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

Setting the Mood: The Softer Side of Spring

By |April 15th, 2014|Setting the Mood|

pastelThis Sunday, the Easter Bunny will come to town and bestow upon us lots of calories we probably never needed, but will enjoy every moment intaking them.  With him comes Easter bonnets and pretty pastels which also happen to be one of this spring’s biggest trends.  So, whether you celebrate Easter or Passover… or you’re just in it for the Cadbury eggs, pastel is a perfect way to usher in this very stubborn spring.

pastel accessoriesLulu Frost Gold Plated Swarovski Crystal NecklaceAlexander Wang Antonia Snake Effect Leather SandalsMarc by Marc Jacobs Katie Bunny Silicone iPhone 5 CoverSee by Chloé Daisy Leather Shoulder Bag



Why Did You Wear That: Spring 2014: Style Cheat Sheet

By |February 25th, 2014|Why Did You Wear That?|

snow flowerAlthough it was fifty degrees over the weekend and snow flurrying today, we really are in the home stretch of winter.  Just hang in there, pretty birds, relief is on the way.  While we wait for the last frost of the season to cease, let us refresh ourselves on the clothing that is just waiting to make itself quite comfortable in our closets come spring.  Since each fashion week presents collections a solid six months in advance of when we can actually get our greedy little hands on it, it’s easy to forget what we need to start scoping for and what to relegate to the back of our wardrobes for the time being.  The fashion elite may be a bit clairvoyant perhaps predicting the dreadfully long winter we’ve endured as the spring collections did not shy away from color, bold patterns, and plenty of shiny embellishment.  Though black and white were ever present, it’s time to drop the dull all black uniform and have a little bit of fun.

While florals are really nothing new for spring, this season’s are a bit bolder and less feminine incorporating the trend of black and white as well as darker tones as opposed to the predictable pastel colorways.  Speaking of which, Easter egg colors abound and are best done head to toe, but if that has you feeling apprehensive of emulating Great Aunt Ida, the presence of a pastel leather jacket or clutch will do the trick.

Along with bold graphics that will have even the biggest globetrotters giddy, art aficionados rejoice.  Patterns for spring give a nod to pop art using brights that make them downright framable.  Wearable art, if you will.

Embellishment was big and came in the form of fringe, 3D embellishments and gilded golds, bronze, and silver.  An alternative to shine in the form of straightforward metallics is presented in the option of iridescence.

And to those who attempted a croptop intervention on me… bad news: the croptop (which will live on through Fall 2014) is stronger than ever for spring.  Might I suggest enrolling in a Pilates class, like last week?  Though tops are shrinking bottoms get a bit of volume in the form of wide leg trousers and full skirts seen prevalently in the midi length.

Most notably to me was that all of the various trends seem to work together quite seamlessly and in some cases there’s quite a bit of overlap.  Full metallic skirts, crop tops with sheer panels, and boldy printed wide leg trousers make hitting a few trends at once a spring breeze.

spring 2014 fashion trends

  1. Fresh Blooms: Rebecca Taylor Sweet William DressJoie Talina B PantsElizabeth and James Klaus Floral Print Silk and Mesh Dress
  2. Go Wide: by Malene Birger Cosyna High Waited Silk-Satin PantsDiane von Furstenberg Salma Wide Leg Silk Pantsalice + olivia Pleated Eric Pants
  3. Dirty Pop: Paul Smith Black Label Maxi SkirtLisa Perry Patchwork SkirtM Missoni Neon Crochet Knit Mini Dress
  4. Heavy Metals: Rachel Zoe Pearl Sequin Fishtail SkirtDAY Birger et Mikkelsen Metallic Chiffon Wrap Dress3.1 Phillip Lim Crossover Biker Skirt
  5. Peekaboo Panels: Yigal Azrouel Scuba Waterprint Mesh SkirtRag & Bone Molly SkirtRebecca Minkoff Antoni Silk Top
  6. Full Circle…Skirts: JOA Striped SkirtTOME Taffeta Skirt, Tibi Full Pleated Skirt
  7. Team Spirit: SEA Cotton-Blend Tweed ShortsSacai Luck Striped Cotton and Taffeta Dress, Equipment Abbot Silk Bomber Blouson Jacket
  8. On the Fringe: alice + olivia Caitlin Fringe Maxi SkirtHaute Hippie Fringe Pencil SkirtJason Wu Cropped Fringed Crepe Top
  9. Buttoned Up: Diane von Furstenberg Trudy BlouseMiH The Oversize Shirt, Carven Silk Floral Print Collared Cotton Shirt
  10. Perfect Pastels: Halston Heritage Asymmetric Satin Twill Peplum Dress, J Brand Ready To Wear Durham Oversized Leather Biker Jacket, Lotusgrace Polka Dot Sheath Dress
  11. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Croptops: Tibi Cropped Embellished Cotton Blend TopJonathan Simkhai Cropped Intarsia Jersey TopBCBGMAXAZRIA Kaja Harness Top
  12. Black (and White) to Basics: A.L.C. Harrison SkirtDonna Karan Printed Silk Wide Leg PantsMcQ Alexander McQueen Slash Effect Stretch Knit Dress
  13. Iridescent Does It: Acne Tine Sequined Silk Georgette ShortsRoksanda Ilincic Oriel Colorblock Wool Crepe Dress, 3.1 Phillip Lim Colorblock Suede A-Line Skirt
  14. Global Graphics Clover Canyon Diamond Quilt Printed Cropped Track Pants, Diane von Furstenberg Phaedra Jacquard Skirt, Line & Dot Silk Palm Tree Print Dress




Why Did You Wear That: Fall Overhaul

By |September 24th, 2013|Why Did You Wear That?|

September 22nd marked the first day of fall (and also my dad’s and beloved pooch’s birthdays).  Now you can officially start complaining about the end of summer… not that you haven’t been doing so since Labor Day and the end of your summer share.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I actually find fall to be a little bit magical.  It’s nice to have everyone back in the city.  Sidewalks are full of brunchers on the weekends soaking in the last bits of tolerable temperatures.  There seems to be a tinge of excitement in the crisp air.  For what- I’m not quite sure… can’t possibly be the impending arctic winter.  And while I do love a teeny bikini, I’ve always preferred dressing for fall.  Layering cashmere, leather, boots, and coats may seem daunting to some though.  So, I’ve put together ten fall trends that will help you start your shopping list and soften the shift from summer to fall.

fall fashion trends

  1. Sweaters that say something: Forever 21 Boom! Cropped Sweater, ONE by Babe Babe Sweater
  2. Layer in leather: All Saints Sens Leather Skirt, Helmut Lang Stretch Leather Legging Style Pants
  3. One, two buckle your boots: Steve Madden Cinch Cutout Ankle Boot, Chloé Susanna Studded Leather Boots
  4. Mad for plaid: Forever 21 On the Range Plaid Sweatshirt, McQ Plaid Zip Skirt
  5. All shades of grey: Free People The James Dress, Richard Nicoll Waffle Knit Angora Blend Sweater Dress
  6. Sneak attack: Adidas by Stella McCartney Discosura Hiker Sneakers, Giuseppe Zanotti London Zip High Sneakers
  7. Oversized outerwear: Forever 21 Oversized Zip Up Jacket, Rochas Oversized Open Coat
  8. Go Army green: Sparkle and Fade Camo Sweater, Faith Connexion Camouflage Tapered Pants
  9. Beanie baby: Urban Outfitters Waffle Knit Beanie, Lanvin Embellished Ribbed Wool and Cashmere Beanie
  10. Mini me: See by Chloe Rosita Mini Chain Purse, Fendi Be Baguette Mini Shearling Bag

Save me a seat at brunch.




image via


Why Did You Wear That: Little in the Middle

By |September 12th, 2013|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

It is my belief that most women either love their torsos or love their legs and the alternate tends to be their trouble zone and bane of their existence- much like fitted sheets are to me.  Then I guess there are those handful of you bitches who can’t even comprehend what a “problem area” is.  I am not one of those, so read on and continue not hating me.  From the time I put on my first pair of tights for ballet class, I cursed my thighs.  I always longed for gazelle like legs, but instead was blessed with a set of sturdier stems.  A guy I was once dating nearly got clocked for calling them “healthy.”  Wrong answer, bro.

When the crop top came back in to heavy rotation this year, I really couldn’t have been more thrilled, unless someone told me there was a new way to make millions while simply drinking rosé and people watching.  You see, the chances of the crop top returning to relevance again and my being of age appropriateness overlapping are quite slim.  It’s kind of like a blue moon and I’m sure there’s some statistician out there who could calculate the odds, but I cried to my statistics professor to avoid failing, so I’m not your girl.  Point is: you give me an opportunity to wear a crop top, and I’m taking it.  Like here and here and, well, now here.

kirsten smith

kirsten smith

kirsten smithjacket: Diane von Furstenberg (similar here), top: American Apparel, pants: 7 for All Mankind, shoes: B Brian Atwood, sunglasses: Chloe, bracelets: Alex and Ani, bag: vintage (similar here)

So, if you’re sick of seeing me in crop tops, blame Jenn Seracuse… and my parents.



Photo credit: Michael Stiegler