All Posts in Inspiration

January 15, 2015 - Comments Off on Women Who Inspire: Smita’s Take on Indian Culture, Women in Information Technology, and Must-Sees in Bangalore

Women Who Inspire: Smita’s Take on Indian Culture, Women in Information Technology, and Must-Sees in Bangalore

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Meet Smita, Technology Consultant and Outdoor Adventurer

Nicole and Smita met while working together on a project for Brooks Brothers. While they successfully designed and implemented a PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) system, they also became quick friends in the process. Smita works and lives in Bangalore, India as a consultant for a company called ITC Infotech, helping clients better understand the technology they use for their manufacturing processes and order tracking. While that might come off as Latin to anyone not involved in the industry—hey, that's why Smita's there!—you're sure to recognize some of the names she's worked with: Charming Shoppes, Levi's, QVC.

We were lucky to catch Smita on a wintry Sunday in NYC on her most recent consulting trip to the States. We had a great time catching up over many pots of tea, going shopping at Young & Able, and grabbing a yummy vegetarian meal at Le Verdure at Eataly. Smita wouldn't usually gravitate to a bold, red outfit, but we managed to get her to try on the scarlet Elena dress. As you can see, she's totally rocking it. Read on to hear what Smita has to share on being a woman in an Indian tech company, the chaos that is her daily commute, and must-see spots in Bangalore:

A Day in the Life

Let's start with the weekdays. When I'm in India and working from ITC headquarters I wake up around 6:00am and go for a jog, then get ready for work, and put together a lunchbox to take to the office—I don't like my office food anymore. It's not healthy or tasty. My day at the office starts around 9-9:30 am and goes until 8 or 9pm, depending on which customer I am working for. I go back home and I try not to work after that, but I haven't succeeded in that yet! I have something for dinner and watch TV or read a book—something to soothe my mind after I leave work. I sometimes stay up late, but I try to at least get six hours of sleep.

Dressing for Work: It used to be all typical Indian dress, whether you wear Salwar Kameez or a kurti—which is a long top with leggings. I don't wear a lot of Indian clothes to work. I do wear jeans, but normally I'll dress up in trousers and a comfortable top. Apart from that, we do have our ethnic dress, like saris. On special days the whole office is festive. I prefer clothes that I can move easily in—I don't want to worry about wrinkles.

You have a lot of Indian companies and manufacturers who are making western clothes. But you also have brands like Marks & Spencer, Zara, Mango—mostly European companies. The style is definitely evolving and leaning toward more trendy nowadays. In India, we don't have a seasonal concept because you can wear jeans and a T-shirt almost 365 days out of the year—the temperature is not extreme. Things tend to be colorful and bright. I try not to look overly professional or nerdy! I don't prefer skirts because I think they make me look even shorter.

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January 5, 2015 - Comments Off on Round-Up: Survive Winter (And Look Good Doing It) With These Tights

Round-Up: Survive Winter (And Look Good Doing It) With These Tights

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Photo by Vanessa P./Flickr Creative Commons

With winter weather comes many things—wind-blown hairdos, rosy cheeks, and the great fashion responsibility that is layering. Instead of thinking of them as another layer between you and the great season that is summer, treat them as the versatile accessory that they are. The right pair of tights can take an outfit to new levels, whether you're working with patterns or a bold color.

Tights are also great for turning summer wardrobe pieces into weather-appropriate outfits—just like the Edie and Pixie Rompers. (We love how they look with either solid or patterned hosiery). We know it's overwhelming—you can't turn around in any department store or website without running into a pair of tights ('tis the season), so we rounded up some of our favorite for your shopping convenience. From the perfect everyday legwear to bold seamed varieties to flaunt on date night, we've found the perfect pair for you.

For the Sustainably Minded

vo3g1t1420174491Maggie's Organics from Abe's Market

They put it best: "Grown without pesticides, harvested safely, and spun without chemicals, this cotton is soft, safe and scrumptious." How can you resist a pair of tights that are described as scrumptious?

These tights are made to be lighter than other cold-weather designs, making them a great choice if you're looking for a pair to show off during warmer months, too.

The Go-To, Everyday Tight

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M6 from Bene Rialto

These opaque tights are perfect for weatherproofing your favorite summer outfit—whether it be a favorite pair of shorts or a romper. Make sure to play up your accessories to break up the opaque look, if you're working with a monochrome outfit. A stand-out pair of shoes can go a long way with a black pair of tights, as well.

M6 makes their hosiery in Germany, but you can find their designs at Bene Rialto in Manhattan.

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October 29, 2014 - Comments Off on A Brief History of Halloween and Where the Costume Came From

A Brief History of Halloween and Where the Costume Came From

Photo cred: Emily Hildebrand/Flickr

Photo cred: Emily Hildebrand/Flickr

If there's one thing that pops to mind at the first mention of Halloween, it's got to be the costumes. While getting dressed up when you were young and planning out your candy route might have been exciting for a an entirely different set of reasons (hint: copious amounts of free candy), celebrating Halloween as an adult can be just as fun. But along with those years of costume experience comes an interest in why we spend so much time and money planning our get-ups. That's where we come in. Read on and see why you're really going all out with the wardrobe on October 31st.

Photo cred: Allison Marchant/Flickr

Photo cred: Allison Marchant/Flickr

It turns out that the Halloween costumes of years (read: centuries) past are much more terrifying than any fake-blood-spurting plastic mask situation. The costume tradition dates all the way back to a mention in Shakespeare's 1593 play, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (and even earlier). The house-to-house begging came into the picture around the 16th century, where friendly neighbors would hand out cakes and other sweets to those who came for a visit. In their defense, it seems that the threat of "trick or treat" was taken much more literally than it is today.

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December 23, 2013 - Comments Off on The Story Behind Nicole Lenzen’s Designs: the Bubble Dress

The Story Behind Nicole Lenzen’s Designs: the Bubble Dress

by Lisa Viet

The recently launched Nicole Lenzen New York collection takes us through an amazing story of elegant, contemporary, feminine silhouettes conveyed by dresses inspired by vintage fashion and swing dancing.

After the Elena dress and the Mariposa dress, we now introduce the original design that inspired the entire Candy Collection: the Bubble Dress. Drawing from the playful airiness of bubble gum, the dress silhouette is feminine, flattering and fun.

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The quintessential Candy dress

As the first dress design that led to the entire Candy Collection, the Bubble dress draws inspiration from bubble gum and candy that will transport you into a whimsical world of fun and play. From the candy ribbon folds of the belt to the lightness of the skirt, the sweet Bubble Dress is perfectly delicious.

This playful hourglass silhouette has a sleeveless bodice and flattering boat neckline. The bubble hem provides just the right amount of fullness while the sheen of the silk accentuates the natural movement of the skirt. Read more