ASK SARAH: WHAT DO I WEAR FOR A FIRST DATE?

Hi Sarah,

I’m hoping you can help me.  I’m recently single after ending a 7 year relationship and am starting to date. I actually have my first date next week, with a guy I might really like.  My self esteem is at an all time low and I don’t want that to come across on my date.  Do you have any suggestions on something to wear to a dinner date?  Thanks!  -Carrie

hi carrie,

thanks for writing!  it’s true, a killer outfit will boost your self esteem and make easing back into the dating world a less scary experience.  i’m going to give you two options, and hopefully one of them feels like your style!  good luck to you, happy dating!  xx- sarah  

OPTION 1:  a silk romper feels playful, sexy and easy.  paired with strappy heels and great accessories you’re pretty much guaranteed to look and feel like a total fox.  i’d wear hair down and a coral lip gloss to vamp it up a bit.  add your favorite gold watch and a simple bangle and you’re completely styled! 

SHOP IT:  romper: rory beca (a more budget friendly version here), shoes: zara, necklace: j crew, bag: zara

OPTION 2:  this spotted dress is flirty, breezy and designed to flatter any shape!  add a simple gold necklace, a fun watch and throw your hair into a messy pony.  you’ll look effortlessly put together and chic.

SHOP IT:  dress: topshop, heels: boutique 9, vest: topshop (another here), bag: zara, lipstick: nars

ASK SARAH: SNAP HAPPY CAMERA CHOICE?

hi sarah,

the photographs on a house in the hills are beautiful and I’m wondering if you have any advice for a fellow blogger looking for a good digital camera.  any advice would be appreciated. thank you!  – carmine {answer after the jump}

hi carmine,

this is a question i get asked a lot so i think it’s about time i answer it!  since i require the best of the best for the work i do with birds of a featheri use the canon 5d mark III and love it more than any other.  but i think it’s overkill for a blogger camera, unless you’re shooting all the time and making a pretty penny off your blog.  the camera i would recommend for any beginner photographer or blogger is the canon rebel. it’s the camera my students used when i taught photography at a local art college and i saw some really amazing work produced with it.  

there is however a caveat – image quality is hugely dependant on the quality of the lens you’re using.  i prefer to use prime lenses (meaning, no zoom!) but that’s expensive and not what i’d recommend for someone looking for a blogging camera.  instead i’d recommend the canon 24-70 mm for any professional blogger who wants to invest in their equipment.  this lens is super high quality (i know you probably died a little inside when you saw the price) and also extremely versatile.  you can shoot food, landscapes, people and still life’s without having to think about swapping it out for another.  for those reasons i think it’s a brilliant pick and can’t be beat.  but if you can’t afford the lens don’t sweat it, use the one it comes with and you’ll still be ahead of the game!  happy snapping carmine!   xx- sarah  

photo via

ASK SARAH: WHAT TO WEAR TO AN OFFICE JOB?

Dear Sarah,

I would love a post on what to wear to work. All you ladies who own creative businesses and dress so stylin’ everyday make me jealous! My office is business casual and although I don’t have to wear a suit everyday I have trouble putting something together that is professional but still cool and creative. Any advice?

Thank you!  -Katy

 

dear katy,

thanks for the great email!  you are the sweetest for thinking that I dress all stylish everyday.  here’s the reality of my working from home situation:  i have a grey cotton onesie (as in: long sleeves, pants, drawstring waist) that i spend 85% of my life in. ok, i have two.  and i rotate them.  i have my husband take pictures of me when i DO manage to get dressed and leave our house because it’s just that much of an occasion.  HA!  i kid.  kind of.  

along with my pair of grey onsesies i also have a very rich fantasy life where i get dressed to go into an office everyday.  so here is my advice:  invest in a high quality and versatile handbag, buy pieces that can be mixed and matched, make best friends with accessories (they’ll be what make you look put together). most importantly: remember that clothes are a tool that can be used to send a message to the people you work with. think about what message it is you want to send and invest time in putting together outfits that send it loud and clear.  good luck katy!  xx- sarah

who this is for:  the young femme in a creative field who wants to be taken seriously but doesn’t want to lose herself in business casual dressing.

why this look works:  it’s playful but still put together and polished.    it says “i take my job seriously, but I also have a personality.  RESPECT!”, which is what you want your clothes to say about you, right?  a simple gold necklace like this one and one of these will take this outfit to the next level.  

SHOP IT HERE:  zara blouse, linea pelle belt, philip lim pashli zip satchel bag, j crew pants, zara flats

TWO MORE LOOKS AFTER THE JUMP!

who this is for:  the sophisticated woman in a professional environment who wants her clothes to be stylish but not a distraction. 

why this look works:  the dress is graphic and bold, the booties bring something unexpected and the necklace adds a pop of color and draws eye right on up to the face (which is where you really want people looking!)  ad another pop oof color with a coral lipstick or gloss and you’re KILLING IT!!

SHOP IT HERE:  zara dress, j crew necklace, philip lim pashli zip satchel, elizabeth and james booties

who this is for: casual friday for anyone who can get away with it!

why this look works: these black pants aren’t denim so you can wear them to the office without worries.  on any other day of the week you can pair them with a blouse and look perfectly dressed up. the leopard shoes bring some pattern to the look and the chambray shirt is effortlessly chic. add red lips and a well styled ponytail to pull it all together.

SHOP IT HERE:  madewell blouse (similar here), paige denim pants, linea pelle belt, phillip lim pashli zip satchel, zara flats

 

**do you have a question you’d like answered?  i’m not a one trick pony, you can email me about anything and i’ll search high and low for an answer, i promise.  sarah@sarahyates.com

ASK SARAH: HOW DO I GET BANGIN’ BANGS?

// question //

hi sarah, your hair always looks so great, and especially your bangs! i just joined the forehead fringe club, and i was wondering if you had any tips for styling them? particularly keeping them in place so you don’t end up rocking a frontal toupee look, and making them look nice and full! (that second part may just be a personal fine-haired problem). thanks  – virginia

// answer //

hi virginia,

thanks for writing!  i have a love affair with bangs.  when i first cut mine in 2010 my hair-life changed forever. but it did take me a minute (or a year) to figure out how to best manage them.  here are my tips for embracing the fringe and making the best of a most versatile hair-do!  

- if you’re concerned about having fine hair and bangs my first recommendation is to see a great colorist!  they can add so much depth and dimension to your hair and give you the appearance of a thicker bang with color alone (highlights and a variety of color creates layers and works wonders)!  also go for a bang-cut that starts farther back on your head.  for example, that pretty red head above- her bangs start pretty far back and it definitely helps with her situation since she doesn’t have the thickest hair!  also, keep them on the long side for a similar look.

- blow dry immediately after showering.  this might not be necessary for those with super straight hair but if you have even a hint of wave this is critical!  when i first cut bangs i used this product in wet hair to help “train”them to lay flat.  this was especially important for me because i have a big ol’ widow’s peak (yes, kids teased me and said i was a vampire in 5th grade)

- when blow-drying, hold hair dryer over top of head and blow dry down on your bangs… you’re basically drying them in the place you want them to stay

- i use this travel sized flat iron to go in after the blow dry and flatten the ends.  in my experience if i flat iron the entire fringe, it gets suuuppper flat, so i just stick the the very tips where the blow dry wasn’t able to do the job

- and this trick i learned from my hairdresser- spray hairspray (i like this one) onto fingertips, rub together and then use fingers to put the tiniest amount onto a few pieces of your bangs- this gives you a little hold while simultaneously avoiding the oh-so-awkward BANG HELMUT!  seriously- avoid the bang helmet at all costs.  if the wind blows, you want your bangs to move.  even if they move to a less ideal place, at least you won’t look like you’ve time traveled form the 80’s.  and that’s a good thing, in case it’s in question.

- so those are my tips!  friends, do you have advice for virginia?  feel free to chime it!  

EMAIL ME AT SARAH@SARAHYATES.COM TO HAVE YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

photo one : susan kindt  photo two: vogue, germany 

ASK SARAH: tips for keeping your love life healthy?

hi sarah,

i come from a family of divorce and i worry a lot about my own marriage failing.  we’re newlyweds and things are great, but i think that’s the case for most newlyweds.  i’m wondering if you have any advice for us.  it seems like you and lou have a good thing going.  thanks!  – cassie  

hi cassie!  

thanks so much for writing.  i’m so sorry to hear you’re worrying about this but i think it’s normal for people who have experienced divorce through their parents to have mixed feelings about marriage.  years of therapy taught me this: you are not your parents.  repeat it to yourself every time you start to worry that you’ll end up turning into them!  your awareness of it already puts you ahead of the game.   {more after the jump}

we’re still kind of newlyweds ourselves and trying to learn as we go!  but here are my thoughts: for keeping a marriage healthy i think the most important thing to do is to make it a priority.  life gets busy and it’s easy to take your partner and your marriage for granted, especially as the years go by and you get more and more comfortable with each other.  but this can lead to a growing distance that i think in the long run could result in one or both of you falling out of love.  so make sure you spend that time to make your partner feel loved, to keep the romance going, and to make sure you’re both getting your needs met in the relationship. invest in your marriage the way you invest in your other relationships.  making it a priority is the first step towards making it last.

the other thing that i think can help is to stay far away from the comparison game.  looking at other people’s marriages and thinking that they have it better or that the grass might be greener somewhere else (with someone else) will keep you from appreciating what YOU have.  and as well all know, appearances can be deceiving.  you never know what goes on behind closed doors with married friends, so it’s best to just assume they have many of the same problems you do.  

what do you think friends?  do you have advice for how to keep your marriage strong for cassie (and me!)? would love to hear your thoughts!  xx- sarah

*photo by max wanger.  see more of our wedding here

ASK SARAH: are you still following the macrobiotic diet?

question:  

hello sarah, i was just wondering if you still follow a macrobiotic diet? or are you more on the vegan program? i was curious how long you followed it and how it effected you? it seems so strict, but i have a digestive disorder and i have heard it’s a pretty helpful diet to follow. i’d love to hear your insight. thanks!

answer after the jump!

answer:

this is a question i’ve been asked a few times and i’m really looking forward to answering (i’ll also be posting this in the crohn’s section so that as time passes it doesn’t disappear into the archives!) let me preface my answer by saying that i am not a trained health professional and my advice is just coming from personal experience.  i do recommend seeing a macrobiotic counselor, a holistic health care provider, a naturopath, and/or  our physician before making any changes. 

i love the macrobiotic diet (learn more about it here) as it’s truly such an incredibly healthy way to eat. when i was recovering from this i tried to eat as macro as i could.  i never fully grasped the whole yin/yang thing which is a major part, but found that just the basic principles and using the food pyramid helped me understand what i should be eating and what i should be avoiding.  so this meant i ate a lot of whole grains, vegetables, beans, soups and small amounts of fruit.  i added all kinds of new foods to my life and started a love affair with vegetables.  i avoided dairy, meat, fish, eggs, sugar, flour and almost all processed foods.  i made sure that my seasonings were mild- no excess in either salt or sweet.  i chewed my food until it was liquid (amazingly helpful for your digestion!) and i tried to eat mostly local, seasonal produce.  it was incredibly good for my system at the time and helped me get back to health so quickly.  for this reason i swear by it for anyone looking to heal their body-from anything!

macrobiotics is a lifestyle, not just a diet, which is another part of what i think is brilliant about it.  i believe that stress is a huge contributing factor in modern health and illness.  i have to make sure that i manage my stress levels or i see my health deteriorate.  i’ve learned from experience- if my diet is poor and my stress levels are high i am pretty much guaranteed to start having pain in my stomach.  if i continued down that path i would no doubt end up with a full blown crohn’s flare up.  for me it’s always a great reminder that my life is out of balance and i go immediately back to clean eating and take time to do the things that reduce stress (exercise, transcendental meditation, sunbathing, movie dates with my husband, bike rides, etc).

as time passed and my health improved i started to trust myself a little more and began being a little less restrictive in my diet.  this means that if i’m out with friends and everyone is sharing dessert- i’m the first to pick up my spoon and the last to set it down.  when we vacationed in greece i tried all the local fish dishes and ate my weight in feta cheese. i would have been fine had i come home and immediately transitioned back into my clean eating but instead i continued to have “treats” until i started to feel it and was reminded that i really have to eat a certain way to feel healthy.  

my dietary focus now is eating healthy 95% of the time.  this means that 95% of the time i’m eating lots of (ORGANIC!) veggies and fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, and some macrobiotic favorites (miso soup & sea vegetables).  i avoid animal products, refined sugar and processed foods. lately i’ve been trying to eat more raw foods as they offer the most nutrition and i’ve been starting each day with a glass of warm lemon water and this juice.  i’ve also found that giving my digestive system breaks (through juice cleanses) has been incredible.  i feel my very best when i’m eating very light (ie: smaller, raw meals) and drinking lots of fresh juices.  i’ve been teaching myself how to cook and have so much fun playing in the kitchen.  i don’t feel at all deprived, instead i feel like there’s a whole world of foods that i’ve become aware of since starting to eat this way.  the 5% of the time is when i’m traveling or socializing and i still try to eat healthy but will also have some of the things i normally avoid.  especially sweets, i love a sugary treat.

i know it sounds crazy but i feel so fortunate to have gotten sick.  i feel better now than i ever have, and i attribute that entirely to my change of diet and lifestyle. if you’re reading this and you’re completely healthy- there is nothing better than preventative medicine! i consider every green juice i drink a little bit of preventative medicine and feel confident that this way of life will keep me healthy for the long haul. autoimmune diseases like crohn’s are on the rise in this country and women are the most likely to get sick (statistics here if you’re interested- the numbers are staggering).  i believe that we can prevent and treat most (if not all) autoimmune disease with dietary/lifestyle changes.    

here are two cookbooks that played a major role in my recovery:  the kind diet, the hip chick’s guide to macrobiotics.  both books offer insight into macrobiotics and recipes that aren’t overwhelming.  the recipes that i post are most often things that are a part of my regular diet, but i also post the occasional treat.  it’s all about balance! wishing you all the best, health and happiness!  xx- sarah

*please feel free to email me any questions you have for my ASK SARAH series at sarah@sarahyates.com  

image from here