Spotted Shopping on Maiden Lane

It was Friday, and I was in need of shopping.

Every Friday, musician Chantelle Paige and blogger Breana Taylor (from BrilliantlyBre.com) try to get together for a blogger coffee or lunch date. I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s ends with a bit of shopping. Usually, it’s a nice little excuse to put on something photo worthy and snap a few photos on our networking date but I was in a bit of a rush on Friday so I need something cute, comfortable and quick. And something that worked well with dirty hair (hence the bun and sun hat). I’m usually one of two extremes, a jeans and t-shirt girl or a sundress girl and there isn’t a lot of in between. It was nice, however, to change up my neutral tee game and throw in a crazy print. I’m sure you’ve also noticed now my obsession with vintage silk scarves. Not sure if I’ve decided I was Parisian in another life or just really wish headscarfs and vintage convertibles were a normal part of my daily routine but they add some intention to an otherwise basic outfit. 

Funny side note: Moments after this photo was taken I had a mild panic attack after spotting my ex-boyfriend walking towards me across the street. Cue hot sweats and internal panic about my choice of heel height and 4 minutes later he was gone and Bre was fanning my face. Did I mention I’m a bit of a head case? It’s always the day you didn’t wash your hair, or your face (let’s just be honest) that you run into that guy. Oh well, all the more motivation to give you interesting OOTDs I suppose. 

Shopping Guide:

Want to snag my look? I’ve included the links to the same or similar items below, happy shopping!

Leopard Tee: Pull&Bear

High-waisted jeans: H&M

Suede Ankle Boots: Kendall & Kylie via Nordstrom Rack

Johanna Straw Hat: Brixton via Nordstrom

Scarf: Vintage 

Sunglasses: Picked up during my visit travels in Berlin

Until next time!

💋 Brooks

Today’s Look // Rainy Days + Hunter’s Boots

Today, was rainy.

No, seriously, that’s all I have for you. Today was rainy, again. I may have mentioned before that I grew up in Seattle, Washington and, in turn, am not a huge fan of grey skies and this San Francisco rainy weather has officially gotten me down. The only silver lining to my cloud of despair – yes, I’ve always had a knack for the melodramatic – is that I’ve been able to live in these Hunter boots. I’ve always struggled with how to make outfits with rain boots look fashionable, I’m not exactly preppy enough to pull off tucked in jeans and plaid trenches. This outfit, however, still felt somewhat practical and still very much me.

Shopping Guide:

Wedge rain boots: Hunter Boots

Over-the-knee socks: Similar here

Textured Leather Skirt: H&M (similar here)

Black cotton turtleneck: similar here

Until next time!
💋 Brooks

Holiday Dressing Part 3 / Jumpsuit

 

Shopping Guide:

On Brooks:

Off-the-shoulder jumpsuit: Jay Godfrey via Nordstrom (another similar version here)

Velvet Choker: Gifted on Italia Collection shoot – purchased from Nordstrom.

On Chantelle:

Off-the-shoulder velvet trapeze dress: Alpha Omega

Lace Choker: Resurrection

 

Holiday Party 3: 

What and where: A corporate company holiday party at city hall.

What I wore: An off-the-shoulder wide legged jumpsuit and sky high heels.

Why I chose it: My date didn’t specify a dress code so I figured that this dressy designer jumpsuit could pass easily between cocktail to semi-formal to an edgy take on black tie.

How did it go: I’ll be honest, I could have gotten away with a gown and kind of wish I had but this was a safe bet and is a super flattering and versatile addition to my closet.

Next up this week: What I wore to the Guardsmen Christmas Tree Lot Party which is a cocktail party where anything goes and you are bound to run into at least one ex-boyfriend. Spoiler alert: I got the pleasure of seeing two of them in the first 5 minutes. Thank god for plunging necklines.

 

💋 Brooks

Today’s Look // Retro Vibes

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A quick outfit of the day post for you all. Today, I spent the day Christmas shopping and running errands with my Dad before the rest of the family comes into town. I’ve been obsessed with bandanas and silk scarves the last few weeks, ever since I picked up some amazing vintage finds in New Orleans. You can expect to see some more retro-influenced looks on the blog in the near future, as I am officially convinced I was born for a different time.

Until next time!
💋 Brooks

Today’s Look // Moto Boots + Embroidered Jacket

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Shopping Guide:

Grey ribbed knit dress: Brandy Melville

This dress is a new addition to the closet and gifted to me by my friend Chantelle (the glowing blonde in the picture above). I’ll be honest, I struggle at times with Brandy Melville’s whole one-size-fits-all situation because, at 5′ 8″, sometimes that size doesn’t quite cover all my bits and pieces. This dress, however, is not only incredibly soft and comfy, but it also somehow gives an extra special booty lift. Don’t ask me how a soft almost sheer ribbed cotton adds the appearance of a week full of squats on my derrière but it worked. Brandy, I may have just become a believer again.

Motorcycle boots: Found in a consignment shop 5 years ago and have no idea what brand they are. If you want a similar pair check out these amazing Harley Davidson Eda boots.

You may have noticed by now that I have a thing with moto boots – and moto jackets – and moto pants. Ok, let’s start again, ever since I jumped on the back of a vintage Triumph with my model slash race car driver then boyfriend and cruised down the Florida keys, I’ve had a thing for motorcycles. And the men that drive them. And the clothes you where riding them. And motocycle culture and history. Side note: if you didn’t catch the mini-series Harley and the Davidsons then you are sorely missing out. Go, right now, grab yourself some wine – scratch that- grab yourself some beer and wrap yourself in an oversized leather jacket and just enjoy binging for the next 2 days. The costumes are great, the men are hot and I guarantee you walk away eyeing every guy on a bike for at least a month of two. Sorry Dad, OI know I’m a bit of a cliche, but those bad boys are pretty smoking hot. Now back to the boots: these boots are my work boots. That means that I build, clean, construct, trek and paint in them. One day, I was on location, building a giant toilet art installation (more on that later) and I got a little overly into my job of blue spray painting. The next morning I woke up and everything was half blue, my face, my hair, my hairs and my awesome work boots. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked where on earth I got my ombré blue and black moto boots. Every time it makes me smile.

Embroidered vegan leather jacket: BlankNYC

You have seen this baby before, you will absolutely see it again. I have loved BlankNYC vegan leather jackets for years, every since I picked one up at the Half-Yearly Sale at Nordstrom a few seasons ago but these embroidered jacket takes their brand to the next level. Half of the reason you don’t see many OOTD posts anymore on 5 o’clock is because I live in this jacket and they all end up looking quite similar. Being a stylist can be quite dangerous as you are around amazing designs constantly. My job is Temptation Island for fashion addicts. This time, however, I couldn’t help myself and brought this beauty home from a photoshoot we shot with Anastasia Sierra this fall. Since then, it has clothed my shoulders at cocktail parties, cold weather days and yes, you guessed it, on the back of a 2-wheeled machine or two.

Silver coordinate necklace: Coordinates collection

I can’t say enough about this brand. It is the perfect universal yet personal gift for your friends and family. This particular one was given to me by a group of friends for my 30th birthday with the coordinates of the apartment we shared together for 6 years and it has been a welcome addiction to my Coordinates Collection.

Suede self-tie choker: Carole from Nordstrom

Oh and I can’t forget the gorgeous, glowing blonde on my left. Meet Chantelle Paige, my incredibly talented singer-songwriting, fashion and lifestyle blogging friend. Chantelle is the woman behind the camera in some of the shots here at 5 o’clock, my weekly coffee date and current muse.  Our recent editorial for Elegant Magazine hits newsstands tomorrow and I’m very excited to share more on that project later this week. For now, go check out her Instagram account @chantellepaige for more of our collaborations. 

Until next time!
💋 Brooks

Holiday Dressing Part 2 / Printed Full Skirt

 

 

Shopping Guide:

Printed Asymmetrical Skirt: Fleur de Paris – purchased on recent trip to New Orleans.

Scrappy Black Sueded Heels: Forever 21

Velvet Choker: Gifted on Italia Collection shoot – purchased from Nordstrom.

Black Bustier: Bebe

 

Holiday Party 2: 

What and where: Annual family holiday tradition to see a play (this year Cirque de Soleil) and get a nice dinner together (Epic Steakhouse). Side note: We ALWAYS end up taking our family Christmas photo together so you kind of HAVE to kill it on this night every year.

What I wore: A dramatic printed skirt and bustier top.

Why I chose it: My parents aren’t conservative – thankfully – and my extended family appreciates fashion risks. I also recently bought this skirt in NOLA I felt like I had to find somewhere to wear it, this event was a safe bet and I knew it would be forever documented in our annual family photo so that motivated me a bit.

How did it go: I’ll be honest, I was pretty cold and put on a sweater after about five minutes but it was definitely a great choice for photos.

 Next up: My best friend’s stand in date to the Lyft holiday party on Thursday!

 

💋 Brooks

Holiday Dressing Part I / Sequin Romper

 

 

 

Shopping Guide:

Sequin Romper: Misguided from Nordstrom 

Scrappy Nude Heels: Steve Madden

Drop Necklace: Marika from Boutique Fawn

Black Wool Jacket: Zara (similar here)

 

Let’s talk about holiday parties. We love them, we hate them and as women we typically panic about what to wear to them. I’ve broken down our main issues – and, yes, even I go through the “what to wear” obsession.

 

A women’s mind when dressing for a holiday party:

  1. “How dressy do I go?” Are sparkles too much, do I wear floor length, is everyone going to be in casual cocktail wearing flats if I wear heels? Can I wear pants? What on earth do you wear with pants?
  2. “Is this too sexy?” My boss has never seen me in anything other than jeans and a flowing top, do I really need to let him in on the fact that I have a waistline?
  3. “Is this too fashionable or edgy?” or my favorite “Is this a bit much?” We are basically afraid of standing out in a room, good or bad, because no one wants to be the topic of conversation over coffee Monday morning from our co-worker or our conservative Aunt.
  4. “Dude, it’s really cold out!” So you put on the faux fur coat that you bought on discount thinking it would be the perfect dressy winter coat. You know, the one you’ve tried on in your bedroom 6 times but never actually left the house in. Then you take it off yet again, because “it’s a bit much.” So you put on your go-to black wool coat, a pair of tights and booties and convince yourself you are doing it because it adds to the look not because of the impending fear of frostbite. Off you go!
  5. Then, of course, there is the plus one issue. No one ever wants to be the embarrassing plus one at someone else’s party. Whether it’s a work party, dinner with friends, or family gathering, no one wants to be “that girl.” We have all seen her, we have all judged her and if we were nice we did it subtly. I like to think I’m one of the nice women out there, and even I have thought: “Oh man, that’s a bit much isn’t it.”

 

Now, because of what I do for a living, I’ve avoided my own office holiday party over the years. Yet somehow, every year, I end up being the plus one to any and all of my friends that don’t want to show up to their party alone. To be honest, I kind of love it. There is no pressure on me to do anything other than not make too much of a bad impression. And I get to meet great people outside of my network, play dress up for a night AND the best part of all, report back to you on what to wear to each of these types of events. This year, I’m single come holiday season. The bad part, being a 30 year old single woman at Christmas time kind of sucks in a lot of ways. Don’t get me started on how we aren’t allowed to buy an extra plane ticket and fill in the name later. You are seriously killing me airlines. Good news: I’m once again the token single friend of the holidays which has left me with not just 1 invite but 7 of them. Dinner parties with potential set ups, office parties when their boyfriend is out of town, big ticket events where you wear sparkly mini dresses and dance the night away, I’m in for them all.

This year I did something a little different, I pre-planned my holiday outfits. Usually, I just buy something last minute or impulsively shop a friend’s closet; but this year I made a game plan. 7 parties in two weeks neccesitated it. Then I took it a step further, I documented it for you. So over the next two weeks, we are going to do a holiday dressing guide over here at 5 o’clock and hopefully I can give you some insights from the perspective of the “outsider” along the way. Let’s get started.

Holiday Party 1: 

What and where: Girls dinner and drinks downtown to exchange gifts before the chaos of the holidays begins.

What I wore: A sparkly romper and scrappy nude heels. And a basic black wool coat because I was freezing and my faux fur was “too much.”

Why I chose it: Well, it’s been hanging in my closet for a year, this is the least conservative and most flexible dress code I have all season AND it allowed me the flexibility to meet up with a date post dinner (you know – just in case).

How did it go: Pretty perfectly. Sparkles are NOT my thing. My ex hated them, and I didn’t love them to begin with so I kind of got used to the a no-sparkles  closet. I don’t even want a diamond engagement ring, that’s how non-glittery I am. But, this romper somehow worked for me with a big thank you to my little sister who gave it to me for Christmas last year. The shorts and sleeves made it still feel a little boyish and casual yet the plunging necklace felt sexy. Also, the girls gave me great reviews and it has already been borrowed this holiday season. That’s always a win in my book.

 Next up: A plus one date to a tech start-up’s rooftop holiday party. Wish me luck….

Until next time!

💋 Brooks

Mixed Berries / Look of the Day

Shopping Guide:

Berry Sleeveless Knit Sweater: BP by Nordstrom (similar here)

Quilted Leather Boots: Nordstrom Rack (similar here)

Berry Sueded Skort: 3.3 Field Trip by Project 20 (similar here)

Black Wool Jacket: Zara (similar here)

All Jewelry from Boutique Fawn

 

I know it’s shocking – note subtle sarcasm – but I do not have a team of professionals at my disposal every morning ready to document my daily outfits. For someone who works so often with professional photographers, I’ve realized how awkward and slightly unprofessional it would be to ask them to snap a quick OOTD picture of me in between takes. Yes, we will be avoiding those eye rolls, thank you very much. That said, most of these blog photos are the result of me asking a slightly annoyed but willing friend to grab my camera and “5 o’clock me” as we’ve started to call it. It was certainly easier when I lived with my younger sister who simply can’t justify refusing to help me. On a lucky day, however, I get to meet up with one of my photographer friends for coffee or work dates and then the magic happens. You know the magic I’m talking about. They basically make me look taller, thinner and younger than I actually am IRL or on my i-Phone 6. I’m telling you, the right lens, the right light and the right person holding the camera certainly changes things – note above images.

 

One thing that becomes blindingly clear when you start to document your outfits is that you quickly comes to terms with any and all of your style habits. For example, I like skirts. Apparently a lot. Skirts and boots, skirts and knee socks, skirts and tights. Oh, and I don’t accessorize well. I’m not sure I care about that one but I may decide to work on it someday. Someone I find it in me to accessorize my clients, my models and my shoots but I think when it comes to me I’m just lazy. I may not look lazy, but I have a very short attention span and accessories are mostly limited to a handful of go-to pieces. Let’s be honest, it takes enough thought in the morning to pick out a fashionable outfit before the dog begs me for a walk let alone match my purse to my shoes and then rinse and repeat at work all day long. Let’s call it minimalism for now, we can call it laziness later.

 

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve recently been obsessed with the colors berry, burgundy, wine and maroon. Need proof? Check out the last few blog posts, berry lips and legs are everywhere. Now here’s the funny thing about this, back in the 90s my mother wore a whole LOT of this color. It was everywhere, it was on her, it was on the drapes, it was in the floral printed couch; even our plates had berry edging on them at one point. She just could not get enough of this wine red palette and I absolutely hated it. I was a pre-teen and I’m pretty sure anything she wore or liked at the time was going to become “a thing” with me. But really, my sister and I terrorized her about the color telling her it was “a total mom color” and “so not cool.” Well kids, Mom still wears berry and now I’m the fool because I finally realized that it is so universally flattering it’s unfair.

 

Conclusion: Sorry Mom, teenagers are the worst. Oh, and your vintage Levis 505 “Mom jeans” were pretty cool too. 

 

 

Until next time!

💋 Brooks

Red Red Wine / Look of the Day

 

 

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Dress: BoutiqueToYou; Faux Fur Coat: BBDakota; Chocker: Windsor Store; Leather Pants: H&M (similar version here); Booties: Nordstrom

Remember what I said last post about slip dresses? My obsession with them is real but if you have ever been to San Francisco you know that layering is the key to survival here. I was worried that I would have to put my slip dresses to bed for the remainder of the winter until I discovered the art of dresses under pants. Now I can wear my Boutique To You slip dress when the temperature drops by pairing it with some cigarette pants. I found the faux leather leggings seen above at H&M three seasons ago and quickly bought them in three colors. – Yes, I’m aware I have a problem – The maroon pair was actually an impulse buy yet they have some how become a closet favorite of mine. I’m currently in search of a new style as these have been worn to the ground.

 

As far as that jacket goes, I will admit that at first I did not think I could pull off faux fur in the oh-so-casual land of Northern California. However, the more you wear it the easier it gets to forget you aren’t in New York City and zone out the sideways glances you may recieve walking down Chestnut Street. I think it would be even easier to rull off with a casual white tee, torn boyfriend jeans and heels. That may be my new winter date night outfit.

 

I wore this out on a girl’s wine bar night, which was the perfect venue as it was definitely something my friend’s would appreciate more than the man I’m dating. I suppose that is one of the beauties of girl’s nights and fashion parties, I get to finally wear all of the extravagant and avant garde clothes I have collected over the years and can save my jeans and tees for date night.

Until next time!

💋 Brooks

Slip Dress Obsession / Look of the Day

 

 

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Dress: Showpo 

I’ll admit that I was late to the game on the whole slip dress mania that struck last season. Lately, however, I’ve become a believer. I borrowed this navy number from a good friend as I was heading out on a last minute date and immediately was struck with how comfortable and versatile it is. Who else has stirred clear of silk slip dress because, let’s be honest, they don’t hide much? I definitely have avoided anything unlined for jeans but lately I’ve learned to embrace that small issue because of how glorious they feel against my skin. Until next time!

💋 Brooks