shape shift

cardigan | top | scarf (similar) | pants (similar) \ bracelet | shoes (similar)
cardigan | top | scarf (similar) | pants | bracelet | shoes (similar)

Lately, I’ve been drawn to soft shapes with a lot of movement, floaty bits that dance along when I walk. I’d purchased these jersey slouchy knit pants a few months ago, thinking they might be good for my Hong Kong travel wardrobe, but they ultimately didn’t make the cut. They’re so comfortable, and when combined with the right pieces, flattering even. Just for grins I tried them with my long cardigan, and loved the result.

Alexander McQueen scarf, French Kande bracelet
Bracelet: French Kande

Of course, the sheer silk scarf really makes the outfit. I spied this scarf on a rack at Neiman Marcus last spring, and it was as they say, un coup de foudre. I may have gasped out loud when I saw that print. I was surprised to find out it was an Alexander McQueen piece, as there were no obvious skulls. (Turns out there are skulls, but they are subtle and only visible when the scarf is laid out flat.) Sadly I’ve not been able to find it online anywhere, but perhaps an intrepid Sales Associate could help you track it down.

Clarks open toe shoes
These are Clark’s from last year; I’ve included some similar styles in the widget below.

Le Monsieur and I are planning a long weekend getaway next month for our 20th anniversary, and I thought this would be a good outfit for one of our evenings out. But I’ve also styled (and worn!) these pants for the office, and will show you that soon.

Eileen Fisher long cardigan, Alexander McQueen scarf
Wearing the Chanel Rouge Coco “Arthur” on lips, Chanel “Tentation” on toes. This polish wears like iron.

A few people have asked me about my photo process. I don’t have a photographer, or any special lighting setup. During the winter months, I’m limited to taking outfit photos on weekends and have to rely on “good” natural light, so probably have about an hour to 90 minutes total per week in which to shoot. I use a DSLR on a tripod, and a remote shutter trigger (which you can sometimes catch a glimpse of in one of my hands) set for a 2-second delay.

Have you tried any new clothing shapes recently?

Linked up with Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

SHIFT THE PARADIGM…

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scarf storage and care

posted in: Accessories, Scarves | 23
storing silk scarves
storing silk scarves

I’ve received a few questions in recent weeks about scarf storage, so thought it might be a good time to re-visit this topic.

In my experience, different types of scarves require different storage solutions.  Above, I’ve found this 3-drawer clear(ish) storage unit (similar concept) is what works best for my silk scarves. It allows me to see what I have available, and allows enough air to circulate while protecting from dust and optimizes organization. The drawers are perfect for keeping scarves of the same size together. Those small round boxes on the upper right contain plissés, or pleated scarves, which should be stored rolled to maintain the pleats.

For my larger scarves, behold…The Scarf Condo!

scarf condo
The “Scarf Condo” for larger scarves

This is actually a hanging shoe storage unit, but works brilliantly for folded scarves. Again, I can easily see the “inventory,” and it’s a snap to fold and re-store scarves and keep orderly at the end of the day. Because many of my scarves contain wool and/or cashmere, I stash a cedar block in the back of each compartment to deter moths.

Care and cleaning:

  • Silk scarves. Avoid wearing your printed silk scarves in the rain, as colors can run. Unless soiled or perspired heavily upon, most of the time all your silk scarves need is an overnight airing. Drape over a towel rack or clothes drying rack. According people whose advice I trust, silk twill scarves (even Hermés) can be hand-washed in cold water, line dried and pressed with a good iron on the lowest setting. Use a detergent for delicate items and a Shout Color Catcher sheet in the wash to prevent colors from bleeding. I haven’t tried this, with any of my silk twill scarves but will the next time one of them needs laundering. (I have hand washed the very delicate, sheer vintage Liberty scarf inherited from my Grandmother and it did just fine.) You can also dry clean, but beware that cleaners will usually press the rolled hems flat. You can use a steamer and roll hem between your fingers to restore the rounded shape. The plissè scarves however should only be dry cleaned, as water will flatten the pleats.
  • Wool/cashmere/rayon/linen scarves or blends. I’m not going to lie; I wash these in a lingerie bag in the machine, gentle cycle, cold water. I use The Laundress New York Cashmere Wash and line dry over a laundry rack. If your scarf has delicate embroidery, beading, appliques or intricate fringe work, you may want to dry clean to maintain. Again, to deter moths be sure your wool and cashmere scarves are cleaned before storing away for the season, and store with cedar blocks. I’ve also heard that keeping in the freezer for a few days weeks kills moths and eggs, but have read conflicting assessments of how effective this is.

Do you have any scarf care tips and tricks? How do you store yours?

SCARVES WORTH COLLECTING…

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crushing on blue

Pantone 2015 colors
Images via Pantone

While Marsala may be Pantone’s “Color Of the Year” for 2015, I’m predicting that variations on these blues will be the more popular choices when it comes to clothing because they are so wearable.

Blue plays well with neutrals as well as many other colors, and there’s a shade out there that will look gorgeous with just about every skin tone. From soft and subtle to deep and bold, there are some crush-worthy hues now hitting the racks for Spring. Because blue is so compatible, it’s a good choice for accessories like bags and shoes, and of course, scarves.

blue trend for spring
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

I don’t remember when blue dropped off my radar as a preferred (or even much considered) color my wardrobe. I had to have been pretty young, because I remember as early as age 8 declaring green to be my favorite color, and cannot remember having much at all that was blue in my closet anytime after that. (I’m not counting denim, which made its appearance as anything other than equestrian wear only once I was in my teens.) With only a slight deviation for a few neon brights in the 80’s, I’ve mostly been a Neutrals And Earth Tones gal.

But like the quiet boy next door, who you never really noticed until one day you saw him walking by and realized he was “OMG so cute”, blue suddenly has my attention.

(And speaking of boys-next-door, I was always on #teamBrian.)

Does blue play a major role in your wardrobe? What are your favorite shades?

SPRINGTIME BLUES…

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