Dawn of 2018

Even for the most eager risers, dawn can be a fuzzy time. The dawn of 2018 has been particularly fuzzy time for me. 19 days in and I’m still rubbing my eyes, arms reaching for furniture to hold on to while I wake up.
I can’t decide whether I want to run a mile or eat my weight in pita chips. I have been wearing variations of the same outfit for weeks because it’s been so bloody cold in NYC. To say I’m entering 2018 a little wobbly is an understatement and I’ll admit a bit foreign to me.
So instead of getting anxious and worried about the resolutions I’m supposed to be making and the new planner I need to be writing in. I’m just going to get through the beginning of this year by putting my pants on one leg at a time- as if there is any other way.
Speaking of clothing, I’m keeping it simple stupid for this ‘wobbly’ stage. It’s freezing and the holidays left me exhausted. These days I just want a fool proof winter look that is polished and keeps me warm.
My secret:
turtleneck + coat + beret = my winter look

Oh and pants are a part of that too, again it’s freezing here, we can’t go bottomless.
A light colored turtleneck is key, it provides a nice contrast with dark colored outwear, I love my blush one from Uniqlo. Keeping the head warm is also important and you don’t have to keep wearing that skully that once belonged to your ex. Jump on the beret bandwagon, you’ll like it, it’s fun and feminine! Definitely opt for a wool beret, like my Kangol, for optimal warmth. Next, pick a stretchy pant that can comfortably fit a fleece leggings underneath – perhaps your favorite stretch denim. Finally, throw on a tailored wool coat for structure and you are done!

That’s it, that’s my only strategy for 2018 so far -clothing or otherwise. That’s all I got ! I’m starting to acquiesce to the fact that I can wake up to 2018 slowly and maybe even fumble a bit. I don’t have to have it all figured out, no one needs to. It will all fall into place as it should, and as it always has every year prior!

Hope your new year is off to rocking start Birds, thanks for staying with me!
Xx
J

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Dear Sweater Dress

Dear Sweater Dress,

I’ve really waited too long to say this but, I love you.

I remember the early days, back in the fall of 2006, when I first moved to New York. I was so excited to live in a place that actually had a winter and even more thrilled about what that meant for my wardrobe. I bought 18 versions of you. From basic black to stripes, I was a girl obsessed with the effortless warmth and style you offered.

You make me feel like I am swaddled in a giant knit blanket, while allowing me to fool others that I’m stylish (not lazy) when I pair you with tights and an over the knee boot. I can be on trend AND seasonally appropriate while not wearing any pants. You’re the ultimate style hack, a fashion ninja, and lately… my new soulmate.

We’ve already have made some great memories this season, pairing you with a fur vest or under a soft teddy coat. I’m so excited to take you ice skating in Central Park, Christmas parties, and even holiday shopping. Because with you, there is nothing we can’t do. Well that is… err…till Rosè season; but you’re used to being the object of a seasonal romance anyway.

let’s just focus on the present, shall we?

love,

J

Hat: Bailey’s of Hollywood

Sweater Dress: Tobi 

Vest: Old Navy

Boots : DSW

Bag: Kate Spade

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In Between

I have never talked about my body on here. Ever.
I’m not embarrassed to discuss it and I DO think it’s important, however the situation has never presented itself before, till now, so here goes.

I have always been petite with curves, and stayed between sizes 6-8. Shopping for bottoms has always proved to be difficult because I have a small waist, large hips and I’m under 5’3 with long legs. Most things don’t ever fit just right, I need to tailor most of my pants and jeans have always been an issue. My body has changed a bit lately and I wear a lot of size 10’s. Working in retail and apparel for many years, I know how fickle sizing can be, so a size on a tag doesn’t really affect me. I won’t cry in a fitting room over the number on my pants, but I just might if I can’t find something that fits.
My ‘in between’ size or ‘bridge’ sizing is weird. Some designers/brands go up to size 10 (which aren’t always available on the rack) and some consider anything over an 8 plus size.

There’s that word. PLUS SIZE.

Am I plus sized? I don’t really care. I just want some thing that fits, and anything branded as Plus Size EVER fits me. It’s always swimming on me, and I’ll occasionally get a ‘ you don’t belong here ‘ look by the sales person who will say something like “Are you sure this is is your size?”
When I started blogging most clothing brands could care less what size I was (thankfully) when it came time to collaborating, but I wouldn’t have a ton of options in my size, which would discourage me, as I didn’t want to review a brand that didn’t represent my body type.
Then Universal Standard approached me to collaborate.
Their philosophy attracted me, but their aesthetic was the ultimate sell. Edgy, modern silhouettes in a variety of sizes and color ways that don’t hide curves, but accentuate them. I immediately found pieces I loved on their site, and loved them even more when they arrived. The quality and fabric of my items were impressive and I can not say enough about the fit. Not only were my items true to size, they fit like a dream. I felt comfortable and confident in their curved teal cardigan and black ponte pant with zipper detail. The cardigan is purposely over sized, but my sleeves are the appropriate length. SCORE! The pants hug my natural waist and show off my curves while not being incredibly long. HOORAY!

Both items have honestly been on non stop rotation, because I feel great in them.
Universal Standards’ pieces aren’t trying to be flattering versions of fast trends. They just produce well made clothing that fit many different body types, well. It’s that simple. Don’t know why it took so long for a brand to execute this fairly simple concept but I’m just glad they did.
Thanks Universal Standard, for reminding me that being “in between” is not a bad thing.
Check them out here birds, I highly recommend.
XX

J

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Black and White Series Part 3

Look #3 : Love and Lace

I may be a romantic at heart, but when it comes to dressing, I’m a realist. Clean lines, versatile silhouettes and bolder textures are my jam. Leather, chunky knits and faux fur are staples in my closet, especially when the temperature dips. Lace is something I’ve done cautiously, and ruffles have just never happened for me. While others get swept up in the romance of it, I strategically settle for simple black lace details that paired well the edgier pieces I already own. Needless to say, white lace had never even occurred to me. My own wedding dress didnt even have lace, so it was very unlikely that I’d fall for any white lace piece. Or so I thought.

Alas, we should never rule anything out, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. I fell head first in love with this white long sleeved blouse when I first saw it online. My heart skipped a beat as I wondered how it would look on. There was a lot going on, ruffles and thick, white lace flowers… usually not my speed. Will I look like a wedding cake? While I waited for it to arrive, I had fantasized about what I could pair it with it, ( heart racing of course) black skinny jeans or a leather mini… the possibilities seemed endless. It was such a departure from anything I’m typically I attracted to that I did have my doubts.

The day finally came when it arrived, it was even more gorgeous in person. It fit beautifully snug and made me feel so chic. The details made a bold statement with out being over the top. My doubts about it being too frilly or fitting with my personal style were all quieted. I decided to simply style it by pairing it with black high waisted, wide leg trousers and lace up shoe booties. This look was so much simpler than what I envisioned, but it worked so well. I felt pretty, comfortable and kind of Parisian  as I finally let myself fall in love with lace.

Never say never birds,

xx

J

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Black and White Series: Part 2

Black and White looks can make a splash with minimal effort, just add some imagination.

Look 2: Rooftop Pajamas

So the pajama trend is in full force, and my approach is:

Wear pajamas.

I love being comfortable and I happened to have really cute pajamas so I fail to see the point of purchasing pieces that look like pajamas when I can just cleverly style my own. Case in point, my lovely sheer robe from Adore Me, doubles nicely as a kimono/wrap dress  and is so light and comfortable. The black lace sleeve detail paired perefectly with plaid crop trousers creates a head to toe pajama look that is still appropriate for running errands, attending brunch or lounging on a rooftop with your dog. The black and white plaid give the look structure and elevate a trendy look.

You know that feeling when you’re not sure a look is going to work? I get that feeling all the time, a sort  of happy anxiety. I definitely like to experiment with my wardrobe, however when I do … I find that I’ll do a playful silhouette ( like a robe with detailed sleeves) in a neutral color … like black or white. I will actually test out most trends in black or white first, and this blog is proof. From silk joggers to cheeky graphic tees- all b & w. Not sure if a part of me likes to play it safe or keep something about a look timeless, but with this look, my habit worked. I was able to incorporate the pajama trend, classic black and white, and comfort in one effortless look!

I added a pop of color with a mustard head scarf and my adorable pup for a bit of fun!

Keep dressing fun and exciting birds,

xx

J

 

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Black and White Series: Part 1

Look #1 : Audrey goes Punk

Once upon time, TFC started out as a blog about a bird (me)  that stood out in her sub-tropical, pastel colored backdrop (Miami) by wearing – almost exclusively- black and white. Times have changed, as has my location and personal style. Being the contrarian that I am, I now rebel by wearing color in my concrete jungle. It’s my nature to stand out after all. However, my heart beats a bit faster for anything black and white. The simplicity, the timelessness of it- the way it sends a bold message without being loud are all too much to just forget about. This 3 part series is all about making a strong statement with with black and white staples that may already be in your closet.

Audrey Hepburn and rock star edginess are two imperative parts of my style DNA, and have been for a long time. I love the classics: crisp white button downs, big black sunglasses and pearls. Are all indispensable staples in my wardrobe. My other side however, can LIVE in black tulle or lace with chunky chain linked jewelry, and I often do. So what do I do when both sides are calling my name?

Wear it all at once.

These 4 staples helped  achieve this cool look in minutes. Here’s what I did with what I had:

The Button Down: White, Wrinkle Free and $29 bucks at Uniqlo. I wear it for work and play and I probably should have at least 3 for when one gets dirty.

The Tulle Skirt: Black and slightly above the knee, I wear this skirt more than any denim I own. It adds a bad ass element to any top and I feel glamorous in it with out feeling uber girly. It is by far one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe and it was $20 at Forever 21 like 5 years ago, shop a similar one here.

The Pearls: You may have not guessed that this edgy bird owns a pearl suite ( earrings, strand and bracelet), but she does! I have had it for over a decade and wear it to death. No I’m not the usual, preppy pearl wearing gal, but pairing pearl studs with trendy statement dress  or layering a strand of pearls with chunky costume jewelry never gets old for me. It’s a nod to vintage style and an unexpected classy touch. Pearls ( like diamonds) are the little black dress of a jewelry box and can often be found found at accessible prices (like here) , not mention ANYTHING adorn with pearls is the hottest trend right now, so you may as well adorn yourself with them!

The Sunglasses:  Nothing says “fabulous” quiet like large, black sunglasses. They often make me look like some sort of insect, but I’m okay with that. I own about 30 pairs of sunglasses – #floridagirlprobs – and I wear these the most, because it’s the easiest way to elevate any look.  Rounded, with wide stems are my favorite, these are from Wyeth and are incredible.

 

I’m sure you aren’t surprised to find out that all of the elements of this look are older pieces.  It’s all about creating looks you love with the pieces you love, and most of the pieces happen to be black and white!

Stay tuned for Look #2 very soon,

XX

J

 

 

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Live to Inspire with Boy Meets Girl

Many years ago in 2010, what seems like 4 lives ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a kind and talented soul by the name of Stacy Igel.

She is the creative director behind the young contemporary brand: Boy Meets Girl. We met at my old job, SOHO House NY, where I was chosen to be a part of a shoot featuring her and the brand for Elle magazine. Stacy dressed the entire female service staff with adorable dresses that were as airy and comfortable as they were chic. Needless to say, that dress was one of the best things I’ve worn at any job to date. I instantly became a Boy Meets Girl fan, and dove head first into the collection. Stacy’s pieces were made to be worn and loved, and it was clear that she didn’t make anything she wouldn’t wear herself.

Fast forward to today, still wearing and loving my Boy Meets Girl pieces, it gives so much joy to see the evolution of this brand and the woman behind it.  Boy Meets Girl is effortless, always relevant, and always comfortable. It’s the kind of fashion that takes a positive stand on important causes including anti-bullying, immigration and gay rights. It celebrates living a life of style and purpose. It’s born and bred in New York but likes to travel, as you can find BMG from Paris to Finland.

It’s hard to believe that such a youthful brand has been around since 2001, and can boast being in retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom,  Colette in Paris( to name a few) and has most recently launched in Macy’s! To celebrate the launch this month, I partnered with Boy Meets Girl to be a part of their ‘Live to Inspire’ campaign where I took their track suit for a spin together with fellow NYC blogger, Reza Cristian. I had a blast styling it in less transitional ways by breaking up the set and dressing the individual pieces up a bit. Reza is sporting her hoodie over a cropped tee and denim skirt- perfect for day or night in NYC. As for my look, you all know I LOVE to be comfortable, and stylishly wearing sweatpants on a night out is the epitome of comfort!

In addition to the fun shoot, I was asked a few questions by the brand that I was humbled to answer. Please see below:

What (or who) inspires you?

Anyone who has the audacity to stand for change – whether it’s personally, in their community or the world.

What do you love about the state you live in? 

New York City. All of it. Give me the crazy, non stop sights, sounds, people, energy…everything. I adore it all. It is my first love.

Causes you advocate for? 

There are many causes I believe in, but one that is close to my heart is marriage equality. Why should anyone prevent two people in love from making their union legal? I have NEVER understood that, the world needs more love, not less of it.

Are you excited for our Macy’s launch? Do you shop at Macy’s?

I’ve shopped at Macy’s since I was a little girl. I would accompany my grandmother on weekend shopping trips  there and  have fond memories. I’m so psyched for #boymeetsgirl to launch at Macy’s and for more people to discover this amazing brand!

********

I truly love this brand and what they stand for, and their new collection at Macy’s has something for every girl! I will be rounding up my girls this WEEKEND to go to Macy’s Herald Square and try everything on; if you are in the New York Metro area, I strongly suggest you join! Shoot me an email or DM on Instagram for more to details. If you can’t make it, don’t fret you can find a few pieces online already like this fab sweatshirt .

 

Stay stylish and stay inspired girls!

XX

J

Photographed by @thedappermethod

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Grown Up Friends

We have constantly heard-since we were kids-that things get more complicated the older we get. Which made sense to me for the most part. Bills, career goals, laundry, making sure we don’t get run over by car … ya know… #adulting! That what most of us expected. A life filled with rules, obligations and constant compromise. But very few grown ups share what happens to our relationships as we get older. Life began to move at a breakneck speed after I got married, and even more so after I turned 30. I moved away from my close knit group of friends in New York and while I was developing one important relationship my other established relationships went out of focus. Sure, there were over the phone catch up sessions, but it was tough, and making new friends as a grown up in a new setting was tougher. It didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t expect it.The fact that I moved back to my hometown didn’t make it any easier. I moved from Miami to New York at 21, so unfortunately, my childhood friends and I didn’t have a ton of things in common, and when I’d make the effort to connect with someone new, I felt like I didn’t fit in because I had turned into a New Yorker. I shopped at different places, liked different music, and felt misunderstood. I was a foreigner in my native land where people enjoyed going on boats and Disney on the weekends and I just wanted see an indie film, go to cool bookstores, and find a nice glass of Rosé (which I never did). I eventually got in to my groove and made some great friends that enjoyed my quirks and understood me. They are all wonderfully different and made my 2nd time around in Miami memorable, but it was incredibly hard at first.

Once I began blogging, I was lucky enough to meet a few great people who shared the same interest my husband and I did. One in particular was my friend, Lola. We first met digitally, through Instagram, which was surprising. I’m very outgoing and never thought I’d make friends through an app. But I did, and quickly too. We started our blogs within a month of each other and mutually admired each other’s content. She had a great sense of style and a beautiful new born baby girl, Vera, that she dressed to perfection. We resolved to meet during Swim Week last year, but kept missing each other at events. Until I found her business card strewn at the bar of an event we both attended (after she left) I knew then we had to meet. It was a sign. We finally met the next day -the rest is history. Lola and I understood each other and shared so many similar passions, one of them being New York. Our husbands also got on swimmingly and before we knew it, we were over their house every day and they are now friends that are family.

They have since relocated to D.C. shortly after we relocated to New York and we continue to grow together with love and support, despite the distance. We push each other to create and change consistently. She gets it, and understands the struggle of juggling real life and blogging. Lola and I keep each other grounded, inspired and motivated while we deal with the ever demanding pressures of #adulting. All of my friendships (new and old) are very unique and special, but what’s cool about my relationship with Lola is that it would’ve never happened if one of us didn’t decide to persue our passion and create something for ourselves. She is the only friend I have had that I didn’t meet through any one person or situation ( work, school, etc.) .

I didn’t understand how important it was to have something I do for myself that isn’t working out or getting my nails done, until I created my blog. In a way, we attracted ourselves to each other by putting what we love out into the universe first.

I’ve said many times that The Flamingo Chronicles has changed my life, and this is yet another example of that. There are many ways to make ‘grown up’ friends, there is certainly no wrong way. For me, putting my passion out into the world was the easiest way to make a new friend and I definitely recommend it to any one who is transitioning and may need one, because the truth is, you really can’t have too many quality friends that lovingly support you. Put your whole self out into universe and it will give you what and who you need!

Be open to the possibilities friends,

XX

J

P.S. Be sure to visit here for chic, fun style, tips from a cool mom, and adorable pictures of sweet baby Vera. You can thank me later!

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Business Objects: Casual Work Wear Simplified

Of all the questions I’ve gotten about style from friends, readers, strangers… I’m consistently asked one question the most:

‘What should I wear to work’?

This questions seems to frustrate even the most style conscious ladies ( including me) because as traditional offices are becoming more a thing of the past, dress codes become more lenient (score) but also much more vague. We have all seen the various interpretations of “Business Casual” which can mean a blouse and cropped pant to some and tight skinny jeans and dirty Converses to others. Of course every workplace is different, and if your boss is wearing Vans to work, you probably shouldn’t be in a suit. So then what ? How can you look professional and be taken seriously, but still match the tone of your work environment?

Here are a few tips that I have found extremely helpful over the years:

Be Yourself: 

This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s important. Your work wardrobe should reflect your own personal style elevated a couple notches. For instance, if your weekend wardrobe consist of skinny jeans, sheer tops, and combat boots ( errrr my weekend wardrobe) take the essence of what makes you feel like you and tweak it for a more polished version. Sub out the skinny jeans for a slim fitted trouser, swap the sheer top for an airy silk or crepe top and wear a low heeled bootie for some work appropriate edginess. You can still look professional and feel like you.

Details: 

So I’m curvy, and that can be a challenge when dressing for work- everything looks sexier than intended and often not appropriate. For that reason, I like to stick to classic silhouettes  for my key work pieces, and I do not deviate. My formula is simple.

Blazer + button down + cropped pant= work wardrobe.

Sounds boring, but I like to play within that structure. For example, my button down MAY have tiny doodles of pizza on it, for a little whimsy. I have some blazers with leather detail, or cool buttons. I  also love adding fun belts or wearing a cool silk scarf around my neck and I’m currently obsessed with wide leg cropped pants – so comfortable and on trend.

Step it up:

One of my personal mottos is : It’s better to be overdressed than under dressed. This is especially important in the workplace, I firmly believe in dressing for the job you want, and when you work in a relaxed, less traditional work environment, that’s pretty easy to do. For most of us it could just mean swapping out those sneakers for cute loafers, or throwing a blazer over that tee. Playing with more elevated textures and fabrics goes along way as well. A silk tee or cashmere sweater can easily elevate any work look.

As I always say, the key to curating a functional and fun wardrobe ( work or otherwise ) is selecting pieces that makes sense for YOU. You need to be comfortable to confident – I will never tire of stressing that.

Work it bird,

XX

J

 

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Summa Summa Summer time : What I wore and What I didn’t

Summer is coming to a close ( soon I hope ) and I can’t help on reflecting on what I wore and what I didn’t. You have often heard me say that I don’t buy into a lot of trends. My closet is filled with staple and investment pieces. Most of my wardrobe consist of pieces I can wear at work and off duty, and are black or white. When I do buy into a trend that I just can’t resist…I buy light and strategically, because no one needs 8 OTS tops. I’m also pretty skilled at deciphering what trends are for me and what trends  I’ll leave on the rack for someone else. In this edition of The List, I’m sharing the Summer trends I loved and the ones I chose not to participate in.

Trends that spent time in the Sun:

1.Off the shoulder: this trend has been alive prior seasons, but it really exploded this Summer. Even the  crazy ( possibly homeless) lady on my block wore an #OTS . Not just the cool kids were doing it, we all were! Since it’s such a feminine silhoutte, I liked wearing OTS dresses best, so easy to wear from day to night, and kept me cool on humid summer nights.

2.Culottes: I never say never, but this was a trend I NEVER thought I would partake in. I’m curvy, and the basic guidelines for dressing a curvy body usually consist of accentuating said curves with form fitting clothing. BUT when I found roomy, high waisted, mid-length pants that cinch my waist and give the rest of my lower half some breathing room (i.e. my crotch) I was a believer. It’s like wearing chic pajamas pants! Not to mention, they are perfect to wear from day to night, and pairing with a basic cotton tee or a form fitting top is too easy.

3.Kimonos: When I saw images of women dressed up in silky robe lookin’ things in magazines a few season’s ago, I was instantly in love. Once again, all my pajama dreams were coming true. I was a bit weary at first, since I’m short and I was concerned that a large, shapeless piece of fabric would hide my own shape and make me look like a floral printed amoeba. Thankfully, no such thing happened, and I figured out that if I wore a skin tight skirt underneath and tee that shows a bit of cleavage, no one will question my shape and I can have yet another reason to prance around in PJs.

Trends I through some shade at:

1.Gingham: I love plaid and most checked print. I find it to be very chic and reminscent of a Parisian Summer. However, I didn’t find the right Gingham piece for me this summer, despite all of the options. I do own a skirt from a few years ago, but didn’t feel compelled to wear it for whatever reason. It just didn’t fit my mood this summer I guess. Image Source 

2. Embroidered Floral denim: This adorable trend did not make the cut for me this Summer because it goes against my personal denim philosophy of finding the perfect pair of jeans and owning them till there are wholes near the thighs… #curvygirlproblems. I’m so picky with jeans that despite the many cute pairs of floral denim out there, I didn’t find a pair I absolutely had to have, and didn’t feel like investing into the trend. But for all of you that did, I’m sure it pairs beautifully with your Gingham blouse.

Image Source

3. Twin sets: I love this trend actually, and don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. I didn’t buy into it because it was so difficult to find a set that fit me perfectly. Since, I’m small up top and large on the bottom, finding a set that worked was frustrating- it brought me back to bathing suit shopping, which isn’t particularly fun for me. Had I found one that fit properly, I would have worn it all summer long because it would make dressing so easy. I hope this trend sticks around so I can continue to hunt for a set that fits just right.

Image Source

Not all trends are created equal and not all trends are for everyone. With social media, magazines and store fronts constantly telling us what to wear, it’s important to realize what trends work for us and what trends don’t. One of the pillars of personal style, and mission statements is : wear what makes sense to you. It should be comfortable and help you express your own personal style in the best way possible.

Dress your best birds,

XX

J

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