The Only Thing You'll Ever Need

Velvet Everything

One of the things I noticed about Nashville when I first moved here was the trend of "staying in." Not that people don't get together, it's just that rather than going to a bar (very New Orleans, or New York for that matter) to get together, people gather at home. There's often a fire pit and a blanket pile and lots of people cozying up while some super hip band guy strums guitar.

My friend Lauren and I talked about it quite a bit when we each moved here: are we the type to arrive at a party, kick off our shoes and sit cross-legged in a circle with people we've never met?

Ben and I went to a New Year's party... it was 100% THAT. We weren't quite ready to dive in, so we took a seat on a sofa off to the side of the room and slowly worked our way into the conversation.  

And then lately, the more I follow along with what's happening in the wellness circles - staying in, drinking tea instead of champagne all night, listening to records on a cozy sofa versus dancing in 6 inch heels at a club... well the hipness of that is on the rise. 

I was reading this post on Well & Good a few days ago and thought, well, there - my thoughts on this are validated. I would rather spend a night at home with a detox mask and 9 hours of sleep versus spend a night party hopping until I fall into bed at 4 a.m. And trust me, I did my fair share of that in my twenties. As my girlfriends and I get a little older I wonder if it's that we truly are more invested in our health and wellness or is it just that we've been there, done that? Or truly, is it that everything we need is right there in front of us?

What do you guys think? 

Either way, I'm finding because it's less often that I do go out into the world I'm having fun with fashion in a new way. Lately I've been doing velvet everything. I've decided if there was one fabric that I had to spend the rest of my days in it would be this one. I'm back on a seventies style kick with a vengeance.

Bells & big lashes. Velvet & high-waists.

In the meantime, hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Whether you're out at the shows until the sun comes up or tucked in with a good book and bundle of sage, enjoy it to it's fullest. 

Wanderfully yours,

Andi

Fire in the Sky

Fire in your heart, fire in the sky 

This sequin jacket is what dreams are made of!

Nights like these are truly the best!

The full moon came roaring into Leo last night (I am a Leo through & through and am a serious Susan Miller follower, sometimes I seriously wonder how she knows me so well).  

For my Nashville friends did y'all catch that sunset!?

I had a Galentine's date with my best girls - Keiko is in from NY, so she, Lauren, Keiko's bf Bobby and I had a lengthy dinner catch up in Germantown. When Ben's away it's easy for me to tuck in at home and never leave. It's truly so wonderful to have girlfriends here to spend hours talking life with.

No matter what your Valentine's plans are, whether you're spending it with a loved one or caring for yourself at home let that Leo moon brighten you from the inside. Lunar Eclipses are a special, deeply transformative time - an opportunity to let go of the past and illuminate something new in your life. 

Here's a full moon ritual and some ideas on how to harness the power of the Leo eclipse. 


For Valentine's Day I've partnered with Boohoo - the gals there offered to send over something fun for the weekend and I love the lingerie inspired look we came up with. A little peek-a-boo lace to spice it up paired with this velvet bodysuit and this jacket that's become a serious favorite... it's all giving me a little rock star confidence.

The lip color is Cherry Blossom by AVEDA (favorite of all the things as always for those that asked on instagram! ) and I'm using their Pure Abundance and Damage Remedy Collection too, I'm definitely due for a haircut! AH! 

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Weekend!

xoxo!

Andi

Thanks to Lauren for snapping these photos! 

 

 

Conscious Consumerism

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Conscious Consumerism

Something that's been on my mind more this last few weeks than ever: conscious consumerism. Every time we decide to spend our dollars we're making a statement. A statement that we support that company's values, ethics and mission.

In my travels I'm always on the hunt for trinkets to take home to remind me of those travels. I've always been mindful of shopping local, supporting local artisans, avoiding fast fashion... and lately I've adopted a rule of adding pieces to my collection that come from brands doing things to give back.
 
A good shopping tip to adhere to before buying something new: stop for a moment and ask - where was this made, whose hands assembled it? As you guys know, I'm also a vintage and thrift lover - pairing repurposed clothing with ethically crafted designs truly tell a fashion story I can get behind.

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Over on instagram I'm running a little contest this week in partnership with Jimani Collections. Each  pieces is handcrafted with love from Kenya! Empowering women and artisans, creating sustainable societies, it's a part of their mission, and I hope you'll share their message with a friend over on my page!

photos: my sweet Ben, who just put out a little punk noise grunge protest EP over on his site. It's a good listen to get a little rage out. 😬 🎸

Here's a few other pieces from brands I'm loving with a commitment to values that align with mine.

Wanderfully yours,

Andi

Stones and Strands

Lately I've been extra obsessed with stones and strands. You know, the jewels that take an outfit to the next level. I've always been a vintage lover (as you all know!) and I typically only pick up new gems when I'm out traveling. Wearing something special is a good way to have a little reminder of the places you've been... 

Separately, I've had my ears pierced with 3 holes on either side since I was a preteen, I added a 4th hole while listening to black metal when I was like 16... REBEL! 

However, my latest addition, this sweet little ear cuff is the variety that doesn't require any new piercings. LOVE THAT PART (I'm definitely not that same wild child I was at 16). 

Anyways, thought I'd share these little beauties with you guys, in case you might be looking for something similar. I've got a special code at the jewelry house Stone & Strand (where I found this cuff) for 15% off. The code is ANDI15. Advanced apologies (or perhaps a you're welcome) when you decide you love everything on the site. 

Another rule for me when hunting for new pieces is to shop local markets for indie designer brands that have a story and - secondly - to shop makers that are doing something special to give back. The other pieces I'm wearing here are from Blue Annie, a brand that caters to my modern bohemian style. Each of the pieces is made with such attention to details and with each piece sold a portion of the proceeds goes back to organizations that support women. Big win all around!

I've always been of the mindset that you can't go wrong layering on a few extra jewels. Sweet little baubles turn even the gloomiest days around. (And of course, Ann Bancroft's character, Miss Dinsmore, in Great Expectations has always been my style icon, so, well.... that surely explains something).

xoxo,

Andi

Here's a few more ear cuffs I'm loving too. Definitely want every single one!

 

 

3 Holiday Ensembles For (My Imaginary) Holiday Parties

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As the sun goes down on another winter day (it was 4:18 as I started to type this) I find myself leaving my desk a little early, cozying up with a hot toddy and scrolling through the instagrams admiring my beautiful friends attending the most glamorous holiday parties. Le sigh. 

With a week to go before Christmas Eve, and New Year's a minute behind that I'm finally starting to feel the itch to join in the festivities. Maybe it was getting our tree up (that's me up there, tree shopping earlier this week) or maybe it's the Yule Log that's on repeat on our Amazon Prime, but up to this point I've been content to live vicariously through those photos, you know, imaginary party attendance basically. 

If I had it my way I'd convince myself that leaving the house when it's below 60 degrees is bad for one's health and therefore I'd absolutely never, ever make it to a holiday soirée. The good news however, is that I have friends and a bf that fare at least slightly better in the below freezing temperatures and order me to leave the house. 

This week I've finally gotten out - I've attended two holiday parties and in each case as I took a little time to get ready for the night (i.e. peel off the pajamas that have become my home office attire) I was reminded that fashion was actually my first love! And, if I'm not going to be out glamping on a beach for the holidays (by the way, anyone want to send an RV to pick me up?!) then at least I can get in the game and dress things up a bit.

In all honesty, half the reason I've committed to party attendance is this beret and my new velvet booties. I found both on WOZNOW. I went a little overboard so pretty much every outfit I'm wearing centers on one of these two pretties or something I found in scrolling their hat or boot category.

In the spirit of the season I've put together 3 ensembles that are perfect for sipping egg nog while Mariah or Cee-Lo rock out the Christmas jams. 

 As a recovering thrift store junkie and die hard vintage lover when I don't have time to deep dive into those racks I prefer the sale section on the sites of my favorite brands. And, honestly, I'm not a girl to hunt too hard so this site has been my go-to this season in planning my holiday outfits. 

Outfit 1

I told you. The beret is pretty magical. And no one else is going to have it. (Unless you tell them, so shhhh). And ever since Gucci brought the pussy bow out in full force I can't stop, won't stop.  

Outfit 2

Look 2 is one part harajuku one part ugly Christmas sweater, because we're all going to that type of party at least once right? If not, we should be. 

Outfit 3

Since I've returned from Paris I've been in a serious all black errrthing mode. Or maybe it's because half the girls in Nashville channel the female version of Johnny Cash so well. Either way, here's look 3, and possibly the easiest to pull together in a rush.

Alright, that's it for today. And it's 5:44 as I wrap this thing. Sun's wayyyy down, toddy's coming wayyyyy up.

xoxo,

Andi

In The Neighborhood

Good morning my wanderful friends! 

After spending just about 2 weeks back in New Orleans I'm home in Nashville. In New Orleans I spent the first week with two of my best girls in from NY (yes!) and then celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday catching up with friends and family. 

On our long drive home the other afternoon (9 hours, whew!) I was reminded of how gorgeous the Tennessee hills can be. The colors, that winding rocky drive - it's truly a beautiful time of year to be here. On drives that long I focus on settling in with a good audio book and enjoying the scenery. Ben takes off again this weekend for a new tour (he's going to Australia and Japan, ahem not jealous at all over here!) however once he's back we've got several weekend adventures planned. There's so many places that are within an hour drive of our new home.

A few other spots that are on the winter road trip list: Florence (my friend Lauren, who just moved to Nashville too, has been several times and loves it - I'm way overdue in visiting!), Gatlinburg (I just learned about the wildfires there this morning, hoping for a quick recovery there) and the Great Smoky Mountains of course. If you guys have recommendations for outdoor adventures I'd love to hear them! 

We took a walk around our neighborhood yesterday afternoon and snapped a few photos. We comment to each other regularly on how peaceful it is here. I'm often reminded of how we all change with time... I was such a city girl for so many years, and the quiet I find here now is so refreshing. 

I'm finally breaking out the winter wardrobe, btw. I've always loved little accents like this faux fur scarf from Banana Republic. I said to Ben that I feel like I'm dressed a bit like my Grandmother would on a winter afternoon... of course she's the most fabulous woman I ever met, so that's a really good thing. 

With my travels calming down for the next little while I'm looking forward to staying put and sharing more of my new home with you guys. As always, thanks for being here!

xoxo,

Andi

Brands I Love: Revival NOLA

When it comes to jewelry I have a pretty serious rule. It's an unwritten one, but I've found myself looking in one of two places when I'm adding jewelry to my collection - first, to local markets for indie designer brands that have a story of creating jewelry from unique finds and - secondly - to those makers that are doing something special to give back to their own community.

For example, I love designers that either repurposed vintage pieces (I'm always wearing things like that) and I love those that create pieces that somehow support the community in which they're made. 

On this most recent trip to New Orleans I've been introduced to Revival NOLA. Revival NOLA is a brand that completely speaks to my serious passion for this city. Their mission is to create jewelry from a place of commitment and care for the local community. Their goal is for the wearer to connect with and cherish the place each piece represents. 

As beautiful as the city that the line is inspired by, is Revival NOLA's dedication to giving back: with the sale of each piece a portion of the proceeds are donated directly to a local New Orleans non-profit. 

I'm wearing the limited edition Double Shotgun and the Jester Hat above! 

What do you guys look for when you're adding to your jewelry collection? For you New Orleans lovers (aren't most of us?!) I know you'll love this line as much as I do. 

xoxo,

Andi

This post was in collaboration with Revival NOLA and FiftyTwo45; as always styling, creative direction and opinions are my own.

 

Create Your Own Big Easy Music Inspired Care Package

This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyCareGivingStory #CollectiveBias

This story is a bit different from what I typically share. It starts with Ben and I moving into our new home in a little country town a little outside of Nashville. We are absolutely in love with it - as two people that are literally on planes (or sometimes a tour bus in Ben's case) every week it feels so incredibly comforting to come home to a quiet place where everyone is genuinely neighborly.

On our first weekend here we went antique shopping, something that's become a regular thing when we're home together. Upon arriving at the first shop on our list we met another couple that share that same routine. Their names: Nathan and Jean.

Like me, Nathan's a writer, and like Ben, Jean's a musician (that's her up in the photo above).

We chatted a bit that day at the antique shop and in that convo learned that Ben and Nathan shared a few other commonalities: Ben spent time as a little babe living in San Miguel de Allende, Nathan has a home there (and loves it!) now. Jean on the other hand has been traveling to New Orleans for years - it inspires her music and her home decor, and of course it's where Ben and I come from! Ben and Nathan bonded over their love of Mexican art and culture, Jean and I bonded over tales of French Quarter fun, and truly Nathan's become a fabulous friend to Ben.

After a few visits with one another Nathan brought Ben to a local assisted living home to meet a fellow piano player - a resident of the home who happens to have a star on the Hollywood walk of fame (read the whole story on Ben's insta post).

Fast forward a bit, Ben and I have been discussing ways we can get involved in our little community and it occurred to us! With the holidays approaching what a perfect time to spend a little more time sharing Ben's music with the residents at the home.

Music's Healing Harmonies

There's so many studies showing the positive effects of music on the quality of life for older adults, especially those living with forms of dementia. It has the power to boost mood, fill the spirit and calm the mind. Music transports us all to joyful times, and for older adults it can evoke beautiful memories from the youth. The more we researched we learned that music has become a staple in assisted living and nursing homes.

We decided to work together to create care packages for the residents that Ben's visited, and then to get dressed up in our New Orlean's best and visit the home for Ben to play music. We'll be going throughout the holidays and of course, because everyone is always so enthralled with our New Orleans background we're giving the packages a little Big Easy flair too.

The timing was perfect in more ways than one - once the idea struck I partnered with the Sam's Club Family Caregiving program. I checked in to see what the club offers and here's what I found:

In addition: they're a one-stop destination for their members for caregiving needs, including prescription refills, personal care products, and free health screenings.

We took advantage of the club's program and stocked our care packages with the following to make for the perfect New Orleans inspired package:

Mardi Gras colored party beads (perfect for the residents to wear when Ben is playing Al Johnson's "Carnival Time" or Dr. John's "Going Back to New Orleans'.)

A New Orlean's Inspired Scarf and A Musical Note Themed Scarf

Journals with pages to jot down favorite songs or write notes for family and friends

A copy of my book "New Orleans Style"

Socks with Louisiana themed print

Toiletries (our list included combs, bath sponges, mini shampoos and bath products in delicate aromas, Poise and Depend products)

A handwritten note from us

Want to create your own package and not sure what to get?

When you download the Digimarc Discovery app (a barcode scanning app used by lots of retailers) you can scan anywhere on the Depend package and it will send you to the Sam’s Club Caregiver website. There's a full list of items that are perfect for care packages there.

I specifically packed the Poise® Liners - Light Absorbency (2 dot) into our package, designed for Light Bladder Leakage, Poise® incontinence liners stay 3x drier than leading period-only liners. There's also a Depend® FIT-FLEX® Underwear for Women a soft, breathable slip on with a smooth, close-to-body fit.

I'm so glad to have the partnership with Sam's! The caregiver program truly brought our care packages to life! I'd love to hear from you guys - what are you doing that's extra special in your own communities for the holidays? Leave me a note in the comments below!

xoxo,

Andi

Styling Kit Essentials

As a girl that's spent the last year traveling and creating content for my coming book, it's always important to have a solid list of the the essential items to pack.

After a shoot the other day as I was dumping out my bag, I thought I should give you aspiring stylists out there an insiders look at what's in my traveling styling bag. I've created the "Styling Kit Essentials" list below to give you guys an insiders look!

In my former life I designed clothes and produced fashion events, and I'm still working as an editorial and personal stylist when I'm home from my travels. All of that has taught me how important it is that while traveling light, pack the essentials to be fully prepared to make quick adjustments when out on a photoshoot.

Stylist Kit Essentials

When I'm traveling and working on my book I'm the creative director and the stylist for shoots because our crew is super teeny tiny (it's me, the photographer and whatever beauty we're shooting)! And to be clear, there's plenty of times when it's appropriate to roll out the suitcase and the train case, but tell that to the girl that hiked across rivers (yes plural) four times if you count going across and back, on shoots out in the wild this year.

On location with photographer Allister Ann in Big Sur, California. Shooting Kristen Gradwohl of the band Valley Soul.

On location with photographer Allister Ann in Big Sur, California. Shooting Kristen Gradwohl of the band Valley Soul.

If you're interested in becoming a stylist's assistant, this is a great starter kit to get you going. (Show up on your first job with this, and you'll get a serious gold star).

  1. Scotch™ Essentials (love these, they're easy no-sew solutions that can help with any wardrobe needs!)
    • Scotch™ Essentials Adjustable Hem Tape - fits the hemline to the shoe, you can move the hem down for heels or up for flats without having to stitch or pin. It won’t damage fabric, which is super important if you're pulling wardrobe from a designer!
    • Scotch™ Essentials Permanent Hem Bonding Tape - instantly bonds fabric, especially good for preserving hemlines that may have become loose
    • Scotch™ Essentials White Mark Eraser - removes icky white deodorant marks in seconds without water
    • Scotch-Brite™ Lint Roller - keeps clothes lint, fuzz and hair free
    • Scotch™ Essentials Wardrobe Tape Strips - hold garments in place - secure straps, necklines, blouse gaps, etc
  2. Sewing Scissors
  3. Hair Pins
  4. Mini Sewing Kit
  5. Rubber Bands
  6. Cotton Swabs
  7. Painters Tape (for soles of shoes)
  8. Safety Pins
  9. Binder Clips (for quick minor adjustments)
  10. Steamer (cordless if you're shooting outside)
  11. Black Marker
  12. Weekender Bag (to carry all your things)
Styling Kit

A rolling bag or suitcase is necessary sometimes, however, for smaller jobs, this is all I need. My bag is from Hobo the Original.

A rolling bag or suitcase is necessary sometimes, however, for smaller jobs, this is all I need. My bag is from Hobo the Original.

If it's a big job with wardrobe changes and multiple models you may need to bring a rolling rack, hangers, garment bags and things to store the personal items. Always be prepared for whatever the specific shoot requires! Just about everything on my list is located in the Target closet section by sewing machines and kits.

xo,

Andi

This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Scotch™ Essentials. All opinions are mine alone. #WardrobeSolutions #CollectiveBias

#ItsBanana

There comes a day every single Spring, with a full on freight train effect and without fail. It happens right as the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, as the sun takes a little extra time before sneaking off for the night.

It's like that time Beyoncé dropped that entire album on us and now a fashion line (BREAKING NEWS!) and we all pretend we never saw it coming...

What could it be? My fashion-loving girls, you already know: ITS SHORTS SEASON.

And here I am. All in it. I'll take mine in the pretty pastel variety, s'il vous plait.

Coming right behind it is SWIMSUIT SEASON! (Formerly known as "bikini season" but the one-piece is having a serious come back, trust the Queen). Over on instagram I'm begging for some self tanner help (with a suntan illusion filter), hoping all eyes go to Nashville's pretty lavender blooms and that sun flare first.

Chasing cherry blossoms in desperate need of a self tanner, any recs? 🌸🦄

A photo posted by Andi (@ouiwegirl) on

To kick it all up a notch I've committed to matching my outfit color palettes to my favorite flowers and carrying a purse full of ranunculuses (to distract from my pale stems) picked straight off the counter of a new East Nashville super star: FLWR Shop.

(You should see the wallpaper in this joint).

In all truths I love crop-top-fest-style-convertible-ridin-shorts-cuffed-up-floral-printed days.

You guys know that. I'd just like a little warning next time.

p.s. thanks to Banana Republic for forcing the issue.

p.p.s. no really.

The look: spring pastels c/o Banana Republic, bag c/o Galian, crochet crop + hat via Urban Outfitters.

Create your own version with a few Banana and friends faves below. And yep, I'm still taking god-help-the-pale-stems advice, your favorite self tanner ladies?

xoxo,

Andi

photos and daily confidence boosting by Ben Alleman.

Banana Republic provided (pastel leg revealing) products in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Dream Days

You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you miss the person you are at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again.
— Nafasi

This past week was a great one to be back in New Orleans. Dreamy spring days. Tulips in the park, 70 and sunny. Visit New Orleans in March and you'll never want to leave. Until June, that is. 

Once I arrived back in New Orleans after a few quiet weeks in Nashville it was go time. I packed the schedule:

  • A photo shoot for the book (which included 5 locations, 4 models, tons of wardrobe) ... can't wait to share those images with you guys. I've got some behind the scenes on insta** now.
  • A festival weekend for a branding client - and this wasn't just any festival … it was a Tequila festival, 4 bands, 4 DJ's, a Grand Tequila Tasting, and a solid 30 hours of work in 3 days.
  • And then catch up time with my friends and fam… brunches, lunches and dinners, music hangs, and general New Orleans good times. It felt great to be back in my home city this go round. Really great.

On the day of the photo shoot, around 6:30 am, on our way to catch a sunrise shot under the old Oaks of City Park the 19 year old model riding in the back seat asked a question:

"When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?"

…. my photographer friend Hunter and I laughed immediately - are we "grown up"?

Do we know what we want to be? In my case I've changed my mind and trajectory multiple times over the last 5 years. Kind of.

It's not like I'm going from being a doctor to being a lawyer (that would require more than 5 years of course in both cases) … I've stayed in the vein of creative work with each shift …. Thinking of things from her perspective - she's spent most of her life seeing things through the eyes of what we all share on the internet. And of course we make it look like we have it together and figured out.

My response back to her question was something along the lines of: "I haven't grown up. What I have done is grown in to being comfortable in my own skin. I know me, who I am, the type of people I want to spend my time with - and that is the most grown up thing I can be."

I used to believe I couldn't create unless something was pulling me down a bit. No more. That's crazy talk! My life today is a drama free one. Past constraints, they don't exist.

A little more rambling (this post is clearly about more than this killer jumpsuit, which I am obsessed with btw) and I'll wrap this up:

I had a past partner who commented regularly that I was past the age of pursuing my career ambitions. From his perspective I needed to cool it and settle down.

The way I feel? I'm no different from 12 year old Andi, 16 year old Andi, or 21 year old Andi in regards to my dreams at least. So, there's not a chance I'm giving up my dreams for anything, not ever. Ya'll shouldn't either. (And don't hang around people who don't feel the same). Like that quote up there says we never get to be this way ever again.

Lastly (because I feel a need to comment on this):

** Instagram had an algorithm change. The way you see posts is going to change. Ok. So be it. Let's use that platform as a place to share, however, there's lots of places to share our work and our lives… that one little square on an app on our phone is exactly that, a square on a phone in a big digital universe. I love instagram for the community that it is. I plan to keep using it that way. And, anyways! There's lots more fun to be had outside, adventuring through this life than there is on your phone. K? k.

In the meantime, that's where I'll be, chasing the flowers, the sunshine (and my dreams too) ... and if I find something beautiful, I'll probably post it. Thanks for hanging around you guys.

p.s. my jumpsuit is from Shop Stonefree. See it here. See it on insta. And here's a few others that I love.

xoxo,

Andi

p.s. kisses to Ben for the photos!

The Jumpsuit

If Solange can rock one for her bike riding, opera house, total babe'd out all in white wedding I am fully in favor of the romper / jumpsuit / playsuit / call it what you'd like one-piece making a major stand for the summer months to come. You know that girl is my style idol. I can't think of anyone who's style game I love more.

And as the boyfriend cut, bell-bottom, wide leg grows in diameter that can only mean that the style will only get more comfortable and cute.

I took a few jumpsuits for a spin after Lady Gaga's Oscar appearance in this super glammed out little number on the request of the 504 TV show. I visited local New Orleans boutique Shop Stonefree and found their selection to be 100%. My vibe, all the way.

If you google "how to wear a playsuit" or jumpsuit or any of these styles for that matter, the things you'll find are fairly common sense:

Choose something that fits well (i.e. watch the camel toe, and the wedgy and the side boob, unless it's demure and intentional).

Choose fabrics that are breathable (especially as the temperature rises... nobody wants a full body sweat sitch).

Choose styles that have some basic taylor-ing, and tailoring. (i.e. keep the pajama looking styles in the bedroom).

Don't be a Britney.

Here's a round up of some of my favorites for the season. And if you're local to New Orleans, visit Shop Stonefree to check their selection!

xoxo,

Andi

(necklace is c/o Simon & Ruby and bag c/o Galian)

Boyfriend Style

After a full on run out west with the boy and his band mates I've been holed up over here in Nashville catching up a bit. On the oh maybe 3 occasions I've ventured out I've been wearing one of two things: the good ol' classic Canadian tuxedo, or in the case that I'm going for the off-duty rock girl thing a little pairing of leather and denim is working wonders.

Here's the other part of the story: I left New Orleans on February 4th on a one way ticket. Wasn't quite sure where the road would wind to, so I packed a single bag and thanked my lucky stars that Ben's clothing doubles perfectly as mine.

I'm a firm believer in boyfriend denim, the boyfriend coat, the boyfriend tee, pattern behavior here...

On the first sunny day we've had here in Nashville, I grabbed a vintage tee scored in Portland (rockin' Schlitz circa 1982, the favorite beer of James Booker circa 1976) and the first suede jacket the boyfriend didn't happen to already have on his person and headed out. As a sucker for real deal fringe, of course I pulled the hand-stitched 50's version found in a Tucson, AZ vintage shop. That old fringe is so much better than the new school factory made stuff, and I think the wear gives it some serious character.

With the weekend on the horizon I suggest creating your own boyfriend style (boy or no boy ... that part's your call).

While every piece of clothing I'm wearing is vintage you can get your own version with these recs below. Btw that J.O.A. faux suede drape jacket is major (without a major price tag). My bag is c/o Galian, the Frida turquoise collar is c/o Rockbox (jewelry subscription service, oui oui! use my code ouiwegirlxoxo to get your first month free); I've linked to the rest of my boyfriend style game below. 

xoxo,

Andi

Cross My Heart

cross my heart
and hope to die
stick a needle in my eye
wait a moment,
i spoke a lie
i never really
wanted to die.
but if i may
and if i might
my heart is open
for tonight

These sunnies tell quite a story:

 “Cross My Heart / Hope to Die / Stick A Needle / In My Eye”

… And the poem, well that level of commitment to keeping a secret or holding something close… that level of loyalty despite the fear of a needle to the eye!? ...ride or die, same idea ya know - we all gotta have those people, right?!

I find the more "life" I experience the more loyalty is an attribute I truly appreciate. (Although no needles to the eyes IRL guys.) Ben and I were having a conversation right before Christmas, discussing the attributes most important to each of us in a friend and in a partner; my friend LL and I have this convo fairly often too .... It's important to share these things, I think.

Anyways, snapped these photos exploring the Bywater a few days ago. It truly never gets old...no matter where I live on this Earth - I've got a loyalty to this place... it'll always hold a place in my heart as home.

p.s. I found this sweet little Japanese vintage dress in Nashville. The shop Any Old Iron houses a vintage boutique, Opium Vintage, and one of their specialties is Japanese vintage. In all my travels I don’t think I’ve experienced a place in which I literally wanted just about every single piece.

The fit of this particular style is absolutely perfect. I’m committed to saving my pennies and treating myself to an Opium Vintage piece on every visit to Nashville. (Not that the pieces are super price-y, I’m just in a bit of a downsizing the closet mindset…) The more I travel, the more I’m hyperaware of only buying and keeping things that are either a. sentimental or b. necessary.

If you can't make it to Opium, here's some options to recreate the look. 

xoxo,

Andi

Fringe and Friends

photo: Hunter Holder / wearing Madewell, Mamie Ruth and Porter Lyons

The fall in New Orleans is perhaps my favorite time of year. While the summer is slow and the hot air drags over you, exhaling a heat that no one could ever get used to, the fall air is a different sort. It's warm, don't get me wrong, there's rarely a cool day, however the sweet mist (what I'll call the rain and humidity) feels like the air on tropical vacation. 

I also find that it's the time of year for connecting with friends... the pace slows a bit and then of course, Halloween and Voodoo Festival are two of the absolute best experiences in New Orleans. 

Anytime I'm asked when to visit - I always, 100% of the time, say visit for Voodoo Festival in CIty Park.  The neighborhood surrounding the park is home to cemeteries, the fairgrounds, breweries, and rows upon rows of quiet homes. The park, a 1,300-acre urban green space, 50 percent larger than Central Park in New York City, includes a botanical garden, amusement park, the New Orleans Museum of Art and is the home to the Festival. 

Today I'm in Vancouver and I read an article on the plane ride here about the witchy ways of New Orleans at Halloween. You know, ghost stories, myths and legends. And in the article a long time French Quarter bartender says something to the affect of New Orleans being a place where whatever you bring to it is amplified. If you're an artist, for example, your creative energy will intensify, however if you're depressed, the city will chew you up a bit... and during the season in which the dark energy is a bit higher than usual, I find that to be exceptionally true. 

No matter, I love New Orleans in the fall. 

photo: Hunter Holder

As a note to those of you traveling in for Voodoo or Halloween weekend, here's a few places that I've mentioned before that I highly suggest experiencing on your visit. Obviously hit the festival, however, one of the fantastic things about New Orleans' Festivals is the after hours (or in some case, before hours) shows: 

Gasa Gasa - it's in my neighborhood, features local bands on the reg and is never more than $10 or so to get in. 

 d.b.a. - They have great music and Champagne in a can! Get the window seat and people watch the Halloween craziness if you can.

In the quarter, my favorite music venue is One Eyed Jacks. There's a velvety loungy feel to the place and I always feel like it's a homecoming of sorts when I'm there.

And while you're at it, check the local music schedule - if you see the names Andrew Duhon or Robin Barnes (pictured above on a girlfriend catch up date in my Freret Street neighborhood) don't miss it. 

Lastly, when you head out to the Festival grounds, be sure to visit the vendors - one of my favorite new brands Mamie Ruth, out of Savannah, GA, designed for creative, peace thinking types, will be in the artist's market for the very first time. My fringe vest, fanny pack and Robin's "Keys" T are from the line! I love everything they do and tell them I sent you! Porter Lyons (I'm wearing the Hurricane Ring above), Jess Leigh Jewels and Tchoup Industries, a few New Orleans' stars will be there too. 

p.s. To my local NOLA friends, can't wait to see the costumes you crazies are putting together this year! 

xoxo,

Andi