Sexy Bright Lips at Drop-Off.

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“You caught me on a day when I was wearing all my cheapies.” Lisa. San Rafael. 2014.

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Fashion Notes: Green hooded army jacket, ripped jeans, Moccasins: Payless, Tank: H&M, Sunglasses: Target, Hair: Lisa is a hair stylist, see the shiny hair?

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MARA’S TIPS: Remember!! You don’t need to spend a lot of money to exemplify style.  I had no idea where Lisa purchased her clothing, but liked her look.  She has a mix of classic style with a little Northern California touch.  Adding rolled up ripped jeans and moccasins create a casual, cool style.

Additionally, wearing bright lipstick and oversized glasses is so haute.  I can’t seem to get away with lipstick..I feel like I look awful and made up…oh and my kids laugh in my face, and tell me i’m so “girly”. But if I had blonde hair, I would rock bright red lipstick constantly.  It’s so sexy.

I know it’s not easy for everyone to put together clothing – it doesn’t have to be complicated, not everyone likes my funky style – just wear what you love, and add some slight touches.  If you need some tips, email me.

 

Haute in Marin County. Barcelona Papi. Mara’s Dude Tips.

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Gustavo. San Rafael, California. November 2014.

Gustavo and his gorgeous daughter were hanging out at San Rafael’s Family Fun Day.  San Rafael is a funky/urban town in Marin County, California.

Fashion Notes: Gustavo is from Barcelona, so of course he has that simple, elegant style – natural for those raised in Spain. I love his preppy shoes, and casual look – -and his knitted hat is pretty great.  His sweatshirt is perfectly in proportion, and his jeans fit him well.

Tips: The way clothing fits for you guys, is so important.  Clothing should be fitted, not big, not small – it makes an enormous difference.  European men learn about good tailoring in utero – -American dudes take note – I promise we will all notice!!!!

Here’s a link to Men’s Health offering some great advice with visuals…I couldn’t find a great piece on tailored casual clothing, but this piece will help you. And when in doubt, ask ME, Mara!!!!! I love it xx

http://www.menshealth.com/style/style-accessories-finishing-touches

Over the Knee Boots..

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Mara. Fall 2014. Marin County.

Fashion Notes: Skirt/Bag: Zara, Boots: Miss Sixty, Top: Isabel Marant

Please visit the brilliant and amazing,  www.thesartorialist.com for more images of over the knee boots. They’ve included different photos, some that are quite street and sexy.  I worship boots, they are more comfortable and add an edge. But with this sexy style, I tread lightly – the line is fine, and it’s one I don’t like crossing.

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South Beach Drop-Off. Over the Knee Boots via Socks.

Mara’s Tips for Over the Knee Boots:  Wear boots over legging, jeans or with a skirt that’s like the one i’m wearing (maybe longer).  The key is to choose a skirt that loose, or a distressed jean skirt, which hits above the knee. I don’t recommend a tight skirt or dress.  Try a long blazer or cardigan on top, with a long strap bag -all will elongate your body.  A loose, short dress with a blazer or jean jacket also looks incredibly cool paired with over the knee boots.  The image below from The Sartorialist shows a great way to pair an over the knee boot during the day, she’s only showing a little leg, and the rest is 1970′s preppy.

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Dena Has EIGHT Kids. Yup. That’s Haute.

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Dena. Atlanta, Georgia. November 2014.

Fashion Notes: plaid button down: J.Crew, A-Line Skirt: Anthropology, Boots: purchased in Italy, Bag: Chloe Mini Marcie. Kids: Oillily (via hand me downs)

Dena has 8 kids ranging in age – she’s very young too! Married to a prestigious Rabbi, Dena embraces the traditions of Judaism..all while being stylish.  Personally, I have no idea how Dena manages to get dressed, let alone look amazing.  But the secret to having so many children — you have lots of older siblings who act like mini-assisitants. I hear one of her kids does hair and make-up on her mom before school drop-off :)

A-Line skirts are tough to pull off.  I’ve tried and feel it makes me look like I have large hips.  I happen to be narrow in the hip department (it all seemed to travel to my boobs) and don’t need to look full on bottom and top.  For women like Dena, who are narrow on top – A-line skirts look amazing.  I would pair it with a fitted top to avoid looking hefty…Dena rocks it well.

When I was living in Atlanta, and miserable, Dena befriended me. She didn’t even mind my mini skirts showing up at her Shabbat dinners – no judgement, they just wanted me to embrace my culture, even though I explained several times that I’m not Jewish, they didn’t believe me (weird).  Dena even took me to the Mikveh, where my naked body was inspected by an older Jewish woman.  In a Mikveh, you’re not supposed to chat, but I had to know, what did this woman think of my body?

Dena elbowed me quite aggressively to stop my chatter, this was supposed to be a spiritual experience and I was messing it up with my commentary.  Finally, my body was “approved”, the woman tapped me on my head and said something about me being kosher.  It was then, I was told to dive into a pool of “special” water and completely go under.

For women, the purpose of the Mikveh is to achieve “purity” after menstruation.  After, you are supposed to make a baby.  I failed, because my boyfriend (before we were married) and I had a huge fight, and I kept yelling “you are ruining my spiritual moment”.

Dena claims I’m changing the details to add humor.  Quite possible as I am a master exaggerator, but  I don’t know, this is how I recall my Mikveh moment.  I’m still waiting for the Mikveh ladies opinion on my body, she hasn’t returned any of my calls.

Selling My Clothing on the Haight…

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My new friend Nancy invited me to accompany her while she sold clothing on Haight Street in San Francisco.  I’ve never sold my clothing, but love a new experience.  I gathered clothing still in a box from the move, and met my New York transplanted friend to embark on a true exercise in good old San Francisco recycling – only this time, I may actually get cash!

One by one, the nice guy at Buffalo Exchange went through my pile.  With an apologetic tone, he rejected most of it.  Surprisingly he accepted an ugly, never worn pair of shiny, patent leather Kate Spade shoes.  What intrigued me most, was how the items were being accepted and rejected.  What’s the formula? Is it based on a complex software program, or just natural instinct?

I can tell you, he took a lot of my tops, which I had to explain were considered dresses, at least to me.  And then he tallied up my total…..$45.00!! Not bad, I grabbed it and spent $60 at a vintage shop across the street.

I love strolling the second hand shops on the Haight in San Francisco..I get kind of kooky and excited.  Shopping for anything old – is my thing.  I like to search and hunt for an amazing find.  It’s part of my creative process, and I truly mean that.

I scored a 1950′s red with gold hardware belt (shown) and a funky bracelet. School pick-up stopped me from further purchases….until next time.

Fashion Notes: 1950′s vintage belt bought on Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco at Mystery Mister, Jeans: Genetic Denim purchases at At Ease Miami, Gold high tops: Ash, Bag: Miu Miu, Bag Strap: Prada

She Must be French.. Coffee, Cigarettes, NY Times & Fashion

DSC_0040Sharon. Marin Country Mart. Larkspur, California. November 2014.

Fashion Notes: Faux Fur Vest: Calypso and Intermix “boyfriend” sweater

Not like you’ll be surprised, but I stalk the fashionable. Sharon, sitting quietly with cigarette in hand, reading The New York Times—-dressed to kill. I walked by her several times, because this type of fashion sighting in Marin County must be a mirage.  But much to my pleasure, this fashion lover is real – and she’s American.

Rarely, do you see public smoking in the States..only late at night outside of bars. But day time smoking at an upscale shopping area is quite rare.  Obviously, I’m not condoning smoking at all, but understand why I made the assumption that this stylish woman was French.  Sharon even has a fancy cigarette case.

After I did my Mara weird walk by, I finally had to tell Sharon that I worship her look.  It was more like: Who are you? Where do you live? Can we hang out?  And may I photograph you? Even with my strange questions, Sharon obliged.

It turns out she is part of an incredible team at a high stylin’ store in the Marin County.  Sharon loves fashion, and refuses to fall into a trap of “casual clothing”.  She’s a city girl at heart, and I appreciate her fashion dedication.

This is part of my Mara Likes series…just photographing “Haute” things and people I find interesting.

Haute 1970′s Little Red Dress at Drop-Off

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Marin County. November 2014.

This mom is a natural beauty.  Her style is reminiscent of late 1970′s and early 1980′s bohemian California.  This floral dress was purchased at a thrift shop and I believe her clogs are Swedish.

 

Neck Scarves. How to feel French and Haute in the States.

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Megan. Mill Valley. November 2014.

Tight neck scarves are big this Fall, as seen in The New York Times last week. The late and amazing Nora Ephron in her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman discusses the use of scarves in leu of plastic surgery.

Part of why I love living in the Bay Area, is because I can wear scarves year round.  In my Miami youth, I remember all the stylish European girls wearing neck scarves – even in the stifling heat.  They looked so stylish.  I attempted this feat, but after 5 minutes felt claustrophobic and hot.

Tight scarves are being worn currently, but if you don’t have a swan neck (I don’t), then it looks more attractive to wear the scarf loosely around your neck.  I like to tie one around a basic hand bag or my wrist.  Scarves are a multi-faceted accessory, and you can find them at any local thrift shop – or you can go fancy, and visit your local Hermès, www.hermes.com

Click on the link below to read more about this classic style…and remember a scarf always freshens up your look.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/30/fashion/latest-fall-fashion-trends-shaggy-sweaters-neck-scarves-and-more.html

Old School Back Packs. Haute Mama at Pick-Up.

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Kris. October 2014. Mill Valley, California. At Pick-Up.

Hard to believe, but it was getting hot last week in the afternoon in the Bay Area.  I Love Kris’s leather book bag, which holds her laptop and writing material.  It’s pretty cute, kid and mom with old school back packs….