Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jaunty Jackets

Fashion Week ended a couple of weeks ago, and it affected me deeply. During the highly exclusive four weeks of fashion, the world's most stylish flock to New York City, London, Florence, and Paris to make us non-fabulous people feel inferior. And while my self-esteem takes a hit, I cannot help but gawk at the street style snaps of models.

With perfectly twiggy limbs and hair straight out of the commercials, the models populate every avenue with designer wares worth a couple of month's rent. The shoes, the bags, the dresses - I die a little on the inside and remind myself that spending $40,000 per year to go to school is a better way to spend my money. But the real object of my desire? Those jackets.

How can something so practical also make you look like such a baller? I wish classes were held outside so that I could rock my new biker jacket 24/7 instead of pretending I'm cold in the lecture hall just so people know that I am stylish. There is something so inexplicably chic about a well-cut and well-fitted jacket, and, from the streets of fashion, I bring to you my favorite looks.

high brow
The leather jacket has made a major comeback in the past couple of years, and no one has rocked this look better than Cara Delevingne. Her signature jacket is a $6,000 Burberry Prorsrum masterpiece. But for those of us with a little less funds, there are some seriously kick-ass alternatives.

h&m, $49.95
topshop, $100
forever 21, $39.80
And then, our trusty friend the parka...

please ignore the hair
...that as a swimmer I was convinced was that thing Michael Phelps wore before races. But recently I fell in love with these olive-green jackets because, I am convinced, they go with everything. As a college student, I am on the hunt for easy outfits that still look put-together. The parka is bar-none that item in the closet.

urban outfitters, $59
zara, $139
h&m, $49.95
And then, of course, the classic long wool coat that so many chic Europeans rock that it can be described as a fashion science:
her kitty is showing
I still rock the one I bought back in 2008 in an H&M in Cologne, and it's my go-to coat for instant sophistication. Wrap a printed silk scarf around your neck and take out your fly-est kicks, and you've got an instant leg-up on all of those soccer moms running around in North Face puff jackets.

asos, $151.28
modcloth, $74.99
zara, $189
And that doesn't even cover the half of it. With pea coats, and bombers, and capes, and blazers, and jean jackets, and... and... wow I'm getting excited. If only I had the money to buy all of these things. Time to go to work and make some money - A$AP!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Oh, Christmas, what a magical time it is indeed. The second the leaves start falling and people start wearing fabulous jackets (the topic of my next post - stay tuned), my heart starts to warm with holiday sentiments and pumpkin spice lattes. And as I sit pretentiously at my college coffee house drinking over-priced cappuccinos by the gallon, I can't help but fantasize about wearing cable-knit sweaters around the fire.

The problem? I'm a Jew from Boston.

Sure, Beantown has lots to offer for the winter loving, like Nor'easters that always seem to dump 3 feet of snow at the least convenient time. But that perfectly fluffy layer of snow soon turns into unappealing gray slush within a day, turning the streets into a Tim Burton-esque Winter Wonderland. And that's if it snows - which, in Boston, is never guaranteed.

dude, where's my car?
And being Jewish certainly doesn't help either. Is it weird to love the holiday season, when I celebrate none of the holidays? Not even Thanksgiving. Maybe my parents were too progressive, but other than going to a slutty Halloween party and getting hammered at New Year's, my fall and winter season are largely void of festivities. Sure, there is Hannukah, and Rosh Hashana, and hey, even Yom Kippur. But what those holidays lack is the romanticism that I so desperately seek.

No, I want to have a toasty snowy cheesy Christmas. And during my daily survey of cheap flights (that is right, Kayak is my #9 most visited website), I found out that flights to Scandinavia are dirt cheap. I immediately dropped the Physics textbook I was studying from and spent the next three hours researching how to have the most epic Scandinavian Christmas break in the history of the world.

And, I present to you, my findings: the top 5 Scandinavian experiences I am currently fantasizing about.

1. Freezing On a Cruise of the Geirangerfjord

it's 2 pm in norway
For those of you wondering, it's pronounced "fee-yord", and is basically a stretch of water in between two cliffs that is somehow distinct from a gorge. And if I can afjord it, I would love nothing more than to have a Titanic moment (minus the iceberg) on a boat cruising through the world-famous Geirangerfjord. And, assuming that no one else will want to freeze their ass in below freezing Norwegian temperatures for the sake of looking at water, I look forward to the silent solitude of nature. That's right, I went that deep.

2. The Ice Hotel, Kiruna

i'd like some drink with that ice, barkeep
First off, it actually exists. For a while I was convinced that it was a made-up concept that my Dad claimed he once visited in Soviet Russia (I was half-right - the Ice Hotel is in Sweden). And although the sight of a building made of ice or having a cocktail at their ice bar from an ice glass seems nice, what I would want to see is all of the people who paid hundreds of euros to sleep on ice for a night. Not a mattress even, but ice. As in, that hard solid that can kill you if it drops on you at the wrong angle. Classic.

3. The Aurora Borealis, Lapland

high as a cloud
I've actually seen them once, but not in an ideal situation. I was sitting on a flight with IcelandAir in 2008 on the way to Germany for my uncle's wedding, and in a haze of sleepiness and airline food I gazed out the window and saw the characteristic fluorescent green ribbon ripple through the sky. While it was beautiful, it was not what I wanted. No, I am looking for the ultimate Disney movie moment: under a blanket, around a campfire in the middle of a forest, holding a mug of tea, looking up at the endless starry night sky, and then it popping up by surprise. I look to my Disney prince, and he smiles, and we watch them... oh wait, no Disney prince here. Okay, well, I'll take everything else.

4. Ride Bikes Through Copenhagen

my bike is the one with the wheels and the handlebar
36% of people in Copenhagen ride their bike to work every day. Considering that the last time I rode a bike was two years ago, I dream of wearing alternative sunglasses and carrying a leather backpack, hopping onto a bike, and riding past the colorful Danish houses, taking creative Instagram photos of them before entering a bar and sitting by the fire, ordering a beer. Is that too specific?

5. Christmas Markets

i'll take one of everything
The most quintessential European Christmas experience known to man. I was in Germany during a holiday season and bought enough nutcrackers for my brother to become suspicious/nervous. Plus, they serve warm and spiked cider for you to walk from stall to stall, pretending to be buying gifts for your loved ones when in reality they're for you. Oh, and sweaters - I buy a lot of sweaters.

And thus ends my dreamy adventure through Scandinavia in the winter time. Considering the fact that I am looking to travel this holiday season, I may make this dream come true - with all the cable-knit pullovers, fireplaces, reindeer, and hot chocolate I have ever dreamed of.