Girl Talk

Traveling In Style

vintage luggageLuggage is not what it used to be.  Take my mother’s vintage suitcases, purchased in the late 1950’s as her honeymoon luggage.  Gorgeous.  As a child, I pretended to be a Hollywood starlet, as I played with her train case and the round circle suitcase that were sized perfectly for me.  I even remember the whimsical keys…

vintage luggage keys

It’s nearly impossible to find that kind of luxe luggage nowadays, and with the travel regulations placed on the quantity and size of bags, we’ve been forced to give up style for conformity.  Since abandoning the fantasy of traveling with chic luggage, as I prepared for a business trip, I shifted all my attention to the task of packing.

Traveling with a compact carry-on means that every article of clothing must count.  I ask you: how could a gal bring all the right clothes, not to mention accessories, for a three-day conference and semi-formal dinner, stuffed into only one bag?

That’s when I channeled Alex, the associate fashion editor at the popular women’s magazine where I worked right after college.  He was cute and funny and had impeccable taste.  It was like having my own personal Tim Gunn for a friend and work buddy.  He once did a brilliant feature on how to pack for a trip.  Choose one color, he advised.  Create your own little “collection” so you can mix and match everything.  Bring two pairs of shoes – a black and a neutral– and one smart purse.  Use your accessories for a pop of color.  The guy was a genius!

Much deliberation took place in front of my one-and-only closet.  Then it hit me.  Blue.  Midnight blue, to be more precise.  Accessories?  Faux pearls could easily be slipped into a zip lock bag.  Add a couple of scarves – one turquoise and one radiant orchard – after all, they weigh nothing.  And I was good to go.

My utilitarian luggage?  Not so chic.  My travel wardrobe?  I think Alex would approve.

red poppy

Girl Talk

Girls Who Wear Glasses

marilyn-monroe-how-marry-millionaire-glasses“Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses,” Marilyn Monroe famously alleged in the 1953 comedy, How to Marry a Millionaire.  Phooey, I say!  Because I’ve been on the receiving end of the pick-up line “I like your glasses” enough to know that’s just not true.

For me, the decision to wear glasses was a no-brainer.  I needed them to watch movies and to drive.  And, well, basically to see.  For a while, I wore contacts but eventually went back to glasses.  Eyewear is, in my opinion, the most under-utilized accessory a woman has at her disposal and I love wearing glasses.  Because the right frames can do more to make a fashion statement than a great scarf or even a fabulous pair of shoes.  After all, your eyes are the first thing people notice.

retro glassestortoise frames (2)geek frames



Geek frames are undeniably cool.  Rayban Wayfarers are timeless.  Cat eyes are pure glam.  And right now tortoise is everything!  What kind of image does the phrase “sexy librarian glasses” conjure up?  And when you’re not feeling or looking your best, your shades are more dependable than any miracle under-eye cream or concealer!  Yet some women still resist wearing specs.  Go figure…

Case in point: my friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter is nearsighted like me.  When she had trouble acclimating to her contacts, I suggested she wear glasses instead.  She just wrinkled her cute little nose in disapproval.  Then on a shopping expedition, I jokingly handed her a pair of big Jackie-O sunglasses.  I coaxed her into trying different styles and as she posed wearing geek frames, cat eyes, and school boy frames, she liked what she saw in the mirror.  She eventually ditched the contacts for a pair of oversized geek frames that look great on her.

  So whether you go vintage or modern, choose oversized or teensy wire rims, you’re sure to find specs that are right for you.  And remember that men do make passes at girls who wear glasses!

red poppy

Life Lessons

Breakfast with NYC’s Bravest

The mood in the hotel restaurant was subdued, save for the witty banter taking place at the bar, where I sat with four men to my left, and four more to my right.  You see, a friend was visiting Beantown with “some of the guys” for the Yankees-Red Sox game and we met for breakfast.

I watched in amazement as they devoured large plates of hearty breakfast fare and washed it all down with Bloody Marys and black coffee.  In between talk of sports and politics, and poking fun at the guy who got carried away with his Fitbit, I caught a rare glimpse into the stuff of male friendships.

“How long have you guys been together?” I asked.  “Eight years.”  “Eleven years.”  “Thirteen years,” they were all chiming in.  One of them patted my friend’s shoulder declaring, “I’d do anything for this guy…”  Their ages ranged from barely-thirty to mid-fifties, but these were no ordinary men and theirs were no ordinary friendships.  Because they were firefighters.  New York City’s Bravest.  I’d heard about the brotherhood of firefighters, but I’d never seen it up close before.


When the bartender presented the bill, one of the guys called out, “Credit card roulette!” and took off his baseball cap, then pointing to me, clarified, “But she’s not in it.”  Each of them took a credit card from his wallet and placed it in the hat.  The fellow next to me explained the rules.  A stranger – always a woman, preferably a hot woman – would be asked to pick the credit cards, one by one, and call out the names.  The final credit card would be used to cover the entire bill.  This is so NOT how women divide a check, I thought.


As we said good bye, I thought about their selflessness and their character, the extraordinary work they do, and the bond they share.  I was in awe of them.  NYC’s Bravest – thank you for your service, and thanks for poppy