Friday, June 21, 2013

Swim Style Mix & Match: Part II

The only time I've ever worn a two-piece swimsuit in my adult life was back when I was visiting Boracay in the Philippines.  I had been exercising a sizable amount at the time and wanted to show off my upgraded physique.  The suit wasn't necessarily meant to be as stylish as it was meant to be skimpy!

Normally, I feel most fashionable and classy when wearing more clothing than just two itsy bisty pieces but since the Lanvin one piece I wanted was considerably outside my reach (it's a shame too...I would've rocked it, humph!)  This Summer, I decided to upgrade the pieces I already owned.  I kept the teeny tiny bottoms but found a more compelling topper: 

a Bollywood bustier.  
Take that, Lanvin.


I had been spying this sequined bustier for a while at one of the many costume design shops I pass by in L.A.'s downtown fashion district.  I didn't buy it for the longest time as I just couldn't figure out where the heck I would ever wear it....  I soon realized though, as I began planning my Summer swimwear, such a glitzy glam top would be absolute perfection for laying out and dressing up poolside ensembles.


I also used the remnant fabric that was left over from when I designed a muumuu/swim cover up and tied it over my shoulders for a shorter, wispier cover up.  The original muumuu is below.

coverup: The Tiny Closet Collection / bustier: Perial Company / bottoms: Aqua / earrings: Karla Deras for Roman Luxe



As the second installment of my mix and match style adventures, I am loving all the gold!  I was excited to put on Karla Deras for Roman Luxe's gold and lapis earrings again.  They were fitting for the occasion yesterday evening as I melted into the hot tub watching the sun go down.

I'm just getting started with this mix and match show and tell so 
Visit me again next week for another look into my experiments with swimwear!

Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Neighborhood Park

Our neighborhood has a brand spanking new park.  After opening just days ago, Theo and I decided to change up our early evening stroll and check it out!


I also decided to change up the usual stylings of my chevron mini skirt and dress it way down.  This time I immersed the skirt in an unbuttoned chambray, a loose tank and converse.  To take even more focus away from the skirt (seeing it less of a statement piece and more of of an accent), I layered on chunky accessories: 
some beaded bangles, a wood cuff and my all-time favorite coconut necklace.


Yesterday I wore Loreal's nail lacquer, "Not a Cloud In Sight" blue.  So fun!  
This ensemble was actually inspired by a similar outfit I wore here with my new Aztec print pencil skirt.  

I'm seeing that a comfy worn chambray really works wonderfully at the task of playing down bright prints.  
Also, bright nail colors are perfection with these types of prints too!  And a superb accessory.


 Our new, gorgeous park is nestled in between three buildings and now, my new favorite place to go.

We have a few big parks in downtown but none as close and as neighborhood-like.  For those of you who don't know L.A.'s downtown, it's not quite a community just yet.  After being abandoned for decades, it's only lately been growing into a new metropolis, made from ancient bank lofts and warehouses now filling up with artsy fartsy transplants like me and Theo.  We come from all over the world (none of us actually being California natives) to live in our quiet lofty spaces, do art and wear sunglasses so this new park is certainly changing the dynamic and making us all a bit warmer.  

Like a neighborhood :)

 chambray: Shades of Grey / slip worn as a tank: Catherine Malandrino / skirt: The Tiny Closet Collection / shoes: Converse / accessories: bangles were for charity
cuff & necklace were bought in Philippines

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Swim Style Mix & Match: Part I

Getting ready for the festivities of July, I have been collecting swimwear for the past couple months.  Here and there :)

I actually don't like swimsuits.  It's very challenging to find suits or pieces that flatter my particular shape and the ones that take my breath away also leave me gasping for air at the price.  Every.single.year.  I wrestle with the choice of either investing in a truly fabulous, amazeballs swimsuit that puts my monthly student loan payment to shame and I can wear it for a few years - OR - I just go to Target and pick up the latest flavor for $20 and call it a Summer...  

Decisions, decisions...

This year, I didn't choose either.  Instead I thrifted, mixed and matched and thought outside the box.  I realize since I don't really swim anyway, and much prefer lounging and looking good, I decided to get more creative with my options.  Especially since these days, I am naturally finding myself more poolside than I have in my entire life.  

So here's Part One of my swimsuit chronicles:

bandeau and half of a one-piece...

bra top: F&F (Heavenly Couture) / one piece: thrifted / necklace: Swarovski

I tied the straps of this thrifted one piece around my waist.  Pulled on my trusty bra top and draped over a simple necklace.  I've always loved the sleek vogue-esque stylings of post swimming fun: the textured wet hair pulled back in a bun or parted down the middle.  I attempted this look but with suuuuper curly hair, it didn't turn out as sleek as I'd hoped.  Pool water might as well be nail polish remover when it comes to my hair.  So drying!


Anyway, I've been loving my new after-work ritual of scampering up to the roof top and going for a quick swim.  Even though the sun beats down on our pool all day, the water is still freezing (I don't get the science of that at all) but I jump in anyway.  It's a great way to just woooosh the stress of the day right out!  I guess the temperature changes are really relaxing because for the rest of the day, I feel as light as a feather.

Come back later this week for Part II!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

More Gloom of June

While the weather has been brightening, the mornings are still guh-looomy!  Not an ounce of blue in the sky until the afternoon.  
Of course I came up with another June Gloom look to meet these rare days.


Showing off some leg like in my last Gloom post, I realize I naturally gravitate towards high/low ensembles.  High hems and full coverage on top, that is.  

Always a good balance I say.



Since I live so close to FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) and the Fashion District for that matter, the ladies in my building tend to look pretty cute and stylish.  On Saturday nights when I go downstairs in pajamas and moccasins to walk my dog, I see this type of bodycon dress a lot in the elevator.  It's all very L.A. yes, with a cut out leg opening, skin tight woven rayon/spandex and a simple, streamlined design (usually in a solid).  It's edgy, modern and urban aaaand clubby!

Anyway, the dress you see I actually bought a year ago for a business trip that I never ended up photographing.  Originally when bought, the dress was evening formal with layered draping.  Certainly NOT for clubbing.  That is until Sunday morning when I cut off all the draping to reveal this minimal, sexy number.  
Repurposed and re-worn with some gritty boots and leather!  

Excuse me, "leathah".


leather jacket: Muubaa / dress: Asos.com / boots: Deisel / sunnies: RayBan

More JG outfits coming at ya before the month is through!  But before that, let's take a look at at some minimal swimwear options for Summer, shall we?

Visit tomorrow to check out some Tiny swim style :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Missing Beach Life

Some of you may remember my lil stint as a beach bum.  
A stylish beach bum :)


Yes, far away on the other side of the Pacific, on the tiny island of Boracay, I became acquainted with my very first pair of harem pants.  
These were so long, I mainly wore them as a jumper.  A harem jumper!

Now in L.A. I am still rocking this airy one piece.  In fact, I realize this is the exact same outfit I wore when I first introduced them to my closet.  
At the time I was barefoot...  This time, I think some tan heels are a seamless upgrade, yes?

heels: Aldo  
- all other items were collected from street stands


When I found these harem pants, it really was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.  These voluminous pants have been my besties going on two years now.  
My adoration for the style also spawned five more pairs of harems (surprisingly, way over the national average) and, contrary to style rule books everywhere, 
harem pants are definitely a basic staple in my wardrobe.  

Just goes to show how much you can learn about your own taste and style by being adventurous with clothes and not being afraid to love what you love!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Style Vs. Clothing

A lot of people have been asking me lately just how I keep a Tiny Closet.  Well, in the beginning I threw out everything I didn't love.  
And since, at the time I didn't have the means to shop, I had to make the most of what I had left.  But that's not really what has caused me to maintain being Tiny.

From years of shopping and owning countless cluttered closets, the most important thing I've learned is: 

Clothes won't give you style.

As soon as I learned that, I wasn't so interested in shopping all the time.

I mean, shopping is amazing...  But nowadays, I know what I'm shopping for.  When you know what you're looking for, you tend not to buy the wrong things.   You also tend not buy things that won't last. My Tiny Closet is handpicked by me, each piece carefully added to my little collection of only things I adore.  But that wasn't always the case...

When consulting clients, Rachel Zoe would always ask who they wanted to look like.  The purpose of the question wasn't so that she could copy the look for the client, but so that she could see the kind of essence the client wanted to possess for themselves and exude it to others.  

Boom.

When I read that, it changed my world.  I quickly recalled all of my style icons.  I pulled up their photos and studied why I liked them so much.  And Zoe was right.  The iconic styles I'd assumed I needed to copy in order to achieve them myself had nothing to do with the clothes they were wearing.  It had only to do with them.  
The clothing merely reinforced their personalities and traits.  

So thaaaat's why my closets were full of discarded clothing!  The clothes weren't really for me in the first place.

people.com

It wasn't Ashley Olsen's endless clothing collection that I wanted to have per se.  It was her immense class, confidence and her effortlessness that I wanted to have for myself.

karlascloset.com

It wasn't Karla's tiny figure and countless costumy looks I relished over.  It was her keen intuition and unparalleled creativity I was addicted to.  

instyle.com / stylebalzer.com / vibevixen.com

And it wasn't Solange's fabulously colorful aesthetic that I daydreamed about.  It was her unapologetic eccentricity 
and her laser focus on surrounding herself around only things she loves that I wanted to emulate.

If I or anyone else for that matter wore the outfits of Ashley, Karla or Solange, it wouldn't be the same.  The vibe would be different.  Because I'm different.  So I decided to seek out the various qualities that I loved in those women and create the traits within myself.  Clothing eventually came from that in baby steps.

To me, clothing is the last delicious step in presenting the woman and not the first.  I think that mentality is really why my wardrobe is so small :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rethinking Lounge Wear

I've always had an affinity for lounge wear.  Big worn tees, voluminous gauzy pants, thick cable knits and scrunchy socks....  
It's the only reason I love Winter.  Just another reason to get comfy! 

The thing is, the slight difference I've realized of lounging around the house filling my day with projects now, 
to hanging around back in my old apartment with my awesome single girl ways then, is that nowadays, I want to look good doing it!

You know, I want to look sexy.  Elegant. Lady like.  Basically, when Theo and I are hanging around the house together, I'd like to be able to tell us apart :)  Why wear sweats when I can wear drapy, soft pants-for-her?  I mean, do you ever see Olivia Pope wearing sweats in her apartment during her calls with the president? 

No.  No, you don't.

So I've been working on this look as a collection actually: clothes cozy enough to be worn in the house and also presentable and flattering enough to be worn out!  
One newer item I'll give a sneak preview of is this simple stretch knit long skirt I'm considering.  
The feeling of a cashmere sweater with the light animal print and dim coloring is perfecto for both staying in and going out.

top: Asos.com / skirt: The Tiny Closet




It seems I can't get where I'd like to go fast enough.  My passions have had me on the edge of my seat lately - just anticipating each day.  Grabbing a coffee mug from the pantry, there's one that tends to always be in just the right position to stare back and be a simple reminder...



  A simple reminder to calm my ass down!

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Exploring The Art of Wearing Prints

Now that I am working in a fabric store, I am immersed head deep in scads of fabric literally 24/7.  When I'm working, I'm cutting fabric.  When I'm not working, I'm buying fabric.  It's a slippery slope of indulgence, imagining every amazing thing I could create with the plethora of options at my fingertips.  

But most importantly, I am learning a lot about the things I don't like.  
Which is actually why I accepted the job in the first place.  To understand textiles from a more well-rounded view rather than marinating in only things I like.  One big item I tend to skip over is prints.  Short of stripes and the occasional geo print, I never much cared for wearing prints...  Perhaps it's because I'm pint size and I've always felt that prints are ill fitting for my shape and stature??  Or maybe because prints can easily be a nuisance or a distraction from the natural flattery of styling?  

Meaning: the difference between receiving this compliment: 
"I love that print!" 

...and this (more preferred) compliment: 
"I love that print on you!" <--- I never hear this one.

I may hear "I love that color on you." or "I love the way that fits you."  But when it comes to prints, I've always had the narrow opinion that prints wear YOU.  
It's rarely a graceful collaboration.

However, now that I am faced with prints everyday, I've begun seeing the science behind printed textiles and more interestingly, learning the art of wearing them well.

So of course, I dove right into experimenting and decided to make an article of clothing with a print! 

 If I was going to wear a print, I would focus on color first since that is something I know well.  If all the colors in a print are flattering to my own tones, I figure I'm halfway there to wearing a flattering print, right?  I also chose to wear the print away from my face since I consider that for the experts - not to mention, my big hair and little face is enough as it is.  

Anyway, I came up with a pencil skirt.  A piece with simple lines, good tailoring, and I made it with an awesome print!


I absolutely love Mexican blankets with their colors and designs.  I grew up with a lot of them and the aesthetic is something I've grown familiar with.  
I wanted to recreate the look in my own way with this skirt.



And of course, in Tiny Closet style, I paired this new number with some old faves: my cropped denim jacket, chambray,
 aaaaaaaand my white oxfords!  As commanding as this skirt is to look at, it is already fitting in nicely with my Tiny wardrobe :)



On my nails, I am wearing Revlon's Posh green.  I adore this color for manicures!!

jacket: American Eagle Outfitters / chambray: Shades of Gris / skirt: The Tiny Closet / oxfords: CMG 

So by taking this print in baby steps, I felt like I was able to control my look and not let my clothing hog the spotlight.  The downplaying pieces like my chambray and jacket (and no accessories) allowed the print to be a statement, while melding well in an understating ensemble.

But then again, I suppose it's all a matter of opinion! 
 What do you think of this undertaking?  Back to square one?  

In the matter of my opinion, this experiment has certainly opened my narrow viewpoint....  In fact, I'm in love with wearing this print!  And I'm so excited about the possibilities of using my new philosophy to tackle some other prints I've been eyeing!  

More on that soooooooon!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Surprise!

A few months ago, Redbook magazine contacted me, asking if I'd like to be in their July issue for a lil spread on white dresses....  Oh, would I!!

What a treat!


Remember this Catherine Malandrino dress from my favorite thrift store?  I've adored this dress since the moment I spied it on the rack.  I am so happy and not to mention, incredibly flattered that Redbook liked it too!  Enough to put me and my pup in their issue!!  

And check out the amazing company I'm in...  These ladies are rocking out the LWD for sure.

Sooooo, pick yourself up a copy of the newest issue when you can.  Jada's on the cover - it's a good one.

Thank you, Redbook for this print!


And speaking of things I adore  - I actually only wear clothing I absolutely love, as this is the Tiny Closet lifestyle.  So of course, I also adore this striped dress.  I debuted this big ol' Tiny Closet Collection dress a couple months ago with my trusty oxfords and red lipstick.  But since I've been trying to slow my roll these days, I've been wearing it around the house a lot.  

The sumptuous jersey I chose for this dress is sooooooo cozy!  I can lounge out and I can lounge in.  

Win win.


So after my roomie surprised me with the issue Thursday evening, I was on cloud nine as I curled up with a movie and some random champagne I found in the fridge.  

I've been completely without conditioner the past few days and my hair has been HATING me for it.  I muffled it's frizzy screams with a leopard turban.  Perhaps you remember this turban from the post I did a while ago here?  Last night was leopard and stripes.  Mama like.  

The combo works, yes?  No?  Maybe?


Anyway, I'll be catching up with everything this weekend and joining you on the flipside come Monday.  

I've actually got a few more awesome surprises coming soon so please keep visiting to find out what's next!  
It's hard keeping all these exciting secrets to myself!  

Enjoy your weekend :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June Gloom


A few blocks of abandoned streets in downtown L.A....  I realize serve for me ample traipsing space for great lighting, backdrops and peace and quiet to play with shooting styles.  
Well, eerie quiet but peace and space nonetheless.  

Who would've thought Skid Row would be a photo shoot playground?


Channeling the cool of Macklemore, and the comfort of Eileen Fischer. I was completely cozy and warm in this oversize cocoon sweater, which I wear with everything, my favorite slouchy, long sleeve double knit and my mini cutoff skirt.  C'est parfait, non?  Please excuse me, but when I feel this comfy and effortlessly cool, I can't help but speak French :)


Wearing such soft layers up top, raises my tolerance level considerably for wearing sky high heels that were slightly less than comfortable, 
which, for this outfit, heels were really quite necessary I feel.

sweater: Lane Bryant / top: The Tiny Closet Collection / skirt: Paper Denim / booties: Jessica Simpson 


Now that I've embraced the "June Gloom" (an L.A. native clued me in on the consistent gloomy weather that sets in during only the month of June), I'm settling on breaking out my jackets and sweaters again... and pairing them with skimpier, Summer items.  Yay!  A Tiny Closet specialty.  

Keep visiting for more June Gloom ensembles!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

All Dressed Up...

But no time to go anywhere.

sigh

Lately, I find myself racing to keep up with the demands of the day.  After toiling over the boring stuff of bills, cleaning and what seems to be endless errands, I find I've run out of my favorite conditioner, my nail polish is well overdue for a change, my brows are slowly connecting and my meals have evolved into takeout.

I realized it was time for some blissful quiet time when I practically lost it as I was racing out of my apartment and my doorman said:

"Is it that time of the month?"

(after a record screeching halt and some choice words I had planned to say back, I thankfully realized he was talking about the rent check I was holding in my hand...  
Yes.  I needed some quiet time indeed.

So as a personal treat to myself, and also as a reminder to keep things in my life simple and focused on what matters, 
I decided to finally finish my most favorite piece I've ever made.  This long Summer overcoat:

overcoat: The Tiny Closet / jumper: thrifted / belt: Forever 21 / heels: Nine West


I have been planning for ages where I'd wear this fabulous piece once it was finished...  ??  I suppose I'm still planning - 
but for now I just had to put it on and give it a pose or two by the pool.  

As soon as I put on my jumper and heeled sandals, I was already beginning to smile again.  It's amazing what clothes can do with some re-imagining.  
And also with this amazing coat that I love! 



I made this overcoat from a sarong I bought while in the Philippines.  I thought I'd make the sleeves contrasting - to bring all the characters and colors of the panel to focus.  The panel on the sarong is of a beautiful sunset over a village beach.  I miss that gorgeous island immensely.


So I'm going to slow down a bit, catch my breath, get back to the little things like brow maintenance and manicures, and go eat a good dinner with my husband.

I'm out!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Speed Walking In Wedges

Rushing to work yesterday, I asked Theo to gab some quick shots of my hustle.

shirt: PINK / denim: Asos.com / wedges: Et Fiancees / bag: Rebecca Minkoff MAB / sunnies: RayBan

This was a simple but changeable ensemble.  In the paper shopper bag, are my Pumas and some socks. My job, while super fun is definitely not glamorous.  So, at work I hang up my button up and sport my James Perse tee, take off the wedges and pop on my Pumas and I'm ready to carry fabric bolts, make runs to the warehouse for orders and cut, cut, cut (pssst, by the way I work at a fabric store).

Then after work, I put back on my wedges, cover my tee with this crisp shirt, throw on my RayBans and I'm back in the world :)




Simple, but it does the duty of making me feel put together and flattering.  Plus, wedges are so much easier to slip on and off at the beginning and end of the day.  And when I'm running late and I don't have time for dainty stepping, a sturdy wedge is comfy enough to strut in speedily!

***************************

Trying to get back on my weekday posting schedule again.  I just absolutely have to say 
THANK YOU 
to all the visitors and readers for leaving me a birthday comment last week.  My heart was singing for days!  I am so very lucky to have such fabulous, inspiring, intelligent, witty, readers it's really a pleasure making my posts, not only because I love it but also because I get to write for amazing women like you. Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful emails and comments aaaaand 

wonderful advice on entering my 30s in style :)