Author: Sara

Autumn Backpacks

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Today was the first really cool day in Brooklyn, and during a walk in beautiful Prospect Park I started thinking about carrying a backpack again. I’ve pretty much given up on backpacks since I need easy access to my pockets, but the crisp cool fall weather is making think of giving that a second thought. Here are some ideas..

Moto Jackets for the Fall

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For the fall I knew I wanted to get a moto jacket – but instead of leather I wanted one in cozy sweatshirt material that could go from sweatpants casual to fancy in the blink of an eye. I ended up finding the perfect jacket at the Chealsea Buffalo Exchange. It is true black sweatshirt material with all the good moto snaps and zippers. The jacket is a Nom De Plume YaYa Moto Jacket that was originally sold at Urban Outfitters.

Here’s an outfit I wore recently for dinner & drinks, but the jacket could easily work with some slouchy sweats and an old tee for the weekend.

Outfit details:
Jacket: Thrifted Nom De Plume YaYa Moto Jacket.
Blouse: Old H&M, but here’s another option
Jeans: Koral Skinny Jeans, currently sold out, but these are similar
Shoes: Patent Leather Kate Spade wedge pumps. Mine are about 7 years old and purchased at the Marshall’s in Queens. Here is a similar pair from Kate Spade
Bag: Thrifted

Lots of other moto options out there:

 

Semi-Late Fall Shopping list

Fall Shopping 2013

This fall shopping list is a little late, but in my defense it is so beautiful here in NYC this time of year that it feels like fall has just gotten started.

1) Luxe Sweatshirts: I have really been enjoying the recent crop of “fancy” sweat shirts that have been cropping up recently. I like the idea of taking something basic/simple/necessary, and then kicking it up a notch. The flip side of course, is that if you are going to spend this much  money on something so basic you are going to need to wear it forever in order to make the cost per wear worth it in the long run. I like the idea of buying one sweatshirt that can kick it both to work with a fancy necklace, and then on the weekends with some  boyfriend jeans and mocs. Alexander Wang makes the grandaddy of luxe sweatshirts, but I also like the Three Dots Easy Fit Sweatshirt, and a Terry Sweatshirt from the Gap.

2) Flowy blouses are what I want to wear all autumn long, and then plan to layer under a warm cardigan once it starts to get cold. This Stand Collar blouse from Uniqlo looks like a perfect neutral, and I am also hearing great things about the Silk Blouses from Everlane.

3) A classic pea coat. Each and every year I swear I am going to invest in a great peacoat. I remember picking out a classic one in high school with my mom, and I wore it year in and year out. Uniqlo has a nice one, though I have to admit I can’t get enough of the gold buttons on the Majesty Peacoat from JCrew.

4) Clogs: I really want a pair of No. 6 or Swedish Hasbeen slip-on mules. I think they will be great to wear for early fall with bare feet, and then layer on some wooly socks once the weather starts to get a little chilly. I can’t get peep toe mules out of my head, though I was pretty glad to pull my No. 6 boots out of storage to wear again for this fall.

5) Leopard belt. Here’s another eBay score for me, but the original version in “little leopard” is currently on sales over at JCrew.

6) Go Sox and Go Pats! I’ve been wanting a Tom Brady jersey so I can wear my New England pride all over Brooklyn. I picked up mine for about $35 on eBay, but you can grab yours over at the NFL Shop. Old Navy also has some cute Team Spirit gear.

7) The perfect denim shirt. I am sure there are more noble pursuits in the world, but a good chunk of my brain has recently been taken up by searching for a perfect denim shirt.  I could devote whole post to this topic (and probably will) but for now I thank Madewell for coming to the rescue.

8) Leather Tote. I was down on leather totes for years since I thought they were too heavy. Until the amazing rich color of the Madewell Transport Tote finally won me over. My main concern about this bag was weight, and was the handle drop long enough. Happy to report the weight is good, and handles have been OK so far and the big test will be when I bring out my giant winter parkas. Until then this bag has been my constant companion throughout the fall. I’ll be doing a whole post on this guy soon enough!

9) Black skinny Jeans. Can anybody have too many pairs of black skinny jeans?

 

 

Old Navy – Just killing it for Fall 2013

Old Navy - Fall 2013

Old Navy top / Old Navy black shirt / Old Navy crew neck sweater / Old Navy turtleneck

Popped in to Old Navy while I was on my way home the other day and in a fast five min I found four great picks for the fall. I’ve been so busy recently that it was my kind of fast shopping! The first two button downs will be perfect with some skinny jeans and booties. I’ll thow a cardigan over them when it gets closer to winter. The sweater has my favorite elbow patches, and I wore today with my slouchy Rag & Bone khakis. I’m concerned it won’t wear well after a couple washings, but I guess I will find out. And I plan to spend all of Autumn jogging all over Brooklyn while wearing this heather gray pull over. Old Navy = Easy!

Cool Blue Pants for a Hot Day

Blue pants H&M

Blue Pants H&M

I rarely wear outfits that don’t involve denim, but here is a rare exception from a recent heat wave. I picked up some “silky” blue pants from H&M and paired with a simple t-shirt. My favorite detail though is the small fabric cross body bag that I found abandoned in  Brooklyn “Free Basket” last summer. It is the perfect size for a quick errand, and made of a lightweight fabric in a warm pink color. Not bad for free!

Pants: H&M, no longer online- but here is a similar pair
Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs – similar
Bag: Handmade Cross Body Purse from Guatemala: found on the street in a “Free Basket” – here is a similar one
Shirt: James Perse Bare Shoulder Tee – sold out, but here is a similar tee (c/o ShopBop)
Shoes: Black Patent Leather Ballet Flats, mine are from Zara- similar.  But if I could do it all over again I would buy this pair

Update: Yikes! Third time I wore these pants the seam on the side split wide open.

A Slouchy Transition to Fall

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I’ve been searching for a while now for a pair of army green jeans that would be slouchy and loose for heatwaves worn with sandals, but would easily make the transition to fall with some short booties. I took a look at  a number of pairs – the Gap Broken In Straight Khakis Pants, Current/Elliott The Army Pants, and the Zara Slim Fit Trousers in Khaki – but ended up with the Rag & Bone pair since I loved the gray/green/no brown shade of army green, horizontal seams and boyfriend fit. The fit also looked like it would work with the pants both rolled and unrolled which was important for my summer to fall transition plans. I sized up to make sure they were extra slouchy, and definitely need a (hot pink) belt to hold them up. I was a little concerned that they were too big when they arrived, but after wearing for a couple weeks I feel like they have broken in just right. The above photo was taken on a recent hot summer day – now that the evenings are getting cooler I need to figure out how to style for the fall.

Pants: Rag & Bone/JEAN Brigade Pants (c/o Shopbop – on sale!)
Belt: Pink belt from H&M (Reviewed here)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses (c/o Shopbop)
Bag: L.L. Bean Boat & Tote, Open Top with navy blue trim
Shoes: Salt Water Sandals – thrifted from EBay. My are way too large, make sure you size down!
Shirt: Gap, old. But if I could do it all over again I would get the Striped Short Sleeve Tee by T by Alexander Wang

Salvaged: Steven Alan Reverse Seam Shirt

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One of my favorite things about living in Brooklyn is the “Free Baskets” that everyone puts out for the world. Since moving here I’ve both picked up and given away some good stuff. But the best find was a few weeks ago when I peeked in a paper bag left on a stoop and found a Steven Alan Reverse Seam Shirt in light purple. It was pretty much brand new, and my size. I had picked up a plaid Steven Alan shirt last year on Ebay, and am still convinced that this style is too boxy for us tall girls who need a longer shirt that hits below the hips. And so not a style or color I would have chosen myself, but I decided it was definitely a shirt I would happily wear for free!

The bag is the Farmer’s Market Tote from J. Crew that is now sold out, but I grabbed it for about $20 at a recent sale. They only had blue which I liked, but would have preferred the natural color. Turns out this is actually only a bag for carrying produce back from the farmers market, as I tried to use it as a daily commuting bag and the bottom and sides stretched way out from the weight of all my contents. So overall a great bag, but don’t use it for anything heavy for long periods of time. In this case I was actually headed to our local farmer’s market so it was the perfect bag to carry.

My cut-off shorts look pretty ordinary but they are actually very special to me as they are the first pair of designer denim I ever bought. Back in 2004 (wow almost 10 years ago!) I saved my pennies and headed over to Saks Fifth Avenue in Boston and bought this 7 for All Mankind pair that I wore near daily for years. About 3 years ago as I was long over the trouser cut I sliced them into cut-offs. But not just any cut-offs: my inspiration were the denim shorts worn by Parker Posey’s character in Broken English – a movie that has an amazing outfit in pretty much every frame. I had the movie on pause when I cut them so I could get them to hit in the exact same spot that Nora’s shorts do in the move.

Shirt: Steven Alan Reverse Seam Shirt, similar here
Tank: White Gap tank top
Bag: Farmer’s Market Tote from J. Crew – sold out!
Shorts: 7 for All Mankind Dojo Original Trouser (Cut off – obviously)
Hat: No name brand – impulse purchase from Bolton’s on 57th street
Shoes: Tom’s Shoes in Navy Umbrella Classic – but I wish I had help out for the camo pair
Coffee: Large with milk – no sugar. From Ladybird Bakery

Summer in the City: Thrifted Army Vest

Army vest

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I’ve had a rotating set of army jackets for the past couple of years that made an appearance in probably 60% – 70% of all my non-winter outfits. There is just something about the color olive-green that I love, and find ways to work into almost every outfit. I started with a fitted jacket from Forever21 that I wore like a blazer to work for three summers in a row. Considering the jacket was about $15 I got a pretty good cost per wear out of that purchase. Last spring I upgraded to a Gap army jacket that it a little more over sized – more like an actual jacket, than a blazer. I still love it but it has quickly become too hot in the city to wear for the summer.

Enter The Army Vest, a perfect compromise to include a dose of olive-green in my daily outfits, but still keep cool. Originally I had planned a quick DIY and scissor off the army of my old Forever21 standby thinking I had gotten all the use of out it in blazer form. But then before I could ever get that far I stumbled across this vest in the Chelsea location of Buffalo Exchange.

Vest: Thrifted at Buffalo Exchange, by way of now defunct Daffy’s, brand is Renuar Collection – similar here, here, and here
Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs – similar here
Dress: Splendid Maxi Tank Dress (c/o Shopbop)
Bag: Bookhou Zip Tote in Grey Triangle – reviewed here
Shoes: Worishofer 251

Photo note: I waited all day for the light to be exactly right for these shots, ran up on the roof, and took these three pictures – right before my battery died. Luckily I was fine with these shots, and could call it a day. Note to self: pay closer attention to the battery icon on the back screen!

Date Night Outfit – Brooklyn style

date night outfit

Here’s a comfy, casual outfit I wore for a relaxing date night in Brooklyn. I really don’t wear these Kork-Ease shoes as much as I should – they are perfect to get some extra height while strolling around town. And don’t forget to pop the collar of your camo jacket for a bit of prep!

Jacket: Old, from Jcrew. Similar here, here, and here.
Bag: Vintage – purchased at Stray Vintage & More
Jeans: Gap 1969 Boyfriend Jeans
Blouse: Old, from Urban Outfitters – similar here
Shoes: Patent Kork-Ease Sandals – mine are a few years old from Urban Outfitters, but you can find a similar pair here

Bag Review: Bookhou Zip Tote in Gray Triangle

bookhou zip tote

bookhou zip tote

bookhou zip tote

bookhou zip tote

bookhou zip tote

My new spring tote is the Bookhou Zip Tote in Gray Triangle. I’m loving this bag because a) its just a plain ol’ great bag! and b) it is unique and handmade. Since I’ve been trying to buy mostly handmade or consignment goods, when I read about Bookhou over at Door Sixteen I realized the Zip Tote fit the bill.

Not sure if they are still offering this color since I no longer see it on the web site, but I was deciding between the gray version and the black and white colors. I went with gray since I thought the muted/faded colors would look better with the colors I usually wear and would get better with age.

The size and weight of the bag is good for a daily commuting bag. I wouldn’t mind if it was an inch or two deeper, but overall it holds all my daily bag contents + lunch + electronics pretty well. I never zip the top, but it is nice to have that option there if I ever need it. The HUGE inside pocket is great – see last photo. I’m usually unhappy with the standard size patch pocket since they are never big enough to be useful, but this one is just the right size. It is also very deep for a patch pocket meaning I can fill up the side pocket with everything I need quick access to (phone, subway card, lip gloss, chapstick, wallet) but it never tips out. It is also deep enough that I feel secure that it would be difficult for someone to reach into my bag and grab something important.

I’ve already had one woman stop me on the subway to ask where I bought my unique bag – let’s see how many more times that happens this summer!

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