The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Jean Harlow

Back when I was in high school, I had the brilliant idea of shaving my once Frida Kahlo-thick eyebrows and pencil them in dangerously thin to channel 1930s screen siren Jean Harlow.

We all make mistakes.

These eyebrows are made for Jean, not Stephanie.
These eyebrows are made for Jean, not Stephanie.

While my eyebrows haven’t grown the same since then, I still don’t mind channeling this fellow piscean. So when I found this 1930s wine-hued gown, I was in complete awe. Best of all? It fit like a glove.

Working it, 1930s style.
Working it, 1930s style.

For some reason, I felt this is a dress that Jean Harlow would appreciate. It hugs the body to a T, yet its delicate winged sleeves create a dramatic flair made fit for the big screen. And for a 1930s piece, it was in near perfect condition. I have to be super careful with the sleeves, as its fine lace can easily get damage, but it’s still in my closet, waiting for a special occasion. I just hope it still fits!

No pencil-thin eyebrows are required to rock this dress.
No pencil-thin eyebrows are required to rock this dress.

These days, I’m looking forward to channeling Jean Harlow, couture-wise. The blonde bombshell was a total babe, and extremely funny to boot. Make use of that Netflix account and watch all her screwball comedies. You won’t regret it.

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Who have you been channeling lately to enhance your personal style?

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Finding Glamour in Maine: Part 2

Check out Finding Glamour in Maine: Part 1

One thing I loved about my visit to Maine? The food.

Jordan ready to stuffed his face (even though he doesn't like seafood like moi).
Jordan ready to stuffed his face (even though he doesn’t like seafood like moi).

Buttery lobster, crispy halibut, pounds of steamy mussels drizzled with freshly squeezed lemon juice – it’s a seafood lover’s paradise.

One of my many lobster rolls with a pasta salad.
One of my many lobster rolls with a pasta salad.
Jordan's veggie stir fry.
Jordan’s veggie stir fry.

But it’s not just fresh seafood this petite state has to offer. Wild berries, thirst-quenching cocktails, and mountain-sized ice cream cones covered with “jimmies” are just some of the many treats to be found here.

Wild Maine blueberries.
Wild Maine blueberries.
Maine sangria with local blueberries.
Maine sangria with local blueberries.
Night ice cream.
Night ice cream.
Day ice cream.
Day ice cream.

I’m pretty sure I gained a few pounds – just in time to keep me warm during the chilly winter months to come.

Anyway.

While staying at The Lighthouse Inn & Carriage House, I decided to go nautical with a navy dress featuring white stripes (Jack White not included – I’ll be here all night, folks).

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

My dress, which was thrifted, features a wrap-around piece, which i chose to ignore. I like to break rules.

Posing with sand-covered slippers. Photo by Jordan Race
Posing with sand-covered slippers.
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar look:

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For days when I felt like lounging around, I decided to add comfort to my wardrobe with a touch of glamour, all thanks to Hollywood bombshell Eva Mendes and her New York & Company collection.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

I ADORE Eva’s dresses because the fit is super comfortable, they’re designed to enhance your natural curves, and they have a vintage look/feel with modern fabric and tailoring. It’s the best of both worlds.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

This dress is from a previous season, but you can get some (or all) of Eva’s current designs at a New York & Company near you.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

The view wasn’t too shabby, right?

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Don’t forget to come back next week and find out how I made it in Maine!

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Links à la Mode

Independent Fashion Bloggers

Independent Fashion Bloggers
Links à la Mode, October 8

SPONSOR: Amazon’s Shopbop ENGLISH FACTORY, T by Alexander Wang, KENZO, Paul & Joe Sister, Jem and the Holograms, The Fifth Label, Burgundy Tops, Stuart Weitzman 5050 Boots, Fringe Bags, Men’s Michael Kors

Aloha, Blue Hawaii!

Confession: I’ve never been to Hawaii. It’s actually a place I’ve always wanted to visit. I dream of dipping my toes in a clear, sapphire blue sea while feasting on juicy, sun kissed pineapples, all while swaying my hips and yelling out, “Aloha!” to every one I encounter.

Gil Elvgren Pinup
Gil Elvgren Pinup

While this NYC gal hasn’t visited Hawaii yet, I decided to channel the tropics in my ensemble for a media event at The Asia Society.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

This dress ($163), from New Orleans-based vintage-inspired retailer Trashy Diva, is from their “Aloha Blue Hawaii” Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

According to Trashy Diva: “Inspired by vintage Hawaiian fabric, Blue Hawaii makes it’s debut as our newest addition to our tropical prints. Blue Hawaii will surely become your new favorite tropical print!”

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

This piece definitely made me channel my inner pinup. Along with a white flower on my hair and matching orchid earrings, I was ready to attend the nearest luau. However, I was intrigued by The Asia Society’s exquisite offerings.

The remains of sushi and cocktails.
The remains of sushi and cocktails.
Our view at night.
Our view at night.
Late night snack at Cupcake ATM (780 Lexington Avenue in NYC)
Late night snack at Cupcake ATM (780 Lexington Avenue in NYC)

Sadly, this dress is no longer available, but Trashy Diva is one of the best vintage-inspired brands around, and their garments are made to last. I adore many of their dresses and even have several saved for a rainy shopping day!

But if you’re looking for something on the tiki side, Unique Vintage has a whole section dedicated to just that.

1950s Style Purple Tiki Floral Halter Hawaiiana Wiggle Dress & Bolero Set ($104), Unique-Vintage.com
1950s Style Purple Tiki Floral Halter Hawaiiana Wiggle Dress & Bolero Set ($104), Unique-Vintage.com

Hopefully, Trashy Diva will deliver some more sunshine in the upcoming winter months with similar prints. After all, who wouldn’t want to look like Loretta Young for a day?

Loretta Young Tiki Look #1
Loretta Young Tiki Look #1
Loretta Young Tiki Look #2
Loretta Young Tiki Look #2
Fin.
Fin.

Finding Glamour in Maine: Part 1

I’ve always wanted to visit a tiny state, known as Maine.

It seemed to offer everything I could desire. Beaches galore, buttery lobster by the pound, quaint little houses, Stephen King, buttery lobster by the pound…oh right, I said that.

From my trip to Maine.
From my trip to Maine.

Being overdue for a vacation, I decided to head up north, way up north, to the state that Anthony Bourdain has reportedly called “one of the foodiest in America.” And boy, was I in for a surprise!

On a lobster roll diet.
On a lobster roll diet.

I must admit, it did take some time to adjust to picturesque Maine, York Beach to be exact. Being a born and raised New Yawker, I am accustomed to time being on steroids, restaurants closing near midnight (and sometimes later), sizzling summer heat cloaked in sweat-inducing humidity, and hopping on the dingy subway or hailing race cars for cabs to take me anywhere in minutes. Sure, it may sound like a nightmare to those not accustomed to such an existence, but this is my home, a place I’ve had a serious love-hate relationship for decades. So perhaps going on a break was rather strange.

I drowned my hair in argan oil before I stepped outside.
I drowned my hair in argan oil before I stepped outside.

In Maine, I was not used to chilly, ocean-fueled temperatures surrounded by fog, prompting me to grab every layer I could find, waters so frigid, my body would convulse on contact, and misty, salty air exposing all the frizz I’ve attempted to combat from childhood. Many days and nights, I fought the unruly mane – and lost – in Maine.

Rosé, like this one, does wonders for a homesick, culturally shocked city girl.
Rosé, like this one, does wonders for a homesick, culturally shocked city girl.

Yes, it was quite the culture shock, but believe me reader, I was determined to make the most of my trip. Maine and I would battle it out, but I was eager to embrace its peace offerings, in the form of food (lots of it) and the beach (lots of it).

When it comes to food, Maine does not disappoint. Fried haddock sandwich, fries, and mac 'n' cheese balls with coffee? Yes, please! #whatdiet
When it comes to food, Maine does not disappoint. Fried haddock sandwich, fries, and mac ‘n’ cheese balls with coffee? Yes, please! #what diet

For one occasion, I experience utter joy just splashing around in Short Sands Beach, a pocket of a beach tucked away behind rocky cliffs. The water was warm and crystal clear, the sun kissed my every pore, and my surroundings transformed into a living painting. Could it be that I was finally falling for Maine?

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For the occasion, I wore an airy, long sleeved azure dress by Eva Mendes for New York & Company. If you don’t know, this Cubana and Hollywood bombshell has an exquisite old Hollywood-inspired clothing line for the popular brand that’s perfect for day and night.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

It’s safe to say one part of my closet is solely dedicated to pieces by Eva Mendes. I never fail to get compliments whenever I wear any of her dresses. Best of all, New York & Company always has plenty of deals to help you save some moolah.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

In the end (at least for this day), I was a happy mermaid.

"Some day I'll be...part of your...WORLD!" Photo by Jordan Race
“Some day I’ll be…part of your…WORLD!”
Photo by Jordan Race

So, does this city girl make it in Maine? You’ll have to find out in part two!

Spending the Afternoon with Frank Sinatra

Nothing puts me in the right mood quite like ol’ blue eyes.

Frank Sinatra: The One and Only
Frank Sinatra: The One and Only

Night and day, summer or winter, I’m all about feeling like a glamour goddess while New Jersey’s finest Frank Sinatra croons of his greatest love, and one of my favorite old Hollywood stars, Ava Gardner.

Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner

So when the New York Public Library in Lincoln Center was hosting a special exhibition dedicated to the beloved singer and star, appropriately titled “Sinatra: An American Icon,” you know I was attending.

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It was truly a celebration of Sinatra’s life, featuring his wardrobe, awards, and even personal artwork he created for his grandchildren. It was an exquisite feast for fans and I was incredibly honored to be a part of it.

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There were even other treats on display, like Billie Holiday’s furl shawl and Ella Fitzgerald’s gorgeous emerald dress.

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Artwork created by Frank Sinatra for his grandchildren.
Artwork created by Frank Sinatra for his grandchildren.

For the festivities, I wore a vintage Joni Blair of California red plaid swing dress that I purchased from Etsy vendor TempleKatVintage of Pennsylvania. She’s one of my favorite Etsy vendors and I was excited to receive such a beautiful, seasonal piece for the fall and winter months.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

And while the look and style scream 1950s, would you believe it’s actually from the 1980s? But that’s my little secret.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar dress I have some recommendations. Vintage-inspired retailer Lindy Bop has a near replica for $46, except it’s so popular that most sizes are sold out. However, you can request for the vendor to notify you when the piece is back in stock, giving you some time to save your coins. Unique Vintage has a 1950s style red tartan swing dress designed by pinup star Bernie Dexter for $154 that’s downright breathtaking. If you’re looking to add some wiggle to your step, Unique Vintage also has this green tartan dress by Stop Staring! for $178 that will hug every single curve you’ve got, making the fellas break a sweat. And finally, Etsy vendor maybel57 has a wiggle red tartan dress from the 1950s available for $115.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Missed the Frank Sinatra exhibition? You’ll definitely want to try the Interactive Sinatra Walking Tour where you can visit some of his favorite hot spots and performance venues throughout the city he famously sung about. Or, you can even go on a short trip to Hoboken, New Jersey and learn all about Sinatra’s childhood home.

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