She’s a Bittersweet Baby

90's Coffee Shop Story

It’s late May in New York City. An irreverent spring storm blows through leaving not-yet-broken-in Dr. Martens drenched. No matter. They could use a bit of top quality NYC grime. Still – no need to let acid rain burn holes in that new floral GAP blouse. Unless giving the sassy citizenry of SOHO an eyeful is on the agenda. Which it isn’t. Luckily you’ve come undone in front of not just any cafe, but the coffee house of the collegiate elite. Word is they have everything from caffe mocha’s to expresso shots. Man – coffees’ come a long way from the Maxwell House junk served in the dorms. Seriously, gag. New plan – pop in for a quick chill, and a hit of caffeine. Feeling frizzy, damp, and just straight bummin’ is never conducive to solving life’s existential crisis’. Namely, navigating a tumultuous love triangle before peace-ing out on a summer ’98 Euro-trip adventure. Those Parisian coffee house philosophers will never know what hit’m.

A light head-shake sends tousled ringlets breathlessly bouncing around ears adorned in fragile gold hoops. Lips tinted to raspberry-gloss perfection purse in a sardonic smile. Hands adjust a pair of low-slung DKNY boyfriend-cut jeans as they rest on delicate hipbones in true Ally McBeal fashion. Put down the worn leather backpack, pick the coziest spot on the hideous green gingham couch, and settle in to feel all the melancholy feels of a Felicity inspired 90’s coffee house.

Inspiration: The quintessential 90’s ingenue – naive, fresh-faced, innocent (yet undoubtedly sexy), and sensitive to a fault. Think wholesome girl-next-door turned NYC darling, Felicity Porter. Or sweet and feisty Corey Mason, portrayed by real life 90’s it-girl Liv Tyler in Empire Records.

Featured – Felicity: The Complete Seasons & Empire Records

Where to Chill: Uh, duuuh! Like, where did anything cool happen in the 90’s? The neighborhood coffee house, of course. Where else can the entire gang curl up on giant, over stuffed couches and sip on tiny expresso cups whilst swapping dramatic stories of friendship, and love? Think Central Perk, The Max, Monks Cafe…all the broken-in, full-of-bad-furniture local haunts of the 90’s. Luckily, NYC currently hosts a plethora of caffeine overdose dens complete with exposed brick, dim lighting, and of course delectable coffee options. Think deep thoughts at Think Coffee, peruse the latest in trashy romance novels at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, and gather the peeps for a rowdy game of Jenga at The Uncommons.

FeaturedOverstuffed Pottery Barn Sofa & 90’s Inspired Lamp

Use This: Before the emotional venting arenas of Twitter and Facebook, our 90’s heroine poured her heart out on cassette recorder to document all which made the collegiate heart stutter or soar. Here’s the beauty of NOT living in the 90’s – now everything is slimmer, svelter, and that much sexier. Gone are the blocky recording gadgets of yesteryear. Monologue to your bleeding hearts content on a blissfully tiny Electronic Gadgets Voice Recorder, complete with external storage space for all those term paper writing needs.

Featured Voice Recorder 

Wear This: The 90’s girl is having a resurgence in fashion, and she’s making sure all her identities have a moment in the spot light. From Urban Outfitters to Topshop, you can find every reincarnation of the 90’s girl; Flash a Fubu hoody, lay down those baby hairs, and throw on the biggest silver hoops you can find for a “Jenny from the Block” vibe. Charm, scheme, and look totally classic in an Alaia inspired red slip dress that Cher Horowitz would be proud of. And finally, pair a cozy knit sweater in an moody shade of moss green with a pair of broken-in boyfriend cut jeans to invoke the squeaky clean, yet alluring innocence of Felicity Porter. When a gal has this much versatility, why confine her to only one decade as a fashion scene queen?

Featured Madewell Boyfriend Cut Jeans & Mary Janes

For More Coffee Breaks:

Vintage Green Gingham Fabric Swatch 

Clear Bubble Umbrella 

90’s Inspired Slip Dress

Cedar Wood Soap

Lace, Grace, & 70’s Boudoir

Gia 1970's Boudoir Story

Hey, remember the 70’s? Oh yeah, sure. Garish paisley print everything, bling’n disco balls, “I can’t find my feet!”  bell bottoms, sky-high Pee-Wee Herman-esque platforms, and sultry nights at Studio 54 mass-loving to the groovy groves of Diana Ross. That sound about right? Uh’uh. While the 70’s has solidified itself in the collective conscious as a wonderland of psychedelics, quirky fashion trends, killer music, and lets be honest, more psychedelics, there was an inky undertone to the whole decade that unfortunately goes unscrutinized – washed out by the strobing glitz and glamour of the disco.

Dial down the Abba, and take that last bite out of Avocado Green; Its time to lounge in the sumptuous yet understated dark-side of the  70’s moon. Welcome to Boudoir.

Inspiration: The renegade queen of Studio 54 herself, Gia Carangi. In particular during her golden year (1978-79) before self-destruction ala heroine began to affect her career, and ultimately leading to her death from HIV at the age of 27. Gruesome? Well, yes. But Gia’s traumatic story does not detract from the allure which is still achingly evident in her images. Just take a look at Chris Von Wagenheims’ iconic chainlink fence shot and say you don’t want a little more danger, sex, velvet, and a lot more hairspray in your life. Yup. Exactly.

Sit on this: Lounge like the disco-kitten you are on a velvet mid-century modern sofa in a restorative cool grey – a delicate alternative to the oranges and yellows often found in 70’s inspired color palettes.

Featured – Lola Tufted Sofa from West Elm

Wear this: Sure, we don’t get to live in the 70’s, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dress like it! From classic Halston Heritage to blue jean Gitanos, it was truly a decade of anything goes. Yet, in the bedroom lace ruled with a silken fist. Slip on a gauzy little bodysuit for dance floor mingling or midnight romps alike.

Featured – Lace Bodysuit in Raspberry from H&M. Something similar

Drink this: Meet Rob Roy. He’s a very nice guy, and will always treat you right: 2 oz Scotch Whisky, .75 oz Sweet Vermouth, 3 dashes Angostura Bittersgarnis. Stir, strain, and have on the rocks garnished with a cherry.

Featured – Rob Roy Cocktail Recipe

Listen to this: Because you look killer in lace. Because the velvet sofa feels lush under your fingertips. Because the whisky is burning its way down to all the right places. Because the Night by Patti Smith is what you will be rocking out to. I think Gia would approve.

Featured – Because the Night, Patti Smith. Released 1978 on the album Easter.

For More Boudoir Goodness:

Walnut Mid-Century Modern Gordon Russell Vanity circa. 1950’s

Vintage Wall Paper featured on Dutch Details Etsy Shop

Dries Van Noten Green Suede Boots

West Emory Glass Jewelry Jar featured on

Park Lane Costume 70’s Vintage Jewelry featured on Sweet & Sparkle