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2011: A Year in Review

December 28, 2011

When the ball dropped at the start of 2011, I knew it would be a fantastic year. Twelve months later, I’m looking back and can truly say it’s been even better than I imagined. Here’s a look back through my blog to show a slice of what made it so special:

I kicked off January with New Year’s Day in New York, then spent the rest of the month dressing in black in preparation of my upcoming move to the city.

In February, I put on my favorite spring clothes and played in the snow and discussed what style means to me.

In March, I began to question if a girl can truly have it all (current answer: yes!) and showed off my fabulous little sister’s style.

In April, I celebrated my eighteenth birthday with my family in London and Prague. I obsessed over the royal wedding in London and danced on the Charles Bridge in Prague.

That May, I pulled out the family photo album and went back to my grandparents’ prom in 1955 and had a little garden party to celebrate my graduation.

In June, I had a lovely time at prom and kicked off the summer with a laidback, nautical look.

That July, I took a blogging hiatus in order to spend ten weeks as a camp counselor in Maine. The camp has been my home away from home since I was nine years old and it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. Here’s a photo from that summer:

When I returned home in August, I played dress-up all week in my favorite summer outfits and battled Hurricane Irene (then moved to New York the very next day!).

After I started school at NYU in September, I wrote about Welcome Week, picked up a vintage ballgown, and wrote about my experiences at New York Fashion Week.

During October, I had fun playing model for Julia in both New York and Needham.

In November, I started making weekly blog photo dates with my good friend Kristina; together, we watched the filming of Gossip Girl!

Finally, in December, I reveled in the New York holiday spirit and spent the last few days of 2011 in sunny Aruba with my family!

It’s been an incredible adventure and I’m excited for what 2012 holds in store!

xoxo Hannah

Short and Sweet

December 25, 2011

Tee, American Apparel. Skirt, Urban Outfitters. Pumps, Seychelles. Nails, “Haymarket” – Nails Inc.

My family is in Aruba this week. The best part isn’t even the sun and the sand – it’s simply the change of pace. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in everything in New York and schedule everything back-to-back with no time to breathe. But here? There’s nothing to do but endless hours of lounging on the beach with a good book. Rather than my usual assortment of winter sweaters and jeans, I wore this leather pencil and cropped tee out to dinner at one of the most festive restaurants on the island. The vivid colorblocking feels just right for the “summer” weather. Happy holidays!

xoxo Hannah

The Girl and the City

December 22, 2011

Top, c/o BodyRock Sport. Vest, Tinley Road. Jeans, Topshop. Loafers, Sam Edelman. Necklace, handmade.

You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl. Last time I wore this nearly identical outfit, I was lounging underground with Kristina in the 8th Street subway station. This time around, I made a few quick changes – pumps to loafers, sheer blouse to cotton v-neck with studded cuffs, red lip to natural makeup – and shot these photos back in my hometown. I’ve been home a few times since I started college in late August, but I’m continually struck by how quiet my little suburb is and by how nostalgic it makes me feel.

I apologize for my blogging drought these past few weeks. It’s been quite a busy month! Here’s a little slice of what I’ve been up to these past few weeks:

  • Studying for finals and writing papers like a mad man in the library with a few friends and several thousand cups of mint tea to keep me company. (As of 3:30 PM on Monday, I’m officially done with finals!)
  • Sampling New York’s culinary treats with my boyfriend Mike. We’ve recently tried Dos Toros Taqueria, Rosa Mexicano, Souen, Magnolia’s Bakery, Bare Burger, and S’Mac, all in and around Greenwich Village. Any other NYC suggestions to add to our list?
  • Spending weekends at the Met to research art history papers for my friends and me.
  • Bundling up in as many  of warm sweaters, earmuffs, and gloves as possible. It’s getting cold!

Leaving the city was sad, but I have a busy month ahead of me in Needham before returning for spring semester. Happy holidays!

xoxo Hannah

A Little New York Holiday Cheer

December 3, 2011

Blouse, Millau. Jeans, Car Mar. Coat, Aqua. Necklace, c/o Trendenzas. Pumps, ASOS.

Getting into the holiday spirit is easy in the city. Between ice skating at Bryant Park, frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, and admiring festive decorations on every corner, it feels appropriate to dress with a little extra glam this month. Who says your glitziest holiday dresses have to be saved for parties? I turned to my favorite shade of cranberry red, a decadent faux fur coat, an art deco-inspired necklace, and gold metallic pumps to amp up the holiday cheer.

This statement necklace comes from Trendenzas, an online accessories shop that features major discounts every day. I love this chunky black and gold piece. I rarely step outside my jewelry comfort zone – I typically wear the same pieces every day, and most of my jewelry has personal significance or a story behind it – but this piece was too pretty to pass up!

After months of ignoring split ends and hoping they would magically repair themselves (they didn’t), I took the plunge and chopped off five or six inches of hair over Thanksgiving break. I asked my stylist to touch up my color, so I was expecting to come out with a more evenly-dyed chocolate brown hue. Instead, I emerged with a dark, glossy espresso shade. Although the change took me by surprise, I’m learning to love the color. Have you taken any beauty risks lately?

xoxo Hannah

Mad Men on the Bowery

November 21, 2011

Dress, Urban Outfitters. Tee, Old Navy. Coat, Aqua. Tights, Topshop. Oxfords, H&M.

Between the mod shift dress, cat eye sunglasses, and cozy leopard print coat, I felt like a Mad Men extra in this outfit. On a beautiful fall morning in New York, such as when these photos were taken, that’s not such a bad thing. (Considering I’ve spent a little time on Madison Avenue with a certain real-life Mad Man myself, not entirely out of character, either.)

Kristina and I took a stroll down to the corner of Bowery & Spring to take photos in front of this incredible graffiti wall. It’s a departure from my usual front yard or Washington Square Park backdrop, but I like the change.

So, what’s on the agenda for this week? Spending as much time with people I care about in New York before we all go to our separate corners of the country on Wednesday, getting into the Needham spirit for the annual Thanksgiving football game (Go Rockets!), enjoying a fantastic Thanksgiving feast with lots and lots of family and friends, and soaking up a few days in my “natural habitat” before heading back to New York on Sunday. How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year?

xoxo Hannah

Fuchsia Fall

November 16, 2011

Sweater, Zara. Vest, Tinley Road. Jeans, Ishtar. Bag, Michael Kors. Shoes, H&M. Necklace, street vendor.

New England has gorgeous fall foliage, New York has… well, lots of concrete. Right? Not so much. The trees in Washington Square Park were in full bloom last week, which meant I made plenty of detours around campus to ensure I spent enough time admiring the stunning scenery. Kristina and I played around in the park last week on a particularly freezing, blustery Friday and I’m excited to share her photography with you.

I bought this sweater last month against Julia’s staunch protests. “Hannah. Seriously. This sweater is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I just don’t get why you like it,” my little fashion guru proclaimed from the dressing room. But it’s slouchy, incredibly soft, and neon fuchsia – what’s not to like? I dressed it up with a faux fur vest and a bright red lip.

See the rainbow in the background of some of the photos? Even when I’m bogged down with midterms and I’m out of breakfast money because I spent it all on vanilla chai lattes and Vogue and late nights in the library, New York keeps sending me beautiful little signals – like this rainbow, for example – that everything is all right. I love this city.

xoxo Hannah

Lookbook: Carefree Summer

November 9, 2011

Romper, 5th Culture. Belt, H&M. Hat, Gap. Bag, Old Navy. Earrings, Urban Outfitters.

I’m beginning to see Christmas lights around New York (spotted in the windows of the W in Union Square last night), which means it’s time to indulge in a little summery goodness. These photos were taken in the ultimate carefree days of senior year between prom and graduation. I remember the day these were taken so well. I wore this outfit for lunch at Café Fresh with my best friends and packing up nearly everything I own for my summer at camp and fall at NYU. These photos were from my last few days in Needham, when my years of whining about how badly I wanted to live somewhere more exciting turned into total nostalgia for my childhood in small-town suburbia. Accordingly, this outfit reminds me of that glorious last week at home in Needham, filled with family during the day and friends at night, lots of Lizzy’s (ice cream) with Julia, preparing to leave home for good, and stunningly beautiful weather.

I’m borrowing one of my favorite phrases from The Man Repeller to describe a key feature of dressing for summer: Arm Party. From left to right, top to bottom: gift, 344, gift, gift, handmade, Max & Chloe, Stil Studio, a store in France, gift from Mexico, hair elastic, gift, friendship bracelet from camp circa 2004. What have we learned about curating Arm Parties? Make lots of friends who like to give jewelry as gifts and never lose your friendship bracelets from camp. I stacked bracelets up both wrists for this photo shoot and didn’t take them off until September. (For the record, my tan lines were major.)

Who else is ready to go back to summer? The 65 degree weather today fooled me. Snow in October and now this is November? Mother Nature, it’s time to make up your mind!

xoxo Hannah