The husband and I made our way to Center City on Sunday. I had plans to hit A.C.Moore and stock up on arts and crafts supplies to put under the trees of less fortunate families. This year has been so full of blessings that I could not help but pay it forward.
As we walked past Philadelphia City Hall, we noticed the Dilworth Winterfest. Dilworth Park has been converted to accommodate a ice skating rink, cocktail and food tent, garden maze, and local vendors. Very festive and it adds more zest to Center City! I can practically smell the cedar and balsam just thinking about it.
My brother-in-law is very straight forward when it comes to gift ideas. This year? Cable knit sweater, cable knit blanket, pink oxford, workout gear. I tend to color in the lines when it comes to his gifts, although he does give me carte blanche with the most details like colors. Unless it is the pink oxford. Got it. We are going pink with the oxford.
He actually said he enjoys my style and what I pick out; in fact he was able to recall my gifts to him for the past few years.
I stress out about Dad’s gifts the most. The only time I have ever seen him get excited about a gift was Christmas 2002, when my sister, mom, and I tracked down a KROQ promotional record of “Shake It Up” by The Cars released circa 1982. Very limited release, very happy Dad.
These vintage items are very hard to track down and to be honest, very risky.
I never know if he is going to like what I gift, so I started giving him more utilitarian items that I know he will end up using. Classic plaid pajamas, done.
Does anyone else recall when J.Crew introduced The Hookup and The Breakup? The former was the pairing of a top and bottom of the same print. The latter is wearing one of them at a time. While wearing one printed piece at a time is not revolutionary, I fell in love with wearing one print top to bottom, and not in the form of a dress or jumpsuit. Something about purchasing two pieces in one print feels very luxurious, yet attainable.
I was watching season one of The City and doing some online window shopping when I found this shirt and skirt combination. As much as I fell in love with this print via the website I purchased from, photos just do not do it justice. The texture and the pattern are next level. I knew that the colors were based in a neutral palette but I was pleasantly surprised that in person the cobalt blue and petal pink pop.
A little game that I like to play is Let the Husband Style Me. I will give him the top / bottom / dress and allow him to pick shoes, jewelry, and when appropriate, outerwear. Sometimes I go with his suggestions. Sometimes I exercise my veto power. Yesterday, I kept the necklace (last seen here) he selected and I layered on pearljewelry. I added a pair of sunglasses. I switched out the gold bangles for my bow cuff, mycoilbracelets and ring. (I know, how very #standard of me.) He initially picked out a Columbia puffer vest; to his credit my faux fur vest (last seen here) was still packed up from last winter. Lastly, the gold heels he picked had to go for patent dark green heels – much more seasonally appropriate for a fifty degree day.
My mom might be the easiest to shop for. I literally have it down to a science. A pair of chic pajamas and a non-brand-emblazoned structured purse. Rotate the colors every year. Call it a day and be happy Mom has a gift formula.
My husband is super tricky to shop for. The family pajamas that I gave him last year? Well, I am still wearing the piped pajama top from the set, albeit with my (long length) pajama bottoms. This year, I am going to stick to what I know he wants. Unfortunately, all he wants is something super basic and not at all exciting…
This is all he wants from Santa. Le sigh. We are officially in adult territory.
The husband bought a tuxedo for our wedding. He is fancier than he will let on. I just know he just is itching to break it out again. I have my eye on these pieces; I know he would love mixing them with thetuxpieces already hanging up in our closet.
Lately, the husband has been loving his Lululemon sweatpants. I mean, to the point where I don’t think he actually wants me to wash them because the line drying takes too long. I discovered this matching set that comes in long, for the hoodie and the pants! Throw this set on a delicate setting in the dryer and don’t worry about the length shrinking – that much, anyways.
Let’s be honest. As much as I love to serve up tall style realness, there is a part of me that gravitates to a more low key look. Add in rainy day weather and good luck even bringing oneself to roll out of bed!
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Last weekend my little sister posted a photo with styling throwback to J.Crew at the height of Jenna Lyon’s influence. The striped shirt under the end-on-end button down? Genius to pull that out of her sartorial bag of tricks. Her interpretation inspired me to layer a long sleeve tee beneath a button down, albeit a chambray one. And trust, we both have the button down she is wearing, the only difference being our respective monograms.
Did I copy cat her skater sneakers? Guilty. To be fair, I already had them in my closet (last seen here and here and here). The major thing I didn’t copy, which was next level, was her beret. For her privacy, I cropped out her face, but trust that she was throwing out next level Parisian vibes.
My little sister is one of my favorite people to give gifts. She is awesome at pinpointing exactly what she wants, while still delighting in a surprise. Cut to the year she had no idea that there was a Marc by Marc Jacobs hobo bag coming her way. She cried tears. And years later, it is still on rotation in her closet.
Ear warmth is so clearly of utmost importance this winter.
My little sister is also big into beauty. Not vlogger or blogger level, but definitely more so than I am. She is the one who introduced me to the Caudalie beauty elixir. (Or rather her dog, Elsa, did as the gift was “from” her.) She has not really caught on to Glossier or Frank Body yet. I am especially looking forward to introduce her to the former, as the natural/low-key philosophy of Glossier is very consistent to her approach to skincare and make-up.
I am certain that you could tell by the post title and the above images that the answer to that would be sweaters. Even brands that have tall lines seldom include a tall sweater assortment. (This is me giving the side eye to J.Crew. To only have a long length Cambridge cable crewneck, cardigan, v-neck, and turtleneck…)
When I was a junior in high school, I fell in love with a Gap black merino turtleneck sweater. My mom purchased it for me despite the fact that it was dry clean only. My mom would rarely purchase dry clean only items, so you have to understand what a huge deal this was for me. Because it was 3/4 sleeves, I was not concerned if they were too short; they were intentionally cut that way! I wore it with a pair of Gap red satin cropped pants (also got them in black and my little sister had them in gold) that, again, were intentionally cut short and looked phenomenal on a tall, lanky frame, if I do say so myself. And I do. I felt unstoppable in that outfit. History test? Wear the outfit. Showdown with the coach of the dance team about the team uniforms? Wear the outfit. Running against the class mean girl in the student council runoff election? Wear the outfit. And then win that election.
The length of the turtleneck in the torso worked with the rise of the pants in a way that I did not have to worry about my midriff being exposed. I knew what it was like getting sent home from school for “wardrobe infractions,” and I wasn’t going to chance getting sent home from second block Biology with Ms. Boatner again. (Just kidding. I despised that teacher after she threw me under the bus for something that I could not help and I would have been happy to get out of the class.)
Fair isle, striped, cotton, merino. I will take them all. I have in my possession or have ordered most of the above sweaters in tall, and I can say with the confidence of my go-to junior year outfit, that they are winners.
I studied historic preservation and architectural history in graduate school. One of the classes that made a huge impact on me was a 500 level Urban Design seminar. And this is when I hit y’all with some next level seven four degrees of separation. The gentleman who taught the Urban Design seminar, Karl DuPuy, was a protege of Edmund Norwood Bacon. Edmund Norwood Bacon is a native son of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is also my current city. More notably, Edmund Bacon, whom his theories I studied and wrote extensively about in blue book exams, is Kevin Bacon’s father.
Let’s review that:
you • me • Karl DuPuy • Edmund Bacon • Kevin Bacon
Congrats! You are four degrees from Kevin Bacon.
Back to urban design. I love walking through cities. You experience architecture differently than driving or biking through them (though I highly recommend the former). Add to that, that you experience architecture differently walking on either sides of the street and walking either way. While I could regurgitate that after the Urban Design seminar, I only understood it after I started long distance running while I was living in Washington D.C.
This is one of my favorite corners in Philadelphia and not only because there is a Starbucks location. I don’t love walking this neighborhood but I stand by this corner being boss.
Keeping with last Wednesday’s My Book/Mark/Down post, I am sharing the best Calypso St. Barth buys. I don’t think it is any secret that IloveCalypsoSt.Barth. While the official site has the full line, it is also accessible via Neiman Marcus, Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue, Off Fifth, and Bluefly. The three discount stores are great for finding pieces that you missed the first time around.
These are the pieces I want and possibly already bought (looking at you purple kimono):