Meet me in Kansas City

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A few weeks ago we took a family trek to Kansas City, via train.  If you’re a St. Louis reader: Yes, it was an easy 5 hour train ride from Kirkwood Station (departing at 9:45 am) to Kansas City’s Union Station. It’s not the fanciest of transport methods, but my kids loved the novelty of it – that they could walk around, eat lunch in the dining car and had unlimited Wifi. Would I take the train every time I go to Kansas City? No. But maybe do it once.

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While we did a lot of things that are not Caradise worthy (spending 3.5 hours at the hotel pool Friday night comes to mind … as does the 5 hours spent inside the Lego Playland on Saturday afternoon) BUT, there were some things that I’d recommend if you head to Kansas City anytime soon.

We stayed in the Crossroads, an up and coming arts district just south of downtown. It has some unique shopping (more vintage and artsy rather than the mainstream shops you’ll find on Country Club Plaza). One such store is Cable and Company, roughly the size of a walk-in closet, but stocks great denim and vintage tees:

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More vintage shops in the Crossroads Arts District

And small, independent coffee shops, like this one:

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knee Cleave, it’s a thing

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My latest pair of Joe’s Jeans look as though I’ve just won a knife fight. A knife fight or just walked out of Nordstrom’s, where I snagged the latest in distressed denim. Jagged hems, ripped knees, frayed waists, slits galore, they’ve got it all. Joe (my husband) thinks I’m crazy wearing clothes that appear used before I’ve even walked out of the store, but to me they are a fashion must. Sassy, edgy and for a fleeting instant make me feel more like my twenty year-old urban self as opposed to the suburban thirty-something mom of three that I have become. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 

But finding that perfect pair of distressed denim is way easier than it sounds. The jeans are too long and you’re out of luck. Those frayed, step-hem bottoms can’t be hemmed– you’d be better off just taking scissors to them yourself (which, I’m sorry, but if I’m spending $#@! on jeans, I’m sure as hell not lifting a finger to make them the right length). Then, the holes! Too low and they just show off that ugly, wrinkly spot below your knee and too high, they hit the fatty part right above. Too small, and it looks like your jeans are actually old and worn, and with holes too large I feel like Selena Gomez in her Good for You video. Which brings me to this photo, of my own knee, while watching said children on said suburban playground last week.

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This, my friends, if what I’ve taken to calling knee cleave. A little known side effect of distressed denim, remember that you heard it here first. Cleavage on your knee, as created by threadbare jeans. It happens when I stand up too, so don’t think I’m exaggerating. Flesh oozing out between the threads scattered across my knee.  I am sure the entire jean is too tight, but you can only really notice it because the distressing gives your skin a place to escape.

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This jacket is _________ !

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Oftentimes, I see this comment on Instagram photos: “That top is everything!” “OMG, those shoes are everything!” “That bag is EVERYTHING!!” You see where I’m going here… Everything. I mean, really? That purse is everything?  Like that purse is curing cancer, eradicating world hunger, working toward world peace? Maybe just a tad dramatic, very annoying and way overused statement in reference to an inanimate object (… for the record I have never made such comment and if you ever see me post those words I hope you immediately unfollow and subsequetly give me a swift jab to the jaw). But… that said, this jacket is pretty damn close. I mean, under $100, a perfect shade of green, great detailing and best of all….now all sizes are back in stock!  Shop it here.

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In the interest of full disclosure, please note that Caradise Found is part of a few affiliate programs. What does that mean? Well, if you click on a link and make a purchase at that retailer, I will receive a (small) percentage of sales.  All clothes and opinions are still my own!

a Not-so-preppy Oxford

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I’m loving oxfords for Fall. They’re as comfy as sneakers, but a little dressier and still as versatile. This season oxfords have shed their preppy stigma. Yep, no need to wear these with your navy blazer and pearl earrings… they’re more edgy than preppy. I wore them all over New York last weekend, with pants and skirts. This exact pair is linked below and under $50.

Top // Vest // Fanny Pack // Skirt // Exact pair here and similar here

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bow big or go home

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I don’t usually write about clothes that I wouldn’t really wear, but this top is bucking the trend. It’s from a favorite label, Style Mafia and online I thought it had real potential. It’s a one-size-fits all, poplin button-down, but with an edgy cut that nicely covers my bum. Comes complete with a sash that you can tie any way you like. Think artsy meets preppy. Here it is on me, styled with some distressed denim and strappy heels. What do you think?

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define art

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A vintage desk littered with a sticker book and keys- what looks random and haphazard is really carefully thought out art in Fort Gondo.

On the Westernmost section of Cherokee Street, between Michigan and Compton, sits a very tiny and very unassuming gallery called Fort Gondo. It’s right next to its sister space, Beverly Gallery. Open since the early 2000’s, both are original fixtures on the street and somewhat responsible for the movement of the art scene to Cherokee, as we know it today. When I stopped in last Thursday (you have to plan your visit strategically, as they are only open Thursdays and Saturdays from 12-4) I found the most unusual exhibit that is most definitely worth sharing.

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The space reads very much like a residence: exposed brick, small rooms, a bathroom visible from the entry.  The exhibit is called Time and Fragments and is on display until October 1st. It showcases new sculptures by Chris Thorson surrounded by the handwritten poems of Joanna Mc Clure.  Inspired by McClure’s poetry, Thorson created a space full of common place objects, strategically arranged and organized. I think the gallery brochure says it best, in describing the exhibit as “poetic jottings and uncanny replicas of ordinary stuff.”

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team watermelon, thankyouverymuch

The summer of 2005 asked you to pick teams and it looked a little like this:

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photo courtesy: http://www.your90s2000sparadise.tumblr.com

Summer of 2016 is similarly divided (at least in my mind) and until recently, was very one sided. This is what I’m talking about:

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Pineapple fever. On shoes, on bags, on hats. They are everywhere. The fruit of the summer. I haven’t bought a single pineapple adorned article or accessory, because I feel like a grown adult wearing a pineapple-anything is just a slippery slope to wearing Lily Pulitzer. And well, not a path I need to travel down. So I passed. How did the pineapple become so cool anyway? They are hard to peal, impossible to carry because of their spiky shell and always get stuck in my teeth. Thanks but no thanks. I’ll continue to take my pineapple one way… store bought, pre-cut and blended into a pina colada.

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what’s black and white…

This month’s InStyle has a spread on black and white and discussed the new way to wear these classic colors (bold and color blocked). And last week in the NY Times, Bill Cunningham’s On the Street was completely devoted to black and white. So, depending on which publication you read first, I’m either a fashion trailblazer or just a sucker for trends. You be the judge. Shop this outfit below, as well as some other black and white finds…

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Green Air

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Maybe you remember the last time I wrote from the Contemporary Art Museum (CAMSTL) ?  There was a living sculpture in their courtyard by New York designers, Nomad Studio. And now, Nomad studio is back with another living installation. This time, instead of on the ground, the plants are hanging from the museum’s trellis, mimicking the wavy shape of it’s predecessor. The installation is comprised of air plants –  real plants (that look like succulents to me) that can survive without water or soil…they live off of the oxygen in the air and receive enough water from rain and dew that is naturally occurring in nature.

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A lotta LBD’s

I was shopping with my mom recently when we came across the coolest Nicholas black mesh, tea-length dress. I tried it on. It was amazing. But then I lamented, “Where would I wear it?” Her response: “It never hurts to have a good black dress hanging in your closet. They’re timeless.” Such are the sentiments from the new exhibit at the Missouri History Museum. Called the Little Black Dress: From Mourning to Night, the exhibit traces the history of the LBD from its early roots as strictly funeral wear, to the women’s wardrobe staple it is today.

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The entry to the exhibit, lined with images of St. Louis women in their little black dresses.

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