Getting Glamorous With a Turban

There are several must-haves that every lady should own to both look and feel like a glamour goddess. A fresh tube of red lipstick, some fabulous fur (I prefer faux), pearls, a little black dress – you get the picture.

But one piece that’s seriously a must-have? The ever so stylish turban.

Fellow Dominicana Maria Montez.
Fellow Dominicana Maria Montez.

This chic piece has been a fashion staple for old Hollywood starlets since the era of silent cinema and it’s easy to see why. Turbans add an extra amount of oomph to any wardrobe, they’re super eye-catching (much like a perfect red pout), and they keep your mane in place. What’s not to love?

Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr
Elizabeth Taylor with Richard Burton
Elizabeth Taylor with Richard Burton
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Lana Turner
Lana Turner

During the 1930s, the turban exemplified a well-traveled woman and as for today, people will certainly ask for the story behind your accessory.

Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren

And if that’s not convincing check out these grand dames rocking their turbans at one of my favorite blogs, Advanced Style. Need I say more?

For a date night with Jordan, I decided to rock my very first turban, which I purchased from Israel-based Craftasy on Etsy. All I can say is, All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Craftasy sells several turbans, but you can get the exact same black one for less than $9. How sweet is that?

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

As for my dress, it also came from Etsy, via Midwest-based Fly Away Vintage Shop. It’s a late 1970s-early 1980s teal satiny secretary wrap dress by Liz Claiborne. The original dress was long in length with equally long sleeves. I had it tailor to better fit my figure, and then paired it with a thrifted wide leather corselet belt.

Dress Before Tailoring Photo by Fly Away Vintage Shop
Dress Before Tailoring
Photo by Fly Away Vintage Shop

For a similar look, here are my picks:

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For our date night, Jordan and I went to Brasserie Les Halles on Park Avenue South. If you’re an Anthony Bourdain fan like me, then chances are you’ve already eaten at this spot. While Les Halles is known for their French dishes, Jordan and I were craving burgers. Perhaps we made a poor choice as the American staple was rather forgettable. However, the pommes frites was a mouthwatering pairing with cocktails.11709437_10100269604901757_100750542406942018_n

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And reader, I must say, there is nothing more glamorous than savoring a Friday night at a French restaurant in Park Avenue, while devouring a plate of French fries while rocking your turban.

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Hello, Le Sailor

Reader, on a disgusting July afternoon in New York City where I felt warm, salty sweat drip down in places that should never go, I decided to do something daring.

I chose to wear horizontal stripes.

Sound the alarm.
Sound the alarm.

Perhaps it was the desperation of wanting to get out of my DNA-soaked gown and try on a thin, breathable cotton dress, but I took a chance. A big one.

Like many women, I grew up being taught that horizontal stripes were only designed for willowy French girls. I mean, they probably only break a sweat while carrying baguettes, so of course they always look so chic.

OK, why am I hungry now?
OK, why am I hungry now?

Brigitte Bardot could rock them.

Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot

Jean Seberg could rock them.

Jean Seberg
Jean Seberg

A curvy Dominican with big bosoms and wider hips should not…unless she wants to look straight up fat.

Blame the baguettes. Actually, I just wanted another excuse to stare at carbs.
Blame the baguettes. Actually, I just wanted another excuse to stare at carbs.

But on this day, I didn’t give two zip-a-dee-doo-dahs. I am rocking horizontal stripes and have zero regrets.

Draw me like one of your French girls.
Draw me like one of your French girls.

In my latest thrifting adventure, I found a size small(!) Greylin navy cotton dress with petite stripes and I adore them. It features some sort of wrap around tie-up that I wasn’t feeling, so I let it go free against my hips. Not only did I feel cool and refreshed, but I was relieve to know that I could indeed wear horizontal stripes and my name didn’t have to be Gigi. Well, Stephanie is actually French so yeah…stripes for the win.

Greylin, I love you.
Greylin, I love you.

In short? Wear whatever you want and try everything/anything. A magazine may tell you hell to the no. Your grandma may insist you’ll never get married and instead, be doomed to live alone with 15 strays named Pablo. But sometimes, when something is meant to be, it will work. Plus, how can one really know if a “trend” doesn’t work if, I don’t know, you don’t try it on?

Will I wear horizontal stripes every day? Probably not. But there is hope for a sweaty mess like me. Now, let’s celebrate with this little jingle:

“It Really Was Raining”

For my day job, I do more writing, which includes interviewing interesting people. Like models. You know, those gorgeous sirens you see on the cover of magazines and towering billboards.

They often tell me how they always look so immaculate, as well as what shooting for those covers are really like. It usually involves dipping their near-nude figures in an ice cold beach just when the sun rises for the best lighting and wearing sweat-inducing armor for couture hours on end.

If we could all look like this 1950s model in the rain.
If we could all look like this 1950s model in the rain.

I would always think to myself, Well surely it can’t be that bad. Just look at you. The world is your giant oyster and it offers all the pearls you want.

Well, I got a taste of it. Somewhat.

While visiting South Street Seaport one semi-gloomy (and unusually chilly) Saturday during the summer season, I was compelled to be photographed to remember the time I went all the way downtown. Then, it started to rain. Jordan suggested to use the umbrella as a prop. This was the result.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

But reader, it really was raining. Fat, ice cold droplets of water were smacking my face, the wind was blowing each minute with full vengeance, and my hair provided unforgiving whiplashes. But nope. I was going to get my picture. I guess this is what real models go through.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

My dress is a vintage 1970s bohemian pink floral maxi from the West Village. The label is unknown, but I love how easy-breezy it is for the summer. The gown makes me feel as if I’m ready to stroll through the streets of Tuscany. I added a wide leather corselet belt to accentuate my waist and avoid that dreaded pajama feel.

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You can get a similar look: ’90s grunge pink maxi for $34.50, a soft rayon maxi for $39, a 1970s butterfly sleeve non-floral pink maxi for $40, or a more tannish floral maxi for $48. If you’re looking to splurge, I really like this 1970s-inspired coral maxi for $98 or this 1930s French gown from Paris for $148.25. When shopping from Etsy, always make sure to note the measurements provided on any listing and don’t hesitate to reach out to the vendors with any sizing concerns you may have. I always do.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Even in the rain, I let my hair down (literally). But I must tell you, those Goody Spin Pins are a must-have for a quick bun. They’re less than $10.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

And smiled, wearing Revlon’s pinky-red “Cherries in the Snow” creme lipstick. It’s also less than $10.

But in the end, there were cocktails to be found at Fresh Salt. I had the cup of rosé while Jordan sipped on a bourbon cocktail. Both were divine.

Drinks at Fresh Salt.
Drinks at Fresh Salt.

I’m certainly not a model. But at least I can now say I played one. In the rain. It was messy. But worth it. Now I can go back to eating my burger.

The end.
The end.