Another Hot Day in Texas

IMG_1566

Red lips and massive sunnies serve as a great summer accessory pairing for any casual dress.

As my East Coast friends post endlessly on Facebook about the ridiculous temps, I can’t help but think, Now you know my pain! When we landed in Texas, Josh and I had been warned about the summers but we figured we’d get through it by racing from one air conditioned space to the next. And so far, we have. But yesterday… oy!

This jet-setter (I’ve been to two weddings on the East Coast in two weekends, and arrived home super-late this past Sunday evening) did not feel like a dress Monday morning. Instead she reached for the only clean jeans around, a skin-tight pair with polka dots. Being gone the past two weekends also means being out of dry cleaned and/or recently washed summer tops so it was slim pickings. I ended up in a white Theory button-down (long sleeves) with a black American Apparel tee over it. Ferragamo skimmers.

I nearly died.

The more I’ve looked around my dress code-free office in recent weeks, the grander my “Toto, you’re not in Manhattan anymore” realization has become. There is no need to wear endless mounds of black, smart little shoes, and very carefully curated hemlines. While I miss the daily runway show of Wang, Posen, et al. on the New York City subway each morning, it is more than a little bit freeing to know that I am now fully justified in showing up at work in a little, breezy sundress and platforms, or even (gasp) shorts.

No, the shorts have not happened yet. If you’ve ever seen me in shorts, you know that my collection belongs nowhere near a professional environment. I will likely need to purchase a longer pair before I can show up at work in them. And, um, I don’t really want to do that!

jcrewmaxi

This liquid jersey maxi from J Crew is a lovely choice for the office or the weekend. But, lose the hat! ON SALE for $55, jcrew.com

So, to keep things classy, I’ve been reaching mainly for sweet sundresses and comfortable flats or platforms. I’m also loving the look of a black or gray cocktail dress in an airy chiffon or silk, paired with great heels and a cardigan. And while the walk from the parking garage to the inner sanctum of this frigid building remains grueling, at least it’s hot enough (everywhere) in Texas that you don’t mind baring your legs in the AC. That delicate balance is one thing I definitely don’t miss about home.

Got some cute summer style tips? Email me at sparklesnfun@gmail.com and share!

shorts

Tuck a shirt into a longer pair of shorts and swap out her flats for a pair of heels. You will look fantastic! Caslon shorts, nordstrom.com, ON SALE for $29.90

manolo

Jonesing for a splurge? These amazing graphic stilettos in black and white from Manolo Blahnik are just to thing to amp up your summer duds and keep you utterly on-trend for fall. $655, saksfifthavenue.com

Advertisements

Treat Your Face

Close-up of beautiful faceAs you can imagine, I have tested myriad face products in my day, and there are countless ones left on the imminent and eventual roster. But this month I’ve discovered a really cool line from the makers of Proactiv, called Rodin and Fields after the doctors who created it. The products I like most are aimed at women in their 20’s and 30’s who are suffering from the onset of wrinkles. Hello and welcome to my 28-year-old madness.

Let’s start from the lips up. I honestly don’t believe we give our lips enough love, which you can read more about here. The lip serum is a lovely, antioxidant-rich product that comes in capsule form. You apply to your lips to help them retain their natural moisturizing factors, while smoothing the texture and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. I use it at night and even as of Morning One, I noticed a plumper appearance and ultra smooth finish on my pout. The REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum comes in a package of 60 capsules for a mere $53 and you can purchase here.

redefineAnother of this acne-prone girl’s favorite standout products from the line is the UNBLEMISH Spot Fading Toner. In addition to helping clear up the bumps you have now, it aids in the healing of your skin to help fade the marks that former breakouts left behind. This has been a big problem for me in recent months and I’m glad to find a solution that is finally working!

sootheI could carry on and on about this incredible product line, but here are the basics of what you need to know. It was developed by dermatologists who understand the delicate balance of your skin and create each product with real improvement in mind. The mid-range pricing makes it easier on the wallet than a lot of the designer skincare regimens out there, and the solid results I’ve seen from these products in a few short weeks has me going back for more.

You can hook up with a specialist through their website. I highly recommend mine, Ursula Fahrendorff whom you can reach by email at ursula.fahrendorff@gmail.com.

From soothing to enhancing, unblemishing to reversing the effects of aging, there is a suite of products for your every need, and plenty of ways to mix-and-match. Check out their site today and start getting your face, neck, and hands back to their former glory.

For the Mamas (and Nannies) of NYC

Do you have a curious kid on your hands? The world is an incredible place, and there is so much to learn. If your little one has ever asked you why the sky is blue or any related question, respect his or her inquiring mind and get some answers this weekend.

-2I always did science or history camps as a kid, and learning about the world around us made me one happy camper. This Saturday, Loomstate is bringing the children of New York a fun-filled afternoon where they’ll meet new people, do experiments, and learn about the earth under the direction of Loomstate’s Director of Sustainability. All this in the sunshine at Central Park!

Make sure to RSVP for your tike ASAP, because space is limited. Have fun! And send me a photo of those DIY construction paper heaters, too.

A Fashionable Fourth

If you’re like me, you love a theme party. And a Fourth of July barbecue, beach day, or potluck in the AC is a great opportunity to flex your sartorial chops while taking part in the good old, cheesy all-American fun. Get your stars, stripes, reds, whites and blues ready for a fun outfit opportunity no one wants to pass up.

Casual:
Having friends over or headed to a family BBQ? Keep it casual and comfy for maximum running-around-with-kids, dancing-under-the-stars, and munching-on-grilled-meats enjoyment. If you’ve been dying to try denim shorts and a midriff baring top, now’s your chance. Or keep it more girly in an open-back sundress with plenty of room to breathe.

shorts

I ask you: why the hell not? These cheerful, star-spangled denim cutoffs are super-cute and will look great no matter what you pair them with. $17.80, forever21.com

dropwaist

Kimchi Blue drop-waist white sundress is a no-brainer. Breezy and roomy but still flattering, this pairs well with a blue statement necklace. Add red lips and you’re perfectly on-theme. ON SALE for $19.99, urbanoutfitters.com

One Step Up:
So, your boyfriend’s boss (or grandma!) is throwing the shindig? Whatever the reason you might have to look more polished on the 4th, there are plenty of ways to do that while still feeling cute. Go for a slightly longer hemline or more classic silhouette in your party dress, or reach for red linen shorts instead of star-spangled cut-offs. Ballet flats, skimmers, or platforms are all great options.

jcrewshorts

These are great to have, anyway. Treat yourself to a structured pair of bright red shorts and you will live in them all summer long. ON SALE for $35, jcrew.com

crisscrosscorded

This lovely Crisscross Corded Perf dress from Saturday by Kate Spade is an absolute homerun. Bonus: you can totally wear this to a wedding later in the season. $160, saturday.com

Poolside:
There’s nothing that instills as much fear into the heart of the American woman as the swimsuit. But if you’re headed to a pool party, suck it up and tote one, or you’ll spend the afternoon feeling bored and sorry for yourself while everyone else frolicks around in the water. Word to the wise: there is not a person on earth who loves everything about themselves in a swimsuit, so you’re in good company. Leave your hangups at the door and cool off in something cute.

4thsuit

Underwire construction and a removable halter strap give you the support you need up top, while an adjustable tie cord on the bottom allows you to loosen things up if you need. $14.99 & $17.99 (sold separately), target.com

zinke

Craving more coverage? One-pieces are so cute these days! I adore the plunging, sexy neckline and ruffle detail on this one from Zinke. ON SALE for $106, asos.com

Fireworks:
Everyone knows that the best part of the day is the night, when the sky lights up in celebration of our beautiful country. But if you’re scantily clad and maybe even a little sunburnt, the change in temp can throw a wrench in your fashion plans. I always like to have a basic white cardi or really cute hoodie on hand for this moment. Then again, there’s nothing so romantic as stealing one off your man. Mine, however, is not big on sharing outerwear… he usually makes me bring my own!

rag&bone

Absolutely perfection selection, stylish yet laid back. Rag & Bone/JEAN cardigan with v-neck and artful hole detail throughout. $255, shopbop.com

Nails:
Yay! Nail art, nail art, always so much fun. Get your digits decorated in a flag theme or just a fiery red for a fun, spirited look. Or you can board the Jensy train and go nuts doing your own at home. So, my stripes are not perfect and the paper stars I tried to affix fell off, but I’m loving this whacky manicure nonetheless. Have fun!IMG_1537 IMG_1539

When in Rome

972049_10152838907100051_982567853_n

The white lace dress I wore to my bridal shower is probably my current favorite. This is one that would work anywhere, I believe…

Have you ever been to a new city and felt like your clothing, while on-trend and perfectly suitable at home, made you stick out? I often find that no matter how extensive my research, I am in this predicament when I go somewhere new. Within the US, it always surprises me. I mean, we’re all reading the same magazines, right? But there are these fantastic cultural shifts from one city to the next, and from the city to the burbs, and so on, that fascinate me endlessly.

When we moved to Dallas, for example, I couldn’t believe how dressed everyone was. I was coming from Brooklyn where I donned lacy dresses sans bra, beat-up Ferragamo skimmers, and a distressed Commes de Garcon crossbody every time we hit the town in summer. We touched down in Dallas and went straight from the airport to a dinner at Del Frisco’s. In my black lace Betsey minidress and flat shoes, I felt dowdy as I looked out at a sea of bodycon mini’s and patent platforms.

I soon learned to marry my personal style to the locals, without losing my sense of self. I’m sure my sartorial choices still stick out a bit, but I’m fine with that. I do enjoy the occasional night on the town, though, in a short, tight dress that would be totally out of place on the pier in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge.

942918_728912401585_1203463504_n

This look from the ground up: Cole Haan beige suede Oxfords, Wolford cotton velvet tights, Catherine Malandrino pleated skirt, Marc Jacobs cotton blouse, Uniqlo black wool cardigan.
This look allover: American tourist!

The same thing happens when we travel. Josh and I headed off to Paris for a weekend this spring, and I was prepared for the ultimate in chic. What I was not prepared for, though, was the walking. Everywhere, walking. It was kind of chilly and I had no coat, so I purchased a white leather bomber on our first morning there. And my Cole Haan oxfords were my day wear, slightly loud for Paris, but cute nonetheless. At night, though?

For our big dinner out on the town, I wore a rainbow-hued, tie-dyed mini dress with sheer tiers of fabric cascading down each side. After much deliberation, I selected my peep-toe cork-bottomed platforms and we hit the avenue. Okay, here is the thing. It was Saturday night. In Paris, France. Picturing Carrie in all those couture ballgown-style skirts and Manolos from the final two episodes of Sex, I figured my colorful cocktail dress and heels were a great choice.

942460_728912960465_717800063_nNo.

Everywhere we went, incredibly chic women were buttoned up in black, black, black. Sweaters, leather jackets, long-sleeved tees. Black leggings or mini skirts to match. And flats. Mine were a lonely pair of heels in a sea of fabulous flats. And as my poor feet burned with each long step we took (did I mention Paris is a walking city??), I cursed myself for trying to be chic and ending up looking like exactly what I was — an American in Paris who was trying to look chic.

freepeople

My mom bought me this Free People slip dress to wear in Italy and I can’t wait! $88, freepeople.com

So, as we click about the internet lining up the spots we’ll visit on our incredible, two-week Italian honeymoon, I am torn. One part of me wants to hit the fashion blogs and the street style photos and curate the pieces of my own wardrobe into a suitcase packed with items that will have me looking like everyone else. And the rest of me says that’s crazy and I should bring the items that I love, that Josh loves, and that will make me feel like what I will truly be — an American in love on her honeymoon in Italy.

What could be better than that?