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.
On this rainy Friday night, we decided to go bowling at Zodo’s Bowling and Beyond. Approximately twelve miles north of Santa Barbara, this little bowling alley, turned bar, turned late night light show provides a rare treat for the traditional Santa Barbara bar hopper. It has a fun adult atmosphere, updated modern interior and great happy hour, and even a decent arcade area. As a digression, I would like to grouse about the lack of any kind of “family fun center” in SB – no go-carts, ice skating rinks, nickel arcades, or mini-golf within forty miles! Where is a twenty-something supposed to go for a little bit of variety and some innocent play? Anyways, we all had a blast that night and I even ran into some old friends while there.
Bowling shoes. What else can I say? They are difficult to plan an outfit around, so I just ignored the thought of wearing them altogether while I quickly put together my cold, wet weather outfit. Another digression, sorry, but I remember when bowling shoes were a big trend back in middle school. Taking those radically unfashionable bowling shoes home as a souvenir was really living life on the edge…like the dine-and-dash of footwear, except that lane rentals cost more money than shoe rentals, and in the end both still had to be paid before the game.
EZ: As for my outfit, I chose light grey sweater leggings, a navy tunic/dress, and thick-knit, dark grey cape/scarf ensemble – ultimate comfort for consistently bowling the lowest score. The first picture of this post doesn’t quite do my cape justice because I am not even wearing it properly then, but it really is a quality piece of outerwear that I will probably own forever (unless I lose it, which is also likely to happen). I accessorized with a long necklace and a headpiece that I created the same day. To be honest, I dreamt about this headpiece the night before and absolutely had to make it once I woke up. That may sound weird, but I woke up needing to figure out how to put together what I saw in my dream.
MJ: Bowling is never something I’ve been very good at, but for some reason, on this particular rainy Friday night in Santa Barbara, I somehow channeled my inner bowling champion and ended the night with 5 strikes! Aside from the fact that that’s more strikes than I have ever had in the entirety of my bowling career, I now have a new found respect for cliched recreational activities such as these, even if it is absolutely impossible to match an outfit with those god awful (and might I add smelly) neon colored bowling shoes. I decided on a long sleeved comfy tunic in a deep magenta. I love tunics like these because they have so much versatility, and are so incredibly COMFY! I paired them with my favorite skin tight acid washed skinny jeans with the cutest zip detail at the ankle. For accessories, I debuted one of Bohemian Bombshell‘s up and coming designs…beautifully elegant antiqued body chains! I am so excited about these new pieces, and they provide the perfect accent to solid colored draping tunics.
All in all, we feel that it is oftentimes nonessential to fret about compromising personal style for a planned outing, which are often unpredictable. When I know that there is a chance that I will be bowling or ice-skating I just keep an extra pair of socks in my bag or car just for the chance of occasion – one has to be prepared, and sometimes sacrifice a cohesive outfit for a good time.
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.
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