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 blueandwhitestripes, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I don’t take back wearing any of my high school ensembles. Everything I wore felt timeless and very ME. It was my freshman year of high school that my mom brought me to the newly opened McRaes in Biloxi. We shopped the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger section of the juniors department, but more than either of those premium designers, the ESPRIT section captured my sartorial interest.
ESPRIT served my need for coordinating sets. (I wish I hadn’t give them away in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.) I had a green bias plaid skirt and heathered green v-neck knit top and a khaki, blue, and a color that could only be described as vanilla, bias plaid skirt and fair isle vanilla, khaki, and blue sweater, that I layered over a sleeveless blue knit. During a McRaes semi-annual sale, my mom bought me a “blueberry” plaid wrap skort which I work with a white sleeveless Gap button up and an horizontal striped blue, purple, pink, and white spaghetti strap tank dress. Between the chunky heel loafer and the plastic clear sandals and the black bowler-style handbag and straw purse with pink gingham lining, I had the ESPRIT footwear and accessories to complete any A+ look. Guys, I have to be real when I say that I do not take back any of these outfits. I wore them then and I would wear them now.
Imagine how jazzed I was when I found out that Opening Ceremony teamed with ESPRIT for a collaboration, especially after ESPRIT pulled out of North American operations. My enthusiasm for the brand was only bypassed by a past boss and mentor. Jen, who I worked for from 2002 to 2004 and again 2006 to 2008, studied and graduated with her interior design degree from Mississippi State in the early 90s. Her then-career intention was to design ESPRIT stores. In fact she once shared with me that her dorm room was wallpapered with ESPRIT ads torn from magazines.
The second season of ESPRIT by Opening Ceremony has been marked down. There are still many winning pieces in stock. These are my picks: