La Vie en Rose - une femme d'un certain âge

La Vie en Rose

Just when I think I’ve settled nicely into a smooth and uncomplicated style groove, I spy an outlier piece that renders me absolutely gobsmacked with Want.  Despite my current tendency toward Neutral Minimalism™, there’s an irreverently girly part of me that just sometimes has to take center stage and sing, “C’est ci bon,” and this 3/4 sleeve coat from Talbots taps right into that. This piece is channeling the Audrey-in-Paris-circa-1960 vibe, against which I am powerless.

I’ll admit to a knee-jerk avoidance of pink in my own wardrobe in the past, less because of any inherent dislike on my part than a reaction against the presumed acquiescence to traditional femininity that the color so often conveys, and my own association with squeeing pre-teenagers who smack their pink bubblegum and giggle and doodle hearts and unicorns on the inside of library books. Yet, I’ve succumbed to pink’s charms before, and was not sorry. And stylish bloggers like FAUX FUCHSIA have helped keep me open to the possibilities of pink. I’ve found that the right pink can be quite flattering and yes, even sophisticated.

Picture coat in question with black ankle pants, leopard flats, a black Chanel flap bag, a scarf…

Have you ever fallen for an item that feels out of character for you?  Did you take the plunge, or covet silently and then move on?

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  1. October 25, 2010 / 12:05 pm

    I think the key in wearing pink is to toughen in up a bit with black or gray, even tan sometimes works. Just avoid anything that will look “sweet.”

  2. October 25, 2010 / 12:43 pm

    I like to be open to possibilities when it comes to clothes and style. I’ve also been a pink girl, liking all shades (except maybe bright bubble gum pink). I like this pink, and with my neutrals being black and gray, pink is a natural addition.

  3. October 25, 2010 / 12:54 pm

    I love a bit of pink but didn’t wear it for years due to the whole “sweetness” connotation. I agree that the secret is to toughen it up and this jacket fits the bill nicely. Go for it.

    Sometimes when I am lusting after something that seems out of character I find that it is actually some neglected part of my character crying out for attention, and the new look fits right in. The trick is just finding the right piece.

  4. October 25, 2010 / 1:02 pm

    Loving this coat…and loving it in black as well. I’m thinking it’s the mohair factor! Did you bite the bullet yet?

  5. October 25, 2010 / 1:18 pm

    This is a marvelous pink- enough saturation to give character but not harsh.

    I’d buy the black (passing up pink with a pang), only because I tire of coloured coats on me and am into getting rid of way too many clothes. I also think it’s a matter of climate; you’d get far more wear from it where you are!

  6. October 25, 2010 / 1:57 pm

    I usually bypass the “outliers” for fear of evoking the “oh, she’s wearing that pink coat again” response, but my dearest friend said, more likely if you’re wearing something you love and feel great in, then others will say, “oh, I’m so glad you wore your pink coat. I love it!” If I were you, I think I’d go for it–this is a great coat and could look terrific with black, gray, or brown–maybe even navy in the spring.

  7. October 25, 2010 / 2:57 pm

    Say yes. I actually think the coat looks very much like Deja style. Just particularly cheerful and girlish.

  8. dech
    October 25, 2010 / 3:04 pm

    I would love to see this item paired with your moto boots – fab!
    Buy it and don’t look back, it’s beautiful!

  9. October 25, 2010 / 3:38 pm

    I love this coat! and although you’ve only ever featured pink, as part of your wardrobe, in your scarves here, it’s very easy to see this as “you” and to immediately conjure up ways you can combine it with the rest of your closet — witness the way you’ve improved on the Talbot’s page with your Polyvore.
    The biggest departure for me, over the past few years, has been to switch over more and more to warmer colours (which, for my first several decades, I was convinced I couldn’t wear).

  10. October 25, 2010 / 4:06 pm

    Beautiful shade of pink! And combining the coat with leopard print would be fun! I love to take the plunge without hesitation so as to explore and express different part of myself.

  11. October 25, 2010 / 4:09 pm

    I vote YES!
    That soft pink would go very nicely with your hair and complexion…plus it will have a soft feminine feel.

    Liking your ensemble…
    Nice to see that Talbots are really trying to be upmarket these days.

  12. October 25, 2010 / 4:37 pm

    My opinion would be to buy it, especially if it would be one of several coats so that you weren’t wearing it every day. (Oh dear, exactly the opposite of Duchesse’s minimalism challenge!)

    I have a Mackage jacket with a bright pink lining – I love the secret flash of colour. I also have a couple of magenta sweaters that I wear as a change from black and grey.

  13. October 25, 2010 / 6:21 pm

    Pink for me is all about the shade. Dusty pink I can go for, but bubblegum pink at my age is too sweet.
    Please do another scarf video!

  14. October 25, 2010 / 6:28 pm

    I’m always in favor of taking the plunge. Excitement is better than safety!

  15. October 25, 2010 / 7:07 pm

    That pink shade is what the Spanish call “rosa encarnada”– it’s super flattering on nearly everyone, and I find that when I wear the shade it makes me look fresher (hint: good when you’ve not had enough sleep).

    When I wear pink, it’s always with black or gray — and I keep the accessories bold. Helps keep the look from drifting into twee. I especially like the idea of it with a black pencil skirt, tights, and your moto boots, as another commenter suggested.

  16. October 25, 2010 / 7:39 pm

    I loved your question at the end, “Have you ever fallen for an item that feels out of character for you?” Why yes, I have. The Back and White Eyelet Jacket you designated a “Hero”. I live in the uber rainy and gloomy Northwest and couldn’t see myself ever wearing it, but bought it anyway. I wear it on every plane trip out of town. It just got back from Hawaii.

  17. October 25, 2010 / 7:56 pm

    That coat is very fresh. I wish we could get this Talbots stuff in Australia. So unfair. Thanks for the shout out! I don’t wear that much pink these days but it can be flattering on my face as it collapses with age, plus in summer at the beach it is the bomb. How is your garden? x

  18. October 25, 2010 / 8:21 pm

    I popped into Talbots at Northpark in Dallas today—they did not have the coat in the store.

    They WERE having a 40% off sale on all accessories—shoes, belts, scarves, jewelry. I came home with a grosgain ribbon belt with jewels to try with a black dress.

  19. October 25, 2010 / 8:30 pm

    I love this coat. When I saw it in the catalog last week I loved it and thought I may just have to have it. The color is perfect for me.

    Yes, I’m often drawn to things that normally are not me. However, I don’t usually buy them because I fear I really wouldn’t wear the item.

  20. La Belette Rouge
    October 25, 2010 / 2:33 pm

    Say yes to the coat! Actually, lately everything I want seems to be uncharacteristic of my *usual*style and that seems a good thing. Can’t wait to hear about how much you love this coat.

  21. October 26, 2010 / 1:19 am

    NancyDaQ – I think you’re right about that. Good think I have a lot of black and grey in my wardrobe!

    Pearl – open to possibilities is a good place to be!

    Mardel – agree about toughening up the pink. I’m also with you on being drawn to certain pieces because they express different parts of our personalities.

    itztru – I ordered it the other day when they were doing a flash 30% off promotion, but it’s backordered currently. Hopefully it will be in stock and ship by the end of this month.

    Duchesse – Thanks, I really hope the picture is representative of the actual color. I think this could be a 3/4 piece (wearable 3 out of 4 seasons here).

    Town and Country Mom – I’m the same way; I worry that really distinctive pieces will feel repetitive. But your friend has some good advice, I think!

  22. October 26, 2010 / 1:24 am

    LBR – I think you’re a woman in transition, so it’s probably to be expected that your tastes are reflecting that. I’ve ordered, will report once it’s here.

    LPC – I’ve taken the plunge, thanks!

    dech – yeah, I thought of the moto boots with this and it made me smile. Thanks!

    materfamilias – thanks; I’m learning to trust my gut a bit more. When something evokes that “oh yesssss” response I’m learning to trust that and stretch. Having seen some of the warm colors you’ve chosen, I think you’re on the right track. I’ve recently found that I can wear some cooler colors I’d shied away from previously.

  23. October 26, 2010 / 1:33 am

    The Style Crone – thanks, I just hope the actual piece is really this color. You have some amazing colors in your wardrobe!

    hostess – if the color actually is the same as the pic, I think it will be a good one for me. Talbots really is making an effort to offer some pieces that are “updated classics” which appeals to me. Their execution sometimes falls short, but I’m hopeful with this one.

    Northmoon – I have a couple of coats that are in regular rotation; one is a black leather jacket and the other is a dark olive trench raincoat, so this is quite different than either of those. I love a flash of bright lining on an otherwise neutral piece!

  24. October 26, 2010 / 1:41 am

    Belle – yes, bubblegum is right out. I’ll have another scarf video up by the end of the week.

    Wendy B – I’m not the least bit surprised that you would say that! 😉 I’m trying achieve a balance between restraint and fun.

    Rubiatonta – yes, “twee” is definitely what I want to avoid. I really have my fingers crossed that the color is close to how it’s pictured; it’s a lovely, sophisticated pink.

    Beryl – oh, that’s great! Because we had such a cool summer, I didn’t have the opportunity to wear my jacket as much as I would’ve liked, but I love your idea of wearing on the airplane.

    Faux Fuchsia – Thanks! You know, I think Tiffany has ordered Talbots pieces and she’s in Oz. My garden is slowing down as we dip firmly into Fall, but my potted citrus trees are going gangbusters! I’ll snap a pic and post later this week.

  25. October 26, 2010 / 2:12 am

    Susan – yes, the coat is backordered. Fingers crossed, it’s supposed to ship by the end of this week. Talbots does have some really good sales and promotions; I grabbed the coat when they had a 3-hour, 30% off promotion.

    Lulu – I hope you have a chance to try it on, and let us know how you like it. It sounds as though you know your own style very well.

    Tiffany – I love your new hair color and style! There’s a Talbots in midtown NY, you might be able to try this on when you go. Let us know what you think!

    Rose AG – it’s true, too often when we try to stretch ourselves with different styles, they don’t end up being worn much. The 30% off promotion that Talbots was running on coats a few days ago made this an easier decision.

    Susan Tiner – I have that book on my nightstand, haven’t started it yet. And yes, this is an adorable coat!

  26. Tiffany
    October 25, 2010 / 8:38 pm

    I was brought up to hate all those inherently (?) ‘girly’ colours but I’ve learnt that sometimes they can be very flattering. Toning pink down with stronger neutrals as others have suggested is good. And this is a lovely pink. In fact, I rather like the coat – I think the length would be good for my Hobbit self. I may have to check it out in person next week (and you’ll forgive me, because you won’t bump into me in Sydney!).

  27. RoseAG
    October 25, 2010 / 10:53 pm

    I tread carefully on out-of-character items. I find they tend to end up populating my “goodwill” bag in the end.

    I could spring for a coat or a jacket because I wear those kinds of things a lot and probably would work it into my wear-cycle. It’s questionable whether I’d pay full price for the really cool but out-of-character item.

    I totally avoid out-of-character shoes.

  28. Susan Tiner
    October 26, 2010 / 1:12 am

    I just finished reading Gladwell’s Outlier, and that is definitely an outlier coat. This means it must have been the result of about 10,000 hours of practice on the part of someone, the designer perhaps, to get it right! And if not, it’s still ADORABLE.

  29. October 26, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    Actually, the shade to me is more rose than pink and it’s has a vintage color vibe going on so it’s not bubble gum pink at all. It’s a grown up pink, and it’s lovely.

  30. October 26, 2010 / 12:54 pm

    Stephanie – I think you’re right, and I’m hoping the color IRL lives up to it’s name, “Antique Rose.” Thanks!

  31. October 26, 2010 / 1:45 pm

    Constantly. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Then I get angry at myself for buying yet another “thing” when I am trying to pare down my wardrobe to only what I love. Sheesh.

  32. Anonymous
    October 26, 2010 / 2:16 pm

    Oh I love pink, always have: palest ballet pink with black, dusty pink with gray, raspberry with navy. As long as it isn’t too peachy, it does something magical for pale-skinned ash blondes like me. I’m glad you followed your heart and ordered the coat–imagine how it will lift your spirits on a dreary day in November!

  33. Anonymous
    October 26, 2010 / 2:27 pm

    P.S. Have you considered changing out the pink plastic buttons for vintage glass, mother-of-pearl or abalone?

  34. October 26, 2010 / 10:14 pm

    Julianne – me too. What I’m finding is that when someone talks me into something, that’s when it ends up in the “donate” pile. When it’s out of character but I gravitate toward it, those are often the successful experiments.

    Anonymous – I’ve seen women with your coloring who look absolutely amazing in pink. I’m hoping this one will be neutral-to-warm in color, as those are the pinks I can wear most easily. Changing the buttons is a possibility; I’ll have a better idea once I see the coat in person.

  35. Frugal Scholar
    October 26, 2010 / 10:39 pm

    I LOVE pink, perhaps because my mother tended to buy me dresses in navy and eggplant.

    Hope the coat works for you, but ANYTHING would look good with the outfit you styled.

  36. October 27, 2010 / 10:52 am

    It is a lovely look and that draws you in. Would the coat look the same styled or worn with different outfits – check that out and then you can feel free to buy!

  37. October 27, 2010 / 12:17 pm

    I love pink–very cheerful. In my own wardrobe ( which seems to be mostly gray these days)it’s limited to scarves, but it definitely makes the complexion glow and makes the world a prettier place.

    Sometimes with older women, (post-menopause?)–the effects of time can lend an unintentional androgynous effect to hair, face and body. Wearing some pink keeps the feminine alive.

    Really enjoying your polyvore type posts – keep them coming!

  38. October 27, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    So glad to hear you followed your heart on the coat purchase. Looking forward to a full review and pics!

  39. October 28, 2010 / 2:26 pm

    That jacket is pretty cool! Love the items you’ve paired with it, too.

    I agree with NancyDaQ that pink works well if you toughen it up a bit.

    Also, I’ve learned to avoid ToysRUs pink-aisle pink, with its cold plasticky cast.

    I’m fond of a warm coral-pink – that seems to work well without being to sweetie.

  40. October 28, 2010 / 7:06 pm

    That is a beautiful coat. I love the fabric, and while I usually detest pink, that is a beautiful rosy hue. So many coats I see here are double-breasted, not the kindest look for the short and busty.

    I wouldn’t buy a rose-coloured coat here though – it seems more appropriate to the colour palette in Southern California. A pity that the only choices are rose and black. I’d love a soft but deep green, myself.

  41. karen
    October 31, 2010 / 3:10 pm

    I love the coat, it’s pink! What’s not to love? I always have to reign myself in from buying coats here in LA, I just end up hardly ever getting to wear them. I have to be a shoe person, or a jewelry girl here. XOXOXXOXO

  42. November 1, 2010 / 12:12 am

    Frugal – thanks! I remember a childhood friend who had an all pink bedroom with a canopy bed. I wanted a room like that but my mom was into California Spanish, so my room was black and white with a maroon carpet!

    Make Do Style – I’m definitely going to try with different looks. I think this one will dress up or down.

    Genuine Lustre – I’m glad you enjoy the Polyvore posts. I have a lot of fun putting them together. And I agree about a touch of pink in an ensemble making one look more alive and feminine.

    itztru – I’ll have a review up by the end of the week!

  43. November 1, 2010 / 12:16 am

    Aunt Snow – I agree, we have to be picky about our pinks. While this one isn’t really warm, it does avoid the Barbie-pink.

    lagatta – green would’ve been nice too. I’m also relieved to see something cute that isn’t double-breasted.

    karen – I know, it’s not like we get to wear coats a lot. But I’m hoping the 3/4 sleeves will make it more wearable here.

  44. November 7, 2010 / 2:48 pm

    We must be coat soul mates….I have been lusting after this coat for some time now and I think I am going to bite the bullet and get it in PINK. I love signature pieces like this. Love your blog too!!!

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