The Insider’s Guide to Tel Aviv

Located on the edge of the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv is a haven of buttery beaches and vibrant culture. The Israeli city — nicknamed “the White City” for the surplus of white, 1930s Bauhaus-style buildings that decorate the streets — boasts a unique combination of old and new: thousands of years of history set within a young, modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere. A place you sip black coffee on a storied palm tree-lined boulevard, explore an ancient port and discover a pop-up boutique tucked around the corner of the crumbly walls, stumble across a feminist art exhibition held in a restored Ottoman-era building. Elderly men play backgammon and smoke cigarettes in open-air markets while the latest, hippest restaurant bustles feverishly in the space next door. As such, it’s really no surprise that the city is such a fertile breeding ground for all kinds of creatives, from chefs and architects to musicians, artists and designers. This juxtaposition supplies Tel Aviv — at once a beach town, a thriving arts hub, an inclusive space for both tradition and boundary-pushing ideas — with a spirited energy that fuels the need to discover and rediscover it time and time again.

With that in mind, we asked a couple of our closest local pals to give us the low down on all of their go-to places to eat, beach and sightsee in the colorful, vivacious place they call home.

 

WHERE TO EAT

Photos by Roni Cnaani

“Oasis on Montefiori St,” says Gittit Szwarc, designer behind the multidisciplinary studio Knobbly. “It’s the vision of a mad and inspired chef, Rima Olvera. I’m a food culture skeptic in general — I eat to get through my day, usually while reading/talking/texting. I remember being a little upset the first time I ate at Oasis because I couldn’t ignore the food I was eating the way I’m used to doing. I had to stop and experience it. And the place is designed to support it, dark and minimal with weird murals in the patio from local artist Klone. It’s a place to go to experience food as art.”

The charming Montefiori St is home to another excellent restaurant, this one at a boutique hotel. “Hotel Montefiori is a great option if you’re more into French-inspired classics, and is the place for an over the top breakfast/brunch,” adds Hila Chemony of Vender.

For the best hummus — a classic staple of the Israeli diet — in town, both Gittit and Hila recommend Abu Hassan in Jaffa. “Get the “Hummus Masabakha” (hummus with chickpeas cooked for 8 hours) with a brown egg,” Gittit says. “It’s only open until 4PM, the good stuff usually runs out by 2, it’s super crowded and noisy with communal seating, and you’ll be in and out in 15 minutes — the original hummus experience.” Check out Garger Hazahav (which means “the Golden Chickpea” in Hebrew) in the funky Florentin neighbourhood, too. “They have amazing hummus, delicious sides and a cool casual vibe,” describes Hila.

Oasis, Montefiore St 17

Hotel Montefiori, Montefiori St 36

Abu Hassan, Ha-Dolfin St 1

Garger Hazahav, Levinsky 30

Bait Thailandi, Bograshov St 8

 

WHERE TO DRINK

Unequivocally, the Teder. “It’s located in a courtyard surrounded by a complex with mainly artist and designer studios and there’s always some unoccupied room or corridor being taken over by an exhibition, pop up shop or music label, as well as live shows in the main area,” Gittit says. “You can find a quiet spot to sit with friends or take your drink and walk around to see what’s happening.”

The four-level complex itself is called Beit Romano and, along with the Teder, Hila suggests exploring the whole place. “The Romano restaurant on the second level is a great spot for dinner and drinks.”

The Teder, Beit Romano, Derech Jaffa 9

Romano, Beit Romano, Derech Jaffa 9

 

WHERE TO PEOPLE WATCH

Photos by Roni Cnaani

One of the most wonderful things about Tel Aviv is its diversity. And the Great Synagogue, built in the 1920s and located on Allenby St, is a great spot to go at night to people watch, Hila says. Have a drink at Port Sa’id just across the street and settle in for the evening.

“Casino San Remo in the Noga District in Jaffa — a cafe by day and bar by night,” Gittit adds. “It’s casual but not too small, so there’s a wide range of people of all ages and walks of life who feel at home there in different hours of the day.”

Great Synagogue, Allenby St 110

Port Sa’id, Har Sinai St 5

Casino San Remo, Nehama St 2

 

WHERE TO BEACH

The White City’s coastline, with gorgeous yellow sand beaches looking out at jewel blue water, is hard to beat. “Beit Haetzel beach right on the edge of Tel Aviv and the beginning of Jaffa is simply beautiful,” Hila says. “If you’re into surfing (or surfers) you should head to Hilton beach, and don’t miss the Independence Garden right above it.”

Gittit recommends the laid back Ajami beach, just south of Old Jaffa.

Photos by Yasmine Shemesh (left) and Roni Cnaani (right)

 

WHERE TO SHOP

The best shopping district? “The Noga District!” Gittit says. “It’s where my studio is located. Most of the designers’ spaces there function foremost as studios and second as shops, which means you’ll usually be talking to the designer herself when you enter. You can find some conceptual-yet-wearable stuff at Magpie Goose (with whom I share studio space), HOKO, Juliett and Naomi Maaravi, strong clean basics at KAV, and you’ll be breathing sea air the whole time.”

For an eclectic experience, Hila suggests wandering the flea market in Jaffa — the Shuk HaPishpushim. “It is a fun way to spend half a day between the independent designer shops, galleries, cafes and a great place to find flea market finds.”

Noga District, in between Tel Aviv and Jaffa

Flea Market, Jaffa

 

WHERE TO SIGHTSEE

Photos by Yasmine Shemesh

“Try and find a nice bike (or rent one of the city’s) and spend a day going from the Jaffa flea market and up Rothschild Blvd,” Gittit says. “I feel like cycling is the best way to feel the city.” Another superb way to take in Tel Aviv’s culture is going to watch local bands perform. “There’s some really amazing stuff happening here this year,” Gittit adds. “Girl punk duo Deaf Chonky, glam rock band the White Screen, political punk from Antigona Rex, lots of interesting electronic and stoner rock stuff!”

“Tel Aviv’s historical neighborhoods are absolutely gorgeous,” Hila says. “Neve Tzedek or Old Jaffa are a must, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (and the new wing especially) has great exhibitions throughout the year.”

Rothschild Boulevard

Neve Tzedek, southwestern Tel Aviv

Old Jaffa, Jaffa

 

ONE MORE THING YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO

For Gittit, when anyone visits Israel, they must take a trip out to the Dead Sea. It’s a two-hour drive, but so worth it. “It’s such a surreal and intense place unlike anything else on Earth,” she says. Staying strictly in Tel Aviv, though? Find an Airbnb in North Jaffa and make it your home base. “Tel Aviv can be really intense and Jaffa is the more laid back and arty part of the city, so that’s where I tend to spend more time.”

And, before you go, a coast-to-coast walk along the beachfront is essential. “Starting up north at Reding, going all the way through Tel Aviv Port, the boardwalk and into Jaffa’s Old Port and Old City,” says Hila. “Tel Aviv’s beach is always an option, no matter the season, time or mood.”

by Yasmine Shemesh

Anna Gray’s Go-To Spots During New York Fashion Week

Did you know that I moved to New York as a totally clueless 18-year-old with a college acceptance letter, side bangs and stretchy purple Urban Outfitters jeans? Entire inner worlds are destroyed and rebuilt between the ages of 18 and 28 anyway, but imagine living that out in New York City. But I didn’t die and here I am, bedecked in cool-girl garments, mostly emotionally sound and holding an iced almond latte ready to show you around. (The purple pants are long gone, I promise). The first thing you learn in this here town is that lifespans are short. Favorite bars, vintage stores, restaurants, fast first year friends? All gone. The key is to visit favorites often, experiment with new places and avoid serious attachment. A bit like dating, for some.

Anyway, here are my favorite places that are still around. Though they did just open a Starbucks on the corner of St. Marks Place and Avenue A, so  this is probably the end of NYC as we (I) know it. Swing by any of my below go-to spots  during Fashion Week and you might catch me hiding out.

Aurora Vestita skirt; Catzorange bag; Vans sneakers

6th & B Garden: Okay, this place will be here for awhile because it’s a city sanctioned non-profit. Also, it looks like all of your secret garden dreams come true. There’s a treehouse! Drink your morning coffee in here and make a calm memory you can return to when you’re sprinting between shows.

Still House: I swing by Still House before any birthday/baby shower/wedding to pick up something small, beautiful and reasonably priced. Their ceramics and minimal jewelry are great. It’s a tiny shop so browsing is quick – i.e. it’s a great place to kill the tiny amount of time you have before your next appointment.

Town Clothes blouse c/o Either, And; Glass earrings c/o The Drive New York

Mogador: A classic since 1983. You’ve probably been here but I’m putting it on the list in case you haven’t. Delicious Moroccan food, reasonable prices and it’s on my block so you’ll likely run into me and we can talk about how great it is! Go on off hours like 3:30pm to avoid a long wait.

Oliver St Coffee: From the team that made Mr Fongs (more on that later), Oliver Coffee is a kind reprieve from the usual laptop-crowded cafe and also the mayhem that is fashion week. The magazine selection is great, they have obscure Asian snacks and the coffee/tea/milk options are plentiful.

Coming Soon: Fabiana and Helena are women with taste as excellent as their dispositions. They carry Chen & Kai, Concrete Cat, Fredericks and Mae, to name drop a few. They have lots of small cute gifts, so even if you’re in for the long haul of fashion month you can snag a souvenir. I go in for gifts but want everything for myself.

Town Clothes blouse c/o Either, And; Glass earrings c/o The Drive New York

Mr Fongs: Too many of my favorite bars have closed in New York but it’s okay because now we have Fongs. It’s cute, they have snacks and banquettes and the bartenders are nice. I highly suggest going when it’s still sunny out, it looks prettier.

Starstruck Vintage: Great vintage that requires a little digging but not too much. Sunglasses, dresses from all eras, and the bag selection is solid. Their vintage tees are outrageously expensive though! It’s on the west side, so you can stop by when you’re heading east after leaving the piers.

Kes NYC dress

Text by Anna Gray

Photography by Chloe Horseman

The Insider’s Guide to Helsinki With Samuji’s Suvi-Elina Enqvist

Not to be trite, but the best word to describe Finland is magical.  Both the natural wonders and cultural heritage that make up this country are certifiably mind-blowing: You can spot the neon wash of the Aurora Borealis up to 200 nights a year; take in the mind-rattling, reality-bending Midnight Sun throughout June and July; enjoy a remarkable 188,000 clean lakes, relax in over two million saunas (hell yeah!); and — of course — bask in the serene simplicity and playful color use that characterizes Finnish design.

From Jackie O’s trademark Marimekko dresses to Alvar Aalto’s architectural creations around the world, Finland has been setting design trends for decades. Let’s just say they know what’s up when it comes to creating beautiful pieces. Among our favorite contemporary design authorities in the country is Samuji, based in the country’s capital, Helsinki. Samuji is a creative studio specializing in women’s ready-to-wear and home interior products. Its work focuses on a love of necessary things designed with simple functionality and kindness.

Below we chat with Suvi-Elina Enqvist, head of sales and marketing at Samuji. With over 15 years experience in fashion PR and communications, Enqvist has built a global network of sales across more than 25 countries for Samuji. And while she’s worked in both France and the U.S., Helsinki is home for Enqvist, so we got her to spill on the city’s best places to eat, drink, shop, and more. Forget Tripadvisor and read on.

Suvi-Elina wears a coat by Samuji. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN HELSINKI? Helsinki has a distinct and charming atmosphere where minimalistic architecture meets Slavic influence. The city’s pallet of seasonal colors — fluctuating between vivid summer green, intense Baltic blue and the crystal white of Nordic winter — makes Helsinki a truly special place year-round. It’s a metropolis with finesse, especially in the summer with the “nightless” nights.

IS THERE SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THE CITY, BUT SHOULD? The solitude. Even if you are in the center of the nation’s capital, you can still be the only passenger on the train.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE HELSINKI STYLE? Colorful and diverse. Clothes reflect one’s personality and values. Individuality is important.

BEST PLACE TO EAT? There are restaurants all around the city that are really great, presenting pure and innovative dishes using local ingredients that you can only experience in the Nordic countries. I recommend Grön (Punavuori district), Ask (Kruununhaka district), Kom Theater (Ullanlinna district), as well as the old time classic Savoy (downtown).

Top by Samuji, skirt by Apiece Apart, earrings by Melissa Joy Manning.

BEST PLACE TO DRINK? For the best bartenders and drinks you should head out to Helsinki’s meatpacking district Teurastamo and to a place called Tislaamo Distillery Bar.

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE WATCH? Sompasaari Sauna — a place to meet interesting locals, bathe and relax while enjoying the views towards the old parts of Helsinki, Katajanokka and Kruununhaka districts.

BEST PLACE TO SHOP? Hakaniemi Market Hall for an authentic grocery shopping experience. Artek and Lokal for contemporary Finnish furniture and homeware, and Samuji House, our store that combines elements of a gallery, boutique and home. I also love R/H and Arela, Finnish designer clothing and accessories brands.

Coat, shirt and trousers by Samuji; shoes by Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

TELL US ABOUT THE SUMMER HOUSE CULTURE IN FINLAND. WHERE DO YOU ESCAPE TO ON THE WEEKENDS? The Helsinki archipelago is an endless source of inspiration and accessible for everyone. Just a fifteen minute boat ride from the city and it feels like a true getaway. You don’t have to leave the capital area to find peaceful scenery.

Summer cottage (mökki) is a must for a true Finnish lifestyle experience. The cottages are everywhere and they are not just close geographically, but also philosophically and socially too.

Photography by Lari Heikkilä

Locations, top to bottom: Lokal, Cafe Fleuriste and Samuji.

Make A Statement: Jewelry For Winter

It’s hard to believe that it is almost time to decorate our Christmas trees. Of course we have been concentrating on more important things to decorate this winter. Yes, we are talking about ourselves. From necklaces to earrings to bracelets, we’ve got endless options to help you get decked out for the season. Now we know it’s a difficult time of year to show off your bling due to the thousands of layers, but adding the right finishing pieces will help make you feel less like an abominable snowman and more like accessory queen Iris Apfel. Our top three? Go for big statement necklaces that stand out between your scarf and coat, unique bangles that can be worn over gloves or cool drop earrings that peek out from your beanie.

“I think jewelry can change an outfit more than anything else. Transformation, punch, individuality: one or all of the above are why you should wear jewelry.” – Iris Apfel

 

Meet The Members Of Garmentory Kids

We couldn’t be more excited for our Garmentory Kids exclusive pop-up shop! Full disclosure: we feel like children on Christmas. Now online through the end of December, we’ve got everything from beautifully made children’s clothing to quirky accessories and handcrafted toys, making your holiday shopping easy. Here, we introduce the amazing boutiques and designers in our pop-up that made it all possible.

The Best of Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood With The Shudio

When checking out a new neighborhood, we prefer to consult the experts. So when the rad women behind The Shudio offered to show us around Pilsen in Chicago, our answer was obvious. Founded by Merl Kinzie, The Shudio is part sustainable store, part metalsmith studio, with a carefully curated selection of eco-conscious goods, handcrafted jewelry, alongside vintage clothing, accessories and home goods. And in case you can’t make it out they house that day, they also have an unreal online shop managed by Rachael Glasder. Their deep love for vintage started where most does – at a young age and on a budget. From there thrifting became all about the hunt for unique decor and standout clothing. Merl and Rachel’s appreciation for vintage, and vintage-inspired style, is unmistakable.

The Shudio is just one of the unique and charming storefronts in Pilsen, so we quizzed them on their favorite hangouts. Trust us, this list will make you want to hop on the next flight to Chicago.

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Rawson Vintage Raw Hem Trench; Vintage shirt from The Shudio; Model’s own Rawson Vintage flares (similar here); Model’s own Everlane boots (similar here); Cylde’s Rebirth necklace (similar here). 

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Rawson Vintage Penguin Coat; Vintage shift dress; Vintage black lace up boots; Cylde’s Rebirth necklace

1. There are several wonderful coffee spots, but we like Jumping Bean. Straightforward coffee and yummy bagel varieties.

2. While walking west on 18th Street, we like to pop into Pilsen Community Books to pick up the latest work by Sandra Cisneros. They have a beautiful selection of new works as well as a refined collection of vintage books, some of which we carry at The Shudio.

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Vintage denim studio coat; Vintage top; Model’s own Rawson vintage sailor pants (similar here); CHC collection limited release bag; Model’s own L.L. Bean Signature clogs (similar here); Cylde’s Rebirth bracelet.

3. Not much further down on the same side of the street is Verdant Matter, a ceramics and plant store, with the prettiest vessels for indoor plants as well as natural self care products and thoughtful gift ideas.

4. Pilsen is known for its involvement in the arts and specifically it’s collection of murals on 16th Street. The large colorful mural shown is by artist Victor Reyes.

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5. When it’s nice out, after closing up the shop, we like to stop by our friends’ garden to throw a little fresh cilantro in our corononitas.

6. The options for tacos are never-ending in this neighborhood, but we have collectively whittled down our favorites to: Atotonilco for fish tacos and Don Pedro’s for homemade tortillas. 

7. To experience a more-than-a-dive-bar-but-still-a-dive-bar, one must go to Skylark. With affordable drinks and flattering low lighting, this place is our favorite.

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Vintage camel coat; Vintage Donna Mizar silk blouse; Model’s own vintage Levi 517’s (similar here); Model’s own Everlane boots (similar here); Model’s own Rayban sunglasses (similar here).

Models: Laura and Marg
Photographer: Merl Kinzie
Stylist: Rachael Glasder

Vintage Shopping with Virginia Calderon in Los Angeles

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Virginia Calderon has explored every inch of the city to find the best (and we’re sure some of the worst) places to shop vintage. A fashion consultant and soon to be purveyor of her own shoe label, Virginia’s style has always been inspired by old family photo albums and vintage magazines. So searching for hidden treasures is just part of her regular shopping game. Of course as a self-described vintage denim hoarder, it’s probably safe to say it’s more of an obsession. Today, Virginia sums up her style as “French tomboy with a hint of Japanese minimalist grandma”. We couldn’t love it – or her – more.

Being the sweetheart that she is, Virginia took us along for a day of shopping in LA, stopping by our mutual friends at the boutique NONNA, to give us a peek into her world of vintage on the west coast.

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WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER A LOVE FOR VINTAGE? I fell in love with vintage when going through old family photo albums and magazines in high school. I would cut up the photographs (sorry mom), vintage magazines and make collages of the pieces I loved. This was before Pinterest. Then I would go searching for the item. I fell in love with the search of vintage treasures. When I found this paisley print dress that I adored, I was hooked.

WHY DO YOU SHOP VINTAGE? I believe vintage creates sustainability in fashion. The quality and craftsmanship of vintage wares is simply amazing. I love how you can have unique and beautiful pieces that no one else has. It’s fun to use your imagination and creativity when styling yourself. I like to have fun with it and vintage allows me to do that.

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WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST VINTAGE SCORE TO DATE? I would have to say it’s a toss up between a pair of $3 orange tab Levis I found with the most amazing wash and a vintage Chanel bracelet I found for $20 was pretty incredible. If I had to decide between the two I would lean towards the Levis because I am a lover of denim.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE NEW TO VINTAGE SHOPPING? My advice would be don’t care about size or label. Don’t get hung up if you have to size up from your usual size. Finding that great fit is everything and searching through vintage is an adventure on its own.

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WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 TIPS FOR FINDING THAT PERFECT VINTAGE PIECE?

1) Again, don’t get stuck on the sizing. Honestly ignore sizing on labels. Sizing labels on vintage rarely match current sizing, so try pieces on. You may be a size 6 and need a 10 vintage. Or even higher, depending what era it’s from.

2) Double check that all fastenings are working. Make sure that no buttons are missing and the zippers are working properly. This may sound like common sense but a lot of vintage can have small issues that make them difficult to salvage.

3) Hold garments to the light to see if there are any holes or rips. Sometimes these can be fixed and other times it’s not worth it.

WHO DO YOU LOOK AT FOR INSPIRATION WHEN SHOPPING FOR VINTAGE? I look to my friends, strangers at coffee shops, films, and old family photos for inspiration. Sometimes it can be in the oddest photo or most unique place you wouldn’t expect so I’m always looking. Inspiration is everywhere.

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DO YOU THINK VINTAGE SHOPPING IN LA IS DIFFERENT THAN IN OTHER CITIES? I think Los Angeles has a mind of its own and plays a big part in vintage fashion. LA’s weather also encourages beautiful vintage 24/7 due to its incredible sunny days and refreshing nights. There are also just a limitless amount of amazingly cute vintage stores hidden in every corner. I also love how estate sales in LA generate many hidden gems. Los Angeles in a nutshell is a diverse, culture enrich city that is full of unique pieces that are all available at your fingertips.

virginia-calderon-los-angeles

Follow Virginia for style inspo on the daily @_chicadero

Photos by Kourtney Jackson

Everything You Need to Know About Shopping for Vintage Denim

There’s nothing like the thrill of the hunt, but when you find exactly what you’ve been looking for? It’s soooo much better. Which is why we went to the experts to get some advice on what to do when shopping for vintage denim. A pair of battered Wranglers or Levi’s 501 jeans have become just as essential to a good wardrobe as any Glove shoe or bucket bag. Our favorite cool girls make it look easy, but the rest of us need a little extra help to bolster the confidence to comb through our local thrift store. The good news? You can also buy these things online, which we really love. Whether you’re a thrifting pro or have yet to pop your vintage denim cherry, the words of wisdom that follow are key to finding that perfect pair of vintage jeans.

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START WITH A FITTING ROOM “Our top tip for shopping vintage denim would be to try an assortment of sizes. Fit really varies between style numbers and years produced so you really need to try a range and see what works best with your body type!” say Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow, founders of Hey Jude, a purveyor of contemporary vintage based in Vancouver, BC. “It takes a bit more effort but when you find the style that is best for you it’s worth the extra work.” Once you’ve narrowed down your size range, cut and fit preference, you’ll have all the info you need to shop for vintage jeans offline or online.

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LOOK FOR EXTRA TREATMENTS “If you can, try to find vintage Levi’s that have been silicone washed,” advises Andi Bakos, who curates a regular rotation of vintage denim for her boutique West End Select Shop in Portland. “We send all our jeans to a wash house and they come back feeling lighter, softer and more supple. It’s like putting them into a time machine that makes them 20 years older and better.” Look for curated vintage stores where this kind of vintage TLC is more likely.

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THEY SHOULD BE PERFECTLY IMPERFECT “We love denim for its sustainability and forever getting better with age. Jeans are effortlessly classic, and unexpectedly sentimental,” explain Stacy Daily and Claire Lampert, creators of B Sides. “Vintage jeans fit like no other piece of clothing you’ve ever worn. They are best when they’re broken in, heavy, imperfect, with color variation.” So look for things that make that pair extra special and personal to you. If your perfect fit has too many holes for your liking, there’s nothing a good tailor can’t help with to make them exactly how you want them.

TRADITIONAL SHOPPING RULES DO NOT APPLY

“Look in the men’s and boy’s jean sections too!” enthuses Amanda Vega, owner of KALEIDOSWendy and LaRae Kangas, the founders of DUO NYC, are on the same page. “We recommend shopping the men’s section. We’ve found some of our favorite pairs in the men’s rack, aka score a perfect boyfriend jean. Also, don’t get hung up with sizing on the label. Old denim tends to run much smaller than modern sizing. Our rule of thumb is size up two to three sizes.”

Merl Kinzie and Rachael Glasder, founder and online shop manager of The Shudio respectively, completely agree on both counts. “I have lately been going to the boys section of thrift and resale shops as some of the sizes are better for modern women, plus they have that grass-stained and worn-in quality that a lot of women look for,” Rachael says. Try on everything!” Merl adds. “I tell every person who comes into The Shudio looking for vintage denim that you have to carve out a solid hour when hunting for the perfect pair because depending on the year the jeans were constructed and how the first owner wore them, the sizes can widely fluctuate and a pair you never would’ve picked up could be your denim soul mate. It also doesn’t hurt to do some research prior to hitting the racks so you know what styles and fits best suit you… but again, try on EVERYTHING.”

“If you’re in a shop somewhere, try them on,” continues Katie May, owner of BLACKSHEEP. “Try them all on. The ones you thought wouldn’t fit may be the ones that make your butt look better than it ever has before! It’s so tough to know your size with all the inconsistencies and vanity sizing over the years. If you’re shopping online it’s important to know your measurements. I also tend to be pretty brand loyal so you can have idea of what to expect.” 

Remember: you are not a number, you’re a person. Hopefully after this, a person with the perfect pair of vintage jeans.

Women We Love Share Their Fave Fall Staples

Everyone has those hero pieces in their closet. The ones you reach for over and over, no matter how many new things you’ve brought home for a new season. And you feel really good in them, even after lunch on taco Tuesday. But here’s the challenge: how do you keep them feeling fresh again and again? We asked five of our favorite cool girls to show us how it’s done.

ANNA GRAY (above)

“I’m as surprised as anyone that kitten heels have made a come back. These vintage Manolos (similar here) have the best granny vibe and are much more practical than their 5″ cousin.”

Photo by Local Creative

 

LEE VOSBURGH

Lee Vosburgh Style Blogger Fall Pick

“If I could only keep 1 pair of shoes for Fall, the Rachel Comey Mars Boot would be it. They’re so comfortable, such a classic shape and somehow manage to work with every type of pants I own. I love that I can aways count of them to pull an outfit together, whether it’s a pair of jeans and a tee for running errands or a great dress for a night out. They can also take a beating and always seem to bounce back no matter what I put them through!”

 

JEANA SOHN

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“I just got this Dries Van Noten Jacket for fall (similar here). It’s a great everyday jacket but it looks cool over a dressy outfit as well. I love the faux fur collar detail.”

 

MADELYNN FURLONG

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“Lately I have been carrying my Building Block Box Bag everyday and people always ask where I got it, or who makes it. The geometric shape is striking and easy to like. I tend to wear a lot of neutral tones and having a bit more of a unique, eye catching bag, elevates even the most basic fall outfits.”

 

NIKISHA BRUNSON

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“My Black Crane Quilted Dress and my Lotta’s clogs with socks are gonna be my go to outfit this Fall. I’m in love with the shapes of Black Crane pieces, plus it has pockets and it’s comfy.”

A bunch of other women we love shared their favorites for Fall. Check out our boutique buyers’ picks this way.

A week in Portland with Window of Imagination’s Jen Szeto

We’re completely in love with Jen Szeto’s Instagram, Window of Imagination. Her appropriately named feed gives us little peeks into her inspired life, where the San Francisco native travels to the most swoon-worthy places and takes gorgeous photos along the way. Recently, she went to Portland and, naturally, we asked if we could virtually tag along on the ride. Jen was nice enough to pen us a little travel diary documenting her adventure, on which she stopped in to visit our friends at Stand Up Comedy to outfit her trip.

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Jen wears the Electric Feathers Short Infinite Rope Dress and Suzanne Rae Kimono Dress (similar here) from Stand Up Comedy.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRIP! WHAT TOOK YOU TO PORTLAND? Portland is an amazing city. I hadn’t spent much time up there before now – it had always been just a few days stopping in and out along a road trip. I had the chance do some work travel there for an entire week, and since the trip fell close to the 4th of July weekend, my husband and I took it upon ourselves to stay through the holiday. The weather was perfect – we arrived just as a mega heat wave was dissipating, so it was pleasant t-shirt weather the whole time. We had access to a car (which was key), and we rented an Airbnb right in the heart of Alberta Arts District, which provided endless amounts of restaurants, bars and ice cream to try. And the coffee! So. Much. Coffee.

WHAT DID YOU DISCOVER ABOUT THE CITY? After being there for a week, I found many similarities between Portland and San Francisco. Like SF, Portland is really health conscious and offers a variety of outdoor activity options, healthy & alternative restaurants, and a slower paced way of living (compared to say, New York or LA). Portland is seeing a surge in tech companies and creative agencies migrating north, so they are also experiencing a population boom like the Bay Area.

Aside from that, there is just a ton of great, diverse food in Portland, which was pleasantly surprising to discover. I ate out every day and gained about 6 pounds, no joke. I was also wowed by all the fantastic boutiques in the city. There are ton in a few concentrated areas that are all very diverse and well curated. When you combine that with no sales tax, the shopping really couldn’t be beat.

window-of-imagination-portland-lbd“Since I travel a lot, I’ve grown accustomed to packing clothing that are comfortable, versatile and durable.”

TOP 5 MUST-SEE/EAT/DO SPOTS YOU’D RECOMMEND? We explored, ate, and drank a lot, and these are the top 5 things that left me yearning for more (many thanks to Britt, Helen, and Diana for the fantastic recommendations):

Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Their famous thai-style chicken and rice is so simple, yet so delicious. There are three locations for the restaurant – two food carts and one brick and mortar. The food carts serve only chicken and rice, but the brick and mortar serves up a wider variety of rice-based dishes. The magic lies in the fat-drenched rice, as it completes the dish with its extra juiciness and succulent flavor.

The soft serve at Cheese & Crack. We stopped by to try their signature soft serve, which has chocolate ganache filling at the bottom of the cone and espresso dust sprinkled on top of the ice cream. It was the perfect summer treat!

Broder Øst. During the July 4th weekend, Colin, myself, and a friend of ours escaped to the coast and explored Hood River. At sundown, we went into town and had dinner here which serves the most delectable Scandinavian comfort food I’ve ever tasted. We ordered a mishmash of things and everything was a hit. We sopped up the juices, licked our plates, and topped everything off with a few rounds of traditional cocktails. I believe there’s another location in Portland, too!

Ira Keller Fountain Park. I absolutely fell in love with this landmark. The fountain is located in the heart of downtown, and is an architectural sight for sore eyes. Heavy waters cascade from towering, mountain-like sculptures that can be observed from layered concrete platforms. On hot days you can wade through the water (though not recommended) or sit atop the plaza and lose yourself in the soothing roar. It was very quiet the day we visited, so we were able to meander without disruption.

Stand Up Comedy. It’s the most avant grade, nondescript boutique in all of Portland, which houses some of the most forward thinking labels to date. The store’s owner/founder, Diana Kim, has spent the last seven years meticulously curating her selection to perfection, carrying timeless items that perfectly compliment my minimal color / maximum volume palette. Her current location is the shop’s second home. It has unique bones and rare stone from its old jewelry store days that Diana has consciously kept intact.

WHAT HIDDEN GEMS DID YOU FIND? Well, for starters, I realized that the second Voodoo Doughnuts location in the NE is waaaaay less crowded than the one in the SW. So if you’re desperate for that sweet dough, head there.

Secondly, the floral shop inside of Alder & Co, Hilary Horvath Flowers, is one of the best places to pick up an arrangement! Hilary was very sweet and super accommodating… and while I shopped around Alder & Co, she quickly whipped up one of the best bouquets that I’ve ever received!

Lastly, if you ever feel like adventuring outside of Portland, there’s this cool little swimming hole about an hour outside of town called Mosier Creek Falls It’s tucked away from the main road but easy to access via a narrow trail. Once you get there, you’re greeted by a cascading waterfall and two picturesque pools where you can swim, mini-cliff dive and sunbathe.

window-of-imagination-portland-layers“I can imagine coming up with at least a week’s worth of outfit combinations with just these two pieces alone.”

HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR TRAVEL ITINERARIES? Honestly, by the seat of my pants. I’m not much of a personal planner because I think it takes a little fun out of exploring. Many years ago when I was traveling through Japan, I received some great advice by one of my bed and breakfast hosts. He was a retired Frenchman living life slowly and happily with his wife, and when I checked in, he provided some great to-do recommendations during my stay. Just before we wrapped up our meeting, though, he said, “Most importantly, don’t forget to get lost.” And that has always stuck with me. Since then, I’ve tried not to over plan, but instead take a few cues from friends and leave the rest up to the internet on the day-of.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT FOR TRAVEL? I’m a forever fan of Jesse Kamm’s sailor pants – I have two, soon to be three, pairs – so I never leave home without them. Since I don’t have TSA pre-check (yet), I always wear a pair of easy slip-on shoes, like the Martiniano glove shoes, and a non-constricting tee. San Francisco has taught me how to layer, so I also never leave home without a coat (which can double as a pillow on long flights or road trips).

While you’re planning your trip, you can shop our favorite Portland boutiques in one handy place. This way >