A Long Time Coming

She might have warned against too many accessories, but even Coco loved to drip in jewels...

Not only have I let you down, my faithful readers, but I have let myself down, too. The rush and constant excitement of freelance writing paired with a full-time job has become a truly fun but never-ending cycle that allows little time for personal rumination and other simple pleasures. I have made the firm decision to NEVER wait this long again to update Sparkles & Fun and I hope I have not lost your love and attention!

For today, a quick trend note that I hope you’ll all enjoy. In working at Tiffany & Co and finding myself purchasing a ton of baubles recently, I find that sometimes it can be extraordinarily satisfying to wear too many pieces of jewelry. Yes, I must apologize posthumously to Coco Chanel who advised that a lady should always remove one thing before heading out the door. I proudly admit that more often than not, I’m adding something rather than subtracting. Elsa Peretti open hearts, Tiffany keys, double hearts, charms, Return to Tiffany… more sterling than one can imagine wanting floats from everywhere possible. Oh, and lest we forget the rings…

The moral is, my cherubs, you can never hold too firmly to the rules. What one person deems unseemly or declasse could just be your next fashion moment, so try to enjoy, indulge, and be merry this season.

xxx Jensy

Light as a Feather

Today is a very proud day for me and for my esteemed colleagues at new online ‘zine, Feather. We have been working tirelessly for the past couple of months to get all the different bits and pieces ready for our excited readers. The magazine will explore themes that matter to girls our age–from the college-bound to the career woman in her early 30′s. Basically, it’s a survival guide for today’s young woman.

We cover everything from fashion and beauty to relationship drama and finances. I’ve already learned so much from the other Feather girls, and I hope you will too. Please check out the site and contact any or all of the editors with your feedback and questions. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it, and that you are excited, as we are are, to watch this project continue to grow and evolve.

Thank you, dolls, for supporting me in everything I do! More to come! xxxJensy

PS. In other news, my amazing boyfriend has set me up with a new email address. You can now reach me on jensy@sparklesnfun.com. Yay!

 

Crimp Happy

Backstage at Mara Hoffman, crimped bun

I realize I neglected to share my Fashion Week photos here. This was for two reasons; one, many of them were needed for other publications and two, I’ve been completely distracted and haven’t paid enough time or attention to my most precious project, Sparkles & Fun. So, the moment has passed and these items are not exactly newsworthy, but what I will do is share things as they come up or interest me and reference back to the S/S shows. Today, it’s the crimp.

As a little girl, I loved having my hair crimped. Mommy would then pull it all up into a side pony or leave it down and adorn it with a bow. I might be in my (mid? can we still call it mid?)-twenties, but I firmly believe I can still get away with some crimpage. And yes, you can too. Here’s how to make it work.

Do it up:

Thank you for the photo, Refinery29

Whether you’re feeling French twistie, chignon-like, or even more creative, a fully crimped updo is where chic meets funky. I love this look for day or evening. Simply crimp your hair in medium-width sections throughout, and separate it into two halves, top and bottom. Divide top half into one section on each side of your head; pull back, roll up, and pin. With the remaining hair, create a large, poofy chignon (accuracy and perfection are NOT necessary here). Pin all around. Spray generously.

Accept the fact that you’re a sexy broad. And wear it down and huge.

Borrowed from a Parisian fashion mag. 'Nuff said.

Okay. I’m all about the pretty. We know this. But there is something irresistibly delicious about a big ‘ole mess, especially one that looks chic. To achieve a perfectly rockin’ look like this one, it’s best to try two different types of crimper, or two separate plates on your one iron. You want some sections to be narrowly crimped, and others to be wider. Also, you’re going to have to tease your hair. Quite a bit. When finished, flip your head upside down and spray underneath. Hold there a moment until the underside of your hair no longer feels sticky. Flip back up, poof with fingertips, and head out on the town to wow the world with your fiercer-than-fabulous, so-what-if-I-look-like-the-80′s, wonderful, sparkly new ‘do!

Moving Forward

Friends, today is officially my last day at the “day job.” A bit terrified, mostly excited, I am embarking on a new journey and I wanted to share this development with you.

Today, a step back from the fashion and the beauty for a moment to talk about the fun. It can be very difficult being a twenty-something in this crazy city. Cabs are expensive and the subways are hot and packed. The best and most exciting products, the finest foods and most delicious wines are tempting you from shop and restaurant windows at every turn. You can’t afford most of it, but you stop and splurge when and where you can. People can be unreliable. “Friends” can have motives that you might not discover right away. Life can be taxing and hectic and a little scary at times. But this is the time to have fun.

I reached a point at which I felt I could give no more to my day job; I knew that I had goals within reach that deserved my focus. Right now, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who care and want only the best things for me. This is the time to take a leap. I am excited to hone my skills, discover new things, and start really believing in me. Thank you all for sticking with me on this crazy journey, and stay tuned for updates on what is next for Jensy. I can guarantee it will be fun… and sparkly!

Hurricane Chic

Friends, I’m BACK! It was a rough weekend on Long Island but I was glad to be hunkered down with some of my favorite people. Mom baked little peach pies before we lost power, and we stocked up on plenty of alcohol and other nonperishables.

Twapped!

A giant tree was struck by lightning and fell, blocking our driveway. When the police commissioner came to tell us we couldn’t leave the house for a few days, we broke out the pipecleaners and the beads, the books and the paper cups and decided to have a little party. Charades by candlelight can be more fun than you think. Living in sweats was pretty fab, too.

Here are some of our best shots. Send me yours!!

We gathered candles from around the house–47 in all–and this created a lovely atmosphere for parlor games.

As some of you are aware, I have hoarding tendancies. This weekend trapped at Mom’s house allowed me some time to clean out the closet, and two of my best girls scored tons of new duds!

Lanz in a white maxi from the Jensy Collection

Our neighbor-turned-hero hopped the fence to bring over strong Indian coffee and showed us how to heat up milk on the stove with a match. Thank goodness, because being stuck in a house with your family for a few days can be tough without caffeine!
 

Our Lady of Polka Dots enjoys some coffee on the back porch post-storm

There was also plenty of time to play with makeup, and baby bro even let us have fun doing his eyes!

Note my pipecleaner bracelet (thank you Di), and self-braids. And scary old polo shirt from God knows where...

Snake? Charmer!

I must admit to a harrowing fear of slithery creatures. My one concession is these Coach shoes from a few seasons back that I do admit to loving.

My beloved Coach sandals

But this fall, it seems python is everywhere, so it might just be time to suck it up. Admittedly, the pattern is beautiful and flatters most skintones. Furthermore, snakeskin prints work in a variety of mediums from skirts and dresses to shoes, bags, and more. But what about the whole cruelty factor? (And the general sense of ick that goes with actually wearing a snake).

I’m really digging the latest from All Saints, where the python aesthetic comes not from actual skins, but careful bespoke embellishment from dyes, sequins and expertly done beading. Amazing, no? The collection features beautiful skirts, dresses, tops, and accessories to fit and flatter every girl. Here are some highlights from the Fall Winter 2011-2012 lookbook. Hisssss.

 
For the girl who wants to flaunt her gams:
Embellished python skirt, allsaints.com, $270
If you’re ready to take a walk on the wild side, but want to keep the fit loose and funky: 
Embellished python tee, allsaints.com, $395

If you’re only willing to work it with a pop of snakeskin:

Python curse scarf, allsaints.com, Only available on the UK site

Canned

Ever just want to say “f-all” and do your hair up in Diet Coke cans like Miss Gaga did last spring? I know it’s been a while since our Lady of Pop debuted this crazy look, but I was thinking about it this morning while musing about my love of Diet Coke.

I drink two or three a day (sorry Mom, but that’s the truth) and it’s reached the point where even the sight of that familiar silver-black-and-red logo is comforting. I love the snap and hiss that occur immediately upon opening a fresh can, and I’ll settle for the soda fountain variety if nothing else is available. But to wear Diet Coke as a fashion accessory? Genius… still genius over a year later.

PS. Am seriously considering pink highlights. Methinks the big-deal corporate boyfriend might be a tad upset should I make that choice. Perhaps in a temporary capacity tied to that lovely excuse for pushing the fashion envelope we know as Halloween? Until then, I’ll be thinking it over with a Diet Coke in hand.

Hello, Kelli

Three years ago my dear friend and former colleague Kate introduced me to Calypso. A whimsical Upper-East-Side-Princess-Meets-Boho-Babe brand, I became completely enamored with the raw silks, cool jersey knits, tie dye patterns and bead details that comprised the breezy line. My instant favorite was a dress called Pazzi, a little silk shift that glinted and glimmered in the light, in a rainbow of inspired hues from turquoise to crimson, lavendar to white, black to cobalt and beyond. Universally flattering, the Pazzi makes everyone look tiny in some miraculous way I still haven’t figured out.

The Pazzi in one of several purples. Are you in love?

Kate owned the sheath in two stunning hues and, not to be outdone, I bought three. A shimmering blue-green, a cherry red, and the surprising favorite–crisp white. This was in 2008, and I still rock my seasonless Pazzi’s all the time. In the summer they look great against a tan with some gold sandals. In the fall, they work with a Frye boot. In winter, a pair of thick black tights, pumps, and a cashmere cardigan makes them a go-to. You get the idea. In fact, I see Pazzi’s all over town–from upscale restaurants to subway platforms, on young PR girls, stroller-pushing 30-something’s, and regal women in their 40′s and well beyond.

The best thing about Calypso was that they turned out these signature dresses every season, careful to appeal to their loyal customer but always branching out to bring a new demographic on board. For the past year or so, I’ve been saddened to see the affordable, precious, named little dresses all but disappear. They’ve had a few failed attempts at a revival to these signature looks, but this morning I was thrilled to discover a note in my inbox introducing me to the new Kelli.

The original Kelli in navy lace, calypsostbarth.com, $265

The previously existing Kelli is a cowel-necked, lacy delight with an ever-so-slightly cinched waist that falls just above the knee. Simple and sweet, it’s a crowd pleaser that works on everyone. This morning, Calypso’s mailer announced that Kelli now comes in my old favorite…. Velvet!!

calypsostbarth.com, $385

Yes, my loves, this delicious day-to-night dress is now available in the most cuddly-chic fabric there is. I love the three colors they have now–blue, “malt” (a toffee-tan), and “acai” (a rich, royal purple), but let’s hope they offer even more fun choices come fall. And, while this option is a little pricier than it’s lacy cousin, the beauty of a Calypso dress is that it is not only timeless, but expertly constructed. You will love–and live in–your Kelli for years. Happy clicking!

What to Wear to a Wedding: Part Two

The verdict, after all, was that my dress was just this side of slutty. In order to avoid stares, baby brother suited me up with a gold and moonstone pendant on a gold chain and a dripping Chanel belt-or-necklace wrapped twice around my neck. He left this to dangle in the deep V of exposed skin and decided to leave my waves untended so as not to look too “done.” Talk about a stylist! This kid should charge.

Little floating CC's made for a perfect skin concealer and dressed up the outfit without drawing the attention away from my face. Pookie looked ravishing in a black silk chiffon number, dangling crystal earrings and her signature radiant smile.

White Out

Misty New York weather means dreary attitudes, no? Manhattanites are so big on black and gray that when the sun is in hiding, these tend to be the first colors we turn to. I try to make an effort to turn the other color cheek, opting for bright pops of colors on days like this. However, to break my personal mold, today I have paired white skinnies with a long, sheer-at-the-bottom white top and my new gray-and-white Toms.

Why not stick out in a pale-on-pale combo? Here are some more white out options that are truly sublime for summertime.

This pretty young thing rocks a sweet lace dress and 80's-esque white power pumps to perfection. Love how she keeps it edgy with bright pink dipped hair and lips!

Feeling less ladylike and more punky? The great thing about all-white is, anything goes! Why not try a vintagey oversized silk blouse and little spandex shorts? Bonus: this pairing miraculously (and surprisingly!) hides a tummy and makes your legs look thinner. A win-win for whites!

This photo and the above borrowed from lookbook.nu