JUICY is HAUTE

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59a6ed54e4b08299d89d0b74

“My friend Rachel and I decided to purchase our track suits together, she also decided to get Nicole Richie thin that summer. We arrived at Burdine’s in Miami, back then the equivalent to Bloomingdale’s.  Juicy was so hot that they had a separate section in the store filled with racks and racks of Juicy Couture, mostly of the coveted terry or velour tracksuits in a rainbow of colors and sizes from XS to XL. Rachel and I both grabbed the extra small hoody and the extra small pants. Her waif body fit right into the suit.  Horrified, I stared at my reflection in the very mean mirror. I moved up to a small. My boobs were squeezed into a uni boob.  For the first time in my life I noticed what seemed to be back fat from my bra strap.”

Click on link above to read more about my JUICY adventures and how I know Juicy track suits are back and will be bigger than ever.

Miami can be Low Key & Haute

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LaToya. Miami. December 2016.

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Spotted LaToya after her son’s foot got caught in a door, didn’t stop me from asking for a photo – — see the tears 🙁

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LaToya’s adorable ballet slippers in bright red are from PAYLESS!!! Love them. www.payless.com

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LaToya has no make-up on and looks gorgeous –

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I love her low key style on a slightly “cold” Miami day – ya know, it was 77 degrees out!

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Posing..

 

Haute Havana in Marin County….

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Nina and Felix. Fairfax, California. Spring 2016.

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Felix grew up in Cuba, I was very excited to connect with him – because he obviously reminded me of Miami. Nina (who also has roots in Cuba) and Felix are actively involved in making Cuba a better place for its citizens. They founded the organization, Bay Area Cuba Community Alliance, www.baccagroup.org

Most of us who grew up in Miami, consider ourselves partially Cuban – we were lucky to be raised with so many people from different cultures, and with a large percentage of Cubans making Miami home – we got to start our mornings with a Cafecito and pastelito and grew up speaking “Spainglish”, the unofficial language of Miami. So when you meet someone who’s Cuban outside of Miami, you feel like you already have a great deal in common.

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Adorable family style…

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Nina grew up in Northern California, but lived in NYC for a long time – she has that natural New York sensibility (her parents are New Yorkers) mixed in with the open minded California spirit. When you have tattoos this large, you’ll never come off as uptight – only creative and cool (even if you are the opposite).

Paradise City. Miami Drop-Off.

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Amber. Miami, Florida. April 2015.

It was amazing to be in Miami again, and check out the school pick up fashion. When I lived in Miami, I loved capturing Amber’s style on Haute Drop-Off.

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How cute is Amber?

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We all need an oversized, cool bag like this, especially with three kids.

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As you know, Miami is so hot – it’s hard to go out without revealing skin. Confidence is key!

Rome Parents = Sex Appeal.

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North Miami Beach, Florida. December 2015.

This was taken at Miami Beach’s famed Bal Harbour Shops, http://www.balharbourshops.com.  Bal Harbour Shops is home to luxury brands such as; Chanel, Gucci, Goyard, Intermix, Miu Miu, John Varvatos etc..

Growing up in Miami, we would come to Bal Harbour because Saks Fifth Avenue always had the best sales..it was also a bonding time with my mother (and usually brothers) to walk around, eat a big lunch and feel like a slob among Miami’s “well dressed”. I say that in quotes, because you will also see some amazing outfits, where every single designer is displayed on their bodies.

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If you ever want to get a semi-understanding of Miami, and its people – visit Bal Harbour shops. Yes, it’s not totally representative of this city, because most people can’t afford to walk into Chanel and spend $12,000 on two handbags. Oh and usually, that’s in actual cash.  Bal Harbour Shops is Miami’s version of Rodeo Drive (only in an outdoor mall form) and apparently is more successful.

Dressed in cut off’s, a plaid torn shirt, moccasins and a bikini peaking through – I looked like the official “Bal Harbour Slob”.  Oh, did I mention my hair was larger than Gloria Estefan’s in the late 80’s… (thank you ocean water). It’s an inside joke, between me and well, me – that I always look like a mess when I should look “stylish”. I think it’s the rebel in me, saying I don’t need to conform to your fashion standards – or maybe it’s bad time management. I walked into Chanel, and everyone looked gorgeous – like they all got their hair blown out for this expedition. I stood there, and waited to be helped – and observed the mind blowing idea that there is such a discrepancy of wealth in this Country – but quickly I realized most of the shoppers were tourists – with lots of cash.

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As I walked around, I met this fun, stylish Italian family – who moved from Rome to Miami. The Italian fashion sensibility is natural and always comes with a smile.

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The little boy wanted me to capture his remote control car. Italian men can even make sneakers look chic.

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This is how we shop – practical shoes.

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This mama, like me was super excited about her new Valentino mini-backpack. Remember, I told you these are huge again. Jump suit by Missoni (obviously).

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Happiness right there!! And I hear happiness makes your butt look better in photos!

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The thing I discovered, which differed from my younger self – I didn’t care about looking like a slob in a designer obsessed land. I’m pretty darn comfortable in my skin, even when it’s not dressed “cool”. Obviously, it’s because “cool” comes from within, and part of that is having fun, being spontaneous and living life without the worry of always having to look your best.

 

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).

Don’t Let Mom Jeans Happen to You…

MIAMI MAMMAS

“It was only until I stood on the sidelines of my cousin’s Massachusetts soccer game in a sea of parents styled in mom jeans, sneakers and college sweatshirts, when I began to realize maybe Miami was different from most American cities. Even the dads, as horrifying as that vision can be, were also wearing high-waisted mom jeans.” 

Read more of my Piece in HuffPost below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/dont-let-mom-jeans-happen-to-you_b_6994722.html?utm_hp_ref=style&ir=Style

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Chanel, Dior, LV Bags. 7 Inch Heels. How Miami Recycles.

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Melissa Clarin. Founder, Pinecrest Marketplace. Miami, Florida.

My friend Melissa Clarin is the opposite of me – she’s decisive, organized, structured and neat – all while being really fun. Melissa is a lot like the character Olivia Pope in Scandal. Melissa is a fixer. Melissa had an idea to help people sell their unwanted goods to people in a safe manner..She formed a membership only group in Miami, where you have to know someone to be invited.  Melissa’s unwavering dedication and no ounce of ADD, has grown her idea into a huge revenue builder for Miami. I’m proud of my friend, a Haute Mom and entrepreneur.  

Your Weight Loss is our Gain, and other benefits of Pinecrest Marketplace

Who knew old stuff would bring a community together? I’ve been watching you Pinecrest Marketplace.  Your expensive stilettos, designer handbags, spiked heels, Mid-Century Modern furniture and some clothing that still hasn’t made its way back in fashion.  I’ve appreciated and participated in the Facebook banter regarding posted items.  And I’ve witnessed first hand, how selling and buying other people’s stuff has brought a community closer.

As a lover of all things worn, old, retro, vintage and just plain used, I’ve been drooling over some of the items on Pinecrest Marketplace.  A Fendi bag in animal print reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw, a Chanel fanny pack (which I coveted, but couldn’t afford), beaded dresses fit for a Novella etc…who knew your old stuff would make fellow Miami residents more stylish?

Pinecrest Market Place has taught me a lot about human behavior, oh and my rule adhering friend Melissa. Melissa has to be a strict enforcer, because let’s face it–all of us would break the rules if we could.  I’ve pointed out my various observations to Melissa, with not much validation. She’s not in this to judge, only to make our lives easier. So since I live in California now, and don’t have to deal with your reaction to my witty commentary – here are some tips I’ve put together:

Bargains: Reducing something by $5.00 is not a bargain. May I suggest using percentages to make it seem like a really good deal.

Your fashion mistake is another person’s fashion triumph:  Aren’t you Pinecrest fashionistas so lucky? The fashion mistakes of your past, are now the investments of your future. And since when do bad fashion decisions come with a surplus of cash?

Your weight loss is our Gain: CrossFit, the biggest thing to hit the suburbs since Jane Fonda’s 1980’s hey day – has transformed your body into a lean muscle machine. In other words, you will no longer wear anything that doesn’t cling to those hard earned muscles. Lucky for you, Pinecrest Marketplace has people happy to buy your gently used Lululemon yoga pants and sports bras. Ya see your weight loss is our gain..well, in workout clothing.

Community: When I was shopping on Craigs List, I always said to myself, “is this ___ worth the possibility of being murdered?” Now, all you think about is if the item is worth selling to someone who lives in your community, has mutual friends, and knows where you live.  This knowledge ensures quality..because no one wants to disappoint fellow neighbors.  Melissa has created a safe and easy way to sell our old and new shit… and we love her for that.

Stripper Shoes: Donate them to The Booby Trap. Miami already has a reputation that’s been hard to dismantle. Acrylic shoes are the official shoe wear of strippers, which is great for “show” business. But not a mother negotiating the ridiculous deli line at Publix, In an attempt to get sliced turkey for her kids lunches. I even slipped across a grocery store floor in reasonable ankle boots.  Wearing these 7-inch acrylic heels could cause any innocent person, no matter how coordinated, a debilitating neck injury. (BUT if you do see a mom at school drop-off in this get up, please send me a photo ASAP for Haute Drop-Off), my website is www.hautedropoff.com – please send all stripper mom photos via the link.

Another Man’s trash IS another man’s treasure: This does not apply to used undergarments.  The funny thing about PMP, is that we all know each other. And that still hasn’t stopped these listings.  No level of embarrassment has stopped you guys from listing used underwear and bras.  Believe me when I say this, unless they are Mick Jagger’s old tighty whities, no one and I mean no one will buy or take used underwear for free. When you’ve retired your undergarments, please dispose of them immediately.

Bad Fashion Mistakes: I’m sorry to break the news, if you notice ridiculous amounts of listings for “specific” logo’d gems, this is a clear indication that even in suburban Miami, no one wants them.  Old 1990’s suits? Some maybe from The Limited Express? I’m ashamed that you’ve held onto these garments, but please don’t perpetuate the 1990’s era of bad suits, if you care at all about Pinecrest maintaining some dignity.

Follow the Rules: The person at the helm of PMP, is one of the most organized, detail oriented humans I know. Melissa is soley responsible for taking our clutter and baggage, and turning it into an organized revenue stream for Pinecrest.  Now, I will say Melissa is strict, that’s true. She will not bend the rules, and for someone like me who constantly breaks rule–it’s especially difficult dealing with someone who’s fair. But that’s why PMP is a great success, and will continue to grow and prosper. Oh and if you missed the boat on early membership, start hoarding now – I hear PMP is harder to get into then a packed night at Zuma.

Bootlegs and Lace

Crop-Top. Belly Jewelry. Sexy Style @ Kid’s Parties.

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Little Venezuela: This photo was taken in Doral, an area of Miami with an earned nick name of “Little Venezuela”, due to the large population of Venezuelans.  Have you seen Venezuelan women?  Venezuela is no stranger to beauty – besides the US, Venezuela dominates beauty pageants world-wide (I despise beauty pageants, but I’m making a point).

If you’ve seen Venezuelan women, that random statistic is not surprising.  Occasionally (like maybe twice), when I lived in Miami, I was mistaken as Venezuelan.  Usually, it was when I went overboard with my blonde highlights, but my ego would temporarily inflate (for maybe 5 minutes, and then I was back to my usual neurotic stuff).

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Miami Mamas: Miami has so many cultural influences, and having a large Venezuelan population has only given us a “beauty nudge”, because they sure are making an effort – even on a Sunday at a kid’s birthday party spot.

Mara’s Personal Thoughts: And ya know what? I LOVE this about Miami.  I know I’m such a repeater, but Miami mamas make a serious effort to look slamming.  Many, many times it’s really annoying for some of us (me) who just want to roll out of bed, and look like a slob (even if I pretend it’s “throwback grunge”).  But I thank these women, for giving me a little beauty push – we all know we feel better when we throw on jeans so tight we can’t breath, and heels so high we can’t walk.  The beautiful Dolly Parton said it well, “When I’m feeling a little low, I put on my favorite high heels to stand a little taller.”.

Here is a link to a piece I wrote about Miami Mom Style, and my years growing up seeing these glamorous women dropping off my friends at school.  Here’s the link: http://blog.justaskboo.com/a-love-letter-to-miami-moms/

 

Haute Fashion in Humid Climates. Miami Drop-Off.

DSC_0035DSC_0034Lisa. Coral Gables, Florida. December 2014.

Lisa always looks put together and does it in a natural way.  This was a weekend morning and she’s sporting a long floral skirt that’s high waisted with a tight tank to show her naturally thin body.  Her accessories are minimal, and I really like the addition of a few gold bangles. Miami is hot, and it’s hard to not wear cut off shorts every day – you kind of really have to think about your wardrobe from a “it’s hot as hell” perspective.

Lisa is currently raising these adorable little girls, while continuing her involvement in several Miami charities.  She and her family live on Miami Beach.

Fashion Notes: Skirt: Ella Moss, Tank top: Theory, Sandals: K.Jacques St. Tropez, Bag: Botkier