Library Day

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High Neck Top with Pleat Detail: ASOS | Black Pleated Skirt: Banana Republic | The Billie Boot: Madewell | Turnlock Tote in Crossgrain Leather: Coach | AMANDA Wide velvet belt with studes: Maje

About every two weeks, Sangbin and I go to the midtown library branch to pick out books to read. I read mostly non-fiction, while Sangbin prefers Science-Fiction. You can check out the books and magazines I’ve read recently on my Pinterest, here.

Today on our way to the library, we saw part of the Pulaski Day Parade on fifth avenue! It makes me so happy to see so many different backgrounds come together and celebrate cultural events like this one. When we got home, I listened to a Curious City episode called, “The Making of Polish Chicago,” while cleaning the apartment.

So…a little bit about this look: I’m really glad that the weather has cooled off because it means I can comfortably wearing long sleeves and skirts again! Sangbin has never really been a fan of this skirt, but I think it’s so fun that I try to find new ways to wear it every year. Admittedly, I usually only wear it once a season, but I want to change that. I actually bought it because it reminded me of a skirt a girl I went to school with wore during a photo shoot we were working on. Her look was almost identical except that the skirt was a little bit shorter and she wore it with black flats and glasses.

I think black and white looks so sophisticated together, but I decided to dress down this look a little bit with my Billie boots and velvet belt.

Sangbin and I have so many exciting things planned for October, so hopefully we’ll have a lot more fun outfit posts in the coming weeks! I’m taking vacation (for the first time this year) later this month and am looking forward to filling all my time with New York adventures!

Hope you are all doing well!

XXXO Maria

LITTLE BLACK DRESS – STYLED 3 WAYS

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Look 1: Dress: BrassTurtleneck: Madewell | Lace-up Flats: Banana Republic Bag: CoachNecklace: Ann Taylor | Glasses: Warby Parker

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Look 2: Dress: Brass | Bag: CoachLeopard Smoking Slippers: Madewell | Vintage Gold Watch: Bulova | Glasses: Warby Parker

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Look 3:  Dress: BrassLeggings: Under Armor | Platform Sandals: Jeffrey Campbell | Glasses: Warby Parker

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Since starting my Capsule Wardrobe about a year ago, I’ve become picky about what gets added into my collection. However, when Brass approached me to feature one of their dresses on my blog I figured it would be a great opportunity to show you guys three different ways you can style their A-Line little black dress.

How I wore it in one week: Twice to work in mid-town Manhattan and once over the weekend hanging out in NoHo.

The good:

  • I was stopped by a stranger (for the first time) who wanted to take a picture of my outfit featuring this dress. I was so surprised I didn’t realize the girl following me yelling “excuse me!” like five times was for me. (p.s. I’m suddenly inspired by her to have a New York street style section on this blog…)
  • The quality of the material is excellent and lays very well. I have no fear that this dress will last season after season. I hate buying a piece of clothing and then having to ditch it after a handful of wears due to poor materials and construction.
  • The pockets are so subtle, but completely functional! (the perfect size for a phone) which is ideal for me because I hate carrying a purse everywhere, but also feel the need to carry like 10 things with me at all times.
  • I can wear this dress in a professional setting and still be comfortable. (I’m talking to you post-lunch food baby)

The bad:

  • I say this knowing that it’s probably just me, but I personally am not a fan of the wide neckline because I’m afraid people can see down the dress when I bend over.  I also feel like if I don’t have perfect posture, the dress makes an unattractive crease in the bust. I compensated for that by wearing a black turtleneck under the dress in Look 1.
  • I got the dress in an XS and it still seemed a little large to me (especially in the sleeves) – not a huge deal because I generally like loose dresses, but I wish it was a little more fitted, especially since I’ll wear it to work so often.

I’d recommend this dress to someone:

  • Just starting a Capsule Wardrobe – you probably need a black dress like this if you don’t have one already, plus it’s a great piece to practice styling in multiple ways!
  • With little children – it would definitely hide most stains and since the material is so durable, it would survive a lot of washes.
  • Who’s great at layering (or accessories) – this is basically a blank canvas for you to work with.

 

If you have this dress (or end up purchasing it) please tag me on Instagram with how you styled it, so I can see!

Lots of love,

Maria xxo

BROOKLYN

 

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Coat: Zara | Turtleneck: Madewell | Jeans: Madewell | Lace up Flats: Banana Republic

This is a really comfortable look perfect for weekend exploring. I love the high waisted jeans (for some reason they seem so much more comfortable??) because I think they make me look a little leaner. This wool coat from Zara has been a live-saver in keeping me warm (for the most part) on chilly NYC mornings. I absolutely love the way it drapes and how it looks great with my business clothes as well as a pair of jeans. Finally, I think the lace up flats lighten the look up. I love the way I look in all black (especially a turtleneck!) but sometimes I think they make me look a bit too intense. Because this coat seems to be inspired from a classic men’s wool coat, I think have the ballerina-esc shoes makes it seem a little less serious.

A woman approached us in the subway and told me that her sister had a really similar pair of these shoes back in the 80s that she wore to a bar mitzvah that she originally got at Banana Republic. She was amazed when I told her that mine were from there and that they’re in stores now! Small world. 🙂

Normally, I don’t sleep in too late on the weekends, but this past Saturday I woke up even earlier than normal (5:30am!!)  Sangbin and I had talked about going to the Brooklyn Bridge park the past week and wanted to take a walk at dawn. We live in upper Manhattan, so it takes us ~50 minutes to get to DUMBO, meaning we would have to leave at 6am to make it in time for the sunrise.

Maybe if I had done a little more preparation on Friday night, we could have left at 6am, but that didn’t happen! I usually underestimate how much time it takes me to get ready. It was around 8am by the time we got to DUMBO, but because the days have been getting longer, it didn’t look like morning anymore! It was nice being able to walk around the park with only a few runners.

We grabbed some coffee in DUMBO after taking a walk in the park, but it was still too early for any of the stores to open, so we went to the Flatiron District to walk around.

I had a gift card for Madewell, which I had been planning to use on a new pair of sunglasses (I pinned my favorite ones here). Sangbin tried on glasses with me and picked out a pair for himself as well as he’s thinking about getting contacts!

We went to brunch with a few friends at an Alice in Wonderland themed tea house. Everyone ordered scones, pots of tea, and french toast. Sangbin ordered a burger. XD

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Maria xx

 

 

 

 

HOW I STYLE OVERALLS

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Overalls: Madewell | Lace Up Flats: Banana Republic | Bag: Fossil | Eyeglasses: Warby Parker

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Overalls: Madewell | Blouse: Madewell | Blush Leather Flats: DSW | Glasses: Warby Parker

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Overalls: Madewell Shirt: American Apparel Backpack: Fjall Raven | Sneakers: Adidas SuperstarSunglasses: Madewell

I got a lot of looks, which I’ll attribute to the overalls since they’re not too common in the city yet. I decided to get a looser fitting pair because it’ll be easier to wear multiple layers making them work for spring, summer, and fall.

Lots of love,

Maria

24

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Dress: ASOS | Coat: Zara | Shoes: Banana Republic | Sunglasses: My dad’s (I think from CVS?)

Growing up I watched a lot of “I Love Lucy,” which I really think was the driver for me shopping at vintage stores and Goodwill in my teenage years. I love how elegant even someone as goofy as Lucille Ball looked in day dresses from the 1950s.

While shopping at vintage stores, I ran into a lot of beautiful dresses, but they were always (1) too big (2) damaged beyond simple repair (3) distinctly musty – which by the way, definitely didn’t stop me from buying and wearing them. I think we all go through an awkward phase in our teenage years with clothes. Mine just had a serious “I just rummaged through my grandma’s closet” feel. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

I share all this to say that when I saw this dress on ASOS earlier this week, I knew it was the dress that Teenage Maria would have died for. It’s a beautiful sky blue color  with a boat neckline and elegant knot tie on the waist.

Unfortunately, I discovered this dress in February and it’s definitely too cold  to wear something like this today when it’s 30 degrees, (you can totally see my leg goose bumps) but I couldn’t wait to share it with you. I’ll absolutely share other ways to style this dress once it gets warmer, because I’m getting tired of strangers coming up to me and asking me if I’m cold. (If you’re cold – I’m freezing!)

In other news, tomorrow is my 24th birthday! After taking pictures in Washington Square Park, Sangbin and I went to Little Italy to have brunch and picked up the most beautiful yellow roses (you can see them on my Instagram). Sangbin’s birthday is a few days after mine, so we usually celebrate them together. No plans yet, but I’m sure they’ll be lots of sweets. 🙂

Maria xx

BRYANT PARK

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Turtleneck: H&M | Skirt: Banana Republic | Flats: H&M | Bag: Coach | Necklace: Ann Taylor

When I was in college I studied photojournalism. One day, I was in the photo studio with a fashion student working on a project and I just fell in love with her outfit. She had a long pleated black skirt, with black tights, and flats and a pair of Chanel glasses. I thought she looked so elegant, but casual at the same time.

This outfit is inspired from her. My skirt is a little longer and my glasses are a different style, but I definitely did feel elegant wearing this in Bryant Park today. The weather was so amazing…I can only imagine how lovely New York will be when it gets a little warmer. 🙂

Originally, we were planning on shooting our Apartment Tour video today, but it was such a grey day that the lighting wasn’t what I wanted it to be for the video. Hopefully, we’ll get to shoot it tomorrow and it should be up in a few days.

Have a wonderful week, friends!

Maria xx

BETHESDA TERRACE

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Blouse: Zara | Sweater: H&M | Bag: Forever 21

My favorite thing about this outfit is the necklace. It’s really subtle, but I feel like it represents my style so well. Sometimes I want to stand out – but most of the time I just want to feel comfortable and be remembered for the small details in my outfits rather than a big statement piece. (My white faux fur coat is an exception). I have this necklace placed high and blended in with the collar because I think it brings a bit of beauty to this basic outfit. Sometimes when I add a small detail to an outfit like this, I hope people notice and appreciate it, but it’s probably just me and that’s completely fine too. :p

I love taking the subway to work because it gives me an opportunity to look at what people (from all different backgrounds) wear everyday – and I’ve come to realize how much it’s the details, like my small necklace, that really reveal a lot about a person’s style.

For example, today on our way to Central Park, I saw an older man wearing a grey sweater, grey wool coat, jeans, and a pair of converse sneakers. The best part about his outfit (in my opinion) was how he tied the laces on his converse. Which by the way, if you’ve never looked, there’s about a hundred different ways you can lace your sneakers besides the default style they normally come in – it’s pretty interesting.

Instead of the criss cross style (that I think most sneakers come with) he had his tied ladder style, like this. The shoes didn’t come this way, and I love to think that he altered them for himself and maybe for others, like me, to notice and appreciate too.