casual vendredi: Paris, 1er mai

people watching in Paris
jacket | earrings | scarf | shirt | bracelet | pants | bag | shoes

A year ago today we were in Paris, having a wonderful time. Just a few more weeks until we return!

lilies of the valley for May Day
muguets!
Louvre on May Day
Josephine of Chic At Any Age

Tuilleries, Paris

Happy May Day! Bon weekend!

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going to lengths…

long linen cardigan
earrings | scarf (similar) | tank | cardigan | bracelet | jeans | boots

So I’ve given up on the lightweight jackets…for now. The Theory jacket I tried last week, after some deliberation, has gone back. There was nothing inherently wrong with it, but it ultimately just didn’t feel right and I think the proportions were slightly off for me. Or maybe I’m just moving away from tailored looks; my style mood now is leaning toward softer pieces, and long layers with movement. This long cardigan hits that sweet spot between drama and practicality. Though I’ve styled casually here, it’s polished enough to go to the office. The linen gives it a nice bit of drape and swing, and I love that the pockets are just a little bit slouchy.

French Kande bracelet

I prefer it worn open, but it can also be buttoned. I’ve been wearing the heck out of both this scarf and bracelet lately.

long linen cardigan
Oui, still need a haircut.

 

Do you find you tend to wear things in cycles, favoring certain pieces for a period of time, then moving on to others?

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le “day bag”

posted in: Accessories, Bags, Travel | 46
what to wear in Paris in May
earrings | scarf | trench | sweater | bag | bracelet | jeans | boots

Remember a time when we didn’t feel we had to haul around enough stuff to supply a small army, every day, everywhere? When our purses were smaller than luggage and weighed less than a toddler?

While I do understand that sometimes circumstances just warrant having to tote a lot of stuff around, I’ve been making a concerted effort lately to size down my bags whenever I can. I’ve been pretty successful on weekends, and have a couple of smaller cross-body bags I’ve been using almost exclusively. For workdays, I’m hoping to transition to the “small bag + tote” formula. And for our upcoming trip, I’m planning to use a smaller, lighter cross-body bag for most in-town sightseeing days.

The Fashion Set seems to have received the memo as well. Where a Céline “luggage tote” was the must-have accessory a few seasons ago, the latest shots from recent fashion weeks show that the small Chloé “Drew” bag has achieved total It Bag Domination. (This one has no appeal for me, thanks to that skinny chain strap which I think would be quite uncomfortable once there’s any weight in the bag.)

When I peruse current selections of handbags in person or online, I’m shocked sometimes at just how heavy so many of them are, even smaller bags. Sure, there are fabric bags that weigh substantially less, but I just love the look and feel of a nice leather bag, and the polish it can add to even a casual outfit. Some retailers will list bag weights online, while others do not, but I’ve found the following elements often will affect the weight of a bag:

  • structured bags will often weigh more than softer bags, as the leather needs to be thicker to hold the shape.
  • hardware, especially clips and buckles…more and/or larger hardware adds weight
  • interior organization…the more compartments, pockets, zippers inside the bag, the more it will weigh
  • lining…suede or leather lining will weigh more than cloth

I’ve been researching what I refer to as “day bags,” small-to-medium sized purses that hold the essentials, but not much more. (By essentials, I’m thinking: wallet, cell phone, small tube of hand lotion, lipstick/balm/gloss, keys, a small compact or mirror, a small cloth to clean my glasses, and perhaps even a pair of sunglasses.) Your mileage may vary. Ability to be worn cross-body is a big plus in my book, though you may prefer a shoulder bag or even one that you carry in hand or over the arm.

What size bag do you carry regularly? Has it changed over time?

Here are a few that have caught my eye: (click arrow to scroll through selections)

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friday miscellany

Just a few random things on my radar…

avocado toast
Yes, I’ve jumped on the avocado toast bandwagon. I’m a Joiner.

Avocados are in season and it seems almost criminal not to partake. They’re especially good on this sprouted grain flaxseed toast.

 

Fabulous After 40

I was delighted to be featured this week at Fabulous After 40. I thought Deborah asked some really great questions. Thank you again, Deborah!

 

 

v-neck cardiganThis little cardigan from J.Crew was a pleasant surprise. It’s generously cut, but the very lightweight cotton fabric drapes nicely so it doesn’t look boxy. Available in several colors, it could be a good travel piece for transitional seasons. It works as a middle layer underneath a jacket or a top layer.

I loved this picture of Queen Elizabeth and this quote that Alyson at That’s Not My Age posted yesterday:

Queen Elizabeth II
‘Don’t retouch my wrinkles in the photograph, I would not want it to be thought that I had lived for all these years without having anything to show for it.’

She’s not afraid to load up on the pearls, either.

 

black overalls
Via Pinterest

Overalls…yay, nay or may? They’ve been piling up on Pinterest lately, but I think I’ll sit this one out.

What’s on your radar?

Bon weekend!
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a little light drama

linen long cardigan
cardigan | necklace | tunic | bracelet | clutch (similar look) | jeans (similar) | shoes

I wore this outfit to dinner with le Monsieur last weekend. I love the dramatic effect of this long linen cardigan; it’s so much fun to wear and I enjoy how it moves when I walk. I’d initially envisioned this outfit with white jeans, but ultimately preferred the softer effect of the light grey. Though this look is more specific an evening out, I plan to work both the cardigan and tunic separately into more everyday outfits.

No drama at dinner, though. We enjoyed some of this lovely Chablis…

2013 Chabliswhich went brilliantly with my Boudin Blanc.

Bouchon boudin blanc

Because our childcare arrangements on the weekend can sometimes be a bit tentative, we don’t often plan ahead when we go out. But we’ve found many of our favorite restaurants offer a full menu at the bar, and we can almost always get a seat last-minute if we show up before 7pm. We find this a very low-key and convivial option, and always enjoy chatting with the bar staff and other patrons.

French Kande jewelry, studded clutch

All of the pieces here except for the jewelry are from Eileen Fisher. The jeans are a couple of years old, and the clutch…can’t remember exactly but I’ve had it for a few years.

nude block heel sandals

And I was treated to a Lars photobomb while taking these shots…

cat photobomb

Do you have any “dramatic” pieces in your wardrobe? Do you find ways to work them into your every day outfits?

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