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My First Pair of Expensive Jeans

November 25, 2013


I got my first pair of expensive jeans when I was 15 years old. My mom and I had just finished eating lunch in Marin County when we decided to pop into a small boutique just down the street. At that point a lot of my friends were well into their life in the upscale jeans department, sporting perfectly flared denim by 7 For All Mankind, Paper, Denim & Cloth, and Earl Jeans, and subsequently filling me with all kinds of envy as I was still living life in the Abercrombie & Fitch lane; torturing my sinuses with the store’s overpowering scent of cheap cologne as I tried on jeans with zippers as short as my pinky finger. Though my mom loathed the Abercrombie & Fitch shopping experience as much as I did, she wasn’t quite yet on board with the thought of spending over $100 on jeans.

So into the boutique we went, where my mom selected cozy cashmere sweaters and blazers to try on while I picked out a few dresses and more importantly managed to sneak in a pair of light wash Seven Jeans without her noticing. Once in the dressing room, I didn’t even bother trying on the dresses; I wanted to know how the jeans all of my friends were wearing sat on my petite ballerina body since I was still struggling to fit into Abercrombie (R.I.P. to those days…). Seconds later and I was fastening the gold button and zipping up the middle-finger length zipper, ecstatic that the jeans fit so snuggly around my hips and thighs. Nothing, not even the Gap Kids jeans my mom forced me to buy because Abercrombie was still too big, fit me the way these Seven Jeans did. And so, with one hopeful breath, I stepped out of the dressing room to show my mom just how good these pricier jeans looked. “That’s not a dress,” she said to me, a faint smile curling up at the sides of her mouth. “Aren’t those jeans the best?” a sales lady chimed in. “I wear mine alllll the time.” I looked at my mom, my eyes widening to puppy dog status, and said, “Look how well they fit!” Hint hint. Nudge nudge. Wink wink. 

Whether it was the fit of the jeans or that my mom was feeling particularly generous that day, I’ll never know, but somehow she agreed to buy me the jeans at the whopping price of $105. I wore them out of the store and for two solid years after that until they tore at the butt and landed in the throw away pile. But ten plus years later and I still smile when I think about those jeans. They started a revolution in my closet, proving that a lot can be said for a good pair of jeans, and that sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little bit more. They also meant that never again did I have to step foot in an Abercrombie + Fitch store, which may actually have been the greatest gift of all.

Now it’s your turn, do you remember your first pair of nice jeans?

Are You a Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, or Samantha?

July 16, 2013
tags: , bradshaw, carrie, charlotte, hobbes, , jones, manolos, miranda, pizza, , samantha, satc, , , which one are you, , york
by Sonia


Last week I sat down to sushi with a girl friend and as it usually goes when chatting with a friend who is a girl, we started talking about Sex and the City. How the conversation came up I don’t recall — I’m sure something reminded us of an episode — but soon we were reminiscing about which character we used to compare each other to. I always considered her a Charlotte, she considered me a Carrie, and we had another friend who we dubbed the Samantha of the group, but no one ever wanted to be Miranda. In fact, the only time any one ever “was” a Miranda was when a friend would willingly take one for the team; as in, “It’s OK guys, I’ll be Miranda.” Because god forbid you’re the most career-driven, successful, and level-headed girl of the bunch. That would just be insulting. More insulting than being a slutty Samantha, or a prude Park Avenue princess like Charlotte, or an indebted, over-dramatic cheater like Carrie. Right? False.

However, as much as I personally didn’t want to be a Miranda in the past, I like to think this is because I didn’t know any better. That I was blinded by Miranda’s awkward manish style, Charlotte’s Pottery Barn apartment, Samantha’s active sex life, and well, Carrie’s entire closet. After all, I began watching Sex and the City at a time when I was aware of blow jobs, Manolos, and Cosmopolitans but didn’t actually have any of them in my life since I was only 13. But once I finished reminiscing about how silly it was for me to be called a Carrie since I almost never wore heels and would never cheat on a guy like Aiden, both my friend (aka Charlotte) and I confidently confessed that not only do we feel more like Miranda’s but that Miranda is really the best lady of the bunch. She has a successful job, a sense of humor, enjoys things like chocolate and pizza, owns a gorgeous apartment, and maintains a pretty decent sex life. Of course every woman has their Carrie, Samantha, and Charlotte moments, but when push comes to shove, I like to think I live my life in the Miranda lane. OK fine, I live my life in the Miranda lane with a side of Carrie because I’d much rather wear a Prada dress and Jimmy Choo’s than a frumpy, ill-fitting suit.

Feel free to agree or disagree or tell me who you identify with most. Go on, don’t be shy!

The Beauty of the Suit Part II: Wearing It

April 3, 2013
tags: chloe, , , , four ways, , how to make the most out of your suit, how to wear a suit, , paraty, , , picture, plaid suit, red chucks, red plaid, , , ,
by Sonia


Last week I stressed the importance of owning a suit, showcasing four wearable outfit variations for a range of gal pals. Today, as promised, I present you with photos me (duh) wearing four different looks inspired by those shown last week. Each outfit includes the same suit, a ton of Zara, and hopefully an embodiment of the type of women I described.

I expected this post to be somewhat of a challenge, but the truth of the matter is that I have worn some kind of variation on each of these looks before. And what’s more is that a plaid suit isn’t nearly as versatile as a light blue suit, which let’s be honest, isn’t exactly “traditional,” and yet I was able to put each of these looks together with as much ease as jeans and a white t-shirt. Now, I understand that a plaid suit may not be “work appropriate” for many of you, but hopefully this post will still give you inspiration to wear your 9-5 suits outside of the cubicle.

The Work-Focused Lady


Zara suit | Zara shirt | Chloe bag | Manolo Blahnik heels | H&M necklace | La Mer watch

Last week I said that this work-focused girl “could easily be going to the office or attending happy hour with friends; my guess is she’s the white wine type.” A couple of factoids here: I do like white wine (had some Monday night). I have worn this to both work and happy hour. And I have been known to make that face in both business and boozy scenarios. The key to making this “work appro” is the pointy-toe pumps. Nothing says you’re more focused and business savvy than a pointy closed-toe shoe. Kind of like nothing says party quite like a cheese plate.

The Cool Downtown/Brooklyn Girl


Zara suit | vintage shirt | Converse shoes | Zara bag | Knockaround sunglasses | BaubleBar bracelet

I said that this girl was the type who “works at a creative ad agency, has a lot of guy friends, and has one of those sexy raspy voices because she likes to smoke Parliament Lights in between glasses of Jameson on the rocks.” While I was not drunk or smoking during this post, I can attest that this is the type of outfit I would wear if I was going to hang out, drink a few beers and maybe shovel in a hotdog or two. The mens t-shirt and Converse add that extra level of comfort, while the blazer and pants keep things a bit more polished.


Zara jacket | Topshop dress | Zara boots | Zara shirt | Chloe bag | Knockaround sunglasses

I described this girl as the California transplant who’s “never one to let go of her easy breezy Pacific lifestyle.” Thanks to the excess of wind yesterday, the breezy was really emphasized here (this was about the only shot where my hair wasn’t either in my face or my dress up around my shoulders). But just as I would were I back in my hometown of San Francisco, I warded off the wind chills with tights and an extra layer in the form of a red flannel. (Note: this flannel could also be worn in the above outfit making you that much more of the Hipster Brooklyn girl).


Zara suit | vintage shirt | Zara shirt | Converse shoes | Zara bag | BaubleBar bracelet | La Mer watch | Knockaround sunglasses

And then we have our mix-master, who will essentially wear anything, even if it means multiple forms of plaid in the same outfit. What I found surprising was that the plaid shirt tied around my waist actually made the look feel more put-together than if I wore it as another layer underneath my blazer. Feel free to agree or disagree.

//photos by Emily Malan

Productive Procrastination

March 27, 2013
tags: Book, books, coach, , , gypset, gypsy, , , jade jagger, Morocco, palazzo pants, , , picture, print, print jacket, , , silk, , , thrifted, , , watercolor, wide leg,
by Sonia


I have a habit of slipping into books. Be it a trash novel, a collection of essays, or a book filled with pretty pictures, I tend to procrastinate on things by telling myself I’m being productive with a book in my hand. Sometimes this “productive procrastination” does nothing for me; see the two weeks I spent reading all four Twilight books. Other times however, this welcomed idle time inspires me, and we all know that inspiration can only lead to productivity.

I’ve been in a bit of a rut with my wardrobe lately. I hate being repetitive, but the comfort of the same pair of jeans, boots, and sweater were starting to become all too appealing. On one of those more frustrating mornings where I stand in a towel with wet hair staring at my closet ready to burst into tears because I have “nothing to wear,” I flopped onto my bed and picked up a book stashed in a pile on my bedside table. The book was Gypset Style, a gift I received a few years ago but hadn’t flipped through since the first time I opened it. An hour later, not only was my hair dry, but I felt like I was as cool as Jade Jagger in all her kaftan and embroidered jacket glory. Reality check: I am nowhere near as cool as her, I was still in my towel, and my closet is a joke in comparison, but the idea lightbulb was there.

With a little help from my relatively new moroccan-inspired jacket, a new light was shed on my closet and I slipped into a pair of old palazzo pants as if they were the latest addition to my wardrobe. It’s not that I hadn’t thought of wearing them, it’s just that I couldn’t get previous palazzo pant outfits out of my head. Just like a chef looks through different cookbooks for new ways to prepare chicken, I look to picture-filled books for new ways to style my palazzos (among other things).


This is me having fun in my pants that are too long.



I can be serious too.



Chin dimples are also a great source of inspiration, just ask Rubens.


And I’m done.

Zara jacket | Vintage camisole | Elizabeth & James pants (these are also awesome) | Coach bag (she’s pretty too) | Proenza Schouler heelz | Ray-Ban sunglasses

// photos by Emily Malan 

I ♥ Duane Reade

March 12, 2013


The drug store is one of my favorite places on earth. Whether I’m going in to refill a prescription or buying a new batch of toilet paper, I inevitably walk out with a plastic bag full of extra unnecessary goodies. And it’s never a “quick trip”.  I can spend hours in Duane Reade, meandering through every aisle from lotions to bandaids, excited at the prospect of filling my medicine, beauty, and cleaning cabinets with more more more! 

There’s something thrilling about testing new products, especially when they’re sold at moderate prices. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased the same toothbrush twice in a row (I like to change up the bristles and colors!), and discovering new cleaning products gets me as excited as the house wife I have yet to become.

Since I discuss a lot of my pricier beauty products on here, I thought I’d share with you some of my latest discoveries and staples that can be purchased at your closest Walgreens, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, CVS, and if you’re lucky, grocery store.


From left to right: Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch, Cherry Me, & Grape Vine; Revlon lipstick in Sultry Sable, Wink For Pink, & Kiss Me Coral

I buy a significant amount of my lipstick from Duane Reade. My favorite brand is Revlon as I find it lasts the longest, has the largest variety of colors, and offers a number of different finishes from matte to shiny. I’ve also recently become obsessed with Maybelline “Baby Lips”. I have them in every color and find that they’re perfect for when I want something a bit more subtle. They also smell and taste good…


From left to right: L’Oreal Power Volume Mascara, Revlon Color Stay Eyeliner, Covergirl eyeshadow, Revlon eyeshadow

Even though DiorShow Mascara is my #1 go-to, I like to switch up brands every once in awhile. L’Oreal’s Power Volume Collagen mascara coats the lashes evenly while still giving a touch of clump for that extra full look. I’m still mastering the art of the cat eye, but have found the angular brush and dense color in Revlon’s Color Stay eyeliner to yield the best results. Now it’s all about steadying my hands. And while I’m not big on eyeshadow, I love the color variety in these CoverGirl and Revlon palettes. 


From left to right: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, Garnier Moisturizing Gel, Aquaphor

The lotion aisle may be my biggest time waster, which is kind of silly since I really don’t moisturize my body enough. I’ve tried a number of different brands but Cetaphil remains the winner for least greasy application. I go through face lotion by the month and sometimes it’s just not worth spending a fortune on. So I alternate each month using either Dr. Jart’s Water Sure Gel from Sephora or Garnier’s Moisturizing Gel (they’re both ridiculously refreshing). I cannot praise Aquaphor enough. From nurturing my chapped lips to hydrating dry skin on the go, these tubes can be found in every single one of my handbags.


Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks

Since I wear mascara and eyeliner on a daily basis, finding a good eye makeup remover is crucial for the cleanliness of my white pillow cases. I use Dove Cold Cream for the initial removal and then follow up with Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. I like to keep Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks with me for days when my liner or mascara get a little too smudgy.


Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorizer, Simple Soothing Facial Toner, Burt’s Bees Sugar Scrub

I used to use Dove’s deodorant religiously. But then my friend introduced me to a natural deodorizer that works as well as an antiperspirant and smells divine. Arm & Hammer’s Natural Deodorizer feels like butter when I put it on and lasts me throughout the day unlike many of the other natural deodorants I’ve tried. After washing my face at night, I like to use a light toner to wipe off any extra dirt or makeup. Simple’s Soothing Facial Toner is alcohol free and leaves my skin looking as refreshed as it could look at the end of the day. And lastly, I’m all for weekly exfoliation. Since I go through these pretty quickly, I try not to spend too much money on them. Burt’s Bees Honey & Shea Sugar Scrub is moderately priced, smells like candy, and does a heavy duty job on scrubbing away any excess skin.

Do you have any drug store favorites? If you do tell me so I can go waste some more time in my favorite store.