Nothing in New York City ever starts on time. At least that’s what I thought until I discovered the Yogasmoga popup events at the South Street Seaport. When I arrived at the free class with Erika Bloom Pilates, I was ten minutes late, embarrassed, and flustered. I signed in, threw down a mat, and quickly tried to regain some Zen as I began my Pilates practice. At first, I’d been skeptical of doing Pilates in the midst of the concrete jungle, but there was one particular moment during the mat work that changed my mind. We were on our backs doing some bridges, the breeze off the river was washing over us, and as I gazed up between the high-rises at a perfect blue sky, I felt bliss. Needless to say, by the end of the class I was on a high and wanted more than ever to learn about the brand behind the event. I struck up a conversation with a couple of the girls representing Yogasmoga, and the next week, I found myself in their NYC Headquarters.
Katherine Bacino, Yogasmoga’s New York Community Coordinator & Editor of Rangoli, the brand’s community platform, served as my leader and guide throughout the HQ. There, I met members of the Yogasmoga team, previewed the upcoming fall collection, and got a taste of what’s in the works for the brand in 2016, all while experiencing just who Yogasmoga is.
Katherine started with the basics and explained the story behind the brand’s name. Yogasmoga comes from a Hindi colloquialism that combines a base word (like yoga) and a rhyming word (like smoga). The meaning is “yoga and the things that go with it.” Yogasmoga is not just a brand for yogis. It’s a brand for those who embrace the principles that go with it: joy, energy, and balance.
Next we moved on to the upcoming fall collection, which embraces the theme “unrestricted movement.” The motif reflects the brand’s belief that activewear should hug and support the body without compressing or constricting it. This idea immediately hit home. I recently got into a discussion with my dance group about how uncomfortable and unhealthy activewear can be that promises to slim your stomach or slenderize your thighs, leaving lines and indentations on your skin. Instead, Yogasmoga aims to celebrate the natural shape and curves of the body with the mindful design of their fit and fabrics. I’m particularly excited for one of the prints in the upcoming fall line called “Topography.” To create this design, Yogasmoga used a technique called bodymap printing. Typically, patterned fabrics are cut for the desired garment at random, which means the print appears on each article of clothing in a different way. With bodymap printing, the pattern on the fabric is specifically designed to suit the garment and the part of the body on which it’s worn. So, Yogasmoga’s Topography print leggings highlight the line of your waist, curve of your thighs, and muscles in your calves.
Finally, the moment of truth arrived. It was time to actually test out the clothes! The minute I slipped on the first pair of leggings, I experienced just how awesome this apparel is. The fabric is rich, mobile, weightless, and just feels good on your body as you move. I’m also completely smitten with the Topography print in the upcoming fall line. It’s a feminine and flattering work of art. I can’t wait to get my hands on a style from the new collection! If you’re having trouble deciding which piece of Yogasmoga apparel to try first, check out the company favorites or some of my own:
- Katherine, NYC Community Coordinator & Editor of Rangoli: Tippy Toe Twist Legging & Oh La La Bra (great for busty girls!)
- Katie, Marketing Analyst: Tippy Toe Legging
- Tom, Director of E-Commerce: Nirvana Short (yes, they have a men’s line too!)
- Emily, Social Media Manager: Tippy Toe Legging
- Faith, Director of Marketing: Vivacity Legging
- Trish, Wholesale Specialist: The entire Vivacity Collection
- “Super” Alex, Customer Service Specialist & Project Manager: Run Jump’N Twist Crop
- Cait, Yogasmoga Enthusiast: Run Jump’N Twist Crop & Yantra Tank
For those in the NYC area, check out the full list of free popup events that Yogasmoga is hosting at the South Street Seaport now through September. Then, follow Yogasmoga on social media, and stay tuned this fall for a series of live panel discussions with the brand. Finally, hold your breath! There’s rumor of a brick and mortar Yogasmoga store opening in NYC next year!
Locally-owned boutiques are the key to preserving your morale and your budget when shopping in NYC. A friend in Astoria introduced me to Lockwood. Thankfully, I don’t live in Astoria or else I might be there every day. Lockwood is a standout among the countless shops in NYC not only for its warm and welcoming ambiance but also for its range of clothing options. The boutique carries sizes 2-20, offering numerous brands with plus-size options, like BB Dakota, Alternative Apparel, Articles of Society, and more. While I’m not a plus-size girl, I appreciate the tone Lockwood is setting by offering fashion for everyone.
Fashion in NYC can be intimidating. More times than not, you walk into a boutique in Lower Manhattan thinking… I’m too curvy to wear that… I’m too broke to afford that… That sales associate is watching me like a hawk… Those girls are gawking at me… Do I even belong here? Lockwood is a place where women can actually enjoy the shopping experience without the pressure of haughty sales associates and patrons, unreasonable price points, and limited silhouettes. At Lockwood, you can feel confident at the rack, in the dressing room, and at the checkout counter – the way shopping should be but so rarely is in NYC.
Last week, the boutique hosted a spring preview party complete with DIY goodie bags, tattoo bar, Polaroid photo booth, wine, and 20% off all merchandise. The minute I saw the event, I texted my friend in Astoria and told her to clear her schedule.
The first time I visited Lockwood, I was like a kid in a candy store: I wanted everything. However, on the night of the spring preview party, I committed to exhibiting some self-restraint. I told myself I would stick to the needs not the wants – I needed a new dress for a few summer weddings, but I wanted this athletic little sweat-set from Alternative Apparel.
I successfully resisted and walked away with my goodie bag, a Kitsch metallic tattoo reading “inspire” on my wrist, and a few of Lockwood’s amazingly on-point paper goods. I left satisfied yet still wanting more. I can’t wait to see the spring and summer collection evolve as warmer weather makes its way to NYC. Thanks to Lockwood, there’s always a good excuse to visit Astoria.
I’m excited to share my first post in my NEW Reader Spotlight series. I love when my readers reach out to me and share their purchases or information learned from ARTicles of Clothing blog. Nothing is more satisfying than connecting with my readers and hearing that AOC Blog has made an impact in their personal style and their wardrobe!
The reader in today’s feature purchased a dress based on one of the first posts on AOC Blog: Every Woman Should Own a Dress by this Brand. This post features one of my all time favorite lines, Tart Collections. The brand’s signature is its sleek jersey material that is both incredibly comfortable and drapes beautifully on the body. Over the years, Tart Collections has expanded from its trademark dresses to a full line of apparel, outerwear, intimates, and swim! If you’re looking for the ideal piece to take you from day to night or work to play, look no further than Tart Collections.
This reader is wearing one of Tart’s classic maxi dresses styled with the Hobo the Original Lauren Wallet, the accessory I deemed “the best wallet you’ll ever own.” Although the Hautelook sale event featured in my original post had ended, this reader also took into account my motto “never pay full price for anything” when shopping for her Tart maxi. She visited one of my recommended members only sample sale sites, Gilt Groupe, to purchase her first Tart Collections dress! Tart is a brand that is consistently featured in limited time sales events on such sites, so you too can snag you first Tart frock for a steal. The new Nordstrom Rack online is another great place to shop discounted Tart merchandise. They currently have over 50 Tart Collections styles in stock, including nearly 20 styles of dresses. I personally own an array of styles of Tart dresses – from strapless to long sleeve – and each is uniquely flattering and feminine.
If you have purchased an item or implemented advice featured on ARTicles of Clothing Blog, I would love to hear from you! Connect with me with the details and you could be the next reader to be featured in my Reader Spotlight Series!
Instagram is arguably one of the fastest growing social media platforms. On this week’s episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, I learned that Instagram actually began as a project similar to Foursquare that focused on checking in and location based social networking, then it pivoted and revised its focus to mobile photography. Instagram has been a particularly significant platform for the fashion community. From LIKEtoKNOW:IT, a service that allows you to LIKE photos on Instagram and receive ready to shop product links directly to your inbox, to Vogue’s impromptu Instagram fashion shoot aka promotion for the Met Gala and the Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit, the fashion community has found ways to fully utilize Instagram’s features. The platform is gaining such popularity in the fashion industry, the Council of Fashion Designer’s of America (CFDA) named their first ever Fashion Instagrammer of the Year to be the official CFDA Instagram correspondent for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards (which were last night, btw!). You can find plenty of lists floating around of the most stylish Instagram accounts you need to follow now. These mainly consist of bloggers, models, editors, designers, and the like. But what about the awesome Instagrammers who are flying under the radar? Well, I think I’ve found three of them. Here are 3 unsuspectingly stylish Instagram accounts you should check out!
Maybe I’m weird and creepy for being obsessed with a 14-year-old’s Instagram. Maybe I’m just partial to anything and everything relating to AMC’s Mad Men. But really, is it just me or does this girl have amazing style? Chanel + Chuck Taylor + Miu Miu… need I say more?
You may know Bethany Watson by her voice as one of the leading radio personalities of the nationally syndicated Elvis Duran Morning Show. Bethany is a born and raised Wisconsin gal (shout out to all my Mad Town ladies) living in NYC. Of all my unsuspectingly stylish Instagrammers, Bethany rocks the most attainable, everygirl looks – most recently she prided herself in finding the amazing Alice + Olivia pumps (pictured above) at a local consignment store for $60!
Busy Philipps is my all time favorite person to follow on Instagram. In addition to showcasing her amazing fashion sense, she posts tons of awesome pictures of her life in LA and some of the best throwback photos. This major celeb’s Instagram is down to earth, totally relatable, and seriously stylish.
Know of an awesome Instagrammer that’s flying under the radar? Share the unsuspectingly stylish Instagram account you’re obsessed with following in the comments below!
I typically tend toward dainty jewelry. I have a petite frame and small stature, so I usually find myself feeling swallowed whole by bulky jewelry. Then, it seemed like chunky jewelry was beginning to take over – the bigger and bolder the better! Then, layering lots of delicate jewelry seemed to be on trend: stack rings, knuckle rings, charm necklaces, any and every light weight bauble in the jewelry box! Once the layering trend caught on, ladies started packing and stacking on multiple pieces of chunky jewelry – bangles piled elbow high! How’s a girl to know what to do with her collection of chunky and dainty jewelry? I realized the key is finding a balance.
The take away here is that tracking trends can become overwhelming and can ultimately confuse your sense of style. Jewelry is one of the easiest areas to play around in your wardrobe. You can mix metals, weights, and styles of jewelry, and despite the trend that happens to be the flavor of the week, you really can’t go wrong. However, I still believe in having some staple pieces of jewelry in your collection.
I’m a gold jewelry girl, and mixing metals is a style I’m still working on. So, my 4 jewelry essentials are featured in gold but would be great in rose gold, silver, or gunmetal too!
THE ESSENTIAL NECKLACE
Layering dainty necklaces is my go-to everyday look. However, my ESSENTIAL NECKLACE is a chunky statement necklace. Having this necklace in your collection gives you an instant outfit. Do the math!
Basic Black Dress + Statement Necklace = Instant Outfit
Simple Solid Tee + Statement Necklace = Complete Look
Crisp White Blouse + Statement Necklace = Done!
Shop a similar necklace by Dream Collective on Of a Kind here
THE ESSENTIAL BRACELET
I probably rely on my gold bangle too much. This is my ESSENTIAL BRACELET. With my small frame comes teeny, tiny wrists that almost never accommodate your average bangle, so once I find one that fits, I basically never take it off. I’m typically very active and expressive with my hands, so I only layer bracelets under special circumstances to avoid unnecessary banging and clanking. Work at a computer all day like me and sworn off bracelets? Bangles are easy to take on/off at the desk and are too big to lose. Fashion vs. Function dilemma solved!
Shop a similar bangle by Dannijo here
THE ESSENTIAL EARRING
You thought I was gonna say hoop or stud, right? Let’s rethink the essential earring. Sure, I hope you have a great hoop and a go-to stud in your jewelry collection, by my ESSENTIAL EARRING is the drop earring. Some necklines compete with a necklace, and you need an earring to be your anchor. A dainty drop earring is the perfect feminine focal point in such outfit occasions!
THE ESSENTIAL RINGS
Two rings (or three rings, or four rings) are better than one. Let’s be honest, the only ring that stands alone is an engagement ring. When it comes to any other rings, the more the merrier, but pairing them well is key. So, my ESSENTIAL RINGS include a balance of basic bands and easy to pair statement rings. Don’t forget the latest fashion: knuckle rings!
Shop similar bands and knuckle rings by Gorjana here
Shop similar statement rings by Dara Ettinger here
Photographed by Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography
P.S. Angie has a giveaway going on now through Sunday, June 1 for a 90-minute session – enter here!