Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Hosiery…The Final Frontier?


Image via Pinterest.

When I recently spotted this image on Pinterest, I was intrigued by the fact that she seems to be wearing either dark tights or semi-sheer trouser socks with her Adidas. Does this unusual display of obvious hosiery (other than the 80′s-flashback ankle-socks-with-pumps worn by the Fashion Set) mean that the winds of change are blowing? Will bare skin no longer be de rigeur between skirt (or trouser leg) and vamp?

I came of age in an era where wearing any shoes other than sandals without some sort of hosiery was unthinkable and I have very few pairs of closed-toe shoes that I can tolerate wearing without tights or socks. I’ve recently been wearing these ASICS Low Cut Socks underneath my ankle or higher boots, but for pumps or lower-vamp shoes have been muddling through the past few years with baby powder and perhaps a pair of adhesive cushioned insoles to keep from sticking to my shoes. Those “no show” socks (the kind we used to call Peds) I’ve found to be worthless, as they either always show over the tops of the shoes, or else the heels slip off after the first few steps. I’ll wear tights with skirts when the weather is cool enough, but in warmer months or underneath pants, I’m often at a loss.

cutaway boots

And what do you do with all of the currently popular d’orsay, perforated and cut-out styles like these?

How do you deal with the hosiery conundrum?

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Utilitarian Style

white jeans, winter white

While it’s warm here today, last week it was cold enough to be similarly bundled up.

If you live in a climate where Spring lasts more than a weekend, you may find yourself intermittently reaching for a lightweight jacket (or a raincoat) over the next several weeks as temperatures fluctuate and weather is capricious. I’ve been wearing my Sandro utility jacket purchased in last year in London frequently, and am planning to bring it along as one of my outerwear pieces on our upcoming trip to France. The great thing about this jacket is that it works equally well as a rain/wind barrier over warm sweaters or as a lightweight layer over a tee when the fog rolls in.

Whether you call them field jackets, utility jackets, military jackets or anoraks, the versatility of this style explains their popularity. Wear over a button-front shirt and trousers or a dress to “de-formalize” the look, over a sundress, or entirely casually with a jeans or shorts and tee. Many current styles offer a bit of adjustable cinching at the waist which feminizes the look somewhat. I like olive versions for the versatility of that color: it plays the neutral when worn with brighter colors or prints, or adds a subtle touch of color with other neutrals. But if you have trouble wearing olive or don’t like it, jackets in navy, stone, beige, red and even coral can be found. Utility jackets are available in styles from polished to distressed, and in all price ranges. Be aware that unless waxed, 100% cotton will not be water resistant…if that’s what you need look for waxed cotton, polyester or nylon versions.

Do you have a version of the utility jacket in your wardrobe? How do you wear it?


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Friday, April 4th, 2014


Vince leather moto jacket

That’s the sound I hear in my head when I find something that feels Just Right. It’s like a piece of a puzzle snapping into place.

While there is a science to style (proportions, textures, colors, etc.), for me it’s also about instinct and gut feelings. Though many of you expressed that you loved the pale blush jacket from last week’s post, I said later that it didn’t sing to me; though I did like it, it didn’t click. Some ineffable something just wasn’t there. While returning it, I spotted the same jacket in “Charcoal” (which is actually a dark taupe) and it was an immediate “oh YES.”

Vince paper leather jacket, taupe moto jacket

Here’s a closeup that better shows the color. For those who are interested, it’s a perfect match for the darkest brownish-grey on my Light Summer fan.

This goes with almost everything in my closet. The leather is super light, perfect for LA about 8 months out of the year (even in the summer, it gets cool in the evenings).

leather moto jacket

Scarf: J.Crew (I think) from prior year, similar // Earrings: Argento Vivo, no longer available, similar // Jacket: Vince // Sweater: Eileen Fisher, several years old, similar shape // Jeans: Citizens of Humanity // Boots: Aquatalia by Marvin K, no longer available, similar.

Do you have a similar recognition when a piece feels Just Right? Does it sometimes go against what you think you “should” wear or like?

Linked up with: Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style



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Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Guest Post: Travel Tips For The Physically Disabled

Alicia from Spashionista

I’m delighted that Alicia Searcy from Spashionista has graciously consented to contribute to this series of travel-related posts. I asked her to share her experience and wisdom about travel logistics with physical disabilities, and she’s offered some great information and resources here. She’s been covering Nashville Fashion Week on her blog, so please do go visit!

Travel and all of its logistics require thorough research and planning if you have a disability.  Physical and sensory limitations, especially those that require adaptive equipment or special accommodations are best not left to chance. As romantic as the idea of a spontaneous journey may be making arrangements ahead of time will give you peace of mind and eliminate the stress of uncertainty.

Here are a few things to consider if you’re a physically disabled traveler, whether you’re going across town or halfway around the world.

  • Budgeting Your Time and Money: How early do you need to arrive at your transportation site? How much is it going to cost you to get where you’re going, secure a comfortable, accessible place to stay, and maneuver your itinerary? Don’t forget to factor in the cost of meals (especially if you have dietary restrictions), transportation to points of interest, and any supplies related to your disability that are easier to purchase after you arrive than they are to transport.

Remember to arrive at the airport, train, or bus station early enough to go through security and pre-boarding, and allow extra time if you’re in an electric chair. If you’re flying TSA suggests you arrange for a Passenger Support Specialist at least 72 hours prior to departure. Amtrak offers a 15% discount for disabled travelers with documentation. Some hotel rooms come with mini-bars and microwaves which allow you to store and prepare your own meals.

  • Lodging: What kind of accommodations do you need?

Travelocity can search for hotel rooms based on a variety of accessible criteria, including accessibility for the hearing impaired, accessible bathroom – with or without roll-in-shower, in-room accessibility, braille signage, and accessible path of travel. It’s best to be certain that your accessibility needs will be met, even if it means calling or e-mailing a prospective hotel to answer any questions you may have. If you’re travelling outside the US you’ll need to ask for adapted accommodations.

  • Navigating Towns and Venues: How are you going to get from your hotel to the places you want to visit? How do you know if a venue is accessible?

If you’re unable to drive Google the town or city you’re visiting for detailed information on accessible bus routes, trains, and taxis. You’ll also find ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft, which are less expensive than taxis, although not available everywhere. Be warned that they will only transport manual wheelchairs that can be broken down or folded to fit in the vehicle. They aren’t 100% reliable, either. I have a friend with Cerebral Palsy who was left stranded by an Uber driver when he refused to load her chair into his car.

Yelp often has information about any given establishment’s accessibility. There is also an app called AXSMap that only rates and reviews a venue’s handicapped accommodations. If all else fails, try the venue in question’s website and be prepared to call and ask. The front desk and concierge at your hotel is also a wealth of information about the local resources and attractions available to you.

Although travelling with a disability seems daunting with a little foresight and research you can have as good a time as anyone else; maybe even better.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Travel In Style: Let’s Get Personal

Lipault weekender

My new Personal Item bag: Lipault 19″ Weekender

Don’t worry, I’m not about go all TMI* on you. I’m talking about the “Personal Item” carry-on bag allowance.

Whether you check bags when you travel or fly carry-on only, your Personal Item can make a big difference in your travel comfort. When we first began traveling I squandered my Personal Item on just my handbag, but eventually wised up. A Personal Item bag can hold everything you need for in-flight comfort, and perhaps even a change of clothes for when you reach your destination. (If you’ve ever been seated behind a Rocket Launch Full Recliner who sends your tea flying off your tray table and onto the upper half of your body, you know how nice it is to have something dry and clean to wear when it’s time to de-plane.)

I’m not suggesting you flout airline carry-on restrictions or become one of those annoying overhead bin hogs. Your Personal Item is supposed to fit under the seat in front of you, so that’s the size of bag I’m going to focus on.

Up until recently, I used a large Longchamp Le Pliage tote as my PI. While it was lightweight and mostly large enough for my handbag, laptop or iPad, chargers, an extra sweater, pashmina, magazines, a snack, extra clothes and toiletries, the single open compartment often meant that the contents were a jumbled mess pretty quickly. And it tended to shift in transit through airports when set on top of my wheelie bag. I’ve come to appreciate a bag specifically designed for travel with compartments and a mechanism to secure it to other luggage.

Though I haven’t traveled with this Lipault “Weekender” bag yet, I’m really impressed with the design and have high hopes for its functionality. First there’s this feature:

Lipault bag

Fastens securely to rolling bag.

the back of the bag has an opening that slips over the handle of the rolling bag, then zips to hold it securely in place. On the other side there’s an outside compartment with a padded sleeve for a laptop or iPad. And a smaller section to keep travel documents handy for check-in and security. The main compartment is plenty roomy and the soft structure of the bag means it can be squished to fit under the seat. As we get closer to departure, I’ll show you how I pack both my wheeled and Personal Item carry-on bags.

Earlier on I was asked about non-wheeled travel bags for men. While the Lipault bags, even in a plain brown or black might read as too feminine for some guys, there are a lot of other lightweight options for cabin bags, wheeled or otherwise.

Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 8.08.23 PM

The Briggs & Riley cabin duffel above is good looking, lightweight, functional and carries Briggs & Riley’s lifetime guarantee. This bag also has the slip-over-the-handle feature. I’ve included more options below.

If you are traveling carry-on only, your handbag goes inside your Personal Item bag. (Of course, if you can always stash it there even if you’ve checked your bag(s) and then you only have one item to deal with, your choice.) I like the idea of a cross-body shoulder strap too, in case you need to navigate stairs or other situations that require carrying luggage.

*Too Much Information

Do you have a favorite tote or bag for travel? What items to you bring on board with you for in-flight comfort?



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