Nordstrom half-yearly sale

Eileen Fisher tunic
Eileen Fisher

So the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale is on, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point our a few pieces that are worth a second look. With big sales, I usually start by seeing what pieces from Eileen Fisher are marked down. There are quite a few, and some good styles, but be prepared: many are already sold out in some sizes and colors. The linen tunic above still has several colors and sizes available.

EF silk tunic plus
Eileen Fisher

Still available in Plus sizes, this silk tunic is one of the pieces I’ll be packing for our Europe trip.

Eileen Fisher scarf
Eileen Fisher

I’ve seen this scarf in person and it’s really lovely. I’m tempted to snap up this one myself.

comfortable walking sandals

These ECCO sandals are similar to the ones I took to Hong Kong and Thailand last year, and would be great for summer travel. Other ECCO styles on sale here.

NYDJ colored jeans
NYDJ – Love this color!

There are lots of NYDJ styles included in the sale, including my current favorite, the “Clarissa” ankle jean in several colors.

Popular items do seem to be selling out fast, so my advice would be not to hesitate if you find something you like.
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your new summer pants

posted in: Pants, Shirts, Shopping, Tops | 15
J.Crew slim pants
J. Crew “Martie” pants

If you’re looking for a pair of slim, lightweight, flattering summer pants for the office, going out or travel, these “Martie” pants from J.Crew should be on your radar. Tried them on yesterday and they came home with me in Navy, though I’m thinking about going back for the color above (“Aztec Rust”). Machine washable too.

ikat top
J.Crew Ikat Shirt

I was hoping they’d have this ikat popover shirt in the store, but it wasn’t in stock yet. This one definitely has possibilities.

Both of these styles are available in Regular, Petite and Tall online.
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travel wardrobes: under and over

Spring in Paris
camisole | tee | cardigan | scarf (similar) | bracelet | jeans | shoes | trench | parapluie

For most types of travel, it’s hard to go wrong with lightweight layers. This applies to street clothes, as well as to base layers and outerwear. Not only does relying mainly on lightweight layers save space and weight in luggage, but several lighter layers are more versatile and comfortable in changing conditions than one or two heavy ones. There’s nothing like lugging around a heavy coat for half a (warm) day to drive this home. Been there, done that.

The base layer is your friend. A base layer (or what I sometimes refer to as “underpinnings”) does many things: provides warmth, provides coverage underneath lighter or less opaque tops, and helps keep clothes cleaner longer. I continue to rave about the Eileen Fisher silk jersey tees, tanks and camisoles as base layers. (Plus options: tees | tanks & camisoles.) They are almost weightless, layer beautifully underneath other clothing, can be hand washed and will dry overnight, and wear like iron. (Some of mine are a few years old and still holding up beautifully with regular wear.)

Adea Clothing also has excellent options for all of these styles in lightweight, moisture-wicking Italian fabric, available in many colors. I usually travel with one or two of the long-sleeve, scoop neck tees for weightless warmth underneath sweaters or shirts. These are snug-fitting pieces, and I recommend sizing up by one or two sizes.

While I have not yet tried this option, many travelers swear by silk thermal underwear during cooler or transitional seasons. Those who recommend say it’s non-bulky underneath clothing, and can double as pajamas in a pinch.

Keeping clothes cleaner longer? A base layer reduces contact between street clothes and skin/perspiration, and is easily hand-laundered as needed.

Against the elements. We live in a temperate climate and rarely travel to wintry destinations except to go skiing, which has its own set of clothing requirements. So I’m not an expert on dead-of-winter clothing. I’ve found that for most other seasons a lightweight weather resistant shell (coat or longer jacket) is usually sufficient. Layer up underneath for warmth if needed. If packing light is your goal, a coat that’s functional enough for daytime activities but looks “smart casual” enough for evening is optimal, but not always easy to find. There are a lot of “packable” raincoat styles available, and these may be a good option for you. Trenches: always a classic choice, but keep in mind that many are not actually water-resistant. I’ve traveled a couple of times with a reversible Mycra Pac raincoat, which has a roomy hood that collapses down to a collar, and kept me very dry even during a 30-minute downpour deluge while we were touring the grounds at Versailles. It also packs down into a very small pouch.

Lands’ End has some very workable options, and I’ve read many recommendations for Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down pieces, and Pocketable Parkas but have not yet tried either.

We’re getting close to our departure date. I’ll be assembling my travel wardrobe (3 weeks, 1 carry-on!) over this coming weekend, so check back early next week to see what I’ve packed!

What are your favorite base layer and outerwear choices for travel?


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form meets function

posted in: Accessories, Bags, Leopard | 8
Clare V leopard shoulder bag
Clare V

I really like my Clare V leopard clutch and the visual impact it adds to an outfit. But I’ve often wished it had a strap so I could wear instead of carry. Apparently Clare V had the same idea, and is now offering a similar style with a detachable strap. This one also has a double pouch and is super lightweight. Nice!
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little things add up

Seine river Paris
just imagining this reduces my stress levels…


Almost daily I come across an article about stress, the insidious impact it has on our health, and how to reduce stress in our lives. I’m on board with the concept, but sometimes I find the “solutions” rather stress-inducing themselves, as they often require an investment of time, space or energy that I just don’t have now. While a lot of stress is born out of the choices we make, sometimes there are stressors in our lives that we just have to ride along with and make the best of. It’s not possible to live a stress-free life, at least not for most of us. There will always be something outside of our control (health issues, family squabbles, jerk bosses, broken appliances, traffic) that require our attention, but I’m trying to identify those little, daily, control-able annoyances that also pile up in the mental/emotional inbox, and get rid of them so I can focus on the important stuff.


Morning schedule. Over the last few months, I’ve been feeling totally frazzled by the time I leave for work in the morning, between getting myself ready, preparing our son’s medication and breakfast, getting his lunch packed and backpack ready for school, feeding and walking dogs, preparing something for us for breakfast, making our lunches, and checking personal and work email. I mentally group these tasks into 30 minute blocks to stay on schedule. Lately I’ve found that just by switching two of the blocks I feel much more ahead of the train and SO much less stressed in the mornings. Lesson: don’t be afraid to tinker with established routines.


Hair. While I do really like how it looks now in this longer style, my hair is very fine, thin and wispy and always seems to be falling in my face. This not only itches but also impairs my vision when doing any tasks that require looking down (even if I tuck the front bits behind my ears). I’ve given myself a few months to adjust but feel as though I’m constantly annoyed by this, not to mention having developed a habit of cocking my head to the side to keep the hair out of my vision. Headbands and/or clips just seem like another layer of complication and I’m not willing to lacquer it into a helmet of submission. So I’m going to get it cut in a few days, and will probably go back to a style that’s a little shorter and more layered. Lesson: sometimes form has to take a back seat to function.


Dogs. While I love our morning walk (a bit of quiet time for me), one of the dogs, Byron, is a bit headstrong and flighty on the leash. He pulls, he darts from side to side (sometimes almost tripping me if I’m not paying attention), and eats random bits of plant and other junk off the sidewalk. I’ve put him back on the “Gentle Leader” headpiece, and it’s a world of difference. Seems to calm him down quite a bit too. Lesson: an extra few seconds of preparation can save a lot of aggravation.

Have you made any small changes lately to simplify your life and reduce your stress levels?

Walk the dog in style…

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