Real People, Real Style: Someone’s in the Kitchen with Breanne Butler

By |August 25th, 2016|Guest Blogger, Real People Real Style|

breanne-butler-bybreanneNot sure how we went from someone in the kitchen with Dinah to making pies with our trap queens, but there’s never been a shortage of songs about cooking.  There has, however, been a shortage of friendships with creative culinary skills in my life.  You should consider yourself lucky if you can count your friends on one hand, even luckier if one of those friends happens to be an already distinguished pastry chef by the ripe ol’ age of 26!

I met Breanne at a party at Flat 128 in the village.  I’m not exactly sure how I got invited to said party or what the party was actually for, but there I was, standard socially awkward Kirsten.  Browsing the vintage jewelry and wondering how long was long enough to stay before creepily slipping out the door and slipping out of my stilettos and onto my couch.  Fortunately, this sweet little thing came right up and started chatting with me before offering me a cupcake from the collection on the table that had been so carefully arranged by color to create the British flag.  Ironic to describe this ray of sunshine (so very clearly new to New York) as sweet since within a few moments she disclosed that she was the resident pastry chef at Facebook.  I know, Facebook has a pastry chef.  Of course they do– and your job sucks even more with that newfound knowledge.  She also explained that she had made those cupcakes and had also been bought out for an incredible dairy free gluten free icebox cake, which I still have yet to convince her to make for me…

In the years since I’ve known Breanne, I’ve watched her acclimate to the city– feeling like a proud big sister– create her own brand, ByBreanne, score unbelievable vintage finds, host perfect dinner parties, and design cakes and cookies for fashion brands from Alice + Olivia to Victoria’s Secret.  One might say she’s taken a bite out of the Big Apple, but I kinda think the Big Apple has taken a bite outta Breanne.


Name: Breanne Butler

Wearing: top- H&M, pants: Zara, shoes: Bruno Magli

Occupation: Pastry Chef/Culinary Instructor/ CEO of ByBreanne

Hometown/Current Town: Detroit to UES!

1. I would describe my style as:  Vintage with a little bit of class, and a touch of edge

2.  I can’t leave the house without: My headphones.  Music keeps my energy up!

3. Based on wardrobe alone, if I could live in any time period, it would be: The 60s. I love a high waisted pant, but also love a good skirt suit with kitten heels.

4. Best/biggest splurge (worth every penny): My Louboutins.  I told myself when I was 16 that I would buy a pair as soon as I landed my first salary position! They instantly pull together any outfit!!!

5. Best advice I’ve ever received:  “Travel is the only thing money will buy that will make you richer.”

6. Biggest pet peeve:  Excessive arm swingers.  Like, seriously? You don’t need to use your arms to propel yourself to walk!

7. What I would tell my 13 year old self: Don’t dye your hair black when you’re 18!!!!!

8. Weirdest beauty trick that I swear by: I threw out my razors and use an epilator. Lasts just as long as a wax and saves me sooo much money! My old razor money is now my wine money!

9. Don’t care if it ever goes out of style, I’m going to keep wearing: Socks with heels. Been rocking them since 1999.

10.Something I wish people knew about me: I used to teach violin lessons to elementary school kids!

11. Favorite place in the world: Barcelona, hands down. It’s all my favorite things: Great food, great wine, amazing art and architecture (Gaudi!) and hot, Spanish men!

12. Something you’ve always dreamed of doing: Whale watching in each of the oceans. 2 down, 3 to go!

13. Greatest fear/phobia (that you’ll concur, of course): I absolutely *hate* the sound of silverware clinking together! That and clowns.

Fun fact: I have two titanium rods in my right knee! Sometimes I go off in metal detectors.

breanne-butler-must-haves1. Scissors. I cut a lot of stuff, I guess, 2.  A good, rubber spatula (Trudeau!). Seriously invaluable in the kitchen., 3. Coconut oil. I use it as body lotion and face lotion, right out of the shower. It also makes a great hair mask!, 4. Q-tips. I have to clean my ears twice a day! I also mess up my eyeliner a lot., 5. Passport–because I want to be able to travel at a moments notice!

Why Did You Wear That: Blurring Lines in Gempicket

By |November 30th, 2015|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

gempicket whydid kirsten smith2Upon entering my apartment, one of the first things people notice, besides the fact that it took them twenty minutes to navigate the maze like hallway to get there, is the collection of nightgowns hanging on the handles of my closet doors on the left side of the hallway.  Some of them are vintage, some of them I’ve never worn, others I wear all the time.  You could say that my obsession with nightwear began while watching Golden Girls as a little girl.  That’s right, instead of Big Bird and Mister Rogers it was Murphy Brown, Sam Malone, and Blanche Devereaux.  I still fall asleep to the sounds of Nick at Nite and all of this ties back nicely to the potential narcolepsy I suffer from.  Another hypothesis as to my penchant for boudoir attire is the time I spent buying lingerie for Henri Bendel.  One never knew she was missing a waspie or the imperative need for an embroidered kimono until she spent time in a showroom full of silk, chiffon, and lace.  I only have one dresser in my apartment and its sole purpose is to house my bras, panties, and bathing suits.  You may be wondering why I ever even bother getting dressed.  Spoiler alert, I rarely do.

Working from home most days doesn’t require putting on much more than a whisper of clothing.  Other than slipping into something spandex to catch a yoga or pilates class, I’ve become quite comfortable in the very basics– as have all of my deliverymen.  My freedom in dresscode and days of solidarity have taken some of the stress out of my normal work day, but it has also left me somewhat socially awkward and also in a panic when it comes time to piece together an outfit fit for public consumption.  And this is when the beauty of blurring the lines between “your eyes only” and “all eyes on me “comes into play.  When you can pair a Gempicket silk cotton batiste cami with your favorite skinny jeans or throw a vintage t-shirt on with your delicately demure tap pants, you’ve perfectly bridged the gap between wallflower and woman of interest.  Or you could just call the whole thing off and stay home in your skivvies.

gempicket whydid elodie cami

gempicket elodie cami grace tap pant

gempicket grace tap pant

gempicket loungewear kirsten smith whydid

whydid gempicket kirsten smith

gempicket loungewear whydid

gempicket new york whydidGempicket Elodie Cami, Grace Tap Pants, and Suki Socks

Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: Time Will Tell with Louis Moinet

By |October 18th, 2015|Sponsored Post, Why Did You Wear That?|

“Shoot!” I exclaim as I peer at the clock above my stove.  “I’m late… Again.”

I inspect my reflection in the mirror for the fourth time and reassure myself that my hair alone is well worth the wait.  Thirty minutes worth the wait though?  Should I just cancel?  What excuse can I use this time?  Faulty plumbing?  Natural disaster?  Personality defect?  It is in my Aquarian nature, after all.

I pick up my phone to make the call (text), and realize that even if I leave right now, I’ll be forty-five minutes late, pending traffic.  Please don’t take Bleecker.  Before pressing send, I recall how his dark brown eyes had made me melt and how the conversation during our first encounter had made me forget about time altogether.  Maybe I won’t cancel.  Besides, I’m already dressed, and this dress deserves to be seen.  I delete my message, grab my bag and give one last glance in the mirror before heading down the hall to the elevator.

I let him know I’m on my way, without being too apologetic.  I don’t want to tip the scales too far in his favor.  As the taxi pulls up to the curb in front of the restaurant, I take a deep breath and decide that no excuse will be my best excuse.  Everyone knows that anything worth having is also worth waiting for.  It’s basic economics.  All good things always take time. And I’m certainly worth the wait.

As I walk into the already crowded restaurant, I spot him.  And as I spot him, he spots me and peers down at his wrist, presumably to check just how late I actually am.  I give a half hearted wave hoping to offset any animosity with a shy smile.  I make my way to him, avoiding a waitress with an overloaded drink tray and dodging an over served patron and I see him start to soften.  It must be my hair.  He greets me with a warm enveloping hug and despite my tardiness, all seems to be forgiven.  Just as I start to relax, he looks down at his wrist again and for the first time, I notice that he’s not wearing just any watch, a Tag or a Rolex, it’s a Louis Moinet.  I don’t know much about stocks or bonds, cars or sports, but I do know you can tell a lot about a man by his watch– and his shoes.louis moinet memorisNow, if you’ve never heard of Louis Moinet, you’re not a watch enthusiast or you’ve been tricked into believing there are only a few watches worth wearing.  Someone with discerning taste knows the difference.  This particular model is the Louis Moinet Memoris tenth anniversary timepiece- the first chronograph watch in watchmaking history.  Certainly not for novices.  Seeing this watch on my date’s wrist tells me that he is someone who is more interested in the craft of watchmaking than the culture of watch wearing.  This purchase wasn’t made after listening to one too many Drake songs or catching an ad in between episodes of Scandal.  This is a man who values the art over the adage, the heritage more than the hearsay.  With the chronograph existing two hundred years and the watchmaker celebrating its tenth anniversary, Louis Moinet reinvented things by focusing on the chronograph as a centerpiece rather than simply a design component.  There is a reason this watch has been nominated for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie of Geneva.  Incorporating the “Energie Plus“, an automatic pawl self winding system, the Memoris can be wound in both directions optimizing every movement.  I know I’ve done the right thing by not canceling.  This is a man who values his time.  It’s written all over his wrist.  I feel a pang of guilt for not having valued it myself.

He asks if I’d care for a drink and I order rosé because it would look nice with the rose gold of his watch.  He smiles as if in cahoots.  I smile back and think that perhaps if I had a watch half as lovely, I’d never be late either.  Will this romance last longer than the dessert course?  Who knows?  Only time will tell.


Beauty Buzz: CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™

By |September 8th, 2015|Beauty & Trends, Beauty Buzz, Sponsored Post|

kirsten smith clear scalp hair whydidEven though the official start of fall isn’t until September 23rd, Labor Day often feels like the end of summer and the transition from fun in the sun to back to school and back to reality.  Goodbye, cabana.  Hello, cubicle.  We swap out our skimpy suits for sweaters and our pedicures become irrelevant, hidden under closed toed brogues and boots.  Even our beauty routines must morph.  CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™ has a developed a line to aid in the conversion consisting of nourishing shampoos and conditioners that are designed to address various hair and scalp needs.  Like skin, weather can also have a strong effect on our scalps. As seasons change so do our skin cells and hair cycle – in fact, studies have shown that seasonality can cause shedding especially in fall.clear scalp and hairCLEAR SCALP & HAIR™ Intense Hydration Nourishing Shampoo and Nourishing Daily Conditioner deliver the following benefits:

  • Hair is resilient to dryness for 24 hours of soft, hydrated hair
  • Infused with cactus extract, a known hydrator
  • Clinically proven to help replenish the scalp with essential hydration with regular use
  • Leaves hair beautifully strong from root to tip
  • Formulated with Nutrium 10™, an advanced moisture complex of vitamins and nutrients including vitamins B5, C & E, sunflower, almond, soybean & coconut oils, glycerin & aloe vera

kirsten smith whydid clear scalp and hairAs I spent an entire afternoon weeding through my closet and tossing things I hadn’t worn in ages (and maybe shouldn’t have ever worn) to make room for the new season’s latest acquisitions, I caught a glimpse of my hair in the mirror.  It was dull and a bit dry from all of summer’s fun.  Even my scalp was feeling the effects of too much sun.

It is essential to care for your scalp and hair with products designed to nourish and strengthen it – to ensure a healthy, full bodied head of hair. With fall on the horizon, you’ll want to put an emphasis on scalp care and start early, so your scalp and hair are ready for the transition ahead.  After a few uses of CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™ Intense Hydration Nourishing Shampoo and Nourishing Daily Conditioner, my hair regained some shine and a bit of bounce.  I had figured chopping my locks was going to be the only way to regain control of my mane, but post CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™, there’s not a pixie cut in my autumn forecast.  Now not only is my closet ready for fall, so is my hair.

kirsten smith whydid clear scalp hair

Photos by Skinny K

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Setting the Mood: Finding Normal

By |January 21st, 2015|Setting the Mood|

normcore fashionYou’ve probably heard the term, “normcore” being tossed around from time to time in the past twelve months- maybe over a rye whiskey or while scanning the latest Urban Outfitters catalog.  The first time I heard it was after visiting Dr. Kenet‘s office where his wife explained to me that their teenage daughter was on the forefront of the minimalist, dare I call it, trend.  The name “normcore” is the combination of “normal” and “hardcore.”  From what I gather, it’s the art of looking aggressively normal.

After a bit of research, it became clear that normcore is more than just a fashion movement, it’s an actual mindset.  When you are walking around and you spot mom jeans on a girl whose reproductive organs probably just started functioning, you may feel a little confused, but don’t.  You’ve just spotted normcore.  The “movement” began in a fit of defiance against the fashion industry.  People wanted to make it clear they weren’t buying into the trends or falling victims to the hype.  In theory, that’s great, but once you make a statement against a statement, you’re making a statement.  The irony, for one, is lost on me.  To me, normcore is the new wave hipster.  I’m more of the mindset that wearing what looks good on your body and makes you feel fancy is always on trend- and there’s nothing wrong with that.  In the off chance you’d like nothing more than to look like Jerry Seinfeld or Monica on season one of Friends, here are some normcore essentials to get you started.  Full disclosure, I own my very own pair of Stan Smith’s.

normcore style


Nike Benassi Rubber SolesFrame Denim Le Boyfriend Supima Cotton Jersey T-ShirtBDG The Mom JeanJ. Crew Collection Cashmere SweaterAdidas Stan Smith Leather Custom Shoes