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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Sweater Weather

I am really into cashmere right now. This has actually been a twelve year phase, initially started when Old Navy released fifty dollar cashmere sweaters circa holiday 2007. Albeit likely manufactured by sweatshop labor via a supply pipeline arranged by unscrupulous corporate overlords in a time when I was not yet woke to the human cost, I distinctly recall selecting a red cowl neck style and a green heather crewneck style. Shudder.

Around the same time, Gap stepped up and began making cashmere sweaters in tall sizes. I bought the most dreamy gray cashmere pullover hoodie with ivory interior trim at the hoodie, which subsequently lasted until a decade later when I finally noticed the elbows were worn beyond repair. It was then that I purchased several other tall crewneck sweaters in three color ways (last seen here).

It appears that Gap has ceased making cashmere sweaters, let along those in tall sizing. Also tragic? Long Tall Sally stopped making one hundred percent cashmere sweaters.

Until the tides turn, I will have to give standard sized cashmere a whirl. Crossing my fingers that one or more of the below work for my 6’2″ frame.

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Bow Way, Bow How

Though many associate the bow neck trend with the current first lady’s bright pink Gucci blouse of choice for an October 2016 presidential debate, my mind goes to a different time frame.

The year 2000. A different presidential election with much more {relatively} palatable candidates, George W. Bush versus Al Gore, monopolized the headlines. Pop culture-wise, Charlie’s Angels starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore was a major trend driving force that autumn. To capitalize on the franchise revival, TV Land aired the OG series around the clock. I distinctly remember taking half of the day off of school after a dentist appointment and drifting off into the nap in the middle of a Charlie’s Angels marathon.

The costume designers outfitted the original girl power trinity, Farrah, Jaclyn, and Kate, in copious bow neck blouses. The trend can be traced back farther. I think the costume designer must have been inspired by Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis’ style as I have found historic photos of the iconic first lady in which she is wearing the trend.

Along with an updated razor-cut Farrah Fawcett-inspired feathered ‘do and the metal chain belt (DO YOU REMEMBER THE CHAIN BELT? ANYONE?! I distinctly recall the Banana Republic Factory Store that I worked at in high school carrying them and the guy who brought me to my Junior prom who also worked at BRFS encouraged me to purchase one, albeit I resisted.), the bow neck blouse was pushed on consumers during the autumn of 2000. It was in every magazine and in every store and there was nothing anyone could do to avoid it. Not that I did not like it! I remember advising a friend from high school to buy and wear a hot pink knit shirt adorned with a bow on a date.

Trends are cyclical and the bow blouse is officially back. Not that I ever cared about the trend being “out.” I still love the bow neck blouse so much that I purchased a 2009 Milly version off the secondary market circa 2016 and wore it all the damn time, including on the blog. Bow blouses are back and the ones below are proof.

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Thirty Minutes or Dress

I have never been there, but it is hotter than hell in Washington DC this summer. This is my eleventh summer in the District and I recall some toasty moments throughout the years.

2008: Wearing a black BCBG jersey dress to a job interview and working up such a sweat between the Metro and the office that I had to duck into the next door Barnes and Noble restroom and soak off the pool of sweat on my back with paper towels.

2010: Looking for a new apartment in the city. I did not have it in me to sweat it out on the sidewalks so I settled for a studio on the West End. I continued to live in the pad for six years because I could not bear the thought of having to apartment hunt or worse yet, move in the heat again.

2011: The sesquicentennial of the Civil War brought me to several battlefields for work events. After returning to the office from Manassas, I kept my office light off and made an iced peppermint tea. I do not think I left the office that evening until the sun went down.

2012: Wearing the jacquard dot J.Crew pencil skirt that Michelle Obama made famous and chafing like hell on my walk home from the office. By the end of my commute, my legs felt as thought they were in a straight jacket.

2015: My window air conditioning unit in the aforementioned West End studio quit. As it was the weekend, the property manager initially refused to fix it. As I am quite knowledgeable about DC landlord / tenant law, I knew that the property management company was obligated to fix it as the temperature exceeded 85 degrees. Email sent, unit replaced.

I wish I had not missed the spring window appropriate to wear these dresses. Right now, the DC climate is not conducive to anything with long sleeves. Give it a month, though, when the temperature cools and the District gets an onset of autumn and any one of these dresses can make a home in my closet.

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Tunic Time II

If you cannot live like a white wine swilling wealthy housewife, why not dress like one? I have said it before: dress for the job you want.

Along with caftans, tunics are the ideal article of clothing to keep cool on a roasty toasty day. They are perfect over swimsuits in between daytime dips in the pool or with a pair of white denim while sweating it out on the sidewalks. White wine goblet optional.

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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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Frock On!

I broke the seersucker rule left and right this year. I think it is a consequence of moving to the west coast where rules are a little more relaxed and weather is a little warmer.

At 6′-2″, I was a bit concerned that this frock would not be long enough to wear without feeling self conscious about the lack of length of the dress. I found that as long as it is a touch roomier and pair with a flat pair of shoes (proportions are everything, people!), I felt great about the dress and about myself in the dress. I highly recommend going up a size in the style; while I wore a medium in the knit dresses, I required a large in the static fabric dresses. The shorter length will be especially great for keeping ventilated in the east coast city humidity – hint about our next move – this summer.

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Et tu, Boot?

Desert boots came onto my radar circa 1997 or 1998. So vividly I recall a style page on the front half of an autumn issue of ‘Teen magazine featuring desert boots of various styles, colors, and heel heights. The article advised winterizing a short skirt with tights and a pair of boots. I knew that my parents would never foot a bill for a pair of shoes with a price tag of 50 to 100 dollars for a seventh grader. The price point seemed too aggressive then, especially since my school shopping just happened only two months earlier. Over twenty years later, you could say that the page left an impression on me.

As an undergraduate, I purchased a pair of Clarks Wallabees from a local boutique. They were the first pair of shoes in which I invested after my Birkenstock Boston clogs, both of which I saved up and paid for my own dang self. With the exception of the days I was required to wear pin attire, if I was not wearing one pair, I was in the other pair. Even in the winter, the south does not bring weather that requires anything heavier. While Wallabees are not explicitly called out as desert boots, I stand by the high cut ankle version falling in the same category.

I have considered purchasing the wedge version of the desert boot since 2013. Back then, I had concerns about how comfortable they would be on my mile and a half uphill commute on foot. I distinctly recall nearly rolling my ankle several times while wearing the Wallabees and every time I had the wedges in my online shopping basket, my mind goes back to the numerous near-catastrophes. Perhaps I should stick to the flat soles; I can see them going perfectly with a rugby shirt and tweed miniskirt.

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Equestrian Athleisure

Lately I have been obsessing about the sporty, classic slant to athleisure. I have to admit while I love the style, I did not have the ladyballs to start wearing the staples until finding inspiration from an unlikely source. Within the past year, I read about how one of the wittiest internet personalities around, Sarah Solomon, brought athletic “props” with her to bars to see if it would attract men. While I have been off the market for a solid five years, I was inspired to follow her lead and invest in some WASPy athleisure.

Along with rowing-slash-cricket blazers and tennis sweaters, it is time to induct equestrian apparel and accoutrements into the preptastic sporty trifecta. Picture swapping out your black Lululemon Wunder Unders for a pair of jodhpurs. Skip the racerback tank for a crisp button down bodysuit hybrid. Imagine taking a pass on your go-to yoga wrap or Under Armour hoodie – pending your workout of choice – in favor of a classic navy blazer. Instead of a pair of Allbirds (barf), zip up a pair of riding boots.

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