Jan
22
2014
0


Why Did You Wear That: Woodgrain and Leather

pencil skirt dressed up dressed downIn adventures of “I’ve run out of clothes- what can I find in someone else’s closet?,” I popped into Dick’s closet to grab a jacket and found one which he claims is older than I am- which means it’s probably made out of dinosaur skin. While in the depths of his closet, a baseball cap in the same maroon hue caught my eye. When I reached up and dusted it off, my head nearly exploded as I discovered that the brim was… woodgrain. If I hadn’t had breakfast that morning, I totally would have passed out. Instead I fired off a text to my male bff telling him about the treasure I’d just unearthed. He was beyond stoked and probably a little jealous that he didn’t have his own. Don’t worry, homie, I’m on the hunt for a replica.

Pencil skirts are most often associated with secretaries and desk jobs a la Mad Men -pretty, prim and proper. However, I think they can be a very sexy addition to a dressed down look without losing all femininity. When I mixed a distressed (aka future dishrag) t-shirt that I cropped (obviously) and removed the sleeves from with this basic black skirt and topped it with an oversized leather jacket and baseball hat, I felt I’d created yet another perfect contradiction.

The combination of woodgrain and leather essentially makes me a walking rap song and what could really be better than that?

kirsten catherwood smith

kirsten smith baseball hat

kirsten catherwood smith

kirsten smithhat: brilliant find from dad (similar here), t-shirt: future cleaning rag turned crop top (similar here), skirt: Express, jacket: vintage (similar here), boots: All Saints (similar here), bralette: Victoria’s Secret, dog: Smitty, earrings: (similar here)

xx,

WhyDid

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Jan
21
2014
0


Why Did You Wear That: Strawberry Fields

kirsten smithWhile the east coast froze during December and January, I was soaking up the sun on the west coast.  Most people automatically assume LA, but I was up north near the Salinas Valley also called “the salad bowl of the world”  which produces pretty much all of the greens consumed in the United States.  So, by all means, eat your vegetables.  This particular field is a strawberry field and wouldn’t you know it was all too fitting as the sun went down.  The sunsets are nothing short of magnificent in the valley and each night I was wowed by yet another color combination in the sky and bouncing off the hills.  On this particular late afternoon as we tried to capture “magic hour,” the sun cast a rose gold hue which only deepened as time passed and in turn, I now know what I’d look like as a redhead.

This was the outfit that I wore to ring in the New Year  (yes, I got Dick onboard the New Year’s Eve outfit train).  And while it was completely within reason on December 31st, I understand that some of you may not categorize sequin crop tops in the same manner I do- which is every day wear.  So, now you’re looking at this jazzy little number wondering when the hell you’re ever going to wear it again and should you just send it to your niece for her next dance recital?  The answer is no.  You see, Dick is a very logical man, therefore I had to rationalize with him as to how both the skirt and top were totally wearable in more than one way.  While this is how I would style a sparkly top for an evening out, in the next two posts, I’ll show you how to incorporate both a sparkly crop top and pencil skirt into your regularly scheduled wardrobe.  But for now, let’s just bask in the rose gold glow.

kirsten smith

kirsten smith why did

kirsten smith california

kirsten smithskirt: Express, top: Express, boots: All Saints (similar here), sunglasses: Ray Ban, bag: Balenciaga, necklace: Maya Brenner, dog: Smitty

xx,

WhyDid

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Dec
16
2013
1


Why Did You Wear That: Metallica and the Monterey Musical Melee
Written by: WhyDid | Personal Style

kirsten smithIn case you haven’t heard (or read WhyDid in the the last 6+ moths), the 90′s are having a renaissance.  And with the revival of 90′s trends like babydoll dresses and brands like Birkenstock, 90′s musicians are also feeling a lift in their royalties.  I understand that stores like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 shill out shirts with graphics of “vintage” bands emblazoned on them and some of you have only heard of these bands during drunken stories told by your nostalgic “older” friends or when a song comes on in a dive bar and all the “middle aged” patrons go wild.  Well, here’s a pro-tip (talking to you children of the 90′s): be sure you know something about the vintage band t-shirt you are wearing because people will ask you about it- much like the friendly man who checked me out at Nob Hill.  Fortunately for me, I was schooled, partially by osmosis- partially against my will by my older brothers who wore weird clothes, had long hair, and played their instruments at ungodly hours at decibel levels usually reserved for freight trains in the guesthouse above our garage.

I don’t think any of us will soon forget the roadtrip from Monterey to Los Angeles that nearly came to bloody blows when I demanded in my pouty teenage cheerleader way that we listen to Backstreet Boys and my metal loving brothers were more inclined to jump out the windows of the moving vehicle before allowing their eardrums to be tainted by such pop hypocrisy.  I don’t actually recall who won, but I do love my poor damn dad for dealing with all of us without wrecking into a guardrail in the midst of the melee.  I believe we ended up taking turns, but I have to take a moment and thank my brothers for their efforts in a musical intervention.  You saved me from myself… and the Backstreet Boys.

In my tradition of nomadic travel (meaning I am incapable of booking roundtrip plane tickets and prefer to take things as they come), I didn’t pack enough clothing for my extended stay.  However, I enjoy raiding the closets of those that I’m visiting and incorporating their wares into my gypsy wardrobe.  This is when I stumbled upon my father’s 1971 military fatigues (which he has informed me as I write this were referred to as OD, olive drab).  What a perfect way to top off my Metallica tee and maxi skirt while watching the sun set on a sunny day in Monterey.

kirsten smith

kirsten smith whydid

kirsten smith whydid

kirsten smith

kirsten smithearrings: Soho street find (similar here),  jacket: Dad’s (similar here), t-shirt: Bravado, skirt: Brandy Melville (similar here), bag: Amrita Singh, boots: All Saints (similar here)

Sleep with one eye open.

xx,

WhyDid

 

photos by Richard (Dick) Smith

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Dec
05
2013
0


Why Did You Wear That: Post Traumatic Stress, or Lack Thereof

Kirsten SmithSpeaking of evolution, it’s amazing what a difference a year can make.  Cliché?  Yes.  True?  Also yes.  After having scraped myself from my father’s couch and moving back to New York last year, I was ready to put my shattered life back together piece by painful piece.  I had moved back to my old neighborhood (literally across the street from my old apartment), reconnected with my New York friends who hadn’t fled the city for life in suburban wedded bliss, and put my feelers out for new career opportunities and love interests- though only half heartedly on the latter.

I hadn’t been back to California since leaving that last time.  I mean, it’s a long flight, plus I wasn’t sure how I’d feel  about being back there.  However, my dad was long overdue for a visit and the way the weather was looking on the east coast, I was happy to suffer through a five hour flight for a stint in the sunshine.  Upon landing in LA, I immediately felt a bittersweet nostalgia.  Driving through familiar streets in Silicon Valley, I felt eery familiarity and the memories of my past came creeping back.

Kirsten SmithFortunately, I have a friend who is the kind of friend everyone should wish for.  She’s the “ride or die” type and the moment she got my sobbing phone call that I would be moving out of the home I shared with my ex, she was quite literally on a plane to come and help with the heavy lifting and to lift my heavy heart.  Her name is Katie and you may remember her.  Upon arriving at said residence, my ex had been so “kind” as to have already packed all of my belongings (well, everything he didn’t try and pilfer) and arrange them conveniently at the front door.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  But on the brightside, this gave us more time to spend together chatting rather than packing.  Katie having never done so, we hopped in her rental and took a ride down the PCH.  Remembering a must see recommendation from a pal Katie had made on the plane (she’s always making friends), we stopped somewhere along Big Sur at a place called Post Ranch Inn where we dined while taking in the views at Sierra Mar.  The views are quite literally breathtaking and those with acrophobia may want to refrain from venturing out onto the balconies.  I was so happy to be in such beautiful surroundings with my beautiful friend, but halfway through my second glass of prosecco, I broke down into tears.

kirsten smith

kirsten smithI wanted to share this place with people who love me unconditionally and make new memories that were joyful not jaded.  My middle brother, Andy and my dad are two men I know I can always count on besides Smitty and I wanted to take them somewhere I loved.  We hopped in Dick’s tiny sportscar (I generously relinquished shotgun and crammed myself into the backseat) and off we went down the windy PCH on our way back to Post Ranch Inn, stopping intermittently to snap photos at scenic overlooks.  Ironically enough, we were seated at the exact same table where Katie and I sat the year before.  This year, however, I didn’t cry into my garden green salad.  I guess that’s the thing about bad memories, sometimes you just have to face them, make new ones, and move on.

kirsten smith

kirsten smithtop: Free People (similar-and on sale-here), bralette: Victoria’s Secret, pants: 7 for All Mankind, boots: All Saints (similar here), bag: Balenciaga, jacket: Andrew Marc

Don’t worry, I didn’t jump.

xx,

WhyDid

photographs by Andrew Smith (my middle big brother- who you should also follow on Instagram)

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Oct
23
2013
1


Why Did You Wear That: Back to Basics

kirsten smithI like to keep things simple.  (K.I.S.S.).  I find that many women spend  (or waste) a lot of time overcomplicating their outfits.  The fact of the matter is, most women dress for other women.  We think we’re dressing for ourselves, but let’s be honest- we’re really just trying to look badder than the babe next to us.  The thing is, all the hours spent fussing over the latest and greatest trends can’t be taken back.  Sometimes, it’s best to just stick to the basics.

When a friend of mine, who I never get to see– especially when he snags a girlfriend– told me he was nearby and inquired if I was around to grab a drink (when am I not?), I plucked myself from my seat on the couch and promptly closed my computer.  I had to get ready quickly and rather than stand in front of my closet scratching my head and cursing my entire wardrobe, I picked out two items that go together better than Snooki and JWow.  Jeans and a white tank.  There really is no way to go wrong with a perfectly fitting pair of jeans and a basic white top.  Spice up a seemingly boring outfit with a detailed denim and add interest with your shoes and handbag.  There’s a reason some things are called classics.

kirsten smith

kirsten smith

kirsten smith

kirsten smith

jacket: Andrew Marc, tank: Alternative Apparel, jeans: c/o Frankie B., boots: All Saints (similar), bag: Céline (similar)

xx,

WhyDid

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