Check out this awesome Calypso look on a budget

Courtesy of my dear friend Liz. She is a style maven like none other and
knows a thing or two about a fashion thing or two. After reading my post the
other day on the perfect travel wardrobe courtesy of Calypso, she kindly
sent along her take as created by her on shopstyle, in the form of a cool
little stylebook. (Make one for yourself. It's fun. Reminds me much of
fashion plates, if you remember them...)

Thanks to Liz, we can all afford a little packing chic on tax day...love it!
Click on the link and happy shopping! XO

http://www.shopstyle.com/action/viewLook?id=1713694&em_campaign=Organic+Emai
l+-+ShareLook

Happy Tax Day

Ah, April 15th. Ben Franklin coined the infamous "but in the world nothing
can be said to be certain except death and taxes." Nobody has proven him
wrong just yet. I'm also going to put music in that category if I may. So I
thought I'd post about IRS Records, them of the new wave and ska sounds of
the 80's. (They also had Black Sabbath, which I had no idea about).

In terms of icons, I think their logo was one of the coolest of all the
labels and looked great on a pin you would sport on your lapel (remember
that?). And on their fab roster they had no less than The English Beat,
Oingo Boingo, The Go Gos, Wall Of Voodoo, REM, General Public, and the
Buzzcocks and more that I am forgetting. Cheers to IRS Records today- you
are way cooler than taxes, that's for damn sure. Follow the link below cause
we all need a little "Tenderness" today...XO

Loved this dress on "Glee" last night...

Apparently it was from Target...the bow was custom made- meaning you could
buy a bow at any doodad place that sells trims and such and you'll be right
as rain. I've attached a Target dress that should do the trick. If you
create this look and wrap yourself in it, good for you. And don't even think
of NOT sending me a snap of your self dressed as the perfect little present.
I might go make one this weekend. So cute it hurts...XO

(PS- don't forget about the red flats. Divine. You're on your own to find
those suckers. Think about a teeny heel for a little oomph factor).

Great article here about the accessibility of Glee a la mode...

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2010/04/glee-fashion-scoop-hell-o-to
-affordable-looks.html

Sailor Chic

I am sneezing my head off and rubbing off my eye makeup so spring is here
and summer is sure to follow- and the sea is top of mind. Most of you have
probably procured this ubiquitous fashion staple for your fine selves but I
give you the striped French Navy sailor shirt for good measure. I am in love
with it and although it is a bit counter intuitive (horizontal stripes not
so figure flattering), I dig how this classic works on most body types- you
just need to find the "right" one, and you've got a bounty of choices this
season as the sailor shirt is having a bit of a moment.

This shirt is French chic to the max- Jean Seberg, the ultimate gamine/pixie
rocked one hard as did that hack Picasso. And for years it was Gaultier's
signature garment as he showed his love for the style intuition of the
French. I love it with jeans, boyfriend khakis, under a blazer, and is super
chic as a tee shirt dress with flats. And the Balmain sparkly version is
beyond- I love casual pieces redone to be dressed up yet still laid back.

Any way you slice it, it's a fresh look and brightens the face and has a
cool, easy vibe that is one part creative, one part Francais, and ten parts
cute. Just don't overdo the nautical theme (as in sandals with anchors, red
pants, etc. or you'll look a bit like the fashion victim version of Alan
Hale. (Also not entirely convinced this shirt works on men...maybe Johnny
Depp but not many others could pull it off that I am aware of unless you
live in the south of France or are of course, a member of the French Navy).

You could find a cool vintage one, or purchase the "original" St. James
flavor at Calypso- they've got 'em for $135. If you want to dip your toes in
the sailor shirt waters but want to spend less, the GAP has a cute version,
as does Old Navy, Zara (I snagged a tee shirt version there for $20), and
all the other usual suspects. So channel your "Papa Don't Preach" era
Madonna loving self and grab one of these (or at least enjoy a sort of Coco
Chanel a la plage situation). Oh and this could easily make the packing for
vacation cut- you could wear this over a bathing suit or try it tucked in
with a skirt for evening with some sandals. And that's what's up this
Wednesday in April. Anchors Aweigh. XO

Let's Go!

As a young girl in Philadelphia, I had a great deal of wanderlust. Yes,
Philadelphia was a diverse city full of interesting people and global
cuisine. But at a very early age, I knew there was more, and I knew this
from the books I read at our grade school library.

I was completely obsessed with the books of Miroslav Sasek, He of the "This
is" series fame. His books on Paris, Tokyo, London and a million other
locales had me mesmerized. I'd sit in my pigtails and pore through these
fabulous tomes- enchanted by the pictures of places I had yet to see in my
young life. His point of view on how a child sees travel still is quite spot
on to me today- in that he found visual joy and inspiration in local people,
dress, and culture- three things that still inspire me whenever I visit just
about anywhere- and love his take on transport in each city- I've always
been fascinated on how cities GO. He manages to capture how I still feel
when visiting somewhere new to this day- a childlike sense of wonder and
spirit for new places and faces. If you have kids, I promise you they will
adore these books too. They are treasures and present a world of whimsy and
wonder that both young and old can discover together. And the illustrations
are divine. While we're at it, check out these fab illustrations by Blanca Gomez, a
really fun illustrator who pays homage to Sasek to the max. I love the wink
to his whimsy and her work gives me the same happy feeling as those books
did in my youth, and still do to this very day (minus the pigtails). And
that's about all I can ask for on this Tuesday late morning, really.
Sooo...Let's Go! XO

How to Pack

Thought this was worth posting about...I have always been obsessed with the
perfect travel wardrobe- I think the chicest people always manage to jet off
to here and there with only a carry on...it's the ultimate in a pared down
aesthetic that fits all situations and shows a real style confidence and
conviction...obviously, in wintertime it's a bit more of a challenge, but I
love the idea of a grab and go collection for vacation and warm temps that
suits all moods. This lovely grouping is from Calypso and they always manage
to knock it out of the park when it comes to chic hippy/gypset/on the go
style. I see no skirt in this mix but no matter...still love it. (I would
also add a bathing suit for good measure).

I have always fantasized about making a collection of clothes for travel
purposes...the business trip collection, the Tahitian honeymoon collection,
the family reunion collection- you get the idea. Donna Karan had the right
notion back in the day with her "Seven Easy Pieces" collection- everything
could be worn together or as separates but was unified by its practicality
(and dear Donna was one of first designers to make leggings chic. We owe her
a debt of epic proportions, in my opinion). I also remember Miguelina doing
a honeymoon collection, all in white and super beachy, that was perfect for
a newly minted Mrs. in search of the perfect looks for a week of post
marital bliss.

I know that Calypso is a tad spendy so look at their stuff for inspiration
and then hustle down to your favorite emporium of basics and duplicate the
looks. Or supplement with some of the classics you already own and invest in
a pretty scarf or light cashmere cardigan that will make your pre-existing
pieces come to life.

I am setting my sights on a New York trip next month and wish I could make a
carry on happen- imagine sailing through JFK with not a care in the world
and a light bag full of all the perfect clothes. Most likely, my editing
skills will betray me and I will schlep all that I own and curse myself as I
try to navigate my friend's walk up with said bag. Oh well. Something to
think about...it's cathartic to travel with less (less baggage anyone? Hmm
Hmm? Who doesn't want that?) and trust that you packed wisely. Check out
Calypso's site for the skinny on packing to perfection and the best in
travel minimalism. It's what's up this Monday. XO

http://www.calypso-celle.com/

Peonies. That is all.

It's a gloomy Monday here in Miami and I'm a bit gah. So here's some peonies
just because they're my favorite- they always cheer me up and are in season
at last. I know these are super girly but I live for them and they make me
want to wear a dress. I've yet to find a person (well, mostly female) that
doesn't love these fluffy things. They are fleeting and lovely so enjoy them
while they last...much like the weekend, non? XO

REAL VACATION: MONTAUK

Friday- so glad to see you. Bless you for arriving not a second too late...

So check it- it's the end of my weeklong festival of real. I can't think of
anything to bring a gal more back to her true essence than a vacation. With
an ocean. And a cold beer. And a killer tan. Though I live 15 minutes from
what is arguably one of the nicest beaches on this great earth, I miss my
summer jaunts to Montauk. Montauk- jagged, rough surf, and dune filled. How
I love thee. You are the quintessential surf town and perfect in your laid
back chic. I have had some deeply happy weekends there in my time. True, it
is a bit of a journey to get to you from the city but you are worth the
travel to the end of the coastline (and last stop on the Jitney, for that
matter). You are without the typical Hamptons bullshit for the most part.
And for this, I love you. You are REAL to me and inspire me to breathe a bit
deeper and say thank you. The Stones even wrote a song for one of your
landmarks...(Memory Motel. From my fav Stones album. Added bonus).

Your backdrop has hosted the likes of Andy and Jackie, and legions of surf
kids, yoginis, and city folk who want to recall a beach experience that is
truly salty and relaxed, yet still has that cool factor. I'm loving the look
of The Surf Lodge and am already planning a summer sojourn there. Yes I know
this spot probably draws quite a scene of so and so's but I care not. Your
décor is just my size. I want to go to there, wearing my husband's button
down over my bathing suit and a vintage panama hat with some old Persols
while summoning the ghost of Bunker Spreckels. I'm speculating the folks at
said lodge make an amazing rum punch or better yet, a wicked bloody mary,
the perfect accompaniment to rock steady and roots on my IPod. I will park myself in
that wicker hanging chair after a Vitamin D soaked day and read a biography
or a novel about India. This summer's bucket list will hopefully be filled
with sand and sunshine daydreams. Being a Cancerian, the sea keeps me
feeling fab, alive, and true. Have a lovely weekend- I seriously can't wait
till July when I fly up north for a little R&R Montauk style. There simply
is no substitute. And that's what's real this Friday afternoon, mon amours.
XO

REAL SEXY.

Can't have an epiphany about real without talking about sexiness. Once again
Im time traveling and to a time when sexiness was raw, unenhanced, in your
face, and beyond real. The list of REAL hotness is endless- really. But
here's but a few. Let's fete classic hotness today from back in the day. And
let's start with four of my favorite rock boys. Keep in mind we're talking
about these folks in their prime. (I am not responsible for how they look
now. That's time's fault). Here goes...

ROBERT PLANT- Have you ever watched "The Song Remains the Same"? Plant's
hotness, hair, concave chest and lanky goodness is too much to take. How hot
was a young Robert Plant? That voice, that scream, those moves. Good gravy.
Think he was the perfect skinny rock boy- heart him. Even with the girly
hair.

JIMMY PAGE- You don't have to be Team Page or Team Plant. You can worship
them with equal fervor. Page's genius guitar playing and darkness were sexy
beyond belief. I remember reading Pamela Des Barres's amazing tome "I'm With
the Band" in which she reveals her torrid affair with young Jimmy. She
recalled how they were chatting on the phone and he told her to go into her
bathroom at midnight at which time she would receive a sign. Of course she
sprinted in there at the stroke of 12, and a mirror came crashing to the
ground. And that was that. Not sure if that's hot or scary, but I err on the
side of hot. (Scary can be hot PS).

JIM MORRISON -just because, ok? I know his hotness is almost a cliche, but
think of how much hotter Val Kilmer became when he played him (let's not
discuss Val now, k)? That says a lot. Besides, how many men do you know who
could rock leather pants like POW? And quote Balzac? There's a country in
those eyes. All Behold the Lizard King. Yowsa.

CHRIS CORNELL- Yea I know he's not so old school as the above gentlemen. But
c'mon...he's amazingly sexy. Had to sneak him in. I like him much better
with short hair. Audioslave era CC. Yes. Oh yes.

And for the boys, here are 4 classic actresses that ate carbs, probably did
not do lunges, and most definitely had real tatas. Love them love them love
them.

SOPHIA LOREN -my love for Sophia knows no bounds. She was simply perfection
in every way and was every inch a woman. And she eats pasta every day. G-d
bless you, Sophia, you gorgeous girl. You get two photos just because.

BRIDGETTE BARDOT- The original blonde bombshell. Nobody did St. Tropez chic
like Bardot. The precursor to Claudia Schiffer and many others. Insanely
hot.

RAQUEL WELCH- I remember growing up, my mother worshipped at the altar of
Raquel. I can see why. I challenge any of these Hollywood types of today to
rock a bikini as hard as Rockie back in the day. For real.

URSULA ANDRESS- Gotta have one Bond Girl in here. Love that bikini, girl.

All in favor of real sexiness say aye...I'm queuing up some Zep as we speak.
Long live the rock God and screen siren. Divine. XO

Real Things Redux: Better living through vinyl, newspapers, and the classics. (And a bit of cursing).

Onward we go in my relentless celebration of authenticity ...this time I'm
going a bit cerebral and experience based. As we all know, the way we read,
listen, and speak are shifting constructs these days. With this I'm cool,
but let's talk about what makes an experience not just intellectual but
visceral in terms of information, music, novels, and talking...here's my
picks for today:

VINYL- To me, there is no greater joy than waking up on a weekend morning
and playing some records while I start my day. Classic vinyl sounds amazing,
gives you some street cred as a music lover, and is a great accompaniment to
coffee and breakfast making. Shopping for vinyl is also way fulfilling-
digging through old records is one of my pure pleasures. Right now I'm
hearting old reggae records, particularly of the Trojan era as well as old
Charlie Chaplin. But I ain't mad at some Faces or classic soul a la Aretha
or even Tattoo You. Trust me- acquiring and listening to vinyl will enhance
your life and make you a better person.(If you are asking "what is vinyl?"
at this point, you should stop reading).

THE SUNDAY NEW YORK TIMES- yes, a bit of a cliché. I know this. But when
that little bundle of printed joy comes to my doorstep Sunday morning, I am
well aware of the task at hand- as in, how can I read this paper today when
I have so much to do? Inevitably I find the time, but I love the challenge
it provides- it forces me to park my carcass on the sofa and absorb the
world, one article at a time. I still like to hold the paper and page
through, section after section until I've created a fire hazard on my floor.
(Sunday Styles first, natch). Sunday night always feels a little smarter to
me, and for this I am grateful. (Yes I am aware this item is on the list of
stuff white people like. I can live with that).

CLASSIC LIT- I am not going to pretend that I have the wherewithal or
attention span to sit down and snack on a good book these days. It's a
bummer, but seems the only time I can absorb a novel is en route to some
other place- the Miami to LA flight provides some choice hours for said
activity. I will say I love to revisit the classics when I can- two summers
ago we spent my birthday in Key West and I promised myself to get through as
much Hemingway as I could for the rest of the summer. (I read "The Sun Also
Rises" in the car ride home and then quit my endeavor after "A Farewell to
Arms". Some of you out there are scoffing as I write- I know how you true
lit types feel about Hemingway and his misogyny and machismo.) Still, it was
lovely to rediscover Ernie after all these years. This summer I may reread
Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", one of my favs from yesteryear. I also am going
to pick up some De Maupassant short stories as they make my heart sing. Do
yourself a favor and hit the classics this summer. Word on the street is
that Fitzgerald guy really had something...

EXPLETIVES- Not sure how this fits the list, but I've been yakking about
some higher brow stuff, so let's go low now and talk about cursing. My love
for profanity is powerful. I have always found swear words to be the most
expressive words we have- much the same reason I fucking love Yiddish- all
the words sound like what they mean, and I adore that. In New York, this is
a non issue. Everybody curses. In other parts of the country, it's not as
prevalent, but often more necessary (have you ever driven in Miami? Ok
then). People should curse more. It builds character and is a potent means
of expression. I simply don't trust a woman (or anyone else for that matter)
that doesn't say "fuck". And that's a fact. Use these bon mots with purpose
and choose them carefully so they can have their full effect. Unless you
step on a nail- then whatever comes out comes out, and that's real (and
"FML" is just not going to cut it).

So that's all for today...enjoy your afternoon- read something. Listen to
something. Be bold in your choices. And swear your ass off and be sincere
about it. It's what's real this Wednesday.