Location: Shelter Pizza, Williamsburg – Brooklyn
Dress: Self-Portrait (similar vibes here and here) | Belt: Gucci (I also like this one and this one) | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman (kind of obsessed with this pair and this pair at the moment) | Purse: Chanel
Personally, I love a patriotic palette and have this weird pull towards clothing items that sport the spirited American Flag. When we go shopping Stephen will mockingly point out every star-spangled piece of apparel he sees. This is a common trait of female shopping buddies, when a mutual friend is missing you’ll pick up items that they always wear with an added, “if Karen were here she would totally buy this.” My love of red, white, and blue doesn’t stop at clothing; I can also appreciate a little flag flare when it’s tastefully done in interior design, another passion of mine. When I was a Girl Scout, you could create your own merit badge – I chose interior design and leveraged my bedroom overhaul as the test space for the badge requirements, very Troop Beverly Hills of me if I do say so myself. My parents would have described my younger self as “precocious,” but when you live in a one TV household and HGTV is on 24/7, you pick up a few tricks of the trade and an affection for mood boards, accent walls, and house flipping. Needless to say, when you combine my loyalty to Team USA and my penchant for a statement wall, I was immediately drawn to Brooklyn’s Shelter Pizza and this corrugated metal flag adorning their rustic facade. I not only pledge allegiance to the flag but also to the brand Self-Portrait. You might even remember my long-drawn-out search for an ‘As Seen on TV’ Self-Portrait gown from my anniversary post. I’m officially addicted, in fact, if I could only wear one brand for the rest of my life it would probably be Self-Portrait. I almost feel like their fit-model for the zero has to be my body clone, because every cutout, belt, and pleat fits to flattering perfection (which we all know is a rarity). Although the brand initially made a name for itself with guipure lace numbers, it evolves so frequently that I’m never bored of what they have to offer with each new collection. If you also follow my show, Best of NY, then you’ll recognize this dress from my Doob 3D episode, where I was 3D printed into an action figure. The process started with a full-body scan, 54 cameras taking photos from every conceivable angle. It’s funny how the realization that you’re going to be immortalized as an action figure makes you stop being polite, and start getting real…about outfit selection. I’ll be the first to admit that not every outfit is ultra-flattering from every angle, this dress however, is a chupacabra as it compliments in panorama. Sometimes I think about generations and the things that change over the course of one’s lifetime. Stephen and I each have one living grandparent, both in their 90s, which means they have witnessed both the invention of sliced bread and the birth of the internet during their almost-century on earth (think about that for a second). In my lifetime thus far, I’ve seen the invention of the World Wide Web, smartphone, social media, and consequentially the death of being able to repeat outfits unnoticed. There was once a simpler time when one could wear a killer outfit on rerun, in a row if you were risky, as long as the same people weren’t present at both events. This is going to be one of those stories I tell my grandchildren that will blow their minds, like when our grandparents talk about buying a home for $50,000. But with great sacrifice, comes great reward and although I can’t get away with wearing this dress everyday of my life like a cartoon character, I can tell people all over the world how amazing it is from the comfort of my living room. Since I have the world’s attention, or members of my immediate family at least, let’s talk about the beautiful construction of this dress. This cold shoulder style is such a chic and feminine sleeveless alternative, its actually crafted out of elastic because there’s nothing chic about not being able to lift your arms. The modern ruffles and sleek mesh on the bodice combine structure and breathability for a hot summer day; and don’t even get me started on my love for a box pleat. Essentially, Self-Portrait perfectly blends structure, femininity, and edgy coolness into a figure flattering piece of art. Now that I’m done fangirling, I’d like to point out a couple of style modifications I made to the dress. The dress features a chain halter, which I switched out for a chain of my own to avoid the potential metal allergy. Although I did this out of necessity, I tried a few other necklaces and scarves in its place and found that they allowed for a lot of style transformation. If you want to try this on a dress or top of your own just look to see if the chain is sewn in or slides out, if its the latter, simply swap and rock. Although there is a grosgrain belt that is built into the dress, it could have come in a little tighter for my taste so I added a belt and chain (its actually the original halter chain) to cinch it in and also for the pop of color. My goal is to slowly but surely, post by post, shatter every antiquated fashion rule I’ve ever been told, as it applies. Seeing as this dress is black and navy it seems like an appropriate time to address rule number four in your ‘fashion rule book,’ so please turn to page five and let’s begin. You can in fact wear black and navy together, it’s actually considered a very chic combination, the only caveat to this is it needs to look intentional – not like you didn’t notice your suit pants were navy and your suit coat was black. Not only can you wear them together but they often look best when layered right next to one another, highlighting the subtle color difference. If you’re just starting out repping both colors in one ensemble and you want a foolproof way to pull it off, go with different fabric textures. Don’t you feel more liberated already?