Haute Summer Style. Mara’s Take.

Summer 2017.

It’s hot outside, and style takes a little more work, or maybe less? With more skin showing, more neurotic insecurities come up – EVEN though I know how unimportant superficial insecurities are, they still scratch at me – But I tell myself several times a day, “Mara, stop being so boring & focusing on BS” – it usually works.

So here I’m mixing it up. As always, borrowing from my love of Brooklyn 90’s hip-hop style. Let’s break down my look:

Hair: Wavy and braided, Army Jacket: I cut it in half, it’s from a thrift store and it’s Jordache, I’m thinking 80’s, Bag: Vintage Gucci that belonged to my incredible Grandmother Sylvia, who had the best sense of humor, personality, wit, zest for life and a beauty that stopped those in her tracks. My mom bought her this bag, after she watched all four of us, I imagine a Gucci bag doesn’t equal the price of babysitting my wild siblings and me. I wear this bag, and it’s more than a fancy bag, it’s my grandma who’s keeping me company. Shorts: They are short, I got them at Free People, not many stores here in Marin County, I liked the color. Nails: Pointy, white, gold and so high maintenance. Earrings: Oscar de la Renta chandelier earrings, from Neiman Marcus and personalized door knockers, which already broke!!! Denim tank: cut by me, bought maybe at Intermix, Choker: bought this at a tiny thrift store in Marin County for maybe $5

The Gucci bag is longer than my shorts…. of course!

I mean it’s hard to wear heels with short shorts, but the way I mix it up – it’s a little funky and cool – not so sexy.

I’m happy with my hair, it covers me when I’m feeling shy..and it always makes me look so funky.

LOVE this!! It’s so me. I use scissors to cut my clothing, and it never comes out even.

It’s okay to wear the same color from top to bottom – especially when the shades don’t match exactly

 

Women’s March Oakland. Haute Drop-Off.

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I had to take a selfie before taking off to Oakland. If you know me well, you have free reign to poke fun; It seems like I’m attempting to morph into a contrived character out of a Free People catalog, I can see them advertising ‘free spirit protest clothing on sale after January 22′. And what my look says most likely is, “hey, I’m going to a protest, so let me draw a piece sign on my stomach, and wear something bohemian, but still stylish” I get it guys, and I admit it.  BUT when am I ever going to get a chance to draw a peace sign on my stomach and not get punched for it?

The issue is peace signs are so contrived, even if I still love them.  But there is a new symbol taking over, the VULVA. The vulva was the official symbol of the Women’s March. Women dressed as Vulvas, drew them and wore clothing with vulvas as the main theme. I am not great at drawing, so a last minute vulva sketch on my stomach was an impossible task – but know that I will be prepared at the next march.

FASHION NOTES: Plaid top: Zara, Denim, distressed tank: Intermix, Jeans: MOTHER, Moccasins: Minnetonka, Socks: Urban Outfitters

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I ran to CVS in a creepy area near my house, I kept thinking how I’m buying posters to protest for Women’s rights, and I’m nervous that a man is going to attack me in the dark, desolate parking lot. I also thought it very sorority like to buy poster board and sharpees at CVS, it’s good I have terrible handwriting, which always makes me seem legit!!  IMG_0779

My friends Willa and Eric, who happen to be with my family when Trump was elected. We were all horrified, and figured we should march together.

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This is en route to the Oakland march, tons of Police cars and traffic. My friend Eric brought a gorgeous Leica film camera to document the march, he didn’t want to waste any photos on us – – -bastard!!

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This march was filled with mothers and kids, families  – as a mother, I know how hard it is to stand/walk in a crowded place with kids for hours – this is so important for younger generations to participate and witness.

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My favorite sign, it had such a fashion angle. The signs were exceptional.

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Here I am, holding my sign high and proud – I make so many jokes, but the reality is serious here. I’ve struggled as a woman, like all of us  – but my basic rights have not personally been threatened. I thank the generations of women before me who stood up for equality  -we’re still not there yet – and the President elect has threatened our basic rights, and I’m not going to stand still and be silent. This is not a political issue – this is a human issue. Proud to stand with so many vocal Americans, who refuse to be muted. May we continue to be vocal, fight back and refuse to accept mistreatment, lack of human rights and inequality for all people.

Miami Mamas Don’t Do Mini-Vans.

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Vicky. Miami, Florida. December 2015.

Vicky is from Mexico City.  She studied Fashion Design and had her own line in Mexico City.  Currently, Vicky is living in Miami and using her skills as a painter and designer to create beautiful & fashionable Yoga mats. Her Yoga mat line is launching soon, this will help me “keep my eyes on my own mat”  -as I sometimes have an issue with focusing…ALWAYS, actually.

I’m pretty sure Janis Joplin wrote “Mercedes Benz” after a trip to Miami..”Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.” Miami is known for its cars and I love that Vicky squeezed three kids in this Porsche.

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Decades after Janis Joplin’s song, Will Smith wrote specifically about Miami’s love of fancy cars in his song Welcome to Miami..”Hundred thousand dollar cars, everybody got ’em”… It’s kind of true – in Miami, it’s not only the wealthy who drive fancy cars. And certainly having kids would never stop Miamians from driving Porsches etc..

My mom drove a station wagon, and that wasn’t the norm..it was convertibles, two-door Mercedes and expensive sports cars. Personally, nothing made me feel cooler than riding around in my Mamas wood paneled station wagon as a kid in Miami – we were “retro” before “retro’ was considered cool. I’m totally kidding, we felt totally dorky in my mom’s station wagon – and my brother reminded me that a wire stuck out of the back, which accidentally caused gashes on our friend’s skin.

My friend’s mom drove a Porsche convertible, that car would pull up to school drop-off and arouse serious attention, my mom’s wagon..not so much. So in some way, I appreciate Vicky squeezing a family into a small, fancy sports car..

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Bag: Hermès

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Shoes: Loeffler Randall at Intermix, www.intermix.com  – I love Intermix, especially when they have sales.

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She’s so pretty and natural with glowing Miami skin. Cap Sleeve Blouse: Zara

Haute Style Profile.

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“Each month, we ask our stylish mamas and local tastemakers to spill their secrets and share their stuff. Here, the fashion blogger behind Haute Drop-Off, Mara Menachem, lets us in on the one thing she can’t live without. Read on!” (Southern Marin Moms Club Newsletter)

STYLE + BEAUTY

Favorite piece of jewelry: A cocktail ring my mom bought for my grandmother, when she was in Paris, and my grandmother watched the four of us.

One thing in your wardrobe you can’t live without: My jean jacket collection, loving my new grunge one from INTERMIX.

Style Icons: Lisa Bonet, Joy Bryant, Chloe Sevigny, SJP as Carrie Bradshaw, Patricia Field, Anna Dello Russo (editor at VOGUE Japan), Bill Cunningham, because he knows how to pick ’em, Dolly Parton & Tina Turner, the sexiest women in show business at any age.

Daily uniform: Floral shorts, Frye ankle boots, gold door-knocker earrings, jean jacket, and ankle socks (sometimes with Chanel flats).

Jeans: USED. They have to be worn in…or very tight. The butt is everything in jeans.

Swimwear: Brazilians always make the best suits. If you can wear a bikini, tiny floral prints are the most flattering. I always think a black one-piece is classic and elegant.

Favorite accessory: My white Lanvin bag purchased at a consignment store in Aspen, Acid wash jean jacket, gold door-knocker earrings in the largest size made, and my gold hoop nose ring.

Describe your personal style: I adore vintage, accessories, and old handbags. Your 90-year-old grandmother’s closet is an exciting place for me!

Skincare: I’m crazy about Fresh’s Rice Oil. It makes you smell amazing.

Scent: LaVanilla makes great smelling stuff. I admit to liking Patchouli, too.

Lipstick: I stick to clear. Want BIG lips without the surgery? Smashbox O Plump does the trick.

Who colors your hair: Sonja Avallone at Christopher Salon in Mill Valley.

Favorite store: Hidden Treasures in Topanga is unbelievable, the original Century 21, Jeffrey NYC for drooling purposes, Intermix, Goodwill, Zara (but they are now off my list due to some poor practices).

Where do you get a facial: Lisa Perkins 415-272-8108, leave looking dewy and gorgeous.

LIFESTYLE

Must-have: Sun, friends, social interaction.

Influences: I think I’m influenced by humanity, photography.

What inspires you: People inspire me, if I could talk to and observe people as a career, I would.

Item you keep purchasing over and over: Jean jackets.

Something no ones knows about you: I’m shy.

First thing you do every morning: Cuddle with whoever is around.

Signature staple: Short Shorts/Skirt/Dresses.

Pet peeve: Not a lot bothers me, but I would appreciate a nod or a thank you if I open the door for you.

Guilty pleasures: Donuts, talking to strangers & enormous earrings.

Favorite holiday: Halloween is so fun – and I love visiting my brother Seth in LA for Hanukkah, mostly because of the donuts.

Favorite workout: Yoga at Marin Power Yoga & Spinning.

Overrated: Being perfect.

VIRTUAL

Websites you always check: Humans of New York, NY Times, The Sartorialist, Facebook, Page 6 occasionally.

Bloggers you follow: The Sartorialist, Bill Cunningham.

Mama bloggers you follow: Scary Mommy, HuffPost Parents.

On your iPod: Lauryn Hill, lots of 1990’s R&B, Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Run DMC, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Neal Casal.

Favorite people to follow on Instagram: Afropunk

ENTERTAINMENT

Celebrity crush: Ben Harper, Louis CK and Larry David.

Favorite artist, past or present: Bill Cunningham. Not sure if people consider him an artist, but I do. He has made fashion into something that’s not snobby or inaccessible. Michael Moore. He created films that not only
rocked the boat and took major risks and exposed horror, but actually change occurred. I guess that’s not usually the expectation of art, but it’s one I admire.

Best place to hear music: Coming from Miami, Marin/San Francisco is heaven on earth for live music. I think Big Sur is a special place, Greek Theater in Berkeley, and I love The Sweetwater, and when I’m really wanting to be around the “jam band” crowd, it’s Phil Lesh’s place Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael.

Best show on TV: Curb Your Enthusiasm is my all time favorite. I also love Louis CK, and Sex and The City re-runs, I also love watching The Goldberg’s with my kids

Favorite magazine: Psychology Today, I promise they have the most interesting articles.

Favorite book: Animal Farm

Favorite podcast: NPR All Songs Considered and This American Life, and Ted Talks.

PLACES

Favorite museum: The Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Favorite restaurant: Zuma in Miami & my close friend’s husband Vinny Dotolo’s spot Son of a Gun.

Favorite domestic travel spot: Big Sur, Miami & Aspen.

Favorite international travel spot: Someplace new.

Best-kept secret: Rancho Nicasio, it’s an authentic Northern California bar in West Marin.

Favorite city: NYC & London.

Favorite hotel: The Ellerman House in Cape Town – where we stayed on our honeymoon.

Favorite hike: Aspen Mountain, it’s so hard, feels like it’s never going to end…and then it does.

KIDS

First-year must-haves: Friends to tell you it gets better, and lots of nights out to remind you of your life before…

Best day with the kids: The best night for me, was getting in late from the airport on our way to camp, and hanging out in one of those super gas stations drinking slurpees, and talking to people. Taking them to see Super Diamond, the Neil Diamond cover band in Aspen.

Best place to see a movie with your kid(s): Fairfax in town, and Larkspur, my youngest and I had the best date their ever, I took him to see Chef, a little inappropriate.

Kids’ fashion brand: Trunk vintage concert T’s.

Favorite ritual you have with your kid(s): Dance parties, late night desert outings, playing card games, hang man..just being spontaneous, because that’s the mom they got.

Best park: Berkeley Playground or Golden Gate Park.

Favorite children’s movie: Jerry Lewis and Peter Sellers,.. so fun to watch with them, and Vacation (kind of inappropriate).

I Have Nothing to Wear! Huffington Post Style.

Mara

“With twenty minutes left before I would be rudely late, and between the kids bugging me, my hair soaking wet, and my makeup-free face — I was beginning to stress. I threw on my old faithful, a Black A-K-R-I-S dress. A purchase made in “The Back-Room”of Loehmann’s many years ago, a dress that has come to my rescue more times then I can count.” Click below for the rest of the article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/i-have-nothing-to-wear_b_7182326.html

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Vintage gold bangles from my mother and grandmother.

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Lanvin White bag, purchased at a consignment shop in Aspen.

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Heels: Pour la Victoire, www.pourlavictoire.com

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Earrings from Neiman Marcus, www.neimanmarcus.com

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Bangles, top from a market in Istanbul. Bottom: Musa Jewelry, http://musa-jewelry.myshopify.com

 

How to Show a Sliver of Tummy (without a 6-pack)

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We’ve all seen many celebrities of all ages sporting mid-drifts this year, I am telling you, most of us can pull off showing a sliver of skin…

So you want to show a little tummy? Here’s how you can do it, even if you are not in shape- high waisted skirt is key, and you can get one that’s a little tight to hold you in… You only need a little but of skin peaking and REMEMBER, self tanner is your friend.

Check out the distance between my skirt and top, so little, but it does the trick.

Fashion Notes: Blazer: Ralph Lauren Boys Vintage, Skirt: Intermix, Tank: Trunk, Boots: Zara, Bag: Vintage Fendi