Reel Women: If a Man Answers: re-new your relationship

if a man answers

giambattista tweed dress | coral necklace | obi wrap belt | coral pump

There’s lots of new year resolutions to meet someone new, start dating, finally ask that person out, perhaps break up with this person and “find yourself.” But, there are hardly any resolutions to make a current relationship better. “If a Man Answers” is a one of Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin’s more obscure duos, but it honestly has the best plotline for a new year and a resolution to make a special someone even more special.

After a swift relationship, Sandra Dee’s character (Chantal) falls in love with and marries Bobby Darin’s character (Eugene), a photographer. Soon after the honeymoon wears off though, Darin’s character quickly moves his attention off his wife and onto his next beautiful photography model. When Chantal goes to her mother with her husband problems, her mum gives her a dog training book, telling her to use the tips in the book about training a dog on her husband. Though Chantal is slightly horrified, when she comes home to Eugene falling all over himself over a roomful of photography models, she begins to use the “tricks” in an attempt to transform him. After a few weeks, Eugene is a completely changed man: he’s attentive, willingly goes with her shopping, is romantic, and suddenly back to his old, devoted self.

Chantal quickly realizes however that her mother gave her the book not to train Eugene like a dog, but to train Chantal to treat him as well as she would a pet and transform her view of her marriage. Chantal began to intentionally seek out what Eugene’s needs were, she paid attention to his desires, went out of her way to make him comfortable, asked first where he wanted to go before dragging him to every errand on her list. Made his favorite dinner, greeted him with a smile, and welcomed every conversation they had together. Of course it’s not a Darin/Dee movie unless there is some mix-up to the plot–you’ll have to actually watch it to figure that one out–but even in the 1960’s they hit something right on the head: often we treat our pets better than we do our significant others and then we wonder why they aren’t drooling over our every word, longing to spend every moment with us, and jumping for joy when we walk through the door. Perhaps if we started treating them like our most beloved pup they may just figure out how much we really love them…try it, and see if this year your right now relationship doesn’t need to be switched out, re-newed, or rejected, perhaps it just needs both of you thinking less of yourself and more of the other person as the best dog you ever had.

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Christmas in Connecticut

christmas in connecticut

Lace cardigan | Black sweater dress | Auburn Place Handbag | Highline pumps

This whole return to real life thing is not very wonderful. Thanksgiving week is such a tease, letting you just get comfortable doing whatever your heart desires and then launching you out on the other side with three weeks of high-intensity to-do’s staring you in the face. I vote for the entire December month to be holiday: in my slippers, every-day, all month.

If I did happen to get out of my slippers and get dressed this month, it would be like Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut. She had the best mix of cute and strong, leather and lace, temper and sweetness: Stanwyck plays a journalist who writes articles posing as a housewife on a Connecticut farm. In reality though, she’s a single woman living in a New York apartment who can’t even cook and relies on her Uncle Felix’s restaurant to give her the menus for her articles. When her boss decides to invite himself to her “farm” for Christmas, Stanwyck’s carefully crafted life begins to be reinvented by everyone else and she soon grows very tired of rewriting the truth of her life instead of accepting what she truly wants. It’s such a fun movie and gets you rather excited to reinvent yourself. It’s a perfect Christmas Eve movie: some nostalgia mixed with lots of excitement for a new year and a potential new self.

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Barefoot in the Park

barefoot in the park

drop earrings | delia fur circle scarf | hammered bangles | vintage snakeskin clutch | wool bow coat | velvet pillow | lasso pillow | charlotte sofa

Happy Friday to everyone and happy birthday to my wonderful, adorable mother, I love you so much! Thanks for introducing me to Barefoot in the Park and pretty much every other movie that is worth watching.

I love this movie and Jane Fonda’s character Corrie Bratter had to be my November reel woman because you love her but she simultaneously drives you crazy. Her and her uptight, newlywed husband Paul (Robert Redford) move to this insanely small apartment after they’re married that’s about 10 flights of stairs up from the street, leaks snow in from the roof, has a bedroom the size of a closet, and an eccentric neighbor who tries to flirt with Jane Fonda’s mother. Jane is terrified every fight she and her husband have spells divorce, so she’s constantly trying to make the best of their ridiculous apartment, crying inconsolably about their fights, and ending up realizing that perfect isn’t going to happen but that doesn’t mean imperfect means the end of her marriage, and she and her husband figure out sometimes it’s best to just go barefoot in the park and accept that life is what it is and whoever is in it with you, if they belong, is going to figure it out right along with you.

The holidays are coming up and sometimes it kinda feels like perfect has to happen. As if, if you don’t paint a picture with your life that resembles the inn in White Christmas or the Thanksgiving dinner in Holiday Inn that everything is going to crumble and every tradition ever created has been failed…doesn’t it sometimes feel like that? This season I’m going to try and enjoy though instead of survive. I’m not going to care if certain things do or don’t happen, if everything looks right, feels right, is right. I’m just going to go with it and if I have to, run barefoot in the park to let off a little stress. 

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Bell Book and Candle

bell book and candle vintage stylebell book and candle vintage style bell book and candle vintage style

backless maxi dress | beaded bracelet | cigarette trouser | cowl | tiny wine-y red polish | yellow shift | patent pump |

I’m not into Halloween. Not at all actually. No ghouls, or goblins…and the only witch I’ll watch is the one played by Kim Novak in this movie. Carving a pumpkin is fun, drinking pumpkin lattes…yeah, duh…but everyone’s fascination with Halloween horror is one I’ll never understand. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Kim Novak always played a rather angsty leading lady. She always reminded me a bit of a, well, “deeper” version of Marilyn Monroe…as if Marilyn’s troubled, true-self finally made it past her ditzy, easy-going facade to pose as Miss Novak.

Novak’s style was pretty modern for her era: except for her “sweet” look in Bell, Book, and Candle with the usual 1950’s/60’s cinched waist, flowy A-line, and matching pumps, her normal looks were slinky, full-length dresses, and cigarette pants paired with an oversized top/sweater. She was also far more overtly sexual than many of the leading ladies of her time, yet, she never dipped into the sleezy category. Halloween is notorious for being the one day of the year where anything goes. Every single Oct. 31st, my tiny college town went from middle-class educated, slightly hipster yet completely civilized, to all out slutville in under 24 hours. I don’t know when Halloween became so sleezy, but if I’m going to be angsty and slithery this Halloween, I’d do it Kim Novak’s way: with quite a bit of class.

font and kim novak image via

– <3 A.

Reel Women: Come September

come septemberAlice and Olivia Colby Rolled Sleeve | Ikebana Full Skirt | Scarf in Mustard Dots | Michael Kors Crocodile Belt | Alice and Olivia Lizard Embellished Heel

There was never anything subtle about Gina Lollobrigida so her modern style translation had to be equally as colorful. In 1955, after her Italian film “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” came out, the movie title stuck as her nickname and she became one of post World War II’s greatest sex symbols. It’s almost Autumn but summer colors still totally work. Sometimes full, A-line skirts are hard to pull off without looking a little too old. Gina did it because, well, look at her. But paired with some sleek heels and a form-fitting top and full skirts still look super chic.

 In Come September, Gina won a Golden Globe for her bombshell performance as the sultry and fiery mistress of Rock Hudson who returns to his Italian villa every September to visit her. Unfortunately for Rock, his butler has turned his house into a hotel and a brood of chaperoned college girls are rooming at his villa. His plans to romance Gina turn sour when the college girls attract their own brood of American boys on a European tour, and Rock Hudson begins to feel responsible for keeping them out of the boys’ clutches and desire “to divide and multiply.” Gina starts to catch on to what Rock is trying to teach the girls and begins to become dissatisfied with her own yearly visits from Rock…come every September. Several fabulous outfits later, a few Bobby Darin original songs, the usual 1960’s romantic-comedy cuteness, and a chase around Italy with Gina in a wedding dress and the couple (of course) gets married.

 Another adorable snippet about this film besides Gina’s gorgeous outfits is that Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin first met while filming Come September and shortly after married in real life. It’s the ultimate reel-to-real life romantic comedy satisfaction.

 – <3 A. 

Reel Women: Beach Blanket Bingo

beach blanket bingofont via | gold crystal necklace | Present and Accounting for Dress | Sevilla Clutch | Carvela Pump

Ever since schools started heading back to session in August instead of September, it’s kind of killed Augusts’ claim to being a summer month but it’s still freakin’ hot and there’s still plentyyy of time for a Beach Blanket Bingo day…or at least a Beach Blanket Bingo evening. This weekend I’m off to have my own beach party with my two redheads for a last hurrah before I head back to teaching next week. It’s been way, way, way too long since we went on a trip together. Those two can get me laughing like no one else can and we have the best of times doing anything or nothing at all. They’re the friends who, though you may not see all the time, when you do get some sacred time together, it’s as if you begin in the middle of a conversation that has continued since the last time you met/talked. Those type of friend-sisters are a rare bunch and I hold on to my two with a death grip, I love them so.

It’s astonishing how feminine ideals can change in just a few generations. Annette Funicello, mouseketeer turned 1960’s “beach party” film heartthrob, died this year in my hometown. If you’ve ever seen the completely ridiculous but adorable “beach party films” she was famous for, it’s rather a huge culture shock if you’re comparing it to current “beach party” films (Spring Breakers anyone?). Annette’s beach style is so chic: high-waisted shorts, button-downs, over-sized sweaters paired with matching colors of cigarette pants, a glitter and mint dress, and bathing suit after bathing suit cinched at the waist and screaming 1960’s glamour. The girls are, by modern standards, uh, well-endowed? They’ve got hips, and boobs, and…they look good! But if you took those girls out of 1965 and popped them into 2013, audiences probably would be disappointed. They’re no Megan Fox. There’s no six-packs or sleek thighs, but there are fabulous outfits, the cutest songs, and some serious eye-rolling jokes that still make me rather have Annette as my muse any modern day.

 – <3 A. 

Reel Women: Desk Set

desk set1. Derah Blouse | 2. Leather obi belt | 3. Pencil Skirt | 4. Macey Pump | 5. Desk Set via

I’m going back to school.

*initiate gusty sighs, pouty face, empty wallet, angry-future-study-sessions* As much as I didn’t want to, and as much as it feels like this decision is propelling me backwards instead of forwards from my  final first college graduation…I am doing it. And, as much as I hated announcing that decision, because, by announcing it, it made it real, I’m actually rather relieved at again having a “plan.” Besides all of that, no longer being an undergrad also lends a tinge of sophistication to student-hood. I reiterate incessantly to myself that tiny compound word that makes being this type of student somehow better: “post-grad, post-grad, post-grad, (it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok).”

If I’m really honest with myself, I actually really love being a student anyway. After I had finally made the ultimate decision and even went so far as to meet with an adviser, I walked into a bookstore that same afternoon and the smell of coffee, the aura of quiet, and the sense of studiousness brought a wave of nostalgia back from my very recent undergrad years when, despite all my huffing and puffing, complaining and moaning, there were moments (just moments, ok?) during personal study sessions where I was unimaginably happy. In some way, you may call it sick, and I may agree with you, but I thrive off of creating study guides, examining meaning from snippets of reading, meeting the challenge of my own expectations, and checking off classes from my degree plan with a little tingle at every check-mark.

So, it’s true, I’m returning to school and again becoming one of the desk set—and, don’t misunderstand, I’m already looking forward to my last day of my last class– but, in the meantime, I’m going to tackle this new goal, embrace this rediscovered study-head, and not stop wearing pencil skirts for, student or not, the first thing you notice in a person is “whether the person is a male or female” and I have no desire to confuse that impression.

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

please don't eat the daisies

1. wallis white blouse | 2. polka dot scarf | 3. charlotte street yellow kate spade  | 4. alice and olivia 5 pocket skinny jean | 5. darby printed loafers | doris day image via dorisday.net

In the 1960 movie version of the novel, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Doris Day is a rather frustrated housewife whose once family-guy husband is quickly becoming an aloof, career man when his drama-critic job suddenly blossoms. While the now famous James Mckay (David Niven) is being seduced by actresses, celebrated at fancy cocktail parties, and heralded at posh, New York clubs, his wife Kay (Doris Day) charges ahead with their former dream of moving to the country to give their four boys a better life than stuck-in-an-apartment, city-life.

Of course, because it’s a Doris Day movie, though she has four children, a huge fluffy dog, is fixing up a run-down country house with her mother-in-law, trying to win her husband back, volunteering to sing/dance in a country show to raise money for the school…she always looks perfect. Ridiculous? yes. Unrealistic? of course. But do we love it? YES. Seeing reality reflected in films, tv, and magazines is a new phenomenon that I don’t really understand. I see reality 22 hours of the day, everyday, for the two hours I might set aside for a movie, I want somethin’ fantastically unrealistic. No one looks up to reality or strives for reality. Reality just happens. Doris Day? There’s something wonderfully unreal about her and that’s something to dress up for.

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Bonjour Tristesse-Spring Stylebook

bonjourtristessecollage

Anni Striped Buttondown | Sit Tight Body Firming Serum | Essie “In the Cabana”Boucle high-waisted Shorts | Loafers in Coral |

Bonjour Tristesse (“Hello Sadness”) is a fairly obscure novel written by Françoise Sagan in 1954 and adapted into a 1958 film version starring Deborah Kerr and David Niven. The rather depressing story follows a young girl abroad with her playboy father who bases his life on Oscar Wilde’s famous line: “Sin is the only note of vivid colour that persists in the modern world.” Of course, the consequences of his life-motto are vivid indeed…and, not in a good way. As foreshadowed by the title, the novel and the film end in tragedy and David Niven, the playboy father, learns that his view of life may bring instant gratification, but it also forces him into saying over and over, “bonjour tristesse.”

Despite all the sadness, a silver lining in the film version of the novel is Deborah Kerr’s adorable spring/summer style. She dresses comfortably without ever looking sloppy, and casual without ever looking lazy. I think her secret is pairing casual items with a tailored piece: putting shorts with a button-down, an easy, tailored shift-dress with a scarf instead of t-shirts and cut-offs. Even spending days at the beach, her hair is always pinned into submission and she never looks like she had an “I give up day.” Instead, though the film is rather dark, to Deborah Kerr you could definitely always say, “bonjour beauté!”

Bonjour tristesse images via lemonwade.com | filmposterarchive

– <3 A. 

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