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.




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.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

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.



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.


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.


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.






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.


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.


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.


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.

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.”


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


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.



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?


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.



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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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


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


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.


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!

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!


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?



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.



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.


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.



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


The Fitting Room Chronicles: Wearing a Turtleneck (Like Marilyn Monroe)

We still may be in the middle of crisp fall here in New York City, but occasionally, that sudden frost of winter gives an unwelcoming preview of what’s to come. Such is life here on the east coast.

Turtlenecks. They’re perfect for keeping warm and cozy. But they’re called turtlenecks for a reason.

This is Lulu, my red-eared slider. He looks great in a turtleneck, of course. But this isn’t a look for everyone. Trust me on this.

I remember past winters where my neck disappeared in a too-chunky turtleneck my mother found in some shop somewhere, and all you saw was a floating head. Yeah…no.

Luckily, there is still a way to stay warm this winter with a turtleneck and not look like, well, a turtle. A prime example? Marilyn Monroe.


Alright, I know the woman could make a potato sack look tres chic, but this blonde bombshell (and my absolute favorite old Hollywood star) made turtlenecks look seductive. According to


On the Spring of 1953, Alfred Eisenstaedt paid Marilyn Monroe a visit in her Beverly Hills home to do a portrait shoot for a LIFE Magazine assignment. “Eisie,” as he was known by his friends and colleagues, photographed the 26-year-old Hollywood star in her patio; she was stunning even in her simple black turtleneck top and white pants (checkered pants in some photographs). It was certainly not a glamor-filled photoshoot yet the intimately casual portraits Eisenstaedt took — both in color and black and white — became some of his best known work, as well as Monroe’s most sought after photographs to this day. 


Inspired by Marilyn Monroe, I found this turtleneck sweater dress in H&M and I felt both warm and fabulous. No floating head to be found here!



How can Marilyn Monroe inspire you to wear a turtleneck? Here are some of my tips:

  • Marilyn was a fan of wearing tight-fitting clothes to enhance her figure. Based on the photos above, we can tell that her black turtleneck was also body-hugging. Try to stay true to your size and avoid anything too over-sized. Those can be comfortable yes, but they can also add unwanted weight and fluff.
  • You can honestly never go wrong with black. It’s a slimming shade, works for day or night, and you can easily jazz up this color with the right accessories. I went for gray to spice up my wardrobe, which works just as well.
  • Red lipstick. This is the easiest way to add glamour to your wardrobe and honey, there are hundreds of red shades to choose from. Have fun and try on some different reds. Believe me, there’s a red for everyone, including you. Marilyn reportedly used a mixture of different red lipsticks to create a color she liked best. She also was a fan of coral shades. And if you really want to go super glam, cat eyes do wonders. Remember, the turtleneck is drawing all eyes to your face.
  • Again, think about your curves. Marilyn opted for hip-hugging pants to further accentuate her shape – nothing baggy to be found here. Since I’m not big on pants, I made sure my sweater dress wasn’t bulky and was true to my size. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing a massive sock.
  • Seriously, go to the fitting room. When I first saw this turtleneck dress, I was very hesitant. But when I tried it on, I felt great. Don’t be afraid to try on different looks, especially those that you normally wouldn’t go for. You might just surprise yourself. Even Marilyn experimented with different types of turtlenecks:
By John Vachon filming “River of No Return.”




How will you be rocking a turtleneck this season?