Q&A, No. 3

theory 1
top // pants // bag // heels

 

As a general rule, I have feelings about pants, and my feelings are pretty negative. I do not like pants. (Jeans don’t count). I’m talking about pants… or… slacks, if you will. Pants typically always felt too formal, too stuffy, not comfortable, etc. I think this comes from spending the first part of my career working in a formal office environment where I had to wear suits 3 days a week and be “business casual” the rest of the time. Pants were involved in these outfits and I hated them. When I left and went to BaubleBar, I donated all of my suits + typical “career-wear.” And now that I work from home, it’s denim most days.

During my visit to Trunk Club, I snapchatted this particular pair of cropped Theory flares. I couldn’t decide if I loved or hated them. You guys convinced me to go back and get them. And so I am pleased to present you with… my only pair of pants. They are on sale now, FYI… 40% off, right this way!

But anyway, more importantly, today we are doing Q&A #3! Be sure to check out the first and second Q&A posts, if you’d like… and scroll to read this week’s questions! PS – don’t forget to snap me your questions for next week (I’m grace.atwood over there!)

Outfit Details: Apiece Apart Top (old and now on sale, also seen here) // Theory Pants // Jimmy Choo Laria Almond Toe Pumps // Julie Vos Chloe Cuff // Chanel Purse

Look for Less: Try this top, this top, or this top // Pants // Pumps // Bag

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I am on the hunt for a new bag, preferably a classic style for everyday use, and want to invest in something nice/designer but I have no idea what to get! Any favorites you can recommend? New or old styles?

 

That’s tricky as I don’t know your budget. I will say that Chanel never goes out of style, and that I personally prefer vintage as the bags have a bit more character. That being said, Chanel is expensive! If you can afford it, I would do a vintage Chanel Bag. I love the classic 2.55. It’s the dream bag. It will never, ever go out of style, gets better with age, and you can pass it down someday. The RealReal has a great selection, as does Bella Bag (where I bought my red one). I also really love Saint Laurent. I bought my Sac du Jour a few years ago and it’s still one of my favorite bags – I feel so polished whenever I carry it.

That being said, I wanted to give a few other options. Since you said for everyday, I love my Mansur Gavriel Tote. It hold everything and even after three years of constant use, shows very little sign of wear. And for a more contemporary price-point, Loeffler Randall makes great bags that stand the test of the time. They are a little trendy, but something like this or this you will keep forever. Oh and Clare V! Her bags hold up so well and are always timeless. I use her leopard print clutch constantly. I hope this answers your question… if you want me to go into more specifics (budget, style, etc) let me know.

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Do you have a clothing budget? If so, how do you budget?

 

I don’t. I should. There have been times in my life where I kept a very specific clothing budget (I kept track in an Excel spreadsheet like a nerd) but right now I kinda just wing it. The one thing I will say that has helped me is I keep a running list of items I want. If it isn’t on the list, I can’t buy it. That keeps me from impulse purchases! I also have a rule where if I want something, I have to be able to think of four different outfits that I can wear it with. Right now, I’ve done most of my Fall shopping… so I spent more than usual in August, but I won’t spend much this month.

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When you got permanent lash extensions, where in NYC did you go? Been entertaining the idea but can’t figure out where to go. Any suggestions are welcome!!

 

I went to Ebenezer! They do a really great job, and it’s a LOT more affordable than the other places. That being said, have you considered Neulash? I loved my extensions but it was a lot of upkeep – I’d have to go every two-three weeks and I felt like it was a little bit damaging. My lashes are so long from using Neulash… if I use a lot of mascara it looks as though I still have extensions. You can read my full review of Neulash here.

Do you use any retinol as part of your skin routine?

 

No, I do not! I have very sensitive skin – it makes me nervous. I love a good glycolic peel, but I haven’t tried retinol.

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Do you still work at BaubleBar at all and if not when/why did you leave?

 

I left last summer! After four years full time, I transitioned down to consulting for them two days a week. I wrote about that here, in this post. That lasted for about six months. At the end of the day, I loved working there but balancing the consulting thing was still really hard. I’d have to check my emails and do work on the days I wasn’t actually there, and it was hard to get all of my work done in two days. I am a perfectionist and would rather not do something at all than not do a good job at it.

Even aside from that though, it was just time to go. I still miss the team there every day, but they are no longer a start-up… they’re a big brand! And that is so awesome (+ what I want for them) but at the end of the day both my skills + passions are better suited working for a smaller company/start-up. After four years or so, any start-up that has done things properly will start to see some turnover. They need to bring in those bigger hires, and around that time some of the original crew will begin to feel restless/ready for a new start-up adventure. A handful of us left around the same time. I decided to dedicate all my energy to my site, and the rest of them went to other startups.

I hope I can continue blogging full time for as long as possible but if that doesn’t work out I will probably start my own company or go back to working in marketing/social media/influencer stuff for a smaller company. I love the camaraderie, the friendships you make from working all those hours, the flexibility, and the feeling that you get when you build something from nothing! It’s so nice to be able to impact real change. I had the best time there. I miss it a lot. I still remember taking tequila shots at my desk with the BaubleBar cofounders when we hit 10,000 Facebook followers. It’s so funny to think how small the brand was, back then. I pop in for regular visits and (as I was one of the first hires) I own a (small) percentage of the company. Regardless of any of that I will always be their biggest fan + champion. It was my favorite conventional job and I met some of my best friends there!

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What are your top 5 investment pieces and how do you decide which shows to attend at NYFW? Oh and do you always have to wear the designer to the show?

 

Oooh these are some good questions. For investment pieces, I would say a classic Chanel purse in black, a pair of Manolo Blahnik BB Heels (they are so comfortable), a classic watch with a leather strap (Hermes or Cartier), a Burberry Trench, and a pair of large Celine sunglasses. All of these are things that will last forever if you take proper care of them… and they all go with everything (from jeans and a tee to a party dress). If you are going to save up for five things (fashion-wise), these should be them in my opinion.

Regarding fashion week, I am a bad person to ask as I will sound like a total grinch. First of all, I am super grateful to even be invited to anything. Second, keep in mind that I am nearing 35 and prior to running my blog full time had a 12 year career in the fashion + beauty biz. I’ve been going to shows since the Bryant Park days. I live in New York and have been blogging for a long time so I always end up getting invited to a handful of shows (the blogger favorites, nothing terribly fancy). I am so grateful to be thought of but I decided this year not to go to any runway shows and was so much happier. Last year was the first fashion week where I was not also juggling a full time job with my blog. I was so excited to have the opportunity to go to shows in the middle of my workday. And so off I went. Dressed in my fancy outfits, ready to see all of the things. I was completely miserable. The reality is, fashion week sounds so glamorous and exciting but it’s a total circus. I found myself stressed out, always late, waiting in line, comparing myself to other bloggers, running in heels… and so tired and exhausted from all the small talk. And also, up til 3am trying to get my work done. I place a high value on my time, and as I don’t cover runway stuff on my blog, it feels like a waste of time for me to go. This was my favorite fashion week as I only went to dinners + parties, and saw blogger friends from out of town for lunch + coffee  + even workout dates in between.

You don’t have to wear the designer to the show. You can, but it’s definitely not required. In the past I’ve been dressed by a few designers, but I find borrowing clothes to be tedious. It’s not like clothes just materialize in your home. There are fittings, pickups, and so on and so forth. It feels like a waste of time to go through all that to only wear the an outfit for a couple hours. Also, I am not a sample size, so the pickings are slim. And in all seriousness I’m always worried that I’m going to ruin the clothes and then there is the pressure to shoot the outfit too. I’d really just rather wear the clothes I own and love. I don’t mean to be a downer, I’ve just realized over the years that it’s not really my thing.

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photography by Lydia Hudgens.

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Comments

  1. Elizabeth says 9.14.16

    I love all your Q&A’s! Thanks for keeping it real with us. That is why I come back to visit every day!
    XO
    https://splashofpreppy.wordpress.com

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      So happy you enjoy them! Thanks for reading! xo

  2. These are fast become some of my favourite posts! A quick question though – do you use a sunless tanner, and if so, which one? Your tan looks great! x

  3. Ali says 9.14.16

    LOVE the Q&A’s!! Not sure how to submit a question, but could you do another Fall Shopping List? I think you’ve done several with the top staples for the season…I’m feeling a little lost this year in terms of how to wear certain silhouettes and your lists are always spot on <3

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      Haha, I am actually working on that! Do you mean the ones where I do the 10-15 things you need, at 3 price points? It will be going up in the next week or two. 🙂 So happy you are enjoying the Q&A’s! xx

      • Ali says 9.16.16

        Yes!! That’s it! I LOVE them 🙂

        • graceatwood says 9.16.16

          Oh good. Yup, week after next we will have one! xx

  4. These are my new favorite posts of yours! I’d love to hear more about Neulash…any downsides to it (besides the priciness)? I know that with Latisse it could change your eye color or something but I’ve heard Neulash is better…I definitely need to try it, my lashes are just sad.

    • Oh oops just realized you wrote a full review of it…will go check that out, sorry! 🙂

      • graceatwood says 9.14.16

        haha! I was scratching my head, wondering what else you could possibly want to know. I will say that although the bottle is expensive, it lasts FOREVER. I have been using this for a year and a half and only just started my second bottle.

  5. christina says 9.14.16

    Love your honesty! Quick question (or maybe a request for an upcoming blog post!) I love the idea of buying vintage bags, but am always nervous about the authencity factor. Do you feel comfortable with sites like the Real Real or Bella Bag? Thanks!

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      Thanks Christina! Yeah, I totally hear you. I trust both The Real Real and Bella Bag – they have very strict authentication processes + policies. I feel like both are very reputable. I would be nervous shopping for one from a smaller site and/or eBay – it’s so hard to tell what you are getting on there!

  6. brittany olander says 9.14.16

    okay i love these q and a’s! also i’m with you- pants are not my friend. but these are so cute on you!

    do you have any recs for natural beauty products on acne prone skin? i know you don’t have that issue so totally understandable if not!

    http://brittanyisablob.blogspot.com/

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      Thank you!

      I don’t have very many recos for oily skin BUT there are two products I tried over the summer because my skin was freaking out in the heat, and I loved them both! Give these Sunday Riley products a try! http://thestripe.com/2016/08/sunday-riley-martian-ufo/

  7. Amanda Frankel says 9.14.16

    Thanks for the recco just bought these pants off of your recommendation they are the cutest, can’t wait to bring them with me on my upcoming trip to Paris next week =)

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      So glad to hear it! They are so cute!!! Have fun in Paris, lucky girl!

  8. I was actually just about to snap you a q when I saw you’d written this. Fave blonde-safe shampoo?? (and/or do you use purple shampoo?)

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      Oh yay! Will answer you next week! 😉 x

  9. Sarah says 9.14.16

    I LOVED this Q&A. Grace, you’re so humble and authentic. It’s awesome.

    Also – I feel the same way about dress pants, but the ones you’re wearing here look great on you. I like that they’re not your typical trouser.

    My question – what are your favorite brick and mortar stores to shop at in NYC? I’ll be there in a week and a half – I go to NY a couple times a year and generally shop at the big stores we don’t have in Portland like Zara (can you believe we don’t have one yet?!), UNIQLO, Saks, Neiman’s, etc. But I was hoping to branch out this trip and be a little more creative. Any recommendations??

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      Aw thank you Sarah! I will answer your question next week!!! xx

  10. I love The Real Real! And these Q&As!

    • graceatwood says 9.14.16

      So happy to hear that Erin! Thank you! xx

  11. Dana says 9.14.16

    I absolutely LOVE these posts, Grace! Not saying I didn’t love you before you started doing these but now I think I love you even more! These answers are so real and really puts things into perspective when it comes to you and what you do!

    Well done! Xx

    Dana | Pink Champagne Problems

    • graceatwood says 9.16.16

      Aw, what a sweet comment, Dana! Thank you so much! xx

  12. Allison Houlihan says 9.14.16

    Grace,
    Just received those Theory pants. They were so cute on you I had to order them. One question, are yours tight in the thigh? Wondering if I should size up…
    Thanks!

    • graceatwood says 9.16.16

      They were! So I was going to go up a size when I was at Trunk Club but Kelsey suggested wearing them a little longer and sure enough, they stretched out a bit. As long as they aren’t tight in the waist I would stick to your usual size.

  13. Melissa Nichols says 9.14.16

    Love this pants BTW, I tried coulotts this year too.

    • graceatwood says 9.16.16

      Thank you!

  14. Thuy says 9.15.16

    I absolutely friggin’ love your answer to the runway shows. I feel similarly and what I love most about the answer is just that not everyone feels the same about fashion week! I think it’s interesting. In some ways, I’d love to experience it but I also feel like it’s not my thing. Love that you talked about placing a high value on your time. People have different priorities! I do like to watch certain bloggers attend NYFW though i.e. Chriselle Lim. Love her.

    http://www.dressupchowdown.com

    • graceatwood says 9.16.16

      Aw, thank you!!! Yeah, it’s just not for everyone. There are bloggers I stalk during fashion week though – Damsel in Dior, Gal Meets Glam, Margo & Me… their coverage is so fun to watch! x

  15. Kristen says 9.15.16

    really enjoying your Q+A’s, Grace! Keep up the great content.

    • graceatwood says 9.16.16

      Thank you so much Kristen! x

  16. Tanya says 9.15.16

    I feel the same way about pants.

    • graceatwood says 9.16.16

      They’re kind of just the worst! 😉

  17. Danielle Rudy Davis says 9.16.16

    Posts like these are why I keep coming back to your blog (and why it’s one of the very few I actually read instead of skim). I love the comments about fashion week.
    I feel like so many people try to force it. I went once and realized it was not for me, for exactly the same reasons you said and I certainly wasn’t invited to anything half as fancy as what you do, I’m sure. People get so caught up in the competitiveness and I love that you keep it real. xx

    • graceatwood says 9.16.16

      Aw, thank you so much Danielle, this means so much to me. Have a great weekend! xx

  18. Lisa Tran says 9.16.16

    I SO relate to you on the whole pants thing!!! I’m slender, so it is SUCH a challenge to find flattering pants/slacks… It’s one of my goals though! Thank you for another awesome Q&A!

    Lisa
    http://www.theeverydayelevated.com

    • graceatwood says 9.16.16

      Yeah, it seems that no matter what your body type is, pants are just really tricky!!! Oof!