Monday, April 14th, 2014

April Flowers

Scarf selfie

Scarf selfie. J.Crew scarf from last year. Gap jacket, similar.

Despite my minimalist leanings, I do have an affinity for a good floral print. I find floral clothing items hard to wear without the nagging feeling that I’m wearing curtains or upholstery. But a floral print scarf? That I can do. And they feel just right for Spring.

Do you like floral prints? How do you wear them?

FLORAL SCARVES NOW IN BLOOM:

 

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Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Travel In Style: Wardrobe Planning

Travel wardrobe for Paris and Loire Valley

Hoping to see lots of scenery like this!  Links to items shown at bottom of post.

Yikes! We’re less than two weeks out from our departure, and I’ve hit that frustrating stage of wardrobe planning: too early to get an accurate weather forecast, but late enough in the process that I need to hone in on which pieces will best work together.

I know from past trips that there are a few types of items I can rule out right off the bat.

  • No-close cardigans…while these are often my go-to’s at home, they are harder to make work as an intermediate layer, and often not warm enough as a top layer.
  • Dresses. While knit dresses are GREAT travel pieces for many people, I find they often require specific footwear that won’t be worn otherwise.
  • Anything too warm or bulky. I’m much better served by multiple lightweight layers than a single heavy piece.
  • Clothes that are only appropriate for dressy venues. It’s tempting to want to have something “just in case,” but I’ve learned not to pack pieces that may be worn once or twice at most, or not at all. I’ll be bringing some dress-up/dress-down options that can go from day to dinner.

I’m planning to take at least one pair of ankle boots, as I’ve found them to be comfortable and versatile. The other pair (or two) of shoes will depend, again, on weather. We’ll be spending the first week in the Loire Valley, which will include lots of time outdoors visiting chateaux and gardens, local open-air markets, a winery or two and hopefully some lovely strolls through the countryside. Then we’ll have a few days in Paris. (!!!)  This means I’ll need shoes and clothing suitable for both rural and urban environments and activities. Though I’m mentally building the wardrobe around 12 pieces (plus “underpinnings” and outerwear), I may end up with more or fewer pieces, depending on weather forecasts and what my carry-on bag will accommodate.

How do you handle packing for a variety of activities and levels of formality?

Sweater: Eileen Fisher // Tee: Eileen Fisher, similar // Scarf: Halogen // Jacket: Sandro, similar style // Jeans: Eileen Fisher // Bag: Givenchy // Boots: Gentle Souls

MORE TRAVEL-FRIENDLY BASICS:

 

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Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Hosiery…The Final Frontier?

Sneakers+tights

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

Click.

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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