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!



The Power of a Pink Coat


Jean Shrimpton in Vogue Paris August 1965.  Photographer Guy Bourdin.

This summer seemed to go faster than any other, and my plans to share my summer fashion favorites have been scrapped to make way for autumn styleaspirations.  I plan to spend the next several posts sharing some of my favorite fall fashions.

First up is the pink coat.  I’m sure that you’ve been spotting them.  I have a special attachment to the pink coat because I’ve had one in my winter coat collection for the past 7 years.  Mine is another Lilly Pulitzer find, a beautiful pink wool coat that I believe that I purchased for 50% off at a boutique in the midwest.  In the months following my purchase, I saw Meredith Viera wearing the green version of my coat on The Today Show.

Readers, I have received more compliments on this pink coat than any other piece of clothing I have ever worn.  When I get dressed, I’m not looking for compliments (though they are always welcome), but I relish the fact that this piece of clothing has garnered me more compliments than any other because it’s the only piece of clothing I own that my husband complains about!  So when a man on the subway asked to take my picture because he wanted to show his sisters who love pink (Do I really believe that?), not exactly the type of attention I want, I couldn’t wait to share this anecdote with my husband.

Here is a little pink coat inspiration to push you into fall:


Via Pinterest


Via Stylecaster


3.1 Phillip Lim 



titan_fuchsia_front_01_2Leslie Tessler

Pink2Via What Do I Wear? 


Kate Spade



Paul Smith

Paul Smith


 Harper’s Bazaar

I particularly love how this pink coat adds just the right amount of punch to basic black and white.


Here are my Top Picks for Pink Coats:





French Connection


VSVictoria’s Secret  (A steal!)


SimoneRochaSimone Rocha

And one of my favorite pieces for fall…

RedValentinojpegRed Valentino


Are you thinking pink when it comes to coats these days?  What is the item of clothing that has fetched you the most compliments?


White Now


Image via Diner en Blanc- New York Facebook page

Before I leap full force into fall, I want to share how I ended the summer.

On Sept. 18, I joined approximately 4,000 others clad head to toe in white and carting white chairs, tables, fine china, candles, and flowers for an organized yet impromptu picnic in a secret location.  The partygoers met in different locations and then made their way to the once secret spot, Bryant Park, located directly behind the New York Public Library (NYPL).  I loved the choice of location.  It is classic New York.


My photos are somewhat blurry, but in a way I feel that only adds to the magical feeling that the evening bestowed.


This spectacular event, Diner en Blanc (DEB), started 25 years ago in Paris.  It has no fundraising aspect or political or social agenda.  The only goal is that participants experience an elegant evening complete with live music, dinner, and dancing.  The challenging part of DEB is the preparation… finding a table in Manhattan that meets the required specifications is a particular challenge.  To make the dressing aspect stress-free, I wore the white Lilly Pulitzer dress that I posted about here.  Next year, I look forward to planning my outfit and table decorations well in advance.



One of the best parts of DEB is the people watching.  I loved that the event was filled with a crowd diverse in age, race, demeanor, and style.  Below are a few of my favorite styles I spotted at DEB.







While dancing and smiling with strangers, I realized that I wish for Baby Boy to grow into an adult with the ability to have similar experiences; to put aside everyday routines and stressors, surrender to the magic and the joy of being alive, and recognize the beauty and uniqueness of a particular moment.

I can now say that I’ve danced on the steps of the NYPL.




I hope to carry a little DEB style into the fall.  White has always been elegant, and recently, it has proven to be seasonless.


Harper’s Bazaar

DEB7How did you end the summer?  What are your styleaspirations for the fall?


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?

Picnicking with Panache

Picnic 9

Picnic season is in full swing.  We’ve enjoyed a picnic in Central Park for the past two weekends in a row.  A picnic can be impromptu or carefully planned, a beachside event or a gathering on a bench.  I find picnics to be one of the most enjoyable activities.  For a history of the picnic, visit Cassandra Considers.


Picnic 1Pinterest

Picnic 3Tumblr

Picnic 8Rooftop picnic via 7 Year Wedding

Picnic 6Tumblr

Picnic 7Tumblr.  I’m loving the vintage plaid lunchbox.  I used to carry one myself!

Picnic 5Tumblr

And let’s not forget the food!

Picnic 22Le Figaro Madame

Picnic 23Tumblr

Picnic 19The Enchanted Home

Picnic 20Pinterest

Picnic 24Tumblr

Picnic 21Pinterest

Our picnics typically include a few good cheeses, salami, garlic stuffed olives, and fruit.

The key to any great picnic is packing a mix of savory and sweet items:

Picnic 26

Crostini with peaches, bleu cheese, and honey via Bev Cooks or Pear Walnut and Ricotta Crostini

Picnic 28Avacado and tzaziki sandwich via Pinterest

PIcnic 29Corn, tomato and cheddar pie via Clockwork Lemon

or a simple prosciutto, mozarella, and basil sandwich on crusty bread

Picnic 27via Linzer Tart.

A refreshing salad always complements a picnic:

Picnic 30White House Salad via ivillage

Picnic 31Avocado chicken salad via Becoming Betty

Picnic 32Blood orange and fennel salad via Kiran Tarun

Other ideas:  seashell pasta with basil, tomatoes, and garlic, a simple fruit salad with honey lime dressing, or melon and prosciutto skewers.


For an alternative to packaged chips, try:

Picnic 34Baked beet chips via Martha Stewart


Picnic 33Crispy Edamame

Store a tasty thirst quencher in leftover jam jars:

Picnic 14via

How about filling the jars with…

Picnic 15

Peach summer sangria via Pizzazzerie

Picnic 46Blackberry Bourbon lemonade via Runchickenrun

Picnic 16A champagne grapefruit mojito via Style Me Pretty

Picnic 17Sparkling strawberry limeade via bless her heart


Picnic 18Basil Limeade via Celebrating Everyday Life

For dessert, may I suggest:

Picnic 10Salted caramel brownies via A Spicy Perspective

Picnic 11

Smores cookies via Martha Stewart

Picnic 12Shortbread caramel sandwiches via Dust Jacket


Picnic 13Olive oil, yogurt and lime cake via Simple Provisions


Picnic 38Strawberry shortcake in a jar via Honestly Yum

For more picnic food inspiration, check out 101 20 Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics.


I definitely love picnic food, but naturally, one of my favorite aspects of a picnic is the accessories!  For a stylishly accessorized picnic, here are some products that get my stamp of approval:

Picnic 35Yield picnic bag that folds into a blanket via Cup of Jo.

From Kate Spade, picnic basics that pack a punch of color:

Picnic 36Kate Spade picnic basket

Picnic 37Kate Spade champagne box.

For a more modern take on picnic accessories, uncommon goods has a great selection of clever products, including a picnic backpack.

For those seeking a more traditional picnic basket, Picnic World and Dann-Online offer beautiful selections:

Picnic 45Sutherland Classic picnic basket

Picnic 43Canterbury fully stocked picnic basket

Picnic 44Sutherland Nottingham picnic basket

Picnic 42Sutherland Doppio Vino Picnic Basket

For the most aspirational of picnics, a vintage Rolls Royce picnic basket fits the bill:

Picnic 40via Luxist.

Ready for a picnic?  What will you bring?

Pink Seating and List Making

Shelter Pretty pinkImage via SHELTER

I continue to have great excuses for not being present here, but I’m hoping that this is the start of easing back into a regular blogging routine.

Tonight I cleared out all of the starred items from my Google reader, quite a job.  Yes, I waited until the last minute to complete this task, but it wasn’t a top priority until it had to be.  I starred a lot of the items as inspiration for future blog posts.  After taking about 22 pages of notes in a Word document, patterns of inspiration have emerged.  Out of all the hundreds of posts I browsed tonight, one hit me in particular:  this post from SHELTER, one of my favorite interior design blogs, on pink upholstered seating.

I thought of my grandmother’s pink chair, similar to the one pictured above, that sat proudly in her living room with another matching chair.  The elegant pink upholstered chair now sits in my parents’ bedroom, one of the rare furnishings of the past century in a home filled with antiques.  Tonight I thought of my grandmother and how she cared about the furnishings that filled her home, just as she cared about what she wore.

I  have always admired that chair, but it has become dearer to me in the past couple of years after sitting in it to nurse Baby Boy in the middle of the night.  It was in the early hours of the morning that I gained a greater appreciation for its comfort and its beauty.  And I couldn’t help but think that my Grandma would be happy that I was enjoying her chair in such a profound way.

Something else that’s hereditary is my curious list making/note taking habit.  I have a need, a compulsion, to compile lists of things that inspire me.  My mother does the same thing.  She keeps lists of things that she reads or hears about for future reference.  Sometimes she shares these items with me.  She reminded me recently that her mother did the same thing.

Some compulsions are in the blood.

Happy Weekend!

Betty Autier 1Bettier Autier 2Images via Le Blog de Betty


Sorry for the silence around here lately.  Other priorities have asserted their dominance over my time, but I look forward to sharing a lot of content with you that I’ve had planned.

For the past week or so, my mind keeps traveling back to these images of Paris-based style blogger Betty Autier photographed in Florence.  She seems like she’s ready to jump into the weekend.  At least that’s what I like to think.  You could certainly do worse for weekend wear than a  Rochas dress with Thierry Lasry glasses, Valentino rockstud heels, and a Lulu Guiness clutch, no?