Monday, September 15, 2014

A Trend to (Maybe) Try: An Upgraded Sweatshirt

One of the joys of having all of our core basics covered in our wardrobes is that, if a trend happens along that holds some interest and appeal, we can give it a try!  This year, sweatshirts with some sort of enhancement seem to be everywhere.  I've seen jeweled, beaded, embroidered, textured, and printed ones - some of them very beautiful.  These can be worn with nice trousers and good-quality leather shoes on casual Friday in most offices.

However, be careful, because some of these sweatshirts, while very lovely, are BLINDINGLY expensive.  Happily, there are also very similar products available at more reasonable prices.  Just check to be sure that your new purchase is put together reasonably well, and isn't manufactured somewhere with abysmal safety records.

These are a few budget-busters.  But if I were made of money, I'd have numbers three, four and six boxed up and shipped over tomorrow - sweatshirts suit my "Bolshoi drop-out/la garconne" wardrobe to a T!

Houndstooth short-sleeved Theory, black quilted – Neil Barrett, black and white – Mother of Pearl, floral – Roberto Cavalli, butterfly print – Valentino, architecture print – Carven

These are in many ways similar to the sweatshirts show above, but at a fraction of the cost.  At least two of these look, to my eye, as if they could easily compete with their high-priced siblings.

Grey cable knit – Dorothy Perkins, navy dotted – White Stuff, grey striped – Steven Alan, black floral – Morgan, grey abstract – Wood Wood, black white floral sweatshirt - ChicNova

Are there any other current trends we should examine?  Let me know!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

A 4 by 4 Wardrobe in Lavender, Jade, Denim and Grey

One more visit to the denim and grey Core of Four - this time, with accent colors of lavender and jade.  All of the shades are cool - some are soft and gentle, and others are almost vivid.  Lots of options here!
Zigzag stripe scarf – Missoni, moonstone earrings – Anzie lavender scarf – Faliero Sarti moonstone bracelet - Shanker, pearl and moonstone necklace – Nalinee, striped scarf – Faliero Sartigrey loafers – Tod’s, striped bag – Kao Pao Shu, ankle boots – SoftWalkgrey jeans – Current/Elliott,grey sweater – J.W. Anderson, grey corduroy pants – Patagonia, grey Henley - Uniqloblue tee shirt – Uniqlo, cuffed blue jeans – Frameblue sweater – Steven Alan, dark wash jeans – A.P.C.heather green top – North Facegrey smock top – Isabel Marant Etoile, white collar and cuff shirt – Etro, cardigan – L.L.Beanlavender v-neck shirt – Gap, green cardigan – Uniqlo, green silk shirt – Uniqlo, lavender Henley shirt – L.L.Bean
Grey jeans – Current/Elliott,grey sweater – J.W. Anderson, grey corduroy pantsPatagonia, grey Henley - Uniqlo
Blue tee shirt – Uniqlo, cuffed blue jeans – Frameblue sweater – Steven Alan, dark wash jeans – A.P.C.
One of the nicest things with the shades of lavender - they can easily be blended so long as you have the same basic tone.
Heather green top – North Face, grey smock top – Isabel Marant Etoile, white collar and cuff shirt – Etro, cardigan – L.L.Bean
 Once you find someone who's selling a color that you love, it makes some sense to stock up!
Lavender v-neck shirt – Gap, green cardigan – Uniqlo, green silk shirt – Uniqlo, lavender Henley shirt – L.L.Bean
I looked for moonstone jewelry for this collection.  Moonstone has such a lovely iridescent, almost colorless quality that picks up the colors that you wear.  I think it's beautiful (and it's one of the three birthstones for those of us born in June!)
Zigzag stripe scarf – Missoni, moonstone earrings – Anzie lavender scarf – Faliero Sarti moonstone bracelet - Shanker, pearl and moonstone necklace – Nalinee, striped scarf – Faliero Sarti, grey loafers – Tod’s, striped bag – Kao Pao Shu, ankle boots – SoftWalk

Friday, September 12, 2014

A 4 by 4 Wardrobe in Pink, Rose, Denim and Grey

This color palette felt to me like it was giving you permission to indulge in a variety of shades of pink, and so that's sort of what I did.  I also took this opportunity to pretend that the person choosing this wardrobe had a deep and abiding passion for stripes.  That sort of fondness/obsession is great in a wardrobe, if it's deeply and truly felt. You should definitely wear your heart on your literal sleeve if you know what you like, and you're happy sharing it with the world.  It certainly makes shopping more focused, and you project a clear point of view to everyone around you!
Grey jeans – Current/Elliott,grey sweater – Acne Studios, grey corduroy pants – Patagonia, grey Henley - Uniqloblue tee shirt – Uniqlo, cuffed blue jeans – Frameblue sweater – Steven Alan, dark wash jeans – A.P.C.grey striped shirt – Isabel Marantgrey smock top – Isabel Marant Etoile, plaid shirt – Esprit, blue striped shirt – Isabel Marantrose pink cardigan – Uniqlo, pink cotton shirt – Ted Baker, striped tee shirt – Uniqlo,  striped shirt – Velvetgrey and blue striped scarf – Missoni, bar earrings – Burcu Okutlinen and crochet scarf – Handmade by Hayley, silver cuff bracelet – Achara, striped scarf – Faliero Sartigrey loafers – Tod’s, tote bag – Coet, grey suede boots – Aerosoles
Grey jeans – Current/Elliott,grey sweater – Acne Studios, grey corduroy pants – Patagonia, grey Henley - Uniqlo
Blue tee shirt – Uniqlo, cuffed blue jeans – Frameblue sweater – Steven Alan, dark wash jeans – A.P.C.

Why yes, the grey and blue shirts are the same, except for the color.  When you find shirts that fit well, it's not crazy to stock up.  Difficulty with fit is why many of us avoided button-fronts for so many years.  Finally, manufacturers are figuring out that they might want to make these in a wider variety of cuts...  I personally have great luck with Lands' End Petite shirts, if anyone with shorts arms and a full balcony wants to venture into the shirt market.  
Grey striped shirt – Isabel Marant, grey smock top – Isabel Marant Etoile, plaid shirt – Esprit, blue striped shirt – Isabel Marant
Always remember that a simple cardigan can be worn alone, as a sweater - sort of a two for one purchase!
Rose pink cardigan – Uniqlo, pink cotton shirt – Ted Baker, striped tee shirt – Uniqlo,  striped shirt – Velvet              
Here's where the stripe fondness became really fun - notice the subtle ridges in the bracelet, and the stripe-like nature of the silver earrings! 
Grey and blue striped scarf – Missoni, bar earrings – Burcu Okut, linen and crochet scarf – Handmade by Hayley, silver cuff bracelet – Achara, striped scarf – Faliero Sarti, grey loafers – Tod’s, tote bag – Coet, grey suede boots – Aerosoles
The nicest thing about having a good-quality core of solid garments is that you can indulge in a preference for things like stripes for a while, and then if you decide that you want to branch off into plaid or floral or metallic, you don't have to spend buckets of money in order to put together a few outfits showing your new crush.  When you are well-rooted in your base colors, you can express yourself in a variety of ways, so that you feel current, and always happy!
                        UNIQLO Europe Ltd

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Start With Art: The Church at Coggeshall, Essex by John Armstrong

What a cool painting!  It shows the World War 2 damage to the church, and the "reveal" of the interior structure of the church is fascinating.  So sad that such a lovely piece of art is the result of destruction...

From this, I selected two relatively minor colors in the painting as the neutrals, and then used the gorgeous pastels as the accent colors.  The black is clearly visible, but I grabbed the sage green from the shrubbery that's relatively obscured on the left side of the painting.  I think what I'm trying to show here is that, although the painting itself is very bright and muted pastel, it's still possible to pull together a wardrobe from these colors without enriching your dry cleaner.  Capturing the overall mood of muted softness and clarity can still be done, even if the relative prominence of the colors is somewhat shifted.
The Church at Coggeshall, Essex by John Armstrong

 These colors could be prioritized in any way you choose; there are also lots of other colors that could be pulled from this painting!

With just these two ensembles, you have at least four different combinations - almost a "whatever's clean" collection.
Blazer – Tonello, ivory tee – Tulchan, black pants – Vince Camuto, scarf – wrq.e.d, black flats – Jeffrey Campbell, black sweater – Uniqlo, cashmere infinity scarf – Ralph Lauren, chinos – Uniqlo, ankle boots – Via Spiga

Blue sweater – Dorothy Perkins, black skirt – Wallis, agate and quartz necklace – Nareerat, riding boots – Franco Sarto, green cardigan – Majestic, floral blouse – Dorothy Perkins, black jeans – Current/Elliott, ankle boots – Via Spiga
All wardrobes need more tops than bottoms!  And I always need to add some accessories...
Color-blocked blouse – Dorothy Perkins, black cardigan – Uniqlo, ivory turtleneck – Uniqlo, square silk scarf – Hermes,  jade bracelet – Gabriel Silva, tote bag – Rafe NewYork, onyx earrings – toosis

Color-blocked blouse – Dorothy Perkins, black cardigan – Uniqlo, ivory turtleneck – Uniqlo, square silk scarf – Hermes,  jade bracelet – Gabriel Silva, tote bag – Rafe NewYork, onyx earrings – toosisblue sweater – Dorothy Perkins, black skirt – Wallis, agate and quartz necklace – Nareeratriding boots – Franco Sarto, green cardigan – Majestic, floral blouse – Dorothy Perkins, black jeans – Current/Elliott, ankle boots – Via Spigablazer – Tonello, ivory tee – Tulchan, black pants – Vince Camuto, scarf – wrq.e.d, black flats – Jeffrey Campbell, black sweater – Uniqlo, cashmere infinity scarf – Ralph Lauren, chinos – Uniqlo
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