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Hi, nice to meet you.
I'm Hallie, a Midwest native, New York City transplant and the mind behind corals + cognacs. If you're looking for an online destination for stylish inspiration and musings on Manhattan living, you've come to the right place.
I hope you enjoy reading corals + cognacs as much as I enjoy writing it.
FAQ //LOCATION: New York, New York •BY WAY OF: The Midwest (Cleveland/Chicago) •HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Attainable, trendy and fun. I’m constantly wearing unexpected pairings – like statement pumps and a graphic tee. •FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET? The vintage Gucci clutch I thrifted for $40. •ANY OBSESSIONS? I like my coffee black, my heels high and my martinis dirty. •GUILTY PLEASURES? Complex carbohydrates and shoe shopping -- both in excess. (And SoulCycle, as a result.)
ARE YOU A FULL-TIME BLOGGER? No, I work as a Development Manager and Contributing Editor at Glam.com. •WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG? I've spent nearly seven years on the corporate grind, where sartorial humor and an expertly crafted color-block can get lost in the boardroom. As a result, I decided to create a blog -- a space where I’d hoped my writing, styling and excessive shoe collection would be better comprehended. •WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Living stylish and spontaneously in New York City – and beyond. I aim to inspire others to have fun with fashion and to live lightheartedly •HOW’D YOU THINK OF THE NAME? To be honest, the name just came to me. I’m a big color-blocker and a sucker for alliteration in writing. It just fit. •WHAT’S THE CORRECT WAY TO WRITE IT? corals + cognacs.
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT? corals and cone-yaks. •WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE? A Canon T3i with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. •DON’T YOU FEEL WEIRD TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF? Absolutely. Everyone looks at me like I’m insane – especially when it’s cold. Wouldn’t you? •DO YOU WORK WITH ADVERTISERS/SPONSORS? Yep! Shoot me an e-mail and let’s talk. •HOW ELSE CAN WE KEEP IN TOUCH? On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Back to reality for a bit before I continue posting pics from Paris… (It takes awhile to comb through hundreds of photos! Thanks for your suggestions about what to include, though.)
There are a lot of perks in moving to Chicago — but there’s definitely one aspect that remains the most appealing…
Having an in-unit washer/dryer.
If you’ve ever lived in New York City and/or gone without one, you know this struggle to be all too real. I used to joke about it, but real talk: I used my dry cleaner as additional, off-season storage when I lived in Manhattan.
At any rate…
It goes without saying, but black-on-black tends to be my go-to ensemble in cool-tempered times — especially at night. And if there’s any color that gives a girl a boost of confidence, it’s all black err’thang.
Here are some of my go-to dark clothing items that I wear year-round:
The perfect layering piece – or an item that doubles as outerwear when it’s on the warmer side. This cozy cropped knit from 525 America makes a regular appearance on the blog — as does my this cute sleeveless number.
Much of my workout gear is black – leggings especially. To prevent them from stretching or shrinking, I’ve been washing them with Woolite Darks on the gentle cycle (with lycra tanks and sports bras, too). Truly, it’s really made a difference in their elasticity… We’ll get to more on clothing care in a sec.
I have a fairly predictable “going out” ensemble, and it usually entails dark jeans and a silky, black tank or blouse. This outfit has been on repeat this winter — but I can’t wait to trade my favorite blouse for a loose-fitted, silky tank.
So last month, Woolite (yes, the detergent brand) reached out to me and asked if I’d like to test out/share a review of one of their formulas — Woolite Darks.
Have you heard of it?
Embarrassingly, I’m 30-years-old and have never actually purchased specialized detergent, so I happily accepted the challenge.
As evidenced in today’s content, my closet has amassed a lot of dark pieces over time (blazers, blouses, silky tops and cashmere sweaters to name a few). Most of these items call for a special kind of care — and thankfully, having my own washer/dryer situation in-unit has made caring for my clothing less of an expensive pain-in-the-ass.
I’ll get to a more detailed review in a moment, but here’s the spoiler alert: It works.
… Or rather, it does what it’s supposed to.
Ever since I’ve started caring for my most coveted pieces with the product, I’ve noticed a difference in my clothes (and it’s been about a month total). Actually, I notice a difference after the first wash.
Here’s a bit about what it does: Woolite Darks is a detergent that offers the perfect balance of clean and care to make your dark-colored clothing stay vivid and look newer for longer… Up to 30 washes, specifically.
You can use it while either hand-washing items in the sink or on the gentle wash cycle in the machine — and on all types of fabrics, too. It effectively cleans everyday dirt (stains from coffee, sweat, make-up, etc) and provides care against things like fiber damages, fading and shape loss.
Specifically, I use it on my dark jeans, sweaters, spandex – and yes, even on more delicate fabrics, like silk.
In my research (always researching, #nerdalert), I learned that many other detergents that we use contain harsh ingredients like enzymes and bleach, which ultimately lead to shrinking and stretching — not to mention color changes, fading and bleeding in the wash cycle.
Woolite Darks, on the other hand, is uniquely made with these active ingredients that work as dye-magnets – or in other words, the detergent prevents color transfer and fading so dark colors stay dark. So, basically, your clothes stay looking like the way when you bought them.
Kind of a no-brainer, right?
On another note, let’s go back to the topic of confidence:
Obviously, I love an excuse to talk about beauty and confidence among women. (That’s basically the other half of what I do as a SoulCycle Instructor!)
Both organizations are working together to promote confidence in women through the power of dark, vibrant outfits that help us feel good about ourselves.
Having donated to the organization in the past, I decided to re-up my involvement by donating a few gently-used items of clothing to the organization (especially after seeing this video they made — it’s really touching). Two pencil skirts, a blouse and a blazer to be exact.
If you’re interested in joining the movement and empowering confidence in other women, click here to learn more about Dress for Success and how you can get involved.
Spring is coming… No better time to clean out that closet, right?