Friday, March 30, 2012

Black tights – Fogal, Trench – Burberry, Boots – Kamik, black skirt – Paul Smith 

So I finally get a day off, and wandered about down in the "Loop" meeting a friend for lunch, stopping by to see belovedest, and just hiking about taking in the sights...  The young lady represented in the above assembled outfit was a shining light of cheer on a gloomy day; I first noticed her radiant smile, but her well-curated outfit caught my eye too!

And another thing I saw: payday shopping.  Back when I was in soft-goods retail, we always knew that the 15th of each month, and the last day of each month, would be very busy at lunch time, and after the end of the office work day.  Why?  Insert graphic of money burning a hole in someone's pocket.

There's nothing theoretically wrong with shopping the same day you get paid; it is, in many way, just another day.  But we saw a LOT of... well... a sort of desperation and desire for instant gratification and a quick "pick-me-up", which often translated into a cheap and cheerful item that didn't really GO with anything else someone owned, and which wasn't a particularly well-made garment of enduring style either.

Maybe everything I saw being carried around today in the Pay-Half, H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 bags was well-chosen, carefully planned neutral classics of quality fabric and construction.  But I'd be surprised...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Claudia asked about a travel wardrobe in grey, with accents of teal and merlot.  What lovely colors to work with...  If this isn't exactly appropriate for the weather anticipated, shorter sleeves, and maybe capris could be substituted for some of the items here.  As always, I'm long on accessories, and layering possibilities...


  • The Travel Outfit

Tee shirt – J. Brand, blue diamond studs –, cardigan – Patagonia, Grey pants – Stella McCartney, scarf – Missoni, teal washed leather oxfords – Maison Martin Margiela, tote bag – Big Buddha

  • The Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Wool/silk abstract scarf – Oolmoo, grey wrap top – Yves Saint Laurent, grey scarf – White & Warren, wavy scarf – Missoni, chain & flowers necklace – Lanvin, beaded bracelet – Chan Luu, teal tank – General Pants, merlot clutch – Asos, grey cotton cardigan – Uniqlo, teal tunic/mini dress – Vanessa Bruno Athe, merlot sleeveless top – Raquel Allegra, coral stud earrings – Aesa, merlot jersey dress – Michael Kors, grey dress – Moschino C&C, striped top – Saint James, silver watch – Seiko, Teal bangle – Breil Milano,grey cotton hemp skirt – Komodo Moira, grey jeans – Mih, grey drop earrings – Cheap-Monday, grey beaded necklace – Debenhams, silver stud earrings – Emilie Morris, grey tee – J. Crew, merlot ballet flats – Marc by Marc Jacobs, silver flats – Nine West, grey kitten heel pumps – L.K. Bennett, teal pants – J. Crew

  • A Few Outfits from the Travel Capsule Wardrobe


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'm over at Tish's today - come see what I've created for a quick Parisian 2nd honeymoon...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let me say this right up front - some of these items can be worn VERY successfully by other women, so please don't jump all over me if some of your favorites are on my list.  This is MY PERSONAL stuff to avoid - nobody else's.  Although at least one or two of these are always going to be a challenge to virtually anybody...

Black & beige sandals – Report Signature, platform sneakers – Jil Sander, beige slingbacks – Christian Louboutin, black boots – Jeffrey Campbell

Light blue – Dolce & Gabbana, royal blue – P.A.R.O.S.H., dusty rose – East, grey – Ann Demeulemeester

boots – Jeffrey Campbell, handbag – Rebecca Minkoff, pumps – Christian Louboutin, bracelet – Bar III

Dress – Donna Karan, sweater – D&G, earrings – Kate Spade, blazer – Rag & Bone

Top – Alexander McQueen, color-block shift dress – Oasis, coat – Miu Miu, blouse – Plein Sud

Black laced – Steve Madden, black cuffed – Acne, taupe suede – Donna Karan, royal blue suede – Giuseppe Zanotti

Bracelet – Chanel, bag – Tory Burch, tee – Ralph Lauren, high-tops - Gucci

Jacket – Gucci, leggings – Balenciaga, skirt – Miharayasuhiro, vest – Karl 

all items - D&G Dolce & Gabbana

All items - Alexander McQueen

Sunday, March 25, 2012

These next eight garments are things that I wear almost the entire year - maybe not the dog days of August, or the teeth of a bitter blizzard (not that I really remember what that's like), but month in, month out, these clothes never go into storage.

And the accessories - same thing.  They are my standby goodies, over and over again.

Both striped tops - L.L.Bean
bot tee shirts - Lands' End
both dresses - Lands' End
both pair of pants - Eddie Bauer

Scarves - Hermes Flacons, and Jardins des Metamorphoses
earrings - Cartier
Stone necklace - J. Jill
pearls - Etsy
gold penny loafers - Cole Haan
cross-body bag - Osgoode Marley
Tote bag - Tumi

If I were to pack the eight solid black garments I chose for my last wardrobe iteration, and take also these eight (and all 16 accessories), I would be set for any autumn/winter/early spring jaunt that might present itself...

Artisan Made Jewelry Designs

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I did a "conference to cocktails" post over at Tish's last week, and quite a few people asked me to replicate the project with a neutral-colored dress.

A very near version of this LBD is in my closet already, so this was a lot of fun to put together!

Any other requests?  Pants?  A suit?  Let me know...

how to wear a black dress from day to evening
Blazer – Armani Jeans, Dress – DKNY, pumps – John Lewis 

how to accessorize a black dress for evening wear
Bracelets – 1928, Red scarf – Yves Saint Laurent, red ballet flats – Repetto, black & white beaded scarf – 
Kate Spade, black wristlet – Stella & Dot, black diamond & pearl earrings – Astley Clarke, 
slingback shoes – Robert Clergerie

how to accessorize a black dress for evening wear
Black & white cardigan – L’Wren Scott, black diamond stud earrings – Lord & Taylor, 
black & white kitten heel pumps – Jimmy Choo, purple earrings – Kenneth Cole, black suede sandals – Valentino, 
violet beaded cardigan – East Beaded, clutch – Salvatore Ferragamo

how to accessorize a black dress for evening wear
Beige piped blazer – Mango, earrings – Miguel Ases, taupe & black kitten heel sling-backs 
Giambattista Valli, black kitten heel sling-backs – Michael Kors, indigo cross-body bag – Marc by Marc Jacobs,
 black, silver & blue plaid jacketTheyskens, indigo beaded bracelet – 2028

NORDSTROM - Choose 3 Free Samples with your Beauty Purchase

Friday, March 23, 2012

One common characteristic that all of these women shared: a sense of planning.  They weren't over-burdened with a bunch of stray bags, they knew where their ID and boarding pass were, their hair was neat and clean, they wore modest but attractive makeup, they just didn't appear to be frazzled and out of control.  

And some of the outfits that you might assume were worn by younger women were in fact being sported with great elan by women of a certain age.  With confidence and flair...

Beige tee – Majestic, pants – A.P.C., black jacket – La Garconne, scarf – Etro, ballet flats – Bally, striped tee – Linea Weekend, red sweater – Balenciaga, jeans – Quiksilver, red shoes – Converse Chuck Taylor

London 2012 sweatshirt – John Lewis, White capris – Monsoon, ballet flats – French Sole, black dress – DKNY, blue cardigan – Kenzo, tights – Fogal, bag – 3.1 Phillip Lim, pumps – Jimmy Choo

Necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane, white tee – Mtwtfss, black cardigan – 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rolled jeans – True Religion, black flats – BCBG, black top & skirt – Max Mara, printed cardigan – Bottega Veneta, turquoise flats – Dorothy Perkins

Thursday, March 22, 2012

So in the last 48 hours, I've been on:

  • 4 subways
  • 3 buses
  • 2 airplanes
  • 1 taxi
and I logged more time hanging out in 2 airports than I'd care to relive, except for the AMAZING people-watching.

At LaGuardia yesterday, they should have had a paramedic team on standby all day, because I saw FOUR different women fall off of their shoes, in a 90-minute period.  If there is ever a day in your life when you must assume you're going to be walking a lot, it's a day when you fly.  Sometimes I feel like I've walked halfway from Chicago to my destination before I ever get on a plane, and that's a phenomenon that gets repeated after arrival.  So what prompts someone to wear 6-inch heels with 2-inch platforms when they're traveling?

I'm happy to report that no men fell down when I was watching.  Le sigh... 

I did see some very attractive ensembles when I was looking about; I'll try to pull them together for you in the next day or two.  My sleep patterns are wrecked!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yes, I'll be in New York for about 24 hours - I'm flying in, having dinner, sleeping (I hope), and then running literally TWO errands the next morning, and flying back.  Because I'm going to be racing about with very little "down time", I've determined that I don't want to pack more than I'm prepared to carry with me at all times...

To the rescue - the Tumi bag that I've been carrying for almost 10 years as a brief case.  It was originally a diaper bag, but it's logged more miles as an all-purpose bag than I can remember.  I've determined that I'm NOT going to wear my usual argyle cardigan - switching from black & white stripes to grey with Hermes will give me at least a different feeling on the 2nd day. Clothing, pajamas, and a scarf will go into a big zip-lock bag, toiletries already live in the bag all the time.  A book, a few tunes, wallet and ID in my cross-body bag, and I'm ready for an exhilarating and exhausting jaunt!

travel outfit with a black cardigan and pants, and a striped tee
Crossbody bag – Mulberry, earrings – Majorica, tote Tumi, cardigan – Paul Smith, 
striped tee – J. Crew, pants – Diane von Furstenberg, scarf – Haider Ackermann, 
loafers – Repetto, ring – Charlotte Santa Fe, bracelet – Kenneth Jay Lane

What to pack for an overnight trip
Pajamas – J. Crew, socks – Nordstrom, lingerie – Chantal Thomass, 
 ipod shuffle – Apple, dopp kit & “liquids” bag – Flight 001, book – L’Art de la Simplicite by
Dominique Loreau, tee shirt – T by Alexander Wang, scarf - Hermes


Friday, March 16, 2012

Dress - Shakuhachi

Jacket – Dondup, leather belt – Isabel Marant, gladiator sandals – Giuseppe Zanotti, grey cardigan – Odd Molly, boots – Christian Dior, earrings – Miriam Haskell

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm back over at A Femme d'un Certain Age today, talking about how to elevate basic clothing into the much more alluring bistro attire; come visit!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trench – A.P.C.

Yellow – Burberry, blue – Burberry, green – Lanvin, bright indigo – Burberry, purple – Max Mara, red – Burbearry, raspberry, orange – Burberry

Sage green – Wallis, white – Ann Demeulemeester, pale grey – Moncler, olive grey – Organic by John Patrick, apricot/lt. blue – Dries van Noten, light denim – Derek Lam, grey – Preen, yellow – L.L.Bean

Trench coat with ruffled hem – Miu Miu, drawstring hem coat – Acne, san suede waterfall-front coat – Ralph Lauren Black Label, cotton belted coat – Carven, leather jacket – Preston Knight, beige coat with black leather piping – Marni, short waxed cotton jacket – Vince, military style jacket - Gryphon

Metallic brown brocade coat – Christopher Kane, striped coat – Fendi, printed coat – Etro, striped coat – Missoni, printed coat – Alexander McQueen, beige & black striped – Burberry Prorsum, black orange & brown striped – Burberry Prorsum, color blocked coat – DSquared2


Monday, March 12, 2012

This is the last of the cardigan-based travel wardrobes that started with last week's "Flying in Cardigans".  This assortment is ideal for a short business trip which combines dressy and more casual activities.  I apologize for my currently messed-up schedule, I'm going to have to rely on your imaginations to build all of the possible combinations yourself!

Cardigan – BANK, earrings – Majorica, tee shirt – John Lewis, pants – Michael Kors, cotton parka – Altazarra, loafers – Burberry, scarf – Etro, tote – Michelle Vale

Linen cardigan - Toast, blue top – Reiss, taupe silk blouse – Alexander Wang, earrings – Amrita Singh, taupe sweater – Paul Smith, Dress – Isaac, cropped pants – Reiss, skirt – Marc Jacobs, paisley scarf – Etro, ballet flats – Jimmy Choo, kitten heel pumps – Kate Spade, bracelets & ring – Alexis Bittar, taupe clutch – Dune, square scarf - Hermes

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This is pretty close to what I pack when I go to Paris (or most other major cities that I visit).  I always take a pair of jeans, because we try to go to a rugby match when we're there!  My suitcase would probably have even more jewelry in it, and quite a few scarves; I find that I don't mind wearing monochromatic outfits day after day if I have my favorite accessories with me.

If I had to augment this assortment for a slightly longer trip, I would add a grey cotton twinset, and another pair of capris - maybe in a black and grey paisley print.  

If you ever see someone in an airport dressed like this, come up and say hello - it will almost certainly be me!

  • A Simple Black and Grey Travel Outfit

A simple travel outfit: black trousers, grey tee, argyle cardigan, and pearl jewelry
Argyle cardigan – Lands’ End, tee shirt – J. Crew, pants – Eddie Bauer, earrings – Majorica, loafers – Stuart Weitzman,
 scarf – Diwali, jacket – Barbour, tote - Tumi

  • Travel Capsule Wardrobe in Black, White and Grey, for a week in Paris

A Simple 12-Pack for Paris in Black, White and Grey, with flat shoes, Hermes scarves, and pearl jewelry
Square scarves – Hermès, black cardigan – Paul Smith, stud earrings – Emilie Morris, 
grey, black and white short sleeved tees – Splendid, black and white striped tee – J. Crew,  
pearl bracelet – John Lewis, grey long sleeved tee – Alexander Wang, black dress – 
Diane von Furstenberg, black capris – Donna Karan, black skirt – Alexander Wang, 
clutch – Magid 6696, silver drop earrings – Lewis Henry Nicholas, Mary 
Jane flats – Repettojeans – Old Navy, back and grey tee – Marimekko, ballet flats – 
Marc Jacobs, grey dress – Calvin Klein

  • A Dozen Outfits from the Travel Capsule Wardrobe in Black, White and Grey

3 classic travel outfits to wear in Paris, or any other city!
3 classic travel outfits to wear in Paris, or any other city!
3 classic travel outfits to wear in Paris, or any other city!
3 classic travel outfits to wear in Paris, or any other city!