Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One of my favorite photographs - if you know the photographer, PLEASE let me know so I can credit them properly.

Many people struggle with the idea of building a wardrobe in a limited color palette, so I've been nosing about, finding some interesting websites which help train one's eye, and evaluate gut reactions, where colors are concerned.

One of my favorites can be found here; it's a site on which you can upload a favorite photograph, and then build a color palette based on the colors detected in that photograph.  For example, I have always admired Canada geese - they wear the same monochromatic palette every day, but are always the most elegant birds in the city.  Coupled with the stunning photograph above, I knew that I might learn something interesting about my personal color preferences by using the Image to Palette tool.

Image as loaded on the CSS website

So I uploaded the photo to the site (you can also reference a URL - it's very user-friendly), and was presented with the three following palettes:

From these palettes, I could choose colors at will and combine them in a final palette of eight colors; my choices are shown below.

Anybody who knows me will recognize the grey and black immediately!  And I'm gradually migrating toward the soft pinks and blues as my hair turns grey.  And of course, the colors that I use here on my blog are drawn right from this palette (which I built this morning!) So my love of this photograph seems to be an obvious reflection of my favorite colors.

This is a ridiculously fun tool - give it a try!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I've been tying scarves like this for decades, and I don't know that I've ever seen anybody else do this!  So I'm sharing with the world...

The finished Infinity Knot.

For a square scarf, start with a standard bias fold. Excellent instructions for this can be found here.

Center the scarf at the back of your neck, and make sure that you can see the "open" part of your folds (this will make more sense later).

Cross the scarf in front of your face.

Cross the scarf AGAIN in front of you.  Yes, each end of the scarf is now headed back to the side from which it originated.

Bring the small ends of the scarf back behind your neck, and tie the very tips of the scarf into a wee bitty knot.  (and yes, that IS my hair...)

Tuck your wee bitty knot into the "open" fold area of your scarf, and then fold it shut.  This hides the tiny knot, and leaves everyone around you completely mystified as to how you tied your scarf...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

earrings –  Swarovski, cardigan – J. Crew,  chambray shirt – A. P. C., trench – Burberry, pants - Maxmara, bags – Filson, desert boots – Opening Ceremony, necklace – Elizabeth Showers, scarf - Hermes

Striped cardigan – FTC, Pink sweater – Acne, Pink tank – Christopher Kane, Blue tee shirt – Aubin & Wills, light blue cardigan & long sleeved tee shirt – J. Crew, cotton turtleneck – Splendid, tank & skirt – Donna Karan, silk pants – Marc by Marc Jacobs, flaired jeans – J Brand, blue jeans – 7 for All Mankind

Pearl earrings – Ice.com, Crossbody bag – Dorothy Perkins, sunglasses – prism, Paisley scarves – Etro,  gold hoop earrings – Argento Vivo, gold chain necklace  - Miss France, gloves – Portolano, pink tourmaline earrings – Pippa Small, knit hat – Agnona, bracelets – Elizabeth Cole, Pumps – MICHAEL Michael Kors, – Stuart Weitzman, Ballet flats – Sam Edelman,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stud earrings – Vince Camuto, cardigan – Ralph Lauren, striped tee shirt – Old Navy, trench – Burberry, pants – Calvin Klein, bags – Tumi, penny loafers - Naturalizer, bracelet – Miss Selfridge, scarf - Hermes

Plaid shirt – Closed, purple turtleneck – John Lewis, grey tee - Devoted, purple tee – Mtwtfss, navy cardigan – Eastex,  grey silk sweater – Barneys CO-OP, cotton turtleneck – Vanessa Bruno, paneled cardigan – Paul Smith, gray pants – Carolina Herrara, tweed skirt – J. Crew, grey jeans – Helmut Lang,  dress - Oasis

Amethyst hoop earrings – Swarovski, Beret – Hat Attack, Amethyst necklace – Debenhams, handbag – Gucci, amethyst drop earrings – Debenhams, silver chain necklace – Aurora Lopez Mejia, purple scarf – pashmina Art, Amethyst ring – ice.com, silver knot earrings – Dorothy Perkins, amethyst bracelet – Lord & Taylor, socks – Burlington, square scarf – Coco, cashmere gloves – Black.co.uk, navy tights – Old Navy, printed scarf – Crumpet England, navy pumps – Kate Spade, silver sandals – Tod’s, navy ballet flats – French Sole

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today, I tried to cover at least a few trends - orange, stripes, and plaid shirts.  More variations to come...

Hoop earrings – Charles Garnier, cardigan – J. Crew, striped tee shirt – Kain, trench – Burberry, pants - Oasis, bags – Tumi, loafers – Tod’s, necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane, scarf - Hermes 

Plaid shirt – Ralph Lauren, Orange cashmere v-neck – Ralph Lauren, metallic scoopneck tee – Rag & Bone, orange tee – Dorothy Perkins, patterned cardigan – Ralph Lauren, open knit sweater – A.L.C., cotton turtleneck – Splendid, orange shirt – Ralph Lauren, orange pants – Stella McCartney, narrow jeans – Cimarron, twill pants – 3.1 Phillip Lim,  flaired jeans – Tara Jarmon

Quartz disc earrings – Robeta Chiarella, Suede hat – Bronte, sunglasses – Ray Ban, multi-strand necklace – Oscar de la Renta, convertible handbag – La Bagagerie, square stud earrings – Gurhan, orange scarf – Me & Kashmere, Engraved lava ring – Sandra Dini, zigzag socks – Missoni, gloves – Debenhams, ikat print scarf – Lily and Lionel, Square scarf – Timberland, round pearl earrings – Carolee,  teardrop earrings – Alexis Bittar, gold rope cuff – Yves Saint Laurent, oxfords – Palazzo Bruciato, Sandals – Stella McCartney, Suede perforated ballet flats – Burberry

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pearl earrings – Majorica, Gray blazer – Stella McCartney, striped tee shirt – A.L.C., grey trench – Burberry, black cotton pants – Michael Kors, bags – Tumi, shoes – Thierry Rabotin, pearls – Kenneth Jay Lane, scarf - Hermes
Often, I receive questions about what to pack if one is uncertain of the weather at the destination. This is a question I wrestle with often, because my favorite time of year to travel is in those "iffy" months when a lot of families can't travel, because school is in session, and when the weather isn't warm enough to sunbathe, nor cold enough to ski.

Grey cotton cardigan – American Vintage, Striped cardigan – Day Birger et Mikkelsen, black knit skirt – T by Alexander Wang, Fair Isle silk sweater – Rag & Bone, black cotton sweater – T b Alexander Wang, black jeans – Levi’s, grey cotton pants – Calvin Klein, grey silk cashmere turtleneck – Miu Miu. Black silk sleeveless top – 3.1 Phillip Lim, black & white striped cotton turtleneck – Edit A. Miller, grey tee shirt – Old Navy, dress – Jaeger London
 So my approach is this:

  • Obviously - layers.  A lightweight turtleneck that can easily go under a cardigan or crew neck sweater, but will pack down to nothing.  A couple of silk or cotton modal tee shirts that are great for warm weather, but can slide under a cardigan or jacket.
  • Season-less fabrics: cotton knit, cotton twill, a flat wool gabardine.
  • Lots of accessories - especially warm socks, a hat and gloves.  Small space dedicated to these things can yield big dividends if the temperature drops.
  • Err more on the side of being prepared for cold, rather than for warm.  If the heat wave sets in, it will be quick and inexpensive to pick up a couple of extra tee shirts. But in a cold snap, you don't want to be rushed to buy woollies.
  • Trench with zip-out lining - invaluable.
  • Silk long underwear is a great pajama alternative, and can save your life when it snows.
  • And ultimately, if there's an unexpected blizzard, accept that you may have a day in which you can't do much except take a taxi to a museum and pass the entire day there.  Packing for every eventuality isn't possible, unless you have a personal staff of Sherpa to carry your bags.

Pinched oval earrings – Alexis Bittar, Grey socks – Muji, wool & alpaca hat – Burberry, grey disc earrings – Debenhams, necklace & hoop earrings – Dannijo, gloves – Dolce & Gabbana, Cross-body bag – Osgoode Marley, paisley scarf – Etro, ring – Vince Camuto, beaded bracelet – Chan Luu, Square scarf – Hermès, black pumps – Sergio Rossi, black open-toe flats – Stuart Weitzman, rectangular scarf – Leigh & Luca, tights – Fogal, striped socks – Black.co.uk

I'd love to revisit this suitcase in a different color combination - any suggestions?

Monday, January 23, 2012

from the very beautiful SnowCrystals.com site

All of my family has not yet come to grips with the fact that I'm not buying clothes for another 9 months.  Thus, I found myself, after the winter holidays, as the owner of a very generous gift card to a lovely retailer, with both online and bricks and mortar presence.

Now, when I set out my personal rules for my year-long fast from shopping, I did hold out the exception that I would be permitted to replace any garment(s) that were completely destroyed in the course of normal life.  Having spent the last couple of months in the heavy-lifting crew of a retailer, I have destroyed (rendered rag-like) a couple of long-sleeved tee shirts.  So I thought that this would be a reasonable opportunity to replace them...

This particular retailer's B&M locations aren't convenient to me (how bad are you locations, if someone living in downtown Chicago can't easily get to one of your stores?), so I was perusing their website.  I just wanted some simple cotton tee shirts.  Hemmed neckline (not banded), either v-neck or crew neck, and I was willing to be very flexible about sleeve length - long, 3/4, or short.  And I wanted black, charcoal, medium gray, and white...

Impossible.  I saw hundreds of tee shirts, but they had:

  • sequins
  • beads
  • pleats
  • top-stitching
  • ruffles
  • appliques (including some really ratty looking flowers)
  • silk screening
  • cut-outs
  • asymmetrical necklines
  • drawstrings
  • gathered hems
  • fringed hems
and sometimes more than one of these "enhancements" at a time.

I'm devoted to versatile clothing, that can be worn in a variety of combinations, and can be accessorized in a number of different ways. These tee shirts were NOT versatile, because they were too complicated and gimmicky.  The gift certificate abides, until the retailer can come up with something that meets my criteria.

A little bit of ornamentation is not a bad thing.  Gee-gaws, to the exclusion of timeless, elegant, classic clothing, is a lapse of good taste in which I choose not to participate.