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..

 

 

She’s Denim, She’s Acid Wash, She’s Perfect.

I’m officially having a love affair with a denim jacket. It sat in a Saks box for at least a week before I made the commitment. It wasn’t cheap, and if I see this Alice + Olivia Chloe jacket on sale, I will retaliate :).

I researched, I looked around, I scoured vintage stores for specific acid wash jackets – but I had to go fancy, and I had to pay retail. I even tried on a Marc Jacobs black worn-in denim jacket, and like all things Marc Jacobs – it looked terrible on my body type.  And I wanted to support my fellow Jewish brother, but it wasn’t made to fit the short, but curvy. Marc – -come on, remember your Jewish sisters and their body types!

And so, a brand I never was really into – seemed to get my attention, https://www.aliceandolivia.com  – the jacket, named “the Chloe embellished jacket” is now part of the Mara Menachem ridiculous jean jacket collection or coalition. I hear the 1960’s studded jacket is leading a revolt, apparently, I am not an equal opportunity wearer (not funny?).

That Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia is in a real creative flow – she has been making some seriously cool threads, and I’m watching.  Check out her bell bottoms, don’t know how they fit in the booty – but they look slamming on the mannequin.

The Chloe jacket (wish it had a different name, Chloe is just so obvious) has beaded pins in various places of things like lady bugs and butterflies. My issue: I’m such a repeater, so don’t make me feel bad for wearing it every day – because I will. And I will document it, so please be understanding.

Weird face here.. but Dries Van Noten made these John Lennon glasses. I love them, picked them up in LA at the Off Fifth outlet – always the best place to get designer glasses. Oh and I did just get my nails done – – a little black in Spring.

I wear my Ash moccasins unzipped  -it’s a new thing. Okay, fine – it’s not new, it’s because I get blisters – so I go unzipped. Calves made by genetics and Cycle Bar – they keep getting bigger.

This bag is one of a kind. I bought it at the Oakland vintage fair, it makes me look cooler, and I like to mix this 70’s bag with other decades, like the 80’s and 90’s. To me, when you dress in one period, it comes off as “I’m going to a costume party”.

I agree the dress is too short – that was more of a hemming mistake (i.e. scissors)..

Well, I was just having a good hair day – can’t a woman be proud of her locks?

 

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..

 

 

 

 

It’s all about ME..HAUTE

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Me. Fall 2016. Marin County, California.

This necklace is from Laura Kimpton, her large instillations may be found at Burning Man, and she has a retail store in the bohemian town of Fairfax, California. Louis Vuitton is also making gold initial necklaces, $480 each. See below from In Style Magazine, 

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“Gold-finished” meaning not real gold

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I can’t remember where I bought this shearling jacket, but it was used and I knew it was a seriously amazing find. My psychic style powers told me that shearling was going to be huge again – and I was right. I love this jacket, but it’s a little bulky and boxy. Shearling can have a luxury, designer look, a downtown NYC look, a mountain, preppy LL.Bean look or even a bohemian 70’s look..depending on the jacket and how you style it.

Seen here on me is my 90’s style – reminds me of Mary J. Blige and the street style of Jennifer Lopez, and Hip-Hop artists in NYC during that period. I took an American Apparel strapless one piece, and cut it  – it’s a little crooked (I never cut in a straight line).

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Cheap sunglasses, $10 on Haight-Ashbury..

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My enormous Louis Vuitton Speedy bag, which is really sold as luggage. I bought these Timberlands at Century 21 in NYC…

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Does this braid make me look a little bohemian?

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Paige Denim, love these jeans – not sure if I love the way my butt looks..but they are comfortable and not skin tight.

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My dorkiest face – only adding to this look!!

 

My “grass roots” Drop-Off Style (when I’m not in leggings)

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Me. September 2016. Marin County. Shots by T. Palmer.

I’m not smiling in these (okay, I’m making that semi-weird lip expression), it was the first run & I’m a little rusty and a lot self conscious  – I warm up in the photos you’ll see in a few weeks.  Although, I will admit to feeling like I did a pretty good job pulling together this look from my closet – what? self-validation people!

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This basket weaved leather bag was a great summer purchase – $40.00 from Lola’s in Fairfax, CA – when I wear this bag, I get stopped constantly. My friend Em-J, who’s a very stylin’ twenty-something, surfing, mountain biking woman – has been on a constant search to find this bag, because she knows her friend Mara, has quite the eye for accessories & good prices (I’m kidding, but I do).

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The choker is a long chain, made by Shandi Levy Jewelry. Chokers are here for now, and I’m still not sure if they look right on me, because I don’t have the neck of a ballet dancer. This dress is from H&M, and it was very cheap. I impulsively shortened it, by cutting it with scissors and it came out uneven. It was my multi-talented & close friend Barb, who fixed the dress & made it wearable. It looks shredded and low end, but that doesn’t matter to me – accessories are key. The plaid top, also cut by yours truly, (so happy Grunge is back “in”) is by Zara. The gladiator sandals I LOVE, and found on sale at 02 in Aspen this summer. They are by Vince Camuto.

The sandals I guess seem sexy, because I get some “looks” when wearing them. They are totally flat with no heel, which makes them causal and wearable – but I guess the look of them seems out of the box for some…I’ve just been enjoying pairing them with everything in my closet – including the boring, but repeated yoga pant!!

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My nails are long again, they are acrylic and high maintenance. The males in my life think they are awful, but women usually love them. I love them, they elongate your hands and make me feel like I’m related to J.Lo :).

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I really look like I’m trying here….oy vey!

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The only issue with this dress and wearing it to pick up my kids is the wind factor. It’s always windy in Northern California, especially in San Francisco. I walk with my arms attached to my side or make all my bags messenger, to hold my dress down, I would wear dresses every day if it wasn’t windy –

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And a close up, sunglasses are on for reasons of vanity…

The New York Times. My Style Validator.

Mara Meter

Me. San Rafael, California. Unable to remove my credit card from the meter

Yes,  this has happened to me before and no, I’ll never learn.  Why aren’t our tax dollars going toward meters that can accommodate various nail lengths? Is our society only built for hands with regular length nails?

Fashion Notes: Moccasins: Minnetonka, Leggings: Lululemon, Bag: Chanel, Top: Zara

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If you look closely, you can see my green credit card stuck..until I solicited help from a very confused meter maid – apparently, they are not in the business of helping people who choose style over function. But, with my “charming” persistence, I was able to get the help I needed.

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Nails are so “in” right now. As usual, I’ve been pulling off these bad boys for a few years. It started with Madonna on the cover of VOGUE, with long, pointy gold nails. I had to have them. No matter how many of you, were horrified by what you labeled “cheesy” – I pulled through and proved you all wrong.

My own mother was not a fan of my long, semi-pointy nails. Until, the Jewish bible (aka, The New York Times) ran a Sunday fashion story on this nail trend, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/11/t-magazine/fashion/long-pointed-nails-trend-manicure.html?_r=0

So once again, it has been proven that I have quite a style instinct, thank you Fashion of the Times.

Maybe I can’t type or use a regular phone, maybe I didn’t hang up my phone properly and someone had to hear me yell at my offspring, maybe I accidentally lit a nail on fire and didn’t notice, until my child pointed it out – but it’s all worth it, in the name of style.

Some Haute moms and their long nails:

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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

 

Oakland Parents got Some Style…

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Matt and Naomi. February 2016. Marin County, California. February 2016.

Matt is a food entrepreneur and Naomi is an emergency room Doctor. They live their very stylish lives in Oakland, California  – where all the “cool” Bay Area people live… For some reason, well for several reasons, Oakland has a lot more style then the rest of the Bay Area. In my opinion, that’s due to Oakland’s history, particularly starting in the 1960’s.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Black Panther Party, Hell’s Angels, bands like Sly and the Family Stone and the funk music scene all had a major presence in Oakland. It was in the 1980’s, where so many acts were born in Oakland, such as Digital Underground, En Vogue, MC Hammer and Tupac Shakur. For me, this style of 1970’s-1990’s fashion in music, particularly in rap, hip hop and rock taking place in urban neighborhoods has the most influence. I’m pretty sure that’s why, I always get lot’o style compliments when walking around Brooklyn and Oakland – – in these cities my “Mara-ness” is appreciated.

The style that was in Oakland, before it’s change to “hipster” culture, is what interests me the most. From the black turtle necks and berets of Black Panther members to the narrow bell bottoms of Sly and the Family Stone to the perfectly sculpted abs, gold chains and red bandana of Tupac Shakur (man, he was gorgeous).

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What do you think of Matt’s seer sucker blazer? Love the light colors, and that they are all wearing light fabrics, it’s all once again very French.

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Naomi and her new baby, her skin is flawless  -does breastfeeding do that? I lasted for two weeks total, with both kids. And I didn’t have a cool sling like Naomi’s – Miami is really hot, so it’s much more difficult to do “attachment parenting”.

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I love clogs, they remind me of Berkeley and my mom’s friend Linda. I would slip my foot into her sexy clogs and make that amazingly loud noise on the hard floors. “One day’, I thought to myself, “I’m going to make that clunking heel sound”…and not only did I make that sound, I never stopped.

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I kind of love Matt’s mustache, it’s not groomed and perfectly trimmed. I love facial hair, but when it’s messy – something about facial hair on men being perfectly groomed is not a look I appreciate fashion wise. The wave of Naomi’s hair is naturally beautiful – most people spend so much time flat ironing their hair  – but a little wave is so youthful.

 

Naked & Free. Angela Izzo, Haute Human.

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Angela. Videographer. Photographer. Creative Human. Pacific Palisades, CA. 2015.

Since I was young, I had this fantasy of joining a commune where I would experiment with hallacunegenics and travel with a group of my close friends on a re-vamped school bus. The fantasy continued like a W fashion editorial, where we would all be dressed in eccentric designs and I would be adorning the largest door knockers on my ears. When I stare at Angela’s photographs, my inner bohemian/urban/school bus fantasy comes to life.

In my early 20’s, I was a full on mother, with desperate breaks in between.  This usually consisted of an all nighter on South Beach, walking in the door and having to feed a baby or two. Or it would be an LA get-away visiting my brother, and dipping my toes back into the life before kids.

Many mothers would make comments about my “need” to let loose, with remarks like, “Mara, how can you want to go out that late anymore” or “haven’t you grown out of the desire to go out until 4:00 a.m.?”.  Feeling a bit out of place, because I knew my answer, a big fat NO!! I still haven’t “grown out” of wanting to be wild and free, and I hope I never do.

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Members of The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. LA. 2015. Shot by Angela.

I met Angela at a Chris Robinson Brotherhood show in LA. We both stuck out in a sea of Tie Dye and “jam band” fashion.  With a camera on hand, and pink hair – I wondered who is this young, fresh face beauty, with an obvious love of all music? Angela’s creative energy captivated me, and we decided somehow we would have to collaborate.

Raised in New York, Angela has made Los Angeles home  – and is fully immersed in LA’s Art Scene..

Angela has an impressive resume.  Shooting musicians, celebrities, artists and interesting people, Angela has developed a reputation with her unique eye, and humble attitude. She thinks outside of the box, and her work is exciting, enticing and approachable.

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Nude Photo Shoot. Pacific Palisades, California. 2015

I adore naked photographs. I know why.  The courage it takes for a person to expose themselves in obvious and not so obvious ways, means a great deal to the observer.  When Angela announced on Facebook that she was embarking an a nude photo series, the comments from her friends poured in, “I’m in”, “tell me where and when” etc.. I realized this group of friends were not all skinny, young things..they are creative souls who feel comfortable having Angela behind the camera.  I found myself wanting to be a part of this series, because I truly feel inspired by Angela’s work.

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Lauren Barth. Musician. Joshua Tree, California. 2015

Angela’s images, www.izzoimages.com are not only gorgeous, but soulful and allow me to imagine a bohemian life filled with non-stop adventure and new experiences.  I try to lead this life, whether I have responsibilities or not and California has provided the landscape for so many to fulfill these adventures.

Angela took some amazing photographs of a mom and gallery director in LA, here’s the link http://www.hautedropoff.com/haute-mama-la-drop-off-arts-coolest-players-and-parents/

Angela is one HAUTE HUMAN.

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Look at this group- – I love the idea of using clothing to portray a time period you particularly love – even if you weren’t around to experience the decade. Music has such a heavy influence on who we become.. this is such a cool shot, and I wish I styled them!!