February is a bizarre month — it is the shortest, feels the longest, yet is gone before I know it. So here is what I am loving this month (before it is March — hip hip hooray, Spring, we cannot wait!)
Remember last week when I mentioned my dear friend who is ALWAYS in the know of beauty and skincare products? Well she amazingly offered to write up her CURRENT beauty favorites! I am so so so excited to share them with you — and thank you so much, Alicia! May we all have your incredible glowing skin, chic taste in everything, and style — you are one of a kind — love you oh so much!
I first heard about Augustinus Bader skin care products from a dear friend that knows EVERYTHING about skincare. Anything she ever recommends, I always have to try out, because she is the queen of beauty. The moment I tried it, I was hooked. I am a devoted Augustinus Bader fan and will forever use their “the cream” on my face. Since I started using their face moisturizer (for over 3 years), they have since come out with many more products. Each of them are as good as the next. I am a huge fan of their new lip balm (feels like satin for your lips) and their body cream (heaven — it’s expensive, so I rotate with GOOPgenes butter).
I am a huge supporter and lover of anything and everything Royal Native. I have several pairs of their fun African print overalls, pants, shorts, and even a jacket. In the Spring and Summer, I almost exclusively wear Royal Native as it is just so easy, comfortable, colorful and happy. So when they came out with Sweatpant overalls, I knew I needed a pair. They scream 2021 — an elevated, more sophisticated version of 2020, but still 2020. Still sweatpants, but make them fashion.
The best gift to myself this holiday season was a pair of Jenni Kayne Shearling Slippers. Although I am madly in LOVE with my Natori cheetah slippers I posted last month, they are more for warm and hot evenings, rather than cold winter nights. So when walking up Madison Avenue en route to my daughter’s school in December, I couldn’t help but pop in to the Jenni Kayne store and buy these luxurious and cozy slippers. Yes, they are an investment, but I have lived in them since I bought them — so they are worth the splurge if you count cost per wear. They are like walking on a cloud — warm, fuzzy, and soft.
Did you know that Natori makes slippers???? I just found out!!! And I am soooooooooooo excited! I basically feel like a fancy lady walking around in my home in sweat pants, but it just feels glamorous, festive, and fun! They are also great presents (especially for a fancy lady in your life).
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!
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ambassadors — tell me about them!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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.
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: