Friday, November 11, 2016

More of Mona, please

I was told about Mona recently (a personal shopping app). I'm always a little hesitant to try new "custom" shopping apps - as I feel many are the same. They send you things they think you'll like, you leave feedback, etc, etc. But often I feel like I keep paying the styling fee for months, and don't end up with things I really like (true, it probably takes a while for the customization algorithm to go through but I also usually end up cancelling as I don't want to continue to pay fees for things I don't love).

Mona was different. From the second I started using it, I felt like it was customized to my style (not sure how they knew that but I'm not complaining...), had great options, and best of all... everything was priced incredibly affordably (Sam Edelman shoes for under $100? Sign me up!). The other cool thing about this app is it recommends 20 items it thinks you will like. With Mona also (different than Stitch Fix or others) you don't have to pay a personal styling fee (which I like as I can spend the same styling dollars on other treats - yay for clothing treats!). You're also able to create "missions" in Mona - and doesn't shopping often feel like a mission (can I get an Amen?!). But the missions are made easier by the options that Mona shares with you.

I set a mission for a pair of black boots (because a lady can never have enough of those...). As a New Yorker, my poor boots always take a beating during the winter, so it was time to refresh my foot wardrobe. I set up my mission, put in my price constraints, included my size and BAM - so many options to choose from (I almost felt like I had TOO many options!). It lets you scroll though easily and seamlessly, so you're not overwhelmed by hundreds of images at once. I decided on a pair of Nine West boots (I LOVEEEEE NW). Plus free shipping.

My boots arrived and I was super stoked. Chunky heel black (yay). I put them on excited to take on the world and alas... they didn't fit. BUT I'm glad I had the experience of having to return and replace because it showed me how great of a customer service department Mona has. They emailed me PERSONALLY every step of the way letting me know when my shoes were shipped, and even checking to make sure I received.

The process with Mona was totally seamless and truly awesome. As a gal who doesn't always have time to be schleppin' around New York stores, Mona will definitely become my new friend.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Back at it.

It's been a while since I've written. A really long while. I've been telling people repeatedly over the past year, "my blog has taken a backseat. Life's just been so busy." While we can make many excuses in life, and things do get busy, it is still important to make the time for things that bring us joy. Sounds simple, right? But it isn't always. 

Lately, I have been making a conscious effort to dedicate time to writing. This year has been crazy. I've been through some big relationship changes, moves, New York kicking my ass (doesn't it do that to everyone?) and many amazing moments with incredible people. That all said, it doesn't always leave time for dedication to passion projects. Yet, very recently. I was reminded of why I do this blog in the first place. You, lovely readers, have written and asked me where I've been and reminded me why I do this. And I am grateful. 

I am working on something exciting coming soon. That will take this blog in a different direction. I'm excited to share it with you all. And thanks for joining me on this crazy journey we call life. 


Thursday, July 9, 2015

#RockTheCropTop: The Revolution

So. If you haven't already seen, Oprah Magazine published a Q&A section that blatantly told women that "if - AND ONLY IF - you have a flat stomach, should you try wearing a crop top."

Did I hear that correctly? Wait. pump the brakes.


I can't believe that we have seemingly regressed so far back in our body-positive attitude. It's 2015, babes! We're finally seeing "real women" (and I hesitate to even use quotation marks there because what defines a REAL woman?) in media, "plus-size model" is becoming less of a term (thankfully we just call them MODELS now), and women are generally moving in a direction where they're beginning to become comfortable with their bodies after years of body-shaming from media and society.

So, WHAT IN THE WORLD, O MAGAZINE? I am so utterly disappointed to see this in a publication that previously had such a body-positive audience, and had such an esteemed reputation.

Now, here's the good part about all this mess. Women are speaking up AND using their body-positive voice to showcase that they can't be told what to wear or how to feel about themselves based on body-type. Yesterday the internet exploded when all types of women, advocates, and bloggers alike took the Net to share their thoughts on the matter by using the hashtag #rockthecroptop and #pullingoffacroptop. Head over to the hashtags on Instagram or Facebook and you'll see beautiful women of every shape and size wearing a crop top and showing their figure - and YES - they're joyful about how they look! And that's what counts.

To my dear women - PLEASE continue to wear what makes you feel good, and continue to kick ass while doing it.

In love and crop tops,

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Give Me Fever

Everybody's got the fever
That is something you all know
Fever isn't such a new thing
Fever started long ago
*Fever by Peggy Lee

A new app, Fever, is very similar to the sultry jazz song. Though Fever wasn't started long ago (2013, to be exact), soon enough, everyone will have Fever. 

Fever is a free, smart app that helps you make better plans. It finds you the best experiences and keeps you in the loop of what your favorite friends and tastemakers are up to today, tomorrow, and beyond. 

Fever recently reached out to me as a gallivanter of New York and surveyor of new cities, to take a look at their app and bring my thoughts to the readers of JustSaraJane, in anticipation of their app launching in London (today!). And here's my take - it's awesome! This lifestyle app uncovers personalized, premium lists of experiences in your city and takes a new approach to uncover tailored experiences. Unlike “event discovery” listing sites which display hundreds of events (sometimes making it hard to choose), Fever’s event suggestions are personalized just for you (knowing this gal... did someone say sample sale?!), and is based on what interests you and the people you care about.

To start building a profile on Fever, you are asked to pick “hashtags” of things you love to do. Categories for these “hashtags” include fashion, party, food, shopping, sports, culture, music and more. That said, you can only choose three hashtags at a time, which initially was a confusion to me, but I realize that you can consistently update your hashtags to populate the results. By then telling Fever your favorite things, the app is able to start pulling local experiences set for you, gives you the ability to RSVP and purchase tickets to any experience through the app.

So here's a scenario. I'm sitting at work with some coworkers deciding if we should do something after happy hour. I get on Fever, check out the #tastings hashtag for the day, and BAM, I see my foodie-friend John is going to a tasting in the west village. We all then book it for (say) $25, grab a cab, and are munching on crudités before you can say "that was easy." 

So, this post is dedicated to Fever and a most happy launch day in London (also, note, Fever just reached 1.5 million worldwide users). To my dearest London readers, go ahead and join in on the fun. And to my New Yorkers, do continue seeking fun (as I know you will).


**This post was not sponsored by Fever and I have no specific ties to the Company. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gray Area

gray a·re·a
  1. an ill-defined situation or field not readily conforming to a category or to an existing set of rules.

I think this most aptly describes New York at this very moment. We're in some weirdish middle-ground between winter and spring (but we're getting there, you guys!), where no one knows exactly how to dress for this awkward temperature. We've stowed away our puffy jackets for the most part, but have also still shelved our pastel spring skirts. We ask ourselves the daily questions: "do I wear tights?" or "do I brave the 55 degrees with bare legs?" In the spirit of this interim period where we're all confused about what season it is, I've attributed this post to the "gray area" between winter and spring. Let's face it, much of life is shades of gray anyway.

So here's to you, New York of today. We don't know what season we're in, but we love you anyway.


Sweater: H&M // Scarf: H&M // Necklace: Forever 21 // Boots: Report Signature
Photos by Martim Thomaz :

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Confidence Shouldn't Come with a Size Chart

I'm a size 10. Typically. And I say typically because my body doesn't always fit into the mannequin-ed version of sizing that Banana or Gap wants women to fit into (brands I love, however!). See, a size 10 leaves me, as an American woman, somewhere in the middle. Straight sizes are defined as size 0-4, and plus sized begins at size 12. The average American woman is a size 14. (I'm sure you saw all the hoopla about Ashley Graham and Robyn Lawley, both in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit addition this year. Two absolutely stunning models, both defined as plus size - when they are anything but "plus").

I can wear any size between an 8-12 on any given day, as I'm sure many of you can relate to. But as a woman, I am constantly pressed to define myself by my specific size. See, in America, we're obsessed with definition - we need to define our relationships, job titles, social status. Definition can sometime makes things easier. But sometimes it doesn't. In this instance I'm talking about women's clothing sizing. We have so many women in America trying to attain sizes that don't fit their body, because society/media/etc says so. Other countries suggest you measure your pants size by the actual circumference of your waist (e.g. Size 29, 30, 31). I think they're better off. I think knowing your measurements, and YOURS only, is the first step to body confidence. Hey, no one is perfect. I, of course, have days where I catch myself thinking, "I wish I could fit into blah blah blah size." And then I remember I am not defined by my size. I am somewhere "in between" and that is great. I know my measurements and don't always look at the tag when I go shopping. I pick what fits me.

I am not defined by my size. I am defined by my abilities and my skills and the amazing things my body does on a daily basis. I am defined by the fact that I aim to be the best version of myself, rather than working to be someone else.

In the spirit of this conversation, I'm excited to share that I've teamed up with SmartGlamour, a fully customizable clothing line, that focuses on body positivity and knowing your specific measurements. I'll be hosting an evening at their POP-UP SHOP this coming Thursday, April 9th from 6-9pm. At the SmartGlamour shop, women of every size, shape, height, weight and can shop in the same space, for the same designs, for the same price. Every piece is also customizable at an affordable price -- and best of all there's no need to worry about sample sizes – they always stock every size, XXS through 6X, for women to try on. Shoppers can purchase these items, or order a customized garment on the spot. It’s not just a place to shop – it’s an empowering, welcoming, comforting, and educational place for women.

Join us for an evening of shopping and body positive conversation! Here's the scoop:

When: April 9th, 6-9pm
Where: 436 E 9th Street, between 1st Avenue and Ave A
Who: YOU! 

Hope to see you there! Let's change the fashion game, together. 

P.s. I want to issue a special shout-out to my beautiful baby sister, Katie, who taught me to always believe. You're an inspiration - I love you! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring (or Snow?) in NYC

Coat: Ralph Lauren // Skirt: Popbasic // Belt & Shirt: Vintage // White top: TJ Maxx // Shoes: Nine West // Lip: NYX
Welp. Spring has sprung, and in New York, that apparently means more snow. We have been dealt a pretty severe winter as many of you North easterners can attest to. But as New Yorkers do, we persevere onward. So one balmy Saturday, I decided to persevere out into the winter, ditch my puffy coat and replace it with a white number that makes me feel excited to step out into the 20 degree weather. Check out some snaps of the look and let me know how you're surviving winter in the comments below!

See you soon spring (hopefully). Until then, onward! With more layers and red lips.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

SmartGlamour's Spring 2015 Line, Body Positivity at It's Best

I spent Friday night blissfully surrounded by the spirit of body positivity at the SmartGlamour fashion show.

For those of you who haven't heard me talk about SmartGlamour yet, I'll say it this way. When you meet someone, or see a brand, who is totally changing the game, you just know it. SmartGlamour is one of those brands.

SmartGlamour is a clothing line for women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and heights. Sizes range from XXS-6XX and beyond, all items are fully customizable and all are under $100. Founder and designer behind SmartGlamour, Mallorie Carrington started the brand in the spirit of body positivity - her line is meant to empower, to help women feel more confident and to love their bodies.

One of my favorite parts about the brand is their latest campaign, importantly named #MeasureMeBeautiful. The campaign is the brainchild of SmartGlamour designer Mallorie Carrington and co-sponsored by body-positive blogger Sydney Stone of Stylaphile. It’s a movement to educate women on the importance and benefits of knowing your measurements and your body. In my conversation with Mallorie after the show, she reinforced that #MeasureMeBeautiful enforces women to "measure themselves, and see those numbers are purely information, as not something that is a positive or a negative, it's just a fact."

These themes were totally palpable at Friday's show. Not only could you see it on the faces of everyone attending, but most importantly you could see it on the models - who were every size, shape, age, height and ethnicity. We saw the same outfit on multiple body types, and every woman was a vision of confidence and happiness in what she was wearing. 

NOW ABOUT THE CLOTHES. There were a bevy of bright colors, floral feminine prints, and versatile jumpsuits and dresses. There were retro fits, high-waisted skirts, maxi dresses and short rompers. And then, there were the fabulous satin bomber jackets, which Mallorie wore to close out the show, aptly reading "BOSS" in pink letters across the back. 

In our conversation after the show Mallorie told me, "there is always an underlying theme of a feminine in my pieces, and I love the retro silhouette. And because of the message behind the clothing, I always try to infuse a little bit of bad-ass." Damn right, she does. My favorite pieces on the runway were their new clutches with empowering words emblazoned across (babe, BOSS, feminist). As Mallorie says, 
"Any woman can be a boss, any woman can be a lady, any woman can be a feminist, any woman can be a babe." 
I think that sums up why this brand is amazing. 

Stay tuned as SG is opening a pop up shop in NYC on March 6th on the Lower East Side. It will be the first and only store in NYC where women of every single size can buy the exact same clothes at the exact same price, customized to their body. They'll be doing weekly events to bring attention to the body positive movement. Women of New York, stay tuned!

So my friends, do remember to be kind to yourself, be good to your body, and dress it accordingly.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Black & White: Chapter One

Pants: ASOS // Shoes: Baby Phat // Top: TJ Maxx // Hat: Thrift Gift (Thanks Virginia G!) // Jacket: ASOS // Lips: NYX Matte Red 
I've been talking a lot lately about finding inspiration. Most recently this past weekend, I was asked about inspiration by a fellow writer over a glass of whiskey. "What makes you feel motivated?" they asked. In my reflection, I've thought about how a new year gives us many different chances to seek what makes us feel motivated, happy and fulfilled. For me, joy in life is defined by living your truth and continuing to create yourself. I think fashion gives the daily opportunity to create ourselves and showcase this continual creation to the world. It's an outlet for experimentation, inspiration, and affirmation of who you are. I'm motivated by the opportunity fashion provides us to showcase this, and was thus, motivated to write this post, wearing my favorite style staple, a black & white ensemble. 

So while I don't believe things in life are always black and white, I do believe a great outfit can be. In tune with this mantra, I created a theme for this week and styled various looks in my favorite color combo. My first look, pictured above, pays tribute to not only my fave b&w, but to pieces that I feel genuinely happy in, and that express my personal style. SEE: BLACK AND GOLD DUNKS. 

Hope your year is off to a wonderful start my friends, and remember that while many black and white styles are great, life is really most beautiful in color. 


*Photos by the lovely Brandi Whitlock