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.

How To. Unique Holiday Gifts & a #ShopLocal Guide.

Shopping Guide 
For Unique Holiday Gifts
 
(Google Images.)
Butternuts Beer & Ale!
at Trader Joe’s
Get’s better the more you read…


Google Images.
Great Jar!
1.    Marshall’s. Let’s just get this out of the way, now. Unique, you ask? Yes. Even      though probably everybody is gifting from Marshall’s (or TJ Maxx, etc), you will still find super unique gifts. Disclaimer: Use only in lieu of items you can only buy commercially. Candles? No. Save those for the Salons & Spas (#3) or, better yet, Fair Trades (#4) or Boutiques! (#5). Large glass jar of Jelly Belly’s for Momsly? Done. It beats retail prices, & she’ll reuse that jar. Another idea is its variety of cute & sexy socks. From over-the-knee wool numbers to thigh-high lace-capades: very few of us buy ourselves nice socks. And that’s why, when luxurious, it presents as a unique gift. As far as beauty goes? I croon for Marshall’s supply of eye creams & serums. Be it a beauty basket or a stocking stuffer, lotions & potions are sure to woo.
 
Google Images.
Moisturizing & Gentle.
2.     Trader Joes. If you’re a Rochesterian, & you haven’t been: go. Whether you’re on a budget or you eat only organic, or both, you will relish in the unique finds & low prices offered by this specialty grocer. For the beer lover, try a European Trader Joe brew or one of its more local offerings, such as a Ithaca Pale Ale or Butternut Brewery creation. A baker? No bounds exist with the boxes of easily prepared confectionaries, such as Chocolate Peppermint Roll, or the wholesome, organic ingredients for the made-from-scratch-mmm-doer. Also, Trader Joe’s also offers bath & beauty varietals. French hand-mill soap, organic oatmeal exfoliates, Vitamin E Oil. (Way less expensive here, than at drug stores.) And, yes, the packaging is pretty. Whether hosting your first (or 500th) holiday shindig or buying-on-the-go, Trader Joe’s is a great stop for your groceries & your gifts.
 
Image From Sephora.
Amazing value for gorgeous make-up.
3.     Salons & Spas. Last year, I found that I bought most of my gifts, from friends to my mom to even my dad, at Sephora. Amazing what bath goods packaged in a masculine box or feminine bag can do. This year, while going for a hair trim in November, I had the same reaction to Rochester’s most renowned salon, Scott Miller. With OPI polishes regularly on-sale for 50% off to sample make-up sets like this  -> from Smashbox, it’s hard not to find something for your lovies & for yourself. Similar to the luxe-socks (mentioned above),  salons & spas often sell the luxury version of everyday items at, of course, a luxury price. Really, who buys a $25 candle for him or herself? No one. And that is exactly the point. No one does, and yet $25 is still affordable. For that candle-burning, under-pampered love in your life, spring for an environmentally friendly, fragrantly soothing $25 candle. I think you’ll both be pleasantly surprised.
 
From Noonday Collection.
Handmade Stationary.
4.     Fair Trade. Ideally, everyone would shop fair trade for all of their holiday gifts. With local and mail-order vendors like One World Goods (potentially 10,000 Villages in your area), Noonday Collection, and Heifer International, the idea of every gift, every voice is possible. The former 2 offer hand crafted gifts the likes of jewelry & home goods. The latter, animals and live stock as food and farm for families. All 3, an investment in the livelihood of international artisans. In the past few years, Momsly and I have developed a tradition of me buying her livestock through Heifer. Two years ago, bunnies. Last year, chickens.
 
Menu for Brick & Motor.
Changes Daily.
5.   Boutiques, Restaurants, Shops. #ShopLocal #ShopLocal #ShopLocal . I guarantee you that anything you buy at the mall—children’s toys, lotions & potions, blouses & bags, gourmet food items, trinkets & knick-knacks, hats, mittens, & socks, anything—you can buy in and around your local communities. Sure, the mall, or even Target, is considered a one-stop-shop. But you still have to traipse. Navigate the unending isles. Fish for a spot. Get shoulder-shoulder with the crowds. So how is this any different than walking a few short blocks to navigate the neighborhood goods? The difference is supporting your local economy. The difference is finding truly unique gifts. Gifts that have a story and are frequently made locally and/or within the United States.
Quick & Dirty #ShopLocal Holiday Guide
to Rochester, NY
Southwedge.com
Use neighborhood websites as your guide
for Holiday Shopping!

University Ave

Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) gift shop, Starry Nites, Craft Co. No. 6, Chocolate & Vines (gift card)

East Ave

The Little Theatre Tickets, Victoire (gift card), Java’s Cafe

Park Ave

PeppermintParkleighSugarMountain Bake ShoppeStever’s Candie’s

Monroe Ave

Archimage, Aaron’s Alley

 South Wedge

Magix, Thread, South Wedge Spirits & Wine, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, Equal Grounds, Tap & Mallet (gift card), Brock & Motor (food cart gift card)

Irondequoit, NY

Encore Chocolates, Guido’s Pasta Villa, Sips Cafe

Pittsford, NY

Scott Miller Salon, Village of Pittsford (so many shops!!)

Rochester, NY

Every Tuesday & Saturday Morning

#ShopLocal
#MerryMerry
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.
 

Love. Laughs. Life. Local. Americana 4th.

Shivers.
Every time I hear:
O’er the land of the free,
& the home of the brave.
Flag from Schooner’s. Genesee River.
I hope that everyone enjoys a safe & celebratory 4th of July. Remember who fought & how. Respect the fight & the free. Never give into fear. And seek bravery, ever into the night. 
Full Moon from Lux Lounge. South Wedge.
* * *
Calabrese’s in The Flats. West Irondequoit. 
Farm House. Calabrese Studio.
Sitting on the Dock. Shannon & Devon.


Canoeing. Campfire. Matt.
Americana. Beauties. Shannon. Devon. Katia.
Thinkin’ & Talkin’. Shannon. Devon.
 Huggin’ & Wearin’ White. Katia. Shannon.
Walkin’. Backyard Camp. Shannon.
Tom’s Toes. Nicole.

 Charlotte Beach. Lake Ontario.

Seagulls. Sand. Sun.
Lake. Life Guards.
Lounge.

Home. West Irondequoit.

Klonk. Clothesline. Clothing. Butterfly Bush.
House Recipe. Neighbors. Brewed in Roc. Schooner’s.
Target.
 * * *
DumDum. PBR. PB&J. Lux. Sober. So. Happy.
…Happy 
4th of July.
& 
Independence 
We.