Am I Too Old to Get a Tattoo?

I have never once in my life wanted to get a tattoo. This is surprising, as I’ve never been one to turn away any sort of accessory or adornment. But the permanence of a tattoo scares me. They’ve always seemed nice in theory; in my mind I’ve slotted them next to things like culottes or overalls: great on other people, just not on me. But lately – perhaps due to a slightly premature mid-life crisis, and certainly fueled by evenings spent binge-watching Ink Master — I’ve started to rethink ink.

I recently read an article in an issue of the New York Times Style magazine in which 44-year-old Olga of Greece — a real princess! — was quoted as saying that it’s “never too late to get a tattoo.” She said she “very recently” got her first, at some renowned parlor in Milan. You know, as princesses do.

Still, it feels as though my tattoo window has closed. I spent my teens and twenties ink-free, arguably the time most people get their first – often dubiously cool – tattoos. Certainly if I’d gone under the needle then, I’d have a stupid butterfly or Chinese symbol on my ankle. Plus, I’m notoriously indecisive. I can barely decide what I want to eat for dinner each day; how would I ever decide what to get permanently inked on my body?  Read more »

Dear Philly: Why Do You Hate My Clothes?

things in my closet philadelphians hate

See? They’re not that weird. | Photo by Alixe Wiley.

It was a Friday after work, and I was meeting an old friend from high school whom I hadn’t seen in years. We were catching up over cocktails at a bar in Center City, deep in the thick of boy drama and family happenings and scandalous things that high school acquaintances have gotten into since we were 17, when I felt someone caressing my back. “Is that fur?” I heard a slurry voice way too close to my ear ask. I turned to see a frat boy past his prime and his crew of drunk dudes snickering. They’d obviously weighed in on how this interaction was about to go down. Drunk Dude #1 was still pawing at my fur vest and slightly perspiring, when I shot back in my most cutting tone, “I’m sorry, are you touching me?” He was the third person within earshot to make some comment about what I was wearing (but the first to cross into personal bubble territory). I’d been there for 20 minutes. Read more »

I Hate Everything In My Closet—Am I Over Fashion?

Close up on a untidy cluttered wardrobe with colorful clothes and accessories, many clothes and nothing to wear.

Dear closet: I’m over you. | iStock|luanateutzi.

I stood in my closet this morning and realized, quite suddenly and with a surprisingly fierce finality, that I hate everything I own.

It wasn’t surprising. This happens to me every spring, like some sick sort of clockwork. I look at my clothes and wonder how I ever managed to get dressed before this moment, how I ever physically put on clothing and walked out the door.

“You’re staring again,” said my husband as I stood in my closet in a robe, blanking out before a row of identical slouchy black things, wondering whether my wardrobe boredom is a sign that savvy fashion marketers have gotten to me, or whether it’s simply a product of my job, which is, in part, to shake out what’s new, old, in, out, now and next, and write about it. And then I started to feel bad about it all – am I some small part of the reason that other women are standing in their closets, hating everything they own, too?

I did manage to put on clothes this morning, but  – as was the case yesterday morning, too, and the morning before that – it was a purely perfunctory effort. I had to wear clothes, so I put some on, stuff that covers up my bits and pieces but doesn’t delight me or make me feel some way or another. It’s barely afternoon and already I am bored.

My sartorial lethargy has me worried. Have I gotten … over fashion?
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Evolution of a Dress: How I Took a 1970s Gown and Altered It to Modern Perfection

Tailory Before and After

The first cut is the deepest: A before-and-after of the dress. | Images via The Tailory.

When the EIC of Philadephia Wedding announced she was having a black-tie New Year’s Eve wedding, our close-knit group of work friends immediately convened for a what-to-wear powwow. Two women declared they’d try Rent the Runway; another decided to beeline it to New York for a shopping trip; and I considered wearing something already in my closet. (I have a bad habit of buying extremely fancy things like ball skirts and floor-length dresses with no place to wear them.) This was a fleeting idea, though: After a quick survey of my wardrobe, I found that nothing checked off both black-tie and New Year’s Eve boxes. The search was on. Read more »

#NoBraDay: 20 Thoughts I Have When I Don’t Wear a Bra


My bra of choice is not really a bra. | Nordstrom.

So today, apparently, is #NoBraDay, a day in which women doff the boulder-holders to ostensibly raise awareness for breast cancer, although it seems men are the ones really pushing for this. So it’s all a bit creepy.

In any case, every day is a #NoBraDay for me, as I stopped wearing the traditional shoulder-strap-underwire-cup about a year ago. As I wrote here, I ditched these types of bras for bandeaus because I got tired of straps snaking down my arms. For those of you who will inevitably recommend a bra fitting, I’ve tried this. I’ve also tried racerback straps and hated them. The only thing that saves my sanity and (somewhat) keeps the girls in a semi-upright position is a boob turban and I shall never go back! But lately I’ve been wondering if all my bandeau-ing is causing damage. Or, worse, saggage.

Here, in no particular order, are the things I think about when I don’t wear a real bra. (Male coworkers/dad: Stop reading now, please.)  Read more »

A Day in the Very Stylish Life of Philly’s Best Kitchen Designer

Designer and architect Joanne Hudson is known for many things: her impeccable style, her signature round glasses – she has 25 pairs! – and, most importantly, her incredible kitchens. In fact, if you’ve been in a Philadelphia kitchen that you’ve desperately wanted to copy, well, chances are she designed it. (I’m not exaggerating; Joanne has designed 67 kitchens on Rittenhouse Square alone. Oh, and one in Nigeria.) I’ve been a fan of her style since I featured her Delaware beach house several years ago; now, she divulges the secrets behind it.


A very stylish life. | Photography by Courtney Apple.

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Is It Possible to Shop at Old Navy and Still Be Fashionable?

looks2 copy

Blanket, jumpsuit, mini and matchy-matchy.

Old Navy has been in the headlines a lot lately. When it comes to GAP’s finances, the discount retailer is like the little engine that could, chugging the otherwise floundering parent company to a profit (or, at least, to survival) with its reasonably priced basics. Then came last week’s news that its former CEO was poached to helm Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren. I scribbled it in my ideas notebook: OLD NAVY. Something was in the water over there, and it was time to check it out.

The last time I shopped at Old Navy – like, really shopped – I was in high school. It was 1999, and I’d won $500 in some high school contest. I took that money and went straight to the blazing marquee lights, whereby I bought whole shopping carts worth of sundresses (at least 15) and tops and shoes and surely other things, but now I only really remember the sundresses. So. Many. Sundresses. Read more »

How-To Tuesday: Your Guide to Wearing (and Actually Pulling Off) Bellbottom Jeans


The *illusion* of legs for days. | Lauren McGrath.

It’s no secret that I have an unwavering affinity for flared jeans. Even when they were out of style, I wore them — and I’ll still wear them when they go back out of style, which will surely be soon, as denim companies will need to switch up the silhouette to get people to keep buying The Latest And Greatest.

My first flare love was a pair of Seven dark-wash bells. I can’t find the exact pair, but these are a terrific option that may or may not be in my shopping cart at this very moment. I wore them until the crotch wore out. (Literally: I patched them twice and finally realized it was a losing battle; the thigh rub was too strong, and the denim fibers had long lost their will to live.) My new go-to flares are really more like bell-bottoms. They are J Brand from Denim Habit, with a widely fluted side panel in a slightly darker wash.  Read more »

You Wish You Worked Here: Shoppist Boss Emily Goulet’s Awesome Office


Image by Lauren McGrath.

We’re serving up some serious office envy in our new series, where we take you inside the city’s most covet-worthy jobs. From fashion-focused careers to just plain gorgeous desk setups, take a peek inside the glam life of Philly’s corporate elite. Our first subject is none other than Shoppist Editor Emily Goulet, whose office is something out of Devil Wears Prada (minus the bad energy), plus charming details that are somehow quirky and chic at the same time. How does she do it? We caught up with her between meetings to find out  –  and snapped some pics for your ogling pleasure. PS: We promise, this wasn’t styled for blog purposes. Yep, it really always looks like this. Le sigh. Read more »

An Ode to the Valentino Dress I Will Always Love But Never Own


At least once a week, I send my colleague Carrie a link to some very expensive clothing item or accessory over Slack, our intra-office messaging system, with a brief but friendly note: “I would kill you for this.”

She does the same, but usually her message is: “Can I have this, please?” To which I respond, simply, “No.” Because the things we love — the things that actually shoot a stab of longing through our hearts, one I swear is almost painful — are different-stratosphere expensive. Take, for instance, this Valentino dress from spring/summer 2015. Glorious, no? I am drawn to it, I think, because it’s an elegant, grown-up spin on the bohemian maxi dress. It’s not quite as Cinderella-like as, say, this one, which is why I fancy it a more practical purchase. It’s something I’d wear to a nighttime wedding. Or maybe a ball!

But I’ve long given up on this dress — even forgotten about it (self-preservation!) — because it probably costs around $10,000. (While I can’t find an exact price, I assume it’s more expensive than this version, which runs $7,990.) And then an odd string of morning web skimming led me to Nasty Gal, which led me to thisRead more »

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