weekend update

Ms. Liquidambar is taking her sweet time getting dressed for the Autumn Ball.
Miss Liquidambar is taking her sweet time getting dressed for the Autumn Cotillion.

I wanted to be sure it was working well before mentioning, but I’ve set up a new subscription service that will deliver blog posts directly to your email inbox. If you’d tried to subscribe in the past but either hadn’t received emails or didn’t like the format, do give this one a try. I think you’ll like it! In the Subscribe widget on the right, just enter your email and click the “subscribe” button. C’est tout! You’ll receive an email and will need to confirm/validate the subscription; once you do that you’ll start receiving email with the next published post. You may also unsubscribe at any time.

I’m now on my third rental car since “the bash.” The first car had mechanical problems, and the second one was filthy inside and smelled like an ashtray. (I’ve developed a theory that Big-Rental-Car-Company-That-Rhymes-With-Fred-And-Ethyl’s-Last-Name hands out the dregs in the fleet to insurance-paid renters. Just a theory, mind you.) After making a nuisance of myself for a few days at the local rental office, I succeeded in getting them to cough up a bare bones Nissan Versa, which is a pretty nice little car. It was clean inside and had no unwanted aromas. The good news is that repairs on my car are expected to be completed on schedule, late next week.

Sweaters in Shop

Now that we’re in Sweater Season, I’ve updated my SHOP page with some of my picks from around the web.


How is your weekend shaping up?

sweater trifecta

Eileen Fisher stripe merino v-neck
This one’s a winner…Eileen Fisher merino stripe sweater


After my last closet cleaning, I gave myself a stern talking to…

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I have nothing against crew neck styles in general; it’s just not a flattering neckline on me. I’ve kept a very few that have overriding qualities or that can be styled in such a way to mitigate the neckline, but have put in place a ban on purchasing any new ones.

For some time I’ve been looking for a warmer striped sweater, but just about everything I’ve seen up until now has a crew or high neck. So when I spied this one, I snapped it up.

All boxes ticked:

  • Subtle stripes
  • V-neck
  • Non-boxy cut. Even though the shoulders are dropped, this isn’t the kind of squarish or dolman shape that’s been the predominant style in knitwear lately. There’s a slight A-line cut to it, which I prefer and find more flattering.

And bonus points for a very soft merino wool that isn’t stiff or scratchy.

Available in Plus too.

Are there any particular necklines you either avoid or prefer?
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baby, it’s cold outside

posted in: Coats, Shopping | 13
Bundle up!
Top row: Diane von Furstenberg, Barbour // Bottom row: Fleurette, Canada Goose, Canada Goose

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

You don’t have to be Ned Stark to know that “Winter Is Coming.” ;-) And with this week’s Polar Vortex, for many of you it’s already here. If “winter” where you live means being bundled up to set foot outdoors day after day for weeks or months, a coat that’s stylish as well as practical makes that prospect just a little more bearable. I was so impressed with Nordstrom’s selection of coats; city elegant, country casual or something in between, it’s a great time to shop for the best choices.

Several years ago, I was periodically required to travel for my job on very short notice. One of those trips was to New York in early December, and I had no winter coat and no one to borrow from. With just a few days until departure, I dashed over to Nordstrom and was able to find a warm, gorgeous black camel-hair coat; Nordstrom even altered the sleeves for me in time. Walking between my hotel and the office during that cold New York week, I was SO glad to have that coat!


Keep the chill at bay…

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the silk road

My current favorite from J.Crew.
My current favorite from J.Crew.


I learn a lot from assessing my travel wardrobes after the fact that can be applied to my quotidien style. Most recently, I regretted not having more lightweight collared shirts in Hong Kong, as they not only help keep the sun off neck and arms, but feel a bit more polished than tees. While I do tend to gravitate toward more casual and unstructured styles (truthfully, I’d be in jeans and a tee or sweater every day given my druthers), every now and then circumstances call for dialing the formality up just a notch. I’ve often relied on jackets for this, but if the weather (or the office, or the conference room) is just too warm to make a jacket practical, a collared shirt is the next best thing.

But what to do if one a) is curvy and/or b) is averse to stiff fabrics and conservative tailoring? I’ve been finding that collared silk shirts fill that void quite nicely, especially for the office. They provide the impression of structure without stiffness, and are often cut a bit more loosely, avoiding the gaping-between-buttons problem. While I don’t like to tuck my shirts, the softness of the fabric can work well with full or half-tucks.

In addition to the J.Crew silk shirts (many of which are available in Tall and Petite sizing), I’ve been quite impressed with those from Everlane and my most recent find from Ann Taylor. It’s been my experience that most silk shirts can be hand washed, line dried and then steamed to smooth out, but if the label indicates “dry clean only,” it’s up to you whether you want to attempt hand washing.

Do you have silk shirts in your wardrobe?  How do you care for them?

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the first time i saw Paris…

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My very first ever Room With A View from Paris

I can’t remember a time when I hadn’t dreamed of visiting Paris. Finally in 2007, a few months after my 50th birthday, that dream came true. It was my first time traveling to Europe, I was a bit jet-lagged and don’t remember much of the ride from the airport to the hotel, but when I looked out of our window and saw this (above) I felt as if someone had waved a magic wand over me. I was in Paris!!!!

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I couldn’t believe I was actually standing in front of the Eiffel Tower…
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gazing up from underneath at the intricate ironwork
and see the amazing views of the city from the top.
and seeing the amazing views of the city from the top.

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Walking along the Seine.
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Admiring the view from the rooftop cafe at Printemps.
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Notre Dame
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The Grand Palais
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Musée d’Orsay
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Place Vendome

I won’t pretend that first trip to Paris didn’t have its difficult moments as well: being in a totally new environment, dealing with jet lag, navigating differing expectations of activities and itineraries with le monsieur, being so far from home and our son for the first time, getting ourselves oriented, over-packing…it was definitely a learning experience.

But waking up that first morning and remembering that I was in Paris(!!!)

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I’d be hard-pressed to pick a single “best day of my life,” but that first day in Paris? Definitely on the short list. We’ve visited Paris a few times since then, and the magic has never worn off; that feeling of “OMG!” when I look out of my hotel window is always there.

And I’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank our Veterans, and all who have served.

Will be linking up later with the By Invitation Only bloggers for our November theme, The Best Day Of Your Life, at Spenderosa.

(A reminder, the “Add Comments” button is now positioned at the top of the post. To comment just click on the voice bubbles.)

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