Thursday fashion musings

June 16, 2011 at 11:41 am (shopping)

I’m all for taking your style in a decidedly nautical direction. Looking preppy enough to have just stepped off daddy’s yacht works for me too, but this is a new level of overdoing it.

Proenza Schouler rope bracelet, $175. Image from

A sailor friend (who owns a small boat and, you know, actually sails) estimates that the raw materials on this cost about $2, which means that you’re ponying up for the Proenza Schouler name (fine, if you’re into that, I have my moments too). But in that case, I’d rather have a PS1 wallet in a fun spring pastel.

Here’s a photo of what my sailor friend wears on her wrist when we sail the stunning San Francisco Bay (and by “we” I mean she sometimes lets me steer).

September summer in San Francisco

On exact opposite side of the love/hate spectrum are these beauties. I would spend my day ostentatiously crossing and uncrossing my legs and being the first one up the stairs in order to show off those killer heels.

Nicholas Kirkwood Colorblock Platform Pumps, $855. Image from

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Well Suited

April 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm (future, shopping)

I have not worn a conservative business suit to work since Boston. My professional attire ranges from jeans and flip flops (really, I love California) to things that take the place of a suit (blazer+pencil skirt+blouse), but that is about to change. Methinks business school calls for a new suit. Me(also)thinks my tired Banana Republic version (circa 2000) will not be appropriate for the (exciting! uberprofessional!) functions I will inevitably be called upon to attend. What to do, what to do?


1) Shape
I would like to be covered and respectable, while also continuing to make my gender obvious. A waist would help. Perhaps a one-button cutaway jacket?

2) My shape
I have a bit of an hourglass figure, but with broad shoulders (swimming doesn’t help). I have experience buying the jacket two sizes bigger than the slacks, but the shoulders+breasts combo rules out certain brands (J.Crew, DVF, possibly Theory, and many others that don’t make suits and therefore will not be mentioned because they make me sad).

3) Purpose
As much as I might love to go all Vivienne Westwood, this is business school. I’m not exactly the Brooks Brothers type (I leave that to Future CEO, who makes conservative look fresh), but even in California, I’ll need to tone it down to suit (ha!) my audience.

4) Cost
Despite how I feel about this Armani, my landlord will not accept the gleeful modeling of my new suit in lieu of rent, so I need to be reasonable. The definition of reasonable bounces around a bit, but this Boss Black is definitely at the high end. I’m also aware that, ideally, it will last me a good 5-10 years, so I’m willing to splurge.

This whole search makes me want to fly to Washington (DC) for a weekend of shopping in the suit capital of the United States, but if I factor in the cost of the flight, I’ll have much less to spend on a suit. I think most people would go shopping if they won the lottery, but I’d hire a tailor dressmaker. I know exactly what I want! Any thoughts on how to make it magically appear on store racks? I have a feeling I’m headed down a road toward Elie Tahari, which, actually, is just fine.

When’s the last time you wore a suit?

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Friday Four

March 25, 2011 at 10:06 am (Friday Four, shopping)

In case you haven’t heard, it’s been raining in California for what feels like months (and I was in Hawaii last week). The sun peeks out for a moment (sometimes while it’s still pouring down) and then the clouds roll right back in. Days upon days of this. I’m considering building an ark. In any case, it explains the longer-than-average reading list and the covet section that looks like I’m going duck hunting in Britain. (Do they even hunt ducks in Britain?)

I’m listening to the playlist I call, “Rainy Days and Mondays.” And not just because of the weather.

I’m reading Apollo’s Angels, Me: Stories of My Life (which I never finished), Bargaining for Advantage (still) and The Enchantress of Florence.

I’m craving sukiyaki from Teshima’s.

I’m coveting rain boots–either short or tall–and a Barbour jacket (actually, the jacket has been on the list for nearly a year), which is somewhat annoying since I spent most of last week dressed like this (though I never pulled the skirt up to flash a little cheek as this lovely model has seemingly been instructed to do).

Hunter rain boots (image from

Loeffler Randall rain booties (image from

Kamik rain boots (image from

Barbour International Jacket (image from

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Friday Four (the almost all covet edition)

January 28, 2011 at 11:19 am (Friday Four, shopping)

I’m all kinds of excited/nervous about something happening on Monday and it seems that when I don’t want to fixate (and worry), I shop. Not buy, mind you, as my bank account is still enjoying a spending freeze so that I can pay for my soon-to-be-due car registration (unpaid parking tickets add up…oopsie), but I can look. A lot.

I’m reading The No Asshole Rule. Or, you know, thinking about reading it.

listening to watching versions of Swan Lake in an attempt to kill the visual of Natalie Portman trying to dance. (The Black Swan post is coming.) I love Sofiane Sylve (one of my favorite dancers, period) and Maria Kochetkova (lovely in the SF Ballet Swan Lake) in particular, but I’ll even take Gillian Murphy’s emotionless technique (and floppy feet).

I’m craving whiskey (see preface about fixating above).

I’m coveting so, so, SO many things. Here we go.

The Mulberry Tillie

Mulberry Tillie. Photo from


This ASOS satchel (I’m veering into Splurge vs. Steal territory, but I won’t stay long).

ASOS Leather Vintage Style Satchel. Photo from


These studded flats from my favorite brand for flats.

Loeffler Randall Shireen flat. Photo from


These red for Valentine’s Day, 1940s-esque platforms from Topshop.

Lacrosse Red Suede Sandals from Topshop. Photo from


And, finally, this Lela Rose gown (we’re not acknowledging that it’s meant for a specific event, so shut it). P.S. I have absolutely no need or expected need for this anytime soon, I just don’t want to acknowledge that I’m in love with a W-word dress.

Lela Rose dress. Photo from


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Friday Four

January 7, 2011 at 11:41 am (Friday Four, shopping)

I’m listening to “Zorbing” by Stornoway.

I’m reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.

I’m craving canelĂ©s from Pâtisserie Philippe.

I’m coveting a dress the color of my skin. (P.S. That sweater I mentioned many moons ago is on sale if anyone’s interested.)

Dress by Alberta Ferretti. Image from

Dress by Alexander McQueen. Image from


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August 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm (in my head, It's all about me, present, shopping)

Below, my recent obsessions.

1. The Man’s cat was bleeding late last night and mewing with big sadkitty eyes, so we ended up at the emergency vet’s past midnight. This morning, after what I can only assume was a harrowing night of shaving, draining, and cleaning a ruptured abscess, the poor guy looked like this:

Kitty John tries to look dignified

And I realized that this is one of my favorite adorably pathetic (pathetically adorable?) things. Furry animals in cones!

2. Furniture with silhouettes of turned legs made out of industrial materials.

This was on Etsy, but apparently someone else was obsessed with it too as it has disappeared.

Image from IKEA

3. Approximately 1/3 of the items in the Christie’s Interiors, South Kensington, June 22 auction catalogue including these girly chairs with upholstery that looks like kitchen towels, these Greek key handled silver salts, a pair of Arts and Crafts menu holders, and all of the Ronald Searle cartoons.

Image from

4. Super pig and other whimsical meat sections art.

Super Pig, drywell art by alyson on Etsy

5. This dress-me-up/dress-me-down silk georgette Shoshanna maxi that should arrive next week. Particularly with gold accessories and a salmon silk wrap.

Image from

6. “Slow” everything, but particularly this Slow Home Manifesto from Department of the Interior.

7. My new fun little scarf/wrap that is big enough for the beach and light enough to wear through a San Francisco fall.

8. Maceo Parker at Stern Grove.

9. OPI’s new Swiss Collection, especially Ski Teal We Drop.

Image from eBay (cleopatrastyle-usa)

10. Burpees. I effing hate these things, but if the (free to me) personal trainer tells me they’ll boost my metabolism in a hurry, then I’ll push on through and learn to love them.

Image from think

11. The facade of the Paul Thiebaud Gallery in North Beach. Talk about announcing your visual brand language from the sidewalk!

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Draft, anyone?

June 24, 2010 at 10:32 am (It's all about me, shopping)

On Tuesday night, after a wonderful pedicure (ooh! indulgence!), I made my way over to The Man’s house. I was quite proud of how quickly I’d packed, thinking to bring a Thursday outfit as well as a Wednesday one, just in case. On Wednesday morning, I woke, showered, set out the floaty white skirt and salmon top I’d planned for the day, and thought “Oh holy fuck.” You see, my friends, I forgot one all important item. An item I really need and never go without. An item I most certainly can’t borrow from The Man. An item only Lindsay Lohan doesn’t wear. Yes, I forgot undies.
Chones. Pahnts (in Britain). Underthings. Knickers. Unmentionables. Skivvies. Panties. No matter what you call them, I didn’t have them.

And because of my packing oversight, my first experience going commando will not be with a hot, tight little number on a red carpet. It won’t be at a sexy celebratory dinner with a special someone. Forevermore, my first experience going commando will be an 8:00 am trip to Target to buy 5 pairs for $20 while wearing a fleece jacket over a white skirt and praying to the weather gods that there would be no skirt-lifting breeze.

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More stuff I want (and won’t get)

February 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm (shopping)

Because I’m all responsible like that. It’s a pain in the ass really.

Trompe l’oeil canvas bag from Anthropologie.

Image from

If this silk Pucci maxi dress isn’t perfect for my cousin’s black tie optional Palm Beach, FL wedding, I don’t know what is.

Image from

This is just the right amount of kick-ass for me. Because I AM a detonator. Or something…

Image from (Jamie Spinello's shop)

The bag I fell in love with on a pre-Christmas shopping trip that seems all the more amazing now that I know this kind of edgy classic will be no more. Alexander McQueen was a genius. And I’m still sad.

Image from

I stumbled upon these Stuart Weitzmans while helping a friend find red wedding shoes. And now I can’t get them out of my head. Red wedding shoes AND something blue. Love.

Image from

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Want for spring

February 2, 2010 at 12:38 am (shopping)


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Rachel Pally skirt

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Sam Edelman wedges

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TFNC Cowl Front dress

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Nanette Lepore Firecracker dress


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Miu Miu matelasse leather hobo

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Foley + Corinna City Shopper

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Rebecca Minkoff Devote Hobo


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Lena Gilded Weave Bracelet

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Kara by Kara Ross Python Pyramid Cuff

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Gorjana Graham Leather Wrap Bracelet with Studs

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Wendy Brandes Hatshepsut Locket (as a single charm on a leather wrap bracelet)

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January 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm (in my head, On dating and mating, plays well with others, shopping)

1) Haiti
The earthquake in Haiti (if you’re looking to give, the New York Times has a nice list of options) and other recent events has me feeling particularly patriotic* (even though I was the only one of a group of friends – besides the newly-minted American citizen – who could correctly answer any of the questions on the citizenship exam).

It also has me thinking that I live in San Francisco and really should get around to putting together my earthquake kits. And in case you’re wondering, no, I’m not terrified that The Big One will hit and my city will be flattened. Give me the possibility of an earthquake in a city used to dealing with seismic activity that has the building codes to match ANY day over snow and sleet and black ice beneath my car. Or hurricanes. Or tornadoes. I’ve been in one hurricane that raged during a rehearsal dinner and I only made it through because there was wine. I think if I ever heard a tornado warning, I’d pee myself. But earthquake? Meh.

2) Shopping
Occasionally, as when I practically wrote a multi-part novel in response to Nilsa’s post, I am reminded that I was probably a personal shopper in another life. A co-worker happened to mention that she couldn’t find pointy-toe flats. The next morning she received an email of suggestions (with links) including notes on which ones would address specific concerns and where she could find them on sale. I’ve held back so far from posting about shopping (yes, this was holding back), but no more. I’ll be sprinkling in posts on things I love and things I’m trying to find and things I’m trying desperately to replace (I’m looking at you dear, poor, ancient Isaac Mizrahi black snakeskin pumps!).

3) Anonymity
I’m thinking of revealing my face and my first name. What thinkest thee?

4) Marriage
If you missed Oprah’s show about marriage around the world, then you missed the memo that we should all move to Denmark. You also missed Elizabeth Gilbert saying that men and women want to be married, but no one wants to be the wife. And that sentiment is pretty close to one I keep coming back to: marriage has changed because women have changed. I certainly don’t mean to sound all Maureen Dowd (I have a long, wonderful list of why men are necessary and would begin with that one-handed t-shirt removal thing that is so very yummy), but it’s undeniable that shifting gender roles have affected our expectations of marriage.

In Colorado, San Francisco, Portland, and my hometown I talked with different women of different ages about the same thing. We no longer depend on men financially. We no longer depend on them for physical protection. We (generally) don’t ignore or deny our sexual selves. We don’t feel bound by society or religion to remain in marriages where we’re unhappy at best or abused at worst. In short, the only reason to marry is for love. And that is, in a way, both liberating and terrifying.

P.S. I want to recommend this book to everyone I know and can only really do it here lest I make any friend or couple think I’m singling him/her/them out.

*In this case, I’m all for US nation-building abroad.

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