Some somber chic to suit my mood.

Good morning, Friday. I'm still feeling a little funky today but looking so forward to the weekend. Safe and healthy fast for those observing Yom Kippur. For those non-tribe types, Yom Kippur is the most solemn holiday of the entire Jewish calendar. It is a time to forgive, forget, apologize, and reflect, and of course, fast. It's a fairly somber situation, so feels particularly suited to this very strange year.

And speaking of somber, mass retail is feeling a bit maudlin these days as well, and not just because retail needs to be completely reconfigured to meet the needs of the pandemic era. A Facebook friend of mine jokingly posted a pic of some dresses at H&M and asked if we were going back to the 1800s and who would want to wear such funeral-like attire? Um, hi. Have you met me? 

I am loving the gothic, sister-wife vibes of fashion the past few years. I'm aware this look is not for everyone, but brands like Batsheva, Simone Rocha, Cecilia Bahnsen, and the Vampires Wife (and many others) have shown us a world where giant puffed sleeves and modesty have the makings for a great dress. I for one find modesty very sexy, even if I'm well aware that sexiness is very far from the point. I'm also a woman who wears a ton of black and always have. I'm not particularly goth but do dabble a bit in the dark arts from time to time. Who doesn't love a good Gene Loves Jezebel moment? (Stay with me non Gen X types- you may not know from 80s new wave goth vibes but you can still get involved).

With that in mind, here's a few dresses from H&M I'm loving right now. They bring to mind a Sarah Moon photograph, shown at the top of this post and here. I just love the dark vibe (and amazing price) of these frocks. And who's wearing poppy colors right now anyway? Doesn't quite feel right but maybe that's just me.

This all-over lace dress with ruffles is really great in person and a steal at under 50 bucks. 

This lace trimmed dress is a slam dunk and it's under 20 dollars. It's made from recycled polyester and presents as taffeta. I was shocked how great it looks on and how inexpensive it is. I'll wear it with my snakeskin knee high boots or even with a pair of Gazelles. It's so good. Truly.

This a-line girl is so lovely and love the mini length and silhouette.  Great with tights and over the knee suede boots. Oh and it's just shy of 50 dollars so there you have it.

I have seen this trend for a few years now and find it fascinating- maybe we want to dress in clothes that suit the times- maybe just maybe 2021 will have us all craving something altogether brighter and sunnier. But for now, keeping it goth feels right. Cause that's what's up this freaky Friday in the 718. Yours, in going dark and black celebrations. XO


Let's get real.

Good morning, Thursday. I've been waking up so early lately to greet the day and just get going. Either that, or I'm just too worried all the time to sleep.

Here's the thing- I've become a later in life optimist for the most part. I certainly wasn't raised that way and it's not particularly present in my DNA. But I've been through a lot and come through a lot and I made the decision to try and live in the light as much as I possibly could. But times like these challenge even the most sunny amongst us, so what to do what to do?

The news is all so distressing and horrible and absolutely relentless with negativity and darkness. I just found out one of my favorite neighborhood haunts is shuttering for good and it triggered me deeply.  It's absolutely true that often you don't know what you've got till it's gone. And I'm going to miss this special little bar called Robert that spun Brit Pop on Thursdays and had that special sauce that made it the perfect neighborhood bar that could easily be at home in any city around the world. I loved it there and will miss it terribly. Argh. 

And though Fall is my favorite time of year, I find myself feeling some dread about winter. I'm not ready. For early darkness and freezing cold. I realize my complaint about a bar closing and weather could be seen as entitled- after all, I'm working thank goodness and I have my health and people and a pet I love and all the things. But the thing about the bar is not as much about me, but about the fact that the person who owns it was not expecting any of this and deserves far better, and the idea that a community gathering spot has vanished is totally sad.

I'm not trying to bring anybody down here- we are all feeling it together and going through it together and it's not just the fact we have such a polarizing president, it's the fact that he is beyond toxic and a complete danger to our democracy (duh). Can you even think of a more important election than this one? Staged during a global pandemic and with implications for women and everyone else for the rest of our time on this planet? It's a wonder any of us are sleeping at all. Not to mention just about everything else coming across my news feed from COVID spikes to Breonna Taylor to oh, just about every damn thing. Just last night, a report of a dumpster fire in Park Slope came up on my Citizen app, and man- could there be a more apt malcontent moment to sum up 2020?

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I could use a bit of good news. Any good news. I got the best responses. From reports on good doggie behavior to a friend from high school getting a job after being unemployed for a while to cherishing a sunset, it lifted my spirits slightly, and I sensed that sharing good news felt great for them too. What struck me about the news people shared were their simplicity- and how grateful all of us are for any victorious moments we are feeling right now. It truly is all about the little things sometimes. And it's beautiful to find those things that bring joy amidst so much discord.

As for me, I'm coping by overexercising and generally working my butt off. I find myself appreciating evenings more than ever and try to set some boundaries around working after 6ish. I'm currently loving two very different shows about islands- the new Jude Law thriller/scary as f show on HBO called "The Third Day" and the deliciously vapid American version of "Love Island".  Never has winding down felt more important. What else what else? I'm tremendously grateful for all that I've got going on- not a day goes by where I don't count the little things and blessings that are part of my everyday existence. But still, it's a hard time to be a human being, particularly a sensitive, empathic one. I do pray that some balance prevails after all of this manic energy. This too shall pass? Here's hoping.

My next post will most likely be about fashion or some such. I write those not because I'm a superficial woman but because fashion and style and personal expression bring me joy. I hope that my writing sparks a chord with you and brings you joy too. I feel lucky to write and share and so glad so many of you reach out to tell me you appreciate it. Cause that's what's up this trying to see the bright side kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in keeping it real. XO





 


Maven recommends: Homebody style to lift the spirits.


Lately I've been thinking about how to be a better homebody. Not for myself, mind you. I'm great at it. Almost too good. But for many, the whole cocooning/nesting thing is anything but cozy, so I'm here to give you a bit of an assist, particularly in the wardrobe and product departments. 

Although the world is on fire and everything feels politicized, weaponized, and destabilized, I am finding great comfort in my Cancerian tendencies and am grateful for spending time at home (Crabs love to be at home, so they can be sensitive in their own shells). On that accord, here's a few of my favorite things for going big and staying home. Consider them homebody heroes, and because some of them are spendy, think aspiration/inspiration:

A beautiful body oil. I adore a good body oil straight out of the shower.  Nurturing, nourishing, and feels so nice. I'm super chuffed to try this one by Maison Louis Marie in my favorite scent of Number 4 Bois de Balincourt, which is a less expensive take on Santal by Le Labo. Warm and yummy.

A can do jumpsuit. By now you all know I live for a one piece wonder. This Alex Mill jumpsuit is so so cute and love that it's in chilly weather corduroy. So good. I love it in navy.
An oversized luxe cardigan. Now this piece from Naked Cashmere s aspirational but tell me you wouldn't live in this if you could? I adore a sweater that feels more him than her and this one is just perfect with ripped jeans, leather leggings, or whatever you have going on at your casa.
A layering piece. On the other end of the fiscal spectrum, how's about a 9 dollar turtleneck? I adore this one from H&M- tissue soft and great on its own with some joggers or layered with whatever you want.  The leopard print is a no brainer but so are all the other colors/patterns. Put it under a slip dress an pad around the house. Go ahead. I'm not mad at you.

A lovely slipper. I am obsessed with my alpaca Baboosha slippers (those are my feet at the top of this post)created by an old ad world colleague of mine and have written about them before, but here we are again. They're getting better with age and I literally live in them as I shuttle between my living room and bedroom for conference calls.

An easygoing jean. I dream of Jeannie, not the one with the ponytail. The one that's denim and has an oversized fit and goes with everything. That one. I love these from Imogene and Willie out of Nashville so much- pricey but perfect. 

Self-care skincare. You all know I love skincare and my latest favorite thing is an essence. An essence is applied after cleansing and toning and sets your skin up for serums and moisturizers for maximum penetration and a bit of an efficacy boost. I'm currently digging this one from Kiehl's, but also dig this Eve Lom take for a radiance moment.  It may seem like more work, but adding it to your routine has an almost meditative quality and sets up your skincare intentions for success. A little goes a very long way ps so you'll have one bottle for a long while.
Oversized pjs. I know, these are expensive but they are a wow. Silky giant pjs. I want 'em bad.  The sleepy version of David Byrne's suit in "Stop Making Sense". Love. Naturally I love them in black so what else is new?
A sketchbook. Having a sketchbook nearby is good stuff. I love this one because I draw with markers and love the binding for easy pag turning. Heavy duty for all that scribbly goodness. Good for the mind and body and soul.
A new candle. A new season calls for a new candle. I die for this one that is packed with crystals to keep everything calm at home and "ward off evil spirits".  Who doesn't need this? We all do. Fragrance is fab too- Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Musk, Patchouli, and Tonka Bean. Good vibes only.

That'll do for now. I hope you are all appreciating your stay at home vibe and keeping your sanity and faith. Strange days are these. Cause that's what's up this homeward bound kind of Thursday in beautiful Brooklyn. Yours, in big Cancerian energy. XO




Oh, New York.

Good morning, Friday. Today is that day most New Yorkers and Americans everywhere dread. 19 years. Very hard to believe. I will never, ever forget that day and the gorgeous sunny Fall morning that accompanied it. It's particularly poignant this year as New York is facing yet again a crisis in terms of a sense of uncertainty and mourning lives and livelihoods lost during the pandemic. One thing's for sure, if you're counting New York out, you better get a calculator. We are nowhere near done. Know that.

Last weekend I did a ton of stuff in the city from walking over the Brooklyn Bridge (as a commitment phobe not my favorite) to visiting the newly reopened Whitney and the always magical Met. I dined outside both days and had a sensational lunch uptown with my dear pal Irma that felt like we were enjoying a meal in Paris. I strolled my beloved city for miles and fell back in love all over again. There are endless reasons to love New York City, and despite what our President (who made most of his money here) says about the scary democrat cities, we are resilient, strong, and awaiting what's next with all of our street smarts, grit, and creativity. 

If you read my blog on the regular, you know how I feel about this beautiful city that has given me everything and more. I'm not mad at the people who left, they needed to do what they needed to do. I had moments of wanting to go but only for a few days or a week- there is just something about this city in crisis that makes me want to dig in even harder. I do love a challenge. I can't help it, it's in my nature.

Before New York, I was a young woman out of sorts. My love for fashion and all things cool and forward was not a great fit for me in Philadelphia. I had trouble connecting to people and my last year there was one of the worst of my life. I was at a deadbeat job, crushing on a guy who was emotionally unavailable and far too preppy, and eating microwave baked potatoes for lunch. I was far too full of life to be on that path. So I answered an ad and got a gig in Manhattan. 

I will never, ever forget that feeling of moving here and being here and immediately feeling life begin and unfurl in all its glory. Even though I was working a few jobs and sleeping on a futon in a shared one bedroom, I felt I had made it. And I did. Because all I ever wanted from a very young age was to live in New York City. I've accomplished so much here, and I will for sure know when I'm done with it, though I may never be. It's simply part of my DNA to live here and laugh here and love here. And I take it very seriously.

Today I will take a few moments of solitude and reflect on that horrible day 19 years ago. The city came back then and it will also renew itself now. It's going to take more than a pandemic to have me fleeing for the burbs. I love my city and my beloved borough and that, my friends, is that. Looking forward to.a beautiful weekend in the best city in the whole wide world. Cause that's what's up this salute to the city kind of Friday in old New York. Yours, in never forgetting, because this ain't no ordinary love. XO

Industrial strength style for "unprecedented" times

Good afternoon- well Labor Day weekend is upon us and I just can't believe the Summer is coming to an end. Needless to say, it was a weird one. But as the days get shorter, I feel a bit of sadness- because even though this was a stressful season, I was loving the warmth and the ocean and wearing easy clothes. I know many out there are still sitting in their gym clothes from this am, but that's not really my thing. I still love clothes and I still very much wear clothes so there.

As for Fall, I've got a bit of the industrial look on my mind.  A new workwear vibe for the new way we work. Hardworking clothes for hardworking women. You feel me?

I adore this look from the Gap and ordered this Mac from their workforce collection. It's so chic and I love how it instantly refreshes pieces we all own- a denim jacket and jeans and some high tops and just like that- instant, effortless appeal.

I also am obsessed with this Bill Cunningham blue. Particularly in this little canvas Chore jacket from Everlane. It's so cute and I love it with everything from pants to a dress to give it a bit of balance and softness.

Then of course my beloved Alex Mill jumpsuits. If you haven't made the jump for a jumpsuit, get one of these. I adore it, and here is their standard version in that great blue. I am also in love with it in pink. 

Next up, an industrial pant. These from Universal Standard are so chic in cotton twill. Love the slim fit, the elastic waist, and the cargo pockets. Fabulous.

Next, a functional shoe. These have that Blundstone vibe I dig but are weather proof for rainy days. Love these and also love the high take on them that have that Hunter vibe but somehow more industrial. I'd wear the heck out of these in the Fall and quick jaunts upstate to leaf peep.

Needless to say, I like the idea of making these feel as tomboy or femme as you want. Keep it simple or add a slick of red lipstick to give the look a bit of lady love.  Also think about incorporating a strand of pearls into looks that feel very masculine. It's a great juxtaposition.

Oh and as for that army jacket look at the top of this post, a military inspired jacket is one of my all time favorite layering pieces. This one from Nordstrom is on sale (only small sizes left) but it's such a great take on the classic.  Madewell has it on their site but it's not on sale.

So there you have it- a few Fall things I'm falling for. What's your vibe with pumpkin spice season around the corner?  I'm all about practical clothes that are altogether cool. Cause that's what's up this hardworking Thursday in the 718. Yours, in industrial revolutions. XO

The shoptimist returns (my pick me up picks for the week).

Good morning, Thursday. It'a pandemic, revolution, catastrophic weather event kind of week, and not in that order. I don't even know where or how to begin but it's a lot to unpack and process and I'd be lying if I didn't feel deflated. Add in the RNC and well, you've got a recipe for some serious down and outs. The above photo sums it up for me. I'm trying to stay positive but first I need more coffee and some good news of any kind. 

That's why I'm bringing you another edition of the Shoptimist, my picks for some items that may provide a bit of pick me up. They are in no way a substitute for say, justice, sanity, and peace. But they are a fun way to distract yourself for a moment or two. PS- don't get too distracted, because there has never, ever been a more important time to keep your eye on what matters in this crazy world.

But I propose a respite. So here you go:
It's almost Fall. And I'm craving a new pair of kicks to wear with my beloved pleather leggings. I spotted these Diodora (remember them?) high tops and knew they needed to be mine. They are such a great sneaker- streamlined somehow and even though they are white high tops, they're not at all clown like. I adore them. Slightly narrow in the footbed, but extremely street smart and chic.

I'm also loving these Marfa themed pjs. Pajamas are a thing right now for obvious reasons and these pay homage to one of my favorite places and are a super cute way to go from bed to desk. And you can get them monogrammed.

On that note, an oversized cotton button down shirt has a real appeal right now. I love the crisp comfort of it, paired with leggings or shorts or nothing at all. Who cares, nobody can see your legs. It's a good look, and lots of well priced options like this one from H&M.

And since a girl needs to have a little fun, why not try a leopard print bra? I love this one from Cuup- it's chic and sophisticated and gives a nice little pop of party underneath a button down like the one above. It comes in a nice swath of sizes too so bonus points for however you're blessed.

In terms of beauty, I must recommend this well priced argan oil for all of you out there dealing with frizz. I discovered this product in a CVS by the beach this summer, and I'm never going without it again. It's great for taming the tresses and smells nice too.
And this nail color from Essie is giving me life and fits well with that Pantone color I posted last week. It's a pretty hue and sunny enough to lift my spirits. I adore it. And the name. Sunny Business? Come on. So good.

As the work week comes to a close, I'm looking forward to the weekend and regrouping a bit. I hope you are all healthy and safe and sending you lots of love and a small distraction from this thing called life. Don't you miss "precedented" times though?

Cause that's what's up this thick and thin kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in peace, love, and shoptimism. XO








I miss coming home and other thoughts from week whatever...

Good morning, Monday. Here it is and here we are.

The quarantine has officially gotten weird. As in it's enough already. As someone who has always dreamt of working from home, I'm not mad at that part. But maybe I'm a bit miffed that there is not a meeting out of the home, or a coffee date, or a chance to connect in an office like space once or twice a week. I have an entire sad wardrobe that is ready to be worn again.

But what I miss most about going to the office is not going to the office. It's coming home.

I miss that feeling of earning that beautiful moment when you turn your key in the door and walk into your abode. And exhale after a day of navigating a morning commute, a packed day at the office, and then an evening rush hour ride home. I love my home so much but it's hard to feel the same way about it when you're always in it. I miss that feeling a lot.

Lately I've been venturing out in the evenings for dinner once or twice a week, which I beyond enjoy. The city is starting to feel more alive, and honestly- I have mixed feelings about that. I'm thrilled we have such low infection rates, but I worry. And feel cautiously optimistic as. I see full outdoor restaurants full of lively diners, endless Aperol spritzes, and a new kind of street life I haven't seen in this city, possibly ever. I realize for those of us who are city dwellers, the main thing about living in a big crowded place is how connected we feel. To each other. To a dynamism. To a thriving, pulsing life force. It's what makes city living so amazing and what makes places like the suburbs feel a bit isolating at times. (Not dissing the suburbs calm down).

I'm not sure what any of these feelings are about but the focus of my mind right now is on what it means to be home, come home, and connect with the world in which I live. I'm not dying to go back to working out with a group, but I do find my workouts lately have been feeling a bit meh. I did a yoga class outdoors a few weekends ago in the park and it felt really solid to be with people and practice. As much as I'm Cancerian and need my space, I do love the power of an in person connection. Otherwise, we're all going to become a bunch of shut-ins. Plus winter is coming. Argh. 

I do find it interesting that in this time of so many people having to figure out how to make a living or redefine what matters during this pandemic, the whole notion of "home" takes on a new meaning. What makes you happy? What makes your soul sing? When do you feel most "at home" with yourself and your talents and skills?

I'm curious- how are you all feeling? Are you feeling ready to leave the house and are you missing the connection you get from in-person activities? Or are you still as vigilant as you were and not leaving the house much? Talk to me.

Cause that's what's up this new moon on Maven kind of Monday from beautiful BK. Yours, in coming home. XO

Maven recommends: A shopping list for optimists

Good morning, Tuesday. Thanks for all the love for my post yesterday. A friend said she could always tell when I write from the heart, and New York is not just in my heart, it is my heart. I guess I'm a bit of a late in life optimist because I truly believe we will get through this as evidenced from a lovely evening I had last night celebrating the birthday of one of my dearest friends. If you are in the city and ready to eat out, I highly recommend Le Crocodile @ Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. Sensational, covered seating and excellent food and service. 

So while I'm in this optimistic mood, I thought I'd put together a shopping list for optimists. I'll call them shoptimists. Because this round up is for those of us who see the glass as half full, and if you are not one of those types, maybe you could channel the sunny side with some items from the list below. So let's get to it.

I am obsessed with the "VOTE" necklace Michelle Obama wore last night at the DNC. Apparently so did everyone else, because it was trending all over the Twitterverse. It's by this designer here and I just love it. To me, Michelle Obama epitomizes the hope I have as we get to November. Wearing a bit of hope around your neck sure can't hurt. I am dying to own this.

I also received an email from Moscot, a favorite eyewear designer of mine that is prototypically made in New York. They are a true New York brand- quirky and classic all at once. I adore these rose tinted, limited edition shades. From their website: 

"Dedicated to the optimism of New Yorkers and inspired by the charm of the state flower, MOSCOT’s New York Rose Custom Made Tint™ pays tribute to the love affair between the city and its inhabitants. The dusty pink tint is handmade and dip-dyed to capture the patinaed romance of the city while honoring the downtown DNA of The Moscot Family after 105 years in the Lower East Side of Manhattan".Talk about an item for a shoptimist. Yes, please.

Over at Pantone, they've heralded the color of Fall /Winter 20/21 as "almond oil", a buttery shade that exudes a cool, optimistic vibe.  I love this new neutral and it's not only a super flattering shade, but cool, calm, and collected. So good. I love this  cozy, cropped cardigan as spotted on Refinery 29 from & Other Stories. So cute.

I recently did a small project for FOCL, a CBD brand based out west that is phenomenal and smart. I've been a bit of a CBD skeptic as I've never had a positive experience with it (I prefer good old fashioned THC), but their CBD drops are the absolute bomb. Just one dropper and I felt more focused, calm, and ready to face the day with a positive outlook. I highly recommend checking them out. I like the orange cream flavor. The copy on their site says "cool and calm no matter what". Yup. Noted and needed.

And though I've not been drinking a ton of late, I've been prone to a tipple or two of late. As I mentioned, last night I dined at Le Crocodile and it was so fabulous- in addition to the wonderful food (and one of the best shrimp cocktails I've ever had), the frozen aperol spritz was absolutely delightful and immediately put me in a great mood. Sweet, refreshing, and fabulous. Cheers to New York evenings, wonderful friends, and cocktails that take you to a happy place.

I am trying to stay in the light here, folks. I do what I can, and was in the mood to share some positive picks. Cause that's what's up this Mrs. Brightside kind of Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in keeping the faith. XO


You can't cancel New York.

Good morning, Monday. Nice weekend of seeing friends and catching up. Now let's get on with it. Cause I'm a little fucked off today.

For the haters, nay sayers, cancel culturalists, defectors, deflectors, joy killers, unimaginative, unindoctrinated non-believers, a word.

New York is not over.

You can't cancel New York.

So stop saying New York is over. Dead. Dunzo.

I'm sorry but it's not. And just like the picture says, there are not enough middle fingers for this type of thinking/speculating. Yes, New York may change. We all are changing. New York is not over. Maybe your relationship with it is over. But guess what? When you walk away and decamp to the burbs or a small town or Lord knows where, New York will still be here. And once we dust ourselves off and get the leadership we need (come on 2021), New York is going to be just fine.  Right now, we need the chest thumpers and the card carrying New Yorkers who aggravate everyone else in the country who know that this city is not going to die. Because we won't let it. I will cling to my WNYC mug with pride and continue to worship at the altar of Brian Lehrer, not to mention Pat Kiernan on NY1. Because they're NY as f. Our mayor who eats pizza with a damn fork? Not so much.

Because there are people here who will fight for it as long as they can. This is not just a city.  It is a place where people come to make it. To dream bigger. To break free of the bullshit they faced growing up in towns that were not suitable for their brand of shiny bright. 

We may see a few more rats. There may very well be a rise in crime (already is). But for those who think this city is over, that's absolutely ridiculous. Are we going back to the 70s or the 80s or are we going to move forward and regroup, recreate, and reboot? New York is not a city that goes backwards. It's a city that moves forward. And it will continue to do so.

So to those who say New York is over, I simply say- maybe that's true for you.  But that's not true for the millions of people who don't live here because they have to, we live here because we want to and we love it and we will never, ever stop loving it.  This is not for the ten year folks. This is for the people who have roots here and struggle here and above all, life here. This is for the old Italians in my neighborhood holding down the local coffee spot with their throaty conversations and espressos. This is for everyone still trying to make it here, and giving it a go with all their might. Thank you, restaurants. Thank you, boutiques. Thank you to everyone continuing to keep this city going.

PS I just had a bagel. I don't eat bagels anymore but in honor of my love for this town, I ate one. And guess what? It tasted better than ever. As I sit here in my Brooklyn apartment, there are very few places I'd rather be than right here, right now. 

We need a few things to get through this, friends.

Leadership.
Compassion.
Strength.

We will do this. Let's do it together. I'm not giving up on New York.  If people need to go, let them go. It's all good. But stop cancelling New York City for the love of the Lord. This city will be triumphant for many years to come. Much love from the best city in the world. Call me an optimist or idealist or dreamer. I'm fine with all of those terms. It's because of those descriptors I moved here in the first place. 

Cause that's what's up this giving back to the city that gave me so much kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in NYFuckingC. XO


Throwback Thursday:Belinda Carlisle's perfect quarantine style

Good morning, Thursday. I believe I've reached the angry part of my quarantine program. I am pissed off that we are still so deep in this pandemic, irritated that I feel trapped at home, yet still somehow grateful for all the things i do have to count as blessings.

So my nap dress post was popular. And nap dresses even had a moment in the New Yorker. But since athleisure and nap dresses have both gotten so much play, wtf else will we want to wear come Fall and by we I mean me?

Bet you didn't see this one coming. Because I want to be like Belinda. As in Carlisle.

The other night I watched a fab Showtime documentary on The Go Gos, the ultimate Calfornia girl band that sealed our lips and made us all want vacations. Turns out these girls were not quite the pure sunny ladies they appeared to me- a more typical rock star story was revealed-sex, drugs, you know the drill. These girls started out on the punk scene and then progressed to pop stars. And of course, at their helm with that perfect pop pitch was Belinda Carlisle. The girl of my fashion dreams.

In 1986, Carlisle went solo and made a video for a song called "Mad About You" that was hugely influential on my fashion choices in life. Though I could never be a button nosed, blond bobbed California girl, I could channel that effortless sex appeal in my own way, and as I rewatched the video this week, I realized this- Belinda's style in this video is the epitome of everything I want from my quarantine chic.

The video's premise is all about Belinda and her beautiful sunny sexiness, sashaying around Southern California being madly in love. Andy Taylor of Duran Duran even made an appearance. But other than the cameos and catchy lyrics, this video is so stylish and feels oh so very right now somehow.

See it for yourself here, and know why I am listing the following pieces as perfectly compliant for quarantine.  Here we go:

A black oversized turtleneck. In the video, Belinda's iconic dance around the beach is all about that outsized black mock turtleneck and the hoop earrings (more on that later). Was she wearing pants? Who knows and who cares. We don't need no damn pants in quarantine. To update the look, I love this version from Cuyana. Supa chic.

A bralette. Ok yea. I know. I'm 50 and maybe I'm not having a coquettish pillow moment wearing a bra top. But maybe I am. Who cares. Nobody can see me. In the video, Belinda rocks a bra top with a shrunken cardi and trousers, all black. I love this Norma Kamali bralette, and with indie brands like Negative, Pansy, and Cuup making bras you want to show off, there are no shortage of good bralettes on the scene. 

A shrunken cardi. A shrunken cardi appearing in a video in 1986 is pretty ahead of its time because for me, a shrunken sweater was very 90s, and believe me, I wore the hell out of them. Get something simple like this one from Saks or go more prim and preppy with this one from Kate Spade. 

A cashmere v neck boyfriend sweater. Just so ya know. Everything is black here. That's the brief. I love a good boyfriend sweater and this one from J.Crew is just right. Incidentally, an oversized black cashmere cardigan works too. Very very well. Here's one.

Black trousers. Yea yea ok. Pants are sometimes necessary. Belinda wore her bralette and cardi with some pleated, easy cropped pants. I love this look. And there are no better pants in my mind that from Noir Kei Ninomiya or Comme des Garcons. I splurge on a pair every year. They are perfection. The Japanese are the best when it comes to menswear inspired looks for ladies. I realize we're not going anywhere. But you may. And sometimes, you just want to wear the pants. So wear 'em. And if Japanese design is too high of mind (and pocketbook), how cool are these from COS?

An everyday LBD. You know what's great about most of the stuff I've listed in this post? You most likely have something like any of the above in your closet already. Basics are so on brief right now. And there's no way you don't have a little black dress in your closet. And maybe you'll go to a socially distanced something or other and will want something classic. So do like Belinda who ran through the streets of LA in a sleeveless and retro inspired LBD. That look is not super hot right now so a little hard to find something like it, but I know you have a sleeveless black dress in your closet. I have several. If you're feeling vintage, I love this one on Etsy. Very Audrey H. For a more modern take, how about going for something silky and lingerie like? This one from Modern Citizen is (racerback) bra friendly and would like just swell with the shrunken or oversized cardigan above. What a good look. I also like this one from Aritizia. Sexy.

A party dress. This is not a black dress. This is a festive dress because maybe you're gonna do date night at home and want to dress for it. I've heard crazier things in my life. I'd go with.a vintage wiggle dress like this one. Or this shape is so Belinda. Lovely. What's wrong with all dressed up and nowhere to go? Not a damn thing.

As far as accessories, big silver hoops create the look in the video. I love these from Jennifer Fisher or these from Blue Nile.

And of course, the Ray Ban Clubmaster is just everything. To update, I love the oversized version. So good with a bob and some lipstick.

Also- that makeup and hair- I'm mad about it. In the best of ways. How gorgeous and still so perfect right now? Stunning. Lately I've been doing makeup in the morning because somehow, it gives me hope. I know that's weird but that's my trip right now. I could only aspire to this vintage visage. Insanely beautiful and timeless.

So what have we learned? It's all black basics with a hint of party and classic cuts. So be like Belinda and go for effortless, easy pieces that are sexy, smart, and understated.  I may just say see ya to the nap dress and adios to athleisure. It's all about going back to basics for Fall. Way back to basics, that is. Cause that's what's up this mad about you kind of throwback Thursday in the 718.  Now go shop your closet and see how you can economize for Fall, or alternatively, invest in classic pieces that will last a lifetime. Yours, in go go going. XO