Stay Argyle Longer

Argyle is an underrated pattern but especially in comparison to its cousins, gingham in the summer and black watch and Stewart tartans in the winter. Ironically, argyle is actually the official tartan of the Campbell clan of Argyllshire. It was imported to the states from Great Britain in the early twentieth century and it picked up popularity with the country club set, specifically golfers. I can get on board with that approach to athleisure!

I stand by argyle being versatile in terms of seasonality, given appropriate colors and fibers; however as it is commonly reserved for the opposite of the seasonal cycle, argyle is not particularly available for the shopping right now. The bright side to the argyle famine? The majority of the pieces still available from last autumn and winter are marked down. Prime time for stocking up on argyle pieces.

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In the Trenches

Growing up, the trench coat was an item that I frequently saw on television and movies as part of characters’ on-screen closets.: Ally McBean, Charlotte York, Miranda Hobbes, and the entire cast of characters on the West Wing. It was always an article of clothing that I imagined I would graduate to wearing once graduating from undergrad and banishing sweatpants and pajamas from my out-and-about wardrobe, and I did!

Banana Republic released a trench coat circa 2012 and it was available in tall. I am so happy that I invested – if you can even call it that, I am sure it was no more than two hundred dollars – in the coat because it is a closet all star staple. My only complaint is that I do not have enough opportunities to wear it; it is a very seasonal piece of clothing.

Finding a trench coat in tall has been especially challenging lately. My go-to brands, Banana Republic and J.Crew, have failed to offer it in tall sizing within the past few seasons. How rude. I went on a deep dive of trench coats made in tall sizing and while I was at it, included trench dresses.

I am a fan of the cropped trench coat. Proportions are everything and this particular cut works especially well with a wide leg pant .

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These are the ones that you and I picture when you hear the words, “trench coat.” This is the staple and your closet needs one.

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Because the neutral khaki color will not always coordinate, I am a fan of the darker trench coat. I already own and love the navy one, but I think a black one would be a nice addition to the wardrobe.

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I think trench dresses are a nice way to bring the look into summer when the temperatures are simply too aggressive to wear a coat. Cut to me buying the white and the navy versions. Shopping moratorium, what?

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Stripe Theory

My high school self would have lost it over this skirt. My present day self has lost it over this skirt. I am always a fan of blue and white stripes, as underscored by content over the past year and a half. I can imagine myself uncovering it while shopping with mom and subsequently obsessing about it for a week before returning to McRae’s (in my mind, I am still shopping for Esprit at McRae’s, a long-shuttered department store scattered across the south eastern United States) to procure the article.

You know what would sell my mom on it? The fact that I found something on markdown with which I was in love.

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Fighting the Office A/C

It is cliche to complain about the office air conditioning. Yet, until I brought a few layering options into my workplace, I was a machine at bitching at the constant frigid temperature. Recently my company’s northeast branch relocated to a better grade office building and with that, we lost the ability to adjust the thermostat.

My new workspace in the open office plan includes my very own closet, complete with rod that I can hang clothes on and the capacity to lock. So far, this coat has lived at the office in the weeks following our corporate move. I also kept a cotton knit J.Crew Factory v-neck cardigan that I bought in the summer of 2011. This afternoon, while cleaning out my closet, because #projectpurge, I tossed the long-serving cardigan after spotting what I can only explain away as a pad thai stain on the inside hem.

This cardigan would make a good replacement. 

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The Grass is Always Greener…

Miranda Hobbes once said, “…we whine when we have boyfriends and we whine when we don’t.” I apply the same thinking to seasonal dressing. Even at the beginning of the summer, even before I have had a chance to wear even half of my summer wardrobe, I am itching to break out sweaters, opaque tights, and boots. And vice versa.

This particular dress triggered my grass is always greener thinking. The merlot color is autumn perfection. Like the gray knit dress from last week (which did not spark this particular brand of grass is always greener), this dress is something I want to wear with black tights and olive Loeffler Randall Matilde boots.

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Look Before Blue Leap

It has been raining a lot in Philadelphia lately. Right now I have one bright turquoise Patagonia raincoat and one khaki Calvin Klein raincoat, both of which I love for different reasons. The turquoise one is excellent for folding up and keeping in my purse for an afternoon rainstorm. The khaki one is fabulous for layering over an outfit for a workday.

This bright blue number though? It belongs in my closet, like yesterday. That color is everything and exactly what I need to brighten up even the grayest day.

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Knit’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I still cannot believe that a brand that was established in San Francisco and so quintessentially American has pulled out of operations in the United States. Did you know that the same gentleman who founded Esprit also founded The North Face? Regardless, since then, I have found a way to get Esprit contraband into the United States.

I cannot wait to pair this dress with black opaque tights and brown Loeffler Randal Matilde boots in the fall. It will be the perfect vineyard outfit. How cozy.

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Shirt It Through the Grapevine

I distinctly remember my first summers both in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, respectively in 2008 and 2016. I had arrived in the nation’s capitol weeks after my graduation from undergrad, late June, from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 2008 was a great time to be in D.C. and I will always look back on that summer when I moved myself up there in my Ford Escape on a seventeen hour solo mission.

Years of heat and humidity in the deep south did not prepare me for what was to come so many latitude degrees north. I chalk it up to moving from a suburban area to an urban area; hoofing it around the cities as opposed to cruising in one’s SUV with the air conditioning on high blast changes ones perception of comfort in relation to temperature. My first day out in about in D.C. involved walking from the Foggy Bottom Metro stop into Georgetown for a job interview in a black BCBG sheath dress and olive BCBG heels, but not before ducking into the Barnes & Noble (RIP) for a bottle of water in their cafe and a trip to their bathroom to paper towel off sweat.

When the temperature turns up this summer, rather than a black BCBG number, this shirtdress is going to be the first thing I grab from the closet.

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The Bird Degree

It is no secret here that I love Esprit. Stopping by McRae’s (RIP) with my mom during the spring super sale days when you had to turn up extra early was my method of scoring Esprit items. Emphasis on the sale. Emphasis on extra early. Although it was pretty hilarious that my mom and I were two of maybe fifty people who were in the store.

To this day, I clearly recall negotiating in the dressing rooms with Mom to get the Blueberry Plaid Skort and the Lavender Striped Spaghetti Strap Dress, contingent that the latter was worn with the white cardigan already in my closet. I would still wear either of those pieces today. So classic. My high school style was impeccable. (Toot toot, beep beep.) I don’t take back anything I wore then because what I wore then was so authentic to myself.

I was dismayed a few years ago when I found out that Esprit ceased North American operations. Luckily I found a way to get Esprit into the United States and this is going to be the first dress I purchase.

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Speed of White

Four shirtdresses are not enough! They never go out of style and generally they are made of cotton poplin, which means they wash well and are durable.

I like this particular shirtdress because it is a bit shorter. It almost looks like a men’s dress shirt. Who does not love looking like they are walking around pantsless in their husband’s shirt? (Also: Who else has gone as Joel Goodson for Halloween? I know I am not the only basic bia who has donned a pair of Wayfarers and tube socks for the day.) While I would not want all of my shirtdresses to have that look, it is a fun twist on the traditional style.

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Cacti Are So Hot Right Now!

Last summer, it was all about the pineapple. It was literally the fruit du jour, but for like, sixty … jours. All pineapple everything and although the trend has cooled down, I think it is still going strong. I still have, love, and wear my earring and necklace set and am considering purchasing a sterling silver set.

This year? It is all about the cactus. Consider this your notice that the cactus the plant du jour! 

pajamas