Do You Have A Style Uniform? Here’s Mine…

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When you have a house guest for a week — and that house guest demands entertainment (ahem, Kat Williams) — you quickly discover whether your closet is (or isn’t) working for you.

The simple truth is that my day-to-day life mostly revolves around writing and going to the gym, and so most of the time, I live in yoga pants, tank tops and a cashmere hoodie. But when there are places to go, people to see, and perhaps most importantly, photographs to take, yoga pants just don’t cut it. Plus, I love having a reason to dress up.

So, back to the original question: is my wardrobe working, or not? I was delighted to find that yes, it is, and I think a large factor of its versatility is that I dress in a kind of uniform.

Now, if you wore a uniform to school, the very mention of the word is enough to make your skin crawl. Trust me, I get it: I was swaddled in itchy green regalia for years, and as a result, predictably rebelled against any kind of sartorial statute.

But these days, I get it. Wearing the same kind of thing every day helps so much. In fact, whenever I spend time with Shauna, we inevitably end up discussing this subject… And she invariably brings up the fact that all fashion designers wear a uniform.

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There is a lot of research surrounding the fact that we only have so much decision-making power alotted per day, and the more decisions you’re forced to make about trivial things (what am I going to have for breakfast/lunch/dinner? What am I going to wear? Should I work out today?), the less energy you have for creativity. It’s better to have your everyday life structured and organised, so that you can expend that energy on being innovative.

This is one of the reasons why I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day. It’s why I go to the gym every day, and why it’s a non-negotiable. (Even the simple act of asking yourself, ‘Can I really be bothered working out?’ saps the energy that is crucial for creativity.) And it’s why I’ve started to wear iterations of the same thing every day, too.

I don’t wear the exact same thing, because I know it would bore me senseless. But I buy the same shape and cut over and over again, and everything goes together.

A tank or cropped t-shirt + a high-waisted A-line skirt + boots = sartorial magic.

This outfit is what I always feel best in. It shows off my best features. The skirts may vary in length or pattern, and the tops may have a stripe or a slogan, but it all goes together. This recipe is easily adapted for colder temperatures (add a sweater, jacket, and stockings)… And, perhaps most key, it feels like me.

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I’m wearing a bejewelled long-sleeved t-shirt from J Crew’s kid’s section, a lilac A-line midi skirt from Chicwish, Ashlee boots by Miista, and a Kate Spade handbag. (This weather has been so amazing… I love being able to wear a sleeve for a change!)

If you want to have a go at replicating my recipe, try these:

White sequin shirt + swan skirt (also in white) + boots / OR / Bowknot sleeveless organza top + pleated maxi in violet + boots / OR / Flower-trimmed white t-shirt + striped midi skirt + boots

Hello, lover!

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It’s delightful to find something that works… And it only took me 30 years!

Much love,

Thanks to Chicwish for making this post possible, and Mikkel Paige for the photos!

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Catch Me If You Can… In Leopard-Print Sweats!

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This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I spend most of my time wearing workout clothes. Sure: when I go out for dinner, or to see my friends, or on an adventure around the city, I dress up (and I love to do so). But my daily life is very chill. I’m at home writing for most of the day, before hitting the gym in the afternoons. Thus, I spend a lot of time in sweatpants or yoga gear. It suits my lifestyle. What more can I say?

So you can imagine my excitement when Betsey Johnson — ahem, my favourite designer — announced that she was releasing ACTIVEWEAR. Hello, dream come true! The babes on her team sent me some line-sheets, and told me to pick whatever I wanted.

When I saw these leopard sweats, I knew it was fate.

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To be specific, this is the printed raw edge pullover teamed with printed skinny jogger pants, and worn at the same time, they are, quite certainly, A LOOK. And a Look is exactly what my husband shot me when I emerged from the bedroom wearing this ensemble. But he is a man. He doesn’t get it. In these sweats, I feel like like a badass. (And you would too.)

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But, I guess a full leopard look isn’t for everyone… So can I tell you what else I’ve been rocking from Betsey’s activewear line? Asymmetrical skirted leggings = SO sick, plus this mesh cut-out tank which makes me feel like a sexy robot from the future. These colorblock leggings are amazing, and, of course, there is a pink motorcycle jacket which you probably need.

If you’re going to get sweaty, you might as well look cute while you do it.

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Like I said, this is a lot of LOOK, so if you’re going to follow in my footsteps, I recommend adding a bright beanie to break things up just a little bit. This would also look devastating with bright lipstick (I love Violet by Bite) and big sunglasses. Sooooo too cool for school.

Do you, like me, live in activewear? Tell me what you wear to the gym! I need to know!

Thank you so much to Betsey for hooking me up with these SWEET SWEATS! Meow! Photos by the truly adorable Mikkel Paige.

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Get Your Green On: WIN Aloha Daily Good Greens With #Lovetober!

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Over the years, I’ve experimented with a lot of different types of eating. I was vegan for years, ate raw for about 10 months, evaluated gluten-free options, and tried abstaining from sugar (that one didn’t stick). I quit drinking coffee years ago, and replaced it with yerba mate and green juice. And I don’t really eat dairy, unless I’m in the mood for ice-cream, although I unfortunately had to enforce a Ben & Jerry’s ban. (Sadly, ice-cream is my kryptonite.)

Now, some of this may sound extreme to you, but all of these food experiments have taught me different things. The most crucial thing I’ve discovered is how much better my body works when I’m fueling it with good, nutritional stuff.

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These days, what I eat is pretty regimented, but I like it that way. After all, decision fatigue is real. And it’s not just that I’m a creature of habit: I’ve deliberately chosen food that is easy for me to prepare and eat, while giving me maximum nutrition. Nor is it only that I like to eat healthy foods: I work out — hard — 5 days a week, and my body needs plenty of nourishment. Turning up to the gym on an empty stomach is a fool’s errand!

One of my most awesome recent discoveries is ALOHA Daily Good Greens. It’s a whole-food powder blend in a little packet that you can sprinkle over your morning oatmeal, pour into a smoothie or protein shake, or even stir into water for a quick nutritional boost.

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It’s pretty mind-blowing that in such a small packet there’s over 2 servings of fruit and vegetables! Daily Good Greens is made from organic lemon, wild-harvested coconut water, organic wild blueberries, organic spinach, organic green peas, organic wheatgrass, organic spirulina, sustainable moringa, organic yellow Hawaiian ginger, Hawaiian red alaea salt, organic enoki mushroom, organic oyster mushroom, organic raspberries, and organic king trumpet mushroom. I mean, damn. Best of all, it tastes amazing!

Even though I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet, it’s important to me that I get a lot of greens. My body feels better, and my mind is clearer and sharper, when I do. This is — dare I say it — the easiest way to get your green on!

I love it so much, and I’d like you to add it to your life, too, which is why ALOHA and I have teamed up to give away a big box of Daily Good Greens! Yay!

FOR THE REST OF #LOVETOBER, like @alohamoment, and tag your images with #lovetober and #alohamoment for a chance to WIN Aloha’s whole-food powder blend, Daily Good Greens, in Original, Chocolate, or Berry flavour!

And if you missed out at the start of the month, here are all the #lovetober prompts! We’d love for you to join us.

I love you! Don’t forget to tag!

Top image by Chef Tina Leigh. Other images courtesy of ALOHA’s Instagram. Thanks for being an outrageously rad partner!

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Love And Sequins: Visiting The Printer, And A Sneak Peek!

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Last week, Mike and Dolly and I got into our little 1969 Volkswagen Beetle (toot toot! Beep beep!) and went for a jaunt to New Jersey. We were a family on a mission: we were heading to visit the printer that will be churning out beautiful copies of Love And Sequins. I had questions… And I wanted to have them answered in person!

As we sped along the highway, we got an eyeful of trees turning yellow and red… It was gorgeous. Even Dolly sat up in the back seat to look out the window!

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After several twists and turns, we arrived at our destination: an enormous brick building full of paper, ink, and lots and lots of books. I was excited to go in and speak to them, since we had only been in touch via email previously.

I shook hands with a man named Paul, before flipping open my rainbow Filofax and turning to a page full of scribbled questions. They were as follows.

Did they have any pink paper or cloth we could use for a (ooh la la!) very beautiful hardcover? (I mean, how disappointed would you be if my book was not PINK?) What would the approximate weight of the finished product be? (Essential information for calculating shipping.) And finally, how long would it take from the time of submitting our finished book to being able to ship ‘em out?

I wish I could say that he reached into the back of a cupboard and pulled out some incredible pink paper, woven from feathers and unicorn hair, before performing a wonderful tap-dance, and then throwing a handful of sequins into the air with delight.

Unfortunately, he did not.

You see, before he met me, I was just some weirdo sending emails, asking about pink covers and attaching numerous images. But once I was in front of him — wearing hot pink lipstick and clutching my Filofax — I think he realised the magnitude of the job at hand.

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Blue cloth binding (and my rainbow Filofax). It’s beautiful, but — and I’m sure you can understand this — I have my heart set on pink. And what baby wants, baby gets.

Here were his answers.

1. No, they didn’t have anything pink. He showed me a selection of cloth options that could be used for a hardcover book, but everything I saw was, well… navy. Or fire engine red. Or orange. Or cream. (IMAGINE if my book came out and it was ORANGE! No offense to orange, but it’s just never gonna happen.) But once I pointed at the Radical Self Love Salon tote on my shoulder, and said, “THAT pink”, he seemed to understand. Now he is on a mission to source me something pink and lovely, and while that is awesome, we’re not really sure how long that will take.

2. The weight of the book will probably be around 1.5lbs, but, it’s hard to say until we have the final product in our hands. (It will also depend on the weight of the paper we choose.)

3. As far as timing? This was the hardest pill to swallow. Firstly, we have to find something wondrous for the cover, and like I said, my dude is not sure how long that will take. (Apparently, unicorn hair is hard to source?!) Once we’ve done that, it takes about two weeks to get a bound proof (and it costs $239, making it the most expensive book I’ve ever purchased). And THEN, it takes around 25 business days to print books.

25! Business! Days!

I must admit that I was stunned when he told me this. I’m so accustomed to working in the online space that the idea of anything taking a month blew my mind! I love to move quickly, and I’m used to a super-fast turnaround. But, when it comes to printing, it takes time.

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Mike and I discussed the situation on the drive back to NYC.

“Sure, I could rush it,” I said. “I’d love, love, love for the book to be in everyone’s hands by Christmas. But I really want to do this properly. If I’m going to put the energy into a hardcover book, then it needs to be amazing.”

“Absolutely,” Mike replied. “Better to make it great and release it a little later.”

He’s absolutely right, of course. I want this book to be gorgeous: so beautiful you’ll want to keep it on your coffee table or beside your bed. A divine little slice of radical self love that you’ll be proud to own. And so, being patient is the only way it’s going to work.

AND. Not to hold out on you: I have some sneak peeks of what the book will look like inside, courtesy of We Are Branch!

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Mmmmmmmm, type. And don’t be FOOLED by the simplicity of this spread, either. There are so many surprises and delights within the pages of this book!

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I thought it made sense for my first book to start at the very beginning. And that’s why I’ve written Love And Sequins as a primer on radical self love. It’s the very best place to start if you’re not sure what it means to love yourself, or how that can totally CHANGE your life. Plus, every section has homework, so that you can start putting the concepts into action straight away.

It looks sublime, the cover is blowing my mind, and… JUST YOU WAIT!

The pre-sale will happen soon (!!!), the books will be printed in December, and they’ll be in your hot little hands by January/February. Talk about a stellar way to start 2015!

Your delighted friend,

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Clothes, Schmothes: 10 Things To Do In Your Underwear!

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My current obsession is spending 95% of my time in my underwear with a cardigan thrown over the top. Let’s be honest: most people who work from home do so because they’re motivated by this concept! Clothes, schmothes. Who needs ‘em?

Right now, I’m all about Hanes underwear, partially because they sent me a whole lot, but mostly because it’s so damn cute! I’m a fan of their ComfortFlex bras, brightly-patterned hipsters and colourful boy shorts. I’m also a big believer in underwear that fits you (very important) and is comfortable.

As I thought about this concept more and more, I decided that it’s high time that we spend more time in our underwear: just our underwear. So I present to you a list of 10 things to do in your underwear. Make a date with yourself in your favourite underthings.

Have a one-person dance party
It’s not an accident that everyone in a music video looks like what they’re wearing could be underwear… Or is shamelessly hanging out in their bra and knickers. Music and underwear were made to go together!

Have a multi-person dance party!
Invite your friends over. Have a “clothing basket” by the front door. Crank the tunes. Provide beverages. DANCE like your life DEPENDS on it!

Give your dog a bath
I mean, really, who wants to wear clothes when they give their dog a bath? That’s just ridiculous. You’ll be saturated in no time. At least when you do it in your underwear, there’s no muss, no fuss.

Write
There’s something lovely about writing in your underwear. It feels very Anais Nin. I particularly enjoy wearing lipstick at the same time. It’s very luxurious, and who couldn’t use a little more of that in their life?

Meditate
You don’t need clothes on to clear your mind! I meditate as soon as I wake up, and yes, I sleep in my underwear, so I crawl out of bed and onto my couch, nestle in amongst rainbow sequin cushions, close my eyes, and smile. (Smiling while you meditate = awesomeness forever!)

Clean the house
Cleaning the house in a full outfit is fool’s gold! You’ll only get filthy. Cut out the middle-man (the middle-man being, of course, clothing) and keep it simple!

Watch your favourite TV shows
Your TV doesn’t care if you’re wearing clothes or not. It’s not judging you, it’s just happy to be blaring. Get comfortable on the couch, put your feet up, and enjoy.

Drink tea and swan about
Throw a kimono on over your lingerie, pretend you’re an eccentric heiress, drink tea, and be generally fabulous. Can you give me a good reason not to?!

Do yoga
Unroll that yoga mat and get your stretch on. I don’t always enjoy yoga, but I always feel better afterwards, which is as good a reason as any.

Sleep
More clothing while you sleep just complicates things. Keep it simple, baby!


Of course, if thinking about all of this has made you realise that your underwear is simply not cute or comfortable enough for any of these activities, check out the Hanes lookbook. (It also has some really good one-person dance party inspiration… You have been warned!)

Rockin’ out in my undies,

This post was brought to you by Hanes and Style Coalition.

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