03/28/14
The Outnet sale picks

You Need To Know About: The Outnet

The Outnet sale picks

Confession: I am an online shopping addict.

It’s funny because I was never much of an Internet shopper but working as a fashion writer has completely changed that. I spend so much time scouring trends and collections that it gets very hard to resist clicking that ‘add to bag’ button.

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03/25/14
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Escape From Chiberia Day 4: Shopping Around Town

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I’ll be recapping my last full day in LA here, which means this is the end of the “Escape From Chiberia” series is coming to an end. I’ve had so much fun waxing nostalgic about this trip – it’s made being back in snowy (yes, snowy even at the end of March) a bit more bearable.

On our last day we headed to Robertson Boulevard for some shopping and lunch. We stopped by stores you can’t find in Chicago –  like Kitson and Zimmermann (if you’re not familiar with this Aussie brand, google it!) Lunch was at The Ivy, which was an experience. Everyone suggested this LA institution and I was so excited to see what this celebrity favorite was all about. I had lobster tacos which sounded amazing… but I would have to say that this was not one of the best meals of the trip. Still, I’m happy I was able to experience a meal here.

After a bit of shopping we went back to the hotel for pool time. We walked around West Hollywood for a little while after that before heading home to get ready for dinner at Laurel Hardware. I would absolutely recommend stopping here for drinks or a meal – it’s a hardware store-turned-LA hotspot where you’re likely to catch a celeb or two. We really wanted to sit on the patio for dinner and we had to wait for around 40 minutes for something to open up – the restaurant was so apologetic about it and actually sent over a few complimentary items to make up for it. Everything from the service to the atmosphere to the food was great.

I wore my Forever 21 crop-top-and-skirt combo during the day – you can get it here and here for a seriously amazing price! I wore my new Madewell maxi dress for dinner – unfortunately I didn’t get a picture but this item is so flattering and comfortable – I love it! It’s pretty new but already sold out, which is not surprising at all.

We made our way to the airport the next morning and saw Queen Latifa driving a Rolls Royce while en route – pretty exciting way to end the trip! I’ll leave you with a few last photos and a intense longing for an iced coffee (and iced coffee weather.)

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03/24/14
Zara Husaini Fashion Blog

Escape From Chiberia Day 3: By The Water

Zara Husaini Fashion Blog …And the ‘Escape From Chiberia‘ series continues! My third day on the West Coast was a good one. We headed to Venice in the morning and walked up the pier for a bit (great photo opps!) After that we wandered over to Abbot Kinney, a boulevard with lots of tiny stores and cafes – lots of small, local stuff, but of court there was a Starbucks smack dab in the middle of it all.

We met a college friend of mine for a fabulous lunch at Gjelina, which was probably the best meal of my entire trip. We had carrots with burrata, kale salad, roasted cauliflower,  a pizza with lamb sausage and a butterscotch pot de creme – add some salted caramel to the top of the last item and it becomes the single best thing I ate during the entire vacation.

After lunch we headed to the Mondrian for some much-needed pool time. Dinner that night was at Katsuya (sadly there was not a Kardashian to be seen), followed by a stop into Beso, which is Eva Longoria’s restaurant.

I wore my Peter Pilotto for Target dress for the day (the only item I picked up from his collection) along with my staple accessories – Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag, Miss Sixty cage sandals and round Tom Ford sunglasses (shocker, right?) I’m not really one for planning outfits ahead of time; I just like to throw all the pieces I’m excited about into a suitcase every time I travel and mix and match them. The Edun leather shorts ended up being totally valuable pieces in the sartorial equation of my trip. I paired them with a gold sequin tee for a dressier dinner look. Click through for some images from the day.

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03/21/14

Escape From Chiberia Day 2: The Road Trip

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If you’re just tuning into my “Escape From Chiberia” series, welcome! Part 1 appears here. If you’ve already read that, let’s discuss my West Coast road trip, the journey from the bright lights of Vegas to the gluten free vegan juice cleanse that is LA.

We set out pretty early on Sunday morning and drove through lots of dessert before hitting LA. We broke up the drive and did the thing you absolutely must do when on the West Coast: stop at In n’ Out for some burgers and fries (animal style, of course!)

I’m pretty sure part of In n’ Out’s appeal comes from its novelty value – I can’t exactly grab food from there regularly, what with living in Chicago and all – but whatever it is, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal there (in case that isn’t really obvious from the photo.)

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03/20/14

Escape From Chiberia Day 1: The Strip.

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I’m back from my West Coast adventure (#sadface) and as promised, I’ll be blogging about the trip. It was amazing and a bit of a whirlwind – I wasn’t in the same hotel for more than two nights and the five days I was there were jam packed with food, pool time, sightseeing and shopping. Surprisingly, they were still the most relaxing days I’ve had in a while.

So now that I’m back in Chicago, city of cold, I’m indulging my nostalgia by recapping the entire trip here. The first night was spent in Vegas at the Planet Hollywood hotel. I’ve never really been to Vegas with friends before and I was pretty thrown by how incredibly saturated the area is. Every hotel is just insane and I’m pretty sure no one would ever need to actually leave the premises of whichever hotel they choose….but I don’t play that way. I wandered a bit while I was there.

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03/14/14

Escape from Chiberia – The Preview

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I couldn’t be more excited today because today is the day I leave cold Chicago and head to the West Coast! I will be in Vegas for two days and LA for three. I can’t wait.

I’ve actually never been to Vegas with friends so I’m curious to see what it’ll be like. I’m not a gambler but I know there will be plenty of other cool things to see and do – shows, restaurants, lounges, shopping, etc. I’ve been LA a few times and I LOVE it there. The weather is perfect, the city is beautiful, people are surprisingly nice, there are tons of cool places to eat, shop and play. I would  move there but there’s really no way to get around driving everywhere if you live in LA (I hate driving – urbanite to the core.) LA is also very far from so many people I love. It’s all the way across the country from my parents, who are my life. I hate the idea of having to fly for hours every time I want to see them.

Regardless, this trip couldn’t come at a better time. I have a lot of clothes I haven’t been able to wear in cold, snowy Chicago that went right into my suitcase. I’m so excited to finally take them for a spin. A little taste of what I’ll be taking with me:

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03/5/14

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

_RMJ1747I haven’t been blogging much recently because I just started a full-time job (that actually requires me to work from an office! Apparently they make pants that don’t have elastic waistbands?) I also start a permalance gig next week so things are about to get real busy. Hopefully I’ll still be able to keep up with the blog, though, because it’s really been a lot of fun to work on it. It’s also kind of how I got my current job, so there’s that.

I thought I would use this Wednesday to bring back a feature I run from time to time. This is a “What I Wore Wednesday” post. I don’t want this blog to be 100% personal style  (I really can’t see myself posting outfit pictures all that often because I just straight up don’t know how to pose) but this Wednesday happens to be a special one – my 26th birthday – so why not?

I really love this outfit because it’s such a great way to stay relatively warm without looking underdressed. I see so many girls just running around in sweats at this time of year – or they’ll wear jeans and snow boots for a night out or a nice dinner. It’s okay once in a while (I’ve certainly made better use of my snow boots this year than the past two years combine) but I also believe that looking nice isn’t so hard and people should make it work even in this awful weather.

The color scheme of this is just great for fall/winter and the entire look is elegant and sophisticated (if I do say so myself.) It is perfect for those days that aren’t chilly but not dangerously so.

The base piece of this whole thing is the Vince shirt. I loooove Vince tops – the fabrics they use are so beautiful and their silk shirts fall so well on the body. Everything Vince makes strikes me as a piece that’ll stay in wardrobe forever.  Unfortunately, because I’m petite, even their XS tends to be too big for me – I swim around in this particular shirt, but I still love it – and the fact that it’s too big makes it the perfect shirtdress!

I added tights for warmth and coverage (even with a dress layered underneath, this is little too short for bare legs) and I loved the way the navy popped against the black tights. The shoes I’m wearing here are my favorites – they’re Bruno Magli’s ‘Olinda’ booties in navy and brown stripes. They are perfect and different and they get tons of compliments every single time I wear them (seriously, without fail.) The bag is my trusty Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel, the ring is the YSL Arty Ring, and the hat is from Janie and Jack (yup, the children’s store. It’s literally made for a five year old and fits me perfectly. Told you I’m petite!)

I snagged both the shirt(dress) and the hat at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. If you’re anywhere near them, do yourself a favor and stop in. These outlets are so much better than most outlet malls.

I would wear this exact outfit anytime I need to look polished during the colder months. It would be great for a nice dinner – but I sort of see it more of a daytime outfit even without the hat. Unfortunately I’ve had to stash my Magli booties for a few months (because they’re way too pretty to get all nasty in this weather) but maybe I’ll brave it and wear them tonight. After all, you only turn 26 once, right?

 

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PS: Please notice my new logo – I just had it made by a super talented designer (who happens to be an alum of my alma matter too) – more on her coming soon!
Photos by James Atkins