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.

Denim Part Deux & This is no Britney/Justin circa 2001…

Denim on Denim. Canadian Tuxedo. Jean Suit. Denim Tuxedo. Whatever you call it, this is my style. I live in denim, always have. So what do you think, Hot or not? Here are so many photos of me (what? you had enough?) in another jean on jean look.. notice the different shades of denim and my accessories…it makes my denim suit look less “suit” and more funky and stylish.. nothing “polished” about this look at all.. which I like.

Fashion Notes: Jeans: 7 for all Mankind, Shoes: Proenza Schouler, Bag: 1970’s Coach re-furbished from Barney’s NY, Denim top: J.Crew (cut by me), Crop top: Zara, Glasses: Madewell

Here’s how to avoid the Britney/Justin 2001 jean tuxedo look, https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/apr/02/double-denim-is-back-in-fashion-and-this-is-how-to-wear-it-oz-stylewatch

In case you didn’t read my tips in my first post, here’s the key to pulling off, well really what I wear daily

Mix colors: I think it looks cooler to wear many different colors, like Joseph and his technicolor dream coat 🙂

Mix fabrics: so some denim is worn in and some denim is very dense.. it looks stylin’ to have all those fabrics blended. So a beat up jacket with holes paired with dark blue and stiff jeans.

Accessorize: Add color and/or lots of gold like me. Now that you are wearing all jean, throw some jewelry on and over do it..you can, believe me. Either silver or gold or a bright beaded necklace like I have from Colombia..go for it.

Bags/Shoes: Again, have fun here. You can get away with so much, like wearing high heels in bright red or white – especially if you are wearing jeans with holes. I love wearing a fancy bag like a Chanel or anything with gold hardware or even a fancy clutch with head to toe denim.. it gives cool style immediately. And it’s more fun to take something polished and make it a little less polished…

Opposites Attract: ..and the same works in regard to style. High/Low, Soft/Hard, Formal/Informal…

Men: You can pull this off so well, just make sure someone approves those jeans, must fit well, especially in the booty – although I kind of love a little sagging, if you can get away with it..throw on a cool jean jacket, maybe a beat up one, or a really dark denim paired with ripped jeans or an old denim work shirt.. you’ll stop traffic, believe me

This bag – -it’s so good!! But you can also change the entire look by wearing a bag with a lot more bling and/or logos.

Blue and gold look great together…

Remember this? for more of my Neil Diamond denim on denim style, click here http://www.hautedropoff.com/?p=9423

Denim on Denim. Haute or Not? HAUTE. Tips Here.

Ojai, California. July 2017.

Yes that’s a close up of my tushy.. my friend Eric Tabora took all these shots, and none of us noticed my jeans were missing a big patch..oops. The photos are in black and white, but I’m wearing all denim.. I’m a big believer in a denim tuxedo or Canadian Tuxedo or whatever you guys call it – it’s pretty much my uniform, denim is my favorite fabric, and always has been…

These shorts look like underwear, especially when the camera is lower. I know it’s hard to see what I’m wearing in the artsy black & white… but it’s all DENIM, even my top is denim…I’m kinda obsessed..here ya go:

Fashion Notes: Bag: vintage Coach from Barney’s, Shoes: from the vintage fair in Oakland, I cut them to make half boots, Shorts: old Levi’s, Top: Intermix, Glasses: Dries Van Noten

I’ve been making denim jackets, and my friends decided to photograph me wearing one during a fun vacation in Ojai. Nothing better then being with friends, singing, creating and laughing. And making people laugh, like here when my fringe got stuck on a cactus.

here are my tips to pulling off….

Mix colors: I think it looks cooler to wear many different colors, like Joseph and his technicolor dream coat 🙂

Mix fabrics: so some denim is worn in and some denim is very dense.. it looks stylin’ to have all those fabrics blended. So a beat up jacket with holes paired with dark blue and stiff jeans.

Accessorize: Add color and/or lots of gold like me. Now that you are wearing all jean, throw some jewelry on and over do it..you can, believe me. Either silver or gold or a bright beaded necklace like I have from Colombia..go for it.

Bags/Shoes: Again, have fun here. You can get away with so much, like wearing high heels in bright red or white – especially if you are wearing jeans with holes. I love wearing a fancy bag like a Chanel or anything with gold hardware or even a fancy clutch with head to toe denim.. it gives cool style immediately. And it’s more fun to take something polished and make it a little less polished…

Opposites Attract: ..and the same works in regard to style. High/Low, Soft/Hard, Formal/Informal…

here’s an article with more tips and photos…http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/gallery/everyones-wearingdouble-denim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haute Kiki. Aspen Style.

Kiki. Aspen. August 2017.

Hanging at the skate park in Aspen. Kiki is wearing a vintage Coach bag. She just had it re-furbished at the Coach store in NYC. I had no idea Coach was doing that. I spent a lot of money buying a re-furbished Coach bag, circa 1970’s from Barney’s. I can’t wait to bring in my $25 Coach red leather 70’s beauty to the NY flagship store and see what they can do…

So apparently with new bags, cleaning the leather is free. With older bags, it’s a nominal fee. Here’s the link, http://www.coach.com/shop/craftsmanship-care

Hard to see, but a little peak of a pretty orange Lace tank. It was a hot day in Aspen, and when you’re a mom with a kid and you’re running around – style is hard.. but Kiki made a few adjustments, and looked cool. Not like a clone in Lululemon…

 

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..