Haute Papa. San Francisco.

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Post Street. San Francisco. April 2017. iPhone 6.

I purposely walked around San Francisco to take photos, but didn’t charge my battery. So excuse the iPhoto shots – especially because the lens always has left over coconut oil from my hands. He told me he’s from Pittsburgh – but he explained, Pittsburg in California. Who knew? I got a little American geography lesson.

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This dad was so kind to take this little girl out of her stroller, but then she started being a toddler and I felt bad for messing him up. Dealing with a toddler, is equivalent to dealing with a highly drunk, emotional friend  – you don’t know what you are going to get – and it’s kind of petrifying!!

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But look at that cute face.

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Ripped acid wash jeans, so nice.

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I love a little neck tattoo. Cute dad.

Haute Modern Grunge at Drop-Off.

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Marin County. September 2015.

I’m pretty sure when you’re raised in Japan, some secret class is required to learn about style – and unlike Parisians, the Japanese are cool without making fun of us “fat, unstylish Americans”.  I admit it, I’ve tried getting “into” the Japanese mom crew at my kid’s school. What is it about Japanese culture? it’s almost like an entire country is born with a great fashion sense.

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This stylin’ mama, originally from Japan has created a modern take on grunge, with her hair in a loose bun, oversized Jackie-O shades, and ankle length motorcycle boots.

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Blue and black works so well. Try it, and don’t get caught up on old fashion rules.

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Motorcycle boots add a funkiness to anything you wear.

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Sexy Legs at Drop-Off. Mini-Dress in Marin.

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Lisa. Psychologist. Dancer. Fashion Lover. Marin County, California. May 2015.

Love the combination of an open toe Jil Sander ankle boot/heel with a min-dress and cropped jean jacket. Funny, because this was my Miami look, when I lived there. And slowly as I’ve been living in Marin, I’ve moved away from my short dresses.

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Lisa dances several times a week..those legs!

Fashion Notes: Bag: Goyard, Aviators: Ray Ban, Heels: Jil Sander, Dress: Mara Hoffman, Jean Jacket: Saint Laurent

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Watch: Cartier, Bracelet: Gump’s San Francisco

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well, I think I may take up dancing. Lisa was raised on the East Coast, and loves clothing..she is definitely a mixer, but likes specific designers.

Dad Style (with a British accent). Marin Drop-Off.

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Andrew. Dad. Doctor. San Rafael, California. 2015.

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Andrew looks simple and cute, picking his daughter up from school. I love that his shirt is slightly fitted and untucked. Andrew is British, so they usually understand good tailoring.

Andrew travels frequently to London, and he’s always looking quite polished. This look is definitely more on the casual side for him.

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Heels. Tight Jeans. Croissants. So Haute.

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Stacia. M.H.Bread and Butter Bakery. Marin County, California. 2015.

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I spotted Stacia on a weekday morning wearing high heels and tight jeans, all while balancing coffee and a kid. This is a rare sighting in the cute town of San Anselmo in Northern California.  I wasn’t surprised to learn Stacia had just moved to Marin County from San Francisco…and I was quite happy to see a mom making a solid effort, early on a weekday.

M.H. Bakery, www.mhbreadandbutter.com is my go to spot to write and eat “breakfast pastries”. I know, I probably shouldn’t be eating pastries so frequently, but I feel so Parisian, sitting in a cafe sipping coffee…how do they stay so thin again?

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Fashion Notes: Tank: Halogen from Nordstrom, Sweater: H&M, Jeans: Joie, Wedges: Banana Republic, Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

A little advice – jeans should be REALLY fitted! Especially if you don’t have an ample back side.

Most recently, Stacia worked at POPSUGAR, a lifestyle, pop-culture site.  www.popsugar.com 

 

Tupac’s Home Town is so HAUTE.

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Marin City, California. March 2015.

Dresses handmade in Africa. I appreciate this mother’s connection to her roots, through typical clothing found in certain parts of Africa.

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Mother and daughter.

It’s special that her daughter is learning about her cultural traditions because of her mother’s effort. Fashion can be SO deep and meaningful, all while being fun.

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Marin City is a historic African-American community in Marin County. I’ve been hanging out there and feel majorly at home -it’s such a warm neighborhood.  Apparently, In the early 2000’s, Marin City experienced attention for its crime, and unfortunately many people have held on to those beliefs.  It’s always such a shame to me, when a local community judges another local area. It happens in Miami, and I was lucky enough to experience working in neighborhoods, some people wouldn’t drive through – all out of fear. I gained so much – friends, good food and new experiences.

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Marin City is pretty famous.  It all started because Jack Kerouac lived in Marin City and Mill Valley, and makes mention to this in his famed book, On The Road – referring to them as “Mill City”.  Additionally, Tupac Shakur lived in Marin City and went to the local high school here – in at least a couple of his rhymes, Tupac mentions being surrounded by rich kids who couldn’t relate to his struggles – and how frustrating that was for a young kid.

Most kids from Marin City are certainly not economically advantaged, yet they attend high school in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the United States.  Apparently, community activists are trying to get kids from both communities to come together at school. I get it, it’s more comfortable to be “safe” and not go outside your comfort zone   – but once you do it, it changes your life for the better. At least for me, that’s always been the case.

 

Timberland’s. Huge Gold Hoops. MCM. So HAUTE.

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Cheryse. Marin County, California. March 2015.

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When I eyed I huge gold hoops, Timberland’s and an MCM bag inside Nordstrom – I pretty much lunged into Cheryse. She was so sweet, and accommodating to my crazy Mara requests. Like can you put your purchases down, and follow me outside for a brief photo shoot?

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Fashion Notes: t-shirt & jacket: Forever 21, www.forever21.com leggings, H&M, www.hm.com, boots: Timberland, www.timberland.com, bag: MCM, www.mcmworldwide.com

The MCM bag is AMAZING.  I can’t wait to be in NYC and see how the cities most fashionable puts together this re-emerging brand.

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So Cheryse has fashion smarts – Timberland’s are big again, and popping up on the feet of the most fashionable in major cities.  The new way to wear them? Pair them with a designer bag and a short skirt,  I’ve even seen them with long skirts.

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My love for large earrings will never fade..they are just sexy. Large hoops will automatically add some serious appeal. Love this mom’s look – take note. And I can’t wait to rock some Timberland’s with a super short dress!!!!!

Men, Fitted Clothing is Haute. French Dudes know.

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Noe Valley Farmers Market. San Francisco. February 2015. iPhone shot.

Fashion Notes:  I knew this couple had to be French, and I was right, at least about the dad. He explained how he mostly wears one brand of clothing, J.Crew, www.jcrew.com. The reason he wears mostly J.Crew is because the clothing fits like French brands – slim and narrow.  I tell guys all the time, the narrower the better. Sunglasses, Ray Ban Wayfarers, www.rayban.com

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Men’s Tailoring: I can’t emphasize enough the importance of well fitted clothing for men. It doesn’t matter your size – it’s always better for clothing to fit narrower. Ralph Lauren gave his daughter Dylan advice a long time ago – when you feel like you’ve gained weight – wear your clothing even narrower, don’t bury yourself in baggy clothing, because it will make you look heavier. My own father wore his suits extremely narrow, and I spent a lot of my childhood sitting on the floor of his seamstresses’s floor playing with knitting needles. When it comes to casual clothing, it’s the same idea – jeans should fit VERY narrow, show off those strong legs guys!

 

Bus Stop Fashion. Haute San Francisco.

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Mara. San Francisco. January 2015. Shots by Dara Rose.

Fashion Notes: Frye Boots purchased at the Neiman Marcus outlet in Florida (yay), Bomber Jacket: Zara (purchased a few years ago),  Leggings: American Apparel (apparently these leggings are similar to LuLulemon’s yoga pants, see through), Glasses: Aviators by Polaroid, Earrings: huge fake and gold door knockers, Fanny Pack: a Peruvian friend was wearing this baby she bought while in Peru, and my drooling and obsessing, finally got her to hand it to me..

I wanted to show you how I wore my Miami purchases in San Francisco.  I’m also wearing my repeat accessory, the Colombian Mochila..I  needed another bag for my camera and city stuff. The Mochila handbag, made by the Wayuu tribe who reside in an area that borders Colombia an Venezuela. The art of crocheting these bags are an integral part of the Wayuu tradition, carried on by the tribes matriarchs.  My fanny pack from Peru and Mochila from Colombia, seem to go together. It’s cool wearing a bag that has such a rich history..and without a designer logo.

The City Bag:  When you live in a city, you have to plan your day out and make sure you have everything you need with you.  Not great for someone who finds planning in advance a bit overwhelming. People sport all sorts of day bags in San Francisco, but the back pack seems to rule the roost.  I like a back pack, but kind of wish people mixed it up more, for my own visual stimulation.  And I have to say, San Francisco is the only city where i’ve seen people wearing back packs at bars…No judgement at all, I get needing to have things with you, but maybe something a little cooler–like a vintage army bag, instead of a Jansport.

I’m still exploring San Francisco, and I’m not doing a great job figuring out the layout. Here I am, hailing a bus…do people do that? and it stopped..the Muni bus drivers are used to dealing with tourists and people like me, who like to ask people for directions instead of taking the time to read a map…