10 Things To Stop Doing With Your Hair By Age 30

It seems like just yesterday we presented our response to those “30 Things You Need To Stop Wearing By Age 30” articles (our take: it’s time to stop wearing 1/2 of an old locket you were given at birth before being sent to an orphanage). Just when I thought the whole issue was settled, I came across this article helping all us old gals figure out what we have to stop doing with our hair. Ladies, it’s serious. We can’t have braids anymore. Worse yet, I wore one just this week —  looking like a 29-year-old floozy instead of the sedate 31-year-old that I am — because nobody even told me that we can’t have braids anymore. I’d never leave my faithful internet friends in that position, so here it is: 10 things to stop doing with your hair if you’re three decades old.

Hair That You Style Yourself

Are you old enough to remember watching Full House in prime time? That’s totally fine, but you’re going to have to get a puffy roller set once a week that you get re-done every Friday afternoon with all the other Ethels.

An Elaborate Powdered Wig

Good God almighty, Megan, someone’s going to think it’s actually white.

Your Natural Hair Color

When you hit a certain age – and make no mistake, that age is 29 years 364 days – you should probably start dying your hair.

But Also, Unnatural Hair Colors

Okay, you should probably start dying your hair but also you are too old to pull off anything that strays more than one swatch from your natural shade on that hair board your hairdresser has. You might ask why you should bother dying your hair if you’re still using your natural color, but how about you don’t.

Your Own Mom’s Hair Cut, Whatever That Is

Now that you’re old, nobody will be able to tell you apart.

Short Hair

Short hair is for old ladies, so if you have it then everybody will forget to look at your face and assume that you’re old.

But Also, Long Hair

You’re a big woman now, Amy.

Long hair is for young ladies, so if you have it everybody will think you’re trying to look young. The looking young part is great but the trying part is ew. Now that you’re 30 you may have a blunt-cut bob or a blunt-cut lob.

A Tight Bun

We know you have wrinkles, Carly. A tight bun is just going to make you look like that grandma from the Tweety cartoons. Remember Tweety? Of course you do, ya geezer. You watched him at the picture-show after the newsreels.

Any Of Tonya’s Hairstyles In I, Tonya

Even T.Hard has changed her bangs by now.

A Big Bow Like An Edwardian Girl

“Jo Jo Bows” – big floppy bows last seen in photo-essays of mill girls in 1904, then inexplicably popularized by Dance Moms kid Jojo Siwa – are huge with the younger set, AKA actual children. But if you’re an over-30 trying to evoke an Edwardian throwback thing for whatever reason, think more Ruth Dewitt Bukater and less Little Cora. And yes, we threw that reference in for you ol’ sea hags who can remember Titanic’s theatrical release.

 

 

 

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Everything I Remember Buying At Claire’s, 1994 – 1999

Claire’s has filed for bankruptcy, and my 90s self would be shocked.  Claire’s was a boutique in the loosest sense of the word – it was more like a Toys R Us of tween accessories, and if my niece’s recent purchases of JoJo Siwa bows and unicorn hair extensions are any indication, it still is. Claire’s may be the latest victim of private-equity fund stewardship, but I think they may emerge victorious — after all, no store is better at giving tween girls exactly what it’s told them they want. I was never one of those kids with an allowance or parent-funded spending sprees, so each of my Claire’s purchase was long-coveted. That’s why, in 2018, I can still remember everything I bought at Claire’s during my childhood:

A Heart-Shaped Locket With Nothing In It

The nostalgia machine remembers the 90s in a few ways: bright and neon in the post-80s years, earth-toned and grungy in the middle, and pop-y and futuristic at the end. However, there was also a weird kind of neo-Victorian thing happening if you looked hard enough (see: country geese , Little Women, Titanic mania). Case in point: lockets, which always seemed kind of important and mysterious even if you had nothing to put in them. We can thank Annie and the American Girls Collection for this.

Mood Ring

You always blushed a bit if it landed on In Love. As a cold person with a low heart rate (actually… what do mood rings even measure?), I think the technical term for my mood ring results was Clinical Death.

Sunflower Hat

The sunflower hat was THE must-have accessory when I was in second grade, c. 1994. Different versions were out there but the staple was a denim bucket hat with a yellow sunflower on it. A little bit Michelle Tanner and a little bit Blossom, you could be any middle-class girl from a family sitcom you wanted in this number. The decision to wear it straight versus tilted was hotly debated … in the before-school lineup at Sacred Heart Cathedral School, anyway.

Confession: I scoped out sunflower hats at Claire’s but mine was actually from Bloomingdale’s. It was Quality Millinery, thank you very much.

Scrunchies

They were gentle on your hair and you could buy one in any finish or pattern you wanted. Bring back the scrunchie.

Velvet or Lace Choker (Cameo Optional)

This was the more early-90s choker. Like the locket, it was part of the Interview With A Vampire aesthetic that was totally appropriate and not at all creepy for tiny children to be into.

Fake Tattoo Choker

This was more late 90s, and I only wore it once because I thought it looked cheap.

Which it did.

You could get them from gumball machines.

Fimo Necklaces

Popular in the 1996-1999 range, these necklaces had a nylon cord or stringed beads and a clay ‘hippie’-esque pendant.

In my personal suburban mall, there was a kiosk that sold these and also wizard candles. For the uninitiated, yes, I actually do mean candles that were shaped like an elderly wizard.

A Piercing

Thing 90s Kids Will Remember: getting your ears pierced by a teenager with a piercing gun and trying not to cry because strangers were eating Auntie Anne’s pretzels on a bench 5 feet away. My ear piercing was a First Communion present and it closed up within a few years, so I am in fact the proud owner of TWO Claire’s piercings. You had to search the earring racks specifically for the ones labelled stainless steel or else your ears would start burning. We had fun.

Headbands Headbands Headbands

Soft headbands, hard headbands that would dig into your temples, plush puffy headbands – if there was one constant in my life from 1995 to 1999, it was that my bangs were in a weird place and I needed hair accessories to deal with them. The worst ever, for my particular frizzy hair and iffy hairline, was the stretchy headband with teeth. They never looked good on me but I bought like 5 of them anyway.

I preferred a classic Alice band because I was a goody-goody, obvs.

Embellished Snap Clips

Remember those flat clips that all the gymnasts wore in the 1996 Olympics? Then, remember the teeny tiny version with daisies and stuff on them? You’d wear them right next to your part.

The real theme here is that as a people, we were dealing with a collective weird bangs situation for the better part of the decade.

Butterfly Clips

The last member of the wonky bangs starter pack, the butterfly clip spanned the difference between headbands and hair clips so you didn’t have to choose. I was pretty sure they looked rocking in my hair and in hindsight, I was entirely correct.

Butterfly Everything

Butterflies were so cool in the late 90s, and I’m so grateful that I was only in Junior High or else I definitely would have left the decade with a butterfly tattoo.*

*  I remember my junior high friends and I declaring that we’d totally get butterfly tattoos and belly button piercings when we were old enough. Now I can have as many butterfly tattoos and belly button piercings as I want, and it turns out I want zero.

Pen with marabou poof

You felt like Cher Horowitz until the ink ran out in a week and you were back to your Bics.

See also: gel pens, despised by every teacher I ever had. Now that my eyeballs are three decades old I Get It.

“Retro” “70s” Stuff

Especially during the 1996-1997 school year, 60s and 70s-inspired accessories were all the rage. We’re talking psychedelic colors, daisies, smiley faces, peace signs. The yin yang was pretty big starting in the earlier 90s but I seem to remember it fading out sooner.

I also remember combing my grandparents’ house for 60s-70s stuff during this time, only to find that most bona fide retro accessories were in the pukey oranges, avocados and browns of old appliances. Claire’s all the way.

Puka Shell Nonsense.

As of high school I had been to like 2 beaches and they were in New England, but still.


My Claire’s years mostly ended around 2000, when I started high school. Yesterday, today, and forever, Claire’s was a store that sold the idea of being a cool teenager to 7-13 year olds — not so much a store for real teenagers. Their financial situation may be bleak, but as long as 10-year-olds long to look 17, I think Claire’s will have a place in children’s fashion mistakes for years to come.

Best Dressed at the 2018 Oscars

Frances McDormand was thisclose to Cady Herron-ing her Oscars speech, Armie Hammer shot hot dogs at an unsuspecting movie theater-going audience, Kobe Bryant became an Oscar winner, and the La La Land/Moonlight jokes flowed like the tears I had for almost every performance of the nominated Original Songs. But as always, the fashion made headlines too and we’re just another blog adding to the list. Did your faves make the cut?

Molly’s Picks

Lupita Nyong’o in Atelier Versace

Lupita has been one of our favorites since she came onto the scene looking and acting like a modern-day Audrey Hepburn several awards seasons ago. This beaded sash is gorgeous (I love a good sash, but on most people they veer on either the beauty pageant, Grand Duchess, or Michael Jackson side…) and check out the gold sewn into her hair!

Gal Gadot in Givenchy Haute Couture

I’m always a sucker for anything flapper-inspired and this look is all glam and glitter. It’s no mistake that so many of our favorites are gold, silver and champagne-colored. It’s a big night and I love when stars treat it as such. The diamond and aquamarine necklace is so classic that I was surprised it wasn’t vintage.

Mira Sorvino in Ramona Kavenza

It’s cherry blossoms! Mira is making up for lost red carpet time in a stunning way here. Not to start another controversy about dress color – I think we can all agree we shouldn’t go down that road again – but I read this described as blue and I really do not see it. Surely they meant blush?

Margot Robbie in Chanel Haute Couture

Margot’s gown is one of the simplest on our list, but it’s deceptive. Look at the criss-cross layers on the skirt and the wispy feathery detail along the top — it’s a real god is in the details situation.

Gina Rodriguez in Zuhair Murad

Gina always looks stunning on the red carpet because she is always entirely polished without being overdone. Sleek hair, simple but evening-appropriate makeup, and this silvery cloud of a gown all come together to make her look full-Hollywood glam.

Honorable Mention: Rita Moreno in Her Old Dress From 1962

This works on so many levels. Reminding us that Rita Moreno is such an institution that she’s been around for over 55 years of Oscar history; reminding us that Rita Moreno’s dress from 55 years ago still fits (I’ll never feel smug about still fitting into my prom dress again…); reminding us that Rita can somehow pull off showing more skin in her 80s than she did in her 30s. The dress was created in the Philippines from a Japanese obi and it’s as beautiful in 2018 as it was in 1962.

 

Traci’s Picks

Allison Janney in Reem Acra

Allison Janney – sorry – OSCAR WINNER Allison Janney picked the perfect gown to take home the golden trophy. The sleeves, the hair slicked back, the deep V paired with the simple diamond necklace, gives just the right kind of drama that an Oscar winner should display. The only thing we’re disappointed in is that she didn’t do The Jackal at the end of her speech.

Chadwick Boseman in Givenchy

This is how a a king should dress.

Allison Williams in Armani Privé Couture

I always love when an actress goes for straight up Hollywood glamour at the Oscars, and Allison did just that. The beading, the sheer illusion top and the wavy hair all come together to help give Allison the perfect movie star look.

Zoey Deutch in Elie Saab

The Disaster Artist actress (did you know she’s Lea Thompson’s daughter??) wasn’t nominated for anything but still showed up to the party looking fabulous, and I’m into it. In a sea of white, this off-white gown stands out from the crowd.

Emily V. Gordon in J. Mendel

Emily’s dress was old Hollywood and Met Gala combined. I particularly love the velour/velvet crimson belt that added a bit more depth to the whole look.

Honorable Mention: Best Couple – Armie Hammer in Armani Prive Couture and Timothee Chamalet in Berluti

I will never stop shipping them.

Golden Globes 2018 – Best Dressed

The 2018 Golden Globes were a little different, and so is our Best Dressed list. Actors used the night as a platform to say something about sexual abuse, harassment and structural inequality, so we’re going to highlight their opinions and accomplishments along with their gorgeous black ensembles. In her New York Times op-ed, Amber Tamblyn wrote:

We actresses are not just modeling clothing when we walk a red carpet on award show night. We are modeling a kind of behavior. We are speaking in a coded language to other women — even young girls — that says: The way I look and what I wear and how I wear it is the standard for women. What is being worn is not an exception. It is the rule. You must dress a certain way and look a certain way if you want to be valued as a woman, no matter what you do for a living or who you are. We never intend for this to be the message we are sending with what we wear, but often it is the perceived one, whether we like it or not.

Last night clothes were part of the message – but just one part. Here are a few of our favorites:

Tracee Ellis Ross

Serving this headwrap fiercness is Tracee Ellis Ross, an actress best known for her work in Girlfriends and Black-ish. She’s won six NAACP Image awards for acting and been nominated for Emmys twice. Her 2016 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series marked the first time an African-American woman had won in that category in 30 years. Last year, she won the Golden Globe for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – making history as the first black woman in 34 years to win in the category. Tracee is wearing Marc Jacobs.

Michelle Williams

You probably know who Michelle Williams is. Dawson’s Creek kicked off her career, but since then, she’s become the most credited actor and has the accolades to prove it. Four Oscar nominations and one actual Golden Globe, Michelle simply transforms on screen. Her plus one at the Golden Globes last night was Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo movement back in 2006.

“I thought I would have to raise my daughter to learn how to protect herself in a dangerous world, but I think the work that Tarana has done and the work that I’m learning how to do — we actually have the opportunity to hand our children a different world,” she said at the Globes. “I am honored beyond measure to be standing next to this woman. I have tears in my eyes and smile on my face.”

Susan Kelechi Watson

Susan is best known for her roles on Louie, NCIS, The Blacklist and of course, This Is Us. She has a BFA from Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from NYU’s Tisch School graduate acting program. She also may or may not be Blue Ivy in the future. Susan is also the director of non-profit Drama Club, an organization that provides theatre programming to incarcerated and court-involved young people in New York City. She’s wearing Monsoori.

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore is the multi-talented star who may hold different titles depending on your generation. If you were alive during the TRL era, you still don’t know who Mandy’s missing like Candy. If you were born during the TRL era, you either know her voice from Tangled or watch the hit NBC program This Is Us. Mandy has been active with philanthropy over the years, including Five & Alive, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She recently was a spokesperson for Dove’s self-esteem movement, aimed at introducing girls to real, admirable women to look up to. Mandy is wearing Rosie Assoulin.

 

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel is an actress whose first big gig was in 7th Heaven as the oldest sister, Mary Camden. She was just a teen when she started in Hollywood, and went on to appear in films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Summer Catch, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Lately, she’s been producing more of her own projects, including The Sinner, which earned her her first Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film. She also spends a lot of time giving back to her local and global community – In 2010, Jessica teamed up with the UN Foundation to raise awareness of the global water crisis, and climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.  Jessica is in Dior.

Nicole Kidman 

Nicole Kidman is an actress and founder of the production company Blossom Films. She is an Academy Award winner and a five-time Golden Globe winner, and has found that producing films has “allowed me to shape my career in terms of being able to find things that I may not get offered, that I wouldn’t get the opportunity for.” Kidman is also a founding member of the powerhouse coalition, Times Up. In her acceptance speech for Best Actress In A Mini-Series Or TV Movie in Big Little Lies last night, Nicole said: “My mom was an advocate for the women’s movement growing up, and standing here, my achievements are her achievements. This character I played represents something at the center of our conversation right now: abuse. I hope we can elicit change . . . let’s keep the conversation alive.” Nicole is wearing Givenchy (fun fact: Givenchy was a favorite of Audrey Hepburn; both Hepburn and Kidman served as UN Goodwill Ambassadors).

Alison Brie

Alison Brie was nominated for a Golden Globe for work role in Glow, and currently appears in two nominated films: The Post and The Disaster Artist. She is also familiar to TV audiences for her role on Community. Alison did all of her own stunts for Glow, a series about female wrestlers in the 1980s. wrestling-based series. In 2017, Brie threw her support behind Planned Parenthood, saying “it’s a vital resource for women in this country. Women need and deserve the right to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health.” Alison is wearing Vassilis Zoulias.

Claire Foy

Nominated for her role in The Crown last night, Claire Foy is a university-trained actress who is also known for another royal turn – Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall. While filming her acclaimed role of Queen Elizabeth, Foy was also caring for her infant daughter. Of her hopes for her child, Claire said: “I wish there was a way of saying to girls: ‘You don’t have to be polite and pretty in order to survive and have people love you.’ The idea that you should be like everybody else genuinely breaks my heart. And I’m going to have to do something about it.” Claire is in Stella McCartney.

Viola Davis

One of the most-nominated actresses alive today, Viola Davis is the only black actress to have one an Oscar, an Emmy AND a Tony. The Juilliard-trained actress has, in fact, received so many nominations and awards that Wikipedia lists them separately from her main page. Davis is an ambassador for Hunger Is, an organization that combats child hunger; the organization has raised over $20 million for the cause. Last night Davis addressed victims of sexual assault and rape – actually saying the words – saying “it’s not their fault, and they’re not dirty. That’s my message tonight.” Viola is wearing Brandon Maxwell.

Natalie Portman

Harvard-educated actress Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Director last night, which she noted contained “all male nominees,” despite, for instance, Greta Gerwig’s direction of Best Picture – Musical or Comedy winner Lady Bird. Portman promotes anti-poverty causes and works as an ambassador for FINCA, an organization that provides micro-loans to women-owned businesses in developing countries. She also lead the Power Of A Girl campaign for Free The Children, challenging North American girls to raise money for a girls’ school in Kenya. Natalie is a founding member of Time’s Up, and attended the Golden Globes with fellow founder, actress and activist America Ferrera. Portman wore Dior Haute Couture.

 

Donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund on their GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up here.

Best of 2017: 20 Things You Should Stop Wearing By Age 30

We’re both in our third decade of living on this earth. We’ve been around for a bit. Not like we’re old sages or anything, but we’re not green and filled with innocence anymore. We also know that we’re at the age where we’re like adult adults, not fake adults like we were in our 20s. This line that’s been drawn in the sand has never been more apparent than with the way we present ourselves to the viewing public – aka our style.

Here are just a few things we think you should stop wearing when you hit your 30s, because let’s face it, Brittany: the moon shoes you won from Double Dare in ’94 are not that cool anymore.


20 Things You Should Stop Wearing By Age 30

Hi, Adult Ladies!

At 30 years old, I haven’t had this much trouble dressing myself since I was a toddler in the 1900s -and we have internet listicles to blame. Everywhere I look it’s “30 Things You Need To Toss By 30” and “20 Things Women Over 30 Should Stop Wearing Immediately.” Job interview suit? Apparently I should trade it in for some big pants. Body-con dresses? Not my style – but if they were, it would be time to swap it for one that goes all the way down my back for some reason.

I hate to generate more confusion for my 30-and-up pals, but I can write things on the internet, too. Here are the 30 things that I, personally, think you should stop wearing by age 30.:

1. One Half Of A Locket You Were Given At Birth Before You Were Sent To The Orphanage

Hire a private investigator, Ashley. Make a shareable Facebook post. WHATEVER. It’s time.

2. An Ebenezer Scrooge-Style Nightcap

You know those long floppy hats people used to sleep in in the 1700s? SUCH a 20s move. Unless you work in a living history museum or your head is chilly or you like it.

3. Bug Spray

We’re old now. Just let the bugs bite you. Winter will fall soon enough.

4. A Cursed Gemstone

You’ve GOT to get that thing exorcised, Jessica. We’ve told you.

5. Moon Shoes As Regular Shoes

 

Have I wanted shoes that were tiny trampolines for my feet since 1995? Yes. Do I wear them to the office? No, Brittany. The rest of us DO NOT WEAR THEM TO THE OFFICE.

Emmy Awards 2017: Best Dressed

The 69th Annual Emmy Awards were last night, bringing the best of what TV in the past year had to offer to the red carpet. And while some of our faves didn’t go home with the gold, at least they looked fly losing. Here are some of our faves from last night’s Emmys.

Traci’s Picks

Jessica Biel in Ralph & Russo Couture

Jessica Biel already has a goddess-like face, so this ethereal metallic and sheer gown only accented her statuesque and Grecian look. Not to mention, her hair (and extensions?) only added to the feminine yet sexy look.

Gina Rodriguez in Naeem Khan

First of all, Gina is constantly under appreciated by the Television Academy. Second, do y’all follow Gina on Instagram? Because you should. Particularly for her Insta Stories. Homegirl has been exercising her butt off, and not only is it inspiring to see her work so hard, but all the boxing and pull ups have certainly paid off in this svelte new frame. I love the deep V paired with the long sleeves on this, as well as the beading and slicked back hairdo. Get it girl.

Tessa Thompson in Rosie Assoulin

Is this a polarizing dress? Probably. Do I care? Not really. I saw Tessa twirling on the red carpet (because duh wouldn’t you) and audibly gasped. It’s daring and the cut itself is so interesting. That is a party dress right there.

Emmy Rossum in Zac Posen

This is one of those dresses that probably looks amazing up close. Sure it’s a simple strapless gown, but the shimmering beading all the way down makes it. Paired with the green jewels and old Hollywood hair, it’s classy AF.

Donald Glover in Gucci

It was a huge night for DG. Our boy not only made Emmy history as the first black person to win as a Director of a Comedy Series, but he revealed his baby mama/partner’s name (MICHELLE!) and that she is expecting another son (!!!). With his big wins and big announcement, he wore the perfect purple Gucci suit that follow suit (heh) from his crushed brown velvet number at the Globes earlier this year – where he also won for Best Actor. Bonus of Donald in the E! Glambot, bc he looks so freakin fly. 

Molly’s Picks

Yara Shahidi In Prada

Yara Shahidi has been one of our red carpet favorites for a few years now, and it’s easy to see why. She always perfectly balances looking her age with looking sophisticated, demure princess vibes with something a little more funky and fun. I can almost see a young starlet wearing this in the late 1930s. Yara got herself her own show and she looks the part.

Caleb McLaughlin

The purple brocade is luxe and cheerful at the same time (and you already know how we feel about floral menswear). The fit is incredible. Even the velvet loafers are perfection. Caleb McLaughlin is here to stay. Adults: your move.

Nicole Kidman in Calvin Klein By Appointment

I have seen Nicole Kidman look perfectly tasteful on so many red carpets that sometimes I want her to break out a bit. But then, why fix what isn’t broken? The ’50s silhouette is perfect and the silver halter neckline adds a bit of flash. Calvin Klein usually strikes me as one of the most easily-recognizable designers: doesn’t this look totally Calvin Klein? Besides, Nicole did go a BIT crazy – take a gander at the coordinating-but-not-matching shoes, one with studding on the ankle strap and one on the toe.

Zoe Kravitz in Dior

As Traci mentioned, we love us a polarizing look. One person’s “pastel rainbow with feathers?!” is another person’s “pastel rainbow with feathers!!” I think these tones blend beautifully – take a gander at the lower edge of the yellow and you’ll see how it blends into the melon-y orange rather than strict stripes of color.

Shailene Woodley in Ralph Lauren

If only Shailene chose her words as well as her dress. Despite Shai’s red carpet faux pas (dismissing TV on TV’s big night), I – grudgingly – have to hand it to her on this look. Velvet only looks truly RIGHT in a few colors, and deep green is one of them. Hope she packs this one in her bag.

Catholic School Back To School Shopping: Myths vs. Realities

Ah, Back-To-School Shopping : such a gentle, consumeristic way to get over the end of summer vacation. However, as two life-long Catholic school students, our experience wasn’t everything the Staples and J.C. Penney commercials led us to believe. I’m watching the cycle all over again with my nieces and nephews – the public schoolers getting cute new outfits and the Catholic school kids getting their first necktie at age 5. [Find me something cuter than a kindergartener in business casual.] In honor of our ’90s and ’00s memories, here is a study in the contrasts between back to school shopping for Catholic schoolers and, if not real public school students, at least the too-cool public schoolers we saw on TV.

Clothing

File under: My childhood as a walking Irish Catholic stereotype.

Expectation: I’m going back to school with a new wardrobe that will mark me as one of the cool kids!

Reality: I am wearing the same plaid jumper from the same Plaid Jumper Store as all of my classmates. Somehow, kids manage to sort themselves into Cool and Uncool anyway.

[Note: there is a 50/50 chance your uniform is a hand-me-down, or your mom bought it at the used uniform sale your school holds at the end of the school year.]

Expectation: At least maybe some fun, cute outfits for after school!

Reality: Those are called “play clothes” and they don’t come from the store, they come from a trash bag your aunt drops off every time your next cousin up has a growth spurt.

[Note: I realize there are Catholics without cousins but I’ve never met one.]

Accessories

Expectation: And don’t forget the accessories!

Reality: … Which are knee socks, a navy blue cardigan, and a shirt with a Peter Pan collar during that five-decade range after Peter Pan collars went out of style in the ’60s and before they came back in style on Zooey Deschanel.

If you’re fancy, please add a headband in the same plaid as your uniform.

Jewelry

Expectation: Wearing some jewelry, I guess.

Reality: Bracelets are not allowed. Non-post earrings are not allowed. Necklaces are a pendant on a thin chain. If you want to consider rosaries jewelry (“WHICH THEY ARE NOT” – every Catholic reading this post, before I could even say it, right?), you can have those. But you cannot wear them, for Pete’s sake.

School Supplies

Expectation: Lisa Frank binders! Lisa Frank notebooks! Lisa The Frickin FRANK IT ALL UP.

Reality: There is a specific, solid color that every subject uses. Does The Vatican secretly operate the Mead company?

Expectation: Don’t forget a trapper keeper to stay organized!

Reality: Trapper Keepers strictly verboten.

Hair

Expectation: It would be so much fun to try a bright color or a crazy new ‘do to show people how much I’ve changed over the summer!

Reality: “No extreme hairstyles” – Catholic School Student Manual 29:11

Shoes

Expectation: I will narrow down the most in-style looks and then pick out some sneakers, a pair of cute shoes, and maybe something a little dressier.

Reality: Your uniform requires shoes that meet all of the following criteria: black or navy blue. No laces. No wedges. No mules. No sneaker soles. Heel must measure less than one inch at the highest point. No ballet flats.

You are left with orthopedic nun shoes.

[Note: If you’re really wondering how we sorted out the cool kids, their moms bought them cute shoes that skirted the Shoe Canon of the student handbook, whereas uncool-kid moms followed it to the letter. As to what camp I was in, let’s just say I still like a sturdy pair of Clarks.]

 

 

20 Things You Should Stop Wearing By Age 30

Hi, Adult Ladies!

At 30 years old, I haven’t had this much trouble dressing myself since I was a toddler in the 1900s -and we have internet listicles to blame. Everywhere I look it’s “30 Things You Need To Toss By 30” and “20 Things Women Over 30 Should Stop Wearing Immediately.” Job interview suit? Apparently I should trade it in for some big pants. Body-con dresses? Not my style – but if they were, it would be time to swap it for one that goes all the way down my back for some reason.

I hate to generate more confusion for my 30-and-up pals, but I can write things on the internet, too. Here are the 30 things that I, personally, think you should stop wearing by age 30.:

1. One Half Of A Locket You Were Given At Birth Before You Were Sent To The Orphanage

Hire a private investigator, Ashley. Make a shareable Facebook post. WHATEVER. It’s time.

2. An Ebenezer Scrooge-Style Nightcap

You know those long floppy hats people used to sleep in in the 1700s? SUCH a 20s move. Unless you work in a living history museum or your head is chilly or you like it.

3. Bug Spray

We’re old now. Just let the bugs bite you. Winter will fall soon enough.

4. A Cursed Gemstone

You’ve GOT to get that thing exorcised, Jessica. We’ve told you.

5. Moon Shoes As Regular Shoes

 

Have I wanted shoes that were tiny trampolines for my feet since 1995? Yes. Do I wear them to the office? No, Brittany. The rest of us DO NOT WEAR THEM TO THE OFFICE.

6. Masks On Regular Days

If you wear a mask, and it’s not Halloween or Mardi Gras or a costume party or V for Vendetta, and there’s not medical reason, I’m going to think you have something to hide — and that thing is your face.

7. Your Prom Dress, To Work

8. Your Work Dress, To Prom

9. Brass Knuckles But Made Of Ring Pops

Although getting hit by candy-slobber might be even worse than getting straight-up hit with brass knuckles. Never mind. As you were.

10. Stolen Clothing

Not that I necessary believe in bad karma, but I do and this is.

11. A Smile On Command

Anyone who tells you to smile deserves a frown.

12. Your Childhood D.A.R.E. Shirt, Ironically

They were so earnest, you know?

13. A Skirtless Bathing Suit

Like how little boys would be breeched in Victorian times or how marriageable girls would wear their hair up… also in Victorian times, skirted bathing suits are a fashion rite of passage. Nothing hides a three-decades-old butt like the world’s smallest skirt. I don’t make the rules.

[Note: I find bathing suit skirts cute. It’s happening.]

14. Pants

Oh, you can wear them, but we have to call them slacks now.

15. Old Lady Makeup From A Play

On stage, fine. Off stage, we are TOO OLD FOR THIS. Someone could really think you’ve lived a lot of years.

16. A BE -FRI Necklace If You Aren’t Still ST -ENDS With Whoever Has The Other Half

No one wants to be the ST -ENDS so I assume you’re not wearing that.

17. Your Friend’s Glasses To See How They Look

Why do you keep trying on your friends’ glasses to see how they look when you know you can only see a blur? Molly. You’ve done this since you were 5. Learn a lesson.

[I’m Molly, yes.]

18. A Character Costume As A Disney Guest

This is actually real. Adult guests cannot dress up as characters at Disney. To think I’ll never experience the Bibidi Bobidi Boutique…

19. Kleenex Box Shoes

Find your shoes, your house is a mess.

20. Anything You Don’t Like

The Parent Trap Is Our Aesthetic

It’s summer, and our aesthetic is The Parent Trap (1998): a rustic cabin in a pine forest, a kicky new summer haircut, a sedate London home, secret twins, a sprawling Napa estate, getting your ears pierced by a child, comfy yet timeless sundresses, midafternoon dips in the pool with your dad’s too-young fiancee, casual camping gear, finding out your parents were totally OK with never seeing one of their children again… The Parent Trap has it all.

Although remakes usually pale in comparison to the original, The Parent Trap is different. The Hayley Mills version is fine, but it’s the Lindsay Lohan adaptation that I go to time and time again. It came out when I was 11 – the same age as Hallie and Annie, and could have passed as their triplet – and although almost two decades have gone by, it feels ageless. It’s no mistake that this is our second “___ Is Our Aesthetic” post featuring a film from Nancy Meyers, romcom queen and kitchen guru extraordinaire: all of her movies feel fresh and current when they come out, and thanks to her use of timeless and playful styling, they stay that way.

The Entire Camp Experience

I never went to sleepaway camp: not rich enough to afford it, nor poor enough for a scholarship (even at 11, I was able to recognize that the Parker-Jameses were seriously loaded). But maybe that’s for the best, because I am free to imagine summer camp exactly as it is in The Parent Trap. Camp Walden is everything you expect in a New England summer camp. Nestled among tall trees, the girls really do bunk in rustic cabins, wake up to bugle calls, eat at a mess hall, swim in a lake, hold unsupervised poker tourneys and engage in elaborate prank wars.  It’s the kind of low-tech, high-fun camp I could imagine generations of the same family attending.

Even the preppy-yet-simple uniforms are great, and those little touches like how Annie always chose the more formal version: the polo shirt instead of the tee, for instance.

To get it out of the way: those twin scenes were filmed with the help of Erin Mackey, Lindsay’s double and now a theater actress, who is sort of the Kathryn Alexandre of the Parent Trap universe:

The Handshake

Annie and her butler Martin have a secret handshake, which Hallie must learn to replicate in order to impersonate Annie. Not sure what is cooler: having a butler, or having a secret handshake.

MAKEOVERS!

Whether it’s The Parent Trap, Clueless, The Princess Diaries, The Breakfast Club, She’s All That, or one of our many other throwback favs, we loved a makeover scene 20 years ago and we love them still. There was something so satisfying about Hallie getting the haircut and ear piercing just right… thank goodness.

The Soundtrack!

Not strictly aesthetics, but music is a big part of the timeless summertime vibes in The Parent Trap. I’m not ashamed to say I owned the CD. (Off topic: Mid-to-late 90s: the golden age of movie soundtracks?) The score even has the whimsical, pretty sound of The Holiday, another of our Nancy Meyers favorites, although The Holiday was a Hans Zimmer score and The Parent Trap was Alan Silvestri.

Hallie (And Annie-As-Hallie)’s Relaxed Wardrobe

(Links to a Hallie Parker-inspired look. I always loved those multi-colored beaded bracelets and the plaid shorts and denim jacket combo)

hello, moto jacket.

Hallie is a laid-back Napa girl: she’s outdoorsy and informal, but she wasn’t exactly wearing hand-me-downs like the rest of us poors (not that she could have, as her sister was a secret).

Annie (And Hallie-As-Annie)’s Classic Style

Don’t panic, but the headband matches. This is why I matched my school uniform kilts to a headband with the same plaid. Also because I was a dork.

This is how I’d love to dress my children, who will hate me.

Blair Waldorf’s style inspiration.

Oh, to have Annie’s upper-class, finely-tailored, utterly timeless wardrobe: tweed and Peter Pan collars and A-line dresses as far as the eye can see. If you weren’t one of the fanciest children in all of London town, it was probably just a dream for you, but it was Annie’s reality.

The Napa Ranch

I’m floored Hallie even GOES to camp, because her real home has an in-ground pool, horses to ride, acres of land and a Nancy Myers kitchen. I especially love her lived-in, pretty bedroom:

The London House

Like the girls’ respective wardrobes, Hallie’s is the one you can imagine possibly having in an alternate universe, but Annie’s is the unreachable goal.

[All house images are sourced from and link to a page on Hooked On Houses about the Parent Trap homes. Hooked On Houses has been a favorite of mine since I bought my house – I seriously cannot get enough.]

Best Dressed: Met Gala 2017

It’s the first Tuesday in May, and you know what that means –  it’s Met Gala best dressed time! As we discussed yesterday, this year’s theme is a little different. Rather than a concept like China: Through The Looking Glass or Manus x Machina: Fashion In The Age Of Technology, or a fashion house whose founder has passed away, like Christian Dior, last night celebrated Rei Kawakubo, the 74-year-old Japanese founder of Comme des Garcons. If you’re not familiar with CDG, here’s your crash course:

  • Rei favors avant-garde silhouettes. The most famous example is probably the 1997 “lumps and bumps” collection. It’s not unusual to have a large fabric protrusion, for example. The most recent collections have included heavily-constructed architectural looks with a lot of jutting angles and giant circular capes or skirts reaching as high as the model’s chin. For instance:

  • While all colors have been represented in CDG collections, Rei’s signature is a bright scarlet red – she did a whole collection in the color in 2015.

With such offbeat influences, last night’s red carpet should have been a total blast. Unfortunately, it was more of a thud. We love a classically pretty dress at, say, the Oscars, but the whole fun of the Met Gala is in the theme, which a lot of attendees didn’t really adhere to. That’s why while there were other very nice gowns at the 2017 Met Gala, our best dressed picks are the looks that – while not always as visually appealing – represent the spirit of Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons.

Rihanna in Comme des Garcons

This is typical CDG, a mass of floral blobs snaking up to Rihanna’s chin, with what looks like a stiff bodice hanging off her leg. It’s the kind of creation that you don’t get to wear unless you’re a runway model and I’m glad Rihanna saved her safer, prettier looks for another night.

Tracee Ellis Ross in Comme des Garcons

Tracee’s sporting a more wearable CDG piece — still a conceptual fabric cocoon, but one that moves with her. Rei’s designs usually stretch the idea of what is beautiful and what is odd or grotesque, but the more I look at this, the more I think it’s straight-up delightful.

Rami Malek in Dior Homme

We’ve mentioned before that Rami is one of our male fashion favorites, and it comes down to his use of color and fabrics. This is a great example of how it’s possible to pay tribute to a designer without wearing them. This is the same shade of red that was all over CDG’s Spring 2015 runway and Summer 2015 ready-to-wear collections, and the black brooch echoes CDG’s blobby shapes. Yeah, I said blobby. Also, I know the phrase “impeccably tailored” gets thrown around a lot but it’s utterly warrented here.

Katy Perry in Margiella

This landed on a lot of Worst Dressed lists, but between the color and the avant-garde construction, I think it’s one of the best for this specific occasion. It’s CDG-influenced but not a knockoff — the filmy, lacy dress is less architectural than most CDG collections.

Solange in Thom Brown

Yes, this is pretty close to how I dress between December and March in upstate New York, but it’s also nice and on-theme, with the bubbly look being an homage to the inflated lumps and bumps-era CDG.

Julianne Moore in Calvin Klein By Appointment

Another fun dress playing off of a loose interpretation of CDG. I love the playful, feathery construction.

Lena Dunham in Elizabeth Kennedy

This made my list because it’s billowy and bulky -very Rei Kawakubo – but is more of a classic gown than you see out of Comme des Garcons; it’s a nice way to tie the theme into a slightly more ‘normal’ silhouette.

Halle Berry in Atelier Versace

I think maybe a good shorthand for how to add a touch of Comme des Garcons style would be to think sea creatures. Whether a bloated jellyfish or zebra mussels on a reef, something in most CDG collections reminds me of the wackier forms of underwater life. That’s what this gown does for me.