First: thanks SO much to those of you who sent your thoughts on Magpie via this survey. I am LOVING reading your notes and thoughts and am so honored? touched? deeply happy? all of the above? to write to such a smart and kind group of ladies. Thank you x 1000. A lot of you have been enjoying my random ’10 pick’ posts, so those will continue, but I also discovered that many of you like the home decor posts, and will need to ramp back up on that front soon….until then:
So, I know that I railed against this book in this recent post, but there was one chapter that caught my attention: Jessi’s first bra (filched from her mother’s bra drawer), and her hilarious take on Victoria’s Secret. It’s worth a read because I’m positive that every girl remembers her first bra-buying experience and, if you’re anything like me, cringes at the thought. My mother took me out to a Nordstrom at Montgomery Mall in MD (my DC ladies, tell me you remember spending hours at this hell hole of a mall during your middle school years?) to have a “proper bra fitting,” and I remember never having felt more mortified than when a crotchety old woman insisted she come into a stall with me to “take my measurements” (it should have been obvious that the smallest size in existence would do just fine) while my mother waited patiently outside. BTW, this traumatic experience occurred just after I had decided I needed to shave my legs to keep up with the other girls in my seventh grade class. The decision had nothing to do with the amount of hair on my legs (virtually none), or hygiene more generally (didn’t know what that was), and everything to do with fitting in. My God, middle school is the absolute worst time in a girl’s life, don’t you agree?! I was all awkwardness, braces, mid-forehead bangs, and hormones. I was too embarrassed to ask my mother, largely because she had recently informed me that “once you start shaving, you can’t stop,” a point underscored with a knowing look my way, which seemed to be her way of saying: “Don’t ask me for a Gillette any time soon, young lady, so I “borrowed” my mother’s without her permission and proceeded to try to shave on dry skin. That’s right. Dry.skin. I think I ended up with 120 nicks and ultra dry, flakey skin, but I was excited to show off my newly smooth legs on the playground the next morning. (Spoiler alert: no one noticed, and no one cared. And, my mom was right: I was pot-committed at that point and haven’t stopped shaving since.)
At any rate, cowering in horror in the Nordstrom fitting room, I insisted that the first styles the “sizer” brought in were “finefinefine, I promise” (voice cracking, on the verge of tears) but this didn’t prevent her from barging back in to confirm and, ultimately, deny that the gappy, orthopedic-looking contraption hooked around my torso was actually NOT “fine fine fine” and that she needed to find additional styles and then barge back in to confirm that those would work.
When the deed was finally done, I emerged shakily from the fitting room, avoiding eye contact with my mother and feeling a vague sense of seasickness.
I believe I refused to wear these bras for several weeks, as if wearing them would rekindle the shame of the experience.
For the record, this experience was not a patch on my most mortifying tween/early teen experience, which took place the summer before I matriculated to my all-girls high school: my mother enrolled me a tennis camp at my soon-to-be high school so that I could “meet some nice girls in my class” and, likely, squeeze in some much-needed exercise. No one believes me now because I have a petite build, but I was a little chunky in my middle school years. My doctor even told me at one point that I needed to “stop eating so many cheeseburgers” (I hated burgers) (actually, I hated burgers until my late 20s, when I realized I was foolish and had missed out on decades of one of the most delicious, indulgent treats known to mankind), which, also for the record, a doctor should never tell an impressionable young tween. I went from mildly chunky to waifish in no time after that comment. But I digress. My mother, a product of old-school country clubs, insisted that I wear “tennis whites” to this camp. Because I was clueless and had no older sisters or friends to set me straight, I followed her counsel and wore knee-length (!!) white bermudas (!!!) with an elastic waist (!!!!!!), with a tucked in (!!!!!!!!!!!) raggedy old white polo that had belonged to my brother (the Lacoste emblem had worn off years earlier), and white keds. Actually, I’m not sure on the Keds, but I’m pretty sure that I wore THE DORKIEST SHOE EVER, and Keds feels like the most painfully embarrassing thing a tween could possibly wear.
I rolled up in my epic white look and discovered a court full of adorable, tanned, fawn-like girls wearing Soffe shorts (remember those?), t-shirts emblazoned with the faded logos of local high schools (or, cooler yet, colleges/resorts — all of them faded and shrunken-fit as if to say “oh, I’m so careless and cool, I just pulled this old thing out of the laundry, and it just happens to fit my slim body perfectly”), and Nikes or New Balances. And every single one had a bow in her hair.
I huddled by the base line in intense discomfort, counting the minutes until I could leave.
I believe this was the beginning of my interest in fashion.
So, my loves. Let this be an inspiration to you: even the nerdiest of nerds can turn colors and “bloom late,” and even those of you who think they struggle with fashion should take solace in knowing that I was THE uncoolest kid on the block. With those humiliating experiences behind us, it’s onto the now now now.
I am seriously obsessed with the super chic luggage line Paravel — you can spot a lot of the pieces in action on the ridiculously stylish Instagram of its Co-Founder/CEO and Creative Director, Indre Rockefeller (select pics shown below).
My absolute favorite piece is this little crossbody ($225).
And this little box-lette ($140) would be SO amazing as a jewelry or cosmetic case en route — and then a clutch when at the destination! And even a beautiful shelfie component back home.
I absolutely LOVE this lettuce china from Tory Burch — so whimsical and classic at the same time.
— or go major budget with this little $3 dip bowl!
This bow-front lace dress ($78) caught my eye. I’m loving black and white these days — pair with black tights and pumps (these from J.Crew are my absolute favorites — perfect heel height, great narrow pointed toe, and SO comfortable!) for a chic, Chanel-esque look.
I’m on the hunt for a new perfume. I’ve worn Narcisco Rodriguez for the past few years and love it, having mixd in a few other scents now and then (including Tom Ford’s Black Orchid — isn’t the packaging gorgine?), but I’m on the hunt for something new. I’ve heard great things about Diptyque’s Olene ($90) and may stop by their store in Bucktown to give it a whiff. But, I mean, the description…: “Olene presents a thick cluster of wisteria, tender honeysuckle, sensual jasmine and mysterious narcissus. Olene conjures the mysterious depths of twilight dotted with the subtle, starry glow of dainty white flowers.” How bad can that be?!
Spring — and my pre-baby body, for that matter — are a long way off, but I can’t stop daydreaming about this Vivetta dress ($439). It is, quite simply, too good. I would pair it with simple espadrilles for day or nude heeled sandals for night. Maybe a straw bag as an accent? TOO GOOD.
My mom has a Lady Dior bag and for years I thought it looked too stuffy for my taste. News flash: I’ve changed tunes. I want it. I want it bad.
OMG, these lace dresses from MSGM (on sale for $308) are SO incredible. Just realizing — I’m so into the ladylike lace and quilted leather these days, I guess, as evidenced by the picks above.
I’ve been looking for a slightly edgy black-and-white print for my closet for awhile — just discovered a cool Etsy shop that stretches celebrity photos in black and white onto CANVAS (so cool). I need one (or all) of these 3: Kate Moss ($25+), Cindy ($25+ — OMG, I love Cindy Crawford!), Steve McQueen ($25+).
I cannot get over the adorable-ness of this Disney for Gap Baby capsule collection. None of it screams Disney, which I like — and those whimsical hearts!!! $14.95 for leggings, $26.95 for hat and mittens, $29.95 for dress.
+Does your dude need to up the ante with his denim selection? My bestie’s husband swears by these. I snagged a pair for Mr. Magpie, too. I like that they’re not overly “emblemed” (no one needs a True Religion pocket these days) and have a great wash and weight.
+I’ve been on the hunt for some comfortable maternity pajamas. Up until now (nearly 8 months!), I’ve been getting by with my pre-maternity pajama bottoms and t-shirts borrowed from Mr. Magpie or these super soft tees from Gap. But everything is starting to feel uncomfortable. I really want this pair from Cosabella, but feel faintly sick about the idea of dropping $155 on something I’ll only wear for a few weeks. I’m also looking at this set ($98) — still pricey, but at least it comes with something for baby and doubles as a nursing set. This set from Old Navy ($10 for top, $10 for bottom) looks cute, but they’ve sold out in my size already. And then I thought maybe one of these sets from Pink Blush, but I don’t know anything about this brand, its quality, its fit, etc…suggestions, mama friends?
+I love the colors of these sweet flats (on sale for $69). Talbots, is that you!??!
+This is…embarrassing…but, over the holidays, I ordered like 5 puzzles via Amazon. Between spending a lot of time at home and trying to force myself to relax and distract myself from some of the stresses and body changes happening, I’ve been finding puzzles a super relaxing way to pass an afternoon…so, nerd alert: I love the art puzzles from Pomegranate Puzzles. They are much higher quality than your average one, and they’re super challenging. [End dork alert.]
+These mini fountain pens are such a fun pick me up for a pen lover like myself.