In Search of Chenille

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

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Spending My Birthday with DVF!

Optimized-IMGP3483Optimized-IMGP3487-2Yesterday was my birthday. The minute I saw that the sun was shining, I pictured myself celebrating the day in my Diane von Furstenberg summer wrap dress. That’s how it has been for me – every morning, since I was three years old (when my mom says that she could no longer dress me!). I awaken with an idea of how I want to express myself that day. Every piece of clothing, every accessory, has to be mine. I don’t know how to live another way.

Now that I have turned 56, I see no need to change. You are as young as you feel  but I don’t feel any age. Some days I want to look one way, some days another. I never know what that will be until the day begins. What I do know is that the choices I make will not be based on what I think I should wear but what I want to wear. This is what 56 looks like!

Dress, Diane von Furstenberg; Shoes, Talbots; Photos by Alexandra

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Can You Pull off Shorts At Work?

Optimized-P1060030Optimized-P1060025Optimized-P1060026You 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

 

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The One That Got Away …

 

(Annabelle New York black faux fur jacket) Similar to ... The One That Got Away!

(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!

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This is my Dress for Success!

revision-1I 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

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How are you spending your Labor Day?

Optimized-P1050731I 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

 

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Child’s Pose in the Sunlight

Photography by Michal Efron

“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

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Babe Paley Sparks my Summer Fashion

IMG_2153New 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

IMG_2170

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The Real Fashion Warriors

Photo courtesy of flickr/Viva Vanista

A Sales Associate: Photo courtesy of flickr/Viva Vanista

Long before you walk into a store to shop and well after you leave, there is a world of behind-the-scenes activity that you never knew existed, thanks to the very hard work of the true fashion warriors – the sales associates. We may have just celebrated the Fourth of July but today I feel like honoring Labor Day. After my first few weeks as a client specialist at Talbots, I am acutely aware of those on the battle field of the fashion experience and how much we owe to them. They are the ones who stay close and personal with the customers and the product and they are the ones who set the stage for the day and tear it down just to bring it back again the next morning. And it is all done with seamless precision. I think of myself as a considerate shopper, but I never really thought about the fact that as soon as I put down an article of clothing someone is right there to fold it neatly and put it back in its proper place.

I hope you will take a moment to think about them the next time you shop. They work hard to make the shopping experience a pleasurable and productive one for us all. They are the real fashion warriors!

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Opening the Red Door of Talbots

Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom

Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom

We look for clothes that are timeless because they are ladylike, simple but not contrived, gimmicky or extreme, smart but not faddy, fashionable but not funky – chic and understated, the hallmarks of good taste .” ~ Nancy Talbot

I have just signed on to be a client specialist for Talbots and I am excited. My earliest memories of Talbots involve my mother; she would take me shopping with her and she introduced me to this world of classic design and elegance. I felt grown up just standing by her side. And here I am years later, opening the red doors to help women look and feel their best.

The Talbots story and heritage is special: Nancy and Rudolf Talbot opened the first Talbots store in 1947, just after the war. The store was located in a beautiful old house in Hingham, Massachusetts. They were entrepreneurs and forward thinkers, ahead of their time, with vision and artistry and an eye for color. Their daughter, Jane Winter, recalls: “They decided to paint the door red. It was mother’s favorite color and they wanted something dramatic.” The hallmarks for their stores were classic style, personalized and gracious service, and impeccable tailoring. The Talbots would become retail icons.

I hope to carry on the tradition of the Talbots as I open the red door!

My outfit: Talbots Stripe Casual Jersey dress; red belt, vintage; sandals, Prabal Gurung for Target

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