You’ve probably figured out–if you’ve been following me for longer than, say, five seconds–that denim makes up a huge chunk of my wardrobe đŸ˜‰

When it comes to apparel that isn’t activewear/loungewear, there is *nothing* more comfortable or confidence-boosting than worn-in denim (not even a super flow-y maxi dress, in my opinion)!

I’m not too sure what constitutes a denim expert–or if there is even such thing as one–but I *am* sure that if that label truly existed, it would be branded across my forehead.

Over the years I have tried an insane amount of denim in search of that ultra-flattering cut and a second-skin fit. And I want to save other women the trial and error by sharing my most-loved pairs with you!

One Teaspoon: This is one of the first labels that, as an adult, I really feel like resonated with me. I was instantly drawn to the gorgeous wash, impeccable details and fashionable fit of the Awesome Baggies in the Cobain wash.

Since then, I have expanded my collection to include more of the Australian label’s statement-making denim, including one of my favorite pieces of all-time: a white utility-inspired  jumpsuit.

One Teaspoon has really mastered those badass, rock ‘n’ roll vibes, and I am so obsessed!

Revice: From the second I pulled these bad boys on, they were both comfortable and flattering. Inspired by the shape and cut of vintage denim, Revice jeans really lift your bum and flatten your stomach. Bonus–they are made in the U.S. (LA, to be exact) with premium-quality, durable materials.

Levi’s Wedgie Fit: As soon as I picked these up, I knew I should have done it sooner! The Levi’s Wedgie Fit are the most comfortable and flattering jeans I have ever worn.

They have the high-rise look of a “mom” jean, but the wedgie fit, as the name suggests, tightens and perks-up your bum (whereas mom jeans tend to flatten and elongate the backside).

I also love that these jeans are snug through the thigh with a tapered (but not-too-tight!) ankle–perfect for pairing with literally any shoe.

Re/done: Re/done gets a lot of hype from bloggers and influencers, but they really are a great investment. Manufactured in Los Angeles from recycled denim, Re/done jeans are beyond durable.

The label’s range of essential pieces are great no matter what your style is like. Personally, I think they are ideal for creating a chic model-off-duty look.

In addition to classic jeans, Re/done is also known for a handful of signature styles. My favs? The Ass Rip jeans, which have a cheeky tear right below the bum. I love that the tear is reinforced so you never have to worry about it getting any bigger!

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From left to right: Sahara Ray Swim, Danielle Guizio NY, Slate Swim, Danielle Guizio NY

Swimsuits are my guilty pleasure! I can never resist a cute one, no matter the time of year.

While my hometown is currently facing its third snowstorm in two weeks, bikini season is already on my mind.

When it comes to swim, I definitely prefer sexier, skimpier styles with flattering and feminine cuts. I am drawn to solid colors, or simple patterns that only incorporate a couple colors.

Similarly, I tend to go for classic styles over trendy options when it comes to swimwear. Swimsuits that incorporate clothing trends (think: last year’s choker bikini) look super cheap in my opinion.

That being said, I recognize that styles do change throughout the years–even when it comes to swimwear. That’s why I put together this list of swim styles that are killin’ it for Summer 2018. (Don’t worry–they are all hot enough to wear well past this summer.)

Bright colors: I will be the first to admit I love a classic black or white bikini! But after years of nude being the must-have color (thanks, Kanye), I’m starting to see a ton more brightly colored swimsuits on the market. And I’m loving it!

Paradise, an eye-catching fuchsia, by Minimale Animale [source: Minimale Animale]

Animal prints: As an Italian, I can’t say “no” to cheetah print. Thankfully, I’ve already seen a ton of fierce and fun animal print suits this year. From the classic cheetah in Em Rata’s new label Inamorata Swim to Minimale Animale’s fresh tiger pattern, I am so excited to rock some animal prints on the beach this summer.

WISH LIST: I am dying to get my hands on the Swami suit in cheetah by Inamorata Swim [source: Inamorata Swim]

Tiger Baby, a modern take on a classic pattern, by Minimale Animale [source: Minimale Animale]

Chain details: Never thought I would be into this trend, but subtlety is definitely key here. Instead of a standard suit adorned with a chain at the hip, I am loving swimsuits that utilize delicate, jewelry-like chains with clasps over classic tie-style closure.

I picked up a simple white bikini from Danielle Guizio NY that fastens with gold chains, and I think it’s the hottest thing ever! It’s sexy and feminine, and I know it will never go out of style.

Chain Bikini Top & Chain Bikini Bottom by Danielle Guizio NY [source: Danielle Guizio NY]

Racerback tops that tie in the front: Classic racerback tops can flatten your chest, giving you that less-than-desirable uni-boob (at least, that’s what they do to me). Racerback tops that tie in the front, however, always amp up the cleavage and show the perfect amount of skin! They’re so gorgeous, and such a great change of pace from triangle tops.

The Zinc Top (& Zinc Bottoms) in Toast by Slate Swim [source: Slate Swim]

The Ireland Top in Black Sabbath by Sahara Ray Swim [source: Sahara Ray Swim]

Strap-y tanga bottoms: When ditching your triangle top for the day, it can also be tempting to forgo the string bottoms that go with it; that’s where strap-y tanga bottoms come in!

Tanga bottoms are typically known for their thick, athletic-inspired straps. But when the straps become spaghetti-thin, tanga bottoms are just as ideal for avoiding huge tan lines as your go-to string bottoms. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about them coming untied completely or sagging when the ties become loose.

Kim Kardashian in the Kim Bottoms by Sahara Ray Swim [source: Sahara Ray Swim]

One pieces that feel like two: For making a poolside statement, there’s nothing better than a daring one piece–especially those that allow your stomach and bum to catch the sun’s rays.

I am loving Minimale Animale’s range of sexy one pieces. When it comes to swimwear, they always take the cake, and their one pieces are no exception. They have a ton of different styles (including a line for gals who prefer a little more coverage), so there is a one piece for every bikini-lover.

The Lucid Onezie Rib Suit in Sea Salt by Minimale Animale [source: Minimale Animale]

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The style of the quintessential Parisienne is regarded as iconic and it is emulated throughout the world. It’s the perfect balance of done and undone, of masculine and feminine, of high-end and High Street.

As someone with a lifelong interest in fashion, I can’t ignore the Parisian influence on the industry. And personally, I am a fan of it; my style definitely has its fair share of that je ne sais quoi.

I take a ton of inspiration from the likes of Alexa Chung, Jeanne Damas, Camille Rowe and Alexandra Spencer–all women who capture Parisian style perfectly.

Possibly the best aspect of Parisian style, though, is that it is open to interpretation; it’s all about clothes that make the wearer feel comfortable. While some may take inspiration from the ultra-femme and romantic blouses or dresses the Parisienne seems to love, I’m constantly coveting the effortless sex appeal of these women. They know how to be sexy without looking like they tried to hard to do so.

I heard a quote once, and while I can’t find the exact words or the source, it went something along the lines of, “Sexy isn’t green juice and pilates arms. It’s red wine and a filet mignon.”

Think of American style as the “green juice and pilates arms” and Parisian style as the “red wine and filet mignon”–slept-in hair and makeup, clothes the complement the body (nothing too loose or too tight), always looking simultaneously overdressed and underdressed, but not in a way that’s inappropriate.

Parisian women know how to indulge without being overindulgent. And they don’t try to hide their flaws.

On this cold winter day I put together a quick take on French Girl style by layering mostly black pieces under a gray faux fur coat. To start I chose this velvet jumper, then covered up a little more with an eye-catching, high-neck bra top. Then, I add opaque black stockings and my favorite embroidered moto jacket (vegan, of course!); I am so in love with the stunning floral pattern and matte black stud details.

I polished the entire look off with my go-to black heeled booties (I love getting dressed up when I go into the office) and the coziest teddy bear coat from BB Dakota, which I picked up at Bloomingdale’s last year.

Shop my look:

Coat, BB Dakota, no longer available

Jacket, Blank NYC

Jumper, Thrifted (Reformation Vintage)

Bra top, Free People

Other Parisian-inspired pieces I’m crushing on:

[source: Shopify]

Naomi Top in Red, I.Am.Gia

The Alexandra dress in Starstruck, RĂ©alisation Par

The Valentina dress in Cherry, RĂ©alisation Par

The Bianca top in Lip, RĂ©alisation Par

[source: Reformation]

Graphite Dress in Heather Plaid, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Dorothy Top in Hyacinth, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Mimi Top in Amber, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Noelle Top, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Fenway Dress in Hanover, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Monterey Skirt in Bengal, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Julia High Cigarette Jean, Reformation

[source: Free People]

Levi’s Wedgie Icon High Rise jean, Free People

[source: Topshop]

Check Mensy Pants, Topshop

[source: Are You Am I]

Zillah Slip Dress, Are You Am I

[source: Re/Done]

Leather jacket, Re/Done

[source: Are You Am I]

Delicate chokers and necklaces, Are You Am I

[source: Everlane]

The Boss Boot, Everlane

[source: Everlane]

The Modern Loafer, Everlane

Resources:

Into The Gloss, The Top Shelf, LĂ©a Seydoux

Into The Gloss, The Technique, French Beauty Can Be High-Maintenance, too

Into The Gloss, Holiday Party Look, The French Girl Lash

Into The Gloss, The Technique, Navigating A French Pharmacy

Into The Gloss, The Technique, The French Kiss

Into The Gloss, The Extra, ‘French Girl,’ Model-Off-Duty Hair

How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are, Amazon [photo source: The 6 Million Dollar Story]

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Thrifted vegan moto jacket (Poshmark), Levi’s (Melrose Trading Post) and shoes (NYC)

I am an expert thrifter; my entire family is, really. I grew up thrifting alongside my mom, my aunt and my cousins. (My cousin Devon even bought her wedding gown secondhand from a vintage shop, which is ah-mazing. Hey, Dev!)

Over the years I’ve gathered a ton of tips and tricks for successful thrifting, and I am thrilled to be able to share them with my community. Not only is shopping secondhand an environmentally friendly alternative to fast fashion, it is a great way to find unique, high-quality pieces at an affordable price.

It’s no secret that clothes, shoes, accessories, even home furnishings aren’t made with the craftsmanship of yesteryear, and for this reason alone I believe thrifting is worth the hassle it can sometimes cause.

Thankfully, technology has made thrifting something you can do from the comfort of your couch with a bowl of popcorn. For more of my preferred methods, keep reading!

  1. Your local, trusted tailor is your best friend! This is my first tip because it is the most important! Americans don’t utilize tailors like they used to, and for that reason, we modern Americans suck at dressing ourselves. By supporting your local tailor, you’re actually doing yourself a huge favor, too: not only will you be more comfortable and confident in your clothes, you’ll actually get more wear out of them. Because thrift shops almost always stock one of each piece, it is unlikely all your finds will be the right size. DON’T LET THAT DISCOURAGE YOU. I cannot emphasize this enough! If you find something you love, but it’s a little to big, a little too long, or needs some patching up, take the time to bring it to a tailor you can trust. It’s worth it. This tip is especially useful for petite gals like me; I’ve found that vintage retailers tend to stock sizes 27 (i.e., size 4) and up. Sizes 24 (00), 25 (0) and 26 (2) are super hard to come by.
  2. Download buy & sell apps! Poshmark and Depop are my favs, but there’s also a handful of others like Mercari or even Etsy. You can make bank by selling your own pieces, and you could also score pre-loved goodies from across the country or around the world! Spend a Saturday or Sunday uploading to your virtual closet so that others can shop from you, then settle down and explore what’s out there! Though a scammer may try to contact you every now and then, they are pretty easy to spot, and the apps, which are businesses in and of themselves equipped with 24/7 support teams, are safe and reliable. Poshmark even allows returns if your purchase doesn’t arrive as listed. However, I will say this: STAY ON THE APP AND ONLY BUY/SELL DIRECTLY FROM THE APP. A surefire way to spot a scammer is if they message you, reply to you or comment on your page asking if you’ll buy from them or sell to them off the app (either through Paypal or some other method). Politely tell them that you only buy/sell directly from the app, and block them if necessary. And definitely don’t give them your email address.
  3. Pictures matter! When it comes to selling on apps like Poshmark and Depop, pictures matter! Your potential buyers want to see clear, well-lit, unfiltered and unobstructed images. Think about it–you wouldn’t want to purchase something if the picture of it is crappy, so why would others? Invest some time in taking good quality pictures for your virtual closet (smartphone cameras work fine!), and remember that if you model your pieces, they are more likely to sell.
  4. Be patient! This tip applies to real-life shopping, as well as shopping through apps. Every once in a while, you may get lucky by finding your dream piece right away, but most of the time, it will take time! For this reason, thrifting digitally has a clear advantage over thrifting IRL. Most of the apps allow you to save a piece for future purchase by “liking” it, whereas leaving a piece behind on a thrift store shelf in hopes of finding something better can give you that one-that-got-away feeling. If there’s something super specific you’re looking for, apps are your best bet. You can check for it by typing a word or phrase into the search bar multiple times a day and on multiple different apps to maximize your chances. With a little patience, you’re sure to come across the right one in a matter of weeks, days or even hours! As far as thrifting IRL, strategic searching takes time, energy and even a little research, but it is almost always rewarding!

Some of my absolute favorite pieces were thrifted by yours truly. If you’re in LA and love thrifting as much as I do (or are a first-time who wants to get into thrifting), stop by my go-to spots Melrose Trading Post (open only on Sunday’s–get there early!), Reformation Vintage (8253 Melrose Ave) and Wasteland. The best part is that these spots are all on the same street, with walking distance of one another (although Wasteland has two other locations in Santa Monica and Studio City, both in the LA area).

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I am beyond excited to share with Haute Mess readers that after nearly a year of full-time freelance-based work, I will finally be joining the corporate world!

While I enjoyed freelancing a ton because it allowed me so many opportunities to network and travel while on the job, I am so thankful to be joining a business that provides me with more mobility in my career.

This, of course, means that I’ll need to step up my office style! My new office is casual (meaning I’ll still get to express my personal style and be somewhat creative while getting dressed), but I still believe it’s best to look polished while at work.

Enjoy these Polyvore sets I put together (can you tell I’ve been on a huge Polyvore kick lately?), and let me know what your go-to outfits for the office are in the comments down below! Xx

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