Monday, April 21, 2014


I'm not entirely certain what i'm asking, except perhaps, for some insight from those who've felt what I feel daily: heartache.  

Dear readers, I'm planning my wedding to a dear old friend and my beloved dad won't be there with me. He died last May and I have no idea how to be in the world without him. His presence by my side at my wedding was a given. My clearest vision of my wedding when I was growing up was that he would escort me into this new place, this new beginning. I was going to stand on his feet and dance to "Brown Eyed Girl" with him just like we did when I was small. But he's gone and it was unexpected. 

How do I do it? How do I, the most pure embodiment of him, walk myself down the aisle knowing that he'll never be able to give his blessing? How to I embrace this new beginning without my beginning there to guide me?

I'm at a loss. I need the sage wisdom of those who have lived what I'm living everyday.

Your words are gold to me. 


I brought in an expert. Whitney emailed me last April, struggling with how to acknowledge her dad at her wedding, and I semi-flubbed my response. But the esb readers, especially those who had gone through what she was going through, had v. helpful things to say.

One year later, here's Whitney's advice for you:

There is nothing that I can say that will ease your pain. It is a gut-wrenching absence. But these are some things that helped me make it through the day without losing my shit.


Planning a wedding was great for keeping me busy and distracting me from my grief. This also meant I was bottling up a lot of emotion that typically exploded anytime I heard a song that reminded me of my dad. I had a pretty big break-down the day before my wedding. It was wedding-stress related, not specifically about my dad, but considering how disproportionate it was, had everything to do with his absence. In retrospect, I think it helped me keep it together the next day. Maybe a couple of days before your wedding you could watch a favorite movie of his? Write him a letter? Let it all out.

Skip Father/Daughter stuff.

This is probably kind of obvious. I walked down the aisle with my husband. We did a first dance together, but no other traditional wedding dances. I felt that even if we skipped straight to something like the “Anniversary Dance” it would only highlight the absence of the father/bride and mother/groom dances.

Find some way to honor him.

ESB readers offered heaps of great suggestions on various ways to do this. It helped to have a designated moment where I felt it was appropriate to lose it. I actually didn’t lose it nearly as badly as I thought I would.

Be present.

Focus on your amazing friends, family, and you know, the whole getting-married-business. (This is helpful advice for any bride, really. It all happens so fast, it’s overwhelming.) It was so magical to have friends and family from all over the world be in one space, supporting us in our new life together, that I really couldn’t help but be completely full of joy. Of course there were occasional pangs of “I really wish he was here!” but it is possible to just breathe, and be grateful for everyone who is there.

It is ok to lose it.

This may be some of the best advice I received. I think just having permission made it possible to not lose it. People cry at weddings! I cried happy tears, I cried sad tears. I had the most amazing day of my life.

It’s been a year and a half since my dad died and it’s still so painful. There are so many triggers. Roy Orbison. Western films. Hatch green chiles. And I’m a hot mess at the father/daughter dance of every wedding I’ve been to since. But I made it through my wedding day, and you will too. 

Like you said, you are the pure embodiment of him. He is part of you. He is still guiding you in this new beginning, through all that he taught you.

Love and hugs,

(So much love to you both)

Photos by Tinca Veerman via The Jealous Curator

Friday, April 18, 2014


Remember that time I said opals are fugg ??

Am now eating my words BIG TIME.

Go shop the new WWAKE collection over at Catbird.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seeking: Wedding Sundress (must be pretty but not cute)

Hey ESB,

My future SIL is planning a Guatemalan fiesta wedding for the July 4 weekend, and we're having difficulty finding the "pretty sundress" she's dreaming of. She lives in Brooklyn, and is the performance artist/dancer that wants something to be barefoot and move around (and subsequently sweat appropriately) in.

Would love your ideas - needing sundressy but NOT cute OR adorable. Under $600


Mkay................. This is a leeetle over budget, but ISABEL MARANT

Put a big white flower or two in her hair and you're done.

(More sizes over here. Also available in black)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Big rack, sheer tee

Hi there,

I know you are a destroyed-t shirt aficionado, and I know you have access to wise women with big racks. I just moved from San Francisco (no summer) to Oakland (full summer), and am buying my first t-shirt wardrobe. I lean towards sheer, destroyed and/or drapey. 

I am a 32DD, and all of my bras are dorky (purchased two Christmases ago when my mom took me shopping at a Soma outlet, tbh). Nothing looks cool showing under sheer or off-the-shoulder shirts. I wish I could wear a fancy bandeau or bralette thing like the kids wear, but I need an underwire, and I am not 17. Can you help?? Someone tell me where to look and what to buy. 

Thank you for your assistance!


I've been wearing the shit out of this sports bra I bought at Target. Good for verrrry sheer tees or also when you just can't be bothered to wear underwire.

For a slightly-less-sheer tee that needs a shaplier boob, go with a plain black t-shirt bra. Chantelle is pricy but worth it (thank you, Celia!).

I *do not* recommend a lace bra under a sheer tee. We'll leave that to the a + b cups.

Raquel Allegra Crochet Tie Dye Stripe Tee (sigh) from Heist

Thursday, April 10, 2014

8 million flower petals

You know someone is going to have to have this for her wedding.

Photos by Nick Meek via designboom via Lost At E Minor via Madewell

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bona Drag Does Weddings (Again!)

Bona Drag just launched the long-awaited (were you awaiting? I was awaiting) second installment of their ceremonial collection.

I smell a new it dress. I'm just not sure which one it is.

Pictured above: Mara Hoffman Coiled Snake Gown ($1400), Lindsey Thornburg Courtney Love Gown (made in NYC, $1400), With Hearts In My Eyes Lace Bias Cut Gown (handmade in Milwaukee! $450) + The Sway Byron Cropped Leather Jacket ($460)

Check out the whole collection, then shop here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This one didn't make the cut

Partly because it's 100% poly and partly because I AM SO SICK OF CUT-OUTS WHO DOES THAT LOOK GOOD ON

But let's all stare at the model's enormous head for a second. Creepy and yet mesmerizing, no?

K scuse me while I disappear for a few days and go shoot a movie

And the winners are....

Vine Dress from The Reformation (100% viscose -- sooooo much more breathable than poly -- $218)

Helmut Lang Jaquard Mini Dress from The Outnet (deemed not formal enough and also it's 44% poly but still worth an honorable mention, $210)

Saloni Ella Gown from Barneys Warehouse (Silk jersey! $179)

See all of the many evening-wear-under-$200-for-a-Mexican-wedding suggestions over here

ps you guys RULE

Monday, March 24, 2014


Dear ESB,

I will be attending a wedding in Mexico the first week of April. The invitation says something that translates to "evening attire" and this side of the family is known for going a little over the top. I do not see this side of my family very often and I do not want to look like a clueless American. While I can dress myself for any other occasion this one is giving me nightmares. 

I have a small budget due to travel expenses ($200) and I am looking for something that will pass as evening wear while having something of an edge i.e.: not a lace gown like all my aunts will be wearing. 

If you have any advice for me at all please help. 



I'm beyond excited for you guys to shop this. Maybe I'll throw up some of my favorite suggestions and we can take a vote??

Photo by Zachary Gray for Pennyweight (shop the Celine dress here)


p.s. There's a Monday morning MMOHIAC for you over here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weirdo Etiquette Question

Dear ESB,

Recently, my dad got engaged. I am very happy for him and excited he has found someone to share his life with. This is all pretty run of the mill stuff until I get to the part where it's my dad's 4th marriage.

I am the one and only product of both my parents 1st marriage and they have been divorced for most of my life. This will be the 3rd time I have watched my dad get married in roughly 25 years. All of the marriages, including the one to my mother lasted 5ish years. 

His fiancé is quite a bit younger than him, about 6-7 years older than me, so in her middle-late 30s. No big whoop, but given her age, this is her first marriage. She is, in the exact opposite style of my cheapskate self, pulling out all the stops. Photographer, wedding planner, personalized wedding favors, those pieces of fabric that go over the chair with the ribbon that make the chair look like a ghost, all that shit. Additionally, she is having a wedding shower. Now while I wouldn't necessarily be having one if I was the 4th wife of the dude I was marrying, I get it. Princess for a day and all that. However, the other day I had the realization that I might be expected not only attend their wedding, which is fine and will likely be a ton of fun, but that I might also be expected to give them a shower AND wedding gift! I immediately started combing the internet for people in the same boat with wonderful advice on the subject and came up with nothing.

Admittedly, I am guilty of being a little over practical and possibly rigid (Capricorns forever!!). That said, the idea of giving my dad a card full of money and some tacky-ass napkin rings from their registry at bed bath & beyond for his 4th marriage honestly fucking flabbergasts me. It feels bizarre to even consider. As an aside, I don't have a super great relationship with my dad to begin with due to some crappy childhood junk, but I am definitely in a pretty good place and would give us like a 5/10 after lots of therapy and one very patient, wonderful listener of a mother.

I guess I am wondering if the concept of a 4th wedding gift for your dad is in fact as asinine as I feel like it is or if maybe our strained relationship has something to do with my strong opposition to this. It has nothing to do with money at all, it's just a matter of apparently deep-seated principle. So, is it a total dick move to not get them anything? Lots of people came to my wedding and didn't bring a gift, including my dad, and it wasn't an especially big deal to me but I have a feeling that bringing nothing might get me on her perma-shitlist. Normally I'd just DO something for them as my gift but I think that might be out (They were going to do an iPod DJ thing, so I offered to bring records and DJ and the suggestion is sort of just hanging there, ignored, in the abyss) or not her style, so I am at a loss here. 

I thank you for any wisdom, insight or potentially needed bitchslap into reality you and your wonderful readers can provide me with!


Just buy them a fucking present. ONE present.

(You have my full permission to skip the shower.)

Image: Quote Studio via her.

Monday, March 17, 2014


It's the lacy white Lover this reader was searching for back in October.

$1,150 at Intermix and avail for international shipping!

(thanks MA!) (Here's hoping she held out for spring....)