What kind of earrings do you fancy? Have you tried the ear cuff? Would you?
What kind of earrings do you fancy? Have you tried the ear cuff? Would you?
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…
Blame it on Fashion via Haute Design
Theyskens Theory runway via Bazaar
Celine Fall 2013 via New York Magazine
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:
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!
Here are my other favorites:
An inexpensive Liz Claiborne option
I love J. Crew’s version in navy.
And the piece de resistance…
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!
J. Crew ensemble via Daily Cup of Couture
Balmain via Harper’s Bazaar
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?
I finally purchased a pair of Converse sneakers after hemming and hawing for well over a year. I typically find ballet flats to be the chicest run around shoe, but there’s something about the appeal of a sneaker. I’ve loved sneakers for a long time. After moving beyond Keds, I started with a pair of black and white checked Vans in middle school and then eventually graduated to Diesel sneakers in college. After reading Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange, I heavily considered buying a pair of Converse sneakers to wear in Paris, but then decided that I would feel more like myself in my black riding boots. And, the sneakers would look too new to be Paris cool.
As I grow older, I become more practical in my clothing choices, particularly when it comes to shoes. We all need comfy shoes to run around in, especially those of us who regularly pound the pavement of city streets. For a while now, we’ve seen many photos of chic women wearing Converse sneakers. It was only a matter of time before I felt compelled to join them. One particularly influential inspiration was a woman I saw on the street where I live; she was another young mother, dressed in the chicest casual outfit possible: a Tod’s D-bag, Converse sneakers without the laces, jeans, a jacket, and a gray scarf. These inspiring images that I’ve shared, combined with the idea of having a great shoe to run around in the parks and playgrounds with my son, ultimately made my decision for me. I believe that the best way to wear a pair of classic sneakers like Converse, is the way that the women pictured above did it: with a fabulous handbag, typically leather, and chic separates, usually in black.
It was difficult to choose between Converse and Superga sneakers. Supergas have been on my radar long before I started seeing people on the streets wearing them. I ultimately decided that I prefer Converse sneakers in black and Supergas in navy. I still may buy a pair of navy Supergas, depending on what other items inspire me. I have to make sure I stick to my 25 items, after all!
I purchased my sneakers at Converse’s Soho store after viewing the Great Gatsby costumes at Prada. The Converse store was a total zoo. I found it a bit humorous that most of the customers were European; it’s nice to know that even Europeans go shopping when they’re on vacation. I understand that a self-service model where the customer places his/her order for sneakers to try on seems efficient, but in terms of quality of service, it’s not the greatest. I tried on every style of low Converse sneakers in black. I had already looked at all of the styles online and I thought that I might go with the sneakers without laces (which looked ridiculous on me) or the Jack Purcells, but I ultimately found that the classic All Stars looked best on me. No matter which pair you choose, there’s no mistaking that sneaks are chic. And, as I told my husband, “When do I ever buy $50 shoes?”
That’s one of the beautiful things about Converse shoes: pretty much anyone can afford to wear them. And they work great in a high-low, formal-casual mix of clothing. A couple of weeks ago I wore them with a plain black long sleeved T, black Genetic Denim skinny jeans, my beloved black Comptoir des Cotonniers jacket I purchased at Galeries Lafayette in Nice, and an equestrian print scarf that was randomly purchased at Urban Outfitters about 4 years ago.
The sneakers went from my son’s music class- to brunch- to the park- to coffee- and then home. They were comfortable, and every time I looked down at them, the sight of them gave me pleasure. That’s what all clothing should do.
Do you wear sneakers? If so, which brand(s)? Do you wear Converse, and if so, what’s your favorite style? What pieces of clothing are giving you pleasure these days?
Recently, I asked myself the question of which items I would buy if I had to build a wardrobe from scratch. I came up with under 30 clothing items, 5 pairs of shoes, and 10 staple accessories, with examples in both Luxe and Less budgeting categories. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing these items with you.
Below are the clothing items that I picked. You’ll notice that I chose a color scheme of mostly black, with some navy and white/khaki. Buying a lot of black, of course, is a great way to ensure that your wardrobe contains items that are chic and interchangeable. In order to extend wearability, I also suggest buying items in seasonless fabrics.
Dark skinny or bootcut jeans, depending on your preference
Little Black Dress
A sleeveless dress in a color (other than black) that can be worn year round.
Black Skirt Suit*
I also find Banana Republic’s button down shirts to be extremely durable.
2+ Black Tees
This is the best tee if I have ever owned. Several years later, and it still looks like new.
Target is one of my favorite sources for inexpensive tees.
Black Wool Coat
Ankle Length Pants
These pants (in black and navy) are a staple in my wardrobe.
5 Sleeveless Tops
Crewneck Cardigan in Black
Casual Black Blazer
This is one of my favorite pieces of clothing.
*With the exception of the 2 suits, I believe that this list of clothing will allow any one to be appropriately dressed for almost any occasion. For those whose activities don’t regularly require a suit, I suggest swapping out the 2 suits for 2 outfits comprised of a top and pants.
This little exercise makes me wonder if I should have focused my 25 Things List on acquiring upgraded versions of each of the essentials on my list. And, it has made me aware of my need for a navy sheath dress!
FYI, the total cost of all of the “Luxe” items is $18,219 and the total cost for the “Less” items is $1,884.95. Keep in mind that I didn’t take into account additional discounts for which some of the “Less” items were eligible. That means that the “Less” wardrobe is approximately one tenth of the cost of the Luxe wardrobe. Adding up these costs definitely puts things in perspective. Given an unlimited budget, I don’t believe that I would choose to buy the Luxe version each time, would you? Of course, the old adage “You get what you pay for…” always applies; clothing made of higher quality fabric will last longer. I believe that in some instances, buying the Luxe version is not just more stylish, but also more cost effective. For example, a Burberry trench can be worn for years beyond its cheaper counterpart.
What do you think of my list? Is there anything that you feel should be added or removed? Which items do you believe are indispensable to building a wardrobe? From which designers would you purchase Luxe items and which brands are your go-tos for looking stylish when spending Less?
Last night after perusing Pinterest and noticing Prabal Gurung runway looks, I decided to check and see when the Prabal Gurung Target collaboration would make its debut. Fortuitously, I learned that the launch was this morning. So I signed up for Target’s text notification for the sale. Fortunately, I made it to Target.com around 8:30 a.m. this morning, as the Target notification for the launch didn’t appear in my message inbox until 12:14 p.m.! I was a bit surprised to see that the 2 items I had chosen the night before weren’t sold out yet since they were both online exclusives.
Yesterday, I shared that one of my 2013 Style Resolutions is to complete a 25 Things Challenge. Now for the details… This year I’m challenging myself to only buying 25 items of clothing, shoes, and accessories for the entire year. 25 items may sound like a lot, but I recently read that the average American buys 64 pieces of clothing per year! And, after tracking how many items I have acquired in the past couple of years, several of which have been completely or almost completely unworn, sticking to only 25 items will be an improvement for me and allow me to be more focused in my purchasing. I should note that the 25 items do not include replacement purchases for items that receive heavier use and wear out (running shoes, black t-shirts, etc.) and they will not include gifts that don’t fall into my purchase idea lists.
With my closet in mind, I came up with a list of items that I think I should acquire this year. A few items may change but I expect that thinking ahead about which items are “missing” in my closet will keep me from making unnecessary impulse purchases and instead purchase with longevity in mind. I plan to keep you updated on my purchases (and thus hold myself accountable). I’ve organized my purchases into Spring and Fall purchases. I’m allowing myself one “fab” item per shopping season, something as of yet undefined that is too exciting to pass up. You can check out my list below.
Please join me in my 25 Items Challenge and keep me updated on your progress! Or, if you’re more ambitious than I am, challenge yourself to buying even fewer than 25 items this year! Who knows, maybe even I will end up buying fewer than 25 items!
STYLEASPIRATIONS 25 THINGS CHALLENGE LIST
Brown riding boots
Work heels/another pair of flats
A piece of jewelry
2 pairs of Spring pants- likely JCrew
Spring button down
1 piece of exercise clothing/pajamas
1 fab item
Brown leather loafers
Brown corduroy pants
Coated jeans/leather pants
Fall button down
1 fab item