Stephen and I finally made it back to California for Christmas this year, we’re lucky to have both families in the same state so we can hit up his family in Southern California and hop a quick flight to San Francisco to see mine. Whenever I’m around my siblings I find myself reverting back to a “California accent.” Californian’s have what most consider non-regional diction, but there are certain auditory clues, inflection, speed, and regional slang, that are unique to the Golden State. One word in particular is specific to NorCal, ‘hella’. If you’re not familiar with the term, its basically a substitute for the word ‘really’; that’s a hella long line, I’m hella hungry, it’s hella cold…you get the point. Why we needed our own word is hella confusing but I digress. There’s even a new book entitled, Talk Like a Californian: A Hella Fresh Guide to Golden State Speak that tackles the California dialect.
Location: Overthrow Boxing Club, NYC Dress: Sandro Paris ‘Flava’ Lace Dress (similar here, here, and here) | Belt: Zara ( similar here and here) | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman ‘MorePearls’ Sandal on sale here | Fur Stole: Similar here and here
I’ve had a stressful past few months, packed with several multi-day shoots and a lot of scripting, so I thought it was a good time to take break from writing and my typical text heavy posts and do something fun and out of the norm. Since Stephen always offers a much needed comedic break, I roped him into today’s post with a little head-to-head style questionnaire, basically, we’re answering style questions about each other, so let’s get ready to rumble….you know because I’m at a boxing gym.
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?
Location: Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen, NYC Dress: Old (Similar here and here) | Belt: Forever 21 (Similar here and here) | Sweater: Rachel Roy | Shoes:Sam Edelman (Color: Hot Pink Suede)
Ahh East Coast vs. West Coast, a rivalry that many tattooed tears have been shed over. I feel a bit torn between the two coasts and I’m going to paraphrase Dr. Dre here to explain why, “Cali is the state that raised me but New York is the city that pays me” (I took a lot of liberties on that quote). On the one hand I grew up in California, I love the sand, surf, sun, and… car. On the other, New York is where I started my “adult” life. I love the convenience, fashion, and arts in the Big A; especially the fact that you never need a reason to be dressed up. But above all else, I love Mexican food, which California has New York beat in spades, with one major exception: Lupe’s. Of course you’ll find some great fusion Mexican restaurants in NYC, but it’s that Cali street style that owns my heart. My dad is basically the original Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Dude knew about food trucks before food trucks knew about food trucks; basically a cheap eats visionary. So needless to say, when he puts on Fleetwood Mac and takes you to the back of an East Palo Alto bodega for lunch, you know you are in for some solid Mexican nosh. Maybe it’s because I grew up on this style of Mexican fare that I consider it to be the superior south of the border option, but to me Lupe’s is a little SoHo gem that settles my longing for the Golden State.
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.
Location: Central Park, NYC Sweater:Hudson’s Bay Company | T-Shirt: Cole Haan – Pinch Collection (Zara Basics, Aritzia, and Rag & Bone also make great white T-Shirts) | Shorts:Crewcuts (adult version available at J.Crew) | Fur Stole: Karl Lagerfeld (I like this one from Charlotte Simone as well) | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Backpack: Louis Vuitton (Vintage)
Growing up my interest in fashion wasn’t exactly encouraged. I had the sort of upbringing where my parents didn’t ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, but rather, what kind of doctor I wanted to be. That being said, it shouldn’t be surprising they found fashion to be a wasteful distraction. Neither of my parents grew up with a lot, although they became successful adults, old habits die hard and they remained hardcore savers. Stylish clothing was obviously not an expense they deemed a necessity and for this reason, I’ve had a job since I was 14 to cover these “extraneous costs.” Prior to the freedom of employment, I was just a 12-year-old girl who desperately wanted a pair of flared jeans. I was in the throes of adolescence, that horrible age where fitting in was crucial and having the “right” clothes seemed life or death. Knowing my parent’s attitude towards materialism, I knew I was going to have to approach this topic delicately.
Location: Souvlaki GR, NYC Dress:WAYF | Belt: Nike Country (for Western style belts with a little edge I really like the brand B-Low The Belt – check out this one, this one, and this one from Coach 1941) | Shoes:Stuart Weitzman (patent leather – ‘Adobe Aniline’ color) | Scarf: Rebecca Minkoff (Indigo color)
I hate my name. It’s not that I hate the name ‘Annamaria’ itself, I hate that for some reason people find it extremely difficult to say, with 90% of attempts landing on AnneMarie as if that is somehow a more common name. AnneMarie is such a frequent substitution that I’ve given up on correcting people and just go with it. When you factor into the equation that I can never find my name on one those “custom” gas station name trinkets (that I would never actually buy but find irritating on principle…) it’s a frustrating situation. Ironically, my entire family has always just called me Maria, so I’ve always gone by Maria, leaving me to explain to people during roll call and graduation that NO, Maria is not my middle name.
Location: Pietro Nolita, NYC Dress: Vintage (if you want to splurge try this one) | Coat: Zara (if I were to buy another pink coat it would be this one – currently on sale) | Shoes:Stuart Weitzman (patent leather – ‘Adobe Aniline’ color) | Lapel Pin:hook + ALBERT | Tennis Necklace:Amazon | Gold Necklace: Chanel (vintage)
Did you know there is a color called ‘Millennial Pink’? Well, apparently this is it…it’s hard to be 100% sure though, considering millennial pink is continuously morphing to encompass a variety of shades. Although I am technically a millennial, I’m from the small sliver that still remembers when LIT meant high, “beat face” was an insult, and AF stood for Abercrombie & Fitch. As the second oldest of five kids, three of whom are under the age of 23, I am constantly reminded that I am out of touch with the “hip lingo” (this would probably also explain why I am only now learning the term millennial pink). The day I got Instagram was a real riot in my household, similar to when your parents get Facebook, however, the day I use “on fleek,” not in jest, will be a dark day in history.
There was this brief moment of clarity when it was 15 degrees outside and I looked at Stephen and said, “who the F decides to start a fashion blog in the middle of a NYC winter.” I swear, every winter I decide I’m moving back to California. When people talk about the East Coast they always say, “but you have the seasons, I love the seasons,” well…if you mean it’s freezing all winter, ridiculously humid all summer, and nice for about three weeks every fall, then yes we have “seasons.” But alas, I drank the NYC Kool-Aid and despite the inconveniences, crowdedness, and astronomical cost of living I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Luckily, NYC winters bring with them unpredictability and brief patches of 50-60 degree weather. I think it’s sort of interesting how SoCal residents will bundle up during this type of weather, whereas New Yorkers practically throw on shorts and decide outdoor seating is an option again. This day at El Luchador was one of those days.
Guys are interesting; believe it or not, out of all the dresses I own this is Stephen’s favorite. It’s not by any means my “sexiest” dress but, without fail, whenever I say I don’t know what to wear he fishes this number out, because I look “hot” in it. Maybe he has a thing for uniforms…but who can blame him, personally I love military inspired fashion. I’ve had this dress for years, a classic piece that seems to morph with my ever changing taste; probably because the leather piping and gold buttons on the collar and sleeves add interest while remaining muted, allowing the dress to transform with different accessories without the risk of clashing.