South End Sunshine | September 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

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Sunday brunch with friends is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Since our closest friends here are planning a move that’ll take them five or six hours away from us (and so much closer to both their families – makes it very difficult to put up a fuss of any sort!), we’re trying to squeeze in as much time together as possible before they embark on their next adventure of home ownership in rural PA. They are done, done, done with city life – a sentiment I’m hearing more and more of from my peers on both coasts – but one I’m not ready to share just yet.

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We chose one of our favorite South End spots, since we could just take a short stroll to make the tomboy’s afternoon hair appointment and do a little window shopping whilst out and about. It was a glorious day, super warm with beautiful blue skies, and lots and lots of open studios. There also happened to be a film crew blocking off streets and everyone in the neighborhood who owned a canine was out and about, parading fancy breeds around.

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Cheeky tomboys in the phone booth with their haircuts.

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We brunched at the Buttery, but while the tomboys sat at the barber, the other femme and I decided to pop into The Gallows for a bit of refreshment. I’m a sucker for any drink with the name “Albemarle” in it, heaven help me.

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I have two of these James Perse dresses – one in this safari green, another in black – and they are insanely comfortable and easy to wear. Perfect for a day like this, but I’ll easily wear both into autumn with tights and boots and cardigans or leather. The best part is I found ‘em both for a song, brand new.

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Some funky accessories like this vintage elephant belt, an antler tine pendant wrapped in a bullet casing with a gold bear on it, and an old estate sale LV clutch brought the whole Lesbian Zookeeper Chic look together, along with a pair of chunky sandals in tan leather.

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The living garden wall in the vestibule at The Gallows.

Guess what? This weekend we’re celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary with a little getaway. Things have been wonderful but busy with the new school year, wrapping up my first month at the new job, and the usual start-up hustle for M. Plus, we’re learning from the past two fall seasons and getting a jump-start at preparing for cooler weather; bringing the firewood rack up from the basement and getting our kiln-dried wood ordered, clearing porch and patio furniture, we had a chimney sweep in last weekend, replaced our water heater a little while ago and are seeing to a few other good housekeeping things to get in order before the storms come down and that’s that. And I’m headed to DC next month – it’ll be my first time there, and I’m not even a little bit sad it’s on business!

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 11:30 PM

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Wingaersheek Chic | September 4, 2014 | Comments (1)

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Welcome to Wingarsheek Beach! It’s a Gloucester gem, a North Shore nod from Ann to Cod, a literal clamdigger’s dream at the sweet spot between a rock bottom low tide and when the waves begin to lap their way back to shore.

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If traffic’s good, it’s only an hour from home, with plenty of nearby parking for a mere $15 (NO BARRELS!), the holy grail of snack shacks, clean and spacious restrooms, gorgeous warm water with lots of rocky, rugged interest that doesn’t interfere with soft, fine sand, and beach-goers from all walks of life. In other words, a real keeper of a beach.

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Even with September underway, I think there are still a handful of beach weekends left yet in 2014, which is par for the course back home but not always true to old Boston town. And we have a sailing lesson to bang out before October! And a horseback ride through the Berkshires! I think we were both hoping that chunky, creamy fisherman sweaters would be appropriate for both, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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For now, it’s still sweltering enough for linen trousers and silk tanks, but nothing to justify round-the-clock A/C.

Perfect, really.

It’s kind of insane and overwhelming how many beaches there are to try out and explore here, when you think about it. It’s so foreign! I’m used to Temescal vs. Anza, Baker vs. Ocean, Stinson vs. Funston; divisive contests of scarcity and the somewhat arbitrary pride of locals. Here I get the sense that even if you grew up in the area, you still haven’t explored every beach, every apple orchard, every historical site, every lobster shack, every prestigious university.

(But then again, I haven’t been to every ski resort in Tahoe, or every vineyard in the wine country…)

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M was delighted that there was plenty of gross dead stuff to pillage, and people dug for clams like whoa. Piles and piles and wagons and coolers full of them! It was astonishing. I haven’t seen anything like it since I was a girl and got dragged all over the Pacific Coast while my folks amassed obscene amounts of fresh abalone, sulking from the shore with the wind pushing sand into my little eyes.

And everyone was doing it! Digging for clams, I mean. Hapless tourists joining in on the fun, old (and highly efficient) pros, big families, packs of teenagers. It was wild. Who knew?

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Definitely a two tote bag kind of day at the beach, featuring a first-generation Everlane and Hipp & Kirk. Below is my favorite beach towel of all time, from a 1953 cover of Esquire Magazine. Just as much for the beach babe motif as for the “Californians Are Crazy” bit at the bottom. It’s not just looks – the thing is massive and soft and plush as heck.

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Since this is probably one of the more exposed posts I’ve ever done here, I wanted to mention something great happening over at Modcloth with regard to the representation of women and body positivity. The co-founder has pledged to promote total #fashiontruth, meaning that the company will strive to cast a variety of women in their ads and social media campaigns, and to show them as their true selves, to source, make, and sell clothing in a range of sizes, and to honor their customers as a community and put them at the center of everything they do. Fabulous!

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The idea is to be what you want to see in fashion, and I particularly look forward to their collaborations and celebrations of more body types and POC women in their social media streams. You can start by signing the petition for the Truth In Advertising Act, if you feel so inclined.

Finally, consider yourselves warmed warned: There are just three last seaworthy posts to go before FFAF folds into an inevitable autumn and what everyone hopes will be a merciful winter.

Navy anchor cover-up (which doesn’t quite cover up my bum, I know – it’s the beach!) – J. Crew (similar here) | Tulle Underwire Tank Swimsuit – J. Crew | Everlane Tote Bag | Canvas Tote – Hipp & Kirk | Anchor Earrings – Plague of Pigeons| Dean Sunglasses in English Oak – Warby Parker | Sparkle Lemon iPhone 5 Case – Kate Spade | Druzy Claw Ring – Lauren Wolf

Until next time, y’all!

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 12:12 AM

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South End Summer Day | August 31, 2014 | Comments (1)

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One of my favorite things to do in Boston is to just plunk down in a favorite neighborhood with no plan except to wander and explore. The South End is always a really good place for that, and especially in the summer or fall when you can savor the architecture and bustling streets without much weather-related discomfort. Tons of independent places to eat, drink and window (or really) shop, notoriously queer but far less boisterous than the Castro. Sedate without being dull.

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On this day we started at one of our favorite boutiques for home, Hudson, and ended up at Uniform, a well-curated men’s shop for the casually urbane and in between we stopped for brunch and ice cream.

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This was just a simple sunny day outfit I threw on for aimless roaming, and when we stopped at this little plaza on Tremont by the theaters with its cheerful flowers bursting higher than our heads it was an easy backdrop choice, bumblebees and all.

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On an unrelated note, I desperately need motivation to finish the slew of books I’m currently reading. That they are not motivation enough saddens me. I am spreading myself far too thin between at least a half dozen; Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington, Speedboat by Renata Adler, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and an equestrian book as well as one or two style books.

They are nearly all worthy reads but to be honest, all I want to do is sink back into an old and beloved Salter or reread Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden. Do I just hide the others while I power through one, make M take the whole stack away save one, and only release another if I surrender it finished? I need some sort of strategy because the stack has gotten out of hand, though perhaps the coming change of season will spur me on.

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Brunch was at Aquitane, a place most people recommended but that we just hadn’t quite made it to yet. The cocktails were very well done and the croque-madame and croque-monsieur we ordered were fantastic.

I’m also excited to try Petit Robert after seeing my traditional favorites on the menu – I’m a sucker for a good coq au vin or beef bourguignon and my attempts to make them at home have failed miserably. Until the temps come down from the 90s, though, I’m touching neither with a ten-foot pole!

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Striped Shorts – J. Crew | The Drape Tank in Cream – Everlane x Langley | Galia Sandal – Kensie | Canvas Tote – Hipp & Kirk | Raffia Necklace – Anthropologie | Dean Sunglasses in English Oak – Warby Parker | Bracelets (left to right) – Madewell, J. Crew, Brandy Melville | Druzy Claw Ring – Lauren Wolf

Full disclaimer: I was lucky enough to win the Hipp & Kirk tote from a giveaway they did earlier this summer. It has since become my everyday bag! I love it and have found it so useful and versatile for slinging around town, to the beach or running errands. It’s surprised me how often I use it, but it’s a true story and as a company who makes their products in California, they’re a brand close to my heart. Check them out!

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 11:06 PM

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Barnstable Babes | August 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

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I have been preoccupied as of late and to the detriment of this blog. I post so erratically these days it’s a wonder any of you come back at all, but you do and I am grateful! By the way, things are wonderful, just busy and new and nonstop, so when body and mind demand a break, I am trying to listen, even if means stepping back from the things that bring me pleasure.

Let’s dive in, then?

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My third summer in New England and at long last I made it to Provincetown in all its midsummer glory. It was just a short visit, but we had a nice little adventure that day.

I can see the appeal – Cape Cod beaches, freewheeling queer abandon, highly walkable everything, the most darling clapboard B&Bs with their cake frosting rose gardens and all sorts of characters – but was a bit taken aback by the touristy feel, which I hadn’t expected (probably very silly of me) and I wasn’t too sad to return to a quiet, spacious Cape house tucked away in the woods at the end of the day. We’ll be back, I’m quite sure of it.

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The tomboy power-clashing barefoot in brickish polka dot Topman shorts and an extreme angler print cotton shirt I found for her at Target. It got many compliments at the beachfront bar. I’m sure people find better things to do than risk tetanus in rotted dock shenanigans when they’re in P-Town, but we’d more or less done them all already and decided it was still a good idea.

I made a mess of French and fishtail braids because I knew how windy and hot it’d be, and got my fair share of compliments, too!

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Watching the big ferry come tearing in from the bay is kind of a terrifying sight! From where we were sitting and having a cocktail it looked like it was going to smash through a few smaller boats and then into where we were sitting, but at the last possible moment turns and heads for the pier and a seemingly endless parade of people begin streaming into town, rolling their suitcases right down the middle of the street.

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These J. Crew earrings have a cantaloupe color scheme that I love, with brushed gold and a little sparkle, and I wore them to dress us this super casual white cotton maxi sundress (even though nobody really dresses up in P-Town, as M was sure to remind me several times).

Did you know the weather is forecast to be in the 80s steadily for the next 10 days, and it’s been that or higher for the past week or so? SUMMER IS NOT OVER. M won’t stop heckling me about fall, hashtag too soon.

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It’s just beautiful there, isn’t it? The colors are incredible – the water, the dunes, the painted boats and weathered wood of the docks and homes, the resilient flora. It all makes for a very enchanting atmosphere, a nice and deliberate, purposeful slowdown. Makes a gal wanna buy a boat and just float away for a while. I hope your summers have been – and continue to be, since the dog days keep a-comin’ – sufficiently if not exceedingly lovely.

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Then there was this little fella! He was quite remarkable and we hope he wasn’t injured at all. I was standing only a few feet away and he was sure to spread his wings just so and turn his head to the angle while I snapped and snapped away. The locals have taught him well, it seems! It was pretty cool.

And now I’m off to call the chimney sweep before sweater weather is here. Better put in our order for some firewood while I’m at it. Shh!

XOXO,

FFAF

 

 




SBJ @ 12:19 AM

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Endless Summer | August 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

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OMG, bring me back to the Cape. Please. These photos are from our end of June sojourn with the family. It’s been five weeks since we left that wondrous vacation house and a whopping, wholly unacceptable four weeks since our last beach day. Sure, we spent an impromptu weekend in Manhattan but summer is feeling not so endless with that much time between seaside jaunts. I need all the oceans and R&R and low tide sunset strolls and too-early morning shark sighting excursions.

We’re gonna fix that Singing Beach style tomorrow, but tonight we head to Boston’s mega-ultra-lesbian-dance-party-deluxe Dyke Night Second Saturdays at Machine (it’s a mouthful, I know) for St. Harridan’s Fashion Show.

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LONG LIVE SKAKET BEACH.

Best damn Cape Cod beach ever, hand to God.

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During vacation, I made the house these warm, drool-worthy, buttery scones for breakfast one morning. My girl KA hooked me up with her incredible chocolate chip scone recipe, and it turns out I can hook you up with it, too, because it’s a Smitten Kitten jam. If you’ve ever made a face at an offensively dry, crusty old scone, try these. They have the perfect structure and balance of light crunch and softness for dunking into coffee or tea, but are wonderfully creamy.

I will say this, though: definitely try either salted sweet cream butter or add a pinch of sea salt or kosher salt, and maybe even a dash of vanilla or something to give them just a touch more dimension in terms of flavor. Then they’re absolutely perfect!

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More Skaket Beach, because it’s so magical and good and the snack shack rules and the sea grasses are so lush and the sand is ultra-soft and sandy.

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The massive wooden deck of the Cape house is surrounded by forest, and at night the frogs croak and fireflies glow and other winged critters sing and it’s just beyond dreamy and calming. Of course, beware the mosquitoes. They’ll suck your blood (they’ll suck your blood). Sometimes your dog might run into the woods and bring back the bones of some unknown previously living thing, but hey! They’re on vacation, too, right? I mean. Yeah. THEY ARE.

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This is like the horror movie shot of the stupid idiot girl who hears a noise and then follows it into the rapidly darkening and terrifying wilderness, “Hello? Hello? I can hear you! Hello?”

Pro tip: I am not that girl. I carry a knife and am much less polite.

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What in god’s name is a trip to the Cape without a community seating lobster supper? Nothing, that’s what. Arnold’s is an institution. You wait in line to order outstanding food and then another line to order an outstanding ridiculous rummy cocktail and then another line for the bring-you-to-your-knees raw bar. It’s for your own good. Pace yourself.

And then go play some GD mini golf with your GD family and work it all off because that is some TRULY WHOLESOME FAMILY OUTING MALARKEY. Allow it.

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I painted my nails this completely beautiful and artistic rendition of The Starry Night for lobsters and sandy dunes and Provincetown. Don’t question me.

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The house came with a big stack of mysterious and very, very delightful LPs and I just happened to bring my little portable turntable along. Thank god, can you imagine my state of torture if I’d happened upon these gems from the 1920s-1970s and didn’t have the Crosley? Pretty sure I would have driven home to fetch it if that had been the case.

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The tomboy took this one of my mama and I after a few rounds of mojitos and big seafood shack dinner. We were sitting in the sunroom listening to The Beatles and my mama’s many Beatles stories. This was a really, really lovely vacation.

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After a long and idyllic day at the beach, simplicity rules. This is an easy little striped cotton dress from Atwell, one of the in-house Gilt brands. It goes great with actual beach waves, a pile of bracelets, and neutral sandals or fuss-free heels – I chose a chunky-heeled leather pair. My little clutch is J. Crew, and ties in with the navy with a nice pop of deep sea green.

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That’s it for now! Did y’all see the FFAF shout-out in Curve Magazine from that dear and gorgeous sweet peach Anita Dolce Vita at dapperQ? She’s such a powerful voice for femmes, and especially femmes of color. Pretty great stuff!

Hope your summers are going swimmingly,

FFAF




SBJ @ 8:11 PM

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Mods vs. Rockers: Hair We Go | July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

A sweet reader with a gorgeous head of shiny red hair wrote in earlier this week for some hairstyle advice:

“I’m going to this queer Mods vs. Rockers event on Saturday night. I have a black lace shift dress and white tights ready to go but need to do my hair, I was thinking a bouffant updo – which you are the queen of – any top tips/videos to share? I’d be very grateful.”

For research purposes, I clicked on the link she sent and immediately came down with a case of Duckie-induced FOMO. A “post-queer performance and events collective?” Can I have one?! If only my bank account allowed it, I would hop across the pond and attend myself! “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough,” the website taunts, “and take sides – Mod or Rocker.”

It sounds like an absolute riot ball and makes me wish parties like it or Bardot A Go Go were more of a thing here, where people went for the music and the style and each other, but it’s a good reminder to dance it out at Soulelujah and Heroes more often. Now, let’s get back to some 60s bouffant hair!

It is so darling that anyone would think I’m the queen of this style, so in the interests of giving the love right back, I’m sharing my words of wisdom in case y’all wanna give it a go-go for a summer event yourselves.

The foundation any gal needs for this look is in a good backcomb and hairspray (good old Elnett will do just fine, but here’s a natural, scent-free option that some femmes seem to like), as well as some nice, strong bobby pins that match your hair color. I have a Spornette Little Wonder and it’s really great, but this one is definitely on my wish list. The great news is that all that stuff is fairly cheap and stuff you’ve probably already got on hand.

My biggest tip with the bobbies is to let it pick up a few strands of hair where you’re going to pin, and then push it out a little tiny bit, and then “lock” it around and in the total opposite direction you started in – you’ll see the grip is 1000x improved that way.

“What the hell is FFAF even trying to say?” you ask.

Why, I’m glad you asked. Here’s a wonderful GIF:

I’ve linked to a few of her tutorials before, but Sidewalk Ready is an incredible resource for all kinds of hairstyles. Hers are super easy to follow and usually shockingly simple to achieve. This is a fast and easy twist, but it’s got a mini bouffant that could be bumped up to the next level, especially with bangs or a few wispy bits pulled out on the sides.

Here’s another for a big old 60s bouffant ponytail.

However, with a black lacy shift and this reader’s lovely hair color, I’m giddy about leaving the hair down with a bow-backed bouffant. Red locks against black lace will be too pretty to handle!

The Beauty Department gives awesome step-by-step instructions on how to get this look here. Gift shops like Paper Source or good old craft stores like Michael’s will usually have inexpensive rolls of printed grosgrain and solid satin or velvet ribbon, and sometimes vintage shops or boutiques will have baskets of notions tucked away in overlooked corners that can be a goldmine for hair accessories.

I hope that was as fun for you as it was for me.

XOXO,
FFAF

PS. Bonus tutorials for other days you feel up for experimenting, lots of every day hairstyles!

PPS. One last thing, a makeup tutorial for an easy 60s look:

 

 




SBJ @ 3:31 PM

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Friendly Reminder | July 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

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Here’s a friendly reminder that I only sporadically remember to give y’all regarding the fact that yes, indeed, Fit for a Femme has a Tumblr. It’s full of curious and pretty and weirdo things (hello, GIF of magnetic metal swallowing a piece of very buttery looking metal, are you even real?), usually related in some way to fashion, feminism or femmes. Enjoy!

Follow FFAF on Tumblr here.

XOXO,
FFAF

 




SBJ @ 11:40 AM

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