. Lawyers were showing up. Translators were offering their assistance. Chants were echoing through those concrete roundabouts, "No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here."

From within my bubbles—the one I live in here in New York and the one that's presented to me on social media—I felt a swell. A rumble was building and turning into a roar. People I know in real life and people I've admired through the interwebs were speaking up, were going to JFK to protest, were posting (and re-posting) emergency information in hopes that their digital reach could help get it in front of the right eyeballs.

I went to my friend's birthday party on Saturday night. I didn't go to JFK. I went on that long walk with Meghan on Sunday, I didn't join the thousands of protestors in Battery Park. But as we walked, Meghan and I talked. And talked. (She also wrote some very eloquent thoughts on this same topic, which you should read.)

Usually we discuss life and boys and work, but yesterday we talked about this ban. We talked about what we thought it meant. I said I had a hope that all this extreme, hateful action from our new president and the extremely passionate backlash from the American people was going to usher in, eventually, a wide-spread shift in America towards tolerance and an embrace of our diversity. She countered that my perspective was perhaps too narrow and idealistic, since what I see and feel is coming straight out of one of the most liberal, diverse and accepting cities in the world (and that social media bubble I mentioned before). He won the election, and that cannot be overlooked. I conceded that she might be right.

Here's the part where this post veers even farther away from my usual content, so I'll give you the option to stop now or get into the muck with me.

// CLICK THROUGH TO KEEP READING //

Monday, January 23, 2017

{ CELEBRITY STYLE } I'M VERY VERY HERE FOR THIS KENDALL JENNER OUTFIT


I have always been very into Kendall Jenner's style. And by always, I mean since she became a full-blown model circa 2014 and started to be dressed by famous-in-her-own-right stylist, Monica Rose. I find her particular model-off-duty aesthetic to be really on-point. While I don't choose to bare my midriff or nips on the regular, I can almost always get down with her layering of long coats over slinky dresses or distressed denim and a great top.

This past weekend she was spotted out shopping around in Paris with her rumored beau, A$AP Rocky. It's worth mentioning that I'm also really into this romance, as I find A$AP Rocky to be particularly deft at dressing as well. For the occasion, Kendall donned a dramatic mink coat—that looks like it could be vintage, but I suspect that it is not because she's Kendall Jenner—over a cropped black sweater and fishnets that popped out from under her cuffed distressed jeans.


Like most fashion-minded women my age right now, I'm dying to find a pair of vintage-inspired jeans like these—that actually fit me. Kendall's look a lot like Re/Done's High Rise jeans (with some additional distressing) but I can't be sure. They look so cool casually cuffed and layered over her revealed fishnets, but I suspect (and know positively beyond the shadow of a doubt) that I could not pull off that look in full. However, you or I could easily fake a similar look by wearing some little fishnet socks with our cropped jeans and some ankle-wrap pumps.


I believe she's wearing this distressed sweater from Yeezy Season 3, but you can get a less expensive, infinitely more wearable version from DKNY or even Topshop. Finally, she's laced a (most likely vintage) Chanel belt bag through her jeans and thrown on some chokers and shades and voila—yet another outfit I'm going to be striving to recreate all winter long.

As another ending note, I'd like to know what I have to do to get ahold of Jen Atkin—yet another famous-in-her-own-right hairstylist due to Kardashian proximity—who has given Kendall a hairstyle I would like to copy, A$AP (ha). Interestingly, this is in fact how I think my hair looks all the time, but every mirror and photograph of myself I've seen lately begs to differ.

// SHOP A LOOK LIKE KENDALL'S BELOW //

Image credits: Getty Images (Pierre Suu) via DailyMail

Monday, January 9, 2017

WINTER IS HERE, LETS GET HYGGE!


{ "Cowboy Cabin" up near Galena Lodge outside Sun Valley, ID }

Greetings from Sun Valley—I was supposed to be on a flight back to New York today but alas, the weather had other ideas. We are all but snowed in here, with more than a foot of snow coming down yesterday, and more on the way this week. Armed with firewood, wool socks and Wifi, we're hunkering down and getting cozy with our friends and neighbors—referred to in Denmark as hygge.

Hygge [hoo-guh]: a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality 
that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.

This Danish "obsession" has become incredibly trendy over the past year, so with a very cold winter in full swing, now is the time to embrace it for yourself. Brew up some spiced wine, put on your flannel and invite your friends over to sit by the fire in their stocking feet. (Or in the case of our apartment in New York—the Fireplace For Your Home.)

Yesterday, for example, I went for a long snowshoe in the hills behind our house with a couple friends, and afterwards we sat around in our long johns by the fire playing Yahtzee and drinking tea while the snow fell outside. It was very hygge. This exact day would be hard to replicate in New York, but city sidewalks can easily stand in for snowy trails if you ask me!


{ Your hygge starter kit might include: The Year of Living DanishlyThe Nordic Theory of Everything, a crazy-cozy sweater from The Canadian Sweater Company or LL Bean, some long underwear from J. Crew, a mug from Le Creuset (for spiced wine), these intarsia wool CHUP socks, a fleece turtleneck from Uniqlo (for layering purposes), a faux fur throw, and if you're really adventurous, snowshoes and nordic skis! }

The most important part of embracing the hygge life is not to do it alone! Binging on Netflix and HBO Go in your bed is one thing, but making a Saturday afternoon spent inside into a communal event—preferably with hot cocktails—is the Scandinavian way. Go forth and hygge—winter is here!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

{ STYLING NOTES } THOSE MID-WINTER FAUX FUR FEELS...


{ Olivia Palermo in a Tibi faux fur coat }

Every now and then I make a purchase that pleases me so thoroughly that I cannot stop talking about it. God forbid someone compliments me on public—then it's really over. Most recently, before departing for the holidays, I was in the mood for an inexpensive coat I could run around in all winter (date nights, "going out," holiday parties, etc) without too much anxiety over ruining or losing it. Naturally, I drifted over to Forever 21 online—which is where I spotted this cropped faux fur jacket.

I liked the look of the jacket enough to walk to my local F21 and see if it was available. Sure enough it was front and center when I walked in the door, and available in my size. As soon as my fingers grazed the caramel-colored fibers, I knew I wasn't leaving the store without this jacket. It is, without a doubt, the softest faux fur I have ever encountered, and looks far more expensive than it is. At just $52, I hadn't felt so vindicated in a retail purchase in months.

Next came the part when I started wearing the jacket around town—to the aforementioned holiday parties, to run errands, to promote Style Girlfriend gift guides on Snapchat while sitting in my apartment. The compliments started rolling in; people couldn't stop running their hands up and down my arms and caressing my back—it was perhaps the best I'd felt and basically the most action I'd seen in all of 2016.

So here's my point: Whether you're starting off 2017 single AF and desperate to feel the human touch or just looking for a way to make your winter wardrobe a bit more cozy, I can't recommend a faux fur coat enough, especially of the cropped variety. I'm obsessed with this eggplant-hued version from Topshop, and I love how this Free People coat looks kind of like the textured version of a Pendleton blanket.

Below, shop a ton of faux fur coats that range in price from a little over $50 to almost $500—there's something for everyone. 


A FEW HOT TIPS BEFORE YOU GO:
1. Faux fur isn't always that warm. Try wearing a denim jacket underneath (with the collar popped) and a bandana around your neck.

2. Faux fur is not weather resistant like real fur. Don't wear it in the rain and snow unless you want to be damp all day.

3. Faux is supposed to be fun! Try unusual colors (like lavender and olive green), bold prints and even graphic patterns that will give your all-black winter wardrobe a serious boost.

4. You can dress these coats way up and way down—throw it on over a silky pajama top and jeans for brunch or a velvet dress and ankle boots on date night.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, MY FAVORITE SONGS OF 2016


{ Chance The Rapper was one of the best things about 2016. }

Well let me just get this out of the way first: Much like the rest of 2016, the musical offerings this year were kind of disappointing. I looked back at all the insanely good music that came out in 2015—and compared to the deep stack of albums like those from Years & Years, Ryn Weaver, Oh Wonder, Adele and even Carly Rae Jepsen—this year didn't quite stack up.

Of course there were gems, don't get me wrong. Chance the Rapper and Bon Iver both put out albums so thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish that I sometimes find myself playing them on repeat throughout a whole day. We also got Views from our boy Drake as well as the wonderful Farewell, Starlite! from Francis and the Lights.

A lot of my favorite songs of 2016 are ones that stand apart from the albums to which they're attached. "Somebody Else" by The 1975 is audible candy, but the rest of that album got a big "meh" from me. Same goes for "WALLS," off of the latest one from The Kings of Leon.

Perhaps as a reaction to all the dark political energy, terror and tragedy of this year, it felt like 2016 was a huge pop music year, didn't it? The whole thing sort of felt like a "song of summer" race to me. I don't know if you guys have taken the time to check out your most-played songs on Spotify, but mine are like, really embarrassing and completely overrun with manufactured pop. My number one? "Greedy" by Ariana Grande. Sigh. Twenty-sixteen, you were a weird one.

And so, this list of my favorite songs of 2016 is not the songs I listened to the most—this list is (hopefully) much more interesting, varied and quality-based. Go ahead and press play, you'll find a mix that includes everyone from Post Malone to Father John Misty, The XX and Foxes.

Enjoy, and let's hope for an amazingly music-filled 2017!