wrap it up: easy elegance

posted in: Classics, Coats | 5
winter coat, camel coat
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This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. All ideas and words are my own.

With this season’s clothing styles leaning in an oversized and more unstructured direction, it makes sense that outerwear would do the same. Blanket coats, ponchos, cocoon coats and wrap coats are the outerwear silhouettes that work with these softer looks. But “softer” doesn’t have to mean sloppy, voluminous or limp. There are ways to incorporate some structure and I think wrap coats especially are a way to keep a look elegant, yet still harmonious with this season’s style ease.

From a practical standpoint, wrap coats make sense too: they’ll adjust to whatever you’re wearing underneath, whether a silk dress or chunky sweater. Before those winter winds begin to blow, wear open for a nonchalant look. Fold the collars up or down as needed.

You can keep it neutral, (camel is always a classic) or add some verve and drama with colorblocking or vivid color (love this bottle green!).

Nordstrom has an amazing selection of wrap and other coat styles, from dozens of designers and brands, and in a range of prices and sizes including Petites and Plus. They offer free shipping and returns, which makes trying new styles or multiple sizes risk-free. And their Customer Service folks will be more than happy to help you track down specific sizes or colors, or answer specific questions about products. I frequently show products from Nordstrom because I shop there myself and have always had positive experiences.

What’s your most often-worn style of outerwear?


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getting ahead of myself…

Eileen Fisher wool cardigan

I’d hoped to have an outfit featuring a vest this week, but the one I’d ordered ran larger than expected, so I’ve returned it for a smaller size, and will feature it soon. Instead (channeling the Seinfeld Soup Nazi), “Cardigan For You!”

OK, so in all honesty, it’s still been too warm to wear this lightweight wool cardigan. But I did want to show it to you because I have a feeling this color (“Passion Flower”) will sell out. It’s a very wearable russet red, an interesting take on the Marsala that was Pantone’s color of the year. The cut is one that Eileen Fisher has offered in the past and that has been one of my favorites. It has much more shape and structure than the boxy styles that have been predominant in recent seasons and curves in nicely at the waist. I think it’s a very polished looking piece. Just for fun, I styled it with a little bit of a 70’s vibe (earth tones, skinny scarf and bootcut jeans). The scarf is a few years old, originally from Ann Taylor. The jeans, shoes and bag are all from last year.

sunglasses | earrings (similar) | scarf (similar) | cardigantank | bracelet 1 | bracelet 2 (similar) | bag (similar) | jeans | shoes (similar)

Balenciaga bag, Eileen Fisher cardigan

I find this color skews warm or cool depending on what it’s paired with, and is soft enough that it doesn’t look harsh when worn with black (as I find many reds do). Once the weather finally cools down, this cardigan will be in frequent rotation!

Linked up: Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.


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good news afoot

posted in: Shoes, Style | 23
Emmanuelle Alt white shirt
image source


I’ve always loved the look of a classic pump with jeans. Sadly I can no longer wear my 2-3″ stiletto heels and have missed this combo. But the current crop of lower, block heel pumps has me thinking I might be able to come up with a new iteration of this look…

I find a 2-2.5″ block heel is comfortable and easy to walk in, and lately I’ve seen lots of options in this style and heel height.

Chloe suede pumpsThose above from Chloé in gorgeous burgundy suede are pricey, but stunning and will elevate whatever you’re wearing.

mary jane pump

Anyi Lu shoes always get high marks for comfort, and these pumps in a metallic houndstooth finish also have quite the Wow Factor.

blue patent vara

Ferragamo Vara’s are a perennial classic, and this blue patent is a nice change from black.

Clarks patent pump

I love this cognac patent number from Clarks. Yes, Clarks. That heel may look high but according to the description it’s only 2.5″. I think these would look SO cute with jeans and a sweater.

leopard pumps

If your shoe collection is suffering from a leopard deficiency, this style from Cole Haan is on sale right now. (Other colors available too.)

ankle strap d'orsay

Ankle straps from Calvin Klein…these would look great with longer skirts or cropped pants too.


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on my radar: printed scarves from Bindya

printed scarf

I love the way a printed scarf adds such visual punch to an outfit. While I’ve had a few lighter weight silk printed scarves in rotation the last few months, almost all of my cooler weather scarf options are solid colors. I’ve been eyeing the Bindya New York scarves at Halsbrook for a while now, and when the folks at Halsbook asked if I’d like to review one, I jumped at the opportunity.

The designer, Bindya Lulla has been making scarves and pashminas for over 10 years and gets inspiration from her trips to India and Paris. The prints are lively, and incorporate both vivid and softer colors in interesting pattern mixes.

The scarf I selected is the “Marie” in teal and cream paisley. I’ve always loved paisley prints, and the colors in this one are so gorgeous, and work beautifully in my wardrobe. The silk/cashmere fabric is very lightweight and soft, and large enough to work as a wrap too.

Bindya New York scarves

I like that little touch of green on the border, which you can emphasize or not depending on how you arrange the scarf.

paisley scarf

Look at this stunning print!! I can hardly wait for the weather to cool off enough to wear this again. Prints like this one are also a great way to tie together other colors within an outfit. (I included a couple of Bindya scarves in my most recent travel wardrobe set.)

scarf tie

Scarf was provided by Halsbook for review. If you haven’t perused their online boutique before, you really should have a look. They have curated a collection of elegant basics as well as unique designs and accessories I haven’t seen anywhere else, and all of it eminently wearable. 

Do you wear printed scarves? What types of prints do you prefer?

More Bindya New York scarves and other Halsbrook picks:

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posted in: Classics, Coats, Knits, Style, Sweaters | 18
classic camel coat
photo sources here and here

Every fall I find myself sighing over images of camel coats. No matter what else you’re wearing, there’s something about a camel coat that just classes up the joint.

In our Southern California climate a nice overcoat tends not to be a smart investment; that kind of warmth is mostly overkill. But with the popularity of long vests, ponchos and capes this season, I thought there might be another way to crack this camel-colored nut (click on arrows to view more options)…


Do you have a longer vest in your wardrobe? If so, how do you style it?

colorblocked vest | structured long vest | petite knit vest | women’s knit vest | reversible ruana | ribbed poncho

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