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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…

kirsten smith coney art walls brooklyn

kirsten smith ice cream coney art walls

kirsten smith whydid art walls

kirsten smith shop tobi

kirsten smith whydid blog

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.

whydid blog nyc kirsten smith

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

xx,

WhyDid

photography by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: Distressed Done Up

By |April 24th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

whydid kirsten smithWhen one thinks of shredded jeans, I  assume that most file destroyed denim under completely casual.  To be honest, I treat some of my destroyed denim like my own version of sweatpants.  A particular pair that reign as queen bee of my cluttered closet and are often the first thing I pull out for morning dog walking duty also happen to be the very same pair I pull out to wear with a tiny top and high heels for an evening out.  So, you see, distressed denim truly can go from day to night.  I’ve never worked at a job where I had to wear a “suit” (that’s the beauty of the fashion industry, kids), but when I worked in a sad grey cube at Henri Bendel, we were supposed to follow a few simple guidelines like, I don’t know: don’t look like an asshole or wear flip flops.  One of the clauses when distressed denim became one of our biggest sellers in store was that we could wear it… so long as it was one of our vendors… and most certainly not with flip flops- not even Havaianas.  So, full circle: destroyed denim can be both very downtown as well as totally dressed up.

whydid kirsten smith

whydid kirsten smith

kirsten smith whydid

kirsten destroyed denim whydid

whydid kirsten smithblazer: Dian von Furstenberg, blouse: Philosophy, jeans: DIY (learn how here), bag: Rafe, shoes: Carlos by Carlos Santana, sunglasses: Ray-Ban, bracelets: alex and ani, necklace: Maya Brenner

xx,

WhyDid

photos by Brian Schutza

Why Did You Wear That: Strawberry Fields

By |January 21st, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smithWhile the east coast froze during December and January, I was soaking up the sun on the west coast.  Most people automatically assume LA, but I was up north near the Salinas Valley also called “the salad bowl of the world”  which produces pretty much all of the greens consumed in the United States.  So, by all means, eat your vegetables.  This particular field is a strawberry field and wouldn’t you know it was all too fitting as the sun went down.  The sunsets are nothing short of magnificent in the valley and each night I was wowed by yet another color combination in the sky and bouncing off the hills.  On this particular late afternoon as we tried to capture “magic hour,” the sun cast a rose gold hue which only deepened as time passed and in turn, I now know what I’d look like as a redhead.

This was the outfit that I wore to ring in the New Year  (yes, I got Dick onboard the New Year’s Eve outfit train).  And while it was completely within reason on December 31st, I understand that some of you may not categorize sequin crop tops in the same manner I do- which is every day wear.  So, now you’re looking at this jazzy little number wondering when the hell you’re ever going to wear it again and should you just send it to your niece for her next dance recital?  The answer is no.  You see, Dick is a very logical man, therefore I had to rationalize with him as to how both the skirt and top were totally wearable in more than one way.  While this is how I would style a sparkly top for an evening out, in the next two posts, I’ll show you how to incorporate both a sparkly crop top and pencil skirt into your regularly scheduled wardrobe.  But for now, let’s just bask in the rose gold glow.

kirsten smith

kirsten smith why did

kirsten smith california

kirsten smithskirt: Express, top: Express, boots: All Saints (similar here), sunglasses: Ray Ban, bag: Balenciaga, necklace: Maya Brenner, dog: Smitty

xx,

WhyDid

Why Did You Wear That: Spot On

By |November 16th, 2013|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smithI’ve always felt a little conflicted about wearing leather and fur. When I was ten, I begged and pleaded (to no avail) with my parents for a cute little spotted potbelly pig. One morning over breakfast, it was revealed to me that bacon, in fact, comes from pigs. For the next year, I refused to eat meat thinking about that poor little pig in the pet shop. (I also begged and pleaded for a chinchilla around that same time). After finding it far too difficult to gain sustenance without any meat in my diet, I gave up vegetarianism the next year, but the feelings of guilt about fur, stuck with me. While home visiting my mom in Wheeling between semesters in college, we ventured into an antique store in Centre Market. Amongst the delicate tea sets and tiny trinkets, there was a rack of vintage clothing and hanging in the midst of these dated duds, was the most amazing leopard coat. I am my mother’s daughter and she insisted that I would be thankful that I’d bought this coat one day. While it was first worn to a “pimp n’ hoe” party in college, I’ve held onto it throughout the years and am happy to bring it back into rotation this fall. When worn with a simple tee, vegan leather pants, pumps, and topped off with a knit beanie, the look is definitely not outdated and to me, it says more “hollaback girl” than call girl.

Kirsten Smith

leopard coat

kirsten smith

kirsten smithbeanie: H&M, coat: vintage (similar here), top: Express, pants: Black Orchid (similar here), shoes: Yves Saint Laurent, bag: Celine, sunglasses: RayBan

xx,

WhyDid

 

photos by Catherine Sampietro