Friday, March 30, 2012

Wilder Words: On Being Weird, via Stand By Me

Stand By Me, the 1986 movie directed by Rob Reiner, just might be the greatest movie to come out of the '80s. Based on the Stephen King story The Body, the movie was one of my favorites when I was growing up. And the quotation above? Well, it's pure gold; everyone is totally weird and somewhat messed up. If you aren't, you're either lucky or boring. But probably boring. So Gordie, embrace your bizarre-itude, I'm right behind you (more, including the awesome VHS cover, after the jump).

10 Things I Like, A Delightful Weekend Edition

Happy Friday, dear readers! We made it! I hope you all had lovely weeks (and if you didn't, at least it's over). My weekend has somehow gotten very busy, but in the best way possible. My plans include a few style events in the city that you'll hear about next week (some for TWT and some for Boston Magazine), one of my good friends coming home from NYC for the weekend (so obviously a dinner party is in order), healthy doses of walking the dog, hopefully a nice Sunday nap, and a Sunday family dinner. Because I'm so excited for my Saturday and Sunday, I've put together a "10 Things I Like" post for the weekend. Read on for ideas about what to drink, where to go, and what to wear--click the photos to follow the links (after the jump). 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wilder Words: In Memory of Adrienne Rich, 1929-2012

Adrienne Rich, the skilled poet, fiery feminist, and serious teacher, died yesterday. Ever since I first read her writing in my junior year of college I have loved it; it is full of beauty, rage, self-doubt, confidence, love, and contempt. Her work is a study in how to use contradictory images and meld them together to form truths. I love the quotation above, from her poem "Twenty-One Love Poems." It is, as the title suggests, a long poem with twenty-one stanzas. The passage above is a rare moment of peace in her writing, a delicious moment of satisfaction. I hope, wherever she is now (if she's anywhere), she has found that peace. It's a sad day when the world loses a bit of genius. At least we still have her words (more after the jump).

Wilder Style: 8 Neon Items to Rock This Spring (or) My Latest Piece for the Huffington Post

Yup. That's me in a one-piece ski suit in Goodwill on a national news website. Just another day at the office for Charlotte Wilder. Anyway, the point is to tell you that I have another piece up on The Huffington Post. It's about the neon trend that I hold so dear. I've extended the piece a bit for TWT by picking out some of my favorite neon items available now. Here's how the piece opens (after the jump):

Wilder Style: Pretty Prints + Color Blocking at Mint Julep in Harvard Square

I'm pretty into printed pinafores. And alliteration. And calling dresses pinafores. I therefore adore the current selection at Mint Julep in Harvard Square; the dresses they're carrying for spring are comprised of many different pattens, prints, and cuts, so you're sure to find something that works for your style. The dress above, from Corey Lynn Calter, was one of my favorites. The asymmetry of the print balances the cutout in the back and the more structured cut of the dress--and the pin tucks in the front are a nice detail (more after the jump).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beautiful Thing of the Day + Wilder Words: American Beauty, Magnolia, and Forsythia

This is not a groundbreaking Wilder Words. Anyone who was a teenager around 1999 remembers when Ricky Fitts videotapes the dancing paper bag and then says the words above. But as cliched as they might be, and as over-quoted as they are, I still kind of love them. Yesterday I went outside to take pictures of the beautiful magnolia and forsythia flowers blooming in the garden, and this quotation popped into my head. I still feel like my heart might cave in when I look at the petals in the photos--they're so fragile, so heavy with the cold after an unseasonably warm spell, that they're dying. And that makes them even more beautiful, precarious, and sad. It breaks my heart to see their blooms cut short (more after the jump).

Wilder Style: Introducing Miles High (or) The Sweaters You'll Never Want to Take Off

When I first saw these sweaters from the newly launched clothing line Miles High, I felt like I'd just found a missing puzzle piece, eaten a really amazing slice of chocolate cake, or spent a few hours on a sunny dock. Miles High projects satisfaction, comfort, and warmth. It is no wonder, then, that the line describes itself as "founded on the notion that the home is a sanctuary." Indeed, these sweaters and tees look like exactly what I'd want to throw on after a day at the office (okay, in my case my home is my office, so I guess I'd wear them to work, too) or after a day spent outside skiing or sailing. Founded in Boston by Alex Levin, Miles McAlpin, and Sam Reich, Miles High is bound to take off into the stratosphere (more after the jump).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wilder Words: From Gabrielle Hamilton's "Blood, Bones, and Butter," on Riding in the Back of Pickup Trucks

Last night I started Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones & Butter, and as a result, got to bed far later than I should have. But I got to bed far happier, too. First of all, let's talk about how amazing the title is, especially for a book written by and about Gabrielle, who is the chef/owner at Prune in New York City. She's also a writer who got her MFA in fiction writing from the University of Michigan (one of the best MFA programs in the country). The title gets even better once you read a bit and understand why "bone" is a part of it, but I won't spoil that for you. Second of all, Gabrielle's writing is some of the most decadent, beautiful, sensory prose I've ever read. She can make you taste, make you smell, make you feel. She's also funny, writing in a colloquial style, so the reader kind of feels like she's writing directly to them. At least, I do.

The book opens with descriptions of the chef/author's childhood. She grew at the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and she writes, "when I was young, where I lived was mostly farmland, rolling fields, rushing creeks when it rained, thick woods, and hundred-year-old stone barns. It was a beautiful, rough, but lush setting..." (more after the jump).

Wilder Style: Fly Kicks and Clothes at Concepts in Harvard Square

I've haven't been this sore since the lacrosse team tryout my sophomore year of high school that prompted me to quit the sport and join the softball team instead. My mom and I go to a personal trainer twice a week, and since I've been working out with him my endurance and strength have increased by at least %1000. But yesterday, even being in good shape didn't protect me from the next-day pain of the kettlebell workout we did. So in honor of working out and of my not really being able to sit in any position that doesn't cause me agony today, I thought I'd post about these awesome sneakers I saw this weekend at Concepts in Harvard Square! Nothing solves a body-ache better than looking at sweet kicks, right (after the jump)?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wilder Words + Musings: Roald Dahl on Great Moments, and Me on Holding onto Them

Roald Dahl was one of my favorite authors when I was a child. Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, Danny The Champion Of The World, they were all so quirky and touching and wild. Dahl’s book Going Solo, the sequel to his autobiography Boy, fell out of my bookshelf today. I opened it before putting it back and saw the quotation above in the prologue. The timing of finding it was a bit creepy; I had just started a Wilder Musings with “life is a series of moments.” I know that phrase isn’t a new one, and I deleted it and started over because it’s such a cliché. But isn’t it strange that I found these words right after writing those (more after the jump)?

10 Things I Like: Cleanliness First (for Ladies AND Gents!)

We all have our little habits, especially when it comes to keeping clean. We've got the soaps, lotions, and potions we swear by, and generally care just as much about what we carry them in, too. I know someone (who will remain nameless) whose favorite deodorant isn't carried in most drugstores, so he orders it in bulk from And hey, do you blame him? If it ain't broke...(things I like after the jump).

Wilder Style + Musings: 5 Patterned, A-Line Skirts (or) What I Wore to Look Like a '60s Housewife

There's nothing as wonderful as a birthday party. But even better than a birthday party is one where you get to dress up like a housewife from the 1960s. Last night was such an occasion, as I celebrated my birthday with friends and family wearing an ensemble that I thought did the costumes on Mad Men justice. My mom and one of my best friends dressed up, too, and we all agreed that it was a bit strange to be cooking and getting ready for a party in our outfits. It actually felt like I had stepped back in time and was waiting for my husband to come home with his friends for dinner, fedora and briefcase in hand (more after the jump).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wilder Words: Michael Ondaatje on The Structure of Things

Happy weekend. May it be as beautiful as the quotation above, with cadences that sounds like lullabies. May it also be loose and fluid, and may wonderful, surprising things happen to you. If you're in a place that is finally sunny and warm again, like Boston has been, sit outside and soak it up. If you're not, curl up on the couch and read In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje. It's about love, pain, and the web of coincidences and connections that link all of our lives. It is also written with such lyrical skill that it reads like a compelling, narrative poem.

In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be eating birthday cake and watching Mad Men.

Wilder Musings: Do Two Good Deeds (or) On Recent College Grads Trying to Make It

One of the most interesting effects of the recession has been the entrepreneurship among young people it has inspired. While still common, it's no longer expected that recent graduates will follow the pack, join an established business, and begin climbing the ladder; many are now taking wider and riskier tacks, like starting their own businesses, in the hope that they'll win the race. We kids are also following our hearts--we're going into professions we love over ones that will make us guaranteed money, because money isn't guaranteed anywhere anymore, so we might as well have fun while we try to make it (take this blog--I'm a prime example). We're also following our hearts in love and in friendship--our relationships, both romantic and with our friends, as we try to navigate the new, post-college world are more important than ever.

It is therefore with great pleasure that I tell you about two pairs of friends of mine I met in college. All four of them are going for what they love, and you can help them make it. They're all truly wonderful, smart, friendly people who deserve to get what they're fighting for, which is why I'm posting about and Alyssa and Nick + Ben and Anders (their stories after the jump). 

Wilder Recipes: The Perfect Weekend Dinner Party Dish (or) Moroccan Chicken with Prunes and Almonds

 Remember the cookbook I got so excited about on Wednesday? Paula Wolfert's The Food of Morocco? Well, dear readers, I cooked from it last night, and the meal was to die for. I made "Chicken Tagine with Prunes and Almonds in the Style of the Rif Mountains." Perhaps it's because of its romantic name (ah, the Rif Mountains, how I'd like to go there someday), or perhaps because I love dried and soaked fruit in chicken dishes, but this recipe seemed like a good way to dive into the book. 

My cousin came home from college yesterday for a night before she leaves for spring break (in Antigua, the lucky dog). Seeing as she's a food-nut who cooks up a storm, I wanted to make something special for dinner with her and my parents. If you're planning on having friends over this weekend, keep this dish in mind; it's impressive, delicious, and makes a lot of food.

Wilder Street Style: Brights and Patterns in Harvard Square

This past week of languorous, hot, sunny weather had me acting like it was summer. Out came my favorite summer clothes (sweat-shorts, YES!) and out went I, to walk the woods and wander the cobblestones. I took myself to Harvard Square and reveled in the energy--everyone seemed to have come out of their winter caves to smile, sit with friends, or hold hands with their lovers. It was a magical, welcome sight after a New England winter (however mild a winter it was). I was thrilled by the summery outfits, too--Cambridge was abuzz with brights and prints. I channeled my inner Bill Cunningham (the New York Times' brilliant street style photographer), and found quite a few people to take photos of, whom, unbeknownst to them, I will now catapult to internet fame (after the jump).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wilder Words: Don Draper on Respect (or) Matthew Weiner is Giving Me Mad Men for My Birthday

Two things are happening on Sunday: it's my birthday, and Mad Men comes back after the longest hiatus of any show EVER. Matthew Weiner, the show's creator, must have known that I'm obsessed and planned the return for March 25th. Because he totally reads this blog, right (more after the jump)?

Wilder Recipes: Guatemalan Chicken Salad Over Arugula and Avocado

Last night was one of those "oh my god, I have nothing for dinner nights." But then I remembered the fridge held a lot of chicken from a roast we'd had a few nights ago, parsley and scallions from the Guatemalan salad, and some roast sweet potatoes, too. Et voila, a feast presented itself, especially once I remembered I'd found Alba's recipe for chicken salad.

Wilder Style: What Short I Wore (or) 5 Great Ikat Pieces

Two mirror photos in one week? Yup. But Rosie The Dog is in the picture next to it, and everyone knows that a dog cancels out a mirror (right?). I'm posting this outfit because I want to give ikat a bit of love. Ikat is a fabric dying technique where the warp and the weft (the different directions of thread on a loom) are knotted, tied, or waxed before the fabric is woven (it's pretty much tie-dye, but for threads). The technique results in beautiful patterns like that of the shorts I'm wearing above and this fabric from The Textile Museum's exhibit on Ikat in 2010 (after the jump):

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wilder Recipes + Pictures: My New Cookbook, Paula Wolfert's The Food of Morocco

The other day I was strolling around Harvard Square and ended up in the Harvard Coop Bookstore. Bookstores are as dangerous for me as boutiques, and almost as dangerous as Whole Foods, which is saying something (yes, I am a cliche of a twenty-something living in Boston, I get it). I wandered downstairs into the cookbook section and found the book above: The Food of Morocco, by Paula Wolfert; Paula is an expert on Moroccan cooking and the author of many other cookbooks on the subject. I didn't mean to buy it, really, it just hopped into my arms and told me to carry it to the checkout counter, so I did (more after the jump).

Wilder Words: For the Old and the Young, via Willa Cather

I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather, the summer after my senior year of high school. Even though school was out, I constantly underlined as I read, because Cather's words so often struck a chord. The story is about a young woman who wants to be an opera singer; yet another book I love about the intersection of life, ambition, and art (full quote after the jump).

Wilder Style: What to Wear with Alberto Fasciani Oxfords (or) My Mama's Got Some New Shoes

"I just found the most perfect pair of shoes in the word, Char," was the first thing my mother said when I answered my phone the other day. She was in Alan Bilzerian, breathless with the thrill of finding that which hits the aesthetic sweet spot. I didn't initially get as excited as she, but once I saw the shoes, it was game over. These Alberto Fasciani oxfords prove that mother does know best: they are just about the most perfect pair of shoes in the world (more after the jump).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wilder Words: Happy Spring! Via E.L Doctorow's "Ragtime"

Happy spring, dear world. It's days like this (76 degrees in Boston!) when everything can be going wrong, and then the minute you step outside into the soft air and the warm sun you just smile and go "all right," a la Patti Smith. E.L. Doctorow's images of spring as a "mad magician" make me sublimely happy--I love the "blades of iris" and "the heavy lilac" (whole quote after the jump in case you can't read my handwriting).

Wilder Recipes: Grilled Baby Bok Choi with Balsamic Reduction

My dad doesn't love vegetables. This is a fact he managed to conceal from me when I was little for fear that I would follow suit and dislike greenery as well. He needn't have worried--I followed in my mother's footsteps instead and became a vegetable nut. I load up on veggies when I make dinner, and I'm always looking for new ways to cook them to make them more interesting. Especially if my dad's going to be eating them, too. He genuinely liked this grilled baby bok choi dish I made the other night with balsamic reduction. And if he liked it, I'm willing to bet that a lot of other non-veggies fans will as well (recipe after the jump).

Wilder Style: My First Outfit of Spring and 5 Yellow Sweaters (or) I Don't Understand Trends

Ugh, I know. I've become that girl who takes photos of herself in mirrors. But I have a blog, and I have to show you that I can dress myself in order to make you believe that what you read on Wilder Style is valid. And, to be honest, this outfit just got me so excited because IT'S THE FIRST TIME I'VE WORN SHORTS OUT IN MASSACHUSETTS IN SIX MONTHS!!! Besides, of course, the times I went to the gym this winter, was too lazy to put sweatpants on over my shorts, dealt with a freezing cold drive, and then pulled ten muscles once I got on the treadmill. Just kidding. But seriously (more after the jump).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wilder Words: On Where We Are, from The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited is one of my favorite movies of all time. Granted, I'm a huge fan of Wes Anderson (the director, writer, producer, and general film guru), but regardless of his involvement I loved the film because of its wonderful whimsy and beautiful cinematography. It is a funny, heart-breaking, and bizarre story about brothers getting on a train together in India. It also has amazing luggage by Louis Vuitton in it (after the jump):

Wilder Style: 6 New Toms Shoes for Spring/Summer

It's always a bit of a let down when something you've loved for a while goes mainstream and becomes ubiquitous. I first found out about Toms when one of my best friend's sisters interned there in the summer of 2007, a year after Blake Mycoski founded the company. And yet as the company grew in popularity I was never bummed out, because the more people who know about the company, the better off the world is. This is because Toms, as they say, is a "one-for-one" business; every time you buy a pair of shoes or sunglasses a child in need gets footwear or eyewear (or eye surgery, in some cases). I still love their products, too, so it's with great pleasure that I went through their website and picked out my new favorite shoe styles for spring. Their "classics" never get old, but they've also branched out and added wedges, ballet slippers, and sneakers to the mix (more after the jump).

Wilder Recipes: Guatemalan Salad with Tuna, 2 Ways (or) Finding My Earliest Memory

Sensory memories are always the strongest. We can think back to events, but when smell, sound, taste, or feel remind us of things from our past we are actually back in the memory. The smell of damp moss in early spring, for example, puts me near the boulder in the woods behind my house at age 6. I hear the sound of a diesel engine combined with the smell of salt water and I’m standing on the dock where I taught sailing in Maine for ten years. I smell fried dough and I'm riding the Ferris wheel at the Union Fair 15 years ago.

Usually the sensation itself triggers the memories. For the past few years, however, I’ve experienced the opposite: I’ve remembered a taste, and I haven’t been able to find it (recipes after the jump).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wilder Words: Hemingway on Love

In the spirit of the great writer himself, I won't say much about the quotation above. But I do have one story about Islands in the Stream to share with you.

I first read Islands in the Stream in June of 2009. It was a dreary month up in Maine; three weeks of constant fog and rain. The book opens with the main character, Thomas Hudson, sitting in his house by a great driftwood fire. “The house,” Heminway writes, “felt almost as much like a ship as a house.” I loved this description; my family’s house in Maine feels like a ship, too. It’s on the smaller side and has many sneaky cabinets and details. But it was this description of a storm, as a storm raged outside my own window, that really got me (after the jump):

Wilder Links: 7 Posts/Articles to Read, March 16th

A collection of links from this week. Enjoy. 

1. An interview with me (!) in PMc Magazine, the online mag founded by photographer Patrick McMullan. 

2. Hilarious (and brilliant) advice via 10engines (many more lovely links after the jump).

Wilder Style: 5 Printed Scarves to Jazz Up Your Spring

There are few better ways to re-wear an outfit than to pair a different scarf with it. I'm totally guilty of this. I'll go out to dinner wearing a sweater, jeans, and a scarf, and then the next day I'll go on a photo-shoot wearing the same sweater and the same jeans with a different scarf. I convince myself that a different neck accessory means I've totally changed up my look. While I don't think I'm fooling anyone, a scarf is a great way to give new life to the staple t-shirts and sweaters in your wardrobe. This technique is especially effective if you pair an outfit with a nice silk scarf at night and then a cotton one for day (I'm talking springtime, here; I'm so over wool scarves right now).

Solid colors are great, but if you're trying to jazz up an outfit, why not go a little wilder? After all, this is The Wilder Things. So to help you in your search for the scarf you didn't know you needed, I've chosen five of my favorite patterned ones for spring. Some were made for men, some for women, but it really doesn't matter. People of each sex look great with a colorful piece of fabric wrapped around their necks, so whether you're a dapper dude or a glamorous girl, tie one on (after the jump). 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wilder Style: Funny Shoes from Charlotte Olympia via Moda Operandi (and) A Sleeping Moon Doodle

Man, do I love a shoe with a sense of humor, and these pumps by Charlotte Olympia that were up on Moda Operandi have me tickled pink (blue, purple, and yellow, rather). Unfortunately the trunk show ended, but I wanted to post about them anyways because they're just the funniest little things I've ever seen, and beautiful, too. Yet sad as well, see? The shoe is crying! Goodness, so many emotions elicited from one high heel.

Besides the emotional journey these foot-holders take me on, I also love them because when I was little I used to draw moons with faces; they were always sleeping and wearing night caps, a detail that's a bit weird, now that I think about it. Also, the designer has the same name as I, a fact that prompted me to include her designs in a post last month (doodle after the jump).

Wilder Style: 7 Ways to Lace Dieppa Restrepo Shoes (or) K.I.S.S: In Praise of Simplicity


Aren't these the best photographs of shoes? I'm not surprised, given that they're from Dieppa Restrepo, one of my favorite shoe companies (some of their booties were a BTotD a few months ago). Founded by the Colombian duo Andrea Vargas Dieppa and Elisa Restrepo, Dieppa Restrepos are all unisex, all cut with clean lines, and all made from beautiful materials. The first photo above is not only visually lovely, but also a great style idea. And the second one is goofy, silly, and makes me love the brand even more (more after the jump).

Introducing "Wilder Words" + Words from Patti Smith

I am thrilled to announce that starting today, I am launching a new series called Wilder Words. As long as I’ve been able to read (so from the time I was three months old) I’ve been collecting quotations. I read obsessively; I always have a book, a magazine, or a newspaper in my bag when I leave the house in case I have to unexpectedly wait somewhere, and evenings when I’m home and not getting posts ready I lie down on the couch and devour books or articles. I’ve been known, in dire situations, to resort to reading the backs of shampoo bottles in the shower, those weird advertising sections on Russia and China that sometimes come in the New York Times, and the pamphlets on insomnia at the doctor’s office.

But why am I telling you this? Not, as it may seem, to brag about how good I am at reading (though I was in the advanced group in first grade; we read The Boxcar Children), but because this habit of mine means that over the years I’ve collected a fair amount of quotations. I’ve kept them all in a word document cleverly titled “quotes.doc” and, until now, haven’t really had an outlet for them. Actually, I take that back, the word doc did help me put together a killer collection of quotations on my high school yearbook page. However, the world outside of school doesn’t have yearbooks, so since then they've just been collecting virtual dust inside my computer (more after the jump).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wilder Pictures: Antigua, from Goats to Boats


I have a few more Antigua photos that I want to show you and then it's back to New England for spring. The following pictures are a collection of things I saw and places I went while in the West Indies. Above, a herd of goats casually strolling down the middle of the road, and some sailors working on the mast of a huge yacht (more after the jump).

Wilder Style: What to Wear with Karhu Fulcrum Stars (or) I Got a Sweet New Pair of Kicks


Sneakers belong to one of two categories: the kind you wear to run, and the kind you wear to look good. Until these Fulcrum Stars from Karhu came along, I didn’t have any sneakers that could keep one foot in each camp (as it were). In the interest of full disclosure, Karhu gave me this pair to review. But trust me, if I hadn't liked them, I wouldn't be posting about them. I honestly think they are a great pair of shoes, and I'll tell you why.

But before I do, a bit about my personal history with Karhu. I grew up in Lincoln, MA, a town 25 minutes outside of Boston (and the town I happen to be in right now as I write this). My family’s house here sits on a piece of land with a field and a pond, and we’re surrounded by miles and miles of conservation land with a network of lovely trails. Since I can remember, the minute enough snow accumulates each winter, my parents and I have strapped on our Karhu cross-country skis and zoomed through the woods (sadly, we didn’t get to put our skis on once this winter). I was surprised to learn that Karhu started out making shoes, and was thrilled when they offered to send me a pair of them since I’ve had such positive previous experiences with the brand (more after the jump).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wilder Style: 5 Coral Accessories for Spring

Someone recently asked me what my favorite color was. Since I was little, I've been hardwired to answer with blue, or, if I'm feeling particularly wild, periwinkle blue. But this time, when I opened my mouth, out came, "Coral. Especially neon coral." I was a surprised, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was true; everything I seem to want these days is that lovely shade between orange and pink. So I've put together a post of five great coral accessories that can jazz up your blues and grays (because if you're anything like me, that's what you've got the most of in your closet). It's a great color for spring and summer and never fails to cheer me up (coral galoral after the jump). 

Wilder Pictures + Musings: On Untold Stoires, A Beach Shack, And A Rundown Hotel

If I had to live on a beach (you know, if someone really twisted my arm) I would probably want my home to be this shack. At least in my romantic, unrealistic mind I would; in actuality I think I'd like a nice little bungalow with walls, a door, some running water, and a real bed. But I did fall in love with this structure when I saw it on the beach at Half Moon Bay in Antigua. I had brought my camera there to take photos of a deserted, rundown hotel along the shore, but as I walked down the hot, white, velvety sand I came across this shack (more after the jump).