Ode to Oscar



Oscar de la Renta.   July 22, 1932 – October 20, 2014.  Image via Pinterest.





Oscar34 Via Pinterest.















































Via Tumblr.

Oscar de la Renta's Spring / Summer 2015 collection

 Spring 2015 via Ann Street Studio

Oscar35 Via Munaluchi Bridal.



Spring 2015 via thisisglamorous




Spring 2015 via Pinterest.


Via Thisisglamorous

Oscar de la Renta's Spring / Summer 2015 collection

Spring 2015 via Ann Street Studio


Moda Operandi 

“When I started, the woman went to the store to buy a dress. She saw it in pink and red, and then she remembered that the husband, who is probably going to pay for the dress, loves it in pink. So she buys the pink. Today, the same woman goes to the store and remembers the husband likes pink, and she buys the red.”  -ODLR




Oscar de la Renta Spring 2015.  Harper’s Bazaar.

Credits:  Images 2-3,  Elle.com, Elle.com

Images 5-9 Harper’s Bazaar.

Images 10-13 Harper’s Bazaar.

All other image credits noted above.


See also:

Happy Voting and First Lady Fashion

Bow Regard

Derby Dressing


About Oscar… 

Popping Up


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.



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.


























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.


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!




Delfina Delettrez 


Clare Vivier.  Other color/print options available here.





Miu Miu


Stella McCartney



Shop Dandy


Bella Freud


Lizzie Fortunato



Alice & OliviaV19

Kiel Mead


Kelly Wearstler

V8Loren Stewart


Smythson of Bond Street


Alice & Olivia

V13Clare Vivier

V15Pamela Love





Marc by Marc Jacobs


Stella McCartney


LaunerV20Cy Twombly:  50 Years of Work on Paper


Lulu Frost

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:


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.



Tory Burch

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

IsaacIsaac Mizrahi






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:


Robert Rodriguez


Club Monaco

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


Kate Spade






Alexander McQueen








Brian Atwood


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…


 Via Tumblr


SSBlame it on Fashion via Haute Design


The Northern Light


Daily Cup of Couture



The Sartorialist


Theyskens Theory runway via Bazaar




Celine Fall 2013 via New York Magazine

SS5Jennifer Connolly via Elements of Style



 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:



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.



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.



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




Barneys.  Another Barneys option here.



I love J. Crew’s version in navy.


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


Herve Leger

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



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?


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:



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


Fidelity Sportswear




Burberry.  Another fantastic camel option here.




Saint Laurent


Calvin Klein



Belle Fare

Belle Fare


Liz ClaiborneZara

Zara.  Other Zara options: Here and here.


Burberry BritBarbour





Montgomery by John Partridge 

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



What I’d Love to Wear in Paris

MaleneBirgerMalene Birger

After trick or treating with Baby Boy tonight, I’m heading to Paris on an overnight flight!  If I had my choice, this is what I would wear walking down the wide boulevards and everywhere in between.  Leopard coats are a little flashy for my taste, but these days they’re so du moment.  After spotting and admiring this coat, I came across a little collection of women wearing chic animal print coats in Paris!


Vanessa Jackman




Self-Service Magazine




Ultimately, I will channel the spirit of this style with my Sonia Rykiel splotch print coat that I wore in Paris last year.

I hope to return from Paris with a lot of inspiration and finds, including a visit to Catherine B!  Until then, Au revoir!



Summer Uniform

black1Style Confession:  I wear black all summer long.

It will probably come as no surprise to you that I love wearing black, since this blog has prominently featured many black pieces.  Even those who love black usually take a break in summer.  Not I.  While I admire chic all-white ensembles, typical of a South of France style, my wardrobe isn’t there yet.

Outside of work, in the summer I typically wear a black skirt or an ankle length/cropped pant with whatever style of top appeals to me that year, and a pair of Jack Rogers sandals.  For many years, my top of choice was a polo shirt, then it was a simple sleeveless top.  Last year it was the sleeveless peplum top.  And this year, it’s the sleeveless button down top, reminiscent of the basic button downs that I love so much in cooler weather.

I’ve purchased a few dark (2 out of 4 are black and the other 2 are navy) sleeveless tops and I’ve been living in them and my other black items on these summer weekends.

(Side note:  I still haven’t shared my 2013 purchases with you, but I’ll remedy that sometime in the near future.  Not to worry, I haven’t hit 25 items yet).

Sure, I own clothes in summery colors and I’ve shared my love of Lilly Pulitzer previously on this blog, but when it comes down to it, I feel most comfortable in dark colors.  In black.   A lot of days, like today, I wear black from head to ankle.  A couple of month ago, my best friend chastised me about having so much black for summer, but, as I said to her, that’s what I like.  I feel most like myself when I wear black.

So I’m devoting this post to some of my favorite ways to wear all black in the summer.  I think the trick is to show some skin; a bit of arm, a bit of leg, and let the accessories speak summer.

black3 Mark D. Sikes

Of course, the LBD is the most readily apparent way to wear all black.  It looks extra chic paired with black strappy accessories, don’t you agree?  This dress could be worn year-round, but the accessories scream summer.



Harper’s Bazaar

While the leather top isn’t going to work on the hottest of days, another tucked in top can be substituted.  The cropped pants hint at the rising temperature.  Again, the accessories, strappy shoes and sunglasses, make this outfit summer ready.


 Keep  it Chic

I don’t wear shorts, but if I did, I would want this tunic and shorts ensemble from Proenza Schouler.

black5 Krystal Schlegel

The pieces here are so simple.  A black T and coated black jeans elevated by an Hermes cuff and those magical Valentino Rockstuds.  When I get my Rockstuds, I plan to use this photo for styling inspiration.


black2 Tumblr

And of course, Gwyneth, who can take any fashion concept and make it look like gold, is perfection in a sleeveless black ensemble paired with a contrasting tan leather shoulder strap handbag.

Do you wear black year round?  What’s your uniform this summer?

Night to Day

PJ 1Vogue

PJ 5Artsology

PJ 2Harper’s Bazaar

Do you wear pajama shirts? Outside of the bed?  I do. While some may find the pajama shirt infatuation that took off in early 2012 passé, this “trend” is anything but over for me.  To me, the pajama shirt is simply a slightly altered take on a button down shirt.  And you know how I love button down shirts.  A pajama shirt is so classic, so stylish, and has such a tailored aura, that it deserves to be seen out of the bedroom. A pajama shirt looks chic, especially when paired with tailored separates and a great pair of shoes (and bag).  It looks effortlessly cool.

My first sighting of the trend was in late 2011 when the perpetually cool Sofia Coppola was photographed in Vogue wearing Louis Vuitton pajamas she designed.  Of course, Julian Schnabel: artist, Hollywood director, and husband of Olatz linens designer, Olatz Schnabel, was wearing them even before the PJ shirt made the pages of Vogue.  PJ shirts finally grabbed my attention for good when I saw Amanda Brooks wearing one in the April 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. I tore the page out of the magazine, pre-Pinterest obsession, and I may still have it. Ever since I saw these photographs, I haven’t been able to quell my pursuit of pajama shirts.

Wearing pajamas out of the house apparently isn’t new.  Coco Chanel did it, as depicted in the movie, “Coco Before Chanel”:

PJ 12blog.stylesight

I continually lust after the Gold Standard Olatz (Made in the U.S.A.!) version worn by Amanda Brooks above, but cannot bring myself to pay $465 for a shirt (and they never have my size online at Barneys)… Yet.  While researching this post, I discovered that all sizes and colors can be purchased through Olatz online. I’ll have to check out their fabulous store in NY!

I satiated my desire a bit last year with the purchase of a black DKNY pajama shirt from Stylebop  with subtle white edging, identical to the one pictured below.  I have worn this shirt to death. It’s one of those pieces that make me feel good, like the best dressed version of myself, every time I wear it.

PJ 3Pinterest

 PJ 14


I’ve become confident enough about wearing a pajama shirt that I didn’t even hesitate to buy the J. Crew pajama shirt pictured above (from the pajama section), which I plan to wear as a regular shirt. I took a bit of a risk, especially since the item was on sale and “All Sales Final” applied.  Although I could have sized down, I might try the elusive half tuck that Lucy of A Leopard’s Spots has mastered.  This PJ shirt will pair nicely with some navy J. Crew Minnie pants, jeans, or white pants. I plan to use the photos in this post for some styling inspiration.  While the J. Crew PJ shirt is now out of stock, there are cotton versions available.  I also recommend trying the versions made by Piamita and Equipment, both currently on sale.

PJ 4Pinterest

"Drive" Photocall - 64th Annual Cannes Film FestivalJust Jared

PJ  8The Fancy Pants Report

PJ 16Parisian lady via The Sartorialist.

PJ 15Olatz Schnabel, wearing one of her creations, via The New York Times.

PJ 13Audrey Hepburn wearing piped PJs in Charade.  Image via Best of Dress.

While I love pajama shirts, I draw the line at pajama pants worn without a matching pajama shirt, no matter how luxurious the pants might be. Although pajama pants are appearing more regularly in stores than pajama shirts these days, they just seem sloppy to me. A pajama shirt at least more closely resembles a regular shirt; it’s simply a silk blouse with some bedtime details.  I actually find that a matching set of pajamas looks better than a pair of pajama pants alone.  If I tried it myself, though, I think I would restrict my wearing of this ensemble to entertaining at home.

PJ 10Elisa Senaoui sporting Ferregamo PJs from the SS12 Collection

PJ 6      Viviana Volpicella via The Sartorialist

PJ 17Piamita Geometric Cat Print PJ outfit.

PJ 11Shala Monroque in chic all white Olatz PJs via Mark D. Sikes.

PJ 7Mary Jane Russell photographed by John Rawlins in Vogue, December 1953.

Clearly, I’m not planning to put this trend to bed anytime soon.

Do you wear pajama shirts? Pajama pants? Would you? What pieces of clothing make you feel like the best dressed version of yourself?