Further outfit inspiration came from Eric of yesterday’s Style Survey. Discussing style with Eric made me want to incorporate more menswear into my outfits. Not only did I “borrow” one of my husband’s Brooks Brothers button downs which I have been known to “borrow” time and time again, but I took it a step further. I love the Repp stripe and on the way out of the apartment, I grabbed one of my husband’s ties.
I admit that this is not an everyday outfit. The skirt and the shirt and the slingbacks? Yes. I would wear that combination everyday because I cannot say no to a men’s button down or an a-line skirt or a pair of comfortable heels. The tie is where I went a bit over the top. I am constantly looking for a way the Repp stripe into my outfits. While I have a silk tie fabric belt that I incorporate into my outfits whenever possible, I could use it in more colorways other than the navy and red as it coordinates with a limited number of outfits.
Is this lewk Gordon Gekko? Annie Hall? Avril Lavigne? Britney Spears circa Hit Me Baby One More Time? Walk of shame?
In mid-December, my husband and I made a trip up to the Poconos to visit Ledges Hotel. Ten-out-of-ten recommend getting away from the city. I think the Poconos are underrated as far as Pennsylvania destinations go. After mentioning it to my manager at work, he told me that the Poconos has come a long way, as in decades past, the area the the reputation as a cheesy honeymoon / romantic getaway destination. As in, over-the-top oversized jacuzzi bathtubs and heart-shaped rotating beds.
My boss’ description did not align with our experience at all. Our accommodations (read more about them here) were nothing less than clean and modern luxury set within a natural environment that inevitably must be the envy of other comparable hotels. Frosted with snow, partially frozen and partially flowing, the falls are breathtaking. Waking up sans alarm, to a window featuring the ledges while snow flurries were falling, was a winter highlight.
Shall we discuss the outfit…
The suitcase is vintage. In a time when tartan has become so popular, I like having a tartan item that I know nobody else will. (Fact: I just returned this skirt because it turned up on so many other bloggers’ feeds. I loved it, but I get the sense that it is just going to be too ubiquitous of this season.) I bought the suitcase at a trunk show earlier this autumn, via a vintage vendor. I was walking out of the trunk show and target-freaking-acquired. My husband insisted that I go back and look at it because even he could recognize that it is my style. What he did not know if that there was another tartan suitcase at the vendor’s booth. Spoiler alert: this is one of two tartan suitcases that I purchased that day. I can feel my husband rolling his eyes at my “hoarding” tendencies as I type. Expect to see the other go with me to NYC next month.
The cardigan is merino wool. (No polyester!) It comes in tall (petite and standard sizes, too) and in six colors. Lucky for you, in each color, there is a nearly complete size run in the tall sizing. Naturally, I bought the heather green and the candy apple and the pale gray. I have discussed my love of a tall sweater once and again, and guys, these styles do not come along often. Some people call basics, such as the cardigan, boring. I have worn this style since high school and I think there is something to that. Now that they are released in tall, all the better!
My velvet top is sleeveless and slightly cropped. This shirt is available in tall (again, also in petite and standard sizes), so no inappropriate midriff here, especially when worn with a bottom that hits at the natural waist (we will circle back to that). The top has bra stays so undergarment exposure is not an issue. I actually bought the top on deep discount last year, when it was issued across height size and in no more than four colors. It was issued again this year, again in all the height sizes, but in a whopping seven colors. It speaks to the longevity of the item. Act now, this shirt is marked down to $39.99, final sale (relax, it runs true to size).
My favorite part of the outfit is the skirt. I tend to like to wear skirts lower than my natural waist unless it is designed in one of two ways:
If a skirt is not a mini and it comes in tall sizing, I do not mind wearing it at my natural waist.
If a skirt does not come in tall, but in the case that the length is modest enough to wear on my waist (meaning, not mini cut) and it is cut with copious fabric around the thighs. Y’all this means the skirt either needs to be a generous a-line, or circle cut, or pleated.
When I saw this skirt, I had a Paul Walker (R.I.P.) moment in She’s All That. “Gentlemen, we have a winner!” This skirt in my regular go-to sizes has just too much fabric. More fabric makes one look larger. Sometimes this would discourage me, but I went a size smaller and loved the result. It is also handy to have all that extra fabric around your stomach when you overindulge in lobster mac and cheese at lunch and still have a full half day schedule ahead of oneself.
A happy and safe holiday to you and yours from the Lucindervention team (i.e. my husband and myself). Since the year 2008, I have sent out hand written holiday greetings, personalized to each person in my address book…until this year. Confession: I am embarrassed to share that I did not get as many holiday cards out as I intended, but in the words of the Mark’s cue cards in Love Actually (hot take: this is actually the most despicable story line of the holiday classic), Christmas is when you tell the truth. I am not going to lie and pretend that the greetings went out without a hitch and on time. To me, life’s imperfections are what makes our journeys perfect.
The last quarter of 2018 has been brutal at the office. My old supervisor left late summer. Though I have excellent synergy with his replacement and even get along better with him, the expectations for my work have increased. This is absolutely a good thing, because it has pushed me to be a better team member and more knowledgeable in the field. I feel like my productivity has improved.
The downside is that I have become much more obsessed with my output and the quality of that. In a job where I formerly worked forty-hour workweeks, I am finding myself working fifty plus hours a week. I am lucky that I have a position in which I love what I do enough to work as much as I have, but as a result the weeks since before Thanksgiving have flown by and I barely have had a chance to enjoy the holiday with my husband. As his job frequently takes him out of town, he has had the busy Q4 as well.
When are we going to slow down? I guess that is what New Year’s resolutions are for. Perhaps we will take more frequent midweek getaways in 2019.
Several weekends ago my husband had to be out of the country for work.
Naturally, I called Jamie to see if he wanted to visit Philadelphia for the weekend. Affirmative. We had one of the best weekends in recent memory, rivaled only by the one in which we headed out to the woods, drank whiskey, and threw some hatches at a tree.
Our Saturday brunch commenced with a Bloody Mary custom bar cart at Urban Farmer. After indulging in biscuits, bacon, and Bloodies, we visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art and along with the latest exhibit, walked through a wing that always seems to be closed on my past vists to the museum. Lots of Mondrian, Matisse, and Monet.
Philadelphia loves their Christmas markets. Blowing through the market at JFK Love Park and Dilworth Plaza and an unsuccessful attempt at getting Jamie to agree to go ice skating, we ended up netting some truffle oil, macarons, and beer. It was the exact sustainance required for an hour shopping on Walnut Street before heading to Sampan for the daily happy hour. Jamie was shocked at how many people were waiting outside for seats at the bar, but being the seasoned savvy Philadelphian, I knew getting there early would be necessary.
Several cocktails and appetizers later (chicken bao buns, look them up), we stumbled out of the bar. A stop at a few local boutiques and West Elm later, we were on our way back to Walnut Street. Paper Source, Theory, Brooks Brothers. Two rounds of martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives at Butcher and Singer. We scampered to make our reservation at Parc, where were indulged in a butter-laden dinner.
That night we fell asleep watching holiday movies and taking out the macarons. I do not recall, but Jamie shook me while I was asleep on the armchair / ottoman and encouraged me to make the move to the bed. Again, I do not recall. I woke up spooning the cashmere sweater dress was wearing the day prior.
Last week, I wrote about mixing patterns. Decidedly inspired by Blair Waldorf, seasoned in the art of combining floral / plaids / dots / gingham, I started walking on the wild side circa 2007. I am not saying that I am an expert at print mixing, but yes, yes I am. For over a decade, I have been following Eric Daman’s lead. The most important thing to mix in? Confidence.
I typically never wear two types of the same kind of pattern, which makes this outfit a bit iconoclastic for me. While I am wearing two plaids, it works because the patterns are at different levels of intensity. The shirt is the clear bolder and more dominant piece. The skirt is much more subtle, as it is a black-on-black tonal pattern.
I bought the shirt two years ago, but it gets reissued every holiday season, and in tall and petite sizes. The skirt is long gone, as I bought it circa 2014; however it is all over the secondary market. Brooks Brothers released a similar polka dotted version for holiday this year and had I not already had the Vineyard Vines style, I would jump on the Red Fleece piece in a heartbeat.
Last Saturday, the husband and I spent our evening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Fall Into Art party. The contemporary wing and the newest exhibit Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now was open to party-goers. The Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art board did a fantastic job with planning and executing the event. Not only was the party sold out but it raised well over the goal of twenty thousand dollars. (Last I heard it was over twenty-four thousand dollars.)
I loved being able to explore the contemporary wing and the new exhibit. So much so, that I will certainly return to the new Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now. Ironically, trying to navigate the exhibit afterhours may have been more challenging as in place of iPhone-yielding preteens, there were iPhone-yielding borderline-drunk people.
Not that did not make my husband take photos of me with Grace Kelly’s wedding dress, which was on exhibit. Another fun fact about Grace Kelly: The Hermes Kelly bag was named for her as she carried it in front of her baby bump while being photographed by paparazzi.
My husband and I have the tradition of visiting my family on the Gulf Coast for Independence Day. Dating back to 2014, it was the first time my then-boyfriend, now-husband met my parents. It is a holiday that I always look forward to and I am fairly certain that he does too.
We always have a few items on our agenda when we visit and most of them revolve around spending time around the pool and making the perfect margarita. (PSA: purchase your avocados a week prior to ensure ripeness for the inevitable guacamole.) Aside from the pool and the margs, roast beef po-boys from Pirate’s Cove, the Abita Brewery, and New Orleans (in general) are on the to-do list.
Judging by today’s accessories, I might be especially looking forward to our visit this year, particularly our New Orleans day. My sunglasses and necklace both came from NOLA-based companies. Growing up on the Gulf Coast, I did not see the influx of design-based companies coming. I don’t hate it!
Unbeknownst to her, Mignon Faget and I go way back. Way back to my freshman year of undergrad when one of the gals on the third floor of Bacot Hall loaned me some of her Mignon Faget pieces for a night out. To this day, I still am in disbelief about how trusting she was! I wouldn’t loan my Mignon Faget jewelry to a peer, let alone a Millsaps freshman away from home for the first time, on her way out to a rager on the row.
While I love Mignon Faget jewelry, I always wished that there were more pearls incorporated in the designs. The Tulip Freshwater Pearl Necklace is an all-star of my jewelry box and the minute I received it as a gift in 2007, I knew that I would have a heirloom piece for generations to come.
Recently the brand expanded the Knots and Bows line. I am sure many of you recall the Wire Knot Cuff, which I wore immediatelybefore my wedding and all over Spain during myhoneymoon. I think Mignon Faget must have heard my wish for more pearls, as the brand released the Tiny Bow Pearl Necklace, as well as a phenomenal coordinating bracelet to go along with their Twist Bow necklace. I nearly died when I opened the gift box for the Tiny Bow Pearl Necklace – in a good way. Let’s just say, that if I end up with two girls, I now have a second heirloom for the younger one. And if I only have one daughter, well, she is going to get spoiled with some beautiful jewelry.
I have been coveting a cricket sweater for the longest time. Ever since I re-binged the later seasons of Sex and the City and noticed how chic Charlotte looked showing Elizabeth Taylor Goldenblatt in the athletic-inspired staple, I have had my eye out for one. For some reason, there is a gentlemen’s version in several price points every season. Not the case for the ladies.
Last weekend I went to a matinee of Thoroughbreds. Highly recommended. It was the one of the last film appearances of Anton Yelchin prior to his untimely and tragic death.
The character of Lily had the most phenomenal wardrobe, though the outfit change seemed low. It was very Blair Waldorf, and I love BlairWaldorfstyle. During the scene where she is wearing a cricket sweater dress, I Googled for an similar style. In the middle of the theater. It is a sickness.
I have to share that I have been sleeping on Equipment. I was originally introduced to the chic brand through Necessary and Proper. The lady of the DC-based duo, Lauren, frequently extolled the label and since I think she has excellent taste, I took her style advice.
I found an Equipment shirt that is perfection on a tall frame. Expensive? Yes, but the shirt is 100% silk and a nice departure from the polyester which brands seem to be using ad nauseum. Keep an eye out of the website because select colors do get marked down and steeply so.
It is always around this time of year that I wish I had planned a resort vacation. I could definitely go for 85 degree weather and a salted rim margarita. Give me a caftan, metallic sandals, and big sunglasses any day.
Last year it hit 85 degrees on Easter. Here is hoping that Mother Nature graces us with an early thaw.
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.
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