FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

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FASHION | Travel To The South of France + Spain

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SHIRT | EARRINGS | JACKET | HEELS | HAT | BATHING SUIT | SKIRT

I've finally settled our itinerary for our upcoming trip to France and Spain this May. It's going to be a bit of a splurge, but something well deserved for the both of us. The next step is planning our activities each day. I'm set on horseback riding in the Camargue region while we're in Arles, and the theme of the trip will be based around modernist painters, ones in particular; Cezanne, Van Gogh, Chagall, Renoir, Picasso and Dali, with visits to house museums and such. Another big part of our trip will be Cannes (which is also the main reason why we're going). My husband's student thesis film was submitted to Cannes and accepted! It is not likely that we will be rubbing noses with the stars, but we will have passes to the festival and I believe access to the shows. We are still finalizing those details. Another great concern for me, being a lady, is what will I pack and what will I wear for all of these marvelous activities?! Horseback riding is dirty stinky activity (although the smell is pleasing to me) and Cannes will probably include some put-together date night ensembles. I can't help myself but pull some inspiration from my favorite classic films like Breathless and To Catch A Thief. One thing's for sure, there will be lots of horizontal stripes - and I'm preparing for that by hitting the gym hard for the next few months! 

Above is a short list of a few things I'll be adding to my staples of tees, tank tops, denim, and sandals. I'm not much of a sneakers gal, but I have to find a good pair that will be cute and not too bulky. Luckily, it's en vogue to wear sneakers for almost any occasion. 

A guide on what to wear in NYC: The Winter Addition

Lauren Caron12 Comments

I know I'm a bit late for the height of NYC's tourist season since Christmas and New Years just passed. The famous tree at Rockerfeller Center will soon be coming down along with the beautiful window displays on Fifth Avenue.  Even so, I felt it necessary to write this post because I've been seeing a lot of tourists that look either un-chicly comfortable or trying to be chic and very uncomfortable. This post is for anyone who wants to visit the city and feel a little less like an outsider, because whenever I travel I always try to 'dress like the locals' or as the saying goes . .  "Do as the Roman's do."

For starters the greatest NYC tourist fashion faux pas in my opinion are:

  • Under dressed girls/women- ie. short shorts, short skirts too thin leggings (no one wants to see through to your underpants)
  • Crocs even in winter, the worst is when they're paired with socks!
  • Lots and lots of fleece
  • Extremely over sized accessories that included backpacks, camera bags and umbrellas
  • Ugg boots

*Please note: if anyone is offended by that list, you probably do not have the same fashion taste as me, so don't keep reading.

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

At the very least I think anyone visiting New York should to do the following when planning their wardrobe, no matter the season:

  • Wear layers, even on the coldest day many thin layers is the best.  You'll often be going in and out of stores, museums and restaurants and you'll want to be able to remove some when you're inside.
  • Carry a medium to large handbag (ladies) or messenger bag (gentlemen), one with a shoulder strap is best. New Yorkers live and die with their bags, bags are their own little vehicles because as a NY-er you have to have something that can hold everything that your day will entail.  That often includes, along the usual essentials sometimes: make-up for after work happy hours, gym clothes, a camera for inspiration, IPads & Kindles, a pair of flats and maybe the last layer.
  • Good looking, comfortable shoes - which can include the right heels.
  • A scarf, because it's a great addition to any outfit for any season.

If you're coming here for the winter specifically there are some extra details that I'd like to touch upon. Including the list above there are a few tips that I think will help, and these are pulled from well dressed individuals who have been snapped by the top fashion bloggers, ie. The Sartorialist and Bill Cunningham.

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Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Don't be afraid to layer even more and the trick is to have a great over-sized coat that can cover all of those layers. But, when going big on top, make sure you balance your body out with skinny fit jeans and boots.

Big Scarves are awesome! They're warm and super cute!

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Boots are necessary! Boots are warm, comfortable and chic.  They can always pull an outfit together. If it snows- put on a pair of Wellies or LL Bean Boots!

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

New Yorkers love their hats.  Whether they're knit caps, fur trimmed or large brimmed.  A hat can make all the difference.

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Wear gloves! Preferably leather, they just look much more chic! By the way, you can layer leather gloves under mittens or those fingerless knit gloves for a little extra warmth.

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Traditional wintery patterns are always in winter fashion.

Lastly, if you're a lady - a little bit of red will go a long way.

Special thanks to our fashion bloggers who keep an up-to-date chronicle of New York's Fashions and provide me with the necessary visual footage.  The Sartorialist, Face Hunter, The Cut, Sydney Wasserman of Elle.com and Bill Cunningham - Thank You!

Leopard: When Does "On Trend" Become The Bandwagon?

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Yesterday on my way home from work I decided to walk to the 14th street 2/3 train.  I work up around the Flatiron building so taking that jaunt is a bit of trek - not too far but 9 blocks and 2 avenues.  Along the way I started noticing how many people I saw wearing Leopard print.  It was in a range of ways from small accessories to extensively large coats.  I've always had a fondness for this print - including the use of it in small doses for interiors - unless you're Tony Duquette, he always did it right.  Since May though, I have been wanting to fill the void of this animal print in my closet.  I haven't been able decide between a blouse or a scarf.  It's now September, post Fashion Week in NY and I still haven't purchased anything.

There were plenty of ladies and gentlemen caught wearing the sexy print around Lincoln Center two weeks ago and now it's just exploded.

Back to my walk home where I counted the Leopard wear:  5 scarves, 3 blouses, 2 jackets/coats, 1 pair of leopard shoes and 1 handbag.  Can you believe that?! All on my walk to the train and I must add that only maybe 3 of those 12 people wore it well (in my opinion).

Leopard Cardigan from Sadie & Stella

So what do I do, it's such a classic print but when something becomes such a mass trend it becomes very tired very quickly.  If I rock the Leopard will I be too late, will I just be hopping on the band wagon?  I tweeted about there being an over abundance of Leopard on the streets of New York and a few of my friends commented in disagreement but really, do we all think this will last? For how long will we LOVE Leopard like we do right now?

Check out my Pinterest "Monthly Mix Up" Board for more Leopard Print Images.

Hoping for Cooler Days Ahead

Lauren Caron2 Comments

Not to sound negative but, I have to say, I'm pretty sick of this weather right now. It has "cooled" down recently in New York with temperatures dropping into the high 80s to low 90s, but the past few weeks have just knocked the energy out of me.  Granted I have been very busy lately stressing out about my living situation. This heat has really managed to bog down my wardrobe.  I'm sick of all of my clothes at the moment and really just can't wait for the new season to begin.  My favorite time of year is the end of summer when the days are still warm, the nights are cooler; it's the early part of the summer to fall transition.  There's a feeling of refreshment as the new collections hit the stores and outfit options triple with the opportunity to throw on extra layers.  I especially love being able to put a pair of dark jeans on without feeling disgusting!

This brings me to the few pieces that I've been lusting over and coincidentally would make a great outfit together.  They are the wardrobe staples; dark denim, a canvas tote, an anytime scarf but there's a slight twist or difference in each that makes them noteworthy to me.  The color palette of warm hues with dark blues feels right in step with the current trend of color blocking and I can just picture myself (well a model with my head pasted on top) strutting my stuff over the Highline in this outfit.

In True Grit Fashion

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Image from Rodarte's latest collection.

It was Fashion week in New York last week and there was a strong trend throughout many design houses.  That trend may or may not have been influenced by the Oscar nominated film True Grit.  Probably not completely the source of inspiration, considering the timeframe it takes to design collections but it does show that many of us are harkening back to the "good ol' days" when the west was wild, the world was simple and the women were still ladies. . . .  What is now being called Prairie Chic was seen in Ready to Wear shows across the board at Rodarte (who's futuristic collection has been all over the news), Sonia Rykiel, Anna Sui, Steven Alan, Marc Jacobs and lower budget brands like even Zara.

Taking cues from these designers I wondered how might I interpret the film True Grit into both an outfit and a room?

Hailee Steinfeld's character Mattie Ross has a wardrobe in the film that mostly consists of a large olive green overcoat, a belt to keep it together, a felt bucket hat, and pigtails. I've pulled together several pieces that can take this costume from gritty to fashion forward.

1. Military style overcoat by Motel 2. Felt Hat similar style found at Urban Outfitters 3. Vintage Campfire Blanket 4. Messenger Bag by Madewell 5. Frye Heels 6. Ensemble from Steven Alan's Ready to Wear show 7. Lace Capelet from Anthropologie 8. Leather Belt from Anthropologie

 

Styling a room based on the film would be a lot of fun.  Taking inspiration from the above scene shots, I imagine a lofty bedroom with a strong sense of comfort but not dowdy.  Rustic decor can easily combine both feminine and masculine accents, the trick to making it contemporary is to put together pieces that are both timeless and functional.

1. Plaid bedding from Anthropologie.  2. Simple lace curtains from Country Curtains. 3. The centerpiece of this room would have to be the classic spool bed (aka Jenny Lind bed) a great informational article about this colonial piece can be found on Design Sponge .  These beds are commonly found at flea markets and on ebay!  4. Baguette storage baskets from Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams 5. Picnic blanket by Sparks 6. Wooden frame from Anthropologie 7. Brass horse pulls from Anthropologie.