Brighton Beach Memoirs

I want to feel the sand beneath my feet

June is always a fickle month. It’s not quite summer, but I’m already itching to go to the beach, to feel the sand between my toes, the sun on my back, and to spend long lazy days by the ocean or on the board walk, letting my cares drift away.

Down on the boardwalk

For a June birthday celebration we wove a nautical theme into a Saturday afternoon with clams at Randazzo’s Clam Bar in Sheepshead Bay (offering fried seafood that is, reportedly “the pride of Sheepshead Bay”), a walk along the board walk at Brighton Beach and a stop at Ruby’s Bar in Coney Island. In honor of all things sea worthy I pulled out my old favorite LL Bean tote bag and paired it with a very matching Built by Wendy dress.

This was the perfect outfit to show off my new Ellips shoes from designer Priscille Demanche’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection. She had a 4 day sale on my birthday and when I emailed her and said that I was offering myself a pair of her sandals as a gift she gave me free shipping all the way from France! What a darling! And hurry, she has organized a sale to benefit a charity of your choice on her past season collections just until Friday the 15th. Up to 60% off and a donation to a good cause! Shop your shoes at the Ellips site here (don’t hesitate to email Priscille if you are ordering from outside of France) and vote on which association should benefit here.

See you on the beach and the boardwalk this summer!

Thanks to my friend Heather Donahue for the lovely photographs!

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Pants, Pants, Pants, Pants, Everybody!

Spring greens and leopard accents!

Blouse from H&M (forever ago), Old Navy "Rockstar" jeans, Matt Bernson heels, Squasht headband

Apparently fashion’s new bright, spring colors are helping revive the US economy and sales in retail are up. Though I am on a self-imposed shopping diet (it’s not going very well, does anyone know of a Weight Watcher’s like program to curb conspicuous consumption?) I could not help but succumb to the continued rage for color blocking, helped in part by some bright numbers from Old Navy (of all places!).

A little Frenchie, a little Rock

Zara jacket, Ann Taylor shirt (from Beacon's Closet), Brooklyn Industries Pans, Ana Alamedia heels, Leila Rowe necklace

Perhaps it is the transition between seasons, but I’ve also been enjoying new versions of my classic favorites – slim black pants and jeans – and have gotten my new favorite slims from Mavi, a classic pair of straight legs from Built by Wendy and slim black pants (with zippers on the ankles) from Brooklyn Industries. I’ve even wearing pants of all colors to work (gasp, Killerfemme, really?).

Have you succumbed to the bright spring colors? How do your outfits transition from weekdays to weekends?

Bright and bold

J Crew shirt, Old Navy "Rockstar" jeans, Miista boots

Bold for spring! Yellow pants and stripes!

Outfit details

Spring Accents Part II

Zara jacket, Vanilla and Lace shirt, Old Navy "Rockstar" jeans, Jeffrey Campbell shoes, Squasht headband, necklace bought at Cog and Pearl

Spring accents and lunch time record shopping

Details, with vintage LL Bean tote and newly purchased Grimes record

So yesterday after work I did some shopping. Bye bye clothing diet.

Chicago wrecked my shopping diet

Fluo accents + leopard shoes, ça va?

Mirror in Chicago hostel: Built by Wendy jeans, American Apparel shirt, Old Navy cardigan (with matching fluo chair behind me!), Matt Bernson slippers

Today I am in love with my new Built by Wendy jeans

Details of my Built by Wendy jeans

Merry and Bright

Modcloth dress, Gap cardigan, Hue tights, Robert Clergerie heels, Modcloth headband

This is just a quick entry to wish all a very festive and lovely season, whatever holiday you may or may not be celebrating. I hope that in this week leading up to the new year you will take some time to rest, reflect, regroup and spend time with the people who matter most do you and remembering what makes your life good. I am home in Maine for a few days to do exactly that, as well as be completely spoiled by my family and enjoy their incredible cooking. 2011 has been a banner year for me and I feel it has set things in motion for an even more rewarding 2012. We never know what the future will bring, but may it be merry and bright!

Cozy by the fire in my Built by Wendy sweater dress

Bright against the snow

Short Shorts Story

Shorts style

Built by Wendy blouse, old Gap shorts, Campers sandals

Normally I really don’t like shorts. I think there was a stretch between age 18 and age 25 where I almost avoided wearing them entirely, though I’ll have to verify by looking at old photos. I usually skip over shorts for skirts and dresses, but when the thermometer rises above 80 degrees sometimes putting on the slightest sundress seems like the biggest effort. I crave simplicity and an outfit I don’t have to pause to consider, plus something that’s cool and functional. Enter shorts. I really hesitated to wear shorts to work, but decided I could dress them up with some heels or classy oxfords and a structural blouse or a white, slouchy, eyelet blazer. This blazer was my one concession to the summer trends, and I ordered it online from Built by Wendy. On sale, naturally. One thing that guarantees dressing up a simple summer outfit is red lipstick. J. (who graciously took these iPhone photos at work) said, “Hey, it’s cool, you’re not casual, you’re wearing lipstick.”

Shorts Style II

Short Story

Built by Wendy slouchy eyelet blazer, Brooklyn Industries shorts, Vintage Eitenne Aigner oxfords

Where I really feel self conscious about shorts, however, is short shorts. When you have curves short shorts can be less than flattering. Sometimes they just make me look a whole lot wider. No one needs to see that part of my body like that, okay? But you know what, it was hot last Sunday and I was biking to Williamsburg for my weekly writing date so I thought I’d take a chance on these blue striped shorts I got from Built by Wendy (also on sale, see a pattern?). You know, it worked. Would I wear these to work? No, but I’ll feel comfortable rocking them at the cafe, the beach, the barbeque and in the park for the rest of the summer.

Sunglasses shopping coup de couer!

Petit Bateau t-shirt, Built by Wendy shorts, Sunglasses purchased and photo taken at In God We Trust in Greenpoint, Brooklyn using Instagram

Jouez vous au tennis? Non, pas de tout.

I hate to say it, but I’ve never liked tennis. My mother and grandmother are ardent tennis fans and tried to teach me how to play it when I was little. I got mad because I couldn’t just hit the ball as hard as I wanted. At that point I was too young to understand that many sports are about controlled strength. Sensing my disinterest in the sport my mother tried to appeal to logic. “It’s a good skill to have,” she explained weakly. I think what she meant was that it was a good way to network with the wives of rich business people you or your husband may be trying to impress. This made me even less interested and brought out my disgust of WASP culture in general. Even as a small child I knew I wanted nothing to do with the dominant, upper-middle class New England elite. Not for me. So needless to say, I have not picked up a racket since the age of 9. However, this year I got sucked in to the excitement and drama of the French Open, or le tournoi de Roland Garros pour les francais. Will I watch Wimbledon and the US Open? Maybe, but what also got me interested was all of les filles whose blogs I love and their Roland Garros inspired style. Stephanie, of the Byglam blog, put together some really nice ensembles inspired by the tournament, and like I have done before, I bit her style a little bit in coming up with this summery, sporty get up. Also, just in case, I found this list of tennis terms in French to study for next year.

Ready for the courts

Keep your eye on the ball

Shirt: Built by Wendy, Skirt found at Housing Works, Bensimon sneakers, Nola Springtime bag by Les Composantes
Rendez-vous sur Hellocoton !

Sculptural Shirt

I like clothing that is sculptural. I like it when it has a shape that it holds on it’s own and when it’s not completely clinging to you and when there’s an obvious construction the designer was going for. I was totally excited when I found this very chiseled (yet soft!) linen/cotton blend shirt on sale at Built by Wendy.

Geometric!

I also love the detailing!

High Collar with Gathers, brilliant!