Location: The Bowery Market, NYC
Sweater: Maria Dora (I also like this one – lower priced options at end of post) | Skirt: Self-Portrait (similar high, medium, and low option here and here) | Belt: Chanel (similar here)| Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
As the temperature drops and the leaves change in NYC we’re constantly reminded that summer is over and my favorite season, fall, has begun. These first signs of fall not only signal the fast approaching ability to layer again, but it also marks the start of back to school. They say it all goes down in the DMs but in our household it all seems to go down in the fall. I moved to NYC in this transitional season, got married during this beautiful crispness, and now we’re moving…to a new apartment. This move has been a several month long process that included wallpapering, furnishing an apartment from scratch, and purging a decade’s worth of accumulated stuff. We happened to start this move the exact same week as NYU move-ins which severely delayed our Container Store order and made Zipvans a scarcity. This coincidence got me thinking about all the different types of people that live in one city, all at such different stages in their lives, and all looking to organize it with shelves, bins, and custom closets. The way our neighborhood has changed over the years is remarkable, there are at least ten new apartment buildings that have popped up and now with the arrival of Hudson Yards, rent continues to skyrocket; having gone up almost 50% since we first arrived. They say millennials spend the majority of their lives trying to figure out how other millennials afford their lives. But seriously, how are so many of these 20-somethings, that seem to arrive in droves, able to afford this city with its rapidly increasing cost of living? Maybe it’s because I moved here right after college in the fall. Maybe it’s because of my Container Store back to school epiphany. Maybe it’s because my youngest brother started college last month. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Whatever the reason, it left me feeling momentarily nostalgic for that time in my life. Not that I don’t enjoy where my life has taken me but I miss the potential that life seemed to hold, a time when we all thought we could do and be anything we wanted, a time when “the rest was still unwritten.” Think about it, people once asked ‘what do you want to be’ and now they ask ‘what do you do’, it feels so permanent as if time is up, you’ve made your choices, now continue on….forever. Once that simple question changes it can make you feel like you shouldn’t still be deciding or hoping to be anything other than what you are. I also think it’s sort of ridiculous that we set into motion a career path based upon a decision we make when we’re only 18. When I was 18, I was an Abercrombie wearing, party loving, moron. I wouldn’t trust that girl to choose a show for me on Netflix, let alone what to do with the rest of my life. I always ask people if you could do it all over again what would you change, the answers are always pretty entertaining. The reality of it is, even with the added wisdom that comes with age, so much of life is outside of our control, we like to think success comes with hard work but so much comes from luck. Luck is one of those factors that can’t be altered with a change in major or extra studying. I sometimes feel unlucky to have graduated at a time of such economic uncertainty, one of the biggest economic recessions in 80 years. A graduating class that gave birth to the un-paid intern and was dubbed the new “Lost Generation.” Years we’ll never be able to make up in our careers, stuck on a lower trajectory, and set at a disadvantage based on choices we didn’t make…once again luck or a lack thereof. I think we all go through these coulda, woulda, shoulda moments, but someone once told me “the only reason to look back is to learn”, and what I’ve learned is this: the obstacle of the recession was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to take a risk, pursuing an unconventional career in an unconventional industry. Along the way this risk has given me some invaluable experiences, from being cast in an MTV pilot, to learning skills in a creative field that is projected to grow tremendously in the world of online media. I’ve grown a lot because of this choice, learned to appreciate every success, however minor, and I’ve learned that sometimes you have to pave your own way. Most importantly though, these obstacles brought me to a career I love, one I would have never found without the recession. Maybe we are called the lost generation not because of the time we lost but because we lost the sense of entitlement that often plagues younger millennials. So with that I’ll move on to something a little less heavy. Speaking of getting older, this belt was my 31st birthday present from Stephen. It’s vintage 90s, it’s Chanel, it can be doubled as a necklace, it’s amazing. Although all “hope” is removed from life in your thirties, you can finally buy all the dope shit you wanted in your teens/early twenties. Sometimes I think “adults” give up on fashion, but this is the time to live it up. When you hit thirty you still have the same body as in your twenties, but with the added funds to dress it in almost anything you want. I will say, I have become more fit conscious with age. I used to dress in the most avant-garde ensemble I could piece together, the outfits were fierce but not flattering. I think this changed due to my hosting career, I quickly realized how much proportions mattered on-camera and it trickled into my regular life. Try wearing a tunic dress in a waist-up framing and tell me you don’t also start defining your waist. Although sweaters and leather are classically fall, it has been unusually warm for this time of year; not complaining. Truth be told I didn’t wear this outfit in “fall proper,” more like end of summer, which was also relatively temperate for NYC. Things have been so busy that I didn’t get around to writing this post for over a month. Typically I wouldn’t “crop it like it’s hot” or wear a sandal in normal, cooler fall temps, but this is a good example of a transitional outfit. Not quite summer, not quite fall. You can wear some heavier fabrics like I did here but ditch some of the layers. Add tights, throw on a blouse under the sweater vest, and add a bootie to take it into the next season. I used to watch a lot of What Not to Wear in my early years, the one piece of advice Stacy London imparted on me is to stop buying cheap trendy throw away clothing items (my recent closet purge was full of these). If you follow Ms. London’s advice, over time you’ll end up building a closet of staples that both age well and grow with you. This sweater vest is one of those items with longevity, it definitely wasn’t cheap, but it has a lot of versatility and doesn’t pill like a lot of fast fashion knits. I’ve typically worn it as a sweater vest in the Cher Horowitz style, shirt tails hanging out over a mini, shorts, or leather pants. In this instance, I styled it as a crop top with this navy leather high-waisted moto skirt. The skirt has some great subtle details, gold buckles and zippers that are actually functional for cinching it in, and a snake skin waistband. My only crop top rule is to pair it with something high-waisted, if you can see more than an inch or two of stomach, you’s a hoe (or in high school).