Stepping Up My Shoe Game

It seems like I just wrote about shoes, and I did, a mere month ago. It feels like so much longer than that. Not that I measure my life in pairs of shoes that I just so happen to find appealing, but what an idea. Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.

What other units would I like to measure my life in?

Gin martinis?

Miles ran or chatarunga pushups?

How about trips to the spa?

I digress.

Every shoe that catches my eye fits into one of several distinct categories: cap toe, loafer, slingback, gingham, and high heeled ankle strap sandals.

When you do not have an extra nine hundred dollars lying around for the real thing, this pump, cut out block heel, and ballet flat are sufficient substitutes without taking the questionable Canal Street knock off route.

pump (more cap toes here, fact: J.Crew made this very shoe save for a round toe circa autumn 2016) // block heel (last obsessed about here) // ballet flat (more cap toes here)

I blame my allegiance to the loafer on my classic and traditional aesthetic. Not the of-the-moment slim, slip on loafer. Those do nothing for me. Give me the fringe, a tassel, and a detail in which I can stow a penny.

clockwise from top left: tan horsebit loafer // navy fringe loafer // patent kiltie loafer // jade kiltie loafer // mustard penny loafer (alternate colorway last seen here)

Who saw the kitten heel slingback coming? I sure as hell did not. Now I want to head to the nail salon for a pedicure because even though my toes will not be on display, I need to prep my heels to be their most polished.

polka dot slingback // holographic slingback

I mentioned resisting the gingham trend last week and two of these are having an encore. Gingham in a smaller dose is palatable. However, I will be on the lookout across my Facebook because once I note that an old high school teacher (in Mississippi, mind you) has adopted the trend, it is time to jump ship.

sandal (obsessed about here) // pump (obsessed about here) // slingback

Ankle strap heels are not necessarily a trend but after packed away for six months, the sudden appearance of them in every retailer feels like a thing.

clockwise from top left: gold sandal // ribbon sandal // polka dot sandal

Dreaming of Gingham

Do you smell that?

It smells like spring. Time to turn over your fall / winter wardrobe to spring / summer, shed the black opaque tights, incorporate ramps and rose into every meal for the next six months, make brunch plans for Easter Sunday, and set your clocks forward. (Reminder: Daylight Savings Time is this Sunday, people!) Do you have any Claritin on you?

True, spring does not officially start for another two weeks but I like to get a jump on the seasons. Case in point: I flipped my closet three weekends ago. Granted I have an upcoming life event approaching that required the haste, (Calm down people, I am not with child. #pop #fizz #clink #chug) but more about that this Saturday. For the inevitable freak snow storm that follows an eighty degree high day, I kept a capsule wardrobe pulled for the remaining winter weather days that require layers. 10/10 recommend.

With springs comes some of my favorite fabrics and patterns. Madras, seersucker, and linen? Give me a hell yeah! (Y’all echo back: Hell yeah! #testify) Gingham? I have a little less jubilance for it. It definitely has to do with the surge in popularity. I always say that it is time to ditch a trend when you see one of your high school teachers sporting it on Facebook. Looking at you Cult Gaia bamboo basket bag.

Because gingham is a little less ubiquitous and tied to the summer of 2016 and a little more timeless, the pattern of picnic tablecloth dreams gets a pass.

It smells like spring. Cue allergies.

 

clockwise from upper left: bucket bag // shift dress  (available in standard, petite, and tall sizing) // pump // sun dress (available in standard, petite, and extended sizing) // trench coat (available in standard, petite, and extended sizing) // tank suit // sandal // ball skirt // scarf // maxi dress

Blackout

This past Saturday, the husband and I went to the Pennsylvania Ballet production of Romeo & Juliet. Prior to going to the theater, we met up for cocktails with several other Young Friends of the Pennsylvania Ballet. After indulging in another cocktail at the member reception during the first intermission, we were invited to tour backstage during the second intermission. It was everything and more.

I wore the Shpala dress that I wrote about last winter and the Long Tall Sally coat that I wrote about last autumn. Too many times, I notice bloggers resisting remixing their outfits into something new and different, myself included. That is just nonsensical. We all repeat pieces in our day-to-day lives, even Princess Kate. So last Saturday, when I found myself in a repeat outfit that was both different from the original ensembles of which I initially planned and feeling fantastic in said outfit, I asked my husband to take a few photos on our walk over to pre-show cocktails.

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dress // coat // clutch (old, Lauren Merkin) // heels (old, Loeffler Randall) // chain necklace (old, Gemma Redux) // pearl necklace (old J.Crew Factory) // watch // ring

Pivot Cable: Part I

If it is a crime to repeat items on the blog, then lock me up! Repeating clothing is a reflection of what we all do in real life and it is unrealistic not to wear pieces not only multiple times, but in a multitude of ways.

Several weeks ago I wore this skirt on the blog. Leading up to its purchase, I debated which color(s) I really wanted, at what price point I was willing to pull the trigger, and how I would wear it. I started to get stoked when I thought about this particular color combination. I love mixing statement-making, yet complementary colors. Truth be told, this outfit combination was inspired by a particular phase of J.Crew marketing circa 2008-2012.

 

The skirt is still available in tall (direct link because J.Crew was especially tricky and hid the tall version on the website). The Cambridge Cable Knit Sweater was an oldie-but-goodie and is no longer available, but unfortunately was not available in tall. Memo to J.Crew: Release your sweaters in tall! This is where Gap and Gap Factory have J.Crew beat. Unfortunately neither offer monogramming. #cannothaveitall

 

sweater (old, similar) // tank // skirt // clutch // scarf (old, Christian LaCroix) // shoe (old, similar) // necklace // earrings // rose gold cuff // watch // cocktail ring

The Satchel of My Eye

Christmas came early this year. Foley + Corinna generously sent me a bag I have coveted since I saw Blair Waldorf carrying it during the first season of Gossip Girl: the Lady Tote, albeit in a chic solid black iteration with studded hardware. I have been on the look out for a new black handbag, something edgier than my Kate Spade one with a bow (you know the one), and this is exactly it. I love that Foley + Corinna Lady Tote can be worn with the top folded over as a clutch without the cross-body strap (it clips off) or with cross-body strap hands-free. Last weekend I wore it as a tote, held by the top handles.

When I mentioned the Gossip Girl reference to my husband, he was confused. Wasn’t the first season ten years ago? Yes, it was. Does that make the bag out of date? Absolutely not, that makes it a total classic and if I love something now as much as I did a decade ago, then I absolutely need to add the piece to my closet. I am a curator when it comes to my wardrobe choices and I take my choices seriously.

Since the tote was the hero item of the day, I wanted to keep the rest of my outfit subdued. My go-to comfortable outfit: a long sleeved, long length tee shirt, houndstooth cardigan, leggings, leather coat, and riding boots and I was ready to go to brunch. (My husband was waiting on me for a mere fifteen minutes – this time!)

Within the last year, Foley + Corinna made the move to Liberated Leather, or vegan leather. Along with a more economical price point, the relaunched line is much more durable, while keeping the iconic shapes for which this brand is known. Act fast on this bag, because in addition to the already competitive price point, the satchel of my eye is marked down!

satchel (c/o Foley + Corinnaalternate colorway) // coat (c/o Long Tall Sally) // cardigan (c/o Long Tall Sally) // long sleeve tee // leggings // boots // sunglasses (alternate colorway, alternate colorway, alternate colorway, alternate colorway) // necklace // earrings // driving gloves (similar)

Four Degrees From Kevin Bacon

I studied historic preservation and architectural history in graduate school. One of the classes that made a huge impact on me was a 500 level Urban Design seminar. And this is when I hit y’all with some next level seven four degrees of separation. The gentleman who taught the Urban Design seminar, Karl DuPuy, was a protege of Edmund Norwood Bacon. Edmund Norwood Bacon is a native son of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is also my current city. More notably, Edmund Bacon, whom his theories I studied and wrote extensively about in blue book exams, is Kevin Bacon’s father.

Let’s review that:

 you • me • Karl DuPuy • Edmund Bacon • Kevin Bacon

Congrats! You are four degrees from Kevin Bacon.

Back to urban design. I love walking through cities. You experience architecture differently than driving or biking through them (though I highly recommend the former). Add to that, that you experience architecture differently walking on either sides of the street and walking either way. While I could regurgitate that after the Urban Design seminar, I only understood it after I started long distance running while I was living in Washington D.C.

This is one of my favorite corners in Philadelphia and not only because there is a Starbucks location. I don’t love walking this neighborhood but I stand by this corner being boss.

sweatshirt (alternate colorway) // long sleeve tee // vest (similar) // leggings // boots // sunglasses // tote bag // earrings // ring

On Pointe

The husband and I had a date night last Saturday night. We are members of the Pennsylvania Ballet and their season opener was Sleeping Beauty. After the ballet, we went for dinner and drinks at Butcher and Singer.

On PointeIMG_1026IMG_2217IMG_1070IMG_2215IMG_1072IMG_2219

I attended a high school where traditionally the females to wear full length gowns for Homecoming and Prom. I (as well as my little sister) experienced copious stress in the months before these social events when it came to finding a dress long enough. (Fact: I still have all of the dresses.)

A few years ago, I was searching for a dress for a friend’s summer wedding. I happened to see a full length Parker gown in a Cusp and decided to try it on. While the dress was a bit too formal for a vineyard wedding, I took note that it was long enough. Weeks later and after the wedding, you can bet that I tracked that dress down and bought it.

But that is not the dress I wore to the ballet. I found another Parker dress that was long enough, given I wear a low heel. Then I purchased that same style in two other colorways: black and white print and a black / gold. Ladies, if you top 5′-11″, your closet needs this dress. Thank me later.

dress (alternate colorway) // dress (alternate colorway) // dress (alternate colorway) // dress (alternate colorway) // heels (old, Loeffler Randall) // clutch // quatrefoil ring // black diamond cuff // pearl cuff // green stone cuff // pearl earrings

Winter White Waiting for Snow

In the winter of 2009, I was impressed by a sartorial combination of a winter white dress and black opaque tights. I was immediately jealous of the genius wearing it – I wish I had thought of that combination first. Since then, I purchased many a winter white dress, and I love wearing all of them with black tights.

 

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Last weekend, with the intent to shop the post-holiday sales, I made my way into Center City. I was wearing my most recently purchased winter white dress, black opaque tights, black riding boots, grey peacoat, grey scarf, and blush sequin cardigan. Along the way into Center City, I found myself in the garden next to the Bishop White House. Shortly after the fiance and I left the garden, it started to snow – barely – and it made me all the more happier that I had a multilayered outfit.

While my dress is from last winter, I put together a list of favorite winter white dresses that come in tall lengths.

fringe sweater dress // cowl neck sweater dress // sleeveless sweater dress // ruffled shift dress // wool a-line dress


peacoat // riding boot // tights // earrings // rose gold cuff // black diamond cuff // pearl cuff // quatrefoil ring