A Midsummer White Dream

The summer prior to getting married, I did not cash in on wearing the color white nearly as much as I should have. Going into the summer I had full intention on copying Natasha’s (Big’s second wife, also known as “the idiot stick figure with no soul” to Carrie and her girl gang) wardrobe from season three of Sex and the City and yet in a iconoclastic move, I recall wearing tons of punchy colors.

While the Bradshaw Boys and I agree that Natasha was an unjust casualty (“Now this tooth is a completely different color than this tooth.”), they are the only other people with whom I have discussed sympathy for the character. Even the costume designers communicated Natasha’s “vanilla” personality by always outfitting her in white, save for the scene in which she delivered the tooth comment in a tone so icy, Anna Wintour felt the chill somewhere in the Condé Nast offices. In that moment, Natasha was dressed in the chicest pink shift. A signal that the character took a turn? We will never know because that was her last appearance in Darren Star’s iconic series.

I subconsciously channeled Natasha when UK-based retailer Figleaves (last discussed here) gifted me a few items for the last holiday week. A long torso swimsuit was necessary, as I find going up in sizes is not a particularly great strategy for a six foot two inch frame. Past results have been tragic.

I do not think I own enough pajamas. That is actually a complete lie. I can count five sets and I am not even in my apartment, let alone my closet, right now. I stand by the fact that wearing a full pajama set just makes me feel like I have my life together.

It is just good manners to wear some sort of outfit (beyond the swimsuit) when food is being served. This cover up was perfect for jumping out of the pool for a sandwich or guacamole.

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Blown Away

My husband and I went to see the Pennsylvania Ballet production of The Nutcracker two Saturdays ago. Before the ballet, we visited our friends from the Young Friends Group for drinks. Two wines and some shrimp cocktail later and we headed to the Academy of Music Theatre. That night was the Young Friends of the Pennsylvania Ballet holiday party, followed by a late dinner at Butcher and Singer. Followed by a day-long hangover. I really need to lay off the gin martinis. Sunday Scaries turned up to eleven.

To say Saturday was windy, is an understatement. Though I love the skirt I chose for the day (last seen here), it was too swingy for the conditions. Thank sweet baby Jesus for the more structured lining. Still, I felt the need to hold the copious layer of fabric down as we made our way through Center City. While it was originally sold four years ago (and I am still wearing mine, thank you), there are a few sizes of this exact skirt on the secondary market. I also found a near identical one just released.

The shirt (last seen here) is one that I loved so much, that I bought in two colors. It comes in tall, as well as standard and petite sizes. Truth be told, this probably would not be a shirt I would purchase if it were on final sale. I had to buy and return many identical ones, as the keyhole button closure was too taut and would not unbutton on several of the shirts.

This coat is from 2012. I remember being so amped when I found out it was available in tall. Just out of graduate school, I waited for it to go on promotion and bought it. Given that I am wearing it six years later, I think we can confirm that it was a good wardrobe investment. I was shocked – shocked – when I found out how many are on the secondary market and I linked them below. Trust me when I say, that this coat is a fantastic one.

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Love is a Camel Coat

I just finished watching my favorite holiday movie, Trading Places, when I was inspired to put together this outfit. The girlfriend of one of the main characters, as portrayed by Kristin Holby and Dan Aykroyd respectively, has the most preppy, Brooks Brothers-laden wardrobe that would cause even season one Blair Waldorf to turn green in envy. Penelope Witherspoon inspired me to wear tennis whites as athleisure and now that it is winter, my camel coat. Unlike her, I will be wearing mine to brunch and for weekend errands, as opposed to her wearing it to pick up her boyfriend from the drunk tank.

And an outfit was born.

The coat is available in tall, standard, and petite sizing and in several colorways. I bought the Thinsulate version, highly recommended by the way, two winters ago. I stayed toasty all day, running through Center City for last minute holiday supplies. Peach puree for bellinis and finally settling on orange juice, as peaches are out of season and pre-made mixers were sold out across the city. First world problems.

The dress is a wool-cashmere mix and also comes in tall. The dress made a previous appearance on the blog in the pale pink option. I loved it so much that once the dress went on markdown, I snatched up the black option. It was a wise choice, as I have already worn it to my husband’s holiday party, this past Saturday brunch and errands, and I have big plans to wear it to the ballet next Saturday.

The accessories really drive home the lewk. Oversized pearl earrings, Burberry cashmere scarf, huge sunglasses (my eye bags are awful right now; taking recommendations for eye cream), and a rather aggressive arm party, and the outfit went from baseline to an outfit that I actually hoped that I would run into people while out and about.

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Black and White and Read All Over

Last weekend was a nice one in Philadelphia, weather-wise. While I spent about half of it in bed recovering from a raging Saturday night out at the Philadelphia Art Museum, I was able to get out and about and took a walk around our neighborhood.

A crisp upper fifties degree day called for a dress layered with tights and a leather coat. It was the first time wearing this dress during the colder months. To be honest, when I caught my reflection in the glass of a storefront, I actually did not love this look as much as I loved how comfortable it was. It just looked like a degree from RHONJ-level trashy. Not to say that the individual garments inspired that thought; it was the mere combination and I just will not wear them together again.

Lesson learned.

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Think Off White The Box

Last weekend I unpacked a few garments that I have not worn since at late-winter 2015. I once read that the majority of people associate specific smells with the past. I associate articles of my own clothing with events and periods of time of my past. There is certainly comfort in the familiar, and this particular skirt reminds me of the time when I was fiercely independent. Took help from no one, not even my fiance, whom I did not move in with until after a solid six months after we were engaged. (I think the fact that we were in a bicoastal relationship had something to do with it. Just a hunch…)

Back then my daily routine was an early (albeit not as early as my current) wake up, around 6:30 am. Local news followed by Good Morning America on the television as I prepared for work. If it was a Monday, my lunches for the week got packed into my go-to L.L.Bean Boat and Tote, along with a pair of work heels and a set of gym clothes. If it was not Monday and my lunches were already in the work refrigerator, then I brought my gym clothes for the remainder of the week. My walk to work was just under two miles and about three quarters of the way up Book Hill in Georgetown. Despite the uphill walk, it was so idyllic; something of which I will always have fond memories while walking past the upscale bridal shops, Britt Ryan, and Dalton Pratt. Crunching through the sidewalk salt in a pair of L.L.Bean boots, wearing the J.Crew shirttail hem mini, J.Crew cocoon coat, and the sweater of the day, all but one particular day this outfit kept me sufficiently warm. Thank goodness for the Georgetown Circulator and a very convenient bus route.

About nine hours and one bowl of Sunday-prepared slow cooker chili later, I left for the gym. After one particular day that I nearly slipped and slid down Book Hill while hustling down in a pair of J.Crew flats, I embraced a standard of procedure to change into my gym clothes and winter boots at the office before packing away this skirt and the sweater of the day and tracking down to the Georgetown location of Washington Sports Club. I loved that my gym was on the way home from my office and the time spent walking there every evening was spent on the phone, catching up with my mom, grandma, or sister.

I am sure many people may think this routine was mundane, but my eight-to-five most definitely kept it otherwise. I had enough insight to look around and smell the roses and recognize how damn lucky I was. When I put on this skirt, I go back to that studio apartment, my office, my walks around my neighborhood.

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coat // blouse (old, J.Crew, size 4 tall via eBay) // skirt (old, J.Crew, size 4 tall via eBaysize 10 via eBayalternate colors via eBay) // tights // purse (old, Kate Spade) // heels (old, Cole Haan) // sunglasses // green stone cuff // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // ring

White at the Museum

Listen up, Philadelphians! If you have not purchased your ticket to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Young Friends Fall into Art Party, what is your holdup? The November 3rd party date nicely corresponds to the opening of the latest Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibit, Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now. While it already opened last week, it is well worth the ticket price to get a better experience in viewing the exhibit. Who hasn’t experienced some sort of outrage at the throngs of tourists just snapping away iPhone photos. Completely ruined my experience at the MoMa.

I digress.

If the PMA fashion collection is not enough of a draw, the ticket includes an open bar. #pop #fizz #clink

On the topic of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Perelman Building which is the nearby little sister location of the PMA, is my favorite part of the museum. It is never crowded and beyond underrated. In fact, my favorite exhibit of 2018 (so far) has been in the Perelman Building: Design in Revolution: A 1960s Odyssey. With Lichtensteins and vintage concert posters, what is not to love?

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Ultra Violet

Last fall I got really into purchasing items from eBay (eBae) circa 2007 – 2009 from a few contemporary labels that I discovered upon working at Cusp during that timeframe. It was the first job I had after I moved to the District – as of last Sunday, that was TEN years ago – and I only worked there because I had interviewed over the phone and had a job offer, pending a clean drug test. I knew I wanted to make the move with time to spare in order to have time to adjust to the area before starting the academic year.

It is one of those times in my life that I look back with such nostalgia. Throwing everything that would fit in my Escape and making the solo seventeen hour / two day drive from the Gulf Coast to my rental in the beltway gave me time to reflect on how far I had come and where I was going next. It was the bravest thing I ever did up to that point. I even remember what I wore the day I left: a men’s Hanes white v-neck and mesh royal blue soccer shorts and Rainbow flip flops. My sunglasses were a horrible abomination: a Dolce & Gabanna aviator style. That time of my life is still so vivid in my memory.

All of this is to underscore the reasons behind why I believe I am attracted to the clothing released in this timeline. While I cannot say for certain that I saw this Tibi dress back then, the print is exemplary of the trippy Pucci-adjacent type that dominated Amy Smilovic’s designs from that era. I had no doubt about wearing it with gold sandals and my husband advised me to wear the gold shell necklace – and consequently against the aqua jewelry color story I had initially picked out – with it.

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