MY LIFE-ALTERING PANTS (THAT NEED ALTERATIONS)

Life Altering Pants - HELP!

Last weekend, as I walked the glossy, waxed floors of Bloomingdale’s, I had no intention of purchasing anything, much like everyone else everywhere. Then my mom pointed to a colorful spread of striped sweaters in the Free People corner of the department store and exclaimed, “Oh, this is so you!” I took a quick glance at the mannequin wearing one of the displayed sweaters and my first thought was, “Yeah, it is.” Then my gut kicked in overdrive and my subconscious iconoclastic aspirations caused me to yell out, “Am I that predictable?!”

Throughout high school, I was struggling to be in fashion rather than finding my style. I subscribed to ELLE during my freshman year because I was mandated by the school magazine drive, but also to find out what I should be wearing that winter season. I, along with most girls, aspire to work in fashion the way all boys aspire to be cowboys and baseball players but settle to be a sports newscaster or something. I thought I would be the next Tavi Gevinson, but then I soon realized after reading my first issue of ELLE that all the avant garde clothes featured in editorials were not meant for 13-year-old me. Alas, I was unfulfilled with my wardrobe that was “so lacking of cool.” During that time, I had an utter contempt for fashion and its rather expensive schemes. I did, however, quickly understand fashion and trends by reading all the articles which gave me a detector for who was really keeping in style on the streets of New York.

It would only be a far-fetched dream of my 13-year-old broken-down-Converse-wearing-self to believe that my current college best friend would tell me that I should start a fashion blog. Now that I find opening my birchwood IKEA closet to select my day’s garments an actual party, I learn that I have become “predictable.” That’s not what I asked for! But maybe it is, when my first subscription to ELLE came in the mail. As my mom and I continued to the SALE racks of Bloomingdale’s, I spotted a pair of pants which I looked at for five seconds before realizing that I would never wear it. Being the supportive mother that she is, my mom tells me, “Those pants are cool.” And when a mom tells a girl that something is “cool,” sirens are supposed to be going off alarming the girl that it is in fact, “not cool.” I somehow reconsidered and took a second look at the dual-fabric pant saying, “But this is so not me,” to which my mom quickly whips a mildly teenager-ish, “So?”

Only in college did my sense of style finally arrive, much like a teenage girl having her first sip of unsupervised alcoholic drink with initial befuddlement, “So this is what it’s like.” I first walked into a J. Crew during the summer after high school when I assuredly called that store the mothership that I never knew was calling me. The only way to describe my current style would be Kennebunkport meets Williamsburg Farmer’s Market, with the occasional “villain in a John Hughes film.” From then on, my collection of button-down shirts ranging from shrunken ex-boyfriend to perfect-fit has grown beyond compare. I do daydream that if I were an unabashed risk-taker (and unbelievably wealthy) that my closet will replicate that of Beyonce’s, and maybe these pants that were paneled in linen fabric, fitted in jersey fabric on the back, and are “so not me” is a step toward that.

I bought the pants, but with a mild reluctance. It is currently hanging on my bedroom door, still with its various tags, and it is staring at me. Of course I Google the pants’ brand name to see what celebrities have worn it, as well as to validate my purchase. There in the vast wasteland of Google Images are Hilary Duff, Olivia Munn, Kristin Cavallari, among others. I think to myself, “Olivia Munn? She’s cool, I watch The Newsroom. But do I want to wear the same pants as Hilary, Olivia, and Kristin?” I examine its rustic-looking zippers and faded linen cloth, I imagine it something to be out of a 2008 issue of ELLE. I realize that they’re just pants. So I cut off the tags because that’s what Beyonce would want me to do, yet all I wanted was to escape the void of predictability.

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9 THINGS I’VE LEARNED AT 19

There’s a lot of pressure when the day of my birth arrives every year. As I turn 20 today and enter another decade in my life, I feel like my two decades on earth have ultimately left me confused. Aren’t I supposed to be smarter about decisions? Do I really need to be writing about my feelings on the Internet? (Hint: The answer to both is no.)

For those of you who need some of that “wisdom” that I’ve garnered over the years, this is my gift to you. Take it or leave it.

  1. How you look at 5 AM does not surprise you anymore.
  2. Fairy tales like Cinderella’s start to make less sense, like doesn’t she have to pay taxes?
  3. Don’t worry, your Teen Vogue subscription still continues after your teenage years.
  4. YAY Feminism! But can a guy please come over to kill this spider right now?
  5. Your Netflix queue takes precedence over going out with “friends.”
  6. “Running” isn’t something you do on the weekends wearing LuLu Lemon. It’s what happens when the R Train is about to leave the platform and the next one doesn’t come until an hour later.
  7. Your birthday means nothing if people don’t wish you a Happy Birthday on Facebook.
  8. Delete your Facebook, it means nothing.
  9. Speak up.

Since I’m officially in my 20’s, do I get cast as a series regular on GIRLS now?

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MIDWEEK WANDERLUST: Museum Mile

Being “lost in New York” is a complete misperception that parents use as a reason to not let their kids move here. It’s a grid system, as John Mulaney points out. Growing up riding subways ever so often, my dad would teach me the mechanics that goes with finding my way around Manhattan and I took notes on the streets and clues of the city. Now, however, I would just use my handy dandy iPhone. Sorry, Dad, that’s what technology is for…except Apple Maps. Maybe I just wasn’t listening the whole time my dad was explaining what it means to be “street smart.”

Travelling from Brooklyn to Manhattan is equivalent to the length and energy of a road trip. Instead of ending my summer by literally taking a road trip, I headed to the Upper East Side to revisit my childhood playgrounds. Every museum in New York has its own significance to me. I grew up visiting the American Museum of Natural History almost every month and now I have finally graduated to The Met and Guggenheim. (Thanks to the likes of Blair Waldorf, who a) made me want to try on headbands in front of the Met, b) look for a prince at a museum, c) be. her.)

Art is exhausting, particularly modern art. Your mind will get blown…either from confusion or admiration. I’m one of those people who think, “My 3-year-old nephew could paint that.” Will I ever understand abstract art? How did it even survive? There’s a whole thriving art community in Brooklyn! *cough* DUMBO *cough*

Maybe I should just go back and visit the fake whales at the Museum of Natural History. Whoa, wait. Am I Holden Caulfield?

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim

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FASHION WEEK GUIDE FOR THE REGULAR GIRL

Fashion Week 2013

Being a Brooklyn resident and going to school in New York City are things that I can take for granted. For the past week, however, I would trade that special quality of mine for anything else. It’s the first week of September which means it’s time to head back to the bland hallways and classrooms of college, which already look exhausted to be there. What makes this process of readjustment even more difficult is seeing the sartorially dressed “weirdos” walking the cobblestoned streets of Brooklyn making their way into an Uber or 1 Train. Welcome to Fashion Week— when the morning commute looks like the title sequence to The Devil Wears Prada. All the girls dressed in Isabel Marant or carrying her grandmother’s old Louis– no one will know because together, they’re all giving you a brutal death stare ready to be photographed for your blog or whatever.

When I was a little girl, I would pass and stare with disdain at the white tents in Bryant Park, for always getting in my way when all I wanted to do was enjoy the park before school started. Now, all I want to do is get in. Years later, photographers are competing to merely get a shot of the girls who aren’t inside, but rocking a killer outfit outside. Who knows if she’s got an invite to Lincoln Center? Meanwhile if you take the G Train back to Brooklyn, yours truly is constantly refreshing Twitter and Instagram with anything containing #NYFW. I won’t say I’m obsessed, but I do have a fascination with fashion.

Maybe my current predilection for what comes down the runway has a connection with spending my entire life in private school, when I wore uniforms. Up until I graduated high school, D-Day stood for Dress Down Day. In 7th grade, I remember wearing a Beatles-yellow-submarine-type yellow coat from GAP for an entire school day because I hated the clothes I was wearing. And now all I want to do is leave my coat open to show off my graphic T. (Hello, Alexander Wang’s shirts marked Parental Advisory!)

Us (Band of) outsiders may or may not understand what goes on in keeping up with Fashion Week. It’s an enigma to some and Holy Week to others. How must we deal with this time of peril?  Here are some lessons for the regular girl when it comes to Fashion Week:

  • It’s important not to end up crying in fetal position, but do as those ladies with death stares do. Use the sidewalks and your school’s hallways as the runway. Rock that Jansport backpack like you just got on Dean’s List.
  • Pretend you’ve got Coco Rocha’s cheekbones and eat the onion bagel on your morning commute.
  • Grab your picnic blanket you used this summer, throw it on, and BOOM, you like you just walked out of Derek Lam’s collection!
  • Keep your iPhone camera on standby because you never know when another fashion blogger is going to want to take a snap of your sweatpants messy bun as you head to school in the morning.
  • Did you see David and Harper Beckham front row at Victoria Beckham’s show? O.M.G. This isn’t really a tip, but if you can find yourself a supportive hot dad, then he’ll be your ultimate accessory.

And so, I’ll wear my Ferragamo’s to school to compensate for my absence at Lincoln Center. People will stare, but isn’t that the point of fashion?

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Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com

WHAT I LOVE: FOR THE NERDS & NERDETTES!

Throughout the week, I spend a lot of time online and off to consume information and stories that fuel me for conversations with friends, essay topics, and simply to expand my frame of reference. Most times, 140 characters isn’t enough to share what I love, so every week I will share what I read, watched, or learned for all the world to see. It’s also my time to “get real” with y’all. Let’s be smarter together!

Attention, nerds and nerdettes…or those who want to join the club!

1. Podcasts!

Give podcasts a try. Before bed, in the car, or in the background. The information will sink in. My most favorites are the comedy podcasts which feature interviews with funny people, because who doesn’t like to laugh? Oh, you don’t? Then try Welcome to Night Vale. They’re free. And when my friends tell me about downloading Miley’s latest album, I’m all like, “Have you listened to that interview Terry Gross had with Justin Timberlake?!”

For starters: Comedy Bang Bang, Nerdist, WTF with Marc Maron, and This American Life

Podcasts for Starters

2. Documentaries

Maybe because it is my birthday coming up, but I spent the entire last week being “sick.” It’s great that I still live at home because being “sick” means staying in bed and watching Wheel of Fortune. The rest of the day, I devote to documentaries. As a self-proclaimed fashion and broadway aficionado (I’m probably not by public standards), these top three documentaries were my favorite. First Position even prompted me to start taking ballet classes again, which I will write about in an upcoming post!

Ladies and gays: The September Issue, Every Little Step, and First Position

Favorite Documentaries

3. La Petite Fashionista: Blogger Coffee Date

Now that you’ve made it to No. 3, I’m assuming you like my blog. My goal is to make you love it. Well, one of my favorite bloggers, La Petite Fashionista, is there to assist me. I recently went on a Blogger Coffee Date with Lauren and after an hour, I’ve got five full pages of notes and an endless amount of ideas. If you want to expand your blog or need some assistance in the social media area of the world, then you should totally check it out! I ended the Skype session feeling pumped to write and spend more time…on the computer. “Yes!” to staying in more! You ready?

La Petite Fashionista Blogger Coffee Date

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NEW HAIR, NO HAIR, NEVER AGAIN!

Pixie Cuts Galore

There is a chair out there that I dread more than the electric chair itself. I have never had a good experience in that chair, and it has somehow scarred me for life. As far back as I can remember, I always left it crying, sometimes even sobbing. It is the ever so ominous chair at the hair salon.

For the past four years, I have had the same haircut at the same salon once a year. I should note, and not to brag, that I don’t blow dry, straighten, or curl my hair, so it has been relatively healthy my whole life. You think that’s a good thing. You don’t know how jealous my perfectly pin-straight, thick, Asian hair is of your curly, dry, split ends. My hair is like liquid. I try to do one style to it, but it just reverts back to its natural state: bor-ing.

Still after every horrible haircut experience, I have always wanted my Princess-Mia-takes-off-her-hat moment. It has yet to happen. Growing up watching movies where the nerd takes off her glasses at prom and everyone realizes how hot she is, didn’t make it easier on the pressure I felt every time I visited the salon. (Those movies made me want glasses, too. Unfortunately, I have 20/20 vision.)

Every woman has a fantasy of what it would be like to completely chop off all her hair. Will I end up looking like a 12-year-old boy? Or will everyone notice my cheekbones like Natalie Portman? In shows or movies, getting a pixie cut usually signifies a change of heart or utter disaster, almost a terrible impulse decision. You’ll be utterly and inevitably criticized for the new do, but in the end we all just wanted to be like the nerds in the makeover movies.

So last week, I revisited the chair and got the long bob. I didn’t go Miley Cyrus crazy, but I feel a style change coming. I feel surprisingly good. I guess the only way to feel good about a haircut is to just not look in the mirror and realize that we will never look like Beyonce.

When it comes to haircuts, instead of feeling like Princess Mia in Princess Diaries, I am inevitably feeling Fantine in Les Miserables.

How I Feel About Haircuts

How do you feel about haircuts?

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