To Do: Get So Fresh and So Spring Clean

Spring has arrived, my little giblets! And in the spirit of newness and pastels and chickens, I hereby challenge you to shake things up a little! Make some changes! Go wild! Cross the road! It’s been a while since I made a list of any sort that didn’t start with “make to do list” just so I could cross off something, so how’s about I give this post a little structure to match my new bra?


1.) Change your look based on an old photo of an awesome genius.

After two years of obsessive chopping, my hair has finally grown long enough to channel the side-parted chin length curled brilliance of Connie Converse, who, lets face it, I probably was in a past life. If you don’t know who Connie Converse was (is?), first listen to this, then melt, and then spend hours scouring the internet for clues about her disappearance. Her sad and lovely story has inspired me to no end. I’ve never loved 1950’s silhouettes and horn rimmed glasses and mystery so much. For god’s sake, just look at her! What a babe!

2.) Change your built-in face frames.

In accordance with the self-imposed directive above, I have also grown out my bangs, bangs which I have worn at varying lengths for the last 10 years. My facial structure has always seemed sharp to me, which nicely compliments the daggers I’m always shooting from my eyes, but I’ve usually balanced it with the softness of a little fringe. Now that my perfect forehead is exposed, I look pretty intense. Don’t get me wrong, I am huge a fan of this. But on those days I want to exist in the realm of soft focus Easter romance, I simply leave my eyebrows alone, instead of coloring them in like Brooke Shields as a Bert from Sesame Street for Halloween like I usually do. With my eyebrows subtle and blondish, I seriously look like a completely different girl. Never color yours? Try it out. I actually like to go back and forth between the Whoopi Goldberg and the Martin Scorsese. Keeps people on their toes.

3.) Change your occupation.

Yep, I just did this too. Not necessarily an option for moms or you know, ‘career’ types, but for wanderlusty girls in their very late twenties who have not only dabbled in various fields, but also worked many types of jobs, it’s definitely doable. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you’re bored, or you aren’t making what you’re worth, shine up that resume! See what’s out there! It also doesn’t hurt to have a contact on the inside. I just got hired as a server at one of the most popular restaurants in Echo Park with very little serving experience by simply blackmailing one of the mangers for several months! Now I get to serve Ryan Gosling deep dish pizza by candlelight and I get to wear pretty dresses to work instead of a t-shirt, apron and baseball cap (don’t ask, please). Not only that, but I am finally making an adult wage! I can afford to wear comfy Clarks to work, so I don’t have to limp home afterward.

4.) Change out your zombie eyes.

So you like your job and style and you are perfectly happy with your beauty routine? What about your soul? I don’t mean is it clean and heaven-destined or any of that shit. What I want to know is, is it hungry? What have you been feeding it? Hours of facebook? The Bachelor? BRAINS? What are you doing in your free time? I’m lucky to have recently moved into a house with two amazing ladies and a huge backyard, where I drink my morning coffee and sunbathe and read actual books sometimes. It’s so tempting to want to zone out after a long day of serving Ryan Gosling pizza, but closing your laptop after three hours and not remembering a single thing you just read is soul-sucking. The internet is a glorious thing, but just do yourself a favor and pretend it’s the 80’s once in a while. It’s the 80’s and there’s nothing on TV and why would you want to be inside on a sunny day like this anyway? Also, um, you’re an adult! Remember back when you weren’t an adult and you were like, “oh man, one day when I’m grown up I’m gonna explore Brazil!” or, “One day, I’m gonna buy enough gummi bears to fill my room all the way to the ceiling and carve tunnels through them and live like that!”
You can seriously do anything you want as long as your landlord doesn’t find out. Also, you know what’s even more fun than zoning out the internet? Drinking.

5.) Change your definition of ‘self-control’.

So I took a non-religious vow to give up meat for Lent. Why? Partly because I have had access to free hot dogs for the last 4 months (doesn’t matter why, don’t worry about it) and was feeling sluggish and beef-witted, partly because my roommates are vegan and I don’t have my own cookware, and partly because I wanted to practice some self-control. I haven’t had the best self-control in the past, but saying “I couldn’t help myself” is such a cop-out.

“I ate your entire birthday cake. Sorry, I had to. I have, like, absolutely no self control.”

“Oh, I know promised I’d help you move, but a friend called at the last minute and asked me to drink Mimosas with her all day and I just couldn’t say no because it sounded like way more fun. Sorry! What else could I doooo?”

Looking back on some bad past decisions can make you see them as just that: decisions. Take responsibility for them. I decided to not practice self-control by eating hot dogs and tater-tots nearly every day for four months, and all it got me was bloated and lethargic. A month and minus five pounds later, I feel like a million (well, maybe 250 thousand) bucks! And what feels even better is the pride that comes with sticking to your guns! Great job! Now you can gloat instead of bloat, guilt free!

6.) Change your mode of communication with that babe in the mirror.

I’ve been making a serious effort lately to look inward. Okay, maybe ‘lately’ isn’t really accurate. It’s more of an every day of my life thing. Constant Psychological Self-Diagnosis is literally my middle name. Yes, literally. And while self-diagnosis isn’t necessarily the best method for physical issues (I decided I was allergic to gluten and have been depriving myself of all sorts of things for the last 8 months-turns out it’s just an allergy to baker’s yeast and I could have been eating burritos this WHOLE TIME), it makes a lot of sense to look within for answers in regards to your own psyche. Who on Earth knows you better than you? Has something been bothering you? Try and figure out why. Have you been making strange, irrational decisions and eating potting soil? There must be a reason. What are you feeling when you open that bag of peat moss and aged compost? Loss? Hope? The best way I’ve found to sort through these dirty feelings is journaling. Throw back a few brewskis and start journaling. I’m actually serious. Talk to yourself like you’re drunkenly rambling to an old friend whom you can trust with any secret, because that’s exactly who you are. You’ve always been there for you, even if you and yourself weren’t on speaking terms. Spend some time getting reacquainted with your best friend since birth and don’t just talk. Listen to what they have to contribute to the friendship.

7.) Change your stress level.

Last but not least, chill the fuck out. I know you know this, but stress is not your friend. It will not help you make good decisions or achieve quality results. It will not get you to work on time. It will not keep your friend who you were supposed to help move from finding out that the “appointment” you had was to drink poolside mimosas all day with that girl she doesn’t like who you swear you aren’t friends with anymore. Avoid potential stressors by leaving for work early and not making bad friend moves in the first place, Jamaica. You won’t have to be hard on yourself if you act like an adult.

7a.) On that note, don’t worry so much. Trust that your hunky boyfriend is an adult as well, and is not going to get stranded on his hiking trip with no food, nor is he going to fall to his death while ascending Mount Horrible (I’m not even remotely kidding. It is absolutely called that).

8.) Make “To Do” List

Check Me Out: Traveling Shoes

Tucson, darling. It’s been almost three glorious years, and this is really hard to say, but I just have to come right out with it: I’m leaving you.

Wait. Stop. I can’t take it when you look at me that way. Listen baby, Its not what you think. I still love you. I don’t want to leave, it’s just… I want to see other cities for a while. Hey no, hold on. Don’t be jealous. Lord knows you have more amazing women at any given time than any other city of your size, and I’ve been loyal to you this whole time. What? No, that’s not what I meant. Size doesn’t matter anyway, you know that.

Please, I need you to understand. It’s not you. Its just that I haven’t really spent quality time with very many cities, and I can’t really be sure I’m ready to settle down if I’ve got this itch to see other places, you know? I’d always be wondering what else was out there. You wouldn’t want that would you?

We both know I’ll be back one day, but until then, here’s something for us to remember each other by. I took a farewell walk through your oldest streets last evening in my favorite boots, in a dress I just made for my last fashion show as your resident.

The Dreamer Boots by Nicole are not only super comfy, but they go with everything and make me feel like a gazelle. I’m about to fully embrace a nomadic lifestyle, and in preparation, have gotten rid of all my possessions, excepting what I can carry. Admittedly, these boots are a bit bulkier than the average traveler would recommend. And okay sure, they don’t pack easily, but what that says to me is I should never take them off.

Baby, when I look down at my feet I’ll always think of you. And one day, the boots will come striding back through your dusty desert streets again. You can take the girl out of the desert, but you can’t take the desert out of the girl.

After all, we’re obviously sole mates.

And with a bad pun, I exit.

Nicole Dreamer Boots
, $145
One of a kind black wrap dress with embroidery detail, Sapphire Cordial. Price on request.
H&M hat, gift from my friend Megan
Coyote earrings, gift from Amber

Photos by Ciaran Harman

Check Me Out: Well, Helloooooo Summer

The Painfully Hip Roadtrip II : Taco Yacht Pleasure Cruise to the Future has begun! This is me before hopping on a plane headed due east. We started the cruise in Jacksonville, North Carolina and holy moly, it has waaaaay outdone its name. Updates soon.

Yes, I have surrendered to the pastel hair bug. Couldn’t help it, it must be contagious. You could call it spring fever (this cut does remind me of a tulip or an easter egg), but I call it “finally embracing my awkward techni-follicled high school days.”

But my DIY ombre platinum-lavender bowl-cut also happens to be subtle. Right?
It even lets this bold tropical print sing. Ah, birds of paradise. This top obliterates any and all lingering winter blues within seconds.

All clothing and shoes from:

Disclosure: Bloggers received a gift card on behalf of Kohl’s via Glam Media to complete the trend look. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kohl’s. All trademarks and service marks are owned or licensed by Kohl’s Illinois, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc.


There is only so much time a person has on any given day. I usually can find enough time to get caught up with current events, search out new favorite bands, follow the ever-profound creations and revelations of my go-to clothing designers and fellow bloggers. In between all these discoveries I manage to find time to work, run errands and drink beer. Ok, maybe most of these other things I plan around my beer drinking schedule. But still. There are endless trends and events we all struggle to keep abreast of in this information age, and only so many hours in a day. This results in certain interests being put on the back burner. And when we finally manage a spare moment, we find ourselves decompressing from our busy days by reading articles with headlines like “Chloe Sevigny Says Her Prosthetic Penis Made Her Cry“.

So in this vein, I must admit (gasp!) that I don’t pay very much attention to shoe trends. I’m sorry. I know a lot of you consider shoes way more important than clothing, and I know I may have just gotten the “loser” hand signal from you just now. What’s that? Oh, Amber informs me telepathically that I’m apparently way behind on gesturing trends too. A thousand apologies.

But don’t get me wrong, I love shoes! I just always happen to gravitate toward the same styles. Luckily, for the most part my taste in shoes is pretty trend-proof. I love boyish oxfords, low heeled cowboy boots, gladiator sandals and wedges, styles that regularly reinvent themselves and are rarely “so last season”.

Wedges and platforms have a particular appeal for me, due to my inability to walk gracefully in heels. I’m sure it just takes practice, but I prefer to tower over boys the easy way. So when wedges appeared EVERYWHERE recently, I was understandably thrilled. Not only am I getting more wear out of (and praise for) the ones I currently own, but there are so many new styles to choose from! Seventies revivalists rejoice!

I’ve been online window shopping for hours, mainly on the comprehensive site Viva La Diva Designer Shoes . Over the course of the last several hours, I’ve narrowed down my favorites to three categories.

PLATFORMAZING # 1: Shoes fit for a sunny afternoon at the MOMA while clad in some avant-garde monochrome slim fitting knee-length dress, hair all sleek and companion all effortlessly handsome in a light gray blazer and perfect scruff. Both parties appear very adult and contemplative until almost kicked out for making out next to a Jackson Pollock:

PLATFORMAZING #2: Shoes to wear to a Renoir-esque garden party, paired with a sundress, big sunglasses, and enough umbrella-shaded cocktails to make everything as fuzzy as an impressionist painting:

PLATFORMAZING #3: Shoes with laser cut leather detailing finer than your grandma’s china. To be worn with best friend, both in all black while drinking espresso and smoking hookah for four hours in a cushy curtained booth:

Most shoes pictures available at Viva La Diva Designer Shoes

Today has been so shoe-filled that I’m pretty sure I’m going to see them when I lay me down to sleep tonight. Maybe they’ll infiltrate my dreams and I’ll wake up tomorrow truly shoe obsessed like never before. I can set aside some of my allotted time wasting, right? I mean, shoes are important! They are somehow both the foundation and cherry on top of every outfit.

I think my good friend Chenelle put it best. A while back we were discussing our first impressions of potential mates. She is a shoe girl through and through and insisted that you could tell way more about a fellow’s character by looking at his shoes than anything else. I was of the opinion that a boy in skinny jeans more often than not will have similar musical tastes as mine, which is obviously the most important quality in a partner. She countered with, “If he can’t take care of his shoes, how’s he gonna to take care of mama?”

Check Me Out: Bird of Paradise

There are several different species of exotic parrots that have been flying wildly and loudly around greater Los Angeles since the ’80s. Today I was squinting up at them when I realized we were wearing the same thing. Plumage.

Bill Cunningham, the New York Times’ street wear photographer (my favorite fashion personality EVER – I would gladly insult several kittens if he would only be my grampa for a day) once said,

“It’s always the hope that you’ll see some marvelous exotic bird of paradise, meaning a very elegant stunning woman or someone wearing something terrific… The wider world perceives fashion sometimes as a frivolity that should be done away with in the face of social upheavals and problems that are enormous. The point is, in fact, that it’s the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. To do away with it would be like doing away with civilization.”

I love the clean canvas white provides for accessories and colorblocking, but sometimes I want the beautiful simplicity of white to be the decoration. Like (for all intents and purposes) my hair, and this little filigree sweater. White/navy striped espadrilles for the sake of sweet, sweet Nautica. This sheer pleated skirt stands out-loudly from its pale canvas of white crochet and winter legs.

The more I settle into my relatively newfound confidence, the less I care about things like following trends (well white is, almost always, a spring trend), and well, getting flattering haircuts. With this self-inflicted hairdo, I’ve actively embraced the humorously bulbous shape of my head and the freckled paleness of my skin. In a small way, to embrace white is to embrace your body for what it is: a canvas.

All clothing and shoes from:

Disclosure: Bloggers received a gift card on behalf of Kohl’s via Glam Media to complete the trend look. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kohl’s. All trademarks and service marks are owned or licensed by Kohl’s Illinois, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc.

Check Me Out: One Lucky Girl

Have you ever had the realization there wasn’t a single thing you’d want to change about your life, even if a billowing Angela Landsbury emerged from a magic teapot to grant you a wish? Well, maybe after a jillion dollars (and a burrito) rained down on me, I’d feel that way. Still. I call myself damn lucky.

Reason #1 My new boyfriend is sweet, talented, adventurous, grows one helluva beard, and actually likes hanging out with my mom, taking time to watch every single sunset, and taking photos of me. I’m still convinced he immortalizes my days just to show his friends the hilarious jokes I call “outfits.” This one involves combining black with brown, mixed metals, mixed leathers, and a DIY hairdo. Salons in LA are defined as dodgy if they don’t charge at least one limb for a haircut.

Reason #2 In spite of my best efforts, my hair color manages to look like I may still have salon connections – or at least that’s what I’ve been getting. But! There were no actual skills involved – I literally pinned up the top layer of my platinum locks and slapped a foolproof sample of John Frieda Precision Foam Color (in Dark Cool Pearl Blonde) onto the under layer. This stuff is brilliant. The haircut was inspired by Joan of Arc, Louise Brooks, and Jamaica’s self-inflicted bowl-cut (Experimentation + Luck = SKILLUSION).

Reason #3 Just over a week after arriving in LA, I scored a meeting with the VP of Online Marketing for Lucky Brand. He said I was their quintessential Southern California Girl. “Huh! SURE!” I agreed. Among other things, he ended up sending me these gorgeous art nouveau earrings, and a pair of leather platform dream shoes. Little does he know that after just over 3 months here, I’m a total convert. Charlie, you’re a prophet.

Reason #4 This outfit cost me a grand total of $8, thanks to my sponsors and friends.
Gold Earrings and Shoes – Lucky Brand
Sunglasses – American Apparel
Vintage Bustier – $4 Thrift Store, Phoenix
Leather Jacket – a gift, vintage made in Vancouver, BC
Silver Bangle – Barrio Vintage, Honolulu
Gold Bangle and Leather Belt – $4 Thrift Store, Tucson

Reason #5 I’ve got spreads coming out in Material Girl Magazine, Estetica and nationally available (at all major drug stores) Reinventing Beauty Magazine. Woo!

photos by Rian Flynn

Un-Accessorize Me

I have a confession. Deep breaths. I can do this.

Okay, so you know from my previous post that I can’t keep my hands off a pair of haircutting shears, or if I can’t find those, fabric scissors. Or hedge clippers, in a pinch. And okay, I have a thing for extremes. Why just wear a gray skirt when I can wear a gray skirt with gray tights, a gray top,  a gray knit cap and gray peacoat?

It’s called eccentricity, ok? It’s adorable. I’ve been told by people who’ve only just met me that it’s adorable. And for the most part, I agree. But here’s the thing. While I do consider my complicated, over-thought tendencies part of my charm, there is one thing I know I must stop doing, and therein lies my confession. Here goes.

I have a dangerous habit of piling on accessories until I almost drown in them. It’s hard for people to look at, I know this. It’s confusing. It’s loud, and I don’t just mean visually.

“Why are you wearing a dozen cowbells, Jamaica?”

“…Cause they match?”

I was lucky enough to have a mom who let me wear anything I wanted to school, even if that meant sixteen layers of statement pieces per outfit. Since those days I’ve mellowed out a little, but I long for simplicity (and a little color, for that matter!), which is why when I went to visit Amber in Los Angeles last weekend, I meant to dress like this the whole time:

photo via fashiongonerogue

Instead, I foolishly gave myself only 20 minutes to pack, during which I tossed all my “special occasion” pieces (none of which can be worn together) into too small of a bag and didn’t grab any basics. This left me with no choice but to borrow Amber’s clothes, so perhaps I’m smarter than I give myself credit for.

Next time I pack for LA, you and I are going through the process piece by piece. I know that sounds like a threat, and that’s because it is. We will follow Amber’s packing advice, and strive for a barely accessorized cohesive look based on an idealistic vision of myself as a dewy, carefree, pastel-crop-top-wearing ingenue.

photo via fashiongonerogue

In the meantime, I’m vowing to follow Coco Chanel’s famous “take off one thing before you leave the house” advice three times every morning. Restraint is not something that comes naturally to me, but I can learn. After all, I used to hate beer and we all know how that turned out.

WISHing you a Bouyant New Year!

I have landed in Los Angeles. Specifically, my boyfriend and I are moving into a new place tomorrow, a few blocks from the beach. Needless to say, all this summer-chasing has left much to be desired in the form of “free time,” now that I’m dating a photographer. We met, caught our stride and now we are constantly “working” in some form or another. Just the way I like it – so far it feels like an all-out life collaboration. 2012 is about to be my busiest year yet!

This utilitarian trench coat from WISH has not left my body since it arrived. Unexpected satin sheen and gargantuan pockets… It is just. So. Good. And don’t even get me started on the rest of their jackets!
Purple suede shoes by Anna Sui for Hush Puppies! Completely addicted. If you don’t believe me, the jacket and the shoes are about to be all over Rian’s latest surrealist CD cover design (available in Russia).
Floral fishnets – UO Clearance
Bowler and dress – Thrift store

Rian Flynn nails nerd chic in his H&M Jeans and specs, thrifted shirt and vest, SCIENCE button from The New Tough, and buttery Hush Puppies’ desert boots!

Glory Be! Painfully Hip for JewelMint

You guys! Kate Bosworth and her stylist have come up with a sweet-as-gold jewelry line called JewelMint, which “gauges your style and recommends a curated collection for you.” Yeah. Nevermind that each piece is less than $30! Ridiculous. Their editorial team asked if I could style a few pieces for them and I couldn’t keep my claws off this sherbet tasseled necklace set and scarab ring, so we had at it. In return they gave you guys a not-f&%$ing-around discount! 50% off with code PainfullyHip50! It’s only good for one week (ends Wednesday, Sept 7, 2011), so get thee to thy wallets!

JewelMint Tassel Necklaces
JewelMint by Kate Bosworth
JewelMint Tassel Necklace Kate Bosworth
JewelMint Scarab Cocktail Ring
Cocktail Ring by Kate Bosworth and Cher Coulter

Oh, to always shoot with a team like this. Heaven.

Photos by Trumbo+Flynn
Model – Beck Trumbo, CAST Images
Styling by Amber Mortensen
Clothing by Van Der Neer

Back to the Future: Fast Fashion Spring/Summer Shoe Trends

Lately, trend prediction has become like trying to ask a hummingbird for the time. Seems like less than 3 years ago the ’90s came back, went away and now they’re back again but now its specifically the LATE 90s-early 2000’s -at its worst, frumpy and self-consciously futuristic (you know I’m looking at you, Miu Miu SS11), at its best, a playful, grungy twist on a classic (Chanel SS11).
So that means the chunky shoe trend (or “orthopedic chic” as your mom probably called it) is back in full force, but in a beautifully minimal fashion. All over the catwalk, chunky platforms, frumpy wedges, manly oxfords, and yes, again with the combat boots. UK site, Zalando, seems to have it all.

70s platform glitter sandals
If the ’90s ate the ’70s and regurgitated them into a sandal, this is what they would look like. In other words, my past rave-attending self would have dated the lead singer of LIVE for a chance at these babies.

fringed oxfords for women
These shoes remind me of that boy in high school who was my best friend for years and was secretly in love with me, but then when he finally kissed me I felt like I was kissing my brother, but then he got married and only then did I realize I was totally in love with him. Apparently, I must have these perfect, comfortable shoes, or regret it forever.

jeffrey campbell wedges
Oh, glorious hooves of burlap and twine! Where have you been all my life?

platform flats
I think they call this platform/flat hybrid “flatforms.” Or I could be making that up.

buckle multiple=
I had some Doc Marten wingtip Mary Janes that were like my first born…and I would have thrown them to the wolves the second these came into my life.
Hm, what does that say about me?

high heel sneaker diesel chainmail
Yeah, I know. I’ve always thought the sneaker/heel combo was a travesty. But it’s cool – this one is covered in chainmail and has a Diesel label on it! Plus, the monotone black makes them totally wearable.

platform brogues
When the French Club cancelled our trip to Paris, I consoled my 15 year old self with a brand new pair of platform brogues. Pretty cool, right? Except that I wore mine with floral palazzo pants, a poet’s blouse and a jaunty beret. Live ‘n learn.

Make Your Closet Fashionably Foolproof!