Cutting your hair is a funny thing. The logical side would tell you it’s “just hair,” that it will ultimately grow back. But there’s an undeniable emotional attachment to hair that serves as a security blanket for many women, myself included. A few years back, I told my hair colorist I was thinking of ditching the blonde I’d had my entire life in exchange for a dark brown. His immediate response was, “Did you and your boyfriend break up?” I couldn’t help but laugh because I knew exactly what he meant. A breakup wasn’t what triggered my interest in a change at the time, and I never actually went through with dying it brown, but I have watched numerous girlfriends change their hair to signify a fresh start in their lives. I’m not big on change in general, but after years with virtually the same cut and color, I’m finally ready for something new. And because finding a flattering cut can be challenging, I’m leaning toward one style that seems to work on everybody lately, and that’s the “lob” (aka, the long bob). When I’m finally ready to make the change, I’ll be using inspiration from these stylish cuts.
Dress: Backstage – Sunset People Dress, Heels: Similar here, Clutch: Similar here, Necklace: Gorjana, Bracelets: Madewell & Gorjana, Lip balm: bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Color in “Rose Passion” Nail polish: Essie in “Limo-Scene”
Wedding season is in full swing, and with it comes the need for a new dress every few weekends. Because it’s been a while since I’ve bought a new cocktail dress, I’m using this as an excuse to invest in some new styles that would work for other occasions as well. I spotted this dress a few weeks back and completely fell for the fun print. I knew I liked the pattern, but when it arrived in the mail I was even more impressed by the quality. It’s form fitting, but the material is stretchy, so you won’t have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction on the dance floor. And even though I’ll be wearing this to a wedding, I would just as easily wear it to a fancy dinner or even a club (you know, if I were still going to clubs).
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I love to travel, but there’s one thing I absolutely dread about it, and that’s the packing. Between my long-distance relationship, wedding season, and general family obligations, it feels like I’m constantly packing my suitcase and heading out of town these days. And with Memorial Day and summer on the horizon, it’s only about to pick up. Needless to say, I’ve learned a thing or two about the do’s and don’ts of packing over the last few months, so I thought I’d share my tips for those of you who have some traveling ahead:
1) Plan your outfits in advance – My favorite resource for outfit planning is Pinterest. A few weeks before my trip, I’ll often create a secret board where I pin everything from outfit inspiration, to photos of the locations I plan on visiting. This helps me envision what I might want to wear while I’m there, and leaves me time to plan ahead and shop for any items I may want to bring along. Even if you don’t have a strict itinerary in mind, thinking about what you might do during the trip will help you pack accordingly. For example, what types of restaurants will you be dining at? Are there any events that you’re attending? If so, do they have a specific dress code? What activities will you be doing while you’re there? Will they require you to pack extra supplies? Anticipating each scenario will help prepare you for any unexpected situations that may occur.
2) Take photos – Taking photos in or of the outfits that you plan to bring is extremely helpful. I usually snap a few photos on my phone as I’m planning/packing, so that I can refer back to them once I’ve arrived to my destination. That way you don’t have to worry about outfit planning while you’re on the trip.
3) Pack the essentials – No matter where I’m headed, there are a few pieces that I rarely leave town without: a classic denim or leather jacket, a basic tee that can be dressed up or down, comfortable walking shoes, and something easy and loose fitting (but still stylish) for the car or plane ride. I also recommend wearing a crossbody bag to keep your hands free while you’re exploring.
4) Pick a palette – I generally opt for neutral colors, like tan, white, black, and grey since they coordinate with everything. Wrinkles also tend to be less visible with neutral colors, so it’s a win-win.
5) Think versatile – Versatile pieces are just as important as versatile colors when it comes to maximizing your wardrobe. I find that shoes and accessories play the biggest role in transforming an outfit, so I’ll often bring something like a simple black dress or black skinny jeans that I can dress up or down with a quick swap of heels or sneakers. Because shoes can take up quite a bit of space, I rarely bring more than 3 pairs – 2 casual (sneakers and sandals) and 1 dressy (boots or heels). To maximize suitcase space, try to wear your bulkiest pair while traveling. I also like to bring a few pieces of fancier jewelry that help transition my daytime looks into nighttime looks. (*Packing tip for jewelry: To keep your necklaces from tangling, unclasp the chain, thread it through a drinking straw, then re-clasp the chain – a complete lifesaver!)
6) Create an itemized checklist – No matter how prepared you might feel, having a checklist will reduce your chances of forgetting something. Your list will inevitably vary from trip to trip, but it’s great for those items that will come with you no matter where you’re headed. My list includes everything from my wallet and passport, to hair ties and bobby pins.
7) Check the weather – This almost goes without saying, but I always check the weather a few days leading up to the trip. You might discover some unexpected weather conditions, so it’s helpful for any last minute adjustments you may need to make with your packing.
By adopting this routine I’ve reduced my packing anxiety, have far fewer of those, “I can’t believe I forgot my ___ moments, and feel a much bigger sense of accomplishment when the job is done, knowing I’m as prepared as can be.
There was definitely a time where denim on denim, aka the “Canadian Tuxedo,” was seriously frowned upon (Justin and Britney circa 2001, anyone?) Fortunately it’s come a long way since then, returning in a more fashionable form. The trick to pulling it off is to mix different shades and fabrics. To avoid looking too matchy matchy, I paired this denim pencil skirt with a lighter blouse that resembles chambray, but is actually soft rayon. Not only is there an obvious distinction in color, but the weight of the materials differ as well, helping to break the outfit up. The denim on denim trend makes a statement in itself, so I kept my accessories to a minimum, making sure they were complementary, while adding some contrasting color.
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Flared jeans are having a major moment right now and I’m happily on board. My loyalties still lean in the direction of skinny jeans, but it’s fun to switch things up once in a while, and now that the 70s are making a fashion comeback, it’s the perfect opportunity. I’m a little taller than average (5’6″), but I can’t tell you how often people comment about my height when I wear these jeans. The flare silhouette creates an illusion of length, and ironically enough, they make my legs look thinner than any of my skinny jeans do, especially when paired with wedges. I wore these with a classic v-neck tee the other day, but I love the idea of taking the boho look a step further and combining them with a flowy blouse instead.
Leather Jacket: Trouve (similar here & here), Tee: Madewell, Pants: H&M, Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden Purse: Old Navy (similar here & here), Bracelets: Madewell, Necklace: Gorjana, Lip balm: bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Color in “Rose Passion”
I’ve always found the term “business casual” to be intimidating. It can be a pretty ambiguous dress code depending on the occasion, and therefore tricky to navigate. I recently attended some events that suggested business casual attire, and not wanting to risk being too overdressed or underdressed, I settled on something in the middle. Both events were related to the fashion industry, so adding a little more personality to my outfit felt appropriate. Instead of a traditional blazer, I opted for a leather jacket, which I draped over a slouchy tee, giving it a relaxed and modern feel as compared to a crisp button down with a blazer. Although the pants are relatively dressy by nature, they take on a much more casual feel when paired with the jacket and tee (I’ve also paired them with flip flops and a denim jacket to achieve the same effect). To complete the look, I mixed in one of this year’s biggest trends, and added a pair of leather mules rather than the more classic pumps.
If you follow my blog, then my enthusiasm for food shouldn’t come as a surprise. In fact, discovering new restaurants has become a serious pastime of mine since moving to LA five years ago. I love receiving restaurant recommendations from others, so I thought I’d share a few of my personal favorites as a resource for any local readers or visitors who might be planning a trip to the city. There are an overwhelming amount of great options, so I’ve narrowed this post down by meal category and location. Here are five of my favorite dinner spots on the westside:
The Tasting Kitchen: If I had to pick my all-time favorite restaurant in LA, it would probably be The Tasting Kitchen. You can expect a seasonal farm-to-table menu made with the finest ingredients. You can’t go wrong with any of their entrees, but their handmade pasta dishes are my personal favorite (particularly their “Spaghetti Pomodoro”), and their gnocco fritto with burrata appetizer is not to be missed. They’ve also got a great cocktail menu and wine list to enjoy while you wait for your meal. And if celebrity sightings are your thing, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve seen everyone from Lauren Conrad to Drew Barrymore.
Sugar Fish: I’ve written about Sugar Fish before, but it’s worth mentioning again. The concept is simple: highest-quality fish. Unlike most sushi chains, you won’t find fancy rolls and condiments, but you won’t miss them because the fish stands alone. Trust me when I say that it’s truly some of the best sushi you’ll ever eat. Or better yet, just order their appropriately named “Trust Me” off of the menu to see for yourself.
Blue Plate Oysterette: It may be located in Santa Monica, but Blue Plate Oysterette is filled with East Coast charm. It’s small, but cozy, and their menu is just as impressive as their beachfront location. I usually begin with their grilled oysters or decadent lobster mac and cheese, followed by an entree of linguini with clams (seen here). Still, no matter how full I am, I always leave room for their key lime pie. For the ultimate dining experience, time your reservation with the sunset and make sure to request an outside table. They even provide blankets if it gets too cool.
ROC Kitchen: My first experience with soup dumplings began with a college study abroad program in Hong Kong, so needless to say, the bar was set high from the get-go. ROC Kitchen is one of the few restaurants that captures the authenticity of the cuisine I experienced overseas. Their soup dumplings alone will keep you coming back (the pork being my favorite), but their fried rice is a close second. Din Tai Fung is another great option if you find yourself on the eastside, but I prefer the convenience, ambiance and wait time of ROC.
Tsujita: If you prefer ramen over dumplings, then head next door to ROC’s neighbor, Tsujita, for some of the best ramen that LA has to offer. Because the soup can be so rich in flavor, I prefer the tsukemen style (where the noodles are served in a separate bowl from the soup), because it allows you to control the ratio of each bite.
If you live in LA or have any dinner recommendations that I didn’t include, please feel free to share in the comments below!
P.S. – You can check out my favorite spots to grab a drink in this post.
Tee: Madewell (similar here and here), Skirt: Madewell, Shoes: Madewell, Purse: J.Crew (25% off with code: LOTSTOSHOP), Necklace: Madewell, Bracelets: Madewell (on sale), Earrings: Madewell, Sunglasses: TOMS, Lip balm: bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Color in “Rose Passion”
I’m always shocked when I come across someone who isn’t familiar with the Madewell brand. Because they’ve become such a staple in my wardrobe, it’s difficult to imagine a time when I dressed without them. Ever since they emerged under J.Crew’s umbrella a few years ago, I’ve been hooked. They make some of the most practical basics out there, while seamlessly fusing trends with classics. And apart from just nailing the aesthetic, they always deliver reliable quality (hence the fitting name), so their pieces can be worn for years to come. As a result, unintentionally finding myself in head-to-toe Madewell is not an infrequent occurrence these days, which is exactly what happened here.
Sweater: Madewell, Jeans: Rag & Bone (currently 25% off with code: SPRING25), Heels: Kenneth Cole, Jacket: Zara (similar here), Purse: J.Crew (currently 25% off with code: LOTSTOSHOP), Bracelets: Madewell (on sale), Earrings: Madewell, Lip balm: bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Color in “Rose Passion”
I’ve come to appreciate basic tees more than ever lately. They’re so easy, versatile, and just plain comfortable. However, as much as I love them, they can feel a bit casual depending on the occasion, so I was thrilled when I stumbled across this short-sleeved sweater from Madewell that offers the same ease as a tee, but with a more polished feel. I put it on for dinner while visiting my boyfriend in San Francisco this past weekend, and added some heels to dress it up for drinks afterwards. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing it frequently, so it only made sense to order a second one in black.
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This may sound counterintuitive, given that it’s officially spring, but I’m still in a neutrals mood. After a winter filled with muted clothing, I usually jump at the chance to add color back into my routine, but that hasn’t been the case these last few weeks. Fortunately, many of my favorite neutral tones look just as great in the form of pastels, so I’m easing into the season with softer colors like peach, white and blush. I’m heading out to the desert for Coachella in a couple of weeks where embracing color is almost inevitable, but until then I’ll likely be found in some form of this combination.