Lately, I’ve found myself eating a lot of snacks. Normally, I’m not a snacker. I eat two big meals a day and, for roughly one week per month, a third meal consistently entirely of chocolate around three in the afternoon. But as an adult I rarely snack the way I did in, say, junior year of high school, when I regularly polished off entire boxes of Cheez-Its while mindlessly surfing the still nascent internet.
But lately as in right now, here I am tossing back a plastic cup full of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies (so much tastier than their Pepperidge Farm predecessor) on the heels of two pieces of pork jerky and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. I look around the office. An economy-sized bag of peanut M&Ms holds court in the middle of a work station. Cheddar Bunnies are piled everywhere. It’s snack time at Ralph Lauren!
Point being it’s okay to have snacks in the middle of the afternoon if they’re lying around, and I probably didn’t need to eat that entire Chipotle burrito last night.
alright. high school reunion coming up and i'm heading back to ladue/st. louis. it's been awhile. what to wear?
Depends on what message you’re trying to communicate, I suppose. (I skipped my recent ten-year reunion, oops.) If there’s some dude that is still semi-in-the-picture, I’d go for broke in a classic red dress. If the mood is casual and you’re just there to throw some back with the old girl gang, how about a weird, fashiony leather short and blouse? Regardless, throw lots of sleek silver jewelry into the mix—it’s more unexpected than gold. Get a blow-out and manicure before the party, leave the yearbook at home, and when you run into people who were mean to you way back when, be super-friendly. It will drive them crazy.
My long distance boyfriend is coming into NY for our anniversary at the end of Sept. Any suggestions for dinner? Looking for something intimate and romantic, preferably in the West Village. He's not a big foodie so trying to stay away from any places with too adventurous a menu. Thanks!
Regarding your answer to the uniform question, what brand of men's button-down shirts do you prefer? I'm having a hard time finding one that isn't too tight around my hips and isn't too billowy elsewhere. I'm about 5'10" and usually wear somewhere in the size 4-6 range in dresses/skirts.
Tell me more about the yoga (please)! I'm recovering from a back injury too and miss yoga very much, but am afraid of hurting myself all over again. What poses are being recommended to you?
Hi there, I am once again new to yoga after a year’s absence from the mat. Gave it up last summer due to a back injury! My doctor guessed that yoga was the reason for pinched vertebra; she assumed (rightly) that overstraining my back in an effort to perfect poses harmed more than helped.
But I have never felt better about my body than I did when I was attending Vinyasa classes regularly, and just last month, I returned with a new focus on strengthening my body first and reaching full bow second. And instead of Vinyasa, I’m going to Iyengar classes at Yoga Shanti. Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, this practice focuses on alignment, posture, and the very tiny movements that occur in each pose. It’s a slow process with lots of talk and observation and very little flow, but I’m learning how to move in and out of each pose correctly, and that in turn makes me stronger.
As neither doctor nor yogi, I can’t advise you on poses to ease your back pain, but I do recommend trying Iyengar yoga to stretch things out and draw you back in at a careful, considerate pace (after consulting with your doc, of course). Namaste!
Hi Cary! Can you explain or just elaborate on your idea of a "uniform". I love the concept, but I have no idea how to put it into daily practice. Thank you!
For me, a uniform isn’t just owning five identical shirts and skirts and wearing them every day; it’s a set of guidelines for building my wardrobe. I used to be adventurous and try every trend, but for the last year or so, I (and, it seems, every other fashion editor) gravitate to solid black and white, simple cuts, and slim lines.
My uniform consists of skinny white jeans, men’s button-down shirts, plain black dresses, black skirts, and white t-shirts. Practically every day I wear some variation of the above. When I shop, I look for the same with special details—a black pencil skirt with a bold silver zipper, a charcoal dress with a micro pleat, an oversized oxford shirt that fits just so. I don’t want to wear the same thing every day, but I do want to feel as confident and comfortable as I possibly can.
Once you’ve experimented with enough styles and silhouettes, you should have an idea of what really makes you feel great. Is it the color red? Black denim? Bold floral prints? Fill your closet with pieces that fit those strictures and your “uniform” will happen naturally.
A year and a half ago, I moved halfway around the world to the Pacific Northwest from my hometown in South India. I left home with bittersweet feelings — I was excited for the new possibilities, but at the same time, sad to leave everything familiar and dear back home. It was a big, tumultuous move and the one thing that remained constant for me was yoga. It was my friend when I had none, it gave me a sense of purpose when I woke up each morning. For several months, I struggled with the challenges of settling in a new country — I did not know how to drive, had to get used to a winter unlike any I had experienced, find a house, furnish the house, find a job and get my life in order. It was not easy and I was often very lonely and bitter about having left so much behind. But being someone who has always been driven, I woke up and pursued yoga every day. I’d go to yoga classes nearby, and try to make friends with students. I read up about the local yoga events and community. Yoga became my best friend all over again and kept me sane and happy. It made me feel like I was home.
“I opted for a scrubbed-clean, polished look. I thought it was more important to have an intelligence that showed, a humor that never failed, and a healthy interest in men.”—Nancy “Slim” Keith, Slim: Memories of a Rich and Imperfect Life (1990)
Hi! I am going to a racing event in the end of August (i wanted to ask with enough time for an answer :D). It is a fancy ladies day event. I have never been to this type of event and I wanted to know if you had any suggestions on what I should wear. I don't want to spend a lot of money buying a crazy dress, as I am a simpler person, but I do want to look good and nice. Do you have any suggestions to help me out? Thanks!
A skirt and cardigan combo is elegant without being stodgy, provided you leave the top couple buttons undone, and any bright dress will also do. Just steer clear of sparkles, sequins, and workaday neutrals, and finish with a flat sandal or wedge heel, and you should be good to go. Not into the whole dress idea? A linen pant and loose silk top will blow away the competition. Happy styling, and have fun!
A friend and I are thinking of spending one night in NYC in the fall this year, and although we are splitting the bill for a double bed room, I have no idea which hotels to consider that won't break the bank (we're college students working part-time). Any suggestions? Midtown area is fine, but downtown is great too. Anything! Thanks!
The Ace Hotel is surprisingly cheap, given its coolness. The Jane Hotel, with its bunk bed rooms and communal bathrooms, are also ideal for the fiscally responsible. Bonus at both inns: You won’t have to go far at all for a good time late night.
I'm 29 years old and have dated just about every man under the New York sun. Nothing seems to work out. I'm constantly losing to other women and starting to feel like there's no one left. I can be happy alone, but I don't WANT to be alone. I go to bars, work on my online profile, sign up for hiking and sports activities. I'm doing everything, and nothing is happening. I'm down in the dumps. What if no one is left? Seeking advice from a dating Queen who found love in this awfully tough city.
First, let’s parse your message. You’ve dated just about every man under the New York sun? Write a list of all the men you’ve dated. Seriously. Write their names down. How many make the cut? Now multiply that number by a few thousand. That’s how many potential soul mates are out there in this empire city, taking all the important factors into consideration (age, relationship to mother, sports teams).
Sentence three: You’re constantly losing to other women. Really? Are you really losing the guys who, I don’t know, throw up in the cab after taking you to T.G.I.Friday’s and leave before dawn after a wasted romp and don’t call for ten days and then magically reappear and tuck their t-shirts into their underwear, etc. etc.? The guys with no money or dreams? The jerk-offs and asshats and wiseacres and losers? Are you really losing them? Honey, you don’t want those guys. And furthermore, it’s not a contest.
Four: I’m starting to feel like there’s no one left. Next time you leave your apartment, count all the men you pass on your way to the coffee shop next door. Check their left ring fingers. Everyone without a wedding ring might still be in the game. Every polo-wearing prepster in line at the bar at the Grey Lady is in the game. There are many men left in New York City.
Five: You can be happy alone, but you don’t want to be alone. Focus on the “I can be happy” part. Whatever makes you happy, do it. Even if you’re alone. I don’t want to be a blonde; I want dark hair like my sister. But I’m happy with blonde hair. Having blonde hair is not critical to my happiness. The same with your relationship status.
You do everything, and nothing is happening. Where are your friends? What are they doing? Are they all tied up with boyfriends? Are they introducing you to dudes? Friends of friends of friends? Are you taking a few nights off each week to do your own thing? Treat yourself like your own girlfriend, and soon the guys will stop smelling your on-the-hunt scent and pop out of corners you didn’t even know existed.
Last point: I am no dating queen—I am a girl who finally started taking her own advice.
Suggestions for summer work staples (business casual) that will keep one cool and sleek? Many thanks!
Jersey knit dresses like this one by Blue Label will look equally office appropriate with a ballet flat or an espadrille wedge. Add a blazer to meet a more conservative dress code; a denim jacket will look good in casual but A/C cold cubicles. If you prefer pants, the J.Crew chino looks awesome with a silk blouse and high heel. Just cuff the khaki to flash a little ankle.
I have a number of weddings coming up and I'm having the hardest time finding the right shoes. I'd love to find a heel that would work with my main two workhorse wedding guest dresses this summer, both of which are tailored, hourglass-enhancing sheaths - navy and a blush lace. A neutral of some sort, perhaps a light gold? I'd rather not go the sandal route, and would prefer to keep the height below 3".
The mister and I like to talk about our get-out-of-jail-free picks. You know, like, if he ran into Cindy Crawford tomorrow, and they had a wild tryst, he'd get out of jail free. I could never fault him for going even part of the way with Cindy Crawford. My list? Well, it's a lot longer than his. Herewith, the men of my unfaithful dreams:
Hi Cary!- I'm in search of some advice. My boyfriend of 8 years just asked me to move in with him (high school sweethearts). I'm a little hesitant to do so, partly because he still hasn't asked the BIG question and partly because both of our families are extremely traditional so I'm sure you can expect the hoopla that would ensue. I know you don't know all the details but what is your advice?
Easy answer: Don’t move in. Not because your parents would disapprove, but because you have doubts. Sharing a home with your boyfriend will not guarantee that he asks the BIG question, and take it from me—there is nothing worse than moving out. Also? If both sets of parents would be unhappy with their precious angels living in sin, why risk those relationships? I assume things are already great with your man if he’s inviting you to cohabitate; tell him thanks but no thanks, enjoy your independence for a little while longer, and save that call to U-Haul for another day.
I'm an introvert, but I'm also very social - I faked my way through for years before I finally got to know myself well enough to understand I was so damn burned out if I went too long without alone time. But now that I know this about myself and am sick of forcing myself to fight it, how do I still grow my social life while still maintaining some quiets nights in for just myself? I'm always either in a phase of overstimulation due to FOMO or accidentally isolating myself too much! Help?
Start by making one plan a week with a friend or small group. Keep it intimate—dinner and drinks at a favorite restaurant, a jog in the park followed by mani-pedis, etc. Then set aside one or two nights for spontaneous socializing—a college pal is in town on short notice so leave work early to meet for a drink; a coworker has an extra ticket to a concert, etc. The remaining nights you can fill as you please, but be sure to fill them. Volunteer at an after-school program, book a cooking class, take yourself out for sushi, hit back-to-back barre classes, etc. As you grow more comfortable with a packed schedule, you may grow to better appreciate your quiet nights in and more social activities. Don’t force yourself to troll crowded bars just because everyone else is doing that. There’s no faster train to Unhappyville.
Located just below Canal Street at 87 Walker, S10 manages to feel both cozy and spacious with high ceilings, low key music and a small arbor of classic weight stands and machines tucked in the back. (Non sequitur: I tend to envision exercise machines as gnarled iron trees.) Stephen [Cheuk] greets me at the front desk just as a small group is disbanding from its workout, and soon the room is empty but for us…
My story for SNEAKERREPORT.COM is now live! Go read, get inspired, and call Stephen for a training session. He’s the best!
No pets until I can pay someone to care for them, but in the meantime it's fun to play "name the puppy" (and is slightly less creepy than naming my unborn children, which, you know, I still do from time to time).
Hi Cary, what is the place to be these days for a drink with girlfriends that is below 23rd and where a typical male crowd is 30ies rather than 20ies? :) thank u!! xo
Rose Bar is a favorite. Up & Down for a late night. And on game days, my friends like to hit Ainsworth Park for the man candy (and multiple TV screens). WXOU Radio Bar for dirty dudes. ACME, maybe? And if you’re hungry for more than male attention, try Diablo Royale, where the Patrick Bateman protegés are as hot as the micheladas.
Advice for recent grads? Of the spiritual, emotional sort. In a way, I have the kind of job/relationship/life I dreamed of as a kid, but it's a roller coaster over here and I can't stop questioning myself or turn off all that other neurotic STUFF swimming through my head now that I'm fresh in the real world. I live in NYC, if it makes a difference (I think that makes the neuroses worse). Oh, and I've decided I need more close friends, but don't know where to start.
Patience, grasshopper. Your early- to mid-twenties will be rife with angst and self-doubt as you settle into your new city life, but I promise you will emerge on the other side of (approx.) 27 with a clear sense of self. To quell the beast inside, sweat. Run in the evening to catch a sunset, hit a pre-dawn spin class, turn off the A/C and dance with a pair of five-pound weights in your hand—whatever will work your heart rate. Still have nerves to spare? Keep moving! Take a sailing class or sign up for a tennis clinic. Help out with this organization after work or this non-profit on a weekend afternoon. Road trip with a friend to DIA:Beacon and Storm King, tackle your reading list, call your parents every day and say, “I love you.” Scribble at least one line in a journal every day. Then fall into bed at night too tired to think about that STUFF swimming in your head.
Oh, and get a therapist. That’s a New York mitzvah.
My family doesn’t really do Father’s Day; I find myself saying this every year yet still make a public declaration of love for my dad. Well, this year I rebel by marking the occasion on Monday. Watching him sit in the front pew at my sister’s wedding ceremony, his eyes aglow, his chin quivering, calm and strong yet so deeply moved, I realized how hard it must have been to give Jane away to her groom, how much easier to keep her for himself. I thought of all the times I’ve made him proud, how I never cease to seek his approval. Loving my father is an ultramarathon with no finish line.