Marta Chrapka (eclectic furnishings with herringbone wood floors), Alexa Chung (playful modern vintage), Steven Gambrel (multiple individual light fixtures), Madeleine Vionnet (bias cut dresses), Linda Fargo ( white/grey bob) are all designers or fashion icons with a very recognizable style–a signature style. One glance of their imprint and you immediately recognize that what you are looking out is theirs. Most of us don’t share such a strong vision with the greater public. But our family and friends know how they view us and if at some point we try to make a change it can be jarring for them and for ourselves as well. Many hats, red nail polish bottles and clothes have been discarded in the name of my style evolution. A staple of my uniform– the white blouse, changes only so as to incorporate a whisper of a new trend–but it is still a white blouse. The produce man at the market looked at me the other day and said “Yep, white on white,” because wearing some sort of white is just me and even he knows it’s my signature.
I quite enjoy finer things–especially in small ways. We started using cloth napkins for dinner a few years back. It was a good way to not waste paper and it certainly elevates a meal to something that seems more impressive than it may be. It could be argued that washing adds more stress environmentally. Throwing cloth napkins in with other laundry really doesn’t feel eco -unfriendly. They should ironed but if you thread them through a napkin ring or like the rustic look, you really don’t have to. 100% cotton is a must.
Last winter I spied two very chic Upper East side ladies wearing their Lululemon (post work out?) covered by elegant ponchos. I wore a poncho when I was seven, it was white and had fringes. Above photo is a stunning Burberry, a bit ruined with the big logo on the back. I have seen ponchos in many retailers already this season but it takes a heavy worsted wool to give it the right heft or else it’s just a sweater without sleeves.
I have noted before that living in South Florida doesn’t give me the full fall/winter clothes experience, but that doesn’t stop my internal fashion clock from responding to the seasons. When I took a look at this Tods ankle boot my heart jumped. Hello Fall.
I am thinking about Irma barreling through the Caribbean. We have shutters and supplies but we are in the direct path–and you don’t know how bad it will be. You don’t know what you will need in an emergency or thereafter so I thought I should make sure my toiletries are ready for a “go” bag. That’s easy. But what clothes should I pack if I have to leave afterwards in a hurry? What should I be wearing to react, if or when, something catastrophic happens? Hunter boots? Sneakers? Leggings? Should I pack my favorite clothes in large zip-loc bags? I won’t even be able to see what’s in my closet when we lose power. And forget doing laundry for a long while. While my focus is usually thinking about what looks best on me, I am all function over style. This is scary stuff. Let me lose myself in the details of preparing and cross my fingers that this will not be as bad as I fear.
Many years ago, I purchased a pair of camouflage pants that had a cool pink embroidered flower, or maybe it was a dragon on one of the legs. I was in my late 30’s and I thought they were pretty cool. One day I couldn’t find them–couldn’t find them anywhere. A couple of months passed and I was putting away laundry in my husband’s dresser, there they were, but not by mistake. He is not one to readily weigh in on my clothes so why he would be so sneaky about removing them. No surprise that he hated them and just couldn’t bring himself to say it. So many things I have read said that women should dress for themselves. So, if we think we are dressing for ourselves but our family or friends are the ones looking at us, should we consider their opinion? My husband and I have worked out that communication issue and I do care what he and a select few think of how I dress. The GAP jacket in the below pic that was owned for a mere 2 weeks before I yielded to the pressure to get rid of it. It had a dual daughter and close friend condemnation that it wasn’t flattering on me. When my best interests are at the heart of the opinion of others, I consider that dressing for myself.
I am not a hat person. Even when I am wearing a hat for function I feel like it’s not me and I know I look like I am trying too hard to make it work. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from trying. This year’s attempt is a high, high crown, wide, wide, wide brim palm leaf one from Madewell (communitie $69). My inspiration: a local landscape worker wearing one similar. He looked natty in his. So, you know, I may look good in one too, right? So far, I haven’t left out of the house wearing it. But, I will, maybe, one day. Maybe to the beach? It’s a beautiful hat. It really is.