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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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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Summer School

I’m not a ‘t-shirt and jeans’ kinda girl. I love both elements, and appreciate what the idea behind the phrase- to have a comfortable, no frills style -but it’s just too simple for me most of the time. It reminds me of what I used to wear my freshman year of high school – before I got gutsy and experimental with my personal style.
So let’s take that concept and stretch it a bit, shall we ?
* class in session*
Instead of a t shirt and denim… why not a t shirt with a skirt or a cotton romper? Still uber comfortable and simple, but with an unexpected touch. I wore this fun look to an event a few weeks ago. It was very hot and I needed something comfy that paired with sneakers but didn’t want to look like I was going to school.
I mixed a cropped tee with my favorite cotton black romper, cuff up the legs and paired it high tops. I grabbed my favorite back pack to put all my gear in (camera, make up, multiple sunglasses) and kept it moving. All pieces in this look are staples in my closet that I just mixed and matched – which is something I’ve learned to do when I’m bored with my wardrobe. I throw a couple of different pieces I want to wear on bed and begin experimenting. It’s taught me to combine different elements to create fresh looks that are wearable and versatile. Stretching my outfit choices, and not stretching my wallet.

*bell rings*

Xx
J

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Urban Tropicana

I grew up in a tropical place, which some people consider a part of the Carribbean- depending on who you ask. Florals and bright colors are the year-round norm in South Florida.
Even though I grew up knowing I was a city slicker at heart, and that 1000% humidity was not my speed- vibrant florals, pastel colors and luscious green shades kinda have this bird’s heart. As temperatures start to rise in NYC, I can’t help but crave a bit of the tropics.
Although, with that being said, I often feel out of place wearing barely-there sundresses and sandals in the steamy concrete oasis I call home. Largely because thigh rubbing under dresses and lots of walking in sandals aren’t this New Yorker’s idea of paradise.
Not to mention that a 90 degree day, can turn into a chilly 58 degree night in a New York minute, which has been my reality lately.
So I decided to add a breezy tropical twist to this otherwise, very urban look.
I mixed one tropical silhouette, a ruffled bodysuit, with a structured, palm green pleated skirt, that still has a bit of flounce to it … to keep the look feeling breezy. I then added a few bright elements to warm things up, like a coral pink floral bandana, bright oversized bangles, and a banana charm to my very structured black cross body.
Lastly, I opted for rose gold cutout oxfords instead of sandals…it was the less obvious choice, still very bright and fun, but tailored enough to speak to my skirt and bag.
In my mind, it’s how any urban flamingo would dress herself. Adapting to her surroundings but still giving a nod to her tropical place of origin.

Xx
J

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No New Stuff

So by now, most of ya’ll know the pillars of my personal style.

1. Never, EVER, pay full price
2. If you think you’ll wear it less than twice, DO NOT BUY IT
3. Does it make sense for you? (Style,price,fabric etc.)
This is about the only real ‘style advice’ I’ll give. If it checks all the boxes for you then buy it! Why? Because you’ll be that much closer to ensuring that you will always have something to wear. It’s a simple strategy that helps me keep a curated closet, that’s filled with wearable and affordable clothing.
This look is all old stuff. Some of it is really old, sandals and jeans I’ve had for 2 + years … the top was a $20 steal from last summer. Sunnies were also from last summer and $5. The bag was a birthday gift from years ago (no i did not pick it out, my friend Tiffany is just a badass who knows me well) and the navy duster is from earlier this year and it’s the only “newness” in this look.

Do I like shopping?

Yes. Duh.

Do I always have money to shop all the time?

No. Duh.

 


That’s why I have a strategy. It’s sustainable, and guarantees a closet that will allow many combinations. So I can have relevant, chic and seasonally appropriate outfits season after season. Take note that everything pictured is a neutral or primary color. Most of the tailoring/silhouettes are timeless and above all, everything is comfortable and super wearable.

I mean I still *sometimes* throw a Clueless tantrum on occasion, but I’m probably just hormonal at that moment … because deep down, I know I have a closet of old stuff to wear!

XX
J

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Seasonal Expression Part 3

For the last installment of my spring dress series, I went back to my basic instincts and chose a dress I immediately fell for and never doubted. It’s simply styled and showcases this season’s hottest print…

 * Stripe Right*

Growing up, my grandmother LOVED clothes and had a bit of a shopping problem- in case you’ve ever wondered where I get it from. My grandparents lived directly behind a mall, so they were there quiet a bit. It was her cardio, her social hour, her therapy. Conversely, my mother hated the act of buying anything. So naturally, I loved joining my Abuela any chance I got.
Like any advanced shopper she had her strategies and patterns. She would alternate on who she would shop for – a necessary strategy when you have 5 grandchildren. She also loved buying anything with stripes. From men’s shirts to my dresses. Stripes everywhere, thin ones, multi colored ones, sailor stripes … any stripe was the right stripe. She was so consistent, that she (on several occasions) would purchase the same striped thing twice. I never got to ask her why, although she’d probably shrug and giggle, because who cares?Well I do, because I would like to know why I am attracted to anything with stripes… even a good striped awning on a storefront gets my attention.

Yo no sé

I like my stripes, and now that I’m back to wearing color, I’m unstoppable. Stripes all over the place! I bought this perfectly striped dress in 5 mins. It was a medium (which means nothing), I didn’t try it on, it was $20 and it had STRIPES !
Done

I kept the styling super simple, and went for my favorite cognac duster for a nice color contrast, and paired quilted white high tops to make those thin white lines pop. Just letting the stripes do their thang.

Loving  stripes is probably one of my favorite learned behaviors, right up there with drinking Rosè and eating cheese. Which happen to match my Francophile ambitions (also acquired from Abuela) to a tee.

I will be living in this dress for the next six months BTW, doing the other aforementioned behaviors.

Love the things you love birds, and buy a ton of it- you only live once.

Xx

J

Dress: TJ Maxx

High Top Sneakers: Just Fab

Duster: DressLily

Sunnies: Sunglass Spot

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Seasonal Expression p.2

Part 2

*Not my Mama’s Dress*

I’ve always loved dresses; I’ve always loved my mom too. However, my mom at one point in time, did not love HOW I wore dresses.
It was my junior year of high school and I felt I had enough social clout ( plus a bit of teenage angst) to not really give a flock about what people thought about the way I dressed. I wore vintage ties with button down shirts, sneakers with skirts and my favorite… dresses over jeans. Some liked it, some thought I was crazy; and could care less.
I did care about one unexpected fashion critic, my mama.Enlight86Enlight83Enlight85
I came into the kitchen one morning, wearing this boho print slip dress over jeans, with sneakers (it looked awesome ) She took one look at me, and said “What are you going to wear to school today?”

*it’s important to note that this was 2001 and my high school was a real life ad for Abercrombie*

Annoyed, I replied ” This, I’m wearing THIS” .
A worried (but 100% sincere) look appeared on her face and she said “What if someone makes fun of you?” I said “They won’t ” as I flounced off confidently.Enlight88Enlight84Fast forward to present day, I’m wearing a dress over jeans mainly for practical reasons -it’s Spring and it’s still gets chilly in the evening. Incidentally, all the cool kids are doing it now too. It’s the edgy alternative to wearing tights, because some dresses look better over jeans than hosiery.

This red floral number is no exception, and when paired with a leather biker jacket on top, no one will ever question it because it’s a dynamic look. It took me from day to night and I was incredibly comfortable. I felt feminine and suitably dressed for Spring- but most of all- I felt like the little bird I once was: Boldly exploring the depths of my own personal style.Enlight89In hindsight, I now realize that my mother’s initial reaction to my inventive fashion choices were her just being a protective mama bear; and every creative heart needs protecting so I guess I was in good hands all along despite her early objections. She continues to support me in every creative endeavor with lots of love and genuine excitement, and understands my personal style much better these days, lol. One thing we always agreed on is that personal style should include: being comfortable, true to yourself and feeling great in anything you wear- and that is #flamingostyle at it’s finest.

Dress yourself well, be well, and love your mama birds!

Xx
J

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