Friday, July 18th, 2014

All Skate!

Theory 'Sala' Silk Top

Theory ‘Sala’ Silk Top. Don’t mind that look of concentration on my face, I LOVE this top!!

So the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now open to all! The Theory top above is one of the items I’ve purchased, and will show you more soon. Below are my picks so far from the sale. While I did spot a lot of “fun” pieces, I’ve tried to edit my selections to those items that I think could be real wardrobe builders and work horses. These tend to be the things that sell out most quickly, too. I’ve also updated my “Things I Love” page with sale selections, and will continue to update if I see new items added to the sale that might be of interest. Without further ado….

CLOTHING

SHOES, BAGS, ACCESSORIES

BEAUTY AND PAMPERING



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Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Now’s Your Chance…

Eileen Fisher tuxedo jacket

If you’ve had your eye on this fabulous jacket, now’s your chance to pick it up at 40% off!

If you’ve been feeling that your wardrobe could use some refreshing, you’re in luck! Nordstrom’s Semi-Annual Sale for Women and Kids is ON!

There’s a great selection of items discounted by up to 40%, including lots of Eileen Fisher, so if there are EF pieces on your wish list, do check out the sale. But the best things from all brands will sell out quickly, so don’t hesitate if you see something you like. Nordstrom has free shipping and a great return policy, so it’s worth giving something a try.

Here are some of my picks from the sale:

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Monday, May 12th, 2014

Paris Style Report – Spring 2014*

Paris black and white

Long black coat/top over slim white pants. I did see several women similarly attired. The woman on the right had a killer bag, wish I’d been able to get a shot of it.

*Or, at least the few days of printemps we experienced…

First, I just want to stipulate that the trends/styles described below are based on my own observations over the course of a few days in several arrondisements. This isn’t meant to be a scientific or comprehensive account, just what I noticed most. I’m sure once the weather warms up a bit some layers will be lighter or shed altogether. And though I tried to filter out anyone who seemed obviously a visitor, Paris is a multicultural city, inhabited by people from all over the world and the women I photographed may or may not be born-and-raised Parisiennes.

Polka dot scarves

Polka Dot Scarves

This was actually the first prevalent trend I noticed even before we arrived in Paris. In French, polka dots are called petit pois (little peas) which I find charming. Where did “polka” come from anyway? But petits pois scarves are everywhere, in colors and neutrals, high and low contrast, large and small dots.

Trench Coats

Paris Trenches

Long or short, mostly neutrals but occasionally in color, trenches seem to remain the preferred form of lightweight outerwear. I saw very few utility or military-style jackets.

Coral or Red

Paris red

When I did see Parisiennes wearing bright color, most of the time it was in the coral or red family. I noticed both men and women wearing light coral pants like the woman in the lower left corner. I also spotted a few women in softer colors, usually worn in a monochromatic way head-to-toe.

Feminine Jackets

Paris Jackets

I think this is one of the reasons Parisiennes have a rep for looking pulled together. Jackets really complete an outfit, giving it structure and definition. Cardigans were rarely seen but if so were either more structured like a soft jacket or buttoned and worn as a middle layer. You don’t see droopy or voluminous sweaters or cardigans. But you don’t see a lot of voluminous, boxy or “boyfriend” jackets either…everything is well-fitted and tends to nip in at the waist a bit. I also noticed that when moto-style jackets are worn, they are cut for women, and don’t have a lot of extraneous hardware.

Other style notes

I did not see many femmes d’un certain âge in skirts; most were in trousers or jeans. This may have been a function of weather…it had been cool up until the last three days of our visit. Pants were almost always narrow and straight, often cut quite slim but not “painted-on” skinny. Jeans never distressed or whiskered that I could tell, and though women of all ages are wearing white jeans, I did not see many light washes except on younger women. I most often observed pants or jeans worn at ankle length or longer and over ankle boots or with loafers or sneakers. Once the weather warmed up I noticed a few pant legs rolled up to just above the ankle (and did the same myself the last day to keep cool). Flares or bootcuts were rarely seen, and if so almost always on younger women.

I did not see any women in skirts who were bare-legged. Most wore tights in a color coordinating with the rest of their outfit; a few I saw were wearing very sheer nude hose. I also noticed women weren’t hung up about visible hosiery…I spotted printed socks under cut-away booties and visible lace shoe liners with ballet flats. The idea seems to be that it’s fine if your hosiery is visible, as long as it’s pretty.

Bags have been downscaled a bit, though I did notice that many women who seem to be on their way to or from work carrying multiple bags: a smaller day bag and a larger tote. I did not notice many structured or boxy bags, except for Chanel flap bags (mostly in the 1er and 7eme). Crossbody bags, totes and hobos seemed to be the most popular choices, and as with previous visits, I did not see many women carrying bags with imprinted designer logos (the subtle Goyard print being the exception) or a lot of bling or embellishment.

The most noticeable change from our last visit two years ago was the prevalence of sneakers and even “trainers.” Chuck Taylors have always been popular, but now one sees actual athletic shoes as street wear.

sneakers outside Colette Paris

Granted, this shot was taken outside of Colette, which is ground zero for Sartorialist-bait, however more subdued versions of trainers (often a neutral color with bright laces or accents) are now quite commonplace, no longer a badge of fashion ignominy.

What hasn’t changed: notice that most of the women I photographed are wearing low heels or even flats. Paris is a walking city, and you don’t often see women out in the daytime in heels much over 2.5 inches. Ankle boots, various styles of loafers and kitten heel pumps are the footwear of choice for those women not wearing sneakers. Makeup is still usually minimal and subdued, and jewelry is minimal (though it may be hidden under scarves and coats). You will not see locals in baggy, oversized, shapeless clothing, sweats or workout wear (though I did spot a very few fashion-y sweatshirts on younger women). No flip-flops or Crocs.

Do these trends/looks differ a great deal from where you live?

Linked up with Share In Style at MIS PAPELICOS.

SHOP THE LOOKS

Trenches

Jackets

Coral and Red

Petit Pois

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Friday, May 9th, 2014

Paris-Inspired

Paris inspired 2

I’m still sorting through pictures and my notes about what I observed les Parisiennes d’un certain âge wearing this springand hope to have something coherent posted next week. (And I also have another blogger meetup to share!)  In the meantime, here are some hints…

Paris inspired 3

Earrings: Argento Vivo, similar // Scarf: Gerard Darel, not available online in the US, but here’s a UK link // Jacket: Theory from last year, similar // Tee: Eileen Fisher // Jeans: Eileen Fisher // Sneaks: Converse

Paris inspired 1

What have been your recent style inspirations?

MORE LIKE THIS:


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Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Travel Wardrobe Recap – France 2014

France travel wardrobe 5

First, let me say that I’ve dubbed my Lipault wheeled luggage “The Little Suitcase That Could.” Not only did it hold my travel wardrobe with room to spare, it rolled through airports and train stations like a champ, and its light weight allowed me to bound right up a flight of stairs more than once. While it’s not as structured as a hard-sided bag, I found that by carefully distributing the weight of contents with heaviest items toward the bottom and back, it remained stable even with a fully-loaded “personal item” bag stowed on top. Because I’d purchased some full-sized skincare items (and was given a LOT of samples) I checked the bag on the way home, and it stood up to the rigors of the baggage handling system brilliantly.

I was quite pleased with how well my travel wardrobe worked for this trip. Because we traveled on the seasonal cusp, I had to be prepared for a wide range of weather, and I mostly had it covered.

MVP’s:

  • The linen sweaters (here, here and here) were the perfect weight and warmth for the fluctuating temperatures, and I wore them all but the last day in Paris, when it just was too warm for any kind of sweater. I sink washed two of them and they dried overnight draped over a towel rack.
  • The silk tanks were indispensable layered underneath the other tops.
  • In case you couldn’t tell from the pictures, I lived in the jeans this trip (both the blue and black). I had them washed once during the trip, but probably could have foregone that as they don’t easily show dirt and held their shape quite well. 
  • I was happy with my shoe choices. The wedge boots were perfect for our days in the Loire Valley, which tended to be wetter and involved a lot of walking over gravel or dirt/mud. The sneakers were perfect for our drier, warmer days in Paris. I walked in them for hours each day in comfort. The heeled suede ankle boots were great for evenings to dress up the jeans or wear with the ponte knit pants.
  • The water-resistant utility jacket was perfect for the climate and with the rest of my wardrobe. That jacket has definitely earned its keep in the last year.
  • The bag was a great choice, worked well both cross-body and carried.
Paris travel wardrobe, utility jacket

Photo taken by Josephine of Chic At Any Age. Thanks again for a fabulous day, Josephine!

Pinch Hitters:

  • The black tuxedo jacket was nice to have for the few “smart casual” dining venues. I mostly wore it with my black jeans and rotated the tops. It came out of a tightly packed cube with nary a wrinkle, and would be an excellent option for business travelers too.
  • When the jeans felt too casual, I wore the black ponte knit pants. (It was still plenty cool in the evenings.)
  • Though it was mostly too warm for the cashmere sweater in both the Loire Valley and Paris, I was glad to have it on the long flights going and returning.
  • The leather jacket was worn a couple of times on drier evenings. Again, nice to have as an option.

Benched:

  • The skirt. Though I have to say had I not brought it I probably would have wanted it. ;-)
  • The necklaces. Just didn’t wear them this time.

I did purchase a couple of tops and lightweight scarves in Paris, and wore them when the weather turned warmer. I’ll share those in another post.

THE TRAVEL TEAM:

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