long and lean jacket

long knit moto jacket
Eileen Fisher knit moto jacket


This is a really fabulous longer, not-just-another-blazer jacket. It’s very flattering, can be worn open or zipped, and would work well for a travel wardrobe. The moto styling is subtle enough to go to the Business Casual office, and the cotton knit is lightweight but substantial. I like that the hardware is minimal and dark, so doesn’t compete with jewelry. It’s a fitted piece, and from my try-on experience runs true-to-size. Machine washable! Also available in Plus. (IMO, this is another of those better-in-person-than-in-pictures pieces.)

Updated to add: I’ve received a few inquiries about how it looks unzipped. Found a photo, and another source if the first doesn’t have the size you need.

Eileen Fisher long knit moto jacket
Unzipped. On me it fits a bit closer than this.

Also available in Misses, Petites and Womens at Neiman Marcus.
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sidewalk café

posted in: Books, Coffee, Travel | 27


One of my very favorite things in life is to sit at a sidewalk café in Paris, sipping coffee and watching the world go by. There’s just nothing like it.

Nespresso and a good book

There may not be those iconic tables or cute Parisian waiters, but the coffee’s just as good, if not better.

French bee glassware
Napoleonic Bee espresso cups

I’m still very happy with my Nespresso machine. Perfect espresso every time. They’ve just added a few new varieties, including “Arpeggio” decaf, which is awesome.

I’m dropping a not-so-subtle hint here, can you guess?

coffee and Amsterdam
scarf | jacket (similar) | tee | bracelet | jeans (similar) | shoes

Napoleonic Bee espresso cup

How do you take a mini-vacation at home? Do you have any travel or vacations planned for this year?

Linked up with Fashion Should Be Fun Friday, Throwback Thursday.
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California jeaning: south

posted in: Denim, Los Angeles, Outfits, Style | 66
Eileen Fisher cardigan, French Kande necklaces, boyfriend jeans, Paul Green ankle boots
Boyfriend jeans. I was a late adopter, but made up for lost time.

Today Lisa of Privilege and une femme d’un certain âge are collaborating, each writing a post about the love we share for denim. We thought it might be fun to approach from the perspective of two Californians, one north, one south. Denim is our state’s unofficial uniform, after all.

There are few other clothing items that lend themselves so completely to individual expression, yet retain a distinctive identity. And no other clothing item is quite so emblematic of California’s laid back image as a pair of jeans. Levi Strauss and The Gap were both birthed in San Francisco, and Los Angeles now has quite a vigorous denim industry. NYDJ, AG, Frame Denim, Citizens of Humanity, Mother, J Brand, Paige, Joe’s Jeans (just to drop a few celebrity names) are all LA-based and do much of their manufacturing here.

inside my AG Stilt jeans
inside my AG jeans

There are few places in Southern California that you will not see some form of denim being worn. I won’t say it’s de rigueur (heck, nothing is de rigueur in LA) but it’s hard to go wrong with the right pair of jeans. There’s an unwritten rule to California style: one should never look as if one is trying too hard. I couldn’t help but absorb this attitude during a lifetime living here (both North, South and in-between), and suppose that’s why what has come to be regarded as “Parisian style” appeals to me. Jeans are one form of style shorthand to convey that same insouciance.

What works for me has shifted over time, and probably will continue to evolve. One thing has remained constant: I’m no denim purist. While some prefer raw and selvage denim, almost all of my favorites have a little bit of stretch to the fabric. Let’s look at a few styles, in ascending order of my preference.


Vince scuba jacket
Citizens of Humanity

Conventional wisdom has it that bootcuts are the most universally flattering jean style, and they can be. But I also find this style can be harder to wear in that the hem has to be just the right length, so different heel heights require different hems, which means the jeans must be specific to the shoes. And for someone short like me, the flare is another volume point that I have to balance with the rest of the outfit. Still, sometimes these are Just Right.

Bootcut options
Gap | NYDJ (Plus) | 7 For All Mankind | NYDJ

White Denim

white jeans
NYDJ, similar

Most of the time, I find I love white jeans in concept more than execution. But they have a place in a Southern California wardrobe, and sometimes nothing else will do.

White Denim Options
NYDJ | Eileen Fisher (Plus) | AG


Eileen Fisher skinny jeans, Balenciaga bag
Eileen Fisher
colored skinny jeans
NYDJ (similar)

I was very much a latecomer this trend (now that we’re 10+ years in, can we really call it a “trend?”) It helped to find styles that were a little less extreme than the painted-on, calf-strangling versions that had led the charge. Once my eye adjusted to them, for a year or so they were all I wanted to wear. This style works well within my preferred long-over-lean silhouette and both pairs shown here are quite comfortable, thanks to a good bit of stretch. I’ve found that adding some visual volume to the lower leg either by cuffing or tucking into boots can help to balance the look.

Skinny Jean Options
Eileen Fisher | NYDJ (Plus) | Rag & Bone | NYDJ


Eileen Fisher jeans, Givenchy bag
Eileen Fisher

Once again, it was only after some “mellowing” of this trend from the first vanguard baggier, wider-leg versions that I was able to incorporate boyfriend jeans into my repertoire. The softer, narrower cuts like the Eileen Fishers above are versatile, easy to style and can be flattering.

(Sensing a pattern here: I’m unlikely to be the first one out of the gate with any new trend. Diana Vreeland’s eye may have had to travel; mine has to adjust.)

Boyfriend Jean Options
Madewell | Gap | Seven7 (Plus) | Frame Denim | KUT From The Kloth

Cigarette/Slim Leg

AG "Stilt"
AG “Stilt”
slim leg jeans
Eileen Fisher

This feels like a “best of all worlds” option.  Middle ground, maybe, between skinny and slim boyfriend, this cut offers a lot of styling flexibility, and works with flats, heels and ankle boots. I see “skinny” and “slim leg” being used interchangeably at times, but to me there is a subtle difference. Skinny jeans are fitted all the way down to the ankle. A cigarette or slim leg is fitted through hips and thighs, and then narrow and straight from the knee down. I find this to be a leg-lengthening cut, and very comfortable if the fabric has some stretch.

Slim Leg Options
Jag Jeans | Gap | NYDJ | Lucky Brand (Plus) | Eileen Fisher | NYDJ | DL1961 | AG “Prima” | J.Crew

The Bridge Not Yet Crossed…

distressed denim
Damsels in Distressed

Once again, the eye adjusts. My initial reaction to distressed denim was, “ugh, no way, so contrived.” Now, I find myself fascinated by the pairing of gently distressed boyfriend jeans with pumps and other polished pieces. Never say never. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but am thinking about it, again, avoiding extremes.

Gently Distressed
Gap | Current/Elliott | Frame Denim | City Chic (Plus) | Kiind Of

A note about rises: while brands like NYDJ have always offered a higher rise, expect to see a lot more mid- to high-rise options among all brands, as this seems to be how the fashion pendulum is currently swinging. I hear champagne corks popping across the land.

To wash or not to wash? I say wash, but only every few wearings or if soiled. Turn inside out, cold water, low heat dryer.

Don’t forget to go check out Lisa’s Northern California perspective.

What’s your favorite denim style and wash?



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S P F is your B F F

SPF - what's your number
L’Occitaine | Shiseido | Chanel | Clarins | Clinique | Coola


This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions expressed are my own.

It’s a good idea to refresh and update your skincare routine periodically. Sometimes product formulations change, sometimes it’s our skin or environment that changes. But whatever else you do, please don’t skip the most important step: sunscreen. My dermatologist likes those with “barrier” or mineral sunscreens, which all of the products shown above contain. Look for “titanium dioxide” or “zinc oxide” among the active ingredients. These tend to last longer than purely chemical sunscreens, though often a higher SPF is achieved with a blend of barrier and chemical active ingredients. (Chemical sunscreens may also irritate some with more sensitive skin.)

The challenge for a facial barrier sunscreen is finding one that isn’t too heavy or greasy, doesn’t leave a whitish cast, and doesn’t “pill.” Of those above, I’ve tried the Shiseido, Chanel, Clarins and Clinique and been happy with all of them. Currently I’m alternating the Clarins and Chanel, and both work well under makeup. (No reason for “alternating” other than I’d opened both and want to use them up before they expire.)

Nordstrom has a fabulous selection of skincare brands and products, and offers free samples with online beauty orders. Shipping is free too, with any size order. Try the online live chat if you have questions about any products or services.

In addition to sunscreen (every day, no matter what!) my current skincare routine includes:

Do you wear sunscreen daily? What SPF do you generally choose?

P.S. Don’t forget your lips!


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monday mixer

spring travel wardrob mix pieces
top: scarf | shirt | scarf | sweater
middle: tee | jeans | sweater | skirt | bag
bottom: jacket | shoes | boots | pants


In comments on last Monday’s “lessons from the travel wardrobe” post, reader Cindy asked to see how I’d combine items above to create different outfits. The pieces I’ve shown above aren’t necessarily the exact ones I own (though a few are) but rather meant to be representative of the kinds and styles of clothing I’ve found work well in a travel wardrobe. This isn’t even a complete wardrobe: I’d add a couple more tops, maybe in another color that works with the scarves, maybe a pair of dressier pants. Even with the add-ons, it would fit easily in a carry-on suitcase.

But with just this core, I was able to put together 8 unique outfits without breaking much of a sweat.

spring travel wardrobe mix 1These are mostly casual outfits, however many could easily go from day to dinner. (I threw in a necklace below for fun…remember that accessories are an easy way to add interest and variety, as well as bringing your own distinctive style to an outfit.) No, these outfits probably won’t get you “street style snapped” ;-) but you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation while feeling appropriately and comfortably well-dressed.

spring travel wardrobe mix 2

Here’s why this works:

  • Base of solid neutrals
  • Lightweight pieces that layer easily
  • Prints chosen carefully…the striped top goes with a floral scarf. A floral top would be tougher to combine with a floral scarf, or stripes with stripes.
  • Pieces like the linen shirt (if not too voluminous) can be worn under a sweater or jacket, or open over a tee. If you can’t bear the thought of wearing rumpled linen, try a jersey button front shirt like this excellent one from Eileen Fisher. (I seriously LOVE this shirt, look for it on the blog soon.) Also available in Women’s and Petites.

Hope this gives you some good ideas for mixing and matching your own travel wardrobe! I’ve updated my SHOP page with a few things that would be the types of pieces I’d include in a Spring travel wardrobe.

spring travel wardrobe pieces

What strategies do you use to create outfits from a capsule or travel wardrobe?
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