The Skirt Degree

Along with sweaters, finding skirts in appropriate length to one’s height is a challenge. Albeit initially to a lesser degree than the former category of clothing, the need for length-appropriate sizing is only amplified as one ascends in age. Only one of the plaid skirts from Tuesday’s post was available in longer length and because it is technically a mini-skirt, I would not even think about wearing it sans tall sizing.

Several of the below skirts are available in tall sizes. I have two of the color ways from last year in the first skirt and am consequently obsessively on the look out for the next time a generous promotion posts. Consider the academic green, coral, and brilliant fuchsia as good as in my closet.

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It’s a Plaid, Plaid, Plaid, Plaid World

Autumn is for plaid. Especially after a particularly hot and miserable summer in the city, I look forward to the days when I can wear the woolen tartans. Combined with a cashmere sweater, vest, and knee high boots, it is my go-to outfit for the season. Trends like crop tops and wide leg denim (shudder) come and go, but classics are such for a reason.

While only one of the skirts in this line up is available in tall sizing, I purposely looked for skirts of which the base (and only) sizing has a conservative hemline, save for the Cher Horowitz-esque yellow pleated number. Let’s save the mini lengths for Clueless cosplay and the 25 and under crowd, shall we?

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The Women Card-igan

Like every other red blooded basic white woman, I am amped af for autumn. The first leaf falling prompts a purchase of a pumpkin spice latte and a cable cashmere cardigan. Though the seasonal drink was released at the end of August, the idea of a hot PSL (iced PSLs are blasphemy!) in 95 degree weather is enough to make me feel nauseous, as is the idea of sweating in cashmere.

Autumn never lasts long enough. I love that in-between weather that does not necessitate a coat. Give me cardigan weather any day. Fingers crossed that this season arrives early and leaves late.

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Pack a Bag: Hotel Boulderado, Part II

for Part I…

Hotel Boulderado was the ideal place to take a eighteen hour pit stop while we were in Colorado. The hotel historian, Laurel, gave us a tour of the property and with that, copious insight on the history of the hotel.

The historic plans of the residential floors were slightly different than the floor plans of today in that they were customizable to guest budgets. For example, adjacent, semi-private (between two guest rooms) bathrooms could be unlocked and included in the overnight package or they could be locked off from the guest room. In the case of the latter, guests would use the floor communal bathroom. This is one of the ways the floor plan has been changed; these days all guest rooms have private, in-suite bathrooms and some even have living spaces and balconies.

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Hotel Boulderado hosted us in one of the suites which included a balcony and living room. The layout was one that was conducive to natural light exposure, in that both the living room, bathroom, and bedroom had windows. The layout allows for a reduction in electricity by way of minimizing the need to switch on the light.

Official green initiatives of Hotel Boulderado include the following:

• Award-Winning Recycling Program
• Environmental Protection Agency certified as a WasteWise Partner
• Partners for a Clean Environment member
• TripAdvisor Green Leaf Program Silver Level
• 60% post-consumer waste recycled paper used on-property
• Monthly energy audits conducted
• Boulder Community Food Share participant

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Sincerest thanks to Hotel Boulderado for sponsoring our stay.

 

Long Story Short

One of my most traumatic experiences growing up was getting sent home from school for my shorts being deemed “too short.” These were the same American Eagle chino shorts that many a teenage girl had in her back to school wardrobe, but nobody else wearing the shorts was sent home from school. Nobody else shot up to nearly six feet tall between eighth grade and freshman year.

I still remember the teacher who sent me to the office (Mrs. Boatner, second block biology). Though I never cared to learn her name, I also remember the face of the teacher who used the classroom the block prior and advised Boatner (a new-to-our-school teacher) that my shorts were inappropriate and told her I had to be sent to the office. Now that I am older, I find it to be more inappropriate for middle aged teachers to be policing young women’s wardrobes.

Earlier this week, Lilly Pulitzer upped the ante in providing shift dresses and shorts for all of the heights. Oh my thirteen year old self would have loved to make a splash on the first day of school with a shift or shorts cut for a tall frame, alas options like these were few and far between. Upon hitting publish on the iPhone drafted in an app-in a car-on a road trip blog post featuring the items, my blog analytics went wild.

If you are one of the newer visitors, welcome and thank you for stopping by again. If you are a regular, can I get a round of high fives in honor of the queen of resort labels providing shifts long enough for our frames? We have been waiting on this for awhile!

Even though I included the five inch / seven inch / nine inch inseam shorts in the post, I was particularly excited for the longer dresses; ergo I was surprised to see that the link to the shorts received so many clicks. With that in mind, I rounded up shorts with five inch inseams and longer.

I have previously discussed how I no longer feel comfortable shopping shorts with a three inch inseam. While I stand by them being appropriate for my thirteen year old self on her way to third block English, it is just another style of which I feel that I have aged out. I rounded up shorts offering more coverage, meaning five inch inseams and longer, in stripes, solids, prints, denim, and Bermuda length. No danger of being sent to the principal’s office now!

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Beach Therapy

The husband and I are making the most out of our last days on the Monterey. Between packing up our home (even though it was only for three months, anywhere feels like home when my husband is there), we have a bucket list of items to do prior to leaving the peninsula next week, including visits to the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey Aquarium (we only live next door to it), more walks to the beach in Pacific Grove, and so many restaurants.

Pacific Grove has the qualities of which non-Monterey residents probably picture Monterey to be, at least by Big Little Lies standards. While Monterey is next level beautiful, Pacific Grove is just a few degrees more serene and less touristy. It also has the best beach which is very walkable from our house. It is on the top tip of the peninsula and kind of a peninsula of itself. As I was venturing out to Pacific Grove earlier this week, the sun over Monterey disappeared and a mist over PG emerged. Gone was the sun, replaced by the moodiest of midday clouds. It was the Wes Anderson of summer weather.

I already packed up a ton of my outfits in preparation for our cross country move. I decided that the vintage Lilly Pulitzer shifts should not be packed in my duffel bag; they are better off saved for my east coast antics later this summer anyways. Lately it has been polo shirts and chino shorts. The shirt is from the Vineyard Vines by Target collaboration and is long gone. The shorts are from J.Crew (last seen on the blog here). I recently retired all of my three inch inseam shorts. I think it is best to start covering up, as I am moving into my mid-thirties. To be honest, I probably should have been wearing the five inch inseam shorts all along. Lesson learned.

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Sideways

While Jamie and I were in Palm Springs, I found the most fantastic vintage store adjacent to the place we had Sunday brunch. The Frippery is a vintage lover’s gold mine.

Post-brunch, I dragged Jamie and my maid of honor who was also in Palm Springs, in the store. While Jamie went out on a mission for cold brew, Amanda graciously waited for me to seemingly try on dress after dress, giving me the honest feedback. In addition to scoring a dress, Amanda discovered several concert buttons circa the 1980s: Adam and the Ants, The Cars, The Clash, and the Stray Cats. (The latter reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis’ The Informers mom character wondering what a stray cat was.)

About the dress: I do not know the brand and I do not care. The acid color fever dream of the print was enough to sell me. I love that it is cut generously though the midsection. I know what you are thinking and before you say it: It is not a maternity dress. I carefully inspected the cut and can confirm that there is not extra fabric at the stomach; it is simply a trapeze cut dress.

After Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Atascadero, and Monterey, Jamie and I concluded our friendship roadtrip in Napa.

My husband and I are members of several wineries but our favorite is Gundlach Bundschu; we even celebrated our engagement weekend there. After the friendship roadship wine tasting, we wandered the grounds. Though my husband and I used to visit all the time, it occurred to me that we had only been there in the winter. Running from the car to the tasting room without considering walking the grounds was standard. This time, we walked the grounds and am kicking myself that we had not explored it sooner.

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Loafer the Moon

I am so into loafers right now. Like blazers, equestrian style, and cricket sweaters, they are a decidedly preppy staple, so the traditional ones will never go out of style. I cannot speak to the Gucci furry, embroidered loafers, but count me in for the ones with the classic shape and horse bit detail.

Penny loafer? Check.

Heeled loafer? Check.

Driving loafer? Check.

Kiltie loafer? Check.

I love that loafers are an androgynous style. I have said it before any I will say it again: I love borrowing my from husband’s side of the closet. Lisa Birnbaum’s The Preppy Handbook references the tomboy aesthetic via borrowing from your brother’s closet as being a classic prep move. I will never borrow my husband’s loafers (or any shoes, save for stealing his Bean Boots in desperate moments), so it is time to stock up on the footwear staple.

Sound off below what style is your favorite.

clockwise from top left: tan penny loafer // tan suede loafer (also available in burgundy) // blue patent heeled loafer // green suede kiltie loafer // burgundy velvet crest loafer // tan driving loafer // patent kiltie loafer // houndstooth crest loafer

Wine and Accessories

Winter is exclusively for wearing black and if we are being adventurous, maybe even charcoal gray. Spring is for wearing pastels. Summer is for wearing brights. Why do you think that Lilly Pulitzer does gangbusters from Easter to Labor Day?

We always want what we cannot have. Lately, all I want is pumpkin orange, hunter green, rich mustard, and oxblood-hued accessories. Given that it is May, I cannot sport my wine accessories as it is hitting 60 to 70 degrees on the west coast. I can, however, stock up on the rich shade for when September rolls around and in an autumn obsessed fury, I will post about everything burgundy. (Let’s be honest, I am always behind the seasonal curve and will not post about it until November.)

I am ready for the baggage: the marked down, the fanny pack, the bucket bag, and the splurge. 

left to right: cross body structured purse // hip bag and belt // bucket bag // ostrich bag

Nothing feels better than pretending a poncho is actually a blanket when snuggling up in front of the computer at the office. Also essential: rugby socks. (I already have them.) And a scarf to either tie around your head Rambo-style, or in a much more subtle move, a handbag handle. 

left to right: poncho // socks // scarf

One of my favorite parts of fall is the opening of the Pennsylvania Ballet season. While the leather pair would be beautiful to wear to one of the autumn ballet productions next season (counting down!), I am favoring the cable knit mittens to wear around everyday. I found the preppiest, most perfect east coat (Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, who knows?) mittens and they are sub-thirty dollars. You are welcome.

left to right: gloves // mittens

My Kind of Athleisure

I think we could all use a different kind of athleisure in our lives. While I will not be discarding my leggings anytime soon, I think it is time to retire them from the times when we do not intend on breaking out a sweat. No more leggings at brunch, okay y’all?

Rather than sporting it street in leggings and hoodies, though we can certainly reserve that look exclusively for time scheduled for exercise, I think it is time that we should start playing it prep in cricket blazers and tennis sweaters. Not only are the usual suspects {Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers} serving up tennis sweaters, but so are high end brands: Burberry, Alexander Wang, and Off White.

left to right: navy + pink stripes on cream // white stripes on yellow // navy + red stripes on cream

 

left to right: green + white stripes on navy dress // burgundy + navy stripes on cream (last on the blog here and here and here) // navy + orange on teal

 

left to right: blue + red stripes on white // green + white stripes on navy (also available in white) // multicolor stripes on white // gold + white on navy

 

left to right: gold on black sequins // coral on white // black on natural cardigan // white + navy on burgundy (also available in navy, a burgundy vest version, and a gold vest version)

 

left to right: blue + black stripes on white vest // white stripes on black


And because I am not a complete monster, I included tennis sweaters for the gentlemen too. I cannot wait to surprise my husband with one of these, which he will inevitably, but likely begrudging, sport.

clockwise from top left: navy stripe on natural // navy stripe on white // burgundy + navy stripe on white // gold + navy stripe on white


 

 

 

Blazed

The beauty of classic style is that I know I will never look back on photos of myself and wondering what I was thinking in terms of my ensembles; it is just so timeless. Throughout the years, this is one mode of dressing that just does not fall out of favor. I love looking at vintage photographs of collegiate style; it is how get my inspiration for my very own Kennedy cosplay.

I am not joking.

I really enjoy masculine inspired looks and one of the strongest staples, in my mind, is the blazer. Tipped, tweed, solid, striped: I love all variations.

I bought the above blazer (last on the blog here and here) last fall and I cannot wait to break it out again next autumn. It goes in and out of stock, probably due to its marked down status. Ten-out-of-ten recommend it, even if you have a taller frame like me; it fits.

clockwise from top left: gray + navy tipped (last on the blog here and here) // navy + white tipped // ecru + repp stripe tipped // navy + gray tipped // navy + green tipped (last on the blog here)

blazer (navy version also here)

left to rightblazer (last on the blog here) // navy stripe (also available here)

left to right: natural stripe (also available here) // bright white stripe

I am a long time Smythe fan and though the prices are steep, I wish it did not take me a near decade to invest in one. This one in particular (last on the blog here) made a home in my closet. Windowpane print and elbow patches made it a necessity.

left to right: herringbone tweed elbow patch // black windowpane tweed elbow patch // gray windowpane tweed elbow patch (last on the blog here) // tartan tweed

left to right: windowpane tweed // houndstooth tweed

left to right: white // red // navy

left to right: white (also available here) // navy (last on the blog here)

hbd, Brooks Brothers

Happy birthday, Brooks Brothers. Can I just say, that 201 years old looks fantastic on you! I have said it before and I will say it again: Brooks Brothers and other brands built on the classics are inherently sustainable because 1) the styles are quality and 2) the styles offered are classic and stand the test of time; certainly not a here today, gone tomorrow situation. Why else would one of my prized vintage items be this Brooks Brothers dress (featured in this post) circa 1983?

There is so much fantastic spring goodness at the Brooks Brothers online store right now. What I love in particular is that the color scheme of this spring season coordinates with that of the last spring season. The price points range from a touch splurge-y to marked down and manageable; shopping for spring can be very easy on the wallet and yet it is not a fast fashion solution. Going back to the last paragraph, even if you pass on this year’s full price pieces, shopping from last year’s selection still looks current, because that is just the way that Brooks Brothers does it.

Let’s get to the good stuff:

clockwise from top left: top // dress // belt // shorts

clockwise from top left: jacket // skirt // spectator heels // brooch

clockwise from top left: tie top // cardigan // skirt // bracelet

clockwise from top left: dress // necklace // block heels // earrings

clockwise from top left: necklace // earrings // necklace //  dress

clockwise from top left: dress // earrings // necklace // bracelet

clockwise from top left: shell // skirt // heels // earrings

clockwise from top left: cardigan // skirt // earrings // shell

clockwise from top left: jacket // dress // necklace // earrings

clockwise from top left: jacket // skirt // sleeveless shirt // bag