Category Archives: Style

> RAW < denim

For the first time in years- five, to be exact- I bought a pair of blue jeans.  I knew I wanted to break in a pair of raw denim, knew I wanted them to be a pair of Nudie Jeans.  David bought his first pair of Nudie raw denim two years ago.  He’s washed them twice, wears them often, and still they look terrific on him.  Those jeans, they are him, tell a little bit of his story, and I knew I wanted my own pair to help tell mine, too.

Nudie Jeans is a brand I admire.  I support their initiative to use organic cotton, to recycle, and to pay their employees a living wage (which should really be a no-brainer, amirite?).  Their clothing is offered at a great price point, they completely deliver on the quality of their product, and they give their customers a memorable brand experience.  There’s a Nudie Jeans wearin’ tribe of people out there, and after four days with mine, I’m proud to say I’m a part of this tribe.  I’m going to bang my denim-loving drum for all to hear and I’m going to look damn good while doing it.

If you’re looking for a new best friend pair of denim, you can find your nearest Nudie Jeans retailer here.

A Treasure Hunt

It has come to my attention that I never shared pictures of my marriage ring or, rather, rings, with you.  Here they are, all banged up and well worn, almost one year later.  The bands are silver and the stones are tiny, rough cut black diamonds.  I chose to have two rings because I like the way they move together on my finger, the way it feels symbolic of how two people move together in a relationship- sometimes off-kilter, sometimes aligned.  I cherish my ring, love the way the light dances off the uneven surface of the diamonds, and admire the way the silver shows its wear.  It’s a nice ring and I think it suits me perfectly.

Like many women, I was adamant that my ring fulfill some conditions, specifically:

  1. The main stone could not be a white diamond. They just don’t do it for me, you guys. 
  2. It had to cost less than $500.  Marriage may be forever, but my style is not.  Perhaps one day I’ll grow tired of this ring and will find something more suited to my evolved taste.  Perhaps I’ll have a collection of fabulous marriage rings that I interchange and match to my outfits? Maybe I’ll become a millionaire and wear a jeweled glove, instead.  Who knows!
  3. It had to be made by a local designer.  Because I’m passionate about supporting local artisans and wanted something handmade and beautiful. Boston jewelry designer Michele Mercaldo suited my needs perfectly. 

Now that almost a year has passed since our nuptial soirée, I’d like to find an awesome local designer to make me a pair of earrings to match.  Something small and simple, something rough and elegant.   Let the treasure hunt begin!

I feel like everyone I know is getting engaged, or is soon to be engaged, so tell me, dear reader, what are your ring requirements?  How did you decide on your ring and have you ever fallen out of love with it?

Stuck in the Web

Welcome back to my weekly web round-up where I show you mine and you show me yours- but only if you want to, of course.  Cool?  Cool!  Let’s begin:

Are any of you watching Mr. Selfridge, the new iTV period drama about that crazy American, Mr. Selfridge, who came to London and told everyone what’s-what whilst opening the very best department store in the history of mankind?  Well, I sure am!  Even despite the fact that Jeremy Piven has an overabundance of pazazz and the bravado of his performance seems to suggest that he thinks he’s performing onstage rather than on television, I’m still going to tune in Sunday for episode two.  Mr. Selfridge’s blind enthusiasm reminds me so much of how my own grandiose plans were met with many a dull stare and curt shake of the head when I first moved here, so obviously I can’t wait to see how the story plays out.  Plus, the styling is excellent.  Who knew 1908 was so chic?

Did you know that Dita Von Teese has a taxidermy Ostrich in her house?  Honestly, I’m obsessed.    She is such a lady, she makes me want to buy hot rollers and substitute saying nail polish” with “nail varnish.”  Le sigh… Her entire interview with Into the Gloss is totally worth a read if you’re at all interested in fabulosity (which, of course, you are), and the pictures of her home are lovely.

I love this portrait of Anthony Bourdain by David Choe.  It has great energy and poise, and I keep enlarging Bourdain’s twitter picture to look at it again.  It makes me wonder, if you could have anyone paint your portrait, who would it be? 

My friend Brent sent me this funny tumblr of Lady Edith with Googly Eyes.  Oh, Edith!  Bless.

Kathleen recently shared an update about her six months in the same jeans challenge and it has made me even more keen to get my hands on (and legs into) a pair of raw denim all my own.  David loves his Nudie Jeans, but I’d love to know if anyone else has any brands they recommend.  Have you ever worn raw denim?  How did you like it?

And lastly: I maybe vomited this morning in the middle (well, the end, because I stopped immediately after it happened) of a jog sidewalk flop.  Not hot.  Because I never ever ever want that to happen again, I’ve been looking into tips for beginner runners and was curious if you had any nuggets of wisdom to share, too.  Even if it’s roll-your-eyes obvious, I’d love to know how you found your pace, kept your breathing consistent, and finally achieved that illusive runner’s high.

xx

Photo via (edits by me)

DIY: whackjob

 

I caught my reflection in the window of a train on Friday and had to do a double take.  My hair was long and limp, hanging well below my shoulders in broken strands that made my face blur into that of any other tired woman commuting home on the 5:00 PM train.

It made me frantic, to see myself this way, and I walked quickly from the train station to my home,  my breath escaping in rushed puffs as I climbed the hill through town.  After pushing my keys through the lock and flinging off my jacket, I located my craft scissors and headed to the bathroom. In a moment of total clarity, I started cutting.

Holding a pair or scissors in my hand does not scare me and I stood before the mirror filling the sink with rough, dead hair, coarse like straw and dull as dirt.  I wanted my hair asymmetrical and full of imperfections because my life is asymmetrical and I am full of imperfections.  I needed it to be attractive, but true, and I wanted it to capture the variety of life that hangs heavy around our necks and makes each morning spark with the electricity of the unknown.

David helped me with the back, his face full of nervous concentration but his hands steady and sure.  In the end he agreed that we did a pretty good job and when I look in the mirror I’m happy because I don’t mistake myself for anyone else.

“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
- The Great Gatsby

H by Hudson: A Love Story

Back in college, I foolishly made the mistake of [somehow] mentioning that a new pair of shoes can truly change one’s life during an in-class discussion on Madame Bovary.  A little hyperbolic?  Yes.  Off-topic?  Probably.  True?  Absolutely!  Nonetheless, my professor never let me live it down.  “How could anyone believe that shoes could inspire such a great change in someone’s life?” he wondered.  Simple: When you’re wearing great shoes you feel great, and when you feel great, great things are more likely to happen to you.  It’s the truth.  Honest.  

Whilst touring through the ancient seaside town of Rye, I came across a terrific boutique called Bird.  What lured me into Bird was the fact that, upon a previous visit to Rye, a pair of fantastic leather lace-ups had been on display in the window and caught my eye.  Unfortunately, the store was closed at the time seeing as it was late in the evening but the image of those shoes stayed with me.  Thankfully, upon my second visit, Bird was open for business.  The shop is wonderfully curated and sells the loveliest clothes and accessories.  Everything from Jonathan Adler candles to cozy knits made my heart go pitter-patter with joy and then, and then, I laid eyes on these boots and within an instant was deeply and tragically in love.  

The boots are by a London-based company called Hudson.  They’re simple, well made, and, after a damp and lengthy walk through London, prove to be incredibly comfortable, too.  Plus, they’re totally changing my life.  Promise. 

Tuesday with Moi

Tuesday, September 18
Another day.  Alas.
  This mug doesn’t come into focus until my second or third cup of coffee.
I wish I was someone who loves waking up early, but I’m not.
Big foot on the bath mat.
Isn’t that color terrible?! I’m still working on ridding this house of man-bought monstrosities.
£ it.
About to run errands. 
On said errands, I stopped in Boots where, for the third time in my life, I was exposed to the monstrosity that is Call Me Maybe.   I’m lucky to have largely escaped exposure to the disease that is that song, but it was blasting over the sound system loud and clear and is still, almost a whole day later, stuck in my head.
Is there a remedy?
Somebody, help! 
Whilst in Boots, I did something that I have never done before: I bought a box of hair dye.  Not to sound like a total snob (jk, I am a total snob), but I’ve only ever had my hair professionally colored.  This is largely due to the fact that my mother worked in a salon when I was growing up and, once I entered the work force, I too worked in hair salons.  In this country, for the first time in my adult life, I am without a stylist friend to keep me and my hair in babe-land.  As such, my roots were so long that my hair was basically ombré, which, for those of you scratching your heads, means it was not hot.  This photo does the state of my hair no justice- for the top was a chalky, light brown and the ends were a brassy red.  Terrible, just terrible. 
Now, I never thought I’d resort to coloring my hair myself.  Never.  The shame!! But a couple weeks ago I learned that Dita Von Teese colors her own hair and I thought to myself, if it’s good enough for Dita, it’s good enough for me!  Plus, I always thought it looked really fun.
I bought a box of L’Oreal Preference, crossed my fingers and went for it.
Lady Von Teese says she colors her hair whilst in the nude, but I elected to wear a black body suit instead.
Doing your hair at home is great because you can do work while processing.  Perfect!
And you know what, it actually turned out quite well.  The red tones still shine through the chestnut brown I used, giving my color dimension and depth, and from root to end my hair is a uniform color- a rich and shiney brown.  The entire process, from application to blowdry, only took about an hour (that sure beats going to a salon), and though I’m definitely not going to make a long-term habit out of coloring my own hair (I like having a scalp massage with my shampoo), I certainly enjoyed it this time.  And who knows, maybe I’ll do it again.  It really was quite fun! 
These are our two cigar cases.  They’re really great.
We’re going to fill them with Cubans and take them to Scotland with us this weekend.
This is top-secret.
It’s going to be delicious!
This was taken yesterday as I was writing my post on color.  As I chased a particular phrase in my mind, I glanced down and noticed that my basil plant was glowing on the window sill.  The sun was setting and the greens around me were popping in the most beautiful way against the grayness of the light.  I wanted to bottle that color.
Then my photo alarm went off and this picture happened.
Those glasses
Finishing some work and sniffing dried lavender.
This year, I’ve resorted to stealing my lavender from gardens around town.  Next year, I’m going to grow my own in a big pot on the window sill.
I didn’t change my last name when I got married.  
Why? 
Because Kate Cox is a terrible name.
I will be a Sims, now & forever.
David and I both finished our work late in the evening and decided to go out for a glass of wine and actually talk to each other for a little while.  Our local bar/pub/whatever has excellent wallpaper and a really reasonable wine list.  If you visit me, I will take you there.
After Wine Time, we came home and watched an episode of Twin Peaks before settling into bed.
I want to be Josie Packard so bad.
Next week, dear reader, my TWM post will be awesome!  Why?  Because I’ll be in Scotland!
So look forward to that.  I know I sure am!
And as always, thanks for reading! xxx

Tuesday with Moi

Tuesday, September 11
A Day of Remembrance

Gladiolus petals always remind me of betta fish.
Making the Redcoat a cup of coffee.
He takes cream and sugar, I absolutely do not.
Channeling with my inner geisha.
Remember when ‘paint it black‘ was my mantra?  Well, yesterday’s mantra was paint it grey!
Let me introduce you to my grey nail polish and grey lip gloss by Diego Dalla Palma, a super fierce cosmetics brand based in Milan.  I was introduced to the line by a former client, Katrina Hess, whose studio is one of the few in the United States to carry the brand.  The pigments are rich, the pallets are silky, and the finish is perfect.  If you’re in the market for makeup, do yourself a favor and try Diego Dalla Palma, it’ll make you feel like an Italian supermodel and there is nothing more luxurious than feeling like an Italian supermodel, am I right?!
Cat food, cat water.
Ew.
The Redcoat got a haircut.  He looks so handsome and dreamy!

Wrote the handsome, newly-shorn Redcoat a love note with my fancy pen.
My chalk mug.  It’s funny how some chalk colors fade in the sunlight.  Now I have ombré chalk.
It’s very high fashion!
For all of you who were wondering what grey lip gloss looks like, well, here you have it.  It’s subtle and glossy and beautiful!  Plus, it pairs perfectly with my grey nail polish, grey sweater, and grey C-3PO leggings, which you’ll get a glimpse of in a moment or two…
David made a delicious chorizo and vegetable scramble for dinner which paired beautifully with this bright red table wine.  He’s too good to me.
(Fun Fact: Sometime within the next month or so, you will be able to see and recreate some of David’s culinary creations via his very own blog… v. v. exciting!)

Checking in on Bernadette.  She keeps blossoming and growing, which is absolutely grand.
Our other plant babies, which you met last week, are also thriving.
Operation Greenhouse is well under way!
C-3PO leggings.  Basically black, ribbed leggings with grey denim patches.
They’re kind of weird, but I like them.
And if you didn’t know who C-3PO was without clicking that link, then GET OFF THIS BLOG RIGHT NOW!  I’m serious, if you don’t know C-3PO, you have no place here.
(Fun Fact: Han Solo was my first love and Star Wars makes up, like, 3/4 of my childhood.)
I don’t know why, but we’re making our Tuesday Night Drunk Dial a thing, I guess.
Last night, we talked to a handful of friends in Boston.
Brother Luke, in Montana.
And my pen-pal and real-pal, Natalie, in L.A.
She’s really awesome.
After we talked to a couple more fabulous friends, it was time for bed.
David was asleep by the time I got into the bedroom and was draped all over my side of the bed.
Alas, the life of a married lady!

As always, thank you for taking a peek at my simple little life.
I’m really flattered that you made it all the way to the bottom of this post.
It means a lot.  Really, it does.

xox

Fashion Blogging Elsewhere

Remember back to once upon a time when I said that this would never turn into a fashion blog?  Well, for one that’s because I don’t believe in fashion, I believe in style, and two, that is because I get to write about fashion/style/fabulousness all day long for my freelance gigs.  This week, I’m writing about some of my favorite NYFW collections for Samantha House Jewelry and even though spring 2013 feels like a loooooong way off, I’m already getting excited to pair some of my favorite SHJ pieces with next summer’s brights. 

Here’s a sneak peek at some of my current favorites, but I’ll be updating more throughout this week and, when LFW starts on Friday (eeek!), I’ll be updating about that, too! Make sure you check it out. SO MUCH FASHION, SO LITTLE TIME! 

I am totally obsessed with the yellow trousers by Pierre Balmain.  OBSESSED.  I also love yellow-trouser-lady’s haircut.  I’ve been missing my short hair like crazy lately (I’m wearing a topknot today… a TOPKNOT, ugh) and am totally torn between growing it out to mermaid length (so I never have to wear a top again a la Daryl Hannah in Splash) or buzzing it all off.  Like, I literally thought about going bald the other day, but with the weather getting colder, I decided against it.  Also, just no.

Anyway, off to do more fashiony things for more fashiony clients.  FA-la-la-FASHION! 

What I Wore to Ascot

My trusty Macbook, which is like 100 million years old, is finally on the way out and it no longer allows me to load photos (or to run two programs at the same time, play DVDs/CDs, or operate whilst being unplugged- basically me and the spinning rainbow wheel are BFF), so I have been waiting ALL DAMN DAY for David to get off our iMac so I could post this.  Sharing a computer is sooooo 1998 and really isn’t conducive to a healthy marriage.  “Are you done yet?” has become the phrase of the day and it’s making me crazy.

ONWARDS!  There have been some inquires from friends (and from my mother, HI MOM!) about the outfit I wore to Ascot last weekend.  I didn’t get many pictures of myself at the event because I was too busy hogging the camera and taking pictures of horsies, so you’ll have to settle for a post-Ascot outfit post. Because it is winter outside (again!) and because I cannot will myself to do that fashion blogger thing where I get all dressed up to distractedly pose in front of some greenery or in an abandoned alley (no disrespect, super-stylers!), these photos will have to do. 

Okay, my outfit!  After some v. laborious Google image research in which I learned that the average female Ascot-goer dresses a) like they’re going to a wedding, b) like a grandmother, or c) like a tacky tart, I made the informed decision to stay as far away from these categories as humanly possible.  Initially I thought I’d buy a vintage pant-suit, but I had (notice the past tense) a Harrod’s gift card that was calling my name and I ended up falling in love with this feathery, flapper-style Michael Kors (aka Queen Tangerine) number instead.

Next step: the hat! Fascinators were banned from the Royal Enclosure at Ascot this year, so I felt that my initial idea of a flapper-style headwrap would be a little too risky, not to mention a little too on-point… I didn’t want to look like I was wearing a costume, after all!  In my head I was envisioning something a la Julie Andrews in Thoroughly Modern Milly and after many exhausting searches, I finally found a hat that was the right shape, but the wrong color.  It was on sale and I was tired, so I bought the hat and a can of black spray paint and came home.

The next day, I tore off the ugly bow and spray painted my blue hat black.  Later that evening (this is the night before Ascot, mind you…) I sewed decorative beads and feathers to the back for a little bit of a wow-factor.  Sewing things onto a straw hat is gory, people!  My fingers still haven’t forgiven me.

Morning of, I put on my dress and painted all twenty of my nails in my favorite simple, clean polish, OPI‘s Bubble Bath (this was a total repeat from my wedding when I painted my nails 20 minutes before the ceremony… when will I learn?!).  I used MAC‘s Party Line on my lips, put on a pair of earrings I bought at a Renaissance festival forever ago (no joke!), tucked my tried and true Clare Vivier clutch- which I lovelovelove- under my arm and was out the door!  I didn’t put on my shoes, which I got from an old co-worker who also has tiny feet, until we got to Ascot.  Usually I’m incredibly overzealous and immediately jam my freshly painted toes into my shoes and completely ef up the finish, but this time I practiced self-restraint and my toenail polish didn’t chip until the next day. YAY!  I’m a lady!

Another fun fact: I couldn’t find black feathers anywhere in my Hobbit Town, so I ended up having to buy a silly mask with black feathers on it and repurpose them onto my hat.  Craziness, I tell you!

So there you have it, my first ever What I Wore post. I can’t wait to don my dress again!  Someone, give me an excuse!

 

And there I am again.  HI!  Men in the service are allowed to wear their uniforms into the Royal Enclosure in lieu of a morning suit.  Pretty snazzy, huh.  OKAYBYE!

@Ascot

You guys, this ain’t no Kentucky Derby, it’s Ascot.  Royal Ascot, in fact.  A genteel affair that’s as British as Sunday roasts and high tea with the Queen (seen entering the Royal Enclosure in her carriage, second photo).  It doesn’t get any more British than horse races and irony-free head-wear and I’m so pleased I was given the amazing opportunity to take part in this 301 year-old tradition. 

On Saturday morning, I put on my knee-length dress* and home-made hat,** took David’s arm and we made our way to Ascot.  A very generous friend***  invited us to join his party in the Royal Enclosure which meant we were far removed from the majority of the fashion monstrosities that are just as much a part of the Ascot tradition as the horse racing.  Luckily, there are pictures

As you can imagine, I was ever so charmed by the clothes- especially the morning dress worn by the men (Swoon City!).  If an American man were ever required to wear tails and a top hat to a sporting event, they’d pick up their guns and start shouting about Civil Liberties faster than you can say George Washington, which is precisely why the majority of men at the Kentucky Derby look like they’re in an Easter-egg hued parody of Boardwalk Empire, complete with unlit cigars, clip-on bow ties, and ill-fitting bowler hats.  Though there was much moaning about the restrictive dress code this year, the crowd at Ascot was [for the most part] wonderfully put together and very handsome, indeed!

And speaking of handsome, how ’bout those horses!  I’ve never been one of those horse-obsessed girls with notebooks full of pencil-drawn horsies, their manes blowing majestically in the wind as they gallop across a plane or along a steep embankment that falls into the sea.  That being said, I’m not immune to the power and grace of a beautifully built horse and I definitely fell a little bit in love with a temperamental grey stallion that lost me five quid and taught me to never again bet on a horse just because it’s pretty.  And when they race, oh! how your heart does beat, especially if you have good money on a horse.  The horses are so strong, so fast, I imagine that being a jokey is the closest we’ll ever get as humans to feeling we can fly. 

Horse racing has gotten into my blood and like a junkie I’m already searching for my next fix.  I’ve spent the last two days daydreaming about picnic lunches and steeplechases, of bigger hats, bolder dresses, and sunny racetracks, of horses nibbling apples from the palm of my hand.  Maybe, just maybe, I’m a horse girl after all.  A horse racing girl, I mean.

*It’s by Michael Kors, for those who are interested. 
**I didn’t make the hat, but I did spray-paint it black and hand-sew beads and feathers to the back, which warrants some props, I think.  
***Thanks, Mike!