For summer, you've got your sockless shoe
options for those occasions that you want to look like you put in the time (which should be often). But once the colder months hit, boat shoes with socks are probably something you shouldn't be considering, and only the masterful dressers can successfully pull off the socks with loafers look in a non-dressy outfit.
So for fall, your footwear must have is the desert--or Chukka--boot. The option above is Cole Haan
, but most stores that sell men's clothing and shoes sell this style of boot: Johnston and Murphy
, Banana Republic
, the works. These can be styled with or without socks, tied allt he way up or a little undone, and they look great under jeans, khakis and most things in between. Like the loafer or boat shoe, these are a great non-dress shoe option that really take your outfit to an "I tried" level that makes you seem much more stylish and put together than a pair of sneakers. Also like the boat shoe and/or loafer in your wardrobe, if you're short on shoe options, go with a brown or possibly gray shade that can look good with many outfits and colors. And get them in the material that is most you--suede, leather, whatever. Once you realize what these can do for your look, you'll be finding ways to wear them with pretty much everything you own.
If you've bothered to pick up pretty much any fashion magazine this fall, you know that the color of the moment for accessories, bags, statement pieces (read: pretty much everything) is oxblood. Bold yet sophisticated, and flattering on almost any skin tone, the deep red shade has begun to trickle over - no pun intended - into beauty trends, too.
My favorite iteration has been the plum, berry and deep wine lip colors that are slightly 90s-inspired, but also decidedly current. To avoid looking too washed out or vampire-y, be sure to pair these darker hues with a rosy, shimmer-free blush for a healthy flush of color. Here are some of my favorite lip colors this fall:
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Sugar Plum
, $22.50, sephora.com
Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in Black Tie
, $30, sephora.com
Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Grape Vine
, $2.99, target.com
Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain in Scarlet
, $26, sephora.com
Sometimes I just need to bake things. And thanks to Pinterest, easy recipes are not hard to come by. I saw this
recipe, which is possibly the easiest baking I've ever done without simply using a box mix or break and bakes. Just because they're easy doesn't mean they're not also extremely delicious.
Oreo-peanut butter-brownie cakes
1 box 8x8 size brownie mix
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
12 cupcake liners
what it is:
J.Crew Toni tassel loafers and Mona tassel heelswhy I love it:
Where do I start? I have a weakness for menswear-inspired pieces (just as I have a weakness for menswear
), and both of these shoes strike the perfect balance between menswear elements and a feminine shoe. The black-on-brown color combination makes these shoes able to go with literally anything, and I love the oxford detailing and the tassels as a nice extra touch. I think what made these catch my eye even more than other well-designed loafers, though, is the shape. Instead of a classic loafer or a trying-too-hard to make a feminine shape out of a classic loafer (read a shortened or too-rounded toe area), these take the shape of a smoking slipper, a shoe I also love. Sometimes hybrid styles can turn out less ideally than intended, but these are perfect. I wish I could stop staring.where to get it: J.Crew (flat)
, $238; J.Crew (heel)
Last fall when I was here interning, I found out about Madison Square Eats
, and visited it an embarrassing number of times over the month or so it was open. This year, I made sure to make the pilgrimage, and (not surprisingly) the food didn't disappoint and the atmosphere was just as pleasant. I brought my camera along to document... and tried to pretend like I was a legit photographer.
view from outside of the park.
, a Mexican food truck parked at the south entrance posts its usual whereabouts on its Twitter page
. I tried this last year and it made for well-portioned and delicious Mexican, and a nice Chipotle to-go alternative!
Delicious food in a pretty downtown setting. (obligatory "atmosphere" shot
I beelined for AsiaDog
, one of my food festival faves.
Maura opted for Roberta's
, a delicious Brooklyn-based wood-oven pizza place. I also had this last year, and it is some quality pizza.
I went with 2 veggie dogs,
the mel + steve topping and vinh topping (with veggie paté).
I shared one of these ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery
last year at a Grub Street
food fair, and after one bite, I knew sharing would take too much self control. So when I saw these here this year, I was happy to get a red velvet allllll to myself. mmmm.
red velvet perfection.
Maura went with snickerdoodle, also delish.
in which I try to be a photographer.
peace out, MSP.
what it is:
JINSoon nail polishwhy i love it*:
It's fitting that this shiny new line of nail polishes launched in the middle of Fashion Week mayhem; their creator Jin Soon Choi is a fixture backstage, where so much Fashion Week mayhem occurs. She's basically the
rockstar of the manicure world: she does all of the top shows and major celebrity photo shoots, and she has three successful eponymous salons in NYC. That's why it's baffled me for so long that she hadn't come out with her own line of nail polishes (yet somehow we live in a world where the Kardashians and Justin Bieber have). This line of polishes couldn't come Jin Soon enough (wow, I'm really sorry about that). Enter Space NK's JINSoon line. I was lucky enough to try out Nostalgia, a pinky-nude color, and I can report that these long overdue polishes don't disappoint.
First, the shades: between the two "collections" (the "A La Mode" collection has trendier, bolder shades, while the "Quintessential" collection is more classic), there's really something for everyone. I'm pretty anti-shimmer when it comes to by nail polish choices, so I love that there's not one speck of iridescence in any of these shades. They also earn bonus cool points for being named by top models.
But in my opinion, the formula is really what sets these nail polishes apart. I'm not kidding when I say these lacquers made it feel almost impossible to mess up even a rushed DIY manicure. The nude color I tried was opaque with just one coat, which pretty much never happens with other brands (sorry, Essie Mademoiselle). The polish goes on smoothly and dries with a super shiny finish, so you can pretty much skip base and top coat. where to get it: spacenk.com
This should say "why I really, really, really, really love it." Yes, I am aware that I just wrote a love letter/ode to a nail polish. Try it and you'll understand.
Not only is it easy for women to incorporate a fun pop of color into an outfit, but it's also more widely accepted as a gender norm (which I think is kind of annoying). I think men should be able to have a little fun, too. Because menswear basics usually come in rich neutral colors, a bright accent is the perfect way to bring a fresh spin to old basics. Color can be intimidating for men, so here's a manual for those of you who want to dip your toe, but not quite your whole foot into the color pool.
This might be the easiest way to incorporate unexpected color into an outfit. Either buy a less expensive watch with a bright strap, or invest in a watch where you can change out the straps. Go for a color, like yellow or red, that is bright and offsets the rest of the pieces in your outfit.
soles and/or laces
The casual oxford is a shoe that's nice to keep around to dress up a casual outfit, especially in cooler weather. If you're not in the mood for a boat shoe or a loafer, these are a great sneaker alternative. Take your oxfords up a notch with a colored sole and/or laces. Like a watch, this is a pretty subtle way to wear color, but a pair of shoes are a little more of an investment than a watch or watch strap. If you're an oxford person or looking for a way to amp up your look instantly, this investment is worth it.
This one is a little trickier because in the case of glasses, you wear them every day unless you've spent the money to have multiple pairs. But colored rims are a quick way to trick the passerby into thinking that you are ultra-stylish. It's nice because glasses don't have to match what you're wearing and are kind of separate from your attire as a whole, so if you see some frames you like in a color you don't necessarily wear a ton, it's not something you have to be really concerned about. This purchase is more of a commitment, but if you're ready for it, it will really pay off.
Possibly the safest way to easily add color, these can be cheap and very low-commitment. The only problem is that you can only do this in certain dress codes. However, suits are often the hardest item to make interesting, so go for patterns and colors so you can easily mix up your suit look, especially if you wear suits a lot and can't invest in a ton of different suits.
what it is:
Keihl's Midnight Recovery Eyewhy i love it:
This deeply moisturizing cream does exactly what the title claims: it helps your skin recover and bounce back from a late night or a few days of neglect. Light enough that it doesn't feel greasy but hydrating enough that it does its job, this product brightens and smoothes skin around the eyes like Photoshop in a tube. I love to use it as a base before I apply my makeup because it seals in moisture and serves as a kind of primer to help my undereye concealer stay on throughout the day.where to get it: keihls.com
Crab rangoon is one of my favorite guilty takeout pleasures. Crab, cream cheese and fried dough: what's not to like? Other than the fact that it's extremely unhealthy, of course. When I found this recipe for a lighter baked version on Pinterest, I couldn't wait to try it. I'm not going to tell you that it tastes exactly like its deep-fried counterpart (it doesn't), but the flavors are spot-on, and the wontons still come out crispy and ready to be dipped into sweet and sour sauce.
I lightened up the recipe even more by substituting Greek yogurt for the recommended sour cream and reduced-fat neufchâtel cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese. As long as you include all of the spices and use some semi-decent canned crab, it will taste just as delicious. My best piece of advice is to make a lot - they'll go quickly (and you can reheat any leftovers in the oven or toaster oven fairly easily).baked crab rangoonmakes about 20-24
2 tablespoons nonfat plain greek yogurt (you can also use nonfat sour cream)
8 oz neufchâtel cream cheese, softened
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup lump crab meat, drained
20-24 wonton wrappers
what it is:
Zara long pleated skirtwhy I love it:
I love maxi skirts, but the normal neutrals like black or white can be overwhelming in long skirt form. My first maxi skirt was a charcoal gray color, and I found that to be more versatile than black, because anything I'd pair it with is automatically less of a stark contrast. That's how I feel about this pretty blush color. It's surprisingly versatile, and the knife pleats and light fabric give the skirt an ultra-feminine feel that allows for more outfit options in a way. The styling in this photo doesn't really show off how flattering the skirt is, but with a white t-shirt and flat sandals the skirt is perfect for a day, and with strappy heels and a silky tank, it can be dressed up. Pair it with combat boots and/or an oversized cardigan or crew neck sweater in colder weather and you've given the skirt a new vibe altogether. Zara isn't the only place to offer a skirt in this style and color, but I love the fabric and perfect blush shade this one comes in, and the price isn't too bad for something that is, after all, a trend.where to get it: Zara