Haute Self-Confidence. If we believe, They’ll Believe.

Amber. Marin County. September 2017.

We’re just hanging at a pool party. Amber’s daughter is swimming in the pool. Mamma Amber looks good in everything  – it’s a dream really or a fantasy for me to look good in a dress like this. She looks so thin, even in a dress with no shape.

After I complimented Amber, we started talking about how as women, we constantly criticize ourselves. I’m so guilty of this. We talked about how it seems shallow, but in actuality it comes from a very deep place. I wish I could feel self confident all the time, and not be concerned with my exterior – whether I look thin, curvy, pretty, fit—it’s an internal struggle most females start confronting as young as 11. We discussed putting ourselves down and how it becomes a habit for many women.  Even if we know we’re bad ass..we want to humble ourselves to be more relatable – or maybe that’s just me?

When I was maybe 11, I had this close friend, who for some reason thought it was amusing to walk up to people at our camp and ask “who’s prettier, Mara or me?”.  I thought it was so weird, but was intimidated by her odd confidence because I stayed quiet. And she did it all the time that summer.

I hadn’t even thought that much about my looks back then, and her behavior caused naive me to realize that looks matter, and people rate and compare beauty.  At 11, I hardly showered, and now I had to be insecure about my exterior, when I was just happy being a kid. And after her constant beauty surveys, I wondered, is she prettier than me?  I used comedy to hide the fact that I was totally uncomfortable with her asking people who was prettier.  At a young age I was well versed in using self deprecation and comedy to avoid being the recipient of hurt.

Because she believed she was prettier and her own belief, although cocky  – made all of us believe HER truth. I guess self deprecation no matter how charming, how it makes everyone feel more comfortable, disarms them – may in reality make the person doing it, seem less than. I was a tough kid who used “fuck” and “asshole” in my regular conversations, but emotionally I didn’t have the guts to just tell that girl to take her pretty face and go “fuck herself”.

I’ve tried to be better about putting myself down – because it’s true, the more you say something, the more it’s your truth and the people around you start to also believe your words. It seems less fun, and inauthentic at times – – BUT I’m still funny gosh darn it.

I kinda am obsessed with indigo. It’s so comfy, cool and it’s that color I love so much. Indigo make EVERYTHING look insanely stylish – I’m picturing bags, belts, leggings, socks – -leg warmers !!!!

SO a lot of people, especially my Cali crew of DIY peeps are making indigo. I’m so ADD, I keep thinking about it, but following directions is a daunting process for me. I need someone to show me how in person, and elbow me when I get distracted. Here’s a blog, which does a great job of explaining how to make indigo fabric step by step, even I could do it..https://indiesew.com/blog/how-to-indigo-dye-fabric

Love the color of these sandals – maroon has been hot for a while now – I dig a maroon bag   -very early late 70’s, early 80’s. These sandals are by Beatrice Valenzuela, http://beatricevalenzuela.com from Erica Tanov, https://www.ericatanov.com/stores.html 

The Adidas slides craze has influenced high end designers to make “fancy” slides.

Erica Tanov is a beautiful store in Marin County and Berkeley with such a well curated collection of accessories and apparel.

chic..

Hair on funky point…

It’s a hot day in Marin County and this dress is perfect as a pool cover up or an option not to sweat profusely on a 90 degree California day.

A little Kabbalah red string… it goes a long way

Tortoise shell glasses and an authentic smile.

These $130 Sweats make my Butt look Weird…

Marin County. May 2017.

So, I’m going to show you how I wear sweatpants.  I style them in a way that represents my style: imperfect, funky & disheveled . When I wear them, I use a lot of accessories to balance out how unflattering they are to a women’s body.

You guys have heard me wonder out loud, “how the hell did I pay $130 for these sweats?” – but considering they serve as sleep wear and day wear, I got a pretty good deal on these bad boys..

I have so much going on here, let’s begin with the labels

Leg Warmers: Target, Flats: Chanel, Sweats: Free City https://freecitysupershop.com, Bag: Urban Zen https://www.urbanzen.com (Donna Karan’s Urban Zen), Denim shirt (cut unevenly by me): Holding Horses, Personalized Door Knockers: https://melodyehsani.com Top: Adidas, Sunglasses: Made Well (they already broke!)

Donna Karan’s Urban Zen is the designers website bringing together her favorite things – The items are carefully sourced, made ethically and usually go toward supporting a worthwhile cause. This bag is enormous  – it fits my laptop, camera etc.. it was a gift for my mother, but after someone nearly tripped on the fringe, she mailed it back to me.

So let’s talk. I’m always half way between just working out and going to get my kids from school. Often, I question the point of showering and getting dressed at all, when the people I see are usually sitting at a coffee shop staring into their laptops. Sometimes, I miss the challenge of living someplace where everyones style game is on point – because then I want to step it up.

I love being comfortable. Believe me, I wear these sweats to sleep and in public. Here’s how I make them look less doubty.. I wear this to spinning class, I just throw my flats in the locker and switch to the spinning shoes. Yoga and spinning are perfect workouts for people who hate ugly sneakers…. like me!!

My butt looks terrible in these sweats. I’m posting this angle to explain that for me, at least, comfort is sometimes more important.. I know, shocking.

Told you the bag is huge!! Good thing about being short, is you can get away with wearing ridiculously big bags- It wasn’t the Olsen twins who started that trend – but I’ll make the reference.

Leg warmers are accessories for your feet and legs, they can take a simple look, and make it funky or make you feel like you are ready to dance on stage.

And that’s my dorky face..

 

 

Feeling Exposed, My Workout Style…

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Fashion Notes: Minnetonka moccasins, Lululemon Boogie shorts, Bag purchased in Barcelona, Uniqlo puffy jacket in navy.

I’ve come to the realization that I actually am that person, that “mom” who wears workout clothing every day – even without working out. Is it the support of the spandex, which offers me comfort? Whatever it may be, I still get stopped quite frequently (don’t roll your eyes), complimenting me on my different looks. It always surprises me, because I’m not even wearing proper clothing. If I lived in NYC, London or Paris – no chance I would spend my days in leggings..but I live somewhere, where it’s more acceptable. But it does get boring staring at a sea of Patagonia jackets and Lululemon leggings, and of course “reasonable” sneakers.  So once again, I put together a few looks on what I wear to make my workout clothing sexier, cooler and most importantly stylish.

So these looks are exaggerated, I’m sucking in and only showing you my best angles..When I leave the gym, I change – I add accessories, change my shoes etc.. I know it’s gross that I don’t shower, but who has time?  For more of my workout style tips..http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/how-to-be-a-style-icon-in_b_4898418.html

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Fashion Notes: Vintage GAP fanny pack (don’t be jealous), North Face cropped Jacket, Michael Stars Tank (but badly by me), Bangles by Shandi Levy Jewelry & India, Alternative Leggings

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Fashion Notes: Adidas slides, Chloe T-shirt, Leggings from TJ Max, Chanel Classic bag, Ralph Lauren vintage blue blazer (courtesy of one of my brother’s Bar Mitzvah’s), Door Knocker Earrings from Amazon, Socks??

Yes, Adidas slides are cool! The Adidas slides have been huge in Paris for a while now, especially worn with skirts. The problem for me, is that most people don’t know or care about style..so they see me walking around with socks and slides, and assume I’m a lunatic – which I am, but I also have a “look” – which usually is appreciated in cities like Paris and NYC. I once had an outfit on, and my Step-Father thought it was quite funny looking – as we walked down Madison, a man in a taxi had the taxi pull over, and asked me if I would appear in his boyfriend’s fashion show..”you are fierce”, he said to me. Validation baby!!

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Fashion Notes: Leggings from REI, by North Face, Vintage GAP fanny pack, Tribal leather jacket, Chanel Bag, Elizabeth & James Tank

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Fashion Notes: Miu Miu bag (it’s so huge, I can’t find anything), Marc Jacobs jean skirt, Chloe top, Uniqlo puffy, Armani aviators

I basically re-wear the same things over and over – but try to mix things up, to not seem like such a repeater – but I do a terrible job. I’m a lover of bags and earrings, so that’s my way of making my look a little less boring.

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I realize most of you aren’t running around in cropped shirts – and my style may be influenced by Miami – but style is about having fun – and NO JUDGMENTS!!

Fashion Shots by T. Palmer

 

Haute in Japan… Part Deux

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Traditions still exist in Japan, and clothing plays a big role.

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Loving tha high bun, and little sock with the kitten heels.. that’s how to avoid blisters. The plaid shirt tied around her waist is the re-invention of grunge.

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It’s a 90’s fashion couple right here!! Love it.

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It’s funny because this mom is wearing a Marin outdoorsy outfit, but her kicks give it style credentials.

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My Adidas.. kicks close up.

 

Mountain Man Style is HAUTE. Dickies at Drop-Off.

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Michael. Woodacre, California. May 2015.

Michael is the little league coach for his son’s baseball team. I love how tough this dad looks with his mountain man beard, tattoos and manly physique. And Michael is wearing Dickies, a brand that’s been around for a long time.

Michael works in construction and obviously is a very involved father – believe me, little league is no laughing matter.. it’s major time and communication with parents, parents like me..exactly, not easy.

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The town of Woodacre is located in West Marin County – it’s filled with beautiful sprawling landscapes, farms, wild animals and a pretty tight community of truly authentic hippies..You drive around these little towns, and nothing is creepy at all. Because it’s filled with a pretty progressive population of free thinkers- – most likely, no one will shoot you if you accidentally land on their property (unlike some other Southern American towns).

There are no chains, only mom and pop owned stores, where everyone knows everyone. I love the idea of a small town, but one that’s excepting and liberal..and not-judgemental. That’s my image of Woodacre.

Robin Williams spent his teenage years in the town of Woodacre.