1 Dress, 4 Ways

Four doses of Friday fashion featuring the American Apparel Le Sac dress. 

Yes, I did this in my office and yes, my co-workers think I’m kooky. 

Note that each dress variation also features a slightly different hair style. Kudos to Cibu Ka Pow Dry Shampoo for putting the FUN in multi-functional hair.
Eh oh!

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Outfit details: American Apparel Le Sac dress (2014); Loeffler Randall sandals (2012); David Yurman cable classics hoops and bangles (2006 - 2013)

Cibu Ka Pow Dry Shampoo is available exclusively in Bubbles Hair Salons, Salon Cielo & Spa, select Hair Cuttery locations and online at cibuinternational.com

Selfie Schtik

As Cibu Brand Manager, I’ve created a lot of 259 hair styling tutorials. Cibu Do of the Day, a web series in which I attempted a new hair style every work day for three months, was a viral sensation in 2009. Cibu gained tremendous social traction and generated e-commerce income to boot. Alas, I was before my time. Priorities shifted and like many grassroots business endeavors, my focus was redirected towards more profitable projects. People always asked about those videos, though. The simple answer is that it takes a boatload of billable hours to film, edit, post, promote and moderate social content. Add salon expansion, repackaging, rebranding and two babies to the mix and ain’t nobody got time for that.

A CFO once told me that social media had a dubious ROI, at best. He was wrong. In 2015, social content is currency. And since Cibu is generating a lot of well-deserved media attention it’s clear that I need to dust off the bathroom mirror and make fresh Cibu vids to support the cause.

Mise en place! My equipment needed upgrading. Daunted by the task, I was certain new technology and hours of self teaching were required. Amazon was like, um no – here’s an iPhone tripod. Then Amazon sold me a selfie stick because that’s what everyone else who bought the tripod was buying.

So stay tuned for the return of self generated Cibu social content. With my reduced wardrobe, I’ve surely added enough time to my morning to film hair tutorials!

Today’s outfit is pretty simple. Get used to this dress; you will see it often. Versatile, comfortable and easy to dress up or down, it’s the perfect summer accessory to a selfie stick.

Someone say “selfie stick!”

Outfit details: Chloe Havana sunglasses; Asos black dress, 2014; Pave disk necklace, anniversary gift from Matt, 2014; Assorted random layering necklaces, origins unknown; Loeffler Randall Industry Bag, 2014; Manolo Blahnik gladiator sandals, originally purchased in yellow, 2007, dyed black in 2013

 Classic Cibu17, for your viewing enjoyment

Let It Go

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Perhaps the omission was a gift from the universe, easing our family’s transition through a late winter cold snap: For several months my toddler forgot to sing the theme song from Frozen. In early April, however; The Frozen Song re-emerged as a thematic element in our collaborative bedtime story. In summary: AJ hosts an egg hunt and all of his cousins are invited (”All of them, Mommy!”). There is a custom Play Doh decorated surprise egg hidden for each cousin. Anna’s egg is wrapped in a tutu and when she opens it a real ballerina dances out (these are big eggs). Caroline’s egg is decorated as an egg and when she cracks it open, baby Ashby is trapped inside and AJ rescues her. Finally, Isabelle opens her egg, emblazoned with a glittering crown, and out jumps Princess Elsa, singing “Let it Go, Let it Go, Let it Go...” At this point he falls asleep softly singing the only words anyone really knows from that song.

Yesterday the nurse at the doctor’s office needed to confirm my last name. “Is it Mapp or Bressan?” After a very pregnant pause I responded “Bressan.” I have been married for nearly six years but man was it hard to let that one go. We cling to things, don’t we? Maiden names, college scrapbooks, dog eared copies of Judy Blume’s Blubber, a $175 silk Joie blouse that never actually looks good on - they all tell a story about who we are, or were. But where is the line between identity and junk?

That evening I enjoyed a glass of champagne with a chic friend to celebrate her newly acquired American citizenship. Thinking back on the last name conversation I asked if the ceremony sparked any sort of identity crisis. “Not at all,” she replied. “I retain both my Swiss and Italian passports.”  Leave it to Ada to be a triple citizen of the world. After a moment she added, “It was kind of hard for my Dad, though.”

Today’s outfit wasn’t quite as inspiring as the pink magnolia letting go of her petals in the background. Looking to the indigo top and flats to elevate grey base layers and an overcast spring morning. 

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Outfit details: Salvatore Ferragamo silk twill scarf (2009); J. Crew ruffle trench (2008); South Moon Under indigo hi low t-shirt (2012); Banana Republic ruched grey jersey skirt (2015); Steve Madden Kstudd indigo studded flats (2012); Stella & Dot Rebel pendant necklace (2014)

Switch Fix

Yesterday I was late to work. Again. I won’t bore you with details but its really hard to get out of my house in the morning. I zipped into my spot (in front of Potbelly’s), exited the car and trotted right down the parking lot. 

BING! Text Message. 9:25AM Lisa R.: Jenn you just walked by RC :30*, which started at 9AM.” 

*RC:30 is a monthly company wide meeting in PotBelly’s. Lisa R. is my boss 

Dammit! My head fumbled over excuses. As I was clearly called out - in front of most of the the company - I opted not to reply. So that’s how yesterday started. 

It doesn’t take much to derail a morning, does it? Can’t find matching shoes, no time to make lunch, toddler demands milkshake for breakfast, snarky barista adds WAY TOO MUCH half and half to a watery iced americano - it all adds up to a shitty mood. That’s no way to start a day. 

After wallowing in self pity over getting caught, my office sage Kristin reminded me that the key to happiness is perspective. I could choose to let my morning ruin my day or I could choose to make better choices tomorrow. So that’s what I did (Kristin is very convincing). Last night I went to yoga at 8, made my lunch before bed and pre-selected a smart little outfit from my edited closet. And then I was up, once an hour, all night, nursing the baby. 

However sleep deprived, I was prepared for the morning. I acknowledged my fatigue, strapped the baby and the toddler in their car seats and hit the Starbucks drive thru at 6:45AM. When we got back home I took a shower, pumped while finishing hair and make up, slipped into my smart little outfit, grabbed my lunch out of the fridge, promptly spilled 80% of the pumped milk and decided not to cry over it. 

Switched up my pictures, too. Natural morning light is a real mood lifter and my new photographer is super cute.

Oh! I got to work at 9:04AM.

Details: Hermes silk twill scarf; Chloe Havanna sunglasses; Gorjana spike earrings; floating citrine necklace (birthday gift from Matt, 2010); Gap chambray shirt; Gap red puffer vest

Details: Matt Bernson Wildfox anke bootie; Joes Jeans fatigue skinny cargo 

Details: Tassle pendant from boutique in Charleston SC; Loeffler Randall Industry Bag; engagement ring from Andrew Mitton Jewelers, Charlottesville, VA

New photographer and coordinating husband, Matt, wearing North Face Thermoball jacket and Washington Nationals visor

Project 333 - Minimalism is in

Putting outfits together and looking put together is very important to me. For 35 years shopping for clothes and accessories was my favorite pastime. Now I have a toddler and an infant, a full time job and own a small (but charming!) house. All of this translates to no time, minimal storage and considerably less discretionary income. Recently I transitioned out of my post natal wardrobe and became very frustrated. I spend too much money on too many clothes that I don’t love. 

Last week on Pinterest I unearthed this image and was flooded with emotion. How simple, how chic, how inspiring! A quick search for “minimalist wardrobe” led me to Project 333. Simply put, Project 333 is an exercise in reduction. Reduce your wardrobe to 33 items and wear only those 33 items for 3 months. 

With spring coming and finally down to a dress size that includes zippered pants, I was moved to pair down my belongings to 33 items that fit and bring me joy. I will tailor the official Project 333 rules to suit my comfort level: the 33 items I selected are business casual separates mostly worn to work. My 33 items do not include shoes and accessories because these items add flair to my mostly basic wardrobe and without access to them it would not be a plausible fashion experiment. However, I did reduce the accessories and shoes I will rotate into this capsule collection. For example, I have five Hermes scarves. Hermes scarves are my signature accessory. I will only be using two for this project. The others will be stored for the Summer collection. Thinking about Project 333 as curating a seasonal “collection” of my own clothes gets me very excited. 

Spring 2015 Capsule Collection

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Store, Consign or Donate Collection

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Outfit Day 1

Marc by Marc Jacobs dress

JCrew trench

Seychelles ballet flats