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

 

Channeling Jessica Alba. Haute Jenny.

Jenny. Marin County. Summer 2017.

You all know the deal, I saw Jenny, she had an amazing jean jacket – and I had to hear her style story.

When I approached Jenny, who reminds me of Jessica Alba, she was a bit confused. As moms, especially with little kids, it’s hard to find time to urinate, let alone get dressed.. so her look, which I love, is organic. Jenny is stylish naturally, and probably got dressed in 10 minutes, to take her kid to story time before his morning nap.

It’s my duty as a human, and lover of people – to say, ya know what mama, you look damn good.

I love denim, always have with as much passion as an Aretha Franklin song (well, maybe not that much passion). Jenny’s jacket is so COOL, she added the patches herself. I’ve been re-furbishing jean jackets since I’m a kid, and it would be a dream to have a room in my house dedicated to re-making denim… Jenny did good work here.

New moms, can get lonely, it’s a weird and amazing time. You are surrounded by other parents via your kids, and it’s not always a match made in friendship heaven. But trust me, you’ll find your friends, I’ve made sisters and brothers by just being a parent, and having to ask if I could borrow a diaper after one of my kids had an explosion, and I forgot diapers. I made a friend, when I couldn’t unhook my kid from his car seat… we need to be good to each other, smile as much as we can and make our fuck ups public – so others let their walls down a bit.

These lounge pants are so in right now – which is such a pleasure. I know they aren’t tight & don’t show off your curves – but they are like heaven, when you just want to be comfortable – and they look cool.

Amazing, and Jenny is wearing her collar up!!

Is that a Grateful Dead patch? or a just a skull? I’m so surrounded by Grateful Dead culture, I must think all skulls have to do with the band. Love a white bag, it makes everything look funky.

Pregnant. Face Tats. Pearls. Florals. Haute Lupe.

Lupe. Marin County Fair. San Rafael, California. July 2017.

Lupe is pregnant. She wanted me to know that, and as a woman, I understood right away. Any of us who’ve been pregnant, know we want to ensure all humans realize, we’re not heavy in the mid-section – we’re growing a person in there.

When I was pregnant, after three months, I announced it to some work people. One of them thought it would be flattering to let me know this, “Mara, you don’t look pregnant at all, you just look really chubby!”. Apparently, my reaction caused her to volunteer to enter a witness protection program.

I love staring at tattoos. It’s art, only on human skin – it’s weird to stare though, but so hard not to stare. I feel like I need to understand the protocol here – I mean ya get a tattoo, and usually its statement about who you are – tattoos to people are what bumper stickers are to cars. Am I right?

Lupe has so many tattoos, but they are spaced so well, it just looks so beautiful & stylin’.

And her feminine, floral dress (with skeletons) paired with a loose bun and an old school 1990’s pearl choker…perfection!!!! Love this. Pregnant and two kids on a burning hot day – and look at her!!!!

This kid is so gorgeous and didn’t complain once, it was soooo hot – not one complaint. Meanwhile, my kid was not into being his mother’s PA – too bad, I said, ya want a funnel cake? then help me!!

Floral mixed with skeletons….

I even love how Lupe’s hair is on her face – – so pretty.

 

Make-Up at the Gym..like a lot of it

Bela. Marin County. May 2017.

I love Bela, she’s so real and doesn’t hide who she is. Ask any woman if they wear make-up to the gym, most will lie. Here’s my mini-interview with Bela, mom, make-up artist & a whole lot more:

Mara: “In your opinion, what’s the most essential item of make-up you need?”

Bela: “So I can’t just pick one, I feel every girl needs concealer, a touch of blush, defined brows, a little bit of eyeliner (although I cake it on) mascara and powder. My favorite translucent powder is Beauty Counter’s loose powder, it’s great for oily skin.”

Mara: “I’m crying of laughter, this is make-up you would use on a film set, or on Broadway!  And this is your normal, every day routine -So What about BB cream, oils, stuff that you can wear to the gym?”

Bela: “Mara, I mean let me be clear, I do FULL face all day, everyday, gym, no-gym, school drop-off or no school drop-off, EVERYDAY”

Mara: “Can I quote you verbatim on Haute Drop-Off”

Bela: “Hell yea”

Bela and I volunteered together, our job was to put make-up on women in a charity fashion show. The women who sat in my chair, came out looking like they were on serious drugs or they lost in a street fight.  Obviously, I tried to convince them of my theory that, “black and blue makes the eyes appear 20 years younger”, horrified because my lie wasn’t sinking in, I gave Bela the ‘save me’ look, and so she did. Bela dove in and fixed my terrible make-up job.  From then on, I knew she had my back -and we became quick friends.

A row of lower back stars.. and how about this delicious kid? Bela grew up in Southern California, and visits her brother in West Hollywood frequently – apparently, he also is head to toe G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S.

Sexy shoulders.

Loooong legs..and this gorgeous child was so fun and delicious.

I love Bela’s pop of tattoos  – you don’t know she has them – and then they just appear

yum.

Bela knows how to look good for the camera, and I think I should be her agent :).

Those low ankle boots are a 90’s throw back.. love them, flattering and make short cut-off’s look rock-n-roll…(do people still say that?)

When your mama has legs as long as a super model, you hold on to those things for support.

I always had friends much taller than me, it’s always a funny combination. It’s helpful to have tall friends for so many things, especially if you are trying to get the attention of a bartender. They ALWAYS see the tall people first, weird.

And as mothers, we can’t always pose for photographs – I mean, these kids want to do things, they want to climb  – I love how Bela’s holding her daughter’s faux fur jacket, so she can climb the play structure.

 

 

 

 

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..

 

 

Haute Equestrian Mama.

Marin County. May 2017. Equestrian Mama.

When I see someone in full on riding gear, I think Town & Country, I think Palm Beach, Hamptons Polo matches – I think, this person is seriously FANCY..

My mom used to take me riding, I’m still not sure if it was for some special therapy or because my strong legs indicated I may possibly thrive at riding. My fear of jumps, ended my short entree into the world of horses, horse trainers and what I really wanted, an HERMÈS Saddle and knee high riding boots…

As an older teenager, I lead the equestrian, riding group at sleep-a-way camp in the deep South.  My short cut off shorts and slight heels would take a weekly van ride to a real ranch, where men in cowboy hats would chew tobacco and listen to old country music.  I would hang out with them, as we exchanged stories of our very different lives, with Waylon Jennings as the background noise.

Riding in the mountains, and getting to know these incredible animals – that was my favorite part. But fear took over, when my horse would get close to the mountain’s edge – “trust the horse”, these country boys would say – “I’m NEUROTIC, I can’t” – and then a cowboy and his horse would stay close to the neurotic one, and that’s when I could feel free…..

This mama rides and has the style to match—she walked into school and we all stopped to check out her gorgeous look.

Royal blue…

Well, I’m always a fan of a bun with waves…

Black and blue  -always is right… my mama taught me that fashion rule

Haute Equestrian Mom…

Haute Drop-Off, Carpool lane edition…

Jen. Mom. Dancer. Business Consultant. San Rafael, California. May 2017.

I acted like a paparazzi here, because most kids don’t want me to annoy them with my non-stop chatter and clicking camera. Jen is an amazing mom, business executive and Brazilian dancer.. she can MOVE!!

We do so much in the morning to get our kids ready – it’s hard to look put together, especially at 8:00 in the morning. These photographs are a true example of what it’s like for us glamorous mothers at school drop-off….. 🙂

Stylin’ @ Safeway. Met Gala. Tokyo Style.

Maka. San Rafael, California. April 2017.

I approached Maka in the check out line at Safeway. I was late, as usual and already had the store manager helping me find random ingredients to make a Greek soda for a school pot luck – What’s lime grind?

This jacket, denim, blinged out, made me have to ask this mom to take her photo. She asked to see some proof of an actual website, and that maybe I do have kids. During this photo shoot, we were getting a lot of attention from the population of homeless who hang out at this particular Safeway. It’s not funny at all, it’s sad – but what I learned is these people, were quite helpful in calling out photographic directions.

Maka moved here from Tokyo recently. We became fast friends, as she worked in fashion and wants to go vintage shopping with me. It’s hard adjusting to a new culture, so I immediately connected Maka with my friend Yuriko, who is another Japanese transplant. I admit it makes me feel good to bring people together. Having kids can be lonely – you need support, especially when you are so far from home.

REI KAWAKUBO: But let’s talk Japanese fashion.  The 2017 theme of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition and Met Gala is Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons. Opening on May 4, the show will be the first monograph exhibition at the museum featuring a living designer since its Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in 1983.

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: In June, I’ll be at The Met, checking out the exhibit. But most of all it’s the people viewing the exhibit that will be most fascinating. The style at fashion exhibits in NYC, or any major city is so stimulating, I just people watch for hours- and hope that I’m cool enough to be style checked as well.

So we can’t all go to the Met Gala, but thanks to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, some of us can have a little peak into the world of high style/art/celebrity/design….For more information, http://www.metmuseum.org

YUP. 1980’s perfection. and it was only $35 – my kinda woman.

Just remember even if you are shorter, you can pull off long jackets – with NO HEELS!

Shoulder pad action.

 

I Keep on Truckin’ in Door Knockers & Chanel

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April 2017. Somewhere in California…..Keep on Truckin’

Love the patches, especially since I now live in Grateful Dead country, and that’s an original patch – little did anyone know, it would be worn with stilettos and a large classic Chanel bag.

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This 70’s jean jacket was hiding in between two vintage hawaiian shirts at the vintage flea market in Oakland. You would think I won the lottery, I was so excited – – -and for $70.00, it was mine. Oversized, original patches, perfect color and rips in all the right places – I landed on vintage denim perfection. Sunglass are from Madewell, www.madewell.com

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These amazing door knockers are personalized with my name – from Melody Ehsani, https://melodyehsani.com and my chandelier earrings are from Neiman Marcus by Oscar de la Renta

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My heels are from the Off Fifth, the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet store – they were maybe $20. The sun dress was also a random and very inexpensive find. Most people, would say it’s really a top!! The bag, Chanel – not inexpensive, but I like to think of it as an “investment” piece, investment in my style 🙂

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The oversized jean jacket, makes a mini-dress seem more comfortable. I can wear it open or hide behind the bagginess.

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Seeeeee I can hide under this huge jacket!

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Photos: T. Palmer, Styling: Me..