Fashion Denial Spiral: Fight The Polar Vortex.

{ What up Polar Vortex. My name is Barbara Ellen. }

THE

fall

POLAR

rochester, ny

VORTEX

{ All of these things are taboo here in snow-central, Lake Ontario, upstate Rochester, NY. And yet all are incredibly palpable + anything anyone can ever talk about. … Lucky for me, I ♥ winter! (I do.) However. I do not ♥ when my fall fashion is disrupted by seasons that try + steal the spot-light before another season has ended. }

Whether you’re a season stubborn fashionista like me OR a weather despising winter wonder-nope (unlike me) … I have some tips + tricks for you. 

be a snow bunny 

with a fall coat

{literally}

  • Winter blues got you down … and it’s technically not even winter yet?
  • Hanging onto fall like the gold + orange + red leaves on the trees??

No need to let Polar Vortex dictate your fall fashion sense. { No need to let anyone or anything dictate your fashion sense. } Below is an info-fashion-graphic to show what I did to lay claim on the fall that is still here + that I still love!

IMG_9516

Yeah. We’re calling this an: infographic.

This is how you thwart winter + delay dragging out all of your winter clothes until you say when. (Read – locks on your car door freeze.)

Fashion Denial Spiral

Tips + Tricks

  1. Snow Coat – Trade it in for a super thick heavy sweater or a supped up fall jacket you already have out + about. { Canadian accent. }
  2. Winter Scarf – I love them. But it’s just not their time. Get extra miles from the pashy that { let’s be honest } you probably already wear every single season of the year, including summer.
  3. Snow Boots – No.  No need until there’s accumulation on the ground or unless you’re still addicted to Uggs. { Come on. } Warm-up the fall riding + combat boots with a super cute + super thick sock. Promise you feel cozy + cute + not controlled by winter weather.

where can you shop for all of these??

Great question! Here are my top picks.

  1. Super Thick Heavy Sweater – Vintage + Thrift! I purchased this one while thrifting with Morgan DeLapa, owner of Treasure Trove Vintage. In fact, TTV has one in brown { I do believe }. I’ve also seen a ton of great items at Far Out Vintage on Monroe Ave. My top 3 are:
  2. Winter Pashy – Boutiques! Fahsye in the North Winton hood on Blossom + Winton along with Peppermint in the Park Ave hood on Park + Meigs are both known for their incredible selection of beautiful, classic, and unique scarves. Before you go anywhere else, I highly recommend both of these spots.
  3. Riding + Combat Boots – This place has a shoe room, so. Peppermint has to be the spot. With selections raging from knee-high riding boots to calf-level combat boots to fashionable + durable ankle booties … the question isn’t – Will I find something? – it’s – How do I choose just one?? Thing is, with prices generally always below $40 … you can buy more than 1! Love how that works.

insider tip

Each of the above stores + boutiques have prices comparable to–often lower than–your favorite store that … inconveniently doesn’t rhyme with any words { Co-Targe-ugh }.

#polarvortex

#shoplocal

#roc

XO.

Pre-Halloween.

{ I vant to suck your blood. – Finger Lakes Wine: Dr. Konstantin Frank Salmon Run Petit Noir. }

HAPPY

tips + tricks + treats

PRE-HALLOWEEN

{ Halloween is a magical holiday for so many reasons. Including the making of Hocus Pocus, which receives many a-mention on this blog. This year, the bewitching hour befalls a Friday. All will wake from the dead … and become the dead the next day, rest assured. Best part?? Halloween in Rochester – we still celebrate early! So grab your costumes + get yo’ freak on because this weekend proves to be wild. }

ghastly pre-Halloween gasts

WICKED WEEKEND CHOICES

  1. SPECTRAL CARNIVAL: Friday + Saturday. St. Joseph Park {“a piece of local history“}.
  • Family by day.
  • Freaky by night.
  • Incredible artists … follow The Yards on Instagram to get a taste + discover more.

#SpectralCarnival2

2. AL SIGL CENTER WALK ABOUT: Saturday. Eastview Mall.

3. FINGER LAKES RESTAURANT WEEK: Ends Sunday. 11 Finger Lakes Restaurants.

  • Lunch + Dinner Pre-Fixe Specials.
  • Local Food – celebrate the harvest!
  • Frighteningly delicious – a great way to try new cuisine at affordable prices … and an incredible excuse to see that Finger Lakes Fall Foliage + landscape!

4. DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS: Ends November 1. 1975 Gallery.

  • Coincide this exhibit ends on All Saints’ Day?? {I think not.}
  • Devilishly decadent does not begin to describe.
  • 666 or 60+? Like an incantation, the website says it best.

#devilsinthedetails

5. LUX LOUNGEOn Going. South Wedge – 666 South Ave.

  • Located at 666 South Ave. So. “Let your freak flag fly.”
  • Chillest outdoor scene in Roc – picnic tables + hammock, penis stool + ring toss, fire pit + once I roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on it … creepy lady in the window. {Just go.}
  • Incredible art. Last time I was there – Shawnee Hill was up. Just insane.

let’s all raise hell this weekend

Are you not as excited as I that this year, Halloween is a week-long celebration. It’s phantasmic.

#happyhalloween

#eatlocal

#candycorns

#drinklocal {not blood}

#artlocal

XO.

The Subtraction Project: Back 2 School Lesson 1 … Is Life Adding Up For You??

{Photo taken from the Facebook of The Subtraction Project brain-lady: Cass McCrory.}

THE SUBTRACTION PROJECT

BY: CASS. JUST CURIOUS.

WEBSITE | SIGN UP | FACEBOOK

WHO: Cass McCrory – business woman, strategist, mentor, mom, wife, blogger, writer, web site developer, + #ladyboss.

WHAT: A simple way to help your life add up, everyday.

WHERE: At your digs! With updates online + on Facebook.

WHEN: …When works for you? Newest Subtraction starts this September! (Sign-up now.)

WHY: Mindfulness. For me, this is about setting 15 minutes everyday so that I can practice mindfulness inside and out: in the 2 spaces I frequent most. My mind. And my home.

{ I lifted this from Cass’ Facebook. }

Have you ever been tempted to cut the puzzle piece to fit? What thing to do you need to cut out of the puzzle that is your life right now?
What’s missing? All of the comments of people who, like me, want to minimize. … Why should you join? You tell me!
(How it all adds-up, for me.)
  • Time + space to … subtract the extra in my brain!

Listen, I got a lot going-on up there. {Points to brain.} Clients. Blogging. Strategizing. Planning. Executing. … I recently started jogging again. I’ve done yoga since 2012. I’d like to get back to kickboxing. … I work hard to keep my body in shape. Why not keep the mind in shape, too?

  • No trips to the big box store required

This is the best part! Subtraction Project is free … + it requires no extra supplies. In fact {let me rephrase that}: the best part is … I finally get to get rid of stuff! Stuff. I’m sick of it. And yet, when do I sit down, go through the bags and totes I’ve used  the past 6 months {2 years}, and subtract?? I don’t. The Subtraction Project will help.

  • What time commitment??

As Cass says, “Prompts will be short and sweet taking between 5-15 minutes to complete.” Can you handle that? Because 100%, I can. And, yes, of course you can too. It’s like–putting #Instagram down for 1 hot minute and, instead of scrolling through every last photo that’s in your queue, subtracting some of the extra.

Speaking of…
(Where you can see it add up for me.)
  • Daily.

Find a post on Instagram! Or Facebook. Or Twitter. See how, on 1 of my social media platforms, + you Subtraction Project works for me.

  • Monthly.

Find a longer post + reflection right here! See what I love. See what works. See what doesn’t. See how it helps. See why I laugh + how I’ve channeled the lightness that so many seek.

  • Nightly.

Okay, you won’t see this. But I will. Nightly, I’m excited to see how each + every prompt and exercise helps me. Life’s about meaning, about feeling whole.

* * *
What’s The Subtraction Project mean to you??
#subtractionprojct
XO.

Fashionista’s Guide to Rochester: Victoire.

Belgian Beer Garden Anyone??
This is the first of the newest series wherein I review a local Roc hotspot
and make fashion recs for what to wear, to boot. 
**RocStyRtainment??**
 
V is for Victoire, the newest addition to Rochester’s burgeoning bar-meets-trendster scene. This Belgian addition to East Avenue nears downtown, in the seat of the Rochester Club Building, and sits directly across from the late-20’s/30-something crowd that populates Temple Bar & Salinger’s. If you’re barely famil. and all you can conjure mirrors plastic mugs, twenty-tweens, & festival gates, erase all images of the East End Fest from your mind.
 
Friday Full Moon.
Sept 28. Second Night Outside of Victoire Beer Garden.
Victoire, French for “Victory” and pronounced as such, is anything but East End & everything East Ave. With a wide array of commercial(Ommegang) and lesser-known (Duchesse De Bourgogne)Belgian drafts and bottles, including sweeter Lambic & Cider selections, along with a killing kitchen that serves a tasteful fusion of old v. new–like the must-order gourmet counter to its streetcar offering, Poutine, so common to our South Wedge
this bar is as much victory as it is versatility.

 

 

Lately, I probably haven’t been to the same bar in 3 months, let alone (ever) the same bar 3 times in 1 week. Victoire did it. Not only did I have a great time and even better drinks on all 3 occasions, but additionally, I enjoyed myself in 3 completely different settings each time I went.
Victoire Victories:
*Networking Event mid-week in the evening.
*Going Away Party/Belated Birthday during dinner crowd on Friday.
*Late-night nightcaps on Saturday.
Black Bird Cider.
Locally Made. Organically Grown.
Fav Cider at Victoire … So Far.

All completely different and all, equally as enjoyable. Why? How?Victoire’s juxtaposing versatility. Victoire is as much Belgian Beer Garden, as it is hip bar, as it is trendy restaurant. Drinks in the early evening on the garden patio beside sleek hearth where you watch from below, passer-bys who walk the streets above. Casually eating a chic palette served home-style modern on dark wooden tables of the open dining rooms, even while your friends enjoy just their beers. Or perched upon bar, seated tastefully and comfortably in front of clearly displayed Belgian drafts with names written vertically in chalk, to scan the crowd through its ebbs and flows. There is no bad seat, or bad beer, in the Garden that is Victoire. Like contrasts in flavors that add depth to both brew and menu, Victoire’s diversity manifests in the diverse crowds that it draws.

 

Saturday Late Night Victoire.
Bar is Bumpin’. Dining Areas Surround Bar. Beer Garden…Outside.
Hipster. Broster. Trendster. Oldster. Youngster. Midster. You-ster name it.Because of its various settings in its unique East Ave-Meets-Gibbs Street-Meets Downtown locale, Victoire draws in all crowds. The flat-screen TVs, smaller near the bar and larger beside the pool table, and its dinnertime offerings (kitchen closes at 11pm) circulate an interesting crowd that, like gourmet cheese melting onto hot fries, mixes nicely. In a Belgian Beer Garden with so many selections—menu, settings, crowd–it’s hard to stay away.
* * *

…And to know what to wear.
 
While, truly, you can’t go (horribly) wrong, I’d like to think that in 3 outings, I finally struck Victoire with my 3rd fitting. 
Victoire Outfits:
*Too Cas:
Cropped, Cuffed T with Zipper;
Sweatshirt Blazer; Dark, Skinny Jean; Saddle Shoe Flat.
*Too Hip:
Gray-V T; Leopard Print Pashy;
Leather Jacket; Gray Stretch Skinny; Black Bootie.
*Victoire:
Flowy Shell; Tunic-V Cardi;
Brown Pashy; Leather Jacket; Black Jegging; Brown Riding Boot.


This, my friends, is a Jegging.
(Pay no attention to my dirtied mirror/bedroom.)
(Pay plenty attention to the Subculture Mag on my floor… .)
 
I can’t so much say why the 3rd outfit worked, as it includes some of my oldest pieces (and therefore those most prone to cliche), as I can explain why the first 2 didn’t. The first, despite being for a mid-week event, bordered on the way-too-cas. Namely because Victoire, while comfortable, always boasts sophistication.Switch out the sweatshirt blazer with a real blazer and/or add heels. Cas becomes Victoire chic in an instant.
The second, way too hip. Monotone gray combined with a striking ankle bootie resembled something ofKristen Stewart angst. When you try to look glam, full make-up & done hair, with a slinky, I just don’t care V-neck T, it probably means you do care, just a bit too much. This outfit is great, don’t get me wrong. But more for an upper-scale venue, such as Victoire, during a more-cas event, such as mid-week networking. …
Makings of the Victoire Outfit.
Indigo Tunic Cardi. Shell. Black Jegging. Brown Riding Boot.
 
The third, felt oh-so right. (Where have we heard this before…?) Similar to Victoire’s juxtaposing crowd and settings, this outfit shares just as enigmatic a quality. The dark brown riding boots, tre-beat-up & without a heel, at first seem too casual and even robust for Victoire, let alone late-night on a Saturday. But not so. Somehow the sleek black jegging (go with it) blended just well-enough with the coffee brown boot and brass buckles to emphasize its industrial, and therefore modern European qualities, while the illusion of a monotone, elongated and made sexy, a subtle leg. The tunic-comfort and luxe color of an indigo V-neck cardigan allows for that I don’t care how I look attitude to sneak through, along with the comfort that comes with, but is balanced by emphasizing hips, waist, and bust. The shell? Just an undergarment. Wear whatever matches & feels good. …Leather jacket & pashy combo:  always a must. (Especially for Fall… .)
 
* * *
 
Different Outfit. Same Idea.
Love Philosophy The Color of Grace
The Art of Blushing Palette.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bonus: Make-Up Hint

When wearing lighter colors (close to the skin) in the winter, create a warm glow on your face. If porcelain-skinned like me, choose silver flecks in a rose blush. Rose warms. Silver looks natural. If olive skinned, go bronze.

Look
Good
&
grab  a
Belgian
Beer.
xo.

Looks. Fall Fashion Favorites 2012.

Fall Fashion Favorites 2012.
(Inspired by this post from Fashion Style Advice.)
 
Alright fashionistas. It’s all about texture. Leather. Wool. Silk. Chains. And it’s all about shape. Boxy. Skinny. Structured. Sleek. So heat up some cider. Snuggle into that blanky. Pretend like it’s raining (unless it is). Visualize a few multi-colored pumpkins: coral, white, gray, & navy. (Why not.) And let’s fall into some fashion.

 
Fall Fashion Favorites.
Fall into the Mix.

Saturday Night.
Outfit from Fall Fashion Favorites selections.

 

Casual & cute.
Stretch cottons. Slimming stripes. Co-ed chic.
Back: Long-Sleeved Cream. Wool with Side Zipper. Sweat Shirt.
Front: Favorite Gray V. Pouf Sleeve. Breton. All Three.

Tips: 

1. Shop at Big-Lots?? And find a gray V-neck T that keeps it shapes after multiple wears. (Febreze.) … That Gray T? A Momsly find from Big Lots. (I know!) It is my most favorite, most chic, most versatile piece in my entire wardrobe. To work with a black pant. Fav bar with a high waisted black skirt. Brunch with some blue skinnies. …You get it. 
2. I even wore the red sweatshirt-like (AE) long-sleeved shirt to work on casual Friday. It required a sophisticated cropped black pant (see below) & some pearl earrings. But this sucker I’ve had since senior year of high school, so. That’s staying, power. 
 
Rolled cuffs. Skinny silhouette. Denim, blue, & grays.
Clockwise Left: Denim skinny, ankle length with roll.
Gray LOFT stretch,  tight skinny cropped. Blue HM denim, relaxed skinny cropped with roll. All three.
Tips: 
1. Jeans too long? Roll them.
2. Don’t be afraid of a skinny jean that fits tightly to the skin. (Coming from a gal who has cankles… .) The less material at the ankle, the better. Creates a lean, slimming line. 
3. Pick something with a good amount of stretch, & walk-it-out.
Work-it.
Patterns. Luxe. Structure. Lace & Plaid. Sheer. Classic.
Top:
Dresses with waists, ruffles, cut-outs, & florals.
Sweaters that are over-sized but offer structure
Middle: Blazers with stretch, elbow pads, & sleeves that roll.
Bottom: Blouses with accents, surprising lines, & monochrome.
Shells to lay gracefully over your skin, that can stand alone.
Tips: 
1. Try something new. (Like a cut-out dress… .) 
2. Work with bold patterns, especially when they’re color-blocked by a neutral. You’ll be surprised how much of a staple, season after season, a piece like the gray-paisley Anthropologie dress becomes. Especially because it holds the classic shape of a sheath dress.
3. Find a quality blazer. Now. (Bend your arms a few times when trying on to make sure shoulders feel comfortable. If they do not. Put it back. Move on.) You will wear it almost everyday & probably out at night, as well.
4. Plaid. Do it. Lace. Wear it.
5. Sheer blouses. Go go go. Even if you don’t wear it to work (or yet), you will wear it out. Also, find a blouse with a varied neckline. Move away from the collar and the plain ole’ V. Get inspired by vintage lines & looks.
6. Invest in shells. Tanks. What have you. Not just season after season, but year after year, you will use these in your wardrobe in infinitesimal ways.
Cropped hem. Trousered denim.
Clockwise from Left:
Cropped black stretch pant.
Cropped, cuffed tweed pant. Denim trouser-style flare pant.
Tips:
1. Try a cropped pant. Nothing’s sexier, & yet more demure, than a heel, an ankle peeking out, and a tweed that hits just above. (There’s a reason these ankle-things were banned from public viewings at one point.)
2. Buy the Banana Sloan in black. (Most amazing pair of pants that I own. Look good no matter how I’m feeling or if I’ve gained weight. They are magic. Black magic. I don’t care how much they cost. Buy!)

3. Slim silhouettes are in, yes. But if it’s denim, and it’s creased, think about a flare. Thank you ’40’s.

Is that a culot?
Clockwise from Left: Pleated, patterned skirt with belt.
Pleated, high waisted skirt with pockets. Black culot with high waist and pockets. All three.
Tips:
1. Patterns, pleats, & bobs. This Target skirt has it all, even pockets. (Even better.) In this pic, you can’t see the old-fashioned key pattern. And that’s good. When you have so many cutesy, fashion things going on, make sure that at least one of them is subtle.
2. Go school-girl. But make sure it’s quality shape & quality material. Look adult. Not cheap.
3. Buy a culot if it is on sale. Then wear it & notice how it does not rise up in between your thighs whenever you walk. So pair it with tights, get your ankle boot on. You don’t look like your Kindergarten teacher from the early ’90’s. You look hot. And sophisticated. And surprisingly comfortable.
Out-do yourself.
Boots. Bags & Pashs. Jackets. Jewels & Bobs.
Clockwise from Left: Riding boots. Ankle boots. Buckles & boots.
Leather bags. Vintage bags. Pashminas in neutrals. Trench coat & leather piece.
Turquoise, corals, chains, grandpa’ watches, pearls, & roses.

Tips:
1. Buckles on boots. Dark leather-like riding. If anything.
2. Vintage bags. Leather bags (investment). Pashminas will never ever go out of style. (Leopard counts as neutral!)
3. If you see a Kenneth Cole trench on-sale post-season, you will buy it even if you think it’s above your budget. Because it will be the biggest investment piece of your life. And then, you will save it for future generations to come so you can somehow, someday bequeath it to your daughter, & she can then blog about the genuine ’70’s leather jacket she now owns.
4. Go to church sales. Buy the old lady jewels. You look good.

Dark skinny. True jegging.
Clockwise from Left: Both jeans. Only 2 I wear out.
Express Zelda skinny. Aero black jegging. (So worth it.)

Tips:
1. If you’ve never, try Express jeans. (Work pants, too, while you’re at it!) They last forever. That pair on the left has seen some rough times & all it has to show for it? Tiny pin-hole in the knee like it’s a badge of honor.
2. Jegging. This post about the Fun. concert will show many of the same pieces here, arranged into outfits, & it will also define the varying types of jegging, if you will.

Keep cozy.

Cozy doesn’t have a time of day.
Top: Box ‘o’ socks for use with ‘jamas, & also quite chic atop a skinny to pad the riding boot.
Bottom: L.L. Bean wool slippers. Lifetime guarantee. I could sleep in these puppies. (Haven’t.  …Yet.)

 Tips:
1. Must-have knee-high socks. Trend started last year. Not going away this year. Or probably next. But goes beyond fashion. Also incredibly functional. Add sass to your step, yes, & warmth to your toes. Also easy transition into the pajama. I don’t hate that.
2. Buy these slippers. Ask for them for your birthday. Even if it’s in July. Your feet and your soul will thank you.

xo.