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

By |February 5th, 2015|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

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.

kirsten smith why did blog

kirsten smith whydid blog

paris vespa fashion street style

paris street style fashion blog

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: A Day at the Office

By |October 17th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

daisy fuentes kohls nyc whydidWorking from home has its obvious perks.  Wine for breakfast, dog friendly, flexible work hours, pajamas welcome.  Though fewer, it also has its downfalls.  One of which I’m convinced I’ve contracted called “agoraphobia.”  Another, though disguised as an upside, is never really needing to put on pants.  Without the need to put on clothing that doesn’t include elastane in the fiber contents, it’s fairly easy to overlook your ever growing waistline.  Also, there are those times when my job does require me to interact with other humans and show face in professional work environments and that’s about the time I shift into a near panic attack as I stare into the abyss of my closet.  What the hell do people wear to work?  Are crop tops considered business casual?  What if I wear one with a blazer?

When I received this ponté fit and flare dress from Daisy Fuentes for Kohl’s, I knew immediately that it was the perfect option for these terrorizing occasions.  Never again would I break into a sweat before a business meeting because this curve hugging, office appropriate dress is the perfect combination of classic and cool.  With a few added accessories like a studded belt, leather jacket, and strappy pumps, I felt professional without being overly prissy.  At this rate, I may have to get a desk job.

(P.S. you’re welcome, RKF.  I’ll happily take a cut of the commission earned from this post).

why did you wear that blog

why did you wear that kirsten smith

what to wear to work dresses

daisy fuentes kohls whydid kirsten smith

new york city street style why did you wear that kirsten smithdress: c/o Daisy Fuentes for Kohl’s, belt: DVF, similar by B-Low the Belt here, shoes: Sam Edelman, jacket: Marc New York, bag: Balenciaga, lipcolor: Clinique Different Lipstick in Angel Red





Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: If At First You Don’t Succeed…

By |June 5th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smith whydidA few weeks ago, the day came that I declared I was finally ready, willing, and able to dip my toes back into the dating pool.  So, I did.  It was funny that once I let it be known I was going back on the market, an interested buyer presented himself.  I had met him before, but because he kept complimenting my hair, I figured he was either gay or a hairdresser, possibly both.  When I ran into him again at a theme party one fateful Friday evening, he let our mutual friend know that he would be holding me captive and we spent the rest of the night attached at the hip… or maybe his hand/my butt… logistical technicalities.  In any case,  we’d spent a fun PG night together and deemed ourselves a perfect fit.  And just like I mentioned, once I started to get exactly what I wanted, I freaked the eff out.  He wanted to hang out that Sunday, but I was busy filming How To Tuesday and being fed hot toddies downstairs at Bakehouse in an attempt to fend off the oncoming and imminent flu.  As expected, I woke up the next morning feeling as though I had swallowed an entire carton of used Bic razors.  After a trip to the doctor (who complimented my dedication to still looking presentable when I felt less than human), I was diagnosed with a case of acute pharyngitis, aka, physical hell.  That benched me for the next week with ten days worth of antibiotics.  I let interested parties (okay, party) know my verdict and though disappointed, I promised I’d be well enough to see him the next Friday.  Like any good nurse, he checked in on his patient every day until then and made me feel slightly less miserable.  When Friday finally rolled around, the anticipation was at an all time high, but most importantly, what would I wear? kirsten smith why did kirsten smith whydid kirsten smith nyc3

kirsten smith nyc7dress: Wilfred Free, jacket: Andrew Marc, similar here, bag: Alexander Wang, boots: Frye, scarf: similar here, ear cuff: similar here, necklace: similar here

To be continued… xx, WhyDid

Why Did You Wear That: Almost.

By |March 12th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smith nycYesterday was the first day in a long time that I didn’t have to wear a coat, but a jacket instead.  The thermostat skyrocketed to an unbelievable sixty one degrees although it still felt a little frosty west by the water.  And while skin started to show and our bodies but not hearts began to thaw, it wasn’t quite warm enough to convince me that spring is really on the way.  Restaurants weren’t the slightest bit hesitant about setting up their outdoor seating to capitalize on the overzealous weather revelers.  I even joined friends for rooftop cocktails at Soho House to celebrate (and photobooth foolery followed).  And while we do have only a week left of winter an entire extra hour of sun,  at some point it still does go down.

kirsten smith


kirsten smith


kirsten smith

kirsten smithShop the Look:



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.