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Why Did You Wear That: Under the Boardwalk

By |September 3rd, 2016|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

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Ah, where were we?  Oh, that’s right.  Dissecting summer’s sweat stains and cynicism,  When I realized that I might be a little overdressed for housing hot dogs and giving the Tilt O Whirl a spin, I swapped my bodycon two piece for something a lot softer and a bit breezier: TOBI’s Desert Dreaming Dress Set.  There are days when it’s so steamy you can’t stand the thought of anything touching you, not even Ryan Gosling with a puppy and plate of freshly baked gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  Rather than give up on life by throwing on an oversized dashiki, find something in a natural (aka not synthetic) fabric that’s got some room to breathe and bonus points for clever ventilation design details.

Now, I realize the title of this entry may be a bit misleading.  I did do a serious stroll down the boardwalk by the sea taking in all the scents and the scenery, but I did not find myself at any point in a place where I might be able to sneak off with some handsome surfer for canoodling beneath the pier (and not just because there were no handsome surfers anywhere to be found).  Turns out, this boardwalk is exactly that– a walkway made from, you guessed it, boards.  On one side, you’ve got candy apple carts, frozen beverages and burgers, and every carnival ride your mother wouldn’t allow you to KDKD for fear of a fate worse than Fabio’s.  On the other side, there is a very impressive stretch of sand, way wider than many of the shorelines that have slowly eroded over the years.

 

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Desert Dreaming Dress Set, c/o TOBI

Visit some Tobi favorites for new styles: Dresses, Crop Tops, Rompers, Jumpsuits, Bodysuits, Shorts

 

Photography by Michael Stiegler

Setting the Mood: Labor Pains

By |September 1st, 2016|Beauty & Trends, Setting the Mood|

labor-day-fashion-editorial-whydid

While Labor Day is not actually the official end of summer (I repeat, LABOR DAY IS NOT THE OFFICIAL END OF SUMMER), it sure can feel like it.  I prefer a glass half full approach to this holiday weekend- meaning, buck up, we’ve still got another three weeks of summer (fall begins on September 22nd- also known as Smitty and my father’s birthday).  However, if you are a bit more pessimistic and it’s about to be check out time at your summer share house, I understand your desire to go out with a bang.

It was a weird summer, let’s be serious.  The weather was the equivalent of most of my decision making- it didn’t know what it wanted to do.  Fortunately, we only got blasted with one intolerable heatwave and for the most part there was plenty of sun.  While the majority of my friends posted pictures from Ibiza to Istanbul, I sat on the sidelines watching enviously as I scoured the internet looking for a new home in the borough of Brooklyn.  That endeavor turned out to be about as successful as transporting a snow cone through the Sahara.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the half full or half empty camp, Labor Day is now upon us and we must prepare.  Sunglasses, swimsuits, and sunscreen, ahoy.

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.

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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!

Setting the Mood: I’m Missing You Like Candy

By |August 22nd, 2016|Setting the Mood|

candy-fashion-editorial

Why, yes.  I did quote a Mandy Moore song for the title of this post.  And if you were born after 1990, please refer to the video at the end of this post and thank your lucky stars you weren’t old enough to drive a Volkswagen Beetle or own a Discman.  In any case, this week is dedicated to sugar and spice and everything that throws a wrench in your 7:30am spin class efforts.

I’m not someone who suffers from a chronic sweet tooth– ironic as I just polished off a carton of Blue Marble Ice Cream as I edit this– but let’s blame the full moon and that time of the month.  If, however, you are a lover of all things confectionery, this is your lucky week as I’ve had the pleasure of teaming up with a special guest, Breanne Butler, of ByBreanne to bring you a special How To Tuesday, exclusive interview, and photoshoot featuring her custom candy rings.

So, stay tuned, pause your diet til next week, and be sure to brush your teeth before bed.

Why Did You Wear That: Escape from New York City

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

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

Visit some Tobi favorites for new styles: Dresses, Crop Tops, Rompers, Jumpsuits, Bodysuits, Shorts

Photos by Michael Stiegler