Winter Running Gear

It is that time of the year where it is cold, dreary, and rainy or snowy or cloudy. Yet, despite the weather, as a runner, I am outside no matter what. Many people ask what I wear when I run in the cold weather, so here are my top gear choices for Winter Running!

 

This is me after my long run (15 miles) when it was 28 degrees out. I would rather sweat a lot than be cold, so yes, I overdressed and LOOK AT MY SWEAT. It felt so good. The sweat is my whole shirt — even in the cold!

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Natori Esteem Full Brief

Yes, I am writing about undies that are basically like the ones from Bridget Jones Diary, but full briefs are having a comeback! And these ones are aaaaaaahhhhhhhmazing. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have tried them had it not been recommended to me by a friend who is a stylist — and she told me that out of all the undies she has tried, these are the best out there right now! Since I trust all her style advice, I got these, and they do not disappoint.

 

YES, Bridget Jones! Thank you!!!

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Made Worn Tees

I recently discovered Made Worn tees and now I CANNOT STOP. Yes, they are expensive, yes you can find them in every store around the country — but for good reason. These tees are TO DIE FOR. Created by Blain Halvorson, this clothing line creates the most perfectly weathered, faded, and vintage look you have all been dying to wear (I know I have). It’s like discovering a vintage shirt in a store, except for it’s not vintage! And it’s even a better fit and look. I honestly can’t get enough — and these are perfect gifts for your music loving family and friends.

 

My new uniform — a fun tee shirt, cardigan, and jeans. Comfortable but easy and a little bit stylish.

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Woodley + Lowe

I am excited to share with you a conversation with friends that recently started a new direct-to-consumer-retail company, Woodley + Lowe. It is a loungewear fashion company directed for the younger generation that is smart, interesting, as well as comfy, cozy, and fashionable. It is just the beginning! Check out the questions and answers with the founders and check out Woodley + Lowe!

 

Who is your target customer? Who are they? Where do they live? What do they like to do?

 

Basic but not so basic.

 

This question turned out to be harder to answer than you might expect.  I know, from a business and marketing perspective, having a very specific image of your “target customer” is important, but so much of what our brand is about is accepting that our fans don’t fit just one “type”.  She might be athletic, she might be artsy, she might be social, she might be shy—she might even be all of the above.  (We even recognize that, while we use the she/her pronouns, we would love to see non-binary or cis-male fans in our clothes as well!). That said, generally speaking, she’s high school or college aged, passionate, authentic, and connected to her community.  She’s tired of having to choose between inexpensive fast-fashion that doesn’t last and popular women’s brands that are too expensive or don’t quite fit her style.  She’s looking for a brand that speaks specifically to her, and not her mom or her younger sister.

 

What makes you different / sets you apart from competitors?

Size chart. Looks like a complex scientific graph.

 

 

Our biggest differentiator is our approach to size.  We were frustrated with the “one size fits all” approach and message of other brands, and we wanted to create something that addressed more sizes and shapes.  Especially for teen girls, who are growing in all different ways and rates, we wanted to create a brand that everyone in a friend group could wear.  Having more sizes presented a challenge from a cost and logistics perspective, but it was really important to us.  We currently cover sizes from about 12/14 kids’ to size 10 women’s.  Our A-B-C-D-E system (and pants come in 2 lengths for each size) gives us the ability to add where we see demand—which brings me to our other differentiator….

 

We are all about listening to our fans and delivering what they want and need.  We want them to collaborate and co-create with us.  That’s why we’ve incorporated a lot of space on our website for photos of real girls in our clothes.  We love to see how they style them—everyone has a different take.  We also love to poll our followers on Instagram about new colors and designs they want to see.  It’s a win-win: they get to be involved in what we deliver, and we build an enthusiastic fan base.

 

What are your key items and what makes them special?

Current selection of items.

 

We wanted to launch with a really tight assortment—we’ll have 12 different styles to start—so picking one favorite is hard!  The key driver of our brand are the comfortable fabrics we selected across all pieces.  We feel really good about our Sweats category.  We began developing it even before that’s what everyone was living in.  Our Cozy Cloud Fleece, which is the base for all of it, is the softest blend of cotton, rayon, and recycled poly.  It literally feels like wearing a cloud (but warmer and dryer.) Once you put on our Comfy Crush Hoodie and Dream Joggers, you won’t want to take them off.

 

But we wanted to be more than just another Sweats brand.  We’re also really excited about our Elevated Essentials.  We used the same comfort-driven approach to create a few pieces for when you need something a little nicer than the just-off-the-couch look.  For example, we have a ruffled mini skirt and cropped rugby made from a soft and smooth modal fleece.  One of our Ambassadors joked “I could sleep in this and save time in the morning before school!”  Lastly, we’re rounding out our collection of essentials with a few Base Body Wear pieces: a bralette, a cami with built-in shelf bra, and, of course, some leggings.  Once again, we went for the comfort approach, so our fabric is not too tech-y, but equally wearable all day in class or out for a run.

 

Color palette — what’s the background on it and how did you decide?

Soft, pastel color palette.

 

Our color palette came about by polling our fans.  We found that what they really wanted were clothes in colors that they loved and make them feel good, and not necessarily tied to seasons.  So our launch collection is heavy on pastels, even though we knew we were launching for fall, because that’s what everyone was gravitating to.  Then we added some more neutral colors to help ground it—olive, vanilla, and our marine blue (which is like denim), and threw in orchid as a pop color.  We’re excited to get more active with our community in getting their feedback on colors, through our Instagram account and on Pinterest as well.

What is the meaning of your name? And how you started.

Logo

 

Just like much of our other decision making, our name came about through polls.  Before we even launched Woodley + Lowe, we set up an Instagram group of about 150 high school girls (mostly in NY, but some across the country), to help us with branding and other initial design decisions.  We brainstormed a number of different words and names that reminded us of high school/college (for example, Woodley is the road that my high school is on in Washington, DC), and then we polled our Instagram group.  Turns out they loved the idea of pairing two names together, and we did too.  It’s come to represent to us, as a brand, the yin and yang of everyone’s personality—sometimes you’re playful, sometimes you’re serious; some days you might want to dress up and go out with your friends, and other days you just want to sit in bed and watch Netflix.

 

What’s next with your collection? What can we see in the future?

What’s to come

 

We’re already well into development of our Spring drops.  Even though our pieces are meant to be worn year round, we know it’s important to infuse some newness. We’ll definitely carry over what we expect to be the most popular styles, and add some fun colors.  We’re also excited about some more summery pieces that have a kind of retro-summer-camp vibe. Mainly, we’re just excited to continue growing our collection of comfortable essentials to endlessly mix & match with each other or your other favorite pieces.

 

Where are the clothes created and made?

Fashion.

All our clothes are designed in NY and hand made in LA.  To be honest, being new to the fashion industry, I never really stopped to think about what really went into that.  Now I realize, when I see something cut a little off, or a label that’s not quite centered, I think about the fact that there was a real person cutting this fabric and sitting down to a sewing machine, and I find that really endearing.  It also helped me understand the prices that many good fashion brands charge, as it forced me to think about the fact that someone who is skilled at this craft took time to hand make what I’m wearing, and that person’s time and skill is worth something.

 

Ambassadors — tell me about them!

 

Ambassadors

 

We took a different marketing approach than most other direct-to-consumer start ups, who seemed to turn on a website with cool branding and then pour a bunch of money into Facebook and Instagram ads and watch people come to their site.  But we think the Gen Z consumer is savvier, and most of their purchase decisions come from “what are my friends wearing.”  So we decided to create an Ambassador program—real girls, not paid influencers—to sing our praises to their friends.  Ambassadors can apply through our website, and they’ll be emailed a few questions to answer about themselves.  We accept anyone who’s interested, as long as they’re 14 and older.  (If we get to a point where, logistically, we can’t handle the numbers, we may institute a waiting list, but everyone will eventually be accepted!) In exchange, they get a discount code and other perks, and we ask them to refer friends to shop and send us pictures for our website and social media.  So far we’ve loved getting to know this enthusiastic group!

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Thank you, Woodley + Lowe! I am inspired by female entrepreneurs that have a mission and accomplish what they set out to do! I can’t wait to get my hands on one of your hoodies!

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Fashionable Disposable Masks

I am all over the place with masks — some months I love cloth masks and some months, disposable masks. Current state — I am all about disposable masks. Maybe it is because in NYC, we are constantly wearing masks 24-7, so I want something I can wear and then never see it again…but I don’t love the basic blue disposable masks because they are *TOO* basic. So when a friend introduced me to al-shield disposable masks, it was the perfect combination. They are perfect – a little bit of fashion, but disposable. I don’t feel bad if I lose them (which happens way too often) and I can stuff them in many different pockets and jackets so I never am left without one.

 

Dots and flowers — how cute and fun are they?

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Natori Odessa PJ Set

Nothing says pajama party more than luxurious silky pajamas! So last week when a friend was visiting from out of town, she received a pair of Natori Odessa PJs to hang out in. They are bold, jewel toned colors and oh so pretty.

 

Look at her! So chic and glamorous walking the puppy in these glamorous Odessa pajamas! And of course, she’s the most fashionable person ever, so that helps, too.

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Kas Maria Shorts

Thanks to Instagram, I tend to find random and small lines of clothing that I fall madly in love with. The most recent discovery is a pair of shorts from Kas Maria. She has no website, no email, I just DM’d her saying I loved the shorts and voila, transaction. Kassandra (Kas Maria) sews her own designs and I love everything about them. These vibrant, colorful, ever so joyful bright floral shorts made me smile the minute I saw them on Instagram and I love them even more in person.

 

Patchwork floral shorts — a different fabric on each side of the shorts. Drawstring and high waisted. Comfortable and oh so cute.

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Currently Loving August 2020

Sometimes I think it is May, sometimes I think it is August 2021. Basically, I have no idea what day or month we are currently in. So here is what I am currently loving RIGHT NOW. Apparently it is August 2020.

 

1. LoveShackFancy x Bandier Bike Shorts

 

I am jumping on the bike short trend…fell in love with these super girlie floral workout shorts. I personally love them. My kids on the other hand keep telling me that my behind looks big and why I am wearing them……gotta love their honesty…..and I still love them.

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Teressa Foglia Hats

Late Spring, I went on a mad search for the perfect summer hat — I wanted something practical, comfortable, chic, and unique. It was way harder than expected as I didn’t just want a simple straw hat. I wanted something with a little more flair, personality, and character. So when I came across Teressa Foglia — I instantly fell head over heels. The first one has some embroidery details, straps, cowboy vibe. I loved it so much that when I was in LA, I made an effort to go to her Malibu store and fell in love with Teressa (holy cow, chic and beautiful as ever) and ALL OF HER HATS. I walked away creating another summer straw hat — with some leather, flower ribbons, and more of a hipster attitude. After weeks of wearing both hats daily, I purchased TWO MORE straw and basic hats that the kids and I have been using on all of our hikes, bikes, river, water adventures.

 

This is my first hat — but most recent picture (yesterday at Crater Lake). It has a cowboy look but I love the detailing and the straps.

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The Last Great American Dynasty

My newest obsession, thanks to my sister-from-another-mister, is “The Last Great American Dynasty” song in Taylor Swift’s newest album, Folklore. It is a song that no matter how many times I listen to it (I am annoying and have listened to it on repeat since I first heard it — in attempt to learn every lyric), I still get goose bumps. GOOSE BUMPS!!! Yup. It is an incredibly gorgeous song with an even richer story behind the words. Taylor Swift created this soothing, sappy, happy, and beautiful song during Quarantine (the whole album!) based on her home in Rhode Island. It is the story of the previous owner, Rebekah Harkness, the heiress with a wild life story who owned Taylor Swift’s home, who lived a big grand life and was unapologetic. She sees herself in Rebekah and sings about it.

 

Taylor singing away….

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Currently Loving July 2020

Holy shmollllly it is almost August! I feel like it was just February. But nope. End of July here we are! Here is what I am currently loving, enjoy!

 

1. Exile by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver

 

Bon Iver has been one of my favorite singer song writer for quite some time — I love absolutely everything he does — whether it is his own music or songs he produces, writes, or is featured in. And this song is exactly that — so good, beautiful, touching, melodic, and I LOVE IT.

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Natori Calm Cotton Brief

Sadly, my favorite undies of all time (I still can’t believe it) will no longer be sold. This loss feels huge to me — feathers undies have been a part of my wardrobe staple since they first came out over a decade ago. I have tried many other undies (all Natori, but of course)…..but have ALWAYS come back to the Feathers ones– they were absolutely perfect in every single way and nothing compares. But now that I can’t find the undies anywhere and have to adapt to this new reality, I went on a search for a new favorite pair. After a lot of trial and error, my new love is the Natori Calm Cotton Brief. They are super cute, light, airy, shapely, and one of a kind. I like how even though they are cotton and briefs, they have a VA-VA-VOOM appeal to them as well. No, they aren’t Feathers hipster undies, but these are my new go-to undies, and I think you should try them, too!

 

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Westman Atelier Eye Pods

Truth is, since COVID started, I have put on make up only a handful of times. No one sees me, I am not going anywhere, and I don’t look that often at a mirror. However, when I do put on any make up, I instantly feel better (the question is then why don’t I make the effort and put makeup on more frequently?). Most all of my makeup products are Westman Atelier and I swear by them all — the bronzer, blush, lip, and now, the eye shadow. I know, I know, I don’t look like I would love make up — but I really do! So when Gucci Westman came out with a new set of eyeshadows, I jumped. I have never worn eyeshadow in my life, but I know that it pops your eyes open and makes you look even more put together. And so far, even with nowhere to go and no one to see me, I LOVE THEM! I can’t wait to wear them and a more regular basis!

 

They come in a set of 3 — there is a night shade option and a day shade option. I opted for the night one.

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Aviator Nation Bandanas

Due to the fact that COVID now seems to be a lifestyle and is not going away anywhere soon, I am investing in many different masks / face coverings for the family. Although the bulk of the time, I am not in public, there are times when we are (a) at the grocery store (b) on a hike with our people on the trails (c) traveling, and find it necessary (and respectful) to cover our noses and mouths. I have found that masks are good for planes and grocery stores, but when out and about on a walk in the city or on a more crowded trail, a bandana is the best as it goes around your neck and you can pull it up when needed. You can buy regular bandanas on amazon but because it is fun (and frivolous) I bought these ombre and colorful Aviator Nation bandanas and I love them oh so much!

 

Color on top of color = CAMO

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Currently Loving June 2020

Hello from LA! The kids and I started the summer out west with a California adventure before we ultimately end up in Oregon. So far we are truly enjoying the laid-back-vibe, the Pacific Ocean breeze, the sunshine, and just being out here! LA is truly la-la-land and such a beautiful and idyllic place to live — if NYC doesn’t work out, LA here I come! In the meantime, here is what I am currently loving this month, June 2020!

 

1. Money Heist

 

Spanish TV series — SO GOOD. Must watch!!! I am at the beginning of Season 2 and I can’t wait to watch it. OBSESSED.

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The Great Loungewear

Yes, my favorite luxurious loungewear of all time is Natori, but sometimes a good cotton and hippy set hits the spot. The Great knitwear is exactly that — 100% cotton, comfy, relaxed, and easy. It is BEYOND soft and oh so dreamy. I bought a limited collection that was already tie dyed, but you can purchase your own and dye it yourself.

 

Love everything about this combo.

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Currently Loving May 2020

Here we are, mid May. I get more confused with what month than what day it is. Can it really be MAY? LIKE SCHOOL IS ALMOST OVER? Then what? What happens next??? Well, for now, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!

 

1. Warm Romper

 

Acid wash, pink, comfortable, cozy, and perfect for a range of temperatures. I love my new romper. I think it is perfect for a beach cover up, or a golf excursion!

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A List Of Things I Miss, Don’t Miss, Won’t Miss, and Won’t Forget

The other night while surfing the internet, I came across a piece written by The Man Repeller that really struck a chord with me. It was a simple list of things that she misses, doesn’t miss, won’t miss, and won’t forget — all of the feelings during the COVID pandemic that we are all currently facing. I loved it OH so much and so many of her items rang true for me, too. So I decided that, I too, in honor of Man Repeller’s thoughtful post (thank you!), I would sit down, reflect, and write similar lists. I know these are ever-changing, but these are the items that I came up with today:

 

Oh so true of this time — busy doin’ nothing.

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My Necessities

I am very thankful that my family and I have good health, the ability to afford food, internet, a roof over our heads, and options. And yet, our life is not perfectly pink rosy. Natori, like other fashion brands and retail companies, is hurting in our economic climate. There are a lot of unknowns SOOOOO, to keep me sane during these less than perfect times (for all of us), here are my necessities (obviously in addition to the connection to my friends and family, which is #1).

 

1. My rollerskates

 

There are certain things that bring me joy: my loved ones, running, fresh flowers, a fire, and rollerskating. Every time I put on my skates, I smile. I love to dance, skate, glide. We rollerskate as a family, or I do it alone (and take zoom classes from my teacher). It is a time of complete happiness and joy.

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Currently Loving April 2020

So sorry for the lack of posts this past week — there was a technical issue that came up (I found out that the subscription of the posts were no longer being sent out — so I had to deal with that, and as you can imagine, it was a slow process to get this fixed!) but here we are now! Back at it again! PHEW, after being in Florida for 5 weeks, NYC for a handful of days, we are now in Westchester where we will be for the next several weeks…..it’s been hard. Days are super long and repetitive. For all of us. But here is what I am currently loving.

 

1. The Last Dance

 

10 part documentary series on Michael Jordan and the Bulls Dynasty. Even though I am not a fan of basketball, I have been thoroughly enjoying this series.

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How I Sleep Really Well

Guest post from friend and ultra chic interior designer, Lucie Ayres! How I Sleep Really Well (can’t wait to read her tips because I don’t sleep really well!!!). Thank you, Lucie!!

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HOW TO SLEEP AMAZINGLY WELL – EVEN DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

 

Some of you may know I’m an interior designer  but many of you don’t know that I am an unofficial expert on sleep.  Why? Because I sleep well pretty much every single night. Even through this crisis.  I realize I’m in the minority – so I thought I’d share with you how I do it and why I do it.

 

First and foremost, it’s a decision you have to make and you have to stick to it – pretty much like any other goal you’d like to accomplish.  But in my opinion, this is not a painful process -it’s actually incredibly pleasurable. And it starts the minute you wake up.

 

ONE: (a) MAKE YOUR BED – and don’t half-ass it, make it like it’s going to look like a hotel room bed when you get ready to get into it later.  Fluff those pillows, the comforter, whatever you need to do to make it look delicious.

 

Photo credit: 22 Interiors shot by Amy Bartlam

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Lounge Bottoms

Right now, most everyone is hunkered down at their home and not going out. As much fun as it is to only wear the same thing over and over again, it also gets tiring and boring. And who wants to wear jeans while helping your kids get homeschooled?? I have been scouring the internet for lots of loungewear bottoms and here are my favorites. So many good ones!!!!

 

1. Natori Winter Peony PJ

 

These are technically pajamas but they are so pretty and happy. They brighten any day or night!

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Madewell x Warm Jean Shorts

One of my favorite clothing lines is Warm. Not only is it my favorite store in NYC (it carries all different lines not just Warm) but I am also friends with the designer, Winnie, who I love, respect, and adore. Everything Winnie does is GOLD and her style is impeccable. When she launched a collaboration with Madewell, I knew that I would love everything. Sure enough, I do. But especially the high rise denim shorts. LOVE oh love! They are so comfortable and the perfect fit. It comes with a belt that you can tie, but I prefer it without…. If you are looking to support small businesses, smart people, and a good look, then these are the shorts for you!

 

Shorts. Perfect color and fit.

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Currently Loving March 2020

Hi friends, I apologize for my silence last week. It was a little hectic trying to figure out my family’s next move and reaction to the COVID-19 sweeping the world and I froze (and was unable to write). Ultimately, we decided that it was best for me and the kids to go down to Florida to my in-law’s empty condo while Ken stayed behind to deal with the chaos of the virus hitting the business. It is not lost on me how lucky we are to have the option to get out of the city and have another place to go, that we have the means to buy back up supplies and groceries, and have the flexibility to get up and move. This crisis is affecting every person, world wide, and it’s devastating and hard. I waver between moments of worries, concerns, tears, frets, fears; and then being ok and breathing and dealing with moment to moment instead of thinking long term. My heart goes out to people that have it much harder….I wish it weren’t so. Stay inside, support small businesses, connect with friends, show your love, be kind, and take it day by day. In the meantime, here is what I am currently loving this month. And I will be back to normal posting — thank you for your patience.

 

1. I Refuse to Run a Coronavirus Home School

 

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