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Why Did You Wear That: American Girl in Paris, Part Deux

By |February 5th, 2015|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|
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kirsten smith paris why did blogErnest Hemingway, my sometimes emotional doppelganger, has been quoted as saying, “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”  Well, this is lesson one in WhyDid’s Guide to Paris.  Years ago, when I was dating my first boyfriend in New York and first real love as an adult, he took me away for my birthday to Puerto Vallarta.  I was nervous, but excited because while it’s one thing to spend time together over fancy dinners and attend occasional sleepovers at each others’ apartments, it’s another thing entirely to be bound to one another in a foreign country.  While there were some mishaps along the way, a meltdown over a missing watch, a diverted flight leading to a night spent exploring Mexico City, the experience was an overall positive one– thanks in large part to my easy going nature, and ability to keep calm in a “crisis.”  He deemed me the ultimate travel companion (I’d nominate Smitty) and from then on, I’ve had similar experiences… except for that one trip a couple of summers ago…

While being “go with the flow” has its obvious benefits, in a city like Paris, it is important to come in with a game plan or else you’ll find yourself still in the apartment past noon and wondering where all the time went by the end of the week.  Upon arriving in Paris, people spoke to me in French, which I’ll take as a compliment, until the look of disgust appeared upon their faces as I butchered the phrase, “Anglais, s’il vous plait,” while sipping my champagne and batting my lashes.  Madame Cook, my highschool French teacher is somewhere mortified.  Most people in Paris do speak English, but if you even attempt to call and make a reservation at one of the upwardly trendy restaurants, they will without fail respond with, “Booked.”  We found it easier to show up and luck our way into a table, but I can’t guarantee that would work everywhere or for everyone.  When attempting to tell someone the address of your destination, just show them on your phone because they will pretend they have no idea what you are saying.

In any case, during my first days wherein I was alone because I couldn’t be bothered booking a flight that wasn’t direct, I wandered the streets of the 7th arrondisment, where we were staying, and as luck would have it, a Parisian friend from New York, happened to be on his way to the city of light as well.  He picked me up one evening and we went to the Park Hyatt, which is allegedly a celebrity favorite, for a drink and to catch up.  He was surprised to see the place so empty, and when another friend of his, a model, of course, who lives full time in Paris arrived, she informed us that it had been quite quiet following the Charlie Hedbo incident.  She also added that it was unusually cold for Paris.

After people watching for a while, we decided to liven things up by heading to Hotel Costes.  Known for being a place to be seen and to bump into the beautiful people, we were surprised to find the soundtrack that evening being provided by crickets.  In hopes that it was just still a little bit early, we camped out in a corner table and had another cocktail.  Things never really picked up and true to form, I fell asleep sitting up, which I blamed on jetlag, but anyone close to me knows this is a rather common occurrence.  After toasting to my birthday, it was after midnight in Paris afterall, we decided to fold and my friend walked me home and that’s when the real adventure began.

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paris kirsten smith why did blogsweater: UNIF Lisa Funnel Neck Sweater, jeans: 7 for All Mankind, shoes: Adidas Originals Stan Smith, bag: Balenciaga Classic Velo, sunglasses: Chloé, coat: Andrew Marc

Why Did You Wear That: American Girl

By |January 25th, 2015|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

leopard coat and jeansWhen I was little, American Girls were introduced.  As luck would have it, one of these dolls was named Kirsten.  There was no way on Earth my mother thought I should go one single day without having a Kirsten doll of my own.  Eventually, she got a best friend named Samantha.  Having spent the past week in Paris (much more on that later), I’ve learned quite a bit about what French men (and women) think about American girls.  While I didn’t stand out like a sore thumb with a money belt and massive camera, once I spoke English, the French were very intrigued to ask us about our President and who we thought would be the next.  (Their guess is Hillary Clinton).  The style here is much like New York, except they aren’t afraid of a full length fur and even those dressed down have a bit more polish and panache than their American counter parts.  While I blended in nicely, I do suppose wearing the outfit in this post would have been a dead giveaway of American descent.

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coat: vintage, similar by Rag & Bone here, shirt: Scotch and Soda, jeans: 7 for All Mankind, shoes: Pour la Victoire, bag: Louis Vuitton, belt: vintage: similar by B-Low the Belt here, bracelet: , lipstick: Clinique

xx,

WhyDid

 

Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: Mixed Media

By |November 23rd, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

red leather skirt plaidIf I had a dollar for every instance in which I stood affront my closet, mouth agape, and already a good thirty minutes late for an event, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this because I’d be on my private jet being fed exotic fruits and sipping imported champagne on my way to French Polynesia.  Unfortunately, I have yet to execute that type of business wizardry, but I assume it might involve a webcam.  In any case, some of my best work has come the split second before I completely lose it, text that I can’t make it, and sit perched in front of my TV underwear clad eating pasta.  Because I have a hard time letting go of a lot of my clothes, there are times when I am pleasantly surprised by a piece that I’d just about forgotten I ever owned.  Much was the case when I re-discovered this red leather skirt sandwiched between something fringed and something asymmetric (that I should probably consider donating).  My auto instinct would be to pair it with a t-shirt- more likely than not white or grey, but this beaded tank caught my eye and I slid it on.  Because I’m allergic to looking too fussy, I topped it with a soft flannel shirt and found a perfect “uptown girl heads downtown.”

(Editor’s Note: let us all be aware that these photos were taken pre-Polar Vortex, but a pair of tights and heavier coat would keep you warm in this look).

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jacket: Andrew Marc, shirt: mom’s, similar by Kado here, tank: vintage, similar by Topshop here, skirt: vintage, similar by T by Alexander Wang here, bag: Balenciaga, shoes: ZIGI Soho, bralette: Victoria’s Secret, lipstick: Clinique Different Lipstick in Angel Red

xx,

WhyDid

Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: The Way to Go Grey

By |November 7th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

over the knee boots leatherIt now gets dark before five o’clock and I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact that winter is on its way and there’s nothing I can do to change that.  But until the snow congregates on the concrete, I will continue to cling to the last bits of light and the fleeting moments of warmth.  There is a period of time about as long as fall lasts in New York when you can wear tall boots with a slice of skin still showing.  After this, you’ll be relegated to warmer legwear or… shudder… pants.  There are, however, perks to cooler weather (there’s always a silver lining, after all) and those perks come in the form of leather shorts, over the knee boots, beanies, and cozy sweaters.  This Daisy Fuentes for Kohl’s dolman sweater is the perfect way to wear a pair of leather shorts without looking like a fly girl.  The key to sproting over the knee boots without eliciting  Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, vibes is to dress them down with a casual sweater and knit beanie.  Both leather shorts and OTK boots are items that could go terribly wrong, so wear with caution.  This sweater, however, can do no wrong because once the leg baring weather has come to an end, it’s just the right length to be legally worn with leggings.

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knit winter beaniesweater: c/o Diasy Fuentes for Kohl’s, shorts: Blank Denim, boots: Kelsi Dagger, similar by Joie here, socks: Commando, hat: Leith, bag: Kooba,

 

xx,

WhyDid

 

Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: The Odd Couple (Costume)

By |October 31st, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

tortoise and hare halloween costumeAs I mentioned, Halloween can be a bit like New Year’s Eve.  Many people get very into their costumery and a lot of those people happen to be couples.  Being someone who normally loves a theme, I can’t explicitly identify why I’m less than enthusiastic about this year’s Hallow’s Eve, but I am.  Rather than race around gathering the ingredients for the world’s most clever costume, I’ve, instead, assembled items I already own and have let them begin to take on a lives of their own.  I’m calling it, “interpretive dressing.”  When people ask me what I’m going to “be” (and they ask a lot), I simply shrug and let them know that remains to be seen.

But, back to those poor fellows being forced into theme in order to appease their lady beloveds.  A guy friend of mine, was informed that not only would he be hosting a Halloween soiree, he’d need a costume.  I suggested he go as a wrecking ball and his girlfriend could be Miley Cyrus.  When he vetoed that, my next suggestion was to go rogue and dress up as a bumper car so as to take out his aggression as party proprietor.

The best $8 dollars I ever spent was during a recent trip to Home Goods with a friend of mine.  We were on the search for a throw pillow or a tissue holder or some other household item that you never knew you needed (and probably don’t), but when I stumbled upon a Smitty sized turtle costume, mission was temporarily aborted and costume was acquired.  Not long after at a French themed dinner party with my girlfriends, I told them of my purchase and one exclaimed, “Please tell me you’re going as a rabbit!”  I hadn’t thought about it, but once she said it, I thought it was a pretty solid suggestion.  Oh… except for one thing… Smitty is a dog.  Sure, it would make for cute photos (who the hell is going to take them?), but upon exiting my home, I’d just be some chick in a bunny costume.  Truth be told, I’ve brought out stranger “props” than a living animal and if I would ever get around to registering Smit as a service dog this would be a non-issue.  But alas, my little turtle must stay in his shell.  It’s entirely possible that dressing your dog is the new “cat lady,” but offering him a peanut butter chewbone in return for his services seems like a bargain compared to dealing with a human beau. (Several reasons why here).  And honestly, is dressing your dog any worse than dressing your boyfriend in a coordinating denim ensemble?

Oh, and if you’re looking to make your own ears, check out my DIY here.

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xx,

WhyDid

 

Photos by Michael Stiegler