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.

kirsten smith whydid denim skirt

denim skirt whydid kirsten smith

kirsten smith whydid fall 2015

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

Photos by Richard Smith

Why Did You Wear That: Crop Top Ya Don’t Stop

By |August 15th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

crop top day to night how toWe’ve all awoken as the morning sun manages to creep through the black out shades rendering us nearly blind to the startling realization  that the water glass on the nightstand is empty and that nightstand is not our own.  The second pang of panic comes barreling through shortly after groggily recalling that what we deemed appropriate attire for a late evening dalliance may not exactly translate to daytime, let alone during the morning commute with other responsible, gainfully employed adults.  I was not a Girl Scout, but I am always prepared.  98% of the time, there is a pair of sunglasses stashed safely in my bag (I painfully learned this lesson during that other 2% of the time).  Sunglasses are essentially a real life force field.  Whether they actually prove to disguise your appearance from curious onlookers or not is irrelevant so long as you feel like they do.  As you carefully tiptoe your way to the restroom only to discover that your previously perfect blowout more resembles Bob Marley’s dreadlocks, you breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you have a hair tie on your wrist and a collection of bobby pins in the bottom of your bag.  This is when when a top knot comes in handy (tutorial here).  The only problem left is somehow making that tiny crop top look less Pretty Woman and more Carrie Bradshaw.

One of my favorite outfits and favorite shoots (which you can see in totality here) is a perfect example of something that would garner compliments post sunset and could attract clientele come morning if you’re seen standing on the corner too long awaiting your Uber.  Whether your evening prior to sunrise had been raucous or rather innocent, sometimes you’ve got to borrow from your boy’s closet to save some dignity, but how does one do so without looking like a total shacker?  In this instance, wearing a belted pair of shorts with your crop top and pulling your hair into a squeaky clean top knot will certainly fool any innocent bystander into believing that you did, in fact, wake up like this.

whydid blog nyc kirsten smith

kirsten smith whydid blog

kirsten smith why did blog

kirsten smith whydid blogtop: American Apparel, shorts: Hurley, belt: similar by Rag & Bone, shoes: Jimmy Choo, bag: vintage, similar by Barney’s, sunglasses: Ray-Ban



photography by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: Kiss the Sky

By |April 18th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smith whydidSure, as a New Yorker, it’s a given that my favorite “color” is black.  However, if you want to know the way to my heart, take me to see the sun set… or rise.  The color of the sky never gets old to me.  Every single day is a different variation that takes my breath away.  I’d say the thing I miss most about California other than daily morning coffee and cocktail hour with my dad is the sky.  Smitty would say it’s having more than 500 square feet of wood floor to run on.  I tried to take a hike- literally- every evening to be quiet and alone and watch the color of the sun and the way it painted the hills different shades of glorious each evening.  There isn’t a whole lot of that here in the city, hell, we can’t even see the stars, but I’m fortunate enough to have a rooftop that overlooks a lot of the city and Hudson River, so even if I can’t see the Big Dipper on the regular, I can take a rose gold sunset from time to time.  And hey, when there aren’t a bunch of bros drinking Stella upstairs, sometimes, I even get a sacred moment of silence.

nyc sky kirsten smith

kirsten smith nyc

pastel sky

kirsten smith whydid skirt: Zara, top: American Apparel, bralette: Victoria’s Secret, clutch: Alexander Wang, shoes:





Photos by  Brian Schutza

Why Did You Wear That: One Dress, Three Ways (Rated G)

By |February 11th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 10.50.28 AMI love an occasion that calls for dressing up.  Any occasion really.  Holidays, black ties, brit malahs.  So, when my birthday rolled around I knew the dress I’d been eyeing since Christmas must be mine.  But just like my New Year’s outfit, I wanted to find more than one way to wear this frock.  To the untrained eye, one might see it as a one hit wonder, but because it was literally just lace sans lining, I found more than a few ways to style it from fairly modest to leaving just a little to the imagination.  And it’s a good thing because once my friends who had planned my party finally revealed the evening’s location, I made a quick wardrobe change.  This was not the dress for dodging ninjas (don’t ask).  For this version (rated G), I slid into a black sleeveless catsuit, camel coat, and black booties for a look that I think could be considered boho casual… but my version of casual could also be considered some’s black tie optional.


kirsten smith for love and lemons

kirsten smith for love and lemons

kirsten smith

kirsten smith for love and lemonsdress: For Love and Lemons, catsuit: American Apparel, booties: Steve Madden (similar here), coat: vintage, necklace: vintage, rings: Scott Kay, bag: Céline

Up next, PG-13.



Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You WearThat: The Best pLaid Plans

By |December 29th, 2013|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

Kirsten smith californiaMixing patterns is tough enough, but would one dare to mix plaid on plaid on plaid?  I would.  Especially since I’ve begun to run out of options in my suitcase and I’ve either gotten incredibly creative or undeniably delusional.  Perhaps both.

I can’t count the number of times in the last month when my father has asked, “That’s what you’re wearing?”  Well, yes, dad, it is.  It’s more evident than ever that my father raised two wild wolves as sons and I had the pleasure of being pampered by my very feminine mother.  He thought I was kidding when I told him a pedicure was a near emergency yesterday and pretty much laughed in my face when I told him I was going to need to go shopping for an evening specific outfit for New Year’s Eve.  He’s a dude’s dude and I’m slowly breaking him back into what it means to have a woman around.  Poor guy.

Needless to say, he gets a kick out of being my personal paparazzi and has been nothing less than accommodating.  I had originally scouted a location to shoot close to his house where the leaves had just begun to fall in the most magnificent display of ombre glory.  The deepest shades of red to the warmest yellow, it was a Pantone wet dream.  However, I waited a day or two before scheduling the shoot and by the time we headed out, someone with a leafblower and disdain for mother nature had ruined my set.  A true lesson that there is no time like the present.  Being a good sport, Dick, Smitty, and I hopped in the car to look for new location inspiration.  Just as we were about to call it a day- and a loss- we passed the Spreckels Post Office which is nestled next to the Spreckels Emporium emblazoned with an old fashioned Coca Cola ad.  It’s like stepping back in time.  I asked Dick to stop and we proceeded to shoot and see what we came up with…

kirsten smith

kirsten smith

kirsten smith whydid

kirsten smith

kirsten smithhat: H&M, scarf: PerryEllis (similar here), flannel shirt: Wrangler (similar here), t-shirt: American Apparel, slip: (similar here), tights: who knows? (similar here), boots: Dolce Vita, bag: Amrita Singh, jacket: Andrew Marc (similar here)

And yes, dad, my tights are shredded, but that’s life.  You’ve gotta embrace the snags.