Monday, September 25, 2017

There are so many beautiful new scarves this fall; I'm enjoying sharing them with you and using them to start travel wardrobes...

Mirrored Minerals square silk scarf by Ted Baker London
square silk scarf - Ted Baker London

If you love this fabric and print, but aren't crazy about a square scarf, this is also available in a cape scarf, a dress with a grey bodice and print skirt, a small skinny scarf, a larger rectangular scarf, AND a full-length skirt. Which could be absolutely amazing for formal-wear... Never let it be said that you don't have a few options!

Mirrored Minerals square silk scarf by Ted Baker London with style guidelines and color palette
square silk scarf - Ted Baker London

Yes, I know that the background on this scarf isn't really a single true shade of grey, but there's realistically no way that you're going to be able to match the subtle variations of color here. Best choose something that blends perfectly and build from there...

I Think She's Gone Soft on Us...

"I mean, she did a great job with the server farm - got right in the door and down to work... but did you notice that she was wearing earrings???"

travel outfit in charcoal grey and soft teal for cool weather
watch – Olivia Burton; cardigan– L.L.Bean; chalcedony earrings - Azuni London; square silk scarf - Ted Baker London; tee – Banana Republic; briefcase – Incase Designs; boots – Sarto by Franco Sarto; jeans – Current/Elliott; backpack – Briggs & Riley

"She wore earrings EVERY DAY she was here. But if it's any consolation, I know that she bought her briefcase in the men's department... but she tied a scarf to it one day - I was shocked..."

business travel six-pack in charcoal grey, pink and white for cool weather
grey cardigan – L.L.Bean; caged crystal earrings – Flora Maria; pink cardigan – Banana Republic; pink earrings – Edge of Ember; striped shirt – Lands’ End; butterfly scarf – Valentino Garavani; white tee – L.L.Bean; clutch – Coach; pants – J.Crew; skirt – J.Crew; black flats – Ecco; blue flats – Kristin Cavallari

"You're going to think I'm crazy, but I could have sworn that her watch had flowers on it. Flowers!"

a three by three business travel capsule wardrobe in charcoal grey, white, soft teal and pink

"Well, when she wore a skirt to the managers' meeting, AND a pink sweater, I figured that they'd just kick her out because she'd lost her mind. I mean, that's not the way she does things..."

The 3 by 3 view of a business travel wardrobe in charcoal grey, soft teal, pink and white

showing 27 possible combinations of a 3 by 3 business travel capsule wardrobe

Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself, because it IS the way she does things, now that she's the new manager of your department...


How to Pack a Foolproof Business Travel Capsule Wardrobe? Start with a Ted Baker Mirrored Minerals Scarf!
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Friday, September 22, 2017

Opals are difficult - I think before you spend a lot of money on one, you're going to want to do your homework! That said, I'm the last person to throw rocks at you if you choose to wear a fake... life's too short for me to judge anybody on the basis of their stones...

Yes, this dress is FINALLY available at Lands' End. It was there, then it was gone, and I was very confused... And the only opals here are these amazing earrings - I so wanted you to see them...

black shirtdress with blue opal earrings and blue accessories
scarf - Acne Studios; dress – Lands’ End; earrings - Melissa Joy Manning; ring – Ippolita; shoes – Munro; tote - Burberry

It's worth remembering that opals come in all sorts of colors...

And the bracelet brand - Lionette NY - has a few other pieces of opal jewelry. Click through to the site and then click on their brand to see their full assortment.

camel dress with green opal jewelry
necklace – Ela Rae; clutch - Judith Leiber; dress - Ralph Lauren Black Label; earrings - Five and Two; bracelet - Lionette NY; pumps - Michael Kors

You don't need to wear a million pieces of jewelry, if the ones that you DO wear are lovely. (and if you handbag is completely amazing...)

charcoal dress with rose pearl jewelry
earrings - Tiberio González; bracelet - Sandra and Lily; dress - Uniqlo; pumps - Nina; scarf - Nordstrom; bag – Acrata

These earrings would be really flattering - that luminous blush color near your face would look good on anyone.

brown dress with rose opal jewelry and rose accessories
earrings – Vanhi; scarf - Echo; dress – Uniqlo; ring – Five and Two; bag – Nina; pumps – Trotters

There are opals that come in this color, but these are frankly fake. But if you like them (and if you have matching shoes!) you needn't apologize to anyone.

bright orange faux opal jewelry with a bright navy dress
earrings - Kendra Scott; brooch – Kenneth Jay Lane; bracelet – Céline; dress - L.L.Bean; clutch – Whiting & Davis; slingback pumps – Anne Klein

If I owned this necklace, I'd re-do my entire wardrobe to show it off - although I wouldn't really have any money left! But it might be worth it...

lavender blue opal necklace worn with an olive green dress
earrings – Gorjana; dress dress – Lands’ End; necklace – Irene Neuwirth; bag – Judith Leiber; flats – Botkier

When people ask you if you're not afraid to wear opals because they're "bad luck," just look at them as if they're the kind of person who believes that inanimate objects have power over you... Sort of like the way I look at people who ask why I don't wear high-heels...


More from the Birthstone Series:

October's Birthstone is Opal! A Few Ideas...
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sometimes, it's best to keep things simple...

Could Someone Make Up Their Mind?

Maybe the meeting is business dress. Or maybe business casual - they're not sure yet...

black white and red Guild Prime shirt
shirt - Guild Prime

Happily, she long ago mastered the art of keeping things simple, and flexible!

black white and red Guild Prime shirt with style guidelines and color palette
shirt - Guild Prime

She likes her 3 colors, and all kinds of clean geometric shapes. So while they're all dithering and fussing and undecided, she's relaxed and prepared!

travel outfit for cool weather in black, white and red
shirt - Guild Prime; earrings - Lele Sadoughi; watch – Olivia Burton; cardigan – L.L.Bean; pants – L.L.Bean; hangbag - Angela Valentine; scarf – Nordstrom; loafers – Seychelles; overnight bag - Cuyana

She can literally walk in the door of the conference center (walking distance from the train) and change into an appropriate outfit, from her tote bag...

tiny travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and red
pajamas – L.L.Bean; earrings – Marcia Moran; striped turtleneck – MSGM; scarf – Halogen; ring - Rachel Entwistle; down vest – Uniqlo; skirt – Alberta Ferretti; pumps – Paul Green

She can carry her own luggage, and she's confident and comfortable that she can handle whatever silliness is thrown her way...

tiny travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and red

two outfits from a tiny travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and red

two outfits from a tiny travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and red

Imagine - she's presenting information about planning for a variety of contingencies in business. Is anybody better qualified?


Packing for Overnight - Start with a Guild Prime Shirt
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Sometimes I see a scarf, and my mind wanders, and my imagination takes off...

Echo Butterfly Silk Bandana in black with teal
scarf - Echo - this scarf also comes in a cream background, with a brown border and pink, orange and light blue butterflies...

She's Not Excited...

Echo Butterfly Silk Bandana in black with teal with style guidelines and color palette

They've been getting together about twice a year - more or less - for decades. Since they finished college... And she's starting to feel that they're growing apart. (for example, they would have a very difficult time with her outfit that mixes brown and black leather accessories, while she finds it perfectly comfortable...)

travel outfit in teal and black, with Echo silk butterfly bandana and brown leather accessories
sweater– L.L.Bean; earrings – Magpie Rose; watch – Rosefield; shoulder bag – Fat Face; scarf - Echo; corduroy skirt – Uniqlo; boots – Trotters; tote – Frye

Well, she feels like she's growing. And they're further away than they used to be, metaphorically speaking. She just doesn't have the tolerance for a 3-hour conversation about skin-care. Or handbags. She wants to talk about things that are more serious...

tiny travel capsule in black, orange and pink for cool-weather overnight
pajamas – Bodas; carnelian earrings – Meghna Jewels; clutch - Ellia Wang; bracelet – Kenneth Jay Lane; dress – Karen Millen; jacket – Uniqlo; pumps - J. Reneé; sweater – Banana Republic; pink earrings - Plukka

She feels like her personal, quirky style is pretty well established, and that she doesn't need to really dissect the in's and out's of every upcoming trend...

tiny travel capsule wardrobe for cool weather in black, teal, orange and pink

She still cares about these friends... sigh... But yes, she's going to wear a down jacket with her dress just to be a bit rebellious...

two outfits from a tiny travel capsule wardrobe in black, teal, orange and pink

She's not sure what to do. An exercise in patience, and the truth of what love of friends means?

She will make it all about love - that will work...


Packing for an Overnight Trip by Starting with a Scarf: Echo Butterfly Silk Bandana
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Friday, September 15, 2017

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. You almost never see that from me. Because I don't show pictures of myself every day, a lot of retailers assume that they don't ever need to send me clothes or credits of any sort... silliness! Talbots very generously gave me free reign on their site to pick a couple of pieces, and I had great fun choosing...

Belovedest and I leave for Paris on the 20th - we try to go somewhere lovely to celebrate his birthday every year. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to choose a couple of pretty, somewhat romantic pieces that would integrate really easily into my "mostly black" travel plans...

This is what I chose:

Talbots black & cream cardigan and black lace top
cardigan - Talbots; lace top - Talbots

The bow on the cardigan is really a pin - which is great! I'll probably use the bow somewhere else - on my black cardigan? - and wear this cardigan without a pin. The cardigan is amazing - the four buttonholes on the cuffs are REAL, which is practically unheard of in this day and age!

The lace top has a velvet tie at the neck, and a small velvet band on each sleeve where the sleeve releases into the slightly flared cuff. I love the sleeve length here - I can wear a simple bracelet, and still not be dragging anything through my dinner plate...

When you fly to Europe, you have to be comfortable on the plane, of course (but it's only about 8 hours - sort of like a normal work day?) but you also have to be prepared to wear the same clothes through most of the following day. Typically, you can't get into a hotel in most place until mid-afternoon... We're staying in the Marais neighborhood, where jeans and New Balance sneakers are practically a uniform; I'll be fine!

travel outfit in black and white for Paris autumn 2017
scarf - J.Jill (similar here); earrings - Majorica; cardigan - Lands' End; tee shirt - Muji (when I have to replace it, this is what I'll get); backpack - Hershel; watch - Timex; silver bag - Bao Bao Issey Miyake; jeans - Dearborn Denim; shoes - New Balance (similar here); suitcase - Calpak

I'm packing for this trip with quite a few constraints - we're staying in an apartment that will be (a) small, and (b) up quite a few flights of stairs, so I'm going with a really small suitcase. Our location is within a block of a "Cinq a Sec" same-day cleaners, so we'll be able to have things laundered without a lot of effort. B doesn't want to pack a ton, so we're both going to deliberately try to keep things to a minimum. I have a desire to see how many different ways I can wear a pretty small number of garments...

So in the interest of small suitcases, I'm wearing BOTH my jeans and my athletic shoes on the plane...

This first cluster is the "dressing pretty" grouping. Ideal for dining out, but still appropriate for museum-ing and cafe sitting. Our vacation is going to be very relaxed, without the break-neck hiking and sight-seeing that sometimes overwhelms us...

a dressy black and cream travel cluster featuring two tops from Talbots
Paris scarf – Echo; pearl bracelet - Majorica; black & cream scarf - Hermès; brooch – Kenneth Jay Lane (similar here); cardigan - Talbots; tee shirt – Lands’ End; lace top - Talbots; bracelet – Kenneth Jay Lane; necklace – Majorica; skirt – J.Jill; pants – Eddie Bauer; necklace – MOMA; ballet flats – Thierry Rabotin (I will replace these with this pair); loafers – Stuart Weitzman (similar here)

Since the first cluster provided me with a skirt and a pair of pants (as well as the jeans in which I'm flying), I'm going to now add a couple of sweaters and a couple of shirts - all of which can be worn together or on their own...

two black & white sweaters and two black & white shirts for travel
knot earrings – Pichaya; square earrings – Alexis Bittar (similar here); star earrings – similar here; dotted shirt – Lands’ End (similar here); gingham shirt – Lands’ End (similar here); striped sweater – D&G (similar here); tweed sweater – J. Jill (similar here)

And finally I'm packing a couple of dresses, as well as a coat that will probably be carefully folded into my backpack (unless I find that I need it before we leave!). These dresses - especially the sleeveless one - are workhorses...

two black dresses and a black coat for travel to Paris autumn 2017
jacket - COS; dress - Eileen Fisher; sleeveless dress - J.Jill

This should all fit easily into my suitcase - I'm going to maybe take 1 outfit for walking a 5K (I've been forbidden to run on my bad knee!) while B is running... And I'll probably take more scarves at the last minute, and a small metric whack-ton of jewelry...

travel capsule wardrobe in black and white for Paris autumn 2017

I've got options - many more than are shown here!

two ways to wear black jeans from a travel capsule wardrobe

two ways to wear a simple black dress from a travel capsule wardrobe

two Talbots tops work with a simple black skirt from a travel capsule wardrobe

two Talbots tops work with dressy black pants from a travel capsule wardrobe

two ways to wear a sleeveless black dress with a cardigan from a travel capsule wardrobe

two ways to layer a sleeveless black dress from a travel capsule wardrobe

In addition to Instagramming lots of scenery, food, and other lovelies, I'm going to try to remember to show my outfit of the day every day... We arrive in Paris on the 21st, so be sure that you're following me on Instagram if you want to see the sights with us!


Taking some Talbots to Paris next week!
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