Category Archives: STYLE

6 Backpacks I’d Wear (and I hate backpacks)

Everlane Mini Backpack

Everlane Mini Backpack

I’ve always had a strange relationship with backpacks. I think I hate them. Maybe because I had to wear a backpack to school and I never really liked school, which in retrospect is completely ridiculous. I wish I could hop in a time machine and have a few words with high school freshman Julie to straighten her out. I totally phoned it in and only half absorbed what my teachers were telling me.
Biology was so interesting and fun—why was I more concerned with sneaking out to get a latte from Paradise Coffee on 8th Avenue and smoke Marlboro Lights with my friend Ulysses? English was my favorite subject (despite the major a-hole teacher) but I left every assignment to the day before deadline and handed them all in littered with errors and run-on sentences. Howard Zinn’s “The People’s History of the United States” was our US History textbook but I barely skimmed a few chapters and turned in every assignment late. My teacher claimed to be a former student of Zinn’s. (That same teacher ended up carrying on torrid affairs with students that ultimately cost him his job and probably his life. He died of a heart attack at 60. His 19-year-old girlfriend spoke at his memorial to a crowd of cringing mourners. It was odd.) But anyway, the motley crew of teachers should have been enough to pique my interest in school. Nope.

Luckily, I figured it all out in time to put myself through college and become a responsible adult. But I have to say—I did and do often wrestle with some of those bad habits. It takes plenty of foot dragging and hours of waiting around for me to finally get my own work done. Of course, I blame lazy parenting during my formative years for this. But let’s move on.

duck

Now that I have a daughter, who I plan on tiger-mothering, I recognize and appreciate the usefulness of a backpack. I am still using the Baggu canvas duck bag, which can be worn cross-body so it frees up my hands but I end up doing the full one-arm scoop and search when I need something. It would be nice to have everything organized in…a…backpack. AAAHHH!

backpacks
I have rounded up 6 backpacks that I would wear today and that don’t remind me of my black North Face from high school (although I should dig that one up—it is vintage at this point). Most of them have zippers or snaps because who has time to futz around with a complicated clasp situation when you have a toddler? Seriously.

1. Herschel Supply Co. Little America Nylon Brindle $170 (these straps have magnetic closure, no need to buckle, whew!)
2. Herschel Supply Co. Mammoth Ripstop $100
3. Fjällräven Totepack $100 (This is my FAVORITE because I love a tote)
4. Baggu Leather Backpack $280
5. Poketo Voyager $158
6. Everlane Zip Backpack $58

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Wide Leg Jeans

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I try to avoid trends. You won’t see me wearing fringe or platform sneakers and I never put on an “outfit.” My closet consists mostly of interchangeable basics. I do appreciate certain on-trend styles as long as they are timeless vintage inspired. Like, the new clog craze is great–even though I don’t own a pair, yet. I love and own several cropped denim kick-flares. But you would really have to search to find a true “trendy” piece of clothing in my closet.

For the past five years my wardrobe has been a little…lacking. From 2011-2015 I worked for a womenswear designer. Even though I was in the “fashion industry,” I stuck to the basics and hardly bought clothes because the small office was wayyyy out in Red Hook, Brooklyn… Who was I dressing up for? The B61? No thanks.

The designer made stretch jersey garments…and at first it was exciting, wearing comfy stretchy dresses and separates…but after a few wears the jersey would pill and it quickly made me feel like I was in pajamas all day. Even the shorter 3/4 length skirts seem to be made with eight yards of heavy fabric they would whoosh around kicking up dust bunnies and dirt everywhere I went. I basically took four years off from thinking about my wardrobe. BUT I was helping to represent a brand…and I didn’t notice my personal style suffer.

During my tenure in Red Hook I had a baby–so I really limited my wardrobe to whatever fit (and that lasted at least 6 months post-partum, too.)

But now that my kid is a toddler…and I am trying inch my way back into the working world…I am so much more aware of what I wear. I am on a strict no-job budget so my purchases are very limited but I recently acquired a pair of on-trend bottoms that are a total throw-back (and thus acceptable by my standards.) High-waisted wide-leg jeans! (I look like my mother, circa 1972.)

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I spent $20 on these babies at H&M… I washed them and cropped them. Now I look a little more updated when I chase my daughter around the park.

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Happy Christmas…and a Merry 4th of July

I have been a little busy lately (NOT with personal projects, unfortunately) and I just picked my head up to noticed that Christmas is a WEEK AWAY! What’s next, 4th of July? My 40th Birthday? WHOAAAA…pump the brakes Father Time!

I’m finally excited about the holidays. In the past my holidays were spent working slavishly in retail making me HATE the sound of sleigh bells and the sight of cheer… Retail did have one lasting positive impact on me–I DO NOT GO HOLIDAY SHOPPING! I simply refuse to enter a crowded store in search of last-minute gifts, nor do I brave the hoards of lunatics rushing out in the wee-morning-hours of Black Friday for a flat-screen. Nope. The darkness of people I have seen from the other side of the counter during the holidays is enough to scare me away for life. It’s terrifying. All I have to say is, folks…this isn’t a pop-up holiday! Christmas is the same day every year. Get your shit together in October, you maniacs.

Here are some easy Christmas gifts that you can purchase from home…and if you’re one of those people who likes the crowd crush–let me take this moment to give you the middle finger and say Thank You for making the lives of those around you miserable. I hope you die alone, under heaps of credit card debt. DICK!

AMAZON.COM… I suggest this because you don’t have to leave your home and you can get all of your gift shopping done at a cheap price, in one sitting, in your underwear with greasy hair and coffee breath–awesome, you’re so hot. NOTE…I utilized this website when I was seriously strapped for cash because the books are cheap–and you can buy used. Now that I have some cash-flow I like to make my book purchases at independent book stores. It is always important to support small business when you can. And writers.

GIFT CARDS: Gift cards are available ONLINE from nearly every retailer. Again, you can shop in your underwear OR you can run in and purchase a few, quick, quick. NO crowds, no comparing colors and sizes…snore… Honestly, I love gift cards. But one side note on this selection. If you’re buying a gift card for a stylish second-cousin or your brother’s girlfriend… Don’t be a jerk and get a $50 gift card to Chanel or Hermes. It doesn’t make you seem Über fasionable…there isn’t anything in those stores worth buying for under $500. Let’s not kid ourselves. Either pick a reasonable store like Zara (you can shop online now in the U.S.) or increase your budget. OR (and ONLY do this if the recipient is from some farm town in the Mid-West where there isn’t internet or indoor plumbing) buy them something designer from a discount chain… on second thought, this is a waste of everyone’s time. Gift card, online, Zara, done…

BOOZE… Obviously this one has its restrictions… Are they a recovering addict? Are they of age? Are they annoying drunks? How many bottles do you buy? The one question that you shouldn’t worry about is if they are self-proclaimed sommeliers… Don’t stress out over how much to spend on a bottle of wine for a serious wine drinker. I’ve heard plenty of wine enthusiasts complain that they rarely get wine as gifts because people fear their selection will be frowned upon. NOT TRUE. Inexpensive doesn’t mean inadequate when it comes to wine. OBVIOUSLY, you’re not going to get a gallon jug of Carlo Rossi Chianti…unless you’re going for kitsch factor…but you can spend under $20 and find a gem–just talk to the shop-keeper. A knowledgable wine merchant will have suggestions within any price range. Again, try to patronize an independent wine shop–not only to support small businesses but the selection is usually limited…reducing time spent shopping (woohoo.) ALSO try to shop local! Dry Dock in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood has a wonderful selection from local Brooklyn distilleries. Pick up a cool old-timey looking bottle of bourbon  from Kings County Distillery for your brother (I plan to.)

If you’re not willing to travel to Brooklyn, let alone ALL THE WAY TO RED HOOK… There is another fantastic place…Bottle Rocket. They ship to 25 out of the 50 states. If you visit the shop on 19th Street in Manhattan you’ll notice the kiosks of wine organized by price or CUISINE! They even have a Take-Out kiosk (This feature is available on their website, too) pairing wines with Chinese, Indian, Mexican–even Pizza! They offer gift-wrapping and even gift certificates (back to suggestion number 1–can’t go wrong with a gift card.)

Gift Cards, Online Shopping, and Booze… Happy Holidays. Keep it Classy.

Zoombie, Zombieeee… zombie zombie zombie-ie-ie-ie

The new Joseph Laney Zombie West comic is available on IndyPlanet

 

Bagg-Ooooo

I LOVE Baggu. This is no surprize. My favorite baggu accessory is the Duck bag…

I have emailed them several times begging for an east-west version of the bag to make it look more hobo-like. Still waiting…Anyway, I just got an email from Baggu announcing their new Leather collection! Yahooo! I have been searching for simple leather bags forevs! They also have cute clutches that remind me of my other fave Clare Vivier. The prices, although far more reasonable than Vivier, are a little steep for raw leather carry-alls. Although, I’m sure I’ll be toting one around soon, despite the damage.

Falling for Thomas Paul Shawls for Fall…

I love Thomas Paul designs…they used to stock his totes at the South Street Seaport’s Bowne & Co. Stationers (I’m not even sure if this fantastic local print press reopened.) Earlier this year LonnyMag features an elephant scarf on their blog that I fell in love with…but upon further window shopping I found an even better design! Perfect for fall.

I’m also loving the octopus and the elephant in sky blue.

The Street Scene is starting to grow on me, too… Which one should I get?!??!


PAINTED vintage

My friend, Photographer and all-around creative, Jeri Hines has come out with a line of stunning painted vintage handbags, available for purchase at Painted By Jeri Hines. The pieces are sourced from shops and flea markets, mostly throughout New York City. Each bag is unique and they are ALL gorgeous!

(Pssst, I spotted a few vintage Coach gems in her collection.)