Dressing for Holiday Parties Without Looking Like a Disco Ball

IMG 75281 Dressing for Holiday Parties Without Looking Like a Disco Ball
Photos by Jennine Jacob

Holiday parties often mean copious sequins an sparkle and that can be totally fun but it also gets a little predictable. So this season I’m going with lush fabrics accented by pops of color and shine. The suede shift dress is structured while still giving off a boho vibe, which is hard for me not to do, and the calf hair on the boots adds to the whole texture thing happening. I accessorized with lots of The 2 Bandits jewelry and colorful beaded earrings.

As I mentioned on Instagram, I’m channeling Cher a little bit and there’s nothing wrong with that in my book. The best part was I did not have sore feet at the end of the night, and the rest of me was comfy, too. What are you wearing??

Onward to a few more photos, and to shop the look:
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The Gift Every Fashion Friend Will Love

Desktop5 The Gift Every Fashion Friend Will Love
Photos via ShopBop

It’s holiday gifting time and I’ve been racking my brain about what type of gift guide to write. Just like it’s difficult to pick out a gift, it’s difficult to pick out gifts for a guide. Plus, women who love fashion are the hardest to buy for. They have very specific tastes, and the stuff they want they tend to buy for themselves.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought about the clutch, that little bag you carry and put a few things in, usually when venturing out in the evening. It’s an excellent gift for a style-obsessed woman for several reasons:

1. If she doesn’t like it she can use it as a makeup bag.

2. If she doesn’t like it, it’s impersonal enough that she can re-gift it.

3. Clutches don’t take up much space, so even if she only likes it a little bit she can tuck it into a drawer or closet without resentment.

4. It’s not the type of bag she’ll use every day so it’s OK if it’s slightly outside of her typical style.

5. If you buy the right size, it can double as an iPad or computer case.

6. If she doesn’t like it, she can use it as a travel case for jewelry.

7. Clutches are less expensive than normal handbags.

8. You’ll have bought a fashion gift for a fashion person, and that’s a brave endeavor. You might even get lucky! If that’s the kind of relationship you have. Or are hoping for. Onward for the clutches!
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What if Molasses Cookies Were an Outfit?

Screen Shot 2014 12 12 at 8.00.42 AM What if Molasses Cookies Were an Outfit?

This week I’ve been experimenting with molasses cookies. I made one batch after finding a recipe via Pinterest via the image below. It was so pretty how could the recipe be bad? But they didn’t turn out great. So then I found that the recipe had been altered from this Bon Appetit recipe which had additional ingredients including brown sugar and cardamom. The result tastes much better, but they were quite thin and flat didn’t do that crackle thing on the top. How do I get the crackle?? More flour perhaps? Anyone? I think I’ll try this recipe next.

In the meantime, while I try to get the cookies right, here’s an outfit to enjoy. The faux leather dress is on mega sale, btw! Shop everything below.
heart of gold chewy molasses cookies 1 What if Molasses Cookies Were an Outfit?

Photo by Allison of Heart of Gold

French Braids: When You Need to Get the Hair Out of Your Face

french braids111 French Braids: When You Need to Get the Hair Out of Your Face
Photo by Richard Philipkoski
My mom has been telling me to get my hair out of my face pretty much my whole life. When I was in second grade, my hair reached past my waist, and my mother hated combing it. She informed me that she’d tolerate it only until after her wedding that year, in which I would serve as “junior bridesmaid.” After that, I was going short whether I liked it or not. I cried in a corner of the playground during recess at the prospect.

At 8-years-old, my hair was already my security blanket.

Now, a few decades later, it’s still is. I almost never wear my hair up. Shrouded behind hair, my imperfections are less evident, or at least they feel that way from beneath the mane. So it was kind of a big deal for me to be out in the world with French-braided hair. But I knew even without my mom telling me that I needed to get it out of my face for travels from Pennsylvania back to San Francisco with a toddler. Having my head exposed to the general public may have been disconcerting had the extreme volume and energy of my child not dominated every last one of my senses.

But the experience got me thinking of all the hairstyles I sported during my school years post-shag: I had a Dorothy Hamill cut circa 4th grade. That grew into a “feathered” style up until 7th grade when my older cousin from New York taught me the magic of a curling iron. The tool transformed the flat feathers into barrel curls that I then brushed into two big wings, one on each side of my face, until they met at the back of my skull in a vertical line that resembled a butt crack.

Then came the mullet. We called it “ears cut out.” It felt very cool. The following year or so I let it grow in to a shoulder-length bob with bangs and a perm. In my senior year of high school, I had it all chopped into an extremely short-in-the-back style that was longer on the top. I swooped that long part onto one side and sprayed it stiff. In my first year of college, I let one side grow longer than the other for an asymmetrical hairdo. Eventually it grew longer, possibly because of limited access to my stylist and/or lack of funds. I let it grow super long and got my first spiral perm circa 1988. I’ve had nearly the same hair, minus the spiral perm, ever since.

What I’d like to know is: where did I get the confidence to chop off all of my hair my senior year of high school? I remember boys in my class looking at me with wonder asking “why?” “Because I like it!” I said. I didn’t feel one bit self conscious and I didn’t regret the cut for one second. I only wish I could have bottled that confidence so I could take a dose of it now!

snowy vertical edited Fotor Fotor Fotor French Braids: When You Need to Get the Hair Out of Your Face

I did enjoy the French braid for a change though. My hair didn’t get caught under my bag strap and Frida didn’t get food in it. I could also see when I searched for diapers and toys and tranquilizers (just kidding) in my carry-on.

I wore this particular outfit the day before our travels following a French braid test-run. The jeans are Gap, booties are c/o Freda Salvador, I bought the jacket at the Alameda Vintage Fashion Faire, and the turquoise earrings are from the Susquehanna Trading Post.

The Toms x Target Collab Is Almost All Gone! Shop It Now

st cyril 2 The Toms x Target Collab Is Almost All Gone! Shop It Now
Photos by Richard Philipkoski

Like I said, the poncho is a must! I literally snatched the very last one from the shelves at the Target at the Tanforan Mall in San Bruno. And I am very sad to tell you that they are now completely sold out (sad face). But there are still a few items available online and in stores (I would hurry!).

I’m so excited to be partnering with Target and TOMS on this holiday gift collection. Each time you buy something from the #TOMSforTarget collection, the brands will give a gift to someone in need: either a blanket via American Red Cross or a week of meals via Feeding America.

I took the poncho out for a test drive while I was visiting my parents in Pennsylvania. My dad is a pretty amazing photographer and I was grateful that he was up for taking these snaps.

st cyril 15 The Toms x Target Collab Is Almost All Gone! Shop It Now
Wearing: My dad’s cable knit sweater knitted by my mom.

st cyril 5 The Toms x Target Collab Is Almost All Gone! Shop It Now
Also wearing: DL1961 Nina in Salt Lake high-rise dlpro skinny jean, read all about them here.

st cyril 18 The Toms x Target Collab Is Almost All Gone! Shop It Now

Toms For Target: One-for-One. For All. Starting November 16th, for every Target+Toms limited edition gift you buy, we’re (Target) giving shoes, a blanket or meals to those in need. #TOMSforTarget

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.

My Mom Made This Cable Knit Sweater and I Love Her

IMG 7463 My Mom Made This Cable Knit Sweater and I Love Her

You may have noticed last week over at The Coveted or on Instagram that Jennine and I showed up for a date to take each others’ outfit photos wearing exactly the same outfit: a cable knit sweater with leather pants. We laughed in her hallway for about 10 minutes before we could do anything about photographs. Here I am in the photo Jennine captured with my idol Frida Kahlo.

My mother knitted this sweater. Can you imagine how much time and work that took? And every ring on my fingers was gifted to me: my engagement ring (obviously), the floral silver ring was my mom’s, the knotted one and stackables with it were a gift from Fiat Lux, and the blue topaz ring was my grandmother’s.

IMG 7461 001 My Mom Made This Cable Knit Sweater and I Love Her

I bought the Rick Owens boots when I was having a pretty serious life crisis which is my excuse for spending that much money on footwear. The t-shirt is my favorite V-neck from Marine Layer, the leather pants are from Madewell, and the bag is Foley and Corinna.

IMG 1509 e1416930233223 My Mom Made This Cable Knit Sweater and I Love Her

I had no idea what I was going to wear for this photo shoot fifteen minutes before I walked out the door. And then all that happened. Who can say what you wear has no meaning?

A Foggy New York Day Welcomes San Francisco’s Marine Layer

Bleecker Store 11 14 422 blog A Foggy New York Day Welcomes San Francisco’s Marine Layer

When I woke up yesterday and checked the weather app, I immediately noticed the “severe fog warning” streaming across the top. I laughed and thought, a perfect day for the opening of San Francisco brand Marine Layer’s first east coast store. Kristen and I have a running joke that SF punishes me weather-wise every time I head out to visit her, and now it was coming after me here, on my home turf. Ah San Francisco, why must you torture me so?

image1 A Foggy New York Day Welcomes San Francisco’s Marine Layer
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Top 7 Picks From the Target x TOMS Holiday Gift Collaboration

toms x target womens poncho Top 7 Picks From the Target x TOMS Holiday Gift Collaboration

This is 100% necessary.

Poncho: $28

When I was little, my mom piled the presents high underneath the Christmas tree. She was a single mom working as a nurse until I was eight, and she was extremely frugal—except at Christmas time. It was a time to splurge a little, and I was, of course, so happy she did. And though I remember the joy of tearing open what seemed like an endless mountain of gifts, the list of presents I distinctly remember opening is short: When I was maybe five, I was thrilled to receive a large cloth drawstring sack filled with large wooden building bricks of different shapes and sizes. I slung it over my shoulder and marched around the house with the blocks poking into my back. When I was a little older, I received a giant Lego set that brought tears to my eyes. And when I was around middle-school age, it was a stereo with a turntable and 9-track player that made me weep with joy.

toms x target arrow clutch Top 7 Picks From the Target x TOMS Holiday Gift Collaboration

TOMSxTarget zip arrow clutch.

Clutch: $20

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized not everyone was as lucky as I was. And after experiencing adoption through the foster system, I’m even more acutely aware that many families won’t experience the joy of holiday giving like I did as a kid. So I’m very excited to partner with Target and TOMS on their holiday gift collection. Each time you buy something from the #TOMSforTarget collection, the brands will give a gift to someone in need: either a blanket via American Red Cross or a week of meals via Feeding America. Plus the prices are pretty amazing.

toms x target womens french terry sweatshirt Top 7 Picks From the Target x TOMS Holiday Gift Collaboration

Also, 100% need this one.

French terry sweatshirt: $22

toms x target toddler shoes Top 7 Picks From the Target x TOMS Holiday Gift Collaboration

Obviously Frida must have these.

Toddler shoes: $38

toms x target mens button down denim shirt Top 7 Picks From the Target x TOMS Holiday Gift Collaboration

I will perhaps buy this for the husband, then steal it for myself on occasion.

Men’s denim button up: $30

toms x target blanket Top 7 Picks From the Target x TOMS Holiday Gift Collaboration

So cozy and love the muted colors (also comes with yellow stripes!)

Fringe blanket: $30

toms for target chambray Top 7 Picks From the Target x TOMS Holiday Gift Collaboration

Never enough chambray shirts.

Chambray shirt: $26

I mean, you’d want to buy this stuff even it it didn’t have a do-gooder angle right? I want everything! But I chose my top seven favorites so my husband (ahem!) could have a short list to shop from.

Toms For Target: One-for-One. For All. Starting November 16th, for every Target+Toms limited edition gift you buy, we’re (Target) giving shoes, a blanket or meals to those in need. #TOMSforTarget

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.

When an Old Man’s Nightshirt Is So You

DSC02743 When an Old Mans Nightshirt Is So You

This “dress” might actually be a military-issue nightshirt of some sort, I’m thinking. I picture a mustachioed ship captain wearing it while examining large nautical maps underneath a swaying wax candle chandelier as he plots his course around the pirates. He is probably smoking a pipe. I didn’t have time to ask about that when I ducked into Reliquary to buy it a couple weeks ago because I had Frida in tow, and everyone knows it’s the worst idea to take toddlers clothes shopping. But I really wanted it and I didn’t know when I’d be back to Hayes Valley again and I would be super quick. I know. It’s just that I couldn’t get the washed-to-perfection (I bet in industrial washers) cotton out of my mind after first spying it a few months ago. And I had these black Freda Salvador boots from their sample sale earlier this year that I hadn’t worn yet.

In the dressing room Frida grabbed the curtain and one of the women working there said (very nicely) don’t pull on that honey its old and it could tear and I felt like she thought I wasn’t able to control my kid which I totally can’t while trying on clothing (and at other times) and I wanted to say she’s not really pulling on it she’s just kind of gathering the fabric in her arms but then I realized she was seconds away from yanking and why did I think any of this was a good idea so I kept my mouth shut and was pleased to see that the dress fit perfectly across my shoulders and the length worked.
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Let’s Talk About Personal Style at PoshFest, Tomorrow!

bob dylan Lets Talk About Personal Style at PoshFest, Tomorrow!
Photo via All Dylan

I was at an event for Veronica Beard a few weeks ago at Neiman Marcus, and my fellow bloggers and I were standing around, as we do, talking about were we got our sense of style. I kept quiet because I honestly had no clue from whence mine hails. I was an only child, and I never had a relative who was particularly interested in fashion, or a family friend.

I’ve been trying to come up with something ever since, and now the pressure it on: I’m on a panel tomorrow entitled “Style Q&A: Fashion Pros Help Elevate Your Look” for Poshfest (tickets still available!), a gathering of fashion and style enthusiasts organized by online clothing reseller and community Poshmark. I have a hunch someone might ask me that question, so it’s been at the back of my mind all week. I still don’t have a clear answer, but I think it might have something to do with moving to San Francisco in the ’90s. And Bob Dylan. And possibly Nirvana. And this Foxygen video is giving me some clues. Fingers crossed this will make sense by tomorrow.