What I’m Wearing: NYFW February 2019 – Truths about what ‘Fashion’ people and Bloggers Wear to Fashion Week

Do you ever wonder about the (crazy) fab outfits that bloggers and fashion industry people wear to Fashion Week? This season, multiple references to old Chinese ladies in Chinatown came up regarding the sometimes over-the-top streetstyle looks that appear at fashion week season after season. If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember me sharing on stories how once I got off the train back in my regular neighborhood and away from the NYFW mayhem, a random guy passed me on the street and goes “what the hell are you wearing?! You look completely crazy!” For reference, here is what I was wearing:

Hot pink Marc Jacobs tee | brown faux leather puffer | brown patent skirt | white mules | bracelet handle bag

Now, in the realm of fashion week looks, this one isn’t even anywhere NEAR the craziest! However, I totally get what he was saying (and was in no way offended- he’s kind of right- and ended up sort of inspiring this post {thanks random guy outside the train station!} )

I’m going to aim to answer the three main questions I get about dressing for fashion week here:

1) why the crazy outfits?

2) where do the clothes come from/ what do you do with them afterwards?

3) how do you ‘plan’ your looks so that they reflect what’s happening with streetstyle in general?

Here we go!

1) So why the crazy outfits…to be brutally honest, most fashion people, bloggers included, are aiming to get photographed by streetstyle photographers, online publications, other bloggers etc. The opportunity to get “noticed” for your outfit in the age of social media has really changed the fashion week streetstyle game- one of the most controversial parts of fashion week is the streetstyle aspect- is it outweighing the focus on shows themselves? Maybe. When you arrive to a show, there’s always the inevitable try-hard girls parading back and forth outside the show hoping to get snapped by a photographer- not to hate on them or anything- being picked up by an online publication can really boost your career in this industry- girls, DO YOU- I, in the other hand am usually A) running late B) have to pee C) would rather catch up with friends before the show (although I did get interviewed and snapped by two streetstyle photogs this season and I have to admit it felt pretty damn cool!). The other main reason, at least for me, that we dress in EXTRA EXTRA outfits is because it’s kind of my only chance to play fantasy dress up! As a teacher, it’s not like I’m going to wear the looks I wear to fashion week on the daily- so getting to plan outlandish outfits, wear and photograph them is just plain old FUN- and let’s me (and us, if I’m speaking for industry people) step out of reality for a week.

2) So… where do the clothes come from and what do you do with them after you wear them for shows?

Anine Bing tiger sweatshirt | red leopard midi skirt | white combat boots | tan teddy jacket | pearl clips

To answer the first part of the question- sources for clothing: there are basically three ways bloggers/ industry people get clothes for fashion week.

1. Designers send/ gift them clothing and accessories (for free usually) to wear to their own show. This really only happens to big time bloggers with hundreds of thousands (or more) followers or celebrities/ socialites.

2. Designers LOAN them clothing or accessories, allowing bloggers/ fashion people to do “pulls” (you’ve prob heard every blogger and her mama posting “doing pulls for fashion week today!!!” on her stories the weeks leading up to fashion week. You basically get to pick from the showroom, “borrow” some looks for (usually) free in exchange for covering that brand/designer in your social media posts during the week. This process is more open than straight gifting, meaning that even smaller bloggers can make this happen- I’ve done pulls with a few designers for fashion weeks in past seasons, some through me reaching out with a proposal, and other times the designers/ showrooms/brands have reached out to me.

3. We BUY THE CLOTHING OURSELVES or GASP use something we already have! 75% of my fashion week looks are self purchased- I’m very particular about having control over what I wear; also I like to be sure that what I buy isn’t a one time piece- it must be able to be remixed in my wardrobe after fashion week has come and gone!

Oversized pinstripe blazer | high waisted jeans | brown suede shoes | pearl headband | tortoise bag

As far as the second part of the question – what do you do with the pieces after fashion week is over: if you’ve borrowed from a brand or designer, obviously you return the clothing or accessories. For any gifted items, some bloggers sell or donate them; some probably keep them and maybe rewear them. Personally, like I said above, I make sure that anything I buy myself to wear for fashion week, I know I can and will remix into regular life outfits. For instance, the pieces in the “crazy” pink and brown look: the puffer I wear as my regular winter coat, the neon pink t/shirt I’ll wear under blazers with jeans or with denim shorts come summer. The patent skirt was on loan, so I sent it back.

For the tiger sweatshirt/ red leopard skirt look: I purposely saved the white combat boots for fashion week, but bought them bc I know I’d wear them all the time this winter and spring. I already love and wear printed midi skirts, so the red leopard one was a no-brainer- I’ll rewear it with sweaters and tees in the coming months. The Anine Bing sweatshirt, while pricey, is a hero piece of my wardrobe- it can be dressed up or down and I’ve already worn it with a leather mini AND leggings with sneaks on two different occasions.

As for the brown blazer and jeans look, which was prob the “tamest” of my fashion week looks: you guys know I love a blazer, so I’ll obvi rewear it with tons of tees and jeans, with tights and boots or over a dress. The jeans and shoes I already owned, and the pearl headband and bag were both under $100 and I know they’ll be pieces I reach for to make basic outfits feel special and current (if you didn’t know it, headbands and all hair accessories are having a MAJOR moment right now).

3) How do you plan your fashion week looks, in terms of being “on trend” but also standing out, AND fitting in?

Neon green sweater | green polka dot drill skirt (sold out, similar here) | white combat boots | croc and clear bag | leather moto jacket | white sunnies

I probably start planning my looks a month or so in advance. To be REALLY honest, I’m not a super organized planner; I kind of just let ideas come to me based around pieces I see that excite me and jot them down in a notes tab in my phone! Usually what happens is I come across pieces I know will be good for fashion week- based on current or upcoming trends or just standout pieces that I LOVE – and screenshot them in my phone. Then, as fashion week comes closer, I build looks around those pieces. Also, you have to remember that fashion week designers show for THE FOLLOWING SEASON- meaning the shows that just happened last week (February 2019) are looks for NEXT FALL, not this coming spring. So what bloggers and industry people do is go back to look and shows’ images and runways from last fashion week to kind of see what will be relevant style-wise NOW, if that makes sense? Also, being aware of streetstyle and reading current streetstyle blogs like WhoWhatWear keep us apprised of what’s going on in fashion as well. So for instance, I already owned the neon green sweater above. As fashion week drew closer, I purchased the green polka dot skirt to pair with the neon sweater bc I knew that bold colored monochrome looks were very current, green is having a definite moment, AND head to toe monochromatic looks tend to do well with streetstyle photographers. I paired the green pieces with white accessories (boots and sunnies) for a modern pop, and added the clear and croc bag as kind of the one “non-matching” item of interest. The moto jacket I already owned and literally goes with everything.

So that’s it! I hope I answered some of your “burning” (haha!”) Fashion week related questions here! Shoot me an email, dm, or comment if there’s anything I didn’t get to in this post- and stay tunes for the next post where I’ll be sharing what I learned from the runways this season in terms of upcoming/ staying trends and styling tricks!

Xo, ❤

Christine

What I’m Wearing: Brown and Brights

One color combo that I cannot get enough of recently is brown (in varying shades) and brights (neon, pastels, and even primary shades that I haven’t worn in years!).

Brown hasn’t been in the fashion spotlight in like EVER, so I’m pretty pumped that it’s having its heyday- we all have 86296927 black outfits- now, brown, tan, taupe, caramel, coffee suddenly feel SO FRESH. I’ve been loving pairing shades of brown, particularly outerwear and accessories with bright colors- mostly sweaters in fun colors– it feels like I’ve opened up so many new outfit possibilities by injecting brown into my wardrobe– black is obvi a classic for a reason, but brown feels less harsh when paired with a colorful counterpart; more NOW, more chic. I’m currently planning most of my fashion week looks for this season around this color combo– shop some of my fave pieces below to start creating your own “brown and bright” looks!

Lavender sweater | brown teddy jacket

Teddy jacket | beanie | boots

Green sweater | leopard skirt | white bag | white mules

Blue sweater | brown mules (sold out, similar here!) | fur bag (old J.Crew; similar here!)| jeans

Pink sweater | jeans | brown faux fur bag (old J .crew; similar linked!)

Neon sweater | black jeans | brown headband

Shop my fave bright items:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21

…and my favorite brown items:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21

Xo, ❤

Christine

What I’m Doing: Mid-Winter Funday Ideas

Knit cardigan (on sale, comes in lots of colors!) | striped band tee | the best fitting black jeans | sneaks | beanie | bag: Chanel

Nolan’s plaid shirt|tee|jeans : H&M

January is always an odd month- post holiday blues (or relief, depending on the moment!), it’s usually freezing out and you’re getting tired of bundling up in 917271 layers everyday; if you’re a parent, the kids not really being able to play outside is getting old REAL quick- but on the positive side, “it’s cold and grey outside” is a great excuse to indulge in fun indoor activities! A favorite weekend or day off plan for us is brunch, followed by some type of adventure or excursion. A few of our fave brunch + indoor activities/museum combos in the NYC/Long Island area include:

1) Queens- Dim sum at Asian Jewels restaurant + The New York Hall of Science- if you’re not Chinese or have never heard of dim sum, it’s basically an assortment of small plates or appetizer style dishes meant to be shared by a group- think Chinese dumplings in lots of varieties! After dim sum, head over to The New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. This place has two extensive indoor “science” based play/explore areas for babies, toddlers, and older kids- plus, it’s free for teachers!

2) Manhattan/ meatpacking- Brunch at Bubby’s or The Standard + a day at The Whitney Museum: both Bubby’s and The Standard Grill are family faves of ours- classic American brunches that are warm, comforting and delish (both are also kid friendly!). After brunch, walk literally a few feet over to the Whitney and spend a few hours taking in some of my fave modern art exhibits- right now there’s a special Andy Warhol exhibit going on until the end of March!

3) Manhattan/ SoHo-Lunch at Barbuto + Children’s Museum of the Arts: first off, are you even a real New Yorker if you’ve never had the roast chicken at Barbuto?! The perfect winter lunch order: The Chicken (thank me later), a pizza to share (white truffle is our fave) and the kale salad- Barbuto is kid friendly, but also one of our fave date spots. Then, head downtown a few blocks to The Children’s Museum of the Arts to create some artwork with your kiddos! It’s under $20 to get in, and free after 4pm- there are lots is different “centers” around the museum (more like a place to create art, than an actual museum)- clay sculpting, dot painting, watercolors, acrylic painting, you name it, you can make it- we love this place bc it’s super relaxed and easy (I even spilled an iced coffee all over the floor there and the people who worked there couldn’t have been nicer and more chill!)

4) Manhattan/ Upper West Side – Brunch at Sarabeth’s + the Children’s Museum of Manhattan: take the 1 train uptown to 79th street and head to Sarabeth’s for a classic and home style brunch, then head either a few blocks north to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for a few hours of play and exploration at this multi- floor facility. Each floor has a different theme for kiddos- there’s a dance studio (kind of like a dance club for toddlers!), a Dora and Diego themed floor, “science” floor, and art floor.

5) Manhattan/ Upper West Side- Brunch at Bluestone Lane + Museum of Natural History (or as Nolan calls it, the “Dinosaur Museum”: light, bright, airy and (somewhat) healthy, Bluestone Lane is a New York standard for a casual brunch. Head to the new Amsterdam Ave location and then to the Museum of Natural History (yes, the one with the big whale that you probably haven’t been to since your 4th grade class trip!). It’s one of our faves because there’s just so much to see- Nolan’s faves include the solar system and dinosaur exhibits, plus the 10 minute solar system “show” (short, interesting, kid friendly).

6) Manhattan/ Soho-Brunch at Jane + The Color Factory: one of my fave cozy brunch spots in Soho, Jane’s menu is pretty much perfect in that you want every single thing on it! Before you plan on heading to The Color Factory after, make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time and arrive on time for your “slot”- the exhibit is a photo-op lovers dream with lots of little surprises along the way- good for both kiddos and adult dates!

7) Brooklyn/ Cobble Hill- Bar Tabac + the New York Transit Museum: we’ve been going to Bar Tabac for brunch and lunch for years- it’s in the cobble hill/Boerum hill area of Brooklyn, but feels like you’re stepping into a Parisian Cafe (Nolan’s a big fan if the French toast). We haven’t been yet, but the New York Transit Museum is on our list of places to visit soon- buses, trucks and trains galore that your little one will love exploring- right down the block from Bar Tabac. After the museum, grab ice cream at Van Leeuwen bc even though it’s freezing outside, their mint ice cream is too good to pass up!

8) Brooklyn/ Williamsburg- Sweet Chick + Brooklyn Bowl+ Brooklyn Brewery: Get to Sweet Chick early because there’s usually a wait for their incredible chicken and waffles (although the shrimp and grits is my personal fave!). Head to Brooklyn bowl next (family bowling from 11am-5pm on weekends!) and/or end hour day at the Brooklyn Brewery; we bring a card game for us and coloring/stickers for Nolan (although I think he’s about ready to learn Uno or something easy to play together!)

Hope these ideas give you guys some inspo for fun weekend/ day off adventures! Let me know in the comments if you have anything you’d like me to add to the list!

Xo, ❤

Christine

What I’m Thinking: Has Life Become Too ‘Customized’?

Overalls | puff sleeve blouse (somethingnavy – sold out! Similar here and here!)| Gucci Loafers | Parisa Wang bag

Algorithms and customizable features – they’re supposed to help us make life easier and “better” to cut down on info/images/options and just get straight to what we already know we like and want. But what if these tools are really just limiting and putting us in even more of a bubble?

Take the infamous Instagram algorithm that has been discussed and dissected ad nauseam. Back in the day (really, only like 5 years ago) your Instagram feed presented the accounts you followed in a chronological order- when an account you followed posted- whether it was fashion, food, travel, inappropriate memes, or your aunt from California- you saw it. As Instagram grew, more and more people used the app, and people started following wayyy more accounts than they could keep up with- hence where the algorithm stepped in. Based on what accounts you “interacted” (liked, commented on at the time of the algorithm’s onset) with, those were the accounts that you see now, and those types of accounts also dominate your “explore” page. The problem is, even though I’m a fashion blogger, and most of the accounts I follow are fashion related, I NEVER see the posts from the “cute koalas” account I follow- or Ina Garten’s latest recipe, or the sick NatGeo landscapes I love, or surf photos, or funny memes or my random relatives or old friends. And my “explore” page thinks I only want to see things that I already know that I like – fashion being the dominant category. Doesn’t that kind of negate the whole point of “exploring”? I’m not a one dimensional person in the non-digital world; so why am I being pigeonholed in the Insta-world?

The same phenomenon can be seen in other areas as well. I’ve been thinking about how almost everything we do/see/buy/use is customizable now. From our coffee orders (wouldn’t our great great grandparents be horrified at the amount of “milk” options there are now?! Dairy free- nut milk- 1.5% lolol), to our Netflix playlists (“recommended for you” based on what you’ve watched) – everything is personalized, pre-sorted and made exactly how we like and want it.

How can this be problematic? Don’t these “services” and algorithms make life easier?

Maybe. But is easier always better?

You know how before the age of GPS and turn by turn directions, people would take the long way to get somewhere and maybe find a cool new place to have a bite and drink? Or see a neighborhood that they otherwise wouldn’t have gone through? Or how back in the day, you had to just watch TV – maybe see a movie that you didn’t think you’d like but ended up loving? Or, god forbid, listened to the radio, hoping your fave Gwen Stefani song would come on, and be “forced” to listen to 8 other songs you may not have heard before? Or even dating- now I’m no expert, being that I married my high school sweetheart that I met at 12- but I’ve seen plenty of single friends struggle with dating in 2018- even though there are more apps/services/ sites to “help you find your MATCH” than ever before. Maybe finding your “match” isn’t the goal- maybe your soulmate isn’t a person that checks off all of the same boxes (almond-milk-loving, gluten free, vegan Libertarian, must love rescue dogs ?!) but someone completely random and different than you! I feel like these hidden limitations and parameters are being built around our options – and we’re strangely VOLUNTARILY participating!

As an efficiency-obsessed person with very little patience for wasted time, I totally get and appreciate time saving services- I mean do I really WANT to waste gas and time driving around not knowing where I’m going? Def not. But it’s also not lost on me that because the fastest way from point A to B is mapped out for me; because my movies and shows are preselected on Netflix, and I only have to hit “reorder” on a takeout app, that maybe I, WE, are missing out on randomly fun, unexpected experiences. Watching/ visiting/ eating / listening to something or somewhere or someone you didn’t know about or think you liked (or hasn’t been logged in an algorithm as a frequent interest!) – don’t those make for the BEST memories?!

So where do we go from here? Not sure. I think it’s about trying to take some control over our already super-controlled environment. Force yourself to do things the hard way, long way, or the different way- I know, I know, way easier said than done! Isn’t the first step always awareness though? I believe the pendulum will eventually swing the other way- that humanity will crave exploration and randomness once again- in the meanwhile, I’ll continue to (try) to do things the ‘old fashioned way’ as much as I can❤️

Xo, ❤

Christine