The Fitting Room Chronicles: In With the Old

Once upon a time, Francis took me to the lush Gallow Green, a quaint rooftop lounge where patrons are transported to a secret garden filled with beautiful company, tantalizing cocktails, and mouthwatering grub.

10389419_998296988017_8086354726942395640_n

1908379_998297132727_6924826994446261762_n

65960_998296963067_3657265294650590588_n

For “just one of those nights,” I wore a juicy orange floral lace dress by Hollywood actress Eva Mendes from her New York & Company collection. It was paired with ivory lace oxfords, which i transitioned from day to night. I received loads of compliments and I was Β all smiles.

10500372_998296808377_1035999152979194042_n
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
10556279_998296833327_7675547682016395884_n
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
10532344_998297072847_6684177318312607149_n
Selfie

Sadly, summer is long gone and we’ve been dealing with a Snowpocalypse. While I normally wear my spring/summer attire all year by simply pairing it with a warm cardigan, this dress just won’t do to beat the chill.

10525821_998296888217_4067226117804307822_n

10455069_998297012967_1339806341477176434_n

Fortunately, I got quite lucky at my recent thrifting adventure.

I found this 1950s ensemble, which features a very similar floral lace pattern, except it’s more black than orange. Not only does it highlight sleeves, but it’s more weather appropriate and pairs perfectly with one of my many cardigans.

IMG_1267

For the most part, I believe in wearing all of my outfits throughout the year. Whether it’s adding leggings, boots, a sweater, or a heavy scarf, there’s no need to pack away gorgeous pieces, only to rock them for a few months. However, I will admit that there are certain outfits designed specifically for certain seasons, and layering just won’t do. That’s why I try to find a similar piece that goes with the certain season. Not only will I get to wear something I know I will look and feel good in, but I will have more clothing options for the chill or heat.

FullSizeRender

The weather should never prevent you from feeling fabulous. And you never know when a friend will invite you to spend the night at a rooftop.

10422166_998297032927_7635017995203562643_n

10300025_998296763467_1351238303033865393_n

10513347_998296788417_8200046877826574411_n

 

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Dress of Many Colors

I’ve been thinking about David Bowie a lot lately. Actually, I’ve been in mourning, but I don’t like to think of him as gone forever. In my mind, he’s back in his planet.

david-bowie-40-anni-di-ziggy-stardust-l-alieno-sessualmente-ambiguo_h_partb

As I mentioned in my last post, The Thin White Duke has had a profound effect on me. I still can’t believe he left us. His music has been on heavy rotation and I’ve been feeling quite sad.

Rightfully so, I want to celebrate his life. And in the city he has called home for quite some time now, there are many tribute parties. There’s even a Carnegie Hall Tribute Concert happening, although honestly it’s a bit stuffy for my taste. I would much rather just hit the floor, put on my red shoes, and dance the blues.

red_shoes_1

Of course, there are many other events happening here lately, even a sing-along in Union Square Park. But I personally cannot wait for Bowieball. It’s a huge extravaganza celebrating the life and legacy of David Bowie. Even Debbie Harry of Blondie is a fan. I can only imagine that this year’s festivities is going to be one of epic proportions.

bowie1

While no official dates have been announced yet, I’m already fantasizing about what I would wear. I received this beautiful gift from Jordan, which came from one of my favorite Etsy vendors, The Braided Bandit. It’s a 1980s floral rainbow dress.

IMG_1126
Photo by Jordan Race

I thought how great this could look with a galaxy-inspired headdress, but it also reminded me of Frida Kahlo. And then of course, I started singing melodies from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

IMG_1125

In other words, I can wear it for many reasons. Best of all, it’s a perfect fit – no tailoring required!

IMG_1124

Whether for Bowieball or not, how do you think I should rock this dress?

 

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Marilyn (Again) for 2016

New Year’s Eve is probably one of the most stressful nights of the year.

All that anticipating of finding the perfect outfit to welcome a new year is no easy task. Suddenly, everything in my closet transforms into rags and staying in bed sounds like a better idea.

On New Year’s Eve, I made a last-minute attempt to find the perfect dress by visiting my local thrift store. I was fortunate enough to find this brand-new, floor-length gorgeous golden gown. Best of all? It was only $16.

FullSizeRender

IMG_0692

This dress instantly reminded me of Marilyn Monroe, of course. Who could possibly forget that other iconic dress she wore for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” in 1953?

b62ea05bd9f07f3d98ed8177a1ca1513

According to old Hollywood style expert Kimberly Truhler, that famous “sunburst” dress was originally designed by William Travilla for fellow blonde bombshell Betty Grable, who wore it in 1952’s “Dreamboat.” When Monroe saw it, she allegedly loved it so much that she insisted on wearing the piece and it ultimately became hers. The fit looks so spectacular on the star because she was apparently sewn into the dress.

tumblr_lse00n6irl1r062n6o1_500

d3608301fe2901ca69cefc075d5c6163

While I wasn’t sewn into this piece, I might as well have. It was about two sizes too small, but who cares? I felt fabulous.

FullSizeRender
Photo by Jordan Race

As for New Year’s Eve? Would you believe I didn’t go out after all? Well, now I have a brand new gown to debut any day of the year. And I can assure you, this is no rag.

IMG_0871
Photo by Jordan Race

 

The Fitting Room Chronicles: A Tale of Nos

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t always leave a thrift store with a dress or 10.

Sometimes, I do encounter a day where I just don’t find what I’m looking for. I’m itching to spend money, but nothing speaks to me. Everything looks and feels blah on my body.

And guess what? It’s A-OK.

Aside from the obvious that you’ll have more money in your wallet for future shopping sprees, you should be a bit more choosy when expanding your closet. To get more bang for your buck, it’s crucial to invest in timeless pieces where you’ll rock a particular item for years to come. If an item has a short shelf life, it’s a poor investment that will leave your wallet slimmer and your closet crowded with uninspired pieces.

When it comes to fashion, don’t look for flings or one-night stands that only look and feel good for a moment. Discover true loves, or pieces you’ll treasure for years to come. Look for items that express who you truly are without saying a word.

Here’s what happened on this particular day:

IMG_5887
1980s Sun Dress

Dress #1: A 1980s sun dress

Why it Didn’t Come Home: The fabric was bulky for a sizzling hot day in the city, there were some glaring stains that would be costly to remove, and the colors were on the meh side.

Do I Regret Leaving it Behind: Nope.

IMG_5888
Floral Hot Pink Dress

Dress #2: A floral hot pink long sleeved dress that may/may not have been by Betsey Johnson

Why it Didn’t Come Home: I didn’t feel like it would get much use at the moment.

Do I Regret Leaving it Behind: Kinda. It was a beautiful dress with a bold, gorgeous pattern. However, it did resembled many other pieces in my closet already, which is probably why I gravitated towards it. I never saw it again, so I would like to think it wasn’t meant to be.

IMG_5890
1980s Hot Pink Suit Dress

Dress #3: A 1980s hot pink suit dress

Why it Didn’t Come Home: Who wants to feel like a giant Pepto-Bismol bottle?

Do I Regret Leaving it Behind: Hell to the no.

IMG_5891
Street Fair Find

What I Wore to Shop: A blue and white navy-inspired striped dress I found at a street fair in Manhattan.

Why it Came Home: I usually stay away from striped dresses because I feel wide in them. However, this airy little number made me feel super confident and cool for a warm day in the city.

Do I Regret Buying it: Not at all. The dress is still in my closet. It may fit a little snug these days, but I can still rock it – and I will.

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Ariel (and Failing)

Confession: This entry does not take place in a fitting room.

I know, I know, this can’t be a fitting room chronicle if it doesn’t take place, well, in a fitting room right? Well, this lady here has been quite busy with a move an all, so bear with me.

Have you ever spotted an outfit that looked heavenly, it was on sale, and you thought it would be an amazing fit, when it was a major no? That just happened to me.

Lately, I’ve been stocking up on casual accessories from H&M and lucky for me, they’ve been having a sale. I spotted this gorgeous teal dress that I thought would transform me into Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.”

47216010.cached
Walt Disney Studios
10_the25all-timebestanimatedfilms
Walt Disney Studios

Let’s just say it didn’t work out.

the-little-mermaid-1989-_142573-fli_1376410801
Walt Disney Studios

Sure, the dress below may have looked like a million dollars on, but I felt more like a two buck chuck. I can assure you, it had nothing to do with H&M’s design. However, their sizing was on the super tiny side and my big ol’ butt wasn’t having it.

IMG_0571
Photo by Jordan Race

God forbid I would bend down…or exhale. But while holding my breath, I looked fabulous. Sadly, I really felt like this:

wW96kSh
Walt Disney Studios

Nope, I would not become part of your world with this outfit on. I wouldn’t become a sexy siren for a date night, or any night for that matter. And I was fine with that. I could use those $15 dollars to buy a vintage dress that would indeed make me feel like a gorgeous dame.

FullSizeRender
Photo by Jordan Race

My advice to you? If something looks spectacular on the hanger and you don’t feel like trying it on at the store because you’re feeling that lucky, make sure you can return the item back and get a refund. It’s important you try on everything you buy because you’re dressing for your body. Sizes, cuts, designs, and fabrics can all impact your shape and it may not look like the best investment after all. This has nothing to do with you, going on a diet, or avoiding being an Ursula because let’s face it, Ursula’s got major red lipstick game.

Villain-Spotlight-Series-Ursula-The-Little-Mermaid-Lipstick
Walt Disney Studios

It’s about purchasing a quality piece you can feel comfortable in and rock effortlessly.

FullSizeRender
Photo by Jordan Race

When it comes to buying dresses, there are plenty of fish in the retail sea. You’ve just gotta catch something made for you.

ariel-hair1
Walt Disney Studios

And really, why should I be Ariel when I can be Stephanie? I hear she’s quite the catch. Yes, I’m speaking in third person (well, writing). Fin.

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Going for Flower Power

I’ve have a long fascination with the styles from the ’40s and ’50s. However, during one brief moment in my life, it was all about embracing my inner hippie.

tumblr_mznf6eCuBB1rb482yo3_500
Janis Joplin

At one point in college, I thought about living in an actual community farm in California where I can grow my own vegetables, listen to Janis Joplin all day, as well as wake up every morning with flowers in my hair and tie dye on my skin. As you can imagine, this phase was, well, just a phase.

hosannashotrare
I also wanted to be a cast-member of the 1973 rock opera movie “Jesus Christ Superstar” – AND I STILL DO.

But my love for flowers? Well, that’s been a lifelong affair. Nearly my entire closet is a massive bouquet. I need floral prints in my life to feel alive, to feel like me. I have no explanation for it, I just do it.

tumblr_nuyj4bODQL1rfw2x6o1_500
Who wouldn’t want to look like Lana Turner?

One day while shopping for some accessories at H&M, I spotted this floral mini dress on sale, which reminded me of that one brief moment when I was going to go by Gardenia (my favorite flower) and live on the fruits of my labor.

IMG_7750

Although it was a breezy $15, I decided not to take it. The dress just didn’t do anything for me. I wasn’t excited. I didn’t imagine swanky parties, boozy brunches, casual get-togethers, or exhilirating nights to rock this dress. I was just left with a reflection of something that was no longer me. So I left it behind. My wallet was thrilled.

IMG_7753

Like that random moment in my life, this dress came and went, but ultimately, it just wasn’t for my closet.

IMG_7754

However, you best believe I will never give up on Janis Joplin. True love never dies.

bbed4a7372a719eb2dad967f8fe87b48

So tell me, have you ever had any random fashion moments in your life?

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.

photo-montreal-winter-794903

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!

SUNJaneRussellonrocks
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!

IMG_2640

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?

6d2df423f6ecdd6d7e468d794b2d61e2

Jane-Russell-Classic-Fur-Hat

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.

51eMECC-R0L._SY445_

tumblr_l5w1kvFbkz1qb75hko1_500

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.

GettyImages_109322936

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.

IMG_2649

IMG_2650

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

large