Why Did You Wear That: American Splendor

By |November 17th, 2015|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smith why did blog denim skirtSaturday afternoons during the fall in Manhattan often involve something some lovingly refer to as and others scoff at called “brunch.”  This past Saturday presented me with an especially relevant reason to partake in daylight libations because my oldest (not in age, but in duration) friend was in town for work.  Upon his arrival, we wandered down the street without an actual location in mind– this is an analogy for my life.  Stopping in front of a restaurant to inspect the menu, deeming it acceptable, and ordering a bottle of rosé as soon as our seats touched the chairs (I refuse to believe it’s out of season), we were off to a running start.  I thought myself clever asking for a turkey burger sans bun only to later find out that many restaurants use bread crumbs as a binder in their patties, canceling out all of my gluten free intentions.  We met up with a few friends at a neighborhood watering hole a few blocks down and much to my chagrin, said establishment was out of rosé, so Sancerre it was.  Typically dead on a Saturday afternoon before the evening rush of anyone but locals, the bartenders thanked us for making them laugh and keeping things “interesting.”  As we parted ways with one group of friends, we met up with another at a cash only joint that can almost lead you to believe you’ve been transported from the West Village to Southwest Detroit, almost- the plaid shirts and Patagonia vests are dead giveaways as to your geolocation.

At this point, I was fading fast and knew that the only last glint of hope for me was to order pizza (since I’d already fallen from the gluten wagon).  A few people are privy to the fact that in most instances of ordering pizza, I’ve fallen asleep before it’s been delivered.  Basically, I pay my doormen’s holiday bonuses in literal dough.  But alas, I was still standing when it was time to tip the delivery boy.  Unfortunately, even a Pandora dance party and pepperoni slice could not save my sad, sloshed soul.  I waved my friends on without me- okay, I fell asleep with my arm in the air- and called it a night, all before 9pm.

I sat straight up in bed around 1:30am and realized that I had slept the entire night away and wondered where my friends had ventured off to and whether I should gather bail money now or later.  I didn’t have to wonder for too long before my best pal was haphazardly trying his luck with the key to my door and Smitty all but lost it at the prospect of an intruder.  I rescued him from himself and he stumbled in to tell me what I’d missed (hint: not much).  After a chat session worthy of a highschool sleepover, and a critical dissection of our relationships, he passed out snoring on my couch and I found myself wide awake on Saturday night at 4am watching American Splendor.

kirsten smith whydid denim skirt

denim skirt whydid kirsten smith

kirsten smith whydid fall 2015

whydid kirsten smith denim skirttop: American Eagle, skirt: American Apparel, sweater: Henri Bendel, shoes: Steve Madden, bag: Chanel, dog: Smitty

Photos by Richard Smith

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





Why Did You Wear That: The Odd Couple (Costume)

By |October 31st, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

tortoise and hare halloween costumeAs I mentioned, Halloween can be a bit like New Year’s Eve.  Many people get very into their costumery and a lot of those people happen to be couples.  Being someone who normally loves a theme, I can’t explicitly identify why I’m less than enthusiastic about this year’s Hallow’s Eve, but I am.  Rather than race around gathering the ingredients for the world’s most clever costume, I’ve, instead, assembled items I already own and have let them begin to take on a lives of their own.  I’m calling it, “interpretive dressing.”  When people ask me what I’m going to “be” (and they ask a lot), I simply shrug and let them know that remains to be seen.

But, back to those poor fellows being forced into theme in order to appease their lady beloveds.  A guy friend of mine, was informed that not only would he be hosting a Halloween soiree, he’d need a costume.  I suggested he go as a wrecking ball and his girlfriend could be Miley Cyrus.  When he vetoed that, my next suggestion was to go rogue and dress up as a bumper car so as to take out his aggression as party proprietor.

The best $8 dollars I ever spent was during a recent trip to Home Goods with a friend of mine.  We were on the search for a throw pillow or a tissue holder or some other household item that you never knew you needed (and probably don’t), but when I stumbled upon a Smitty sized turtle costume, mission was temporarily aborted and costume was acquired.  Not long after at a French themed dinner party with my girlfriends, I told them of my purchase and one exclaimed, “Please tell me you’re going as a rabbit!”  I hadn’t thought about it, but once she said it, I thought it was a pretty solid suggestion.  Oh… except for one thing… Smitty is a dog.  Sure, it would make for cute photos (who the hell is going to take them?), but upon exiting my home, I’d just be some chick in a bunny costume.  Truth be told, I’ve brought out stranger “props” than a living animal and if I would ever get around to registering Smit as a service dog this would be a non-issue.  But alas, my little turtle must stay in his shell.  It’s entirely possible that dressing your dog is the new “cat lady,” but offering him a peanut butter chewbone in return for his services seems like a bargain compared to dealing with a human beau. (Several reasons why here).  And honestly, is dressing your dog any worse than dressing your boyfriend in a coordinating denim ensemble?

Oh, and if you’re looking to make your own ears, check out my DIY here.

best couples halloween costume

easy halloween costume


costume for dog

sexy bunny halloween costume

best halloween costumes

bunny halloween costume lace ears

couples halloween costumes




Photos by Michael Stiegler

Why Did You Wear That: Seeing Red

By |September 22nd, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

fall trends 2014 sweater dressIt can be tricky trying to decide what color to wear with red.  When I was younger, I had an incredibly strong aversion to wearing black with red.  To me, it came off as a little cheap.  I don’t feel as strongly about it now as I did when I was sixteen, but I still prefer other options over basic black when accessorizing with bold red.  Well then, what options is one left with when black is eliminated?  You could opt for luggage colored brown, or even a soft taupe.  Another great option is grey (also a fall trend).  In this instance, I had forgotten I even had these deep oxblood Pour La Victoire boots hidden beneath my bed (that’s how we store shoes here in New York).  As soon as I’d wiped away the dust bunnies, I recalled that I also had a vintage bag from my mother that was of the same shade.  Once a complete faux pas and something only worn by women donning their Sunday best for morning mass, I threw caution to the wind and got wild by matching my shoes to my bag.  Another option right on trend would be to wear a leopard boot or carry a leopard clutch (thous in this instance, I’d opt for one or the other).  It may seem a little bit “The Nanny” but I actually believe despite what men say, that leopard is sort of a new neutral.  Besides, did Fran not get her man?

Speaking of my man and matching, Smitty celebrated his eighth birthday and one of his doting aunts was sweet enough to bestow him with his own scarlet sweater.  She pays attention to fall trends too.  Pretty much Smitty and I became this fall’s Justin and Britney, Katy and Riff Raff.  Sure, my sweater is just about the same size as Smitty’s and technically it’s just an oversized jumper as opposed to an official frock, but it’s not the first, nor will it be the last, time wherein I wear something not as it’s intended.

how to wear sweater dress

why did blog kirsten smith

dog clothes

sweater dress fashion blog fall

smitty dog sweater dressbest fall outfits

how to wear a trench coatcoat: Michael Kors, sweater: Zara, similar by 6397 here, bag: vintage, similar by Oliveve here, shoes: Pour La Victoire, similar by Opening Ceremony here, dog: Smitty, Smitty’s sweater: handmade, similar by Ralph Lauren here, lips: Benefit Benetint





Photos by Michael Stiegler—-> have you check out his interview with Skinny Says Relax?

Why Did You Wear That: A Dog Walk in the Park

By |July 10th, 2014|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

dog walking nycMy morning’s begin much the same way everyday.  I hit snooze several more times than necessary, read a chapter in my book, chug a glass of lemon and cayenne water, and boil water for tea.  I do all of this while my best friend, Smitty, patiently watches- sometimes from his back.  The upside of Smitty knowing that he’s tiny?  He, under no circumstances other than maybe bacon, will jump from my bed until I pick him up and place him safely on the floor.  Downside?  When we hit the mean streets of Manhattan, he believes he’s badder than any pitbull on the block.

I used to throw caution to the wind when dressing for dog walking, plucking random articles of clothing from the couch, floor, or front of my closet.  And then one day I had the startling realization: people can see me- even with my sunglasses on.  I often forget that because I don’t lead the normal life of an office dweller, those people have already gotten up, worked out, and probably brushed their teeth in the time that I’ve lackadaisically brewed dandelion tea.  So, as I strolled along with dragon’s breath and clothing that probably didn’t hide the fact that it was last seen on the floor, women wearing pressed and dry cleaned cropped trousers and swinging their shiny freshly blown out hair power walked past.  Perhaps I needed to step my game up.  Maybe Smitty could wait a few more minutes for me to look more polished for the public.

But tiny dogs have tiny bladders, so I’d needed to find something to put on that checked off three important things: comfort, quick, cute.  And then these LAMO suede embellished moccasins made their way into my world.  Check, check, check.  One of the plights most women of Manhattan face on a daily basis boils down to footwear.  Many make the commute in more foot friendly shoes, later switching to the modern day torture devices we refer to as heels.  The commuter shoe can be a scary thing.  I’ve seen white sneakers, flip flops, UGGs, and scary variations of Crocs.  Why must we trade fashion for function?  Well, I think these cozy moccasins may be exactly what we’ve all been looking for.  You’re welcome.

smitty dog nyc clothes

lamo moccasins

lamo footwear

dog clothes nyc

lamo suede moccasinstop: vintage (mom’s) similar by Seafarer, skirt: similar by Lovers and Friends, shoes: c/o LAMO, necklace: similar by Gorjana, dog: Smitty, Smitty’s shirt: Ralph Lauren, hat: Petco



Photos by Michael Stiegler