#ImWithHer & Why You Should Be, Too

I’m no stranger to extremely opinionated, politically active people. In fact, I come from a large family of them. I happen to be the least politically involved (and sometimes blissfully ignorant) member of my family, but this election season has inspired me to be more involved and more aware. I can’t sit idly by knowing that a racist, deplorable, hot-headed, politically inexperienced, failure-of-a-businessman Dorito could possibly be the future President of my country. I’m here to voice my opinion to all the skeptics and undecided voters that are willing to listen.

I get that you are a proud American that wants to exercise your right to vote and that’s great! What I don’t get is, how one could knowingly, in my opinion, waste that right to vote on a candidate that doesn’t have enough media coverage or historical evidence to ever win. No third party candidate has ever won a presidential election and that sure as hell isn’t about to change tomorrow. I get that you want to make your voice heard and that you don’t want to just vote for someone you believe to be the lesser evil. But I ask you, if you vote for your third party candidate, do you feel like you’re making a difference? Do you feel like that’s any better than sitting at work waiting for votes to be counted, one after the next for both Clinton and Trump, and few and far between for both Stein and Johnson?

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that you, one person, can change the outcome of something so large, but you can. I’m extremely opinionated and also extremely stubborn and I don’t like people telling me what to do, so I understand if you don’t want to listen to me, but you’ve got to be more scared of one of these people becoming President than the other. I’m sorry, but as much as every vote counts, a vote for a third party is a vote against both candidates who actually stand a chance in being your next President. You are going to end up with a President whether or not you like it, so don’t royally screw it up.

In case my description of Trump in the first paragraph wasn’t clear, I think he is what is wrong with this country, but even more so, I think his followers are the real problem. A party can gain no power without any followers. Throughout my travels in the past year to Europe, India, and Mexico, I have seen the people mock us. We are supposed to be a strong, powerful leader of a country and what we are right now is a disgrace. We’re a laughing stock and these countries know it., yet half of our population hasn’t caught on. If all of these countries are losing respect for our democracy and decision making, we can’t possibly expect to better our relationships with them, especially with Trump who has offended every single group of people out there with the exception of white Anglo-Saxon men.

As a woman, I have been immensely offended by Trump’s words and action. I am fearful that my rights from voting to what I can do with my own body will be taken away. As a Jew (I consider myself more ethnically so, than religiously), I feel threatened by all the attacks towards religious groups, even though not my own. I am terrified of a holocaust in my own country, a country that represents freedom for all. Isn’t that what makes America already great? As a writer, I am concerned by Trump’s remarks towards news anchors and the media. I am afraid that I will lose my freedom of speech and we will lose freedom of the press. As someone with an international boyfriend here legally on a student visa, I am deeply offended on his stance towards immigrants. There is not a single soul in this country, with the exception of Native Americans, that doesn’t have an ancestor that immigrated here. We are a country born on immigrants and without the diversity we wouldn’t be who we are today. Even though his attacks are more specifically towards illegal immigrants, I fear that it will be harder for non-Americans to obtain visas or green cards.

I can’t even fathom how anyone could think these actions are acceptable. That somehow the fact that KKK members and dictators around the world support this man, yet our own President, fellow members of the Republican party, and the FBI don’t support or trust Trump. Not only has this man singlehandedly offended a majority of this country – possibly the world, but he has absolutely no qualifications that make him a viable candidate to lead our country. He has no experience with politics and hasn’t actually based his platform on anything he will do for our country (no, “Make America Great Again” doesn’t count). How will you make our country great? He still hasn’t told us. Yet, some people are still content with this answer. He has many failed businesses and also failed marriages. He prides himself on being this successful businessman, but if he can’t even keep many of his enterprises afloat, how can he run a country?

Now, Hillary, she has the credentials to run this country. With potentially the most impressive resume we’ve ever seen in a presidential candidate, people still doubt her qualifications. I’m not saying she’s a saint, but you can’t deny her involvement and her experience. Let’s not judge her on how her husband acted as President. Let’s not judge her because she’s a woman. She is a strong, qualified, well-tempered person that is more than prepared to lead our country into the future. I keep thinking to myself, are we scrutinizing her so hard because she’s a woman? It’s not like every other politician we’ve ever elected hasn’t lied in some respect (I’m pretty sure that’s a qualification along with being at least 36 years old, right?), except maybe Obama because well, he’s amazing and also the most adorably dorky dad. I wasn’t initially pro-Hillary, but when you consider the alternative, she’s our only hope to not turn back time 60 years. She may not be the perfect candidate, but she sure as hell will make sure every voice is heard and won’t attack or offend anyone in the process.

I feel confident that she will maintain the stability of what Obama has achieved in his eight years in office and I am proud to say I will be a part of history in voting for this country’s first female presidential candidate tomorrow. I am proud to say that my cousin will be, too. He was Hillary-skeptic before today, but his Facebook post from this afternoon inspired me to write and I’d like to share an excerpt from what he posted:

“I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not excited about Hillary Clinton’s campaign or her prospects as President. Not only have I been sharply critical of Hillary for years — from her vote as Senator for the Iraq War to her abandonment of the people of Honduras as Secretary of State following the 2009 coup, to her close ties to Wall Street and countless soulless corporations — I’ve also become increasingly jaded about the power of the presidency itself in our current system as a vehicle for making the kinds of real, profound changes I believe our society needs. Constrained by a gerrymandered, do-nothing Congress; in thrall to business interests and other major campaign donors; and unwilling to address the fundamental rot at the core of our neoliberal capitalist system, a Hillary Clinton presidency will not be transformative. But I do believe it will be relatively predictable.

While I’m not confident about the ability of the next President to do great things, I’m very confident in the ability of the next President to do terrible things. The US presidency is immensely powerful: with absolutely no oversight, a President can order total surveillance of any person they choose, launch wars, rip up global treaties, and even order armageddon at the click of a button. Under President Obama (whom I worked hard for in 2008 and once held out hope could be a transformative leader), the Bush-era right of a President to kidnap and lock away any person they choose, without so much as notifying their family, has been reiterated and codified (NDAA 2012). These powers, and many more, are far too dangerous to be handed to a man like Donald Trump.

Trump’s public campaign has demonstrated that he is a thin-skinned bully full of prejudices and with a taste for violence (and we’ve only had a glimpse of what he’s like in private). He seems to believe the worst thing a person can do is insult Donald Trump, and the best thing they can do is “be nice” to Donald Trump. He has emboldened the most racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic, white supremacist voices in the country. He has declared that he would end free speech, threatens to imprison his opponent, and even muses about her assassination. Of nuclear weapons, he said “the power, the devastation is very important to me.” He praises modern dictators and used to keep a book of Adolf Hitler’s writings by his bedside, according to his own wife. If there was ever a time in American history when the threat of fascism seemed so clear, I don’t know about it.

Even if Trump or his supporters don’t start imprisoning and killing scapegoats, his avowed policies would leave the country in shambles. He would immediately start a trade war with China and Mexico, deport millions of working people critical to the function of countless industries (especially agriculture), and cut taxes on the rich so drastically that the government would run out of money and balloon the deficit (which he purports to care so much about). He would “repeal and replace Obamacare,” but he has yet to offer what that replacement will be. Tens of millions, including myself, would lose their healthcare.

One friend of mine said he believes the chaos and disaster of Trump’s election might hasten “the revolution.” I find that a short-sighted, dangerous point of view. I heard people say the same thing about George W. Bush in 2000, and instead we ended up with a calamitous war in Iraq, the “Patriot Act”, and the Great Recession. With Trump, I expect far worse. Any “revolution” his election might precipitate would doubtless end in either the bloody stalemate of civil war or the grim reality of totalitarian dystopia. And given the immense technological advantage of the government, with all the tools of Big Brother already at hand — drones, surveillance, guns, bombs, prisons, fear — totalitarianism seems the much more likely result.

The same friend said he believed Trump would be less likely to start World War III than Hillary Clinton, because Trump says nice things about Putin, and the Russian government clearly wants Trump to win — and of course because Hillary is a well-known hawk too. But this theory ignores many facts: first, that Trump is simply unpredictable, with a history of saying one thing one day then the opposite the next (remember how he and Ted Cruz famously said nice things about each other throughout the campaign, until they were among the last standing at which point Cruz became “lyin’ Ted,” and his father killed JFK?); second, that Putin only wants Trump to win because he knows it will be in Russia’s national interest, not the US’s; third, that Trump freely antagonizes China, another nuclear power that threatens US allies in its region; and fourth, that Hillary Clinton is by her nature the far more cautious candidate, and a little caution is really all that is needed to prevent nuclear war (see the Cuban Missile Crisis), with its veritable guarantee of mutually assured destruction.

Hillary’s cautious nature is just one reason why she’s worthy of support — well beyond the reasons to oppose Trump, which I’ve really only begun to explore above. Hillary Clinton is smart. She’s tough. She’s hard-working. She believes in manmade climate change. She’s accepting of people who are different from her and believes there’s strength in diversity. She knows and understands the other players on the world stage, and her foreign policy failures — from Iraq to Honduras to Libya — are so obvious that she can’t help but learn from them (I hope). She wants to keep ground troops out of Syria because she now knows what a quagmire is. She would never start a nuclear war with Russia because she’s a rational human being, but she would stand up for NATO allies in the face of Russian aggression.

Hillary may be cautious to a fault sometimes, she may be too secretive, too wonkish to be a good politician, and her inner circle is far too insular, but the arc of her life and career points to a woman who cares about people beyond herself. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of children and women especially. She is fiercely loyal to her friends, family (see Bill Clinton), and staff (see Huma Abedin). She was respected by her constituents as a Senator, and admired even by her Republican Senate colleagues, many of whom came to consider her a friend. Her Foundation — which became an issue in the campaign thanks mainly to innuendo and unproven allegations of quid pro quo, along with some clear political sloppiness on behalf of the Clintons — actually does lots of good work. Lots of money was thrown at the Foundation because it worked to raise millions of dollars for the purposes of helping people. There’s no evidence that any US policy changes from her time as Secretary of State came about due to a donation to the Clinton Foundation. To suggest that she used the Foundation for personal enrichment, as Republicans continue to do, belies all facts and reason. The Clintons became plenty rich writing books and giving speeches. The only candidate who used a personal Foundation for personal gain is Trump (see his paintings, and illegally using Trump Foundation money to pay off massive fines).

Has Hillary been misled at times by unscrupulous advisors (see Lanny Davis & Mark Penn)? Absolutely. Has she made stupid political mistakes (see taking a six-figure payout from Goldman Sachs for one speech)? Of course. Has she been beyond tone-deaf at times (see “baked cookies,” “super-predators,” “basket of deplorables”)? Indeed. And has she grown to enjoy the trappings of power? Probably so. But even at the pinnacle of her power, on the cusp of becoming the first woman President, it’s clear she works incredibly hard to be the best policy-maker she can be. She knows the issues backwards and forwards. She literally works herself to the point of exhaustion. She kept campaigning with pneumonia, after all.

[…]

The choice in this election is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. One is a plausible fascist who revels in his own ignorance, empowers all manner of bigots and extremists, and has waged a scorched-earth campaign culminating in his supporters talking about “insurrection” and “civil war” if he loses. The other is a flawed politician who believes in the power of government to improve lives, is mature and deliberative, and whom it’s hard to imagine would be anything but gracious in defeat.

The revolutionary change we need will be difficult to win regardless of which party or candidate holds the highest office in the land. There are no easy solutions here. But since the most important questions at hand tomorrow are “Who would you rather have to fight for the next four years?”, “Who do you think will do the least damage over that time?”, and “Who, at the end of the day, will end up with the awesome power of the Presidency?”, the answer to me is obvious: it’s Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

So, all you “Nasty Women” and “Bad Hombres” out there, get out and vote tomorrow. Make a difference. And to quote Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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Not The Tits!

I’ve been reading a lot of articles in the past couple of days about Vogue UK’s declaration that cleavage is “out.” I’ve also been reading all the clapback articles on every site imaginable from Buzzfeed to Cosmopolitan and beyond. I find this ridiculous on so many levels.

I can’t honestly remember a time in my life, or at least in my post-pubescent life during the early aughts, when boobs or cleavage were “in.” Fashion, particularly high fashion, isn’t made for women with large chests and that’s just the way it is. Models have always been flat-chested, cover girls have always been covered-up, and Hollister shirts never went over my chest. Now, I’m not saying I have giant boobs, but I’m also no Keira Knightley. Imagine trying to fit in in middle school in the mid-2000s when you could barely stretch an A&F shirt over your chest and when you did, it was a size XL. I don’t think boobs have been in since Marilyn Monroe’s time in the 1950s when being curvy and voluptuous was considered sexy and the ideal body type. And there’s my first point; Vogue UK, it’s been six decades since boobs were “in” – this isn’t news.

On to my second point… can we all take a second to remember the “thigh gap?” Yeah, the negative space between women’s legs was a trend. The absence of leg: fat, muscle, skin, the whole shebang. Well, can we also remember how controversial that was? Does one of the top magazines really want to go around telling its readers, young and old, impressionable and conforming, that boobs are “out?” I think not. Thanks to the rest of the media for disagreeing with Vogue UK because I’d really hate for women to be going under the knife just for a trend. How about let’s encourage women to dress for their chest size instead? That sounds like a good plan to me.

Or making mosquito bites look like juicy juicy mangoes…. So, I’ll just drop this here (tune to 1:35)

Back in the Saddle

You know that saying “it’s like riding a bike”? Well, I’ve never been much of a cyclist, so I like to think that getting back to writing is like riding a horse. I’m getting back in the saddle. Literally and figuratively.

I’ve recently started riding again, and wow, does it feel like I never stopped. And then I dismount and waddle like a penguin for the following week. Okay, so, maybe getting back to an old hobby isn’t as easy as the saying would imply, but it’s inspired me to start writing again. I feel like I lost my creative knack and my passion for writing, so I’m hoping to make posting on here a regular or at least semi-regular thing.

What have I been up to in the past two and a half years? I’ve mostly just been amping up my wardrobe, traveling, and eating really good food. Alright, I’m kidding – kind of. I’m still copywriting at Barneys New York, I’ve moved to a bigger city (with tons of amazing restaurants and new ones constantly opening!), busy eating lots of guacamole, and traveling as much as my job allows.

On that note, I’m going to change directions on here and start just writing about life: food, fashion, travel, anything that catches my interest. I had started this thinking I wanted to be a blogger, but I also realized I much prefer to be behind the camera, not in front of it. I also preferred the actual writing to feeling like a self-stylist. I may occasionally post some outfit posts when I know I’m totally on fleek, but I’m going to mostly focus on anything and everything going on in my life and my brain.

So, welcome readers. Welcome to my new, old blog.

Jeans & Heels

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I practically never wear heels, like real heels more than 2″ high. Those are reserved for weddings, parties, and events where they will be coming off in exchange for socks. Heels are painful, I can’t walk in them and why the heck would I wear heels when the comfy birkenstock trend is at its peak?! I made it through the day without crying, whining or falling on my face. Quite the achievement on my part. I always love when I see fashion bloggers and celebrities wear jeans and heels. It’s the perfect way to dress up an otherwise casual item in your closet. I work in a fairly casual environment, but I mean, it’s still Barneys New York. Casual there is more like at least one luxury designer item on your body at any time. Some of the stylists were wearing jeans and heels yesterday and since I recently rediscovered these lost heels in my closet this week I figured I’d give this trend a try. Heels really streamlined my legs more in these boyfriend jeans and I added a little flare with this V-neck tank (another great J. Crew sale find!). Definitely give the jeans and heels trend a try with a pair of your favorite heels! It’s great for work, day to night, or even just going out for a drink.

Shirt: J. Crew   Jeans: Sold Design Lab   Necklace: ASOS – similar   Shoes: Michael Kors   Bag: Furla

J.Crew’s Perfect Preppy Basics

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It’s that time of year again for J.Crew’s massive sale. J.Crew can be kind of pricey (although completely worth every penny for their quality basics), so when they have racks after racks of sale items with an additional 50% off the lowest marked price, how can a girl resist?! I raided my local J.Crew and tried on literally everything in my size and came out with some great items that I can really wear anytime with anything. One thing I love about J.Crew is that their clothes are really well-made and they use quality materials. Some fast-fashion retailers are pretty pricey (I’m looking at you Urban Outfitters) and their clothes don’t hold up for more than a few washes. Even without a student discount anymore (that’s really the only use for a student ID) I still frequent my local J.Crew. I got this preppy pastel crewneck pullover and flouncy lightly flared navy skirt amongst other things. I wasn’t necessarily planning on wearing them together when I bought them, but they really worked together. They created this subtle tonal color palette that worked as a base for my vibrant multicolor necklace and these hot pink sandals. That’s the great thing about a tonal color palette – you can easily wear more exciting accessories.

Sweater: J.Crew   Skirt: J.Crew   Shoes: DV by Dolce Vita   Necklace: Glam Scope, Greece   Lips: Sephora – “Loveable”   Sunnies: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Silky Sheer Cobalt Rebecca Taylor Blouse

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I’ve always loved Rebecca Taylor clothes; they’re tailored and sophisticated and flatter every body type. Unfortunately, they’ve always been a little, okay a lot, out of my price range. I was so excited to find this blouse and several other Rebecca Taylor items at T.J. Maxx Runway that I could afford. This blouse is a perfect day to night transition piece. I can easily transform it from modest and chic button-up blouse by wearing a cami underneath to sexy and sheer at night. I covered up and buttoned up on top, but chose to wear a bodycon skirt, playing off of the blouse’s sheer chiffon nature. I normally would have worn this tucked in, but Rebecca Taylor intended this blouse to have a loose fit and I wanted to show that off.

Blouse: Rebecca Taylor (T.J. Maxx) – similar  Cami: Zara (in stores)   Skirt: ASOS   Shoes: Schutz (T.J. Maxx) – similar   Sunnies: Valentino (old) – similar

High-Waisted Ribbon Shorts

DSC_0427 DSC_0436 DSC_0438 DSC_0443 DSC_0451 I got my first mosquito bite of the season today and if anything (other than itchy), that definitely means it’s summer. Summer means beach trips, music festivals, sundresses, fireworks and shorts! I’ve expressed my love for sundresses before and they still trump shorts, but when I found these high-waisted shorts with this sweet ribbon detail I had to have them. It’s hard for me to find shorts that flatter me; I usually end up looking short and stumpy, but the tailored fit and high-waist make these an incredibly flattering pair of shorts. I felt that they were dressy enough for work because of the tonal ribbon details along the sides. They also have pockets, which you all know makes me very excited! High-waisted shorts that are still longer than your finger tips are a hard find, but they’re a must-have for summer!

Blouse: Zara (old) – similar   Shorts: Reiss – similar   Boots: Franco Sarto   Necklace: Baublebar   Sunnies: Marc by Marc Jacobs   Bag: Charles Jourdan – similar

Shoe Crush Saturday: Dries Van Noten Snakeskin Oxfords

I was writing copy for some amazing, super funky Dries Van Noten shoes yesterday (that will soon be up on Barneys.com) and I can’t stop thinking about them. There was such a wide variety of styles, but each style was unique in its’ own way and I’m already picturing the outfits I would wear with each one (if only I could afford them). These amazing shoes will be available to purchase at Barneys and Barneys.com soon, but for now, it inspired me to use a pair of Dries Van Noten shoes for my shoe crush saturday. I love a good pair of oxfords – they’re comfy, they’re practical, and strangely, they go with almost anything. Oxfords are kind of an androgynous shoe and that’s part of what makes them appealing to me. I feel like both men’s and women’s styles can be worn by either gender and that they can be worn with the likes of a slouchy tee and jeans or with a flirty pleated summer dress. These red snakeskin Dries Van Noten oxfords are a showstopper. These may not be quite as versatile as a solid leather pair, but the colors are so vibrant and exciting that I can’t imagine the feet inside them wouldn’t be happy. I can imagine them now with a pair of black cutoff skinny jeans, an oversize sweater and a pair of wayfarers. Some gold jewelry and you’ve got yourself a sleek, New York chic outfit.

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Tucked-In Slouchy Sweater

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I frequently read articles on style websites such as Who What Wear, Refinery 29, StyleCaster and Style.com and draw some outfit inspiration from those articles. I read this article on Who What Wear yesterday, “30 Summer Outfits That Make Everyone Look 10 Pounds Thinner” and though I agree with some of these tips like flouncy skirts minimize and mask and that an A-line makes your waist look small, there were other points with which I definitely disagree. While wearing a voluminous skirt will definitely make your waistline look small and your legs look lean, wearing an oversize sweater, even tucked into a big skirt, will only make you look larger on top and more disproportionate. They claim that “adding fabric also adds the pounds” is a myth, but I’d hold true to that “myth.” I decided to try my own take on this “slimming” trend with a thin, lightweight, relaxed fit sweater tucked into a flouncy skirt. I think this works much better than wearing a truly oversize sweater. You draw attention to your waist and create this hourglass figure. Adding a pair of heels will only accentuate your lean-looking legs and balance out that extra top-heavy fabric.

Sweater: Zara (old) – similar   Skirt: Romeo & Juliet Couture (old) – similar   Shoes: Schutz   Necklace: J.Crew   Sunnies: Vera Wang

Boho Chic Birkenstocks

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Thirteen-year-old me got something right: Birkenstocks are a smart shoe to invest in. In 8th grade I was already fashion-savvy enough to buy not just one pair of Birkenstocks sandals, but also a pair of clogs. They’ve been through hell and high water (literally… I definitely accidentaly wore them in the shower a few times after swim practices), but they’ve made it to their time in the spotlight. I bought them as a comfortable shoe and they weren’t exactly a trend back in ’04, but now they’re crazy popular and I’m proud to say that I’m now officially rocking them, not just wearing them, 10 years later. I prefer my patent leather birks to these because they’re a little more feminine and sleek, but these just so happen to go perfectly with these boho-chic culottes. This entire look is very boho-chic, which isn’t my normal look, but hey, it’s comfy and I’m all for cute comfy clothes.

Sweater: Peruvian Connection   Top: Tahari – similar   Pants: H&M   Shoes: Birkenstocks   Sunnies: Ray Ban

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