The Fitting Room Chronicles: Getting Snuggly (Like Jane Russell)

I’m not a fan of winter. At all.

You can keep your snowy winter wonderland, mugs of hot chocolate, and endless holidays (alright, I’ll take the hot chocolate). Me? I prefer being a beach bum somewhere on a tropical island.

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It’s bizarre, I know. I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised. Winter should be as natural as swearing, hailing a cab, or caw-fee. But I’ve never been a fan of the cold. By the time fall comes, I’m already depressed. During the winter months, I want to hibernate all season long. In springtime, I’m skeptical, but then summer? Party every day!

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Jane gets it.

Unfortunately, I cannot completely escape the winter this year, so I might as well make it as stylish as possible. So when I found this oversized, super cozy Karen Millen cardigan at a thrift store, I was delighted. I felt warm and stylish. It’s a winter fashion miracle!

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It got me thinking about Jane Russell, the brunette beauty from the 1940s and 1950s. While she was a sizzling pinup on the big screen, she didn’t shy away from sweaters and other wintry looks. And while her pieces could have easily made anyone else look like a swollen potato, Jane Russell made them look fabulous?

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Her secret? Sure, she’s got great genes, but Jane also plays up her face. This means that no matter what she wore, her makeup was always immaculate. From lush lashes to a red hot pout, Jane always looked camera-ready for any occasion, even if it was as simple as cozying up with a good book, hot chocolate, or lover.

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Winters will always be here and, depending on where you live, you cannot avoid bundling up unless you like the feeling of frost bite. But, that doesn’t mean you should toss aside your personal style. If you must wear something that’s normally not a piece you would go for, make sure you pair it with something that makes you feel, well fabulous. It can be a pair of rhinestone earrings that you always save for a special occasion, a red lipstick that always makes you feel like a bombshell, skinny black pants a la Audrey Hepburn, fake eyelashes to make your eyes dazzle – whatever. Just take it out and flaunt it. Not only will you feel more confident, but it will always be a unique way to showcase your personal style. And one big perk? You won’t freeze.

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Sure, I was pant-less in the fitting room, but nothing makes me feel as good in the winter (or any season for that matter) as wearing red lipstick. And I think this winter coming up, I might have to stay warm in this piece, all while wearing my red lipstick.

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Thanks Jane Russell for the inspiration! Now I feel like watching “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

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Oxblood Obsession

Most people associate me with wearing bold floral prints. It makes perfect sense as, after all, I am a big advocator of adding color to my life.

But sometimes, I like to go to the dark side. And that doesn’t instantly mean grabbing the nearest little black dress (actually, that can be pretty complicated in my closet).

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Photo by Jordan Race

For quite some time now, I’ve been a big fan of moody oxblood, a rich, wine-infused shade that’s dark, luscious, and wonderfully chic for the crisp fall season.

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Photo by Jordan Race

For a weekend at the Henry Norman Hotel in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, I wore a Victorian-meets-1920s oxblood dress that I’ve had for years. Most people think it’s vintage, but would you believe I actually found this back in college at Forever 21? I was young and broke, so the retailer helped me at the time feel fashionable. These days, I prefer thrifting, but I still to my modern classics, like this dress.

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Photo by Jordan Race

As expected, this dress is no longer available at Forever 21, but here are some authentic vintage picks I really like:

If black is your go-to color, shake things up this autumn by falling for oxblood (see what I did there)? It’s a runway-ready hue that flatters everyone and it’s a great way to brighten up your wardrobe just a tad bit.

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Photo by Jordan Race

As for the Henry Norman Hotel? It was delightful? Imagine having an entire apartment all to yourself. That’s what one of the rooms felt like.

Tell me, what do you think of oxblood?