Why Did You Wear That: Escape from New York City

By |August 15th, 2016|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smith riot art walls coney island

Ah, summer in the city.  It wasn’t until just this past week that we were reminded exactly what it might feel like to wade through a crock pot of steamy, stewing, week old garbage.  This is that special time of year when we trade in bitching about blizzards for raising all hell over heatwaves.  Your weather app may say it’s a balmy 93 degrees but keep scrolling down to “real feel” and don’t forget to check the humidity while you’re at it.

The back of cabs transform into Slip N’ Slides of our own sweat.  Sidewalks double as hot plates.  The drips of overhead window air conditioners become welcome reprieves from the heat.  I’ve all but given up on a “good hair day” and relegated my wardrobe to basic black or any pattern that might disguise the sweat stains acquired merely walking the five blocks to the A train where I can’t decide whether the weather above or below ground is more oppressive.  Most of us look like human versions of Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory and for whatever reason- perhaps the overwhelming waft of “pheromones” or all around “wet” look- cat calling reaches its peak.  How E E Cummings couldn’t capture this in one single sonnet, I’ll never know.

The only way one might manage to survive a New York City summer is by getting out of town.  Having lived in Manhattan for a combined total of ten years and forgetting that West Coast blunder, I’ve sunned myself from Southampton to Montauk.  Slathered on sunscreen in the Rockaways and caught the Seastreak to Sandy Hook.  Yet, I had never made my way to one of the most exotic and the last stops on the F train.  You don’t need a passport, but may want to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.  A boardwalk by the beach complete with cotton candy, bumper cars, and locals who could be considered its carneys- there lies the coastal gem called Coney Island.

As it was my first time to this foreign land, I wasn’t sure what to wear.  Fortunately, TOBI was kind enough to send me some summer essentials perfect for those days when it’s so hot even your brain begins to fry and you need the guesswork taken out of dress work.  The Love Buzz Strappy Bodycon Set seemed like the obvious choice for perusing the Coney Art Walls.  While Coney Island, itself, is quite colorful, what better backdrop for a photoshoot than commissioned graffiti by prominent street artists?  This little two piece wonder looks good with just about anything from cartoon ice cream cones to causing a riot… something sure to happen had I spent one more sticky second in the city.

To be continued…

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kirsten smith ice cream coney art walls

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Kirsten smith tobi coney island

kirsten smith whydid tobi coney island

kirsten smith why did blog nycLove Buzz Strappy Bodycon Set, c/o TOBI

Photos by Michael Stiegler

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.

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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: Go Wide

By |July 16th, 2014|Why Did You Wear That?|

lolitaBeing the third born and first girl in my family, I really made it known that I was, in fact, female.  When my mom prudently and practically attempted to put me into some of my brothers clothes, I went ahead and turned up my tiny freckled nose at the sheer thought of wearing something that had belonged to a boy.  This is also the same reasoning I used in pre-school when I decided I would no longer be addressed as K.C. because there was a boy in my class named Casey.  I would be called Kirsten and pink dresses and ruffled panties it was.  I may have scaled citrus trees and caught lizards barefoot, but I did so wearing a dress.  And while I still prefer a dress (as of late a coordinating crop top and skirt), there are times (much like the ones mentioned yesterday) wherein, I must put on my big girl pants.  And this summer it’s all about a printed palazzo pant.

wide leg pants1. Ella Moss Biarritz Print Wide Leg Pants, 2. SW3 Bespoke Pembroke Pants, 3. Rachel Pally Grady Wide Leg Pants, 4. Topshop Paisley Wide Leg Trousers, 5. Clover Canyon Byzantine Scarf Print Wide Leg Pants, 6. sass & bide The Royalist Pants, 7. MSGM Tie Dye Pants, 8. Lovers + Friends Willow Pants, 9. Trina Turk Perleen Knit Pants, 10. Theodora & Callum Cypress Palazzo Pants



Why Did You Wear That: It Takes Two

By |June 29th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

whydid blog kirstenSometimes you feel like a nut.  Sometimes you don’t.  The beauty of matching separates is that the ways in which they can be worn allow for a bit of creativity.  Of course you can wear them as they were meant to be- matching, or you can always mix things up and wear them as the name implies- separately.  Just as shown this week, a top can be dressed up, a bottom dressed down simply by remixing your basics.  And honestly, who doesn’t love a remix?  I’m talking to you, Too $hort.

This week was the beginning of the season wherein New Yorkers take to social media to remind you of how hot they are.  Remember when we swore we wouldn’t because the winter was so wretched?  Well, just like the Maury Show, the lie detector has determined… That was a lie!  As we strolled through the back streets of the Meatpacking District to snap these shots, It’s all I could do not to just melt into the puddle of sweat that I was becoming.  But alas, I do it all for you.  The irony in all of this being the beautiful vegan handbag I received from Like Dreams having been shot in the middle of the Meat Market.  Don’t worry, no animals were harmed in the production of this shoot… unless you count me and the blister on my arm from my curling iron.

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kirsten smith nyc4top: similar by Parker here, skirt: similar by Parker here, shoes: L.A.M.B. similar here, clutch: c/o Like Dreams



Photography by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: Game, Set, Match.

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

TennisBall.Net_As much as I like contradictions and mixing things that have absolutely no business swinging from the same monkey bars on the playground, I also love a good pair.  Separates aren’t reserved only for suiting anymore and with the surge in popularity of crop tops (thank you, fashion gods), designers have capitalized on one of this season’s biggest trends: tops with shorter silhouettes worn with long line skirts and shorts.

Not all separates may be office appropriate, but these sets sure do add an unexpected take on cocktail attire (little black what?).  And when you mix and match these separates with some closet essentials, you’ve tripled your look.  That’s my kind of retail math.  A crop top can easily be converted to casual by pairing it with your favorite jeans and heels or give a full skirt a Saturday brunch vibe while wearing it with a white t-shirt and sneakers.  (Remember my experiment in dressing down a sequin crop top?).

two piece outfits1.Endless Rose Cropped Sleeveless ShellEndless Rose A Line Skirt, 2. For Love & Lemons Sporty Knit Crop TopFor Love & Lemons Sporty Knit Skirt, 3. Nicholas Bonded Silk Crop TopNicholas Bonded Silk Zip Pencil Skirt, 4. Tibi Cropped TopTibi Pleat Skirt, 5. Robert Rodriguez Chambray Crop TopRobert Rodriguez Chambray Track Shorts, 6. BB Dakota Seraphina Crop TopBB Dakota Jaz High Waisted Skirt, 7. T by Alexander Wang Classic Jersey T-Shirt, 8. Frame Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne Mid Rise Jeans, 9. Superga Lace Sneakers, 10.Carvela Kurt Geiger Girl Strappy Sandals