The Target/Designer mystique

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Wearing my Phillip Lim for Target French Terry Sweatshirt, Boom Print

Wearing my Phillip Lim for Target French Terry Sweatshirt, Boom Print – Photo by Alexandra

Last Sunday I witnessed another launch of a Target/Designer collaboration, as I had done before. First, two years ago with Missoni, followed by Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung and now … Phillip Lim. And I am asking myself, why? Why did I participate in the crazy, the lines, the waiting, the anticipation and often, the disappointment? Here is what I think …

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Shop your closet first …

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I want to put on the clothes and let them do their job … you shouldn’t have to work too hard for clothes.” Kim, fashion stylist

How well do you know your clothes? When was the last time you checked what was in your closet? I thought I knew my clothes and I thought I knew what was in my closet. I am often telling people to shop their closets first before heading to the store to make a new purchase. But what did I really know about my own closet? It turns out, not as much as I thought, and today was the moment when I put my money where my mouth is! My new friend, Kim, a professional stylist with Style for Hire, a company co-founded by Stacy London and Cindy McLaughlin, came to my house where we spent a few hours editing my clothing and performing a closet audit.

I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. First, I worried about how I was dressed. Would Kim think I was dressed appropriately for a closet audit? What is appropriate anyway? (in turns out that it didn’t matter because I was dressing and undressing the entire time!) And what would happen if Kim removed clothing to which I was still attached? I had too many questions, but fortunately for me, Kim was delightful and warm and funny and kept the mood light, which really helped. What also helped was that she knew what she was doing. Here is what we did: we pulled out everything in my closet and Kim looked it over. And if it was a ‘no go’ I said a quick good bye and didn’t look back. If it was a ‘yes,’ I tried it on. But here is where the magic came … Kim showed me surprising and unexpected ways to wear my own clothes. She styled everything with a twist and by the end of my time with her I had new outfits and was seeing my clothing in a completely new light. It was exhausting and draining and uplifting and fulfilling and emotional at the same time. Kim took pictures too, so that I could recreate the looks on my own. Continue reading

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Mom, I joined a harem!

My kind of harem!

Well, there are harems and then there are harems. Not-exactly-but-almost harem pants, mine are a gift to myself. Helmut Lang jersey black knit slacks are an homage to today’s relaxed whimsy and at the same time a treat to me, giving me extra leg room to breathe. Full, yet slim and lean and fitted with soft pockets, it pairs well with my Jason Wu for Target tee. It is an outfit that says, I look like I am not trying too hard.

In 1916 Coco Chanel rocked the fashion world by introducing jersey to her collection. Before that time, jersey had been used primarily for women’s undergarments. Chanel was really on to something. Jersey is soft and entirely comfortable on the skin; it is the perfect material for cooler days. I plan to wear these as often as possible.

Consider wearing jersey. Your mom will be happy it is not the other kind of harem!

What do you think?

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Toppers

linen topper coat
kaboodle.com

There are many definitions of topper. One is, “a woman’s short, loose fitting topcoat.”  I love the word. Visual and romantic, toppers remind me of spring days in New York City, or any bustling and beautiful city. But the reality is different. This is such a difficult time of year to dress for the changing weather. You need adequate covering, but it is often hard to know what that is. Cooler mornings and nights followed by warm days leave a woman unsettled. You want to look seasonal as well as fashionable, and finding the right topper becomes essential.

Every spring, trend setters list trench coats as seasonal “must haves.” And every spring, I tell myself that I will try to find one. And I do try. This year I owned one for a few hours; it was a Jason Wu for Target trench in a lovely rich blue with floral accents. Fun and flirty, I had high hopes that this would be the one for me. Alas, I got home and realized that it was too large and the fabric overwhelming. I returned my trench and that was that. (see Styling with Mel, Wu Be Gone, February 2012). There are other toppers: pea coats and blazers, sweaters and sweater jackets, jean jackets and leather jackets. The key is finding the one that suits you. I am still searching. In the meantime, you will see me dressed a little too warmly or a little too lightly.

Happy spring!

What do you think?

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