lifestyle

Wonder Woman Wednesday: Lindsay Aker

The first installment of ‘Wonder Woman Wednesday’ features a good friend of mine, Lindsay Aker. We met  in college before we popped out children and sprouted crows feet. Well, she still doesn’t have crows feet so that’s not a great way to gauge the length of our friendship. In fact, she has smooth, glowing skin in her late 20’s. It’s her job.
Lindsay is a stay-at-home-mom that manages to make time to strut her stuff on the catwalk, catalogs and most recently, commercials. She makes a living being beautiful on the outside, but she makes a life out of being beautiful on the inside. (She’s arguably the most humble model on this planet and has a heart of gold.)
Her daughter, Avery (featured here), clearly has Lindsay’s natural beauty and general gangly-ness. Having a toddler, no matter how adorable, is not always a barrel of joy. She taught me importance of laughing through the terror. According to her, laughing for 15 minutes is equal to sleeping for 2 hours.
I am inspired everyday by admirable women like Lindsay and I am so excited to share this with you every Wednesday. Leave a comment below to let me know who inspires you!  
office style

Men’s Fashion in the Workplace (as told by the Banker)

Disclaimer: Please note I asked my husband, the Banker, to create a post to speak about men’s fashion in the workplace. The opinions expressed in his post are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bethanimalprint. 


Fresh to Def. 



Old and Busted. 

*Mad respect for Richard Gere, though. In the 80’s, the above suit probably guaranteed that Mr. Gere would never have to pay for a Fuzzy Navel.  

Yo. Banker here. Since I spend my days closing deals and eating steaks, my wife believes I’m an authority on the fashionable male. And you know what? She’s right. 

A component of my job is dealing in risk management, so I’ve decided to outline what I believe are ‘Office Style Risks.’ They are as follows:

  • Risk:  Wearing a square-toed shoe…at any time.  Wearing these is the most surefire way to proclaim “my shoes are cheap and I’m probably jellin.”  Mitigant: Wingtips, man.
  • Risk: Wearing black dress shoes with navy/tan/khakis slacks. I don’t give a shit what the cigarette-smoking dude from Men’s Wearhouse tells you; black shoes paired with anything other than grey or black pants is not going to look good on you. I guarantee it.  Mitigant:  Pair your navy slacks with cordovan cap toes, like these.
    • Inconsistent messaging side bar: It’s completely acceptable (and encouraged!) to wear brown dress shoes with light grey dress pants.  
  • Risk: Wearing a crew-neck t-shirt under your dress shirt.  It’s challenging to express how much credibility you lose when you show up to a meeting with a white tee clearly visible under your work attire. You’re either a new hire or nearing retirement. Either way I’ve stopped listening to you. Mitigant:  Wear a v-neck under your dress shirt. Or, if you’re from San Jose, a sleeveless tank top.  
  • Risk: Mixing patterns (excludes shirt/tie pattern mixing). This is likely an affront to men’s fashion mags, but it’s important to separate style and office style. When you pair a gingham shirt with baggy pinstripe dress slacks, it signals you’re the type of person who uses their mouse to navigate excel sheets.  Mitigant: Don’t do that.
  • Risk: Showing up with a floppy collar. Of all office fashion missteps, this is the most cringe-inducing. If your collar forms a ‘U’ shape, you’re probably the guy that microwaves salmon in the office breakroom. Mitigant: Iron your shirt. Also, invest in some collar stays, like these.  Not only will they keep your collar straight, they also serve as a screwdriver and bottle opener. Boomstick.

So now that I’ve outlined common office style risks and provided tools to mitigate them, let’s take some questions from readers:


Question:  Dear Banker, I still wear some of my old suits from 5-10 years ago. Unfortunately, they have pleats and no less than four buttons. Are they still acceptable to wear to a job interview?
Guy living with his parents, Burlingame, CA

The Banker (TB): Only if you’re interviewing for a bartending job at your local Elk’s lodge. Time to update. Basically, all the features you outlined above should no longer be present on anything you buy today.


Question:  What do you think of this whole funky sock movement?  Do you partake? 
Hopeful deal closer and steak eater, San Francisco, CA


TB: Not only do I fully support the funky sock movement, I’m a Ted Baker/Psycho Bunny/Thomas Pink client.  Look, we don’t work in an environment where you can wear checkered pink/blue/yellow pants and still maintain credibility. My advice is to be subtle with your flair in the office; wear slim-fitting, tailored dress clothes and pair them with crazy socks.


Question: Are loafers okay in the workplace?

– Confused Esquire Reader, Los Angeles, CA


TB: This is polarizing, but I’m going to say no. Loafers make the owner appear lazy. Until you’ve hit a point in your career in which your bonuses alone put you in the 1%, loafers should be reserved for Fridays.  


Question: When I wear an undershirt (v-neck, of course), it becomes untucked and all the extra fabric gathers at my waistline pushing my unstable psyche toward Amanda Bynes-ian levels. What do I do?!
– Guy embarrassing himself, Phoenix, AZ  


TB: Two things: 1) Buy Hanes slim fit v-neck t shirts (less fabric) and 2) tuck said shirt into your boxer waistband. It works and no one has to know.  


Question:  Can I wear jeans with flip flops?
Guy who takes selfies, Scottsdale, AZ


TB: Stop it.

That’s all the time we have for today; stay tuned for my next post, “Everything is sticky,” about the joys of parenting.  

Cheers,
The Banker

*Photos originally from GQ Style Guide (gq.com) and The Awl (theawl.com)

lifestyle

Wonder Woman Wednesday – Julie Wagne

Okay – I’m totes excited.  The subject of this week’s Wonder Woman (WW) is one of the most amazing people I’ve met.  Not only is our WW a successful banker and entrepreneur, but she is an outstanding human being with two adorable daughters (both of which are multilingual) and married a man who can cook like Emeril.  I could easily dedicate a Daily Affirmation to her, but I’ll let the words of Julie Wagne take it from here:

Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
My name is Julie Wagne, and I work as a research analyst (high yield bonds and loans) at Wells Capital by day and Petel co-founder with my husband, Ibrahima, by night. We have lived in Hayes Valley, right in the middle of San Francisco since 2002. 

You are a bit of a world traveler. Could you share some of the favorite places you been – and the unique experiences you’ve had? 
Definitely Jamaica and Mauritania. I truly love West Africa, and have traveled around Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana as well. I love hot places and sand, apparently, and nice people! My favorite city in the world, though, is Paris.
I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Peace Corps in 2000, and spent two years in Mauritania teaching English and computers to high school students in a small village there. It changed my life in so many ways. I met my now husband Ibrahima there, and he moved to the US (San Francisco) shortly after me, where we got married and are now raising our two daughters, ages 7 and 2. 
You and your husband recently started your own line of handmade goods. Tell us a bit about Petel Designs.
Petel was an idea to start a company where we could encourage artisans in Ibrahima’s home country (Mauritania) to continue their craft and make things that would appeal to people here in the US and Europe. They still hand loom and weave these beautiful textiles for ceremonial purposes. However, it is a dying art, as the technique is labor-intensive and tedious. We want to encourage the older weavers to train the younger generation, and therefore we are purchasing and commissioning them to make pieces for Petel, that we then sew in San Francisco into fun accessories and home décor (clutches, totes, pillows, table runners, etc). You can see what we have available, as new shipments come in on our website. 

What is the hardest product to keep “on the shelves” and where can we find it?
Our newest item, the Aissata Clutch (named after Ibrahima’s mother), is definitely the hardest to keep on the shelves. We are using small pieces of vintage Mauritanian wedding blankets paired with super soft lambskin from Napa Hide house, and gold  zippers from Japan. Combined, these elements create a wonderful and useful clutch that is super soft to the touch. We sell out almost immediately each time we make a new one. 
What is the one item you’d be willing to splurge on for yourself? 
Scarves, as a San Franciscan, I rarely ever go out without a scarf!

Let’s bring the banker lingo out of the fashion mogul for a moment. Bullish or Bearish on the following trends…
Haha…I’ll need your Banker’s input on these, too…

  1. crop tops: Bullish for Bethanimal, bearish in general!
  2. high waited pants: Bullish.
  3. brightly colored tresses: Like with chalk hair dye? Bullish. Actually, any color, permanent or temporary, I love the look. My older daughter and I have both done some semi-permanent streaks of bright blue and pink. 
  4. nail art: Super bullish, especially glittery accents.
  5. statement necklaces: Bullish.
  6. monochrome outfits: Bullish – I want to try this look myself. 

What is your approach to dressing your two beautiful girls?
I go to work so early (banker hours!), so I have no say in the matter…they have great tastes themselves, and have always picked out their own clothes, which are sometimes African, and usually hand-me-downs or mini-splurges from J.Crew (Crewcuts), H&M, and American Apparel. 

Any advice on traveling with little ones?
Not really, other than to just do it. It’s good for everyone to discover new places and see different ways of life. We always come home with fun new ideas and inspirations for living, cooking, crafting, etc.

What advice to you have for women trying to balance career and family?
Again, just do it?! Do whatever works for your family, and yourself. I don’t think there are any right answers, except the ones that you find for yourself. Keep everyone happy and healthy.


lifestyle

1 Shirt, 5 ways

Photos by: Julia Ralston
Shirt: Zara (similar here) Skirt: Lulu’s / Shoes: Zara / Necklace: Lulu’s

I know each of these ladies personally and have wanted to introduce them to each other and to all of you for sometime now. I’m delighted this striped shirt has given me ample opportunity to build the bridge. I hope you all get a kick out of the way we each style this adorable vertical striped number.

I styled mine with a neon yellow mini complete with dart details. The darts give this skirt a great shape. In the spirit of 80’s reminiscent neon, I detailed this ensemble with a gold chain. I kept the sandals simple, but have to say a nice pair of Valentino Rockstud Patent Leather Ankle Strap Pumps would tie this ensemble together nicely. Unfortunately for me, they cost as much as one month of child care.

Be sure to check out Moi Contre La VieSF Shop Girl, Once Upon a Blog, and Cara’s Cliche to get the scoop on how these little angels styled their black-and-white blouse.
lifestyle

Floral Slouchy Pants

Top: Forever21 / Jacket: Halogen (similar here) / Pants: Sugarlips – from Fashion Elles (similar here) / Pumps: Tory Burch (similar here) / Bracelets: J.Crew, BaubleBar and Jami / Sunnies: RayBan
Hands down, one of the best things about moving to California is the gorgeous, colorful flowers that bloom this time each year. Spring wasn’t even a thought when I lived in Arizona, but it’s all that is on my mind in CA. Pieces of Spring are apparent in my clothes, accessories and even in my home decor. 
I paired these Spring pants with a basic top last seen here and a tweed jacket with leather trim. I scored this sweet jacket at last Spring’s (gasp) Nordstrom Semi-Annual Sale. This year’s Semi-Annual has also led me to acquire a new jacket and I’ll show you that one soon! 
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend and Happy Memorial Day!
beauty, office style

Pretty Pretty Bang Bang

In 6th grade I noticed several of the popular 8th grade girls wearing make-up. They would touch it up in the bathrooms of our middle school making themselves have dark liquid-y rimmed eyes and full brown-lined lips. Obviously, I needed to start this ritual stat.
I asked, no begged, my mom for make-up for what seemed to be eons before she caved. She wasn’t a beauty guru herself (she had the same Maybelline eye shadow palate for most of her adult life) so, she was apprehensive and confused about this urge to paint my face. She reluctantly equipped me with clear mascara and a Covergirl compact.
Decades later, I’m pretty clever with concealer and steady handed with my Sigma eyeliner brushes, but will still defer to a professional artist when the occasion requires.
When one of the most respected fashion news sources came to shoot me and ‘office style’ at YouTube, I happily put my face in the hands of Pretty Parlor A GoGo, a traveling beauty salon that periodically visits our offices. Who am I to not capitalize on such serendipitous timing?
I had The Banker document the most symmetrical cat-eye I’ve ever had.  I’ll share more about our offices and the shoot when it comes out at the end of this month!

 

beauty

Get Ready With Me Video

When L’Occitane reached out and asked me to make a video, I was all like, “hell no.” My day job allows me to empower YouTube creators, but certainly doesn’t require that I become one. But I changed my mind because I didn’t want to let the seven years I spent in performing arts schools as a kid go to a complete waste. The video is only one minute long, but took me at least five hours to make (stupid editing). I hope you enjoy it! P.S. These products really are incredible. I have never been so illuminated…not even when I was pregnant.

Watch it here!

lifestyle

Urban Combat

Wearing top: F21 (similar here), pants: Gap (similar here), heels: Zara, necklace: Baublebar x Honestly WTF, bag: JustFab

Nothing helps you blend in like styling camo pants with a neon blouse and heels for a shopping trip to Draeger’s. Wait, I meant not blend in. Surprisingly, none of my fellow shoppers gave me questionable looks, even when I teetered in my heels with Harlowe on my shoulders. (Hashtag, mutantpower).

The moderately unconventional pattern gives me a much needed break from traditional denim and I totally enjoy how the cropped hem of these pants gets me through that transitional Spring to Summer period. I paired them with my new favorite heels from Zara. They are shockingly comfortable (read: they feel like l paid more than $80) and they look more designer-y than not. I want them in nude stat.

lifestyle

Wonder Woman Wednesday: Ali Levine

I am so excited to share this interview with you because Ali Levine is incredibly informed and well-rounded when it comes to the fashion industry. We studied Merchandising together at Northern Arizona University; after which she began her career working for Target and went on to design for some of the biggest names in the industry including Coach. She transitioned to a career as a celebrity stylist in 2010 and has been working on all sorts of shows, ranging from working with Shia LeBeouf on ‘Wall Street Money Never Sleeps’ to Kanye West’s ‘World Throne’ Tour. She now lives in LA with her husband and two shockingly fashionable cats named Dolce and Ferragamo. Check out her blog where she spills about it all.

How did you get started as a stylist?
I got started as a stylist by working as a PA on movies and television. I was fortunate to work with some of the best people in this business and learn from them.

What is the best part about your job?
There are so many parts of my job I love. But the best is what I call my “stylist moment” – when everything comes together and I can see the confidence & happiness on my client’s face.

Do you have any advice for other women hoping to become stylists?
My advice for other women looking to get into this business: Work hard. This business is extremely tough, and you have to really want it. Learn from every job, and don’t turn down any opportunity.

What would you be if you were not styling celebs for shoots and the red carpet?
If I was not styling 24/7, I think I would be designing a line.  I used to design in the corporate world, I think I’d have fun doing that for a career as well!

Who were your favorite celebs to style?
My shoot with Bachelorette & mom Emily Maynard was so much fun and she is just the sweetest! I also just worked with Toks Olagundoye of ‘The Neighbors’ – that woman is fierce and so much fun to style on set! 
Jesse McCartney is so talented and down to earth. The new Mad Men copywriter, Kit Williamson, is so nice and quite the character!

If we stopped you on the street, what would you be wearing?
If you stopped me on the street right this minute, chances are you’d catch me with one of my many faux furs, a dress, Michael Kors strappy heels or BCBG peep toes, layers of jewelry and most likely my aviators.

How would you describe your style?
My style really can’t be put into one category. I love mixing all elements and making it all work together! There are days you will see me in bright colors and floral, total girly girl, and then there are moments where I’m wearing my studded moto jacket, boots & leather leggings with my faux fur.

What is in your bag right now?
‘Everything but the kitchen sink’ really rings true for me here! I just never know what I might need or, fashion emergency, who I may run into! Pins, velcro, seam ripper, thread, anti bacterial, shout wipes, make up, and more. Put it this way ladies: For my bridal shower, I won the game for who has the most in their purse! 

Okay, now spill. What bag are you carrying?
Right now, I am carrying a Marc Jacobs navy & black bag (my new favorite in the handbag world). Although, I have been switching it up lately for spring with my purple leopard D&G tote.

What is one thing not many people know about you?
This crazy red hair is actually my natural hair color. Oh, and I hate vegetables.