Rare is a conversation about the history of sex portrayed in the media that doesn't discuss the iconography of Marilyn Monroe. Dark eyebrows, contrasting platinum bob, milky skin, glittering red lips, sewn-on dresses, and that feathered voice. Sure, she is a sex symbol, but how did she get there? How does one just become that? This was before Instagram and contouring, people. I've read several biographies, watched just about every one of her movies, documentaries, films made about her, etc... and honestly? It's absolutely depressing. She was insecure, obsessive compulsive, and depressed. She grew up in foster homes, unsure of her paternity, and wound up married (1 of 3) at 16. Like most of her characters, she was indifferent about the havoc her sexuality caused. And contrary to a lot of her characters, she was not a "dumb blonde". She was a feverous reader and a known good cook. She changed the game, at a very high cost. The most interesting thing I've read thus far is her relationship to the moniker of "Marilyn Monroe". Most know she was born in 1926 in Los Angeles as Norma Jeane Mortenson. It's said that Joe DiMaggio married her expecting her to settle down and retire her symbolism, and that Arthur Miller married her expecting to be sucked in to the alluring tornado of her namesake.
Neither got what they wanted.
There's a scene in My Week With Marilyn where Monroe (Michelle Williams) and Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) are visiting a high school and run into some kiddies in a back hallway. Monroe turns to Colin and whispers, "Shall I be her?" knowing full well what he, and they, (what we all) came for.
When it comes to my outfit formula, sexy is not normally in the basic foundation. Like many modern women, I struggle with what that word even means to me and how it's represented in my clothing. What I do know is it's not defined by society, men, or even other women--it's defined by me and me alone. Kudos to women like Marilyn who stir the conversation and always keep us on our toes.
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I played a variety of sports as a kid: 9 years of dance, short stint in gymnastics, few good seasons of cheerleading, childhood swimming revisited in high school, 2 uncharacteristic weeks of rugby, and a golden period of pre-teen softball. Softball was #2 in my Myspace Top 8 of youth sports. It was the first time I remember experiencing discipline, pushing my limits, camaraderie, and to be honest, masculinity. I looked forward to dirt and rainbow bruises. The boys from my class would come watch us play and I wanted to impress them on their level. That's great you think I'm pretty but what about my batting average? Impressive, huh? We didn't get baseball pants. We wore the iconic Soffe short in candy colors. No sliding pad, which means rounding home into a plastic, slightly-raised-above-the-dirt home plate, which also means sporting a bruised thigh for the summer. I was sublime.
Around the same time, my mother was researching our ancestors (pre-Ancestory.Com, mind you). Lewis Merriwether, some guy named John on the Mayflower and...
MICKEY MANTLE. ⚾️🌭
Center fielder (me too) and first baseman from 1951-1968 for the New York Yankees. Switch hitter (not me), won the Triple Crown in 1956 (obvi not me), and went to 12 World Series (totally me!). He's a pretty distant ancestor (great great great grandfather's cousin) but I cherished knowing that my love of baseball ran vein deep.
I found this vintage Bugle Boys raglan in a shop somewhere in LA and bought it because it reminded me of MM. I saw these Who What Wear x Target flared track pants and knew they would be the perfect contradiction to a multitude of occasions and outfits. Floppy wool hat to amp the femme and a grey heeled ankle boot to fancify.
No autographs please. I'm a person, just like you, with a moderately famous relative.
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Transitions in life generally feel like a layover in an international airport. Too little time to sight see, too much time cemented in trying to connect to spotty wi-fi. Uncomfortable arm rests, seeking familiarity but knowing you're not going to. My instincts tell me to purchase an iced coffee (Starbucks is luckily cherished globally), a fashion mag, some sort of sammy and secure a comfy corner and merely wait it out. Visualizing your end result, realizing how close you are; all the while knowing that transitions are unavoidable, sometimes tedious, and without a doubt emotionally taxing.
MY NAME IS AMBER AND I AM IMPATIENT. 🙋🏼
Tennessee weather is having a rough year with transitions. We're talking 30 degree difference between morning and dusk most days. This makes getting dressed very laborious, damn near annoying! I've been coaching myself to mingle winter and spring basics: black tights capped with cut-offs, collegiate collared shirts unbuttoned beneath airy coverall trenches, etc. Just adapting the best way I know how by grabbing all the statement I need in these reliable primary Golden Goose sneaks.
Can't wait to attend Nashville Fashion Week April 4 - 8th! So much emerging talent right here in my home town and I cherish watching Nashville grow in a number of ways--It's an adventure to keep up with. 2017 is a year for me to challenge myself in networking intently within my city and harmonize any local magic. ✨
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+ MADEWELL ABROAD TRENCH COAT (30% OFF WITH CODE 'NOTKIDDING'--ENDS TONIGHT!)
+ J. CREW COTTON POPLIN DRESS SHIRT (25% OFF $150+ AND 30% OFF $200+ PURCHASE WITH CODE 'MOREISMORE'--ENDS TOMORROW!)
+ DIANE VON FURSTENBERG AVIATOR SUNNIES IN ROSE GOLD (20% OFF!)
My nature can often times be self-deprecating in overloaded and taxing times. Instead of docking for downtime, I'll hastily load up a rocket ship onward. In November of 2016 I was working on a television show (the best!) that drained about 60+ hours of my week; leaving hardly any time to pursue Rag Pepper with meaningful intent. I pushed through a few weeks with the bulk of content being created out of my stifling expectation and not necessarily with the pride and open-minded journey I began with.
So, I pressed pause for once. I cherished Rag Pepper and wanted to prevent the inevitable burn out I've experienced with many other endeavors. I removed the pressure and prepped to resume when the show wrapped.
👋🏻 HELLO #RAGPEPPER, MY OLD FRIEND.
After hours of groundwork and conceptualizing, I curated my newly minted machine, sought out a visual magician (hi Catherine!) to boost the recipe, and ran back to Rag Pepper on heels of fire.
I'm all about curating a "go-to" outfit formula. Strings of femme brought to you by classic color-blocked Chanel + edgy lacquer polish courtesy of Topshop + a soupçon of French simplicity via powdered blue Zara = ¡BREAKING! Efficiently prepared, notably comfortable, everyday glamour! A closet of contradictions! Outfit equivalent to a Long Island Iced Tea! Ensemble nirvana! Any way you print it, I'm happy to be back. So thank you, come again.
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Happy (official) Holidays to all! Hope your sweatpants got some serious couch potato time this weekend. 🍷🦃 My boyfriend, Potsy, and I got back yesterday from a trip up north to visit his family in Philly and finally return to our childhood homes in Washington, DC. I apologize for not having as many pickings from this weekend's ultimate shopping extravaganza--holiday craziness is already in full effect! Click here for the best sales rounded up by my beloved internet-BFFs at Man Repeller.
Nordstrom's weekend sale is exclusive to their clearance items (additional 20% off!), but be sure to snag this Free People fair isle sunset pullover. I wore it this holiday weekend for fireside card games in between Thanksgiving feast prep and received so many compliments. Thick oversized, and a marvelous color combo. Great with dark denim (52% off!) and barn boots (30% off!) with tangerine knit socks (40% off!) for walking your unbearably charming dog (as above) or also dressed up with tights and a noir velvet 70s mini skirt for dinner parties.
Most days I wear glasses due to the fact that I love sleep more than I love makeup. 👓 These Warby Parker scarlet tortoise "Percey" frames are flattering, quaint, and always warrant admiration from a stranger. In addition to their frames starting at $95 (what!), Warby Parker offers free home try-on if you don't have a brick and mortar nearby. Today I scheduled an eye appointment to update my prescription so I can grab a few more pairs from their Winter 2016 collection!
My mug is from an art crawl I went to a few months ago in south Nashville. Bean and Bailey Ceramics tilt mug is uniquely shaped and adorably delightful... and some of you just figured out your Christmas presents. Crap. **PS there is coffee in my mug. Sunrise requires maximum amounts of caffeine.
Cyber Monday Sales
ASOS: 30% OFF WITH THE CODE "THANKFUL30"
J CREW: 40% OFF ONLINE AND IN STORE WITH THE CODE "HOLIDAY"
MADEWELL: 25% OFF ENTIRE PURCHASE WITH CODE "THATSALE"
MODCLOTH: 30% OFF EVERYTHING + FREE SHIPPING WITH CODE "CYBER16"
NORDSTROM: ADDITIONAL 20% OFF SELECT SALE ITEMS
SHOPBOP: 15% OFF OF $200+, 20% OFF OF $500+, 25% OFF $800+ WITH CODE "GOBIG16"
THE REALREAL: 40% OFF OF COATS--BE SURE TO CHECK OFTEN AS THERE ARE NEW SALES DAILY
May the odds be ever in your favor! Below are some links to my outfit as well as similar looks.
How was your Thanksgiving weekend? ✗ A
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Photographer: Samantha Hearn
Colorblocked items that I can structure an outfit around are the golden tickets to my wardrobe-building (chocolate) factory aka my closet. I spotted this H&M striped dress and purchased it immediately. The colors were so understated and simulated a sunset (and this emoji — ⛵️); I had to own it. Slits in the long sleeves and the side seams make it adaptable and the lightweight knit made it foolproof for fall.
When enamel pins started making their way back in style, this time with millennial nostalgic references, I feverishly combed through Etsy for the ones that embodied my childhood or badges of my values and hobbies to represent me. I then collected too many too rapidly and my denim jacket was hella heavy.
Throwing my paraphernalia-ridden jacket over this midi dress kept my outfit laid back. I sought out a low-heeled pointed toe black boot for fall/winter and I am so in love with these Marc Fisher crocodile Chelsea boots. I wear them with black skinnies and one of my boyfriend’s t-shirts mostly just for errands and work …and wisdom teeth removal surgery …and voting for the President …and okay, everything. I seldom take them off.
Below are some links to my outfit as well as some more options, seeing as some have sold out already! I included some of the most clever pins and patches found via Etsy. I love supporting incredibly inventive small businesses. 🦄
Do you wear pins/patches/graphic tees/etc. to speak for you? Something different entirely? Let me know! ✗ A