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Why Did You Wear That: Under the Boardwalk

By |September 3rd, 2016|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

coney island boardwalk shop tobi

Ah, where were we?  Oh, that’s right.  Dissecting summer’s sweat stains and cynicism,  When I realized that I might be a little overdressed for housing hot dogs and giving the Tilt O Whirl a spin, I swapped my bodycon two piece for something a lot softer and a bit breezier: TOBI’s Desert Dreaming Dress Set.  There are days when it’s so steamy you can’t stand the thought of anything touching you, not even Ryan Gosling with a puppy and plate of freshly baked gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  Rather than give up on life by throwing on an oversized dashiki, find something in a natural (aka not synthetic) fabric that’s got some room to breathe and bonus points for clever ventilation design details.

Now, I realize the title of this entry may be a bit misleading.  I did do a serious stroll down the boardwalk by the sea taking in all the scents and the scenery, but I did not find myself at any point in a place where I might be able to sneak off with some handsome surfer for canoodling beneath the pier (and not just because there were no handsome surfers anywhere to be found).  Turns out, this boardwalk is exactly that– a walkway made from, you guessed it, boards.  On one side, you’ve got candy apple carts, frozen beverages and burgers, and every carnival ride your mother wouldn’t allow you to KDKD for fear of a fate worse than Fabio’s.  On the other side, there is a very impressive stretch of sand, way wider than many of the shorelines that have slowly eroded over the years.

 

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summer 16 shop tobi desert dreaming

Desert Dreaming Dress Set, c/o TOBI

Visit some Tobi favorites for new styles: Dresses, Crop Tops, Rompers, Jumpsuits, Bodysuits, Shorts

 

Photography by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: Put a Ring on It

By |August 26th, 2016|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

by-breanne-candy-rungsSomeone once said, “If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it.”  Was it Confucius or Beyonce?  I always get those two mixed up.  In any case, a few years ago, someone did actually like it enough to put a ring on it.  Sadly, he didn’t like it enough to keep his hands off of his boss’s secretary.  No harm, no foul– saved me from a life in the suburbs drinking  wine by the liter (and I don’t mean Santa Margherita) while coming up with new reasons to run errands at Target (the only entertainment in town besides Bert’s Stadium Sports Bar, formerly known as Blue Bonnet, RIP).

Sure, that experience may have made me a bit gun shy when it comes to relationships with men, but it did nothing to deter my interest in jewelry.  Until it started giving me a rash, I even continued to wear my ring on the opposite hand simply because I liked the way it sparkled.  But what if you don’t happen to have your own sparkler sitting around for days when you need a little bit of bling to brighten your mood?

ByBreanne to the rescue.  Remember back in grade school the only thing better than making paperclip retainers or letting Elmer’s glue dry on your hand only to peel it off?  You know, those cavity causing candy delights called Ring Pops?  Fast forward to present day where Miss Butler has cleverly come up with a way to bring back that childhood nostalgia, while keeping things fashion forward.  Crafting statement rings sweet as sugar, literally, these candy rings provide functionality and fun for only an evening.  Perfect for party favors or even moonlighting as napkin rings at dinner parties, they are a serious step up from penis straws at bachelorette parties.

They say diamonds are forever, but some things are only meant to be temporary.  Have your fun and eat it too- not something you can do with diamonds. A cracked tooth?  Now that is forever.

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Camisole and Panties by Gempicket, Ring by ByBreanne

Why Did You Wear That: Escape from New York City

By |August 15th, 2016|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smith riot art walls coney island

Ah, summer in the city.  It wasn’t until just this past week that we were reminded exactly what it might feel like to wade through a crock pot of steamy, stewing, week old garbage.  This is that special time of year when we trade in bitching about blizzards for raising all hell over heatwaves.  Your weather app may say it’s a balmy 93 degrees but keep scrolling down to “real feel” and don’t forget to check the humidity while you’re at it.

The back of cabs transform into Slip N’ Slides of our own sweat.  Sidewalks double as hot plates.  The drips of overhead window air conditioners become welcome reprieves from the heat.  I’ve all but given up on a “good hair day” and relegated my wardrobe to basic black or any pattern that might disguise the sweat stains acquired merely walking the five blocks to the A train where I can’t decide whether the weather above or below ground is more oppressive.  Most of us look like human versions of Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory and for whatever reason- perhaps the overwhelming waft of “pheromones” or all around “wet” look- cat calling reaches its peak.  How E E Cummings couldn’t capture this in one single sonnet, I’ll never know.

The only way one might manage to survive a New York City summer is by getting out of town.  Having lived in Manhattan for a combined total of ten years and forgetting that West Coast blunder, I’ve sunned myself from Southampton to Montauk.  Slathered on sunscreen in the Rockaways and caught the Seastreak to Sandy Hook.  Yet, I had never made my way to one of the most exotic and the last stops on the F train.  You don’t need a passport, but may want to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.  A boardwalk by the beach complete with cotton candy, bumper cars, and locals who could be considered its carneys- there lies the coastal gem called Coney Island.

As it was my first time to this foreign land, I wasn’t sure what to wear.  Fortunately, TOBI was kind enough to send me some summer essentials perfect for those days when it’s so hot even your brain begins to fry and you need the guesswork taken out of dress work.  The Love Buzz Strappy Bodycon Set seemed like the obvious choice for perusing the Coney Art Walls.  While Coney Island, itself, is quite colorful, what better backdrop for a photoshoot than commissioned graffiti by prominent street artists?  This little two piece wonder looks good with just about anything from cartoon ice cream cones to causing a riot… something sure to happen had I spent one more sticky second in the city.

To be continued…

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kirsten smith why did blog nycLove Buzz Strappy Bodycon Set, c/o TOBI

Visit some Tobi favorites for new styles: Dresses, Crop Tops, Rompers, Jumpsuits, Bodysuits, Shorts

Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: Blurring Lines in Gempicket

By |November 30th, 2015|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

gempicket whydid kirsten smith2Upon entering my apartment, one of the first things people notice, besides the fact that it took them twenty minutes to navigate the maze like hallway to get there, is the collection of nightgowns hanging on the handles of my closet doors on the left side of the hallway.  Some of them are vintage, some of them I’ve never worn, others I wear all the time.  You could say that my obsession with nightwear began while watching Golden Girls as a little girl.  That’s right, instead of Big Bird and Mister Rogers it was Murphy Brown, Sam Malone, and Blanche Devereaux.  I still fall asleep to the sounds of Nick at Nite and all of this ties back nicely to the potential narcolepsy I suffer from.  Another hypothesis as to my penchant for boudoir attire is the time I spent buying lingerie for Henri Bendel.  One never knew she was missing a waspie or the imperative need for an embroidered kimono until she spent time in a showroom full of silk, chiffon, and lace.  I only have one dresser in my apartment and its sole purpose is to house my bras, panties, and bathing suits.  You may be wondering why I ever even bother getting dressed.  Spoiler alert, I rarely do.

Working from home most days doesn’t require putting on much more than a whisper of clothing.  Other than slipping into something spandex to catch a yoga or pilates class, I’ve become quite comfortable in the very basics– as have all of my deliverymen.  My freedom in dresscode and days of solidarity have taken some of the stress out of my normal work day, but it has also left me somewhat socially awkward and also in a panic when it comes time to piece together an outfit fit for public consumption.  And this is when the beauty of blurring the lines between “your eyes only” and “all eyes on me “comes into play.  When you can pair a Gempicket silk cotton batiste cami with your favorite skinny jeans or throw a vintage t-shirt on with your delicately demure tap pants, you’ve perfectly bridged the gap between wallflower and woman of interest.  Or you could just call the whole thing off and stay home in your skivvies.

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gempicket new york whydidGempicket Elodie Cami, Grace Tap Pants, and Suki Socks

Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: American Splendor

By |November 17th, 2015|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smith why did blog denim skirtSaturday afternoons during the fall in Manhattan often involve something some lovingly refer to as and others scoff at called “brunch.”  This past Saturday presented me with an especially relevant reason to partake in daylight libations because my oldest (not in age, but in duration) friend was in town for work.  Upon his arrival, we wandered down the street without an actual location in mind– this is an analogy for my life.  Stopping in front of a restaurant to inspect the menu, deeming it acceptable, and ordering a bottle of rosé as soon as our seats touched the chairs (I refuse to believe it’s out of season), we were off to a running start.  I thought myself clever asking for a turkey burger sans bun only to later find out that many restaurants use bread crumbs as a binder in their patties, canceling out all of my gluten free intentions.  We met up with a few friends at a neighborhood watering hole a few blocks down and much to my chagrin, said establishment was out of rosé, so Sancerre it was.  Typically dead on a Saturday afternoon before the evening rush of anyone but locals, the bartenders thanked us for making them laugh and keeping things “interesting.”  As we parted ways with one group of friends, we met up with another at a cash only joint that can almost lead you to believe you’ve been transported from the West Village to Southwest Detroit, almost- the plaid shirts and Patagonia vests are dead giveaways as to your geolocation.

At this point, I was fading fast and knew that the only last glint of hope for me was to order pizza (since I’d already fallen from the gluten wagon).  A few people are privy to the fact that in most instances of ordering pizza, I’ve fallen asleep before it’s been delivered.  Basically, I pay my doormen’s holiday bonuses in literal dough.  But alas, I was still standing when it was time to tip the delivery boy.  Unfortunately, even a Pandora dance party and pepperoni slice could not save my sad, sloshed soul.  I waved my friends on without me- okay, I fell asleep with my arm in the air- and called it a night, all before 9pm.

I sat straight up in bed around 1:30am and realized that I had slept the entire night away and wondered where my friends had ventured off to and whether I should gather bail money now or later.  I didn’t have to wonder for too long before my best pal was haphazardly trying his luck with the key to my door and Smitty all but lost it at the prospect of an intruder.  I rescued him from himself and he stumbled in to tell me what I’d missed (hint: not much).  After a chat session worthy of a highschool sleepover, and a critical dissection of our relationships, he passed out snoring on my couch and I found myself wide awake on Saturday night at 4am watching American Splendor.

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whydid kirsten smith denim skirttop: American Eagle, skirt: American Apparel, sweater: Henri Bendel, shoes: Steve Madden, bag: Chanel, dog: Smitty


Photos by Richard Smith