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The Coveted in Racked SF

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Getting back into the swing of things over here at The Coveted has been a very interesting experience… at first I was nervous because things have all changed in the blogosphere, but it was really nice to be welcomed back by a feature on Racked SF, written by Kristen Philipkoski (and blogger behind Stylenik… check that out too!).

Take a look the full article here!

 

jennineThe Coveted in Racked SF
6

Old Clothes, New Issues

aritiza_leopard_shirtdress1

Wearing: Drawstring Shirt Dress: Aritzia • Brown pumps • Schutz • Grey Handbag: Proenza Schouler • Grey Sunglasses: Super

 

Sometimes old news is good news.

You see this dress? Not only is it a form of leopard print It’s a dress I’ve had for a long time, well, three years.  Funnily enough I’m also wearing the same sunglasses.

Why is this such good news you ask? Last year I had a baby and during the pregnancy, I had gained 57 pounds (doctors suggest gaining 35 pounds maximum). It was hard for me, not just because of the weight, but also because the weight caused back problems that made it difficult for me to move for the last two months of the pregnancy. After having the baby, much of it came off right away. I was able to squeeeeeeeze into my regular jeans within six weeks, but a good 15 pounds lingered for quite a while, making most of my old clothes a tight and not very good fit.

I wish I could say that “getting back to my old body” was due to something that I did. Like “I WENT ON A DIET” or “I WENT TO THE GYM EVERY DAY.” But let me tell you I did not do very much of either. It really happened because of the breast feeding and daily walks with the baby.

When I was pregnant and stuck in bed with back pain, I’d look back at old pictures and wonder why I was being so hard on myself.

I worried a lot about getting back to my pre-pregnancy body. Pregnancy does a lot to you… mind and body. Hormones, water retention, stretching your skin in ways that you didn’t know it could stretch. When I was pregnant and stuck in bed with back pain, I’d look back at old pictures and wonder why I was being so hard on myself. Only to be hard on myself after I had the baby and couldn’t shake that last 15 pounds. Sometime after the New Year, and after I bought a running stroller off Craigslist, and running a few weeks, and after a brief and very hungry stint on Weight Watchers…

I figured just to go easy on myself.

The rest is really just what it is. Maybe I won’t fit into this dress in a year, or maybe I will.

aritiza_leopard_shirtdress

 

And that battle with being hard on myself?

Apparently there are no happy endings, or stories that just end at the end.

I talked about going easy on myself about my body. Which sounds all lovely, and a happy, like I reached this epiphany and now life is all better. But…

It’s like insecurity issues are a box of tissues and when I pull one tissue out, another pops up.

Taking outfit shots the past few weeks, another insecurity started to bubble up. It’s like insecurity issues are a box of tissues and when I pull one tissue out, another pops up.  I realized this as I felt I needed to photoshop my feet, you know just to make it so they weren’t so veiny and bony. Well, I got carried away and realized I had a much bigger problem, and it was in my mind.

We all have these microflaws that people generally do not notice (because we’re all fixated on our own microflaws) but in our minds they seem much, much bigger. I know myself well enough to know that this is just superficial stuff, which only adds to my anxiety. “Why are you being so crazy?” I ask myself.

It would be nice to say, “Get over it!” but even getting over something big like weight only to find something else lurking in the shadows, it makes me wonder about the real role of insecurity. Like, do is it just a ploy latch on to seemingly innocuous things to distract from the very core of _______ <– If I knew what that “______” was, perhaps things would be different.

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(Aaaand here are the photoshopped boneless feet that alerted me to the new object of my insecurities. Just to show you what started it all, the original untouched photo is here.)

Have you ever dealt with an issue only to find another waiting to pop up?

jennineOld Clothes, New Issues
15

My Husband Hates Leopard Print

peg_bundy_leopard

Many years ago, my husband and I were at the Vintage Fashion Expo, and while there I thought I would get the “perfect” leopard print coat. You know, that vintage leopard print coat every woman should have in her wardrobe. As I pulled out a leopard print coat which I thought would be the “one” my husband put his hand on my arm, and said, “Nooooooooo. Not that coat.”

Not that coat? Was it too long? Did it look like an old stuffed animal? Did is smell funny? I asked him why, and he said it was tacky. Why was it tacky? He replied, “I don’t like leopard prints, they’re cheesy.”

“As far as I’m concerned, leopard is a neutral.” ~Jenna Lyons

Don’t like leopard prints? That’s crazy! They’re a classic print that has the spunk of a trendy print. They’re fun, a little gaudy, yes, but one of those prints you can pair with all shades of colors. As, Jenna Lyons says, “As far as I’m concerned, leopard is a neutral.”

Once upon a time leopard was considered a luxury, well, because the only way to get it was to kill a leopard. Poor guy. Even up to the mid-20th century, owning leopard and cheetah was a luxury… my grandmother had a cheetah fur coat. Not a cheetah print coat. A coat made out of a real, once living cheetah. So basically, I had a grandparent who couldn’t understand the problem in wearing endangered species.

“But to wear leopard print, you must have the kind of femininity which is a little bit sophisticated.” ~Christian Dior

In 1947, Christian Dior came out with the first leopard print dresses for day and night. Even back then, he didn’t think the print was for everyone, saying,  “But to wear leopard print, you must have the kind of femininity which is a little bit sophisticated. If you are fair and sweet, don’t wear it.” I’m going to have to take the interpretation of “a little bit sophisticated” a lot bit liberally. Audrey Lou, who is a product designer, says of the print, “Maybe when I’m older.” Perhaps, sophistication is really what’s needed to carry it off?

Earlier this year, Elizabeth Hurley came out with a swimwear line for girls, in, you guessed it leopard print. Which caused a major uproar among parents feeling that animal print swimwear sexualized children. Is leopard is too sexy and exotic for children? These days does when the creative director of arguably America’s most wholesome retailer, J.Crew, declares it a neutral?

Sexy, exotic, tacky, classic, neutral… it seems that leopard print is the most polarizing of all the prints. Do people get so riled up over stripes? And perhaps the polarization of the print is really what keeps from getting too popular.   Musician, Paul Flemming said, “An old reliable classic in my opinion. Never gets so popular as to get overused, never goes entirely out of style either.” Since not everyone can wear it, but it doesn’t alienate any particular demographics, leopard keeps coming back season after season.

I thought back in 1998 leopard print would go out of fashion any minute. It still has not.

Grechen Harnick, assistant Professor at Parsons, says, “David Wolfe from Doneger was a guest speaker in my class today. He said he thinks leopard is brilliant because of two reasons: 1. it can be expensive and glamorous and 2. it can be cheap and tawdry. It hits all markets and honestly sometimes we all want to be glamorous and tawdry at the same time!”

“[Leopard print] hits all markets and honestly sometimes we all want to be glamorous and tawdry at the same time!” ~David Wolfe

Which brings me to the final thoughts about leopard print. Women often get pigeon holed into categories, the whole Jackie/Marilyn, Madonna/Whore thing. Leopard is truly a dynamic print that really delves into many different connotations, and addresses various parts of the female persona. While leopard can be considered tacky, or expensive it still is both. Which I believe is how most of us are.

So do I wear leopard prints even though my husband hates them? You betcha. After all, he still has that collection of Members Only jackets that I completely despise.

What do you think about leopard prints?

And yes, I know the photo of Peg Bundy features a cheetah print. That can be a different post!

jennineMy Husband Hates Leopard Print
11

7 Fashion Icons & Their Uniforms

In the fashion industry, where wearing the same thing twice is a major faux pas some of the most iconic fashion elite have gone the way of wearing their own uniform.

Uniforms: they represent sameness, belonging to a greater whole. Yet, the people who have created their own uniform and committed to it are some of the most colorful and eccentric people. Steve Jobs had his hundred Issey Miyake turtlenecks. I had heard somewhere that Hillary Clinton wore pantsuits during her 2008 campaign so people would stop asking what she was wearing and listen to what she was saying.

In the fashion industry, where wearing the same thing twice is a major faux pas some of the most iconic fashion elite have gone the way of wearing their own uniform. What does that say about the rat race of trends? If the creators and documenters of fashion do not indulge in the whims themselves are they the Sam Malone (the sober bartender on Cheers) of trends… or are they just creating as many options possible and telling us to grab onto what works for to create our own iconic looks?

I’m not really sure, but it’s certainly food for thought. Here are some of the most obvious and most creative fashion icons:

Karl Lagerfeld:

karllagerfeld_uniform2

Karl has wears Dior jackets. Actually they are two different kinds. So it just looks like he’s wearing the same thing every day. In Harper’s Bazar, he detailed his uniform:

“My latest uniform is actually two looks—a special jacket with tails made by Dior, but not what you wear for weddings. I have them made in tweed and things like this. Then I have another jacket I love from the new Dior men’s collection that I bought five of, so people think I wear the same thing every day, but in fact it’s never the same thing. And then I wear jeans…”

I never thought of Karl being a denim lover.

 

Diane Pernet

dianepernet_uniform2

Diane Pernet, fashion editor, blogger of A Shaded View on Fashion and Film Festival  has had a long and rich career in fashion. She has quite the signature look with her long black dress, veil, cat-eye sunglasses and amazingly high hair. In SOMA magazine she put it most eloquently the reason for her uniform:

“I suppose it started when I was a fashion designer for my own brand for thirteen  years. I took the decision to wear black in the same way that Givenchy or Maison Martin Margiela took to white lab coats. By dressing in a uniform you do not compete with what you create. I stopped designing long ago but kept to the uniform. It evolves with time but basically has become my signature.”

 

 

Alexander Wang

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By far, the youngest person on this list… Alexander Wang at the ripe old age of 30, has already coined his signature look. The ultimate casual black (or white tee shirt) jeans and sneakers. It’s amazing how simple and bared down his uniform is considering how innovative his work is for his own lines and for Balenciaga.

Isabella Blow

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If you could call a hat a uniform, Isabella Blow would be the Queen of Uniforms. She herself convinced she was “ugly” used hats to overcompensate for her insecurities.  Most always wearing a Philip Treacy, she was the most fearless of the fashion elite, wearing the most avant guarde hats, even Lady Gaga can only imitate.

“Fashion is a vampiric thing, it’s the hoover on your brain,” Blow once said. “That’s why I wear the hats, to keep everyone away from me.” ~Quote via Fast Company

Tom Ford

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Quite possibly the sexiest man alive, newlywed designer, Tom Ford  is one of the most innovative designers today. His collections are year after year, sexy, tasteful, classic and yet never boring. He himself is almost always wearing black and white, his own designs, and always crisp and clean…

 

“I hate when people say, ‘Oh, you’ll have that for 20 years,’” Tom Ford told Details. “Even if I’m wearing a blue cashmere sweater 20 years from now, I want it to be a fresh, new one.” 

Grace Coddington

gracecoddington_uniform

Yet another fashion uniform of black and white… is there a theme here? Perhaps so… it seems the fashion uniforms can be quite monastic. Maybe there is a fashion religious order? Who knows. Well, if there were a fashion bible, Vogue would be it. Grace Coddington would be Mother Superior (maybe Anna would be the Pope?) Anyway, aside from a few time where she strayed in blue Celine, she’s pretty much stayed true to her black and white.

 Bill Cunningham

© Noa Griffel 2011

If anyone were to actually be a monk, it would be Bill Cunningham. In the Bill Cunningham documentary you get a glimpse into his life. Living among file cabinets and a few wire hangars to hold his blue French workman’s jacket. While  he’ll sometimes wear a blue sweater, or a blue coat with his khakis, he always, always wears this combination as he pedals the streets of New York on his bike.

 

 

 

jennine7 Fashion Icons & Their Uniforms

Links à la Mode

lalam0417

What Makes You Beautiful?

They say “Beauty comes from within,” but then, why are we constantly trying to perfect our outsides? Beauty issues have been making waves on the internet the past few weeks. What makes us beautiful? What is beautiful? Well, those are some pretty heavy questions and perhaps the answer cliche as it is, you know, coming from within… That “within” also encompasses self-care and self love. This week we have some wonderful beauty posts, along with posts that share the love.

 

Links à la Mode: April 17th

SPONSOR: Born Free miss june, Steven AlanSauvat, Eastdane, ChalkRaleigh JeansPeixoto, Beth Richards, MCM handbagsGazinskaya, Gant Rugger & Deadly Ponies

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?

1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

jennineLinks à la Mode
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Motherhood…World’s Toughest Job?

Viral video hits the internet. 24 people apply for the “World’s Toughest Job” and had their minds blown. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. The interviewer asks the candidates questions revealing the job’s requirements…

List via AdWeek

  • Standing up almost all the time
  • Constantly exerting yourself
  • Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
  • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
  • No vacations
  • The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
  • No time to sleep
  • Salary = $0

Now, the candidates were confused, thought the requirements were “cruel,” a “sick twisted joke,” and possibly illegal, but when they found out that billions of people have this “job,” they were overcome with gratitude.

Because the “job” description is that of a mom.

The viral video, made to sell Mother’s Day cards, missed the mark on what sacrifices women make when they become mothers. For instance, the damage to a career from leaving the workforce, how mothers earn even less money than childless women for the same work,  how since 2000, the cost of childcare has increased twice as fast as median incomes, how parents need more support while their babies are young (Canadians get up to 52 weeks maternity leave as opposed to 12 weeks stateside), how single women sometimes have to work multiple jobs to care for their families, and to top it off, how women still do most of the housework. There are certainly issues at hand that make being a parent difficult today. It’s not easy, especially if  parents do not have the resources to make things easier. But do the issues that make things difficult for parents equate to the the actual parenting?

Now, I am a mom, and I’ve had lots of jobs. I’ve been a strawberry picker, a dishwasher, a retail sales associate, a fast-food worker, a cigarette girl,  one of those people who passes out fliers on the street, a hostess, a barista, briefly a waitress and a bartender, a nanny, a babysitter, a daycare worker, a real estate agent’s assistant,  a teacher’s assistant, an English as a foreign language teacher, a receptionist, an office manager, a graphic designer and a blogger.

From that experience, I can tell you, that:

  • Standing up all the time? I had to stand for 8 hour shifts while working at Wendy’s, Starbucks and the Gap, and as a mom I have never once stood for any prolonged amount of time.
  • Constantly exerting yourself? That’s a demand for everyone, child or no child.
  • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts? Um, no. Unless you count kind of knowing how to operate the microwave a degree in Culinary Arts.
  • The work load goes up for the holidays? I’ve worked on the holidays and in seasonal industries, it was nothing like the fun of making things festive for the little guy
  • No time to sleep? I haven’t slept an 8 hour stretch in about a year. Still 100% less stressful than say, organizing the IFB Conference.
  • Working from 135 hours to “unlimited?” There are 168 hours in a week. Any more hours would be more than one week.

I can also tell you that:

While there there are a lot of aspects of parenthood that are undervalued. Being a parent is the greatest experience I’ve had in my life. Heck, I get to hang out with this guy all day:

For me, being a parent is a privilege and gift of the most absolute love I’ve ever felt. While I’m very fortunate to have a loving husband and the resources to be able to work at home and spend time with my son. Maybe I just have an easy baby. I do not feel like actual motherhood part is this grueling battle that I have to face every day.  Even when I’m changing the poopiest of diapers, motherhood is certainly not like the work I have done for money, even the jobs I love (like blogging).

All I’m saying is don’t confuse the act of mothering with the issues that make being a parent in today’s world difficult.

jennineMotherhood…World’s Toughest Job?
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Most Days I Wear…

Proenza_31_phillip_lim_hm_super_sunglasses

Shop this look!

 

Most days I just throw on a button down and a pair of pants. I’ll wear heels most days (although most days 3″ heels tops). And a nice bag. Even to go to the super market. I’m the overdressed one at the baby singing class. Who am I trying to impress? That’s a good question.

I suppose that having a personal style blog with just pants and button downs would be boring. Which was part of my issue with bringing back this blog. I’ve been working developing my style which is a lot more boring than it sounds. It’s not about indulging in every whim that passes by, it’s more about selecting the pieces and wearing them in a way that iconically true. Figuring out the types of clothes that I continually wear and feel confident in hasn’t been the easiest, because I rarely feel confident. But I’ve been finding that indulging in timeless and simple is a lot easier to feel good in.

So here, in this outfit I’ve gone with a high-waisted cropped trouser which has a very vintage feel to them. The blouse, I picked up at H&M because while I wear a lot of denim, this particular blue, while hot this season, seems a bit officey. How do you wear it in a way that doesn’t seem so buttoned up? Try tying it at the waist. That’s my solution since I’m so bad at tucking in my shirts!

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Oh and here are the Proenza Schouler shoes I bought off TheRealReal… they’re very high and very naked feeling. Definitely a pair of shoes you have to get a pedicure before wearing.

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Wearing: Sunglasses: Super • Blouse: H&M • Trousers: 3.1 Philip Lim • Sandals: Proenza Schouler • Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim (gift from Saks Fifth Avenue).

What do you wear most days?

 

jennineMost Days I Wear…