WRNY – contemporary dresses

new york magazine

I haven’t experienced my own pregnancy yet, but I can definitely relate to a changing body. Getting dressed can seem daunting while your body is in flux, however strategic styling and shopping techniques can accommodate the changes beautifully. My latest contributing style post on Well Rounded NY offers mamas-to-be a few suggestions on which silhouettes work for your baby-bump and tips on how to avoid the maternity section, making your dollar go way further! Head on over to Well Rounded NY to check it, and shop it…

photo via ny magazine

hair-anoia

big hair don't care

I don’t know about you New Yorkers, but I had the biggest hair crisis last week due to the stretch of unseasonably warm and humid weather. I’m thankful that its finally turned brisk (if not for the hair, right?), but then the rain totally screwed up my run of frizz-less days. I’m pleased to be back breathing fresh, crisp air and of course have my curly mane start to somewhat behave, but you never know when precipitation is going to rear it’s ugly head again. And the hair-anoia continues…

I’ve disliked my hair for the majority of my life. It all began in childhood when each morning after dousing myself with a bottle of No More Tangles, I still wound up with a frizzy mess. My mama did her best to tame the mane, but it was tricky. And at that point, I just wanted hair like my best friend(s) and Barbie dolls. Fast forward twenty-five years later, after keratin, haircuts, hundreds of products, diet changes, vitamins, acupuncture, etc., and I’m still working on accepting what others deem an asset. Simply put, it’s never going to be what I had wished. It’s never going to look like my peers, or women in magazines, or the girls on my “Hair Envy” pinterest board (Yes, I have one). Or Barbie. 

We are constantly being taught to go against our natural grain. Be it through the media, our parents, teachers or friends – there are cultural norms considered ideal, and we expend much of our energy trying to fit into them. Curly girls go straight, curvier women spend hours at the gym to downsize god-given assets, we make our dark hair blonde because clearly they have more “fun”, we buy clothes because they are “in-style”, we become lawyers and doctors because our parents want us to be “successful”, we even go as far as going under the knife in effort to become more “beautiful” or younger-looking.  In one way or another, we are all victims to falling down the rabbit hole of conformity, myself included. I, just like you, continue to work towards undoing my own perception of myself that has been pre-programmed by someone else’s standards in an effort to uncover my authentic self.  Work in progress, always!

I’ve been on the fence for some time now about a major change – a big chop, which will take the locks I’ve been growing for months into a shoulder length, wild and crazy, side-parted, long bob. Something like Beyonce’s do from the 2013 MTV awards. The last time I made a dramatic cut, I had recently undergone a keratin treatment so wasn’t too worried. But now, it has grown out, and I’m dealing with the natural texture which can be a bit unruly. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal to most, but getting a haircut is my worst possible. I chalk it up to a bad move in college, when I cut it to my shoulders (you should know it was ridiculously long), started blowing it straight daily which totally destroyed it, and am since convinced that its never been the same. Truth. It’s also tricky because curly hair takes double as long to grow. When the response from a friend to my proposed haircut is, “it’s hair, it’ll grow”, I’m not sure they are fully taking into account the lengthier commitment. I’ve been wanting to embrace this change for quite some time though, and as I learn to embrace my hair (that will never be as long as I want), instead of fighting nature, why not just go with it. It’s curly. And it’s big. It breaks. And it’s frizzy. And that is OK. In fact, it’s better then ok. I think a shorter, confident and edgy style will be the perfect fresh update. I’m kind of over trying to manage my hair to a standard that I didn’t even create. There is something completely freeing about giving yourself permission to just accept who you are.

With all this being said, and as I continue on my quest for hair salvation, I’ve solicited some expert advice on how to deal with unruly frizz from the incredible hair stylist Janet Waddell, who will be styling the cut for me when the time comes (Stay tuned for a follow-up “after” post, even if it comes in a year from now, but don’t hold it against me if I opt out. Ha!). Hailing from the UK, Janet Waddell has an international resume that includes running the Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco to working with one of the most prominent and prestigious hair stylists in NYC, John Barrett, as the Education Director and Senior Stylist in his Bergdorf Goodman location. After 8 years with John Barrett, Janet left to open her own studio here in New York, which has grown exponentially in a short amount of time. In addition to her epic hairstyling skills from an artistic perspective, Janet has also “introduced a very special private Health and Wellness area, dedicated to helping women experiencing hair loss. She offers beautiful solutions to issues such as alopecia, trichotillomania, and hormonal hair loss/thinning due to the effects of chemo.” When her and I met for a consultation, she guided me towards a style that would work specifically for my hair, that wouldn’t defy nature, and would coincide with my personal style. A testament to who she is as a person, her goal is to always empower women to feel their best and be the most beautiful version of themselves. A woman after my very own heart.

As a special promotion for Your Soul Style readers, Janet is offering 20% off for new clients, either with her or one of her lead stylists, Thea Derecola. Just be sure to mention Your Soul Style when you make your appointment. Thank you, Janet! You’re the best! In the meantime while I continue to hem and haw about making the cut, some tips on how to achieve a frizz-free mane.

Have an epic weekend!

TIPS TO FIGHT FRIZZ, by Janet Waddell

  • Moisture with a super emollient  shampoo and conditioner
  • Towel dry gently and apply a cream based styling balm from roots to ends ensuring even distribution of product
  • Never brush or comb hair when it is dry
  • Don’t over wash hair, once or twice a week is better
  • Reactivate product in the hair by spritzing with a water spray in the morning
  • Longer hair can be braided before you sleep to avoid excess frizzing that can happen overnight
  • Avoid hot styling tools that damage the cuticle. A damaged cuticle not only accentuates frizz , it eliminates any shine.
  • Use natural oils like coconut oil or vitamin E, frizzy hair is thirsty hair!
  • Don’t run your fingers through frizzy hair during the day. The less you handle it, the better it will be.

photo via trop rouge

seven-pound itch

jenny greenstein

Since starting the fertility process, I’ve taken more medication than I could count –  HCG, Ganirelix, Gonal F, Lupron, Estradiol, Vivelle, Crinone – is your head spinning yet? Mine is, but maybe that’s from the meds. Kidding. Unfortunately while they do their job of helping me make a babe which I’m grateful for, they are also royally fu*king up my hormone levels which landed me with some extra unwanted pounds – specifically seven. While I pride myself on eating a strict, clean diet (some may argue to a fault), not being in control of my body during this time in spite of that is something I’ve had to contend with and ultimately accept. Staying consistent with yoga has been difficult too because of the countless times my Doctor has advised me to stop. And I really haven’t felt up to it either. I’ve tried to make further adjustments to my regimen, but while on this cocktail of medications, the scale is not budging. It actually may be continuously going up. Did I mention my boobs are also a size bigger? It feels like I’ve been pregnant since January already without actually being pregnant. Good times. 

When your hormone levels are out of balance, so is your metabolism. Simply put, all the estrogen I’m getting pumped with to prep for a fertility cycle causes estrogen dominance and weight gain. Add on an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s (which is what the DNA gods have predisposed me with) and it makes things even more complicated. If you’re struggling to lose weight and not on fertility drugs, this article by Dr. Amy Shah breaks it down, as does this one by Dr. William Cole and this one from Natasha Turner, N.D. naturopathic doctor). 

Despite all my complaining, I truly have surrendered to this process, and to my current shape which I believe is half the battle, but that didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a slow-building process to ultimately reach a place of acceptance, and I finally decided that instead of getting caught up in my head about not maintaining my weight, I would pour that toxic energy into other areas of my life that I’m passionate about. Our bodies are constantly changing and while I spent many months ruminating over the loss of control, I have released it. I give it back. It held me hostage from truly embracing the beauty of this magical journey.

We are making a baby! 

Letting go has been a very positive step, a breath of fresh breathable air, and has allowed my focus to remain on maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle from an emotional, mental and physical perspective. I’ve learned to see my life through a new lens – one that involves gratitude, patience, humility and acceptance. And that I’m holding on to. I won’t give that back – ever. I will carry these valuable lessons forward with me into motherhood and do my best to pass them on to the soul we bring into this world. What I’ve gained in numbers, I’ve gained in infinite wisdom. Worth the trade off. 

What’s also really helped is working out a few styling tricks along the way – choices which have made a huge difference and allowed me to find an ease within this new body. Here are 10 styling techniques for dealing with those unwanted pounds whether it be pre, during or post a new babe to help you look and feel your best! 

10 styling Tips For Your Changing Shape: 

1. Go Deep: Pay attention to the necklines of your clothing which can create an illusion of a slimmer frame. A lower neckline, such as a v-neck, balances proportions and helps eliminate looking top heavy (if you’re fuller in middle or have a big bust).

2. Size Up: Do not put on the pants that dig into your stomach. Let me repeat this: DO NOT put pants on that dig into your stomach. It is masochistic to wear clothes that are too tight so while your body is in a different phase, and possibly a little bigger – size up. Don’t pretend to be the same size you were and squeeze into your clothes. Purchase the size you are. Just like age is just a number, so is size. Be comfortable! You exude way more sex appeal (and confidence) when you’re not squirming to adjust your muffin top.

jenny greenstein

3. Skip the Brights: While I realize that not everyone loves the color black as much as I do, wearing darker colors such as navy, dark grey, burgundy and army green will help shade the areas your self-conscious of. Also, darker colors are most flattering in photos and during this cultures current obsession with social media (me included), you know your friend is going to request a selfie at Saturday night’s dinner. Be subtle. Skip the brights until you’re back at your comfortable weight.

4. Boyfriend Bestie: My skinny jeans are on a sabbatical. I want to be comfortable so I stocked up on boyfriend jeans (in blue, white and black) that are slouchy and relaxed. I would even recommend sizing up. Add a shoe like a black pointy toe pump or bootie to elevate the sexy. Paired with a top that has a deep v-neck of course.

jenny greenstein jenny greenstein

5. SuperSize It: Remember when I discussed bigger being better this season? Well, oversized sweaters, dresses, coats and bottoms are all the rage so if you’re not at your comfortable weight, embrace the sh*t out of this trend.

6. Fashion Tuck (or half-tuck): Do you know what a fashion tuck is? Here’s a photo for reference. While this may be a silly little tweak, it goes a very long way. Especially if you’re wearing items that are baggier and need more shape. This clever little maneuver will create a waistline, and add the perfect amount of scrunch to conceal the mid-section.

jenny greenstein jenny greenstein

7. Shoes: I am not much of a heel-wearer, however during this time I’ve decided to bust mine out. Because truth be told, they add height and length to provide an overall slimmer appearance. For all the non-believers out there, comfortable heels DO exist, you just need to find them. The ones I wear here are from Banana Republic and I think they’ve got some of the most walkable heels around. But every person’s foot shape is different so make sure you find the designer that works for you. Here’s an article from Who What Wear that provides some great pointers. And as always, I’m always here to help out if you need guidance.

8. Silhouette: The shape of a garment is half the battle and strategic draping can provide ruching in your desired “problem-areas”, for me, my mid-section. Pay attention to the silhouette of a garment because as your body’s shape continues to change, so should the item you’re wearing.

jenny greenstein jenny greenstein

9. Highlight your Assets: Sexy doesn’t always mean tight and skimpy. There is more to sexy then butt, boobs and belly. Shoulders are sexy, as are backs, chests and most importantly personalities! Put on your relaxed boyfriend jeans with an oversized sweater, sexy shoes, a bright red lipstick and smile!

10. Acceptance: Accept that you work really hard at living a balanced and healthy life. Accept that your body is beautiful no matter what shape it is. Accept that your body will change throughout life contingent upon circumstances. Be grateful for having the ability to grow a life inside of your body. Be empowered by that. Accept that we have one body to love, honor and respect. Accept.

jenny greenstein

SHOP IT: dress: Zara, old (similar) // shoes: Banana Republic, old (similar) // moto jacket: Sfera, old (similar) // clutch: Just Female

shopbop sale!

shopbop

Good news if you’re craving a little fall wardrobe sprucing because Shopbop is having a 25% off site wide promotion, starting today through October 16th. Don’t forget to check out East Dane too for all the men in your life, this promotion running through October 18th. I don’t really “need” anything, but who doesn’t love an epic sale? I popped on over to scope things out, and now have a See by Chloe bootie, a cozy For Love & Lemons sweater, a long split front terry dress from Oak, a fresh overall from Current/Elliot,  wide leg pants from Alice + Olivia and this floppy brim fedora from Rag & Bone on my wishlist.

Head on over to the site and use code FAMILY25 at checkout .

Brand exclusions {SHOPBOP}: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Acne Studios, Alexander Wang, Aurelie Bidermann, Canada Goose, Cedric Charlier, Gareth Pugh, Giambattista Valli, Herve Leger, Hunter, J. Mendel, Jamie Wolf, Jason Wu, Jay Ahr, Katie May, Maison Martin Margiela, Michele Watches, Monique Lhuillier, Nina Ricci, Rag & Bone, Rodarte, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney Apparel, Stuart Weitzman, Suno, Thakoon, Tory Burch York Totes, Versace, Victoria Victoria Beckham, Vika Gazinskaya, Wes Gordon and What Goes Around Comes Around Vintage.

Brand exclusions {EAST DANE}: 3.1 Phillip Lim, A.P.C., Alexander Wang, Canada Goose, Filson, Hunter, Rag & Bone, WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, What Goes Around Comes Around Vintage and Wolverine.

the big chill

scarves

I am a total scarf junkie so when the temperature hit the fifties this past Saturday, I welcomed the chill and was excited for my first scarf-wear of the season, documenting it on instagram to express my appreciation of course. The bigger the better, and my collection continues to grow exponentially. My soul style feels there is no better accessory for fall and winter. As a New Yorker, outer layers are just as important as inner since we spend so much time outside. Your head-to-toe ensemble includes coats, scarves, gloves, mittens, hats, etc so pay attention to the details. With that said, I’ve been perusing the interweb for a fresh update and am keeping my eyes on a cozy style from Acne, a neutral print from Malene Birger, a cashmere plaid from J.Crew (mens), a double face gingham from Topshop, an oversized striped style from ASOS, a faux fur from Whistles, a mountain shadow scarf from Madewell and I already picked up this double layered soft style from Zara.

Happy Monday!

photo: source unknown