Style Blog

3 carry-on only packing tips

3 carry-on only packing tips

How I fashionably packed for a 10 day trip to London and Paris in ONLY carryon luggage.

Is it just me or is everyone under the assumption that we fashionistas only travel with two exploding check bags, a carry on and handbag ALL weighing more than we do?

More often than not, that’s the truth.

BUT I think we can all agree that traveling (especially abroad and solo) is SO much easier with less luggage to haul place to place.

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A “locals” guide to see, eat and shop London

A “locals” guide to see, eat and shop London

My guide to London’s MUST dos!

By now, you’ve likely realized my love for New York and city life in general. But before New York, there was London. Let me rephrase that, I’ve had a New York love affair from a young age, but lived in London first (and absolutely LOVED every second).

Living, working, and studying in London 5 years ago taught me SO much about myself. From realizing I’m wired for city life to solidifying my NEED to work in the fashion industry it truly was a defining time. So when given the opportunity to return to London again with my best friend (who also lived, worked and studied in London) I could not resist! I mean, I waited 5 YEARS to dine, shop and simply spend time in spaces that made me, me. I’ll admit I was a bit concerned I had romanticized my London living experience and it would be different this time around, but let me tell you, it was just as amazing as I remember! And to give back to the incredible city that has given me SO much (and to all of you incredible people) I’ve curated a quick “locals” guide of London MUSTs!

Must SEE

When living in London, I spent EVERY weekend experiencing (to an exhausting extent) EVERY tourist attraction. So this time around I knew EXACTLY where to go not only for the best views but the perfect Instagram pics too.

Particularly if you’re a first timer, you’re likely most excited to see and snap Big Ben and the Tower Bridge (what most American’s know as the London Bridge) while on your trip. Rather than simply standing at the base of these inspiring but busy tourist spots, I’d recommend taking the Queens Walk. Not only is this walk filled with sights (and stops) for Big Ben, Parliment and the London Eye Ferris Wheel, but this promenade also follows the Thames River on the South Bank and falls beautifully between the Lambeth Bridge and London Tower Bridge too. Both when living and visiting London, this walk gives me ALL the feels, tears AND countless photo opportunities!

Another favorite spot of mine, offering views and photo opps of the ENTIRE city, is the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. You may be familiar with this spot as the Prime Meridian, situated on one of the highest points in the city, a picturesque hilltop. Though being in two places at once is once in a lifetime (and very low cost), in my opinion paying to stand on the Prime Meridian is not as high on my list of MUST dos as enjoying the surrounding landscape and community of Greenwich. I would DEFINITELY recommend picking up a yummy lunch from the Greenwich Market at the base of the Royal Observatory before hiking up the hilltop to snap photos, enjoy views, and create memories money can’t buy.

Must EAT

And speaking of markets….

Certainly London is not known for its food but I’ll be honest. Some of my favorite eats EVER have been in London Town!

Like much of Europe, London LOVES markets and does them VERY well. If you stumble upon a market during your stay you can not go wrong by popping by! But my favorite market? The London Borough Market. This market is perfect for enjoying both prepared food AND shopping fresh foods to prepare at home during your stay. My favorite items to pick up while at the Borough Market include true English muffins and strawberry jam (my mouth is watering as I type).

Looking for a sit down dinner? Though pubs and restaurants are a dime a dozen they are a must visit as well. Be sure to check out your local pub for classic British ciders and fish and chips (because more likely than not there is a pub on your corner). But most importantly PLEASE enjoy the best burger EVER (the Smokey Robinson Burger to be exact) at Patty & Bun in St Christopher’s Place. I know, seems so American! But when living in London this restaurant was recommended to me by my British friends and it does not disappoint! Just be sure to go at off peak times as they do not take reservations and they seat parties through a physical queue. A few of my other favorite London MUST eats include the Breakfast Club Spitalfields, Brownie Box on Old Brompton Road and Busaba Thai Chelsea.

Must SHOP

Being the style guru I am, OF COURSE I’m more than excited to recommend shopping in one of the world’s fashion capitals! BUT be advised different areas of London cater to different types of shoppers based on budget and style.

If you enjoy shopping designer and/or fast fashion retailers with perfectly placed tourism’s shops sprinkled between, you MUST shop the High Street. The High Streets of London are classically known for housing high end designer shops and flagship stores, but in recent years include British favorites like Topshop, River Island and Selfridges (which are a bit more budget friendly too). My favorite High Street(s) I recommend exploring during your stay in London include Oxford Street and Bond Street.

Perhaps you like a good vintage dig? Or you enjoy stumbling into designer popups and warehouse sales? Take the tube to Brick Lane. Though you will enjoy Old Spitalfields Market shopping and major retailers like (my favorite) Dr. Marten and All Saints on the main street, feel free to explore side streets where you are sure to discover thrift, vintage and popup gems!

So there you have it. My London favorites wrapped in all one! If you’ve visited London or are heading there soon, what spots excite you the most?

Why a faux tan DOES NOT equal faux confidence

Why a faux tan DOES NOT equal faux confidence

How introducing Mystic Tan into my beauty regime has taken my body confidence to the next level.

If you’ve been following along here at A Grim Sense of Style, you’ve likely realized how important viewing ourselves beautifully is to me. To be honest, I’m not quite sure exactly how I became so confident or when it really happened. But I am sure that over the years I’ve learned to love myself through a range of sizes, shapes and mental states. And you know what? I’m really, REALLY proud of that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve ALWAYS loved my curves even before the Kardashian’s made it cool (thank you Kim), but we all have our moments, am I right? I’ve observed over the years that as we get older our bodies change suddenly (something I’ve REALLY had to come to terms with having PCOS) and it can be a struggle to embrace a “new” version of you.

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2 easy items your spring wardrobe NEEDS

2 easy items your spring wardrobe NEEDS

Spring things I’m loving RIGHT now.

There’s just something about spring in the city. Perhaps it’s the fact that I moved to NYC in the spring (that’s right, it’s almost my New York birthday!). Simply put, spring is easily my favorite time of the year here! I know that’s a bold statement but think about it—it’s not too hot to layer or too cold to dine outside. And EVERY New Yorker is out and about with a smile on their face! How can you not love spring time in the city?

However spring does have ONE downfall—bringing with it the need for NEW. Sure I love the new blossoms and new inspiration but NOT the need for an entirely new wardrobe!

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How to Accessorize on a Budget

How to Accessorize on a Budget

Recently I shared on the gram that I’m honestly OVER buying everything brand new. For the longest time I associated the concept of “new” with being THE BEST but I’ve realized that’s just not true and quite frankly unrealistic! Life as an adult, running my own business, adventuring around NYC and managing expenses requires prioritized spending—and if I’m REALLY real, shopping weekly for the latest fast fashion piece I’ll style once or twice just doesn’t cut it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE mixing up my wardrobe with new-to-me, standout items. But instead of budget breaking spending, I’ve transitioned into a more sustainable mentality; I’m now taking advantage of shopping pre-loved items through wardrobe rental! Not only does this add “new” back into my wardrobe but it also allows me budget-friendly access to brands my favorite celebs and style crushes wear daily!

But with the wardrobe rental business growing, where do you start?

WELL…

Having consolidated my closet to a capsule wardrobe of key items and statement pieces, I’ve found accessorizing allows me to make outfits new, different, and interchangeable. And the key accessory here for me is jewelry! Statement jewelry is the perfect way to mix up a look while adding an expression of unique taste and personality! SOOOO that makes my go-to for rentals an EASY choice…

RED CARPET ROCKS!

Red Carpet Rocks is a subscription-free, demi-fine (meaning a combination of fine and costume jewelry) 4 day rental service providing hand-made jewels, precious stones, and other red carpet level jewels for $39! Yes. You read that price correctly! Just as the name would lead you to believe, these pieces are high-end, yet still interchangeable between special events, a day at the office or a night out with friends! Though I’ve sported the UNBELIEVABLE Rihanna Crystal Choker and absolutely ROCKED the Cindy Tassel Earrings, my favorite Red Carpet Rocks rental so far is the Bianca Bib Necklace! This statement necklace is not only the perfect beaded compliment to a cocktail dress but also adds a bit of high-end glam to a denim and Tshirt combo! And if that isn’t cool enough, the Red Carpet Rocks owner Urvi and her team are there for you every step of the rental process, adding a personalized touch to your new favorite statement piece!

So if you’re like me and in search of a budget-friendly way to add celeb level glam to an everyday look, OR you have an endless list of upcoming events this sunny season, check out Red Carpet Rocks! Remember, no single item is over $39! With both FREE shipping AND returns, rent one fabulous jewel for $39, 2 pieces for $59 or 3 for $79! AND right now when you join the Red Carpet Rocks email list, you earn 10% off your first order!

Rent. Rock. Return.

Check out some other Red Carpet Rocks accessories I’ve sported with dressy casual looks on Instagram!

Follow A Grim Sense of Style and subscribe to my emails for my review of the  latest sales and collection launches mid week, as well as fashionable confidence boosting tips every Sunday! You’ll have first access to my latest feel-GREAT tips when you subscribe to emails from A Grim Sense of Style and follow along on Instagram.

*All photos courtesy of Victoria Saperstein Photography.

Why THIS is the Matte Lipstick to Try

Why THIS is the Matte Lipstick to Try

Here at A Grim Sense of Style EVERYTHING I say, share, and wear is meant to inspire and empower. I believe that every woman FEELS her best when she LOOKS her best and through this mentality is empowered to BE and DO her best.

Because I truly believe in living out this mission in everyday life, I seek to personally use and promote products and brands who empower us as women to be our very best…which is why I’m SO excited to introduce Sheree Cosmetics to you all!!!

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Clothing & Confidence

Clothing & Confidence

Have the confidence to wear whatever you want, whenever and wherever you want.

So often readers, friends and strangers say to me “I love your outfit but I could NEVER wear that.”

I find this statement SO interesting as I’ve rarely been one to not wear something I love.

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