Faking it in New York- 6 Months In by Allyse Francis

Brooklyn Living

Hey! It’s been a while… Like a long while so let’s get this update out of the way!! Technically it’s almost 7 months living here, but 6 months is the halfway point. It’s been a helluva ride so far, and I’m just now getting started. My apartment living isn’t too shabby: I’m living in East Williamsburg/Bushwick (depending on who you ask) along with my two roommates who are almost never home. They both are from Long Island so they go home practically every weekend, which is nice because I enjoy my alone time. I’m casually perusing 1 bedroom apartments and holy shit it is E X P E N S I V E, but I really want to live alone. It’s probably a control thing. I want the mess in my home to be mine, the furniture and the way things are decorated to be mine, and mostly I want to only clean up my things. It’s my goal that at the end of the year/when my lease is up that I will be in a financially secure situation to move out on my own!

Work Life

I started a long term temp situation after the PA job I moved here for fell through. Long Story Short: They ran out of funding and could not longer pay me. Currently, I am the office manager at the Moda Operandi studio. I get to be surrounded by incredible luxury fashion brands every day, I’m learning more about e-commerce and trends, and the people there make coming to work so much more enjoyable. Expect more on this soon.
As for photography etc. it’s been pretty slow, but since I’ve shifted focus to learning and expanding my craft along with a slew of personal projects I don’t mind at all.

Personal Life

My personal life is… doing better. I’m used to being such a homebody that I kinda forgot that I live in one of the greatest cities in the world. I need to not be afraid to go out and do things and explore on my own. I’m blogging again/more often, and hanging out with friends. Luckily, my work friends are pretty amazing so I’ve found my little posse and enjoying life rn.

What to expect in the future:

  • More blogs

  • A Youtube

  • Travel photos

  • Product Reviews

  • Personal Style photos

I’m excited to show you fall in the city!! So stay tuned!!
What are you looking forward to the most about the weather change?

Chaz Taylor Mini Shoot- Monarch Rooftop Lounge by Allyse Francis

Chaz Taylor- New York City

It was a blustery February evening when I did 3 mini shoots for NYC Bloggers. The first up was Chaz Taylor, a model, content creator, and real estate agent in New York City. He wore a gorgeous red and black animal print suit from Zara, and a black turtle neck from Rag and Bone. He attracted quite a lot of attention from the ladies with his outfit and his cheekbones. Chaz had such good energy, and I absolutely adore him and the vibe he brought to the shoot!!

If you’re interested in booking a fashion or portrait session please click here! I look forward to hearing from you.

NYC Brunch Squad- While We Were Young by Allyse Francis

While We Were Young

NYC Brunch Squad

While We Were Young

The NYC Brunch Squad met up one New York morning in Chelsea to dine at the quaint, yet elegant, While We Were Young. From the cocktails and food to the decorations it was an incredible event to photograph.

While We Were Young NYC- Too Good For You

Too Good For You

Tequila/ Agave/ Kale/ Lime/ Cucumber

Photographed by Brooklyn blogger, Allyse Francis

Meet Your Bartender…

Darrow Beach

@baldbartendernyc

A MASSIVE “Thank You” goes out to Mr. Darrow Beach who created the signature cocktails of the morning. They were unique, colorful, and (most importantly) they tasted incredible!


If You're a Bird, I'm a Bird- While We Were Young NYC

If You’re a Bird, I’m a Bird

Grey Goose La Poire/Honey/Lavender/Pear Juice/Lemon


Not only were the drinks delicious the food was also incredible to look at and divine to eat! Check out the slideshow below to seethe various dishes at the event! (Some I couldn’t get to in time)

 
Photographed by Brooklyn Blogger, Allyse Francis

Burrata

Spiced Poached Pear/ Charcoal/ Lavendar Coriander Honey


Final Thoughts

While We Were Young NYC is a treat to visit. It’s a unique and trendy boutique restaurant that offers a great photograph-able experience for anyone who wants to add a little atmosphere to their dining experience. It is on the pricier side, but I do think that it is well worth the experience

ELB Handmade Lingerie: Review! by Allyse Francis

ELB Handmade Review!!!

Humming Bird Bralette- ELB Lingerie

Humming Bird Bralette- ELB Lingerie

Tictail has put me in the way of some fantastic brands since I've discovered their e-commerce site this year. I've already bought a  couple things from there, so far I've been 3/3 well beyond satisfied.

ELB Handmade is one of the first stores I've stumbled upon. The lingerie designs were simple but unique, and I loooooved the fabrics the person chose to make them from. Their stand out pieces were the embroidered bralette and panty sets, and they were absolutely divine. What stood out even more was the price point: In a world with sets going $100+ for something handmade, ELB Handmade made bra and panty sets for $25.

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Usually when that happens it is WAY too good to be true, right? It was why I didn't click the "buy" button immediately, but I'm SO glad I did. Also, a moment of silence for all the bra and panty sets I missed out on because I waited too long.... 

I ordered two items: The Hummingbird Bra, and the BlueBell High-waisted Set. The Hummingbird Bra was on pre-sale so I knew that I would have to wait a little bit for it to get to me, so I waited... and waited........ and waited (for a month and a half). I sent several emails with no return.

Bluebell High Waisted Set- ELB Lingerie

Bluebell High Waisted Set- ELB Lingerie

 

Frustrated, I freaked out and reported my purchase to Tictail. They can't do anything, really, because they aren't the ones selling the goods... however if there's enough complaints then they can drop the store from their site. I've gotten burned a couple times in my venture for online goods and lingerie, so I tend to go hard and merciless when it comes to either getting my money back or getting the goods I paid for.

ELB Handmade got back to me swiftly, and courteously. Turns out my stuff got lost in the mail (our mailing system suuuuuucks) and sent me a replacement package with a tracking number.

I got my package a little bit ago, and I am in LOOOOOOVE. It's exactly as pictured. The bralettes fit like a dream as does the underwear! ELB Lingerie also gave me an additional white bralette as an apology (I'M WEARING IT AS I TYPE!!!). Everything was true to size, and made of great high quality materials. No loose threads, not wonky sewing. The bralette lay flat against my my breasts even though there was extensive embroidery on it. It wasn't stiff or anything! I can even wear them under some of my blouses without the ridges peeping through! AMAZINGGGGGGGG!

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Even though there was a rough patch in the delivery (something that was out of both our hands) I am definitely going to buy from them again, because they're a genuinely great company, and supporting small businesses is more important than ever! I can't wait to shoot these pieces so I can buy more! They even have a little button where you can add adjustable straps etc to your purchase. As it stands, the bralette fit is perfect for me, but I'll definitely try it out and report back on it later.

TL;DR- ELB Handmade is the business, and hell yeah I would buy again.


Below are some of my favorite pieces from the ELB Handmade store, be sure to check them out on Tictail!:

Do you have a favorite item of their??? List them below and be sure to follow me on Tictail for all my fashion favorites!!!!

"It's MonMULEmental!" "Too Mule For School" And Other Mule Related Puns by Allyse Francis

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So Many Mule Puns!

I never thought I'd be the type to actually like mules. They looked a bit drab, and outdated... and frankly they looked like house shoes but with sturdier soles.

However, there are companies who are creating statement mules that are both fashionable AND comfortable.

Go figure. 

I really enjoy flat mules because you just slip them on and go. Running late? Slide on a pair of statement mules to elevate an otherwise "blah" outfit, and they're fairly easy to move around in, too! Grab a pair that is in a bright color, has some funky tassels.... maybe some pom poms? OR you can do what I did and try for the trifecta.

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A general thing that I look for when picking out mules, especially for heels, are the toes. A pointed toed shoe will extend your foot and make your legs look longer, and yourself look taller. I also look at funky/weird/standout features like colors, textures, and accessories to make sure that they stand out in a crowd.

 

Photos by AFrierson Photography

Feeling a bit stumped on where to find some statement mules? Here are my favorites below:

 

 

Do you like this mule trend? Let me know in the comments below

How to Create the Perfect Billowy Blouse Look by Allyse Francis

One of my favorite go-to's this summer is wearing an over-sized blouse with fitted pants. It's effortless, sophisticated, and (when styled right) can be incredibly sexy!

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The Blouse

First things first, creating a billowy look is surprisingly easy. You just need a loose fitting top. I like to size up for an over-sized look. I'm a bit "bigger" on my bottom (Thank you for that Francis Ass) so I compensate by getting a shirt that is at least a medium or bigger. The blue striped shirt pictured above is actually an XL, which I didn't figure out until I purchased it and took home from TJ Maxx.  

Go figure.

From there I simply roll my sleeves up, and I don't really care about getting both of them super symmetrical, as it's meant to look a little "lived in" and casual. This shirt also came with a couple of cuff bands that I can't quite get myself to cut off just yet, although they're more of a nuisance than anything else at this point.  Like I said, It is suuuuuper easy going, but if I wanted something a bit more polished then I would definitely take the time to measure and iron out a J-Crew type cuff.

Obviously, I couldn't find an exact shirt from the look I shot, because lol TJ Maxx. However, I did collect some of similar styled tops that would give the same billowy oversized affect that I adore so much. I also tried to keep it under $50 (with the exception of 1) to make it affordable!!

The Amazon links are affiliate links, full disclosure, but you do not pay extra from buying through me!


The Bottoms

Half the battle is over, and all you need to finish your look is a pair of bottoms! Since I do like to go way over sized then I choose bottoms that have a thicker fabric. I abhor whenever I can see the shirt fabric bunched up around my butt. It's beyond tacky and it kinda ruins the look.  The pants from this shoot was from the OG American Apparel (RIP  to one was... you may have had your issues concerning your management, but you put out some dope closet staples). Boohoo has an excellent dupe, and I have it in navy. The fabric is a tad thinner, but it's not really noticeable. Pair with bottoms that are high-waisted to create a more leggy figure (My personal favorite since I'm on the shorter side), or with low rise flare pants for a vintage 70s vibe.  You can use trousers and dress pants for a more sophisticated and polished look, or you can dress them down, and make your look funky in some killer statement jeans. All jeans are less than $40, with the exception of the Revice Denim. The Revice Denim ones are less than $100 each, orrrrr you can do 4 payments of a lesser cost that is interest free via After Pay. 

Isn't that A W E S O M E???


The Style Edit

And now to put it all together! When it comes to accessories I can admit that I am learning to add more to really pull together a look. I have my Fitbit Blaze, and a ring I got from Ebay. Those two are my staples, but I am adding more to my collection little by little.

Okay, so to style this I wanted to have some dangly chains to really emphasize the deep V of the collar of my shirt, so I grabbed this multi-row chain from Target, and just tossed it on. It's a single necklace, but it has 3 tiers of chains of different lengths that give it that coveted layered style without having to pick out 3 different necklaces.

If you're more daring, then you can unbutton your shirt a little bit more to give a peek-a-boo of some cute lingerie you've been secreting from the world. The bra that I'm wearing in the edit is from H&M. Short story: I found the underwear in a sale bin, and I was agonizing over finding the bra-mate to create the set (and it wasn't online). I must have went into my H&M store every day on my lunch break for 2 whole weeks looking for it... and finally I found it. The Fashion Gods were with me that day.  The necklaces are all under $25 and the Bras are all under $35!!

 

 

There you have it, how to create and style your own billowy blouse look that is perfect for creating a beautiful, yet effortless look. You can make it as sexy or as conservative as you want. Did you like the dupes? How would you style this look? Let me know in the comments below!!

Hot Tictail Stores You Need to Recognize- July Round Up by Allyse Francis

If you know me in real life (or social media) then you'll probably know that I love clothes. My personal style is currently evolving, and I'm making the closet transition from fast fashion to pieces of clothing that are more ethically sourced.  That means recycled/upcycled clothing from thrift stores and clothing from small brands! I discovered TicTail through Instagram, and was instantly thrilled with the whole concept of the online marketplace.

Tictail is an Ecommerce site that houses up-and-coming brands and small business from all over the world. They house products ranging from clothing pieces, to accessories, to home goods, to artwork. If you want a better rundown of Tictail and why it's so damn amazing check out my post here. Otherwise, just take my word for it (or don't) and I can just jump into my favorite stores of July

 

Christina Ledang

This brand is like heaven on a stick to me: Streetwear mixed with minimalism that's way out of my price range, but it doesn't stop me from fantisizing about their amazing coats. Christina Ledang is a Norgwegian high fashion label with clean designs. They include staples that every person should have in their closet: tank dresses, long sleeve tops, and chunky knit sweaters. Christina Ledang also has some incredible statement pieces like the Drown Me Scarf, a beautiful and incredibly long and thick wool scarf that reminds me of this iconic Lenny Kravitz moment:

 

Photo by Esquire

Photo by Esquire

So while it doesn't have that fringe bottom, nor is it as long, The Drown Me Scarf is definitely something you should check out if you want to give some fall/winter realness and flair.

Photo by Christina Ledang on Tictail

Photo by Christina Ledang on Tictail

Probably their most well known piece is their Bubble Long coat. It's a double layered puffer coat that has the length of a duster, over-sized pockets, and it comes in millennial pink. So basically it's everything I live for. The Bubble Long was worn by Gigi Hadid, who also wore a cropped pink sweater by Christina Ledang as well.  All this warmth and funky color can be yours to the tune of $1,103... Which is actually not too bad considering that it's thicc af and waterproof, both are qualities you'll need to get through a NYC winter.

Most of their products range from $30-$100, and don't let their shipping fee scare you: they created a blanket shipping price and will refund you the leftovers if it comes out to be cheaper than that.

Photo by N.Ignatovich/ BACKGRID

Photo by N.Ignatovich/ BACKGRID

Photo by Christina Ledang on TICTAIL

Photo by Christina Ledang on TICTAIL

 
 

Other Theory

**Fun Fact: I actually am putting aside money just so I can go on a shopping spree here.**

Other Theory describes itself as a progressive European brand that offers original and high-end womenswear.  They definitely offer that. it's a unique blend of femininity and architecture-like ridgedness. Other Theory has a knack of creating seperates that are statement pieces, but are wearable enough so that you can get some pretty incredible looks from them. This label pushes limits in creating clothes with unexpected cutouts, playing with shapes, and draping. 

 

Yard & Blue

Okay so please forgive me if I get this wrong (their bio was in Portuguese, and google butchers all translations), but Yard & Blue is a line formed by two women, and I'm quite sure if it's thrifted/upcycled clothing or their own work. Either way this Tictail store is filled with bright and easy pieces that would make every influencer cry with envy. Seriously, if you want an instragrammable outfit then you should head to this store. They only sell limited qualities of each piece, which sucks because I would definitely sell my first born for a couple of their already sold out clothing items. However, there's still plenty of amazingness to go around, especially dresses and dusters. They have a knack for finding/creating sack dresses that don't look frumpy, but are instead chic and relaxed. If you insist on having a waistline then these dresses can be easily belted to create more of a shape. Honestly, oversized looks never looked so easy, or beautiful.

 

MaxJenny!

This store is basically print heaven.

MaxJenny! is a store in Denmark that has a keen eye for creating wild and wonderful prints that captivate the eye, and works harmoniously with the silhouette its on. They're bold, bright, and some are just plain weird (in the best way possible). If you want head-turning wardrobe then this store is perfect for you. Their eye for color and creating textiles is wacky, fun, and fabulous. Their clothes run from $300-$800, but it's well worth the price for a piece of art in your wardrobe.

I flipping love this online venture, and am definitely well on my way to becoming obsessed. What about you?  See anything you like? Have a favorite brand at Tictail?? Should I do a monthly product round up of my favorite things> Let me know in the comments below!!

 

Tictail is a Fucking Treasure. Here's Why. by Allyse Francis

I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled upon Tictail (Instagram most likely), an e-commerce store, but I'm glad I did. It's filled with incredible brands from all over the world, and puts you in the way of some incredible designers. Tictail is pretty easy to navigate, each store inside the side has a lot of autonomy, and they have an amazing philosophy.

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Tictail History

As a fairly recent venture, Tictail was founded in 2012 by a group in Stockholm, Sweden (bless these people). The team was headed by CEO, Carl W. Rivera who wanted to create an online space that would help to business owners to launch global brands.  It's a hub for small creators that want to make a global impact, and I for one am eternally grateful.

Their mission is rooted in the fact that it is so easy to start your own shop. It's free to sign up, there's no hidden fees or charges, and the shop gets to keep 96.5% of whatever you sell. It sounds insane whenever you compare it to other e-commerce websites.


 

Shopping Experience

SALES

With the gloriousness of having shop autonomy. You, as a shopper, are blessed with the opportunities to shop sales. You choose the between 15%, 30%, or 50% off or more. You can narrow down the price range, look within categories, and also change the settings so items can be sorted into "Lowest price." Shops are also allowed to give out coupons and special deals, so if you follow a store and sign up for the Tictail emails you'll be getting a notification whenever a store decides to have a percentage off sale. 

Follow/Like Feature

When you create a Tictail profile you have the option of following stores and other users. It keeps everything pretty streamlined, and you get a notification on the bell towards the top of your screen whenever a store you've followed has added a product.

 

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It's a great way to stay up to date on the latest goodies you can splurge on.

If you click on your profile name, and then click on the "New for You," then you're taken to a page where you can view all the newest arrivals from the brands that you follow.

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One thing that could possibly be improved is how you find the complete list of how you can find the brands and products that you have liked and followed. So far it seems like the only way Tictail allows you to do this is by clicking on "My Profile" and going from there. It's an itty-bitty pitfall, but worth noting.


 

Phone App

I can only comment on this as a a droid user (I know... roast me), but the main reason I love Tictail is because of the ability to shop on the go. The app is nowhere near the ease of going on a desktop, but it's serviceable enough so that I can browse with *relative* ease and discover new items.  

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It functions fairly similarly to the desktop site: has the likes feature, you can visit your profile to look at a list of the brands/shoppers you follow, and can buy from it was well. However, you lose the ability to look at specific reviews on a brand, which is often crucial when wanting to buy something from a relatively unknown entity. 


Ease of Transactions

Buying Tictail is super easy, and therefore makes it incredibly dangerous. I buy through my Paypal account, although they do accept major credit cards, apple pay, and assortment of other options

Future shoppers be aware! Since each shop has such autonomy, they have their own return policies, and shipping costs. Before you purchase make sure that you read and understand their policies before taking the plunge and checking out.  If you're buying from multiple stores then you'll have to check out multiple times as well.

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Tictail is an overall wonderful venture into e-commerce. They house incredible brands that range from artwork to home goods, and men and women's fashion. It brings together small brands so that they can have a global reach.

Did I tempt you to check it out? If I did then you can check out my profile here. Definitely take a look around you can find some gems. Let me know some of your favorite stores in the comments below!

25 Things I've Learned Since Turning 25 by Allyse Francis

My birthday is less than 3 months away, so I thought now was as good a time as ever to reflect on my trials, tribulations, mistakes, and triumphs I've stumbled through in my 25 years on this planet. Also note that I have a Mango-Rita in hand to guide me to loose lips and typing errors. Here we go.

1- Most important: Your parents love you. A lot. They want only the best for you, even if only within the scope of their world. Do not devalue their love. Do not deny it, because it is there. It is an unending wellspring of support.

2- You are going to grow up a little bit racist against your own people. It's okay (not really) but you'll grow out of it, and feel a fuckton of guilt.

3- The sooner you get a handle of your time management woes. The better off you will be.

4- High school friends are overrated, but cherish the ones that you do keep

5- 2 attempts. 0 successes. That must mean something

6- Pot is lit.

7- Pot is also an addiction, but thankfully the withdrawals for you include massive bouts of crankiness.

8- Perspective is everything. Try to keep an open mind and look at problems from all viewpoints. 

9- It's okay to judge people. Just remember that you may do the same exact thing in their situation. Oh- and people judge you, too.

10- Internet friends are real friends. Some of the women in your life right now are going to be the closest confidantes you will have

11- Internet bullies are fucking real, too. People say that you can just shut your computer off, and they'll go away... but their words will haunt you for a long time.

12- Emotional abuse and physical intimidation is real. You'll wake up from nightmares for months. People will refuse to believe you. You will get threatened again and again. However, you are a resiliant person, and you'll have an amazing group of friends to get you through

13- Don't trash people. Chances are that person will show their ass in the end.

14- Focus on your own path. Stop looking at others' success and becoming bitter, that'll only delay your own triumphs

15- Flicking people off can lead to lit cigarettes being flung into your car. Yikes.

16- Finish what you start. The pride you feel when bringing a project to a close is immensely satisfying.

17- No one gives a fuck about your personal life. If you say you're going to get something done do it.

18- Don't be late. It's unprofessional

19- Invest in a good suit. 

20- Frying your hair off with bleach is the best mistake you'll ever make so far.

21- Focus on cultivating your character, and your morals. Outside beauty will fade eventually

22- Your sister is a gem. Cherish her.

23- No friend is perfect. They WILL say and do things that are not in line with your moral code. That doesn't mean that you should write them off. Work through these issues so that you may grow together.

24- True apologies are hard. But you will feel relief when you say the words

25- You are a Francis. That means you can do anything.