December 21, 2018
Yes, my trip was lovely…
I made 1 serious miscalculation when I packed – my coat that I wore wasn’t quite warm enough! But I knew that Uniqlo carries quite nice long underwear, so I dashed in and grabbed another couple of shirts; that’s not really an extravagance when you live in Chicago – I’ll be able to use them a lot through the winter.
I had packed the printed top and the black pants to wear as pajamas – they worked out really well. The morning that I left, I had already packed everything except my backpack. I was able to smash my pajamas into a tiny ball and cram them into the bottom of the bag – my toiletries went in on top, and I was good to go! I had purchased the tights in Chicago before I left, because I packed a dress, and knew that warm tights would be key to being comfortable…
Every company seems to have their own brand name for the specialty fabric that they use for base layers. Don’t get too concerned about who calls their stuff what – the key is that these are all synthetic fabrics that are both absorbent and breathable, as well as insulating.
But what was everybody ELSE wearing? The thing I noticed most was a lot of splashes of a bright goldenrod yellow. Here’s what it looked like in a couple of store windows (excuse the rotten photo quality – reflections are insidiously hard to avoid!)
If I were shopping, this would be the kinds of garments that would really tempt:
I could see the logic of grabbing good sandals early and being ready for spring… And that velvet jacket just makes me weak in the knees… sigh… (yes, that yellow sweater is one of those $60 cashmere sweaters that are such nice quality!)
Just a piece or 2 of this color would be enough, maybe…
A lot of women were wearing those bouclé coats that have a texture like a stuffed animal – they are, in fact, often referred to as teddy bear coats! They looked much more modern and relaxed than the “real” furs that I saw.
Since it was cold when I was there, it was easy to observe the patterns and trends in outerwear! One thing that I saw a lot – especially on students – was duffel coats. (I love to see a truly classic garment coming back into the mainstream…)
Most people seemed to wearing the ones that have both a zipper AND the toggles, and they would wear them with the zipper zipped but NEVER with the toggles fastened. Of such odd details are trends made!
This next trend was a blast from my past – high-waisted pants! For those of us who are short-waisted, these are not welcome… But if you’re long-waisted, or if you just don’t like your pants sagging down around your… hips… this is a BIG improvement. The nice thing about this being a new trend is that a lot of companies will edge in this direction by making normal pants with the waistband just an inch or 2 below one’s natural waist. Quite an improvement over a pair of pants with a 2 inch zipper and a 5 inch “rise!”
While I think the pants are a long-term style direction, these pleated skirts felt a LOT like a short-term trend. I saw dozens of pleated skirts – the kind of thing that we once referred to as crystal pleats. Most of these skirts were solid colors, maybe with some metallic or sparkle in the fabric. But I also saw people wearing them in plaids and prints. Whether or not they last until next year is an open question, but if I wanted something to quickly update my classic garments, I’d grab one of these in a heartbeat!
The other thing that I saw peeping out from below winter coats was soft fabric skirts with a bit of swing and movement – these were NOT pencil skirts. The lengths were all over the map, but the sense of fluidity was the common ground.
At this point I must mention that I saw lots of women wearing hosiery. Nude hose – I’m not going to assume that they were pantyhose, but they looked a lot like what we wore back in the ’80s! Plenty of sheer black hose too, as well as lacy and fishnet stockings. I saw virtually nobody wearing a skirt with bare legs; I don’t know if that’s more of an club/late night thing, or if it has fallen out of favor in Paris. Maybe just a function of the weather?
And lastly, a lot of the dresses and outfits that I saw in shop windows had a brooch pinned high on the shoulder. It was surprising to me – although it is easy to find a million brooches in Paris, I don’t often see them ON the clothes in shops…
Seriously, I wasn’t going to show ALL of these brooches, but I found that I couldn’t choose which ones I liked the most, let alone figure out which ones you would want to see. So I just decided to show a whole bunch of them! I could easily imagine buying a new brooch every holiday season and accumulating a whimsical collection…
Of course I have more photos to share with you – both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be dedicated to the odds and ends of Paris that caught my eye and my heart!
p.s. Do any of you know of a lovely painting that is predominantly navy, grey, pink and yellow? I’m looking for a specific wardrobe, and coming up empty handed… please leave a comment if you have a suggestion!
Rebecca Martin says
Painting suggestion: Madame Leon Clapisson by Renoir. Looking forward to seeing the wardrobe that complements the palette of this painting.
Thank you for wardrobe revisits you have treated us to this month, and I am excitedly anticipating the new first-of-the-month wardrobe building exercise you’ll embark on as of 1st January. I have my fingers crossed for a warm-base wardrobe.
‘Warmest well wishers to all,’
Rebecca in Rose
This is the winner! Well, I suspect I’m going to revisit a lot of these paintings in the upcoming months…
Another Renoir suggestion:
Luncheon of the Boating Party. Love the colors!
Biddy Gander says
Ha! I thought can it really be that difficult and yes, grey navy pink and yellow is not easily come by, in the art I have looked at,without lots of green as for instance in Camille Pissarro’s Peasants gathering grass. A good challenge and makes me want to grab my art books but Christmas calls!
Rebecca Martin says
My picture suggestion is Renoir’s Madame Leon Clapisson.
I’m in London at the moment and am likewise seeing lots of the Paris yellow here, I succumbed to a lovely silk piece by modern rarity.
Well wishes to all
This is it! I don’t know why, but sometimes I see something and right away I know that it’s perfect…
But I’m keeping links to ALL of these, because it’s not like I can’t use more paintings, right?
Something like this?
Janice Vollibs Coyle says
Love this painting – so beautiful! A wardrobe based on this one -especially for spring would’ve delighttful! Thank you Tamsin! And thank you, Janice for all the brooches- especially that cute owl. Janice Collins Coyle, Washington DC
saw this when looking for a present!
May be black not navy……..
Taste of France says
I hated the naked leg look and thought it was so trashy when I first saw it in London around 2000. I think Kate and Meghan are making pantyhose great again. Indeed, I have noticed a few “nude” stockings around, particularly on young women. But mostly it’s opaque tights, mostly in black but also some in bright colors. It’s much warmer here than in Paris–in the upper 50s/low 60s the past week–though that doesn’t stop women and men from wrapping huge scarves around their necks.
The look with the high-waist jeans is to pair with an oversized, chunky sweater that’s tucked in. And sometimes the jeans are purposely too big and cinched tight with a brown leather belt. That’s a look reserved for the young, though. I saw it a lot in both Montpellier and Toulouse.
Chris from Indy says
Over the past several years I purchase a snowflake brooch, the add parts of my collection to my coat or hat or sweater. I buy used or “vintage” because it’s easy to pick up pretties for cheap.
However, that little sheep brooch is sooooooo adorable……
Navy, grey, pink and yellow made me think of the art of William Turner, especially his seascapes. I know you seem to prefer very modern and abstract art for these. But there are a lot of (storm-troubled) waters with a sunset out there, that could fit your criteria… it sent me down a pleasant rabbit hole.
Just some examples:
Turner – The Slave Ship
Turner – The Fighting Temeraire
Turner – The Dark Rigi: The Lake of Lucerne, Showing the Rigi at Sunrise
Courbet – Autumn Sea
Pinchon – Péniches dans la brume
Monet – Impression, soleil levant
Monet – London, Houses of Parliament. The Sun Shining through the Fog
Manet – Monet on his boat
Vernet – Le Naufrage
Aivazovsky – The Ninth Wave
I clearly need to ask for advice more often – this list is brilliant!
thanks so much,
That yellow colour is everywhere in Sweden too. It is really the colour of this season. Isn’t it in the US?
Georgia O’Keefe worked in those colors a lot. Something like this
Mama Squirrel says
I don’t think I could/would wear that yellow–gorgeous and modern, but not my colour. But those woolly-textured coats, those made me laugh. Years ago, my sister and I played with a box of homemade doll clothes from a relative’s 1950’s childhood, and they included two little brown coats made from just such a fabric. I never imagined they’d reappear!
I just got back from London, and I agree – I saw a lot of yellow and Teddy coats on the underground – and elsewhere. I also noticed quite a few of the ladies had very cute, stylish, short hairdos.
Teddy coats! That makes sense – for the duffel coats? I call them Paddington Bear coats because that’s what he is wearing when he is found in that station.
Andrew Wyeth, Snow Hill. The maypole ribbons are the exact colors.
Love this – I’ve never seen it before!
Robin Jillson says
That yellow/goldenrod is SO my color! I love all of these garments!
P.S. I wore those “duffel coats” all through my college years in the 70s – we called them Loden coats. Maybe the brand name? Don’t remember …
Love that goldenrod (even though I can’t wear it)! I’ve worn a duffle coat of one brand or another for 40 years, they are wonderful. I’d like a bouclé fuzzer but they are rarely warm enough for deep winter, where I live.
The Talbot’s brooches’ quality disappoints. Save for •one• vintage brooch with of gold and stones (which could be secondary gems like tiger’s eye or iolite.) At an auction, I bought an emerald and diamond circle that looks like a wreath in the holiday season, for the aggregate price of those. Costume has a place, but ardent but I find these not well-made.
I am so glad you could make this trip and have a marvellous time.
“Loden” is a type of cloth, see https://lodenwalker.at/en/how-loden-is-made/
I don’t have a painting suggestion, but I cannot wait for this wardrobe. Navy, grey, yellow, and pink are my wardrobe’s colors, with some olive green thrown in. I am loving all the options I have for yellow right now.
Search for Madame Leon Clapisso by Renoir – that’s what I’m going to use! It’s soft, pretty, has the right colors…
Mary Lou Green says
I love your blog and especially appreciate your observations about what people are wearing. And I love your biscuit recipe too and I use it instead of my mother’s (gasp!).
Cooks Illustrated magazine has a new biscuit recipe that doesn’t cut butter into the mixture – it uses cream instead! I suspect that Christmas morning will see a batch of those tested in our home…
Maurita P says
I make cream biscuits all the time, after James Beard. As the master said, what is cream, if not milk with the butter still in it?
And from there, a great shortcut: 2 ingredient biscuits.
Yes, please let’s have an abundance of choice in socks and hosiery … colours, fabrics, texture! Fun, funky, elegant. No more bare ankles between boots and pants in winter.
There are at least 3 stores that I know of in Paris that sell nothing but hosiery – including one store that sells ONLY socks… And a lot of the big department stores have enormous selections of socks. You could literally take a garment with you and come home with socks that matched the color very well!
Really? I’d book my flight today if I could…just for that!
There is a hosiery store on the Amtrak level of Penn Station in New York City. I just purchased navy hose and knee-hi there as they can never be found in the places i usually buy hosiery,
I’ve been looking for my own heroine (read: me!) “Start with Art” inspiration and find myself quite drawn to Chagall. So for blues, grays, pinks and yellows, I do suggest: Marc Chagall, La Baie des Anges au Bouquet de Roses (Angel Bay with a Bouquet of Roses), 1967
I could see accessories of flowers, trees, birds, fish, or even geometric buildings.
Thank you for sharing your visit with us! The “yellow vest” movement in Paris has gained a lot of news lately and I am wondering if that is the yellow spilling over from politics to street fashion…? I love the bocle coats – they seem like an old lady fabric so I love it in new silhouettes.
I have been pulling out my old brooches to wear since finding your blog. But could you give some styling tips on how and where on the garment to wear them? I’m especially intrigued by your comment that in Paris they were pinned ‘high on the shoulder’. Looking forward to all your posts in 2019!
Mostly I saw them on the right shoulder (so if someone’s “reading” you from left to right they will settle on the brooch…) about 2 or 3 inches down from the shoulder seam, and centered between the arm hole and the middle-front of the garment. But you can pin them on coat lapels, handbags, cluster 3 of them on your shoulder… Whatever feels comfortable is good!
If I may, I wrote a post on this showing mine worn in places other than the lapel: https://passagedesperles.blogspot.com/2012/11/brooches-deco-rative-keepsakes.html
I have a long, pleated skirt from Eileen Fisher that I find impossible to wear. I can’t seem to get the proportions right, no matter how hard I try. Any suggestions? Theresa
michelle delloch says
I find the pleated skirts difficult… they look nice on tall models, but harder to style on average ladies! Try a slim or close fitting sweater that just hits the hips, or a fine material blouse tucked in.
I saw a gorgeous one in dark olive in awesome fine pleather. So cool and i tried it on and couldn’t work out what footwear to go with it. Also the length was wrong on me. The girl in the shop was like “oh just cut it to the length you like with scissors!!” Yeah no – not taking that risk on a $300 skirt.
I didn’t get it but think about it at least once a week. I made the right call though – I don’t have anything to wear with it. If I had gotton it I would have styled it with fitted top to balance the volume.
Might we be seeing some inspirational socks and hose on the blog in 2019?
Just saying, I am a ‘youngster’ and high-waisted pants have been being around again for at least 5 years. In fact, they’re going out of fashion again, which I regret as I have a tiny waist. Also, the pleated skirts: same story, they’ve been aroudn for quite a few years and don’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon, a longterm trend for sire.
Yes the pelaren skirt have been trending in Sweden for at least three years now, so it isn’t really a new trend
I know you’ve already had a million recommendations, but here is another:
The Plum Garden in Kameido’ by Andō Hiroshige (1857)
That’s beautiful… I’ve got so much art bookmarked I’m going to have to blog until I’m 110 years old!
Minya, Warrior Seamstress says
michelle delloch says
1 of 2
About the Product
About this Artist
Shipping and Returns
◦Final Dimensions (width x height): 19.5″ x 19.5″
This art print displays sharp, vivid images with a high degree of color accuracy. A member of the versatile family of art prints, this high-quality reproduction represents the best of both worlds: quality and affordability. Art prints are created using a digital or offset lithography press.
Malcena at the Gardasee by Klimpt also shares these colours.
It’s amazing when you start to really look at the art past just the image. Thank you Janice for helping us to take a closer look at art, and fashion!
i inherited a christmas brooch collection from my mom, and i’ve added to it every year. i won’t tell you how many i have now… but it’s a LOT..i do wear some of them more then others, but i also rotate them around..
i made a padded, upholstered pin board for them to live on, and then outgrew that, i haven’t yet gotten around to making a larger one.
I’ve been following your blog for a while now but this is the first time commenting. Love the color palette suggested!
I also wanted to let your other followers know about an item I found that I call a brooch converter. It lets you slide the pin of the brooch into the item which then transforms the brooch into a pendant and it can be worn as a necklace. I love it for the spring and summer months when you don’t have as many options of where to pin your brooch. Here’s a link to the item I purchased off ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Brooch-Converter-for-Changing-Brooches-and-Pins-to-Pendants-Plated-Brass-Metal/361122915673?hash=item54149a6559:m:m-nKu_Zn05njCwkZB7UukDg
Very cool to be able to convert a pin to a pendant! Thanks for the idea Michelle
Brooch converters are genius for costume pieces, just get one in both white and one in gold metal.
Susan Adams says
You might check out http://www.anneabueva.com/shop for abstract art in amazing colors.
Joanne Long says
I love those bouclé coats! I was tempted by a pleated skirt when I was in Paris in September but I’m not sure where I would wear it. I’ve always thought bare legs in winter was a mistake. Brooches are a fun lift to a grey, black or navy dress. I’m looking forward to your upcoming colour blog.
Van Gogh’s Café terrace. Lots of blue, golden yellow, Grey etc.
Funny how you sometimes get stuck and can’t find any inspiration, yet as soon as you said the colours I thought of Monet’s London paintings. The colours in The Houses of Parliament, Sunset, 1903 (National Gallery of Art Washington, DC) are just perfection whilst the Renoir does nothing for me.
Interesting how some things just strike a chord and others not. Look forward to seeing what you do with the Renoir. Even though I sometimes don’t like the starting point paintings (or scarves) I love the way you take them as inspiration for a colour palette and the wardrobes you create.
Chris M says
I’ve been enjoying your blog … such fun! I don’t have a comment about a painting, but just wanted to share a story. In the 90’s my husband was in Paris on business. When he came home he brought be this lovely loose weave scarf in a light turquoise. When he gave it to me, he said, every woman in Paris was wearing one of these scarves. I still have it and just love it.
What a lovely thoughtful and observant husband. Thank you for sharing.