Popping Up

Everlane

I thought I’d pop in and sharing a quick find:  the Everlane pop-up store on Lafayette Street.  Everlane has distinguished itself from other retailers by diligently researching its factories and revealing its the true costs of manufacturing.  Don’t worry for Everlane; the company is still making a profit, but their transparency puts into perspective the outrageous markups common in the clothing industry.

Another note I’d like to make about Everlane is that while I appreciate the clean aesthetic, I’m not impressed with the fit of most of the clothing or the overall pricing.  The pricing certainly isn’t offensive, but shop the sales at J.Crew, Nordstrom, Club Monaco, etc. and you’ll find similar items in the same price range.  I found the cuts on the sleeveless button down shirts too boxy and the cut of the silk tank too long.  The sought-after Petra market tote that some claim is the new “It” bag didn’t impress me with its pebbled leather and unremarkable finishes.  I left the pop-up with only a simple tee in hand.  In the fall, maybe I’ll try a cashmere sweater on for size.

If you’re interested in trying out Everlane now, hurry there.  The pop up disappears after today.

While the pop-up is going away, the website and look are going nowhere.  We may pin and post on some glamorous things, but in my daily life and in the lives of others I observe in person and on the Internet, fashion is skewing towards simplicity.  Clean lines.  Normcore, if you will, a fashion insider term that I dislike not least of all for the way it sounds.  I’m still trying to understand what Normcore is, but my understanding is that it’s nondescript dressing.  Think more basic than classic.  Some have even debated whether Normcore is actually a fashion trend or a joke.  Perhaps what we are seeing here is just the influence of Normcore on the high fashion world.  My perception of Normcore is that to the fashion set, it’s the high-low combo with a bigger dose of basics.  This Vogue article confirms the accuracy of my perception.

For me, the renewed interest in basics is more about how I feel in my clothes.  As I’ve posted before, I feel more like myself when I’m in streamlined black.  Certainly, part of this is a function of living in New York, but much of it is just the style that I started developing in high school when I introduced black into my wardrobe.

In the midst of writing this blog post, I found a definition of Normcore as it was originally intended.  K-Hole, a NY trend agency that coined the term Normcare states, “Normcore doesn’t want the freedom to become someone.  Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity that opt into sameness.”

Being interested in they psychology of fashion, this definition both fascinates and repulses me, as do the words of Normcore proponent Jeremy Lewis, the founder/editor of Garmento and a freelance stylist and fashion writer, who says his ‘look of nothing’ is about absolving oneself from fashion, ‘lest it mark you as a mindless sheep.’  I find the whole concept of Normcore contradictory.  Normcore eschews freedom but still “opts” into sameness.  Whether we “absolve” ourselves from fashion or follow the fashion industry, we still make fashion choices.  The choice to consciously become part of a movement is the biggest indicator of trying to fit in that I’ve heard.

Basically, Normcore reappropriates plain and even dowdy clothing.  What I like about this is the idea of reappropriation, a concept that intrigues me in general.  What I don’t like is the presentation or the superior attitudes that accompany the most outspoken supporters of Normcore.  Even as someone who sees the intellectual side of fashion, I think that its supporters over-intellectualize it.

I also disagree with Jeremy Lewis’s statement, “I like the idea that one doesn’t need their clothes to make a statement.”  True, no one needs clothing to make a statement; however, no matter what you wear, your clothing will always make a statement about you.  How much you need your clothing to make a statement about you depends on who you are. Unless we’re the president or a tech magnate, research shows that we may need clothing to make a statement about us.

At any rate, I chalk up the glamorization of Normcore to the ebbs and flows of fashion; we max out on maximalism and then we crave minimalism.  It’s a cycle that continually repeats itself and is driven by the fashion industry and its publishing industry arm.

 

Bundled

In the midst of cold and snow, the fashion flock donned at lot of fur, some brightly hued, at New York Fashion Week (as well as the London and Milan Fashion Weeks).  The runway shows proved that fur will continue to figure prominently in fall fashion.  Here are some of my favorite fur images from fashion week and elsewhere, proving that fur’s the thing to bring when the weather gets cold.  For more furry fashion inspiration, check out my pins on Pinterest, like this one and that one.
F1
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F4
F5
F6
F7

F8F9

F10F11

 

F13

 

 

F12

 

F14

 

F15

 

F16F17

 

F18

F19

 

F20

 

F21

 

F22

F24

 

F23Links:

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 Jenni Kayne  13  14 DKNY  15  16  17  18 Ralph Lauren  19 Badgley Mischka 20 Carolina Herrera  21 22 Helmut Lang  23  24

Check back next week for a full NYFW review.

*Please note that comments have been disabled for the near future so SA can resolve spam issues.

 

Are You Gonna Go My Way?

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day (and just in case you still need to buy someone a gift), I’ve rounded up some of my favorite arrow jewelry.  You may have noticed that my Valentine’s Day gift post included a couple of arrow items, like these.

Arrows have been appearing with frequency in jewelry design these days, and I first started noticing them in December, when my best friend gifted me with an amazing silver arrow bracelet.  It’s the perfect piece.  It’s something different from the other pieces of jewelry I own, a bit edgy, and a piece I would have picked for myself.  Since receiving this bracelet, I’ve been eyeing other arrow items to add to my collection.  The clean, graphic impact of an arrow appeals to me.

Way4

 

Anita Ko earring.  Matching necklace here.Way1

 

Chloe

Way2Finn

Way8

Gorjana

Way3Maya Brenner.  Similar from Jennifer Zeuner.

Way7

Eva Fehren

Way5

Delfina Delettrez

Way9

GorjanaWay6

Delfina Delettrez

So, are you gonna go my way and pick up a piece of arrow jewelry?  What type of jewelry are you eyeing these days?

Valentine’s Day Gifts with an Avant-Garde Touch

Unless the giver can find a gift that is personally significant to the receiver, it’s difficult to buy a Valentine’s Day gift that isn’t your typical holiday cliché.  My personal take is that small gifts (i.e. jewelry and other little luxuries like fine chocolates and macarons) are best.  It’s always fun to open a tiny box with a treasure inside.  I generally eschew anything with hearts as too saccharine, but I make exceptions for hearts presented in a novel way.  I prefer to temper sweetness with a bit of spunk, a tongue-in-cheek take on this overhyped holiday.  Here are some Valentine’s Day presents that I suggest.  I know I would be particularly delighted to receive the first item!

 

V11

 

Delfina Delettrez 

V12

Clare Vivier.  Other color/print options available here.

V1

 

Gorjana

V2

Miu Miu

V3

Stella McCartney

V4Gorjana 

V5

Shop Dandy

V5

Bella Freud

V14

Lizzie Fortunato

V6Maximilian

V24

Alice & OliviaV19

Kiel Mead


V7

Kelly Wearstler

V8Loren Stewart

V9

Smythson of Bond Street

V10

Alice & Olivia

V13Clare Vivier

V15Pamela Love

V16Persifor

V23

Fornasetti

V25

Marc by Marc Jacobs

V17

Stella McCartney

V21

LaunerV20Cy Twombly:  50 Years of Work on Paper

V22

Lulu Frost

Cuffed

Cuff
My planned holiday posts fell by the wayside, but I hope that my readers enjoyed a marvelous holiday season and are having a splendid start to the new year!
For my first post of this year, I’d like to share my last purchase of last year, made on December 31.  I know I still owe you a full recap of my 25 Things Project, which will take some time to create, so in the meantime, I thought I’d start with this.
As much as I love jewelry, it took me until the last day of the year to actually buy a piece this year!  Of course, I swooned over so many pieces, but I ultimately focused on filling my 25 (-+?) slots with clothing and shoes.
I definitely chose something different.  For the past couple of months, I’ve been captivated by the ear cuffs popping up on Netaporter, though we first saw the ear cuff at the Punk:  Chaos to Couture Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala.  I hunted down a cheaper alternative at BCBG.  This version will allow me to try out the trend before deciding if it’s worth committing more cash.
Earrings are typically studded (my usual) or dangly.  While I’ve seen small cuffs that hug the ear horizontally, an ear cuff that runs the length of the ear is something new.  While it won’t be a wear to work piece, I think that an ear cuff is just what I need to add a bit of edge to my outfits.  Ear cuff earrings sometimes come in pairs, but to add extra interest and create the impression of wearing a piece of art rather than matching pieces of jewelry, I prefer the single cuff.  I love the sculptural quality of the ear cuffs, that’s probably why I’m drawn to them so much.
Here are my cuff picks :
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Pamela Love

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Ryan Storer.  Another great Ryan Storer piece here.

Cuff4

Linn Lomo

Cuff5

Sabine G.

Cuff6

BCBG

Cuff7

Ana Khouri

Cuff8

Kismet by Milka

Cuff9

Vickisarge

Cuff

Sophie Bille Brahe

Cuff10Elise Dray

Cuff11

Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville

Cuff12

Elizabeth Cole

What kind of earrings do you fancy?  Have you tried the ear cuff?  Would you?

 

Holiday Wear

Normally I like to scour the internet for my favorite images when crafting a post.  Given the holiday season and my usual time constraints, however, tonight I’d just like to share a few holiday dressing ideas that have garnered my attention.

I don’t typically attend a lot of cocktail attire events during the holiday season; rather, my holiday social schedule consists of casual gatherings of family and friends that provide a welcome sartorial respite from my week days of suit dressing.  So my go-to attire for holiday gatherings is usually a sweater (I adore Ralph Lauren cashmere) or a button down plaid shirt from J. Crew in darker colors and a pair of dark skinny jeans, or more recently (the past two seasons), a pair of coated skinny jeans from Zara, my first Zara purchase, made on a whim.  I like to add a pair of riding boots or short motorcycle boots with my ensemble.  Lately, I’ve been trying to change things up a bit.  I’m occasionally replacing the plaid button downs with feminine tops and the boots with a pair of smoking slippers, one of my obsessions that’s worthy of its own post.

I picked up these babies in black, a bow version of the Miu Miu smoking slippers I spotted last spring:

MiuMiuslipper

Some other smoking slipper picks:  Charles Phillip Shanghai, Ann Taylor, and Charlotte Olympia.

I learned this past week that my holiday attire picks are in good company.  I was delighted to see that Preston Davis of Keep it Chic favors similar attire for the holidays.

I know that most people equate holiday dressing with some glitz and glamour, though, and for those of you wanting a bit more of that, I have a couple of other ideas…  The key is to create a simple base and add some pieces with impact.  The holidays are just the right time to break out the plaid, fur, jewels, and feathers; add a bit of whimsy to a sleek ensemble.  Lately I’ve even found that the addition of a tartan silk scarf to a black outfit adds just the right amount of Christmas cheer.

A sleek blazer is just the right base for casual to formal holiday wear.  Try pairing it with one of these feminine, silky blouses.

ToryJacket

 

Tory Burch

Or go with a classically constructed dress with opulent details, holiday hue optional.

IsaacIsaac Mizrahi

Featherdress

Ellery

Suzannah

 

SuzannahRTLace

Rebecca Taylor.  Another amazing option from Alice & Olivia here.

Or, if you prefer to go a bit more casual, pick a feminine top to pair with a simple pair of pants or skirt:

RRtop

Robert Rodriguez

CMRuffle

Club Monaco

If your clothing volume doesn’t go above a whisper, be sure to make your exclamation with accessories:

KSHeel

Kate Spade

Fenton

Fenton

BCBG

BCBG

McQ

Alexander McQueen

Shourouk

Shourouk

Asos

Asos

Ben-AmunVHeadband

Valentino

BA

Brian Atwood

JimmyC

Jimmy Choo

And because I always appreciate fashion with a dose of humor, check out Elle’s guide to holiday movie inspired dressing and my favorite holiday accessory:

GrinchNet a Porter
It’s a classic.

What are you wearing this holiday season?

The SS Combo

It’s time to step away from outerwear posts and talk about the clothing combination that has been consuming my focus this autumn:  the sweater and skirt combo.

It’s a classic combination.  It’s easy to pull together;  most of us have some sort of simple knit sweater and skirt in our wardrobe.  And for some reason, right now, this combination looks fresh.  Streetstylers have rendered the skirt and sweater combo modern chic by pairing a masculine fisherman sweater with a feminine flouncy (some say fluted) skirt.  The combination of masculine and feminine elements in a single outfit gets me every time.  It can be difficult to succintly define one’s style, but if pressed, I think I might say that my style is a bit of masculine with a bit of feminine.  The current SS combo embodies just that.

My 25 Things Challenge (more on this to come) has caused me to be more thoughtful about my purchases and aim to add specific items to my closet.  Ever since I spotted the SS combo, I knew I’d have to add the two key items to my closet.  As of this past week, I completed the mission.

Now for some SS combo inspiration…

SS12

 Via Tumblr

 

SSBlame it on Fashion via Haute Design

SS2

The Northern Light

SS3

Daily Cup of Couture

 

SS4

The Sartorialist

SS6

Theyskens Theory runway via Bazaar

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BCBG

SS11

Celine Fall 2013 via New York Magazine

SS5Jennifer Connolly via Elements of Style

 

SS13

 Via Pinterest.  Gwyneth Paltrow wearing Celine in 2011.  (Side note:  I saw a great Antik Batik sweater at Galeries Lafayette last month that reminded me of this sweater.  I considered buying it and didn’t.  A similar version is available on the Antik Batik website.  Other split-hem fisherman sweaters can be found at Ann Taylor Loft and Anthropologie.)

Now, to recreate the SS Combo:

SWEATER OPTIONS

I purchased this now sold-out Madewell sweater.  If you’re interested in this sweater, you might want to call customer service or check the stock at your local store.  Make sure to keep in mind that it runs large.  I ended up ordering an XS, a size I never wear!

SS25

Here are my other favorites:

SS26Boast

SS27

3.1 Phillip Lim

Some other fisherman sweaters I recommend checking out:  Lord & Taylor, Lands’ End, TopShop, Steven AlanLLBean, and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

An inexpensive Liz Claiborne option

SS23SS23Other inexpensive options can be found at Dorothy Perkins here and here.

For a turtleneck version, I love Brooks Brothers’ take.  Other options are available from Peregrine by J.G. Glover, Altuzarra, J.Crew, and Zara.

 

SKIRT OPTIONS

I picked up a black flouncy skirt in the Zara section of Galeries Lafayette in Paris.  I don’t see my skirt online here in the US, but there is a patterned version of it for sale here.

SS15

 

BCBG.  BCBG has other options: here and here.  Be forewarned that these skirts are clingy.

 

SS16

 

Barneys.  Another Barneys option here.

 

SS17

I love J. Crew’s version in navy.

SS18

Asos.  Asos has a patterned version as well.  So does Marc by Marc Jacobs.

SS21

Herve Leger

Banana Republic has a couple of good options here and here.

SS20

Pucci

And the piece de resistance…

SS22

Valentino

This silhouette will have staying power throughout the spring; spring runway fashions included the SS combo, particularly the flouncy skirt.  So rest assured you can continue flouncing your way into spring!

SS7

J. Crew ensemble via Daily Cup of Couture

SS10

Balmain via Harper’s Bazaar

SS8

Balmain via Daily Cup of Couture

Is the SS combo a part of your wardrobe?  What do you think is the freshest fashion combination of the season?

Toggled

While I went away to Paris desiring a leopard coat, I quickly dispensed with the notion when I saw everyone (women, men, and children) wearing toggle coats similar to the one that I purchased for Baby Boy to wear this year.  I had to try on the Malene Birger coat I posted about before my trip, but it didn’t suit me.  The toggle coat did suit me, but I ultimately decided to wait and scout out options in the U.S.  Toggle coats are classic and upon returning to New York, I’ve noticed that they are becoming popular on the streets here once again too.

The options are plentiful at every price point.  Unsurprisingly, Burberry, the classic coat maker, sets the gold standard.  Here are my picks:

 

MarcNY

Marc New York.  Also in oxbloodcamel, and cream.   A similar option from Tommy Hilfiger here.

StevenAlan

Fidelity Sportswear

JCrew

J.Crew

Burberry

Burberry.  Another fantastic camel option here.

Topshop

Topshop

SL

Saint Laurent

CalvinKlein

Calvin Klein

Uniqlo

Uniqlo

Belle Fare

Belle Fare

LizClaiborne

Liz ClaiborneZara

Zara.  Other Zara options: Here and here.

Brit

Burberry BritBarbour

Barbour

Burberry2

Burberry

JP

Montgomery by John Partridge 

Which would you choose?  Do you own a toggle coat?