what i wore to: coachella

Last weekend, just like every year in April, I found myself in the California desert for the Coachella Valley Music Festival. Although this year lacked any performances by ghosts, there were still some really great bands to see. Actually seeing The Postal Service and Vampire Weekend live made College-Sona’s dreams come true, fan girl freak-outs were involved, past me is so jealous of me right now. The XX was amazing, RHCP can never do any wrong, Purity Ring was my new found favorite, and Major Lazer was the most fun I’ve had jumping around to music.

But while Coachella is  a music festival, you wouldn’t know it by reading about it. Most of the coverage of the festival completely ignores the performances, even the random R-Kelly/Phoenix mashup (seriously, why did that even happen?), instead they all focus on one thing: THE FASHION. Unlike most of the other music festivals I’ve been to, what you wear to Coachella is almost as important as who you see. Some websites are even calling it “hipster fashion week”, a hilarious yet pretty accurate description. Maybe it’s because it’s in SoCal, maybe it’s because it’s the biggest, or maybe it’s because Lindsey Lohan schedules her rehab around it… I don’t know what it is but the fashion seen at Coachella sets the tone for upcoming summer trends.

This year the major trends seen at Coachella included: 90s inspired outfits, one piece bathing suits with combat boots (seriously, why?!!), large floral crowns, and jorts… soooo many jorts! I attended the festival with two of my friends Franchesca and Maggie (both of whom are buyers for a prominent fashion e-commerce site), and this is what we wore:

FRIDAY

coachella_fashion_outfit_day1Our outfits on the first day had a 90s vibe with feminine dresses with boots, boat hats,  crop tops, and dark lipstick.

SATURDAY

coachella_fashion_outfit_day2For day two I went with a 50s inspired pin-up look, Franchesca was classic Palm Springs with a vintage red sun hat, and Maggie went with a fun rainbow-tie-die print dress.

SUNDAY

coachella_fashion_outfit_day3 On the last day Franchesca was a kitty (seriously, her top had a tail, meow), I went with a ridiculously large floral crown, and Maggie embraced the must-have Coachella 2013 trend: Jorts!

mad style

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! Mad Men season 6 premiers tonight! The wait has been excruciatingly long! In an effort to satisfy my Mad Men cravings I started watching the entire show from the beginning…for the third time… did I mention I love this show? When watching all the episodes back to back didn’t give me the Man Men buzz I was looking for, I turned to my other addiction to satisfy the craving…… shopping!

One of my favorite things about the snow is the fashion. It’s so true to the time period but still manages to look chic and not dated. The stylist does a great job defining each character’s personality through the outfits they wear. I decided to add a piece from each character’s wardrobe into my own closet.

Betty Draper Francis

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Before she was Fat Mrs Francis, Betty draper was the perfect 50s bored housewife. When she wasn’t shooting her neighbor’s pigeons in a nightgown while balancing a cigarette in her mouth, she was getting dressed up in the cutest outfits just to lounge around the house.

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I mean really, anyone who puts that much effort into looking pretty around the house deserves major props. If I’m not leaving the house, most of the time I don’t even put on pants!  More evidence of Betty’s awesomeness can be found here.

For my Betty look I went with a nautical print dress from Mod Cloth. I can picture Betty wearing this dress on a weekend outing with Don and the kids (again, in her pre-fat-mrs-francis days).

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Peggy Olson

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Peggy has had the biggest transformation throughout the show by far. She went from the new secretary with the awkward bangs from Brooklyn to a bad ass copy writer with awkward dance moves.

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Peggy’s new style is every bit kick ass career girl. Everything from her don’t-mess-with-me blouses to her Jackie-O hats. Who knew little Peggy would go from Peggy Olson: the new girl

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To Peggy Olson: the day drinking, pot smoking badass who has casual movie theater hook ups with strangers in the middle of the afternoon.

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And seriously, she was the only person who ever got any work done at SCDP. Good luck at the new job Pegs! We know you’ll kick ass.

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In honor of Peggy’s awesomely awkward dance moves, I went with a yellow Betty Page dress similar to the one she wears to Don’s birthday party. Let the awkward dancing commence!

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Joan Harris

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Joan just oozes pure sex. Her wardrobe is all about form fitting silhouettes, she wouldn’t be caught dead in an A-line skirt! And with curves like that, why would she!

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Good question pervy Japanese guy!

In season five, Joan has been wearing a lot of dresses with three quarter sleeves and messy prints,  very similar to this Asos dress.

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I love Joan’s style so much, that I couldn’t stop at just one dress! Joan also has a thing for pins, which are a great way to accessorize otherwise plain dresses. The dress below is from Zara, the pin is a flea market find from the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena.

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Megan Draper

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Megan’s style is more 60s Mod than 50s classic. Her hem lines are shorter, she wears a lot of black and white, and boxier cuts. Personally, I find the new Mrs Draper annoying, but she does know how to get her way when it comes to Don, so good for you Megs! Looks like Don might be over it though, so we’ll see where Megan and her teeth go in the next season.

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My Megan dress, also from Mod Cloth, was inspired by the one she wore in the last episode of season five. Black and white, with a short hemline and a boxy cut (as boxy as things can get on me).

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I’m so excited to wear all my Mad Men inspired dresses this summer! And more importantly for season 6 of Mad Men!! But remember….

tumblr_m54l8qchnv1qbbnp7o1_500Soooooo I’ll get back to looking for more 50s/60s inspired dresses now… In the mean time, enjoy my favorite Tumblr of the moment: Mean Mad Men, it’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s hilarious!

style cues from the crazies of nyc

The Inspiration:

Walking around the streets of NYC you are bound to run into some crazy characters. There’s the usual person who talks to himself, the random panhandlers on the subway, and the occasional homeless person who will start screaming at you for no apparent reason. But my favorite characters are the ones that express themselves through eccentric fashion. Whether it’s Miss Columbia with his puppy and parrot, or the green lady, the guy that wears different leotards and screams at people in Union Square, or a random alien dude walking around the park on a Sunday afternoon with a giant colorful pyramid, I LOVE running into these guys.

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Obviously, the best place to get style inspiration is from the crazies on the street. So, this week in an effort to fit in with the colorful characters of New York, I decided to brighten up my style with some colorful highlights. Not being ready for a permanent membership to the crazy club, and inspired by Pinterest, I tried out pastel hair chalking.

The How To:

Just like  (almost) everything else in life, the best place to start for any “how to” is watching someone else do it on YouTube. There are about a million hair chalking how-to videos, I found this one to be the most helpful.

All you need to chalk your hair is a flat iron, a curling iron, and chalk pastels ($10ish at craft stores, make sure not to get oil pastels).

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From there it’s as easy as 1-2-3 (and 4).

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Start with wet hair, I found it worked better to wet each section right before chalking it. Make sure you wear a shirt you don’t really care about, because this will get very messy. Apply a heavy layer of chalk to each section you want colored, use the brightest colors for darker hair. Once you have all of the sections covered in chalk, seal the color in by drying your hair with a flat iron (make sure the iron is on low-medium heat, higher heat settings melt off the chalk and damage your hair more). Once the hair is dry, curl the ends and hair spray the crap out of them. And voila!

The Results:

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Right after the chalking, my hair looked fantastic in the bight, sunny lighting of my bedroom! But the colors didn’t show as well in less brightly lit areas. The pinks and blues had much brighter results than the purples and greens.

About six hours later, I couldn’t see any color on my hair, the same couldn’t be said about my gray shirt which was now covered in a layer of pink and purple dust (again, if you chalk your hair don’t wear any clothes you really care about).

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I was beginning to chalk (tee hee) the whole thing up to just another DIY fail that should go up on Pintstrosity, or some other craft fail site. But then something strange happened, I went to meet some friends at a bar, and someone took a picture of me with flash… and just like magic the colors were back! You couldn’t see them at all in real life, but for some reason they showed up in pictures with flash.
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So I guess the lesson to be learned here is, if you’re going chalk your hair, just stay in well lit, sunny places and take lots of pictures with flash.

sona and the three apartments

Looking for an apartment in New York is the most time consuming, frustrating, torturous, nightmare of an experience from hell. First there’s the countless hours of browsing Craigslist, Naked Apartments, Pad Mapper, and every realtor’s website ever. Trying to sift through all the scams, figuring out which apartments are just “bait and switch” listings (yep, that’s a thing), and trying to guess from syntax clues which potential roommates are crazies. Then there’s emailing to set up appointments and trying to write an email in a way that doesn’t make you sound like a crazy. Image

After that comes the very exciting part of running all over the city looking at apartments that are the size of a small LA closet, have no windows, are actually just a platform built over someone else’s living room, have one shared bathroom for the entire floor of the building (seriously), and have rents higher than the average mortgage on a three bedroom house in any other city. After doing this for weeks and weeks, you decide that it’s probably better to never leave your current apartment, even if you have to stop eating to afford the newly raised rent. At least you’ll be skinny, right?

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I’ve been on the apartment hunt since mid January. And this Friday, just like many others before it, I set out to look at some more apartments. But this time things went a little differently than before, I actually found 3 apartments that I liked all within my price range!

Apartment 1: Too Dingy

The first stop took me across the bridge to Williamsburg. Located in a fun and trendy neighborhood full of great bars and restaurants, tons of vintage shops, and soooo many cute boys, this place was already at the top of my list before I even got there. The first “Nope” was the climb up to the sixth floor of a walk up building that smelled like mold and old people, but it wasn’t a dealbreaker. Then I met the roommates who were a really great couple in their mid twenties. I instantly liked them and decided that I wanted to live with them, even if living with couples is generally a bad idea. The third bedroom in the apartment was also vacant, so that left the possibility of a crazy moving in which wasn’t exactly great. The building had an amazing rooftop terrace with a view of the Manhattan skyline. The room itself was ok, pretty small but not unlivable, with a window that looked on to another building. Then I walked into the bathroom and instantly “Noppppped” out of there. For visual purposes, take a look at an only slightly exaggerated image of what the bathroom looked like below. There was dust in the sink! The one place where water runs through and is practically impossible to get dusty was covered in a thick layer of dust!

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Apartment 2: Too Pristine

Apartment number two was all the way up on the Upper East Side. Walking up to it on the clean streets lined with chain retail stores and designer boutiques, I knew this wasn’t exactly the type of neighborhood I wanted to live in. But then I walked into the apartment. This apartment was like nothing I had ever seen before in NYC. It was beautiful. A three bedroom duplex with a huge living room, decent sized rooms, and a bathroom in each bedroom! My. Own. Bathroom. I was in love. The roommates were nice enough girls, though a little bit older in their early 30s. I was beginning to reconsider my commitment to being “more of a downtown person”. What the heck did I know anyway, I’d only been here a year! Maybe I could be an “uptown girl”. But the girl who would live in an apartment like this just wasn’t me. She’s the girl that’s getting ready in the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada that’s not Anne Hathaway, the girl that’s polished and put together, the girl that grabs her designer bag and coffee from the corner Starbucks as she hops into a cab to her high power, glamorous job. This girl could be me in a few years, but it just isn’t me now. Again for visual purposes, see a slightly exaggerated image  of what the apartment looked like below.

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Before I had even reached apartment 3, I had heard back from both places saying that they wanted me to move in. So here I was, trying to decide if I wanted to live the Girls life or the Sex And The City one. On one hand I could live in a crappy apartment in a fun, young neighborhood full of people that were trying to figure out their lives, or I could live in a beautiful apartment in a more polished, grown up neighborhood with people who seemed to have things figured out already. Decisions, decisions….

Apartment 3: Just Right

As soon as I walked in I knew this was home. It took me about 30 seconds to tell the girl I’ll take it.

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Located in the best neighborhood in the city (in my slightly biased opinion), the East Village, only a few blocks away from my current place, this apartment was exactly what I was looking for in a New York apartment. It’s in an old, red brick building (is there a proper name for those?), a walk up but only on the 2nd floor, has an exposed brick wall, and an old (none functioning) fire place in the bedroom. There’s a fire escape right outside my window, which looks out to Tompkins Square Park across the street and the Empire State Building in the distance. Sure, I’ll be giving up some of the comforts of my current place, like a doorman, a gym, laundry, and a roof deck. But who needs all those things when you have a beautiful place in the prefect location right? (I may come to regret this)

So after months and months of searching, I’ve finally found the perfect place! I’m so excited to move, and even more excited to decorate! Everybody celebrate!

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for the story…

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I quit my job last week. After two and a half years of sticking through it, I finally made the decision to leave.

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After all “life’s too short to do something you don’t love” right? Or any other cheesy, over used quote like that…
Today is my first official day of unemployment. After spending longer than I’d like to admit in bed freaking out about my loss of income, I finally got myself together and went downstairs to get breakfast. I made my way to the restaurant at the corner,  the one that has ridiculously long wait times for brunch on the weekends, and the place was practically empty. Maybe there is a silver lining to this after all. A massive breakfast sandwich, dessert, and two cups of coffee later, I am feeling much better about my decision.

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I am in one the most amazing cities in the world, and for the past year I’ve spent most of my days sitting in a gray cubicle in a room with no windows. Working full time and doing graduate school in the evenings didn’t leave much time for exploring. Instead of spending my days behind a desk, I am going to spend them getting to know the city and taking advantage of everything it has to offer. This blog will be a chronicle of all those adventures.

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I’m not sure if I’m making the right decisions here, but I know one thing, in the end this will make a great story….

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