On the first 80-degree day of Spring, We jumped on the opportunity to go to the beach. We chose to visit Hammond’s Beach in Montecito, where one needs to wander along a beautiful, overgrown green path to reach the quiet shoreline. The day was beautiful and the sunset coloring the clouds was magical.
The beginning of Spring is always filled with such happiness and joy. Wildflowers bloom, birds chirp louder and more often, and avocado season arrives. All of these factors combined with longer daylight hours have a real effect on my mood; producing a bit more bounce in my step and a perma-smile on my face. And as with the turn of every season, I crave new wardrobe staples.
1. Classic shirt staples in rugged materials like leather and suede.
2. Long, drapey skirts in a breezy material.
3. Daytime leopard print dresses.
4. Shorts in fun, unique prints. I love jean shorts as much as the next girl, but it’s time to step up my shorts game.
5. A signature hat to wear with all of the above. Technically a hat is an accessory, but the perfect everyday hat is so much more.
1. Raw cut stone rings, perhaps in pyrite for an edgy effect to the sparkly mineral.
2. Various textured belts.
3. A structured satchel in a not-so-neutral color that will still pair well with everything.
4. Mixed material woven bracelets in either a skinny, stackable variety or a large cuff. With bracelets, the most important thing to me is that they don’t produce a distracting clank or irritate my arm by sliding up and down with my sometimes boisterous talking.
5. The perfect neutral wedge or platform.
Part of owning your style is feeling comfortable in your clothes, and sometimes the best way to do that is to dress up for yourself. Have a girls night and dress up solely for the purpose of feeling good about yourself, and having fun with your friends. Ez and I decided to visit the ever popular Santa Barbara Night life spot Blue Agave. On this rainy Friday evening, we may have ben the only people in the bar, but that didn’t stop us from taking full advantage of the moody romantic atmosphere.
MJ: The appetizers (like the Champagne battered Calamari) were amazing, and at five dollars each, who could complain. Ez and I enjoyed a great happy hour, and admired the beautifully romantic decorations. Rich golds and deep reds surrounded our cozy booth. My favorite was the antique chandeliers that gave the room an antiqued candlelit glow. Their attention to detail made this an altogether delightful little outing…
EZ: I wore a dress that I purchased years ago and thought I had cut too short by accident, incidentally leaving it to live a lonely life in my closet, getting passed over time and time again. Everything changed for this li’l dress when I tried it on this particular evening to coordinate with a coat that I didn’t even end up wearing. I (and the dress) couldn’t be happier that I rediscovered this great neutral and everyday, appropriate length dress – my eyes must have seriously deceived me year ago. Or did I shrink in height?
Worn under a hoodie and thick-knit cardigan with round, crystal-cut buttons, this outfit kept me sufficiently warm while traveling from the parking structure to the restaurant. Also, does anyone else agree that tights are the perfect rainy weather leg cover? They don’t stay wet nearly as long as denim or other thick pants if they happen to get wet, and they’re less likely to get ruined.
One of our favorite afternoon pastimes in Santa Barbara, since the time we were freshman at UCSB, has been a relaxing stroll down State Street, shopping, Yogurtland, coffee shops on every corner, and a store for every possible style you could imagine. Farmers Markets on Tuesdays, movie theaters galore, and our absolute favorite…an array of unique and vintage clothing stores. Now my personal favorite is The Closet, I have yet to ever leave that shop without the glow of finding an absolutely gorgeous one of a kind designer pieces, with fabulous boho chic potential, and at an AMAZINGLY reasonable price! On this particular day, I found an acid washed vintage bright pink top, with gold feather detail on the front, and an amazingly versatile oversized white lace long sleeve tunic. Another one of our favorite stores is LF…while slightly overpriced during normal season shopping, there seasonal 60% of entire store sales are something we NEVER miss, amazingly unique finds, great boots, acid washed tunic sweatshirts, lace, leather, fringe and everything boho chic!!
MJ: On this beautiful Monday afternoon, it was slightly chilly, but comfortably warm in the sun, so..as always, I layered! I love this bright pink sweater tunic, it’s perfect with a high waisted belt and black denim leggings. The vest is a one of a kind, an amazing shaggy cream colored vest, a vintage find of Ez’s from a local SB vintage shop. I layered several pink and gold necklaces to pull the look together. I wore my beautiful handmade Immie earrings by AyaPapaya, giving my classy look a great boho edge!
ez: There is definitely a certain kind of outfit that I like to wear while shopping. Versatile underthings, comfortable shoes, and a great bag. Lately I have only been carrying this backpack, which my Godmother bought for me in Israel, while shopping because it leaves both of my arms free for rummaging and digging through clothing. I am a bit obsessed, and would like to buy more backpacks for this very purpose, but just have not been able to find one as perfect as this! If I decide to carry a different type of purse with me it is always long, slouchy and out of the way of my arms’ reach, and usually includes fringe. As for clothing, this “dress” is a vintage old man’s sweater that I cut to make it fall off of the shoulders, but also wear around my house without a belt for a lazy style. Boots are Frye, and the body-con dress underneath the holey sweater offers not only much needed coverage and warmth, but also the opportunity to take off my dress on a whim inside of any store to try on something new.
I recently read an article that quoted one of Coco Chanel’s most famous fashion tips…”When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.” Now I would never suggest that my fashion expertise is anywhere near the likes of fashion icons like Coco, but I believe that exhausted cliche statements, such as these, may be open for interpretation.
Now I am assuming that most who read this little fashion tip would think “less is more”, but I always say More is More! Layer, layer, layer! Especially when it comes to accessorizing, layers give depth, they give meaning, and they create mystery. On this beautifully windy afternoon, I braved the winding trails of the Goleta Butterfly Preserve, in my comfy forest green sweater tights, layered with an ultra long olive tank top, and light draping green blouse on top. Because my outfit was relatively simple, plain neutral earth tones, I relied on my accessories to make the look stand out.
The Circle Scarf has to be one of my all time favorite inventions, modern, chic… and might I add extremely fun to play with on a windy afternoon atop the Goleta Bluffs, overlooking and endless forest of fluttering Monarchs. It gave me that extra little bit of warmth, without taking away from my summer day boho ensemble. Now, that scarf was “the last thing I put on”,but I didn’t take it off, and I didn’t stop there. I added a high-waisted belt, several Boho Bangles, and a beige and beautifully beaded Wrap Band. And I wore them all.
My Accessories always give me that little something extra, even the smallest accessories can dress up the most casual of outfits. That little some thing extra, those little extra pieces you add onto your outfit as you walk out the door, become the defining qualities of your mood and your style. So don’t take off that extra scarf you added, put on another necklace, maybe a ring….Why not?
The sun was setting, just as we finished our walk through the Butterfly forest. We got distracted by this amazingly bright green patch of clovers, and stopped to soak in the beauty of another classic SB sunset, dressed and accessorized for the perfect occasion.
At the end of this adventure at the Coronado Butterfly Preserve in Goleta, I looked down at my outfit and thought, “Gee, I guess I look a bit more ‘ladies who lunch’ than I had planned.” And that summarizes the day for me pretty well; Attire that was entirely practical until I jumped in the car to go to a eucalyptus forest of sorts on the bluffs.
First, I actually did go out for lunch with my boyfriend and an old friend earlier in the day. Heels and a scarf for breezy beach weather in a thin dress – sure! Five-inch heels on a hiking trail, not so much. The thick, wooden heels and platforms were easy to master on the uphill climb, but my downhill pace was about half an inch per step. To be honest, though, I didn’t mind the families and joggers staring at me in confusion. Maybe I’m a model; they don’t know me.
This scarf (which I found at a favorite consignment store but am pretty sure that it was originally from H&M or Forever21) actually played beautifully in the sunlight. I had hoped that it would attract some monarch butterflies to pose for the camera with me, but, alas, they were content to flutter in the treetops far above my head. It was a majestic sight watching them seemingly float between the trees and sunlight.
I love this little black dress. The detailing is subtle but important to me because it adds just enough to this otherwise ordinary LBD – piped trimming on the uniquely shaped collar and the fleur-de-lis buttons that I added to the sleeves make the dress mine. Paired with a vintage cream and brass woven leather belt to dress it down, I’d say that the outfit is great for lunching – but I am going to start leaving a pair of sandals and running shoes in my car for future unexpected hiking trips.
My favorite pair of boots are my incredibly worn yet classically beautiful light brown, zip up thigh high boots. They zip all the way up the back from the bottom of the heel to the back of my knee and have the potential to make virtually any outfit into a boho chic fashion sensation. I wore these fabulous boots along with one of my favorite repurposed vintage dresses made by Nullify Anew, for a beautiful Wednesday afternoon at the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Santa Barbara. This dress is fabulous with it’s bright print and button up style, making you feel girly, sexy, and stylish all at the same time. Bright accessories like glasses, necklaces, and bracelets help complete the look. To carry all my necessary items, I brought along my vintage leather and coral tweed cross body doctor bag all the way from a small boutique in France.
While I would never complain about the bone chilling 60-75 degree weather in Santa Barbara, it does tend to get windy and a bit chilly towards sunset, so I brought along my fabulous cream crocheted sweater vest. I love the versatility of vests, giving you that extra layer without all that bulk. To tie together my Bohemian look I wore the cutest cream lace tights. They gave me just the right amount of warmth while still letting me feel feminine in a dress. The Botanic Gardens are hard to describe in words, a short ten minute drive from the hustle of State street, and you are transported to a different world. The Rainforest exhibit is like something out of Pans Labyrinth, with it’s enormous moss covered trees, trickling creeks, and mysteriously cascading paths. I was nostalgically transported to my childhood past, playing in the trees and jumping across ponds. I didn’t even care that my most fabulous boots had become muddy boots. If you have thirty minutes to spare, you have plenty of time to explore the wonderful serenity that this natural preserve has to offer.
Wearing a bolo tie, billowy blouse over a short dress, with tights and short boots (I just can’t with the term “shooties”) for a walk in the woods may seem silly to some, but The Unconventional is at the root of a bohemian lifestyle. I feel that accessorizing with my favorite vintage bolo tie adds a touch of Southwestern ruggedness to my otherwise delicate ensemble. This worn-in style is mirrored at the bottom of my outfit by noticeably muddy, yet classic, black ankle boots. These boots, by the way, have made it through my relentless careless and spontaneous exploits. They have been forced to endure torture simply because they not only coordinate with most of my outfits but are also incredibly comfortable for walking, stomping, and general hooligan behavior. In fact, they are currently so muddy because I wore them to a mountain party over this past weekend. Yes, that is exactly how it sounds – a group of young revelers setting up a generator-powered DJ set in the middle of the woods on a bitterly cold and foggy January night to dance until they can’t take anymore. The fog was a certain kind of mystical presence that united everyone in awe and fear that it would soon turn into rain. Now, I look down at my muddy boots and am reminded of the night that I danced amongst the clouds.