|Baby ballerines in a shop window in Rome|
I hope this news will not shock or disappoint, but I actually did not do a lot of shopping on this trip. A number of factors contributed: our tightly scheduled itinerary in Italy, the dollar’s weakness against the Euro, the ever increasing availability of goods in the US formerly only available in Europe (hello, Balenciaga!). But mostly, I’ve been feeling an aversion lately to accumulating more Stuff, preferring to hold out for the special, the unique. Le monsieur actually outpaced me this trip, picking up several lightweight shirts and some cotton twill pants in Italy to help him deal with the heat. He’ll get plenty of wear from his purchases at home too, as our warm season extends from July-November. We also did buy wines (which we had shipped from Italy) and little gifts for those back home.
|Non, didn’t buy these, unique and special as they are. From same shop as ballerines, above.|
I did not return home entirely empty-handed, however.
As mentioned before, the sandals I’d brought with me were not equal to the amount of walking we were doing on a daily basis, and didn’t fit snugly enough so I kept tripping in them. These are the Mephisto sandals I bought in Venice. They are 11/10 comfortable.
|Polish on toes is OPI “Vodka & Caviar”|
I especially like the strap color, a taupe grey (slightly darker IRL than it looks under the flash). It Goes With Everything™.
In Venice we kept passing shops with good looking linen pieces in the window, but when I’d go in to see up close or try on they turned out to be far too voluminous for me. Finally in one little boutique where the linen top in the window had again turned out to be more of a tent than a garment, (I think they pin them deceptively in the window displays), the shopkeeper kept bringing more stuff for me to try before I could get out of the dressing room. Those sales ladies can be relentless! There were a few “maybes” in the growing stack, but then she brought in this asymmetrical tunic and it was love at first sight.
This piece is a bounty of slimming diagonal lines, and the fabric drapes beautifully, as you can see above. Again, it’s a marvelous IGWE™ taupe grey. The volume is Just Right. The simplicity of the neckline and 3/4 length sleeves just call out to be paired with some great jewelry. And there was this one design detail, a petit rien adjustment tie, in the back.
These are the kind of fun, “off” details that always nail it for me. I’ll wear this over leggings or slim pants.
Wandering on our last day in Venice, slightly lost and rather mellow after an alcohol-enhanced lunch, we passed a small shop with some interesting scarves in the window. The store was Barbieri Arabesque, and they stock some very pretty scarves, shawls, ties and pocket squares for men, and umbrellas. According to the sales woman, Barbieri owns the factory that produces the fabrics for their own brand as well as some other well-known Italian brands such as Moschino. I selected these two longer lightweight scarves, the one in left in soft modal knit, and the one in right in a sheer silk.
Neither scarf was particularly pricey, however I think I may have paid too much for the scarf on the left, as the ends are unfinished and have already begun to unravel. (SUI – let this be an object lesson!) But I love it otherwise and will probably just have it hemmed/finished. I also love the slightly subversive polka dots on the silk scarf. Close up:
And then there was Paris.
|I’m not over my marinière enchantment yet; look at the cute silver button detail!|
May I just add my voice to the chorus singing the unabashed praises of Monoprix? But to avoid being overwhelmed, you either need to go with someone who knows the merchandise (thank you chère Tish!) or plan to spend a lot of time looking. Above, this adorable cotton dress, great for casual summer days, was less than 15€! I’d also wear as a cover up for beach and pool. OK, maybe not special or unique but a great piece at a great price, and for those of us whose lives require some knock-around casual wear, a cute option.
And below this cotton “Marcel” (tank top) came in somewhere around 4€. It looks great under a little blazer or cardigan.
I had to go to a second Monoprix the next day to find the color and size I wanted, thanks to a mysterious disappearance within a five minute period of an entire pile of these marcels from the display table at the first store, but that’s one of those “you had to be there” stories.
And of course, after finding all these great warm weather pieces (which are always a challenge pour moi), we returned home to mostly cloudy skies and temperatures that have barely made it out of the 60’s in two weeks and show little sign of breaking much beyond the 70F mark in the next two weeks. When I can bear to be out of my sweaters, I’ll post some modeling shots of these.
I also picked up some skincare items at Monoprix and a couple of pharmacies, which I’ll cover in separate posts.
When in Paris we usually visit the Maille boutique on rue Madeleine to pick up some of the on-tap and fancy mustards and vinegars, but never made it to that part of town on this trip. But I did find some of my favorite Vinaigre de Vin Xèrés (great for salad dressings and marinades) at the Bon Marché Grand Épicerie so I grabbed two bottles which, if used with discretion, will hopefully last until our next visit!
And who could pass up this organic cotton shopping bag?? Pas moi!
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