Maven man crush: Bryan Ferry

Good afternoon, Wednesday. It's a sunny day in my city and I'm a happy girl. Plus I have on a velvet jumpsuit. So there's that.

But I'm not here to talk about weather or jumpsuits. And it's rare I talk about men's style so here's one for the boys, though I suspect it's one for the girls too.

I was down my usual 70s rabbit hole this morning as I was getting ready to head into the city and ended up listening to Roxy Music for a good solid hour. I'm pretty stoked to see Bryan Ferry again in August up in Harlem. Promises to be a great show. I have often said that if you have not at least made out to Roxy Music's "Avalon" you really haven't made out at all. Dreamy.

And on the subject of Mr. Ferry, his style is well worth celebrating. Men, if you are ever feeling you want to step it up a bit - have a look at his incredible style. I'm obsessed. it also helps to have a hot girl or two on your arm. Good luck with that bit.

He's subtle yet edgy. Subtly edgy. And so damn elegant. 

I love that his style is never overpowering- it's just effortless in the best of ways. He knows how to do classics better than most, and give them something a little sexy .And the hair ain't bad either.

Let's all celebrate Bryan Ferry's impeccable approach to dress today. Shall we? As our world spirals into an athleisure rabbit hole, thank goodness for him and his enduring great look after look. Timeless as f. 

And if for some reason you think his style is just for dudes, nah. It's no coincidence I've been crushing super HARD on this haircut featured in the new Givenchy campaign. I'm probably going for it tomorrow. Thanks, Bryan for the inspo.

Cause that's what's up this one for the boys kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in you're so sheer, you're so chic, teenage rebel of the week. XO

Maven Pick: The perfect ballet flat to welcome Spring

Good morning, Tuesday. I think I'm turning the corner on this sickness- actually slept last night and feeling very much on the mend. But now the pup has a tummy ache. Ugh it never ends. So today we're very much wfh.

So Spring is pretty much about to grace us with her warm and sunny presence, and you can feel it in the air in New York and there's something so lovely about the change of seasons here. Everybody is ready to shed the layers and change up the vibe.

And though I'm being very conservative when it comes to my Spring shopping list, there's a lot of great stuff out there.  This adorable pair of ballet slippers came across my feed this morning, and I love them. They're from Mansur Gavriel and they are so elegant and pretty and slipper-like. You can have them monogrammed, but I prefer them plain as I'm somewhat done with the whole monogram trend. Plus in a eulogy to Lee Radziwill it was said that she was anti-monogram (aka tacky) so be like Lee and don't do it. Or do. Your choice.

I love the green suede, but would most likely go with the navy at the top of this post or black leather for something classic. These are pretty with everything from jumpsuits to jeans to every dress you own. I think this little pair of flats is my first official Spring must have. They're not super cheap, but they will be worth the spend because you'll most likely wear them all Spring and Summer. I've always been partial to a J. Crew ballet flat (they do toe cleavage well) as well as the Porselli flats I get at APC, but this is a fresh take and I'm all in. These are a bit more high cut but they're chic as shit. And all the great flats are made in Italy- and these hold that title as well. 

Cause that's what's up this flattened Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in Spring shoes and sunshine. XO

Everything's coming up roses

Good morning, Monday. On the road to recovery but still not at 100. This cold likes to keep me hangin' on. Oh well. At least it's sunny and warm.

So in the midst of my self imposed rest day on Saturday, I found the energy to go to the BK Apple store and buy a new computer. I was the proud owner of a 2011 MacBook Air- I believe it was the first generation of the Air and I used it to almost it's own death. Many of the keys were even rubbed off from my emphatic typing through the years. And for a while I resisted buying a new one, and I don't know why. I had a few gift cards so the computer was not a huge expense, but still I held off.

Maybe it's because that old Air was my first computer bought after 7 years at a full time job. It was the beginning of my freelance career and I remember how excited I felt buying that shiny, new Mac at the Apple Store on Lincoln Road in Miami.

Cut to now when my freelance life is very much still happening, but I've switched gears a bit. A whole lot less producing, a whole lot more writing. Hoping that's the way it's going to stay, thus the new computer/talisman to say as much. And it's the rose gold MacBook Air and I just adore it. There's nothing like that new computer smell. ;) Had my eyes on that sucker for a minute, and now it's all mine. Happy new computer day to me-ee.

It's nice to face another manic Monday with a computer that is not on the verge of blowing up. And who has a B key. And a P key. And all the keys. I'm a happy girl. Oh and bonus- it looks good with my hair color. Come on you don't color coordinate your hardware to your hair wear? ;)

It feels good to buy things that are an investment in your business and your future. I highly recommend it, even if you have to take a minute and plan and save for it. Cause that's what up this brand, shiny, new moon of a Monday in the 212. Yours, in rose colored everything. XO

Where my girls at?

Good afternoon, Friday. This sore throat is so annoying. And now I have no voice. I feel like I used to find that hoarse voice kind of hot but not so much now. I sound like Harvey Fierstein dressed in drag as Demi Moore. No good.

Besides my icky throat, today is International Women's Day, and I'm humbled by those fighting the good fight and blazing the good trail. Seriously. I am. Lately I've been writing quite a bit about women's health and sexual health and love that that space is becoming much more conversational than taboo. We need to keep talking about the formerly off limits stuff- that's what women are all about- being pioneers and not being afraid to challenge the norm.

Which brings me to a point I need to make. 

It doesn't matter if you think Kylie Jenner deserves the title of "self-made" or not.  It doesn't matter if you find AOC annoying and juvenile in her approach to power. Because what matters most is that all of these women are being given a seat at the table. That Kylie is taking over for Zuckerberg is incredible. That Ocasio-Cortez is so much more than a beautiful face and is taking stodgy white man Washington by storm. That women can have babies as long as they can have babies. I love all of this and revel in all of it. Whether we want to judge or not, today is a day to celebrate women. Period. Full stop. You don't have to love all women. But we have to continue to lift each other up and celebrate our successes together. I truly believe that. 

I believe in women. I am proud to be one. And today, I celebrate my good fortune to have some pretty kick ass women in my life. From my family to my friends to all the amazing mentors I've had throughout the years- thanks and love and praises to you all. I'm drawn to strong women. I'm drawn to wacky women. I'm drawn to women who don't pretend to be anything that they're not.  That doesn't make me a man hater. That doesn't make me blind. That doesn't make me want to burn my bra (though I'd like to do that for other reasons but that's not here nor there).It just makes me want to say a big thank you to all of the ladies, today and every day. Big ups to y'all. Keep fighting and throwing your hat in the ring and up in the air. 

Let's celebrate how far we have come and how much more we still can do. Cause that's what's up this ladies first kind of Friday in the 212. Yours, in sisters doin' it for themselves. XO

Insomniac musings: There's a time for yes. And there's a time for no.

Good morning, Wednesday. I believe I owe you a post on print dresses but I got distracted by a bit of an epiphany I had during my latest sore throat induced insomnia bout. 

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the art of saying no. For years, I had no idea how to even use the word. Specifically when it comes to work but that also spilled over into other areas of my life.

When I was at a different point in my career way back when, I worked at a notorious ad agency. Notorious for creativity. Notorious for being subversive and disruptive. And notorious for working all of us to the bone- which many of us did not have a problem with. It was a wonderful time. And it was a culture of "yes". Meaning- if you said no to a great idea because of timing, money, or lazy thinking, you'd be shown the door. Or they'd at the very least let you know that "no" was not an option. And that was a wonderful learning opportunity for so many of us, and of course for me.

But that culture of yes did a bit of a number on me.

Because for years, I said yes to things I didn't want to do. Yes to parties I didn't want to attend. Yes to projects as a freelancer that spread me too thin but I was too afraid to say no. Yes to friendships that were toxic to my well being. I thought that saying no was a sign of defeat. A weakness. An inability to say yes. 

And I recently saw a post  on Instagram by John Jay, a maker in the truest sense who cut his teeth in advertising and became an icon for what creativity at work can be.  He's someone I admire tremendously- a life well lived and spent with passion and curiosity. Here's what the post said, accompanied by an image of two bobbleheads:

"THE GIFT OF YES. It’s going on to 2 am and I am still working in the studio. I think it’s been a month since I have a chance to take day off. Every night is a late night but these are extraordinary times for me. Putting in the effort is merely an investment when the rewards are so enormous. Enabling positive change which will lead the lives of those around you towards a more inspired creative existence is the ultimate example of creative direction. This is work worth working. The nodding couple here are the much maligned Yes Man and Yes Girl...long chastised as angels of the weak, management icons of the status-quo. However, time teaches you that it takes strength and conviction to say yes to bold and revolutionary ideas. It takes little courage to say no to everything, not to dare, to conveniently let others take the risk. I cherish the visionary leaders who fight against their own bureaucracy and industry to say yes to all of us as creators who depend on their support. Saying yes in these polarized and challenging times takes more courage than ever. God bless the Yes".

Insightful beyond belief. This is what I believed for a very long time, and I still believe it for the most part. Because saying yes to things that can feel scary, overwhelming, or challenging is a a great idea. But saying yes now comes with a healthy dose of discernment, at least it does for me. And when I say yes to things I should really be saying no to, it doesn't end well.

And on the other side of the fence is my insomniac stroll through the internet at 2 am last night. A friend of mine reposted a video from none other than Russell Brand, he of furry walls fame and beyond. Russell is a frenetic person whose energy always just seemed on the verge of shorting out. He's a survivor who's been through it- addiction, a marriage to Katy Perry, etc. Whether you love him or love to hate him, the guy's smart. And in this vid, he's talking about burnout, something many of us can relate to.  Here's a link to the video. He's looking very sage like these days, ps.  The general gist of this video is the following:

According to him, we used to live in a culture of yes. Be positive and say yes. But now? There's a great joy in saying no. We are afraid of missing out so we yes ourselves to the point of burnout. But saying no implies that you are fine just as you are. He talks about how hard he used to work- all the time to obsession. And now? He's enjoying a simpler life- a more pastoral life spent "mucking about" with his children.  

The most interesting point? He makes a point of saying he's in a place where he no longer wishes to be defined by what he does in the outside world. And that he no longer truly cares what people think of him. He acknowledges how hard it is to just stay home and be quiet and enjoy the nothing. Because we assign moral judgement to such behavior, that somehow working all the time is more valuable than not doing anything for a few minutes/months/however long. The biggest insight he gave? That by saying no to stuff you truly open yourself up to life as you wish to live it. That a quieter, less exciting life may have great to your nourishment as a human than the frenzied, manic dane of work/life and back again. 

I know what you're thinking.

Russell Brand is a celebrity who makes a lot of money. Or has made a lot of money so his pastoral lifestyle does not apply to me because i have to work my butt off to survive. But I think you're missing the point if that's what you're thinking. 

He's not saying to hide in your house. He's simply saying that by saying no, you're giving yourself some much needed space and quiet. And that's exactly where I am right now. I'm not depressed. I'm not becoming a hoarder. In fact, I'm getting rid of stuff that no longer holds value for me. And I'm saying yes to things that make me happy.  But no is more front and center for me because I'm absolutely in a more quiet, peaceful place at the moment where chaos just doesn't work for me at present. I'm a strong no on chaos and stuff that doesn't bring me joy or at least an opportunity for growth. I love this video so much I've watched it about ten times.

And though my recent past looks a lot more like John Jay's post, my present and distant future feels a lot more like Mr. Brand's. 

So my point is- there are times in your life when you are a strong yes. And then there are times where you're more like, sorry, but no. And ps not really that sorry. Just no. I find saying no very difficult ps. It's not in my nature but I'm learning to love it.

Life is an amazing journey. And whether you're in a yes place or a no place, be confident you're in the right place. Don't say yes when you really want to say no. And don't say no because you're too scared to say yes.  That's my big takeaway, and as usual, I felt the need to share. Be true to your yes and your no. Oh and no room for maybe here. Sorry.

So are you team no or team yes right now? The key is having empathy for yourself and wherever you need to be right here, right now. Either hell to the yes or hell to the no. It's all good. Y'all know which side of the fence I'm on these days. We really need to stop looking at saying no as a negative. Truly. 

Cause that's what's up this team no kind of Wednesday in the best city on Earth. Yours, in yes and no questions. XO

Maven picks for a well spent Spring Fling: A few great looks for less.

Good morning, Monday. I'm sick in bed today with some sort of chest cold/scourge/plague and truly tapped out.  Been a while since I've been down for the count, so grateful I can WFH and try to catch some sleep in between things. And I'm not so much shopping these days but thought it would be fun to shop the mass stores and pick out one piece from a few well priced chains to get us in the mood for Spring's fresh bloom.

This striped sweater from the Gap is good times. I love a nautical vibe come Spring/Summer and this has an almost Proenza Schouler vibe. If you don't know what that means, trust me. This is a chic piece for setting sail on the new season.

Also at the Gap, this little belt/sash thing is super cute with all your Spring white dresses to nip in the waist. I also love it with something khaki or of course, denim. Cute.

And one more from the Gap are these cute, cute wide legged crop chinos. Full disclosure- not a silhouette I can rock in any way, shape, or form. Strong no on these for my bod but I love the look on others.  Chances are you know whether these will good on you too- I've coveted the Jesse Kamm version for years now but alas- not happening.  I love them in white by the way. So chic.

Over at H&M, I'm digging this $35 shirt dress- I love a safari-ish look in the Spring time- chic with gold jewelry and a brown block heeled sandal. Very classic look and great for those of you looking for something nice and affordable to wear to work. Also comes in black- at that price maybe buy them both.

And with animal print showing no signs of slowing down as a big, big trend, I love this snake printed trench. Great over a tank and wide leg jeans or with a dress and bare legs. Super stylish and also very affordable at just under 60 bucks.

I literally buy a black ribbed dress every Spring- and this one is so cute- love the French vibe of the neckline and sleeves- wear with absolutely everything from fresh Converse low tops to high heeled sandals. Such a good staple piece and also super affordable at $29.99.

Oh, COS. True you make me feel like a cross between an Orthodox Jewish woman and an Eastern Bloc factory worker, but sometimes ya nail it. I love this little bag- such a great grab and go for dog walks or city jaunts. Chic around the waist or cross body. Great little travel bag too to hold just the essentials. 

As an & Other Stories superfan, I just adore their take on trends- perhaps a bit more feminine and ladylike than the others, but I just love it. This little bra is so pretty under a sundress (straps showing of course).

I also love these. I think I post a version of these once a season but clogs are just cool and that's that.

So with the exception of the clog which is $135, everything here is under 100 bucks and I'm happy to bring you some great looks for less. Just goes to show ya don't need a ton of dough to get glam for Spring. Cause that's what's up this well spent Monday from under my duvet. Yours, in sick beds and great style. Up tomorrow? Print dresses. My favorite, and hopefully yours. XO

Turning pages and thinking about Spring style

Good morning, Wednesday. Up and running early today and feeling inspired. I haven't worked out since Friday and did this morning and somehow, it always makes me feel so much better. Have to make time to get it done and that's that.

So do you all know about magzter? I love this app for reading all your favorite magazines online. And although I still do get a few print editions, it's a great way to read all your favs and save a few trees. So yesterday I was cruising through the March Bazaar and was pleased to find so much good fashion. Here's what I spotted and wanted to bring to you now that Spring is upon us. A few trends to grab onto as you figure out what you'll be wearing in Springtime.

Solid brights- Love all of these strong looks. And I'd probably commit a crime for that Balenciaga turquoise get up. OMG. So good.

Masculine silhouettes- You all know that as much as I love a pretty dress, there's a big part of me that loves a tomboy/masculine vibe, and there's no shortage of good looks this season. And the hair in that Givenchy ad is giving me major feelings. Obsessed. And those paper bag pants in the last photo are high on my list of trouser needs for the Spring. What, you don't have trouser needs? I do. PS suiting is a huge trend and I just adore it.

Boho 2.0- Spring and Summer are always popular time to go a little boho, but love this editorial full of pretty prints. including that fab Prada tie dye. Also that McQueen is a polished way to  do the look and that Stella McCartney jumpsuit is worth living in for weeks on end. So good.

Girly prints- Warmer months also bring out a poppy, girly vibe and I love what Kate Spade is up to of late. I believe they have a new creative director who's breathing new life into the brand while respecting its roots. Fun. Easter looks. Love. Also that embellished Burberry raincoat is a modern take on something Catherine Deneuve would have worn back in the day. I love it with a dress and flats and bare legs. Fabulous. And that model is super beautiful.

Hopefully you're getting some inspo of your own when it comes to Spring style, but I'm always here to help. Cause that's what's up this paging through kind of Wednesday in the 718.  Yours, in reading 'em all so you don't have to. XO

A little bit of Oscars, but not much

Good morning, Monday. Let's get to it.

Last night's hostless Oscars still ended a bit too late for my tastes but whatever. Seemed popular with the crowds watching though I found it as boring as ever. I didn't even want to write this post but meh. I have to do what I have to do.

Honestly I'm most grateful for not having to wonder if and when Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are going to just stop singing and make out. I've had it with them. And that song. Thank you. Next.

And I suppose there were some good dresses but really all I cared about was Charlize because Charlize.

When I first saw that Dior couture I was a bit confused. Was it scuba-like? Did her boobs look weird? Was the stomach sticking out? And then upon seeing it again- no to all. So so stunning. I couldn't get enough of it. I loved the modesty up front and the party in the back. I'm a big fan of a modest look- I find it incredibly sexy. My one critique? I wasn't sure of the earrings and the necklace. But I would probably shave a few years off of my life to own that necklace. Maybe a decade even. Absolutely amazing.

Also I liked Chadwick Boseman's get up. I'd rock the hell out of that. 

Kacey Musgroves was a hell no the nah for me, dog.

Bree Larson in Celine was a knockout, but her nervous laughing while presenting with Samuel L. Jackson was a little weird.

Gaga was gorgeous though some say too orange. Maybe so but I thought her face looked so pretty and glowy and freckly. The hair thought was perhaps a bit too helmet-like.

Billy Porter in the Christian Siriano ball skirt. Good times.

Emma Stone always a winner in Vuitton. Comfortable in her own skin and makes getting dressed for a night like this look easy. Love.

Jason Momoa and his wrist scrunchie though. Just no. Sorry ladies. His hygiene is not up to snuff. I'm a stickler for that, what can I say? Now Trevor Noah on the other hand? Gorgeous.

Regina Kim looked stunning in white de la Renta complete with its way up to there slit. Could have gone terribly wrong. In a flash. If you get my drift.

And so many poufy dresses. Too many.  Linda Cardinali. Ugh. Swallowed up in tulle. No good.

And two polarizing looks I actually liked- Awkwafina's D Squared suit and Olivia Colman's olive Prada. Can't help it. Loved them both.

Those are my thoughts for now. I wish Spike would have typed out his speech. And yes, Olivia Colman was lovely and charming, though I was sad Glenn Close didn't get it as she was tremendous in "The Wife". All in all, it was all just fine. I think I may just be done caring. In the shallows now. And that's what's up this post Oscar Monday in the 212. Yours, in good wives and only Charlize really matters. XO

Maven recommends: An eyeliner for experts and novices alike

Good morning, Wednesday. Happy Hump Day. Snow on the way today and then 55 degrees tomorrow. Totally normal. NOT.

So this week I may seem makeup obsessed. Maybe I am. I always am actually. Now that I've taken over our second bedroom as my dressing room/closet/makeup station I feel like putting on my makeup is a bit meditative. I suggest creating a space for application if you can. It sure beats leaning over the sink in the bathroom. True I have no place for anyone to stay, but there's a price to pay for beauty. And that price is a spare room.

On that note, can I shout out how much I love Benefit products? I've always been a bit afraid of them because the packaging makes them feel VERY young and girly, but the products are absolutely amazing. I'm completely in love with this brow thingamajig. It defines and shapes and all the good things. 

But what I'm really gaga for right now is this roller eyeliner. I've been a liquid eyeliner gal for a while now, and I love this version which allows for precision and the now ubiquitous cat eye, which, for the life of me, I still can't figure out. Even after watching a million videos on YouTube. Am I right? It's so tough. In any event, I love this eyeliner and I got it in brown. I usually go for black eyeliner only but this brown is pretty deep and manages to look defined and natural all at once. Amazing. Someday I may even get that damn flick right. 

So if you need a little pick me up this chilly February day, get this. I'm obsessed.

Cause that's what's up the moment I wake up Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in before I put on my makeup and saying little prayers pour vous. XO

Maven recommends: Chanel's new way to shop for beauty products in Soho

Good morning, Tuesday. RIP Karl Lagerfeld- what a life. It's appropriate I write a Chanel related piece today I suppose.

This weekend I happened to be in Soho for brunch and decided to pop into the Atelier Beauté Chanel, the luxe brand's answer to a modern retail experience when it comes to makeup and skincare, and it didn't disappoint.

It's interesting to me how we shop for makeup and even skincare nowadays. Before online shopping, I was almost always a makeup counter shopper- I enjoyed going to the big department stores and having an "expert" take me through the latest shades and products. I still do love that, ps. But now I shop on sites like Violet Grey for new products as well as end up shopping on Instagram for cool makeup or skincare i may have not heard of otherwise. So Chanel took the best of both of those worlds and combined them into this fabulous experience.

Located in a loft building on Wooster Street and up a flight of steps, I was greeted by a bubbly woman in ripped jeans. Immediately I knew this would be a different experience- I don't generally associate Chanel with ripped jeans that weren't of the designer varietal. Upon entering the gorgeous space, my coat was taken and I was asked to create an online profile, to best shop the experience.  Grateful for a respite from the chilly day, I decided to immerse myself in product heaven.

The idea was to walk through the immaculately hygienic space and DIY. There was a skincare bar and plenty of stations to try on many different lipsticks, eyeshadows, foundations, and everything in between. The whole experience had a relaxed vibe- with helpful millennial staff if you had any questions about anything. Each station had sample sized products that you could try yourself. You could also book appointments with an "artist in residence" to have your makeup done or get a skin consultation. But you could also do your entire face if you needed to- in fact it was encouraged. Oh and of course, it's all highly Instagrammable. Brilliantly so. 

And as far as their iconic fragrances, the Atelier Parfume is a spritz-free sitch where customers sniff at porcelain wands dipped in fragrance for a sensory experience. Love at first sniff? No problem. You can find out which scents are your favorite after you blindly smell them.

To me, the whole thing feels fresh and innovative. Plus, as you're tracking your preferences on the app, Chanel gets to know what your favorites are and can further customize your purchasing power in the future. I ended up with the new Baume Essentiel- a slick, multi-use stick you dab on your cheeks, lids, or anywhere that needs a bit of glow. I also got a new lipstick. The Rouge Allure Liquid Powder lipstick is one of the coolest formulations I've ever seen- it has a powdery, matte finish but somehow manages to feel completely moisturizing and creamy.  I went for Avant-Gardiste, a poppy berry shade that won praise from the sales staff who encouraged me to try something bright and new for Spring. How could I resist?

One of the least intimidating and fun experiences I've had from a luxury brand in some time. Chanel understands that although you may not be able to afford a handbag or iconic jacket, you can connect with the brand by buying a lipstick, eyeshadow, or perfume. Smart thinking. I will definitely go back. Who wants to come with me?

Cause that's what's up this rounded out retail kind of Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in new experiences. XO