Football Thinks Pink

I knew I couldn’t be the only one watching Sunday football and wondering if I could get a pink-brimmed hat like the ones coaches and side-lined players have been wearing in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NFL store is packed with pink goodness and I’m particularly pleased about the fact that the colors for my team (Go, Giants!) are a good match for pink.

Love Tennis: Style for a Fan

I didn’t pay much attention to tennis until becoming mesmerized while watching Roger Federer win a match a few years ago–just when he was taking root as the best in the game–and now I am a full-blown fan of the sport. Federer was defeated yesterday in a stunning loss to a new guy on the scene, Juan Martin del Potro from Argentina. Following the match, I heard an NPR commentator note Del Potro’s fierce forehand and make mention of his black muscle shirt. I was amused by the comment about the shirt but, among sports, tennis is arguably the most stylish.

The game’s male ambassador for fashion is Federer, who always looks dashing and had a part in designing a line of clothing for Nike. I went to the Nike site and found that the sleeveless shirt Del Potro wore was actually from the Federer collection (ha). Also spotted while on the site: some good Federer tees. Maybe I needed something tennis-y in my closet? Because I like to sometimes wear my heart on my sleeve, the “Love Roger” tee for women could work, but I’m more inclined to favor the mens’ “Advantage Federer” one. I had to also look into the shoes worn by rising teen star Melanie Oudin, whose pink and yellow Adidas sneakers were customized with the word “Believe,” but I cannot settle on what my own shoe should say (and I’m not so sure of the colors). Finally, I went to Etsy, where I found a cute vintage visor to help me proudly proclaim my love of the game.

Wave: Art Restored

Driving up PCH last weekend, I spotted a new American Apparel shop. Yep, there’s another one (everywhere you turn it seems, just like Starbuck’s). But news via Racked LA: the store is in the same space that once housed a surf shop, with a wave mural above it by a surfer and surfboard shaper, and American Apparel commissioned the artist to restore the mural. Good nod to history. (Image from Racked LA).

Mickey Mouse Watch (and Snoopy, Too)

I snapped this shot of a stylish girl at the Coachella Fest, wearing a Mickey Mouse watch. Last year, it was reported that cute and fashionable girls were wearing Mickey tees and sweatshirts. Then I saw that a designer had Mickey Mouse on his mind this year when he showed his collection on the runway during Paris Fashion Week. Some might argue that Mickey never goes out of style; I won’t disagree, but I’d like to make a case for Snoopy. After seeing the Mickey watch, I pulled out my childhood box and found my Snoopy watch. It needs a good cleaning but started ticking when I wound it up. I’m wondering about a new band but might just pair it with some bracelets.

Coachella Style #1: Prints

Going to the Coachella Music and Arts Festival is all about the music for me. I’m both proud and embarrassed to say that I ran into a friend and said, “Hi, no time for chit-chat, I gotta go across the field to see the next band!” When I saw another friend who came in for a hug, I said, “Sorry, too hot to hug! Let’s skip that.” (Okay, maybe I’m not so social when it comes to my rock and roll.) I saw dozens of acts and crossed the field often, but I also managed to amuse myself during trips from stage to stage by looking for fun fashions. It’s definitely a challenge to be stylish during the daytime in the desert and I’ve learned that you can choose the most sensible wardrobe choices and still sweat your buns off in 100-plus temperatures under a blazing sun. Remarkably, tons of stylish girls managed to dress to impress. I brought along my pocket digital camera and snapped a few shots (not Sartorialist-style because I took my photos passerby-style). Here, a woman in a pretty aqua caftan-robe-dress with skull print (she walked away from me before I could see it from the front and I didn’t notice the skulls on first glance). The other is wearing a dress with a bird print and coordinating feather hair clip (I like the bird and feather combination).

Scrunchie Attack

I saw the first sign that scrunchies might make a comeback last summer, when a vendor sold them on Ocean Front Walk in Venice. I didn’t really believe it. Then American Apparel started selling the hair accessory and there was no question that the scrunchie would be coming soon to a ponytail near you. I have no nostalgic pull to go out and get one. Some ’80s styles worked for me in the ’80s but won’t work for me now. Skinny jeans and leggings? Yes. Acid-washed skinny jeans and neon leggings? No. Faded and torn denim and Chuck Taylor sneakers? For sure! Shoulder pads and scrunchies? Hell no. Last night, at an event at a hair salon, I spotted the scrunchie in use (even better: a polka-dotted one). I was standing with a group of stylish women when it was spotted and I felt a little like my ’80s teen self as we all gawked and whispered and then giggled as I took this photo.

Easter Fashion Find: Floral Jacket

Getting a new outfit for Easter was always a thrill for me when I was a kid. My mom would take me shopping and I always chose something feminine and bright. I recall a floral skirt with pleats and a pink top. Then there was a pair of bubble gum pink pants with a ruffled white cotton top. If I were born during a different time, there would have been bonnets and gloves. I loved (still love) the candy (jelly beans, chocolate, marshmallow Peeps—yum), but the new outfit was the real prize. Easter signified the beginning of spring for me and with it came high hopes for warm and sunny days, and summer vacation right around the bend. Even now I mark it as the time to make lighter and brighter wardrobe choices. This year, I gave up shopping for Lent (it was a test of will), but I traded in some unwanted clothes at my local vintage/consignment shop last week and spotted this vintage jacket on the rack. I didn’t have to think twice; it was so bright and Monet-like (and a perfect fit).

No-Shop Retail Activism

I’ve gone a month without shopping and have found it to be easier than expected. My college roommate gave up chocolate every Lent, then would pig out on it on Easter and the days that followed, so I assumed I’d be ready for on all-out shopping spree at the end of my time. Oh, there have been serious temptations, but I’m not desperate to run out and buy anything. Instead, I’m ready to revise my no-shop rule. I’m going to continue to shy away from new and don’t-need purchases. (Oooh, I want that! Hold on, do I really need it?) I’ll recycle my closet and get rid of something before acquiring something else, trading in unwanted pieces at my local vintage and consignment shops or on eBay. For straight shopping, I’ll support Etsy and other indie sellers (homemade rules!), and I’ll make eco-friendly and good-cause purchases, like this tote from Housing Works, a nonprofit in NY I’m proud to have worked with. And just because: I’ll dig into a big box of chocolates on Sunday to mark the end of Lent.

I Heart Vintage Jackets

var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);
document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));

try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-4761390-1”);
} catch(err) {}

I’ve recently added a couple of vintage jackets to my closet and both have sweet flower petal appliqués. These are details I love. But I didn’t hesitate when it came to removing the shoulder pads from these. I photographed one set next to my Blackberry to show their size. Turns out the jackets fit just fine without them.

Charmed, I’m Sure

I go through fashion phases and one involves wearing a plain black T-shirt or tank with a cardigan or jacket—complimented by a bold necklace. Perfect for this: some fun charms given to me by my mom, which I wear on roped chains or leather cords. Here’s a typewriter charm from mom I recently found at the bottom of my jewelry box. A friend told me that her son saw a typewriter in a shop window and asked about what it was. Before computers, kiddo. I’m sure he’s asked her about record players, too. To add to my collection, I’m searching on eBay for an old record player charm and found some adorable boom box ones. I see a boom box and I think of sitting on the front stoop at my friend Lisa’s house, blasting “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett until Lisa’s mother shouted from inside the house that we needed to turn down the volume. Oh, the good old days. I’m bidding on boom box and jukebox charms now…


The Roach Return

During a friend’s visit, I pulled out my memory box and found my collection of buttons (R.E.M.! U2! The Stranglers! The Pixies!). I am tempted to put them back into rotation on my denim jacket or on one of my canvas market bags, maybe one at a time instead of crowding them in a cluster like I once did. I also pulled out some hair clips (rainbow-striped and star-shaped!). What I didn’t find in the box: my lavender feather roach clip. I remember taking a trip to Florida to visit my grandparents and buying one at the mall. My grandmother had no idea what she was paying for and I was far too young and innocent to understand what a roach clip was used for—I simply liked the purple feathers and knew girls back home who were older than me and wore them clipped to their glamorous, permed locks. Soon I, too, would have a perm and I would clip the long, feather and leather piece to the back of my hair. This was a few years before I grew a “tail” of hair longer than the rest and braided the piece like Aimee Mann in the band ‘Til Tuesday. Yes, it was a time of taking risks with style. Now I have a notion to attach a roach clip to a handbag or a belt loop on my jeans, and while I would have loved to open my memory box to find the roach clip at the bottom, I am comforted by the fact that you can (almost) always replace what was once lost. What you can’t find on eBay, you can get on Etsy and here are two I might just have to buy.

Rock T-Shirts That Rule

When I was a teen, I remember the excitement of arriving at a music venue to see one of my favorite bands perform and going right to the merchandise stand to see what the T-shirts looked like. If I liked the artist or band, there was no question about the fact that I would splurge on a tee. (I still have many of the ticket stubs but I regret not saving all those T-shirts.) Then I grew up and stopped buying rock shirts, but I’ve made some good purchases this year. It started with a Wilco tee; I loved the color and the design (see it above) and when I found out it was made of a bamboo and organic cotton blend, I was sold (“it’s eco-friendly” is one of my favorite rationalizations these days). At yesterday’s Radiohead show at the Hollywood Bowl, I was tempted again. The shirts come from the band’s merchandising company, called W.A.S.T.E. (We Are Sensibly Talking Endlessly), and it’s made of a polyester that comes from the fibers of recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton. Yep, easy sale; I got one for me and one for Mr. MVP (both pictured).

Knock at My Heart: Charmed

Looking at the contents of my mother’s jewelry box has always been a treat. Oooh, pretty jewelry. She’s got a minimalist style—her constants are her wedding ring and my grandmother’s diamond pendant necklace—so the other pieces only come out for occasions. I have always viewed the jewelry box as a treasure chest and especially love the charms, which she began collecting as a teen and wore on a chunky gold charm bracelet. She wears the bracelet occasionally now without the charms and recently asked me if I wanted any of them. (“You’ll get them eventually,” she said. “If you want them, you might as well take them now!”) It’s hard to pick favorites, but I might have to say it’s the gold charm affixed to a rectangular plate; it’s a heart with a banner that reads, “Knock at my heart.” My father gave this to my mother when they were still dating and the charm originally had a knocker on it that was removed by the jeweler when it was attached to the plate. This peaked my curiosity and a quick search on eBay brought me to a version of the original charm in silver. The knocker moves (it really knocks!). So now I’ve got both versions.

Oh, and one more thing: Both my parents asked about the “when they were still dating” mention. Well, they’re married now so they’re past the dating stage. But it’s definitely worth noting that they’re still married. Happily, too.

Earthquake Survival Bags

As I type this, the top headline on the L.A. Times website reads, “Ho, hum, another not-the-Big-One” (funny, considering the fact that the L.A. Times was offline for several minutes following the quake—I went to the NY Times website to find out info on the quake in the minutes that followed the rumbling.) Today’s earthquake measured 5.4—that’s big for me. I’m from NY, where hurricanes are the big natural disasters, but the good thing about hurricanes is that they never sneak up on you. I was at the office when today’s quake hit and I was relieved when my chair and desk stopped shaking. At home, I have an emergency bag that I packed soon after experiencing my first earthquake (a 4-something a few years ago). Water, transistor radio, batteries, vitamins, tissues, toothpaste and floss, canned goods and can opener, nuts, some cash. I know there’s more I should pack in it and consulted some online sites today. But I stopped reading when I saw DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! on the Red Cross site (caps are theirs). At the office and in my car, I have nothing. So now I’m thinking it could be good to have a bag packed and stored in the back seat or trunk of my car. Perhaps this should be an excuse to purchase a cool tote bag for such a purpose. Hmmm. (No, it’s not necessary to have a reason to add a new bag to my collection, but justification is always good.) Certainly an LL Bean Boat and Tote bag would work; it’s timelessly stylish and sturdy and the colors I’ve selected here are neutral. I have also recently been obsessing over Rebecca Minkoff’s new Wine & Bread tote, with outside pockets for the wine and bread. Think about it: that’s a good place to start….

Getty Visit Part 2: Winged Shoes

Another impressive statue at the Getty Villa: Roman god Mercury (Greek god Hermes), who is shown wearing wings strapped to his ankles and a flower on his sole (because the messenger could travel so fast his feet didn’t touch the ground). In other words: the coolest sandals ever. As a former track runner, I’m fond of the winged foot as a symbol. I also happen to be a devotee of the sandal, especially the flip-flop. My collection more than tripled when I moved to LA and I’m continually tempted by new styles. Seeing Mercury in the Getty garden definitely got me thinking. I’ve got a few sandals in the gladiator style—but none with wings. I’m not necessarily looking for shoes to give me god-like speed or abilities, but I do like the style and would have loved to find a pair of winged sandals in the gift shop. No such luck, and a quick web search for sandals with wings was also fruitless. Close as I could get: flip-flops with a cute wing print and a pair by K. Jacques St. Tropez with a winged thong design. Although a pair like Mercury’s isn’t at all practical for mere mortals, simply adding a sole would be enough. I’d be sold.

Q&A: Linda Loudermilk

The full portion of this interview was originally published on

My interview with L.A.-based Linda Loudermilk, a trailblazing designer on the eco-friendly fashion scene whose line of clothing—from red-carpet-worthy dresses to jeans—is made with fabrics that are sustainable and organic.

How did you start your business?

I started with a couture line that was not at all green but I knew it was not all I was supposed to do. In one of my shows I had pieces that showed my connection to nature—one showed a human body fused to a tree with a heart in it that was very goth. I realized after that show that it was the story of what I needed to do with my life: share with people ways to connect with nature, how to respect their bodies and respect nature at the same time—to really connect all the pieces and to make this life of consumerism make sense. Then I did research on sustainable fabrics. Back then, it was only organic cotton so it was very limited. I started talking to fabric and fiber manufacturers and asked to start developing new fibers and new weaves.

Best part of your job?

Constantly creating. I recreate everything I see. I can look at something and be inspired by it. I also have the opportunity to create a new business in a new market and that is a blast.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

A Yew tree. The Yew is the oldest known tree and they have planted it historically to celebrate burial grounds, so it’s a place where the spirit resides.

Describe your path to green: how and when you became eco-conscious.

I had an experience with nature that healed me from a disease and that literal exchange told me that I needed to respect the earth. That was really a spiritual experience with nature.