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.

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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  all smiles.

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez
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Photo by Francis Rodriguez
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Azul Rooftop Bar at Hotel Hugo

If you’re new to my blog, here’s one thing you should know: one of my besties (Francis) and I are big rooftop fans. We’ve made it our duty to visit every single one in NYC.

On top of Hotel Hugo.
On top of Hotel Hugo.

So when we learned about the new Cuban-inspired Azul at Hotel Hugo between SoHo and the Hudson, we just had to check it out.

Photo by me.
Photo by me.

In typical fashion, we met up after 5PM for cocktails and decided to first explore the tranquil Hudson Square neighborhood. I love it because it’s quiet and picturesque, yet just blocks away from bustling, supermodel-loaded SoHo.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Remember when I was channeling my inner Golden Girl in the fitting room? Well, this is the dress.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

The piece is a v-neck ensemble from H&M featuring a soft rayon fabric and a gorgeous jungle print. It’s currently on sale for $20.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

I completed the look with gold jewelry, like this panther necklace, also from H&M. It’s no longer available, but I would have also worn this decadent chunky gold chain, also from the popular retailer. Of course, vintage cat-eye sunglasses, black pumps, and one of my signature reds, Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in Always Red, also made an appearance.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

When we finally made our way to Hotel Hugo, we first explored Bar Hugo, the rooftop bar below the rooftop. With cocktails like Giggle Juice and Lavender Daisy, it was quite the crowd. We briefly stopped by to enjoy the view, but soon quickly went upstairs to see Azul.

Francis channeling her inner Marilyn at Bar Hugo.
Francis channeling her inner Marilyn at Bar Hugo.

Imagine escaping to a breezy, sun-soaked island where the beats of hip-swiveling salsa greet you at the door.

Azul Rooftop Bar at Hotel Hugo
Azul Rooftop Bar at Hotel Hugo

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You’re then welcomed with slushy passionfruit mojitos to quench your thirst.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

It’s a brain-freezer, but its sweetness is well worth the pain and packs a major punch for a tantalizing, downright delicious drink. Don’t just get one, trust me.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

You can relax with a laid-back crowd and savor all of downtown Manhattan from sunset and beyond.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

We soon decided to hang out by the pier to watch boats and yachts float by.

View from above at Azul.
View from above at Azul. Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

Bagel, anyone? This is NYC after all.

Bagel art in NYC.
Bagel art in NYC.

Hope you’ll join us at the next rooftop outing!

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

The Jazz Age Lawn Party Part Deux

Remember when I first told you about one of the most important summer events of the year, also known as The Jazz Age Lawn Party at Governor’s Island? It’s back for another round this weekend — and so am I.

READ: The Jazz Age Lawn Party Part Une

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

I previously gushed about this lovely, sun-soaked soiree where you can do the Charleston with fellow flappers, quench your thirst with some hooch, all thanks to St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and show off your finest 1920s threads, of course.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

It’s seriously the cat’s pajamas.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Need convincing on why you should travel back to the Roaring Twenties and celebrate with Jay Gatsby and Clara Bow? Check out this snazzy trailer on the annual event here.

Francis took plenty of lovely photos along the way:

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

This is Dreamland Orchestra (and Jazz Age Lawn Party Originator) Michael Arenella doing his thing:

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Francis even made some new friends:

Photo by Francis Rodriguez

I wore this navy polka dot dress by vintage-inspired retailer ModCloth.com. It’s one of my favorite online shops ever and their personal stylists always make the best recommendations. This dress is no longer available, but they have a ton of 1920s-esque gowns and polka dot ensembles to make you the bee’s knees any day of the year.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

I wore my favorite pearls and a matching paper hat to beat the sizzling heat.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

And of course, I cooled off with a sparkling St. Germain cocktail. It’s a must-have for your bar to make your soirees extra special…and delicious.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

The Jazz Age Lawn Party had another go this weekend, but if you missed, don’t worry…come back next year and party with us!

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Outdoor Rooftop Film Club at YOTEL

Another day, another rooftop.

Rooftop Film Club at YOTEL.
Rooftop Film Club at YOTEL.

As a full-time writer in New York City, I often get invited to new openings and of course, rooftops to check out. Seriously, there’s a rooftop for anything you can think of:

  • Want to impress friends with the best view of NYC ever? 230 Fifth is a must.
  • Need to cool off with the socialites at one of the most amazing pools in the city? Good luck getting a membership at the SOHO House (just ask Samantha Jones).
  • Looking to satisfy your craving for Mexican food, but prefer being out of Manhattan? Check out Alma in Brooklyn.

And those are just some quick ideas.

Seriously, don't be Samantha and get thrown out of SOHO House.
Seriously, don’t be Samantha and get thrown out of SOHO House.

Anyway, I was invited to check out the opening of the Outdoor Rooftop Film Club at futuristic YOTEL hotel on 10th Avenue (they have robots to handle your luggage!). This movie club, which started in the UK, is now being offered to New Yorkers looking to watch some of their beloved classics along with the glowing skylines. Also, let’s not forget all the tasty burgers, thirst-quenching cocktails, and yes, popcorn, to keep you company.

The Rooftop Film Club at YOTEL.
The Rooftop Film Club at YOTEL.

Some of my favorite movies being featured this summer at YOTEL’s Rooftop Film Club include “Some Like it Hot,” “Roman Holiday,” “Clueless,” and “The Notebook.” Bring some Kleenex for the last one. You’ve been warned. On the night I was invited, “Top Gun” happened to be playing.

Photo by Jordan Race.
Photo by Jordan Race.

What did I wear for the occasion? Luckily, I have some photos prior to the event because I later became too busy enjoying sangria and popcorn with the stars. For the occasion, I wore a shirt dress from H&M’s Conscious Collection. Not only is it super soft, but you’ll feel good too knowing that this collection serves to bring awareness on using natural resources responsibly, recycling older materials, and being ethical. You can read all about their “seven commitments” here. It’s wonderful.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

You can get the same dress on H&M for $39.99.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

In addition to my usual cat-eye sunglasses, which you can easily find on Etsy, I pair the dress with massively jeweled floral earrings, also from H&M. They seem to no longer be available on the site, but I’m really feeling these shimmering beaded chandelier earrings they currently offer for $5.99. You can also get the same cuff bracelet in silver or gold for $7.99.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

There’s still time to go to the movies this summer…on a rooftop, of course! Score your tickets fast to the Rooftop Film Club here.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race