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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Nothing Leopard, Nothing Gained

Same skirt I wrote about and posted yesterday, albeit in a different colorway. When you find something that comes in your (tall) size and actually fits, you just have to buy all of the palatable color options. Yes, it is an old (circa 2013) skirt, but I love breaking out old school styles. They are not call classics for no reason. Figure out that double negative.

The jacket is one that I initially procured and wore on the blog last autumn. I love the jacket and dress set, but breaking them up works too. It is just such a ladylike piece and mixing it with a different color, albeit in a similar weighted fabric (in this case the skirt) feels chic as eff.

camisole // jacket // skirt (old, J.Crew, size 2 via eBay, size 8 tall via eBay, size 10 tall via eBay, alternate colors via eBay) // tights // purse (old, Kate Spade) // heels (old, J.Crew Factory) // sunglasses // earrings (old, Gemma Redux) // green stone cuff // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // ring

Thrill of the Hunt

When I was approached by Macy’s Backstage earlier in the summer in regards to their new location at King of Prussia, I did my online research. Unlike its Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus counterparts, Macy’s Backstage does not have an online merchant presence. Rather, it is more like a T.J.Maxx or Marshall’s, in that merchandise is not accessible online and one has to pay a store a visit.

Time to get in touch with your inner hunter. Truth be told, I liked it.

I know what you are thinking. I have most definitely mentioned my preference for online shopping as opposed to in store. This is in response to the majority of online retailers offering tall / long lines exclusively online. My secret for shopping offline has always to manage my expectations. Mentally, if I am in the space that I will not find anything in any store, when I actually do, it is actually a victory worth celebrating.

My experience in shopping in store at King of Prussia Macy’s Backstage has reinvigorated my love for the hunt. Who doesn’t love a bargain? The handbag and the home sections of Macy’s Backstage are ten out of ten, although it is crucial to check in frequently for the best selection. With my office also at KoP, this was a fun excuse to get away from the office during my lunch hour.

Also convenient? The fact that the Macy’s Backstage is adjacent to the standard Macy’s and more broadly, the King of Prussia Mall.

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handbag

 

If the Wrap Fits

My husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary this past Saturday. High fives for us for making it beyond 72 days. To be honest, the year flew by.

We started our day by opening my husband’s gift to us. Did you know that the traditional first year anniversary gift is paper? He ordered us customized note cards and stationary from Crane & Co. A tasteful gold foil monogram and text on ivory card stock, respectively. So chic. I am so proud of him for making the customization selections he did.

We ate a quick breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien prior to our appointments for massages at Rescue Spa. I have talked about it before and I will say it again: treat yourself to a spa treatment in lieu of buying the latest handbag / pair of shoes / H&M splurge / etc. Self care pays off in dividends, whether it is in the form of getting more exercise, making healthier choices when it comes to one’s diet, or gifting oneself a spa day. When I was checking out of the spa on my birthday, I was sure to make reservations for our then-forthcoming first anniversary and my husband was so thankful that I did.

After returning home for rest and a bottle of Crianza we brought back from our honeymoon, we left for dinner at Talula’s Garden, where we indulged in cheese, cocktails, pesto pasta (me), fish (him), and cobbler (him) and tiramisu (me).

To dinner, I wore a DvF dress that I have been saving for an occasion other than work. I last obsessed about said dress here. Wrap dresses are especially lovely because of the lack of zipper / snap / button closures. As long as it knots, it fits! It was a drizzly day so I accessorized with the most reliable umbrella I have had (last seen here), as it should be because the husband bought it for nearly a C note.

I finally acquired the Sam, a bag that I initially fell in love with in high school after several girls with whom I attended school brought back Canal Street knockoffs from the chorus trip to NYC. I am proud to say that back then I had the good sense to prefer a legitimate Gap handbag to a fake Kate Spade handbag. When the bag was re-released earlier this year, I wrote about coveting it once again.

It was a perfect day.

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Pivot Cable: Part II

Is copying an outfit nearly piece by piece a cheap move? Not if you obsessed so hard about a certain combination and the person you are copying is yourself.

Not only is the combination a copycat, but this is the second time wearing this exact skirt on the blog. It is only $20 (less if you can score it during a clearance promo), has an elastic waist (a buffet skirt, if you will) and a total winner. While I have eradicated nearly all turtleneck styles in my closet (I just hate feeling like I am being strangled by a super weak person), I kept this particular one as J.Crew has discontinued the Cambridge Cable Knit Sweater line. The fact that I even had it monogrammed gave me all the more reason to hold onto it. 

sweater (similar) // tank // skirt // handbag (old, similarsimilarsimilar) // sunglasses // watch // earrings // cuff // bracelet (budget) // ring // heels (old, alternate colorway)

I am Sam

I remember my first brush with Kate Spade. I read about the brand in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair. They were such aspirational publications and I could never possibly be as chic as the women for which those magazines were intended. Later on there was Lucky magazine, which seemed so much more relatable that the trinity. R.I.P. Lucky Magazine.

I cannot remember whether I read about the brand first or whether the chorus for my high school went on their school trip to NYC first. You see, these girls discovered the Canal Street Kate Spade knockoff and brought them back to Long Beach High School en masse. None of these gals were investing in the real thing, of that I am certain and of that I am certain that everyone in school was certain. After that brush with the faux Sams, I knew I wanted one of these bags, but the real thing.

Later on during a viewing of SATC, Charlotte York mentioned that she didn’t bring any tampons with her on a night out because they did not fit into her Kate Spade purse. If Kate Spade is good enough for Charlotte York, then Kate Spade is good enough for me, as long as I buy a size in which I could store my feminine supplies.

I am amped that Kate Spade reissued the Sam. I just had the browser open to the Sam shop and my husband wanted to take a look for future gift ideas. Even he can recognize a classic! 

classic (available in black, pink, stripe)

 

quilted (available in black and gray)

 

canvas

floral

leather (available in black, pink, off white, blue)

Floral Diplomacy

I just love Milly New York. Since the label’s inception in the mid-aughts, Michelle Smith has served up plum next level designs made in New York. How is that for a great American brand? And more than a decade before the president made a *thing* about it, albeit while not following it himself. (We all know that his Macy’s line is made in China). Regardless of one’s politics, I admire Milly’s Michelle Smith for not only taking a stand and talking the talk, but walking the walk. Michelle is the real deal and aside from her values, she is a design genius.

I scored this Milly shirtdress via eBay back in December. While I cannot speak to when this particular dress was produced, I can say with certainty that this was made prior to the Milly rebrand in 2012, as the dress has the Milly script label and the print has the Milly script label incorporated in it. It is something I could see Blair Waldorf wearing in the latter seasons of Gossip Girl.

The dress design is perfection on a tall frame, which is atypical for a line that produces standard sizes only. Not only is the hemline modest enough to wear to the office, but the sleeves are long enough as well. Add a tall sized camel coat, multistrand pearl necklace, block heels, and the outfit is ready to report to work.

dress (old, Milly) // coat (available in tall, alternate colorways) // bracelet (budget) // earrings // necklace (old, J.Crew Factory) // sunglasses // watch // knot ring // shoes (old, J.Crewalternate colorwaysimilarsimilarsimilar)

Let There Be Stripe

Early last fall, I fell in love with a navy and white stripe tee shirt dress at J.Crew. Unfortunately, the forces that be did not find it necessary to offer the dress in tall sizing. Shocker. Also devastating. The dress was just such a great basic that I found myself wondering why I did not have something like it in my closet already.

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Cut to me finding this dress not only in stock, but also in tall at a competing retailer! Strike at the right time and it can be found on promotion too. #chaching

The dress does not call for a ton of extras but the equestrian print scarf looped with a classic pearl necklace is the perfect complement to the stripes. Add in the rest of the pearl set, ballet flats, and cat eye sunglasses and the outfit is perfect.

dress // scarf (old, similarsimilar) // purse (old, similarsimilar) // ballet flats // sunglasses (sold out, alternate colorways) // pearl necklace // pearl bracelet // bow cuff // pearl earrings // banner ring (sold out, similar) // tulip ring // watch

New Year, New Blue

Long before J.Crew started releasing coats and skirts in tall, the company designed a series of tweed suits. Every season as far back as 2012, even in the summers, the company had at least one amazing tweed set. This blue set was the second one that I had to add to my closet, regardless of the fact that it was not available in tall.

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The details on this blue set are fantastic. Both pieces are trimmed in black grosgrain ribbon and rather than buttons or snaps down the placket, the jacket can be fastened with hook and eyes. The skirt has side vents, albeit minimal.

The skirt is mini length, which can get dicey when worn by someone over 6′-0″ like myself. A shorter length skirt calls for a pair of flats. To wear a pair of heels with a mini would be inappropriate, especially for daytime. Conversely, I never wear flats with a midi length skirt. Hashtag proportions.

tweed suit (old, J.Crew) // sweater (similar) // pearl necklace // pearl bracelet // pearl earrings // quatrefoil ring // green stone cuff // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // tights // shoes (old, similarsimilar) // sunglasses // watch // handbag

Saying Goodbye: Kate Spade x Beyond Yoga

I wrote about the Kate Spade x Beyond Yoga collaboration last winter. I didn’t love wearing it during yoga (especially during chatarungas), but I do love wearing it not while working out. True athleisure, emphasis on the leisure.

Unfortunately after several seasons, the collaboration between Kate Spade and Beyond Yoga is reaching it’s end. Luckily, I score a bunch from the first collection nearly two years ago. As I have added to my active wear drawers in the past few days, I don’t feel the need to buy any more clothing for exercising.

Fortunately for you, I have pulled together remaining styles at a markdown.

 

 top // legging

 

tank // skirt

 

tank // capri

 

tank // sweatpant

 

zip-up jacket // legging

Not A Moment Too Moon

I remember the first time I heard about Mignon Faget jewelry. I was a freshman at Millsaps College. Several of the girls who also lived in Becky Bacot Hall owned pieces. One night, I was actually lent a set of three pendants on a chain: the beaded, double half round, and I think the third was the knot? Bold and trusting move to lend that jewelry out, but my New Orleanean friend believed that I wouldn’t drop it in a toilet at the KA house.

Several Christmases, Easters, and birthdays later and I, too, have amassed quite the collection of Mignon Faget.

The last time I wrote about a Mignon Faget collection release, it encompassed the wire bow cuff. Shortly after the wire cuff collection was available, the Crescent Collection followed. It was very fittingly released on the day of the great American solar eclipse: August 21, 2017. The designs were inspired by the New Orleans water meter cover. Compare the two and anyone can see how the Crescent Collection pays homage to this NOLA icon.

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Credit: Anne Power

I was thrilled when I opened the parcel with celestial stacking rings from Mignon Faget. Wear one solo, wear three stacked, wear them on different fingers. Mignon Faget is taking ten percent off any purchase of three or more Crescent Collection rings. Act now.

dress (old, similar tall option availablesimilarsimilarsimilarsimilar) // pearl earrings  // pearl necklace // pearl bracelet // moon ring (℅ Mignon Faget) // beaded ring (℅ Mignon Faget) // star ring (℅ Mignon Faget) // sunglasses // purse (similar) // shoes (old, alternate colorwayalternate colorway)