Contributors

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


 
 
  Autumnal Joys


Hurricane Sandy's devastation has been just that: devastating. That wolfish wind
 has wreaked havoc on countless homes and properties. Most unfortunately, there
 were several people who perished as a result of this monstrous storm (heavy sigh).  
Our thoughts are with those who have been severely affected by this disaster.
 
Yet, amidst all the suffering and destruction, Ms. Sandy's dreaded arrival did bear one
positive  perk. She reminded us to be appreciative of not only toaster ovens, Subway lines, nightstand lights, text messaging, and daily coffee runs, but also of the glorious outdoors.
 
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There are moments when I catch myself shrugging off  the gift of mellow weather and instead dwell on my various troubles. There will always be some kind of petty excuse to not indulge in a perfectly balmy day. The whiny voice in one's mind will always grumble that it's too sunny, too chilly, too far, too tiring, too time-consuming to explore the adventures of Mother Nature. What then reminds me to pause and soak up her magnificent bounty?
 
When she turns towards me with a chilling glare and the sound of fury. That's when I'm like "okay, Nature. Take a whiff of lavender and relax! I won't be inappreciative anymore. I promise."
 
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Below are several autumnal activities to revel in once Ms. Sandy packs her purse, salutes the town with a devilish wink, and whisks her way back to heaven (or hell).
Basking in these outdoor activities will remind one that, in reality, Nature is sweetly sensuous, emotionally pacifying, and just plain awesome.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Prelude to the post: Dear East Coasters, wishing you and your loved ones plenty of safety and sanity over the next few Sandy days. (Alliteration much? Try saying that sentence ten times fast). Let's hope this "Perfect Storm" is more hype than harm. Seriously...I'm praying we don't lose power. We hope you enjoy the following post.
  Get Your Geek On!

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         Autumn, like a romantic lover, is a soothing companion: There is hot chocolate to quietly console your throat, a gentle wind to whisper sweet nothings into your ear, cashmere to caress the smoothness of your skin, and leaves to satisfyingly crunch under your boots. Yet, there is another characteristic that I attribute to fall, and that is the annual resurgence of "Geek Chic." The mesmerizing color of trees and the rejuvenation that lingers in the crisp air symbolizes the fresh start of the academic year. Being that I recently graduated college and am no longer in school (at least for now), I become nostalgic when I see students striding to the library, clutching their textbooks and lattes, a twinkle of determined resolve in their eyes... Trust me; I am far from envious of their burdensome jumble of exams, reports, and presentations. I just simply miss collegiate ensembles, studious looks, and all forms of Geek Chic.
 
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         Being that I usually ascribe deeper, "psychological" reasons to my Personal Style, I must mention why I am continually drawn to the classic schoolgirl fashion. Although I despised the itchy mid-length uniform skirt and prison-striped button-up that I wore everyday in elementary and high school, I’ve developed a peculiar attachment towards them. How can I not? I’ve worn that desperately dull outfit for the majority of life--so whether I like it or not, schoolgirl panache is now and forevermore “my thing.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

 
 
The Word We Love to Hate and Why We  Shouldn’t Hate it
Failure. What a word. The sound of it can deliver a quiver along a student’s spine, a quickening of heartbeat in the newly employed, and a vision of doom in the dreamer’s mind. We tiptoe delicately around Sir Failure, lest the hem of our pants brush the accursed cloak of this particular devil. We whisper nervously around him as well. Our words are soft yet jagged. We don’t want him to stalk and swallow us—because if he does, then we will be forced to crawl into the belly of humiliation and despair.
Like all other humans, I occasionally become lunch for Sir Failure. Once I am in his belly, I kick and scream and then fall into an exhausted heap of self-pity. Sir Failure chuckles heartily at my behavior. He likes that I finally surrendered to his exploits.

 
Sir Failure?
I am mentioning this, because it’s usually after the respite of the Chagim when our lives begin to settle, and Sir Failure materializes again. His eyes are constantly roaming the landscape for a daily feast. The New Year’s novel situations (a sweat-inducing college class, a demanding new job, or a budding yet fragile relationship) can often trigger thoughts of potential failure: What if Astro-Physics butchers my GPA? What if my employer pulls a fast Donald Trump on me and declares “You’re fired!” with a pointed finger and a blazing stare? What if I spill Coke on my date’s shirt, inadvertently insult his mother’s cooking, and then snort when I laugh?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The St-EYE-lista:
Take 2
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Welcome back to the "St-EYE-lista" column. The second individual we will feature this month is none other than the lovely Olivia Palermo. Olivia Palermo is an American socialite, model, and was an actress on the reality show calledThe City.
 
           If you have ever watched The City, then you probably think that Olivia is little more than a highly aloof, infantile witch who enjoys tearing her enemies apart (yes, that does sound harsh). Yet, truthfully, the only wicked thing about Olivia is her personal style. (Please be aware that the “reality”show was scripted and that Olivia was directed to act in a supercilious manner. TV likes to keep such minor details a secret).

Monday, October 22, 2012

  Book Review  
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Welcome to "Wear Your Invisible Crown"'s BOOK REVIEW Column. We will periodically feature a book or novel and will include our personal reflections based upon our reading. We will include books from various genres (spanning the range of fiction, memoirs, Jewish-themed books, psychology, dating, and classics). Read on for this month's BOOK REVIEW. We hope it's up your alley.
Pause for a moment and envision the following: You are a competing in a National Beauty Pageant and you (along with the other Beauty Pageant contestants) are flying to a tropical destination where the Pageant will be staged and filmed. Yet, there is one itsy-bitsy glitch in this glamorous agenda: The plane you are flying on crashes and you and the other survivors are pitifully abandoned on a cobra-infested, volcano-exploding jungle. You and your fellow surviving Beauty Queens have little to subsist on—unless you can count “four hot roller sets, straightening irons, three waterlogged beauty magazines, and laxatives” as survival provisions. You and the other young women have it far worse than the contenders on Survivor, because in addition to your minor “do or die” predicament, you must also continue to rigorously train for the Beauty Pageant, because when rescue does arrive you cannot afford to be mortified in front of the national television screen with smudged eyeliner and a sloppy runway walk.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


COLOR CODING
         Have you ever ogled an exquisite emerald green shirt only to neglect it on the rack because you were thrown by what color to pair it with?  Is black your best friend and beige your bosom buddy? The day has arrived for you to bid a temporary adieu to black and neutrals and bestow a welcoming hug to the fanciful universe of color. After all, “color war” is an activity we left behind in camp (along with bunk-raiding and daddy long-leg squashing). We are now officially at ease with color. In fact, we kind of love it.
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         In the monthly “Color Coding” column, a color that is inspired by either seasonal motifs or runway trends will be featured. This column will also include the various ways in which one can wear the featured color.

         This month we present the OXBLOOD hue a.k.a. burgundy. Yes, yes—I know Fashion publications already showcased fall’s proclaimed love affair with oxblood, but what many of them haven’t included in their pages is HOW to wear this deliciously luxe color. Read on to discover how oxblood/burgundy can become your wardrobe's new neutral.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

 
MUSICAL MUSINGS

         Within my ex-Literature Professor's body lies an impish ten-year old heart. One should not be deceived by his wispy white hair, Professor-like spectacles, and equally Professor-like corduroys. He will forever go down in my college's history as the Professor who concocted raunchy double entendres and cheeky one-liners in between Austen and Dickens narratives. Former Bet Yaakov and Seminary graduates would blush, shudder, and then blush again at his mischievous quips. Interestingly, my ex-Professor thrived on this kind of reaction. His eyes would meet the crimson-hued student's, and he would declare proudly "Look at Shrpintza! She's blushing!" He would then emit a hearty giggle or two...or three. I did mention he has a ten-year old's mannerisms, right? Professor, in case you are reading this, I mean all of this in jest. Or maybe I'm just getting back to you for five semesters' worth of teasing me. Take your pick. (Me: smiling smugly).
 

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No, silly, that's not my Professor. He just has the same kind of glasses as my Professor.
    
Rework it!
Getting the Maximum Out of Your Maxi
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Elle.com/Global Street Style
    
     So while you were bidding a weepy farewell to your gauzy floral dresses, bright cotton t-shirts, and well-worn sandals by shelving them in the back of your closet, I was sitting by my desk, chewing on gummy worms, and writing an article advising you not to do just that. Alas, telepathy isn't our speciality! What a shame. Because, you see, now you are just going to have to "unshelf" all that spring clothing and bring it to the forefront. After all, they were getting lonely back there.
     Why am I so adamant about not burying your spring/summer garments in the dusted coffin of time? Simply because I believe that adapting them into your fall/winter wardrobe is:

1) A GREAT penny-pinching tip and,
2) Motivates creativity and thinking out of the proverbial box.

Who said autumn and winter were only about leather, tweed, and wool, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

St-eye-lista Part 1

The St-EYE-lista
Welcome to our bi-monthly column "The St-EYE-lista!" This column will feature an individual whose personal style captured our EYE and whose fashion sense can be reinterpreted for the modest dresser. This month our featured St-EYE-lista is the hip Alexa ChungAlexa Chung is a former British model, has her own talk show, and has hosted a fashion design TV show called the "24 Hour Catwalk." 
 
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         It may be the understatement of the year to simply say that “I like Alexa Chung’s style.” “Obsessed or “fixated” might be more apropos. Seriously. I envy Alexa’s ability to look simultaneously disheveled and posh. She can appear at a fashion event with indifferently styled hair and a devil-may-care t-shirt but still parade around in towering patent heels and a sequined skirt.  Alexa's personal style also includes a “tomboy-meets-Lolita” dimension. She tends to cross masculine tailoring or tomboy nonchalance  (think blazers or combat boots) with a sweetly girly item (such as a Peter-Pan collar or flouncy skirt).
         Alexa has taken her personal style savvy into profitable business ventures as well. She designed a collection for Madewell, fronted campaigns for Superga and Maje, and even had a Mulberry schoolboy satchel named after her. Taking advantage of her “It” girl likability and fashion sense, Alexa has recently begun designing for her brand new clothing collection (We don’t have the details on it yet…but it’s already getting us "Alexacited.")
Check out Alexa’s personal style trademarks below!

Monday, October 15, 2012

 

Wear Your Invisible Crown.
        When I told a confidante of mine the title of this hush-hush, upcoming blog she half snickered and half chuckled (she “snuckled?”). She commented that this title conjured images of little girls frolicking in a mythical storybook land and donning an imaginary princess’s crown to fulfill their five year old, Cinderella-esque desires. When I heard this, I began to fret. Was this the association that the blog’s title would convey? If so, then should we change it? After all, Tiara and I wish to start a blog for young Jewish women--not toddlers who play make-believe in between Arthur re-runs and nap time.  



Instead of fanciful implications, we want the blog’s title to portray female Jewish pride and empowerment--perhaps like a heimishe version of Rosie the Riveter? It is our objective to foster an online community for young Jewish women (late teens and twenties) who are navigating their niche in this big, bad, beautiful world. We realize that the proverbial “Jewish American Princess” may not always feel like royal material, especially when daily vicissitudes creep past the yawning guards and slither into her castle. Confounding college courses, an economic recession, a humdrum 9-5, and/or relationship conundrums may be daily fodder for the single Jewish woman. It is our firm desire to have a website that will create unity, positive energy, and a spark of creative stimuli among young Jewish women from various communities. Tiara and I aspire to combine our Ashkenazic and Sephardic backgrounds and our varied Jewish outlooks to add diversity and an eclectic twist to our blog. Below are our objectives:

So, nu, vus smachsta? (Is that how you spell it? I don't know my Yiddush. Oy vey.)
 
 We look forward to informing readers about various Jewish community happenings

A Beautiful Mind  
 
Mayim Bialik. A Jewish actress and neuroscientist.
  • We would like to motivate readers to translate their visions of creativity into reality.
We are consistently drawn to and inspired by young Jewish female talent—whether they are artists, photographers, musicians, dancers, social activists, etc. We will include interviews with such members of our community.
 
Fashion Shmashion!
  • Is your Kiki Riki too close for comfort? Is your ubiquitous denim pencil skirt receiving way too much time in the spotlight? We totally get you.  As professed fashion geeks, we are looking forward (perhaps a bit too much) to posting Fashion/Personal Style entries and how one can incorporate them into her modest style of dressing. This will be one of the central focuses of our blog--so you have been officially forewarned if you see lots of posts on Fashion/Personal Style.
A Queen of Hearts + Her King of Spades 
 
  • Dating. You thought we would be cowardly and flicker off that potentially iffy subject, right? Wrong. As Jewish American Princesses, we believe that we are entitled to our Jewish American (or British, or French, or Israeli, or Persian) prince. However, walking the often twisted, yellow-brick road to matrimony may not be as fairy-tale-like as we once fabricated it to be. Never mind that. We aspire to create an online community of discussion, support, and just plain sisterly  understanding. We want to hear your dating stories girls! The good, the bad, and the ugly…and of course, what you learned from them (how could we ever forget that crucial point?) E-mail these giggly, goose-pimply, or  cringe-worthy stories to penchantforplaid@gmail.com for possible publication. The same goes for your college or work-related adventures! (which we will also post about).  
        With all this being said, perhaps my confidante did have a point when she "snuckled" about the blog's slightly saccharine and girlish title. Yes, we are  striving for a strong sense of empowerment and flourishing creativity, but aren't those the exact qualities that glowed within our once five year old selves? The five year olds who frolicked in the aforementioned storybook land?  As children, we knew how to live in the present, to not only be proud of our Lisa Frank sticker collection, but also of who we were as individuals. Our youthful hearts and minds already knew what Albert Einstein had come to realize only later on in life: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Wear Your Invisible Crown's objectives personify (or so we hope) these characteristics: Exploration of the self through creativity and day-to-day experiences, innate pride in our heritage, and the confidence that we are indeed genuine royalty.


We hope you check in with us and leave your thoughts and opinions. We can't wait to hear from you!

Sincerely,
Tiara and the Beckster


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