Shoe Lust: Spring & Summer Booties

I’m one of those girls who hates flats, and will proudly wear heels whether I’m going shopping or to a casual night at a pub. I like to clack, what can I say. But I do love the compromise of a casual spring/summer boot with a low heel, because I get the height I want without looking too dressy. I love how a summer boot can make a sundress look a little edgier.

Because of my bank account, stores like DSW and clearance sales are my best friends. Here are a couple of options to fill out my spring shoe closet, and thankfully, they’re all affordable!

Chicwish Chain Boots

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I’ve actually already bought these! They feature a great pointed toe, that amazing shiny gold chain and my personal favorite, a notched heel emblazoned with gold that adds a special touch. I love details that transform something simple into something special. I can wear these in spring and in the fall/winter. Here’s where I got them.

Forever 21 Zipper Boots

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I have also bought these. They’re similar to the Chicwish boots in shape and style but they’re a lot more casual. They’re day boots with a low heel and a zipper detail around the shaft, which make them perfect to pair with a sundress. I also love the color: the rich tan is versatile and perfect for spring. Find them here.

Forever 21 Woven Sandals

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This is a dramatic night-out sandal. I love the modernist heel and the notch in it, but the woven part is my favorite. It’s perfect for crisp spring nights and can also be worn in the fall with tights. I’m usually not crazy about peep toes but these shoes stole my heart. Get them here.

Life Truths by Holly Golightly

“What I found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there.”

Thanks to Audrey Hepburn’s marvelous portrayal in the Breakfast at Tiffany’s film, Holly Golightly has become an icon in American culture. The image of her in that classic LBD with a bun in her mouth standing in front of Tiffany’s is one of the most famous images in film and pop culture. We love her because of her quirkiness and charm, and because she somehow remains true to herself while also being an active member of an image-obsessed world. Truman Capote wrote a sparkling character with more wit and wisdom than she is often given credit for. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the novella that show how wise Holly is.

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“I don’t mean I’d mind being rich and famous. That’s very much on my schedule, and someday I’ll try to get around to it; but if it happens, I’d like to have my ego tagging along. I want to still be me when I wake up one fine morning and have breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Holly knows that she wants to remain herself even if she’s famous and very much in the public eye. She knows that your ego can get the best of you and change your personality into something ugly.

“The answer is good things only happen to you if you’re good. Good? Honest is more what I mean… Be anything but a coward, a pretender, an emotional crook, a whore: I’d rather have cancer than a dishonest heart.”

With Holly, being herself means being honest at all times. She doesn’t intentionally mislead people to get her way, and she likens a liar to a criminal. Very wise.

“It may be normal, darling; but I’d rather be natural.”

“Everybody has to feel superior to somebody,” she said. “But it’s customary to present a little proof before you take the privilege.”

“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”

Holly speaks these words about her much-older husband. She still has affection for him, even after she ran away, because his kind heart allowed her to flourish into the person she is. His nurturing spirit gave her confidence, and she’s grateful to him for that.
“I’m very scared, Buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on forever. Not knowing what’s yours until you’ve thrown it away.”

Holly feels a bit lost in her life and doesn’t want to put down roots anywhere. In a fit of emotion she abandons her cat to the streets and then immediately regrets it, realizing that they did in fact belong to each other. She makes the narrator of the story find the cat and keep it.

“I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together.”

Also, did you know that Capote wrote the character of Holly Golightly specifically for Marilyn Monroe? I don’t know about you, but I can’t see anyone else playing Holly but Audrey, as much as I love Marilyn. I do think that Capote had rare insight into Marilyn’s personality though, because Monroe’s personality mirrors Golightly almost perfectly. I almost feel sad that Marilyn never got the chance to play her alter ego onscreen.

Fashion: In The Sun / Warby Parker sunglasses

I was recently given the opportunity by Warby Parker to try on and review a few frames from their new line of sunglasses. Looking through their products, I loved the Spectrum Sun Collection the best and decided to try a few of those. I received the sunglasses through Warby Parker’s Home Try-On Program, a program that lets customers pick five different styles to try on at home for five days, with no shipping costs and no obligation. It’s pretty cool.

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I picked these five frames:

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from the top left: MADISON in rum cherry; TENLEY in burgundy fade; FLANNERY in polished gold; REILLY in whiskey tortoise; DOWNING in revolver black. My favorites were the Tenley and the Reilly. Here I am wearing the Tenley.

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I’d also like to apologize for always wearing these boots.

I really loved the quality of these sunglasses and the details that differentiate these from the norm. The keyhole bridge on the Downing gives it a touch of vintage, and I especially loved the cherry color of the Madisons. I don’t often wear sunglasses because I have a small face, but I liked the way these looked on me!

sunglasses ℅ Warby Parker, bow tights from DSW (Betsey Johnson), boots from Marshall’s (Adrienne Vittadini), top from Kohl’s, blazer from Charade

Love and “The Fault in Our Stars”

When I tried to explain this book to my sister, I said something like, “It’s about two teenagers with terminal cancer and how they fall in love but they also believe that humanity is only temporary on earth and that eventually we’ll all die and no one will remember us because no one will be left to remember, and it’s really depressing but also strangely uplifting.” Needless to say, she did not read the book. I feel like the only way to understand the complexity and uniqueness of this book is to read it. It has entered into YA fiction lore and will soon be turned into a film, but I really wanted to read it before the movie opened. Reading this book before seeing the movie has done a strange thing: it has become mine in a special, personal way.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal.”

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The protagonist of this gem of a novel, Hazel Grace, speaks those words describing something akin to this phenomenon. With me, it’s like I have found another way to love this novel apart from the millions who have before me, a way to relate to this novel that makes it mine, the way art sometimes enters your heart and soul and changes you. This book has changed me, I think.

The part of this book I loved best was the way Hazel and Augustus related to each other: what they said, what they shared, the lack of self-consciousness that existed between them, the un-cliche romance they had that elevates this novel from what I expected: a sentimental YA romance. It’s nothing like that, and it’s because of the incredible personalities of the main characters.

“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.

“Augustus,” I said.

“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

This post is not so much a review as a reflection upon this novel. Hazel and Augustus are sparkling, brilliant, larger-than-life characters who are more adult-minded than most adults I know. They show immense courage and take their lives in their own hands, but are not immune to despair. They’re also philosophically pessimistic in the way they believe in human oblivion, and eschew the typical “encouraging” quotes that others seem to subsist on. They know they’re going to die. But they also know that now, they are irresistibly alive. And that’s how I found this book uplifting: 

But I believe in true love, you know? I don’t believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does.

There it is: the thing that makes life worth living. Hazel and Augustus are sixteen and seventeen, both going to die long before their times. They neither show extreme self-pity nor extreme cloying sentimental optimism (usually). They’re realists, taking each moment to be with each other before they stop living. It’s that maturity that lends another level of depth to this story. They accept what is going to come, but they don’t use it as an excuse to stop living their lives while they have the time. Continue reading…

Florals and D’Orsays for 2014

Here are some of my favorite spring trends.

Thigh High Socks

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Thigh-high socks have been a thing ever since Cher Horowitz, and they’re back in a big way this spring. Since I wore knee socks all throughout high school, I tend to like textured or colored ones that don’t give me horrible Catholic-school flashbacks. I love how they make any outfit just a little more special. These are from Nasty Gal.

D’orsay flats

You d’orsay! I love bad jokes, and I love d’orsay flats–even though flats hurt my feet. These are a couple I really love:

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My favorites are the floral Jeffrey Campbells.

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Floral prints

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I love floral prints so much I wish I could paper every surface with it. Whenever spring comes around I whip out all my floral stuff and go nuts. Stay tuned.

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Curved Heels

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I want these shoes so badly. They’re so pretty, I want to cry. I covet them even more knowing I could never make these, unless I take an actual shoemaking class (which, believe me, I have not even remotely ruled out). I would love to get my hands on some less expensive curved-heel boots and design something!

Links

 Check out more pretty things on my Polyvore page.

#WCW: Romola Garai

I don’t know what it is with Romola Garai, but she has managed to play the main character in the film adaptations of six of my favorite books. And in her other movies she’s equally as fantastic. She’s just ugh–amazing.

I Capture the Castle

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A young Romola Garai plays Cassandra Mortmain, a seventeen-year-old girl who lives in a refurbished castle in the 1930s in England. She writes about her quirky family and about falling in love for the first time. This book reminds me of a meadow of flowers, in the best way. It’s Austenesque. And Cassandra is an insightful narrator and wonderful character.

Angel

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A dark-haired, vampy, ridiculous Romola Garai brings a new level of sympathy and childishness to one of my favorite literary antiheroes. Read the full review of one of my favorite books here.

The Crimson Petal and the White

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NEED I SAY MORE. She plays the dry-lipped, brilliant young prostitute I fell in love with many years ago. The Crimson Petal and the White is probably my favorite book of all time, and when I learned Romola Garai would be playing Sugar, I screamed a lot. It was an emotional day.

Atonement

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Okay okay, she’s the supporting actress to Keira Knightley’s top billing but still, Briony Tallis is equally as important in this novel, and much more complicated. She resurrects her bob in this movie, to my delight.

Vanity Fair

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Also a supporting actress in this one but again, she brings a level of complexity to a frankly annoying character. She plays the motherly Amelia Sedley, a kind of clueless companion to the devilish Becky Sharp, who is one of the best and worst characters in literature, and an amazing antihero.

Emma

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Yes, she played the handsome, clever, rich Emma. Romola Garai is truly the best blessing of existence. She’s also a dab hand at Shakespeare adaptations.

Check her out. I think I’ve seen 90% of her movies, and that’s modest considering how much I love her.