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

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

xx,

WhyDid

Gift Guide: Gifts for the Fitness Fanatic

By |December 12th, 2014|Gift Guide|

fitness holiday gift guide(note: this is not a yoga pose… unless you want to call it the “twisted dancer.”)

Oh, hey, newsflash: fitness is having a fashion moment right now.  Finally, Americans have realized you have to do a bit more than exercise your thumbs to keep in shape these days.  With Barry’s Bootcamp, Power Yoga, Crossfit, and all variations of Pilates and spinning studios popping up faster than Starbucks in Brooklyn, the activewear market is benefiting from a major boom in sales.  I, personally, have a hard time shelling out a hundred bucks a pop on pairs of yoga pants, but one can’t stroll into these sleek studios wearing ratty sweats risking the possibility of a crotch hole mid happy baby.  Spoil your sporty friend with something she can sweat all over this year.  She (and her inner thighs) will thank you for it come swimsuit season.

best fitness holiday giftsBench Bradie II Stand Collar Hooded Knit Jacket, $119, Day Birger et Mikkelsen Day Gweneth Metallic Sport Bag, $130Yurbuds Sport Armband, $24.99S’well Crocodile 17oz Water Bottle, $35Alo Goddess Ribbed Leggings, $92Nike Roshe Run Printed Shell Sneakers, $80Zella My Run Layer 2 Half Zip Top, $64koral activewear Double Time Tank, $86La Vie Boheme Yoga Phoenix Yoga Mat, $83Spiritual Gangster Varsity Crop Muscle Tank, $48

xx,

WhyDid

Why Did You Wear That: On the Six

By |December 3rd, 2014|Why Did You Wear That?, WhyDid Wisdom|

why did blog sixth birthday cake

When I actually published my first post is debatable (as I made a switch from Tumblr to WordPress very early on), but it was six years ago, give or take a few days.  That first post wasn’t prolific or groundbreaking and at the time I had not one clue as to what I was doing or where it would lead me.  WhyDid has evolved as have I over the past six years.  It even underwent a name change (from Why Did You Wear That) to encompass the expansion of topics from celebrity cameltoe (most popularly Katy Perry‘s) to all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.  I came pretty close to a name change myself, but fortunately dodged that bullet.  There have been times when I wanted to just scrap the whole operation and revert back to normal.  One of those times came from a nasty commenter who told me my blog was just like “some dumb diary” where I recorded my life and outfits.

denim-shirt-scotch-and-soda-nyc-whydidI guess she (he?!) was right.  This is kind of like my diary, except I share my stories and my troubles and my outfits publicly not for any narcissistic reason, but so anyone who stumbles upon my site finds a place where she/he can spend a few minutes a day laughing, or feeling understood, or getting inspired to try something new.  The fashion world and the world wide web can be very scary places, but I wanted to create somewhere safe.  Somewhere kindred spirits could meet and know that they are not alone in the world and that any silly life trauma we might be going through isn’t that serious.  Sharing my life is not only scary, but also therapeutic.  By sharing so much, I open myself up to people who are negative and feed off of knocking people down, but by sharing I also open myself up to people who may need to hear exactly what I have to share.  So, I let the good outweigh the bad.

why did blog kirsten smithAs someone who hates having her picture taken (though all evidence would suggest otherwise), it was pretty uncomfortable to start posting photos of myself and one guy I dated told me fairly early on that I looked incredibly uncomfortable in my photos (I was).  I’ve been told my eyebrows were too light (enter Anastasia of Beverly Hills), my boobs appeared saggy, and that I looked like just another Southern California girl (even though I’ve lived 97% of my life on the East Coast).  If I said that I didn’t initially feel incredibly hurt by these comments, I’d be lying.  I nursed my wounds for several days each time and confirmed with friends that my breasts were, in fact, as perky as those of a 19 year old over topless chats on FaceTime.  Being dissected by people I’d never met was painful, but it opened my eyes to the scrutiny that we put celebrities and each other under all the time and it changed my perspective.

kirsten-whydid-nyc-dog-walkingRealizing that was helpful, but sometimes stopped me from expressing what I really wanted.  Over the years, I found myself censoring… myself.  I played it safe at times so as not to offend or alienate people.  Sometimes I had to dilute stories or descriptions because I knew my parents were reading or because I was worried someone I cared about might get offended.  What I learned was that people appreciated it more when I crossed the line.  When I said something outlandish or because I was being myself, I allowed my readers to feel comforted or validated in their own lives, to feel a part of something bigger.  There are plenty of people out there playing it safe and repeating what the media and society has programmed us to think, feel, wear, watch, and say.  I didn’t start WhyDid to be just another brick in the wall.  That’s the wall I wanted to knock down.

top-knot-crop-top-whydid-blog copyI didn’t write this post to pat myself on the back (though I certainly hugged myself earlier), but to thank you and to promise to continue sharing my life and my authentic self and to encourage you to do the same.  Know that as scary as it can be to just be yourself, it’s the safest thing you can do.  So, don’t be afraid to shine.  You can be weird.  You can be emotional.  You can have different opinions.  You can march to the beat of your own damn drum, but don’t you dare ever hide the beauty that is you.

And in case you were wondring, Katy Perry’s cameltoe is still the most searched term that leads to WhyDid.

xx,

WhyDid

Why Did You Wear That: Reflecting Your Style with Modani

By |November 6th, 2014|Sponsored Post, Why Did You Wear That?|

exposed brick studio apartment nyc

When I moved back to New York from California, my second cross country move, I was looking for somewhere that felt like home.  Somewhere that felt safe.  I had loved the apartment I’d been living in pre city exodus so much, that I tried to stalk the building for any availabilities, but to no avail.  Instead, I was sort of bamboozled into taking an apartment in the building directly across the street and it ended up being a wonderful mishap.  Originally, I was shown an apartment up six floors with a much better view, but a dog stained parquet floor and a random load bearing column that completely disrupted the studio apartment’s tiny “flow.”  Before I could chock this showing up to another loss, the building manager let me know that there was actually a similar apartment downstairs that would be available soon, but was undergoing renovations.  When we walked into the construction site, there wasn’t much to see, but the light was nice and the space was plenty for myself and Smitty.  Without knowing what it would look like upon completion, I headed downstairs to sign a lease.

Nearly two years later, the longest I’ve lived in a single place in the past 12 years, I still love my apartment, though I’ve not actually finished decorating it.  I think because I’ve grown accustomed to picking up and moving on year after year, it felt strange to fully commit to one place.  There’s an antique mirror propped up in one corner that hasn’t been hung, partially because my mother threatened my life should it be hung impetuously and come crashing down.  There’s no chandelier or signature wallpapered wall.  I have no desk or dining table.  My friends complain there are no counter barstools, but it’s rare that anyone is let into my inner sanctum.  Recently, I realized that productivity would probably increase exponentially if I had a place to work other than in my bed or sitting Indian style in front of my lucite coffee table.

When I stumbled upon Modani Modern Furniture‘s website one afternoon, it seemed all but serendipitous.  This was the perfect time to figure out what to do with my space and because I prefer a sleek, clean, line to bulky and comfy (as can be attested to by any of the uncomfortable guests of my couch), Modani Modern Furniture was a wonderful fit.  Though many people never see our homes, especially in New York, they are very clear reflections of our personal style– at times, even more so than our outfits.  If you’re looking to do a little home makeover yourself, be sure to checkout Modani’s Modern furniture stores.

studded headboard

warhol lips print

new york studio apartment

west village studio apartment

roy lichtenstein

new york west village apartment

smitty in the city maltipooIdeally, I would have some strapping young man come (carefully) hang the mirror behind my couch.  In the space that the mirror was previously occupying, I would like to place a chair and some type of table where I could work.  This would also provide some extra seating for the guests I never invite over and another place Smitty could claim as his own.  Below are some Modani pieces I feel would fit in my space to complete the “look” of my home.

modani modern furniture Olga PillowIlda Side TableSavina Lounge ChairBlack Moon Medusa Chandelier

 

xx,

WhyDid