Like most Bostonians, I am D-O-N-E with winter. Just as the Red Sox are gearing up for the new season, I’m hitting the market for some spring wardrobe. I stopped by ROSTER in Faneuil Hall to pick up a ‘47Brand cap. Ironically, something happened as I was putting on a Boston Red Sox hat for the first time in my life. I felt as if I had finally become a citizen of Boston, Massachusetts. The experience seemed more official than receiving my driver’s license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
If you know anything about me, you know that I am all in for Boston. I was so proud to be wearing apparel that represents Boston-based brands (Red Sox, Twins Enterprises, and ROSTER Stores) that I instagramed an image with hashtags #FranchiseTag #Boston soon after I left store.
The B cap is a distinctive sign of Boston culture, just as cowboy hats are for the western part of the country.
True or False? People are often profiled depending on what they wear-those who wear cowboy hats are thought to drive pick-up trucks, to listen to country music and to speak with a western accent. Someone in a B cap would be branded with the Boston accent, outstanding schools, world-class hospitals, winning sport teams, and record snow falls.
How would you like to be profiled in your Boston Red Sox hat?
Garment washed Boston Red Sox clean up with a broken-in look and feel.
Someone who likes to kick it old school.
By the way, the Garment Washed cap is more my speed.
The 87th Academy Awards was a night of pearls, embellishments, simple high ponies, lots of red, strapless downward turned necklines, and statement necklaces.
LUPITA NYONGO, custom Calvin Klein Collection
FAITH HILL, J. Mendel
DAKOTA JOHNSON, St. Laurent
MARGOT ROBBIE, St. Laurent
JENNIFER ANNISTON, Versace
ROSAMUND PIKE, Givenchy
ZOE SALDANA, Atelier Versace
SIENNA MILLER, Oscar de la Renta
REESE WITHERSPOON, Tom Ford
JENNIFER LOPEZ, Ellie Saab
FELICITY JONES, Alexander McQueen
NAOMI WATTS, Armani Privé
JULIANNE MOORE, custom Chanel
KERRY WASHINGTON, Miu Miu
VIOLA DAVIS, Zac Posen
GWYNETH PALTROW, Ralph & Russo
JESSICA CHASTAIN, Givenchy
NICOLE KIDMAN, Louis Vuitton
EMMA STONE, Ellie Saab
SCARLETT JOHANSEN, Versace
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I found this armoire back in July which I previously posted about and had yet to finish until now – here’s a quick back story on my original idea. My first thought was to create a shabby chic, black and gold armoire for myself. After realizing it wouldn’t fit in my apartment, (I pretty much knew that already) I decided to go back to the drawing board and give it another look. Shabby chic was still the direction I was going in, but this bulky, hard angled piece needed a softer, more neutral look for potential buyers-more of a rustic influence the second time around.
Both mirrored panels were nearly unsalvageable, with a good amount of scratches on them. After I dropped and shattered one, they were ultimately scrapped. I began to fear that the true nature of this soon to be “armoire from hell” was too dark without the mirrors and I had to start over. Previously the black stain worked well because the mirrored panels brought light to the armoire. While the gold Victorian-esque pull handles and crown molding added elegance and detail, they now looked out of place without the mirrors and black stain. Adding anymore black to the piece would have made it even darker and a lighter color for the doors, paneling and drawer faces would have brought out a contrast I wasn’t looking for.
With a pile of vintage pine tongue and groove bead board, some scrapped pallet wood and a can of oil based, high gloss, cream paint, I achieved the softer, more rustic look I envisioned without the mirrors. The warmer tones, custom made pull handles and a glossier sheen transformed the hard angled bulky armoire to something softer and a lot more neutral. I added two vintage brass knobs from my hoarded hardware collection to each door and stayed consistent with brass on the pull handles – though the hinges are still brushed chrome.
I like this piece because of how it evolved into something completely different than I first pictured, all while using salvaged materials. It’s eclectic, though not perfect, shabby chic and unique. It was a pain in the ass using the materials that I did but at the end of the day I created a statement piece from something a person tossed in my dumpster (still wondering why and how they managed to actually put it inside the dumpster).
Like what you see? Visit my website to see more of what I do. Perhaps you have furniture that needs to be seen in a new light.
Overall impression: Go for the architecture, the inspired shopping, creative and friendly atmosphere and the trendy dining. A must in Amsterdam? The enchanted 9th Street District for its swirl of everything amazing.
I love vintage and I really love European vintage. European fashion from a previous era tells a story that more contemporary fashion rarely does. Owning the original version of a fashion moment is more inspiring to me then the “easy get” of that mass produced look today.
My favorite spot to source unique and envy inspiring pieces is Episode. Episode is a small chain, but you can’t hold that against them as they are all about budget friendly, quality merchandise that is organized with dewy decimal precision. The focus on grouping like merchandise together is a godsend when time is tight – and your husband’s patience is growing thin. Their mens collection is just as fabulous as their ladies. If you’ve never “been into vintage” or found vintage to be too much work, Episode will convert and spoil you.
HIGHLIGHTS OF MY VINTAGE BINGE:
The tuxedo jacket with tails of my dreams – €30.00 (euros) and a heavily metal grommeted ’80’s jacket done in buttery soft suede – €25.00.
Amazing fur accessories: muffs, collars, boleros, hats, scarves, gloves. Sorry PETA but I bought bags full and I certainly wasn’t alone. Everybody is buying and wearing fur in Amsterdam, and with prices that start at €10.00 and topped out at about €50.00, you can see why. The fur coats were all in the €100.00. range and would easily go for much more in the US.
An epic, embroidered lederhosen, with incredible leather braided suspenders. I am obsessed with the buttons, the pewter buckles, and the embroidery. Super flattering and completely unexpected, I can’t wait to wear this with a killer pair of high heels. At only €35.00 , I now wish I had bought more.
LAURA DOLS VINTAGE
My spirit animal has got to be the magpie. Its bad rap for attraction to shiny things hits close to home, because I too am absurdly attracted to everything that glitters – especially vintage. Indulge your inner magpie while in Amsterdam and be sure to visit Laura Dols, located in the heart of the 9th Street District. This sweet, well curated two level shop is filled with a wide range of girly party dresses that will have you feeling ready to go get flirty. Sequins, beading, and feathers embellished on silks, satins, and all varieties of polyester from the last 5 decades boast impressive quality. What did I bring back to my nest? The diaphanous, white belted dress with a subtle metallic sheen, very Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat”.
Attention all femme fatales: for unabashedly feminine lingerie, a stop at Stout is a must when visiting Amsterdam’s 9th Street District. Don’t let its unfortunate name fool you; this small but incredible boutique is for grown up ladies, who need something more stimulating than Victoria’s tired secrets. All 50 shades of exquisite underpinnings are offered and well displayed. Sexy, bold, sweet, classic, naughty…whatever your personal taste, this is an upscale shopping experience that will surprise and delight you with its wide range of European brands. I’m always impressed with their selection of beautiful bras, panties, teddies, swim wear, accessories and other items that will help you break hearts and get your groove on.
Trending: Colorful socks, bright shoe laces, flamboyant handkerchiefs, ostentatious pants, colour (British), color (American), color…
Question: Does a man have to look like a peacock all the time in order to be labeled MWS (Men With Style)?
“I wish my husband would wear more color.” “My boyfriend is always in dark colors and I hate it.” “I bought these colorful pants for my fiancé, but he never wore them.” Sound familiar?
Color is a major component of my personal brand. I embrace it. I love it. I have mastered the use of it. Whether I’m styling an editorial shoot, Boston’s most influential men, or myself, color is the weapon with which I kill them softly.
I often encourage guys to work splashes of color into their daily styles. It can add many features and benefits to the look if it is used properly. In fact, when I was a financial consultant I wore the usual blue and grey corporate uniform. However, I would change up my corporate looking ties for more engaging options for networking events. I had special business-appropriate neck wear that would help stand out as an individual in a room filled with grey, blue, and black suits.
So in celebration of color, I would like to give a shout out to my comrades who fight against wardrobe fatigue. They have places to be, people to see, and deals to close. They don’t spend valuable time deciding what to wear and what not to wear. Almost every article in their wardrobe handsomely complements each other.
Don’t you wish you could travel with a butler and a valet like they do in “Downton Abbey”? Nothing can be more exhausting then packing for a business trip. From my experience most deals get closed on paper napkins after hours when everyone is relaxed, rather than a tense boardroom with slideshows. Therefore, the evening wardrobe should be as “on fleek” as the daytime look.
But despite a thriving economy, you are still a few million dollars short of affording that traveling butler. You cannot pack your entire rainbow closet on the plane, and you don’t have the time to worry about which shoes you should wear with what. My dad and my grandfathers taught me the basics; match belts with my shoes and socks with pants. Because of this they never suffered from decision fatigue. As I’m rocking my green rubber boots while writing this post, I invite you to ignore the trending echo “COLOR, Color, color,” but to go back to basics and adopt a stylish minimalist attitude with tonal ensembles.
Check out the outfit grids below for some transitional day-to-night and weekend inspirations, where I shuffle only one or two articles of clothing, and show different accessory options.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Uniform – 511 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
Johnston & Murphy – 292 Washington Street, Boston, MA
WHAT I AM WEARING
Hat – Gooring Bros.
Jacket – Façonnable Quilted Knit Jacket
Sweater – vintage British military sweater
Jeans – G-Star biker pants
Boots – Tretorn rubber rain boots.
Skier, rider, or granola chomping telemaker, we all notice what each other is wearing out on the slopes and when queuing for the chairlift. Being on top of a mountain is fun, challenging, and invigorating. The technical performance of our gear is paramount to enjoying the experience, but after that is addressed, where is the personal style? We get to wear whatever we want out there people, there is no dress code! Bring on the fun, the whimsy, the sexy, the chic, the grunge, the lumberjack…whatever your unique style is, bring it to the hill and rock it.
If you’ve never been to “ the Rivah” its always worth the trip with eight interconnected mountains to explore. In a sea of snow enthusiasts wearing predictable normcore snow apparel, these slope style stars stood out last week at Sunday River.
BRUINS STEEZE PLAY
Team spirit is great, especially on game day. Too often on the slope it can look like the fan scooped everything up off their floor after a frat party, before hitting the hill. Kind of boyishly charming if the fan is young enough, not cute at all once their college days are over. I have never seen the wearing of a team jersey executed quite so well as Peter Taylor’s boarding Bruins fan look. This handsome hockey player from East Greenwich, RI nailed it by keeping it all Bruins gold, black, and white. With everything fresh and the fit just right, I wasn’t the only fan of Peter’s game day style. Gentlemen, pay attention, as this is how its done.
Vintage ski fashion is my personal kryptonite, especially when it is unexpected. Its cheeky fun to see what creative folks put together when they get their retro on at the resort. That is why when I saw siblings Sarah and Ned Asherman, I almost did a cartwheel before I made a beeline to talk to them. They were absolutely the coolest kids at the River, rocking bamboo panda poles, viper sunglasses, and Ned’s amazing faux fur coat, which even matched Sarah’s headband. Her wicked 80’s awesome printed suit was straight up Hot Tub Time Machine, and I just want to go back to her future. They thought about it and they brought it. Whip smart and completely in on the giggle, Team Asherman was one of my favorite holiday surprises.
It’s a treat to see a chick who rips work some femininity into her look. With everyone wearing yoga pants everywhere off mountain with varying degrees of success, I hoped to see performance stretch pants out on the mountain done right. Thank you Heather Reader of North Boston for choosing these super flattering black and white patterned Obermeyer stretch pants. Heather’s pink Salomon jacket adds a nice pop of color against the white snow. Ladies, here is proof you can look like a girl when skiing the men into the ground. Go Heather!
LADIES WHO SHRED
For 80 years Bogner has worn the tiara of being the most internationally popular of the high-end ski apparel lines. Lavish use of fur, leathers, suede, and embroidery has been Bogner’s hallmark, and while not everybody may be a fan, you have to give Bogner props on how well their pieces deliver performance and stand up to years of wear. Trevor Mullineaux’s stunning black Bogner jacket is a perfect example of its classic aesthetic and are just right paired with her Powder Horn pants. Not to be outdone, her sister Michon Schenck is the epitome of alpine sophistication in her wood panel and stainless steel Bogner helmet, and white pants worn with this fur trimmed femme fatale jacket in the perfect shade of fabulous by Toni Sailer.
Let it snow and see you next time on the vertical runway!
I came up with this when I was working on restoring the exterior of a home in Newton, more specifically the front door and the garage door. The sconces around the doors were original to the home, which was built in the 1940’s, so they were a bit worn out and on the smaller side. I held onto them for quite some time before I knew what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I was dismantling the actual light socket and the fixture was standing upright that I thought this could make a unique planter for an indoor house plant or succulent.
The reason I decided to share this idea with you is because the sconces and flush-mount seen here are quite common, and almost always thrown out when replaced. There really isn’t much need for old fixtures that are somewhat blah, but when turned into planters, boring outdated fixtures are now a conversation piece.
This project is simple, your materials are inexpensive and you just need a few things besides some elbow grease.
Match the grade of the steel wool with how much you’d like the fixture to look worn – the higher the grade, the more course it is. I went with grade 0 to lightly buff off some of the paint and reveal the metal underneath.
For any areas that are extremely rusty.
Find the right size for your fixture, preferably one WITHOUT drainage – assume your fixture is not waterproof. Water plants sparingly that do not have a drainage hole. I recommend a succulent, they do not need a great amount of water.
PAINT REMOVER (OPTIONAL)
The copper fixture needed remover, once I started scrubbing with the steel wool and realized there was copper under the black paint I wanted to reveal more of the copper finish.
Use these for the base of the fixture, since you’ve flipped the fixture upside down, most likely it will now have sharp edges.
Only one pane of glass was put back into the planter on the left because the succulent chosen will eventually grow and wrap around the sides.
I chose to fill the copper planter with rocks for a nice contrast with the copper and to cover the terracotta pots inside.
This dining room set was passed along to me from my aunt; it had been sitting in her basement for about 15 years and previously belonged to my grandmother. I was up for the challenge to modernize the set and experiment with it, mainly because I remember sitting around the table in Fort Lauderdale in my grandparents sunroom and I didn’t want it to be trashed. Unfortunately all the before pictures were gone for good after my outdated iPhone 4s leapt out of my hands and plummeted to its death onto my hardwood floors.
Besides the maple tinted stain being outdated (in a bad way) and the table itself looking like it belonged somewhere tropical, it was covered in dirt and a lot of the bamboo was damaged around the feet of the chairs. There was no way I was going to sand and stain the set again, that would have taken quite some time so I decided to use a bonding agent (an oil based paint designed specifically for smooth surfaces and hiding stains) and went with a charcoal gray to match the slightly black tinted glass. Since there are many grooves in the set a paint sprayer was necessary to ensure even coverage and durability as the sprayer can create a thicker coat than both a roller or brush.
Once that was finished it was time to tackle the hideous floral print seat covers (sorry Bubbie). Originally I envisioned a black and white chevron print, but when the fabric seen below was on sale from $35.00 a yard to $5.00 a yard, I made the decision to go with that. The previous covering technique was simple, a standard diaper fold which I recreated with the new material. I kept the diaper fold because the print is intricate and speaks for itself, no need for piping or any fabric nails.
I was on the fence about painting bamboo, but overall was satisfied with the results. The unique lines of the bamboo, combined with the black tinted glass and new seat covers created a one of a kind look that was rather easy to accomplish. It’s also nice to say I saved something that had sentimental value, it doesn’t hurt that I created a dining room set for under $300.00 either.
Since it’s been a little over two years after I found this piece, I think its okay that I tell the truth about this dresser. After a nice lunch at the now closed Channel Café in Fort Point (still not happy about that) with my friend and co-worker Allie Hyde, we drove back to the styleboston office in Southie and parked on M Street behind the building.
It was trash day in late August so I had been keeping my eyes peeled for furniture, as this is the time of year when lots of people toss their belongings they can’t move and find a new rental. It was pouring outside but that didn’t stop me from trying to shove this dresser in my little Toyota which of course, did not fit. I had been gone for over an hour now and the boss lady was not happy, but I decided this dresser was worth getting ripped a new one. I called my sister and told her how much I wanted it and since she is so great, came and picked it up for me in her SUV.
Allie and I walked in soaking wet looking not so stylish….Terri just looked at us like WTF and said “really guys, an hour and a half lunch break?” We also had coffee in our hands so that didn’t help, but that’s not the point – the point is I got my new dresser! So yes sitting in a cold office with a pissed off boss and wet pants was totally worth it, sorry Terri.
The dresser was simple and country, with brown shellac and white porcelain knobs. I decided to add a little flair and make it standout with a bold color scheme and oversized knobs. The four small drawers across the top we’re really what caught my eye. A great piece for a guy – the perfect amount of space for socks, underwear and toiletries. I kept the faces of the drawers clear to expose the Pine wood grain while using a slightly tinted polyurethane to enhance the pattern of the grain. To make the drawer faces standout I chose a deep gray-blue for the frame that I felt complimented the small brushed nickel knobs. Ceramic knobs with a cracked emerald glass overlay from Anthropologie were added to the top drawers. Again adding contrast in size, shape and color. The bold colors and fixtures make this formerly quaint, country and feminine dresser a unique statement piece.
Items from trash: brushed nickel knobs, mirror (refinished), plant tray (made from scrap wood), terracotta pot.
Items purchased: ceramic knobs, paint.
View more of my creations HERE
The goal of the evening was a fashion magic carpet ride, an inclusionary “big tent” event that a diverse gathering of fashionistas, both men and women, could enjoy regardless of their personal approach to style. I wanted a designer dream team, each possessing an original vision for strong females with the type of talent that transcends and inspires. I chose the fresh, confident chic of Kreyol, the futuristic military vision of Julie Kontos paired with Race & Grant, and the red carpet drama of David Josef’s dresses.
Kreyol, created by the glamorous Haitian born designer Joelle Jean Fontaine, opened the show with her Capsule Collection. The collection included 50’s inspired garments with circa 1800 details and modern touches. The structured bouffant sleeves and full, oversized a – line skirts were reminiscent of a by gone era, but the form fitting pencil skirts and cropped tops in colorfully rich patterns gave the collection a distinctly modern sex appeal. Looks were completed with strong jewelry, flirty sunglasses, and leather driving gloves. Fontaine designs Kreyol for “the woman who creates her own reality, she is born to stand out and rule her destiny looking fabulously chic.”
The second presentation featured Boston-based designer Julie Kontos paired with Tracy Belben & Helena Grant, the accessory designers behind Race & Grant. This fusion created an evening wear collection that blends the team’s talents and commands attention. Kontos “classic with an edge” aesthetic evokes the structure of military styling with clean lines and symmetry, yet balances femininity by implementing thoughtful cut outs and flattering silhouettes. Touches of lace and shimmery fabrics enhance the crisp navy, gray, and white color palette. The fashion designer worked directly with Race & Grant to create customized accessories to compliment features within each garment.
Meticulously handcrafted by the designers, Race & Grant (aka ‘R&G’) is a fusion between chain jewelry artist (Belben) and handbag/ accessories creator (Grant). “In military styling, function is important. We created durable bags that incorporate both vegan and real leathers in rich color tones to accompany Julie’s collection,” states Grant, who crafts and engineers the structure of R&G’s bags. Each R&G bag is intricately wrapped and finished in hand-linked chainmaille, which further expresses the military concept within Kontos’ collection. “If you look closely, you will find hidden symbols such as crosses and American flags linked within the chainmaille”, says Belben, who finishes each R&G piece with chain adornments. This fashion stylist says “Sign me up!”
Closing the show and bringing down the house was designer David Josef, a force in the fashion world for nearly 40 years. He attributes his long success to recognizing the needs of each individual client and focuses on silhouettes that enhance a woman’s beauty, no matter her age or dress size. Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Ave have all carried his collections. David Josef has been featured in ads in Vogue, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar. The client list for his beautiful cocktail dresses and gowns is extensive and includes both national and local celebrities in film and news media. David has worked with Judith Light, Dionne Warwick, Debbie Reynolds and WCVB’s Susan Wornick. More recently, David worked on the wedding gown for Ariana Brown, daughter of former Senator Scott Brown and Gail Huff, for her July 2014 wedding.
Models provided by Dynasty
DAVID JOSEF – facebook
When possible I generally stop for any piece of furniture I see on the side of the road. The only time I really force myself to keep driving is if I don’t have time, or the piece won’t fit in my car. My rule of thumb has nothing to do with illegal driving methods because rules behind the wheel don’t apply to Bostonians. With that being said, this piece actually came from inside the dumpster at my apartment – so there was no “flipping a bitch” on Dorchester Ave into oncoming traffic or considerately double parking on Boylston during morning rush hour, for a piece of furniture.
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I found this in the filthy basement of my 100 plus year old apartment. It was lying on the ground next to the foundation where water often seeped through the cracks in a pile of dirt. The size and weight of the “shelf” intrigued me, it was quite thick and on the heavier side which led me to believe it was older. After perusing the Anthropologie website and coming across brackets I loved but would never pay for, this was the inspiration to replicate a similar bracket for less than half the cost.
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Hi I’m Harry, I like old things – especially old things people throw out. Dressers, shelving, cabinets, lamps, tables, chairs – basically anything that can be refinished or reused in one way or another. I’ll be sharing different pieces I’ve made in the past and some DIY tips, that with a little elbow grease and creativity can help save money and recycle at the same time.
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Take a look into his workshop and think hoarder. Door knobs, broken windows, dressers missing drawers, table tops, pieces of old wood that clearly belong in the trash. Or do they? Because dumpster diving is the original source of all that makes up this heaping mess. Now take a look into the next room; pieces reminiscent of West Elm, Anthropologie and Restoration Hardware. You guessed it, they’re not actually from those stores – they’re from the trash. Harry Koffman has an eye for what others consider to be trash; he sees the potential where others don’t. He’s designed rooms using 100% recycled furniture and accessories, turning bland, boring spaces into works of art that range from historic, to modern to chic. Why does he do it? There’s enough trash in the world today as it is, Harry is a firm believer in recycling and sustainability. His work can be summed up in three words: revamp. restore. re-love.
You can check out his work here at harrykoffman.com or by searching #handymo via Instagram.
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