Thursday, December 19, 2013


This Acne is excellent. And it's 100% SILK.

I'm also digging this Wang (50% off!).

Well shopped, ladies.

just sitting here at my dad's house in the woods, wearing the same flannel shirt going on three days in a row, drinking coffee and blogging about minimalist wedding garb.

what are you up to?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Speaking of sack dresses.* (Sort of.)

Hello ESB,

I just received an email from Barney's telling me the super chic dress that I was planning to wear at my Jan 2, 2014 civil ceremony in San Francisco is sold out!

This dress [pictured above] is pretty much perfection to me.

Everything else I find that's made with quality natural fibers is either too short or a boring sheath dress that is way overpriced.  All the more interesting dresses I find are made of polyester and even more overpriced.  

Do you have any suggestions?  I work all day and have very little time to online shop, much less to actually go to brick and mortar stores.  

My sweet fiance has been looking on etsy for me, but I don't want to wear something that looks obviously bridal that I will only want to wear once. 



Let a little viscose into your life.

Exhibit A : Helmut Lang

Exhibit B : Alexander Wang


*In case you missed the SACK DRESS CONTROVERSY, check out the comments over here.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nah to Lasagna


I am just beginning the process of wedding planning and I am stuck on finding a venue (duh, right?) Anyway, I am torn between picking a venue that has an all-inclusive package type deal or a venue that will require me to piece-meal shit together. So far, the one all-inclusive I have looked at seems a little janky and like we might have to be like "uh we don't want your weird lasagna tho" and then they'll be like "well fine but it's like $2000 extra then, guys." 

Any thoughts on pros and cons of the two different situations? I want the whole thing to be as simple as possible, really, but I also don't want it to be gross.

Thank you,
Nah To Lasagna


Pick Any Two:

[  ] As simple as possible

[  ] As cheap as possible

[  ] Good

Rachel Rutt By Bec Lorrimer For Yen (November 2011) via Le Fashion — Anyone know who did the collage?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Non-cheesy first anniversary present?

I get that buying a present for your spouse is deeply personal and you can't really give someone advice, blah blah blah. But I am looking for inspiration for a non-cheesy first anniversary present for my husband.

I like the idea of following the traditional gifts -- paper for year one, but the best ideas on the internet are 1) buy tickets to a sporting event so your man will remember you totz get him, 2) make a dumb craft project with maps of places you have lived, or 3) write a love letter every day of your first year of marriage (too late, and where would you hide 365 love letters in a studio apartment anyway?).

There must be something better. Thoughts?


Is he a word person? A visual person? A food person?

What is his very favorite object?


He is a serious word person. Mostly history but also comic books (he got some unlimited online subscription and is now working his way chronologically through esoteric old series). Loves food, especially barbecue. 

Favorite object would probably be a tie between his grandfather's Danish rocking chair and our spherical ice cube molds.


So basically he's awesome. And (irrelevant here) a whiskey drinker.

I say find a first edition of a book he loves. Does anyone know where to shop for such a thing?

Pink Package by Maira Kalman

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Look who didn’t bother taking my advice

She bought the fugly Alexander McQueens and also a blue pair from Lauren Marinis and she looks pretty stoked about it, so what the eff do I know?

(Photos by Craig + Kate. See tons more + all the dets over on Rock My Wedding.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Dear ESB,

I've just today had a wedding reception etiquette grenade thrown at me and I don't know what to do. I'm looking to you for your grand wisdom!

The situation: An old friend of mine and his girlfriend split up around the time that I was asking for addresses to send Save the Dates (about 9 months ago). I asked if he was certain he didn't want a plus one in case things changed between them and he said no, he definitely, definitely did not. They've been on and off for years so at that point I pretty much disregarded what he said and assumed they'd be back together. Months later I sent him his invite proper. When he didn't get back to me long after the RSVP date I got in touch to chase him and again asked if the situation had changed and if he needed a plus one. He said no, it was unlikely it would change as it had been 6 months. So I made the decision to pass his notional plus one to another guest...

You can see where this is going right? Fast forward to today and he sent an email to me and our wide circle of friends to announce that not only are he and his ex back together, but that they are also engaged. Whilst I'm happy for him, I'm also kicking myself for not keeping his space free. I feel like a small voice is singing 'told you so' inside my head. 

He hasn't said anything about my own wedding yet, but at some point we'll have to acknowledge that she hasn't been invited. And we're going to have to have a very awkward conversation. I wish I could make room (I'm used to organising dinners and receptions for work, so I'm used to jiggling around seating plans and dealing with invitee crises!) but we simply have no room left to add another person.

Really don't know how to address this with him because his fiancée is so lovely and I don't want her to feel slighted. Or even to be reminded that for a while she didn't figure in the plans for not particularly nice reasons. 

Thoughts on how I can manage this pretty awkward situation would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Not-so-good-with-confrontation Bride.


All you can do is be upfront. (You're British, aren't you. So this will be a new experience.)

Call your friend and say “I’m so so happy for you guys. And I’m kicking myself for not saving you a plus one.”

That's it. End of dilemma. Grenade defused.

Edie Campbell by David Sims for Vogue Paris December 2013 via visual optimism 

Monday, December 9, 2013

SEEKING: a short/long dress for a Belgian bride

Dear esb,

You must be fed up with those dress questions but I try my chance. i have had the idea for a while of having a short dress with a long transparent skirt. I am quite short and I think it would be the most flattering. What do you think of the idea? 

I found that one from Temperley [pictured above] but it is sold out so need to find something else...


Here it is in sizes 2 & 6 (UK 6 & 10). Buy that sucker!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Weird, Wonderful Holiday Mix from Dart DJ

I meant to get up bright and early to post this for you all..... But I went to the Dart DJ holiday party last night and then to Footsie's and drank waaaaaaay too much whiskey and also some really grody stuff I don't remember the name of that Elizabeth claims is the new Jagermeister.

Now my head hurts.


Click here for your weird, wonderful holiday mix from the Dart DJ boys. Which is actually not very holiday. It's mostly just a great, weird collection of covers and lesser-known versions of popular songs. (Even if Elvis's "Crawfish" drives you nuts, stay tuned for Hot Chip covering Joy Division!)

BONUS: If you're cheaping out on the dj for your wedding, Dart has a bunch more mixes over here. The Flashdance also mixes a mean mix.

Photo from last night by Michelle of Rad + In Love

Hey Mister DJ.... Will you organize my crappy playlist?


When it comes to our wedding my guy and I have very clear priorities. Food, food and food. We're renting out one of our favorite restaurants and throwing what we hope is a great dinner party stuffed to the gills with love.  

There will be a couple of hours following dinner where people can sit and talk or go into the courtyard for dancing. We don't want a DJ. The last thing we want is a stranger in a satin vest yelling at our elderly relatives to get funky. There are fantastic, magical DJs who can integrate seamlessly into a party but as I said earlier our budget priority is the food and those unicorn DJs don't come cheap. We have a dear family friend acting as casual MC and a cousin who will man the laptop with the music as his gift to us. 

Are there any DJs I can pay a flat fee for organizing our play list? We have a random play list and I'd like to pay someone to organize it so that the music balances heating up and slowing down, that genres aren't clumped together and the end finishes with a great set of songs that work well together.  I not very into music so I don't trust myself to make it cohesive.

Thanks in advance for your help.


I asked my friend Jesse of Dart DJ, “What would you do if someone asked you to organize her playlist? Tell her to eff off?”

Here's his response:

I would probably say that "organizing" a playlist without physically being there to assess the crowd, room and mood of the event is kind of like a baseball player stepping up to the plate blindfolded and hoping to hit a home run. It could happen but the much more likely conclusion would be a total disaster. Honestly, every wedding we do is so different in terms of crowd, size, mood and set length that it would just be irresponsible of us to take money for this sort of thing. I would never recommend it. The only thing we do for people is sometimes provide a cocktail playlist. Since we are just setting a mood, sometimes this can be done with a good deal of accuracy. Hope this helps!

p.s. (from me) What is a "casual MC"? And WHYYYYEEEEEEE?

p.p.s. Stay tuned for a weird, wonderful holiday mix crafted especially for us by Dart DJ.

Photo courtesy of the world wide webs. Let me know if you know who took it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's Been Too Long Since You've Had Turquoise Rings Up


Brilliant Earth has not one, not two but THREE antique turquoise rings up right now. Please make this known so someone snarky can purchase them!!!


P.S. Single, engaged, left-months-away-from-the-altar, grieving-and-single, happy-and-single, and happy-and-taken…I've kept reading through it all. Thanks for that.


Also digging this one from Metier [pictured above]

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Engagement Is Off


I wish I was writing to you with questions about how to handle a horrible FMIL or a dress dilemma. Unfortunately, after a 6 year relationship and then a year of being engaged, my fiancé called off our wedding.

Backstory: We had started dating when we were 17 years old during our senior year of high school. We made it through 4 years of long distance (we went to different colleges, states apart) during which one of those years I spent studying abroad in Europe. Throughout our relationship, we grew up together as we both grew into adults and I continued to fall in love with him, and I truly believe he continued to fall in love with me. Even after all is said and done, I don’t doubt what we had was real. I returned home after college and we could finally begin living our lives together. About two years later, he proposed.

We didn’t have major cracks in our relationship. We had broken up twice during college, but I sincerely chalk those up to being young and trying to juggle a serious relationship, all the while figuring out who you are. I knew what our issues were but I always believed our strengths outweighed our weaknesses. But of course, there is a reason we ended up where we are. Sadly, it turns out he was not the person I thought he was. When life got even remotely difficult, he chose to run away instead of deal with things. When I first started dating him in high school, his brother once came up to me and said “you know he lies, right?” Since I was a little thrown off by the bluntness, I laughed it off. It took me seven years to realize it was not a laughing matter.

So my question ishow do you pick up the pieces once it falls apart? How do you start to untangle where your relationship ends and you begin? After seven years I feel as if my identity is so intertwined with his. I figured your no nonsense attitude might help a bit.

The almost-bride


I brought in an expert on this one. An anonymous reader/writer who has been through the same wringer.

Welcome to the tribe, dear heart. You will know us by the trail of super-depressing Tumblrs. 

May I say first that I think you have done the most difficult work of all: the parsing of the good from the bad in your relationship, the keeping of the sacred. Three years out of my epic breakup and I'm still struggling with that. But bitterness is easy. You have a wild, open, generous heart. This is an immense gift. 

As for advice, shucks. I don't know. One of the worst things people said to me was, "Well, at least you weren't married!" This made me want to punch faces. Loss is loss. Sure, we all know there's a hierarchy, but it doesn't help to be reminded of it. You had made the decision to be with him. That's enough. 

On the other side of the coin, one of the best bits of advice was this: He is not as capable of being in the world as you are. (My therapist told me that. You should get one, if you haven't already.) Coping with life, all of life, all of its glorious messiness, is a serious skill. You have that. He doesn't. Your world will be richer because of it.

You will be told, and often, that you can now do all the amazing, single-life things you have always wanted to do—chop off all your hair! move to New York! get a tattoo! get a cat!—and you should do all these things (I did), or whatever else your disastrously bloody heart tells you to do, but the difficult thing to reconcile is that there is likely no part of you in your new life that could not have existed in the old. Some relationships are stifling and restrictive, yes, but it doesn't sound like yours was. The truth is that you were not set free; you were abandoned. No amount of dancing alone across the moonlit beaches of Thailand will make that any less true. What you can do is embrace the things that make you YOU and dig deeper into them—not because you couldn't before, but because you need to put something in that space. All the wine tasting classes in the world won't fill it completely. Likely nothing will. Accept that this is a permanent wound. You didn't get the wedding ring. You got an empty apartment and some white-hot pain. There is nothing you could have done or can do to change that. So you put one foot in front of the other. "No feeling is final," Rilke said. And all the weird, brave things you love or think you might love or hope to someday love, the yoga classes and knitting socials and, eventually, dating apps and shy flirting on subway platforms, are at the very least moving you away from an old feeling, and into a new. 

Last, finally, always, the most important: Hold your friends close. Now closer still. Squeeze them until you think your body might melt into theirs. Aren't they the best? They really, truly are. 

I'm so sorry. 

(Enormous hugs to you both)

Karlina Caune by Victor Demarchelier for Antidote Magazine via wool&misc

Monday, December 2, 2013

ISO gypsy/Kate Bush/Priscilla Presley/goddess dress


I am looking for a wedding dress for a casual late autumn wedding that is some combination of gypsy, Kate Bush, Priscilla Presley, goddess? No debutante ball. No little girlishness. I like a lace shift dress with bell sleeves, but maybe some waist definition is better? In general I like lace, but maybe sequins? What if I wore gold sequins with like gypsy veil, jewelry...? Nonwhite is okay.

I want it to be above-the-knee, longish sleeved, regular bra compatible, of a breathable, non-synthetic fiber (THANK YOU for the synthetics hate!), open neck but no cleavage.

I am 5'4", 125 lbs, 30G, with awesome legs, thick arms, no waist, and a pooch. No immediately plans for brideorexia but you never know. JK. I'll probably work out a little.

Also I could be convinced otherwise, but I was being stubborn and self-righteous before about keeping it low budget. Like under $500?

Thank you,
Trying Not To Use Term Boho Luxe


Free People?


This is the best of the bunch. ($700 for "mixed yarn.")

Sunday, December 1, 2013


This puppy is 100% Polyester (and not particularly bra-friendly) but I don't even care. I'm into it.

(Thanks, Shari)