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Leather Shorts Makes Everything Fancy

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Leather shorts. They’re one of those things you think you can’t possibly pull off. Their image lies somewhere between lederhosen and dominatrix… and maybe a little bit of both for that matter. I’ve had my go at leather shorts over the years, I had this pair of brown leather shorts from Topshop that I just had the hardest time making work. Even though I loved the idea of them, after having them for years I just gave them to charity.

And like how nature abhors a vacuum, as does my wardrobe. As one pair of leather shorts came out, I spotted a pair of faux leather shorts at Zara. The price was right, and without even trying them on, I just bought them (it’s something I do nowadays, trying on clothes with a baby in tow doesn’t always work). And wouldn’t you know it? They are perfect!

Which led me to the next point. Where do you wear leather shorts? I’ve dressed them down with Converse and a flannel, or dressed them up like, you know to go to the flea market. Funnily enough people actually dress up to this Flea Market. It’s totally a thing. So there were a lot of people WAY more decked out than me. (I even saw a woman wearing a leather dress!)

Anyway. Where there’s a will, there’s a way… so there’s always a reason to wear leather shorts. Besides, they’re way more fancy than regular shorts.

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Shop this look!

Wearing: Shorts: Zara  Sunglasses: Wildfox • Bag: Givenchy • Shoes: Clarks • Denim Top: Current/Elliott • Cuff: Nordstrom

jennineLeather Shorts Makes Everything Fancy
2

What I Learned About Style From a Man

hedislimane

This isn’t what you think.

This isn’t a post about how to dress like a man. Nor is this a post about how to please a man.

This is a post about what I have learned about style from men. Most specifically, my husband… since he has great style, and I pretty much see him every day.  Over the years I’ve seen his style mature and unlike trying to observe myself (which is harder to do than it sounds) it’s been interesting to see how a person builds a wardrobe. Especially one with a consistent style, with pieces that can be worn season after season.

Well, from observing my husband this is what I’ve learned…

1. Set Limits

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Perhaps men have it easy. Their trends do not move as quickly as women’s trends move. Their color palette is much more limited. I’ve heard men bemoan the lack of “selection” compared to women… because you know, they don’t have skirts, dresses, pants, and shorts to chose from. Well, they could wear dresses and skirts, but that’s up to them to decide. Anyway, the moral of the story is men outwardly have a limited palette, yet still differentiate in their own way by getting creative within certain limits.

When setting “limits,” it’s possible to identify the things that work the best. What color palette do I gravitate towards year after year? What’s the least amount of colors I can wear without getting bored? Is it possible to narrow down the types of silhouettes I wear (dresses, skirts, trousers… what types of shirts do I wear a lot of) I know a few women who always wear black, sometimes white or grey, but they keep their wardrobe very simple while simultaneously creating an iconic look for themselves. My husband also subscribes to this way of thinking, however, his range is a bit broader than a single color. But the range is specific and identifiable.

2. Build a Classic Foundation

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The day I met my husband he was wearing nautical stripes. He still wears nautical stripes today. It’s kind of his thing. In his wardrobe, there are loads of variations of the nautical stripe, above are three sweaters with the stripe. He also wears a lot of shawl collar sweaters, both styles have been around for decades. Of course the cuts and fabrics vary over time, but the general outline of what works pretty much stays the same.

What are the “workhorses” in a wardrobe? A silk blouses, tee-shirts, chambray shirts? Skinny jeans or pencil skirts? Hone in on the classics and don’t be afraid to get different variations of them. I’m always amazed about how many different combinations my husband can come up with with his wardrobe.  From the four sweaters I selected above, you can pretty much see that anything that will go with one sweater will go with all the sweaters. Which brings me to the next point.

3. The Modular Wardrobe

jenninestyle

 

( Wearing from top left: Madewell Chambray ShirtRaoul Leather Skirt • J.Crew Pumps The Kooples Silk BlouseZara Denim Skirt • Vince Camuto D’Orsay Pumps • H&M Blouse • Jil Sander Skirt • Prada Pumps • 14th & Union Cuff)

When I started putting together my wardrobe and seeing what were the pieces that I had the longest, and began to notice a recurring theme. The pieces that survived the longest (and got the most wear) weren’t the crazy “trend” pieces that made bold statements (ahem, color blocking! sequins!)

Honing in on classic pieces with a limited color palette, I began to notice how interchangeable my wardrobe was. Look at the three looks above. Switch any of those pieces to make an outfit that still works. Building a wardrobe around a certain strain of logic isn’t always easy since we have so many great new designers and trends popping in and out, but… it’s still doable, in fact, it’s easier to determine if a trend is right for me when I can identify my style. And it’s easier to appropriate a trend the stronger my own sense of style is.

The Benefits of Committing to a System

Knowing where I am style-wise, it makes it easier to determine what to splurge on, what to save on and what to skip altogether. That white skirt above is a Jil Sander skirt purchased in 2007. I wear it several times a year, so if something happens to it, I know I can invest in a white a-line skirt without feeling like it’s taking too big a risk. The same goes for chambray shirts (I have six) or the white button down (I have five) which all get worn throughout the year.

I really believe that style comes evolves out of wearing a certain set amount of clothes. More clothes do not mean more style (although shopping IS fun). I know this from chasing loads of different styles and not always feeling the most comfortable…. which is fine, because now I KNOW what I like instead of guessing. Committing to a system has helped me to feel more confident in my choices, they may not be the most trendy all the time, but I know I love them. At the same time, a good foundation can also be updated with trendy pieces, a statement cuff here, a pretty belt there, the latest “it” bag, and so forth!

Do you have  a system for how you dress? Do share!

[Top image credit: The New York Times & Second Image credit: Pinterest]
jennineWhat I Learned About Style From a Man

Tube Rings: Minimal Jewelry That Makes a Statement

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Simple, wide bands were always reserved for the guys. My wedding band is actually a flat ring, only 5mm thick, but I have loved it enough that even though it was supposed to be a “placeholder” band (we got married on the fly and had no money, so we just bought silver rings for $25) that I’ve worn for nearly 5 straight years. Never. Taking. It. Off.

tubringsMe and rings have always had a dubious relationship. I always tend to lose them. Shy away from making statements. Buy spikey ones that end up hurting the people I shake hands with. (Sorry) I’ll get overwhelmed with stones, and inevitably just give up and go with something super simple. Which brings me to the tube ring. Now, Maison Martin Margeila has had tube rings in various iterations over the last few years, and in response to the super delicate trend, I’m seeing a nice mix of bold tube rings with delicate rings, or just bold rings standing alone for a simple, yet elegant statement. So I went to H&M and picked up a small pack of tube rings to give it a try (pictured to the left with my wedding and engagement ring). I guess it’s really about finding the right size, going up a half size can give your fingers a little room to breathe. Or if you can find perforated tube rings, even better!

Here are a few styles I was able to find on the web… now I’m looking to get some tube rings in gold!

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  1. Wide Sterling Silver Rings Set of 3 $95
  2. Maiyet Asymmetric Sculpted Ring $650
  3. Kelly Wearstler Bastion Ring $245
  4. Pack of Rings $15.05
  5. Maison Martin Margiela Ring $150
  6. Gold Classic Cigar Band Ring $36
  7. Jennifer Fisher Cigar Band Ring $160
  8. Honeycomb Wrap Ring $12
  9. 6 Pack Rings $4.95
  10. Silver Tube Ring $25
  11. Wide Sterling Silver Ring $56
  12. Vice Ring $18

 

jennineTube Rings: Minimal Jewelry That Makes a Statement

From the Mouths of Babes: A Personal Relationship With Children & Cursing

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I curse. Not ALL the time, but a good amount for an adult. Like when getting a bikini wax… all kinds of expletives come out of my mouth. When I’m driving and someone does something stupid. When that character on Game of Thrones had his head chopped off.

Since having a baby, I thought, “Oh, I’ll give it up when he starts talking.” But will I? Will I?

I’m not so sure.

You see, my parents were pretty lax. They let me watch Poltergeist and the Exorcist when I was very young. Oddly enough, it was The Birds that REALLY freaked me out. My dad cursed like a sailor, because he WAS a sailor. My mom? I’ve only heard “shit” slip out once or twice in my life.

Basically, I knew all the curse words from the beginning. What’s more, as I didn’t know they were bad until the age of five.

So, basically, I knew all the curse words from the beginning. What’s more, as I didn’t know they were bad until at the age of five. I was staying with my grandmother, and one evening she came home late. Getting home late meant dinner had not been made yet. She was carrying groceries, and for some reason I cannot recall, I didn’t like what she brought home.

Me: “What the hell is that?”

Grandma Max: “What did you just say?”

Me: “What the HELL is that?”

Then she slapped me across the face and grabbed my chin so my lips puckered into a fish face.

Grandma Max: “Don’t you EVER say that word, or I’ll wash your mouth out with soap and water.”

It was 1980, and she being a grandmother, was from another time… from the days where people slapped each other for everything. For example, freaking out about something was a perfectly good reason to slap someone across the face, and threatening to punch your wife in the face was called comedy. Also, washing a child’s mouth out with soap and water was an appropriate punishment. Violent times.

I’d like to say my cursing stopped there. But it did not. I just got good at not cursing around adults. By the time I was seven, my friend at school taught me this little rhyme.

Mother fucker, titty sucker, two-time bitch.
Your mother’s in the kitchen cookin’ red hot shit.
Your daddy’s in jail.
Your brother’s in hell.
Your sister’s on the corner sayin’ “Pussy for sale.”

We had no idea what any of it meant, but we sure as hell loved saying it as we walked down the street. (I’m going to put on my old lady voice and say, “Back when I was a kid, you could walk down the street without adult supervision.”) So yes, that’s what sweet, innocent, seven-year-old girls know.

Fast forward to my adult life. You see, I was not an adult that had a lot of kids around. Until my sister had kids, then I’d visit them and be the “cool aunt” who made Christmas cookies and let them eat frosting. One Christmas, my then six-year-old niece and I were making cookies:

Me: “Shit, I fucked it up.” (Meaning, I fucked up the cookie dough.)

Maddie: “Huh?”

Me: “Oh shit, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. Oh god, I just said it again!”

Maddie: “I don’t like those words. We’re not supposed to say them.”

I’d like to say my cursing in front of children ended there. But it has not. My cursing slips out from time to time. I have to profusely apologize to parents for exposing their children to obscenities. That and I can just hang out with parents who do not mind occasional slips. Or who also curse on occasion.

Does profanity set children up for a lifetime of delinquency, vagrancy, and or according to the Omaha Police Association, “thuggery?” According to the “Cuss Control Academy” Profanity is bad because it shows a lack of control, lack of character, ignorance, and generally makes a bad impression. They also say profanity indicates the decline of civilization.

Is there “right” time to curse? For instance the season finale of The Walking Dead has been argued to have more impact had Rick dropped an F-bomb instead of “screwing.” Also, it was argued the insanity of potential child rape being allowed on TV, but the word “fuck” was deemed too offensive.

Then again, kids shouldn’t be watching The Walking Dead (even though I know if I was a kid, that would be the show would be my favorite because I LOVED horror films).

I’d like to say I’m going to do “XYZ” when my son gets to be of talking age. But as far as my 9 months of parenting experience has shown me, theories are bullshit. And we can come up with a lot of theories of why “X” works and why “Y” is terrible.

Perhaps at the end of the day, all I can teach my son is not to curse in front of adults until he becomes one… then he should not curse in front of children.

jennineFrom the Mouths of Babes: A Personal Relationship With Children & Cursing

Can you wear “Mom Jeans” if you’re actually a mom?

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The 90′s are all over the place.

Good if you like dressing down and keeping things simple. Part of me though, thinks to pull some of the looks off, you need to be young and tall, or you just run the risk of looking like you just plain gave up. Part of me though, the part that likes to indulge in trends, doesn’t care about that first part.

…but when the trends are named after a demographic I actually belong to, the lines between ironic and sincere blur.

The thing is, I know what’s going on in my mind when it comes to trying out some trends, but when the trends are named after a demographic I actually belong to, the lines between ironic and sincere blur. Dude, I’m 39, which is basically middle aged. I’m a mom. I’m not supposed to be cool… at least by antiquated ideas of what middle aged women were supposed to look like.

I actually really like the “mom jeans” look. High waisted, loose fitting, light wash, kind of like the jeans you’d find at JCPenny or Sears. It’s an interesting take on the “boyfriend” look (if you don’t know the difference, I explain here) or the “dad” look. Pretty soon there’ll be the “brother jeans,” once we see full grown women wearing skater jeans.

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Anyway, I digress. I like the “mom jeans” yes, because they’re comfortable and not too precious so I’d worry if I spilled food on them (something that regularly happens). I like the retro look even if I absolutely did not wear jeans like this in the 90′s (I was a strict dresses and holey tights girl). I also like how they push me to putting together something that doesn’t look sloppy, but their nature is so relaxed, the range of occasions to wear them is actually quite broad.

Oh… I’m at baby singing class? I’m totally not dressed up because I’m wearing these jeans.

Oh… I’m at a gallery opening? I’m kind of hip, (Who uses the word “hip?” ha!) and I am dressed up because I’m wearing heels.

By the way… these heels are the most comfortable heels I own. They’re Clarks… and yes, I was searching high and low for a pair of glove sandals that weren’t $775 like the Givenchy glove sandals. But that’s another story!

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A crisp shirt will make the jeans into an outfit. Today I’m wearing the J Crew crepe shirt. Love it because it looks like dry clean only, but is totally machine washable. (Yes, I care about those things because I never remember to bring things to the dry cleaner).

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If it gets cold (hey, summer isn’t here YET), I just throw on a slouchy blazer, like this one I got from H&M. Sure, they say not to wear baggy with baggy, but then again, my mom told me all through the 90′s all my clothes looked like potato sacks.

So there you go. Full circle.

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Wearing: Jeans: BlankNYC • Shirt: J Crew • Blazer: H&M • Sunglasses: Wildfox • Bag: Proenza Schouler • Shoes: Clarks

jennineCan you wear “Mom Jeans” if you’re actually a mom?

I miss you.

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Hello my dears,

It’s been a while. I’m a little embarrassed, but most of you know I’ve just not been around here. Of course, that’s how it always is. We get busy, we get bored, we move on to other things.

I didn’t want to say “Goodbye.” though, because I knew this day would come. I would find my way back.

I miss you guys. I miss hanging out and musing about all kinds of silliness, good stuff and general delights. It’s been something that I’ve been milling over for the past few months. How would I return. Obviously we’re all a bit different now. The [blogging] world is different, even from when I last was regularly blogging here.

I had a baby. I moved from New York back to San Francisco, where it all began. Only I’m older, I’m doing different things, and my style has changed… maybe it’s not so internet savvy, like outrageous outfits and crazy shoes don’t really fit into my every day life. But I figure many of you probably don’t need to be wearing 5 inch heels and 5 layers of clothing every day either.

So let’s just let the chips fall where they may. I’m just going to write about whatever comes to mind…. so far I got some good stuff coming up for you. Hopefully you’ll stick around, because I really, really, really missed you.

Love always and forever,

Jennine

PS… Doesn’t Kylie Minouge look AMAZING in this fashion editorial?

jennineI miss you.

Early Spring, BCBG Teal Pleats

One thing I can tell you, I hate maternity clothes.

Maybe I would like them if I took a traveled in time to 2005, but for the most part that’s impossible. Getting ready for 400 fashion bloggers can be a nightmare when everything fits wonky, and maternity clothes aren’t my jam. However, I figured to invest in a few good dresses and headed down to Pea in The Pod. Luckily they had a beautiful Ksenia dress by BCBG (which also comes in regular size.. or maybe works as both?), that I would want to wear regardless, especially paired with a white motorcycle jacket. With beautiful pleats, pretty colors it is very springy, and of course being February, I’m already ready for spring fever.

Gigi New York was giving bags to the VIPs at the IFB Conference, and luckily there was one the same color as my dress! It’s perfect for those of us who love tiny bags and clutches.

Another thing I found difficult was finding a pair of cute flats. I can’t walk in heels anymore, especially if I’m on my feet all day. Luckily Topshop had a cute pair of shoes, that again, would be perfect for spring.

Photos by Dustin Fenstermacher

jennineEarly Spring, BCBG Teal Pleats