I have been enjoying wearing French designers lately; for the style and aesthetic, the fabric, the fit – and well, the feel! There is something so elegant about the look and feel of a French-made piece of clothing. I asked Gabrielle, friend, owner, and curator of my new favorite boutique, The Collective, just what it is that is so appealing about French designers. Here is what Gabrielle said: “Working with clothing for the past 5 years, I’ve noticed that French and Italian designers just know how to tailor clothing to a woman’s body. For example, Cinzia Rocca coats are some of the best I’ve seen. I think this is part of the reason we, as American women, look to the French women for inspiration… they wear classic, well-tailored items that look effortless… and no matter what we classify our ‘style’ as, I think most can appreciate the “effortless” vibe.”
Ooh, effortless – that is the word! Dressing has been effortless.
Outift (mostly French): Coat, Maje; sweater A.P.C.; pants, The Row (American); shoes, Talbots (American)
Photos by Abrina Hyatt
I love to read about trends of the season and see if they will fit into my wardrobe. I have been seeing bold, colorful statement earrings for the fall and I like how they add to a look. I knew I wanted something red with a tassel – but, where to start? My stylish friend Eva recommended J. Crew for a solid selection and she was right. It didn’t take me long to fall for this pair (with tassels!). And yes, I knew they would add interest and a pop of color. The thing I didn’t know was how these earrings could breathe new life into my wardrobe!
I paired them with a simple black dress that I have worn and loved for a few years – but had recently lost its luster and was in fact, in my pile of well-loved clothes to give away. When I added the earrings to this dress something happened: these bold red earrings took the dress from simple to super-stylish.
Need a little revamp to your style this fall? Go for an unexpected source – the bold, statement earring. See your things come to life, too!
Earrings, J. Crew; dress and shoes, Talbots; pin, vintage Dior
Photos, Abrina Hyatt
It was a morning of surprise. Faced with a warm, Indian summer day, I ventured into my closet – not knowing what I would find. I moved hangers, pushed away options, and pondered over choices, until I found, tucked at the far end and almost invisible, this whimsical Eva Franco dress, with feminine touches. Excited to see it after many months, I tried it on and fell in love all over again. I knew it would be a perfect choice for the day.
Nothing is quite like finding a long lost fashion friend to awaken your sense of style. I recommend you check out your closets for hidden treasures and see what you’ve been missing, too!
Dress, Eva Franco; shoes Talbots
Photos, Abrina Hyatt
My new light purple Dries Van Noten chenille pants
I get fashion ideas from many places: watching people, passing a window, leafing through magazines, catching a movie. For the ideas that take hold of my imagination and won’t let go, I become a determined woman on a mission! That is what happened when I saw a recent feature on Bloomberg BusinessWeek, “What I Wear To Work.” The person was wearing purple velvet pants designed by Dries Van Noten and I fell in love – with the purple, and with the velvet. I began my search in earnest. I never did find the purple velvet but what I did find was a pair of light purple chenille trousers by the designer, on sale at a terrific price! My heart sang when the pants arrived and were the softest fabric I had ever known! Owning new clothes is much more satisfying when I have to track them down first!
Pants, Dries Van Noten, shoes, Talbots
Photo by Kendra Olson; on location at Reeves-Reed Aboretum, Summit NJ
You bet! There is a way to wear shorts to a work day – it may not be the obvious choice but it is a summer option, as long as you differentiate the look from your casual go-to weekend shorts. Instead, pair them with sturdy, solid pieces, so that the look is polished and professional.
I gave these Alice & Olivia shorts new life when I styled them for the office. I stepped out of my comfort zone with this look but isn’t that what fashion is about?
Shorts, Alice & Olivia; top, Talbots; shoes, vintage Ferragamo; blazer, Banana Republic
Photos by Abrina Hyatt
(Annabelle New York black faux fur jacket) Similar to … The One That Got Away!
I have a philosophy about shopping for clothes: if something stays on your mind for a day and you haven’t bought it – go back and get it. If it leaves your thinking, let it go and move on. Because it’s better not to buy anything you don’t absolutely love, but it’s worse to let something go that you really like, and could love for a lifetime.
I have passed on many things and that is fine. I don’t remember them. But I do remember the ones that got away. And that hurts.
Last winter, when I was working at Talbots, there was a black faux-fur jacket that was perfect in every way – the right length, the right touch, the right feel – and the right price, especially since I had the employee discount. But for some unknown reason I didn’t get it. I am not sure why. I liked it – it stayed with me – and against my better judgment I passed. By the time I tried to buy it, it was already sold out. You may wonder why, in the middle of a summer day, I am thinking about a black faux fur jacket, and I have a hard time explaining it myself, but that’s what I mean. The one that gets away stays with you!
I started a new job a month ago. I love it and I am grateful for the opportunity. Like most new jobs it is also an adjustment: new schedule, new things to learn, new skills to sharpen – the key word is new. Clearly, the beginning of a job is a time for feeling vulnerable and unsure of oneself. The trick is to look to your clothes for protection and treat them like the armor they truly are. I often talk about the power of clothes. There is something so comforting about letting the right clothes do the talking for you – letting your clothes help you feel good about yourself, even when your inner-self is feeling a little shaky and unsure. Clothes can do that. For starters, choose clothing with good color and fit. The rest will take care of itself.
My Power Dress is a gray fit-and-flare knit I bought when I worked (most recently) at Talbots. Dresses are the best go-to’s because simple, one-piece dressing is easy and keeps the decision-making to a minimum. Mine is a seasonal favorite, perfect for fall, winter, and the early stages of spring. Gray is one of my good colors (as I discovered during my color consultation with fashion specialist, Rivka, and her partner Cindy Joseph). With it, I have room to experiment with my accessories. The best part is that it does the trick. I put it on, I feel safe and in control, and off to work I go.
If you are starting a new job or even if you are about to undertake something new and challenging and perhaps difficult, think about the clothes you will be wearing. Do they give you a sense of strength and protection to face your day? If not, look for something you love. It will lift you and carry you a long way.
Dress and necklace –Talbots; watch (from my Grandmother) – Longines; date book – Henri Bendel
Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom
I took myself out today as the sun was high in the sky and the humidity was low with a soft breeze filling the air; favorite book in hand, I prepared to read – on this last unofficial day of summer. The feeling was relaxing and warming. I thought to myself, ‘does it get better than this?‘
How are you spending your Labor Day? Like me, are you squeezing in the last bit of summer sun – wearing a favorite outfit?
I hope you, too, are celebrating in your own way. Happy Labor Day!
Dress, belt – Talbots; shoes – Prabal Gurung for Target
“Child’s Pose” Photography by Michal Efron
The clothes I wear to meditate and exercise are most meaningful to me. They lead me to the light, the understanding, the relaxation, and the power to be my best and most pure self. I realized recently that what you wear to exercise is important; when you choose comfort and fit and quality it says that you matter. At the very moment when I chose to select the proper clothes, I gave myself permission to practice with authority. Clothing does that. Namaste.
Outift – T for Talbots; Photographed at MONDO Summit
New York City socialite and the epitome of high-style elegance in her day, Babe Paley, famously took off her scarf and tied it around her handbag, sparking a world-wide fashion trend still copied today. As the dog days of summer kick in I am compelled to try this simple and charming style accent myself. Thank you, Babe!
scarf, Cacharel; handbag – a gift from my friend; dress, Talbots; necklace, vintage
Photos: Linda Colarusso