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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 

 

Cloud Nine

Kristen Berry

This dress is a perfect example of why you should never bypass the sale section at Anthropologie.

I wish you could feel how luxuriously soft, silky and warm this sweater dress is through the screen. Picture the coziest blanket you can think of, and then imagine wearing it on a cold, gloomy day while still somehow looking chic and put together.

I love pairing the dress with these metallic ankle boots to give the whole look a slightly futuristic vibe. Of course, standing in front of the mirrored walls of the Louis Vuitton store in Beverly Hills contributes to the effect.

A gray/blue Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. bag and mirrored Quay shades tie everything together.

  • Sleeping on Snow Eyelash Sweater Dress, now on sale for $50 at Anthropologie.com.
  • Kendall & Kylie Brooke Booties in Pewter, $100 at NordstromRack.com.
  • Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C., available in a variety of colors starting at $175 (regular price) at RebeccaMinkoff.com (make sure to check the sale section for great deals!!).
  • Quay Cherry Bomb Sunglasses, $55 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Which pieces are getting you through the final weeks of winter?

A Beginner’s Guide to Activism: Three Concrete Things You Can Do To Fight Back Against the Trump Administration

Kristen Berry

Love (and focused action) trumps hate.

Love (and focused action) trumps hate.

My conversations with friends are beginning to fall into a familiar pattern. For example, when I met a good girlfriend for a Pilates class last week, the first thing she said was, “Have you seen the latest news about Trump? I’m so mad! I’ve never been this political before, but now, I’m pissed.”

I’m pissed, too. I was already devastated by the results of the election, and the first few days of 45’s presidency have shattered any illusion that the rhetoric he spewed throughout his candidacy was merely bluster. From the immigration ban, to the subsequent and sudden firing of acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates, to his reported efforts to roll back LGBT protections,

to his contentious interactions with some of the US’ closest allies, to the repeated attempts to undermine and delegitimize the press, it’s clear that Trump is every bit as dangerous as we feared.

I’m mad. I’m sad. And I’m frightened. I’ve already written about my feelings on the voter apathy that contributed to Trump’s election, and how I plan to do much more come the next election. But we have a long way to go before then.

This election has birthed a multitude of baby activists, inspiring a strong desire to make the jump from being simply informed to being involved. But when you’re brand new to the world of political action/activism, how exactly do you make that leap? Where and how do you start?

I’ve been looking into this, talking to friends about this, and doing quite a bit of soul-searching on this myself. Here are three concrete steps I plan to take to dive confidently into a more politically active life.

Step One: Do Something

Uber-handy printable postcards created by the organizers of the Women’s March to make writing to your elected officials a snap. More below!

Uber-handy printable postcards created by the organizers of the Women’s March to make writing to your elected officials a snap. More below!

“I have been guilty on a few counts, you know. My Senator, Kamala Harris, has been very vocal about when she is standing up to certain things. And so, for example, if I see her tweet that she's going to do her best to block a certain nominee, I don't call her office. And then I saw an email from a friend of mine saying that she reached out to Dianne Feinstein's office – another generally pretty progressive senator from my state – but they were like, listen, we decide how hard to push on something based on the number of emails we get. And so if you don't email, even if your senator is on the same page as you, they don't know that it's a priority for you. And so that was a real wake-up call for me that even if my senator is on the right page and is telling me that we're on the same page, I still need to write the email, and keep standing up so that we don’t get these people confirmed or these policies passed.”
– Ann Friedman, Call Your Girlfriend podcast #77, “Executive Disorder,” 42:47

It was so refreshing to hear Ann Friedman, journalist, politically active human, and co-host of one of my fave podcasts, Call Your Girlfriend, admit that even she has found herself wondering just how much her calls and emails to her senators matter from time to time. And the anecdote she shared on a recent episode of her podcast underscores how much your actions really do count. But now that we’ve established the importance of contacting your elected officials, how do you go about doing it?

The organizers of the Jan. 21, 2017 Women’s March on Washington recently launched a handy new campaign, “10 Actions for the First 100 Days,” which serves as a simple, straightforward guidebook to push back against the administration. For instance, the first of their ten actions is to write a postcard to your senators, and they take all of the guesswork out of it – including providing downloadable, printable postcards you can use.

Not sure what to write? Check out the awesome templates created and shared by the brilliant Maryanna Quigless, here. Just pick a topic that’s important to you, and write.

Don’t feel like going out to buy stamps? Emails work just fine.

Rather call than write? Check out this step-by-step guide to calling your representatives from Refinery29.

Not sure how to contact them? Phone numbers, email addresses/forms and mailing addresses for all of the senators of the 115th Congress can be found here. You can also find your representatives by searching your zip code here.

Wondering where your representatives stand on the issues that matter to you? The Washington Post created an amazing resource – type in your zip code, and they’ll tell you where your local officials stand on the immigration ban, Obamacare, and Trump’s candidate picks. They also provide the rep’s phone numbers to make voicing your opinions a breeze. FiveThirtyEight created a tool that tracks how often each member of the House and Senate votes with or against 45. You can also check out The Campaign Promise, which serves as a crowdsourced scorecard for the campaign promises of each official elected in November 2016.  

Step Two: Donate Your Time, Your Money, Or Anything Else You Have to Give

Another great way to affect change (and do something positive in the midst of all of this negativity) is to contribute to the organizations who support and fight for the causes that are being threatened by the new administration. Have extra time, or a skill you can offer? Contact the organization whose mission is closest to your heart and look for opportunities to volunteer. Can you spare a few extra dollars? Make a donation towards change.

If you don’t have a particular organization in mind just yet, take a look at this super helpful list compiled by the folks at Racked.com, which will provide a great start. The list includes info on such causes as the American Civil Liberties Union, Black Lives Matter, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and Vote.org, among numerous others.

Step Three: Stay Informed – But Also Stay Sane

It’s very tempting to turn away from all of the negativity in the news, and hide under a proverbial blanket until the next election. However, being uninformed is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. It’s important that we stay abreast of what’s happening in the administration so that we can fight back effectively.

This means consuming news from multiple news sources – and not just the multiple links that appear on our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feeds. Getting a sense of the news from several different outlets will help provide a more complete picture of what’s happening, and ensure that we’re hearing differing perspectives on the same issue.

This may sound like an incredibly time-intensive or laborious process, but it doesn’t have to be. My current routine is to scan my daily newsletter from The Skimm when I wake up, listen to NPR (via the NPR One app) as I get ready for the day, visit The New York Times’ website while I’m at work, scan The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal a few times a week, listen to podcasts that often touch on politics on my drive home, such as Call Your Girlfriend, This American Life and the NPR Politics Podcast, and catch The Daily Show from time to time. Push notifications from my CNN app also help to ensure I’m aware of any late breaking news or major new developments as they happen.

Okay, okay, that kind of sounds like a lot, and I’m admittedly a news junkie. But the moral of the story is that given the multitude of mediums available to us, it’s actually pretty easy to incorporate several news sources into your regular content regimen.  

You may have noticed that many of the media I read/watch/listen to are known to skew a bit liberal – regularly checking out news coverage that tends to have a more conservative bent is something that I’m trying to work on. Perhaps I can work The Economist and National Review into the mix.

What’s on your political activism agenda?
 

All of the Lights

Kristen Berry

I’ve reached for this exact outfit two weekends in a row now. I think it’s because it speaks to the preschool ballerina in me – the nude pink hues, the ballet slipper-inspired flats, the full skirt...also, nothing dresses up a simple Sunday outfit like a long metallic skirt.

I love that while this outfit looks dressy, it feels totally comfortable on. The lightweight knit top, loose skirt and comfy flats were perfect for wandering around LACMA during their Museum Free-For-All Day last Sunday.

Nothing quite attracts compliments like a full, pleated silver skirt.

  • Top: Out From Under Cozy Ribbed Henley Top in Beige, $29 at UrbanOutfitters.com.
  • Skirt: Silver Pleated Skirt, H&M, $25 for select sizes at HM.com. Similar styles are available here, here and here for $120 or less.
  • Shoes: Jessica Simpson. No longer available, but similar can be found here and here for $50 or less.
  • Sunnies: Quay Cherry Bomb Sunglasses, $55 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Peek-A-Boo

Kristen Berry

Fashion inspiration can come from some pretty unexpected places. The other night I re-watched “To Catch a Thief,” looking to catch a bit of old Hollywood glamour inspo from Grace Kelly. Yet while Grace was serving glamour in spades, the look that especially struck me was Cary Grant’s, during his first scene in the film.

I fell in love with the pop of color of the foulard neckerchief he wore, peeking from beneath his striped pullover (it’s said that Grant was self-conscious about his muscular neck, and often worked items into his wardrobe to conceal it. Who knew?!).

I decided to adopt this look with a scarf of my own, layering a paisley-print scarf beneath a gray cutaway sweater. I rather liked the way it looked peeking from beneath the hem of my sweater as well. To enhance the fluted appearance of the ends, I actually used small hair rubberbands right at the edge of the sweater’s hem to create a bell-like effect.

Layering is one of the quickest ways to add new life to the existing items in your wardrobe, but it isn’t necessarily the easiest. The best way to find a winning combination is to spend a few minutes playing around in your closet. And maybe watch a classic movie or two.

  • Sweater: Zara. No longer available, but similar can be found here and here for under $125.
  • Scarf: Uniqlo, no longer available.
  • Leggings: Uniqlo. No longer available, but similar color/cut can be found here for $25.
  • Watch: JORD, $275 at WoodWatches.com.

Sundaze

Kristen Berry

Maybe the whole casual L.A. fashion thing is finally wearing off on me. I’ve never really embraced the athleisure trend, but I’ve recently found myself craving a few pieces that could easily go from a Sunday morning Netflix binge to brunch with friends, while still looking somewhat pulled together.

When I saw this off-the-shoulder sweatsuit jumpsuit on ASOS, I knew I had to have it. The cut is actually super flattering – in addition to the neckline, the slim cut pant, three-quarter sleeve and cinchable waist provide a streamlined silhouette.

Rose gold sunnies from Quay Australia, a rose gold Michael by Michael Kors Watch, and a black-and-gold knit beanie turn this single piece into an outfit.

And of course, no Sunday stroll would be complete without my trusty silver Chucks.

  • Sweatsuit Jumpsuit, ASOS. No longer available, in black, though it’s in stock in gray for $53 at ASOS.com. This alternate style in black is also super cute at $53.
  • ALDO Gold Yarn Pom beanie, $19 at ASOS.com.
  • Quay Cherry Bomb Sunglasses, $55 at UrbanOutfitters.com.
  • Watch, Michael by Michael Kors, similar style on sale for $165 at NeimanMarcus.com.
  • Converse Chuck Taylor® All Star® 'Ox' Metallic Low Top Sneaker in Gunmetal, here and here for $60.