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.

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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.

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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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