Author Archives: Afaf

10 Things to Try to Look Like You’re Not Trying

Effortless – my favorite word, style and attitude. The secret to happiness and all good things in life is, to simply put it, “give no f**ks.”  I mean think about the ideal woman, a Victoria’s Secret model, and the ideal man, James Bond. Granted the Victoria’s Secret models weigh about as much as the average 12 year old and have legs that go on for months, and Bond looks phenomenal in a suit and always has a perfectly chiseled jaw line. It’s the element of not caring or trying to be cool that makes them both SO cool.

The VS model with her seemingly not styled, messy, tousled bedhead and soft smokey eyes walking around in her lingerie in front of an audience with a flirty smile as if it were any other day and not the average person’s nightmare. Then there’s Bond getting into to fist fights on top of trains, dangling from the sides of buildings and slipping out of every predicament and into the next without breaking a sweat and keeping a monotone, unamused voice. The ultimate Mr. Cool.

Regardless if you fall into the mainstream standards or follow the beat of your own drummer, as long as you carry yourself as if you’re proud and no one is watching, you can get away with anything.

Here are 10 things to try to look like you’re NOT trying: (more…)

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Summer Prints and How to Stop Traffic

Summer has officially arrived in New York City. Everyone is breaking out their shorts, breezy fabrics and flirty dresses. This summer is the summer of prints and brights. Loud, fun, obnoxious, novelty prints and bold, saturated colors. Prints of all kinds including florals, animal, skulls, paisley, preppy, you name it. I myself love bold abstract and tribal statement prints. It’s a great way to stand out in NYC.

New Yorkers are all in an unspoken competition to see who can stand out the most and make a statement. Life here is about celebrating individuality and having others notice and acknowledge it. But in a place where the competition and ambition are high, no one will notice you if you don’t give them a reason to.  Incorporating a colorful print into your outfit is a simple eye catching way to spark interest.  Check out the bright summer prints on these street stylers in Little Italy. (more…)

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Yo Ho Ho and a Box Full of Gold

In another life I was a pirate. I love gold, treasures, and trinkets and scope out lucky pennies on a daily basis to add to my collection of “booty.” I like to rebel against society and if I knew how to go about obtaining and operating a yacht piled high with gold and living on the high seas, I would. My jewelry is stowed away in protective chests, each piece carrying a memory or some type of sentimental importance. I’ve told you before about my lucky bullet, which is the most sentimentally important treasure I own and the reason I wear it every day (regardless if it matches my outfit or not).

I notice many people wearing their sentimental pieces on a regular basis. It’s usually the small trinkets that don’t necessarily match and are dainty. These understated pieces we carry are usually tied to some significant event or person or because we wear them so much we feel they are witnesses to major parts of our lives. (more…)

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How To Not Look like a Tourist in the Rain

Rain, rain go away come again while I’m on vacation in the Bahamas. Rain sucks. Unless you’re trying to sleep or overindulge in carbs (guilty!), then it’s the perfect motivation. The sidewalks in the city become filled with slow-walking, umbrella-carrying, rain-boot-wearing, frizzy-hair-having pedestrians that all have the same grimace as the horizontal rain sprinkles onto their faces, making their umbrellas mostly useless.

Food

I was near the Meatpacking District meeting some friends for a lazy Sunday carb-loading Italian dinner (check out the tiramisu above) while checking out everyone’s drizzle style and taking creeper shots. The rain stayed at a consistent drizzle/fuzzy sprinkle all day so people were dressed across the board. I caught some overly prepared tourists walking around in their candy colored PVC ponchos who looked like they were ready for a monsoon, and locals who were mostly dressed in light hooded jackets, hats or completely unprepared as if it was just another sunny day. I met a group of friends all with their individual styles to combat the elements.

NYC

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Always Travel in Style

Flowers

I took a trip back to the South for Mother’s Day weekend to surprise my mom. She’s impossible to shop for, so being the narcissist I am, I thought I was the best present to show up on her doorstep. No one knew I was visiting, so when I showed up with a bouquet of flowers (above) and walked through the front door at dinnertime everyone was thrilled. I was relieved that she was so happy to see me because I figured I would either be welcomed with excitement or scolded for being so good at lying for a month about the planned trip and sneaking down the East Coast. (more…)

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It’s a Jungle Out There

You can never go wrong with animals prints. Season after season animal is in. And what better way to appreciate nature and not upset PETA than to incorporate the prints and patterns of the wild into our wardrobes? Cheetah prints make us feel feminine and fierce like the feline of the jungle…or Savannah or wherever it is that cheetah’s hangout. While snake and python prints make us feel sleek and seductive like the slithery, stealthy reptiles. Zebra prints are bold, exotic and eye catching. We wear these prints not only for the appreciation of color or shape but for what the animals themselves exemplifies and we secretly wish we were like ourselves.

New York CityIf I were an animal I’d want to be a panther or any exotic big cat. I say panther because even in animal form I like to be dressed in black from head to toe. Panthers are strong, graceful and mysterious. They’re basically the animal version of what the ideal Bond girl is. And a Bond girl is the epitome of sexy, powerful, and feminine. FYI the panther is not an actual separate species of cat. A panther just refers to a large cat species that has excessive black pigment so you cant actually see their spots without close observation. There’s your daily dose of Zoboomafoo fun facts for those of you who still remember that show.

In the spirit of the of the persistent – and one of my favorite – trends I went to SoHo to see what animals the street stylers would be themselves. (more…)

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In My World it’s Better to be Sorry than Safe

Better safe than sorry?  I’d rather take risks and live to tell the story. Although I do feel safer knowing that Spider-Man is protecting the streets here in NYC…

SpidermanYou know when you do something stupid, intentionally, thinking it’s a brilliant idea at the time – only to turn around and realize how terrible of a decision it was. Take today for example. On the way to the gym, a good friend and I were about to go through the subway turnstile when she realized she forgot her card at home. So our brilliant minds decided to get close and go through as one person. So we swiped the card, pushed through and made it to the other side (success!)…right in front of two police officers…LOL! Turns out that’s illegal (who knew?) and it’s a $100 fine per person. Luckily they were nice enough to let us go with a warning, but in retrospect we probably should’ve checked to see that there weren’t cops around…or…errh…I mean we should’ve been good citizens and not have tried to cheat the system? Yea – that one.

This little incident had me thinking about all my style choices in the past that now, in retrospect, I realize were horribly misguided but made for great laughs.  (more…)

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Vintage: Your Grandma Used to be Cool Too

New York City I LOVE vintage everything. The idea of a vintage piece that has stood the test of time and lived to tell a story about it fascinates me. The garments and accessories from past decades reflect the mood of the people, the advancement in technology, political drama and social standards. Through time loosened whale bone corsets, shorter hemlines, burned bras, acid wash jeans, and men with lipstick have become socially acceptable, though not without controversy and drama.

Why the constant push for change? Because fashion loves drama, drama is entertainment, and entertainment is money. After all, it’s money that makes the world go ‘round. And although past trends may resurface there is always a new modern twist. Fashion will continue to push social boundaries so long as people can be offended and technology advances.  (more…)

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What’s Your Wardrobe’s Theme Song?

Grand Central StationHave you ever seen that episode of Family Guy where Peter wishes he had theme music that plays accordingly with his life situations? How cool would it be to have your own theme song that followed you throughout the day and changed with your mood and surroundings? It would take a lot of the guesswork out for the people around us. That’s what we do with our daily style in a way- we send a message out to the people around us what kind of mood we’re in. But with the amount of black I wear daily people would probably assume that I’m either perpetually depressed or that I don’t like to sort laundry.

Whenever I’m getting dressed and piling on gold accessories with one of my many moto jackets, I imagine some cross between Linkin Park and Shakira playing in the background (still keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll get together for a collaboration). For the rest of the day I have some dramatic mysterious beat following me while I people watch from behind my sunglasses. (more…)

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The Definition of Sexy

Street Style Sex sells. Its no secret by now, we all know the more provocative the ad  campagin the more we pay attention (hence the controversial underage Brooke Shields Calvin Klein “nothing gets between me and my Calvins” commercial).  So many of us yearn to be the object of desire to others, because nothing is more flattering than provoking their primal lust. There is no compliment more honest. But what EXACTLY defines sexy? There is always some type of “it” factor that every issue of Cosmopolitan is trying to convince us is easily achievable with a certain outfit or inconspicuous flirty arm touch. It’s much more than that. There’s a reason Ryan Gosling is the center of our fantasies and not so much Steve Carell (no offense Steve!!).  (more…)

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Respect the Unexpected

Street Style Happy Easter to those of you who celebrated! And to those who didn’t- I hope you celebrated the revival of the spring season into your closet now that temperatures are finally warming up. After all, that is what the Easter bunny and it’s basket of eggs symbolize, the fertility and new life that come with spring. That means lighter layers, brighter colors, fresher prints and hints of our pale complexions peeking out – finally.

Fun fact: Did you know that female rabbits are able to conceive a second litter while they’re still pregnant with their first? That seems like a painful and unnecessary ability, but it’s no wonder that the rabbit and egg were the chosen signs of new life and fertility. Although its seems like poor judgement  for someone to trust  a bunny to hop around carrying a basket of fragile pastel painted eggs to hide, I appreciate unlikely pairings – in life and in wardrobe. (more…)

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Fashion Faux Pas: How to Not Be a Victim

Fashion

Hope you’re all enjoying this extension of winter and know that the groundhog has been rightfully indicted (LOL). Check the news if you don’t know what I’m referring to. We’re all still bundled up in coats and scarves in NYC. Try a SMYTHE blazer under a detachable fur coat collar for a look similar to mine.

A ‘faux pas’, as I’m sure you all know, is the refined French way that we like to refer to a social blunder. Because everything sounds better in French, including our embarrassing fashion mishaps.

So how do you avoid becoming a Fashion Faux Pas victim? (more…)

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Street Style Update – Lucky Charms – Do you have one?

Lucky Charms

I hope you all had a grand St. Patrick’s Day and are shuffling back to your daily schedules seamlessly. It was uplifting to see all of NYC come together this weekend to paint the town the same shade of Kelly green, and everyone adorning themselves in lucky shamrocks to celebrate. I, being the nonconformist that I am, wore my own special lucky charm – my lucky bullet, tucked neatly under my Confessions-of-a-Shopaholic-esque, festive green scarf.

Everyone who knows me, knows I wear my lucky bullet every day. Even if for some odd reason I don’t have it on, I still like to credit its existence for the good fortune that comes my way. People ask me “Why the bullet?” and I reply “Because it was there when I didn’t die.” It was one of those crazy NY movie moments that I’d have to explain to you over coffee. For a similar look to mine, try pairing a Donni Charm scarf with any one of Jennifer Zeuner lucky-charm-worthy necklaces.  (more…)

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Style Cravings of Unique New Yorkers

Afaf

I woke up this morning with the sun streaming in my window reviving my inner 70s bombshell wannabe (hello Brigitte Bardot) and a little of Carmen Sandiego’s catch-me-if-you-can mystery while trying to hide under the covers for some extra sleep. What better way to satisfy my style icon craving than with a floppy hat? The hat, might I add, is the ULTIMATE understated, attention grabbing accessory. Everyone always notices the girl in the hat before anyone else in the room. A Lovely Bird floppy hat is an excellent choice for a look similar to mine or a Civil Clothing snapback for those urban glamazon days.

Back to my icon cravings. (more…)

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Meet Our Newest Contributor: Afaf! Learn More About Her Through Her Closet

Afaf

I’m Afaf, a 21 year old fashion designer living in New York City pursuing my goals and chasing my biggest dreams. The usual response I receive after an introduction is “what’s a ‘faf’?” Allow to me to explain this and how I ended up in such a glorious arrangement.

Imagine growing up in the deep-fried-donut-burger South, and briefly in Egypt, with a diva, goddess-of-gaudy mother; two older brothers who I swear must have secretly and unintentionally inspired the “geek chic” movement; and a father absorbed in the textile industry. (more…)

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