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More Daylight, New Clothes: My Spring Wish List

Santa Barbara

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.

Clothing:
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.

Accessories:
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.

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Setting the Mood for a Girls Night Out

 

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Ez: My first time at popular restaurant/lounge Blue Agave, which is just off of State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, was definitely satisfying. It helped that MJ and I arrived during happy hour, which boasts a delectable $5 per item appetizer menu; we ordered three. The moody lighting lends to a great atmosphere for a trendy, yet, informal night out for spontaneous photo shoots.

 

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…

After our appetizers, we wandered upstairs to visit their lounge. It too was beautifully decorated to emanate the moody glow of the dining area. The upstairs had the feel of a converted Victorian hotel, with it’s wall length mirrors, draping velvet curtains, and cozy little fireplace.
MJ: I chose a cream colored off the shoulder cashmere tunic with an adorable pocket detail on the front. This tunic is great by itself, over jeans or leggings, or even layered with another dress and finished with a statement belt (which is what I have chosen in these photos). Versatile tunics like this are great wardrobe essentials, especially in neutral colors like cream, ivory, or beige.
I wore my favorite knee high stiletto black boots, that go with everything. The have a great little bow detail in the back that give them a slightly girly touch, which I love! to contrast the girly elements of my ensemble I wore black tights and a thick military inspired high black high-waisted belt.
Since it was raining, I brought along my black red and white striped peacoat as well as my white acid washed circle scarf from American Apparel, and of course a matching umbrella.

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?

 

 

This evening had rainy – again – weather for which Southern Californians are stereotypically unprepared. We brought umbrellas, but wore heels. My particular pair were opened-toed wedges worn over tights, which unavoidably got soaked while stomping around in parking lot puddles leaving me with cold, wet tootsies. I may need to think twice about that combination next time it rains.

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.


 

 

The rainy, moody atmosphere of this evening paired perfectly with the interior of Blue Agave, but we will undoubtedly return on a more cheerful day if for nothing other than $5 fries with Gruyere cheese sauce.


That Little Something Extra: Accessorizing for the Boho Chic

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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>The Boho Chic Edge

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Boho Chic; it’s intriguing, it’s stylish, it’s IN. Who doesn’t want to be dripping with utterly gorgeous and seemingly effortless style? Long draping dresses and tunics, delicate lace camis, leather boots, beaded headbands and feathers GALORE! Bohemian Style is a celebration of self-expression and creative energy and is almost always supported by the true fashion artist. So how does one achieve this incredibly fashionable style? FORGET everything you know about fashion so far and wear what YOU want to wear. That is the single most important “rule” when seeking to achieve the Boho Chic style. If you are uncomfortable in your clothes, you will be uncomfortable with your style! It all comes down to confidence. Wear what makes you feel your best, and as soon as you feel your best you can look your best!
Now that we have the attitude of a true Boho Fahsionista, we can address the technicalities of Bohemian Fashion. Layering is a characteristic element of Boho style, it will help you stay comfortable while maximizing the clothes in your closet. That beautifully bright floral tank top in your closet only gets worn every once in a while because while it’s beautiful, surely people would begin to notice if you wore the same top all the time. Throw that tank under a high-waisted skirt, throw on a belt, and layer another tunic or maybe a blazer over the top. Now you have an entirely different outfit! Sometimes the most attention seeking items in your closet (the ones that may seem un-wearable) are best worn as more subtle complimentary pieces. That way the bright, “eye-catching” elements of your outfit will look as if they were merely an after thought; effortless style. These Layering laws apply to fashion accessories as well! Your favorite necklace has ten times the versatility when worn with long beaded strands and an eye-catching headband. Beaded Jewelry is key in achieving the Boho Chic style; bracelets, necklaces, earrings, headbands…More is More! The more you can layer the better! Bohemian Style is all about discovering your own personal style. Fashion is a daily creative outlet for the artistically minded individual, so wear what you like and make it your own!