Don't ever say this to me.

Good morning, Thursday. It's been a minute since I've written here but I miss you and I miss it and I want to get back to our regularly scheduled program. I'm in the process of retooling this whole thing as you know, so stay tuned for that. 

So here's something. This past weekend I had a magnificent time at the beach with my sister. It was a glorious weekend and we laid in the sun, played Skee Ball, ate, drank, and generally had a lovely time. I've enjoyed my time at the Jersey Shore this Summer so much and I've been getting in a bit of a groove there when it comes to finding my favorite spots to eat, drink, and work out. 

One boutique gym, in particular, caught my eye as it had a class called "Power Barre" so I gave it a whirl earlier in the season. The class itself is taught by one of those women that could be 40 or could be 70. Her abs were bonkers good and she was a shouter. You know the type. I hate to be yelled at when I work out. Well, in general really. I don't respond well to yelling. Know that.

But the class itself was challenging and a little scary but I made it through, even though I vowed to never do it again because all of that Type A weirdness mingled with the uppity vibe of the other chicks in the class had me all meh. Also, the fact that for two days after that initial class, my right IT band was screaming in pain.

So here I was on Labor Day Weekend, conveniently forgetting the torture and signing up for another class with the treacherously taut one.

I thought the class was at 8:30, so I arrived at 8:20, only to find out it started at 8:15. As I quickly put down my things and took off my sandals, the male owner of the gym, looked me straight in the eye and said:

"Do the best you can".

Come again? Really? On what planet are you, sir, that you think it's ok to say that to me? Sure he may have been well-intentioned, but don't do that. Just don't.  Why was the assumption that a)I would do anything less than my best or b)I somehow wouldn't be able to hang with these Real Housewives of Margate, New Jersey? FUCK.

I couldn't help but wonder if he would have said this to a man- how many adult men have ever been told to do the best you can?. Or if the fact that I'm almost 50 that this comment bothered me more than it would have when I was 25. Needless to say, that set the tone for the class. Incidentally, I did really well for my 2nd time with this quite extreme workout, where the young girl next to me kept saying throughout "Oh God. Oh God". That's after the teacher told us a story of how two girls left her class because they were intimidated by the fact that "everyone in there looked like models". OMG. Who says such a thing?

But back to the initial source of my woe. 

Don't ever tell a woman to "do the best you can". Just don't. It's almost as bad as "calm down".  This is most important if you are a man. But in either instance, it's condescending and pretty shit. 

Because if I am at the beach and I am choosing to go to an early gym class vs. sleeping in or catching some rays, then clearly I am there to get it done. And I don't need anyone to backhand me into it. Or assume that I'm not going to make it through. I always do. And I always will.

And no, I won't calm down.

Cause that's what's up this keeping it real kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in giving it my all. XO




MTV aka Meh Television: Thoughts on last night's party

Good morning, Tuesday. Looking forward to a long weekend coming up. I know it's only Tuesday but still.

So last night was the MTV Awards and man, it really was something. And not a good something. Here's the thing. MTV is mine. And belongs to my generation. I feel some proprietary love for MTV because I was raised on it. My generation is actually often called the MTV Generation, so when they do awards shows I still have to watch them. But what's clear to me now is that the network is irrelevant. Completely. Or I'm irrelevant. Completely.  Whatever of those two poisons is picked, it's true. I just can't believe how shite it all is now. 

As a lifelong music lover, the link between style and music has always been a revelation.  I'm aware that this is pop music and lacks any kind of cool kid cred, but for real? Why did everybody have to look so awful?

Why are all the women so hypersexualized? Being vulgar isn't sexy. Or at least it's not to me. Cardi is but one example but there were many others. Make it stop. Please.

And why did they hold it in New Jersey? No offense to Jersey, but Jersey? I think the Jo Bros got the brief, ps. They looked straight out of the Sopranos.

I just wonder what happened to real, sexy style cred in the music world. Almost all of my fashion inspo comes from rock and roll or punk or funk or soul or disco. What's changed? 

Thank goodness for MIssy Elliott ps. Yes, she can still work it. And flip it and reverse it. Amazing. At 48, she knows a thing or two about what makes a great awards show performance. Because she's one of us. Her performance was the most buzzed-about of the night- watch it here and learn, children, learn.

I don't know but I'm bummed and I no longer want my MTV.  So awful all around. But leave it to Missy to show us how great it used to be. Oh but kudos to Rick Ross for stepping out in a Gucci bathrobe. I'm not mad at it.

Cause that's what's up this post-awards show Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in video killed the radio star. XO




I'll have what she's having: Julianne Moore KILLING IT

Good morning Friday and TGIF. 

I got my September In Style in the mail last night and all I have to say is that women of a certain age are having a bonafide moment. My fear is that this is a fad, but I'm hoping not. My girl Amber is all over the issue, but the star of the issue is absolutely Julianne Moore. A transcendent redhead and gorgeous woman. PS- she's 58. I asked Alexa. 

Her beauty is just astounding. And her in one of my favorite fashion looks of all time, that Tom Ford silk shirt and velvet pants. I can't.

I have no idea what she's done to her face, but whatever it is, I'll take it. Wow.

I love these pictures by Phil Poynter- such a great homage to fashion's best looks- particularly those of the 90s when I realized the potential of fashion upon first moving to this blessed city. And the issue takes a look back and lauds the more mature set like Jen Aniston and Jen Garner. I love this. Keep it up. Way up.

These pics, along with Amber's, have made their way to my internal mood board, and they're not coming down until I say so. Beauty all around. Let's hear it for a beautiful generation of women who refuse to be invisible. Lovely.

Cause that's what's up this fiftyish Friday in the 718. Yours, in magazine covers and ageless appeal. Oh, and redheads rule.  XO

From the pages of September Vogue: Everything I want to wear right here, right now

Good morning, Thursday. Hot as f and busy as f in NYC so I'll make this brief.

With the return of the 90s supermodel vibe in full swing (Amber, Helena, Kate, whoever else), I just have to say that despite my whirling dervish moment I'm having in the city with work, I have to take pause and celebrate Ms. Amber Valletta's story in the September issue of Vogue.

As women on the verge and wondering what (not) to wear, I give you these looks. Because they are perfect.

They are cool. Transcendent. Ageless. And overall- perfect. Just like Amber. What a beauty. It's crazy.

I love the fitted black dress with an oxford to keep it from veering too va va voom.

I love (and I do mean love) the black suit and sneakers with a slick of red lip.

I love the leather slouch of this shirtdress.

I love the rock and roll vibe of denim mixed with trench.

The khaki suit says do not, and I mean, do not fuck with me as I transition from Summer to Fall in the best of ways.

And maybe I'm not the only girl in town who has lusted after a Chanel jacket for most of her life. Perfection.

A camel coat? Yes. A faux fur coat too? Certainly. Why not throw in a Gucci mule. Why not?

And of course, an exceptional means business but ready to party plaid blazer with jeans. Strong.

These are all looks women of all ages can wear, and I adore them all. This is what I mean when I say I'm drawn to classic vs. preppy clothes. There is nowhere you could not go in these looks.  Truly what more could you want? For me, it would be nice to have a few prints thrown in for good measure, but I'd be pretty psyched to make this my Fall wardrobe.

So as you're assessing your wardrobe, think of pieces like these as the capsule of your collection. And lest you think I'm bad and bougie, know there are a million ways to get these looks for way less.  So get to googling. Also lest you think these looks are just for the skinny minnies, I beg to differ. I think women of all sizes could rock the hell out of these looks. Oh and the Rolex at the top of this post? Sure. Gimme that too.

Incidentally, photographed (Zoë Ghertner) and styled (Camilla Nickerson) by women. Naturally. More of that, please.  No tricks here, folks. Just great clothes and a fabulous woman. Bonus point for only featuring shoes made for walking, living, and loving. Let's hear it for comfort.

Cause that's what's up this hot in the city busy day but taking a moment to celebrate Amber because she is gorgeous and you are gorgeous and these clothes are gorgeous and hooray Fall kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in perfect clothes realness, honey. XO


Hey, ladies. Go easy this weekend. (And beyond).

Good afternoon, Friday. TGIF. Been a long week and happy for a little weekend getaway. I just wanted to share some thoughts from Ladyland this muggy afternoon.

Women are so hard on themselves. It doesn't matter how old you are.

Last weekend, I was in the Hamptons and overhead at lunch a group of four young women in their 20s opining over chopped salads. Since people in their 20s talk VERY LOUD these days, I heard every single thing they said. So much so that David and I became that couple who eats in silence, because we were both riveted to their conversation.

And that conversation was an endless dissection of diets and food. And whether they "deserved" ice cream after lunch. And Keto, and having to eat these weird crackers with everything (I've eaten them, full disclosure. They're awful). Each one of them talked about food and dieting and weight loss through the entire meal. One of them said a Diet Coke felt like a "treat". Each of them had on expensive workout clothes. Then the conversation turned to whether or not they were going to have "Turkey Tuesday". I don't know what that is but imagine it's slices of turkey, rolled up. No carbs, naturally. Then I watched one of the women house four sausages, in between bites of the diet crackers. It was absolutely obscene. They literally spoke of nothing else. 

Then last night I caught up with a few girlfriends. One had just turned 50. After a few cocktails, she looked around the table as if to brace herself to ask the question "Could you recommend a good plastic surgeon"? Um. Hmm. 

I'm not a woman who knows plastic surgeons, ps. I, of course, know who all the fancy ones are with Park Avenue addresses because one just knows. But I'm not one for botox or anything like that so not sure why she thought I would be the arbiter of such things. And further, I couldn't believe she was asking me this. This is a woman who pickles things. And gets her hands dirty. But somehow admits she's been watching too much "RHOBH" while spending far too much time alone in her remote country house. I honestly couldn't believe she was asking me this because a) it felt off brief and b) she looked absolutely fabulous. Glowy skin. Zero wrinkles. She was seeing stuff that wasn't there. But it's amazing what we see as women when we look in the mirror. 

And lest you think I'm anti-plastic surgery, I'm not. I just think women are way too tough on themselves- regardless of their ages. We have so many wins and accomplishments- for instance, my friend just landed her absolute dream job and even though she's probably happier than she's been, she's still unsatisfied somehow. 

Another friend of mine is single in her 40s and, after revealing she spent several thousand dollars as a plastic surgery pin cushion, told me "I don't' know what it's like out there for single women of a certain age". I'm glad I don't. I truly do. Because if I had to stick needles in my face to swipe left or right, I'd be bummed. I mean- I'm all for self-improvement, but I believe it's all completely out of control. This particular woman is a highly successful self-made person. She's spiritual, fit, and in wonderful health. She dresses beautifully and has a pretty incredible life story and she's sexy as hell. So why on Earth is she so fixated on her face? 

At a time when women are achieving so much and have been through so much and are threatened by so much, can we stop being so tough on ourselves when it comes to how we look? I have never been "perfect" so why would I expect to be at this age? Listen- talk to me in a few years. I may change my tune.  But I doubt it. 

Going into the weekend I wanted to share this post and ask all of us card-carrying females to hit pause on beating ourselves up and rejoice in how far we've all come. I'm not judging people who get surgery or botox or any of those things but don't go changin'. I love you just the way you are. And you should too.

Cause that's what's up this loving Friday in the 212. Yours, in keeping it real and taking it easy. XO


Are you cut out for freelance? Ask your network.

Good morning, Tuesday.  Cloudy and humid in New York. Thank the Lord for keratin treatments. Truly the best thing one can do to fight the frizz all Summer long.

So I haven't been talking too, too much about work lately but wanted to share a few thoughts on freelancing. As you all know, I've been at this freelance game for a while and have no interest in stopping. I like the lifestyle and although it's challenging and nail-biting at times, I enjoy it. But a word of caution for those who are thinking of going freelance- if you can't, off the top of your head, think of 10 people you can call and inquire about potential work, don't go freelance, you're not ready.

Because the most important thing about being a freelancer is the strength of your network. Back at the height of my production days, I was lucky enough to have worked at an incredible place for seven years, after which many of the friends I made there went to other places, and hired me to work with them when I was ready to freelance. It was a dream. Truly.

I've noticed that if you apply to gigs you find online, the rate of return is slim to none. I almost never hear back from gigs I hunt for online, even when the fit seems perfect. The odds are very slim you're going to get work by blindly answering an ad on Indeed. Or at least I have found that to be true. What really works is utilizing your network.  It is your biggest ace. You need to go deep into your brain and summon up the abundance by thinking of each and every person you know who may need your services, or at least direct you to someone else who can. Personal recommendations are a huge thing, by the way. Another great way into places you'd otherwise never find.  And I realize my years of production experience always had me in that connected mindset- having to call someone for something 24/7 became my normal, and it's never really left me.

 If you see a posting for a job, look closely and see if you know any people who either work at the place or if your extended network has connections there. It's really the only way. For instance, I found a recent gig through seeing a job posting and then noting that the person posting the gig was good friends with a few random friends from my early days in the city. I reached out and said we had good friends in common and I hoped we could connect. It worked. I got the gig.

We all know how powerful networking is. I think we often associate that term with something that requires a nametag and shaking hands with people in a ballroom at the Hilton, but it's far from that. Utilizing your people is a big part of this freelance hustle, and if you're not good at that, don't go there. 

At the same time, I had the unique challenge of creating a completely new network for myself as a writer. Since all of my ad contacts knew me as a producer, they wouldn't think of me for a writing project (ridiculous, and I've written endlessly on the topic), I had to find some new people to support me. I'm lucky I'm wired for connection. It's something I truly enjoy and I need to keep getting out there and meeting people. It's vital to survival when you're a lone wolf. Ah, the thrill of the hunt...

The freelance economy is certainly booming, but make sure you're cut out for it before you jump ship. And if anyone out there is looking to party with me and my words, have at it.  Thankfully I'm busy but always looking to expand my network. My hustle is boundless.

Cause that's what's up this socially inclined Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in connecting the dots and making a living. XO


Hold up. Is J.Crew great again?

Good morning, Monday. Quite the weekend.  I went to see Bryan Ferry Friday night amidst a sea of baby boomers and then off to the Hamptons on Saturday to see the opening of the Helen Frankenthaler show, more on that later in the week.  But as the weekend was winding down and I was perusing the interweb, I happened upon J.Crew. And let me say- it's been a minute or two since I've paused to look at anything they've been doing since Jena Lyons left. I know she was polarizing but I was and still am a big fan of her quirky style. But I digress.

Actually, if I'm being honest, I happened upon a J.Crew print dress that popped up in my feed last week and it gave me pause for its cuteness. And my further investigation led me down a J.Crew rabbit hole last night and dare I say- J.Crew may very well be back. Under the new design chops of Chris Benz (he's designing women and kids), he of Bill Blass fame, we may just have a hit on our hands.

So much to love under his tutelage. Here are ten pieces to buy right now, and that I'd wear here, there, and everywhere. Oh, and good news- seems like the sizing is fairly inclusive. These are things that I really love but plenty more to choose from on the site.

This pull-on slip skirt is divine. I love the petal pink and would wear this all the time with a pretty sweater like it's shown here. What a great transitional piece for Fall when you still want to show a bit of tan gam.

This little sweater/blazer is divine. And in my favorite print. Love how it's styled with double denim vibes.

These resin earrings give me major Rachel Comey vibes. Love 'em.

This blouse has such a great vibe. I honestly can't decide what color I want the most. I want them all truly. But that green.

And this long sweater blazer thing is gorgeous. I love how this is styled. So minimal chic for those concerned that J.Crew can feel too fussed up. Lovely.

This high necked tunic dress is totally Isabel Marant like but much more reasonable. Love it in black or bottle green.

This shirtwaist dress is very elegant and pretty/crisp as we wind down the Summer. 

 And the shoes. Holy merde. So many goodies.  I love these mules in white. 

And these fancy slingbacks are super duper chic. I would love them with rolled-up jeans, a blazer, and a tank or a dress with a full skirt.

And wouldn't you know I've been searching for the perfect, no-frills, nondescript tote to schlep from gig to gig with? I love this one from Rains. it's so good and easy and minimal. Perfect for the city.

I have said time and time again that although retail seems to be on the wane, good clothes are not. I believe strongly in the power of good clothes to transform a brand- and exciting stuff appears to be happening over at the Crew shop. Lovely. And bonus points for much of it being on sale.

Oh and that cheeky lippy sweater at the top of the post? Link to buy here. A shrunken cashmere cutie for $138 is kind of awesome.

Cause that's what's up this American classic of a Monday in the 212. Yours, in elevated basics and style standouts. XO




What not to wear, the Maven edition

Good morning, Friday. It's such a pretty day today and I don't have to be anywhere until 1 pm and I'm just so happy to be home with the dog as the sun shines bright in the sky and the weekend begins.

So I'm part of a group of a Facebook group for women of a certain age that veers towards snark and funny witticisms most of the time and is very rarely a place to share fashion tips. But yesterday one of the women in the group posted that she would never, under any circumstances, wear leopard print. Which made me think- how different we all can be when it comes to what we wear.  Because for me, leopard is a neutral. I own scads of it and have always felt great wearing it- I mean- how chic is Kate moss above? Iconic. And then I started thinking about my "no way Joses" when it comes to what I wear. Here's a list of five things that, though right for others, are so not right for me.

A polo or rugby shirt. Strong no to this look for me. It's a cute, preppy, tomboy look for some women. When I wear anything with that type of polo collar, I look like Mrs. Tumbletee, my less than feminine high school gym teacher. It just doesn't' work for me. At all.

Shorts. I have good legs. Or at least they are a part of me that I can easily get in shape when I need to. But I ended my relationship with shorts some time ago and never really looked back. I do love them on others (how cute is the pic above?) - particularly the paper bag variety I've seen around town this summer. But on me? Nah. Give me a minidress over shorts any day. I have no problem wearing something short, just not shorts. Capiche?

Wedges. Ok, this is one I don't really love on anyone if I'm being real. I will never, ever forget the middle of the night car ride back from a shoot in Long Beach when my creative director at the time went off on why women should not wear wedges, and I have to say- he was right. I find them really unattractive. Plus walking on them is so precarious. The only wedge I don't fully mind is a small one on an espadrille. Other than that, I'm a strong no on them. Unflattering. Thank you. Next.

Dark toes. I get my toes done all year round. Possibly because I lived in Miami for so long where toes were always exposed. And though many New York girls go dark when it comes to cold weather pedicures, I simply can't. It looks horrible on me, except on my fingernails. I either need pinkish toes or bright toes. That's it. Oh and never red toes. That's just not me.

Lilly Pulitzer. This one is fairly obvious if you know me but me in Lilly? Just plain silly. Can you even picture it? I would potentially wear something vintage and do love the story of how she started her brand, but truly, no. I am not built for Lilly and Lilly ain't built for me and that's that.  A bit too Kappa Kappa Whatever for me. I do love a print, ps. Just not necessarily a preppy one. In fact, LP is the antithesis of who I am, style-wise, and that's the truth. Keep your cotillion chic. It's not for me.

Curious to hear what your big no's are when it comes to how you dress. It's fascinating to get older for many reasons, but one of the biggest lightbulbs is knowing what looks good on you and owning it. So yea, leopard. I will always love her. And that's that. But Lilly? Nope. I guess the big takeaway here is I am not a preppy girl. I have always liked a preppy look on men, but it does not work on me. No way. PS- classic and preppy are different. I wear pearls all the time and love classic pieces like a navy blazer, great jeans, and perfect ballet flats.

Oh and one more- long hair. That ain't me. I can't do it.

Cause that's what's up this well dressed Friday in the 718.  Know thyself. Yours, in what not to wear. XO







Paying it forward and throwing it back: Lauren Hutton for Strivectin

Good afternoon, Thursday.

As most of you know, my focus on this blog has shifted to something more of the moment or at least the current moment I'm in. 

I believe strongly that ageism has become a front and center conversation because of some awesome trailblazers who refuse to be defined by their age. Ad folks all know Cindy Gallop and how much of a pioneer and reinventrix she is. And my friend Irma Zandl is a national treasure when it comes to still knowing what's cool, and teaching us how to be fiscally responsible so we too can go into 50+ land in any way we want. And then, of course, I stumbled upon the cover of In Style for September, where the very beautiful Amber Valletta is rocking that iconic Versace safety pin dress like the badass boss she is. I can't handle it. In a good way.

So it was with great pleasure I got to work on a launch with my friends at StriVectin, the skincare brand I regularly work with,  to address ageism head-on, with an absolute icon. Ladies and gentleman (for the one man reading this ;), I give you Lauren Hutton, who they boldly chose as the new global ambassador of their brand.

And here's the thing. What I love about Lauren besides her insanely iconic American effortlessness and her gorgeous gap-toothed grin is her moxie. She can rap like Ferlinghetti on a hot tin roof or speak with great candor about the ground she broke when she became the first model to secure a million-dollar contract with Revlon. And what's even more fabulous is- ya. She's got a real face. A beautiful real face but a real face nonetheless. It's got lines and roadmaps to a life well-lived.  I love that she looks how she has always looked, and even better. For me, I support style expressions of all kinds, but Lauren knows what suits her. She always has. And she hasn't turned to caftans or prints or wacky glasses. She shows up in a white tee-shirt and a navy blazer and some killer shoes with that amazing vibe and it's game over, kids. She's magical. Truly. I also love that her hair, a signature,  is medium length and beautifully sun-kissed in terms of its hue. She's not going gray and that's a-ok. Because that's the point- as a woman who's aging, you have choices. You can color your hair or let it all go. You can get the botox or skip it in favor of some great products. You can look at your accomplishments and realize you're not nearly done yet. Also, she's wrestled an alligator and came face to face with a snake that looked like Joan Didion. I mean...thank goodness for women like Lauren. 

And I think Lauren had the right idea all along. She worked to fund endless adventures to far-flung climes. She's unapologetically sexy and is not afraid of it. It was so cool to work on this project and I love how the compass is calibrating to a more thoughtful and authentic conversation around age. And inspirational to boot.

So Lauren, Lauren, Lauren. All day. Since it's Thursday, here's some throwbacks. But I particularly love how she looks now. She continues to show what it means to be a true, natural woman. More power to her and more power to us all for owning who we are. Oh and bonus points for loving hats. They are a girl's best friend. Know that.

And that's what's up this change is in the air kind of Thursday in the 212. Never be afraid to be exactly who you are. What could be more beautiful than that?  XO

Maven recommends: A basics line to live, love, and wear

Good morning, Tuesday. I have a big launch party to attend tonight- more on that tomorrow. Excited to share what I've been working on the past few months. It all culminates tonight.

Thanks for indulging my feels yesterday. I was overwhelmed and nd desperately needed an escape from this soupy city. Now that I got to phone a friend after work, get a good night's sleep and hit a spin class this morning, I feel better. Back to basics, some may say.

And speaking of basics, I need to share with you my favorite new clothing line of late. I just love, love, love it.  Their website boasts "uniforms for individuals", a sentiment I appreciate and I think a whole lot of others will too.

Alex Mill is the brainchild of two former J.Crew and Madewell mishpocha, and one of the founders is the son of Mickey Drexler so they know a thing or twelve about elevated basics.  These are the clothes the Gap should be making. For real. I love everything about everything here. There's fabulous utilitarian chic jumpsuits, peppy striped shirtdresses for late Summer jaunts, and of course- super basics like soft tee shirts and oversized boyfriend shirts. 

This Swiss dot tuxedo shirt is high on my list for Fall, as is that awesome white shirtdress- love how they've styled it over jeans.  One giant miss for this new standout is the lack of size inclusion. I feel like these clothes would look fabulous on women of all shapes and sizes so why not guys? I just read that over 67% of women in America wear over a size 14 in clothing. So why not bring all of this coolness to everyone? 

Also, the men's stuff is not quite there for me- not quite "cool" enough but am curious to know how the khakis fit and if the tee shirts are soft. David may have to go for a test run. They have a new store in Soho at 63 Greene Street between Spring and Broome. As for price, I don't see much for over 200 bucks, but it's pricier than the Gap, so hoping the quality reflects the cost.

I also love how they do a capsule called "Alex Mill Editions" which are limited run pieces in reclaimed materials. Smart. I love this custom dyed sweatshirt. They are having a dye class on Thursday at their space but are currently sold out. Looking forward to seeing what they have at the space next.

What do you think of this new line and is it just me that wants it all? These are clothes meant to be worn over and over. Are you watching, Gap? Make these types of things and bring people back to your brand. I've been saying fix the damn clothes for years and stop throwing money at advertising. I think Alex Mill is getting it right on most fronts- great design, sustainable materials, in-store experiences. Now they just need to extend their sizing. I absolutely think this brand is poised for success.

Cause that's what's up this American classic of a Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in simple silhouettes. XO