Fashion | Perseverance

It’s been a long winter and even though I’m sad to see it go, spring is right around the corner. Strangely, spring is when I transition away from pastels and into jewel tones. I just feel like everything is a riot of color and I tend to mirror that in my dress.

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dress from Boohoo, tights and cardigan from H&M

‘S.’ by JJ Abrams & Doug Dorst is easily the weirdest book I’ve ever read…

I knew when I first learned about this book that it would challenge me. In case you haven’t heard, S. is a novel experience conceived by J.J. Abrams and written by both Abrams and Doug Dorst. The story is multilayered: ‘S.’ is the name of the ‘book’ and within the book are several ‘stories:’ first, there is the physical book itself entitled ‘Ship of Theseus’ by imaginary author V.M. Straka. The physical book is designed to look like a library book, faded pages included. Within the book’s pages are extensive margin notes written by two characters: Jen and Eric, who are reading the Straka book simultaneously and conversing with each other as they do it, trying to figure out who V.M. Straka really is. Tucked inside the pages are also loose objects that act as clues: postcards, scans of old telegrams, newspaper clippings, pictures and letters must be read and understood. The book turns into a fast-paced mystery, and even though I’m only about 100 pages in, I can tell this book is unlike any other I’ve ever seen.

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First, when I started reading, I read the novel and the margin notes at the same time, and quickly realized I wasn’t absorbing either storyline very well. I did some research on Goodreads: literally ‘how to read this book’ and I restarted by reading just the novel. Then I’ll go back and read the first round of margin notes, and a third pass reading the second round of margin notes, and hopefully by the end, I’ll have figured out the mystery—the mystery of how to read this book. ;)

It’s an interesting experience, because readers have to be aware of the novel’s storyline, the hidden messages within the novel’s text, and then they have to keep track of several characters who only appear in handwritten messages on the margins of the book. It’s less a novel and more of an experience, the same sort of way I would think of a 4D film in Disney World or something. It’s enhanced and circuitous, and takes much longer to read than an average book.

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I’m still only reading the novel portion and the storyline is crazy as it is, with a main character who enters the narrative having forgotten who he is and where he came from. He has only one syllable as his name—’S’—and finds himself on a hellish pirate ship crewed by men who have their mouths sewn shut. Reading this book has given me interesting dreams, and I’m only just getting started.

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It’s books and stories like these that reminds me of the endless creativity artists are capable of, and I love that Abrams was brave and crazy enough to turn an idea into a reality, medium be damned. Truly, this story could only be told through a physical book experience; neither film nor e-book version is possible for a story like this. S needs to be touched and interacted with. I’m excited to continue reading this book and figuring out this new experience of reading.

Spring Vibes featuring Anjolee Jewelry

Have you ever heard of Anjolee? They’re fine jewelry makers with a website that allows you to fully customize a piece of fine jewelry. You can pick a collection and a piece of jewelry and change different aspects of the piece like the metal, diamond size, and all the other aspects of the piece you’d normally have to visit a jeweler to do, but with Anjolee, you can do it all online and you can see an HD preview of the whole piece before you order, plus an estimated cost. (They have a Youtube page with examples.) And you can even order a silver-and-cubic-zirconia “preview” of your customized piece to see in person before they make the real thing. Now, I’m not in the market for a diamond necklace or anything like that, but if I were, Anjolee would definitely be an option.

Anjolee offered me these stud earrings to customize, and I chose a citrine gemstone. Obviously, they didn’t send me diamonds but rather a sparkly gemstone “preview.” The earrings came in a beautiful package: a wooden box with a light on top that made it look like the earrings were under a spotlight. It was cute.

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These earrings are beautiful and dainty, and excellent quality. They make me feel like Princess Diana or something. :) Could you tell I had a fun time photographing them?

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I actually got inspired to create an outfit around these earrings, with jewel tones. Here’s a preview:

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earrings c/o Anjolee

Talking about tights…because it’s winter and freezing

Plus the nude tights question: answered!

Tonight in New York it’s -4 degrees. With March less than a week away, the freezing temperatures are starting to get ridiculous, and this is coming from someone who loves winter. So let’s talk about one of my favorite accessories and a must-have this winter if you want to wear dresses, and let’s face it, of course you do. Men in the back there, I’m also talking to you. They’re mad comfortable, and I know you’ve always been curious. ;) Anyway: here’s how to wear all the myriad categories of tights and my favorite looks, co-opted from Pinterest.

Simple black

These are my most-worn kinds of tights, obviously. In the past I’ve only really worn opaque tights, but I like the look of very sheer tights better this year. Black tights go with everything, case dismissed, except maybe bright colors and browns, but it’s got to be your call.

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Patterned tights

I love patterned tights, again, in black. I especially love the knitted tights that look like fishnets (but that aren’t fishnet stockings, ironically). Like these:

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These are my second most-worn kind of tights, and I usually wear them with simple, solid dresses and booties. I would also throw some knee socks over them for a little something extra.

Colored tights

I have a long history with colored tights! During my early college years, I loved them. Did not leave the house without color on my legs. I had a favorite pair that were a muted purple, almost heather gray. I also wore burgundy (which I still wear because the color matches so flawlessly with my wardrobe), forest green, and mustard (again, which I still wear). Colored tights can definitely be a hit-or-miss; they’re so fussy. I’ve seen such amazing color combinations on some bloggers that I know I could never pull off, so I always go with neutral everything else and then slap on the tights—in jewel tones, if anything—as a pop of color. But I love these looks, too:

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Nude tights

Nude tights are truthfully a little tacky to me, but honestly, I don’t care much about that when I’m faced with 1 degree temperatures. One way I like to make nude tights a little more interesting is to wear ones that don’t look like you’re not supposed to see them. So I wear nude tights with either a pattern or a texture on them, like these tattoo tights I got from Etsy a few years ago. They’re definitely nude tights, but they serve another purpose other than warmth, and the pattern takes away from that tacky look nude tights so often have.

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Knee socks

I’m big on knee socks this year. I love ones that are neutral tones, like the cream and black pairs I wear often. Knee socks make me feel really elegant and also girlish, a strange combination. I also have a burgundy pair that again, just goes so well with a lot of the pieces I own, so they sort of act like a neutral for me. Those are my staple colors for knee socks, so if you’re looking for the right colors, choose neutrals first and then pick a color that is easily mixed into your wardrobe. I love wearing knee socks with either over-the-knee boots or booties.

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Also: I have never divined the difference between stockings and tights.

Book Lust | New York, Paris & London Historical Fiction

The danger of a bookstore is that everything you could ever want to read is yours for the taking. I love online shopping when it comes to shoes and clothes, but I hate online shopping for books. I love the feeling of entering this inner sanctum of stories and having the freedom to sift through them, pick them up, and take some home with you. It’s a little bit like magic. Tonight I went to Barnes & Noble and wove through the stacks with a wobbling pile of books on my arm and a gift card in my wallet. I chose books well over the limit enforced by my $100 gift card so I had to make cuts. Unfortunately, the cuts I made were three books from Edward Rutherfurd oeuvre: Paris, New York and London. Has anyone read these books and would like to share what they think? Cause I’m dying to read these.

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I’m a lover of cities as if they’re friends or lovers. When I visited London, I left a huge piece of my heart there and think of it as a home. Paris was similar; even though I spent so little time there, there was something about the city which embraces you. Paris changes you. And of course, I live on the outskirts of the greatest city in the world, and constantly find myself entranced by New York as long as I’ve lived in its shadow. Rutherfurd has taken three living, breathing cities with gargantuan histories and turned them into characters. His stories promise odes to the three major cities of the world, containing not only thousands of years of history, but fictional and fictionalized characters to populate these disparate worlds. I imagine it’s so easy to lose yourself in these books and be carried away to different times, each set against the backdrop of New York, London or Paris.

But since I couldn’t leave the bookstore without all three, and since I ran out of B&N gift card credit, I’ll have to wait to score these. Breathe, Lisa. Breathe.

Lulu*s Style Studio, a NY Fashion Blogger Party

On February 13th I had the pleasure of attending the Lulu*s Style Studio, a big New York fashion blogger party thrown by Lulus.com. I felt honored to be invited to this event, especially since this blog is so far from being exclusively fashion. I was lucky to be in the company of amazing New York fashion bloggers who do this stuff way better than I do.

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The actual event itself was such a treat! On the bottom floor were stations where you could get your nails painted, your hair braided, and even your makeup done. Sponsors like Shea Moisture and NYX set up booths along the back wall and gave away lipsticks, balms, lotions, eyeliner, and all kinds of fun products. Upstairs, you could get a free cocktail courtesy of Hpnotiq and mingle with other bloggers. They had a photobooth with fun props (I gave myself a lush goatee) and at 7:30, Lulus let bloggers pick one item from their collection. That part was a little crazy: imagine 100 fashion bloggers being unleashed on free clothes. But I ended up with a couple of great pieces, courtesy of Lulu*s and White Crow clothing:

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I also met fellow fashion blogger Katie Miller, of Freedom of Wardrobe. Definitely check her out!