Despite the fact that I haven’t been a student for over three decades, and despite that fact that our kids’ schools now start fall term in mid- to late-August (jeune homme was back in class last Monday) the first week of September always feels like the start of a new year, a new cycle.
It’s a great time to polish up old routines and implement new ones. My morning routine these past few months has left me feeling frazzled by the time I walk out the door, so I’m shifting a few tasks to the evening prior along with prepping my clothing for the week in advance. I did oodles of laundry over the long weekend, and quite a bit of grocery shopping. (I find that the one factor that more than any other seems to help me maintain my weight is packing a lunch. Keeping lunch supplies in the house can be challenging.)
I’ve also planned some updates/tweaks to the blog that I’ll be working on behind the scenes and hope to roll out by November. Some of you have requested better blog subscription options, and those will be part of the update.
Is September a time to refresh and renew for you? What changes do you tend to make this time of year?
I don’t get out much in the evening, but when I was invited to attend the Grand Opening of The Fisher Project store on Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles, I wasn’t about to miss it. Those of you who have read this blog for any amount of time may have deduced that I have an affinity for Eileen Fisher clothing (not all of it, but more than just about any other line it suits my body, life and aesthetic). The Fisher Project is a subset that’s a bit edgier, and (I believe) intended to attract a younger customer. Still, most everything in the line is ageless, if the aesthetic suits your style.
The party was well underway by the time I arrived. The DJ played a great mix of music. (All pictures taken with my iPhone, and lighting was not optimal.)
There were canapés, mini bottles of champagne served with a straw, bubbly water and some lemonade drink I didn’t try.
Can’t argue with this.
The fabric on this top is what makes it special. It’s substantial enough to give the shape some structure. Gorgeous texture too.
For those who have asked about the range of clothing vs. what’s online, what was stocked in this store seemed to be the items featured online within The Fisher Project, plus many of the basic pieces from the main collection. There were a few items that I don’t think are online yet, like that olive jacket you see to the left of the mannequin above, or the short cardigan on the mannequin itself. Some of the items I spotted were from the September Seasonal Planner, not yet available online at the EF website but may be soon.
The layout of the store is not unlike any other Eileen Fisher store, mindfully arranged with lots of space and uncrowded racks, though a bit more spare, unfinished and industrial. There’s some greenery too, and I was utterly entranced by this arrangement of potted succulents.
They had the full collection of shoes, which they were giving away to one lucky attendee. A portion of proceeds from the evening were being donated to Step Up Women’s Network.
Many of the attendees were quite stylish…
This woman was in an off-the-shoulder top and the EF harem pants and looked AMAZING.
This fellow was much more interested in the hors d’oeuvres being passed by the waitstaff than the clothing.
The clothing is almost all neutrals, but it’s the textures (and mixing of textures within an outfit) that provides the visual interest. If I were more of a clutch carrier, I would have been sorely tempted by this one above. It’s a beauty!
But this gorgeous linen infinity scarf with a bit of sparkle was more temptation than I could walk away from, and came home with me.
That waiter was Johnny-on-the-spot with coasters. Anytime anyone would set down a glass or bottle, he’d swoop in nanoseconds later to place a napkin underneath.
The place filled up quickly. All of the store associates were wearing pieces available in the store, and it’s always great to see how they look on real, three-dimensional bodies of all shapes. Unfortunately, they don’t stock Plus or Petites sizes in this store, but can order them for you if they are available.
You can see me strolling with my shopping bag in one of the photos here.
Next week I’ll show you some of my picks from the Eileen Fisher fall collection so far.
Have you started looking at fall collections yet? Anything that’s piqued your interest?
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….
SHOES, BAGS, ACCESSORIES
BEAUTY AND PAMPERING
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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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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
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.
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
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.
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.
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?