style: the best of 2013

the best ofInspired by this post and fellow bloggers, instagrammers and tastemakers around the globe, I decided to recap my first year of YSS with a “STYLE: the best of 2013” tribute.  Here is a snapshot of some favorite looks from this past year.  There were obvious consistencies in my overall styling, wearing mostly solid pieces and maintaining an urban boho sensibility.  And I personalized each ensemble with details like hats, bags, sunnies and scarves.  Style is about authenticity and finding your own rhythm, but like our mental and emotional selves, it should always be evolving.  Thinking outside the box provides an opportunity for growth and if something is uncomfortable, you can simply change course.  Just like Teddy Roosevelt said, “it is better to have tried and failed, than not have tried at all.”  I took some chances in 2013 (ahem, crop tops!) and I can’t wait to see what develops in the coming year!  My crystal ball says I will be taking many more risks.  Stay tuned and join me!


the best of - 3


the best of - 2

the best of... 2

photo 2-2

the best of - 6

the best of - 4


photos via candy kennedy & ira jesse pfeffer

spotlight: mgems jewelry


Manda Kovar and Melissa Cohen, the fab duo behind MGEMS, have been creating handmade one of a kind boho inspired jewelry for years and as the company continues to evolve so does their beautiful work.  I have known Melissa for over ten years and have come to know Manda and their equally shared passion comes through in every design.  All jewelry is handcrafted, both involved in the process from inception to execution.  Each piece has a story and is made with rare and unique gem stones so that no two styles are identical.  The beads are individually hand picked and artfully strung together, creating a relaxed sensibility while still ensuring to make a bold (but understated) statement.  The styling never feels overdone or forced and the color palette is inspired by the natural earth stones – shades of emerald, quartz, ivory, turquoise to name a few.  Worn by themselves or layered together, MGEMS jewelry can work with everything in your closet.  Whether you’re connecting with your inner love child or hitting the urban city nightlife, each piece can be styled in a myriad of ways.  As two working Moms who themselves are always looking for trend-right fashion and style – they know what it’s like to want easy and wearable jewelry that facilitates a cool, chic and hip aesthetic with two (or three in Manda’s case) little ones hanging off your arms.

MGEMS is currently sold at a few boutiques in the tri-state area and in pop-up shops around NYC.  Their website is in development but follow their instagram and facebook page to shop their current assortment.  You can also e-mail them directly at for inquiries.

Last week I styled and photographed a few pieces from their current assortment on the beautiful beaches of maui and held a Q & A with Manda and Melissa to get the inside scoop on the genesis of MGEMS, the vision behind the brand and what’s next on the agenda for these bead babes!

Tell me the story behind M~GEMS.  While both at NYU for graduate school we independently began our jewelry making journey.  Later introduced by Manda’s brother, we hit it off and started MGEMS together in our small NYC apartments.                    

What is the inspiration behind M~GEMS?  Creating easy, luxury, go-to pieces. 

What styles and trends are inspiring the current collection?  Boho chic, beachy and organic.  We want our jewelry to be easy to wear.


How are able to balance motherhood, a business, and still have time for you?  Still trying to figure that one out……

Where do you see M~GEMS in the next 5-10 years?  We’d like to see the company expand nationally so all women can have access.

How do you want women to feel when they wear your jewelry?  We want women to feel beautiful, sexy and confident.

What is your most favorite piece?  Manda – My favorite collection of necklaces are the chunky stones floating on delicate small beads.  I wear a tank top everyday and love to throw these on in every color.  Melissa – A vintage pendant strung on gray faceted beads.  When I go out at night I like to wear a black top and jeans and it’s my go-to outfit completer.


Manda Kovar and Melissa Cohen

Photography and Styling: Jenny Greenstein // Model: Jessica Fertig

aloha! farewell…


Tomorrow I depart for Maui (yeah!) for a well needed mental break where I’ll go radio silent from work traded for a week of rest and relaxation.  I’ve promised myself (and my wife) that I would dial out and stay present so to spend quality time with her and my good friends.  But I expect to be inspired on this heavenly and beauteous island and when back home will have tons to share with you!  Till then, the one connectivity I will engage in throughout the week is instagram.  I figure photos are allowed, right?  If you’re not following me yet – get on board here so that you can preview the sun, sand, water and some soulful Hawaiian fashion goodness!

I’ll leave you with the beach essentials that have been packed in my bag – and maybe in yours soon too!  Have a great week everyone!  Aloha!

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  1. Sugar lip treatment SPF 15, $22.50,
  2. Kiss my Face face suntan lotion, $12.49,
  3. J.Crew panama hat, $58,
  4. Tom Ford olivier havana sunglasses, $385,
  5. Twelfth St by Cynthia Vincent printed shopper, $85,
  6. Zara long asymmetric tunic, $59.90,
  7. L *Space city tribe reversible top, $92,
  8. L *Space city tribe bikini bottom, $81,
  9. Dolce Vita archer sandal, $69,
  10. J.Crew stripe linen tunic, $98,

photo via here

in the nude…

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A few weeks back one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers, Sarah Yates from A House in the Hills (pictured above) mentioned in this post how nude shoes can “make your legs look like they go on for a million miles”.  Seems her and I are style vibin’ because I’d been queueing up a post covering the same topic!  The color nude is relative.  For caucasion women it’s a peach tone whereas for other races and ethnicities the shade of ‘nude’ varies.  Here is the low down on how you could look your best ‘in the nude’ no matter what color you are!

style tip:  how to get legs for days?  Whatever your skin tone – wearing shoes that match back to it will create an illusion of a longer and leaner silhouette.  This happens because there is no pause (or break) for the eye to rest at, keeping the line of sight continuous with no interruption.  Since the shade of the shoe is consistent with the color of your skin – it tricks the brain to “believe” it’s an extension of your own leg and your shoe (or ankle strap) doesn’t wind up cutting you off.  Genius, right?  This style tip greatly benefits the vertically challenged or for those of us that just want a slimmer appearance.  No matter what your body type really – it’s a win!  Here’s a visual tutorial.

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 7.25.42 PM This tip has been used by us fashion stylists for years and one that I had to share with you.  It’s a little trick we keep in our back pockets but one that should be shouted from the roof tops! 

Here are some other benefits…

  • This tip applies to both flats and heels
  • Nude shoes go with any outfit hence ‘neutral’ – yipee!
  • Nude (neutral) shoes are trend right so finding the right match up to your skin tone should be a breeze!   Be sure to get as close to your own color as possible!
  • Gold is a close second to nude for most skin tones and can facilitate the same results

 …and an edit of a few faves from spring/summer ’13.  Shop the above dresses here and here.

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  1. Aquazzura cutout booties, $465,
  2. Chloe two tone sandals, $320,
  3. Zara multi strap high sandal, $89.90,
  4. KORS Michael Kors lexa sandals, $275,
  5. Dolce Vita briza sandals, $79,
  6. Jeffrey Campbell bond girl sandals, $185,
  7. Schutz Arieli lace up booties, $220,

photo credit via Lou Mora

festival fashion…


This past weekend I went to the GoogaMooga festival in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.  We joked that it was a ‘poor man’s Coachella‘ but its focus is food rather than music so it’s not really an apples to apples comparison.  On the other hand, like Coachella it was apparent that fashion and style played a large role.  Different than the west coast’s rock ‘n’ roll boho babe who looks like this, Brooklyn’s version had a more downtown, edgy hipster feel like this.  But there were hats, some fringes and cut off denim shorts and the likes so not a complete departure.  Summer festivals are about to pop off in full swing so let’s get talking about festival fashion!  What will you wear to BonnarooAustin City LimitsBurning Man?  I’d love to see how you style your festival fashion look.  Send photos to or post on instagram with the hashtag #yoursoulstyle.  I’ll be dancing at Gathering of the Vibes in some of these.  More to come!

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  1. Zara flowing printed kimono, $89.90
  2. Ottoman Hands necklace, $71.27,
  3. J.Crew panama hat, $58,
  4. Rag & Bone boyfriend shorts, $246,
  5. Acne zone music tank, $110,
  6. Ray Ban aviator sunglasses, $150,
  7. Topshop embossed leather backpack, $150,
  8. Zara flat crossover sandals, $79.90,
  9. Topshop white patchwork dress, $72,

Click here to find a listing of music festivals in your area.

photo credit and more inspiration via here