January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
Breaking in the Shoe Department: The Single Sole
I suppose I should have seen it coming, as we have been teetering — “comfortably” — on our platforms for more than a few years now. But still, I was focused on reduced heel hight and my new love of the velvet slipper, so I wasn’t thinking too much about it.
Then I arrived home to my January issue of Vogue which contains a story on “Breaking the Platform Habit”. Apparently, Vogue would like us to practice walking in — and start buying — stilettos. (http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/stride-into-2013-breaking-the-platform-habit/#1). I would add that a single sole shoe with a lower heel height and deep vamp might be just as great and more comfy.
Next, an email from the good people at Net-A-Porter stating that they were now obsessed with the Single Sole Shoe, along with a link for me the think about (http://www.net-a-porter.com/am/Shop/List/The_Single_Sole?cm_mmc=EmailDedicated-_-ShoeHotlist030113-_-am-_-Position1&cm_em).
Clearly, the Fashion Gods are speaking up. And they want us to change our shoes.
While I am not a slave to trends, I have been feeling like my platforms sometimes look a tad clunky. (And The Real Housewives aren’t helping.) Perhaps that is why I purchased these last spring:
The BB stiletto is sexy and I can walk it them for the most part. And they do add a certain lightness to a look, but still have a ton of presence. I tried them recently with a pair of rust colored velvet flares that stop just above the ankle (yes, I am going there, too), and that looked kind of perfect.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting that we toss out all of our Minnie Mouse shoes just yet, but I would put a “Hold” on them for Spring and a “Buy” — or “Dig Out and Start Wearing” — on the classic stiletto, a great kitten heel and a good, old fashioned flat.
(Photo of my BB’s: Some Cozy Night)
October 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
As you know, I am a great lover of fashion with a capital “F”, and indulge in it far too regularly. But I often feel as if attention is paid most closely to Ready-to-Wear and Fast Fashion, and very little in between. But there are so many In Between options that are just fantastic: great style, beautiful details and good quality. Here are some of my favorites:
Nili Lotan’s store in East Hampton makes you want your entire wardrobe to consist of about ten things. It seems as if there is nothing in her small collections that can’t take you through your day and into the evening without being comfortable and stylish. (Unless, of course, you must wear a suit…Nili can’t exactly help you there.) Fantastic sweaters, cozy coats, simple but beautifully cut dresses and a well-edited selection of cotton shirts and pants. Did I mention the scarves? Terrific. (www.nililotan.com)
Vanessa Bruno’s ATHÉ line is filled with more comfortable yet cool pieces. My latest love: a poncho-styled sweater that has all the best parts of the poncho (like adorableness and a new look) and none of the bad (arm use, anyone?). And it must be said, her signature line is one of my top picks for easy summer dresses and other items of wearable coolness. (www.vanessabruno.com)
Well, I hadn’t darkened the door of Joseph since sometime in the nineties. And after a recent trip, I have to ask myself “WHY???”. The pants are well cut and won’t make you feel like you are wearing something “for the office”, even though you can totally wear them there. (And they often have coordinating jackets should you need them.) I think I may have purchased the sexiest pants I currently own there the other day. They don’t look like much on the hanger, but HELLO! when on! Love. (www.joseph.co.uk)
I will admit that there was a time when I thought Phillip Lim was not a contender, but those days are long gone. After five or so years, he has truly figured out his own direction that frequently creates Desire in my heart, without that nagging feeling of “when am I going to wear this” in my head. Super pants, lovely dresses and smart sweaters, including another great “hybrid poncho” in black and a super cool heather cream sweater with a chiffon overlay on the front (above) that mixes Sporty with Special perfectly. (www.31philliplim.com)
Who doesn’t want to look effortlessly beach-y, even in the colder months? I got hooked on James Perse through the t-shirts that are wonderfully soft and last a good, long time. (Yes, J. Crew, I am looking at you — and The Gap, too.) Everything on offer tends to be in those fantastic non-color colors that make putting together casual outfits pretty mindless. And you can pop a more tailored blazer over any of their t-shirts and drawstring pants and somehow look all CBK* without even really trying. (www.jamesperse.com)
So, I know Gwyneth Paltrow is Gooping Chinti & Parker up a storm lately. But I want to go on the record as saying I loved them first. I am presently deeply in love with their hoodies, and never don’t want to wear their other cashmere knits and cotton pants. (Which, btw, they could make more of…just thinking out loud.) The kind of clothes you can run an errand in and be all “don’t I look cool and comfy” while waiting on an endless line. (www.chintiandparker.com)
Before there were hipsters, there were Cool French People. And may CFP’s always be with us, since it will require that A.P.C. never goes out of business. In that mysterious French way, they make clothes that are alluring, hip and above all, wearable. There isn’t a season that goes by that I don’t pick up an item of two from their beautifully authentic collections. And did I mention that the stuff lasts forever? It does. (http://usonline.apc.fr/colorama/women)
And I think that is all I have for now. Happy shopping!
*CBK: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. I know I have mentioned her before, but really, even all this time later, her style was solid. And I am sorry that we didn’t get to see what was next for her.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s been some time I’ve noted things I’ve been loving lately. So just in time for you to ponder “Where has the summer gone?” and “Ack! Am I ready for fall?” this weekend, some more food for thought…
While the magazine isn’t always as fashion forward as the cooler kids (V, for instance), I am still a Vogue Girl. And their site, while not quite well-formatted, provides bursts of inspiration any time you need it. I especially like APT with LSD, the Best Dressed of the Week and all their thoughts on things to do at a given time of year. Enjoy! (http://www.vogue.com/)
2) Yoga Toes
During a recent trip to southern California with some girlfriends, we discussed the important subject of keeping our feet in good shape as the years pass by. And that is when Yoga Toes came up. They are a touch hard to explain, but I have been using them for about ten minutes a day for well over a month now, and I love them. A great stretch for your tootsies that have been shoved into all manner of foot-hostile shoes. And don’t fret, they come in clear. (http://www.yogapro.com/products/YogaToes.html?utm_source=adCenter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=YogaToes%2BKeywords%2B-%2BUSA)
3) Diptyques’s Mini Candles
As I have said before, Diptyque makes the best (outrageously priced) scented candles on the market. Full stop. And their mini ones are great for trying out new scents, to give as gifts and to just save a few dollars if you haven’t been fully converted yet. I am especially loving the
Feuille de Lavande scent, but there are few that I don’t adore. (http://www.diptyqueparis.com/home-fragrances/mini-candles.html)
For the major splurge, nothing feels more right these days that Phoebe Philo’s chic, streamlined and wearable designs. I loved her work with Stella McCartney and at Chloe (much of which I still have!), but she is just white hot these days. No gimmicks. Not super trendy, despite everyone in fashion loving everything she is doing right now. Just things that will effortlessly fall into your wardrobe and make you feel confident and comfortable. Love. (http://www.celine.com/)
5) Ciao Bella Malt Ball Gelatto
Theis flavor has been around for a while, but in case you are unfamiliar with it, put down your computer and go get yourself a container. There really isn’t anything more to say on the matter. (http://ciaobellagelato.com/#/products)
6) Tokyo Banana
Friends of mine brought me a box from a recent trip to Tokyo. Apparently, they are kind of a touristy thing to buy, but they are like a Japanese Twinkie and they are also crazy delicious. (http://www.tokyobanana.jp/)
And that is all I have got for you this evening. Enjoy and have a great long weekend!
(Funky photo of the bag my latest splurge came in, taken while on a bus, mind you: Some Cozy Night)
August 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
It is that time of year again, when women are supposed to begin shopping for Fall and Winter. Yes, I know it is a zillion degrees outside, and we are all just finishing up our summer steals with everything on Final, Super-Duper Discount sale. But still, it is time.
In fact, in some stores, we are already late. Case in point: The fantastic brocade pants at Céline that I suddenly very much needed last month were no longer available in my size. Gone. Forever. (Did I mention that they were from the Fall collection? They were.) And just the other day I was invited to a Resort trunk show later this month, which essentially clothes for the beginning of NEXT SPRING.
Such is the cycle of fashion.
To be truthful, I like the idea of getting my wardrobe in order well before the season hits. So I play ball and am quite close to being “done” for this one. However, this time around I am doing things a little differently.
As you may know, in general one wears 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time. And while I suspect my percentages are a little better than that, I am attempting to significantly improve that ratio using a three-pronged approach:
I am currently going through every item in my wardrobe — every one — and putting it into one spreadsheet that can be sorted by garment type, color, season, label, year made, and size. I already had a running start on this document, as I have been keeping these kinds of spreadsheets for years, but a new and completely up-to-date one is in order. It will keep me from over-buying (especially at sale time) and remind me of when things might need to go.
2. Ruthless Edit
While taking the inventory, I am trying everything on to decide if it stays in the picture. So far, the editing has been fierce. Anything that I no longer completely love is in a Donate bag. For the record, there is more than one bag and I am not done with the Inventory and Ruthless Edit Process. I tell you: I mean business here and I will have a smaller but better functioning wardrobe.
3. Precision Purchasing
This part is not going to be what you think, as I am not a fan of “basics”. Sure, we all need a pair of great black pants and a few perfect white t-shirts, so those are purchased as needed. But when thinking about what is going to make it into my closet, I first decide if we have chemistry. Without that, there is no point. Then, assuming we do, I decide if I have anything else too much like it, and if not, whether it goes with my life and the other things in my closet. And, in the hopes of improving my ratio, I now ask myself the hardest question of all: Will I wear this frequently? If the answer to this and all the other questions are “yes”, the piece is in.
And so, in the last few weeks I have added several items that met the above criteria, including a cool pair of black wedge booties with a rubber sole for wet days, a skirt that reminds me of Charlie Brown’s T-Shirt in a good way, a black down coat that actually looks good on me (a small miracle) and a fantastically simple short sleeved top done in pin-striped wool flannel.
And while my list of purchases for the season is far from short, many more things are leaving the closet than are being brought in, so I think I am off to a good start with my little experiment. Wish me luck — and don’t be afraid to try it yourself on the next rainy weekend.
August 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
I love how some of the fabulous women I know manage to pull off shorts — especially at the office. But I almost never partake since I lack Leg Confidence (with good cause). That said, the world has been making some awfully adorable shorts of late and a particular pair by one of my favorite lines, A.P.C., got really stuck in my head this season. Then it hit me: What if I purchased said shorts, but wore them more as a part of my (newly created) Car Outfit on summer drives out to the beach?
And a new concept outfit was born:
Now, it may seem silly to designate an outfit solely for a weekly car trip, but it has its benefits:
1) Work Clothes Stay at the Office, where they are not subjected to the abuse of a long drive that may or may not include food, dog contact, and who knows what else. Also, when we leave at night, I’ve probably been in those work clothes for fifteen hours, so a break would be nice.
2) No Clothing Migration, which, in spite of my efforts, seems to happen a lot. That dress I wanted to wear to a meeting last Tuesday? Yeah, it was over 100 miles away because I forgot to pack it. Eliminating this little bit of irritation from my life through a cute pair of shorts seems totally logical to me.
3) I Can Be Comfortable, but Presentable, because let’s face it, we get pulled over from time to time, frequently need gas, and well, you know, you never know when you will need to get out of the car. So why not make sure you aren’t going to embarrass yourself should the need arise?
And truthfully, those shorts were on mega-sale and are ridiculously cute!
I rest my case — and make note of that fact that I will need the winter equivalent soon enough. More on that later.
(Photo: Some Cozy Night)
May 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
It has been raining constantly in New York the last two weeks and while it can be depressing, it is a good time to mention that patent leather shoes are great in the rain. (Three or four-inch heels less so, but they are elongating.) A great option to keep in mind when your wellies or Rain Shoes won’t do.
(Photo, taken while my taxi driver was getting annoyed: Some Cozy Night)